Angsty and Hot

What was the book about?
Olivia Savage is newly divorced. She suffers from some pretty intense self esteem issues thanks to the emotional abuse of her ex husband. She’s also deep in the closet. Olivia believes herself to be fat and unattractive. She decides she is going to get in shape. On her first attempt at this she ends up running to the top of a mountain. Unfortunately, she failed to adequately prepare and ends up over exerted. Enter Eve Monroe. Eve, a personal trainer, is out for her regular Monday morning run when she comes across Olivia. She assists Olivia back down the mountain and offers her professional services. Eve manages to give Olivia her card before Olivia runs away. She runs away because she recognises an instant attraction to Eve and is headed back to the closet as fast as possible. 

Fate keeps throwing Eve and Olivia together. The tiptoe around their attraction to each other until Olivia decides to accept Eve’s professional help. The both agree to put their feelings on the back burner and focus on getting Olivia in shape. That goes about as well as you would expect it to (the feelings on the back burner, not the training). As they try to cultivate their relationship, they are faced with some obstacles and angst. 

Featured Tropes
Toaster Oven, Fitness

Book Strengths
I loved how this book addressed Olivia’s body image issues and her desire to get in shape. Eve made it clear to Olivia she was attractive and there was nothing wrong with her body the way the was. Then there was the sex! You can always count on Ronica Black for incredibly hot sex scenes. The writing was strong and there was great character development. I especially loved that the secondary characters were not just filler. They were crucial to the story.

Book Weaknesses
This might not be a problem for some people, but the book was, what I would consider, a little preachy about veganism. It wasn’t militant, just a little preachy. Oh and I would have liked an epilogue, but that’s also a personal preference.

Character Chemistry
I loved these women together. They had an instant connection that didn’t feel at all forced. It was very clear that they were just meant to be together, even though they had their issues. And did I mention the sex was hot!

Heat Rating
3 flames

Wrap up
I would love to see these characters in the future, maybe a short story.

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

Poptastic is a tragicomedy which shows us what happens when the chaos and debris of real life meets the manufactured world of online dating, and profiles of untruths sit side-by-side filtered photos as versions of reality. And then you realise that sometimes what you’re looking for is right in front of you.

What was the book about?
Bridesmaiding is a tedious business at the best of times, but as Julia discovers, the task is particularly cumbersome when one of the brides is your ex and her fiancée won’t stop sulking about it. With the wedding threatening to dominate everything for the rest of the year, a bewildering embrace with a devastatingly attractive pop star offers a welcome distraction. Dating Krisha catapults Julia away from the paltry concerns of dress fittings and hen dos, but it also takes her away from her friends, and directly leads to her most disastrous f**k up yet. Much to her surprise, she discovers that embracing the role she’d accepted so reluctantly might just be exactly what she needs.

Featured Tropes
Second-chance romance, online dating. (Content warning: suicide attempt, domestic violence)

Book Strengths
Poptastic is the name of the TV show in which the short-lived girlfriend of main character Julia is a star. It’s interesting that the entire novel is named after that one plot point, because when you read more deeply, there’s so much more to this novel than their relationship. The artificiality of the celebrity and her fabricated life demonstrates how filtered it is compared with the authenticity of Julia and her friends’ lives, where finding a moment of gold means more than all the glittery emptiness from the world of plastic. It’s poptastic. 

Holmes also touches on parts of life that are so weighty and sharp that they cut into the lives of Julia and her group of friends and also through the manufactured facade of the Poptastic world she visits. Issues such as intimate partner violence, drug taking, and attempted suicide aren’t just for everyday people; they consume those who feel removed from such tawdriness. The dialogue is quick and is used to develop the characters’ arcs. The humour is very British which I found delightful. It’s the dark, sarcastic, self-deprecating, laughing at the sheer misery of everything type of humour. Some of the events are just so tragic that humour is the only lifeline the characters have to deal with the awful. Just like our lives. Holmes developed her characters so well that at one point, when Julia’s life is so appalling, I wanted to reach through the words and hug her.

Book weaknesses
The book is speedy. Like when you’re sitting on a train and the landscape flashes past and it’s a little hard to keep up, but somehow you do. I would have enjoyed wallowing in some events for a bit. This relates to the ending as well, which had a rather quick resolution. But actually, sometimes life’s like that. Life’s just awful and everything is shit and it’s hard to see out of your own mess. And then suddenly it’s not messy. It’s great. That’s the type of ending in Poptastic. It works.

