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.

Review of Borage (The Plague Tree Coven Book 1) by Gill McKnight

Astral is a Fireside witch of the influential Projector family. Borage, her familiar, is a cat with a rather prickly personality. She’s not a  powerful witch, but she makes up for it with her kindness and the ability to make anyone feel at home and comforted. The new High Priestess of her coven has a nasty streak and when she gives Astral an important task to fulfil, we wait for the other shoe to drop. I won’t say anything more about the plot as it would be too easy to give something away. But I can say it’s brilliantly done and wonderfully satisfying. 

The descriptions of people and places were delicious. Lush and imaginative . One particular character description was stunning and made me stop and re-read it-just to take in an amazing piece of writing. It’s also very funny and Astral is completely adorable. I want to know a Fireside witch just like her. Abby Black is more than we first think. Think Ice Queen boss mixed with hot, mysterious and enticing object of desire. It all goes in ways I didn’t see coming. This is the kind of book that grows on you more and more as it reveals itself. 

The world Gill McKnight has invented is beautifully crafted, with depth and humour and an addictive quality that means I will be eagerly awaiting the next in the series. Wonderful. 

I was given this ARC for review. 

Review of ‘Penny on Parade’ by Penny Taylor and Gill McKnight

‘Penny On Parade’ is a biographical story of life in the British Army in the 1970. And it is excellent. Penny Taylor needs to get away from her home town of Darlington and a heartache that just won’t go away. Joining the army seems like the perfect way out and a way to start a new life. I really liked Penny. She was funny, a bit of a rebel and seeing the armed forces through her eyes was fascinating. Being a lesbian was a risky business and would lead to instant dismal if found out. Penny’s need to discover her true self led to situations that were dangerous for herself and those she was with. But the authors managed to balance the worry about discovery with a great deal of humour and insight. The stories of army life had me enthralled and I would love to find out what happened next to Penny. There’s another book or two in this tale.

I was given this ARC for review

Review of ‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon

‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon is the sixth story in her London series. It is the story of single mum Heidi, a wedding photographer, and Eden, a marketing whizz. Neither has dated in a very long time and for very different reasons. Fate just seems to keep bringing them together and despite their dating reservations they find that they can’t stop thinking about the other. Heidi was hard-working and committed to her career but her daughter Maya would always come first. Would Eden be able to get over her past, a past that made very very wary of dating someone with kids? She had spent so long building a structured life that definitely did not involve children or family. For Heidi, family was everything.

I really liked Heidi. She was a great mum, fun and kind. And she was also really hot. Eden was a complex character with reasons of her own to live as she did. I hoped that she would see that there could be so much more to life. Heidi was the perfect woman to coax her. There was some outrageously funny moments as I have come to expect from Clare Lydon. One in particular had me in fits of giggles. The love story felt so right, so natural. It was about two people who had to find a way past certain obstacles in order to be together. I feel that I want to go back and read the whole series from the start. The links between all of the stories has been so well done. Another winner from Ms Lydon.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Inn at Netherfield Green’ by Aurora Rey

Lauren Montgomery, a New York advertising executive, inherits an inn in England at just the right time. Needing to get away from a bad situation at home she jumps at the chance to go there. Initially she sees an opportunity to do it up and flip it. Camden Crawley is a local in Netherfield and a Gin distiller. She likes the pub the way it is and is not at all happy that this interloper could change it, and with it the character of the village. Will Lauren even listen to her views? 

Of course, being a romance by the wonderful Aurora Rey, the women are drawn to each other and begin to see that initial impressions are not always correct. Cam is adorably grumpy. To outsiders she comes across as not caring. But she does. She cares about the things that are important to her. I liked Lauren from the start. I hoped she would love life in England and see that Cam was perfect for her. She was kind, clever and lovely to everyone she came into contact with. There was a great group of supporting characters – and I must say that I loved that there was a Kitty amongst them!

Aurora Rey is so good at setting the scene. Seeing a small Derbyshire village through her eyes – and Lauren’s eyes in effect was fascinating. She understands her characters and paints a beautiful picture of where they are and those around them.  All in all a lovely story. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Lesfic Eclectic – Great New Antholgy Coming Soon!

I’m so excited to be one of the authors in this fantastic new anthology, due out 1st October. Edited by Robyn Nyx and featuring stories from RobynValden BushLise Gold AuthorEmma Nichols, Jeannie Levig, Claire Highton-StevensonJenn MatthewsJen Silver, Michelle Arnold, Gill McKnight and Brey Willows. And the great thing is that it’s FREE!

I hope you enjoy this anthology of stories from a mixture of new and established authors.