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A Hidden Hope

(Romancing the Page #1)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Natalie and El used to be writing critique partners, sharing their work chapter by chapter. Falling in love off-page was like the next part of the story. But after a huge falling out, three years have passed in bitter silence.

When they both appear at a science fiction convention in London, Natalie, a struggling writer, wants nothing to do with El, the hot debut novelist wh
Published October 2018 by Penglass Publishing
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3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  87 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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⚔ Silvia ⚓
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the author for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

This was a fun f/f romance about former critique partners turned lovers turned enemies turned lovers again (basically one of my favorite romantic tropes ever).

Natalie and El meet again at a book convention in London, three years after their falling out that never got a closure, and they have the chance to fix the past between one panel and another.

It was a fun dip into the author/publish
Laura Lam
Oct 22, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is now live on various retailers! Links found here:

- Girls kissing
- Enemies to lovers
- Set in an SFF con (a made up one that's an amalgamation of the ones I've been to!)
- Writing feels
- Sweet and sexy
- One of the girls has a penchant for suits
- An antithesis to the trashfire of 2018. (Not to get too political, but in my head, this is set in the alternate universe where Hillary won and Brexit never happened.)
It was okay I guess? I didn't particularly feel anything spectacular. I feel like the story starts way too fast, we just know something happened, we don't know exactly what, but it led Natalie and El to stop seeing each other. There's all this mystery build around what happened, and the big reveal or even the moment they made up was just so underwhelming. All this for that. At least that's how it made me feel. It was nice to read about a f/f relationship between two authors and get more of the p ...more
This was a super cute f/f romance story! I loved the characters -- they were both realistic and I love that they both learnt and grew from their mistakes, especially in a short novella. I really enjoyed the insider's look into the publishing industry as well. As a qualified editor, the explanations of building an author career, how auctions work, author letters and more, was so fun to read. I agreed with so many of Ambrose's grievances with the industry as well.
I highly recommend this book!
Feb 05, 2019 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
I tried reading this one because it was free on amazon a few weeks ago and so I downloaded it, but honestly, this felt like Queens of Geek all over again: I wanted to read it because it's f/f, but it's already giving me secondhand embarassment and the writing is terrible.

I decided to quit when in a scene two characters meet, "squeak" in excitement, hug each other and both say "I can't believe I'm hugging [character]!"
It had been a while since I read something that made me cringe this much.

It fel
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I sometimes got the feeling that at least one of the characters had first been written as male then « turned » into a woman. But the story still worked so it’s okay. I really liked that one of the MC had social anxiety and how it played in the story.
Ed McDonald
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First up, the con: If you've been to an SFF con as an attendee, some of the revelations here will definitely raise a smile. If you've been as an author, you'll be grinning. This novella is merciless in its depiction of the situations that ensue at the breakfast bar, on panels and all the rest of it. I take my hat off to Laura Ambrose for writing the convention experience in a way that captures the awe, the panic, and the high impact emotions of attending an SFF con.

Second, the romance: The roman
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
maybe not a full 4 stars but definitely close!
a second chance romance about two girls who started of as critique partners and are now both authors?????????? it's like friends to lovers to enemies to lovers and it's about the publishing world! and it's f/f and it's cute and i was so interested in seeing, in a book, this other part of the book world, which you as a reader don't normally get to see.

ALSO! it's free on amazon right now for two more days and you should definitely check it out!
Cora Tea Party Princess
The sampler was excellent, I just need to save up my pennies so I can read the rest! I love the writing style.
Mandy 'Hammie'
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters are engaging and interesting. The storyline is great. It's well written and the writing style made it all came together nicely. This is a great quick read.
Lauren James
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, funny, and very accurate to the publishing industry, this was a joy to read.
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
An excellent little novella featuring two SFF writers who reconnect at a Con in London, and remember all the reasons they initially fell for each other. Lots of fun.
Nancy Meservier
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, novella, romance
Natalie and El are two authors of speculative fiction who bonded over their writing and found themselves falling for each other in the process. Then things went south, leading them to break off all contact with each other. When their paths cross unexpectedly at a London-based SFF convention, they stumble into a second chance at love. But first, they'll need to get over their respective emotional baggage.

