Storm Season by Pene Henson

If the cover doesn’t pull you in (because I freaking love this cover) then I hope my review does because it needs to be put at the top of your must-read list…

Author Synopsis

The great outdoors isn’t so great for Sydney It-Girl Lien Hong. It’s too dark, too quiet, and there are spiders in the toilet of the cabin she is sharing with friends on the way to a New South Wales music festival. To make matters worse, she’s been separated from her companions and taken a bad fall. With a storm approaching, her rescue comes in the form of a striking wilderness ranger named Claudia Sokolov, whose isolated cabin, soulful voice and collection of guitars bely a complicated history. While they wait out the weather, the women find an undeniable connection—one that puts them both on new trajectories that last long after the storm has cleared.

My Review

This book completely took me by surprise. It was recommended by a fellow friend and bibliophile with a ‘must read asap’ tag and I’m immensely glad I listened.

Lien is Sydney’s newest fashion and music blogger. She’s everywhere and people are listening. Destined for the big time and always attached to her social media platform, which means she isn’t enamoured about her upcoming camping trip with her best friends.

After a hop, skip and rather large stumble during a heavy storm while camping, Lien is rescued by Park Ranger, Claudia. At the peak of the storm, Claudia and Lien are trapped in Claudia’s Cabin in the woods until they can get through the storm damage.

Claudia is a ‘lone’ ranger excuse the pun. She enjoys her solitude but after a little digging Lien realises all isn’t what it’s seems and they have a lot more in common than you are led to first believe.

I throughly enjoyed this novel and can’t rave about it enough. Firstly the romance between Claudia and Lien is exciting but simple at the same time. You know they have this romantic spark and sexual chemistry but they also just fit. Once you unravel the mystery that’s Claudia, you realise she’s actually perfect for Lien and her true soul mate. Even the detailed and high quality sex scenes where still sensual and loving even when they dance on the line of kinky.

I also love Beau, Lien best friend and confidante. He’s struggling with his own romance as he’s trying to woo, Annie (also a friend of Lien) while treading new waters as a trans man. I actually would love to read his story because I feel like there is something special there and Beau’s connection with Annie gave me butterflies a few times.

Lastly I loved when Henson described the mundane in the book and made it sensual or exciting, it gave the reader the feeling of  being there with the protagonists and experiencing the atmosphere and the journey. For example this is one of her simpler quotes but you’ll get my drift…

“The current pop tune is sweet and catchy with a mournful undertone.”

All in all a fantastic novel that will jump straight onto my favourite shelf and will be rereading it again soon.

5 stars

If you would like to purchase Storm Season please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Au

 

 

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Party Wall by Cheyenne Blue

Author Synopsis

From the moment Freya looks in the window of the brash, new sex shop in Grasstree Flat she knows it will be nothing but trouble. For a start, it will clash with her own new-age store next door. And she’s right. Outgoing newcomer Lily begins to intrude on Freya’s well-ordered life. Freya’s friends, lifestyle, and even her cat are all affected by Lily’s magic touch. Even Freya’s yoga classes rub shoulders with Lily’s sexual-expression workshops. Lily stands for everything Freya has lost in life—playfulness, spontaneity, delight in the physical, and sex. But does Lily have more in common with Freya than the wall that divides them?

 

Dee’s Review

This story is told in third person and from both heroine’s point of views. Given both Freya and Lily are such complex characters, it’s the perfect style of narration.
I got to know both ladies extremely well, and sure, Freya is a prickly character but I understood her, and could see that beneath the hard exterior she was a good person. I’m so so happy Lily recognized that in Freya as well. I get that a number of people possibly won’t understand why Lily persevered, I love that she did, bless her.
Freya’s friend, Carly, plays a big part in this story. I liked her initially but then she irked me. At times, I felt like she played Freya off against Lily and vice versa. I could’ve done without the saga between her and Andy. It rubbed me the wrong way and for reasons I can’t go into without spoilers.
I loved the setting, Aussie, and appreciated reading terms I’m familiar with.
A day after finishing this book, I picked it up wanting to read more, only to remember I’d already turned the last page. The fact these ladies got under my skin – they’re real, I swear – is what made this story a winner for me.
Very enjoyable read indeed.
4.5 stars

