Journey to Cash by Ashley Bartlett

Journey to Cash by Ashley Bartlett, one of my most favorite books of the year. I absolutely love the Cash Braddock series. There is nothing like this series in all of lesfic. Its creative, dynamic, and smart. Time after time, Ashley Bartlett has delivered exceptional writing. Every single book in this series deserves praise because it is absolutely outstanding.  If you have not read this series I cannot recommend it enough. 4 books, all 5+ stars.

5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/journey-to-cash-by-ashley-bartlett-3328-b

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From the Woods by Charlotte Greene

From the Woods by Charlotte Greene begins with a group of friends taking their annual girls trip to a remote wooded forest that spans through Colorado and Wyoming for an epic hike. Their past vacations have always taken a turn for the worse and they are hoping this year will be an improvement. Enter foreshadowing!

Fiona our main character wants to bail on the trip, but she knows she can’t because her “bestie”, Jill is pretty much a bully and will force her hand to come along on the trip. You see for years, Fiona has had a crush on their mutual friend, Carol, but know Carol has married Sarah and will be bringing her wife along on the journey. So, all of this sounds like a really good time, yeah. Nope not a good time to be had, I promise.

So, our group of four heads to the woods and meet with expect hiking guide, Roz and her crew. Roz and her team will be taking this band of friends into the forest for their adventure. Pretty much from night one, all hell breaks loose.

At times this book is downright creepy, definitely spooky and at times erratic. While the premise was intriguing, the plot had holes in it that were never resolved, and the character development left a lot to be desired. Other than surface emotions and personality traits, I never felt like I knew these characters. I for the life of me could not figure out why Fiona, Jill, Carol, and Sarah were friends, especially friends that take yearly vacations together. Roz is cool but you never get to know her and her attraction to Fiona felt forced.

This mystery could have been so much better than it turned out to be. You are just left with so many questions? I get that this may be the start of the series but After I finished the book I had no idea where this one left me. If you want some creepiness and don’t mind the romance being thin this is the book for you.

2.75 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/from-the-woods-by-charlotte-greene-3352-b

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Mutual Benefits by H.P. Munro

Yay! H.P. Munro is back with a new book, Mutual Benefits.

Hannah Melville has no desire to enter a relationship. All of her past boyfriends have let her bored and basically, she is content on her own living life on her terms. Her family will not let it go. Her mother continues to push dates on her and after having enough, one family dinner she exclaims she has met someone, a she. Thinking her family would be shocked, the joke is on Hannah because they are delighted, she has at last come out of the closet. Now Hannah must find a lady to enter a fauxmance with.

Ashley West’s mother won’t take no for an answer either. She sets her up with woman after woman, but Ashley is tired of trying to find her perfect match. Burned one to many times by being someone’s experiment Ashley is jaded by love. When she mom forces her hand to go on a blind date, she meets Hannah, a “straight” lady who needs a cover story.

This is an adorable and funny story about two women who come together to stop their meddling mothers. Friendship grows as the story progresses as does a mutual attraction. This fauxmance is all about finding true love in the most unexpected places. You can’t’ go wrong with this charming light-hearted romance.

4 out of 5 stars

16 Steps to Forever by Georgia Beers

If Georgia Beers writes it, I am going to read it. I don’t even need to see what the book is about. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the book is going to be good. This is one author in this romance genre that you can always count on to give you an amazing read. I love her work and I am thankful for what she writes. Beers’ latest work is 16 Steps to Forever, and my goodness is it delightful.

Brooke Sullivan moves to upstate New York to start fresh with Wolfe Realty. Brooke has found a new town, a new house and a new real estate agency for a chance at a fresh start. Her life in Ohio was always under scrutiny. Her parents will never accept her as a bisexual women. She packed up and moved so she could live her lie on her own terms. Brooke one her first day of her new career, she is exceptionally dressed and runs headfirst into Macy Carr and a platter full of raspberry Danishes.

Macy Carr is a klutz of epic proportions. While Brooke reserved Macy is a free-spirit. These two opposites make an impression on each other from the beginning. While it doesn’t always go smoothly it is definitely memorable.

16 Steps to Forever bring two opposites and throws in a lot of chemistry and fun. Georgia Beers builds a friendship and attraction that keeps you locked in till the end. This light-hearted romance is just what the doctor ordered during these trying winter months.

