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Under Your Skin (On The Record #2)

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What do a stolen food-delivery robot, a woman from the past, and a bizarre scheme to microchip military veterans have in common? The infamous Caustic Queen, Washington DC bureau chief Catherine Ayers, would love to find out but she has a lot on her plate right now. She and her fiancée, reporter and Iowa girl Lauren King, are busy wedding planning in Lauren’s home town. That What do a stolen food-delivery robot, a woman from the past, and a bizarre scheme to microchip military veterans have in common? The infamous Caustic Queen, Washington DC bureau chief Catherine Ayers, would love to find out but she has a lot on her plate right now. She and her fiancée, reporter and Iowa girl Lauren King, are busy wedding planning in Lauren’s home town. That means facing a lot of beefy mechanic brothers, a haughty cat, and a sharp-tongued Meemaw. Catherine’s sure she can play nice with everyone. Well, pretty sure. How hard can it be, anyway? A twisty lesbian romance sequel to The Red Files about the family we can’t choose, and the one that chooses us. 111,000 words Themes: Iowa · Meemaw · twisty lesbian romance


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What do a stolen food-delivery robot, a woman from the past, and a bizarre scheme to microchip military veterans have in common? The infamous Caustic Queen, Washington DC bureau chief Catherine Ayers, would love to find out but she has a lot on her plate right now. She and her fiancée, reporter and Iowa girl Lauren King, are busy wedding planning in Lauren’s home town. That What do a stolen food-delivery robot, a woman from the past, and a bizarre scheme to microchip military veterans have in common? The infamous Caustic Queen, Washington DC bureau chief Catherine Ayers, would love to find out but she has a lot on her plate right now. She and her fiancée, reporter and Iowa girl Lauren King, are busy wedding planning in Lauren’s home town. That means facing a lot of beefy mechanic brothers, a haughty cat, and a sharp-tongued Meemaw. Catherine’s sure she can play nice with everyone. Well, pretty sure. How hard can it be, anyway? A twisty lesbian romance sequel to The Red Files about the family we can’t choose, and the one that chooses us. 111,000 words Themes: Iowa · Meemaw · twisty lesbian romance

30 review for Under Your Skin (On The Record #2)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane Wallace

    'Ylva-Publishing ARC provided in exchange for a fair and honest review' **'Satire is the weapon of the powerless against the powerful..Great dialogue has transparency.Something is being said while something else is being felt..' Intoxicating second series! A spectacularly vibrant follow-up,'UNDER YOUR SKIN' takes us from the bustling streets of D.C. to the vast prairie landscape of Iowa and introduce us/readers to Lauren's family,a real spirited and close-knit bunch. From the beginning,their (Laure 'Ylva-Publishing ARC provided in exchange for a fair and honest review' **'Satire is the weapon of the powerless against the powerful..Great dialogue has transparency.Something is being said while something else is being felt..' Intoxicating second series! A spectacularly vibrant follow-up,'UNDER YOUR SKIN' takes us from the bustling streets of D.C. to the vast prairie landscape of Iowa and introduce us/readers to Lauren's family,a real spirited and close-knit bunch. From the beginning,their (Lauren & Catherine) relationship is heady,intense and passionate-- then suddenly Catherine is caught dealing with both the Love for Lauren,suspicion of a brother and betrayal of her family plus paranoia of others as she searches for the truth & scandals that she may not want to find -- and is swept into a dangerous game where both (Lauren & Catherine) do eventually get justice. Certainly Ms.Winter pushes her premise to the extreme here,but in the end this series does has it perk with great narrative and will prompt plenty of self-reflections from both leads about their life and future. Not making life easy for herself is Catherine's refusal to support or respect either of her parents because of their past mistreatment of her. And instead for all their viciousness & betrayal,they are gonna bear the brunt of her anger,blame and revenge. Readers are also offered insights into both characters backgrounds,their family and romantic histories,their fears and what bought them together,making this storyline feel very intimate and personal apart from the gripping plot twist. There are multi-layered side stories involving lots of supporting characters that just kept this series moving. It's tempting to spill the beans about many parts of this book as to what's been covered here merely hints at the heart of the full story. But to do so would be to spoil Winter's carefully crafted page-turner. Additionally,she even provides even-handed,thoughtful commentary on the media and its willingness to vilify women/people connected to any news media etc.. Also her ability to tackle such convoluted topics while presenting a lighter,easy read of friendship,family bonding,marriage and betrayal is truly refreshing. Highly recommended to everyone!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    4.5 Stars. An excellent sequel to The Red Files! I’m a Winter fan and really enjoyed her book The Red Files. When I heard there was going to book two, I was really excited. I’m very happy to say I really enjoyed this. I do want to mention that I highly recommend reading The Red Files first. It is really important to know the history of the two mains and how they got together. Also, there were storylines that started in The Red Files that were wrapped up in this book. I just don’t think you would 4.5 Stars. An excellent sequel to The Red Files! I’m a Winter fan and really enjoyed her book The Red Files. When I heard there was going to book two, I was really excited. I’m very happy to say I really enjoyed this. I do want to mention that I highly recommend reading The Red Files first. It is really important to know the history of the two mains and how they got together. Also, there were storylines that started in The Red Files that were wrapped up in this book. I just don’t think you would appreciate this book, as much, if you don’t read book one first. Lauren and Catherine are headed to Iowa. It is finally time for Catherine to meet the rest of the King family and to plan their wedding. When the story of the century drops in their laps, Catherine and Lauren must quickly discover the truth. With an important story in the balance and a visitor from the past, will the wedding still go off without a hitch? What I really enjoyed about the story was how much more I felt I got to know Catherine. Catherine is the quintessential ice queen. In this book we really get to understand why. I also really appreciate that while she loves Lauren she is still herself. In so many books a character starts out as an ice queen but quickly melts when she falls in love. While Catherine might have thawed a bit for Lauren, Winter kept her character true. It is the combo of soft and hard between Lauren and Catherine that makes them such a great couple. I also enjoyed that most of this story took place in Iowa. I liked meeting the Kings and watching Catherine having to hold her caustic tongue. This book did a good job of having a mystery for the reporters to solve, but it also showed a great progression in their relationship. The balance was really well done. This book is actually on the longer side, but I was very happy for it. It felt perfectly complete. Every minor storyline that was started felt finished by the end. Nothing was rushed which I really appreciated; it was very well written. There is more I would like to talk about, but I feel like anything more could be a spoiler. I want every reader to go into this book not knowing how anything will unfold like I did. It’s too enjoyable of a ride to give anything away. If you enjoyed The Red Files, absolutely read this. If you are a Winter fan, read this. If you are new to the series, go read The Red Files first and then come back to this. This series is well worth the read. I don’t know if a book three might be planned, but I would absolutely read it. An ARC was given to me by YLVA, for a honest review. P.S. I just wanted to mention it looks like the publishers pulled out their big guns for the month of June. Bold Strokes Books has new Brayden and Hunter books coming out. Bella has E.J. Noyes’ newest book and YLVA has this book by Winter. What a great month June is for lesfic!

