44 hours can change a person especially when survival is crucial, but so can love.

What was the book about?
Imagine, if you will, having to attend a conference with the one person in your office who is basically the last person on earth with whom you would want to spend time. This is the situation in which Jennifer Andrews and Ellaine Baxter find themselves. Sharing a car ride to get the conference is the easiest thing they will endure until they make a comfort stop down a track into a thick forest. Jennifer can’t stand Ellaine because she is the one that hurt her best friend when she left. A comedy of errors ensues when Jennifer, thinking that a little pay back is in order decides to play a prank on Ellaine, which backfires exponentially. Finding themselves in a life and death situation in the forest they have to at least try to put aside any of these feelings in order to get out alive. 

Featured Tropes:
Enemies to friends, romance

Book Strengths:
A solid story which starts as a light-hearted comedy and turns into one of survival is wonderful to read. I found myself laughing out loud at one point and then was thinking what I would have to do to survive in a similar situation. This story is ultimately a romance and the individual strength of these two women shines through as well. Jennifer has to deal with her homophobic parent and as a direct result of that tries to stifle any romantic feelings she has towards women. Ellaine, on the other hand, has grown up in a loving environment and has known who she is from a young age. The way they navigate through their new found relationship is a pleasure to read.

Character Chemistry: 
Jennifer and Ellaine feel real to me and not just “characters in a novel”. Jennifer’s initial dislike and attitude towards Ellaine and when she hears the truth about the breakup from Ellaine you can see her character change deeply not superficially. The sex between Jennifer and Ellaine is HOT! I know many people who read Donna Jay’s novels expect a certain amount of BDSM, but it’s not found in this novel. The family dynamics in the novel are interesting and stark in the difference between Jennifer’s homophobic mother and her very supportive sister. 

Heat Rating
🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 
(4.5 Flames)

Wrap up
I don’t think I have come across a Donna Jay book that I haven’t enjoyed reading and this is no exception. I loved the characters and I was invested in them. I laughed at times, I got pissed off at the homophobic attitudes of some and was extremely happy when love prevailed. 

Star Rating
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
(4.5 Stars)

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Delicious Chemistry which a few twists and turns! 

What was the book about?
Lindsay listened to a past-life hypnosis tape when she was a teen with her best friend, Patty. Something happened that left her changed, forever. Knowing her past life has always left her feeling uneasy and unsure of love, to the point her marriage broke down or at least that’s why her husband said it did. 

When faced with a woman, Ren, who is the living embodiment of her past-self’s soulmate, she can’t think of anything else. Ren is so much like her past-life love that she feels an instant connection to her, and Ren is also feeling the pull to Lindsay. The only issue is Lindsay can’t tell Ren all this crazy past life stuff can she? And why would she anyway when Ren is about to leave to start her new adventure in Paris? This can only be a short term thing, so why waste this connection by telling her the story of her past self and jeopardizing her time with Ren. 

Featured Tropes: 
Reincarnation, small town, single mom

Book Strengths

Rach

This book was just a whole lot of fun from the prologue right to the end of the epilogue. It’s the kind of book you can just sit and let the story take you on the ride. I really enjoyed the premise being a little different from the norm and the idea of past lives and reincarnation really sparked my interest.

I loved Lindsay’s character the most and felt really connected to her throughout the story. To go through something so life-changing at such a young age and still come out the other side, a solid and beautiful person, was really inspiring. 

I also liked the idea of following not one, not two, but three lesbian romances. We are told the story of Mrs Stokley (whom I adored and who is possibly my favourite character), One of Lindsay’s past life as Katie and her love Roo, and finally the big love story of Ren and Lindsay who we are flowing in the book. It was like three romances for the price of one. 

For me, personally, the secondary characters made this book and would have not been the same without them. Mrs Stokely, Deb, and Patty are the best secondary characters I have read in a long time. I am silently hoping Patty gets her own love story because damn she deserves it. Also want to point out that Ren’s boss, Samantha King’s name pops up and I scream NO WAY! Sam will be forever my favourite Elle Spencer Character. So I am off to read Forget Her Not right after I finish this. 

Amy:
I loved this book so much. Everything about it just made my heart sing. I love the exploration of past lives and soul mates. To be fair though, I am biased because I am sure my wife and I have been on this merry-go-round together multiple times. Lindsay is such a hero. I spent the entire book rooting for her to get that happy ending she deserved. Like Rach I loved getting three romances in one book. Especially getting to see Mrs. Stokely come out of the closet in more ways than one. I really am in love with all these characters. Well, except Ben. He was just an ass. I am also going to piggy back off the fact that Elle gave a shout out to Samatha King. If you have not read Forget Her Not, drop everything and go do that right now.

