Sunday, 15 September 2013

Hidden Desires by TJ Vertigo

Cayden Riley has given up on dating. Several dates causing varying degrees of disaster, mainly arranged by her best friend Jodie and roommate Wade have made up her mind for her. No More. Enough is enough. Cayden isn’t a people person, she’s a bit moody and eccentric. The one great enjoyment in her life is working at her business, pet boutique, Fuzzy Belly Deli.

Brooke Hewitt is living with her controlling boyfriend Grant. She thinks she’s happy with their relationship, right up until the day she walks into the Fuzzy Belly Deli with her little dog Fred. As soon as her eyes meet Cayden’s, she’s a goner. After Brooke leaves the store, she can’t stop thinking and dreaming about Cayden. Brooke has always thought she was straight, her thoughts however are telling her something else entirely. So begins a lot of planning for Brooke to be able to meet Cayden again.

This one chance encounter is going to change the lives of both women forever.

This beautifully written romance is an extremely hot and erotic page turner from beginning to end. Unlike a lot of romances with lots of hot sex scenes, this book actually has a wonderful story running throughout. A story of sexual awakening, awareness, hope and change. The humor throughout is the laugh out loud sort. These characters are truly a laugh a minute.

Cayden and Brooke, the two main characters don’t quite get on well together to begin with. This is where help from Cayden’s best friend Jodie and roommate, the flamboyant and gay Wade comes in. Cayden has to be educated. Throw in Brooke’s parents, dad Bert and overbearing mother Harriet and you almost have a riot to contend with. Long suffering Bert was easy to get to know. Harriet, I could have strangled. It all added to the fun though.

Throughout the book I could see the way Cayden was gradually changing her way of thinking. It’s really amazing to see how people can go from arguing one moment to being friends and more the next. I can speak from my own experience, that this is very often the case. The way TJ Vertigo portrayed Cayden and Brooke’s interactions at the beginning of the book was very true to life.

The interactions between all the characters was like watching a carefully synchronized play. Each character is fully formed, multidimensional and plays his or her part to perfection.

Although this book is fairly long, I still hadn’t had enough and wanted more. I’d love to know what happens next for Cayden and Brooke, also Jodie and Wade. Oh, I nearly forgot, La La Bird, Wade’s cat. A true character in his own right.

Another book added into my favorites folder to be read time and again.


Glass Lions by JD Glass

Francesca DeTomassa, (Fran or Chesca to her friends) lives a privileged life. Her father is a local politician and she has scholarships to college and law school. She is coming to the end of her final year. After she graduates, she has an internship at a production studio in California.

Fran however has a secret. She is a member of an order, a Circle to protect and promote the Light. Fran’s life is tethered to them by oath, law, blood, soul and love, bound to the Circle’s focal point, the Wielder.

Love has to be sacrificed for the hope of someday. But when someday becomes today, a choice has to be made. A choice not only between love or between right or wrong. The choice has to be for the good of everyone.

This is a well written, but somewhat confusing story at times. It’s told from Fran’s point of view. The story is mostly about the two main characters, Fran and Nina. Nina is a woman Fran was told had died several years previously, although Fran was never convinced Nina was actually dead. When Fran suddenly comes face to face with Nina, it’s a terrible shock for her. The two women spend time together and eventually become lovers. Their love is tender and sweet, a really nice romance.

The part I found a bit confusing is where the Circle and the Light comes in. In fact, I went back and re-read the book again in the hope I would find out what I was wasn’t seeing. I’m still none the wiser now. But putting this aside, I did enjoy Fran and Nina’s story.

I read JD Glass’s earlier books and thoroughly enjoyed them. Punk Like Me and Punk and Zen. These characters first appear there. Maybe I would understand the story better if I went back and re-read them.

Although there were bits that confused me, overall, I did enjoy the story.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Waiting For Harper Lee by Lea Daley

After being dumped by her girlfriend Sarah, potter Lynn Westfall, moves to the quiet town of Quillan’s Crossing, Missouri. It’s a town where the men folk rule their wives, including telling them how to vote. Lynn isn’t happy with this and decides to try her best to implement some changes. Most of the women think liberation is a good thing, they are happy to talk about changes, but not to act towards getting anything changed. One woman has other ideas though.

Sexy and gorgeous Alix Dunnevan is married to Charles, a powerful politician. Their marriage is the perfect example of how all marriages should be. Isn’t it?

