Review of ‘Escape to Pleasure’ by Victoria Villasenor and Sandy Lowe

‘Escape to Pleasure’ is an enticing collection of erotic stories on the theme of travel. Victoria Villasenor and Sandy Lowe are skilled editors and have brought together a perfect mix of hot and steamy stories sure to please. I enjoyed all of the stories but I particularly enjoyed Aurora Rey’s ‘The Lodge’, as the cosy Winter setting contrasted so well with the heat of a very sexy story. Her characters interested me so much that I wouldn’t mind meeting them again. I also loved Brit Ryder’s ‘Mistakes Happen’. This tale of a luggage mix-up and the resulting bedroom antics was perfect. Her wickedly sexy al fresco encounter was truly sublime. But Jeannie Levig’s ‘A Fantasy Getaway’ was my favourite. It is set in a lesbian resort and is beautifully written. She ramps up the sexual tension like a pro. It is so, so well done and the heat is off the scale. I can highly recommend this anthology.

I was given this ARC for review.

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Review of ‘Music City Dreamers’ by Robyn Nyx

I’ve read Robyn Nyx’s work before and loved it, so I was excited to see that she had decided to try her hand at the romance genre. I was not disappointed. ‘Music City Dreamers’ is set in Nashville, the home of Country music. It’s not the most LGBT friendly city by any means and record company executive, Heather King, finds that staying in the closet is the only way to get on in the business. She wants to own a record label and make it open to a more diverse range of singers than any of the current, stuck in the mud, labels do presently. Songwriter Louie Francis is out, proud and no-one could ever mistake this gorgeous butch for being anything but a lesbian. When they meet the attraction is obvious, but how can two so very different women be together?

First of all I love Country music so the whole Nashville scene was a huge plus for me. I enjoyed finding out about the world of record labels, big stars, struggling songwriters and of course the famous Bluebird Cafe. The ambience was perfectly done. The story centres around an intriguing romance but also the struggle LGBT people face in homophobic industries and areas of the country. Ms Nyx managed to get across the tension and fear involved in living in such an environment. The racism in the South was also evident. I appreciated the way the author brought to the foreground the need for diversity and being true to oneself. It takes courage and sometimes people need to take their own time. I really liked the main two characters, Louie and Heather. Louie had been hurt a lot in the past but she had a strength of purpose and integrity that shone through. Heather fought every day to make a success of her career but until Louie came into her life she couldn’t see that she deserved more. There are a few unpleasant characters too and the homophobia and manipulation they brought to the story made it all the more interesting. I loved Louie’s friend, Gabe. They made a great team and I wanted things to work out for him too. 

I really enjoyed this story and I am so glad Ms Nyx made this foray into lesbian romance. She has captured the passion and intense emotions of the two women, as well as weaving a fascinating story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Seascape’ by Karis Walsh

‘Seascape’ has the most beautiful setting and that drew me into the story right away. Tess is a marine biologist forced to go back to her home town to help with a family crisis. Forks is the wettest place in the entire United States and holds no excitement for her and no chance to date. Or so she thinks. Britt is a woman facing her own crisis and ends up in the area, trying to decide what to do with her life. Their interactions are light and flirty at first but there is always an undercurrent that promises more. 

The strength of this novel is the way Karis Walsh has woven beauty, romance and an absolutely fascinating and enlightening environmental story together. Both Tess and Britt grow so much as they begin to question the choices they have made. I enjoyed going on that journey with them. I also found myself immersed in the world of killer whales, wolves and the fragile ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest. A really lovely story. 

I was given this ARC to review.

Review of ‘Unforgettable’ by Elle Spencer

‘Unforgettable’ consists of two wonderful love stories that warm the heart. ‘’Forget Her Not’ is the story of Sam, a woman who indulges in one-nights stands and stays away from relationships. A surprising twist causes her to rethink her life. The story is beautiful, so emotional and very sexy. I felt very invested in the characters and I cried when they cried. I was stunned at how Elle Spencer manages to make the reader feel so much and we end up really caring for the women in her novels. ‘Forget Her Never’ is sweet and funny and hot. Abby and Kendall are so obviously perfect for each other but life has obstacles in their way. I so desperately wanted it to work out for them and again the author pulled me so far into the story, that I couldn’t put it down. This book is perfect for those times you want to wallow in romance, intense feelings and love. Elle Spencer does it so well. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘As The Crow Flies’ by Karen F. Williams

