A Heart to Call Home by Jeannie Levig

Jeannie Levig knows how to develop a character. She weaves her story around her protagonists and draws you right into the amazingness of her stories. I’m never sure where I am going to go, what I’ll read and I can never predict the ending. Levig keeps me guessing throughout the whole book and I love her for it. Romance tends to follow formulas, that’s just how it goes in this genre, but Levig definitely doesn’t play by the rule and loves to add a curveball here and there. My goodness, I adore that about her writing!

Jessie Weldon returns to her hometown after spending two decades away. The ending of her marriage forces her to accept that she needs to go back and face the demons of her childhood. Jessie accepts a temporary teaching position at the local high school. She has all but accepted the fate that she will have to face her former crush and the source of a lot of pair Coach Dakota Scott.

Dakota comes from the wealthiest family in the town. Townspeople believe the Scott’s are above the rest and their money can buy them out of anything, even murder. Yeah, the plot thickens. What most people don’t know is that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be aa s Scott. Most folks don’t know that the Scott matriarch, Dakota’s mother has schizophrenia. This face has left more scars than anyone can ever imagine and holds a key to what happened that dark night that forever changed the life of both Dakota and Jessie.

Dakota and Jessie face each other, bringing old wounds to the forefront. They both know that that night permanently altered the course of their lives and forever changed them. Delving into the past and accepting the repercussions are the only way either of them can move forward. Add to it that they are both outrageously attracted to each other and you add a whole added dimension to their story.

This is a fantastic story of human emotions, failed pasts and that love can conquer all. Levig does it again with bringing you an amazing story that grips you to the last page. You cannot go wrong with this one.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard

I grabbed a handful of books from Bella Books over the New Year’s holiday. Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard was one of their books that I had meant to pick up months ago but never got around to it. I am so glad I picked this one up. It was a fabulous read that I just adored!

Dr. Alison Reynolds is a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. Al is a stubborn, opinionated, at times exasperating character. I was entertained by her, rooted for her but a few times wanted to hand her duct tape for her mouth. She is definitely a spirited character! Alison spends her time divided between her responsibilities teaching, researching and visiting her bestie, Beth, in the hospital. Beth is having a medical crisis where her blood is attacking her unborn child. She has been admitted to the antepartum unit at VCU’s hospital to be monitored by Dr. Jess Baker.

Jess is an obstetrician that recently relocated to Richmond via Portland. She is a highly skilled doctor, one that was heavily recruited to transform VCU’s women’s health wing. Jess doesn’t fit your typical doctor mold. She’s heavily tattooed and sports a faux hawk. Needless to say, Alison immediately takes a disliking to the good doctor.

What I loved about this book is that is not a hate to love romance, more like I’m going to dislike you a bit cause I’m super scared and a bit judgy and you are going to win me over because you are super nice and caring. The relationship grows over the course of bumping into each other time and time again both inside and outside the hospital. They’re very different characters in personality and it works. Jess is a nerdy gamer with a free spirit temperament. Ali is more conservative, focused academic with a bit of chip on her shoulder. Their chemistry is explosive and hot!

This is a great book from Tagan Shepard, I can’t believe this was her debut novel. Her next book, I will not even hesitate for a minute before picking it up.

4 out of 5 stars

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Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes

When you see a book get rave reviews, over an over again, you rush to read it right. Shoulda, coulda, woulda! I have had this book on my list of to-reads for months now, why the delay, I am not sure, but I am so glad I finally read this one. It was an amazing way to get 2018 started.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her days are filled desperately trying to save the wounded men and women that are serving in the war. When we meet Sabine she is struggling to fight her crush on her superior as well as navigate a nine-year relationship that is sinking fast. Her longtime partner is tired of military life. Vic, her girlfriend, was never a being a fan of the Army and the years of separation have created a crater that cannot be fixed. Sabine is trying to get through this deployment and navigate her life back in the States. No easy feat, and it’s all begging to crumble around her.

Colonel Rebecca Keane is Sabine’s superior as well as the object of her massive crush. She’s a gifted surgeon who is rock solid under pressure, respected by her peers and all around a good person. Sabine is drawn to Rebecca even though she knows there is no way they can ever be together. Everything is against them especially her relationship status and military policies. I won’t ruin the story for you, just know that Sabine and Rebecca have a magnetic chemistry together, and love always conquers all.

Reading this book, you feel the horrors of war, the pain of a breakup and the utter despair our service members must have felt serving in the military under DADT. This book was amazingly well written, I cannot say that enough! EJ Noyles transported me to the medical camp and put me right there with the main characters. The story is heart-breaking, romantic, sexy as hell and shows the resilience of the human spirit. It’s hard to believe that DADT only ended in 2011. Thank goodness it did! A great read well worth your time.

4.25 out of 5 stars

The Origins of Heartbreak (Lakeside Hospital #1) by Cara Malone

I’ll admit it right now. I love romance books within a hospital setting. Give me a doctor book any day. Now in real life, hell to the no. I can barely watch Grey’s Anatomy, any type of blood and I’m out, literally. So really, it was a no-brainer to start The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone.

Megan Callahan is her second year of medical school. Megan is 100% focused on her studies and has very little time for anything else. Relationships are a no go. She dated her former girlfriend for six years and still holds a heavy heart and a ton of guilt for how she broke the other girl’s heart.
Alex McHenry’s has had the year from hell. Heading into her sophomore year in art school, her dad died suddenly of a heart attack. Alex dropped out of her university and has spent the past months caring for her despondent mother and fighting her own depression. Taking the first step, Alex decides to enroll in her local community college’s paramedic program. The EMT’s that came to help her father were so amazing and kind that that has stuck with her as something she would want to do for someone else.

