A Couple of Book Reviews
At the beginning of the year I picked for myself a very pleasant new year’s resolution – to read a work of lesbian fiction from a writer I haven’t previously tried. What could be better than that? Especially since I also decided that reading these books should be accompanied by the eating of chocolate or cake!
I tried two tasty new morsels in January, picking them from among the offerings available at Smashwords, since that is also where my own work is available. These were my choices: (Click on the book covers to take you to their pages at Smashwords)
“When an average day ends in a tragic accident, Tru Morgan must embark upon a quest to regain the life she once had with her lover, Brittany Jabot, while sinister outsiders take advantage of the precarious situation. Yearning, revelations, and lurking danger pull at the threads of a once-idyllic life. As You Were is a romantic story driven by mystery and suspense.”
It is obvious right from the beginning of this book that Kelli Jae Baeli knows how to craft a great story. Her main character is the sort of woman you’d love to meet in real life, and I warmed to her immediately. She’s that well-rounded type of character that makes reading a real pleasure. This is a story about a relationship, but it’s set against a backdrop of events and places that serve to introduce and develop that relationship in a way that seems entirely natural and interesting. I don’t want to give any of the details away, but the storyline is great – suspenseful and nothing left dangling; it’s all pulled together extraordinarily well. By the time I reached the end of the book I was well-satisfied and smiling.
Cowgirl Up or Sell the Horse by Ali Spooner
“After losing her lover to a bomb in Afghanistan, Coal returns to Texas and fate leads her to the ranch of the man that was killed with Tessa. Here she finds the solace and space her heart needs to heal. Coal’s work ethic earns the respect of her crew as they grow to be like family and she finds that her heart still has the capacity to love when she meets Mary Leah, a cancer survivor”.
This was a short novel, about 30k words. The writing was a bit rough in places; I had some trouble with the stiff and awkward dialogue – a tendency to never use contractions made it seem stilted and unreal, but the likable characters and interesting setting convinced me to overlook this and keep on with the story. Coal is a fascinating character that hints at hidden depths and I enjoyed the scenes showing her working with horses. She was well introduced in the story and the scene was nicely set for her meeting with obvious love interest Mary Leah. The story ran too quickly from that point, however. Conflict was introduced to the story to make things more interesting, but it wasn’t followed up to its potential. The ending was satisfying, but somewhat abrupt. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the book, enough to try something else from this writer, thinking perhaps that this was an early work of hers.