Just for Show by Jae

Jae, she does it every time. What does she do? She writes a damn good book, that’s what she does. Every single time I am just floored by the work she puts out. I loved her newest novel, Just for Show. Loved, loved, loved it. A classic romance that does everything perfectly!

Dr. Claire Renshaw has her life perfectly mapped out. Claire has a thriving career, her book is complete, she is next in line to take over the counseling practice and she has a gorgeous and successful fiancé. Life according to Claire is going splendidly. Well, that is until Abby, her soon to be wife, tells her its just not working anymore. I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore. Inset mega-sized dagger right into Claire’s ego. So what would this relationship guru who needs to have her book published ASAP do? Well, hire a Hollywood actress to fill in of course.

Lana Henderson is a starving artist. She has had a well-paying acting gig in two years. Of course, during that time she has been recovering from a near-fatal car accident that has left her with mental and physical scars. Lana takes a chance on Claire’s proposal, because how the hell else is she going to pay these ridiculous medical bills that just keep coming.

The premise of this story is not new. You have seen films with Hollywood A-listers and romance books galore that have had this same idea of a relationship for hire. Not new, but so very good. What is so great about this book is that the main characters are dynamic and adorable. Not to mention the chemistry between them is sizzling hot. Its a fun read and I adored my time with it! You can always count on Jae to give a quality book. Every. single. time.

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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Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes

When you see a book get rave reviews, over an over again, you rush to read it right. Shoulda, coulda, woulda! I have had this book on my list of to-reads for months now, why the delay, I am not sure, but I am so glad I finally read this one. It was an amazing way to get 2018 started.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her days are filled desperately trying to save the wounded men and women that are serving in the war. When we meet Sabine she is struggling to fight her crush on her superior as well as navigate a nine-year relationship that is sinking fast. Her longtime partner is tired of military life. Vic, her girlfriend, was never a being a fan of the Army and the years of separation have created a crater that cannot be fixed. Sabine is trying to get through this deployment and navigate her life back in the States. No easy feat, and it’s all begging to crumble around her.

Colonel Rebecca Keane is Sabine’s superior as well as the object of her massive crush. She’s a gifted surgeon who is rock solid under pressure, respected by her peers and all around a good person. Sabine is drawn to Rebecca even though she knows there is no way they can ever be together. Everything is against them especially her relationship status and military policies. I won’t ruin the story for you, just know that Sabine and Rebecca have a magnetic chemistry together, and love always conquers all.

Reading this book, you feel the horrors of war, the pain of a breakup and the utter despair our service members must have felt serving in the military under DADT. This book was amazingly well written, I cannot say that enough! EJ Noyles transported me to the medical camp and put me right there with the main characters. The story is heart-breaking, romantic, sexy as hell and shows the resilience of the human spirit. It’s hard to believe that DADT only ended in 2011. Thank goodness it did! A great read well worth your time.

4.25 out of 5 stars

The Origins of Heartbreak (Lakeside Hospital #1) by Cara Malone

I’ll admit it right now. I love romance books within a hospital setting. Give me a doctor book any day. Now in real life, hell to the no. I can barely watch Grey’s Anatomy, any type of blood and I’m out, literally. So really, it was a no-brainer to start The Origins of Heartbreak by Cara Malone.

Megan Callahan is her second year of medical school. Megan is 100% focused on her studies and has very little time for anything else. Relationships are a no go. She dated her former girlfriend for six years and still holds a heavy heart and a ton of guilt for how she broke the other girl’s heart.
Alex McHenry’s has had the year from hell. Heading into her sophomore year in art school, her dad died suddenly of a heart attack. Alex dropped out of her university and has spent the past months caring for her despondent mother and fighting her own depression. Taking the first step, Alex decides to enroll in her local community college’s paramedic program. The EMT’s that came to help her father were so amazing and kind that that has stuck with her as something she would want to do for someone else.

