‘A Shot at Love’ is what happens when an American political speech-writer finds herself unceremoniously dumped from her high-stress, high-stakes job and realises her life needs to change. Josie Adams has had it with the backstabbing and slimy world of politics. And Upper Chewford is a million miles away from that. Spotting a beautiful woman in the quaint Cotswolds village takes her breath away – but is she ready to change everything for love? Harry runs the local newspaper, after escaping the rat-race in London. She’s been unlucky in love and can’t believe someone as gorgeous and accomplished as Josie would ever love her. Seeing how they navigated through their insecurities kept me reading, desperate to know how it would all pan out. The other characters around them made it a well-rounded story. I found Josie’s mum, Eugenie infuriating at times – but her uncle, Clive, was endearing and really rather sweet. The book is romantic, sexy and funny. It is the perfect first book in the series, which will soon be followed by stories by Clare Lydon and Harper Bliss. It is such a feel-good story. It made me happy and I love T.B. Markinson for taking me to such a wonderful place and letting me be a part of it.
‘Steel City Confidential’ by Anne Hagan is a triumph. It’s a fascinating story, well-told and with characters readers will warm to immediately. Ro Rabinowitz, a Pittsburgh lawyer takes on the case of Pamela Wilson, a woman in her sixties charged with the murder of a college professor who got her daughter pregnant. She’s confident that the case can be won, but there are complications – and a story from the past that Pam’s not telling. It’s not going to be that simple. I was drawn in from the start with a revelation of something I’ve known and loved for many years. Characters from the past . It was a brilliant set up. There are plenty of surprises that will have readers jumping for joy – but that’s all I’ll say. I won’t divulge any spoilers. But they are stunning. Now, I know that Anne Hagan writes great mysteries, but she has really found her forte with this legal thriller. I am so glad that this is book one in a new series for her. I was intrigued from the start and it just kept getting better and better. She skilfully weaves a complex tale of secrets and revelations and her characters are likeable and I want to find out more about them. Ro is a great mentor, a principled and caring lawyer. I liked her associate Dominique too. I can see her developing well in the future. Oh, and for aficionados of Ms Hagan’s Morelville Mysteries Series, a certain name pops up that will have you smiling. The book is brilliantly done and if Hollywood has any sense then this would be made into a movie – because I can guarantee there will be a huge audience for this particular story. Highly recommended.
This is the tenth and final book by Kiki Archer. And boy, will we all miss her- especially after reading this. It was quite a rollercoaster of a ride and the perfect story to sign off with. Piano teacher, Sophie is distraught after splitting from her soulmate, Jazz, a comedienne. Apparently straight up until setting eyes on Jazz, she fell hard. She tells the story of their relationship to her friend Laura who is training to become a life coach, the latest in a long list of jobs. Laura’s attempts to get the story out of Sophie were hilarious, but then Ms Archer surprised me by taking it off in a very different direction. The story is slowly revealed as layers are peeled back. One minute I was laughing out loud and scaring the neighbours, the next I was surprised at the depth of emotion. The funny moments were hilarious. Her description of a character having a ‘breast ledge’ took me back to high school and one of my teachers who had the aforementioned ‘breast ledge’. I was mesmerised by it, as was half of the school. The heat level was scorching between Sophie and Jazz. It was certainly not vanilla and will have you blushing. But Kiki Archer’s trademark humour had me in stitches even at these sexy moments. I loved it. And when I read the words ‘Say You’ll Love Me Again is Kiki’s 10th and final novel’, I shed a tear.
‘Muses’ by Elizabeth Andre is the second in the Paranormal Grievance Committee series and a very enjoyable read. Once again we are back with Julie and Maya and their motley crew of ghost hunters. In this instalment the group is hired by Lily, a woman desperately looking for an answer to her uncle’s death. A trio of ghostly figures are causing mayhem in the family home and Lily needs them gone.
I like Elizabeth Andre’s writing style. It is light and fun and immersive. She makes me feel as if I am solving the mystery alongside them. I am a huge history fan and I love how the author weaved a story from the past, with wonderful detail, and the present day mystery. The great bunch of characters really make it for me too. Although Maya and Julie run the show, the other characters are allowed to shine. I really enjoyed it.