 

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Party Wall is available from 20th of September from the following vendors:

Ylva Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon AU

 

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Lilac Time by Kate Sweeney

Another hilarious Rom-com from Kate Sweeney

Author Synopsis

Jessica Pierce is a single mother of two children. Teenage Ben, aka The Hoover, has the sensitive old soul of Robert Frost, and Matilde, a twelve-year-old, is the personification of Jack Sparrow. Jessica desperately needs the job she finds in the college newspaper, even if it is just for the summer. She knows she stands on the verge of starting over, keeping her family safe and happy.

Dr. Marion Clifford desperately needs someone with organizational skills for her current project with her former employer, the FBI. She’s on a deadline, which is fine—it keeps her from thinking of the past and the emptiness of her life as it is.

Two desperate women find each other, and with the help of one loving teenager and his mischievous sister, Jessica and Cliff find out life might not be as desperate as it appears.

 

My Review

Jessica, a single mother of two is all about taking care of her family. When she gets a new job as an assistant for her neighbour, Professor Dr Marion Clifford, she automatically feels drawn to her and finds that her feelings are reciprocated. But how do they work through separate past relationships that could ultimately hinder their present feelings.

A lovely written story that concentrates on the lives of two women that ultimately deserve to be happy. Marion and Jessica ease into their feelings and fall in love in this old school fashion romance. As usual Kate Sweeney puts a hilarious spin on her characters which is one of the main reasons I enjoy her books.

Looking forward to whats coming next.

4 stars

If you would like to purchase Lilac Time please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

 

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Perfect Rhythm by Jae

Author Synopsis

Pop star Leontyne Blake might sing about love, but she stopped believing in it a long time ago. What women want is her image, not the real her. When her father has a stroke, she flees the spotlight and returns to her tiny Missouri hometown.

In her childhood home, she meets small-town nurse Holly Drummond, who isn’t impressed by Leo’s fame at all. That isn’t the only thing that makes Holly different from other women. She’s also asexual. For her, dating is a minefield of expectations that she has decided to avoid.

Can the tentative friendship between a burned-out pop star and a woman not interested in sex develop into something more despite their diverse expectations?

A lesbian romance about seeking the perfect rhythm between two very different people—and finding happiness where they least expect it.

 

My Review

 

This novel floored me. I’ve got nothing but admiration for Jae’s novels but after reading this my acclaim has doubled. It takes a lot of courage to write a lesbian fiction romance about an allosexual Lesbian and a asexual Lesbian. I have researched the sub genre to find no other Asexual Lesbian Fiction novels around and I must applaud Jae for taking this subject and rocking it.

When popstar sensation Leo goes back to her hometown in Missouri to see her ailing father, she doesn’t expect to meet her father’s home-care worker, the alluring yet exasperating Holly.  Holly seems to have a better relationship with Leo’s family than she does but the more she gets to know her the more she discovers how much she see’s Leo for Leo and not for rich and famous star. Their relationship is fraught with a minefield of emotions and expectations. The biggest issue being that Holly is Asexual but it seems to be more Holly’s hold up than Leo’s.

Perfect Rhythm is a love story from start to finish. I was worried that chemistry would be lost due to one of the main characters being Asexual however if anything it added to it and hiked up the intimacy more. What I learned reading this novel is that Asexuality has many ranges and other terms associated with it, some that I will list at the end. I just expected that with Asexuality there would be no sex however I was wrong. The only sex scene in the novel comes with a disclaimer that you can jump to the next chapter which I think some readers will appreciate.

I really hope other authors take the courage to step over the line and write about other sexualities in the LGBTQIA community.

Well Done Jae. Fantastic novel.

