4 Stars, Diana DeRicci, Genre Romance, MLR Press, Reviewed by Janet

Review: Shadowboxing by Diana DeRicci

Title: Shadowboxing: Arbor Heights

Author: Diana DeRicci

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count: 176 Pages

At a Glance: I simply enjoyed the book so much.

Reviewed By: Janet

Blurb: Wayne Hightower has lived with a secret since he was a teenager. Debilitating to relationships, his condition stands in the way of his father’s ultimate expectation: Finding a woman to marry. Of course, if he could do that, he’d have the grandchildren his mother was craving. And everyone would be happy happy happy. Or so he’d been raised to believe. If he could find her. If he could get over his problem.

Ditched by his brother for their planned night of sibling bonding, Erich Villalobos invites Wayne out instead as a simple act of friendship. One night that throws Wayne into an environment he’d never been exposed to and revealing a playfully animated side of Wayne Erich had never imagined. One that he quickly learns he’s actually attracted to.

Secrets. Everyone has them. Wayne. Erich. Even Wayne’s parents. If Wayne’s brother Curtis were still alive, he could tell Wayne the cause of his condition and how to cure it. But dead men don’t talk.

Dividers

Review: I have enjoyed every one of Diana DeRicci’s books I’ve read so far, and I am pleased to add Shadowboxing to this list. She is an author who writes fun books with quirky characters that are well described and realistic, in whatever situation she places them. In this book we meet Wayne and Erick, co-workers who are friendly but have never socialized before. Erick sees Wayne just after he has been dumped by yet another girlfriend, and offers to take him out for a drink to commiserate. Erick takes him to a gay bar, and life takes a turn for the humorous.

I love the way DeRicci uses laughter to tell her stories. She creates laugh-out-loud situations which are tender lessons of discovery and personal growth so we, as readers, feel protective of the characters and are totally invested in their futures and hope they overcome the issues before them. Wayne is so closeted even he doesn’t know he is gay, and the author created a heartbreakingly awful family background to temper the sweetness of the growing relationship between him and Erick, as well as Wayne’s developing awareness of his orientation. I really enjoyed the drama of this story and the layered feelings that were created. The contrast between the easy falling into a relationship and pairing up that the characters do and their own rough backgrounds and personal histories adds depth to the story and resonated well for me.

I found this to be a fairly quick read, as I simply enjoyed the book so much. There were several plot lines that were explored throughout the story, and all of the parts fell into place at the conclusion. The background of Arbor Heights, the location of the story, is well built and easy to picture and a place I hope to see again in further books of the series. For me, Diana DeRicci is a trusted author of character driven love stories which always have a happy ending, and I was pleased to find Shadowboxing is another winner from this author.






You can buy Shadowboxing here:

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Carina Press, Diana DeRicci, G.B. Lindsey, Libby Drew

Constructing A Family – “Secrets of Neverwood” by Libby Drew


The Secrets of NeverwoodI had the honor of crafting the Secrets of Neverwood universe with two wonderful authors, Diana Copland and G.B. Lindsey. From the beginning, we knew “Neverwood” would be more than a decrepit mansion. It would be a home. And within it would exist a beacon of love, acceptance and hope—a woman named Audrey Rasmussen. Our Audrey opened her home to strangers and dedicated her life to creating a family, nontraditional as it may have been.

Diana, G.B. and I met often while writing Secrets of Neverwood—sometimes every day. Before long, Neverwood took on a life of its own. It grew beyond its dozens of rooms, secret passageways, and dusty attic full of furniture. It became a symbol of safety. A fortress for those who were ostracized, thrown away, and abused for who they love.
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Diana DeRicci, MLR Press, Reviewed by Jackie

Jackie Says Diana DeRicci’s “Learning to Breathe” Is Stellar Storytelling


“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain


Title: Learning to Breathe (Arbor Heights #2)

Author: Diana DeRicci

Publisher: MLR Press

Pages/Word Count:

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: To Remy, size is a state of mind, a fact few really learn to appreciate. When it wasn’t clear he’d live past being an infant, he grew up fighting. Fighting to live. Fighting to be treated with respect. The last thing he thought he’d have to do is fight his own heart. Getting clocked across the face wasn’t one of Ben’s better moments. Grudgingly accepting help from a pint-sized, argumentative Remy, he’s among those who learn the hard way small doesn’t necessarily mean weak.
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Diana DeRicci, Dreamspinner Press

Diana DeRicci Spends Some Time “Coloring Outside the Lines”


“Everyone’s got secrets. It’s what makes people interesting.” ― Cat Clarke


Title: Coloring Outside the Lines (Different Paths to Love #2)

Author: Diana DeRicci

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 112 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: Different Paths to Love: Book Two
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Diana DeRicci, MLR Press

A Little Luck And A Little Romance Is What “Learning to Live” Is All About



“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” – Maya Angelou



BLURB: Avery Storey has bought a house in a conscious effort to be more independent. Right before he moves in, the kitchen pipes malfunction. Lucky for him, one of his new neighbors is the same man Avery has begun to warm up to through his teller job. Gratefully, AJ comes to the rescue, because that’s what neighbors do. A little romance blooms between the two men. Unfortunately, AJ blows his chance when he learns Avery is thirteen years his junior. Hurting for the sweet man across the street, he’s forced to face what his life would be like without Avery at all, because being neighbors alone just would not be enough.
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