Category Archives: Amy P

TWO 5 Star Reviews for The Color of Love (Romance #13) by Radclyffe #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: The Color of Love (Romance #13)
Author Name & Publisher: Radclyffe (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Literary agent Emily May is in danger of losing everything she’s worked for—her job, her home, her friends, and the security she provides her older sister back in Singapore—all because she doesn’t have a green card. Racecar enthusiast, high-flying, fast-living Derian Winfield is called home when the only family member she still cares about falls ill. Forced into assuming a role in her father’s dynasty she’s spent years avoiding, Derian needs to rehabilitate her black sheep reputation in a hurry or the agency will likely end up being lost in a takeover. Together, she and Emily take on Derian’s father and his hatchet woman, and in the process, Derian comes up with a plan to solve both their problems. Now she only needs to convince Emily to marry her, a perfectly reasonable solution to all their troubles, or so she thinks. She just hadn’t counted on falling in love.

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Review

FiveStars

This beautifully romantic story had me hooked from the start. Emily was a dedicated literary agent working for Derien’s family agency. When agency head Henrietta becomes Ill and Derien returns from her travels things begin to get interesting . Derien has led a celebrity lifestyle, with lots of women and gambling but Emily finds she’s not at all like the headlines would have you think. She’s kind , sensitive and unbelievably sexy. Emily finds herself falling hard. I loved seeing how Derien changed as she realised she loved Emily and how she was willing to completely alter her life for her. Emily changed too in that she began to see herself capable of great passion and love. She had been all about business and responsibility before.  Together they fought against forces intent on cutting the agency to the bone and changing its whole ethos. Worries about Emily’s visa were a constant threat too. It all led to them becoming closer and to some scorching sex scenes that are to be expected in a Radclyffe novel. She really knows how to write intense arousal and passion and never disappoints. Heart-achingly romantic doesn’t even begin to describe this story.

Kitty Kat

FiveStars

Can I just say how glad I am that I picked this book up? I know that my opinion may differ from others, but the last couple of books from Radclyffe have seemed to lack the deft touch that made her books so good. This book seems like she’s back in top form. Both characters have depth, and they seem to follow a logical progression that not only shows how they’ve changed, but how they fell in love. Emily is a girl after my own heart, with her love of books, and I loved the fact that she was a literary agent. Derian was a little harder to like at first, with the type of lifestyle she lived, even if she didn’t really enjoy it. Two things saved Derian for me; the fact that she loved Henrietta so much, and that she was ready for a change in her life, and didn’t have a problem going where her heart led her. I know we don’t get much of a resolution for Derian with her father in this book, but that’s something that’s going to take some time, and definitely not a focus in this book. There was a bit of a quick ending, because I would have liked to know what, if anything, Emily was going to do with her sister now that she has greater resources available. I also would have loved to see a little bit more of Derian in action in the boardroom. But truthfully, I came away from this story wholly satisfied and ready for whatever comes next from Radclyffe.

AmyP

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5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Tales from Sea Glass Inn by Karis Walsh #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Tales from Sea Glass Inn
Author Name & Publisher: Karis Walsh (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Over the course of a year at Cannon Beach, tourists and locals alike find solace and passion at the Sea Glass Inn.

Melinda Andrews and Pamela Whitford own the Sea Glass Inn at Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast. After an oil spill threatens their shore, Mel and Pam join members of the community as they fight to heal the beach and its inhabitants while finding creative ways to keep businesses alive until the tourist trade recovers.

In these four novellas, Pam and Mel’s guests and neighbors find healing for themselves as well. From local residents, including a baker and a bookseller, to a visiting author and a Department of Fish and Wildlife Officer, these women come to the ocean in need of comfort, inspiration, and renewal. They not only discover these qualities at the inn, but they also find what they need most: love.

