The Other Women by Erin Zak

I think this is one of those times where a good book just missed the mark with a certain reader, me. It is by no means a bad book, you wont’ see me review those. I am not here to annihilate someone’s work. I know that a writer pours their heart and soul into their art, some books resonate, some don’t. Sure there are issues sometimes, but no one needs me to dissect their book. I am by no means qualified. If I review it and post it, its a good book worthy of your time. You can decide if you love it, like it or go WTF Tiff.

The background of The Other Women is that Cecily Yates loves her husband, but loves him as a friend, not as a partner or a lover. She loves her mistress, Willow Carmichael. Willow has moved to Las Vegas and when the book begins Cecily has a work meeting that she must travel out to Sin City. This is her chance to meet up with the woman she has been pining for. Willow and Cecily don’t rekindle their love, something is missing. Confused and frustrated Cecily, by chance befriends Willow’s former lover (no one knows that yet though), bartender, Francesca Lopez.

There is a lot going on here and it moves fast. No one is really over the other person. It’s messy as life is sometimes. Francesca and Cecily have chemistry, there is no doubt about it. When they first meet and have long soulful talks, to me that is the best part of the book. Where it derails, is the immaturity of the characters. Francesca is cool, but Cecily and Willow are not. They both were less than impressive. That is where the problem lies, as a reader I did not like a main character. You are supposed to not like Willow, but to have a main that is less that redeemable that is an issue. It’s not that she is a cheater, you know that going in, its that she is pretty much an immature jerk.

Like I said earlier, I think this one is going to come down to this not being the book for me. It could totally be the one for you. Erin Zak writes good books, The Road Home is an absolutely stunning read. So if you are intrigued give it a chance. Let me know what you think.

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/erin-zak-276

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Finding Jessica Lambert by Clare Ashton

You are going to want to read this one if you haven’t already. It truly is a fantastic read. Clare Ashton has given us a book that is thoughtful, romantic, well paced, multi-layered book. All in all this one is a delight to wrap yourself up in and escape.

When the book begins we are introduced to Jessica Lambert in the middle of a full blow panic attack. She cannot escape her current situation and is paralyzed by the uncertainty around her when a kind stranger, Anna Mayhew, comes to her rescue. You see Jess is a world famous actress who is in the middle of her new movie’s promotional tour. The pressure is overwhelming and she is exhausted by the lifestyle.

Anna sees the younger women in distress and recognizes the signs of her fear and distress immediately. Believing that Jess is running from a stalker, Anna steps in and gives her a place to just be. They become friends, enjoying the company of one another and the more time they spend together the feelings become stronger.

Of course their are bumps along the way, I won’t spoil them for you by going into detail. Remember how I said this book was multi-layered. As Ashton peels one away, you find another one that makes the plot that much richer. Like a glass of fine wine, this is one you sit back and enjoy. Let the story carry you. So good, I highly recommend!

4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Jessica-Lambert-Clare-Ashton-ebook/dp/B08B4YL21R

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Best Practice by Carsen Taite

A Legal Affairs Romance

This one is the third and final installment of Taite’s Legal Affairs series. This is a series I have thoroughly enjoyed and this third book was the one I was most excited. If you haven’t read the previous two books, you are definitely going to want to start this series in order. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this one.

Perry Clark is the little sister to Campbell, and the is the rebel of the Clark family. She has chosen to spend her time abroad as a non-profit lawyer for Lawyers for Change. In the dead of night Perry and her co-workers must flee Crimea. The Crimean government is set to arrest them for helping a journalist who has been arrested for decrying the injustices the the country has inflicted upon its people. Perry in her hurry to leave, loses her passport and credentials and needs her sister’s help to rectify the matter.

Grace Maldonado is set to take her long awaited vacation. She’s been working her tail off to get their new law firm up and running and its finally time to rest and relax. Right before she is set to go on her trip, Campbell drops the bomb about Perry being without a passport, money and illegally in London. Grace has the time so she rushes to save the day and grabs the fist flight across the Atlantic to help out the younger sister she still remembers fondly.

