Love in the Balance by Marianne K. Martin

I first came across dedicated lesbian fiction about 15 years ago at Silver Moon bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London. Silver Moon was a women’s interest bookshop with a large collection of lesbian novels on sale both in the shop and by mail order. I bought my first 3 novels there and had great fun with my first lucky choices. Since then my collection of lesbian novels has multiplied – a number of times!

When I feel the inclination to read a lesbian novel, and I’ve got nothing new on the shelves, I’ll go look in my night stand where I keep my favourite lesbian romance novels at hand. You never know when you will come down with a cold, which will keep you in bed for a day or two – so it’s nice to keep some light entertainment close by!

I’ve decided to review some of these long time favourites of mine, maybe you will like them too, even if some of them are more than 10 years old. It has got to say something for the quality of the novels that I can still read them from time to time or maybe it just reveals one of my quirks?

One of my all time favourite lesbian romances is “Love in the Balance” by Marianne K. Martin. The novel was originally published by Naiad Press, but today this novel and a number of other novels by this author are published by Bella Books. I can’t find it on the Bella Books homepage though, but it still seems to be a available on Amazon.

“Love in the Balance” is the story of Connie Bradford and Kasey Hollander – one an accountant, the other a carpenter with her own business renovating old houses. Connie is just starting to find a new path in life after ending an unsatisfying relationship with her boyfriend, and Kasey is nursing a broken heart after having been left by her female lover. Connie is hired by Kasey to handle her books and they quickly form a friendship, which seems perfectly safe for both of them.

In this novel Marianne K. Martin takes the classic romantic storyline of presumably straight girl meets lesbian and gives us a touching tale of what it takes to break down the barriers erected around a broken heart, and I must say that Ms. Martin gives Connie a ride for our money – she really has some “fighting” to do, if she is to win herself the lady of her heart.

Ms. Martin writes a solid story with believable and very likeable characters. She lets us in on the life of both Connie and Kasey and on how they interact with family and friends, and I do appreciate that we are spared the – in lesbian romance novels so common – imagined obstacles on the way towards love, the obstacles are there but they are the “true” happenings.This novel might not have the status of a “classic” lesbian romance novel like “Curious Wine”, which properly made a new set of standards at the time, but while “Curious Wine” seems a bit outdated today, I think that “Love in the Balance” can still ring true – at least if you are old enough to see just a trace of winkles around your eyes 😉


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