The Do-Over by Georgia Beers

Georgia Beers is one of my favorites. She has a beautiful writing style that captures both the imagination and the heart. You can count on Beers to give you a quality well-paced book each and every time. Pretty amazing, right?

Easton Evans is coming off a divorce. Not a messy one, but one of mutual respect, positive interactions and co-parenting their seven year-old daughter. Easton married her high-school sweetheart and after years of marriage finally admitted to herself, her husband and close friends that she was a lesbian. When we meet Easton she is working through her guilt of a failed marriage, parenting an unruly adolescent and grappling with a corporate merger that has left her the bad guy to her new sales staff. When the company bigwigs ask her and the other managers to attend conflict resolution, Easton has no choice but to attend.

Bella Hunt is the therapist that will be running the six-week course that Easton and her co-workers will attend. Bella knows Easton from high-school and is dreading working with her former classmate. Bella had a nightmare experience in school and struggled to endure and escape that time period. The memories of the bullying she faced are more than enough. While Bella is a well-rounded accomplished adult, you cannot help but notice that her youth left a few forever scars. When Bella realizes that Easton doesn’t remember her she decides to keep their past a secret. Why go back through those emotions is she can just endure a six-week class? One major problem, she cannot help be drawn to grown-up Easton Evans.

From the beginning, the story has flashbacks of the characters when they were in high school. You become invested in their past as much as their present. You ache for the young girls that were dealing with insecurities, one in the popular crowd, the other the object of their bullying. The chemistry The Do-Over is absolutely amazing and the high school flashbacks are perfectly written so as not to distract or confuse but to add to the plot. They brought depth to the story and gave you more insight into the present day leading ladies. This is another fabulous book from Georgia Beers.

4 out of 5 stars
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Listen by Kris Bryant

Kris Bryant did an outstanding job with this book. Her best work so far! Listen is so sweet and compelling you just cannot help but fall in love with the characters she has created.

Lily Croft is a 27-year-old hermit. She spends the majority of her time in her Chicago apartment with her rescued tomcat. Lily lives for math and she excels at her finance focused career. She does not interact with anyone other than basic conversations. With no friends or family, this amazingly talented woman has shut herself off from the world. Why? Lily is a child music prodigy. Leading symphonies by the time she was 11 years old. With that talent came unspeakable demands and abuse from her parents. Forced to play 24/7, Lily began to have mental health issues including social phobia. Therefore she cut everyone out of her life, including the music that she once loved so much.

Hope De’Marco is also a musician. Hope runs a grant-funded music therapy studio that focuses on children with disabilities and inner-city kids. Lily just happens to be sub-contracted to a company that is right by Hope’s studio. One evening on her way home Lily hears Hope playing and it sparks curiosity in her and draws her to the music. She continues to go by the studio to hear the pianist play again.

Hope and Lily have a charming romance. Its gentle pace has you rooting for Lily’s growth and cheering Hope’s gentleness. What Bryant really excels at with this story is letting the reader feel the emotions of Lily. You feel her anxiety rippling off the page. When she was in a social experience that sparked her anxiety you were right there with her feeling those heart-pounding emotions. You root for Lily’s growth, you are dazzled by Hope’s kindness and you are terrified for that inevitable shoe to drop. A great book that keeps you spellbound to the end. You leave this one with a massive smile on your face.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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London, Actually (London Romance Series Book 5) by Clare Lydon

London, Actually is book 5 in Clare Lydon’s the ‘London Romance’ series. This one takes us to a corporate setting involving Rachel’s younger sister, Becca. Becca has landed her first job since graduating from college working for an event planning firm. One big problem for Becca upon starting her dream job is that she just made out with her new boss Saturday night.

Cleo Nightingale is a 39 year old is the head of events for Workplace as global office space company. On Monday morning she is reeling from an unexpected yet amazing Saturday evening. Saturday, Cleo and her brother Duncan attended the wedding of their childhood neighbor. At the wedding, Cleo met the most amazing woman, 23 year old hottie, Becca. They enjoyed each other’s company went out after the nuptials for drinks and had a fabulous drunken goodnight kiss. One she was still thinking about later.

