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REVIEW: Dead Woman’s Pond – Elle E. Ire

Dead Woman's Pond - Elle E. Ire

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Mystery

LGBTQ+ Category: Bi, Lesbian

Reviewer: H.L.

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About The Book

No matter how Flynn Dalton tries to avoid it, the supernatural finds her. 

At first, it’s not so bad. Flynn’s girlfriend, Genesis, is a nationally known psychic, which makes Flynn uncomfortable for both paranormal and financial reasons, but she can handle it. As long as no one makes her talk about it. 

Then, on her way home from her construction job, Flynn almost ends up the latest casualty of Festivity’s infamous Dead Man’s Pond. And when her ex-lover’s ghost appears to warn her away, things get a whole lot weirder. Flynn might not like it, but the pond has fixated on her to be its next victim. If she wants to survive, she’ll have to swallow her pride, accept Gen’s help, and get much closer to the psychic realm — and her own latent psychic abilities — than she ever wanted.

The Review

Flynn Dalton, a down-on-her-luck construction worker, is wary of anything supernatural. She can handle her girlfriend, Genesis, being a successful career psychic, so long as she doesn’t have to get involved. But when Flynn almost becomes the latest victim of the town’s Dead Man’s Pond – Festivity’s lake infamous for becoming the watery grave of many drivers over the years – she has no choice but to confront the very world of ghosts, curses and magic she has spent most of her life trying to ignore and avoid.

Having immensely enjoyed Elle E. Ire’s sci-fi offering Reel to Real Love, I decided to step outside of my usual comfort zone and give her paranormal romance series a try.
Dead Woman’s Pond is primarily a supernatural/paranormal lesbian romance with a supporting murder/mystery, and is not so much of a ‘whodunnit’ as it is a ‘how will the protagonists figure it out’ story. The villain is revealed to the reader about a quarter of the way through the book, which was a surprise, but it didn’t detract from the experience.

I adored Flynn. She is a deeply flawed, well-rounded character. She has been hurt before and has put up a lot of walls, uncomfortable with PDA and has multiple hang-ups about accepting help from anyone, including her loving girlfriend, which causes more than few strains on their relationship. Genesis, too, is a great character. Her love for Flynn runs deep and true, and she has her own secrets and issues that threaten her happiness and bond with Flynn, exacerbated by Flynn’s dead ex-girlfriend haunting them.

Dead Man’s Pond is almost a character in its own right – alive and malevolent. It’s up to Flynn and Genesis to figure out why the pond seems to claim so many lives – specifically gay female lives – before Flynn becomes its next victim, permanently this time.

Even though the focus of Dead Woman’s Pond is paranormal romance, I found the supernatural world elements and murder mystery plot compelling and well-balanced. The story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does set up Flynn’s and Gen’s story for the next book in the series – Dead Woman’s Revenge. I for one can’t wait to read it. 

TW for multiple lesphobic slurs used by supporting antagonist characters.

The Reviewer

H. L. is a Jewish Australian writer of LGBT+ fiction. She holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (2015) and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism (2012), both from the University of New South Wales.

She has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. She is the author of M/M fantasy romance novels Heart Of Dust and Soul Of Ash, Books 1 & 2 of the Death’s Embrace series.

She has had two speculative short stories published: “The Collector” in the 2014 Future Times Award Collection A Tick Tock Heart, and “Entente” in the 2020 Twisted Stories Award Collection Just Alice.

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