Sunday, 16 December 2012

Caution: Under Construction by TJ Vertigo

Painfully shy, thirty five year old Keefer Gibson has just about had enough of her life with her lover Danni. She’s not in love with her and she’s sure she’s been cheating on her. Keefer has made a big decision, little does she know that her life will be changed because of it forever.

Thirty one year old construction worker, Sheridan Landers is a player. She can and does have almost any woman she wants. She’s proud of her reputation as the club slut.

When building inspector Keefer meets Sheridan at her construction site for the first time, she just can’t get her out of her mind. She has no way of knowing she’s been constantly on Sheridan’s mind too.

The next time Keefer and Sheridan meet sparks begin to fly. One thing leads to another and Keefer and Sheridan begin to spend a lot of time together. The thing both women don’t bargain for is falling in love. Will they be left alone by Keefer’s ex lover Danni to pursue their friendship? Will either woman admit to her feelings?

This is a long and extremely well written book. I loved the story and the characters so much that I was quite upset when it ended.

The story features two women so different, they are like chalk and cheese. At first it appears that the only thing Keefer and Sheridan have in common is their love of dogs. Keefer is really shy, she hasn’t had much experience of being in a stable relationship. Her relationship with Danni was mentally abusive. Keefer was made to feel worthless and is an introvert. Sheridan has had so many women, but never been in a stable relationship either, she’s the club stud and is an extrovert in the extreme. Neither Keefer or Sheridan has been in love before and the possibility to each woman that she may now be in love is strange. It takes both women quite some time to come to terms with it.

From Keefer and Sheridan’s first meeting, both women knew they felt something for the other. When Sheridan finds out that Keefer has issues and problems, it brings out her protective side. Sheridan would normally have walked away at the first signs of any problems, but she finds she can’t, not when it’s Keefer that’s hurting. Gradually Sheridan gets Keefer to loosen up and come out of her shell. It’s a pleasure to watch Keefer begin to blossom and put aside her inhibitions.

Both Keefer and Sheridan are loveable characters, very easy to get to know and love. Tall, dark and gorgeous Keefer and petite, soft butch, blonde Sheridan, what’s not to love? Both are multidimensional and interact well with the rest of the closely knit group of Sheridan’s friends and family. Each character plays an important part in progressing the story forward. Even the dogs play their parts to perfection. Of course, not all characters are loveable, Danni certainly isn’t, but she is essential to the story. Without Danni, Keefer and Sheridan may never have got together.

The story is written with a terrific sense of humor. Real laugh out loud fun. This helps to lighten up some of the more tense moments in the story.

True to a great romance, there is sex, lots and lots of red hot steaming encounters to warm up a cold winters day. All tastefully written and in context with the story. The epitome of a delightful romance. This book however, is more than just a run of the mill romance. The story covers lots of issues, sexual problems, mental cruelty, stalking, a slow to learn family member, as well as the lighter side of a new ‘getting to know one another relationship’.

This is going on my re-read pile and will definitely be due another read soon.

I’ve read a few of TJ Vertigo’s earlier works and really enjoyed them. I’m so pleased to see that they are going to be re-published. TJ is a fantastic writer and I’m hoping she’s going to be writing some new books for our pleasure soon.

At first glance, the price of this book may seem a lot, ($16.99 print and $6.99 E) but it is a very long book and such a lovely story, that I’d be willing to pay this and more. It’s still a lot cheaper than some lesfic on the market, that only have half the pages of this one.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Affinity and Friends put the X Back in X-Mas

(She Came) upon a Christmas Eve by Del Robertson

Lacey has moved back to her Grandmother’s house, back to the town she’d left years earlier, hiding a secret. It’s Christmas Eve, she’s all alone, but someone is determined she is going to believe in Christmas again and celebrate it too. Lacey is shocked to say the least when a huge tree is delivered to her. Who could have sent it?

Lacey wondered if it was her old friend, Sheriff Sam McAllister, it wasn’t and she has nothing to go on to investigate where the tree came from either. What can be happening? Will Lacey believe in Christmas again?

Sam agrees to stay with Lacey to keep her company, but she gets a call out. Lacey gets a surprise visitor, none other than Kris Kringle. She gets even more of a surprise when Sam returns.

A lovely, well written seasonal story. A story of friendship and love at this special time of the year. Has a nice surprise element.


Leather and Lace by Syd Parker

Willow and her friend Skye are up in Aspen to throw a bachelorette/New Year’s Eve party for Willow’s sister, Summer. Unfortunately, no guests will be arriving due to a bad snow storm.

Willow and Skye decide they will make the most of the cabin and the skiing facilities. Skiing isn’t the only thing on Willow’s mind though. She’s been attracted to Skye for a long time. But Skye is her sister Summer’s friend. She can’t act on her feelings and do anything to jeopardize their friendship, can she?

Unknown to Willow, Skye has been having similar feelings. Suddenly the postponed party and lack of guests doesn’t matter, no, not one little bit.

A wonderful, well penned tale of unrequited love becoming a reality. Some really nice hot erotic and steamy sex scenes, set amid the beautiful Aspen landscape.


White Christmas by Ruth Gogoll

After her car broke down on Christmas Eve in the middle of nowhere, the traveller finds a house with a single occupant. After a while of knocking the door, a beautiful woman asked her in, called a tow truck for her and offered her tea, coffee and a little something extra. After spending the night making mad, passionate love, the traveller woke up alone. Where had the mysterious Veronique gone? She couldn’t have just disappeared, could she?

The traveller decides she has to go in search of Veronique and also to find out what happened to the tow truck. She got more than a surprise when she was told the history of the house. Strange happenings for the festive season indeed.

A lovely well written, hauntingly beautiful story that had an unexpected outcome.


