From the Woods by Charlotte Greene

From the Woods by Charlotte Greene begins with a group of friends taking their annual girls trip to a remote wooded forest that spans through Colorado and Wyoming for an epic hike. Their past vacations have always taken a turn for the worse and they are hoping this year will be an improvement. Enter foreshadowing!

Fiona our main character wants to bail on the trip, but she knows she can’t because her “bestie”, Jill is pretty much a bully and will force her hand to come along on the trip. You see for years, Fiona has had a crush on their mutual friend, Carol, but know Carol has married Sarah and will be bringing her wife along on the journey. So, all of this sounds like a really good time, yeah. Nope not a good time to be had, I promise.

So, our group of four heads to the woods and meet with expect hiking guide, Roz and her crew. Roz and her team will be taking this band of friends into the forest for their adventure. Pretty much from night one, all hell breaks loose.

At times this book is downright creepy, definitely spooky and at times erratic. While the premise was intriguing, the plot had holes in it that were never resolved, and the character development left a lot to be desired. Other than surface emotions and personality traits, I never felt like I knew these characters. I for the life of me could not figure out why Fiona, Jill, Carol, and Sarah were friends, especially friends that take yearly vacations together. Roz is cool but you never get to know her and her attraction to Fiona felt forced.

This mystery could have been so much better than it turned out to be. You are just left with so many questions? I get that this may be the start of the series but After I finished the book I had no idea where this one left me. If you want some creepiness and don’t mind the romance being thin this is the book for you.

2.75 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/from-the-woods-by-charlotte-greene-3352-b

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Treacherous Seas by Radclyffe

After nine years, Radclyffe is giving us another installment of the Provincetown Tales. In book eight, Treacherous Seas, Reese Conlon and Dr. Tory King are expecting their second child. Just weeks away from going on medial leave all heck breaks loose in Provincetown. Would you expect anything less?

When the book first begins, Reese is training a rookie cop, Andy Champlain, to help out over the busy summer season. On her first night solo, Andy is called into break up a bar fight, making a quick decision she calls for backup but proceeds to break up the fight solo. Things get physical and Andy ends up with a concussion and a trip to the local emergency clinic. That night busted and bruised she meets, PA, Laurel Winter.

This books gives us a glimpse into old friends, who doesn’t love this series. We also get a new love story with Andy and Laurel. I did not think this romance was particularly fleshed out. I felt like I didn’t know Andy and Laurel as well as I wanted to. With that being said, you know you can always count on a quality read from Radclyffe, and this is no exception. A good read for sure, it just left me wanting a touch more. My guess is this one is setting us up for more in this series, which I am totally here for.

3 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Stokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/provincetown-tales-1649-s

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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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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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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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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 chemistry 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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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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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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