Category: LGBT



Cut by Annelie Wendeberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I can’t remember how it was I picked up this book and its sequels. Sorry. Even so, this is a fun apocalyptic read about a young woman trying to survive in a dystopian world with pandemics popping up here and there.

Maybe it is a bit more adventure than a person should read just before sleep. But it didn’t affect me too much.

This was a different take on the post-apocalypse world. A young woman finding her way in a world with few rules that all follow. Micka is a well-developed character with a few quirks of her own. She has lexical-gustatory synesthesia. That on top of learning about menstruation and sexual preference while trying to survive makes her a very interesting person to get to know. Just as she is getting to know herself.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition:
Lexical-gustatory synesthesia is a rare form of synesthesia in which spoken and written … Tip of tongue studies have shown that a word’s lemma may be responsible for eliciting a taste sensation, not its phonologic sound or spelling. Further … development and lead to the over-representation of the flavors of childhood foods.

I have known a couple of people who have variations of this. I know I have a mild case and it often helps me remember or recognize certain words or names that might slip my mind otherwise.

This book was a quick read. Now I have committed the second book because one isn’t enough. Give it a try. You might like it, too.



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The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2The Jems and Jamz Series: Books 1-2 by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a find on Kindle Unlimited. It was a fun light-read. I was a little bored at first, just couldn’t get into the story. I adjusted my expectations to my high school or new adult self and the story rang bells for me. It especially touched my former stage-singing self. The author captured that fear/excited feeling of performance arts. The main characters were in pop-bands. That reminded me of stories I wrote as a teen about Meeting the Beatles or other stars. Unavailable then were stories of a different kind of love than boy and girl. This treats everything the same. Love is love. There are a couple of erotic scenes that may not be appropriate for immature young adults, but other than that, I think it is a love story with many lessons, even for older folks about forgiveness and love.

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A Woman Lost Box Set: Books 3-5A Woman Lost Box Set: Books 3-5 by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun bunch of books. The characters, especially the main character, Lizzie, seemed realistic. I am grateful I didn’t have her family. Whew, what a mess! But, even so, it was fun to watch the development of each of the characters. And to watch the Twinkies go from zygotes to toddlers.

I like reading books in a combo like this but it makes me mad that I don’t get the credit for three books, even if I put a small review on each book. That messes with my reading goals. But that is a GoodReads problem.

I was lucky to find these on Kindle Unlimited so it was a ‘free’ read. I love this author and am glad she has a few listed on KU. I’m reading Holly and Ivy as I didn’t want to leave T.B. Markinson’s world. It too is a KU.

It is nice to see educated, strong women in books dealing with problems and not going crazy. Sure they have their own emotional issues but they grow and learn. And the romance isn’t so gushy and angsty as many other romance novels. I can’t wait to read more by Ms. Markinson.

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A Clueless Woman (A Woman Lost, #0)A Clueless Woman by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finished this book. I’m involved in writing NaNoWriMo, so it’s taken me a while to get the review. In between, I went ahead and read book one and am now involved in book two. I had already read the first and second book, and I remember really liking them.

I don’t know if it’s because how long ago I read them, or if it’s the Star Wars phenomena. Let me explain. I remember watching the first three Star Wars movies back in the 80s. They were fantastic movies. They were full of philosophies you could live by. The characters were strong, people you care about. But the prequels. I can’t give you words for this. I can only shake my head. Was it time between watchings? Was it the addition of new irritating characters? Need I say Jar Jar Binks? I don’t know.

It had been a while since I read books one and two. But I thought I remembered them enough to try to read from the prequel on. What I remember as a character I truly loved in my first read was a troubled, abused, weak character in the prequel. Would I have felt this way had I not read the first two books before? Had I started with the prequel before reading the others, would I have cared what happened to the character next?

Wait! That is not to say the character wasn’t appealing. That is not to mention the writing was not good. That is not to say this kind of warning for others who might find themselves in similar situations shouldn’t find their way out. Strong characters, personalities, can find themselves in abusive relationships. And I care for many friends who have fallen into these situations. They were still exciting, loving, deserving of love people. So maybe it is the fact that I remember a strong character from future books and can’t handle seeing her go through such pain.

