The Red Files by Lee Winter

Rated 4.86 out of 5 based on 7 customer ratings
(7 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

Availability: In Stock


Read an excerpt here: pdf | epub

Book one in the On the Record series

Author: Lee Winter


Ambitious Daily Sentinel journalist Lauren King is chafing on LA’s vapid social circuit, reporting on glamorous A-list parties while sparring with her rival—the formidable, icy Catherine Ayers. Ayers is an ex-Washington political correspondent who suffered a humiliating fall from grace, and her acerbic, vicious tongue keeps everyone at bay. Everyone, that is, except knockabout Iowa girl King, who is undaunted, unimpressed and gives as good as she gets.

One night a curious story unfolds before their eyes: One business launch, 34 prostitutes and a pallet of missing pink champagne. Can the warring pair work together to unravel an incredible story? This is a lesbian fiction with more than a few mysterious twists.

Additional information

Publication Date

September 2015


epub, mobi, and pdf




103,000 words




978-3-95533-331-7 (mobi), 978-3-95533-332-4 (epub), 978-3-95533-333-1 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

7 reviews for The Red Files by Lee Winter

  1. Ameliah Faith
    Rated 5 out of 5


    I Could Learn to Love Politics

    This is a wonderful tale of Lauren King, a small town aspiring political journalist and former political journalist Catherine Ayres. Although they don’t get along, together they go in search of the story of a lifetime. Car chases, apartment ransacking, threats of death and more wont deter them as they search for the truth.

    This was a heart stopping suspenseful read with sprinklings of lust, love, and sensuality in a very romantic thriller. I loved how the women relate to each other through out the drama. Snide comment making, hostile personality, Ayres hides a secret that she does not want out. Lauren on the other hand is more open but wary of her partner. They grow to into their bad-assed selves, learn to trust one another, becoming friends and more. Their ability to be strong for each other even when they weren’t feeling overly strong themselves was heartwarming.

    In summary, the plot line was well executed and exciting, the writing well edited and technically sound, the characters are complex and engaging. This book is generally an all around great book. My compliments to Ms Winter. Very well done!!

  2. Cori Kane
    Rated 5 out of 5


    what a delightful read! humorous, suspenseful, exciting. i missed sleep over this and it was absolutely worth it. ms. winter’s writing is intoxicating, you just have to know what happens next. though i’m not a fan of political anything, i’m now a fan of lee winter. well done.

  3. Kurt Ozinga
    Rated 5 out of 5


    A story of two women, entertainment reporters in LA, who find a huge story which requires them to work together when their past relationship has been marked with each scoring more insults against the other and what seems like genuine dislike.

    This becomes a story about valid current political fears, friendships that matter, mystery, love and suspense. There is such a delicious, intricate balance in this story by Lee Winter, with so many threads woven skillfully together making the reading of this a gleeful affair for me.

    The characters, minor and major, have distinct voices and succeed very well throughout the story as well as containing some big laughs (Joshua).

    I loved it and found no flaws or anything else in this work that slowed me down. Read this book.

