Review of ‘Sliding Doors’ by Karen Klyne

‘Sliding Doors’ by Karen Klyne is one of those surprising books that makes the reader ask “What if?”. 

Gemma Tennant is so unhappy. She hates her life and feels worthless with no way out. When she’s offered the chance to change all that, through a sliding door to a parallel existence – will she take it? This intriguing start really piqued my interest . I wanted to see where the author was going with it. The unfortunate woman who ends up swapping lives with Gemma, Alex Gambol,  doesn’t have a clue that it’s going to happen. Let’s just say she’s none too happy. Her own life had been pretty mundane and if she thought about it, she was just going through the motions. Nevertheless, swapping lives with someone against your will is going to cause some problems and a certain amount of resentment.

I must admit I did not like Alex at all at first, but by the end she was my favourite character in the book. Ms Klyne’s skilful storytelling took me on a journey where my preconceptions were turned on their head. I really liked Reece too. She was sweet and understanding and her kindness really shone through. I really enjoyed seeing how each of them adjusted to their new lives. And changed for the better. It’s a fantastic story that had me on the edge of my seat at some points. It’s about second chances, being true to yourself and finding a way to live that feels right. It was a wonderful story, full of magic and wonder and mystery. It was also, ultimately, beautifully romantic and I defy anyone not to have a wee tear in their eye. I absolutely loved it. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Sliding Doors is out on June 15th.

Review of ‘A Roll In The Hay’ by Lola Keeley

Tess and Susannah’s first meeting does not bode well for true love and happily ever after. If there’s one thing that Tess hates, it’s the upper class thinking they can lord it over the rest of us. Lady Muck owns most of the village and surrounding area – and has a contract dangling to tend to her growing equestrian stables. Tess’s new vet practice could do with that contract, but working for the lady of the manor might be a step too far for her. Even if she is hot. Will the women be able to get past their first impressions? There’s a lot more at stake than they initially think. 

I liked Susannah, even from the start. She was grumpy and entitled, but there was a softer and kinder side to her too. With Tess it was one step forward and one step back. But there was a spark there and neither could quite resist it. Tess was still nursing a broken heart due to disloyalty from her previous partner. She had a bit of a chip on her shoulder regarding class, but it was understandable. They made an intriguing pair. 

The setting was wonderful. When the setting is perfectly described and I can imagine myself there, that draws me into the story. That was certainly the case with A Roll in the Hay’. The intensely powerful feelings between the women kept me hooked. I could feel the joy and the passion. I loved it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Country Living’ by Jen Silver

I have just spent a wonderful few hours in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside thanks to author Jen Silver. Her latest novel ‘Country Living’ is the perfect book to read right now. Escape with unexpected and exciting storylines and get to know her believable and well-rounded characters. 

Peri has always dreamed of a life in the English countryside, with an old stone cottage, a vegetable garden and walks in the hills and fields. Her wife is not so keen, but goes along with it as long as she has time in London to finish off some projects before joining her. Moving near the lesbian mecca of Hebden Bridge, Peri expects a quiet life and ordinary neighbours. That’s not exactly what she gets though. There are a few secrets being kept from her and life may not turn out as she expected.

I loved Peri. She’s the woman you want living next door. She was kind and approachable and deserved to be treasured. I liked seeing her interact with her neighbours. It brought out something unexpected in her. There are a few different storyline strands woven through the novel and that takes it a notch above most others. Oh and it is very hot too! A great book and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review. 

Review of ‘Before You Say I Do’ by Clare Lydon

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. And she’s good at it. Relationships are not on her agenda and the odd one-night stand is enough at this stage in her life. When she is hired by the fiancé of Abby Porter to help her through the last few weeks before their wedding, she expects it to be the same as every other job. But it’s not. For a start, she’s immediately attracted to the bride to be. Can she keep a professional distance?

Abby did not expect this at all. She has her life planned out, and a stunning fake bridesmaid was not part of the deal. Will she be able to keep on track and make it down the alter?

Clare Lydon makes my heart soar every single time, without fail. ‘Before You Say I Do’ is a beautiful love story, with adorable characters and, of course, Ms Lydon’s trademark injection of humour. I loved Gloria, Abby’s Scottish mum. She was hilarious and very well-observed.  I can attest that square sausage is one of life’s greatest pleasures, as Gloria made sure to point out. Jordan was a wonderful mix of efficiency, kindness and vulnerability. And she was also really, really hot. How could Abby resist? Abby was a woman who thought she had it all figured out, but faced with a glimpse of something different, she began to have doubts. They were perfect for each other and I really wanted them to give in. Their story had such want, such passion, such desire. It is impossible to read this story without the biggest, happiest smile on your face by the final page. I adored it. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Death Before Dessert’ by A.E. Radley

‘Death Before Dessert’ is a feel-good kind of book. You can’t fail to be drawn in by the setting, excellent plot and loveable characters. A cozy mystery set in a small English village, it features a new dynamic duo, Clara Harrington and her irrepressible aunt, Vanessa. Clara has left London after losing her job and home all in the one week. Her mystery writer aunt has offered her a place to stay and the chance to take stock. But one thing she didn’t expect was a murder in the country house next door – and an elderly relative determined to solve it before the police.

