Lesbian Romance Book Review of ‘A heart this big’ by Cheyenne Blue
Australian farm owner Nina Pellegrini runs a programme for city kids to experience rural life. When a lawsuit threatens to ruin her small business, Nina seeks help from Leigh Willoughby, a big city high-powered lawyer with no interest in country life. But somehow, big-hearted Nina and her challenging daughter manage to convince Leigh to help them. As the lawyer gets the defense prepared, she discovers that farms can be fun and that Nina is as beautiful as kind-hearted.
This is an opposites-attract, slow-burn lesbian romance with a setting in the rural outskirts of Sidney. The story is set in both countryside and city areas and the author manages well to describe the contrasts of both places as well as the women who work and live there. Nina, the country girl, is kind-hearted (hence the book title), nature-loving and always tries to see the good side in people. Leigh, the city girl, is a bit of a workaholic, lives in a high rise building and, as a good lawyer, is more realistic. Do opposites attract? Oh, yes…Read More »
Lesbian Book Review of ‘In the palm’ by Elna Holst.
I’ve absolutely loved this book, it’s got everything in one very well-written package: adventure, mystery, and romance. The story is a very loose retelling of Robinson Crusoe, starting with a punch. A woman is stranded in an isolated island with no recollection of who she is and how she got there and with the only certainty that, if she wants to survive, she needs to amputate one of her hands.
As the story develops, the main character and the reader are slowly clued on the real identity and the mystery surrounding her. Read More »
Lesbian Book Review of ‘Summer Isle’ by Morgan Routh.
This is a new adult novella, the first in the’Love by the shore’ series by this author set in an undetermined tropical holiday island. This book features Melody and Jill, two girls just out of high school, who discover feelings for each other. But Melody is all set to go to an Ivy League university and Jill is staying on the island. Will they have their happily ever after?
‘Summer Isle’ is a coming of age lesbian romance with a side plot of nautical sports. Even though the story is sweet and cute, the attraction could have been developed better and I found their chemistry a bit lacking. There is very little angst or conflict considering that the plot is dealing with first love and a big life change in front of them. I found that the conflict resolution was a bit rushed at the end with no opportunity to see what are the consequences of both characters decisions. Hopefully, the next book in the series will bring more light to both characters’ lives after high school.Read More »
This was a good read. I have wanted to read something by Holst for a while. When I saw she had written a lesfic novella about being stranded on a deserted island, I knew chances were good I would enjoy this. I’m not sure what it is but I always enjoy reading books and watching movies about people surviving on an island. I’m glad this held up to my expectations and I was definitely entertained.
The story is about a woman who wakes up on an island in the middle of nowhere. She has no idea how she arrived or even what her name is, but she does know she needs to cut her hand off if she is going to survive. This it, that’s all I’m going to say. Frankly, the beginning immediately captured my attention and I could not put this novella down. And while it is a novella, it feels like a good length. It doesn’t have that rushed feeling; it felt like a full and satisfying story. Read More »
New Yorker hotshot chef Drew Davis has a clear professional goal to become a restaurant head chef as soon as possible. She gets the opportunity she was waiting for in a farm-to-table establishment in upstate New York. Apart from the inconvenience of having to leave her beloved city life to move to a rural area, Drew has to deal with local farmer Hannah Little who is as beautiful as obstinate and isn’t impressed by the fancy city chef. As they are forced to work together to make the restaurant a success, they both discover many things in common and a brewing mutual attraction. But Drew is only in upstate New York temporarily and will be back to NYC at the first opportunity to advance her professional career, or is she?
This is a slow-burn romance which will be appreciated especially by gourmet readers. Food is at the forefront of the story, with a particular focus on farm-produced ingredients. A farm-to-table restaurant aims to source most of the ingredients from local food producers, an apparently simple concept which presents a few challenges. Ms. Rey describes thoroughly the hard work involved in farming, the diverse types of products and the different nature cycles. As these descriptions take a big part of the book, people interested in farming, food produce and sustainability will enjoy the story much better than the rest. I personally found that there was too much detail in these aspects that distracted me from the main story.
In this novel, Ms. Rey uses contrasts expertly: femme-butch, white-biracial, countryside-city, and even including a feminine farmer character, which seems contradictory in itself. But beyond these disparities, there is an ample common ground; the appreciation of good food, the importance of family and the search of long-lasting love. The romance part of the plot is well written, and the characters’ relationship is built slowly from a strong initial antagonism that eventually changes into attraction. The author gets the butch-femme dynamic spot-on, especially in the sex scenes which, nevertheless, present a hot role reversal. My main criticism is that the characters’ main conflict could have been solved much easier with better communication.
Overall, a good butch-femme romance which will be appreciated especially by gourmet readers. 3.5 stars.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Ex-Australian Secret Service Agent Vivian Andrews retired to a quiet Aussie town when in need of emotional and physical healing. All is well until she finds a corpse in a nearby swamp. She meets behavioral scientist Claire Walker, a government agent looking for a missing young man, when she returns to town to report the dead body. Claire was tasked with recruiting Vivian for the assignment as a guide to the wilderness. Together they must uncover the true reason for the missing young man while escaping the brutal environment surrounding them.
This book pulls you into the Australian outdoors right off the bat with a first chapter croc encounter that was fantastic and left you shaken but hooked. I actually took a minute to settle after reading that! I loved reading about the flora and fauna. The descriptions were well done and the information was functional to the story and did not feel cumbersome or like an information dump.
The romance was in the middle of all the action. I would have liked to see more from Claire as she came out looking like an inadequate government agent. I’m sure some of it was because Vivian was such a strong, capable character. Claire simply seemed to be relegated to the background too many times. I feel this detracted from the pairing to a certain degree. The attraction was there though and all in all, there was no instantaneous love which will please many readers. There were a couple of sex scenes that were okay until one remembered they were in the jungle with limited opportunities for proper hygiene… Exactly.
I would like to take a moment to praise Linda Callaghan for the phenomenal cover design. Lex recommended this book and I knew exactly which one she meant, even remembered it was on sale (thank you Bella Books!) because of this great cover. Stunning, eye-catching, with a font that blends beautifully with the background. Mission accomplished Ms. Callaghan!