Endangered by Michelle Larkin

I kind of love shapeshifters. Throw in a romance and here I come running. Endangered by Michelle Larkin is a delightful novel with some heavy moments but enough lightheartedness to keep you thoroughly entertained.

The book begins by introducing us to our main character a fun-loving sugar addicted Boston police officer named Aspen Wolfe. Aspen is out on a call involving a teen runaway that is standing on the edge of a bridge moments away from committing suicide. Aspen uses her charm, wit, and resourcefulness to talk the young woman, Skye, to go for pancakes instead of making a perilous leap.

Skye and Aspen have an immediate connection. Similar backgrounds and childhoods bond the teen and the officer in a quick and unexpected way. Aspen convinces Skye to seek medical attention and that brings in Dr. Tora Madigan, our other main. A no-nonsense serious lady that immediately gets under Officer Wolfe’s skin. Let the sparks fly, these two are going to drive each other crazy til they finally admit the attraction. Their interactions are furthered by an evil US President that has just signed an emergency call to action where shapeshifters can be terminated for a bounty. These ladies face imminent death and must hide and begin a revolution to make the American people aware of their plight. The shapeshifters are in serious trouble and these three ladies and their band of friends have to help make the world see that they are friends, not foes.

This one I believe is setting up a series, there is a lot of background info given but still, some pretty big question marks linger. You are left wanting more, which has its good points and bad. A lot of info comes at you fast and I think the book would have been much better if more chapters were used to explain the history of the shapeshifters Larkin was unveiling. A good book none the less.

3 out of 5 stars

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Secrets in a Small Town by Nicole Stiling

Nicole Stiling’s debut novel Secrets in a Small Town is a dynamic romance meets mystery that keeps you on your toes yet smiling page to page. No worries with this one, you won’t be scared to turn out the lights but you will be enchanted and thoroughly entertained.

Savannah Castillo is the town manager of a sleepy little community of fewer than 1,500 people. She picked this small town specifically because it was an ideal place to raise her daughter, Eliana. Savannah is 100% an ice queen. She lets no one, other than her little one, close to her. This control fanatic is disturbed by the sudden onslaught of mysterious gifts. They arrive at her office and home at all given times with no sender to be found. The gifts start increasing in frequency as well as becoming more and more threating. Savannah thinks she can handle this on her own until her assistant goes over her head and involves the one person Savannah wants to avoid more than anyone, the chief of police, Micki Blake.

Micki loves working in Winter Valley. She was worried when she left the hustle and bustle of the city she would be bored. Come to find out she likes the slow pace of small-town life. The only thorn in her side is that the town manager seems to loathe her for reasons she can’t quite grasp. Micki takes Savannah’s attitude in stride and throws it right back at her needling the uptight town manager whenever she gets the chance. You really can’t rule this lighthearted good-natured police chief. When Micki’s friend and Savannah’s executive assistant, Chloe, brings the gift situation to Micki’s attention, the chief is bound and determined to help her abrasive nemesis.

Nicole Stiling can write a damn good book that is for sure. My mind is still boggled a bit that this is a debut novel. It really has a good flow, the plot is dynamic and the dialogue reads very natural. From the very first page, I was drawn to the story and the main characters. As caustic as Savannah was at times I still liked her and Micki is just a main you are immediately drawn to. There were enough twists and turns in who the stalker might be that I was guessing to the end. I will definitely be reading what Nicole Stiling has to offer next.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Pretending in Paradise by M. Ullrich

I love a good fauxmance. Hence the word good! If this troupe is done right, in the end, you have a delightful romance. What I really love about the whole fake girlfriend scenario is you have these tricky moments that both parties have to navigate to “prove” that their love is the real deal. M. Ullrich brings the heat every book she writes but this one took a lot of skill to pull off. Why? She gave us two characters that were not easy sells. What I mean by that is both characters had their flaws, big personality traits, you as the reader don’t automatically pull for them, its actually quite to opposite.

The gist of the story is you have Caroline Beckett, a PR specialist, who comes into a new job with an internet travel company, straight into a problem she needs to fix quickly. Her problem is travel blogger Emma Morgan and her on the side hookups while at destinations she is reviewing. So throw these two together in Miami while Emma reviews an exclusive couples only resort and Caroline keeps an eye on the wily blogger.

