Lesbian Sci-fi Book Review

A really entertaining read

Lesbian Sci-fi Book Review ‘Across the dark horizon’ by Tagan Shepard

 

3.75 Stars. This was a really entertaining read. This is the third book by Shepard and while I enjoyed her first two books a little more, this was still a fun read. I’m a big sci-fi fan so I have to say that the fact Shepard left her romantic-dramas behind to take us to the moon instead was really appreciated. I love authors that can write in multiple genres and this fact makes me even more excited to see where she might take us next.

While I would put the sci-fi tag on this book, it really is light sci-fi, in fact, futuristic might be the better name for this. The idea of this book is not really so far out there. I could actually see something similar happening in another ten to twenty years. I think because of this you don’t have to be a sci-fi fan to enjoy this. I would recommend this one to lesfic readers in general.Read More »

‘Blue Skies’ has a little bit of everything

Lesbian Book Review of ‘Blue Skies’ by Ali Vali

This book was published in 2009 and now, ten years later, the sequel has been released. So I went back and checked it out so I could read the next one (yes, I like to read in order!).

Berkley Levine is the top pilot in the Navy. She is stationed in Nebraska as a flight instructor when the woman she loved comes looking for her. Aidan Sullivan is at the helm of the Navy’s newest carrier the USS Jefferson after a new president with innovative policies has been elected. She has been assigned to carry out a very important international mission and as such, can handpick the soldiers that will accompany her. This means she has come to get the pilot and woman she left for her career a few years before.

‘Blue Skies’ has a little bit of everything. It is a lesbian romance but mostly an action tale. Berkley and Aidan are a good couple but I felt Berkley forgave Aidan rather quickly. Good for her, as I feel I would have been vindictive for far longer! In the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ era, these two high ranking officials seemed to take many chances in order to be together. The initial part of the book was a bit slow for my liking and seemed to drag. However, once the action started, it didn’t stop until the end.Read More »

Review of ‘Hooked on you’ by Jenn Matthews.

School teacher Anna finds herself stressed and bored so she decides to take on crochet classes with Ollie, an army veteran and the owner of the craft shop ‘Darn that yarn’. As Ollie teaches Anna how to crochet, both women soon become friends and slowly discover their mutual attraction. But a jealous ex-boyfriend, their wary offspring and a good dose of self-doubt get in their way to love. Will they have a happily ever after?

This is a debut novel by British author Jenn Matthews featuring main characters in their 50s, both divorced, one a lesbian and the other allegedly straight. As the reader can tell by the cover and the title, crochet is at the center of this story and it’s the facilitator of the relationship between the leads. You don’t need to love crochet to read this book (I personally don’t) but an interest in arts and crafts would be beneficial.

As an avid crocheter herself, Ms. Matthews knows what she’s talking about and the novel is filled with descriptions of techniques and materials for the craft. Personally, I think that the book goes into too many details (crochet or otherwise) that could have been removed to make the pace of the story slightly faster. Having said that, the slow-burn romance suits this type of story and I was pleased to see that the author took her time to develop the mains relationship and the subplots.

The crochet classes environment works well to present the good number of secondary characters and to build the leads relationship. I liked how the author gave hints of their attraction through their body language and the natural sounding dialogues. The author is very cinematographic in her descriptions, she makes it easy for the reader to create a mental picture of the scenes. All the characters, mains or secondary, feel multi-layered and authentic, including Anna’s autistic son. The sex scene is well written in addition to an excellent self-pleasuring scene. One of the best that I’ve read in non-erotica lesfic.

Through and through, this novel has a distinct British feel not only in the use of the language but also in many British references such as the use of tea as a conversation enabler or alcohol as a social lubricant. This helps to establish the tone and setting of the novel, providing authenticity and a credibility to the story.

Overall, a very good slow-burn romance between a couple in their 50s with the unusual setting of a crochet class and an authentic British feel. 4 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Love to the Rescue’ by Radclyffe

‘Love to the Rescue’ is the fifth installment in Radclyffe’s ‘Rivers Community Romance’ series.

Brody Clark is a flight medic returning to her hometown after abruptly joining the Army and leaving ten years ago. Her return opens up some old wounds tied to her past with the Rivers family and her struggle to forgive her own reasons for leaving town in the first place. Val Valentine has also returned home after becoming a veterinarian and successfully starting a practice in Manhattan. Her mentor and father figure needed help running the practice she worked for many years ago. Val returned to help him and perhaps make amends for past mistakes.

In a way, this book was like coming home. The Rivers has become a tangible place for all the readers that have enjoyed this series. The hospital and adjacent community are well described, perhaps more so than in any of Radclyffe’s other works with maybe the exception of the ‘Provincetown Tales’. Both of these series are so dependent on their settings that the story would just not be the same in another place or time. ‘Love to the Rescue’ can be read as a stand alone but you will be losing out on a big part of its charm by doing so.

This book adds some new characters to the community. In addition to the above mentioned ones, the helicopter pilot is another interesting character and a potential lead in a future installment. Kudos to the author for introducing a retired Army canine in realistic fashion and making her a great secondary character. Several of the established characters in the series make an appearance, including Blake, one of my favorite story lines.

I will disclose that I am an avid Radclyffe reader. Her medical romances are overall great, with credible circumstances few can provide due to her background as a retired surgeon. I am beyond ecstatic that she has created a veterinarian to join the rest of her characters! Having said this, I will warn that her books also have the instant love factor that may not appeal to everyone. Nonetheless, Radclyffe is worth reading, anytime.

The cover design by Sheri is sharp, eye catching and on par with the story.

Available now exclusively on Bold Strokes Books website until wider release next month.

Overall another successful book by Radclyffe that will not disappoint old and new fans. 4 stars.

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Review of ‘Major surgery’ by Lola Keeley.

Veronica Mallick is the head of the Acute Medical Unit in a London hospital. She’s both an accomplished surgeon and an efficient administrator. Major Cassie Taylor, a former army doctor, is the new Head of Trauma. Her preference for action rather than becoming entangled in the hospital’s bureaucracy grates on Veronica’s nerves. But when they both realise that there is a colleague defrauding the hospital, they join forces to prove him guilty. Will the investigation fuel their budding attraction or make their initial antagonism worse?

I have to admit that I had big expectations about this book after Ms. Keeley’s debut novel ‘The music and the mirror’ made into my list of Best Lesfic Books of 2018. Even though I liked ‘Major surgery’, it didn’t blow my mind as her previous one.

Having said that, Ms. Keeley, who comes from an IT background, has the impressive ability to write about dispariging worlds with insider knowledge, first in ballet and now medicine. This novel provides a good insight to UK’s health system, its strengths and shortcomings.

Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, this is an interracial, ‘enemies to lovers’ romance. Even though their initial antagonism and their eventual relationship is credible, I didn’t feel that their chemistry was off the charts. However, it might be me comparing this couple to Victoria and Anna in ‘The music and the mirror’ or Eden and Simone in ‘And the bells are ringing’, her short story in ‘Language of love’. Ms. Keeley knows how to write damn hot couples.

The story has an investigation side, with someone embezzling hospital funds and trying to frame Cassie, and a minor issue in Veronica’s family. Both conflicts are solved relatively easy which agrees with the light tone of the novel.

Overall, a very good medical romance with the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope. 4 stars.

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

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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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