Razor Wire by Lauren Gallagher #Review

Razor Wire by Lauren Gallagher #ReviewRazor Wire by Lauren Gallagher

Genres: F/F Romance
Published by Riptide on December 22, 2014
Pages: 196
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

Amazing depth to the characters, their emotions and the plot! I felt this one long after I finished the book. This author is not new to me though this is the first time I read her books under this pen name. It’s her first f/f and I find that so difficult to believe because this was a solid story any angle you look at it. It’s set on a small naval base in Japan and focuses on characters that are all military police. I read a lot of military romance and this was my first military cop read.

It also has the distinction of having rather difficult theme matter too. I guess this will serve as a warning for those with triggers and sensitivities, but this story tackles the subjects of rape, abortion and sexual harassment and intimidation in the workplace.

Whewboy yep, it was a rough emotional ride, but managed to convey emotions, difficulties, triumph, fear, loss and hope within balance. And while it is not my first f/f romance (not that I’ve read many), it is one of the best one that I’ve read.

The story opens with MA3 Kim Lockhoff stuck between a rock and a hard place. She is the main topic around the water cooler, the butt of raunchy jokes and comments, and rumored to be knocked-up by the boss. Suddenly, she’s That Girl- the slutty one that will sleep with anyone to get ahead in the ranks or just to get some. Unfortunately, the rumor regarding the boss are true and her boss is threatening her to get rid of the evidence that he cheated on his wife and fraternized with a jr. ranking sailor. Not one person on the base will back her if she claims the truth- that she was raped because everyone at that party saw her tipsy and leaving with the man plus she has been the party girl since she got there.

MA2 Reese Marion is asked by her friend and immediate superior to throw an arm around Lockhoff and find out what’s going on with her since evidence is pointing toward the fact the woman got herself into trouble with Stanton and might decide to fling some accusations around to cover her own butt. And Reese has a real attitude about women like that. But then she gets Kim’s story and she believes it. The woman’s troubles are nothing like she imagined and strike too close to home. Reese becomes the only support Kim has because there is no one who Stanton hasn’t rallied to seeing things his way. For the first time in years, Reese lets another person past her emotional walls and into her heart. They have a hard fight on their hands, but they will fight it together.

This is one of those stories that feels very insular- the settings are small, the cast is small and the plot doesn’t have a ton of stuff going on. The author couldn’t have set the tone better for a woman feeling fearful, isolated and alone so that I was right there in Kim’s world from the start. This is definitely a story that could have been subtitled ‘things aren’t always what they seem’. The focus is on Kim’s problem with Stanton, her initial conflict and then attraction with Reese, and the quietly intense build up to the end.

The romance is tender and cautious because of the past rape situation. They take stuff slow and get up to some sexy times, but I liked that it felt the appropriate time, level and just enough draw-back to work with the context of the story. More time is spent establishing the relationship on platonic level first and then the other, but it works. Not the story to pick if you’re looking for some scorching heat.

On a side note, I felt the author did her homework. The backdrop and setting felt pretty authentic to me like I really was with a group of Navy MPs on a naval base with their daily routines, situations, regs and protocol- official and non-official.

To wrap it up, this was an emotionally tough read and not one for the fast-paced action/passion lovers, but still not lacking in tension or romance for all that. I would recommend this one to f/f contemporary romance lovers for sure and for those who are dipping their toes into this niche genre for the first time.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #110 LGBT

New to Me #59 women MP/scenario

Cliché Klatch #43 ‘Having Second Thoughts’

Mt. TBR #61

About Lauren Gallagher

Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Hiya Sophia:) I’ve never read f/f before. This plot and the characters just….omg. It seems so tough and heart-wrenching and just…such a tear jerker. I hope Kim gets every thing settled in the end and that she can finally live her life happy.

    • This really did touch deep. I can’t imagine being attacked by my own boss, raped, pregnant, and knowing that nobody would believe me. It was tough to read.
      I’ve only read a few f/f and this was the first one I liked b/c it had a strong story. Guess I picked badly the last few times. 😉

  • Awesome review Sophia!:D What a tough break for these ladies, this one must have had a lot of ups,downs and sneaking around because of the military factor.

    • The military factor wasn’t such the problem as that it was their superior officer that was the villain. He was an ogre and used his higher rank to hide behind and commit his acts. Yeah, it was a rough one, Lanie!

  • I love the sound of this book! The intrigue about the baby and the slut shaming is interesting. I can tell the resolution was well written too

    • I enjoy her books a lot. She tackles so many tough subjects that are universal issues for us all and she writes about f/f, m/m, bi, trans, or m/f couples and doesn’t just stick to one type. Yes, the slut shaming aspect was probably the most impacting for me, but what to do about the baby was a tough decision too.

  • This sounds like an emotional read indeed and it deals with some hard topics, but it seem like the author handles it all well. I haven’t read this book, but I already feel for Kim, she’s really in a difficult situation with all that going on and everyone believing her boss except for Reece. And I like it when it’s obvious the author did her research, the settings always feel more real and authentic that way. Great review!

    • She wrote a strong set of characters and a tough situation for the plot. Yeah, I loved seeing the setting done well too. I know after reading your posts that setting is a big deal for you, too, Lola!

  • I wasn’t expected to hear there was such depth. Wonderful review, and I am glad to see the author handled it well and got you caught up emotionally.

    • Her books can take people by surprise when they get one, Kimberly. She has wry humor and decided opinions that come through in the writing like this one about sexual harassment, rape, and intimidation in the work place, . I don’t think one could read her books and walk away indifferent.

  • I haven’t read many f/f usually it’s m/m or m/f/m that I see a lot of. But this sounds very good.

    • Yeah, I’ve only read three including this one where the main characters are both women. I haven’t even read a menage where its f/m/f or f/f/m, but this one really developed the plot and characters so that the f/f aspect really wasn’t the important part.

  • wow! I’m about to listen to my first f/f story and I hope its a good as this. But I”m glad the author was able to do her research and give a solid story!

    • That’s cool! I look forward to your review. This one was an all around strong story.

  • Lindy Gomez

    I love when a book sticks with me after I’ve read it. Stories with emotional depth are my favorite types of stories. Razor Wire sounds fascinating! It’s great what the author does research for her story, it makes it feel that much more real! Excellent Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Thanks, Lindy! I read a ton of books and most are enjoyable, but don’t stick with me so I love it when the occasional one does.