Character Chemistry:
Rach:
Well, hot damn this was a sexy, sexy book! Elle Spencer upped the ante in this one with the sex scenes that were beyond hot but also drove home Lindsay and Ren’s connection further. Those two together were just a match made in sexy heaven!

Amy:
This book was sizzling. The chemistry between Lindsay and Ren was just electric. I could not get enough of these women together. There was never a doubt they were made for each other.

Heat Rating:
4 flames

Wrap up: 
Rach:
Another fun and sexy book from Elle Spencer that just made me swoon and ache for her characters. I am really looking forward to what’s up next for this author.

Amy:
Elle Spencer always delivers a stellar reading experience. The characters in her books always linger in my head, and not just for a few days, but forever. There are only a few authors that can achieve that for me.

Star Rating
4.5

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Another great book by Melissa Tereze that will take you on an epic emotional rollercoaster!

What was the book about?
Ryann’s life is at an all-time low. She can’t see a way out of how depressing her life has become. Her life is falling apart, so what’s the point in continuing…

Until one woman shows up out of the blue and saves her life, and now life seems a little bit brighter and seems to brighten more with each day since she met Lydia. But Lydia is too good for someone like Ryann, right? 

Book Strengths
I love an excellent Melissa Tereze novel. Her books are the kind that you become immersed in from chapter one. I loved Ryann’s character; she was such a tormented soul but with a lot of love to give. Her caring and loving nature really drew me in and made me want to cuddle her throughout reading the book. 

As we move through the book, Lydia helps Ryann move past her self loathing which was really good because if she had continued down that path, I think the end result of this book for me would have been very different.

We also get to spend some time with my favourite Melissa Tereze characters, Luciana and Sam from The Arrangement and The Call.

Lydia and Ryann’s love story is beautiful and totally worth your time reading it. In fact, I want to start at the beginning with The Arrangement and work my way through the whole series again!

Book Weaknesses
My only weakness would be that I wish the epilogue was a little further into the future. I felt that Ryann went through such a massive emotional traumatic event, I would like to see how she moved forward in the years that followed not just the months. But if we ever revisit Lydia and Ryann, I’m happy to amend this comment. 

Chemistry
The chemistry between Lydia and Ryann is there in spades, and oh, the lovely tension at the beginning of the book was delicious. When they do hit the sheets they light them up!

Heat Rating:
Four stars

Wrap Up
This is the perfect book to sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the ride with Lydia and Ryann on their emotional journey to love.  

Star Rating:
4.5 stars

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This is my first novel by KJ, and it will certainly not be my last. 

What was the book about?
Sophia plays Australian rules football in her home city of Melbourne. This girl is all about two things. The game and her family. She loves both with a passion most people wouldn’t understand. 

Cameron is a Journalist for a reputed newspaper, and she would shine if she was only given a chance. When her editor tells her to cover the up and coming women’s draft in AFL, she takes the job, albeit reluctantly. This is not the hard-hitting journalism she wanted for her first big piece. 

When both women meet, they get off to a bad start which soon turns into a heated attraction that they can’t deny. But it’s never easy while they navigate the discrimination and misogyny of the women’s league.

Will love conquer all? 

Featured Tropes
Sport Romance, Writer-Journalist, AFL, Australia

Book Strengths
Kick Back, was a great KJ book to start with, and I am glad I got to read it. I live in Melbourne, so I know how much everyone loves the AFL. When the women’s league started, it was a massive thing in the realms of equality, but this book highlights all the things we don’t see in the media. I am not saying they are true because this is a work of fiction, but it made me stop and think. 

I loved Sophia; her character is quintessentially Melbourne, and all the reasons I love people from this great city. Her strong relationship with her brother and sister in law was one of my favourite elements of the book. There is also an element of fabulous Australian humour in this book, and I loved that because it felt like an extension of Aussie life for me. Big tick. 

The sweetness of this love story was exactly what I needed, and KJ injects a level of romance into his book that had me swooning all over the place. I was rooting for the characters from the first meet-cute until the end. 

Book Weaknesses:
I found the slow burn element a little slow at times but not to the detriment of the novel or the love story. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that readers that enjoy slow burn would love this element. 

