Abriana & Josephine

A Love Story

Fiction - LGBTQ
186 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Abriana & Josephine is an LGBTQ romance novel by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin. Born to a middle-class family of third-generation Irish immigrants in Bogota, New Jersey, Josephine O'Brien had a rough childhood growing up abused by her father. On the other hand, au pairs raised Abriana Antonio, who was born with the proverbial silver spoon into an influential family in Boston, Massachusetts. Now, Abriana is an attorney for a reputed New York City law firm, and she has recently become the litigator in a high-profile trial involving a pharmaceutical company and two scientists. A chance encounter leads to a blossoming love affair between Abriana and Josephine. However, when a shocking sexual assault leaves Abriana in a coma, her parents are determined to force Josephine out of her life. Can their love prevail?

Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin gift LGBTQ romance lovers with an absorbing tale of two women from different backgrounds falling in love and changing the course of their lives. Abriana & Josephine is heartbreaking and bittersweet at times and yet also endearingly poignant. The plot has a few shocking twists and turns up its sleeve to keep you on your toes. The authors pace the narrative very well, and at no point did I feel my attention waver. I was hooked all the way through. With their contrasting backgrounds and distinct personalities, Josephine and Abriana are two compelling main characters, and as a reader, you want the duo to end up together. The ending took me by surprise, but I still found it satisfying. All in all, this is a fantastic LGBTQ romance, and I highly recommend it.

Adanna Ora

Josephine O’Brien and Abriana Anthonio, although from very different backgrounds, didn’t have the best of childhoods. Josephine, from a poor background, had to deal with her abusive father and a mother who was complicit in the act by looking away from the abuse. Abriana, the only daughter of a former senator, didn’t experience the love of her parents, as she was always in the hands of nannies and helpers. Despite the differences in their backgrounds and lifestyles, they shared a similar trait: their attraction to women. It wasn’t difficult for them to bond when fate brought them together. All seemed to go well between them until they disagreed one time on an issue, and Abriana was reported to be almost half-dead in an attempted murder and rape incident. Who could have done this? Most importantly, would their love survive these very difficult moments? Find out in Abriana & Josephine, by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin, about two women who have to fight for their love in a homophobic society and through trials and temptations.

Abriana & Josephine is written in a very engaging way that makes reading it so easy and natural. I love the way we see the change in the narration of the story. Josephine and Abriana tell their individual stories, and then there is an omniscient point of view. We experience the emotions and feelings of the characters, which gives them clarity on who they are. While reading this novel, I learned new words, which has helped to improve my vocabulary. Again, there are innumerable lessons one can learn from reading this story. The greatest of them is how love conquers all and can give you strength even in the most challenging situations. It also shows the hostility that goes on in workplaces. I would recommend Abriana & Josephine by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin to fans and supporters of the LGBTQ community. It is a book that is worth your time and has invaluable lessons in it.

Chinazo Anozie

Abriana & Josephine: A Love Story by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin follows the lives of the titular characters, Abriana “Bri” and Josephine “Jo.” Hailing from vastly different upbringings, Bri's and Jo’s lives are on extreme ends of the spectrum. Abriana is the daughter of a former senator and comes from old money on both of her parents’ sides. Her whole life has been filled with luxury, nannies, and brand names—except the warmth of a loving family. Jo, on the other hand, comes from parents with dead-end jobs and a father who molested her to boot. Life makes these two women cross paths. Will their different backgrounds get in the way of their newfound attraction, or will they have a chance at love?

I loved how Hulton and Tobin started the book by giving readers an in-depth look at both Bri's and Jo’s early lives; these were told from their perspectives, and it gave me a chance to connect with and understand them better. They also did a marvelous job with their distinctive voices, and it was easy to differentiate between their thought processes while reading. I also loved how the authors depicted how Bri and Jo dealt with their feelings: navigating a new relationship with all the nervousness and butterflies that come with a newfound attraction and connection, which is something everyone can relate to. Abriana & Josephine: A Love Story by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin is not just a typical romance tale; it has themes of suspense and thriller that are sure to bring nail-biting anxiety over how the book will end.

Frank Mutuma

Josephine and Abriana meet during preparations for the Christmas celebrations in a hilarious encounter. They are very different, but Josephine is fascinated by how assertive Abriana is. Josephine has faced so many hardships in her upbringing. She was molested by her father, and things were made worse by the fact that her mom knew about the abuse and did nothing about it. Does this contribute to Josephine's hatred for men? Abriana's family, on the other hand, was wealthy and had a long heritage of successful ancestors. In her first encounter with what she thought to be love, Abriana was defiled by Paul. To find out how things unfold between these two people from vastly different backgrounds, dive into Abriana and Josephine by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin.

Abriana and Josephine, by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin, did not disappoint. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. The fast pace and excellent narration kept me intrigued and eager to discover how the plot unfolded. I loved the writing style, which was crisp with well-crafted, highly engaging dialogues. Edmund and Ann also ensured that the emotions of the characters were expertly captured and all the events and places were vividly described, which helps the reader create a mental picture of what is happening. Readers will also appreciate the easy-to-understand language used and the themes covered, such as tolerance and the rights of the LGBTQ community. I am looking forward to reading more literature on such themes from these talented authors.

Divine Zape

Abriana & Josephine: A Love Story by Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin is a breezy lesbian romance with two nuanced characters. Set against the busy New York City backdrop, the story follows the romance between Josephine and Abriana. Josephine Elizabeth O’Brien is the only child of middle-class, third-generation Irish immigrants. Her father wanted a boy but instead got a girl. And that spelled doom for her. She grew up in hardship, without friends, and was molested by her father. On the other hand, Abriana Anna Antonio was born with “a twenty-four-carat spoon dripping with possibilities in silver, gold, and precious stones.” These two fall in love and must endure challenges and biases from society. It is a compelling tale that strongly shows how love has no boundaries.

Edmund Hulton and Ann Cushing Tobin give depth to the characters, exploring their inner struggles and how society views them. The story is told from the perspectives of the two principal characters and in an engrossing first-person narrative voice. The story brims with fascinating details. Whether describing Josephine’s grim past or exploring the intimacy between the couple, the authors provide strong imagery, grabbing the attention of readers. The scenes are focused and there is an emotional intensity that drives Abriana & Josephine steadily forward. I enjoyed the way the authors explored the themes of same-sex relationships, love, and self-exploration. The writing is crisp and filled with captivating descriptions. This novel with LGBTQ+ themes explores love’s ability to defy societal constraints while inspiring self-discovery. It is an intelligently plotted romance and a delightful read.