Pursuit of Happiness by Carsen Taite

I am not going to lie, I was very hesitant to pick up a book based on politics. In today’s political climate it is hard enough to read the news every day without becoming more and more depressed. I read to escape, so whether its fact or fictional politics, is that an area I want to wade into? The author is was what sold me on this one. I like Taite’s style of writing. She is consistent in terms of quality and always writes strong female characters that are as intelligent as they are beautiful.

Senator Meredith Mitchel is part of a political dynasty. Her family knows the political arena well. Being president is a dream of Meredith’s but that’s years from now. When the story begins, Meredith is fully backing another female Democrat, a senior senator from Texas who has been positioning herself for the presidency for years. A wrench is suddenly thrown in Merideth’s plan to wait out this presidential cycle. A damning scandal hits and suddenly Meredith’s name has shot to the very top of the candidate wish list. The biggest question is does she go for it, and everyone is pushing for a yes, everyone but the women she has developed the biggest crush on.

Our other main is Stevie Palmer. Stevie is a public defender in DC who avoids politics at all cost. She will testify before Congress on criminal justice reform but anything more than that is too much. Her focus is on her work and ensuring justice for her clients. Through hard work and a ton of sacrifices, Stevie has found herself in a job she loves and friends she can count on. As attracted as she is to Senator Mitchel dating a presidential nominee is overwhelming and the spotlight is blinding.

First off, yes this book deals with politics, but I would not say it is not a political heavy book. I think more than anything it makes you wish this was real life and not what we are currently living through. I really liked both characters and I thought their romance was sweet but the story needed to focus on them as much as it did on Meredith’s campaign. I felt it tilted more towards a drama than a true romance. My biggest fault with this book is that the ending was way too fast and abrupt. It felt like the pacing was off when the book was screaming for more chapters. We hit the crescendo of the story and then bam the end. I needed more and I wanted more from this book. Still good, just could have been great.

3 stars out of 5 stars

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Major Surgery by Lola Keeley

It safe to say Lola Keeley will always have a bit of my heart. You see last year she wrote hands down the best book of 2018. That story took my damn breath away countless times. Fighting one hell of a reading slump, I was truly grateful to read her newest novel, Major Surgery. 

Medical romances, I’m going to flat out tell you, I love them. LOVE THEM! Two hot lady doctors that square off and have tension, heat and intelligent banter, oh yeah, that is just what I am looking for. Add in that one of our docs is a total ice queen. Give me this book!

Major Cassie Taylor is a trauma surgeon who has left the service and is applying for a new position as Head of Trauma for St. Sophia’s hospital in London. As skilled as Cassie is at saving lives with quick thinking and great hands she cannot do anything right in the eyes of Veronica Mallick, the head of the Acute Medical Unit. Cassie’s not supposed to be the head of Trauma. Veronica had been grooming another colleague/friend to take that spot for years. The major’s arrival is unexpected to twist to Veronica’s world. To say this woman is a control freak would be an understatement. As much as these two clash, there is still a level of respect and professionalism in their stand-offs. That I appreciated! Veronica and Cassie challenge each other professionally as well as personally and you can see as the story progresses that they relish the banter and the friendship that develops.

This story has that slow burn that starts with dislike, eases into friendship and then develops into something more. I thought the two characters were very well written dynamic leading ladies. The story is smart and leans just a bit more of into a drama than an actual romance. It is a very good story. I really loved my time with it. Keeley is definitely one of those authors that you cannot wait to see where they take you next. 

4 out of 5 stars

My Top Ten Romance Novels of 2018 – BETTER LATE THAN NEVER :)

  • The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley
  • Breaking Character by Lee Winter
  • Blend by Georgia Beers
  • Sparks Like Ours (Seven Shores #3) by Melissa Brayden
  • In Development by Rachel Spangler
  • Just For Show by Jae
  • Under Your Skin by Lee Winter
  • Casting Lacy by Elle Spencer
  • Survival Instincts by May Dawney
  • Black Ridge Falls (Above and Beyond #6) by Jody Klaire 

2018 is in the books and 2019 is here and into February already. I hit a major reading slump, I haven’t had one this bad in years. In terms of books, I thought that this year has some amazing books and a lot that left me wishing for more. This year I found myself going back to some old favorites and re-reading those gems and passing on some of the newer ones. Thanks to all of you on here, I love finding great recommendations from y’all and seeing your thoughts on the books that I loved or felt blah about.

FAVORITE OF 2018: Overall my favorite book of  2018 was an easy choice. Nothing even came close to The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley. This one is  walked right in as an all-time favorite. A book that you go back to time and time again. I read this book wanted to start right back over. 

 

A Wish Upon a Star by Jeannie Levig

A Wish Upon a Star by Jeannie Levig is a fabulous read. This book has those little moments that pull at your heartstrings. A slow burn romance that uses tension in the most glorious way. Leving writes a balanced well-written book with characters that you just cannot get enough of. So damn good!

Leslie Raymond has had her heart shattered. The wounds are deep and extraordinarily painful she decides to move from her home in Florida back to her childhood residence in Burbank, California. This is a chance for a new beginning, a chance to heal and start fresh. What is she isn’t prepared for is her gorgeous neighbor and her amazing daughter.