Chemistry: 
Oh, these two rock each other’s world in and outside the bedroom. They have a level of intimacy that is palpable, and when they do have sex, fireworks fly.

Heating Rating: 
4 flames

Wrap Up
I am so glad I picked up this book! I am now looking at KJ’s back catalogue wondering what I tackle next!

Star Rating: 
4.5 stars

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Who doesn’t love a Cops and Docs lesfic trope? 

What was the book about?
Dylan does not want to fall for a police officer. She knows the heartache that can bring, so when she walks in on the very handsome Finley having sex with one of the hospital nurses, she not only knew that Finley’s a cop but also a reckless one. A reckless cop is something she has no desire for, but she can’t help but imagine what one night with Finley would be like? But it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

Finley knows she wants Dylan the moment she lays eyes on her, but something is different. She wants to prove herself to this woman who suddenly means more than the flings she’s had in the past. Probably a bad idea though as not only does Dylan not seem interested but she’s Finley’s boss’s sister. It has ‘terrible’ written all over it. 
As Dylan pushes Finley away, it only makes her want Dylan more… 

Featured Tropes
Cops and docs, Family, Medical, Butch-Femme

Book Strengths
I presume this was a grand finale to the Fairview Station series. I’ve read the other two books in the series, so I knew the background of sisters Jazz and Bennett and their now wives, but Dylan is my favourite Carlyle sister without a doubt. You can read these books as a standalone, but I urge you to go back to the start because it just intensifies the story and notably Dylan, who by book three felt like the most important family member aside from her Grandma. Who by the way, is a complete scream. 

I love a sexy butch cop, and Finley Masters was everything I needed. Not only was she damn hot, but she was a tormented soul, and that my dear friends just made her even sexier. Oft… I love a good cops and docs trope. In fact, some of my favourite books are just that, and this did not disappoint.

Chemistry: 
These two had oodles of sexual chemistry, and when they finally hit the sheets, it was just damn hot! HOT!

Heating Rating: 
4 stars

Wrap Up
Great story that I know I’ll be rereading in the near future. I’m secretly hoping I’m wrong that this is the finale and that there’s more to come from the Carlyle Sisters. 

Star Rating: 
4.5 stars 

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We got in one book magic, a truthful godmother, an enigmatic and sexy guardian angel, as well as witty and funny dialogues. What else do we need? 

What was the book about?
Claire is one of the best that the Fairy Godmother Council has to offer, but things in the 21st century are far from what it was in the good old days; additionally, the Council has to fight guardian angels that only want to steal their best clients.  When Claire’s given a very special client and in her introductory visit to Frankie, her millennial and apparently not so deserving client, meets the enigmatic and very attractive guardian angel Tamiel; things got an unexpected turn. Tamiel tries to convince Claire she´s there to protect Frankie, not to steal her. Things have changed a lot since Cinderella and they’re never what they seem to be. What happens when loyalties, old beliefs and prejudices are tested? What would this lovely Godmother and mysterious Guardian angel will do to keep a very disinterested but very important millennial safe? Is it time for the fairy godmother to get her happily ever after as well?

Featured Tropes
lesbian / slow burn / magic / action / fairy godmother / guardian angel / Fallen Angel / demon / supernatural / urban

Book Strengths:
I’ve read a few books by Catherine Lane by now and I like her writing style. I’ve enjoyed very much every one of them. One thing that has me fascinated is they’re all different but the one thing they have in common, is they’re amazing. This one though has a bit more of magic (yes, pun intended). The story is very dynamic, has several elements to look for; action, mystery, romance, humour, among others. There are a lot of scenes that end up in a very peculiar and unpredicted bout of hilariously. One of the most enjoyable things of the book is the great balance it holds with all the elements mentioned above; they worked impeccably. 

This novella is a stimulating mix of supernatural elements and fairy tales with a bit of seriousness and a paranormal mystery. There are some action-packed fighting demons from another dimension. It is also deliciously unpredictable. There is a very different love scene that got my attention; I never thought something like this could exist, was very fascinating. There is as well a wand-case scene almost at the end of the book that got me laughing out loud, that was a highly diverse way to enlighten the mood and leave it with a happy hilarious ending. Another thing on favour of the book is that even when it is a novella it isn’t rushed. Not counting the lack of epilogue, I believe Ms Lane did a great job with the pace and the development of the plot.

