Monthly Archives: December 2017

Set the Stage – Karish Walsh

Set the Stage – Karish WalshArden is a gardener at the local park, following in her grandad’s footsteps. She has a creative spark but resists adding her own design to the landscaping despite her obvious skills.  Lithia Park is the home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s open-air performances, with which she has a love hate relationship; she adores Shakespeare and sees every show, but hates the transient nature of the company – including her parents who left her behind for the bright lights elsewhere.

Every year she has a short relationship with one of the cast or crew, and each year gets hurt when they leave. So when she meets Emilie rehearsing in the Park she is determined to keep her emotional distance.

Emile has recently escaped a domineering relationship where she was constantly second and is resolutely staying single and putting herself and her career first. She sees the season in Oregon as a last chance to establish the career she too easily gave up to follow her heart. So the stage is set but the players determined to resist, always a clear sign they are drawn to each other despite their best intentions.

Karis Walsh write some of the best descriptive settings and scenes out there. Her use of colour, visual narrative and the senses draws us in to the scene and makes it real, to the point you could walk round the park or through the backstage theatre in your mind long after the scene is over.

Her characters are similarly well drawn; rounded, flawed and both have lessons to learn and growing to do. The small supporting cast of established locals and the Shakespeare company are equally well sketched and add to the colour and flavour of the whole.

Well written and edited, Walsh’s romances flow across the page with delightful ease. A mixture of humour and angst, self-doubt and learning, the main characters form a solid friendship and support each other’s professional development, grounding the whole in a sense of reality.

I never miss a new Karis Walsh and she continues to deliver new characters, setting and plots with consistently good stories and charming romance.



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: 212 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes (November 14, 2017)
  • ASIN: B076P6LWXK
Amazon.com
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
Amazon.co.uk
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.

Hearts Orders – Jaycie Morrison

Hearts Orders – Jaycie MorrisonHelen Tucker wants to drive trucks, it’s her escape and always has been. She also wants Teresa Owens, but that might be harder to achieve as Teresa is an incredibly shy Baptist girl who has secrets she needs to deal with. Helen’s ambitions lead her into dangerous waters with her first posting, but her love for Teresa can help save her from a very dishonourable discharge.

Sergeant Rains and Private Elizabeth Smythe both have issues to overcome as they try to establish a life together in a world that doesn’t accept them on many levels. But Smythe has a secret that could destroy them.

Following directly on from “Basic Training of the Heart” this is a sweet romance set in the Women’s Army Core in 1942 at the height of WWII. It stands alone perfectly well, although “Basic Training of the Heart” is also an excellent read so why not try both.

Jaycie Morrison has captured the mood of an era really well in these novels; the fear of the married women whose husbands are overseas, the attitude of the men who take their place for granted, the hostility of the black ghetto at night, and the determination of the women who have signed up to the WAC to not only do a good job but to forge a place for themselves in the world.

The characters are well drawn and each has a journey to take, learning to do. From the platoon being thrown together for basic through to the rivalry and hostility of the sergeants we get to see a wide range of characters all in a very new situation, finding their way in a man’s world and for many the first time they have not only left home but travelled out of state and away from their family.

The romances are sweet and gentle, the mood is soft focus despite the harsh realities of the time. An excellent follow up in the Love and Courage Series, I look forward to book three.



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: 305 pages
  • First published 2017
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 17, 2017)
  • ASIN: B075RNTXSK
Amazon.com
To buy from Amazon.com – click here.
Amazon.co.uk
To buy from Amazon.co.uk – click here.