Bloodbath (Harrietta Lee Series Book 2)

– by Stephanie Ahn

 

After finishing Stephanie Ahn‘s debut and Book 1 of her Harrietta Lee Series, “Deadline,” literally in a blink of an eye (novella length only), that left me wanting more (Harry’s ongoing adventures plus a certain demon!), I had to read Book 2 right away! Plus, I was dead curious about Ahn’s sophomore writing and storytelling skills. Needless to say, I devoured it at top speed and came out of it totally and completely entertained, satiated, satisfied, and more inspired and thrilled than ever! Ahn is most definitely a talented writer and tale-spinner of the wildest, most daring, uninhibited and imaginative kind in the world of urban fantasy!

Bloodbath.” Yes, that’s the word Ahn used to title the 2nd installment of her Harrietta Lee series. And yes, it means what it means, literally and figuratively, and she made no qualms about it, whatsoever, in bringing that title to life in weaving the sequel to Harry’s adventures as a disgraced blood witch earning her keep as an “unofficial” P.I. in the streets of New York! Ahn definitely nailed the “sequel” formula perfectly, imo: BIGGER. BETTER. MORE. Much, much more.

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Deadline (Harrietta Lee Book 1)

– by Stephanie Ahn

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Who is Stephanie Ahn? What is Harrietta Lee series about? Truth be told, I had no knowledge, whatsoever, about the existence of this author, let alone her series! That was until Lex‘s review of “Deadline,” Book 1 of Ahn’s Harrietta Lee series, showed up on my GR timeline recently! At first glance, the cover threw me a little bit because it looked like a manga book. Why? Because having been a fan of manga since I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the day where there would be manga in lesfic! Hence, my initial double-take! Then almost immediately, I was curious as to how this could be in lesbian fiction! See, when “Legend of Korra” finally gave us Korrasami, I finally dared to hope that manga would expand into lesbian fiction!

 

*Ha! I finally found a good reason to include Korrasami images on my blog! Fancy that! If it weren’t for the cover of this book and writing style, I prolly wouldn’t find any rhyme or reason to! So, cheers, Ms. Ahn!*

So far, though, I’m still a little “obsessed” with Korra and Asami so I haven’t actually actively looked for others in manga so I don’t know what the current situation is.

Oops, I digress!!!

Back to my point…. and I DO have one, mind! Wait…

OK, so back to Ahn’s “Deadline.” First and foremost, it’s NOT manga. Well…I’ll get back to this in a bit. Anyway, at Lex’s mention of a demon girl, Lilith, that was it. With my curiosity already spilling over because I kept wondering why the book cover was in manga art form, and now a demon girl in the mix?! I just HAD to read to find out more!

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This Above All (San Francisco Series Book 3)

– 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.

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Sandman

– by Tammy Bird

 

One word. Sandman. On the book cover. The text almost translucent, as if trying to hide in plain sight with its colour melding into the sandy beach with an ominous-looking sky looming above the troubled waters.

What is Sandman?

When I first heard about Tammy Bird‘s debut novel, “Sandman,” I was immediately curious. First, the cryptic title, which set my mind whirling trying to ascertain its meaning or symbolism. The aesthetically unsettling cover closed the deal for me. SOLD.

Then, the fact that the revealed plot from the blurb was twofold – a search-and-rescue effort post-hurricane and what was lurking in the sand dunes. I thought that was a fascinating approach to writing in the crime thriller genre in lesfic. Needless to say, I utterly enjoyed the story as a whole. I was glad to discover that there were more than met the eye, beyond the twofold-plotline blurb! Truth be told, I actually didn’t read the blurb before I read the book because I was so intrigued by the title that I wanted to find out for myself including what the case would entail. I must say, I was surprised when I went back to read the blurb afterwards when I saw the revelation of the title’s meaning! I wish the blurb didn’t mention that, though. Oh well, it didn’t affect me because, thank goodness, I didn’t read the blurb before delving into a book this time!

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New Ink On Life (Thorn & Thistle Series Book 1)

– Jennie Davids

 

Lex from GR was dead right when she thought I’d enjoy Jennie Davids‘ debut novel, “New Ink On Life” after I read her review which prompted me to take a closer look at the story’s blurb. (Cheers, Lex!) Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the story from start to finish. An original story with one specific detail that I never came across in my lesfic romance reading (yet). Well, Ronica Black’s “The Last Seduction,” had that subject matter broached but definitely not told from that MC’s POV. But in Davids’ story, I was delighted that it was. Finding romance post-breast cancer, in a 5-year remission. Not an easy setup to create a compelling romance around it especially when there’s always a possibility of a relapse, innit? That was what piqued my interest the most.