A Conditional Christmas Kiss by Kiki Archer

Angie is having an illicit affair with her boss, Maria. Angie wants to go public, but Maria wants the affair kept a deep dark secret.

Dee, Angie’s co-worker, fancies Angie and wants her for her girlfriend. At last, Maria is willing to give Angie a public kiss under the mistletoe at the office party. But first, Angie has to carry out three assignments. What has Maria got in store for Angie? Will Angie carry them out and get her kiss?

A well written and extremely hilarious seasonal story. A word of warning, ‘don’t eat or drink anything while you are reading this. You may choke’!


Elevate The Spirit by J.M Dragon and Irish Eyes

Kaitlyn was on her last nerve. It was late Christmas Eve and she was still in the office with her boss Melinda having a go at her. Enough was enough, Kaitlyn quit right there and then. She cleared her desk and headed off for the elevator. It was obviously bad timing as Melinda had the same idea.

Unfortunately for Kaitlyn and Melinda, the elevator ground to a halt. They were stuck. Suddenly their argument was forgotten. What could they do to while away the time until the maintenance team turned up? Lets just say, the elevator got over heated and Kaitlyn and Melinda no longer cared about work, bosses, underlings or anything else.

A well written, red hot seasonal holiday story from a dynamic duo. J.M Dragon is a brilliant author in her own right. Irish Eyes is a terrific author too, she should write more often. Together they’ve made this story sizzle.


The Promise by Stein Willard

Countessa Phillipa Croft, (Phil) is renowned for never having sex with the same woman twice. It would take something short of a miracle to get her to change her ways.

Justine had been the recipient of Phil’s charms and ousted just like every other woman. She just can’t get Phil out of her mind. She’d taken to standing outside Phil’s house just to get a glimpse of her. Will Phil give Justine a second glance?

It’s Christmas Eve and it’s freezing, once again Justine is standing outside. What will Phil do? She can’t leave her outside. Is Phil warming towards Justine? No, it can’t be, Phil never beds the same woman twice. But there is always a first time for everything. Has Justine melted the ice around Phil’s heart?

A nicely written tale for the holiday season. The story had me hoping for a happy ending. Did it have one? You’ll have to read it to find out.


The Limelight by Liz Bradbury

Lieutenant Maggie Gale, from Fenchester Police is investigating a spate of thefts at Irwin College. Numerous electrical items have disappeared over a period of time. When Maggie interviews Professor Olivia Pearson, she feels an attraction towards her. Olivia invites Maggie to a poetry reading and Maggie is more than agreeable to the idea.

Maggie carries on her investigations but nothing is jumping out at her. She racks her brains to find an answer. When Maggie finally works out who the thief is, it’s quite a surprise. Add in another surprise when Olivia goes home with Maggie.

A well written story featuring Maggie Gale, one of my favorite characters. The story was well worked out and had a great twist.


Elvish by Nat Burns

Krista has sworn off women, she’s still nursing a broken heart. She’d moved down to Miami to be with her lover Molly. It had been one big mistake. Now she was sweltering in the vast heat listening to Elvis to keep her company.

Krista is currently working as an Elf in Craig’s Department Store. When a new Santa arrives, he asks Krista out. She of course refuses. But all is not as it seems. Can Krista possibly be attracted to Kennedy, the new Santa? Will Krista change her mind?

What happens next is certainly an eye opener in more ways than one.

A great seasonal tale with an unexpected outcome to it.


Santa’s Little Helper by Susan X Meagher

Chelsea is in a relationship with mild mannered Melanie. She isn’t exactly unhappy with Melanie, but she wants more than it seems Melanie is prepared to give. Should she stay with her even though the sex isn’t great? She’s already had one discussion with Melanie over her needs and nothing has changed. Other than this, Melanie is perfect.

Chelsea isn’t at all prepared for the Christmas present Melanie has for her. It appears that Melanie did listen to her all those months previously. What has Melanie got for Chelsea?

A lovely well written hot and steamy story to put some spice in to your festivities.


This is an excellent collection of short stories from a bunch of wonderful authors. Each and every story in this book is flawless. I loved them all. Every story is hot and steamy and based around the Christmas holiday season. Something to add a little spice to your Christmas cheer. I have to admit, in most anthologies there are one or two stories I’m not too keen on. Not so with this one. They are all excellent quality and I love them all. There is a nice variety too. Although all are x-rated, the actual stories are so vastly different. Unlike with some x-rated anthologies, the stories drew me in, they are not just sex and erotica, although there is more than enough of that to keep you happy.

Each of the authors has poured their heart and soul into their stories. The characters in all stories are multidimensional and loveable. In my opinion all these characters have the potential to appear again in either a full length book or another short story.

The other thing that I particularly like about this collection is they are all new. Written especially for this collection. No racking my brain to think where I’ve read a story before. You won’t get that in here.

If you only buy one anthology this Christmas, please make it this one. I highly recommend it and it will benefit an animal charity. This will be a new seasonal read for me. I’ll get it out each Christmas to kick off the festivities.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Short Snippets November Reads

Crossroads by Radclyffe

Obstetrician Dr Hollis Monroe deals mainly with high risk pregnancies. Her work is all consuming. The only relationships she has are with her patients on a strictly professional basis.

Annie Colfax, once one of Dr Monroe’s patients, has never quite forgiven her for the traumatic birth she suffered. When they meet again on a professional level, they are attracted to one another. But neither of them wants a relationship. What will it take to make them realize risks are sometimes worth taking?

A nice, easy, comfortable, well written read in the style of writing I know and love from Radclyffe. Lots of friends from previous books too. Her best book for a long time. Star rating 5/5


The Book Of Eleanor by Nat Burns

Grey Graham is carving out a new life for herself after the tragic death of her partner Mary. She opens up a Bookstore using Mary’s vast collection of books in South Padre Island. Unfortunately the place appears to be haunted. Grey thinks it’s Mary.