Starts a bit confusing, but I believe that’s the purpose, as we keep reading everything is coming to shape and turns epic. It’s short and light but I enjoyed greatly reading this one.

Book weaknesses:
Was a great story, but an epilogue would have been great. It feels a bit empty without one. Would be great to have a longer sequel.

Character Chemistry: 
The characters are something I didn’t expect but they were a delightful surprise. On one hand, we got a fairy Godmother ranked in a high hierarchy, who has had clients as famous as Cinderella. On the other hand, we got a guardian angel that is nothing like the angels I’ve read about, a fierce one with a different sense of duty as her fellow guardian angels. Remember the premise that God fairies and guardian angels don’t get along, they’re supposed to be rivals. I like the way Ms Lane plotted their combined story. We found sizzling and almost literally explosive chemistry between Claire and Tamiel the moment they met. I was drawn to them from the beginning and I enthralled to keep me reading and wanting to know more about them and their stories, as well as to discover the plot behind their protégé.

Heat Rating:
1

Wrap up: 
This is what I call an engaging, funny, magical journey. If you like a well written and well-plotted supernatural urban fantasy novella, in addition to very well developed characters. This is the book for you.

Star Rating
4.5

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Lola Keeley certainly knows how to write an epic story.

What was the book about?
Elin Larsson is tennis player world number 1 and a true champion. She is close to breaking the record of most winning Grand Slams and everything she does is focused to achieve that goal. It’s a make it or break it deal and her main concern is not to aggravate her injuries before she reaches her goal. Time is an issue and the pressure too much, making her hesitant of her motivation and final goal. It isn’t an easy road and turns more complicated when her fellow player Toni Cortes Ruiz turns in the scene. As they keep crossing paths, the attraction grows to complicate the road. There’s an incident inside the women’s tennis circuit that will change the rules. What happens when the battle extends outside the court? Will they put all on the line to succeed?  

Featured Tropes: 
Lesbian / slow burn / sports romance / diversity

Book Strengths:
You don’t have to be a tennis enthusiast to enjoy the book, although it gives a good glimpse of what it is to be in the circuit and in a game, the descriptions are very detailed and it’s fascinating how the author makes you feel like you’re being there, feeling that big rush of adrenaline.

It starts strong, great pacing, not a dull moment. There’s a double joy for those who love the sport though. Although, as I mentioned before; there’s no need to know the sport or understand it to enjoy the story unless you don’t like the sport at all. Ms Keeley did a great job with the writing, is very well written and makes you feel involved in the action and able to feel the energy whether you are a fan of tennis or not. It is simply marvellous. I could picture myself on the court, almost feeling the sun on my face, the wind through my hair, the humming crowd around, the court under my feet, the ball on one hand and the racket on the other. I got to say is very thrilling and exciting to be able to live all of this through the words.

I love tennis and books related to the sport. Also, I found very appealing and exciting about the book is the diversity, as well as the fight for equality; these aspects made it deeper. Another thing I liked very much is the fact that Tony is Mexican, there aren’t many in lesfic.

Two main topics are addressed in the story besides the growing romance, and all this conjunction of factors turned it in a very formidable book. It is a very well balanced book.

Book weaknesses:
There are a few typos here and there in two of the languages, but nothing major or distracting. Also, some could consider it a bit long, but I think the length was needed to develop the story. Slows down a bit a couple of times but picks up rather quickly.

Character Chemistry:
This book is fantastic, very well written and the characters are very likeable, also the chemistry between the main characters is simply perfect, they have enough differences to make them special, bringing a vibrant dynamic between them. They fought hard to overcome the obstacles and be together. Even when the romance isn’t conventional and not the main theme of the book, their love story is fascinating and very engaging. There are great secondary characters as well, and they all play an essential part of the game, inside and outside the court; mostly the families of the main characters. And talking about secondary characters, Elin’s mum is great; celeste is also another alluring character.

Heat Rating:
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Wrap up:
This is a wonderful and very well written book, with a lot of sports action, clever, funny dialogues, beautifully detailed and a lovely romance. It’s a very delightful story where family and fighting for what is right are the big themes. This book will leave you feeling like floating and very happy.

Star Rating:  4.5
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Who doesn’t love a Cops and Docs lesfic trope? 

What was the book about?
Dylan does not want to fall for a police officer. She knows the heartache that can bring, so when she walks in on the very handsome Finley having sex with one of the hospital nurses, she not only knew that Finley’s a cop but also a reckless one. A reckless cop is something she has no desire for, but she can’t help but imagine what one night with Finley would be like? But it wouldn’t be worth the trouble.

