Review of ‘The London of us’ by Clare Lydon.

This is book 4 in the ‘London romance’ series. It can be read as a standalone novel though I recommend to read them all if you like lesbian romances with a British feel. As in the previous books, London is at the background of a beautiful love story.

Alice Di Santo has a comfortable life. A job that she enjoys, great friends, supportive family and a lovely boyfriend. Even her social media life is thriving as a co-star in an increasingly popular YouTube channel. But lately she feels that something is missing in her life soon discovering her growing attraction for her friend Rachel, a sexy and very lesbian chef. Surely this is a passing crush, or is it?

‘The London of us’ is as much a romance as a coming out story. Ms. Lydon wisely chose to write it in first person from Alice point of view getting us into her headspace as she deals with her first ever attraction to a woman. The book starts with a bang and keeps the momentum with humour and wittiness that puts a smile on your face. Those of us who have experienced the coming out process know that it’s not an easy path and Ms. Lydon showcases this but the angst, while realistic, never takes the lightness of her writing style. As a matter of fact, Alice’s coming out scene with her parents is the funniest I’ve read in lesfic. All the characters – mains and secondary – are well portrayed and the intimate scenes are hot, highlighting the chemistry between the main leads.

Overall, a very good addition to this successful series. Great read for romance fans. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Room service’ by Fiona Riley.

This is an early work by Ms. Riley just published now after the three books of her ‘Perfect match’ series. This is an office romance between interior designer, Olivia Dawson, and Savannah Quinn, her client corporate liaison. As they travel around the country to tackle different projects, their mutual attraction grows making it impossible to ignore. Will their corporate association get in the way of their budding relationship?

‘Room service’ is a slow-burn romance written from the point of view of both main characters. Ms. Riley excels at building their chemistry that slowly grows to sizzling hot. Both characters are a bit too perfect but their relationship works fine. My only concern is that their public displays of affection seem too over the top to be realistic. Despite that, the intimate scenes are well written, specially the phone sex passage which, in my opinion, is one of the best ever written in lesfic. Some of the secondary characters are a bit blurry specially at the beginning but it doesn’t interfere with the enjoyment of the main story.

Overall, a sweet office romance read. 4 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Once Upon a Princess’ by Clare Lydon & Harper Bliss.

Olivia Charlton is an out lesbian and the fourth in the line for the British throne. After a long period of service in the army, her mother, the Queen, asks her to settle down and get married. Her parents find a suitable candidate in Jemima Bradbury and all is arranged for an imminent royal (and lesbian) wedding. Olivia decides to take a break under a false name in Cornwall to relax from the commitment stress. In the small town of Otter Bay she meets coffee shop owner Rosie Perkins. Rosie is beautiful, hard working and straightforward. Will Olivia deny her attraction to a commoner and follow the call of duty to marry Jemima?

In my opinion, this book should be read like a fairy tale, maybe not in the strict sense (after all, there are no enchantments or magical creatures) but because some events are a bit far fetched. However, after a moderate suspension of disbelief, ‘Once upon a princess’ is a very enjoyable read. The slow-burn chemistry between the main characters is spot on and there is a right balance between joy and angst. It has a British feel, not only for the obvious royal theme and English setting, but also in the vocabulary, food and pop culture references which is an asset in the story.

Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss are a perfect match in the world of lesfic. They are both accomplished and talented authors with a – more or less – similar writing style. They both excel at writing well crafted characters, flawless dialogues and hot sex scenes. Hopefully for lesfic fans this won’t be their unique collaboration.

Overall, an enjoyable read specially if you are into royalty. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Review of ‘Riding the track’ by Kara Ripley.

Kara Ripley is the pseudonym of Rebecca Langham, the author of sci-fi novel ‘Beneath the surface’. ‘Riding the track’ is a novella set in South Australia where Clara Adler heads from California on a horse riding vacation. The problem is that the holiday was planned by her cheating ex boyfriend and Clara hasn’t ridden a horse in years and isn’t too keen on camping trips. To say that she’s thrown out of her comfort zone is an understatement but the amazing landscape, her friendly trip companions and an enigmatic sexy cowgirl will change her holiday experience completely.

This is an enjoyable road-trip book by Ms. Ripley. Written in first person from Clara’s point of view, the reader sees the beautiful and wild landscape through her eyes. The author’s depictions of the scenery are vivid as well as the close contact with the animals and nature. The dialogues are well written, with sarcasm, humour and wittiness. Clara talks to all different kinds of people, including the reader, and we can slowly witness her transformation from annoyance to enjoyment. The chemistry between the main characters is hot as the South Australian weather though I think that the book ends a bit abruptly and might disappoint some readers. Maybe the author is planning on writing a sequel or otherwise this novella might have benefited from a few more chapters. Despite this, it’s a really entertaining and light read.

Overall, an enjoyable read with a beautiful setting. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Does she love you? by Rachel Spangler.

I have to admit that I refused to read this book for a long time. A plot in which two lovers of the same woman discover her infidelity, slowly become friends and eventually get romantically involved had seemed a bit far fetched and endogamous for my taste. Of course infidelity happens a lot in real life but normally romance readers don’t want to be reminded about it. So, kudos to Ms Spangler to raise such an uncomfortable issue and somehow make it work in a lesbian romance. The three characters in the love triangle are multilayered, the author brings to life the ‘villain’ with good and bad traits, in her human contradictions as she falls slowly in her own manipulative trap. The main characters, Annabelle and Davis, each show vulnerability and strength at the same time. Their chemistry isn’t forced despite the strange situation they’ve been thrown into and their eventual involvement flows seamlessly. Despite my previous reticence, it was an enjoyable read.

Overall, a different romance that doesn’t shy of presenting a contentious issue. 4 stars.

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Review of ‘Happily ever after’ by Jae.

This is a collection of thirteen short stories by Jae with the common theme of a happily ever after ending. Some of these stories are stand alone (for example, ‘The midnight couch’) and others act as an epilogue of published books (i.e. ‘Seduction for beginners’ it’s a catch up of ‘Something in the wine’). All these stories were previously published but it’s good to have them together in one book and definitely more value for your money.

It’s hard to rate such a compilation as the themes are very different (Christmas, writers, radio programme, etc). Additionally, the book sequels are more enjoyable if you are familiar with the stories. However, if you’ve never read anything by this author, ‘Happily ever after’ is a good start.

Overall, a very good compilation of short stories for Jae fans and new readers alike. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review of ‘Dingo’s recovery’ by Genevieve Fortin.

This is an age gap romance between newly retired Joyce Allen and Dr. Amanda Carter, a veterinarian twenty four years younger. They meet when Dingo, Joyce’s dog, is injured and Amanda cares for him during the long recovery process. Soon they forge a friendship but will they act on a growing mutual attraction?

This is a slow burn romance that takes us into the world of both main characters who are so different from each other but at the same time, they both have some insecurities. It is heart warming to read how they help each other navigate their inhibitions and push their own self imposed boundaries in order to reach their happiness. Dingo, Joyce’s dog, is a very important character himself by acting as a buffer and a facilitator between both women. When words escaped them both, Dingo covered the silence with his antics and somehow makes their interactions less awkward. It is rare to see in lesfic a big age gap romance. Kudos to Ms. Fortin to approach the issue and present flawed characters as Joyce and Amanda which makes the story credible and interesting.

Overall an enjoyable read if you like age gap romances and if you are a dog lover. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.