Author Name & Publisher: C.F. Frizzell (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 240 pgs
Shay Maguire doesn’t realize how much of a fresh start she wants until she meets local newspaper editor Mel Baker in rural Tomson, Montana. But can she swallow being on the “dark side” of a town-wide development controversy if Mel sees her as the enemy? Jeopardizing revenue with her anti-development crusade, Mel earns Shay’s respect and empathy, but frustration mounts when Shay learns fear of devastating financial loss keeps Mel from revealing her lesbianism.
What Shay doesn’t know is that Mel’s life is controlled by a much stronger family secret. With both her newspaper and her love hanging in the balance, Mel is put to the test. Should she stand her ground? And will Shay still be there when the dust settles?
Hot butch Shay moves to a small town where closeted newspaper editor Mel tries to stop developers running roughshod over the town by ignoring safety and by-laws. Shay takes a job with the developers as a short term measure to raise enough money to buy her own garage repair business. Shay’s attempts to stay honest and decent within the company cause her problems but as she gets to know
Mel things begin to look up.
I really enjoyed this book as it dealt with issues such as developing rural areas, fear of unemployment, small town politics and the environment. By far the most important part of the story for me was the homophobia in some families and the devastation that can cause. Mel, in a time of weakness and heartache, had made a bargain to stay in the closet. How awful that someone should ever be put in such a situation by their own family! The hate from members of her own family was truly wicked. Shay was the saviour in this story . Her love for Mel was all-encompassing, intense and tender. The romance in this book was so beautifully written, so strong and extremely sexy. The love scenes were scorching and played such a vital part in showing how much they loved each other.
Mel was constantly worried about her secret coming out and this fear coupled with the menace from the town’s resident baddie really cranked up the fear factor for the main characters. C F Frizzell really knows how to write tension! A great read, a real roller coaster of emotions with a sensational love story. A well deserved 5 stars!
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I really liked the unabashed way Shay presented herself – butch and unapologetic about it, and I also liked the way Mel was into the way Shay looked. The big problem is the small town setting, and the small minds inhabiting it. Definitely a place where gossip thrives and everybody seems to know everybody else’s business. Mel has a lot to lose by accepting her attraction to Shay, but she’s lived without love or passion for so long that she can’t help but be drawn in. Their attraction for each other keeps drawing them closer and closer. After the first rumor starts, Mel decides that she might as well go for it. As a backdrop to this, there is the issue of commercial development in the town, and Mel’s fight for oversight to make sure construction is being done safely and according to code. Her expose on some shortcuts have resulted in some hard feelings and threats. Add in a family that is extremely conservative and not open to her sexuality at all and things are set for an epic showdown. When Shay finds out how much Mel actually risked and lost, she feels angry and hurt that Mel didn’t tell her, and doesn’t expect Mel to stand by her at all. It was interesting to see how things were resolved, and what community actually means when people stand up for each other. The story kept me engaged and turning pages, and I really enjoyed it.
A life-long Massachusetts resident, CF Frizzell (“Friz”) endures the telecom industry in Boston for a living but dreams of retirement days spent writing at the seashore or in an Adirondack cabin. She grew up in community newspapers and established an award-winning twenty-two-year career that culminated in the role of founder/publisher. Friz discovered her passion for writing in high school, but credits powerhouse authors Lee Lynch, Radclyffe, and the generous family that is Bold Strokes Books for inspiration. She’s into history, acoustic guitar, New England pro sports—and, most of all, her partner, Kathy, with whom she makes a home in Sandwich on Cape Cod.