Passionate Rivals – Radclyffe

Passionate Rivals -RadclyffeWhen former lovers are thrown together in a high intensity and competitive environment anger and sparks are bound to fly. Emmett and Sydney are suddenly on the same track, same year and same expectations of being the best, but there is only ever one chief.

Radclyffe’s Quinn and Honor series was always one of my favourites, and now they are back, albeit as the mentors to a new generation of medical students, and the overseas of the trauma and surgical patients at the centre of the story. We have a whole new cast of friends, lovers and rivals but set in the familiar backdrop, and it’s great to be back.

The medical drama is excellent as always, the characters are a good mix, the main characters and their closest friends realistic in their hopes and fears, and the sexual tension is perfectly held as Emmett and Sydney fight the pull of their attraction.

I’m delighted Radclyffe has revisited this excellent series, and look forward to many more if they are as good as this. Most enjoyable way to spend time with old friends.



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: 231 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes (September 11, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07GGTRRCJ
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The Third Eye – Jenna Rae

The Third Eye – Jenna RaeWhen a new Officer is killed by a bad cop, Captain Borelli takes it hard. She wasn’t the rookie’s commanding officer but feels responsible as a mentor, responsible enough that when the shooting it “handled” politically to minimise the fallout she takes time off to do her own investigation. When her ex-partner disappears, the shooter turns up dead, and the bad cop’s girlfriend appears to be abducted, she knows this is something way bigger than a cop on the take

This is an excellent cop crime drama, great characters, engaging storyline and a real whodunnit until the last chapter. It soon becomes clear there is a cover-up, but who is behind it all remains a mystery.

Brenda Borelli is a very well-drawn character with depth and subtlety, somebody we can really empathise with as she tries to make sense of her life since she caught her partner in bed with another woman, struggling to find her feet, work out what went wrong, and find a way forward.

Really enjoyed this one. Would be a great start to a series.



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: 308 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bella Books (September 14, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07H37FSKW
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The Neighbor – Gerri Hill

The Neighbor - Gerri HillLaura bites the bullet and goes to live at home to help her mother, despite their frosty relationship. Stuck with writer’s block and needing a break she tackles the long-neglected yard which her mother had so lovingly tended before the accident. Listening to, then watching, then, quite frankly, spying on her nympho neighbour’s weekend pool parties hits a nerve and telling her neighbour off for the noise gives Laura some little revenge.

Cassidy likes women, beautiful women. But not for long; a couple of weeks and she’s bored of the airhead younger women she takes to her bed and her seemingly endless pool parties. But she doesn’t know how to change the pattern, and does she really want a grown-up relationship?

This is classic Gerri Hill at her very best, top of the pile of so many excellent books she has written, I genuinely loved this story and these two women.

Drawn together initially in conflict and then, as much as anything, by their differences, Laura and Cassidy aren’t truly opposites, but they certainly appear that way. Laura, after failed relationships and years of failed manuscripts, feels like she is going backwards moving home at the end of her savings. She thinks of herself as a million miles away from the beautiful stick insects who arrive every weekend to hang out at her neighbour’s pool. And becoming the neighbour’s yard girl is hardly going to elevate her self-esteem. But it is her very down to earth attitude, literally as well as figuratively, which draws Cassidy to her, sick of the women who use her bed, her house and her pool.

The growing friendship and hidden attraction between them is skilfully written and totally engaging. This isn’t a new story or a clever plot, but it is so exquisitely done that it is totally absorbing. Laura needs to accept who she is and let go of who she thought she was. Cassidy has to work out who she’d rather be; a conflict reflected in her friendships, real and false.

A 40 something romance, genuine and real, women we can relate to and empathise with, laugh with and relish. This was a joy to read.



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: 257 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bella Books (September 14, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07H38MRXC
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Wait for Me – Susan X Meagher

Wait for ME - Susan X MeagherMolly has had a tough year; she’s lost her best friend to a freak accident, ended her marriage and feels alienated from her conservative and catholic parents over the divorce. W
hen she joins a book club to fill the void she is instantly alienated by the hyper-intellectual snobbery of the organisers, but the host, Alexa, is appealing enough to go back for more.

