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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Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard

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

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Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D

Lucy’s Chance by Jackie D was just what I needed after a long week of craziness that just won’t quit. A great escape, that didn’t overthink what it really was, two ladies with a life-long bond that even after twelve years of separation, the love was still there.

Lucy Rodriguez made a terrible decision at the age of twenty. Caught up in the razzle-dazzle of undergrad she decided to break up with her girlfriend to see what dating life was all about. She has regretted that decision every day thereafter. She broke her true love’s heart and has spent every day thereafter paying the price. She works and she works with very little else in life. A renowned journalist who covers the crime beat for San Diego and has Pulitzer for her stories from the Middle East, her works is her lifeblood.

Erica Chance is a small town police officer in Northern California. Erica has spent the last decade of her life trying to repair the hole in her heart Lucy left behind. She doesn’t let any woman close to her heart anymore. Four months of casual dating and then that relationship must end. Erica’s regimented life is thrown out of orbit when dead college-age women appear in rapid succession. It also brings Lucy Rodriguez back into her life.

Add a bit of conflict, add a bit of angst, a derail killer and you have a really good read. Is this anything revolutionary? Not so much. What this book is a great escape. You have a few hours to decompress from real-life’s craziness, and enjoy a quality story with interesting characters. Well minus the psychopath murderer, but you know what I mean.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Lucy's Chance

Time Will Tell by M. Ullrich

I loved the beginning, shook my head at the middle, and am totally perplexed by the ending. Was it well written? Absolutely! Did I like it? Well, I’m unsure. So, so unsure to be honest. There are parts of this book that are brilliant, parts that made my heart hurt, parts that made me smile and parts that I thought what the bloody hell. This book is a conundrum.

If you give it a read, I would love to hear what someone else thinks.

3 out of 5 stars

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The Butterfly Whisperer by Lisa Moreau

I read the news every day. Every day lately, I wish this was a habit I could break. As much as I try every morning at 5 AM, I’m up, back at inundating myself in the latest world crisis or political snafu. I decompress/escape by heading out for a run or grabbing a book. The Butterfly Whisperer was just what I needed after a long week of craziness that just won’t quit. A great escape, that didn’t overthink what it really was, two girls with a life-long bond that even after ten years of separation, the love was still there.

Jordan Lee owns one-half of a matchmaking company that is super successful, and super exclusive. Her clients are Hollywood’s elitist. A self-made woman, Jordan left her home at the age of 18 just months away from graduating from high school. Her father threw her out when he discovered her personal journals. Only through her writing could Jordan admit the truth. She was undoubtedly head over heels in love with her best friend Sophie.

Sophie Sanders is a lepidopterist. Her work and life’s passion is running a local Monarch butterfly sanctuary in her hometown of Monarch, CA. Sophie is a character that is ruled by her spirit, she has this great zen-like approach to life. She is literally adored by the entire town. The only thing she hasn’t been able to find is her true love. She is hobbled by the fact that Jordan took off and never looked back. Jordan doesn’t know it but she took Sophie’s heart when she ran away.

Add a bit of conflict, add a bit of angst and you have a really good read. Is this anything revolutionary, nope, but it’s not intended to be either. What this book is a great escape. A few hours or days (depending on your speed reading capabilities) to decompress for life’s craziness, and enjoy a quality story with cute characters. Not to mention butterflies, who doesn’t love those.

4 out of 5 stars

To Purchase on Amazon: The Butterfly Whisperer29502529

Capturing Jessica by Jane Hardee

Communication is key to any relationship, am I right? Whether you are friends, family or lovers, open dialogue is vital to building and maintaining a healthy, solid foundation. In romance books, a common trope is miscommunication/no communication between the two leading ladies. I think this is a delicate balancing act if you too heavy handed, it just leads to the reader’s frustration and basically a lot of eye rolling. Create angst and tension, but don’t make it so unrealistic that it just becomes ridiculous. So how is Capturing Jessica by Jane Hardee, well, let’s just say lots and lots of eye rolling took place during my read.

