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Book CoverStevie‘s review of New Life by Jan Gayle
Contemporary Lesbian Romance published by Bold Strokes Books 16 May 17

Lots of romance novels use the birth, or imminent birth, of a new baby as shorthand for a couple living happily ever after, although cynical me has always wondered whether that’s truly the case for all our protagonists, and if indeed some of them would be happier to grow together a little more before adding an extra human to the mix. The trope always assumes that the new or expectant parents are as happy as each other about the baby’s arrival too, so it was quite a refreshing change to read a blurb in which a planned pregnancy isn’t filling both halves of a couple with equal joy.

Trig and Karrie are happily married with a supportive group of friends and co-workers and seem to have everything settled in their lives, until Karrie announces that she wants to start a family: something Trig has never planned on. Although Karrie talked about having children when they first met, Trig always assumed that this difference in attitudes would fade away if they never discussed it. Now she’s faced with the possibility of either keeping her feelings quiet or squashing her wife’s dreams. Believing that it will take several rounds of inseminations for Karrie to get pregnant, allowing time for her to come to terms with the situation, Trig is taken aback when Karrie gets pregnant first time round. Furthermore, she has to contend with a slowdown in her work, some issues at Karrie’s work, and resistance to the idea of Karrie’s pregnancy from her semi-estranged father.

This story isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Karrie and Trig’s relationship is strained at times, but that never stops them from enjoying each other’s company or from going out on date nights and visits to friends. I also enjoyed the sections dealing with Trig’s volunteer work on a search and rescue team, although that ultimately led to a slightly contrived deus ex machina moment that helped Trig resolve her feelings over the imminent birth.

All in all, a pleasant enough read, though possibly a little too angsty for me at times. I never quite felt fully engaged with the main characters, but it’s always nice to see a trope turned inside out and thoroughly dissected.

Stevies CatGrade: C


Trigena Gillmore is about to become a mother, but she never wanted children. Her wife, Dr. Karri Gillmore, PhD, is pregnant. Karri’s been dreaming about being a mom for as long as she can remember. Trigena is so in love with her wife, she agreed to the insemination to make Karrie happy. Trig thought she had plenty of time to get used to the idea of being a parent, but Karrie got pregnant on the first attempt. The baby is only a few months away, and Trigena’s fears run deep. The stress has made everything more difficult, and Trigena must keep it all inside. She can escape it all, but the loss might be too much.

Read an excerpt.