From the outset Lynn is smitten with Alix. She tries her best to put her feelings aside. A friendship develops between the two women and they find they share many of the same interests, including a deep love of music. It becomes harder and harder for Lynn to suppress her feelings for Alix. Even if Alix did share her feelings, the lesbian and the straight woman rarely works out. Plus there is Charles, Lynn knows he will do anything and everything possible to keep Alix and their two daughters with him. As they are to find out, this includes getting Alix committed if he has to.

Lynn searches her soul and tries to find the strength to walk away. Alix has no intentions of allowing this. Her marriage is flawed and far from the perfect ideal the outside world sees. But getting out of her marriage won’t be easy. Is it too much to hope for that Lynn and Alix will find a way for them to be together without Alix losing her daughters?

This is an excellent, well written debut book. Had I not known this was Lea Daley’s first book, I would never have guessed. Her writing style is unique. She shows, rather than tells the story.

There is a wealth of colorful and wonderful characters all fully formed and essential in progressing the story forward and on to it’s climatic conclusion.

The story is actually quite a well used and tested formula. A married woman with two children, straight to all intents and purposes and an out  lesbian fall in love. There begins all the trials and tribulations of will they, won’t they, be able to make the relationship work. But, this is where the tried and tested formula stops. Lea Daley has woven their story beautifully together and there are a lot of ups and downs and heartfelt scenarios to take the reader on a rollercoaster ride. I hated the character Charles, but he is so well written and he added a great deal of emotion and excitement to the book, albeit in the form of despising him to the point of wanting to hit him. To evoke such emotion in a reader tells me that this author is extremely talented.

I’m looking forward to Lea Daley’s next book. Will she be able to top this one? I can’t wait to find out.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Echoes Of The Past by JM Dragon and Erin O'Reilly

Olivia and Amelia are amicably running their business, When Hell Meets Heaven together. They are also platonically living together. Although Olivia would like more. When Olivia’s ex lover, Parker Davis asks for help, Olivia is in a turmoil. Ten years have gone past since Olivia last saw Parker. Ten years since Parker’s betrayal. A myriad of different emotions comes rushing back to Olivia and she’s in a bit of a quandary. Should she act on her desires? Or should she turn to Amelia?

This is another blockbuster in the series. With so many twists and turns, ups and downs, I didn’t know if I was on a roller coaster or a carousel.

This well written book is fast paced and an edge of the seat page turner right from the outset. We meet many of the characters from the first two books as well as some new ones to progress the story forward.

Each case Olivia and Amelia become embroiled in is so vastly different from the others. This keeps the series boiling and a must read. I read these book when they were first published. This second read is just as satisfying as the first. It’s nice to go back and enjoy good stories again. I always get great pleasure in actually knowing how the story ends and not having to rush to find out.

JM Dragon and Erin O’Reilly are great writers in their own rights. Together they are dynamite. Each of these books can be read as a standalone, but to get the full impact and to get to know the characters, I would advise reading them in sequence. They are simply too good to miss.

Although this series is basically a private investigation/mystery/intrigue with a touch of romance, there is an underlying humor throughout, which keeps the book a bit lighter without detracting from the seriousness of the story.

At the giveaway price Affinity are asking for a quality book, you simply can’t go wrong in giving them a try.


Inner Compass by Margo Moon

Journalist Alexi Jule, (Alex) is on an assignment to investigate the killing of some poachers in the Appalachian Foothills, Tennessee. Alex turns up before the hunting season begins, hoping to get settled in and chat to the locals. Alex’s first interview is with a local hermit, Faye Carson. From the moment Alex met Faye, she was smitten. Faye isn’t like any hermit Alex could have imagined. Unfortunately, Faye is also the number one suspect in the murders. Alex has to negotiate the rocky road of falling in love with the woman central to the murder investigation. What will her inner compass lead her to?

Faye is used to being alone with her animals and has been for years. She’s also hiding a past that may interfere with her future. But, truth be told, she’s just as smitten as Alex. Will Faye reveal her past to Alex in order to move on?

This story is a well written, beautifully woven tale of mystery, intrigue and murder. It also has a sweet and tender romance at it’s heart.

This is Margo Moon’s second book and she is showing true promise in being a top notch, up and coming lesbian fiction writer.

I loved the scenic settings, so well described, I lost myself totally in amongst the characters.

There are three main characters, all are fully developed and multi faceted. They are joined by a brilliant cast of secondary characters to enable the story to go forward in it’s tumultuous journey to the end.

