Reviews for Poppy Jenkins

Poppy Jenkins 05_9Poppy’s been out a couple of months now and has received some lovely reviews. A bucolic Mid-Wales has worked it’s magic as has the charming leading heroine.

As well an uplifting summer read, I wrote the book to celebrate the very best of Mid-Wales as well as how far gay rights have come while acknowledging that coming out is never easy and the experience varies enormously from person to person. And even in the most idyllic of places bigotry of all kinds still lingers.

As well as proving an enjoyable read it’s thrilling to see some of themes woven into the story finding appreciative readers.

Here’s a selection of reviews:

The Romantic Reader:

“This book is a true gem. For the very first pages you are taken by the beauty of the Welsh village as much as the main character Poppy. You become invested in the characters, rooting for their triumphs, and sharing their sadness. Poppy Jenkins is not the book to pass on. This one will steal your heart. Good luck on getting that back!”

Shira Glassman:

“Poppy may as well be a 21st century Anne of Green Gables or other costume drama small-town girl, full of buoyancy and enthusiasm, as well as love for her village and its people. But by making her this, the author doesn’t rob her of her sexuality, and that’s what makes this so wonderful. A woman’s sexual–not just romantic but sexual–attraction to another woman is depicted as innocent and wholesome. Do you have any idea how fucking healing that is?”

The Lesbian Review:

“Ashton did an amazing job with the characters. Every one was beautifully explored. The quaint town of Wells was as much a character in the novel as the human cast and I could not help but fall in love with it…

This book is beautifully written, yet easy to read. It is filled with conflict but you like all the characters. It is set in a small town that is dying and you hope for its resurrection. It really is a special novel”

The Lesbian Reading Room:

“Add in a huge dose of humour, which infuses the whole with the author’s affection for a subject both well known and precious, and you will find it hard not to fall in love with Poppy, her family and the modest village life. This is, simply, British writing at its best; witty, clever, beguiling and brilliant.”

Jess van Netten at The Lesbrary:

“Poppy Jenkins is a refreshing lesbian romance with authentic characters and a wonderful sense of humour… I loved the lighthearted yet genuine plot and I devoured this book. It has been some time since I have read such a well written lesbian romance, that treats its characters as more then stereotypes or cliches.”

Les Reveur:

“I love the Welsh culture and their humour which Clare Ashton got on point and found myself chuckling away.

The sex scenes were filled with lust and passion that I found very sexy but also with such raw emotion that made my heart swell.”


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Poppy Jenkins is out now!

Poppy Jenkins 05_9I am thrilled to bits that my new romance, Poppy Jenkins, is finally out!

I’m very fond of this one. It’s set in beautiful Mid-Wales, where I grew up, during the kind of long hot summer you remember from a kid. The settings and characters are inspired by the people and places I adored from ruined castles and gorgeous countryside to formidable Welsh matriarchs.

The blurb’s below and here are the links to Kindle versions on Amazon UK and US (paperback to follow) and the Smashwords link for other formats:

UK –

US –

Smashwords –

Two old friends, one hot summer, a whole load of confusion.

Poppy Jenkins makes everyone smile. She’s the heart of Wells, a beautiful village in mid-Wales, leaving light and laughter in her wake. She has a doting family, an errant dog and a little sister with a nose for mischief. But she’s the only gay in the village and it’s a long time since she kissed a girl: the chance of romance in sleepy Wells is rarer than a barking sheep.

If she doesn’t think too hard, life is cosy, until a smart sports car barrels into town with the last woman Poppy wants to see behind the wheel. Beautiful Rosalyn Thorn was once Poppy’s high school BFF even though she was trouble. Then one day she abandoned Wells and Poppy without explanation. Now the highflier is back and bound to cause fresh havoc in the village and with Poppy’s heart; folk are not happy.

Wells needs to wake up to the 21st century and Rosalyn can help, but old prejudices die hard. If they can be friends it could be the chance to make everyone’s happy ever after. Couldn’t it?

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Cover reveal for Poppy Jenkins

Poppy Jenkins 04_5Not long to go now and it’s starting to get very exciting for me. I’ve been working on Poppy Jenkins for months and have loved its beautiful setting and joyous heroine. I’m thrilled to bits that Jayne Fereday has come up with a cover that captures the book so well. Here’s that cover. The novel is due out end of June.

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Poppy Jenkins – chapter one of a forthcoming romance

DSC_3634It’s been a long time, but I’m finally into the last stages of writing a new romance.

I’ve been back to some favourite childhood haunts for this one, and it’s set during a beautiful Mid-Wales summer. I’ve adored remembering the Welsh hills, paddling in the river Rhiw, exploring Montgomery’s ruined castle and square – all places that have inspired the setting.

I’ve also been chuckling away while drawing on some characterful people from my childhood to populate the novel.

Here’s a taster with chapter one. Poppy Jenkins is out this summer.
Continue reading

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Review: Cari Hunter’s No Good Reason. A great writer just got better.

caribookcoverI’ve been a fan of Cari Hunter’s writing ever since reading Snowbound. In this excellent thriller-romance debut, her vivid and economic style was already evident – very effective and affecting – as was her ability to bring alive brutal scenes in a way so realistic as to make many other books seem cartoonish. The injuries and scenes of violence are so intimately realised that if you didn’t know she was a paramedic by career you’d have serious misgivings about the author’s mental well-being and pastimes. But with Tumbledown, and even more so with No Good Reason, Cari is now delivering complex plots and sets of characters that go well beyond a simple adventure or thriller romance.

No Good Reason is classified as a crime novel but the reader is still in for an emotional rollercoaster as gripping as any romance. Free from the restrictions of the romance genre formula, the heroines in No Good Reason are two life-long friends who occasionally sleep together – a relationship that feels real and is refreshing to see in a lesfic novel and one which I think many readers may root for even more strongly. Meg (a medic) and Sanne (a policewoman) both become involved in a case of a young woman found horrifically injured on the Peak District moors from a fall and showing signs of torture. Investigations stay close to home, in the hills and the deprived city areas of the heroines’ backgrounds. The story unfolds skillfully, giving a feeling of following a genuine investigation rather than being mislead by literary red-herrings.

No Good Reason is a rich book with much to enjoy and admire. It has captivating settings from lonely moors to gritty northern city estates. The characters who span classes, careers and geography, from working class girls come good to slippery drug dealers, all ring true. Cari is a skilled writer and her unflowery and vivid style is particularly suited to crime. Her assured writing allows her to build layer on layer of story, setting and characterisation with captivating and beautiful detail and then casually twist the story to send chills down your spine, or ramp up the action to make your heart race.

Fans of lesfic and British crime really shouldn’t miss this one. A difficult one to beat Cari Hunter, but I hope you do.


No Good Reason is ready for download from the Bold Strokes site and available for preorder on,

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That Certain Something short-listed for a Lammy

LammySealI am over the moon because That Certain Something has been short-listed for a Lambda Literary Award!

The awards are among the most prestigious for LGBT literature and That Certain Something is listed in very good company in the Lesbian Romance category. You can find the full listing here.

Winners are announced in June. In the meantime, I’m going to stay a little bit giddy from being shortlisted.

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Reading from the Polari Tour

polarireadingI’ve been wanting to do a reading from The Dildo in the Kitchen Drawer ever since writing it, and the Polari night in Birmingham seemed a great place to take it out for a spin.

It was a great night, packed theatre and lovely audience, and the readings from VG Lee, Kiki Archer, Frances Gapper and Gerry Potter were all top notch. I can’t recommend catching a Polari night enough!

Here’s my reading:

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