The Awkward Truth by Lee WinterThe Awkward Truth by Lee Winter is a side-quel to The Brutal Truth, with Felicity finding love and plenty of Elena Bartell cameos. Don’t know what that means? That’s okay! You can read this as a standalone, although you should read The Brutal Truth first for maximum enjoyment (also, because it’s an amazing ice queen romance).

Felicity Simmons is so close to running Bartell Corp that she can taste it. She just has to do one last thing before Elena will hand over the reins: figure out where Elena’s $1.4 million donation to a charity for homeless people’s pets went last year, since a new article is claiming that the organization is on the brink of folding.

Felicity can’t delegate this task. Elena wants her to investigate the matter herself, with a fine-tooth comb. And investigate it, she shall, while trying to ignore her pesky attraction to the hunky, soft butch veterinarian Cooper, the animals that pull at her heart strings, and the undeniable fact that anyone can become homeless almost out of nowhere. Felicity has been all work and no play for so long that nothing can take her eye off the prize… right?

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Tara: PJ, I don’t know about you, but there were so many things that I liked about this book!

PJ: I absolutely agree, I really enjoyed this book!

Tara: I love that it takes place during the second half of The Brutal Truth. Like we said above, you don’t have to have read that one first. But, if you’re a diehard Elena Bartell fan, you’re going to love the glimpses of her and how her mind works. I was particularly blown away by the conversation she and Felicity have about the real reason why she sent Felicity into the charity. That conversation is everything and is the reason why I’m giving The Awkward Truth a favourites badge.

PJ: I actually don’t recommend that you read this book unless you read The Brutal Truth first. As we said, you can, but you’d miss out on all the nuance and the exciting glimpses into one of the best ice queens ever written. Tara, that conversation between Elena and Felicity was epic! It told us so much. I agree, definite favorites (or as you Canadians say, favourites) badge!

Tara: What did you think about Felicity’s character arc? I appreciated the peek into her background, what motivated her to become a workaholic, and then seeing her priorities shift as her ice queen exterior is melted by Cooper. While I enjoyed her snark in The Brutal Truth, this is the story where I truly got to know her, and I was so proud of her transformation by the end.

PJ: Right, in the Brutal Truth, Felicity was more a one-dimensional, side snarky character. In the Awkward Truth, she comes alive. I loved when the book delved into her background and getting to see why she became an ice queen. Her mom and sister were great characters and they really helped us understand Felicity.

Let’s not forget the loveable Cooper! Such a great character! The vet with the heart of gold? Swoon! I love how she related to Felicity. She broke down Felicity’s walls, but she was never a doormat. I liked that she sometimes took the “tough love” approach to get through to Felicity.

Tara: Very true. And while Cooper didn’t have as much of an arc as Felicity, I was okay with that because The Awkward Truth is Felicity’s story.

The final thing that stood out for me is that The Awkward Truth is a story with a social conscience. Yes, of course, it has an excellent romance with interesting characters, and all those things that are required for a romance novel to work well. But also, we’re reminded that we live in a world where nonprofits have to step in where social safety nets don’t exist or are falling apart. We see the inner workings of an American charity and the people it serves, and we see Felicity taken to task for anti-homeless bias that so many people hold. It’s brilliant and I love seeing lesfic get more overtly political, especially since any fiction that shows women loving women has been political all along.

PJ: Great point Tara! The excellent political and social commentary takes the book from cookie-cutter romance to something special.

Cons And Heads Up

Tara: Nothing from me!

PJ: Nope, nothing here either!

The Conclusion

Tara's Fanfic FaveTara: When I first heard that this book would be funny, with a little bit of suspense, and it takes place with a mobile veterinary clinic, I thought “how is that going to work? 🤔” (yes, emoji and all). Turns out, it works beautifully. The Awkward Truth is the story I needed, full of chemistry, social commentary, and even an adorable dog. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.

PJ: This is a great follow up to The Brutal Truth. It expands the universe of Elena and Maddie, and lets you see some more of that amazing couple. It has a great romance, memorable characters, a wonderful emotional arc, a sweet message, and cute animals. What’s not to love? I agree with Tara, I highly recommend this book.

Excerpt from The Awkward Truth by Lee Winter

Felicity flung open the car door, leaped out, and headed over to the vagrant at a fast clip. He was still busy rummaging, so she tapped him hard on the back—well, poked, more like—and said, “Excuse me! Just what do you think you’re doing?”

The man straightened, bumping his head on the van ceiling as he did and emitting a sharp, high-pitched yelp. He spun to face Felicity, unfurling to full impressive height.

Felicity took a startled step back. Okay, who in the ever-loving Brienne of Tarth was this?

To begin with, he was a she. And not just any she. The woman was block-out-the-sun tall and solid as a brick wall. She had powerful thighs and broad muscled shoulders that looked like she could probably toss a Shetland pony with ease.

Felicity’s breath caught when her gaze slid down. Generous breasts and an unexpectedly rounded stomach softened her imposing form so that she looked a bit like a teddy bear—well, if teddy bears came in Amazon-at-the-roller-derby editions.

Felicity blinked. She’d never encountered anyone like this before. Never, ever, ever.

With few exceptions, the professional women in Felicity’s circle of media, law, and fashion tended to fit a certain type: delicate and fine-boned TV-ready perfection draped in expensive corporate attire. They were sleek ribbons of femininity who seamlessly melted into spaces and backgrounds. They observed, played clever games from the shadows, and manipulated their worlds one high fake laugh at a time.

This woman took up the space of three such women. Her whole attitude seemed to shout, Yeah, just try and budge me. And good luck not noticing me! Probably followed by an amused wink.

Amused wink? Felicity’s fried brain was clearly just making up nonsense now.

The woman cleared her throat.

Get It Online

When you use the links in this review and buy within 24 hours of clicking then we get a small commission that helps us run the site and it costs you nothing extra











The Brutal Truth

The Awkward Truth

Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9783963245831

Publisher: Ylva Publishing

Lee Winter Online

If you enjoyed The Awkward Truth by Lee Winter then you should also look at

Rescued Heart by Georgia Beers, Lesbian fiction







Note: I received a free review copy of The Awkward Truth by Lee Winter. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site