This book is one of those that you have to sit back and take in just what you have read. I had to take a breath and absorb the story and how it made me feel. Karen F Williams is an extremely talented writer and her exquisite prose captured me from the start. I found myself slowing down as I neared the end as I wanted it to last just a little bit longer. I couldn’t tear myself away from mystery writer Sam, her crow Bertha and Gwen, the alluring professor that Sam has become enamoured with.  Sam’s sister-in-law Liz and gorgeous but repressed Isabel had an equally fascinating storyline and the interweaving of their lives had me glued to the page. When Sam’s quest to find a matching bookend for the one in her possession brings her into contact with philosophy professor Gwen I was entranced. Their reactions to each other are profound and when their lives become entwined neither could have predicted where it would lead. The story has a perfect mix of enchanting romance, mystery and a ghostly element. It was sweet and imaginative at times and powerfully sexy and quite beautiful.  One of the best books I have read this year. Highly recommended.

Review of ‘Love Birds’ by Lisa Moreau

‘Love Birds’ is a beautiful love story set in the adorable setting of Ojai, California. Emily owns a magazine for bird enthusiasts and needs that one big story to save her publication. She has let other people run her life for far too long and takes the chance to do something for herself. Pole-dancer Sydney has her hopes set on a dream job but has to make some changes if she is going to get there. These two women from totally different words find themselves thrown together and as they find a way to coexist, something neither expected changes their lives forever. Lisa Moreau writes the most appealing characters, with a gentleness and understanding that I’ve yet to find in another author. Her stories are so romantic but when things get hot she knows just what buttons to press. I loved seeing how the relationship between Emily and Sydney developed. It was sweet and sexy but also very empowering. I really enjoyed this story, as I have everything I’ve read by this author. I can highly recommended ‘Love Birds’

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Rise of the Resistance-Phoenix One’ by Jackie D

‘The Rise of the Resistance’ is a dystopian vision of a future where climate change could not be stopped in time. It’s an excellent story of people who have been waiting so long to fight back against tyranny. The parallels to the situation in the USA now are stark and profound 

It’s a story that acts as a warning. 

Arrow has trained her whole life to protect Phoenix One, the woman who is destined to lead the Resistance when they need her most. Kaelyn Trapp has been cryogenically frozen as part of the Phoenix Project and willingly takes on the mantle of leader. They are powerfully drawn to each other but can they resist? Will giving in jeopardise the important work they have to do? 

I was really impressed by Jackie D’s story and felt it had a truth and reality to it. She brought to life an America where things had gone badly wrong, but she gave me hope that all was not lost. The world she has imagined was compelling and the characters were so well developed. Arrow and Kaelyn felt right together but whether they could ever take that step had me wishing and hoping. Arrow was  loyal and strong and determined. Kaelyn was brilliant and the person one would want to lead in a fight for good.  The bad guys were truly despicable. And the fact that I could imagine such a scenario was scary.   I just hope this book gets the coverage it deserves. I highly recommend it. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Broken Vows’ by MJ Williamz

‘Broken Vows’ is a hot story of conflicted nun meets butch construction worker. It is jam-packed with steamy sexual encounters. If you enjoy erotica and erotic romance then this certainly ticks the boxes. It’s an erotic story written by a woman for other women loving women. Sister Mary Margaret has a lot of trouble keeping to that pesky vow of chastity. When she meets parishioner Alex she can’t seem to help herself. What starts off as just sex seems to delve a little deeper. This is a book to squirrel yourself away with for some me time.

I was given this ARC 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 ‘Isle of Broken Years’ by Jane Fletcher

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‘ Isle of Broken Years’ is an amazingly inventive story that started off as the tale of a noblewoman being captured by pirates and veered off into something way more interesting and fantastic. Catalina is expecting to meet the man her parents have decided she is to marry and live out her life in the New World. When she is kidnapped by pirates hoping to make some money from her capture her life takes a turn for the worse. When they pass near the ’Bermuda Triangle’ things go off in a whole new direction. I absolutely loved the premise of this novel. It was not at all what I expected – it was so much better. It is difficult to say too much about the rest of the story as I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice to say there is mystery and life is fraught with danger. An unexpected attraction adds some romance to the story – and this was handled really well. As Jane Fletcher writes lesbian fiction you can probably guess where this goes. The characters are well written and develop over the course of the book. I will also just say that the epilogue is wonderful. I’ve never seen one done quite this way before, but it really works. An excellent story.

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