Review of 'Two Hearts Alone' by Harper Bliss

Two Hearts Alone’ by Harper Bliss is the first novella in a trilogy, told from the point of view of Anna and Zoe in alternating chapters. Set in the charming small town of Donovan Grove, upstate New York, we get to know the inhabitants and their relationships through the eyes of the two main characters. I liked the alternating POV as we were able to get inside their heads as they go about their lives .

Anna needs her life to be organised and predictable and likes things to be done a certain way. Her particular way of thinking and behaving points a certain way and  is interesting and authentic and will resonate with many readers . The fact that her experience feels real works because you never once feel it is written by someone who doesn’t know what it means . The writing feels very intimate, very true. It’s about raw feelings and thoughts. I really got the pain that’s involved in dealing with life, with everyday ‘normal’ interactions when you are different. Zoe is the complete opposite to Anna – but sometimes that’s exactly what we need. She is kind and funny and perceptive. I liked her. 

I really enjoyed the story. As the first part of a larger story it worked for me.  I want to know what happens next 

Don’t expect it to be chock full of sex scenes just because it’s a Harper Bliss book, though. It needed to be told this way. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of 'One Walk In Winter' by Georgia Beers

‘One Walk In Winter’ by Georgia Beers is that perfect combination of idyllic setting, feel-good romance and a beautiful ending that had me sighing in contentment. Olivia has worked hard to get where she is in her career, but the top job has eluded her so far. Corporate America hasn’t got past the old boy network and it shows in the lack of innovation and ideas at the Evergreen Spa Resort. When a new and inexperienced manager turns up to take the job Olivia thinks should be hers, she finds it hard to keep her displeasure to herself. Hayley is the seemingly irresponsible youngest child of the Markham clan. When her father gives her a last chance to prove herself, she has no choice but to give it a shot. Especially since he’s cut off her allowance. But Hayley is an artist at heart and finds it difficult to be the person her father wants her to be. An encounter in the woods with a beautiful woman lifts her spirits – but when they both realise the truth, it’s never going to be easy.

I really liked Olivia. She was conscientious, determined and great at her job. She was a people person and perfect for the job. I wanted her to find love too though, as that side of her life had been put on hold while she concentrated on her career. Her family were supportive and her mother was a gem. Hayley had an uphill struggle, however hard she tried. Forcing someone to be what you want is not a good idea in any scenario. She blossomed when she was out in the countryside taking photos. Her heart soared when she painted. Seeing the two women get to know each other properly –  after the initial wow intro – was beautiful. It was never just a chemical reaction between them – there was so much more. It was bout knowing what you really want, and more importantly, what you need. It was about healing and love and passion. A truly heat-warming story. I loved it. 

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of 'The Roommate Arrangement' by Jae

With ‘The Roommate Arrangement’ Jae has captured my heart yet again. She doesn’t put a foot wrong as she tells a beautiful and tender story, with characters I cared for. 

Stephanie Renshaw is a struggling stand- up comic . She has decided that it’s time to stop going on the road and concentrate on making it in LA. She needs an apartment near the comedy clubs and the one she wants won’t rent to roommates or singles. She has to find someone willing to be her fake girlfriend. Rae Coleman is an ex-cop and now works security at a L.A. comedy club where Steph has been trying to get a chance to headline. Having been injured on duty, her life as a cop had to end and she is trying to just get through each day the best she can. Her need for an apartment close to work is for a different reason, but she’s not about to open up and tell Steph, or anyone else, what that is. When Steph suggests  they share and explains the need for a fake relationship Rae agrees. Can they pull it off without the landlord finding out? 

It’s slow and sweet as they get to know each other. Jae gives them time to realise that they are both worth loving, to get past things that have been holding them back. Steph was a joker, but underneath, so kind. Rae was a bit of a wounded soul and seeing her respond to Steph was beautiful. Claire and Lana from ‘Just for Show’, also a fake relationship story, turn up. I loved that she brought in characters from other stories she has written. It works. I really enjoyed it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of 'Someone To Love' by Jenny Frame

Davina Trent is a divorce lawyer and doesn’t believe in marriage or family.  When her cousin dies and she’s left to look after his kids, her answer is to get rid of them to boarding schools as quickly as possible. In the meantime she needs a nanny.

Wendy Darling wants kids and a family of her own. Until that happens,  she’s working as a nanny, and a job with ice queen divorce lawyer Davina Trent will help her get back on her feet financially after a bad breakup.  But she’s shocked and dismayed at Trent’s attitude to the kids and her responsibilities. She wants to help Trent see that being part of a family can be wonderful. Can two women with such opposing views of the world ever be together – irrespective of the smoking hot attraction between them?

