– 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.
Continue reading “If The Shoe Fits”
– by Melissa Brayden
I’ve recently become a big fan of Melissa Brayden‘s books, although, I must say, I didn’t catch the Brayden bug until much later. Yeh, until I read her last book, “Beautiful Dreamer,” which sealed the deal for me. My all-time favourite Brayden book yet. Something to be said about one’s first, eh? Anyway, since then, I’d raced through her entire catalogue and got all caught up. So, when her latest outing, “Back to September,” was released, I had to explore it, obviously.
First off, as I began reading it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of one of my favourite movies, “Notting Hill,” because the setup sure had the feel of it – a small bookshop, an eccentric staff, bookstore owner encountering a celebrity in the shop, mutual attraction strikes, celebrity visiting owner’s home from the get-go, striking a nice, breezy, smooth, natural chemistry between them. In this case, Hugh Grant’s character was Hannah, the MC. Speaking of, this story was written in first-person narrative, from Hannah’s sole POV. As for Julia Roberts’ famous actor-celebrity character, it was Parker, a renowned romance author, the story’s other MC. But since this story was written solely as Hannah’s journey, I didn’t get a chance to get to know Parker’s character as well as Hannah’s.
Continue reading “Back To September”
– by Rachel Spangler
When I first found out that Rachel Spangler wrote another sports romance, only this time, it’s about a sport that I don’t think I’ve ever come across in lesfic – CURLING (!!!!) – I was like, “Whaa?!” That, in and of itself, thrilled me to no end because, firstly, it’s a sport that no one has written about in a lesbian romance, and secondly, I’ve been intrigued by curling since discovering the sport whilst watching the Olympics coverage a few years ago. My prior prejudice, prejudgement, presumptions about the sport went out the window upon discovering that there was so much strategy in the game! Like chess! Such complicated scoring criteria, too! Curling was definitely much harder than it looked! At the end of watching the entire match for the first time, I was aghast at the level of quiet competitiveness and stress, and had to admit that it was an intricately charming sport that I could easily get sucked into! *So I could relate to Max (one of the story’s MCs)’s initial scoffing of the sport!
In this sports romance, Spangler truly characterised and epitomised the sport of curling with rigour as I learned so much about it with all the details that she weaved into the story – terms, tactics, scores, movements, strategy plays, the hard work, sports coverage. What better to tell a story about curling than having the skipper (leader) of a small town curling team and a seasoned sports reporter who was recently relegated to the bottom pit in the world of sports reporting because of a huge scandal and steadfastly reluctant to be assigned to do a coverage on an unknown curling team in a small town. Bam, that’s Spangler’s story right there with all the intricacies, conflict, and other intriguing ingredients for a well-told and written slow-burn romance between two ambitious professionals from either side of the sport’s world. An athlete and a reporter.
Continue reading “Fire & Ice”
– 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)”
– 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”
– 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”
– by Nicole Pyland
You know, since discovering her books, I haven’t been disappointed with Nicole Pyland‘s stories because her writing style and word flow are just my cuppa. Always engaging and her conversational dialogues just seep into the consciousness ever so effortlessly, so her characters feel real and their stories relate and resonate. At least for me. “This Above All” was no exception. The third installment in the San Francisco Series, I knew it would become my favourite of the series as Pyland brilliantly weaved Amara and Hillary’s story of self-discovery, love, reconciliation and hope with captivating and compelling fervour.
Ideally, according to Pyland, you should read the previous two installments, “Checking The Right Box” and “Macon’s Heart,” not to mention, Book 1 of the new Tahoe Series, “Keep Tahoe Blue,” which should be read in-between Book 1 and Book 2 of the SF series, first. But if you’re not particular about reading the stories in order, I don’t think you’ll miss out hugely when you read “This Above All” as a standalone. The only thing that’s applicable to this book’s MCs, Hillary and Amara, in terms of the previous installments, would be the scenes (very few) where Pyland described their so-called “encounters” and the back stories of Hillary’s featured mates. No worries, though, because she summarised them in this book. So, you can always go back to read the previous ones just to get a clear picture plus discovering the love stories of Hillary’s circle of friends, if you want. Nevertheless, Hillary, one of the MCs in this story, the lone single woman in her close-knit circle of friends finally got what she wished for this time around. Finding her one true love. Obviously, she’d been enamoured of this stranger whom she kept bumping into for the past year. In “Macon’s Heart,” she finally found out the name of the stranger who had so captured her attention and roused her attraction from the start. Amara.
Continue reading “This Above All (San Francisco Series Book 3)”