Michael is a highly revered sculptor that is on the precipice of really landing major contracts. While her art has become wildly popular, her personal life is has intensified up to almost painful levels. She is desperately in love with her childhood best friend, Jess. Unwilling to chance their friendship, for love, Michael buries her feelings and turns to binge drinking when Jess is approached by any would-be suitors.

Jess, is your girl next door type, a sweet, thoughtful elementary teacher who literally everyone adores. Jess feelings for Michael, come about after a night out celebrating a mutual acquaintances birthday. Her feelings become pronounced and she begins to reach out to Michael in a multitude of ways, showing her interest and affection for the artist. Michael has the incite of a door knob and sees none of this, much to Jess’s dismay.

EYE ROLLS like a mo fo! Frustration, frustration and more frustration. The lack of even basic communication between the characters was astounding. You have two emotionally stunted protagonists, one way more than the other mind you, and it became hard to give a damn whether these two find their way to happy ever after. Basically, Jess needed to give Michael a high five, wish her the best and run for the hills.

2.25 out of 5 stars

Capturing Jessica
by Jane Hardee
Link: http://a.co/dS1W1nA

 

Saving Grace by HP Munro

I love HP Munro’s books. They have interesting characters, well thought out plots, and more than anything else they are just good romances. When I found out she had a new one out, well I hit that buy button and got right to it. With that being said, before you buy this one, you will definitely want to read Grace Falls first. While Saving Grace is a follow-up story with two new protagonists, you will be lost in a sea of details and sub-characters if you don’t.

Erin Hunter is the town veterinarian in Grace Falls. She has lived there all her life, with the exception of the years she was away for college. Erin’s life has been professionally successful while being emotionally stunted. She has never been able to successfully let go of her first love, Charlotte Grace .

Charlotte Grace was born to Grace Falls most prominent family. Her father owned the lumber mill that employed the majority of the town’s population. Charlotte’s mother never let anyone forget that the Grace’s were the royalty of the town. No one was ever good enough and everyone was beneath them. You can imagine mean ol’ mama’s discontent when her daughter befriends the town’s little Dr. DoLittle. Charlotte and Erin have a bond that is undeniable and as the years go on they become young lovers. That is until Charlotte’s mother finds out and ships her daughter to boarding school, breaking both Erin and Charlotte’s hearts.

The story revolves around Erin and Charlotte finding their way back to each other. Throw in a bunch of zany supporting characters and you have some really funny moments. This novel is charming and heartwarming. While I don’t think it had quite the staying power as Grace Falls I did thoroughly enjoy my time with it. HP Munro is definitely on my automatic buy list.

3.75 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Red Besom Books
 Saving Grace
by H.P. Munro
Link: http://a.co/6z4rbgK

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Game Time (Girls of Summer #2) by Kate Christie

Okay, so did you read Training Ground yet? If not, stop here, go read it already. You do not want to read this one without the back story.

Game Time doesn’t pick off where we left Jamie and Emma. No, we fast forward ten years to 2013 and find them on opposites sides of Earth. Jamie is playing for the women’s division or Arsenal Ladies Football Club in London. Like many Americans, Jamie has chosen to cross the pond for a chance to keep playing the game she lives for.

Emma has achieved the pinnacle of success, she is a starter for the national team, multiple Olympic medals, and endorsement deals with major sponsors. Emma lives her life in the public eye, easily recognizable. Jamie, on the other hand, is still striving for her chance to be called up to play for her country. While Emma has achieved most of her professional life’s goals, she has started to see, that her life also has a major void. She wants what so many of her peers has found, that special person. She knows what true love feels like, she just hasn’t found it with anyone else.

