For months, acclaimed Wolf’s Landing director/producer Anna Maxwell has been nursing a crush on Natalya Izmaylova, a former Russian gymnast and current Wolf’s Landing stunt coordinator. When Anna witnesses Natalya’s very public breakup with her boyfriend, she can’t resist inviting her over for drinks to commiserate about love and all that nonsense. Commiseration doesn’t last long, and soon Anna’s in bed with the hottest woman she’s ever touched, living out fantasies she didn’t even know she had.
Despite the amazing sex, Anna wants to proceed with caution. They’re both newly single. They’re colleagues. And there’s the not-so-small matter of Anna’s biphobia.
Natalya won’t commit to someone who clings to ridiculous stereotypes, but they can’t avoid each other at work, and there’s no ignoring their chemistry. Anna’s defenses are slowly eroding, and Natalya is willing to give her another chance. But Natalya only has so much patience, and even scorching hot sex won’t keep her coming back forever. If Anna doesn’t come to her senses soon and let go of her prejudices — not to mention her insecurities — she’s going to lose the woman of her dreams.
I feel as though I need to explain my mindset as a reader as part of my review of Stuck Landing. I don’t read a lot of F/F books. Girl on girl action doesn’t really do it for me. I’m not opposed to reading lesbian romances because I have read a handful and enjoyed them immensely. But it’s only been recently that I’ve come to realize why I don’t sign up for many books in this genre. It’s not the sexual encounters themselves that are the issue because one of my favorite books has a hot as heck scene between two women that left me squirming even if I couldn’t actually envision myself ever engaging in such an act. No, my main issue is that I need a story, a romance, a relationship between the women in order to enjoy it. So my female/female reads have been limited to those I signed up for not realizing that’s what they were (yes, one was touted as a ménage, but really wasn’t) or by authors whose work I enjoy, so I know I will be getting a story and not just a collection of sex scenes – which I suppose is my actual fear when it comes to signing up to review female/female romances, the lack of an actual romance.
However, in the case of Stuck Landing, I was all over it simply because of who it was about. When I signed up for this book, I didn’t pay attention to who the author was – it didn’t matter. I wanted Anna’s story and I didn’t care which of the Bluewater Bay authors wrote. Truth be told, I didn’t even look at who the author was when I began reading it today because I have been waiting for Anna’s story for, oh, I don’t know seven or eight books now. I have to give Gallagher props here because Stuck Landing was so worth the wait. Not only because she created a fabulous love match in Natalya, but also because she managed to make me squirm more than once when these two ladies got all hot and bothered. That said, had I bothered to check the author’s name before beginning the book I would have been better prepared for the sexy fun times because Gallagher’s sex scenes always make me squirm – it doesn’t matter which penname she’s writing under at the time.
But the heart of the story comes from the romance between Anna and Natalya and Anna having to face her fears about falling in love. The fact that Natalya was bisexual gave Anna an issue to obsess over and blame. It also gave the author a platform from which to discuss misconceptions, judgments, and biphobia issues in such a way that I found myself thinking about the topic without feeling as though it was being shoved down my throat. I enjoy it when a novel teaches me something new or gives me new perspective on an issue and Stuck Landing certainly did this. And as a bonus for Bluewater Bay fans, we got to attend Levi and Carter’s wedding!!! Yes, it finally happened and what better book for it to have occurred in than Anna’s story – and turnabout is certainly fair play because Levi got to help Anna pull her head out of her arse just as she did for him when Carter entered his life. Stuck Landing was an excellent addition to the series, the book I’ve been waiting for far too long, and the perfect new beginning for Anna.