On this episode of Les Do Books we feature 6 Fluffy F/F Romances that Anna & Tara Recommend.
In this episode Tara’s joined by her amazing and talented co-reviewer from The Lesbian Review, Anna. They talk about why they love lesbian romances that are angst-free and share some of their favourites.
Listen to this episode here
Check out their recommendations:
Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron
Lauren “Lo” Bowman is in a bit of a pickle. She needs money, like ASAP. She lost her job, the rent is due, and her car needs repairs. Problem is, the inheritance left to her by her old-fashioned Granny has one stipulation before she can collect: She has to be married. Let’s just say suitors (of any gender) are not knocking down her door.
And then Cara Simms, her best friend from childhood that she’s recently reconnected with, pours her heart out and confesses that she needs money to pay for grad school. Lo has a completely brilliant idea: They should get hitched. Not married married. Like, fake married. All they have to do is play the part for the lawyers, get the money, and then get the marriage annulled. Easy as hell. Well, it starts out that way, but being fake married feels a lot like being real married, and Lo is flipping out. She cannot be falling for her best friend. Can she?
Taste by Kris Bryant
Determined to fulfill her dream of becoming a chef and winning a coveted scholarship to study cooking in Italy, Ki Blake rushes in late to the first class of her final semester at Kirkwood Culinary Academy and is stopped in her tracks by Taryn Ellis, the school’s newest instructor. A beautiful and accomplished chef, Taryn has walked away from her promising career in the city’s top restaurant to devote her life to her five-year-old daughter. Ki and Taryn try their best to resist the urge to give in to the undeniable chemistry between them. And when at last they begin a passionate affair that must be kept a secret, they are each convinced it’s only a short-term fling. It’s up to both Ki and Taryn to decide whether they have found something genuine or whether the taste of romance is truly enough to satisfy.
Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
Mrs. Bertrice Martin—a widow, some seventy-three years young—has kept her youthful-ish appearance with the most powerful of home remedies: daily doses of spite, regular baths in man-tears, and refusing to give so much as a single damn about her Terrible Nephew.
Then proper, correct Miss Violetta Beauchamps, a sprightly young thing of nine and sixty, crashes into her life. The Terrible Nephew is living in her rooming house, and Violetta wants him gone.
Mrs. Martin isn’t about to start giving damns, not even for someone as intriguing as Miss Violetta. But she hatches another plan—to make her nephew sorry, to make Miss Violetta smile, and to have the finest adventure of all time.
If she makes Terrible Men angry and wins the hand of a lovely lady in the process? Those are just added bonuses.
Add Romance and Mix by Shannon M. Harris
Briley Anderson hasn’t been in a serious relationship for the past two years. The pain of her last breakup has made her wary of giving her heart away again. She spends her days ﬂipping houses and her down-time baking treats for her neighbors. Falling in love wasn’t in her plans, but then again, neither was her next-door neighbor.
Leah Daniels is a divorced mother of two and a grandmother at the age of forty-nine. Love was the last thing she was looking for, especially with a woman sixteen years her junior. All she was hoping for was a quiet neighborhood to raise her fifteen-year old son. What she hadn’t expected was the unavoidable draw she felt toward Briley.
Through laughter, heartache, love, and fear it’s up to Briley and Leah to ﬁgure out if what they’ve created is strong enough to make a relationship last and if taking the chance on love is really worth the risk.
In Her Court by Tamsen Parker
Newly minted professor Evangeline “Van” Thompson’s academic dreams have turned into nightmares. She can’t wait to escape the pressure cooker of the university to spend the summer at Camp Firefly Falls with her bestie, Nate.
Unfortunately, Nate breaks his leg halfway through the season, and his little sister, Willa, fills in for him as resident tennis instructor. Van has fond memories of the blonde moppet, but when Willa shows up at camp, she’s not so little anymore. She’s grown into a bombshell and a menace on the tennis court – why do those skirts have to be so short, anyway?
Willa Carter has had a crush on Van Thompson since the third grade, but Van’s always been more interested in hanging out with Willa’s older brother. Not much seems to have changed – Van’s managing the camp’s web presence while Willa rocks her tennis whites.
Camp will be closing in a few weeks, and Van’s barely spoken to Willa despite sharing a cabin. But when the two get thrown together to plan the last session of camp, s’mores might not be the only thing getting sticky and sweet before the season’s out….
