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.
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 »
This was a really good YA book. As I’ve mentioned multiple times I can be up and down when it comes to YA books but Gold writes really well. This is the third book I have read by her and all of them have been quality reads. Gold writes about topics that other authors tend to shy away from. In this book Gold takes on race, gender, and sexuality. Each time I read one of her books I walk away feeling like I learned something new which I always appreciate.
This book covers about three years in two teenager’s lives. Kaz is struggling with their gender while Aisha has to deal with systematic racism after moving to a town this is mostly white. These two teenagers click and become best friends instantly. Kaz knows they are falling for Aisha hard, but can Aisha accept how Kaz sees their own gender? And with racism affecting Aisha’s schooling, will she be around long enough for Kaz to find out?
This is one of those books that definitely messed with my emotions. I went from crying one minute, to being so mad I was steaming the next. And while some of this book was hard to read because you know it’s a fiction book based on facts, there were still plenty of uplifting moments. This is one of those YA books that should really be in school libraries but is also a book adults should read. Even with me talking many sociology classes including gender studies when I was in college, terms and how we understand gender has really changed in the past few years. I feel like I’m coming away with a better understanding of how some genderqueer people feel about themselves. And while I know there is plenty of racism still alive in 2019, you just have to turn on the TV to know it, this book made me think about things I just never would have considered as a white person.
While there are some tough parts to read in this book, there is a sweet G-rated YA romance. I thought Kaz and Aisha were just perfectly adorable together. I loved how much they uplifted and fought for each other. Kaz was a little warrior and I just loved that about them. And while not everything was wrapped up in a neat little bow, I enjoyed how the ending of the book made me feel.
This is one of those books that I just think people should read. Like I mentioned before I think Gold writes books that are important. She knows how to leave an impact on you while getting your mind working. That is the sign of a good book and a good author in my opinion.
Engineer Darcy Harris is on a quest to find long-lasting love and no one will stop her, not even a creepy stalker or her demanding best-friend. A chance encounter with Eilidh Grey has the potential to develop into something meaningful but as the stalker’s threats escalate, all three women get involved in a dangerous game in which no one knows who they can trust.
Ms. Hudson is consolidating her voice within the lesfic genre as an accomplished suspense writer with a British feel. After reading her excellent debut novel ‘Four steps’, I have to admit that I was a bit let down by her second book ‘Mine to keep’. However, I’m happy to say that ‘Meant to be me’ exceeded my expectations.
This novel is set in Inverness, Scotland, and the author’s depictions of the landscape perfectly set the tone of a suspense thriller. According to the publisher, this is a romantic suspense novel, but it’s light on the romance and heavy on the suspense. Don’t be fooled by the few first chapters that seem to set the tone for a romance novel, the love interest is more a plot device than an end in itself. There isn’t much development of intimacy and the only sex scene is fade to black. However, this makes sense in the context of the whole story and doesn’t make it less interesting.
‘Meant to be me’ is written from the point of view of everyone involved in the plot, including the stalker, so we get to know how their twisted mind work. This knowledge doesn’t stop us from being surprised by a few twists and turns that the plot takes, despite that a couple of them are a bit predictable. All the main characters are very well written and have their own distinctive voices coherent with their background stories. It’s good to see that the author took her time in the last few chapters and the epilogue to give the story the proper closure it deserves and, at the same time, keeping the reader interested.
Overall, a very good romantic suspense thriller full of twists and turns with the beautiful setting of Scotland. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
3.50 Stars. I ended up enjoying this more than I expected to. It was a sweet romance and a good debut. This is a second chance romance with some angst (but not too much) and likable main characters. Sofi Keren is definitely an author I will keep my eye on.
This is a story about two best friends that have a falling out that leads to them not speaking for a decade. When a flat tire re-connects them, they must decide if they can pick up where they left off or is there too much heartbreak in the way.
The second chance storyline is one we see often in lesfic but it worked for this book. What I was most surprised to find was how invested I was in the characters in such a short amount of time. I found myself almost crying at one point and was actually happy about that because it meant the book was making me feel. The book is on the shorter side, but it just made it so the book had a nice pace that never got bogged down.
My only real complaint is I’m not a fan of third person single point of view. If you are only going to be in the headspace of one character the whole book, I would prefer it to be in first person. That way you can really connect to the one character. But this is a personal preference and the book still made me feel so I can’t complain too much.
This was short and sweet with some angst. I think most romance fans will enjoy this one. It’s not perfect but it’s a good debut and it put a smile on my face. This is one I would recommend.
3.75 Stars. ‘The Soulstealers’ was a well written, YA fantasy book. I do have to admit that I didn’t love the story as much as I wanted to. However, I’m still rating this on the higher side because it’s a well done, quality, YA book.
In this world, magic comes at a steep price. When Druids come of age they steal and trap the soul of a person to leach magic off of. Arnaka is turning 16 and it is now time for her to get a soul familiar. The problem is the girl that must die to have her soul trapped by Arnaka is her best friend. Arnaka promises her friend that she will do everything in her power to stop any more people having to die for magic. Can Arnaka fight all that stands against her to keep her promise?
While this is a YA book, it is on the darker side. If librarians are considering this I would suggest it for older teens. One of my issues with the storyline is that I felt it was pretty depressing. There is friendship, hope, and even a teeny tiny baby f/f romance, so it’s not all doom and gloom, I just wish there were a bigger amount of lighter moments. I felt like this book weighed on me a bit.
The imagination of this book is very well done. While a floating city and palace above a ravaged land is not a new concept, the rest of the book felt pretty fresh. I have read a lot of mainstream and LGBTQ fantasy books so it’s always a pleasant surprise for a book to have really new ideas.
The characters are all pretty well done even the more secondary ones. It was a good cast of heroes and villains. As I mentioned before, there is a baby romance but nothing more than a couple of kisses. I wish there was time to develop the relationship between the characters more but with so much going on in the book, there just wasn’t.
This sort of leads me to one of my issues which is time. I wish there was more time for expanding on things in the book. I didn’t feel enough time was spent between Arnaka and her best friend to really cement their strong friendship connection. I wanted more time for the romance even if it was kept G-rated and I wanted more time at the end of the book, the ending was a tiny bit of a letdown.
This book has some great adventures, some good magic battles, and well thought out characters. The story itself felt refreshingly new. It did make me feel a little melancholy because it is on the sadder side. Overall I would still recommend this to YA fantasy fans.
NineStar Press really has some of the best covers. They impress me more and more every time I see a new book out.