Bridget Reviews: NEVER TOO LATE by Julie Blair (Lesbian Contemporary Romance)

This is something new I’m doing–see here for details, information, and info on how to get your book reviewed, if you’re an author! πŸ™‚

Never Too Late by Julie Blair

What happens when a single night of unexpected passion with a stranger leaves you wanting more?

Twenty years later, Dr. Jamie Hammond thinks she’s put that night far behind her. She’s a successful chiropractor and is about to celebrate a ten-year anniversary with her partner. But instead of reaping the benefits of responsibility and hard work, she finds herself fighting to save her business and relationship as doubt, betrayal, and disappointment tear at the fabric of her life.

Carla Grant is looking for a new challenge after settling her daughter at college. She never imagines that applying for an office manager position will change her life.

As Jamie and Carla work to save Jamie’s business, they will have to examine everything they thought they knew about love, responsibility, and family. Can two women dare to believe that it’s never too late for happily ever after?

There are so many things to love about Never Too Late that it’s almost difficult to know where to start.

When the book opens with Carla and Jamie’s first meeting, that’s when I knew I was falling in love with the book. Right at the start.

You have Jamie, who’s an out and proud lesbian, high on just having come home from a music festival, when she discovers she has to stay an extra night in Atlanta. And then she meets Carla at the airport–a complete stranger. Carla’s shy and quiet, and Jamie goes out on a limb when she sees that Carla needs help. The courage that Jamie shows in those first few moments is off the charts, and immediately makes her character go from likable to wholeheartedly endearing. As someone who’s flirted with straight girls (in my baby lesbian years!) and been totally shot down, I know exactly what it takes to put yourself out on the line like that: to be completely vulnerable and show your interest in someone when the possibility that she’s going to completely shoot you down is there and palpable.

Thankfully, in the opening pages of the book, Carla does NOT shoot Jamie down. And what happens next is a passionate night that made my heart ache to read it. It starts out as pure attraction–girl meets girl, girl finds girl attractive, girl takes girl back to her place. But at the end of the evening, it’s so much more than that pure attraction. Jamie and Carla are falling in love.

I know there are people who don’t like that instant sort of attraction, falling-in-love vibe in their romances. While I understand that everyone has their own likes and dislikes in the books they read, I LOVE instant sort of attraction love stories, because that’s how I fell in love with my wife. I saw her, I met her, I knew I loved her, and on the very first date we were moving pretty darn fast. πŸ™‚ Sometimes that’s how love works, and I saw so much of how it works well in those first pages of Never Too Late. Miss Blair made me love these characters together so much, in fact, that the poignancy and heartache when Jamie wakes up and Carla isn’t there touched me deeply, and at that point, I was utterly hooked.

I had to see what happened next. I actually had to see what happened next so much that I stayed up all night to finish the damn novel. πŸ™‚ It’s been a long time for me since I became so entranced with a story, and Never Too Late pulled me in, hook, link and sinker.

I was utterly shocked upon completing Never Too Late and learning that this was Miss Blair’s first published novel. This is a skillful romance that handles a lot of difficult subjects with grace and creativity. The characters are fully formed and lovable. You root for them wholly, and you want them to be happy and together. But Miss Blair’s superb skill is found most in keeping her characters apart until the very end.

That sort of agony was delicious as a reader. So often in romances the characters have a very easy time of coming together. Here it was so difficult, and following their struggle was so incredibly rewarding as a reader. I ached for them and wanted them to be together SO MUCH that by the time they finally were able to come together, it was so utterly triumphant that I almost found myself in tears.

If you’re looking for a fantastic romance with lovable characters, a lot of heartache and poignancy and one of the most satisfying endings in recent memory, you will absolutely love Never Too Late by Julie Blair!

Five stars!

Full disclosure: I was provided with a free copy via NetGalley for an honest review.

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About Bridget Essex

Author of lesbian romances; madly in love with my wife, author Natalie Vivien.
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