Camp Lost and Found by Georgia Beers

Camp Lost and Found
Category:
Published: 12/13/22

Two women who have been through a trauma find themselves sharing a house. Cassidy wants to find herself and returns to the only place she has ever felt like she belonged, while Frankie wants to lose herself and the guilt that plagues her, whether she’s awake or asleep. The more the women open up to each other, the more they start to feel like the darkness is fading.

Georgia Beers books will always have a special place in my heart since she was one of the first authors I started reading when I discovered sapphic romance. I have several of her books that I revisit when I need a comfort read. This one will join that short list. This is easily one of Beers most emotional books and she portrays Cassidy and Frankie’s pain in a way that was both heartbreaking and hopeful.

This one hit close to home and I found myself in tears several times. I wanted to give both of the characters a big hug and hang out with the good hearted supporting characters.  Camp Lost and Found will stay with me for a long time as will Beers dedication at the beginning of the book, “To all of us who have struggled to find ourselves. Don’t stop looking.”

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

 

 

The Forever Factor by Melissa Brayden

The Forever Factor
Published: 11/15/22

Melissa Brayden’s books will always be an automatic read for me, not only because they are some of my favorites but because she writes banter better than anyone in sapphic romance. Second chance romances are one of the genres I gravitate towards the most and this one was a really enjoyable read. Bethany and Reid fell in love their senior year of high school and thought they would always be together but it wasn’t meant to be. Fast forward eleven years and the two find themselves running into each other, literally, at the grocery store. Forgiveness isn’t easy but what choice do you have when your forever keeps showing up.

I really liked how Melissa wrote this alternating between then and now. Flashbacks don’t always work for me but I can’t imagine this one being written any other way. The then was a very good YA story of first love and the mistakes that are made when fears get in the way. And the now is an adult romance between two women who had lived their lives always looking back to that first love that they have never been able to duplicate.

Melissa Brayden never fails to impress. I read this one in a day and had a smile on my face throughout. Bethany and Reid were always meant for each other, even if the forever took a little longer than they expected. An easy read filled with the snappy banter and heartfelt longing that Melissa writes so effortlessly.

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

Serendipity by Kris Bryant

Serendipity
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Author:
Published: 9/13/22

Annie Foster is perfectly content writing jingles and hosting an open mic night at her local coffee shop, but fate has different plans for her and before she knows it she is touring with superstar Bristol Baines. It’s everything Annie always wanted but didn’t dare to dream about. Bristol has been famous for years and she is over it. She wants to be able to go to the grocery store without security, she wants to have a life beyond performing. As the tour carries on, the two women develop a friendship that evolves into deeper feelings.

I love celebrity romances and this one is top notch. Annie and Bristol are wonderful characters, and I was instantly invested in their story. Bristol has been famous for so long and she loves performing but after so many years in the spotlight she is burnt out and ready to start living her life for herself. Annie is ready for her moment in the spotlight. Kris Bryant has weaved a slow burn that really works. She allows the two women to get to know each other and let the feelings develop organically.

Annie and Bristol are so incredibly likeable, I found myself smiling a lot.  It’s a low angst delight and I know I will be unable to resist revisiting these characters again very soon.

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

Catching Feelings by Ana Hartnett Reichardt

Catching Feelings
Published: 9/13/2022
The Alder Series, Book 2

Andrea Foster never expected to be named the starting catcher for the Alder women’s softball team and in no universe would she have dreamt she would also be named captain.  Superstar pitcher, Maya Gonzalez should be the captain, Andrea knows it and Maya certainly knows it.  The more time the two spend together, the more Maya’s chilly demeanor starts to fade away and the crush Andrea had worked so hard to control, becomes something she can’t keep a lid on, even if she tried.

I have yet to read Ana Reichardt’s debut, book one in this series, Changing Majors. That is something I will soon rectify after reading Catching Feelings.  There is an ease to her writing, and I was quickly drawn to Andrea, the adorkable lesbian who finds herself having to try to find her voice as the new leader of her team. She isn’t a natural leader; she isn’t charismatic and fiery like Maya is. The two balance each other out. Where Andrea calms Maya, Maya helps Andrea become more comfortable expressing herself. They are opposites in many ways but when they begin to really look at each other, they discover aren’t so different after all.

I don’t read a lot of YA novels, maybe because college was so long ago, I can hardly remember it.  Reading this book made me feel wistful and long for those days of crushes and endless possibilities. Any book that evokes such emotions is one I will return to again and again. Catching Feelings is a wonderful sophomore effort by Ana Hartnett Reichardt. The characters are so relatable and their growth both individually and as a couple, was beautifully written. I can’t wait to see what comes next from this author. Her star has only begun to rise.

