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Dead Lez Walking – G Benson

Dead Lez Walking, why would you want to read a book with that title?! And still.. I wanted to. No regrets there, I loved the book! In short: great book, lots of grossness and a full 5 star for me ⭐️.

I can handle gross things as long as it’s not in real life or on de tv. So a horror movie on tv will make me run for the hills, spilling organs IRL will make me gag and vomit. But reading about those things: love it!

This book is very well written, the storyline makes it a page-turner, good characters, enough grossness, funny, inclusive and there is even a secondary romance weaved in. Not all characters make it ‘till the end, such a shame because I almost like them all. But hey, zombies eat people and otherwise it wouldn’t be a horror. Besides that, there are more than enough characters, so what’s one more or less 😉

The secondary romance doesn’t seem very appropriate: while running for zombies also having romantic thoughts about someone. It works though and also it worked in the eye-roll department (other characters do that sometimes and it made me laugh) 🤣

And in true fashion of a horror story, I will not talk about the closing scene of this book.

You can buy this book on Amazon and make sure you check out Benson’s website for more books.

My Everything – Lexa Luthor

Book 6 in the series is paced a bit slower than the others. Maybe I should say it feels slower. The relaxed pacing is a bit deceiving: so much is happening in the 637(!) pages of this wonderful book. I devoured it and loved every minute of it.

During the space travel at the start there is lots of bonding time for Sumner and Charlie. The action scenes are thrilling! Both the action in the bedroom as the fighting.

I loved to see the difference between Kal and Sumner and the struggle that followed for Charlie when returning to Kander and thus to the old Kal. Or not?

The storyline is again great with at least one great twist that made me go: whoa!
And, off course, we also finish this book with a cliffhanger. I love to hate those.

I can go on and on about this book and series. If you haven’t read any of it, starting with the first one will get you hooked. So be warned.
You can find that first book right here.

If you don’t like or can’t handle cliffhangers you don’t have to worry to much because there are enough books in this series to directly read further, haha.

Also check out Luthor’s website for cool stuff like trading cards and fanart of this series. Like this awesome Kaden art made by Aud, check out their other stuff too.

You can subscribe to Luthor’s newsletter to receive free “short” stories written from Kal’s perspective.

The People we Trust – Donna Jay

I read everything written by Donna Jay, I just love her witty way of writing and also have a secret love for the country she writes about that is the polar opposite of my home country.

I also loved the book! Why?
– “A dirty mind is a joy forever” is my motto and apparently it also is Soraya’s. Lots of sexual innuendo jokes.
– At the beginning you won’t know who’s going to capture Soraya’s interest, I found it exciting that it wasn’t predictable.
– The banter between the main characters is right up my alley.
– The storyline and building romance is realistic and paced just right.
– Sexy times with light play: yes please!
– No unnecessary drama but there are hurdles to take for both mc’s.
– Like al of Donna Jay her books, this book is also easy to read

You can read this book as a stand alone easily. But why don’t you check out The Secrets we Keep too? It’s also a lovely read. Check out Donna Jay’s website to see where you can buy all her books.

Golden Oldie (’13) – At Seventeen

Books that are current get the most attention. But that doesn’t mean the older books aren’t worth your while. When reading I alternate between “older” books and newly published books. Because there are so may good lesfic books out there already, they deserve more attention. Therefor I have introduced a ‘Golden Oldie’ category about books I read longer ago. This time: At Seventeen by Gerri Hill.

At seventeen is a book that spans from the age of ten and follows the characters until they’re thirty-eight. 
This book starts with a retelling of a love story between two teenagers, alternating with present time. I was immediately invested in this story because of this retelling. It was bittersweet listening to the forbidden love between Madison and Shannon because you know how it ended. 

Polar opposites of each other: rich girl versus poor girl, warm family versus cold and being able to choose your own path or having one chosen for you… The book is full of emotions and the horrible reality of Madison her loveless youth and marriage. My eyes got wet several times during this book.

I think it qualifies as a slow-burn, but because of the retelling of history, it didn’t have that feel for me. The memories from their childhood- and teen-years were beautiful to read about.

The Secrets we Keep – Donna Jay

Oh boy did I love this feel-good romance! Jay normally writes more spicy romances and thus I was very curious what this one would be like. I can tell you that she did not disappoint, reading this book was like relaxing in a hot tub with your best friend: warm, comfortable, pure and good conversations about things that matter. It’s a lovely slow burn and I almost read it in one sitting (but I had to sleep in between because I’m still recovering and need a lot of sleep).

