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

 

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]

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

Just My Luck by Andrea Bramhall

In the past couple of months, I have been voraciously reading Andrea Bramhall’s books. I read Ladyfish a few years back and liked it but it didn’t rock my world. Nightingale, Clean Slate and Collide-O-Scope now those are total world rockers. Needless to say, I am hooked on her stories now. So when Ylva sent me her newest book Just My Luck, I was super excited for whatever world Bramhall would take me to and immerse me in.

So what did I think you ask? Well, I never would have expected a romantic comedy. You heard me, a ROMANTIC COMEDY from Ms. Bramhall! Whattt! I am here to tell you this is one good story. Just My Luck is full of gregarious, zany characters who you just cannot help but love.

Our main character is Genna Collins. Genna is a twenty-four-year-old logistics worker who has a heart of gold. Genna takes time out of her week you teach reading to dyslexic teens and adults. She also helps raise her niece, Rosie, who has Down’s Syndrome. She offers assistance and unconditional support to both the child and her mother, Abi. Rosie’s dad is nothing more than a drunken loser, so Genna has stepped into the role as a second parent to Rosie. Total nice gal here! Genna, has a girlfriend of a few year’s but her heart belongs to another. Guess who, Rosie’s drop dead gorgeous mother, that’s who. Genna muddles on with her not-so-fulfilling relationship because she believes that Abi is out of her league and 100% in the friend zone.

Abi is also completely head over heels in love with Genna, but fear stops her from ever letting her true feelings loose. She believes her age, fourteen years Genna’s senior, is too great an obstacle to overcome. Genna’s friendship means more to her than taking a risk on love. Oh the drama that will ensue!

While Branhall’s other novels have serious plots, murder, kidnapping … this book is just more fun. These characters talk to you, the reader, and it took me a few chapters to get into it, once I did I was hooked on them. I loved being in their headspace, feeling their struggles right along with them. Genna is a doll, and it was refreshing to read a character who had issues that were like an average person. She is a little too pudgy in her mind, so self-conscious, but absolutely sexy curvaceousness to Abi. This book is all about good fun with great characters. The best part is you will laugh and giggle at Genna and her antics repeatedly. My only complaint, I wish the ending would have lasted another chapter or two.

4 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • www.ylva-publishing.com

Just My Luck
by Andrea Bramhall
Link: https://amzn.com/3955337022

31749635