Character Chemistry
Julia and Krisha’s chemistry is negligible and artificially contrived, which is the point, because that’s the basis of their relationship. Julia and Kit’s chemistry is real and lovely. Sex does happen in the novel. Well, the idea of it is there, anyway. Nipples and breasts are mentioned in passing. But a lack of a sex scene or two does not take away from the novel.

Heat Rating
2 flames

Wrap Up
Poptastic relates to pop music but this novel shows that poptastic is actually about the incredibly fake lives and personas we project in order to garner popularity. Real life is disheveled and unfiltered, and Julia realises that disheveled and unfiltered is exactly where she needs to be. Poptastic’s tragicomedy style works well to bring us this message. 

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

When your second-chance is still your only chance at happiness!

What was the book about?
Lily Connor was in love once, but she is no longer interested in finding romance herself, only giving her clients a romantic wedding as their Wedding Planner. She thought that was her only future until Bennett Burke walked into her office.

Bennett hasn’t seen Lily in six years, and she has never regretted anything more than the way things ended between them. It’s clear that the feelings for both of them have never dissipated, but Lily isn’t keen on re-living old hurts all over again, and by the look of the man on Bennett’s arm, she hasn’t learned to be her true self. So with her focus clear, Lily decides to push through her heartbreak of seeing Bennett again and work with her so Lily can give her client the wedding of her dreams who just happens to be Bennett’s best friend. If only she wasn’t remembering every touch and every heartbreak then maybe they could get through this unscathed… Dreamers can dream, right?

Featured Tropes:  
Rich-Poor, Femme- Femme, Second-Chance

Book Strengths:
I always know when sitting in front of a Monica McCallan book that I am going to enjoy it a great deal and this is no different. It’s not my favourite book by McCallan but it’s certainly fun to read. I especially enjoyed the glimpses into when Bennett and Lily first met and fell in love, and the book wouldn’t have been the same without the time hopping chapters.

Lily was 100% my favourite character and in fact I would say, she might be my favourite of all the McCallan characters. She was so sweet and shy in the beginning but in the future, she is strong and knows her strengths and works to them. She is also a woman who knows her limits and I loved when she’d take moments to chill when forced in to extroverted situations. A true introverted extrovert, and you don’t see this often in novels – you’re either an introvert or an extrovert. Lily reminded me a lot of myself and I think that’s why I warmed to her so quickly.

Bennett is the kind of woman I (like Lily) would fall head over heels with and devil may care with the consequences. She was one person in the presence of her peers and parents friends and another when alone with Lily, her true self. It was really lovely to watch Bennett struggle with vulnerability and how she only showed that to Lily, even after years of heartbreak.

The epilogue was my favourite chapter in the whole book.

Book Weaknesses
I would have liked Lily and Bennett to reconcile quicker. It felt like it might happen a few times and when it didn’t I was frustrated.

Character Chemistry:
These characters have chemistry in spades and they have a certain charge about them especially when they are trying to hold back.

Heat Rating:
3

Wrap up:
A really enjoyable and fun read that will have you hooked from chapter one. I think it will tick a lot of reader’s boxes!

Star Rating:
4

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

Holy hotness!

This is a slightly different style of review as this one is for a Lesbian Fiction anthology edited by Victoria Villaseñor and published by Bold Strokes books. This collection is nothing short of sexy and the theme is Silk and Leather so you can imagine the delicious eroticism at play. Like with most anthologies, there were some hits and some I wasn’t as keen on. I have to say though, there were only two in the whole collection that wasn’t for me and in a book of twenty stories that’s an impressive result. 

There are definitely stories that stood out from the rest. Here are my top 5 in the anthology: (These are listed in order of chapters) 

  • Engagements by M. Ullrich
  • Taking a Leap by Kitty McIntosh 
  • The Bet by Sandy Lowe 
  • The Key to Happiness by Jeannie Levigs
  • Marks by Nell Stark 

I also want to give a shout out to the new authors who did a spectacular job, and their stories were fantastic debuts to the writing world. The two in particular that stayed with me after I closed the book were:

  • In A Place Like This by Rebecca Stieglitz 
  • Nicolette by C.A Hutchinson 

Heat Rating
5 flames

Wrap Up
If you fancy something sexy and intriguing, you’re going to want to get your hands on this anthology soon! Enjoy.

