200 Hours

– 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:

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Pretending In Paradise

– by M. Ullrich

 

I like the fauxmance trope as much as the next person. Nothing more fun than reading how people pretend to be in love whilst trying to achieve their intended goals but inadvertently fall into the love trap in the end, eh? But it’s also tricky because I like to read different takes of the trope and too often, in my experience, I ended up reading the same old approach, hence affecting my reading pleasure as a whole. So, I’ve been very picky and selective about it. But M. Ullrich‘s latest fauxmance novel, “Pretending In Paradise,” had a premise that was both intriguing and the nature of the trope was refreshing to me when I read the blurb. So obviously, I decided to just dive right in for my next Ullrich adventure with this one that had piqued my interest and caught my attention. You know what, it hit the nail for me! The storyline, the nature of the fauxmance trope were all well-executed. Ullrich’s style of telling the tale and weaving it fitted well with the contents of the story. The best thing about it was that I had so much FUN reading through it like I hoped I would because if you read the blurb, it just screams fun, with some prickly humour, possibly a bit of a bloody cheek and devilish banter here and there, doesn’t it? Anyway, it was a breeze finishing it in one sitting.

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Gallows Humor

– by Carolyn Elizabeth

As soon as I read Carolyn Elizabeth‘s very creative limerick as her debut book promo plug, I knew I simply had to find out more about “Gallows Humor.” And after reading an excerpt on Bella Books, my assumption was correct about Elizabeth’s skill as a writer and a storyteller. What caught my attention as I breezed through the excerpt was the fact that the main protagonist, Corey, was a medical examiner – a profession that I’ve always been fascinated with, particularly all the medical and technical methodology involved in dissecting and examining the human anatomy, post-mortem, in order to determine cause of death. I must say, I thought of Rad’s “Heart Stop,” the only other lesfic book I’d read that featured an ME. But the similarity ended there. And then, there was the other main protagonist, Thayer, an ER fellow. What made her a bit different than the other romantic interests in medical romance, at least with the impression I had just by reading the excerpt, which also made me exceedingly curious about her, was how Elizabeth was alluding to the way the romance was gonna be told. So, obviously, I had to read the book! So glad I did!!

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Romancing The Girl

– by Camryn Eyde

 

Camryn Eyde‘s “Romancing The Girl” was another pleasant surprise for me! I wanted to further explore Eyde’s storytelling style with her other full-length novels after reading her absolutely brilliant Tricky series (Books 1 & 2; final book still in the wind) which became one of me favourite lesfic stories, with Darcy & Olivia making me list of favourite lesfic couples! So I decided to make “Romancing” me next Eyde read. Plus, the blurb sounded intriguing. I mean, it can’t sound any more interesting and curious than putting a TV reality dating show in the middle of a working farm with horses, sheep, with that whole farm life thing going on, can it? And it’s in Aussie-style, complete with the Aussie language and lifestyle treatment which elevated me level of interest and anticipation even more! Needless to say, this story was another very well-written, enemies-to-lovers love story that was rich with other subplots that raised the stakes of the entire story altogether. Not to mention,  one brilliantly constructed long scene vividly depicted with highly intense and edge-of-your-seat effect toward the end of the final act.

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Rules Of The Road

by K. Aten

 

K. Aten‘s “Rules of the Road” was such a fantabulous reading experience for me!

It’s Nerdy. It’s Quirky. It’s riotously Funny. It’s Romantic. It’s Engaging. It’s All Around GOOD FUN!

A comprehensively-written, unadulterated journey of two heartbroken souls who inadvertently “found” each other in one of the most unlikely places you can ever imagine. In the car! Via a driving app! Cor! Now THAT’s what I’m talking about – original and bloody creative! Driving App?! Blimey! That’s genius! I absolutely loved the fact that they only ever interacted and got to know each other via the App in the initial stages of their acquaintance, so to speak! Strangely, I thought of that movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks never met either and struck up a virtual friendship via e-mail! So, in effect, Jamie (or as I prefer her nick, James!) and Kelsey’s App interaction was like a massive upgrade of “YGM“‘s virtual communication, innit? Plus, could they BE any more adorable than to be immortalised by their App – a nerd car (James) and a rainbow car (Kelsey) avatars on their screens, eh? Awww… a-bloody-dorbs!

And then OMG, the humour!! So bloody fresh and quirky! I never heard those words or expressions before in me life!!! I mean, bloody hell if I didn’t have a blast reading such colourful, crackin’ vernacular, sniggering endlessly! James’ hilarious outbursts in the car and Kelsey’s more aggressive ones (especially with her cats!) kept me so very entertained! I couldn’t get enough of ’em, tbh! LOL! Thank you, Ms. Aten, for introducing me to such colloquial delights!

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Compass Rose

– by Anna Burke

After a captivating read of Anna Burke‘s latest novel, “Thorn,” obviously I HAD to read her debut work, “Compass Rose.” The critics were right. By gosh, what a fantastic, thrilling, captivating ride indeed! This swashbuckling action-adventure where I got to read about pirates, mercs, and the military all converging in the high seas (not to mention monsters!), marking their territories and warring for more was exceptionally depicted with persistently vivid visualisations of each and every situation, environment, surroundings, all described with such realism that I was transported to every scene that Burke created, like I was there meself, observing every action and sequence….virtually!

Burke’s “Compass Rose,” at times, was reminiscent of Jules Verne’s classic sea voyage adventure literature, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea,” and at times reminded me of “The Pirates of the Carribean,” for me. Except, Burke’s voyage was infinitely better for me, imho, because of many factors, namely, all the badarse, kick-arse leading characters were WOMEN! Bloody hell YES! Having expressed just how much I loved Burke’s literary, lyrical writing style in “Thorn,” Burke continued to impress me to no end with her brilliant knack for creating a glorious sense of music in her richly descriptive, heart-tugging words in every scenario and dialogue/monologue that somehow transformed into lyrical notes in me head as I read on!

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Escape To Pleasure: Lesbian Travel Erotica

– by Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor (Editors)

THIS was me first anthology of 2019 and it was a doozy!! First and foremost, BRIT RYDER!!! Yes, ever since reading her debut erotic novella, “Shameless,” she had become one of me favourite authors, obvs, and I had been twiddling me thumbs waiting patiently for her next endeavour and….voila!!! What dy’a know?! Enter “Mistakes Happen” in this antho, “Escape To Pleasure!!” Yay! I must say, even with just Ryder’s story alone, I would own a copy of the antho and read the entire thing in a heartbeat! AND, the icing for this one? Discovered that another one of me favourite authors, Jeannie Levig, also had a story in this fast-becoming-an-amazing-antho-for-me book!! WHA?!! I was beside meself with utter glee, to say the least! Woohoo! Lucky me! I’ll get to Ryder and Levig’s stories in a mo but let me first disclaim that I usually don’t comment on anthologies (with the exception of one other because of one of me favourite authors included in it) and never erotica anthos, but with TWO of me faves in this particular one? Sod it, I’ll do it!

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