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Their Troublesome Crush

(Kink & Showtunes #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In this queer polyamorous m/f romance novella, two metamours realize they have crushes on each other while planning their shared partner's birthday party together.

Ernest, a Jewish autistic demiromantic queer fat trans man submissive, and Nora, a Jewish disabled queer fat femme cis woman switch, have to contend with an age gap, a desire not to mess up their lovely polyamor
Kindle Edition, 143 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Xan West
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  60 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Claudie Arseneault
I love Xan West's books. They always feel like being invited in a space of warmth, understanding, and kindness, where everyone gets to be their amazing fat, disabled, autistic, queer polyamorous & kinky selves fully, without compromises but not without erasing the struggles that come with such things.

THEIR TROUBLESOME CRUSH has a demiromantic MC dealing with the realisation that he has a new romantic crush, and the upheaval and possibilities this open, and I absolutely adored Ernest's evolution
I've been reading romance novels to distract me from my anxiety surrounding this pandemic, and it's been working pretty well for me, especially with this book! I started it before going to sleep, and I absolutely had to read it in one sitting, just because it made me feel so much better.

This book was chock-full of representation, and it was honestly such a treat. I'm personally not kinky or polyamorous, so if you are, this book will likely work even better for you than it did for me. But I am qu
RoAnna Sylver
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gems
Absolutely loved this. <3 Would absolutely love it even if I hadn't had the pleasure of editing it! So freaking sweet and validating, really funny in parts, wonderfully vulnerable and real and intensely relatable (especially to autistic readers, who definitely need more books like this). ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Boy how I wished this was longer and that I could spend more time in the world of these characters. I wish I hadn't finished it so quickly, but it was really, really hard to put down because every scene was a delight.

I also wish I could give a book over 5 stars. Maybe even 7 or 8. Their Troublesome Crush was just that singular in the way fat characters were described, how deeply the POV character's autism informed the narrative, and how attraction was described and approached.

I loved that Ernest
Xan West
Hi there, this is the author. I wanted to note that you can find content warnings for this book here:
I love this book so much! <3
I bought it for a friend even before I finished reading it :D

During the story I kept going from 'finally, a book that's about (certain parts of) my life' to 'I wish this was my life'.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic read. I really appreciated reading how Ernest stimmed and thought through his feelings and what he focused on when he needed to feel better. The same day I finished it, I was able to use some of the strategies Ernest uses to get me through a tough situation. I'm also planning to use some of the models of him conversing with others, to talk about my concerns about how I act in a situation.

I really liked the ways that Ernest knew things to do based on how he felt, and that he was
Daire Faust
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtq, bdsm
I highly recommend Their Troublesome Crush to anyone interested in BDSM Romance that gives you the Warm-n-Fuzzies.

I fell in love with Their Troublesome Crush when I saw the cover art. It depicted beautiful art and colors that caught the eye in general but seeing a romance novel that proudly showed not just one but two fat characters, right there on the cover! I squealed in delight and didn’t care who saw me wiggling with happiness. At that point I absolutely had to read this story.

From the very
Genesee Rickel
Dec 21, 2019 added it
Shelves: novella
Didn’t actually start this one, but I WILL someday.
Nicole Field
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read an earlier version of this novella, but this is my first time reading it as a finished and published piece. A little over a year or so ago, I asked the author if they would possibly write a polyamorous story about metamours--one that doesn't end in a triad--because they were (and still are) difficult to find.

The end result was this novella.

Ernest is a gorgeous trans man who doesn't pass all the time and has the same problem with not being able to breath when wearing binders that I do. T
Like a warm hug!