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

What’s this book about?
When Charlie chooses a career in New York and a beautiful older woman over her childhood sweetheart, Emma, she thinks she’s made the right decision. Fast forward five years, and she’s lost the job and the girl that lured her there.

She needs to move back to her home town to live with her parents. Emma doesn’t want anything to do with Charlie, but through work, they keep seeing each other.

The chemistry and old feelings are still present between them, but Emma can’t trust Charlie, and she’ll just leave again when something better comes up, right? So why put her heart on the line a second time.

Book Tropes
Second-Chance romance, Femme-Femme, Oh! The angst, Small-town, Slow Burn.

Book strengths
I love a redemption story, and this one excited me as soon as I read the synopsis. As usual, the writing is tight, and the pace is perfect. Georgia Beers knows how to make her books flow so the reader can kick back and enjoy.

The storyline itself was a good one and held its own authenticity from other second chance romance and redemption tropes.

I really loved reading Charlie’s growth from her younger self in the prologue to her now-adult attitude about life. I think the secondary characters were the stars of the show, and I particularly loved Sandy. Every time she was on the page, I wanted to be her friend.

Book weaknesses
Here’s the thing, you all know how I love an epilogue, well there isn’t one in this book, and I think I would have been ok with that if there had been two things. Firstly, I think the characters needed more page time to establish more of a connection before they rode off into the sunset. And secondly, I just felt like the ending wasn’t the ending. I went back and forth a few times to make sure my kindle had it right.

Chemistry
Like most second chance romance books, the chemistry is interwoven into the past love story, so it’s always tenacious with usually an undercurrent of abhorring which I think heightens the allure they have to each other. Georgia Beers nailed this with Charlie and Emma. In the moments they get page time together, it was very prominent.

Heat Rating
3 flames

Wrap up
This isn’t my favourite Georgia Beers book, but if you’re into redemption/ second chance romance books with a sweet romantic undercurrent, I think you should definitely read Flavor of the Month.

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

A low angst love story that you can sit back and enjoy!

What was the book about?
Mason Liner works for her fathers recording company. She is a guru in the music biz and a fixer when music stars take the wrong path, but her latest project is to get music diva, Sophie Ruddy back on track after her last public scandal.

Victoria Ruddy has been managing her mother’s music career most of her life. But when her mother takes things a step too far, she teams up with Mason to help her mother and her self destructive behaviour.

Mason and Victoria don’t need to like each other to have the same goal. But when walls come down and the attraction goes up, they can’t help but see the possibility of something life-changing between them.

Book Strengths
I am semi-new to Ali Vali, and the more I read, the more I can’t believe I was so late to the party because I really enjoy her stories. I really like the low angst element of this book because it left me to concentrate more on the love story between Mason and Victoria. 

Mason, in the beginning, I wasn’t one hundred per cent keen on but by the end, she was my favourite character. She was really something else, and when she was vulnerable with Victoria, you could see the real Mason. Victoria, I just wanted to cuddle from the get-go, and I was so happy that Mason steps up to this job more than once. 

Mason and Victoria have a great dynamic and their friendship shone through numerous times to show that this wasn’t just about love, but about something deeper and more aligned to soul mates.

I feel there is a story with secondary character Belle… I just wanted more of her. I also felt there could be something between Victoria’s best friend, Josette and Mason’s assistant, Scarlet. I know Josette was portrayed as straight, but she is a toaster-oven romance waiting to happen. 

Book Weaknesses
I would have liked more flashbacks. We get one flashback from Mason about a previous relationship but still, I felt if anyone deserved a flashback and a window into the past it would be Victoria and her childhood/ young adult life with her mother.


Character Chemistry
The chemistry between Victoria and Mason is off the charts, and their sex life was sizzling hot! The also had a beautiful and loving relationship on top of it. Like I said before this is a love that soul mate stories are made of.

Heat Rating
4 flames

Conclusion
This is a delightful book that has jumped into my re-read pile. It’s definitely the perfect story to curl up in bed on a lazy Sunday and read all day.

Star Rating
4 Stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

Being an expert thief doesn’t stop you losing your heart.

What was the book about?
Crime and love… two reasons to meet online.

