A Proper Cuppa Tea by KG MacGregor

Such a great book, perfect for a lazy day or relaxing on holiday.

Channing meets Lark on a transatlantic flight to England and her new life. She’s quite standoffish to begin with but soon realises that Lark’s genuine personality and stellar wit are something she enjoys quite a lot. She’s been left heart broken after her office affair with her married boss crumbles and she isn’t looking for that to happen anytime soon but Lark is maybe just the remedy to something greater. But Lark lives in Boston and Channing in England… Are they fools to begin something that can’t last forever?

While this isn’t my favourite KG MacGregor novel it was still a lovely story that gave me the feels. With very little angst and a budding love story that obviously has the making of something great, I fell into the enjoyable world of Lark and Channing. I really liked the fact there wasn’t much angst in this book and felt that it was the better for it however, I did feel that there could have been more passion between the two lead protagonists.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters in the novel and found that I was quite intrigued about their story as well. I was shocked to see I was 80% in and hadn’t come up for air but that’s what makes a good story great, when you fall down the rabbit whole into the authors’ world.

As always I will be waiting with bated breath for the next KG book.

4 stars

 

if you would like tp purchase A Proper Cuppa Tea please follow the links below:

Bella Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

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Gold by E.J. Noyes

You know when you get a book and you know you’ll like it because everything the author has previously written has been great? Yeah, well I didn’t like this book… I absolutely freaking loved it! E.J. Noyes has just blown everything she’s written prior out of the water because this book is by far her best and I am still coming down from my Gold high.

Aspen is an ex Olympic skier, she now spends her time chasing the white gold also known as snow around the world as a Ski Instructor. After an injury changed her life (much worse than her exterior shows), she shies away from being broken again especially heart broken. Cate Tierney appears to have herself together; she has a great job, a loving daughter and wonderful friends. While falling for Aspen could be really easy, she has so much to loose and can’t bare to make another mistake that could effect not only her heart but her daughters. With so much emotional growing to do, can either of these women find a way to make their destined love work?

Gold is written solely from Aspens point of view and what a view on her life she has. Seeing the relationship develop from Aspens eyes was at times exciting and a little funny, other times it’s was heartbreaking. I wanted to hop in the book and give her a big hug.

I really love Aspen. She’s incredibly sweet, loving and wears her heart on her sleeve even to the point in the book that her sister says she has a “Dictionary and Translation service” mapped on her face. But there is a flip side to Aspen; she’s had a tough time. She’s a little timid about love due to her fear that she will get swept up and get left even more broken than the last time she was hurt emotionally and physically. She has her secrets and worries of them often. In saying that, all these things have just made her even more genuine and I felt more connected with her after her emotional scars were known, she seemed more real. I mean this book had me in tears sometimes because my heart was about to burst with all the love and other times because damn, it was just heart breaking.

But in walks Cate and Aspen thinks she hung the moon. She’s falling fast and it looks like Cate is feeling the same way. Cate is completely supportive of Aspen in almost every way except how she deals with her injuries from her Olympic skiing career. It’s the only major sticking point between them but what would romance be without a little angst. I have to mention the sex scene because… Damn! E.J. Noyes certainly turned up the heat in this book. Sexually it was Cate that really shocked me and boy, did that get Aspen all hot and bothered!

I reckon the secondary characters could be revisited in years to come (book years not actual years) with a relationship between Stacey and Gem. I just get the a warm feeling about them in the future… ‘The Geek and The Jock’ trope always has me swooning.

Exceptional book from E.J. Noyes! 5 stars

 

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

Bella Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

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The Shape of You by Georgia Beers

I actually can’t contain my excitement over this book… I stayed up all night reading The Shape of You and then lay for a hour afterwards going over the book in my head.

Rebecca is filling in for her colleagues “Be Your Best Bride” personal training class and she isn’t happy about it. She makes a plan to turn the class around and make it fun, that is until the beautiful Spencer walks into the class and informs her that her fiancé signed her up for the class without telling her. Now Rebecca and Spencer have a clear attraction to each other but Spencer is engaged to someone else. The question is, is she really happy? And Rebecca needs to find a way to avoid Spencer if she can’t keep her fascination hidden. Can these two keep their feelings for each other under wraps when temptations are so high?

