With almost a month yet to go before Heart of the Lilikoʻi becomes widely available, Publishers Weekly has weighed in on the book and found it good. The online review is not yet available [Update: Publishers Weekly reviews Heart of the Liliko’i], but the print edition has this to say:
Hankins (Blue Water Dreams) tackles weighty political and personal subjects in this intriguing contemporary. Kerala is the construction project manager on an experimental, environmentally-conscious vacation home, and comes under increasing pressure as progress is delayed by sabotage and threats. She’s usually only interested in women, so she’s surprised to fall for the home’s financial backer, Ravi, who’s transmasculine and genderqueer. The two suss out the boundaries of their newfound relationship as they get to the heart of the project’s troubles, but everything is further disrupted when they discover a corpse on the property. Hankins constructs a heartfelt relationship between her leads. Mutual lust and the contrast between the no-nonsense Kerala and starry-eyed Ravi lead to some intensely vivid erotic encounters. In constructing artificial-sounding dialogues about Hawaiian independence, green technology, and nonbinary gender, Hankins borders on the preachy, but the core romantic story is strong and satisfying.
While not without its caveats, this review thrills me. The most important part of a romance is the growth of interest, respect, and love between the leads (which, by the way, is a great way to pare down the clunky phrase “main characters”). And as I’ve said before, I believe that we reveal more than our bodies through sexual intimacy. I’m so glad that the reviewer saw that the character of these people was so crucial to the sex they had.
“a heartfelt relationship”
“intensely vivid erotic encounters”
“strong and satisfying”
I am touring the Pacific Northwest to promote my upcoming Seattle-set queer/trans* romance, Blue Water Dreams, published by Bold Strokes Books and available now for preorder. The tour mixes book readings, discussions, erotica workshops, and visits to interested groups. I am available for interviews and welcome requests for review copies.
Publishers Weekly has this to say about Blue Water Dreams: “Seattleites Lania Marchiol, a cisgender woman, and Oly Rasmussen, a transgender man, meet by chance and quickly bond over shared interests…and when Lania and Oly set their differences aside and embrace their sexual chemistry, the scenes are graceful, sure, and spicy.”
Gender Alliance of the South Sound, Reading and Discussion, 9/12/14, 7pm
Art of Loving, Reading and Discussion, 9/15/14, 7:30pm
Orca Books, Group Reading, 9/21/14, 3pm
In Other Words Feminist Community Center, Erotica Workshop, 9/23/14, 6pm
About me: Dena Hankins writes aboard her boat, wherever she has sailed it. After eight years as a sex educator, she turned to writing dirty tales with far-flung settings and a queer/trans* romance novel, Blue Water Dreams, about magnetism and self-sufficiency. Read more: www.denahankins.net.