5 Character Driven F/F Books Charley Clarke Recommends

This week, Tara’s joined by Charley Clarke (debut novel Always a Love Song) who has brought her favorite character driven romances to talk about.

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Charley’s Recommendations: 

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Kiss the Girl by Melissa Brayden 

The Cybernetic Tea Shop by Meredith Katz 

Run in the Blood by A.E. Ross 

It’s Not a Date by Heather Blackmore 

Who’d Have Thought by G Benson 

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 let’s do books this week i’m joined by author charlie clarke her debut novel always a love song is a celebrity small town romance and it’s out everywhere from elva publishing authors are readers too so i’m excited to hear about the les vic that she loves welcome charlie thank you tara so you have managed the really hard task of narrowing down your favorite lesfect books for us is there anything in particular that makes these ones stand out for you um that’s a good question so it was hard to narrow them down i originally my list was more contemporary romance which is what what i really really love to read because it’s just it’s fast and it’s cute and i don’t know i just love it but um i tried to grab sort of a cross genre stuff sort of stuff um so i i also really love fantasy and i put some fantasy and sci-fi in there and i think let’s see probably i really like books that are character driven so i would say all of these are really character driven i think all right so what is your first book all right the first one is kiss the girl by melissa braden i’m pretty sure we all love melissa braden i’ve read a bunch of hers but this was the first one i’ve read by her and for some reason it just keeps staying at the top of the list i think she’s just a really talented writer and she’s really great at secondary characters and dialogue i love her dialogue so kiss a girl is about brooklyn campbell and jessica lennox and they’re both advertising they’re both in advertising and brooklyn has a small company and jessica has multi-million dollar company and they end up competing for the same client i guess but they have a before they find out they’re competing for the same client they have this meat cute and it’s very i don’t know it’s just very wrong gummy and um i really love we’re kind of workplace rivalries too so i yeah it’s it’s been a little while since i’ve read it so it’s hard to give you the whole synopsis but um it takes place in new york and new york is almost a character too which i love so yeah it’s just a really nice read and there’s some also really poignant story lines like brooklyn is um i think she’s she have you read it oh yeah this is one of my favorites i adore this book is she she’s um she’s looking for her birth mother right or like her birth mother contacts her yeah she was given up for adoption when she was a baby and her birth mother contacts her and she has to figure out what to do with that because she was never actually adopted oh okay yeah it’s been a little off since i read it i think melissa braden’s books really kind of get to me because they do have the sweet romance but then on top of it the characters are dealing with with things like your birth mother contacting you and and you know trying to get this really big ad deal so i just really love the way that brayden weaves both of those together and it has a phenomenal first kiss i think it’s one of the best i need to go back and reread it now oh yeah yeah actually so do i it’s probably been about a year so what is your next book my next book is the cybernetic tea shop by meredith katz it’s about clara who is it’s this is a sci-fi book it’s a novella so it’s pretty short and it’s set in this time where we have created ai robots i guess and claire is a technician and she meets sal who is a robot and she’s sentient and all that stuff but after she was created her kind of robot was declared illegal um and she still works at this tea shop that her the person who built her ram but the person who built her is dead now and she’s just been kind of chilling like illegal being being illegal but um running this t-shirt and she doesn’t you know what do you do with your life with that when that happens and clara meets her at the tea shop and it’s it’s a really short read i think i read it in like an hour an hour and a half and i read it i think last year around christmas it was just super warm and kind of kind of a cuddly read and sal because she is she is an ai basically is um is asexual so there’s ace wrap there and i really appreciated that um and it’s just really a cute cute thing i was looking trying to narrow these down last night and i have an e-book i read most of these on ebook but i was like oh maybe i should get this one on paperback just so i can have it and reread it when i can you know it’s i haven’t read that one before but that sounds so lovely and i think i might need to push that on my list if you do i hope you enjoy it thank you for being an awesome listener and supporting tilt the channel that brings you all the podcasts you want to hear you’re listening to tilt find more podcasts on the lesbiantalkshow.com so what is your third book my third book is called run in the blood it’s by a.e ross this is a fantasy book and it’s it’s not strictly a romance but there is romance in it i’m a really big fantasy fan and i try to read more i mean fantasy’s traditionally pretty white and male and straight um so i i try to branch out and i try to find fantasy that’s not pushing the boundaries but being more inclusive and i found this through netgalley i think and then i liked it so much that i i bought a copy bought the paperback copy later when it came out uh so it’s it’s got three main characters one i think you say it aiella it’s a e l a so you know fancy names um and she’s basically a pirate and she has kind of a past and it comes back and the king uses her past to blackmail her into going on a monster hunt basically it’s dragons um and then dell he’s one of the characters who accompanies her on this hunt and then there’s brynn who’s a merchant daughter merchant’s daughter um who gets betrayed to a prince she doesn’t know so all of their stories kind of intersect and ayla and brynn have a past and they get they all get separated and then brent and ayla end up coming back together and it’s a really kind of lovely it’s a lovely story where because you think that they were torn apart they were separated and then they come back together and it’s like oh they’re together again and like i don’t know it’s just it’s very cute and they’re dragons and how can you go wrong with dragons and romance right i don’t think you can i i agree that sounds lovely so what is your next pick my next pick is it’s not a date by heather blackmore this is about kade and jen and kade is a tech entrepreneur and investor and then jen she’s ceo of creative care which is kind of an app that tries to pair people who need care for their elderly or sick relatives with private care workers and one of the reasons she’s passionate about that is because her grandmother she’s the sole caregiver for her grandmother who has dementia and then kade comes in and she invests in the company and like being on the board or something something honestly sometimes the business stuff is a little like i don’t understand what’s happening but that’s okay i’ll go with it um but they’re really different people and but there’s a chemistry there and again what i like is that they both have their own issues so kade has this trauma from her youth that she’s really a stickler for diamond chase when people are related and she’s got all these clocks in one of her rooms in her house which is kind of neat and then jen is taking care of her grandmother and trying to figure out how to run her company and everything and what i really appreciated about this book was a lot of the angst or yeah a lot of the angst or conflict comes from the characters just being different people like sometimes they it’s not always about miscommunication it’s like they’re just coming from very different viewpoints and you can see both of their viewpoints and then you know a couple a chapter or two later they come around they’re like hey let’s talk this out and i really just appreciated that it’s a very adult relationship in terms of the communication and they help each other be better without trying to change the other one which i think is very cool and then i remember this being kind of a four-star read for me and i was like oh this is this is really good i really like this and then the end scene i like swooned oh really so yeah i just really appreciate it that’s very character driven and and um the basis for the relationship is very solid i guess all right that sounds pretty good i uh i don’t think i’ve read that one yet so that’s i’ll keep an eye out for it oh and what is your last pick so my last one i don’t want to say i saved the best for last because they’re all good but my last one is hoot of that by g benson and yeah this is a this has one of my favorite trips which is the fake relationship slash marriage of convenience and i think i think it was kind of one of the first less fix i had read i was getting into the genre and outside of fan fiction of course and um and i just remember like looking at lesbian romance with fake relationships and this one came up and i like could not put it down um so it’s it’s interesting for me because it’s less of a traditional romance and that only one character has a point of view so it’s all from hayden’s character hayden’s point of view and she is she’s an er nurse and she i mean has school debt like we all do and she has a family back in florida who her mother has dementia i believe and so she’s sending money to take care of her mom and her nephew and then she also has to pay her school loans so she’s kind of digging herself into debt and along comes this opportunity where she answers the craigslist ad for someone who wants a wife and she gets paid 200 000 to marry samantha thompson who is a neurosurgeon at her hospital so they knew each other previously and when they met for the ad they were kind of like oh no oh no we can’t do this but they decide to do it and um it’s just super cute sam is pretty much an ice queen and i i think he would agree with that hopefully oh absolutely yeah and so she’s hard to get to know at first and then hayden hayden is really like bubbly and outgoing and what i what really connected with me the first time i read this was um hayden’s voice i just thought g benson did such a good job of making it unique and making her a fully fleshed character and she kind of wears not wear samantha down but um they get to know each other better and i think i think a lot of that a lot of what i like about fake relationships is they there is that period of getting to know one another it’s not an instant relationship so i like when the relationships are are built up and you can kind of see it as a reader um and then you get a little bit ahead of the character and you’re like hey hey just fyi you’re in love with each other [Laughter] um so yeah there’s there’s a lot to love about who the thought and i i think i’ve read it like three times now i might have to go read it again it’s a it’s a really really cute one that one has a lot of stuff that i that i like as well so yeah i can also i can also recommend that one to people so charlie where can people find you online if they want to connect with you oh they can find me on twitter at charlie c writer yeah that’s right oh my gosh i haven’t looked up my website in so long i need to update it but it’s so my website is charlie clark writer dot com and then if you want to email me um it’s charlie clark writer outlook.com that is all for this episode thank you so much for joining me thank you thank you for having me i’m tara and you’ve been listening to let’s do books you can email me at tara at thelesbianreview.com with your questions or comments if you’re an author who’s interested in joining me on the show to talk about the last vic you love or the 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 for tilt or visit patreon.com the lesbian talk show our patrons get exclusive content like bonus podcasts that no one else gets access to to find this and many 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