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 ‘Morelville Mysteries Books 9-12 Collection’ by Anne Hagan

I was so excited to see that Anne Hagan had released a box set of books 9-12 of her excellent Morelville series. I love this series and always wait in anticipation for the next one. I can highly recommend reading this boxed set as it has some of my favourite stories in the series. Here is my review of each volume.

The Turkey Tussle

This is the 9th book in the Morelville mystery series and still has the lovely family feel and inspired storytelling of all the others.  It’s great to be back with Dana and Mel and with a new mystery that deals with a murder in Mel’s family. The murder was never solved and when Dana is looking for something to keep her busy she decides looking into this cold case would bring closure to mother-in-law Faye. I loved the flashbacks to the 1970s and finding out more about Faye’s past.  The mystery had me intrigued and I am so glad that there were hints of more to come in the series.  The ensemble of characters in all of the Morelville books put them a notch above other mystery novels as they are all important to solving the cases.  Mel and Dana’s relationship was especially hot in ‘The Turkey Tussle’, in a well-written bedroom scene that hit all the right notes.  This series just gets better and better.

Sullied Sally

I think this might be my favourite Morelville Mystery to date. I’ve read every one and enjoyed following Sheriff Mel, her wife Dana and their family, friends and colleagues through many mysteries. This one concerns the death of a distant family member and ties in with the previous story ‘The Turkey Tussle’. It’s certainly beneficial to have read that one too but not entirely necessary. The story is well written and addictive – I couldn’t put it down. There are so many twists and turns that I didn’t want to miss anything.
I loved the forays into the home life of Mel and Dana as it was all tied into the case. This was Mel’s book really as it dealt with her family and their involvement in an old murder from the 1970s as well as one from the present day. As Mel is most definitely my favourite character in the series this was a big bonus for me. And I know there is more to come from Anne Hagan’s excellent mystery series so that makes me a very happy reader. I highly recommend ‘Sullied Sally’ and give it 5 Stars.

Finding Sheila

I can’t believe we are at No. 11 in the Morelville Mysteries Series already. I have loved every one so far and ‘Finding Sheila’ is no exception. When Dana is deputised to bring Sheila Ford back from the Tennessee Prison she has been in for the last few years it seems like an easy job. The transport will be in a fully staffed ambulance so Dana willingly agrees to do it for her wife, Sheriff Mel Crane. Not all goes to plan though and Dana finds herself using her investigative skills to find out exactly why it all went wrong. I could never have guessed what was behind it all and I love that Anne Hagan can do that time after time. Her stories are so well thought out and she combines great mysteries along with fascinating and likeable characters and settings. There were plenty of twists and turns and a fair element of danger for Dana. And as always I was left with hope for another story in the series. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but the next story promises to be a must read.

Tennessee Bound

Mel and Dana just can’t seem to stay out of trouble! In ‘Tennessee Bound’, the latest in the Morelville Mysteries by Anne Hagan, Sheriff Mel Crane and her wife Dana Rossi escape to their cabin in the Tennessee mountains, hoping to find a solution to their future together. Mel needs a change and is seriously considering giving up her job and trying something new. The getaway should have been their time to plan and decide. When their Mamas join them to help decorate the new cabin, it seems that they can finally relax. But trouble is never far away when it comes to Mel and Dana. When an unexpected and dangerous situation arises, their plans are put on hold, and they become embroiled in something that puts everyone in peril.

I love this series and have been looking forward to ‘Tennessee Bound’. It did not disappoint. The story is exciting and full of mystery. It’s a very different kind of situation for the pair and kept me glued to the page. I really liked the setting too. Seeing them outside of their usual locale gave an extra element to the book. The story was full of surprises, but it always kept the feeling of a Morelville mystery. I especially liked the Mamas being involved more. They make a great pair and work well together. Chloe is a go-getter and has the ability to shock not just Faye, but the reader too. Faye, Mel’s mom is more buttoned-up and opinionated, but she is also very loving and willing to listen and adapt. We got to see a different side of Mel and that was very interesting. It told me that there are many more stories possible in this series – and that makes me very happy. I loved it.