[content notes can be found in front matter and on author’s website here:]

Reading Their Troublesome Crush felt like a warm hug. I loved how noticeably autistic Ernest is and getting to see him stim and flap felt so lovely. I loved all the chosen family and the ways all the characters interacted and supported one another. I’d love to see more of Ernest with Gideon and Gideon with Nora, but I adored the slow transition of Ernest and Nora’s m
Michón Neal
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lovely, intimate portrait of kink, autism, and romance

For so long I have longed for representation like this in media, and this book such a delightful read. Plenty of queer and trans characters that just are. It's so freaking adorable how they connect and process and make space for each other. It's not really a deep read; it serves as a feel-good story of the many possibilities for relationships. And thank goodness it has polyamory that's done healthily and doesn't involve a freaking closed tr
Rhiannon Grant
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
A novel which uses a point-of-view character to great effect: Ernest, at the centre of the story, explores his autistic way of seeing the world, his sexuality, and personal relationships in a style which is both engaging and endearing. In fact, every character in this story was someone I would happily have lunch with, which I can't say for every romance novel I read! Warm and open-hearted, this gentle tale of metamours becoming friends and then romantically involved is definitely a feel-good rea ...more
Angel Graham
Apr 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star-books
For the most part, I really liked this book, the characters are fantastic. Love that fat people like me got to just be in their fatness and having to apologize. Autistic people, like Eugene who's able to just be himself when he's with/around Nora.

My problem with the book is simple. It feels like an instruction manual more than a story to read.

I'd love to give it 4 stars, but just can't.

BTW, l like the ending. Like that it has potential to go further in another book...It's not a cliffhanger, bu
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: can-read-again, lgbt
I have a more extensive review coming, but I could not put this off much longer.

This was such a thoughtful, sweet romance. The pacing was perfect, and that’s pretty difficult in a novella, especially when you’re trying to introduce a whole world of characters, relationships, and portray a believable, engaging romance. Which the author absolutely aced, btw, hence the five stars. I just love these characters so much, I’ve already re-read the book and it was no less engaging this time around.

Go ch
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much. Such a simple, sweet, gentle story of finding companionship and understanding right next to you. I loved 9 of Swords Reversed by this author and this did not disappoint. (Also can I just say I love to read size diversity from an author I know is safe and not going to come in with any low blows during the story? It's just so refreshing, and I feel actually seen in these books.)
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
To see a full review check it out here.

I am going to judge every other romance by this author's work from now on. I have found perfection.

I just want to live in this world forever. I can't wait for the next book.
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the sweetest comfort fic. I love that there is such honest and heartfelt neurodivergent and disability rep in the book. I loved the way a supportive community (and polycule) is also represented.
West generously allowed me to read an early version of this wonderful story. Everything about it is such a joy--from the characters to the lovely descriptions to the representation and more! I cannot wait for the final version to be released so I can purchase it to reread over and over again.
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great romantic bdsm novella with a lot of representation. I really recommend it for people who like books that look like real life and that are all about the *romance*. This is also an #ownvoices novel and reads like one, which is great.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So many food details. So much music.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I loved the representation and I love how seen it made me feel and I loved the queerness and I loved how soft and tender it was. My heart feels so good after reading this book.
Alex Harrow
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much!
Kate Setzer Kamphausen
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an allistic (non-autistic) person, I found this sweet, funny, delicious story SO helpful and HEARTENING: an allistic person & an autistic person, friends for some time, begin to navigate romance together. A lot of my small but nasty residual fears of "neurodiversity" just sloughed away as I read. There is kindness! Kindness makes room to learn/figure out each other's differences... & to learn the unique ways we may fit together that no one else does!

Or maybe we'll fit together EXACTLY like s
rated it liked it
Aug 06, 2019
Cory Day
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Mar 23, 2020
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May 16, 2020
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Xan West is the nom de plume of Corey Alexander, an autistic queer fat Jewish genderqueer writer and community activist with multiple disabilities who spends a lot of time on Twitter.

Xan's erotica has been published widely, including in the Best S/M Erotica series, the Best Gay Erotica series, and the Best Lesbian Erotica series. Their work has been described by reviewers as “offering the erotica

Other books in the series

Kink & Showtunes (2 books)
  • Tenderness: A Kink & Showtunes story

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