Open Tab by JA Armstrong

Book one in the newest JA Armstrong Series, Whiskey Springs.

I can not begin to understand how heartbreaking it must be to lose the love of your life, but at the same time I can only imagine the level of strength it takes for you to pick yourself up and start fresh in a new town. JA Armstrong takes us along for the ride as Riley and her son Owen begin their new life in Whiskey Springs Vermont.

Whisky Springs is everything that Riley’s native San Diego is not as she finds out from the minute she arrives in town and her car breaks down. Enter Fallon Foster who has more than enough swagger and charm as the local bar owner to draw the attention of anyone. Add to that her caring nature and connection that she has instantly with both Riley and Owen and it’s near impossible not to want these two to find happily ever after together.

I have to confess that JA Armstrongs books are one of my faves and I was definitely not disappointed in the slightest by this brilliant book.

A massive 5 stars from me and I look forward to the sequel.

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

Amazon US

Amazon AUS

Amazon UK

Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler

This is definitely my favourite Rachel Spangler book to date… and I’ve read them all.

Corey is an Olympic medalist in Snow Boarding and for the first time she’s not on top of her game. She meets Elise who is trying to win a gold medal for the Olympic ski team after a bad injury has lost her a whole season. Elise is an ice queen and she’s only focused on one thing – winning. While Corey genuinely is there to live in the moment and have fun. When both these women begin to train together they find out that sometimes you have to change your strategy to win big… in the games and in their hearts!

I loved this book from the word go. Its not overly heavy on the sport side of the book which will be great for readers that don’t know much about the olympics but as I’m a big fan, the theme was a major tick for me. Also how awesome is the cover?… Yeah its Awesome!

Edge of Glory had fantastic plot and character development, especially for the two main protagonists, Corey and Elise. However, the secondary characters rocked just as much, especially Tigger who I hope ventures into a future book because she’s just helluva fun!

Corey and Elise have this unspoken gravitation to one another from the beginning. The chemistry between them was off the chart and I could feel it radiate off the page. I also want to say that this book didn’t have much angst (a little maybe but not much) and I think it was one of the major highlights for me.

Rachel Spangler is just awesome and she just keeps knocking them out of the park!

5 stars

 

If you would like to purchase Edge of Glory please follow the links below:

Bywaters Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

 

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Vactionland by Susan X. Meagher

Fantastic Novel, one I wasn’t expecting to grip me as much as it did.

Devon is the best vacation guide in Maine and she loves her job, along with the solidarity it brings but when she’s the last minute replacement for another guide, she meets the gorgeous corporate lawyer, Sunny who has came on the trip as a bonding experience with her colleagues. When the unexpected happens, they end up being thrown together physically and emotionally to get through a horrible experience and when they lean on each other for support, they begin to fall for each other. But Maine and Dallas are worlds apart, how can it ever truly work?

Can I marry Devon? Because whoa!!! She’s so sweet and considerate (even when she doesn’t realise it) while being effortlessly strong and sexy. I completely understood how Sunny fell without being able to stop herself. Sunny is also such an amazing woman who genuinely cares for everyone in her world, sometimes to her own depravity of the same things in return. But with Devon, she lets all hurt and heartache she has endured show and the vulnerability between them is so beautifully written it almost broke my heart a few times. It doesn’t happen often where I read two protagonists that I feel aren’t too good to be true and are just right in every aspect for each other, even if it means upending both their lives in the process to be together.

There’s also a scene where Devon is reading a book and I realised the book was not only her favourite novel but my favourite novel, All That Matters. I love these little pieces of information that is written into books, it makes me feel like I’m a part of the story.

The main reason I loved this book and so many others by Susan X Meagher is because I get so immersed in the story that I almost become a part of it. The characters almost become real and in some instances I wonder if they are people from the authors life.

There are so many points I want to delve into with this novel but from fear of spoiling some crucial plot thickeners I won’t but let me say this, Vactionanland is such a beautiful love story that it will pull at your heartstrings while taking you on a little adventure into the lives of two truly wonderful women.

Go buy it… 5 Stars!

