Coffee Kisses by Margaret Leigh

Coffee Kisses by Margaret Leigh
Publisher: Torquere Books
Heat Level: Sensual – not erotic
(Note: all GLBT reviews are posted at WC, regardless of heat level)
Length: Length: Short (20 pgs)
Genre: Contemporary
Type: F/F
Rating: 3 Cherries
Review by Lotus

Constable Miranda is checking on a robbery victim at the hospital when she meets a nurse with the prettiest blue eyes. Miranda’s on the job, though, so she tells herself not to get involved, but that’s before a freak accident lands Miranda herself in the hospital with a concussion. Her hard head saves her from serious injury, but gives her the chance to meet Lorraine again. Will coincidence bloom into something much stronger than friendship?

Coffee Kisses is a short and sweet bit of fluffy romance. Many short stories have a rushed aura about them, but Leigh seems to have struck a balance between cutting corners to get to the point and keeping her story going at an efficient pace. Events unfold quickly, but they come in a logical progression and do not feel artificial.

Miranda is a great choice for a narrator: she’s smart, funny, pragmatic, and a romantic at heart. Her feelings for Lorraine seem to come up pretty fast, and with surprising intensity, but falling for someone with one glance happens, especially in romances. Lorraine, unfortunately, isn’t as complete a character as she could have been: she’s beautiful, capable, and well-traveled, but the brevity of Coffee prevents the reader from learning much about her personality. This is an interesting aspect of this story for me, as it’s the first lesbian romance I’ve reviewed. In your standard heterosexual romance, the leading lady is usually either the narrator, or the story is told from her point of view. The male love interest is usually one of a short list of male fantasies, with a history and set of baggage from a slightly longer list of templates. Using this formula, this makes wispy, klutzy, ultra-feminine Lorraine fulfill the male lead’s usual role, and in this context she is a refreshing change of pace. She’s so delightfully human—not really a fantasy at all. And yet her appeal is unmistakable.

Overall, my only difficulty with Coffee Kisses is that there is no real conflict that drives the lovers apart, but this is a serious issue. There is a brief pause in their courtship, due to mundane time-constraints, and then it sails along to its inevitable conclusion. This produces a gentle and funny telling of the beginnings of love, but it doesn’t make great romantic fiction. In a longer book this would be inexcusable, but here it resolves into a light bit of fancy, easily read, and quickly forgotten. It is a neat little read for those who want a break from the usual angst-love stories, but it is not the stuff of daydreams or fantasies.

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