The Devil Made Me Do It | LGBTQIA


Here we are again with The Devil Made Me Do It. In case you missed it the first time we posted this feature, it’s about roping someone into reading a book you LOVE so you have that one more person to discuss it with. But incidentally, with each of these books, we think they need more reader attention than they are getting, and we’re more than happy to do our part to spread the word! Did our recs for each other pan out? Read on to see!

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Why I Chose The Understatement of the Year for Angie:  Simple, it paved the way for Him, which Angie has already read (like 50 times, if you count audio) and loved.  Second, Sarina Bowen wrote it AND it’s M/M.  Picking this is like stacking the deck in my favor, and I need the win!

Wendy’s Endorsement: The Understatement of the Year was the first sports M/M romance I read, and the chemistry was insane!  It’s an incredible love story.

The Understatement of the Year
The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Book #3 in The Ivy Years
Genre: LGBTQIA, Sports Romance
Publication Date: October 15th, 2014

Synopsis from Goodreads: What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Angie’s Thoughts

Dear Wendy,

This book consumed me. It consumed me so wholly that I left work early one day so I could go home and finish reading it. I just couldn’t let it go. I have to laugh, because in preparation for writing this, I went back and read your review. You say this book isn’t angst-y, and I completely disagree with that. (Which is totally in keeping with how we see most books – completely opposite.) I will say that I didn’t find the characters to be angst-y, but the plot was rife with it. I know I’ve said this before, but until Sarina Bowen, it’s  something I didn’t even know could be done. Anxiety consumed me as I read this book. I was so terrified Graham would be outed before he was ready, and every second that passed had me up in arms. This story was beautiful from start to finish. The characters emotions were my emotions while I was reading this book, and even while it gave me a solid ending, I still couldn’t let go. I’m always a fan of the ‘blast from the past’ love story, and I feel like the author took this plot and brought it to the next level. Sadly enough, Graham and Rikker barely even got to have a past due to a multitude of reasons, but it was clear they cared deeply for one another and were still struggling with what ‘had been’ even as they were coming to grips with their present. This book (especially Rikker) demonstrated how patience and acceptance are so important, and there’s a right time for everything.  Great recommendation, Wendy. The Understatement of the Year is a book I know I’ll be reading over and over. Especially when it becomes available in audio. 😉

Your satisfied reading buddy,


Did the rec pan out? Whoo hoo!  It so panned out!
This makes me happy!  I think it’s great how we can like the same books, but get opposite things out of them.  It’s why I love reading with you, Angie. 🙂

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Why I Chose Trailer Trash for Wendy: Wendy and I often reminisce about the past (even though we only met a little over a year ago,) especially our shared love of New Kids on the Block. (They weren’t NKOTB yet.) There were a lot of 80’s mentions in this one, and I thought it would be fun to glom on some of that 80’s nostalgia.

Angie’s Endorsement: The slow burn in this book is enough to bring you to your knees, and both of the young men in this book will have you rooting for them – together or separately.

Trailer Trash
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Genre: Young Adult, LGBTQIA
Publication Date: March 21st, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

Wendy’s Thoughts

Dear Angie,

Wow!  Excellent choice!  I honestly think this is the best Riptide book I’ve ever read, and definitely in the top of all M/M romances!  I loved the setting of the story because the characters were bleak, and the setting stabilized that bleakness.  I thought all the side characters, from the kids at school to the parents, all carried the story and again they all set an atmosphere of despair and poverty.  I thought it was pretty powerful how the author showed the reality of money.  The better drugs these kids did the more horrid they acted, and it was in direct correlation to how much money was in their pockets, (Nate and Logan being the exceptions, which there always are).  I also think that even though Cory was the most poor he was also the sweetest in personality, not just circumstance.  He was a good kid, him and Nate both.  There was only one tiny aspect that perhaps kept me from loving it as completely as you did, and it isn’t a dig on the writing at all.  It’s a personal preference in reading choices only.  I always have a hard time when two characters are too bullheaded to just open their mouths and speak.  Nate and Cory both could have been saved from so much pain if they had just opened their mouths and talked.  I know that sometimes that’s not how the characters are, and I accept that, I just find that I sit there reading and screaming in my head for them to stop running from each other and just talk!  It kills me.  And frustrates me.  I think it was probably hard on Logan too, watching them.  I liked Logan, btw.  A lot.  Anyway, again great book choice.  I didn’t even realize that Marie Sexton was the same author who wrote Winter Oranges, and I really liked that one too.  She may be one of of those authors that just stays on my radar going forward.




Did the rec pan out? Yes, definitely.
I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I have to admit, I wasn’t nervous about you reading this at all, until I told you how much I loved it and you asked me if I loved it more than Kings Rising. After that, I was so afraid you wouldn’t be able to read without comparing the two, but I’m so glad I was wrong!

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So while this new feature is a bit self-indulgent, we hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Is there a book that you’d have everyone you know read just so you could have more people to talk about it with? If so, let us know which one(s) in the comments section, and stay tuned for our next The Devil Made Me Do It feature!

M/M is our drug of choice when it comes to Contemporary Romance, so if you have a recommendation, hit us with it in the comments!

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