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Appointment with a Smile by Kieran YorkAppointment with a Smile by Kieran York
Blue Feather Books, March 2012; ISBN-10: 1935627864

For artist Danielle O'Hara, even though romance is nonexistent and her art career has nearly stagnated, she's reasonably content with her circumstances. Then, when she's nearly sixty years old, the greatest adventure of her life begins. Danielle leaves her Colorado home to attend her first major solo art exhibit in London. While roaming through a street market, Danielle catches sight of her first and only true love, Molly, who had left Colorado and their relationship thirty years earlier. Danielle never accepted Molly's explanation that the reason their relationship had dissolved was Danielle's compulsion to paint. Although the art world has provided Danielle only minimal recognition, an undying belief in herself has kept her moving forward. Her encounter with Molly forces Danielle to revisit the past and to confront an uncertain future.

In addition to finding Molly again after three decades, she meets Bethany Cortland, a beguiling, confident woman, who is all that Danielle desires in a woman—everything, that is, except that she's not Molly. The London journey takes Danielle on a trip to the interior of her heart, a place where previously, only her art had been allowed. Now, against her will, she discovers that love and professional success have their own agendas and timetables.

Available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble





Best Lesbian Romance 2013 by Radclyffe (Ed)Best Lesbian Romance 2013 by Radclyffe (Ed)
Cleis Press, February 2013; ISBN-10: 1573449016

Radclyffe is on a mission: she wants to rock your world every single year. And she does. We marvel at every year's batch of annual excellence. Swooningly romantic, shudderingly erotic, poundingly good prose that will tug at your heartstrings (etc) at the beginning of every single year, or every time you open the volume.

Love stories from Cheyenne Blue, Andrea Dale, Charlotte Dare, Sacchi Green, Anna Meadows, Radclyffe, and others span the tumultuous, exhilarating roller-coaster ride of romance, from the breathtakingly discoveries of new passion to the poignant depths of a shared lifetime. Love, newly minted or aged like fine wine, is ever young at heart—savor the pleasure of romance with Best Lesbian Romance 2013.

Available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble





One Saved to the Sea by Catt Kingsgrave One Saved to the Sea by Catt Kingsgrave
Circlet Press, August 2012

Review by Jean Roberta:  In the Orkney Islands, mothers tell their children of the selkies, seals who can shed their skins and dance on land. They also tell that whoever holds a selkie girl's skin can trap her for a wife. From the lighthouse where she was raised, Mairead has watched the selkie girls secretly since she was small. She longs to leave the home that has never really been hers and join them. She could never have guessed that a limping selkie girl has been watching her too, nor what wildness the shapeshifter would draw her into. Their paths collide when most of the men including Mairead's brothers have been called to war, the village idiot decides to catch himself a wife, and Mairead is the only one who can stop him.

Drawing on myth and history, Catt Kingsgrave writes a tale of the clash of the modern age with magic, of loss and searching, a tale that will sweep you away to a past that never was, and into a sapphic love story just this side of impossible.

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





Girls Who Score: Hot Lesbian Erotica by Ily Goyanes (Ed)Girls Who Score: Hot Lesbian Erotica by Ily Goyanes (Ed)
Cleis Press, August 2012; ISBN-10: 1573448257

Even though they may not get a lot of action on the field after high school and college, girl jocks always manage to see a lot of action off the field. Because female athletes have an easy confidence about them, a natural nonchalance, and usually a killer bod, that draws all kinds of women to them – straight, lesbian, bisexual, curious, questioning, you name it. Women are competitive by nature, whether they play sports or games. Women play hard and love harder. They don’t just score – they keep track. 

Girls Who Score is filled with story after story of complex, intriguing women engaging in all kinds of, ahem, contact sports. Sinclair Sexsmith contributes "A Good Workout" at the gym with lots of hot action in the steam room and Gina Marie has two women boxers going at it in every way in her ever-so-sexy "Blood Lust." Delilah Devlin's soccer champs have a very good time in "Playing the Field," and Elle's "Game Over" has a cheerleader who "trains" a freshmen each year to serve her every need. Sporty dykes aren’t always playing ball, so to speak. After all, scuba divers and gym bunnies are in fact athletes and editor Ily Goyanes features lesbian jocks of every stripe in this sweet and sweaty volume. 

