Karelia Stetz-Waters | Second Night Stand

The Book: 

Second Night Stand by Karelia and Fay Stetz-Waters
Published: May 21, 2024 by Forever
Date read: May 21, 2024

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Characters: 

Izzy and Lillian

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

A burlesque performer and a professional ballerina fall in love while competing on a reality TV talent show.

Izzy Wells—aka burlesque superstar Blue Lenox—doesn’t have time for anything more than a hookup. She has a theater to renovate, and turning it into a safe space for queer performers costs money. Money she doesn’t have. With the mortgage overdue, the only way she’ll save the theater is to win the prize money from the Great American Talent show. And if that means forgetting about the beautiful Black ballerina she spent one night with in order to focus on the competition, so be it.

Lillian Jackson has sacrificed everything for ballet, including a personal life. She has one goal win the ridiculous Great American Talent show or have the all-Black ballet company she heads shut down forever. It should be easy to focus, except Blue, the first woman to leave Lillian wanting more, is on the show too. 

The chemistry between them is hot, and they agree that after the show, they’ll enjoy one more night together. A second-night stand. But that promise only lasts three challenges. Even more distracting than sleeping together again, are the feelings they’re starting to develop. There’s no way Lillian can fit Izzy into her life, and Izzy knows better than to fall for another star. But if they can make it through the show with their hearts and dreams intact, will winning take on a whole new meaning?

My Review:

Thank you to Hachette Audio for a gifted ALC! I’ve loved Karelia’s previous books, so I was excited to read something co-authored by her and her wife.

I loved both of these MCs so much. Lillian is a perfectionist who can’t risk getting distracted from her career, and Izzy puts up walls to hide behind her stage persona and forget her childhood. Both characters are so realistically flawed. It’s easy to relate to them even as a reader with very little in common with either character, and you can’t help but root for them from the start!

The side characters here are also fantastic. There were many members of Izzy and Lillian’s found families that I’d love to read books about in the future.

The reality TV show was a fun backdrop to this story. At first Izzy and Lillian try to resist each other, but I LOVED how they eventually teamed up to take a stand!

The audio production was a joy to listen to. Wesleigh Siobhan brought this story to life! I will say it was a little difficult to keep Lillian and Izzy straight at the beginning just while listening, so I reread the beginning of the ebook to figure out who had which backstory. Once I had the characters straight though it was easy to follow the rest of the story.

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For more books about a multi-racial couple, check out this list.

For more WLW romances, check out this list.

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