I'm on an audio and mystery book kick and was perusing Amazon for a something new. I found this book and got it thinking, for some reason, that it wasI'm on an audio and mystery book kick and was perusing Amazon for a something new. I found this book and got it thinking, for some reason, that it was a mystery of sorts? Like cozy mystery? Well, no, it's not.
It's a fairly decent story and I did listen to the whole book, however, I found it redundant in so many places with most all the characters repeating over and over their feelings. It got a bit boring in bits.
I got the book for free but paid $1.99 for the audio, so I don't feel too bad that it wasn't really what I thought it might be.
Still I think it will appeal to those that like like dramas. ...more
Shockingly, this is only my 2nd Radclyffe book. Don't know why I haven't read more because I've liked her stuff (short stories), but I intend to.
I liShockingly, this is only my 2nd Radclyffe book. Don't know why I haven't read more because I've liked her stuff (short stories), but I intend to.
I listened to this book. I think the narrator did a pretty good job although, I found the orgasm sounds a bit over the top and distracting. Yes, I know that's a weird thing to say, but I was imagining how I would have experienced the words without the sound effects and I think I would have imagined how the characters said and expressed things, differently. But that's the thing about audio. Sometimes it enhances the story sometimes it interprets in different ways.
As for the the story, I felt Radclyffe did a great job of keeping a nice balance between love story and serial killer plot. Sometimes I wished the romance had a bit more tension and a slower build. Catherine and Rebecca get it on fairly quickly-- and pretty much screw like bunnies for the rest of the book.
I felt though, that the intense desire to be with someone you're extremely attracted to, and with whom you want to be with all the time at first, was excellently portrayed.
Also, I like it when two people are falling in love that there aren't too many faux distractions, like dumb misunderstandings that drive me crazy. These two women, while having understandably cautious feelings, do push them aside fairly quickly. It's very satisfying.
The serial killer/ detective plot, while not that complex or having too much depth, did have enough mystery and suspense to keep me guessing and reading to see how it would pan out.
I'm pretty sure I'm getting the next book in this series. This was overall a really enjoyable book. ...more
This is a cute, light love story, but not too much depth to it.
Both characters are very likable and I felt they had good chemistry.
The ending felt aThis is a cute, light love story, but not too much depth to it.
Both characters are very likable and I felt they had good chemistry.
The ending felt a little too pat. The women spend almost 85% of the book getting to know each other and slowly falling in love, although the big misunderstanding is a constant barrier right up until the end. It felt like they went from 0-60 in the last few pages.
Still, it's a fun book and I recommend it.
Side note: I listened to this book and felt the narrator wasn't that great. She kept interjecting chuckles as an interpretation to what the characters might have felt, but it came off as silly and like talking to a child. I alternated reading and listening and seemed to enjoy more when just reading it. ...more
I loved, loved this book. I'm still trying to figure out how to write a review of it, if I can. Or maybe this is my review? It's so deep and nuanced aI loved, loved this book. I'm still trying to figure out how to write a review of it, if I can. Or maybe this is my review? It's so deep and nuanced and maybe too hard for me to articulate everything I felt about it. It left me feeling like I had spent time with an old friend I hadn't seen for a long time, catching up on old times, which by the way is some of the theme of this story.
This story touches on so many different issues, but particularly issues around being an African American lesbian and the expectations of both the white and black community both culturally and on a personal level on being that. The way the characters experience their lives is expressed with a lot of insight into those issues.
It's also about the importance of shared experiences in making relationships work and also the comfort involved in that even if a relationship doesn't flourish.
That this story is about mature women was another huge plus. It's fairly rare to read about women who are at a stage in their lives when experience has taught them that they don't have to rush into anything and can be cautious in relating, but also that they still can have all those exciting and fearful feelings and emotions around new attractions.
Author Renee Bess excels at in-depth characterizations. Each of the characters in this story have distinct personalities and we get to see how each change slightly depending on who they are relating to. They are all connected even if they are unaware of how. And I particularly respect that all of the characters have flaws. Just when I'd think, oh I like this character and hope it works out for them, they do something kind of crappy. However, their vulnerabilities were shown as well, so it was easy to see their point of view even with negative traits at times.
