Thursday, 24 July 2014

Better Together by Pat Cronin


Mac Brandenton’s best friend Kristy is dying from a brain tumor. She has a bucket list of things she wants to do before she gets too sick. To help her complete her list, she ropes in Mac to help her. Mac has never travelled abroad or even been very adventurous. All that is about to change.

First up on Kristy’s list is a month long trip to Paris and varying other European destinations. Mac has no idea how this trip with Kristy is about to change her life forever.

Kristy and Mac meet up with Kristy’s Dutch friend Lenie. Lenie has promised them a tour of Paris. From the outset the sparks of attraction are sizzling between Mac and Lenie, enthusiastically encouraged by Kristy. But, what will happen at the end of their vacation when Kristy and Mac have to return home? Can a fledgling relationship survive the long distance between the two love struck women?

When Mac returns home, she faces some major changes in her life, the most pressing being Kristy’s worsening cancer. Will Mac be able to count on Lenie through thick and thin? After all, they know they are better together than apart.

First and foremost, I have to say this book is not all doom and gloom. Yes, there is a lot of pain and angst, but it is well balanced out with love and laughter too.

Each of these characters is well developed, multi-faceted and a delight to get to know. There are four main characters, Mac, Kristy, Jace and Lenie. Although the story centers mainly around them, it also brings in to play a lot of the secondary characters too. All essential to the story and adding their own stamps on it.

I liked that the story is set in both America and Europe. It was nice to ‘virtually‘ travel around and see the scenery.

Pat Cronin has written Kristy’s story with compassion and understanding, it’s perfectly logical that someone so young would want to do so much before they die. Also the way people reacted to Kristy’s illness was spot on from my personal experiences.

I enjoyed Jace’s story too. It integrated well into the Kristy, Mac, Lenie story and added some grit as well as humor.

The love story between Mac and Lenie was passionate and not without it’s ups and downs. The path of true love rarely runs smoothly though.

There were a few odd typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. I look forward to reading more from this author soon.

 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Finding Her Way by Riley Jefferson


Jerrica Kerrison has a fantastic job as an accountant at a top Boston company, owns her own townhouse and drives a sports car. The one thing she doesn’t have and desperately wants is love. Jerrica is wary though. She’s had an abusive marriage and her first relationship with a woman was a disaster. Will Jerrica ever find the love she so badly needs? More to the point, will Jerrica ever allow herself to open up to the concept of love after being hurt?

Madison Jeffrey’s PR job in the the south has kept her away from family pressures, that is, until her boss relocates to New England. Madison now has no choice but to face up to her family, in particular, the sister who hates her.

When Jerrica and Madison first meet, they are both immediately attracted to one another. Eventually, they spend a fantastic, passionate, love filled night together. But, the following morning, Jerrica runs from Madison without saying goodbye and disappears. Madison is confused and hurt by her behavior. Why would Jerrica do that when they were so well suited and getting along so well?

So many questions needing to be answered. Both Jerrica and Madison are hiding secrets from the past. Only by confronting their pasts and their fears can they each move on, but will they see sense? Or will they miss out on the opportunity of true love forever? If only Jerrica can come to terms with opening her heart to receive love and Madison can believe she is deserving of love, things could be smooth sailing for them both.

 
This is Riley Jefferson’s debut book. The book is well written and clips along at a steady pace. Both main characters, Jerrica and Madison, are multidimensional and the secondary characters really add to the story, especially Lauren, Jerrica’s assistant. Riley wrote about the characters so well that I felt their emotions radiating from the page, which in turn made me want to slap some and hug others. I won’t add in any spoilers, that wouldn’t be fair. I did find parts of the story a touch unbelievable, but then again, it is fiction and not based on fact.

There are sex scenes that are well placed, tastefully written and hot, which added just the right amount of spice to the romance without overshadowing it.

I thought the ending was a little abrupt, although there isn’t a cliff-hanger. I would like to know more of Jerrica and Madison’s future, if they have one. A sequel would be welcomed.

 

Monday, 14 July 2014

FUTUREDYKE by Lea Daley


Leslie Burke had a brain tumor. She was faced with two choices. Stay where she was and face a certain death, or opt for cryosleep and wake up sometime in the near future cured. Leslie chose cryosleep.

When Leslie wakes up, she is shocked and dismayed to find herself more than four thousand years in the future. Revived people, refugees like Leslie, are barely tolerated outcasts in this world, Jashari.

Leslie tries her hardest to accept her new world, but she is lonely and has a lot to learn. The one thing she discovers that hasn’t changed in her new world is the human penchant for avarice and hypocrisy.

When Leslie discovers she is being scrutinized by the Jashari ruling Council, she sets out to find out the reason why they should be so interested in her.

