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.

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.

Review of ‘Bait and switch’ by Blythe Warren.

This is an enjoyable lesbian rom-com with emphasis in the comedy part. Written in first person from the point of view of marine biologist Liv Cucinelli, the story starts when she meets her former college nemesis Mira. To say that Liv holds a grudge against Mira for ruining her college career is an understatement, but somehow they manage to go past their previous differences to start an unlikely friendship. Will it develop into something more?

As an English College teacher, Ms. Warren is quite good with words, though she has a flair for using some strange ones like ‘preternatural’ or ‘immiscible’. I haven’t read her previous book so I’m not sure if it’s her usual writing style or this particular character’s voice. Sometimes, her choice of words is distracting but in most cases is hilarious. A good example is all the different ways she calls Mira’s mother: ‘Darth Vader in a pantsuit’, ‘Lady Lucifer’, ‘homophobic terrorist’, ’empress of evil’ and so on. The plot is entertaining, the dialogues are realistic and the secondary characters complement the story nicely, specially Mira’s deaf daughter Cassie.

Overall, a very enjoyable and entertaining read. 4 stars.

ARC provided by Bella Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘The Butterfly Whisperer’ by Lisa Moreau

This is a sweet romance between Sophie, a butterfly expert who runs a sanctuary dedicated to the Monarch species, and Jordan, her former best friend who mysteriously left their town ten years before just to return with the sole purpose of selling the land where the sanctuary is located. I chose to read this book as the butterfly theme in a lesbian romance seemed original. In my opinion, this is the aspect of this book that the author excels at describing. The rest, unfortunately, is a bit stereotyped, very predictable and somewhat unrealistic. However, I’d you are interested in an easy read and curious about butteries, this book might interest you. 3 star rating.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review of ‘Wild shores’ by Radclyffe.

I have read most of Radclyffe books and, despite I like some more than others, I know that they are going to be well written and edited. This is not a minor thing as spelling or grammar mistakes tend to take me out of the story. So in that respect, this book is carefully written. With respect of the story itself, it has all the ingredients that normally Radclyffe adds in her books: multidimensional characters, well developed plot and interesting background information. What I particularly liked about this book is that the characters are likeable and their chemistry works within a plausible story. The secondary characters are well rounded and add more interest to the story. My gut feeling is that Radclyffe might develop some of them further in another book of the series. In short, if you have read other Radclyffe books, this one won’t disappoint and if you haven’t and are interested in lesbian romances with some substance, then this is a good starting point.

Overall, 4 stars.

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