Category Archives: Chris

4 Star Review for Bitten by Eden Darry @EdenDarry @NineStarPress #FF #lesfic #ParanormalRomance

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Title: Bitten
Author Name & Publisher: Eden Darry (NineStar Press)
Publication Date & Length: July 11, 2016 – 70 Pages

Synopsis

Dr Gray Davis is looking for a peaceful, sun-filled holiday on a remote island, but then she meets Beau Pickford. The attraction is immediate.

Unfortunately for them, Brody Douglas is also on holiday, and a stone carving he finds by the river makes him sick—sick enough to kill him. But when he awakens, he’s not who he was before, and Gray and Beau find they have to fight for their lives and a way off the island.

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Review

FourStars
A really enjoyable and almost light take on a horror story. When I first began reading I thought it was going to be a typical lesbian love story, how wrong was I!
This tale develops into quite a gripping tale that keeps the readers interest with interesting characters, at times horrifying graphics, but at all times tongue in cheek.
It was really good to read a satisfying love story with just a different edge.
The different characters balanced each other out and the added comic element were a bonus. The ending was positive and not over the top. A good and colourful read.
Chris

Excerpt

Gray Davis settled back into her seat and sighed. She closed her eyes, shutting out the low, excited hum of the passengers around her. She had been waiting for this holiday for months. Last year, she finally qualified as a GP and taken up a position in a busy surgery in West London. Gray loved her job, but lately it seemed like she hadn’t done anything except work. When the weekends came, she was too exhausted to go out with her friends. As a result, her love life was pretty barren as well. Gray’s best friend, Julia, finally staged an intervention. One Sunday morning, she had forced her way into Gray’s flat with an armload of travel brochures.

“Gray, I’m not leaving until you book one of these.”

Gray picked up the first one on the stack. “Sapphic Cruises? No chance.”

Julia simply sat down on Gray’s sofa, smiled sweetly, and leaned back with her hands behind her head. “Pick something, or I will beat you to death with the entire stack. I got on the tube with those. They’re bloody heavy.”

“I don’t need a holiday. I’m fine.” Gray plonked down on the sofa opposite Julia. She knew she was acting like a moody teenager.

“Gray, nobody has seen you in months. You haven’t had a girlfriend in what, three years? You’ve probably closed up down there.”

Gray laughed at the serious look on her friend’s face. “That’s not possible. Besides, I don’t want a girlfriend. I don’t even have time for a goldfish.”

“That’s what I’m saying!” Julia leaned forward and clasped her friend’s hands gently. “I know your career is important to you, but you have to slow down, Gray. Take some time to come out with us once in a while. And,” she gestured at the brochures, “book a fucking holiday.”

Defeated, Gray sat back and perused the glossy covers, shuffling them like a deck of large cards. She was exhausted. She’d been working non-stop for months at the new practice, hoping that by putting in the hours, it wouldn’t be too long before she was made a partner.

She’d been working towards this for such a long time. Being a partner would mean sharing in the surgery’s profits, as well as the added responsibility of hiring and managing staff. Not to mention the even longer hours. Maybe she did need a trip.

Gray stopped when one brochure caught her eye. On the front, a group of smiling women were holding hands as a blazing sun set behind them over a sparkling clear sea. She sensed Julia looking expectantly at her. “Why are they all LGBT travel brochures?”

“I told you. You need a break, and you need to give your vagina a spring cleaning. Two birds, one stone.”

Gray snorted with laughter and opened it.

So, here she was, on a plane, waiting for it to take her off to an island in the Caribbean. She glanced at the two empty seats next to her and then up the aisle where a couple more people made their way down, she wondered if she might get lucky enough to have all three seats to herself. Grinning, she closed her eyes and leaned back again.

Gray willed her mind to shut down and relax, even though it kept returning to work. Julia was right, she did need a holiday. The practice manager wasn’t thrilled at the idea of her taking time off. When Gray told her, she pursed her lips as if she were sucking a lemon and said, “You’ve only been here five minutes, and you want time off already?”

Gray tried not to let her thoughts run away with her. She was good at inventing disaster scenarios. Her biggest fear since booking was when she came back and they told her they’d picked another doctor for the partner position. It was unlikely, and if it did happen, there were plenty of other places she could work—even go in as a partner without the probationary period this surgery required. Even so, it didn’t stop her worrying. She liked it there, and it had a good reputation.

She wished she hadn’t let Julia badger her into it if she was going to spend the whole two weeks stressing about her job.

Gray must have drifted off, because she woke suddenly as someone huffed down into the seat beside her. She felt a strong leg press against hers and a sharp elbow in her side.

“Oh shit, sorry.”

Gray opened her eyes and sat up, annoyed. Typical that she would be sat next to the person who thought they deserved more space than everyone else. “Can’t you be a bit more careful? You’re right over on my side.”

“Sorry, sorry. These seats are so small. Once we take off, I’ll move into the aisle seat, I promise.”