This one is a slow burn, you have two characters that resent being put in the position they are in. Therefore they resent being in the same room together. These ladies did not hit it off at all. I am here to tell you in the first few chapters you are going to wonder how this is a romance. It was not looking good my friends. These two have a lot of personalities and they are going to clash, I had to wince a few times. As the story progresses these two find their footing, common ground and begin to look through a new lens. The rocky start morphs into more slowly and you the reader are right there for it all.

This is a great read by M. Ullrich. I always expect so much from this amazing author and she has yet to let me down. A fantastic read that will not disappoint.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Love at Last Call by M. Ullrich

Give me some angst every day of the week, not in real life, hell no, but in a romance, I live for it. Add that into a good old-fashioned romance and you will have me every time. That’s exactly what M. Ullrich does with her latest novel, Love at Last Call.

Lauren Daly’s life is a hot mess. Her relationship is off-again, a nightmare situation, because she is forced to continue to live with, said ex because she and her roommate cannot afford the house they currently rent without that extra income. Lauren’s a paralegal but her salary and rent doesn’t leave a whole lot extra for the serious student loan debt she faces. Add onto that heap that her boss is a tyrant who blames everyone for his ongoing memory failures.

Berit Matthews owns the hottest lesbian bar in New Jersey. Berit has no trouble attracting women, she oozes charisma and has the looks to stop traffic. This good-natured bar owner loves her craft, is a savvy businesswoman and knows when to turn on the charm to keep her patrons coming back for more. Berit has a way with the ladies and isn’t opposed to casual hookup but she definitely has one eye opened looking for that special someone to settle down with.

Lauren meets Berit one evening after an especially brutal day at the office. Her bestie drags her out for drinks and she meets Berit who rubs her the wrong way almost immediately. Berit is not phased at all, more than anything she wants to no more about the sad yet dynamic paralegal. Let the romancing begin!

Lauren and Berit have a dynamite chemistry. Lauren pushes back at every move Berit puts on her. Their romance, the little bit of angst and hesitation keep you on your toes and the pages turning. This is a book I highly recommend to anyone looking for a great romance. Loved it!

5 out of 5 stars

Love at Last Call

Paper Love by Jae

I am a huge fan of Jae’s work, she is an author that I will read automatically without even looking at the synopsis of the book. Her work is always good. As I have said over and over again she is an author you can count on to deliver you a quality read time every single time. Paper Lover, her latest novel is a good book, not my favorite of Jae’s work but I did enjoy my time with it.

Susanne Wolff is an all work no play kind of lady. She grinds away for a boss that treats her less than because she is a woman while giving her male co-workers the better assignments. this business consultant goes in and tells companies on the brink of collapse what they can do to turn their business around to profitable. When we first meet Susanne, she has just quit her job. She could not take the blatant sexist treatment anymore. Her mother, tells her she can use her skills now to help her Uncle Norbert save his small stationary store in Freiburg. And off she goes on another assignment that she does not want and that seems hopeless, but her family loyalty propels her to try nonetheless for a total of twelve weeks then she is coming back to Berlin.

Anja Lamm is Uncle Norbert’s right hand at the store, Paper Love. She loves stationary and pens. She loves her job. She is an adorable character that is a bit geeky and totally loveable.

You can basically guess how the plot is going to go. Businesswomen meets shop assistant, they get off on the wrong foot, become friends, friends turns to more even though businesswoman must head back to the big city in a set amount of days. There is nothing wrong with that, it’s a good story. You have well thought out characters in a beautiful setting with a solid beginning, middle, and end. To me, this one did not have Jae’s special touch. There is nothing that sets this book apart from a dozen others that have the exact same plot. This is a light sweet romance, one I am glad I read, but not one that will leave a lasting impression.

