The Scholarship by Jaime Maddox

This book is an excellent whodunit story wrapped into a delightful romance. Maddox does an excellent job of keeping you intrigued in the slow burn romance all the while knowing there is a cold case being unearthed simultaneously. While the love is brewing between our two mains there is a killer getting more skittish by the day.

Ella Townes spent weeks every summer in the Poconos at Lake Winola, as a young girl visiting her grandparents and making friends with the neighborhood kids at the lake they lived on. For Ella, this idyllic time in her life has a strong hold on her heart and at forty she jumps at the chance to move back to this beautiful lakeside town. Taking a new position as the VP of development at Poconos Mountain University, Ella accepts that her life will probably now include a special lady, she believes wholeheartedly that work will be enough to keep her satisfied.

Reese Ryan is a local ER doctor who has spent almost her entire life in her sleepy hometown. She loves her town, her friends, and her family. She is undeniably connected to this community. She has always been single, never thinking much about it. All of her relationships have been casual, except one, her childhood sweetheart, who was mysteriously murdered right before their high school graduation. When Ella Townes, moves in next door to Reese’s parents, all bets are off, this is one woman Reese cannot look over.

What’s great about this book is it has a well thought out plot, involving a murder mystery cold case wrapped around a delightful love story. Each part is done so well and balances each other beautifully. Ella and Reece’s romance is a slow burn filled with attraction and friendship. They circle around each other in the great push-pull that holds your attention and keeps you flipping the page into the night. All the while Maddox is slowly unraveling the mystery of Stephanie Gates death. A great romance with a smart mystery, this is one book of 2017 that you do not want to pass up. So good!

5 out of 5 stars

The Scholarship

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Sidebar by Carsen Taite

Carsen Taite is one of those authors if she writes I’m going to read it. At this point, I’m sold on her stories so much, I don’t even need to read the synopsis, not necessary, I know without a doubt it’s going to be a quality book. Sidebar is no exception, I knew within the first couple of chapters Taite has written something special with this one.

If I think back over all the books I have read by this author, one always stands out to me. It Should Be a Crime, to me has always been my favorite of Taite’s. It was special. That book had bucket loads of chemistry, angst and two very intelligent, strong female leads all wrapped with a well thought out and interesting plot. What more can you ask for, right? I guess at this point you can ask for Sidebar. It has that same magic. This is book swings for the fences and delivers a bases-loaded home run.

Camille Avery is a newly appointed federal judge. After a controversial case cost her re-election at the county level, Camille is ready to start over and get her career back on track. A kink is thrown into her plan of all business, no fun when her new clerk arrives. West Fallon is everything Camille usually stays always from. She’s a fierce, social crusader who is ready to change the world. Chemistry is one thing you can’t fake and these two have it in spades. No matter how much they try to dance around it, the magnet of attraction is just too much. Neither was looking for this, but there is no denying it either.

This book has it all, two fantastic lead characters, an interesting plot and that sizzling chemistry that great authors can make jump off the page. While all of Taite’s books are fantastic, this one is on the next level. No critiques, no criticism, you only need to know one thing…this is a damn good book.

5 out of 5 stars

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You Make Me Tremble by Karis Walsh

Overall I really enjoy Karis Walsh’s work. She writes interesting novels that have well-developed characters who aren’t perfect, but they super likable and always very intelligent women. Most of her novels follow her particular formula. She creates smart stories, with well thought out plots and characters that you could imagine yourself being friends with. While not overly remarkable her stores are good nonetheless.

The two mains in this book immediately clash with each other, okay that’s not totally true, they do check out each other and make about five minutes of small talk and then said clash! Casey Radnor is headed to the San Juan Islands to study the aftereffects of a recent earthquake. Excited to be in the field, she chats up local Iris Mallery. Iris does not care for the seismologist’s glee of studying this life-altering event. She points out the real people are affected that have had damage to their homes, businesses, and way of life.

Life has a funny way of bringing people back together. Casey, out studying fault lines stumbles on a gorgeous golden retriever in need of rescuing. Who runs the animal shelter in town? Why of course it’s that cutie Iris! A friendship is born and they make a few missteps along the way all the while attraction is just simmering away.

Another quality read from Karis Walsh. She is definitely a go-to for a heartwarming read.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Close to Home by Rachel Spangler

Redeeming a character can be a tough sell. How do you make a character, which said the character was downright terrible in a previous book your main character? Add into the fact that this is a romance novel, and your reader needs to have the feels. Tough, so tough, but Rachel Spangler does it like a boss.

If you read The Long Way Home you will remember, Kelly Nolan. Kelly was Beth’s longtime lover when Beth meets Rory. (side note: you can totally read this a standalone, but I would recommend ready both, just so you can see how far this character comes, and both of these books ae really good. Don’t short change yourself). Kelly is sort of the villain in The Long Way Home. She loses Beth because of her paranoia of anyone finding out they are lovers. She’s’ not a great girlfriend to Beth and her restrictions, her closet become too much for the relationship to withstand.

So now, we meet up with Kelly again. Kelly is still single, a little heart broken, lonely and above all else sill striving to be perfect. Tax season is around the bend and as a CPA, Kelly has a million things workwise to take care of. Add onto the heaping pile, her dad (her mentor, her hero) has just has a massive stroke. Beth, still in the picture as the supportive friend, encourages Kelly to take on an intern to help lighten the load.

