Sunday, 16 December 2012

Caution: Under Construction by TJ Vertigo

Painfully shy, thirty five year old Keefer Gibson has just about had enough of her life with her lover Danni. She’s not in love with her and she’s sure she’s been cheating on her. Keefer has made a big decision, little does she know that her life will be changed because of it forever.

Thirty one year old construction worker, Sheridan Landers is a player. She can and does have almost any woman she wants. She’s proud of her reputation as the club slut.

When building inspector Keefer meets Sheridan at her construction site for the first time, she just can’t get her out of her mind. She has no way of knowing she’s been constantly on Sheridan’s mind too.

The next time Keefer and Sheridan meet sparks begin to fly. One thing leads to another and Keefer and Sheridan begin to spend a lot of time together. The thing both women don’t bargain for is falling in love. Will they be left alone by Keefer’s ex lover Danni to pursue their friendship? Will either woman admit to her feelings?

This is a long and extremely well written book. I loved the story and the characters so much that I was quite upset when it ended.

The story features two women so different, they are like chalk and cheese. At first it appears that the only thing Keefer and Sheridan have in common is their love of dogs. Keefer is really shy, she hasn’t had much experience of being in a stable relationship. Her relationship with Danni was mentally abusive. Keefer was made to feel worthless and is an introvert. Sheridan has had so many women, but never been in a stable relationship either, she’s the club stud and is an extrovert in the extreme. Neither Keefer or Sheridan has been in love before and the possibility to each woman that she may now be in love is strange. It takes both women quite some time to come to terms with it.

From Keefer and Sheridan’s first meeting, both women knew they felt something for the other. When Sheridan finds out that Keefer has issues and problems, it brings out her protective side. Sheridan would normally have walked away at the first signs of any problems, but she finds she can’t, not when it’s Keefer that’s hurting. Gradually Sheridan gets Keefer to loosen up and come out of her shell. It’s a pleasure to watch Keefer begin to blossom and put aside her inhibitions.

Both Keefer and Sheridan are loveable characters, very easy to get to know and love. Tall, dark and gorgeous Keefer and petite, soft butch, blonde Sheridan, what’s not to love? Both are multidimensional and interact well with the rest of the closely knit group of Sheridan’s friends and family. Each character plays an important part in progressing the story forward. Even the dogs play their parts to perfection. Of course, not all characters are loveable, Danni certainly isn’t, but she is essential to the story. Without Danni, Keefer and Sheridan may never have got together.

The story is written with a terrific sense of humor. Real laugh out loud fun. This helps to lighten up some of the more tense moments in the story.

True to a great romance, there is sex, lots and lots of red hot steaming encounters to warm up a cold winters day. All tastefully written and in context with the story. The epitome of a delightful romance. This book however, is more than just a run of the mill romance. The story covers lots of issues, sexual problems, mental cruelty, stalking, a slow to learn family member, as well as the lighter side of a new ‘getting to know one another relationship’.

This is going on my re-read pile and will definitely be due another read soon.

I’ve read a few of TJ Vertigo’s earlier works and really enjoyed them. I’m so pleased to see that they are going to be re-published. TJ is a fantastic writer and I’m hoping she’s going to be writing some new books for our pleasure soon.

At first glance, the price of this book may seem a lot, ($16.99 print and $6.99 E) but it is a very long book and such a lovely story, that I’d be willing to pay this and more. It’s still a lot cheaper than some lesfic on the market, that only have half the pages of this one.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Affinity and Friends put the X Back in X-Mas

(She Came) upon a Christmas Eve by Del Robertson

Lacey has moved back to her Grandmother’s house, back to the town she’d left years earlier, hiding a secret. It’s Christmas Eve, she’s all alone, but someone is determined she is going to believe in Christmas again and celebrate it too. Lacey is shocked to say the least when a huge tree is delivered to her. Who could have sent it?

Lacey wondered if it was her old friend, Sheriff Sam McAllister, it wasn’t and she has nothing to go on to investigate where the tree came from either. What can be happening? Will Lacey believe in Christmas again?