I liked both MC’s but also the supporting cast. Not all characters were likeable for me. But in a good book, you don’t have to like everything that happens. Life isn’t a utopia and I don’t mind reading about characters flaws. Both Sadie and Victoria are charming and witty in their own way. Sadie maybe comes across as a little wanton and Victoria more distant (on the outside). And when you laugh out loud several times, I think I can say it also is a funny book. The tennis joke has been retold already (it was such a lame and silly joked I did a very ugly bark-laugh!).

The setting really spoke to me. I tend to like rich-poor and age gap romances. In this case, the rich-poor was somewhat extreme because Sadie starts out living in her car, so I really rooted for her. There is some power imbalance between Sadie and Victoria in the book, logically because one is the employer and the other the employee. The former also providing a roof makes that naturally there are feelings of imbalance. Charming as Victoria is, she made sure Sadie came out stronger.

After reading all of Jay’s books, I’d like to think I’m learning more and more about New Zealand and the people who live there. In this book it’s painfully clear how tough it is in the real estate market, I couldn’t imagine needing to board because paying rent or buying a house is so difficult. So, when you’d like an authentic and great read that’s set in New Zealand, surely pick up this book!

You can buy this book on Smashwords or your favorite bookstore. When you buy on Smashwords, know that the author will get a bigger cut from the sales price.

The author provided me with a copy and I’m gladly leaving a review.

Drummergirl – Kim Flowers

This novella is a first-person coming out story set in the ’90s. It’s the first book I’ve read that I deem fit for a young teen audience. Especially for early teens who are struggling with their sexual orientation. Because there is no erotic content in this book (only a kiss or two), it is very suitable for the younger audience.

The MC Amy is in her senior year of high school and coming to terms with her sexual orientation. In the ’90s that was different from nowadays, but the feelings, doubts and angst are just the same in this day and age. It was fun finding similarities in the book between Europe and the USA, so for those who were born in the early ’80s or late ’70s it a fun and quick read.

In the book, you’ll read from Amy’s point of view, what her life looks like and what’s happening in her mind. Don’t expect a literary jewel and that is exactly why I think younger teens will appreciate this book. Despite it being set in a different day and age, they will be easily able to identify with Amy. The way people react to Amy’s coming out is pretty realistic. It’s a small setback but luckily it recovers quickly.

I would recommend this book to teens looking for a book that is about them for a change. For me personally, it was a 3,5-star book, but taking into account that it has a slightly younger target audience I gave it 4.

Check it out on Amazon.

The Clinch – Nicole Disney

Ik had no idea what to expect from an MMA romance novel. But what I didn’t expect is that I would be so involved in it. This book made me sit up on the edge of my seat and hold my breath a couple of times. 

The way Disney writes about fighting is both beautiful and realistic. Coming out of an MMA fight battered and bruised doesn’t quite cover it and that’s what Disney lets you read about. A trip to a hospital is no luxury and after the fight between Eden and Brooklyn very necessary.

Eden and Brooklyn are both great characters. What you see is not always what you get and it was fun slowly peeling off all of Brooklyn’s layers.

Secondary characters are great too. We’ve got Jin (Eden’s teacher), Laila (friend and training buddy) and Mateo (student) on Eden’s side and Brooklyn’s family. I favoured the first three but nearing the end Brooklyn’s brothers grew on me. Mainly because of how they handled her coming out. Jin gave me a strong Mr Myagi vibe.

Normally I find that with sports romance the attention is mostly on the romance and less on the sport, I think in this novel there is a better balance. It is very heavy on the sport and I really liked that. Don’t fear there is not enough romance: there is and the chemistry between Eden and Brooklyn is great!

I would definitely recommend this book. Enjoy! Check it out at Bold Strokes Books, Amazon or any other way you like to fetch your books.

Captive in the Underworld – Lianyu Tan

Reading this book were my first steps into the sapphic dark romance trope. A couple of months ago I did read a M/F dark romance, but that was way more carnal and aggressive than Tan’s Captive in the Underworld. 

