Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Right Time – Susan Meagher

The Right Time - Susan X. MeagherA love story full of angst, heartbreak and missed opportunities, this is a romance that stretches out over 10 years. A story very much in 2 halves. In the first a self destructive and self-abusive rich kid and a girl from the wrong side of the wrong side of the tracks find a bond that forms a lifetime connection. In the second 2 women with complex lives and relationships reconnect over and over again, but never seem to both be in the right time and place.

Susan Meagher is a great storyteller, she creates meaningful plots, strong characters and deep emotions. She deals with complex situations and real life issues with care and attention.

The first half of this book was not an easy read for me. I appreciated the intent, and the way in which the author deals with such a difficult subject, but it was too long, too drawn out, too much angst. The goody is just too good and her denial too prolonged, I couldn’t bring myself to like her. The point of the first section, as well as defining the characters and history, dealing with the impact alcoholism on the individual and their children, is to set the scene for the deep-seated love these women share.

This leads us to a more traditional romance, where we see both women long for something they think they’ve lost the chance of, and as each one reaches for it the other seems to have just moved away. The denouement is everything we expect… except the author fades to black, ending the novel without giving us the expected thrill, an unusual move from an author who is not normally shy of explicit sex scenes.

Susan X Meagher - biogFor me the second half of the novel was just intriguing enough to overcome my frustration of the scene setting, but only just. I struggled to get through that first section without giving up, and that is the first time I have ever had to force myself to read on in one of Susan Meagher’s books.

This story will speak to many women out there who have struggled with their own addictions, or those of their loved ones, especially a parent or child. It is extremely well done, and like a great tragedy from a classic author, it takes work from the reader. Not a light read or a gentle romance, but worth the effort.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Brisk Press (September 25, 2015)
  • ASIN: B015UIINOQ
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Wild Shores – Radclyffe

Wild Shores - RadclyffeJust finished Radclyffe’s newest novel in the “First Responder” series: a great read. This time the main characters get it on, hot and spicy, before the shocking dénouement and we are left wondering whether they can overcome their differences. Can the untold secrets be forgiven, or will the truth be too much to bear?

Set in the face of an increasingly fierce storm and with and oil rig and a bird sanctuary at stake, our “First Responders” appear to have little in common, except their instant chemistry shows that attraction has no respect for political divides.

Rad keeps the action moving along. The first part of the novel is a journey in the literal sense, but the emotional expedition takes place in the stillness and confines of a car. The second half is lashed by the incoming storm, reflecting the conflicting desires of our protagonists.

RadclyffeHot, steamy and exciting, this is a fast passed read. Combining romance and action adventure as all this series do, Rad has produced two interesting women who hold your attention and engage our empathy.

I have to admit I love this series with its strong, independent and capable women taking lead roles in dangerous and critical situations. Definitely space for a follow up story between the hot coast guard and the sophisticated meteorologist.. I look forward to whatever heroines Radclyffe conjures next.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (March 15, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01B36VI5K
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A Little Bit of Spice – Georgia Beers

A Littel Bit of Spice - Georgia BeersI read A Little Bit of Spice when it came out last summer but wasn’t reviewing at the time. I remember enjoying the story so have just re-read it, prompted by it making the GCLS Ann Bannon Popular Choice finalists. I wasn’t disappointed.

Georgia Beers writes charming straightforward traditional romances and this is one of her best. Set around the backdrop of the craft beer trade we meet two hard working young women who both want to succeed in their chosen professions. The only obstacles to the inevitable romance are their historical dislike of each other, and their long time ambitions.

What I particularly liked was that these obstacles are not overblown or unrealistic. They feel like real-life choices rather than artificial and exaggerated impediments created to make the romance more difficult.

The main characters are genuine, three dimensional and plausible, with a supporting cast of family and BFFs, (including Gretchen and Kylie from Too Close To Touch) that grounds them in reality. Kendall’s close nit family are the perfect foil to Andrea’s dysfunctional parents and add a layer of genuine interest to the storyline.

Georgia Beers BioThe passion isn’t slow burn, although their acting on it is. With a mixture of full reveal and fade to grey Ms Beers manages to have quite a lot of hot scenes without being repetitive or over the top. These two women are not shrinking violets, they are strong, independent and experienced – they know what they want and are more than capable of taking it.

As always with Ms Beers novels this is well written and edited, well paced and flowing. Definitely one for the re-read pile… in fact one of my favourites from this author.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Brisk Press (July 8, 2015)
  • ASIN: B011ANIT08
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By Mutual Consent – Tracey Richardson

By Mutual Consent - Tracey RichardsonForget arranged marriages or professional services, here we have the personal lesbian escort, arranged by the matriarchal mother.

Joss McNab is a highflying surgeon and teacher trying to emulate her perfect father. What she hasn’t got is the perfect wife by her side, supporting, arranging and managing the rest of her life. So her Southern Belle mother arranges one for her; Sarah, an attractive, interesting artist to take to events without any emotional tied or expectations, it’s purely a financial arrangement.

Of course this is a lesbian romance so that was never going to happen, and as the story progress’s the emotional and physical feelings get more complex and more impossible to ignore.

Tracey richardson bioJoss is on a journey of discovering what she really needs and wants from her life, and at the same time finding out that the façade of her parents life wasn’t always what it seemed. Sarah has her own battles to fight against a father who has always belittled her art and controled her with his money.

There is rather a lot of ‘should I shouldn’t I’ introspection and soul searching, but the story is good, the characters are interesting and the plot a slightly unusual twist on the normal lesfic romance. As always Ms Richardson writes great sex scenes and builds the tension of the plot throughout, with a credible conclusion.

Definitely an enjoyable read and another well written romance from a solid and reliable author.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Bella Books (February 22, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01BCM9LUY
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