Love and Lotus Blossoms
By Anne Shade
Janesse Crawford spends her teenage and young adult years trying to balance her tomboy, girl-loving side with being the picture-perfect daughter her mother wants. It’s difficult, and Janesse is full of self-doubt, but she manages to find a way to make it work. Then Janesse meets sexy, confident Maya Lawson, who is everything she didn’t realize she wanted, and her world is turned upside down. But Janesse makes a choice and doesn’t look back.
Thirty years later, Janesse is married to a man who loves her, has raised two wonderful children, and has a successful career doing what she loves. But when a chance meeting with Maya brings her past rushing back, the lie Janesse has been living comes crashing in on her. She let Maya get away once, but her second chance at true love could cost her the picture-perfect world she’s spent a lifetime building. It’s not too late for Janesse to blossom into the woman she’s always wished to be. But on her path to self-acceptance, she will risk everything—and possibly everyone—she loves.
Starred review from Publishers Weekly: "Shade imbues this optimistic story of lifelong self-discovery with a refreshing amount of emotional complexity, delivering a queer romance that leans into affection as much as drama, and values friendship and familial love as deeply as romantic connection...Shade’s well-drawn Black cast and sophistication in presenting a variety of relationship styles—including open relationships and connections that shift between romance and friendship—creates a rich, affirming, and love-filled setting..."