Book Boyfriend

Kris Ripper. Carina Adores, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-335-51717-3

This queer friends-to-lovers romance from Ripper (the Love Study series) tackles the thorny realities of grand romantic gestures. Preston “PK” Kingsley can’t finish any of his writing projects. He also can’t figure out how to tell his best friend, Art, that he’s been in love with them since one drunken kiss in college five years ago. When Art is left heartbroken and homeless after a breakup, PK offers them his spare room. Living together redoubles PK’s frustration with his bottled feelings, but cures his writer’s block as he pens his idealized version of their love story. He publishes the novel under a pen name and it blows up, but any hope PK has that Art will see it for the love confession it is backfires when he reveals himself as the author—and Art as his muse—at his first reading. Art is anything but thrilled. To win them back, PK will have to try something he’s so far avoided: straightforward communication. Ripper subtly unpacks romance tropes, homing in on the importance of consent on both sides of a crush. Though PK’s pining behavior grows frustrating, the witty, eccentric supporting cast serves as the story’s moral compass. This insightful new angle on the dos and don’ts of love confessions shines. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (May)