Tag Archives: lesbian romance

Review of The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1), by Olivia Waite

I won a signed copy of The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (by Olivia Waite) in a giveaway Rose Lerner was running on Instagram. I was super excited both to get this book and to get anything from Rose Lerner!

Description from Goodreads:

As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.

Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.

While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

Review:

I thought this was a really sweet romance. I liked both the heroines and the feminist plot. I did think the pseudo-villain’s change of heart at the end was unlikely. I think his truer response in the circumstance would be embarrassment and anger. So, the sudden contriteness felt saccharine and artificial. But I saw why the author chose to do it.

My only real complaint with the book was that there didn’t seem to be enough meat beyond the romance to really keep me interested. At one point, I set the book down to do other things and didn’t pick it up for over a month. Now, I wasn’t reading other books, I just didn’t make time to read. (I’ve been working on my ebook cull, if you remember.) But the fact that this book sat there unfinished for so long attests to how little it held my attention if I wasn’t actively reading it. I enjoyed it when I was and forgot about it when I wasn’t.

All in all, not a bad read. But a perfect example of why I tend to lean toward X-romance (sci-fi romance, paranormal romance, romantic thrillers, etc. Normally historical romance works, but apparently it wasn’t enough here.) I just seem to need a little something more.

Review of Homecoming by Marian Snowe & Ruby Grandin

I received and Audible code for Homecoming by Marian Snowe and Ruby Grandin.

Description from Goodreads:

Scarlett McKennon’s life in the big city is a big flop. 

Her cupcake bakery went under, her roommate at her expensive apartment left her high and dry, and her girlfriend just reacted to “I love you” with “No thanks.” Her sophisticated metropolitan dream has crumbled all around her, and the only thing left to do is pull up stakes and return to the small town where she grew up. 

What could be worse than limping home in defeat? The minute she steps off the train, Scarlett finds out: her first love, Joan, is waiting there to drive her into town, looking like the picture of sexy confidence. Joan was once a scared, self-conscious girl; now she’s come into her own as a mechanic and soccer coach, and Scarlett can’t help but wonder what might have been. 

Carrying on a secret high-school romance in a conservative town was brutal, and Joan hadn’t been able to take the pressure. She broke Scarlett’s heart in exchange for a “normal” life that was doomed from the beginning. Now that Joan’s divorced, fate keeps putting Scarlett in her path. They may have tried to forget each other, but their chemistry is still undeniable. 

Both women start to wonder if they might be right for each other after all… But is the spark they both feel enough, or will their shared past prove too painful to overcome?

Review:

Not bad, but also not a huge winner for me. I just never felt any spark between the characters. The whole thing kind of hinges on their past. But all we’re really told from the past is about Joan insisting on staying hidden and then breaking up with Scarlet. You don’t get any of the passion. Then, in the present, it’s more of the same until Joan suddenly decides to change. I understood her fears and felt angst, but no passion at all. 

None of this is helped by the writing being heavy on the exposition. We’re told almost everything and shown very little. So, there is always a distance from the characters that keeps them feeling flat…and passionless. 

The writing itself seems fine and Deuchler did a fine job with the narration. But I’d call this a solid middle-of-the-road read.

On a side note, I think this needs a much more hipster cover. The characters make fun of lesbians in flannel, after all; and one is described in retro dresses (needing victory curls) and the other wears two braids and greasy jeans, with boots. The little Mary Sue on the cover doesn’t match the vibe of the book, IMO.

Review of Safe Passage (Black Flag #1), by Rachel Ford

I received an Audible code for a review copy of Safe Passage, by Rachel Ford.

Description from Goodreads:

Go big or go home. For privateer Captain Magdalene Landon, it’s all about going big. For Kay Ellis, it’s about getting home. Together, they’re about to architect the most daring heist in the galaxy. Kay knows too much. She knows it’s a matter of time before a Conglomerate hitman finds her. She’s desperate for safe passage back to Union space. Then Magdalene shows up, promising a way home in exchange for that information. It’s a risky bet, but Kay is out of options. So she strikes a deal: the heist of the century for her freedom.Kay is playing a dangerous game, and she knows it. She’s made herself Enemy Number One of the Conglomerate. She’s relying on privateers for her safety. It’s a fool’s game. But the worst part is, her fool’s heart is starting to warm to the enigmatic captain. And that’s a risk for which she hadn’t planned.

Review:

I can’t say I enjoyed this book much. I didn’t find much that grabbed me. I felt the world wasn’t well developed, the romance was abrupt, the casual use of attempted heterosexual rape as motivation unoriginal (especially in a lesbian romance), and the characters were too Mary Sue like. Here’s an example, they kept people alive when they shouldn’t have. It felt like an artificial mechanism to move the plot along AND that the just author didn’t want them to seem like bad guys, especially considering those same characters end up dead anyway. It seemed inconsistent this insistence on ‘doing the right thing’ when they are basically thieves (and have already killed others).

This tendency to use obvious and inelegant artificial events for plot progression was also present in the romance. The characters got together, then one broke it off for sudden and stupid reasons. Then later apologized so they could get back together just as abruptly. You see it all coming a mile away.

Similarly, all the twists are as obvious as the sun. You know from very early on what is going to happen and when. 

The writing itself is fine, minus a tendency for characters to call Kay by name too often. And the narration too…for the most part. I actually greatly disliked how Rich voiced the characters. But that’s a matter of taste not quality. 

All in all, I think this was just a poorly matched book for me. I went in with high hopes. I love sci-fi romance, but this one wasn’t a winner for me.