But, who can she trust? Who is friend and who is foe? Leslie is even doubting her own heart. How can she be attracted to Aimée? After all, Aimée isn’t even totally human. But, in a new world with a healthy life in front of her, does it really matter who she loves?

This is the second book I’ve read by Lea Daley. Her first book was excellent, very well written and I was looking forward to reading more from her. She has absolutely excelled herself with FutureDyke. Not only is this book well written and edited, it is a page turner right the way through. Lea has shown that she is capable of writing in varied genres. This book is science fiction at it’s very best.

Lea has created a whole new world, a world set in the future with a new language and new technology. It is interesting to see this world of Jashari through the eyes of an earthling as Leslie learns to cope four thousand years in the future from her own past. The plot is tight and fast paced. Full of twists and turns. Just when I thought things were levelling out, the plot would veer off in a totally different direction. A real roller-coaster ride. Jashari and it’s people are so well described, I managed to immerse myself totally in the story and live alongside Leslie and Aimée.

These characters are all fully developed and multidimensional, each one playing an important role in the progression of the story. Nothing is left unexplained or left as loose ends and the world of Jashari is described and shown extremely well.

There are many heart-stopping moments, but there is fun and laughter too. Whether you like Sci/fi or not, this story is outstanding. I’ve added it to my re-read pile for a second, leisurely read.

 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Her by Lisa Ron



Fox Owens, knows there is ‘the one’, her soul mate, waiting out there for her  somewhere. She simply has to find her. Easier said than done. Fox has almost given up hope, until she sees ‘HER’. She’s sitting across from her in a restaurant, with a man. She knows immediately that her search is over.

Penny is married to a self centered, controlling man. Although she’s not happy, Penny knows she won’t be able to leave her husband easily. He will never let her go, not without a fight.

Will Fox get the woman of her dreams? Will Penny fall in love with Fox? Will they be able to share their lives? Or will it simply be too difficult and they part forever?

This is Lisa Ron’s debut book. But, it certainly doesn’t read like it. The book is well written, the story is nicely paced and engaging from the beginning through to the end.

Whether you believe in soul mates or not, this story gives food for thought. Is it possible at a glance to know you have met your one and only, your HER? What if your HER belongs to someone else? Will she feel the same about you? If she does, is it possible to have a life together? This story answers all these questions and more for Fox and Penny and is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how their story ended. Then I had to re-read it a bit slower to assimilate the story in it’s entirety.

Both Fox and Penny are well developed and multidimensional characters, although they have their own flaws and secrets, it’s good to watch them grow stronger as the story progresses. There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters, Megan, Fox’s best friend and her girlfriend Tree are great. David, Fox’s gay roommate plays a big part too. They are just as much a big part of the story as Fox and Penny.

This is more than another simple romance, there is a depth to this story that pulled me in from the beginning, but at the same time is a comfortable and easy read.

I’ll be looking out for more from Lisa Ron in the future. She is off to a flying start in the world of lesfic.

 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Caught and Kept by Penelope Grey


The second book in the Siren’s Song series

Kai Larsen, bar manager at the Siren’s Song Club is branching out. After years of closeting herself in the exclusive lesbian club, she’s trying to look to her future. She’s applied and been accepted for a part time job at Dani McClure’s Whidbey Island Retreat.

Kai hadn’t had an easy young life. She’s been hiding a deep, dark secret from way back in her past. Until Kai can let go of the past, she can’t move forward.

Dani McClure has not long split up from a long term relationship. Things hadn’t been going too well for a while for her and Kris, but when  Kris cheated on her, it was the final straw. Dani can’t and won’t allow herself to be hurt again, not by anyone.

When Kai and Dani meet, an immediate and deep friendship begins. As far as both women are concerned, it can never be anything more. Kai doesn’t do relationships and Dani can’t give her heart again. Friends is all they can be.

But.......Will friendship be enough? Kai and Dani both have past fears and must put them behind them in order to move forward. Will the Siren’s Song help them find themselves and the love they both so badly need and deserve?

When I read Penelope Grey’s debut book Infinity’s Song, I knew I’d found a true gem. An author I feel will be a big name in lesfic. But, I did wonder how she was going to manage to top her excellent first book. I needn’t have worried, she’s actually gone over and above topping it. This book is an extremely well written, one sitting page turner, in which the emotions radiate off the page hitting the reader right in the heart. I defy anyone to read this book and not be affected by it in one way or another.

This book has some of the same wonderful characters from Infinity’s Song. The club, The Siren’s Song, is as much a character as the people depicted in this story. You would have to read these books to know and get exactly what I mean as I don’t want to add in any spoilers.

The main characters, Kai and Dani are so true and real, I felt I actually knew them personally. They interact so well together and it is painfully obvious they are meant to be together, but the question is, will they be able to let go of their pasts and give love another chance?

