I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
- my rating: 3.5*
- published by: self published
- genres: lgbt+, romance, contemporary
- diverse: yes
In Leo Loves Aries, we follow twins Theo and Leone who are still trying to get over their last relationships. The twins mum, Crystal, who’s a big believe in horoscopes, tells them that Leo’s horoscope for this year promises a new person in their life who will become a good friend and possible lover.
Cue the entrance of Jamie Campbell, Theo’s ex-lecturer and new roommate. Theo thinks he can create a perfect match in Jamie with his sister Leone – but things don’t turn out as expected when Theo finds himself interested in Jamie instead.
It’s for the big softies
This book is incredibly cute and fluffy – as in, throw your face into a pillow because you can’t handle it cute. If you like soft, fluffy romances you’ll really like this. The entire plot is basically “will they get together, will they not get together?” so not much really happens but the dynamic between Theo and Jamie carries it anyway.
The two have a relationship very much established off of banter and fun that makes me really like their dynamic. I think they definitely worked well together and that both had presence on the page.
I wish that their characters had been developed a bit more though, Theo and Leone I think were much more ‘real’ characters then Jamie and Sean ever were. I think some more depth and complexity to this story all around could have made it better.
On the other hand, I enjoyed the happiness and simplicity of this book and I can see it being a perfect one for someone who just wants to curl up with a cute, quick read and not think about it too much.
bisexual/pansexual isn’t a swear word
Right, here’s when we get a bit into my gripes on this book.
Theo has always identified as straight and has never been interested in men before. When he’s suddenly attracted to Jamie, he puts this down to the fact he’s “not sexually repressed”
This is ridiculous. What are you suggesting? Straight people are sexually repressed and bi/pan people are somehow more sexually liberal and willing?
There is an already established stereotype about bisexual people that we’re all promiscuous sex deviants who can’t get enough sex so we open up our options by going for both genders. This is NOT bisexuality, bisexual people just find both genders attractive it has nothing to do with libido.
If the author had her MC label himself bisexual, or even pansexual it would have been good representation. As it stands, it doesn’t really do many favours for the lgbt+ community.
I think it would have been really nice for Theo to maybe realise he’s only been attracted to girls in the past, but that doesn’t make him straight. Any discussion of his sexuality would have made me happy but we never got that and it’s really annoying.
I also thought some of the discussions about leaving the closet were super trivilised and simplified and that’s not helpful to lgbt+ people who may be reading this.
I really would have liked to see a more considerate and researched stance on sexuality and lgbt+ experiences, in all honesty.
On the plus side, we did get an on the page demisexual character which is really rare and I’m glad it was there
back to some more positives
The writing was pretty good, I liked the way the sex scenes were written and that they didn’t feel cringeworthy or awkward. I also liked there was pretty explicit consent, the use of condoms/lube and other realistic and positive sex-related aspects of this story. I really like it when sex is represented positively and healthily I really fucking like it.
Leone, Theo’s sister, is blind and her representation was really well done. She’s an independent and resilient character and she adds a great new element to the story. She has such a good relationship with Theo and her blindness is never used to desexualise or infantilise her which I really liked too.
This is a really fun, easy going book and if you’re just looking for something fun and fluffy you’ll like it. It never really takes itself too seriously and the characters relationships with eachother and full of banter and drama that keep you flipping pages.
While it doesn’t really offer anything deep or complex, and it falls down in it’s lgbt+ representation a bit, overall it was a fun read for me and I enjoyed going through it. I really liked Theo and Jamie together and I’d probably read the sequel coming out, Leo Tops Aries.