Local woman Angie June is a psychic, amongst other professions. Grey hires her to sort out her haunting problem. Angie is interested in having a relationship with Grey. But Grey is concerned mainly with the dead. Will Grey ever get over Mary’s death? Will Angie solve the problem of who is haunting the bookstore?

A Nice, well written haunting story with a simmering romance. Star rating 4/5


The Second Happiest Day by A.E Hammock

Attorney Kara Jenkins is lonely. Her life is great, but she needs someone to love. But Kara is hiding a huge secret.

Professor Madison Roberts meets Kara by chance in the park. It’s virtually love at first sight. Will Madison still feel the same when Kara’s secret is revealed?

First and foremost I have to say, this book in my personal opinion should not be sold as lesfic. So, if you are a true blue, die hard lesbian, you may want to give this one a miss. However, if you don’t mind constant mentions of the male anatomy, you could give the book a go. The story just was not for me or to my liking, although I did read it to the end. I can’t say more than that without putting in spoilers. The star rating is low because I feel the book was categorized wrongly and I wasted my money. Star rating 1/5.


Love In E Flat by Kate Sweeney

Sports writer, Louisa Preston, (Lou) writes for the Chicago Sentinel. She loves her job and is their best writer. But......she is alone.

Famous Russian cellist, Agata Karetniko, is currently performing in Chicago.

When Lou and Agata meet, it isn’t exactly love at first sight, far from it. But that soon changes.

Agata is guardian to orphaned siblings, Ana and Dmitry Maslov.
Add all this into the orchestra and you have Love in E Flat.

After a bit of a slow start, the story really picked up at a nice pace. This book is well written with the usual humor I’ve come to love and expect from a Kate Sweeney book. Star rating 4/5


Executive Disclosure by Isabella

Chad Morgan’s company has a new client. Frank Reynolds has hired them to keep his daughter Reagan safe. Chad’s first encounter with Reagan was when she returned unexpectedly to her home while Chad was searching it. Things did not go too well.

Reagan Reynolds is determined to take over as CEO of Reynolds Holdings on her Father’s retirement. She knows she has to win the support of the majority of the board members. What she doesn’t know and hasn’t bargained for is receiving death threats.

After Chad and Reagan’s first encounter, Reagan is not too happy to find that Chad will be accompanying her on her business trip to De Moines to meet up with some of the board members.

An incident at the airport involving Reagan, results in Chad increasing security around her. The two women eventually come to an understanding of sorts. Chad finds herself becoming attracted to Reagan and it appears the feeling is mutual. But Chad is determined not to mix business with pleasure. Nothing good can ever come of it. Will Chad give in to her desires?

When Reagan begins to receive more death threats, Chad is becoming extremely frustrated in not being able to track down the source. Will she find the perpetrator before he or she finally succeeds in killing Reagan?

This book is a nice fast paced thriller/intrigue. The two main characters, Chad and Reagan are well formed and interact well together with the rest of the cast of players. Each character serves well in progressing the story forward. The story is exciting, the sex is hot.

This story isn’t like any of Isabella’s other books. It has so many twists and turns, a veritable roller coaster ride. It’s a quick and easy read, not one to start late at night. I couldn’t put it down.

I don’t want to add any spoilers in here, so suffice it to say, I was surprised and quite shocked by the ending of this book. For me, the ending was a little abrupt and a bit of an anti-climax. But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, I did.

Listen To Her Heart by Trin Denise

Best selling lesbian fiction author, forty four year old Yalen Martinez, is ex CIA. She has fans all over the world. She’s single and has been since her long term relationship broke up two years previously.

Yalen’s best friends have been trying to fix her up with blind dates. She just isn’t interested in the types of women her friends find for her. She decides to use a dating website to find her ideal woman. When Yalen meets Emily, she thinks she may just have found a woman she wants to get to know better. She begins to have feelings for her. When Yalen discovers she’s been the victim of an online dating scam, she’s devastated, then the hurt turns to anger. She’s so angry that she will stop at nothing to track Emily down.

First of all, Yalen needs to find who the woman is in the photo Emily provided. She quickly finds out that the photo is that of twenty nine year old Briana Latham, an ex Victoria’s Secret model. It doesn’t take much to find Briana’s address in Tennessee. Yalen books a flight having no clue as to what she is going to say to Briana. She only hopes Briana doesn’t see her as some sort of maniac.

Yalen needn’t have worried, when the two women meet, there is an immediate attraction, which Yalen won’t take any further due to the age difference between them.

When Yalen finds a connection between Briana and Emily, she is even more determined to solve the online dating scam. Together Yalen and Briana set off for London, England

It’s in England that Yalen and Briana discover that things are far worse than a dating scam. Their lives are in danger when they find themselves embroiled in the dealings of an international, multi million dollar Russian mafia syndicate, involving human sex trafficking, computer viruses, treason, as well as the online dating scam. Murder and mayhem are an everyday occurrence. Amongst all these things emerges a true love that cannot be shaken.

This book is an edge of the seat page turner from start to finish. There is so much crammed in to it, it’s hard to categorize. There is adventure, action, crime, mystery, intrigue, suspense, it’s a thriller and a romance too.

The story begins in the USA and carries on in England. Trin Denise has done a humongous amount of research for this book. It really shows through. As well as being a jolly good read, I’ve also learned a lot too.

Although this book is a work of fiction, a lot of it is based on real events. Trin has also fearlessly used real names here too. I say fearlessly, because I personally wouldn’t have to courage to name any one having anything to do with the Russian mafia.

