The Awkward Truth By Lee Winter

review The Awkward Truth

This funny opposites-attract lesbian romance digs up the awkward truth about what really matters in life.

And that is the essence of The Awkward Truth in a nutshell. A classic Lee Winter and second book in the Truth series. Her ice queens rule!

I had a lot of fun with this one. Felicity Simmons stars in her own love story (and we even get a dose of Elena Bartell on the side). Bonus!

Winter is in a league of her own, so I don’t want to write an exhaustingly long review about how her stories tick all my boxes. And besides, y’all going to read it anyway. And if you weren’t planning on it… what’s wrong with you?!


Themes: when you reach the top of the mountain and there is nobody to share your success with.

5 Stars
English Came for Elena Bartell, stayed for Felicity Simmons.

Felicity Simmons is the personification of ambition. She is highly driven, and she has no time to play nice. Reaching the corporate summit has been her goal and she will stop at nothing to achieve that, even if it costs a healthy social life. Her boss and mentor, media mogul Elena Bartell, assigns her to look into a charity that caters to homeless people and their pets. That is where she meets the humble and kind veterinarian, Dr. Sandy Cooper. Felicity and Cooper can’t be any more different, but sparks fly and Felicity can’t help but be drawn to the simple and good-natured doctor.

This is an opposites-attract book that is equal parts funny, entertaining, and compelling. Lee is wordsmith, truly a master at her craft. Her writing is absolutely top-notch. There are no boring parts and I kept on turning the pages until I reached the end.

Fans will be delighted as there are numerous gems you can catch, such as the mention of Eight Little Pieces and Elena’s “We’re done.” We also get little peeks into Elena and Maddie’s moments together, but don’t let that take your attention away from the story. It’s a solid story in its own right, with so many pets!

It was so fun to read about Felicity – you can’t help but admire her wit and laugh at her snarky quips. I loved getting to know more about her, seeing her depth and her growth throughout the book. We get to learn more about her family as well as the experiences that shaped her.

Although the investigation only spanned a week, Felicity and Cooper spent a lot of time together. The attraction didn’t come out of nowhere and Lee made sure to take her time in developing something there.

The mystery is also intriguing, but not over-the-top. I felt that there were no loose ends and I was left extremely happy and satisfied.

Note that there are not one, not two, but three beautiful love stories in this book, so it will definitely make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I have been missing Lee Winter’s books recently, so this came at the perfect time. This book is such a treat for fans of The Brutal Truth, but even those who haven’t read it will still appreciate this book! :)

An arc was given in exchange for an honest review. :) English 5 stars, need I say more? Ok a little bit then.
I decided to listen to the audiobook, which is something I usually do when driving or walking and because of that I end up listening to a book spread over multiple days. This one though, I couldn’t stop, I had to finish it all at once (luckily it was the weekend). Narration by Angela Dawe was just perfect, all these different accents is no easy task and she does a wonderful job.

Another excellent ice queen and of course also some appearances of the mother of ice queens, Elena Bartel. I’m not going to say more, but I enjoyed Felicity’s journey here. Besides ice queens, there are pets, so many adorable pets, you can’t help loving them (right Felicity?).

The humor is on point, I’m having a good week with humor in books, this was another one that really matched my kind of humor. The description of Cooper when Felicity first meets her is the best! And I always like a side story, which in this case is a small mystery that gives this little extra to the story. Long story short, just read it. English Do I really need to introduce this book? It’s Felicity Simmons’ story. Felicity, as in Elena Bartell’s chief of staff. If you’ve read The Brutal Truth, you know who I’m talking about. If you haven’t, read it. It’s not paramount to read these two books in order. Since this one takes place during the last half of the other one, the order doesn’t matter as far as the timeline is concerned. Reading The Brutal Truth first, however, will allow you to get the entire measure of who Elena Bartell is and why her approval is so important to Felicity.

