Spinning Tales by Brey Willows

Well that was some out of the box story telling right there… Wow!

Maggie McShay is bored with life, her job and her lack of dating. She sees an ad in the newspaper for a cottage keeper but what she doesn’t know is the cottage is a portal into a Fairytale world… literally. When Maggie meets her protector, Kody Wilks she’s not sure if she’s more shocked how unbelievably butch and sexy Kody is or by the string of women in her bed. As they tackle the fairytale realm and Maggie’s new-found gifts, they begin to fall for each other but how can it work when Maggie is from another world and Kody is brooding over the past… Maybe fairy-tales can come true?

I absolutely loved this book. I was engrossed from the prologue and it just kept getting better. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would connect with this book at all but I had nothing to worry about as the magic whisked me away into this magical land and I couldn’t get enough.

All the characters, main and secondary were fantastic and well fleshed out. But for me there was only Kody Wilks. She was everything… Butch but in a James Dean way, sweet and sensitive in some ways but above all she was ferociously brave and genuingly caring of her friends, especially Maggie.

I don’t know how Maggie kept her hands to herself for so long because she was Maggie’s perfect match in every way. The chemistry and connection between them both was undeniable and honestly it seeped from the page. The sex scenes were off the chart and it was a relief when these two finally let the fireworks take over because it was amazing, loving but ultimately incredibly sexy!
Also, the “Wanted Ads” that Maggie enjoys reading in the newspaper were nothing short of hilarious and they added a levity to the books in moments where I didn’t think there was any.

This is not my normal go to for Lesbian fiction but I am so glad I picked it up. I hope Spinning Tales becomes a series or has a follow-up because I want more magic and adventure with Maggie and Kody

Unequivocally 5 Stars.

 

If you would like to purchase Spinning Tales please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

 

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Crystal’s Heart by B.L. Miller and Verda Foster

Such a beautiful story and exactly what I was needing to read right now.

Crystal is a survivor. She fled her abusive father and her alcoholic mother and started out on her own. Life has been tough and not without many dangerous hurdles but when she moves in with Laura, an uptight, neurotic writer she realises life is about to throw her another one of those hurdles. Falling in love with your polar opposite is never going to be easy for these two but when is love ever easy…

This story was written from both Crystal and Laura’s point of view and what a view they have. I felt so much love for Crystal from the beginning. She’s had a hard and abusive life but has came out the other end a survivor. She numbs the pain with weed and booze but when her and Laura are together it’s like she doesn’t need them as bad as Laura acts as her distraction.

The connection between Laura and Crystal is a slow burn and I actually really enjoyed that part of it as anything else would not have been believable, especially as Crystal is a survivor so any romantic entanglements would need to be a slow pace.

I did find at times the chapters ran on a little bit and maybe had to much information in them instead of getting to the point. I also would have loved an epilogue, maybe set five to seven years in the future with a clearer picture of what Laura and Crystals life had become.

I have a lot of respect for these authors taking what is a raw subject for many and turning it into a pager turner with a happy ending. This book it’s definitely one I’d pick up again in the future.

4 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Crystal’s Heart please follow the links below:

Amazon

 

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Hooked On You by Jenn Matthews

Ollie’s army career is over when she gets injured on tour. After an indiscretion during her time in the army, her family have all but disowned her and all she has left is her best friend Matthew and her Craft store. During her weekly crochet class that she teaches, she meets Anna, a new student. Anna’s life is in a never ending routine of kids, boring boyfriends and too much work. She needs to find a new hobby that’s just hers so when she starts crochet class and meets Ollie, her world is turned on its head. These two become fast friends but it’s clear something deeper is at play.

Well done to Jenn Matthews as this is an extremely well written book for a debut novel. The pacing and character development is depicted perfectly throughout.

Hooked on You was a very sweet and lovely story about finding yourself later in life. I really like Ollie and found her incredibly endearing and sweet. I also liked the idea of Anna being so forthcoming about her feelings for Ollie and not getting bogged down by the idea of coming out but more about finding another facet to herself.

