For Good: An Out in Portland Novel by Karelia Stetz-Waters

For Good: An Out in Portland Novel by Karelia Stetz-Waters

A new-to-me author on the blog today. Please read on to discover the Out in Portland series by by Karelia Stetz-Waters with the first in the series

For Good

So much of contemporary romance that I’ve read of late are all about the connection and a character unable to trust or forget their past.  Karelia Stetz-Waters tosses those issues into the mix with society-imposed expectations and the bleak reality of prejudice and judgment.  Far more than a simple romance, this story managed to explore close-minded attitudes, self-doubts, questionable choices and double standards and come out in the end with a lasting connection.

Tristess is a small town, full of dark secrets and hidden agendas, but desperately in need of a District Attorney.  Kristen steps in to fill the position, and with a chance meeting with a waitress at the local diner, finds a room to let.  Kristen is reserved and carefully following a path she believes will bring her success and happiness, this DA position is just one more square on the board.

Marydale the waitress is gentle, kindhearted, openly gay and a convict. Even with all of the negative heaped on her, she wouldn’t change any of her decisions or choices, and has managed to maintain a kindness and openness that is instantly apparent to everyone who meets her.  She’s got a series of challenges that she attacks head-on, even if her choices aren’t great, her courage is.

These two have so many obstacles, with the town, Marydale’s choices and Kristen’s fears, the outlook for a positive (forget happy) ending is bleak. In fact, Stetz-Waters manages to write a story that has moments of joy and light which directly contrast with the sadness and pure meanness of the town, when it wasn’t mired in apathy.  Hopeful despite the staggering weight of what was and the unknowns of what could be, the characters stand out, imperfect and flawed, but oh so very real.

Character driven with moments that jump on the roller coaster of emotions kept me glued to the pages, hoping for someone to just offer a kind word or gesture to Marydale, and for Kristen to take a chance and let down her guard, and truly see just what it was she desired.  Beautifully written and plotted despite the greyer tones, everyone can relate to the tumult these characters face.

For Good: An Out in Portland Novel by Karelia Stetz-Waters

Title: For Good
Author: Karelia Stetz-Waters
Series: Out in Portland #1
Genre: Contemporary LBGTQ Romance, Female / Female
Published by: Forever Yours
ISBN: 1455537845
Published on: July 5th 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 368
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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How do you choose between your life . . . and your heart?

In this too-small, dusty town, brand-new district attorney Kristen Brock knows she'll never fit in. Still, the job will look great on her résumé---if she can just keep her head down and play by the rules. Because in a town run by a self-serving, powerful family, the last thing Kristen needs is trouble . . . but one kiss from the beautiful ex-rodeo queen Marydale Rae turns her world upside down. And Marydale is definitely trouble.

Marydale didn't intend to hide her past from Kristen, but the prospect of a friend who doesn't know she spent time in prison is too tempting to pass up. Add in the passionate night they share, and Marydale never wants Kristen to know the truth. But small towns don't keep secrets, and the powerful Holten clan is determined to destroy anything and anyone who makes Marydale happy.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Karelia Stetz-Waters

My wife recently dubbed my writing “so-ro,” short for romance with a social conscience. I guess that’s what I do. Whether I’m exploring the problems of gentrification or the evils of human trafficking, every book I write has a lesbian romance at its heart and a social issue in mind. They’re the kind of books that read like fun, lazy-Saturday page-turners and yet leave your unexpectedly enlightened. That’s two for the price of one and way more fun that keeping up with the news.

When I’m not writing, I’m being inspired by my amazing community college students and hanging out with my lovely wife and my charming spuglette (that’s a technical term for spaniel-pug mix). I’m a fan of snakes, corn mazes, popular science books on neurology, and any roadside attraction that purports to have the world’s largest ball of twine.