Pas De Deux by MJ Duncan
Though she’s still struggling to put her personal life back together a year after leaving Los Angeles, Mallory Collingswood’s career is perfectly on track as she takes to the role of Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra like it’s her birthright. She’s determined to focus on her music and enjoy her second year back home when she’s approached about a collaboration with the Royal Ballet. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that only a fool would turn down…or accept, depending on the outcome. Taking on the role will mean working harder than she ever has in her life, and performing in a way she never has alongside the Royal Ballet’s brightest star. Individually, they are opposites in almost every way, but together they form a perfect pair, and for the first time in ages Mallory wonders what it would be like to love, and be loved, again.
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please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
hi I’m Tara and welcome to les do books you can email me at Tara@thelesbianreview.com with any questions or comments or come join our Facebook group the lesbian or book club
so I’m excited because Anna one of the fabulous reviewers at the lesbian review is back again today to talk about fluffy romances with me welcome Anna thank you for having me today this is actually something I was excited to do so I adore fluffy romances and I know not every loves them because they love like the angsty romances that will hurt you when you’re reading them we’ll also have you put you put them down at certain points because you’re like you know you’re getting to that big angsty probably like I don’t wanna read this right now oh no way that’s a thing yeah I don’t you need a break you need a whatever so but the thing is I also have found and especially in the last couple of years that I am really enjoying the romances that are like a warm hug it’s like somebody wrapping you up and a little blanket with a cupcake and a kiss on the forehead and everything’s gonna be okay oh yeah totally it’s like I think I mentioned that in one of the books were I’m gonna talk about today it’s like with all that’s going on in the world it’s like it’s just very depressing right now and it’s like sometimes you just need to have that book or you just like you know what I’m not looking for drama I’m not looking for a lot of angst in something you know a little bit fine you know but not to the point where it just totally deteriorates you know into just some weird stupidness and everything so it’s like yeah I like those books every now and again so I’m happy to have them so it’s like if I do finish something that’s pretty you know robust and like it saying star it’s drama and everything then I can be like well I kind of need a breeders so I’m gonna go back to this other one that I know has no tension whatsoever has you know enough to just be like hey this is a good book this is fun let’s just have this for a minute and I think in times like right now where it’s especially you can see it like I’m in Canada and it’s not quite as bad here although it could get here but definitely like where you are in the states with like the fuckery that’s going on a legislative level and we’re seeing it in other countries around the world – like there’s a lot to feel despair about and I find that reading these books can be an act of resistance and it’s that thing that lets you feel hope in these times when it’s hard to feel hope so I thought let’s bring our favorite recommendations or some of our favorite recommendations to other people who might need some books to uplift them and take them out of whether it’s problems in their daily life or it’s just hard to turn on the news anymore exactly so I would like to start actually with the book that inspired this particular podcast episode which is marriage of unconvenient by Chelsey M Cameron and I’m gonna read the blurb for it I’m actually gonna use the official blurb because there it’s pretty good actually I’m gonna use the official blurbs for all of them because they’re pretty good this time so this one is Lauren Lowe Bowman isn’t a bit of a pickle she needs money like ASAP she lost her job the rent is due and her car needs repairs problem is the inheritance left to her by her old-fashioned granny has one stipulation before she can collect she has to be married let’s just say suitors of any gender are not knocking down her door and then Cara Sims her best friend from childhood that she’s recently reconnected with pours her heart out and confesses that she needs money to pay for grad school Lowe has a completely brilliant idea they should get hitched not married married like fake married all they have to do is play the part for the lawyers get the money and then get the marriage annulled easy as hell well starts out that way but being fake married feels a lot like being real married and Lowe is flipping out she can’t be falling for her best friend can she this book is so freaky it sounds cute so cute oh my god where’s my I have my review open and I actually said at the beginning at reading it is like eating an amazing cupcake because it’s super sweet and fills you up those deals and not cake it’s it’s also that whole truck was like you know friends that they were friends first and they’ve known each other forever and then they start realizing oh hey maybe I like them more friend out you know so those are always the sweetest ones to me because they’re just like do they feel the same way is this just the real thing or is this just the whole charade what’s going on and you have all these like really cool little questions that come up and everything I mean you it get just gets to the best endings ever in those guys oh my god it’s so good and the funny thing is as I was reading it it was kind of again one of those weeks where I just wanted to hide from the world and then I got to the end and I got to the acknowledgments and she actually said in this time of turmoil and terror writing fluff feels like an act of resistance I want to give you a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself for a little while or world where everything turns out okay in the end and there’s lots of flirting and kissing and it was it’s exactly that it’s