Requiem For Immortals by Lee Winter

Requiem For Immortals by Lee Winter is easily one of the best books I have read in some time. The characters are fascinating. The writing is superb and the story , absolutely captivating. Some adjectives right! This book will stay with you in and leave you wondering what’s next. Not in the frustrating cliffhanger kind of way, but in write another one already, I need more kind of way.

The story is center around our two main characters, Natalya and Alison. These two are your yin and yang. Natalya Tsvetnenko is a classical musician, a cellist, who plays for the Victorian Philharmonic Orchestra in Melbourne. This is one-half of who this woman is. The other, almost like another personality, is Requiem. Requiem is an assassin for hire. A cold blooded killer, that will do whatever the highest bidder needs. Both sides of Natalya’s life are regimented, consisting of extreme discipline and control, just with very different outcomes.

Alison Ryan is your basic, Melbourne woman. Average in every way, she goes to work, Monday through Friday. Miss Ryan does her eight-hour shift and then heads home to care for her disabled, abusive mother. Her only passion is music. She has no lovers, no unseemly vices, so why on Earth does Requiem have a contract to kill her for double the average payment?

Oh my, the tangled web, Lee Winters has weaved with this one. This psychological thriller throws curve ball after curve ball leaving you on the edge of your seat the whole book. Oh so good!

5 out of 5 stars

Requiem for Immortals (The Law Game Book 1)
by Lee Winter
Link: https://amzn.com/B01JK1NN2Q

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Heart Trouble by Jae

Loved it….scream it out loud again…Loved it! This book had me from the get go. I was enthralled by the characters, by their story and oh yes that delicious angst. It had everything I could have asked for, and even had a little unexpected twist that made it even more delightful. You can stop reading now, just buy this book.

You are still reading? OK well here is the synopsis.

Dr. Hope Finlay is your typical uber-smart loner. She’s all work, very little play. She grew up in foster care after the loss of her mother to cancer. This tragedy and therefore background has caused her to keep everyone at arm’s length. Relationships are not her strong point. What she is, is a gifted emergency room physician.

Our other main character is Laleh Samadi. Laleh is a second generation Persian American, who in her parents’ eyes is an underachiever. Underachiever in the sense she passed on college because her passion was working in her family’s restaurant. Also, she refuses to marry without finding true love. Neither of her parents can understand Laleh’s actions and they do rib her about it, but overall they are a loving bunch.

So a heart condition brings these two characters together and a little mishap intertwines them into a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I won’t ruin it with too many details. These two lives become intertwined and it is funny, witty and straight up sexy. Hope and Laleh have banter too, which I am a huge sucker for dialogue, so this made my heart sing. I adore this book. Easily one of the best I have read this year. Jae is a writer that you can always count on to deliver a fantastic book and you always come away with a little more knowledge.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Here’s the Thing by Emily O’Beirne

Consistency must be Emily O’Beirne’s middle name. She consistently writes amazing characters that steal your heart and dazzle your imagination. Her latest novel, Here’s the Thing, is a wonderfully sweet story and honest reflection from the main character, Zel.

Zel, is sixteen and is probably smarter and more aware than most thirty-year-olds. This character is open, honest and level headed. You don’t often hear that with teenagers, levelheaded, but Zel just is. She gets people for who they are, she sees past the veneers, bad attitudes, and silence. Which is how she meets Prim, and an unlikely friendship develops on the subway system on NYC.

Zel has been in New York for a few months, not really developing any strong relationships or exploring her new city. Until she meets and connects with a young model, in her mother’s modeling agency. Primulka is an enigma of a girl. One who rarely smiles and spends most of her time acting nonchalant and blank. She inwardly hates everyone, thinking most of her peers are silly and mundane. To say this girl is challenging is an understatement! You know as the reader someone has hurt this young woman terribly, making her build a fortress around herself to self-preservation. Zel figures this out too and proceeds with caution slowly pulling Prim into a friendship. These two take off on an epic weekly adventure with the end goal of riding all of the subway lines. Sounds awesome right, I can only imagine the people you would meet. It is epic to them as well, and while Zel harbors a crush on Prim, she knows that this friendship is something. Then the monkey-wrench thwarts the plans of finishing the lines, Zel is moving back to Australia. Her time in NYC is up.

This is a story that shifts back and forth between real-time, Zel in Sydney and memories of her time with Prim in Australia. The story builds upon the friendships that Zel makes. Her friendship with Prim is on a pause because of a misunderstanding and hurt feelings, and this causes Zel much anguish. One the other side she is plowing ahead with her life is Sydney and befriends a group of enigmatic young people in her drama class. Through her new school and this group of friends, Zel really begins to branch out. Her photography passion is ignited again and she becomes part of something more. She also meets a Stella and that is a really great part of this book, as sweet and tender as only that first love can be.

