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Breathless by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Short, sweet and sexy – we loved this book. Lara is a movie star whose career has crashed and burnt. She is in the throes o...

Floodtide by Heather Rose Jones

 

⭐⭐⭐⭐


Set in an imagined 19th century French kingdom of Alpennia, this is a thoroughly engrossing read. A little bit of Downton Abbey with a whole lot more magic and a whole lot more lesbian couples, the world it creates completely captures the reader.

Roz, a young laundry maid is fired from her job for indulging in ‘indecent acts’ with another girl, Nan. Thrown out sans her belongings and sans a character reference, Roz is still resilient and finds temporary shelter with Dominique, a dressmaker. Laws do not allow Dominique to give Roz an apprenticeship but she gives her food, shelter and keeps her busy. Celeste, Dominique’s daughter is around the same age as Roz and helps her mother, though Celeste’s true love and calling lies in charms. She struggles to learn more about her passion but knows she is bound by necessity to remain in dressmaking. Dominique finds Roz a place in Margerit Sovitre’s house and many worlds intersect because of this humble placement.

The word and world building of the book is excellent. All the main characters of the book are in their teens and by turns naïve, strong, vulnerable and always carrying with them the invincibility of age as they navigate the world. Interestingly, the book has a lot of inclusivity including a trans/intersex character, gay characters and multiple people of different races. This is not strictly a romance, though the feeling of bubbling romance is pervasive. Roz is clueless and rather foolish – so much so that she actually manages to get the object of her affection imprisoned by her unthinking idiocy. Celeste is a really strong character. The other supporting characters are also very likeable. But it is really the writing, the story and the world imagined that engage the reader utterly and completely.

This is a great fantasy book to pick.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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