I am so blown away by The Shape of You but more so I am impressed with the author for going down the route she has on this book, it was incredibly brave. Lots of readers don’t like when protagonists have feelings for other characters while in a relationship with someone else but this book is written very cleverly. At no point did I think that Spencer belongs with her fiancé and I knew from the beginning that underneath Rebecca’s frustration was fascination and she was the perfect match for Spencer. Now if only Georgia Beers would write a book about Marti, Spencers fiancé I reckon everyone would be happy.

Initially I worried that the amount of page time focussed on the gym would be too much but in fact it was actually the setting for some of my favourite moments. In saying that, I want to commend Georgia for her empowering portrayal of personal trainers not being all about body shaming, but instead emphasising that exercise is about overall health, not just about being skinny. Yay! Go Georgia!

I love books that poke at characters inner turmoil and really puts them through the emotional ringer before they can settle on what they really want and this book pushes that limit, especially for Spencer. I probably liked her character the best; she thought by keeping life predictable she would never get her heart broken but she really didn’t expect what Rebecca could do to her, emotional and physically.

I know I always say this about Georgia Beers’ books but there is no one that writes first kisses like her. They are hot, steamy and all too much!!! But the follow through with the amazing sex scenes was just icing on the cake, I mean…. Wow!

I really enjoyed the out of the box writing that Georgia Beers has pulled off in this novel, it’s fresh, exciting and ultimately another 5 star novel!

 

If you would like to purchase The Shape of You its available NOW at Bold Strokes Books and mid-August on Amazon. Check out the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

The Shape of You

Take Your Time by VK Powell

The last book in the A Pine Cone Romance series was excellent and I reckon VK Powell wrote the perfect book to round up the series.

Dani Wingate is new in town and working in a small country Vet clinic. None of these factors are what Dani wants. She wants to go back to he big city and continue working at the zoo she loves but budget cuts have forced her hand. So why does the world tip on its axis every time deputy sheriff, Grace Booker is around? Especially when Dani despises cops. Grace is a small town girl and looking for love, something Dani is not looking for or ready for… So why does she feel so connected to Grace?

On one hand I was glad to finally get the last book in the series but in the other, I am really heartbroken it’s over. These three books have such beautiful nuances in many ways but are completely different in other aspects. For one, each book is written by a different author but all the characters from each book are the same. And while each author is telling a different protagonists story, each time they are able to keep each of the personalities constant throughout. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when all three were plotting the stories out.

This is the first VK Powell book I have reviewed and I am excited to see what else I can nab from her back catalogue… If you have suggestions throw them my way.

Both Grace and Dani’s characters are developed well and I was so excited to get to this book because they have had staring roles in the first two books and I was well and truly intrigued. I actually think this book had me hooked more than the first two because from the first book, Take My Hand by Missouri Vaun, I knew I wanted to know Dani and Grace’s back story and I was pleasantly surprised.

Grace for me was the star of the book, I think mostly because I feel like I am Grace in a lot of ways so when she done and said certain things I was very aware that my own response would be the same if not aligned. In saying that, I thought Dani was a bit of a stud and wouldn’t have minded chasing her around Pine Cove. When these two were able to lock the world out there was some really beautiful moments and I shouted at my kindle screen more than once, “Dani just let go” or “Dani you idiot”… Yes, I got more than a little caught up in the excitement of the Pine Cone Drama.

I reckon if these are the sex scenes VK Powell can write then I have been missing out and I will definitely be checking out more because WOW!

All in all… Fantastic!

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase

Bold Stories Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

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Switching Gear by Rhavensfyre

It’s been a year since Micah walked out of Olivia’s house and life for what felt like forever. Olivia finally has all her ducks in a row and life is good, it’s just missing one crucial element, Micah. Now Micah’s back and Olivia will do anything to make sure she never leaves again. For Micah, her life has never been easy but the past year has been the worst by far. She finds it hard to trust people or let them behind her emotional walls but one thing is certain, she has never stopped loving Olivia…

I forgot how much I loved this book. Rhavenfyre really drew me in from the beginning. It’s a fast paced dialogue which I really enjoyed because at no point was I wishing I could jump ahead. I also love the ‘Melting Ice Queen’ trope and in this book it was written beautifully but what made this book different was that Olivia’s stern and business like attitude started to dissipate from the beginning so it didn’t take long for her feelings to really shine through for Micah.

