elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

2018-2019 Rainbow Awards: Best Lesbian Book

And the Rainbow Award goes to...

Cari Hunter - Alias


"Lovely read, and I usually hate first person. Stellar job."

" Once again, Hunter doesn't disappoint. If you're looking for a well-written, thrilling mystery with fully drawn characters, an exciting plot, plus a marvelous Welsh setting, this book is for you."

"A solid entry by an excellent writer. Lots of tension, mystery, romance. First-rate performance on all levels."

Jeannie Levig - A Heart to Call Home

A Heart to Call Home

"Wonderfully written book with a cast of characters that you feel like you know. Not only the MC’s but the supporting players too. As I was reading I could feel the raw emotions felt by both Dakota and Jessica. The author kept me enthralled throughout the entire story. Definitely a winner."

"We romance-lovers love romance because we know we’re going to get an HEA at the end. Some people might think this makes the writer’s job easy, but in reality, it poses a difficult question: how can you write a story that’s so intense that a reader can’t possibly see how it will work out for the MCs in the end, even though the reader knows that it will? Because this intensity and uncertainty — uncertainty in the face of the certain HEA that the reader knows is coming — is what makes it a great story. This is that kind of story. The setup presents two engaging and thoroughly relatable MCs with seemingly insurmountable internal and external difficulties, then lets them muddle through them. And it works brilliantly. On top of this, there are several clever and heartwarming subplots. All in all, it’s a brilliantly written and thoroughly satisfying romance. Brava!"

"An elegant, accessible and sure-handed writing style supports a well-designed plot with multi-dimensional characters and a Sophie’s Choice of conflicting emotions and difficult decisions. This is a page-turner in the true sense of the word, and it pulls you forward on its momentum of real feelings and compelling dialog. Levig hits all the reader’s buttons and takes one along on a ride that is both sensually breath taking and smoothly heart-wrenching. The resolution is most satisfying because the author is a master storyteller."

Caren J. Werlinger - When the Stars Sang

When the Stars Sang

"Absolutely loved this one. Quirky romance in a quirky setting. Loved the Island and the characters I met especially Blossom. Was completely drawn into getting to know both of the MC’s and their journey’s. This is not the first but definitely my favorite from this author. She has honed her storytelling and made it an art!"

"Heartwarming. Great characterizations and delightful storytelling here."

"This story has all the feels! I will remember this book for a long time (had a book hangover when I was done). It’s not a short read but it was very touching and engaging. Great characters. Very realistic and relateable."

Books in the top 25% rate range

Geonn Cannon - Can You Hear Me

Can You Hear Me

"A bloody good story. It would make an awesome movie."

"Loved this story. From start to finish the author kept my interest in all aspects of the storyline. The characters are well written and  he makes you invested in the outcome between them. Setting was unique in certain aspects and really made me feel like I was sitting in the locations being described."

"This is a great read. I loved it right from the start and it offer not only an interesting plot but also a very unusual one. It is difficult to find books that surprise me, and this definitely surprised me in the best way possible. I appreciated how atypical this story is and how easily kept me totally engaged in the story from start to end. This may be easily one of my favourite book of 2019. Really really really good!"

C.J. Murphy - Frame by frame

frame by frame

"Loved this one from start to finish. I felt drawn into the story. Loved the character and how they both struggled with coming to terms with their fears. Great supporting cast as well."

"I loved this story! Very sweet and well written."

"This novel started out with a bang: immediately the setting was so rich and the characters that inhabited it were so unique and complex that I was sucked right in. The existing relationships between Val and Laurel, Ree, and the rest of the Cool Springs denizens were subtle and engrossing, and had me so curious over the back story between them all, how they met and where they were going. I was engrossed. I loved Val: equal parts unapologetic and reclusive, she had a fragility that pulled me in but a strength that just got more and more fascinating the more I learned about her. While I feel the pacing suffers a bit toward the end when certain plot revelations were given over more to exposition than the detailed and considered encounters I had become used to, by that time, I was so in love with the characters that I was more interested in finding out how their story finished. Contrasting Laurel's internal struggles with what might be against Val's external and internal struggles with what came before was genius and very effective. Thank you for a lovely read about acceptance and love!"