We follow Yalen and Briana’s encounters with the Russian mafia, MI5, MI6, Scotland Yard, CIA, FBI and other agencies in this fast paced book. The characters are all multidimensional, they interact well together and are all essential in the progression of the story. The good characters, I loved, the bad ones, I hated. The story was so intense at times, I think my blood pressure must have risen considerably. There are so many ups and downs and twists and turns in this book, I never knew what was going to happen next. It’s not at all predictable.

If you are looking for a book that will engage you and thrill you, with a red hot romance at it’s heart, this will fit the bill. warned, do not start this at bedtime. I couldn’t put this down once I started it.

This is on my re-read pile. I feel a second reading will enhance the story for me as there will be no pressure to find out how the book ended.

After Mrs Hamilton by Clare Ashton

Clo’s life isn’t particularly happy. She’s an escort for older women. She also works at a patisserie part time to prevent her clandestine prostitution work being discovered. Clo hasn’t had a relationship with a woman in over ten years. She doesn’t feel she deserves one either. Not after the way her last relationship ended. What secret from the past is Clo hiding?

Where does Mrs Hamilton come in? No spoilers here, but life will never be the same for one of the characters after Mrs Hamilton.

Laura is unhappily married to Josh. Josh was her best friend from Oxford University. She married him despite both of them knowing she preferred women. She’s also looking for her birth parents, the parents she’d never met.

When Laura meets Susan, a friend of Clo’s, she’s instantly attracted to her. The feeling is mutual. But, the past has a habit of sneaking up in to the present. What secrets are about to surface?

This is Clare Ashton’s second book. Her first book, Pennance, was a wonderfully well written page turner. I wondered how she was possibly going to top it. I needn’t have been concerned at all. She’s managed it admirably, she’s not only topped it, but as good as Pennance is, this book is even better.

After Mrs Hamilton is an extremely well written, fast paced story of love, family secrets, obsession, devastation, betrayal, cowardice and friendship.

The story begins with Clo, a woman betrayed by her family and made to feel worthless, and her friendship with Laura. Laura is an intelligent woman, a doctor, she’s desperately unhappy in her marriage and longs to find her natural family. As the story progresses and more characters are introduced, it becomes apparent that each character is unaware of parts they are playing in relation to the other characters. As more secrets are revealed, the plot really thickens and begins to simmer away until the story reaches boiling point and the truth is revealed.

The characters are well formed, lovable, real and multidimensional, they all play their parts as if honed to perfection. There is an underlying intrigue throughout the book, which is trying it’s best to get to the forefront. Little bits and pieces surface, but not enough to give us the whole picture, until almost the end. There are many twists and turns in this story and nothing is as it seems. Which makes for an exciting, nail biting read.

The scenic descriptions enabled me to get right into the middle of this group of friends, so much so, that I was fully immersed in the story and actually living it with the characters. Which of course, is part of the enjoyment for me of reading a good book.

There are romances here for the romance lover, one of which is a deliciously delightful May/December romance. A true pleasure to see it unfold slowly and tenderly.

The whole of this story is so cleverly and intricately woven together, it’s like a choreographed performance playing out. Clare Ashton certainly knows how to draw her readers in and keep them there.

At the end of the book when the truth has finally come out and all secrets, betrayals and devastations are revealed and the hurt they’ve caused, I was shocked, stunned in fact. So much pain caused to so many people. But the book is well balanced with a subtle touch of humor and lightened up with some love for good measure.

Quite simply, Clare Ashton has created a masterpiece. She has not shied away from difficult subjects and has written with a sympathy and understanding as is befitting a good author. Her storytelling is superb. I was hard pressed to put this book down once I’d started. In hind sight, I would have started it in the morning and read it in one sitting.

While I was reading this book, I could easily visualize the story on the screen. It would make a good film or a mini TV series. Set in London and the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, with the great characters and brilliant storyline, it would be my idea of a great lesbian film. Lets face it, there aren’t enough good films either.

These characters and this story will stay with me a long while. This is a definite re-read for me.

Devan's Story: Blue Hydrangeas by J.J Wallinford

Thirty six year old art teacher, Devan Scott has been unceremoniously dumped by the woman she thought was her happy ever after lover, Steph. She decides she needs a fresh start and to move from her home in Austin, Texas back to nearer to her roots. She eventually gets a job in Vancouver, Washington. Her one regret is leaving her older brother and his young family behind in Texas.

Devan finds herself a nice little place to live and with her new job in a local school, she’s set up. She decides she isn’t ready for anything heavy. She’s going to enjoy her new single status, go on a few dates, nothing serious. All these plans are going really well. That is until she meets Alex.

Devan is warned off Alex, warned that she’s a player, a heart breaker. Which of course is true. So Devan, forewarned, decides that Alex would make a great friend and nothing more. The only thing is, her heart is telling her something different.

After an accident to Alex’s sister, Cleo, Devan and Alex are pushed into taking the vacation together to Maui that had already been booked for Alex and Cleo. Their friendship begins to change. Will Devan fall in love and get her heart broken? Will Alex change her womanizing ways? Or will Devan be yet another notch on her bedpost?

This is the first book in the Vancouver series. As far as I can tell, it’s JJ Wallingford’s debut book. I have to say, I absolutely love it. I love the characters. The main character Devan starts off being this very unsure, somewhat shy person, virtually in the closet. It’s great to see how she meets up with new friends and gradually comes right out of her shell. Devan has no intentions of getting involved romantically with anyone after being dumped by her lover. But it really isn’t who she is. She is meant to be loved and in a relationship. She attracts women, but they all seem to be the same type as her ex, Steph. Until she meets Alex.

