REVIEW: More Than This – Alexa Milne

More Than This - Alexa Milne

Genre: Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: Lesbian

Reviewer: H.L.

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About The Book

Sometimes life gives you more than this.

Two years after whistle-blowing on irregularities in the company she worked for in the US, businesswoman Veronica Smith runs into Cassandra Forster, the woman with whom she had an intense affair back in New York.

Cass pushed all Ronnie’s buttons as well as her boundaries, and the relationship was becoming something more before Ronnie left without an explanation. When they pick up where they left off, Ronnie finds she still wants more…but does Cass feel the same?

Cass wants an explanation. Being with Ronnie had begun to mean more than great sex, but then Ronnie left her high and dry. Cass’ feelings haven’t changed, but can she trust Ronnie enough not to hurt her again? Can she trust herself to let someone into her life?

Over a weekend and a wedding, the two women finally talk and discover they have more in common than the ability to meet each other’s desires. But can they take this second chance life has given them to have more than this?

The Review

More Than This by Alexa Milne is a long-form short story / novella about a physical affair between two women who both have troubled pasts, that becomes something more. The novella is a quick, easy read about two women finding each other through overcoming interpersonal challenges. The story contains some interesting themes and is refreshing in its simplicity and charm, though it is not without its flaws. 

The story begins immediately with a sexual encounter between Veronica Smith and Cassandra Forster. They were lovers two years prior, but Veronica abruptly left after whistle-blowing at the company they worked at. Upon seeing each other again at the same meeting, they reunite. Their intimate encounters throughout the book are always intense and well-written, though while the story establishes that their interactions in the past were only physical (and that is their main draw to each other), it does seem strange that they wouldn’t even have a conversation before immediately having sex. But both seem to be aware of this, and agree to talk things through at a romantic/sexual getaway.

During this getaway, we are treated to some intriguing revelations. Veronica wants a relationship with Cassandra, though worries that Cassandra only wants a sexual relationship. Cassandra is angry that Veronica left without a goodbye or an explanation, yet wastes no time in getting straight back into dominating Veronica during sex. The dynamic reveals interesting personality traits about the lovers – Veronica, who is controlled in all aspects of her professional life, enjoys losing control to Cassandra during sex. The dynamic unfortunately is not always consistent and not fully explained, which admittedly is difficult to accomplish in the modest word count of this story. As a result of the limited word count, little is revealed about Veronica and Cassandra as individuals. We do learn that Cassandra has a tragic backstory that is told via heavy exposition about 75% through, and Veronica endured complicated outcomes from the whistle-blowing, but these revelations feel disconnected from them as people and their relationship. We are told that they are drawn to each other and want a relationship, but never shown why they would work together as a couple outside of sex. 
Without more nuance or better-established characters, it might simply not be a compelling enough angle on its own for some readers. While I was ultimately feeling like there should have been, well, more than this, Milne’s short, sweet tale of these two women finding each other again after years is a simple attraction-to-love, sex-to-relationship story featuring two women. If you are looking for a steamy lesbian romance with no conflict other than the lovers’ complex emotions about each other and whether they trust or know each other enough to pursue a relationship, More Than This is a quick, easy read to make you smile on a rainy day.

The Reviewer

H. L. is a Australian writer of LGBT+ fiction. She holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (2015) and a Bachelor of Media in Communications and Journalism (2012), both from the University of New South Wales.

She is a lesbian of Jewish and of Middle Eastern (Egyptian) heritage and is an #OwnVoices writer. She has been writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pen. She is the author of M/M fantasy romance novels Heart Of Dust and Soul Of Ash, Books 1 & 2 of the Death’s Embrace series.

She has had two speculative short stories published: “The Collector” in the 2014 Future Times Award Collection A Tick Tock Heart, and “Entente” in the 2020 Twisted Stories Award Collection Just Alice. 

 

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