Sunday, 19 October 2014

Once The Clouds Have Gone by KE Payne


When eighteen year old Tag Grainger left her home in the small Scottish town of Balfour she’d grown up in, little did she know it would be nine long years before she would return. When Tag does return, it’s under a cloud after the sudden death of her father.

Tag is thrown back into a life she never thought she’d have again. The fact that Tag has inherited a half share of the family business with her antagonistic brother Blair, almost sends Tag running back to her home in Liverpool.

Tag’s brother Blair, can’t forgive her for running out on the family. Her beloved nephew, Magnus who was five when she left, doesn’t remember her and to top it all, the townsfolk are all talking about how she ran off and speculating as to the reasons why. All Tag yearns for is to escape back to her mundane life in England.

When Tag and cafe manager Freddie Metcalfe meet, Tag feels the pull of attraction between them. Whilst Freddie is helping Tag take stock of her life, her family and the business, her own life isn’t running so smoothly. Freddie is hiding secrets of her own and trying to mend her own broken heart. The last thing Freddie needs is another heart break. Letting Tag in may do just that.

Will Freddie be able to help Tag with her family and the ailing business? Will Freddie be able to open up her heart? Will Tag listen to reason? Or will she run away once again? Will the clouds finally clear leaving the sun shining down on them both?

I’ve read most of KE Payne’s young adult books and thoroughly enjoyed them. This book is different. It’s a beautifully written story centering round a family with all the upheavals that can occur within families and a tender sweet, would be romance running through it.

The family described could be any regular family, the characters could be any of our friends, they are so real. I totally managed to lose myself in this story and from the scenic descriptions, lived it alongside of them all. This is the difference between the art of showing the reader and telling them. KE Payne has excelled herself with this book. I’ll be very, very surprised if it doesn’t win an award.

Both Tag and Freddie are flawed women in different ways. Both have been hurt in the past. Both need to let go of their pasts to enable them to move on and have a future, either together or not as the case may be. It’s their background stories that makes this present day story real and true to life. Their stories could happen to anyone. There is nothing remotely far fetched about them at all. As with all families, there are ups and downs. This is a real roller coaster ride of ups and downs, thrills and spills. A book I enjoyed from start to finish and could not put down.

As much as I enjoy KE Payne’s young adult books, I hope she will consider writing another adult romance soon. This book deserves it’s place amongst my favorite books in my re-read folder.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Reece's Faith by TJ Vertigo


Bar owner, Reece Corbett and actress, Faith Ashford from Private Dancer are back in another amazing episode in their lives.

Their relationship is going from strength to strength. As they set out on new paths exploring new ground, so their sex lives and understanding of one another gets better and better, cementing their relationship strongly together in a newly discovered intimacy.

As time goes by, Reece learns she can fully trust Faith and shares with her the story of how she became The Animal. This in turn gives Faith new strength and the continuing hope for their relationship to have the happy ever after ending she craves.

Unfortunately a glitch occurs in the form of the green eyed monster, jealousy, when Faith has to kiss a man on her television show and Reece is stalked by two sex crazed women. How will both women react to the others jealousies?

The icing on the cake is when Faith is outed on television as a lesbian. This brings her parents hurtling onto the scene and all hell breaks loose. Faith discovers things about her parents that are an eye opener for her. Will Faith’s parents accept her and Reece’s relationship and what will the consequences be?

Another well written, well edited, hot and erotic book from TJ Vertigo with some of the wonderful characters from Private Dancer. There is no need to have read Private Dancer first. This book will totally standalone. But, I would strongly advise you not to miss out on another wonderful book with the beginning of Reece and Faith’s story.

I love these characters, Reece is hot headed and would seem to be as hard as nails, yet has a soft and vulnerable streak that no one gets to see very often. Faith is soft and gentle, yet, she has a strength that comes to the fore front when it’s needed and is fiercely protective of Reece. Both characters are multi-faceted and are backed up by a wonderful cast of strong secondary characters enhancing the story and progressing it through to the end.

I’ve read everything I can get my hands on that TJ Vertigo has written. I love her stories and her writing style. The fact that I know her books are chock full of romance and erotic hot sex scenes has me wishing she would write much faster and publish a lot more books. Although this is a fairly long book, it still wasn’t long enough for me. But, I’m not too worried, there is a sequel due out soon. As always with one of TJ’s books, it’s in my favorites folder to be read time again.

 

Nesting by Renee MacKenzie


Macy Stokes is divorced and is the mother of six year old Jeremiah. She’s also struggling with her feelings towards other women.

