Femme Tales by Anne ShadeFemme Tales by Anne Shade is a compilation of contemporary butch/femme romances loosely based on fairy tales.

Anne Shade uses the classic tales of Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella as a jumping-off point to explore modern relationships in this sweet and slightly spicy collection.

Ebony “The Beast” Trent has clawed her way from hard times to become a successful hip-hop artist. Can Belinda Jansen, with all her confidence and kindness, penetrate the protective walls built up around Ebony’s heart?

Chayse Carmichael’s days and nights are devoted to her successful soul food restaurant. She has no time for love until the alluring Serena Frasier walks through the doors. Just as she starts to become a regular patron, Serena’s face appears on the news as an unidentified jogger who has been attacked and is unconscious in the hospital. Will Chayse lose her chance with the sleeping beauty?

Cass Phillips is a music mogul who knows most women are only interested in her money. She works too hard for a vacation, at least until friends conspire to send her to Turks and Caicos against her will. The sun and sand are working their magic, as is shoe designer Faith Shaw, who is visiting the same resort. Then an unexpected phone call causes Faith to run, leaving only her shoes behind. Can the two women reconnect after one magical night together?

The Characters

The characters in this book each have their own unique voice and yet are all relatable. Anne Shade manages to take just enough from each fairy tale to make the stories familiar while keeping them fresh. Ebony, Chayse, and Cass exemplify a spectrum of butch identity. I loved their competent, mature, and caring personas. Meanwhile the other characters were strong enough in their own right to make for well-matched partners.

The Writing Style

Each story in the compilation is a brisk read that still has some depth. This is a perfect book for those who want a heart-warming romance but don’t have time to invest in a full novel.

The Pros

Each tale quickly grabbed my interest, but I must confess to having a particular soft spot for Chayse and Serena’s “Sleeping Beauty” romance. Anne Shade deftly handles this particular plot to make the mysterious attraction between the two characters totally believable.

I also enjoyed the steamy chemistry between Ebony and Belinda and the emotional journey of Cass and Faith. Lesbian romances too rarely have any black characters, and I appreciated that this book put them front and center.

The Cons

There were no cons for me.

The Conclusion

You should purchase this book if you are looking for an escape from everyday life into a fairy tale romance!

Excerpt from Femme Tales by Anne Shade

When Ebony actually smiled Belinda’s heart skipped a beat as that small gesture softened Ebony’s face so much she almost looked like a different person. It was gone just as quickly as it had come, as if Ebony hadn’t realized she’d done it until too late. To Belinda’s disappointment, it was replaced by a frown as Ebony sat and began filling her plate with food.

“You know, you should do that more often.” Belinda reached for the wine bottle.

Ebony glanced at her in confusion. “Do what?”

“Smile. It’s not going to make you any less tough than you already are.”

Ebony’s brow raised in question. “You’ve been here for one day and you think you know me already?”

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Bits and Bobs

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Note: I received a free review copy of Femme Tales by Anne Shade. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site

Miranda Lynn on FacebookMiranda Lynn on Twitter
My name is Miranda Lynn, and I am an environmental engineer by day and avid reader and podcast listener by night. I discovered lesbian fiction after my first child was born. It helped me get through the exhausting period of new parenthood when you can sometimes feel like the only adult in the world. As my kids grow, I continue to appreciate how these stories can transport me away from the stress of my day and remind me that I am part of an amazing community. I love writing that propels me along a journey, and have a particular weakness for “ice queen” romances.