Cover Image: Storm Lines

Storm Lines

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The storm that was to be weathered in this story was that set me up for a wild ride that I enjoyed. I did wish that I had enjoyed the one main character a bit more but I was able to get understand what was going on.
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While I was very excited to read this, it failed to live up to my expectations of romance and of mystery. The romance, supposed to be a slow burn, actually ended up feeling too fast - they go through taking care of a child (and her grandmother) and trying to figure out who is putting drugs in the city, and then suddenly they're in love?

This book is very well written, though. If I had picked it up wanting like a police mystery thing, investigating crimes and figuring out new clues, perhaps I would've enjoyed it more. But overall it felt like a lot of drama (though quite realistic, with the way trauma messed up with Aimee) and very slow paced, to the point halfway through I was really bored. The pace picked up on the last 30% of the book, maybe, but the big reveal still felt kinda anticlimatic. 

It was enjoyable enough, I guess, despite letting me down on the romance...
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Yeah, always Jessica L. Webb!! Top read.

The way Webb creates characters and stories inspires me to read everything she writes as soon as possible, with a cup of tea and a big smile ... and maybe some vegan chocolate too.

In the hands of others, this procedural mystery would possibly be a good story. In the hands of Webb, it's brilliant.

Devon and Marley ooze reality and Aimee is an absolute champion. I don't want to give away any spoilers at all, so I suggest you just read this and enjoy.
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Excellent writing from an excellent author, Storm Lines takes you on a journey of a small group of misfits that grow together to be a family of strong women. I loved the intrigue of the story behind a girl who knows too much about her lowlife dad’s drug business that becomes Marley’s business as a Canadian cop trying to do the girl right by hiding her and her grandma. Each character is so unique and lovable despite their quirkiness, but together they gradually form a resolute family unit that protects each other not just from bad men, but from loneliness and isolation. So much intrigue, so much action, and so much love to go around, this book has it all. Definitely one of the better books this year. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The opening pages of the novel have a great “hook” as we meet Marley, stabbed in an alley struggling to survive. Burned out ER psychologist, Devon just happens to “rescue” her and the slow burn relationship begins to unfold.  Marley is a constable who is struggling with some professional angst and the meaning of her job.  She breaks some rules to provide protection for the other main character of the novel, 8-year-old Aimee, who has suffered a series of traumas and is mute.  Having had some training in the mental health field, these characters, and interactions “ring true” to me and show readers the depths and complexities of human relationships.  I also love the storm metaphors and the way the author weaves actual physical storms with psychological events.  If you like the thriller/mystery genre with an intense dose of romance, read this book. It is one of the best!
I received an ARC via NetGalleys from the publisher and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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Since her fantastic debut novel, 'Trigger', Ms. Webb is one of my go-to authors whenever I want to read intrigue or action thrillers. I appreciate the originality of her stories intertwined with a deep psychological profile of each character and a reflection on human behaviour.

Dr. Devon Wolfe is a burnt-out psychologist on leave from her job in a trauma hospital unit. Constable Bridget 'Marley' Marlowe feels like an outsider in the police force and she's bending the rules by trying to protect a girl who was failed by the social services. But when Marley is injured, she finds help in Devon and both will have to navigate dangerous situations involving a drug ring, a frightened girl, an addictive drug, and a powerful attraction between each other.

This book gripped me from the start and I couldn't stop turning pages. I love the way Ms. Webb builds complex characters with their strengths and shortcomings. Both leads' lives are in turmoil professionally and personally, struggling to get a sense of where they are heading and get involved in a dangerous situation as a result of their own compassion and sense of duty. Ms. Webb describes this paradox accurately, how bad things happen to good people.

The intrigue plot of the book is gripping and the pace goes in crescendo until a few very tense last chapters. Plus the issue around drug trafficking resonates strongly with some of the current world struggles.

The romance subplot is sweet and tender but it's mostly on the background of the story. Ms. Webb uses the love and friendship aspects of the story to balance so much hopelessness and it works really well even if the chemistry between the mains isn't off the charts. Overall, 5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this latest book by Ms Webb. The main characters are well developed and seem “real” but she hasn’t neglected the minor characters who are equally well drawn and described. The plot is complex but the technicalities don’t drag the narrative and the story races along nicely.