Sam agrees to stay with Lacey to keep her company, but she gets a call out. Lacey gets a surprise visitor, none other than Kris Kringle. She gets even more of a surprise when Sam returns.

A lovely, well written seasonal story. A story of friendship and love at this special time of the year. Has a nice surprise element.


Leather and Lace by Syd Parker

Willow and her friend Skye are up in Aspen to throw a bachelorette/New Year’s Eve party for Willow’s sister, Summer. Unfortunately, no guests will be arriving due to a bad snow storm.

Willow and Skye decide they will make the most of the cabin and the skiing facilities. Skiing isn’t the only thing on Willow’s mind though. She’s been attracted to Skye for a long time. But Skye is her sister Summer’s friend. She can’t act on her feelings and do anything to jeopardize their friendship, can she?

Unknown to Willow, Skye has been having similar feelings. Suddenly the postponed party and lack of guests doesn’t matter, no, not one little bit.

A wonderful, well penned tale of unrequited love becoming a reality. Some really nice hot erotic and steamy sex scenes, set amid the beautiful Aspen landscape.


White Christmas by Ruth Gogoll

After her car broke down on Christmas Eve in the middle of nowhere, the traveller finds a house with a single occupant. After a while of knocking the door, a beautiful woman asked her in, called a tow truck for her and offered her tea, coffee and a little something extra. After spending the night making mad, passionate love, the traveller woke up alone. Where had the mysterious Veronique gone? She couldn’t have just disappeared, could she?

The traveller decides she has to go in search of Veronique and also to find out what happened to the tow truck. She got more than a surprise when she was told the history of the house. Strange happenings for the festive season indeed.

A lovely well written, hauntingly beautiful story that had an unexpected outcome.


A Conditional Christmas Kiss by Kiki Archer

Angie is having an illicit affair with her boss, Maria. Angie wants to go public, but Maria wants the affair kept a deep dark secret.

Dee, Angie’s co-worker, fancies Angie and wants her for her girlfriend. At last, Maria is willing to give Angie a public kiss under the mistletoe at the office party. But first, Angie has to carry out three assignments. What has Maria got in store for Angie? Will Angie carry them out and get her kiss?

A well written and extremely hilarious seasonal story. A word of warning, ‘don’t eat or drink anything while you are reading this. You may choke’!


Elevate The Spirit by J.M Dragon and Irish Eyes

Kaitlyn was on her last nerve. It was late Christmas Eve and she was still in the office with her boss Melinda having a go at her. Enough was enough, Kaitlyn quit right there and then. She cleared her desk and headed off for the elevator. It was obviously bad timing as Melinda had the same idea.

Unfortunately for Kaitlyn and Melinda, the elevator ground to a halt. They were stuck. Suddenly their argument was forgotten. What could they do to while away the time until the maintenance team turned up? Lets just say, the elevator got over heated and Kaitlyn and Melinda no longer cared about work, bosses, underlings or anything else.

A well written, red hot seasonal holiday story from a dynamic duo. J.M Dragon is a brilliant author in her own right. Irish Eyes is a terrific author too, she should write more often. Together they’ve made this story sizzle.


The Promise by Stein Willard

Countessa Phillipa Croft, (Phil) is renowned for never having sex with the same woman twice. It would take something short of a miracle to get her to change her ways.

Justine had been the recipient of Phil’s charms and ousted just like every other woman. She just can’t get Phil out of her mind. She’d taken to standing outside Phil’s house just to get a glimpse of her. Will Phil give Justine a second glance?

It’s Christmas Eve and it’s freezing, once again Justine is standing outside. What will Phil do? She can’t leave her outside. Is Phil warming towards Justine? No, it can’t be, Phil never beds the same woman twice. But there is always a first time for everything. Has Justine melted the ice around Phil’s heart?

A nicely written tale for the holiday season. The story had me hoping for a happy ending. Did it have one? You’ll have to read it to find out.


