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Kiss & Tell

Kiss & Tell - Saxon Bennett, Layce Gardner This is a hit or miss kind of story that goes on a bit too long, I think. I laughed at some of the jokes at the beginning, but it became kind of wearisome after the.... maybe the middle? This book reminded me a little of [a:Colette Moody|2846052|Colette Moody|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/f_50x66-6a03a5c12233c941481992b82eea8d23.png]'s [b:The Seduction of Moxie|10880323|The Seduction of Moxie|Colette Moody|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1424909660s/10880323.jpg|6770237], with the joke every sentence, "nothing is too profane" kind of writing style. Only with my practiced art of skimming could I make it to the end. Maybe 2.5 stars rounded up for the beginning laughs.

Elusive Radiance

Elusive Radiance - Aidee Ladnier So, I bring my MacBook with me, sit down to relax and read this interesting novel only to find it is not a novel but a short novella. Damn. I Thought I had a ff sic-fi story I could sink my teeth into and it was over right where I had flagged it on the Kindle. Someone tell me this goes on?

Anyway. This is an original story that I found interesting and would recommend.

Hope & a Canoe

Hope & a Canoe - Michele M. Reynolds Cute story, with cute characters I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It's late and any type of review i would write would spoiler something.

Poppy Jenkins

Poppy Jenkins - Clare Ashton Description: I really enjoyed this book! Clare Ashton has created characters that felt real enough and I felt very much involved and invested in their story, read almost entirely in one sitting. The story has a familiar theme of a true love character being reunited with someone she spurned a decade ago, when she was a late teen. There is much miscommunication, pain and wasting of time in the book, but the other little side stories, again with real characters mitigated the angst and tedium, as we all know where this is headed.

Bit of a complaint here: I think Clare Ashton writes well and I think I am well read with a good grasp of the English language, but I'll be damned if I wasn't required to have an online dictionary open in my computer's second screen as I read this story. Using the word "perspicacious" to describe a discerning guest at a wedding reception seems a bit much. Welsh language is sprinkled throughout the story so we never forget where we are but its a bit difficult to forget where we are when the entire story takes place in a small Welsh village. But, really, so I learned the meaning of a few Welsh words. No bother.

Some whining: So. We know the two ladies are bound to be together by the book's end but must we go through so much emotional torture before the HEA? I burst out with 'it' rather instantly, but then we would not have a book, would we.

An observation: The language used was a bit formal and read almost like Jane Austen in the last fourth of the book (which renders the subsequent love scene almost an intrusive segue).

Back to me: I jump around in book reviews. Maybe I will sort this or maybe I won't. I gave this book five stars as I felt something as I read this story. I have come to realize that this is a great gift from an author, when I truly, and strongly feel an emotional connection. I had tears come to my eyes on two occasions.

Praise: There were more than a few "laugh out loud" moments such as the playing on something said sounding more like female anatomy - much to the consternation of the speaker. There was a minor mystery which was not a mystery to the reader, but had one cheering for yet another character in the cast. All is not perfect in this little Welsh village.

Summation: I loved both halves of a whole represented in the two characters, the happy-go-lucky Poppy, and the misunderstood, darkly brilliant Rosalyn. The "best Man" speech given by Poppy & Rosalyn was a perfect illustration of the two halves concept and was a beautiful experience to read I wished they hadn't had such pain in their lives but was grateful they both found ultimate happiness. They felt a bit like family to me by book's end.

The House on Sandstone

The House on Sandstone - K.G. MacGregor I don't quite understand my reaction to "The House on Sandstone"as the story contained tropes I've never enjoyed. There is a lesbian woman who forsakes love to fit in and marries a man and stays with him for, I can't remember, 15 years? There are two older teen children and all of that teenage drama, and huge tracts of the story that would not need to be there if the actors spoke up and said how they feel. It was quite the soap opera. There was even an autistic child thrown into the mix.

I enjoyed the characters in the story, Justine and Carly, (and Emmy, the daughter) and the humor of some of it. These characters had distinct voices. The author covers it all, perhaps too much. I stayed glued to my screen though reading this so I added a star even though I might not have the intellectual reasons for it.

The characters meet after 15 years or so and they still have feelings for each other. One is psychologically damaged from her divorce and the flight of her children and also the rough treatment she received from the small town characters in Leland, Kentucky. Super nice, Justine is also filled with doubt and cannot really begin anything with Carly in her current mental state. So then there is a huge block of time dealing with that frustration and issues with her children. I don't like reading issues with children as I have some in real life.

I could predict everything in this story yet that doesn't do it justice. I'm glad I read it.

South of Sunshine

South of Sunshine - Dana Elmendorf i could not get into this, as it read like something I've read in the past, with the too cool gay best friend, the constant references to religion, the pushing away and making horrible mistakes that are too easily forgiven.

