Terry Baker

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Smashwords book reviews by Terry Baker

  • Threaded Through Time, Book One on Sep. 02, 2011

    It’s the year 2010 and Pam and her best friend and roommate Robin are currently sharing Pam’s house that had belonged to her family. Robin and Pam are quite different, one might say chalk and cheese. Robin is twenty six, an older university student and is a lesbian. She loves playing games on the internet. Pam is the same age, in to meditation and mystical things and is straight. In the year 1910, Margaret lives at home with her parents and is about to become engaged to Jasper. A man she likes and respects but does not love. On the day that Jasper is proposing, Margaret and Jasper suddenly find themselves facing a strange woman, Pam and the year is 2010. Pam had been reading a rhyme from a book she had picked up earlier titled Magical Moon Rhymes For All Times, when two strangers appeared from no where in front of her. What does this mean? Are Margaret and Jasper stuck in 2010? When Robin appears in answer to Pam’s frantic calls, the four people try to make sense of what has occurred. When it becomes apparent that Margaret and Jasper have travelled through time, Pam has to find a way to get them back to 1910. They find out that they have to wait a month until the next lunar cycle for the rhyme to work. During this month, Pam and Jasper fall in love. Unknown to them at the time, Robin and Margaret have also fallen in love. How can each couple bear to be parted? But they know they must. Heart breaking as it is, they dare not try to alter time. This is a lovely well written book of timeless forbidden love. The story goes between 1910 and 2010 with ease and is set in Canada. The four characters interact really well together after they got to know each other and to learn to trust. This is the first book in a series and has got off to an excellent start. Once started I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough... I can’t wait to see which path Sarah is going to have these characters follow. I hope the sequel isn’t too long in being published.
  • Orange Moon on May 08, 2012

    Battered and bruised, Alice Hughes simply has to find a way to get out of the abusive marriage she is in. She knows it’s only a matter of time, not if, but when her husband Richard will end up killing her. After a particularly bad beating, Alice hits upon the perfect plan. She will leave Richard. But she’s not going to move out. Oh no, it’s her house, she will simply stay in it and remain hidden. This will give her body the time it needs to heal and also the time to think about her next step towards ridding herself of Richard for good. Unfortunately happenings of long past from her youth interfere with Alice’s present. Alice gets to the point where she wonders which is worse, Richard or the unknown. Who or what is haunting Alice? Is it real or imagined? Or is Alice going mad? Things come to a head when Richard discovers Alice’s hiding place. An ugly confrontation occurs and Alice ends up in the hospital. Her life is changed for ever. It’s here that Alice eventually finds the love she needs and deserves. But before there can be a happy ever after, Alice has to confront her past. Will Alice be strong enough to rid herself of her demons once and for all? Will Alice’s house be safe to live in again? Right from the very first opening lines of this book, I was hooked. I knew I would love the book by the end of the first chapter. The book is well written and the story flows like an endless stream, on and on until the end. I was so sorry to reach the end too. At first the book seemed to be quite straight forward. Solely about a down trodden, abused woman, who was on the verge of collapse from all the beatings she’d received. But the book goes far beyond the subject of abuse. This is also a supernatural, paranormal, edge of the seat, spine tingling story. The book is intense, intriguing and scary, a page turner from start to finish. Apart from the horror, there is the love and intimacy between Alice and Hope. After all Alice has been thorough, it is so nice to see how Alice embraces her new love. Kate Genet has really excelled herself with her portrayal of the love shared between these two women. This is one book I am so glad I’ve read. This is a very definite re-read for me.
  • Orange Moon on May 08, 2012

    Battered and bruised, Alice Hughes simply has to find a way to get out of the abusive marriage she is in. She knows it’s only a matter of time, not if, but when her husband Richard will end up killing her. After a particularly bad beating, Alice hits upon the perfect plan. She will leave Richard. But she’s not going to move out. Oh no, it’s her house, she will simply stay in it and remain hidden. This will give her body the time it needs to heal and also the time to think about her next step towards ridding herself of Richard for good. Unfortunately happenings of long past from her youth interfere with Alice’s present. Alice gets to the point where she wonders which is worse, Richard or the unknown. Who or what is haunting Alice? Is it real or imagined? Or is Alice going mad? Things come to a head when Richard discovers Alice’s hiding place. An ugly confrontation occurs and Alice ends up in the hospital. Her life is changed for ever. It’s here that Alice eventually finds the love she needs and deserves. But before there can be a happy ever after, Alice has to confront her past. Will Alice be strong enough to rid herself of her demons once and for all? Will Alice’s house be safe to live in again? Right from the very first opening lines of this book, I was hooked. I knew I would love the book by the end of the first chapter. The book is well written and the story flows like an endless stream, on and on until the end. I was so sorry to reach the end too. At first the book seemed to be quite straight forward. Solely about a down trodden, abused woman, who was on the verge of collapse from all the beatings she’d received. But the book goes far beyond the subject of abuse. This is also a supernatural, paranormal, edge of the seat, spine tingling story. The book is intense, intriguing and scary, a page turner from start to finish. Apart from the horror, there is the love and intimacy between Alice and Hope. After all Alice has been thorough, it is so nice to see how Alice embraces her new love. Kate Genet has really excelled herself with her portrayal of the love shared between these two women. This is one book I am so glad I’ve read. This is a very definite re-read for me.
  • But She Is My Student on June 02, 2012

    Newly qualified teacher, Miss Katherine Spicer got quite a shock on her first day of teaching in her new school. Sitting hidden in the corner is Freya Elton. Freya is the woman Kat met at a gay bar over the weekend. Freya is the woman Kat kissed heatedly. Freya is the woman that just disappeared. Now here she is, as large as life sitting in Kat’s class. Freya is Kat’s student. Will Kat’s career be over before it’s even begun? Freya Elton is a student in her final year at school. Freya is confused about her sexuality. However, she’s not confused about her feelings for Kat. Just that one evening and the kisses they both shared has been playing on Freya’s mind ever since. In spite of how Kat feels, she knows she must push Freya away. Forget the kisses they shared that are seared into her brain. Although both Kat and Freya know they can’t take things any further, it doesn’t dampen their feelings for each other. But Kat can’t and won’t allow anything to interfere with her career. If only Kat would give Freya a small sign that she is interested, Freya would wait for ever. But Kat shows complete indifference. Will Freya win Kat over? I came across this book quite by chance. I decided to buy the book on impulse. I’m delighted that I did. This book is really well written, the storyline is both serious and humorous. Kiki Archer has taken a subject that could be potentially explosive. The teacher/student scenario. Kiki has handled this topic in a really excellent way. Although at the beginning I was rooting for Kat and Freya to be together, I had hoped that that the teacher/student code of conduct would not be breached, leaving the story compromised. I needn’t have worried though. The story that follows has the characters acting within the boundaries of the teacher/student code. The age gap between Kat and Freya isn’t great and if one or the other had been in a different job, a relationship between the two would not have created any problems. I’ve added this before anyone thinks this is a story involving minors. The interaction between the two main characters was superb. I had to keep turning the pages to find out what happens to them. They are backed up with a great cast of supporting characters. Kat’s friends, Lucy and her boyfriend Ben, Jess and her boyfriend Gary. Even Bea and the two nasty school teachers, Miss Pity and Miss Mews all added to progressing the story along in a nicely paced manner. There was just one thing I didn’t like about this book. The hetero sex scene between Lucy and Ben. Yes, we all know it happens, but this is a lesbian book. I felt that it was uncalled for and could have been alluded to. Fortunately there wasn’t too much of it. I got a huge surprise when Bea’s secrets were revealed. It was a brilliant twist, I didn’t see it coming. The ending was a little sudden, I would have loved to have read a bit more of what happens next. But as there is a sequel being written, I guess I’ll have to wait. All in all, this is a wonderful debut book with some equally wonderful characters, written by an exciting new author. Definitely a re-read, definitely an author to watch out for.
  • Falling Colours on June 21, 2012