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





She Shifters: Lesbian Paranormal Erotica by Delilah DevlinShe Shifters: Lesbian Paranormal Erotica by Delilah Devlin (Editor)
Cleis Press, July 2012; ISBN-10: 157344796X

The idea of shapeshifters—beings both human and animal—ignites our imaginations with visions of primal passions and insatiable hungers. Most commonly seen as dark, masculine demons, shapeshifters are in need of a metaphysical overhaul—a new feminine/Sapphic blending of physical power and inescapable desires.She Shifters re-envisions common and not-so-common myths and deliver a fresh perspective from the storytellers. Traditional lycanthropes and feline familiars appear, was well as more obscure, lesser-known mythologies from around the world to create inventive tales celebrating feminine power, lust, and erotic love. Paisley Smith’s “The Night Crow” finds two lovers, divided by centuries and a terrible sacrifice, reunited in London. In Christine d’Abo’s, “Scorched Retribution”, a human woman has come home after a ten year absence, hoping to make amends with the one person whose heart she'd broken. But the heart of a dragon isn't easily won and the woman must offer herself up for retribution or risk losing her lover forever.In Angela Caperton’s "Sweetwater Pass," the eldest daughter in a family of shape shifters heading to California in the era of the great wagon trains, meets a Native American "sister" and finds the promise of the West fulfilled. Delilah Devlin's one-of-a-kind She Shifters unleashes the wild creature inside us all!

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories by Tristan Taormino Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories by Tristan Taormino (Editor)
Cleis, July 2012; ISBN-10: 1573447943

Where else but a Tristan Taormino erotica collection can you find a femme vigilante, a virgin baby butch, and a snake charmer jostling for your attention? The salacious stories in Stripped Down draw you in like honeyed voices from an upstairs room. In Peggy Munson’s “Into the Baptismal,” two farmgirls decide to test their virginity pledges one rainy summer night. Quinn Vertiz's “Jubilee” describes a classic American rite of passage — a trip to a trailer brothel in the Nevada desert — but with a truck full of butch dykes in place of the local boys. In Skian McGuire’s “Phoebe’s Undercover Bon Voyage,” a group of well-equipped tops indulge a friend’s cop fetish before she — a real cop — goes undercover. And Kathleen Warnock's "After Lunch" makes it clear that the best dish in a small-town restaurant isn't on the menu.

Guest editor Eileen Myles adds her street smarts and lyrical dynamism to Tristan Taormino’s powerful collection of riveting girl-girl erotica.

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





Girl Fever: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex for Lesbians by Sacchi GreenGirl Fever: 69 Stories of Sudden Sex for Lesbians by Sacchi Green (Editor)
Cleis Press, June 2012; ISBN-10: 1573447919

Girl Fever is Short fiction at its best from rising erotica star Sacchi Green, whose Lesbian Cowboys took the top award at the 2009 Lambda Awards. This big book of lesbian quickies satisfies on every level with stories from top-notch contributors that evoke the heat, the urgency and the "gotta have it" moment of the quickie. There are long-time companions, one night stands, meet-cutes and meet only once stories to fuel your fantasies in this only book of lesbian quickies on the market today.

Sudden sex, when your need is too great wait. Sex in planes, trains and automobiles, and roller coasters, carnival rides, elevators, and ferries as well; and if a bed is handy, that’s fine too. Shanna Germain’s “Answering the Call” shows us games EMTs play in an ambulance, while Victoria Janssen’s “The Airplane Story” crams us into the metal-walled bondage of an airliner restroom. Sommer Marsden makes the very best use of “An Hour,” Allison Wonderland gets it “Off and On” in under ten minutes, and Tigress Healey offers “Six Minutes or It’s Free.” But there’s more to it than speed, and the sixty-nine pieces in Girl Fever by skilled writers Cheyenne Blue, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Delilah Devlin, D.L. King, and scores of others offer characters you’d love to fuck, evocative settings, and well-rounded stories that can intrigue and surprise you along the way to seduction.

