Never Say Never by Linda Hill
I do buy and read new lesbian fiction every now and then, but somehow only very few of the novels that I buy actually make it into my collection of favourite novels that I might read a second time or more. It might be that I just buy the wrong books or maybe the number of lesbian novels in print has increased which might have led to a decrease in quality? Just last weekend I settled down with “Magic in our hearts” by Jeanne McCann – big mistake! I could easily have spend the time way better with one of the many on line romances available!
I’m telling you this as a way to explain why I keep reviewing my favourite lesbian fiction from way back in the late 90’s – a time when I would often stumble across a novel that would make it into my collection of favourites.
This time I’ve dusted of “Never Say Never” which seems to be deemed a classic, as it has been reprinted by Bella Books in 2008, ten years after the first publication by Naiada Press. As far as I can tell, the author, Linda Hill, is the Publisher of Bella Books, which might explain the reprint and why she seems to have stopped with her writing after her third Lesbian Fiction was published.
“Never Say Never” is the story of Leslie and Sara who both work for the same computer company. Leslie is an out – but not to her co-workers – lesbian while Sara is straight. When circumstances have them working and travelling together for several months they become fast friends. Haunted by memories of past rejection, Leslie is hesitant about coming out to Sara, on the other hand she doesn’t want to jeopardize their friendship by being dishonest about who she is. When Leslie finally trusts Sara enough to tell her she’s a lesbian, Sara fulfils Leslie’s worst fears and cuts her off.
This could have been the end of a friendship, but as time will prove it’s actually the beginning of something more than a friendship, as Sara and Leslie are once more teamed up on a business trip. At this point, Leslie is fighting a serious attraction to Sara, but if Leslie has one rule that she lives by its “Never, ever, get involved with a straight woman” as she knows from past experience that that is the direct way to a broken heart. Instead she takes on a sweet young golf pro, who is more than willing to keep her entertained on her weekends away from home. For Sara, seeing Leslie with a lover, forces her to confront her own history and desires.
“Never Say Never” has been a favourite of mine for years. The novel is based on a solid storyline that covers a reasonable time span, which allows the story and the attraction between Leslie and Sara to unfold at a natural pace. The story is captivating with the ups and total downs of the relationship, it has sweet, as well as heartbreaking moments and it keeps you interested right to the end.