like it’s so perfectly that this book like if reading is self-care for you you cannot find a better self-care than this book because the Keira and lo are so sweet they’re very funny there’s even like Kara’s a total nerd about her spreadsheets and lo likes to tease her about it but even the way she’s doing it you can tell that lo loves the way care is obsessed with spreadsheets like it’s just everything about this book is cute it’s just super sweet it’s lovely like it’s just I can’t if I if I was doing a list of one this would be my list of one well you can’t do a list of one you got to get multiple yes sure that’s a list but it yeah it doesn’t count as a list if it’s just one unfortunately that’s true that’s just how the definition works but that is a definite number one good place to start with like if you’re just looking for really fluffy no stress whatsoever stories this is a good one to have yeah I think I love that that’s awesome so what is your first button well my first book is honestly the first book I ever read by this author and just made me want to read everything else it’s taste by Kris Bryant oh yeah you know where I’m going with this fan of this book this is the book that I have both an electronic copy and a physical copy and whenever I finish like a book that might just be a little too heavy for me I look over my bookshelf and I see it’s there I’m like I want to go and read my favorite parts in this that’s what I want to do just to kind of level my brain back to like even-steven on what’s going on and it’s so good in audio too so if you are an audiobook kind of person Brittney Pope reads it and she crushes it I’m not an audio book person but I have a feeling I need to River listen to this one an audio book because I feel like I already have like the characters voices in my head but it wouldn’t hurt to hear that actually come to fruition and a lot of ways with this so but I want to read the blurb that came with the book which is which wasn’t too far from what yours was in party LR either but I kind of liked that one a little bit better no offense okay we’re still friends all right good I’m glad I was still right all right the blurb is determined to fulfill her dream of becoming a chef and winning a coveted scholarship to study cooking in Italy hi Blake rushes in late to the first class for final semester at Kirkwood Culinary Academy and has stopped in her tracks by Taryn Ellis the school’s newest instructor a beautiful and accomplished chef Taryn has walked away from her promising career in the city’s top restaurant to devote her life to her five-year-old daughter Kai and Taryn try their best to resist the urge to give in to the undeniable chemistry between them and when at last they begin a passionate affair that must be kept a secret they’re each convinced it’s only a short-term fling it’s up to both Kai and Taryn to decide whether they have found something genuine or whether the taste of romance they’ve had is truly enough first of all I love the names of these characters they’re just so unique and so fun that I’m Chris I’m hoping that I actually said them right because there’s what you hear in your head and there’s what is actually you know what the author intended so I don’t think I’m too far off on that but I like this one a because food was involved and usually anything with food is romantic in my case but also the fact that Taryn has a five-year-old daughter and usually when kids are in there that you can tell that the writers intending this for Beek to be a little bit fluffy you know because kids bring out the softer side of people in a lot of ways my cat’s with me by the way she always seems to know I’m on a computer and it’s just like hey yeah but this was just really it was a nice slow burn is what it was because you can tell Chi has an attraction Tarun right away I think part of it starts out as you know hero attraction because she’s very aware of her you know skills and her talent and her celebrity in the kitchen but she also realizes it is more of a physical attraction and that I would love to be with this woman and I think the more they get to know each other I love watching them outside the the culinary school because it allows them to really have those moments that are just them and them getting to know each other on that more personable level and the fact that you know Kai’s able to get to know more about Terrence daughter and everything who’s the cutest little thing I have ever seen in my life honestly and I think the only really big problem that they have standing between them is the age thing it’s like Terrans a little bit older so it’s kind of an age gap romance but that’s also another thing that drew me to it it’s like I love seeing these age gaps where it’s like people women who are older thinking well why would this younger woman want anything to do with me but it turns out it’s like they want you for a reason it’s like it’s not just you know it’s not just a girl worship it’s not just you know oh well this is a short-term thing it’s like kind has jinglin feelings now love seeing those come out and it what’s even better comes out through her food through her cooking the passion she has for Taryn comes out through that and it’s just a really sweet funny it’ll make you hungry he defines it really well you’re just like man why can’t I have that now you know and everything but I love the story and Chris has always said that she doesn’t like giving her characters conflict I think this is one of her stories where characters have the least amount of conflict and I love that so the fact that she really kind of holds true to that or she makes conflict that’s easily resolved I guess it’s the best way to put it so this was her first book that I ever read and I was just like I want to read everything by her now and everything so and I’ve gotten the rest of the sensory series because of it as well but this whole thing is just great from beginning to end I love it it’s so good yeah I second all that I don’t even think there’s anything I can really meaningfully add to it like I think you just cover them so my next book is actually a book that I finished reading last night I may have bumped a different book Oh to add it to the list I was like this has this has to go so I apologize to the book that