Gray turned to look at the woman next to her, about to ask that she at least move her leg, when she stopped, unable to speak. Oh my God, she’s gorgeous. The woman was tall and muscular. Her thick brown hair was cut short and framed a face with cheekbones most models would die for. Her full mouth widened into a cocky grin that said stare away, I’m used to it.

It was the grin that helped Gray find her voice. Out of all the seats on the plane, she was the one stuck next to the lesbian Lothario. Refusing to give her the satisfaction, Gray flicked her eyes over the handsome woman dismissively. “Thank you.” Turning away, she felt the woman put a gentle hand on her arm. It tingled in the place where they touched. Gray smelled something citrusy and fresh as she leaned close.

“I’m Beau Pickford, by the way. What’s your name?”

She thought about making up a name for the hell of it. Beau Pickford was still pressed against her, and it was annoying. Although, in all fairness, the seats were small. “Gray Davis.”

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TWO 4 Star Reviews for Unspoken by Liz McMullen #FF #Romance @lizmcmullenshow

CoverTitle: Unspoken
Author Name & Publisher: Liz McMullen (Sapphire Books Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2016 – 234 pgs

Synopsis

Desiree Chevalier is determined to control her own destiny, and that includes shaking her mother’s iron grip on her life. Rosalie Chevalier is not going down without a fight. She’s a corporate raider after all and it just wouldn’t do to have a wayward daughter. When Desiree steps away from the Chevalier fortune to put herself through Mount Holyoke College, Rosalie decides to show up on her doorstep. Although her mother digs in, Desiree refuses to bend.
Rowan Knight is working just as hard as Desiree to put herself through school. She is intrigued by Desiree but also wary of the icy reception she receives each time they meet. Rosalie’s persistent interference in Desiree’s life intensifies the tension between Desiree and Rowan. Will they be able to move past the obstacles in their path, or will their love remain unspoken?

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Review

FourStars

Actually I thoroughly enjoyed reading this beautifully written romance. Unlike many romance novel this novel was truly romantic. Almost like old fashioned “courting” brought up to date and at relevant times pleasantly sentimental .
I was immediately drawn to Rowans personality and as they were introduced her raucous loving family.On the other hand Desiree’s personality grew on you the more you learned about her.
I  though the way the women’s romance unfolded slowly, warily and with such carefully constructed explanations were a joy to follow.
It was admirable to read about such honourable characters and the use of characters from international  background laudable.
My only criticism would be the alacrity in  the change of one of the characters mothers, though the explanation given was a pleasant unexpected surprise.
An enchanting  tale that leaves the reader sated and content. I will certainly be looking for further works by this engrossing author.
Chris
FourStars
I’m hesitant to rate this book. In some ways, I liked the book so much more – I liked the characters, I liked the setting, I liked the relationships in the book. Based on that much, I may have rated the book higher. Based on other things, I would have rated the book lower. I felt like there were a couple of things I would have liked done differently. First, after that first chapter, which I actually will address again later, the story starts at the college where our two mains are attending. My problem is that in the first couple of chapters, I got a LOT of names, and relationships that I struggled to keep straight in my head. And that tiny bit of stress turned out to not matter as much as I thought it would; most of the names that were introduced weren’t as integral to the story as their initial mention would imply, which made me wonder why they all had to be introduced one right after the other in the first place. Next, there were breaks in the narrative where we jumped from one thing to another with a kind of disconnect, or a break in the logic chain between events. This may simply be the fact that I don’t click with McMullen’s style of writing or follow her logic. That seems to me to be a bit of a copout, because I really liked the story that I read. What seems to me to have happened is that McMullen knew the story, meaning she knew what everyone was feeling, and how they reacted to each other, and what happened to make each react the way that they did, but sometimes she forgot to tell us everything that happened. My reaction to this was mild confusion in certain scenes where I wondered if I’d missed something. If I’d been reading the story as a beta, I would have marked those places and asked about them, but it looked as if there were quite of few people who’d read this for her, so I wonder if it was just me, and something not clicking between me and the story. I don’t know for sure. Last, we come back to Chapter One. First, I know some people don’t like prologues, but something that happened five years prior to the few weeks/months when the story occurred seems like a prologue to me. But more importantly, I’m not sure why the scene was included, especially in this way. Rowan was deeply impacted by this event, and even has flashbacks and an almost catatonic reaction to a similar occurrence near the end of the book, so I understand why what happened was important. But nothing that happened in the details of that chapter was integral to the story enough to make it a whole chapter. Perhaps it would have been better if it were integrated within the story; using the actual accident scene during the flashback that occurred during Desiree’s first ride with Rowan, and the subsequent hospital scene during Rowan’s mother’s attempt to bring Rowan back to a conscious awareness of her surroundings. Having it separated so much made it feel a little like an add-on, especially because so much of the story was more about Desiree than Rowan. And that’s what this book felt like, the story of how Desiree matured more than how Rowan recovered. Desiree’s struggle against her mother’s overpowering personality, her fight to stay focused on her schooling, and her eventual realization that some things in life are just as important, if not more, as success that led her to open her heart to the possibilities that Rowan offered. That was an excellent story.
AmyP

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4 Star and 3.5 Star Reviews for Have a Bite (The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles #1) by R.G. Emanuelle #FF #Paranormal

CoverTitle: Have a Bite (The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles #1)
Author Name & Publisher: R. G. Emanuelle (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: May 19, 2016 – 244 pgs

Synopsis

The world of vampires is, by nature, one of darkness, secrecy, and covertness. Vampires are invincible. No one can hurt them. Except vampire hunters.

