Lesbian Family Drama Book Review of ‘Because I said so’ by Karin Kallmaker
3.5 Stars. I have a lot of respect for Kallmaker. She has had such a long and impressive career that whenever her name comes up I kick myself for not having read more of her back library. I am, however, happy to make sure to read any new books she puts out. I really enjoyed her last book ‘My Lady Lipstick‘ so I do have to admit I was a little bummed that I didn’t enjoy this book as much.
I do not want to go into any summaries because it would be easy to give too much away. What I do want to talk about is that I didn’t really feel like this book was a romance. I think I would put it more in the family-drama category. This book did have two main women with some potential between them, but this book was really about their families (blood and the kinds you make) and their jobs.Read More »
Olivia Reynolds is a manager at an athletic wear company dedicated exclusively to her job. She likes no-strings relationships and to be always in control. Cardic Lawson is a cultural anthropology professor dedicated to the study of polygamy and a firm disbeliever in committed relationships. After a chance encounter and acknowledging their mutual attraction, they decide to engage in a casual relationship. But as things start to get heated and their relationship develops, will they recognise their own changing feelings? Will Olivia be able to let go of her need to control everything?
This novel deals with different interesting issues such as commitment, polygamy vs. monogamy and body image. The author dedicated this book to all plus-size ladies and includes one of them as a lead. Kudos to Ms. Hardee for writing a plus-size character comfortable in her own skin and for discussing the neglectful attitude of the fashion industry towards large clothing sizes. It’s also very interesting the way the story connects Cardic’s anthropological research subject (polygamy vs monogamy) and the main romantic plot.
Having said that, there are some issues in the execution of the story. It was hard for me to see the development of the mains’ chemistry from the no-strings sex to a more meaningful lovemaking. The author sets the tone very well for a detached relationship but, in my opinion, fails to develop it into a romance in a believable way. Maybe it’s because the balance between telling and showing is a bit off and it’s hard to see the characters’ changes through their behaviour rather than from what the author tells us. Despite this, ‘Undiscovered affinity’ is a good read that might appeal the fans of no-strings to romance stories.
Overall, a good romance that deals with commitment, monogamy and losing control. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Fashion magazine editor Victoria Hastings discovers while staying in Paris that her former assistant Holly Carter, who allegedly abandoned the job, is in hospital with amnesia. Victoria is adamant to bring Holly back home and help her recover but, in the process, both women will undergo a journey of mutual discovery of their feelings.
This is another novel based on the Devil wears Prada trope which normally features an age gap relationship and an ice queen against a more lively character. The peculiarity of this novel is that Holly suffers from amnesia which brings additional conflicts to the plot.
The novel is written in third person from the point of view of three characters: the leads Victoria and Holly and Victoria’s friend Gideon. While the main characters are well-rounded, I didn’t feel their chemistry until the very end maybe because the reader is told about the characters’ feelings more than shown by their actions. The secondary characters are a bit stereotyped and Victoria’s children sometimes act too mature for their ages.
All in all, the story is entertaining with some funny and humorous moments and a good twist at the end. Depite some situations feel a bit far-fetched, it’s a good read if you don’t take things too seriously.
Overall, an entertaining read based on the Devil wears Prada trope. 3.5 stars.
Darcy McGregor is a fashion stylist who hosts a successful UK television programme called ‘Style Surgeon’ featuring women in need of restyling. Kate Bonvilston is a security guard with little sense of style and a broken heart. When her mother volunteers Kate to feature in the show, Darcy finds in Kate not only a challenging fashion makeover but someone who can get dangerously close to her heart.
This book features the popular romance trope of an ice-queen, in this case in the fashion world, possibly inspired by Devil wears Prada. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters Darcy and Kate, the story is set in Wales and London. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I have to admit that her writing style was for me sometimes hard to follow, I was confused reading some of the dialogues and her sense of humour didn’t appeal to me. The use of social media hashtags which is quite central in the book (for example, #embracedesigner), will probably make this book outdated in a few years time.
Darcy is the epitome of an ice queen, a very closeted lesbian with a young daughter and a lot of baggage. Kate is unfashionable but lovable, relaxed and loyal to her family. They say that opposites attract and it should be true for Kate and Darcy but I couldn’t feel their chemistry or empathise with their feelings, specially Darcy’s choices regarding her sexuality. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the story, some parts felt close to a melodrama and, for me, it was almost a ‘did not finish’.
Overall, an ok read if you are into ice-queens in the fashion world with a bit of melodrama at the side. 3 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
‘Love like this’ is the final book on the ‘Seven shores’ series that follows four friends living in the same condo in Venice Beach, California. This novel is the story of Hadley Cooper, an assistant manager of a boutique in Rodeo drive. When she meets fashion designer Spencer Adair sparkles fly between them. But Hadley’s ideas about love and commitment are very different from Spencer’s. Will they have a future together?
This is definitely my favourite of the series as the four friends’ stories wrap up and the readers get to know about their future in detail. All the best traits of Brayden’s books are present here: great dialogues, banter, humour, a well laid plot, multidimensional characters and, last but not least, a good old romance. The chemistry between Hadley and Spencer is extremely well done. As usual, the author manages the attraction and the sexual tension magnificently. Kudos to Ms. Brayden to introduce an interracial couple (only her second after Sarah and Emory from ‘Heart block’) which needs to happen more often in lesfic.
In the acknowledgements the author hints that this book might be different from what readers expected and, boy, is she right. We thought we had Hadley sussed out from the previous books but in this one we are up for a big surprise. It’s not that Hadley is out of character, it’s just that we see her from a more intimate perspective and the results are incredibly hot. I don’t want to be more specific to spoil anything but let me say that Ms. Brayden manages to blow our minds big time with this one.
The level of angst and drama is quite low compared to other books in the series but suits the story perfectly. This is mainly a feel good romance, upbeat and positive to suit Hadley’s personality and to finish the series on a high.
Overall, a feel-good, entertaining and sizzling hot romance. A great end to the series. 5 stars.
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.