This is where Elliott Garza comes in. Elliott is a lot like Rory, which isn’t a plus in Kelly’s book. She’s Kelly opposite, she is out, she’s a feminist, she is ready to take the world be storm and smash social injustices. Personality wise Elliott is the direct opposite of Kelly in almost every way

For all their differences, together they work. Elliot exposes Kelly’s softer sides, the one she has buried long ago to avoid be the whipping post for the small town of Darlington. Kelly learned long ago as a child, that because her mother walked out on them, that she would always be subject to the town’s gossip. Elliot brings out Kelly’s true nature and it was quite honestly mesmerizing to read. These two have a dynamic relationship. Fantastic read!

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb

Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb is nothing short of phenomenal. This book is everything you want and more. It is one delicious story, with amazing characters and an exciting plot…I could go on for days about how freaking fantastic this one is. All of Webb’s books are home runs, but somehow, someway, she took it to the next level with Repercussions. This is going to easily be in your top 5 books of 2017, if not number one.

Our main character is Edie Black. Life has given Edie a hard knock, literally. Run over while on a jog, Edie suffered multiple injuries, but the one that is the hardest to recover from is a severe concussion. Edie, a one-time investigative correspondent turned journalism professor prides herself on gut decisions and quick-thinking. The concussion-marred her self-identity and the inherent belief in her own abilities. Now Edie, runs the gamut of being in pain, loss of memory and an overwhelming sense of paranoia. She feels constantly as if she is being followed.

Our other main, is introduced to us while Edie is preparing coffee for the acquired brain injury support group. Skye Kenny, a former soldier with the Royal Canadian Regiment turned private security specialist is also in the building for a PTSD meeting. These two instantly attracted to each other, and make a point to see the other at the next meeting. Cupid’s in the house! Edie’s’ date with the sexy strong silent, Skye turns into more than either one bargained for. Finally, all of Edie’s paranoia is confirmed. This lady is totally being followed!

This book is going to hook you on by the first chapter. Don’t you just love that? Go ahead a get ready for that Americano in the morning because you are going to need it. A roller coaster ride of awesomeness is awaiting you with this book. This book has it all, and if I could give it 10 stars, I would. Massively large stars to boot!

5 out of 5 stars…Massive ones

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Heart Stop (First Responders, #6) by Radclyffe

If you are a Radclyffe fan, you’re going to love this one. The romance of Heart Stop has all the right elements. Fantastic main characters, delicious romantic tension, and just enough angst to keep you riveted to the storyline. I adored this book!

Dr, Jay Reynolds is lucky to be alive. An almost life ending accident has changed the direction of Jay’s life. Jay was born to be a surgeon. This was her life plan for as long as she can remember. In the blink of an eye, everything has changed. Jay is no longer physically capable of surgery. She can’t stand for long periods of time and not to mention the tremor in her hands. A push from a friend Jay changes her medical career into the field of pathology.

Assistant chief medical examiner Olivia Price is 100% the job. She expects excellence not only from herself but everyone around her. Burned by her first love, Olivia has completely written off all aspects of love, nope, this is for others, not for her. She spends her time focusing on the dead, and giving them final respects and answering clues on how they met their end. She is fine with that. Of course, this all changes when a new student, is thrust upon her.

Right off the bat, you have two things, a lot of tension and a lot of attraction. Let me tell you, I loved every second of Jay and Oliva’s story. It’s interesting, it’s hot and Radclyffe gives you just the right amount of push and pull to keep you riveted to their story. Secondly, there is a crime element of this book. If you have followed Radclyffe’s books you are going to meet up with a lot of past characters. Rebecca Frye and Catherine Rawlings, Dellon Mitchell and Sandy Sullivan, Dr. Ali Torveau and Beau Cross are all in here somehow connected to our main characters and looking for who a fatal synthetic heroin has ended up on the streets of Philadelphia. I think when you have a book that includes past characters you walk a thin line of whose book is this. Radclyffe does a good job of their cameos tying in directly to the story as a whole.

I always love a Radclyffe book, and this one I must say was a delight. I really, really liked Jay and Oliva’s dynamic.

4.25 out 5 stars

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Pursuit by Jackie D

Super short summary: This book is a dynamic fast-moving adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Pursuit is the second installment of the After Dark series by Jackie D. If you haven’t read the first one, Infiltration, you don’t have to read it, but I would strongly suggest it. Why? First off, both books are really good. Secondly, you’ll miss some of the character and plot backstories.

Tyler Monroe and Brooke Hart are now officially an item, when we meet back up with them they have been together about a year now and recently moved into a new apartment together. In addition to this couple, we also have two new mains as well. Right, so four leading ladies in total for this one. I promise you it totally works.

Caden Styles and Jennifer Glass have a love hate relationship. Their two besties (Tyler & Brooke) are dating and they work together so basically always in each other’s space. This tends to create a heavy amount of tension because these two love to gibe at each other. They land little hits and ramp up the tension. Like a magnet all they need is flip and boom you have one hot couple.

Of course other that two hot romances you have an action packed adventure of good gals hunting down bat-shit crazy right-wing terrorists. I loved that there is a good balance between the two, enough romance for you to swoon and enough action to keep you fully engaged. Great read, you don’t want to miss this one.

4 out of 5 stars

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