‘Breaking Character’ is the story of Ice Queen, Elizabeth, star of top rated TV hospital drama ,Choosing Hope, and her new co-star Summer. Deep in the closet Elizabeth (Bess) is a respected British theatre actress and is widely seen as aloof and a bitch. Adorable former child-star Summer sees something different. As she struggles to be taken seriously as an adult in Hollywood, she brings something new to the show and to Bess’s life.
I really liked Bess. She had so many insecurities about her career and herself and it made her all the more loveable. Summer had a great heart and a lovely way of looking at life. I wanted them to be together so much. The twists and turns they had to overcome were so satisfying. I could have cheered at quite a few points in the story. The boo-hiss villain of the story was perfectly pitched and the coterie of friends and family on both sides made this a very well rounded story. At times I felt the heartbreak and at others the passion and love was beautiful. An enchanting romantic story that had me swooning- especially the last paragraph. Perfect.
I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing to review.
‘The Doll Maker’ is a seriously impressive thriller. It is gripping, well-written and an excellent example of the genre. It deserves to get recognition and should definitely appeal to a wider audience. I can see it transferring perfectly to TV – and if Ms Highton-Stevenson continues the story into a series, it should get snapped up.
DI Sophie Whitton is on the trail of a serial killer – one who leaves macabre-looking dolls by the bodies of the victims. Her home life is a mess as she finds her relationship with her lover Yvonne becoming more and more strained. The story is disturbing and deals with unpalatable subjects. The realism is stark and the writing captures every nuance. The author has quite a turn of phrase and her descriptions of characters are so well done that I had no problem visualising exactly what she was getting at. As the story progresses the suspense is ratcheted up perfectly. I was on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed ‘The Doll Maker’ and highly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next one!
‘Hiding Hearts’ is a wonderful book, a story that captures the essence of the Civil War immediately. As a huge fan of historical novels I was delighted to find this novel and this particular author. This is my first R.E. Bradshaw book and it certainly won’t be my last. I loved her writing style and her descriptive powers are excellent. I felt as if I was right there.
Lottie Bratcher, a poor illegitimate farm girl, has taken on so much to try and get her family through what is to come as the Yankees arrive in the area. There is much danger, especially for a young woman, but she is determined. She is also infatuated with Patrice Cole, a rich neighbour, but has no idea how to deal with it. The romantic element was very touchingly written. For a few hours I could immerse myself in a world long gone, a world of war and bloody battles, of women left behind to pick up the pieces. The characters were realistic and sympathetic and I could feel their pain, their fear. As well as dealing with the collapse of their society, Lottie and Patrice are finding that there are so many secrets they have to keep. R.E. Bradshaw weaves a fantastic story and I adored it. Highly recommended.
Barbara Winkes has surpassed herself. ‘Killer Instinct’ is an excellent story, full of suspense, mystery and characters that seem so real. I couldn’t stop worrying about them. Joanna, an ex-cop, finds herself unable to keep out of an investigation into a serial killer. She should know better – it didn’t end well for her before. Her friends warn her off but the danger is at her door and she wants to make sure no more women have to die. A new woman in her life, Rue, makes her feel good again, but does she really want to expose anyone to the darker side of life, a life that she can’t seem to escape?
I was gripped by the story and found myself shocked and surprised at some of the twists and turns. Ms Winkes certainly knows how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Joanna really got under my skin too. She was a complex character, with a background that made her strong, resourceful and someone to rely on. Seeing her realise that was empowering. This is a definite must-read for lovers of high quality suspense and thrillers.
