I could read Fiona Zedde’s books just for the chemistry between her characters. It’s hot and irresistible, heavy and exciting.
Femme Like Her is told in first person from Nailah’s point of view. Nailah doesn’t do femmes. She got hurt once and now she has rules. Scottie doesn’t care and wants Nailah anyway. Pretty fast, Nailah succumbs to the fires Scottie ignites in all her parts. Then Scottie disappears on her. On the work front, Nailah is waiting to be made redundant after the company she works for was bought by a competitor and her parents worry that she’s not proactive enough in looking for a new job. They have the same attitude towards her love life, which leads to this sentence I liked a lot: “My adult existence is not validated by the orgasms I share with another person”.
This novel shoots off at top speed then slows down into uncertainty. Nailah runs from a bad experience. Scottie has her own past to deal with. They both have trust issues but in different ways. The awesome chemistry makes the romance plausible, but I would have liked more dialogue between the two women. The getting-to-know-each-other is more tell than show and even though I enjoyed reading Nailah and Scottie’s story, I was left feeling confused. And while the conflict made sense, the resolution was rushed.
One thing I loved however (on top of the chemistry) is that Nailah is a very lovable character but she’s also flawed, and Zedde doesn’t let her get away with it. She doesn’t write her flawed in an endearing way, she writes her in a you-can-do-better way. Nailah gets called out on it, by her best friend Pauline, by Scottie and, most brilliantly, by her mother, who is also perfectly supportive and encouraging. Nailah’s relationship with her family is probably the part I enjoyed the most. Also, I don’t often comment on covers, but this one is remarkable.