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Review

FiveStars

Tales from Sea Glass Inn is a lovely collection of stories about the women who visit the Inn and the relationships that they form with each other. Pam and Mel run the Inn and they are always in the background of each story, helping others in a subtle way. Jenny and Helen meet when the town has to deal with an oil spill and are drawn to each other. They both have problems stemming from their childhoods and feel they are pulling in different directions. A romantic tale of love forcing people to confront themselves and their preconceptions and allow love to enter their lives.
Ari, a famous author with writer’s block, finds herself confronted with book owner Jocelyn, who seems to think she knows what is best for her. As they tussle they begin to realise that sometimes we need another person to point out the obvious. This story is about finding that special person and being open to it.
Heather and Aspen are polar opposites who are unhappy with their life’s and only by seeing the importance of following a dream find fulfilment. I enjoyed this one as it had two adorable characters who were so perfect for each other. They just
needed a push in the right direction.
The final tale is of Tam and Maggie, two women who are hanging onto childhood hurt and by being together realise that you don’t have to be defined by it. They were a passionate and sweet couple and I felt a veil was lifted from both as they became closer.
I loved all of the stories and how interconnections became more evident as they went on. The Sea Glass Inn was a catalyst for bringing people together and the owners Mel and Pam helped things along. An enjoyable read.
Kitty Kat

FourStars

To tell the truth, I’m a little disappointed to be giving this book only 4 stars. I loved the prior book, Sea Glass Inn, and was looking forward to revisiting Mel and Pam. I’ve also loved many of Walsh’s other books. And I did enjoy my look into how Mel and Pam were doing, and I love the concept of this book; four novellas spanning a year at the Sea Glass Inn, all of them weaving a strong sense of community that can overcome adversity, and allow growth and love. My real problem is that in each of the novellas there was one character that I had a hard time liking. Well, except the last one, Spinnaker. I did like both characters in this story. But the other stories seemed to focus on having a person who was just a little rude, a little closed off, and a little unlikable. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. After all, Walsh made me care about all of them enough to be happy for them by the end of their story. But I found myself a little dissatisfied while getting to the HEA. It’s almost as if they weren’t very nice people at the beginning of their story, and that makes me wonder what exactly the people who fell in love with them saw that made them continue trying to build a relationship. By the end of the book, and each story, Walsh made me happy that I read them, but I wouldn’t exactly put them in that love category that so many other of her books are for me.

Amy P

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5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Best Laid Plans by Jan Gayle #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Best Laid Plans
Author Name & Publisher: Jan Gayle (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Nicole James is a hard-working single mother who has dedicated her life to raising her son and providing a safe, loving home for him. Austin is a senior in high school now , and for the first time, Nicky is allowing some time for herself. When she meets Lauren Thomas, an architect at the firm where they work, they both fall deeply in love. Lauren is smart and charming and wonderful; she fits perfectly into Nicky’s family, which includes close friends who have stood beside her. But Nicky’s troubled past and Lauren’s societal fears present seemingly insurmountable challenges.

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Review

FiveStars

Nicky is a talented draughtsman, with a teenage son and a very complicated and scary past.  Lauren is a successful architect, new to the firm and absolutely gorgeous.  The women are really attracted to each other and after some initial flirting they have some very hot dates together that end with some great sex.  Lauren is not out though and the main problems they encounter are related to that.  I found that aspect of the book very interesting as it seemed strange that she felt she couldn’t come out to her mom or at work in this day and age.  She had good reasons though and her struggles were well written and made for a fascinating read.  I really wanted her to find the strength to be open as her relationship with Nicky was so dependant on it.  They made a great couple and the love and tenderness between them was evident.  The love scenes were beautifully constructed and felt very real and true.
The other part of the story, regarding Nicky’s ex boyfriend, Michael, was scary and horrible and the threat was there throughout.  The tension was well done and Jan Gayle knows how to crank it up a notch when required.  Nicky was such a great character – strong, intelligent, feisty and very sexy.  She had been through so much for her age but had managed to make so much with her life.  I wanted her to be happy at last with a woman who really loved her.  I really enjoyed this book and would love to find out what happens next……
Kitty Kat
FourStars
There are actually some parts of this that I don’t know how I feel about, but most of it is a nice, romantic story of two women who fall inexorably in love with each other. Lauren, however, isn’t out, either at work or with her family. In fact, no one but her sister knows, and Lauren’s fear is founded on an incident from her childhood involving her mother and her uncle. This means that when the two women are discovered together in public by an executive in their company, Lauren withdraws completely, and ends up hurting Nicky. Nicky gets to a point where as much as she cares about Lauren, it isn’t worth it to be treated in that manner whenever someone sees them together. She breaks things off. For Lauren, Nicky may just be the one person important enough to come out for. Nicky’s past isn’t all roses either. She was abused at home, along with her mother, by her stepfather. And as a teenager, when she ends up pregnant by the boyfriend she’s using to prove her heterosexuality, she finds out that he has a lot more in common with her stepfather than she’d thought. Now, fifteen years later, her ex is getting out on parole and she doesn’t know what to expect. It may cost her, and those around her, their lives. This is the part I don’t know how I feel about. I like the story of Nicky and Lauren getting together. I liked seeing Lauren grow and realize that Nicky is important enough for her to start living openly and honestly. This part of the book I really enjoyed. The end was a bit violent, which was kind of out of the blue, and jarring. Also, everybody just kind of took it in stride, with no big blowups or freakouts. I would have expected more of a reaction. All in all, it was an enjoyable read, and I liked it.
Amy P

