Genre: contemporary fantasy
Pairings: f/f (sort of all over the board here)
Rating: four stars
I read this book months ago, wrote the review on Goodreads, and never ported it over to my site because, well, because it’s contemporary, and I don’t generally read contemporary, but damn, has this story stuck with me. So even though I try to stick to SFF, CHASING GHOSTS has a spot on my bookshelf, and in my heart, for being just really well written les fic. Even if you hate contemporary (and generally, I do), give this one a go. Really. It’s SO good.
I’m… not sure why I picked this book to read. It’s f/f, yes, which is right up my alley, but I’m much more of a laser beam spaceship shoot em up person, or if that isn’t available, a mage and elves kind of person. This was book was straight up modern day normal. No aliens, no elves, no magic, and I loved it.
Nicola is well-known ghostwriter who takes an assignment of writing the memoir of Isobel, a movie star-director-gorgeous type lady. You know the kind. That’s…pretty much it in terms of direction, except there are all these OTHER women who keep coming into play, things get derailed more than once, and there are enough romantic plot twists to have you screaming at your e-reader (I certainly was). There’s Melody, the former moviestar lover, the redhead whose name I can never remember, Julie, the best friend, and they all weave together to form this really deep portray of the intricacy of professional lesbian life. Also sex. The sex scenes are well done and tasteful, and while they didn’t leave me sweating, they did leave me blushing. That’s a nice medium.
I found Nicola relatable and sympathetic. She makes mistakes that are understandable, she feels deeply, and is easy to connect with. Isobel is a wild ride and I did stumble sometimes with this character, as I felt some of the twists were more author convenience than actually well foreshadowed events. Melody, on the other hand, had the delightful ‘surprising yet inevitable’ quality that makes for a great character. All three had great arcs.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Pacing was, for the most part, just about perfect. The start was slow–in fact the first fifty pages almost had me shelving the thing, but once it picked up, it picked up and I couldn’t put it down. The sexual tension was spot on, the characters mostly perfect, and the world was fleshed out without being overwhelming. Nicola seemed very competent when she needed to be, and her development arc was just about perfect.
And finally, my ‘yelling at the book’ moment, below.
SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
With only about ten pages left to the book, we get this line:
I tried to push back the occasional twinge, the little voice observing that although I had confessed my love to Melody, she hadn’t done the same.
Okay, A) WHAT THE HELL?! You toy with my emotions, authors! These two WILL live HEA and they will have beautiful babies together OKAY!? GAH! B) This wasn’t really resolved at the end, was it? Did I miss some clean up ‘I love you,’ or was Melody leaving her marriage of convenience supposed to take the place of that? I don’t know. My heart is both full and angry.
Definitely worth a read, even if this isn’t generally your genre. Persist through those first fifty pages, and you’ll be rewarded with a warm, often surprising story that will keep you spellbound.