What the Heart Remembers Most by M. Ullrich

If you have read M. Ullrich before you know she can give you the unexpected at any time. I never know which direction she will take me when reading one of her amazing books. It’s amazing that an author has that much creativity. 

 What the Heart Remembers Most tackles amnesia. Jax Levine is going about her days when she gets a call that her soon to be ex-wife and the mother of her son has been seriously injured. Jax’s whole world is turned upside down. Time stops and her life becomes consumed with sitting by the bedside of Gretchen Mills. These two were meant to last forever, but life, work, and raising a young child tore them apart. Now that Gretchen is injured, Jax must take the next steps to make sure her former love is taken care of. Things really get swirl, when Gretchen awakens with four years of lost memories.

You think you have a clue about how this story will play out, nope, M. Ullrich swerves and keeps you guessing to the end. There was a moment I thought I lost my mind or my Kindle went haywire. Nope, just a curveball to throw everything you thought you knew right out the dang window. This drama pulls you into Jax and Gretchen’s heartache and pain. Their marriage has crumbled and now the why is under the microscope. You feel the angst, tension, and heartache. This book is really really well written, but at times it can rip your heart out.

If you want something different, filled with emotion, this is the book for you.

3.75 out of 5 stars

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To the Moon and Back by Melissa Brayden

Melissa Brayden, her books just bring me happiness and joy. Happiness and joy! Sometimes it is the little things in life like a fantastic run, a smile from a stranger, or a really good book that make the world seem just a little bit better. While reading To the Moon and Back that’s how I felt, just a little bit better, and you know what I’ll take it.

Brayden takes us to the theater in her latest novel. Carly Daniel is a successful actress in Hollywood. She’s made her mark out in LA, had a run of successful movies but now her star power is in trouble. A few antics here and there and her image and reputation has been tarnished. She has been labeled a diva who makes trouble on and off set and now her job prospects have all but dried up. Carly is given an opportunity to do theater work in the world-renowned McAllister Theater in Minneapolis. She has to take the gig, even if she really doesn’t want to because this may be her last opportunity to get her reputation back on track.

Lauren Prescott is the stage manager at McAllister. She has worked her tail off for weeks on end and is now scheduled for a vacation. When her boss lands Carly Daniel for their next play, Lauren’s plans for sunshine and relaxation are put on hold to make sure Ms. Daniel stays out of trouble and preforms to her highest potential.

Carly and Lauren have immediate chemistry. They know it, and better yet we as the reader know it. Add in some fabulous banter, fun stage antics and you have the recipe for a fantastic read. Melissa Brayden does what she does best, she delivers amazing characters, witty banter, all while being fun and relatable. I loved this book, and I loved the distribution and escape from the real world it offered. You cannot go wrong with this book.

4.5 out of 5 stars

In the Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling

Nicole Stiling’s latest novel gives us vampires. What is it about vampires that draws us in so much. Paranormal isn’t usually one of my go-to’s but this was a fun and well-written change of pace.

Megan Denham is in the wrong place at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. The 30-something realtor stops by a local gas station and walks right into an armed robbery. I won’t give away all the details but know, all hope was lost for Megan until something stepped in and saved her.

Our other main character is Angeline. Angeline is definitely not what she seems. The gorgeous veterinarian has secrets that she has kept for a very long time. She is drawn to Megan in a way she has not been drawn to another woman in ages. As the book progresses you learn of Angeline’s story, often through flashbacks. Stiling does a great job of giving you the history of this enigmatic character and how she become who she is today.

There is romance, there is a lot of action, history and well, vampires. It is a well-written book, my only hang-up is that at times it felt too rushed. There is a lot of detail coming at you in regard to Angeline’s character and her past life. That took away from the romance in my opinion. I would have liked more emotion between our leading ladies. It felt superficial in the love department. Lust, yes, I got that, true love, I needed more.

Overall, this was an engaging story that was a fun and exciting change of pace. If this book continues into a series, which I felt like that was the direction the ending gave us, I am totally here for it. Stiling is a great writer and I am so interested to see what direction she takes us next. Give this book a chance if you love vamps, history or you just need to switch things up from your regular les-fic.

3 out of 5 stars

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Out of Practice (Legal Affairs #2) by Carsen Taite

Out of Practice by Carsen Taite is book number two in Taite’s Legal Affairs series. This book can easily be read as a standalone, but I would recommend beginning in order. This book is focused on Abby, an overworked lawyer who is finally doing something for herself and taking a dream beach vacation to relax, unwind, and have a little more fun for once. Abby meets Roxanne, who dazzles her from the very first moment she sees her.