3.75 out of 4 stars

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The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley

There are books out there that you love, 5 stars all the way, you read the book, you love it and depending if you are like me you will most likely read them again. There are some books though and these are the truly great ones. You know these books, The Blind Side of Love, How Sweet It Is, and And Playing the Role of Herself. The books that are truly in another realm of greatness. Outstanding books that pull emotion from you, that the story wraps you in a cocoon and all you see and hear is the characters on your page. Those books are the ones when you find them you treasure them forever. I found one!

The Music and the Mirror by Lola Keeley isn’t good, it isn’t great, its next level amazing. This book is exceptional in every single way. No flaws, no lags, no character misses. Nope, it is phenomenal. Yes, I used my thesaurus for adjectives. You cannot just say awesome eleventy billion times, come on now.

Anna Gale is a new dancer at the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center. She has been a ballet dancer all her life, she lives and breathes it. Coming to New York from Dubuque, Iowa to studying and dance under the greatest ballet dancer of the modern era is her dream come true. Anna embodies this wholesome rock solid nature. She’s one of these really good people that others cannot dislike because she is just a noble person. She cares for others, even when it’s in her best interest not too. She works harder than everyone else without complaint and eager to do so. Ballet literally fuels her soul.

Victoria Ford is known as the greatest ballet dancer in modern times. When she danced audiences were captivated by her skill and artistry. An injury to her knee has sidelined her from dancing so now she choreographs and runs the Metropolitan Performing Arts Center. Victoria is not an easy woman to please, she is beyond tough, she expects excellence from everyone around her and when it’s less than that you can expect biting, caustic remarks intended to sting. She is truly the emotionally detached ice queen.

This is a dialogue-heavy book, with lots of exchanges between characters. Lola Keeley takes her story and layers it. There is no skipping ahead or fast-forwarding through life moments, hell no. This author takes her time and draws out the story and the tension The sub-plots are done with craftsmanship and skill. She creates supporting characters that are distinct and authentic. The banter between Anna and Victoria, oh the banter, well its legendary and they talk like real honest to god people. The key to real-life characters is nuance. Lola Keeley could teach a class on it because her characters have it and it is glorious. As the reader I thank you.

It’s bittersweet when this book ends. This is a story that I adored, absolutely cherished. I miss it already, but know without a doubt will visit many times again. Lola Keeley made true love jump off a page like a ballerina in a Grande Jeté. Her first book by the way. Yeah, WOW and that wow is the understatement of the year.

All the stars

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
  • To Purchase: https://www.ylva-publishing.com/product/the-music-and-the-mirror-by-lola-keeley/

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Blend by Georgia Beers

I really like the way Georgia Beers writes. I love the way she develops characters that are interesting, dynamic and well, hot. It’s been a while since I have read her stuff, the reasoning, I have not a clue why, but I am so glad I picked up her latest novel, Blend. This is a fantastic romance novel. So good, fabulous!

Lindsey Kent is the general manager of a wine bar, Vineyard. Lindsey is likable, cheerful and always has something positive to say. She loves her job. She lives and breathes wine and has an amazing relationship with Ellen Bradshaw, the owner of Vineyard. When Ellen tells her she is taking a sabbatical to explore the world, Lindsey is truly excited for the widow. What is is not excited about is learning that she will need to run all of Vineyard’s business decisions through Ellen’s youngest daughter, Piper.

Piper Bradshaw is the direct opposite of Lindsey. She is an ice queen with a hard, no-nonsense personality. Her job is in the financial sector, and she has learned to be hard-nosed and closed off to thrive in this male-dominated field. Piper’s work and the loss of her father two years ago has hardened Piper’s heart. She is a closed off control freak. Having to work with Lindsey throws her orderly world off-kilter.

These two get off on the wrong foot. Neither is excited about working with the other. Lindsey has big ideas of how to take Vineyard to the next level and draw in a younger hipper crowd. Piper is hesitant to change anything, not wanting to change anything her father created when opening the business. The butt heads, but as their time together increases the begin to see each other in a new light. The walls fall, and perceptions fall away. The chemistry between these to is dynamic and sexy.

You know a book is good, first when you don’t want to put it down. Second, you know its damn good, when your reading it and thinking, I’m totally going to read this one again. Great read and is absolutely a 5-star romance.

5 out of 5 stars

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