– 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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– 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.
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– by Jae
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!
Continue reading “The Roommate Arrangement”
– by Carsen Taite
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.
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– 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 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”