I was curious to find out how Davids approached this subject with her story. I had certain expectations because it was about one of the most, if not the most, private, life-altering circumstance a woman could ever possess in her life. Something that effectively alters one’s mental, emotional and psychological mindset about her sexuality, self-worth, body image, and self-confidence, all of which, makes a woman, a woman. And most importantly, that it would yield a positive, hopeful and happy ending simply because the last thing I wanted was to invest in a character’s emotionally taxing journey only to discover that survival and recovery of a life-changing condition was all in vain in the end.

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Raging At The Stars

– by Lesley Davis

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5 words to sum up what this book meant to me…

THE. TRUTH. IS. OUT. THERE.

Plus….

X-FILES! X-FILES! X-FILES!

YES!!

Lesley Davis has once again sucked me in with something that I’ve always been fascinated with and a believer in the “Nothing is what it seems. Nothing. Open your mind” way of life! With “Raging At The Stars,” I felt an immediate connection to it because…. The X-Files! It was like Davis wrote it especially for me! All the conspiracy theories, the mindset, circumstances that she described were as if she tapped into my mind, retrieved them and crafted into this truly captivating, engrossing and positively exciting tale! Or, that she and I just happen to share similar mentality where this subject matter’s concerned! Plus… “The X-Files!!!” I would be shocked if Davis isn’t an X-phile herself! She literally took the mythology of the phenomenally ground-breaking cult series, compiled them altogether and ran with it, putting her very own unique story and writing stamp on it! Even better? Infinitely, I’d say? LESBIANS!!!!! Lesbian romance in the midst of it but not so much that it’d distract from the massive plot! That’s the genius of her tale-spinning. As much as I was enamoured of the entire collection of conspiracy theories that were brilliantly deconstructed as the plot unfolded, Davis also soothed it with a lovely, charming romance and…let’s not forget, which I now know to expect from Davis…. The WIT! The HUMOUR! The HILARITY! In the dialogue between the protagonists and the other always-interesting secondary characters making the entire reading experience…FUNFUNFUN!!

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Blood Of The Pack (Wolfgang County Book 3)

– Jenny Frame

 

I was looking forward to reading the third installment of Jenny Frame‘s Wolfgang County urban fantasy series, “Blood of the Pack,” so obviously when it dropped on my lap, I devoured it at no time at all! As expected, I absolutely loved everything about it, most of all, when the story took it to the majestic highlands of Scotland!!! Frame had revealed about the Scotland angle where we’d be introduced to another pack, Wulver, cousins of the Wolfgang Pack, who would play an important role in the series, and she delivered and then some! YES!!!

As mentioned, “Blood of the Pack” is the third book of the series, continuing the story of the Wolfgang pack of werewolves led by Dante, the pack’s Alpha and her mate, Eve, the Mater. Before I proceed with this story, I strongly recommend reading the series chronologically because there’s a serialised story arc that acts as a backdrop of every installment. Although, if you’re not particular about following the overall arc, then the books can be read as a standalone since every installment features a new romance between two new MCs within the Wolfgang County universe. In any case, as usual, the MCs from the previous installments made appearances in this installment, with Dante, Wolfgang’s Alpha, essentially being this story’s lead secondary character, as she should since she’s the leader of the pack after all. If you’ve read the previous books, you’ll also recognise their respective MCs – Caden and Lena, Kyra and Ripp, plus Eve, Dante’s mate, the pack’s Mater amongst a few others, as they were all part of the Wolfgang Pack linked to the overall story arc which served as a backdrop of this 3rd installment.

This book began with an intro of a new character, Kenrick (Rick), a Wulver wolf from Scotland, paying a visit to her cousin, Dante. The Wolfgangs and the Wulvers were cousins and their families had been each other’s close family and ally since the beginning. Meanwhile, Dante and her Wolfgang pack were still reeling over what happened at the end of Book 2 where Dante’s arch enemy, Leroux, the Lupa pack’s Alpha, led her pack of Lupa wolves to a full-on attack on the Wolfgang pack with deadly consequences. So whilst Dante and her Wolfgang pack regrouped and getting ready for any eventuality when it came to Leroux and her Lupa gang, Frame introduced the reader to Zaria, a Lupa who’d been running and hiding from her pack since she was 16.

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