The Awkward Truth begins with Elena asking Felicity, who’s about to become acting COO of the Bartell media empire, to investigate a charity tending to homeless people’s pets, that seems on the verge of closing down despite a substantial donation Elena made anonymously. In the process, Felicity meets gorgeous vet Sandy Cooper, who will change her outlook on life and priorities.

Humour is the most personal thing. We obviously don’t all laugh at the same things. The first third or so of this book has a slapstick comedy feel that didn’t really work for me. Now that’s a feeling I’m used to, missing the funny in a scene while everyone around is rolling on the floor. I grew up in a Marx Brothers-loving household. You can’t see me right now but my eyes rolled so far back in my head they might fall off (if my head was empty, which it’s not). Intellectually, I see the talent, I can tell it’s funny, but it does nothing for me. And that’s how I felt for the first third of The Awkward Truth.

Then it shifted to a different kind of comedy that’s a lot more my thing. More than once I was reminded of Katharine Hepburn, whose movies I adored growing up, before realizing how sexist they were. The last two thirds of The Awkward Truth have most of what I love in these films minus the misogyny, and that makes up for the doubts I had at the beginning. Also, a bisexual version of all these Hepburn characters? Teenage dreams do come true.

Lee Winter loves writing ice queens, and what makes me want to read her books is the range of shades she gives them. Felicity is different from Elena Bartell, Catherine Ayers, or Amelia Duxton (I still don’t see Elizabeth Thornton as an ice queen). She’s full of contradictions and Cooper can see right through them. Cooper on the other hand is consistent, in her kindness as well as her desires. I didn’t completely buy the conflict when it arrived, it seemed to me that Cooper was giving up a little too fast, which didn’t sound like her. I also didn’t completely believe what made Felicity cut herself off from feelings so thoroughly, but we all react differently to events, and who am I to judge?

Another issue for me was that most of the story happens over a week. I get that the investigation couldn’t last for much longer than that, but it’s an awfully short time to set a romance in. Even though I’m all for instalust and instalove, it felt rushed.

There are a lot of things I liked, however. Besides the MCs, I liked the mystery arc, which allowed Felicity to show off her smarts, dedication, and humanity, I liked the array of secondary characters, I liked seeing Elena Bartell from Felicity’s point of view, and, of course, I liked all the animals. I’m not sure I’d be able to leave empty-handed if I spent even ten minutes with a bunch of kittens crawling all over me.

I’ve read a few books recently that started as 3⭐️ and that I enjoyed more and more as I kept reading. The Awkward Truth is one of them. English Wow, wow, wow. Another excellent novel by the queen of ice-queens. Not strictly necessary, but I would recommend reading The Brutal Truth first for full enjoyment of this book. English

“The Awkward Truth” by Lee Winter is an extremely opposites-attract romance that has some humor and a small mystery thrown in.

Felicity Simmons is about to take over as chief operating officer of Bartell Corporation from Elena Bartell. Elena just has one more job for her, she has to find out why a charity Elena made a sizeable donation to is about to go under. While investigating, she meets Dr. Sandy Cooper, the head vet at the charity and while the two couldn’t be more different, the sparks start flying.

This was one of my most anticipated reads for this year and I’m probably going to be an outlier here, but I was not crazy about this, overall. So, while there were certain aspects I definitely loved about this, I can’t say I was a fan of Felicity. As you can imagine, not caring for the main character made it difficult to really appreciate everything about the book.

Felicity is so focused on her ambition and impressing Elena Bartell (I don’t blame her for this one) that she’s basically blind to everything else. She makes no room for friends, family, pets or anything else that may take her focus elsewhere. She’s just so completely emotionally inept and although it led to several funny scenes with her either being called out or coming to some self-realization, I just couldn’t warm to her personality.

On to the things I loved, firstly all the pets! I love animals in general so I was besotted with Brittany and Loki and all the other pets mentioned. Talking about the pets leads to Cooper, who I thought was really great. She’s kind and funny and I love that she’s able to see more to Felicity than most people do. I did think her part in the black moment was a little out of character but it didn’t bug me too much. I do wish we had gotten her perspective as well but I can see why this was solely focused on Felicity. I also loved how Winter carried over some things from The Brutal Truth like “we’re done” and Maddie’s long winning streak, hah!

