Just Physical by Jae

no title has been provided for this book
Published: 11/30/15
Tingly feelings all around

Jae has a lot of great books out. Several that are a lot newer than this one. But for me it’s a sentimental choice. This is the only book I’ve read with a lead character who suffers from MS.  I was diagnosed 19 years ago with MS right after I turned 30. The symptoms and emotions that Jill experiences are very similar to what I experienced. The fear of the unknown future that you face and not wanting to burden those you love. Jae captured those feelings perfectly.

Jill is an actress who is co-starring in a movie based on her friend Lauren’s screenplay. Lauren and Grace loved it up in the previous book in the series, Damage Control. Crash is a stunt woman working on the film. She is immediately attracted to the fiery redhead.  She commences with the wooing but Jill is having none of it as she has sworn off relationships, unwilling to burden anyone with her uncertain future. Jill, however, can’t seem to resist Crash’s charms.

This brings about the old no strings attached nudie fun. This doesn’t work because those pesky feelings get in the way for both of them. Crash would be easy to fall for, she’s super sweet and patient and does her best to understand the illness Jill has to deal with. I would date Crash in a second. I could sing Crash Into Me during a romantic moment because that would be too awesome not to do!

I love all of the books in Jae’s Hollywood Series but this one is close to my heart. Representation matters and to have a character with MS who I can relate to will always have this book in my favorites list. Jae delivers as usual.


The Headmistress by Milena McKay

The Headmistress
Published: 2/10/21

The Delicate Things We Make is one of my favorite books of the year. With The Headmistress, Milena McKay has gone beyond the brilliance of her first novel and is now firmly ensconced as one of the elite writers of lesfic.

Sam Threadneedle was left as a baby at Three Dragons Academy and is now the math chair. Sam had never felt like she fit in, like she was always standing on the outside looking at her life as it passed her by. Three Dragons is the only home she has ever known and the only place she feels close to being seen. Sam is lonely, especially after a chance encounter with a beautiful woman who she can’t seem to get off her mind. The night in NYC with the woman is sprinkled throughout the book and it’s no wonder Sam can’t get stop thinking about her. As Magdalene says to Sam, “Could it be that, with one exception, you have done nothing reckless in your entire life?” Sam doesn’t do reckless but she had a hunger for Magdalene that isn’t satisfied, even after she arrives and appears to be on a mission to destroy Sam’s home.

Magdalene Nox is one of those characters that stick with you. She is a paradox, as most incredible ice queens are. She can be cold and unrelenting but in the next moment with Sam, she is gentle and open. They have an undeniable chemistry and the vulnerability they display with each other is lovely.

The supporting characters really add a lot to the story. Joanne, Sam’s mentor, the only person at Three Dragons aware of her penchant for the ladies, Lily, one of Sam’s students and Willoughby, the rotund cat who falls for Magdalene’s charms. As I have come to expect from Milena she interweaves these characters and plots seamlessly.

I will read anything Milena writes from now until I’m too old to give a damn about reading. She could write a history on the evolution of toilet paper and I will read it. I may need a glass or four of wine, but I will remain devoted and read whatever this talented writer puts out. Milena McKay’s writing is some of the most beautiful I have every had the privilege of reading. I am very grateful she has shared her gift with all of us.

The Goodmans by Clare Ashton

The Goodmans
Published: 2018
Family drama in a idyllic British village.

The Goodmans by Clare Ashton is my favorite book. I want to be a member of this loving, crazy family. I want to hang out with Celia, the grandmother and get my medicinal relief. I want to rage against the annoying neighbor and civil injustices with Maggie. I want to make fun of everyone with Eli. I want to encourage Jude to see the wonder that is her mother and I want to hug the mess out of Abby and Richard.

Jude is a doctor who spends the weekends in her hometown with her family and best friend Abby. She has no clue that Abby is head over heels in love with her. It takes her overhearing her brother and seeing the look of despair on Abby’s face when Bill, Jude’s boarish boyfriend, proposes to open her eyes to the truth. Abby is the quintessential girl next door. She’s a doctor as well and the whole town loves her because she is kind and attentive. After Abby’s mother died tragically while her and Jude were in college, the Goodmans made her a part of the family.

Abby feels a particular closeness with Maggie, who became a surrogate mother for her. Jude loves her mother but is more than often annoyed and exasperated with her behavior. I think one of the many reasons I adore Maggie so much is because she reminds me of my own mother. My mom was obnoxious and smothering but she had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known.  Maggie has all of these same qualities and more. She is the heart and soul of this book and I adore her completely.

Maggie and her husband Richard are separated but still live in the same house. They have decided to tell the family they are divorcing until Eli shows up with his new fiance. Everything after turns Maggie’s world upside down and the ride is surprising, exhilarating and beautiful. I will reread this book many times and have a tear in my eye every time for years to come. Clare Ashton has created a literary masterpiece.