The Limelight by Liz Bradbury

Lieutenant Maggie Gale, from Fenchester Police is investigating a spate of thefts at Irwin College. Numerous electrical items have disappeared over a period of time. When Maggie interviews Professor Olivia Pearson, she feels an attraction towards her. Olivia invites Maggie to a poetry reading and Maggie is more than agreeable to the idea.

Maggie carries on her investigations but nothing is jumping out at her. She racks her brains to find an answer. When Maggie finally works out who the thief is, it’s quite a surprise. Add in another surprise when Olivia goes home with Maggie.

A well written story featuring Maggie Gale, one of my favorite characters. The story was well worked out and had a great twist.


Elvish by Nat Burns

Krista has sworn off women, she’s still nursing a broken heart. She’d moved down to Miami to be with her lover Molly. It had been one big mistake. Now she was sweltering in the vast heat listening to Elvis to keep her company.

Krista is currently working as an Elf in Craig’s Department Store. When a new Santa arrives, he asks Krista out. She of course refuses. But all is not as it seems. Can Krista possibly be attracted to Kennedy, the new Santa? Will Krista change her mind?

What happens next is certainly an eye opener in more ways than one.

A great seasonal tale with an unexpected outcome to it.


Santa’s Little Helper by Susan X Meagher

Chelsea is in a relationship with mild mannered Melanie. She isn’t exactly unhappy with Melanie, but she wants more than it seems Melanie is prepared to give. Should she stay with her even though the sex isn’t great? She’s already had one discussion with Melanie over her needs and nothing has changed. Other than this, Melanie is perfect.

Chelsea isn’t at all prepared for the Christmas present Melanie has for her. It appears that Melanie did listen to her all those months previously. What has Melanie got for Chelsea?

A lovely well written hot and steamy story to put some spice in to your festivities.


This is an excellent collection of short stories from a bunch of wonderful authors. Each and every story in this book is flawless. I loved them all. Every story is hot and steamy and based around the Christmas holiday season. Something to add a little spice to your Christmas cheer. I have to admit, in most anthologies there are one or two stories I’m not too keen on. Not so with this one. They are all excellent quality and I love them all. There is a nice variety too. Although all are x-rated, the actual stories are so vastly different. Unlike with some x-rated anthologies, the stories drew me in, they are not just sex and erotica, although there is more than enough of that to keep you happy.

Each of the authors has poured their heart and soul into their stories. The characters in all stories are multidimensional and loveable. In my opinion all these characters have the potential to appear again in either a full length book or another short story.

The other thing that I particularly like about this collection is they are all new. Written especially for this collection. No racking my brain to think where I’ve read a story before. You won’t get that in here.

If you only buy one anthology this Christmas, please make it this one. I highly recommend it and it will benefit an animal charity. This will be a new seasonal read for me. I’ll get it out each Christmas to kick off the festivities.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Short Snippets November Reads

Crossroads by Radclyffe

Obstetrician Dr Hollis Monroe deals mainly with high risk pregnancies. Her work is all consuming. The only relationships she has are with her patients on a strictly professional basis.

Annie Colfax, once one of Dr Monroe’s patients, has never quite forgiven her for the traumatic birth she suffered. When they meet again on a professional level, they are attracted to one another. But neither of them wants a relationship. What will it take to make them realize risks are sometimes worth taking?

A nice, easy, comfortable, well written read in the style of writing I know and love from Radclyffe. Lots of friends from previous books too. Her best book for a long time. Star rating 5/5


The Book Of Eleanor by Nat Burns

Grey Graham is carving out a new life for herself after the tragic death of her partner Mary. She opens up a Bookstore using Mary’s vast collection of books in South Padre Island. Unfortunately the place appears to be haunted. Grey thinks it’s Mary.

Local woman Angie June is a psychic, amongst other professions. Grey hires her to sort out her haunting problem. Angie is interested in having a relationship with Grey. But Grey is concerned mainly with the dead. Will Grey ever get over Mary’s death? Will Angie solve the problem of who is haunting the bookstore?

