In March, I read my first book by Xan West: Their Troublesome Crush. This book immediately felt like a warm hug, and I read it in one sitting. I wanted to review it during Autism Acceptance Month, because both the author and the main character are autistic, and I really loved the autism rep.
In this queer polyamorous m/f romance novella, two metamours realize they have crushes on each other while planning their shared partner’s birthday party together.
Ernest, a Jewish autistic demiromantic queer fat trans man submissive, and Nora, a Jewish disabled queer fat femme cis woman switch, have to contend with an age gap, a desire not to mess up their lovely polyamorous dynamic as metamours, the fact that Ernest has never been attracted to a cis person before, and the reality that they are romantically attracted to each other, all while planning their dominant’s birthday party and trying to do a really good job.
I’ve been reading romance novels to distract me from my anxiety surrounding this pandemic, and it’s been working pretty well for me, especially with this book! I started it before going to sleep, and I absolutely had to read it in one sitting, just because it made me feel so much better.
This book was chock-full of representation, and it was honestly such a treat. I’m personally not kinky or polyamorous, so if you are, this book will likely work even better for you than it did for me. But I am queer and autistic, and I specifically really loved the autism rep. It made me feel very safe and very seen. Of course the queer rep was great as well, but I just don’t get to see good autism rep very often, so this means a lot to me.
What mostly spoke to me in this book is just the sheer kindness that pretty much spills out of it. There’s this wonderful found family, and everyone is so incredibly kind and considerate, and I really loved reading that.
Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR?