Tag Archives: F/F

3.5 Stars for The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger #FF #FairyTales

CoverTitle: The Beast That Never Was
Author Name & Publisher: Caren J. Werlinger (Corgyn Publishing LLC)
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2016 – 211 pgs

Synopsis

What if Beauty was the Beast?

Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for.

When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows.

Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation.

Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred.

Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.

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Review

 ThreeandHalfStars

I hate to review books like this. Werlinger has put together a wonderfully written story, with an interesting and engaging concept, that I didn’t really like. My problem with the book is most likely about pacing. I felt it started really slowly, which agrees with others I’ve discussed the book with. Others told me that it gets better, so I decided to keep with it. And yes, while the pace did pick up, things still moved rather slowly for me. It’s almost as though the details, especially of the day-to-day life of Lise and her village, bog the story down too much. At the end of the book, I understand why others liked the story. I love the idea of this interpretation of the fairy tale, but as much as I was looking forward to reading this, it just wasn’t for me. The problem with my rating is that I totally respect the way Werlinger crafted her story; her writing skills are great, and I like her characters. Her style just didn’t click with me.

AmyP

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5 Star Review for Rise of the Rain Queen by Fiona Zedde #FF #Romance #Paranormal #ParanormalRomance

CoverTitle: Rise of the Rain Queen
Author Name & Publisher: Fiona Zedde (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 387 pgs

Synopsis

Nyandoro was born the favorite. As the only girl of her parents’ six children, she gets everything she wants without even asking for it. When the latest thing she desires is the wife of a village elder, she faces consequences she never had to before.

These consequences come with the dawn of a passion she didn’t know existed, a carnal feast of flesh she can’t get enough of. But on the night she gains the ultimate satisfaction from the woman she’d always wanted, she also loses every good thing she ever had. This loss takes Ny from the shelter of her family and home to the unknown wilds of a new world flush with ancient power, and into the arms of an old lover who has always been by her side.

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Review

 FiveStars
This book is the gem amongst river rocks. There is a great depth of characterization, and the setting is rich with culture and community. The author makes us live in the village with Nyandoro and Duni, and all of Ny’s family. We hunt with her and her brothers, we work with her father and mother, we feel the heat on our skin and taste the dust on our tongues. In the beginning we vicariously share the laughter and joy of a young woman on the cusp of becoming an adult. We join Ny’s pursuit of Duni, even as we know there will be a price to pay. We see Duni pay that price, and Ny realize the changes that must occur now that consequences have come to pass. Ny has a price to pay as well, for the deal that her mother has made. Paying that price results in heartache for Ny, and the loss of her innocence. Now as she accepts the changes in her life, she must come to terms with all her loss, and find out if the loss of her innocence also means the loss of her love and happiness. This was an awesome read, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
AmyP

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4 Star Review for Adieu Warm Sunshine by C.E. Case #FF @SupposedCrimes

CoverTitle:Adieu Warm Sunshine
Author Name & Publisher: C.E. Case (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date : August 1, 2016

Synopsis

Pamela Costis is just another dancer/addict loitering at the stage door with no autographs to sign. She tells herself she’s not looking for anything, but when the black town car pulls up and reveals a tall, dark stranger, she’s intrigued enough to get closer.

Sunflower “Sunny” Darling is unmistakably a cop, except she’s really something darker, but that doesn’t matter until Pamela goes missing after their one night stand. No one else seems to have noticed.

Occam’s Razor flies in her face, but Sunny can’t accept Pamela’s disappearance as anything ordinary. She delves into the theater underworld, follows where drugs take her, but finds only dead ends.

Pamela’s true threat is inside Sunny’s own world.