  3. 5 out of 5

    lov2laf

    Overall, I really enjoyed this sequel to "The Red Files". There were many things to like about this story. I appreciate books that focus on a couple *after* they've gotten together. The story takes place in Iowa which is a first. And, in addition to the romantic plot line, we get a mystery of sorts. It's not a mystery in the traditional sense but investigative journalism going down the rabbit hole to get to the bottom of an issue. The fact that so much of the investigation is topical to real news Overall, I really enjoyed this sequel to "The Red Files". There were many things to like about this story. I appreciate books that focus on a couple *after* they've gotten together. The story takes place in Iowa which is a first. And, in addition to the romantic plot line, we get a mystery of sorts. It's not a mystery in the traditional sense but investigative journalism going down the rabbit hole to get to the bottom of an issue. The fact that so much of the investigation is topical to real news headlines adds an extra level of suspense. The book is pretty evenly split between marriage prep, getting to know the families, getting more insight into Catherine's history, and following the investigative journalism thread. The quality of the writing is strong and the story held my interest for the entire read. I actually thought that the book got better the farther I read. I especially enjoyed the takedown Lauren has of Catherine's ex at the end of the story as well as the drama with Catherine's family. As for sexual moments, Winter makes them all fade to black until the honeymoon where we're rewarded with a few explicit scenes. For about the first 30-40% of the story, though, I kept thinking the conversations were odd between Lauren and Catherine where Catherine would explain some part of her life. I took it to be a way for Winter to provide exposition but I was also wondering, "Do these two not talk to each other? They've been together for years and this is only coming out now?" The author kind of explains the reason for this later but that sat with me for awhile making things a tad off kilter. Still, it's a good, solid read. 4.4 stars.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lexxi Kitty

    I received an ARC of this book from Ylva Publishing in exchange for an honest review. First thing first: yes this is a sequel and yes you need to read the prior book before reading this book here. It feeds off of the prior book and follows the same couple from that prior book. I should mention titles, no? I’m referring to The Red Files Second thing second: Lee Winter has some massively high overall average rating on Goodreads, *looks*, an impressive 4.42 rating. Most of my friends and those I foll I received an ARC of this book from Ylva Publishing in exchange for an honest review. First thing first: yes this is a sequel and yes you need to read the prior book before reading this book here. It feeds off of the prior book and follows the same couple from that prior book. I should mention titles, no? I’m referring to The Red Files Second thing second: Lee Winter has some massively high overall average rating on Goodreads, *looks*, an impressive 4.42 rating. Most of my friends and those I follow seem to rather enjoy Winter’s books. I’ve read two (now three) books and one short story by this author – and my ratings have generally fallen lower than other people’s ratings for the works (that overall average rating kicks in again – like, I gave ‘The Red Files’ a rating of 4, but I has a rating of 4.49 on Goodreads). Insert here standard: I like giving authors many chances to ‘connect’ with what I like. So all that build up is to note: I really really enjoyed this book here. Quite readable. I started it and read it almost in one gulp. And it’s a 332 page book, so that’s a big chunk of pages to wade through quickly. I’m fairly certain the first book in this series was a solo point of view book, though I might be misremembering – it has been a while and I, stupidly, forgot to put the book on a POV shelf. This specific book here, ‘Under Your Skin’, is a multiple point of view story – following both main characters. 44 year old Catherine Ayers and 34 year old Lauren King. Both reporters. A good portion of this book involves Lauren and Catherine being in Iowa, meeting the King family, accidentally meting the Ayers family, and planning a wedding. Somewhere along the way various news stories are covered – and eventually a massively huge story begins to be investigated by both women. But let’s not give everything away, eh? Let’s just note I rather liked the family dynamic, the couple dynamic, and the news investigation dynamic on display here. There’s a specific book that came to mind as I was reading this one here. I’m sure the connection between the two is kind of weak, but there are certain reasons I think of that other book. Or, for that matter, that series. Both it and this series here are duologies. The first book in both have the two people become a couple; and the second book in both series have the couple go to some middle of the USA state to ‘meet the family’. I’m referring here to The Adventures of Decky and Charlie series by R.E. Bradshaw. Specifically to Out on the Panhandle. There are massive differences between the two series, and the two second books in the series. Certain similarities, though: going to ‘small town’ ‘middle of America’ in a ‘fly-over state’ (Oklahoma vs. Iowa); huge family for someone without much family (if I recall that other series well enough, I might not be, the one meeting the Oklahoma family might have had a largish family to, but I recall there just being, I think, a mother (a crazy mother, but now I’m really stretching my mind to try to remember)) to meet. There were some interesting dynamics that popped up. Also a few issues I had seemed to have picked up on earlier than the characters, but, eh, that happens. My fingers are bouncing up and down without touching the keys, as I think of what else to say: read ‘The Red Files’, then read this book. Is good book. Rating: 5 stars June 6 2018