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica by Sinclair Sexsmith (Editor)Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica by Sinclair Sexsmith (Editor)
Cleis Press, April 2012; ISBN-10: 1573447854

Sinclair Sexsmith presents a cornucopia of lesbian kink — tantalizing tales rich in variety and saucy details of girls put in their place — and held there firmly. A girly-girl reaps a sweet punishment for refusing to mess up her oh-so-pink lipstick and a well-equipped top takes charge. Whether readers dream of surrendering to a lover or of taking control, Say Please offers plenty of erotic inspiration and gives readers exactly what they want!

In "The Cruelest Kind," Kiki Delovely's naughty narrator gets her just desserts from her butch girlfriend with some fierce back alley bondage while D.L. King's domme makes her submissive strip before un unseen audience, binds her to a bench, and gives her a good strapping in "A Public Spectacle." Anna Watson' bored housewife gets more than she bargains for in "The Keys" when she follows a lesbian animal trainer out to a queer bar and anything goes in Xan West's sexy "Strong" when a transgender butch and genderqueer sub engage in some very tough love.

Available at:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble





SteamPowered: Lesbian Steampunk StoriesSteamPowered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Editor)
Torquere Press, January 2011; ISBN-10: 1610401506

The fifteen tantalizing, thrilling, and ingenious tales in Steam-Powered put a new spin on steampunk by putting women where they belong -- in the captain’s chair, the laboratory, and one another’s arms. Here you’ll meet inventors, diamond thieves, lonely pawn brokers, clockwork empresses, brilliant asylum inmates, and privateers in the service of San Francisco’s eccentric empire. Though they hail from across the globe and universes far away, each character is driven to follow her own path to independence and to romance. The women of Steam-Powered push steampunk to its limits and beyond.

“From colonial India to New Orleans in slavery times, from a rogue San Francisco to the Lower East Side of old New York, these stories are thoughtful, wide-ranging, exciting, and often very, very sexy. Anybody who thinks that “steampunk” and “lesbian” are niche interests should read Steam-Powered and get their horizons seriously expanded.” —Delia Sherman, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winner and author of Through a Brazen Mirror.
Available at:  Torquere Books | Amazon





Girls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica by Delilah DevlinGirls Who Bite: Lesbian Vampire Erotica by Delilah Devlin (Editor)
Cleis Press, September 2011; ISBN-10: 1573447153

These are no Twilight tales — the stories in Girls Who Bite are varied, unexpected, and soul-scorching. Best-selling romance writer Delilah Devlin and her contributors investigate vampire myths from around the world, and add fresh girl-on-girl blood to the pantheon of the paranormal.

Take a walk on the wild side with some of the hottest erotic romance authors out there. In "La Caida," a Mexican "salt-eater" saves a fallen angel and redeems her own soul. In "Bloody Wicked," a powerful witch's spell to lure a lover turns her into a vampire's love slave. Through a "Pet Door," a shapeshifting vampire meets the dominatrix of her dreams. South African "Impundulu" sweeps you back to a vampire's primeval beginnings. With a list of contributors that include Adele Dubois, Christine d'Abo, Paisley Smith, Myla Jackson, Shayla Kersten, and Vivi Anna, Devlin delivers a dark and sexy read you can sink your teeth into!

So, sit astride the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, sail with modern-day pirates, watch a meteor fall to earth, and taste the powdery wings of a Monarch butterfly. Not things you'd expect in a vampire tale? Then sip O-positive from a femoral artery while tugging at the silky strands of your lover's hair. Eternally delicious.
Available at:  Amazon





lesbian eroticaSometimes She Lets Me by Tristan Taormino (Editor)
Cleis Press, March 2010; ISBN-10: 1573443824

Winner of both the 2011 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Erotica and the 2011 National Leather Association's Samois Anthology Award. Congratulations to Tristan Taormino and the authors!

