Major Surgery by Lola Keeley

It safe to say Lola Keeley will always have a bit of my heart. You see last year she wrote hands down the best book of 2018. That story took my damn breath away countless times. Fighting one hell of a reading slump, I was truly grateful to read her newest novel, Major Surgery. 

Medical romances, I’m going to flat out tell you, I love them. LOVE THEM! Two hot lady doctors that square off and have tension, heat and intelligent banter, oh yeah, that is just what I am looking for. Add in that one of our docs is a total ice queen. Give me this book!

Major Cassie Taylor is a trauma surgeon who has left the service and is applying for a new position as Head of Trauma for St. Sophia’s hospital in London. As skilled as Cassie is at saving lives with quick thinking and great hands she cannot do anything right in the eyes of Veronica Mallick, the head of the Acute Medical Unit. Cassie’s not supposed to be the head of Trauma. Veronica had been grooming another colleague/friend to take that spot for years. The major’s arrival is unexpected to twist to Veronica’s world. To say this woman is a control freak would be an understatement. As much as these two clash, there is still a level of respect and professionalism in their stand-offs. That I appreciated! Veronica and Cassie challenge each other professionally as well as personally and you can see as the story progresses that they relish the banter and the friendship that develops.

This story has that slow burn that starts with dislike, eases into friendship and then develops into something more. I thought the two characters were very well written dynamic leading ladies. The story is smart and leans just a bit more of into a drama than an actual romance. It is a very good story. I really loved my time with it. Keeley is definitely one of those authors that you cannot wait to see where they take you next. 

4 out of 5 stars

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Berlin Hungers by Justine Saracen

When you pick up a Justine Saracen novel you know that you will undoubtedly finish the book with a respect for her historical detailedness and more knowledge than you had before. I love that her stories are so intricate and well, smart.

The Berlin Hunger takes us to the direct chaos that directly followed World War II. The horrors that took place in “peacetime” are tragic and hard to stomach. There is blatant brutality and at times it is hard to read.

Gillian Somerville was a pilot for the Air Transport Axillary during the war. She loved flying for her country but when the war ends Gillian suddenly finds herself with no work as a pilot. The women are not needed for that duty anymore. Unable to just go home, her whole family has passed, she decides to join the WAAF to become an air traffic controller.

Erika Brandt was a musician before the war. Now as the Russians have control of Berlin, she is scavaging for food to keep from starving to death. The Russians men portrayed in this book are animals and Erika faces unspeakable horrors to survive in this desperate time.

Erika and Gillian meet by chance a couple of times in the book and strike up a friendship born out of kindness. As the book progresses more feelings develop. This is a star-crossed lover romance though. These two have a lot going on and cannot see each other often for a multitude of reasons. So a lot of longing from afar.

Overall, I loved the historical aspect of the book. I felt as if Saracen dropped my in Berlin post-war and I was right there with the characters. The romance wasn’t my favorite. I loved the characters don’t get me wrong, and I was absolutely rooting for their happiness. I just felt like it dragged a bit. This is more historical fiction than your hot burning romance. Still a very good read!

3 out of 5 stars

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Dangerous Waters (First Responders, #7) by Radclyffe

Colonel Sawyer Kincaid is called in the middle of her beachside vacation to come back to work early. The governor of Florida has called the National Guard to be ready for the imminent arrival of a large and deadly hurricane headed directly at the sunshine state. Sawyer is very aware of the danger Hurricane Leo is going to bring. Having survived Hurrican Andrew in the early 90s taught her that lesson well and let scars that would last forever. Now her main objective is to keep the people of Miami and the Keys as safe as possible.

Dr. Dara Sims is the head of the ER at Memorial Hospital in the heart of Miami. Dara is used to being in charge so when the military shows up in the form of Colonel Kincaid she is determined to keep the reins. What she doesn’t expect is immediate comradery and someone who can read her like a book.

I loved the details of this book. The story has urgency and danger at every turn. You can literally feel Sawyer and Dara racing the clock and mother nature. That part of the books is great. However, the romance feels a bit rushed as there is so much other stuff going on. I loved the characters they are fantastic, strong characters but I would have loved them having more one on one time together.

You know unequivocally you are going to get your money’s worth when you read Radclyffe. This is no exception, not my favorite but a quality read nonetheless.

3 out of 5 stars

Dangerous Waters

Ask, Tell by E.J. Noyes

When you see a book get rave reviews, over an over again, you rush to read it right. Shoulda, coulda, woulda! I have had this book on my list of to-reads for months now, why the delay, I am not sure, but I am so glad I finally read this one. It was an amazing way to get 2018 started.

Captain Sabine Fleischer is an Army surgeon currently deployed in Afghanistan. Her days are filled desperately trying to save the wounded men and women that are serving in the war. When we meet Sabine she is struggling to fight her crush on her superior as well as navigate a nine-year relationship that is sinking fast. Her longtime partner is tired of military life. Vic, her girlfriend, was never a being a fan of the Army and the years of separation have created a crater that cannot be fixed. Sabine is trying to get through this deployment and navigate her life back in the States. No easy feat, and it’s all begging to crumble around her.

Colonel Rebecca Keane is Sabine’s superior as well as the object of her massive crush. She’s a gifted surgeon who is rock solid under pressure, respected by her peers and all around a good person. Sabine is drawn to Rebecca even though she knows there is no way they can ever be together. Everything is against them especially her relationship status and military policies. I won’t ruin the story for you, just know that Sabine and Rebecca have a magnetic chemistry together, and love always conquers all.

