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

Survival Instincts by May Dawney

Survival Instincts by May Dawney was absolutely stunning! It has everything you want and need all wrapped up in one glorious tale. This is EASILY the best book I have read in 2018! The romance gives you the feels, the characters are strong, badass dynamic women! Off the charts amazing read.

Lynn Tanner is a survivor. That’s what she does, that all she knows how to do. In a world that was devastated by war, living by your wits and survival skills is a must. Lynn has no family left, she has kept to help and traveled the wilderness living off the land for a decade. Traveling south from Ottawa, Lynn is determined to head south to avoid another harsh winter. Traveling along, she kinds a dog, Skeever, whose owner had just passed. Meeting this dog makes Lynn take stock of just how lonely she is. Even the will to hunt has diminished. His arrival changes everything for Lynn.

What is amazing about Lynn is her mental fortitude and resilience. She is one of those characters that while her life has been so difficult, she never gives up, she fights for everything she has, every day. Her spirit captivates you as the reader. You love her for her weaknesses as much as her strengths.

Dani Wilson is the other main character in Survival Instincts. Dani is a skilled hunter, but Lynn see’s her as weak, and an adversary she believes she came overcome if necessary. These two definitely get off on the wrong foot. Dani is witty, extremely smart, and tough as nails. These two go toe to toe and then become an unbeatable force. They are so different but absolute equals.

I think what really sets this book apart from so many others is how multi-layered it is. May Dawney has given you a long detailed story full of twists and turns and characters that stay with you long after you turn the final page. Dawney takes her time and draws the characters out. Backstories are cleverly crafted, the scenes are set, and you feel the story as much as see it as you read. I was equally mesmerized and terrified at the same time. What I loved most of all, and I am talking really loved, is how the character’s chemistry between each other is just dynamite. It just jumps right off the page! You have sexiness, cuteness, agonizing pain and badassness all rolled into one epic adventure. This book is so beyond awesome!

6 out of 5 stars! SOOOOOO GOOD

36238685

The Secret Pond by Gerri Hill

Gerri Hill is a phenomenal writer. I love her books and have read almost everything she has published. What I love most about Hill’s writing is she sets the scene perfectly. In The Secret Pond, I felt as if though I could truly see the landscape of Leakey, Texas. She described it perfectly, Hill transported you right into one of the most beautiful places in the vast state of Texas.

There’s going to be a but now. While the setting for the book was perfect, the romance was not. Our two main protagonists in the story have been dealt horrific losses. Lindsey McDermott, an architect from Dallas, has lost her entire family to a plane crash. I’m talking everyone, parents, grandparents, both siblings, siblings spouses and their children. Hannah Larson lost her husband to a fifteen month battle with a brain tumor. She watched her husband deteriorate as cancer ravaged his body. So when these two ladies meet, they have so much backstory and pain to navigate through.

The majority of the book is spent with Hannah’s son Jack, playing in the Frio River or a secret pond on the McDermott ranch. Lindsey meets Jack, and they see a bit of themselves in each other, grief recognizing grief. They fish, swim and enjoy summer, finally including Hannah on their adventures. That takes you through almost 75% of the book. After halfway, I could not see any way for these Hannah and Lindsey to have a romance. They do, but it feels less than and rushed.

I will continue to read every book Hill writes, this one just was not my favorite. It felt long, a bit repetitious and the romance felt like an afterthought.

3 out of 5 stars

35680081

Right Here, Right Now by Georgia Beers

This one is difficult to write as I think Georgia Beers is a fine writer and has written novels that I absolutely adored. Right Here, Right Now is not my favorite of hers. I wanted so much more from this one.

My main issue with this book is the repetitive nature. The main character, Lacey Chamberlain, is an accountant and financial advisor. When the book begins Lacey’s in an accountant’s busiest time, tax season. So many times, I mean so many, the reader has subjected the length of Lacey’s day, how busy she is, random uninteresting client details. I felt like I was Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. It felt clunky and a loop I desperately wanted to jump out of. Break the cycle, stop telling me boring mundane details. S T O P!