5 Stars

 

There are some terminologies in this book I knew and others I had to look up thanks to Google for their stellar definitions. I thought I would share:

Asexuality: the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.
Allosexuality: One who experiences sexual attraction.
Ace: is popular nickname for a person who is asexual.
Queerplatonic: A queerplatonic relationship is a relationship that is not romantic but involves a close emotional connection (platonic) beyond what most people consider friendship.
Aromantic: a person who experiences little or no romantic attraction to others.
Demisexual: a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form a strong emotional connection with someone.
Pansexuality: is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity

 

If you would like to purchase Perfect Rhythm please follow the links below:

Ylva Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon Aus

Amazon UK

 

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Life Pushes You Along

Author Synopsis

The unchallenging and dull life of an assistant in a small London bookshop is where Zoe Achidi feels safe. Bored, but safe.
Frequent customer, Rebecca Clare, makes Zoe’s days a little brighter. But the beautiful, and impressive businesswoman in her forties seems unobtainable.
Zoe’s brother and her best friend are convinced that she is stuck in a rut. When they decide to meddle in Zoe’s life, they manage to bring Zoe and Rebecca together. It soon becomes obvious that Rebecca is bored with her own uneventful life as well.
Unfortunately, their meetings seem to remain all business. As they find the bravery and resolve to allow life to push them along, the question soon becomes – will it push them together or apart?

 

My Review

What a fantastic short story, I was hooked from the minute our main protagonists Zoe and Rebecca spoke to one another. I thought this was going to be a nice easy Lesbian short story and it was – but it also had a massive dollop of sexy in some of the scenes between Zoe and Rebecca.

What’s really interesting about this story is that its written from three different points of view. Firstly from Zoe and Rebecca’s point of view as per usual but Zoe’s best friend, Helen also gets her air-time and her time on the page is spent tying everything together nicely. I really enjoyed this concept because it gave an outsiders opinion on the romance but also added an extra pinch of levity in the novel.

First time I’ve read the word Pansexual in a book and it made me really happy to see authors bringing other sexualities to the table in Lesbian fiction. Well done Emma!

Great short and I can’t wait to read more from Emma Sterner-Radley.

5 stars

 

To purchase Life Pushes You Along please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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Unchained Memories by Dena Blake

Now that’s how you write a second novel.

Author Synopsis

Jillian McIntyre is ripped from her home in Oklahoma after she witnesses a brutal crime, even though she cannot remember the details. Years later following her sister’s death, Jillian must return to her hometown to locate her niece’s father, neither of whom knows the other exists. A TV investigative journalist by trade, Jillian conceals her identity to complete the task.

Amelia Mathews is a family attorney who doesn’t have time for romance. After growing up in a volatile household, she’s devoted to advocating for abused and mistreated children. Amelia and her brother provide a voice to children who have no one else to speak for them. When a woman and her niece come to town in need of assistance, Amelia can’t seem to detach this time. As her attachment to them grows, Amelia’s world becomes more complicated than she ever imagined.

The last thing Jillian expects is to fall for the girl she left behind. Confronted with unreconciled feelings for Amelia, Jillian begins to fall in love with the woman she’s become. Will Jillian give up her high-powered career for a second chance at love?

 

 

My Review

Now that’s how you write a second novel. Dena Blake’s newest novel Unchained Memories is written in the second person from main protagonists Amelia and Jillian POV. She also wrote some chapters from secondary characters points of view, which really worked well for all the pieces of the plot to come together for the explosive last few chapters. The pace and character development was perfect for such an involved story line, I couldn’t help but turn each page. This book has so many wonderful plot twists that you will be in suspense with every chapter that follows.

Jillian and Amelia’s love development in this book is the star of the show. The story of their teenage love and how it transcends time is written beautifully and the chemistry in the bedroom is sexy and extremely hot! Dena Blake definitely knows how to write a phenomenal sex scene.

Secondary characters, Julie and Darcy stayed with me after the book was finished and I wondered if they could be highlighted more in a sequel or spin off short story because they where actually awesome characters to read.

Can’t wait to read more from Dena Blake. 5 Stars

 

If you would like to purchase Unchained Memories please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon US

Amazon Au

Amazon UK

 

 

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Switchback by S.W. Andersen

Thoroughly enjoyed and look forward to what come next from S.W. Andersen.