I don’t think I did a very good job of summing this book up for you. So I’ll say this, read it. This one is fantastically written by one of the very best authors in the genre. The characters have depth and the story is captivating. Overall a great story, that I was sad to see it end. Another winner from Emily O’Beirne.

5 out of 5 stars

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

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Hooked by Jaime Maddox

I was super intrigued when I read that Jaime Maddox was going to write a story about Dr. Jessica Benson. She was an important character in Deadly, and quite frankly came across as a giant jackass. I wanted to see how the author would bring this character some redemption.

First, you really want to read Deadly Medicine before you take a go at this one. Do you have to? Well no, who am I to tell you to follow the rules, but I would recommend it.

If you remember Jessica is Ward’s ex, who basically trampled her heart, cast her out like a stone, all the while popping OxyContin and Xanax like tic-tac’s.  She was a hot mess before being held hostage by the psycho serial killer doctor from Lucifer’s lair, and now it has gotten even worse. So Jessica decides to take treatment for her PTSD and drug addiction, before life spins even further out of control.

Enter Mac Calabrese as Jessica’s love interest in this novel. Mac is your all around dashing, do-gooder detective for the Pennsylvania State Police. One-hundred percent committed to her job, never meeting anyone who interested her more than catching bad-guys.  Mac meets Jessica as she tries to put the pieces together of the Edward Hawk case.

Do sparks fly? Well kind of.  Jessica is going through such a huge transition in her life after completing her stay at a rehabilitation center and getting sober, but she doesn’t really know what to do with her attraction to Mac. Mac being the good gal knows that Jessica is totally off-limits while the Hawk investigation is open. Really, you would have hoped for more tension during these trying times, and it’s there, it’s just not tense enough, in my opinion.  Plus there are these other sub-plots going, which to be honest were super unnecessary and trivial.

I will say I enjoyed this book. I absolutely did not like this character coming out of Deadly Medicine and surprise she is redeemed. This is a solid book that will entertain you for its duration.

3.75 out of 5 stars

Hooked
by Jaime Maddox
Link: https://amzn.com/1626396892

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Flinging It by G. Benson

A gauntlet of emotions! A gantlet of emotions is the best way I can describe of Flinging It by G. Benson. This book is witty, angsty and also so incredibly genuine.  There were times I wanted to shake the main characters and then I would then the next page and want to give them a ginormous hug. Oh the emotional roller coaster how I love you and hate you all the same.

Frazer is a midwife in Perth, the head of Midwifery to be exact. She is beyond dedicated to her job. She spends her days and nights delivering babies or suffering through mind numbing hospital administrative meetings. Work, work and more work. No dates, little fun, just babies, babies, meting and back to babies. Frazer has spent all of her free time developing a program for at-rick parents and reaching out to them through the hospital and mentors to guide them through the pregnancy, birth and trying months after. This do-gooder needs help and a fresh set of eyes, so she turns to an unlikely source Cora, the head of the social work program at Frazer’s hospital.

Cora the head of social work for the hospital spends her day guiding people through the hospital system. While she is a co-worker of Frazer’s these two never speak, some hostility may be in part because Cora happens to be married to their boss, Alec. Alec is a first rate douche bag by the way, he emotionally abuses his wife to the point she is just a shell of her former gregarious self. As Cora and Frazer move forward with the mentoring program they develop an amazing friendship, and after one night of way too much booze the fall into bed.

This book pulls at your heart. While you know that the affair is oh so wrong, you also see that it is a lifeline of sorts for Cora. This is a woman that something to empower her and give strength, even if it’s wrongly through an affair. While her husband is a first rate prick (that’s being kind), and she should be running for the hills, she is terrified of disappointing everyone. Alec has stripped her down to nothing, so when Frazer comes along and becomes her friend, her ally and even her lover she has a renewed since of self. Does this have morality issues? Sure, but know that it is very evident that this marriage is on the flimsiest of last legs. Infidelity is a big no-no for me most of the times, but in this case it did not give me much pause.  Both women know that this affair is wrong, but it’s hard to stop when it’s the only time you find any since of happiness. Frazer and Cora have magnetism to each other. Their interactions are delightful, fun, sometimes really sexy.

4.25 out of 5 stars

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Deception by VK Powell

The cover of this book almost made me shy away, but the subject of this book intrigued me enough to give it a go. Was I disappointed, no quite the opposite actually.

