Marry Me by Melissa Brayden

Marry Me
Published: 11/16/21

When I really started getting into lesbian romance, Melissa Brayden was one of the first authors I latched onto. Her Soho and Seven Shores series are still two of my favorites. This wasn’t a bad read but it didn’t fully capture my interest.

Allison Hale has accepted her boyfriend, Brent’s marriage proposal, although she isn’t over the moon happy about it. Brent’s from a very wealthy family and Allison’s sister is thrilled that she’s going to marry into it and their parents have a deal to have their healthy bar put into Brent’s family’s grocery store chain. Allison is an elementary school teacher who is happy with Brent but there’s a spark missing that she hasn’t experienced with anyone.

Megan Kinkaid is the top wedding planner in Dallas and knows she will get the Carmichael wedding. But her excitement over securing the wedding of the year is halted by her immediate attraction to the sweet, unassuming bride. Allison is drawn to the confident wedding planner as well and it isn’t long before the wedding is on hold and Allison and Megan start exploring their feelings for each other. Will the connection be enough for Allison to put herself first or will she cave to pressure from her sister and Brent to marry into the Carmichael clan?

This isn’t really an insta-love book but it’s pretty darn close. Allison is a total sweetheart but she feels just another incarnation of Brooklyn Campbell or Hannah Shephard.  While I appreciated that she didn’t freak out when she realized her attraction for another woman, I would have liked for her to stay strong throughout the book and not have been so easily influenced by Brent. Allison wasn’t the only one to make some questionable decisions. Megan also did some things that caused me some irritation. There are some good supporting characters like Allison’s parents and her work lesbian guru. If you’re a Melissa Brayden fan you will probably enjoy this one. However, it wasn’t her best but did have some good moments.

ARC received from Bold Stroke Books via NetGalley for an honest review

Unbreakable by Cari Hunter

Published: 10/12/21

Sometimes when a book is super hyped, it doesn’t live up to that and can be a bit of a disappointment. That is not the case with Unbreakable. Cari Hunter deserves all of the hype and more. It’s one of the best and most exciting books of the year by far.

Dr. Grace Kendal has just completed a long day when she’s kidnapped at gun point, forced to help an injured woman. Elin Breckinridge never anticipated finding herself in this position, where she’s now kidnapping someone. But there are times when people do things they never thought they would be capable of doing. Detective Sergeant Safia Faris starts investigating a murder and finds herself untangling a mystery.

The story is told from three different perspectives, Grace, Elin and Safia. I loved this. It gave such great insight into what these women are feeling as events unfold. Safia and her work partner Suds have a great relationship. They tease each other but also have great respect for one another. Safia and her life partner Kami are super cute together.  We don’t see them together a lot but it’s obvious they have a beautiful, loving relationship. Grace is the kind of woman we should all strive to be. She is brave, compassionate and empathetic. Elin is all of these things as well but has found herself in the worst of scenarios.

Unbreakable grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go. It’s one of the absolute best books I’ve read this year and I couldn’t put it down.  Cari Hunter is a masterful writer of mystery and this is my new favorite of her books. I not only recommend it, I implore you to read it. You will absolutely not be disappointed!

ARC received from Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley