Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren

Basically, I started writing this blog as a cathartic way of getting my feelings out about what I. So many times, especially after Kindle Unlimited unrolled, I would read a great review, purchase a book and then go WTF. So many bad book suggestions by Amazon and so much money wasted. A few months ago, I get nailed by a reader on the blog, just ranting at me about a bad review and how mean and awful of a person I was. That book was special to her and how dare I claim that it was not an amazing, fabulous read. It wasn’t that bad a review either, 3 stars actually. To me, the book was not to my taste and I pointed out the reasons, always trying to be fair but honest. Why I’m saying this is in such a convoluted way is that it’s funny, awesome and so fascinating to me how some books can be one person’s treasure and another person was like blah, next, please.

Bait and Switch by Blythe H. Warren is one of those books that I went in with high hopes and came out on the other side wondering what did I miss. By no means a lacking book, but I did not resound with me personally. My biggest reason, I did not really connect with the main character, Liv. I for the life of me could not see why Mira would be interested in her, other than being good at her job, character wise she was flat and uninteresting. I felt like as the reader I was supposed to already get and like Liv. Other than working at an aquarium, and a love for beer, I don’t know much more about her. The book is told from her POV so I would hope to have more understanding of this character and what makes her tick.

Just because Bait and Switch wasn’t my cup of tea and Liv wasn’t the protagonist of my dreams doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t read this author again. I absolutely would. Thanks for reading my rant!

3 out of 5 stars

Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler

Well, Rachel Spangler did it. What you ask, what did she do? Wrote the best damn book ever, that’s what she did. In the past few weeks, I have read some of the best books all year. A year, quite frankly wasn’t that impressive in the lesbian romance genre. Somehow fall became explosive with amazing tales with fabulous characters in dazzling plots. It seems like every book I have read since September has just been so fantastic they make you literally stop and swoon. Greatness, followed by greatness. This book is different though, it is absolutely is one of the best books of the year but more than that, it is easily one of the best romance books I have EVER read.

First off I love the Olympics and pretty much all sports in general. With that being said, what I don’t want is ever read a how-to on playing said sport. Don’t worry, Rachel Spangler isn’t going to give you the ins and outs of downhill skiing or a dissertation on how to ride a snowboard. No way, she took me down the side of the mountain let me feel and see what the character does. You read this book you literally feel like your racing down the side of a mountain being pulled by G-forces as your stapped to two polycarbonate sticks. I was wrapped in those moments, spellbound. She doesn’t just write the sports aspect amazing well, no that’s not why we are here. The romance is the main attraction, and well, it’s just magical.

Elise Brandeis is an ice queen and then some. She is all business and her business is being the best alpine ski racer that the US and the world have ever seen. She has missed the Olympic podium twice by two-tenths of a second. Talk about painful. Now she has new obstacle to overcome, her body. After blowing out her knee, and multiple surgeries later, Elise is finally cleared to make the comeback of all comebacks. Never one for niceties, no one is going to stand in her way, even if they are trying to help.

Elise is a high-strung prima donna whose unwilling to compromise ever. She wants complete and total control of both her own body and her environment. She never wants to compromise or seem weak and it’s all to mask her vulnerability. She’s a unique character, and one I really enjoyed.

Corey LaCroix at the age of 30 is at the end of her career. She has been the best at Boardercross since the sport got onto the main stage. Corey is hardworking, loyal and lives her life 100% in the moment. Happy go lucky to a tee. This year is an Olympic year and Corey is feeling like her legs don’t have enough to fight off the competition. As hard as she works it may not be enough, but what she wants more than anything is another medal and a shot with the pricky Elise Brandis.

Time and time again Corey comes off as the loveable jock who takes all of the competitive pressure and Elise’s venom in stride. She is also a world-class motivator when she can get her skiing counterpart to listen. Corey has her weakness too, her rise to fame got her plenty of attention from women and tabloids and that past is not something she wants to be repeated.

