Review of Stop and Stare by Katia Rose
Ms. Rose is a seasoned author of mainly m/f romance books. Her first f/f romance, Catch and Cradle is a very good new adult book. After reading it, I decided to get the novella Stop and Stare which is set in the same universe and is offered for free by joining Ms. Rose’s mailing list. This is another very good read and a chance to catch up with the characters of Catch and Cradle.
Iz Sánchez has been looking for love for a while now but as a non-binary person, it’s been hard to find someone special. Marina Townshend has been friends with Iz since they were toddlers and is convinced that Iz and she are meant to be more than best friends, but if only Marina could convince them…
This was an entertaining new adult novella featuring the best friends to lovers trope and with the rare portrayal of a non-binary person and a pansexual as main characters. Even though there’s an overall light tone in the story, as it reflects the lives of college students in their early 20s, it explores a few serious issues such as sexual orientation, gender identity, body image, friendship and family bonds. Despite being a short read, the author manages to mix up the fun of college life, the angst of relationship conflicts and a bit of romance.
Both characters are likable and portrayed with authenticity in the struggles as new adults to find their way through life. Iz and Marina’s relationship is at the same time simple, complex, sweet and hot, if it makes sense. Those contradictions give depth to the story and make the reader cheer for them. I personally would have liked a longer development of the ending and a sex scene or two but, as it is, the story is enjoyable. 4 stars.