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What was the book about?

This is a story about love and personal growth. I liked very much the way Ms Hill showed us these two tormented women through each of their eyes, and see them grow before our eyes. It is a very slow-paced romance, but it couldn’t be any other way. The pace fits the story perfectly. Melanie and Erin, two women with a rough past who have been fighting their demons on different sides. When Erin’s family couldn’t stand anymore, seeing how she was driving herself to self-destruction slowly every day more and more by working nearly to death and filling her body with caffeine and alcohol, they sent her to a remote ranch in New Mexico with no internet access and limited communications to heal. Running away from her past Melanie ended up at the Ranch and has for seven years now. She is the youngest in their small community. This time she gets to host the new guest for three months. Erin didn’t want to be there, and Melanie just wanted her peace and solitude. But as the days passed by and they started to know each other better, help each other go through the days and heal. They forged a strong friendship and got close while they fell in love without even noticing. Melanie struggling deeper with her demons, trying to fight the attraction… Until there’s no reason to fight anymore. But Erin is still going back to her old life…..

Featured Tropes: Opposites attract / Internal journey / Slow-paced romance

Book Strengths:

This soul searching journey it’s a very well written one and undoubtedly one of the greatest things about this book. It is a sweet heartwarming story, a feel-good kind of romance, with a little bit of angst and some light steamy scenes. The author descriptions of the scenes are well detailed that it is like being there with them. I could feel the sun and picture myself there on the farm. That adds wonderfully to the reading experience. The side characters are very endearing, as well.

Book weaknesses:

It not a real weakness, but for some, the slow burn may not bode well. Although in my opinion, this story couldn’t have been rushed. The slow burn is necessary and fits well.

Character Chemistry:

The development and growth of the characters throughout the story is one of the best things about the story. Both characters with troubled souls, find each other to find their way and heal. Very romantic, it’s so easy to love them both and cheer on for them. It is very enjoyable to see their transformation as individuals and little by little as a couple. From strangers to friends and finally to lovers.

Heat Rating: 2.5

Conclusion:  It is a very enjoyable read. If a sweet romance with endearing characters that share a soul searching journey is your thing. This is the book for you.

Star Rating: 4

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Reviewed at Les Revêur (36)
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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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Kat’s Nine Lives by Laina Villeneuve

No Matter how many lives you have, you have to live them to the full!

What was the book about?:
Kat Morehart is a wedding planning at her local church until she becomes disillusioned with how the priest decides not to marry a gay couple. In trying to give this couple the wedding they will cherish Kat has to face her past and decide whether she grabs the future with both hands and lives her life to the fullest or stays safe in the cocoon she has built for herself. Will Kat find more than friendship with Wendy and will she find the love that she deserves?

Featured Tropes: Romance, friends to lovers

Book Strengths:
This book was well written and the characters well described. Even though it is a romance at its heart it also shows the consequences of the choices Kat and her family have made in their lives. Choices that have deep and ongoing effect. The build-up in the relation between Kat and Wendy is a slow smouldering burn.

Book weaknesses:
I thought in parts the pace could have been a little faster.

Character Chemistry:
The feelings between Kat and Wendy change slowly over time. Wendy is sure what she wants, but has the patience to give Kat the space to understand where her true feelings lie. There were times when I really wanted to push Kat along, but that has more to do with my impatience than hers!

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Conclusion:
Well written, enjoyable romance

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

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Kickin’ Rocks by Marianne K. Martin

Kickin’ Rocks takes you by the hand and says, “Come with me. I have a beautiful story to tell.”

