A Roll in the Hay is Lola Keeley latest novel and dang it is a good one. If you adore a good “get of on the wrong foot” romance this one is for you. These two leading ladies cannot stand each other, till that switch is flipped and love takes over.
Dr. Tess Robinson moves to a a small town to partner with her best friend. They co-own a vet practice, one where Tess will finally be able to work on large animals again. Tess is leaving behind a disastrous relationship that destroyed not only her home life but her work life again. Moving to the Scottish countryside is a way for her to start again and get back to doing what she loves.
Lady Susannah Karlson is trying to step out of her late husband’s shadow. She loved him and grieves the loss of their friendship but she has big dreams for the estate she has inherited. Lady Karlson also happens to be the local ice queen, with a reputation of no non-sense. Did I mention she is a closeted lesbian as well.
Susannah and Tess meet and instantly clash. Whatever the reason these tow just do not get along and they don’t hold anything back. This is a romance so ask much as they push each other’s buttons, finally trust builds and well lust too.
Mostly this is fun, light read with an aristocratic ice queen and a sharped tongue veterinarian. You have to love the back and forth between these two main characters, it really takes to book to the next level. I wish the relationship would have has more angst and heat, but that’s just me. Overall a quality read by an outstanding author.
Darcy Harris has a great job, an adorable countryside cabin, and part ownership of a sailboat. Life is good, almost perfect except for two issues. One, this beautiful hopeless romantic is looking for that perfect someone to fill her heart with love, laughter, and companionship. The second is a bit more pressing. Darcy has a stalker, who is hell-bent on running off every potential suitor and whose anger and erratic behavior is escalating quickly.
Eilidh Grey is on the road to recovery. Eilidh was attacked as she attempted to help a homeless man escape a brutal beating by a gang of thugs. They killed the man and nearly killed Eilidh as well. After months of recovering both physically and emotionally, Eilidh has finally she has broken up with her unloving girlfriend, returned to work and has her sights set on really living her life to the fullest.
The story is set in Inverness, Scotland and begins with a chance meeting between Eilidh and Darcy. These two immediately hit it off and a date is made. As smitten as these two are with each other, Eilidh needs to get her affairs in order after her breakup and Darcy is dealing with a demanding best friend whose marriage has just dissolved and the stalker issue. There is a romance and it is so sweet and cute but this book is all about the thriller.
What is really cool about this book is that it has multiple points of view. You read through Darcy, through Eilidh, as well as the demented stalker. You see what they see, feel that they feel and really get into their headspace. This book takes you on a roller coaster of emotions that keep you tangled up till the very end. Wendy Hudson did a bang up job with this one and every character is so well.
I like the idea of a romantic thriller, and when done right you have two amazing genres converging for those final moments to keep you riveted to your seat. Will the heroines survive the vicious maniac and live happily ever after? Gripping, right? In my very humble opinion, you need those two plots points to be really tightly woven. The romance needs to pull in the reader. That couple has to ring true, their love must conquer all. The thriller part needs to increase your anxiety level, get the blood pumping. I think for me in Mine to Keep both parts fell short of really capturing the reader’s attention on both fronts.
Erin is this stoic, enigmatic character that you want to love because she has had so little of it in her life. Abigail, the local chef, feels a bit unsettled in being the chef at her parent’s castle turned hotel. Could she have been a renowned chef like her ex if she had left this sleepy little town? So you have two interesting characters and the beginning starts off so well, then just meh. Meh, because once they admit their attraction out loud, there was no more push/pull until you introduce the ex, who just happened to show back up after being gone years. Come on! How much more contrived can you get. The romance between Erin Carter and Abigail Miller felt bit flat and uninspired.
The thriller, you could see coming from a mile away. No twists and turns, you knew what was going to happen and the book just stayed the course. I wanted so much more, anything, just a tiny swerve would have made a huge difference. Not to mention the character decisions that just didn’t totally add up. The thriller was flatter than the romance and the ending was way too glossed over.
I thought Wendy Hudson had an amazing first book. This one is a good one, it just needed more thriller or more romance. Neither was done to full potential. I left me wanting more.
The prologue of this book grabs you and will send a shock of terror through you. All I could think was on my goodness that was absolutely, one-hundred percent, terrifying. The first chapter is a glimpse of everyone’s worst nightmare coming true. Grabbed your attention, right? Well, that is how this book goes, it grabs you and then tells you the story of Alex Ryan and Lori Hunter.
