Review of ‘The Second Wave’by Jean Copeland

The Second Wave

Jean Copeland has written a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story that flits between the 1970s and present day.  Leslie and Alice became friends at work but over time they became so much more to each other. Alice, a divorcee, introduces housewife and mother Leslie to her feminist crochet club and to a different kind of love.  What starts as an education into the new feminist thinking of the 70s becomes for Leslie the most important relationship of her life and one she can’t ever forget, however hard she tries.  When Leslie has a stroke at the age of 69, her daughter contacts her old friend Alice as that is the only word Leslie keeps repeating in her unconscious state.  As Alice remembers their affair, we find out exactly how much they loved each other, but also how difficult it was to be in a lesbian relationship back then.  Women had to put up with lecherous men refusing to believe that a woman might legitimately not be attracted to them! The big worry for Leslie though was the fact that she might lose her kids if anyone found out about them.  I loved the way the author let us see how all-consuming the relationship had been and then the affect it still had on them in the present day.  This is an emotional story with great characters and a poignant insight into the lives of women in the recent past.  Highly recommended.
I was given this ARC free by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Heart Trouble’ by Jae

Heart Trouble

I absolutely adored this book and found it to be deeply emotional, extremely romantic and one that really had me by the heart strings.  Laleh comes into contact with Hope when she is rushed into ER with a heart problem but nothing could prepare either of them for the connection between them that results.  Without giving too much away, they become bonded to each other in a very unusual way and start to feel things that neither imagined was possible.  I loved Laleh as she was so contented, kind and part of a very loving family.  She brought all of this to the relationship and helped Hope change and feel open to emotions and being with another person completely.  I found the descriptions of Laleh’s family really interesting and the Persian food, language and traditions was fascinating.  Also bringing in characters from Jae’s other books in the Hollywood series was a winner with me.  Jill and Crash are great characters and certainly added to this story.  The love scenes were really intense and beautiful and made it all the more emotional.  I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

 

I was given this ARC free by Ylva in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Catch to Release’ by Lacey Schmidt

Catch to Release

Addison heads a private security firm used to protecting diplomats and politicians.  Shay is a lesbian folk musician who needs her protection but is reluctant to take it.  Threats keep coming in and when her family is affected she has to agree to Addison’s help.  I enjoyed this tense thriller and it certainly kept me wondering right until the end.  How Addison and her team dealt with their mission and how Shay slowly came to accept them made for an interesting read.  The romantic element was slowly teased out and as both women had issues to deal with before ever being able to commit to someone, it took them time.  The last portion of the book had me holding my breath, as the threats became scarier and more immediate.  I liked the two main characters a lot and found myself rooting for them.  Addison seemed so closed down at the beginning and I felt that Shay’s kind and caring personality really helped her to finally start to live again.  The people around them were well written and really made the whole group feel like a family.  A really good read and recommended for lovers of crime fiction and lesfic.

I was given this ARC free by Affinity ebook Press in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Delayed Gratification’ by Meghan O’Brien

Delayed Gratification: The Honeymoon

Willa and Rae are about to start a well earned and much looked forward to Honeymoon.  Mother nature is conspiring against them though, and their flight to Venice is cancelled and any hope of another is remote.  They set off in horrendous winter conditions towards Chicago but end up off the road and in the hands of an elderly fairy godmother, who offers them a room at her idyllic Bed and Breakfast cabin.  Willa is pretty ungrateful and grumpy as she is desperate to go on the planned honeymoon.  Rae just wants to spend time with her new wife and maybe reconnect physically as that side of their relationship has been a bit sparse of late.

I enjoyed this novella and especially liked Rae.  She was sweet and vulnerable and just wanted to be with her wife.  Willa was a bit harder to like initially. I could see why she was so annoyed but still!  The story was a lovely way to spend an afternoon on the couch with a hot chocolate.  The relationship between them was strained but the epic, marathon sex scenes that I believe Meghan O’Brien is renowned for really showed that they were meant for each other.  I’ll now have to go and read some more of her work as she has me hooked.

 

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Lands End ‘by Jackie D

Lands End

Lena has been looking after her sister Laura since their parents were killed in a robbery.   She is fiercely protective of her and when she gets into a bit of bother with a pro footballer Lena comes face to face with Pr guru Amy.  Hot, sexy and adorable Amy.  Even though she has kept her distance from women for a while and doesn’t get involved she finds herself drawn to Amy, even though the warning bells are going off.  

I enjoyed this story and seeing how Lena dealt with her growing attraction to Amy  and letting herself be happy.  Amy was wed to the job and had been for years.  Relationships were off limits and one-night stands the norm.  She struggled with some of the decisions she had to make at work and with her burning need for Lena.  I really liked both of the main characters and the author was skilled at letting us see their vulnerabilities.  The minor characters were vital in showing the women changing and as the way Jackie D gave us an insight into their motivations. This was a lovely romance and I plan to read some more of her work now.

