The book I'm going to be reviewing this week, Finding Love Down Under by Donna Jay, is a F/F erotic romance with a bit of BDSM spice thrown into the mix.
In this story we meet Claire and Zoe. Claire is a native New Zealander who had a relationship end badly when her fiancee broke her trust. Zoe is a Canadian, traveling in New Zealand, who has also had a relationship end badly when her trust was broken. The two women meet in a McDonalds shortly after Zoe's relationship ended; Zoe needs rescuing, though she doesn't ask for it, and Claire offers her a place to stay in exchange for some help around her home and vineyard.
Both women have been damaged and have a difficult time extending trust. In fact it takes some time before they even find out they are both lesbians, are attracted to one another, and both into bdsm. They face some challenges as they learn to trust again, and as their respective ex's show up and try to meddle.
This is a well written story that leans more toward the romantic side though there are some hot erotic scenes that are very well done. The characters are developed well, I liked and disliked some aspects of both Claire and Zoe which I think speaks to how real the author made them for me.
The story had a good bit of angst, some had to do with the characters trust issues, and some with the ex's trying to worm back into their lives. I did feel like the angst was a bit manufactured at times, though I'm not sure my feelings are really fair. Both characters were damaged, and sometimes our damage causes us to create angst where it might not truly exist, even so that angst is real for us and I felt it was real for Claire and Zoe.
I loved how the author showed us around New Zealand a bit in this book as Claire and Zoe traveled as well as how we are exposed to a bit of New Zealand culture. This was a definite bonus for me with this story.
As I mentioned above the erotic scenes are hot. The bdsm is on the light side with nothing extreme, it definitely added to the hotness of the erotic scenes, at least for me.
The book is very well edited with nothing causing me pause as I read. The flow and pacing of the story work very well.
I'm giving Love Down Under four out of five paddles. I definitely recommend it especially for F/F fans who enjoy a bit of bdsm spice in their reading.