I loved Vanessa’s gleeful demeanour. She had a wicked sense of humour and loved a good real-life mystery. There was no way Clara was going to stop her investigating when her reviled next-door neighbour dies in the middle of a dinner party. Clara was sweet and kind and prone to blushing profusely when in the presence of a certain beautiful woman. The inter-generational element to the investigate partnership was a winner. A series with this pair is going to be wonderful and I can’t wait to read the next in the series. A.E. Radley has given us cozy mystery at its best. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Amazon Links :

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Before-Dessert-Vanessa-Harrington/dp/1912684322/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Before-Dessert-Vanessa-Harrington-ebook/dp/B085B54PLV/

My Top 12 Books of 2019

I found it so difficult to narrow down my list of favourite books this year. And even more difficult put them in order of preference. I loved them all. So, this is my top twelve,  and in alphabetical order. I highly recommend all of these books and will certainly be re-reading them again in 2020. 

Alone by E.J. Noyes

Blood of the Pack by Jenny Frame

Borage by Gill McKnight

Breathe by Cari Hunter

Coming Home by K.J.

Floodtide by Heather Rose Jones

Galileo by Ann McMan

Legacy by Charlotte Greene

Spinning Tales by Brey Willows

Steel City Confidential by Anne Hagan

The Sovereign of Psiere by K Aten

Uncharted by Robyn Nyx

Review of ‘Milton’ by Sam Skyborne

I’ve come to look forward to a new short story from Sam Skyborne.’Milton’ is a very different one, dealing with an aspect of life rarely told in lesbian fiction. Milton is an older woman, a grandmother, who has been left badly injured after an accident. Now living with her family, she requires care. Maybe for some people that would mean the end of any chance at love or a fulfilling life. Can Milton ever get past it? 

The first impression I got of her was that she was a very strong-minded woman, with a forceful personality. Yes, she was infuriating and grumpy, but who wouldn’t be? I liked her. Beatrice was a whirlwind of a woman. Would she be able to jostle Milton out of her dark mood and push her to do more? I’ll let you find out for yourself. 

For me, ‘Milton’ was a story of determination.  And with hope for a life beyond what one might have thought still possible. A lovely and thought-provoking tale. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Someone To Love’ by Jenny Frame

Davina Trent is a divorce lawyer and doesn’t believe in marriage or family.  When her cousin dies and she’s left to look after his kids, her answer is to get rid of them to boarding schools as quickly as possible. In the meantime she needs a nanny.

Wendy Darling wants kids and a family of her own. Until that happens,  she’s working as a nanny, and a job with ice queen divorce lawyer Davina Trent will help her get back on her feet financially after a bad breakup.  But she’s shocked and dismayed at Trent’s attitude to the kids and her responsibilities. She wants to help Trent see that being part of a family can be wonderful. Can two women with such opposing views of the world ever be together – irrespective of the smoking hot attraction between them?

Trent is another butch character to crush over, and very different from any of the others Jenny Frame has written. She’s like a wounded animal, retreating into a tough and hard persona. But that’s not the real her. Seeing Wendy chip away at the ice, slowly but surely, was wonderful. We know Trent from her role in ‘Unexpected’ and I found it fascinating to see a side of her I didn’t realise was there. Dale and Becca are back, along with their two kids. They play an important part in the story and I really enjoyed being with them again. The interaction between Trent and Dale was especially sweet and endearing.

Wendy was a warm and loving character and the perfect person to bring Trent and the children together. She was younger than Trent, but wiser in a lot of ways. Their attraction was always going to be a problem given the age gap and the boss/employee thing – but who can resist true love?  It was about getting to be who you really want to be. About finding the love of your life and the family you want and need. A really great story.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Yellow Tandem’ by Sam Skyborne

‘The Yellow Tandem’ is a lovely FREE story, heart-warming and beautifully described. Told from the point of view of a London commuter, it will resonate with those who see the same sights and sometimes the same people every day, but never go on to meet them. Our commuter wonders about the rider of the yellow tandem and I was intrigued too. Why would someone cycle to work every day on a tandem by themselves? Who are they? Finding out was fascinating. A great wee story. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Click on the links below for a copy:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Yellow-Tandem-binary-gender-romance-ebook/dp/B07VMMXHT1/

https://www.amazon.com/Yellow-Tandem-binary-gender-romance-ebook/dp/B07VMMXHT1

Review of ‘Love For Auction’ by Karen Klyne

‘Love For Auction’ is a story about two women getting to know themselves as well as each other. A nice romance with a few bumps along the way. Philippa Young is an estate agent and auctioneer living in a small English village, after making her name and fortune in London. She’s a love-em and leave-em type and doesn’t see that changing as she reaches her mid-forties. When she is hired to sell the family home left to Kim after her father dies, her life takes a new turn. She’s very attracted to Kim, but she a lot younger and seemingly straight. Will they be able to get past Phil’s reputation and Kim’s inexperience?

I liked the village setting and the minor characters. It felt very real and relatable. Phil was a woman at a crossroads and it was interesting seeing her struggle with her past and her hopes for the future. Kim’s story was multi-layered. She had issues from the past that had to be faced head on. Romantic with some angst along the way.

I was given this ARC for review.