Opportunities to retire from life as a thief don’t come around often. Benny is determined to make this one pay. In her online efforts to help execute her escape plan, after pulling the biggest heist in her career, the last thing on her mind is romance.

When making friends online, Evelina did not expect to find love. After finding her Darby though, she is certain she has stumbled upon her soulmate. She will do whatever it takes to bring Darby to Italy so they can finally meet face to face.

Two women have very different reasons for being online. Will they both get what they want, or will putting trust in someone they have never meet in person turn out to be a disaster?

Featured Tropes:
Opposites attract, international love, sort of a second-chance

Book Strengths:
The details. The details of the criminal activities, the details of the locations, the details of the food, drink, language…all of it was excellent. Then there’s the pacing. The story moves along in a slow, slow, fast, fast, slow pace which matches the speed jumps of an actual heist. One of the parts I enjoyed was that misunderstandings, miscommunication and even non-communication are used a metaphorical device. All of those misunderstandings and reverse communications are basically how Benny lives in her non-identity, in not revealing her true motivation, in her inability to express her wants and needs. Seeing her actually having to communicate truthfully is painful for her, but wonderful for us.

Oh! And the heist? Oh my gosh, so well written. I held my breath the entire time.

Book weaknesses:
For a while, Darby was such an unpleasant character that I simply couldn’t find any redeeming qualities in her personality. I understood that her actions were contextual, but when Evelina started begging for Darby’s love and attention, I wanted to tell her to let Darby go. Luckily, Darby got her act together, redeemed herself and gave Evelina a reason to continuously throw herself at Darby’s feet. (Metaphorically).

Character Chemistry:
Darby and Evelina’s chemistry really only started once Darby arrived in Italy. Then as events progressed, their chemistry heated up.

Heat Rating:
3 flames

Conclusion:
The title is called Stealing a Thief’s Heart, and while Evelina makes every effort to steal Darby’s heart, there is no theft in the end. Darby’s heart is given willingly. And the journey to get to that point is wonderful.

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to buy a copy?

 

Follow us!

 

I do love the start of a new series!

What was the book about?
Best friends Abby, Campbell and Grace are starting a new venture and opening their boutique Law firm. Campbell brings in the first big client, a start-up tech company who aren’t getting on with their current legal team.

To win this big client, Campbell needs to work alongside the client’s old firm to show her capability, but she is facing off against Wynne, an old college acquaintance who she is shockingly attracted too.

Can she win the client before falling for the competition?  

Featured Tropes
Lawyer/legal, slow-burn, enemies to lovers

Book Strengths
As with many books that begin a series with a group of friends where each friend will be the main protagonist in one of the books, there is some prep work to do. And this book preps the reader for the friendship of Campbell, Abby and Grace and sets the scene of their new legal firm.

This book is a very slow burn, but when it hits the accelerator, the romance is off and in fine form. I loved Campbell and can’t wait to get more of her in the other books in the series. The romance between Campbell and Wynne is fraught with heaps of reasons they shouldn’t be together from assumptions from when they attended the same college to working to win over the same client for their respective firms. But when they do finally make a move it was worth the wait. And I was crushing hard on Campbell by the end, swoon.  

Watching Wynne lower her guard made for good reading and she was the one holding back the most so when she finally let’s go, it was almost triumphant. 

Also, how sexy are those legs on the cover?

Book weaknesses
Honestly, one of the strengths is also a weakness in this book. Setting the scene of the law firm and the friendship between the three leading ladies ate into some of the romance, and that was the main reason I showed up. This girl is here for the feels. I still can’t get Pursuit of Happiness‘out of my head months later and was hoping for the same buzz. 

Chemistry
Campbell and Wynne are attracted to each other from their first meet-cute, and the chemistry builds throughout the book until there is no holding back.

Heating Rating:
2.5

Wrap Up
I am looking forward to reading more in the Legal Affairs series.

Star Rating:
4

Would you like to buy a copy?

Follow us!

Life has a way of not caring about self-imposed boundaries.

What was the book about?
(Thorn & Thistle #2)
Both Jamie and Sierra managed to rise above tough childhood and become kind and selfless adults. At thirty-seven, Jamie is a respected tattoo artist. She’s on pretty good terms with her ex-wife and her teenage daughter, not so much her brother and alcoholic parents. Her parents are functioning alcoholics, have been throughout Jamie’s childhood. It’s all she’s ever known, and while her brother has decided to stop helping them since they’re not willing to help themselves, she has a very hard time letting go. She’s aware she’s enabling them to some extent, but she needs that feeling of helping, of saving.

