The X Ingredient

– by Roslyn Sinclair

 

Having read Telanu’s fanfic of the same title first a while ago and had since been waiting in anticipation for its full publication because, first, “The X Ingredient” was so superbly written and told that when Telanu left me hanging at the end of the fanfic version with a promise of a full publication at a later time, I was beside myself with horror because….well, I really wanted to know what happened in the second act and Telanu spared no mercy with that cliffhanger! That was prolly 2 years ago?

As you know, Telanu is Roslyn Sinclair‘s fanfic pen name – and whilst we’re at it, I HIGHLY recommend you to go get yourself some Telanu reads because they’re simply a cut above, you’ll never realise you’re reading a fanfic piece! Her “Truth & Measure” (DWP)? Truly outstanding, one of my all-time favourite lesfic and I don’t even classify it as a fanfic, really. Top notch quality writing. Ok, ok, I’m sorry. I think I just went off-tangent here! THIS is about Ms. Sinclair’s newest book, “The X Ingredient,” the finished product of its original incomplete fanfic piece, which, technically is not, since Sinclair practically overhauled the entire DWP-inspired setting, basically scrubbing off any trace of it, toned down the level of “explicitness” (you know what I mean!) but just a little bit (no worries!), and reworked it into an office romance in a high-powered law firm with a new premise of the story. Continue reading “The X Ingredient”

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Endangered

– by Michelle Larkin

 

Ok, I feel like I owe it to Michelle Larkin to write a little bit of something about my experience with this book seeing that I might’ve been too hasty in relegating it to the bottom pile of my TBR list before! But for some reason, I picked this book to read and it was nothing like I expected. At all!

First, it was funny throughout, with lovable MCs and secondary characters! Never read a shape-shifter MC to be this funny, fun, and adorably likeable all throughout the story! Usually there’d be a layer of darkness in the shape-shifter, but Aspen, who’s also the “Chosen One” of the shape-shifting community, only had light in her. I absolutely loved all the funny, flirty, cheeky, mischievous banters between Aspen and Tora (the awkward, aloof, ice queen doc). In fact I loved the natural chemistry that Aspen seemed to have with everyone, particularly, Tora, Skye and her “pops,” Oscar! Their interactions, when you read the book, were portrayed with such authenticity that I believed they were like family. That was certainly a surprise to me because I didn’t get that kinda chemistry or rapport in dialogues from Larkin’s previous book.

In terms of the shape-shifter story, Continue reading “Endangered”

What Happened After…(San Francisco Series, #4)

– by Nicole Pyland

 

I love Nicole Pyland‘s writing so obviously I’ve read all her books and won’t miss any future ones. So when her latest, the post-epilogue finale her San Francisco series, “What Happened After…(San Franciso Series, #4),” came out, I quickly devoured it.

I must say, I like and enjoyed this series finale much more than the Chicago series. I was a little tentative at first because of the Chicago post-epilogue series finale. But then…I literally whooped in delight when I discovered that all 3 post-epilogue updates of the 3 pairings from the SF series (Books 1-3 – Keira/Emma, Joanna/Macon & Hillary/Amara) had….NO BABIES!!!!!! Thank bloody Christ!! I mean, I was truly baby-ed out from the post-epilogue “What Happened After…(Chicago Series, #4)”, if you must know. This one though, I was chuffed to bits finding out each couple’s married life and their future’s trajectory did not include tiny humans at all!! Phew! What a fabulous and delish surprise for me! Sigh of relief! **Why? Because not every lesbian couple’s future has to be about babies, you know what I mean?** So, cheers, Ms. Pyland!

Continue reading “What Happened After…(San Francisco Series, #4)”

200 Hours

– by Natasha West

 

Well, if you know Natasha West‘s writing style, you know that you’ll have yourself another comedy to read about in her latest. This time, “200 Hours,” is a (very) light-hearted romcom, YA style (uni years). Rich girl/poor girl trope, coming out. It was fun to read how these two polar opposites get together whilst trying to complete their 200 hours of community service under the most horrid social worker’s so-called guidance! Julie. Yeh, or as I’d like to call her, Bodybag!!!! Heh, if you’d watched the prison drama, “Bad Girls,” (which churned out me all-time favourite on-screen lesbian couple, Helen & Nikki, mind!) you’ll know who Bodybag was!! So, Julie was essentially Sylvia “Bodybag” Hollamby reincarnate, what with all her sheer nastiness, that bigoted, vindictive, stupid ol’ cow!! Urgh! But that was the most fun part to read in this book!! OMG! The more the community serving lot (“criminals”) wound her up and took the piss, the funnier it was!