Perry has always had a thing for Grace. She has been crushing on her since she was a teen. Unfortunately Grace has never seen her as anything but a kid. Perry’s crush comes back in full force as soon as she meets up her sister’s best friend. These two strong ladies have an amazing time enjoying London. The fun must end as they head back to Austin. Perry feels the force of longing for more with Grace, but also being labeled as the kid sister and Grace feels guilty for feeling more than she should for Campbell’s sibling.

I have liked all the books in the Legal Affairs series. As excited as I was for this one, I felt like it was missing something. More than anything this book needed some angst and longing. Give me more feels! There as so much potential here and it just needed a bit more. Don’t get me wrong this is a good book, Carsen Taite always delivers. I just wanted a bit more to put this book from the good to great category.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/best-practice-by-carsen-taite-3374-b

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Kick Back by KJ

I have never read anything by KJ before June of 2020. Well let me tell you what, I will not pass this author by again. Kick Back was a fantastic read. I was utterly charmed by the story and it’s two leading ladies.

KJ takes us into the world of women’s Australian Football League. If you are a sport’s fan like me and follow any US women’s professional league (NWSL, WNBA, NWHL…) you will real understated the backdrop of the story well. Little to no pay, crap facilitates, little to no media coverage and using sex instead of skill to sell the brand.

Sophia Lindstrom is one of South Melbourne’s star players. Sophia works full time as the co-owner of an upscale high-end food and wine boutique. She spends the rest of her time training to be the best athlete she can be. Sophie suffers from anxiety and the fear that anyone she loves will eventually leave. This leaves her permanently single and only engaging in casual superficial relationships. Her focus is on work, her community and making sure South Melbourne wins.

Cam Weathers is a journalist for a less that reputable newspaper, The Post. Cam has big dreams of being an investigative journalist but right now to pay her bills as staff writer. Cam’s latest assignment is to write puff pieces on the women of the AFL. Her editor doesn’t want her to write about sports, or the sacrifices these women make only about their skin care routines and other mindless crap.

Cam and Sophia butt heads immediately. Sophia does not appreciate Cam’s approach to the sport and Cam sure as hell doesn’t appreciate Sophia’s commentary on her profession. As these two get to know each other, dislike turns to like and a friendship with an underlying attraction develops. This is a slow burn romance that keeps you hanging on to every word.

KJ has written a superb book. The plot is multi-faceted, the story well developed, and the pacing is perfect. I loved the characters. Cam and Sophia are strong, yet vulnerable. Their romance is just about as sweet as you can get. You felt the love and attraction these two had for each other well before it was spoken.

I love a slow burn, so this one just spoke to me. I cannot recommend this book enough. So so good!

5 out of 5 stars

Kick Back by [K J]

Before You Say I Do by Clare Lydon

Clare Lydon always delivers a damned good read. I appreciate that she delivers humor, dynamic characters, relatable dialogue, happiness and fun. You have to love a book that leaves you with a smile and a heart full of joy. Before You Say I Do is one of Lydon’s best works to date. I was hooked on this book and could not put it down to the end.

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. Yes, this is a thing y’all. She delivers a service to her brides that makes everyone look and feel good. She helps with wedding preparations, acts a psychologist, mediator and best friend to her clients. Jordan’s goal is for the wedding to go off without a hitch, and make the bride love every minute leading up to the big day. she has thrown herself into her work, and has left very little time to find true love.

Abby Porter has settled on marrying her best friend, Marcus. She adores him, and figures the passion will come later. Abby, like Jordan spends most of her time working. She isn’t particularity happy wit her career, but she is very successful and good at what she does. Marcus, the fiance, hires Jordan to help Abby finish out the wedding plans, as he she’s she is too busy with . He sees that she is more focused on her work to really be bothered with the details of the big day.