  5. 5 out of 5

    Agirlcandream

    It was wonderful seeing the maturing relationship between the scattered Lauren and the always put together Catherine.Both work in Washington but are planning to hold their wedding in Iowa. Of course with these two investigative reporters you know that cake tasting and venue selection will take a back seat to a story they stumble upon in this fly-over state. It was interesting meeting the families behind the women we fell in love with in The Red Files. Ice Queens don’t merely spring from the grou It was wonderful seeing the maturing relationship between the scattered Lauren and the always put together Catherine.Both work in Washington but are planning to hold their wedding in Iowa. Of course with these two investigative reporters you know that cake tasting and venue selection will take a back seat to a story they stumble upon in this fly-over state. It was interesting meeting the families behind the women we fell in love with in The Red Files. Ice Queens don’t merely spring from the ground all confidence and cockiness. Meeting Catherine’s chilly, horrible parents along with her shady, slimy ex makes Catherine an even stronger woman/survivor and kudos to Lauren for seeing past the ice queen persona to the wounded Ms Ayers. Lauren’s brothers, dad and meemaw all combine to add humour and a whole lot of self reflection for both brides. Loved the parallel of the Orwellian plot our dogged reporters track down with the interactions we see in the story. From the lady staring into the computer of the missing pizza droid, to the Catherine/Lucas and Lauren/Lionel encounters. Thinking about those scenes clarified the urgency you feel at how essential it is for Catherine and Lauren to put their investigations ahead of their wedding plans. By the end of this brilliant, plot driven novel I had a song going through my brain, an oldy, Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own me. I admit as a kid I thought she was singing You Don’t Know Me but the chorus still applies. How topical, how we are judged and how intrusive assumptions about the people we are and the impact of what we’ve been through can affect us. Brilliant. Wonderfully so. On the surface this is the love story we’ve been waiting for. So nice to watch this happy, loving couple plan their wedding, juggle family drama and hunt down a killer story. Dig deeper and you see two strong women who value one another and understand and support each other no matter the external chatter. ARC received with thanks from publisher for review. https://latenightlesbianreads.wordpre...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jem

    Catherine Ayers is one of those larger than life characters that stay with you long after a book is over, especially if you like strong, caustic ice-queens. If you haven't heard of her, consider picking up the Red Files, where we first meet her and the plucky, idealistic and much younger reporter who de-ices her. This sequel deals with the aftermath of the last scene where Catherine very publicly outs their relationship as well as resolve her family issues. Also on the plate is the upcoming weddi Catherine Ayers is one of those larger than life characters that stay with you long after a book is over, especially if you like strong, caustic ice-queens. If you haven't heard of her, consider picking up the Red Files, where we first meet her and the plucky, idealistic and much younger reporter who de-ices her. This sequel deals with the aftermath of the last scene where Catherine very publicly outs their relationship as well as resolve her family issues. Also on the plate is the upcoming wedding which the couple have decided to hold in Lauren's hometown of Iowa. So wedding planning and Iowa feature most prominently throughout the first third of the book, which felt much too fluffy for my liking. Fortunately, things perk up as a seemingly innocuous fluff piece leads to one progressively more sinister revelation after another. Pretty soon we're on to every citizen's worst nightmare (and an investigative reporter's wet dream) :) All of that while juggling last-minute wedding plans and testy family relationships. That's one busy page-turner for you. I couldn't wait to get my hands on this sequel, thanks to my love for the first book, and my fascination with ice queens. In the latter sense though, I was disappointed. For better or worse, the legendary Catherine Ayers is not the caustic queen she once was. She actually has a filter now. :) More accurately, a lot of the book is about her interactions with family, both hers and Lauren's. So the mental filter is logical. And of course, Lauren has been such an effective defroster. Fortunately, even minus the ice-queen bits, the book can still be enjoyed on many different levels. Catherine meets her match for instance, with Lauren's Meemaw. The battle of wills and wits is a delight to read. Her conquest of (or more likely, parry) with the haughty Ms Chesterfield is another. Unlikely alliances and treacherous betrayals abound and keep the reader guessing. The mysterious and infamous ex also plays a major part in the book. Best of all, all the loose ends from the previous book are tied up in a tidy bow. A little too neat...but no less satisfying. Probably the best thing about the book is the lengths the author went through to make the complicated plot about a government/big business conspiracy seem scarily true-to-life. A little fake news here, some scare mongering there, add some shiny little apps and gizmos that make life easier... It's terrifying and sobering how people can be fooled into signing their privacy and maybe even their liberty away, all in the name of convenience. Another notable aspect about the book: Lesfic often tends to falter when it comes to the techie stuff, either over simplifying details or glossing over them completely, or worse, coming up with unrealistic scenarios. I liked how everything felt real, from the use of techie buzz words to the more arcane hacking stuff. The author knows whereof she speaks. Hats off to that. So, bottom line, even without my ice-queen fix, I still loved the book for, well, everything else. It's not quite as funny or as angsty as its predecessor, but it still has a lot of heart. There's a lot of food for thought. And the sex? It's still sexy as hell. 4.65 stars ARC from Ylva

  7. 4 out of 5

    vacatedboat

    After finishing a Lee Winter book I almost always feel both a wee bit smarter and a wee bit like I missed some IQ points when they were handed out. I love that Winter’s books force me to think about things that are hard to think about even though what I’m reading is, in essence, a romance with some mystery thrown in. The mysteries are always so complex, however, that I wonder how in the world someone’s brain manufactures these things…so, I don’t really feel dumb-dumb, but creatively stunted. I s After finishing a Lee Winter book I almost always feel both a wee bit smarter and a wee bit like I missed some IQ points when they were handed out. I love that Winter’s books force me to think about things that are hard to think about even though what I’m reading is, in essence, a romance with some mystery thrown in. The mysteries are always so complex, however, that I wonder how in the world someone’s brain manufactures these things…so, I don’t really feel dumb-dumb, but creatively stunted. I suppose that’s why we leave the writing up to the creative genius of people like Winter while we readers reap the benefits of their ingenuity. The mystery is all a very real possibility in the future (I look at my wrist and shake my head at my Apple Watch), but the way Winter weaves the story to intertwine our protagonists is something else . . . she’s great at making you stop and think about the things you take for granted and give little thought to (oh, how easily we can be swept away by technology and manipulated by it), but also takes you on a journey with two characters that feels really intimate. There’s a mixture of everyday real life and a possible future reality that puts the brain to work. That said, I friggin’ loved this! I love Catherine, though she’s fallen off the ice-queen wagon a bit. She’s still a hard ass, but in ‘Under Your Skin,’ we get to discover her softer side, how she became who she is, and we get to experience the ferocity with which she loves Lauren. I’m really not sorry that Catherine melted at all…I swooned a few times…and when I thought I couldn’t swoon anymore, I swooned again, but even harder. There seems little point to get into the whole storyline here. There’s a synopsis and a pretty good background on these two in the first book. I definitely recommend reading ‘The Red Files’ before reading this; both are fantastic and worth every cent and every second. Winter is an amazing and intelligent story teller. Her books aren’t filled with overly gushy sweetness, which I think I need in what I consider a really good book. The grittiness she hands her readers makes a book feel real because life is gritty. Her characters are well drawn and relatable; I always feel like I’ve met them and know them in real life. I don’t know...just incredible and really well done. Recommend without hesitation. 5*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joc