So what you have is an epic story of conquering all odds combined with an epic love story. These two magnetic forces push each other away until the magnet is finally flipped over and they see each other’s true character. What Spangler does better than most is she creates these multi-faceted characters that jump off the page. Their individual back-stories are dynamic, their chemistry is palatable and you just can’t help but root for them and their success. This book is everything you could ever want. I truly loved this one. This will easily stand at the top of my all-time favorites.

5 stars, hell all the stars. I love this book!

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Planning for Love by Erin Dutton

This book starts off with a big issue between the two main characters. Well, really, I’ll be honest this book starts off with one main character on top of the other’s best friend…who happens to be getting married in a few months. Oopsie, you weren’t supposed to walk in on THAT. You can see how things might be a bit uncomfortable.

Rachel Union is Violet’s best friend and her maid of honor. The last thing she ever expected was to find her bestie is the horizontal mambo with her wedding coordinator, Faith McKenna. To increase the anxiety level, the engagement party is set to begin in just a few hours. To make matters infinitely worse, Violet hired Faith for just this sort of thing. No, not the walking in on part, the let’s have a no strings attached lady loving sexy time part. Apparently, Violet’s other bridesmaid used the wedding coordinator for just this sort of thing too. Gross out y’all. All I could think is that on the business card or something?

Okay, this is a romance novel, so you know where this is going to go but Dutton starts this book off with a steep hill to climb. That is a lot for the two characters to overcome. Faith is an interesting character, once she opens up you have a loner, who as a child was used as a pawn in her parents’ divorce. She doesn’t really believe in love, which is odd for a wedding planner, but then again she is the go-to for cheating brides.

Rachel is a pro-commitment people person. She isn’t going to settle for less than her perfect mate, and for the life of her, she cannot understand both Violet and Faith’s actions. It drives her crazy, and she lets Faith know how despicable the actions are on a constant loop. I almost felt sorry for the wedding planner! Of course, as she gets Faith to open up, she softens her attitude towards her, but it does take quite a bit of time.

My thoughts are a bit mixed on this one. Was the book well written? Yes. Was the hill too steep to climb for ultimate redemption? In my opinion, it was.

3.25 out of 5 stars

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The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson

I will be the first to admit I have never read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I know, I know, how have I gotten this far in life without this reading this classic book? What I have read is The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson. Watson has shaken things up a bit and made this a same sex adaptation with a modern day twist. A truly delightful read.

Lizzy Bennet has just graduated from college and is ready to head to London for a career in the book publishing industry. Her dream job in the exciting big city with her best friend as her roomie, life is looking great for Lizzy. A few weeks of to relax and catch-up with the family is just what she needs for she conquers the business world. All is fine and dandy till her sister Jane drags Lizzy along with her on dates with the new adorable neighbor Charlie Bingley. Jane needs Lizzy, to be her wing-woman and help keep Charlie’s bestie, the formidable ice queen Darcy Williams occupied. Easier said than done, Darcy is one tough cookie!

Lizzy and Darcy clash, oh boy, do they ever. Getting off on the wrong foot, these two keep going at each other throwing barbs and jabs making for a very tumultuous relationship. What it also has is heat. As these two spend more time together Darcy softens and begins to see how amazing Lizzy is, Lizzy not so much. She definitely isn’t ready to sign up for the Darcy Williams fan club.

The story progresses and our two mains go their separate ways for a bit only to meet back up at a smaller publishing house Lizzy gets farmed out to. A professional seeing allows each of the ladies to see the other side of the other and a timid friendship is born, and then more. Like magnets pushing away one flip and boom, you have an amazing connection.

Grace Watson gives us a really fantastic story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. I will say, I love an ice princess, cold as ice on the outside, but with the right person a sweetheart. Darcy absolutely fits this bill. Good characters, interesting dialogue, I am a fan. Great read!

