Review of ‘Love’s Portrait’ by Anna Larner

‘Love’s Portrait’ is a perfect mixture of love, romance and belonging. Molly Goode is a fine art curator in Leicester, wishing to bring more diversity to the museum where she works. Georgina Wright is an important benefactor, albeit a reluctant one. She comes across as a bit of an Ice Queen but spending time with Molly begins to thaw her cool exterior. When Georgina needs help to research a painting in her collection, Molly is instructed by her boss to take on the task.

I liked Molly from the start. She was sweet, a bit ditsy and completely unaware of how wonderful she is. She worries about saying and doing the wrong thing and I found her completely adorable. Georgina was a woman in pain, dealing with grief and hurt, and I had high hopes that Molly would be the woman to see her through that. I felt compelled to follow their story. The mystery behind the painting drew me further into the story and I loved the historical aspect of it in regard to the research on the painting. Anna Larner’s writing has a gentle beauty to it, an engaging tone throughout.  Her characters feel real to me and she makes me want to know more about them. This is the second book I have read by this author and I must admit she has become a favourite of mine. A lovely story.

I was given this ARC for review by Bold Strokes Books and Netgalley.

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Review of ‘Wooing the Farmer’ by Jenny Frame

This is the book we Axedale fanatics have been waiting for. At last Quade gets a chance at love – but the woman she has set her sights on is not going to be easy to persuade. Penelope Huntingdon-Stewart is a famous food blogger and member of one of the most famous families in Britain. She retreats to Axedale after an embarrassing and traumatising incident and is in no mood for romance. Can Quade get past that frosty exterior and win the heart of the fair maiden? 

We’ve known for a long time that Quade wanted to settle down with the woman of her dreams, but she thinks no-one would want to be a farmer’s wife. She has no idea just how gorgeous she is or how appealing the rugged butch farmer vibe is. I loved seeing a new side to Quade, and the protective and caring side of her nature really came out. I also really appreciated Quade and Penny’s story interweaving with that of Harry and Annie and of Bridge and Finn. Penny is the polar opposite of Quade and that is why it worked so well. Penny’s secrets made her hold Quade at arms’s length but when the wooing started it was sweet and tender. But hey, this is a Jenny Frame book, so there were also the most delicious hot and sexy scenes that we have come to expect.

Jenny Frame writes the most amazing characters and this whole series is a masterpiece. But where she excels is in writing butch lesbians. Quade is the ultimate butch and she is a dream. I can’t imagine anyone being able to resist falling in love with this particular ‘Sexy Farmer’. Every time I read a Jenny Frame book I think it’s the best ever, but time and again she surprises me. She has surpassed herself with ‘Wooing the Farmer’. 

I was given this ARC by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books to review.

Review of ‘Major Surgery’ by Lola Keeley

I think it was the exceptionally desirable characters in ‘Major Surgery’ that first grabbed my attention. Veronica appears to be a bit aloof and the classic Ice Queen, but appearances can be deceptive. Army medic Cassie makes quite an impression from the get-go. She is determined, unconventional and very, very hot. The London teaching hospital setting was perfect. It gave us a chance to wander the capital’s streets, which were recognisable and familiar and an integral part of the story.

Lola Keeley impressed me with her previous novel, ‘The Music and the Mirror’, so I was looking forward to this new one. She did not disappoint. She writes of small, seemingly insignificant looks and glances that could be missed, except we know what they mean. When Veronica can’t keep her eyes off Cassie we know why. The slow build-up was perfect – the sexual tension at some points was palpable. I couldn’t get enough. ‘Major Surgery’ is the kind of story of that will have you cheering . Wonderful !❤️❤️

I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing for review.

Review of ‘Breaking Character’ by Lee Winter

‘Breaking Character’ is the story of Ice Queen, Elizabeth, star of top rated TV hospital drama ,Choosing Hope, and her new co-star Summer. Deep in the closet Elizabeth (Bess) is a respected British theatre actress and is widely seen as aloof and a bitch. Adorable former child-star Summer sees something different. As she struggles to be taken seriously as an adult in Hollywood, she brings something new to the show and to Bess’s life.

I really liked Bess. She had so many insecurities about her career and herself and it made her all the more loveable. Summer had a great heart and a lovely way of looking at life. I wanted them to be together so much. The twists and turns they had to overcome were so satisfying. I could have cheered at quite a few points in the story. The boo-hiss villain of the story was perfectly pitched and the coterie of friends and family  on both sides made this a very well rounded story. At times I felt the heartbreak and at others the passion and love was beautiful. An enchanting romantic story that had me swooning- especially the last paragraph. Perfect. 

I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing to review. 

Review of ‘Calendar Girl’ by Georgia Beers

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‘Calendar Girl’ is a perfect masterclass on how to write a breathtakingly beautiful romance novel. Absolutely perfect. And it’s not just about the romance. It’s about love and family and realising what is important in life. It is utterly captivating and the emotional intensity is off the scale. Addison Fairchild is a hard-driven business woman who has no life outside the office. Her determination to succeed has affected her life in so many ways – and all to her detriment. This Ice Queen is about to get thrown off course by the most amazing woman – and she is not at all prepared. Katie Cooper takes a second job to help her patents as the family struggles to cope with her father’s early onset dementia. She is kind, loving and thoughtful and exactly what Addison needs. I loved Katie. She brought out the best in Addison and was so caring. I wanted Addison to realise that she had everything she could ever want right in front of her, if only she could see it.

