Lesbian Romance Book Review of ‘Learning to swim’ by K.J.
What do you do when you’re in love with your best friend?Tell her? Keep it to yourself? What if she feels the same? What if she doesn’t? The sexual tension between these two women is obvious (at least to one of them), from the outset.
I am a big fan of lesbian romance books and so I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the two protagonists, Andrea and Lauren and the story is told from the POV of these two main characters which work well in this context. As characters, Andrea and Lauren are both well portrayed, developed and believable. Both women are very likable, strong independent women. The two women first meet at a fundraising event and although they are from very different professional backgrounds (one is a vet; the other an accountant), they hit it off as friends, at least at first.
The story was well crafted and rattles along at a decent pace. It is indeed a ripping yarn – in other words, it is a really good story, well told. The secondary characters, Hanna and Jo, are well developed and help to give the story both breadth and depth.
Lena and Megan are neighbours living in adjacent flats of a converted Victorian house in London. They couldn’t be more different: Lena is obsessed with order and routine, Megan is carefree and messy. Their relationship starts badly as Megan clumsiness gets her into trouble with her uptight neighbour. However, everything changes when a storm leaves Lena homeless and Megan offers her to move in her spare room. Will they manage to get along and what happens when they realise there might be attracted to each other?
This was a frustrating read for me. There’s so much potential in this story, for example, to explore homophobia in the first generation of Indian immigrants in the UK or how is to live with an obsessive compulsive disorder but unfortunately, this novel fails not only in achieving that but also in the romance part. Paradoxically, its main strength – the main characters’ development – is the cause of its demise. I think that Lena is well rounded as a person suffering from OCD and Megan as a carefree though insecure character. However, put them together and their interactions aren’t believable and their chemistry inexistent. The secondary characters are stereotyped and flat, maybe with the exception of the ground floor neighbour. There was a great amount of description that made this read tedious and boring. Considering that this is a romance and a happily ever after is expected, the plot development and the end weren’t believable at all. It’s a pity because Ms. Brooks’s previous novels are much better and I was expecting an enjoyable read.
Overall, a frustrating read. 2.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
‘Right here, right now’ is the story of Lacey, a control freak accountant who finds peace in the predictability of numbers and Alicia, her new office neighbour whose motto is to live in the moment. As expected, their opposite personalities initially collide but their neighbourly relationship suddenly changes into friendship and the possibility of something more. Will Lacey’s control obsession and Alicia’s fear of commitment get in their way?
In my opinion, this book could be divided in two: before and after April 15th, the deadline to submit tax returns in America. Written in first person from Lacey’s point of view, the first half feels like a chronicle describing the life of an accountant during tax season. For me, it was a bit of a tedious read. I get that the author wanted to convey that it is an extremely busy period for a tax consultant and to show some of Lacey’s OCD traits but I think that less could have been more or at least, the plot would have improved if the clients were more interesting. Having said that, in the book’s fictional post tax season, the story starts to pick up in pace and interest. Unfortunately, I don’t think that both parts are balanced properly as the end seems a bit rushed. Some scenes from Chapter Eleven onwards and Lacey’s relationship with her dog show snippets of the talent that the author’s fans know and appreciate, but for me it wasn’t enough to rate it beyond average.
Overall, an ok read. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.