Hotshot by Clare Lydon

Published: 4/13/23

American soccer star Sloane Patterson flees her cheating gf and heads to England to spend a year playing for the Salchester Rovers. Ella Carmichael is also new to the team, after being hired as the performance and lifestyle coach. Sloane has been Ella’s crush for years and she’s pleasantly surprised when Sloane turns out to be not at all what she expects.
I adore this book! It’s so effortlessly charming and these characters are so well suited and wonderful together. Clare Lydon gives us a book that is the perfect match of romance and football. Sloane is an unassuming superstar who just wants to find her place, with the team and in her life. Her family is less than supportive and her relationship with her fiancee recently imploded. Ella’s friendship comes along at the perfect time and their relationship progresses beautifully. I was invested immediately and fell in love with both Sloane and Ella. It’s my new favorite Clare Lydon book and I couldn’t recommend it more!

An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review.

Meeting Millie by Clare Ashton

Charlotte and Millie couldn’t be more different. It was apparent from their first meeting at Oxford. Millie, with her straight girl charm and curves for days and Charlotte, queer, lanky and well off. Despite their differences, an instant friendship formed that only grew stronger, until unrequited feelings got in the way.
Now ten years later, both women are back at Oxford and find themselves with a chance to rekindle the friendship they both have desperately missed. Ten years is a long time to go without talking but Charlotte and Millie’s connection is still there and maybe, there’s more to the feelings than just friendship.
When I read a book, I want it to move me, and I want to give in to all of the feels a good book evokes. There isn’t another author who brings those emotions to the surface more than Clare Ashton. Whether it’s the family drama of The Goodman’s, the sweetness of Poppy Jenkins or the sensitivity with which she handled anxiety in Finding Jessica Lambert, Ashton has an unrivaled ability to provoke feelings. Now I can happily add Meeting Millie to that list.
From the very first page when Charlotte and Millie met I was hooked. Even at first meeting, it felt like they were just meant to be a part of each other’s life. I have had a few people I met and immediately knew I would always need them in my life and wondered how I survived for so long without them. That’s how it is with Charlotte and Millie, in each other, they find the friend they have always needed.
Meeting Millie is a beautifully written book. Ashton conveys Millie’s longing for her friend in such a way that it just rips your heart out. And Millie, sweet, bold, wonderful Millie. The way losing her friend irrevocably changed her and the joy at having a chance to have Charlotte back in her life, I just love everything about Millie.
Another strength of a Clare Ashton book are brilliant supporting characters. If Olivia doesn’t get her own book next, I will lodge a complaint with Clare personally. Olivia attended school with Millie and Charlotte and has remained Charlotte’s friend. She was always put off by Millie’s brashness and flaunting of her sexual exploits. She is buttoned up and an ice queen, so naturally, I am a bit in love with her and want her to get a story where that ice melts. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Virginia, the sweet, foulmouthed elderly woman Millie rents a room from. She is an absolute delight and I hope to have her wisdom, wrapped in profanity laced snark, when I’m older.
Meeting Millie far exceeded by ridiculously high expectations. I have already read it twice and I’m sure I will reread it many more times. It is right up there with The Goodman’s as my favorite from Clare Ashton. Read it when you have the chance, and you will fall in love with Millie and Charlotte. It’s impossible not to.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

These Thin Lines by Milena McKay

These Thin Lines
Published: 1/31/23

Vi Courtenay’s life changes irrevocably the moment she steps through the door at the Lilien Haus of Fashion or more aptly, falls on her face and loses her shoe, which is such a very Vi thing to do.  In that moment, she finds the eyes of Chiara Conti staring back at her.  Chiara, who still is as beautiful as she was in her days as a supermodel, only now with a sadness lurking behind those gorgeous eyes, that Vi feels an inexplicable need to erase.

Milena McKay has so quickly become a writer whose books are more than a must read. A McKay release is an event and for very good reason. With each book, I think she has hit her peak, yet she continues to outdo herself. These Thin Lines is a revelation.  It’s a love story but it’s so much more.  I think most of us have felt less than, either because of our own insecurities or because we have been made to feel that way by someone who preys on those insecurities.  When we meet someone who treats us with understanding and recognizes the pain that lies within, it’s like finding water in a desert and it’s impossible not to be drawn to that person.  These Thin Lines is also a story about forgiveness and how in doing so, we open ourselves up to happiness that seemed unattainable.