    I recently read The Red Files, which was a really good read, in order to read Under Your Skin which turned out to be a superb read. Catherine Ayers, well-bred Bostonian, and Lauren King, country girl from Iowa, have been together a year and are taking leave to plan their wedding in Iowa. But journalists can never quite turn off their desire for a story, especially when the story keeps throwing itself at them. Lauren and Catherine need to negotiate their own differences, their relationships with t I recently read The Red Files, which was a really good read, in order to read Under Your Skin which turned out to be a superb read. Catherine Ayers, well-bred Bostonian, and Lauren King, country girl from Iowa, have been together a year and are taking leave to plan their wedding in Iowa. But journalists can never quite turn off their desire for a story, especially when the story keeps throwing itself at them. Lauren and Catherine need to negotiate their own differences, their relationships with their own families and each other’s families. Lauren hasn’t introduced the infamous Caustic Queen to her family yet and she has no idea whether they will like her or not. Catherine’s family is estranged except for her nephew, Tad. This is the best unpacking of an ice-queen character that I’ve read. She’s more than her cool façade, her perfect breeding, her drive for journalistic excellence and her bitingly sharp tongue. It’s also gratifying that Lauren isn’t lost in the shadows of this type of persona. The story is complex with interpersonal relationships twisted up in an investigation of political maneuvering and covert dealings as well as divergent personalities trying to put together a wedding they will both like. All of these threads, combined with a whole web minor ones, are woven together to create a phenomenal and totally immersive story. It’s entertaining, sad, engaging, sexy and heart-stoppingly tense. I highly recommend it but The Red Files should be read first. Book received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rosi

    This is a great continuation of the book The Red Files, which is necessary to have read to understand this one. Both Catherine and Lauren are still two very interesting characters and together they make an explosive couple both professionally and personally. And the plot developed in this book, both the one related to journalistic research and the one that refers to the wedding preparations and other events that happen in Lauren's hometown in Iowa, are really entertaining and fun, with its hint This is a great continuation of the book The Red Files, which is necessary to have read to understand this one. Both Catherine and Lauren are still two very interesting characters and together they make an explosive couple both professionally and personally. And the plot developed in this book, both the one related to journalistic research and the one that refers to the wedding preparations and other events that happen in Lauren's hometown in Iowa, are really entertaining and fun, with its hint of excitement and intrigue that keeps you hooked. Besides being able to understand how the two protagonists, especially Catherine, have become as they are. Truly, Catherine has been able to overcome so much malice in the family and professional environment to finally accept that someone appreciate her without hidden intentions. Lauren is really good for her. So this book is worthy of recommendation, it will not disappoint you. An excellent reading

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    «Under Your Skin» is the sequel to Winter’s exciting novel «The Red Files», and in my opinion, it’s equally good or even better. But to understand this one better, you have to read The Red Files first, it is important to know the story of Lauren and Catherine. Lauren and Catherine are planning their wedding, and for that they are traveling to Lauren’s Iowan hometown, to meet the whole King family. But they are distracted by a really big news story, which they can’t ignore. So between looking for «Under Your Skin» is the sequel to Winter’s exciting novel «The Red Files», and in my opinion, it’s equally good or even better. But to understand this one better, you have to read The Red Files first, it is important to know the story of Lauren and Catherine. Lauren and Catherine are planning their wedding, and for that they are traveling to Lauren’s Iowan hometown, to meet the whole King family. But they are distracted by a really big news story, which they can’t ignore. So between looking for a venue, menus and wedding clothes, they have to solve this story. A visitor of the past and Catherine’s family are throwing in some obstacles they have to overcome and especially Catherin has to face her past with painful emotions. It's amazing how the author manages to combine the events of the past, with all the emotional feelings, the current news story and the wedding plans and family meeting, without getting tangled up. We get to know a lot about Catherine and her history with family and her ex, and I could clearly see, why she can be this caustic, and it’s not by accident. And slowly but surely I fell for her too. And the King’s family is a wonderful addition to the story. With them, we get some great insight into the person of Lauren, why she is how she is. What I enjoyed the most was the dialogues, especially the ones between the two main characters, but also with all the others. They could be witty, caustic or lovingly. And how their relationship was growing more and more, although they also had to fight some fights. Together with them, we learn how the other one is ticking, how they learn to trust each other completely and not to decide for the other one. Also, the plot of this century news story they’ll bring to light is multi-layered, extremely exciting but is also a little bit frightening. The supporting characters are well defined and some are really bad guys. The twist and turns of the events and the wicked persons involved are thrilling. This is a fantastic read and a great pleasure. I would be happy to read more about Lauren and Catherine. I hope there will be more of them. My rating 5 stars Thanks to Ylva for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Gaby

    Lee Winter's 'On the record' series consists of 'The red files' (book 1), 'Flashbang' (a short story, part 1.5) and the sequel 'Under your skin'. I highly recommend to read them in order. You could do without 'Flashbang' as it's a bonus erotica story based on the series main characters but I still suggest to read it to have a better glimpse of their relationship. Lauren King and Catherine Ayers are both journalists who met while investigating a news story in 'The red files'. In this book we get Lee Winter's 'On the record' series consists of 'The red files' (book 1), 'Flashbang' (a short story, part 1.5) and the sequel 'Under your skin'. I highly recommend to read them in order. You could do without 'Flashbang' as it's a bonus erotica story based on the series main characters but I still suggest to read it to have a better glimpse of their relationship. Lauren King and Catherine Ayers are both journalists who met while investigating a news story in 'The red files'. In this book we get a better view of their relationship and even though there is investigative journalism involved, the plot mainly revolves around their personal relationship and with their respective families. Lauren and Catherine couldn't be any different. Lauren is in her thirties, with a middle class upbringing and a loving - though sometimes overzealous - family. Catherine is in her mid forties, with an absent upper class family. Lauren wears her heart on her sleeve and Catherine is well renowned as the Caustic Queen, distant and sarcastic. This might be the most at odds lesfic couple ever but, boy, how opposites attract. While 'The red files' was written in third person from the point of view of Lauren to showcase Catherine's distant personality, this novel alternates both characters' perspectives. As we get into Catherine's headspace we start to tie loose knots from the previous book. Catherine is a complex and multi layered character and the author slowly brings her out in a different light, making her more human and realistic. It's interesting to see a sweet, vulnerable side of her and funny to realise that she is also sarcastic in her thoughts. Lauren's extended family is loving, hilarious and each character of the numerous relatives have a distinctive voice. The plot presents them in Lauren's Iowa homeplace which comes to life through the beautiful descriptions of Ms. Winter. All in all, this is a very well written and entertaining series for both intrigue and romance fans. Overall, another very good book in this series. Hopefully it won't be the last one. 5 stars. ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.com