Roxanne is a blogger, who specializes in weddings. She has a huge following and therefore is undercover while working at the beach resort both she and Abby are staying at. Roxanne makes the calculated risk of not telling Abby who she is and what she really does. They hit it off and a vacation romance begins and ends. The hiccup is both feel more than they should for a vaca hook-up and when they both get back to their hometown of Austin. They do meet again but it turns out they are on opposite sides of a legal battle involving a bridal dress shop gone bankrupt.

You know if you go for a Carsen Taite book you are going to get a great read. It’s guaranteed every time. I thought this book was so fun and engaging. The characters are well developed, the chesty is there and the legal drama keeps you engaged. I am not usually one for the instant-love but Taite does this one so well. I cannot wait for book 3 in this series.

3 out of 5 stars

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Flavor of the Month by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers does it again, she wins our hearts with delightful leading ladies, witty dialogue and a story that keeps us invested till the last page. Really what more could you ask for? Beers delivers every time and I love to settle in with one of her books for a relaxing evening of fun and damn good storytelling.

Emma and Charlie were besties growing up. As they grew, so did their relationship. They became each other’s first everything. After graduating high school each of them chose their own school and while they tried their best to keep the relationship going, it fell apart because of the distance. Charlie followed her dreams, graduated, and headed off to New York. She fell for her boss, a gorgeous older businesswoman who oozed sophistication, power, and money. She becomes the older woman’s lover for a few years, giving up her career to tend to her girlfriend’s needs until she is replaced by someone else. Heartbroken, penniless, and full of shame and guilt, Charlie heads home to her small town to lick her wounds in her parent’s basement.

Emma has never really gotten over Charlie. She wants to bury her broken heart and throw everything into her restaurant. Charlie was the love of her life, now Emma only takes time for superficial hookups. There is no way anyone can destroy her the way the breakup dis. You can only imagine how mad Emma is when her childhood sweetheart shows back up in Shaker Falls as the new resident.

This book is full of regrets, angst, forgiveness, and understanding. This second chance at love is a sweet tale that a great escape. I promise you will adore Emma and Charlie’s story.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Those Who Wait by Haley Cass

Hi to everyone that takes a moment to read these reviews. I hope you are doing well and staying safe during this tumultuous time. With everything going on, I took a step back from reading romance and keeping up with this blog. Thank you to those that reached out to me, you are the reason I wrote this review today.

I did reach for a book this week and stumbled upon a phenomenal book by Haley Cass. This book is a long slow burn and hot damn it is good from the first chapter. Haley Cass can write and my goodness she gives us one hell of a spectacular romance.

Sutton Spencer is a graduate student who is newly out to her family and friends but is afraid to begin dating. Her bestie Regan signs her up for a lesbian dating app and she meets a gorgeous woman online named Charlotte. They immediately hit it off, but Charlotte is looking for a no-strings attached hook-up and Stutton is looking for the woman of her dreams. They agree to become friends, and Charlotte takes the role of a dating mentor to the inexperienced Sutton.

Obviously, Sutton and Charlotte have bucket loads of chemistry. These two sizzle right off the page. Cass builds them up and gives you enough of the romance to keep you feverishly turning the page. This book gives you fantastic dialogue, mesmerizing characters, and so much heat. Your heartstrings will be pulled by these two leading ladies. This is absolutely the best book I have read in 2020. Whatever you write next Haley Cass, I am there for it!

All the stars! This one goes in the absolute favorite pile.

Those Who Wait by [Haley Cass]

 

 

 

 

Temptation by Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is a really good writer. She writes stories that are engaging, her characters are well thought out and her stories have some great sexy time. I think Temptation just missed the mark with ME. Emphasize the me.

I thought the premise of the book was fantastic. College grad student cut-off from upper middle-class parents for not following their dream for her to follow in their footsteps and become a doctor. Grad student begins taking babysitting jobs to survive and falls into the gig of a full-time nanny for an ultra-wealthy single mom. It’s a good plot line!

I liked the plot, liked the characters, but the romance just fell short. Between the sheets, hot as hell. The romance was a bit thin in my very humble option. I liked it, I just did not love it. Still glad I read it though. If you are looking for something steamy, this one will definitely be for you.