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5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Just Enough Light by A.J. Quinn #FF #Thriller

CoverTitle: Just Enough Light
Author Name & Publisher: A.J. Quinn (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 264 pgs

Synopsis

Kellen Ryan has taken the survival skills she learned on the streets and used them to create an elite search-and-rescue operation, as well as the first home she’s known in forever—a sanctuary in Haven, Colorado, high in the Rockies.
A small mountain town was the last place Harvard-educated Dr. Dana Kingston expected to find herself. Still, when she’s offered an opportunity to partner with Kellen’s operation and develop a medical triage center, Dana follows her heart. Dana falls hard and fast for the enigmatic Kellen. But she quickly realizes Kellen’s heart is as carefully guarded as her past, and breaking through will take time. Except time is the one thing they may not have, because a deadly threat has returned, and this time he plans to finish what he started.

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Review

FiveStars

Dana moves to Colorado to work as a doctor at a rescue centre and clinic. She wants to be her own person and make a difference . Kellen runs the rescue part of the service and once they meet she is never the same again. How can either of them ever go back once they make a connection that overwhelms them both. This is a really great read, full of raw emotion and depth and at times a realisation of how awful people can be to each other. We find out how someone can be at the worst place imaginable and yet find a way to deal with it and turn it around. We find out that families come in all shapes and sizes and that loving each other is what makes a family, not blood. Kellen was an amazing character, the strongest yet most vulnerable woman. Dana managed to get past all of her defences and the love between them was staggeringly beautiful. The love scenes were scorching but the most tender imaginable. There was no doubt that they were meant for each other.
As both women become one they have to deal with a shooter determined to kill Kellen. The impending threat makes this an edge-of-the-seat read that I never wanted to end. A well deserved 5 stars.
Kitty Kat

FourStars

I have to say that I have enjoyed every AJ Quinn book that I’ve read, enough to keep an eye out for new books as they’re published. Here again, Quinn gives us a fast-paced, suspenseful plot and characters with depth. The book is a bit heavy though, as many of Quinn’s books are. She tends to address pretty difficult tragedies that her characters go through, and I actually find it amazing that she’s able to address them so well, without falling into the trap of wrapping everything up in a neat little bow by the end of the book. In this book, Kellen has a horrific past, bad enough that it still affects her to this day. She’s been able to open her heart and her home to two young girls who’ve suffered some of the same things she has. She’s tried to put roots down, despite not knowing how, and always being on the edge of running for safety, because in her life movement is safe. Into this semi-stable life comes Dana, who has her own issues, but the attraction between the two women is instant. I love the compassion and patience that Dana shows, not only with Kellen but with the girls as well. This is a group of people whose need for each other brings them closer and closer together. There are external forces coming to bear on Kellen, from her childhood and her more recent past, and all that pressure makes her want to run. Dana’s acceptance of who Kellen is allows Kellen to become more settled and sure of her footing. This was an exciting book, but again, there were a lot of weighty issues that became exposed through circumstances out of Kellen’s control. That may be too much for some readers to get through. My personal feeling was that it was a little much; after the reveal of Kellen’s past I wondered how she and Dana could make their relationship work because so much is unresolved for Kellen, and fear makes her flighty. Again, good job from the author of not allowing love to miraculously heal everything. These are issues that won’t easily go away, and I respect Quinn for not trying to wrap everything up in between the covers of the book. If you like romantic suspense, I’d definitely recommend this one.

