Detective Olivia Winston is an exceptional cop— she’s extremely fit, thinks fast when under pressure, and has a great partner. Despite being work-centered, single, and without children, she’s very much a family woman. For Detective Winston, family is wider than those related by blood, and includes the friends and neighbors in Goslyn County she’s sworn an oath to protect.
Goslyn County begins with a robbery that is quickly revealed to be part of much larger tax heist. Readers get a glimpse into the inner workings of a police department eager to get the case, which is becoming subject to increasing public scrutiny, quickly under control. On the case, Detective Winston is introduced to Special Agent Maureen Jeffries, an attractive IRS agent assigned to the case. Both nursing broken hearts from previous relationships, their relationship builds slowly while the two continue investigating the case. Olivia and Maureen’s relationship was a high point of the book, and was realistically written to show how the women begin to fall in love. Olivia and Maureen’s relationship (Oleen? Can that be a thing?) even eclipsed the crime aspect of the book. I’d have been more into the crime had there been a more sinister antagonist, but the romance filled the gap.
This novel resonated with me on a couple levels, mainly the setting and characters. Author A.M. McKnight does a fantastic job of capturing the Goslyn County community in a way that other authors tend to overlook. Notable is how supportive the community is of Olivia’s relationship. It was a welcome narrative challenging those that say African-Americans are largely intolerant. Goslyn also a neighborhood in transition, much like my own, which allows a glimpse at the pros and cons of quick growth in a small town. Goslyn isn’t unrealistic or perfect, but it’s an authentic black neighborhood enriched by the characters that live within it. It’s an accurate representation of the areas my boyfriend and I drive through on our way to see his family in Richmond.
I thoroughly enjoyed Goslyn County, even though I wanted a deeper crime story line. I picked it up for the crime, but I kept reading for the characters, which I grew to love. If you’ve never read black lesbian fiction, this would be a great place to start. It’s a must-read for adults who love slow building romance, but still want a few explosions to liven up the story.
If you would like to learn more about Goslyn County and its author A.M. McKnight, visit her Facebook page here. You can also follow her on Twitter and WordPress, and pick up her book on Amazon (there’s a Kindle edition if you want to read immediately).
Disclaimer: I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review
Alright everyone– After Shamim Sarif and A.M. McKnight in the same week, I’m on a hunt for some prolific LGBT fiction writers. Any recommendations? Put it in the comments section!