Live and Love Again by Jan Gayle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Three years ago, Sarah lost her partner, Cheryl, in a terrible accident. A former Colonel in the military, Sarah remains shattered by Cheryl's death and closed off to those around her. She focuses on her furniture business and her dog, Benny. But on a flight to Chicago, she meets Jessica Whitney, a beautiful, successful, businesswoman. The two hit it off immediately and feel an instant connection. The sudden sparks force Sarah to re-think everything - is she ready to move one? Can she really imagine herself with a wealthy and strong woman?
This book is admittedly, a fairly stereotypical cheesy romance. But if the New Adult genre can write them so prolifically, then I think it's refreshing to find a novel that actually offers lesbian characters. True, I probably overlooked a few flaws in this book because I'm completely starved for books with lesbian protagonists and romance, but it was still an enjoyable story. The book engages you early on, when Jessica and Sarah meet. I read the first 150 pages rapidly - it drew me in immediately. Sarah is a likable character; as is Jessica, really. You can imagine knowing either of them in your lesbian circles (beyond Jessica's money, perhaps).
Speaking of the money, the book hammers home that point a bit much: Sarah has no money, Jessica has plenty of it. That gets a bit repetitive and the book stalls a little in the middle. That stall is helped by the cliche of the "wounded character hurt by a death in a previous relationship who can't move on." However, that cliche is found in plenty of genres, not just LGBT. Still, Gayle maneuvers her characters around all their issues fairly deftly. You're pretty sure you know how Jessica and Sarah will wind up, but it's still fun watching them get there. The book is sexy (especially early on - maybe that's the real lesbian cliche - ha!), fun, and, as always, refreshing to see some lesbian characters portrayed as real people. Points for the sweet and loyal supporting character of Jimmy the Driver, too. Definitely a fun, quick read.
I received an ARC of this novel from Netgally (thank you!); it is available for publication on 1/19.
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