Friday, August 19, 2011
The Lonely Hearts Club by Radclyffe
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
If you're looking for a romance that's a little different, Radclyffe is providing what you need in The Lonely Hearts Club.
Liz Ramsey gets the best news she could possibly hear, but it couldn't come at a worse time. Liz is finally pregnant and she has just discovered that, not only has her partner been cheating on her, but she doesn't want children. She has friends she can depend on however. Candace Lory, an old girlfriend, likes to play the field, but she'll stand by Liz no matter what. Brenda Beal is the steady one who holds the trio together, but she's hiding secrets that will shock her friends if they're revealed. There is a wild side to Brenda that no one suspects.
The women soon find themselves being distracted from each other by their other relationships. Liz becomes involved with Dr. Reilly Danvers, who could be the loving partner she had hoped to share her child with. Candace finds herself drawn to a lawyer in Liz's firm who may give her a reason to finally settle down, and Brenda has an amazing mystery woman who is more than willing to be the submissive to Brenda's dominance. Could the three friends who want the best for each other be about to achieve exactly that?
Radclyffe does her best work when she writes her stand-alone novels. This book has a fresh concept. It's not often that a lesbian novel features a central figure who is pregnant and alone. It presents a view of lesbian life that isn't common yet, but is growing.
The characters are especially well drawn, each with its individual personality. While Liz and Reilly are the major focus of the book, the most interesting character might be Bren, who represents practically reverse personalities. Any of these people could have carried the book and that makes them stronger than is usually seen in this genre. This is the type of writing that Radclyffe excels at when she writes to her strengths. Even though the book sticks to the usual "formula," it has some interesting twists and the characters keep drawing you through the story. It also speaks clearly to the value of friendship. The Lonely Hearts Club is a good read.