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

The Road Home

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 chesty 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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Temptation by Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant is a really good writer. She writes stories that are engaging, her characters are well thought out and her stories have some great sexy time. I think Temptation just missed the mark with ME. Emphasize the me.

I thought the premise of the book was fantastic. College grad student cut-off from upper middle-class parents for not following their dream for her to follow in their footsteps and become a doctor. Grad student begins taking babysitting jobs to survive and falls into the gig of a full-time nanny for an ultra-wealthy single mom. It’s a good plot line!

I liked the plot, liked the characters, but the romance just fell short. Between the sheets, hot as hell. The romance was a bit thin in my very humble option. I liked it, I just did not love it. Still glad I read it though. If you are looking for something steamy, this one will definitely be for you.

2.75 out of 5 stars

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Not Since You by Fiona Riley

I am a huge fan of Fiona Riley’s books. I though her Match series was such a great collection of books. With that being said, Not Since You was not my favorite of Riley’s work thus far. There is nothing technically wrong with it, not by any means. I just thought the book was more erotica than romance. That will totally work for some, but for me, I would have loved to see more dialogue between the two mains. I want that push-pull, I want those little moments that grab at your heartstrings. This one just did not go there, its a lot of hot steamy scenes in the sheets but thin in other aspects plot-related.

Lexi Bronson has worked as a bartender on for a cruise line for the last ten years. With no family back home, Lexi finds comfort is the traveling nomadic lifestyle that this industry provides.

Charlotte Southwick has just ended a three-year relationship. She came home early to surprise her fiance and found her in bed with another woman. Charlotte decides to take their honeymoon cruise alone and runs into her high-school ex-girlfriend, Lexi.

This one goes very much into you broke my heart at eighteen, and I have carried the hurt around for 10+ years to naked time. (The naked time is super hot by the way.) I just thought the plot needed more. If you are looking for a traditional romance this one might not be for you. If you are looking for something hot and steamy, you will love this one.

2.75 out of 5 stars

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Cost of Honor (Honor #10) by Radclyffe

Here we are in the 10th book of this series. I can still pull up the amazing moments of book one in my mind. Blair and Cam will always be one of my most treasured couples in romance. They have that special something. They had it in book one and it is still as powerful as ever in the tenth. I will forever treasure the Honor series.

While Cam and Blair are amazing as ever in Cost of Honor, you also get introduced to a new couple and all our old friends from the Justice series. Oakes Weaver is a Secret Service agent that is assigned to POTUS and is organizing his trip to the Nation Convention. Ari Rostof is our other new character. Ari comes in to take over for the former campaign manager who was killed in a hit and run “accident”. These two hit it off immediately and the romance begins.

This book has a lot of moving pieces and quite a few characters. At first, I thought it would be overwhelming but Radclyffe makes it work. She gives us enough of each to balance out the story and keeps you invested all the way through. This book is fun, it’s dynamic and it keeps you wanting more till the very last page.

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Leading the Witness by Carsen Taite

Every once and a while you need a good lawyer book, and when I say every once in a while I mean every time Carsen Taite writes a book. She is my go-to for a good crime/lawyer focused book. Every single time you get a fabulous read that will be hard to put down way past your bedtime.

Catherine Landauer is a defense attorney that goes hard for every single one of her clients. She is well known for being a pit bull when it comes to cross-examining police officers. If they missed a step in procedure you can bet she is going to make them pay for their mistake. Catherine’s work is her life. She has no family, only a handful of friends, and spends most of her time away from work alone. Her past haunts her every move so she spends her time buried in work.

Starr Rio is Catherine’s opposite. This dynamic lawyer works for the DA’s office and is well known for taking shortcuts if it will get her where she needs to be in a case. She’s fun, outgoing and has her sights set on being the next DA of Travis County.

Needless to say, when these two meet to battle it out in court, Catherine and Starr don’t hit it off right away. Catherine has little tolerance for the Assistant DA and Starr is curious about the ice queen defense attorney. These two are brought together fighting on the same side when the mayor’s pre-teen daughter is kidnapped outside her home.

This is a great read. A real page-turner that will keep you reeled into the story. Starr and Catherine are both amazing characters who you just can’t get enough of.

3.75 stars

Leading the Witness