DEA Agent Colby Vincent volunteers for her first undercover assignment. Being a veteran of the Armed Forces has given her the edge in landing this assignment. Colby is to take the role as a homeless veteran to uncover a drug smuggling operation in Greensborough.  The DEA is convinced that homeless vets are being used to distribute large amounts of prescription drugs on the streets.

Adena Weber part-time lawyer, part-time philanthropist has devoted her life to helping the disadvantaged of her beloved hometown. Her father has just been murdered, and she will stop at nothing to uncover this crime as well as continue his life’s work of running a resource center to help get people off the streets and into jobs.

This book does an excellent job of describing what life could look like on living on the street. You see through Colby’s eyes exactly how hard it is to stay under the radar of the police, the predators and find food and shelter. How life’s basic needs become paramount, and wants are a distant memory. You cannot help but be moved by the misery Colby faces as she hides in parking garages, fells unspeakable hunger and literally fights for survival daily.

When Adena and Colby meet it is that instant attraction, neither can take their eyes off each other but the timing is all wrong. Colby isn’t the successful DEA Agent, no she is on if Adena’s clients, and the timing is off for these two. This attraction must be squashed until the case is solved.

The mystery portion of this book is really good. You are never sure what is going to happen and Powell does a fantastic job of creating the scene and dragging you into this world. I loved seeing and feeling how Colby felt invisible and criminalized because of her being part of the homeless population. You could not help but feel her pain, even though you know it’s temporary. You really felt an understanding of the struggle it must be to be in this dire situation. What I did not feel a connection to was the romance. While I felt like it started to take shape in the beginning, ultimately it fizzled and fell flat. I didn’t feel the love over power these two, and I really did not care much for how they finally came together. It felt very anticlimactic and very rushed. Leaving me kind of on a sour note.

3.75 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley in return for an honest review. 

Deception
by VK Powell
Link: https://amzn.com/1626395969

Heartwood by Catherine Lane

Heartwood by Catherine Lane is an exquisite story that will stay with you long after you’ve finishing reading this one. This multifaceted story weaves a tale of star-crossed lovers of the past and a new love that is just developing. Two stories in one that are weaved together for an unforgettable tale of hope, happiness and perseverance.

The Past – 1960: Beth Walker is a young woman from quaint Steelhead Springs. Beth has never left her hometown, but she has an imagination like no other. Beth, a gifted writer who has only just begun to acknowledge her skill with a pen, spends her day working in a real estate office and spends all her other time writing. Enter, Dawn Montgomery, a famous actress from Hollywood who just one day shows up in Beth’s town with her husband in tow, ready to buy the most remote home possible. Beth and Dawn develop an almost instant friendship. You see Dawn’s husband has left for his next movie and Beth becomes Dawn’s constant companion. These two have this dynamic relationship that just draws you in. The story is told purely from Beth’s perspective and you can really feel how she is totally enamored with Dawn. Dawn is the epitome of complex. You cannot help but have an internal debate of is she playing Beth for a fool or has she fallen under love’s spell as well.

The Present Day: Maggie Chalon is Beth Walker’s, now in her seventies, personal chef. The crazy thing is she has never met the famed writer. Hired by Beth’s lawyer, Maggie makes Beth’s meals every day, most of which are barely touched. Vivienne, the nurse from Hell, reminds Maggie of her place and that she should stop asking questions on Beth Walker’s health. Maggie cannot let it go. She knows without a shadow of a doubt that something nefarious is going on, and why is Beth Walker never to be seen.

Nikka Vaskin is an up and coming lawyer at Truman and Steinbrecker. Work is her everything, she has everything to prove and has a timeline in place for her rise on the career ladder. A chance moment throws her into the path of Beth Walker and Maggie Chalon. This is when craziness ensues, and Nikka working for the enemy, has to look beyond the facts and take a giant leap of faith to find out if the impulsive and highly attractive Maggie might be on to something.

The book switches seamlessly from past to present day, telling the two stories with such emotion and detail you are catapulted into the story. I found myself hanging on every word, desperately cheering for both couples. Catherine Lane develops characters that reach right off the page and steal your heart. To say this a is great book is by far an understatement!

5 out of 5 stars

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

Heartwood
by Catherine Lane
Link: https://amzn.com/3955336743

30638030

Tokyo Love by Diana Jean

Beware Tokyo Love is a really addictive read. This is a well written and beautifully portrayed romance. What you will kind is a journey of finding love without feeling afraid, discovering yourself and finding your perfect match.