As their friendship develops Molly must control her growing attraction for the happily married Alexa, despite knowing she is stifling her own chance to find happiness, but the thought of losing her friend is enough to make her take a vow of celibacy. Now if only Alexa loved her back…

This is a well-done take on the “don’t fall for straight women” story with a decidedly interesting twist. The characters are deep, well rounded, real people who feel their situations acutely and with whom we can’t help but empathise. Anyone who has had an unrequited crush must feel Molly’s pain, and most of us have had to choose to hurt somebody we cared for but just didn’t love enough.

The connection between the new friends is extremely well portrayed, the growing knowledge and understanding, the matching attitudes and opinions which make for the strongest of bonds between best friends, and the shared joys in everyday things which makes them virtually inseparable.  New York plays an important role as the backdrop; restaurants, High Line and  NY life adding an extra dimension to the reality.

As the twists and turns unfold Susan Meagher pulls us in, feeling the agony, the shock and pain of rejection and hurt, of difficult decisions and life-altering actions. The emotions are very real and few of us will have escaped our own variations. But don’t let these serious descriptors put you off, this is a romance and a happy ever after, there is just some real angst to get there.

Extremely well done, I thoroughly enjoyed this very grown-up romance. Neither woman has an easy road, but the outcome is even more heartfelt for having had a high price. It is really refreshing to read a very realistic journey that many of us can empathise with.



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: 243 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Brisk Press (August 30, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07H14W8HH
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Captive – Donna K Ford

Captive – Donna K FordWhen Greyson and Olivia bump into each other in a coffee shop they have no idea they just sealed a joint fate. Greyson, about to hike the Appalachian Trail for two months, has been targeted by a human trafficker to be taken and sold to one of his employers, and the “Recruiter” instantly wants Olivia for his own collection. The two women will soon be literally fighting for their lives to satisfy the pleasure of the men who control them.

This is definitely an unusual romance, another distinctive tale from Donna K Ford. The real story is the trade in women, mostly illegal immigrants and the poor, marginalised girls who won’t be missed. A cross between a suspense/thriller and an action adventure, the romance is important to our main characters and their personal development but secondary to the bigger plot.

Its fast paced and full of action, the story twists and turns as the women try to survive and learn who to trust. The cast is wide ranging from a seemingly innocent caretaker figure to the monsters who use women for their amusement. The captive women form a strong backdrop to the plight of the main characters and it becomes a collective piece, both in our emotional engagement with the imprisoned women and their fight for survival.

The setting is evocative as always with Ms Ford’s writing, the scenery, or in this case the place the women are held, is used as an emotive tool to heighten the intensity of their plight and the feelings of despair. The emotional intensity of the whole piece is high, from the anger and fear of the captives, through the budding romance and the individual relationships between the women.

In a way the whole seems farfetched, but shockingly is not, this happens, and we should all be aware of it. Ms Ford is once again using her writing to highlight the plight of a group without a voice and manages the difficult task of telling a gruelling story with integrity and without lecturing. In all honesty I suspect it is the “happy ever after” ending which is far-fetched for most of these unfortunate victims.

Well written, exciting and absorbing, this captivated my attention and I couldn’t put it down. My only complaint is that it ended to easily, all wrapped up without a problem. I’m hoping for a sequel, to find out what happens next. Did they really catch the Recruiter that easily and who was Lucile?



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: 233 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes (August 14, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07FY1RVW2
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Tailor Made – Yolanda Wallace

Tailor Made - Yollanda WallaceGrace is a tailor, working at the family firm her father built up, mainly taking the women and younger clients, but gradually taking over the business from her father. Her work-life and home life are great, but her dating life is a mess, constantly trying blind dates with women her friends set her up with and rarely making a second.

When rising supermodel Dakota Lane walks in late for an appointment, needing a suit for her sister’s wedding, Grace is annoyed and hostile. She hates people who are both rude and presumptuous. Add to that Dakota is totally not her type, all hard edges and attitude, and they have little in common.
But Dakota has other ideas and peruses Grace with a humorous determination, showing a different side to her public profile, and proving that she is more than just the playboy model.

