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 ‘All At Sea’ by Cheyenne Blue

Cheyenne Blue has once again captured my heart with characters I can root for, an engaging storyline, and a beautiful love story. ‘All At Sea’ is the story of Stevie Sterling, newly qualified nurse, and member of an important local family. When, yet again, her parents refuse to acknowledge her achievements, she wanders off their luxury yacht and seeks refuge in a deserted and unassuming boat further along the marina. Waking up the next morning miles from port and with an irate but gorgeous captain looming over her, it seems life is going to get very interesting. Kaz Malone, eco warrior, has a mission to complete and has no time to pander to the wishes of the rich socialite. Can she gets past first impressions and see the real Stevie – and can Stevie survive life on the high seas? Will they find that life sometimes has a way of putting the right person in your path, just when you need it?

I loved both Stevie and Kaz. Stevie was her own woman, in a family where appearances and conformity were everything. Her principles were important to her but her parents could never accept her for who she was. Maybe Kaz could be the woman who could love her for herself. Kaz was just as principled and was willing to risk everything for her cause. Could she convince Stevie to be a part of that? This story was about each woman finding out who she really was, and what it would take to find true happiness. It was about finding a passion and finding someone to share it with. It was an enthralling story. I also enjoyed the descriptions of the Australian wildlife and scenery. They made the story richer and gave an insight into Kaz’s life. An excellent story. 

I was given this Arc to review.

Review of ‘Once In Sweden’ by Emma Sterner-Radley

‘Once In Sweden’ is the story of two women, both hurting and confused. Nurse Aubrey has made a decision that has caused so much pain. Did she do the right thing? Looking back she’s not so sure. Elina is in a dark place after a break-up and her friends decide she needs a break away from it all to recover. Will she let them help her? Does she have the strength to get over it?

I like the Swedish setting. It was so refreshing to read a story set somewhere different. I was fascinated to learn about life there, the customs, the differences. The story was emotional and tear-jerking at times but also passionate and loving. It includes one of the most intense sex scenes I’ve read. It was pivotal to the story and written with such feeling. The story was  about heartbreak, and realising that opening oneself up to love can sometimes mean risking that heartbreak. But it can also mean the chance for true love. Beautiful, empowering love. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Love On The Night Shift’ by Radclyffe.

Do you ever read a love story and feel immediately that it’s meant to be? Well that’s exactly what happened when I read ‘Love On The Night Shift’. I love the Rivers series with a passion. Every single time, I’m convinced the one I’m currently reading is my all-time favourite and can’t be topped. But they get better and better as the series progresses. Blaise and Grady’s story pulled at my heartstrings again and again, and by the end I was on an emotional high.

Charge Nurse Blaise Richelieu has spent seventeen years raising her daughter alone, keeping all admirers at a safe distance. When hot new attending Grady McClure starts to show an interest, she goes into shields-up mode as usual. But there’s something endearing about Grady and maybe this time it won’t be so easy to resist. She has her reasons to be wary of attachments, but Grady’s charm might be beginning to wear her down. 

Blaise was strong, intelligent and brilliant at her job. Caring for her daughter has been her top priority. Maybe she has forgotten that she’s a woman with needs and deserves find that special someone. I could see exactly where she was coming from, but Grady was an irresistible force. Who could resist? I loved seeing them begin to get to know one another. Their gently flirting was beautifully done. The attraction was intense and hot and so was the sex.  Interweaving the stories of the Rivers clan, their kids and the townsfolk pushed this novel up even further in my estimation. I want to know what is happening to them and the impact their stories have on each other. 

When I finished this book I had all the feels. It was emotional and important. Their story was important. And not just for them as a couple. It was romantic and sexy but above all it felt right. They were meant to be together . I adored it. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Cake’ by Jove Belle

‘Cake’ by Jove Belle is a really enjoyable story partly set in Bitterroot. It’s the story of what happens when you meet the first women to turn your head in a long time – but there are so many complications. Kelly Miller makes wedding cakes and when he brother asks her to make one for his unexpected wedding to a woman she’s never met, things start to get interesting. Elena Verdad is a psychologist with some emotional problems of her own. When she meets the sister of the groom sparks fly. They really shouldn’t go there, but something is pulling them together and neither feel able to resist. 