The love that builds between both Anna and Ollie was really beautiful and quite the easy going love that that I was looking for. No real angst, just a story about falling in love.

The crochet sections with the class I found tough at times but I think it may have been more to do with the fact that I am not interested in the hobby.

The last chapter that I reckon was more of an epilogue than a final chapter was good and rounded everything up nicely.

All in all, a good first novel.
4 stars.

 

If you would like to purchase this book please follow the links below:

Ylva Publishing

Amazon US

 

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The Do-Over by Georgia Beers

This book is definitely one of my favourite from Georgia Beers.

Easton has to go to a conflict resolution class for work and when she meets her teacher she is immediately in awe. Bella is gorgeous and everything Easton wants but on the flip side Bella is shocked by Easton’s presence. Easton was Bella’s high school crush and also one of the cool kids that contributed to her bullying! But Bella still has feelings for Easton and Easton clearly doesn’t recognise her so what’s the harm in getting to know her again!

I’m not even kidding when I say I was onboard with the storyline from the beginning. I had butterflies during the first and second date with these two! I was way more invested in this romance/relationship I think than ever before.

Great character development. Especially Bella differing in some of her personality now compared to high school and her shyness. It was incredibly exciting to watch the moments where as a woman she had confidence to say and feel what she wanted. It was really validating for this reader anyway!

The flashbacks to school fed the story well and the situation of the past was at the forefront of my mind which was good because these characters had a way of holding my attention with their loving gazes and astounding chemistry so to have a bit of context from the past was really good.

I loved that Easton was still friends with her ex husband and they worked as a team for their daughter, Emma. It was really endearing and nice not to have the ex husband be the bad guy but be the supportive friend.

The sex scenes were good and while being passionate, were still extremely intimate. As always, great kissing scenes from Georgia Beers. She does write the best kisses after all.

My only negative is the lack of an epilogue. I would have really liked one to tie everything together especially with Easton’s daughter, Emma and then being a family and also in general to close off Easton and Bella’s story into the future.

Such a beautiful story that honestly left me a bit book drunk! I’m already planning my re-read.

4.5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase this book please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

 

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Second Chances by A.E. Radley

I always know when I get a new A.E. Radley Book I’m in for a treat. They make me feel so good after reading them that most of the time I’m just plain sad that they have finished.

Alice has just moved to a small town in England to start her new job as a grade one school teacher. On her first day she encounters a timid girl, Rosie who doesn’t talk in class. When she meets Rosie’s mum, Hannah, she is stunned by this woman who is not only gorgeous but unbelievably sweet and affectionate with her daughter. She knows straight away she’s attracted to this woman. They navigate their path to one another while also dealing with the possibility of small town gossips and how it could affect Rosie. But ultimately the gravity between them is too much to ignore.

Second Chances is told from both protagonists point of view which was great because it really was excellent to understand both women’s internal commentary on each other. The pace of the novel was excellent (no surprise there, it’s an A.E. Radley book) and I felt it closed on a beautiful moment even though there was no epilogue (which you all know I love), it was enough for me to feel like these two women would make it. In my mind’s eye they are currently lying in a park somewhere, Hannah staring into the sky while Hannah and Rosie read to each other…

Alice was my favourite character in the book. I stayed up all night to read this book and at 3am in the morning I realised why, I had a massive crush on Alice… it’s because she reminds me of a sexy version of Miss Honey from the book Matilda! Alas, it all became clear. The chemistry between Alice and Hannah is lovely and sweet. They make a beautiful couple and wondered if A.E. Radley would continue their story into small town romance series… Now that would be exciting.

Rosie and her mum, Hannah are such great characters. I kept mirroring them to my relationship with my son and how his intelligence is sometimes much superior to mine (not even kidding here… he’s got the smarts). And because of this I really connected with Hannah on the way she feels about Rosie and school. I also felt her anxieties along with her as they are the same ones I have everyday I drop my son off at day care. A.E. Radley needs to be commended in the way she writes children in to her books. She is able to write and understand the child and their parents in a way I have never before read in this genre.