Does the swagger of a sure-footed butch make you swoon? Do your knees go weak when you see a femme straighten her stockings? A duet between two sorts of women, butch/femme is a potent sexual dynamic. Tristan Taormino chose her favorite butch/femme stories from the Best Lesbian Erotica series, which has sold over 200,000 copies in the 16 years she was editor. And if you think you know what goes in in the bedroom between femmes and butches, these 22 shorts will delight you with erotic surprises.

In Joy Parks's delicious "Sweet Thing," the new femme librarian in town shows a butch baker a new trick in bed. The stud in "Tag!," by D. Alexandria, finds her baby girl after a chase in the woods by scent alone. And the girl in a pleated skirt gets exactly what she wants from her Daddy in Peggy Munson's "The Rock Wall." Sometimes She Lets Me shows that it's all about attitude — predicting who will wind up on top isn't easy in stories by S. Bear Bergman, Rosalind Christine Lloyd, Samiya A. Bashir, and many more.
Available at:  Amazon





Lesbian Cops, lesbian eroticaLesbian Cops: Erotic Investigations by Sacchi Green (Editor)
Cleis Press, April 2011; ISBN-10: 1573446513

Review by Jean Roberta:  The whole world is a bad neighborhood. Shit happens. Someone has to clean it up. And sometimes unexpected pleasure serves as a consolation prize.

This is the message of the stories in this collection, each featuring a lesbian police officer and a willing female civilian or rookie cop. It would be very easy for the contributors to a collection with this theme to write over-the-top fantasies about unstoppable woman warriors with bullet-proof flesh. Luckily, none of the stories in this book is that kind of cartoon.

In "Dress Uniform" by Teresa Noelle Roberts, the narrator is a lesbian cop whose girlfriend has asked her to wear her uniform to a fetish fair. The narrator controls her temper, then explains:

"'I'm not a fetish, Lisette. My uniform isn't a cos-play outfit or a vest and leather pants. Every time I've spanked you, you've been spanked by a cop. By me. By a woman you say you care about. And if that's not good enough for you, if you need the fucking uniform, I don't know what to do, because I can't treat it like fetish gear.'"

When the narrator calms down, she realizes that sexual attraction (as distinct from a connection on other levels) tends to be superficial for everyone. She decides to compromise by buying a "cop uniform" in a fetish store so she can role-play a fantasy version of herself. It's very postmodern.

The danger in these stories seems real, and homicidal men are never far away. In some stories, sex with a BDSM flavor is a means of letting off steam; controlled pain is shown to be a distraction from the real violence cops have to face on a regular basis.

In at least half these stories, the civilian seduces the cop, who knows very well that she is expected to live by a higher moral standard than the rest of the population. This anthology varies considerably in tone, but all the stories are memorable. This book is about sex for grown-ups, and about the nature and price of power.

Just don't steal it. You never know who might be watching you.
Available at:  Amazon





lesbian erotica Lesbian Lust by Sacchi Green (Editor)
Cleis Press, August 2010; ISBN-10: 1573444030

For readers who crave stories of uninhibited, unrepentant sex between women, Lesbian Lust delivers. This is real lesbian sex: sensual, inventive, and nothing less than breathtaking. Butches abound, baby dykes learn important life lessons, femmes and fatales bring each other to the brink.

In "The Office Grind," by R. G. Emanuelle, a stressed-out businesswoman loses herself and her heart in the startling green eyes of a sleek butch in a bar. Gill McKnight's "Beach Moth" tells the tale of a tall, dark, and handsome stranger who offers her hand to a femme abandoned on vacation. The ultimate in eroticism, the relentless, raw stories of Lesbian Lust leave no fantasy is unfulfilled.
Available at: Amazon





lesbian eroticaGirl Crush by R. Gay (Editor)
Cleis Press, June 2010; ISBN-10:

Boundaries melt away in this red-hot anthology of girl-on-girl attraction edited by R. Gay, one of the best erotica writers working today

Every woman has a girl crush—that physical and emotional fascination with another intriguing, provocative woman who inspires the thought, "What if?" Girl Crush answers that question with an inspiring range of erotic short stories about women acting on their desire and sometimes getting more than they bargained for.