Although I wasn’t absolutely crazy about this, it’s still a good read and I still do recommend it, especially if you’re a fan of the Brutal Truth. I also think animal fans will get a lot of enjoyment out of this too.

I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Ps. please no hate :) English Felicity!

Okay first up, that dog on the cover totally deserves a mention. So goofy, love it!

For fans of The Brutal Truth, this book is a definite must-read because the books are connected. This story takes place before the epilogue of The Brutal Truth and Felicity takes centre-stage. Felicity has always caught my attention with her brusque behaviour towards Maddie, but to be honest, this Chief-of-Staff turned Deputy COO of Bartell Corporation never quite caught my interest until now. I think it's because we never got to know her and the only part that I'd been curious about was whether her feelings for Elena were romantic or purely hero-worship. So I'm glad those feelings get discussed in this book.

Felicity has so many layers that it's fascinating once we get to know her. She is an ice queen and although she models herself after Elena in some ways, she's not Elena v2. Lee Winter is the best writer of lesfic ice queens and the most amazing part is that no two ice queens are the same. While Elena is a natural conqueror, underneath Felicity's ambitious nature also masks her insecurities and vulnerabilities. I love the storyline that has Felicity interacting with people in charities. I love that Winter pairs her up with Cooper who's inherently different from what Felicity is used to and believes in and that Cooper cares enough to want to know the real her. Cooper has the one quality that Felicity has buried deep - kindness - and I love that she brings that out in Felicity. At the same time, I love that Cooper can also hold her own against that tough cookie.

I've waited for this book for months and was incredibly excited when this ARC came by. Winter didn't disappoint. The storyline is good, the characters made it even better and the couple's chemistry is outstanding. We also get to see Elena and Maddie again as side characters, so that's a real treat. But really, is anyone surprised at what Winter can do to make us want more?

I received an ARC from Ylva Publishing in exchange for an honest review. English **'Storytelling is part magic, part craft. There's nothing a writer can do about magic; they either have it or not.But then learning the craft is always possible..'

Good follow-up or can be considered as an extension to 'THE BRUTAL TRUTH' -- a story within another story.
Recommended! English 4.75 Stars. Loved it! I felt really lucky this week as I got to read new books by my two favorite sapphic fiction authors. To have a new release by both Lee Winter and EJ Noyes is like mind blown. While I have so much love for many authors in this genre, Winter and Noyes seem to be on their own little island while everyone else is in a row boat, circling around looking for a good place to land. When it comes to the past five years, no one has just dominated sapphic fiction like these two women have and I feel lucky to get to enjoy their fantastic stories. This book was a great addition to The Brutal Truth universe and I really enjoyed it.

This is actually a paraquel (I know sidequel is the more popular term, but every time I hear it I think of something small, something ‘on the side’, and for me Felicity’s character is anything but small so the book geek in me has to go with the newer term paraquel instead) of Winters book The Brutal Truth. It’s always hard for me when someone asks ‘what is your favorite Lee Winter book?’ since I love so many of them. It always seems to come down to Requiem, and The Brutal Truth, but in the end The Brutal Truth always wins because of Elena Bartell, the best ice queen ever! And while I read that book for Bartell, I was always interested in the character of Felicity. Another ice queen that seems poised for her own story. I realized that even more after reading Winter’s short collection Sliced Ice, that has a short staring Felicity called Five Times Felicity Met Elena, that could technically be a prequel to this new book. After that I was really interested in Felicity so this book was one of my most anticipated of 2021, and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

I know I’m rambling a bit in this review but I don’t want to give too much of the storyline away since it was such a good read. If you are a Brutal Truth fan, this book really is a must. Not only did this have a really sweet romance, with a bit of steam, but the book also had a little mystery too. I love when Winter mixes it up like this because it guarantees that you will keep turning the pages. Even some of the best romances can sometimes slow down a bit in places, but not here. This was the perfect blend of romance, with a little corporate intrigue, that made it so that I wasn’t going to stop reading until the book was done, sleep be dammed.