I went to Germany with my mom in my 20’s. We took a day trip to Paris. I had jetlag and had been awake for 48 hours. When I went to step off of the bus, I looked out, said, “Paris, I’m here” and then stepped down, missed the last step and landed in a heap with Parisians walking by laughing at me.  I flashed back to that as Vi fell on her face in front of Chiara.  I hope someday to return to Paris in a more graceful fashion but until that time, I will read books that showcase the beauty and romance of the city. Paris and New York are more than settings for the story, they are supporting characters and McKay’s love for both is evident.

It’s nearly a guarantee with a McKay book to see some familiar faces.  There are some stellar new supporting characters as well, notably, Aoife and Renate, and others I would very much like to give a stern talking to. They are all brilliantly woven into a story that will leave you breathless. If only this sapphic Cinderella story would have existed when I was a kid, I’m sure I would have found my Princess charming a lot sooner.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.


The Fixer by Lee Winter

no title has been provided for this book

It may only be January, but I can say with certainty that The Fixer and book two in The Villian Series, The Chaos Agent, will both be in my list of favorite books of 2023. Lee Winter shows yet again why she is one of our best writers. I went into this book with a lot of bad feelings toward Michelle Hastings yet knowing that I would be Team Michelle by the end of the book.

Social justice warrior Eden Lawless gets an offer from a mysterious company that will require her to return to her hometown to bring down the mayor, her archnemesis.  Michelle Hastings is the CEO of the organization, who aren’t exactly spreading goodness throughout the land.

If you have read The Red Files and Under Your Skin, you know and loathe Michelle Hastings. I was perfectly content to live in a world where I cursed her very literary existence. That is, until I was only a few chapters in and realized that Lee Winter was writing her in a way that I would not only forgive her wrongdoings, but also want her to have everything she never thought herself worthy of having.

Eden Lawless is goodness personified and like many of Lee’s books, that goodness thaws the iciest of queens. While she radiates warmth, she isn’t a pushover and is true to herself and her beliefs. And unlike most people, she sees more than Michelle wants her to see. She sees the crack in the mask Michelle has worn for years.

If you took all of my sapphic books and told me I could only keep the books of one author, it would easily be Lee Winter. I love how her books are filled with humor, intelligence and characters that evoke so many different emotions.  I knew this would be an outstanding read, but it far exceeded even my high expectations. I want to take a road trip with Eden in her rainbow van, hang out at the B&B with Melba and gossip with Hannah. And I can’t believe this, but I really want to give Michelle Hastings a hug.

An ARC was received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.



Camp Lost and Found by Georgia Beers

Camp Lost and Found

Published: 12/13/22

Two women who have been through a trauma find themselves sharing a house. Cassidy wants to find herself and returns to the only place she has ever felt like she belonged, while Frankie wants to lose herself and the guilt that plagues her, whether she’s awake or asleep. The more the women open up to each other, the more they start to feel like the darkness is fading.

Georgia Beers books will always have a special place in my heart since she was one of the first authors I started reading when I discovered sapphic romance. I have several of her books that I revisit when I need a comfort read. This one will join that short list. This is easily one of Beers most emotional books and she portrays Cassidy and Frankie’s pain in a way that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.

This one hit close to home and I found myself in tears several times. I wanted to give both of the characters a big hug and hang out with the good hearted supporting characters.  Camp Lost and Found will stay with me for a long time as will Beers dedication at the beginning of the book, “To all of us who have struggled to find ourselves. Don’t stop looking.”

An ARC was received from Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley for an honest review.



The Ultimate Boss Set by Lee Winter

The Ultimate Boss Set
Published: 11/2022

In the Ultimate Boss Set, Lee Winter gives us The Brutal Truth, The Awkward Truth and three related short stories.  This is the ultimate set, with some of the most memorable characters in sapphic romance. I have read them all individually several times and know I will read them many times again in this collection.

Elena Bartell is one of my favorite characters ever. She is the ultimate, hot boss lady ice queen and the evolution of her relationship with Maddie Grey is absolute perfection. Maddie has the biggest heart and somehow manages to see the woman Elena hides behind that ice queen exterior.

Felicity Simmons idolizes her boss, Elena Bartell. After nearly stealing the show in The Brutal Truth, The Awkward Truth, gives us Felicity’s story. We find out where all that snark comes from, and it brings a level of understanding that makes me love Felicity even more.