Lori Hunter is an interpreter for parliament in Westminster. Her day job of constantly and repetitively conversing with people makes her crave solitude in her downtime. This is what drives her to drive hours outside of the London to climb mountains like Scotland’s Maoile Lunndaidh. Lori loves her career but finds life lacking in most other areas. Her family is scattered and barely speaks, and her relationship of eight years with Andrew is crumbling at an alarming rate. She finds herself making decisions to change her course and on that very day she runs smack dab into Alex Ryan.
Alex Ryan came to Maoile Lunndaidh to climb that mountain but to also remind herself that her relationship’s end did not ruin her passion for this place. Rachel may have introduced her to the place, but Alex would make her own memories here too. Alex spends most of her days alone, working from home on her family’s farm as a computer analyst for a variety of police organizations. Alex is charismatic and fun but also guarded, and for good reason. Her past is tragic.
These two have instant chemistry, which they both acknowledge and decide to become friends. They build their relationship between phone calls and texts, touching base daily because this person, who they met on the side of a mountain, has become important. All of that is happening, but you know there is a sinister plot happening as well. EEK! I wish I could tell you more but you need to read the book. These two crush on each other and when things just begin to go their way, a mad man’s vengeance turns everyone’s life upside down.
A romance with a side of a thriller is what Four Steps is. Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. There were a few chapters I thought were bogged down with too many new character introductions, but that won’t change the overall awesomeness of the book. A really good book by Wendy Hudson!
4 out of 5 stars
I was given this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Have you ever wondered who the stranger next to you is? For instance there are times when I sit in an airport and wonder who he is or who she is. Are they going home, a business meeting or maybe on an epic adventure? What if a chance encounter on a terrible day was really the best thing that ever happened to you?
Juliet Taylor has one published book under her belt and now the deadline on her second one is fast approaching. Her publisher wants it now but she has one hell of a case of writer’s lock. So the intrepid traveler that she is decides a change of scenery is in store. She packs her bags and is headed for Brussels. The only problem that she is having is that her flight becomes a nightmare situation. Oh you know what I’m talking about, delays, cancellations and more delays. So when a beautiful stranger asks her to join her in the Emirates Lounge in Los Angeles how can you say no?
Mia Revira is the beautiful stranger. Mia is headed to Scotland for some much needed rest and relaxation. Her life has come apart at the seams. Death, a failed marriage, angry parents are all weighing heavy on her heart. She needs time to heal and to find her path. Meeting Juliet is a godsend, this person wants her to be nothing but who she is. Finally, someone sees the real Mia.
For the first fifty percent of this book I was feeling it. Interesting plot, the dialogue was good and overall I was enjoying these two character’s journey. Then the melodrama kicked up into high gear and I just became more and more despondent as the chapters rolled on. Over the top reactions in real life and in books makes me want to run fast, the opposite direction mind you. It leads me to a sense of disbelief, especially in writing where it is over demonstrative. Come on no one acts like this is all I could think. Over and over again, it was just too much! Internal pain, then comfort and repeat and repeat and repeat…
The characters were well developed, they were likeable. The first portion of this book is so good. To me the obstacles became too overwhelming. It seemed that every chapter had a new ordeal for Juliet and Mia to overcome. From my perspective, it became exasperating. I could not invest any one issue because it was glossed over and on to the next life altering moment.
I adore this book. It made me laugh, smile, and best of all it pulled at my heart strings. I have read quite a few of Lynn Galli’s novels, this one in my humble opinion is her best. It is amazing! I have read a plethora (love that word) of a romance novels and this is absolutely one of the best.
Right from the start of the book you are thrown into the crazy world of wedding planning. The main character is the maid of honor, Skye, and while she is happy for the bride and groom, she is anti-wedding. WHAT! Our other main character is Ainsley. Ainsley just happens to be the groom’s best woman and cousin. Small world is these two happened to be college roommates at Columbia, and are not exactly on best terms. Foes if you will.
Thanks to the fast paced world of news reporting, the bride and groom jet off in the middle of planning their wedding to catch a new story. Skye and Ainsley are left holding the bag and forced to spend copious amounts of time together planning the dream wedding of their friends. These two banter, like an old married couple. They are witty and terribly funny a t the expense of the others feelings. Their dislike for each other makes for a fascinating progression from animosity to love.
This is solid romance filled with humor, friendship and great storytelling. I wanted to start it again as soon as I finished. You will not be disappointed, One Off is fantastic.