The change in Devan is almost immediate. It’s obvious to see that Devan and Alex will get together. What isn’t so obvious, is whether Devan will get hurt or not.

The characters are all well formed and easily interact with each other. It’s nice to see a group of friends getting on so well together.

This is a wonderful book, the dialogue flows and I simply couldn’t put it down. This is more than just another romance, these characters are so much like an everyday group of friends, that I’m still thinking about them two days after finishing the book. The story has it’s highs and lows. There are issues that JJ Wallingford has written about with a sympathy and understanding that takes the edge off the subject without playing it down. That’s as far as I can go without putting in any spoilers.

I can’t wait for the second book in this new and refreshing series. I’ll definitely re-read this book again.

All That Glitters by Ashley Quinn

The day Alexis Vlodosky moves into her new home in Coastal Breeze, Florida, is the day she meets Michelle Murphy. Michelle loses control of her battered skateboard and runs right into a pile of cardboard boxes. Eighth graders Alexis and Michelle become firm friends from that day onwards.

Alexis is the daughter of a Jewish father. They moved from New York City, New York to Florida to start afresh, after her lawyer father had business problems. Alexis has one younger brother, autistic Dougie.

Michelle is the only daughter of a single alcoholic, man eating, mother, Angela. The different men coming in and out of their home causes no end of trouble between mother and daughter. Angela professes to want the best for Michelle and pushes her way beyond her limits. It’s no wonder Michelle escapes to be with Alexis so much.

As Alexis and Michelle grow close, they begin to question the normality of their relationship. When the rumors start around school, Michelle disowns Alexis in favor of the ‘in’ crowd, breaking her heart in the process. Deep down Michelle knew she was in the wrong, but it didn’t stop her joining in with the rest of the bullies in making Alexis’s life a misery. Michelle lives for the day she can escape from Coastal Breeze.

Ten years later, Michelle has become a big name in the pop world. She’s on the verge of becoming a huge name. Michelle hasn’t returned to Coastal Breeze in quite sometime, then she gets a call, her mother has been injured in a car accident. She reluctantly returns.

Michelle is in a faux relationship with a closeted gay actor, Tyler. She is struggling with her own sexuality. It suits both of them to be together in name only. But both Michelle and Tyler are getting restless. They both want more out of life. How much longer will Michelle or Tyler allow the farce to go on?

When Michelle bumps into registrar Alexis Vlodosky at the hospital while visiting her mother, the memories that have been simmering away in both women for ten years surface and erupt. They spend one night together and realize they love each other more than ever. But what will Michelle do? She has to make a decision. If she listens to her agent, she will end up right back in the closet. Will Michelle break Alexis’s heart yet again?

This is Ashley Quinn’s debut book. I would never have known from her excellent writing. The lay out, editing, dialogue, scenic descriptions, are really well done. The main characters are multi layered, they interact well with the lesser characters and each plays hers or his part to perfection and is essential in progressing the story forward. I love these characters, it was so easy to feel they were personal friends and just lose myself amongst them.

The story covers a lot of ground. School, teenage years, bullying, first love, finding ones sexuality, coming out, everyday life, the pop world, drug abuse, forgiveness and lots of other things that make this book a veritable page turner from the first page right the way through to the last.

The story begins with Alexis and Michelle’s first meeting and goes between the past and the present throughout the rest of the book. It’s easy to keep up with the story though. Easy to see also, that all that glitters isn’t gold.

I am eagerly looking forward to reading more from Ashley Quinn. Her debut book says to me, that she has the ability to go far with her writing in the lesfic

When The River Flows Out Of Its Bed by Gaelle Cathy

Nineteen year old Eliza Carlisle has just returned to Lorien, USA from the UK, where she had been banished in the hope of keeping her away from drugs and her destructive lifestyle. Eliza is the only child of a rich business man, Tim and his wife Helena. Eliza had been in all sorts of trouble and now has to repeat a final year at school in order to graduate.

Sixteen year old Julia Waters lives out at Riverside, a state run home for difficult children. Both of Julia’s parents are dead. Julia is a loner, shy and timid. She really doesn’t belong in a place like Riverside. She has no friends, until she meets Eliza.

When Eliza first meets Julia, she’s immediately drawn to her. Eliza has had her share of women, but there is something different about Julia. It’s not about sex. Julia brings out the protective side in Eliza. She goes out of her way to find out all she can about her.

When Eliza hears the story about Julia murdering her father, she uses her friends and resources to find out more. It quickly becomes apparent that Julia is innocent, there is proof. But something is not right. Something is being covered up. Something that is tied up with top officials, including the Mayor of the county. Eliza is determined to leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of what is happening, therefore freeing Julia of her guilt and inhibitions. But this isn’t going to be easy and Eliza hits a brick wall whichever way she turns.

As time passes, Eliza falls deeply in love with Julia and her feelings are reciprocated. Even Eliza’s mother, Helena, approves of their friendship. But there are some who will stop at nothing to tear them apart.

Will Eliza be able to solve the mystery surrounding Julia? Or will she be putting their lives and the lives of her friends in danger?

This is Gaelle Cathy’s debut book. The book is nicely written and has an underlying mystery running through it and lots of twists and turns, making it a fast paced page turner.

The two main characters, Eliza and Julia, are both multidimensional and have a wealth of lesser characters, friends, family and enemies integrating with them and progressing the story forwards all the way through.

Eliza is the strongest of the two main characters. We read of how she evolves from a drug taking troublesome teen, into a caring, hard working and tender, but feisty young woman. We also read of how Julia the weaker character, slowly comes out of her shell with Eliza’s guidance. It’s lovely to see her gradually begin to smile and become comfortable around people and to gain confidence in herself.

