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Book CoverStevie‘s review of Night Voice by CF Frizzell
Lesbian Romance published by Bold Strokes Books 17 Jan 17

I try to strike a good balance in my reading choices between authors I know will almost certainly give me a satisfying experience and new-too-me authors that I hope will do the same. The blurb of a book can play a big part in how I pick the latter, although sometimes just the general concept is enough for me to give something a try, as in this case. Way back in the mists of time, I remember a TV show by the name of Midnight Caller, which left me with a fascination for the world of US late night radio. So, when I found a new lesbian romance along a similar theme, it seemed to be made for me as a reader, especially since I’ve heard lots about Provincetown, where this story’s set.

Murphy Callahan is a DJ who goes by the name of Sable, and who keeps her real identity secret for reasons that never become entirely clear, although it’s obvious that she, and possibly some of her colleagues, believe this mystery gives her show increased ratings. Widowed three years earlier, Murphy resists her friends’ attempts to set her up with any of the many available women in Provincetown, but her resolve to remain single begins to waver after her car gets stuck in a snowdrift and she is rescued by local handywoman Riley Burke.

After that first meeting, Murphy and Riley begin to bump into each other all over town – sometimes literally – and go on a couple of dates. Murphy soon recognises Riley as a caller to the radio show whom she, as Sable, has been flirting with over the airwaves, but goes to a great deal of trouble to conceal the fact that she has a job at the station, much less exactly what she does. That deception really bugged me. It was unnecessary, in my opinion, and the lies Murphy told Riley about her career and ambitions turned me right off her. Not that Riley was entirely endearing at times either, although I did feel that there were points where Murphy over-reacted to some bad behaviour of Riley’s, only for Riley to behave even worse in retaliation.

The situation between the two women finally comes to a head when Murphy’s bosses insist that she DJs live at a fundraising event, albeit heavily disguised, and it seems that there’s no way she can continue to hide her double-life from Riley. Personally, I thought the situation had gone too far to be salvaged, but in Romancelandia, the unlikely frequently happens. So not an ending that sat well with me, and I couldn’t find it in myself to forgive either woman’s behaviour. A shame, since I did enjoy the setting and quite a few of the secondary characters appealed to me as well.

Stevies CatGrade: C


For lesbians in Provincetown, seductive Sable is more than just a bedroom voice on late-night radio. Through her talk show, Nightlight, she is a fun, anonymous friend and confidante, until one mysterious caller attracts her attention. Behind Sable’s “mask,” Murphy Callahan allows herself to enjoy the no-strings radio relationship—she’s mourned the death of her partner for three years—and ignores the growing attachment as their very public conversations push permissible limits.

But when local tradeswoman Riley Burke enters her life, Murphy faces a difficult choice: continue the safe, “night voice” fantasy or risk the reality of falling in love. If only she could have both…

Read an excerpt.