Delphine Bouchard is a celebrity chef and owner of a world-renowned restaurant in Brooklyn, NY, where the chic and elite crowd mingle with neighborhood denizens. She enjoys fame, money, and women, and lives life by her own rules. She also happens to be a vampire.

Del’s life and the local vampire community are rocked when a vampire hunter begins picking them off, and Del has reason to believe that she might be next. Del is also being watched and criticized by the vampire hive council and persecuted by a coven of witches, who are the enforcers of behavior for the supernatural set. In the midst of all this turmoil, Del meets and unexpectedly falls hard for Jocelyn, who she soon discovers is holding back a disturbing secret. Del must decide whether or not to put aside her feelings of betrayal and pursue the relationship.

Meanwhile, when a food critic with a grudge sets out to ruin her business and reputation, Del has to protect her staff and restaurant. But the situation spirals out of control when a human shows up dead, her restaurant is sabotaged, and Jocelyn is threatened. Del must save her business, protect her loved ones, and find out who the vampire killer is before she is the next victim.

Set against a backdrop of elaborate meals and passionate cooking, Have a Bite is book one in the novella series The Vampires of Brooklyn Chronicles. The world of vampires and hunters meets the world of restaurants, foodies, and celebrity chefs—a recipe for paranormal mystery seasoned with suspense, peppered with romance, and flavored with a dash of humor.

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Review

FourStars

Technically this is a perfectly written book, Ms Emanuelle is obviously a gifted writer. I also admire the obvious research that has gone into this novel, the culinary terms and food terminology gives real authenticity to this book.
The opening chapter was really inventive and had me wanting to discover more, I was mesmerized wondering where all the excitement and organised chaos was leading.
However I personally found the love affair between Delphine and Jocelyn lacked passion and I found their romance difficult to relate too. The romantic side of this novel was, for me, a little clinical.
As a vampire novel, a good read.
Chris

ThreeandHalfStars

Delphine is a vampire who runs is very popular French fusion restaurant that only opens after dark. Other vampires and various supernatural groupings are not happy that she is getting so much attention as there is always a threat from the hunters, as Delphine finds out.  Spies are watching her to make sure things don’t get out of hand but her main worry seems to be from a really annoying restaurant critic who just won’t give her a break.  I enjoyed how this part of the story developed and it certainly kept me interested.  Her vampire life seemed to consist of various hot young women offering themselves to her, until she meets Jocelyn, who seems to stir something more in her.  She became quite enamoured by her but it was very drawn out and a stronger attraction was implied than I felt was evident from the story.
I enjoyed the kitchen stuff though and liked the camaraderie of those working for Delphine.  They were like a family and would do anything for Delphine – of course most of them were unaware of her secret life as a vampire. The descriptions of the dishes she made were mouth watering!
There was a definite underlying threat in the story from someone who was killing people close to Delphine and i thought this was well teased out.  I would give this book a 3.5 as it was an interesting read but didn’t grip me.
Kitty Kat

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5 Star and TWO 4.5 Star reviews for Heart of the Pack (Wolfgang County #1) by Jenny Frame @JennyFrame91 #FF #Romance #Shifter

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Title: Heart of the Pack (Wolfgang County #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jenny Frame (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 27th, 2016 – 264 Pages

Synopsis

Selena Miller accepts a job in Wolfgang County, jumping at the chance to get away from her overbearing family. Crippled by anxiety, she’s determined to start a new, independent life.

As Second of the Wolfgang pack, Caden Wolfgang is used to having her orders followed without question. When the Alpha allows a human to work in the heart of their business, Caden is horrified. Haunted by a childhood tragedy at the hands of a human, Caden makes it her mission to keep Selena from threatening everything they’ve built.

When contempt turns into attraction and passion flares, can their love survive Selena learning the truth of what the Wolfgangs really are?

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Review

FourandHalfStars

In this lovely tale we meet Lena and Caden, one a hesitant woman who
is ready to get away from her “normal” life and the other the Second
of the Wolfgang pack. The two women are off to a rocky start because
Caden hates humans and Lena hates being told what to do. However,
working in close quarters has a funny way of getting people to talk.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the first page! I was pulled into
the story and couldn’t put it down. The romance between the two women
was beautifully written. I loved finding out about the pack and
meeting many of them. The pack dynamic they have is so interesting. I
wouldn’t mind moving there!