Julia is a confused teenager, she has no idea of what she wants, or really who she is. Eliza never pushes Julia, but gently encourages her to be her own person. She shows her she is worthwhile and loveable. Julia meanwhile, is instrumental in helping Eliza to keep up with her studies and away from drugs. So, they both help and compliment each other.

When Eliza and Julia eventually do get together and make love, it is totally mutual, no question of Julia being forced into anything she doesn’t want. I just wanted to make that clear in case anyone thinks that sixteen is too young and Julia had been unduly influenced. There is a slow burning, intense, beautiful romance and tender love between Eliza and Julia. The book is worth reading for this alone.

The one criticism I have of this book, is the way Eliza’s thoughts are written interspersed throughout the book. There is lots of information in them, so the information has to get there somehow, but I feel it should have been integrated into the story differently, which would have made the story less choppy and a much smoother read. There were a few typos, but the price is ridiculously cheap and the book is lengthy, so it’s easy to forgive them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking out for anything Gaelle Cathy writes in the future.

The Assassin's Bargain by B.L Newport

Phaedra Humphrey is an Intimate assassin. After twenty years of doing the job, she’s become disillusioned and decides to retire. But simply walking away from the job, is not an option. Phaedra makes a bargain with her boss, Joy Oh, but will Joy uphold the bargain?

Joy has been in love with Phaedra for years and has tried every trick in the book to seduce her and not succeeded. She is going to try one last time before Phaedra walks out of her life forever, if she lets her walk out!

Phaedra’s bargain with Joy is to train her replacement, Petra Brighton, in return for being able to walk away from Professional Personnel Services (PPS) and to retire with no strings attached. What Phaedra and Joy couldn’t predict, is that Phaedra and Petra would fall in love with one another. This creates a huge problem and could ultimately result in both women getting killed.

When Joy suspects Phaedra and Petra of being intimate, she takes out a contract to kill Phaedra using the one person who she suspects will not be able to carry out the task. Will Phaedra escape death?

Phaedra has to learn to put her trust in others, but will she be able to after years of trusting no one but herself? Will she be able to remain in control enough to protect herself and the woman she loves more than her own life?

A wonderful, well written, refreshingly new story unlike anything I’ve read before. I love B.L Newport’s Reapers Inc series and I wondered how I would like something entirely different. I needn’t have worried, this book is equally as good as all her others. This story is a page turner from the first page right through to the last page. B.L Newport’s storytelling is varied and diverse. Her writing is an easy and comfortable read. All the characters are fully formed, well fleshed out and multidimensional. Each character is essential to the progression of the story and they all interact really well together.

The story starts off by telling us the background of how PPS was formed and who started the company up. So often these things are left to our imagination in books. We see how each character fits into the story and the part they play.

Phaedra and Petra are so obviously made for each other and meant to be together. Both women fight their attraction in the knowledge that they can never have a relationship. I enjoyed seeing the path they took to fulfil their dreams.

As well as the tension and excitement of the story, there are a few nice hot romantic scenes to lighten it up. The scenic descriptions were so good, I could easily immerse myself in the story and imagine I was there amongst the characters as the story played out.

I would love to see a sequel or even a short story to let us know how everything turned out with Phaedra’s retirement from the PPS and how she coped with life after being an assassin for so long.

With each book I read from B.L Newport, I can see her growth as a writer shining through. That’s not to say her earlier books are not good, they are wonderful. She is a master storyteller. A credit to her craft.

I’m looking forward to B.L Newport’s next book with eager anticipation. Hopefully, another in the Reapers Inc series. But really, after this book, simply ANY book will be welcome.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Taming The Wolff by Del Robertson

Notorious pirate Captain Kris Wolff is not what he seems. In actual fact, he is a woman. Not many people know this, least of all her crew. They would kill her for sure, they would never take orders from a woman.

When Kris and her crew abduct the DeVale’s, a noble born mother and her two daughters, she has no way of knowing she would fall head over heels in love with one of the daughter’s, the beautiful and alluring Lady Alexis DeVale. Alexis is engaged to be married to a Spanish nobleman, the result of a treaty agreement between Spain and England. But Alexis is falling in love with Kris. However, when Alexis discovers Kris’s secret, she’s upset and disgusted. No matter how disgusted Alexis thinks she is and should be, she can’t resist the seductive charm of the pirate captain. Will Alexis let her heart rule her head and go with her feelings?

Alexis is torn between her feelings for Kris and her loyalty to her family and her country. She betrays Kris and eventually her sister escapes and shortly afterwards her mother. Alexis has her chance to escape, but stays with Kris when she is injured.

It’s not long after this that Kris and Alexis realize they have a traitor in their midst, one of Kris’s own crew. Who is it? Will they discover who the culprit is in time to prevent their position being given away? Worse still, the traitor is in cahoots with Captain Jackson, the captain of the ship the DeVale’s were abducted from. He will stop at nothing to get his revenge and to destroy Kris and her crew. Will he succeed?

This book was published a while ago with a different publisher. It’s been completely re-edited. I am so pleased to see that it has become available again. This is a terrific, well written, swashbuckling pirate adventure, with a sizzling romance just for good measure. Although I read the first version of this book a few years ago, I was still unable to put the book down until I’d finished it. The story is fast paced and a page turner. The characters are multidimensional and they all interact well together. Although pirates are portrayed as vicious and notorious and Kris Wolff is certainly no different, there is a loveable and tender streak in her, that I couldn’t help but like.

The story is basically a pirate adventure with lots of blood thirsty battles. But smoldering away is an intense passion just waiting to erupt. Kris is obviously smitten with Alexis, but even though Alexis was disturbed to find out Kris was a woman, when she has her chance to escape, she doesn’t. She’s torn between Kris and her duty to her country. Plus she can’t imagine life with a pirate captain. She wants some sort of stability. Will she be able to tame the Wolff though?