Kathleen Schmitt has recently moved to Tokyo by way of Illinois. This oversized American is like a fish out of water, struggling to adapt with the language and the Japanese culture. Kathleen jumped at the opportunity of a job promotion within her employer a technology company, Mashida, thinking that she would love a fresh start in a new country. Low and behold, Kathleen hits a roadblock at every turn. Her job is to do the coding for a personal love companion. Yes, you heard me! She’s developing sexy personal robots!

Yuriko Vellucci, is an American by birth, but move to Japan in her formative years after the divorce of her parents. Yuriko keeps her head down and lets work consume her. After a string or bad relationships, one especially heartbreaking, Yuriko focuses on her career as a mechanical engineer of quality control for Mashida. Yuriko’s main role is building the AI life-sized dolls that Kathleen writes code for. A chance meeting at the train station throws Yuriko and Kathleen together. Yuriko feels for Kathleen’s struggle to adapt to her new surroundings, she is at times annoyed and charmed by this overwhelmed American.

Okay so first off, don’t let the personal love companion throw you off. This book is in no way about people hooking up with life sized robots. While Kathleen and Yuriko work with this project and at time platonically interact with one, they absolutely do not hookup with one. I know you were wondering! No this is truly a romance between two women who would normally never have looked twice at the other. Chance interactions and work continuously throw these ladies together and a mutual respect and friendship begins. Romance blooms between the ladies, and it’s absolutely delightful.

The story is told in first person format you get to see what each of the leading ladies are thinking and, this is why this book is so enchanting. The internal dialogue is masterful. Fairly early into the book Kathleen comes to the realization that she is attracted to Yuriko on some level, (she has no clue it goes both ways). She fights with the fact that not only does she have a first time crush on a female, that it’s also with the one person she has become to depend on. Yuriko’s friendship means the world to her and keeps her grounded in the overwhelming city of Tokyo.

Enter Ai. Ai is a person love companion that has been made specifically for Kathleen. Kathleen must beta test the robot before production is to begin, get all the kinks out before it is available for consumers. Somehow this companion is made to look exactly like Yuriko. Awkward! Ai continuously pushes the reluctant friends together, and watch out because there are fireworks.

The scenes are hot. The connection sizzles. The writer draws you right it and doesn’t let you go. If you are anything like me you will find yourself fighting sleep to finish this one. Great book! You will not be disappointed.

5 out of 5 stars

I received this novel by the publisher, Crimson Romance in return for an honest review.

  • Publisher: Crimson Romance
  • www.crimsonromance.com

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Capturing Forever by Erin Dutton

Capturing Forever is a story of second chances. Losing the love of your life, because you put work over family too many times, she finally had enough and left you. Could you have another chance or is eight years separated too long?

Jacqueline “Jac” Knight is a regional manager of human resources for a large shipping company. She travels non-stop, home only a handful of days in a month. Jac has worked tirelessly to rise up the corporate latter. She has put everything on the backburner on her quest to the top. Unfortunately the sacrifices she has made for her career have been huge personally. The love of her life asked her to leave, never being home was too much to endure, and her relationship with her father has deteriorated greatly. When Jac’s father’ health begins to rapidly decline, she must make some hard choices. She must rely on her ex-wife to hold things together while she is gone on business. Finally, Jac begins to see the error of her ways years ago. Is it too late to get her back?

Casey Meadow’s is Jac’s ex. She has a thriving photography business that she has built over the years. Between running her small business and caring for her teen son, Casey has had to do most of it alone. Her girlfriend wants them to take it to the next level and move in together, but Casey isn’t sure. She finds herself pulling back every time. When Jacqueline’s dad, who is also very close with Casey, takes a turn for the worse, she can’t help but jump in and assist in his care. Being around Jac raises old feelings, but is she willing to risk her heart again on the one person that could absolutely destroy it.

Jac and Casey have chemistry with each other, while it doesn’t set the pages aflame, it is there. You can feel their love for one another. I loved their dialogue between each other I just wish there had been more of it. There are a number of players in this one and they do take away some of the time between the two mains. Both ladies have another lover, and that was kind of hard for me. I felt like we needed more buildup. Fan the flames so to speak. You most definitely wanted them to find their way back to each other. Their reunion just had so many obstacles to overcome.

I liked this one. It’s a well thought out book, interesting and the pacing is done well. The character’s felt real and relatable.  I wish these two would have been honest with each other and had more substantial conversations. Overall a good read.

3.25 out of 5 stars

I was given this book by Netgalley & Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.

Capturing Forever
by Erin Dutton
Link: https://amzn.com/1626396310

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