Originally published 2016-06-15: Girls with Guns Review: A sexy cop, a rebellious bounty hunter, and a Special Agent with a soft heart dominate Girls with Guns by 3 masters of lesfic suspense
I love female-centered action fiction.
It’s different than the male-driven fiction in a lot of ways. In male-centered action fiction, the Leading Man is well-developed; sometimes so well-developed, in fact, that he borders upon an obscene amount of muscle, prowess, and knowledge.
Male action stars are nearly perfect killing machines without a single weakness. That is, until you kidnap/rape/murder their girlfriend/wife/sister/daughter. Then, things get a little tricky. You learn that this unstoppable force is weakened only by her. She’s his Achilles Heel. She’s a distraction, a weak link – an unnecessary chip in his armor.
His love for her makes him less of a hero.
Female-driven action fiction, on the other hand, tends to go in the opposite direction, especially in lesbian fiction. Her feeling for the love interest (whether male or female) is not seen as a weakness, but rather a strength. She is strong of mind, strong of body, and strong of heart.
Her love makes her more of a hero.
That’s one of the reasons I had to grab a copy of this anthology by three major lesfic authors. (Another, of course, was its bad-ass cover and gripping description. You’ll see.) A big reason, too, is that I met two of the authors featured in this anthology at the Lone Star LesFic Festival, and had the pleasure of listening to them dive deep into how they write, why they write, and more.
I even got some autographs.
Three stories by three talented crime writers—Carsen Taite, Ali Vali, and Michelle Grubb—each packing her own special brand of heat.
In Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb: Officer Belinda Riley knew the signs of a suicide bomber, but this time she was blind to the obvious. This time she didn’t want to believe what was right in front of her eyes.
In Bow and Arrow by Carsen Taite: Bounty hunter Luca Bennett has always lived on the edge of the law, but now she’s living with a cop and doing her darnedest to stay out of trouble. When an old enemy resurfaces, will the shady ways of Luca’s past come back to haunt her?
In Hell Fire by Ali Vali: Dr. Abigail Eaton stumbles into a massacre, but once someone tries to kill her it seems like no accident. While hunting for the perpetrators of a sex trafficking empire, Agent Riley Abbott saves Abigail from a professional hit and discovers the young mother might be the key to more than just her case. Riley takes Abigail and her family to what she thinks is safer ground, and runs right into the arms of reputed mob boss Cain Casey.
In Carsen Taite’s Bow and Arrow, we meet a bounty hunter by the name of Luca Bennett. I have to admit, I didn’t like Luca right away. She seemed determined to do the wrong thing just to do it, and had a bad streak half-a-mile wide. But as the story progressed, I saw that Luca was more than a bounty hunter shirking responsibility for cash: she was on a mission close to her heart. Add in one really adorable dog and a stint in jury duty, and this was a great story.
If I had to describe Hammersmith by Michelle Grubb in one word, I’d use passionate. Officer Belinda Riley is on the trail of a suicide bomber, and the ugly feeling in her gut tells her the culprit is closer than anyone thinks. With a healthy dash of sex and adrenaline, this story hits the mark.
Though I liked them all, Hell Fire was my favorite of these three stories. Finley Abbott is one Special Agent I want to get to know better! When she risked everything to save the life and family of naive but courageous Dr. Abigail Eaton, I melted. As the story progressed, I couldn’t believe how deep the evil of the sex trafficking empire went – and who was behind it all.
Girls with Guns gets four of five stars for being action-packed with thrills and sexy scenes that make the genre of lesfic proud. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves kick-ass women, lesbian fiction, action, and suspense.
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