Forever by Kris Bryant

Forever
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Author:
Published: 5/10/22

Ten years after being dumped on a reality dating show, Savannah Edwards is back on When Sparks Fly looking for love. Savannah has baby sparks with a few of the contestants but the one who really lights her fire is the show’s host, Lauren Lucas.

I don’t watch reality dating shows but if they were like this, I may tune in.  This was a lighthearted, entertaining read from Kris Bryant. Savannah is a charming character, and I enjoyed her interaction with several of the contestants on the show, in particular Alix, a nonbinary, tattooed charmer, who I think would be a great lead character in her own book.

Since the story was told from Savannah’s point of view, we really get to know her well and what attracts her to Lauren. I wish I could have gotten into Lauren’s head. She’s a bit of a mystery to me but I can see why she would be drawn to Savannah. She is such a good-hearted woman who really just wants to find her happiness. Kris Bryant clearly had a lot of fun writing this and it shows. This is a book you will enjoy, it’s not too heavy, the writing is solid, and it kept me interested the entire time.

An ARC was received from Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

 

 

Who I Believe by Jamey Moody

Who I Believe
Author:
Published: 5/18/22

Rebekah Mathews has returned home to try to get her and her daughter’s life back on track after the death of her husband. Her daughter, Anna, is struggling to cope after losing her dad. Rebekah signs her up for art therapy completely unaware that it will bring her face to face with a woman from her past, who still has ownership of her heart.

Megan Neal was 31 when she met and fell for 19-year-old Rebekah.  They only had one summer together but Megan always wondered what happened to the preacher’s daughter she loved more anyone before or after. When the two women see each other again, those old feelings come back to the surface. Rebekah must decide if she is going to take a second chance on love or live in fear of her family’s reaction.

I’m not a religious person. It’s just not my jam. I can, however, appreciate those who have faith and the fear that goes along with wanting to live your truth but also wanting to maintain one’s relationship with God and family who may take issue. So, it was easy to see how Rebekah’s youthful fears brought about an end to her summer relationship with Megan. What I appreciated is that both women realized how special their connection, even after twelve years apart and how rare it is to get a second chance at love. And that a love like that is worth it because it only comes along once.

Jamey Moody always writes relatable characters that you want the best for. I’m a sucker for a second chance love story and throw in an age gap and I’m all in. Rebekah’s daughter Anna is adorable and her bond with Megan and her adorable dog was lovely to see and helped her so much in being able to smile again after losing her father.

My only issue was that I wished that the two women would have courted each other a little more but that’s just me nitpicking because I know Jamey well and I know that she felt the two wasted enough time. And when you know who you are meant to be with, you don’t need fancy dinners out to confirm what you already know. This is a feel good second chance story about love, the love between two women, between a mother and daughter, and the love that comes from believing in a higher power. I think it’s Jamey’s finest work to date and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

 

 

Begin Again…Again by Addison Clarke

Begin Again...Again
Category:
Published: 4/28/22
A Moonflower Cove Novella

Hayden Forrester has just gotten the worst news imaginable. And all she can think of is that she has to tell her best friend. Molly Jaymes that she’s been in love with her for years, before it’s too late. She quits her job and heads to Moonflower Cove, Maine, where all the lesbians go, to confess her love.

Molly is shocked to see her best friend Hayden on her doorstep. Her momentary happiness at hearing that Hayden loves her turns to sorrow when she discovers what prompted the urgent reason Hayden confessed her feelings.

This Moonflower Cove novella is just as adorable as the previous books in this series. Addison Clarke keeps impressing me with her writing and the wonderful characters she creates. Hayden and Molly are both lovely and I found myself hoping for a miracle, so they enjoy being happy and in love.  Of course, we get to enjoy time with our favorite Moonflower Cove characters, including Mason, who finds herself experiencing that unfamiliar feeling of jealousy when she witnesses the love between Molly and Hayden. I’m looking forward to Mason finding happiness in a future book.