Megan and Alex meet in the medical examiner’s office to witness an autopsy. An unlikely meeting starts a friendship that neither was looking for. These two have an attraction to each other is immediate. What really makes to book shine is the fun, witty flirtatious banter that these two have when they are together. Neither is willing to jump into anything serious. Megan is convinced that she is no good for any women, only bring heartache and destruction to any relationship. Alex is coping with the loss of her father and weaning off the depression medicine that has depleted her sex drive. What you get is a slow burn with flirty friends that can’t seem to deny themselves the other one. These two have lots of fun text messages and quick meet-ups over coffee.

I am so ready for book two. I cannot wait to see what’s next for Alex and Megan. I hope Cara Malone plans to make Ivy and Chloe a part of the series. They are definitely an interesting pair supporting characters.

4.25 stars out of 5

  • The Origins of Heartbreak: A Lesbian Medical Romance (Lakeside Hospital Book 1)
    by Cara Malone
    Link: http://a.co/3dQZ80M

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Love After Hours (A Rivers Community Romance, #4)

This book is good! Damn good, to be quite honest. This book is Radclyffe at her very best. She weaves a story with strong characters that have heart and soul and just enough angst and tension to keep you captivated. This is hands down the best of the Rivers Community Romance Series.

Carrie Longmire is back and in the forefront of this one. Carrie is super-efficient at her job and basically everything she does. Not wanting to settle for anything than true love, Carrie patiently awaits for the one to show up. She fine to flirt and casually date, but anything more is out of the question unless love is in the air.

Gina Antonelli had one tragedy turn her life upside down. An accident, when she was a teen, took the life of her childhood friend and first love. Gina bears the weight of that moment every day and has basically shut down. She exists to work for her father’s construction company, and the job is all there is for her.

Carrie and Gina totally get off on the wrong foot and that makes for a tumultuous start. No this isn’t a love to hate romance, but they do spend some time trying to get their footing around each other. Add into the fact that they are both ridiculously attracted to each other, and you have for a fabulous beginning. There is heat, there is tension and its drawn out perfectly.

Add in the other fun and fascinating characters of Rivers and you have an amazing story. I am partial to Blake and Margie myself and I delighted that story weaves a bit of them into it as well. If you loved the Rivers series so far, this one is for you. This book has it all! If you haven’t read this series yet, well, I am a bit jealous of you because get ready for a great set of books.

5 out of 5 stars

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Who’d Have Thought by G. Benson

Every once in a while you come across a book that grabs you and holds on. You know what I’m talking about. A book that you are halfway through and you want to close it and start it back over. A book where you stare into space a mull over the characters and what their next move might be. A story that grabs you and holds on. That book is Who’d Have Thought by G. Benson. This book is that good, this book is that amazing!

Hayden Pérez is our main character with the story told through her POV. She is an emergency room nurse that works tirelessly. Hayden loves her career and interacting with her patients in the fast-paced world of emergency medicine at a hospital in NYC. She does have a major problem she cannot seem to tackle. There is not enough money to keep her afloat. Every extra cent is sent home to Miami to help her family. On a whim, she answers an ad for a female looking to pay for someone to be her wife for one year’s time. Hayden is just that desperate for cash and unpredictable enough to take the leap.

Neurosurgeon Samantha Thomson is that lady looking for a wife. Sam is an interesting character, to say the least. She is truly a complex three-dimensional person. 100% an ice queen, but she isn’t going to just be thawed by love. No, this character sees the world a bit differently than most. She vacillates between serious, looking at problems more as the scientist trying to decipher what needs to be done and how to do it most efficiently. Which to the majority of people around her she comes off a cold and unfeeling. With Hayden though, she is sarcastic and witty, personality traits that are often hidden to everyone else. Once Hayden and Sam get on the same page as becoming a married couple their dynamic changes immensely in all the right ways.

