RJ Nolan – L.A Metro

LAMetro

Dr. Kimberly Donovan’s life is in shambles. After her medical ethics are questioned, first her family, then her closeted lover, the Chief of the ER, betray her. Determined to make a fresh start, she flees to California and L.A Metropolitan Hospital. Dr. Jess McKenna, L.A Metro’s Chief of the ER, gives new meaning to the phrase emotionally guarded, but she has her reasons. When Kim and Jess meet, the attraction is immediate. Emotions Jess has tried to repress for years surface. But her interest in Kim also stirs dark memories. They settle for friendship, determined not to repeat past mistakes, but secretly they both wish things could be different. Will the demons from Jess’s past destroy their future before it can even get started? Or will L.A Metro be a place to not only heal the sick, but to mend wounded hearts?

REVIEW
Ever watch Grey’s Anatomy and wish that the show was about lesbian doctors? The lesbian-version could be Lesbian’s Anatomy. Er…. actually, that title sounds more appropriate for a lesbian porn movie. Maybe not a good idea. But RJ Nolan’s novel series featuring F4F McDreamys… DEFINITELY a good idea, and a great execution from the author.

Sometimes, we forget that doctors are people because they are often times perceived and defined by only their medical profession. But they have cuts and bruises, and wounds on the inside that need time and care to heal just like the rest of us. RJ Nolan does a wonderful job at humanizing the main characters in L.A Metro, and putting into perspective that there’s a person behind the stethoscope.

Jess and Kim both have unresolved issues when it comes to their past. (Sheesh, don’t we all). Despite their attraction towards each other, they try really really hard to maintain their professionalism and keep each other at arm’s-length. Jess and Kim… both of you get an A for effort, but thankfully for us readers, an F for keeping it in your scrubs. Humor aside though, the physical intimacy between the characters in this story is rich with emotion. Readers get the sense that Kim and Jess help each other heal and piece together the parts that were broken in their individual pasts. The journey that they take together in learning to love and trust again makes this a heartwarming and enjoyable read.

Now, if LA really had a hospital like L.A Metro… Hmm… I might not mind visiting the doctor. Doctor Doctor, take my temperature please, cause I’m burning up in here!

SOUNDTRACK
1. John Mayer – In Repair
2. Alicia Keys – Prelude To A Kiss
3. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
4. James Morrison – You Make It Real
5. Joshua Radin – Cross That Line
6. Meiko – Stuck On You
7. Ray LaMontagne – Let It Be Me
8. Gavin DeGraw – Follow Through
9. Ed Sheeran – This
10. Sara Bareilles – The Light

CHEERS!
This book would be best read with a….

MANGO MARGARITA
-1 cup of frozen cubed mango
-1 cup of orange juice
-1 oz of lime juice
-3 oz of Patron Silver tequila
-2 tablespoons of simple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This drink contains Vitamin C from the orange juice, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K from the mango, and also Vitamin PartyTime from the tequila. Just what the doctor ordered. 😉

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MJ Duncan – Spectrum

Spectrum

Sparks fly the moment Bryn Nakamura lays eyes on Anna Fitzpatrick, and not in a good way. Driven, reserved, and recovering from another encounter with a life she would rather leave behind, all Bryn wants is to forget about Anna and focus on her beloved vineyard- but Fate has other plans. No matter where Bryn goes, Anna seems to be there, and despite how annoyed she is by this development, she can’t help but be charmed by Anna’s warm smile and easygoing charisma. But as carefully constructed walls come down, new obstacle take their place, leaving Bryn to question who she is and what she truly wants out of life.

REVIEW
I always tell my friends that it’s my dream to buy a vineyard in Tuscany and spend my twilight years enjoying the beautiful earth and drinking wine. FYI, if you suddenly have the image of Diane Lane in your head, then virtual high five to you! I’ve had the biggest crush on her since I was 5 years old. Hey, Diane… We can drink wine together under the Tuscan sun! Si or no?

One of my favorite quotes is from that movie:
“They say they built the train tracks over the Alps, between Vienna and Venice, before there was a train that could make the trip. They built it anyway. They knew one day the train would come. Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere, I would be different. What are four walls anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer. Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game… it’s such a surprise.”

In a way, the story in Spectrum seems to mirror the message in that quote. Anna lays down those tracks for their locomotion of luuuuurve. It’s nice that this story features characters that aren’t 20-something year old spring chickens, and though it isn’t really “late in the game”, love blooms for Bryn in her middle-age. Bryn could be categorized as the stereotypical cat-lady, except she doesn’t have cats. She’s a bit of a spinster, a bit of a loner, and a whole lot of a curmudgeon before Anna comes into the picture.

