Review of ‘Shadow hand’ by Sacchi Green.

This is book four of ‘The superheroine collection’ featuring different Ylva Publishing authors under the common theme of lesbian superheroines. There has been a couple of very good books in this series such as ‘Shattered’ by Lee Winter and ‘Chasing Stars’ by Alex K. Thorne.

Lieutenant Ashton receives the power to move objects with her hand by a goddess while deployed by the US Army somewhere on the Middle East desert. When her abilities are discovered, she is sent to a special division in Germany to research her powers as a potential weapon of war. Separated from her longtime lover Sargent Cleo Brown, she looks for ways to get together again and use her powers for a greater good.

Sacchi Green is a seasoned author of short stories but this is her debut novel which, in my opinion, wasn’t successful. I feel that her writing style is a bit distant and impersonal. For me, the book reads as a chronicle or a bird’s-eye view of series of events. As the main characters’ intimacy is described in a detached way, their scenes together feel devoid of emotion, too clinical. That really affected my connection with the characters and the story as a whole.

The plot seems a bit contrived and unrealistic even for the sci-fi world the author built. For example, Shadow Hand’s lack of secrecy about her powers and real identity doesn’t follow usual superhero behaviour. I also feel that the book ended rather abruptly, it would have been good to see how the relationship between both main characters evolve.

Overall, a good idea that fails on the execution. 2.5 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Ask me again’ by E. J. Noyes.

This is the sequel of ‘Ask, tell’ which was one of my favourite lesfic books of 2017, so I was anxiously waiting for it and wondering where was Ms. Noyes taking one of my favourite couples in lesfic. If you haven’t read ‘Ask, tell’ I strongly recommend that you read it first as this sequel won’t have the same emotional impact if you don’t understand the background story and, anyway, it’s a must read for any lesfic fans.

‘Ask me again’ is a different kind of book by Ms. Noyes. Normally, she writes romances in which conflict is a mechanism to create tension and move the story forward. In this case, the conflict is in the driving seat of the story and the romance is in the background. The main issue is Sabine’s PTSD as a consequence of serving as an army surgeon in Afghanistan and her partner Rebecca trying to help her cope with it. As you can imagine, this isn’t a light read. It’s intense, raw, emotional and even heartbreaking. At times I wanted to crawl inside the book and give the characters a hug, it’s a story that gets the reader that emotionally involved.

This author normally writes in first person point of view. ‘Ask, tell’ was written from Sabine’s but this sequel is written from both Sabine’s and Rebecca’s points of view in alternating chapters. It works well as the reader has a prime view to Sabine’s OCD and anxiety issues and it gives a new dimension to Rebecca’s character. Both of them have their own distinct voices and their personalities are built to the tiniest of details. This couple works not only in their chemistry but in a deeper level of relationship which feels realistic and believable. A surprising addition is Jana, Sabine’s sister, a larger than life character who introduces some very much needed levity to this book. Ms. Noyes is planning to write a book based on her and I can’t wait to read it.

Overall, a novel with a surprising level of depth and a sequel that does justice to the characters’ story. Both highly recommended books to read in chronological order. 5+ stars.

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

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Review of ‘The taste of her. Volume two’ by Jess Lea.

This is a collection of five erotic short stories by Australian author Jess Lea. Some stories are shorter than others but they can be read in one sitting. The themes vary from self gratification to light BDSM but while all the stories have explicit scenes, this book isn’t just plain erotica.

‘A good show’ is a story of age gap, scars and voyeurism. ‘Candy topping’ describes the sensuality of food, power play and BDSM. ‘A different view’ deals with body image and social expectations. ‘Ephemera’ gives us a different perspective on art, and ‘Last stand’ – my favourite – is a tale of duty, loyalty and love. Every single story is well written, steamy and effective.

Overall, a very good collection of short stories recommended for anyone interested in lesbian erotica with a bit of substance. 4.5 stars.

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

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