Leo is a famous singer just finishing a world tour when she receives a call from her estranged mother. Her father has suffered a stroke and her presence is needed at home. Home is the small town in Missouri where she grew up but quickly left in order to pursue her singing career. It was also the place she never fit in and where her father was clearly disappointed on her choice of career as well as her sexual orientation. Leo meets Holly, her father’s nurse, when she makes it home and discovers her father’s condition has left him in need of full-time care. As Leo confronts her past, she strikes a friendship with hope for more with Holly. Only, she must make amends and gain Holly’s trust in the process.
This novel was the first one I’ve read that has had an asexual character. Read More »
Jay Reid was a tennis star with a promising career, a loving partner, and their baby. When Charlotte disappeared while at a sea expedition, she left Jay alone to raise up their child. She was rescued by a fisherman and lived in the Faroe Islands with no recollection of her previous life. Twenty-three years later, an event triggers her memory and Charlotte goes back to England to reunite with Jay and their child. But after such a long time, will Charlotte and Jay be able to get back what they had?
‘Deuce’ is a love story but also a tale about bereavement, soul mates, family, and acceptance. It goes beyond the typical lesbian romance formula to focus not only on the main couple but also on the lives of the different people around them. It is loosely based on the selkie legends of Scotland and Faroe Islands, in which the seal people or ‘selkies’ shed their skins and come ashore to mix with humans to eventually return to the sea and leave them heartbroken. As in those legendary stories, this novel explores the unique bond between soul mates and the permanency of love.Read More »
I just need to start at the beginning of my experience reading this novel. Literally, as I read the first sentence, I smiled. Yep, happy sigh. First person POV, you have become my favorite. First person POV written by EJ Noyes, I love you! Ms. Noyes, at the risk of sounding like a lunatic to you (again), you singlehandedly are responsible for my first person POV obsession. Your first person POV is simply genius. I’ve read other books written in first person, but none that resonate with me like when written by this author.
Did I mention my smile right? Well, that’s the last time I did until later, later in the book. This is Celeste Thorne’s first-person POV recount of her participation on a psychological study. The goal is for her to endure four years in close to complete isolation from human contact. The story begins after the third year, when suddenly Olivia Soldano, a lost hiker, appears on the edge of the compound. Suddenly Celeste must readjust to this person who is simply everything she ever wanted. The problem is that after such isolation, Celeste’s feelings are in disarray and she struggles to determine what is real and what is part of an elaborate lie.Read More »
This is a second chance story with angst. But, aren’t all second chance stories ‘angsty’?
Madison Prescott is the only heir to a multimillion dollar company and estate. Raised by her conservative father, her path in life has been predetermined by her last name. This is derailed by Madison’s relationship with the maid’s daughter, Ana Perez when they were both kids. Now in their 30s, 15 yrs after Madison proposed then abandoned Ana, her father died. Can Madison pursue the love of her life once again, or are the wounds she created too deep for Ana’s heart to overcome?Read More »
Celeste Thorne is taking part in a scientific experiment that involves solitary confinement for four years with a final prize of half a million dollars. More than three years into the study, she finds a woman lurking in the border of her compound. Olivia Soldano is beautiful, caring and enigmatic but her sole presence in the house breaks the rules of the experiment and ultimately, can Celeste trust her?
Oh well… E.J. Noyes cannot stop surprising her readers, can she? ‘Alone’ is a book hard to categorise: it’s a game of contrasts. It’s dark but also optimistic, it’s about solitude but features a couple, it’s unsettling but, at the same time, hopeful. If you are acquainted with Ms. Noyes’s work, you will recognise the imprints of her style that readers have learned to love. Her books are always written in first person usually from the point of view of a broken woman with her co-lead presented as a flawed but righteous rescuer. What I consider outstanding is that, despite this apparent repetition, the stories have very different settings (war zone, corporate world, sports and now a psychological experiment) that make them all very distinctive, original and, at the same time, realistic.Read More »
As a teenager, Madison Prescott, the sole heir to her family’s banking empire, falls in love with Ana Perez, the maid’s daughter. Madison’s father doesn’t approve of their relationship and, through threats and lies, he forces Madison to break up with Ana. Fifteen years later, when her father dies, Madison is determined to make amends but Ana feels betrayed and hurt. It seems that time doesn’t heal all wounds, or does it?
This is the third book by Elle Spencer whose writing career started with the acclaimed bestseller ‘Casting Lacey’. I find her books on the angsty side and this one was no exception. ‘The road to Madison’ is, in my opinion, her weakest novel and, by far, the most dramatic. I know that many readers like a good amount of drama in their lesfic romances and might disagree with this review but I think that this story is borderline with melodramatic.
The novel is told by multiple points of view, which is not necessarily a problem, but in this case, it seems that some characters only have a voice to urge the mains to get together. As a consequence, some secondary characters sound too unrealistic and excessively honourable. Of course, there is nothing wrong with ethical characters, but their widespread presence in this story makes their voices sound very similar.
As the story takes place in two time periods, now and fifteen years ago, there are a few flashbacks intertwined with the present. I felt that they were a lost opportunity to showcase the strong bond and love between the characters that justified such amount of heartbreak and angst. In my opinion, Ms. Spencer fails in building up their chemistry at the start of their relationship. ‘At seventeen’ by Gerri Hill, while not perfect, is a prime example on how to describe the intimacy between teenagers, a long-lasting love that makes it worth fighting for in adulthood, despite the dispute that separates them. In ‘The road to Madison’, however, pain and conflict outplay love and chemistry, which sometimes made me wonder if their relationship was really worth fighting for.
Overall, an ok romance with a great amount of drama and angst. 3 stars.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.