A Nice, well written haunting story with a simmering romance. Star rating 4/5


The Second Happiest Day by A.E Hammock

Attorney Kara Jenkins is lonely. Her life is great, but she needs someone to love. But Kara is hiding a huge secret.

Professor Madison Roberts meets Kara by chance in the park. It’s virtually love at first sight. Will Madison still feel the same when Kara’s secret is revealed?

First and foremost I have to say, this book in my personal opinion should not be sold as lesfic. So, if you are a true blue, die hard lesbian, you may want to give this one a miss. However, if you don’t mind constant mentions of the male anatomy, you could give the book a go. The story just was not for me or to my liking, although I did read it to the end. I can’t say more than that without putting in spoilers. The star rating is low because I feel the book was categorized wrongly and I wasted my money. Star rating 1/5.


Love In E Flat by Kate Sweeney

Sports writer, Louisa Preston, (Lou) writes for the Chicago Sentinel. She loves her job and is their best writer. But......she is alone.

Famous Russian cellist, Agata Karetniko, is currently performing in Chicago.

When Lou and Agata meet, it isn’t exactly love at first sight, far from it. But that soon changes.

Agata is guardian to orphaned siblings, Ana and Dmitry Maslov.
Add all this into the orchestra and you have Love in E Flat.

After a bit of a slow start, the story really picked up at a nice pace. This book is well written with the usual humor I’ve come to love and expect from a Kate Sweeney book. Star rating 4/5


Executive Disclosure by Isabella

Chad Morgan’s company has a new client. Frank Reynolds has hired them to keep his daughter Reagan safe. Chad’s first encounter with Reagan was when she returned unexpectedly to her home while Chad was searching it. Things did not go too well.

Reagan Reynolds is determined to take over as CEO of Reynolds Holdings on her Father’s retirement. She knows she has to win the support of the majority of the board members. What she doesn’t know and hasn’t bargained for is receiving death threats.

After Chad and Reagan’s first encounter, Reagan is not too happy to find that Chad will be accompanying her on her business trip to De Moines to meet up with some of the board members.

An incident at the airport involving Reagan, results in Chad increasing security around her. The two women eventually come to an understanding of sorts. Chad finds herself becoming attracted to Reagan and it appears the feeling is mutual. But Chad is determined not to mix business with pleasure. Nothing good can ever come of it. Will Chad give in to her desires?

When Reagan begins to receive more death threats, Chad is becoming extremely frustrated in not being able to track down the source. Will she find the perpetrator before he or she finally succeeds in killing Reagan?

This book is a nice fast paced thriller/intrigue. The two main characters, Chad and Reagan are well formed and interact well together with the rest of the cast of players. Each character serves well in progressing the story forward. The story is exciting, the sex is hot.

This story isn’t like any of Isabella’s other books. It has so many twists and turns, a veritable roller coaster ride. It’s a quick and easy read, not one to start late at night. I couldn’t put it down.

I don’t want to add any spoilers in here, so suffice it to say, I was surprised and quite shocked by the ending of this book. For me, the ending was a little abrupt and a bit of an anti-climax. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, I did.

Listen To Her Heart by Trin Denise

Best selling lesbian fiction author, forty four year old Yalen Martinez, is ex CIA. She has fans all over the world. She’s single and has been since her long term relationship broke up two years previously.

Yalen’s best friends have been trying to fix her up with blind dates. She just isn’t interested in the types of women her friends find for her. She decides to use a dating website to find her ideal woman. When Yalen meets Emily, she thinks she may just have found a woman she wants to get to know better. She begins to have feelings for her. When Yalen discovers she’s been the victim of an online dating scam, she’s devastated, then the hurt turns to anger. She’s so angry that she will stop at nothing to track Emily down.

First of all, Yalen needs to find who the woman is in the photo Emily provided. She quickly finds out that the photo is that of twenty nine year old Briana Latham, an ex Victoria’s Secret model. It doesn’t take much to find Briana’s address in Tennessee. Yalen books a flight having no clue as to what she is going to say to Briana. She only hopes Briana doesn’t see her as some sort of maniac.

