3.5 stars. I love a good M/M romance and have been trying to seek out more queer romances. This one looked delightful and it did not disappoint. What I didn’t know going into this book was that one of the characters is trans which means that this is officially my first trans romance! I really liked that Ginsberg being trans wasn’t the story, it was just one small part of the story.
Former logger and all-around manly man Derrick inherited his parent’s B&B after they passed and he’s done a pretty shit job of running it ever since. He’s at a breaking point and can’t decide if it’s better to keep running their dream into the ground or just give up and do something else. Ginsberg, short on money, books a lengthy stay at this very moment in Derrick’s life. Derrick waffles between trying to be rude enough that Ginsberg will leave and falling for the charming, handsome hipster.
Rather than the conflict stemming from Ginsberg’s transness, most of it comes from Derrick’s insecurities surrounding being gay and working in hospitality which is traditionally associated with feminine labor. Belleau and Haimowitz spend time examining what it means to be masculine and subvert plenty of tropes.
I really enjoyed the writing style. The action flowed really well from flirtiness to more steamy scenes to conflict. There is the most delightful secondary character in the form of Derrick’s ex-boyfriend and I’m sure he’ll get his own book in the series (if he hasn’t already). All in all, this was just a really cute, well-written story.