Review of ‘Sliding Doors’ by Karen Klyne

‘Sliding Doors’ by Karen Klyne is one of those surprising books that makes the reader ask “What if?”. 

Gemma Tennant is so unhappy. She hates her life and feels worthless with no way out. When she’s offered the chance to change all that, through a sliding door to a parallel existence – will she take it? This intriguing start really piqued my interest . I wanted to see where the author was going with it. The unfortunate woman who ends up swapping lives with Gemma, Alex Gambol,  doesn’t have a clue that it’s going to happen. Let’s just say she’s none too happy. Her own life had been pretty mundane and if she thought about it, she was just going through the motions. Nevertheless, swapping lives with someone against your will is going to cause some problems and a certain amount of resentment.

I must admit I did not like Alex at all at first, but by the end she was my favourite character in the book. Ms Klyne’s skilful storytelling took me on a journey where my preconceptions were turned on their head. I really liked Reece too. She was sweet and understanding and her kindness really shone through. I really enjoyed seeing how each of them adjusted to their new lives. And changed for the better. It’s a fantastic story that had me on the edge of my seat at some points. It’s about second chances, being true to yourself and finding a way to live that feels right. It was a wonderful story, full of magic and wonder and mystery. It was also, ultimately, beautifully romantic and I defy anyone not to have a wee tear in their eye. I absolutely loved it. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Sliding Doors is out on June 15th.

Review of ‘Once In Sweden’ by Emma Sterner-Radley

‘Once In Sweden’ is the story of two women, both hurting and confused. Nurse Aubrey has made a decision that has caused so much pain. Did she do the right thing? Looking back she’s not so sure. Elina is in a dark place after a break-up and her friends decide she needs a break away from it all to recover. Will she let them help her? Does she have the strength to get over it?

I like the Swedish setting. It was so refreshing to read a story set somewhere different. I was fascinated to learn about life there, the customs, the differences. The story was emotional and tear-jerking at times but also passionate and loving. It includes one of the most intense sex scenes I’ve read. It was pivotal to the story and written with such feeling. The story was  about heartbreak, and realising that opening oneself up to love can sometimes mean risking that heartbreak. But it can also mean the chance for true love. Beautiful, empowering love. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Love On The Night Shift’ by Radclyffe.

Do you ever read a love story and feel immediately that it’s meant to be? Well that’s exactly what happened when I read ‘Love On The Night Shift’. I love the Rivers series with a passion. Every single time, I’m convinced the one I’m currently reading is my all-time favourite and can’t be topped. But they get better and better as the series progresses. Blaise and Grady’s story pulled at my heartstrings again and again, and by the end I was on an emotional high.

Charge Nurse Blaise Richelieu has spent seventeen years raising her daughter alone, keeping all admirers at a safe distance. When hot new attending Grady McClure starts to show an interest, she goes into shields-up mode as usual. But there’s something endearing about Grady and maybe this time it won’t be so easy to resist. She has her reasons to be wary of attachments, but Grady’s charm might be beginning to wear her down. 

Blaise was strong, intelligent and brilliant at her job. Caring for her daughter has been her top priority. Maybe she has forgotten that she’s a woman with needs and deserves find that special someone. I could see exactly where she was coming from, but Grady was an irresistible force. Who could resist? I loved seeing them begin to get to know one another. Their gently flirting was beautifully done. The attraction was intense and hot and so was the sex.  Interweaving the stories of the Rivers clan, their kids and the townsfolk pushed this novel up even further in my estimation. I want to know what is happening to them and the impact their stories have on each other. 

When I finished this book I had all the feels. It was emotional and important. Their story was important. And not just for them as a couple. It was romantic and sexy but above all it felt right. They were meant to be together . I adored it. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Cake’ by Jove Belle

‘Cake’ by Jove Belle is a really enjoyable story partly set in Bitterroot. It’s the story of what happens when you meet the first women to turn your head in a long time – but there are so many complications. Kelly Miller makes wedding cakes and when he brother asks her to make one for his unexpected wedding to a woman she’s never met, things start to get interesting. Elena Verdad is a psychologist with some emotional problems of her own. When she meets the sister of the groom sparks fly. They really shouldn’t go there, but something is pulling them together and neither feel able to resist. 

