Review of ‘Guin The Emerald’ by Louisa Kelley

‘Guin The Emerald’ is the second in the Shift Series by Louisa Kelley, and is even better than the first. Guin leads a team cleaning up the mess left behind when the world, and specifically Portland, became aware of the existence of dragons. Miriam is back as the only human who knows the real story. But can she be trusted? And why is Cellie compelled to seek out the answer to a very strange mystery?

I loved finding it more about the Draca and their magic.  Their world opened up more and I couldn’t get enough. The developing attraction between Guin and Miriam was especially welcome. It was surprisingly tender and passionate . The story had adventure and mystery and fascinating insights into the lives of the Draca and their connection to Earth. There was a little ‘Easter Egg’ for fans of sapphic fiction too. You’ll know it when you see it. 

The book had a lovely family feeling and made me wish for more in the future.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Under Her Influence’ by Amanda Radley

‘Under Her Influence’ by Amanda Radley is a sweet love story and leaves the reader feeling happy and contented. And that’s exactly what I want from a romance these days. Ms Radley keeps angst to a minimum and lets her readers enjoy the blossoming of love between her characters. Beth Fraser runs Fraser Park, a theme park in Scotland, where she takes the brunt of the responsibility and decision-making, whilst her brother apparently skates through life without a care in the world. When social media influencer, Jemma Johnson comes to the park to check out all it has to offer, Beth is perplexed. What is an influencer? She barely knows what Instagram is, so the idea that hundreds of thousands of people would follow Jemma on her travels around the world is beyond her. But as a hostile board threatens everything Beth has worked for, she realises that the park needs new ways of attracting customers. 

I loved this story, as it was gentle and endearing, with two main characters I could really get to know. Beth was determined and focused and worked non-stop. In her way Jemma was the same. But the way they chose to deal with life was completely different, and bringing them together worked so well. It was a fee-good love story, with wonderful descriptions of the park. So wonderful that I want to go to Fraser Park. Tell me its a real place please Amanda Radley!

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead’ by Emily Austin

Emily Austin had me in stitches at Gilda’s predicaments one moment, then weeping the next. This insightful and poignant book is one I will never forget. As Gilda obsesses and overthinks her way through life, I could not help but feel her every emotion, be it dread, anxiety or fear. But it was her attempts to pass as a devout Catholic that had me roaring with laughter. This wonderful book took me into the mind of a woman struggling with her mental health and made me really feel everything she felt. A stunning debut.

I was given this ARC by LoveReading to review.

Review of ‘Do You Know Dorothy?’ by Vanda

‘Do You Know Dorothy?’ is part of a series, following the lives and loves of gay people in New York City in the fifties. We follow Al Huffman as she builds on her career and tries to save the night club she helps run with her friend Max. She still pines for her soul mate Juliana, but here she learns more about the secret world of lesbians and gay men in that era. She also finds out things about herself and how she feels comfortable as a lesbian. Not that following the ‘rules’ comes easy. 

The story was interesting from a historical perspective, in that we find out how gay people lived, and how they were treated. The fight for equal rights was in its infancy, and in this novel Vanda explores the movement through her characters. Attitudes were different, even between one minority group and another. Although there is some romance in the story, I get the feeling this will be explored more fully in the next book in the series. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Lying With Lions’ by Annabel Fielding

‘Lying With Lions’ is a historical family saga, starting in the Edwardian era. Agnes Ashford is an archivist for the Bryant family, an important and influential family, thanks in part to the money from Lady Helen’s dowry. Whilst combing through the family’s papers she uncovers a secret.  With this information she becomes invaluable to Lady Helen and her life changes for the better.  But in order to hold onto that life Agnes must make uncomfortable choices. 

I enjoyed reading about Agnes and her life, in a time where single women without family had difficult choices to make to survive. We see how society changes during the Edwardian era and into the new era of George V. The family Agnes works for has to change too. Their lives have been pampered and regimented for centuries, but the new era begins to break down the barriers between the classes. And the Bryants and Davenports were not prepared for that. The romantic elements of the story were handed well, as they were written with subtlety and a gentle touch. There’s a gothic touch to the story too and this added an extra element.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘In Our Words’ edited by Victoria Villasenor

‘In Our Words’ is a wonderful anthology of queer stories from black, indigenous and people of colour writers. The selection by Anne Shade is inspired and I loved reading such a variety of well-written stories. I now have some authors, new to me, that I feel compelled to seek out for my next book purchases. Although I enjoyed them all, there are a few stories that took my breath away.

My favourite was ‘Granddaughter of the Dragon’ by Brey Willows. It was a beautiful story of family, love and freedom. Freedom to be who you are and embrace it. Willows is a masterful storyteller, and manages to take the reader to places where anything is possible.

