El is in a rut. So when a plan is hatched for El, Ray, and their two other closest friends to ditch the big city and move out to a ramshackle house on the edge of an English country village, it feels like just the escape she needs. Despite being the DIY challenge of a lifetime, the newly named Lavender House has all the makings of becoming the queer commune of the friends' dreams. But as they start plotting their bright new future and making preparations for a grand housewarming party to thank the surprisingly but wonderfully welcoming community, El is forced to confront her feelings for Ray—the feelings that she's been desperately trying to keep buried. Is it worth ruining a perfectly good friendship for a chance at love?
A quality rom-com is a dance: a delicate balancing act of character and pacing, wish fulfillment and relatability, tension and levity, comedic timing and sentimentality. It can be noisy and shiny or cozy and intimate, but it must always be romantic. And — here’s the crucial part many overlook — it must be genuinely funny. Contemporary rom-coms that check all of these boxes seem vanishingly rare, but by Page 7 of Wild Things, a new novel by the English author and journalist Laura Kay, I knew I had found one ... I had come across a piece of writing that gave me that elusive rom-com thrill ... The story that unfolds is buoyant, charming, delectably wistful and quietly earnest ... Kay writes with a breezy but grounded crispness, like a bike ride through the country. She makes precise choices in pert, clever sentences. Jokes, quips and asides land with neat efficiency, always off-the-cuff, never self-satisfied or self-conscious ... An excellent romantic comedy. It is not a sunny sky, but a sunbeam: energy focused into a patch of hopeful light.
Lighthearted ... This sweet LGBT slow-burn romance is balanced by well-developed secondary characters, snappy dialogue ... For readers who enjoy British contemporary romance authors with a wry sense of humor, like Alexis Hall.