This is a heartfelt read that made me smile, while also causing some anxiety. I love these characters and wish I could travel to Addison Clarke’s lesbian mecca in Maine to hang out with them. I am eagerly anticipating the next story in the series.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

 

A Long Way To Fall by Elle Spencer

no title has been provided for this book
Category:
Author:
Published: 5/10/22

Bridget Berg loves her family’s ski lodge in Utah. Her father was a decorated skier and his death devastated Bridget but she’s determined to keep his beloved ski lodge open even if she has to work nonstop. Her father was her best friend and she can’t imagine letting him down.

Kennedy Fleming hasn’t been to her father’s vacation home in years but goes as a favor to her brother to put it on the market. The moment she sees Bridget she’s attracted to the beautiful redhead. Little does she know that anyone with the Fleming last name is not looked upon kindly thanks to Kennedy’s father’s long-standing dispute with Bridget’s father. Bridget isn’t interested in getting to know anything about Kennedy, even if she is annoyingly attractive.

Elle Spencer has such a gift for writing comedy. This book was really charming. I loved the witty banter between Bridget and Kennedy. At first Bridget’s cruelty turned me off but it didn’t take long for her to be won over by Kennedy’s charm. These women have such good hearts and are so deserving of happiness. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, entertaining read, this is the book for you.

An ARC was received from NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Truth & Measure by Roslyn Sinclair

Truth & Measure
Publisher:
Published: 4/20/22
Truth and Measure is the first part of a two-book series. This slow-burn office romance is a steamy story of fashion, passion, and the power of the unexpected.

Jules Moretti is a very good assistant. She anticipates what fashion editor Vivian Carlisle needs before she says it. She has to or she would be unceremoniously fired like so many before her. When Vivian finds herself unexpected expecting, Jules finds herself become far more involved in her bosses life than she ever anticipated.

This is one of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year and it was well worth the wait. Roslyn Sinclair has adapted her Devil Wears Prade fanfic into two books.  The second, Above All Things will be released in May. In Jules we get the overachieving girl next door, trying to make a go of her writing career while working for the iciest of fashion editors. Jules has a bit of hero worship for her boss and who can blame her. Vivian takes no shit, she’s ridiculously hot and has power that most people can only dream about. That hero worship turns into something more when Vivian allows Jules to see her vulnerability.

Roslyn Sinclair is an incredibly gifted author. I really loved The X Ingredient and The Lily and the Crown. I liked this book and am looking forward to the second book, Above All Things. She excels at writing the ice queen. The only way the ice queen trope works is if the sweet character manages to thaw the queen. In this instance Vivian is thawed as much by the shocking situation she finds herself in as by her interaction with Jules. This makes for a very effective character arc. Her vulnerability comes through so beautifully I couldn’t help but falling for her as well. Sinclair is also incredibly gifted at writing scenes that nearly set my Kindle ablaze. When things heat up, they heat up quickly and there is no turning back for either of them.

My only complaint is that I wish the romance would have been developed a bit more but I’m hoping we get more romance in book two. The book ends with a bit of a cliff hanger so I can’t wait to dive into the second book and see what Roslyn Sinclair has in store for us. I am fairly certain it’s going to be hot, emotional and with some twists I won’t be anticipating and what more could we ask for.

An ARC was received from Ylva Publishing for an honest review.

 

 

 

If I Don’t Ask by E.J. Noyes

If I Don't Ask
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Series: ,
Publisher:
Published: 5/17/22
Rebecca Keane has it all figured out. With a successful career as an Army surgeon and a fresh promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, she loves her life leading a surgical team. Even if that life means she’s spent years hiding her sexuality and ignoring her desires under the Army’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Then Captain Sabine Fleischer’s arrival sets off an attraction that cracks Rebecca’s carefully cultivated armor and brings about fresh complications.

If I Don’t Ask gives us the Ask, Tell story from Rebecca’s point of view. Being back with Rebecca and Sabine is like getting together with old friends. You didn’t realize how much you missed them until they are back in your orbit. It’s exactly the book I wanted it to be and I’m so glad E.J. Noyes brought them back into our lives.