Wasn’t 100% happy with some aspects of the ending (won’t spoil the
ending for others); however, I am now looking forward to book two.

Tori

FourandHalfStars

This book was fun, with an engaging, energetic pace that kept me turning pages. I enjoyed Selena’s journey from anxious and beaten down to confident and proud. I also liked watching Caden find someone to end her loneliness, to give her the home and family she so desperately craved. This seems like the first in a series, since Leroux survives not only the first encounter with the Alpha Dante, but also the second confrontation at the end. This indicates further strife between the two packs. The fact that Leroux still lives is rather vexing, but if there are further books to the story, I suppose it would be okay. The story is good, and I loved reading it, but at the same time, some of the writing seemed a bit simplistic. It felt like this was a first novel, definitely the first foray into this genre, and the depth of characterization and setting just missed being there. I was a little surprised by that, having listened to Frame’s first book in audio, but I truly enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to her next release.

AmyP

FiveStars

This book is just brilliant. Ms Frame has written a book that puts the ‘absolute’ into page turner. Once I started reading I found it difficult to stop, even my cat had to remind me to feed her.
For  the first time, for me, I have not been appalled by the term “submissive female” – Ms Frame gives her characters such depth, such emotion  that every term made sense. She turned the most fearsome animal into one that could only be admired and loved.
A really well written love story that incidentally involves  changers as well as humans. The worst of human traits were displayed by some, while one of our leading woman invoked the best. The wolves on the other hand exhibited that which many of us search for in a partner, support, trust, safety and total love and fidelity. Ok some of the wolves were a bit on the nasty side, but this just reinforced  how they were in the minority, and hey they never succeeded in love or war.
This was a beautifully related love story, with dynamic characters and an exciting plot, it was just an idyllic novel. I only hope  that their will be a sequel???
Chris

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TWO 5 Star, ONE 4 Star, and ONE 3 Star Reviews for Rewriting the Ending by H.P. Tune #FF

CoverTitle: Rewriting the Ending
Author Name & Publisher: H.P. Tune (Yiva Verlag)
Publication Date & Length: April 6, 2016 – 304 pgs

Synopsis

Juliet is an author with a deadline. A big deadline…and a ratty old backpack, and she’s on her way to Belgium. Mia has a one-way, first class ticket to anywhere. Today anywhere happens to be Scotland. The one thing she knows is that money can’t buy happiness, and she has no idea what does. A chance meeting in an airport lounge and a shared flight itinerary leaves Juliet and Mia connected. They’ve known each other for only twenty-four hours and they are destined for separate countries. How do you forge a future when the past keeps pulling you back?

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Review

FiveStars

Juliet and Mia meet at the airport and an instant connection is apparent.  Mia is from a rich and powerful family and has spent her life putting up a front.  Juliet seems carefree and adventurous and Mia wishes she could be more like her.  They travel together part of their journeys and promise to keep in touch.  They do so via email and end up thrown together when Juliet is attacked and needs Mia’s help.  Mia takes Juliet back home to Scotland with her and the two women slowly get to know each other.
I really found myself engrossed in this book.  It wasn’t just a fluffy romance but a heart-wrenching love story between two very broken women.   Both have had awful experiences in the past and are trying to get past them the best way they can.  Mia’s story was so sad and made me feel so angry on her behalf.  Her ex and her family had treated her appallingly because of her sexuality but also because she wouldn’t toe the line.  The utter cruelty involved was terrible.  The author really got that across so well and has an amazing talent to make the reader feel intense emotions. I loved the character of Mia; she had a beautiful soul and had the patience of a saint with Juliet!  Juliet, a writer trying to find the inspiration for her second novel, is an entirely different type of person.  Although she seemed happy-go-lucky when Mia first met her, there was so much more to her and it became more pronounced as the book went on.  She was carrying a lot of hurt from the past and would not allow herself to be happy.  Mia had to try and make her see that she could love and be loved but Juliet did so much agonising I felt irritated at her.  Both of the women had to get through the hurt and their love for each other was the way to do it.  This was a beautiful story, with so much depth and intensity of feeling.  I felt truly touched by it.
Kitty Kat
FiveStars
I found this a really addictive read. It is a well written and beautifully portrayed romance.  A journey of finding love without feeling afraid, discovering yourself and finding your soul mate.
An epic tale that encompasses passion and romance alongside fear and apprehension. Made more believable through demonstrating many of the hurdles and recriminations experienced by many same sex couples by their family, friends and relations.
We learn how both women’s past life experiences influence their behaviour now and on their future together. How their relationship evolves from friendship to companionship to full blown passion.
A satisfying and fulfilling conclusion rounds off an enigmatic and beautifully written love story.
Chris
FourStars
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, things happen slowly in an organic way that seems to mirror reality, filled with baggage and issues and fears. On the other hand, things happen  s l o w l y. It felt like it took forever for things to progress, only to have them regress. And I’m still uncertain as to why Julie acted the way she did, or what made her change. Mia has her problems too, but is able to keep herself moving forward. I’m not sure her patience and willingness to allow Julie space are realistic. It would be extremely difficult to watch someone leave you while you’re sitting next to them. This book was a lot of in-the-head story, meaning that it was a lot about the two women’s struggles to overcome the bad things that happened in their lives, a lot of introspection, a lot of thinking. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can get a bit wearing in a book so long. At the end, we’re left with no sureties, no guarantees about a happy ending, just a hope that they continue on together, and the knowledge that they’re both trying. It’s a good book if you like a slower pace, with a lot of examination of motive and feelings. If you’re more action-oriented, this might not be the book for you. I did end up enjoying it; I like the fact that both women are reaching for their dreams with each other as support.
Amy P
ThreeStar
An airport romance, sort of. I loved the premise of them meeting and I
thoroughly enjoyed getting know each woman. The character development
was terrific and I felt that I truly knew both of the ladies fairly
well. I would say that I had wished the story would have progressed a
bit faster; however, I understand that the complexity of the
characters warranted the extra time.