go up onto I’m not gonna say what it is well just put that little vibe out the universe so this one’s called mrs. Martin’s incomparable adventure by Courtney Mullen and the blurb is mrs. Burtis Martin a widow some seventy-three years young has kept her youthful ish appearance with the most powerful of home remedies daily doses of spite regular baths and man tears and refusing to give so much as a single damn about her terrible nephew then proper correct miss viola de Beauchamp a sprightly young thing of nine and sixteen to her life the terrible nephew is living in her rooming house and Violetta wants him gone mrs. Martin isn’t about to start queuing dams not even for someone as intriguing as miss Violetta but she hatches another plan to make her nephew sorry to make miss Violetta smile and have the finest adventure of all time if she makes terrible men angry and wins the hand of a lovely lady in the process those are just added bonuses so yeah this is a fluffy romance with two elderly women in a Victorian romance and it is so much fun this is not gonna be one of those like super accurate historical romance and it feels often some of the things are saying feels a little like things people would say today but like as a woman on the internet who is seeing the terrible things men are doing all the time reading this book was so delicious it’s so good so all the tension actually like there’s there’s not really any tension between Violetta and Bertrand it’s really to do with what are they going to do about this terrible nephew because he is basically waiting for his aunt to die so he can get all of her money because she is super crazy wealthy and in fact he wants her to just like hand the money over now and he really is awful there’s no like as she says in her author’s note she says sometimes I write villains who are subtle and nuanced this is not one of those times the terrible nephew is terrible and terrible things happen to him sometimes villains really are bad and wrong and sometimes we want them to suffer a lot of consequences so this book is like a revenge romp it is hilarious I was laughing so hard yesterday when I was reading that I was like I was weeping I was having to wipe the tears out of my eyes so I could see and my poor husband was like what’s going on I was like I can’t even explain if I try to explain this is gonna sound like the dumbest thing but I promise it’s hilarious because there are these like information reveals as they’re torturing this nephew where you kind of think something is happening and then you realize exactly what’s happening and it’s even funnier than what you thought was happening it was insane but then it would like then it would move to these really beautiful poignant moments that I didn’t expect because I was just laughing so hard I was almost gasping and like they’re having a picnic out by this tree and it’s an old tree and Violeta starts kind of talking about how you know trees are allowed to be beautiful as they age basically anything is allowed to be beautiful as they age except women and she wasn’t beautiful in the first place and she feels like nobody sees her as having any value because she has no money and she’s almost 70 and she’s in this position in her life where she has to worry about how she’s going to live and it’s really like moving back and forth between kind of those beautiful moments as they really see each other for who they are and how they kind of like fall for each other while they’re doing these like in completely off-the-wall things to this stupid awful nephew was it was really good it worked really well for me it was like exactly the healing balm that I needed we are recording this at the very beginning of June and it this episode will probably go up sometime in July or August but just for context for other people so I mean we very recently been seeing all the abortion band stuff going on across the states I have a new premiere in Alberta who has a terrible record for things to do with LGBTQ rights and abortion and all these things and so I’ve been pretty angry recently and reading this book and just getting to laughs like that was so cathartic and then it was funny because I went through the author’s note and she says similar to what Chelsea Cameron says one problem with writing happy endings in a world that seems increasingly irrational is that it is harder than ever to convince myself that they are realistic but I nonetheless continue to do so they haven’t managed to win not in the long term they have all the money in all the power and still here we are happiness is not just an act of optimism it is an act of defiance right no yeah that’s yeah that’s very true to this day and I mean you were talking about those little you know points where they’re like doing these you know things to this nephew and it’s like you get those internal like things between each character where it’s just like and those are my favorite parts it’s like they have these internal revelations and realizations that oh wait I like this person more you know than just a friend and what we’re doing this is – this person is you know fun and cool but I want them to stick around after we finish this you know so those are always the best moments to me and stuff like that so and I think that’s what really makes good fluff as well as whereas you have those characters that are just like wow I totally love this person and how do I get them to stay without scaring them off and everything like that and then in the end it all just works out but still it’s just the journey for fluff to me is just as much fun as when you finally get to that destination really it is it always is it’s so good and I was actually I was happy to see there is a sex scene in the book like yeah they’re both seniors but I mean it’s not like as you age sexual desire goes away entirely for everybody so I thought it was lovely it’s not like this is this book is not erotica so it’s not like Megan O’Brien erotic I do not know not but it was really like it was perfect to the rest of the book and it made me really happy to see it so yeah if you haven’t read this one highly recommend especially if you want to laughs your pants off and feel some feelings there you go feeling feelings is always good yeah you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians all choked on you have a podcast information that well my second one it’s it’s it’s almost another foodie one I by the title you would think it would be um it’s called add romance and mix by Shannon in him Harris I actually picked this one up out of boo think lexicon cuz the the blurb on the back of the book just kind of intrigued me and I was like okay you know pick this up and I actually got more than I bargained for with this it was funny it was witty and in a lot of ways I kind of you know associated with the protagonists in this because I’m very awkward around girls myself so it’s like if I meet a girl I like I’m either going to do the typical elementary school thing and either ignore her or accidentally treat her badly or just you know go overboard in the affection I’m kind of one or the other there really is no balance between me I’m sorry but does this one was just so much fun to read just because I can relate to a lot of it and it’s in a small town it’s another small town romance as well but I’ll give you guys the blurb that I wrote for my review if anything so Briley anderson hasn’t had a serious relationship for a while instead she spends her time flipping houses and baking treats for all of her neighbors well almost all of her neighbors leah daniels is new to the neighborhood and brings out Briley’s competitive nature as well as her worst attributes while Liam believes Briley doesn’t like her she soon discovers that it’s just the opposite Riley is extremely attracted to her with the help of her sister Kat Riley sets out to win Leah’s heart in spite of her protests through laughter love geekiness and baked goods Briley and Leah will need to figure out if they created a lasting relationship and if the risk is worth the ultimate reward so so yeah I mean this is just a fun hello it kind of reminds me of Robin Alexander’s writing a little bit where she’s got a little bit of wittiness in there with her secondary characters but in this case the secondary characters are the primary ones Briley is very first takes notice of Lise Leah’s garden because it’s just so well done and of course because she’s you know doing flipping houses and she’s doing all this other stuff she kind of takes to offense that there’s somebody in the neighborhood better than her but then she sees Lee and she’s like oh my god she’s so attractive and then of course you know it just brings out the worst in her it’s like she makes baked goods for everybody but Lee is not on that list apparently and Lee also has like a teenage boy as well a teenage son that Briley gets along with but she doesn’t really get along with Lee yeah so what makes it funny is when Riley’s sister cat actually steps in is like dude you gotta apologize you gotta go there and it’s just think of that little reluctant she’s like a a child again being caught you know doing something wrong her sister takes her over there and she just pushes Briley forward and brownies like sorry I did and do this we’re sorry about this sorry about that and it’s just a funny little you know scene where it’s just like okay this is gonna be the start of their relationship and there’s actually a point later on where Brierley goes over and she actually has a real talk with Leah and she explains to Leah you know it’s like the reason I’ve been so mean to use because I actually like you and Lee it’s like wait what that that makes them sense and it’s just kind of funny and of course Lee is just like well I really don’t want a relationship I wouldn’t mind a friendship and everything and so they do start you know actually becoming friends and so it’s again it’s that little whole development thing like you start his friends and then she tells Harris actually tells a lot of this from Briley’s point of view I kind of wish I had gotten you know Leah’s perspective actually starting to realize you know hey I do have feelings for this woman and everything but it was it was still you know just a lot of flop a lot of sweetness both of them are very much into geekiness they go to cons they dress up altogether that was a nice little twist that I thought because I was like I just bought this out of con so I think that makes sense though you know but it’s a it’s just great seeing you know this little town where everybody gets along everybody’s rooting for them nobody that’s what made it really fun was that you had a small town where most people think small town middle America nobody’s gonna you know really before a same-sex relationship all that much I mean I know friends that are still you know struggling with it they live in the Midwest but in this case it wasn’t an issue it’s like everybody knew Briley because she grew up in that town everybody was accepting of Leah and her son and everything so it was just like it was great to see that aspect too like they didn’t have to deal with you know bigotry all that much in this place that they had called home so that also made it very appealing to me as well this book sounds like a lot of fun and like I definitely need to pick it up oh yeah it totally has a lot of fun I mean it’s definitely one of those who just you could probably finish it in a day just because it’s such an easy read you know that’s the downside I probably would block is like I find them so easy to read that I finish them way too quickly and I’m just like wait I want to go back and read some more yeah what if this was like a 500 page blank exactly exactly suppose we do kind of have that though with all that matters by Susan X Maher which is not on my list but that was pretty that was pretty fluffy I think it’s a little bit tough yeah I mean it deals with you know an ex-husband type deal he causes some drama oh really the there’s not really the will they or won’t they there’s no like that kind of it’s like once they get together like they’re together right exactly I unfortunately had busy no offence Susan it was just way too long for me that I got to a point where I was just like okay they’re together what else is there thing that I liked with that one is that it’s a friends to Lover’s I’m totally digressing oh my god anyway it’s fine it’s fine but it’s a friends to Lover’s where we actually see when they first meet so we see the whole friendship develop and like it’s truly just friendship