A five-star rating would be inadequate for this book. It’s better than that. It truly is. This is easily one of the, if not the very best books I have read this year. Everything was done to perfection. Characters, pacing, dialogue, plot, there is no flaw. This book is a true gem!

5 out of 5 stars, but really so many stars. All the stars 🙂

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The Scholarship by Jaime Maddox

This book is an excellent whodunit story wrapped into a delightful romance. Maddox does an excellent job of keeping you intrigued in the slow burn romance all the while knowing there is a cold case being unearthed simultaneously. While the love is brewing between our two mains there is a killer getting more skittish by the day.

Ella Townes spent weeks every summer in the Poconos at Lake Winola, as a young girl visiting her grandparents and making friends with the neighborhood kids at the lake they lived on. For Ella, this idyllic time in her life has a strong hold on her heart and at forty she jumps at the chance to move back to this beautiful lakeside town. Taking a new position as the VP of development at Poconos Mountain University, Ella accepts that her life will probably now include a special lady, she believes wholeheartedly that work will be enough to keep her satisfied.

Reese Ryan is a local ER doctor who has spent almost her entire life in her sleepy hometown. She loves her town, her friends, and her family. She is undeniably connected to this community. She has always been single, never thinking much about it. All of her relationships have been casual, except one, her childhood sweetheart, who was mysteriously murdered right before their high school graduation. When Ella Townes, moves in next door to Reese’s parents, all bets are off, this is one woman Reese cannot look over.

What’s great about this book is it has a well thought out plot, involving a murder mystery cold case wrapped around a delightful love story. Each part is done so well and balances each other beautifully. Ella and Reece’s romance is a slow burn filled with attraction and friendship. They circle around each other in the great push-pull that holds your attention and keeps you flipping the page into the night. All the while Maddox is slowly unraveling the mystery of Stephanie Gates death. A great romance with a smart mystery, this is one book of 2017 that you do not want to pass up. So good!

5 out of 5 stars

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Heart Stop (First Responders, #6) by Radclyffe

If you are a Radclyffe fan, you’re going to love this one. The romance of Heart Stop has all the right elements. Fantastic main characters, delicious romantic tension, and just enough angst to keep you riveted to the storyline. I adored this book!

Dr, Jay Reynolds is lucky to be alive. An almost life ending accident has changed the direction of Jay’s life. Jay was born to be a surgeon. This was her life plan for as long as she can remember. In the blink of an eye, everything has changed. Jay is no longer physically capable of surgery. She can’t stand for long periods of time and not to mention the tremor in her hands. A push from a friend Jay changes her medical career into the field of pathology.

Assistant chief medical examiner Olivia Price is 100% the job. She expects excellence not only from herself but everyone around her. Burned by her first love, Olivia has completely written off all aspects of love, nope, this is for others, not for her. She spends her time focusing on the dead, and giving them final respects and answering clues on how they met their end. She is fine with that. Of course, this all changes when a new student, is thrust upon her.

Right off the bat, you have two things, a lot of tension and a lot of attraction. Let me tell you, I loved every second of Jay and Oliva’s story. It’s interesting, it’s hot and Radclyffe gives you just the right amount of push and pull to keep you riveted to their story. Secondly, there is a crime element of this book. If you have followed Radclyffe’s books you are going to meet up with a lot of past characters. Rebecca Frye and Catherine Rawlings, Dellon Mitchell and Sandy Sullivan, Dr. Ali Torveau and Beau Cross are all in here somehow connected to our main characters and looking for who a fatal synthetic heroin has ended up on the streets of Philadelphia. I think when you have a book that includes past characters you walk a thin line of whose book is this. Radclyffe does a good job of their cameos tying in directly to the story as a whole.

I always love a Radclyffe book, and this one I must say was a delight. I really, really liked Jay and Oliva’s dynamic.

4.25 out 5 stars

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Between The Lines by K.D. Williamson

KD Willamson knows how to write a smoking hot book. Girl can get those fires started! Super hot slow burn that keeps you reading a frantic pace. This is a fire you want to jump into.

