From the Woods by Charlotte Greene

From the Woods by Charlotte Greene begins with a group of friends taking their annual girls trip to a remote wooded forest that spans through Colorado and Wyoming for an epic hike. Their past vacations have always taken a turn for the worse and they are hoping this year will be an improvement. Enter foreshadowing!

Fiona our main character wants to bail on the trip, but she knows she can’t because her “bestie”, Jill is pretty much a bully and will force her hand to come along on the trip. You see for years, Fiona has had a crush on their mutual friend, Carol, but know Carol has married Sarah and will be bringing her wife along on the journey. So, all of this sounds like a really good time, yeah. Nope not a good time to be had, I promise.

So, our group of four heads to the woods and meet with expect hiking guide, Roz and her crew. Roz and her team will be taking this band of friends into the forest for their adventure. Pretty much from night one, all hell breaks loose.

At times this book is downright creepy, definitely spooky and at times erratic. While the premise was intriguing, the plot had holes in it that were never resolved, and the character development left a lot to be desired. Other than surface emotions and personality traits, I never felt like I knew these characters. I for the life of me could not figure out why Fiona, Jill, Carol, and Sarah were friends, especially friends that take yearly vacations together. Roz is cool but you never get to know her and her attraction to Fiona felt forced.

This mystery could have been so much better than it turned out to be. You are just left with so many questions? I get that this may be the start of the series but After I finished the book I had no idea where this one left me. If you want some creepiness and don’t mind the romance being thin this is the book for you.

2.75 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/from-the-woods-by-charlotte-greene-3352-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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Bet Against Me by Fiona Riley

Enemies to lovers, okay yeah, I am digging it. Bring the heat, lets start with venom and move into sugary sweetness. That is exactly what you get with Fiona Riley’s latest novel, Bet Against Me.

Kendall Yates has escaped the clutches of her ruthless megalomaniac father. His shady real estate deals landed him in federal prison, and Kendall re-started her career selling high-end luxury real estate in Boston. She has done everything she can to escape his reach. Things have finally started shaping up and she has been nominated for Realtor of the Year. Little did she know winning the award would land her in someone else’s crosshairs.

Trina Lee thrives on success. She is the best at what she does, and winning Realtor of the Year would have cemented her career as being #1. Trina, at times arrogant and extremely cocky, also has a super sweet side. She loves her friends and family and isn’t afraid to show it. In the business area, she is a shark ready to shred her opponents. Trina, as successful as she is in her field, never feels that she can match-up to her brother in her parent’s eyes and it drives her. When newcomer, Kendall Yates takes what she saw as hers, it is on. No holds barred.

The book is sexy. These two powerhouses bring the heat. You know when you grab one of Riley’s books she is going to give you sex scenes that melt the pages. I liked the premise of the book, hate to love is one of my favorite tropes. I just did not love the ending. It was too far fetched in my opinion and I wished it would have gone in another direction. Still a good read, one I think most everyone will enjoy.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books https://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/authors/fiona-riley-65

Storm Lines by Jessica L. Webb

I am a big fan of Jessica L. Webb’s other books and was super excited to see she had published another book. If you have read Webb’s books you know unequivocally she is going to give you a book that is different and amazing. This author excels in the details, whether it be the character’s background, the police procedure, a medical plan of action. It is all well researched and relayed to the reader with rawness and heart.

When we meet Constable Bridget “Marley” Marlowe, she has just been beaten up and stabbed. Let to bleed out in a dirty alley, all Marley can do is hope someone comes along to help. Just in the knick of time, psychologist, Dr. Devon Wolfe appears and renders aid. This traumatic experience binds the two women together. Devon cannot get Marley out of her mind and becomes a friend to the injured officer. When Marley asks her to help a struggling family their bond strengthens and they vow to face to dangers to help out a struggling child no matter what the consequences may be. 

The book is very clever. The romance elements between Devon and Marley work really well. You can feel their attraction and the progression, of falling in love through the thriller/mystery elements of the story. Jessica L. Webb writes another winner, you will not be disappointed with this one. 

4.25 out of 5 stars

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/books/storm-lines-by-jessica-l-webb-3298-b

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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

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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.