right and then the transition and then yeah we get to see them until they’re really well established rather than like a lot of romances they end at the I love you and maybe you get an epilogue that indicates like yes there’s definitely happily ever after here but like I liked that with this one there was no there’s no question about whether they were actually together forever like they are definitely a family forever yes exactly I figured that yeah yeah it’s like I again Susan no offense if you’re listening to this I did start skimming at a certain point because I was just like okay once they got together you know I kind of was trying to find the high points it’s like how does everybody else interact with this and then I just see their happy ending and everything because I was just like you know it’s like I love getting to the happy ending part but it’s like once you get to that point where you realize especially in a book this long there’s not a lot drama going to be happening as well it’s like okay we can it’s like some time in some ways you know fluff is too short and a lot of ways fluff can be too long mm-hmm in that restart in that regard and it’s like no offense against Susan I’ve read a bunch of her stuff I love a lot of her stuff and everything it was just in that specific case I mean not every book is gonna hit every person the same way right and I think she I’m sure she knows that too yeah yeah I think I’ve heard that at DC LS last year it’s like excusing you write such long stories like what there’s it’s problems like no that’s not a problem you know it’s just you know it’s like it doesn’t make it hard to like get through it if you’re like having a busy day or a busy week or something like that you take it on here just like well I want to read but I can’t read you know and I’m only like 10% into this book like I find that I usually read one to shoot books a week and Susan X ma her book weeks are definitely like one book that way yeah I feel the same way within Jayde Duncan a little bit too because she does get a lot of detail into her books as well I don’t I think the show – sigh I’ve read of hers was Veritas I think that was the shortest book I’ve read of her but everything else was like you know definitely got to carve out some time in a week type deal and everything to read her stuff I really do yeah so my last book is one that we are both fond of and it is in her court by Tamsin promise you turned me on to that one and I am so happy holy cow and this time actually I changed my mind I know I said at the beginning I was gonna read the official blurb but I’m gonna read mine that’s right so Willa’s summer break seriously sucks she should be out doing field work after finishing the first year for geology PhD but a collapse at the cavern she was scheduled to work in means she’s stuck with nothing to do when her older brother Nate breaks his leg and asks her to take his spot for the rest of the summer as a tennis instructor in an adult sleepaway camp it’s a no brainer except his cabin roommate is his best friend Evangeline Van Thompson aka will his childhood crush leaving will ax equal parts excited and nervous after a painful first year as a computational biophysics professor van was looking forward to putting the tenure track out of her mind while spending the summer with her best friend as the IT manager for campfire flight falls the last thing she needs is for Nate to leave and stick her with keeping an eye on his little sister when Willis shows up though van can’t deny how grown-up and gorgeous Willa is even worse will a smart driven and hardworking which hits all Avanza traction buttons and makes the introverted van clam up almost completely it’s sure to be the most Awkward summer ever until the camp owners throw van and Willa together to plan activities for the camps last week who knew a little 80s nostalgia could be just a ticket to getting and talking and so much more Stevie this ensues let’s just say it that let’s just say that so this is actually a book that didn’t come in through the lesbian review I think I picked it up because I saw somebody promoting it on Twitter or it was on some like sale list or something like that I don’t know but I was taking a break from my review list it’s probably a couple of years ago yeah yeah so taking a break from a review list so I was like I’ll try this I don’t know it sounds cute and I was like wow it’s cuter that I thought it would be oh my god what is going on I could not even handle it van is adorable she she is the ultimate geek girl I think any of the ones I’ve come across she worships Holtzman from the new Ghostbusters movie and I mean who can blame her and she like she even brought her Star Wars and Wonder Woman collectibles with her to the cam like yeah come on I know any kind of has a same feel is like you know with a broom and to make sure it’s like Willa thinks that van just doesn’t like her you know but really she’s like very attracted to her yeah she’s just like I don’t know what to do this information I knew her when she was a child and now she’s this full-grown amazing gorgeous woman what do I do you know oh my best friend is gonna murder me if I touch his little sister that’s here there’s that aspect as well so it was like oh man I am so screwed well and I loved because at first like she does totally underestimate Willa because Willis she is like she’s gorgeous tall blonde athletic all these things and will is used to people seeing that first and when like she finally when van finally figures out that like oh no will is really smart and really competent and like I don’t know have you ever heard the phrase about like confidence porn how for some people call super smart smartest sexy yeah and I just love that and so then when they really like the chemistry builds kind of slowly between them and then it just explodes mm-hm and it’s so good and this is another one that is available in audio Jill Smith is the narrator I I think that I’m trying to think it might be the last podcast I recorded I talked about her – I have a massive voice crush on Jill Smith and her narration she’s so and she’s perfect for this like she’s absolutely perfect it’s I highly recommend even if you’re not usually into audiobooks like it’s one that I totally recommend because