|I want a book that gives me all the feels. When you open up a new book and that delicious anticipation of will this be a good one? Fingers crossed it will be a great one. That is an amazing feeling when it actually comes to fruition. You know pretty early on with Georgia Beers newest book, One Walk in Winter, that you have a special book in your hands.
Hayley Boyd Markham lost her mother two years ago to cancer. Since her mother’s death, she has been lost. No direction, no interests, and far too many nights burning up the Manhattan nightlife to find a band-aid for her pain. Her dad has had enough, after spending thousands on bottle service at NYC club, Hayley has been assigned to take over the manager role of one of the Markham family’s smaller hotels, the Evergreen. Hayley has no interest or experience in the hotel industry. She is an artist at heart. Her father gives her no choice, she is to manage the hotel or be cut-off from her family’s funds for good.
Olivia Santini is the assistant manager of the high-end vacation resort. She works her tail off to provide each and every one of the Evergreen’s customers a world-class experience. She loves the hotel and her staff, and she knows that there is work to be done to make this place even better. What she does not care for is being passed for the manager’s position. She knows it’s not Hayley’s fault she did not get the role, but it stings that once again she has been passed over for a job she has already been doing.
What makes this book rise above the rest is Beers creates an amazing chemistry between the two leads. The feelings, the attraction, the anticipation of an epic romance, it all just jumps off the page. I found myself hanging on every word, feverously turning the page for the next interaction between Hayley and Olivia. This is a delightful romance that made me smile and made my heart happy.
5 out of 5 stars
I am a sports fan. Love all sport in general, but if you really want to make my heart sing, women’s soccer. When I was a kid I looked up to the superstars of the game, Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm. They were just awesome! As a grown-up, I have followed the careers of the USWNT, Press, Rapinoe, Morgan and the international wonders, like Marta and Amandine Henry. Love the game, and I love the badass ladies that own the pitch. I have become timid when I pick-up a sports-based romance. Mainly for the reason, sometimes the sport can be written so heavy-handedly you spend more time with gameday analysis than the love connection. I don’t like that at all. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! No, M. Ullrich gives us the best of both worlds with Top of Her Game. So good, so fun, and sexy as hell.
Kenzie Shaw is a rookie striker out of Penn State. She just entered the NWSL draft and was picked up by the New Jersey Hurricanes. This happens to be the team that her soccer idol, national teamer, Sutton Flores. You would think this book would go young player falls for an experienced older teammate… Kind of, but M. Ullrich never follows any ordinary trope. Nope! She shakes things up and gives power to both leading ladies. Kenzie holds her own on and off the field. Sutton experienced but cannot help but melt with Shaw looks her direction. Their dynamic is fun and it’s passionate, did I say sexy, because it was HOT!
The chemistry and romance were done very well. I believed it, I felt it and I was invested until the last page. I thought Ullrich did a fabulous job when it can to the soccer aspect of the game. Without a doubt, she is a student of the game. It made me smile and brought joy into my heart reading this one. As a soccer junkie and a lover of romance, this book spoke to me. Even if you don’t need sports in your life like I do, this is a really, really good book. The romance is more than enough to keep you satisfied.
Side note, (insert Tiff’s soapbox here). We can all love the USWNT and those amazing World Cup games but if you love those ladies and you love what they are fighting for, turn on an NWSL game. Pick a team, pick a player, whatever floats your boat, but turn it on. Those ladies need you watching on the professional stage as much as the international one. Most games you can watch on an app that cost you zero dollars. Let me know what team you pick!
- Bold Strokes Books
Absolutely freaking adorable! While reading Melissa Brayden’s newest novel, Beautiful Dreamer, I kept thinking are there little red hearts circling me? If not there should be! This book is sexy as hell, sweet as can be and makes you smile the whole way through. Beautiful Dreamer is a direct reflection of why Brayden is the very best at romance.
There is no doubt you should read this book. Brayden is at her very best with this one. Her characters are dynamic, multi-faceted and just so darn likable. The dialogue is rich and quirky, and best of all it sounds and feels real. When you read Beautiful Dreamer you are right there in the moment with our leading ladies. An absolutely stunning 5-star romance. This one I know I will read again and again and my heart is just still so delighted.
A BIG 5 out of 5 stars
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Carsen Taite is one of my go-to authors. If she writes I’m going to read it and read at that exact moment I will. I know when I pick up one of her books I am going to get a top-notch story. Her newest book Practice Makes Perfect we begin a new series focused around an Austin based law firm owned three besties, Campbell, Grace, and Abby. I knew within the first couple of chapters of Practice Makes Perfect that Taite had written something truly special. I was dazzled!
I am a romance junkie. I love a good medical drama, legal drama, insert trope here, but what truly makes my heart sing for joy is the relationship between the two leading ladies. I want, I need the romance to be the standout. Catch the bad guy, save the life, win the gold, sure, but let’s get back to the love story. Taite in this one brings the romance front and center, and damn it’s good!
Campbell Clark is spontaneous. This character trait serves her well at times. Her spontaneity convinces her overworked besties to quit their well-paying jobs at large established law firms to venture out on their own and open a boutique law firm. This is Campbell’s big idea and now she has to land the client’s to keep her best friends bank accounts in the green and their dream viable.
