Journey to Cash by Ashley Bartlett

Journey to Cash by Ashley Bartlett, one of my most favorite books of the year. I absolutely love the Cash Braddock series. There is nothing like this series in all of lesfic. Its creative, dynamic, and smart. Time after time, Ashley Bartlett has delivered exceptional writing. Every single book in this series deserves praise because it is absolutely outstanding.  If you have not read this series I cannot recommend it enough. 4 books, all 5+ stars.

5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/journey-to-cash-by-ashley-bartlett-3328-b

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16 Steps to Forever by Georgia Beers

If Georgia Beers writes it, I am going to read it. I don’t even need to see what the book is about. I know without a shadow of a doubt that the book is going to be good. This is one author in this romance genre that you can always count on to give you an amazing read. I love her work and I am thankful for what she writes. Beers’ latest work is 16 Steps to Forever, and my goodness is it delightful.

Brooke Sullivan moves to upstate New York to start fresh with Wolfe Realty. Brooke has found a new town, a new house and a new real estate agency for a chance at a fresh start. Her life in Ohio was always under scrutiny. Her parents will never accept her as a bisexual women. She packed up and moved so she could live her lie on her own terms. Brooke one her first day of her new career, she is exceptionally dressed and runs headfirst into Macy Carr and a platter full of raspberry Danishes.

Macy Carr is a klutz of epic proportions. While Brooke reserved Macy is a free-spirit. These two opposites make an impression on each other from the beginning. While it doesn’t always go smoothly it is definitely memorable.

16 Steps to Forever bring two opposites and throws in a lot of chemistry and fun. Georgia Beers builds a friendship and attraction that keeps you locked in till the end. This light-hearted romance is just what the doctor ordered during these trying winter months.

4 out of 4 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/16-steps-to-forever-by-georgia-beers-3347-b

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Bulletproof by Maggie Cummings

My love for romance knows no bounds. I love when a police crime story still has the romance as its main focus. Too many times in this genre the opposite actually happens with the romance coming in a distant second. Maggie Cummings keeps a hot and sexy romance burning as the main event in her latest novel, Bulletproof.

Dylan Prescott get a fantastic job opportunity. This savvy police detective is rewarded the opportunity to work on an investigation with the Major Case Division working on taking down a narcotics ring. This is a big break for Dylan’s career. On the personal side of things, Dylan is all work and when she does play it’s with no-strings attached. She isn’t a player but the young detective has made her way through the ladies.

Our other main character is Briana Logan is the Assistant United States Attorney in charge of prosecuting the drug dealers that the Major Case Division is trying to take down. Briana is also 100% focused on her career and isn’t really interested in dating women at the moment. Too many of her past relationships have been overly complicated and looking towards the long-term too fast.

Cummings does a great job of giving us two workaholics who cannot help their growing attraction and affection for each other. You have two badasses who are exceptionally intelligent and skilled at what they do. Fir the first time ever someone makes them want something bigger than their careers. This author does an exceptional job a letting their growing attraction take hold and the communication and dialogue between the two was so natural and charming.

Great romance with a side of crime. You have to love a book that puts the bad guys in jail and the lady gets her girl. Maggie Cummings doesn’t let you down with Bulletproof, this is a really fantastic read.

4 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/bulletproof-by-maggie-cummings-3459-b

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While My Heart Beats by Erin McKenzie

When the book begins we meet Ellie Winthrop an aristocrat with dreams of being more than some man’s wife. Ellie, a feminist, has aspirations of helping the world and zero interest in gossiping over tea with the other ladies. Her mother wants nothing more than for the 22-year-old to pick a husband and begin her own family, but with World War One sweeping across Europe, Ellie has different ideas and new opportunities arise. When Ellie’s twin cousins die in battle, Ellie disobeys her mother’s wishes and enlists as in the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) to support in the medical care of wounded soldiers.

Ellie is assigned her duties and arrives at a general care hospital on the northern coast of France in the winter of 1915. There she meets nurse, Johanna Lennox. Lennox suffers no fools and is hard on the VAD’s, as she expects they are more interested in adventure than really facilitating care of the war-ravaged soldiers. To Johnna’s dismay, Ellie proves repeatedly she is capable, intelligent and kind. Respect grows into friendship, and friendship grows into love.