What was the book about?:
Jada Baker might be a millennial, but she was born to worry—about her mom, about her job, about abused animals, and about the growing hatred she sees playing out in the news every day. But she also believes that the system will work, that goodness will win out over evil, and that she can find a love as rich and deep as the love her parents have for one another. And when Amie Luca, a veterinarian whose compassion and dedication to helping mistreated animals captures her heart, Jada finally begins to trust that she has found what she’s been searching for all along. When the system suddenly fails them and their happiness is threatened by ugly hate and bitter homophobia, the young couple turns to help from a woman who has learned the hard way that kicking rocks is painful and that it takes unwavering persistence to move them. Dusty Logan fought for the ERA, she’s suffered with friends through the AIDS crisis, and she’s battled for the right to openly love a woman—but a lifetime of fighting has left her exhausted and disengaged. Yet when she sees a new generation of women facing old, familiar challenges, her spirit to fight the good fight once more is rekindled—and Jada and Amie might have a shot at real happiness after all.

Featured Tropes: Politics, rallies, forever-love, grief, happily-ever-after.

Book Strengths:
Talk about a book taking your heart out, stomping on it like grapes in a barrel, and then shoving it back into your chest. I cried while reading this story. If there are typographical errors in this review, it’s because I can’t see the keys through my tears. The writing is wonderful. Crisp, clean, and like a vortex of prose, sucking you in and holding you there. This story is about passion and love between two pairs of women. But it’s the story of a passion for finding your place in society, in the world, and how to fight for all of it. Even when you think you’ve lost.

Book weaknesses:
I found some of the American political references hard to understand, but after a while, my incomprehension didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the story.

Character Chemistry:
Dusty and Ali, the two characters who traverse the 1970s, 80s, 90s are divine. Utterly gorgeous, timeless love. No spoilers, but oh my God. Jada and Amie are the millennials; so much cute chemistry and sweet newness.

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥

Conclusion: Two beautiful vines that start independently and twist and tangle together to create a gorgeous inter-generational story.

Star Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I’d seriously give it more if I was allowed.

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The Empath by Jody Klaire

Fantastic way to start a series!

What was the book about?:
Aeron, a woman with a gift and a troubled past, returns home from a correctional facility to find herself judged, and exiled. She finds herself embroiled in a crime for which the town immediately point the finger at her for blame, but is she just being set up?

Featured Tropes: Mysterious woman

Book Strengths:
I absolutely loved this story. It was heart-felt, deep with emotion and feeling, and fed my curiosity. There is nothing better than people with mystery, and Aeron has lots of it. Her story is unique, and I am so glad this is a series because I adore her, and can’t wait to find out more about her. Jody Klaire brilliant used Aeron’s gift as an Empath to create this uncertainty, but never letting enough doubt creep in for you to misjudge Aeron. You saw a kind, compassionate woman, who faced many challenges, but was always noble, trusting, and forgiving. 

The story was a thrill! Paranormal, mystery, and tons of intrigue building quite the complex and intricate crime thriller. As a reader I was encapsulated by the events going on in town, and invested in working out if they were all connected and whether I should doubt Aeron. Using both first person, and third person points of view really helped add to the confusion and distortion, in deceiving the reader to create such uncertainty in this thriller. 

I never could have guessed how intense this story was going to be, nor did I realise how emotional it was going to be until I started reading, but the journey was amazing, thought-provoking, and for me just a wonderful start to a series that is really going to keep me entertained, but also challenge me mentally. 

Book weaknesses:
Really every second of this story was amazing, and there was anything I didn’t like. 

Character Chemistry:
Aeron has to be one the most unique characters I have ever encountered. Everything she embodies is the ultimate reminder that no matter what, we are all human, we all have feelings, and we will be judged. Good or bad, you decide when it comes to Aeron, but I know I wouldn’t be frightened of her no matter what her capabilities, or her past. Aeron’s actions, thoughts, and feelings, were so well put to me in the first person narrative that I definitely felt a connection to her, and she is one of my all-time favourite characters. Nothing better than a misunderstood, misfit, with unique paranormal skills. Love Aeron. 

The ultimate reminder to never judge a book (person) by its cover!!! You will be surprised.

Star Rating: 5 Stars

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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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