it’s so freakin good oh wow yeah I know I was just like when I found out that she was going to be signing that book at the RIP bodice down in Culver City I was just like I’m getting a copy I don’t care what I have to do it’s gonna be mine I know I managed to snag when I was there earlier this year they still had one signed copy left of this book and I picked it up and now it is mine and it is next to me somewhere in that pile of books yeah I love that story you know I think you recommended it too because you said it was a sports thing and there there is a tennis thing in there but I feel like it concentrates more on their their relationship which I love do you know and everything don’t get me wrong I wasn’t like she tricked me it’s not worse you know or anything that I just remember reading it was like oh there is tennis in here okay I don’t care about that I want to read more about you know their interactions and what’s going on you know mm-hmm yeah it’s I don’t know I don’t I don’t think it’s possible to go into this book mad and stay mad like it’s the perfect antidote to a bad day so if you haven’t read it definitely pick this one up because it’s just wonderful yeah and the steamy sex scenes don’t hurt either they really don’t know all right my last one is actually one that I just finished a week ago and it’s the latest by NJ Duncan Copp pod they do for all of you who speak French and who know ballet if I totally butchered that I totally apologized the I’m a southern girl and this is not my language at all I was so happy when I saw she was writing this book not only because it’s Duncan and I just want everything she writes but it’s actually a continuation of an egg already existing character it’s Mallory Collins woods story now if for all of you out there who read symphony in blue you know that Mallory was the partner of Gwen who wasn’t really very visible in Stephanie and blue because she was off trying to she was auditioning she was you know practicing 24/7 to get a position as the leader of the London Symphony Orchestra and of course you know because of that she wasn’t really there a lot and for those of you read symphony and blue you kind of know what happened there for those of you have not go and read that book please because it’s just as amazing as this one which is the continuation and but we get at Mallory’s story this time and I get I was so giddy when I saw that she was writing this and I was just like I want a copy I want a copy I want to copy it you’re like right okay I think as soon as it released on Amazon I bought it I was just like I don’t care I’m buying this just because I was so ready for it and it did not disappoint in any way shape or form so but I want to read the blurb right now Mallory Collins woods career is perfectly on track as she takes to the role of leader of this London Symphony Orchestra like it was her birthright however since leaving Los Angeles and breaking up with her partner Gwen her personal life has taken a major hit she’s convinced she doesn’t need look the love of a partner and is determined to put her sole focus on music and enjoy her second year at the London Symphony Orchestra when she’s approached to do a collaboration with the Royal Ballet it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that only fool would turn down taking on the role will mean working harder than she ever has in her life and performing in a way she never has alongside the Royal ballets brightest star Addison Lee individually they are opposites in almost every way but together they form a perfect pair for the first time since leaving Los Angeles Mallory wonders what it would be like to love and be loved again is Mallory ready to put her heart in on the line and let Addison in or will their chemistry be strictly regulated to their stage performance only I was just so happy again I want to say that over and over again it’s so so happy that this story was written because I think I’m one of the few people that when I read something in blue I never saw Mallory as a bad guy I never saw her as an antagonist I just saw her as a very driven very focused woman who loved her craft who wanted this job more than anything and like many of us when we get very focused and very determined on one specific point in our lives everything just fades away including the relationships and even in this one Mallory will say herself she made mistakes with Quinn and that’s honestly what’s been a big part of her holding herself back and then she meets this beautiful spunky 24-year old woman in a coffee shop right across the street from the Symphony Hall and they just start clicking they start talking they start forming this friendship and then she gets the job with the Royal Ballet and she realizes the girl she’s been talking to in the coffee shop is gonna be her partner on stage doing this specific show and it’s just great to watch their chemistry form like great to see Mallory come out of her shell and you get to see the true Mallory that I feel everybody kind of missed out on in symphony and blue and she’s very caring she’s very loving she has her friends that love her and support her she has her career that’s very important to her but when she’s actually starting to get to know Addison it starts having more deeper feelings for her she starts realizing that the mistakes she made when she does not want to make with Addison whether it goes anywhere or not so it’s just really fun to watch her become this great loving person and I enjoyed it so immensely and again it’s it’s it’s Duncan you know there’s not going to be a lot of you know angst or drama going on there really wasn’t you know that might hurt and Addison pretty much clicked right away over coffee and then when they get on stage together oh my god it’s just so magical the way that Duncan described sitting you’re just like oh my god just let them sleep together please please let us eat the guy I feel like in this one it takes a little longer for Duncan to get to go which actually I didn’t mind you know I was just like I was loving I loved watching this relationship develop from just being friends to being you know cocoa dancers on stage to actually finally making that final step in being lovers and everything and it was just amazing I loved it in every way for that