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Best Lesbian Romance 2010 [Paperback]

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Book Description

14 Jan 2010 Best Lesbian Romance
With stories ranging from sweet to passionate, the Cleis Press' Best Lesbian Romance series is essential reading for anyone who favours the highly imaginative, the deeply sensual and the very loving. Radclyffe's romance collections are eagerly anticipated each year and Best Lesbian Romance 2010 is once again packed with stories that revel in seduction, love and relationships between women.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: CLEIS PRESS (14 Jan 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344376X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573443760
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 812,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 7 Sep 2013
By Tigris
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Radclyffe is my favourite writer. All her books are a good read. I am impatiently waiting for her next book to be in print.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Lesbian Romance 2010 edited by Radclyffe 11 Mar 2010
By Emily Moore - Published on
"Love has been likened to psychosis, albeit mostly a pleasant one--making us forgo our ordinary caution and rationality, sometimes risking heartbreak and disappointment, in order to share our deepest selves. Romance is the vehicle of that insanity--seducing us, amazing us, and in the best of times, freeing us to become more than we have ever been before. As with love, the nature of romance changes as we change--as we risk, as we lose, as we grow, as we triumph."

The above quote from the introduction to Best Lesbian Romance 2010 by editor Radclyffe perfectly encompasses what this anthology is all about. It's an exploration of the romance that exists between two women, the love that surfaces out of any number of situations. The experience is different for each person, but the end result is the same. This anthology contains sixteen exceptional stories that explore the limitless possibilities when it comes to romance.

Young love is all encompassing and exciting, as women begin to explore feelings that have been denied or obsessions that are finally brought to light. "Coming Out Party" by Anna Meadows tells of a young girl who struggles with the realization of who she really wants to be her escort for the debutante ball. It showcases finding the courage to breakout of expected roles and being true to oneself. Wonderfully witty dialogue and humor throughout make this story a joy to read. "Soaked" by Erin O'Riordan finds Beck revealing her infatuation with popular Bailey in front of a classroom of fellow students. That brand of obsession can take over everything, soaking oneself to the core, and the story shows that beautifully.

Some of the stories deal with the abject heartbreak and devastation when a relationship ends, and how fate often provides a chance for new happiness when it's least expected. "Five" by Cheyenne Blue is a stunning tale of Tess who is nursing a broken heart after her partner of five years moves out. A girl at the local bagel shop, and changes connected to the number five, help Tess begin the healing process. This story captures so vividly that sense of being lost when a relationship ends, what the other person takes when they leave, and how it's necessary to reshape what is left behind in order to move on. In "Hard to Hate Her" by Kris Adams, we meet Carol who finds it difficult to dislike her ex-husband's new wife, Lily. This story highlights how love can be found in the most unexpected of places, and the hesitancy and wonder of Carol is realistically drawn.

On the flip side are stories that focus on the moment that women embrace the love that has been right in front of them the whole time. A college reunion in "The Only Girl I Want" by Sommer Marsden provides the chance for roommates to reconnect in unexpected ways. Stevie and Maryann are explosively hot together as they decimate Stevie's self-imposed celibacy and anyone who has adored another from afar will identify with the characters. "I Never Thought of Love" by Jacqueline Applebee tells of a woman with five children who breaks through the barrier her lover has created to protect her heart. The story wonderfully captures the emotional struggle when wanting to say those magical three words for the first time. "Girls and Their Cars" by Renée Strider finds Carole and Janis, two butch women who are competitive about everything and especially their cars, discovering their true feelings that shock not only themselves but those around them. The intriguing story shows that love doesn't always appear as we expect, but that doesn't make it any less powerful.

Romance is at its best when it comes in the description of a love and partnership that has grown and developed over time. In "When We Almost Met" by Evan Mora, a woman reflects on all the times she and her lover could have met over the years, and how they finally did meet. This is a beautiful expression of how we meet so many in our lives, but we only find forever when we are ready, and the story is filled with hope and happiness. "Firsts" by Hannah Quinn exquisitely describes the process and stages of a woman falling in love. The story focuses on the base emotions and reactions, and how the fascination with another is so totally all consuming in the best way possible. "Reclamation" by Nell Stark and Trinity Tam has a woman desperately trying to convince her newly turned vampire lover that they need to be together. This vampire tale has a unique twist being from the point of view of the unturned lover who yearns to have her partner close and to show her that the strong love they share can adapt to any change.

"The Letting Go" by Shannon Dargue describes love in a situation where it's all but indistinguishable. Jai is desperate to convince her wife Gwen that they shouldn't finalize their divorce, but first she must face how much pain her indiscretion has caused. The story is filled with raw emotions, and it skillfully describes the desperation and fear of loss and the struggle to mend what has been broken. "All In" by Radclyffe has Dr. Saxton Sinclair desperately missing her documentary filmmaker lover Jude. Their reunion is a moving tale filled with the desperation of love, the basic need for another in order to live. This story grips you from the very beginning and the emotions are gut wrenching and beautiful at the same time. "The Last Dance" by Dalia Craig introduces two women as they meet in 1958 at a party and end up taking a chance on love. The story drives to the heartfelt and moving ending, and shows that a lifetime can be built on a single moment of bravery.