Devon is a psychologist suffering burn out and although she wants to return to work and to continue helping people in the high stress ER where she works, she is having doubts and panic attacks. Marley is a cop with a heart of gold and an understanding of shades of grey - she has had enough tough breaks to know life isn’t black and white. 

They meet in very dramatic fashion at the start of the book and develop a trust and relationship as the book progresses. The plot involves a young girl and her grandmother who Marley is protecting and who Devon befriends as well. These four characters are the core of the book and they work well together - there are no jarring incidents or issues which throw you out of the story. You are embedded from start to finish. I’d love to read more about Marley but regardless I will continue to read Ms Webb. This is an another winner.

I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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Jessica L. Webb writes engaging, well thought out, plot driven lesbian novels which happen to have a romance in it. Storm Lines is mostly about Aimee West an 8 year old who was rescued from her drug dealing father by Constable Bridget 'Marley' Marlowe a tough butch police officer with Canadian police. Dr Devon Wolfe a psychologist on stress leave finds Marley bleeding in an alley they become friends as Devon takes over in looking after Aimee and her Grandmother Carla, whilst Marley is recovering. So many interesting plot strands in this book, the ongoing criminal investigation, the difficulties of being a psychologist for busy city hospital trauma department, science of developing a drug to create customers for life (that interacts with a virus, crikes!), the homophobia that Marley contends with as an out Police officer, the delicate slow work or supporting a child so traumatised that she refuses to speak, all of these are explored with care, intellect and make for a gripping read. I found the story of Aimee touching and intriguing, especially as these various women tried to keep her safe. The romance between Marley and Devon is built credibly, slowly and is part of their lives rather than the whole focus which is refreshing. I also enjoyed reading a book set on Canada for a pleasant change. 

With thanks to Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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This was an amazingly,  fascinating,  edge of your seat read. This is a one sitting book that you will not be able to put down. Marley is a no nonsense cop with a soft spot. Devon is a psychologist facing her own demons. At the core of their story is Aimee.  Absolutely amazing. I look forward to other works by this author. Infinite stars!
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Psychologist Dr. Devon Wolfe is on medical leave from the hospital where she works in the Emergency department, helping the staff manage their anxiety and stress. Caring for others has left her reeling and doubting her skills along with the program she has designed to help others. She is heading to her hospital’s HR department hoping to extend her sick leave when she stumbles upon a woman bleeding in an alley. From this chance meeting, the lives of Devon and Constable Bridget “Marley” Marlowe intertwine as they race to protect a young girl and her grandmother in danger from the girl's drug lord dad.

This story starts off in thriller fashion and the reader is hooked from the first page. We watch as Devon and Marley try to protect this damaged child and her worried grandmother. Devon’s skills at working with victims of trauma help her communicate with young Aimee while Marley tries to hunt down the bad guys. I liked how Aimee coming out of her shell parallels Devon’s reawakening of her skills as a psychologist.

Webb has a way of drawing you into the lives of these ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances. I find reading her books almost voyeuristic. She captures the human condition and reveals it slowly and with care. I also appreciate how her settings set the tone for her books. This dark and brooding story filled with danger is mirrored in the gritty steel city of Hamilton at the height of summer heat and humidity. Working class people going about their average lives with the criminal element and of course drugs, waiting to grab the innocent along with the guilty. There are romantic elements and sparks are there between Marley and Devon but the focus is on their growing love for this little girl and their desire to protect her at all cost.

A great read and solid addition to Ms. Webb’s stellar catalogue of books.

ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley for review.
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This book is amazing. It's unique in it's own way,  as I've never come across the story line before.
The main character's, 'Marley' a constable who needs the help of Dr Devon Wolfe, after getting herself injured while trying to protect an 8 year old girl named Aimee. Aimee holds secrets about a new drug which as become available on the streets, who refuses to speck about the information she knows. 
The book is a real page turner. I've read Jessica L Webbs previous books, so i knew to expect something good!  This book is one of my favorites from this author. 


I received a copy for a honest review.
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The book intrigued me right from the start and kept my interest throughout the book. It was an exciting story, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

There was a little romance between the main characters, although it wasn’t at the forefront, it was still a satisfying read. The love scene wasn’t even needed but was nice to have.

Jessica L. Webb wrote a great group of supporting characters, I couldn’t help but feel for Aimee. I couldn’t have even imagined the hurt and suffering she went through.

