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

Breathe by Cari Hunter

You know when you pick up a Cari Hunter book you are in for one hell of a ride. This writer can really write a book! In her newest novel, Breathe, she gives you amazing characters, thoughtful dialogue and a plot that just won’t stop.

Jemima Pardon is an accident waiting to happen. She’s klutzy and just one of those people that is a magnet for disasters. Jem just happens to be the best damn paramedic in Manchester. While Jem is on her own on night trying to help a patient she gets a ton of help from police officer Rosie Jones. These two quirky characters hit it off right from the start. Both Rosie and Jem’s characters are full of complexity. Their backgrounds make them who they are today, and Hunter takes us on the ride of bringing their past to their present if that makes any sense. She gives us enough detail and emotion to bring them to life. I loved their banter and wittiness even in the most harrowing situations.

This is a great book to pick for when you really want to escape. As with all Cari Hunter books you are getting a quality story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

4 out of 5 stars

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Salvation by I. Beacham

Salvation by I. Beacham is heartbreakingly beautiful book about two women who meet at during a painful period in both their lives. Beacham weaves a tale of strength, determination and reminds us that love really can conquer all. Angst lovers rejoice, this is another book that will make your heart ache, but it is totally worth it.

Claire de Vit is the gardener for an old mansion that was turned into upscale apartments in a small community in the southern region of England. Working with plants and landscaping gives her solace, and a chance to interact with the wonderful, eclectic tenants. SLIGHT SPOILER Claire secretly owns said apartment, and comes from a wealth of money. She easily chose to give up a glorious career as an office with the Royal Navy to watch over her disabled partner Rosie. Rosie, the absolute love of Claire’s life, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, this vibrant young woman’s mind was snatched from her way to soon. Claire watches from afar caring Rosie the only way she can anymore, planting beautiful flowers for her to enjoy. Claire lives a life of loneliness, living alone, and accepting to this will be her fate until Regan Canning shows up and shakes her world up.

Regan Canning has moved from Yorkshire to Devon. Her life is literally in shambles. Her older brother Simon has just committed suicide, her lover Karen has decided to go back to her ex-husband, and her career in teaching mathematics has hit a dead end. Regan leaves her old life behind, to try to figure out why Simon decided to end his life, and why he never reached out to her. Regan meets Claire, a friend of her brother’s, and tries to put all the pieces back together.

I. Beacham has created two characters, Claire and Regan that are absolutely magnificent. Regan can act like a little baby jackass at times and Claire needs to speak up, but while flawed, they are both so very kind and charming. Personal revelations, along with misunderstandings prevent these two from an early hookup, but the roadblocks are plausible and they keep you interested in the overall story. This is a fantastic read! 4.5 stars.

I kindly received this book from Netgalley & Bold Strokes books in return for an honest review.

Driving Me Mad by L.T. Smith

Brilliant, witty, engaging are adjectives that could easily describe L.T. Smith’s latest novel Driving Me Mad. Right from the beginning I was thrown into a wild ride featuring endearing characters both living and dead. This book was a romance with a heavy paranormal influence. To sum it up quickly, damn good storytelling!

Rebecca Gibson is a paper salesman. One night driving from one sales convention to the next, she gets lost. An easy two hour drive becomes four and she still is no closer to her intended destination. While trying to get her bearings in the middle of nowhere, way past midnight, things just get plain crazy.

Rebecca is an interesting character that is grounded, loves her work and doesn’t have very many friends. She is all work with little play. She is also hilarious, her internal dialogue is fantastic. Her wittiness is laugh out loud worthy. So, when a paranormal presence throws her into the past, lets just say she freaks out big time, and drops some epic curse words. She thinks she has gone cuckoo, and rightfully so.

Our other alive main character is Clare Davies. Clare is the direct descendant to both of our ghostly friends, Annabel and Ellen. Past lovers who were ripped about by Ellen’s murder.

Both Rebecca and Clare are thrown into the past and haunted by ghosts in order to solve the mystery and uncover the truth of what happened to Ellen over sixty years ago. Annabel and Ellen must be put to rest and Rebecca and Clare have been chosen for the task, whether they like it or not.

I literally could not put this book down. I was invested right from the beginning. L.T. Smith got me hooked almost instantly, and that’s no easy task. This book starts out at full speed and does not step off the pedal until the very end.

Great book, fantastic dialogue, interesting story with numerous twists and turns. What a great adventure this book was!

5 out of 5 stars

  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Driving Me Mad
by L.T. Smith

Driving Me Mad