Alex and Faye quickly fall in love. Hovering on the edge of their romance is Chloe, Alex’s ex lover and her long time best friend. Surprisingly, all three women get on very well together after an initial distrust on Chloe’s part, without the usual jealousies sometimes encountered by ex’s and new partners. However, when Chloe meets Jessica, things do get a little more difficult for Chloe.

This book is more than a regular mystery/romance. There are a lot of emotional highs and lows as well as some extremely hilarious moments. There is a lot of ground covered in this book. Look out for Sheriff Lindegaard!

I enjoyed meeting Faye’s animals, Colt the dog and Castor and Pollux the two cats. They all played a good role in the story as well as adding to the amusement.

I think one of my favorite characters was Theory James. a colorful character with an uncanny ability to see things no one else can. I’d love to get to know her better. I would dearly love a sequel to this book. There is a lot more these characters have to tell us. We haven’t heard how Chloe and Jessica get on yet. Hint, hint.

If you love a good mystery, a romance and animals, give this book a try.

I’m looking forward to reading more from Margo Moon in the not too distant future.

Long Snows Moon by Stacey Darlington

Socialite, Devon Danforth’s sham of a marriage to Trevor is finally over. Devon and her wolf/husky hybrid, Long Snows Moon, take a road trip up to the family cabin. When Long Snows Moon is thrown from Devon’s car window into the forest, Devon has to go searching for her in the haunted woods.

 Devon in her drunken state meets Jameson Jordan, a native American girl she’d met as a teenager. Devon finds her true identity through her sexual awakening. She also discovers her animal nature and her family ancestry.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I read the synopsis of this book. But, this story is without a doubt one of the best I’ve read in it’s genre. The story itself is well written, although a little hard to follow at times through the past and the present.

I love the way Stacey Darlington has brought the well formed, multidimensional, characters to life. The main character is Long Snows Moon, a totally adorable speaking hybrid dog. The whole book is based on the unique spirituality between the animals and humans. The message that came across to me loud and clear is that we are all the same, whether human or animal, all one together, all our lives are interconnected.

This is more than just another fantasy book. If you enjoy reading about Native American’s, like animals, want a love story between two women all combined with a bit of angst and a lot of fun, give this a try, I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

Although this tale is fiction, I found myself wanting it to be true. The beautiful vivid scenic settings allowed me to reside amongst the characters, living with them rather just reading and looking in.

I’ll definitely be looking out for more books from this author in the future.


The Dildo In The Kitchen Drawer by Clare Ashton

When Beth discovers her Girlfriend Cat has had a plain square parcel delivered, she can’t help but be curious. It can’t possibly be books. After all, why would Cat frantically hide books from her?

So, Beth being Beth has to investigate the contents of the parcel in the kitchen drawer. Her findings set off a whole chain of hilarious events.

This is a whacky, zany, hilarious short story with Clare Ashton’s wicked sense of humor shining through on every page. I say wicked, because I’m not sure if I’m going to forgive her for naming the dog Terry! But I digress. 

Although the story is short, it is crammed full to the brim with great scenarios and lovable fully formed characters, including the naughty dog and his antics. His owner, Mrs Smedley needs a medal for putting up with him. Look out for the gorgons too.

This story also shows how jealousy can eat up a person and make them act in an uncharacteristic way, or maybe in Beth’s case, not so uncharacteristic, but even more eccentric than usual.

If you only buy one short story, make it this one. I’ve read it twice now and I’ve put it in my favorite’s folder to re-read when in need of a good laugh.


All That Lies Within by Lynn Ames

Beautiful movie star, Dara Thomas, has every material thing she could possibly want. Both men and women practically throw themselves at her feet. She is one of the USA’s sexiest and hottest actresses of the time. Dara is also hiding a secret. She is Pulitzer Prize winning fiction author Constance Darrow. Dara is everyone’s eye candy, Constance allows her to be her true self. Dara has spent most of her life hiding her true self from the world.

Professor Rebecca Minton teaches American Literature. Rebecca is a huge fan of Constance Darrow’s works and is secretly in love with her, although she’s never seen or met her. Rebecca and Constance begin to correspond with each other. A phrase in one of Constance’s letters leads to Rebecca making a startling discovery about the author. Will this be the end of their correspondence? The events that follow on are about to change the lives of both women forever.

You can carry on as though nothing is happening, but you can’t hide yourself from the one person who can truly see right through you. Eventually something or someone has to give. But what or who?

I’ve read all of Lynn Ames’s books and loved each one of them. Without exception, they are all on my re-read shelves, this latest one will be joining the rest.

The story is a well written and heart warming page turner from start to finish. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way that kept me feverishly turning the pages until the end.