Georgia Beers had me captivated from the start with this story. Two skilfully crafted characters, an enthralling plot and the best kissing scene ever! Boy does this woman know how to write a first kiss. And don’t get me started on the sex scene. Hot, romantic and epic. I adored this book. Five stars and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘The Big Uneasy’ by A.E. Radley

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‘The Big Uneasy’ is about love in New Orleans and being open to the possibility that ‘the one’ is the person you least expect. Rebecca and Arabella are on holiday, trying to find out exactly what their relationship means. Ice Queen Arabella needs time to work that out and wonderfully patient Rebecca is willing to wait. Jenn, a resident of New Orleans, has had her heart broken too many times and wants to find the love of her life. She doesn’t know what to make of whirlwind Kathryn, a woman with very definite views about her beloved city. And they are not all complimentary.

First of all I loved being back with Arabella and Rebecca, who we met in ‘The Road Ahead’. I wanted their relationship to develop and for Arabella to become comfortable with her feelings for Rebecca.  She may come across as an Ice Queen, but she was vulnerable and struggling. Kathryn and Jenn’s story was endearing. I didn’t want Jenn to get hurt but I also wanted her to have a chance at love. Would Kathryn be ‘the one’? When they spent time together it was sweet and funny and full of discovery, for both of them. I love AE Radley‘s sense of humour. It is very dry at times and fall off your seat laughing at others. The interactions between both couples and the supporting characters really hit the spot. What struck me though was that the author manages to convey passion and desire with the deftest touch. I was left in no doubt just how much the characters meant to each other.

‘The Big Uneasy’ is a fantastic story and I highly recommend it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘In Fashion’ by Jody Klaire

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‘In Fashion’ by Jody Klaire is utterly superb. There was so much more than just girl meets girl to this story. There was layer after layer and every layer more fascinating than the last. Darcy McGregor is a former catwalk model, now Style Surgeon on her own ratings winning TV show. She comes across as an appearance-obsessed bitch, but into her life walks Kate Bonvilston and things are never the same. Security guard Kate has no interest in how she looks and doesn’t buy into Darcy’s vision. Until she ends up as one of her ‘patients’.

The story is hilariously funny and the characters are real. They are so well written and I could easily imagine them. I fell in love with so many of them – not just Darcy and Kate. I loved Kate’s brother Mickey. He was an insightful wee guy. Darcy might like people to think she’s a bitch but she is adorable underneath and I loved her. The dynamic between her and Zoe was ascerbic and fun and her relationship with Susannah shows so much more about her.

I found myself laughing out loud at some of the hilarious encounters and the banter between Darcy and Kate and Darcy and Zoe  – and not just when I was reading it- but later when scenes popped back into my head.

It was a totally absorbing book that made me smile.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Paper Love’ by Jae

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‘Paper Love’ is set in the city of Freiburg, a place where local folklore says stepping in a Bachle, an ancient water channel running through the streets, results in marrying a local and living there forever. High powered business analyst Suzanne doesn’t believe a word of it. We meet this Ice Queen as she temporarily moves to Freiburg to help her Uncle Norbert save his ailing stationery business. There she meets his assistant Anya, who is more like a daughter to Nobby. Neither woman is looking for a fling but sometimes love has a way of changing our best laid plans.

I loved seeing how Suzanne and Anya began to enjoy each other’s company. Suzanne just needed someone to warm her up – the Ice Queen soon began to melt. Anya wasn’t one to take risks with her life but sometimes you just have to make a leap, take a chance. Or you can spend your whole life wondering. She was sweet and caring and deserved to be happy with her forever someone. But would it be Suzanne?

The story being set in a stationery shop was fascinating but it has left me with one problem. I think I’m even more hooked on beautiful stationery and journals than I was before, so Jae is going to cost me a fortune on my new obsession. She has ignited in me a serious stationery addiction. Thanks Jae!

‘Paper Love’ was a wonderful love story in a very different and unique setting. It was beautifully done and Jae never fails to leave me with a happy, joyful feeling in my heart. Highly recommended.

Review of ‘Twisted Deception’ by Isabella

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‘Twisted Deception’ is an excellently crafted story with more than a few surprises and just the right amount of tension and suspense. It revolves around three women – Addie Blake, hard working employee of Integrated Financial and downtrodden girlfriend, Greyson Hollister, CEO of the company and resident Ice Queen, and Detective Nancy Hill, who is investigating an attack at the company. Without giving anything away I will say that their interactions are fraught with intense emotion and in dealing with serious and scary issues we see more of their personalities and how they change each other. Addie’s relationship with her girlfriend is toxic and affects so much about her life. But I could see a strength in her that was very appealing. Greyson may be the Ice Queen to her employees but seeing the softer, caring side of her was wonderful. Nancy was tenacious and dogged in her pursuit of the attacker, but she was also understanding and willing to listen. I  must admit I did not see a few of the twists coming. And when they came they were explosive. I really enjoyed this book and would like to see these characters again. 5 Stars

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.

Out 1st June 2018

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Review of ‘The Music and the Mirror’ by Lola Keeley

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Very impressive! This is the story of Anna, newbie at the Metropolitan Ballet in New York, unsure  of herself and feeling she can never be as good as the women around her. Victoria artistic director and former star, sees something in Anna and despite herself begins to fall for the young dancer. Victoria comes across as cold and unfeeling but underneath you just know she is desperately in need of the love of a good woman. Will Anna be the one to crack open that cold persona and allow love in?

Lola Keeley’s writing style is immersive and pulled me right into the ballet world. I know nothing about ballet but by the end of the book I wanted to know more. She teases the reader, slowly bringing us into the lives of the dancers; let’s us see how they interact with each, how they think and how they feel. It’s all very subtle and not at all rushed. There are moments of high emotion and heat but the changes in Victoria and Anna as people struck me most. This is one novel I will be reading again and again. Excellent.

I was given this ARC in return for an honest review.