Committed – Suzanne Falter
A strong relationship tested in tough times.
This is part two of the ‘Oaktown Girls’ series, and in it we revisit the main characters from book one, Driven, and are introduced to two more women who share their lives. It could just about be read as a standalone, but you’d get more of a feel for the original five characters if you’ve read the first.
Tenika and Lizzy own Driven, the oldest woman-owned garage in Oakland. Tenika and Delilah have been together for years and are blissfully happy. The only fly in the ointment is Delilah’s dream to get married, and Tenika’s long-held assertion that marriage is not for her. When Delilah, who works as a tattoo artist, develops a strange, disabling tremor, it forces both of them to rethink all that’s important…
Lizzy’s girlfriend Kate used to work for their biggest—and vicious—rival, Mindy, but now unofficially works for Driven while she figures out what to do with her life after quitting that job with Mindy. She’s an undocumented immigrant and she’s on shaky ground now that she’s riled up Mindy. She’s temporarily living with Lizzy, even though they’ve only been dating a short while. Lizzy thinks it’s wonderful but something keeps making Kate want to run…
Sally is sleeping on Tenika and Delilah’s couch after a nasty breakup with girlfriend number twelve. Sally reads Tarot, administers Reiki—and is psychic. When Frankie, a tough SFPD cop who is silently suffering from PTSD after a bad case, appears at the garage, Kate is convinced she and Sally should be set up on a date. Before that can happen, however, Frankie meets the charming Tasha and arranges to meet her for dinner…
I haven’t come across many lesbian fiction books that have at their center a long-established relationship that’s fundamentally settled but has to deal with a sudden drama that rocks that foundation. And it was great to read! Tenika and Delilah’s story is touching and emotional, and it was wonderful to see them work through the difficult times that Delilah’s illness brought up. We didn’t see much of Delilah in book one, but here we get a lot of her point of view, and she’s a great character. She’s confident in herself and her relationship and knows what she wants but at the same time has insecurities just like anyone else. I enjoyed her story the most, of all the threads in this book.
The continuation of Kate and Lizzy’s story was a nice counterpoint—they’re still finding their way around their relationship and navigating it through the muddied waters of Kate’s immigration status. And Frankie and Sally are both incredibly sweet, in their own ways, and their story is a slow undercurrent to the main body of the book. If you’ve read book one and, like me, found Mindy loathsome, she hasn’t changed—and in fact has probably got worse! But it’s great writing to get a reader so wound up about a character.
A great follow-up and written equally as well. This is a series well worth checking out.
Buy it on Amazon.