Perspective by Monica McCallan

What was the book about?:
Campbell’s first novel shot to the bestseller list and is now being transformed on to the big screen. She’s on a winning streak, if only she could get her writer’s block under control to write her next bestseller. 

In the meantime, Campbell will be working on the film set as a consultant to ensure her vision is captured on film. When Actress, Sloane Murphy is cast as the leading lady, it makes everything more complicated. They both knew each other in college but now they are in very different places. It all feels a lot like fate… if Campbell believed in fate.

Featured Tropes: Friends to lovers, second chance, Love on a movie set

Book Strengths:
I’ve wanted to read this book for a while and it came highly recommended. I was not disappointed. I am fast becoming one of Monica McCallan’s biggest fans.

This story wasn’t as angsty as I have come to expect from McCallan, and I think it’s why it is now my favourite book she’s written. The characters were well developed, and the storyline flowed. It was a pleasure to read.

Sloan and Campbell’s relationship was entertaining to read, especially the flirty double entendre’s. It really ramped up the chemistry.

Character Chemistry:
Well, let me just say right now that the chemistry in this book is by far the strongest by Monica McCallan. It was radiating off the page whenever Sloane and Campbell were together. The sex scenes were scorching, and the particular scene in the wine cellar had me blushing on the train ride to work! 

Heat Rating: 4

Conclusion: Great book. Can’t wait to get my hands on the next Monica McCallan book. 

Star Rating: 5 stars

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All The Reasons I Need by Jaime Clevenger

What was the book about?:
Kate has been in love with Mo since college, but it was never the right time to declare her feelings. Now she finally feels she can be who she truly is, but she’s scared that if she tells Mo her true feelings, she’ll lose her best friend.

Featured Tropes: Friends to lovers, series 

Book Strengths:
What a fantastic follow up to what was one of my favourite books from last year. I have been thinking about these characters for months and finally got to read what was a beautiful story about learning to trust yourself and believing you deserve love.

Okay, let me start with Mo first and foremost. She’s fantastic in every way you can imagine. When it comes to butch women, I think she is officially in my top five. My wife would be in serious trouble if a woman like Mo walked into my life. 

Kate. God, I love Kate! I feel rather protective of her in so many ways, and I think that this is because we share so many similarities. If there is anyone who could love Kate the way she truly deserves to be loved, it’s Mo. They go through their ups and downs, but when they do make it, it’s really quite simple and beautiful. I always know when a book has really touched my soul because I’ve laughed, cried and, in the end, feel connected to the characters. And this book left me feeling like that.

Character Chemistry:
The chemistry between Mo and Kate is definitely there, but it’s different in many ways. Friends since school, attracted for most of that so I was expecting fireworks, and I was not disappointed. HOT! But my favourite scenes were the intimate moments between Kate and Mo as their chemistry rose to another level. It was clear that the love they felt for one another was beyond anything that either of them could understand. Love by the seat of your pants kind of love… Swoon! 

Heat Rating: 4 stars 

Conclusion:
I hope this isn’t the end for this series. I’m so invested now and can’t wait to read more from these characters. 

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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Trail Magic by Cara Malone

Trails Merge

What was the book about?:
Raven is two years cancer free on the day she arrives on the Appalachian Trail. She has something to prove and thinks she will find herself again on the 6 months she spends on the trail alone. She spent a year preparing for the hike.

Kit was having a bad day. She loses her job and her girlfriend on the same day. She wants nothing to do with commitment. Her girlfriend says that she’s never present. 5 years ago theonly woman she ever loved died. Kit goes from temp job to temp job and girl to girl so nothing is stable in her life. Kit decides to hike the Appalachian Trail totally unprepared.

Featured Tropes: Ice Queen romance

Book Strengths:
The descriptions of the sites on the trail were breathtaking. The characters were very well developed. You just had to root for these two. Even at odds with each other, they become a hiking pair for companionship, though they couldn’t be more different. Kit encourages Raven to do things she would never do. Skinny dipping, jumping off a bridge and going off the trail to sleep in a meadow.

Book weaknesses:
Raven is kind of whinny and sometimes the loneliness of trail went on too long.

Character Chemistry:
Raven (trail name Lone Wolf) and Kit (trail name Parachute because she’s impulsive) both knew that any romance they had would only last as long as the trail. That, however, didn’t stop them. The romance blossomed even though Raven kept saying she wasn’t interested. Kit kept on it till Raven caved in and then it became HOT. I loved both Raven and Kit but in the end Kit was my favorite.She brought the magic to the hike. Kit did the most changing during the trail though she didn’t knew she needed to. The supporting characters, a group of guys, brought a lot of humor to the book.

