Picture Perfect by Lisa Moreau

A great book will steal your heart forever. A good book will capture your attention for its duration. I’m always looking for that amazing book heart-stopping story, but I will always take a good solid read when I can get it. I think a good book is what you can easily say for Picture Perfect by Lisa Moreau.

Not world-shattering, not overly memorable, but a nice story to kick back and enjoy your downtime.
It was a fast and easy read that was relatively lighthearted. The author has a beautiful way of describing the scenery and the story flowed seamlessly. A nice way to spend a few hours!

3.25 out of 5 stars

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Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson

I like the idea of a romantic thriller, and when done right you have two amazing genres converging for those final moments to keep you riveted to your seat. Will the heroines survive the vicious maniac and live happily ever after? Gripping, right? In my very humble opinion, you need those two plots points to be really tightly woven. The romance needs to pull in the reader. That couple has to ring true, their love must conquer all. The thriller part needs to increase your anxiety level, get the blood pumping. I think for me in Mine to Keep both parts fell short of really capturing the reader’s attention on both fronts.

Erin is this stoic, enigmatic character that you want to love because she has had so little of it in her life. Abigail, the local chef, feels a bit unsettled in being the chef at her parent’s castle turned hotel. Could she have been a renowned chef like her ex if she had left this sleepy little town? So you have two interesting characters and the beginning starts off so well, then just meh. Meh, because once they admit their attraction out loud, there was no more push/pull until you introduce the ex, who just happened to show back up after being gone years. Come on! How much more contrived can you get. The romance between Erin Carter and Abigail Miller felt bit flat and uninspired.

The thriller, you could see coming from a mile away. No twists and turns, you knew what was going to happen and the book just stayed the course. I wanted so much more, anything, just a tiny swerve would have made a huge difference. Not to mention the character decisions that just didn’t totally add up. The thriller was flatter than the romance and the ending was way too glossed over.

I thought Wendy Hudson had an amazing first book. This one is a good one, it just needed more thriller or more romance. Neither was done to full potential. I left me wanting more.

3 out of 5 stars

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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Falling Hard by Jae

First off let me say I am a huge fan of Jae’s work. As I have said before she is an author you can count on to deliver you a quality read time and time again. With that being said, Falling Hard, her latest novel is probably my least favorite of her books thus far. Don’t freak out, this is a good book, don’t get me wrong, it really is, but overall I felt uninspired reading it. Here are my thoughts as to why…

Dr. Jordan Williams is a general surgeon how lives her life with a no strings attached look on love. You got it! Her bedroom has a revolving door of ladies. She doesn’t hide it and is honorable in the fact that she lets her lovers know exactly what to expect, a good night or two and then adios on to the next one.

Emma Larson is a recently divorced, single mother who has recently had her heart shattered by a cheating wife. Emma picked up what was left of her after catching her wife with another woman, in her own bed nonetheless, and moved from Portland to her childhood hometown of South Pasadena, CA. Emma isn’t looking for a good time between the sheets, she isn’t going to give her heart away for the second time and unless it is true love. One thing that throws everything off is she is ridiculously attracted to her new next door neighbor, Jordan.

You can basically guess how the plot is going to go. Player meets hot single mom, mom rebukes all advances, the player can’t get mom out of her head and stops sleeping around, mom falls for the player, the player falls for mom and viola and a new family is made. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s a good story. You have well thought out characters with a solid beginning, middle, and end. What it is though, is lackluster. There is nothing that sets this book apart from a dozen others that have the exact same plot. There is no tension, no angst, no thoughtful dialogue, nothing that makes the story or its characters jump off the page. It gave me no feels, and after Jae’s last novel, Heart Stop, which gave me all kinds of delicious emotions, I wanted more. This is a light sweet romance, one I am glad I read, but not one that will leave much of a lasting impression.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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Blinded by Kim Pritekel

Kim Pritekel is one of the first authors I stumbled across in the lesbian romance genre. Her stories are always well thought out with interesting characters. Going into going into her stories you know you are going to get a slow burn romance and a bit of craziness.

Burton Blinde is an investigative reporter for a local Denver new station. When we first meet her she is on her way to being a star, courted by CNN, she slated to be the next Barbara Walters. Days away from her move to New York, Burton is still tracking local stories, one including the juicy gossip of a Colorado senator being blackmailed by his former lover. As Burton is questioning the politician all hell breaks loose and a madman throws a grenade into the car, killing everyone but the reporter. Suffering horrific injuries Burton closes her friends out and retreats to the wilderness to live in near isolation.