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Review

FourStars

Sunny is an agent with lots of secrets and she’s certainly not sharing them with her NYPD partner.  When she meets dancer Pamela and they share a smoking hot night together she could never imagine how complicated things are about to become.  And they are certainly complicated! For the first third of the book I was unsure what I was going to make of this story but once it began to unravel I really enjoyed it and could see where C E Case was going with it.  There are a lot of very dodgy people involved and I wasn’t sure that the supposed good guys were really the good guys at all.  Sunny was so mysterious that I was never really sure who she was and Pamela was naive to the extreme.  They made a great couple though and I was really rooting for them all the way through.  Sunny was relentless in her quest and I liked that about her.  She was willing to break the rules and do whatever it took for Pamela.  There is certainly another book in this story and I hope that C E Case has plans to keep it going. It was well thought out and kept me interested, especially as things began to heat up in the last few chapters.  A good read
Kitty Kat

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4 Stars for Deception by V.K. Powell #Mystery #FF #Suspense

CoverTitle: Deception
Author Name & Publisher: V.K. Powell (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 16, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

DEA Agent Colby Vincent is working an undercover assignment in which homeless veterans are being used to deal drugs. She’s forced to work without the support of fellow agents or friends and is challenged by her attraction to a woman she suspects is involved in the case.
Adena Weber is trying to maintain her late father’s law firm and legacy, part of which is the homeless resource center Colby is investigating. She’s always followed the rules and adhered to her boundaries until a new homeless woman wanders into the center.
Colby and Adena choose to keep secrets that complicate their jobs and ultimately jeopardize the possibility of a life together.

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Review

FourStars
This seems like a solid story;  well-plotted, good characterization, well-written. Right up until the end when things seem to go slightly awry. I will say that I enjoyed the book thoroughly up to that point. The chemistry between Adena and Colby is tense and hot, both because they want each other, and because there are very good reasons why they can’t have each other. Adena doesn’t want to cross that professional and ethical line and date one of the people who has come to her for help, and Colby hesitates not only because Adena may be a suspect in her case, but also because she’s lying to Adena and knows that may be a deal-breaker. Both of them are walking a line, and there are many chances for them to cross the line. I think Powell does a pretty good job of showing how demeaning and isolating it is to be homeless, and showing how compassion and respect can have an impact. The case itself was interesting. It doesn’t seem like these veterans are doing much, but at the same time what they’re doing has a ripple effect on the streets. My problem with the end is that things seem to get really rushed. Although the resolution of the case is swift, that isn’t the part that bothers me. One piece of information can crack a case wide open. It’s the last few scenes between Colby and Adena that bother me. The sex scene, after all the build-up, seems rushed and almost awkward, and although they’re saying the right things, it gets pushed to the side because Adena already has dinner plans. And the fact that she just leaves Colby standing in her house as she leaves was a bit jaw-dropping for me. I waited the whole book for this to happen and it was almost a wham-bam-thank you, ma’am sort of thing. And I wasn’t left with the warm fuzzies of something special just having started. At the end of the book, I enjoyed it, although I was slightly less than satisfied. But perhaps others won’t have the same reaction I did.
AmyP

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5 Star Review for A Quantum Convergence (Nexus Trilogy #1) by C.A. Farlow #FF #SciFi

CaptureTitle: A Quantum Convergence
Author Name & Publisher: C.A. Farlow (Desert Palm Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 13, 2016 – 330 pgs

Synopsis

Lauren Beckwith, eco-scientist and medical doctor, identifies life-threatening pollution and is challenged to remediate it. Alexandra, Queen of Fuar Cala, struggles with the aftereffects of a bio-weapon released on her world. Children are contracting a strange disease. A winter field trip, a ragging blizzard, and a grievous injury bring Lauren and Alex together. Will Lauren find answers to her self-doubt and professional guilt? Can she help Alex find a cure for her people? A quantum convergence brings their worlds together.Only a soul mates bond is strong enough to create a quantum convergence and allow them to find each other and heal.

