Love at Last Call by M. Ullrich

Give me some angst every day of the week, not in real life, hell no, but in a romance, I live for it. Add that into a good old-fashioned romance and you will have me every time. That’s exactly what M. Ullrich does with her latest novel, Love at Last Call.

Lauren Daly’s life is a hot mess. Her relationship is off-again, a nightmare situation, because she is forced to continue to live with, said ex because she and her roommate cannot afford the house they currently rent without that extra income. Lauren’s a paralegal but her salary and rent doesn’t leave a whole lot extra for the serious student loan debt she faces. Add onto that heap that her boss is a tyrant who blames everyone for his ongoing memory failures.

Berit Matthews owns the hottest lesbian bar in New Jersey. Berit has no trouble attracting women, she oozes charisma and has the looks to stop traffic. This good-natured bar owner loves her craft, is a savvy businesswoman and knows when to turn on the charm to keep her patrons coming back for more. Berit has a way with the ladies and isn’t opposed to casual hookup but she definitely has one eye opened looking for that special someone to settle down with.

Lauren meets Berit one evening after an especially brutal day at the office. Her bestie drags her out for drinks and she meets Berit who rubs her the wrong way almost immediately. Berit is not phased at all, more than anything she wants to no more about the sad yet dynamic paralegal. Let the romancing begin!

Lauren and Berit have a dynamite chemistry. Lauren pushes back at every move Berit puts on her. Their romance, the little bit of angst and hesitation keep you on your toes and the pages turning. This is a book I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great romance. Loved it!

5 out of 5 stars

Love at Last Call

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Shadowboxer by Jessica L. Webb

If you start by just looking at the front cover of this book, you’ll notice a few things. Now sometimes a cover doesn’t do the book justice, this is absolutely not the case for Shadowboxer. The cover is dark and gritty. The focus is on heavy boxing gloves that have been battered and bruised, much like the kids that face life in the foster care system, on the street, and in abusive homes.

Jordan McAddie was raised in a home by two parents who abused alcohol. Her father was an emotionally abusive drunk. He took is abuse out on the mother of his children and well as the kids, finally going so far that Jordan was removed from her parent’s custody. We meet Jordan as she is well into her career as a child advocate and social worker in Halifax. Jordan uses her past experience as a professional boxer as a way to connect with the local kids. After working grueling hours she spends all her free time opening up her boxing gym to local kids interested in the sport and needing a place they can feel wanted.

When new funding for her gym comes available from a large corporation, Jordan is faced with a face from her past. Ali Clarke is back in Halifax as a representative for Centera Corporation. Her job is to learn from the youth at Jordan’s gym and create some good PR for her company. Ali is the one Jordan let go of so long ago. Her first and only love is back in Halifax. To see Ali again is a blessing, but also brings back all those old feelings. These two have a new chance at love if they are willing to risk it.

As heavy as the subject is about kids that are in desperate need of better representation and social services this book gives you lightness and hope as well. Ali and Jordan have a fabulous chemistry and it’s a delightful slow burn romance. At times this book is heavy but the counterbalances are done well. The secondary characters add so much to the book but never out shadow the mains. That is hard to pull off and Webb did it flawlessly. More than anything this one keeps you hooked.

4.5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  • Purchase: https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/shadowboxer-by-jessica-l-webb-2675-b

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Easy Nevada and the Pyramid’s Curse by Georgette Kaplan

Indian Jones meets Die Hard. Hot damn this is a good read!

Easy Nevada is one badass mother bleeper. She has zero moral compass! Totally broken, she chunked that sucker years ago. What she is though is a take no prisoners, hilarious, shoot you in the face tomb raider. Easy is smart as a whip and tough as nails. When she sets her sight on something, she’s going to do whatever it takes to make it hers. She is like no other character I have ever encountered.

Quick Plot Overview: Easy has her sights set on an artifact buried in a newly discovered pyramid in Sudan. She plays the part of a journalist to get access to the dig site and meets the gorgeous and super annoyed, Dr. Candice Cushing. She is really annoyed that Easy continues to refer to her as Candy but that is part of the tomb raiders insufferable charm. Candice’s mother is a Sudanese woman, and she wants more than anything to give back this piece of history to Sudan. Easy just wants to rob it! Then one night everyone’s plans are foisted when ISIS shows up to stop everything and kill everyone.

So you can probably guess that this book is one hell of a ride. Understatement of understatements. Crazy, zany, wackadoodle, smart, awesome, badassness! Yeah, it’s all that and so much more. I love Georgette Kaplan’s style of writing. It’s fast, it’s smart, sarcastic and so different from anything else out there. She is one of my absolute favorite writers. While all of her books have been great, this one is out of the park good. I am so ecstatic that this one is a series. I cannot wait for the next adventure with Dr. Cushing and Easy Nevada.

An easy 5 out of 5 stars!

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Secrets of the Last Castle by A. Rose Mathieu

Welcome back Grace Donovan and Elizabeth Campbell, two characters who I have missed. These two badasses have a murder to solve in Secrets of the Last Castle and unfortunately this time around they are on opposite sides. Drama, suspense, betrayal all with smoldering hot tension, you really cannot ask for more. A. Rose Mathieu comes out swinging with her sequel to Sins of Our Father.