I did have some issues with how trusting she was and how she allowed
someone she barely knew to take care of getting her cards,ID, etc
replaced after the attack, but she really didn’t have many other
options.

The author did a terrific job of spinning a lovely, slow burn romance
with the right amount of push and pull. I did appreciate that the
characters weren’t perfect and we saw them adjust and admit to their
flaws.

Tori

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5 Star and 4 Star Review for Silver Linings and Angel Wings (Vampire Elite Saga Book 1) by Kaden Shay #FF #Paranormal

CoverTitle: Silver Linings and Angel Wings (Vampire Elite Saga Book 1)
Author Name & Publisher: Kaden Shay (Supposed Crimes)
Publication Date & Length: July 1, 2016 – 219 pgs

Synopsis

In a world where Vampires reign and humans have two purposes, food or entertainment, can a human woman hope to become more than someone’s next meal?

Enter the world of the Vampire Elite, a High Council of ruling Vampires who govern the world from their own blood-driven perspective. Silver, the daughter of their leader, Ayana and her Lycan mate Ianos is the world’s first and only hybrid. She’s also the future leader of the Council. With a chip on her shoulder which competes with the expanse of her mother’s sizeable territory and a disdain for human life, she is frequently the cause of problems within their ranks.

When she finds herself sharing space with a human woman who isn’t afraid of her, who challenges her at every turn, how will she react? Will her mounting confusion about her connection to the human tear apart her last strand of self-control? Most importantly, can a hybrid who has always hated humans ever learn to love one? All these questions send ripples through Silver’s life when Angel enters the picture, turns her world upside down and makes her feel things she never thought possible.

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Review

FiveStars

I was totally drawn into this book from the very beginning, but my first impression was that this was just going to be a very entertaining and fascinating read, I was wrong. This book was so much more. Fact and fantasy were so cleverly and closely interwoven it was very difficult to separate the two. I loved the way their history was explained and even the explanation of the plague and the need of the silver tattoo. It was touches like this that brought such depth to this novel.
The very essence of the book slowly explaining the mixture of both cultures and the effect it had on each other was brilliantly done. The similarities between different cultures and races were a great and relevant analogy to modern day society.
A fast paced and emotional plot just added to the exhilaration and at times the sadness of this fascinating
tale. The conclusion was beautifully done with enough unanswered questions that this talented author might elaborate, hopefully, with further adventures!
Chris

FourStars

Silver is half vampire, half werewolf but has to keep her werewolf side completely under control.  When she doesn’t her anger and frustration boil over and the werewolf takes it out on the human population.  Her parents feel she needs a companion so choose a beautiful young woman and an instant attraction is apparent between them.  Things do not run smoothly though as the two sides of Silver are fighting each other and she treats Angel appallingly.  How they get past this and become soul mates is the jist of this novel.  I enjoyed seeing how Silver changed and how she dealt with the huge conflict within herself.  The bond she forged with Angel was beautiful and it made her a better person.  The world that Kaden Shay has imagined is fascinating.  The vampires being in control of vast swathes of the world and the organisation behind it all was well thought out.  The connections with the werewolves and how they kept the human population in subjugation showed planning for many more stories from this world.  I really look forward to reading more in this vein.
The novel was well written and absorbing and had more than a few tense moments. The author really knows how to keep the reader on the edge of their seat.   It was so easy to imagine this world was real and that the various types of ‘creatures’ truly existed.
 Kitty Kat

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5 Star, TWO 4 Star and 3.5 Star Reviews for Deal-Breaker by Siri Caldwell #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Deal-Breaker
Author Name & Publisher: Siri Caldwell (Brussels Sprout Press)
Publication Date & Length: April 8, 2016 – 260 pgs

Synopsis

This was not the plan.

After a career-threatening injury, backup dancer Rae Peters crashes at a friend’s in a middle-of-nowhere college town to recover. She’d rather be onstage performing with a rock star than stuck in a swimming pool doing rehab exercises, but at least the people-watching is good. Make that person-watching, because she only pays attention to one person: the cute water aerobics instructor who’s always lugging around accounting textbooks like she might be smart.