    Kiran is a vision painter, the only one in the whole of Ireland. She works part time as a waitress in a restaurant in Connemara to supplement her income. When Kiran is asked by a client to do an unusual vision painting, she is very apprehensive. It goes against everything she believes to be ethical. Unfortunately Kiran makes a serious error of judgment, which results in chaos and Kiran’s life being changed forever. Added in to the mystery and intrigue is a woman. A woman Kiran finds irresistible, a woman Kiran feels she will never be able to have. But the path of true love rarely runs smoothly, or according to the best laid plans, is there a chance Kiran is wrong in her assumptions? This is R. J Samuel’s second book. It is very well written and the dialogue flows. The story is most unusual and unlike like any I’ve ever read before. This is more than just a run of the mill mystery, intrigue, romance book. It has a touch of supernatural elements and is humorous in parts too. It’s fast paced and a page turner from the first page through to the last. The story kept me on a knife edge throughout, it is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and had the effect on me of being on a rollercoaster. Totally delightful, mesmerizing and impressive. The main characters are well developed and have a strong supporting cast of minor characters who all interact well together, (even the not so nice to know characters) to progress the story forward. The scenic descriptions are wonderful, and it’s easy to visualize the different places. R.J has the gift for making the reader feel as though they are an actual part of the story, it is easy to get totally immersed in this book. The thrill and suspense with a romantic feel to the story, ensured that I had to stay up most of the night to find out how the story ended. In fact, I have read this book twice now. Once was not enough. I had to re-read it without the pressure of not knowing how the book ended. The second time was to savor the richness of the story and the wonderful way with words R.J has. R.J Samuel is an up and coming exciting new voice in lesbian fiction. An author to watch out for and to add to my list of favorite authors. I am greatly looking forward to reading more from R.J soon.
  • Intrigued By First Sight on July 09, 2012

    Freshman, Honey Elizabeth, is studying Child Study, she is determined to do well and to become a teacher. Honey lives with her best friend Jean in apartment neither woman can really afford. Jackie Miller is a freshman and she has her sights set on being a Police Officer. She meets Honey in a composition class. For Jackie, the world spins. Jackie knows right away that Honey is ‘the one’. The one who will change her life forever. The one she wants to spend the rest of her life with. Jackie has never felt this way about any one before. But will she persuade Honey to go out on a date with her? The answer is yes. Honey and Jackie embark on the first stage of their ‘together forever’ journey. But to be able to stay together, Jackie has to let go of her past. A past that has been filled with sadness and violence. Will she be able to? Although madly in love with Jackie, will Honey be able to accept Jackie’s turbulent and violent past? This book is set a few years in to the future. I’m not sure that’s it’s quite far enough though for the story to be believable. But as the book is purely fiction and if you are not looking for a ‘true to reality’ book, I believe you will really enjoy the storyline. There is a lot packed in to this book. Adventure, red hot steaming romance, jealousy, stalking, kidnapping, twists, turns and ups and downs all the way through, keeping the reader frantically turning the pages to find out what happens next. Honey and Jackie are both loveable characters and easy to get to know. They are backed up by a strong cast of supporting characters, some nice and some you just love to hate. All are essential in progressing the story forward to it’s untimely ending. I say untimely, because I didn’t expect the book to end so soon and I wanted more. The ending has left an opening for a sequel, which according to the blurb at the back of the book, is in hand. Just one point I would like to make, there are a few typos and grammatical errors. They were not enough to detract from the story, but I know this will bother some readers. I’m looking forward to reading more from Erin Miller in the future.
  • Instigations on Sep. 01, 2012

    Popular history teacher Katherine Spicer, (Kat) is in her second year of teaching at Coldfield Comprehensive School. Kat excels at her job, she loves teaching and always goes the extra mile for her students and her colleagues. Kat is happy and settled into a committed relationship with her ex student, Freya Elton. Freya is a student attending Birmingham University. She is a fresher studying to become a history teacher. Freya feels truly blessed. She’s exactly where she wants to be, doing what she wants to do and she has a wonderful loving sexy girlfriend she’s madly in love with. Unfortunately, the path of true love rarely runs smoothly. Freya’s new found friend Renee Eves, although professing to be straight, sets her sights on Freya. She’s determined to have Freya for herself. With all the instigations she throws around, will she succeed? Kat lacks confidence in herself and allows her insecurities to come tumbling forth. Will this drive Freya in to Renee’s arms? Or will Freya be able to see what is happening and how Renee is coming between them? This is a wonderfully well written sequel to But She Is My Student. I wondered how Kiki Archer was going to top her debut book. Well, she’s not only topped it, but Instigations exceeds it. The story is diverse, it doesn’t just focus on the two multidimensional main characters, Kat and Freya. The rest of the gang are here too. Ben and Lucy are together and in love. Ben gets quite a shock, which has a great impact on their lives. Jess and Gary are blessed to be parents. Then of course, there are Kat and Freya’s parents. I think you’ll love reading of some of their antics. I love the way this group of friends interact and play so well together. The story progresses at a nice pace and there are many twists and turns and surprises along the way. This book is an emotional ride. Sometimes heart aching, sometimes humorous, it’s a journey of the tender love between two women newly in love and their path to finding their together forever future. A page turner from start to finish. A book to be savored and read slowly. Oh and as an added bonus, this book is hot, sizzling, scorching and romantic. A definite re-read for me alongside of But She Is My Student. Two terrific books.
  • Reapers, Inc. - The Hunter on Sep. 01, 2012