Trent is another butch character to crush over, and very different from any of the others Jenny Frame has written. She’s like a wounded animal, retreating into a tough and hard persona. But that’s not the real her. Seeing Wendy chip away at the ice, slowly but surely, was wonderful. We know Trent from her role in ‘Unexpected’ and I found it fascinating to see a side of her I didn’t realise was there. Dale and Becca are back, along with their two kids. They play an important part in the story and I really enjoyed being with them again. The interaction between Trent and Dale was especially sweet and endearing.

Wendy was a warm and loving character and the perfect person to bring Trent and the children together. She was younger than Trent, but wiser in a lot of ways. Their attraction was always going to be a problem given the age gap and the boss/employee thing – but who can resist true love?  It was about getting to be who you really want to be. About finding the love of your life and the family you want and need. A really great story.

I was given this ARC to 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 ‘Holly and Ivy’ by T.B. Markinson and Miranda MacLeod

When workaholic Holly travels to Poppy Island in need of a complete break from her life as CEO of her own tech company, she is not a happy woman. She has to be forced to step back and think of her own mental health. Meeting a beautiful woman on the ferry piques her interest, but she’s confused about the goat the woman is transporting with her. Ivy is a conundrum she is quite willing to unravel. It would certainly help her sabbatical pass more pleasantly with a pretty woman to keep her company. But both women have secrets they’d rather not reveal. Can they really manage to keep it light and not get involved? Because once they begin to open up to each other, things might not go exactly as planned.

I really enjoyed this story. I knew it was written by two authors, but I was hard pushed to work out who wrote which parts. It blended seamlessly and kept my interest throughout . Holly was a complex character, with issues from her past that determined how she reacted to Ivy, and to the others on the island. I enjoyed seeing a different side to her as she began to see how other people lived. Her position of extreme privilege and being brought up in a military family had skewed her views in a particular direction. Ivy was able to let her see something else. Ivy was kind and determined to help others, often at the expense of her own dreams. Being with Holly let her do something just for herself. When they were together it was scorching – and something neither of them expected. Neither believed they would find ‘the one’ – but sometimes they walk into your life when you least expect it. I liked Ivy’s friends Betty and Scarlett – they provided some hilarious moments and an insight into island life. ’Holly and Ivy’ was heart-warming, emotional, very funny – and very sexy. 

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 ‘Big Girl Pill’ by KD Williamson

Maya’s former best friend, Nina, is getting married and she’s going to be a bridesmaid. The problem is, she’s in love with her and it’s not reciprocated. Things between them ended badly, but Maya thinks going through with her wedding duties will help her get over Nina once and for all. Nina is marrying, but she doesn’t seem that keen. Her overbearing snob of a mother and deadly boring fiancé have her under the thumb. Life for her is all about doing what other people expect. Will she ever be able to be her own person?

This story had characters that were relatable and true and made me root for them. I could feel the emotions, the longing and the passion. And it gripped my heart. K.D. Williamson showed us that loving someone so much that it hurts just to think about it, can be heaven or hell. Maya’s pain was obvious and I wanted her to get her happily ever after. I wanted Nina to speak up for herself, to be the great woman I knew she could be. The boyfriend Drew was truly insufferable as was Nina’s mother. It was going to take a great deal of courage on Nina’s part to get out form under that. I really liked her cousin Rachel. She was sassy and forthright and the kick up the backside both Maya and Nina needed.     

I loved the sarcastic humour. KD Williamson used ridiculously funny situations brilliantly and showed the truth of relationships through them. It was about finding strength to be yourself  and not living for other people. It had a lovely vibe and some beautifully tender moments – as well as some very hot and sexy times. A great read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Embracing Forever’ by K Aten

K Aten makes the unbelievable, believable. ‘Embracing Forever’ is the second story in The Blood Resonance series and is the ideal blend of paranormal, mystery, romance and hot, hot sex. The world she has built was beautifully done and felt so real to me. It seemed perfectly natural that vampires and werewolves live among us. 

Sarah Colby, a fairly new vampire, lives with her lover Keller, a woman who has lived for centuries, always looking for her soul-mate. Their life together, and that of their family, comes under attack, and they must find who is threatening them. Before it’s too late. There was an interesting tension throughout as they struggled to find and subdue those who wished them harm. There was also a sexual tension that was amped up to eleven! It was scorching – and very imaginative. Some of these scenes should be read in private, that’s all I’m saying. I loved the family vibe of the story, as those with other blood became bonded to each other, out of necessity but also out of love. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, ‘Running From Forever’, but this is even better. I highly recommend it.

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.