Teresa Lamai offers an erotic take on revenge in "Mirador," when a woman has hate sex in a nightclub bathroom with the person her boyfriend is cheating on her with. In "Getting to Work," David Erlewine writes about a hot young lawyer who has a lot of work to do to make a demanding, sex-craved partner happy. Writer and editor Rachel Kramer Bussel shows us the unexpected in "Great Lengths," when an unrequited crush finally evolves into something more — and something less.

In each of these stories, women satisfy their innermost sexual desires by giving in to their infatuations. In Girl Crush, what happens next is always a surprise, to straight women, bisexual women, and lesbians alike.
Available at:  Amazon





Lesbian eroticaLesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures by Sacchi Green & Rakelle Valencia (Editors)
Cleis Press (August 1, 2009); ISBN-10: 1573443611

Fifteen writers share their take on the phenomenon of Cowboys — a calling, a vocation, and a status that has nothing to do with gender. Whether in the old west or the Australian outback, New England or the Great Plains, these girls and their horses work hard, play hard, and love hard.

Contributors Radclyffe and Jove Bell depict the rough and tumble world of female rodeo riders, while Cheyenne Blue explores cattle ranching and the new environmentalism, and Delilah Devlin writes about a “Hired Hand” who may be a woman, but is more than a match for any man. Sexy, steamy, and crackling with the energy of a wild filly, these stories represent the cutting edge of lesbian cowboy fiction.

"The variety of stories is surprising. The strength of eroticism and description make this collection a delight for all lovers of quality lesbian fiction." —Ashley Lister, Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Available at: Amazon





lesbian eroticaMacho Sluts by Patrick Califia: A Little Sister's Classic
Arsenal Pulp Press (September 1, 2009); ISBN-10: 1593500912

When it was first published in 1988, Pat Califia's Macho Sluts, a collection of S/M stories set in San Francisco’s dyke bathhouses, sex parties, and S/M gay bars, shocked the lesbian community and caused an upheaval in the field of queer publishing. Nobody had ever written so frankly about the kinky potential of woman-to-woman sex (and nobody has ever done it any better). If any book is responsible for the formation of the modern lesbian leather community, this one is it.

Despite its graceful language, imaginative scenarios, and abundant humour, the lesbian press trashed Macho Sluts, and it became a focal point for the infamous legal battles between Canada Customs and Little Sister's, the gay and lesbian bookstore in Vancouver. But readers loved it, and to this day Macho Sluts remains a vital and moving classic that still has the power to educate, radicalize, and expand our notions of the body's potential to provide us with pleasure, pain, and love.

This new edition, part of Arsenal's Little Sister's Classics series resurrecting classics of LGBT literature, includes a new foreword by the author, and an introduction by Wendy Chapkis, a Professor of Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. There are also essays by Jim Deva, co-owner of Little Sister's, and Joseph Arvay, chief counsel for the bookstore during its trial against Canada Customs.
Available atAmazon





lesbian ghost storiesHaunted Hearths & Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories by Catherine Lundoff (Editor)
Lethe Press (May 2008); ISBN-10: 1590211626

At their heart, ghost stories are often domestic tales, and so there is little wonder why women have been some of the finest tellers of such stories: cautionary tales and stories where oppression is avenged by the grim ethereal, of lovers lost to life but who refuse to part. This rich tradition finds new voices in Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades.

Early ghost stories are filled with characters that can be read as coded lesbians—maiden aunts and spinsters—lurking at the fringe of mortal life. But here are seventeen authors who have spun words that are fresh. These shades vary from the eerie to the romantic. These are phantoms who may well menace or linger long in the dreams of readers.
Available at: Amazon





lesbian eroticaJustice for All by Radclyffe
Bold Strokes Books (April 14, 2009); ISBN-10: 1602820740

While Detective Lt. Rebecca Frye's elite unit attempts to uncover the connection between the local organized crime syndicate and a human trafficking ring, she and her team, and those they love, unwittingly become targets.

