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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 9 July 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Substitute for Love (Paperback)
In this story Holly is in a dead end heterosexual relationship. Her life is changed for ever when she quits her job in support of a lesbian co worker who is fired. This leads Holly to reassess her life and her sexuality. Eventually a chance meeting with Reyna, a lesbian coersed by her father into the closet and a job promoting anti gay liertaure, leads to a love affair and she realises that she is also gay.
Whilst being a good read I found the first half of the book a bit slow moving, and I lacked sympathy for Holly in all her turmoil. The second half was much better.
I read this book after reading Wild Things - I preferred Wild Things.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 21 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Substitute for Love (Paperback)
Holly Markham is straight, isn't she? She's in a controlling relationship with Clay and somehow just can't see it. Then things change for Holly. She resigns from her job to support a colleague over a point of principle. Tori her best friend, takes her to a lesbian dance club where she meets Reyna. A woman of mystery and she falls in love. They have one night together and Reyna tells her that one night now and then is all they can ever have. This isn't enough for Holly. Sex without love is no substitute for love. Holly sets out to find out more about the mysterious Reyna.
I enjoyed this book just as much this time as the first time I read it. I like to read an old favorite now and then just so I can relax without the excitement of not knowing what happens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little piece of wonderful ..., 24 April 2012
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This review is from: Substitute for Love (Kindle Edition)
Well, I've read quite a few books by Kallmaker now (up to about 7 I believe), and just when I think there's no possible way I can enjoy her work more she blows me away with this book. I may be a little late to the party with this one as it was published a fair while ago, but without a doubt this has now become my favourite novel of hers. The Amazon synopsis (above) does not do it justice at all.

The story structure, though at first a little jarring, really worked for me. It pulled me in to these two women's lives making me feel for them on every level. The story at times was sad, an air of disillusionment clinging to it, but while reading I just knew something would break and the two main characters would get what they deserved, with each other. It wasn't exactly predictable, however, and I think the ending was pretty much perfect given the hurt and disappointment both women had been through in their lives.

I found both main characters to be completely understandable and sympathetic, and even the background characters did not grate on my nerves, as they often do in these types of novels. When the two women finally met, which is quite a way into the book (though we get a glimpse of their first meeting early on), it was easy to understand how compelled they were to take what they wanted from each other, and boy ... the first steamy scene between them was one of the hottest, most evocative scenes I've ever read in a lesfic novel. It didn't read as gratuitous at all either, it was all feeling and need, and a desperate desire to just be.

I won't go into details of the story, but the background stories of both main characters kept me turning page after page, hoping things somehow, some way, could work out for them. They don't have it particularly easy, but their complications only made them more interesting and likeable.

I loved this book and it has gone into my small list (small considering just how many lesfic books I read) of favourite books. I'll enjoy this again and again, and the ending will always make my heart breathe a contented sigh.

P.S. Ignore the cheesy book cover, it really is better than that.
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Substitute for Love
Substitute for Love by Karin Kallmaker
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