In this episode, Tara is joined by author Fiona Riley and they talk all about 4 second chance romances. They share why they love them, some books they recommend, and Fiona discusses her own second chance romance, Not Since You.
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Transcript for Today’s Show
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 I’m excited because this week Fiona Riley is back she is the author of six lesbian romances the latest is called not since you and it’s available everywhere from bold strokes books welcome Fiona hi how are you I’m great how are you I’m doing all right I’m excited this book is them I worked in this book a lot and I’m really excited for it to come Mike comes out in November so that’s something I’m really passionate about right now so does this episode which we are timing him out there around the same time is your book and so we are talking about second-chance romances we each have two that we’re going to talk about that we recommend and actually this episode was inspired by the fact that this book is a second-chance romance so do you want to tell people a little bit of what it’s about so not since you is about two women who were you know highschool lovers they got together kind of by accident in high school one was a tutor they came from different sides of the world and one was went to college and the other one stayed home and something happened while they were away they broke up and there was a serious loss for the other character that stayed home and she you know feeling devastated just uprooted her life just disappeared and when the other one came back to find her to kind of you know you know will rekindle the flame she wasn’t there anymore and they were just kind of empty gap where they wasn’t quite closure and everything was sort of you know broken but it was a new change in her life a new phase and both women started on their own existence and so the book starts about ten years later the main character Charlotte is on her honeymoon cruise or what should be her honeymoon except she didn’t get married and she couldn’t cancel the cruise and she couldn’t get her money back so she decided to go single on a honeymoon cruise and she runs into her ex loved Lexie who’s the head bartender on a cruise ship so they’re on a cruise ship together and they sort of reconnect and really awkward uncomfortable ways for a little while and that’s how they kind of just kind of bring themselves back together and see you know what’s happened in ten years what happens in ten years especially when you’re 17 and all of a sudden you’re in here in 30 so it’s like a lot of fun we can’t wait to read it and hopefully the time this airs I will have read it so what is it that you love about second-chance romances I mean what made me want to write not since you was I think we all have like that first loves history Riley heard that first love story like the first person we crushed on first person we kissed the first person we love there’s something special about firsts I won’t say that they’re the most important things but there is definitely something special about it first and I think when it comes to second-chance romances especially when you’re young and you’re broken up or you divided because life is sort of too big for you when you’re in your teens and tacones right maybe or at least in your teens life is so big there’s so much happening it’s almost changing it’s really important that you find yourself and you can grow in your own way and you can you can grow with someone but you’re scrolling through so much on your own I think that that’s something so exciting about a young love and having the chance to rekindle that young love when you’re a little older a little wiser a little more stable I think there’s something magical about that because you have something you draw back on some history together which I think history sometimes can be a good thing can be a bad thing but a good thing I think yeah so what is the first book that you recommend so the most recent book that I loved really that had a second-chance romance was actually strawberry summer I believe it came out last year by Melissa Braden I love this book I’m gonna read the synopsis for you and then I’ll tell you kind of like why I love this book so strawberry summer it says just because you’re through with your past doesn’t mean it’s through with you Margaret behringer didn’t have an easy adolescence she hated her name was less popular in school and was always cast aside as the farm kid however with the arrival of Courtney Carrington Margaret’s youth sparked into color Courtney was smart beautiful and put together everything Margaret wasn’t who would have imagined that they’d fit together so perfectly but first loves can scar Margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best but when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peake to take control of the family store Mara comes face to face with her past and the woman she’s tried desperately to forget the the Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters that’s the perfect synopsis for a second chance romance right like they were together they were perfect for each other something didn’t work out they get separated they reunite they’re more beautiful and they remember and there’s so much history and so much emotion and passion that’s just sitting there waiting to be stirred back up I just I love that I love I love everything about that you know there’s something wonderful about a small town so strawberry summer takes place in the small town and the one of the reasons I like this book so much is its first person so you spend a lot of time you with Margaret behringer the whole time and it’s a little bit of a step for melissa braid and most of her stuff is third-person but this book was