‘Silk and Leather’, edited by Victoria Villasenor will be released tomorrow, and I have a very special reason to be excited about that. My story ‘Taking A Leap’ was accepted for the anthology and I can’t wait to see it in print. I have fulfilled one of my dreams – being published by Bold Strokes Books. I can’t thank Victoria and the whole team enough. They have made it a wonderful experience and one I will treasure. I hope that you enjoy reading my story.
Victoria Villasenor has brought together some of the most well-known and respected authors in the world of lesbian fiction in this anthology. It will be available from Bold Strokes Books on the 1st April here:
Superheroes, hot federal agents and an evil baddie mixed together to make a funny, exciting and empowering new novel from A.L. Brooks. ‘Never Too Late For Heroes’ is the story of Agent Geena Fox, an agent just waiting for retirement, and her involvement with a group of very special old ladies in a care home in Missouri. When Agent Fox is assigned a new young partner, she is surprised when Leigh Walker comes back from a routine missing persons case with an unexpected and welcome piece of information. Information that will lead her on a dangerous path back to some old friends and a foe that refuses to go away.
The characters were engaging and full of surprises. Although Geena Fox had a tendency towards gruffness and irritability, she was actually a principled woman, with an important job and a big secret. I liked seeing the vulnerable side of her and the change in her behaviour when she was around one particular person. Her formidable reputation was well-deserved, but there was so much more to her. Her new partner, Leigh, was nervous and unsure at first, but she had steel and as her confidence grew, she really shone. The romantic element of this story was very sweet, especially with Agent Walker and the object of her affection. My favourite characters though were the Powers. Those older ladies were adorable and feisty and hilarious. The mix of personalities worked so well. When the adventure kicked into gear it really held my attention. I loved it.
‘The Trophy Wives Club’ by Ali Spooner is a fun, sexy and empowering read. Lindy Fremont decides that the women of Atlanta need a very special type of club all to themselves. One where they’ll get a great workout in more ways than one. She recruits the woman who has been giving her the most wonderful massages every week for the past few years – and leaves it to her to staff it with a few of her friends. One of them is Luna, a hot stud who Marley is attracted to, but would never let her know. She’s the settling down type and Luna appears to be all for a good time and no commitment. Will that change as they spend more time together setting up the club?
Now, when I realised what kind of club this was I wasn’t sure what to think. But Ali Spooner allayed my fears. The women do what they do because they want to. It’s all about women and they are always in control. It’s respectful. Within a few pages I knew this was a fantastic idea for a book, and the more I read, the more convinced I was. It is light-hearted and very hot and steamy. I really enjoyed it and was happy to find that this is part of a series – and one of my favourite authors, Annette Mori is writing the next one.
I’ve published my short story ‘The Woman By The River’ and it is free on Amazon and all other ebook outlets. It is a prequel to a forthcoming novella set on the west coast of Scotland, where you will find out more about the mysterious woman and her life. I hope you will click on the link below and read all about Gillian.
‘The Pet Boutique’ is a heart-warming, romantic and healing story that left me with a happy feeling. It is the first novel I’ve read by Suzie Carr and won’t be the last. The author really sees people and what makes them tick. She brings this understanding to her writing and I found myself loving the story more and more as it progressed.
Taylor is a successful author with a serious case of writer’s block. When her friend Maya suggests she help renovate a store with her, it seems this might be the distraction she needs. Maya’s niece Lexie, another helper in the quest to open a Pet Boutique, brings out something in Taylor she didn’t think possible again. Their story was slow and gentle and beautifully written. I loved the coterie of characters around the whole project – especially Lexie’s dog, Cashmere. She had a calming and steadying role and seemed to be at the centre of everything good and positive in everyone’s lives. Both Taylor and Lexie had issues from the past they had to overcome. I enjoyed finding out how they dealt with their problems. I especially appreciated the positive representation of bisexuality. An excellent story and highly recommended.
‘Love’s Portrait’ is a perfect mixture of love, romance and belonging. Molly Goode is a fine art curator in Leicester, wishing to bring more diversity to the museum where she works. Georgina Wright is an important benefactor, albeit a reluctant one. She comes across as a bit of an Ice Queen but spending time with Molly begins to thaw her cool exterior. When Georgina needs help to research a painting in her collection, Molly is instructed by her boss to take on the task.
