Talia Wasserman is a widow with grown-up daughters who just got a job as a civilian assistant to Lieutenant Eve Pope, chief of Police Community Relations. Their chemistry is hard to ignore but boss-subordinate relationships are frown upon. To make matters worse, there is a criminal on the lose endangering female police officers. Can Talia find love twice in a lifetime and not lose her partner again?
‘Twice in a lifetime’ is an interracial romance with a small side of mystery. Kudos to the author to feature two women in their early fifties, both with grown-up children and a bisexual protagonist who is in a lesbian relationship for the first time. This provides a realistic view of a bisexual character who didn’t have to deal with homophobia before because she was married to a man.
The story is written in first person from the point of view of Talia which, in my opinion, restricts the development of the plot. As a result, the mystery part is very much on the side, because Talia isn’t involved in the criminal investigation. Most of the action, which is lead by Eve, is told by the author and not shown by the characters’ actions. Unfortunately, this takes the thrill off the story a bit. The second half of the book, however, is better paced and more enjoyable.
The dialogues are well written as the author builds the mains’ chemistry through their banter and witty remarks. The book could have done with more of these conversations. It’s refreshing to see that the mains talk about their disagreements in a mature way and the sources of conflict aren’t forced into the plot. Both characters present their feelings with clarity and maturity that comes from their life experience and is coherent with their ages.
The relationship between Talia and her two daughters is very credible and enjoyable to read. In my opinion, the author got the tone right for these relationships and the description of Jewish traditions and family life enriches the plot tremendously.
Overall, a good interracial romance with older characters, well-rounded secondary characters and a bit of action on the side. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
School teacher Anna finds herself stressed and bored so she decides to take on crochet classes with Ollie, an army veteran and the owner of the craft shop ‘Darn that yarn’. As Ollie teaches Anna how to crochet, both women soon become friends and slowly discover their mutual attraction. But a jealous ex-boyfriend, their wary offspring and a good dose of self-doubt get in their way to love. Will they have a happily ever after?
This is a debut novel by British author Jenn Matthews featuring main characters in their 50s, both divorced, one a lesbian and the other allegedly straight. As the reader can tell by the cover and the title, crochet is at the center of this story and it’s the facilitator of the relationship between the leads. You don’t need to love crochet to read this book (I personally don’t) but an interest in arts and crafts would be beneficial.
As an avid crocheter herself, Ms. Matthews knows what she’s talking about and the novel is filled with descriptions of techniques and materials for the craft. Personally, I think that the book goes into too many details (crochet or otherwise) that could have been removed to make the pace of the story slightly faster. Having said that, the slow-burn romance suits this type of story and I was pleased to see that the author took her time to develop the mains relationship and the subplots.
The crochet classes environment works well to present the good number of secondary characters and to build the leads relationship. I liked how the author gave hints of their attraction through their body language and the natural sounding dialogues. The author is very cinematographic in her descriptions, she makes it easy for the reader to create a mental picture of the scenes. All the characters, mains or secondary, feel multi-layered and authentic, including Anna’s autistic son. The sex scene is well written in addition to an excellent self-pleasuring scene. One of the best that I’ve read in non-erotica lesfic.
Through and through, this novel has a distinct British feel not only in the use of the language but also in many British references such as the use of tea as a conversation enabler or alcohol as a social lubricant. This helps to establish the tone and setting of the novel, providing authenticity and a credibility to the story.
Overall, a very good slow-burn romance between a couple in their 50s with the unusual setting of a crochet class and an authentic British feel. 4 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Nicole Morella is a recently divorced New Yorker taking some thinking time in a cruise ship in the Mediterranean. When she meets Fiona Boone, a British artist living in France, they hit it off immediately but their budding attraction is interrupted when the cruise is hijacked. Both women escape in a lifeboat and they will need to fight together for their survival and their chance at love.
Rachel Lacey is a seasoned author of almost twenty romance novels but this is her first LGBT and f/f book. According to the author’s notes, she wrote the first draft in a week which is a big accomplishment because the plot is original and well crafted.
Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, the story is varied in thrilling moments, romance and drama, all of them well balanced and realistic. Both women face setbacks in their fight for survival and the reader cannot help but cheering for them. The secondary characters are mostly in the background but it makes sense as a big part of the story happens with both women isolated from anyone else. However, when the secondary characters make their appearance, they are well-rounded and believable, specially Nicole’s parents.
There’s a trigger warning of abuse but just narrated by one of the characters in a couple of paragraphs. The sex scenes are well written and realistic and show the characters’ growing intimacy. I think that this book will appeal not only the usual lesfic reader but also to Ms. Lacey’s fans.
Overall, an entertaining book with a well-balanced mix of thrilling scenes, romance and drama. 4.5 stars.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.