Finley knows she wants Dylan the moment she lays eyes on her, but something is different. She wants to prove herself to this woman who suddenly means more than the flings she’s had in the past. Probably a bad idea though as not only does Dylan not seem interested but she’s Finley’s boss’s sister. It has ‘terrible’ written all over it. 
As Dylan pushes Finley away, it only makes her want Dylan more… 

Featured Tropes
Cops and docs, Family, Medical, Butch-Femme

Book Strengths
I presume this was a grand finale to the Fairview Station series. I’ve read the other two books in the series, so I knew the background of sisters Jazz and Bennett and their now wives, but Dylan is my favourite Carlyle sister without a doubt. You can read these books as a standalone, but I urge you to go back to the start because it just intensifies the story and notably Dylan, who by book three felt like the most important family member aside from her Grandma. Who by the way, is a complete scream. 

I love a sexy butch cop, and Finley Masters was everything I needed. Not only was she damn hot, but she was a tormented soul, and that my dear friends just made her even sexier. Oft… I love a good cops and docs trope. In fact, some of my favourite books are just that, and this did not disappoint.

Chemistry: 
These two had oodles of sexual chemistry, and when they finally hit the sheets, it was just damn hot! HOT!

Heating Rating: 
4 stars

Wrap Up
Great story that I know I’ll be rereading in the near future. I’m secretly hoping I’m wrong that this is the finale and that there’s more to come from the Carlyle Sisters. 

Star Rating: 
4.5 stars 

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Awesome read!

What was the book about?

Falling for your the aunt of your best friend was never going to be easy, especially when the aunt is more like her mum. But that’s what happened to Maggie when she met Carrie’s aunt Lynn. But Lynn pushed her away, making it clear it wasn’t going to happen for them. Years later, they are now working in the same hospital and even living in close proximity. Lynn is no longer married, and Carrie is no longer residing in the same state (even though she still sees them often). Is their chance to have what they both wanted years before? Or is Lynn going to let the worry that a relationship with Carrie’s best friend will not only break her and Maggie but could also ruin her relationship with Carrie forever? Or maybe it’s just perfect timing?

Featured Tropes
Age Gap, Doctors – Nurses, Medical, second-chance

Book Strengths
This book is the kind of book you sit down to on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea and the sun shining in your bedroom only to realise at 5 pm you’ve not left your bed because it was too good to stop reading. That sums up how I feel about this romance by the formidable Dena Blake. She keeps getting better and better and surprises me every time. The pace in this book was excellent, and I really liked the build-up to Lynn finally giving in to her feeling for Maggie. Especially her little moments of jealousy… those were fun to read.

Lynn is definitely a woman to be reckoned with, and the fact she was older and confident in herself just made her so ridiculously sexy! I loved the idea of being so unbelievably attracted to someone and knowing it’s mutual but not being able to do anything about it. I think what I especially liked in this book was there were so many things Lynn assumed and had preconceived ideas about who Maggie was. But Maggie just showed her time and time again that she was A. not like Lynn’s ex and more about her job than Lynn and B. was not too young. It often happens in age gap romances that the younger of the couple is seen as too young, but It’s really shown that, in fact, they are not too young.

Dena Blake proved Maggies worth with every moment she had page time. In fact, at one moment in the book, I shook my head and said: “Come on, Lynn get with the program Maggie is wonderful!”

Chemistry

The chemistry was undeniable between Maggie and Lynn, and it ramped up the more time they spent with each other. Their stolen moments when Carrie was around, were the best. I think any age-gap romance ramps up the chemistry for me because I just imagine it being all hot and steamy!

Heat Rating

3 Flames

Wrap up

Fabulous book and just what you need to snuggle up and relax with a cup of tea or vino.

Star Rating:

4.5 stars

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This series is awesome… Keep em’ coming Lise Gold!

What was the book about?
Kate is married to her job as an interior designer and it’s worked because she has her pick of jobs including a new funky hotel opening in Thailand. She doesn’t have time for relationships but enjoys the company of women but only as a one night stand.

Felicia has a plan and if she keeps working hard she can begin to make her dream a reality. But while working for long stints in exotic places, like her now contract in Thailand, she likes to enjoy herself, and sex with a beautiful woman is always fun.

When Kate and Felicia have a night of no strings attached passion, they think it was a one time thing. But both women are left feeling more than normal… Could they have finally met their match? And if so, how would more work when they are both on very different life journeys?

