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TLR Book Reviews by K. Aten

All reviews are hosted and moderated by The Lesbian Review website.

Title: Outcaste

Author: Fletcher Delancey

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Rahel Sayana is desperate to escape the life her parents have planned for her. She runs away to the dangerous port city of Whitesun and becomes an outcaste: a person of no caste and few rights.

      From backbreaking labor on the docks to fighting off bullies, Rahel learns the lessons that propel her to the life of her dreams. Happiness does not last. A planetary threat pulls her into the biggest battle in Alsean history, then into a treacherous game of power.

      The loss of both her honor and caste sends her reeling, but Rahel has always made her own fate. She gambles everything on one final chance.     

      Will giving up her hopes lead to the highest honor of all?

Title: The Rise and Fall of Radiation Canary

Author: Geonn Cannon

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Karen Everett isn't looking to join a band the day she loses her notebook of poetry. She plays the cello and is unsure about what she wants in life, but she's pretty sure it doesn't involve being a professional musician. But a crush on the band's beautiful lead singer Lana Kent, along with the desire to have her poetry shared with a larger audience, leads her to throw caution to the wind and play an audition that leads to her being invited to join the band at gigs.

      After a spur of the moment decision lands them a spot on national television, Karen and the band find themselves riding an unexpected wave of popularity. Soon they're touring the country, recording albums, making music videos, and trying to find time to have a personal life amid all the craziness. Aware that their surge in popularity is due to a fortuitous combination of popular trends and knowing they only have a few good years before their celebrity begins to wane, the ladies of Radiation Canary strive to make the most of their time in the spotlight before the public moves on.

      With one eye on the inevitable end of their fame even as their popularity hits its peak, the band learns that it's not how high you fly, it's how gracefully you fall.

Title: Survival Instincts

Author: May Dawney

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Civilization ended long before Lynn Tanner was born. Wild animals roam the streets, but mankind is still the biggest threat to a woman alone in the ruins of a world reclaimed by nature. Lynn survives by sleeping with one eye open at all times and trusting no one but her dog.
      When she is forced to go on a dangerous journey through the concrete jungle of New York City, Lynn does all she can to scheme her way to safety. Her guard, Dani Wilson, won’t be played that easily, however. As their lives become entwined, Lynn finds herself developing feelings for Dani and is forced to find the answer to the question that scares her most: is staying alone really the best way to survive?
Fast-paced and full of adventure, Survival Instincts introduces a post-war dystopian world where the only person you can rely on is yourself…unless you fall in love.

Title: The Year of the Knife

Author: G.D. Penman

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Agent "Sully" Sullivan is one of the top cops in the Imperial Bureau of Investigation. A veteran witch of the British Empire who isn’t afraid to use her magical skills to crack a case. But Sully might need more than a good education and raw power to stop the string of grisly murders that have been springing up across the American Colonies. Every one of them marked by the same chilling calling card, a warning in the form of a legion of voices screaming out through the killers' mouths: "It IS tHe YEAr oF the KNife."

      Sully’s investigation will drag her away from the comforts of home in New Amsterdam, the beautiful but useless hyacinth macaw that used to be her boss, and the loving arms of her undead girlfriend, in a thrilling race against time, demonic forces and a shadowy conspiracy that will do anything to keep its hold on power and ensure that Sully takes their secrets to her grave, as soon as possible. 

Title: Curved Horizon (Camellia Clock Cycle #2)

Author: Taylor Brooke

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: In the sequel to Fortitude Smashed, navigating the ins and outs of love is hard enough as strangers, but now Daisy and Chelsea must find a way to transform their friendship into something more. Meanwhile, Shannon and Aiden’s year-long relationship is put to the test when a horrific accident puts Shannon’s life at risk.

Title: Recombinant Love

Author: K'Anne Meinel

Genre: Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: While hiking the mountains and deserts of Arizona with her best friend, D.O.G., Ryley Graham hears a whirring noise. Thinking D.O.G. has cornered a rattlesnake, she rushes to protect him and is blinded by a light seemingly coming from nowhere and everywhere simultaneously.

      Waking up 510 years later, she is confused by the unfamiliar machinery and ‘people’ that surround her. Skeptical when she is informed she is aboard a spaceship that explores wormholes, it takes a great deal of effort to finally convince Ryley she isn’t in a government-owned facility and part of some huge experiment or conspiracy.

      Adjusting to the odd life forms that coexist on the ship, Ryley begins to accept that she can never go back to Earth 2015, and she begins to contribute her own unique knowledge and skills to their survival. As Ryley makes new friends, one of them begins to stand out… 

      Mercédès is a woman…half human and half android. She is struggling to understand her human side and the odd feelings she is developing for this Earthwoman. 

      Learning about love, and learning to love will be huge challenges as Ryley and Mercédès begin to forge a future. What impact will it have when they discover the real reason Ryley was taken in the first place?