it’s just so well done because you you feel all the pain that Margaret goes through from just growing up and finding herself and then having life’s obstacles and then losing her stability and Cortney and then kind of grown up and I think there’s something so unique about that and so personal that I just just really sat with me so the challenges that they had in this book I thought were really fantastic and they were realistic and I could put myself in her shoes even though I’m significantly older than she was when she missed her starts I could put myself in her shoes no problem I could just see myself there I could I could get it I understood it and it felt really real and tangible to me and I think that that’s one of the reasons why I so enjoyed strawberry summer because there was just so much of it that I could draw from my own youth from the challenges I have faces of my own coming out when I was younger and then just kind of navigating that nervous first love when you just you’re still figuring things out and I think Melissa Brandon did a really great job of that with between Margaret and Courtney oh yeah I love this book and I think you write most of her books her in the third person I think maybe her first book waiting in the wings I haven’t read any as though so I might have just made an ass of myself but the thing that I really liked about this and I think I talked about it in one or both of my reviews was that in each of the different stages their lives because this does happen like kind of in stages I was really impressed that it was almost like the style changed so that when they’re in high school it felt like a why a bug right when they’re in college it feels like a new adult romance when they’re adults it just feels like a contemporary romance but because all along they’re growing it still feels natural it doesn’t there isn’t like any weird dissonance between each of the parts they’re not it does it doesn’t feel as strange as it should to have like three different types of romance styles in there it just works and it works really really well I felt like she did a really great job with them because a lot of this book does happen in the past you know to build up to the contemporary part where you’re we were talking towards the end with her older there’s she does a great job with reminiscing and with memories and flashbacks without making it feel jarring and without making you have to like I didn’t have to ever go back and read the last chapter or the last past chapter it was another reminiscent chapter and kind of see where things were like it easily lined up for me and it would seem like a very seamless transition and I think that’s that’s something that’s hard to do as I as a write up for myself I think it’s very hard to jump back into a flashback and keep the reader and also not to lose the tone of the story and I think that that was done really well in this book so the flashbacks added to the story they didn’t detract from and I thought that that was really important mm-hmm and yeah it’s just a damn good second-chance story like so ah yeah like having to work out the things that didn’t work before and getting to that like really believable happily ever after in a way that’s really satisfying [Music] she’s a very talented writer but this particular book I thought it just it sat with me there’s a good twist towards the end that’s really kind of caught me off guard which it doesn’t happen often and then the fact that you don’t know what’s happening and Courtney’s mind is both frustrating and fantastic because I think part of me as someone who writes in the third person and prefers that wanted to know her side of the story but in the same degree I really like that I only knew my Margaret said I really liked that that was all I had because it gave me a little more passion and a little more fire and a little more anger and sadness because I was on one side so I would love to see if I could ever ask someone to write another you know we mirror their book I would love to see Courtney’s perspective for this book to read if I think that she could add such depth to the story mm-hmm as a character I’m more true I was actually more attracted to Courtney like I was more drawn to her because I didn’t know anything about her I think that that was very mysterious and and interesting to me but I just thought it was a great book I highly recommend it dad oh I totally I’m the same so my first book is once ghosted twice shy by ELISA Cole which is a novella that’s part of her reluctant Royals series so the rest of the series I believe are all opposite sex pairings but this one is not this one has two women the blurb for this one is while her boss the prince was busy wooing his betrothed the coatsy had her own love affair after swiping right on a dating app but her romance had ended in heartbreak and now back in New York City again she’s determined to rediscover her joy so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart when the Coetzee and Fabiola meet again on a stalled subway train months later fab asks for just one cup of tea the Coetzee hoping to know why she was unceremoniously dumped agrees tea and food soon leads them to exploring the city together in their past with fab slowly revealing why she lent the coats ego and both of them wondering if they can turn this second chance and do a happily ever after this book is super good and it’s quite short because it’s a novella this book is really good and it truly doesn’t matter if you haven’t read the rest of the series because I mean all you have to know is that Luke Hodes he works for a prince of a fake African place and so they are in New York and it really is that like she’s had her heart broken nine months prior and she’s decided this is it I am going to change the relationships that I have with New