Wynne Garrity knows all about being over-worked. She is on track to being a partner at her Austin based law firm. She just has to keep killing herself to get there. Her boss is a maniacal jerk, she has zero social life and spends all of her time surrounded in paperwork. It will all be worth it, right?
Wynne and Campbell know each other from law school, Campbell popular and charismatic, Wynne hyper-focused and solitary. There two come back into each other’s life when both of their law firms are trying to woo a Facebook-like company’s account. These two are pitted against each other for the business until the proprietor decides to throw them together to work on a lawsuit. They have to work on this case all the while being the competitor. Not to mention, and this is big, they are wildly attracted to each other. Let the sparks fly!
This book has two fantastic leads, an attention-grabbing 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 that next level. This is a damn good book and I cannot wait to see what is next in this series.
4.75 out of 5 stars
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Jae is one of the premier writers in the romance genre. She knows how to write a romance novel that keeps you engaged and gives you those amazing butterflies. Not the Marrying Kind maybe one of her best books yet. This romance is sweet, well developed and pulls at your heartstrings. This book was so good and I hated to see it end.
While this is a spin-off of A Perfect Rhythm, you definitely do not need to read the latter before you start this one. Our main characters are Ashley and Sasha and the story throws the two protagonists together as they plan the flowers and coordinating wedding cake for their friends Holly and Leo’s upcoming nuptials.
Ashley owns the one and only flower shop in this sleepy mid-west Missouri town. Ashley is deep in the closet, you can count the number of people that know her sexuality on one hand. She is terrified of disappointing her parents and fears that if she is out her business in the conservative community would suffer greatly. Ash has convinced herself that she is fine living her life alone and without a love interest. The risk is just too great.
Sasha is an amazing baker who runs the local bakery. A popular resident who came back home after culinary school. Sasha is a pansexual, who is out but rarely speaks of her sexual preferences or past relationships she had before coming back to her hometown. Ashley was her high school crush but since then they only speak pleasantries to each other in passing.
When Holly and Leo pick their friends to do the cake and the flowers, Sasha and Ashley are thrown together. Sasha pushes Ashley to open up and these two leading ladies develop an amazing friendship with an undercurrent of sexual tension. They are attracted to each other but no it is a no-go.
Where this book really excels is the slow burn racked with emotions. This book pulls that string just tight enough and then gives you all the emotions. I loved the dialogue between the two mains. Ashley’s fear of revealing her sexuality is palatable. You feel her nervous energy pop right off the page. Sasha’s quiet strength gives her the courage to reveal her true self and to stop suppressing all of her emotions. So many feels in this one! THIS BOOK IS SO, SO GOOD!
5 out of 5 Stars
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Alone by E.J. Noyes is an absolutely stunning book. I mean seriously, this is a book you start and are just riveted page after page. A few chapters in an I asked myself what am I reading. Knowing full well this book is on the next level. Pick it up, read it, and then strap in because you are in for one hell of a ride. My proverbial hat is off you E.J. Noyes because you have written something extraordinary. I will give a little bit of synopsis but I am going to leave you with my final review. This book is not a 5 star, it is well above that. This one is at the pinnacle of the lesbian romance genre. You don’t see books like this on very often. Truly a treasure and one that will stay with you long after the final page.
Celeste Thorne is part of an experiment where she has removed herself from all human contact for over three years. For $500,000 she has not seen, spoken to or had any contact with a human form. It has begun to have taken an effect on her mind but she has not broken. With a half a year left Celeste is hanging in there. Things all take a drastic turn when Olivia Soldano crashes into her remote compound. That’s the basics of the story, now go read it! You will not be disappointed in this gem.
Way better than 5 stars
- Publisher: Bella Books
The premise for Falling really drew me in. I don’t have a fear of flying but every single time I go through a takeoff, I hold my breath. Not my favorite thing when the plane goes at breakneck speed and launches itself into the air. Totally just shuddered. This book has so many emotions running through it. The beginning is intense and gripping. There is sorrow, pain, doubt but there is also the sweetest romance. This book is by far Kris Bryant’s best work. She nailed every aspect of this book and it is every bit worth the 5 stars of this review.
When we meet Shaylie Beck she is having a crappy day. A long meeting, late flight, sucky seatmates that spend hours making out but she is almost home. Almost. Shaylie takes a last minute bathroom break before the plane begins to descend. That is when all hell really breaks loose. You got it, worst nightmare moments as the plane begins to break apart and head for a crash landing in the forest of Colorado. Shaylie is one of the few survivors.
Piper Cole isn’t on the plane, but her heart is. Her fiance and best friend/business partner are flying home from a business meeting in New York. She lost everything that night when the plane went down. Devastated and alone, Piper trudges on with work as Yoga studio owner but she wants answers as to why the plane went down.
Piper and Shaylie meet in grief counseling and immediately strike up an easy friendship. They become a lifeline for each other. Piper is processing her sadness and pain while Shaylie is going through survivors guilt and learning how to really live. Don’t think this book is the ultimate bummer because it is anything but. While you do witness all their emotions they are both amazing characters that really become endeared to your heart. I absolutely adored their friendship and rooted for the romance the whole time. The supporting characters that are in this book are also written marvelously and really make the book extra special.
This is a story you don’t want to pass on. A fabulous read that you will have a hard time putting down. Maybe don’t read it as you board your plane though. This is an easy 5 stars!
5 out of 5 stars
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books