What’s good about this book is the relationship Lacey develops with her office neighbor, marketing guru Alicia Wright. Alicia is a fantastic character and when her an Lacey are together, it’s hot, sexy and absolutely adorable. The only thing is you have to weed through so much to get to those scenes. It is never good when you start skimming, and oh how I forced myself to refrain from skimming.

Not bad but just not a great one either. I would still read any book Georgia Beers writes.

2.75 out of 5 stars

A Girl Called London (A London Romance) by Clare Lydon

“You had me at hello”, right, that’s what Dorothy says to Jerry in Jerry Macguire. This is what happened to me with this book, A Girl Called London. From the very first chapter, I was hooked, entranced really, by a great dynamic romance. We all know how much I love these. This book is a true romance, there are no other moving pieces to distract or further the plot. This my friends is a great book, with fantastic dialogue, and superb characters that are sexy and fun and filled with…yeah you guessed it ROMANCE!

Tanya Grant is a corporate lawyer who is a bit reluctant to put herself out there again. After her one and only relationship crashed and burned, Tanya has focused on work and not much else. At the insistence of her ill-grandmother, Tanya takes the leap and begins the search of purchasing a flat in London. A chance meeting in an elevator introduces the reluctant, self-reliant lawyer to a gorgeous tenant name Sophie. Sophie is a knockout, the only problem Tanya makes a complete ass out of herself and will have an uphill climb to impress her new neighbor.

Sophie London has had it up to here with rude, ill-mannered Londoners. Her philosophy is it doesn’t cost anything to have good manners. When she stops to help a gorgeous brunette who fell exiting the Tube blows her off, she a bit pissed. When the same woman barrels into her in her elevator knocking her back, she is downright angry. The only problem is she is going to run into Tanya all the time now, once she discovers they live in the same building.

A chance encounter throws these two opposites into each other’s path, time and time again. Every time the encounter softens and they feel that pull of attraction getting stronger. A slow burn romance, I love it! Throw in adorable characters, I dig it. Make the dialogue real and fantastic, you will have me forever. You couldn’t have taken this one away from me if you tried. I adored everything about this book, I live for these type of pure romance novels. Sexy, witty and fun! A wonderful read!!!

5 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Custard Books
  • A Girl Called London (A London Romance)
    by Clare Lydon
    Link: http://a.co/eV3mVwr

A Girl Called London (A London Romance) by [Lydon, Clare]

You Make Me Tremble by Karis Walsh

Overall I really enjoy Karis Walsh’s work. She writes interesting novels that have well-developed characters who aren’t perfect, but they super likable and always very intelligent women. Most of her novels follow her particular formula. She creates smart stories, with well thought out plots and characters that you could imagine yourself being friends with. While not overly remarkable her stores are good nonetheless.

The two mains in this book immediately clash with each other, okay that’s not totally true, they do check out each other and make about five minutes of small talk and then said clash! Casey Radnor is headed to the San Juan Islands to study the aftereffects of a recent earthquake. Excited to be in the field, she chats up local Iris Mallery. Iris does not care for the seismologist’s glee of studying this life-altering event. She points out the real people are affected that have had damage to their homes, businesses, and way of life.

Life has a funny way of bringing people back together. Casey, out studying fault lines stumbles on a gorgeous golden retriever in need of rescuing. Who runs the animal shelter in town? Why of course it’s that cutie Iris! A friendship is born and they make a few missteps along the way all the while attraction is just simmering away.

Another quality read from Karis Walsh. She is definitely a go-to for a heartwarming read.

3.5 out of 5 stars

32073000

Four Steps by Wendy Hudson

The prologue of this book grabs you and will send a shock of terror through you. All I could think was on my goodness that was absolutely, one-hundred percent, terrifying. The first chapter is a glimpse of everyone’s worst nightmare coming true. Grabbed your attention, right? Well, that is how this book goes, it grabs you and then tells you the story of Alex Ryan and Lori Hunter.

Lori Hunter is an interpreter for parliament in Westminster. Her day job of constantly and repetitively conversing with people makes her crave solitude in her downtime.  This is what drives her to drive hours outside of the London to climb mountains like Scotland’s Maoile Lunndaidh. Lori loves her career but finds life lacking in most other areas. Her family is scattered and barely speaks, and her relationship of eight years with Andrew is crumbling at an alarming rate.  She finds herself making decisions to change her course and on that very day she runs smack dab into Alex Ryan.

