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REVIEW: Tea and Coffee by Matthew J. Metzger

The Official Description: Tea (A Cup of John #1) – John only went into the cafe to have a brew and wait out the storm. He didn’t expect to find love at the same time.

And it really is love at first sight. Chris is like nobody John’s ever known, and John is caught from the start. All he wants, from that very first touch, is to never let go. But John is badly burned from his last relationship and in no fit state to try again. When Chris asks him out, he ought to say no.

But what if he says yes instead?

Coffee (A Cup of John #2) When Chris’s stepfather passes away and leaves Chris a house and a wedding ring, it seems like the perfect opportunity to take the next step in his relationship with John.

So, they’re both in for a nasty shock when Chris’s mother is vehemently opposed to the idea. Despite three years of history to prove otherwise, she insists that John is only a temporary feature in Chris’s life, and a man like him can’t be expected to stay with someone like Chris in the long run.

Can Chris persuade her that she’s wrong in time for the wedding—or will there be an empty space in the photographs?

Just the facts: a gay main character, a trans male character, a queer character, a lesbian character, a character with epilepsy, a blind character

My thoughts bit: I love these books! Let me start off by saying that it was an absolute delight to read a book about a main character who is trans and blind and living with a significant illness. There’s so much in these books that makes me feel as though there’s someone out there in the world who gets it and that is amazing! These books are a real gift to the queer community!

So Chris and John bump into each other in book one – literally – and are instantly attracted. I loved the way that their issues and challenges didn’t play into their initial meeting. They met on neutral territory and even ground… it was fantastic. I was instantly drawn in by their connection… I have developed such a soft spot for John. He’s the kind of man that people judge when they see him… and that speaks to me on many levels. Chris doesn’t judge him…. he just takes a chance on him.

Their relationship progresses quickly even though John is still healing from a very negative experience that ended his previous relationship. As a result, John is already in deep when Chris reveals that he is transgender. This is an #ownvoices novel so it’s no wonder that the reveal was written realistically and in a great way. Now, I’m a Cisgender woman but I have spent a lot of time reading reviews and non-fiction books written by members of the trans community. I feel as though the authentic voice of author, Metzger is the kind of voice that the trans community needs to be hearing from.

Chris is an independent young man who is still discovering some things about himself while, at the same time, being certain of who he is in many ways. As the relationship grows stronger, John and Chris work through so many issues that are relevant to those of us living a queer life or a life that is affected by illness or disability. Bravo Matthew J. Metzger!

There are many things revealed about these two characters in the first book and I don’t want to go into them all. I really want people to be able to read this series and let it unfold naturally. The way the first book is written, the relationship grows and blossoms in a very organic way.

The second book in this series, Coffee, is due to be released on August 19! In the second book, John and Chris have been together for four years. Again, the couple faces grief when Chris’ step-father, Jack, finally succumbs to Parkinson’s. It’s Chris’ mum who struggles the most when Chris decides that he is ready for the next step with John – and proposes.

The author’s exploration of grief and the way that a person processes losing their partner read truth to me. Grief is a very individuals experience but Metzger does a great job of allowing all the characters to experience grief and loss in a different way. Chris’ mum’s resistance to the marriage of the two main characters is painful and yet again, Chris faces off with someone who believes that his disabilities will be too much for someone to love him.

Metzger is a great writer, treating many delicate issues with respect and finesse when necessary and humor and forth-rightness when it works. Great combination!

I highly recommend this series!

The warnings bit: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: description of body dysphoria, discussion or false rape accusation, age gap between characters, ableism, description of a minor character dying of Parkinson’s, death and dying, mourning, description of an accident causing brain injury.

Readalikes: Other stories that are similar or give the same feel

I received an ARCs of Tea and Coffee by Matthew J. Metzger from Ninestar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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