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lucky Luc

    Another homerun by Lee Winter - pun absolutely intended. I am really going to miss Catherine and Lauren. The focus of the book being so much on their relationship yet staying true to their cores by letting them chase down not 1 but 2 huge stories that seem eerily similar to many of the tech advances we are seeing embraced by the masses today. The passion was off the charts and Catherine finally getting some much needed closure from her family and Michelle really made their story complete. I foun Another homerun by Lee Winter - pun absolutely intended. I am really going to miss Catherine and Lauren. The focus of the book being so much on their relationship yet staying true to their cores by letting them chase down not 1 but 2 huge stories that seem eerily similar to many of the tech advances we are seeing embraced by the masses today. The passion was off the charts and Catherine finally getting some much needed closure from her family and Michelle really made their story complete. I found myself smiling so many times while falling into this story. And don’t get me started on the shout out to Maddie Grey and Elena Bartel with Catherine reading Bartel’s biography, letting us find out they got married! I’m going to need a minute before I start a new book. Definitely on my multi-read list!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ivanka K.

    I'm sorry but I didn't like it, I mean, it's well written but just lives remembering all the goods parts on The Red Files. Ms. Winter keeps writing about the Caustic Queen wit but if she has any left, it doesn't appear in this book. We read a lot about the life of Lauren and Catherine, but when those two are challenged by Catherine's family or even Lauren's family they lack of clever replies, or even good comebacks.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Even better than Red Files which was practically perfect in every way. Just like Mary Poppins(oh be still my little lesbian heart).

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    Hands down, this is one of my very favourite books this year. I love it just as much as I loved The Red Files, and I’m thrilled that it’s an even better book. If you haven’t read anything by Lee Winter before, this would be an okay place to start, but you really have to read The Red Files and then Under Your Skin because they are on my friendship litmus test list now. I will be rereading these over and over and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Full review: https://www.thelesbianreview.com/u Hands down, this is one of my very favourite books this year. I love it just as much as I loved The Red Files, and I’m thrilled that it’s an even better book. If you haven’t read anything by Lee Winter before, this would be an okay place to start, but you really have to read The Red Files and then Under Your Skin because they are on my friendship litmus test list now. I will be rereading these over and over and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Full review: https://www.thelesbianreview.com/unde...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    Detailed score: By itself: 4.25 In combination with The Red Files and Flashbang: 4.75 You definitely should read The Red Files before this one. Even if you’ve read The Red Files before but it’s been awhile, it’s worth doing a re-read before picking up this one. There is starting to be a little sub-genre within lesfic of slightly longer stories that deal with real world issues in a real way without skimping on the romance. If you’ve enjoyed E.J Noyes’s work you’re definitely going to enjoy this one. Detailed score: By itself: 4.25 In combination with The Red Files and Flashbang: 4.75 You definitely should read The Red Files before this one. Even if you’ve read The Red Files before but it’s been awhile, it’s worth doing a re-read before picking up this one. There is starting to be a little sub-genre within lesfic of slightly longer stories that deal with real world issues in a real way without skimping on the romance. If you’ve enjoyed E.J Noyes’s work you’re definitely going to enjoy this one. I loved. Absolutely loved that we got to get inside Catherine’s headspace in this one - and got to revisit a couple of key scenes from the first book through her eyes. As I said in my review about The Red Files, I’m not a fan of crime / mystery books but this one kept the story moving along at least and the mystery sub plot detracted from the romance less than it did in the first book. I was also pleasantly surprised that the ‘Meemaw’ grandmas character wasn’t too over done. Often I find similar characters - that are meant to be endearingly annoying just plain annoying. While not my favourite character here either, she was at least tolerable. Kudos to Winter, too, for managing to give the 5 brothers different personalities. That’s a lot of characters to round out. Overall: taken together, the two books are just delicious. Well plotted. Great pwoar. A nice touch of believable angst, and ice queen ness. Rich in character yet still swoon worthy. Take your hat off Lee Winter - this is a ripper.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Starsandsun

    This goes straight to my faves again. I miss Lauren King and Catherine Ayers. Actually, I kind of hesitated to read this now because my head’s all over the place lately and I’m afraid that I couldn’t connect with the characters but I’ve been looking forward to this, so.. Gladly, Lee Winters didn’t disappoint. I’m happy to read about their relationship. No pushing and pulling like the first one. I love Catherine Ayers! I got to see the soft side of her. I’m really sad for all the things she’s been This goes straight to my faves again. I miss Lauren King and Catherine Ayers. Actually, I kind of hesitated to read this now because my head’s all over the place lately and I’m afraid that I couldn’t connect with the characters but I’ve been looking forward to this, so.. Gladly, Lee Winters didn’t disappoint. I’m happy to read about their relationship. No pushing and pulling like the first one. I love Catherine Ayers! I got to see the soft side of her. I’m really sad for all the things she’s been through. For how her family treated her. Savage. With Lauren, I also feel bad for her. I do understand her insecurities. Lauren’s got a gay brother, Can you guess who? I didn’t see that coming. 😂 Book 3, please?

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paulina

    * I'm not really a fan of stories with established couples but this book was definitely an exception. The story and the mystery was as engaging as in the first book and I loved that we found out more about Catherine's fall from grace. And their relationship was as enjoyable as in the red files, I was really happy to see that even if Catherine mellowed down a little she was still the caustic queen I loved.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    So this is book 2... so read The Red Files first. I reread The Red Files before starting this one. I was happy I did, because while I remembered a lot from the first read, it wasn't fresh. I LOVED the The Red Files. One of my favorite books ever. Under Your Skin is 5 stars and also a favorite but I didn't enjoy it as much as book 1. I think I didn't enjoy this one as much because Catherine was softer.. I missed the great dialogue sequences between Catherine and Lauren that made the first book aw So this is book 2... so read The Red Files first. I reread The Red Files before starting this one. I was happy I did, because while I remembered a lot from the first read, it wasn't fresh. I LOVED the The Red Files. One of my favorite books ever. Under Your Skin is 5 stars and also a favorite but I didn't enjoy it as much as book 1. I think I didn't enjoy this one as much because Catherine was softer.. I missed the great dialogue sequences between Catherine and Lauren that made the first book awesome. I was super busy while reading this one, so I had to sneak moments. I love to read for hours and typically try to finish books in one or two sit downs. This one I read slowly, just taking a few moments here and there. This also could have contributed to my not liking this one as much. I am going to revisit both books again in the future. I love books that I can read over and over, and both of these fit. I have loved every book I have read by this author. This book is still a page turner, and I love Winter's writing.. 5 stars all day. Fingers crossed for a book 3.

