Hearts Like Hers (Seven Shores #2) by Melissa Brayden

Sooooo, I read Melissa Brayden’s newest book, Hearts like Hers. OMGeezy, let me tell you something, Melissa Brayden is a true romance badass. This book is everything. E V E R Y T H I N G! I could throw out adjectives for greatness all day long and it still wouldn’t be enough. The queen of romance has dazzled me yet again, and I cannot thank her enough for it. Brayden doesn’t just write a love story, she writes an epic love story!

Hearts like Hers focuses on Autumn Primm, the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas coffee shop. Autumn is witty, she’s sarcastic and an all-around adorable character. She has spent her life up until now completely learning the coffee trade and now running her small business. An invitation to her ex-girlfriend, Olivia’s, wedding hit Autumn especially hard. Not for the fact that she has any residual feelings for her former lover, no, that ship has sailed. What she feels is more the loss of a chance, she has let her love life evaporate while she has been solely focused on business. So she forces herself to watch the ex get hitched and comes to the conclusion its time to have a child, she’s going to take that next step in life even though she has not found her Mrs. Right.

Kate Carpenter is the newest residence at the Seven Shores apartment complex. She has taken a two-month hiatus from her job fighting fires in a small sleepy town in Oregon. She needed to get away. Kate was in the right place at the right time to save two small children from a house fire, but it wasn’t without pain and suffering for everyone involved. Touted as the town’s hero, Kate wants anything but the attention. She heads to Venice for some rest, relaxation and far away from anyone that will call her a hero.

This book, to me, deviates from the Brayden formula just enough. Now, I have never been one to knock said formula because to me it works and it works exceptionally well. There is a reason that readers drop everything for these books, they are time and time again outstanding reads. What I’m saying is this book is captivating and keeps you on your toes. The slight change up works but even more than that it’s just about two fabulous characters that have so much chemistry. I’m talking chemistry for days. Big and bold smoldering chemistry! This book is hot and sexy, with all the wit and spark you expect from the master of dialogue. Brayden stepped up to the plate with this one, she pointed her bat Babe Ruth style into the grandstands, and nails that sucker out of the park. This is a true romance that does every single thing to perfection. Every. Single. Thing! Once again Melissa Brayden stands at the top. She unequivocally is the queen of romance.

All the stars!!!

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My Top 10 Books of 2017

Best of 2017

Well, this year has come to an end. It was like riding the crazy train all year long. In terms of books, I thought the year started off strong, hit a pretty significant slump and then once fall rolled around, boom we had so many amazing books it was hard to keep with all the awesomeness coming my way. I swear I read five-star after five-star books for six weeks straight. Thanks to all of you on here, I love finding great recommendations from y’all and seeing your thoughts on the books that I loved or felt blah about.

Overall my favorite book of the year: Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler
This one hit on everything I love the most when it comes to a romance book. Captivating characters, one being an ice princess. Yessss! Then make them badass athletes with a slow burn hate to love scenario. Well, you go me. I was hooked. This one just resonated with me and easily goes into my must read again and best ever categories.

Tricky Chances: The Clinical Years (Tricky, #2) by Camryn Eyde
As close at it can be this one was right up there. So, so good. Ice princess medical student. A heartbreaking breakup and then that good old get the girl back with laying all the emotions out there. I love this series.

Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne
An absolutely delightful book that was a breath of fresh air. So full of diverse characters and two mains who are just amazing. Emily O’Beirne is just an amazing writer, and in this book, she took her amazingness to a whole other level.

Who’d Have Thought by G. Benson
Halfway through this one and I wanted to close it and start it back over. It was so damn good that I wanted to savor every chapter. This one was outstanding. Loved it!

Worthy of Trust and Confidence (Agent O’Connor, #2) by Kara A. McLeod
You have a fantastic mystery, a ton of corruption and a love story that just won’t quit. The two main are badass Secret Service agents with smoldering hot chemistry. I don’t need to say much more, do I?

Known Threat (Agent O’Connor, #3) by Kara A. McLeod
Yeah, the follow-up is one here too. This series has me hooked for sure. This book was one of the ones I was most excited about. Oh, and it so delivered! This one is better than the predecessors. It will stick with you long after the last page and have you impatiently waiting to meet up with these characters again.

Making a Tinderbox (The Tinderbox Tales, #1) by Emma Sterner-Radley
This is one of those books you find and just turn to mush because it did everything right. It took a hold of my heart, as sad as I was that the story was over, I was dazzled by its brilliance as well. I am so glad there will be more in this series.

The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter
Tension, oh that glorious sexual tension. This was a long slow burn that was delightful. Everything about this book is done right. The writing is crisp, the characters, well they were amazing and the dialogue could go from biting to amusing at the flip of a page.