Megan and Alex meet in the medical examiner’s office to witness an autopsy. An unlikely meeting starts a friendship that neither was looking for. These two have an attraction to each other is immediate. What really makes to book shine is the fun, witty flirtatious banter that these two have when they are together. Neither is willing to jump into anything serious. Megan is convinced that she is no good for any women, only bring heartache and destruction to any relationship. Alex is coping with the loss of her father and weaning off the depression medicine that has depleted her sex drive. What you get is a slow burn with flirty friends that can’t seem to deny themselves the other one. These two have lots of fun text messages and quick meet-ups over coffee.

I am so ready for book two. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Alex and Megan. I hope Cara Malone plans to make Ivy and Chloe a part of the series. They are definitely an interesting pair supporting characters.

4.25 stars out of 5

  • The Origins of Heartbreak: A Lesbian Medical Romance (Lakeside Hospital Book 1)
    by Cara Malone
    Link: http://a.co/3dQZ80M

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Mistletoe Mishap by Siri Caldwell

When an author asks me to review their books I am always filled with wonder and a whole lot of trepidation. I want to do their book justice in my review but even more so I want to be wholeheartedly honest as well. It’s so hard when a book is not my cup of tea, and thankfully Mistletoe Mishap makes this review a cake walk. So good and delightfully cute, this book is an absolute gem of a read.

Viv and Kendra have been together for years. In that time they have had lust, romance, bucket loads of love but the last four months they have hit a bit of a rut when it comes to sexy time. After a caller on the radio suggests she is going to ask her fiancé to wait six months till the wedding night to have any bedroom activities this gets a conversation flowing and an acknowledgment of said sexy time rut. Kendra in a fun loving way challenges her beloved Viv to a contest of who can make the other, well you know, the most number of times.

When ensues is a delightful story full of fun, mischief and a lot of witty banter. It’s no easy feat for a writer to tackle an established couple, but Siri Caldwell does and she does it so well. This is a fun-loving book that is so adorable it will just melt your heart. You want this in your life!

4.25 out of 5 stars

Mistletoe Mishap by [Caldwell, Siri]

Long-Distance Coffee (Midnight Coffee #1) & Coffee and Conclusions (Midnight Coffee, #2) 

Long-Distance Coffee (Midnight Coffee #1)

I really, really like Emma Sterner-Radley’s work. She is a writer that gives you a great story with interesting characters that draw you right into the story. I love when an author can take you away from reality and pitch you right into their book. Sterner-Radley is one of those authors.

Erin Black is a personal trainer residing in Manhattan. She is a loner and suffers from insomnia. Her sleepless nights turn into late night infomercials and surfing Twitter for entertainment. Her boredom leads her to meeting Isabella Martinez. Isabella is the mother of an infant that has stomach issues that keep them both up. Erin becomes her late-night companion, first through sarcastic interaction on Twitter and then into more personal communications via Skype.

This is slow-moving, long-distance friendship that eventually blossoms into more. These two bare their souls to each other, needing a friend and finding it in the most unlikely place. They have witty banter that can turn into fun/playful as well as serious.

A super cute story that ends rather abruptly. You will need to go into this one knowing that the sequel is essential.

4 out of 5 stars

Coffee and Conclusions (Midnight Coffee, #2)

Book one of this series ended rather abruptly, so I was very glad to see the publisher did not waste any time with getting the next installment out. I’m going to get right to it and say I really enjoyed the first book, Long-Distance Coffee. I thought it was a sweet story of two lost souls connecting and finding each other. They bared their feelings and hurts to each other, needing a friend and then finding that once in a lifetime chance at love. A sweet, heartfelt story that consisted of adorable banter between the two main characters.

The second book left me feeling more along the lines of meh. Let me explain. This part of the book we finally get the two characters to meet. Woohoo! That’s a great moment. Really a couple of great moments, but then the story began to just drag. It was too much talking and it felt soap-boxy and unrealistic later in the book. I felt myself wanting to skip paragraphs and even rolled my eyes at the parts that I thought were a bit over the top.

I think this series would have been better slimmed down and made into one book. The second part felt too long. Just my opinion, though. I enjoyed Emma Sterner-Radley’s work and look forward to where she takes me next.

2.75 stars rounding up to a 3

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The Last First Time (Norfolk Coast Investigation Story #3) by Andrea Bramhall

The third installment of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Story series is gruesome, gory, violent, enchanting and heartfelt. So many feelings all rolled into one magnetic story. Kate and Gina are back and life keeps throwing them into chaos and danger. It also brings them closer than ever before.

The book starts with a bang. Literally, unfortunately. Gina and Kate’s co-worker Stella are shopping for Christmas presents at the local mall. While deciding on presents and Stella notices something off about two of the other shoppers. By the time she relays the message to Gina, the bombers have set off a massive explosion that takes the lives of many. Terrifying, gut-churning fear jumps right off the page and lands in the pit of your stomach. You feel and see the horror of the crime scene.

Kate joins the scene quickly, only to find out in the midst of the rubble that Gina and Stella were in the very store where the bomb was detonated. These ladies cannot catch a break! This is where the story begins to weave one of the many subplots into the story.

Bramhall brings the past and present to life. History is weaved throughout the story while Kate and Gina conquer the demons of both their past and present. While emotions rocket all over the place there is still time for that beautiful romance between the two leading ladies amidst the craziness and danger. Everything about this book is done very well. Even when it was hard to read, I wanted more. Kate and Gina’s softness was the perfect anecdote to the scary heart-wrenching crime portion of the book. I cannot wait till the next book.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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