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.

Review of ‘Back To September’ by Melissa Brayden

Melissa Brayden writes beautiful romances that never fail to be tender, loving and hot. ‘Back to September’ is no exception. But this time she went that little bit further. Hannah and Parker’s story had me gripped and I thought my heart would break in two. Here were two characters that needed to be together, but it wasn’t going to be that easy. 

Hannah liked her life to be fairly predictable and ordered. She was  not overly concerned about romance. If it happened it happened. In walks Parker Bristow to her life. She’s smart and sexy and full of positive energy and Hannah can’t help but fall for her charms. Parker is a world-famous romance author and just having her visit Hannah’s store makes a huge impact. When they are together it’s adorable and unexpected, but can it ever really work out? Long-distance relationships are hard enough, but other issues get in the way too.

I really loved Hannah. She was loyal and kind and seemed to blossom when Parker was around. Parker was wonderful, and who wouldn’t love a romance writer anyway? But it was her struggles that tore at my heart. I just wanted everything to come right for her. I wanted her to see she was worth it, worth loving. As with all of Melissa Brayden’s books I got my ‘aaah’ moment though. It was so beautifully written and love always wins. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Pleasure Workers’ by Annette Mori

‘Pleasure Workers’ by Annette Mori is the follow-up to ’The Trophy Wives Club’ by Ali Spooner. These two authors have managed to weave some wonderful stories together. In ‘Pleasure Workers’ we find out the backstory of Alex, the handy-woman taken on at the TWC – but she also performs some special services upstairs. How she got to Atlanta is mired in controversy and she has to keep under the radar. Meeting one of the rich socialites in Sisters lesbian bar turns her head, but can she get past the different social status and the money? As a proud woman who makes her own way in life, it won’t be easy. Danna Nichols, a recent widow, joins the spa at the insistence of a friend and realises what she’s been missing. But it’s the tall mysterious butch doing odd jobs that has caught her eye. 

Alex’s story was fascinating and certainly a story of our time. I can imagine meany readers will fall for her – and when they read about those aforementioned special services, they’ll be hooked. I really liked Danna too. Although from a very privileged background, she was a good woman who insisted on putting back in to society. I really wanted her to have her happy ever after. There was also a great collection of supporting characters. They really helped make the story resonate with me. The story was very sweet and fairly low on angst, which I appreciated. Sometimes that’s exactly what you are in the mood for. When the sex scenes came into play, they were absolutely scorching. And with some very interesting techniques! I really enjoyed it. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Secret Masquerade’ by Anne Hagan

Mel is my favourite character from my favourite series – The Morelville Mysteries. So when I discovered that Anne Hagan had written an erotic short featuring the sexy sheriff, I just had to have it. 

The story piqued my interest right away. It had just the right amount of tension and mystery . The writing was wonderfully descriptive and enticed me further into the tale. I was desperate to know where it was going. The erotic teases were so well done and blended in perfectly with the mystery element . It was compelling.  And so, so hot!

I loved this story. It captured Halloween to a  T.  But for me having Sheriff Mel Crane in an erotic situation was amazing. I’ve been waiting a long time for this and Anne Hagan didn’t disappoint. Brilliant!

I was given this ARC for review .

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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.

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.