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Review

 FiveStarsOkay, I’m ready to gush about this one. There isn’t anything I can say I didn’t like. The initial part, when Lauren is on Earth and doing her job, was interesting. I liked the technical and scientific stuff she was doing, and her personal interactions with Jamie, Susan, and Sharon were fascinating. It definitely made me interested in what she was doing, and why she had closed herself off so much. The part about Mount Zikal was good too; a fight for survival which ended with her dazed and confused and truly wondering if she was off her rocker. The second part was almost like an idyllic interlude. Sure, there was danger and a perilous journey, but the bonds between Alex and Lauren, and to each of the animal companions was intriguing. And, although part of me wants to say that they got together too quickly, I’m not sure how they couldn’t have when their souls meshed so quickly, when they could each see into the other and know the kind of person they were falling for. But I seriously thought that after they got together, the story had to be pretty much over. Enter part three and boy, was I wrong. The fact that they got together so quickly didn’t make everything smooth sailing, and sure enough, outside forces conspire to separate them. Truthfully, at first I didn’t trust Merilyn, the Seneschal, because I was certain that it was her who’d separated the two women. The end is action-packed, and wow, almost like a divine right sort of thing. I didn’t like the jump from Lauren being in danger to Lauren looking toward home, I felt like I needed a bit more story in between there, but the end of the story leaves so much open for book two, and I will definitely be looking for it. This is really sci-fi, but it has a great many fantasy aspects to it as well, which makes it a wonderful mix. I couldn’t put the book down, and if you’re into sci-fi or fantasy, you won’t be sorry if you pick it up.
AmyP

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4.5 Stars for Dyre: A Knight of Spirit and Shadows (Dyre #2) by Rachel E. Bailey #FF #SciFi @Rachel_E_Bailey

CoverTitle: Dyre: A Knight of Spirit and Shadows (Dyre #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Rachel E. Bailey (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 16, 2016 – 192 pgs

Synopsis

Jennifer “Des” Desiderio is a werewolf on a mission…a mission to retrieve her queen, Ruby, who was abducted on Des’s watch.

But it’s not as simple as following her nose, fighting the good fight, and saving the day. Des must first team up with her rival for Ruby’s affections, Thierry LaFours, to track the kidnappers to and through Paris. With the help of a tarot card-reading werewolf named Nicolae, and Des’s new found ability to go dream-walking, they manage to close in on the kidnappers. But to save her queen, Des must once more play the champion and battle not only for her and Ruby’s lives, but for all the North American Packs and their entire way of life.

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Review

FourandHalfStarsThere may be a few spoilers in here so read at your own risk.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from book two in this series, but I can honestly say I’m glad I picked it up. I remember most of the plot from book one, and what I didn’t remember this book jarred out of the steel trap, so reading it felt much like a continuation of the first one regardless of the time between. I don’t, however, quite remember the pacing of the first book. This book starts fast, and keeps that pace throughout. This is a good thing – things are happening that are time-sensitive and the pace keeps the story moving and the reader turning pages. A couple of things kept this from being a full 5-star read for me. I know the pace was fast, but some things seemed rushed that I wish Bailey had spent a little more time on. I feel a little cheated by the final battle; I didn’t expect a Dyre to run like a coward, so that seemed a little out of character. Although the cheating was definitely in character. I felt like Ruby needed some sort of resolution for her nightmares. If this is PTSD, the solution doesn’t have to magically clear anything up, but I felt like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop, and that isn’t a good way to end a book. Also, Thierry’s death felt a bit like a cop out, like instead of having to deal with him in the future, he was killed in order to make things easier for Ruby and Des to be together. None of these things kept me from thoroughly enjoying the book. If you’ve read the first one, you’ll definitely like this one. If you haven’t read the first one… why not? Go read it first!

AmyP

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4 Stars for Capturing Forever by Erin Dutton #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Capturing Forever
Author Name & Publisher: Erin Dutton (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 16, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Jacqueline Knight is driven and ambitious, always focused on getting to the top. But when her father’s failing health demands her attention, she must consider putting her career on hold. Though she struggles with her new responsibilities, she won’t admit she can’t do it alone. And the last person she wants to accept help from is her ex, Casey.

Since their breakup eight years before, Casey Meadow s has concentrated on co-parenting their son and making a new life for herself. While she’s happy to offer her help, spending time with Jacqueline threatens to open the box in which she’s locked away their past relationship.

Will the lessons learned in eight years apart be enough to mend the mistakes of the past?

