Long-Distance Coffee (Midnight Coffee #1) & Coffee and Conclusions (Midnight Coffee, #2) 

Long-Distance Coffee (Midnight Coffee #1)

I really, really like Emma Sterner-Radley’s work. She is a writer that gives you a great story with interesting characters that draw you right into the story. I love when an author can take you away from reality and pitch you right into their book. Sterner-Radley is one of those authors.

Erin Black is a personal trainer residing in Manhattan. She is a loner and suffers from insomnia. Her sleepless nights turn into late night infomercials and surfing Twitter for entertainment. Her boredom leads her to meeting Isabella Martinez. Isabella is the mother of an infant that has stomach issues that keep them both up. Erin becomes her late-night companion, first through sarcastic interaction on Twitter and then into more personal communications via Skype.

This is slow-moving, long-distance friendship that eventually blossoms into more. These two bare their souls to each other, needing a friend and finding it in the most unlikely place. They have witty banter that can turn into fun/playful as well as serious.

A super cute story that ends rather abruptly. You will need to go into this one knowing that the sequel is essential.

4 out of 5 stars

Coffee and Conclusions (Midnight Coffee, #2)

Book one of this series ended rather abruptly, so I was very glad to see the publisher did not waste any time with getting the next installment out. I’m going to get right to it and say I really enjoyed the first book, Long-Distance Coffee. I thought it was a sweet story of two lost souls connecting and finding each other. They bared their feelings and hurts to each other, needing a friend and then finding that once in a lifetime chance at love. A sweet, heartfelt story that consisted of adorable banter between the two main characters.

The second book left me feeling more along the lines of meh. Let me explain. This part of the book we finally get the two characters to meet. Woohoo! That’s a great moment. Really a couple of great moments, but then the story began to just drag. It was too much talking and it felt soap-boxy and unrealistic later in the book. I felt myself wanting to skip paragraphs and even rolled my eyes at the parts that I thought were a bit over the top.

I think this series would have been better slimmed down and made into one book. The second part felt too long. Just my opinion, though. I enjoyed Emma Sterner-Radley’s work and look forward to where she takes me next.

2.75 stars rounding up to a 3

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My Top 10 Books of 2017

Best of 2017

Well, this year has come to an end. It was like riding the crazy train all year long. In terms of books, I thought the year started off strong, hit a pretty significant slump and then once fall rolled around, boom we had so many amazing books it was hard to keep with all the awesomeness coming my way. I swear I read five-star after five-star books for six weeks straight. 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.

Overall my favorite book of the year: Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler
This one hit on everything I love the most when it comes to a romance book. Captivating characters, one being an ice princess. Yessss! Then make them badass athletes with a slow burn hate to love scenario. Well, you go me. I was hooked. This one just resonated with me and easily goes into my must read again and best ever categories.

Tricky Chances: The Clinical Years (Tricky, #2) by Camryn Eyde
As close at it can be this one was right up there. So, so good. Ice princess medical student. A heartbreaking breakup and then that good old get the girl back with laying all the emotions out there. I love this series.

Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne
An absolutely delightful book that was a breath of fresh air. So full of diverse characters and two mains who are just amazing. Emily O’Beirne is just an amazing writer, and in this book, she took her amazingness to a whole other level.

Who’d Have Thought by G. Benson
Halfway through this one and I wanted to close it and start it back over. It was so damn good that I wanted to savor every chapter. This one was outstanding. Loved it!

Worthy of Trust and Confidence (Agent O’Connor, #2) by Kara A. McLeod
You have a fantastic mystery, a ton of corruption and a love story that just won’t quit. The two main are badass Secret Service agents with smoldering hot chemistry. I don’t need to say much more, do I?

Known Threat (Agent O’Connor, #3) by Kara A. McLeod
Yeah, the follow-up is one here too. This series has me hooked for sure. This book was one of the ones I was most excited about. Oh, and it so delivered! This one is better than the predecessors. It will stick with you long after the last page and have you impatiently waiting to meet up with these characters again.

Making a Tinderbox (The Tinderbox Tales, #1) by Emma Sterner-Radley
This is one of those books you find and just turn to mush because it did everything right. It took a hold of my heart, as sad as I was that the story was over, I was dazzled by its brilliance as well. I am so glad there will be more in this series.

The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter
Tension, oh that glorious sexual tension. This was a long slow burn that was delightful. Everything about this book is done right. The writing is crisp, the characters, well they were amazing and the dialogue could go from biting to amusing at the flip of a page.

The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett
Ashley Bartlett has me spellbound with this series. This is one of the other books that I was so excited about finally getting my hands on this year. I love how she writes, it’s fast-paced and sharp. Her characters are multi-faceted that live their lives in a grey area of a whole lot of wrong but is it really that bad? This is the moral dilemma of epic proportions that haunts both or our main character. Cash the lovable drug dealer and Laurel the undercover cop that is head over heels in love with her. SOOOO GOOD!!!!

Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb
A roller coaster ride of awesomeness is what this book is. Twists and turns with a ton of sexiness. This psychological thriller like no other is the f/f romance genre. You cannot put this one down once you start. 

Making a Tinderbox (The Tinderbox Tales #1) by Emma Sterner-Radley

I don’t even know how to start with this one, but I am going to give it my best shot at articulating just how good this book was. One word summary, Wow. I was wowed, amazed, and totally spellbound by Making a Tinderbox. If I could read books like this one everyday life would be truly grand. This is one of those books you find and just turn to mush because it did everything right. It took hold of my heart and a sad as I was that the story was over, I was dazzled by its brilliance as well.

Lady Elisandrine ‘Elise’ Falk has been told by the queen that she is to marry the queen’s brother, Prince Macray in three months time. Elise, not being one to ever want to marry, especially to someone of the male persuasion is undeniably angry at the situation she has been put in. She is literally being locked in a castle until her wedding day. Elise is a character with smart, witty and a ton of spirit. She is never one to hold her tongue and it tends to land her in a heap of trouble.

Nessa Clay is the direct opposite of Elise. A commoner who has worked beside her parents in a small town, taking care of the crops to make ends meet. She is quiet, self-conscious with a bit of a stutter. What draws you to Nessa is that she is both selfless and gracious. A strong, stoic woman that when needed arrises to the occasion. When Neesa meets Elise, and Elise requests her help Nessa goes above and beyond to help the lady.

I think what really sets this book apart from so many others is how multi-layered it is. Sterner-Radley has given you a long detailed story. There are no cutting corners to save space, no rushed ending to warp it. The author takes her time and draws the characters out. Backstories are cleverly crafted, the scenes are set, and you feel the story and see it play out as you read along. What I loved most of all, and I am talking really, really fell in love with, is how the character’s chemistry between each other is just dynamite. It just jumps right off the page! You have sexiness, cuteness, agonizing angst and self-sacrifice all rolled into one epic adventure.

This is a book that has everything I look for and it does it to perfection. Fantastic characters, dazzling dialogue, a delicious plot full of adventure, angst, and romance. You cannot ask for more. Making a Tinderbox stole my heart from the very beginning and by the end I wanted to read it again.

***If I could give this six stars I would. How in the world have I read two books within a ten-day time span that have been this amazing? I have just been giving out 5 stars like nobody’s business.

5 out of 5 stars, but really a six!

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Life Pushes You Along by Emma Sterner-Radley

Life is funny sometimes. One day you’re totally fine and then the next you have that overwhelming blah feeling. You take a look around and start to wonder why am I stuck in this rut? Do you take a much need vacation, take up a new hobby or do you flip a switch and make a much-needed career change? That’s exactly what our main character, Zoe does. She takes a leap a faith and starts to change her life’s current trajectory. Will her gamble be worth it?

Zoe Achidi has not had an easy life. When she came out to her parents they abandoned her. Cast out of her childhood home as a teen, she has literally had to make it the hard way. Begging for a job, and working tirelessly to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. Her boss and owner of the neighborhood bookstore, is the ultimate slacker, using Zoe as his workhorse so he can phone it in but keep the benefits of her hard work. Most of us wouldn’t put up with what Zoe does, but how do you leave a job that saved you from the streets, even though you know you are capable of so much more. Rock meet hard place, right! The one highlight of her existence is an amazing brother, bestie and the super-hot client that visits her workplace.

Rebecca Clare is said hottie. Rebecca is a successful businesswoman. Over the course of time, Rebecca has taken notice of Zoe, but she’s the younger woman as out of her league. Funny, because Zoe thinks the exact same thing about Rebecca. Upon an unexpected meeting with Zoe’s brother, Rebecca agrees to help Zoe break out of her rut. She begins to assist Zoe, on improving her resume and searching for jobs with a better career path.
Rebecca and Zoe have a fantastic dynamic. These two have a magnetic pull to each other. Their heads war with the hearts, neither seeing how amazing they are but the other totally seeing it. Rebecca, at the age of 40, doesn’t see why a 26-year-old beauty would want anything to do with her other than a mentor. Zoe, cannot for the life of her, see why a successful professional would see anything in a lowly bookstore clerk. They click, they bring out the best in each other, and finally, the heart wins the battle and their heads get out of the way of love. A little help from the bestie and the brother help as well.

Overall this novella is well written, with excellent dialogues. Zoe and Rebecca are interesting and dynamic characters that jump right off the page. I can’t wait to see what Emma Sterner-Radley writes next.

4.25 out of 5 stars