Yalen needn’t have worried, when the two women meet, there is an immediate attraction, which Yalen won’t take any further due to the age difference between them.

When Yalen finds a connection between Briana and Emily, she is even more determined to solve the online dating scam. Together Yalen and Briana set off for London, England

It’s in England that Yalen and Briana discover that things are far worse than a dating scam. Their lives are in danger when they find themselves embroiled in the dealings of an international, multi million dollar Russian mafia syndicate, involving human sex trafficking, computer viruses, treason, as well as the online dating scam. Murder and mayhem are an everyday occurrence. Amongst all these things emerges a true love that cannot be shaken.

This book is an edge of the seat page turner from start to finish. There is so much crammed in to it, it’s hard to categorize. There is adventure, action, crime, mystery, intrigue, suspense, it’s a thriller and a romance too.

The story begins in the USA and carries on in England. Trin Denise has done a humongous amount of research for this book. It really shows through. As well as being a jolly good read, I’ve also learned a lot too.

Although this book is a work of fiction, a lot of it is based on real events. Trin has also fearlessly used real names here too. I say fearlessly, because I personally wouldn’t have to courage to name any one having anything to do with the Russian mafia.

We follow Yalen and Briana’s encounters with the Russian mafia, MI5, MI6, Scotland Yard, CIA, FBI and other agencies in this fast paced book. The characters are all multidimensional, they interact well together and are all essential in the progression of the story. The good characters, I loved, the bad ones, I hated. The story was so intense at times, I think my blood pressure must have risen considerably. There are so many ups and downs and twists and turns in this book, I never knew what was going to happen next. It’s not at all predictable.

If you are looking for a book that will engage you and thrill you, with a red hot romance at it’s heart, this will fit the bill. warned, do not start this at bedtime. I couldn’t put this down once I started it.

This is on my re-read pile. I feel a second reading will enhance the story for me as there will be no pressure to find out how the book ended.

After Mrs Hamilton by Clare Ashton

Clo’s life isn’t particularly happy. She’s an escort for older women. She also works at a patisserie part time to prevent her clandestine prostitution work being discovered. Clo hasn’t had a relationship with a woman in over ten years. She doesn’t feel she deserves one either. Not after the way her last relationship ended. What secret from the past is Clo hiding?

Where does Mrs Hamilton come in? No spoilers here, but life will never be the same for one of the characters after Mrs Hamilton.

Laura is unhappily married to Josh. Josh was her best friend from Oxford University. She married him despite both of them knowing she preferred women. She’s also looking for her birth parents, the parents she’d never met.

When Laura meets Susan, a friend of Clo’s, she’s instantly attracted to her. The feeling is mutual. But, the past has a habit of sneaking up in to the present. What secrets are about to surface?

This is Clare Ashton’s second book. Her first book, Pennance, was a wonderfully well written page turner. I wondered how she was possibly going to top it. I needn’t have been concerned at all. She’s managed it admirably, she’s not only topped it, but as good as Pennance is, this book is even better.

After Mrs Hamilton is an extremely well written, fast paced story of love, family secrets, obsession, devastation, betrayal, cowardice and friendship.

The story begins with Clo, a woman betrayed by her family and made to feel worthless, and her friendship with Laura. Laura is an intelligent woman, a doctor, she’s desperately unhappy in her marriage and longs to find her natural family. As the story progresses and more characters are introduced, it becomes apparent that each character is unaware of parts they are playing in relation to the other characters. As more secrets are revealed, the plot really thickens and begins to simmer away until the story reaches boiling point and the truth is revealed.

The characters are well formed, lovable, real and multidimensional, they all play their parts as if honed to perfection. There is an underlying intrigue throughout the book, which is trying it’s best to get to the forefront. Little bits and pieces surface, but not enough to give us the whole picture, until almost the end. There are many twists and turns in this story and nothing is as it seems. Which makes for an exciting, nail biting read.

The scenic descriptions enabled me to get right into the middle of this group of friends, so much so, that I was fully immersed in the story and actually living it with the characters. Which of course, is part of the enjoyment for me of reading a good book.