AmyP

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5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Exchange by C.F. Frizzell #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Exchange
Author Name & Publisher: C.F. Frizzell (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: July 12, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Shay Maguire doesn’t realize how much of a fresh start she wants until she meets local newspaper editor Mel Baker in rural Tomson, Montana. But can she swallow being on the “dark side” of a town-wide development controversy if Mel sees her as the enemy? Jeopardizing revenue with her anti-development crusade, Mel earns Shay’s respect and empathy, but frustration mounts when Shay learns fear of devastating financial loss keeps Mel from revealing her lesbianism.

What Shay doesn’t know is that Mel’s life is controlled by a much stronger family secret. With both her newspaper and her love hanging in the balance, Mel is put to the test. Should she stand her ground? And will Shay still be there when the dust settles?

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Review

FiveStars

Hot butch Shay moves to a small town where closeted newspaper editor Mel tries to stop developers running roughshod over the town by ignoring safety and by-laws.  Shay takes a job with the developers as a short term measure to raise enough money to buy her own garage repair business. Shay’s attempts to stay honest and decent within the company cause her problems but as she gets to know
Mel things begin to look up.

I really enjoyed this book as it dealt with issues such as developing rural areas, fear of unemployment, small town politics and the environment. By far the most important part of the story for me was the homophobia in some families and the devastation that can cause. Mel, in a time of weakness and heartache, had made a bargain to stay in the closet. How awful that someone should ever be put in such a situation by their own family! The hate from members of her own family was truly wicked. Shay was the saviour in this story . Her love for Mel was all-encompassing, intense and tender. The romance in this book was so beautifully written, so strong and extremely sexy. The love scenes were scorching and played such a vital part in showing how much they loved each other.

Mel was constantly worried about her secret coming out and this fear coupled with the menace from the town’s resident baddie really cranked up the fear factor for the main characters. C F Frizzell really knows how to write tension! A great read, a real roller coaster of emotions with a sensational love story. A well deserved 5 stars!
Kitty Kat

FourStars

This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I really liked the unabashed way Shay presented herself – butch and unapologetic about it, and I also liked the way Mel was into the way Shay looked. The big problem is the small town setting, and the small minds inhabiting it. Definitely a place where gossip thrives and everybody seems to know everybody else’s business. Mel has a lot to lose by accepting her attraction to Shay, but she’s lived without love or passion for so long that she can’t help but be drawn in. Their attraction for each other keeps drawing them closer and closer. After the first rumor starts, Mel decides that she might as well go for it. As a backdrop to this, there is the issue of commercial development in the town, and Mel’s fight for oversight to make sure construction is being done safely and according to code. Her expose on some shortcuts have resulted in some hard feelings and threats. Add in a family that is extremely conservative and not open to her sexuality at all and things are set for an epic showdown. When Shay finds out how much Mel actually risked and lost, she feels angry and hurt that Mel didn’t tell her, and doesn’t expect Mel to stand by her at all. It was interesting to see how things were resolved, and what community actually means when people stand up for each other. The story kept me engaged and turning pages, and I really enjoyed it.

Amy P

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3.5 Stars for Prima Facie by Nicole Field #Trans @Faerywhimsy @LT3Press

CoverTitle: Prima Facie
Author Name & Publisher: Nicole Field (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: June 29, 2016

Synopsis

Never get involved with the client. That’s one of the first rules of the business, and a rule Con has never had trouble following. Until Maggie walks through the door. She smart, charming, isn’t impressed by his family, and doesn’t care that he’s trans. If anyone is worth breaking rules for, it seems to be Maggie.

But things that seem too good to be true often are, and Con soon finds himself caught between his family, Maggie, and figuring out what really matters most to him.

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Review

 ThreeandHalfStarsIt’s difficult for me to rate short stories well. The whole problem with short stories is that it’s hard to put so much into such a little space. And for me, this story suffers for it. There is a lot that seems to be missing with the legal part of the story, especially in the last part. We went from a cursory investigation in part one to a bit more depth in part two to skipping over most of all of the build up for the court case in part three. For me, the case is an integral part of the story, so having the resolution of the case be a whole “oh, we won, that’s so great!” without telling me how they won was not satisfying at all. Next, I’m not sure I get Maggie’s attraction to Con at all, especially when I find out that it was all initially contrived as a way to ensure Con’s attention on her court case. I’m not sure I could be as forgiving as Con seems to be and lying is definitely not a good thing to have as the base or start of a relationship. Is Con’s desire for acceptance of who he is so big that he can overlook her blatant attempt to use him? Add in the way her parents and his threaten him into not dropping the case and I’m not sure how he ever gets past the way they met. I liked the concept of the story, and I love how applicable the title is, but for me, it missed in the execution. It may have been easier to work these issues out in a longer format, but the issues for me aren’t nearly resolved at the end of this story.
AmyP