The Price of Cash by Ashley Bartlett
Ashley Bartlett has me spellbound with this series. This is one of the other books that I was so excited about finally getting my hands on this year. I love how she writes, it’s fast-paced and sharp. Her characters are multi-faceted that live their lives in a grey area of a whole lot of wrong but is it really that bad? This is the moral dilemma of epic proportions that haunts both or our main character. Cash the lovable drug dealer and Laurel the undercover cop that is head over heels in love with her. SOOOO GOOD!!!!

Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb
A roller coaster ride of awesomeness is what this book is. Twists and turns with a ton of sexiness. This psychological thriller like no other is the f/f romance genre. You cannot put this one down once you start. 

Known Threat (Agent O’Connor, #3) by Kara A. McLeod

From Kara A. McLeod’s first book to her now third book, there has been such a progression from really good to phenomenal. I was enthralled by her third installment of her Agent O’Connor series. She made my heart race, my emotions jump all over the place, I was taken right into the book, real life be damned.

McLeod has become a master in on writing a fantastic story with main characters that exude fortitude, strength kindness and underneath it all, raw vulnerability. It hard not to be captured by this series, I can easily say this is one of the books I have been most excited about this year.

Like I have said before this is a series, each book building off of each other. Do not start here, you want to pick up Actual Stop and then Worthy of Trust and Confidence. Without a doubt, this is a damn good series and you will not be disappointed have three amazing books to devour.

Special Agent Ryan O’Connor returns to action after being somewhat physically and emotionally recovered from her bullet wounds. Back to active duty and dealing with the craziness that life continues to throw her way. When we ended the second book, we knew that Ryan’s girlfriend, Special Agent Allison Reynolds was having some type of an issue with her boss Beau Byers. Well, get ready for that onion to be peeled. It’s picked right off the headlines of today’s papers and it is enough to make your blood boil for both of the Agents.

The Beau debacle is just one iron in the fire. Ryan has another monstrous disaster to put out. Her sister has been captured by a madman. Remember the paranoid schizophrenic from the last book who thinks the president’s daughter is his wife. Well, Adam Royce Walker is back and has taken Ryan’s sister as a way to meet up with Zoey Carmicheal.

This is a heart-stopping adventure that will drag so many emotions from you. My heart broke for all the ladies involved. There are parts of this book that will crack your heart into tiny fragments. One part, in particular, will cause you true anguish.

While I say this, I’m also saying its worth it because this book is so, so good. You are there every moment, McLeod transports you into the story and never takes you out of it until the very last page is turned. The book will stick with you and have you impatiently waiting to meet up with these characters again.

This one surpasses the first and the second in the series. Not an easy feat to do. The best of the series so far! I cannot wait for the next one. Kara A. McLeod, you have stolen my heart with this series. If you read this review, thank you!

A big 5 out of 5 stars

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The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair

I tend to shy away a bit from sci-fi. It’s not that I don’t like the genre, I do, but I’m always leery because for the most part, I want the romance, I’m not so much into the world building razzle-dazzle that can often times pull my focus from character interaction. When I came across the premise for The Lily and the Crown by Roslyn Sinclair I felt a pull towards this book. Maybe it’s the cover, maybe the botanist aspect, whatever it was I was ready to take a chance on it. Oh my, I am so glad I did. Sinclair is a rockstar and wow did she ever write a story.

The book is very much a romance. The sci-fi theme only furthers the love story even further. If you’re holding back because of that don’t jump in, and get ready for your heart to be stolen. This is an amazing book with characters that a vibrant and captivating.

Ari Geiker is a botanist who spends the majority of her time alone with her plants. She shies away from human contact and she feels like an outsider. Raised by a father, who is military to his core and has little to do with his child, she found solace for her loneliness in plants. She has resigned herself to this lifestyle. Her whole world is thrown out of whack when a slave is given to her.

Assistant, this is what the slave will allow Ari to call her, has been captured by Ari’s father’s forces. The sole survivor on a pirate ship she has been given to Ari for companionship. Ari has never wanted anyone to be in her quarters and is repulsed that a slave would be awarded to her. Assistant, is stunned by Ari’s kindness, generosity and that she is a champion for her. They form a reluctant friendship that evolves over time. There is a whole lot more to Assistant, I’ll let you find that revelation out on your own.

This book is sweet, it’s genuine and at times it is downright sexy. The relationship builds and builds and as the reader, I could not get enough. This grabs you and holds you, you are invested to the final sentence. This book is beyond good!

5 out of 5 stars

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Little Dip (Garoul 0) by Gill McKnight

The Garoul series has always been one of my most favorites to read. I have adored each book and been captivated by the characters that have jumped off their pages. I had no idea what to think about going back to the beginning and telling Connie and Sylvie’s story (set in the late 1970s) but I was in for whatever adventure Gill McKnight was going to throw my way.