Erica Cooper is a college professor and mother to Siena, a special needs child that that is on the autistic spectrum. Siena is immediately taken to Leslie and her dog. They strike up and unlikely friendship that is filled with understating, patience and kindness.

Erica and Leslie each have baggage and trust issues from previous relationships. They develop an easy friendship that builds as the story moves along. It feels real, I cannot say how impressive these characters are. They are three dimensional and are 100% relatable. Not to mention the chemistry between Erica and Leslie is out of this world.

What makes this book special is not just the two mains and their romance but how Siena and even Gus, the dog all play such an intricate role in the book. You cannot help but fall in love with them all. This is an amazing story.

5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books                       https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/a-wish-upon-a-star-by-jeannie-levig-2726-b

London, Actually (London Romance Series Book 5) by Clare Lydon

London, Actually is book 5 in Clare Lydon’s the ‘London Romance’ series. This one takes us to a corporate setting involving Rachel’s younger sister, Becca. Becca has landed her first job since graduating from college working for an event planning firm. One big problem for Becca upon starting her dream job is that she just made out with her new boss Saturday night.

Cleo Nightingale is a 39 year old is the head of events for Workplace as global office space company. On Monday morning she is reeling from an unexpected yet amazing Saturday evening. Saturday, Cleo and her brother Duncan attended the wedding of their childhood neighbor. At the wedding, Cleo met the most amazing woman, 23 year old hottie, Becca. They enjoyed each other’s company went out after the nuptials for drinks and had a fabulous drunken goodnight kiss. One she was still thinking about later.

Becca and Cleo are caught up in a workplace romance neither expected. They both try like hell to put their kiss behind them but as they learn more about each other the attraction only intensifies. As much as Cleo does not want to date a younger woman she just cannot deny the sexual chemistry.
Clare Lydon’s always writes a clever, fun-loving story with well-defined characters. Overall, London, Actually is a very good addition to this wonderful series. A good romance to unwind with after a long week!

3.25 out of 5 stars

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Lovebirds by Lisa Moreau

Lovebirds by Lisa Moreau is a delightfully fun, syrupy sweet opposites attract romance.

Emily Wellington plays it safe. The only risk she has ever taken was to leave her well-paying marketing career to start a birding magazine call The Tweet. She promised her wealthy Beverly Hills parents and equally wealthy girlfriend that she would give the publication two years and if it was not profitable she would give up on her dream and go back to her old job. Tick tock, two years is up and her business is well into the red. She has also just accepted her long-term girlfriend’s marriage proposal. Pressure is coming from all sides to give up her birding passion, return to her corporate business career and settle in the Beverly Hill’s lifestyle her parents and girlfriend demand.

The opposite of Emily is Sydney Cooper. Sydney is broke, perpetually unemployed and cannot seem to catch a break. A teenage runaway, Sydney has brought herself up on the streets and used pole dancing as a way to make ends meet. Her dream is to teach at a Beverly Hills dance studio all she needs is the owner to finally give her the audition so she can show off her skills. 

Emily and Sydney develop an unlikely friendship as Emily searches for a rare bird and Sydney auditions for the posh dance studio. These two are thrust into hilariously awkward scenarios that leave them bickering, laughing and revealing a whole lot of attraction. 

Lovebirds is an endearing story that had me captured to the very last page. I loved the spark between the two mains and the dialogue between them was witty and fun. This is a good romance with a little something extra to set it apart.

3.5 out of  5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/lovebirds-by-lisa-moreau-2713-b

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Calendar Girl by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers writes a dang good story. You know that when you pick up one of her books you are going to get a quality story with interesting characters that have dynamite chemistry. I would be hard-pressed to find a Beers book I’ve not adored but this is quality stuff that every romance junkie will love.

Addison Fairchild is the runs one of the three branches of the Fairchild Empire, Fairchild Rentals. She is an absolute ice-queen that is cold and aloof. Trained from birth to run her mother’s real estate corporation she has learned to become hard-nosed and closed off. Since her mother has decided to retire, Addison has increased her workload with no breaks, zero fun, and life that is nothing but work, emails and phone calls. What this does is takes a toll on her health and leaves everyone who loves her petrified.

Katie Coper is the exact opposite of Addison. She has a magnetic personality that draws people to her. She lovable, cheerful and radiates positivity. Katie has every reason to be down on her luck but she still has that sunny disposition. Katie recently gave up a job she loved in the tech sector to take a part-time nanny position watching pre-school twins. Her father had been diagnosed with early onset dementia and Katie put her career on hold to move in with her parents to help be there for both of them during this trying time. After a while, the bills pile up and Katie needs to help with the financial load, when her bestie at Fairchild offers her a well-paying personal assistant job to the distant Addison, Katie has no choice but to jump at the opportunity.

These two get off on the wrong foot, mostly because Addison is a control freak who is being forced by her mother/boss to have a PA. Katie has big ideas of how to help her new boss but Addison is hesitant to change anything. These two butt heads, but as their time together increases they begin to see each other in a new light. The walls fall, and perceptions fall away. The chemistry between these two is seriously dynamic and sexy.

I adored this book. The two mains were written beautifully and the whole opposites attracts thing is always a winner in my book. Loved the amped up tension with some angst! The connection between Addison and Katie is palpable. You can feel the chemistry coming right off the page. Loved it!

4.25 out of 5 stars

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