Playing with Fire by Lesley Davis

Takira’s whole world is her very successful restaurant. However that world comes crumbling down when her trusted manager takes off with money from the restaurant, and then to make things worse Takira’s sister dies, leaving her nephew behind. Now Takira’s needs to manage a restaurant back into the black while jumping in as a full-time parent. Life has become hectic, that is until Dante Groves walks into her restaurant and has all the skills she needs to replace her manager. Their working relationship is fantastic. Dante also knows more about kids than Takira does and Takira is more than slightly attracted to Dante, but if she pursues her and it goes wrong, she could lose everything all over again. Is it worth the risk?

I’m hoping this isn’t the last book in the series because I have really got invested in these characters. I’d even like a story from Juliette’s young sisters’ point of view because I can see she’s already a mini Trent, all butch and sensitive. Anyway, onto the review for the third book in the Playing Series, Playing with Fire.

I enjoyed the storyline of this book. Takira and Dante have chemistry bubbling away underneath the surface from the very beginning. The romance between them isn’t as quick as it was in the other books however, I think that was understandable with Takira having her young Nephew living with her. Also, the fact Dante was so invested in the restaurant and Takira’s Nephew, I don’t think their romance couldn’t be rushed.

I would have liked more from Scarlett and Bryce from the second book. Their scenes just seemed like glimpses instead of real scenes. I would have enjoyed Juliette and Trent’s POV like in book two. I think it would have made the series seamless having the first protagonists POV through the series.

I do, however, love that all the secondary characters have been followed through the entire three books. Mainly because with every book, their little Playing makeshift family becomes more significant and stronger… and Maybe more diverse!

My favourite parts of the books were when Takira, Dante and Takira’s Nephew, Finn, acted like a family. Dante made me swoon with all her butchness but also her fantastic sweetness when it came to Finn.

I’m desperately hoping for book four to come out soon!!

4 stars

 

If you would like to Purchase Playing with Fire please follow the links below:

Amazon

 

 

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Never Enough by Robyn Nyx

Well, I was not expecting that… WOW!

Madison Ford is an awarding winner journalist. She’s reported some of the most terrifying news that happens all over the world, from foreign war to Trans rights. As a favour she interviews Elodie Fontaine, a famous actress who’s doing charity work as a humanitarian. Both women are immediately attracted to one another but when Madison becomes entangled in the story of the year related to a Human trafficking ring, their lives get more action than they were expecting.

This book was something else. At no point was I bored or skipping through pages. The pace was great and the segway from my usual romance novels to something with a bit of grit was really enjoyable.

Elodie was something else. The first chapter in the book had my mouth agape the entire time, talk about sex on legs! She was a walking, talking swoon. In saying that, I really liked Maddie. She was such a great character to read and I felt a real connection to her and her fierce need for independence. In the beginning I couldn’t imagine Elodie and Maddie together but by the halfway mark in the book I was really rooting for them.

The chemistry and sex scenes were explicit and unbelievably hot. More than that though, I really felt like Elodie and Maddie were connecting on another level during those scenes. It was like they had a higher level of intimacy.

For me there were times where the violence was a little much, however it never held me back for long and this book has definitely made me rethink some books I have passed up in the past due to the sub-genre.

If you love a thrill mixed with your romance, this is definitely the book for you. It’s already made it to the re-read shelf.

4 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Never Enough please follow the link below:

Bold Strokes BooksAmazon

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Ordinary is Perfect by D. Jackson Leigh

This was a lovely story. I really enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Catherine is the next door neighbour and a close friend to Becki and her daughter, Gabe. When Becki dies unexpectedly, Catherine is forced into a co-parenting situation with Becki’s close cousin, Autumn. Catherine and Becki are polar opposites, from different backgrounds and different childhoods. Catherine is ex-Army hiding out in the country while trying to cope with her PTSD and Autumn is a hot shot city slicker who is taking the social media world by storm and doesn’t have plans to slow down. But they both loved Becki dearly so they have to make this work for Gabe.

The story is read from both Autumn and Catherine points of view. The pace was perfect and with very little angst, it made it the perfect light read that I know will sit on many of your re-read book shelves.

In the beginning I couldn’t see Autumn and Catherine being anything but together and madly in love. They were perfect for each other (even though they clearly didn’t agree) but with the tragedy of Becki and the reality of becoming parents to a teenager meant any idea of a relationship was on the back burner no matter how attached to one another they were. It was actually quite endearing how much they both looked after each other (including Gabe) and made me connect with them on a greater level. Gabe had lost her mother but gained two in the most beautiful of ways.

The chemistry between Catherine and Autumn was intense. Even when they were just fantasising or day dreaming about each other, there was a thrum of heat and passion; it was almost tangible. The sex scenes on top of that were explosive and sexy as hell with the undercurrent of tenderness and love. It was really beautiful to watch the love (and lust) between them unfold.

I would have liked more of an epilogue, maybe further in the future and with more displays of how life was going to work in their little family unit. I’d also love a follow up when Gabe is older and looking for love… Maybe with Angel? Gabe is future swoon material.

Also wanted to mention how much I loved the cover… I want that dog so much!

This was a great book to get lost in and I look forward to re-reading it again soon.

