Hi friends! In honor of Pride and because I have three weeks off before my summer job starts, I thought it might be fun to blog about some of the LGBTQ+ books I’m reading. These posts will be more rambling thoughts than legit reviews because I don’t really have any consistent evaluative criteria and I really only want to talk about books I love!
So, first up…Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon.
Treasure is a sweet, contemporary lesbian romance about Alexis, an anxious and adorable soft-butch from a well-to-do black family, and Trisha, a warm and pulled-together stripper working on her undergrad degree. The two women meet and share a sexy moment when Alexis comes to Trisha’s club for a bachelorette party. Alexis is surprised and delighted to reconnect with the beautiful stripper when she discovers they are in the same computer science class.
I absolutely adored this book. Like, ignored folding my laundry and doing all my Sunday chores because I couldn’t stop reading, loved it. Rebekah Weatherspoon is a new-to-me author, but once my bank account recovers from my recent book-buying spree, I plan to read much more from her.
The characters in this novella were so concrete and relatable from the start. I loved Trisha and Alexis so much. I related to Alexis in particular, her anxiety, self-doubt, and difficulty navigating her gender presentation. I loved the subtle way Weatherspoon highlighted the tension between Alexis’s family expectations and her own way of being in the world. Sometimes Alexis dresses femme and preppy, other times she’s all T-shirts and denim. One section about Alexis’s difficulty getting dressed was so relatable for me that reading it felt like a gut-punch (in the best way.) Alexis looks at the clothes in her closet, dresses her mother bought and the menswear she knows her father will scoff at, and wonders, “how do you get people to see that some days you just don’t feel right in your own skin?” I read the paragraph about four times over with my breath held because it felt like Alexis’s thoughts had been plucked from my own brain.
And Trisha! She was one of those characters you read and wish you could become real-life friends with. She’s smart and kind and funny. She’s gentle and supportive around Alexis’s mental health issues and never pushes. Trisha is just…real. And I loved seeing a complex, totally positive representation of a sex worker in a romance novel. There’s no drama over her work as Treasure, a stripper at an all-nude club. She loves working as a stripper and she does great in her computer science classes. (Sidenote: I enjoyed the dynamic between the women and their computer science professor. He’s supportive of them in a way that made me smile when I read it.) Trisha has dreams for her future career but isn’t trying to “escape” the club. Her relationship with her mother is complicated but positive. I could probably write far too many words about how much I adored these two characters!
The relationship between Trisha and Alexis is complex and progresses in such an authentic way. The women really seem to bring out the best in each other. I especially loved their text exchanges throughout the book because they did a lot of work to develop their relationship and they were cute as hell. The sex scenes were hot and realistic and I loved seeing the women explore and discuss what they want and like together.
Honestly, I liked this book so much I was kind of bummed when it ended. Weatherspoon did so much in a fairly short novella. The ending was satisfying and the character arcs were well-done. But, selfishly, I wanted more!
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for adorably real characters, positive sex-work rep, and a really immersive and enjoyable reading experience.