I have never in my life read the 50 Shades of Grey series. I don’t get the draw on a lot of levels, but I think I may have just read lesbian version. If you have suffered through my reviews in the past you might remember that I am a big fan of Georgette Kaplan’s writing. It’s fast, it’s witty and it is undoubtedly unique. So naturally, I picked this one up! What do I think about it? That is usually not a hard question for me to answer, yet this time it is. Conundrum of epic proportions!
Sarah Keys moves home from college after the unexpected death of her professor father and she hates being back. She has a strained relationship with her mother, her grief is suffocating and while she loves her boyfriend, nothing is working right in the bedroom. She is working part-time at the grocery store and shuffling her way through her days in this small town. Suffering, Sarah is suffering. A car accident on a desolate country road leads her to a chance meeting with Nina Rose. The rich, beautiful hermit that lives in the mansion on the outskirts of town.
Nina used to be one of Sarah’s father’s students. She is a gifted mathematician how often spends her day hidden away in her home working on codes for government agencies. Nina is ultra-mysterious. As Sarah becomes employed as Nina’s part-time gardener they slowly begin to develop a friendship and then something more.
At the beginning of the book, I kept waiting for Nina to become a vampire. She is not. Then I thought, oh she’s a killer. She is not a killer. I was never exactly sure where the book was going to turn and why there were so many rats (you’ll see). I was trying to find my footing with it, unsure but still interested. I’m not really sure what exactly I thought would happen but this one doesn’t have a formula you can put your finger on. Wild, yes. Sexy, yes, maybe. I’m confused! BDSM, big time and that was so unexpected. Perplexing, yes. I can’t quite explain it, I left the book thinking, what did I just read. It needed more details, I still have so many questions. An odd book that left me with a furrowed brow. See my conundrum, because of all that and yet I still liked it.
3.25 out of 5 stars
Alone by E.J. Noyes is an absolutely stunning book. I mean seriously, this is a book you start and are just riveted page after page. A few chapters in an I asked myself what am I reading. Knowing full well this book is on the next level. Pick it up, read it, and then strap in because you are in for one hell of a ride. My proverbial hat is off you E.J. Noyes because you have written something extraordinary. I will give a little bit of synopsis but I am going to leave you with my final review. This book is not a 5 star, it is well above that. This one is at the pinnacle of the lesbian romance genre. You don’t see books like this on very often. Truly a treasure and one that will stay with you long after the final page.
Celeste Thorne is part of an experiment where she has removed herself from all human contact for over three years. For $500,000 she has not seen, spoken to or had any contact with a human form. It has begun to have taken an effect on her mind but she has not broken. With a half a year left Celeste is hanging in there. Things all take a drastic turn when Olivia Soldano crashes into her remote compound. That’s the basics of the story, now go read it! You will not be disappointed in this gem.
Way better than 5 stars
Basically, I started writing this blog as a cathartic way of getting my feelings out about what I. So many times, especially after Kindle Unlimited unrolled, I would read a great review, purchase a book and then go WTF. So many bad book suggestions by Amazon and so much money wasted. A few months ago, I get nailed by a reader on the blog, just ranting at me about a bad review and how mean and awful of a person I was. That book was special to her and how dare I claim that it was not an amazing, fabulous read. It wasn’t that bad a review either, 3 stars actually. To me, the book was not to my taste and I pointed out the reasons, always trying to be fair but honest. Why I’m saying this is in such a convoluted way is that it’s funny, awesome and so fascinating to me how some books can be one person’s treasure and another person was like blah, next, please.
Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren is one of those books that I went in with high hopes and came out on the other side wondering what did I miss. By no means a lacking book, but I did not resound with me personally. My biggest reason, I did not really connect with the main character, Liv. I for the life of me could not see why Mira would be interested in her, other than being good at her job, character wise she was flat and uninteresting. I felt like as the reader I was supposed to already get and like Liv. Other than working at an aquarium, and a love for beer, I don’t know much more about her. The book is told from her POV so I would hope to have more understanding of this character and what makes her tick.
Just because Bait and Switch wasn’t my cup of tea and Liv wasn’t the protagonist of my dreams doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t read this author again. I absolutely would. Thanks for reading my rant!
3 out of 5 stars
I really, really like Emma Sterner-Radley’s work. She is a writer that gives you a great story with interesting characters that draw you right into the story. I love when an author can take you away from reality and pitch you right into their book. Sterner-Radley is one of those authors.
Erin Black is a personal trainer residing in Manhattan. She is a loner and suffers from insomnia. Her sleepless nights turn into late night infomercials and surfing Twitter for entertainment. Her boredom leads her to meeting Isabella Martinez. Isabella is the mother of an infant that has stomach issues that keep them both up. Erin becomes her late-night companion, first through sarcastic interaction on Twitter and then into more personal communications via Skype.