Title: Appetizers

Author: Geonn Cannon

Genre: Anthology

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: A short story collection by Geonn Cannon:

      Backroads & Boneyards - Kathleen’s parents tried to calm their wild child with religion and a Bible college, but the end result is nothing like what they hoped for.

      Curvy Privateers & Scurvy Sea Dogs - Two employees at a theme park use their characters to overcome their nerves.

      Celestine & the Gypsy: A Radiation Canary prequel - 1979. Metairie, Louisiana. Debra Kent and Celeste Lafitte begin a friendship that will take them through their final year of school and into a life neither of them ever anticipated.

      Clothes Maketh the Man - Hannah is captivated by a beautiful man she meets at a coworker's party, but fails to get any contact information from him. When she finally does track him down, she discovers she's made one very big assumption about her crush, and following through on her attraction may require more than she's willing to give.

      Common Tongue - Two women in a foreign country form a powerful and special bond despite the lack of a common language.

...and more!

Title: Lucky 7

Author: Rae D. Magdon

Genre: Cyberpunk

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Elena Nevares is on the run. She’s a jacker, someone who connects to virtual reality with their brain, and everyone else on her crew was murdered during a mission gone wrong. Sasha Young is planning a rescue. She’s a handler, a team leader whose crew has been scattered by an evil corporation: Axys Generations. Together, they must find the rest of Sasha’s crew: Cherry, the engineer and explosives expert; Rami, the master of disguise; Doc, the wunderkind Medical Officer; and Rock, the mechanically modified muscle. But Axys Generations has bigger plans than taking down Sasha’s crew. Elena, Sasha, and the rest of the Lucky 7 must go on their most dangerous mission yet—not for credits or tech, but to save the world.

Can You Hear Me by Geonn Cannon.jpg

Title: Can You Hear Me

Author: Geonn Cannon

Genre: Conteporary Romance

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: For the next two years, Colonel Noa Laurie - the sole survivor of a disaster which destroyed the International Space Station - will be orbiting Earth in an experimental craft called ODIE. Her mission: to clear away the treacherous minefield of space junk that has accumulated around the planet and endangers future missions. Her only lifeline during this mission will be the radio connecting her to the command center and whoever happens to be assigned to the communications desk.

Or so she thinks.

Because tucked away and almost forgotten in an Indiana woodshop is an antique radio. Its owner, Jamie Faris, occasionally uses it for eavesdropping on the truckers passing by on the highway. One day in the third month of Noa's mission, Jamie uses the radio to vent her frustrations by screaming into the ether. She screams and rages and curses into the thick static knowing it won't matter because no one will hear, but she's wrong... someone is definitely listening.

And she's about to say hello.

The Private Life of Jane Maxwell by Jenn

Title: The Private Life of Jane Maxwell (Hopefuls Book 1)

Author: Jenn Gott

Genre: Superhero Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Some people are born to greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them… and some are just drawn like that.

As the creator of a popular new comics franchise, Jane Maxwell knows a thing or two about heroes, but has no illusions of being one herself. All of that is shattered, however, when she finds herself swept into a parallel world—one where her characters are real, and her parallel self is their leader.

There’s just one problem: that Jane is missing.

Under the growing danger of a deadly new villain named UltraViolet, the team has no choice but to ask Jane to do the impossible: step into the suit left behind by her double, become the hero that they need her to be. But with budding powers that threaten to overwhelm her, a family she only half-recognizes, and the parallel version of her dead wife staring her in the face, navigating her alternate life proves harder than she ever imagined…

Beneath the Surface by Rebecca Langham.j

Title: Beneath the Surface

Author: Rebecca Langham

Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: When a change in collective conscious sends the Outsiders, a group of aliens, to the shadows below the city, humans reason that the demonization of their peers is simply more “humane.” There’s no question, nor doubt. Just acceptance.

Lydia had embraced that sense of “truth” for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a powerful governor, she has been able to live her life with more comforts than most. Comforts can be suffocating, though, and when the opportunity to teach Outsider children in their private, “humane” community becomes available, she takes it.

What she finds beneath the city is far from the truth she had grown to know. There she meets Alessia, an Outsider with the knowledge and will to shake the foundation of all those who walk above ground. The two find a new and unexpected connection despite a complete disconnect from the technological world. Or perhaps in spite of it.

Still, it takes a lot more than an immutable connection to change the world. Lydia, Alessia, and a small group of Outsiders must navigate a system of corruption, falsehoods, and twists none of them ever saw coming, all while holding on to the hope to come out alive in the end. But it’s a risk worth taking, and a future worth fighting for.

Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Bre

Title: Trafalgar and Boone and the Books of Breathing

Author: Geonn Cannon

Genre: Steampunk

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Miss Trafalgar and Dorothy Boone have grown comfortable in their partnership. The rough edges on the society they formed with their fellow adventurers have begun to smoothe, opening the doors for a new era of cooperation among one-time enemies.