Heat Rating 4

Conclusion:
I have not read Cara Malone before but I very much enjoyed her writing.

Star Rating 5

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Survival Instincts by May Dawney

What was the book about?

It’s a post war world and civilization has ended, wild life has replaced the so called ”concrete jungle” once dominant, turning into a real one, but even when animals and nature have overtaken everything, humans keep being the biggest threat for those wandering alone. Starts when Lynn has to go to New York, finding herself trapped in an impossible situation with a group of people and has no choice but to fulfil a hard task, but she is sent with a guard…Dani (a settler). Lynn is used to be alone and free, going through everything needed to keep her safety, to say things take an interesting, intense turn going to the task at hand while Dany is guarding her and the trust is inexistent…. it’s an understatement, things get more intense when she starts to develop feelings for Dani and questions all she has believed for so long, wonders if being alone is indeed the best way to survive.

Featured Tropes: Dystopian/Post Apocalypse, Action, Adventure, Enemies to Lovers, Romance, Futuristic, Internal Journey

Book Strengths:
This is a great book and one I definitely would love to read again, despite of addressing one of my biggest concerns about humanity, it is very well written, the story is flawless and a bit scary if we consider this could actually happen, but ironically that’s what makes this book a great read, it’s so detailed that you can basically feel being there, the fear, the despair, the adrenaline flowing freely and high, but also the brewing, growing romance between Lynn Tanner and Dani Wilson.
It has a lot of inner dialogues from Lynn, but is perfectly done and if you ask me couldn’t be any other way. It isn’t an easy road for them but at the end it’s a very satisfactory one and despite of the always present dangers, they find their way together and a glimpse of happiness that comes with falling in love.

Book weaknesses:
I can’t find any. It is very well written, the characters are beautifully developed, the scenes aren’t predictable and the end is perfect.

Character Chemistry:
The chemistry between Lynn and Dani is undeniable, even when at the beginning they didn’t trust each other. As the story goes and they sort all kinds of dangers that help to their bonding and growing, we can witness as well their chemistry getting off the charts.
It has a great deal of passion between Lynn and Dani, but is not the main reason of the story, as it is the romance.

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Conclusion: Great book, masterfully written, excellent characters, characters growing, action, emotion, intensity, passion, it has so much to offer, leaving that great feeling you get after a grand story.

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Grim Assistant by Jodi Hutchins

I was fascinated! 

What was the book about?:
Samantha finds herself offered with helping a Grim Reaper, after accidentally finding herself dead after an incident when she has been surfing early one morning. It’s an offer she couldn’t really refuse, but it doesn’t really turn out to be as simple as it sounded, and it isn’t without consequences. 

Featured Tropes: Friends to lovers, paranormal fantasy 

Book Strengths:
So I got more than I expected with this book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it because it was different and not what I thought it might be at all. Despite the title eluding to a dark paranormal fantasy, the story is also quite light-hearted but hard-hitting at times, and some scenes (one in particular) were pretty emotional and really made the book for me. You got to see the humility of Sam, yet she had a dry wit and humour, as did the Grim, Margo that added a slightly comical element to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed this and ended up very emotional invested in the characters, hooked on the story, and thrilled by the level of imagine taken to come up with such a unique, and touching story. I was truly entertained, yet really felt a connection emotionally to way death and the dead were perceived by Sam. 

Book weaknesses:
Genuinely can’t fault this book at all. Loved every minute, and hoping for more tales from the Grim! 

Character Chemistry:
Sam’s relationship with Lauren is very much based on her feeling that her love for Lauren is unrequited and that Lauren isn’t available to her in that capacity, but she still had an amazing connection with her as a friend. It very much takes Lauren to realise how she feels about Sam for their relationship to slowly develop into something past their friendship, but it isn’t without complication when it comes to Sam’s latest situation. They really worked well together, despite the tension. I just loved how down to earth, and relatable Sam’s character was even when she learned of her own death, and how she handled the offer made by Margo to assist her as a Grim Reaper. She took it all surprisingly well to be honest! 

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

An interesting read, with a lot of emotion and a heartfelt storyline dealing with complex events. I really loved this, and hope more will be in this series because there is so much more to see from Sam now! I think Jodi Hutchins is an author to watch, because this was an absolutely fantastic read! 

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Top of Her Game by M. Ullrich

For more than just the love of the game.

What was the book about?:
Kenzie Shaw joins the New Jersey Hurricanes Women’s Soccer team after being drafted from Penn State. The Hurricanes also have her idol and crush, Sutton Flores playing for them. 

The attraction to each other is sizzling and before either of them know it, the chemistry becomes infinitely more and they can’t get enough of each other. But when a sexual harrasment suit and national soccer team rules throw them curve balls, can they hold true to each other?