‘Love Birds’ is a beautiful love story set in the adorable setting of Ojai, California. Emily owns a magazine for bird enthusiasts and needs that one big story to save her publication. She has let other people run her life for far too long and takes the chance to do something for herself. Pole-dancer Sydney has her hopes set on a dream job but has to make some changes if she is going to get there. These two women from totally different words find themselves thrown together and as they find a way to coexist, something neither expected changes their lives forever. Lisa Moreau writes the most appealing characters, with a gentleness and understanding that I’ve yet to find in another author. Her stories are so romantic but when things get hot she knows just what buttons to press. I loved seeing how the relationship between Emily and Sydney developed. It was sweet and sexy but also very empowering. I really enjoyed this story, as I have everything I’ve read by this author. I can highly recommended ‘Love Birds’
I have never laughed so much in my entire life. Ever. And this woman knows me! I recognised so much of myself in this book and I bet a lot of women will. Kiki Archer has the amazing knack of seeing the humour in situations we all can recognise. She is hilarious and so observant. I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole time I was reading this book. That and laughing out loud. My chuckling every two minutes got me some very strange looks from the kids.And when I was doubled over in fits of laughter at a certain scene in Boots they thought I’d gone mad!
The story of thirty-something Camila, a mum returner to the workforce and Harriet, high-powered famous business woman is funny, scorchingly hot and romantic. There is such a lovely connection between them and an honesty that shines through. This story has it all. Kiki Archer gets under the skin of Women-loving-Women. She really sees them- and it shows in every beautifully crafted page. A brilliant story that deserves 10 Stars! Highly recommended.
‘Broken Vows’ is a hot story of conflicted nun meets butch construction worker. It is jam-packed with steamy sexual encounters. If you enjoy erotica and erotic romance then this certainly ticks the boxes. It’s an erotic story written by a woman for other women loving women. Sister Mary Margaret has a lot of trouble keeping to that pesky vow of chastity. When she meets parishioner Alex she can’t seem to help herself. What starts off as just sex seems to delve a little deeper. This is a book to squirrel yourself away with for some me time.
I didn’t think I could love Aeron Lorelei any more than I did after reading the first in the Above and Beyond series. I was wrong. I adore that woman. In ‘Blind Trust’ I saw another side to her and a impressive depth. There is nothing she will not do for other people and when it comes to Renee her devotion knows no limits. Renee’s feelings for her are so strong too. Will Aeron ever see what is right in front of her face? When she and Renee are trapped in a small mountain town by an avalanche they are faced with problems only they can solve. But they can’t let anyone know who they really are. Renee’s behaviour begins to confuse Aeron. What is behind it all? The story is exciting and full of tension and gives an insight into Renee that fascinated me. Both Aeron and Renee are developed so well and I love how Jody Klaire allows us to hear Aeron’s thoughts through the first person chapters in the book. This is fast becoming my favourite series. I can’t wait to get onto book 3! Highly recommended.
‘The Sea’ is a short story that left me wanting more – in a good way. Louise is a professor with a secret. And that secret is pretty fascinating. Finding out exactly what it was and her struggles with it kept me reading and hoping that there could be more from this particular character in the future. She is drawn to one of her students and is torn between wanting to act and knowing she can’t. But her reason for this is not so straightforward as one may think. The story is very atmospheric and descriptive.An enjoyable read and free from Ylva Publishing if you click on the link below.
‘Language of Love’ is a lovely, heart-warming collection of festive stories from some well-known lesbian fiction authors. We go from Australia with Lee Winter, to India with Sheryn Muir and to Lola Keeley’s Edinburgh Hogmanay. There are also stories from Wales, Cumbria, the US and Germany. I enjoyed all of them – and that doesn’t always happen in an anthology. My favourite was Jody Klaire’s ‘Love Just Is’ set in the Welsh countryside. The setting was lovely and I’d love to hear more of that particular area. The story was funny, sarcastic (in a kind way) and with characters I really believed in. I also really enjoyed Andrea Bramhall’s ‘The Night Before Christmas – a Cumbrian Tale. It was an unusual story, very atmospheric and imaginative.
If there is one thing I have taken away from this anthology it’s that I want to read more from these particular authors – so my reading list has expanded exponentially!