I was given an Arc for review.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Morelville-Mysteries-Books-9-12-Collection-ebook/dp/B0875XWDJR/

https://www.amazon.com/Morelville-Mysteries-Books-9-12-Collection-ebook/dp/B0875XWDJR/

Review of ‘A Roll In The Hay’ by Lola Keeley

Tess and Susannah’s first meeting does not bode well for true love and happily ever after. If there’s one thing that Tess hates, it’s the upper class thinking they can lord it over the rest of us. Lady Muck owns most of the village and surrounding area – and has a contract dangling to tend to her growing equestrian stables. Tess’s new vet practice could do with that contract, but working for the lady of the manor might be a step too far for her. Even if she is hot. Will the women be able to get past their first impressions? There’s a lot more at stake than they initially think. 

I liked Susannah, even from the start. She was grumpy and entitled, but there was a softer and kinder side to her too. With Tess it was one step forward and one step back. But there was a spark there and neither could quite resist it. Tess was still nursing a broken heart due to disloyalty from her previous partner. She had a bit of a chip on her shoulder regarding class, but it was understandable. They made an intriguing pair. 

The setting was wonderful. When the setting is perfectly described and I can imagine myself there, that draws me into the story. That was certainly the case with A Roll in the Hay’. The intensely powerful feelings between the women kept me hooked. I could feel the joy and the passion. I loved it.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Mortician’s Daughter’ by Nan Higgins

‘The Mortician’s Daughter’ is one of those books where you completely accept the premise and run with it. Aria has always dreamed of being a singer and up until her 22nd birthday that’s where she was headed. When she realises that ghosts exist – and they want to talk to her – life is never going to be the same. Finding out her father’s funeral home business is just a front for AfterCorps, an organisation set up to help the ghosts move on, is also a huge shock. Sloane has known about this side of life forever and joins Aria in training to work for AfterCorps. Far from being freaked out by it all, she relishes the challenge and wants a job in the Criminally Demonic Unit. But the pair are about to find out that there’s more going on within the company than they thought – and deciding who to trust is becoming more and more fraught with danger and uncertainty.

I loved this book. Nan Higgins has imagined a world not unlike our own, but with some magnificently thought out paranormal twists. I felt sorry for Aria when she was faced with giving up on her dreams, but I was also fascinated with the world that had opened up to her. I wanted to know more about it and the first person telling worked well in immersing the reader into each discovery. This world deserves a whole series of its own. A great read.

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘Country Living’ by Jen Silver

I have just spent a wonderful few hours in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside thanks to author Jen Silver. Her latest novel ‘Country Living’ is the perfect book to read right now. Escape with unexpected and exciting storylines and get to know her believable and well-rounded characters. 

Peri has always dreamed of a life in the English countryside, with an old stone cottage, a vegetable garden and walks in the hills and fields. Her wife is not so keen, but goes along with it as long as she has time in London to finish off some projects before joining her. Moving near the lesbian mecca of Hebden Bridge, Peri expects a quiet life and ordinary neighbours. That’s not exactly what she gets though. There are a few secrets being kept from her and life may not turn out as she expected.

I loved Peri. She’s the woman you want living next door. She was kind and approachable and deserved to be treasured. I liked seeing her interact with her neighbours. It brought out something unexpected in her. There are a few different storyline strands woven through the novel and that takes it a notch above most others. Oh and it is very hot too! A great book and highly recommended.

I was given this ARC for review. 

Review of ‘Before You Say I Do’ by Clare Lydon

Jordan Cohen is a professional bridesmaid. And she’s good at it. Relationships are not on her agenda and the odd one-night stand is enough at this stage in her life. When she is hired by the fiancé of Abby Porter to help her through the last few weeks before their wedding, she expects it to be the same as every other job. But it’s not. For a start, she’s immediately attracted to the bride to be. Can she keep a professional distance?

Abby did not expect this at all. She has her life planned out, and a stunning fake bridesmaid was not part of the deal. Will she be able to keep on track and make it down the alter?

Clare Lydon makes my heart soar every single time, without fail. ‘Before You Say I Do’ is a beautiful love story, with adorable characters and, of course, Ms Lydon’s trademark injection of humour. I loved Gloria, Abby’s Scottish mum. She was hilarious and very well-observed.  I can attest that square sausage is one of life’s greatest pleasures, as Gloria made sure to point out. Jordan was a wonderful mix of efficiency, kindness and vulnerability. And she was also really, really hot. How could Abby resist? Abby was a woman who thought she had it all figured out, but faced with a glimpse of something different, she began to have doubts. They were perfect for each other and I really wanted them to give in. Their story had such want, such passion, such desire. It is impossible to read this story without the biggest, happiest smile on your face by the final page. I adored it. Highly recommended.

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.