 

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

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

 

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Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I am so glad I listened to her.

Lacey Matthews has moved to LA to continue the career she started in New York as a day time soap actress after loosing her job for coming out as a lesbian. She’s not exactly making waves in LA but when she’s approached by the very famous prime time tv star, Quinn Kincaid, to act as her real life girlfriend so Quinn can navigate how she will come out to her fans, the offer is more than a little attractive, as is Quinn. At first things are tumultuous between them but as they spend more time together both woman realise how good they could be together but Lacey’s past keeps seeming to catch up with her… could it ruin everything?

What a fantastic book. I’m so glad I read it but I’m annoyed I didn’t read it before doing my 12 best for 2016 because this would have definitely made the list.

I loved the Lacey and Quinn dynamic from the beginning, they had this sarcastic humour that was borderline serious goading but then in the same moments they were sweet and calling each other pet names. They certainly belong together and it’s evident from the first moment they meet.

I don’t want to ruin the plot twists but you will certain need your tissues with this one and I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a couple to make it as much as I did with Lacey and Quinn.

The book was written from both protagonists point of view, which was really valuable because the communication between Lacey and Quinn was sometimes sketchy so you need the internal moments to clarify feelings that they were hiding from one another.

All in all, a fantastic novel and I’ll be watching closely to see what comes next from Elle Spencer. In the meantime I’m off to read her debut novella, Forget Her Not.

5 stars

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

Amazon US

Amazon Au

Amazon UK

Hookin’ Up by MJ Williamz

Mel’s Review

Let me start by saying I am a massive MJ Williamz fan so when I heard she had a new book coming out I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

In this novel MJ Williamz takes us on a ride with two best friends who are also co-owners of a lesbian bar. It seems simple enough until Leah splits from her longtime girlfriend and decides she’s going to learn how to be a better lover by signing herself up to a lesbian hook up site.

Meanwhile we have Dillon who is trying so hard to be supportive of Leah’s conquests without giving away that she has been secretly in love with her for years. I found myself wanting to shake Leah and scream at her to wake up and notice Dillon who by all accounts is a complete catch.

I guess at times I felt that Leah’s character was a little monotonous but that could be easily put down to my own personal frustration with her. The sex scenes seemed to be a little lacking too from what I’ve come to expect from MJ.

Being a massive MJ fan I tend to hold her to an extremely high standard.

All in all I’ve given this book 4 stars

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if you would like to purchase Hookin’ Up please follow the links below:

Bold Strokes Books

Amazon US

Amazon AU

Amazon UK

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Charming The Vicar by Jenny Frame

Charming The Vicar is the second novel in Jenny Frame’s Axedale series and it’s one helluva book. I suggested to all readers to start with the first book in the series Courting the Countess, please see my review below but its also a fantastic novel.

Courting the Countess by Jenny Frame

I’ve been looking at this blank word document for 10 minutes, trying to form words about how much I loved this book. Here are the words swimming in my head: Sexy, Femme, Vicar that likes kink and Hot Butch Magician that resembles a boy toy! Hell yeah!!! Its probably the sexiest book I’ve read in a long time but it does not surprise me that it was written by Jenny Frame, her talent for writing just floors me each and every time and she just keeps getting better.

So a little about Charming the Vicar

Finn escapes her celebrity lifestyle and heads for the country after the death of her only family. As a famous magician she needs to be where no one knows her and she can repair her broken heart, that place is Axedale. The villagers welcome her with open arms especially the village Vicar, Bridget. With her high heels and leather jacket this Vicar is like no other and Finn is more than a little flummoxed by her. But there is something the Vicar hides and Finn wants nothing more than to reveal her little secret…

I talk about chemistry and connections between protagonists often because when I am in their world it needs it to be believeable, like it’s happening to the woman sitting next to me on the bus. When Jenny Frame writes she does just that, but on a deeper level I see the fairy tale elements that give me the hope and the butterflies that keep me turning the page. That’s what’s she’s created with Charming The Vicar because I can see the everyday in this story but I also feel like I’m reading the fantasy.