This is by no means a straight forward romance. There is a heartfelt background story on both main characters. Both Dara and Rebecca have issues stemming right back to their childhoods. Lynn Ames has given us their backgrounds seamless woven into the present day story. Neither woman had an easy life, far from it. But, both women have made the most of their lives, striving to succeed in one way or another.

I thoroughly enjoyed my glimpse into academia and the movie world. It’s nice to read a story with a romance that is a bit different to the norm. This is what I love about Lynn Ames’s books, always something different, with surprises along the way. The characters are all well formed and multidimensional and they interact really well together too. Dara and Rebecca are backed up by a cast of friends and colleagues to enhance the story and move it forward through to it’s beautiful ending.

As always with any Lynn Ames book, I have one complaint, I wanted more. I didn’t want the book to end. I hope we see more of Dara and Rebecca. But, I’ve said that about all of Lynn’s books. Sometimes we are lucky. Dara and Rebecca have a lot more to say.


Reality Dawn by Kate Genet

Episode One of the Reality Dawn Series

Reality Dawn travels between dimensions as a Reality Worker. Her job is to ensure no unauthorized doors between the dimensions are left open. This happens a lot, although most people aren’t aware of it. Passages between one earth to another parallel earth open up with dire consequences.

Reality Dawn enjoys her job and likes to have company on her journeys. Being alone all the time doesn’t please her.

When Rae’s sister in law, Morgan, disappears suddenly without a trace from the family farm, Reality Dawn turns up, seemingly from nowhere and offers her services.

Rae is quite taken aback by Reality Dawn. She’s a rather weird woman with a love for tea and biscuits. When Reality Dawn asks Rae to keep her company on her journey to find Morgan, Rae has no qualms about joining her. She would do anything to rescue Morgan and bring her home safely to her wife and child.

This is the first of a new series and it’s off to a flying start.

Kate Genet always writes books that are so vastly different, I never know what to expect. This series is no exception and as always, I was enthralled and hooked from the first page.

The main characters, Reality Dawn and Rae are both multidimensional and are characters that are easy to get to know.

This book is a mixture of sci/fi and fantasy in the vein of Dr Who, a very long running British TV program, but with lesbians as the main leads. I loved the story, meeting the witch in her sponge house was amazing.

I have the second and third parts of the series to read and I’m looking forward to seeing which direction it will go in.


Blood Guilt by Lindy Cameron

Book One in the Kit O’Malley series

Ex cop, now Private Investigator, Kit O’Malley’s latest job is not very exciting. She’s been hired by a wealthy client and old friend of her mother, Celia Robinson, to follow her cheating husband Geoffrey. The assignment is run of the mill, Kit documents Geoffrey meeting with a blonde, a redhead and businessman, Ian Dalkeith. All quite mundane until a body is found in the Robinson’s fish pond.

The cops are on the case, but this doesn’t satisfy Celia’s daughter, Quinn. She hires Kit to find her mother’s killer and Byron, the missing butler. Quinn is not happy to let Kit get on with the investigation, she insists on being involved at every step of the way. When Quinn brings along her lawyer, the stunning, beautiful, Alexis Cazenove, Kit’s senses leave her. She is instantly smitten and a gibberish wreck.

When Kit is almost killed by a hit and run, she knows she must be on the right track to solving the mystery. She just has to fathom out the truth and expose all the deep dark secrets that have been hidden.

Just who is Mike Finnigan and who is he following? Geoffrey, Dalkeith or Kit?

Blood Guilt is a well written page turner. Although it started out a bit on the slow side, it soon picked up speed and clipped along at a steady pace.

I loved Kit O’Malley. Her character is so down to earth and she has a terrific sense of humor and she is a bit of a klutz. There is a very strong cast of secondary characters, the main one being Alex, who Kit is rapidly falling in love with. This is despite the fact that Alex is getting married to Enzo. Will Kit’s love be unrequited or will Alex forsake Enzo and reciprocate? There are lots of other interesting and amusing characters too to enhance the story and progress it along.

The main focus is on the actual mystery, with the romance being secondary. What started off for Kit as a simple case of a cheating husband, escalates into a murder case. Although Kit is a Private Investigator, she still has contacts in the police department and she ends up working together with her ex cop partner, Jon Marek.

There are lots of twists and turns in this exciting mystery/intrigue which kept me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages quickly. Then suddenly it was at an end. Just when I wanted to know more about Kit and Alex, more of what happens next in their lives. It’s a good job I have the second in this remarkably different to the norm, mystery series to read.