There are romances here for the romance lover, one of which is a deliciously delightful May/December romance. A true pleasure to see it unfold slowly and tenderly.

The whole of this story is so cleverly and intricately woven together, it’s like a choreographed performance playing out. Clare Ashton certainly knows how to draw her readers in and keep them there.

At the end of the book when the truth has finally come out and all secrets, betrayals and devastations are revealed and the hurt they’ve caused, I was shocked, stunned in fact. So much pain caused to so many people. But the book is well balanced with a subtle touch of humor and lightened up with some love for good measure.

Quite simply, Clare Ashton has created a masterpiece. She has not shied away from difficult subjects and has written with a sympathy and understanding as is befitting a good author. Her storytelling is superb. I was hard pressed to put this book down once I’d started. In hind sight, I would have started it in the morning and read it in one sitting.

While I was reading this book, I could easily visualize the story on the screen. It would make a good film or a mini TV series. Set in London and the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, with the great characters and brilliant storyline, it would be my idea of a great lesbian film. Lets face it, there aren’t enough good films either.

These characters and this story will stay with me a long while. This is a definite re-read for me.

Devan's Story: Blue Hydrangeas by J.J Wallinford

Thirty six year old art teacher, Devan Scott has been unceremoniously dumped by the woman she thought was her happy ever after lover, Steph. She decides she needs a fresh start and to move from her home in Austin, Texas back to nearer to her roots. She eventually gets a job in Vancouver, Washington. Her one regret is leaving her older brother and his young family behind in Texas.

Devan finds herself a nice little place to live and with her new job in a local school, she’s set up. She decides she isn’t ready for anything heavy. She’s going to enjoy her new single status, go on a few dates, nothing serious. All these plans are going really well. That is until she meets Alex.

Devan is warned off Alex, warned that she’s a player, a heart breaker. Which of course is true. So Devan, forewarned, decides that Alex would make a great friend and nothing more. The only thing is, her heart is telling her something different.

After an accident to Alex’s sister, Cleo, Devan and Alex are pushed into taking the vacation together to Maui that had already been booked for Alex and Cleo. Their friendship begins to change. Will Devan fall in love and get her heart broken? Will Alex change her womanizing ways? Or will Devan be yet another notch on her bedpost?

This is the first book in the Vancouver series. As far as I can tell, it’s JJ Wallingford’s debut book. I have to say, I absolutely love it. I love the characters. The main character Devan starts off being this very unsure, somewhat shy person, virtually in the closet. It’s great to see how she meets up with new friends and gradually comes right out of her shell. Devan has no intentions of getting involved romantically with anyone after being dumped by her lover. But it really isn’t who she is. She is meant to be loved and in a relationship. She attracts women, but they all seem to be the same type as her ex, Steph. Until she meets Alex.

The change in Devan is almost immediate. It’s obvious to see that Devan and Alex will get together. What isn’t so obvious, is whether Devan will get hurt or not.

The characters are all well formed and easily interact with each other. It’s nice to see a group of friends getting on so well together.

This is a wonderful book, the dialogue flows and I simply couldn’t put it down. This is more than just another romance, these characters are so much like an everyday group of friends, that I’m still thinking about them two days after finishing the book. The story has it’s highs and lows. There are issues that JJ Wallingford has written about with a sympathy and understanding that takes the edge off the subject without playing it down. That’s as far as I can go without putting in any spoilers.

I can’t wait for the second book in this new and refreshing series. I’ll definitely re-read this book again.

All That Glitters by Ashley Quinn

The day Alexis Vlodosky moves into her new home in Coastal Breeze, Florida, is the day she meets Michelle Murphy. Michelle loses control of her battered skateboard and runs right into a pile of cardboard boxes. Eighth graders Alexis and Michelle become firm friends from that day onwards.

Alexis is the daughter of a Jewish father. They moved from New York City, New York to Florida to start afresh, after her lawyer father had business problems. Alexis has one younger brother, autistic Dougie.