Style

Style - Chelsea M. Cameron First love can be a beautiful messy time, and the relationship between these two girls sounds like it was a beautiful event for both of them.

I enjoyed, for the most part, the beginning of the girl's relationship but wish their thoughts and emotions had been described more in depth. I am not quite certain the back and forth viewpoint was justified. That said, I read this without skimming and enjoyed it.

Piping Her Tune

Piping Her Tune - Maggie  Brown Misunderstanding and miscommunication give gifts that keep on coming in this longish story of two strong personalities going back and forth and not giving into the love we all know is there. Pah.

I stopped reading this at 80% on my Kindle which is very unusual for me. I just couldn't stand it anymore and didn't like any of the characters. The first third or half, I don't recall showed promise, especially with some of the humor used to take down one of the characters from her high horse. Up until that point I thought this would be one of my favorites. Then it just goes back and forth with ill timed hickeys and sightings in the city. Throw in a friend of Victoria's, Chantal, when one is tired of the previous back.and.forth. and ready to begin new back.and.forth.

I'm disappointed. I gave three stars for the parts written up until the 'high horse'.

Nights of Silk and Sapphire

Nights of Silk and Sapphire - Amber  Jacobs I think in Nights and Sapphire we have a book where it's not sure what it wishes to be. Is it a romance, eroticism, adventure or a combination of all of the above?

A group of slave girls are 'rescued' by a female fronted clan and made into harem girls for the Scion Zafirah Al’Intisar who is just drawn to the rescued little blond girl among them, because of her unique aesthetics. This girl refuses to take part in the Scion's lascivious plans and the Scion finds herself rebuffed. She will not force herself on the girl which is cool for a Scion I guess. She is forbidden fruit and the Scion becomes obsessed.

By the time the little baptist blond girl Dae decides to chuck her religious/moralistic education I was so uninvolved I wanted her to just jump wildly into decadence and then tease the Scion until the Scion could stand no more. Everything was too tepid along with the frustration of everyone speaking this form of broken English except for Dae who sounds like 1978 Kansas.

I heard there was a fight and I'm guessing the Scion and Dae have some good times in the desert later but I could not finish. I enjoyed the times that Dae spoke with Inaya, another Harem girl as her conversation felt more natural and Inaya sounded like a cool character. The fight, uprising, rebellion? I could not be bothered with it.

The author. I think she shows promise and she certainly knows how to write. I regret very much if this review is too harsh. I just had a root canal this morning.

Miss Match

Miss Match - Fiona Riley There is nothing wrong with three stars!

I was quite dutiful in reading this book and I understood the risks these two women took in falling for each other, but wow, it just became her place or her place quite quickly. One woman runs a high end matchmaker service with her partner and I think we hear about three of their clients. There could have been a lot of fun with side stories about her and her partner setting up these dates. All of that energy was put into one character that I don't even think had a speaking part - the nervous client.

oops. Sorry. I forgot the maniac they couldn't figure out how to be rid of. (!) "Our client has a violent temper but is quite wealthy and still has his hair. Want to date him?"

Luce is in some sort of damage control PR company? Give us the dirt. What does she have to cover up?

A steady build-up of emotional feelings for each other is nice but I would not have minded one bit something else going on in their worlds, especially some humor. The author knows how to write.

Cat Catcher

Cat Catcher - Caroline Shaw The writing in this story was cool, almost as if the author taunted you to not like it and move on to something more typical, but I was drawn to the observations and dialogue of the main character, Lenny, an ex-cop who quit the police force after a traumatic incident, and is now the Sam Spade of finding lost cats in Melbourne.

Lenny's descriptions of people are hilariously scathing and dead-on. This book has the most unholy mess of unlikeable characters, ever. One can see why she would stick with cats. I loved Lenny though with her various addictions and manias. She was, all in all, a good detective and a good person with the most unorthodox psychiatrist one could find.

The mystery itself was convoluted as hell and the book had some slow passages, but I think that could be more my reaction to reading it piecemeal, 20 minutes to an hour at a time. Once I was able to focus I was quite involved in this unusual story.

If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your Girl - Meredith Russo Note* Don't ever write a review until you are 100% done. I have just arrived at the Carrie moment at 82%. I forgot also to say how completely terrorized and tense I was as I read this, hoping nothing else bad happened to the main character.

Every book review I write cannot but help to show who I am, and how I react to the message, theme, meaning from reading a story by an author. So. Everything I write here is entirely subjective and based on my perspective of a privileged white male growing up in an affluent, northern, homogenous area. I know less than ten gay people and zero transgender. How timely it was that I would read this book now, when gray faced politicians debate what bathrooms a transgender may use. It irritates so much I would like to reach out to these people who are miserable with the gender shown on their birth certificate and feel so strongly that there's been some mistake. For every idiot who puts them down I would like a hundred people who would lift them up and welcome them to Life.