Fate and bad luck have literally kept them apart all this time. Just when Jamie has had her chance to play on the national level disaster strikes. First a torn ACL, the second a broken ankle, and with every injury, she must go back, recoup and begin her quest again. With dogged determination, she never gives up, and she keeps striving for her lifetime goal. Jamie has the heart of a lion, and you just can’t help but root for her success. Finally, she gets the call. Jamie has been picked for a two-week residency camp in an off-year as the national team begins to find who the 21 players will be that represent the USWNT in 2015 in the pursuit to win the World Cup. Guess who else will be at camp, yup, Emma Blakely. These former best friends will spend 14 days in close proximity, and it’s time to move forward.

While Training Ground was painful to some extent, Game Time starts the rebuilding. Accepting that life, missteps, and personal mistakes all took a toll on their relationship, Emma and Jamie can find a way to be what they were first, friends. The foundation is there and with work and communication, these two find their way back to each other. Oh, guess what’s still there, yup chemistry, sizzle!

What I loved about this book is there isn’t any contrived drama. These two ladies have a lot on their plate as it is. The stressors of being a professional athlete, staying on top of your game, making one of the most select teams in the world are enough right. You will be 100% invested in the journey of these two leading ladies. My heart just about burst when they find their way back to each other, and have their chance at true love. Now I just need the third book ASAP.

4.25 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Second Growth Books

Game Time: Book Two of Girls of Summer
by Kate Christie
Link: http://a.co/2tIzRH0

Game Time: Book Two of Girls of Summer by [Christie, Kate]

Training Ground (Girls of Summer #1) by Kate Christie

Soccer is a passion of mine. I have played most of my life, starting when I was just in the 1st grade. Combine that love with a Kate Christie book. Okay yeah, you have me interested. Even if soccer isn’t your passion ,you should give this book a chance for one reason, the author.

Jamie Maxwell is a young high school aged soccer player. She has that single-minded focus of an elite athlete. Soccer, she lives for it, she will sacrifice everything else for the game. How many teenagers are that focused, not many? Combine that with a natural athletic prowess and you have that special combo that just might take you to the top of the game.

Emma Blakeley is exactly like Jamie in the sense that the game defines her. Emma is finishing up her senior year and has already committed to the storied women’s soccer program UNC. Emma sees a kinship in Jamie, where the sport they love supersedes everything else. What she also sees, when they randomly bump into each post-tournament is that Jamie radiates sadness. They bond almost instantly seeing a kinship of a fellow athlete but also drawing strength from one another. This instant connection will define the rest their year.

In the beginning, they are strictly friends, sharing their love of the beautiful game, waking up before the sun is up to catch a Premier League match, sharing stories of their day on the pitch. Soccer is the catalyst for more. They become to depend on each other. They become each other’s anchors as they deal with some pretty heavy stuff.

This story is jam-packed with drama. You have multiple life defining moments and the reactions and emotions of two young women. My heart ached for both Jamie and Emma, at times individually and simultaneously. To say these two are put through the gamut is an understatement. 2003-2004 will be a time that will forever define the course of these two lives.

Pretty heavy right! If this book was a stand alone, I would be wary to recommend this one. Not because of any flaw in the writing, because it is really good, but it also kind of hurts. While I read romance novels for so many reasons, let’s all face the cold hard truth, we want that happy ending. Good news is this is not a stand alone, but one of three books following the lives of soccer’s toughest duo. Training Ground is the backstory, vital to understanding how it all began. So you have to read it, and you’ll want to, but buy the second part with the first, and go right into it.

Soccer is a passion of mine. I have played most of my life, starting when I was just in the 1st grade. Combine that love with a Kate Christie book. Okay yeah, you have me interested. Even if soccer isn’t your passion ,you should give this book a chance for one reason, the author.

Jamie Maxwell is a young high school aged soccer player. She has that single-minded focus of an elite athlete. Soccer, she lives for it, she will sacrifice everything else for the game. How many teenagers are that focused, not many? Combine that with a natural athletic prowess and you have that special combo that just might take you to the top of the game.

