If you have read more than one of my reviews, it must be pretty clear for you by now that I love age-gap lesbian romances, just as much as I love lesbian mystery and suspense novels.
This was the main reason that I wanted to read this novel.
“Times like these” by Ana McKenzie is an age gap lesbian romance involving Merren and Bianca, two quite opposite characters that are attracted by their passion for art, which eventually brings them together.
Bianca Graves is a famous local Dunedin painter in her forties who loves art and loves to paint, but she recently found out that she suffered from vision impairment. She has painted so much in the past and now she can’t properly see and she knows she has to adapt to this fact and learned to paint through shadows or through somebody else’s eyes. She is frustrated, angry and she doesn’t know whom to trust.
Merren Hardy is impersonated at first as a young woman in search of new experiences, new flings, that would spice up her life. She seems a little bit shallow. But, as we get to know her better through Bianca’s eyes, we notice she is a carrying, loving, tender and sweet human being and the woman Bianca will be able to bet her life on.
Merren is actually a very successful entrepreneur working with the Dunedin Mayor’s Office and secondary with the parliament delivering a White Paper regarding blockchain security for voting and create all-free, all-autonomous electric public transport by 2030 for Dunedin.
Bianca and Merren meet when Merren is hired as her painting model, we expect this to be a fling and nothing more. Merren will surprise Bianca by understanding her more than anyone around her. Merren is not just a model or an assistant, she soon becomes her friend and her lover.
Bianca is brilliant and successful, yet difficult with all she is going through and she doesn’t really trust Merren, mainly because of her youth and the sort time they have been knowing each other. Bianca has to struggle with her own demons, with disease and with her loneliness, as she estranged herself from all her friends, scared they would stop loving or appreciate her because she may fail as a painter without being able to see.
Bianca and Merren are very different, because they come from different worlds, one is a painter and the other a suppose student, in fact a successful entrepreneur and because of the people they are surrounded by.
In contrast with the people Bianca is surrounded by, people like her awful agent Macy, Merren has a loving family and great friends that she values and love and vice-versa and which Bianca get to know and love.
I loved the prelude of their love, how surprisingly patient, caring, lovable and passionate Merren was and how Bianca struggled with her lack of sight and with herself. Their lovemaking was truly absorbing and amazingly passionate.
It is obvious Merren does everything in her powers for Bianca, because she loves her and she feels sorry for what she must be going through.It is hard, because it’s not easy to understand how you can make a woman who doesn’t she you properly, love you.
The answer is simple, this should come from Bianca and not from Merren, but I believe this is the main reason Merren treats Bianca with such care.
Bianca struggles much to not get herself involved with Merren and get her heart broken as eventually Merren will leave, perhaps for someone younger and someone who can see. That is so wrong.
But I found a little too accentuated how Bianca treated Merren after she found out who she was. Of course, it’s Macy’s influence, but Bianca is a grown up woman and a woman of her experience wouldn’t treat the woman they love so poorly.
I loved little Rita, Bianca’s young neighbor, she was smart, big mouth and lovable and Merren’s only ally.
Ana McKenzie is Lily Hammond’s pseudonym for lesbian romance novels.