Lesbian YA Book review

Tough-to-read but well written YA book

Lesbian YA Book Review of ‘The Women of Dauphine’ by Deb Jannerson

 

3.50 Stars. This is a lesbian YA book that was well written but hard to read. Trigger warnings include violence, abuse, sexual assault, suicide, and the one that really bothered me, conversion therapy. Actually, had I realized this book included children in conversion therapy I would have passed on it. I do want to make clear though this is not NineStar Press’ fault or the author’s but mine for not reading the whole book blurb.

I find book blubs to often contain spoilers, so I tend to skim or ignore them altogether. I read the first paragraph, saw that this was a lesfic YA-paranormal-romance, and immediately grabbed this book. I just ignored the conversion therapy part that is clearly sitting right there in paragraph two of the blurb.Read More »

One of the best second chance lesbian romances I’ve read

Lesbian Book Review of ‘Always a love song’ by Charley Clarke

4.25 Stars. This was a really good read. I believe this is Clarke’s full-length debut and that makes this book even more impressive. I have actually read one of Clarke’s fantasy short stories before called ‘The Flamebringers’. I thought it was really sweet with my only main complaint was wishing it was longer, so when I heard YLVA picked her up as an author, I could not wait to sink my teeth into this book. I had pretty high expectations and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed this read.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a fan of lesbian celebrity romances so this book already had a check in the win column for me. But what surprised me and what made this book so good is that it was a second chance romance. It’s not just that it was a second chance romance, but that it is one of the most realistic second chance lesbian romances I have ever read. This book was pretty emotional at times and not only did I find it gripping but it really affected me too. The anger and betrayal of a break-up, the hurt that both parties cause, it was just really believable and well written.Read More »

Review of ‘Secrets in a small town’ by Nicole Stiling.

3.75 Stars. I thought this was a fun debut. It’s not a perfect read, it had a few issues, but it was really entertaining and exactly the kind of book I needed. For the past week, I have had a house full of family company, including an eight-month-old baby. I love my extended family but they are loud and a bit messy so it has been a whirlwind with no quiet time for me to read. The reason I bring this up is a week without reading could be why I found this book so appealing. It was like finding a glass of water in the desert so your mileage may vary slightly.

While this is a crime/mystery romance the crime part is not too heavy. I actually don’t think you have to be a mystery fan to enjoy this. There is just enough excitement and mystery to keep you turning the pages, but it never gets too dark or heavy. I liked that I didn’t guess who the “bad guy/girl” was. I had an idea, but I ended up being way off, so I appreciate that Stiling didn’t make it too easy to figure out.

When it came to the main characters I had fun with them. You have a really likeable and sweet Chief of Police in Micki and you have an ice queen Town Manager named Savannah. Savannah is an ice queen, to say the least. I almost worried Stiling was going a little too far with her character, but it did give the characters this intense sexual love/hate chemistry in a few scenes. I did think the characters fell out of the “hate” into the “like” period a little quickly, but I think that is something that Stiling will get better at as she becomes a more seasoned author.

Overall, I thought this was a good, entertaining read. It has a few bumps, but it is a very readable and enjoyable debut. I would not hesitate to read Stiling again in the future.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

Review of ‘The house’ by Eden Darry.

3.50 Stars. This is Darry’s full-length debut. I could still see some room for growth but I thought this was pretty well written for a debut. I guess you could put this in the category of either paranormal or light horror. However, this book wasn’t scary; it was creepy and a little dark. While you might be slightly uncomfortable while reading at times, it’s not really a tough read. It’s definitely not too scary to read.

This is the kind of book that is not easy to review because you don’t want to give anything away. The book started off with a bang, slowed down a little, but for the most part, kept up a good pace. It was very readable for me and I liked that it was not a long book so the story never really dragged. There is a paranormal element to this, but it’s almost more evil than what you think about a “normal” haunting with ghosts. And there is also a real-life evil person the characters have to deal with so it’s a lot on their plates.

The main characters in this book are in an established relationship already with two kids. There are some nicer, sweet moments but there is also a lot of relationship drama/arguing because of the circumstances. I do have to admit the arguing was getting a little old, but given the storyline, I get it so I can’t really complain.

The book had a few small twists and some excitement which was nice. I read it in one sitting so it absolutely entertained me. I was not in love with the storyline, but I’m still glad I gave this a try. If you are looking for something creepy this is a good choice. I wouldn’t hesitate to read Darry again.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

Review of ‘And Playing the Role of Herself’ by K.E. Lane

It is unfortunate that I simply had no clue lesbian fiction existed until a couple of years ago. On the upside, I am fortunate to be able to look at reviews and pick and choose books that have been well received in the past. Sometimes I feel just darn spoiled! I have been wanting to read this book for some time now as one can look at reviews, and even awards, and see how successful it was. I’m happy to say it lived to those expectations.

Caidence Harris is an actress in a hit primetime cop show. She is in her thirties, has come to terms with her sexuality but has not been able to act on it. Her attention for the past couple of years has been on another actress, Robyn Ward, who makes her heart race and her mouth babble when in her presence, but who is also very unavailable and involved with a handsome and charismatic tennis player.

The story is told from Caidence’s first-person point of view (POV). I love, love, love first person POV. I feel it lends to such intimacy and yet, the ability to have such witty internal dialog without simply stating it. I find the obvious thoughts of a character sometimes eye-roll inducing when they are just stated in third person POV. They are simply not funny unless someone is narrating it as they came up in their heads. I mean, we all have killer humor and witty internal dialogs right? If we don’t, please don’t embarrass me by pointing it out!

In a way, it is easy to see why this book was well received. There are the actress/Hollywood characters, the fauxmance and the misunderstanding of intentions amongst other tropes. The characters are endearing and I absolutely loved Caidence, who was very level headed and just real. The relationship between the main characters was great as I thought the arguments were legitimate and both of them held each other accountable for their actions. They manage to start the relationship sooner rather than later and Ms. Kane did a fantastic job at keeping things challenging and interesting through the remaining of the book. 

This was my second audiobook narrated by Lisa Cordileone, and another wonderful performance. She narrates the sarcasm and wittiness just like I would read it, so it simply was enjoyable to listen to and with several laugh-out-loud moments. The challenge was finding the time to listen to it. No time like the present to follow the low-speed limits in one’s neighborhood! I will point out I listened to it at 1.25x speed as I thought the regular speed was prolonging things a bit.

I did not realize this was an older book, although perhaps looking at the cover, it shows some. Nothing was outdated in the story and reads like a much more recent release.

Overall, a great romance with a fantastic and humorous inner monologue. 5 stars.

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Review of ‘Painted over’ by Sofi Keren.

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.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.