Sheena is joined today to discuss 5 Character Driven Books Jeannie Levig Rereads. These are Jeannie’s picks for TLR’s 55 Most Reread Books list.

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Books we talk about

Roller Coaster by Karin Kallmaker

Roller Coaster by Karin KallmakerPublisher Bella Books

Audio No

Synopsis

Two very different reasons brought Laura Izmani and Helen Baynor to the Beach Boardwalk for a symbolic ride on the biggest wooden roller coaster on the west coast. They part strangers, but only after sharing an experience that shifted both of their lives onto new tracks.

Their paths cross again decades later when Laura interviews with Helen to become the private chef for the Baynor household. Given what Laura revealed during that fateful coaster ride, she’s relieved that Helen seems to have forgotten her.

Fiercely protective of her children, Helen—now a famous stage actress and widow with teenaged twins—divides her time between home in a sleepy California enclave and the bright lights of Broadway. Continuing her carefully managed life until her children leave for college is all she wants.

Their first roller coaster ride together may turn out to be only a prelude…

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Making a Comeback by Julie Blair

Making A Comeback by Julie BlairPublisher Bold Strokes Books

Audio Narrated by Fray Maxwell

Synopsis

Jazz pianist Liz Randall is reeling from her wife’s death and struggling to keep their band together. An invitation to play at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival is an opportunity she can’t turn down, and a challenge she might not be up to until she enlists the help of a mysterious neighbor who’s surprisingly knowledgeable about jazz.

When Jac Winters reluctantly agrees to help, a past she wants to forget threatens to destroy the carefully ordered life she’s built with her guide dog, Max, in the quiet town of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

With music and love swirling around them like ocean currents, will Liz and Jac play it safe or risk everything on making a comeback?

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Requiem for Immortals by Lee Winter

Publisher Ylva Publishing and Tantor Audio

Audio Narrated by Anais Inara Chase

Synopsis

Professional cellist Natalya Tsvetnenko moves seamlessly among the elite where she fills the souls of symphony patrons with beauty even as she takes the lives of the corrupt of Australia’s ruthless underworld. The cold, exacting assassin is hired to kill a woman who seems so innocent that Natalya can’t understand why anyone would want her dead. As she gets to know her target, she can’t work out why she even cares. 

Contains mature themes.

 

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The Night Off by Meghan O’Brien

The Night Off by Meghan O’BrienPublisher Bold Strokes Books

Audio Narrated by Alexandria Wilde

Synopsis

Emily Parker has a busy life over which she maintains iron-clad control. Raised by drug-addicted parents, she’s used to taking care of the people around her, to the exclusion of her own needs. But not tonight. After years of celibacy, she’s ready to pay for exactly what she wants: to surrender control, by having it taken away. Having worked as a high-priced escort for years, Nat Swayne not only enjoys her job – she’s damn good at it. Dangerously sexy, she knows precisely how to fulfill the fantasies of women who enjoy her special brand of make-believe – all without ever becoming emotionally involved. When their night of intense play turns into something more, Emily and Nat can’t help but pursue a connection in the real world. Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and love isn’t always enough.

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The Road to Madison by Elle Spencer

The Road to Madison by Elle SpencerPublisher Bold Strokes Books

Audio Narrated by Lori Pince

Synopsis

As the sole heir to her family’s banking empire, a lot is expected of Madison Prescott. Falling in love with her childhood friend Ana Perez was not in the cards. As Madison’s father puts it, “A gay daughter? Married to the maid’s daughter? Running my company? Over my dead body.”

By the time George Prescott dies, it’s been 15 years since Madison and Ana were ripped apart by his lies. They haven’t spoken since, but Madison has spent every minute waiting for this day to come. Unfortunately, it turns out time doesn’t heal all wounds. Why was Madison willing to give up everything in the face of her father’s threats, and why can she never tell Ana the truth about what really separated them?

Caught between a present they can’t trust and a past they can’t forget, Madison and Ana must decide if this is their second chance, or their final heartbreak.

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We also talk about

A Wish Upon A Star by Jeannie Levig

A Wish Upon A Star by Jeannie LevigPublisher Bold Strokes Books 

Available in Audio No

Reviewers who reread this book Victoria 

Synopsis

Leslie Raymond spent the past two years wishing her life had taken a different turn. It’s time for a fresh start, a move across the country, and a new set of rules to help heal her heart—no straight women, no women with kids, and no commitment. But when she meets her new neighbors, the beautiful Erica and her special needs daughter, Siena, she struggles against the pull she immediately experiences.

Erica Cooper has learned to rely only on herself. She knows most people don’t stick around when the going gets tough. And when caring for child with autism, the going can get tough fast. She is content with the quiet and emotionally safe life she’s constructed, but when they are befriended by their kind, playful, and—damn it—really hot new neighbor, the walls protecting her heart threaten to crumble.

So much for good intentions and firm resolutions–neither stand a chance when the stars align for love.

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Christabel by Karin Kallmaker

Publisher Bella Books

Available in Audio No

Synopsis

Deeper than the city streets, the subways, even the dry riverbeds that no longer flow, are the roots of a tree that remembers love and tragedy…

Financier Dina Rowland’s assignment is to make fashion designer Leo Goranson a lot of money. But the more she knows of him, the more repugnant his personal life is to her. Not the least inconsequential is his unbreakable hold on his greatest asset: supermodel Christabel. One touch and the power–and responsibility–of Dina’s long-hidden heritage threatens to crumble the careful plans she has made for her life.

Christa knows there is no escaping her tormentor, but she has a plan to deny him what he ultimately wants from her. The past can’t be changed. Having long accepted her fate she is unprepared for the wild feelings that Dina’s eyes arouse in her. There is passion, certainly, but also the rarest feeling of all to her: hope.

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Listen by Kris Bryant

Listen by Kris BryantPublisher Bold Strokes Books

Available in Audio Narrated by Brittni Pope

Synopsis

Former child music prodigy Lily Croft spends most days in her home office crunching numbers and analyzing data as an actuary. Once, she filled concert halls across the world until the pressure got too much and forced her retreat. When her boss hands her a temporary assignment, Lily has to leave the safety of working from home to work with people at an office. She keeps her head down and stays focused, but one night on her way to the train station, she hears music wafting from the Leading Note, and the life and feelings she suppressed for more than a decade bubble up to the surface.  

Lily is inexplicably drawn to Hope D’Marco, Leading Note’s gorgeous and brilliant founder. But falling for Hope and reexploring her passion for music force Lily to face her past. 

Will she go back into hiding or have the courage to confront the consequences of her past and present colliding?

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Jeannie Levig is a lesfic author that writes predominantly romantic dramas. She reads a wide variety of both mainstream and lesfic genres and loves to find those exceptional books with main lesbian characters.

Sheena is the founder of The Lesbian Review.

She discovered lesbian fiction when she was 19. Radclyffe and Karin Kallmaker soon became favourite authors and she spent a large part of her hard earned income on shipping books from Amazon.com to her home in South Africa.

Over the years she became frustrated with purchasing mediocre lesbian fiction feeling like it was a waste of her money and time. And so she decided to share only the best books and movies with lesbians who are looking for only the best. And so, The Lesbian Review was born