Would I have handled it better if I read the prequel as an insert into the series as a flash-back? I think I might have done better that way. I don’t want this review to go against the author and her fantastic writing. So instead of rating this as a three-star grade, I will pull it to a four-star. It probably deserves more, but I have to be honest with my feelings about it, too. I do love the characters in this series.

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SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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The Book of Flora (The Road to Nowhere, #3)The Book of Flora by Meg Elison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was the Kindle Unlimited version with the accompanying Audible Whispersynched. I’m glad I got to read the final book in the series.

I love the diversity that this series presents in a post-apocalyptic story. This last one gives the LGBTQetc. ignorant a bit of education of differing sexual leanings and desires told through characters who experience life differently than many of us. It gives us insight into how others feel and need to live made ever more complicated by dystopian life.

Etta’s story continued in Flora’s book, making book two have a little better ending. But in many ways, what worked in books one and two didn’t work here as it got far too complex in the many characters and past and present times within journals and now.

The vocal narrator did help by modulating his voice so as to help the reader know who was talking. but there were times even that didn’t help and I had to back up and figure out who’s who and what’s what.

Even though it is a lower rating than I like to give, it seems a good one for others to read and learn from while still being a fictional tale.

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Priest of Skulls (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #2)Priest of Skulls by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always excited to read another of Sara Reines ARCs. I must admit that I am happier reading about the old characters, like visiting with old friends. But I’m sure I am mostly alone in that. I think others prefer to have something new and exciting to read. Well, this one is for you.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this and the first book in this offshoot series. Ms. Reine was able to bring up some delicate and scary subjects in a fantasy setting and make some important points. If you get the chance to read this one please take the time to read the notes at the beginning of the book. There are warnings of what you will find inside. There are uncomfortable situations, even triggers if you will for folks that have had sex forced on them, rape. But it is worth the read for the empowerment given.

On an aside, there are, also, some very different forms of erotica that are — fun to read. Not what we’ve expected from SM Reine. But so different that, well, you know how the fae are! I can’t wait to read the next one!

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London Holiday (Americans Abroad, #5)London Holiday by Miranda MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book! Need a beach read or a nod to fairy tales with a twist? This is it. Though it was a little predictable, I still couldn’t go to sleep until 3:00 in the morning as I wanted to see what would happen.

In our crazy cyber-gossipy world, a princess and a journalist fall in love, quite by accident. Fun and adventure happen, lots of London is explored.

Beyond these words, I am afraid I will ruin your discovery of this gem if I tell you more. This book was just a lightweight read to fill the moments between heavier books. I probably won’t read it again but I am now a fan of this author and will read more by her. Enjoy!

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AffinityAffinity by Sarah Waters

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t actually read the book but rather listened to the Audible version of the book. Juanita McMahon (Narrator) added her talents to the story so well-written by Sarah Waters. Both the story and the actor made this a wonderful experience.

What can I say that won’t spoil the adventure of the moment by moment read? I can’t seem to come up with anything! I went to look at the blurb and I think even that spoils it. Just know that the main character draws you in and you get curious to see what happens next. Her questions become the reader’s questions and you can only hope for the best and dread anything less.

I wish the ending would have been with the main character stronger from her experiences and then a book two for us to follow her travels. I don’t think that is a spoiler as that is me rewriting the ending. Come back to my review when you finish to tell me if you agree or not.

If you get the chance to read or listen to this book I think you will enjoy it,

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Imagine Me GoneImagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t finish this book. I just couldn’t like the characters or the story. What parts I related to were triggers of my own upbringing and depressions. I figured this wasn’t a good book for me.

After looking at the reviews and realizing a friend had recommended to me, I decided to stick it out. I must admit that the book got a little better but still was not one I will remember in the future. I would normally give this book a single star, but I do think the subject matter needs to be shared with others that may not have had the opportunity to learn about it first hand. And explore why the treatment of depression and other mental health issues don’t get looked at is because many think the patients are needy, attention-getters or otherwise diminish the pain the person is going through. The author gives us a couple glimpses into the minds of severe depression. So I raised the star rating by one.

Since I review and rate for my own future reference I have to leave it at 2 stars. Others love this book and say it is their favorite of the year. So don’t take my word for it. Pick it up and see what you think. Oh, I should mention this was a library Kindle version.

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