4 out of 4 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/16-steps-to-forever-by-georgia-beers-3347-b

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Hotel Queens by Lee Winter

When I think of an Ice Queen, I automatically pull up some of the amazing characters Lee Winter has given us over the years. No one, writes and Ice Queen like Lee Winter, and I am here for it. I love them and I fear them and I want them in my life.

In her latest novel, Hotel Queens, Winter gives us two amazing leading ladies who are exceptional at what they do and can cut the throat of any rival that dares step in their way. The hotel business genius and ice queen, Amelia Duxton wants to be the CEO of her family’s hotel empire. She is 100% qualified and the best person for the job but patriarchy and homophobia have locked her out of the top spot for years. Now with her brother becoming a national scandal, the job is being dangled at her but she has to close the deal on the world’s most luxurious hotel, the Mayfair Palace.

Kai Fisher is a dragon in the hotel industry. If she wants its she will get it. Known as “The Closer”, Kai is exceptional at sealing the deal and buying hotels all over North America. Her boss now has his sights set to expand overseas with his latest desire to acquire, of course, the Mayfair. Where Amalia is cold and at times, cutting Kai is no less ruthless but uses charm and heat to her advantage.

This novel is so well written and it is often times complex. There is a lot of hotel industry and moving pieces coming at you fast. With all of this authors work, you will notice that the books are smart, well thought out and are rich in complexities. This one is no doubt the same. With that being said, I think where her other books went above and beyond was the romance. While this book is hot and steamy and there is definite chemistry. I was not sold on the big four-letter word, LOVE. I wanted more romance. It was almost as if there where too many moving pieces and additional characters. Still an a marvelous read and well worthy of your time. Everything by Lee Winter is magnificent.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Ylva Publishing https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/hotel-queens-by-lee-winter/

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Bulletproof by Maggie Cummings

My love for romance knows no bounds. I love when a police crime story still has the romance as its main focus. Too many times in this genre the opposite actually happens with the romance coming in a distant second. Maggie Cummings keeps a hot and sexy romance burning as the main event in her latest novel, Bulletproof.

Dylan Prescott get a fantastic job opportunity. This savvy police detective is rewarded the opportunity to work on an investigation with the Major Case Division working on taking down a narcotics ring. This is a big break for Dylan’s career. On the personal side of things, Dylan is all work and when she does play it’s with no-strings attached. She isn’t a player but the young detective has made her way through the ladies.

Our other main character is Briana Logan is the Assistant United States Attorney in charge of prosecuting the drug dealers that the Major Case Division is trying to take down. Briana is also 100% focused on her career and isn’t really interested in dating women at the moment. Too many of her past relationships have been overly complicated and looking towards the long-term too fast.

Cummings does a great job of giving us two workaholics who cannot help their growing attraction and affection for each other. You have two badasses who are exceptionally intelligent and skilled at what they do. Fir the first time ever someone makes them want something bigger than their careers. This author does an exceptional job a letting their growing attraction take hold and the communication and dialogue between the two was so natural and charming.

Great romance with a side of crime. You have to love a book that puts the bad guys in jail and the lady gets her girl. Maggie Cummings doesn’t let you down with Bulletproof, this is a really fantastic read.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/bulletproof-by-maggie-cummings-3459-b

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Treacherous Seas by Radclyffe

After nine years, Radclyffe is giving us another installment of the Provincetown Tales. In book eight, Treacherous Seas, Reese Conlon and Dr. Tory King are expecting their second child. Just weeks away from going on medial leave all heck breaks loose in Provincetown. Would you expect anything less?

When the book first begins, Reese is training a rookie cop, Andy Champlain, to help out over the busy summer season. On her first night solo, Andy is called into break up a bar fight, making a quick decision she calls for backup but proceeds to break up the fight solo. Things get physical and Andy ends up with a concussion and a trip to the local emergency clinic. That night busted and bruised she meets, PA, Laurel Winter.

