For the Love of April French by Penny Aimes
Reviewed by Laura Fliegel
Gosh, I adored this book so much!!
April French doesn’t date, but she does enjoy her trysts and dalliances and friendships and community at Frankie’s, a kink bar in Austin. One night she meets Dennis Martin, who recently moved to Austin from Seattle, and they immediately connect.
This book feels like a warm hug, which feels like an odd sentiment for a book with kink so central to the relationship and the dynamic between April and Dennis, but it is the best way I can describe it. The romance is so soft and warmed my heart so much. There are so many great lines and small gestures that really display how smitten Dennis especially is for April.
Another element I really enjoyed is how things come up about their experiences and fears, hers as a trans woman and his as a Black man, and the ways they have to navigate the world. This is not an angsty book and it’s definitely not focused on racism or transphobia, but I appreciate the nod to realism as it adds to the hope I feel reading the story. And I loved how both April and Dennis acknowledge how while they’re marginalized in certain ways, they don’t know all the experiences their partner will have, and make efforts to educate themselves. In my mind, this further shows the love they have for one another.
This is just so wonderful! It brought me so much joy to read, and it was so hard to put down because I felt so warm reading this book. I didn’t want to leave the romance because it was so sweet.
I also loved the way Penny Aimes wrote this in terms of pacing and perspective. It’s unique but it works so well at showing the progression of the relationship through April and Dennis’ perspective. It starts with their meeting and is alternating perspectives, but then we get the next several months from April’s POV before getting those same several months from Dennis’ POV, and the final part goes back to alternating between April and Dennis. It allows for a very deep immersion in how each character is experiencing the series of events and the thoughts that go into their choices. It just truly worked so well!
This is absolutely a new favorite, and I hope this book gets all the love it deserves! Especially as I selfishly want more from books from Penny Aimes!
Published by Carina Harlequin, August 31, 2021