Check out this following excerpt (my favourite slapstick scene!) where Bodybag…I mean, Julie, was barking out her instructions at her tormented criminals to do something to fill the hours:

Continue reading “200 Hours”

21 Weeks Series (Weeks 1-7, 8-14, 15-21)

– by R.A. LaShea

21weeks

*This commentary applies to all 3 installments of “21 Weeks”
(Weeks 1-7, 8-14 & 15-21)*

 

How do you catch a perfect killer?

R.A. LaShea‘s tour de force of a serial crime saga, “21 Weeks” that spanned out in 3 7-week installments, is prolly the best constructed and executed crime procedural series I’ve ever read in any fic yet! Thanks to an enthusiastic recommendation from one of my GR mates (Cheers, Farah!), I grabbed a copy and never looked back! My goodness! It was like watching the entire case on-screen! So meticulous. So methodical. So absorbing and addictive. In fact, LaShea’s design of the entire case is so ready to be adapted from book-to-screen. imho! “21 Weeks” is truly one of the most original serial crimes created, what with the types of killings constructed and the methodology of solving it.

First off, I was immediately drawn to the aesthetic structure of LaShea’s presentation of her story – dividing it into weeks. Reminded me of the TV series, “24,” but instead of every episode representing one hour, this one was by week. And in each week, starting from “Week 1,” the story began with the day, the location and the time, reminiscent of the TV series, “Law & Order.” With this technique, I discovered that my brain was processing my reading of each Week as if it were a week instead of my usual reading time of x minutes to finish a chapter (Week). In essence, the constant display of the day and time on the pages tricked my brain into slowing down the reading time lapse to match LaShea’s. I can’t explain it any other way, so if you think I’m bonkers, maybe I am! Ignore this! Anyway, it literally brought Beck and Co.’s entire investigation of each homicide to life, for me, making my experience much more acute! In addition to this effective structure of presentation, one of the best bits was that I felt like LaShea gave me, the reader, the opportunity to work through and determine the killer’s modus operandi myself rather than spoon-feeding me, you know? Simply brilliant!

Continue reading “21 Weeks Series (Weeks 1-7, 8-14, 15-21)”

The Blind Side Of Love

– by Ingrid Diaz

 

Thanks to one of my GR mates’ HIGHLY recommended read (cheers, F/F!), I finally had the chance to do so. Let’s just say I devoured it! I mean, in the beginning, it was just a normal read for me as I swiped each page like any other book, but something clicked. I noticed just how smooth the language was flowing, the rhythm of the interactions was like a melody playing every movement as the story development progressed throughout the book. It was so organically written and presented, I began to feel like I was on this same journey with Kris and Julianne, observing and witnessing everything they both were experiencing, internally and externally, along with the people around them. Diaz literally wrote a detailed chronicle of two people’s lives in whole. It was literally real-life in words. I have a feeling this story’s a deeply personal one for her. The authentic feel was made even more realistic with witty and humorous dialogues and situations! I could hear the NY dry sense of humour and its accent through Diaz’s incredibly personal conversational dialogues. The monologues were resonating. Needless to say, I was addicted to Julianne and Kris’ story, wanting to know what happened next! I couldn’t swipe and scroll the pages fast enough! Because of the realism that Diaz injected into this story and how she told it, everyone in both Kris and Julianne’s lives was depicted and portrayed with equal fervour, I loved all of them, even the antagonists, because in real life, we DO have these characters around us, don’t we?

Continue reading “The Blind Side Of Love”

Beautiful Accidents

– by Erin Zak

 

First off, Erin Zak keeps churning out creative storylines that make for some compelling read! Her latest, “Beautiful Accidents,” was no exception. Two intriguing characters with professions that I’d never read about before along with a deaf secondary character playing a pivotal role in one of the MCs’ journey in a setting that was utterly original, not to mention, eye-opening for me. In other words, perfect ingredients for an original romance, imo, and I utterly enjoyed it!

Continue reading “Beautiful Accidents”