When Trafalgar receives an Egyptian statue, a gift from her former assistant, she asks Dorothy to determine its authenticity. What Dorothy uncovers throws both of them, along with the rest of the Mnemosyne Society, into chaos. With lives at risk and the future at stake, Trafalgar leads a group of reluctant allies from London to Egypt to stop an unspeakable power from falling into the wrong hands.

Meanwhile, Beatrice Sek continues her quest to discover her true origins. Armed only with the knowledge that she is one of four "Elementals," she spends her spare time searching for anyone who may know where she came from. She receives unexpected assistance from a former foe, a powerful enemy who promises to help her find answers. The offer is too good to refuse, no matter who it's coming from, but Beatrice may soon find herself forced to choose between revelation and surrendering her soul.

Broken Wings by L-J Baker.jpg

Title: Broken Wings

Author: L-J Baker

Genre: Fantasy

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: In a magical world where being different is the norm, why must Rye Woods fear for her life if the truth about her hidden identity is revealed? When Rye Woods, a fairy, meets the beautiful dryad Flora Withe, her libido, as squashed and hidden as her wings, reawakens along with her heart. But Rye is a poor builder's labourer with a teenage sister to raise, while Flora is a wealthy artist-celebrity with a tree-top condominium and a sporty, late-model flying carpet. If those aren’t obstacles enough to the scorching attraction that rapidly develops, Rye lives under the pall of a dark secret that has made her a fugitive in the very land where she sought freedom. The more Rye reveals to Flora, the more vulnerable she is to her past catching up with her. Can she and Flora find their way to loving one another in the face of their social and cultural differences while struggling with the dark forces that threaten Rye?

Forbidden Melody by Magnolia Robbins.jpg

Title: Forbidden Melody

Author: Magnolia Robbins

Genre: Contemporary Romance

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Emma Harvey is a brilliant and gifted young pianist, accepted into one of the most prestigious music conservatories in the country and prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish her dreams of playing professionally. With a renowned jazz musician for a father and a world-famous mentor growing up, she is convinced her path is easy. Until her world is suddenly silenced when she loses her hearing.

Juliet Hamilton is a prodigy violinist. First chair for nearly fifteen years in the New York Philharmonic and a professor at the conservatory, she is engulfed in her career with no time for distractions. Especially not a beautiful young graduate student with a spirited personality that challenges her every step.

When Emma and Juliet’s paths cross in the classroom, their connection is undeniable. When their music comes together, it is unstoppable. The bond they begin to form threatens to challenge more than just their opinions of music. Friendships, ethics, and careers are tested as Emma and Juliet find themselves lost in a concerto of fiery passion and heartbreak.

Trafalgar & Boone and the Children of th

Title: Trafalgar & Boone and the Children of the Burnt Empire (Trafalgar and Boone 4)

Author: Geonn Cannon

Genre: Steampunk

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Dorothy Boone, still blaming herself for a devastating loss on their last adventure, and Miss Trafalgar are offered a new mission from the Royal Geographical Society: an expedition to find the source of a mythical river has gone missing in the Amazon rainforest, and their patrons want them found. It seems like the perfect low-threat endeavor to get the duo back to normalcy, so Dorothy and Trafalgar accept. Accompanied by Cora Hyde, who is also recovering from a loss, the duo sets out for the jungle.
Their safe undertaking soon turns perilous when they run afoul of a previously unknown tribe known as the Burnt Empire. Dorothy and Trafalgar are separated in the scuffle and taken in by two groups with similar goals but differing tactics. The groups only agree on one point: the very existence of the Burnt Empire could lead to untold destruction.

Spirits Smirits by K.B. Draper.jpg

Title: Spirits Smirits (The Demons Series Book 2)

Author: K.B. Draper

Genre: Urban Fantasy

My Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Synopsis: Addison Jo (AJ) Mattox, ex-cop turned super-spirit-infused demon hunter; Ashlyn Parker, an on-leave park ranger and AJ’s current love nugget; and Danny Whitefang, the rightful heir of AJ’s hunter’s spirit, know one thing for sure: they’d take demons over diapers any day. Unfortunately, they’re battling both at the moment. Because that’s what happens when you’re on the run with a kid fated to be the bringer of the world’s death and destruction and his, we’ll go with dirty mud flap of a mother, the Queen of Hell, who is sending legions of demons to retrieve him.

Exhausted after weeks of running, hiding, and endless fighting, the merry band of demon-hunting misfits hit a wall. Literally. A dark, malevolent, surging wall of insurmountable evil fog that snatches Baby Apocalypse aka Apoc from his protectors and steals him through a nearby hellgate.

AJ always knew there was more than a 50/50 chance that she would end up in hell—60/40, if the ultimate ticket taker was paying attention to the details that one night in Tulsa after a two-for-one tequila special shared with a set of twin trapeze artists. But what she hadn’t considered and had absolutely not added to her bucket list was that she would visit ground evil zero while she was still alive and kicking (ass). But hey, what’s the worst that could happen …

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