    Brigit Malone has been dead for five years now. She’s been employed at Reapers Inc for the whole time. Originally Brigit had joined Reapers Inc so that she could keep her promise to her beloved Maggie, to always be there for her. Maggie is moving on with her life now though. Five years is a long time to be alone and Maggie has another love in her life, she’s asked Brigit to let her go. Brigit has no choice. She can’t deny Maggie her happiness. It breaks Brigit’s heart, but she must let her go. She throws herself in to her role of Assistant Grim Reaper. She has to keep busy, she can’t keep dwelling on Maggie. The Reapers have been busy reaping and expanding the firm worldwide. The Head Grim Reaper, John Blackwick, feels in need of a vacation. This means Brigit stepping up to take over as Head Reaper. She chooses Katuri-Buttercup, the Reaper in charge of dangerous cases as her assistant. Unfortunately, Katuri-Buttercup disappears while on an assignment. Brigit is in a race against time to find the small woman. In her search, Brigit comes across the ghost town of Alpina. A town where Reapers Inc used to have a satellite office, until the reaper in charge disappeared years earlier. Brigit meets a ghostly hunter, Kit James, out to avenge the death of his brother, Lenny at the hand of Ned Cadoc. The whole town is turning in to a battle field. Brigit is not pleased to find the hunter is responsible for Katuri-Buttercup’s disappearance into Limbo. She’s faced with two choices. Cross the hunter over to his final judgement or recruit him as the Reaper in charge of dangerous cases. Which will she choose? Another absolutely spellbinding, page turning, adventure with Brigit and her band of Reapers. Just when I thought this series couldn’t get any better, so I’m proved wrong. A lot of this book is set in the wild west. I’m a sucker for any book set in this period of time. The new characters B.L Newport has introduced fit in nicely with the rest of the characters and progress the story along to yet another climatic ending. The storyline is exciting and thrilling. I’ve been glued non stop to the whole series. I am hoping there will be more books in this series. The Reapers have a lot more to say. As far as I’m concerned, this series could go on endlessly. I would at least like to see Brigit happy again, with or without Maggie. The whole series is a definite re-read for me.
  • As You Were on Sep. 01, 2012

    Singer/songwriter Tru Morgan is totally in love with her live in girl friend Brittany (Brit) Jabot. Together they share a wonderful home on Red Mountain, Colorado. Their lives are idyllic, filled with their dreams, romantic nights and riding their beloved horses in a fairy tale, snowy setting. Life just couldn’t get much better for them....... Until one day, a malicious chain of events ends up being the indirect cause cause of a tragic accident. Tru finds herself fighting to find the life she once had with Brit. This in itself is an uphill struggle, but add to it disruptive outside influences and it is going to be almost an impossibility. Some people just do not want to see Tru and Brit back together. The question that has to be asked is.... Will Tru and Brit ever find their way back to the love so callously torn from them? A well written and highly enjoyable romance, mystery and intrigue, with a light touch of humor. Although this story is basically a romance, there is so much more packed into it. So many twists and turns and ups and downs, it’s a real rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. I simply couldn’t put this book down and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I had to force myself to slow down. I wouldn’t advise starting this late at night, unless you don’t need to sleep. The two main characters, Tru and Brit are poles apart throughout most of the book. I don’t want to put in any spoilers, but the emotional ride they are on, is hard going for them. The only thing I will say is, I wasn’t disappointed with the outcome of the story. All the characters in the book were well formed and they each played their parts in progressing the story forward. The scenic descriptions made it easy to visualize being amongst the characters while the story evolves. One thing I particularly liked about this book is the way we saw how Tru and Brit got together in the first instance in flashbacks. I do like to know the background of the characters. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, now that I’ve found her, I’ll definitely be buying more.
  • The Assassin's Bargain on Dec. 01, 2012

    Phaedra Humphrey is an Intimate assassin. After twenty years of doing the job, she’s become disillusioned and decides to retire. But simply walking away from the job, is not an option. Phaedra makes a bargain with her boss, Joy Oh, but will Joy uphold the bargain? Joy has been in love with Phaedra for years and has tried every trick in the book to seduce her and not succeeded. She is going to try one last time before Phaedra walks out of her life forever, if she lets her walk out! Phaedra’s bargain with Joy is to train her replacement, Petra Brighton, in return for being able to walk away from Professional Personnel Services (PPS) and to retire with no strings attached. What Phaedra and Joy couldn’t predict, is that Phaedra and Petra would fall in love with one another. This creates a huge problem and could ultimately result in both women getting killed. When Joy suspects Phaedra and Petra of being intimate, she takes out a contract to kill Phaedra using the one person who she suspects will not be able to carry out the task. Will Phaedra escape death? Phaedra has to learn to put her trust in others, but will she be able to after years of trusting no one but herself? Will she be able to remain in control enough to protect herself and the woman she loves more than her own life? A wonderful, well written, refreshingly new story unlike anything I’ve read before. I love B.L Newport’s Reapers Inc series and I wondered how I would like something entirely different. I needn’t have worried, this book is equally as good as all her others. This story is a page turner from the first page right through to the last page. B.L Newport’s storytelling is varied and diverse. Her writing is an easy and comfortable read. All the characters are fully formed, well fleshed out and multidimensional. Each character is essential to the progression of the story and they all interact really well together. The story starts off by telling us the background of how PPS was formed and who started the company up. So often these things are left to our imagination in books. We see how each character fits into the story and the part they play. Phaedra and Petra are so obviously made for each other and meant to be together. Both women fight their attraction in the knowledge that they can never have a relationship. I enjoyed seeing the path they took to fulfil their dreams. As well as the tension and excitement of the story, there are a few nice hot romantic scenes to lighten it up. The scenic descriptions were so good, I could easily immerse myself in the story and imagine I was there amongst the characters as the story played out. I would love to see a sequel or even a short story to let us know how everything turned out with Phaedra’s retirement from the PPS and how she coped with life after being an assassin for so long. With each book I read from B.L Newport, I can see her growth as a writer shining through. That’s not to say her earlier books are not good, they are wonderful. She is a master storyteller. A credit to her craft. I’m looking forward to B.L Newport’s next book with eager anticipation. Hopefully, another in the Reapers Inc series. But really, after this book, simply ANY book will be welcome.
  • All That Glitters on Dec. 01, 2012

    The day Alexis Vlodosky moves into her new home in Coastal Breeze, Florida, is the day she meets Michelle Murphy. Michelle loses control of her battered skateboard and runs right into a pile of cardboard boxes. Eighth graders Alexis and Michelle become firm friends from that day onwards. Alexis is the daughter of a Jewish father. They moved from New York City, New York to Florida to start afresh, after her lawyer father had business problems. Alexis has one younger brother, autistic Dougie. Michelle is the only daughter of a single alcoholic, man eating, mother, Angela. The different men coming in and out of their home causes no end of trouble between mother and daughter. Angela professes to want the best for Michelle and pushes her way beyond her limits. It’s no wonder Michelle escapes to be with Alexis so much. As Alexis and Michelle grow close, they begin to question the normality of their relationship. When the rumors start around school, Michelle disowns Alexis in favor of the ‘in’ crowd, breaking her heart in the process. Deep down Michelle knew she was in the wrong, but it didn’t stop her joining in with the rest of the bullies in making Alexis’s life a misery. Michelle lives for the day she can escape from Coastal Breeze. Ten years later, Michelle has become a big name in the pop world. She’s on the verge of becoming a huge name. Michelle hasn’t returned to Coastal Breeze in quite sometime, then she gets a call, her mother has been injured in a car accident. She reluctantly returns. Michelle is in a faux relationship with a closeted gay actor, Tyler. She is struggling with her own sexuality. It suits both of them to be together in name only. But both Michelle and Tyler are getting restless. They both want more out of life. How much longer will Michelle or Tyler allow the farce to go on? When Michelle bumps into registrar Alexis Vlodosky at the hospital while visiting her mother, the memories that have been simmering away in both women for ten years surface and erupt. They spend one night together and realize they love each other more than ever. But what will Michelle do? She has to make a decision. If she listens to her agent, she will end up right back in the closet. Will Michelle break Alexis’s heart yet again? This is Ashley Quinn’s debut book. I would never have known from her excellent writing. The lay out, editing, dialogue, scenic descriptions, are really well done. The main characters are multi layered, they interact well with the lesser characters and each plays hers or his part to perfection and is essential in progressing the story forward. I love these characters, it was so easy to feel they were personal friends and just lose myself amongst them. The story covers a lot of ground. School, teenage years, bullying, first love, finding ones sexuality, coming out, everyday life, the pop world, drug abuse, forgiveness and lots of other things that make this book a veritable page turner from the first page right the way through to the last. The story begins with Alexis and Michelle’s first meeting and goes between the past and the present throughout the rest of the book. It’s easy to keep up with the story though. Easy to see also, that all that glitters isn’t gold. I am eagerly looking forward to reading more from Ashley Quinn. Her debut book says to me, that she has the ability to go far with her writing in the lesfic world
  • Fire and Ice on Jan. 02, 2013