This is a traditional romance, but takes on and deals with the attraction between different styles, how we stereotype ourselves as well as our “type”. Add in the gender-bending, the trans clients and this subtly highlights the prejudices we face within our own community let alone outside it.

As the story progresses business, family relationships and grown-up decisions add depth to the story. Family and friends add a great cast to the piece, from the strong patriarchal figure of Grace’s father, the jealousy and prejudice of a traditional family, through to the genderfluid friends in Dakotas world and Lillie, in particular, nearly steals the show.

The romance is a typical “will she won’t she”, but both characters must recognise their need to grow and change, both must open up to something different from the past. The ending felt a little rushed with a few slightly incongruous actions that could have used a little more detail, but overall it worked well.

Enjoyable reading, something a little different which always appeals, and I really loved the diversity of the characters and the way Wallace handled the ‘not my type” and gender-bending sup-plots… oh and the sex scenes were HOT.



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: 237 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 11, 2017)
  • ASIN: B0787X3K4K
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Love’s Verdict – Carsen Taite

Love’s Verdict – Carsen TaiteTwo attorneys, one partnership slot, and a manipulative boss who claims they will make a decision after a high-profile case. Landon and Carly both want the promotion, both know they deserve it, but desperately don’t want to work together in some forced test to see who is best. A romance with a court-room drama, full or suspense and the hint of a thriller as well, this is an excellent new story from Carsen Taite.

Well written, cleverly plotted, with a great balance between the slow change from dislike to attraction to love in the romance department while the high profile case works through its phases. The merging of the two plots is subtle and well-crafted seamlessly moving us forward on both fronts.

The characters are likeable, flawed but growing, and coming to realise that they complement each other as they evolve both at work and develop their personal relationship. Their growth adds to the depth of the story, and we can see how well suited they are as the plot unfolds and their strengths shine through.

The high profile murder is well played, as always with Ms Taites courtroom drama’s and I liked the way it became a real life thriller as well as a legal case. Overall an excellent read, one of my favourites from this author. Only one complaint – its short at 234 pages and I would definitely have liked more.



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: 234 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 14, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07FXZJSTJ
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Lost for Words – Andrea Bramhall

Lost for Words - Andrea BramhallYou never know what will come next from Ms Bramhall; traditional romance, old school English mystery, overseas thriller. Her latest, “Lost for Words’ is a traditional romance with a lot of the author’s humour showing through, but also an emotional and heart-breaking sub-plot which had me in tears as it reached its conclusion.

Unusually there are three main characters; Sasha the author who hides her manuscripts, Jac the self-made movie producer who wants to produce Sasha’s script, and Sasha’s pot smoking and mischievous mum, Fleur. Each have strengths and weakness, each has a journey, even though Fleur’s may be short, and it is great to have the cast set in their 40’s and 70’s, dealing, despite the light-hearted romance, with real life issues. Secondary characters are strong, even the vapid Vanessa plays her role, and their inter-relationships and dialogue are often hysterical.

The primary plot is a traditional as you like, with the not quite lesbian U-Haul relationship, but the deeper sub plots of unrequited love and the impact of being a carer for an ageing parent give this a most unusual feel for a romance. Despite the high-speed love affair and the quick transposition from hidden author to successful script writer, the story is completely grounded by the boredom of work at the spa, by the reality of the estate, and of course most of all by Fleur’s illness.

It reminds me of a Beryl Cook painting, for those who know the artist.. (that may be an English reference – google her) with real-life people in real-life situations but full of life and hilarity.

I enjoyed the light-hearted romance, the frequent humour and the deeper and most touching relationship between Sasha and her mum. Good to read something a little bit different.



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: 303 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Ylva (August 15, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07G2G2728
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Compass Rose – Anna Burke

Compass Rose – Anna BurkeThe first novel by Anna Burke, and what a great start. Set in 2513 this dystopian fantasy, in the lesbian pirate sub-genre, was hard to put down. Imagine a world where the ice has melted, all that’s left are Archipelagos of land, food is scarce, medicines more so, fuel is made from sludge, the seas are polluted and in some places the air is worse.

