I noticed recently that I had been posting just mini “reviews” in my wrap-ups and not really fully reviewing books, so I have been trying to review more books on the blog lately. Today I’m posting reviews of books that include sapphic romances. I hope you find them useful!
Count Your Lucky Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur
Margot Cooper doesn’t do relationships. She tried and it blew up in her face, so she’ll stick with casual hookups, thank you very much. But now her entire crew has found “the one” and she’s beginning to feel like a fifth wheel. And then fate (the heartless bitch) intervenes. While touring a wedding venue with her engaged friends, Margot comes face-to-face with Olivia Grant—her childhood friend, her first love, her first… well, everything. It’s been ten years, but the moment they lock eyes, Margot’s cold, dead heart thumps in her chest.
Olivia must be hallucinating. In the decade since she last saw Margot, her life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. At almost thirty, she’s been married… and divorced. However, a wedding planner job in Seattle means a fresh start and a chance to follow her dreams. Never in a million years did she expect her important new client’s Best Woman would be the one that got away.
When a series of unfortunate events leaves Olivia without a place to stay, Margot offers up her spare room because she’s a Very Good Person. Obviously. It has nothing to do with the fact that Olivia is as beautiful as ever and the sparks between them still make Margot tingle. As they spend time in close quarters, Margot starts to question her no-strings stance. Olivia is everything she’s ever wanted, but Margot let her in once and it ended in disaster. Will history repeat itself or should she count her lucky stars that she gets a second chance with her first love?
I’ve discovered that second chance romances are hit or miss for me, but they are mostly misses. While I had other issues with Count Your Lucky Stars, I can say that the second chance romance element of the story is actually well done, it strikes that hard balance of telling/ showing just the right amount of the past relationship between the main characters, while not relying entirely on their past connection as the reason why they get back together.
Actually, I really enjoyed the first part of Count Your Lucky Stars, the characters are likable and relatable, and seeing them reconnect and slowly rebuild their relationship while also navigating the amount of chemistry and sexual tension between them was very entertaining. And, things get steamy pretty quick and the book is very steamy throughout.
But after a while, the lack of communication annoyed me so much, and it’s funny because the author was aware that the lack of communication was frustrating and she even mentioned it in the book, but it still affected my enjoyment of the story. Also, I found the conflict at the end to be a bit boring, the author was trying to explore the fears and flaws of the two main characters, but the way it was executed was lackluster and I lost interest in that final part of the book. Still, the ending was cute and I was rooting for the couple the entire time.
RATING: 3.5 STARS
Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper
Emmy Harlow is a witch but not a very powerful one—in part because she hasn’t been home to the magical town of Thistle Grove in years. Her self-imposed exile has a lot to do with a complicated family history and a desire to forge her own way in the world, and only the very tiniest bit to do with Gareth Blackmoore, heir to the most powerful magical family in town and casual breaker of hearts and destroyer of dreams.
But when a spellcasting tournament that her family serves as arbiters for approaches, it turns out the pull of tradition (or the truly impressive parental guilt trip that comes with it) is strong enough to bring Emmy back. She’s determined to do her familial duty; spend some quality time with her best friend, Linden Thorn; and get back to her real life in Chicago.
On her first night home, Emmy runs into Talia Avramov—an all-around badass adept in the darker magical arts—who is fresh off a bad breakup . . . with Gareth Blackmoore. Talia had let herself be charmed, only to discover that Gareth was also seeing Linden—unbeknownst to either of them. And now she and Linden want revenge. Only one question stands: Is Emmy in? But most concerning of all: Why can’t she stop thinking about the terrifyingly competent, devastatingly gorgeous, wickedly charming Talia Avramov?
I went into Payback’s a Witch knowing almost nothing about it and I ended up LOVING it. I was completely engrossed while reading it and I finished it in one sitting, it was a quick and really fun read. This book is a 5 stars read for me based, in big part, on how enjoyable my reading experience was and on reading it at the perfect time when I was looking exactly for a low angst, cheeky and captivating story.
There’s so much to love about this book, it mixed the contemporary and fantastical elements perfectly, it managed to have interesting worldbuilding around this magical witchy small town in the middle of the modern world and a fun plot around revenge, old family rivalries, and a magic tournament, while also focusing on the romance, friendships, and character development. This book is funny, it has captivating and complex characters, a really sweet sapphic romance full of banter and chemistry, a lovely friendship between women, and it tells a story of personal growth and the journey the main character goes through to realize that maybe she had been making her decisions based on the wrong things and punishing herself for something that wasn’t her fault.
Objectively, I know this is not a perfect book, the conflict felt really forced and unnecessary, and the ending was a bit juvenile. But, subjectively, this is still a 5 stars read for me.
RATING: 5 STARS
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
When reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.
While I overall didn’t have a great reading experience with this book, Honey Girl has a lot of elements I enjoyed. The main character and her feelings of being lost and not knowing what path to follow were relatable; her friendships were wonderful and complicated and I enjoyed reading about so many characters that felt like real people; I love complex family dynamics so I really appreciated that aspect of the book and the way it was handled, and I think the way it addressed mental health was really good. The final 40% of this story which shows Grace actually making decisions for herself, getting treatment, being honest with the people around her and finding ways to heal and grow was my favorite part of the book.
Nonetheless, I had some big issues with this, especially with the writing, which wasn’t necessarily bad but it definitely wasn’t for me. To me, it felt like the author was trying SO HARD to be deep and poetic and it felt forced and most of the time it was really maudlin. This is the reason I can’t give this book more than 3 stars, I really disliked the writing and that ruined my reading experience. My other issue is Yuki, the love interest, everything she said was supposed to be so profound and most of the time it really wasn’t. I didn’t feel the connection between Grace and Yuki, and their relationship felt forced and awkward at times. So I wasn’t really a fan of the romance, which is why I ended up enjoying the last 40% so much more than the rest of the book, since it was focused on other aspects of the story
3 thoughts on “Reviewing Sapphic Romances: Count Your Lucky Stars + Payback’s a Witch + Honey Girl”