Queen of Hearts (From Sappho, with Love #1) – Elna Holst

I so enjoy Elna Holst’s books! This one – the first in a series of standalones – is a quick and sexy read, a holiday fling, a tiny precious moment.

It’s 1972 and twenty-one-year-old Netty Thornton has agreed, not entirely happily, to join her younger sister Fin on a holiday to Gran Canaria, as some sort of chaperone. All Fin wants to do is flirt and party whereas Netty enjoys quieter activities. The sisters come to an agreement and Netty immediately takes advantage of her free time, entering a bridge competition. She needs a partner and it just so happens that the older woman whom she got a very exciting glimpse of from the balcony the day before also needs one…

As usual, Holst’s writing is exhilaratingly good. She casts an ironic but tender eye on her characters, stoking the fire gently yet inexorably. Netty is a naive but very smart student, whose effortless charms prove irresistible to Francisca. Holst gleefully describes the young woman’s exploration of her feelings and the sultry nightclub singer’s self-confidence mixed with amusement and kindness.

I always want more of Elna Holst’s words but I have to admit she shines in short form. These 80 or so pages pack a punch, delivering layered characters, beautiful chemistry, and more than a little humour. 4.5⭐️


Queen of Hearts @ Smashwords / Kobo / Scribd (get two months for free) / IndieBound / amazon

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