Romance comes in all forms and some of the stories provide a look through unique settings and times. "The Outside Edge" by Sacchi Green perfectly entrenches itself in the world of figure skating as a skater yearns to be herself on the ice and to be with the one she loves. This powerful story shows a beautiful connection between two skaters, and their moves both on and off the ice are both sensuous and stunning. In "You Are a Full Moon Without Clouds" by Pamela Smiley, a woman shares her love of Chiang Mai with her new lover. The story parallels the woman's love of the city and its inhabitants with the new love she feels growing. "Queens Up" by Andrea Dale is the tale of Josephine who uses her skill at poker to undo her father's mistakes and reclaim a home for herself and Margaret. This clever historical tale flows beautifully with excellent characters and exceptional prose.

Each story approaches romance differently, but they all share a common theme of love and connection between women. Though the focus here is romance, there is still a healthy dose of erotic content as women answer their needs for one another in physical ways that are enticingly arousing. These seventeen authors have provided some of the best stories of romance that are deeply moving and engaging from beginning to end. Each story is just as wonderful and profound as the next, and any reader will easily find stories within the collection to connect with. I definitely recommend this anthology for any reader who enjoys stories of women in love and the romance that defines their lives.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 short story romances some hot and some sweet 2 Mar 2010
By E. B. MULLIGAN - Published on
A truly enjoyable collection with a wide range of authors from Scotland, Canada, the US and England. There really is something for everyone in the collection.

Nell Stark & Trinity Tam have an erotic vampire first time story,
Pamela Smiley writes about her city Chiang Mai,
Sacchi Green has a terrific Olympic Ice Skating story,
Hannah Quinn has an erotic story of Firsts,
Renee Strider (always fabulous) has a fun story about butches and their cars,
Kris Adams has a unique entry about a divorced mother of two making nice with the her ex-husband's new wife,
Andrea Dale has a sexy western,
Dalia Craig has a beautiful romance set in 1958,

Also stories of falling in love & gaining a family; a couple about to divorce; missed connections; butch and femme; college students; make-up sex, and more.

The collection concludes with a powerful story from Radclyffe featuring surgeon Saxon Sinclair and journalist Jude Castle. WOOT!

just right for spring break or anytime!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories 19 Jan 2010
By RLynne - Published on
Best Lesbian Romance, 2010, has sixteen top notch stories which include everything from new love, breaking up, hot sex, making up, etc. There is a story for everyone, written by some of the best writers around. This is definitely a book every woman loving woman will want on her bookshelf.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well....... 29 Dec 2012
By Dr. R. R. Dartt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read A LOT of Lesbian Romance books. I thought that I'd 'try' a collection, but I found that with a few of the stories I was sorry that they ended so quickly. Other stories weren't always very good, sadly.
3.0 out of 5 stars mostly average 11 Jun 2014
By hredzak - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
3.4 stars

Anthologies are always a mixed bag and what we love most can often be based on our tastes and personal experiences. Even so, you can tell when a story is still mediocre and this compilation is just full of AVERAGE. There were a few good stories here that I enjoyed, but I wouldn't call this the "BEST" mix of romantic lesfic stories. Just a compilation of lesfic short stories, period. Rad's own work was easily the best story there, in my opinion.

A couple of interesting things I noted overall. Most of the stories are done in first person. All but a few. So tiresome. Just makes for a repetitive style on the whole. Erotica short stories are even worse that way... almost always in first person. WTF. Change it up a bit more, people!!! It's also interesting to consider the definition of romance. I like the really emotional stuff myself. If it's not erotica, I like it emotional-hot... as is Rad's "All In" and Shannon Dargue's "The Letting Go." Or just plain emotional as Jacqueline Applebee's lovely "I Never Thought of Love." Without the emotion and intimacy there isn't much to like for this reader.

Romance is not always about sex. Some stories here are erotic-romances. Some fade to black on the sex or have none at all. Some stories here involve partners who have been together for years and some of the leads are quite young. There's one for sports fans, historical fans, and one for paranormal fans. One story out of 16 had a woman of color. And no trans (some do ID as lesbos ya know). The one story with butch on butch was interesting because you just don't see that too much.