From the scenic descriptions, I could lose myself totally in the story, to the point of being oblivious to all my surroundings. This book is one that I couldn’t wait to finish to find out the outcome, yet I was extremely sorry that it ended. I wanted more. Del Robertson writes like a well seasoned author. It’s been a while since the first edition of this book was published. I only hope we will see more from Del in the very near future.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Jacob's War by C.P Rowlands

RTF Special Agent Allison Jacob, (AJ) is on a special assignment. She’s heading up a task force to bring the leaders down of a drug running racket in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her team is working side by side with the Milwaukee Special Crimes Unit. Unfortunately, the investigation has ground to a halt.

Attractive small business owner, Katie Blackburn, gets a terrible shock when she finds a woman covered in blood and unconscious in her car. When Katie goes to the police station to be interviewed, she meets AJ for the first time. AJ has no way of knowing that Katie unknowingly will give her the key to solving her case.

AJ is quite smitten with Katie. But she’s been badly hurt before. Even if AJ is willing to risk a broken heart, she knows she can’t risk Katie getting hurt. Her job is too risky, drugs, murder and mayhem are not exactly conducive to the well being of any relationship. Katie herself has issues from a previous relationship that had gone beyond sour. Will either women consider taking a chance on love again?

Jacob’s War is the long awaited third book from C.P Rowlands. Each book is entirely different in content. Here we have a well written, exciting adventure with a nice tender romance simmering away just for good measure.

Both main characters, AJ and Katie, are well formed and multidimensional. They have a lot in common, which could give them a solid foundation for taking a chance with one another. Katie’s father had been a policeman, which means that Katie knows the score where AJ’s job is concerned. But it could also be a reason she may not want to take a chance with AJ knowing the toll her father’s job took on her parent’s relationship. They have a strong circle of friends and colleagues that play an equally important part in progressing the story forward at a brisk, but not too fast, pace. The story twists and turns and veers off in different directions throughout making it the page turner it is.

The plot is intricately woven with the romance blossoming through with just the right balance, with a touch of humor added in, bringing a bit of light heartedness to a compelling story. In fact, when I was sitting thinking of how to describe this book, the thought flashed through my mind that it was like having a jigsaw puzzle, all the pieces were there to be found. It was certainly intriguing following the team as they came across the pieces and slotted them together.

C.P Rowlands has done a tremendous amount of research and it shows. I’m no authority on police procedural matters or drugs. But the story reads as both logical and authentic to me.

I started this book late at night. That was a big mistake. I was up half the night because I couldn’t put it down. I would advise starting this book early and allowing the time to savor it.

This is a definite re-read. I have heard of the possibility of a sequel. It can’t be published too soon.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Short Snippets October Reads

One Touch by L.T Marie

Best selling author, Jaime Rivers, is persuaded by her friend Darlene into taking a ten year high school reunion cruise. Jaime is reluctant to go. Her high school days weren’t that great. When Jaime meets up with her ex best friend Sierra Connor, Jaime is hard pressed to keep her feelings to herself.

Sierra didn’t want to attend the reunion either. She had feelings for Jaime way back in high school, but at the time, pushed Jaime away. One touch all those years ago is still vivid in both women’s minds. What will happen between them now?

An enjoyable romance, short and easy to read. Okay to fill a couple of hours. Star rating 4/5


Love Match by Ali Vali

Parker King (Kong) is a top women’s tennis player. She’s also known for having her pick of women and being a womanizer. Parker is in training, she’s going after a title she’s never won before. She returns home to Alabama to train and get away from a threat on her life by people calling themselves the Soldiers of God. They don’t like her depraved lifestyle.

Captain Sydney Parish is an airline pilot. Her personal life hasn’t been going too well. She’s just getting out of a two year relationship from a woman who had cheated on her. She heads off for a vacation and finds herself being Parker’s neighbour. Having already had a run in with Parker, Sydney is apprehensive. Both women feel the pull of attraction. Will Sydney put aside her apprehension and give Parker a chance? Will the Soldiers of God carry out their threats to kill Parker?

A well written romance set amid the glitz of the tennis superstar world. A nice thrilling read. Star rating 4/5


10 Quick and Easy Salads + 2 More by Karin Kallmaker

10 Quick and Easy Salads

Cindy decides the way to get into her neighbor Jaycee’s bed is through cooking. But she can’t cook. Will salads do the trick?
A nice romantic short story.

Especial De La Casa

A woman thinks she’s going on a date, but it ends up being a business dinner. All she wants to do is to be with Lindy. Is it too much to ask? So she amuses herself people watching.
Hopeful romance.

Last Call

Rikki has six months sobriety, she is in love with the bar tender though. She has to choose between remaining sober or going to the bar each night and mooning after Nebraska. Which will she choose?
Romantic choices.

Three really short stories. Enjoyable, but way over priced. Star rating 3/5


Tales For The Holidays by Kate Sweeney

Come Away

Caoilainn Dempsey left the love of her life in Ireland. When she returns, she finds not only her old lover, but death and a banshee.
A lively terrifying Halloween story.

A Healing Time

Chris Hennessey and her lover, Lydia Spencer take a trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving to see Chris’s Aunt Jess. Chris hasn’t seen her aunt for years. The weekend throws up lots of old hurts and emotions. All three women face their pasts and look to the future. A future filled with love.
A nice warm Thanksgiving story.

The Gift

Rose Quinn is hiding away in her cabin in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. She is trying to come to terms with the loss of her lover. No Christmas festivities for her. When Emily Masters gets lost on the mountain and comes cascading in to her life, Rose lets her defences down. Emily is seeking a new life for herself. Will she find it with Rose, more to the point, will Rose let her?
A tale of romance that left me with a feeling that sometimes things happen that are more than a coincidence.