This is slow-moving, long-distance friendship that eventually blossoms into more. These two bare their souls to each other, needing a friend and finding it in the most unlikely place. They have witty banter that can turn into fun/playful as well as serious.
A super cute story that ends rather abruptly. You will need to go into this one knowing that the sequel is essential.
4 out of 5 stars
Book one of this series ended rather abruptly, so I was very glad to see the publisher did not waste any time with getting the next installment out. I’m going to get right to it and say I really enjoyed the first book, Long-Distance Coffee. I thought it was a sweet story of two lost souls connecting and finding each other. They bared their feelings and hurts to each other, needing a friend and then finding that once in a lifetime chance at love. A sweet, heartfelt story that consisted of adorable banter between the two main characters.
The second book left me feeling more along the lines of meh. Let me explain. This part of the book we finally get the two characters to meet. Woohoo! That’s a great moment. Really a couple of great moments, but then the story began to just drag. It was too much talking and it felt soap-boxy and unrealistic later in the book. I felt myself wanting to skip paragraphs and even rolled my eyes at the parts that I thought were a bit over the top.
I think this series would have been better slimmed down and made into one book. The second part felt too long. Just my opinion, though. I enjoyed Emma Sterner-Radley’s work and look forward to where she takes me next.
2.75 stars rounding up to a 3
I tend to shy away a bit from sci-fi. It’s not that I don’t like the genre, I do, but I’m always leery because for the most part, I want the romance, I’m not so much into the world building razzle-dazzle that can often times pull my focus from character interaction. When I came across the premise for The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair I felt a pull towards this book. Maybe it’s the cover, maybe the botanist aspect, whatever it was I was ready to take a chance on it. Oh my, I am so glad I did. Sinclair is a rockstar and wow did she ever write a story.
The book is very much a romance. The sci-fi theme only furthers the love story even further. If you’re holding back because of that don’t jump in, and get ready for your heart to be stolen. This is an amazing book with characters that a vibrant and captivating.
Ari Geiker is a botanist who spends the majority of her time alone with her plants. She shies away from human contact and she feels like an outsider. Raised by a father, who is military to his core and has little to do with his child, she found solace for her loneliness in plants. She has resigned herself to this lifestyle. Her whole world is thrown out of whack when a slave is given to her.
Assistant, this is what the slave will allow Ari to call her, has been captured by Ari’s father’s forces. The sole survivor on a pirate ship she has been given to Ari for companionship. Ari has never wanted anyone to be in her quarters and is repulsed that a slave would be awarded to her. Assistant, is stunned by Ari’s kindness, generosity and that she is a champion for her. They form a reluctant friendship that evolves over time. There is a whole lot more to Assistant, I’ll let you find that revelation out on your own.
This book is sweet, it’s genuine and at times it is downright sexy. The relationship builds and builds and as the reader, I could not get enough. This grabs you and holds you, you are invested to the final sentence. This book is beyond good!
5 out of 5 stars
Rook Black has lost her way in the world. She perpetually pissed off and has no outlet for her emotions. The thing about Rook that sets her apart from any other loner fueled on too much caffeine and surliness, is she is a Grandmaster chess player. She gave up chess as a way to break free and find herself outside of the game, but with limited skills, Rook’s options are pretty limited. A trip to the clink for public gambling ends up killing her already limited finances. So Rook ends up taking the only job available, a chess tutor.
Carmen Barnes is the current Miss USA. This beauty Queen takes her role seriously, with three months left with the crown, she wants to go out with a bang and raise some serious money for a cause that is very dear to her. Carmen sets up a major chess tournament to benefit a local homeless shelter that caters to young people. The money she raises will make serious improvements to the shelter and prove to all the naysayers that she is more than a pretty face.
When Rook and Carmen meet to discuss the tutoring position it’s a combination of sexy fireworks and sticking your foot right in your mouth. Comical and cringe worthy! Initially, Rook falls back on her frostiness and defense mechanisms when she feels backed into a corner, Carmen never lets her get away with it, though. As time progresses and they spend more time with each other you, as the reader, really see how these two characters just fit. They see each other without all the pretenses, being judged by their titles rather than who they really are. It really makes for great reading and the chemistry is very apparent.
The chess aspect of the game was thoroughly entertaining without being too heavy handed in the technical aspect. You found out just enough about the game to keep it interesting. Rook and Carmen are delightful characters and their romance was super cute and at the same time sexy as hell. Em Stevens writes a fantastic story that is entirely entertaining and I was thoroughly hooked to the very end.
4.25 out of 5 stars