Lenni Reviews: “Patience & Esther: An Edwardian Romance” by SW Searle

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

In order to earn money for her family, Patience gets a job as a housemaid for Mrs. Sweet. To learn the ropes, she’s paired with Esther, the head housemaid, and now Patience’s roommate. As they get to know one another, their feelings deepen, and a passionate relationship blooms.

Not only is this a lesbian romance set in Edwardian times, but it’s also body-positive and interracial. As to that last point, I expected a LOT more overt racism but I’m not sad it’s left out. There’s enough of that in real life these days. And the sexy scenes are tastefully done. But to put the romantics out there at ease, this is a happily ever after that I found very sweet. And the side story at the end with them set in modern-day was really cute. 4.9 out of 5

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Lenni Reviews: “The Artist and the Soldier” by Angelle Petta

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for mature readers.

In this sprawling tale, we have Max Amsel and Bastian Fisher who meet as teens in Camp Seigfried then again as adults in the thick of World War II.

First off, I dunno if I was taught this in school and forgot or just wasn’t taught this but I was SHOCKED that the Nazi Camp Siegfried was a real place in NY! I honestly didn’t realize such camps existed and kudos to this book for teaching me that.

This book is almost perfect. It focuses more on the war itself and how it’s affecting everyone, not just our main characters. A great deal of the plot is plucked straight from history. The writing is compelling, the action is well done, and the romance did tug at my heart. If you like historical fiction with a bit of angst, I recommend this despite the ending being a bit of a drop-off. But you can tell a lot of love went into this book. 4.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Fight For You” by Kayla Bain-Vrba


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*I received this book in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Cherry is a dancer forced to perform for meager money as she was sold to cover her father’s debts. In order to buy her freedom faster, Cherry enlists the help of Berlin; one of the best gladiators in the arena, to train her to be a fighter as well. As Cherry endures the brutal training and equally brutal fights, she learns she may not want to taste freedom all alone.

This book feels so clipped, it’s more of a fleshed out outline than a full story I could sink my teeth into and really enjoy. The time goes by so fast, I never really got a sense of who the characters really were and why they should even be together. If this were a fully fleshed out novel, it would be amazing. But as it stands, it is sadly lacking. 2.7 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “All in with the Duke” by Ava March

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*This book is intended for 18+

Plagued by gambling debts, Tristan Walsh works at a brothel; to pay them off. One night he has a client named Max Arrington; who is nursing a broken heart after a former lover tried to extort money out of him. After saving Tristan from a violent client, Max not only pays off Tristan’s debts but takes him in as essentially a kept man at Max’s vacation estate. Both men are hesitant to open their hearts but nevertheless, deeper feelings form over time and they must decide if the risk of not only heartbreak but the discovery of their relationship is worth the possibility of happiness.

Historical m/m romances can be kinda fun and the set up of a wealthy duke and an indebted prostitute was intriguing enough for me to nab this book. Max and Tristan are cute together; especially Max as he can be delightfully awkward. If I had a gripe, it would be the conflict centering around Tristan going “I needed you to stop me.” That has always ticked me off. Don’t do or say something with the intent on testing the other person. That comes off to me as needlessly manipulative; not romantic. For Tristan to pull the “I only told you I was leaving because I wanted you to beg me to stay” then to turn around and continue to test Max over and over made me like Tristan less. Not dislike him but he wasn’t as endearing to me after that. Other than that, this story is sweet, saucy, and has a good ending. I give it a 3.5 out of 5.

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