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Review

 FourStarsI’m not sure I can say much about this book. Dutton again has a well-written, tightly plotted, character driven romance, so in that way I can definitely say this is a good book. However, I was reluctant to keep reading once I started. Most of us have that first love who, in the sublime discovery of passion, sex, and deep emotion, we’ve given all of ourselves to. And again, most of us have parted ways, for one reason or another, from that first love. We leave those relationships missing a piece of ourselves, a piece that changes us forever. It changes the way we love, and how much we put into the next relationship. And to read about these two people, who each still had pieces of the other, made me a bit melancholy. To read about how they each hurt the other, each hurt for the other, and still after all this time cared so much about each other, it makes the heart sore for all the time together that they missed out on. So this book took me a lot longer than usual to finish. Because Jacq and Casey both needed the time apart to grow into people who could change enough to fit back together. And while the results were everything you could wish for, it was still hard to watch them go through it.
AmyP

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5 Star and 4.5 Star Reviews for First Position by Melissa Brayden #FF #Romance @MelissaBrayden

CoverTitle: First Position
Author Name & Publisher: Melissa Brayden (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 16, 2016 – 264 pgs

Synopsis

Anastasia Mikhelson is the rising star of the New York City Ballet. She’s sacrificed creature comforts, a social life, as well as her own physical well-being for perfection in dance. Even her reputation as The Ice Queen doesn’t faze her. Though Ana’s at the peak of her career, competition from a new and noteworthy dancer puts all she’s worked for in jeopardy.

While Natalie Frederico has shown herself to be a prodigy when it comes to ballet, she much prefers modern dance and living on her own terms. Life is too short for anything else. However, when the opportunity to dance with the New York City Ballet is thrust upon her, it’s not like she could say no. Dealing with the company’s uptight lead is another story, however. When the two are forced to work side-by-side, sparks begin to fly onstage and off.

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Review
FiveStarsfinds it hard to relax and make friends. When free spirit Natalie joins the company she finds herself drawn to her and slowly begins to open up and embrace friendship. Although they are complete opposites and annoy the hell out of each other, their attraction is so strong. I loved the growing relationship between them as it brought out a different side of Ana especially. Her career was everything to her but she was so buttoned up until Natalie came along. Unforeseen circumstances force Ana to read-evaluate and her struggles were difficult for both of them. Ultimately it was a beautiful love story, with moments of real tenderness and a lot of heat. I found the ballet life really interesting and the NY setting was an exciting background to it all.
Kitty Kat

FourandHalfStars

There’s definitely something about Melissa Brayden’s books that I enjoy. This one started a bit slow, and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get into it. That worry disappeared around the third chapter. I was a bit worried that this book would be a big struggle between the two main characters for one position, but the turn that took was actually rather enjoyable. It created an atmosphere that engendered cooperation and support between Ana and Natalie, allowing them to grow closer. I also love those stories about a character who is emotionally isolated, who is then drawn out of her shell by our other heroine. It’s like something in Natalie allows Ana to loosen up and reach outside her comfort zone. At the same time, something about Ana pushes Natalie into growing up and realizing that she has responsibilities. Watching her move from shallow party girl who doesn’t want to sell out to someone who stays because she’s made a commitment is a wonderful story arc. The other part of the story is what happens after someone who has made their life out of their passion no longer has the ability to engage in that passion. The career-ending injury that occurs may not have been what was expected, but it’s no less devastating. The events after leave both women devastated and unsure how to move forward. It was wonderful to see how they got back to each other. I also really enjoyed seeing some of the characters from previous books; it was nice to see old friends. If you’ve liked previous Melissa Brayden books, this will be another hit for you.

AmyP

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5 Star Review for Your Name In Lights (Love’s Encore #2) by Miranda MacLeod #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Your Name In Lights (Love’s Encore #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Miranda MacLeod (Apple Blossom Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 28, 2016 – 224 pgs

Synopsis

Your Name In Lights picks up where A Road Through Mountains ended. Minor spoilers ahead!

After eighteen years, the stars may have finally aligned to give Cecily and Rorie a second chance at happiness together. The trouble with stars, though: they don’t stay aligned for long.

