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Love By Chance: A Lesbian Romance by T. L.…
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Love By Chance: A Lesbian Romance

by T. L. Brentley

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My first work by this author. A short one of 96 pages.

Pros:
*Toni in cop mode - as in the mystery was mostly solid

Cons:
*Dialogue mosts seems okay except for when it involves both Toni and Dani. Then - awkward.
*Toni takes a lot of time off in the middle of cases.
*Oddly, I know, but the sex was too orgasmic (as in six orgasms in like 15 mins after first sexual encounter started).

I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into, mostly because I had added this book at some point to my Kindle Unlimited Maybe pile, and then much later slipped it on the Kindle. So, by the time I actually got around to starting – while on the train, I only had the cover to remind myself of what the story might be. A mostly black and white photo with two women’s faces, both with red lips, closed eyes, and leaning into each other while being enclosed, top and bottom, by the words “Love by Chance”, “A Lesbian Romance”, “T.L. Brentley” in yellow. This didn’t really remind me of anything. And so, I went in blind.

Open book, there’s this Toni woman being awoken very early in the morning. Apparently she’s a police officer and there’s this dead body she has to go out to look at. Hmms. Interesting beginning. Quite mysterious vibe. The dialogue is crisp, sharp (in the beginning, after this opening the dialogue gets a little awkward and stilted for some reason).

Then there’s this ‘meet cute’ type of deal where the main character first meets the romantic interest. One of the cops tells Toni that there’s this new A.D.A. assigned to the case. Toni makes some disparaging comments about new lawyers fresh from school. Only to find that the A.D.A. had been standing behind her. The new assistant district attorney is a 40+ year old named Delia Fuentes. Not a 20 something fresh face from law school.

They meet. Toni says she’ll keep Delia in the loop. Hmm. Since I need to check something I’ll go ahead add some extra stuff.

Delia Fuentes: new assistant district attorney assigned to the homicide division in Galveston Texas. Giant breasts (what, it almost becomes a plot point all by themselves)
Description: “[A] full-fledged mature woman . . . appeared to be early forties with dark, shoulder-length hair . . . brown eyes . . . [s]he was the most beautiful woman Lt. Toni Milner had ever laid eyes on.”

Antoinette ‘Toni’ Milner: Lieutenant in the Galveston Police Department, a homicide detective. Former US Marine (20 years in). No mention of whether or not she had been in the ranks or officer part, though there is mention that she was in the CID for the last part of her time in the Marines. Lives on a sailing boat. Small breasts.
Description: um . . she runs a lot? I don’t recall a physical description being given beyond ‘small breasts’. I probably missed it.

First two chapters are tight, well crafted. Then, beginning with the third chapter, a shot of distraction got inserted. As in, yes Delia and Toni had meet, but it’s the third chapter wherein Toni begins to lose her ability to operate fully focused. Though it’s just a short glimpse of Toni lusting after Delia. The mystery vibe, the police officer working on a case, and the dialogue remains within the mystery genre. Sharp. Defined. Tight. Dialogue stays convincing. The exchange between ex-girlfriend Dr. Melody Hartford, Chief Medical Examiner, and Toni was solid. Then in chapter four Toni swings by Delia’s office to bring her up to date on the case. And the awkward dialogue problem starts. They flirt. Awkwardly. They go out to lunch. Since it’s lunch time. And they can discuss the case. Now we are in the mixture of romance and mystery part.

Well, I won’t continue going chapter by chapter. I did it to see where things had broken down. It’s more of a fluctuation type of situation. A mixture of tight well plotted mystery and awkward romance.

The mystery is straight forward – as alluded to but not expanded upon before: Toni gets woken up early in the morning, around 3:45, to go out into the heavy rain and stare at a dead body. Which she will now investigate. The dude looks like a tourist. Well, except for the top of his head cut off. No identification on him. Found on the beach. So, naturally, the detective returns home and goes back to sleep. Giving the lab techs some time to do stuff. Which she immediately visits when she wakes up. Well, after running for about five miles I mean. One lab tech talks about currents. Medical examiner . . . um . . I forget if she actually conveyed any information at this time beyond demanding that Toni come out that weekend for a dinner party. Then off for lunch to bring the A.D.A. up to speed. Everything seems to be flowing about like you’d expect in a mystery.

Later a certain amount of Sherlock Holmes is revealed when Toni walks into the dwelling unit of the deceased, spotted a clue no one else had seen in the . . . um . . . hours that they had been investigating that room. And then immediately spots where the actual death scene took place. Then takes off the rest of the day. To clean up and stuff. And get ready for a date. There is mention of other cases earlier in the book but . . . whatever.

As far as I can tell there are two or three police officers in Galveston. Lt. Toni Milner. Her boss, whose name I forget. And the third possible is the guy who Toni met on the beach to see the dead body. I just don’t recall if he was a medical examiner type or a police officer. I’ve a vague recollection of something like ‘thanks sergeant’, so police. And that’s it in terms of police. Though the Coast Guard and FBI lend their hand to the case. So that adds more investigative people. Well, I mean, beyond the one lab tech guy who appears to mainly sit in a room doing current calculations. And the chief medical person.

I got distracted.

Romance: … I don’t really want to give a rating. 2? It was a little too fast and uncomplicated (yeah, I can’t believe I’m saying that myself – I dislike angst and stuff like that, how’d I end up here with ‘this was too fast and uncomplicated’)
Mystery: 3.5 (elements of tightly controlled, mixed with wtf moments wherein the police officer wanders off to do something else. Like fuck. Also the case was a little too easy)
Sex: wait, rating sex? Um . . . that’s a new one. I’m not sure I can rate the sex.
Mixture, somewhat odd mixture, of tumbling quite graphic sex mixed with fade to black. As in, there are, if I recall correctly, three sex scenes. Two of which are graphic. One, the middle one, fades to black. The first sexual encounter appeared to have occurred more or less immediately upon meeting. Though I think a whole day passed beforehand. Well, no, I recall a few more passages now, it was the next day. And in that first encounter? That’s where a certain amount of confusing tumbling occurred. I mean – shirt removed. Bra removed. Playing with breasts. Other woman’s clothing removed. Unbuttoning shirt. Wait, wasn’t the shirt off already? I’m confused! Nooo. And, seriously, everything described seemed to occur in about 15 minutes. And do you know how many orgasms they both enjoyed? At least five, probably six (later they say three or 4, but I counted). I think the first orgasm came with the first touch. I mean . . . shesh. ‘Touch me touch . . iiiiI’m orgasming!!!’ heh.

The word orgasm occurs 9 times in this book. The first five times occur in the first sex scene. Actually, by counting and stuff, I noticed that the first wasn’t that quick. It’s a later one that had built off the first that shot off a little quickly.

There’s another “Love By Chance” story that I’ll probably read. I mean, I liked the mystery. And it’s nice to find two lesbians in their 40s. I just hope the romance is a little less awkward in the second story. I’ll give an overall rating of 3 stars for this one. Heh. I just realize I did this little mathematical calculation just now, and it matches up with the rating I already gave. ( )
  Lexxi | Nov 13, 2015 |
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