A follow-up to “Just For Show,” only this time, this story featured Stephanie aka Steph, Claire’s sister, who appeared in “JFS,” where Jae briefly introduced her as the family’s “black sheep,” who defied everything expected of her, from her rebellious lifestyle to her profession as a stand-up comedian. In other words, Steph couldn’t be more different than “goody two shoes” Claire. Anyway, Jae’s latest, “The Roommate Arrangement,” can be read as a stand-alone, obviously, but if you’re curious, I’d highly recommend that you read “Just For Show” just so you could have a wider picture of Steph’s character and her family including Jae’s inclusion of Claire and her now-fiancée, Lana, the MCs of “JFS” in this book. To me, “Just For Show” and “The Roommate Arrangement” are perfect companion pieces to read because they complement each other. And like JFS, TRA is a heartwarming tale of self-discovery, finding love in the most unlikely of places and circumstances, from friends to lovers, a slow-burn romance that will tug at your heart strings especially when you delve into Rae’s story!
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Eden Darry’s debut published novel, “The House,” I was looking forward to reading her sophomore effort, “Vanished.” Although after reading its blurb, I realised that it wasn’t going to be a horror story, rather, a speculative fiction, more like. I was intrigued to see how Darry weaved an apocalyptic/dystopia story, even though this particular sub-genre of spec fic isn’t my usual cuppa.
In the first few pages, I realised that this “end-of-the-world” story was going to have a heavy religious connotation throughout. Two words: NOAH’S ARK. Even if you’re not from the Christian/Muslim/Jewish persuasion, I’m sure you’ve heard about it since it’s been so mainstreamed already. Anyway, Darry started off the book with a huge storm and then a massively blinding white light descending upon the MCs (and the rest of the world), which caused the vanishing of just about everyone overnight! Well, except for the select (“chosen”) few including Ellery and Loveday, the 2 MCs, along with their pet dog and cat.
When Carsen Taite releases a book especially when it’s something to do with US criminal law/legal matters, I get very excited because as you may know, Taite’s my official go-to author for all things US criminal law-related. I love all her law-related books because I can always feel this sense of authenticity, the level of detail and knowledge that Taite innately injects into her stories. I love authors who use their other professional expertise to validate and substantiate the realism of the cases/plots weaved. For me, it makes for a better, more convincing, more informed read when I believe in what’s being written and told. But that’s just me, so…!
Anyway, back to Taite’s latest legal romance outing, “Leading the Witness,” which I read it in one short sitting. First off, I was already intrigued by what the blurb revealed about the story, the plot and the MCs. A seasoned prosecutor, a zealous defence attorney hellbent on grilling law enforcement witnesses in all her cases (aka a chip on her shoulder but as a result of very legitimate reasons which readers will get to discover as the story progressed), two attorneys with opposing methodologies in trying criminal cases, a high profile child kidnap case, an old equally high-profile child kidnap case resurfacing that was related to one of the MCs, not to mention, both MCs butting heads in every step of the way whilst also being attracted to each other! Intriguing, innit? But then, as I started reading it, I must say, how this story unfolded from the start was an unexpected one for me because going into the story, mindful of what the blurb alluded to in regard to the plot, I was prepared for what I thought would be Taite’s usual writing structure and storytelling style. Alas, it wasn’t and my intrigue level increased exponentially! For me, this was not the usual style that Taite uses in her writing and story-weaving of a crime-and-law-related plot and romance.
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.
Brenda Murphy‘s latest, “Complex Dimensions,” is the fourth installment of her Rowan House Series (if you haven’t read any of it, you should!). In this installment, although there were characters from two of the previous instalments making appearances, this story was purely about an ex-con trying to make a life of her own after losing everything – her girlfriend, her academia, her future – by signing up as a horse barn manager at the exclusive and elusive Rowan House in Skye, Scotland.
I was intrigued by Murphy’s choice of the title – Complex Dimensions. Complex dimension is a mathematical term used to refer to the dimension of shapes, i.e. the complex manifold or the complex algebraic variety (figures shown below), with real and imaginary points.
Within a complex dimension, you can find strange attractors, which make fractals – infinitely complex patterns that are self-similar across different scales, driven by recursion, they are images of dynamic systems – picture of chaos, nonlinear and unpredictable. So expect the unexpected, so to speak. An example of a strange attractor would be the Lorenz attractor (figure below), with a butterfly shape, which the term butterfly effect is derived from. These two mathematical terms, complex dimensions and strange attractors which Murphy briefly used in one scene to describe the main character’s academic interest and research, imo, symbolised the love story between she and the other MC.
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”→
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.