Review of ‘Meant To Be Me’ by Wendy Hudson

‘Meant To Be Me’  is a heart-thumping, nerve-jangling, suspense story that had me glued to the page. Inverness-based engineer Darcy has a stalker and finds it hard to let her guard down, even for a second. Her loyal best friend Anja is always on hand with support and work keeps her sane. When she literally bumps into an early morning jogger, Eilidh, she dares to hope that things may be looking up for her. Will the two women ever be able to find a way to get together? Circumstances and interference conspire to put stumbling blocks in their way. But there is much more to it than that.

I have read Wendy Hudson’s first two novels and found them seriously impressive. But I believe this is her best so far. She knows just how to ramp up the tension and this story had a psychological suspense element that had me on the edge of my seat. Just when I thought I knew where it was going I was surprised again and again. It was scary, perfectly pitched and did not let up. The baddie in the mix was so plausible and I wanted to scream out to Darcy. ‘Meant To Be Me’ is beautifully written and one that I can see me re-reading. Highly recommended.

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Review of ‘At Last’ by J.M. Dragon

I enjoyed this sweet and inspiring story of a town coming together to try to save the company that keeps them all afloat. Love stories abound in ‘At Last’ and I was especially enamoured by one in particular. Perfume company owner Gene has yet to find the love of her life – but if she opened her eyes she would see love was there in front of her all along. Outsider Quinn comes to town to try and sort out supply problems for her employers – but ends up finding out more about herself. I think the town of Grady had quite an impact on those choosing to spend time there. Powerful circumstances made people reassess their lives. Love, family, romance and loyalty were the themes that drew me into this story.  I felt myself rooting for the characters – be it in their love lives or in business. An enjoyable read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Running From Forever’ by K Aten

Wow! The heat was positively sizzling off the page. ‘Running From Forever’ has to be one of the hottest, most intensely erotic books I have ever read. The story of commitment-phobic singer Sarah and mysterious club-owner Keller is also a brilliant tale of love, longing and emotional fervour. It is an urban fantasy that veers very much into other genres – but it would be giving away too much to say which. I was completely bowled over by the slowly, skilfully built up story and it just got better and better as it went on. The relationship between Sarah and Keller was complicated – and the issue causing them problems was one that Sarah had to take her time coming to terms with. Her sister Annie was her rock and the interaction between the sisters was powerful and loving. Sarah’s bond with her was forged through tragedy and it was a major factor in every decision she had to make. But it was the chemistry between the two main characters that really gripped me. The sex was off-the-scale and one particular scene was so wonderfully envisaged that a cold shower will be in order after reading it. This is the first book I have read by K Aten, but it certainly will not be the last. I love her style and her skill at getting inside the minds of her characters. I can highly recommend ‘Running From Forever’.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Crossing Over’ by Karen Klyne

I so enjoyed book one in this series, ‘Parallel Lives’, and have been eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Crossing Over’. I was certainly not disappointed. Kaitlin and Tannus are now lovers and are expecting a baby. They decide to cross back to Kailtin’s home world and to her family in Cheshire. How will her parents and brother react to her fantastical story? How will Tannus and Carray react to a world so very different from their own. 

Seeing our world through the eyes of two people from a simpler, more cut-off existence was very interesting. It was also fascinating looking at romantic relationships from Carray’s point of view, as she was heterosexual and lived in a completely lesbian society at home. A clever device that made me think. I worried about Kaitlin’s father and brother as she had been far from complementary about them in the first book. Would they surprise me? The issue of Tannus’s illness was always there in the background and I lived in hope that a cure could be found. There was so much riding on the year they planned to live in our world and it made the story very emotional and compelling.

By the end I knew that I wanted more from this series. In a good way. I will be counting the days until book three comes out. I have grown to love these characters and want to find out what happens next. How will the characters from each world interact? A highly enjoyable story. 

I received an ARC of this book from Global Wordsmiths in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A Lesfic Bookworm’s Trip to Wigtown!

In Reading Lasses Bookshop

I have just spent the most wonderful weekend in Wigtown, Scotland’s very own Booktown. Situated in the south-west of Scotland, in Dumfries and Galloway, it boasts thirteen bookshops. Yes thirteen bookshops! I have been keen to go for a long time and was not disappointed. Some of the bookshops are also cafes and restaurants. The Airbnb I stayed in, The Glaisnock, had a vegetarian cafe attached, a reading room with shelves and shelves of books and books in the rooms. The bistro we had dinner in was a lesfic heaven. The Green Room is a fairly new restaurant, lesbian-owned, and had the largest selection of lesfic books I have every seen in one place. It is to be found in Bank Street, on the site of an old hotel and garden nursery. You have to be eagle-eyed to spot it, but believe me, it is well worth a visit. The food was fantastic, the owners super-friendly and you will have the chance to browse the shelves of books from every lesfic publisher imaginable. I bought six there but could have bought a hundred if I’d had room in my case for them!