Michelle is the only daughter of a single alcoholic, man eating, mother, Angela. The different men coming in and out of their home causes no end of trouble between mother and daughter. Angela professes to want the best for Michelle and pushes her way beyond her limits. It’s no wonder Michelle escapes to be with Alexis so much.

As Alexis and Michelle grow close, they begin to question the normality of their relationship. When the rumors start around school, Michelle disowns Alexis in favor of the ‘in’ crowd, breaking her heart in the process. Deep down Michelle knew she was in the wrong, but it didn’t stop her joining in with the rest of the bullies in making Alexis’s life a misery. Michelle lives for the day she can escape from Coastal Breeze.

Ten years later, Michelle has become a big name in the pop world. She’s on the verge of becoming a huge name. Michelle hasn’t returned to Coastal Breeze in quite sometime, then she gets a call, her mother has been injured in a car accident. She reluctantly returns.

Michelle is in a faux relationship with a closeted gay actor, Tyler. She is struggling with her own sexuality. It suits both of them to be together in name only. But both Michelle and Tyler are getting restless. They both want more out of life. How much longer will Michelle or Tyler allow the farce to go on?

When Michelle bumps into registrar Alexis Vlodosky at the hospital while visiting her mother, the memories that have been simmering away in both women for ten years surface and erupt. They spend one night together and realize they love each other more than ever. But what will Michelle do? She has to make a decision. If she listens to her agent, she will end up right back in the closet. Will Michelle break Alexis’s heart yet again?

This is Ashley Quinn’s debut book. I would never have known from her excellent writing. The lay out, editing, dialogue, scenic descriptions, are really well done. The main characters are multi layered, they interact well with the lesser characters and each plays hers or his part to perfection and is essential in progressing the story forward. I love these characters, it was so easy to feel they were personal friends and just lose myself amongst them.

The story covers a lot of ground. School, teenage years, bullying, first love, finding ones sexuality, coming out, everyday life, the pop world, drug abuse, forgiveness and lots of other things that make this book a veritable page turner from the first page right the way through to the last.

The story begins with Alexis and Michelle’s first meeting and goes between the past and the present throughout the rest of the book. It’s easy to keep up with the story though. Easy to see also, that all that glitters isn’t gold.

I am eagerly looking forward to reading more from Ashley Quinn. Her debut book says to me, that she has the ability to go far with her writing in the lesfic

When The River Flows Out Of Its Bed by Gaelle Cathy

Nineteen year old Eliza Carlisle has just returned to Lorien, USA from the UK, where she had been banished in the hope of keeping her away from drugs and her destructive lifestyle. Eliza is the only child of a rich business man, Tim and his wife Helena. Eliza had been in all sorts of trouble and now has to repeat a final year at school in order to graduate.

Sixteen year old Julia Waters lives out at Riverside, a state run home for difficult children. Both of Julia’s parents are dead. Julia is a loner, shy and timid. She really doesn’t belong in a place like Riverside. She has no friends, until she meets Eliza.

When Eliza first meets Julia, she’s immediately drawn to her. Eliza has had her share of women, but there is something different about Julia. It’s not about sex. Julia brings out the protective side in Eliza. She goes out of her way to find out all she can about her.

When Eliza hears the story about Julia murdering her father, she uses her friends and resources to find out more. It quickly becomes apparent that Julia is innocent, there is proof. But something is not right. Something is being covered up. Something that is tied up with top officials, including the Mayor of the county. Eliza is determined to leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what is happening, therefore freeing Julia of her guilt and inhibitions. But this isn’t going to be easy and Eliza hits a brick wall whichever way she turns.

As time passes, Eliza falls deeply in love with Julia and her feelings are reciprocated. Even Eliza’s mother, Helena, approves of their friendship. But there are some who will stop at nothing to tear them apart.

Will Eliza be able to solve the mystery surrounding Julia? Or will she be putting their lives and the lives of her friends in danger?

This is Gaelle Cathy’s debut book. The book is nicely written and has an underlying mystery running through it and lots of twists and turns, making it a fast paced page turner.