Dr. Sabine Fleischer arrives at the Army base in Afghanistan that is under Rebecca’s command. Rebecca is impressed by Sabine’s talent and dedication but is also attracted to her both physically and emotionally. There are many obstacles in the way of a relationship between the two women, from DADT to Sabine being Rebecca’s subordinate. Anyone who has read Ask, Tell knows how things turn out but getting Rebecca’s point of view adds so much to an already brilliant story.

E.J. Noyes writes Rebecca’s love, longing and when tragedy strikes, her pain, so beautifully. Rebecca and Sabine’s story is one of my favorite. Their love is undeniable and all encompassing. It’s one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read and being able to read it from both of their perspectives is a gift. Ask, Tell was E.J. Noyes first book and she has done nothing but continue to impress with each book since.

This is book ten and she has come full circle by returning to these wonderful characters. I couldn’t recommend this book more. Sit back, grab a drink and fall in love all over again with Rebecca and Sabine.

An ARC was received from Bella Books via NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Cast Away Her Fears by Claire Highton-Stevenson

Cast Away Her Fears
Category:
Published: 3/25/22
A second chance romance from the author of Blinded by Love, Love's Witness, and The Cam Thomas series.

Connie needs to get away, away from the memories of her failed relationship with Jenny. She needs to get over her but it’s hard to do when she’s still loves her so much. When she sees an ad for a glamping trip to a deserted island where she can be alone, she decides it’s the perfect place for a getaway. Only fate has a different plan for Connie and getting over Jenny isn’t part of the plan.

This was a fun read. I am pretty good at suspending reality and just going where the story takes me. That is a good quality to have for this book because you can only explain Connie and Jenny being stranded on an island together as fate. Connie is a better woman than I am. I was frustrated with Jenny before I ever met her, but Connie’s love is unwavering. Being on an island together forces Jenny to actually talk to Connie instead of her default, running away. She doesn’t handle confrontation or even difficult discussions well but when stranded on an island trying to survive, Jenny is forced to make some much needed changes.

This story is told from Connie’s perspective, which works in that it gives us insight into why her long for Jenny is so strong and why she’s willing to deal with so much. It’s also why I had issues with Jenny for quite a while in the story. Gradually, I began to understand Jenny and it made me want the two to get back together and get their happily ever after. Claire Highton-Stevenson has given us a fun story of the power of fate. This is a great read for a relaxing spring day. If only I were reading it while on an island.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

Night and Day by Lily Seabrooke

Night & Day
Category:
Published: 4/9/22
Parker Ferris needed a roommate, but for the crabby ball of snark she is, maybe upbeat Instagram lifestyle influencer Cassie Peterson wasn’t the best choice. Not like she had a choice: with her business rival Gary Founders crushing her coffee supply business, and her family still needing money, she’s eager to save rent. But it’s only delaying the inevitable. When a contentious roommate agreement becomes an alliance to keep Parker’s business alive, the attraction between…

I really wish Port Andrea were a real place I could visit. This is the fourth book Lily Seabrooke has set in the fictional city and while Fake It will always be my favorite, this is a close second. The story centers around Parker Ferris, a supporting character in Last Chance, the second book in the series. Parker finds herself in need of a roommate. Enter one very annoyingly cheerful Instagram influencer, Cassie Peterson. They battle Parker’s business rival together, while trying to avoid falling in love.

Parker owns a coffee supply business. One of her customers is the coffee shop where Cassie works. It’s not until after Cassie becomes Parker’s roommate does she learn that Cassie is an Instagram influencer. Parker is the grumpiest of the grumps and Cassie is sunshine personified. Cassie is also harboring a giant crush on Parker that she has had since they first met. She’s so far in the closet while Parker is out and proud. These two are polar opposites in every way.

Parker is adorable and knowing she would hate me calling her that makes me want to do it more. She’s one of those people who guards her heart by pretending not to care about anyone but it’s all an act. And it takes someone like Cassie, with her 5am yoga and sunny disposition to allow Parker to let a little of the snark go. Cassie is the kind of woman we all need in our lives. You can’t help but be drawn into her orbit.