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4 Star and THREE 3.5 Star Reviews for Roadside Rescue by Caitlin Ricci #FF #Erotic

CoverTitle: Roadside Rescue
Author Name & Publisher: Caitlin Ricci (NineStar Press)
Publication Date & Length: June 27, 2016 – 35 pgs

Synopsis

After her girlfriend leaves her for an ex, Kelly takes off with her mustang, Shoni, and as many of her things as she can pack into her truck. The flip of a coin has her going west along I-70 from her home in Missouri, sending her toward Colorado. While driving through Dove Creek, she gets a flat tire on her trailer. She has a spare, but in his panic, Shoni manages to jerk the trailer enough to damage the wheel.

Her salvation comes in the form of sexy mechanic, Brigid, who owns a shop nearby. With a few days to wait for the wheel, the two get to know each other. A bit of fun isn’t all Brigid wants from her, but Kelly isn’t ready to jump into anything new so soon after her break up, and when Brigid offers her a job, Kelly doesn’t want to tie her life to someone so completely again.

Kelly is in need of some stability, and that’s exactly what Brigid is offering her. If she’s willing to take a chance on letting another woman into her life again, Brigid might be just who she needs.

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Review

FourStars

Kelly leaves town and a cheating girlfriend and heads off with her horse towed behind her truck with no plan as to where she will end up.   When she blows a tire outside a small town and has to get the local mechanic’s help things suddenly start looking up.  This is a lovely, sexy and romantic story of love coming out of nowhere and changing lives forever.  Things happen very quickly but it all feels just right and I thoroughly enjoyed this short read.  It had likeable characters in Kelly and Brigid, was well written had certainly had the feel good factor.
Kitty Kat
ThreeandHalfStars
This was an enjoyable little short, but it suffers a little from the length of the story and the small amount of time that elapsed within the story. I liked the instant chemistry between Kelly and Brigid, and the way they were drawn to each other. But it felt like everything moved way too fast. It hasn’t even been a full day and Kelly has decided to park herself in Dove Creek to explore things with Brigid. I know that Kelly really doesn’t have any plans, nowhere to go, nobody to go see, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for her to consider staying for a while, but this seemed way too fast for such a decision. Pretty much what I want is more story for both of these women to get to that point. Also, Kelly keeps saying that she doesn’t want to move this fast, and rely so much on her relationship with Brigid, but she goes ahead and does it anyway, which seems to perpetuate her past mistakes. This reads as more romance, with the attendant emphasis on feelings and hope for the future, than it does erotica, which is more what I would expect for such a short look into their meeting and interaction. It isn’t a bad story, but I would consider both of these women kind of flighty, impetuous, and a bit unrealistic. That said, there were things to like as well. I liked Shoni, and enjoyed hearing a bit about mustangs. I would’ve liked to understand more how Kelly acquired him and why. And like I said before, I do like the interaction between Kelly and Brigid.
Amy P.
ThreeandHalfStars
This was a nice short that started at a good pace, but then moved faster than expected. I hadn’t realized it was a shorter story until I was at the end. It was disappointing to have to say goodbye to Kelly and Brigid so soon; however, they were lovely to get to meet.I do still feel that the pacing of everything was a bit fast: who breaks down and then just decides on a whim to stay there and find a job in a small, out of the way town.

At any rate, the author still created interesting characters that made me want to see more of them. For those that don’t want all the drama of a longer story, this is for you.

Tori
ThreeandHalfStars
I was so excited to get to read this book and I was left a bit disappointed. I loved Brigid and I loved the premise/plot of the piece. However, I thought the movement was too fast in some places and too slow in others.

I felt the sex scene was thrown in because “it’s romance so a sex scene is required” when it truly wasn’t. It’s not that the scene was bad; it just didn’t fit with the pacing of the rest of the piece and I felt Kelly needed to be a bit more in tune with Brigid’s reactions to flirting etc to make it more realistic.

