By Diane Marina
Jan 1, 2014
Lesbian/Era Historical 1940’s/Romance
In a posh hotel in New York City in 1948, two young socialites are introduced by their mothers. As their friendship grows, so does love. Will Lily and Joan's love prevail? Are they brave enough to stand up against the social standards of the time, or will their love simply become part of the history of the Imperial Hotel?
I saw that the author posted this book on Goodreads and I bought it mainly due to the mention of the time period and that it’s set in NYC. Ultimately, I liked this story. It’s short but expresses enough to get hooked into the characters. And while not erotically written in language, what the two young women experience together is erotic and deeply passionate.
At first I thought there was too much tell and was fearful that the whole story would be told in such a way. It’s told from Joan’s POV and she gives the background on how she first met Lily and what she felt. They’ve met through their mothers’ introduction. Lily is engaged to be married, but this doesn’t sit well with Joan as both women start to get close. And while Joan doesn’t really get why she feels this way, she doesn’t question it too much either.
At the point that both women understand that they have special feelings for each other, there is a nice shift in the story in that there’s enough dialogue to start getting a good feel for where both women are coming from. Their first sexual interaction is sweet and shows the intensity of their feelings. This is probably what turned me on most about this book.
What was missing for me is that this book didn’t have a strong feeling of being in the 1940’s. Maybe it was because both women are from upper class families and the way they speak didn’t include much slang or colloquial speech of that era. Outside of having to hide what they feel due to an unaccepting society, there really was nothing that made this story stand out as a retro story. Would have been nice if there were some cultural references to the era in the form of clothing style or music, etc.
The ending was also wrapped up a little too perfectly for me. But overall this is a sweet, feel good love story and I would highly recommend it. I’m pretty sure I will read another of Diane Marina’s books. She does have a pleasing writing style.
Heat level: 2- one sex scene, not graphically written. More suggestive.
Grade- Really liked it.