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Review: Sleeping Dogs – A.L. Lester

Sleeping Dogs - A.L. Lester

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mythology

LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

Alice doesn’t think she’s ready to start dating again. Or even to make new friends in the village where she’s come to live with her sister’s family. Will a rainy autumn day and an encounter with a mysterious black dog, a beautiful woman and a fox cub change her mind?

A 10,500 word Halloween short story in the Celtic Myths Collection. With dogs, bats, a camper van with a woodburning stove and a fox cub.

The Review

Alice Jones has moved from Wales after a bad breakup, when the environment just became too uncomfortable for her. She’s now in Somerset, and not ready to get back into the socializing circuit yet. She lives with her sister Paula, her husband Tim, and several nieces and nephews.  She’s the mechanic at the Brockcombe garage, along with Paula and Tim, and she occasionally babysits.

On a stormy night in the Welsh countryside of Quantock Hills, she’s on her way to a job. Seeing something that resembles lights, she thinks she’s found the person in trouble. But she’s shocked to see a massive black dog with red eyes, as it proceeds to block the road. She immediately heads off in another direction, is still shaken with what she saw.

She finally reaches her destination and meets Morwenna Polneath and her dog Sarah. Morwenna has a small house that she has spent her time fixing up. She’s also a writer of ghost stories, focusing on Scotland’s castles.

A weekend passes, and Alice has a day to herself. She makes her way to a hilltop that eventually leads to a stream. She often loved to walk the paths with her ex-Luna, and the quiet surroundings give her time to think.

Shouting and barking bring her out of her thoughts, and she ventures out to find what’s going on. She spies a fox cub struggling in the stream and runs to help it. With the fox cub saved and Alice now wet and cold, she realizes it’s Morwenna andher dog Sarah.

She agrees to go with Morwenna to the vet where they meet Cassie, who seems a little older and is familiar with Morwenna. As the three talk, Cassie invites Alice out with them to a “darts” night at the WI. A new friendship begins to blosssom between Alice and Morwenna. 

At the end of a wonderful first date, the weather gets bad, and Alice, Morwenna and Sarah find themselves lost. They find an old folly to shelter in, where there are some spooky goings on. Will they accept what they see? And will they ever tell anyone about it?

Lester has penned a brief, romantic, Celtic myth, a tale with a twist and a touch of the scary.  As always with their short stories, there’s a sweet romance at the heart of it as the two main characters get to know one another. I liked Alice and Merwenna for each other, and Sarah is an added delight to the story. 

There’s a nice little supporting cast here too:  Paula, Tim and Cassie. 

The author also provides vivid details of the Somerset countryside, and the dicey weather that sometimes becomes dangerous.

If you enjoy Sleeping Dogs, be sure to check out the “About Black Dog Myths” section of the book.  I always look forward to Lester’s magical and twisted “Celtic Myth” tales, and this one was no exception.

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams. 

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