‘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.
Golf, family friction and the most adorable love story. That is ‘The Long Shot’ by A.L. Brooks. Morgan has yet to win a major – and as the daughter of a multiple major winner father the pressure is always there. She’s also been unlucky in love and comes across to the media and public as cold. In reality she’s anything but. When a tv company wants to make a documentary about the women’s game with her as the main focus, she’s not keen. Producer Adrienne is respected and a supportive mentor to those in her crew. She’s not about to shaft Morgan, but Morgan doesn’t know that. Their powerful attraction is a no-no while they are working together on the documentary. But I’ve rarely rooted for a couple more than this pair.
I loved Morgan. She was vulnerable due to past heartache and had a lot to deal with regarding family issues. But she was an absolute sweetheart. Adrienne was quite a bit older than her and worried about the age-gap. Morgan was drawn to her immediately and who could blame her? Their story was tender and loving and had me swooning. I especially liked that a more mature character got to shine. An excellent story. Highly recommended.
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.
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.
‘The Trophy Wives Club’ by Ali Spooner is a fun, sexy and empowering read. Lindy Fremont decides that the women of Atlanta need a very special type of club all to themselves. One where they’ll get a great workout in more ways than one. She recruits the woman who has been giving her the most wonderful massages every week for the past few years – and leaves it to her to staff it with a few of her friends. One of them is Luna, a hot stud who Marley is attracted to, but would never let her know. She’s the settling down type and Luna appears to be all for a good time and no commitment. Will that change as they spend more time together setting up the club?
Now, when I realised what kind of club this was I wasn’t sure what to think. But Ali Spooner allayed my fears. The women do what they do because they want to. It’s all about women and they are always in control. It’s respectful. Within a few pages I knew this was a fantastic idea for a book, and the more I read, the more convinced I was. It is light-hearted and very hot and steamy. I really enjoyed it and was happy to find that this is part of a series – and one of my favourite authors, Annette Mori is writing the next one.
I published a story this week set in Kilbirnie, Scotland. It’s a love story between two women – at a time when loving another woman was not acceptable – and certainly not a woman of a different religion. Read about my tour of the setting for the story here:
The girl with the treasure chest by V.A. Fearon starts with such intensity that I couldn’t stop reading. I barely took a breath for the first chapter. Dani is a complex character and the layers are revealed slowly. She’s part of a gangland world, where she looks out for her ‘soldiers’ and tries to help them get on, with education and apprenticeships. There’s such a weird dichotomy when it comes to Dani. She didn’t seem to see the contradiction between the two agendas. The same is true in her personal life. While she’s in a relationship with one woman, she continues to be obsessed with Susanna. And that could be disastrous for her. Can she keep control of her emotions and ultimately her way of life, while she’s so affected by her feelings for this woman? The story is unlike anything I’ve read and is so tightly written and exciting. It got better and better as it reached the climax. A great read.
“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.
‘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.
‘Beautiful Dreamer’ is a joyful, happy, romantic story. Set in the picture-perfect Dreamer’s Bay, it is home to a woman who positively radiates sunshine, one who sees the good in everything and tries to see it in those she meets. Elizabeth Draper runs an odd-job business from her garage and is exactly where she wants to be in her life – except she has no-one to share it with. When Devyn Winters comes back to town to deal with an emergency situation, the pair find themselves spending more and more time together. Back in their high school days they did not move in the same circles. Devyn was part of a mean girl clique, while Elizabeth was the one involved in organising groups to help her fellow students. They might both be lesbians, but that doesn’t mean they can get past who they used to be and become friends or more.
Yet again Melissa Brayden had me immersed in the most beautifully romantic love story. One where I rooted for Elizabeth and Devyn from the start. Devyn was a high-powered real estate broker and had no time for relationships. Her life ran like clockwork, thanks to the various assistants she employed. But she wasn’t happy, and slowly began to see that there was another way. Elizabeth surprised her every day and opened her eyes to new possibilities. The story was endearing, addictive and hot. I loved Dreamer’s Bay. It was idyllic and I could see that Devyn would be so much happier there, rather than her rat-race life in Philadelphia. And by the end, not a dry eye in the house. Romantic happily ever afters are Melissa Brayden’s speciality after all. Highly recommended.