I also loved ‘Sweet Potato’ by Briana Lawrence. The author used imagery and language with such skill that I could see, touch and taste everything her characters did. I certainly want to read more from this particular author in the future.

‘Art Appreciation’ by La Toya Hankins was an empowering story, with a message of hope. I enjoyed the interaction between the two main characters and appreciated how the author developed the characters over the course of a short story.

‘The Depth of Love’ by Anne Shade was an emotional story, with a twist of mythology thrown in. It was a feel-good tale with romance and left me smiling. I would love to know more about the particular mythology she explored in a novel.

This is an excellent anthology, with something for everyone.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Origins’ by Jen Jensen

Jamis Bachman is a ghost hunter, and in this second mystery she finds herself in Arizona trying to help out the new owners of an old house in the desert. Scary apparitions appear each night, but there may be more to it than unhappy spirits. With the help of her friends, she must find out what the ghost wants, before it’s too late.

This is a creepy, scary story, with plenty of twists and turns. Behind it all there are some fascinating historical details, and characters who kept me turning the page. If you’re up for a few frights and like a well-written mystery, then this is the book for you.

I was given this ARC to review.

Lesfic Bard Awards Winners 2020

Lesfic Bard Awards 2020

The results are in for the 2020 Lesfic Bard Awards. This amazing line up of winners again shows the quality and diversity of writing in Lesfic. Congratulations to all of the winners.

Lesfic Bard Awards 2020 WINNERS:

Action Adventure

Julie Tizard

Flight to the Horizon

Airline Captain Kerri Sullivan has a perfect life. Only one thing is missing―a woman to share it with. She’s had plenty of women on the road to success, but she’s never met “the one.” Flight attendant Janine Case is beautiful beyond measure, but comes across as aloof and untouchable. When Kerri and Janine are crewmembers on a flight to Hawaii, an unexpected kiss leads to smoldering attraction.


After Kerri is forced to make an emergency water landing mid-flight and the two women survive a harrowing rescue mission, all Kerri wants to do is follow her heart into Janine’s arms. But Jeanine is hiding a dark secret from her past, one that makes falling in love impossible. She’s on the run from her abusive ex-husband, and she’ll stop at nothing to protect her daughter, even if the cost is her own happiness.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Horizon-Julie-Tizard-ebook/dp/B082VBJW24

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Horizon-Julie-Tizard/dp/1635553318

Drama

Ellen Hoil

Traumatic Love

Dr. Nydia Rogers was stripped of her future long before she had one, she now lives day to day. Her life focused on being a trauma doctor and saving others, not herself. Jo Powers, a cop doing her best to make a difference, is a survivor of domestic violence because of someone she thought was her protector. Chance brings them together, but will real life keep them apart?For the first time in her life, Jo will use every bit of charm and romance to gain the trust of Nydia to soothe both their wounds. Will it be enough to win the heart of the emotionally scarred doctor? Traumatic Love includes themes of surviving domestic violence, abuse, and bullying and is recommended for mature readers.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Traumatic-Love-Ellen-Hoil-ebook/dp/B08DDHZGGX

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Traumatic-Love-Ellen-Hoil/dp/1948327708

Erotica

TJ Dallas

Pride and the Stranger

Pride and the Stranger, book 2 in the Pride Trilogy, is a lesbian *erotica novel featuring the Seven Deadly Sins. This sequel follows on from The Bartender’s Pride.

The Sins are back in this highly anticipated second installment of the Pride trilogy.

Sexy meets romantic as Lara and Zoe take their relationship to the next level. Unfortunately, our sinful women aren’t so lucky.

A weekend in Brighton turns dark after a horrific truth is uncovered that will change Harry’s life forever, forcing her to make a heartbreaking decision that could tear her and Althea apart. Faced with an impossible choice, nothing will ever be the same again.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Pride-Stranger-Book-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B08H2JKHBM

Fantasy

LC Mawson

Basics of Spellcraft

BASICS OF SPELLCRAFT is the first book in the Ember Academy for Young Witches YA Urban Fantasy Academy series. If you love kick-ass heroines, Sapphic slow-burn romances, and magical boarding schools, you’ll love this latest fast-paced series in L.C. Mawson’s Snowverse.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Basics-Spellcraft-Ember-Academy-Witches-ebook/dp/B082853L1Z

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Basics-Spellcraft-Ember-Academy-Witches/dp/B08KH3RY3Z

Fiction

Ellen Hoil

Traumatic Love

Dr. Nydia Rogers was stripped of her future long before she had one, she now lives day to day. Her life focused on being a trauma doctor and saving others, not herself. Jo Powers, a cop doing her best to make a difference, is a survivor of domestic violence because of someone she thought was her protector. Chance brings them together, but will real life keep them apart?For the first time in her life, Jo will use every bit of charm and romance to gain the trust of Nydia to soothe both their wounds. Will it be enough to win the heart of the emotionally scarred doctor? Traumatic Love includes themes of surviving domestic violence, abuse, and bullying and is recommended for mature readers.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Traumatic-Love-Ellen-Hoil-ebook/dp/B08DDHZGGX

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Traumatic-Love-Ellen-Hoil/dp/1948327708

Historical

Edale Lane

Chaos in Milan

Three powerful merchants, two independent women in love, one masked vigilante.