Becca and Cleo are caught up in a workplace romance neither expected. They both try like hell to put their kiss behind them but as they learn more about each other the attraction only intensifies. As much as Cleo does not want to date a younger woman she just cannot deny the sexual chemistry.
Clare Lydon’s always writes a clever, fun-loving story with well-defined characters. Overall, London, Actually is a very good addition to this wonderful series. A good romance to unwind with after a long week!

3.25 out of 5 stars

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Blend by Georgia Beers

I really like the way Georgia Beers writes. I love the way she develops characters that are interesting, dynamic and well, hot. It’s been a while since I have read her stuff, the reasoning, I have not a clue why, but I am so glad I picked up her latest novel, Blend. This is a fantastic romance novel. So good, fabulous!

Lindsey Kent is the general manager of a wine bar, Vineyard. Lindsey is likable, cheerful and always has something positive to say. She loves her job. She lives and breathes wine and has an amazing relationship with Ellen Bradshaw, the owner of Vineyard. When Ellen tells her she is taking a sabbatical to explore the world, Lindsey is truly excited for the widow. What is is not excited about is learning that she will need to run all of Vineyard’s business decisions through Ellen’s youngest daughter, Piper.

Piper Bradshaw is the direct opposite of Lindsey. She is an ice queen with a hard, no-nonsense personality. Her job is in the financial sector, and she has learned to be hard-nosed and closed off to thrive in this male-dominated field. Piper’s work and the loss of her father two years ago has hardened Piper’s heart. She is a closed off control freak. Having to work with Lindsey throws her orderly world off-kilter.

These two get off on the wrong foot. Neither is excited about working with the other. Lindsey has big ideas of how to take Vineyard to the next level and draw in a younger hipper crowd. Piper is hesitant to change anything, not wanting to change anything her father created when opening the business. The butt heads, but as their time together increases the begin to see each other in a new light. The walls fall, and perceptions fall away. The chemistry between these to is dynamic and sexy.

You know a book is good, first when you don’t want to put it down. Second, you know its damn good, when your reading it and thinking, I’m totally going to read this one again. Great read and is absolutely a 5-star romance.

5 out of 5 stars

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It’s Not a Date by Heather Blackmore

It’s Not a Date by Heather Blackmore is a love story set in the fast-paced world of venture capitalism. There is no doubt the Blackmore has a business background. Her wealth of knowledge sets up a romance that crosses into professional boundaries.

Kade Davenport is a young entrepreneur that has had a lot of success at a very early age. Into her thirties, she has sold multiple companies for a wealth beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. For all of Kade’s success, she is a loner who for the most part is closed off to the rest of the world. She’s known for her business acumen and rigid ways but few people know anything else about Kade Davenport.

Kade meets Jennifer Spencer in the Maui airport. Jennifer is the CEO of a small start-up company that pairs caregivers for hire with families that have elderly loved ones. These two hit it off immediately and decide to spend one perfect day together in paradise. Funny thing is one year later, Kade finds herself on the board of Jenn’s company and these two have to find a way to work together and fight their attraction.

Overall, I thought this book had a great premise and the story was interesting and fun.

3.5 out of 5 stars

It's Not a Date

Face It (Scissor Link #2) by Georgette Kaplan

Georgette Kaplan has such a unique way of telling a story. I love it! Her characters are dynamic, witty and absolutely zany. She rights at a fast-paced that take a bit to settle into but once you do, time just whizzes right by.

Elizabeth Smile is our main character from this one. If you can remember back to Kaplan’s second book, Scissor Link, Elizabeth was Janet Lace’s administrative assistant. (PS you don’t have to read that one to read this one, this is a stand-alone) The book starts off with a flashback to college when she had a hook-up with her roommate Michelle Harlow. Michelle had Elizabeth’s heart and didn’t even know it. That short fling has been one of the catalysts for Elizabeth never settling down and staying far away from a commitment longer than an evening or two.