It’s a lovely story of a connection that should never work. Even Kelly and Elena can see that. But sometimes the person you need is the one you least expect. The emotional element between them was powerful and the sex was scorchingly hot. Off the scale. A really enjoyable novella. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Kick Back’ by KJ

KJ has done it again! When I reviewed her last book, ‘Coming Home’ I declared it was my favourite  novel of 2019. ‘Kick Back’ is just as inspiring. I loved it. 

Sophia Lindstrom is one of the more experienced players in the South Melbourne Women’s AFL team. She’s strong and determined and a fighter. She’s willing to get involved and help anyone – but when it comes to her own happiness she won’t take that final step. Cam Weathers is a reporter tasked with writing fluff pieces on the league. Her boss expects her to toe the line and ignore the fact that the women are exceptional athletes, with an important part to play in the sport. Let’s just say Cam has other ideas. She’s also drawn to the fiercely protective Sophie, a woman who is determined to make her see that the  women’s league has merit and importance. But both women have barriers and lines they won’t cross. Can either of them get past that, as they are pulled into something increasingly complex and confusing. Something that requires them to join forces if they are going to find out the truth. 

‘Kick Back’ had me feeling so many emotions. KJ made me really care about her characters. Within her fantastic story she made me angry and sad and she made me want to scream at the misogyny the women had to fight against. But I knew Sophie and Cam had this. They were warriors. She also had me ecstatic and joyful in this beautifully observed piece of writing. KJ knows how to write emotionally intense prose. I adore her style. Highly recommended. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Children of the Stars’ by K Aten

What a ride! Mix alien soulmates, Area 51, and a government agency set up to deal with hybrid humans and you have one truly amazing book. You can tell that K Aten loves sci-fi. It certainly shows in ‘Children of the Stars’. Her story starts with a bang and never lets up. It is exciting and adventurous and takes the reader on a journey of a lifetime. 

Amari and Zen were saved from certain death by being sent to Earth as babies. When their adjacent worlds were attacked, the only option their respective parents could see was to send them to safety on another planet. They are bonded to each other, but do not know that the other exists. When their adopted world is about to face its greatest peril, they have to take a stand, even though they risk exposure. 

The author uses a really interesting storytelling style. Not at all conventional, but it works so well. The narrator speaking straight to the reader at some points in the novel  is a brilliant touch. It contrasts perfectly with the third-person narrative of the rest of the novel. ’Children of the Stars’ is  a thrilling story with an emotional connection beyond anything either woman could imagine possible. But there’s a fear of being found out and exposing their origins to all. With super-power enhanced Chromodecs all over the world, one is never sure who is on the side of good – and who is one of the baddies. It certainly keeps the reader intrigued throughout. There is a mention of another K Aten book which was a lovely touch and made me hope for more from this particular universe in the future. As you can probably tell, I loved this book. It was about working together as a group and fighting against the bad guys, but there was also a beautifully romantic and passionate element.  It was exciting and tense and exhilarating all at the same time. Wonderful!

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Next In Line For Love’ by Harper Bliss

Ali Lennox is the thirty-five year old daughter of Jeffrey Lewis, CEO of Lennox Breweries, one of the most important companies in America. When she’s called home from a 10 year hiatus, she realises it’s time to buckle down and take her place in the company. Jill Gold is the fifty-something COO charged with getting her ready to take over. An attraction develops that both realise could cause enormous problems for their business relationship. Will they act on their feelings? Or will business have to come first?