Love blooms between Florentina and Maddie, but Florentina’s role as the vigilante Night Flyer could lead to her death and Maddie’s broken heart.

Florentina, set on revenge for her father’s murder, creates an alter-ego known as the Night Flyer. Madelena, whose husband was also murdered, hires Florentina as a tutor for her children and love blossoms between them. However, Florentina’s vendetta is fraught with danger, and surprising developments threaten both women’s lives.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Milan-Three-Night-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B08Q7H6DFX

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Milan-Three-Night-Trilogy/dp/B08PXK13B3

Mystery

Alexi Venice

Stand By Counsel, A Monica Spade Novel

Monica Spade insists she isn’t a trial lawyer, much less one who represents dangerous criminals. Despite her protests, Judge O’Brien orders Monica to serve as standby counsel for a young woman accused of repeatedly stabbing her boyfriend


Setting aside her abject fear, Monica drags herself to the jail to meet her new client, Stela Reiter. A demure Romanian, Stela looks more like a meek librarian than a person capable of overpowering and stabbing a young man to death. Unlike Monica’s other clients, Stela is coy and secretive during their interview.

Meanwhile, Monica’s girlfriend, Shelby St. Claire, is keeping secrets of her own, forcing Monica to question the foundation of their relationship. Cursed with intrepid curiosity, Monica digs into the backgrounds of both women.


Monica uncovers sexual innuendo and layers of international intrigue. Stuck between an unrelenting judge and a killer in a pink cardigan, Monica pursues the truth in court while fighting to keep Shelby and herself out of harm’s way.


Set in in the dead of winter in surprisingly progressive Apple Grove, Wisconsin, Standby Counsel will keep readers’ hearts racing.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FRHX7W1

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Standby-Counsel-Monica-Spade-Novel/dp/1456635425

New Author

Maggie McIntyre

Isabels Healing

Do opposites attract? Well, perhaps not always Dynamic and driven, charity director Bel Bridgford planned to write a ground-breaking book on Climate Change until a ten ton truck smashed into her little car and destroyed it, almost killing her in the process. She retreats with her broken bones to a remote cottage in Wales and is forced to hire a personal caregiver for a long summer of recovery and rehabilitation. The young woman who answers the advert is Bryony Morris, a final year medical student from London, clever, cautious, and used to hiding her feelings. Thrown together and alone for most of the time, the two women move on from initial dislike to explore their complicated relationship as they work together on the book. But Bel is still heart-broken after the murder of her fiancée two years before, and Bryony is focused on how to split up from her boyfriend without losing his friendship. As the sparks fly and then turn into an ever more fiercely burning fire of sexual attraction, can either of them survive the summer without breaking the other’s heart? This is a contemporary, passionate story about real women exploring what it truly means to fall in love.

E-Book:https://smile.amazon.com/Isabels-Healing-contemporary-Lesbian-Friends-ebook/dp/B08B3YVH8W

Paperback: https://smile.amazon.com/Isabels-Healing-Isabel-Friends-McIntyre/dp/B08B33T3YJ

Romance

KJ Lesfic

Art of Magic

A story where a touch of love and a slice of life creates a whole lot of magic.


Cath Monroe loves her teaching job, her friends, her family, and her colleagues. They fill her life and her heart. She knows that it’s important to share love with actions and words, but that last one? About the words? That’s a problem. Because when it comes to saying ‘I love you’ to her forever person, Cath discovers that she doesn’t really know anything about love at all.


Then, Rica Diamandis strolls into her life. Rica is all stardust and sexy, and Cath is intrigued. The sudden availability of a romantic blank canvas takes Cath’s breath away. But when her father is taken to hospital with a life-threatening disease, Cath boxes up the romance with Rica, and packs it into the back of her heart. Fortunately, the Universe has other ideas and Cath begins to realise that embracing emotional chaos is actually the art that creates the magic.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Magic-K-J-ebook/dp/B08DM3WVN1

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Magic-K-J/dp/B08DDT1ZXM

Science Fiction

K. Aten

Remember me, Synthetica

What happens when a woman loses her memory but gains a conscience?

