Monthly Archives: November 2017

Changing Perspectives – Jen Silver

Changing Perspectives – Jen SilverDani Baker is an artistic director with a high-flying career and successful business who lives her life on the edge of ‘polite’ society. Wearing grunge with pride, a leather dyke who likes S&M and regularly visits very private members clubs, she is used to being judged and sneered at for her life choices.

Camilla Callaghan couldn’t be more different. Uptight, finance director, well dressed and repressed, she is so far in the closet nobody but a few friends even knew she was living with a woman for 10 years, or lost her partner in a tragic attack.

When the two meet through work the attraction is instant but they are so far apart in so many ways it seems a very unlikely pairing. Dani might pursue Camilla and convince her to take a chance, but will Camilla be everything she desires or another vanilla lesbian who shy’s away from Dani’s real needs?

Set in London in 1993 this is a great flash back novel and brought back all sorts of memories. No mobiles, using an A to Z instead of google maps, dial up modems and Silver Moon books. Jen Silver has perfectly recaptured the mood and tone of the gay scene and reminds us how far we have come. How brave we felt being ‘out and proud’ and how public awareness of LGBT people and AIDS has changed.

Dani is an amazing character, presenting herself as a rough and tough dyke in men’s suits and leathers she is a highly intelligent, well educated and cultured woman who accepts the price she has to pay for being herself. Camilla is the exact opposite in terms of the price she pays because she chooses to hide who she is, even from herself. Dani doesn’t expect acceptance even on a social level, whereas Camilla doesn’t expect to ever feel strong passions and real fulfilment.

A brilliant supporting cast of friends and colleagues, Camila’s bosses and Dani’s workmates are extremely well drawn, and morph from sketchy background figures into real friends. The reaction of Camila’s friends and family to Dani is well done even if her parents relatively easy acceptance might be something we all wished for back in 1993.

Excellent storyline, interesting characters, gentle exploration of the fetish/S&M scene of the era and a delightful journey of self-discovery, this is definitely Jen Silver’s best to date and it’s great to see her step outside the charming and rather parochial English romances into something with a lot more bite.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Affinity Rainbow(October 31, 2017)
  • ASIN: B0772FMLKT
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A Fairytale of Possibilities – Kiki Archer

A Fairytale of Possibilities – Kiki ArcherLauren is the archetypal lesbian in love with her BFF. The best friend a girl could have, always there, always solid, never meeting her one true love, so never going off in her own direction, but secretly in agony – loving a straight girl. She spends her time being everything she can be to Rachel, supportive, caring, witty and fun, while on the inside she longs for more.

Rachel has never admitted to being a little bi-curious, or wondering why Lauren never made a play for her; she is certainly a bit of a player. But as she emerges from the grief of her husband’s death, Lauren’s place in her life and her heart becomes even more critical. And so begins a comedy of errors, of unspoken truths hidden behind flirty but guarded innuendo as both women have things to say but no way of saying them and it is, of course, the straight woman who must do the running.

Witty, sharp and clever this is definitely a laugh out loud romcom and the perfect entertainment for a night in front of the fire. The dialogue between Lauren and Rachel is first class and Trudy, Lauren’s madcap assistant, is absolutely brilliant. Archer certainly has the eye for a situation-comedy, and puts her characters into places where you can see the Monty Python moment coming from a mile away but it never fails to entertain.

It is literally full of laughs, both out loud at the comedic situations and internal as we recognise and empathise with the women trying to communicate or hide their secrets. There is plenty of romcom angst and drama, but there is also a serious undertone and darker shades which takes it from being a comedy into something more than a fairytale. Both women have things to learn, and the character development via horse whispering is absolutely hysterical.

Well written, cleverly put together and totally entertaining, this is an excellent way to drive out the winter blues. I thoroughly enjoyed it.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: K.A Books (June 13, 2017)
  • ASIN: B0721QDM5L
Amazon.com
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Rock and a Hard Place – Andrea Bramhall

Rock and a Hard Place – Andrea BramhallJayden is a world class mountain climber. With her sister she owns a small company and leads climbs up some of the toughest mountains in the world. When disaster strikes she can’t help but blame herself, and retreats from life on several levels.

Rhian is a marketing executive who is handed her dream project, setting up and managing a reality show based around professional climbing. The pair are forced together by circumstances beyond their control, and held there by the demands of the show and the glare of social media. But love has a way of working things out over time, in ways neither of them expected.

An excellent new story from Andrea Bramhall. The setting is unusual, feels extremely real and well researched with detailed and knowledgeable descriptions of an environment and sport most of us have never experienced. The nearly fatal episode we witness vicariously with the team caries you away completely, well written, cleverly narrated and imagined, it feels like we are right there with them.

The cast of characters are wide ranging from the typical London marketing agency high powered executives to the alternate lifestyle climbers who range from dreadlocked modern day hippies to attention grabbing egomaniacs. All are fully real and simply, yet cleverly, filled in.  The central cast, Jaydem, Rhian, their immediate family and core team, are well drawn and well rounded, with flaws and bright spots, journeys to travel and lessons to learn.

It’s a very traditional romance, a simple misunderstanding creating the drama, but for me it was well done. The multiple plot lines and constant action of the climbing mitigated what could have become a rather too much angst, but was well balanced and cleverly thought through.

Overall another excellent story; there is definitely room for a sequel with this cast and a second series in the making. Well written and executed it felt different and that made it a very welcome addition to the traditional romance collection.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Ylva  (November 14, 2017)
  • ASIN: B077GCN588
Amazon.com
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Outcaste – Fletcher DeLancey

Outcaste – Fletcher DelanceyThis is the 6th instalment of the Chronicles of Alsea series and one of the best, which says a great deal given they all rate five stars. While it is a strong part of the series it can be read as a stand-alone because of the slight ‘separateness’ of the storyline. But if you read this first you are going to want to go back and read 1-5; they are just too good to miss.

Outcaste finds 10-year-old Rahel dreaming of becoming a warrior, reading all the books she can find, and longing to be allowed to start training. By 15 she is even more set in her path when her merchant father and crafter mother announce they are inscribing her as a merchant early to prevent her from following her ‘unrealistic’ dreams. Like any determined teenager she leaves like a thief in the night, setting out for Whitesun and a very uncertain future.

Surviving the first few ninedays by luck more than good judgement she settles into the life of an outcaste, literally a non-person who does not have the rights or support of a caste house, and must live by low paid day work, quick wits and strength of character alone. Along with the friends she begins to make she must forge a way to survive until she can challenge for the right to join the Warriors at 18.

Rahel is a brilliant lead character. Fletcher Delancy does her usual amazing job of building a character from the inside-out, only this time we get to see the child become the woman, live literally every step of the journey into adulthood, and watch the person evolve and emerge from the childish hopes and dreams. Flawed despite her honest and honourable nature Rahel is a classic hero, who must fall from grace and risk everything to claw her way back, finding her true self in the process.

Fletcher DeLancey bioThe world-building and descriptive scene building in this series is outstanding, some of the best there is, the people, places and deep emotional sense of continuity shows the hand of a truly great fantasy writer. The secondary characters alone rate 5-star. You simply get lost in the alternate reality and forget it’s a book – a story – it just feels so real.

As the plot progresses we move from the isolated and relatively insular life of a teenage runaway into the larger world and revisit many of the major events of the first 5 novels, but from a refreshingly alternate viewpoint, bringing in the major players who have formed the core of the overall saga and filling in details we didn’t even know we were missing. I have to admit I had my doubts about the story arc, I was really concerned with where Rahel was going, her behaviour becoming increasing distant from the woman we had watched grow into the honourable warrior, but Delancey flipped it round in expert style and created a heroic saga of epic proportions, the rise, the fall and the rebirth. I should have known better given the section titles.

Overall, just outstanding. Excellent writing and editing, top class storytelling and a wonderful addition to an already top-notch series. I can’t wait for book 7.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 598 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Heartsome Publishing
    (October 27, 2017)
  • ASIN: B075TCR9LM
Amazon.com
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Picking the Right Heart – Jade Winters

Picking the Right Heart - Jade WintersWhen Adriana’s beloved grandmother dies her high spending lifestyle comes to a crashing halt until she can secure her inheritance. She must deliver a handwritten letter to a woman she’s never even heard of, a task that will take her across the world and into a very different reality.

Jessica is living a life that is a million miles from the Chelsea set, scraping a living in a dead-end job and fighting to pay her bills. Adriana is a breath of fresh air, and offers Jessica the chance to see a world beyond her dingy flat and the prospect of dancing at a men’s club. The two appear to have nothing in common, but their whirlwind adventure will show both women what is really important in life.

This is a great fun read with a poignant message. Adriana is a spoilt little rich girl who doesn’t know her world is balanced on very shaky foundations. Her gran is her rock and once she has gone Adriana’s financial situation changes, her ‘friends’ turn away and her parents push her towards a high society ‘arranged’ marriage. Jessica is the exact opposite, a down to earth, working class girl doing her best to survive. What they share is love of their Grandmothers and of course a spark of attraction or it wouldn’t be a romance.

The plot is a madcap chase across the globe, leading the girls into a better understanding of each other’s worlds, and themselves. Bea’s letter to Eddy will have most in tears and reminds us all how far we have come while showing us what really matters.

Thoroughly enjoyable; well written and edited, light hearted and fast paced, it kept me riveted to see where we would shoot off to next.



Did you know? If you purchase any of the books reviewed on the LRR from our Amazon shop or Amazon page links we receive a couple of cents per book which will help us support the Lesbian Reading Room GCLS Scholarship Fund.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Wicked Winters  (October 18, 2017)
  • ASIN: B076L17HNJ
Amazon.com
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
Amazon.co.uk
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.