Soul Burn

– by Megan Hart and Brenda Murphy

Brenda Murphy‘s latest is actually a duology which she collaborated with a fellow author, Megan Hart, with their own unique story to tell. I had read some outline of Murphy’s story, “Shifting Flames,” which she so generously shared when it was still work-in-progress and I was intrigued by the dynamic between the two MCs in a particular situation under a precarious environment. Anyway, so I was looking forward to reading the entire story altogether. However, I had never heard of Megan Hart before. So this duology was as good an opportunity as any, for me to explore Hart’s writing and storytelling, with her story, “The Fire Inside.”

Shifting Flames” and “The Fire Inside” were two separate stories but in the same genre – urban fantasy. Yup, shape-shifters. First off, I love urban fantasy especially when it comes to shape-shifters, werewolves, vampires, and the lot. That said, what was unique about this urban fantasy-themed duology was that both stories were structured in the world of BDSM. Yup, I must say, I’d never encountered this original blend of urban fantasy with BDSM as the sub-genre before until now. So, apart from having the opportunity to explore these two genres together as one, my curiosity was piqued. I was intrigued by just how Murphy and Hart would craft their stories with the nature of shape-shifters as their main backdrop of their BDSM-focussed romance. Let’s just say, by the end of each presented story, I was impressed by the amount of effortlessness in telling a proper romance with the “added” ingredient. I was fully invested in the dynamic of the MCs, in their respective journeys of love, truth and reconciliation and letting go.

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Someone To Love (An Unexpected Romance Series Book #2)

– by Jenny Frame

 

Jenny Frame‘s latest work, “Someone To Love,” is a spin-off of her previous book, “Unexpected,” which I really enjoyed very much specifically because of the originality of the story and how Frame executed it with heartwarming resonance. In the story, there was an antagonistic character, Trent, who was one of the MCs’ (Becca) ex, who really piqued my curiosity as I thought there was potential in expanding her storyline. And voila! Before I knew it, Frame announced that she would write a spin-off with Trent as the MC! Thus born this Book 2 of the Unexpected Romance series. Needless to say, I enjoyed exploring Trent’s back story and what made her who she was. Also, I always find it intriguing to explore a character who starts off as an antagonist in one circumstance but transforms into a protagonist when the POV turns to that individual in a new environment and set of circumstances, thus, making her an even more layered character altogether.

Essentially, this story was an age-gap, second chance, and a totally unexpected romance between Trent, a 40-year-old divorce lawyer, who was still licking her wounds, mentally and emotionally, even years after she and Becca ended their relationship, and Wendy, a 26-year-old “au pair” aka nanny, who left the country to nurse her heartbreak 5 years ago and only just returned to London after working as a nanny to various families from different countries. How did these two individuals, both having experienced a major heartbreak in their love lives, from totally different backgrounds, not to mention, polar opposites in every sense of the word, cross paths, you might ask. Well, as serendipity goes, you’d never know what’s lurking around the corner waiting to steal your heart just when you least expect it and when it strikes, there’s no escape, no matter how hard you try. Despite Trent being hopelessly averse to having kids in her life and Wendy who loved kids, always dreaming of having a family of her own, it was Trent’s sudden “inheritance” of two kids (from her cousin who died from a sudden tragic accident with no next of kin except her, their godmother!) who effectively ended her “freedom of singlehood” that brought Wendy into her life! Fate, it seemed, was not without a sense of irony, was it? (channeling Morpheus!)

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Invisible, As Music

– by Caren J. Werlinger

 

What can I say about Caren J. Werlinger‘s latest book, “Invisible, as Music,” eh? Gosh, Werlinger can really squeeze your heart, pull your heartstrings, with her stories, can’t she? After reading “Bittersweet Garden” and “When The Stars Sang,” I knew Werlinger would give me yet another thought-provoking, heart-gripping, gut-wrenching story about the human condition – the wonders, fragility, strength, power, vulnerability of it – in her own unique voice, which, I must say, always carries a certain spiritual undertone. And, I was not wrong because “Invisible, as Music” was absolutely captivating from start to finish, with some memorable moments I’d not soon forget!

Firstly, the title. Not knowing its origin, I was immediately intrigued because…music. Anything about music always perks my curiosity. And to add the word “invisible” to it… I don’t know but it immediately gave me this feeling of mystique. Invisible, as music… It’s so lyrically poetic. ‘Nuff said.

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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”

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!

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The Long Shot

– by A.L. Brooks

 

When I heard that A. L. Brooks was going to release a book about women’s professional golf, I was intrigued even though I have zero knowledge about the sport except if you wanna count my Wii experience with it! Well, at least I was familiar with a few golf terms, i.e. birdie, par, bogey, fairway, the usual basics. Anyway, “The Long Shot” was a delightful read for me. I never read any golf-related lesbian romance before this so it was a delightful as much as an educational read for me. As usual, Brooks crafted a compelling age-gap, slow-burn love story with the professional golf environment as the backdrop.

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