cover image The Hues of Me and You

The Hues of Me and You

Morgan Lee Miller. Bold Strokes, $17.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-63679-229-3

Miller (The Infinite Summer) reunites college lovers for a milquetoast lesbian romance. Aspiring artist Brooke Dawson and Arlette Adair, the rebellious heir to a political dynasty, started as roommates, then became best friends (with Brooke secretly pining for Arlette), and finally spent one month in an ill-defined friends-with-benefits arrangement before their relationship went up in flames. Five years later, Brooke bartends while making a go of it in Washington, D.C.’s art world, and she’s reunited with Arlette, now back in the family fold and on the path they’ve chosen for her, while working a party for Arlette’s father, a presidential hopeful. After Arlette returns the surprise by showing up at Brooke’s art show (and offering her a high-profile commission), the women rekindle their friendship. Miller works hard to conjure a shared history between these two, but their pool of shared experiences and inside jokes feels frustratingly shallow. The slow burn of their romance works well, providing room for some big, emotional conversations about life choices that lead Arlette to realize she’s unhappy, but the plot is hampered by the characters dithering over every minor decision and the largely external third act drama, which sees Arlette finally confronting her family but leaves Brooke with little to do. The result is a mild, middling romance. (Jan.)