If the sex scene had been eliminated or even moved to the ending of the piece, then I believe this piece would have flowed very nicely. The writing technique was fantastic and I hardly got stuck while reading.

AJ

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THREE 4 Star Reviews for The Best of Both Worlds by Victoria Zagar #FF #Dystopian @LT3Press @landale

CoverTitle: The Best of Both Worlds
Author Name & Publisher: Victoria Zagar (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: July 13, 2016

Synopsis

Andrea Missanaugh lives on dystopian Earth’s exploration ship the HAND-5500. Lost in deep space and subjected to the monotony of survival under a regime that still holds the distant ship in its iron grip, Andrea has lost all hope of living a happy life and waits for her silent mental rebellion to be discovered and the inevitable death that will follow.

Then she’s whisked away from the HAND-5500 by two curious aliens from a planet called Evalaque: the President’s daughter, Ledieven, and her gentle partner in crime, doctor and scientist Jacq. Ledieven wants more than friendship, however, with Jacq and Andrea – something that is forbidden on Evalaque, where a fertility crisis has taken hold. Ledieven is one of the last fertile women on Evalaque and her mother will go to great lengths to press her into a socially acceptable marriage.

But Andrea’s done with settling for less.

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Review

FourStarsThis book left me with conflicted feelings when I finished. On one hand, we start out with a pretty typical dystopian story. The society in this sci-fi future is oppressive. There is no privacy, and some things point towards thought control, or at least monitoring. It began as a very Orwellian world, reminiscent in some ways of the book 1984. We have our heroine, Amanda, who subtly rebels against authority while trying to stay within the guidelines and not draw undue attention, but inevitably gains the focus she’s tried to escape. Into the story come two aliens, who whisk Amanda away to a life of freedom and love, with the both of them. Unfortunately the world they’ve come from has its own dystopian issues.  Their society is dying, and some have become fanatical about trying to save it at any cost. This fanaticism separates the lovers, and forces Amanda to return to her old ship, back in the hands of people she knows will torture and punish and probably execute her. She returns into the midst of a rebellion. Just as we think she’s won, everything gets turned on its head. This is where I finally get to the other hand. I keep trying to find a polite way to say mind (insert expletive), and I still haven’t come up with a way that conveys the idea in strong enough terms. And not only is it one for the readers, but poor Amanda is left questioning everything she’s thought, and felt. There are a lot of existential things to contemplate within Amanda’s dilemma, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have much time to figure things out. With things happening at such an accelerated pace, the ending comes quick and surprisingly enough, happy but with potential problems on the horizon. I’m still reeling from the big reveal, so I’m not sure I liked the book. It was, however, a quick read that engaged me from start to finish. There were things that could have been expanded and plumbed a bit more, or drawn out so it didn’t feel quite so rushed, but at the same time, the pacing is part of what makes the reader reel every bit as much as Amanda does.

Amy P
FourStars

The opening scenes give the impression of life reflecting all the proper-gander we might have elicited from what we have been told represented the evils some major political states conjoined  them all together to form the scenario of this book.
Our main character immediately makes us aware of her bravery and obvious intelligence while getting our complete sympathy by expressing her own desire for a perfect family.
The horrors and desolation she is facing are graphically told as well as the reader being made aware that the was between political dictatorships and out of control technology now represent what is normal for existence for life on earth.
Enter her salvation? On the onset she feels even the kindness and generosity offered by her rescuers and the reasons given for her being chosen appear to have restrictions. We are made aware that this race too has a caste system enforced even if it is one of kindness and concern for its citizens. Breeding is encouraged so it is left for the higher castes while if is the lower castes where homosexuality is perfectly acceptable.
The rest of this interesting novel shows the development  love and passion between the two women and one man and how what is important in a relationship is honestly, trust and respect.
I did enjoy this novel which was quite distinctive in its own way. My only lingering doubt was that if previously, only higher casts were encouraged to be heterosexual what happened to any gay offspring they may have given birth too?
Chris
FourStars
This piece is like a crazy cross between Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (the newer one). There are twists up the wazoo in this plot and at times it’s as if I was saying to myself, there can’t be another one just as something new would happen.