When one of Macy’s friends needs help, she doesn’t for one moment think that helping them out may cause her ex husband, Jack, to challenge her custody of their son.

Nineteen year old Cam Webber, not long out of high school, sets out to reconnect with her Aunt Jess and arrives in Augusta, Georgia unannounced hoping to stay with her aunt. Unfortunately for Cam, this is not possible. But Cam is desperate to hang around and gain the approval of her aunt’s partner, Sharon.

Along the way, Cam becomes enamored with Macy. But, Macy doesn’t want to know. She’s set her sights elsewhere.

Kenny Brewer loves his eccentric wife, Dorianne. Even though her behavior is getting more bizarre by the day. Dorianne becomes obsessed with a local woman and believes she is her half sister, causing all sorts of mayhem.

Unfortunately, it transpires that Dorianne has a medical problem that will impact on her, Kenny and their friends.

I’ve enjoyed Renee MacKenzie’s other books, so I wasn’t at all surprised that this book was enjoyable also. It’s certainly different from her other writings. The book is well written and edited and although I felt the beginning was a little slow, it soon picked up pace and continued along at a nice steady clip. The story itself is full of ups and downs, twists and turns and has surprises, drama, love and intrigue along the way. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, so the story would veer off in another exciting direction.

I love the characters, although, I must say it took a while for me to warm up to Macy. But, she grew on me. The characters are all well developed and are essential to the story. The things I particularly liked about this story, is the diversity of the characters, the scenic settings and the fact that the events in this book could actually happen. These are ordinary characters we could be interacting with everyday as part of our lives, characters with every day problems we can relate to.

So, if you are looking for a read that is different and refreshing, look no further, you’ve found it.

 

Friday, 3 October 2014

Shadows of the Heart by Patty G Henderson


When Annalee Stewart lost her upper crust status due to her fathers gambling and subsequent suicide, her godmother begrudgingly took her in. After her death, Annalee was fortunate to secure a post as companion to the young and frail Lady Lenore Blackstone. Although no longer wealthy and part of the elite rich society,  Annalee considers herself fortunate to have a home, even though she is in service. England was really no place for unmarried women without means in the 1820’s.

Unfortunately, Annalee finds herself in a dangerous situation. Premeditated murder, shady characters in a dark and dismal world throws Annalee headlong into the role of Lenore’s protector. Annalee and Lenore grow very close and Annalee fights her growing attraction to Lenore, a woman she can never have. Lenore however welcomes Annalee’s love and attentions and encourages them, putting them both in imminent danger from Lenore’s husband, the Earl of Blackstone.

The Earl’s sister, Victoria is enamored with Annalee. She flirts unashamedly with her and Annalee finds herself responding. This confuses Annalee, as her heart belongs to Lenore. But, deep down she knows Lenore is unavailable and as much as she yearns for her, Lenore will never be hers. What will happen in this ill fated triangle of love and deceptions? Annalee must sort out her feelings and passions.

When Annalee’s life is threatened within the walls of Blackstone Castle and after love and great loss, Annalee must make choices. Who to believe, who to trust and most of all, who to give her heart to.

Another well written winner in the gothic historical romance book titles from the Queen of dark, dangerous and intrigue, Patty G Henderson. A page turner from start to finish. This is written in the true style of the old gothic romances from yesteryear, with one difference, instead of heroes and heroines, we have heroines only. A dark, brooding castle, a touch of danger and intrigue, wonderful characters, mix them altogether and you have spine chilling, thrilling perfection. Throw into the mix, illicit love, a love triangle with three gorgeous women, beautiful scenic descriptions, a story set in the 1820’s and you have gothic romance at it’s very best.

All of the characters are well fleshed out and fully developed, multidimensional, easy to get to know and like, or dislike as the case maybe. But most of all, they interact well together, the dialogue is easily understood and the story seamlessly flows along and kept this reader on the edge of her seat throughout.

If you like a bit of spice in your romances, this is highly spiced in parts. Red hot and deliciously decadent, yet tasteful and tender. Not too much to overwhelm the reader, just right in proportion.

This is the fourth book in Patty’s gothic historical romance series. Each story is as gripping as the last. This book is no exception, even though Passion For Vengeance is an award winning book. I expect the same for this book. I’m now eagerly looking forward to the fifth gothic romance book. Well, any book from Patty G Henderson will be most welcome. I’ve added this to my re-read folder to savor time and again.

