Wild Shores by Radclyffe stars Gillian “Gem” Martin, the lead biologist at a wildlife sanctuary on the Northeast coast and head of the Wildlife Emergency Response Team called in when catastrophes, man-made or natural, threaten the endangered species she studies. Austin Germaine is a troubleshooter, the hired gun for a big oil company, whose job is to help contain leaks and prevent media coverage of a pending disaster until the danger can be eliminated. If it can be.
When Gem and Austin meet by chance in the midst of an approaching hurricane, neither expects their immediate connection to lead them into uncharted territory as wild as the looming storm. When word of the spill gets out, Gem and Austin find themselves reluctant allies in a race against time to divert the spill and save the wildlife refuge and its endangered inhabitants—all while battling an attraction as unlikely as it is powerful.
A high-stakes race against time, the forces of nature, and the strongest power of all—the desire of the human heart.
Gem is painfully typical of a woman of her accomplishments. She clearly withholds her status and importance from Austin. We could interpret that as dishonest. But in reality, it is simply, like so many women, she truly doesn’t see the reality of her value in this crisis. It is through hearing her raw and unfiltered thoughts we truly gain an intimate understanding of this strong character.
The reader is privy to the costly integrity and dedication Austin possesses. While both characters possess the strength of character Radclyffe loves to portray in her first responder novels, Austin clearly leads the pack here.
The Writing Style
It’s Radclyffe. Does anything more need to be said? Okay, I’ll elaborate. The characters are brave, strong, driven by duty and integrity, and remain through it all, deliciously female.
I’ve been accurately quoted as saying, “If Apple doesn’t make it, I don’t want to own it.” Unlike Apple, Radclyffe is one author on the growing list of authors I read as soon as they publish. It was inevitable I would love this book. She didn’t disappoint.
It’s hard to imagine one author, let alone many authors, can write HEA (Happily Ever After) lesbian romance novels and continue to provide the reader with fresh entertainment. And yet, Radclyffe has done just that. What gives this particular novel a fresh twist on romance is its rhythmic dance between tasting and admiring the forbidden fruit.
There is enough suspense and conflict to move the story along, without tipping over into a place beyond an entertaining light read. It is the ever-present strength of a Radclyffe novel which places her consistently on the top of the lesfic charts.
Trust me. If I had any, I’d tell you. I’m famous for “it ended” as my de facto “con” for a story where I mourned over its ending. This one doesn’t fit into that category. Like all good books, I did feel a sense of loss when it ended. But this one felt like the story had been told to its proper conclusion. Not that I wouldn’t read another novel where Gem and Austin were featured. But Radclyffe left me feeling like they were left in a good place. I don’t need regular updates to know they’ll be fine.
Thank goodness Radclyffe doesn’t follow the usual course charted for a “we come from different worlds” plot line. Not that the destination wasn’t predictable. It was. But the course was not. And it was in that unique course that we find refreshing realism absent from the predictable course. Kudos to Radclyffe for pulling this off. It’s harder than it sounds. Wild Shores by Radclyffe is a must read.
Excerpt from Wild Shores by Radclyffe
“I think you’re up.” Gem nodded toward the counter. The woman looked over her shoulder and back at Gem as if reluctant to end the conversation. Gem was certain she was making that part up, but an unusual spark of interest shot through her nonetheless. “Good luck.”
“Appreciate it.” Austin didn’t expect to have any better luck than the fellow who’d knocked into her. Dozens of other passengers milled about in the same fix and no one seemed to be getting any vehicles, but she’d waited this long and might as well try. She smiled at the petite redhead behind the counter. “Hi.”
“Your name please?”
“I don’t have a reservation.” Austin paused. Her flight had been short, but Eloise had called hours ago. Given the time it had taken her to drive to the airport and catch her plane, maybe Eloise had used her crystal ball. “I don’t think.”
“Check under Germaine.” She spelled it, glad she’d automatically lined up at the rental place the company always used. “Oh. I have it.” The redhead smiled for the first time in twenty minutes. “You’re lucky. It came in right before the rush hit.”
“Better lucky than good,” Austin said.
The agent laughed again and raised a brow. “Sometimes it’s nice to be both.”
“You’re right.” Austin grinned. She enjoyed flirting with women. She enjoyed women, when she could. At the moment, she couldn’t, so she signed the necessary papers and stepped aside to file them away in her briefcase. The blonde she’d bumped into stepped up to the counter.
“I’m afraid I don’t have a reservation. And I suspect that’s not a good thing.”
The cute redhead sighed. “I’m so sorry. We simply don’t have any other vehicles.”
“Do you think I’d have any better luck elsewhere?”
The redhead looked down the counter at the long lines at every rental car agency. “Honestly, I don’t think anyone without a reservation is going to get a car today. You’d be better off using your time trying to find a hotel room. There won’t be many of those left either.”
“Well, thanks anyways.”
Austin collected her keys and caught up to the blonde as she wended her way through the mass of people milling about. She’d been stranded plenty of places in her travels around the world, and more than one stranger had helped her out with directions, impromptu rides, or in a few cases, even offered her a room when she would have been sleeping on a bench otherwise. Returning the favor only seemed right, and the fact that the blonde was beautiful had nothing to do with it.
“Excuse me,” Austin said as she drew alongside the blonde. “I’m not sure we’re going in the same direction, but if we are, I’ve got one of the last vehicles leaving today. Maybe I can give you a ride somewhere.”
The blonde stopped and regarded her contemplatively.
Austin grinned. “I know you don’t know me, but I’ve got references if you need them.” She patted her briefcase. “ID provided on demand.”
The blonde laughed and held out her hand. “I’m Gillian Martin. Most people call me Gem.”
Austin took her hand. “Austin Germaine. Nice to meet you. Again.”
Gem’s tone was thoughtful, and Austin somehow knew she meant it. An unfamiliar pleasure stirred in her chest. She traveled constantly, met new people the world over, but rarely connected with anyone. She had gotten used to being alone and was rarely aware of being lonely. But right at this moment, she realized she had been. “So, about a ride?”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 978-1-62639-468-1
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion, I refuse to review books.