I did struggle to read this at the beginning. I almost put it down and didn’t pick it back up, but I decided to give it one more try and I’m glad I did. The beginning of this piece was choppy and didn’t really make any sense to me and I felt no connection to Andrea. That changed about 20% of the way into the book.

I’d share more, but that would probably push this review toward spoilers. The book was good and kept me interested as soon as I got 20% into it. The writing was decent, although there probably could have been one more round of edits in there.

Overall a good read that I’ll probably be thinking about for a while.

AJ

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Filed under 4 Star, AJ, Amy P, Chris, F/F, New Release, Review

5 Star, 4.5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Above the Law (Lone Star Law #2) by Carsen Taite @carsentaite #FF #Mystery

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Title: Above the Law (Lone Star Law #2)
Author Name & Publisher: Carsen Taite (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: June 14, 2016 – 264 Pages

Synopsis

DEA Agent Dale Nelson paid the ultimate price for her service when her wife was killed by drug dealers. Now she’s assigned to a task force investigating the suspects and she doesn’t need the distraction of the beautiful but infuriating reporter, Lindsey Ryan. Despite her initial resistance, Dale discovers that Lindsey is as talented and capable as she is attractive. Will she get a second shot at love, or will the peril of her job rob her of the chance at happiness again?

Investigative reporter Lindsey Ryan will do whatever it takes to get the truth. As a favor,she agrees to anchor what is supposed to be a puff piece on the DEA. However, despite the reluctance of the striking Agent Nelson to share any information, Lindsey learns power and politics are at play, and exposing the truth could not only be dangerous, but could jeopardize her chance at love.

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Review

FiveStars

I really enjoyed this well written and totally enthralling novel.  Two strong, yet emotional character very different in outlook and personality. This novel draws you in from the opening chapter.
Along with a complex, fast moving and totally absorbing plot the tension of the growing passion between the two woman pulsates with intensity and ardor.
Right up to the final moments this book will have you hooked. Great and well executed conclusion.
Chris
FourandHalfStars
Dale works for the DEA and is still mourning the murder of her wife a year ago. When she is forced to ‘babysit’ Lindsay Ryan , famous TV reporter she’s not too pleased. She needs to keep working on a case involving a drug cartel and, along with some help from her friends, feels she is getting there. This PR job is interfering with that.  I really enjoyed this book. The drugs case involved some of Dale’s friends and their family members and it was a high tension, fascinating story. I loved how the revelations kept coming and connections were made. I wanted to find out more and more. I haven’t read the first book in this series and I felt I was playing catch-up a bit. Once I got it clear in my head and worked out where all of this came from I really go into it.  The highlight for me, though, was the slow-burning relationship and intense attraction between Dale and Lindsay.  Both had been alone for a while and were reluctant to get involved. That didn’t stop me wanting them to just get on with it! Carsen Taite really knows how to write sexual tension and never fails to please. A great read with plenty to pique the reader’s interest.
Kitty Kat
FourStars
This was an excellent book in so many ways. It’s actually my first book from this author. Taite is definitely talented at the suspenseful thriller. The criminal/lawful aspects of the book were tightly plotted, with excellent pacing, and totally engaging. My problem in this book came from the romance element. Dale and Lindsey had a lot of chemistry that both fought strongly against. Then, all of sudden, both are admitting to deep feelings about the other. Strong enough that both felt comfortable talking about things they didn’t want the other to do. It seemed like there wasn’t  whole lot of ‘get-to-know-you’ or ‘let’s-spend-more-time-with-each-other.’ They simply went from an attraction that they didn’t talk about or admit to, and jumped to a full on desire to be together in a deep, loving way. In other words, it doesn’t seem like an organic progression of the relationship. So while I give kudos for the suspense, I say there needs to be a bit more development for the romance to work. This is book two in this series, and I would definitely pick up the first one, and the next one as well.
AmyP
ThreeStar
Lindsay is a likable, sweet, and caring person that you can’t help but want to succeed. Where Lindsay is open, Dale is closed off and guarded; that makes the couple a natural choice. As things normally go, just when we think they have finally gotten it right, something happens and they go their separate ways. The question is, will it be
for good?

The story of Lindsay and Dale was one that I had a hard time getting into. It took me seeing them together a few times before I really started getting sucked in to their story. I loved the crime investigation aspect of the book and I am sad that we didn’t get to see Lindsay more involved with the group on that.