Sierra is a twenty-something social worker whose job is threatened by budget cuts. She’s full of energy and ideas. Her latest endeavour is a fundraiser to get disadvantaged kids access to art supplies. When she asks Jamie – who does all her tattoos – for her help, she’s also hoping the attraction she’s feeling for the artist will flourish and lead to something real. She’s down for a fling, Jamie isn’t. Neither does relationships, for reasons linked to their past. Sierra lost her mother at a young age and was rejected by her grandmother until her outcast gay uncle took her in. Jamie doesn’t want to impose her complicated life (the complicated part being mostly due to her parents) to anyone.

Featured Tropes:
Age gap; Children; Tattoos

Book Strengths:
There’s nothing intense about this novel, nothing depressing, but it doesn’t shy from sensitive and painful issues (I’m not talking tattoos, though they play a big part in the story). It’s a good example of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. The Carina Press HEA/HFN promise guaranteed that Jamie and Sierra would find a way to be together, but it never felt artificially straightforward. They both had to work on themselves and on the relationship, accept that not everything would be perfect every day. They’re both relatable and complex characters, with very different personalities. The secondary characters were layered too, from Jordan, the young adult working with Sierra to Jamie’s brother Ryan or her daughter Riley.

Book Weaknesses:
Not a groundbreaking story, but sweet, and sometimes that’s enough.

Character Chemistry:
From the start, Sierra is very clear and open about her attraction to Jamie, while Jamie can’t believe someone as young and lively could really be attracted to her. The chemistry is subtle but there.

Heat Rating:
4

Wrap up:
I’m always impressed when an author takes two characters who have gone through really trying times and still writes a rather light and fluffy story. Fluffy doesn’t mean it’s not meaningful, by the way, but rather that it’s heartwarming without being depressing. That’s what we get here with Inked with a Kiss.

Star Rating:
4

Would you like to buy a copy?

Follow us!

This is not an easy review to write but not for the usual reasons.

What was the book about?
Kari and Kacey are meant to be. They met in college, fell in love immediately, were really good together until the day Kacey left out of the blue, with no more explanation than some obscure family problem she needed to deal with, and never came back. Ten years later, she moves in the house next door to Kari, with her nine-year-old daughter. The attraction is still as strong as it was when they were twenty, but Kari is terrified of being hurt again.

Featured Tropes
Second chance; Children and family

Book Strengths
I loved what I read. I liked the characters a lot (despite Kari needing to chill a little, especially when it comes to her sister’s love life), I liked the story, I liked the amount of angst, I liked the writing. The story is very sweet and Erica Lee does a very good job of conveying feelings and emotions.

Book Weaknesses
The narrative is too thin, it needs a little more fat here and there. What’s there is really good and makes me regret what’s missing even more. I don’t want to make it sound as if it wasn’t good. It was, I’m giving it 4*. But I wish there was more. Not more to the story, more in the story. So a frustrated 4*.

Character Chemistry
The chemistry between Kari and Kacey is so intense, I’m amazed Kari manages to resist it for so long.

Heat Rating
4

Wrap up:
This is the second book I read by Erica Lee, and I can’t wait to read more.

Star Rating
4

Would you like to grab a copy?

Follow us!

This book reminded me of Nancy Drew books

What book is about?
Cal lives in a small town in Texas during the 1970s. Her mother goes missing. Cal and friends decide to solve the mystery on their own. 

Featured tropes
YA, Coming of age

Book strengths
Friendship and loyalty was definitely an essential part of the story. Cal, Rachel and Jane were always looking out for each other even when thing got dangerous and scary. 

I also liked seeing Cal work through all her confusing feelings about Jane and how she felt about her mother. 

Book weaknesses
The only weakness is Cal went from being worried about kissing Jane to full-on sex quickly.

Character Chemistry
Jane and Cal were cute together, especially when they first meet. It’s fun seeing them get to know each other. Cal starts to struggle with her feelings and how others will treat her but soon figures out Jane’s more important.

Heat rating
2 flames

Wrap up
Overall good book. Gave me many Nancy Drew feels. I would definitely read more about these characters.

Star rating
4 stars

Would you like to grab a copy?