Author Synopsis

Sierra Cody is on fire. A rising star in women’s professional downhill mountain bike racing, she has all the tools to become a world champion. All she needs to do is fully commit herself. Something far easier said than done. As stubborn as she is independent, Sierra has always carved her own path, refusing to fall in line with the controlling, commercialized aspects of the sport. Her trademark no-holds-barred, reckless style of riding has earned her as many cheers as it has jeers.

Dr. Kara Davies, a highly regarded and accomplished physician, is well on her way to achieving her dreams in chiropractic research. Commitment to her goals has never been an issue, but her personal life is a different story. Preferring the comfort and safety of her lab over personal relationships, Kara’s one-track mind allows no deviation.

But life is full of twists and turns.

After an accident on the track lands Sierra in Kara’s on-site medical center, the doctor suddenly finds she has more on her mind that work. Blindsided by mutual attraction, Sierra and Kara struggle to accept their feelings for each other and to deal with the change it brings.

Will love be enough? Or will life’s little switchbacks send them both careening off course?

My Review

Sierra is at the top of her game in the mountain bike racing world and is ready to take on the championship when she meets Doctor Kara Davies and the world to starts to spin on its axis. Sierra has never been into long term relationships but she might be willing to try for Kara if only she could convince Kara of the possibility.

What I loved about this book was that the author was able to create the correct formula that gave the right amount of angst with the correct amount of time together as a couple! This for me is a hard balance to crack in many books. I especially enjoy seeing my characters having time together where they are seen to be living their happily ever after and SW Anderson wrote that extremely well in this novel.

I enjoyed the character/ love development and couldn’t stop turning the page. I love the premise of the cycling story and it gave me insight to something I’ve not read before.

Thoroughly enjoyed and look forward to what come next from SW Andersen.

4.5 stars

If you would like to purchase Switchback please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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The Setup by Adan Ramie

The Setup is the first book in the Moving On Series

Author Synopsis

Rachel’s two best friends have had it with her non-existent love life.

Divorced from an abusive husband and with two children in tow, she and her best friends have been living together in harmony for over a year. And while they love each other dearly, there is something none of them have in their lives: romance.

So when her friends convince Rachel to sign up on an online dating site to look for a good woman, they have no idea what kind of antics will ensue.

Can Rachel forget her painful past and find a lasting relationship, or will her lack of trust destroy something great before it can begin?

 

Dee’s Review

This story is told in third person and completely from Rachel’s point of view. I’m not always a fan of singular point of view, however, it worked extremely well for this story. I found myself able to relate to Rachel’s character from the get-go so it was no hardship to be in her head throughout.
I may, or may not, be familiar with online dating and the trials that can and often do go hand in hand with hooking up with a virtual stranger. A couple of the situations were a little scary and one down right funny. Okay scratch that, it was scary-funny.
Rachel’s best friend is a gay man and another very likeable character. Haley, her other friend, the third of the trio sharing a house, was the least fleshed out of all three. I didn’t care for her one bit, and couldn’t have cared less if she’d dropped off the page.
Recently divorced, Rachel is trying to find her footing and finally act on her desires to be with a woman. With her ex nowhere in sight, she has to rely on her less than stellar parents to look after her two children.
I had an inkling who Rachel would end up dating but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this story. I urge readers to give this one a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

4 Stars

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If you would like to purchase The Setup please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

Beauty and the Boss by Ali Vali

I really enjoyed ‘Beauty in the Boss’ by Ali Vali and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Author synopsis

Ellis Renois is at the top of the fashion world and has built the Renois Company into a success that dominates the runways of the world. Ellis loves creating clothes, and she loves the beautiful women who wear them. While Ellis deals with design, she leaves the business aspect to others. It’s a mistake that could cost her more than just her life’s work.
Charlotte Hamner has worked her way through school and is ready to make a better life for herself and her daughter Sawyer. She’s far from the teenaged mother who worked a string of dead-end jobs to fulfill her dreams, so she’s not about to fall victim to Ellis’s easy charm.
A summer job presents Charlotte with the chance to learn from Ellis, but it might also land her the position of head designer for Renois. But her promotion will come only through betrayal and perhaps at the cost of her heart.