Also, secondary character and Hannah’s boss, Adrian was awesome and I had a few chuckles when he had page time. I love a good protagonist’s best friend who actually doesn’t deter from the story but enhances it . And Adrian certainly did that.

All in all, Second Chances has landed on my favourites shelf. Honestly, this book is worth every second of your time.

5 stars

If you would like to purchase this book please follow the links below:

Amazon

Wooing the Farmer by Jenny Frame

This book, like all of Jenny Frames are just one major swoon. I think I lust after most butch protagonists she writes but Sam McQuade was something special.

Sam McQuade is handsome, sweet and an all together good person. All she wants is to meet the woman that she can adore, who will enjoy being a farmers wife in the small village of Axedale. When Penelope comes racing into town with her personal brand, abundance of social media followers and famous cooking blog, she is a force to be reckoned with. Sam and Penelope connect straight away but something is holding Penelope back and it just seems to intrigue sexy Sam more. As she slowly lets Sam in behind her walls, Penelope discovers that Sam might be the only one for her.

I absolutely adored this book. Once again, Jenny Frame just hits the spot for me with her butch/femme trope. I loved the old fashioned idea of Sam courting Penny while secretly Penny is trying to woo Sam, it just made gave all the feels. The intricacies of their relationship are quite different to those of the other characters in the Axedale series and it just made them more unique and me more intrigued with every chapter.

When Penelope comes to town I got the impression she was a little stuck up and spoilt but as Jenny Frame avails facets of her personality, I really began to see what a beautiful person she is and that she hides her true self almost as protection. It’s almost a given that Sam and Penelope are attracted to one another but it’s Penny’s honesty that made me realise how special she was and why she and Sam need to take things slow… you’ll realise what I mean more when you read the book but there is more to Penny’s story than meets the eye.

What’s great about a series like this is that we get to catch up with old friends from the last two books and it’s really great to do so. When I started this novel I really hoped Sam and Penelope’s storyline wasn’t going to be the last in the series but in the very last scene in this book, Harry and Annie (from Courting the Countess book) are chatting and their closing statement (or play on words) made me feel that this may not be the end… I’m incredibly hopeful.

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Wooing the Farmer please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

 

 

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Full English by Rachel Spangler

A beautiful love story that reaffirmed my love in this genre.

Famous novelist, Emma Volant Is running from a broken heart and a messy divorce. She lands in a little village in England where she plans to hide and heal. But the community around don’t allow her to hide and graciously welcome her in ways she isn’t always sure she’ll enjoy. Through this, she meets jack of all trades, Brogan and they begin an easy friendship. But when feelings of a more than friendship surface, Emma doesn’t trust she’s over her traumatic divorce but she does know she’s never felt like this before… can you fall in love while fixing your broken heart?

The first chapter drew me in completely. I was thoroughly intrigued by Emma’s presence in the village. Why was she there? What had happened? Who had broken this woman? And with every chapter the story drew me in more and I became completely entranced by the storyline.

This book is a very slow burn but beautiful in the fact that it is. No one’s in a rush here so you can enjoy the ride of two people who are genuinely meant to be together falling in love. I think if the protagonists had rushed into things at any point it would have ruined the story and the friendship the author built for these two first was just a strong foundation of what turns out to be an all-encompassing love. It was really beautiful to watch it all unfold.

Brogan for me was just perfect but more so perfect for Emma. They complimented each other beautifully. There is a scene in chapter 15 where Emma is sternly talking to some of the villagers and it was such an emotional moment and I had not released I was crying until I finished the chapter. The moment just pulled on every heart string I have and I was so immersed in the moment I hadn’t realised I was also part of the emotion.

As said this is a slow burn but when Brogan and Emma finally give into their chemistry it’s explosive! It was probably one of the sexiest while incredible intimate sex scenes I’ve ever read.  It was not only perfect for these protagonists but perfect for this reader.

I can’t close off this review without mentioning secondary character, Lady Victoria. And absolutely begging Rachel Spangler to write her story into a romance novel because I can’t get her out of my head. She deserves a happy ever after… pretty please?

