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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Not Since You by Fiona Riley

I am a huge fan of Fiona Riley’s books. I though her Match series was such a great collection of books. With that being said, Not Since You was not my favorite of Riley’s work thus far. There is nothing technically wrong with it, not by any means. I just thought the book was more erotica than romance. That will totally work for some, but for me, I would have loved to see more dialogue between the two mains. I want that push-pull, I want those little moments that grab at your heartstrings. This one just did not go there, its a lot of hot steamy scenes in the sheets but thin in other aspects plot-related.

Lexi Bronson has worked as a bartender on for a cruise line for the last ten years. With no family back home, Lexi finds comfort is the traveling nomadic lifestyle that this industry provides.

Charlotte Southwick has just ended a three-year relationship. She came home early to surprise her fiance and found her in bed with another woman. Charlotte decides to take their honeymoon cruise alone and runs into her high-school ex-girlfriend, Lexi.

This one goes very much into you broke my heart at eighteen, and I have carried the hurt around for 10+ years to naked time. (The naked time is super hot by the way.) I just thought the plot needed more. If you are looking for a traditional romance this one might not be for you. If you are looking for something hot and steamy, you will love this one.

2.75 out of 5 stars

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Cost of Honor (Honor #10) by Radclyffe

Here we are in the 10th book of this series. I can still pull up the amazing moments of book one in my mind. Blair and Cam will always be one of my most treasured couples in romance. They have that special something. They had it in book one and it is still as powerful as ever in the tenth. I will forever treasure the Honor series.

While Cam and Blair are amazing as ever in Cost of Honor, you also get introduced to a new couple and all our old friends from the Justice series. Oakes Weaver is a Secret Service agent that is assigned to POTUS and is organizing his trip to the Nation Convention. Ari Rostof is our other new character. Ari comes in to take over for the former campaign manager who was killed in a hit and run “accident”. These two hit it off immediately and the romance begins.

This book has a lot of moving pieces and quite a few characters. At first, I thought it would be overwhelming but Radclyffe makes it work. She gives us enough of each to balance out the story and keeps you invested all the way through. This book is fun, it’s dynamic and it keeps you wanting more till the very last page.

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