 

My Review

Beauty and the Boss is a story of Elis Renoir a fashion designer and royalty in her field. When she hires for a new internship she doesn’t expect to meet the woman of her dreams, Charlotte. When a scandal from inside Elis fashion company threatens to destroy her and the love she’s found, she can either go down with the ship or come out fighting.

This was the first book I’ve ever read by Ali Vali so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ll be honest, I didn’t click with the first 20% of the book. I didn’t feel like I was connecting with the characters and too much of the sub plot over powered some of the moments I would have preferred striped back in order to highlight more of the love story than the fashion scandal.

When I continued to read on however I started to understand Ali Vali’s plot choices and my connection grew. Without giving any spoilers I want to say this book is full of twists and turns you’re not expecting, the biggest one was 2 thirds of the way in…. and what a twist!

The love story that unfolded was a really sweet and endearing story that had me rooting for this couple to make it and make it they did… but not without a decent dose of angst filled moments!

I think the secondary characters made this story especially Amis, Ellis’ Mother and Sawyer – Charlottes daughter! For me Sawyer stole the show. That kid is smart, feisty and unbelievably loving and most of all her part in the story made see a side to Ellis that I wasn’t expecting.

I really enjoyed ‘Beauty in the Boss’ by Ali Vali and I look forward to reading more from this author.

4 Stars

If you would like to preorder/purchase Beauty and the Boss please follow the link below:

Bold Stokes Books

 

 

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Lightning Strikes by Cass Sellars

There are so many things to like about this debut novel.

Author Synopsis

Parker Duncan has sworn off love and forever since she discovered her wife—her ex-wife—cheating on her on their tenth anniversary. Sydney Hyatt doesn’t even do overnight. She attracts women effortlessly, then discards them after an hour or two of mutual pleasure. They meet at a party celebrating Parker’s divorce, and they’re tailor-made for a no-strings encounter. Yet when their paths cross again, lightning strikes, and both women begin to question their life rules in the face of undeniable passion and growing love.

But demons past and dangers present threaten the lovers, and Parker and Sydney must fight to find new traditions in dark spaces as they cling to the relationship neither of them thought she wanted.

 

Amy’s Review

There are so many things to like about this debut novel. First off, I’ll just say that this was an extremely satisfying Butch/Femme read. Parker definitely has a type and it’s hot, bad, and butch. It seems like she can’t help but be attracted to the bad boi player type, and she got badly burned by her ex-wife. The day her divorce is final she goes out to celebrate and lands squarely in the sights of Sydney Hyatt, who on the surface seems like a carbon copy of her ex. So Parker runs.
Sydney Hyatt is very happy with her life. She has a job she loves; it makes her enough money to be quite comfortable. She also doesn’t lack for feminine companionship, although she definitely makes sure no one gets the mistaken impression that she’s interested in more than a night. So when she sees an intriguing woman at the bar and makes a play for her, she shrugs when things don’t pan out. The woman sticks in her mind though. Imagine her surprise when she finds out who her new neighbor is.
The chemistry between these two practically sizzles off the page, and they’re both drawn to the other. They both decide to give in to the attraction and keep their involvement light. But things definitely take a turn for the more serious when lightning strikes, and the heat continues to build instead of fizzling out. Now each has to work through issues from the past, and it turns potentially deadly.
This book definitely kept me turning pages – the pacing was excellent, and the revelations were well-timed. I love that Sellars gave us a glimpse of karma smacking into the face of Parker’s ex at the end.
The relationship between Parker and Sydney was not only hot, but also fun, witty, caring, and touching, making this couple one of my favorites of this year. Also, it isn’t over! Lightning Strikes is book one in the Lightning Series, which continues in September of 2017 with Lightning Chasers, the continuing story of Parker and Sydney. I can’t wait!

5 stars

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If you would like to purchase Lightning Strikes please follow the link below:

Bold Stokes Books

 

 

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