Playing With Fire

– by Lesley Davis

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Thanks to Jeannie Levig‘s brill BSB interview with author Lesley Davis who gave such informative insights into her latest outing, “Playing With Fire,” including her own POV about certain issues related to this book that moved me to seek it out to have myself a read despite it being the third installment of a series already in situ, something I rarely do as I like to start a series from the first book. Thankfully, this installment could be read as a standalone so I was chuffed about it especially when it was going to be my first-ever Lesley Davis book to explore!

I utterly LOVED “Playing with Fire.” First off, the first chapter alone captivated my full attention. Not only because of the story arc, the portrayal of the main protagonist included in it, but more importantly, Davis’ writing style, the flow of her words and rhythm of the pace. Totes my cuppa tea! Also, as I read on, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a good old-fashioned traditional lesbian romance! I can’t really explain it, just a feeling from the rhythm of Davis’ composition style and the sound of dialogues constructed and the classical use of 3rd-person narrative to present monologues and non-verbals. In any case, there was an air of nostalgia there as I explored Davis’ storytelling, which gave me oodles of warm “comfort food” feels all throughout!

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Alone

– by E.J. Noyes

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Have you ventured into E.J. Noyes‘ latest psychological STUNNER, “Alone,” yet? No? Oh, you must! TOP MARKS for Noyes’ distinctive creativity, original, delectable ingenuity, and her quintessential storytelling virtuosity in this philosophical psychology piece, cleverly wrapped in a soul-stirring, deeply yearning, all-consuming love story. Yet another bona fide gem from Ms. Noyes, imho. End of.

Before I proceed….

Disclaimer: Please note that this story IS categorised as a romance. My own postulation about it as something transcending romance is simply it. My own. How it jolted my senses is solely based on how I experienced the story altogether, interpretative undertones, perceived notions, speculative implications and all. Noyes might not have even had any kind of inclination, whatsoever, about anything other than telling a well-constructed, complex and emotional love story. However, art is subjective. Therefore, its interpretation is in the mind of the beholder, innit?

With that in mind,  here goes…

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Moonlight Avenue

– by Gerri Hill

YES! Gerri Hill‘s crime/mystery/thriller bug is back in full force with her latest, “Moonlight Avenue!” I KNEW it!! Haven’t had THIS much fun since her Hunter, Ross & Sullivan and Johnston & Riley serials!! Read it in one swift sitting! I especially LOVED this latest one, which certainly could turn into a series if the ending (and a certain third MC in the book for that matter!) were any indication, which I’m dead chuffed by the sheer possibility of it!

The reason why “Moonlight Avenue” is now my favourite crime/mystery story and series (if it’s expanded into one, that is!) of Hill’s as opposed to her other serials of the same genre comes in threefold:

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Major Surgery

– by Lola Keeley

Lola Keeley‘s “Major Surgery” gave me every single thing that I love about medicine! First and foremost, it’s BRITISH!!! Finally!! Someone finally wrote a pure British medical romance with every medical term, jargon, procedure, protocol, every service department used, all called by their British terminology! I literally felt all tingly inside as I explored every page of this book, feeling this sense of, “Ah, I’m on familiar grounds now!” It was like seeing an old friend again after a long absence! So, thank you, Ms. Keeley, for making this happen! I do hope more authors would write British medical romances, though. Oh well, reckon the American medical lingo is more popular (even though most of the world use the British terms! Hey ho.). But, I, for one, am very grateful and appreciative about this book catered to the British health system. And one more thing I must mention about Keeley’s quality of work. Two books in, I can now rest assured that her commitment to doing proper research for her work is tops! The ins and outs of a profession as intricate as ballet in her debut novel and now medicine! And let’s not forget her exceptional writing quality! Brilliant!

Back to Keeley’s story, well, the first page, alone, had my full attention and intrigue with an explosive opening scene involving Dr. Cassie Travers, one of the two main protagonists. Let’s just say that Cassie entered the scene with, not to put too fine a point on it, guns blazing! Talk about a dramatic and intense intro! Almost like a bank hold-up situation with many people surrounding the action! The opening scene, I thought, was brilliantly written and totally effective! Now, THAT’s what I call making a GRAND entrance that made an unforgettable impression! Most of all, that was how Cassie Travers and Veronica Mallick met! As first meetings go, I’d say theirs was one of the most thrilling introductions I’ve come across in a lesbian romance yet! You simply have to read it to feel that sense of shock and excitement!