Dr. Alexandra Turing is a roboticist whose intellect is unrivaled in the field of artificial intelligence. While science has always come easy, Alexandra struggles to understand emotional cues and responses. Driven by the legacy of her late great-uncle, she dedicates her life to the Synthetica project at her father’s company, Organic Advancement Solutions (OAS).​

Her life is rebooted when she wakes from a coma, six months after being struck by a car. Traumatic brain injury altered Alex’s senses, her memory, and her personality. Despite the changes, she feels reborn as she navigates her way back into her old life. Part of her new journey includes dating the alluring Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Emily St. John.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Remember-Me-Synthetica-K-Aten-ebook/dp/B088RMSK1M

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Remember-Me-Synthetica-K-Aten/dp/1619294427

Cover

Julie Tizard

Flight to the Horizon

Airline Captain Kerri Sullivan has a perfect life. Only one thing is missing―a woman to share it with. She’s had plenty of women on the road to success, but she’s never met “the one.” Flight attendant Janine Case is beautiful beyond measure, but comes across as aloof and untouchable. When Kerri and Janine are crewmembers on a flight to Hawaii, an unexpected kiss leads to smoldering attraction.

After Kerri is forced to make an emergency water landing mid-flight and the two women survive a harrowing rescue mission, all Kerri wants to do is follow her heart into Janine’s arms. But Jeanine is hiding a dark secret from her past, one that makes falling in love impossible. She’s on the run from her abusive ex-husband, and she’ll stop at nothing to protect her daughter, even if the cost is her own happiness.

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Horizon-Julie-Tizard-ebook/dp/B082VBJW24

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Flight-Horizon-Julie-Tizard/dp/1635553318

Winner Erotica Novella:

Erotica

Lyra Hart

Tutor: A First Time Lesbian Romance

My best friend wants to teach me a lesson…
Three years ago, my ex-boyfriend dumped me when he realised that I couldn’t quite ‘get there’ in the bedroom–no matter how hard he tried.

Ever since then, I’ve been too ashamed to date again. I feel broken. Defective.

Now I’m at university, and my best friend Rachel, lesbian hockey star and self-described lady’s woman, has decided to help build my confidence by giving me some ‘private tutoring’. In bed.

She’s convinced that with a bit of hands-on demonstration, she’ll be able to teach me just how much I can enjoy myself between the sheets.

It sounds like the perfect solution. The only problem is, I’ve been desperately in love with Rachel from the moment I set eyes on her.

They were just meant to be lessons. Neither of us expected it to turn into something much more…

E-Book: https://www.amazon.com/Tutor-First-Time-Lesbian-Romance-ebook/dp/B08KHMTXXL

Review of ‘Keepers’ by Kelli Jae Baeli

‘Keepers’ book one in the New Harbor Witches series by Kelli Jae Baeli is a fantastic start to the series, with plenty to grab the reader’s attention. Dane and her sister have been estranged for years, after Penny fled her home town. Dane was left to look after the family bistro and their grandmother, a woman whose very presence sucked the joy out of life. When grandmother dies life changes for the women, and they become aware of a part of their inheritance that is completely unexpected. Strange things begin to happen to them both, and slowly the unexplained becomes clear. How will Dane and Penny cope with their new reality – and how do those around them fit in? 

I felt invested in Dane and Penny’s story from the start and couldn’t put the book down. It’s an excellent mystery with fascinating characters, set in a world the reader can believe in. It’s also very funny and sexy and downright addictive. It left me wanting a whole lot more, so I’ll be reading book 2, ‘Ravens’, ASAP. 

Review of ‘A Woman To Treasure’ by Ali Vali

‘A Woman to Treasure’ is a cracker of a story. It’s an adventure, a mystery and a love story all rolled into one. Levi Montbard has loved history her whole life, and goes all over the world in search of antiquities. Her fascination with the Templars is particularly important, and when some writings come into her possession, the adventure really begins. Yasmine Hassani is a university professor, with a special interest in women’s studies. She’s an unusual woman in her culture, as she has so far resisted the expected marriage and children route. When she becomes aware of Levi’s quest she has to decide to take a leap, in more ways than one. 

Ali Vali has written a wonderful mystery, with well-researched historical detail and a heart-warming romance at its core. It has beautiful settings  in various parts of the world, with a fantastic group of characters. I particularly loved Louisiana and Morocco, and getting to know Levi and Yasmine’s families there. The story was brilliantly plotted, with stories and revelations that made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. The romance was sweet and endearing and gave me such feelings of joy when they as much as held hands. It was lovely to see the characters grow and change as they got to know each other, becoming who they were meant to be. An excellent book and one I can highly recommend. 

I was given this ARC to review.