A Shot at Gold (Sports Series #2) – Nicole Pyland

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I was really happy to see this book scheduled for release. Strangely as someone who loves lesbian sports romances and as a former archer I’d never considered that I needed the combination, but wow, this is a great book that is going to be hitting my to re-read pile. I’m a big Pyland fan anyway, but the books just keeping getting better and better. If I didn’t have so many others to read I’d start it again straight away.

The archery language is spot on, you get just enough to understand the intricacies of the sport, to make it interesting, but not to overwhelm you with jargon. The passion both MCs have for the sport in their own ways really shines through and I was happy to see that it factored heavily into the HEA.

Both characters enter the storyline carrying hurt from their pasts and Pyland writes about both their own individual journeys, and the journey of their relationship beautifully. The portrait of love and loss is balanced so well I found myself relating easily to both MCs and was rooting for them to get together from an early stage.

Whilst the book is the second in a series, it’s a standalone with regards to characters and storyline, so if you haven’t read the first (you should, it’s also fantastic), don’t let it stop you giving this one a read.

A More Perfect Union – Carsen Taite

Rating: 4 out of 5.
This book was well on its way to being a five star review – romance, espionage, intrigue…and then it ended. After being so invested in both characters I needed more from the ending. I’d love a second book and the ending provides lots of scope for that book to be written, but even so, I just needed more.

This was my first Taite book and I have to say I was very impressed with both the storyline and the quality of the writing – I’ll definitely be making sure to work my way through her extensive back catalogue.

Both Zoey and Rook are interesting, insightful characters and I liked how their duty to their respective jobs was explored, including the inevitable impacts. I’d have liked some more of them together in a romantic situation (and more sex) and would happily have read a longer book to have more of this aspect.

Slammed – Lola Keeley

Rating: 4 out of 5.
When you’re catching up on all of the books that have come out in the last couple of years whilst you’ve had a reading break, it’s easy to stay on a roll of great books and this is most definitely one of them.

A fantastic lesbian sports romance, full of complicated (in all the best ways) and enjoyable characters.
The tennis in the book doesn’t play second fiddle to the romance and you can tell the author genuinely loves and watches tennis. The terminology and action scenes are spot on. The lesser storyline threaded through the book has merit and is an enjoyable factor.

I loved the romance between the MCs, the hesitance at first, followed by the passion and the impact on their lives. The angst mainly comes from influences outside their relationship, which I always enjoy in a book, life isn’t always easy so a well thought out journey like this one helps make the book.

If you love sports and romance, read this book. Even if you don’t love sports, read it anyway, you’ll still enjoy it.

In Her Court – Tamsen Parker

Rating: 4 out of 5.
This was a really fun, fast-paced, happy read. The book finds Willa and Van pushed together at a camp for adults when Nate (Willa’s brother) breaks his leg and she steps in to help. This is the first time they’ve seen each other adults, after previous teenage feelings.

Both MCs were easy to identify with in some way or another. They were well written, rounded characters, with plenty of geek culture, a bit of sport and no particularly intense relationship angst.
I loved how Willa was written and could identify wholeheartedly with the ‘you play sport so you can’t be smart’ sentiments. There are so many easily relatable aspects to Van as well.

The book isn’t technically a standalone, as it’s part of a series (not all of the books in the series are by the same author), but as far as I’m aware it’s the only one in the series where two women fall for each other. I have no idea if any of the characters are in any of the previous books, but you certainly don’t need to read any of them to enjoy this book.

Parker doesn’t normally write wlw books, but based on this one I’d be willing to give any others she might try in the future a go. All in all if you’re looking for a fun, easy read this is very good option to go with.

Coach M – Q. Kelly

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I’ve been thinking about this book a lot since I read it and found I needed to come back and write a review. This contains spoilers about both this book and the first in the series – Coach Z.

I read a biography of Q.Kelly and it said she likes to write in the grey of life – it’s an extremely appropriate way of describing this series of books. None of the characters are horrible, none of them are heroes, they’re just people dealing with hard things and situations.

I was originally attracted to the book because of my love of sports and lesbians crossed with basketball was right up my street. However it was the characters that had me reading both books back to back and still awake trying to finish them at 4am in the morning.

Coach M skips forwards five years from the ending of Coach Z, where we found the burgeoning relationship between Melissa and Andi ending due to alcoholism. Five years later and Andi is returning to coach the Ravens again, in the process coming face to face with Melissa again after no contact since the end of Coach Z.

The basketball descriptions in the book are great, and I loved how it accurately represents that sport is often a way of life for some. I thought Andi was great as a character, but for me it was the depiction of Melissa in Coach M that really spoke to me. Melissa is written as someone coming to terms with lots of things that people in the LGBTQ+ community often experience and then struggle with reconciling when they meet ‘the one’.

I was also really happy that whilst there is a happyish ending to the book, it didn’t break from its style and have an amazing unrealistic HEA. There is happiness and resolution – but everything isn’t tied into a happy bow just because the book ends.

I would love a third part of this series, continuing Melissa and Andi’s life together.