Love Is For Later by Arizona Tape is a new adult romance about finding your place in the world as a young, queer person.
Harper wants casual sex. After her girlfriend broke up with her, that’s all she can handle. Heading the local gay bar, Rainbow Central, she’s surprised when the first person she meets is a girl her friends teased in high school. Nix.
Nix has no interest in relationships. She lives above the bar and when she finds someone attractive, she takes them home. Keeping people at arm’s length is what she does. She drinks at the bar with her friends, but none of them know more about her than that.
Harper and Nix are both determined to keep things casual, but they can’t seem to stay away from one another. As the lines between sex, friendship, and love begin to blur, can they figure out what they want before it’s too late?
Harper has been utterly shattered by the break-up with her first love. In many ways, she is unlikable. She’s willing to bend herself into something she’s not to please Nix, she’s irresponsible with money, and she seems to have zero plans for the future. She’s a modern day, college aged, Bridget Jones.
Nix is an intriguing character. Even as she keeps people at arm’s length, she marches to her own rhythm, and you really get the sense that she cares about the people she’s with, even if she can’t open up to them as much as they’d like. She is so caring when it comes to Harper and there is a real sense of intimacy coming from her that contradicts what she’s saying.
The chemistry between these two is great, and I loved the way they bring out different parts of each other’s personalities. Nix offers the reassurance that Harper needs to begin exploring who she is away from her ex, beginning to embrace the parts of her that she thought were problems. The way Nix begins to open up to people and learns that family can be something we choose.
The Writing Style
Much like the characters, the writing style here is a little rough around the edges. For this book, I think that’s a great thing. It’s written in first person and it adds a little authenticity to the point of view that I don’t think we’d see if it were more polished.
In terms of the plot, there are things that had the potential to offer interesting sub plots like the introduction of a student in Harper’s dorm wanting to visit Rainbow Central, but this storyline is abandoned without becoming anything. While that’s reflective of what’s it’s like to be young and meeting new people, it’s something I would have liked to see wrapped up by the end or the book.
My Favourite Parts
Rainbow Central felt a little like coming home for me. The sense of nostalgia for my early 20s when I was still figuring out what type of person I wanted to be and learning how to move past my first failed relationship. It was nice to go back to that place for a little bit. Tape has done a lovely job of capturing the atmosphere of club life, even if it reminded me why I’m happy to be married and going to dinner parties rather than clubs.
While there is nothing in this book that falls outside of the typical college or university experience in my opinion, there is a lot of focus on drinking. For me, it’s a little too much as most of the scenes center on the LGBT club (Rainbow Central) with the characters binge drinking and in some cases hinting at alcohol problems.
This one will appeal to all the younger readers out there (or those of you who love a little nostalgia). If you’ve been searching for a new adult book that isn’t all about life on campus, but is more about life off campus, give this one a shot. Rainbow Central is a great place to grab a drink or two.
Excerpt from Love Is For Later by Arizona Tape
“You look surprised to see me.” Nix gestured at herself. “Why? You always assumed I was a lesbian.”
“My friends assumed so,” I defended myself, but even I heard how weakly that sounded. There was no denying it, I never did much to stop the teasing or the name-calling.
“And now you’re here. Who would’ve thought?” She chuckled throatily and only then, realized just how close she was standing to me. Close enough that I felt her breath on my cheek and heard the soft rumble of her laughter. One of her hands was resting on my waist and I wondered if that was just something she did casually. Or… was she flirting with me?
“I just heard so much about Rainbow Central, I wanted to check it out.” I hid behind my drink as I studied Nicola. Nix. Her nickname suited her, certainly with her sharp jawline and she steely eyes that seemed to see right through me. She used to wear a lot of black clothes in high school that hid her figure, but the dress she wore accentuated the curve of her hip. She was beautiful and tempting, despite me having no chance with her.
“What do you think so far?”
“Looks like a regular club to me.”
“That’s because you haven’t seen the backroom.”
Nix chuckled. “What?”
“Backroom?” What sort of thing did I have to imagine when she said that?
“Are you new in town?” she asked, ignoring my question.
I nodded. “Sort of. I moved here a couple of months ago.”
“I see. So… What really brings you to Rainbow Central?”
I chewed my lip in hesitation. I couldn’t possibly tell her the truth, but then… If I didn’t, how would I get what I wanted?
The brunette pulled her eyebrow as she sipped from her drink.
“You don’t have to tell me.”
“I came here to get laid,” I blurted out.
That silenced Nix. She studied me from top to toe and I didn’t know whether she was judging me or appraising me.
“Is that so?”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781096299967
- Publisher: Indie author
- Arizona Tape Online
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