    Irish Immigrant, Blackie Walker, struck lucky when she arrived in Boston from Ireland. She landed a job at The Hennessey Pub. A pub with a side line of ladies of the evening in what was known as The Hen House. The pub is run by Kayla, her twin brother Ray runs The Ring among other interests, the not so legitimate side of their business empire. Blackie tends the bar and does numerous other odd jobs around the place, nothing is too much trouble for her. Soon Blackie is a loved and trusted, adopted family member. The girls, staff and customers all look up to her. Blackie is secretly in love with singer Lily and when Lily’s life is threatened by a stalker, Blackie goes all out to help the Boston Police find the perpetrator. The case soon gets complicated though as the police uncover some evidence that sends all concerned reeling. Lily is not the only girl being stalked. In fact one girl has been sadistically and ruthlessly killed. Will the police find the killer before he strikes again? When the police do find the evidence they need and make an arrest, it becomes apparent that the killer may get away with the murder by pleading insanity. What can be done to make the murderer pay for his sins? More to the point, who will make the murderer pay for his sins? Enter Bella, a VIP business associate of Kayla and her family. If Blackie thought she was smitten with Lily, she’s doubly smitten and enchanted by the dark and gorgeous sexy Bella. But Blackie doesn’t consider herself to be good enough for Bella. The thing is, will Blackie be quite so enamoured with Bella when she finds out what she does for a living? This book begins in late 1940’s Boston. It is a well written page turner from the first page through to the last page. There are many twists and turns along the way making it a one sitting read. There is a delicious romance sizzling away at the core of the story, hot and steamy too. Each of Ali Spooner’s stories are varied and very different from any of her others. This makes her a master storyteller in my opinion. When I pick up one of her books, I know I’m going to get a good read. Her writing grows and improves with each book she publishes. Her characters are multidimensional and easy to get to know and love. The scenic settings of the story are so vivid, I could visualize and actually feel myself transported back in time amongst the characters, experiencing first hand the events that are playing out. A sign for me that the writing is good and the story enthralling. I have been so taken with Ali Spooner’s stories, that I simply had to go and buy everything I could find that she’s written. I’m hard pressed not to read everything back to back. I believe that Ali Spooner is destined to become a big name in in lesbian fiction once readers discover her books. There are a few odd typos, but nothing that detracts from the story and the price is so reasonable, that I can easily look past them. If you are looking for a great story, with some great characters and a comfortable easy read, look no further. Give this one a try, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
  • Casting Shadows on Jan. 31, 2013

    Indian/Irish vision painter Kiran is the only vision painter in Ireland, she is also the only woman vision painter in the world. Unfortunately after her previous misadventures, Kiran is currently unable to vision paint. Her relationship with Ashley however, is going extremely well. In fact, they are taking their relationship to the next level and trying for a baby. Like all things in love and real life, nothing is destined to run smoothly. When Kiran gets a call from her father that her mother is, or could be seriously ill, Kiran must immediately return to India. The result of this phone call could well change the lives of everyone forever. This is RJ Samuel’s third book. With each book, I grow to love her writing more. Her stories are well written page turners. This series is spellbinding and magical and although the series has an element of fantasy, I found myself almost believing the impossible. This story is completely enthralling and absorbing. Once I’d started this book, I couldn’t put it down. The story had me feverishly turning the pages until I’d finished it. No matter how hard I tried to slow up, I couldn’t. I simply had to know what happened and how the book ended. In doing this, I did this wonderful book an injustice. But no worries. I knew I would be reviewing it, so I simply re-read it more slowly the second time to savour the story without the pressures of not knowing how it ended. My second reading was just as pleasurable and intense as the first. This story is actually written in the past and the present and is so intricately woven that it’s seamless. It was a great idea to give the reader the background on vision painters. Also it cleared up a lot of things I’d been wondering about Kiran’s past. RJ takes the reader back into the past and tells of how Kiran’s parents met, married and their struggles and traumas along the way. We also learn of how Kiran became a vision painter against all odds. The myriad of emotions this book evoked went far beyond any I’ve experienced for quite sometime when reading a book. In the span of minutes I went from a calm and serene feeling, to a laugh out loud humour and intense anger and back again to calm and serene. The scenic descriptions are so vivid I could feel myself amongst the characters. I’ve never visited Kerala, India, so I took a look online after finishing this book. The photographs I found matched exactly the way I’d imagined Kerala to be. The Irish scenes are equally as well described. There is actually two romances in this book. The romance between Kiran’s parents and the romance between Kiran and Ashley. But this book isn’t actually just a romance, it’s a story wrapped around a fantasy, which appears to be very real. A story full of love and hate with so many twists and turns I didn’t have a clue as to how it was going to end. Each and every one of these well formed and multidimensional characters played an essential part in progressing the story forward to its climatic conclusion. Although this book ended, I feel these characters have a lot more to offer us. I would love to see at least one more book added to make a trilogy, more if possible. Although this book is a sequel, it can also be read as a standalone. But I would urge you to read Falling Colours first. You will be sorely missing out on a great read if you don’t. Plus it will give you the chance to get to know some of the characters better. I eagerly await RJ Samuel’s next book. This one will join Heart Stopper and Falling Colours on my re-read pile.
  • Miserere on Feb. 01, 2013

    It’s 1968, ten year old Connemara Mitchell, (Conn) and her family are forced to move to West Virginia, her mother’s hometown, when her father is reported missing in action in Vietnam. Her grandmother’s old home has been neglected and is run down. It needs a lot of work to make it habitable. The house is holding untold secrets of previous occupants. Secrets of forbidden love and of times long past and forgotten. Conn has no way of knowing that she is the chosen one. The one selected to take on the task of solving the mystery surrounding her Irish ancestor, Caitriona Ni Faolain. Caitriona vanished without a trace just after the civil war. At the heart of the mystery is a very real and virulent curse that has taken it’s toll on Conn’s family for over one hundred years. Why has Conn been chosen to solve this mystery after all these years? What is so special about her? Conn begins to have dreams and Caitriona appears to her. With each dream the mystery begins to unravel a little bit more. But will Conn be able to solve it? This book is quite simply a masterpiece. Caren Werlinger is without a doubt, a master storyteller. The book is extremely well written and edited. It’s a page turner from start to finish. The story begins in Ireland around the time of the great potato famine when people were literally starving to death. It goes between the past and the present seamlessly in an easy to follow dialogue. This is a rollercoaster ride of tumultuous emotions that radiates from the pages in waves. Caitriona’s story continues on through and beyond the civil war when it stops abruptly, until Conn is chosen to reveal Caitriona’s secrets. I really liked the way this book was laid out. It’s actually two stories rolled into one. But the stories are linked together by one person. The person needing redemption. It’s obvious that an enormous amount of research has been done in order to accurately portray the history of the times. The scenic descriptions enabled me to totally lose myself in the story so I was living it with the characters. The characters themselves were well formed and multidimensional. Each and every one of them played their parts to perfection in order to progress this story through to it’s dramatic conclusion. The fact that the main character is a ten year old child, (going on twenty) is just right. A really good decision of Caren Werlinger’s. There is a lot more to this book than the actual story from a historical point of view. The time span gives glimpses into how people lived in times gone by. From Ireland to the Vietnam war and beyond. This is quite honestly one of the best historical lesbian fiction books I’ve read for a long while. I will be adding it to my list of books to re-read.
  • Infinity's Song on March 15, 2013