Jori Burgess is a grad student with a young daughter and a blackmailing ex-boyfriend. She’s got her hands full being a single mother, and studying, and teaching at the pool, and pretending to be someone she’s not. The last thing she needs is one more complication, but Rae is one complication she can’t resist.

Rae has no trouble resisting, because she promised herself a long time ago that flirtatious straight girls were not for her. Even if they claimed they weren’t that straight. Especially if they claimed they weren’t that straight. Really, thank you, but no. She’s not going to fall for someone who’s got red flags plastered all over her very attractive…uh…personality.

Being friends, though? Being friends is not a problem, and neither is dancing together, and neither is holding on a little longer than is strictly appropriate, and neither is…

Yeah. This could be a problem.

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Review

ThreeandHalfStars

Rae is a backing dancer for a big star who just happens to be her girl crush from high school.  When she is injured on stage she has to take time to rehabilitate at a quiet resort where Jori, a grad student, is the aerobics teacher.  They are attracted to each other but Rae thinks Jori is straight as she has a kid and appears to have a boyfriend, Axel.  Axel is actually gay and had blackmailed Jori into pretending to date him to keep his parents happy.  Rae meanwhile was pretending to date her female rock star boss, Kaoli,  as it seemed to be selling more records and getting her a higher profile.
There were a lot of misunderstandings between the two women and plenty of stubborn opinions keeping them from getting together.  I found Rae’s bi-phobia really irritating and offensive.  She was obviously supposed to be like this because of her high school experiences but it was too full on and took her too long to see that she was being awful to Jori.  Jori was adamant that labels didn’t matter to her and wouldn’t define herself as anything at all.  This was maybe a bit naive of her.  She was a lovely character though and very capable and strong.  The love story was  tentative and lovely when it finally got there in the end but it was a bit of a long-drawn out process.  The minor characters were either irritating – Axel and Kaoli- or not fleshed out enough.  The lesbian resort owners could have played more of a part but were underused. I give this book a 3.5 as it was a decent enough story but never managed to get me hooked or to care enough about the characters.
 Kitty Kat
FourStars
This book was awesome in so many ways. I’m going through physical therapy right now, so Rae’s regimen and dedication was awe-inspiring. I could understand what she was going through, although I agree with Jori that she should have found a physical therapist that would suit her needs rather than go without one. She really could have hurt herself further, and never returned to dancing. I loved that Rae finally grew enough to realize that she didn’t want Kaoli, and was able to put her into her past where she belonged. And I loved that Rae also realized before it was too late that her fears about Jori were based on her past with Kaoli, and that she needed to realize that they weren’t the same people. There are so many things to like about this book. What I didn’t like was Jori’s need to not label herself. Yes, she was honest, but so many things could have been made clearer if she had answered questions about herself instead of deflecting. And I really think she should have done something to shut Axel down at their graduation. That whole thing was stupid on his part, and he was already suffering under a deficit of character. I didn’t like that it took so long for Rae to finally tell Kaori where she could go, especially since she knew she was being used. But, everybody learns in their own time, and I’m glad Rae learned IN time. One more thing I really liked in the story, was how joyful it was for the professional dancer to dance with the woman she loved, not caring about how good or bad they were. That was a nice touch.
AmyP
FourStars
In Deal Breaker we meet Rae and Jori. This was a classic sweet and
spicy story about two women that are attracted to one another but one
is pretending to be straight. I enjoyed the instant spark and the
buildup.

The author did a great job at taking a classic idea and making the
characters unique enough that they grab your attention and you want to
know more about them. I felt their instant spark and could almost see
it on the page. The push and pull of the story wasn’t as tedious as it
has been in some books; however, it was a bit predictable.

Even at that, the well written book is worthy of the read!

Tori
FiveStars
The opening chapters transferred me back to an old fashioned British Farce. With the reader representing the audience and all the characters being the actors. Everyone but the two leading females knew exactly what was going on and who was playing what part. It was amusing and the asides really brought a smile to me face. The two women each voicing their own concerns – out loud but only heard by then. This unique approach to writing really drew me.
As the novel progressed the emotions and the tensions became more palatable. Less humour  and much more passion. Ligh heartedness was replaced by the true and sometimes cruel response to same sex relationships.
The conclusion almost reverted by to  theater type drama, the reader just waiting to see the final reaction of the main participants, this magnifcent author did not let them down!
A really imaginatively written book that covered the whole gambit of emotional joy and angst, of trust and betrayal, of lies and deceit and finally of true love and trust.  I certainly enjoyed reading this book from such an innovative author.
Chris

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5 Star, 4 Star, and 3.5 Star Reviews for Taking a Gamble by P.J. Trebelhorn #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Taking a Gamble
Author Name & Publisher: P.J. Trebelhorn (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

Cassidy Holmes doesn’t want a “real” job. Buying storage units and selling the contents isn’t the easiest way to survive, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has no desire for a relationship, but when she meets Erica, everything she thought she wanted begins to change.