This book gives you so much. Erin McKenzie does an excellent job of evoking the emotions of the reader. You feel the terror and fatigue that the characters experience, you revel in their joy of finding true love, and you despair over the sacrifices they have to much in such a perilous time. You yearn for these characters just to find peace and happiness.

This is a great read. If you love amazing female protagonists and a good love story this is the book for you. You cannot go wrong with this one.

4 out of 5 stars https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/while-my-heart-beats-by-erin-mckenzie-3251-b

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

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Waiting for You by Elle Spencer

I love the books Elle Spencer writes. Ever since her first novel Casting Lacey, I have gravitated to everything she has written. BIG FAN! Spencer does a great job with this book, the story reels you in and holds you captive chapter after chapter.

Lindsay Hall is a renowned artist that paints the portrait of a boy she has never met. Over and over again. She knows him, she feels him, but who he is and what he means to her is something she cannot explain. As a teenager, Lindsey and her bestie hypnotized themself, and Lindsey saw herself in another life. A life where she had a son and a wife, but there is trauma and pain in that life she cannot explain. This moment as a teen has defined her life.

Ren Christopher is stopping for a few weeks to see her best friend before she moves to Paris for a new career opportunity. She is escaping from a stage 5 clinger in her past relationship and needs a clean break and quick getaway. Stopping in to see her college friend, she is mesmerized by a painting at the local Main Street art gallery. The portrait of the boy moves something inside of her, and she has to have it no matter the price.

Ren and Lindsey have this connection in this world and in a “past life”. Lindsey knows it the moment she sees Ren but knows she can’t just divulge that info because that’s a lot and could be seen as crazy. How it plays out is really interesting and will keep you entertained throughout the story.

The supporting characters really add dimension and depth to the story. They are absolutely the gems of this book. Angst and drama, but so is silliness and good humor. You get a lot of emotions are wrapped up in a delightful package. This book is your go-to for drama and fun.

4 out of 5 stars

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The Road Home by Erin Zak

Oh, y’all this one is soooooo good. Like 100% amazing and you must read it as soon as humanly possible. Erin Zak has written one of the very best books of the year. My friend, you want this one in your life. Just an outstanding read.

Gwendolyn Carter is a Hollywood actress who is a household name but hasn’t had the breakout role of her dreams yet. She had high hope for a big film role, but just lost out on it and now has no excuse not to go home for her father’s birthday. Gwen avoids going home, at all costs. She has a strained relationship with her mother that has not improved since she fled home after graduating high school.

The Carter family, took in another young lady after Gwen left their sleepy town. Lila Machowicz was one of Mrs. Carter’s star volleyball players and invited Lila to live with them when Lila’s military father was given orders to transfer to Germany. She has become like a second daughter to Mr. & Mrs. Carter. Gwen and Lila have never met and both have giant reservations about doing so.

So we have a lot of family dynamics at play in this one. What we also have is I don’t like you but damn you’re hot kinda action as well. Lila and Gwen have chemistry for days. They also have quick witty banter that keeps you on your toes. I love this angsty drama, it is just an amazing read. I could gush over this one for days, but I am just going to say don’t deny your self this one. It is well worth the price. This is a book you will definitely want to read more than once.

An easy 5 out of 5 stars

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What the Heart Remembers Most by M. Ullrich

If you have read M. Ullrich before you know she can give you the unexpected at any time. I never know which direction she will take me when reading one of her amazing books. It’s amazing that an author has that much creativity. 

 What the Heart Remembers Most tackles amnesia. Jax Levine is going about her days when she gets a call that her soon to be ex-wife and the mother of her son has been seriously injured. Jax’s whole world is turned upside down. Time stops and her life becomes consumed with sitting by the bedside of Gretchen Mills. These two were meant to last forever, but life, work, and raising a young child tore them apart. Now that Gretchen is injured, Jax must take the next steps to make sure her former love is taken care of. Things really get swirl, when Gretchen awakens with four years of lost memories.

You think you have a clue about how this story will play out, nope, M. Ullrich swerves and keeps you guessing to the end. There was a moment I thought I lost my mind or my Kindle went haywire. Nope, just a curveball to throw everything you thought you knew right out the dang window. This drama pulls you into Jax and Gretchen’s heartache and pain. Their marriage has crumbled and now the why is under the microscope. You feel the angst, tension, and heartache. This book is really really well written, but at times it can rip your heart out.