Haley Jordan is a rookie on the New Orleans police department. Right out of the academy, Haley is sentenced to work with a less that awesome, Tang (a nickname derived from poontang is never, ever a good sign, NEVEREVER). Tang is, as you probably guessed 100% inappropriate. He makes remarks that would give an HR department a heart attack. Haley sucks it up for the greater good and focuses on being a good cop, one she knows the people of NOLA need. Haley knows that the past haunts this police force, corruption was rampant and the citizens of this great city do not trust them for a lot of good reasons. She wants to change that perception with small steps in the right direction.

Dr. Tonya Preston is a psychiatrist. While helping other people with their darkest demons, Dr. Preston has a pile of them herself. A product of a mother with severe bipolar depression and a father that just wanted to sweep it under the rug, Tonya turned to medicine to greater understand her mother’s disease. Her father’s indifference to her holds her back from really spreading her wings. She has chosen to exist rather than flourish even though professionally she has been quite successful.

When Tonya meets Haley in the direst of circumstances a bond is formed. Haley comes to the doctor’s rescue as she was being carjacked and possibly much worse. Haley stepped in, and yes, she helped save the day, but she also treated Tonya, with the utmost respect and kindness. This moment of dire circumstances and human kindness set up the beginnings of a connection. Upon running into each other at a local bar a short time later, Haley makes no bones about wanting to date Tonya. Tonya, however, has reservations, not because she’s not undeniably attracted to the young officer, but because of how much baggage she’s currently carrying. Tonya needs to be in a better place emotionally before she can begin seeing someone. Haley doesn’t let this speed bump stop her, she takes Tony up on her offer of friendship and they take their time getting to know each other before taking it to the next level. Let the tension build and build.

My only complaint and it’s just a tiny one (I don’t mean it that way 🙂 is I personally thought too much time was spent on what Haley was packing. I felt like it was almost a character in itself. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. I loved how KD Williamson built up both characters and then brought them into a relationship. You felt as though you knew both of the mains individually and as a couple. Even the sub-characters were well-fleshed out. I appreciated southern slang done right. Only someone true to the south can pull it off. Perfect touch! Great story, great characters, lots of tension and it was fan the flames hot.

4 out of 5 stars

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Troop 18 (A Dr. Kate Morrison Mystery, #3) by Jessica L. Webb

I really could go on and on about how much I have adored Jessica L. Webb’s novels. Every book has been just outstanding.

Troop 18 comes from Andy’s perspective and picks up fairly soon after Kate left Andy in Pathogen. Right out of the gate you feel Andy’s despair of their quasi-breakup. She has counted the days that Kate has been gone with no contact. Not a phone call, nor a text to let her know where they stand or how she is. Andy’s heart is broken and she is terrified of a future without Kate. Her pain is palatable, you feel it just radiating right of the page. Jessica Webb, you are so good! I love a book that makes you feel, even if it hurts. Of course, Andy turns to work as her salvation, and this takes us right into a bizarre case dealing with a group of RCMP cadets, who may or may not be up to something nefarious. Andy is needed to root out what they are hiding and whether this troop needs to be allowed to continue their training. Not life and death craziness of like the past two novels, but interesting nonetheless.

When Kate does come back to Andy, well I could just gush about their reconnection. These two ripped their hearts out, spoke the truth and held nothing back. Their reconciliation was done masterfully! Emotions, oh the emotions! This is basically the heart of this one. While the mystery is very mysterious, it’s the emotional journey of the Andy and Kate that is the main focus. Of course, I love it, total romance junkie here.

Is this the last of the series, if I was a betting woman I would say yes if felt like the end of the road to me. The characters of Kate and Andy have been phenomenal. What a fantastic series this has been. It is definitely a series to treasure. Webb is easily on of the best authors in this genre, I can’t wait to see where she takes us next.

4.75  out of 5 stars

Troop 18