As Cecily settles into her life in sunny California, she imagines her biggest challenge will be learning to navigate her new reality as a divorced mother and publicly out lesbian. The last thing she expects is to land the acting role of a lifetime, far away from the loving support of her girlfriend and teenage son.

As disappointed as Rorie is at the prospect of a long distance relationship, she can’t dwell on it for long. It’s hard enough stepping in as a surrogate parent when Cecily’s son arrives for college while she’s away. But when a woman claiming to be her long lost mother appears, and may not be all she seems, Rorie knows she needs Cecily to come home soon.

Despite time, distance, and some very persistent paparazzi, Cecily and Rorie have found in each other a love to last a lifetime, but only if they can survive the dual pressures of fame and family.

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Review
FiveStarsThis second instalment of Rorie and Cecily’s trilogy was not a disappointment . Having read the first book and loved it I had high hopes for this one.  Cecily moves
to Southern California to start a new life and be with Rorie. Her wish to learn to be independent causes a few problems for her though and she finds out its not easy living only on a pay check. Seeing how her career developed was fascinating and although it led to some separation from Rorie it was something she needed to do. The other characters around them were really well written and allowed facets of their personalities and relationship to come to the fore. I especially liked Rorie’s group of lesbian friends and their little side bets.
The love story was of course integral to the book and it was both beautiful and very sexy. I’m glad Miranda Macleod let us see that love doesn’t always run smoothly but needs work and time. Rorie’s past regarding her parents was a brilliant addition and it was at times heart- wrenching.  I was surprised at how affected I was by this part of the story.
Another winner and I can’t wait for the final instalment!
Kitty Kat

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TWO 5 Stars for Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops #1) by Gill McKnight #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Welcome to the Wallops (The Wallops #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Gill McKnight (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: June 29, 2016 – 242 pgs

Synopsis

The villages of High Wallop and Lesser Wallop have graced either end of the Wallop valley since medieval times. And competition between the two has never ceased since, especially over the famous Cheese and Beer festival.
As head Judge of Show, Jane Swallow has always struggled to keep peace, friendship, and equanimity within the community she loves, but this year everything is wrong. Her father has just been released from prison and is on his way to Lesser Wallop with the rest of her travelling family and their caravans.
Her job is on the line, and her ex-girlfriend from a million years ago has just moved in next door.
Her life is going down the drain unless she can pull off some sort of miracle.

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Review
FiveStarsI absolutely love The Wallops. Gill McKnight has managed to dream up a village full of characters I can believe in and want more of. Jill is strong, caring and goes way beyond the call of duty. When her ex Renata turns up she is thrown off kilter and old feelings threaten to change the idyllic life she has made for herself. Their very complicated relationship is only part of what kept me reading till the early hours. I loved Bishop Andrew – he was such a mischievous fun character. He was such a counterpoint to the intensely annoying Colin Harper. The  mystery of St Poe’s and Renata’s research raised the story to a much higher level.  I am so glad that there are going to be more of these novels as the main characters Jane and Renata give me a warm fuzzy feeling.
A totally involving read, well written and with scope for a series of wonderful tales.
Kitty Kat

FiveStars
I found this book highly entertaining. There were many scenes that made me laugh and one scene that made me laugh for quite some time. In fact, I related that scene to my partner and she laughed just as hard. It was quite surprising to tell the truth. I wasn’t quite sure I would like the book in the beginning, when the two women had their initial reunion. The vitriol seems insurmountable. The entire reason for the end of their previous relationship centers around Jane and her experiences with her family. The question is whether or not Renata can understand and forgive Jane for running away. Jane considers it her own cowardice, but I see it more as a matter of her own survival. There were several things that were revealed that came as a tremendous surprise. I admire McKnight’s skill in making those revelations not only surprising but fitting. The entire plot hinged together tightly and resulted in a story that kept me turning pages and totally satisfied at the end. Oh, my mistake. Not totally satisfied. There was a preview for book 2, Wendy of the Wallops, at the end of the book. I’m totally not satisfied because that book isn’t out yet. I can’t wait and it is definitely on my list to get as soon as it comes out.
Amy P

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