Review: Roller Girl by Vanessa North (Lake Lovelace #3)


Note: This ARC was provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Roller Girl is the third and latest addition to the Lake Lovelace series penned by author Vanessa North and I've been looking forward to reading this because the main character, Tina Durham, has been a notable supporting character from the beginning of the series, capturing my attention when she mentioned her transition. With her former name mentioned only twice in the series starter, Timothy was a former pro wakeboarder and champion and still married to a high school sweetheart named Lisa. Having kept her sexuality a secret up until months after her retirement, Tina's marriage didn't survive her transition. Here, we get an idea what Tina went through pre- and post-transition and how, at thirty-eight, she's dealing with her new life in the body she's always wanted, as a physical trainer, and as a single lesbian. She's got her best friends, Ben Warren and Eddie Russell, her boss and clients, and her beloved dog, Elvis. It takes one washing machine-busting sock and roller derby for her to find and fall in love again.

Life after divorce has Tina Durham making necessary adjustments and learning to solve problems and issues that her ex-wife used to handle. When her washing machine floods her home, she isn't exactly sure what to do, but with some support from one of her closest friends and with a bit of scrounging around, she finds several emergency numbers, one belonging to the plumber. The "Joe" she was told to expect comes in a package she never saw coming. Joe is Joanna Delario, a plumber who wields her tools well. When Joe asks her out, Tina is thrilled, but the "date" isn't just because Joe is interested in Tina romantically. Tina seems to be a perfect candidate for the Lake Lovelace Rollergirls, a roller derby team Joe put together a while ago. With Joe being the team's coach and Tina still not ready for a committed relationship after her divorce, the two women agree to keep things friendly. When the attraction becomes too much for them to deny, they act on it, but will Tina be satisfied with being Joe's secret, considering she seems to want more?

I enjoyed reading Tina's story because it wasn't about the physical transition that she had to undergo to go from Timothy to Tina. This was about how her life transitioned from being born a man to becoming a women, from a husband to a wife to a divorcee, from having a life partner by her side to being alone, from being a professional wakeboarder to becoming a physical trainer. Finally having the outside match the inside may seem as if it cost Tina a great deal in exchange, but she also had to be honest with herself and if she could have spared others any pain, she would have, but she could also no longer live a lie. Meeting Joe and feeling that strong connection and then later taking Joe up on her offer to try out for the roller derby team allowed Tina to spread her wings and still tap in that competitive side of her as well as acknowledge that there is life after divorce. The roller derby aspect of the story was more than sufficiently detailed and I think it was great to shift the focus a bit away from the water. I'm giving Roller Girl five out of five stars. ♥

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Read my reviews for the Lake Lovelace series:


Double Up (book one) - four stars - My Review

Rough Road (book two) - four stars - My Review

Roller Girl (book three) - stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 25 July 2016

Date Read: 25 July 2016

Learn more about Vanessa North.

Purchase Roller Girl on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.

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