I liked Molly from the start. She was sweet, a bit ditsy and completely unaware of how wonderful she is. She worries about saying and doing the wrong thing and I found her completely adorable. Georgina was a woman in pain, dealing with grief and hurt, and I had high hopes that Molly would be the woman to see her through that. I felt compelled to follow their story. The mystery behind the painting drew me further into the story and I loved the historical aspect of it in regard to the research on the painting. Anna Larner’s writing has a gentle beauty to it, an engaging tone throughout. Her characters feel real to me and she makes me want to know more about them. This is the second book I have read by this author and I must admit she has become a favourite of mine. A lovely story.
I was given this ARC for review by Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley.
Clare Lydon certainly played with my emotions on this one. ‘You’re My Kind’ is the story of Justine and Maddie and their road to love after splitting ten years previously. Justine has never been able to get over it and professes to hate the very mention of Maddie’s name. But when she unexpectedly turns up again on an already awful day, Justine is forced to start confronting her feelings.
Now, I was determined to hate Maddie too, on Justine’s behalf. But she crept up on me. I wanted to resist her, but I just couldn’t. I felt myself wavering and letting her in. The story was thoughtful and sad at times and really touched my heart. It was also hilariously funny and I almost spat my coffee across the room at ‘vagina cupcakes’! Clare Lydon writes romance like no other. I ached for the pair of them and when they had sex, it was so much more than that. It was everything; it was remembering and wanting and needing.
The Bristol setting was wonderful. I could picture so many of the places mentioned. The constant mention of cakes might have made me dash for the mixing bowl too! An excellent story and highly recommended.
‘Spencer’s Cove’ is a fantastical tale of witches, good and evil and ultimately love. Foster Owen, a mystery novelist with a serious case of writer’s block, is given a lifeline when a job comes up to ghost write a family memoir for Abigail Spencer. Abby has inherited her family’s mansion on the Pacific Coast and on first meeting she is a shy, frightened rabbit of a woman. When Foster starts looking into the family’s past some very interesting stories emerge and she is intrigued. Just when I thought I knew where this story was going and who everyone was, Missouri Vaun took me on a ride that totally exceeded my expectations. Seeing changes in Abby was enlightening and Foster had a lot to do with that. She was a beautifully envisaged soft butch – and who could blame Abby for being attracted to her? The novel had some amazingly strong women and a feeling of camaraderie and power that appealed to me so much. I loved the mixture of the historical research Foster was undertaking and the present day story that stemmed from it. It was a magical tale and I absolutely adored it. Highly recommended.
I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books to review.
Ollie was seriously injured during her time in the army. She now owns a craft shop and runs a crochet group in the evenings. When teacher Anna joins the group they fall into an easy friendship, but there is more. What that might be is confusing for seemingly-straight Anna. She is dating total prat Liam, a colleague. Boy, did I want her to see the light regarding that one!
I enjoyed the slow build up in this story. It was so worth it. Ollie and Annie are grown -up women, with full lives and interesting histories. It was so refreshing to read a romance between mature women. Each touch, each kiss was special and tender. It was beautifully written. We got to see how Ollie struggled with her physical problems and how that affected her confidence in pursuing a new relationship. Anna’s struggles were of a different nature – that of being attracted to a woman for the first time. I was literally ‘hooked’ on their stories.
I also really enjoyed finding out about their families. Anna’s adopted son, Timothy was on the Autistic Spectrum and I loved his way of looking at the world. His depiction was spot on. Jenn Matthews has an excellent understanding of someone with autism and I really appreciated how she put across how wonderful it can be and how rewarding it is to know someone with autism. Thank you for that Jenn.
Finally the fact that the women met through their love of crochet was fascinating. I have, like Anna, watched multiple YouTube videos to try and learn the skill, to no avail. After reading ‘Hooked On You’ I’m feeling inspired to follow Anna’s lead and join a class. An excellent first novel – I look forward to more from Ms Matthews in the future.
‘Escape to Pleasure’ is an enticing collection of erotic stories on the theme of travel. Victoria Villasenor and Sandy Lowe are skilled editors and have brought together a perfect mix of hot and steamy stories sure to please. I enjoyed all of the stories but I particularly enjoyed Aurora Rey’s ‘The Lodge’, as the cosy Winter setting contrasted so well with the heat of a very sexy story. Her characters interested me so much that I wouldn’t mind meeting them again. I also loved Brit Ryder’s ‘Mistakes Happen’. This tale of a luggage mix-up and the resulting bedroom antics was perfect. Her wickedly sexy al fresco encounter was truly sublime. But Jeannie Levig’s ‘A Fantasy Getaway’ was my favourite. It is set in a lesbian resort and is beautifully written. She ramps up the sexual tension like a pro. It is so, so well done and the heat is off the scale. I can highly recommend this anthology.