Connie Fortune is in the Little Dip area to photograph and illustrate the Yellow Cukoo. A bird the has recently been placed on the endangered species list and is extremely rare to be seen in North America. Connie’s quest for the elusive bird drops her right into the path of Sylvie Garoul.

Marie Garoul has been brought back to Little Dip to help her mother/pack leader work on the family almanac. Marie and Connie clash from the minute they meet. There is that pull towards each other but their heads and smartass comments keep them circling each other the majority of the book. Tensions and high and so is the attraction.

Beware once you start this one you will have a hard time putting it down. As always Gill Mcknight dazzles us with her storytelling. You couldn’t ask for a better escape. This book is fun, sexy and so well written. I sincerely hope that we see more Garouls soon!

***Note if you haven’t read any of the books in this series you can absolutely start with this one!

5 out of 5 stars

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The Brutal Truth by Lee Winter

What is it about an ice queen that makes a story so delectable? I mean truly, I have a thing for this character trope. Judge away, I do not care! I am always intrigued by that main character with that frosty alpha bitch exterior. When you think about it, or at least when I do, some of my most beloved characters and books in the lesbian romance genre have that ice queen that will thaw only for her one true love theme. Why am I rambling on, because Lee Winter writes ice queens like nobody else.

Elena Bartell is a downright shark, this media mogul has a reputation taking no prisoners. You are either excellent or you are gone. She owns newspapers all over the world, waiting for them to go almost belly-up then she swoops in and either turns them around or liquidates everything. She does this all the while running a renowned fashion magazine. Elena comes off as she has tolerance for no one, even her husband she keeps at arm’s length. Everything is business and she keeps her mask firmly in place. This woman will absolutely eviscerate anyone who gets in her way. That is until she is “pestered” by her newly acquired night beat reporter.

Maddie Grey hates New York City. She begrudgingly admits it to everyone except for her Aussie friends and family back home in Sydney. Maddie won the green card lottery and had her dream opportunity to move to NYC and try her hand at becoming a crime reporter. Now, living the “dream” she hates, her only opportunity to be a journalist is working the night beat writing obits and rifling around for stories that someone on the day shift will get to flesh out. Then Elena Bartell shows up and Maddie is almost certain she’s getting a pink slip, especially when they get off on the wrong foot almost immediately.

From the get-go, these two characters challenge each other. Maddie fires back at Elena like no one else would dare and it almost endears the woman to her. No one ever dares talks back to her, I mean this woman is dismissive and vicious almost all the time. The two protagonists clash in so many ways but also have so much in common. In a way, they see the loneliness in the other. Elena is struck by Maddie wanting nothing from her but a friendship of sorts, while Maddie the ever curious journalist finds Elena downright fascinating. She wants to scrape the boss’s exterior mask to find out the heart of the cold and ruthless businesswoman.

Winter keeps the tension taunt for the majority of the book. A long, long slow captivating burn. The tension in this one is like pulling a rubber band till it will stretch no more. Angst galore and it to me it absolutely works. If you loved the Red Files, I promise you this is right up your alley. (If you haven’t read that one, pick it and this one up. You will not regret it!) Everything about this book is done right. The writing is crisp, the characters, well they were amazing and the dialogue could go from biting to amusing at the flip of a page. A damn fine read.

Who’s your favorite ice queen?

5 out of 5 stars

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Love After Hours (A Rivers Community Romance, #4)

This book is good! Damn good, to be quite honest. This book is Radclyffe at her very best. She weaves a story with strong characters that have heart and soul and just enough angst and tension to keep you captivated. This is hands down the best of the Rivers Community Romance Series.

Carrie Longmire is back and in the forefront of this one. Carrie is super-efficient at her job and basically everything she does. Not wanting to settle for anything than true love, Carrie patiently awaits for the one to show up. She fine to flirt and casually date, but anything more is out of the question unless love is in the air.

Gina Antonelli had one tragedy turn her life upside down. An accident, when she was a teen, took the life of her childhood friend and first love. Gina bears the weight of that moment every day and has basically shut down. She exists to work for her father’s construction company, and the job is all there is for her.

Carrie and Gina totally get off on the wrong foot and that makes for a tumultuous start. No this isn’t a love to hate romance, but they do spend some time trying to get their footing around each other. Add into the fact that they are both ridiculously attracted to each other, and you have for a fabulous beginning. There is heat, there is tension and its drawn out perfectly.

Add in the other fun and fascinating characters of Rivers and you have an amazing story. I am partial to Blake and Margie myself and I delighted that story weaves a bit of them into it as well. If you loved the Rivers series so far, this one is for you. This book has it all! If you haven’t read this series yet, well, I am a bit jealous of you because get ready for a great set of books.

5 out of 5 stars

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