Cover Story


Cover Story by Valerie Gomez

Two queer thirtysomethings—a buttoned-up art director and a comedian—learn first impressions aren’t forever in Valerie Gomez’s sparkling contemporary romance debut perfect for fans of Alexis Hall and Casey McQuiston. “Don’t panic, just breathe,” Dax Ximénez tells himself after every gig. About to become a household name with the premiere of his own TV show, he should be flying high, and he is…on the surface. But all of the pressure and attention make him want to retreat into the safe cocoon of his warm family home in Queens. The last thing he needs is a prickly art director judging him at his first magazine cover shoot—no matter how handsome he is. The shoot is a huge opportunity for AJ Bond to prove himself worthy of a promotion at The Modern Gentleman, but Dax showing up late is not a good look. The vibe is off, and AJ’s original vision is going down in flames—until Dax lets his natural charisma and gorgeous smile shine. After the shoot wraps, AJ knows they’re both on the verge of something big, not just professionally. Neither AJ nor Dax can stop thinking about the other, hoping their magic wasn’t confined to the studio. As the magazine and show launches approach, they’ll rely on each other for support through the highs and lows of success, fame, anxiety…and maybe even love.

AdultDiversity Representation/Mental Health/Own VoicesDiversity Representation/LGBTQ+RomanceRomance/ContemporaryDiversity Representation/BIPOC/Own Voices

Content Warning: On page: panic attacks, anxiety, sexual content Off-page: familial homophobia (remembered), mention of physical abuse (remembered)

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Menendezbe avatar Menendezbe

Worldbuilding: Piqued curiosity
Plot: Straightforward
Characters: Roles are clear
Storytelling: Descriptive
Immersion: Didn’t want to put the book down
Emotional Response: Strong emotions
Thought Provoking: Did some research after reading
Cover: Matches the story well

A cute romance that also explores difficult mental health subjects and how societal taboos can prevent people from seeking help and also lead to bullying. A lovely story about the importance of connection.

Submitted by valeriegomez avatar valeriegomez on

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