Here is a bit about each of the stories within:

Evan Mora.... "When We Almost Met".... A first person contemplation of why timing matters in meeting your partner. This author is a favorite of mine when I read anthologies, but this is not my favorite of hers. 3.5

Anna Meadows.... "Coming Out Party".... YA story. New England teen preps for her sweet 16 party while re-evaluating the secrecy of her secret girlfriend. Cute ideas but kind of juvenile for my tastes. Point of the opening??? YA seldom interests me unless it's exceptionally written and I wasn't expecting to find any in this anthology. Will say that I'd like to see this author's work with grown up leads. 3.3

Sommer Marsden.... "The Only Girl I Want".... Woman throws a reunion party and old college friends show up, including the lez who wanted her bad. This went from potentially romantic to clumsy porn. No real longing. How about a little romance, eh? Four fingers-... What? And who "barks" with pleasure?? lol. 1.5

Cheyenne Blue.... "Five".... Girl is dumped by the local player and obsesses over her in 5's (it's been 5 weeks, 5 hours, etc etc). Will there be a reconciliation or a new beginning? (and a new way to obsess with 5??). Only the bagel mistress knows for sure. Point of view was kinda weird here. It's one of the few stories not actually written in first person. I think it was a limited 3rd person and just had this really repetitive feel. Maybe the sentence syntax. 2.5

Sacchi Green.... "The Outside Edge"... Two world class athletes turn partner skating into the language of love. Not a big sports fan but those of you who are may like this one more. Full of acrobatics from beginning to end. The romance is in there somewhere. Watch out when one says, "spin me" in the sack, lol. I hope that sex scene was supposed to be funny... 3.3

Pamela Smiley.... "You are a Full Moon Without Clouds".... set abroad, this one is about an expat lez and her love for Chiang Mai, a city in Thailand. Her love for her new girlfriend has her reflecting on how this will change her feelings for her beloved city (as it has been her long time lover). And perhaps a particular way of life, hmm? Fellow travelers may appreciate this contemplation of exotic relations/culture/landscape... but not much human/human romance to be found here. 3.3

Hannah Quinn.... "Firsts".... Infidelity and obsession here. Very short work among this bunch that caught me off guard and was surprisingly gripping in its emotions and honesty. I had to read it twice to really appreciate it. About a woman seduced by a woman who's with someone else. It's not really a typical story but a first person contemplation of every mounting turn in their connection. But boy did it hit those primal buttons. Raw truth. Now this is the pure essence of what stories about passionate infidelity should entail. 4.0

Erin O'Riordan.... "Soaked".... rain-soaked girl in college connects with her big crush. When things don't move as fast as she'd like, she loses a bit control. Nothing says college and being under 22 like being drunk in all the wrong places. 3.0

Jacqueline Applebee.... "I Never Thought of Love".... Very emotional-sweet. Black Londoner falling in love with a white school teacher with 5 kids from the north. Despite being very different, and despite her own past, she seems to have found a new family of her own. Very touching. 4.0

Renée Strider.... "Girls and Their Cars".... What do two butches do when they're in between femmes and obsessed with their cars and outdoing each other?? They get it on, of course!! If this was a romance... it's out of my comprehension. I'm just not masculine enough to get pool and car racing and attitude as foreplay, lol. Like Brokeback Mountain I can't be with you taboo. Even so, it got sexy and I enjoy the rare lesfic cameo of butch on butch hookups when I come across them... not my thing, but still a bit like spotting a unicorn. 3.7

Kris Adams.... "Hard to Hate Her".... Delicious! lol. Ex-wife and cheating ex-husband's new wife really hit it off in this one. I was sure it was going to be a cheesy frat boy fantasy... but it turned out to be much more sensitive, sensual, and engaging and promised so much more. Loved it. Wish it were a novel because the ending was rushed. This is the simple, fun, sexy stuff with a catchy premise that makes for the best kind of escapism and would be a solid hit as a novel. 4.0

Andrea Dale.... "Queens Up".... historical/western about the tomboy daughter of a ranch owner and her lover maid/cook who step up to save the day when the ranch is threatened. I love all things lesbo in the old west... but this was a bit average. Cute ideas, though. NOTE: This one is also published in the anthology Lesbian Cowboys: Erotic Adventures. 3.0

Nell Stark and Trinity Tam.... "Reclamation".... Vampire and her human lover seem to rediscover their need for each other... not really my thing and didn't find it particularly sexy or romantic. Boring paranormal. 2.5

Shannon Dargue.... "The Letting Go".... Two Canadian women (butch/femme) headed for a divorce fight fight fight. There is some sexy steam underneath it all. I liked this one. That whole breakup/makeup sex is always to die for stuff. 3.8

Dalia Craig.... "The Last Dance".... Two women meet in 1958 at an anniversary party while avoiding hetero matchmaking schemes and basically hook up. I didn't really understand 'the last dance' part 50 yrs later... not the most engaging story for me and I wasn't feeling much chemistry here. No idea what these two even look like. 2.5

Radclyffe.... "All In" .... We get to revisit Saxon Sinclair and Jude Castle from Passion's Bright Fury in this one for an emotional reunion. I really liked this couple so it was a real treat. Even a quick cameo from Quinn (Fated Love). Once I got beyond chuckling over Saxon's commentary that people say her and Quinn look alike (don't all her butches?!) and then trying to justify how different they are, ahahaha... it was pretty sexy to see Jude and Sax reunite after a long absence. Sexy-emotional. Love the begging... love it. Only Rad can incorporate nasty scars and hot sex... 4.5
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