This books gives us a glimpse into old friends, who doesn’t love this series. We also get a new love story with Andy and Laurel. I did not think this romance was particularly fleshed out. I felt like I didn’t know Andy and Laurel as well as I wanted to. With that being said, you know you can always count on a quality read from Radclyffe, and this is no exception. A good read for sure, it just left me wanting a touch more. My guess is this one is setting us up for more in this series, which I am totally here for.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Stokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/provincetown-tales-1649-s

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Rough Around The Edges by Crystal Chard

Roxeanne Mackenzie is in a tough spot. Her mom needs round the clock medical attention, which Roxy and her siblings cannot adequately give. She’s proud and with that pride, Roxy is forced to find a job she would have never considered otherwise. With her mom’s health rapidly declining, and the need to pay a 1/3rd of the medical bills, Roxy forgoes her college scholarship and begins stripping. She hates it, she can’t stand the clientele, and she panics on stage regularly, but she also acknowledges that the tips she makes from dancing gives her mom access to 24/7 kind and caring medical professionals.

With Roxeanne’s dreams of becoming a writer and attending school on hold, she falls into a funk. She hides her mom’s illness from almost everyone. She cuts herself off from her old friends, embarrassed about where her life has taken her but also not wanting the pity that comes when acknowledging your parent is terminally ill. One afternoon on her daily visit to her mother’s bedside, Roxy meets, Josie Calhoun, a psychology professor with a love for the Persian poet, Rumi.

Josie has befriended Roxy’s mother, she often brings books to read to the dying woman as they enjoy each other company and banter. Roxy is immediately intrigued with the gorgeous red head. A chance meeting at a nightclub brings them into each other’s orbit once again, and they confess their mutual attraction. Josie needs a relationship that is open and honest, she’s’ has been lied to one-to-many times while Roxy is battling with a secret she may be unwilling to reveal.

Roxy and Josie are so darn likeable. They each capture your heart and you cannot help but root for their happiness. You have to love a character that is so kind, intelligent but also imperfect. Crystal Chard has written a winner with Rough Around The Edges. I cannot believe that this is her debut into the romance genre. A great read, and I cannot wait for whatever this writer takes me next. You can guarantee I will be there for it!

4 out of 5 stars

While My Heart Beats by Erin McKenzie

When the book begins we meet Ellie Winthrop an aristocrat with dreams of being more than some man’s wife. Ellie, a feminist, has aspirations of helping the world and zero interest in gossiping over tea with the other ladies. Her mother wants nothing more than for the 22-year-old to pick a husband and begin her own family, but with World War One sweeping across Europe, Ellie has different ideas and new opportunities arise. When Ellie’s twin cousins die in battle, Ellie disobeys her mother’s wishes and enlists as in the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) to support in the medical care of wounded soldiers.

Ellie is assigned her duties and arrives at a general care hospital on the northern coast of France in the winter of 1915. There she meets nurse, Johanna Lennox. Lennox suffers no fools and is hard on the VAD’s, as she expects they are more interested in adventure than really facilitating care of the war-ravaged soldiers. To Johnna’s dismay, Ellie proves repeatedly she is capable, intelligent and kind. Respect grows into friendship, and friendship grows into love.

This book gives you so much. Erin McKenzie does an excellent job of evoking the emotions of the reader. You feel the terror and fatigue that the characters experience, you revel in their joy of finding true love, and you despair over the sacrifices they have to much in such a perilous time. You yearn for these characters just to find peace and happiness.

This is a great read. If you love amazing female protagonists and a good love story this is the book for you. You cannot go wrong with this one.

4 out of 5 stars https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/while-my-heart-beats-by-erin-mckenzie-3251-b

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

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The Holiday Treatment by Elle Spencer

I think Elle Spencer writes delightful books. Her 2018 book, Casting Lacey, happens to be one of my all-time favorites. Her latest novel, The Holiday Treatment, is what everyone needs right now. FUN! Pick this one up and enjoy the ride because this gem keeps you smiling and giggling the whole way through.

Holly Hudson is the queen of feel-good Christmas movies. She writes holiday love stories for Wifetime network. Holly creates movies that give people Christmas cheer, the only thing is, she loathes the holiday. As soon as she can she heads for Hawaii to getaway. This year, she happens to run into her longtime crush, Wifetime producer, Meredith Drake.

The whole book is funny. Holly our main character is a hot mess. She is adorable, witty, and keeps you in stitches. Meredith is 100 percent taken with her and the chemistry is palatable. The push-pull of their love story keeps you engaged the whole time. At times it is so sweet and the other times, well it is super sexy.

Great read, highly recommend. If you need a book to escape, this is it. You will love this adorable read that gives you a ton of fun. Who doesn’t need more fun in their life right now?

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/elle-spencer-296