So of course, Michelle comes back into her life almost a decade later. Why, well she needs Elizabeth to pretend to be her girlfriend as she is going through a messy divorce. Husband had a threesome and now she wants him to get none of their millions. EEK! Nothing good can come of this idiotic plot and it doesn’t help that Michelle is kind of a douche bag. I’m not kidding I was actually terrified that this was a love story between Elizabeth and Michelle because I wanted to scream, hell no, run away, Liz, run far, far away. Spoiler alertIt’s not. Whew!

Anne, she is an amazing character. She brings so much fun to this book. Anne is Michelle’s sister and Elizabeth meets her at the Harlow family home in Ohio. Michelle needs Elizabeth to help her sell the story to all parties involved including her siblings. One sibling in skeptical and is not afraid to hide her opinion. Anne’s dynamic with Elizabeth is by far the best aspect of this book. (hide spoiler)]

My final thoughts are this. Kaplan writes zany, humor-filled books. Her characters have that biting, sarcastic humor that I adore but I know many folks that do not. There is a lot going on with this book. The supporting characters and their issues can be somewhat distracting. If you overlook that one issue and can just focus on Elizabeth and Anne, the book is so much fun. A true breath of fresh air. I really, really liked it. I think you will see reviews for this one all over the place. My advice it this, if you liked Kaplan’s other works you will most likely like this one too. This is not a serious book at all! It’s self-deprecating, zany, full of witty a*hole comments and just a bit twisty. So I totally liked it!

4 out of 5 stars

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Hearts Like Hers (Seven Shores #2) by Melissa Brayden

Sooooo, I read Melissa Brayden’s newest book, Hearts like Hers. OMGeezy, let me tell you something, Melissa Brayden is a true romance badass. This book is everything. E V E R Y T H I N G! I could throw out adjectives for greatness all day long and it still wouldn’t be enough. The queen of romance has dazzled me yet again, and I cannot thank her enough for it. Brayden doesn’t just write a love story, she writes an epic love story!

Hearts like Hers focuses on Autumn Primm, the owner of The Cat’s Pajamas coffee shop. Autumn is witty, she’s sarcastic and an all-around adorable character. She has spent her life up until now completely learning the coffee trade and now running her small business. An invitation to her ex-girlfriend, Olivia’s, wedding hit Autumn especially hard. Not for the fact that she has any residual feelings for her former lover, no, that ship has sailed. What she feels is more the loss of a chance, she has let her love life evaporate while she has been solely focused on business. So she forces herself to watch the ex get hitched and comes to the conclusion its time to have a child, she’s going to take that next step in life even though she has not found her Mrs. Right.

Kate Carpenter is the newest residence at the Seven Shores apartment complex. She has taken a two-month hiatus from her job fighting fires in a small sleepy town in Oregon. She needed to get away. Kate was in the right place at the right time to save two small children from a house fire, but it wasn’t without pain and suffering for everyone involved. Touted as the town’s hero, Kate wants anything but the attention. She heads to Venice for some rest, relaxation and far away from anyone that will call her a hero.

This book, to me, deviates from the Brayden formula just enough. Now, I have never been one to knock said formula because to me it works and it works exceptionally well. There is a reason that readers drop everything for these books, they are time and time again outstanding reads. What I’m saying is this book is captivating and keeps you on your toes. The slight change up works but even more than that it’s just about two fabulous characters that have so much chemistry. I’m talking chemistry for days. Big and bold smoldering chemistry! This book is hot and sexy, with all the wit and spark you expect from the master of dialogue. Brayden stepped up to the plate with this one, she pointed her bat Babe Ruth style into the grandstands, and nails that sucker out of the park. This is a true romance that does every single thing to perfection. Every. Single. Thing! Once again Melissa Brayden stands at the top. She unequivocally is the queen of romance.

All the stars!!!

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