  20. 4 out of 5

    V

    Under Your Skin by Lee Winter is the sequel to her novel The Red Files. Please, give yourself a treat and read that one first. In the sequel, we are reunited with Lauren King and the Caustic Queen, Catherine Ayers. They are living in Washington DC pursuing their careers in journalism while planning their wedding in Lauren’s home state of Iowa. You’re saying to yourself, “Catherine Ayers in Iowa?” Yes! It is absolutely wonderful to see her out of her element with Lauren’s little brothers trying t Under Your Skin by Lee Winter is the sequel to her novel The Red Files. Please, give yourself a treat and read that one first. In the sequel, we are reunited with Lauren King and the Caustic Queen, Catherine Ayers. They are living in Washington DC pursuing their careers in journalism while planning their wedding in Lauren’s home state of Iowa. You’re saying to yourself, “Catherine Ayers in Iowa?” Yes! It is absolutely wonderful to see her out of her element with Lauren’s little brothers trying their best to bring out the Ice Queen. Of course, while they are there, Lauren and Catherine stumble upon a story that has huge ramifications for the safety of the country’s citizens. I honestly liked this book even better than The Red Files. Catherine still has her wicked tongue and icy attitude but now, Lauren just rolls her adoring eyes at her and Catherine melts a little more in return. The character development is wonderful. Lauren and Catherine still get to be perfectly imperfect, but now they are doing it together and their relationship just gets better. They are a perfectly matched pair which doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always sunshine and rainbows between the two of them. The addition of Lauren and Catherine’s families is a delight. Seeing each family really gives you great insight into what makes each woman tick. The dialogue is spectacular. Catherine still can cut to the quick with one look and a few sentences, but she is learning that she doesn’t necessarily have to say everything that comes to mind. The two women have great chemistry and it is just lovely to see them accept and appreciate each other warts and all. The crime/thriller aspect is smart, smart, smart and the bad guys are really bad. I won’t say anything further because what would be the fun in that? This was such a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Balthazaar

    4.75 Boom. This is great. Again. This is a sequel to the excellent Red Files, and manages the magic trick of keeping true to the different and shining personalities of the main characters, while developing them into more rounded people. Catherine and Lauren are in Iowa, ostensibly to plan their wedding and meet the in-laws, when a massive scoop lands in their midst. Over the following pages the author manages to weave together a multitude of threads, both professional and personal, to create a de 4.75 Boom. This is great. Again. This is a sequel to the excellent Red Files, and manages the magic trick of keeping true to the different and shining personalities of the main characters, while developing them into more rounded people. Catherine and Lauren are in Iowa, ostensibly to plan their wedding and meet the in-laws, when a massive scoop lands in their midst. Over the following pages the author manages to weave together a multitude of threads, both professional and personal, to create a deceptively dense story that has the ring of truth to it. (After all, how often do we have those important life conversations while we’re actually doing something else.) (view spoiler)[ Perhaps the scoop itself is too easily wrapped up. Key characters cave pretty easily and given the state of politics in the world, at times it seems a little quixotic. (If only more people where inherently noble.) (hide spoiler)] But the very fact that, two days after finishing it, I’m still picking over the story, and re-reading some of my favorite verbal skirmishes just demonstrates how good a read this is. Kick off with Red Files and follow up with Under Your Skin. I heartily recommend both.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol Hutchinson

    If I didn’t love Catherine Ayers before, (Which I did!), I just love her so much more now, and may even have a soft spot more than I did before for Lauren. Ayers and King were just back fully on form in this sequel, on another exciting adventure. One of their own, and one for the love of their jobs. It was wonderful to see more vulnerabilities from our Caustic Queen, as well as learning some more background, and watching her melt just a little bit. A great book, fantastic follow up to The Red Fi If I didn’t love Catherine Ayers before, (Which I did!), I just love her so much more now, and may even have a soft spot more than I did before for Lauren. Ayers and King were just back fully on form in this sequel, on another exciting adventure. One of their own, and one for the love of their jobs. It was wonderful to see more vulnerabilities from our Caustic Queen, as well as learning some more background, and watching her melt just a little bit. A great book, fantastic follow up to The Red Files and highly addictive. This book was difficult to put down, and was just perfect. All the twists and turns of an interlinking plot, secrets to be discovered and the development of the fabulous relationship between Lauren and Catherine was to die for! Adored it, and highly recommend!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This is a sequel to the Red files, which I thought was excellent in execution and style. I would recommend reading that first, as this book refers to characters and completes some loose ends such as Catherine’s fall from grace referred to in book 1. This story focused on the wedding preparations between the 2 main characters, and the joy of realising that the extended family come too. This would not be complete without a sensational news story involving a lost robot and data chipping, that draws This is a sequel to the Red files, which I thought was excellent in execution and style. I would recommend reading that first, as this book refers to characters and completes some loose ends such as Catherine’s fall from grace referred to in book 1. This story focused on the wedding preparations between the 2 main characters, and the joy of realising that the extended family come too. This would not be complete without a sensational news story involving a lost robot and data chipping, that draws some characters new and old in the plot. I missed some of the wit and sarcasm from book 1, but to be fair this was deliberately rained in as on best behaviour with family. It was interesting to get to know both MCs backgrounds and how different their parents and upbringing was. It explained why Catherine used barbs in the past as a defence mechanism, and showed her in a more vulnerable light. It also showed that the things that matter are not money and possessions, but real honest connections. The writing is excellent, good storyline, and engaging characters. Good combination of a romance and a decent plot. Arc received from YLVA for honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tiff

    Under Your Skin by Lee Winter is the sequel The Red Files. If you loved The Red Files, you are going to go out of your mind for this one. If you have never heard of The Red Files, stop her and go buy both of these. You will thank me because these are two of the very best in the lady-loving romance genre. This time around Lauren King and the Caustic Queen, Catherine Ayers are residing in DC planning their wedding and looking for the next big scoop. Of course, they are going to stumble on to a mons Under Your Skin by Lee Winter is the sequel The Red Files. If you loved The Red Files, you are going to go out of your mind for this one. If you have never heard of The Red Files, stop her and go buy both of these. You will thank me because these are two of the very best in the lady-loving romance genre. This time around Lauren King and the Caustic Queen, Catherine Ayers are residing in DC planning their wedding and looking for the next big scoop. Of course, they are going to stumble on to a monster story, one with all kinds of nooks and crannies to keep you on your toes and breathless with anticipation. The best part though is their other moments when planning a wedding that at times seems doomed all the while out of their element in Lauren's Iowa hometown. It is fabulous to read about Catherine so out of her element in the mid-west. I loved this book even more than the first one. These two have an amazing banter, witty repertoire and the love just jumps right off the page and melts your heart. This book gives you the feels. I cannot recommend it enough.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Della