    Cassandra Blake and Helen Walker have been together for eighteen years. They are both at the top of their professional careers. They own properties in Seattle, Langley and Whidbey Island and want for nothing. They have the life most people can only dream about and the perfect marriage. Don’t they? Over the past couple of years, their dream life had started to slip away. They started to slowly drift apart and both women built up barriers to protect their hearts. Both Cassie and Helen have had tragedies in their pasts that are now impinging on their lives and their future together. Is there a way back? Is there a way to save their marriage? Or have they simply drifted too far apart? Helen must confront her past, a past so painful to her, it’s hard to face. Will Helen be strong enough to face it, then leave it where it belongs, in the past? Cassie battles a past tragic event and finally finds the courage to face it head on. But will facing up to the past bring Cassie and Helen back together, or will it drive them further apart? This is Penelope Grey’s debut book. I would never have known this had I not been apprised of the fact. Her excellent penmanship and superb storytelling are definitely not in keeping with a debut novel. This book actually surpasses some of the books I’ve recently read from established authors writing for some of the large lesfic publishers. Now and then I come across a debut author who is really outstanding. Penelope Grey is one such author. Don’t let the fact that she is an indie author tell you any different. Infinity’s Song is the story of two women in an established relationship, a relationship that is basically being destroyed by events from the past and lack of communication. Penelope Grey takes the reader on Cassie and Helen’s journey of self discovery and the hopeful reconstruction of their relationship. That is, if it can be reconstructed. Helen and Cassie are both wonderful characters and multidimensional. Theirs is a story full of highs and lows, hope and despair. A veritable rollercoaster of emotions throughout the book. They are backed up by some wonderful minor characters to progress the story forward at a nice pace. The club, Siren’s Song, plays a very important part in this story. I have no intentions of spoiling this story, so you’ll have to buy the book and read it to see how. From the scenic descriptions, I could visualize the story playing out like a movie. A wonderful experience in itself. Which brings me to another point, this book would indeed make a brilliant movie or TV drama. This book goes far beyond a regular romance. Cassie and Helen’s respective stories are entirely different, but heart breaking none the less. But, there is a touch of light hearted humor throughout to relieve the tension. There is also some red hot sex scenes. Scenes so tastefully written as to be deliciously decadent. Infinity’s Song is the first book in a series. I will be very interested to see how Penelope Grey is going to top her debut novel or even match it. I’m looking forward to the second book being published with eager anticipation. This book is a definite re-read and Penelope Grey has joined my list of favorite authors.
  • Binding Devotion on March 22, 2013

    Twenty nine year old Andi Armstrong is the CEO of Proud Unity, the UK’s largest LGBT campaigning organization. Andi is an icon, she’s a hands on, tireless campaigner and public speaker and her employees adore her. Her seven year civil partnership is as solid as a rock. Or is it? Andi has spent seven years fighting for equal marriage rights for same sex partners. The thought that her own civil partnership may be disintegrating is unthinkable. When Andi made her commitment to her wife, she made it for life, it is legally binding. She will do whatever it takes to honor that commitment. But.....Will the pull of an unexpected attraction prove to be the undoing of all Andi’s beliefs and ideals? Will Andi do an about turn on everything she’s always believed in? Will she give up everything, including her wife, for her own excitement, happiness, desires and above all, love? Or will Andi carry on honoring her commitment and keep on wanting what she is denying herself and the woman who loves her right back? This is Kiki Archer’s third book and I’ve loved them all. Binding Devotion is different to her first two books. However, it’s her best book yet. Unlike the first two books, this one has a more serious theme. That is not to say there isn’t the usual Kiki Archer humor throughout that I’ve come to expect and love in her books. It adds a nice touch of light heartedness to the story as a whole. I was pulled right into the story from the very first page. The opening lines just grabbed me and I couldn’t stop reading. With the opening lines of- “Just shove it in sweetie!” “I’m trying.” “No! Not like that! You have to shove it in and out quickly, or it won’t work.” Who would not be pulled in? All the characters are multidimensional, interact well together and compliment each other. Rather than feeling like I was reading a book, it was like watching a film as the story evolved. This book is far more than a fluffy chick-lit romance. It focuses on very real issues and there are quotes from very real people. There is an intricate plot woven throughout the regular story, with so many twists and turns and ups and downs, it evoked a rollercoaster of emotions for me. Never in a million years would I have guessed how this book was going to end. I have no intentions of putting in any spoilers. I want you all to enjoy this book as much as I have. But I will add one thing, there is a poignant message in this book. One that has the entire story teetering on an axis. No matter what each of us thinks of the rights or wrongs of the characters actions in this book, the message in this story is real, true to life. The story itself may be fiction, but the message is not. Kiki Archer has surpassed herself. Her writing here is honed to perfection. She has joined the ranks of a small group of excellent writers here in the UK and I’m pleased to notice that her books are also being well read in the USA too. If you want an enjoyable read that you won’t be able to put down, look no further. I’m envious of all who haven’t read this yet. You’ve got a plethora of delights ahead of you. The only drawback now is........How long do I have to wait for the next Kiki Archer book?
  • Finding Home on May 09, 2013

    When pioneer Nat St Croix’s father is killed by a bear while they are out trapping along the Canadian border, Nat is in a turmoil. What should she do? The war is raging between the north and the south, so Nat decides to carry on with the plans they had already made. Nat and her animals are going to spend the winter in the small north west town they usually went to. On Nat’s arrival in town, she checks into the hotel. She decides to eat in the dining room. It’s here that Nat’s life is turned upside down. But will she find her home? Another excellent heartfelt story from one of my favorite authors. This book is a romance written in the historical time of the American civil war. One of my favorite periods in history. All the characters are well developed and multidimensional. Gyp the dog plays a main part and is equally as loveable as his mistress, Nat. The story is all about choices. But I had to question myself as to whether we actually have a choice when we meet our soul mate. Nat has to make a choice, the big outdoors or love. What will she choose? As with previous Ali Spooner books I’ve read, I couldn’t put this down. It’s a page turner from the first page through to the last page. I love her easy to read, comfortable style of writing. There are a few typos, but nothing that pulled me out of the story, far from it. For the very reasonable price and the pleasure I got from this book, I can overlook those. I have all of Ali’s works and I haven’t read them all yet. But believe me when I say, this is going to be a great pleasure.
  • Soul Kiss on May 09, 2013

