Review of ‘Cameron’s rules’ by Baxter Brown.

After an accidental meeting in which writer Julie Carter spills coffee on corporate lawyer Cameron Kassen’s clothes, Julie gets hooked and invites her on a date. But Cameron lives in Toronto and Julie in San Diego and the distance between them isn’t just physical…

One of the issues I have with this book is that, in my opinion, it is marketed completely wrong. I have three reasons to support my argument: first, it is under the romance category while it should have been categorised as general fiction. Second, the cover suggests a light read which is completely the opposite. Third, the book blurb is misleading, again suggesting a playfulness that this novel lacks. Read More »

Review of ‘Breaking character’ by Lee Winter.

When famous British actress Elizabeth Thornton shares the set with American former child prodigy Summer Hayes, a series of random accidents made the press portray them as girlfriends. The mistake escalates when a French director offers the pair a career changing role assuming that they can act on set the intimacy they share as a couple. How hard could it be to fake a relationship for a while?

Lee Winter knows how to write a story about older ice queens and inexperienced younger women who idolise them. For instance, icy political correspondent Catherine Ayers and entertainment journalist Lauren King in ‘The red files’; or ruthless assassin Natalya Tsvetnenko and her naive target Alison Ryan in ‘Requiem for immortals’; or media mogul boss Elena Bartell and crime reporter Maddie Grey in ‘The brutal truth’. In ‘Breaking character’, Ms. Winter explores a fake relationship of the celebrity variety between two actresses playing as a couple and how their relationship evolves as they share more than their professional lives.

This book is great on character building, from the mains and the secondary to the ‘real’ and the ‘fictional’. Winter does a great job at portraying each one. Some you’ll love, others you’ll despise, but every single one of them have their defined nuances. So much so that the reader is able to witness the transition from actress to film character, how they cope with the emotional strain of acting and how they bare themselves literally and metaphorically. The same happens with secondary characters. For example, each one of Elizabeth’s friends represent a different type of Hollywood celebrity: the self-centrered, the womaniser, the introvert, the eccentric genius, etc.

‘Breaking character’ gives a good insight about an actress’ profession: how they expose their feelings and bodies, how they get typecast by their looks or age, how high is the price of fame and how competitive and cut-throat Hollywood could be. The romance is very slow-burn but, in my opinion, it feels a bit rushed at the end. However, this is an entertaining and engaging read that won’t disappoint Lee Winter’s fans.

Overall, a very good read using the fake relationship, celebrity romance trope. Critical, entertaining and absorbing. 4.5 stars.

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

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´╗┐Review of ‘Ask me again’ by E. J. Noyes.

This is the sequel of ‘Ask, tell’ which was one of my favourite lesfic books of 2017, so I was anxiously waiting for it and wondering where was Ms. Noyes taking one of my favourite couples in lesfic. If you haven’t read ‘Ask, tell’ I strongly recommend that you read it first as this sequel won’t have the same emotional impact if you don’t understand the background story and, anyway, it’s a must read for any lesfic fans.

‘Ask me again’ is a different kind of book by Ms. Noyes. Normally, she writes romances in which conflict is a mechanism to create tension and move the story forward. In this case, the conflict is in the driving seat of the story and the romance is in the background. The main issue is Sabine’s PTSD as a consequence of serving as an army surgeon in Afghanistan and her partner Rebecca trying to help her cope with it. As you can imagine, this isn’t a light read. It’s intense, raw, emotional and even heartbreaking. At times I wanted to crawl inside the book and give the characters a hug, it’s a story that gets the reader that emotionally involved.

This author normally writes in first person point of view. ‘Ask, tell’ was written from Sabine’s but this sequel is written from both Sabine’s and Rebecca’s points of view in alternating chapters. It works well as the reader has a prime view to Sabine’s OCD and anxiety issues and it gives a new dimension to Rebecca’s character. Both of them have their own distinct voices and their personalities are built to the tiniest of details. This couple works not only in their chemistry but in a deeper level of relationship which feels realistic and believable. A surprising addition is Jana, Sabine’s sister, a larger than life character who introduces some very much needed levity to this book. Ms. Noyes is planning to write a book based on her and I can’t wait to read it.

Overall, a novel with a surprising level of depth and a sequel that does justice to the characters’ story. Both highly recommended books to read in chronological order. 5+ stars.

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

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