Featured Tropes
Femme-Femme, Friends with benefits, Insta attraction, Long  distance

Book Strengths

I adore this series and I was ecstatic to find out I would get not only more snippets from Hannah and Kristine but that Kristine’s best friend, Kate was going to be the focus in this book… Heaven! I loved Kate as a secondary character. Her straight-talking, her wit plus the kindness and love she has for her best friend in Southern Roots was endearing and she was a fun character to read. In this book as the sole focus she was a hoot, add in sexy Felicia and it was a fantastic ride.

I loved Kate and really felt for her in her moments of insecurity. The reader can sense how scared she is to show her vulnerability to Felica. The attraction between Felicia and Kate is so well written you can almost feel the chemistry fall from the page.

Felicia was a fun character to pair Kate up with. I loved how alike they were in so many ways but also how different. Felicia seemed to be more up front with her feelings than Kate but it was still after a few miscommunications.

Also, Lise Gold knows how to paint a scenic picture in my head and after finishing this book I looked up flights and accommodation in Thailand for my next trip because it is now on my must see list.

Character Chemistry

Well, these two certainly set the sheets on fire and left me a little hot under the collar. There was an element added to these scenes that ticks a box for me and I am telling you, Lise Gold made it work… Wowser! Holy hotness Batman!

They also had some intimate scenes where the sole focus was vulnerability and emotion. These were the scenes that cemented my faith in Kate and Felicia as a couple. #swoon

Heat Rating:
4 Flames

 Wrap up:
Another fun book from the compass series and one that I can’t wait to read again soon… Maybe I’ll take it to Thailand with me!

Star Rating
4.5 Stars

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Contributing Authors
Ziggy Schutz, Paige S. Allen, Brooklyn Ray, J.S. Fields, S.R. Jones, Alex Harrow, Emmet Nahil, Sara Codair and Anna Zabo

I am not a huge short stories reader. I often feel that by the time I’m into the story, it’s over. Seeing J. S. Fields’ name on the cover of this anthology however, made me want to give it a try. I loved the Ardulum series so much, I wanted more of their writing.

What was the book about?
Behind the Sun, Above the Moon offers nine definitions, nine interpretations of magic, nine representations of non-binary characters in own voices. The stories take the reader from world to world, universe to universe. Some are set on Earth, others are not, in an intriguing mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Some are stories of redemption, some feel like beginnings, others like the end of forever. 

Featured Tropes
Non-binary and trans characters; Magic; Aliens; Witches; Sirens; Spaceships; Stars

Book Strengths
First of all, it’s fantastic to have a collection of stories highlighting non-binary characters, and even more fantastic that they’re all own voices.

The stories didn’t all work for me on the same level, but I found them all thought-inspiring and captivating. Short stories collection can be very uneven, but this one feels completely coherent, and not repetitive either. Even the story I liked the least – Weave the Dark, Weave the Light by Anna Zabo – is really good. My favourites were twice-spent comet by Ziggy Schutz (a little slow to start but beautiful), Awry with Dandelions by J. S. Fields – surprise! – and Death Marked by Sara Codair.

Character Chemistry
There’s not a lot of romance in these stories so chemistry isn’t really relevant.

Heat Rating
3

Wrap up
I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality and overall awesomeness of this anthology.

Star Rating
4.5

Look out Lara Croft… Chase Stinsen is the new Tomb Raider!

What was the book about?
Rayne is an Antique hunter, and she’s the best. Her affluent lifestyle is reflective of her high fee and her go-getter attitude. The only thorn in her side is Archeologist, Chase who does everything by the book and respects the history behind the relics. 

When they are forced together again after a year of avoiding one another Rayne is not prepared for the new, improved, fit, and handsome Chase. But Chase is holding onto old grudges and unresolved problems of the past.  

Can these two work together with each other and call a truce? And will Rayne be able to show Chase she’s not the only one who’s changed?

Featured Tropes
Enemies to Lovers, Butch – Femme, Action-packed, Mystery, Thrill of the Chase (excuse the pun)

Book Strengths
What an excellent book and I demolished it in one go! I had such a great time reading Uncharted and would be happy to pick it up again tomorrow. The pace was perfect and felt like I was on the adventure with Chase and Rayne. For the last 30% of this book, my heart was in my chest with all the excitement. 