York City it’s no longer going to be the place where I fell in love it’s going to be a place where I forge new memories and of course that’s the morning that she runs into the woman that she had fallen in love with and the thing that’s really interesting about how the narrative is set up is that it alternates perspectives between the chapters but not only perspectives also timelines so the first chapter is Lacaze as she is kind of going to go about her business in New York in the present the second chapter we get fabulous perspective as she falls for the Coetzee the first time around so we get kind of alternating between the second chance in the first chance and seeing what happened as they kind of make their way back together at the end and it’s it just works I wasn’t sure at first and then the more I read it the more I was charmed and they have this great chemistry it’s super easy to see why they fell for each other and the Coetzee is this like gorgeous dapper butch woman who is incredibly charming and lovely but also is you know she’s a little she’s a little gun-shy she had her heart broken and we find out why fab had to break it off it was really it was quite sad but made a lot of sense and I just really would like this one a whole lot sounds great and because it’s a novella it doesn’t take that long to read so you can just like pick it up and read it in an afternoon oh I love it that’s vital for my current station life [Laughter] you’re listening to the news Ben talk show the lesbians all choke on your hub of podcast information so what is your next book so the second book I read I actually just finished it’s a new release it’s from Elle Spencer and it’s called road to Madison I’m gonna read the synopsis for you and I’ll let you know kind of what my thoughts were as the sole heir to her family’s banking Empire a lot is expected of Madison Prescott falling in love with her childhood friend Anna Perez was not on the cards as Madison father puts it a gay daughter married to the maids daughter running my company over my dead body by the time George Prescott dies it’s been 15 years since Madison and Anna were ripped apart by his lies they haven’t spoken since but Madison has spent every waking minute waiting for this day to come unfortunately it turns out time doesn’t heal all wounds why was Madison willing to give up everything in the face of father’s threats and why can she never tell any of the truth about what really separated them caught between a present they can’t trust in the past they can’t forget Madison and Anna must decide if this is their second chance a final heartbreak another awesome blurb this book the opening chapter in this book caught me right away you know it’s got a really dramatic opening you know in the blur but the father dies you know that there’s been absence between like in a couple that was together in their youth but I don’t think you understand how profoundly everyone in this book hates George Prescott until you open the first chapter and he’s literally being put in the ground so this is the first book I’ve read where there was a funeral scene as the opening chapter of a book and it sounds it could be kind of morose but it was actually really fitting it set the tone for the book getting set the tone for all the people involved and how hated this person was by everyone his driver all the people that worked for him his daughter and it really did a really nice job of establishing Madison’s perspective and how she’s then caged for 15 years and you see a lot of passion from Madison tears and angry in anguish and just you see how terrible this man was and it it sets up the book which then also goes and does some flashbacks living back to the past when they were much younger when the girls first got together and this book is a little different so in some strawberry summer that those girls met as teenagers in road to Madison they meet is seven and eight year old girls so there’s a lot more like just friendship familiarity that happens you know Madison’s mother’s gone and she doesn’t have a family a couple her father who’s kind of a monster but Anna has a really great loving mother and so they have this really interesting dynamic where Madison’s doesn’t have a mom and she’s you know navigating eight-year-old life and there’s these little hiccups that happen throughout and you see the girls from their very young age and then it jumps to teens and then you know comes to present day and it’s it’s interesting to see how they progress and how their story starts out as a friendship a loving friendship like they’re best friends and how you know Anna lives in the property that Madison is essentially a prisoner to she lives in this massive property and Anna is there and she’s really her only friend but she turned out to be the only one that matters as they grow up and they you know go their separate ways but this story was so interesting there’s a lot of action in this book there’s a lot of things that happen sort of unexpectedly I mean you read the stories before where like parents don’t approve of their gay kids kids figure a way to make it work or not work whatever like that’s not a new theme like that’s definitely happened but this is the the way this is told and the lengths that George Prescott goes to keep the women apart is diabolical like it’s absolutely terrible well yeah every time I thought I was like he’s like a real jerk then something else happened then I was like oh man like this guy’s like it almost had to be that severe to keep them apart and I think that that’s such an interesting story so they were together the father made some threats that were not idle and they separated and for the time that they’re apart Madison literally is holding in a breath waiting for him to die and Anna’s moved on and she has a life and it’s just like