If you want something different, filled with emotion, this is the book for you.

3.75 out of 5 stars

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In the Shadow of Darkness by Nicole Stiling

Nicole Stiling’s latest novel gives us vampires. What is it about vampires that draws us in so much. Paranormal isn’t usually one of my go-to’s but this was a fun and well-written change of pace.

Megan Denham is in the wrong place at the wrong time and all hell breaks loose. The 30-something realtor stops by a local gas station and walks right into an armed robbery. I won’t give away all the details but know, all hope was lost for Megan until something stepped in and saved her.

Our other main character is Angeline. Angeline is definitely not what she seems. The gorgeous veterinarian has secrets that she has kept for a very long time. She is drawn to Megan in a way she has not been drawn to another woman in ages. As the book progresses you learn of Angeline’s story, often through flashbacks. Stiling does a great job of giving you the history of this enigmatic character and how she become who she is today.

There is romance, there is a lot of action, history and well, vampires. It is a well-written book, my only hang-up is that at times it felt too rushed. There is a lot of detail coming at you in regard to Angeline’s character and her past life. That took away from the romance in my opinion. I would have liked more emotion between our leading ladies. It felt superficial in the love department. Lust, yes, I got that, true love, I needed more.

Overall, this was an engaging story that was a fun and exciting change of pace. If this book continues into a series, which I felt like that was the direction the ending gave us, I am totally here for it. Stiling is a great writer and I am so interested to see what direction she takes us next. Give this book a chance if you love vamps, history or you just need to switch things up from your regular les-fic.

3 out of 5 stars

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Out of Practice (Legal Affairs #2) by Carsen Taite

Out of Practice by Carsen Taite is book number two in Taite’s Legal Affairs series. This book can easily be read as a standalone, but I would recommend beginning in order. This book is focused on Abby, an overworked lawyer who is finally doing something for herself and taking a dream beach vacation to relax, unwind, and have a little more fun for once. Abby meets Roxanne, who dazzles her from the very first moment she sees her.

Roxanne is a blogger, who specializes in weddings. She has a huge following and therefore is undercover while working at the beach resort both she and Abby are staying at. Roxanne makes the calculated risk of not telling Abby who she is and what she really does. They hit it off and a vacation romance begins and ends. The hiccup is both feel more than they should for a vaca hook-up and when they both get back to their hometown of Austin. They do meet again but it turns out they are on opposite sides of a legal battle involving a bridal dress shop gone bankrupt.

You know if you go for a Carsen Taite book you are going to get a great read. It’s guaranteed every time. I thought this book was so fun and engaging. The characters are well developed, the chemistry is there and the legal drama keeps you engaged. I am not usually one for the instant-love but Taite does this one so well. I cannot wait for book 3 in this series.

3 out of 5 stars

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Flavor of the Month by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers does it again, she wins our hearts with delightful leading ladies, witty dialogue and a story that keeps us invested till the last page. Really what more could you ask for? Beers delivers every time and I love to settle in with one of her books for a relaxing evening of fun and damn good storytelling.

Emma and Charlie were besties growing up. As they grew, so did their relationship. They became each other’s first everything. After graduating high school each of them chose their own school and while they tried their best to keep the relationship going, it fell apart because of the distance. Charlie followed her dreams, graduated, and headed off to New York. She fell for her boss, a gorgeous older businesswoman who oozed sophistication, power, and money. She becomes the older woman’s lover for a few years, giving up her career to tend to her girlfriend’s needs until she is replaced by someone else. Heartbroken, penniless, and full of shame and guilt, Charlie heads home to her small town to lick her wounds in her parent’s basement.

Emma has never really gotten over Charlie. She wants to bury her broken heart and throw everything into her restaurant. Charlie was the love of her life, now Emma only takes time for superficial hookups. There is no way anyone can destroy her the way the breakup dis. You can only imagine how mad Emma is when her childhood sweetheart shows back up in Shaker Falls as the new resident.

This book is full of regrets, angst, forgiveness, and understanding. This second chance at love is a sweet tale that a great escape. I promise you will adore Emma and Charlie’s story.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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