Years later, after going through some of her old boxes from her reporter days, Burton comes across cryptic postcards. Her inquisitive mind will not let it go so she begins trying to find the old clues as to what the anonymous postcards were trying to clue her in on.
Okay so up until this point right here, I am digging this book. A great foundation is been laid out and I’m like oh yeah where we going with this. Then it kind of went haywire. So to make it quick, a small country, Chilvokia, near Russia is under attack, total warfare and has been for years. Dr. Lilli Novikoff, while studying medicine in Denver was the one trying to reach out to Burton to tell her of her country’s strife. First off, just tell her, she’s a reporter they are always looking for a story. Second, maybe contact the UN or NATO, just a thought. I think they would like to know if there has been coup, slaughtering person in the streets.

So any who Button goes to Chilvokia, it’s damn war zone, meets back up with Dr. Lilli, saves the king, falls in love…and goes home a hero. I can’t give you more because I was lost in the second half of the book numerous times. I wasn’t always sure who was who, and what was happening. What was the point of the war, I am still not sure, and something about selling women, kids and weapons, maybe. I was swimming in muddy water. It was fun and I enjoyed it but sometimes I had no idea my left from my right if that makes any sense at all. Also, I needed way more time with Burton and Lilli the couple, the romance part of Blinded was lacking.

Blinded is good, not great like Pritekel’s other books. I felt like she needed more chapters to explain what was happening. I think if the story had been longer, it could have cleared up the confusing pieces. Her characters definitely had chemistry I just needed more time with them together to solidify a stellar romance.

2.75 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing
  • www.sapphirebooks.com

To Purchase on Amazon: Blinded

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Knight’s Sacrifice by Nita Round

The proprietor of a funeral home, Catherine Samuels, knows all about the dead but that’s not what concerns her. No, it’s the dead that suddenly become undead that keeps her up a night. So zombies? Well, that too, plus some demons, ghouls and well you get the drift. . . scary creatures! For Catherine this is her legacy, her family has been put in charge of the gate to Hell since the beginning of time. The problem is Catherine’s family kept her out of the family business, and now that they have all passed on she’s grasping at straws to figure out what to do next and stop the increasing flow of dead bodies that are coming back to life and reeking havoc.

Cassandra “Cassie” Evans, is a fighter. Her job on Earth is to put the evil undead back where they belong. She uses her special skills to keep order between the living and the departed. Cassie comes to Catherine’s funeral home to help her figure out this mess. She has no clue that Catherine does not know her families secrets and what her duty as the keeper of the gate entails.

When Cassie gets to Catherine’s manor in the beginning of the book you have your basic, “I’m attracted to you, but I don’t want to be” setup. Cassie sees Catherine as part of her job and she wants nothing more than a professional relationship. What threw me as the reader is then we go for about a week with the boss and the employee completely avoiding each other. They even live in the same house, but no communication whatsoever. Once the do communicate its with kisses. Whoa! That kind of threw me, talk about zero to sixty.

Overall the book is an interesting tale of two women fighting to hold the world together, at the same time finding their inner powers. I will say there were times when I was a bit lost as to what was happening. I would have liked a bit more background information on what was happening and the Samuel legacy. You are finding out at the same time Catherine does, so as the reader, I felt as in the dark as she did. At times I found this to be a bit frustrating, but I was still interested in the outcome of the book. I believe this is Nita Round’s debut novel, and I will definitely read whatever she writes next.

3 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Blue Beacon Books by Regal Crest

To Purchase: Knight’s Sacrifice

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The Right Kind of Wrong by P.J. Trebelhorn

A lot of times if the romance genre we see a lot of the same plot devices recycled. You’ve read the I’m in love with my best friend but won’t/can’t tell her many, many times. When done really well this plot tends to deliver a lot of glorious angst, which I am a huge fan of. The Right Kind of Wrong
by P.J. Trebelhorn fall somewhere in the middle. Not a fantastic book, but not terrible either.

Quinn Burke is a forty something bartender who runs through college co-eds like water. Having had her heart-broke not that long ago, Quinn has turned to one night stands to keep things emotionally easy. The only problem with that is she has long harbored romantic feelings for her bestie for about twenty years.

Grace Everett, a small bookstore owner adores Quinn. When Quinn asked her out years ago she told her she needed a friend more than a lover. Over the years, it always seemed as they were never single at the same time. So when attraction popped up, she would squash it down because their friendship is so precious. When Quinn’s mom has a heart attack, that becomes the catalyst for Grace to finally admit to Quinn her feelings.

So much missed communication ensues, so much repressed emotion, and what was surprising to me is normally I like all of that. This story, however was lacking, I struggled to keep going. Its not overly complicated, its just kind of flat. The angst is there but didn’t really move me. All the side character drama felt like filler and didn’t help the story at all, it was more distracting than anything. Towards the end you feel like your reading the same chapters over and over, characters having the same conversations yet again. By the end I was glad to see the two mains get together so I could move on.

2.75 stars out of 5

To Purchase: Desperate Measures

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