Touchwood - Karin Kallmaker I've come to the same conclusion as Bib, this is "An enjoyable May-December lesbian romance."

Rayann, a 30-something wood sculptor, is viciously betrayed by her girlfriend. She runs away and finds refuge in the upper apartment of a woman who runs a small bookstore. The woman is old enough to be her mother, but Rayann feels strangely attracted to her. Is she just on the rebound? Is she just starved for intimacy? Or is it something more? Trouble is, how does Rayann find out? Not only is the age gap huge, the woman may not even be a lesbian.

Most of the book is seen from Rayann's point of view, so our perception of her landlady Louisa is seen only through her eyes. She is deeply infatuated with Louisa. But I don't really see why. We don't get enough of Louisa to make us fall in love with her like Rayann did. Body parts, yes :), but not the whole picture. We don't really get much of Louisa's side, so when things happen, I was like, huh? Up until this point, it really seemed like Rayann's feelings were unrequited. I listened to this scene and had to re-read just to be sure I hadn't misheard. I mean, for things to happen the way they did, there had to be some inkling of things. I suppose that was the author's intent. But it did come across as one-sided. Since the book showed Rayann's pov, she must either have been totally clueless or Louisa never showed it. So that scene totally blindsided me. Although I must say it is pretty hot, so no complains there. :) However, I think I would have liked it way better if Rayann had actually seduced Louisa, instead of Louisa jumping Rayann. It made Louisa seem like a predator. Also the situation with Danny, where Rayann believed Louisa and Danny to be a couple, seemed rather contrived or Rayann must be truly blind. If Danny and Louisa weren't lovers, what reason did she have for hiding from Teddy? Danny's personality in the book doesn't strike me as someone who is willing to sneak around like that. Rayann's relationship with her mom was done well but when she did find out about Louisa, I can't believe she wasn't more strident in her objections or at least, take longer to accept it. I mean it took her years to accept Rayann's sexuality, but to find out that her daughter is with a woman her age and it took just a few moments and a little convincing from her bf?

This book is very well written, but because of all the stuff I listed above I didn't really get into the characters and their relationship. It is quite highly rated though, so maybe it's just me. There is an interesting discussion of butch/femme dynamics and roles in the 70s lesbian community and how people tried or struggled to fit into it, sometimes against their nature. The intimate scenes are very well done and I loved the bookstore that served as the setting of the book. It was almost like a character. :)

4 stars