Jordan and Abby have chemistry for days. Their heat jumps right off the page from the get go. Lydon gives us sexiness and tension as these two leading ladies get to know each other better. I loved how the angst really built up as both Jordan and Abby wanted more but could not because Abby was engaged.

This is a fun and dynamic read that I just adored. As always, Clare Lydon, delivers a great read.

4.25 out of 5 stars

Storm Lines by Jessica L. Webb

I am a big fan of Jessica L. Webb’s other books and was super excited to see she had published another book. If you have read Webb’s books you know unequivocally she is going to give you a book that is different and amazing. This author excels in the details, whether it be the character’s background, the police procedure, a medical plan of action. It is all well researched and relayed to the reader with rawness and heart.

When we meet Constable Bridget “Marley” Marlowe, she has just been beaten up and stabbed. Let to bleed out in a dirty alley, all Marley can do is hope someone comes along to help. Just in the knick of time, psychologist, Dr. Devon Wolfe appears and renders aid. This traumatic experience binds the two women together. Devon cannot get Marley out of her mind and becomes a friend to the injured officer. When Marley asks her to help a struggling family their bond strengthens and they vow to face to dangers to help out a struggling child no matter what the consequences may be. 

The book is very clever. The romance elements between Devon and Marley work really well. You can feel their attraction and the progression, of falling in love through the thriller/mystery elements of the story. Jessica L. Webb writes another winner, you will not be disappointed with this one. 

4.25 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/storm-lines-by-jessica-l-webb-3298-b

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Drawn by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite’s latest novel, take us back to Dallas and drops us write in the middle of a murder mystery with a heaping dash of romance. Taite excels at writing this type of novel, she drew me in and give me a ton of anxiety. I was reading feverishly to find out how the damned killer was.

Riley Flynn is an up and coming artist who just landed a deal with a highly sought after Dallas art gallery. This is the big break she has been working for. On the flip side, life is throwing more at her than she needs right now. She needs to focus on her art, not deal with her father, and the bucket loads of drama that him being back entails. Frank Flynn, Riley’s dad was convicted of a brutal murder fifteen years ago. Frank has been released from prison because new information and DNA samples have shed new life on his case. He has always proclaimed his innocence, but that does not erase the terrible years that Riley has had to endure because of his trial. Upon his release and weeks from her gallery show, a murder near Riley’s neighborhood in Dallas have made both Frank and Riley suspects.

Claire Hanlon is the lead homicide detective on the murder of a young woman who has been strangled and left with an urban art sketch in her suit pocket. There is a lot of heat on her to wrap this case up as fast as possible. The higher-ups want a Flynn to be brought in, but Riley knows that this will just create a media frenzy. Claire is not convinced Riley or her dad had anything to do with this heinous crime. She just can’t prove it yet, and the pressure to wrap it up quickly and her attraction to Riley is not helping matters at all.

The story leading up to finding out who the killer is is really good. You have a detailed story with shifting POV and it draws you in. You have multiple layers of the plot that give the story depth and really engage you, the reader. My only complaint is the story is too short. We needed more, to wrap up the ending and we needed more one on one with the mains. The romance felt like a side note, and while I got lust. I didn’t get true love. I needed Taite to show me more than the attraction between Riley and Claire. A few more chapters would have made this book go from good to great. Even with all that said, this is a book well worth your time.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/drawn-by-carsen-taite-3271-b

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Entangled by Melissa Brayden

Entangled by Melissa Brayden
Swoon! That is the best way to describe Brayden’s newest novel, Entangled. The book just makes you swoon. This book makes your heart happy. It is sweet, romantic, fun and there is wine. How can you not love that delicious combination?