Erica Jacobs is a career postal worker with odd hours. Who wants to date a woman who’s asleep by eight o’clock every night? She yearns for the type of relationship her parents have, but finding the right woman isn’t easy.

Cass likes taking a gamble on storage units, but not in her love life. Erica might very well be the one, but Cass is determined to fight it. Every step of the way.

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Review

FiveStars

This is a truly superb feel good novel. Ms Trebelhorn is obviously an accomplished writer of engaging and riveting tales.
Not only is this a very readable novel but it is full of humour and convincing, beautifully written and conceived realities about falling in love for the first time.
Both characters are instantly likable and recognizable. The introduction of their very different families brings depth as well sadness to the story line. I think the way some families deal with their children being gay was highlighted in this book in a very constructive way.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it difficult to put down it was so engaging and intriguing. I was fascinated by the dialogue and loved the way they made statements to each other, then we heard  what each woman really wanted to say, from the discussion she was having to herself, inside her head.
A delicious book that I can genuinely recommend to any one who has ever been in love or is looking for love.
Chris
FourStars
In so many ways, this is a sad story that ends in hope. Both these women are wounded, and doing their best to keep going in the face of their hurts. Cassidy’s childhood was a nightmare of mental abuse and periodic observation of the physical abuse her mother went through. It has given her an extremely jaded view of relationships and she vows never to be trapped like her mother was. This translates to a lot of one night stands and near-anonymous sex, and a decided lack of anything remotely resembling a girlfriend. Ever. Erica thought she had the perfect family growing up, but when she confesses to her parents who she really is, they cut off all contact. Now, her little brother has done the same thing and suffered the same consequences. The difference is that he’s only 15, while Erica had waited until her 20s. Although betrayed by her parents, she still idealizes their marriage. It’s what she wants for herself. When these two women meet, there is instant connection, and a draw that both find hard to resist. But will either take a chance with the other when they both want such different things? Changing your self-esteem is difficult, and it takes time, but every journey begins with a first step, and Cassidy has to take that first step before she can contemplate going forward with Erica. With the chorus of voices surrounding her, it’s a wonder that she didn’t follow her feelings sooner. The ending is a little abrupt in some ways. But in other ways, I understand why it ended this way. This wasn’t so much about them fixing their relationship, or making it perfect. It was about the leap of faith and courage it takes to take the gamble in the first place. So yes, tying up more loose ends might have been nice, but it’s really unnecessary. The point of the story has been made; love is worth the gamble. Things might not be smooth sailing in the future. But the important thing is to take that deep breath and leap.
AmyP
ThreeandHalfStars
I loved meeting Cas and Erica. Their instant connection was well
described and believable. They were adorable together and I saw the
problem coming before it happened; however, it was still no fun to
watch. I hated that they made the other go through all that. However,
I understand the need for the conflict. It could be the books I have
been reading recently; however, that is a very tried and true argument
and I was hoping for a slightly different spin on the traditional
story. I also felt the ending was tied up in too neat of a bow so soon
after such a large meltdown, but that could also be  personal
experience.

Other than that, the book was good and I did enjoy reading it.

Tori

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TWO 5 Star and ONE 4 Star Review for Miss Match by Fiona Riley #FF #Romance

CoverTitle: Miss Match
Author Name & Publisher: Fiona Riley (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: May 17, 2016 – 240 pgs

Synopsis

When Samantha Monteiro launched Perfect Match, Inc. a few years ago, she never imagined her matchmaking business would be booming while her own love life floundered. When her business partner drags her out of hiding to attend the wedding of one of their successful client matches, she meets a dancer with a dark past and a penchant for secrecy who excites her in a way she hadn’t thought possible. Samantha wonders if Lucinda Moss is the key to solving not one but two matches that have eluded Samantha since everything around her fell apart or if she is destined to find love for everyone but herself.
In a world where nothing is constant, Lucinda has learned to keep herself emotionally at arm’s length and given up on the chance to find true happiness. Can the notorious Miss Match help her forget her troubled past?