Emma Blakeley is exactly like Jamie in the sense that the game defines her. Emma is finishing up her senior year and has already committed to the storied women’s soccer program UNC. Emma sees a kinship in Jamie, where the sport they love supersedes everything else. What she also sees, when they randomly bump into each post-tournament is that Jamie radiates sadness. They bond almost instantly seeing a kinship of a fellow athlete but also drawing strength from one another. This instant connection will define the rest their year.

In the beginning, they are strictly friends, sharing their love of the beautiful game, waking up before the sun is up to catch a Premier League match, sharing stories of their day on the pitch. Soccer is the catalyst for more. They become to depend on each other. They become each other’s anchors as they deal with some pretty heavy stuff.

This story is jam-packed with drama. You have multiple life defining moments and the reactions and emotions of two young women. My heart ached for both Jamie and Emma, at times individually and simultaneously. To say these two are put through the gamut is an understatement. 2003-2004 will be a time that will forever define the course of these two lives.

Pretty heavy right! If this book was a stand alone, I would be wary to recommend this one. Not because of any flaw in the writing, because it is really good, but it also kind of hurts. While I read romance novels for so many reasons, let’s all face the cold hard truth, we want that happy ending. Good news is this is not a stand alone, but one of three books following the lives of soccer’s toughest duo. Training Ground is the backstory, vital to understanding how it all began. So you have to read it, and you’ll want to, but buy the second part with the first, and go right into it.

3.75 stars out of 5

  • Publisher: Second Growth Books

Training Ground: Book One of Girls of Summer
by Kate Christie
Link: http://a.co/31dHycU

Training Ground by Kate Christie

 

Colorblind by Siera Maley

Adorable is easily one of the many adjectives that you can use to describe Colorblind by Siera Maley. This book is at times distressing all the while being heartwarming as well. I know, what a conundrum, but a glorious one at that. This book is a balancing act of sad and happy, no worries, though. You want to read this one. For any sadness that seeps out, there is a magnificent ray of sunshine that will definitely make you smile.

Harper is cynical, jaded, broody with a perpetual dark cloud over her head. Give her a chance, though, Harper isn’t just any teenager. This seventeen-year-old has a special gift, that can only be seen as really a curse. She sees the age of death written on the forehead of each person she meets. In the way that you and I see the date of expiration on a gallon of milk, Harper sees these hundreds of times a day on people. Can you imagine how awful this would be, seeing a toddling two-year-old and seeing the number 4, or a young mother and seeing a 37? Heartwrenching! Harper knows that no one would understand, and basically think that see had seriously lost her marbles if she told anyone.

Chloe Stephens is in one word, magnetic. This character is one of those people that, you know the type that everyone is naturally drawn to. They exude fun and kindness and you cannot help but love’em. She has the wisdom of ninety-year-old, with the adventurous spirit that only teenagers have and exuding positivity all along the way.
These two meet by chance, Chloe just moving into Harper’s San Francisco neighborhood, and become fast friends. Harper is super reluctant to allow Chloe into her life, but the charming spirit of Chloe is just too much to ignore. Chloe doesn’t beat around the bush either. She lets Harper know in no uncertain terms that she is interested in a relationship because she’s cute and interesting. This was so refreshing. No long pining away, Chloe knows how to communicate!

The book is with Chloe and Harper carving out their friendship and then their romance. It’s cute and fun, Chloe makes Harper see the fun side of life and let go of her constant doom and gloom broodiness. If you haven’t read this book, you might be wondering, Can Harper see Chloe’s number? The answer is yes, she totally can, and that my friend adds to the angst of the story.

Overall, this book is fantastic. I have enjoyed each of Siera Maley’s books, but Colorblind is easily the best of her work. The book has just enough tension to keep you on edge, and when it’s finally time for the conclusion, Maley does a masterful job of finishing this delightful book. Highly recommend!

5 out of 5 stars

Colorblind
by Siera Maley
Link: https://amzn.com/B01CGR9AKU

Colorblind by [Maley, Siera]