Karen Klyne knows how to write an Ice Queen. And this time she has given us an unconventional twist. Amelia Steele is, at first glance, stand-offish and very anti-social, and I was prepared to dislike her. But that didn’t last long. To me she wasn’t at all unlikeable, because I knew who she was and why she acted the way she did. Her behaviour was perfectly normal for her and I really liked her. Who says we all have to be the same?
When out walking her neighbours dog, Amelia finds herself somewhat beholden to the woman who rescues the adorable mutt, when Karma slips the lead. As someone unused to small talk or even any attempt at the social niceties, it’s hard for Amelia to know what to do. Juno Costello was warm and vivacious and full of chatter. So unlike Amelia. But opposites attract, don’t they? For some reason she sees past the social awkwardness and wants to know more about Amelia. Will Amelia let her see the woman behind the mask? I really liked Juno. She was sweet and thoughtful and the fact that she was interested enough to take time with Amelia, getting to know her, appealed to me. But it was Amelia that drew me into the story. I loved her vulnerability and her bluntness. What you see is what you get with her. I enjoyed this book and the intelligent and emotional storytelling.
‘Christmas In Mistletoe’ is exactly the kind of book we all need this Christmas. Clare Lydon takes the reader to the tiny hamlet of Mistletoe, Suffolk, and once there we enter into the most Christmassy place imaginable. I was in heaven. Every detail was steeped in the festive spirit, and I could not help but wallow in the wonderful, snowy, pine-scented wonderfulness of Mistletoe.
Ruby O’Connell’s family run a Christmas tree farm in rural Suffolk. When she’s not gigging around London, she returns to there every December to help out. Fran Bell finds herself thrown into the Christmas spirit when her parents move to Mistletoe. Bumping into Ruby was not on her radar. After a rocky start, can the pair find any common ground? Coming from opposite ends of the music business, the gap might be too wide. But there’s something to be said for the magic of Christmas.
Clare Lydon has hit the perfect note once again. ‘Christmas in Mistletoe’ takes us on a romantic journey, where passion and love jump from every page. But it is the happy, joyful and incredibly cosy feeling from the ensemble cast of characters that brings it all together into the perfect Christmas read. I loved it. This is sure to be one of my favourite re-reads of the festive season from now on.
Radclyffe made me smile again. Going back to Provincetown and to some old friends, was exactly the tonic I needed in these difficult times. As Reese Conlon and her wife Tory await a much anticipated birth, the town faces an unknown threat. Andy Champlain, a rookie cop, is working the busy summer months in Provincetown. Sometimes it seems she’s trying too hard to prove herself. But to whom? Encountering the new PA at Tory’s clinic, Laurel, certainly brightens her day, and she has no complaints when a mysterious outbreak on a berthed cruise ship keeps bringing them together.
I loved how all of the main characters were brought together to deal with the outbreak. Seeing their work and home lives mingle was fascinating. And it made the story more real. The writing is such that the reader feels an affinity to these characters. We can identify with them. Radclyffe manages to engender a feeling of belonging, of being home. I enjoyed the romantic elements immensely, but the mystery aboard the cruise ship piqued my interest even more. I love a good mystery – in this case a medical mystery. Seeing how they all coped made me think it might turn out OK for us all in the end. A fantastic read.
‘Addie Mae’ hits the sweet spot when it comes to lesbian romance. Maddy is ending an awful marriage but her husband and his family aren’t going to make it easy. How can she escape with her dignity and finances intact, when her rich in-laws have the means to make her suffer? Will she spill the beans on her unfaithful husband and his philandering ways? All that matters is the love and respect of her son. What will his reaction be?
As she adjusts to her new life, gorgeous butch Jessie appears on the scene. Can Maddy take a chance on love? Is Jessie all she seems?
It’s a well-written and engaging story, with a fascinating setting and premise. I really liked the main characters, and those around them. There was ultimately a feel-good vibe. I loved it.
If there is one book you must read this year, ‘Spirited’ is it. Viola Worth has a passion for photography, a skill taught by her father. When her photographs begin to show the unexpected and intriguing, she becomes friends with celebrated medium Harriet Blackthorne, and her life changes forever. Viola’s husband Jonah struggles with his own demons and a notoriety he feels he does not deserve. As their lives intertwine, secrets emerge that must, in the end, be faced.
The writing is beautiful and poetic and places the reader in a time and place, where rules were different and society was not ready for the truth. This is a slow-build, with a gentle style, where the casual cruelty of the Victorian era is all the more shocking. It’s about secrets and lies, about love and friendship. But also about believing the impossible and above all the enduring nature of love. My heart was bursting as I turned the final few pages. A masterpiece.
Jess can’t take any more. Everyone wants something from her and it seems like the whole world expects her to live up to an unattainable ideal. When a kind stranger takes care of her when she needs it most, her life changes. Anna has her own problems, but doesn’t hesitate to help the panicked young woman. As they hide from the world in Anna’s tiny rooftop flat, they learn about each other and themselves. Can a chance meeting spark the change that each of them needs?