Elizabeth is asked to take the case of a young African American male that is accused of murdering an elderly Caucasian woman in an alleyway. The young man swears he didn’t do it and Elizabeth has full faith in his denial. Grace is on the other side of the coin. What evidence the police do have unfortunately points right to Elizabeth’s client. They are both in a rock and a hard place and this case will take its toll on their romantic relationship. It’s and tense and bumpy ride for these two leading ladies.

This book has twists and turns all over the place. This is a fascinating story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This mystery has tons of history woven throughout this who done it. You will be so glad you read this one. Oh, and if you have not read Sins of Our Father, don’t skip it. You can read these out of order, but really you don’t want to. Both are fabulous reads.

5 out of 5 stars

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Under Your Skin by Lee Winter

Under Your Skin by Lee Winter is the sequel The Red Files. If you loved The Red Files, you are going to go out of your mind for this one. If you have never heard of The Red Files, stop her and go buy both of these. You will thank me because these are two of the very best in the lady-loving romance genre.

This time around Lauren King and the Caustic Queen, Catherine Ayers are residing in DC planning their wedding and looking for the next big scoop. Of course, they are going to stumble on to a monster story, one with all kinds of nooks and crannies to keep you on your toes and breathless with anticipation. The best part though is their other moments when planning a wedding that at times seems doomed all the while out of their element in Lauren’s Iowa hometown. It is fabulous to read about Catherine so out of her element in the mid-west.

I loved this book even more than the first one. These two have an amazing banter, witty repertoire and the love just jumps right off the page and melts your heart. This book gives you the feels. I cannot recommend it enough.

5 out of 5 stars

The Goodmans by Clare Ashton

Clare Ashton writes books that you love to read. They are complex, fun and capture your attention the whole way through. She builds characters and relationships with such skill you cannot help but be swept off your feet.

The Goodman family is messy and downright loveable. They are all charismatic individuals who love each other fiercely and also step into mess after mess. The majority of the times, we, the readers are seeing life from the perspective of Maggie, Jude, and Abby. These characters are quirky, infuriating, and irresistible. Maggie, Jude’s mother made me want to scream one minute and hug her very next.

Abby and Jude are both doctors. They met as teenagers at university and became fast friends. When Abby was just nineteen and away at school her mother was struck by a drunk driver and killed. That tragedy solidified Abby and June’s friendship. Jude and her family became touchstones for Abby and she has incorporated them into her life ever since that fateful day. Abby loves Jude, as a best friend sure, but so much more than that. Her feelings run so much deeper, and she knows nothing can come of it. Jude has always dated me and has never given her an inclination of being anything but straight. When Jude’s boyfriend, suddenly proposes, the walls Abby has erected come tumbling down. No matter how hard she tries Abby cannot hide her heartbreak.

This story is about best friends seeing each other in a new light, Jude sees Abby in a way she has never looked before. She opens her mind to being with Abby in a new and suddenly very attractive way. What it also is confronting the past and being open to a new future. For a long part of the story, I kept wondering why we had Maggie’s perspective. It all makes sense when an old friend comes into town.

This book is fun, dynamic and keeps you hooked. Clair Ashton does not disappoint. This book is one I cannot recommend enough.

A fabulous five-star book!

  • Publisher: Breezy Tree Press
  • Link: http://a.co/8mceNSE
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Sparks Like Ours by Melissa Brayden

I want to start this review by saying how glad I am that this is not a trilogy. There is one more and oh how I cannot wait for Hadley. Don’t get me wrong Hadley’s story is going to be outstanding but aren’t all of Brayden’s stories. Let me tell you Gia Malone and Elle Britton bring the heat. Hell yes they do, the heat they bring is hot, smoking hot.

Gia and Elle are fierce competitors. Elle is the currently the number one female professional surfer. She has adoring fans and is the face of women’s surfing. Gia is number two and is doing everything in her power to get her points total to top Elle’s. They don’t hate each other but there is some definite tension. Ooooh, don’t you just love the tension and the whole got off on the wrong foot/rivals scenario, Lord knows I do! Two elite athletes that are both fierce competitors, you know right off the bat that Brayden is going to give you some fabulous angst mixed in with amazing dialogue, light-hearted fun, and characters that steal your heart.

Gia is driven, ambitious and solely focused on being the very best female surfer. She loves surfing for the pureness of it and to fuel her competitive spirit. Catering to sponsors and being friendly with reporters is part of her job but something she is less than comfortable with. Elle gets under Gia’s skin because she not only knows how to play the game, she has reporters, fans, and sponsors eating out of her hand. This peppy people person drives her mad.

What draws you so much to these Gia and Elle is that they act like real people. They are flawed, they make mistakes, they get tipsy on margaritas in a bar and blurt out something that they shouldn’t. Perfection is boring. Brayden makes them come alive right off the page. You love them for their missteps and their triumphs. You love them because she makes them feel real.

We aren’t reinventing the wheel here folks. Brayden has her formula and by golly, I am so glad she does. It works and it’s not good, it’s great. I for one, think my lucky stars that Melissa Brayden writes lady loving books because she is one of the very best and takes it to the next level every single book. She writes the stories that you come back to. Not once, or twice, but time and time again because they give you all of the feels. Isn’t that why we love romance? Those little flutters that pull of your heartstrings, that paragraph that makes you smile, the joy of a first kiss. Her books are the ones you cherish.

An easy 5 stars!

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