As always from Lily Seabrooke, we are gifted with a fun, sexy and incredibly sweet read. Along with wonderfully charming characters, excluding Gary, who is literally the worst person ever, this book is sexy. Parker and Cassie have sizzling chemistry while but also make each other better people. It’s always a good day to visit Port Andrea.

An ARC was received from the author via Booksprout for an honest review.

No Rings Attached by Rachel Lacey

No Rings Attached
Category:
Author:
Published: 4/12/22
Fake dating, only one bed, road trip.  All the best tropes in one book!

I enjoyed Read Between the Lines a lot, but I absolutely love No Rings Attached. Lia demanded to have her story told and I am so glad Rachel Lacey listened. Rosie’s two best friends meet when Lia returns home to England to attend her brother’s wedding. Grace lives in London and when Rosie reaches out asking her to accompany Lia, Grace is reluctant but knows she will accept because she would do anything for Rosie.  Grace wants to hate Lia because she feels Lia replaced her as Rosie’s best friend but the two have immediate chemistry. But Grace doesn’t do relationships and the two live in different countries.

Rachel Lacey has quickly become one of my favorite authors. With this book, she gives us fake dating, an only one bed situation and a road trip. She also gives us two characters in Lia and Grace who are each other’s perfect match. Lia is not only incredibly likable, but she also has a directness that takes Grace by surprise. She’s kind and instead of showing pity when Grace confides information from her past, she just listens and is there for her and seriously, she has a British accent and who doesn’t love a woman with an accent.  Grace surprises Lia by charming her family and making her want more than just their fake dating situation. Grace has a lot to deal with and her default has always been compartmentalizing. Her growth throughout the story was beautifully written and at times my heart broke for her.

I loved that we get more of Rosie and Jane from Read Between the Lines. Rosie is the catalyst for her two friends meeting and the hopeless romantic that she is, probably knew how it would all turn out.  I felt so many emotions while reading this book. That is one of Rachel’s greatest gifts, writing books that cause so many emotions to come to the surface. I laughed, I had a few moments of anger related to Lia’s ex, I felt Grace’s pain and Lia’s frustration. My favorite couple of Rachel’s is Josie and Eve from Don’t Cry for Me, but Lia and Grace are right behind them and now hold a special place in my heart. This is a great read and I highly recommend it.

An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

With A Trist by Georgia Beers

With A Twist
Published: 4/12/22
A Swizzle Stick Romance Book 3

Amelia Martini is a mess. At 49, she’s divorced and being hit hard by menopause. She’s retired from her government job and has started a dog walking/sitting company. When she takes a job house sitting for one of her father’s friends, she never expects Kirby Dupree to turn her life upside down. Kirby’s a housepainter and starts a job at the house Amelia is housesitting. Kirby is drawn to Amelia despite her less than pleasant disposition.

This is the third book in Georgia Beers Swizzle Stick series. The first two featured Amelia’s cousins, Julia and Vanessa, who also play a part in this book, along with their respective loves. The three cousins are more like sisters and are always there for each other, but Julia and Vanessa can’t really understand what Amelia’s going through. Kirby, on the other hand, even though she’s 14 years younger than Amelia, she shows such understanding and compassion to Amelia, which is exactly what she needs. Maybe because I’m the same age as Amelia and have started perimenopause, I felt a lot of empathy for her. There is nothing worse than feeling like a stranger in your own body and it takes someone with the compassion and patience of Kirby to help Amelia realize that the way she sees herself isn’t at all how everyone else sees her. I really like Kirby and Amelia together. They complement each other beautifully.

I have enjoyed most of the Georgia Beers books I have read. She always creates entertaining characters, and this is no exception. Kirby and Amelia are both extremely likable. This story has lot of humor but also deals with a subject that doesn’t get enough attention in lesfic, a woman dealing with menopause. Amelia’s plight is one we will all have to deal with, maybe not to the severity she does but I can only hope we all have someone like Kirby to help us get through it.

An ARC was provided by Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley for an honest review.