REVIEW: Junkyard Heart by Garrett Leigh

Book Cover Stevie‘s review of Junkyard Heart (Porthkennack, Book 7) by Garrett Leigh
Contemporary Bisexual Romance published by Riptide Publishing 02 Dec 17

Garrett Leigh’s second outing in the Porthkennack universe has some overlaps with the characters and settings of her earlier visit to the town, but that’s no bad thing; the staff and customers of the tattoo studio were intriguing on first meeting and only become more so as we learn more about them. This time around we also get to meet another sprawling family of locals, the Mannings of Belly Acre Farm, and their produce business.

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REVIEW: One More Promise by Samantha Chase

Book CoverVeena’s review of One More Promise (Shaughnessy Brothers: Band On The Run, Book 2)by Samantha Chase
Contemporary Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 06 Feb 18

Full of emotion and family drama comes another winner from Samantha Chase.

Paige Walters has everything and nothing, as she struggles to win her father’s love and make a place for herself in the family PR business.  Just when she finally feels she’s holding the winning hand, her sister interferes, introducing rock ‘n roll bad guy Dylan Anders to upset the apple cart.  Get ready for fireworks and tears before it all comes together for a smooth finish.

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REVIEW: Crossing Hearts by Rebecca Crowley

Book CoverKristie J’s review of Crossing Hearts (Atlanta Skyline, Book 1) by Rebecca Crowley
Contemporary Romance published by Lyrical Shine 21 Mar 17

Knowing that soccer, or football as it’s really called, is the No. 1 sport in the world and being a watcher of sports, I’ve tried watching soccer, I really have.  But I just don’t enjoy watching it on the telly because the field is so large, most of it shown from quite a distance. And, let’s be honest, part of the allure of soccer is very fine players, but we don’t get to see them close up that much.  On top of this, and forgive me all fans, I just find it, well, boring.  Being raised watching hockey, which is kind of a comparison, except that hockey players play on skates and inside arenas and wear a lot more equipment and it’s (brrrrr) cold, hockey is a much faster moving game.

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REVIEW: The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

Book CoverStevie‘s review of The French Girl by Lexie Elliott
Women’s Crime Fiction published by Berkley 20 Feb 18

There’s a great public fascination with unsolved mysteries, which generally peaks whenever a new piece of evidence is uncovered, particularly if that evidence changes the investigation from one involving a missing person to a murder enquiry. While such news provokes excitement in uninvolved spectators, it can create far more ravaging emotions in those involved in the original case, no matter how innocent they might be. Any such crime has a victim and a perpetrator, and when both are part of the same social group, the repercussions are bound to affect all of their friends and families. So it is for Kate Channing and her erstwhile university friends ten years after they last went on holiday together – and ten years after the girl holidaying next door disappeared.

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REVIEW: Captain’s Choice by VK Powell

Book Cover Stevie‘s review of Captain’s Choice (Fairview Station, Book 1) by VK Powell
Contemporary Lesbian Romance published by Bold Strokes Books 12 Dec 17

Estranged lovers reunited years later is a common trope in romance novels, although it works best for me when both lovers have already worked through the reasons for the original estrangement and are prepared to talk things over like grown-ups when they meet once again. The scenario has more likelihood of working in LGBT+ stories than in heterosexual romances, I find, because the opportunities for teenage angst and confusion are so much greater, as are the chances that these emotions will be resolved with maturity. Add in the extra complexity of potential parental disapproval becoming diminished as dependence lessens, and all the ingredients are there. Except… what if, as the years have passed, the parents have become the dependent ones for one or both former lovers?

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REVIEW: Baby I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren

Book CoverVeena’s review of Baby I’m Howling For You (Alphaville, Book 1) by Christine Warren
Paranormal Romance published by St. Martin’s Press 30 Jan 18

Renny Landry is being stalked. Unfortunately for her, her stalker is an alpha wolf shifter with a pack of nasty wolves at his beck and call.  Renny has Alphaville in her sights, where she finally hopes to find a measure of safety and security when she’s brought down by her stalkers.  Enter Mick Fisher, who has his own demons to fight. Has Renny landed into the fire from the frying pan? But Mick smells so enticing! Could he possibly be her mate? read more…

REVIEW: The Bittersweet Bride by Vanessa Riley

Book CoverStevie‘s review of The Bittersweet Bride (Advertisements for Love, Book 1) by Vanessa Riley
Historical Romance published by Entangled: Amara 29 Jan 18

I’m always pleased to see new historical romance series featuring heroes and/or heroines of colour, especially those that acknowledge that Britain has always been less exclusively white than the standard textbooks would have us believe. Fiction and non-fiction have come a long way the past few years when it comes to representation, of course, which also makes it easier for reviewers to judge books purely on their own merits and not give them an automatic pass just because they feature a previously ignored facet of life’s rich tapestry. That being said, this book had a bunch of other features to recommend it to me, beyond those of the heroine: scenes set in an historic shopping arcade that I know well, a romance carried out partially by post, and a group of female friends who support each other’s ambitions and ventures by means of their various talents. So how did it measure up to my expectations?

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REVIEW: Judging Books by Shay Savage

Book CoverKristie J’s review of Judging Books by Shay Savage
Contemporary Romance published by Shay Savage 28 Nov 17

There is no question that Shay Savage writes some of the most unusual, most eclectic books ever.  Some I can’t get enough of *cough – Transcendence, read it! – cough* to others that hold no appeal to me whatsoever. So every time I do start a new one, I know I’m in for something unique.  And Judging Books once again fits this bill.

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REVIEW: The Color of Love by Sharon Sala

Book CoverVeena’s review of The Color of Love (Blessings Georgia, Book 5) by Sharon Sala
Contemporary Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 06 Feb 18

Welcome back to Blessings, Georgia as Ms. Sala gives us the story of colorful Ruby and Peanut. The two of them have played a key role in each of the books in the series so and it’s good for them to finally get their own story. Ms. Sala is one of my favorite authors who has an uncanny ability to bring her stories to life through her words and characters.  This particular story is a bit slow and seems to take a few interesting twists and turns before bringing her characters to their safe harbor.
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REVIEW: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Book Cover Stevie‘s review of Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic, Book 1) by Molly Harper
Contemporary Romance published by Gallery Books 21 Nov 17

Small-town romance series are a bit hit or miss for me, but I keep coming back to them in the hope of finding one where the quirky nature of the locals is matched by a strongly characterised central pairing. The trope generally follows the pattern where either an outsider moves to the town through some accident of fate or recently discovered connection or where a former resident returns after a long absence. Either way, part of the fun is seeing the newcomer settle (back) in and (re)acquaint themselves with the locals and their odd traditions. In the case of this particular opener to a new series, the heroine is returning to the bosom of the long-lost family she’d all but forgotten about after her big-city career implodes spectacularly.

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