This is a must for fans of Elena, Maddie and Felicity. And if you haven’t read these, there is no better time to discover the brilliance of Lee Winter. She writes ice queens like she was born to do it and her hilarious banter is unmatched.

An ARC was received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.



Presidential by Lola Keeley

Published: 12/7/22

Presidential was originally released in 2020 but has been rewritten and re-released. The story was inspired by Lola Keeley’s love for the film, The American President, which is also one of my favorite movies. This book is a wonderful homage to the film, and I will be reading it many times, just as I have watched the movie countless times.

Dr. Emily Lawrence is one of the top pediatric surgeons in the country. Connie Calvin is the nation’s first female President and a widow, having lost her husband before she was elected. A friendship forms between the two women but the more time they spend texting and opening themselves up, friendship becomes the last thing on either woman’s mind.

I finished this book in one day. I really enjoyed the chemistry between the women and how much respect they had for each other.   Even though Connie was the most powerful woman in the world, Emily is just as powerful in her profession, and I appreciate how both women worked to make it an equal partnership. The supporting characters were well developed, and I loved the relationships formed with the main characters. Connie’s son, Zach, her best friend and chief of staff, Ramira and Emily’s sister, Sutton, were all fabulous. And I would love to see Jill, the secret service agent, get her own book in the future.

Presidential gave me that same warm and fuzzy feeling I got from The American President.  I noticed a few lines that were reminiscent of the film, but this book has it’s own identity and I adored it. It’s easy to see why Connie and Emily fell for each other because I fell a little in love with them myself.

An ARC was received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

Better Than Expected by Haley Cass

Better Than Expected
Published: 11/18/22
A When You Least Expect It Story

From the moment I started Those Who Wait, I knew I was reading the words of a special author. With each book since, my appreciation for Haley Cass’s skills have only grown. She creates characters that are so well developed, it’s impossible not to become completed invested in their lives.When You Least Expect It touched me deeply, Caroline trying to be a friend to Hannah, while trying to deny the feelings she felt growing with each passing day. And Hannah trying to come out the other side after a bad relationship, concerned with being the best mother she could be, while navigating her confusion over her feelings for Caroline. It always hard to let characters like these go and I was thrilled when Cass announced we would get more of them.

In Better Than Expected we get Hannah’s perspective and it’s perfect. The story begins on the day of Michael’s Christmas party, the first time Hannah meets Caroline, goes through the events of WYLEI, and beyond. While I knew and appreciated Hannah’s strength in all she had to deal with in WYLEI, this really delved into what she went through with Michael, and I found myself in awe of her resilience. As Hannah finds herself spending more time with Caroline, Cass writes beautifully her trepidation and how her feelings evolve.

While I love Hannah and Caroline, Abbie steals the show. That little girl could someday rule the world. She is wise beyond her years and so integral to her mother finding happiness. I love everything about that kid and Caroline’s family making a place for Hannah and Abbie warmed my heart. The only drawback from this book were the murderous feelings that Michael inspired. If you didn’t want to throat punch him after reading When You Least Expect It, you will absolutely want to do that and more after reading Better Than Expected. I am so happy that Hannah found someone like Caroline, who loves and appreciates the incredible woman she is and is the second parent that Abbie deserves but most of all, I’m happy we were given the gift of more time with these characters.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

The Forever Factor by Melissa Brayden

The Forever Factor
Published: 11/15/22

Melissa Brayden’s books will always be an automatic read for me, not only because they are some of my favorites but because she writes banter better than anyone in sapphic romance. Second chance romances are one of the genres I gravitate towards the most and this one was a really enjoyable read. Bethany and Reid fell in love their senior year of high school and thought they would always be together but it wasn’t meant to be. Fast forward eleven years and the two find themselves running into each other, literally, at the grocery store. Forgiveness isn’t easy but what choice do you have when your forever keeps showing up.

I really liked how Melissa wrote this alternating between then and now. Flashbacks don’t always work for me but I can’t imagine this one being written any other way. The then was a very good YA story of first love and the mistakes that are made when fears get in the way. And the now is an adult romance between two women who had lived their lives always looking back to that first love that they have never been able to duplicate.

Melissa Brayden never fails to impress. I read this one in a day and had a smile on my face throughout. Bethany and Reid were always meant for each other, even if the forever took a little longer than they expected. An easy read filled with the snappy banter and heartfelt longing that Melissa writes so effortlessly.

An ARC was received from Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley for an honest review.