Lenni Reviews: Whenever Our Eyes Meet…: A Women’s Love Anthology” by ASCII Media Works

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This is a collection of fourteen short stories about women in live in different types of relationships from an artist with a crush on her subject to a high school puppy love getting a second chance when they’re grown up.

While well done overall with pretty art, all the stories are SUPER short. But that’s to be expected when you get 180 pages to tell fourteen different stories. Gotta make you point quick then move on to the next one.

My favorite of them would be “Everyone’s Missing Out.” by Irua. Not many romance stories – much less LGBT ones – have characters over 30-40 years old. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of those.

Not a bad collection if you’re looking for some relatively clean, short, yuri to read. 3.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “I Married My Best Friend to Shut My Parents Up” by Naoko Kodama

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Morimoto Machi is not interested in marriage. All she wants is to succeed in her career and live on her own. But as the pressure from her parents to find a husband mounts, Morimoto’s friend, Agaya Hanna, offers to marry Morimoto to keep her parents from complaining. It also helps Agaya since she’s in the market for a new apartment. While the arrangement is inconvenient for Morimoto at first, she soon finds having Agaya around may not be so bad after all.

This is so cute! I love how Agaya stands up for herself against Morimoto’s parents and refuses to be labeled a freak. The pair make an adorable couple. I wouldn’t have minded if this was a little longer and went into some more detail in dealing with Morimoto’s parents. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Scars of Jocasta Lacroix” by Jack Harvey

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

In this short story, Jocasta reveals the story of one of her scars to her wife, Katie. In the past, Jocasta spent some times as a hired bodyguard for a noble targeted by an assassin. As the reason behind the killer’s mission is revealed, Jocasta is caught in the middle of a messy web of betrayal and lies.

While this story is written well, every word of it feels like one of those prequel or 1.5 stories authors have in their series. There is an established modern world where Jocasta drives a car but her mission took place in horse and buggy times. And she’s part elf but no mention of her background? These inconsistencies had me scratching my head more often than not and the fairly by-the-book sex scenes didn’t make the book stand out any more. Not BAD but feels incomplete. 2.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Courageous Love” by K. C. Richardson.

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Alex Taylor and Francesca “Frank” Greco didn’t meet under the best of circumstances. Frank pulled Alex over for speeding and talking on her cell phone but they meet up again at a party that same day. Despite this initial stumble, they can’t deny the attraction is there between them. As they pursue a relationship, Alex is suddenly diagnosed with breast cancer and Frank has to decide if she is willing to watch another woman she loves wilt to the disease; like her twin sister, Toni.

This book breaks Fiction 101’s most important rule: show, don’t tell. Not a single emotion this book tries to evoke ever manifest. At 70%, all I felt was annoyed there was more to read. Everything is set in front of you in such a dry, wooden way, I felt as if I was reading a detailed outline. The characters were flat caricatures and it really, REALLY bothered me to have a complete bitch/saint dynamic in Alex and Frank (respectively) where a person with cancer and struggling with treatment is portrayed in the book as a bitch for going through a wide range of emotions. Despite those emotions coming through in as monotone a way a possible.

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And after all the delicious prose in Rainbow Gap, I was doubly disappointed. 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Rainbow Gap” by Lee Lynch

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

This sweeping novel follows Jaudon Vicker and Berry Garland’s relationship over the course of 15 years. Set in Florida during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the book starts from their childhood when the classically girly girl Berry protects the boyish Jaudon from bullying classmates. We are along on their journey through college, Vietnam, even the budding LGBT community all while they stay bonded in a deep and powerful relationship.

You can feel in every word how much love was put into this book. The setting is real enough that you feel transported back in time and the level of detail becomes hypnotic. However, this book also gets bogged down in those details and the actual story slows to a crawl. When the plot moves, dear gods this book is beautiful. Otherwise, you feel every inch of those 342 pages. It’s worth it though to get the full impact of Jaudon and Berry’s journey. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “One Saved to the Sea” by Catt Kingsgrave

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*This book is rated for 18+

Mairead is the keeper of the lighthouse now that her father has gone mad, her brothers are away at war, and her mother is gone. She has always watched the selkie dance on the shores even as a child but one night, Mairead catches the town idiot trying to steal a selkie’s skin. If you steal a selkie’s skin and hide it, you can keep the woman as your wife. Mairead is determined to keep the magnificent creatures safe.

At it’s core, this is a F/F romance with a fairy tale twist. It is quite steamy but lyrical and other-worldly. It was a quick read with Mairead being the oddball of her community searching for some direction in her life. For as short as it was, I did enjoy it. If you need a bit of saucy whimsy in your LGBT fiction, you could do a lot worse. 3.7 out of 5.

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