It’s a lovely story of a connection that should never work. Even Kelly and Elena can see that. But sometimes the person you need is the one you least expect. The emotional element between them was powerful and the sex was scorchingly hot. Off the scale. A really enjoyable novella. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Morelville Mysteries Books 9-12 Collection’ by Anne Hagan

I was so excited to see that Anne Hagan had released a box set of books 9-12 of her excellent Morelville series. I love this series and always wait in anticipation for the next one. I can highly recommend reading this boxed set as it has some of my favourite stories in the series. Here is my review of each volume.

The Turkey Tussle

This is the 9th book in the Morelville mystery series and still has the lovely family feel and inspired storytelling of all the others.  It’s great to be back with Dana and Mel and with a new mystery that deals with a murder in Mel’s family. The murder was never solved and when Dana is looking for something to keep her busy she decides looking into this cold case would bring closure to mother-in-law Faye. I loved the flashbacks to the 1970s and finding out more about Faye’s past.  The mystery had me intrigued and I am so glad that there were hints of more to come in the series.  The ensemble of characters in all of the Morelville books put them a notch above other mystery novels as they are all important to solving the cases.  Mel and Dana’s relationship was especially hot in ‘The Turkey Tussle’, in a well-written bedroom scene that hit all the right notes.  This series just gets better and better.

Sullied Sally

I think this might be my favourite Morelville Mystery to date. I’ve read every one and enjoyed following Sheriff Mel, her wife Dana and their family, friends and colleagues through many mysteries. This one concerns the death of a distant family member and ties in with the previous story ‘The Turkey Tussle’. It’s certainly beneficial to have read that one too but not entirely necessary. The story is well written and addictive – I couldn’t put it down. There are so many twists and turns that I didn’t want to miss anything.
I loved the forays into the home life of Mel and Dana as it was all tied into the case. This was Mel’s book really as it dealt with her family and their involvement in an old murder from the 1970s as well as one from the present day. As Mel is most definitely my favourite character in the series this was a big bonus for me. And I know there is more to come from Anne Hagan’s excellent mystery series so that makes me a very happy reader. I highly recommend ‘Sullied Sally’ and give it 5 Stars.

Finding Sheila

I can’t believe we are at No. 11 in the Morelville Mysteries Series already. I have loved every one so far and ‘Finding Sheila’ is no exception. When Dana is deputised to bring Sheila Ford back from the Tennessee Prison she has been in for the last few years it seems like an easy job. The transport will be in a fully staffed ambulance so Dana willingly agrees to do it for her wife, Sheriff Mel Crane. Not all goes to plan though and Dana finds herself using her investigative skills to find out exactly why it all went wrong. I could never have guessed what was behind it all and I love that Anne Hagan can do that time after time. Her stories are so well thought out and she combines great mysteries along with fascinating and likeable characters and settings. There were plenty of twists and turns and a fair element of danger for Dana. And as always I was left with hope for another story in the series. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but the next story promises to be a must read.

Tennessee Bound

Mel and Dana just can’t seem to stay out of trouble! In ‘Tennessee Bound’, the latest in the Morelville Mysteries by Anne Hagan, Sheriff Mel Crane and her wife Dana Rossi escape to their cabin in the Tennessee mountains, hoping to find a solution to their future together. Mel needs a change and is seriously considering giving up her job and trying something new. The getaway should have been their time to plan and decide. When their Mamas join them to help decorate the new cabin, it seems that they can finally relax. But trouble is never far away when it comes to Mel and Dana. When an unexpected and dangerous situation arises, their plans are put on hold, and they become embroiled in something that puts everyone in peril.

I love this series and have been looking forward to ‘Tennessee Bound’. It did not disappoint. The story is exciting and full of mystery. It’s a very different kind of situation for the pair and kept me glued to the page. I really liked the setting too. Seeing them outside of their usual locale gave an extra element to the book. The story was full of surprises, but it always kept the feeling of a Morelville mystery. I especially liked the Mamas being involved more. They make a great pair and work well together. Chloe is a go-getter and has the ability to shock not just Faye, but the reader too. Faye, Mel’s mom is more buttoned-up and opinionated, but she is also very loving and willing to listen and adapt. We got to see a different side of Mel and that was very interesting. It told me that there are many more stories possible in this series – and that makes me very happy. I loved it.