There was only want small part I wasn’t crazy about, I thought one angsty moment was a little forced. I just don’t think it was bad as it was made out to be, but in the grand scheme of things that is one very small complaint. In the end, it actually leads to the chapters on wooing which I absolutely loved. It was funny and sweet and just the kind of really good romantic ending that I want from a romance book.

TLDR: If you are a Lee Winter fan, or just a The Brutal Truth fan, then this book really is a must. Winter has another hit on her hands and I think people will really enjoy this one. I loved the mix of romance and a little corporate intrigue, since it kept me up reading past 3am. This is also a good book for animal lovers and it really was a joy to read. I’m so glad we finally got to read Felicity’s full story and I hope this won’t be the end of The Brutal Truth universe.

An ARC was given to me for a review.
English This is a “sidequel” to The Brutal Truth, a funny term to convey that a secondary character from a previous book is featured as a lead. Readers got to know Felicity Simmons as the chief of staff of media mogul Elena Bartell in The Brutal Truth. Felicity is also featured in Lee Winter’s short stories collection Sliced Ice. The story, called Five Times Felicity Met Elena, acts as a prequel to this book and I recommend reading it before this one as it gives context to this story, or even better, listening to the fantastic audiobook version narrated by Angela Dawe.

When Felicity’s boss, Elena Bartell, asks her to investigate how a homeless people’s pets charity used her generous donation, she wants to impress her boss who is about to promote her. But Felicity wasn’t expecting how the charity’s work would change her perspective on homeless people or how attractive Sandy Cooper, the head veterinarian, was…

It’s well known in the world of women-loving-women fiction that Lee Winter writes ice queens like no other. Ms. Winter shows their aloofness brutally (no pun intended) and, at the same time, provides hints of the almost imperceptible cracks on the ice of her characters. Seeing them melt, not for anyone, just for the person they cannot help to fall in love with, is an absolute delight and something I always look forward to reading in her novels.

I have to admit that I couldn’t warm to Felicity completely. I think I needed the perspective of a woman adoring her, a bit like Maddie’s infatuation with Elena in The Brutal Truth which makes the reader also love her from a distance. As this novel is told from Felicity’s perspective, being in her headspace almost constantly didn’t help me to admire her, not even to like her much. I might be in a minority here but the character defensive walls, her prejudices and her isolation from family and friends made her too icy for me and the melting process wasn’t hot enough. I clarify that this is a matter of personal taste and has nothing to do with Ms. Winter’s ability to write a good story.

Having said that, I really enjoyed the mini mystery aspects of the book and the descriptions of the lives of homeless people and their pets. I like when a book gives me food for thought and this was definitely one of them. It even managed to challenge some of my misconceptions along with giving me an interesting insight into a world that I know very little about. It’s really commendable to deal with homelessness in such a critical manner in the context of a romance. It goes to show Ms. Winter’s amazing talent as a writer.

Overall, this was a very good read despite that I couldn’t connect with one of the mains. 4 stars. English

This funny opposites-attract lesbian romance digs up the awkward truth about what really matters in life.

Ambitious ice queen and corporate lawyer Felicity Simmons has spent her life focused on one thing: scuttling up the career ladder. She’s achingly close to taking charge of a media empire for her boss when she’s sent to investigate a South Bronx charity that helps homeless people’s pets.

Has the charity made off with her boss’s generous donation? And who on earth is that gorgeous soft-butch veterinarian who looks as if she could toss a Shetland pony over one shoulder? Not that Felicity has any interest in some opinionated Amazon or her adorable fleabag of a dog.

Felicity is quite sure she will not be distracted, thank you very much. She has a minor mystery to solve, a mentor to impress, and her life’s dream to fulfil. Even if a distraction might be exactly what she needs. The Awkward Truth