4 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Ordinary Perfect please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

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You’re My Kind by Clare Lydon

Second chance romance don’t get more romantic than this…

Justine never understood why Maddie, after 3 happy years together, left her without an explanation. Justine has never really gotten over Maddie and still measures up every woman to her and even now, after ten years, she’s the only woman who she has really connected with. So when a mutual friends funeral comes along, she is pretty nervous about seeing her for the first time in ten years. Hoping this is a one-off, she braces herself and needs to get through the day but Maddie has other plans. She’s moved back to the area and she wants, at minimum, a friendship with Justine. But how can Justine ever trust her again?

This story was really fun to read, with a great premise and steady pace I really fell into the story from the get go. Clare Lydon has a way of making British Rom Com stories come to life and she certainly did with this one.

The book is written from Justine’s point of view and she really captures the reader’s attention with her inner battles about Maddie and how much after all these years she still harbors some feelings for her. I would have liked to have Maddie’s point of view as I think it would have added another element to the story and given a bit of contrast in Maddie and Justine’s differing personalities.

The connection between Maddie and Justine was written really nicely and left me really backing these two for a happy ending every time they interacted. I think most readers are going to love Justine but my affections in this book lean more to Maddie. She was a bit broken and had a hard few years. She was a good soul and needed someone to understand her and I love that that person was Justine and really always had been.

The sex scenes in this book were fantastic and left me a little hot under the collar but Clare Lydon knows how to not hold back when she is writing intimacy between protagonists.

I also enjoyed all the secondary characters but Kerry in particular stole my heart. The story wouldn’t have been the same without her contribution to her friend’s life and theirs to hers. She was such an inspirational character to read.

Another heart warming and fun romance from Clare Lydon. 4 stars

 

If your would like to purchase You’re My Kind please click the link below:

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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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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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

Music City Dreamers by Robyn Nyx

I have been waiting for this book patiently since the teaser was posted on social media last year. I love country music, big fan of anything Nashville and when mixing them with a lesbian fiction romance I knew I was going to be on board straight away.

The story begins with Louie working hard to make enough money to get to Nashville where she is certain her dream can come true. Heather is already in Nashville and while she failed at her attempt at being a country music star she is excelling in her job of finding the next big talent while she works for a prestigious music label. Heather’s main goal now is to make enough money so she can start her own label and finally come out the closet. When she meets Louie, all bet’s are off and she can’t help but want to break her celibacy to find out what there is between them but Louie is firmly out of the closet and has no intention of going back in. How can it possibly work? Especially when they now need to work together.

Firstly I want to mention this is the first book I have read by Robyn Nyx and what a way to start. I really enjoyed the slow pace of the book and while it could be considered a slow burn (and it was in many ways), the characters feelings for each other were evident from the moment they met. There was no uncertainty from either Heather or Louie, they both knew they wanted each other but it was the outside world that was the issue.

Heather was a great protagonist to get to know. She was so sure of her path and how she had to make her dream of having her own label that she never anticipated her feelings for Louie and that they could make her question everything. Her closeted sexuality was understandable in the world she worked and the city she lived. It actually made me sad and wonder how many of my favourite country stars might be hiding in the closet.

Louie was just the epitome of sexy. She’s butch, handsome, strong while sensitive, passionate but respectful and honestly, she is just amazing and everything that makes my heart go weak. The fact she writes country songs just made me fall even harder. Wow!

The chemistry between them both is so charged that at times it seeped from the page. There was a moment outside the BlueBird Café (Famous Nashville spot) where the tension and lust was so evident that it gave me chills.

The secondary characters in this book help to make it something really special. Gabe, Louie’s best friend and roommate stole my heart and I loved that he got so much page time. He reminded me so much of my best friend that I wanted to cuddle him so much. Other secondary characters included the country superstar, Savana and while she is a force to be reckoned with, she left me wondering what her story was for the future…

My only issue was that I felt the book ended a little too quickly and I really feel it needed an epilogue which would have definitely rounded it up to the 5 stars. However in saying this, if the book turns into a series, or gets a sequel then I will most definitely be changing to 5 stars.

This has definitely put Robyn Nyx on ‘one to watch’ list and I’ve already started eyeing up her back catalogue.

4 Stars

 

If you would like to purchase Music City Dreamers please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

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Escape to Pleasure: Lesbian Travel Erotica

A great collaboration from Bold Strokes Books Editors Sandy Lowe and Victoria Villasenor.

All short stories are based on the travel theme and I loved that trope. All the stories are really something different and have their own edge and erotic content that was just plain hot. Here are a few of my favourites with a short review. Enjoy…

 

A Fantasy Getaway by Jeannie Levig

Wow! Just wow… Jeannie Levig, I have no words. None.  OK, two words… Freaking Hot! It was fantastic and sexy, really really sexy! Definitely by far my favourite in this collection.

 

The Lodge by Aurora Rey

No surprise really that this was one of my favourites too. Aurora Rey just writes things I know I am gonna enjoy and this is no different. But once again I am left wanting more… More of the sex, more of the love, just more of her writing essentially! Fun, flirty and provocative… Just perfection really.

 

Mistakes Happen by Britt Ryder

Remember Emery from Britt Ryders short story, Shameless? Well, she’s back and with a bang! This is everything I have come to expect from the amazing Britt Ryder and she left me with my mouth hanging open once more.  Emery is just passionate, exciting and astonishingly sexy!

All in all, a fantastic collaboration of stories! So if you’re looking for something to spice up your holiday… Buy this book!. 4 Stars

 

If you would like to purchase Escape to Pleasure follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon

 

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