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Review

FiveStars

Lucinda and Samantha meet at a wedding and  immediately hit it off.  Samantha runs a dating agency, Miss Match, and Lucinda is an advertising executive and both have sworn off relationships.  That is until they find they can’t keep their hands off each other and walls and barriers begin to fall.  When Sam asks Lucinda to help a client relax through dance they get to spend more time together and find they can’t be apart.  The steamy scenes between them were ultra hot and very descriptive.  This lady knows how to write erotic literature! I wanted them to be together and for a happily-ever-after, but there were a few hurdles in the way, namely some awful homophobic, misogynistic men who were determined to get in the way of true love.  They both had problems from the past to deal with and how they dealt with these really lifted this novel to a higher level.
This was a beautiful love story, chock full of love and emotion and I felt I had a big grin on my face the whole time I was reading it.  I adored both main characters as they were strong, independant women with good hearts and were just waiting for the right person to come along and make them whole.  I felt I smiled for days after reading this wonderful book.
 Kitty Kat
FiveStars
A blistering book, passionate, beautifully written, strong believable characters and plenty of hot spirited sex. A definite must read for all lesbians and any woman who believes in love.
All of the above with a great story line, one that keeps you involved from beginning to end. Just when you think you know whats happened and whose to blame, wham, Ms Riley’s entertaining plot proves you wrong!!!
Both character have strong personalities and hidden depths as well as closely guarded secrets and anguished past encounters.
The sex scenes are scorching but are an intricate part of the story, not just added for titivation.
A really delightful book, a pleasure to read and one I can thoroughly recommend.
Chris
FourStars
This was a sweet romance, but missed the mark a bit. Lucinda and Samantha are drawn to one another, unable to stem the fascination each feels for the other. It makes them continue to get closer even when their pasts and fears tell them to run. Lucinda has abandonment issues, always losing those she loves, and she has to conquer her fear of loss to allow herself to become open to Samantha. Samantha has trust issues, as well as family issues, mostly stemming from a disapproving, overbearing mother. Each seems to complete the other, to fill up all the hollow spaces, but a part of me thinks it was too easy. Each of these characters has serious emotional scars, but there seems to be very little struggle to overcome them. We don’t really see a reason or a logical train of events that allows them to get past their fears; it’s almost like once they find each other, those issues cease to affect their decision making. I would have liked to see their strength of character show in how they got past those issues. That said, both Lucinda and Samantha are extremely likable and you can’t help but urge success for their relationship. I also really liked the dance aspect within the book. It made me want to dance along with them. Overall, I liked the book.
Tosha

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5 Star, 4 Star and 3 Star Reviews for Goslyn County by A.M. McKnight #FF #Crime @wordmc46

CoverTitle: Goslyn County
Author Name: A.M. McKnight
Publication Date & Length: November 28, 2015 – 305 pgs

Synopsis

A mostly black community with its roots in farming, Goslyn, Virginia lay just south of the State’s Capital. The once small, close-knit county had grown rapidly in the past two decades and boasted a population of just over fifty thousand. But the county’s crime stats had grown as well, and the latest offenses included several break-ins and rumors of a meth lab. Time had brought many changes, and many of the longtime folks of Goslyn no longer recognized their community and longed for days gone by.

Goslyn PD Detective Olivia “Ollie” Winston loves her family and friends and shows it through her sense of humor. Just like her neighbors, she too worries about the recent events, and it’s her job to find out who’s behind the crime spree.

While investigating three burglaries, Olivia meets IRS Special Agent Maureen Jeffries who is pursuing a tax fraud suspect. Their cases are connected, and both soon discover they have much in common, personally and professionally.

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Review

FiveStars

A really wonderful book, a delight to read.
The fantastic opening chapter explained how the two young friends friendship between them was so close, and how supportive each girls family was, and the different  gender preference of each girl. This set the tone for the whole book.
After setting the tone, Ms McKnight moved on to present day and once again reinforced the strength and love in the family, this time through the humerous encounter between Ollie and her grandmother and the tv!!! Encounters many of us have had similar experience of.
As the book progresses we are given relevant information  about all her family, friends and  significant others. All are which are carefully choreographed and woven into the story line in an interesting and fascinating way. Without almost realizing it odd discrepancies begin to reveal themselves, out of character behaviour is exhibited. The plot weaves its mystery and nothing is fully revealed until we reach the end of this marvelous book.
One nice touch was the revelation towards the end that secret first love can be revealed and reciprocated.
I think what drew me to this novel was not just the outstanding story line but the exceptional and beautifully portrayed family dynamics. A really different approach to an engaging and captivating novel.
Chris

FourStars

Goslyn County is a really enjoyable read and stands out from many other lesfic crime novels.  It is set in a black community and has a very positive and inspiring outlook that appealed to me.  The crime part of the book was well plotted and kept my attention but for me the best part was the budding romance between cop Olivia and IRS agent, Maureen.  I felt it was dealt with in a very grown up way and the characters themselves had a maturity and depth to them seldom seen in the genre.  Olivia and Maureen meet through working on a case and there are tensions around this as Olivia’s boss is intent on causing her problems.  He implies there is impropriety and it causes the women to take things slowly until they are sure about it.  I am glad the author decided on a slow burning romance as it made so much sense with these characters.  The importance of family and community came through and made the minor characters so important to the whole novel.

KittyKat

ThreeStar

This was a fun read. I enjoyed getting to know Olivia and Maureen. I
loved the dynamic between the women and enjoyed watching their love
story unfold. There were times that I wanted to scream at one or both
of them, though mostly Olivia, about their stubbornness but it was
still a fun journey.

I hope the finished book is better edited and formatted than the ARC
we received as there were many times I couldn’t tell what was the
author was trying to say.

The story was engaging and entertaining, as well as hot and spicy in
the right places. Good read.

Tori

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