Featured Tropes:
Sport, Friends to Lovers, Age-Gap

Book Strengths:
This book is a high contender for book of the year. I am astounded by how much I adored it but then again, M. Ullrich never disappointments me. She is kicking goals (see what I did there) every time she sits down to write. I was glued from the word ‘go’ and honestly, her little twists and turns in the story just kept leaving me stunned!

These women are both powerhouses on and off the field. When it comes to the soccer, M. Ullrich gave a solid account of the game and the players. I can honestly say this book would suit any reader even if you’re not a fan of soccer. The romance and storyline take centre stage but the soccer just adds a nice little extra for us soccer fans out there.
I cried. I cried a lot in this book. It also made me nervous, made my stomach flip in good ways and in bad. And the Epilogue… Sigh. It was nothing short of perfection.

Character Chemistry:
I have read some hot sex scenes and some of the best ones have come from M. Ullrich. As she grows as an author she seems to hone the craft of writing them and adds little extras that suit only the characters in the story. You’ll see what I mean when you read it but this book’s hottest scene was not what I was expecting. So very sexy!

The chemistry between Sutton and Kenzie is off the hook. I got shivers a few times when they would look at one another or when they’d touch. There was also a certain level of non sexual intimacy that made my heart swell and I reckon you can only have this intense connection if you have been friends before lovers. It was actually quite lovely to read.

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Conclusion:
I read this book twice in a row because the first time I forgot to take notes I loved it so much. I think this book will sit on my all time most loved because it truly was amazing… Swoon!

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Forget it by Claire Highton-Stevenson

Brilliant, mid angst, sexy second chance romance.

What was the book about?

Brook Chambers after a changing life moment has to leave the Army to take care of her teenage sister and is looking for a job. When she meets Catherine at a club sparks fly all over. They don’t care about the age gap as their chemistry is off the charts and lust got them together as magnetos of opposite polarity. But turns out Catherine works in her new work place and because of a bad experience she refuses to mix her private life with her work and break things up with Brooke. There’s an incident, Brooke loses her memory and forgets Catherine…

Featured Tropes: Second chance romance, age-gap, ice queen, rich girl/poor girl.

Book Strengths:
Highton-Stevenson has a particular, fascinating way to tell stories. This story in particular is wonderful, and enthralling. She did an excellent job building the plot; the twists keep the story engaging and going at a perfect pace. The characters are very lovable and well developed. We get to witness a beautiful build-up of the romance. I was hooked right from the start. There’s a bit of angst, humour, sexy times and of course romance. It is undoubtedly a page turning book.

Book weaknesses:
If wanting more of them is a weakness, then is the only thing I can think about

Heat Rating: 4

Character Chemistry:
The chemistry between Brooke and Catherine is just magnificent. I could feel their connection from the beginning. Starts as instant attraction from the moment they met in the club and it is pure intensity. It is easy to feel how well they are together, even when Catherine was being an ice queen and through the amnesia period. I liked both characters, but Brooke is my favourite. I like her commitment to take care of her sister, her humour and that she never gives up.

Star Rating: 5

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Requiem For Immortals by Lee Winter

A seductive work of art

What was the book about?:
Professional cellist Natalya Tsvetnenko moves seamlessly among the elite where she fills the souls of symphony patrons with beauty, even as she takes the lives of the corrupt of Australia’s ruthless underworld as Requiem. The cold, exacting assassin is hired to kill a woman who seems so innocent that Requiem can’t understand why anyone would want her dead. As Requiem gets to know her target, she can’t work out why she even cares.

Featured Tropes:
Age-gap, opposites attract, thriller, crime

Book Strengths:
It is important to note that Requiem and Natalya are viewed by each other as different people, and Winter ensures that as readers, we watch the struggle that Requiem/Natalya have with keeping this dichotomy. That definite line gets very blurry as the tension builds, like movements in a symphony. The tension, created with specific word choice, tight writing, and a plot that makes us hold our breath as the two storylines start to converge, is one of the key strengths in the novel. The other is how well the characters change and shift as they start to realise that trust, confidence, awareness of self, and love are not linear concepts at all.

Book weaknesses:
I’m actually going to say it. This book is pretty close to perfect. Perhaps I had an advantage as the particular places and cultural quirks of Melbourne are just my everyday experience, and so not knowing about these may be a negative for anyone from overseas. But I don’t think so. It’s too well-written.

Character Chemistry:
This is not a romance novel, however chemistry is about reaction, potential, and the combination of elements. So, oh my, there’s chemistry. It is Natalya as Requiem who meets Alison first, and this moment initiates a series of very sharp, knife-edge interactions between all three. Watching Requiem/Natalya and Alison pick apart the notes in their metaphorical music is amazing chemistry.