I loved the build-up of Rayne and Chase’s romance. I was really taken with Chase and her kind, honest, and hero-like personality. I think I swooned so hard I nearly fell off the sofa. 

Rayne’s character felt like she was on a personal discovery just as much as her archeologic one. Every moment spent with Chase and her steadfastly honest and kind heart, Raynes emotional walls came down, and she let Chase see her true self and vulnerability the way no one ever has.  

The secondary characters were just as fun, especially Raynes female security guards, who were ex-military and all kinds of sexy (in my head anyway).  

Character Chemistry
These two are very sexy together. The chemistry between Chase and Rayne is palpable. When Rayne is describing Chase with her appraising eyes, I could almost picture her and her divine hotness. 

Heat Rating
Three flames

Wrap up
I was utterly intrigued by this book from the get-go. I found myself wondering if Robyn Nyx would make this into a series as Rayne and Chase have so much more to come in their Treasure Hunting future! 

Star Rating
4.5 stars

 

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Kate Kane (not Batwoman) reminds me a lot of Jessica Jones if Jessica Jones was into paranormal. You know, more than superpowers and terrifying villains. 

What was the book about?
Fire & Water picks up six months after Shadows & Dreams. Kate is once again looking for the Tears of Hypnos. If you remember, these were what brought all the mayhem in the previous episode. Every wizard and his brother is looking for them because they’re the stuff dreams are made of. Literally. Whoever owns them can have power over the whole world. Or the whole world that matters to them. I got a bit discombobulated about the details when Julian (the sexy Vampire Prince Kate has been shagging since Iron & Velvet) mentioned she didn’t feel concerned. But hey, everyone else in Kate’s environment is, so Kate’s on a mission to find the Tears and hand them over to the least dangerous supernatural being. 

Featured Tropes
Paranormal; Vampires ; Werewolves

Book Strengths
One of the things I enjoyed about the previous books was their lightness even though they were about death and war. The humour made me smile and snort and snicker. This third one is darker. The characters are still great and I uber-love Kate Kane, but it doesn’t read as easily. It’s more intense. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. And it’s as sarcastic and as snicker-worthy as ever. I mean, even in the direst circumstances, Kate is so deliciously snarky. And for the first time, I also found Elise, the magically animated statue, incredibly interesting. Watching her become, in a way, is captivating. Like the first time your child reads a whole sentence by themselves.

Book Weaknesses
Not a weakness but a word of warning: despite Carina Press’s promise of HEA / HFN, Fire & Water definitely doesn’t end well. Nor is it a romance, really. But please don’t let that stop you from reading it. 

Character Chemistry
Kate is still shagging Julian Saint-Germain, the Vampire Prince of Cups, ie the pleasure queen (except she’s a prince), so whenever they get together, it’s pretty steamy pretty fast. Yet this episode is mainly about trying to save the world from ending so there is not a lot of getting together.

Heat Rating
4

Wrap up
A so very good, a more mature sequel to the previous instalments.

Star Rating
4.5

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Superheroes, supervillains, aliens… There’s almost everything I love in this book.

What was the book about?
Amari Del Rey is seventeen when she finds out that she’s not who she thinks she is. A fall off a cliff while hiking leaves her unhurt and instead of the pain she should be feeling, she’s full of energy. Running – incredibly fast – to tell her parents, she learns that – surprise! – they are not who she thinks they are either. When she was less than a month old, her biological mothers, the Queens of the planet Reyna, escaped the war that was threatening to end their world and the rogue general aiming to take over. With them was another infant, the daughter of the King and Queen of Tora, Zendara Baen-Tor. Reyna and Tora had been about to sign a peace treaty when Tal Boraan forced the two queens to flee, hoping to save the young princesses. When their pursuers reached their ship, the mothers had no choice but to launch two escape pods, one each with a child, towards another planet, Earth. Alien observers, called the Watchers, are spread all around the planet, keeping an eye on humans. Two couples of Watchers, on either side of the United States, welcomed the children into their home. Which is how Amari grew up in Washington State, the extremely gifted homeschooled daughter of loving parents. Yet despite all that love, she never felt whole. On the other coast, in Maine, Zendara – Zen – felt the same void inside herself, but without the doting and safe parents who could explain everything when the time was right. Everything being that they’re all aliens and that both girls are destined for each other, each other’s “Q’sirrahna”. And have huge superpowers.

