Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters is a cute queer contemporary opposites attract romance.
Rose Josten is the best business consultant in the biz, but though her job allows her to be financially stable enough to help out her three younger siblings, it doesn’t fulfil her as much as her hidden side gig creating mindfulness videos. Ash Stewart is a former filmmaker seeking funding for a new project after her last movie failed and her wife left. If the two of them can work together without falling all over each other, they might be able to create some movie magic.
This was quite an enjoyable read. I really liked the chemistry between Rose and Ash here, which you can see even during their meet-cute around a dumpster. They also both seemed like people I’d actually like to be friends with, which was also a bonus.
Obviously this is a queer romance so there’s a lot of queer rep in this book, in addition to facing fears and trying to overcome them. On that front, there is also rep about individuals who have gone through a significant amount of physical trauma, and how slow the healing process can be on the emotional side as well. Our leads are in their late 30s and early 40s so that was also great to see in a romance.
There is some steam in this book, and the author does a great job with making consent sexy. Stetz-Waters likes to focus on healthy and pleasurable sexual relationships, and honestly we need more authors to do the same. There are a lot of healthy relationships in general in this book, including Rose’s sisters and Ash’s assistant.
A few story beats felt a little fantastical to me compared to the rest of the plot, including how Ash’s ex-wife was painted as a quite evil person and how successful Rose’s hobby was without her knowing. The pacing also felt a bit off a times.
Tropes in this book include: opposites attract, sapphic romance
CW: mentions of physical and emotional car crash trauma, sexual dysfunction, divorce, fear of flying, mentions of parental death in a plane crash, light gaslighting
I received a copy of this book to review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
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