Review of ‘Bait and switch’ by Blythe Warren.

This is an enjoyable lesbian rom-com with emphasis in the comedy part. Written in first person from the point of view of marine biologist Liv Cucinelli, the story starts when she meets her former college nemesis Mira. To say that Liv holds a grudge against Mira for ruining her college career is an understatement, but somehow they manage to go past their previous differences to start an unlikely friendship. Will it develop into something more?

As an English College teacher, Ms. Warren is quite good with words, though she has a flair for using some strange ones like ‘preternatural’ or ‘immiscible’. I haven’t read her previous book so I’m not sure if it’s her usual writing style or this particular character’s voice. Sometimes, her choice of words is distracting but in most cases is hilarious. A good example is all the different ways she calls Mira’s mother: ‘Darth Vader in a pantsuit’, ‘Lady Lucifer’, ‘homophobic terrorist’, ’empress of evil’ and so on. The plot is entertaining, the dialogues are realistic and the secondary characters complement the story nicely, specially Mira’s deaf daughter Cassie.

Overall, a very enjoyable and entertaining read. 4 stars.

ARC provided by Bella Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Party wall’ by Cheyenne Blue.

This is a slow-burn romance between Freya, a yoga teacher and wellbeing shop owner, and Lilly, her next door neighbor and sex shop owner. At the beginning, their different personalities and lifestyles clash but their feelings eventually change following the formulaic plot of ‘hate and then love’ relationship.

I’ve read a couple of books by this author and for me her books are a bit of a hit and miss. This book is well written but the reason behind my 3.5 stars is that I couldn’t empathise with Freya. Mind you, there were reasons why she acted coldly and arrogantly, but those reasons were explained nearly at the end of the book when I’ve already lost any sympathy for her.

On the positive side, the book explores an interracial relationship between two women of different size and shape which is a breath of fresh air with so many lesfic characters who are white, slim and beautiful.

Overall, an ok read if you can put up with an annoying character. 3.5 stars

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

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Review of ‘Echo point’ by Virginia Hale.

Beautiful love story set in the Blue mountains near Sidney in Australia. This is not just a romance: it’s a story of loss, family ties and redemption. Don’t expect heroines or larger than life characters: Ally and Bron are better described by their flaws and missteps – and maybe because of them – the reader can sympathise and redeem them before they do.

Nothing major happens in this book, which is set in the aftermath of Libby’s accidental death. She leaves behind her sister Bron, her best friend Ally and her little daughter. This book is the story of how they cope with the loss in their everyday lives and how they change them in the process.

The author’s description of the landscape is vivid and picturesque. The bushfires and intense heat are a metaphor of the passions at stake. Ms. Hale knows how to build up the tension and the chemistry between Bron and Ally rages like a bushfire: uncontrollable, hot and consuming.

Overall, a very solid debut novel and a highly recommended romance. 5 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Planning for love’ by Erin Dutton.

Erin Dutton’s books have been a bit of a hit and miss for me but after reading ‘Capturing forever’ that changed completely as I loved that book. This is not as good as the previous one but it’s entertaining enough.

The main characters meet in uncomfortable circumstances as Rachel walks into her best friend Violet about to have sex with Faith, Violet’s wedding planner. From there onwards, Rachel decides to keep an eye on them to avoid Violet cheating on her future husband. Eventually Rachel and Faith’s own attraction starts to grow. Will they be able to move past their false start and learn to trust in each other? While the start of the book is an odd setting for a romance, the author manages to produce a sweet, slow-burn relationship between them. There is an amount of drama and angst but I think the author balances it well within the plot. As a bonus, the reader can catch up with the lives of Jacqueline and Casey from Dutton’s ‘Capturing forever’.

Overall, an entertaining read with a bit of drama at the side. 4 stars.

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

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Review of ‘First position’ by Melissa Brayden.

Wow… another Melissa Brayden’s masterpiece. She’s by far my favourite lesbian romance author… and by far I mean miles away from the rest. Ok, now that we’ve got established my not-so -subtle partiality, I have to add that this book is one of my favourites from this author along with ‘Kiss the girl’. For me it has the right amount of wit, romance, sex and angst. The combination of all these ingredients make an incredible read.

What else? The main characters have perfect chemistry, the secondary characters add depth to the story and the appearances of characters from previous books (including my favourites Jess and Brooklyn) is a nice bonus. Ms. Brayden knows how to take the reader into different worlds (in this case, classical ballet) with the talent of a cinematographer. That’s why I think many of her books could make very good movies. All in all, if you are looking for lesbian romance and are a bit tired of the butch-femme dynamic of damisel in distress with her heroine in shinning armour, this book is right for you. I cannot recommend it more but then, be warned that I’m a bit biased. 5+ stars.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.