    Travel photographer, Simone, is in the Cayman Islands. She’s been working hard and is now enjoying a break. Retired basket ball player, Celine, is also taking a break to work out exactly what it is she’s going to do with her life next. When Simone and Celine meet, there is an instant attraction, which is mutual for both women. Neither Simone or Celine had been looking for a relationship. Simone due to work commitments and Celine because she’d been hurt in the past. But as the two women begin to spend more time together, they both realize they are falling deeply in love. Sharing a beautiful vacation together looks to be the beginning of a whole new life for both women. For Simone and Celine their fairy tale love has come true. All they have to do is figure out how they are going to stay together after their vacation. I loved this book. From the very first page I was hooked right in. It’s a real page turner. A slow and tender romance begins from the first tiny spark of attraction and simmers away until it bursts into flame with a love that most people would be lucky to find. Both Simone and Celine are multidimensional and loveable characters. They are backed up by a strong cast of characters to enhance and move the story forward. In particular one favorite of mine, Booyah Boy Timba. Timba is a young boy tour guide, older in mentality by far than his actual years. The scenic descriptions of the Cayman Islands are so beautifully written, I could almost feel the heat of the sun and taste the salt in the sea air. I love Ali Spooner’s stories and I’m thankful I still have some unread to savor and enjoy. There are a few typos in this book, but nothing that pulled me out of the story and for the very reasonable price, I can easily overlook them.
  • Irrevocable on May 09, 2013

    Serenity’s wife Lillian is dying. Serenity can’t come to terms with it. Cancer has woven it’s devastating tentacles throughout her beloved Lillian’s body and also figuratively, through Serenity’s own heart, making her question her love for Lillian. It’s now got to the stage where Serenity is no longer a wife to Lillian, just a nursemaid. When did it all change? After the diagnosis certainly, but it must have come on gradually. Serenity and Lillian embark on a road trip to allow Lillian to say her final goodbyes to her mother. A strange encounter with a weird light on the journey has Serenity questioning herself as to whether she’s had a glimpse of the supernatural. When Serenity meets Julie, a neighbour of Lillian’s mother, she finds a comfort she knows she shouldn’t. She loves her wife, doesn’t she? Even though she’s questioned it in the past. Serenity is seeing more of the strange glowing orbs. She’s convinced these lights are going after Lillian for some reason. Somehow everything all seems to be connected, the lights, Lillian, Julie. What are these lights? Who or what are they after? When the truth finally emerges, Serenity has to make some choices that she’d rather not make. Serenity isn’t liking any of these weird goings on, not one little bit. Another excellent story from master storyteller, Kate Genet. A page turner from beginning to end. I have to admit, when I read the synopsis, I was wary of the subject matter. Death and dying isn’t exactly light reading. But, this isn’t a regular story of someone with a terminal illness. Although, I have to say, it was heart breaking in parts. But Kate Genet handled the subject with an incredible sensitivity and understanding. The encounter with the supernatural was tense and spell binding. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out which direction this story was heading in. I have to say, I was in two minds as to whether I liked Serenity and Julie or not. Don’t misunderstand me, their characters were very well written and formed. It was their behavior that I wasn’t over joyed with. But I have no idea how I would react if I was in Serenity’s or Julie’s position. I did warm to them both in the end. My heart though was with Lillian. Terminally ill and defenceless, her character really tugged at my heart strings. The rest of the characters bolstered up the main characters and enhanced the story through to it’s astounding conclusion. I never know what to expect when I pick up a Kate Genet book. Her stories are always so diverse and no two stories are ever the same, or even similar. She writes in a nice easy to read comfortable way, making her books a must buy for me.
  • In This Small Spot on June 02, 2013

    After the death of her beloved partner, Doctor Michele Stewart finds herself looking for a way out of her meaningless life without Alice in it. There has to be something she can do, but what? After some serious soul searching, Michele finally decides to become a nun. She will dedicate her life to God, prayer and all things spiritual. Michele’s family and friends are convinced that she’s running away from her previous life because she can’t live without Alice. Michele’s decision to become a nun allows her to finally discover her true self. She no longer has her career, wealth or any of her former possessions, but she is surrounded by love and and inner peace. Unfortunately, Michele’s inner peace doesn’t last long when troubles and woe from the outside world come crashing in upon her. Michele now has many more demons to confront, including finding herself in love. A forbidden love that will result in her having to leave her safe haven if she acts up on it. Tormented beyond reason, Michele must decide where she belongs and with whom. As Michele struggles to come to a decision, she begins to understand Abbess Theodora’s warning. For better or worse. This is Caren Werlinger’s third published book. Just like it’s predecessors, I couldn’t put it down. The story is a well written page turner from the very first page through to it’s climatic and dramatic conclusion. Being perfectly honest, when I read the synopsis, my heart was in my mouth. I’m not at all religious and I really didn’t know how I was going to read what I thought was a book all about nuns, let alone write a review on it. Well, let me tell you, it was easy. You don’t have to be religious to read this heart felt, often at times, heart breaking story. Although the settings are mainly in the abbey, the story does go far beyond the abbey and religion. I don’t want to put in any spoilers, the synopsis is enough, so suffice it to say, that getting to know these characters was a privilege and an honor for me. Reading this story is likewise. There are lessons to be learnt in this story. It’s a story of great changes in the characters lives, the risks they take and most of all the costs involved in taking these risks. (I don’t mean monetary costs either). I won’t lie, the story isn’t a light hearted fluffy romance. There are plenty of those out there if that is what you are looking for. This is a thought provoking story which has left me a little breathless and stunned. A story, that several days after reading it, I’m still thinking about it and the wonderful characters as well. I will be putting this book in my re-read folder. It is a keeper and deserves multiple readings.
  • Reality Dawn on Sep. 01, 2013
    (no rating)
    Episode One of the Reality Dawn Series Reality Dawn travels between dimensions as a Reality Worker. Her job is to ensure no unauthorized doors between the dimensions are left open. This happens a lot, although most people aren’t aware of it. Passages between one earth to another parallel earth open up with dire consequences. Reality Dawn enjoys her job and likes to have company on her journeys. Being alone all the time doesn’t please her. When Rae’s sister in law, Morgan, disappears suddenly without a trace from the family farm, Reality Dawn turns up, seemingly from nowhere and offers her services. Rae is quite taken aback by Reality Dawn. She’s a rather weird woman with a love for tea and biscuits. When Reality Dawn asks Rae to keep her company on her journey to find Morgan, Rae has no qualms about joining her. She would do anything to rescue Morgan and bring her home safely to her wife and child. This is the first of a new series and it’s off to a flying start. Kate Genet always writes books that are so vastly different, I never know what to expect. This series is no exception and as always, I was enthralled and hooked from the first page. The main characters, Reality Dawn and Rae are both multidimensional and are characters that are easy to get to know. This book is a mixture of sci/fi and fantasy in the vein of Dr Who, a very long running British TV program, but with lesbians as the main leads. I loved the story, meeting the witch in her sponge house was amazing. I have the second and third parts of the series to read and I’m looking forward to seeing which direction it will go in.
  • Neither Present Time on Oct. 06, 2013