I was given an Arc for review.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Morelville-Mysteries-Books-9-12-Collection-ebook/dp/B0875XWDJR/

https://www.amazon.com/Morelville-Mysteries-Books-9-12-Collection-ebook/dp/B0875XWDJR/

Review of ‘The Panty Thief’ by Annette Mori

‘The Panty Thief’ is told with Annette Mori’s trademark quirky humour – but there’s a serious side too. And that’s her standout skill as a writer. She manages to make us laugh one minute, then finds a way to make us think the next. 

Joey and Sabrina are neighbours who become study buddies. But it’s clear from day one that they both want more. Heavy workloads, friends with major problems and a reluctance to commit conspire to keep that on hold. Will the pair ever find time for themselves – and will they see that all work and no play is no fun at all?

I enjoyed spending time with Joey and Sabrina and hoped that they would get their happily ever after story. Stealing panties was the light relief in this story that tackled a pretty serious issue too. Throughout it all was the attraction between them, an undercurrent of fizzing passion that they struggled to keep under control. Joey seemed to be a wise-cracking joker at the start, but there was a lot more to her character. I liked seeing how she grew, and how she began to see what was really important in her life. Sabrina was just as dedicated to her studies as Joey, but she found a way to attend to the other tings life threw at her, without neglecting them. Joey was a good influence on her as she allowed her to loosen up a bit – especially regarding those infamous panties! I really enjoyed ‘The Panty Thief’. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Uprooting’ by Suzie Carr

‘Uprooting’by Suzie Carr is moving and emotional and above all, thought-provoking. It is the kind of book that makes the reader take stock, re-evaluate. I really enjoyed it. Harper Ray has had a difficult start in life, and it’s amazing that she has managed to keep control and become a functioning adult. Some very good friends have helped with that too. She worries about her sister though, and moving back to her home town to help Tess is what she feels compelled to do. But she never gives up on her dream of being a musician, and meeting Ivy might help her do that, even in a small way. Ivy is a life coach and green witch. She’s had a blessed life, unlike Harper, and wants to help the gorgeous musician any way she can. She’s kind and thoughtful and has great empathy. She’s exactly what Harper needs. Will she be able to help Harper heal – and at the same time bring some closure to a painful part of her own life?

Suzie Carr has a very mellow style, one that makes the reader feel relaxed. Through Ivy we begin to see problems in a different way. We begin to believe that there is an answer, if we are open to it. Harper and Ivy’s story is one of attraction and joyful friendship. When it becomes more it feels right. But the novel is about a whole group of people and how the interaction between them brings healing. Ivy is the catalyst. This book is exactly what I needed to read at this time, when family and friends are apart and we crave contact with our loved ones. A lovely story.

I was given this ARC to review.

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.

Lesfic Bard Awards Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Lesfic Bard Awards. I was delighted see such an amazing list of Lesfic authors honoured in this year’s awards. I’ve had the pleasure of reading many of these books over the past year and hope that their success in the awards will point more WLW readers in their direction.

In the Fantasy Section the winner was Alison Naomi Holt for ‘Duchess Rampant’. The Mystery Section was won by Anne Hagan for her fantastic story ‘Steel City Confidential’. Annette Mori won the Romance Award for ‘A Window To Love’, one of my favourites of last year. Elle Hyden won for Best Cover, for her debut novel ‘Lost & Found’. Iza Moreau won the Young Adult section for ‘Tank Baby’, and Jane Alden won the Fiction section with ‘Jobyna’s Blues’, a wonderful story told over two time periods, with a starring role for one of our favourite lesbian stars of the 60s. K Aten won in the Drama category for her powerful story, ‘Burn it Down’. Karen D Badger won two awards – the historical section and the Action Adventure category for ‘Over the Crescent Moon’. Madeleine Taylor scooped the erotica prize for ‘The Good Girl’. McGee Matthews won the New Author award for ‘Moving Violations’ and Rachel Ford took the Science Fiction award for ‘Black Flag: Safe Passage’.