As part of the operation, Dellon Mitchell goes undercover with a young woman posing as her lover--a woman with a secret agenda that might cause them both their lives. Before long, the hunters and the hunted are caught in a complex web of doublecrosses and desire where the lines between good and evil blur, and justice may be the ultimate victim.
Available at: Amazon





lesbian fictionWhere The Girls Are: Urban Lesbian Erotica by D.L. King (Editor)
Cleis Press (July 1, 2009); ISBN-10: 1573443530

Many a confident urban lesbian in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago was once a wide-eyed newcomer. Every year thousands of young women arrive in these queer-friendly cities, seduced by downtown life and its erotic possibilities. In Where the Girls Are, D.L. King collects explicit memoirs and stories about these newly arrived country girls. Here are stories of first times, initiations, bars, dance clubs, and parties, reading (or misreading) the codes — and sometimes teaching those city girls a thing or two in the process.

Featuring such stories as “My First Play Party,” “Rush Hour,” and “The Critic” from well-regarded authors of erotica Charlotte Dare, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Sophie Mouette, Lisabet Sarai, and others, Where the Girls Are burns with the immense heat of the furnace that lies just below the urban landscape.
Available at: Amazon





lesbian eroticaGirl Crazy: Coming Out Erotica by Sacchi Green (Editor)
Cleis Press (June 1, 2009); ISBN-10: 1573443522

Girl crazy. It’s that surge of longing that floods body and soul, that mad rush of pleasure and pain, from tentative self-discovery to the first thrill of girl-on-girl play to deep explorations of the fiercer shores of sex.

In this collection, Catherine Lundoff, D. L. King, Cheyenne Blue, Kristina Wright, Jean Roberta, and 15 other writers offer up no-holds-barred, all-holds-hot tales of the highs and lows and kinky twists of first times. Coeds acting out for Girls Gone Wild get even wilder once the cameraman goes home. A lonely businesswoman discovers how far and hard her young chauffeur can drive her. Butch buddies find secret desires racing out of control. A summer job building trails sparks trailblazing into all-new territory.

These and a wide range of other irresistible stories envelop the reader in that delicious feeling known as girl crazy.
Available at: Amazon





Olivia by Dorothy Strachey
Cleis Press (June 9, 2006); ISBN 1573442429

Considered one of the most subtle and beautifully written lesbian novels of the century, this 1949 classic returns to print in a Cleis Press edition.

Dorothy Strachey's classic Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months.

Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author's experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Olivia was dedicated to the memory of Strachey's friend Virginia Woolf and published to acclaim in 1949. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. In 1999, Olivia was included on the Publishing Triangle's widely publicized list of the 100 Best Gay and Lesbian Novels of the 20th Century.
Available at: Amazon





Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Riverhead Books; Reissue edition (May 1, 2000) ISBN: 1573227889

This delightfully saucy debut novel recounts the unconventional life and times of Nan King, a Victorian-era lesbian bold enough to embrace and to eventually celebrate her unorthodox sexual orientation. When she falls in love with an artful male impersonator, Nan follows her secret paramour to London and becomes part of a popular cross-dressing music hall act.

After her irresolute lover decides to marry her manager in order to safeguard her reputation, a devastated Nan flees, retreating to the seamy London netherworld inhabited by a variety of vividly drawn mashers, renters, toms, and mary annes. Barely surviving a series of sexual missteps and misadventures, a wary and jaded Nan stumbles into a relationship that eventually blossoms into true love.

A humorous and remarkably honest period piece that pays homage to women who courageously crossed the boundaries of conventional Victorian behavior and sexuality. —Margaret Flanagan (Booklist Magazine)
Available at: Amazon





Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Riverhead Books; (October 1, 2002) ISBN: 1573229725

Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Although lighter and more melodramatic in tone than its predecessor, Affinity, this hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, "laughing villains," and, of course, "stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad."

Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. Waters's penchant for byzantine plotting can get a bit exhausting, but even at its densest moments-and remember, this is smoggy London circa 1862-it remains mesmerizing.

A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama, and a love story to boot, this book ingeniously reworks some truly classic themes.—Travis Elborough (Amazon UK)
Available at: Amazon

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