Where the Light Plays by C. Fonseca

I struggled with this one, and I hate that! I hate the feeling that I am not giving a book justice, especially one that is obviously well written. I’m going to put it down to the fact that it just wasn’t my cup of tea, you that’s what I’m going to do.

Andi Rey is an artist living near Victoria, Australia. Andi paints beautiful works of art and is currently working to finish her first solo exhibit. For extra income and to support her art she freelances as a graphic designer.  Andi has been unlucky in love, she is not willing to take a risk with her heart on just anybody.

Dr. Caitlyn Quinn is an Irishwoman who has come to Australia to assist her grandaunt in cataloging her art collection. She just happens to be vacationing at a beautiful home near Andi’s. These two strike up a friendship through their love of paintings, wine, great food and the beach. They only problem as their attraction to each other grows, so does the looming fact that Caitlyn is just  in Australia for a few short months.

I have no doubt that there will be people that read this book and love it, 4 and 5 stars all the way. These people are not going to be me unfortunately. Technically there is nothing wrong with this book. I would absolutely say that this book is well written, there were not mistakes in grammar or spelling. The setting was staged well, the characters were developed, so yes, this book is technically sound. What I did not find is any emotion to the book. The characters were dull and the dialogue was dry. I also felt that there were way too many secondary characters that had insignificant roles. Literally, I was trying to keep up with all the different names thrown out, and why they were there. I literally trudged through the entire thing wondering what the point is to this book. There wasn’t much to the story, and obstacles the character’s had to overcome were tired. This book was way too long for how little happened, but hey this is just my opinion.

2.5 stars out of 5

I was provided this book by Ylva in exchange for an honest review.

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Piping Her Tune by Maggie Brown

Let me just say this book is excellent. Maggie Brown is an exceptional writer that built characters that were intelligent and sassy, and not afraid to show it. This book is an absolute gem!

Abby Benton is a struggling artist. Her paintings are excellent, but she does not have enough steady work to keep the rent paid and the pantry stocked. Her heart and soul are dependent upon her art, but unfortunately it cannot pay her mounting bills. After entering a portrait contest, she writes to uber-successful business magnet Victoria Myers to be her muse. Ms. Myers accepts Abby’s request to paint her and this is where the story begins.

Victoria is basically a first-rate a$$hole the entire time Abby is trying to paint her likeness. She’s either being verbally dismissive or she’s on the phone. Our spitfire artist doesn’t let her get away with it, she tears the businesswoman a new one, and they take parting shots at each other as Victoria goes on her way. These confrontations play out on Abby’s canvas, and let’s just say, Victoria Myers ends up looking like the Lucifer himself, but the painting is really good and becomes quite popular. Chapter One!

So the story really takes flight with both of these ladies being royally pissed off at each other. TENSION!!! Guess what else? Both of these women are gorgeous, smart, witty, and can throw out a zinger with the best of them. Life continues to throw these two together, and a set of unusual circumstances force Victoria to hire Abby to travel with her on a six month traveling business trip. Talk about throwing two lions in a den together.

These two verbally spar throughout the book. They both respect each other, but miscommunication and a variety of secondary characters make troubles continue to arise. The mounting tension is palatable and you can feel each of our protagonists about to burst. I loved that the author kept these two ladies apart romantically well into the book. The pressure of hiding their attraction to each other was what made the book stellar (I am a sucker for angst, when it’s done right). I also liked that fact that both Victoria and Abby were resilient, clever women with backbones and strong opinions. There is no weakling here, one is rich and one is poor but neither put much stock into it.

All in all this book is great. I highly recommend it. You will not be wasting your time on this one, but you may need the biggest Americano you can get your hands on the next morning. This book made me read well into the night and if Monday mornings aren’t hard enough already, self-induced sleep deprivation doesn’t make it any easier.

4.5 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Bella Books
  • www.bellabooks.com

Piping Her Tune
by Maggie Brown
Link: http://amzn.com/B016QWVEU0

Live and Love Again by Jan Gail

Live and Love Again by Jan Gail is fine. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. This quick read is a story you’ve read before. Wounded woman meets hot rich executive. They hook up and fall desperately in love.

Sarah Jarrett is a widow. She lost the love of her life years ago and has not met anyone worth dating. That is until one day while boarding a plane to Chicago she meets Jessica Whitney. Jessica takes her breath away, and guess what, she is seated right next to Sarah. This is where the relationship takes off, literally.