  4. jeep28
    Rated 5 out of 5


    “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
    ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
    But it happened with The Red Files.
    Lee Winter has breathed new life into the lesfic genre with her smashing debut novel. It is so perfectly written that I find it hard to fathom the world does not already have a bookshelf full of her titles.
    For years the majority of lesbian fiction has been inundated with dreadfully substandard story lines containing one-dimensional characters and fallacious clichés. In comparison to mainstream fiction, the overall quality of this genre has been second-rate at best. However, The Red Files has restored my hope and renewed my interest for lesbian literature.
    This author wastes no time in grabbing your attention, and with a solid, humorous beginning, we are immediately thrown into the hangover and humiliation of protagonist Lauren King. She is a reporter on the Hollywood junket with dreams and ambitions bigger than the tears Barbara Walters can create.
    Lauren is clawing her way up through the ranks at L.A.’s Daily Sentinel until she can write the stories she believes in. Her only competition besides the male hierarchy of the newspaper, is colleague and arch rival Catherine Ayers who has the nickname, The Caustic Queen. Her cutthroat words and air of sophistication make up the foundation of the seemingly impenetrable walls she has built around her unapproachable persona. Once a Washington, D.C. political insider in charge of her own bureau, she is now forced to work on the same frivolous reporting as King due to a professional fall from grace. As a bonus, we are treated to a mysterious subplot involving Ayers’ past that when revealed, is as rich as the threads of her Armani suit.
    Both are paying their dues, covering an A-lister business launch, when their investigative skill- sets place them on a 250 page journey of connivance, conspiracy, and corruption. It is an intriguing plot that challenges how we view the overabundance and intrusiveness allowed by technology and the susceptibility in which we live.
    Our main characters are tenacious in their pursuit of the truth, dodging everything from secret agents to squealing tires. Trust between the ladies becomes paramount when thrust into a labyrinth of diabolical deceit involving prostitutes and pink champagne.
    The commitment King and Ayers put into solving this mystery is undoubtedly a true reflection of the intimate diligence Winters has poured onto the page. Her real-life journalistic skills shine and validate any and all accolades her personal career has afforded.
    In addition, the author continuously proves throughout the novel that her ability to write innovative and complex dialogue is beyond compare. The polished snark of Ayers is as piercing as her glare and the down-home dialect of King works as the perfect conduit to their electrifying conversational showdowns. It makes me wish Winters wrote the words I spoke every day. I would sound so much cooler in real life tbh.
    The varying scenic locations and supporting characters are just as engaging from start to finish. Winters’ use of colorful imagery and creative descriptors captivate every page. Her writing overall is intelligent with a fast-paced tone and immersion into the story is immediate and without hindrance.
    This novel tells two very impressive stories: The story of Lauren and Catherine’s adventure and the story of Lee Winter’s remarkable talent.
    I do not flippantly hand out 5-star reviews. The lesfic world is small and I believe that friends allow their adoration for one another to supersede their love for the written word. I tried very hard to find something, really anything, negative about this book so it would not look as if I were being biased or unfair. But I simply could not. My only complaint would be that the story had to end. However, Winters has gifted us with a free bonus chapter entitled Flashbang that is available here:
    So see, even that attempt at a criticism is futile.
    Ylva Publishing has discovered a true wordsmith wonder in Lee Winter, and if I were them I would handcuff her to a typewriter.
    The Red Files is an imaginative, cloak and dagger thriller filled with suspense, perplexity, and tension. Furthermore, there is a compelling cast of characters whose unbelievable dialogue contains sagacity and wit unparalleled to most. The skill with which Lee Winter has masterfully woven this tale has left me with a newfound appreciation for those who choose to put the story first.
    There’s an anonymous saying that states: “A good book makes you want to live in the story. A great book gives you no choice.”
    Well, be prepared to have no choice.
    Purchase The Red Files by Lee Winter here:

  5. Sabrina
    Rated 4 out of 5


    Lee Winter wrote a compelling story. I was more invested in why prostitutes and what the red files are, than in the romantic plot. The mystery behind the pink champagne is what drives the protagonists and definitely made me finish the book in one sitting. As exciting as thenews story itself was, believe me, the romance in the novel has no shortcomings. It’s rather refreshing to be engaged in more than one layer of a story. Every character in The Red Files is innovative and interesting. Yes there was the trope of the chief editor being a jerk, but it was used just right. I didn’t expect the book to end in the way it did. Pleasant surprises make for a good read.

  6. Tara at The Lesbian Review
    Rated 5 out of 5


    The Red Files came at me out of nowhere when I first read it last year and instantly became one of my favourites. The plotting is tight, the pacing is perfect, and the characters are so much fun and have stuck with me for months.

    Full review at The Lesbian Review here:

    Listen to Brooklyn and I talk about it on Les Do Books here:

  7. Betty Harmon
    Rated 5 out of 5


    The Red Files is a complex, well-written, complicated book with a great backstory. The characters are nuanced and multi-layered, and dislike each other at first. They rub each other raw and yet end up investigating the same story. The two main characters discover a insidious plot involving kickbacks, and a much bigger, nefarious plan.
    As always, Lee Winter’s characters are driven, compelling, ambitious, curious and engaging. If you enjoy intrigue and conspiracy stories with a dash of romance — this is the book for you.

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