I think this author's writing is getting better and better. Will definitely pick up another of her books. ...more
Beauty and the Butch is one of Paisley Smith's usual short, erotic and sweet love stories. Emphasis on erotic- she does this extremely well. heh SinceBeauty and the Butch is one of Paisley Smith's usual short, erotic and sweet love stories. Emphasis on erotic- she does this extremely well. heh Since I've reviewed many/most of Paisley Smith's books and liked them all, what I say will not have much weight. However, if you are familiar with her books, this one will not disappoint and offers the kind of story that I've come to enjoy from her.
Even though short, both characters are well defined and the story itself is done with just the right amount of depth to give the reader an emotionally satisfying read.
The only issue I had was that the ending was just a bit too pat for me. It turns out to be all light and roses when I don't think that would happen in reality. But hey, it's a feel good story, so letting that go is easy.
I started reading this particular detective series a couple of years ago and all have been reviewed here on LVLM or Goodreads in case you’re curious. I started reading this particular detective series a couple of years ago and all have been reviewed here on LVLM or Goodreads in case you’re curious. I happen to be really fond of Laura McCallister as a character and have enjoyed reading these books due to it. This book was good as well even though I had some minor issues with it.
Unlike in the last three books, this story revolves mostly around Laura’s personal life, rather than some mystery or case she’s working on. Although a mystery she’s gotten sucked into and her personal life are connected in this case.
On the one hand, I liked this because there is more detail about a character I like. Kind of like when you like someone and you want to know more about them. However, for the purposes of the story as a whole, I felt sometimes there was too much personal emoting/dialogue that left the plot and mystery part, the exciting part really, lacking.
I was really sucked in by the first part of the book. There are several mysteries going on that Laura is dealing with that piqued my curiosity about what’s going on. It starts out as a traditional detective novel, which I liked. There’s been a succession of teenage suicides on a local bridge that Laura wants to stop, and a woman who was in an accident and has amnesia is found to have Laura’s business card on her.
The main mystery going on is the amnestic woman, even though the rash of suicides is how the book starts out. Although it’s not really a case that Laura needs to work on, because of this woman having Laura’s business card, Laura tries to figure out what’s going on with her. As Laura tries to help the woman remember anything about who she is, she comes to a painful conclusion that throws her into a lot of emotional turmoil as she’s pulled into her own painful past. This in turn causes her to make a rookie mistake that almost kills her. She is then forced to deal with long suppressed feelings, which she doesn’t want to do.
OK, so that story line was very intriguing to me. It unfolded slowly enough to keep up mystery and tension. However, how it all resolved and come to a head still left me with many questions about why some characters acted the way they did. Some of it just didn’t make any sense to me, or seemed illogical. A little more psychological motivation of the other characters would have helped I think. Laura’s personal journey is interesting though, and that kept me going.
The other mystery story line also left me wondering what that was all about. I kept thinking there was going to be a linkup between the two threads or some other connection to the main plot, but that didn’t happen. I felt there should have been some explanation as to why it took up as much book space as it did since there seemed to be a suggestion of possibly something more sinister going on. I think this would have been a cleaner, neater story if that part had been left out since it distracted a bit from the focus of the book. But YMMV.
It’s actually kind of hard to categorize this book. I can’t say it’s really a mystery because it doesn’t solely focus on the mystery in the traditional mystery/detective book sense. I can’t say it’s a romance on any level, but a lot of the dialogue between Laura and Holly, her partner, is about their relationship, their life together and Laura’s emotional state. It bordered on being a little too mushy for my taste. But I can’t be nitpicky about that because I do feel that a lot of readers will love that, will love the expressions of a deep emotional connection between them.
Overall though, I enjoyed this book. It flows nicely and at a fast pace, and there is just enough intrigue to keep it interesting and compelling to read. Laura grows as a person quite a bit in this story, which also added to my enjoyment. I hope there’s another Laura McCallister book coming; I’ll definitely read it. ...more
I was all over this book when it came out because I loved the writing in Pearl. Like Pearl, the same style and ambience is present in this book. The I was all over this book when it came out because I loved the writing in Pearl. Like Pearl, the same style and ambience is present in this book. The author manages to get in a lot of details that set the stage for what’s going on with the main characters, but in a Zen-like, sparse way. Even though a contemporary, this story had the feel of being in an earlier time period. Maybe this due to the fact that it takes place outside a small town with not much going on. Or maybe there are a lot of similarities to the setting in Pearl, which was set in the 40’s.
Annette is an 18 year old who has just graduated high school and doesn’t feel much about the fact that it’s over. She’s was neither popular or exceptional in any way, nor was she an outcast in school. She’s just an average girl with not much going on trying to figure out what to do with her life.