Micah has some real deep rooted emotional issues that Olivia actually helps her break through and I think it’s a testament to the authors that they could take Micah’s trauma and turn it into a strength. Micah and Olivia are polar opposites but they complement each other beautifully. The sex scenes in this book are incredibly hot and I think readers will be pleasantly surprised by how delicious they are.

I also loved Olivia’s daughter, Reggie. She was a bundle of cuteness especially in the moments when she shares page time with both Olivia and Micah. They are such an adorable little family unit.

I think this book was amazing and I’d love Rhavenfyre to write a short or sequel to Micah and Olivia’s story, not because the book needs it but because I just want more.

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Switching Gears please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

 

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Code of Conduct by Cheyenne Blue

As a tennis nut I knew this book would be right up my alley and I wasn’t wrong… I loved it from start to finish.

This is unquestionably a story about love conquering all. Viva is an all-star female tennis player at the top of her game until one foot fault penalty looses her the match title and her confidence and she is never the same again. Viva blames the over eager lines-woman for her loosing the game and holds onto the grudge until they bump into each other in the Australian outback when Viva is heading home to visit her family.
Gabriella always plays by the rules, especially when it comes to her job as a professional Tennis Umpire. She is ready for her next big career move into top tier umpiring but what she doesn’t expect is Viva to walk into her life and change everything, for example, breaking the biggest rule of all… no relationships with tennis players. But Viva makes Gabriella want to forget the rules and everything she has worked incredibly hard for.

Firstly, I love tennis, especially women’s tennis so this book had my attention before I even started it. So when it landed in my mailbox I was more than slightly excited and Cheyenne Blue did not let me down. The book was written from both main protagonists POV and was interesting to get to know them both, especially the very stand offish Gabriella.

What’s excellent about this book is that you do not need to be an aficionado on tennis to get the book, it’s not all about tennis, it centres around both these beautiful women and their struggle to be together. Don’t get me wrong, tennis plays a major role but it’s not written in a way where you’re Googling tennis terms all the time to check what’s going on… this is something I have been stung by before so I was really happy that it was written as a book for romance lovers, not just tennis fans.

This book is definitely a slow burn but not in usual sense. It’s apparent pretty quickly that these two protagonists are attracted and care for one another but the narrative takes its time on the route to them actually becoming an item. The characters are more of ‘opposites attract’ trope and it worked beautifully in this story. My favourite character was Gabriella, which surprised me because normally Viva would be definitely up my street however, Gabriella’s character unravelled slowly and something about Viva made her toss caution to the wind, which I thought was really sexy. I loved how strong willed and passionate she was and that when it came down to it, she valued her career as highly as Viva’s even though Viva was the famous one.

I loved the secondary characters especially Jelina and Alina. I finished the book and pondered straight away if there was a sequel there for them, almost like the Ice Queen and the nice girl… food for thought!

I can’t wait to re-read this one in a few months when the Australian Open begins, it’s definitely my favourite sports Lesfic to date.

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Code of Conduct please follow the links below:

Ylva Publishing

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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The Curvy Side of Life by Suzie Carr

Why did I wait so long to read this book? The Curvy Side of Life has just become one of my favourite books to date.

Faith is the heroine of the story and the whole book is written from her point of view. This is not your usual Lesfic, don’t get me wrong it has a lovely love story but what is really special is that it’s a story about finding yourself later in life and how wonderful it can be.

Faith has had a rough few years, life has thrown her more than one curve ball and she’s at the end of her tether. She’s got squirrels reeking havoc on her car, no job, her estranged husband has moved on with his life and her daughter has stopped talking to anyone but her and her ex-husband. She’s done! Over it! Then her sister calls and invites Faith and her daughter to come to Rhode Island and get away from life for the summer. When she arrives in Rhode Island she doesn’t fit in straight away but the more she relaxes the more she settles in to find herself. One such revelation is she is extremely attracted to the ‘Yoga Goddess’ from next door and she is getting the growing feeling that it’s mutual.