4.25 out of 5 stars

  • The Story of Lizzy and Darcy: A ‘Pride and Prejudice’ adaptation
    by Grace Watson
    Link: http://a.co/2Rn0hD1

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Forget Me Not by Kris Bryant

Grace Danner a marketing executive from Dallas heads to Ireland to complete the sale of her great-aunt’s flower shop. Only meeting the aunt a handful of times she was left everything in the will. Grace arrives in Ireland to find a thriving business, an adorable rooftop apartment and a whole lot of amazing acquaintances. Grace is all work so even taking a week off to head across the pond is a hardship.

Kerry Mulligan is Grace’s real estate agent. This fiery redhead will gladly take the commission from the sale of Aunt Nola’s shop, but in her heart or hearts, she doesn’t want it sold. She’s conflicted about the loss of the shop to this tight-knit community. Add to the misery, her friends and sister-in-law will be out of work as soon as the deal is signed.

I had a few issues with this one. I felt like I was reading the same chapter later in the book time and time again. What makes this especially frustrating is you had a great premise, beautiful setting and enough heat from the two mains getting off on the wrong foot to have a fantastic story. As the book progressed, that story actually regressed. Once Grace and Kerry see each other’s naughty bits that’s all you have. Sex scene after sex scene. They were hot sex scenes don’t get me wrong, but that was it. Then you have a lack of depth in the plot, the dialogue, and the angst. The angst should be there, it should be there in spades, but it wasn’t, it was just flat. I

Another issue was Grace Danner being a Texan. I despise Texas stereotypes because you always get the cowgirl bs. A female marketing executive that lives in a high rise condo in downtown Dallas does not walk around in Ariat boots every day. That is not her footwear of choice. Sure maybe if she goes to a western theme gala, but in jeans and in daily life, this is a big no. This would not happen, it doesn’t fit the look of the area at all. Now if you went over to Fort Worth, you may see more boots, if you went out to West Texas, that would be the footwear of choice for many, as those folks are real-life ranchers and live a western influenced lifestyle. You might as well say Grace rides her horse to town. Okay, maybe Grace Danner is the one Dallasite that does wear boots every day, but 99% of the rest of us do not. I’m getting down on off my over-sized Texan soap-box now.

Overall, the book had a good start, hot sexy time but was lacking depth and dialogue to make it really amazing.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler

Rachel Spangler is one of the really good writers in this genre. She knows how make a romance jump off the pages, and has well-developed characters and plots. Add in the setting of a food truck chef meets and spars with an uppity banker and you have the makings for an interesting read. Right?

Hal Orion owns and runs a local Buffalo food truck. Her specialty is sandwiches loaded with unusual pairings and loaded with cheese. Hal hasn’t had the easy road in life, a product of the foster care system via a drug addicted mother, Hal doesn’t trust easily. She literally let know one below the surface other than best friend and employee, Sully. You can’t miss what you never had, is basically Hal’s life’s mantra.

Quinn Banning is an investment banker. She’s a no-nonsense kind of woman, who sets her sight on a goal and drives like mad till she gets it all the while wearing an Armani suit and pumps. She has her sights set on opening a one of a kind restaurant in Buffalo that will give the community something unique and flavorful. Hal is the chef she needs to jump-start her dream.

The book begins with Hal and Quinn having an epic clash, neither seeing eye to eye and starting off on the wrong foot. As the story progresses both ladies are basically a thorn in the other’s side with underlying sexual attraction. This is definitely a case of opposites attract. While the story was set up for a wild ride of excitement, sadly the romance just fell flat to me. After a while, it just felt like we were beating a dead horse to death and neither of these characters in real life would have anything to do with the other. I like each character fine but as a couple, it became forced. Hal lashed out on too many times and you would have to be a saint to keep going back for more.

If you are a foodie you will love the descriptions of sandwiches and dishes Hal whips up. Even a non-foodie like me was intrigued. Overall this a pretty good book, I don’t think its Spangler’s best but you will definitely get your money’s worth.

3.25 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Bywater Books
  • www.bywaterbooks.com

Perfect Pairing
by Rachel Spangler
Link: http://a.co/9pSFCYl

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