purpose so we’re Mallory and Gwen I almost like Glen oh my god we’re we’re Mallory and Gwen side characters in symphony and blue when was the principal character she was the protagonist in there that and so and we actually see everything in seventy and blue from Gwen’s point of view and I think actually Stephenie and blue was the first real story where Duncan actually put a lot of you know angst in there because she has a work when has a one-night stand with a woman while she’s away and when she gets back she wants to tell Mallory because she’s when’s just a good person like that and then Mallory drops this bomb on her she’s like I have a chance to get the leader lead role in the London Symphony Orchestra and I need to practice day and night don’t do this to Baba and Gwen’s just like okay I should tell her this but she knows as a musician anything you say to change their truck their routine at this point there’s going to really affect them when they when she goes for this I totally understand that as a musician myself you know it’s like I remember having my I mean you talked to you even like athletes or anybody else they have routines that help them stay in the game stay focused do what they need to do anything you do to disrupt that could help could hinder them in their performance later on and so with symphony and blue Quinn actually runs in the day and again and she tells Dan I’m in a relationship what happened you know on the island and everything should not have happened Dain is obviously pissed because she doesn’t like being the other woman but then they meet up again later and Dana’s like look you’re one of the few people in my life that I actually like you know because she doesn’t there’s just things you know I won’t give away people you need to read the story but they decide to form a friendship but as their friendship grows Quinn and Mallory start drifting further and further apart because Mallory’s off rehearsing trying to get ready for this audition and she’s just not there and again it’s it’s one of those things where I understand what Mallory was doing because anybody in that position anybody in this field understands that when you were going for specific things you’d have to have your focus on that and again it’s one of those your pinpoint focus allows you to focus on that and not much else including your relationships but the way that Duncan did the sequel with with Mallory’s story it allows Mallory to see what her faults were make sure she doesn’t make those same mistakes again with Addison it also it allows her to have some closure with what happened with Gwen which i think is great you know cuz when’s not at fault entirely Mallory’s not at fault entirely and again it just goes to show there are two sides to every story with this and Duncan actually gives us both sides in two separate stories which i think is amazing but yeah there’s there’s really not any angst between Mallory and Addison there’s like a brief brought up of their age difference because Mallory I think is establishes at 39 years old Addison’s 24 so there’s a 15 year age gap but even Mallory’s just like you know it’s not that big of an issue by the time they get together she’s like it’s not really come up you know I really was so happy and yeah they’re good and can you read positive without having read Symphony and blue like can it actually stand alone it can’t stand alone I mean we’ve all read stories where it’s like you get you see a major character after a breakup and you don’t really know exactly what happened in the details of that breakup you know and that’s okay you know we bought that all the time I think the only thing that I think if anything in might intrigue people to go back and reset ffunny in blue to find out okay what did happen what caused this breakup and everything like that because it’s like they’re there points because there’s a point where Mallory actually does tell Addison what happened with Gwen and Addison’s like totally coming to Mallory’s defense saying you know she was a bitch for doing that to you but out of the mountain is just like no you don’t understand she did what she thought was right because she knew this was my dream job and she didn’t want to interfere so Mallory herself doesn’t really blame Gwen for what happened mm-hmm so I think it’s just a really good you know Gwen symphony blues wins side and then pas de deux is a continuation showing Mallory’s you know acceptance of what happened her healing process and her ability to continue on in love again so um that sounds very good it is very good I mean I almost want to read it again but I’m just like yeah that’ll take a little time so those are all the stories you’ve brought but I feel like it would be remiss if we didn’t give an honorable mention to pretty much everything I’ve ever read by Robin Alexander oh yeah so again if you’re just looking for books to kind of get away from it all and laugh and smile and have a nice time I can recommend just jory the fall blissfully blind sided pitifully ugly always Alex and temporary girl those are all awesome places to start so our but summer of our discontent oh nice yeah I would say don’t read just Jorian all Alex back-to-back no or maybe any of them don’t read them back-to-back because the tone is the tone is often very similar you know they’re different stories different circumstances maybe don’t read them back-to-back but definitely pick them up when you’re having a dark moment because they’re just lovely that is all for this episode thank you so much Anna for joining me I’m glad to be here this was so much fun so I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to Les Deux books remember to email me at Tara at the lesbian review.com with your questions or comments if you’ve enjoyed this episode please check out the show notes where you’ll find a patreon link for the lesbian talk show or visit patreon.com slash the lesbian talk show patrons get exclusive content that no one else does like bonus audio from other shows author interviews and all kinds of cool stuff don’t forget to join our Facebook group the lesbian review book club so you can talk to us about anything that you’re reading and loving to find this and many other great shows all you need to 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