In ‘Fear of Falling’ Georgia Beers doesn’t take the obvious, easy way . She surprises me as she decides to take her story in altogether more satisfying and joyful routes. She doesn’t write formula, but goes way above that and she makes me love her characters. Sophie James is a world-famous singer getting over the heartache of her father-figure manager dying suddenly. When she is paired with a new manager, Dana Landon, how will she continue her career with someone she doesn’t know? I loved Sophie. She was at a turning point in her life, and she could have chosen to go in two different directions. The way everyone expected – or to finally be true to herself. Dana was strong and sure in her professional life, but her love life was a disaster. Her ex had left her behind without a thought and moved to the other side of the country. Dana has been left still confused. Will she let Laura back in? Or will she take the other path? I enjoyed seeing how the women got to know each other and brought out something unexpected. Sophie’s interactions with ordinary people were my favourite parts of her development. ‘Fear of Falling’ was romantic, feel-good and beautifully told. A lovely story that I can highly recommend.
I’ve been an admirer of Annette Mori’s books for a few years now and I realise that it is her unique take on life that draws me in. She takes an idea and goes off in a direction I could never have imagined. She is funny and quirky and embraces love. ‘A Window to Love’ does all of that and more. Mandie and Gail meet in very unusual circumstances after both being involved in accidents. They click immediately and seem to be made for each other. But this is an Annette Mori story, so things are not as they seem. Will the two soul mates find true happiness? Well, I recommend reading it to find out as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. It’s a lovely story, full of imagination and warmth. As always, she uses humour and love to make me feel invested in her characters. Bravo!
‘ A Heart This Big’ is the story of down-to- earth city-farm owner Nina and her fight to save her farm from litigation. When a child is hurt while riding on her property, his mother brings a law suit against Nina, threatening to ruin her. The farm is her life. In an attempt to save the farm she needs to convince high-flying lawyer Leigh Willioughby to represent her. Leigh is everything Nina is not. She’s sophisticated, well-dressed and not at all keen to take on the case. But Nina intrigues her and when she decides to go and see the farm for herself I so wanted her to help Nina.
I loved seeing how Leigh changed and how she saw the farm, as an outsider at first. The community aspect of the business was inspiring and Leigh began to see that there was more to life than money. Nina was a wonderful character. She was selfless, caring and responsible. The setting of a farm on the outskirts of Sydney was interesting. It was like an oasis, a peaceful, beautiful escape. The developing relationship between the two women felt natural and true. There was a hint of angst throughout but it was pitched perfectly. The story was about love and belonging and finding the right balance. I liked the friendly dynamic between Leigh and Nina’s daughter, Phoebe. It worked really well and let us see a different side to each of those characters. I really enjoyed it.
Addicted To You’ is a story of obsession, sexual discovery and passion. It is also a story of love, redemption and realisation. Elin is young, naive and ripe for the picking. Older woman Marissa spots this right away and takes full advantage. She is predatory, manipulative and downright nasty. Boy did I hate her! I wanted Elin to see all of this for herself, but good people don’t always see when they are being used. I was so happy when Aimee came into the picture. Would Elin realise what a wonderful woman she was though? I enjoyed the character development in this book and seeing how they each dealt with changes in their lives. Erin O’Reilly always leaves me happy to have gone on the journey with her.
‘Perfect Match’ pleasantly surprised me in several ways. Set in a Jewish hospital in Japan, with a mixture of cultures represented, it opened my eyes to new ideas and characters. Paediatrician Megan is anxious, but not just about being new in the job. There’s more to it as we find out later. Hot shot surgeon Syler catches her eye – but will she act on it? There’s an oppressive element to the story and a character, Charles, who really irritated me. The author certainly knows how to write the ‘baddie’ well. Also Megan has to deal with worrying issues with patients In her care. I appreciated how the storylines were woven together. The romantic element to the story was very natural and ultimately very sexy. An enjoyable read and it’s good to know there will be more to come from this series.
K Aten has made me very happy. I loved ‘The Sovereign of Psiere ‘ , the first in a new series, where mystery, fantasy, sci-fi and romance come together in a fascinating story. Olivienne is the heir to the throne, the connate, and also a Historical Adventurist. Her work involves trying to translate the mysterious scrolls left behind by the Makers. But she is a handful and her security detail find it hard to keep up with her. None have managed to stay the course – until the dashing and committed officer, Castellan ends up in her sphere. Their story is immersive , as they work to solve mysteries that have stumped those before them. Their growing attraction was intense and very sexy. I enjoyed seeing them become closer. I also enjoyed the world-building – the word-building too. It was familiar but unfamiliar at the same time. I like her writing style. Although she explains a new world and new ideas and people, she makes it easy to grasp. K Aten has managed to create a place I want to revisit again and again. She has laid a perfect foundation for the series in this novel. Highly recommended.