Lynn Ames - Chain Reactions

Chain Reactions

"I really enjoyed this book. It was a breath of fresh air. Ms. Ames does not put out a plethora of books, but the ones she does put out are well thought out and a joy to read."

"Great storytelling. Well written characters that you got to know in depth. Loved Nora and wished I could have known her better. Settings spot on. Felt a little sluggish in some spots but overall an awesome read."

"Great book! I was deeply moved by this story and love to read about strong, intelligent female characters. I cried big ugly tears!"

Jeannie Levig - A Wish Upon a Star

A Wish Upon a Star

"A wonderfully engaging love story, featuring two believable, likable middle-aged women."

"Loved this heartwarming unique story. Had some moments that made me laugh out loud too. The author nailed the autism arc spot on. I liked how Erica and Leslie figure out how to make it work and how Sienna responds to a new person in her life."

"I just really enjoyed this story, from the opening paragraph right to the very end."

Heather Blackmore - It's Not a Date

It's Not a Date

" I had already read this one and went to refresh myself with the story and ended up rereading the whole book again. Totally enjoyed it. Loved the 2 MC’s Kade and Jen and both of their vulnerabilities. Also loved the relationship between Holly and Kade. Interesting story arc. "

"This book hit a little close to home for me… my mother suffers with dementia. The story itself was pretty good."

"Excellent romance with a convincing setting and great character development."

Clare Ashton - The Goodmans

The Goodmans

"This was my 1 st Claire Ashton book and it won’t be my last. The writing is wonderful and the characters, all of them are written superbly. I felt I got to know each and everyone. She made me feel like part of the family drawing me into the story itself. The plot line was complex but each piece of the story was integral to the whole."

"The Goodmans was total „reading bliss“. I had to laugh was near tears, had „deep thoughts", the whole gamut of emotions was addressed. A rom com where you can see disaster looming and the author turns the right corner with tongue-in-cheek. The characters are revealed layer by layer and the writing was superb. The whole package of goodness is wrapped up in this book."

Ruth Simkin - Dear Sophie

Dear Sophie: Life Lessons in Feminism & Medicine

"Dear Sophie is a flawless memoir that is not only a story of Dr Ruth Simkin, but a story of feminism and women in Canada and the field of medicine, skillfully woven together with valuable life lessons. I feel grateful to Dr Simkin not only for her pioneering work that improved the quality of life for so many women, but for sharing her experiences. I found this memoir not only insightful and inspiring and a bit shocking, but at times funny. I learned more than I expected. Thank you!"

"Beautiful memoir of a fascinating life. Simkin's grand-niece Sophie is a very fortunate young woman. I wish I had such a handbook to life from my own grandmother – who had almost no formal education and was gone before I realized how many questions I should have asked."

Jae - Just for Show

Just for Show

" This is a fresh take on a familiar setup. The characters are likable, and although as a romance, we all know how it’s going to end, I was never sure *how* the characters were going to get there. The writing and storytelling sparkle. Really well done."

"This story sucked me in right from the get go. I loved it all."ù

"A thoroughly enjoyable fake relationship romance. A fun read und perfectly written."

Suzie Carr - The Curvy Side of Life

The Curvy Side of Life

"I enjoyed this story very much. Characters were funny and well fleshed out. Totally can relate to Faith and her journey Easy read attributed to the writing style. Only down side was it was a little wordy in some spots."

"I found this story full of angst and drama. One of those that you don’t know how it will end until it ends. The premise was solid as was the setting. It was a gripping story and an enjoyable read."

