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: “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: “A Treason of Truths” by Ada Harper

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

Empress Sabine is invited on a diplomatic mission with some other leaders to a place called The Vault; a technological marvel self sustained by nanotechnology and an archive of an unfathomable amount of human knowledge. But what seems to be an olive branch quickly becomes a deathtrap and Sabine’s former bodyguard, Lyre, must face the secrets she’s been keeping not only from her queen but the woman she loves.

Although I didn’t read the first book, A Conspiracy of Whispers, this story stands well on it’s own. The world building gives the story weight and doesn’t get bogged down in the previous book’s events while still making them understood in relevance to what happens in this book. The action is well paced and tense, making this a fun page turner.

This also doesn’t disappoint in the romance department. Even without too many explicit love scenes, Sabine and Lyre’s relationship is touching and sweet and it’s great to see a lesbian relationship with women of color. As a romance and a science fiction novel, it succeeds on nearly every level except for a lack of development with the main villain and the societal mess behind his motivations, which I won’t spoil. I felt he needed more time to get to know all the details. 4.5 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Heart of Chaos” by Avery Stiles

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

Rin Sarduuri has everything going for her. She’s a powerhouse in her company, negotiating deals her parent’s are immensely proud of and taking the business to new heights. But as she is still single, one of her business partners quite suddenly proposes to her right in front her the entire office as well as her parents. Feeling trapped, Rin flees to the altar of Vistri; a shape-shifting trickster god and agrees to whatever the god wants to get her out of this marriage. But what Vistri offers is to be her bride instead.

It was hard to get a bead on this book because of the distinctly modern setting but the gods are real. I can only really chalk that up to the story simply not having enough time for world building because of the breakneck pace and short length. This cute little story about a god and a human falling in love hits all the beats it should without feeling forced and it’s a nice diversion for a quick read. 3.9 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “White Knight” by Maple Marr

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review

Lilly wants nothing more than to be a superhero; to save lives, right wrongs, and bring justice to the bad guys. But she’s a Norm, meaning she wants to take on powerful villains with no powers. Her best friend and roommate Rose tries to talk sense but Lilly is undeterred, ending up in seep trouble rose may have to save her from.

The idea of a school for superheroes and villains is cool but with this story being so short, I feel like it didn’t have much of a chance to be explored. However, Lilly and Rose are a cute couple and the concept is interesting. Young adults looking for a quicky lesbian superhero story have a cute, clean read here but it flies by too quick for its own good. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Thorns of the Past” by Gun Brooke

 

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

Former police detective turned private investigator and security guard Darch Flynn is hired to protect Sabrina Hawk, an accountant who has a starker demanding information from her and threatening her. A past assault has left Sabrina with a poor opinion of law enforcement and Darcy has to hide the fact she left the force in disgrace all while Sabrina’s stalkers close in on them.

This book wasn’t bad. The romance between Darcy and Sabrina is good but it is SUPER sappy and had me cringing at the dialogue sometimes. I did enjoy how a relationship of necessity became something more as the story went on. I did, however, have the ‘mystery’ pegged pretty early on so I was sat there waiting for the characters to catch up. It’s all written well enough that I wasn’t annoyed or bored on the way to the climax but overall this book is just ok. 3.7 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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New Short Story Cover Reveal

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Long ago in a submission call far away, I wrote a lesbian thriller story. A nice clean one, not like Sunburn (also at Amazon, B&N, and Kobo and SUPER 18+). While I did get accepted, I never did hear anything back about when the collection would come out and well, it’s been a very long time.

I rediscovered this story while going through some folders on my flash drive to clean some junk files out. When I saw this I felt it was just a shame that it was sitting there doing nothing so, it has a shiny new cover and some new edits.

Am I counting this towards my one story a month goal? Yes, yes I am. Because I did have to re-edit the whole thing and that pretty cover cost me some coin. I know I did say the goal was a finished story every month but not publishing every month but hey, I need the cash and people need more stories!

I hope you enjoy and leave a review.

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You could have heard about this earlier! Patrons get updates sooner than they appear on this blog! 😀