 

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Just my Luck’ by Andrea Bramhall

Just My Luck

When Genna wins the Euromillions lottery a lot of things change for her. She realises very slowly and not without a lot of prodding that she is a really great person, worthy of love.  This was a really funny and at times heartbreaking story and I was with Genna all the way. She tries to do the right thing and sometimes people don’t appreciate it.  Other people have always loved her but she has such low self esteem she can’t see that.  She loved Abi and Abi and her daughter Rosie adored Genna.  I wanted the women to be open but old habits die hard.  Abi worried about the effect on her daughter with Down’s Syndrome and Genna was just too scared.  Andrea Bramhall writes some amazingly accurate characters and Genna’s ‘shameless’ family were spot on.  I found myself laughing out loud on several occasions at them and the ‘fat farm’ episode was hilarious.   She also writes some scorchingly hot sex scenes that leave nothing to the imagination.  This was a hit with me and well deserving of 5 stars.

I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.

The Review by Annette Mori

The Review

Having read Annette Mori’s work before I had high hopes for this latest book.  The lady does not disappoint.  The Review is a beautifully constructed romance, mystery and character study that had me hooked from page one.  Silver, a lesfic writer, holds a competition where the first person to post a review of her new book gets a home cooked dinner with her.  She knows full well it will be Jasmine, a fan who has been a great help to her as she slowly comes out of the blackness that engulfed her after the death of her wife.  I loved the tentative overtures they made to each other, how they became more to each other.  Silver’s guilt about moving on with her life was truly moving and I could understand her.  Jasmine had a complicated love life to break away from and this caused them problems too.  The lurking menace of a stalker in the background lent a real level of threat to the story and their identity kept me guessing.  The various facets of the story were woven so brilliantly and the romantic element tugged at the heart strings.  A really accomplished novel worth more than 5 stars.

Review of ‘Holding’ by Graham Norton

Sergeant PJ Collins lives and works in the sleepy Irish village of Duneen.  Sleepy and quiet until human bones are found on a building site and all sorts of long forgotten secrets come to the fore. I love the descriptions of the people and the language used in this book. It puts me right there in the village and among such expertly observed characters.   The story kept me interested and there were a few surprises.  I liked how PJ developed as a person and how the lives of those around him changed as more details from the past emerged.  I especially enjoyed Brid’s story and how she coped with her past and how it impacted on her life present day.  A lovely read and I would like more of PJ’s adventures if Mr Norton decides to keep his story going.
I was given this ARC free by Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘Courting the Countess’ by Jenny Frame

Courting the Countess

I loved loved loved this book. I didn’t expect to get so involved in the story but I couldn’t help but fall in love with Annie and Harry. Annie goes to work at a stately home and meets the new Countess, Harry, who is a gruff, cold archaeology professor at Cambridge. Harry doesn’t make it easy for Annie but over time they become more to each other than employer and employee. The sexual tension between them is crackling and I so wanted them to find a way to be together. Both have issues from their childhoods that make it extremely difficult for them to be what the other person needs but as they try to fight it they become more and more attracted to each other. Annie was a warm, kind and caring woman who could see past the hard exterior Harry showed to the rest of the world. Along with her daughter Riley she tried to help Harry leave behind her past hurt. Although Harry seemed to be uncaring she was just a wounded soul who needed someone to truly love her. I loved how the characters developed and how right they were for each other. The love scenes were beautifully written and very sexy. I found the whole book romantic and ultimately joyful and I had a lump in my throat on more than one occasion. A wonderful book that certainly stirred my emotions, I just wish I could give it more than 5 Stars.

I was given this ARC free by Netgalley and Bold Strokes in return for an honest review.

Review of ‘South of Heaven’ by Ali Spooner

31814829This book is a feel-good, grinning from ear-to-ear kind of story.  Kendra takes over her father’s shrimping business and has plans to expand.  Her dad asks her to take on the daughter of an old army buddy, Lindsey,  who needs to get away for a while and to get some experience on the boat.  They are obviously attracted to each other but it takes a while for them to realise it and to act on it.  This is a slow burner but it so much better for it.  I liked seeing them become closer and their growing attraction was sweet and quite beautiful and oh so hot!  They faced perils at sea which had a fair amount of tension and the worry of how the all-male crew would react to their relationship.  Lindsey also had to constant worry that her father wouldn’t accept her sexuality.  I loved how Ali Spooner chose to deal with it and it made me feel such warmth towards the characters.  Lindsey was kind and courageous and completely smitten by Kendra.  No-one could doubt their love when they saw the look on her face.  Kendra was capable, compassionate and utterly adorable and I’m not surprised her crew loved her.   I loved being in their world and following this oh-so romantic story.
I was given this ARC free by Affinity ebook Press in return for an honest review.