2.75 out of 5 stars

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Big Girl Pill by K.D. Williamson

After reading the very first chapter of Big Girl Pill, I knew K.D. Williamson had written a damn good book. Truth be told Williamson always gives you a fantastic story but this one pulled me in early and had me enthralled till the very last page. This is one of the best lesfic books of 2019. Such a fantastic read!

Maya Davis is headed back to her hometown for her best friend’s wedding. She accepted the job as bridesmaid not because she is thrilled for her besties upcoming nuptials but to finish the job of ripping her heart out. She has been in love with the future bride for years. Seeing Nina get married has to finish the job and let her move one. she just has to get through the excruciating experience with as much strength and stoicism as possible.

Nina Sterling is getting married. She likes her future husband is a resound to the safe future he has planned for them. Nina’s unhappy childhood has paved the way for this wedding. Her mother is mean and emotionally abusive. Her constant barrage of insults has left Nina a shell of a person. She looks back on her time in high school and college with fond memories because of the fun she had with Maya. She would do anything to suppress her feeling for her best friend and erase the memory of their drunken night in bed together.

The main characters in this book are masterfully written. The supporting cast adds so much depth to the story. K.D. Williamson just brought the heat when it comes to character development and dialogue. Outstanding! I could go on and on about how good this book is, but the main thing I can say…go read it. Your heart will be so happy you did!

5 out of 5 stars

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Candice Cushing and the Lost Tomb of Cleopatra by Georgette Kaplan

I adore the way Georgette Kaplan writes. Her style is fast, witty and laced with humor and sarcasm. I know her writing can be a bit hit or miss with some readers but I just love it. Her latest book takes us back to the desert for a continuation of her The Cushing-Nevada Chronicles. If you have not read Easy Nevada and the Pyramid’s Curse, you definitely want to start there before picking this one up. This is not a sequel you can just jump into.

Easy Nevada and Candice Cushing reunite for an epic adventure full of sexual tension and more danger than an Indiana Jones could ever handle. Our two badass ladies are headed to Sudan to acquire the final skull of the Greek Gods for an unhinged billionaire who wants all the power his money and influence can buy.

As wild as this book is, we find tiny pockets of downtime where Candice and Easy begin to drop their walls around each other. Kaplan slowed the story down just enough to give the reader a hint of romance and focus on character development. You see behind Easy’s mask of deflection and wit. You see why she uses her humor to avoid dealing with insurmountable pain. Her loyalty to Candace in the face of epic danger endures you to her. Candace finds that as much as she misses what her life was like before Easy, she is drawn to the woman and this epic adventure she has been thrust into. A tiny seed of love has been planted in book two.

This series is unlike anything you have read in lesfic before. It’s smart, it’s zany, it’s violent and you just cannot stop reading. I did not want it to end! Such a fabulous read and I cannot wait for the next one in this series.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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The Roommate Arrangement by Jae

I love romance. I love a slow burn romance even more. Tell me it’s written by Jae and here I come running. Jae 100% of the time gives you a great read with characters that will steal your heart and keep you invested till the very last page. Her latest book, The Roommate Arrangement is no exception. This is a fantastic read that had me hooked all the way through.

If you have read Just for Show, you might remember Claire’s younger sister, Steph. She is one of our two main characters. (If you didn’t read it seriously no worries it won’t matter, but you should it’s a fantastic read as well). Steph is a stand-up comedian that is trying to make her big break. For the last year, she has spent her life on the road, gig after gig in run-down bars in the middle of nowhere. She knows she has to make it in Los Angeles or give up her dream for good. Steph refuses to take money from her wealthy Beverly Hills family, so she needs a roommate desperately to afford life near the comedy clubs on Melrose.

Rae is our other main, and yep you guessed it Steph’s new roommate. Rae is the strong silent type, the direct opposite of the fun and perky comedian. Rae used to be a police officer with LAPD, but after a tragic shooting that left Rae injured and killed her best friend, she left the force. She now is security for one of the biggest and most prominent comedy clubs in LA. She is less than thrilled when Steph lets her know that they must pretend to be a couple to secure the new lease.

This is a true slow-burn romance. The two mains start off dancing around even tolerating the other one. As you read they become more open and honest with each other, showing vulnerability and beginning to trust and respect each other. A friendship develops and then more. I loved how Jae took her time bringing them together. It felt natural and added so much to the story. Rae and Steph are fantastic characters, I just loved them! A great read that I highly recommend.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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