At the same time the princesses were growing up and very slowly making their way through the country to each other, one knowing she would find her soulmate eventually, the other simply following the pull she felt to move, a government experience creating human hybrids with powers, called the Chromodecs, went all kinds of wrong and a new force was created to deal with the consequences, the Chromodec Office of Restraint and Protection (CORP). In all good superhero stories, there has to be a supervillain, and in this story, it’s an insanely powerful and revengeful Chromodec with, as should be, an evil plan to conquer the world.

Featured Tropes
Superheroes; Aliens; Soulmates

Book Strengths
I loved the tone, the world-building, the multidimensional feel, the many characters, the pace. Have a little patience if you feel the story is a little slow to start, Aten took the time to create the world it’s set in, and she did it well. 

An omniscient narrator gives an old-school comics feel to the story. I liked the idea and the way Aten made it work, even though there were too many interruptions in some chapters and some felt redundant. Every now and then, however, they brought a welcome pause in a hectic – and exhilarating – narrative. 

Book Weaknesses
This book’s weaknesses stem from its strengths. I loved that there were so many captivating characters but I got a bit lost at times because of the sheer number of them and the fact that most have code names in addition to their real names. I loved how detailed the intrigue was, yet since I sometimes have the attention span of a gnat, the book felt a tad too long but it was well worth staying with it. And it also means the story never feels rushed and there are no loose ends.

Character Chemistry
The chemistry between Amari and Zen is, quite literally, out of this world. Not only do they feel attraction towards one another, but they’re also soulmates, bound by destiny, and they have superpowers that allow them to do and feel in even more ways than mere human beings. So yeah, chemistry.

Heat Rating
4

Wrap up
I’m rating this 4.5* because it’s smart, intricate, fast-paced, very entertaining and well-written, and with another breathtaking cover by Ann McMan. The reason I’m not going the full 5* is that, as with my favourite superheroes movies, I love and enjoy it supremely while it’s happening but I don’t know how much of it will stay with me. And my 5* are reserved for books that, in whatever small capacity, change my life or move me above all others. Children of the Stars is not one of these but I’ll love it as much as I love most Marvel and some DC movies: a whole lot. Instantaneous entertainment has its own value and I, for one, am a fan.

Star Rating
4.5

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This is a wonderful erotica romance with profound and exceptional character development

What was the book about?
The story is about Octavia Vargas who left Rowan House and her Mistress to find her own path, along with her partner Bridget Murray. She needs her freedom and to explore her true nature. They start a new life in Italy in the vineyard of Vivian Abiola, a woman with her own secrets and one Octavia didn’t think she would see again. As her forgotten and not wanted past clash with her present and a threat that jeopardizes their new life surfaces. Will their love be enough to overcome the secrets, the jealousy and the threats, to achieve the happiness they all seek?

Featured Tropes
Lesbian/BDSM /arson-crime-mystery / romance-erotica / ménage

Book Strengths
This book is really remarkable and I liked it a lot more than the first one of the series. It is a very emotional one; the self-discovery path and the character development on this one are exquisite. This book also talks about fighting for what one really wants, as well as the power of decisions and taking risks that will push all boundaries. The development is absolutely thrilling, I loved how Murphy works the erotica side that logically is fully charged on explicit sex scenes, but isn’t the main topic; I appreciate greatly the balance she accomplishes between the heavy topics and the sexy bits. Their journey through the learning curve of love, trust and teamwork is brilliant. Murphy did great going through their struggles and desires. Is in the third person, from Octavia’s point of view; we also got the opportunity to have a glimpse into her thoughts, which helps to understand better the struggles that go beyond the sex between Domme and sub, as well as the power exchange.

Book weaknesses
It has a few typos and inconsistencies, but these don’t affect the importance of the book or the pace of the reading. Also, not necessarily a weakness but for me, there is a bit of a loose end with a secondary character that to be honest at the end isn’t really important; is more about curiosity than a necessity to know how his faults were taken care of.

Character Chemistry
We got flawed, real, complex and very passionate characters. Their search for a balanced dynamic that meets their deepest needs as individuals and between them in the relationship is very well-written. Murphy did a superb job with the characters. From the beginning is easy to feel the love and crackling chemistry between Octavia and Bridget, and definitely goes off the charts when Vivian is added to the equation. I can’t get tired to say how well-written is the development of their discovery journey.

Heat Rating
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Wrap up
This book goes beyond the erotica side, although it is a very sexy one. The character development is definitely the thing to look forward. It is a splendid and very delightful read.

Star Rating
4.5

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