Best Lesbian Romance 2011

Book by Cleis Press Inc.

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Romance Done Right

Best Lesbian Romance is a collection of stories about women in love at different stages. Some stories are about existing relationships and some are about blossoming relationships but all are about deep, intense, connections and romance.
Published:
Pros:
Variety of authors, easy to read writing styles, characters that you can connect with
Cons:
Some stories left me wanting more detail or follow up.
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review

Content / Style / Audience

Best Lesbian Romance is a compilation of seventeen stories about romance in lesbian relationships. Anyone who enjoys good romance can find something to love in this book. The characters are all different and their relationships at different stages, but all are heartwarming. There are few sex scenes in these stories, but that's ok because that isn't the focus. Even though every story is from a different author, they are all easy reads with characters that you can connect with. Here are a few of the stories that touched me the most:

I Think I Will Love You by Rebecca S. Buck- This story is set in Slovenia where the main character Carolyn has fled to avoid all her bad relationship decisions. She's come to a country where she doesn't speak the language so that she can be quiet and avoid forming a relationship with anyone. She wants to be anonymous and alone. That is until she meets Karmen who is one of the few people who speak English. There's an instant connection but Carolyn is scared, afraid to make another mistake.

The Panacea by Colette Moody- Hope is a barista at a local coffee shop and she has a favorite customer named Simone. She flirts with Simone after a bet with her boss and when she gets a positive response she keeps it up. She wants one day to get the guts to ask Simone out, but before that happens Simone comes in crying carrying a box of her belongings. She's been fired and is extremely upset. Hope makes her a special drink and finally talks her into spending some time together.

Get the Girl by Jamie Schaffner- This is a story of first love and first lesbian stirrings. These two 17 year old girls have been friends for a while but lately something has changed. Natalie is scared and afraid of what she's feeling but doesn't feel like she can go back after her realization that Jenny is more than a friend to her. The two girls grapple with their feelings and after one failed tryst are able to get together again. This is first love realized and embraced and it is truly a sweet story.

Dirty Laundry by Cheyenne Blue- This is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story about two young ladies who have been sent to live at a convent after their lives have taken turns in directions deemed unacceptable to their families and society. It is set in Ireland with heavy Catholic beliefs. Eileen has been at the convent for several years when Maura arrives. Maura was pregnant out of wedlock and her baby has been taken from her. She's distraught dealing with the loss of her child and adjustments to a new environment. Eileen takes pity on her and comforts her as she cries herself to sleep at night. Time passes and things change, eventually these two are women with graying hair and suddenly they're free. They're told that society no longer looks down on them and that they can leave the convent and re-enter the world. Eileen finally gets to say that she wants to be with Maura and the two finally get to live happily together in the real world. The heartbreaking part is that these types of convents were common at one time as was the women living in them through old age and til death. The heartwarming part is that these two women who forged a bond against all odds got to stay together.

When Hearts Run Free by Radclyffe- This was my favorite story out of the book, but I do tend to like the supernatural. The main character wakes up in the hospital after getting bitten by a werewolf and meets her Alpha who is a beautiful woman. She must follow the rules of the pack and earn her place among them but she is drawn to her Alpha in a magnetic way. The night of her first full turn to wolf she gets to run with the back but eventually ends up breaking off with her Alpha. The two spend a wonderful night cuddled together but when they wake her Alpha tells her that they cannot be together.

Design

This is a 200 page paperback book (including the About the Author and About the Editor sections) that has a picture of two women cuddling in bed and the title written in large letters across the top. It is not a discreet cover, but so long as you don't mind people knowing what you are reading, it is public-appropriate. This book also contains an introduction and table of contents.

Experience

I really enjoyed a lot, if not all, of the stories in this collection. It actually wasn't at all what I expected which was more of an erotica take on lesbian romance. This turned out to be the stories that lead up to the erotica, all the sweet and wonderful ways that people get to know each other. The main thread that runs through these stories is the 'aha' moment when one character realizes how they feel about another. It truly was a wonderful book to read.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • Waterfall
    Waterfall  
    Very nice review!!
  • G.L. Morrison
    G.L. Morrison  
    Concise, readable review. Thanks.
  • BadgersRose
    BadgersRose  
    Very good review.
  • Dvine Decadence
    Dvine Decadence  
    Very nice review
  • darkkitty
    darkkitty  
    Great review.
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