Next door lives a woman whom Annette has never had contact in all years she’s lived there. Out of curiosity, and or maybe the boredom of just hanging out in her house with not much to do, for no particular reason really, she decides to go over and introduce herself after this woman’s housemate moved out.
Sadie and Annette strike up a friendship and Sadie let’s Annette come over to her house daily to help her clean up her paint brushes and such. Sadie really doesn’t talk too much about herself or her life. She neither hides nor says outright that she’s a lesbian although it’s assumed by Annette that she is. In fact, while they spend whole days together, it seems they don’t really say much to each other, yet they manage to develop a friendship. And that friendship goes to the next step when Annette offers to stay one night.
This story is all about Annette really. She doesn’t seem to be impressed or judgmental of Sadie being a lesbian; it’s just a fact. But their relationship helps her realize that she has been more interested in women even though she’s never consciously defined it internally. She had a boyfriend with whom she had sex, but in her private musings that wasn’t as exciting as the girls she thought more about. So in some ways it’s easy for Annette to just put it out there for Sadie to respond to or not.
What I liked actually was that there wasn’t much fanfare around these two women getting sexual. Even though fairly erotically written, sexually they are almost perfunctory. Sort of like “you want to do it” “OK.” I liked the simplicity of their connection because it seems to be more a step in Annette’s life versus a main event.
For the most part I loved this story, however, I was disappointed with the ending; it was kind of a WTF for me. I’ve read the reviews for this book and no one has had issue with it so maybe it went over my head? Or I wasn’t really into the whole metaphor of the story of Annette living on a crossroads street and being at a crossroads in her life but more into the developing relationship between Annette and Sadie, which was far more interesting.
Still though, I highly recommend this book. I do love the author’s style and voice. She does have a knack for writing short snap shots of characters’ lives with enough detail to suck you in and be turned on by them.
Heat level- 3-4 2 graphically written sex scenes just right for the story length...more
This is such cute, well-written and erotic story and it gave me the warm fuzzies all over. You know when you meet someone and you immediately feel so This is such cute, well-written and erotic story and it gave me the warm fuzzies all over. You know when you meet someone and you immediately feel so comfortable that none of the usual first meeting guarding comes up? You feel very relaxed and as if whatever you do or say will be fine, you can be yourself? This is the kind of relationship that Maddie and Sunny have. I loved it!
The whole set up on how these two women meet and why Maddie would be there was totally believable and didn’t feel contrived. Right away the women are very comfortable with each other, easily chatting and acting as if they’ve known each other for years.
Maddie comes across as someone who is somewhat vulnerable even though she has a high powered job. She wants to end it with the “perfect” guy on paper and just wants a few days to chill and think things over.
Sunny is a warm, friendly person who welcomes Maddie with open arms, making her feel at ease right away. And she calls Maddie Chica in an endearing and familiar way even though she’s just met her, which I liked. She also doesn’t shy away from being who she is, letting Maddie know that her last partner was a woman when it comes up in conversation.
Even though they’ve just met, the women slip into a sweet sexual thing like right away. But it was written realistically from both POVs. Maddie doesn’t angst about her first time with a woman, but also doesn’t feel totally comfortable as it’s something new for her. All those thoughts about ramifications do run through her head. Sunny lets her figure it out without putting anything on her about it even though she wants her to stay and wants to keep something going.
Even better was that these two women work things out pretty quickly without a bunch of drama. There’s something so refreshing about two people clicking and simply enjoying each other without the usual awkward uneasiness about what’s going on and so on.
Just also wanted to say that for such a short story, it’s a perfect package. The writing, the pacing of the story, how it starts, how it ends, it’s very feel good. And it’s sexy!
Heat Level- 3- sensually written, but not too graphic-- sex scenes...more
I’ve only read one other of Andi Marquette’s books, Some Kind of River, and I really liked it. From the Boots Up also is a cute, warm and fuzzy feel g I’ve only read one other of Andi Marquette’s books, Some Kind of River, and I really liked it. From the Boots Up also is a cute, warm and fuzzy feel good love story. While it’s not a deep book, the author still managed to convey quite a bit about both protagonists.
You know all those feelings and fears, butterflies in your stomach, racing thoughts about words and actions that could be taken in different ways, and all that awkwardness that happens when you have an attraction to someone but are not sure about what’s going on with them? Well that’s what Andi Marquette captured extremely well in this story.