    University librarian, Beryl Gray, is in a job in which she is seriously over qualified for, but enjoys doing. She also has a very low opinion of herself, thanks to outside interference. She’s the person everyone relies on. Work colleagues, friends, family and her partner Claire. Claire is a control freak. Unfortunately, others see this, but Beryl doesn’t. She thinks she’s happy in their eight year relationship. Until one day, Beryl finds out the truth about Claire. Aggie Bishop hasn’t been dating since her girlfriend left her three years previously. In fact, her life is one round of her work as a teacher and watching over her feisty, independent, great aunt Cory, who is active and in her nineties. Cory lived alone in the run down family mansion until Aggie moved in to be with her. The rest of the family want Cory put into a care facility and the mansion sold. Neither Cory or Aggie are about to let that happen. When Beryl comes across a book with an inscription in it from back in 1945, she is curious to find out who the two women were. Little does Beryl know that the acquisition of this book will change her life, and the as yet unmet, Cory’s and Aggie’s lives forever. It appears that not only a book, but a moldering mansion, and a love spanning decades and to eternity and beyond will have a huge impact in the lives of Cory, Beryl and Aggie. This book is an absolute page turner from start to finish. In my honest opinion, it is a blockbuster. The well written story seamlessly traverses the decades of time, going back and forth from past to present to give the reader all the relevant background on the characters and their stories. Central to the story is the Bishop mansion, a character in itself. I could feel the atmospheric warmth interspersed with cold radiating from the pages. The one thing that shone through in this story throughout the entire book, is that love is an all time consuming passion that will withstand almost anything, even death if your partner is your soul mate. Caren Werlinger is a terrific writer and a wonderful master storyteller. This book is full of love, happiness, sadness, even anger at times. To be able to feel the emotions of the characters when reading about them, means the author has got the dialogue just right. Aunt Cory, Beryl, Aggie, Ridley and all the secondary characters are multidimensional and so easy to get to know and love. I love the humor throughout too. It gives the story a light hearted touch just where it’s needed. There are two love stories entwined together in this book. One past and one present. It’s the effect that the past has on the present, that for me, was a joy to behold. This story will join the rest of Caren’s books in my re-read folder. I’m now looking forward to her next book eagerly.
  • Perfect Earth (Reality Dawn Episode 2) on Jan. 02, 2014

    Episode Two of the Reality Dawn Series. Rae and Reality Dawn are now travelling together. Rae has given up her old mundane life for a new and exciting one with Reality Dawn. Currently they are visiting a totally different Earth for a well deserved vacation. Both women are looking forward to some sunshine, relaxation, good food and dancing the night away. It should be perfect. A perfect break on a perfect Earth. Unfortunately, Rae is in for a bit of a shock. She’s just about to find out what perils there are with being Reality Dawn’s travelling companion. Reality finds trouble, or trouble finds Reality. Whichever way, dancing and dinner will not be happening. Rae and Reality find themselves living a nightmare instead. Creatures that should only exist in films, books or the imagination are on the rampage. Rae is determined to help Reality rid this perfect Earth of these dreadful creatures and the carnage they are causing. But will they both survive? Also they have the added burden of another Reality Worker turning up. Will Reality Seraph be a help or a hindrance? Another really great, well written episode in an exciting series. A book full of suspense and intrigue. This book could be read as a standalone, but I would advise reading Reality Dawn first. Simply because it sets the scene and you get to know the characters. Plus it’s a jolly good read and you wouldn’t want to miss out. In this episode we meet more equally well written characters, each playing their parts to perfection. Rae and Reality really fit well together. They are not a romantically involved couple. Although Rae would like it to be so. Maybe they will or maybe they won’t get together romantically, but the adventures Rae and Reality find themselves having are story enough............For now. Oh and yes, I would like to see Rae and Reality get together romantically.
  • Dragon Dawn (Reality Dawn Episode Three) on Jan. 02, 2014

    Episode Three of the Reality Dawn Series Reality Dawn and Rae are on their way back to a familiar Earth for a well deserved rest. Their last vacation was anything but restful. (See Perfect Earth) They finally arrive back in Reality’s gypsy wagon. Eager to be back home, they open the door. They are not on Earth, well not on the Earth Reality meant for them to be on. On top of everything, there is a dragon flying around, of the fire breathing variety. According to Reality, they don’t exist, not on any Earth in any dimension. But.....there it is, large as life, with dragon hunters on its tail. Where can Reality and Rae be? Dragons, knights, kings, soldiers and sorcerers, are they in the middle of a fairy tale? No! This is real enough. They’ve travelled through a Reality Door somewhere. There is one big problem though. Reality Dawn can’t find the door. Before they can go anywhere, however, one small boy plagued by nightmares needs their help. Another winner in this compelling series. The book is fast paced and the characters and scenic descriptions are very well written. It was so easy to lose myself in the story and all too soon it came to the end. This book can be read as a standalone. But, I would recommend you read the series. You will be missing out on two other great books if you don’t, as well as the main character development. Reality and Rae are getting closer, but despite sharing a bed are still not together as a couple. I’m ever hopeful they will be one day though as they are definitely made for each other. The chemistry between them is electric. I’m now looking forward to the fourth episode in this great series.
  • Year of the Monsoon on Feb. 02, 2014

    Leisa Yeats has a good life.She has a loving family, her relationship with her wife of ten years, Nan, couldn’t be better and she enjoys her job working with children. Suddenly within weeks, everything changed and Leisa’s well ordered life spirals downwards out of control. Leisa has always known she was adopted, but never asked for any details. Then she discovers a web of secrets and lies her parents have kept from her for years. Now Leisa begins to question her whole beginning and existence. Unfortunately at almost the same time, her relationship with Nan goes on the rocks. Nan has kept a deep dark secret from Leisa the whole of their time together. Leisa has totally lost her trust for Nan and her faith in their relationship. Will she ever be able to forgive Nan? Everything Leisa held dear and believed in has come tumbling down around her and is being swept away. In her haste for some normality in her life, Leisa lets the wrong people in. Leisa is lost and floundering in the stormy waters of her once calm and well ordered life. Who can Leisa reach out to? Who can Leisa hold on to as she is tossed around in the muddied waters of the storm? Another superbly well written, turbulent, blockbuster of a story from the very talented master storyteller, Caren J Werlinger. This is a story of strife and new beginnings. A story with real, true to life characters that will stay with me for a long time. This isn’t an emotionally easy read, but has some nice light hearted humor to lighten the darkness. This story fits in so well with the title. How life can be on an even keel, ticking along nicely, then something like a virtual monsoon comes along to devastate it. One thing piles on top of another, destruction and upheaval reign supreme, then the waters go down and life begins to once again get back on track. Not without more stormy waters along the way though. Once the monsoon is over, life can begin again, although not as it once was. Life changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. This story of Leisa and Nan’s lives got under my skin. I was gripped from the very first page and I couldn’t get through it quick enough to find out if their relationship survived against all the odds. These two well developed, multifaceted characters were backed up by a wealth of equally wonderful characters. Some good, some bad, but all playing an important part in the story. Caren J Werlinger never writes two books with any similarities in the stories, just consistently good writing. So, when picking up one of her books, I know I’m in for a refreshingly different read each time with a good story where romance doesn’t over shadow the plot. Another book for my re-read folder.
  • A Place Somewhere on March 13, 2014