This is the first book I have read by Suzie Carr and I know as soon as I finish writing this review I will be heading to Goodreads to read the synopses of her entire catalogue to pick my next. I think one of the main reasons I connected with this book is that Faith is a mum like me and our parenting style is extremely similar. So throughout the book I felt like I was along for the ride and connected with a lot of her moments with daughter, Bristol.

Obviously the main component in the book is Faith coming out and while that happens she starts to have feelings for Candace, who is the house sitter next door. Candace leads a very transient lifestyle and will only be in Rhode Island until her next house sitting job comes up and this makes Faith wary from the get go. What I loved about Candace is that she wears her heart on her sleeve and is very upfront about her feelings towards Faith and to be honest, as a woman barely out the closet, Candace is exactly the kind of woman who is perfect for Faith.

The secondary characters in this book make up least half, if not more, of the novel content and the book is the richer for it. When Faith moves to Rhode Island she’s not only staying with her sister but her sisters extended family and that is a lot of opinions to contend with. Mostly they are supportive and this novel wouldn’t be the same without them, especially Lucia. Lucia’s sage advice caught me off guard more than once with her easy-going nature and loving personality.

All in all, this was a fabulous book and I would highly recommend it to any late bloomers in the LGBT community, as well as everyone else.
5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase The Curvy Side of Life please follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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Take A Chance by D. Jackson Leigh

This is the second book in the A Pine Cone Romance novel trilogy series and this time D. Jackson Leigh takes the reigns to tell us Trips love story.

Trip is the cool kid in her small town of Pine Cone and she knows it. She’s a little cocky but has a big heart and is fiercely protective of all she loves. Trip likes the easy life of fast women and fast horses, definitely not ready to settle down. She becomes disgruntled by the incessant new cop in town that keeps smacking parking tickets to her car… doesn’t she know who Trip is? New cop in town is Officer Jamie Grant who is cool as a cucumber until her PTSD springs to life from her days of tours in Afghanistan. Jamie is annoyed with larger than life Trip parking where she wants when she wants with her devil may care attitude, but could she be more annoyed at the woman she left behind at college who broke her heart? Yes, Trip and Jamie were best friends in college and when a three way went wrong with Jamie’s then girlfriend, Trip took the blame for something that was never her fault… She was in love with Jamie and always thought their love was unrequited. Can they now find a way to put the past behind them and rediscover their true feelings?

This book is the unrequited love trope I love with a twist and it made for a charming storyline, one that if I’m honest I did not want to end. I really enjoyed the character dynamic with this book, of two very strong independent women who aren’t looking for love but fall for the one they already love. It is quite an angsty story but in a enjoyable way. I have to say that I found Trip quite arrogant in the first book but all came to light when reading this and I really enjoyed her depth of character that D. Jackson Leigh was able portray, especially in the moments Trip was with Jamie or her friends. Jamie’s character blew me away, she’s been through so much and yet still comes out the other side a good person. Her feelings for Trip are interesting to watch unfold because you get the sense it is all an emotional wall to keep from getting hurt again but when she begins to let her walls down its’ quite exciting to see how their relationship develops, especially when the lies that have shaped their past relationship all come to light. The chemistry and dynamic between these two is fantastic and becomes even more intense when their sexual desires take over.

Before reading this book I highly recommend reading the first book in the series Take My Hand by Missouri Vaun where you will be introduced to Trip as well as the other Pine Cone must read characters.

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Take A Chance please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon US

Amazon Australia

Amazon U.K

 

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Q&A with May Dawney

May Dawney hit the lesfic scene earlier this year with her Ylva published debut Survival Instincts, and has since gone it alone with her series, The Veil Chronicles. The first book in that series, Wild Magic, has been out since April, and is currently free on Amazon until the end of today. Wild Magic tells the story of Ania Zaleska, who lives a perfectly ordinary—albeit floundering—life in Poland’s second-biggest city until the day she explodes. She’s dug from the rubble of her apartment building by shadow mage Noah Otieno, whose job it becomes to get Ania’s wild magic under control.
Noah is affiliated with the Society for Psychical Defense but she has kept herself away from magical politics as much as possible. Now she is in charge of potentially the most powerful magical weapon on either side of the war, she must decide how she can best keep her safe—especially when their magic brings them together in ways only wild magic can.

