Review of ‘The London of us’ by Clare Lydon.

This is book 4 in the ‘London romance’ series. It can be read as a standalone novel though I recommend to read them all if you like lesbian romances with a British feel. As in the previous books, London is at the background of a beautiful love story.

Alice Di Santo has a comfortable life. A job that she enjoys, great friends, supportive family and a lovely boyfriend. Even her social media life is thriving as a co-star in an increasingly popular YouTube channel. But lately she feels that something is missing in her life soon discovering her growing attraction for her friend Rachel, a sexy and very lesbian chef. Surely this is a passing crush, or is it?

‘The London of us’ is as much a romance as a coming out story. Ms. Lydon wisely chose to write it in first person from Alice point of view getting us into her headspace as she deals with her first ever attraction to a woman. The book starts with a bang and keeps the momentum with humour and wittiness that puts a smile on your face. Those of us who have experienced the coming out process know that it’s not an easy path and Ms. Lydon showcases this but the angst, while realistic, never takes the lightness of her writing style. As a matter of fact, Alice’s coming out scene with her parents is the funniest I’ve read in lesfic. All the characters – mains and secondary – are well portrayed and the intimate scenes are hot, highlighting the chemistry between the main leads.

Overall, a very good addition to this successful series. Great read for romance fans. 4 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Worth the wait’ by Karelia Stetz-Waters.

This is book 3 of the ‘Out in Portland’ series by this author that can be read as a standalone novel. In a high school reunion, television presenter Avery Crown meets Merritt Lessing, her former best friend and teenage crush. After fifteen years, their mutual attraction is still alive but past and present get in the way as Merritt cannot forget an old betrayal and Avery is a closeted lesbian who cannot build a relationship without putting her career in jeopardy. Do they have any hope of having their happily ever after?

I have to admit that I’m not into high school reunion romances or stories about decades-long grudges held from teenage years. Normally my theme preferences don’t influence a book rating or critique. But beyond the subject I’m afraid that I have a few issues with this book, starting with the plot which seems a bit unrealistic and over the top dramatic. Additionally, I couldn’t warm up to the main characters, Avery with her low self-esteem, stuck in her mother issues and self-pity while Merritt… well, much the same. Some of their behaviour or conversations felt childish and immature for a thirty something. On the other hand, the secondary characters were much more interesting, specially DX and the couple of Iliana and Lei-Ling. I would read a book about them as they are quirky and multi faceted.

Overall, an ok read if you are into school reunions and drama. 3 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Sparks like ours’ by Melissa Brayden.

This is book 3 of the ‘Seven shores’ series featuring four friends living in Venice beach, California which I recommend to read chronologically. ‘Sparks like ours’ is the story of Gia Malone, a professional surfer, and Elle Britton, world champion surfer and Gia’s fiercest competitor. As number two in the world, Gia is determined to beat Elle whom she considers superficial and too perky. But when an advertising campaign brings them working together, Gia starts reconsidering her opinion about Elle and Elle begins to question her own sexuality. Will they act on their growing attraction or will their budding relationship be destroyed by the extreme competition between them?

This is by far my favourite book in this series, as now the four friends and the secondary characters’ personalities are well defined. The ‘Soho loft’ series is still my favourite but I suppose it’s a matter of taste. ‘Sparks like ours’ is one of Ms. Brayden’s books with less angst or drama I’ve read. The characters’ conflict is more due to career challenges than serious disputes or misunderstandings. It makes the conflict realistic and sad at the same time. The rest is pure Brayden’s usual style: witty dialogues, hot chemistry, well crafted plots. As always, Brayden uses the perfect balance between show and tell. In her books, we are observers as the events unfold and we experience the characters’ emotions which stir our feelings and trigger our imaginations. The author leaves the descriptions to her trademark intimate scenes. And, oh boy, how she excels at that. Ms. Brayden has the lesfic romance formula perfected and us readers cannot get enough. Her books are lesfic heaven.

As a bonus to her fans, there are a few cameo appearances or references to some of her most beloved characters: Molly and Jordan from ‘How sweet it is’, Mallory and Hunter from the ‘Soho loft’ series and Spencer from the forthcoming ‘Love like ours’.

Overall, another winner by Melissa Brayden which will make her readers happy. 4.5 stars.

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

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