I don't read a lot of F/F romance, but the geek writerly backdrop of A Hidden Hope highly app
Dec 28, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 30%

Not a terrible story, just not for me. What I read of the story was heavy on telling due to back story. Chances are it picks up pace, but I lost interest before I cared to continue.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: friends, femslash
Absolutely loved this. Nat and El are such a great couple, and I loved the writing convention setting and the different tensions rising from their writing careers.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I purchased this after seeing it recommended by a favorite author. The story was quick, cute, and tender. In the beginning, it felt a bit slow, but once El appeared, I was hooked and rooting for their romance. I liked the way Natalie and El balanced each other. They make a good pair, especially when they confront their fears and problems, addressing and talking through them together.

It was a fun way to spend an evening, escaping the world to follow these two writers on their journeys of
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer
I loved the detail of the cinema scene and the whole story had a lovely warm feel to it. I've read all of Laura Lam's other books and it's great to read romance from her too!
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fresh and lovely romance between two writers at a London SF convention - charming

Full review
Helen Kord
It was... fine. It was fine, really. It didn't grab me in the way I hoped and there were too many little annoyances for me to give it a higher score, but if you're not me, you might love this book.
Here's things I had issues with, in a simple list:

* when El and Natalie meet at the con and Natalie runs away from her, El goes to her room and masturbates, imagining her. That's............ so disrespectful, jesus christ. I know I'm extra sensitive to this kind of stuff and this is a romance and we kn
Chris Mansell
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, this is well outside my wheelhouse but there are a couple of circumstances that led to me reading A Hidden Hope. First is that Laura Lam is good people, so when she put up a Patreon I threw some bucks in and the romance novellas are one of the perks. The second is that I'm writing a book of my own which features as an element an F/F romance. And in coming to edit those portions, I've realised that I have no idea how to write romance, because I generally haven't read romance in the past. Henc ...more
Cindy Stein
Second chance romance by authors! Natalie, a struggling spec fic writer with a few books published, saves up to attend a Con in London where she will speak on two panels. Everyone is anticipating the arrival of the hot, new author, Elijah, and there's a big shock when "Elijah" ends up being a woman named El. For Natalie, the shock is even bigger. She and El were critique partners long distance and met for one very hot weekend. Then they had a falling out and didn't speak for 3 years until this C ...more
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This was cute and made me smile on some occasions. I don't usually read romance but the fact that it was a f/f story set at a sff convention made me want to read it. I felt like the setting actually wasn't very important, I'm not familiar with romance novels structure so I'm not sure how to judge this. I also picked it up because I liked what this author wrote on the sff field but I felt something was missing for me to be completely won over by this story.
I liked the name drop of many sff write
Hisham El-far
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A Hidden Hope is a very geeky Romance (f/f) novella, primarily set at a London(ish) based Scifi convention.

The two main characters are adorable together and I want more! 😍

I don't normally read Romance - but when I do It has to be geeky and this certainly is.

If you read this novella and love it as much as I did, the author Laura Ambrose also has a free prequel available as a freebie when you sign up to her mailing list.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the story. Even though it was a short story it was a bit of a slow burn that gave enough background on the two main characters so that you see how they interact with each other and threw in a few surprises along the way! I haven't read anything by this author before but I'll look for more of her work now.

I received the book in exchange for an honest review.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You did not ask me!

How many romances have been lost or conquered when people would just simply ask? This short story by the author pretty much asks the question. But it is the reason why it was not asked also that gets in the way? Enjoy!
Sean Locke
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightfully sweet

A delightfully sweet love story about two young authors reuniting after a falling out. A little steamy too -- just enough to feel super awkward reading it around a bunch of family during the holidays. Totally worth it though!
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cute, geeky and fun! Two female writers rekindle and old romance while at a convention together. I really loved this quick read glimpse into dynamics between writers and SFF Cons.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, queer-reads
Cute, geeky fun.
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, lgbtq
Cute, fluffy, and well-written. And about writers/publishing!
Monna Herring
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesfic
I would preferred that this book be a little longer, but I enjoyed it.
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Other books in the series

Romancing the Page (4 books)
  • A Frozen Night (Romancing the Page #0.5)
  • A Perfect Balance (Romancing the Page #2)
  • An Unheard Song (Romancing the Page, #3)
“Her bank account was little more than lint and a prayer.” 1 likes
“Rumour has it he’s hot,” Emma said. “That’s about all I know. Supposed to be fiercely private, and a bit of a dick. In that half-exasperating, half-arousing way.”

“A half-aroused dick doesn’t sound that great,” Natalie said, dryly.”
More quotes…