Turning Back by Katia RoseTurning Back by Katia Rose is a small town, toaster oven romance set in a tiny town in beautiful British Columbia.

She loves her sisters dearly, but Trish Rivers has never felt she can truly be herself with them or anyone else. Loud and acerbically funny, she’s beginning to wonder about her feelings when she runs into her sister’s friend Kennedy at the airport. The death of the woman’s pumpkin spiced latte is just the beginning of their awkwardness, and it gets worse when Kennedy disses Trish’s famous blueberry lemon muffin.

A three week vacation on Vancouver Island was something Kennedy had never considered before. High level real estate agents in Toronto don’t leave for that long, but her best friend Kim has just fallen for Emily, Trish’s sister and needs the emotional support. After losing her beloved Starbucks latte followed quickly by accidentally insulting Trish’s muffins, things look bad for a relaxing time in the wilds of western Canada.

There are entirely too many trees at the sisters’ campground, and Trish is entirely too good looking to ignore. But ignore she must because Trish is straight and not suitable for Kennedy’s typical love ‘em and leave ‘em routine. After getting off on the wrong foot, the women discover they can relate in unexpected ways.


Trish and Kennedy don’t have a meet cute so much as a massively awkward run-in that doesn’t quickly settle into something that could be called friendly. The pacing of their burgeoning relationship is beautifully done, with each woman slowly coming to realizations about herself through long conversations and small adventures with the other. There was a profound moment between them on a dark highway that had me riveted, and all of their conversations were weighty, emotional and super entertaining.

While both main characters have a lot to deal with on their way to love, Trish’s story is especially poignant. Besides never feeling capable of being herself around anyone, in a nice twist having two lesbian sisters becomes an unexpectant barrier to accepting her own feelings for women. There is a lot of thoughtful internal dialogue on the fraught coming out process as seen through the eyes of an adult.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

All my favorite parts of the book were conversations between characters, especially Trish and Kennedy. The author has a gift with dialogue, seamlessly giving depth and feeling to the speakers and giving the reader a real sense of relationship with the characters. I enjoyed each woman’s deeply emotional journey without an overload of maudlin self-pity.

There are a lot of co-starring characters, most returning from the first book in the series that had Trish’s sister Emily falling for Kennedy’s friend Kim. All the relationships are well drawn and purposeful, especially local bartender Scooter. He and Trish are assumed by the local townsfolk of being a couple on the edge of something special. He is special, but his friendship with Trish is strong and sweet and ultimately an important ingredient in finding her true self.

Everyone expects Trish and Kennedy to clash and they don’t disappoint, and I really enjoyed the abrasiveness the author doesn’t take too far. They are very dissimilar in many ways, like Kennedy being a tree averse urbanite stuck in a super rural place. There’s always a good joke of two with that scenario. The author also doesn’t take the angst too far, giving both women solid, supportive friends and family to catch them when they falter.

Heads Up


The Conclusion

Trish and Kennedy run into each other at the airport, killing Kennedy’s fresh pumpkin latte and any friendliness Trish may have been able to dredge up for the touristy real estate agent. The rocky start leads to Trish’s emotional crisis of attraction for Kennedy instead of the man she’s supposedly in love with. Kennedy notices from the start the woman is gorgeous and funny and talented and totally off limits to her typical hit and run dating. They both have a lot to work through besides unwarranted attraction, and the author paces their building romance well, pairing it with a thorough examination of coming out a little later in life, with special circumstances.

Excerpt from Turning Back by Katia Rose

I sigh again, this one drawn out and extra dramatic. “I keep thinking about…”

I trail off and consider lying, but something about the darkness and the sharp, fresh smell of the woods combined with the intimacy of whispering makes it hard to do anything but tell the truth.

“This is going to sound dumb, but I keep thinking about that bird.”

“The heron?”

“Yeah. I’ve never seen anything like that before. There was that moment, right after it had flown over us, when we were all quiet for a few seconds, and I…I don’t know how to put it into words. I sound ridiculous.”

I laugh at myself, but Trish stays quiet. “You don’t,” she says, her voice way more serious than I expected. “You don’t sound ridiculous at all.”

“It’s just…I keep having these moments out here, when everything goes still,” I tell her, “when everything feels like…enough. It’s like when we were out on those sea kayaks passing by all the little islands. I looked around me, and I felt like I was part of something so much bigger than me, like I belonged, like I didn’t have anything to prove. I could just be me, and that could be enough.”

It’s only once I’m finished talking that I realize how much I’ve said. My face gets warm, and I force myself to laugh again.

“Wow, that really didn’t make any sense at all, did it?”

I roll onto my side and find Trish still watching me, her expression too hard to read in the dark.

“It made perfect sense,” she says.

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Series: Three Rivers

Passing Through

Turning Back

Bits and Bobs

ISBN: 979-8878212120

Publisher: Indie Author

Katia Rose Online


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Note: I received a free review copy of Turning Back by Katia Rose 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