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When The Stars Sang

– by Caren J. Werlinger

 

Caren J. Werlinger‘s “When The Stars Sang” was my first book of hers since I stumbled upon several reviews of her latest, “Bittersweet Garden,” which subsequently piqued my curiosity about her and her work. Needless to say, all credit goes to Lex from GR (cheers, mate!) who thought that this book would be an ideal first one to start with in order to experience Werlinger’s writing and storytelling style. I was captivated by the story from the start. So, it was a quick read for me, obvs! Werlinger’s writing style was compelling. The story and its characters, primary and secondary, alike, weaved into each other so effortless, they formed a perfect tapestry.

“When The Stars Sang,” to me, is essentially a story about loss, guilt, love, forgiveness and letting go, personified with zeal by its main protagonist, Kathleen. Werlinger also posed this question, “What is family?“, as Kathleen journeyed through her second chance at living her life.  I utterly loved that Werlinger chose a tiny, remote island as Kathleen’s sanctuary for solitude, self-reflection and self-discovery. An island that had been floating in the recesses of her mind for the past 25 years since she left, calling to her, the voice getting louder as time went by, to a point where she couldn’t ignore it anymore. It’s like two magnets attracting each other. To me, that’s so symbolic. Our path, our life journey is like a compass. We all have our own True North that completes us – our TRUE self. Only then are we able to discover life, love, family, spirituality. We’re programmed to find it as we journey through life. Kathleen’s True North was the island and its inhabitants.

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Wooing The Farmer (Axedale Series Book 3)

– by Jenny Frame

 

**LOVE the cover! Oh-so colourful, so quaint! Bright and joy! Look at the reflection?! So pretty! Makes me happy every time I look at it! Well done!**

I’ve been looking forward to reading this third installment of Jenny Frame‘s Axedale Series, “Wooing The Farmer!!!” So naturally, I devoured it in one short sitting as soon as I received it! I couldn’t wait to see what Frame had in-store for me favourite farmer, Quade, the shy, adorable, terribly forlorn and lonesome butch who had been looking for the love of her life, the femme of her dreams since Book 1. Aaarghhhh!! Poor Quade!

Not anymore!!! Thank Christ!!

And the ideal femme of Quade’s dreams? Well, just wait ’til you read all about Penelope Huntingdon-Stewart (Penny)! Wow! Talk about THE femme of the femmes!!! Frame’s detailed description of Penny was so vivid that I could see clearly – with the many bright girly/feminine colours and cute cartoony prints that accompanied them in all of her attire including her footwear, her make-up, accessories, the lot – what exactly she looked like! As if those weren’t enough to describe a stereotypical-looking femme, Penny also had a dog, a brown toy poodle named Princess Baby Bear who accompanied her everywhere in the designer dog bag she carried with her all the time. Yes, Penelope Huntingdon-Stewart and Princess Baby Bear. There you have it. Hats off, Frame, for creating this unapologetic, extremely femme-looking femme, whom I’d never come across in any lesfic character described quite like her before! How absolutely refreshing and exciting especially when Penny came face-to-face with the other end of the spectrum – yes, the ultimate butch-looking butch, Quade!! Ah yes, let’s not forget that this is a fairy tale romance. Perfection!

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Hooked On You

– by Jenn Matthews

First off, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a generous offer from the author of this book to read it before its release date sometime in February with no review obligation. After communicating briefly with Jenn Matthews, new author of Ylva’s and the architect of this book, “Hooked On You,” I was intrigued. I promised that I would give it a go after I finished the 3 books that I was reading then. Nonetheless, the story which captivated me from the start has inspired me to decide on commenting about it.

It IS ironic that the book has the word “Hooked” on its title because…!!! Ok, ever the curious one, despite being busy reading several books simultaneously and carrying on with me day job, I just thought I’d read the first pages of Matthews’ debut published novel just to get the gist of her writing tone and style. There was a Prologue. Good, so I dove in. Oh. My. God. Bloody hell! I instantly suspended all me other reads then so I could dive into this one! Needless to say, I was instantly HOOKED! From the Prologue alone! Whaaa?!

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