Overall, it was a well-paced story and I definitely recommend this book for others to read.
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Another stellar read from Jessica L. Webb!!

This one is a gritty, dark read and showcases some of the crappiest sides of human behavior.  While burned-out psychologist Devon and police officer Bridget "Marley" are our two MCs, the story also focuses on young Aimee and her grandmother as well-developed side characters.  Devon and Marley provide the loving, caring side to the story, while Aimee's story shows us the dark depths that some people will stoop to.

This story's depth and grit reminds me quite a bit of Cari Hunter's style of writing, and that's the highest compliment I can pay Webb.  This book has it all, and if you're looking for a deeper novel than just the traditional happy-go-lucky love story, give this one a go.  4.75 stars.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books. 

Storm Lines by Jessica L. Webb is a well written book. She does a great job with the story and she weaves a great story that had me guessing right up until the end. The book centers around a young girl named Aimee and the trauma she experienced while she was forced to work as a part of her fathers drug trade. There are two stories in this book. The main one dealing with Carla (the grandmother) and Aimee and the drug trade. The second story centers around Dr. Devon Wolfe and Constable Bridget Marlowe (Marley). This story was weird In some parts, like there was no chemistry between the two characters then when I got to chapter 15, they were all of the sudden very deep into a relationship that I did not see coming based on that was written in the previous chapters. They seemed like friends who were thrust into a relationship at the last minute, because the author felt like the lesbian story line needed to be made more prevalent. 

The story line surrounding the Grandmother and granddaughter were solid, not flawed  in the writing and the story did not seem jumbled like the secondary lesbian story line. This felt like a mystery that tacked on lesbians and it was not written as a lesbian romance novel, but that the romance part was added at the end. This detracted from the book greatly, it made the overall story a little disjointed. 

This was a solid read an my first book by Webb, her writing style is excellent and easily readable this book was good, but the stories just did not quite fit together.
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I absolutely loved this book and struggled to put it down.  Jessica is one of the best writers in this genre in my opinion and this book stands out in her already impressive body of work.  I found it interesting that she reversed the roles of the leads a bit.  I expected the cop to be the androgynous character.  The story is catchy and not predictable. The characters in this book are so well rounded and realistic, especially Devon and Marley.  Both these characters are on a journey of discovery. Very few authors can get the reader to understand a character's emotional state this well. Little Aimee just broke my heart but I totally adored her.  The romance between Devon and Marley felt real and the timing felt right (something that doesn't happen that often in this genre).  The police procedural part of the book was interesting but not too complicated and boring to lose my attention.  I appreciated the fact that the main character actually remained quite ill for a while after the stabbing and didn't miraculously recover in a day.  The pace and the balance of the book are perfect.  I would highly recommend this title and vote for another Devon and Marley book!
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5*! This book features Devon, a psychologist who's battling burn-out, and Marley, a police officer who' s also questioning her career path.  Marley is helping protect Aimee and her grandmother, Carla, from Aimee's father, who is a recently captured drug kingpin.  She is doing this without the authorization from her superiors.  I love all four of the characters.  Aimee, especially, captured my heart.  We meet her as a kid who does not speak, but is visibly traumatized.  Marley knows that Aimee carries secrets that could help in the case against her father, but how to do that without further traumatizing the child?  Then, there's a new opioid in the market that's causing different and dangerous withdrawal symptoms.  Marley is facing pressure from work to identify and stop the mastermind behind the manufacture of this drug.  
If one had read Jessica L. Webb's books before, this one is much slower-paced than her Kate Morrison series.  But, the plot and the writing just sucked me right in.  I cannot help but care about Devon, Marley, Aimee, and Carla. It might be marketed as a romance, but that is not the main focus of the book.  Not that I'm complaining.  This is a well-written, well-rounded story from a wonderful author.
**Thank you to Bold Strokes Books for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!**
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Storm Lines is a crime/thriller/lesbian romance novel. I loved this book. It's exactly my kind of romance story, where there's enough of a thriller-y/crime/mystery plot to keep me interested with a romance as an added bonus. I really enjoyed this book.

The book is about constable Bridget 'Marley' Marlowe, who does the wrong thing for the right reason and protects a young girl who is caught up in a drug ring. She gets injured, and meets Dr Devon Wolfe, a burned out psychologist on leave who helps her out and gets caught up in the trouble as well.

Storm Lines starts exciting. I was instantly hooked and intrigued just from reading the prologue. And the rest of the novel does not disapoint. We are launched straight into the action, the characters meet immediately, and it's a rollercoaster of emotions from then onward. The book is written in third person but alternates between Devon and Marley's perspectives, which I really liked. It's easy reading, with everything flowing well. The story never drags or gets boring. The romance part of the plot is kind of slow burn (although that's mainly because there's too much going on for the characters to slow down and think about their feelings). It has a strangers to friends to lovers feel to it, which I love. And the mystery plot is great too. There's a new drug on the street that causes weird symptoms, a child who was involved who now doesn't speak, and plenty of dangerous situations for Marley and Devon to get caught up in.

All of the characters are distinct and interesting, each with their own quirks. The dialogue is snappy, readable and believable. The chemistry between Devon and Marley is great. The two of them are adorable together right from the start. There are plenty of cute and emotionaly moments mixed in with the drama and excitement of the police case. I particularly liked the way Devon's mental health was explored, and the way that her anxiety and agoraphobia was described. I was also really invested in Carla and Aimee's story as well as the romance. Aimee is a brilliant character.

And then the ending was brilliant. No spoilers here, but I felt really satisfied with the ending, which I think makes for a good book.
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Well, Webb rarely does the predictable,Storm Lines is exactly that. It looks like it is supposed to be a romantic intrigue like her other books, but this one turned out to be more a deconstruction of certain archetypes that worked really well. There were times that I thought I'd tear up, which is something I almost never do for thrillers. There is a bit of a thriller aspect, to the plot, but it doesn't matter so much as how the characters react to solving it.

So, you have a highly empathetic cop in Hamilton, Ontario Canada who is just a little too good at certain parts of her job, but its wearing her out. She and psychologist extraordinaire, Dr. Devon Wolfe, meet under some pretty dire circumstances, with Marley (our lovely constable) getting stabbed and Devon finding her after the attack. It turns out that these two are souls that are meant for each other - people who do too much, take on the pain of others without realizing how much it is hurting them. Devon, who is an ER psychologist had a mental break and now experiences anxiety every time she senses a need. Marley, though a good cop, has trouble compartmentalizing when she needs too. This draws her into the lives of a young girl and her grandmother who are on the run from the girl's abusive, drug peddling father.

I wasn't really sure what to make of this book because it takes a long time to reach any kind of external climax. Marley and Devon are pretty competent- with Devon edging into super psychologist at times, but their chosen professions are harming them. What's interesting here is that they both know it, and it drives most of the conflict in the book. Though it does tie into Marley's new wards, it is more how the act of solving crimes can be either ineffective or harmful because of how its done. Or that psychologists can often feel the weight of the emotional health of others.

I thought this was a really well done read like Webb's other books. I usually complain when a romantic thriller doesn't balance those aspects well, like focusing more on relationships than building tension through the mystery, but here there didn't seem to be a problem with that. I think its because the tension is build through how Marley and Devon try to heal as they are solving this odd medical mystery. It did lose a star for me because of the odd interlude sequences at the beginning that tried to make the mystery as important as the relationship but Marley and Devon worked so well I was willing to forgive it.

I received this ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I enjoyed this book in many ways. The characters were interesting, especially little Aimee. I feel like the story as a whole was enjoyable, the writing style was good, and it was well paced. I feel like the initial meeting of the two leading characters was a bit coincidental, and wish it had been more a little more realistic. I also felt that the culmination of the case was a little melodramatic. I would have liked the story to have gone down a less obvious route. But all in all I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be very easy to read. Definitely one for anyone wanting some good female LGBT+ fiction.
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Constable Bridget 'Marley' Marlowe's compassion for an eight year old victim, Aimee, has led her to break the rules and place Aimee and her grandmother in hiding, safe from Aimee's father who is running a drug syndicate. Dr Devon Wolfe, is a burnt out psychiatrist, who's just trying to ease herself back into work after several months off. Devon finds Marley beat up in a back alley which brings them together in this criminal investigation and tests Devon's resolve for her return to work.
This was such an enjoyable read with the thrill of the investigation and the slow burn romance between Marley and Devon. The characters were developed really well and you got a real feel for their personalities as a result, and that includes the sub characters as well. Along with some great dialogue throughout, this book is a winner.  I'm looking forward to reading some more of Webb's books.
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