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥
Sex is power in Requiem’s world, so yes, there’s some heat. But this aspect is not why you’d read this book.

Conclusion:
Requiem For Immortals has a depth and strength that holds a reader right there, carefully balanced. Once you start, you’ll have to throw your to-do list out the window because you won’t be able to put the book down.

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Free to Love by Ali Spooner and Annette Mori

Two Treats in One

What was the book about?:
This is two books in one.

The Chandler’s Daughter:
Captain Hillary Blythe loves sailing the Atlantic Coast on her journeys to deliver goods. Appalled by the growth of slave trade, vowing to find a way to help, her thoughts turn to piracy frequently. Will helping those enslaved jeopardize her life, and the life she hopes to have with the Chandler’s Daughter?

Forbidden Love:
When Captain Blythe brings a small group of rescued slaves to a mission on Antiqua, life for Elizabeth Allen changes forever. Elizabeth feels an instant connection to Kia, one of the young women. A devout Christian, Elizabeth struggles to align her feeling for Kia and her devotion to the church. Will Elizabeth allow the forbidden love she feels for Kia, or will faith over-rule her heart?

Featured Tropes  Romance

Book Strengths:
Both stories feature strong women who will stop at nothing to be with their true love. The stories blended together effortlessly. I have never read 2 stories woven into one book but Ali Spooner and Annette Mori did a wonderful job of interlacing the stories together. I thought I would be reading about Pirates, which there are some but mostly 2 beautiful love stories of forbidden love. The story starts in the late 1700’s Captain Hillary Blythe catching the eye of Cecelia DuPont. Imagine two women in love at that time. The good captain rescues a shipwreck full of slaves and drops them off in Antigua where one of the slave girls Kia, is staying with the preacher and his daughter Elizabeth. So now we are talking African and white in the 1700’s. I found these stories  inspiring and full of love. The ending wove the stories together and took the woman to the end of their lives.

Character Chemistry and favorite character: 

The Chandler’s Daughter:
Cecelia DuPont has a thing for Captain Hilary Blythe  and hopes one day to sail away with her. Their chemistry is hot. I learned a new word. Pleasure pearl. I like it and I’m keeping it.
Forbidden Love:
This is a slow burn attraction of forbidden love. Elizabeth, a preachers daughter and  Kia, an African slave, love scene so sweet. Hot and riddled with guilt but they couldn’t stop.
Captain Blythe and Kia were my favorite characters It was their passion that got to me. And really… who can resist a Pirate..

Heat Rating 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

This was an excellent read. I highly recommend it.

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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On The Fly by P.J. Treblehorn

Fantastic Story, I enjoyed every minute!

What was the book about?:
Courtney is a gold medal Olympian in woman’s Ice Hockey. She plays professionally in the Ice Hockey League in her small-town. When she meets single mother, Lana she is automatically attracted to her and Lana’s obvious flirting makes it clear the feeling is mutual. The only problem is Lana is only in town until her father recovers from his heart attack. So can Lana and Court keep it casual or is falling in love inevitable? Because falling for eachother will only lead to a broken heart.

Featured Tropes: Sport, soul-mates, single mum

Book Strengths:
This was such an easy book to love. The story flowed beautifully, characters were really well developed, and I couldn’t put it down from the minute I started it. I also think it was really excellent how engaged I was in the sections that concentrated on ice hockey even though it is not a sport I know well. But the references to the sport weren’t too much either. The angst wasn’t overpowering either and was the perfect amount of angst vs love conquers all.
When I finished the book, I had this gut feeling that Court’s rival on the Ice, Jen, who was berating her for being a lesbian must be in the closet herself, and her story would make a great sequel. This woman is the pits, and you are driven to hate her by the end, but I just felt there might be something there for a sequel. Anyway, it led me to google, which led me to find out there is a sequel to this book coming out in December called ‘Face Off’. Unfortunately, it is not about Jen, but I now have hope that this book is the start of a series and she could be in the third book! Who knows, right?? But I am so excited to continue my Hockey education with this character in book two.

Character Chemistry:
From the moment Lana and Court set eyes on each other, the chemistry is off the chart. In fact, Lana starts flirting straight away. And I loved the fact it was the single mom that was the forward, flirty character instead of the usual cocky jock taking the lead!
The sex scenes were very sexy but also balanced a nice level of intimacy that really cemented the chemistry and connection between Court and Lana.
And the epilogue… Wow, don’t get me started! All the lovely feels!

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Fantastic book. Bring on book two in the series!!

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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