Review of ‘Welcome to Ruby’s’ by KC Luck.

Allie Dawson and her friends love spending their leisure time in Ruby’s, a lesbian bar in Portland. One evening, Allie meets Vivian Wade, a gorgeous and enigmatic brunette. Their attraction is undeniable but there are a few complications: Vivian is going through a bitter divorce and is Ruby’s new owner. Will these issues get in the way of their happily ever after?

‘Welcome to Ruby’s’ is a sweet slow-burn romance with a slight age gap. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, the author highlights their differences but builds up a solid chemistry from the beginning, first by physical attraction and from there by their emotional connection. Vivian is brunette, in her early 40s, she is a successful business woman and lives in LA. Allie is blonde, in her late 20s, is struggling at her job and lives in Portland. Despite their differences, Ms. Luck gets the proverbial ‘opposites attract’ spot on.

The main plot is well written and the story is believable though the conflict could have been resolved with better communication. I would have given it a higher rating if it wasn’t for a few mistakes and typos. Additionally, there are a few secondary characters in Allie’s groups of friends with intertwined stories that aren’t completely developed in this book. This and the fact that the ending is a bit abrupt, makes me think (and hope) that maybe Ms. Luck is planning to write a sequel with some of the characters in mind.

Overall, a sweet and entertaining age gap romance where opposites attract. 4 stars.

ARC provided to me 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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Review of ‘Drawing the line’ by K. D. Williamson.

Dr. Dani Russell is a Pediatric resident dedicated to her job and nothing else. She comes across as distant and cold to everyone except her little patients and her best friend Rick. She is content with her life until Detective Rebecca Wells, Dani’s ex and the reason why she is so isolated, comes back to Atlanta permanently. She has done a lot of introspection and is decided to mend things with her. But Dani has changed a lot and refuses to even acknowledge Rebecca. Will they have a chance to heal old wounds, build a friendship or maybe more?

This is book 4 of K. D. Williamson’s ‘Cops and Docs’ series. ‘Drawing the line’ is a second chance romance with an interracial couple and a bisexual character. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, the reader gets in their headspace a lot. The problem is that, most of the time, these characters are hard to like. These women have serious baggage, for intelligent, independent women you wonder how they could sometimes be so immature.

To make matters worse, they are separated from each other a lot so it’s hard to feel their chemistry, except for some flashbacks when their relationship was fine. It is good to see, though, how they both start making an effort separately in their professional lives and with their common friend Rick who should win a prize for patience. The subplots of both mains dealing with juvenile disappearances or seriously ill children makes them more likeable but those stories do nothing to push the romantic plot forward.

Maybe Ms. Williamson wrote herself into a corner, she skilfully created conflicted and flawed characters and she excelled at making the sparks fly when they fight. Their minimal encounters, constant bickering and the hate sex (as described by Rebecca) don’t help building the relationship either. So a happy ever after in this context feels a bit forced. Not the best scenario for a romance.

Overall, an ok read if you enjoy second chance romances with a lot of drama at the side. 3.5 stars.

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

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