Reading this book, you feel the horrors of war, the pain of a breakup and the utter despair our service members must have felt serving in the military under DADT. This book was amazingly well written, I cannot say that enough! EJ Noyles transported me to the medical camp and put me right there with the main characters. The story is heart-breaking, romantic, sexy as hell and shows the resilience of the human spirit. It’s hard to believe that DADT only ended in 2011. Thank goodness it did! A great read well worth your time.

4.25 out of 5 stars

A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite

A More Perfect Union by Carsen Taite is a military scandal with the potential to rock Washington to its core with a small side of romance. This web of deception is riveting to the end.

Lt. Colonel Zoey Granger has arrived at our nation’s capital to tell members of Congress the corruption she uncovered while stationed at Fort Bragg. A whistleblower who knows that her life is going to be turned upside down, but her sense of honor about doing what is right overrules anything else.

Rook Daniels is a fixer. She, like Olivia Pope, handles the scandals that D.C. breeds and changes their narrative to assist politic’s elite. This has made her one of the whos-who of Washington D.C.

A chance run-in at an airport bar, Rook helps Zoey get out of the eye of the media for a short time. These two immediately hit it off and have that moment where you wish you were anywhere else, not dealing with a work disaster. Never fear, they will meet again. Only this time the corruption is much direr and includes the Oval Office. The problem is they are working on the same case just one for the heads of military and Rook straight for the White House.

This is a fabulously written tightly woven political/military intrigue with a large helping of romance. I enjoyed every minute and was on the edge of my seat the whole time. This one is a great read! Carsen Taite never disappoints!

4.25 out of 5 stars

A More Perfect Union

Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb

Repercussions by Jessica L. Webb is nothing short of phenomenal. This book is everything you want and more. It is one delicious story, with amazing characters and an exciting plot…I could go on for days about how freaking fantastic this one is. All of Webb’s books are home runs, but somehow, someway, she took it to the next level with Repercussions. This is going to easily be in your top 5 books of 2017, if not number one.

Our main character is Edie Black. Life has given Edie a hard knock, literally. Run over while on a jog, Edie suffered multiple injuries, but the one that is the hardest to recover from is a severe concussion. Edie, a one-time investigative correspondent turned journalism professor prides herself on gut decisions and quick-thinking. The concussion-marred her self-identity and the inherent belief in her own abilities. Now Edie, runs the gamut of being in pain, loss of memory and an overwhelming sense of paranoia. She feels constantly as if she is being followed.

Our other main, is introduced to us while Edie is preparing coffee for the acquired brain injury support group. Skye Kenny, a former soldier with the Royal Canadian Regiment turned private security specialist is also in the building for a PTSD meeting. These two instantly attracted to each other, and make a point to see the other at the next meeting. Cupid’s in the house! Edie’s’ date with the sexy strong silent, Skye turns into more than either one bargained for. Finally, all of Edie’s paranoia is confirmed. This lady is totally being followed!

This book is going to hook you on by the first chapter. Don’t you just love that? Go ahead a get ready for that Americano in the morning because you are going to need it. A roller coaster ride of awesomeness is awaiting you with this book. This book has it all, and if I could give it 10 stars, I would. Massively large stars to boot!

5 out of 5 stars…Massive ones

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In the Company of Crocodiles by Maggie Brown

Let me just say this book is quite well done. Maggie Brown writes a story that just sweeps you away. You literally are thrown into Australia and through Brown’s words you are chased by the crocodiles, you feel the oppressive humidity, you are right there with the characters as they face countless perilous situations.

Vivian “Viv” Andrews served her country for years as an Australian Secret Intelligence Service officer. She was involved in numerous covert operations around the globe, including Afghanistan where she was seriously injured. Viv decides then and there to take a step back and make her life as simple as possible. She lives in the rainforest and grows row crops when she’s not fishing. Her basic necessities are met, and when she needs companionship she visits her few friends in Cairns. Life, as she has known it for five years, is thrown into chaos when she finds a dead man in the mangroves

Claire Walker just happens to show up in her tiny seaside town the same day as the dead man is found. Claire, a behavioral scientist and special agent for a hush-hush government agency that needs Viv’s help to locate a possible ISIS training ground. Talk about throwing your relaxing haven into the crazy zone.

So the story takes off as Vivian reluctantly helping Claire, she doesn’t want to, nope not at all, but Claire appeals to her in a way she can’t deny. You know what it is, yes, attraction. Claire is gorgeous, smart and takes charge. She’s everything Vivian has always wanted in a partner but never had. She will help Claire find the terrorist cell because no matter what she puts her country before her own happiness. What she doesn’t know is that Miss Walker is equally interested in her. Newsflash, Viv is hot and doesn’t have any clue! So the story really takes off as these two ladies trek through rugged terrain looking for signs of a terror training camp. What they find is not quite a bunch of jihadists but that doesn’t mean their lives are not in serious danger.

This two spar throughout the book, ignoring their attraction for numerous reasons. Claire and Vic both respect each other, but miscommunication and assumptions (Viv thinks Claire is straight) keep acting as continuous roadblocks to the path of happy ever after. A little angsty but not overwhelmingly so. All in this book is pretty great. I definitely recommend it! I must say I love when an author makes both of leading ladies strong characters, who can hold their own.

4 out of 5 stars