4 out of 5 stars

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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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Meant To Be Me by Wendy Hudson

Darcy Harris has a great job, an adorable countryside cabin, and part ownership of a sailboat. Life is good, almost perfect except for two issues. One, this beautiful hopeless romantic is looking for that perfect someone to fill her heart with love, laughter, and companionship. The second is a bit more pressing. Darcy has a stalker, who is hell-bent on running off every potential suitor and whose anger and erratic behavior is escalating quickly.

Eilidh Grey is on the road to recovery. Eilidh was attacked as she attempted to help a homeless man escape a brutal beating by a gang of thugs. They killed the man and nearly killed Eilidh as well. After months of recovering both physically and emotionally, Eilidh has finally she has broken up with her unloving girlfriend, returned to work and has her sights set on really living her life to the fullest.

The story is set in Inverness, Scotland and begins with a chance meeting between Eilidh and Darcy. These two immediately hit it off and a date is made. As smitten as these two are with each other, Eilidh needs to get her affairs in order after her breakup and Darcy is dealing with a demanding best friend whose marriage has just dissolved and the stalker issue. There is a romance and it is so sweet and cute but this book is all about the thriller.

What is really cool about this book is that it has multiple points of view. You read through Darcy, through Eilidh, as well as the demented stalker. You see what they see, feel that they feel and really get into their headspace. This book takes you on a roller coaster of emotions that keep you tangled up till the very end. Wendy Hudson did a bang up job with this one and every character is so well.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Cash and the Sorority Girl by Ashley Bartlett (Cash Braddock | Book 3)

This is the third book in the Cash Braddock series. I live for this series. Live. For. It! I love the paradox that is Cash. This amazing human being with her genuine spirit just pulls to me. On the flip side, she’s a drug dealer so there is there conundrum you find yourself as the reader in. It’s glorious. Totally love Cash, you get it.

In this one, Cash is still a CI for the Sacramento PD, and her handler Laurel, the detective she is head over heels in love with. Cash’s cash flow is stagnant, she wants to get back at the rival dealer that has snaked all her old clients, she has no idea what her future outside of dealing hold yet she is drawn to helping Laurel and her colleagues track down a fresh batch of bad guys. Ketamine is being used at the local university to drug and rape young women specifically at frat parties. It really hits the fan with Laurel’s younger sister, Lane is raped.

If I can say one thing about this book is that Cash and Lane’s friendship and their time together is breathtakingly beautiful and totally awesome. You really feel that bond come right off the page. Cash is there for Lane in a way not many people can understand. Of course, Cash and Laurel are amazing too. Their chemistry just pulls at you. These two have so much baggage and issues yet they get each other. Laurel is having hell with this case, her feelings of how to cope with what happened to Lane. It’s a lot but it is a great read. I desperately need the next one. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I am absolutely addicted to this series.

5 out of 5 stars

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A Curious Woman by Jess Lea

I picked up A Curious Woman by Jess Lea on an impulse. I was looking for something different and was struck by the book’s description of quirkiness and fun. I’m down for a good rom-com and I am always curious about a new author from Ylva Publishing.

Bess Campbell is learning to live a grounded grateful life. She has an off the grid tiny house, a handful of chickens and a job she absolutely loves at a hip and zany museum of oddities. Bess is a total hipster who lives her life quoting self-help mantras. She is a ray of positivity and light, with a heart of pure gold.

Margaret Gale is Bess’s direct opposite. Margaret is stern, rigid and has guarded herself against everyone in her small seaside town. She is an outcast whose past is shrouded in gossip and rumors. Margaret comes across very cold and unforgiving but really has built a fortress around herself not to let anyone hurt her again.

These two are thrown together when Bess’s boss and Margaret’s rival, Leon is murdered. Everyone in Port Bannir immediately thinks Ms. Gale is the killer and is ready to pin it on her. Bess comes to Margaret’s defense and they begin a journey of uncovering who done it in this sleepy small town.

What I liked about this book is 100% about Bess and Margaret. They were fascinating characters and their interactions together were delightful. The murder mystery was interesting but nowhere near as gripping as the romance. I wish there had been more of it. I’m hoping that this is a series where we get to see Bess and Margaret take on the bad guys again. For Jess Lea’s first book I thought she produced an amazing debut. She is definitely an author whose works I will be reading again.

3.75 out of 5 stars

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