Main characters in this book are the Gods and Goddesses of Greek Mythology. For the benefit of this story, Hades is Queen of the underworld and has her eyes set on Persephone: Goddess of spring. I had fun getting my Greek Mythology lessons polished with this book. Besides Hades and Persephone, Demeter (mother of Persephone and Goddess of harvest) also plays a large role in this book, their characters are all very well developed. When one thinks the dark theme of this romance solely evolves around Hades and Persephone is wrong. Demeter surely turns out the most terrible character in this romance novel. 

The way Demeter controls Persephone and also how Persephone lets herself be controlled like that is almost disturbing and made me root for Hades to finally get her hands on Persephone. When Persephone has to get married to Hades against her will and the marriage is consummated (also against Persephone’s will), the darkish feel of the novel turns into a full-on dark romance. At this point, the non-con comes around. However, as this is a dark romance you know before reading it that this is part of the deal. Because of the writing style and also to not too explicit or descriptive writing in this part, it is perfectly balanced for me as a first reader of sapphic dark romance. The non-con quickly turns into dub-con and soon after the relationship between Hades and Persephone shifts into different dynamics.

Without any knowledge of the dark romance trope, I think I would qualify this novel as an entry-level dark romance. After reading this novel you can decide if you either like it like this, like it darker or this is not your trope. 

Even if you conclude that this isn’t your trope. You will have to admit that Tan has a way with words. I really enjoyed her writing style and usage of old words perfectly fitting the ancient Mythology theme of this book. Despite having used my Kindle dictionary to look up some of the ancient words, this novel is easy to read. The storyline and world-building are done very well. Towards the end, I would have appreciated a chapter dedicated to the thoughts and feelings of Hades and how she fares when Persephone is unconscious for such a long stretch of time (for us mortals half a lifetime). But also without that, I had a great time reading this novel. 

I recommend you to check out Tan’s website for more information about what dark romance means for her.  
Are you interested in reading it, check out the buy links on her website.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Golden Oldie (’17) – The Brutal Truth

I loved this book! Almost twelve hours of listening bliss on Audible.

Books that are current get the most attention. But that doesn’t mean the older books aren’t worth your while. When reading I alternate between “older” books and newly published books. Because there are so may good lesfic books out there already, they deserve more attention. Therefor I have introduced a ‘Golden Oldie’ category about books I read longer ago. This time: The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter.

I love ice-queens in books but I don’t particularly like slow-burn because I’m not a very patient person. In this book, I didn’t mind the wait because the journey towards the romance is so great.

Maddie is a bold person not feeling at home in the big apple and the paper she writes for is acquired by Elena’s company. Elena seems to be ice-cold but actually, her style is just tough love. She seems to be constantly aware that she has to live up to the ice-queen stamp she’s gotten and is perfectly comfortable doing sweet things disguised in a shitty cover. Maddie seems to be able to see through that and is also bold enough to call Elene out on it (in private of course).

Besides the trope and the storyline I also enjoyed the winnings streak of Maddie, both her and Elena’s passion for their jobs and the side characters. There is also some age-gap between Maddie and Elena. For those who are not into that: it’s secondary to the storyline so you could also just ignore it.

If you haven’t read or listened to this book I would sure do so. I had a great time with it and still am smiling thinking about it. Check it out at Amazon or any other preference.

Cain Casey Series – Ali Vali

How to make a crime-boss and her family likeable: Ali Vali knows how to do it! When I started this series, the prequel (Heart of the Devil) wasn’t available yet. If you start reading now, I think I would recommend you read that first. Although it also is very cool to start with The Devil Inside because you get thrown into a broken-up relationship and that’s also a pretty good start (sounds weird, I know). You do need to read the rest of the books to keep up. But you can choose to start with book 7 and then continue with book 1 or just start with book 1.

What I like about al Vali’s books is the fierceness with which her butch characters love. It’s all about family. In this particular series, I had to laugh often about how Cain Casey outsmarts and annoys law enforcement. With every book more characters get introduced, good girls and bad guys: love it. It is about a crime family, so there is some violence and lightly gruesome details in these books. Nothing over the top or nauseating. 

I don’t care much for the love-scenes in this series. At first, it’s nice, but after a while, it feels like the same repeated over and over. But they do fit in very good and without them, the book also wouldn’t be complete because they help define the relationship between Emma en Cain. 
When looking for something thrilling to read that’s also about family, fierce love and crime: this is your pick. Enjoy!

You can buy this series on Amazon, but also check out Bold Strokes Books