Joey Wilder inherits her family’s small but mighty Oregon winery. The grapes, the land, it is her life and she loves it. She wants to make her family proud and continue making world-renowned wine but she has some changes she wants to make as well, and she does by bringing in two friends to take Tangle Valley Vineyard to the next level. As open as Joey is to some change, she is definitely not okay with the new resort that is opening up in her town.

Becca Crawford is amazing at what she does. Opening successful resorts are her jam and she is excited about her latest project, The Jade, is Whisper Wall, Oregon. She wants to make this place her home, finally putting all f her attention in one resort from the ground up. Becca is stunned to find out that most of the residents while polite really don’t want The Jade to open. She has some fancy footwork to do to get her neighbors to accept the resort and the hardest to win over might be Joey Wilder.

As always Melissa Brayden writes a really good book. While this isn’t my favorite of her works, I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Being the first in a series, Brayden had a lot of characters and settings to get the reader familiar with. This is where I think the book lost traction in the romance department. I wanted just a bit more one on one with Becca and Joey. Still a fantastic read, one I highly recommend.

3.75 stars out of 5

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/entangled-by-melissa-brayden-3283-b

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Endgame by Zoe Reed

If you have never read a book from Zoe Reed, I am actually jealous of you. Why, because if you take my advice and drop everything you are doing and start reading everything Zoe has written, you my friend are in for one hell of a treat. Seriously, when this writer writes, I read. Hold the phone, hold the world, drop it all and read. Plus if you love soccer, I do (I 100% live for it), you will love this one too. No worries if you are here for the romance, and blah on chasing a little ball, you will love it too.

Audrey Caplan is heading into her senior year of college. Goals become captain of her soccer team and lead them to the national championship. Yeah so little goals, right. 🙂 Audrey has 100% committed herself to doing everything in her power to get the team ready for a successful season.

First day of practice an new teammate arrives. Morgan Bailey arrives as a senior transfer. This forward is challenging Audrey for the captain’s armband and as well as giving her hell on the field. These two figure out really quickly that they push each other to be better players and have more offensive power when they work together.

If you are like nope, I don’t want read soccer all dang afternoon, Tiff, do not fear. Yes, there is the soccer but Reed gives us just enough and focuses on the dynamic between our two leading ladies. This is first and foremost a romance with sport as the glue that binds. Audrey and Morgan grow from competitors to friends and then more. This is a sweet romance that gives you all the feels. ALL THE FEELS!

5 out of 5 stars

Endgame by [Zoe Reed]

Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Endgame-Zoe-Reed-ebook/dp/B087PL41J2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=9798628330258&linkCode=qs&qid=1591217688&s=books&sr=1-1&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sout-20

A Roll in the Hay by Lola Keeley

A Roll in the Hay is Lola Keeley latest novel and dang it is a good one. If you adore a good “get of on the wrong foot” romance this one is for you. These two leading ladies cannot stand each other, till that switch is flipped and love takes over.

Dr. Tess Robinson moves to a a small town to partner with her best friend. They co-own a vet practice, one where Tess will finally be able to work on large animals again. Tess is leaving behind a disastrous relationship that destroyed not only her home life but her work life again. Moving to the Scottish countryside is a way for her to start again and get back to doing what she loves.

Lady Susannah Karlson is trying to step out of her late husband’s shadow. She loved him and grieves the loss of their friendship but she has big dreams for the estate she has inherited. Lady Karlson also happens to be the local ice queen, with a reputation of no non-sense. Did I mention she is a closeted lesbian as well.

Susannah and Tess meet and instantly clash. Whatever the reason these tow just do not get along and they don’t hold anything back. This is a romance so ask much as they push each other’s buttons, finally trust builds and well lust too.

Mostly this is fun, light read with an aristocratic ice queen and a sharped tongue veterinarian. You have to love the back and forth between these two main characters, it really takes to book to the next level. I wish the relationship would have has more angst and heat, but that’s just me. Overall a quality read by an outstanding author.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Ylva Publishing https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/a-roll-in-the-hay-by-lola-keeley/

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