People create meals for those we love because it sustains the love. How much nourishment would be necessary to fill a heart that’s empty? Food For Love lets us find out.

What was the book about?
When Jessica Harris flies home to Australia to sort out her late brother’s estate, the last thing she wants to face is his altruistic investment—an eatery on the rural Bellarine Peninsula. The injured British/Indian elite cyclist just wants to settle up, move on, get rehab, and certainly not have to deal with the restaurant’s beautiful owner and artisan foodie, Lillian McAllister, or her sweet, four-year-old daughter. In order to win, Jessica’s disciplined life is dedicated to controlling her emotions, and she isn’t sure she’d survive letting her walls down now. A lesbian romance about how nourishment is so much more than the food we eat.

Featured Tropes
Sort of enemies-to-lovers, temporary-to-permanent love. 

Book Strengths
The descriptions of the setting—that being the Bellarine Peninsula are quite lovely. As a local Melbournite, I knew exactly where the author had placed certain events. A reader from other countries will probably appreciate the slightly overly detailed explanations of local customs, and localities. The story is sweet. The death of the brother is never really explained which is good because it’s all about Jess and her understanding of her family and herself. 

Book weaknesses:
The dialogue is awkward. It’s formal and feels a bit unnatural, particularly if you’re writing Australian people. The dialogue has to be much more elastic.

Character Chemistry
Yes. Lots, especially from about a third of the way in, which is when Jess suddenly realises there’s this really hot chef right in front of her. Then it’s all on. 

Heat Rating
2 flames

Wrap up
The novel deals with the concept of feeding people; be that actual food created for those we love, or feeding people with spirit and love and a sense of place. I enjoyed the metaphorical elements in the novel.

Star Rating
4 stars

Would you like to grab a copy?

Jess has a list—actual and metaphorical—for every aspect of her life. But what if there’s no list for suffering a major illness, moving home to her mum’s place, dealing with the tenant, and managing a baby? 

What was the book about?
Dr. Jess Riley’s life is perfect, ticking all the boxes—successful cardiologist, newborn daughter, and a luxurious condo. That is, until she suddenly collapses from acute heart failure. Her entire world crumples along with her exhausted body. Jess is forced to face facts—she can’t keep working endless hours, and she’ll have to move back home to recover. To her shock, her mother has already taken in Lena Walker, a struggling artist who isn’t a stranger to heartbreak either. At first, an unimpressed Jess resents Lena’s cheerful presence. Gradually, though, the two women form a tentative friendship over tai chi, picking fruit, and evening walks with the baby. A sexy massage leads to friends-with-benefits fun. But is it all too soon? Should two barely mended souls try to risk a future together?

Featured Tropes:
Enemies-to-lovers, rich girl/poor girl

Book Strengths:
Jess and Lena are giving distinct personalities. Lena is a sweetheart and is the perfect foil to Jess. The backstory for each woman is developed well, so we understand their motivations leading to the romance.

Book weaknesses:
Dr. Jess Riley is the ice-queen in this story. In the beginning, Jess is so mean that I couldn’t warm to her, or even hold onto hope that she’d somehow turn over a new leaf. I mean, she did, but I could have throttled Lena as she continuously forgave Jess’s behaviour. Luckily, Jess spent the remainder of the novel apologising, and every time she did, I muttered, “Damn right.” As readers, we see the underlying stress of the illness and work, a newborn, and having to move back home with your mum as definite reasons to send out angry sparks at the world.

Character Chemistry:

The chemistry that starts to simmer works but only because of Lena. Jess eventually, right at the end, becomes the woman she had the potential to be, and it’s lovely.

Heat Rating:
3 flames

Conclusion:
I enjoyed the story. The medical terminology is not over-the-top. And after Jess gave herself a decent boot up the bum and pulled it together, the ripples in the story settled in the pages and the story absolutely flowed.

Star Rating:
4 stars

Would you like to grab a copy?

Being miles apart generally means physical distance. But what if you’re miles apart and in the same room?

What was the book about?
Which mistakes are irredeemable? Would you fight to save a five-year relationship after your lover’s had a drunken one-night stand? Alex is torn by this question. The past twelve months have seen her and her girlfriend Terri slowly drift apart, and the revelation of Terri’s betrayal shows her just how far apart they are. The longer they fight, the less she wants to try. On a business trip to Canada, Alex meets Justine and, over the course of one evening, a connection is formed that shatters everything Alex thought she knew about herself. Returning to London, she’s faced with choices that will irrevocably change her life. A lesbian romance that asks the interesting questions, not the easy ones.