Check out her Q&A with Erin Hodgson from Write Hand Woman NZ below:

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Social media. Facebook groups can be such a time sink!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
That she’s fine, and that while she could have done a lot of things differently, things happen when and how they happen. She did good. Perhaps I’d tell her to believe in herself a bit quicker. It would’ve made her life a little easier going forward to know that she has the skills she needs.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
In every way. I was lucky to have an amazing editor and mentor in Sandra Gerth (Jae) and a wonderful publishing house in Ylva Publishing. They taught me so much about not only the process of publishing, but also on how and what to write. Everything from reader expectations to proper comma placement came up and it’ll shape how and what I write forever, I’m sure.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I think this might not be money I spent but money I did not earn. I pretty much quit my job the second Survival Instincts finished its editing. I knew without a doubt that writing was what I wanted to do with my life, so I jumped in head first. I kept a small part-time job and took the occasional assignment to cover bills until I started earning enough with writing to cover them. I ate a lot of dry (grainless) pasta! Ha! But the freedom that leap gave me was worth all the income I no longer had.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I Jekyll and Hyde on this. I’m either a soaring eagle and the words soar, I get massive word counts in a day, and the world is mine to do with as I please…or I’m a sloth. I try to minimize the sloth days, but you know, those buggers creep up on you!

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two in editing, two in writing. Oh how I wish for more hours in the day! 😉

How many hours a day do you write?
As many as I can fit in! Anywhere from four to ten on an eagle day, but on sloth days, I’ll be lucky to get one or two.

How do you select the names of your characters?
I tend to pick the most commonplace names for my characters that seem to fit them. I don’t like exotic names because they draw focus away from the story. “Claire” just reads easier than “Krystabelle” Nothing wrong with “Krystabelle,” but it takes some time to decipher. Its my firm belief that readers should be reminded of the fact that they are reading a book, not living the story, as little as possible.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Not on purpose, but because I tend to plunge readers in the middle of my stories, there are many things in them that get interpreted differently by different people. I love hearing those theories!

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Plot holes! I plot out all my stories, make sure the timelines work, set up each character’s arc before I start to write and inevitably, I will end up with a hole the size of Alaska somewhere that I did not see coming until I am on the edge of it and go “Oh. Damn.” Then it takes a week, minimum, to fix it. So frustrating! But that is also what makes the process of writing so much fun. You always surprise yourself as well. Always.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Because of the plot hole issue and sloth days, about a month. For the first draft. I’m working on minimizing the risk of plot holes and sloth days to get that number down!

The London Of Us by Clare Lydon

When it comes to great British rom-coms, I always know I will get something special from Clare Lydon. She writes relatable characters with sass and witt that charm you from chapter one.

Alice has realised her perfect “straight” life ain’t so perfect anymore, especially when she can’t stop her developing feelings for her close friend, Rachel. As she decides to break from her current relationship in a bid to find herself and get to know the real Alice, she discovers that when it comes to Rachel she can’t help but jump right in and try to get the girl of her dreams… literally!

This book gave me butterflies and is by far my favourite Clare Lydon book to date. She completely blew me away with this beautiful story about not always expecting who you fall in love with. The London of Us was written completely from Alice’s POV which honestly couldn’t have gone any other way because this is Alice’s coming out story so we (the reader) needed to be in her head for all the best coming out moments. Like how do you have sex with a women? Why is coming out such a big deal?

If there was ever a late coming out story for women, this is the book. Alice and Rachel’s journey to love was beautiful and had many twists and turns but all for the greater good. Their love was triggered by intense sexual chemistry that emanates off the page. Plus the sex was hot… like smoking! It really relays how much sex with a woman can be such an amazing awakening…. Well, it was for me and hey, sounds like Alice too.

One of my favourite things about each book Clare Lydon writes is that her secondary characters are carried on. It makes her stories seamless and is the reason I adore her series’ so much. I have a feeling that the next story might be about Rachel’s younger sister, Becca… just a hunch.

Another clever witty book from Clare Lydon with all the love and romance you’ve come to adore!

This one truly is my Lydon favourite. 5 stars.

If you would like to purchase The London Of Us then follow the links below:

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK