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
Lies and deception is never a good way to start a relationship. It is a damn good way to start a romance novel though. Add in chemistry and a whole lot of sexiness and you have a book by Maggie Brown you just won’t want to put down.
Eleanor Godwin is a mega-star in Hollywood and beloved by many. As a household name, Eleanor has very little privacy and the small amounts she does have she guards fiercely. After wrapping up a punishing role, Eleanor is exhausted and ill from the toll she reeked on her body to get into character. She decides to return to her birth country of Australia for some much needed rest out of the public’s eye.
Our other main character is a journalist on the political beat. Sophie Marsh is forced by her editor to take an undercover role, as a housekeeper/cook to infiltrate the life of Eleanor Godwin. Sophie has no interest in Hollywood or reporting on entertainment news. Her sexist boss forces her to take the role or hit the unemployment line. The young journalist reluctantly agrees knowing that this is so wrong on so many levels and decides upon arrival at the private island she will not do harm to Eleanor Godwin’s reputation no matter what.
This adorable and sweet relationship blossoms from a reluctant friendship to an all-out burning love affair. The two main characters are delightful and you love them for their kindness and strength as well as the many missteps they make on their journey to happily ever after. You root for their success all the way through. A fantastic read!
4 out of 5 stars
Basically, I started writing this blog as a cathartic way of getting my feelings out about what I. So many times, especially after Kindle Unlimited unrolled, I would read a great review, purchase a book and then go WTF. So many bad book suggestions by Amazon and so much money wasted. A few months ago, I get nailed by a reader on the blog, just ranting at me about a bad review and how mean and awful of a person I was. That book was special to her and how dare I claim that it was not an amazing, fabulous read. It wasn’t that bad a review either, 3 stars actually. To me, the book was not to my taste and I pointed out the reasons, always trying to be fair but honest. Why I’m saying this is in such a convoluted way is that it’s funny, awesome and so fascinating to me how some books can be one person’s treasure and another person was like blah, next, please.
Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren is one of those books that I went in with high hopes and came out on the other side wondering what did I miss. By no means a lacking book, but I did not resound with me personally. My biggest reason, I did not really connect with the main character, Liv. I for the life of me could not see why Mira would be interested in her, other than being good at her job, character wise she was flat and uninteresting. I felt like as the reader I was supposed to already get and like Liv. Other than working at an aquarium, and a love for beer, I don’t know much more about her. The book is told from her POV so I would hope to have more understanding of this character and what makes her tick.
Just because Bait and Switch wasn’t my cup of tea and Liv wasn’t the protagonist of my dreams doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t read this author again. I absolutely would. Thanks for reading my rant!
3 out of 5 stars
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
Gerri Hill is a phenomenal writer. I love her books and have read almost everything she has published. What I love most about Hill’s writing is she sets the scene perfectly. In The Secret Pond, I felt as if though I could truly see the landscape of Leakey, Texas. She described it perfectly, Hill transported you right into one of the most beautiful places in the vast state of Texas.
There’s going to be a but now. While the setting for the book was perfect, the romance was not. Our two main protagonists in the story have been dealt horrific losses. Lindsey McDermott, an architect from Dallas, has lost her entire family to a plane crash. I’m talking everyone, parents, grandparents, both siblings, siblings spouses and their children. Hannah Larson lost her husband to a fifteen month battle with a brain tumor. She watched her husband deteriorate as cancer ravaged his body. So when these two ladies meet, they have so much backstory and pain to navigate through.
The majority of the book is spent with Hannah’s son Jack, playing in the Frio River or a secret pond on the McDermott ranch. Lindsey meets Jack, and they see a bit of themselves in each other, grief recognizing grief. They fish, swim and enjoy summer, finally including Hannah on their adventures. That takes you through almost 75% of the book. After halfway, I could not see any way for these Hannah and Lindsey to have a romance. They do, but it feels less than and rushed.
I will continue to read every book Hill writes, this one just was not my favorite. It felt long, a bit repetitious and the romance felt like an afterthought.
3 out of 5 stars
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
Gerri Hill is one of my favorite go to writers. She has beautiful style and while every book might not be a 5 star it’s almost guaranteed a four star, that saying something pretty spectacular, right? That you can rely completely on her books being quality reads time and time again.
Mandi Murphy moves from Houston to Sawmill Springs after a horrible case goes wrong and ends up resulting in the death of a friend. She decides a slower pace is needed and she takes a job offer in sleepy Sawmill Springs. Expecting to give traffic tickets and break up the occasional bar fight, Murphy no way expects to start her career with a murder case that continues to escalate daily.
Kayla Dixon is the Police Chief’s daughter, she just happens to be a former FBI agent as well. Kayla leaves Dallas to escape a terrible breakup and the frantic pace of the FBI. Her dad offers her a job on his staff and she jumps at the chance to come home. Thank goodness she does, because Murphy and Kayla are the only officers in town that can handle a killer on the loose.
Kayla and Murphy are partnered together. They both are new on the Sawmill Springs police force to solve a multiple murder case. This case is one with very little clues, and a whole town frightened by the turn of events. As the case increases in intensity, so does their friendship and attraction.
This one is a great murder mystery with a heavy dose of romance. The interaction between our two mains is cute and the dialogue is well written and believable. A really good story, my only complaint, and it is pretty small, it I wish just a little more time was spent on the mains interacting with each other outside of solving the case. Take that chemistry up one notch and it would have been stellar.
4 out of 5 stars
The Roundabout by Gerri Hill is what I would call a sweet romance. There really isn’t a lot of heat/ I want to ravish your body moments, and there isn’t any angst to dial up the tension. No, it’s just a cute story with some awe moments along the way.
Megan Phenix is thirty-nine and has sworn off dating forever. After two monumental strikeouts in the love department, she has decided that relationships are not worth the hassle and heartbreak. To make matters worse, Megan is the hottest commodity in her little town. This bachelorette is asked out by every woman in her little town and they just won’t take no for an answer. After too much tequila one night Megan passes out and her “friend” Mary Anne takes some R-rated pictures of her and uses them as leverage to get a date. This blackmail by humiliation on Facebook drives Megan to take drastic measures.
At fifty, Leah Rollins decides to retire from the tech industry, and thanks to a windfall from her late aunt, Leah is able to make her dream come true. She moves to Eureka Springs to open up a t-shirt shop in the sleepy little tourist town. What she also gets is a grouchy, sassy business neighbor, Megan. These two spar over parking spots on a daily basis. Their war over parking leads them to face off a few times before they decide they can help each other out. To stay out of the shallow dating pool, Leah offers to be Megan’s fake girlfriend, until she just doesn’t want to fake it anymore.
The Mary Anne picture blackmail is almost pushing being offensive. I found it hard to believe that an entire community of conscientious grownups would think blackmail by almost nude photos is funny. Especially when they know for a fact that person was drunk and passed out, when the photographer ( Mary Anne) was POSING her for the photos. That’s not cool at all and only a sicko would do that! Then factor in that one of the really amused is Megan’s older sister. Nope, no sister would do that! I think this part of the storyline was taken just a bit too far.
In terms of romance other than a few silly spats over parking, there really aren’t any true love/hate moments. They quickly become allies fighting off the single ladies who want dates. I know a terrible dilemma to be in, right. Of course, over time their attraction becomes the forefront of the story. Overall the story is nice and sugary sweet, but it doesn’t have anything truly special about it. The characters are totally likable but also unmemorable.
3 out of 5 stars