This is what Bryn would’ve turned out to be if she never met Anna:
Grumpy

Thank the universe of lesbian fiction for Anna Fitzpatrick. She’s smart, funny, charming, and persistent. She’s determined to get under Bryn’s skin (and under Bryn) regardless of Bryn’s sarcastic remarks and “sunny” disposition.

Anna’s easy-going nature is a nice counterpoint to Bryn’s tough-as-nails exterior. Readers have the pleasure of seeing the richness in Bryn’s character, as Anna slowly but surely draws her out of her shell. Their chemistry and combination is sizzling: Anna and Bryn are like two distinct flavors that combine to make a unique and delicious taste profile. (Sweet & Sour, anyone?) The story is excellent from start to finish. Highly recommended!

SOUNDTRACK
1. Chilly Gonzales – Solitaire
2. Ani DiFranco – She Says
3. Edvard Grieg – Lyrische Stucke Op. 38, Melodie
4. Good Old War – Tell Me What You Want From Me
5. John Fields – In Flight
6. John Garrels – Born Again
7. Jon Jang – Two Flowers on a Stem (Solo Piano Version)
8. James Bay – Hold Back the River
9. Gonzales – Manifesto
10. KT Tunstall – Universe and U
11. Chilly Gonzales – Venetian Blinds
12. John Fields – Nocturne No. 2 in C Minor
13. Elliott Smith – Say Yes
14. Roy Todd – Hope Springs
15. Iron & Wine – My Lady’s House

CHEERS!
This book would be best read with a….

PEJU PROVINCE 2011

Ann McMan – Jericho

Jericho

Librarian Syd Murphy flees the carnage of a failed marriage by accepting an eighteen-month position in Jericho- a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia.  Her plans to hide out and heal her woulds fall by the wayside as she gets drawn into the daily lives of the quirky locals.  She becomes fast friends with Maddie Stevenson, the enigmatic physician who has returned to the backcountry community to take over her late father’s medical practice.  Together they learn that life and love can have as many twists and turns as a country road.  

REVIEW
I was so obsessed with this book for awhile, that an old friend used to joke that it was my new girlfriend, Jeri Cho. I do admit that I spent an enormous amount of time with her. But what did she give me in the end?  She gave me a broken heart. We had a booty call a few months later (Ann McMan wrote a collection of short stories Sidecar, one of them featuring Maddie and Syd). Then, we got back together shortly after that (Ann McMan wrote a sequel, Aftermath) but it just wasn’t the same. I read somewhere that the author was planning on continuing the series with another book in 2015. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m really hoping it will sometime in the near future. I need closure, Ann McMan!

This book earned a lot of awards and recognition, and for damn good reason. It’s one helluva novel. Not only is it a GREAT story, but it’s GREAT writing. Jericho is the complete package: engaging plot, compelling three-dimensional characters (layers upon layers, like yummy 7-layer bean dip), and smart dialogue. The banter between Maddie and Syd is witty, playful, and intellectually flirtatious. Their chemistry is really off the pages.

The romance develops slower than most lesbian novels and that helps it feel more organic and authentic.  You’re at the edge of your seat (or edge of your bed, depending on where you’re reading) eagerly anticipating Maddie or Syd to grow some ovaries and profess their love and affection for each other.  When they FINALLY come together, it’s like the feeling you get when you’re listening to a long progressive house song and the bass drops.  Oh, the feels!

If you enjoy reading books that include any of the following: small-town living, hot doctors, sexy librarians, Katharine Hepburn, Adirondack chairs, classical music, wine, strong coffee, Cheetos… READ JERICHO! Even if you don’t, read it any way. Especially, if you’re planning on relaxing in a cabin during the winter season, and you’re longing to curl up with a good book that will make your insides feel like Christmas.

By the way, is anyone else in California excited that El Nino is coming?! I can’t wait to see the snow up in Big Bear!  It’s going to be amazing!

SOUNDTRACK
1.  Gwyneth Herbert – Only Love Can Break Your Heart
2.  Bach – Suites for Unaccompanied Cello
3.  Leftover Cuties – When You’re Smiling
4.  Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade
5.  Lake Street Drive – You Go Down Smooth
6.  Renee Fleming – La Rondine from Puccini’s Canzone di Doretta
7.  Ella Fitzgerald – Dream a Little Dream of Me
8.  Beethoven – Piano Sonata 8 in C-Minor, Movement I
9.  Joni Mitchell – A Case of You
10.  Ella Fitzgerald – I’m Beginning to See the Light
11.  Melody Gardot – Our Love is Easy

CHEERS!
This book is best read with a….

JUSTIN MALBEC RESERVE 2013