Breathe by Cari Hunter

You know when you pick up a Cari Hunter book you are in for one hell of a ride. This writer can really write a book! In her newest novel, Breathe, she gives you amazing characters, thoughtful dialogue and a plot that just won’t stop.

Jemima Pardon is an accident waiting to happen. She’s klutzy and just one of those people that is a magnet for disasters. Jem just happens to be the best damn paramedic in Manchester. While Jem is on her own on night trying to help a patient she gets a ton of help from police officer Rosie Jones. These two quirky characters hit it off right from the start. Both Rosie and Jem’s characters are full of complexity. Their backgrounds make them who they are today, and Hunter takes us on the ride of bringing their past to their present if that makes any sense. She gives us enough detail and emotion to bring them to life. I loved their banter and wittiness even in the most harrowing situations.

This is a great book to pick for when you really want to escape. As with all Cari Hunter books you are getting a quality story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

4 out of 5 stars

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30 Dates in 30 Days by Elle Spencer

30 dates in 30 days, can you even imagine all that pressure and awkwardness. Hard pass. Don’t hard pass on this book though, Elle Spencer gives us a delightful romance full of fun, silliness, angst and a dang good romance.

Veronica Welch is just a few weeks away from being named partner at her prestigious New York City law firm. Her goal has been to make partner and then find the love of her life and settle down. That is winning to Veronica. While the partnership is almost a done deal, there is no lady on the horizon. Her fabulous assistant, Bea, takes matters into her own hands and puts V on a dating app specifically for lesbians. Bea convinces the ambitious lawyer that now is the time to find Mrs. Right and by having 30 dates in 30 days is the way to do it.

Rachel Monaghan is a world-renowned wedding photographer. Her business is booming, but when she has downtime she helps out her bestie/cousin tend bar at the family pub. Her cousin is going through a lot right now, so any help she can give she will. What this “I don’t believe in love anymore photographer” doesn’t expect is to strike up a friendship with a successful lawyer who is looking for the love of her life.

Elle Spencer delivers with this one. This book has all the elements to keep you spellbound to the end. 30 Dates in 30 Days is a fun dynamic read. Don’t let this one pass you by, really don’t let any book by Spencer pass you by, they are all fantastic.

4.25 stars out of 5

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

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Top of Her Game by M. Ullrich

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!

Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden

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

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Daughter of No One by Sam Ledel

I never read fantasy novels, I just am not interested in all the world building. I feel like the majority of the time you spend so much time of developing that aspect of the book that everything else can end up taking a backseat. As much as this is a fantasy novel, with the elves and the fae, what you also have is an old-fashioned adventure filled with mystery and a slow burn romance.

Jastyn Cipher and her mother were cast out of the village by the royal family. Jastyn’s mother had a child with a fae and therefore broke one the kingdom’s laws. After spending quite some time in shackles the mother and young child have been shunned by their community for decades. Jastyn despises the royal family. Unfortunately, Jastyn’s younger sister has fallen ill and nothing the Alchemist mixes will fix what she ails from. Going to the queen to beg for her healing powers is not something this young woman wants to do but at this point she has no other options.

Princess Aurelia Diarmaid wants more than anything to break out of the castle and experience the world outside of its protective walls. Her parents have kept the princess safe but have also clipped her wings and made her feel trapped and restless.

Our two main characters are a study in contrasts. Jastyn is considered less than a commoner. Her life has been filled with barely meeting basic needs has toughened her and made her a skilled outdoorswoman. Aurelia wants for nothing but as much privilege as she has something is missing.

The world building and fantastic elements are all there. Ledel makes them believable and paints you a picture as the story unfolds. Where I think the book really takes shape and leaps to the next level is the dynamic between our leading ladies. There is an excellent lesfic drama/romance unfolding between the two young women. Everything is stacked against them and that is obvious from their initial meeting. Attraction, longing gazes, a simple touch, it all begins to stoke the fires of a would be romance. You cannot help but love these two brave heroines who are thrust into chaos and an adventure. With Jastyn, I loved all that vulnerability and the crushing hopelessly on someone who is completely above your stature in society. It is just enough angst to keep you rooting for the impossible. With Princess Aurelia, you love that she is nothing like Jastyn thought her to be. Aurelia is capable, smart, compassionate and is absolutely fearless in the face of danger.

Sam Ledel has definitely set up an epic adventure of star-crossed lovers. This book one of a trilogy doesn’t leave you with a cliffhanger but you are definitely going to be left ready for the next book. The romance is just blossoming, they are not a couple this is one where we are going to have to work for it a bit. As a non-fantasy lover, I adored this book and am ready to read where Ledel takes us next. This book is quality writing, great pacing, and top-notch characters. You cannot go wrong with this one!

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Practice Makes Perfect by Carsen Taite

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