Reviews

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A sweet lesbian debut romance book with a paranormal twist
Review of ‘Aspen in Moonlight’ by Kelly Wacker

I enjoyed this lesbian debut romance book more than I expected to. I wanted to read/review this book because I thought this was a paranormal-romance which is one of my favorite genres. After reading some of the early reviews, I realized this wasn’t a paranormal-romance but instead a romance with a slight paranormal twist. Since it wasn’t what I was hoping for, I could feel that my expectations where lowering quickly. I was hoping for something more paranormal-ish to read on Halloween. I’m happy to report I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Once I knew I was getting paranormal light, I was able to enjoy this really sweet romance.

This is the story about an art historian professor Melissa, who is spending her summertime in Colorado hoping to find out about the history of the artist of some paintings that have been in her family for generations. Melissa meets Sula, the director of a bear conservancy that might just have the answers she needs. The more time they spend together the more their attraction builds. Do they have a chance at a relationship when one of them is keeping a life-changing secret?

Wacker’s name wasn’t familiar to me so I wasn’t surprised to see that this was her full-length book debut. I was however pleasantly surprised how nicely written it was. This doesn’t feel like a debut and that makes me excited to want to read future books by Wacker. She has a nice smooth writing style and while this is more of a slower-paced book, I was hooked into the story instantly. I can sometimes get a little bored by more traditional romances, but this story had me from beginning to end.

As I mentioned before the romance is more on the feel-good side. There is some relationship angst but not a lot, the book’s conflict is mostly driven by the paranormal twist which was enough to keep things interesting. Both main characters are extremely likable so it’s easy to root for them and hope for a happily ever after.

If you are interested in a feel-good romance, this book would be a good choice. The setting in Colorado also shined so if you are a nature/wildlife fan especially for bears, I would also recommend this. The paranormal part is very small and only gives the book some added conflict and a teeny bit of excitement. I’m intrigued now by Wacker and I will definitely be reading her next book. 3.75 Stars.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

Women Using Words / The Lesbian Book Blog
October 10, 2020

I was very surprised to learn that this was Wacker’s first full length novel. This book doesn’t read like it was written by someone with a short list of published fiction. It reads like it was penned by an author with a well cultivated resume. The storytelling is imaginative and engaging. The descriptions are splendid. The language is fluid and magnificent. Wacker is impressive; she knows how to bring the words to life in 3D technicolor.

The story involves something I typically don’t gravitate toward or read—shapeshifting. The concept seems, for lack of a better word, strange. It’s a subject and sub-genre that’s never really caught my attention or held my interest. This book, however, despite talk of hamask and she-bears, engaged me from the start. I wasn’t familiar with any of it and it didn’t matter. Wacker pulled me in and held me there with her lovely storytelling; I was captivated. She writes with such grace and intelligence. Her word building is finessed marvelously, giving the story depth and dimension. It truly highlights her talent as an imaginative and descriptive writer.

Both of the leading ladies are compelling, interesting and completely likable. They stand on their own, yet compliment each other quite nicely. The romance between them is tender, sweet, and yes, believable. My favorite scene underscores Wacker’s ability to sell this love story and make it not only believable, but charming. It’s when Sula realizes she can trust Melissa and their love for one another. She shapeshifts into her bear form and Melissa embraces who she is without judgement. She sees her and accepts her with complete love and tenderness. She is in awe of her beauty and magnificence as a she-bear. It is really a very lovely and touching scene.

This book was a wonderful surprise for me. I would absolutely encourage readers to pick this book up and indulge in its well written and imaginative prose. Wacker is a talented writer and I look forward to reading more from her.

Strengths…

Well written
Imaginative
Compelling
Descriptive
Beautiful use of language

Lesbian Reading Room 
(Facebook post, 12/10/2019)

Aspen in Moonlight – Kelly Wacker 
4.5 stars

Excellent and unusual story weaving a traditional romance with a paranormal twist.. but without it feeling like a paranormal tale.. hopefully will appeal to romance readers who don’t ‘do’ paranormal.

Excellent story and wonderful characters set against the glorious backdrop of the Rockies… the baddie is nasty, the wider cast are well drawn and the whole is an excellent read.