‘Next In Line For Love’ is an interesting take on the age-gap romance trope. Family dynamics and professional responsibilities clash in this lovely romance. Ali comes across much younger than her age at first, but when we find out her family history it is easy to see why. I liked her. She was willing to step up when it mattered. Jill was a dedicated business-woman whose life revolves around her job. But she was also a kind, thoughtful and caring person. Not what one would expect from someone who has made it to the top in her industry. She has avoided becoming hard and jaded. I enjoyed seeing the two

women navigate their feeling for each other whilst taking into account the needs of the company. An enjoyable story.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Legacy’ by Charlotte Greene

‘Legacy’ is a scary, creepy story that had me jumping out of my skin. It was brilliant. Jo and Carter are cousins and have spent their whole lives taking vacations in the family cabin in the mountains. But after a few years of neglect, the cabin is in need of repair and a good cleaning out. With a few friends, they hike to the remote cabin and hope to spend a couple of relaxing weeks sorting it out. The trip is anything but relaxing though. Strange occurrences give Jo cause for concern, but when it starts to become dangerous, and people get hurt, she has to start thinking the unthinkable. Meeting the most gorgeous woman out of the blue takes her mind off it for a moment, but all of the women have to admit that the cabin, and the mountain are not safe places to be.

The creeping tension is beautifully done and I was seriously spooked. Charlotte Greene ramps up the fear factor slowly and with delicate precision. Her masterful writing is so suited to this genre and I can’t imagine anyone doing it better. She weaves the relationship dynamics of the group, with references to the past and manages to introduce the scary elements bit by bit, never overdoing it. There were some surprising twist to the tale and some lovely romantic moments too. Jo’s burgeoning relationship with ranger Andy was tender and sweet, but also had an intensity that caught my breath. It was an amazing story, about family, love, history and fulfilment. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Uncharted’ by Robyn Nyx

Chase Stinsen is a principled archaeologist who ends up in some yucky, mucky situations, always hoping to discover and save treasures for the benefit of all humanity. Rayne Marcellus tends towards the less lawful path. She keeps beating Chase to finds that she sells to unscrupulous rich men, instead of giving to the museums Chase favours. The women worked together in the past and have a difficult relationship due to Rayne screwing Chase over. When Rayne asks her to help find the fabled Golden Trinity, to prevent it from falling into the hands of a man who would stop at nothing to possess it, can Chase trust her? 

The story has an exciting and atmospheric start and the the adventure continues in the same vein. The archaeological and historical details are fascinating and give another layer of interest that hooked me from the beginning. Add to that the interpersonal dynamics between the two main characters and Robyn Nyx has a winner on her hands. But it was about so much more than adventure and mystery, although those were expertly done. The personal discoveries for Chase and Rayne and the realisations they came to – those were definitely stand out elements for me. There were powerful emotions, not just about the growing feelings the women had for each other, but for the peoples of the Amazon. The danger from incursions by treasure hunters and loggers made me want to weep for them. The setting was exquisitely described, so much so that I could almost feel the heat and humidity as I read. The creepy fear that could never leave them as they traversed through thick, lush jungle, with snakes and worse just ready to pounce. The denouement was thrilling, heart-stopping and full of wonder. I wait in eager anticipation for the next great adventure from this pair. 

And for lovers of lesfic, there are a few wonderful Easter Eggs in this book. I almost cried out in delight at the mention of some names and places from another favourite author of mine. I’ll leave you to find them for yourself – but suffice to say, the three I found made me a very happy reader. 

I loved this story and highly recommend it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Love For Auction’ by Karen Klyne

‘Love For Auction’ is a story about two women getting to know themselves as well as each other. A nice romance with a few bumps along the way. Philippa Young is an estate agent and auctioneer living in a small English village, after making her name and fortune in London. She’s a love-em and leave-em type and doesn’t see that changing as she reaches her mid-forties. When she is hired to sell the family home left to Kim after her father dies, her life takes a new turn. She’s very attracted to Kim, but she a lot younger and seemingly straight. Will they be able to get past Phil’s reputation and Kim’s inexperience?

I liked the village setting and the minor characters. It felt very real and relatable. Phil was a woman at a crossroads and it was interesting seeing her struggle with her past and her hopes for the future. Kim’s story was multi-layered. She had issues from the past that had to be faced head on. Romantic with some angst along the way.

I was given this ARC for review.