Two to Tangle by Melissa Brayden

Two to Tangle is the second installment in Melissa Brayden’s, Tangle Valley Romance series. If you read her first book in this series, Entangled, you will remember chef extraordinaire, Gabriella Russo. In this romance not only does the chef whip up culinary delights, but she also opens the winery’s newest restaurant with the help of a local construction crew and their boss, Ryan Jacks. Did I mention romance and sparks, well there are quite a few of them between Gabriella and Ryan!

Ryan Jacks is somewhat of a player. Ryan lets the ladies, and there are a number of them, know she is down for fun between the sheets but that is all. She isn’t interested in the commitment of any type. That is until she meets the tough but sweet newest resident, Gabriella. When they meet she second-guesses all her old ways, the only problem is that her reputation is already firmly in place.

Gabriella is currently creating amazing dishes out of her food truck, but the end goal is to create a world class restaurant that sets Tangle Valley Vineyard miles above the rest. She’s finally creating the food she wants and has found happiness in the beauty of Whisper Wall, Oregon. Everything is going according to plan until she meets the stunning Ryan Jacks. As Ryan’s company begins building Gabrielle’s dream these two grow as friends and then more. The only problem is Ryan’s reputation and cold feet seem to get in the way.

Melissa Brayden does it again with a sweet and sexy romance that leaves you feeling content and full of happiness. As always the book is full of smiles, fabulous dialogue, and characters you wish were your best friends. You don’t have to read the first in the series to dive into this one, but I would recommend it. Trust me, read everything by Brayden, you will not be disappointed.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/melissa-brayden-166-a

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Hopeless Romantic by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers, I cannot thank you enough for the adorable books you write. We are busy, and we are stressed. 2020 has been a doozy of a year for us all. It takes books like Hopeless Romantic to make the world a little better, and for a short time a little more peaceful. Diving into a good book makes the stresses of the world fall away. So I thank you Georgia Beers for a delightful book that made all seem right in the world for just a little bit.

The book begins by introducing us to wedding planner, Teddi Baker. Teddi has just begun rebounding both professionally and personally for a disaster of a marriage that wrecked both her heart and her income. While she can plan the most epic wedding for her clients, she no longer believes in happily ever after.

Leah Scott is a successful divorce attorney who is helping her younger sister plan her perfect day. Leah wants to give her sister the wedding of her dreams. Upon arriving at the wedding planner’s office, she is immediately smitten with Teddi Baker. Sparks fly between these two ladies instantly. That is until Ms. Baker relieves that Leah is the attorney who helped her ex-wife take everything she had worked so hard to build.

The story is fun, witty, and has enough angst to keep you hooked. I loved that Beers was able to build the tension and keep the sparks between the two mains flying throughout the books. Hopeless Romantic makes you a smile and warms your heart. This is the perfect combination for a much needed escape on a chilly fall day.

3.25 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/georgia-beers-10

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No After You by Nicole Pyland

Every book I read, I am hoping it will be one of those big ones that stay with you. You know the ones, the books that as soon as you finish it, you want to read it again. I love a good book but I am always on the hunt for a great one. Thanks to Nicole Pyland I found a great one. No After You is an amazing read. This is one I have read once and no without a doubt I will read again.

Peyton Gloss is a mega superstar. Think T-Swift big. She is performing one night at a charity function and meets supermodel Dani Wilder. From the moment these two meet there are sparks and there is chemistry. It jumps off the page, you know it, they know it and it makes for one hell of a good story. One big problem, Dani is currently dating a tech mogul, named Steven. As much a Peyton wishes for more, she becomes Dani’s friend.

What you get is a slow burn, friends to lover romance that sweet and sexy. I had no expectations going in but let me tell you loved every dang page. This one was soooo good. I cannot recommend this one enough. I am new to Nicole Pyland’s work but not for long I am ready to binge read all her stuff.

5 out of 5 Stars

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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