– by Megan Hart and Brenda Murphy
Brenda Murphy‘s latest is actually a duology which she collaborated with a fellow author, Megan Hart, with their own unique story to tell. I had read some outline of Murphy’s story, “Shifting Flames,” which she so generously shared when it was still work-in-progress and I was intrigued by the dynamic between the two MCs in a particular situation under a precarious environment. Anyway, so I was looking forward to reading the entire story altogether. However, I had never heard of Megan Hart before. So this duology was as good an opportunity as any, for me to explore Hart’s writing and storytelling, with her story, “The Fire Inside.”
“Shifting Flames” and “The Fire Inside” were two separate stories but in the same genre – urban fantasy. Yup, shape-shifters. First off, I love urban fantasy especially when it comes to shape-shifters, werewolves, vampires, and the lot. That said, what was unique about this urban fantasy-themed duology was that both stories were structured in the world of BDSM. Yup, I must say, I’d never encountered this original blend of urban fantasy with BDSM as the sub-genre before until now. So, apart from having the opportunity to explore these two genres together as one, my curiosity was piqued. I was intrigued by just how Murphy and Hart would craft their stories with the nature of shape-shifters as their main backdrop of their BDSM-focussed romance. Let’s just say, by the end of each presented story, I was impressed by the amount of effortlessness in telling a proper romance with the “added” ingredient. I was fully invested in the dynamic of the MCs, in their respective journeys of love, truth and reconciliation and letting go.
Continue reading “Soul Burn”
– by Gerri Hill
“Dawn of Change” was another Gerri Hill book that I had held off from reading even though I had it for a while because of the subject matter. Until now. Seemed like the timing was right this time around for me to explore this story as well (like “At Seventeen” which I had the same sentiment about reading it until recently), now that my perspective about certain issues has evolved. And as I expected, Hill did it again! Honestly, no matter what circumstances she creates for her characters in every story plot she weaves, it’s the gift of words she possesses – deeply intuitive, perceptive expressions – crafted in the language of emotions and sentiments that penetrate the reader’s psyche and soul, effectively bringing the stories and their respective characters to life. Genuine, authentic and real. That’s what I’ve experienced from reading Hill’s books irrespective of certain subject matters in the romance department (as affirmed by my recent mood to tackle the handful of romance books of hers left unread until now due to certain used-to-be-contentious topics that I didn’t want to delve into previously). Well done, Ms. Hill!
“Dawn of Change” is a perfect example of a love story between two women – one a lesbian and the other one presumably straight, with no history of any sexual attraction toward women at all, not until The One appeared…at the most unexpected moment. Continue reading “Dawn Of Change”
– 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.
Continue reading “When The Stars Sang”
– by Donna Jay
Donna Jay‘s latest, “Bitter Sweet Revenge,” is a real page-turner! I read it in one quick sitting. It’s a real departure from her previous work and I applaud her for that! It is unlike any other book of hers, in story, in type, in tone, and in style. This book is about the trials and tribulations of a young woman who lost her innocence and naïveté on the most promising day of her life. That fateful day that would forever change how she viewed the world around her. Harrowing, intense, reflective, contemplative, Katie’s road to facing her fears, obtaining peace, truth, reconciliation and ultimately experiencing the beginnings of love and hope was paved with delicate care and sensitivity, constructed at a deliberate pace. I was moved and captivated by Jay’s honesty and conviction in weaving a story that felt utterly personal, inspiring, resonating, deeply relevant and thought-provoking.
Bullying – Fear – Trials and Retribution – Self-Discovery – Self-Reflection – Self-Actualisation – Facing the Truth – Coming Out – Letting Go – Moving On
LOVE + ROMANCE + TRUTH + HOPE + POSITIVITY
Continue reading “Bitter Sweet Revenge”
– 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!
Continue reading “Compass Rose”
– by Eliza Andrews
I have to admit, Eliza Andrews‘ lesbian romance novella, “Paradise,” was nothing like I’d read in lesfic before. Whilst I’d read multiple retelling of fairy tale stories, “Paradise” was different because it was a re-imagining of a renowned biblical story. Yes, the bible. And it was not just any other biblical tale but the one from the Book of Genesis. Yes, you’ve guessed right.
ADAM & EVE.
To be precise, Adam, Eve, the Garden of Eden, the forbidden fruit, the serpeant, the animal kingdom, Cain and Abel….and most importantly (imho!), Lilith* (name is not mentioned in Genesis but its representation is relevant to the narrative. Those who’re unfamiliar with Lilith can just google it and then you’ll understand its significance). Anyway, I’m quite sure virtually everyone (in the Western Hemisphere at least!), whether religious or otherwise, has come across the story in the Book of Genesis, one way or another. Right? Okay. Brilliant.
Continue reading “Paradise”