The two main characters, Eliza and Julia, are both multidimensional and have a wealth of lesser characters, friends, family and enemies integrating with them and progressing the story forwards all the way through.

Eliza is the strongest of the two main characters. We read of how she evolves from a drug taking troublesome teen, into a caring, hard working and tender, but feisty young woman. We also read of how Julia the weaker character, slowly comes out of her shell with Eliza’s guidance. It’s lovely to see her gradually begin to smile and become comfortable around people and to gain confidence in herself.

Julia is a confused teenager, she has no idea of what she wants, or really who she is. Eliza never pushes Julia, but gently encourages her to be her own person. She shows her she is worthwhile and loveable. Julia meanwhile, is instrumental in helping Eliza to keep up with her studies and away from drugs. So, they both help and compliment each other.

When Eliza and Julia eventually do get together and make love, it is totally mutual, no question of Julia being forced into anything she doesn’t want. I just wanted to make that clear in case anyone thinks that sixteen is too young and Julia had been unduly influenced. There is a slow burning, intense, beautiful romance and tender love between Eliza and Julia. The book is worth reading for this alone.

The one criticism I have of this book, is the way Eliza’s thoughts are written interspersed throughout the book. There is lots of information in them, so the information has to get there somehow, but I feel it should have been integrated into the story differently, which would have made the story less choppy and a much smoother read. There were a few typos, but the price is ridiculously cheap and the book is lengthy, so it’s easy to forgive them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking out for anything Gaelle Cathy writes in the future.

The Assassin's Bargain by B.L Newport

Phaedra Humphrey is an Intimate assassin. After twenty years of doing the job, she’s become disillusioned and decides to retire. But simply walking away from the job, is not an option. Phaedra makes a bargain with her boss, Joy Oh, but will Joy uphold the bargain?

Joy has been in love with Phaedra for years and has tried every trick in the book to seduce her and not succeeded. She is going to try one last time before Phaedra walks out of her life forever, if she lets her walk out!

Phaedra’s bargain with Joy is to train her replacement, Petra Brighton, in return for being able to walk away from Professional Personnel Services (PPS) and to retire with no strings attached. What Phaedra and Joy couldn’t predict, is that Phaedra and Petra would fall in love with one another. This creates a huge problem and could ultimately result in both women getting killed.

When Joy suspects Phaedra and Petra of being intimate, she takes out a contract to kill Phaedra using the one person who she suspects will not be able to carry out the task. Will Phaedra escape death?

Phaedra has to learn to put her trust in others, but will she be able to after years of trusting no one but herself? Will she be able to remain in control enough to protect herself and the woman she loves more than her own life?

A wonderful, well written, refreshingly new story unlike anything I’ve read before. I love B.L Newport’s Reapers Inc series and I wondered how I would like something entirely different. I needn’t have worried, this book is equally as good as all her others. This story is a page turner from the first page right through to the last page. B.L Newport’s storytelling is varied and diverse. Her writing is an easy and comfortable read. All the characters are fully formed, well fleshed out and multidimensional. Each character is essential to the progression of the story and they all interact really well together.

The story starts off by telling us the background of how PPS was formed and who started the company up. So often these things are left to our imagination in books. We see how each character fits into the story and the part they play.

Phaedra and Petra are so obviously made for each other and meant to be together. Both women fight their attraction in the knowledge that they can never have a relationship. I enjoyed seeing the path they took to fulfil their dreams.

As well as the tension and excitement of the story, there are a few nice hot romantic scenes to lighten it up. The scenic descriptions were so good, I could easily immerse myself in the story and imagine I was there amongst the characters as the story played out.

I would love to see a sequel or even a short story to let us know how everything turned out with Phaedra’s retirement from the PPS and how she coped with life after being an assassin for so long.

With each book I read from B.L Newport, I can see her growth as a writer shining through. That’s not to say her earlier books are not good, they are wonderful. She is a master storyteller. A credit to her craft.

I’m looking forward to B.L Newport’s next book with eager anticipation. Hopefully, another in the Reapers Inc series. But really, after this book, simply ANY book will be welcome.