The sex scenes were some of the sexiest, most intimate and quite frankly, sensual I have read in a while. Jenny Frame had me hooked and I re-read a few scenes because I felt like I needed to experience the intense intimacy between Finn and Bridget again. The devotion they showed to one another during these sex scenes but also in the intimate moments was gripping and for lack of a better word, carnal.

Well I’m still coming down from reading quite frankly one of the best Jenny Frame books to date. I’m really hoping Farmer Quade is up next because she might tick even more boxes for me… but just now I’m still stuck on that saucy Vicar.

Unequivocally 5 stars. Can’t wait to see what Jenny Frame throws our way next.

 

If you would like to purchase Charming The Vicar please follow the link below:

Bold Strokes Books

 

 

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First Lady by Blayne Cooper, T. Novan

Reviewers note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the first book Madam President.

Well I think I might love this just as much or if not more than the first book Madam President.

Devlyn is under more stress than ever in the second year of her presidency. She’s trying to make everyone happy and that includes her country, her fiancé and her three children. Lauren is also struggling with parts of her new role as soon to be First Lady, new mother to Devlyns three adorable children all the while helping her mother-in-law with their wedding and working on Devlyns biography. Can they make it all work? And still get the fairytale with a happy ever after?

What I love about these women is their commitment and true love to one another. Theirs is not only an all consuming loving relationship but they are also best friends. They have moments where they are genuinely playing the role of best friends and others when they are lovers.

In the first novel I wondered at times if Devlyn’s first wife, Samantha was her soul mate and Lauren was her chance at love again. But what I realised in this book was that Samantha is Devlyns first love but Lauren, well… she’s Devlyn’s soul mate and love of her life. They compliment each other but Lauren also challenges her and when they stand toe to toe they are equals. I think this confirmation made me love this book a little more than the first because it became about the the love story not the falling in love and romance.

I liked that in this book we saw Devlyn really become consumed with her role as commander and chief and the way Lauren grounds her at times and calls her out more than once, makes the story more realistic. I also enjoyed the build up and the sequences where their relationship was tested beyond a normal couples limits but with these two their love, friendship and constant communication seems to be what fixes their bumps in the road. It was incredibly admirable and gave me hope for the duration of their relationship to be forever.

This book ended perfectly and even though I’d love to know what Devlyn and Lauren are up to now, I don’t need to know, you just know by the end that these two have a love that will last forever.

5 stars

Madam President by Blayne Cooper, T. Novan

I’m still stunned at how much I loved this book. This is such a beautifully written love story that had me laughing, crying and heartbroken all in the same novel.

Develyn Marlowe has just started her first term as America’s first female and lesbian president. She and her three children have moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and are readying themselves for the four year (at least) term as the First Family. Devlyn needs a biographer to write her Presidential story and who else but her favourite biography author, Lauren Strayer. Lauren is apprehensive about writing the new Presidents’ biography but she’s been promised no holds barred account and has even been asked to live in residence at the White House to capture everything about Devlyn. After a while both women find themselves falling for each other but what does this mean for Lauren’s writing integrity and is Devlyn ready to finally let go of her first love and wife to move on with someone who could be her one true love?

I was not expecting the emotional roller coaster ride that Devlyn and Lauren were going to take me on. But I loved every minute and reading every word. The love that unfolds between these two women is powerful and exciting while still being the ultimate best friendship. There weren’t many sex scenes and the ones that were, written light and not overly detailed but for this book and these characters it worked completely and I couldn’t see it any other way because it was their intimate conversations and moments of silent shared knowledge of their feelings that was really what drew me to their relationship.

The secondary characters in the book just made me love the storyline even more and clarified a lot of the storyline from the past, for example, Devlyn’s wife who passed away. David and Beth were definitely my favourite secondary characters because their friendship drove many of the larger moments that lead to Devlyn and Laurens expression of love.

At times I felt part of the story and kept turning the page for more because I was living the story. If you hadn’t already guessed it I adored this book and it goes straight onto my all time favourite list.

5 stars

To purchase Madam President please follow the link below:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon AU

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Close To Home by Rachel Spangler

I can’t believe this is the first review I have ever written for one of Rachel Spangler’s books. So without further ado, here’s my review of Close To Home.