    Under Your Skin is a sequel to Lee Winter’s The Red Files. Catherine Ayers is now the Political Bureau Chief for the L.A. Sentinel in Washington DC and Lauren King is covering the metro desk division for the Washington Post. Lauren is bringing Catherine home to Iowa to meet her family and plan their wedding. As no true news writer is ever on vacation both women are following up leads to their stories. Catherine is following up on the proposal of chip implantation into veterans to expedite the ba Under Your Skin is a sequel to Lee Winter’s The Red Files. Catherine Ayers is now the Political Bureau Chief for the L.A. Sentinel in Washington DC and Lauren King is covering the metro desk division for the Washington Post. Lauren is bringing Catherine home to Iowa to meet her family and plan their wedding. As no true news writer is ever on vacation both women are following up leads to their stories. Catherine is following up on the proposal of chip implantation into veterans to expedite the backlog of returning soldiers. Lauren is working on the theft of an auto bot delivery machine. I am delighted to learn more of the background story on Catherine and seeing Lauren at home with her family. The story takes its time in fleshing out our main characters which unfortunately slows the pace of the mystery. This is still a good read and if you enjoyed the Red Files you will definitely enjoy this novel as well.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    Man, I loved this book. And it got me out of my reading funk. Always a pleasure reading anything by Lee.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Lee Winter's writing is absolute brilliance and so I very much enjoyed the sequel to The Red Files. Catherine and Lauren head to Iowa to meet Lauren's family and plan their wedding. But even in Iowa, the two women stumble upon a story, and in the midst of everything else going on begin to discover the shocking truth. I'm the odd one out here for sure, as the first half of the book dragged for me, and it took me a long time to get into it. The mystery didn't really begin until about 50% of the wa Lee Winter's writing is absolute brilliance and so I very much enjoyed the sequel to The Red Files. Catherine and Lauren head to Iowa to meet Lauren's family and plan their wedding. But even in Iowa, the two women stumble upon a story, and in the midst of everything else going on begin to discover the shocking truth. I'm the odd one out here for sure, as the first half of the book dragged for me, and it took me a long time to get into it. The mystery didn't really begin until about 50% of the way through the book, and the first half was a slow recounting of day to day happenings and wedding planning. I guess I was looking for a little more balance. I did love meeting Lauren's family - so many good laughs and so many good twists. Although I really love to read about ladies falling in love, I loved in this book how the author really took us in depth into the Catherine and Lauren's characters, particularly Catherine, and took their relationship to another level for us. The second half of the book was flawless - I have no idea how Lee Winter kept all of that straight in her mind. Just wow. It tied up a lot of loose ends, and may have even left the door open for the first book. I love the absolute skill that Winter has to make even those most dislikable characters utterly relatable and make you have empathy for them. Amazing. I received an ARC from YLVA in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn McBride

    I thought the book that preceded this one was great, and its follow up is even better! We're taken along for the ride as Lauren and Catherine investigate an intriguing mystery that will affect thousands of people in Iowa, and millions more with a ripple effect. All while planning their wedding. Lee's development of secondary characters we met in The Red Files continues here, and by the time I was done the book, I wanted Joshua as my new gay best friend. We get a better look at his boyfriend Tad, I thought the book that preceded this one was great, and its follow up is even better! We're taken along for the ride as Lauren and Catherine investigate an intriguing mystery that will affect thousands of people in Iowa, and millions more with a ripple effect. All while planning their wedding. Lee's development of secondary characters we met in The Red Files continues here, and by the time I was done the book, I wanted Joshua as my new gay best friend. We get a better look at his boyfriend Tad, too. And by the end of this book, he was just as real to me as Josh. We also see the relationship between Catherine and Lauren evolve and grow but in a real way. Right down to their argument the day before they get married. Lee has also made Lauren's hometown, and especially the house and her Dreaming Tree, so vivid that the two places were practically characters in themselves. And how can I not discuss MeeMaw. That woman is an opinionated, blunt and warm powerhouse I wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of! I hope there is another Catherine and Lauren tale because I'd love to see them match wits again. They're intelligent, funny, sarcastic, loving forces to be reckoned with. And if I could have coffee with them, I'd be there with bells on!

  29. 4 out of 5

    BookFiend17

    In this book we get to meet Lauren’s family as she and Catherine travel home to plan their wedding. We also get a highly entertaining and engaging case for our fabulous duo to solve. I can see our government trying to do this kind of stuff! (😱) This is a follow up to The Red Files and I recommend you read both! I received an arc for my honest opinion.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bugs

