Falling by Kris Bryant

The premise for Falling really drew me in. I don’t have a fear of flying but every single time I go through a takeoff, I hold my breath. Not my favorite thing when the plane goes at breakneck speed and launches itself into the air. Totally just shuddered. This book has so many emotions running through it. The beginning is intense and gripping. There is sorrow, pain, doubt but there is also the sweetest romance. This book is by far Kris Bryant’s best work. She nailed every aspect of this book and it is every bit worth the 5 stars of this review.

When we meet Shaylie Beck she is having a crappy day. A long meeting, late flight, sucky seatmates that spend hours making out but she is almost home. Almost. Shaylie takes a last minute bathroom break before the plane begins to descend. That is when all hell really breaks loose. You got it, worst nightmare moments as the plane begins to break apart and head for a crash landing in the forest of Colorado. Shaylie is one of the few survivors.

Piper Cole isn’t on the plane, but her heart is. Her fiance and best friend/business partner are flying home from a business meeting in New York. She lost everything that night when the plane went down. Devastated and alone, Piper trudges on with work as Yoga studio owner but she wants answers as to why the plane went down.

Piper and Shaylie meet in grief counseling and immediately strike up an easy friendship. They become a lifeline for each other. Piper is processing her sadness and pain while Shaylie is going through survivors guilt and learning how to really live. Don’t think this book is the ultimate bummer because it is anything but. While you do witness all their emotions they are both amazing characters that really become endeared to your heart. I absolutely adored their friendship and rooted for the romance the whole time. The supporting characters that are in this book are also written marvelously and really make the book extra special.

This is a story you don’t want to pass on. A fabulous read that you will have a hard time putting down. Maybe don’t read it as you board your plane though. This is an easy 5 stars!

5 out of 5 stars

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Listen by Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant did an outstanding job with this book. Her best work so far! Listen is so sweet and compelling you just cannot help but fall in love with the characters she has created.

Lily Croft is a 27-year-old hermit. She spends the majority of her time in her Chicago apartment with her rescued tomcat. Lily lives for math and she excels at her finance focused career. She does not interact with anyone other than basic conversations. With no friends or family, this amazingly talented woman has shut herself off from the world. Why? Lily is a child music prodigy. Leading symphonies by the time she was 11 years old. With that talent came unspeakable demands and abuse from her parents. Forced to play 24/7, Lily began to have mental health issues including social phobia. Therefore she cut everyone out of her life, including the music that she once loved so much.

Hope De’Marco is also a musician. Hope runs a grant-funded music therapy studio that focuses on children with disabilities and inner-city kids. Lily just happens to be sub-contracted to a company that is right by Hope’s studio. One evening on her way home Lily hears Hope playing and it sparks curiosity in her and draws her to the music. She continues to go by the studio to hear the pianist play again.

Hope and Lily have a charming romance. Its gentle pace has you rooting for Lily’s growth and cheering Hope’s gentleness. What Bryant really excels at with this story is letting the reader feel the emotions of Lily. You feel her anxiety rippling off the page. When she was in a social experience that sparked her anxiety you were right there with her feeling those heart-pounding emotions. You root for Lily’s growth, you are dazzled by Hope’s kindness and you are terrified for that inevitable shoe to drop. A great book that keeps you spellbound to the end. You leave this one with a massive smile on your face.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Against All Odds by Kris Bryant, M. Ullrich & Maggie Cummings

Against All Odds takes on a journey of finding love in the aftermath of a disaster. A mass shooting takes place at a local bridal boutique and through that carnage, two amazing women find love in its aftermath. Bryant, Ullrich, and Cummings come together to weave a fabulous story or strength, love, and survival.

Peyton Clarke is an off-duty police officer who is finally getting her dress fitted for her sister’s upcoming wedding. A bit hungover after a night out with friends Peyton is struggling with a pounding head. Another customer also in the boutique for a bridesmaid dress fitting takes pity on her and offers her water and some friendly banter. Tory Stevens, a real-estate agent is immediately taken by Peyton. She cannot help but flirt with the gorgeous stranger. Minutes away from asking each other out these two ladies encounter a worst-case scenario.

Bradley Richter is going to steal away his ex-fiancée. She left him, destroyed his life and now is planning to marry another. Bradley is going to steal her back and make everyone pay for ripping them apart. He is a nutcase in every sense of the word. Bradley arrives at the bridal boutique and opens gunfire on everyone, killing eleven and leaving Peyton fighting for her life.

The three authors take the voice of Peyton, Tory, and Bradley and weave a story full of love, survival and well, in Bradley’s case disturbed. Our two leading ladies have an adorable chemistry and a sweet love story. This isn’t as heavy as a story as it could have been. Which I liked. The main focus is on their romance and coming together in the aftermath of a disaster. A lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Against All Odds

Forget Me Not by Kris Bryant

Grace Danner a marketing executive from Dallas heads to Ireland to complete the sale of her great-aunt’s flower shop. Only meeting the aunt a handful of times she was left everything in the will. Grace arrives in Ireland to find a thriving business, an adorable rooftop apartment and a whole lot of amazing acquaintances. Grace is all work so even taking a week off to head across the pond is a hardship.

Kerry Mulligan is Grace’s real estate agent. This fiery redhead will gladly take the commission from the sale of Aunt Nola’s shop, but in her heart or hearts, she doesn’t want it sold. She’s conflicted about the loss of the shop to this tight-knit community. Add to the misery, her friends and sister-in-law will be out of work as soon as the deal is signed.