Alex Ryan came to Maoile Lunndaidh to climb that mountain but to also remind herself that her relationship’s end did not ruin her passion for this place. Rachel may have introduced her to the place, but Alex would make her own memories here too. Alex spends most of her days alone, working from home on her family’s farm as a computer analyst for a variety of police organizations. Alex is charismatic and fun but also guarded, and for good reason. Her past is tragic.

These two have instant chemistry, which they both acknowledge and decide to become friends. They build their relationship between phone calls and texts, touching base daily because this person, who they met on the side of a mountain, has become important.  All of that is happening, but you know there is a sinister plot happening as well. EEK! I wish I could tell you more but you need to read the book.  These two crush on each other and when things just begin to go their way, a mad man’s vengeance turns everyone’s life upside down.

A romance with a side of a thriller is what Four Steps is. Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. There were a few chapters I thought were bogged down with too many new character introductions, but that won’t change the overall awesomeness of the book. A really good book by Wendy Hudson!

4 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • www.ylvapublishing.com

Four Steps
by Wendy Hudson
Link: https://amzn.com/B01KIDGB7Y

30070140

Wounded Souls (L.A. Metro #3) by RJ Nolan

RJ Nolan is one of the authors that I really look forward to reading. She always writes a well-rounded story with great characters that are interesting and multi-faceted. While this is the third installment of the LA Metro series, this book could easily be a stand-alone.

Dr. Ashlee Logan is on a temporary assignment filling in for another ER doctor at LA Metro. She takes jobs across the country working for six weeks or less. She absolutely refuses to live any place longer. Logan is running from her past, she feels as though she does not deserve to have friends or anything more than basic human interaction. All she has and all she needs is her dog, Drake and to work.

Dr. Dale Parker is another ER doctor and also a war veteran. She has seen a lifetime of pain. Dale works tirelessly to cover her physical wounds, and because of this she sees a kinship when Dr. Logan arrives to work the night-shift. As much as she wants to ignore her attraction to the mysterious doctor she can’t.

This book has everything a good romance needs, but what really makes it a knockout, is Nolan takes her time letting the reader get to know the two protagonists. She develops their relationship, slowly letting you really get to know each of the two doctors, and developing their friendship. You cannot help but to route for these two ladies to find happiness. While both of them have had major traumatic life experiences, the have each handled their pain in different ways. They work as a great team in the ER, and that helps them outside of the hospital as well. You want to see them find their way to each other. This is a fantastic book, and if you were a fan of the LA Metro series before you will be delighted. If you haven’t read them, that is okay too, this book will be well worth your time!

4.5 stars out of 5

I was kindly given this book by Netgalley and Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.

  • Publisher: Ylva Piblishing
  • www.ylvapublishing.com
Wounded Souls (The L.A. Metro Series Book 3)
by RJ Nolan
Link: http://amzn.com/B01D0S3MHG

The Courage to Try by C.A. Popovich

The Courage to Try, hooked me on first glance. I loved the front cover, damn dogs get me every time! The body of work did not do its cover any justice. Don’t judge a book by its cover, could not be truer.

Kristen Eckert is a skeet shooting, Porsche driving, barrel racing, vet tech. She has had her heartbroken, and now the only relationships she has are out of town horse show hookups. Kristen is the caretaker to her father who suffers from dementia. She has no time for anything else, or so she thinks.

Dr. Jaylin Meyers is a vet that decides to sell her practice and move 40 minutes away. She takes a new position as the small animal veterinarian at an expanding equine clinic. The doctor has not had an easy time in life. She is a foster child and the one relationship she has had, was an abusive one. She has sworn off all women until the moment she set eyes on Kristen.

Ugh, this book was hard to push through to the end. I really wanted to delete it from my reader and move on. There are so many issues I had with it. The biggest problem is it does not read well, there is no natural flow. The way in which characters talk throughout the book sounds unnatural. It is also very repetitive in nature. The plot is lacking, the characters were boring and at times it felt overly detailed in a way that distracting. Unfortunately, this was not the book for me.

2 out of 5 stars

The Courage to Try
by C.A. Popovich
Link: http://amzn.com/B015DG8FF2