Life Pushes You Along by Emma Sterner-Radley

Life is funny sometimes. One day you’re totally fine and then the next you have that overwhelming blah feeling. You take a look around and start to wonder why am I stuck in this rut? Do you take a much need vacation, take up a new hobby or do you flip a switch and make a much-needed career change? That’s exactly what our main character, Zoe does. She takes a leap a faith and starts to change her life’s current trajectory. Will her gamble be worth it?

Zoe Achidi has not had an easy life. When she came out to her parents they abandoned her. Cast out of her childhood home as a teen, she has literally had to make it the hard way. Begging for a job, and working tirelessly to keep a roof over her head and food on the table. Her boss and owner of the neighborhood bookstore, is the ultimate slacker, using Zoe as his workhorse so he can phone it in but keep the benefits of her hard work. Most of us wouldn’t put up with what Zoe does, but how do you leave a job that saved you from the streets, even though you know you are capable of so much more. Rock meet hard place, right! The one highlight of her existence is an amazing brother, bestie and the super-hot client that visits her workplace.

Rebecca Clare is said hottie. Rebecca is a successful businesswoman. Over the course of time, Rebecca has taken notice of Zoe, but she’s the younger woman as out of her league. Funny, because Zoe thinks the exact same thing about Rebecca. Upon an unexpected meeting with Zoe’s brother, Rebecca agrees to help Zoe break out of her rut. She begins to assist Zoe, on improving her resume and searching for jobs with a better career path.
Rebecca and Zoe have a fantastic dynamic. These two have a magnetic pull to each other. Their heads war with the hearts, neither seeing how amazing they are but the other totally seeing it. Rebecca, at the age of 40, doesn’t see why a 26-year-old beauty would want anything to do with her other than a mentor. Zoe, cannot for the life of her, see why a successful professional would see anything in a lowly bookstore clerk. They click, they bring out the best in each other, and finally, the heart wins the battle and their heads get out of the way of love. A little help from the bestie and the brother help as well.

Overall this novella is well written, with excellent dialogues. Zoe and Rebecca are interesting and dynamic characters that jump right off the page. I can’t wait to see what Emma Sterner-Radley writes next.

4.25 out of 5 stars

Secret Hearts by Radclyffe

A classic Radclyffe is what Secret Hearts is. A sweet story, with well-developed characters and enough chemistry to keep you 100% committed to the end. You know what you’re getting with this author and she doesn’t let you down.

Catherine “Kip” Kensington hails from a very prominent, well to do New York family. Her last name and the work she does for the Department of Defense forces her to keep a low profile. Unfortunately her brother, Randy does not follow her lead. Addicted to drugs and “borrowing” cars, lands not only himself but Kip in lockup. A childhood tragedy shaped both Kip’s and Randy’s life, and the young man has taken refuge in nefarious activities as a way of masking his pain. Kip plays the mother role and tirelessly tries to help Randy out of jams even though the price she pays is a criminal record and a ton of heartache.

Jordan Rice is developing a community garden project in the heart of Manhattan. She works tirelessly to plant her crops and make contacts to supply her produce to the city’s restaurant industry. With a heart of gold, and an iron will to succeed, Jordan doesn’t make room for anything else but work in her life. She’s given up on meeting anyone and fills her time with making the world a better place.

Jordan and Kip meet in a super awkward way. Kip is assigned by the courts to do 400+ hours of community service for driving a stolen vehicle (thanks Randy!). This caring do-gooder takes her licks and heads over to the community garden, unbeknownst to Jordan that the garden was getting a helper. Tension increases as the office building has just been broken into, which causes Jordan to almost attack Kip, the perceived thief.

This age gap romance has a lot going for it. You have two level-headed, intelligent leading ladies who really work well together. Life throws them some curveballs sure, but these to have a synchronicity and a natural flow. They just work well together in all sense of the word. Even though Kip is used to holding a bit of herself back, Jordan has a way of looking past that and finding out who Kip really is. Through Jordan, Kip learns to let Randy stand for himself, even if it’s a painful process, to watch someone you love take the hard road. This is a feel good story that is most definitely worthy of your time.