one of them’s been caged and waiting and the other one disregarded that life and has moved on and then that fall up it happens when you realize something you’ve been waiting your whole life or or the last 15 years for might not come to fruition it’s such an interesting perspective and in storyline because you see Madison like fall apart when she realizes that she’s finally free and she has nowhere to go and no no dream to hold which is so sad because you you you know you’re you’re cheering for her you know her side a little clearer than an aside at the beginning and eventually you know you get to see if nothing know them both but it’s just such an interesting perspective to see that and I think it’s really well done and like I said there’s a couple of twists in this book that are super interesting and it’s just it’s a really it’s a really beautiful story about two best friends that fell in love and then some really crappy things happened by one really powerful man and then them trying to go back and fix those holes years and years later and I think that that was just that was a really interesting way to show a relationship because a lot happens in 15 years a lot happens in five years what happens in one year and I think did we forget that when time moves that life moves and some to go back and try to put those pieces back in the box it doesn’t exist anymore it was challenging one character really wanted past and the other one wanted the best parts the past but was fearful to accept it and I think the book was really well done it was interesting I really was surprised by a lot and I really fell for Madison and Anna I think they were really cute at the end and they were cute together and there was just a lot of really anecdotally cute things that happen throughout like when they’re seven and eight when they meet and one of them’s missing her front teeth and eating a banana and she has a lisp like it’s it’s really charming and really have these like little you know moments together like one had to go to prom with the boy because her father wanted her to and Liam no one’s a little jealous and that’s when I first realized that they like each other so it’s just it was really cute because he was able to put yourself in that perspective too of like it’s this was a young romance that blossomed into something more like we talked about before about with strawberry summer so road to Madison sounds great I haven’t read it but I’m looking forward to it it’s one that I’ve had my eye on I like El Spencer she writes really engrossing romances like those books really hard to put down and you may not even know why but it’s like I’ve it’s three in the morning and I’m still reading castile AC what’s going on the the opening to this book was so good I had to listen to this on audiobook I have a new daughter and I have a very young little daughter and it’s hard for me to reread at night is I really need to be sleeping when they’re sleeping so I do a lot of audiobooks right now and I listen to this in the car and Lori prince who is no secret one of my favorite narrator is narrated this book and I listened to the first chapter twice because the first chapter is so gripping it just gets you so fast that I was like no they can’t they really do that like she took her gloves off to do that I guess it was really good I think you don’t get into this book read the first chapter and you’ll see there’s just such great character development in Madison in that first chapter that it helped me right away so this is my first l spencer novel actually I haven’t read any more I’ve read the novella that you put out and a couple little small things but I haven’t read casting Lisa yet I’ve heard wonderful things but this one just grabbed me from the blurb in the first chapter cookies look at me looking forward to her new one to it it’ll be out by the time this is out 30 dates and 30 days I mean I think the title pretty much says it all about the premise you never know what else Spencer though because I thought this told me everything was going to happen in the pillar band then I was like totally sideswiped twice at least you make a good point hmmm alright anyway go read this book people so my last book is delay of game by Tracy Richardson and the blurb for this passion and patriotism sizzle on the ice the Winter Olympics it’s been a dozen years since two of the world’s best women’s hockey players Niki Hartley and eva Caruso first competed against each other in the Olympic Games the pressure of the intense USA Canada rivalry forced an end to their love affair and both women moved on Niki to coach and to marry Eva to stretch out a playing career that her ravaged body can barely sustain anymore the games are upon them once again Eva wants one last chance to beat the Canadiens and win hockey’s biggest prize Nikki now a widow and single mother strives to coach her country to gold even as the obstacles against her mount the locker room seems to have ears and there are a few people Nicky and Eva can trust rivals and former lovers on hockey’s biggest stage will Nicky and Eva feel the same spark that first brought them together and can they win on and off the ice with the whole world watching I like this book very much I am NOT a sports person and I hope I don’t lose my Canadian citizenship by saying I don’t want talki but it really actually doesn’t matter if you’re a sports fan or not this is not one of those books where you have to know all the rules of the game or have to learn the rules of the game to understand what’s going on in the book that occasionally happens with sports romances it’s not the case with this one I will admit I probably have an extra little bit of fondness for that for it because Nikki is actually coaching sports at the University where I did my undergraduate degree and they also the