Jae - Paper Love

Paper Love

"Awesome book. I loved learning a bit about Germany through this story. Well written with great main and supporting characters. Anja and Susanne fit very well together."

"This was an alright story but it was hard to get into. It did flow well and could have been great if it was a bit faster paced."

"Another on of Jae‘s great romances. Set in one of the cutest towns in Germany."

Judith Branzburg - The Liberation of Ivy Bottini

Liberation of Ivy Bottini: A Memoir of Love and Activism

"I love a good Bio/memoir. I love reading about people’s lives. Having all the pics scattered throughout the book, made it seem all that more real. Like I knew Ivy and the rest of the people."

"Branzburg definitely chose the right POV (in first person) for the telling of Ivy Bottini’s story because the narrative rings true and authentic with the inimitable Bottini “voice.” The story is a fascinating, laugh-out-loud, cry-real-tears-of empathy celebration of this infamous trailblazer’s remarkable story."

G. Benson - Who'd Have Thought

Who'd Have Thought

"Who'd Have Thought was a very smooth read, with characters who I easily came to care about."

"Highly recommended fake romance."

S.L. Kassidy - Learning to Walk Again

Learning to Walk Again (Scarred Book 5)

" A well-written story populated with relatable characters."

Wendy Hudson - Meant to be Me

Meant to Be Me

"Well written suspenseful romantic page turning story. All of the characters are well written and intense. Highly recommended."

"Beautifully written, this taut, tense novel has the appeal of a Thriller and the lure of a Romance. Hudson does a great job of convincing us of the madness of the stalker while painting the main characters as credible in their confusion and confrontation with both good and evil. Would have liked to understand more about the antoganists’s motivation, that is, to have seen a bit more digging into the psyche. Overall a talented and intriguing execution of a compelling premise."

Iza Moreau - Swamp Girl

Swamp Girl

"The moment I started this book, I was immersed. The narrator's voice is so conversational and what exposition is needed is woven fluidly (almost unnoticeably) into the narrative, which is an incredible skill. I'm giving extra points for the setting, which becomes its very own character. Whether we are in the dark, dank grit of the NYC subway, crowded into the borough where Sixteen lives and works, or sweltering in the swamp of the Florida Everglades, I was completely pulled into the location. The atmosphere created by the author is vivid and tangible, especially in the first half: grime and crime and a young woman who is street-savvy and capable but knows she's not invincible. I really connected with Sixteen here and was intrigued by the people who surrounded her. This drops off a little once we get to Florida and the action plot gets going, but this section is rife with unique side characters, and the women in the story - Sixteen, Carmen, and Dorinda - are well fleshed out, with real world problems; everyone has their own traumas and they are all given weight and importance regardless of what the other characters have gone through, but equally, the reader is given an ending push toward hope, of healing, of love, and of growth. Whether I believe a girl would hop a plane to Florida on a whim is beside the point; this story is so engaging that any leaps of faith are nicely folded in. I really enjoyed this."

"I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure story. I loved the main character and her voice. I enjoyed the author's imagination and writing style."

C.J. Murphy - Gold Star Chance

Gold Star Chance (Five Points Book 1)

"Another winner from this author. Loved the storied history of the 2 MC’s Jax and Chance. Characters are well developed. Definitely fits the romance genre."

"I really enjoyed this story. I read it, and I know I’ll read it again, just because for me it was that good."

Chris Paynter - Just a Touch Away

Just a Touch Away

"Nice easy flowing romance with well written characters. Loved the lake setting. This author continues to delivery awesome romance to the genre."

Caren J. Werlinger - A Bittersweet Garden

A Bittersweet Garden

"The interwoven threads of all the characters, both past and present, are just about pitch-perfect."