My biggest gripe is all the loose ends left at the end of the book. I thought that surely ‘The End’ at the end of the book was placed there in error; however, as the book does end there, it must not be. Without spoiling too much, there is an investigation that is going on, which is pretty focused on throughout the book; however, even by the end of the book we don’t know its outcome. We also find out, almost in passing, that there may be a traitor among our group of friends, but I don’t recall finding out the person.

I feel the lack of properly finishing the book really hurt the book in the end. I had really enjoyed the book until that point and the book would have been a 4 or 4.5 stars for me; however, now as a reader I have to wait on the following book and purchase it to see what happens.

Having said that, Lindsay and Dale are great and I am happy to have met them; however, I don’t know if I will keep a look out for the second book or not.

Tori

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TWO 4 Star and ONE 3.5 Star Review for Staying the Distance by Franci McMahon #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Staying the Distance
Author Name & Publisher: Franci McMahon (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 200 pgs

Synopsis

Rachel Duncan, a Montana rancher, has led a self-sufficient life and kept her complications of the heart to a minimum. She is as tough as her horses and believes nothing can stop her from winning the one-hundred-mile in one day horse race, the Tevis Cup. She has a horse who can do the job, the Arabian mare, Kestrel. The element of the team she isn’t so sure of is her new veterinarian, Dr. Margaret Carson. Margaret proves herself to the reluctant Rachel, broadening her vistas to discover a tender side, one capable of loving and being loved.

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Review

FourStars

This was an enjoyable read. The two main characters were both likable. An original setting for a gentle love story.
I liked the way Rachel slowly found herself and who she was through experiencing and learning from those around her and the trials and tribulations she had to face while competing in the long distance race.
I also learned a some interesting facts about horse breeds and some fascinating information on Indian culture.
I did feel that the story line did at times fluctuate between being a love story and at times a history lesson and an equine handbook. On some occasions I also felt there was lack of dialogue between the two women and that some of the lesser characters, like the reporter could have added more to excitement and dynamics to the plot. Personally I would have enjoyed hearing more about the women’s growing relationship what was happening between them.
But it was a good read and Ms McMahon is obviously a proficient writer.
Chris
ThreeandHalfStars
Rachel and Margaret were interesting ladies to get to know. The story pulled me in immediately and I was intrigued by Rachel. I enjoyed watching the budding romance. And I especially like the addition of Kate; she was a great supporting character.

However I lost interest in the larger story in the middle of all of the details. It was great to have the landscape and the locations described in such great detail. I loved that the author was so knowledgeable about horses; as someone that knows a great deal about horses, I hate when an author doesn’t do their homework. McMahon’s descriptions and knowledge of horses is to be commended. My issue was the large and flowery descriptions that weren’t needed in many areas of the book. It caused a lag in the flow of the book and pulled my attention from the overall story because I expected something more from the more flowery parts of the book.

All-in-all I enjoyed the book and loved meeting all the ladies that helped Rachel through the Trevis Cup.

Tori
FourStars

I wasn’t sure I liked this book at first. Things seemed to move fairly easily for the two mains, Rachel and Margaret. They’re drawn to each other from the start, even though Margaret is trying to protect her heart, and Rachel doesn’t even realize she’s gay.  Despite both of these things, the two move inexorably closer to each other. After an initial struggle, Rachel seems to accept her own homosexuality and attraction to Margaret. Margaret doesn’t even struggle; she seems to feel that Rachel is special and any relationship with her would be deep and inevitable. They get together so early in the story that I was left wondering what could possibly happen next. Then the big event, the Tevis Cup, begins. Here is where the story seems to come alive, not just because of the obstacles and dangers in the competition itself, but also because we finally see just what it is that Rachel really has to accept in order to become a partner to Margaret. It has to do with her father and what his words created in Rachel. Margaret sees it before Rachel does, on one of the holds during the race. And Rachel’s struggle to not only see what Margaret does, but also overcome it, is what this story is really about. The physical struggle of the race is a subplot, but it cements everybody’s feelings about each other and what they’re doing, and at the end is a small group of powerful women who have bonded together. I absolutely love the last half of the book. Definitely a good read.

AmyP

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, 4 Star, Amy P, Chris, F/F, New Release, Review, Tori