Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Books This Week (or recently)

Hi All! 
I am back with a review and few ratings. WARNING: Despite being an M/M blog, I am reviewing an f/f book this week so if girly parts make you want to run and ride, then grab your blankets and a flashlight and head for the closet. But if you are brave, then gird your loins, gather your weapons and scroll down a bit. It's not scary, I promise. =)

First off, I decided to take a risk on this book because I got it for free. I won the drawing for a $20 gift certificate after entering one of Samantha's Challenges over at the LT3 goodreads group (click here for my entry) and I used it to buy a book I wouldn't normally buy (yay for broadening horizons!!). I am definitely glad that I did.

Title: Vixen
Authors: Ashley Shaw, Julie March, Liz Lambdin, Megan Derr, Rachel White, Sasha L. Miller, and T.T. Kove
Editor: Samantha M. Derr
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Length: 140,000 words
Rating: Overall - 3 stars; individual story ratings below
Tags: f/f, anthology, dragons, enemies to lovers, fantasy, historical, in the closet, military, royalty/nobility, magic


Queen, Princess, Lady, peasant, mercenary, whore, pirate, knight, cop, clerk, soldier, and everything in between - and always a mother, daughter, sister, lover, and friend. The power and appeal of women is great, and there's nothing better than watching a woman do what she loves best.

But what happens when what loves best is another woman? Come read these tales of women who will never be satisfied by a man, and will not not settle for less than what their heart most desires.


This is my first foray into the world of f/f. Previously, I only ever came across titles such as Sorority Sister Sexcapades and I have little interest in PWP, no matter the genders involved. Then LT3 came out with Vixen. LT3 is an autobuy publisher for me and I can generally rely on them to give me good, plotty, non-porn-y stories. While I don't think I will ever be attracted to f/f stories as much as I am to m/m stories (I love me some manlove), this was a good introduction to stories about love between women. Some I loved, some I liked, one I was disappointed in. If you are curious and looking for somewhere to get your toes wet, this is a great anthology to start with. If you already know you love f/f stories then this will certainly offer you a variety of interesting stories. My one overall complaint is that all the stories are either historical or fantasy stories. I would have liked to have at least one of the stories be in a contemporary setting (I was intrigued by the suggestion of a cop story in the blurb). Having read this anthology, I will definitely be a little more open to f/f stories in the future. OVERALL RATING: 3 Quills. Individual stories rated below.

You can buy Vixen here at Less Than Three Press for $7.99.

PS even for someone totally into dudes, that cover is HOT!

Individual Story Reviews

Cavatina, Cabaletta  by Rachel White
Two opera stars vie for the spotlight and each others' throats, until one learns of a secret that could bring down a royal house. They must work together to prevent the tragedy and perhaps find comfort where before there was only hatred. The characters in this story just felt flat and did not draw me in, despite an interesting plot premise. 2.5 Quills

The Huntress by T.T. Kove
Liv has a secret that she doesn't want anyone at the common inn she has found herself in to know, especially the beautiful huntress, Amala. However, as secrets always do, hers came out at the worst time. Can these two overcome secrets and family pressure to find happiness? I enjoyed this story but the romance between the two seemed out of nowhere and the end seemed too pat. Nevertheless, it did leave me with smile that they were able to find their HEA. 3 Quills

Slaying Dragons by Sasha L. Miller
Devi is...difficult to work with. As a combatant, she has had 4 complaints in the past 2 years. She expects her assignment to pair with Mage Lavoie to defeat a dragon in the borderlands will be her last. Except, Mage Lavoie is nothing like the mages she has paired with before. Perhaps they are just what the other needs. I enjoyed this story very much. The characters had depth and the plot remained interesting. While I expected the very end, the twist it took before the story got there was completely unexpected (to me at least) which is always refreshing. 4 Quills

The Thicket by Liz Lambdin
What if the princess trapped in the tower were not trapped but were there voluntarily, as the lover of the witch? What happens when she decides to go off with the prince who came along to rescue her? Hilde has been locked her tower alone for far too long after her lover left her. Evelyn has never felt like she fit as a proper princess. These two clash and come together and perhaps become something more together than they ever were apart. This was a fun remake on a classic tale and while predictable it was also entertaining and left me with a smile on my face. 3.5 Quills

Weathering the Storm by Julia March
Emily runs away from home expecting to sail with James to Jamaica as his wife but after the first true kiss she realizes that would be a huge mistake. James helps to get her a spot on a ship as cabin boy using the disguise she created to escape her family. She is shocked to learn the Quartermaster she has been drawn to since they met is also hiding a secret. This was shorter than the other stories so far but still entertaining. I would have liked to have a more fleshed out ending to answer some of the hanging questions. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 3.5 Quills

The Mermaid by Megan Derr
Sophia fears her life is over when she is caught in a rather compromising position...with another woman. Until a proposal comes from an unexpected corner. All is not what it seems and Sophia is dropped into a world of magic and mermaids. I really enjoyed this different take on the mermaid mythology. I was a bit skeptical through the beginning of the story as to how it would work out convincingly but, as always, Megan Derr brought it home admirably. 4 Quills

The Masquerade by Ashley Shaw
Lilith has been a part of Isaac's clan for 12 years and she has never doubted his leadership. Until now. He asks her to kill for him but when she inserts herself undercover to complete here mission, she discovers his reasons are flawed and he lacks all the information. The King who is supposedly a murderer lacks the expected cruelty and the Queen who supposedly stole him away from his one true love is anything but interested in the King. In fact, she seems interested only in Lilith. I enjoyed the plotting and machinations of this story but the romance seemed rushed and stilted. Lilith and Vanessa barely ever talk, they never really get to know each other and after barely a few kisses Lilith is ready to declare love. And the Queen who argued so fiercely for her people, just up and leaves at the end. It doesn't seem logical. However, it was a well written espionage short. 3 Quills


Other Books Read Recently:
Nobody's Hero by Katey Hawthorne - 4 Quills
With a Kiss by Kim Dare - 3 Quills
Nothing Ever Happens by Sue Brown - 3 Quills
Devotion by Lissa Kasey - 4 Quills
Jamie by Lissa Kasey - 4 Quills
Pole Star by Josephine Myles - 3 Quills
Alec's Reward by Kim Dare - 2.5 Quills
The Way to Will by Drew Hunt - 2 Quills
The Rebuilding Year by Kaje Harper - 4.5 Quills
Crunch Time by Andrew Grey - 2.5 Quills
Unacceptable Risk by Kaje Harper - 4.5 Quills
Unexpected Demands by Kaje Harper - 3.5 Quills
Sword of the King by Megan Derr - 3.5 Quills
Saving Liam by Sasha L. Miller - 4.5 stars

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