Review of ‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon

‘Made in London’ by Clare Lydon is the sixth story in her London series. It is the story of single mum Heidi, a wedding photographer, and Eden, a marketing whizz. Neither has dated in a very long time and for very different reasons. Fate just seems to keep bringing them together and despite their dating reservations they find that they can’t stop thinking about the other. Heidi was hard-working and committed to her career but her daughter Maya would always come first. Would Eden be able to get over her past, a past that made very very wary of dating someone with kids? She had spent so long building a structured life that definitely did not involve children or family. For Heidi, family was everything.

I really liked Heidi. She was a great mum, fun and kind. And she was also really hot. Eden was a complex character with reasons of her own to live as she did. I hoped that she would see that there could be so much more to life. Heidi was the perfect woman to coax her. There was some outrageously funny moments as I have come to expect from Clare Lydon. One in particular had me in fits of giggles. The love story felt so right, so natural. It was about two people who had to find a way past certain obstacles in order to be together. I feel that I want to go back and read the whole series from the start. The links between all of the stories has been so well done. Another winner from Ms Lydon.

I was given this ARC for review.

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Review of ‘Coming Home’ by K.J.

‘Coming Home’ is my favourite book of the entire year. It’s the story of teacher Sam Markson and famous American actress, Abigail Taylor. When Sam is asked to teach Abigail’s daughter Grace for three months while she is filming a movie in Melbourne little does she know she will meet the woman of her dreams. I really liked the Melbourne setting. It was refreshing to read a sapphic fiction book set in a different place. 

The characters were very engaging. Sam is so funny and adorable. She fancies Abigail even before she meets her and  it’s sweet to see her get all goofy when she finally does. She is one of those people who knows exactly how to make every single person she meets feel at ease. Abby is lovely and a great mum. She’s so sexy too. The relationship between the two women gave me all the feels. It was sweet and I was willing them on the whole way. I also loved the dynamic between Sam and Abby’s daughter, Grace. It was very loving and heart-warming. As I have come to expect from K.J., the humour was beautifully done. It was so natural and infectious and I loved the Australianisms. I really enjoyed the writing style. I was able to enter that world and feel a part of it . I found myself having such an emotional reaction to this story. How could I feel so invested in two fictional characters? Exceptional writing, that’s why. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Breathe’ by Cari Hunter

‘Breathe’ by Cari Hunter is the story of asthmatic paramedic, Jemima Pardon (Jem), the unluckiest woman in England. Or so she thinks. Meeting  cherry, fun police officer Rosie Jones might be the start of something different in her life.  They keep bumping into each other on call-outs and it’s full-on excitement from the beginning. 

Cari Hunter’s sense of humour is a mixture of leg-pulling, sarcasm and the gallows humour that anyone working in the emergency services has to adopt to survive. The banter between the main characters is brilliant. It is so real and natural . The language and local lingo and dialect pulls the reader into the world of her characters in a way I’ve never seen with other authors. It’s  hilarious.  Also Cari Hunter- you make me starving every time I read one of your books! From dunking biscuits to roast dinners and hot buttered toast, I need to eat after every chapter. 

The story itself is tightly plotted and full of action and excitement. The two women find themselves in danger more than once and Ms Hunter had me on the edge of my seat.  I’m totally in awe of Cari Hunter. Her skill as a storyteller is unparalleled. I loved this book and highly recommend it. 

I was given this ARC for review

Review of ‘Destiny of Hearts’ by Karen Klyne

Destiny of hearts by Karen Klyne is a fitting end to a wonderful series. It was good to be back in Caysher and meeting the women we got to know in book one, ‘Parallel Lives’. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed Berran. I even missed old vinegar tits herself, Salin! Kaitlin is back and with news that Berran will not like. It was never going to be an easy reconciliation. Karen Klyne managed to deal with some deep emotions and let us see more facets of each character. There was also some very thoughtful questioning of how the society should continue in the future. Should they remain so insular or go out into the world more? The relationship between Kaitlin and Berran was tortured at times but the heat was always there. And I found myself really rooting for them – even though I have been a big fan of Tannus throughout. I really enjoyed this story and was so happy that it concluded in a beautifully satisfying way. 

I was given this ARC for review. 

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Review of ‘Chasing Sunset’ by Missouri Vaun

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Chasing Sunset by Missouri Vaun is a beautifully written road-trip love story. Finn is a limo driver when we first meet her, but hankers for a life as a stunt driver for the movies. Iris is a Hollywood actress who has had a modicum of success so far, but is poised for something bigger. The first meeting between them doesn’t promise true love, but the attraction is still there – and gives hope. When they decide to make the journey from rural Georgia to California we just know it’s going to be quite a ride.

