If The Shoe Fits

– by E. J. Noyes

 

I was thrilled when I first heard that E.J. Noyes was going to write another story which would give one of my all-time favourite lesfic couples, Sabine (Sab) and Rebecca (Bec), from the “Ask, Tell” and “Ask Me Again” books their well-deserved, fully celebrated happy ending! Plus, the book would be about Sab’s sister, Jana, who was featured as a secondary character in the previous two books.

Anyway, “If The Shoe Fits” was a brilliantly written story about self-discovery, sexual awakening, truth and reconciliation, and living one’s true self, ultimately. I love Noyes’ voice in her writing because it’s always filled with emotional depth that relates and resonates so the characters and situations she creates are realistic. At least for me. Obviously, the same happened with this story as Noyes took us on Jana’s journey of metamorphosis. Speaking of, this story was told in a first-person narrative, focussing solely on Jana’s journey. I must say, Noyes’ first-person narrative always sucks me in, I was fully invested in the MC from the start because of how she crafts the character’s entrance and scene.

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All The Reasons I Need (Paradise Series Book 2)

– by Jaime Clevenger

 

I utterly loved Jaime Clevenger‘s “Three Reasons To Say Yes,” Book 1 of the Paradise Romance series (and my first book of hers), which incidentally made my favourite lesfic books of 2018. So when I heard that there was going to be a sequel exploring the romance between Mo and Kate, the secondary characters featured in Book 1, who were Julia’s BFFs, I was thrilled! “All The Reasons I Need,” whilst can be read as a stand-alone, if you ask me, I would highly recommend reading Book 1 first simply because Mo and Kate were heavily featured in it with details about their characters and relationship. That said, Clevenger did give a general recap about what transpired between these two best mates in Book 1 in this installment. But I’d still recommend giving “Three Reasons…” a read, perhaps after reading this sequel if not before.

Mo and Kate. I was intrigued by their characters and their relationship as part of the trio of BFFs since college sixteen years ago – Julia, Mo and Kate – when they were introduced in Book 1. Their relationship got even closer as they ended up spending most of the time with each other when Julia was busy falling in love with Reed whilst they were all on holiday in Hawaii. Things happened which led to the start of this story.

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The Secret Chord

– by Virginia Hale

 

I’ve been watching out for Virginia Hale‘s work since her award-winning “Echo Point” which first drew me to her writing style and story narrative. I loved her debut novel. “Where There’s A Will” took up a notch in the storytelling category which impressed me. And now she has elevated the quality of her writing and story construction/creation to yet another level in her latest romance outing, “The Secret Chord,” which is now my favourite book of hers, thusfar! I have so much respect for new authors who consistently hone in and improve their craft, pushing their skills to challenge themselves creatively. I marvel at those who have that mindset. Hale has that quality.

Which brings me back to “The Secret Chord.” First off, it was the subject matter mentioned on the blurb that first piqued my interest. Catholic nuns/sisters and teachers. Convent school. Boarding school. Yup. I’ve always been drawn to and fascinated with stories about nuns and convents! Most prolly because I had such fond memories of the nuns and sisters in my convent school since Nursery. Hence, I always have a soft spot for them whenever I see them strolling on the streets or in public transport. Having said that, unfortunately most (if not all!) of the lesfic romance featuring MCs who’re sisters/nuns, always seem to have sad, tragic endings. At least that’s been my reading experience. But this time, after reading the blurb, I decided to bite the bullet and take the proverbial plunge. Why? Prolly because it’s Hale? And also I just had a strong feeling that, this time around, maybe…just maybe…that there could be an HEA for a couple of Catholic school teachers after all and my heart wouldn’t be ripped out after slogging through the entire book filled with angst, eh? Well…  Needless to say, I found myself heaving a huge sigh of relief and smiling inside-out after reading the last sentence of the final page! Hope. Faith. Love. In the end…?

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Because I Said So

– by Karin Kallmaker

 

The wait is officially OVER! Finally, I have Karin Kallmaker‘s latest novel, “Because I Said So,” in my hands!!! Yup, thanks to Bella/NG‘s swift response, I got my ARC copy and literally dropped everything (yes, I was in the middle of reading a couple of books before I got “distracted” by this! Soz, authors X & Y!) and breezed through this story in no time at all! Yup, quick read it was but it left me….. HUNGRY! *more later* Needless to say, my excitement about delving into this story ever since Kallmaker’s blog post announcing it was definitely warranted. What a refreshing story of romance with layers of unexpected discoveries throughout the book! Not only that, but the characters, including one of the MCs, Kesa, was of mixed race and culture, different socioeconomic background and circumstances, effectively giving the whole romance perspective a fresh new spin, altogether. As if that weren’t refreshing enough, the definition of “family” and “parent” was something quite outside-the-box, tbh. I was not expecting to find out how Shannon, the other MC, and Paz were related. Fascinating! Kallmaker being the brilliant tale-spinner that she is, jumped right into describing, portraying, presenting and contrasting all the nuances of cultural, lingual, socio-economic living that entailed with such fervour that I saw them as another supporting character in this richly portrayed biracial romance. I must say, I’d never read anything depicted quite like how Kallmaker constructed it in lesfic romance!

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Cause and Affection

– by Sheryl Wright

 

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I must admit, after having had a highly enjoyable read of my first-ever Sheryl Wright book, “Don’t Let Go” (cheers, K Aten, for rec-ing it on your recent Spec Tues post on TLR!), I was curious about her latest outing, “Cause and Affection,” after reading its blurb. Whereas I was utterly captivated by the macro and micro details of how a huge marine engineering company operated and functioned in “Don’t Let Go”, which naturally perked up my nerd, I was even more intrigued by the assumption that I’d also be given an inside look into the inner workings of advertising in “Cause and Affection“! I was not wrong and was I gratifyingly delighted, indeed! Much obliged, Ms. Wright!

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Alone

– by E.J. Noyes

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Have you ventured into E.J. Noyes‘ latest psychological STUNNER, “Alone,” yet? No? Oh, you must! TOP MARKS for Noyes’ distinctive creativity, original, delectable ingenuity, and her quintessential storytelling virtuosity in this philosophical psychology piece, cleverly wrapped in a soul-stirring, deeply yearning, all-consuming love story. Yet another bona fide gem from Ms. Noyes, imho. End of.

Before I proceed….

Disclaimer: Please note that this story IS categorised as a romance. My own postulation about it as something transcending romance is simply it. My own. How it jolted my senses is solely based on how I experienced the story altogether, interpretative undertones, perceived notions, speculative implications and all. Noyes might not have even had any kind of inclination, whatsoever, about anything other than telling a well-constructed, complex and emotional love story. However, art is subjective. Therefore, its interpretation is in the mind of the beholder, innit?

With that in mind,  here goes…

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