My purchases from The Green Room
The shelves of The Green Room

Reading Lasses was an other wonderful cafe/bookshop with the best soup I’ve ever tasted – and a great selection of lesbian fiction too.

After leaving Wigtown we took a drive west to Portpatrick, a quaint coastal village. It is the most picturesque place imaginable and well worth checking out if you are in the area.

Review of ‘You’re My Kind’ by Clare Lydon

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.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Wild Rides: And Other Lesbian Erotic Adventures’ by Sacchi Green

Sacchi Green at her erotic best! The main thing I took away from this collection was the sheer high quality of the writing. Sacchi Green shows us that erotica can be skilfully and beautifully written. Her stories are imaginative, perceptive and varied. The sex is intensely erotic and the hottest one can imagine. She can surprise the reader, take them places they did not dare imagine. I especially enjoyed ‘Carved in Stone’, a prison story that slowly built to a highly-charged sexual encounter that was off-the-scale. ‘Jessebel’ intrigued and surprised me and was filled was such longing. ‘Gargoyle Lovers’ set in Paris was a fantastically frantic and desperate sexual encounter in a new place for lovers who know each other so well. I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology – but I wouldn’t expect anything else from Sacchi Green

I was given this ARC for review. 

Review of ‘Wooing the Farmer’ by Jenny Frame

This is the book we Axedale fanatics have been waiting for. At last Quade gets a chance at love – but the woman she has set her sights on is not going to be easy to persuade. Penelope Huntingdon-Stewart is a famous food blogger and member of one of the most famous families in Britain. She retreats to Axedale after an embarrassing and traumatising incident and is in no mood for romance. Can Quade get past that frosty exterior and win the heart of the fair maiden? 

We’ve known for a long time that Quade wanted to settle down with the woman of her dreams, but she thinks no-one would want to be a farmer’s wife. She has no idea just how gorgeous she is or how appealing the rugged butch farmer vibe is. I loved seeing a new side to Quade, and the protective and caring side of her nature really came out. I also really appreciated Quade and Penny’s story interweaving with that of Harry and Annie and of Bridge and Finn. Penny is the polar opposite of Quade and that is why it worked so well. Penny’s secrets made her hold Quade at arms’s length but when the wooing started it was sweet and tender. But hey, this is a Jenny Frame book, so there were also the most delicious hot and sexy scenes that we have come to expect.

Jenny Frame writes the most amazing characters and this whole series is a masterpiece. But where she excels is in writing butch lesbians. Quade is the ultimate butch and she is a dream. I can’t imagine anyone being able to resist falling in love with this particular ‘Sexy Farmer’. Every time I read a Jenny Frame book I think it’s the best ever, but time and again she surprises me. She has surpassed herself with ‘Wooing the Farmer’. 

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books to review.

Review of ‘Major Surgery’ by Lola Keeley

I think it was the exceptionally desirable characters in ‘Major Surgery’ that first grabbed my attention. Veronica appears to be a bit aloof and the classic Ice Queen, but appearances can be deceptive. Army medic Cassie makes quite an impression from the get-go. She is determined, unconventional and very, very hot. The London teaching hospital setting was perfect. It gave us a chance to wander the capital’s streets, which were recognisable and familiar and an integral part of the story.

Lola Keeley impressed me with her previous novel, ‘The Music and the Mirror’, so I was looking forward to this new one. She did not disappoint. She writes of small, seemingly insignificant looks and glances that could be missed, except we know what they mean. When Veronica can’t keep her eyes off Cassie we know why. The slow build-up was perfect – the sexual tension at some points was palpable. I couldn’t get enough. ‘Major Surgery’ is the kind of story of that will have you cheering . Wonderful !❤️❤️

I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing for review.

Review of ‘The Scandal’ by Mari Hannah

‘The Scandal’ is a gripping story from the start, as a terrified woman flees for her life, frantically trying to evade her pursuer. I could feel her fear. But it is the investigation into another death that impacts DS Frankie Oliver and she finds herself in conflict with her boss, DI David Stone. The realism, be it of story, character or setting, really struck me.

Mari Hannah captures the emotions of her characters with such insight and precision. I appreciated that the police never lost sight of the victims and their families. I also can’t get enough of the North East as described in Ms Hannah’s novels. She moves from the beauty of the Northumberland countryside to the modern, vibrant city of Newcastle. This is the first of the Stone and Oliver series that I’ve read but I was so impressed that I’ll have to go and read the other two. An excellent read and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review by Netgalley and Orion.