This story of Amanda, born Andrew, moving to live with her father in a different city because she was terrorized by shitheads where she had lived, where she had been taunted and beaten up really touched me. I know little about the reality of switching one's gender and I hope I don't put my foot in it trying to write this review.

This story felt very real to me, at the same time some of the characters our Amanda runs into with her new life seem too good to be true and I couldn't help but wonder if most of the positive treatment she received was based on her own attractiveness. Even with massive doubts and fears she succeeds with fellow students and parents. No matter. I was glad that at least in fiction this can happen though I am concerned with the percentages of real life.

This is one of the few books that has frequent time rips that didn't mess me up. The story is able to tell itself even with the non-linear method the author has chosen to use. How could she not? The full story of the pre-op life of Andrew would be gut wrenching. But the story of her relationship with her mother who was so supportive, as opposed to her father who had seemed to require a couple of shots to even talk about it, was amazing. What are the percentages of real life, 2016 in a pre-Trump U.S.A.? The mother's line of "You ain't sick, hon. That's joy." after they discussed the application of make-up and why Amanda felt suddenly "floaty and light-headed" was powerful stuff.

Loved the story and the characters. The author writes well and I think this is her first book. Maybe too good to be true but the author would know this better than I. I wish I ran into transgender people and could let them know I am very much for them, and their happiness.

The Chosen One

The Chosen One - T.B. Markinson T.B. Markinson always delivers on creating a readable book, smooth and fluid with humorous dialogue. With this work I could go with three or four stars (or even two depending on my mood) as the main character reminded me of Lizzie Petrie from an earlier work by the author, so, these young women seemed older than the 18-20 they were supposed to be. That one of the MC's was of a mixed heritage was a plus.

"The Chosen One" refers to a young woman named Ainsley as a young woman being groomed to eventually run for president. She is part of a political dynasty and has every move of hers dictated but also watched and recorded by the media. There is also this she-demon who seems to exist just to tear Ainsley down and a cousin who seemed like the one character from Will & Grace from ages ago.

Ainsley meets this delectable Maya in a class and quickly (very) decides to say the hell with all of public opinion and the mystery that surrounds Maya and go for the romance but runs headlong into the family matriarch, the dreaded grandmother.

The ending was wrapped up a little too neatly, and quickly, but I enjoyed the banter and characters. For the most part I was entertained and intrigued by the mysteries that occurred.

Christmas Snow

Christmas Snow - Anne Adair, Jillian Clare You know you're in trouble when there is a typo in the first sentence of the book. Book? No. More like an outline. I enjoyed this but it could be so much more before going off in some sort of series that will ultimately cost $12.99USD with 10 books.

Miss-Match

Miss-Match - Erica Lawson, A.C. Henley A woman, Clancy, has a long history with her Aunt setting her up on one blind date after the other. None of the male dates this matchmaker arranges quite takes, so she slips in a lesbian as a surprise for her niece. The niece is quite reluctant to pursue this date but begins questioning her sexuality nonetheless. The story was kind of cute initially and what could've been a nice story becomes forced with stereotypes and almost an intervention from her family along the lines of "why is she fighting this, it's obvious to all that she is gay.

What follows is embarassing with the character's asking her past dates if they thought she was, well, you know, gay, and they all laugh and say, "Of course you are!", listing off lesbian stereotypes that make this issue so obvious. The intervention was kind of like the opposite of the "But, I'm a cheerleader!" film without any of the humor.

By Mutual Consent

By Mutual Consent - Tracey Richardson Using Goodreads rating system I would rate this with two stars - "it was ok". The premise of "renting an escort" has been done before in a much more unusual way, but I still don't understand the concept in this book and even the story seems to frequently ask, "what's the deal?"

An acclaimed surgeon is just so busy she can't have a relationship with anyone. I guess the issue is similar to "why would I get a German Shepherd if I would not have time for the dog"? So, we're dealing with humans and emotions and stuff as two mothers orchestrate this unusual arrangement of "rent-a-date". Sarah, an artist, is hired to be the on the arm escort to social events so the Doctor doesn't have to deal with all of the tedium of personal interaction. She is just that much into surgery. Sarah, the underpaid artist, who of course is insanely gifted, needs the money. So, they go to one party, event, conference, auction... whatever, after the other. All the while the Doctor begins lusting after the beautiful artist and Sarah begins to have feelings (and a lot of tolerance) for the Doctor. A difference of lust and like.

Guess where the story goes. Sarah turns out to be a drug mule currently on the lamb and is actually a transvestite and he..... No! They both fall in love, slowly but surely. Nothing wrong with that but what exactly is Sarah attracted by with this Dr. Voss? What personality does this surgeon have? What quirks, habits, hobbies, obsessions does she possess? I found myself reading this book just for Sarah's role and hoping she'd find real romance with someone who possessed a personality.