Anna M reviews Without Warning by KG Macgregor


Taking my cue from a comment on my last review, I read another KG MacGregor book, this time Without Warning. The book is the first in her Shaken series, which originated as Xena-based fanfiction (available here). In Without Warning, lawyer Lily Stewart and car dealer Anna Kaklis are both inside a mall in Los Angeles when an earthquake causes portions of the building to collapse. In a clothing store when the quake hit, Lily encounters and frees Anna, who is trapped under a fallen bookshelf in a different store. The women join forces to escape the crumbling structure, which is being wracked by aftershocks. After making some progress toward an exit, and learning more about one another, Anna manages to get help for Lily when her asthma threatens to suffocate her.

The earthquake and mutual life-saving creates a deep bond between the women, but a mix-up means that they don’t see each other for seven months–on the day of Anna’s divorce from the unsuitable Scott. Once reunited, the women find themselves drawn to one another, although the out Lily worries whether she can keep her feelings for the Amazonian Anna strictly platonic. Their path to couple-dom is a little bumpy–family pressure in the form of Anna’s conservative father and a misunderstanding that makes Lily doubt Anna’s feelings–but happily resolved.

I liked several things about this romance. First, the pace was slow. Lily and Anna don’t fall in love at first sight (it is, after all, extremely dark in the wrecked mall). They have a chance to get acquainted when they’re stuck together waiting for rescue; otherwise they would have been very unlikely to cross paths socially or professionally. Lily comes out to Anna almost immediately–there’s none of that “I didn’t tell her and if I tell her now she’ll wonder why I lied about it” stuff–and it takes Anna a while to figure out the direction of her feelings, including a visit to her college crush. I liked the consistent thread of humor throughout the book, especially the teasing interactions between the main characters. Without Warning reminds me, in the best way, of some of my favorite Xena uber fiction, including work by Ann McMan and Melissa Good.

But I really need to stop reading books with characters named Anna.


Anna M. reviews Photographs of Claudia by KG Macgregor

Photographs Claudia
A few weeks ago, I jumped on a chance to download a free ebook of K.G. MacGregor’s romance Photographs of Claudia from Bella Books. I’d never read anything by MacGregor, and I’m always looking to expand my list of authors I enjoy. The book was published in 2010 and alternates between action in the late 80s and the present day.

When she first meets the attractive Claudia, Leonora (“Leo”) Westcott is a young photographer, still struggling to make the family studio profitable after her father’s death. She’s spent the past several years working almost constantly, accepting every client and taking school pictures. When their paths cross in 1986, Claudia Galloway is a student teacher and Leo is taking the student portraits. Their acquaintance grows into friendship and perhaps something more, despite the fact that Claudia is engaged and plans to move away when her internship is completed.

Leo’s photographer friend believes that she needs to take the next step, artistically, and suggests that she pursue a spot at an elite workshop. When Claudia volunteers to serve as Leo’s model for a series of intense portraits, their simmering emotions come to a boil. Claudia struggles to reconcile her growing attraction to Leo, her disenchantment with her workaholic husband-to-be, and her sudden urge to pose nude. Meanwhile, Leo is afraid to truly invest in a relationship with someone in turmoil, although she has already opened herself up to heartache by falling for Claudia.

MacGregor juxtaposes these fraught scenes from the past with those of a present-day wedding at which Leo is the last-minute substitute photographer. The question is not if, but when Claudia will show up at the wedding, and what her relationship will be to present-day Leo.

MacGregor takes her sweet time developing the pair’s relationship and revealing the details of the rift that has kept them apart for the last two decades. I, for one, would have liked to see more details of their reunion after all the backstory was out in the open (although I’m not complaining at all about the portrait-making scenes, which were decidedly steamy). Some of the barriers to their relationship did not feel as insurmountable to me as they were depicted. Still, who doesn’t enjoy a story of long-parted lovers reunited at last?

I stayed up late to finish Photographs of Claudia and would definitely read more by MacGregor, so well played, Bella Books.

Link round up: August 15-21


AfterEllen posted Batwoman #12: Happy anniversary, lesbian superhero! Here, have a Wonder Woman!

Autostraddle posted


Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian posted New Stories by Mariko Tamaki and Zoe Whittall; Plus, Queer Feminist Read Dating in Toronto!

Lambda Literary posted


lesbian meets books nyc posted Hunting the Slipper: Bringing Back Out of Print Lesbian Books.

The Outer Alliance posted Coming Out #8: Barbara Ann Wright on The Pyramid Waltz.

Sistahs on the Shelf Literary Promo Blog posted Sistahs on the Shelf featured in reSOUND magazine! and SOTS Books 2 Check Out – August 2012.

Women and Words posted Upcoming event in the UK for LGBTQ readers & writers!


Ivan E. Coyote will be at the Vancouver Writers Fest (October 16-21 2012).

Malinda Lo posted Presenting…the official trailer for Adaptation!

Catherine Lundoff posted The Highs and Lows of Promoting Lesbian Fiction by Catherine Lundoff.

KG Macgregor was interviewed at Lambda Literary.

“Kung Fu Lesbian – Book Trailer” was posted at One More Lesbian.


Gossamer Axe by Gael Baudino was reviewed at Good Lesbian Books.

OMGQueer edited by Katherine E. Lynch & Radclyffe was reviewed at Good Lesbian Books.

Sidecar by Ann McMan was reviewed at Good Lesbian Books.

Everything Pales in Comparison by Rebecca Swartz was reviewed at Winnipeg Free Press.


As always, check out even more links by following the Lesbrary on twitter!