If you are up for a really good story with a tender and simmering romance hovering in the background, this is a book not to be missed. Although the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. But, I would strongly advise you to read Infinity’s Song first. You’ll be missing out on a wonderful story and some of the background on the characters.

Now, I am anxiously and eagerly awaiting Penelope Grey’s next offering. 

 

Cold by Alison Carpenter


When Joanna Holbrook-Sutherland, (Jo) sees a photograph of a homeless woman in her mother’s London gallery, she has no idea how much her life is about to change, forever. There is something about the photograph that is drawing Jo to find the woman who she’s been seeing in her dreams.

Jo is a playgirl. She has lots of women she doesn’t care about and lots of casual sex too. So, when Jo sets out with determination to find the nameless woman, her friends and family are shocked by her single-mindedness.

Piece by piece, Jo puts together the snippets of information she has and finds herself in Whitechapel and at last in front of Rocky.

Twenty year old Rocky has been living rough on the streets of London, barely surviving for the past five years. She is laden down with deep, dark haunting secrets. Jo knows the road ahead will be hard, but is determined to save Rocky from the past which is haunting her and her bleak, dangerous life on the streets. She has to find a way to get Rocky to open up and to trust her.

Jo engulfs Rocky in a secure blanket filled with all the love she has to give. But will Jo’s love be enough?

I first read this story online years ago and have read it several times since. I loved it then, just as much as I love it now. This is a story that gripped me from the first page right through to it’s climatic ending. I was so pleased to see this re-published as I feel this is one story that new readers to lesfic deserve to have the pleasure of reading.

This is an unusual story, one which many may say, ‘right, like that would ever happen’. Well, it may or may not happen, who knows? It’s not beyond the realms of possibility. But, this is fiction after all and a story that has been thoughtfully crafted and is for me a must re-read every couple of years.

These characters are well written, fully developed and multi-faceted. There is a good cast of secondary characters to enhance and progress the story along. The plot was very well thought out and put together with lots of twists and turns throughout. There were a few typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. It’s a page turner right the way through. It is in my re-read folder for it’s usual annual read.

 

The Death Zone. Murder on Mount Everest by Trin Denise


Veteran mountain climber, Elisa James, has one more mountain she needs to conquer, Mount Everest. The mountain on which her soul mate, the love of her life, Lyn, had died three years previously. Elisa needs closure for Lyn’s death and to bring her body home if possible. When an opportunity arises for her to join an expedition, Elisa jumps at the chance to lead the team. When Elisa meets her team, she’s dismayed to see Ryan Holbrook, the man she considers responsible for Lyn’s death, and his ex girlfriend, Maci Alexander, an inexperienced climber, in her team. Elisa is angry beyond belief and tries to get Ryan thrown off the team. His reputation of being a danger and not a team player are unfortunately not enough. Ryan stays.

Elisa comes up with a plan to exact her own revenge for Lyn’s death. But, will she be able to or even capable of carrying it out? Do two wrongs make a right?

When a fierce storm hits the Goddess, Elisa and Maci fight for their lives, relying on each other for their survival. Which won’t be easy given the odds and outside influences fast at work.

I’ve been reading Trin’s books for some years now and I have to say, this is her best ever yet. She has really excelled herself with this one and written a page turning blockbuster, in true master storyteller style. I don’t have the first clue about climbing, but it is obvious that Trin has done extensive research to put out this authentic, yet fictional story. Trin has integrated fact with fiction so that the story flows along smoothly and the lay person can easily understand all that is going on.

These characters are alive, fully developed and multidimensional, enabling the reader to live along side of them on Everest. The two main characters, Elisa and Maci interact really well together, neither character knowing really what they want in the beginning. The secondary characters are all equally as well formed and all integrate nicely together. All are essential to the progression of the story. Ryan Holbrook is one of the most obnoxious characters in lesfic I’ve come across in a while. But, without him, the story wouldn’t have had the bite that it has. He certainly had me wishing for his demise!

From the scenic descriptions, I totally lost myself and climbed Everest with them. It’s the middle of summer here, yet I was freezing, breathless with the lack of oxygen. That’s how good this book is.

There is a tight, yet fast paced plot, a story that simply begs for just one more chapter to be read. Trin is responsible for me having a couple of late and virtually sleepless nights. The true sign of an excellent book for me.

Set amid the plot is a slow burning, sweet and tender romance, which gets nice and heated in places. Whether Elisa and Maci will survive Everest, whether they would continue their romance if they do, you need to read this book to find out.

I can highly recommend this book to anyone loving a good story with a romance for an added bonus. I will be very surprised, no make that shocked, if this book does not win an award. I am adding this to my re-read folder, to be read again, slowly and savored. This book deserves and needs to be made into a film.