Really there isn’t much else’s to say. The protagonists hookup and have rich girl, poor girl conversations ad nauseam. Neither character is really fleshed out, mostly what we learn about them is superficial and surface. Jessica is too nice and Sarah acts like a jerk way too much. She literally has hangups upon hangups.

This book is rather ordinary and doesn’t have much substance.

2.75 stars out of 5

Live and Love Again
by Jan Gayle
Link: http://amzn.com/B019G6CWIG

The Bureau of Holiday Affairs by Andi Marquette

Turkey day has come and gone. We trotted, we over indulged, the Cowboys lost again, we are all in need of stretchy pants and someone to come an untangle last year’s Christmas lights. Why are they always so tangled? Well forget the lights, and the shopping, you need to read this book. Andi Marquette’s, The Bureau of Holiday Affairs is the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Robin Preston is a first rate ass, and this is putting it nicely. She a a clog in the corporate machine, where the bottom line is the most important thing. She gives no thoughts to others needs or feelings. She will do whatever it takes to rise in the ranks of Frost Enterprises. That is until she runs into the crew of the Bureau of Holiday Affairs.

This book a lose adaptation of the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Robin is by all accounts a female version of Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, she is visited by three spirits that show her the errors of her wicked ways and how she needs to right her ship to live a fruitful and fulfilling life.

This book is heartwarming, and Robin Preston is a great character who evolves over the course of the book from a total dick to a lovable, honest woman. The secondary characters, including Jill Chen are great as well. Andi Marquette is a fantastic writer, who always gives you a first rate book. This is no exception. Even though you know the story, this book will not let you down.

4 out of 5 stars

The Bureau of Holiday Affairs (Twice Told Tales. Lesbian Retellings Book 3)
by Andi Marquette
Link: http://amzn.com/B0181FV6BM

Love in the Catskills by BL Miller

Love in the Catskills by BL Miller is a historical romance sent in the mid-1850s. The book follows the lives of two girls who could not have grown up more opposite. Divided by social standing, these two young women forge ahead to make a life of their own.

Mary Chandler is a young girl, ten years of age upon first introduction, who is spending her summer with her family at the Mountain House in the Catskills. Mary is part of the upper echelon of New York high society. Her family is beyond wealthy.

Hester Van Wyck is also a young girl, nine when the book begins, who befriends Mary while she is summering at the Mountain House. Hester’s father paints portraits for the rich, while barely making ends meet. The Van Wyck’s are uneducated and very poor, night and day from the Chandler family.
Mary and Hester form an immediate friendship as only two young people can. The book follows Mary and Hester’s summer friendship for the next 8 years. Sounds nice right, well in all truth this was super boring. The first 30% of the book is so dry. I wanted to put it down. Reading about the ins and outs of a 10 year old’s day does not do it for me. I felt like I was reading the same chapter over and over again. I pushed through and it picked up a little, once the girls became of age, but it by no means became riveting. I felt like the real issues of that time, (the Civil War, women’s suffrage), that were brought up by the author were very much glossed over.

This book did not draw emotion from me as the reader, it was another case of an author telling but not showing. Overall, the book was not my favorite, and I would pass on reading it again.

2 out of 5 stars

Love in the Catskills (Eras of Love Book 1)
by BL Miller
Link: http://amzn.com/B0157KRA2S

The Blind Side of Love by Ingrid Diaz

I luckily came across a review for this book on Goodreads.com. The reviewer had some interesting posts and we had numerous books in common. This particular book was raved about and given 5 out stars, needless to say I was intrigued. Crazy thing is this book is not currently published. I was able to download a version free online. Let me just say this book is so damn good!  I will buy it the moment Ingrid Diaz publishes it.

The  plot is slow, not slow in a bad way, slow in a buildup that you just don’t see a lot. I always feel like a lot of the books I read these days have to wrap it up pretty quickly. The author takes her time, and it is so worth it.

The two protagonists are Kris, an NYU art student, and Julianne, a famous TV/movie star. The two become email pals after Julianne buys on of Kris’s paintings while visiting New York. She decides to send the artist an email to let her know how much the piece means to her. A series of back and forth emails, the ladies turn into friends, that seek advice and encouragement. Its very sweet and endearing. The story turns romantic as Kris and Julianne meet. Their face to face interactions are witty, angsty, and at time hilarious.

You cannot help but love them separate and together. Read this book! http://ingriddiaz.com/books/the-blind-side-of-love/

5 out of 5 stars