Introduce the young fleet navigator, Compass Ross, born facing north and always aware of her direction, she has an uncanny, almost psychic ability to tell where she is, predict currents and speed, and has quickly become a most prized tool for the Archipelago’s fleet Admiral. Sent on an undercover mission to work with the renegade pirate Miranda, Compass Rose’s task is to help the pirate Captain find the megalomaniac Ramada, who is determined to take over the Archipelago’s resources for her own gain.

Combine fast-paced action with swashbuckling adventure, a “will they- won’t they” romance, great dystopian world building and a wide-eyed and innocent main character coming to terms with a cut-throat world and Anna Burke has created a real page-turner.

Compass Rose is adorable, naive, trusting and completely unaware of her value. She is used, threatened, supported and occasionally befriended by a wide range of characters which make this a huge ensemble piece. From the wily Admiral and her honest daughter to the bullies, murderers and haters of both the fleet and pirate ships, Compass must learn fast. Add in the seemingly hard-nosed but entrancing Captain Miranda, and the even nastier baddie, Ramada, and we have every shade of character on the spectrum.

I found the writing intriguing, the tone and energy were different to the standard lesfic novel, and I don’t remember reading anything quite like this in the sci-fi fantasy genre; definitely a new voice and a unique style. The world building was excellent with huge attention to detail, the characters are well drawn and varied, the descriptions vivid and colourful and the action was extremely fast-paced and multi-faceted, it felt like reading an action sci-fi movie… and what a wonderful movie it would make.

Can’t wait for the next one from this exciting new author, a sequel would be wonderful, but whatever Ms Burke puts out I will be reading it. Sandra would have been proud to have her name associated with this stimulating new talent.



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: 375 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bywater Books (July 10, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07FK69944
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Pine Cone Series by Missouri Vaun, D Jackson Leigh and VK Powell

What an excellent idea.. take three great authors, create three best friends in a small town called Pine Cone, and have each author write a romance. As a series junky I was sold on the idea – a clever twist on the frequent ensemble mini-series.

Take My Hand - Missouri Vaun“Take My Hand” by Missouri Vaun brings Manhattan gallery owner River to Pine Cone to settle her aunt’s estate. When she wrecks her car on the hair salon lawn, local tow truck driver Clay comes to her rescue, with a tow and a loaner. Pulled together by mutual attraction both Clay and River fight the temptation, one isn’t staying, the other isn’t ready to try again, but art becomes a link which will bind them together.

Take a Chance - D Jackson LeighIn “Take a Chance” by D Jackson Leigh the new police officer in town is finding her feet before taking on drug runners with her canine partner, Petunia. Every time she’s on duty she finds a truck illegally parked, and quickly decides the owner has entitlement issues. When her path finally crosses that of the local vet Trip, their past connection brings back issues both need to come to terms with.

Take Your Time - VK PowellFinally in “Take Your Time” by VK Powell local police officer, Grace Booker gets left with a raucous African parrot by a passing girlfriend. Doing her best for the parrot involves help from the new vet, Dani, whose background as a zoo vet gives her a broad spectrum of experience. Their attraction is mutual, but Dani doesn’t want small town life and plans to get back to the city as quickly as possible, leaving Grace facing another heartache.

All three romances build and enhance the others, with the three close friends grounding the series while each author concentrates on one and introduces a new character. Having three authors gives each MC a literally different voice and adds an extra twist to the tone. All three are well done, subtly different but nevertheless meshing into a most satisfying whole.


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)

“Take My Hand” by Missouri Vaugn
  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (June 12, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07D7NN9YJ
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“Take a Chance” by D Jackson Leigh
  • Paperback: 2 pages56
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (July 17, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07F5N4ZFH
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“Take Your Time” by VK Powell
  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • First published 2018
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (August 14, 2018)
  • ASIN: B07FXZJXBY
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