Review of ‘Autumn’s light’ by Aurora Rey.

This is book 4 of the ‘Cape End Romance’ series by this author featuring love stories for each season set in Provincetown, Massachusetts. As this novel presents characters from previous books in the series, especially book 3 ‘Spring’s Wake’, I recommend to read them in chronological order, or at least read book 3 first. The whole series features the beautiful landscape of Cape Cod and ‘Autumn’s light’ showcases the Portuguese heritage in Provincetown, particularly the fishermen who migrated to that area of Massachusetts a long time ago. The book captures the spirit of this tight community that keeps their traditions alive with Portuguese festivals and traditional food.

Mat Pero is a lobsterman (apparently, female lobster catchers are called like that) who comes from a established Portuguese family of fishermen. As her family is traditional Catholic and not completely supportive of her homosexuality, she prefers to keep her relationships casual and hidden from them. When she meets marine naturalist Graham Connor, her intention to keep things light don’t go according to plan. Will they have their happily ever after?

This is a butch-femme relationship that begins with insta-lust but is slow-burn in the romance department. Both main characters are well rounded and credible. Mat is the epitome of the dark and strong butch who, at the same time, wants to avoid family conflicts when dealing with her sexuality. Graham is a femme (paradoxically with such a masculine name) conflicted between her attraction for Mat, who offers her no commitment, and her desire to find a serious relationship. Their conflict is believable and makes the reader wonder how is in reality the coexistence between the traditional Catholic Portuguese and the liberal lesbian communities in Provincetown. Having said that, in my opinion, Mat’s family issues could have had a more developed resolution in the plot considering its importance.

The secondary characters are multi layered and complement the plot skillfully, kudos to the author for introducing a trans character and opening an interesting view into the world of fishing and marine habitat. However, there is an amount of paragraphs telling more than showing how the characters feel, which is a pet peeve of mine but it might not annoy other readers. My relatively low rating is because even though the story background was interesting, the romance didn’t appeal to me much.

Overall ‘Autumn’s light’ is an enjoyable read with the charming background of Provincetown. 3.5 stars.

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

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Review of ‘The universe between us’ by Jane C. Esther.

This is a romance between biochemist Ana Mitchel, who’s about to leave in a secret mission to colonise Mars, and her housemate, art student Jolie Dann. As time goes by, their feelings for each other grow but also the date for Ana’s departure to Mars gets closer. Will Ana put her commitment to science above all, even if it means losing her chance at love?

Solid debut novel by Jane Esther which is in my recommended lesfic new releases of January 2018 (see https://lezreviewbooks.wordpress.com/recommended-lesfic-books-by-month/recommended-lesfic-books-for-january-2018/). This is a sci-fi, young adult romantic novel, emphasis on the romance part. If you are a sci-fi fan, there is little to enjoy as the focus is on the romance between the main characters. There’s a bit of insta-love, soul searching and angst but it is believable considering their ages and the particular situation they are in. My main concern is that some parts of the book seem to drag and others are rushed, specially the ending. Having said that, it’s worth a read.

Overall, a good debut novel. Recommended if you enjoy romances with a bit of angst at the side. 3.5 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Mistletoe mishap’ by Siri Caldwell

This is a very funny and entertaining novella ideal for a Christmas holidays read. It is a refreshing departure from the typical lesfic plot to see that the main characters are middle aged women scientists in a long term relationship. On a whim, they decide to spice up their sex life through a bet that happens around Christmas time. What follows is a series of witty dialogues, funny situations and hot scenes that entertains the reader till the end. Ms. Caldwell excels at creating a believable couple with their set routines, quirky behaviour and obsession to follow the scientific method but, at the same time, surrounded by strong love and beautiful intimacy. Skilfully written, this novella has it all for an entertaining holiday read. ‘Mistletoe Mishap’ goes straight to my recommended Christmas lesfic books list.

Overall, a funny and witty Christmas rom com. 4.5 stars.

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

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