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Budding Romance

(Nicolette & Dorothea #1)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Budding romance between a sweet-talking gardener and a bluestocking headmistress blooms to full flower in this steamy lesbian historical romance.

On the cusp of the 20th century, France is where libertines indulge poetic desires. Dorothea has fled the structure of dreary old England for the Côte d'Azur. She’s opening a school for elegant young ladies, but it’s a disheveled
Kindle Edition, 36 pages
Published June 8th 2020
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Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  84 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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AnnMaree Of Oz
Sep 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Far too short at just a half hour - but a deeply amorous story of a finishing school head-mistress named Dorothea (36) from England, setting up the chateau that will become the school in the French countryside to attract wealthy young ladies to teach.

Before that she had to get the chateau up to elegance, she meets Nicolette a 46 year old gardener and designer, who captivates her with her masculine attire yet very French romantic and poetic words.

There's a lot of metaphor in this, that I admit
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Something about the spindly Miss Smythe-Barney reminded Nicolette of a delicate plant. Something that resisted cultivation, like wild violet or black raspberries. They needed just the right soil, just the right mix of light and shade, just the right amount of attention to make them thrive.

A sweet, short, low-conflict, low-angst sapphic historical. I really enjoyed the characters; two spinsters, one an English headmistress setting up her new school, the other a capable and alluring French gardene
Anwen Hayward
This really needed to be at least twice the length, realistically. We never get any real insight into either of the characters, and the whole thing unfolding in 36 pages means that the development of their relationship is very quickly glossed over. There was so much potential here and I would have happily sat with it for a solid 250-300 pages; the author has a really lovely way with words and the sense of place was very strong, particularly in Nicolette's village towards the end of the story. I' ...more
Leigh Kramer
Utterly lovely FF historical romance novelette between a headmistress and gardener. All the flower references! There’s a bit of head hopping but I didn’t mind.

Character notes: Dorothea is a 36 year old white British headmistress. Nicolette is a 46 year old white French gardener. This is set in 1899 Alpes-Maritimes, France.

CW: none noted
nick (the infinite limits of love)

This was a lovely introduction to the author's writing for me. I hope to check out more of their titles.
Helen Kord
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-f, historical
This was such a lovely story. The characters were lovely, the setting was wonderful and there was this undercurrent of building supportive community that I loved. Just the thing to brighten your afternoon
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Dorothea tries to ignore Madame's inviting smile, but forced proximity puts Madame Laurent's charms front and center. The bounds of polite society give way to a lush floral fantasy in their isolated corner of the French Riviera.

Found family, commitment, companionship, and a sweet and steamy historical setting. I'm always biased in favor of my characters, but Nicolette and Dorothea are near and dear to my heart.
Apr 09, 2021 rated it liked it

This is a cute little romance with very little conflict. I did find the pacing feeling rushed or confusing at times, but it’s still an enjoyable story and the ending is very sweet
Mar 25, 2021 rated it it was ok

Review to follow.
Caroline Duvezin
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet, like breathing in some lily of the valley :) As a French reader who actually lived in Nice for three years, it's mostly a loud and crowded city for me (also this is a very flattering depiction of French people, don't be fooled, we're very rude), but once you get into the mountains of the arrière-pays, it is peaceful and a little out of time... anyway, I liked the atmosphere, the snapshots of seasons progressing, and I'm glad Dorothea got me to spend time with Nicolette's parents ...more
Ella Stainton
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just read this glorious novella in a sitting and am overwhelmed with love for the story, the storytelling, and the delightful characters. The imagery was all so lush and lovely and the entire thing was like one of the delicious meals described in the novella. Simple, yet elegant; fresh, yet classic, and wholly charming.
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
Spare and lovely and low angst novelette about a English ‘spinster’ headmistress and the older woman gardener that she hires to redesign the grounds of her finishing school. Lots of sensuous food and flower talk, but a little light on the feelings I felt.
the perfect novelette to welcome spring, set in the south of france, during the victorian era (it should be more second empire but i am shushing myself) ladies living in a mansion, gardening, painting, headmistressing and all the floral metaphores for a heartwarming romance.
Jan 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a lovely read that left my heart full. Two characters that I warmed to immediately, and I loved the depths they were given even in this short novella. The language was beautiful, with the plants and gardening metaphor used evocatively throughout. Nicolette's family and community were an absolute treasure too.
Overall a total source of loveliness and happiness, wrapped in a beautiful garden in southern France. Already looking forward to reading the sequel!
A very great summer read! Romantic, peaceful read. Perfect for my quarantine.

What a great setting in the South of France! I totally loved the descriptions of the surroundings. I could totally picture the villages and buildings amongst a beautiful backdrop.

I always love the characters that Lara Kinsey writes. They do and say sensible/reasonable things. These are lovable/likable characters.

It's going to make it on my reread shelf!
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
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Un romance demasiado corto entre 2 mujeres. Creo que la autora incluyó muchos meses en tan pocas páginas lo cual ocasionó que el romance perdiera mucho de su desarrollo pero aún así disfruté ésta historia tan linda.
I feel like this story should have been longer just to allow for some genuine character development. The story spends almost no time giving you insights into the characters. It is gentle and kind to the characters, but I never felt I knew Dorothea and Nicolette enough to be invested in their story.
Jan 25, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Super cute, though too short for any real development. If this author ever published a full length novel, I’m absolutely going to read it. I don’t think short fiction like this is my thing though.
This is a lovely little F/F novella set during the Vicotrian era. This is the first thing I've read by Lara Kunsey and it has made me excited to check out other things written by her.

F/F, HR, LGBTQI, Closed door.
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Jan 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I liked the writing style. I wish the book would have been longer.
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is very sweet and easy. The combining of people speaking in one paragraph was often confusing, but otherwise I enjoyed it very much.
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novellas
Sarah Matchette
Sep 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a sweet short story! I enjoyed the different perspective on the historical romance, and the melodic descriptions of plant life and gardening were lovely. I felt that many things could have been expanded on and nurtured a bit more, but that is just me being greedy!

Over-all it was a cute, quick read!
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, ebook, f-f, short
Full of lush gardening metaphors that I kept highlighting. Super excited for the sequel!
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was my first venture into f/f, and I thought the story was very sweet. The author handled accents really well, and we have a long time frame for the relationship to bloom (pun intended).
Babs B
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, freebie
Bree Ogle
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Read for Reading Rush 2020!

Rounded up from 3.5 stars

Budding Romance by Lara Kinsey
Length: 36 Pages
Genres: Historical Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

"Something about the spindly Miss Smythe-Barney reminded Nicolette of a delicate plant. Something that resisted cultivation, like wild violet or back raspberries. They needed just the right soil, just the right mix of light and shade, just the right amount of attention to make them thrive."

I purposely chose something quite short for my pick to read
Danielle Walker
Jan 12, 2021 rated it it was ok
The pacing in this one felt a little bit off to me. I know that this is a novella, but things just felt a little bit choppy and I had a hard time believing the relationship at the beginning. I did really appreciate that both MC's were older and I thought that they had some cute moments. I might check out the sequel down the road but this was just ok overall. ...more
rated it really liked it
Jun 27, 2020
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Lara Kinsey loves love, but she lives for steam. She writes high-heat low-angst romance in both historical and contemporary settings, featuring happy couples of all genders. She loves writing strong heroines and gentle heroes carving out their happy endings with a found family. Look for Budding Romance, her lesbian Victorian short story, on Kindle Unlimited.

Other books in the series

Nicolette & Dorothea (2 books)
  • Blooming in the Sun (Nicolette & Dorothea, #2)

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