Brigham’s Recommendations – Stuck Landing by Lauren Gallagher

StuckLanding_600x900.jpg

 

Summary:

For months, acclaimed Wolf’s Landing director/producer Anna Maxwell has been nursing a crush on Natalya Izmaylova, a former Russian gymnast and current Wolf’s Landing stunt coordinator. When Anna witnesses Natalya’s very public breakup with her boyfriend, she can’t resist inviting her over for drinks to commiserate about love and all that nonsense. Commiseration doesn’t last long, and soon Anna’s in bed with the hottest woman she’s ever touched, living out fantasies she didn’t even know she had.

Despite the amazing sex, Anna wants to proceed with caution. They’re both newly single. They’re colleagues. And there’s the not-so-small matter of Anna’s biphobia.

Natalya won’t commit to someone who clings to ridiculous stereotypes, but they can’t avoid each other at work, and there’s no ignoring their chemistry. Anna’s defenses are slowly eroding, and Natalya is willing to give her another chance. But Natalya only has so much patience, and even scorching-hot sex won’t keep her coming back forever. If Anna doesn’t come to her senses soon and let go of her prejudices—not to mention her insecurities—she’s going to lose the woman of her dreams.

Review:

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the “Bluewater Bay” series or that I am a fan of L.A. Witt’s writing, whether she’d doing it under that name or as Lauren Gallagher. So when I realized she had written a lesbian romance as part of the “Bluewater Bay” series I was thrilled.

I don’t read a lot of lesbian stories. Mostly because I lack the time to keep up with all of the amazing books in the m/m genre, much less read lesbian fiction on top of it, but I was glad I took the time to read this. I found “Stuck Landing” very enjoyable.

In the previous books in the series, we caught glimpses of the main characters in “Stuck Landing” and saw the crumbling of Anna Maxwell’s relationship and her growing attraction to Natalya Izmaylova. This book can certainly be read as a standalone novel, but having that backstory was nice. It added an additional layer to the story.

Anna and Natalya were interesting and well thought out characters. They’re both driven, successful women, but the author did a fantastic job showing where they differed and how that impacted their approach to a relationship. For example, Anna’s career as a director and producer has developed into a need to control the relationship she’s in. Natalya’s career as a gymnast and stunt woman means she’s more willing to dive in and risk it all. It was a nice contrast, because it gave them enough in common to build a foundation, but a source of tension as they went from  hooking up to being in a relationship.

The author also did a fantastic job addressing the issue of biphobia. It’s something that many bi people have experienced (myself included) and I was very pleased to see it as part of the storyline. Much of Anna’s growth as a character was centered on acknowledging her prejudices and letting go of them.  Natalya’s frustration with Anna’s beliefs came from her previous experiences with biphobic people and made the resolution of those issues even more satisfying.

Lauren Gallagher delivered a story with great pacing, complex characters, steamy romance and love scenes, and a solid resolution at the end. Highly recommended.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

Brigham’s Recommendations – “Kneel, Mr. President” by Lauren Gallagher

kneel-mr-president

Summary:

Sworn to have their lover’s back, front, or any other side that needs covering.

Secret Service agent Kent Sinclair, head of POTUS security, thought himself prepared for every contingency. Until the First Lady—a woman who barely tolerates his presence—approaches him with a request that startles the hell out of him.

Carlene Broderick is frightened. With the weight of the country and impending war on his shoulders, her husband, James, is buckling under the strain. The key to helping him cope is the name he calls out in his sleep—and it’s not hers. It belongs to his fellow ex-SEAL team buddy. His ex-lover. Kent.

Without hesitation, Kent plunges into treacherous emotional territory, only to realize it’s not really him that James needs. The Commander in Chief needs to give up complete control in the bedroom.

To relieve that much pressure, Kent and Carlene must work together and declare a truce that rapidly heats up into something more. Something that leaves James caught deep in forbidden territory—torn between his beloved wife and the man he’s never stopped loving.

Warning: Contains three forty-somethings discovering whole new sides of themselves, a rejuvenated marriage, and plenty of kinky fun. All brought to you by an ex-SEAL in a wetsuit, a bisexual President, and a First Lady with a tattoo on her ass.

Review:

I don’t often read or review M/M/F books, but if there’s one author who’s guaranteed to always write a stellar story, it’s Lauren Gallagher (aka L.A. Witt in the m/m world).  The title and the premise of the story intrigued me, but if it had been an author I respected less, I would have doubted her ability to pull it off.  A menage BDSM story taking place in the White House? That’s a challenge to make believable, but this author did a beautiful job.

I loved the way Kent and James’ past relationship was slowly revealed as the story continued.  I also loved the strength and openness of Kent and Carlene’s relationship. It was the way Kent and Carlene moved past their dislike of each other to work together for James’ sake that intrigued me the most.  The way all of the characters’ feelings for each other changed and grew really grabbed me and was what sold me on the story. The character growth was what stood out for me the most.  The BDSM aspect and the sex scenes were hot as always (Lauren/L.A. has never failed me there!) and the conclusion of the story felt natural.

If I had one quibble about the story it would be that it seemed slightly implausible that they were able to keep their relationship secret and that they weren’t more concerned about being discovered.  That being said, it didn’t detract from the story enough to be distracting and overall I thought Lauren did an excellent job tackling a very difficult plot.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Samhain