Finn is a gorgeous butch with a heart of gold. Missouri Vaun writes butch characters with such flair. I never fail to fall for them in her books. And Finn is no exception. I was swooning from page one. Iris was sweet and delightful, but she was at the stage in her life and career where she wasn’t taking any bull. I loved the strength and determination she showed. The road trip was wonderfully descriptive and I was fascinated. The historical and political background to each place they passed through piqued my interest. As their feelings for each other grew over the course of the journey we got to see different facets of each character. The love story was tender and emotional and the sex was steamy and told so much about how intense their relationship was. I really enjoyed this story.  Missouri Vaun has become one of my favourite authors and I’m never disappointed.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Hard Body’ by Renee Roman

Hard body by Renee Roman is a short erotic story that has some beautiful emotional moments. Sharon’s been taking care of her sexual needs, but it’s more fun with a partner. Will she ever get it on with the object of her fantasies? This was a lovely story that took time to get to know the characters. I enjoyed it and would like more of these ladies.

I was given an ARC for review.

Review of ‘Blood of the Pack’ by Jenny Frame

Family, loyalty, love and passion- that’s what ‘Blood of the Pack’ is essentially about. Kenrick Wulver is about to become the Alpha of her pack in the Scottish Highlands. And she’s struggling with the changes this will mean. She visits the Wolfgang Pack in the States to try and learn some of the new responsibilities she’ll be expected to master. While there she comes across a wounded submissive wolf and feels something she’s never felt before. Zaria is from the Lupan Pack and has been on the run for years from their cruelty and abuse. She can never trust a dominant wolf and tries to keep Kenrick at arms length. But it becomes increasingly difficult to resist.

The story is about gaining trust and also about  being open to other wolves. I loved the world she’s built for this story and although I haven’t read the previous books in the series, its not a problem.  The descriptions of Wulver Forest were so evocative and I was completely entranced. As well as being about family and community- a theme throughout Ms Frame’s books, she also gets across that aching need in her characters. The need for a mate and the joy and pain that brings. Kenrick and Zaria are drawn to each other, but it’s never that simple. The building of a relationship is written with such tenderness and care and I never once doubted the love they felt for each other. The sex scenes were beautifully done. Jenny Frame writes the hottest, most imaginative sex in all of her books. And she always finds a way to bring in something unusual and surprising. She certainly did in this one. They were wild and passionate and scorching. I loved this book so much that I’ll have to go and read the rest in the series now. Highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review.

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Review of ‘Learning to Swim’ by K.J.

“Learning to Swim” by KJ is the story of three friends, Lauren, a vet, Andrea, an accountant and Hanna, a teacher. After years together Andrea still hasn’t cottoned on to the fact that Lauren is madly in love with her. She’s pretty clueless about balancing her life altogether. With a religious nutter for a sister and a highly driven mother, she has issues that need addressing. And until she does she can never really be happy. Her journey was fascinating and I really enjoyed this book. I liked how Andrea developed as a character. The setting was very interesting and it was good to see the Australian sense of humour in full flow. The story was serious at times and light-hearted and funny too. It was also very hot. I liked the style and pace of the writing and I’ll be looking out for more by this writer in the future. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘A Lesson in Love’ by Harper Bliss

‘A Lesson in Love’ by Harper Bliss is the third book in the Village Romance Series. And it’s excellent. The story is told in first person, alternating between Oxford Literature Professor, Helen and DPhil Student, Rory –  who also happens to be part of the aristocratic Carlisle family of Upper Chewford. This is an age-gap romance – one of my favourite tropes, and one that Harper Bliss does so well. When Helen agrees to be Rory’s academic supervisor for her Doctorate, she cannot imagine the effect that one decision will have on her life. She has been living a secret double life writing cozy mysteries set in Chewford and the stress of keeping that from friends and colleagues is eating her up. She knows she needs to make changes in her life, but becoming involved with a student over twenty years younger seems too big a step to take. Rory finds herself drawn to the professor and can’t seem to keep away. 

The dynamic between the pair is entrancing. I always wondered about Helen, as small teasers appeared in the previous two books in the series. I wanted to know who this woman was. And I was not surprised that Rory found her irresistible too. The intense emotional connection was evident from the start. Rory just had to make Helen see that. I could understand Helen being torn. She was older, in a position of responsibility and she’d been hurt in relationships before. But there was no denying her feelings for Rory. The love scenes were utterly exquisite. Poetic infact. But if you’ve read a Harper Bliss book before you’ll know she is the master in this area. I enjoyed being back in the village again and being back with characters I’ve grown to love. The whole series is wonderfully done. I can see me going back and reading all three one after the other, now that I know them all so well. This story was about realising that sometimes we are ready for a change – and it can be the best decision we’ve ever made. I adored it. 

I was given this ARC for review.