Title: Carolyn for Christmas
Author Name & Publisher: Lucy Carey (NineStar Press)
Publication Date: December 14, 2015
Christmas. It’s supposed to be a time for peace, love, and goodwill to all men. But not for two women when it comes to nabbing the solo spot in the big Christmas concert. To get that spot, they’ll do whatever it takes…
Carolyn Roche and Saoirse Barrett have known—and hated—each other for a long time. Their lives have been dedicated to one-upping each other. Carolyn has worked hard to shake off her poor roots, landing a top job at a major accountancy firm. Saoirse has worked just as hard to set up her own business in the vain hopes of impressing her tough father.
They’re equally matched in life—and in vocal talent. But neither is willing to let the other woman win.
That is, until they find themselves trapped in their old school, with just a bottle of vodka and their memories for company. There, they discover that the hatred they feel for each other might not be hatred after all…
I enjoyed the novella and loved the Christmas-time setting. It was very well written and put me in the Christmas mood. I liked the two main characters and felt they were well-rounded and have further mileage in them if the author decides to take their story further.
Who the hell did that one think she was?
Saoirse Barrett narrowed her eyes and took a long sip of her Chardonnay. She was momentarily distracted from her irritation as the wine hit her tongue and she grimaced at the taste of it. Pub wine was just the worst.
It certainly wasn’t making the sudden tension any easier to take. She did her best to look nonchalant, like she wasn’t bothered by the rudeness that had arrived at her table. At the other end of the table, Carolyn bloody Roche was staring in Saoirse’s direction, with an expression on her face like she’d just got a whiff of dog shite.
That bitch, she thought. Like I’d even offer her a seat.
She nudged her friend, Lorna, who was feigning interest in a conversation about the recession with some random guy in an expensive shirt. As pleasantly as she was smiling, Lorna had gone dead behind the eyes.
She’d welcome Saoirse’s interruption.
“Jesus, they’ll let anyone in here,” Saoirse said.
Shit. Saoirse had meant to whisper the barb but it came out louder than she’d been expecting. Must be that cheap Chardonnay.
Carolyn whipped around from dragging her friend away and gave Saoirse a stare that sent a shiver down her spine. She’d obviously heard.
“And a Merry fucking Christmas to you, too,” Carolyn snarled, then curled her lip and turned away.
Thank God, Saoirse thought. That could have turned really ugly. As much as Carolyn had changed in the past few years, Saoirse knew her of old—she came from one of the rougher estates in the town and would likely make mincemeat of Saoirse in a fight, if she was so inclined.
The heavy, aggrieved clatter of Carolyn’s heels on the stone floor was like music to Saoirse’s ears. She took a swig of her Chardonnay to hide her relieved expression.
“God, the state of her,” Lorna whispered as they watched Carolyn’s retreating form. “You’d think with getting that job, she could afford not to dress like some sort of goth reject.”
Saoirse didn’t quite agree with the assessment—she thought Carolyn’s shape in her tight, black jeans tucked into studded boots and her short leather jacket, impractical for the cold, suited her. She kept the thought to herself and continued guiltily appreciating the swish of Carolyn’s hips as she strode through the crowd.
Christmas—it’s supposed to be the time for forgiveness and goodwill to all men (and women). But what about when it comes to that one person who’s gotten under your skin…who irritates you more than anyone—that person who you love to hate?
That’s the premise behind Carolyn for Christmas, my new lesbian romance available from NineStar Press. It follows the story of two long-time foes, Carolyn and Saoirse (pronounced Seer-sha), a pair of twenty-something women who live in Ireland.
Carolyn and Saoirse drive each other crazy—and they’ve been locked in a bitter rivalry since they were in their early teenage years. It wasn’t always that way. In fact, the two started out as the best of friends. But their bond is eroded by time, interfering outsiders, and a sense of competition. Though they’d never admit it to anyone else (or even to themselves), they’re both mourning the loss of that special friend who they grew up with: the friend who splashed in puddles with them or helped to decorate the Christmas tree.
Now, as adults, they’re still locking horns. They’re both competing for a solo spot in the local Christmas concert. Neither will give the other the satisfaction of winning that spot.
I went to an all-girls Catholic school in Ireland, so I’ve seen the sort of tension that can build between young women given enough reason, time, and close proximity. I wanted to explore that in this novella—and how a grudge like that can mushroom in a small town until it’s all consuming.
We’ve all had that experience, I’m sure, of meeting someone who makes you so irrationally mad, you can’t stand it. (I know I have.) Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, how often have you wondered whether two rivals who claim to hate each other are really hiding some supressed feelings of love—or at least lust?
If you’re looking for a holiday read, Saoirse and Carolyn’s story is packed full of humour, sweet moments, and depictions of real-life Ireland at Christmas.
I really hope you enjoy it—and thanks to Inked Rainbow Reads for having me. A very Happy Holidays to everyone reading this.
Irish-born and based author writing romance and erotica for lesbian and bisexual women.
My first book, Two Alone in Dublin: A Lesbian Love Story is available now exclusively on Amazon.