    Finally, we get to take another ride, thanks to Lee Winter, with our beloved ice-queen-turned-romantic Catherine and the love of her life, Lauren, in this sequel to “The Red Files,” as they turned the page from their current relationship status to…Do I hear church bells?! Yup, the big M plunge! More interestingly, their I-Do’s would take place in Lauren’s hometown in Iowa..(gulp!) And yes, you’ve guessed it. Chaos, troubles, drama ensued….what with Catherine meeting Lauren’s huge so-called “hick Finally, we get to take another ride, thanks to Lee Winter, with our beloved ice-queen-turned-romantic Catherine and the love of her life, Lauren, in this sequel to “The Red Files,” as they turned the page from their current relationship status to…Do I hear church bells?! Yup, the big M plunge! More interestingly, their I-Do’s would take place in Lauren’s hometown in Iowa..(gulp!) And yes, you’ve guessed it. Chaos, troubles, drama ensued….what with Catherine meeting Lauren’s huge so-called “hick” family with FOUR younger but big-sized brothers and one larger-than-life Meemaw (Wait ’til you read all about her and Catherine! YUP!), one would think that should be plenty, right? Nah, we’re talking about Winter, here. Twisty turn of events emerged just when both lovebirds thought planning their big day and meeting family were enough drama and intrigue! So buckle up, readers! Of course, planning a wedding wasn’t the only thing that Catherine and Lauren got themselves into whilst in Iowa. There was this curious case that piqued their interest. A new technology being pushed by an Iowan politician. A microchip. A tiny device inserted under the skin. Hence, the title of this book, I reckon (although the title yielded other meanings for me apart from the obvious as the story unfolded in several fronts). Believe it or not, this microchip innovation IS a reality right now. Google “microchip under skin” and you’ll find out just how Orwellian we’re moving towards now!!! Crikey! Imagine when it’s finally being utilised globally. It’s not gonna be long now. Data scooping, data mining are already a common practice today. The latest way of data gathering? Facial recognition. Fingerprints are already mined in a massive scale. Without any resistance because – these so-called new tech marvel have been marketed as convenience, access, security, entertainment (social media, apps, devices). Nobody cares that individual privacy has been violated via indirect consent. Back to the microchip, it can also be used for pre-emptive strike purposes – could be for good. But then, the good always comes with the bad, innit? Remember “Minority Report?” I’ll just leave it at that. So, what’s the harm of being injected a teensy-weensy little microchip if it means easier access, time-saving, cost-saving convenience, right? It will definitely be dubbed “COOL!” because hey, one little wave of your hand, you get access! Futuristically cool, right? There you go. George Orwell would be shocked and that’s saying something because virtually everything he mentioned and included in his prophetic novel, “1984” has come to fruition as we speak. And we’re not stopping. We’re beyond “1984” now. And, as if that’s not “dystopian” enough, Winter also included ROBOTS! Yup, food delivery robots, to be precise! Hullo, “I Robot”! Hey, “The X-Files”! “Person of Interest,” you were right all along! Artificial intelligence. Singularity. *OOPS!! Sorry! I’ve gone off the rails there because Winter’s plot device has obviously unleashed the fury in me!! Pardon me! Anyway, moving on…. Back to my favourite caustic tongue, aloof, devilishly gorgeous ice-queen Catherine. Ahhh…I simply ❤ her!! Ever since she graced the 1st book, spewing sarcastic remarks at poor Lauren to no end! 🤣 I was extremely pleased to find that in this sequel, Winter delved into Catherine’s character at a deeper level – her dilemma, struggles, secrets (that inevitably came to light as she and Lauren began snooping around the case involving the mysterious push for the microchip), her past catching up to her, so to speak. I loved Winter’s depiction of Catherine’s vulnerability in the face of adversity. It was written with such poise, structured in such a way that I was on the same wavelength as Catherine’s at every stage of her mindset as events surrounding her evolved – personally and professionally. I could feel just how difficult of a time she was having, trying hard to stay above it, putting on a brave face for Lauren and their impending wedding, which had its own set of drama – obviously! Isn’t every wedding planning awash with drama and dysfunction, eh? Well, Catherine and Lauren didn’t escape that cliché, unfortunately! Of course, hilarity ensued as these two ill-prepared lovebirds tried to get it done with as little hassle as possible. But, who were they kidding, right? 😜 Did I mention that I LOVE THE BOOK COVER? Well, I do, especially because it’s so meaningful! (not many lesfic book covers have that effect, see.) Oh, the lovely tree! You’ll know its significance when you read the book. I thought it was delightfully symbolic, utterly romantic, sweetly idyllic and oh-so endearing! 😍 Ahhh.. those utterly sensuous silhouettes…..❤👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩👩‍❤️‍👩 One of me favourite moments of the book was the spirited interaction between Catherine and Meemaw. They were like two cats – defiant, distrusting, frightfully obstinate at first but gradually receding their claws as they familiarised wih each other in time, eventually arriving at the heart of the truth. Great chemistry, loaded verbal exchanges yet deeply heartfelt between these two strong forces. And oh, Miss Chesterfiled and Catherine….!! 😃 Absolutely divine! 😄 As out of place as Catherine was amongst Lauren’s family and the town itself, whether she felt it or vice versa, it was very interesting to see how she coped and attempted to adapt to an environment that was totally foreign to her. But her determination to bond with Lauren’s family regardless of how she felt was truly heartwarming yet heartbreaking at times. I could feel just how in love and committed she was with Lauren, regardless, and would literally do anything to make her wife-to-be happy. *sigh* 😍 Winter’s terrific ability to tap into Catherine’s psyche and emotional roller coaster at different stages of her mindset (battling her inner conflict of staying emotionally aloof and detached as a defence mechanism but inevitably showing her true warm, sensible, sensitive side as her walls began to crumble), was simply remarkable to experience! I ❤ Catherine even more as additional layers were peeled off of her hard shell! 😍 Also, Catherine and Lauren’s ever-deepening love and commitment for each other was tested this time, with some hard-to-break emotional habits, making their relationship ever so realistic, poignant and utterly compelling to read! Aaarghh…they truly are one of me favourite lesfic couples, thanks to Winter! 👍 Anyway, the intensity of the case that Catherine and Lauren were working on that intertwined with some truly unexpected elements, the drama involving Lauren’s family and Catherine, Lauren and Catherine’s own issues, plus their wedding plans, were so well-paced and structured throughout the story, I was literally out of breath after all were said and done. Phew! What a rush, indeed! Despite the acuteness of everything that was going on, there were some glorious humour that was simply hilarious. Bagpipes, anyone? 🤣 And let’s not forget the always deliciously sensual and sexy chemistry that oozed out of Catherine and Lauren whenever they were alone…😍😍😍 And, then, the wedding vows….BLIMEY!! Winter really knows how to tug at our hearts with such incredibly impassioned words, doesn’t she! Devastatingly romantic, emotionally stirring, and oh-so moving!! 😭😍 Ohhhh…Catherine!!! ❤😍😘 Side note: I was pleasantly surprised about that little shout out to me other favourite ice queen, Elena!! Oooo…sneaky, Winter! 😉 Now I know they’re from the same universe! Wicked!! 🙌 **You can read me commentary on yet another must-read “The Brutal Truth” here All in all, this was a fan-bloody-tastic, utterly satisfying & thrilling ride of a book! READ IT!! And if you’ve read the 1st installment, “The Red Files,” you definitely MUST read this! But if you haven’t…..WHY THE BLOODY HELL NOT?!? 😱 (You can read my commentary on “The Red Files” here) Speaking of “The Red Files,” after having read the sequel makes me wanna go back to re-read the genesis of Catherine and Lauren’s romantic journey toward everlasting love and then re-read how they reached their marital bliss, back-to-back! See! 👍😍 In Bug's Own Words

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