Tag Archives: Lesbian

4 stars and 3.5 stars for Finding Hekate (Cicatrix Duology #1) by Kellie Doherty @Kellie_Doherty #FF #lesbian #SciFi #ScienceFiction

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Title: Finding Hekate (Cicatrix Duology #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Kellie Doherty (Desert Palm Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 7, 2016 – 265 Pages

Synopsis

Mia Foley is running away from the attack that changed her life. She’s captain of a new spaceship when the Acedians find her and try blasting her peaceful crew from the black. She must sever her bonds in order to run, again. But she’s grown fond of this crew, particularly Cassidy Gates. Staying with them will jeopardize their safety, and they have much closer fears than the Acedian hunters. Mia’s time is running out. She’s becoming one of them.

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Review

FourStars

Some times you read a book to take you away from the mundane and into the unknown. This book catapults you into the stratosphere. It is full of excitement, thrills, the unexpected and throughout the entire book throbs a passionate undercurrent. A growing love  that one person can’t acknowledge and the other can’t deny.
The plot is very intricate, the characters strong and resolute. Ms Doherty weaves a tale that is as imaginative as it is innovative.
I have  to admit that although totally intrigued and absolutely unaware of the creative ending I was also a little disappointed. I personally would have liked to see more resolution. However Ms Doherty certainly succeeded in making me need to read the next book in the series, which I will be awaiting in great anticipation.
~Chris
ThreeandHalfStars
I feel a little ambivalent about this book. First, I didn’t connect to Mia, especially at first. She was so withdrawn and closed off that it was difficult to empathize with her at all. And her vacillating feelings for Cassidy made me like her even less. I couldn’t get into the book at first. Even after her fight on the first planet they were on, it didn’t engage me. It wasn’t until she found the stowaway that I started being drawn into the story. There was something about the enhancements to her strength and speed that really started catching my interest. That said, I wasn’t sure about the reactions of the other people Mia came into contact with. Jeff became so angry, and while I understand some of it, it seemed like it was more than the situation merited. Will became withdrawn and passive, and I’m not sure I understand that reaction either. The last portion of the book was exciting, and based on that and the extremely brief description of the next book, I would probably be interested in picking it up. It ends kind of abruptly and with no real feeling of satisfaction. More like a to-be-continued episode instead of having any sort of natural pause in the story. It did make me care about the story, and even the people in the story, even if I like Cassidy a bit more in this book than Mia. But it’s hard to feel like I’d be able to connect anymore to Mia in the next book since she’s becoming even more unemotional as her transformation progresses. Like I said, ambivalent.
~AmyP

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4.5 stars and 5 stars for Collide-o-Scope (Norfolk Coast Investigation #1) by Andrea Bramhall #FF #Lesfic #Lesbian #Romance #Mystery

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Title: Collide-O-Scope (Norfolk Coast Investigation #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Andrea Bramhall (Ylva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: April 10, 2016 — 310 Pages

Synopsis

An unidentified woman is found murdered on the North Norfolk Coastal Path and newly promoted Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon and Kings Lynn’s CID have the task of figuring out whom, how, and why. A job that’s made more difficult when everyone of the forty residents in the village has something to hide and answers her questions with a string of lies.
Georgina Temple has her own secrets to keep, and her own reasons to keep them. But her growing attraction to Kate makes it increasingly difficult to keep them.
Kate’s investigation into the woman’s death brings delves into the heart of the tiny fishing village where nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

Kate is a detective sergeant in the  Norfolk police force and is out to prove herself as worthy of her new promotion.  A quiet rural English setting is perfect for this tale of a murdered lesbian campsite owner.  Connie was found shot in the early morning after being out walking her dog and photographing the beautiful sunset.  It seems inconceivable that anyone would want to kill her but as Kate discovers there is more to a small Norfolk village than meets the eye.  She meet some very unpleasant people and there are plenty of suspects but why Connie?  Her growing relationship with one of Connie’s friends could cause problems, more than she could ever know.  Gina has a wild young daughter and has some secrets of her own but Kate is drawn to her.  I thought the attraction was well written as it was gradual but powerful.  Neither were sure it could work but I so wanted it to as they were so right for each other.  The murder mystery was interesting and full of surprises. It goes to show you never know what is going on right in front of you.  And the most odious of people may not be the most dangerous.  Appearances are deceptive.  Andrea Bramhall can certainly write a great story and she had me fooled.  I want to read some more of her work now as I really enjoyed this one.
Kitty Kat
FiveStars
When I began reading the prologue I thought it was going to be a wax lyrical type of book – then boom. How wrong was I. This is a fast paced brilliant and innovative piece of work by an obviously dynamic author.
The characters are superbly portrayed, believable, likable and above all, human, they both have their strengths and both have weaknesses. The description of the scenery and the problems associated with its location added great depth to this colourful and picturesque novel.
The plot itself is fast paced and with lots of red herrings adding both intrigue and suspense.
In additional to being a terrific murder mystery, you have the added bonus of a tender and warmhearted romance slowly yet deftly emerging.
The ending was both dynamic and sensational, a very fitting conclusion to a superb novel.
Chris

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5 stars and 3 stars for Along Came the Rain by Alison R. Solomon #FF #lesfic #Lesbian #Mystery

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Title: Along Came the Rain
Author Name & Publisher: Alison R. Solomon (Sapphire Books)
Publication Date & Length: April 15, 2016 — 266 Pages

Synopsis

Wynn Larimer would be the first to admit she has a bad memory and that lately it’s been getting worse. But that doesn’t explain how she has ended up in jail, accused of kidnapping two teenage foster kids. Now she’s in the fight of her life to clear her name. Her burning question: who has framed her and why?
Wynn’s partner, Barker, is hanging by an emotional thread. Not only are the missing girls her social work clients, but to make matters worse, her beloved Wynn seems to be losing her mind. How can she ensure the girls are brought to safety while dealing with a partner who is increasingly scattered?

Wynn and Barker must race to uncover the truth before Wynn is charged with a serious crime that could imprison her for years. But what will happen to their relationship when both discover things about each other that will change their lives forever?

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Review

FiveStars

This novel totally drew me in, it amazed me, it scared me and it made me think.
Although at times I found this a very difficult subject to read about Ms Solomon handled this controversial subject in a very astute way.
I was completely amazed when the perpetrator was revealed having accepted, with regret, the misjudged and first likely suspect. This was a real credit to the authors creative writing skills and obvious impeccable research.
Due to the darkness and despair, which were a necessary part of this challenging novel, the ending was a much appreciated, uplifting and satisfying conclusion.
A very different novel, but certainly one not to be missed.
~Chris
ThreeStar

I’m not even sure where to go first. I’ll start with the format. I’ve only recently started liking first person povs. I think it’s more difficult for me to get into a book where ‘I’ am the character and not just following along beside the character. I know that is a personal preference. There are many people who absolutely love first person. My problem in this book is the head jumping. I believe there are a total of three characters whose point of view is written from, and the pov changes each chapter. In my opinion, and again with the caveat that it’s my own preference, I believe that any book written from more than one pov should change to a third person narrator. Next on my format list is the timeline. I didn’t like the way the author changed ‘when’ she was writing about. For example, the first chapter happened a week or two after two foster girls went missing. The next chapter happens two days after the girls disappear, the next chapter, the day they go missing, and the fourth chapter happens a couple of months before. This makes me feel like I have to actually write down what happens when, just to keep things straight. I just don’t like that type of bouncing around, although I understand why it’s used here. The first chapter has a lot of impact, and then there’s a back up to explain what led up to that. Still, not a fan of that much jumping.

My next problem with the book has to do with content. This part is ALL about content so it’s all my personal opinion about how what I read made me feel. I’ll try to get through this part without too many spoilers. First, reading about dementia or Alzheimer’s is difficult. It’s a subject that I have fears surrounding it, because I’m afraid it could happen to me. So it isn’t something I would choose to read about. However, it IS important to the plot, and once I got past some of the initial scenes concerning this it became a bit more bearable. Next is what happens to the girls after they’ve disappeared. The only way I can say anything about this without a spoiler is that it was shocking to read with no prior preparation, and I didn’t particularly care for it. And finally is the part about who was behind it all and how it was resolved. All I can say about this part is it’s cray-cray. The whole book seems like a ride on the seedy, crazy part of town.

So I didn’t like the book. However, I will praise two things. I liked the technical expertise of Solomon’s writing – by which I mean her writing is technically great. Her sentence structure, vocabulary, and grammar are all above average. And the book itself is well plotted and well written. Her style is very easy to read. So this book didn’t do it for me, but I would take a look at others she’s written to see if I’m interested.

~AmyP

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4 stars for Out — A Courageous Woman’s Journey by Lou Anne Smoot #FF #NonFiction #Memoir

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Title: Out — A Courageous Woman’s Journey
Author Name & Publisher: Lou Anne Smoot (Sapphire Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 1, 2016 — 294 Pages

Synopsis

Lou Anne fell in love with Karen in 1956 when they were both 17 and freshmen at Baylor University. Her parents told her the relationship was sinful and unacceptable. Seeing no other option, she followed their direction, married, and remained faithful to her husband for 37 years.
At age 60, after an incident in her Baptist Sunday School class, Lou Anne could no longer pretend to be straight. Her struggles to reconcile her faith with being gay take her into the depths of depression. After divorcing and ?coming out,? Lou Anne remained in her Baptist church for an additional fifteen years both to be true to her faith tradition and as an example of a gay Christian. She emerges as an outspoken advocate for gay rights.

This story of a retired teacher, mother of four, grandmother of six is told in an unprecedented, brutally honest manner.

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Review

FourStars

A very honest account by an extremely brave lady. Written in such a forthright and genuine way it read almost as a conversation.
The letters between the author and her children brought tears of utter respect to my eyes. I feel this book will be appreciated and help all christian’s  who may be having personal difficulties in coming to terms with their own sexuality.
I found the letters sent to the author asking for her help at the end of the book particularly meaningful and poignant.
I can almost acknowledge how perplexing it must have felt for Ms Smoot to comprehend some section of the church and it’s complete ignorance regarding homosexuality. As a non practicing christian I can’t possibly understand how she was treated in such a way by supposed Christians.
There were some parts that I could not comprehend or grasp, like her fear of having a daughter and the length of time her acceptance of herself took. I appreciate this might be due to my lack of knowledge or awareness of such a religious fundamentalist community.
Certainly a thought provoking and sincere book well worth reading.
~Chris

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5 Star and TWO 3 Star Reviews for Surrender to Me (Surrender #2) by Raven J. Spencer #FF #Romance

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Title: Surrender to Me (Surrender #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Raven J. Spencer
Publication Date & Length: February 14, 2016 – 141 Pages

Synopsis

Penny is finally ready to say yes all the way, but married life doesn’t start off as expected. While the attraction between her and Carter is deepening, Penny still struggles to adjust to her new life full of luxury and new responsibilities. Carter continues to keep secrets for a cause, and shares only reluctantly with her wife. Can they overcome those differences, and who’s going to surrender this time?

Intended for a mature audience due to various scenes of erotic nature

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Review

FiveStars

Carter and Penny are getting married after their very unconventional start together. Carter ‘kidnapped’ Penny in order to save her from a sex trafficking ring and they fell in love. Carter is a multi-billionaire, who uses her money to help women in perilous situations with abusive male partners. She tries to keep Penny shielded from this part of her life and that causes some problems between them. She is also a control freak and is finding it difficult to let Penny take some of that control and for them to become equals. I really loved this book, as I did the previous one in the series. The women undergo changes in this story though in that Carter is slowly being forced to realise that Penny needs to be a full partner in all that she does. When Carter finds herself in huge danger then Penny has to be let into her secrets. She becomes more of a part of the dark world that Carter has had to inhabit. Penny’s friends are still wary of Carter and the story Penny has told them of her unusual relationship. Penny has some niggling doubts but in the end loves and trusts Carter. I liked how Penny grew stronger and felt able to challenge Carter more. Carter made a start on changing and hopefully we will see more of that in the next book

 

Kitty Kat

ThreeStar

I found this book interesting, it allowed me to find out what was happening with Penny and Carter following on from the first book in the series. I applauded the scene at the awards presentation and felt it was strike for acceptance and recognition of same sex marriages, and it made me smile!
However it lacked the excitement and tension associated with the original. Penny’s repetitious moaning and self doubt about about her financial situation was a little wearing. Their sexual encounters were less erotic and the account of their wedding disappointing on the romantic front.
What I did feel was the first book in the series was a solid foundation and this novel was a securing up and beefing up of that, in anticipation of a shattering, and, climatic third novel. If this was Ms Spencer’s intention it certainly worked for me. I was definitely left wanting more, having more questions than answers and eagerly awaiting  the adventures and dangers and impending menaces left facing these two women.
Although one of a series it is a stand alone book.
~Chris
ThreeStar
This story is not an improvement on the first book. It actually pains me to say it but it’s true. At least the first book had some plot. This book seems like a placeholder book, as though the author wanted to write a trilogy for some reason. There may be some sort of resolution in the third book, but this book doesn’t add much to Penelope and Carter’s story. We still have an unequal relationship where Carter is controlling and keeping secrets, and Penelope is expected to live with it. There is no hint of compromise; Carter is basically telling her to take it or leave it, although she does expect Penelope to leave it. And I’m not really sure there’s enough there for Penelope to stay. But there’s still no real attempt to resolve this power imbalance and it makes it difficult to believe that Penelope would stay. Carter treats her like she’s a child, incapable of making her own decisions and withholding information that might allow Penelope to develop into a mature partner. But the biggest problem with the book is that nothing happens. Yes, they get married. Yes, they go on trips to other countries. Yes, Carter changes all the plans at the last minute and doesn’t tell Penelope why. And finally, Carter gets arrested in Paris, which is a little weird because she never did anything. But rather than using any of these events to help Carter and Penelope explore their relationship in an attempt to make it more equal, we have the same story of Carter making decisions for Penelope’s own good, and Penelope allowing it to happen. How are we supposed to believe that Penelope is more than a toy or a trophy wife if she doesn’t get to do anything? I will be reading book 3, but I’m not sure I’m looking forward to it anymore. I’d like to see the feisty, independent student stand up for herself and force a partnership on Carter.
Amy P.

 

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5 stars for Theory of Love Anthology by Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten #MM #FF @GoIndiMarketing

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Title: Theory of Love
Author Name & Publisher:

Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten.

(Torquere Press)
Publication Date & Length: May 18, 2016 — 80,000 words

Synopsis

In Theory of Love, we wave our geek flag high! Tales from deep space, sci-fi realities, technology, academia, and cosplay are brought together in this collection. In Dale Cameron Lowry’s Far From Home, long-distance spouses fan the flames of passion while fighting to save humanity. Meat Space by Lynn Townsend, brings virtual space and the real world crashing into a new reality. Asta Idonea’s Captive shows us that love can form in any manner of situations. Beta Tester by Charles Payseur immerses the reader—and the characters—in a virtual reality that brings a friendship to a whole new level. K.S. Trenten’s A Symposium in Space, love is a different meal to every guest. Unexpected Dilemmas by Jessica Payseur long-distance lovers face hijacking and natural disaster to be together. Kayla Bashe’s Medic to the Hivemind a stranded student is saved by a mysterious voice with secrets. Being Jake by Lila Mathews shows readers that smart is sexy. In D.C. Juris’ Torn Apart, love provides the will to survive. Shattered Space by Alain Bell shows how love can grow from destruction. Maia Strong’s All ‘Ships May Sail connects cosplay, fandoms, and something more. Trash and Treasures by M.D. Grimm gives us a deal made in interstellar space that could be more than either party bargained for.

In theory, love is easy.

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Review

FiveStars

Theory of Love is an excellent science fiction anthology from Toquere Press. It features broken-down spaceships, near-future video games, and Jupiter’s moon Europa. There’s a couple of traces of hard science fiction, too, but this is mostly a sexual anthology.

I was quite pleased to see F/F in balance with the M/M stories, rather than just a token story. The cast is diverse and does include aliens and alien sex.

Highlights:

Meat Space (M/M), Lynn Townsend, is the sensual and tactile of adventure of someone raised within a video game and then “unplugged.” Her unique use of language brings the game and reality to life.

Beta Tester (M/M), Charles Payseur, is another video-game-induced story. I could read a whole anthology of those.

Captive (M/M), Asta Idonea, makes empires rise and fall with an encounter between an Earth military man and the leader of an opposing alien race. Again, evocative, yet serious, it gets to the core of today’s humanity like any good science fiction should.

Medic to the Hive Mind (F/F), Kayla Bashe, offers a butch heroine to drool over amidst action, adventure, and hard choices.

Shattered Space (F/F), Alain Bell, is my personal favorite. It’s just med-porn, reminiscent of any modern science fiction television show. Maybe it was the familiarity brought it to life, but Bell’s wrought tension, sympathy, and care make it great.

Torn Apart (M/M), DC Juris, is difficult to explain, but adorable. As is Trash and Treasures (M/M), M.D. Grimm.

Unexpected Dilemmas (F/F), Jessica Payseur, is a cozy way to wrap things up. The personal drama of a long-distance relationship dances through natural disasters and space travails.

Some stories are duds, at least for my tastes, but that’s to be expected. Overwhelmingly, Theory of Love is fantastic and filled with future worlds I’d love to see more of.

The individual stories can be purchased at $2.49, making a compilation of so many a great deal.

Five Stars

I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review by Inked Rainbow Reads. I was not compensated, coerced, or flattered into an opinion.

~C. E. Case

Excerpt

From Trash and Treasure by M.D. Grimm

Some of the coldness left Ronan’s eyes. He seemed confused again. Why did Tucker seem to confuse Ronan so much?

Then it happened. Ronan nodded. “Deal.”

Tucker barely stopped himself from gaping again. It worked? He was going to have sex? He was going to have sex! He didn’t let himself think about how long it had been since his last partner. It would only depress him. He knew what to do… mostly.

Tucker tossed the ball underhand to Ronan, who caught it with a startled expression.

“What?” Tucker said. “It’s not like you can go anywhere. Your ship’s caput and even if you tried to hack into my navigation system, you wouldn’t get far. My ma designed it and she was the best there was. Just letting you know in case you had a thought of bashing me over the head and commandeering my ride.”

Ronan looked insulted. “I would never do such a thing. I am not a thief or vagabond.”

“Then what are you?”

Ronan’s mouth pulled into a thin line. Tucker shrugged. “Fine. Keep your secrets. Come on, follow me. Let’s both take a well-needed shower.” A blush suddenly crept up his face. “I mean, a shower separately. Let’s take a shower—oh, never mind. Just come on.”

He turned his back on Ronan and called himself an idiot. He dearly hoped he wasn’t making a huge mistake. But he wouldn’t go back on it now. He really, really wanted to have sex.

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5 stars for Speak Its Name by Kathleen Jowitt #FF #Christian @kathleenjowitt

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Title: Speak Its Name
Author Name & Publisher: Kathleen Jowitt
Publication Date & Length: February 2, 2016 — 278 Pages

Synopsis

A new year at the University of Stancester, and Lydia Hawkins is trying to balance the demands of her studies with her responsibilities as an officer for the Christian Fellowship. Her mission: to make sure all the Christians in her hall stay on the straight and narrow, and to convert the remaining residents if possible. To pass her second year. And to ensure a certain secret stays very secret indeed.

When she encounters the eccentric, ecumenical student household at 27 Alma Road, Lydia is forced to expand her assumptions about who’s a Christian to include radical Quaker activist Becky, bells-and-smells bus-spotter Peter, and out (bisexual) and proud (Methodist) Colette. As the year unfolds, Lydia discovers that there are more ways to be Christian – and more ways to be herself – than she had ever imagined.

Then a disgruntled member of the Catholic Society starts asking whether the Christian Fellowship is really as Christian as it claims to be, and Lydia finds herself at the centre of a row that will reach far beyond the campus. Speak Its Name explores what happens when faith, love and politics mix and explode.

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Review

FiveStars

This is probably a book best enjoyed by people who have connections to Christian communities or have an understanding of them. However, if anyone wants a glimpse into the world of conservative evangelical Christianity, this is an excellent example of what it looks like. It’s also a good read for straight Christians who want to understand what it’s like to be LGBTQ within those conservative spaces.

It’s hard to categorize my own feelings after reading this. At times, it was so familiar as to be painful. Because this is set in the UK and I’m in the US, I spotted some distinct cultural differences, particularly with the university system. However, every last detail about the Christian Fellowship group was achingly familiar, right down to the lingo, the statement of belief, and the narrowly specific teachings. It was enough that I cringed with apology for Americans having exported this brand of faith.

This is not a fast-paced story. It’s a slow-bloom both regarding Lydia’s expanding definition of what it means to be a Christian and her romance with Colette. I was both surprised and yet not at the way the faith-based politics played out in the story as well as Lydia’s role in it all. Once again, it felt horribly familiar. Yet there was comfort in the realization that we who have been through similar things are not alone.

One thing I particularly liked was seeing the characters struggling to make sense of Lydia’s orientation but seen from her perspective. A lot of Christian novels on LGBTQ issues are about Christians trying to figure out what to do with their gay friends and family, but they aren’t told in the words and thoughts of the gay person themselves. It was a good change of pace watching it happen from inside, from Lydia’s point of view, and seeing the different reactions in contrast with each other.

This is an ideal read for anyone trying to make sense of Christian faith and being LGBTQ or being friends and family of LGBTQ people. The characters and setting feel real, and it’s so well-written with rich detail. It could be difficult for some readers to revisit a painful past, but others will find a kinship with Lydia and her group of friends.

~Amy

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