Close To Home is the third novel in Rachel Spanglers ‘A Darlington Romance’ series and it’s one helluva book.

I would recommend reading the first book A Long Way From Home and then the second book Timeless before starting this one. It will help with continuity with the story lines and secondary characters, who most of where main characters in either the first two books.

Kelly has always lived in the closet, so much so it ended her last and only previous relationship. Living in a small town is her main reason for being closeted, not to mention the gossip that could ensue. When her father gets sick and can no longer work at their small accountancy firm she accepts the help of an intern, Elliot. Elliot is young, obviously gay and doesn’t care who she offends but she’s also smart, forthright and caring to a fault. How could Kelly not fall for her? But will Kelly really ever come out of the closet long enough to be worthy of Elliot?

As much as Kelly had some redeeming qualities by the end of A long way from home I still finished the book disliking her. So I knew Rachel Spangler had some work to do for me to really enjoy her starring role in this novel. I literally went from loathing Kelly, to being attracted to Kelly, to really liking Kelly and how sweet she was with Elliot, to then thinking Kelly was crazy and it started all over again. Ultimately, she’s complex and my second favourite character in the series after Elliot whom I just have such a major crush on. Elliot’s dashing, androgynous and with such an amazing personality that just had me enchanted from the first moment she graced the page. It’s funny, Elliot’s relationship with her mother is very similar to mine and I think i understood her personality quirks and her fight a little better than any other character I’ve ever read. A lot of her morals and values are similar to mine which makes me wonder if it was the way I was raised in similarity to her (fictional) upbringing that aligns our personalities so well.

The introspective musings of both Elliot and Kelly are written so eloquently that you can imagine the feelings and the build up actually happening to you, the reader. It is quite a beautiful feat that Spangler is able to do this.

This is a sexy little number with a delicious build up in the love making department. For example the first sex scene knocked me from my seat because I was not expecting it but it was a very pleasant surprise but then the second and third sex scenes where even better and each time I felt a little taken aback.

I don’t have one negative thing to say about the book, I hope this series doesn’t end quite yet. Maybe Doctor Patel needs her own story? (I’d actually love that). But who knows?

Undoubtedly 5 stars.

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

Bywater Books

Amazon US

Amazon Aus

Amazon UK

The Art Of US by KL Hughes

 
This was probably one of the most angst ridden novels I have read all year. It literally kicked the wind out of me more than once with this heart breaking tale of second chance love.
 
Charlee and Alex met in college and fell madly in love and knew they had met their soul mates. Unfortunately when Alex is offered an important job at the other side of the country they just can’t make the long distance work. They both love each other enough not to ask the other to give up on their dreams but they know they will never truly get over the love they have for one another. They struggle to get on with their lives and can’t seem to make it work without daily pangs of love for one another. When Alex’s work moves her back to Boston and they bump into one another it’s obvious to them both that they never stopped loving one another. But can they have their second chance? And how do they tell their now partners about their undeniable love without hurting them. 
 
This is possibly the most angst filled book I’ve read this year. It swept me up and made my heart ache so bad that I cried more reading this book than I have in a while. Both Charlee and Alex don’t want to hurt anyone and their honourable and caring nature just endeared them to the reader more. They had chemistry that made the air leave the room and it just added to the angst and foreboding when they didn’t give in to their needs. I think they fact that these main protagonists never hated each other after their break up made their reconnection even more explosive. 
 
I did feel that the scenes jumped back and forth between past and present with no clear line of definition of where in their relationship you are at that time. There were moments I thought that they had finally followed their feelings only to find out in fact they had but it was when they were together the first time round at college.
 
The secondary Characters were fantastic and in particular Gabby, Charlee’s Mum. She was warm, and generally caring and her moments in the story made me want these characters to make it more than ever before. I’d also love a story about Cam or Vinny because those two rocked their character personalities and I’d definitely be friends with them both. 
 
Great book that I look forward to rereading again very soon. 
 
4 stars
If you would like to purchase The Art Of Us please follow the link below:
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