Part of what I love about romance novels are the many different reading desires they can satisfy. The April m/m possibilities offer something for most moods, whether you're looking for realistic explorations of genuine human concerns, or just for certain tropes that that make your insides go perk when you see them in a blurb.
Living with Disability
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
Normal is just a setting on the dryer.
High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.
But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.
As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.
Warning: Contains characters obsessed with trains and counting, positive representations of autism and mental illness, a very dark moment, and Elwood Blues.
Autistic characters are positively trendy in romance these days, but kudos to Cullinan for writing one without glamorizing or downplaying it as a disability, or making it pathetic. This New Adult romance is also unusual in featuring two disabled heroes, who both need to learn how how to balance their own needs with maintaining the relationship. It's a very good everyday kind of story, but never pedestrian.