"This book drew me deeply into its world so much so that I felt I was having the dreams the protagonist was having and feeling the misty rain and sparkling sunshine as she walked and rode around this new-but-familiar bit of Ireland.  It even made me want to watch the movie that’s central to it to immerse myself further into this world.  The weaving of the generations-old Irish ancestry, the fae realms, the slow and natural evolution of romance, the deep family ties, the finding one’s true self, connecting to the earth, all those elements made for an amazing journey that will stay with me."

"Well-paced, well-plotted and well-written. Imagery is vibrant, and off-sets the retreaded plot."

Susan Stocker - Kiss Your Elbow (An Embellished Memoire of Growing Up in the 50's and 60's)

Kiss Your Elbow: An Embellished Memoire about Growing Up Gay in the 50's and 60's

"This was a fantastic memoir. It was funny, poignant and relatable. I didn't want to stop reading it and I honestly am not a fan of Memoirs! Can't wait for book number two to continue the story!"

"Loved this story from start to finish. Great storytelling style. Felt like I was literally along for the ride. Had me smiling and relating. Great character portrayals. "

Jae - Not the Marrying Kind

Not the Marrying Kind (Fair Oaks Book 2)

"The writing and characters pulled me in right away."

"The story was well written, and I felt more sorry for Sasha than I did Ash, but I did like their circle of friends."

Sandra de Helen - Desire Returns for a Visit

Desire Returns for a Visit: Intimate Poems about Lesbian Love

"The poetry in this book was a bit hit and miss for me but as I was judging it overall, I give it an outstanding rate."

"The author wrote with lyrical, beautiful sentences that painted pictures in my mind. Her choices in style and presentation were fabulous."

Sallyanne Monti - Light at the End of the Tunnel, A Memoir

Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Memoir

"I enjoyed the writing and the basic premise used to tell this story."

"This memoir had me from the beginning--the family expectations and the questioning of Sallyanne's sexual attratction from the very beginning had me think this was bisexual, until I got deeper into the book.  Fascinating she buried her growing attraction to woman when she married, came to the fore with one little keystroke of fate. Wonderfully written, it's a loving tribute to herself, and a beautiful love story of her relationship with another woman."

Chris Zett - Irregular Heartbeat

Irregular Heartbeat

"The mark of a great story is when the storyteller, in this case the writer, disappears from the readers awareness as she becomes completely immersed in the story itself."

Renée Vivien (translator Samantha Pious) - A Crown of Violets

A Crown of Violets

"I loved the fact that this book gave both the French and then the English translation for each poem—I found it very interesting. I liked the poems as well."

"Beautiful explorations of the complexities of a full spectrum female love — joyful, tortured, expectant, unrequited. Brave and unabashed. Also, the translation sparkles, bringing the verse dancing to life on the page. Absolutely wonderful."

Kellie Doherty - Sunkissed Feather and Severed Ties

Sunkissed Feathers and Severed Ties (Broken Chronicles Book 1)

"This book had me sucked in from the moment the necklace went around her neck. Sometimes in these types of stories the characters names can get on my nerves a bit, but I loved the story overall. I’ll more than likely buy more of this series."

"When I started reading the book I was worried it would be difficult to follow it due to the all world created and how many infos seemed needed to understand how their society worked, but the author was able to balance well the infos needed within an exciting plot. This book definitely left me with the curiosity to see what's come next. And that's pretty much the best thing that can happens when you start a new series."

Helen Jayne - Hestia: sapphic soulmates

Hestia: Sapphic Soulmates

"I liked this book but it left a little bit to be desired for me. I felt it could have been so much more. I wanted it to be so much more."

Rae D. Magdon - Fur and Fangs (Vol 1-10)

Fur and Fangs: Volume 1-10

"This was a cute, fun, thoughtful read. The writing flows wonderfully, and the author does a marvelous job with representation and diversity. I enjoyed it immensely."

"Old fashion romance with a paranormal arc. Usually not my favorite genre but this one held my interest. Riley and Izzy work well as a couple, both with baggage to be fleshed out."

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Tags: rainbow awards 2018-2019

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