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

 

Cherry on Top by Georgia Beers

Cherry on Top
Category:
Published: 8/16/22

With the advent of social media, we can present ourselves in any way we see fit. Sometimes, it’s as our authentic selves’, other times, it’s as the person we wish we were.  Cherry Davis is working hard on her “brand” and it isn’t always who she is. She uses filters and talks about her nonexistent girlfriend, but it’s a means to an end.

Ellis Conrad is the manager at the Sunny Side Up diner and also an aspiring journalist. She loathes social media and has valid reasons for her feelings. As the two women get to know each other better and the feelings deepen, will their blossoming relationship survive when Cherry’s social media status comes to light?

Georgia Beer has been one of my favorite authors since I began reading sapphic romances. Her characters are so engaging and relatable and book after book, I always find myself becoming more of a fan of her writing. This story is another that will go on my list of favorites. Ellis is such a wonderful character. I felt so much empathy for everything she has gone through, and no one could possibly deserve happiness more.

Cherry is a wonderful character as well, even though I wanted to shake her a few times but in the end I loved her just as much as I did Ellis. Cherry is someone who doesn’t see herself as being enough and tries so hard to cultivate an image of what she wants to be rather than being content with the amazing person she is.

Cherry on Top is another wonderful story from one of the greatest writers in sapphic fiction. It made me smile but it also made me think about how we all present ourselves on social media. What makes social media unique, is that we can put the best version of ourselves out there for the world to see. It isn’t always who we authentically are but more the person we aspire to be.

This is more than a romance with two incredibly charming and wonderful characters. It is a reminder that you shouldn’t have to compromise who you are to fit into a box that society wants to put you into. Georgia Beers once again creates a couple with wonderful chemistry who will warm your heart.

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

 

The Last Lavender Sister by Melissa Brayden

The Last Lavender Sister
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Published: 7/12/22

Aster Lavender is looking for excitement. She is tired of her small town, Homer’s Bluff and she is tired of being the forgettable member of her family, always outshined by her more charismatic siblings. She thinks she will have to leave town for something extraordinary to happen to her. Until the temporary vet, Brynn Garrett shows up and brings light into Aster’s overwise gray existence.

Brynn has had her heart broken and Chicago now feels too busy and way too lonely, even though she is surrounded by people. When her vet school friend calls and asks her to take over her practice for six months, Brynn thinks this may be the change she needs. The moment Aster sees Brynn she is struck by her beauty and Brynn finds Aster’s awkwardness endearing. The two strike up a friendship that has the potential to be so much more.

I have loved many of Melissa Brayden’s characters over the years, but I think Aster Lavender, may be my favorite of all of them. She has so many facets to her personality. She is socially awkward and nerdy yet isn’t afraid to make her feelings know and stand up for those she cares about. One of the many things I love about this book is that it spans several years so we get to see how Aster changes and grows as a person. Her character arc is wonderfully written.

Both Brynn and Aster are such memorable characters who have such big hearts you can’t help but root for them to make it work. I wanted to shake Brynn a few times, but it was all part of the journey.  A journey I won’t soon forget and one I know I will revisit many times.

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

Embracing The Moon by Jeannie Levig

Embracing The Dawn
An Embracing The Dawn Romance

This is my first Jeannie Levig book, but it won’t be my last. I will be going back and reading Embracing the Dawn so I can get EJ and Jinx’s story. While this book brings EJ’s two best friends, Taylor and Gwen to the forefront, it can be read as a standalone.

Taylor has resigned herself to living the life of a single woman and it has been just fine. Even at 55, she can have any woman she wants.  So what if she is insanely attracted to her best friend. Gwen has been best friends with Taylor for ten years. She has always been attracted to the older woman but would never jeopardize losing her friendship. And she’s never told Taylor she isn’t as straight as everyone thinks she is.

The two women finally confess their attraction for each other and start exploring that attraction. And they really do some exploring! These two have some insane chemistry. After a few weeks of their new dynamic, things are going better than either ever could have imagined and then tragedy strikes. What follows is a long and difficult road for both to navigate,

I was completely surprised by the twist in the story. It made me love Taylor even more. I am always drawn to the player who has so many deeper layers to her and Taylor is so much more than even she recognizes.  She is a special character. I really appreciated how much she grew as the story progressed. And Gwen is the perfect complement to Taylor.

This was an enjoyable read and the supporting characters were an interesting group. Jinx fascinates me and I am looking forward to reading Embracing the Dawn to get her story.  I think we could have done without the person from one of the characters past and still had a fulfilling experience. That character was really my only issue with the book. I just couldn’t feel anything for her. Aside from her, this book is well worth the read.

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

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.

 

 

A Long Way To Fall by Elle Spencer

no title has been provided for this book
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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.

 

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.