‘Finding Jessica Lambert’ is an absolute joy of a book. It’s about two women who just click. Two women who know what’s its like to be on the very edge. Who know what it’s like to crave space and an escape from it all. It’s heartbreaking at times, but also beautifully romantic and sensual. It’s about meeting your soulmate. About finding the one and having the courage to be with them. It’s also about the perceptions we have of people, and how they can be way off the mark. There are so many layers to this story that I can see if being one of my favourite re-reads for years to come. I adored it.
I am delighted to announce that my new book ‘The Women And The Storm – The Tarbet Witches Series’ is out today.
Being the only witch in a small Scottish town is not easy. Especially when the love of your life is totally unaware of the fact. Gillian has been in love with her best friend, Diane, for over ten years, but has yet to pluck up the courage to tell her.
How will Diane react to Gillian’s professions of love? And more importantly, will she run for the hills when she finds out she’s a witch?
If that was not enough, strange happenings in their little town convince Gillian that there may be more to them than freak weather or coincidence. As the town fights for its survival against the onslaught of all-too-frequent storms, the women face personal battles of their own. Can their relationship survive the turmoil? Or will long-hidden secrets pull them apart?
Last year I published a short story ‘The Woman By The River’ and soon discovered that I did not want to let Gillian and Diane go just yet. Readers and reviewers asked if I was going to tell more of their story, and I found myself imagining how their relationship would develop. The short story is free on Amazon if you want to read how it all started, but you don’t have to have read it to enjoy this one.
I hope you enjoy the book. Click on the links below to take you to the Amazon pages.
‘One Golden Summer’ is a sweet romance with an idyllic English seaside setting. Kirsty McBride is almost fifty, single and owns her own wine shop. She insists she’s happy being on her own, but as the big 5-0 approaches those around her insist she would be so much happier attached. Her resistance is sorely tested when famous lesbian film star, Saffron Oliver arrives in town for the summer, in a bid to get away from the Hollywood lifestyle. Saffron has been a star for half of her life and can’t go anywhere without being noticed. She would love to blend in as a local – and maybe Sandy Cove is the place for that to happen. If she can just stop her overbearing agent exposing her whereabouts.
I loved the easy attraction between Saffron and Kirsty. They seemed to find something in each other that had eluded them with other partners. Saffron was forever on the defensive, thinking that everyone wanted something from her. But with Kirsty it was different. Or so she hoped. I liked Saffron. She might have been a big star, but she was human, just like the rest of us. She wanted to be loved for herself. And she wanted more from life than the superficiality of Hollywood. Kirsty was a woman happy in her own skin. After a painful divorce in her forties, she knew what she wanted and what made her happy. Meeting Saffron was the icing on the cake. She made her feel complete. But there was always that niggle in the back of her mind – what would a famous film star see in her?
I adored the vibe of the seaside town of Sandy Cove. It was relaxed, friendly and the perfect place for Saffron. Kirsty fitted right in. ‘One Golden Summer’ is the perfect book to put sunshine and joy in your life. Settle down in the garden, with a long cool drink and wallow in this romantic and happy story.
I absolutely love The Wallops. Gill McKnight has managed to dream up a village full of characters I can believe in and want more of. Jill is strong, caring and goes way beyond the call of duty. When her ex Renata turns up she is thrown off kilter and old feelings threaten to change the idyllic life she has made for herself. Their very complicated relationship is only part of what kept me reading till the early hours. I loved Bishop Andrew – he was such a mischievous fun character. He was such a counterpoint to the intensely annoying Colin Harper. The mystery of St Poe’s and Renata’s research raised the story to a much higher level. I am so glad that there are going to be more of these novels as the main characters Jane and Renata give me a warm fuzzy feeling. A totally involving read, well written and with scope for a series of wonderful tales.
‘The Duchess and the Dreamer’ by Jenny Frame is a lovely read. The story revolves around what happens when an optimistic dreamer meets an impoverished duchess and tries to make her see the positive side of life again. Evan Fox is bouncy and happy and sees great possibilities everywhere she goes. When she moves to a small English village with hopes of transforming it into an eco-friendly haven for LGBT people and anyone who shares her goals, she just has to get the local aristocracy on side. Clementine, Duchess of Rosebrook, now living in the gatehouse at the end of Evan’s drive, is not going to be a pushover.
I took to Evan straight away. Her infectious enthusiasm was endearing and seeing her feelings for Clem grow was sweet. I loved what she was trying to do for the village. It was admirable. Clem may have come across as a bit of an ice queen, but once we got to know her life story, it was entirely understandable. The community spirit aspect was very appealing too. I liked getting to know the villagers and those in Evan’s company trying to make a difference. I enjoyed it.