 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

All You Can Eat by Ed's Andi Marquette and R.G Emanuelle


Short stories

This is a food themed collection of short stories written by some of my favorite authors. Ashley Bartlett, Historia, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Cheyenne Blue, Karis Walsh, Victoria Oldham, Cheri Crystal, Andi Marquette, R.G Emanuelle, Sacchi Green and last but by no means least, Yvonne Heidt.

The stories range from light romance, (appetizers) slightly hotter romance, (entrees) through to sizzling hot erotica, (desserts). At the end of each story there is a recipe. In some cases the recipe has been used in the story, in others they are just garnishes, no cooking needed at all. Food and sex go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that this collection is tasty and tempting in more ways than one. Something here to whet every readers appetite, leaving this reader hungry for more.

Each of these stories is well written. Of course, like any book of short stories, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others. But, unlike other books, there wasn’t one story I disliked. Each story is superbly different to each of the others.

If you are looking for a well put together and edited book of hot short stories, with some wonderful characters, look no further. You’ve found it.  

 

Still Life by L.T Smith


Jess Taylor broke up with her partner Samantha because of her cheating womanizing ways. Enough was enough, never again would she allow herself to be used and cheated on. After the break up, Jess becomes somewhat of a recluse. Staying home, in bed by 9.30 and curled up with a book. Yes, much safer than setting herself up for another heart break.

Jess’s best friend Sophie Harrison has other ideas. She decides that Jess has been off the radar long enough, it’s time for her to re-join the land of the living. Sophie enrols them both in a Still Life art class at the nearby college. Sophie is determined that Jess and the gorgeous art teacher, Diana Sullivan, will hit it off and hook up. It doesn’t hurt that Sophie is interested in Diana’s brother, Dave, either.

But, will art be enough to pull Jess and Diana together? There are twelve sessions of the art class to find out whether Jess will be able to put the past behind her, be brave enough to open up her heart and give love another chance.

I’ve read most of L.T Smith’s books and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed them all and never been disappointed. This book is no exception. In fact, it has become my new favorite of hers.

As always, with any L.T Smith book, it is well written and edited, a page turner from start to finish and both serious and hilarious in parts. Mostly set in and around Manchester, England, the dialect is slightly different to the usual American books I read and review. But, I don’t think our overseas friends will have a problem understanding it.

There are three multidimensional main characters, Jess, her best friend Sophie and Jess’s love interest Diana. They are joined by a brilliant cast of secondary characters all playing their parts to perfection. Even the despicable Lauren played her part exceptionally well. Not that I’m adding in any spoilers, but she’s the one person in a book a reader loves to hate.

This is obviously a romance and the story follows the tried, tested and successful girl meets girl, girl loses girl and gets girl again formula. It’s the journey the characters take in this book that sets it so far apart from a lot of similar romance books. Set in the art world, there is a mix of love, angst, and a wonderful laugh out loud humor throughout. The fact that Jess and Diana are flawed women and each have unhappy pasts adds into the intrigue. The push and pull of will they won’t they get together, will they won’t they stay together, will Jess get her act together is what kept me feverishly turning the pages through to the end.

I’m looking forward to more from LT Smith soon.

 

Hero Worship by Rebekah Matthews


Valerie’s one hope and desire is to have a hero. Someone she can worship and who can rescue her from her unexciting mundane existence. When Valerie was growing up, her hero was Xena Warrior Princess. Xena is a hard act to follow and now Valerie’s grown up, she’s looking for her own real life Xena.

In this collection of stories, we see Valerie’s search for love. Trying to find her happy ever after, all consuming love. We follow Valerie’s progress, her highs and her lows, as she approaches her teens through to her thirties.

Valerie has to contend with many things and many different situations. There is her mother’s mysterious illness, her teenage step sister’s relationship with an older married man, her various jobs and many other situations she finds herself in. Valerie’s escapades are vast and various with never a dull moment as Valerie tries desperately to marry her childhood hopes and dreams with reality. Will Valerie ever find her hero? Or is she asking for too much?

A nice little collection of stories all linked together following Valerie’s pursuit for her hero. Valerie is a multidimensional, yet flawed character. This book tracks Valerie in the many guises of relationships between two women. It goes far beyond simply sex. Valerie has all sorts of different relationships with many different women. Straight, platonic, maternal, Christian and family.

I found some of the book a little hard to follow when it veered between the past and the present in places. But on the whole I enjoyed the stories.

I can’t attest to the editing as the copy I read from hadn’t had it’s final edit. But, what I can say is this copy was fairly clean, so I have no reason not to trust that the published copy is good.