Review of ‘The Scandal’ by Mari Hannah

‘The Scandal’ is a gripping story from the start, as a terrified woman flees for her life, frantically trying to evade her pursuer. I could feel her fear. But it is the investigation into another death that impacts DS Frankie Oliver and she finds herself in conflict with her boss, DI David Stone. The realism, be it of story, character or setting, really struck me.

Mari Hannah captures the emotions of her characters with such insight and precision. I appreciated that the police never lost sight of the victims and their families. I also can’t get enough of the North East as described in Ms Hannah’s novels. She moves from the beauty of the Northumberland countryside to the modern, vibrant city of Newcastle. This is the first of the Stone and Oliver series that I’ve read but I was so impressed that I’ll have to go and read the other two. An excellent read and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review by Netgalley and Orion.

Review of ‘Once Upon A Princess’ by Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss

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Enchanting is the perfect word to sum up ‘Once Upon a Princess’ by Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss. Set on the beautiful Cornish coast, it is a story of true love and passion. Princess Olivia goes incognito as Charlie to Otter Bay after being forced to announce her engagement to the eminently suitable Jemima. While trying to clear her head and accept her fate she meets Rosie, local cafe owner and the woman who may just capture her heart. There are so many obstacles to this particular fairytale having a happy ending. Will they find a way? Can Olivia keep her identity a secret?

This book was always going to be a winner, with two of the best Lesfic romance writers in the business. Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss have managed to collaborate seamlessly and have created a wonderful love story. I really liked the main characters Rosie and Charlie (Olivia). Charlie was torn between duty and what she really wanted in life. Rosie was strong and capable and perfect for her. Their story was tender and loving and very hot. I adored it.

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

Review of ‘Love Came Calling’ by C.A. Popovich

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Kelly and Josie want very different things from a relationship. Kelly is a nurse and in need of a new challenge. Josie owns and runs a lesbian lodge resort and they meet when Kelly takes a vacation there with friends. Their attraction is powerful  but neither can give into it for fear of being hurt. Nevertheless they spend more and more time with each other and when Josie feels threatened by a stranger Kelly wants to be there for her. The slow-building threat was well executed. The suspense and tension was palpable. I really liked both main characters and Josie’s grandmother, Nooko. They were well rounded and I could believe in them. Josie had fears that she needed to face and although I felt like shouting at her to give Kelly a chance I knew she had to get there in her own time. Kelly was loving and caring and had such patience. Her growing relationship was Nooko was sweet and pivotal to the story. Nooko’s background gave an interesting dimension to the story and really added to the it. But it was the relationship between the two younger women that made this book for me. The love scenes were very emotionally charged and showed just how intense their feelings were for each other. I enjoyed the book so much.

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

Review of ‘The Dream Catcher’ by Annette Mori

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Annette Mori has the unique gift of writing unusual and interesting novels dealing with issues rarely discussed by other authors. In ‘The  Dream Catcher’ Heaven struggles to cope with her particular gift of turning her dreams into reality. She is a Dream Weaver and some of the things she dreams up are terrifying. Others are as a result of erotic dreams and rather more fun. When she has the chance of finding a solution to her problems with the help of Maya, a Dream Catcher, things begin to look up. But it’s only the beginning of an adventure involving other women in a similar position to her own – and it’s going to take everything she’s got to survive it. Bipolar women and girls have been targeted and used for nefarious ends by the government.

I liked the whole premise of the story. It was imaginative and unlike anything I’ve read before. We find out what is behind it all at the same Heaven does as it is written in the first person. This really worked well. There were a lot of secrets and by slowly teasing them out it added to the mystery. This was fundamentally about good versus evil but with Annette Mori’s trademark quirky twist. A highly enjoyable read.

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

 

Amazon UK

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Review of ‘Banquet’ by Adan Ramie

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Banquet is an interesting  and quirky sci-fi story, with a multitude of aliens trying to survive in a hostile environment. Rison is a bit of a loner. She’s  on a prison transport, with a mission of her own. Getting thrown off course unexpectedly, she has to decide if she cares enough to help those who need her. I really liked Kobi, the ultra cute teeny android and was glad when he showed up. The writing is descriptive and imaginative and I liked the character building.  The twist really had me fooled.

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

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

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Review of ‘The Princess Deception’ by Nell Stark

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This book was one of those that grew on me the more I read it. I didn’t realise just how much I would become invested in Viola and Duke’s story but by the end I was willing them to be together. Princess Viola of Belgium decides to impersonate her twin brother Sebastian at a crucial event. She is determined his heroin overdose won’t become common knowledge as she attends a FIFA meeting to try and secure a bid to host the World Cup. Ex-soccer player and rookie reporter Duke sees through the ruse right away, especially since she is attracted to ‘Sebastian’ and is never normally attracted to men. Will her new career lead her to ‘out’ Viola? Or will love conquer all?

Their attraction is intense and extremely hot- sizzling in fact! But the love shone through more than anything else and they were destined for each other. Nell stark gave more than a nod to the previous books in her Princess series by including some of the characters in this story. Since I haven’t read those yet I am keen to get a hold of them now. ‘The Princess Deception’ is a lovely, sexy romance that swept me off my feet.

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

Review of ‘Loving Blue in Red States: Savannah Georgia’ by Anne Hagan

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I liked this story of Jo, a park worker who is sent to Savannah on training and is introduced to a world she never knew existed. She is unsure of herself and lacks confidence but when she meets tour guide Calli she begins to see that life could be different if only she had the courage. I enjoyed finding out about Savannah and I liked the characters, especially Calli. This whole series of stories by Anne Hagan shows us life for different women all over the US, in states where life can be difficult for lesbians. This is a welcome addition to the series.

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

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Review of ‘Fault Lines’ by Doug Johnstone

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Set in an alternate Edinburgh but one we can all recognise, this is a wonderfully descriptive and well written suspense novel. Volcanology PhD student Surtsey finds herself embroiled in a mystery that could have serious consequences in her already complicated life. Trying to keep secrets makes things worse and the events that follow are tense, thrilling and unexpected. I liked Surtsey and wanted her to come clean but could see why she didn’t. The reality of her life and her thought processes were teased out perfectly. The characters around her were as well rounded and thoughtfully portrayed . I did not see the twist coming as Doug Johnstone so skilfully constructed his story. He made it seem effortless. I really enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC from lovereading.co.uk in return for an honest review.

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.