Meg is a down to earth, funny, easy going kind of girl. She loves her life as a cowgirl in Wyoming working with her father and helping out with guests at their dude ranch. She’s young but has had a few heartbreaks so she’s kind of freaked at her instantaneous and intense attraction to a reporter who’s come to do a story on their ranch.
This story is mainly told from Meg’s POV, so all that internal angsting is about her attraction to Gina. There really isn’t much conflict going on except in Megs head and heart. But that was enough to keep me interested as the story progressed. Andi Marquette does have an amusing way with words and there were some pretty funny lines and character banter.
We don’t get to know too much about what Gina feels until the end. But I liked her light, flirty, but slightly mischievous way. She plays just enough with Meg to keep the communication lines open and be provocative without actually letting on how she feels. The main thing keeping them separated is that from both sides, professionally, they can’t fraternize in a more personal way.
There’s no big surprise here. From the get-go you know what’s going to happen. And it’s a short book. But I liked Meg and Gina’s little dance, the secondary characters, and the setting. So it was a gratifyingly light, fun read for me.
I’d say if you’re looking for a meaty love story, this is probably not going to satisfy. But for me, after coming off of a more weighty and lengthy book, this was a perfect quick little story. Two people meet, they find out fairly quickly they’re both attracted and go for it. Very satisfying!
Heat level: 3- two semi graphically written sex scenes. ...more
I picked this book up for several reasons: it features mature characters, POC and it's romance with a mystery going on.
The romance that developed betI picked this book up for several reasons: it features mature characters, POC and it's romance with a mystery going on.
The romance that developed between two older women who are comfortable in their own skins, but somewhat jaded by life and relationships and a bit shy about their aging bodies, was done very realistically and sweetly.
The mystery part is somewhat predictable and not too detailed, however, it was nicely woven and integrated with the romantic angle, which made this story much more appealing than it might have been.
I had a hard time getting into this story in the beginning. Dani is a hard to like character. She's a player who doesn't really bother abou2 1/2 stars
I had a hard time getting into this story in the beginning. Dani is a hard to like character. She's a player who doesn't really bother about the feelings of the girls she has affairs with so I didn't really get invested in her as a character.
When she meets Carmen, a straight girl who's living with her boyfriend, she really falls for her.
Their little dance is decently written; how Dani slowly seduces Carmen and the opening of Carmen to the idea of love with a woman. However, it was a little too superficial for me to really get on board with the idea they will be a longer term couple.
First, I just don't believe people like Dani, how she's written, actually change their spots that easily and I felt that the challenge of seducing Carmen was probably the turn on for her. If she were written as having more of a conscience about the women she used, maybe I could get on board with her or believe that she can think of someone other than herself.
Carmen is a bit more realistic. I felt that Carmen realizing that being with a woman gives her more than being with a man is a kind of cliche in the straight woman falls for lesbian story. She's in pain. The man she loves is ignoring her and treating her like crap. If he was a decent guy I don't feel that Carmen would have given Dani a second look. She goes with Dani because Dani pays attention to her in a time of pain. So it's hard for me to take it too seriously. At least Carmen didn't jump on board that easily, she's very hesitant.
I also felt that had Carmen decided not to be with Dani ultimately, Dani would have just moved on, not thinking too much about it.
So the author failed for me on expressing the depth of what the characters were feeling.
That said, it's a decent read. I was interested enough to keep reading it. And the sex scenes between the women were nicely written.
I really enjoyed this author's book Je Me Rends so I was glad to discover that Kai Lu has a new f/f book out.
Like the other, it focuses on two youngI really enjoyed this author's book Je Me Rends so I was glad to discover that Kai Lu has a new f/f book out.
Like the other, it focuses on two young high school girls and rather beautifully captures the innocence and eroticism of a first love, first girl/girl experience.
What I really enjoy about Kai Lu's writing is that there's a definite unique feel to it. The description of the girls and the subtle nuances of what's going on with them is so vividly expressed and I had the strong feeling of reading a full bodied, highly feminized manga. But it never went into that dreaded school girl for letchy men story territory. It's really rather sweet and loving.
It's also highly erotic with very explicit sexual scenarios.
Oh and disregard the cover. It's an unfortunate cover because it gives the impression that what's written inside is strictly for the male gaze.
Again, I can't wait to read another of Kai Lu's books.