I attended the book launch party for Wendy Hudson’s latest novel, ‘Meant to be Me’ in Glasgow last night. It was a night of books, beer and lesfic buddies. Wendy chatted about her book and signed copies for the queue of fans, family and friends who had come to toast the success of her new book. Fellow writer Wendy Temple, author of ‘Defensive Mindset’, had travelled from Edinburgh to join the party, and Trish L. Devoy had flown in from Dublin. Wendy’s lovely Mum Carol was on hand to help as was her partner Lynsey.
The launch was held at The Curler’s Rest, a popular pub/restaurant on Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow. As anyone who knows Wendy will be aware she is an aficionado of craft beers and she made sure her guests were able to partake of some of her favourite beverages.
‘Meant to be Me’ is Wendy’s third novel and is set in the beautiful Scottish city of Inverness. It is a is a heart-thumping, nerve-jangling, suspense story that had me glued to the page. I loved it and highly recommend it. I was delighted to be able to get Wendy to sign my copy last night, and it has pride of place beside ‘Four Steps’ and “Mine to Keep’ on my bookshelf.
‘Write Your Own Script’ is absolutely perfect! It is romantic, sexy and endearing – and had me rooting for Tamsyn and Maggie all the way. Tamsyn is a famous actress who has spent her whole life in the closet, for fear of losing her career. When she has had just about enough and needs some time away, she retreats to the quiet of the Norfolk countryside. Maggie is a writer with a serious case of writer’s block. She hopes some time away will make her want to write again. Their meeting is one of those beautiful instances when you just know that soulmates have come together. It feels right. A.L. Brooks gets into the minds and souls of her characters and as a result she makes me love them. The emotional impact is intense and the sex is off the scale amazing. It is hot and heavy and utterly exquisite. But the main strength of this exceptionally well-written book is that she makes me care. I cared that Tamsyn was terrified about coming out. I cared that Maggie had to be true to herself. And I cared that their love would find a way. A truly uplifting story and highly recommended.
Jae is the Queen of wish fulfilment. I knew exactly what I wanted to happen in this story and she granted my wish. I completely and utterly adored Ashley and Sasha’s story. It was the most romantic, emotional and beautiful story of love, belonging and joy. I was smiling from ear to ear and for the rest of the day after reading this.
Florist Ashley is as far in the closet as it’s possible to be. She is terrified her parents will find out she’s a lesbian and can’t face the reaction she suspects will come from the townsfolk. Baker Sasha has no desire to be tied down to anyone and her fear of commitment has been part of her life for so long. But when the pair begin to spend time together working on their friends’ Leo and Holly’s wedding, it becomes harder to stick to old ways. They are so obviously perfect for each other. And I found myself wishing and hoping it would be a happily ever after for them!
Jae increased the happiness level by bringing in characters from her other books – Leo and Holly – and others I’ll leave as a surprise. Having these wonderful women interact was wonderful. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
‘Shadow Hand’ is a refreshing story, of strong women, superpowers and a fight for good over evil. Ash and Cleo are soldiers who find themselves changing their lives completely after an encounter with an ancient statue in the desert. When Ash realises she can use her mind to move objects she is a person of interest. Choosing to use her powers for the good of others takes a bit of planning, and with Cleo by her side she must decide how to go about it.
The story is unexpected and unlike anything else I’ve read. It is well written and uplifting – in more ways than one! I enjoyed the camaraderie aspect, as Ash and Cleo become involved in helping other women. It felt empowering. The relationship between the two women was intense and sexy – what else could one expect from Sacchi Green? The tale goes in directions I didn’t see coming – and I appreciated the imagination and depth that went into the storytelling. I really liked it.
‘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!
I love it when a book surpasses my expectations and this one does by quite a way. I’ve loved everything AL Brooks has written this far and knew it would be good but ‘One Way Or Another’ was sublime. It’s the story of primary school teacher Bethany, a woman one could easily mistake for being timid, shy and quiet. When she bumps into worldly-wise Lawyer Sarah whilst perusing the wares in a sex shop, little does she know her life is about to change. Do they want the same things? Sometimes we don’t realise what we really want until someone offers it. And that makes it all the more delicious.
Bethany really surprised me as I got to know her. She had a innate strength and sense of purpose and I loved seeing her begin to change her life. Sarah came across as so sure of herself and in control at first. Finding out about the real woman beneath was a revelation. Their story left me feeling all mushy and full of the joys. It was romantic and emotional and the sex was erotic and frankly beautiful in its intensity. I highly recommend ‘One Way or Another’. 5+++ Stars