Rough Around The Edges by Crystal Chard

Roxeanne Mackenzie is in a tough spot. Her mom needs round the clock medical attention, which Roxy and her siblings cannot adequately give. She’s proud and with that pride, Roxy is forced to find a job she would have never considered otherwise. With her mom’s health rapidly declining, and the need to pay a 1/3rd of the medical bills, Roxy forgoes her college scholarship and begins stripping. She hates it, she can’t stand the clientele, and she panics on stage regularly, but she also acknowledges that the tips she makes from dancing gives her mom access to 24/7 kind and caring medical professionals.

With Roxeanne’s dreams of becoming a writer and attending school on hold, she falls into a funk. She hides her mom’s illness from almost everyone. She cuts herself off from her old friends, embarrassed about where her life has taken her but also not wanting the pity that comes when acknowledging your parent is terminally ill. One afternoon on her daily visit to her mother’s bedside, Roxy meets, Josie Calhoun, a psychology professor with a love for the Persian poet, Rumi.

Josie has befriended Roxy’s mother, she often brings books to read to the dying woman as they enjoy each other company and banter. Roxy is immediately intrigued with the gorgeous red head. A chance meeting at a nightclub brings them into each other’s orbit once again, and they confess their mutual attraction. Josie needs a relationship that is open and honest, she’s’ has been lied to one-to-many times while Roxy is battling with a secret she may be unwilling to reveal.

Roxy and Josie are so darn likeable. They each capture your heart and you cannot help but root for their happiness. You have to love a character that is so kind, intelligent but also imperfect. Crystal Chard has written a winner with Rough Around The Edges. I cannot believe that this is her debut into the romance genre. A great read, and I cannot wait for whatever this writer takes me next. You can guarantee I will be there for it!

4 out of 5 stars

Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard

I grabbed a handful of books from Bella Books over the New Year’s holiday. Visiting Hours by Tagan Shepard was one of their books that I had meant to pick up months ago but never got around to it. I am so glad I picked this one up. It was a fabulous read that I just adored!

Dr. Alison Reynolds is a professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University. Al is a stubborn, opinionated, at times exasperating character. I was entertained by her, rooted for her but a few times wanted to hand her duct tape for her mouth. She is definitely a spirited character! Alison spends her time divided between her responsibilities teaching, researching and visiting her bestie, Beth, in the hospital. Beth is having a medical crisis where her blood is attacking her unborn child. She has been admitted to the antepartum unit at VCU’s hospital to be monitored by Dr. Jess Baker.

Jess is an obstetrician that recently relocated to Richmond via Portland. She is a highly skilled doctor, one that was heavily recruited to transform VCU’s women’s health wing. Jess doesn’t fit your typical doctor mold. She’s heavily tattooed and sports a faux hawk. Needless to say, Alison immediately takes a disliking to the good doctor.

What I loved about this book is that is not a hate to love romance, more like I’m going to dislike you a bit cause I’m super scared and a bit judgy and you are going to win me over because you are super nice and caring. The relationship grows over the course of bumping into each other time and time again both inside and outside the hospital. They’re very different characters in personality and it works. Jess is a nerdy gamer with a free spirit temperament. Ali is more conservative, focused academic with a bit of chip on her shoulder. Their chemistry is explosive and hot!

This is a great book from Tagan Shepard, I can’t believe this was her debut novel. Her next book, I will not even hesitate for a minute before picking it up.

4 out of 5 stars

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Mistletoe Mishap by Siri Caldwell

When an author asks me to review their books I am always filled with wonder and a whole lot of trepidation. I want to do their book justice in my review but even more so I want to be wholeheartedly honest as well. It’s so hard when a book is not my cup of tea, and thankfully Mistletoe Mishap makes this review a cake walk. So good and delightfully cute, this book is an absolute gem of a read.

Viv and Kendra have been together for years. In that time they have had lust, romance, bucket loads of love but the last four months they have hit a bit of a rut when it comes to sexy time. After a caller on the radio suggests she is going to ask her fiancé to wait six months till the wedding night to have any bedroom activities this gets a conversation flowing and an acknowledgment of said sexy time rut. Kendra in a fun loving way challenges her beloved Viv to a contest of who can make the other, well you know, the most number of times.

When ensues is a delightful story full of fun, mischief and a lot of witty banter. It’s no easy feat for a writer to tackle an established couple, but Siri Caldwell does and she does it so well. This is a fun-loving book that is so adorable it will just melt your heart. You want this in your life!

4.25 out of 5 stars

Mistletoe Mishap by [Caldwell, Siri]