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A Hidden Hope

(Romancing the Page #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  60 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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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Diane Wallace
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Okay read!
Nothing special -- just a bit rush
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was a very ordinary read. The MCs seemed childish and lacked depth.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
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/publi
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
Laura Lam
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (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.)
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.
Laura (thebookcorps)
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!
“It’s the way the other person makes the character feel. That connection. It’s a balance of power. A dance. Sometimes a fight. It’s visceral, but above all, it’s personal.”
A second chance romance between estranged writing critique partners, taking place at a con. Second chance isn't my favourite trope, and these characters didn't do much to endear me to them, but I still liked this because as always, I love reading about writers and the publishing industry! Just little realistic titbits and
Jude in the Stars
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.
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.

OK so it was excellent. It was sweet and lovely and cute and passionate. I loved the petty thoughts and intense feelings, the sheer love on the pages.
Dec 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Confession: I haven’t read any of Laura Lam’s novels yet but I saw her at a book event last year and she’s on my list. Then I saw on her twitter that she was going to write f/f romance and needed people to review her first novella. So I sent her an email and she was nice enough to send me a copy of the book to review. Which is how we are now here.

After a big falling out Natalie and El went from being writing partners and lovers to not speaking for 3 years. When they’re both invited to attend a b
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
Shelves: diverse, lgbtqiap
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!
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.
Nancy O'Toole
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, romance, novella
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
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.
. (not active on this account stop adding me)
the start was so... embarrassing and hard to read because there were constant fandom/internet references, but it got a lot better after they left the convention. i reserve two star ratings for books i genuinely dislike, but this isn't a new favourite.

representation: lesbian mc's, mc with anxiety, f/f romance
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: femslash, friends
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.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 28%

I tried but I just could not get through this book. It was like a long drawn out monologue being read by a robot. The plot was alright but the writing was just too monotonous for me.
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
Jun 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn’t horrible or offensive, but there wasn’t absolutely anything to like about it. The characters were bland, the plot was boring, the romance was uninspired. I thought I’d be able to read this in a day or two, but it put me in such a reading slump that it took me nine days to read a hundred and something pages. I can’t think of a single person to whom I’d recommend this novella.
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! ...more
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
H. Bentham
If anyone remembers, I posted a bookstagram of this book on February 2019 for #FFFebruary for the New-To-Me author prompt, and I swear, I had solid intent to read it that month! But February went by so fast and ehe, it took me until January the following year to finally read it! 😅 (embarrassing, but not surprising, honestly. LOL)⁣

Anyway, I did finally read this second-chance romance between two SFF writers who were former best friends, but had a falling out after one of them landed a publishing
Douglas Williamson
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two estranged lovers meet at an SF convention. Can they fix their broken relationship?

This is a fairly short F/F romanced between two SF/Fantasy authors. It's also a second chance romance as they tried once, but had a big fight and haven't talked in years. I found the story to be well written and, overall, enjoyable. The characters had some depth to them including a bit of baggage, which sort of leads to my one criticism.

The characters let that baggage dictate their lives. The story hits upon on
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
Petrina Binney
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I know that literary fiction isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. So, if the sounds of the birds in the trees and the way the light falls through the kitchen window sounds like a snooze-fest to you, this may be the book you’re looking for.

The writing is pared down and precise. The characters are well-drawn, without being elaborately depicted. The relationship at the core of the story feels real, especially the anger and resentment which come up in the beginning. This feels more like a story told by a f
Karen Rós
Cute. There were parts I liked, but on the whole it felt somewhat underdeveloped and rushed - probably because it's a novella? I have read the free prequel short story, but upon reading this I didn't actually feel like the prequel "added" anything. Anyway, on the whole I think I'm just too asexual for this novella as I could not relate to either character at all, who seemed more in lust with each other than in love (though to be clear, they were also in love). I'm a sucker for this trope though ...more
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Librarian note:
There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name

Laura Ambrose writes F/F romance. The Romancing the Page series (A Hidden Hope, A Perfect Balance, An Unheard Song) features well-rounded, complicated women in the world of writing and publishing. A Laura Ambrose romance is sweet, sexy, and more than a little geeky.

She lives in Edinburgh and is also known as Laura

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)

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