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Full English please follow the links below:

Bywater Books

Amazon

 

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Major Surgery by Lola Keeley

Lola Keely wrote one of my favourite books to date so I was over the moon to see Major Surgery was coming out so soon after I read The Music and The Mirror.

As much as I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I did The Music and The Mirror, it was still an excellent book especially for only being the author’s second book.

Surgeon and Department head, Veronica is known for being cold but phenomenal at her job. She runs a tight ship so when she encounters rough around the edges and fresh from the army, Cassie she doesn’t expect to get along with her never mind to develop feeling’s for her.

This story was really fleshed out, the characters were developed well and I felt like I got to know them as friend’s throughout the story. I love medical romances and this one didn’t disappoint, especially in the hospital scenes which I found particularly good.

At times I felt there could have been more of a spark/chemistry between Veronica and Cassie. I almost wanted Veronica to go all crazy for Cassie. It was definitely a slow burn but when they do get it together it was worth the wait. And I loved watching Veronica’s Ice Queen crown slip off and show the person that was meant to fall for Cassie.

All in all, a lovely story I look forward to rereading soon.
4 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Major Surgery please follow the links below:

Ylva Publishing

Amazon

 

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The Keepers Daughter by Susan X. Meagher

Well, let me just say this book is fantastic and I was so incredibly excited to get my hands on it to read and review. It really played homage to Scotland and made me get lost in the feeling of home for a while.

When Gillian is close to burning out in her job, she decides it time for a recharge. She makes plans to visit Scotland and when there meets tour guide, Torie. They become fast friends and Gillian hires Torie to show her around Scotland. They slowly fall for each other behind the backdrop of the Scottish highlands. But with Gillian’s life in America and Torie’s in Scotland, how can it possibly work?

I adored this story. Everything about it hit home (literally) for me. The way Susan X Meagher describes Scotland in all its vibrancy was on point and if more people don’t visit my homeland after reading this book, I will be shocked. I also felt like I was travelling around with Torie and Gillian with the in depth descriptions that the author portrayed.

I love Gillian’s character most. She just oozes charisma and I think I was drawn to her personality from the beginning. Torie just felt like a friend next door. She reminded me of so many people all meshed into one so much so, that she is probably one of the clearer characters I have ever had in my imagination. I just felt like I knew her.

The chemistry between Gillian’s and Torie’s characters is beautiful, while being very passionate. The moments they are not in the same country really made me feel for them both and what they were missing out on with one another.

I’d love to see Gillian and Torie again as a cameo in another book or a sequel. I really did fall for them as a couple and couldn’t get enough.

Fantastic story and definitely one of my new favourite from Susan X. Meagher.
5 Stars!

 

If you would like to purchase this book please follow the links below:

Brisk Press

Amazon

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Blissfully Blindsided by Robin Alexander

This was really the sweetest romance…

Blaze hasn’t always had the easiest time in the dating pool and she’s not the most liked person in her community after a few failed social engagements. When she rescues new to town, Caleigh after a flat tyre, it’s obvious they have a deep attraction. As they get to know one another, they can’t seem to get enough of each other and they fall fast but fall deep. When you look up soul mates in the dictionary it should have a picture of these two. They have the same interests and the same warped sense of humour.

This was a lovely story with little relationship build up which actually suited the mood I was in when I started reading it. I love the comedy that Robin writes into her books and at times it’s almost a slapstick show.

Blaze and Caleigh are fantastic and the story itself of them falling in love is just adorable but there is a second story running alongside them about Caleigh’s mum, who has just came back to town after apparently abandoning Caleigh and her sister when they were little. She is currently staying with Blaze while she recovers from her injury but it’s clear she’s there for other reasons. I reckon her story was one of my favourite parts of the book.

Caleigh was without a doubt my favourite character. She really stood out from the rest and the moments with her grandparents, especially her grandad, were hilarious. I was almost falling off my seat laughing.

Another engaging, fun and sweet romance from the pen of Robin Alexander.

4 Stars

If you would like to purchase Blissfully Blindsided please follow the links below:

Amazon