    Alex Hart was an accountant living a quiet life in Ireland who lost everything when she moved over to America to join the woman she’d been in an online relationship with for two years. Devastated and enraged, Alex made it her mission to seek out and expose some of the lying, cheating women causing so much pain to other women by deception online. When Alex is asked by a concerned mother to look into her daughter Cynthia’s online affair with a woman in Ireland, Breanna O’Grady, Alex has no idea that it will change her life. No idea that she will have to become what she most hates. No idea of the devastation that will follow. I love RJ Samuel’s books. They are always extremely well written and edited. She has proven herself to be a master storyteller. None of her stories are the same or even similar. So, when picking up one of her books, I know I’m going to get a good, refreshingly different read each time. However, RJ has excelled herself with this book. Not only is the story entirely different from any other book I’ve ever read, but I couldn’t figure out at all which direction the story was headed in. There were twists and turns throughout and I was surprised and totally amazed by the brilliant, unpredictable way this story unfolded and ended. The theme of this book is very true to life. RJ Samuel has captured the pain and emotions suffered by those deceived in what is, sadly, an all too real occurrence now. Although this book is a work of fiction, there is a lot of the storyline that will ring true for those people who have been on the receiving end of online deception. There is a light hearted side to this book too. A nice sense of humor throughout involving a very special character, five year old Sasha and her little dog Terror that I found myself wanting to hear more about. Both are a true delight to behold and lighten the darkness and pain of this story a little. This book also contains a subtle message of hope for a future after the pain subsides. These characters are special, all are fully developed, multidimensional and interact well together and are essential to the story. Although this story is told in a small part through email correspondence, it flows along extremely well at a nice pace and allows the reader to really get into the hearts and minds of the characters and shows the build up of their online relationship. The emails are interspersed with the present day events as they unfold. I’ve loved each of RJ Samuel’s books, this one is in my honest opinion, her best to date. Told from the heart and written from the mind and muse. Truly a wonder to behold. A definite and firm favorite to be read time and again.
  • She Sings of Old, Unhappy, Far-off Things on June 02, 2014

    Margaret Braithwaite was an up and coming Regency scholar, as well as a published author. All that changed for her when she married Gavin, a college professor almost thirty years her senior. After her marriage, Margaret’s talents were overshadowed by her famous husband until over the years, they were virtually non existent. As the years go past, Margaret becomes a shadow of her former self, just floating along in Gavin’s wake. Asheville landscape architect, Wyck Fitzsimmons, is hired by Gavin to restore his neglected gardens to their once pristine condition. Wyck is more at home with plants and animals than with people. They are much safer than women anyway. Gavin’s gardens are once again blooming due to Wyck’s expertise. The gardens aren’t the only thing to be blooming, Margaret is feeling the bloom of love for the first time in over thirty years. The feelings scare her more than being alone forever after Gavin’s impending death. Gavin can see the attraction and love between his wife and Wyck sparking. With this knowledge, he takes steps to ensure that Margaret will remain forever tied to him and the university where they both work after his death. Faced with the choice of love or destitution, Margaret runs away to England to immerse herself in Jane Austen and Wordsworth country, two of her all time favorite writers and to distance herself from her inner turmoil. She has to forget all about love and Wyck. Even though Gavin is dead, she’s still his wife, isn’t she? Wyck is alone in North Carolina. She has her own demons from the past to overcome. They say lightening never strikes twice in the same place. But it has for her and she’s devastated. How could she have let this happen? Will Margaret and Wyck look to the love growing within their hearts and find the courage to overcome all odds to be together? Or will a dying, bitter old man and his awful legacy after his death, forever tear them apart? Another masterpiece from Master Storyteller Caren J Werlinger. Each of her books is so vastly different from the last. I never know what to expect. But the one thing I’ve come to expect and have never been disappointed in is, her writing is consistently good, her stories diverse and they are page turners from start to finish. There are some authors I’d buy without reading any synopsis or knowing anything about the story. This is one such author. An author I trust will entertain me with a book I can’t put down. This story is emotionally charged and a page turner from the outset. The fact that the fully developed, multi-faceted main characters are so vastly different on the outside, yet on the inside, not so different, adds fuel to the slow burn throughout, until it’s final combustion at the end. The story is full of twists and turns all the way through. There is angst and tears followed by laughter and mirth. It’s not all doom and gloom. The path the reader is taken on is one I eagerly followed and was very sorry to see end. Added in to the turmoil of love, are the feelings Margaret suffers of inadequacy due to the eighteen year age difference between her and Wyck. But, does age matter when you meet your soul mate? After all, it’s only a number. I’m not going to add in any spoilers, but suffice it to say, that this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. There are people like Margaret and Wyck. People who try so hard to please others that it is at the expense of their own happiness. People who are simply too nice for their own self preservation.This story takes us on the long winding journey down the path to real love and to accept that it is deserved. Will Margaret choose to leave her comfort zone and give up everything to be with Wyck? Will Wyck even want Margaret after everything that’s happened? Read this book and find out. You won’t be disappointed.
  • Caught and Kept (A Siren's Song Series) on June 30, 2014

    The second book in the Siren’s Song series Kai Larsen, bar manager at the Siren’s Song Club is branching out. After years of closeting herself in the exclusive lesbian club, she’s trying to look to her future. She’s applied and been accepted for a part time job at Dani McClure’s Whidbey Island Retreat. Kai hadn’t had an easy young life. She’s been hiding a deep, dark secret from way back in her past. Until Kai can let go of the past, she can’t move forward. Dani McClure has not long split up from a long term relationship. Things hadn’t been going too well for a while for her and Kris, but when Kris cheated on her, it was the final straw. Dani can’t and won’t allow herself to be hurt again, not by anyone. When Kai and Dani meet, an immediate and deep friendship begins. As far as both women are concerned, it can never be anything more. Kai doesn’t do relationships and Dani can’t give her heart again. Friends is all they can be. But.......Will friendship be enough? Kai and Dani both have past fears and must put them behind them in order to move forward. Will the Siren’s Song help them find themselves and the love they both so badly need and deserve? When I read Penelope Grey’s debut book Infinity’s Song, I knew I’d found a true gem. An author I feel will be a big name in lesfic. But, I did wonder how she was going to manage to top her excellent first book. I needn’t have worried, she’s actually gone over and above topping it. This book is an extremely well written, one sitting page turner, in which the emotions radiate off the page hitting the reader right in the heart. I defy anyone to read this book and not be affected by it in one way or another. This book has some of the same wonderful characters from Infinity’s Song. The club, The Siren’s Song, is as much a character as the people depicted in this story. You would have to read these books to know and get exactly what I mean as I don’t want to add in any spoilers. The main characters, Kai and Dani are so true and real, I felt I actually knew them personally. They interact so well together and it is painfully obvious they are meant to be together, but the question is, will they be able to let go of their pasts and give love another chance? If you are up for a really good story with a tender and simmering romance hovering in the background, this is a book not to be missed. Although the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. But, I would strongly advise you to read Infinity’s Song first. You’ll be missing out on a wonderful story and some of the background on the characters. Now, I am anxiously and eagerly awaiting Penelope Grey’s next offering.