 4 out of 5 stars

31213182

The Roundabout by Gerri Hil

The Roundabout by Gerri Hill is what I would call a sweet romance. There really isn’t a lot of heat/ I want to ravish your body moments, and there isn’t any angst to dial up the tension. No, it’s just a cute story with some awe moments along the way.

Megan Phenix is thirty-nine and has sworn off dating forever. After two monumental strikeouts in the love department, she has decided that relationships are not worth the hassle and heartbreak. To make matters worse, Megan is the hottest commodity in her little town. This bachelorette is asked out by every woman in her little town and they just won’t take no for an answer. After too much tequila one night Megan passes out and her “friend” Mary Anne takes some R-rated pictures of her and uses them as leverage to get a date. This blackmail by humiliation on Facebook drives Megan to take drastic measures.
At fifty, Leah Rollins decides to retire from the tech industry, and thanks to a windfall from her late aunt, Leah is able to make her dream come true. She moves to Eureka Springs to open up a t-shirt shop in the sleepy little tourist town. What she also gets is a grouchy, sassy business neighbor, Megan. These two spar over parking spots on a daily basis. Their war over parking leads them to face off a few times before they decide they can help each other out. To stay out of the shallow dating pool, Leah offers to be Megan’s fake girlfriend, until she just doesn’t want to fake it anymore.

The Mary Anne picture blackmail is almost pushing being offensive. I found it hard to believe that an entire community of conscientious grownups would think blackmail by almost nude photos is funny. Especially when they know for a fact that person was drunk and passed out, when the photographer ( Mary Anne) was POSING her for the photos. That’s not cool at all and only a sicko would do that! Then factor in that one of the really amused is Megan’s older sister. Nope, no sister would do that! I think this part of the storyline was taken just a bit too far.

In terms of romance other than a few silly spats over parking, there really aren’t any true love/hate moments. They quickly become allies fighting off the single ladies who want dates. I know a terrible dilemma to be in, right. Of course, over time their attraction becomes the forefront of the story. Overall the story is nice and sugary sweet, but it doesn’t have anything truly special about it. The characters are totally likable but also unmemorable.

3 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Bella Books

Scissor Link by Georgette Kaplan

Wendy Cedar is an intern for an aerospace engineering company with diverse interests, think Lockheed Martin. Wendy is totally unsatisfied with her career up to this point. Her boss is a mega-jerk who treats her like a high school student rather than the masters in engineering grad that she is. What makes matters even worse her love life is even more dismal. Everything changes when Janet Lace enters the picture and not only steals her heart but gives her a chance to advance her career.

Janet is a recent divorcee. Her wife of forever is having a mid-life crisis and therefore leaves Janet for a new woman and a new career. Janet is used to her life being more routine, so when her wife leaves her for another woman and a new career, Janet isn’t all that sad, she’s more lost than anything. To make matters worse she has begun having a crush on the much younger, Wendy, who she just acquired on her team.

This book is an interesting combination. One part romantic comedy, one part edgy and then mix in a bit of BDSM thrown in just to keep you on your toes. This interesting combination works because of the fun and quirky banter between the two mains. Kaplan is extremely skilled in creating dramatic and interesting dialogue between her characters. Where I would say the book is a bit weak is that while you like Wendy and Janet, you don’t completely buy into their relationship. I never felt like oh yes they will make it, this is true love. I think the book needed to spend more time with the characters together. Wendy and Janet’s relationship is in the building stage and then all the sudden goes at breakneck speed till the end. I wanted more togetherness. Overall this book is fun, and well written the romance left me a tad flat. Still a huge fan of Georgette Kaplan’s work thus far though!

3 out of 5 stars

Scissor Link
by Georgette Kaplan
Link: http://a.co/68petSG

32998051