Hi everyone, I hope you’re all keeping well! I’ve been kept busy this week! I’m back to studying and I’ve decided to take a beginners course in BSL, and if you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you won’t have seen that I started a booktube channel! I’m still getting to grips with everything there so the quality might not be amazing at first but I’m very excited to talk about sapphic books there too! But back to today’s post, I’ve been reading quite a few ARCs and novellas recently so I thought I’d wrap them up with some wee mini reviews, because I’ve read some really great ones that I wanted to share with you!
This first novella I was kindly approved for as an ARC by Ninestar Press through Netgalley and I was so excited to read it! It follows Jennifer, Sean and Maria – jewel thieves who are also in a loving, poly relationship. On one mission, things go a bit awry when Jennifer gets taken by the FBI for investigation, leaving Sean and Maria to get her back. I think this is one of the first books I’ve read with a poly romance and it’s left me wanting to get my hands on more! This was really fast paced and action packed and I really enjoyed Sean and Maria having to adapt to new and unexpected situations to try and get Jennifer back. I also really like Jennifer’s intelligence and strong personality. Overall, I think this is a really fun novella if you’re looking for something fast paced and quick, but I do wish that it was slightly longer so we really got to know the characters a bit better and feel connected to them. Regardless, this was very enjoyable and I’ll definitely be looking out for more from C.C. Bridges in the future!
This next one I actually read on Scribd as an audiobook (if you’d like a free two month trial you can click here and I also get a free month!) and I highly recommend reading it that way if you can because the narrator is one of the best I’ve ever listened to – she made everything so atmospheric and her accents were spot on (which you don’t hear very often!). This is a sapphic gothic horror novella that follows Evelyn Perdanu, a shipping magnate, who is living in a very precarious country that looks like it might go to war. Surprisingly, one of her ships makes it back to the dock but the crew are falling mysteriously ill – they have an almost glazed look about them and are all scarily obsessed with her. So, she locks herself away in her estate to figure out a cure, with a hostage rebel soldier that she’s trying to get answers from. After reading this, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that gothic horror is my favourite kind of horror! As I mentioned, the atmosphere was so palpable and I was so drawn into the story, I didn’t want to stop listening! The characters were all so morally grey and dark and the very subtly sapphic parts were really beautiful, in an almost melancholy way. Although the ending slightly confused me, I will be picking this up as a physical copy at some point so I can read it again, as I feel like I would definitely benefit from it to see all the little details! I highly recommend this to everyone who wants to get into horror but doesn’t want anything too intense or gory!
This next one I read for Sapphic Saturday and it quickly became a new favourite of mine! It follows Evie, an assistant editor, who exiled to ride with the Pack-Horse Librarians after her ex-girlfriend leaks the company’s most prestigious author’s manuscript to the press. However, when Evie gets there, she has to work out how to survive in the wilderness, especially when, during her first solo ride, her horse spooks and knocks her out of the saddle in the middle of the rain and in bear territory! I’m not sure what it was about this one that made me love it so much – it could be the lovely queer found family or it could be the Wild West-inspired setting (I think I might also be a sucker for this setting in general now!) or the interesting types of magic – but it really found its way into my heart! For such a short novella, this one really felt like it contained so much with regards to character development, plot and worldbuilding but I can’t help but wish that it was longer, just so I could spend more time with these characters! That being said, I’ll definitely be checking out more by Laurel Beckley in the future!
Finally, is Deadline by Stephanie Ahn (which I just finished reading this afternoon!). This novella follows Harry, a disgraced witch, who’s just trying to make ends meet when her sister links her up with a new client – a representative of the most powerful witch family in New York. In return for a very large sum of money, Harry has to go on the hunt for a lost magical artefact that will see her making deals with demons, running from alligator/mole chimaera and getting her magic kicked into gear by a succubus in a BDSM dungeon! This one took me by surprise by how much I enjoyed it! It’s a super fast paced read with a really sarcastic (and super gay) main character and I was invested from the get go! I don’t want to say too much about this since it is so short and I don’t want to give anything away, but this is the first book in a series that I’ll definitely be carrying on with and I recommend it if you’re looking for something similar to the Mortal Instruments series but adult, more sapphic, and less problematic!