I had a few issues with this one. I felt like I was reading the same chapter later in the book time and time again. What makes this especially frustrating is you had a great premise, beautiful setting and enough heat from the two mains getting off on the wrong foot to have a fantastic story. As the book progressed, that story actually regressed. Once Grace and Kerry see each other’s naughty bits that’s all you have. Sex scene after sex scene. They were hot sex scenes don’t get me wrong, but that was it. Then you have a lack of depth in the plot, the dialogue, and the angst. The angst should be there, it should be there in spades, but it wasn’t, it was just flat. I

Another issue was Grace Danner being a Texan. I despise Texas stereotypes because you always get the cowgirl bs. A female marketing executive that lives in a high rise condo in downtown Dallas does not walk around in Ariat boots every day. That is not her footwear of choice. Sure maybe if she goes to a western theme gala, but in jeans and in daily life, this is a big no. This would not happen, it doesn’t fit the look of the area at all. Now if you went over to Fort Worth, you may see more boots, if you went out to West Texas, that would be the footwear of choice for many, as those folks are real-life ranchers and live a western influenced lifestyle. You might as well say Grace rides her horse to town. Okay, maybe Grace Danner is the one Dallasite that does wear boots every day, but 99% of the rest of us do not. I’m getting down on off my over-sized Texan soap-box now.

Overall, the book had a good start, hot sexy time but was lacking depth and dialogue to make it really amazing.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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Taste by Kris Bryant

I love reading romance novels. What I love about them is the story, yes, but also the tension, the pull of two people coming together. To me, there is a fine line of how much sex is to be had and when in the story this should happen. I tend to like the sexy time to be after the 50% mark, but there are books that I absolutely adore that are the total opposite. Why am I droning on about this you ask? Well, there are books that I read and Taste by Kris Bryant happens to be one where the story was doing pretty darn well, and then the bow chicka wow wow takes place and boom the book falls apart.

Katherine “Ki” Blake is finishing up her culinary degree. Ki has one last class to go before she graduates and becomes a chef. When she meets her new teacher, South African chef, Taryn Ellis, she is instantly attracted and can think of little else. Ki’s hot, Taryn’s hot and both give each other smoldering looks all class long. You get the drift. Add in the fact that teacher/student relationships are frowned upon and Taryn needs this job because the schedule works well for her, since she is the single mother to a six-year-old daughter. Conundrum!

Around the 35% mark, I thought the book was going pretty well. I thought some of the culinary topics were a little over detailed and the dishes were pretty simplistic for a chef. To much fried chicken talk. It felt very cooking showish. I can get past that, fine whatever. What I had trouble with is that this relationship is taboo while Ki is Taryn’s student. Fine, realize you are into each other, but wait eight weeks to do anything about it. Build the angsty tension. I love the angsty tension!!! Don’t show up at your teacher’s house for sex then cry about it when she turns you down, but then jump into the sack anyways! NO!!! Well then the book just became basically erotica. Lots of monkey sex. Lots of the p has two ss ends in y word. Is that sexy to people? It’s just not to me. Drop the F-bomb like a mother but leave the p and c words at home.

Overall the book is written fine. I liked Bryant’s last book but my personal tastes may have just not line up with Taste. There will be people that like this one, I did not hate it, it just didn’t float my boat. The plot was thin and the main characters lacked chemistry.

2.5 stars out of 5

Taste
by Kris Bryant
Link: https://amzn.com/162639718X

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Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant

Tornadoes scare me to death. The city where I live literally had nine touch down in one day last month. Terrifying! So when Whirlwind Romance by Kris Bryant became available I was super intrigued. I want to read about tornadoes and romance, heck yes I do. So I did, all in one day.

The story is told through the first person perspective, through our main storm chaser & Oklahoma University college professor Tristan “Tris” Stark. Tris spends the majority of the spring and summer months chasing tornadoes across the plains with her BFF, Hunter and her dog, Maddox. So, basically Tris is a bad-ass, super smart, adventure junkie. I mean storm chasing is pretty darn cool, and if you live in tornado alley, you are very thankful for what these gals and guys do.

The other protagonist and romantic lead is Kate Brighten. Kate is a masters student at Oklahoma State (ugh oh rival schools) and is having her turn at storm chasing while on break from her studies. Kate is extremely quiet and very reserved. It takes chapters for Tris to pull even the most basic information from Miss Brighten. Tris on the other hand is an open book, overly talkative and guess what, she is instantly smitten with the beautiful, mysterious Kate. Literally, Kate is described as beautiful time and time again.

So tornadoes are chased, sexy time is made, accidents happen, information gets crossed, makeup sex and voilà we have a love connection that will last the span of time. I loved the premise of this book. I thought it was interesting and fun, and totally different from what is out there in this genre right now. Tornadoes, as scary as they can be, are also wildly fascinating. Incorporate that with romance and you have an interesting story. The problem that I had was Kate needed to be more than beautiful, it took forever to find out her story, and even then it was still pretty thin. Tris and Kate needed to have more dialogue between them in the first half of the book. I needed more than Kate is hot, to know why Tris would be interested and stay interested. Why was Kate interested in Tris? Less sex, more dialogue please!

Overall, this is a short book that is perfect if you need a few hours to escape. You probably will never re-read it but the time you spend with it will be exciting.

3 out of 5 stars

Whirlwind Romance
by Kris Bryant
Link: http://amzn.com/B01ATR903Q

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