Canadian team does a lot of training at the University of Calgary because there’s a lot of witches and I live in Calgary now and that’s where actually a lot of Olympic training happens because we had the Olympics here in 1988 so I don’t know I never get to read books about things that happen in places I know yeah so right away I was like yay right I know Canadian places I know with love so that’s I mean obviously that’s not like it that’s a weird bar to have but you know what that’s one of my bars it’s just what it is but I was really kind of charmed by this romance and seeing where they where they ended up in all the years since they’ve been together because life really did move on especially for Nikki like she found a super lovely woman that she married they had a daughter she got out of playing and into coaching instead but it is kind of one of those like as much as much as their lives have moved on and Eva you know like she really kicked ass at hockey and is heading up the team and you know has that problem unfortunately of you can only play competitive hockey for so long before your body starts to hate you and she’s definitely in that stage but so they have kind of all these things and like Nikki’s like she’s very happy to be coaching but it’s not like she’s not she’s not a player anymore and her daughter is massively important to her which is as it should be and so like they just have different priorities now and even still there’s something there like there was something that as much as everything else changed this one thing between them kind of is still the same that that chemistry is there that that affection and I really loved seeing the way they came together having to figure out you know how can their lives work because obviously they’re not living in the same place you know how do you how do you make lives mesh when you don’t live in the same place one of you has a child careers are in flux because Eva’s not going to be able to really play for much longer how is that gonna work and I thought Tracy Richardson just did a fabulous job and I mean who doesn’t like an olympic romance I think those are like crack for a lot of people so I mean they’re definitely winning for sure I’m not um I live in Boston and like we have a lot of we have a lot of sports here I’m a big sports person I like sports romances I think they’re really interesting I think it gives a different aspect because you have the constants of competition and challenge in physicality of enim I like that as a as a background like third character I think that’s important to have that it’s interesting I think if you think of the sport as its own you know character in the book it helps to give a little bit more you know richness story so I don’t I’m not deterred from it I’m excited about it I do it now I want to go on a tangent or what Olympic romances but that’s not about second chances Roman that’s right but that’s the four that we brought and for any of our listeners that need even more recommendations we’ve got the goods for you at the lesbian review we have a top ten list which I’ll link to in the show notes and also we just have a for all of the second-chance romances that we reviewed and we reviewed a buttload of them so you can go and read to your heart’s content and I’ll link to that as well so Fiona where can people find you online if they want to connect with you jinglin o’reilly fiction comm if they want to check out my website if they go through bold strokes books which is my publisher you can see links to all my Twitter accounts my facebook my Instagram I’m on Twitter Facebook and Instagram all the time I love my social media I’d love to hear from readers and I love your input it’s really important to me as an artist to be able to hear that kind of perspective and and it helps me motivate me to write so please by all means reach out and not since you comes out soon and I really love this book this book takes place on a lesbian cruise in the Caribbean and it’s tight quarters and a lot of tension and there’s some really funny awkward times and you know you had to ask yourself you were stuck on a ship with the love of your life and things didn’t happen the way you wanted them to and you know and then there’s no holds barred you can do whatever you want along as long as you know get caught then that kind of makes things pretty pretty interesting so you know I say check out the book it’s a great second cancer romance I’m totally biased but but it comes out soon it was it was an absolute blast to write I did a lot of research for this I went on a cruise and then I wrote this book as soon as I got back so it was my first cruise to do this and I did so much research on the cruise I’m surprised it threw me off because I had a lot of questions for a lot of staff so I will tell you that the things that happen in that cruise ship in the book were well researched wonderful way we’ll have to do an episode of a cruise ship run this your snow globe by George beers there’s those two short story those filthy short story collections that read and Karen call maker did together there you go go get those books too we’re going into colder weather in most places so you know it’s good to get a little a little hot that’s right that is all for this episode thank you so much Fiona for joining me thank you for having me I’m Tara you’ve been listening to Les do books you can email me at Tara at the lesbian or you calm with your questions or comments or if you’re an author who’s interested in joining me on the show to talk about the lesbian you love or trends that have you interested please let me know if you’ve enjoyed this episode please check out the show notes where you’ll find a patreon link with a lesbian talk storm that’s at patreon.com slash the 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