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Crush: A Sweet, Full-bodied Queer Romance
L. Dreamer. L. Dreamer, $14.99 trade paper (232p) ISBN 979-8-2180-2099-6
This gratifying slice-of-life romance from Dreamer (The Burden of Happiness) follows California winery owner and recent widow Mia Torwood and her new vineyard manager, Cal Sanders. The winery was Mia’s husband’s dream, and she’ll be in dire financial straits if she can’t make it profitable. Cal, a trans man, comes from a family of vintners, but he’s eager to find success on his own, outside of his transphobic hometown. The pair feel a powerful mutual attraction, but neither rushes to trade their professional relationship for a personal one, both putting the winery first. They bond as Mia learns more about winemaking with Cal’s guidance, and as they dig into the mystery behind queer love letters Cal discovers that belonged to a previous inhabitant of the winery in the 1940s. This parallel love story adds depth and intrigue while escalating threats from Samuel Hastings, a jealous winemaker who believes he is entitled to both Cal’s job and Mia’s affections, provide necessary conflict, finally forcing Cal and Mia to acknowledge their affection for each other. It’s gratifying to watch these characters grow, both as a couple and separately, as Mia heals from grief and Cal learns to trust himself. This is a guaranteed mood lifter. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 05/19/2023

Release date 06/01/2022