One of the best second chance lesbian romances I’ve read

Lesbian Book Review of ‘Always a love song’ by Charley Clarke

4.25 Stars. This was a really good read. I believe this is Clarke’s full-length debut and that makes this book even more impressive. I have actually read one of Clarke’s fantasy short stories before called ‘The Flamebringers’. I thought it was really sweet with my only main complaint was wishing it was longer, so when I heard YLVA picked her up as an author, I could not wait to sink my teeth into this book. I had pretty high expectations and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed this read.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m a fan of lesbian celebrity romances so this book already had a check in the win column for me. But what surprised me and what made this book so good is that it was a second chance romance. It’s not just that it was a second chance romance, but that it is one of the most realistic second chance lesbian romances I have ever read. This book was pretty emotional at times and not only did I find it gripping but it really affected me too. The anger and betrayal of a break-up, the hurt that both parties cause, it was just really believable and well written.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 »

The angsty road to Madison.

Review of ‘The road to Madison’ by Elle Spencer.

This is a second chance story with angst. But, aren’t all second chance stories ‘angsty’?

Madison Prescott is the only heir to a multimillion dollar company and estate. Raised by her conservative father, her path in life has been predetermined by her last name. This is derailed by Madison’s relationship with the maid’s daughter, Ana Perez when they were both kids. Now in their 30s, 15 yrs after Madison proposed then abandoned Ana, her father died. Can Madison pursue the love of her life once again, or are the wounds she created too deep for Ana’s heart to overcome?Read More »

‘The road to Madison’ is a bit bumpy.

As a teenager, Madison Prescott, the sole heir to her family’s banking empire, falls in love with Ana Perez, the maid’s daughter. Madison’s father doesn’t approve of their relationship and, through threats and lies, he forces Madison to break up with Ana. Fifteen years later, when her father dies, Madison is determined to make amends but Ana feels betrayed and hurt. It seems that time doesn’t heal all wounds, or does it?

This is the third book by Elle Spencer whose writing career started with the acclaimed bestseller ‘Casting Lacey’. I find her books on the angsty side and this one was no exception. ‘The road to Madison’ is, in my opinion, her weakest novel and, by far, the most dramatic. I know that many readers like a good amount of drama in their lesfic romances and might disagree with this review but I think that this story is borderline with melodramatic.

The novel is told by multiple points of view, which is not necessarily a problem, but in this case, it seems that some characters only have a voice to urge the mains to get together. As a consequence, some secondary characters sound too unrealistic and excessively honourable. Of course, there is nothing wrong with ethical characters, but their widespread presence in this story makes their voices sound very similar.

As the story takes place in two time periods, now and fifteen years ago, there are a few flashbacks intertwined with the present. I felt that they were a lost opportunity to showcase the strong bond and love between the characters that justified such amount of heartbreak and angst. In my opinion, Ms. Spencer fails in building up their chemistry at the start of their relationship. ‘At seventeen’ by Gerri Hill, while not perfect, is a prime example on how to describe the intimacy between teenagers, a long-lasting love that makes it worth fighting for in adulthood, despite the dispute that separates them. In ‘The road to Madison’, however, pain and conflict outplay love and chemistry, which sometimes made me wonder if their relationship was really worth fighting for.

Overall, an ok romance with a great amount of drama and angst. 3 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Painted over’ by Sofi Keren.

3.50 Stars. I ended up enjoying this more than I expected to. It was a sweet romance and a good debut. This is a second chance romance with some angst (but not too much) and likable main characters. Sofi Keren is definitely an author I will keep my eye on.

This is a story about two best friends that have a falling out that leads to them not speaking for a decade. When a flat tire re-connects them, they must decide if they can pick up where they left off or is there too much heartbreak in the way.

The second chance storyline is one we see often in lesfic but it worked for this book. What I was most surprised to find was how invested I was in the characters in such a short amount of time. I found myself almost crying at one point and was actually happy about that because it meant the book was making me feel. The book is on the shorter side, but it just made it so the book had a nice pace that never got bogged down.

My only real complaint is I’m not a fan of third person single point of view. If you are only going to be in the headspace of one character the whole book, I would prefer it to be in first person. That way you can really connect to the one character. But this is a personal preference and the book still made me feel so I can’t complain too much.

This was short and sweet with some angst. I think most romance fans will enjoy this one. It’s not perfect but it’s a good debut and it put a smile on my face. This is one I would recommend.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

Review of ‘You’re my kind’ by Clare Lydon.

Justine Thomas and Maddie Kind were a couple at university until Maddie left without saying goodbye. Ten years later, they are reunited at a friend’s funeral and Maddie wants to make amends for her past behaviour. Justine is not very keen to let Maddie back into her life but both have changed and this new Maddie is kinder, caring and still gorgeous. Will Justine keep her distance or will she give their relationship another try?

‘You’re my kind’ is a second chance romance that starts with a funeral. As anti-climatic that it might sound, the author makes it work more as a celebration of life than sorrow for an irreparable loss. Lydon is a master of lesfic rom-com with a British feel. Only that this time, she combines her usual witty, funny and sarcastic dialogues and situations with a savvy reflexion about life and death. As the author presents a piece of her philosophy of life, the story will make the reader cry, laugh and keep faith in humanity.

The novel is written in first person from the point of view of Justine, which helps to give an air of mystery to Maddie and her puzzling actions of the past. Despite that narrative distance, both characters are realistic and well-rounded and their chemistry is sizzling. Ms. Lydon knows how to write a good sex scene and this was no exception, both scenes reveal deep intimacy. Plus that first kiss was worth the whole read by itself. Hot, hot hot!

The secondary characters, mostly a group of friends, are also multilayered and altogether set the tone for compelling emotions around life, love and death. But, in my opinion, the absolute showstopper is ‘Cake Heaven’, the cake business featuring all kind of sweet delicacies. Warning: if you have a sweet tooth you might be tempted to run for some cake!

Overall, a great second-chance romance with a British feel and savvy insight about the most important things in life. 5 stars.

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

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