Featured Tropes
Long-distance relationship, cheating, Insta-love that turns into slow-burn (It works. Go with it)

Book Strengths:
The writing is really tight. There are a number of secondary characters that fill the bowl that is this story. And they play an important part as Brooks ensures that society’s reactions and opinions about hook-ups, cheating, and insta-love are demonstrated through the commentary from these characters. The author’s feelings about these topics are not pushed onto the reader at all. We are left to make up our own mind. I went into this novel with a tiny dot-pointed list of beliefs and I enjoyed having those points challenged. Plus I got to read a really lovely, well-written story. Bonus.

Much of the book is about opening doors, looking inside, not finding what you were looking for, and trying another door. Even though the thing you want is right there inside the door labelled ‘hazardous but perfect’. Look carefully, because even if you think the thing you want is miles away from you, it could be right there.

Book weaknesses:
The blurb irritated me. Weird, I know. I just thought it could have been better constructed. Anyway, the topic of cheating may put off some readers because it is a major aspect of the novel, not because the two MCs cheat on each other (they don’t), but because of how damaged their trust is by others cheating on them.

Character Chemistry:
The chemistry is awesome. You are drawn into the instant attraction that Alex and Justine have. They have excellent emotional journeys and arcs. They’re a little inside their heads at times, but the issues they’re dealing with probably allow for a pile of introspection. 

Heat Rating:
4 flames

Conclusion:
The novel deals with the complex. The messy. Sometimes you want to be miles apart from the chaos that is the tangled web of lies and lust, and once you’re far apart, you can see clearly what it is you actually want.

Star Rating:
4 stars

Would you like to grab a copy?

This sequel is a blissful, beautiful romance 

What was the book about?

We´re Back to Garriety, this second book in the series let us meet new lovely characters and to see old beloved ones from the previous book Add Romance and Mix.

This time the story is about Kat, Briley’s sister who we met in Add Romance and Mix. Kat is starting and building her own business, is going well but needs all her attention to take off completely. While she enjoys spending time with her sister and family, as well as she loves being the cool aunt for her niece and nephew. She doesn’t have time for love but aches deep inside for what her sister has. On a fate visit, she met Dylan, a woman whose life has been tilted on its axis for the worst. They click but Dylan isn’t in a rush to pursue that chemistry for a stranger. But life has other ideas for them and keep throwing them together. Dylan is wary and insecure, every time someone is interested in her and discover she is the mother of a disabled daughter, they run to the hills. Both have trust issues, still, Kat doesn’t run, will Dylan trust Kat enough to let herself and her daughter Emma be part of Kat’s life?

Featured Tropes
Friends to Lovers, Slow-paced romance, lesbian/bisexual lead characters

Book Strengths
I’m glad we’re back to Garriety, this time we meet new characters as well as to see a glimpse of those old beloved ones. I liked kat from the beginning in book one and I’m delighted we got to see her story. Is good to see how Shannon merged their stories. I enjoyed very much the funny banter between siblings, all the family love and the development of Kat and Dylan’s relationship. It’s slow-paced, but it couldn’t be any other way, fits the story perfectly.

This is a beautiful romance, the development is well written in a completely feel-good story. Even when it is angst-free, we can connect with real characters that aren’t perfect, they know mistakes are part of life and just like every one of us aren’t looking to make them, knowing that eventually will happen. But they are conscious and ready to deal with them when they come and move along. They are simply the perfect couple, they complement each other well.


Book Weaknesses
For some readers, the lack of conflict or that is a slow romance could be a con.  

Character Chemistry
The chemistry between Kat and Dylan is palpable from the beginning. I liked the development of their friendship and ultimately the romance. Emma is a sweet kid and it’s good to see that after she had such a hard beginning in life, she’s happy and builds a friendship with Kat. They make a beautiful family. 

Heat Rating
2.5 

Wrap up
This is the second book on the Garriety series but can be read as a stand-alone. Although, I recommend to read both books. It’s a good story with lovable relatable characters. Undoubtedly an enjoyable slow-paced growing romance.

Star Rating
4 stars  

Would you like to grab a copy?