Three really nicely written stories for the festive seasons. Star rating 5/5


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Man Eaters by Linda Kay Silva

It was just another ordinary day when Dallas set off on her Harley for the city. Dallas had no way of knowing her life was about to change forever.

It happened on Bay Bridge, that’s when Dallas first encountered the man eaters. Of course, she didn’t know what they were then or what was happening. It’s also where she met a young gamer, Einstein and a cowgirl, Roper. Together these three set off to save themselves and others from the man eaters.

As the USA comes under martial law, Dallas, Roper and Einstein learn that it’s not only the man eaters they have to fear, but the military, who instead of protecting them, are hell bent on enforcing a containment program. They also have to fight off outlaw survivors, who will stop at nothing to disarm them and take their meagre supplies.

The whole situation has been playing out like a video game so far. This is where Einstein’s gaming knowledge comes in and helps to keep them safe.

Along the way they meet up with other survivors, some who can be trusted, some who can’t. Among the trusted is Butcher, she’s ex military and a medic. Their sole survival depends on their judgement of who they can and can’t trust. Mistakes are made along the way that cost them dearly.

Together this small chosen family comes to the conclusion that this plague is man made. The only way they are going to beat all the odds is to stay together, trust each other and fight to live.

This book is an absolute page turner from start to finish. An extremely well written, bloodthirsty, emotional, gut churning adventure of a fight for the very existence of mankind that had me feverishly turning the pages to find out what happened next.

Although Dallas is the main character, the rest of the group, Roper, Einstein and Butcher play almost as a large parts. All characters interact and mesh well together considering their vastly different back grounds pre plague. They work well as a team even when disagreements take place, which it’s inevitable they will.

This is far more than a run of the mill horror/zombie story. In fact, it has very real implications when you consider the way nuclear, biological and chemical warfare has developed over the years. Not that I’m saying we will have a plague of zombies, but it’s a very real fact we could quite easily have a plague of some other sort. Who knows what governments and terrorists hoard that may well cause chaos?

I enjoyed this book immensely and I am now chomping at the bit for the sequel. I haven’t exactly been blessed with patience, so sooner rather than later would be good. This will go on my re-read pile and I’ll read it again before the sequel, just to ensure I haven’t missed any juicy bits.

The Blondness Of Honey by T.T. Thomas

Laura Hastings is in love. In love with Catherine Chadwick. Catherine however, is almost engaged to Augur Lazenby. When Augur turns up unexpectedly at Laura’s home to collect Catherine, Laura can’t bear the pain of it and flees from her home. When Laura next encounters Catherine, she can’t help but notice she’s pregnant. Catherine must have married Augur. Laura is even more heartbroken if that’s possible and realizes she must get on with her life, she has to move on. Catherine will never be hers. Laura sets off on a tour of Europe and enjoys the company of more than one female lover in an attempt to forget Catherine.

When Laura meets Rachel Delacourt on her return home, she thinks she has found a new love, a love to replace Catherine. But will Rachel be the love of Laura’s life when she still thinks so much about Catherine? Only time will tell. Time that Laura and Rachel may not have when their illicit love is discovered.

This is an extremely well written, delightful, delectable, decadent and delicious historical romance. The book is set mainly in and around the San Francisco Bay area. A place close to my heart. The scenic descriptions are so vivid and real, I could picture myself being there. The beauty of the area hasn’t changed at all with the passing of time.

The characters are wonderful and multidimensional, so easy to get to know and to love. Each character plays an important part in progressing the story forward. The story has lots of little twists and turns, just when I thought it was going one way, it veered off in a totally different direction. I was on the edge the whole time, hoping against hope that Laura would find someone to love, someone who would love her back, even if that someone was not her true love, Catherine. She deserved to be happy. The path Laura took in the course of finding her way to her true love is nothing less than a wild and spectacular adventure.

T.T Thomas has put an enormous amount of research into this book, it shines through. I love history and to read of such things as the financial crash of the eighteen nineties and The Columbian Exposition in Chicago are a sheer pleasure. History and a lesbian romance, a combination of the best of both worlds for me.

At the very heart of this book is the unbreakable love between Laura and Catherine. Even as others have torn them apart, their unshakeable love will never die. They are true soul mates. Whether they will find their way back to each other..........well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is riveting from the start to the finish. Even though this is a lengthy book, it still wasn’t long enough for me. I wanted more, much more. I would love to read more about these characters, maybe a sequel or even a few short stories. See, there I go, I can’t be satisfied with one story! Pure and unadulterated greed for more from the brilliant muse of T.T Thomas. This is a definite keeper, a re-read.

Almost Heaven by Susan X Meagher

Cody Keaton lives in a dilapidated trailer up in the mountains in Ramp, West Virginia. She lives from day to day and hand to mouth, barely eking out a living and she’s usually stony broke. She’s basically happy and doesn’t believe happiness can be bought. When Cody is given a lottery ticket after returning a lost one dollar bill, the last thing she expects is to win big time. When she does, she’s so shocked, she wonders if she should just throw the ticket away rather than complicate her life with the millions she’s won. When she calms down and has seriously thought it through, she collects her winnings and decides to spend it sparingly. Just for essentials and the extra security having money can bring.

Cody’s large extended family of aunts, uncles cousins and various offspring, don’t agree with her and have other ideas. Soon the requests and demands come piling in. Houses, cars, cash, clothing and all manners of things the family feel they have to have. They all see it as their god given right to share Cody’s winnings.

Bank manager, Maddie Osborne, can see that Cody is going to be in deep trouble if she doesn’t sort out her finances quickly. Cody has never had cause to be in a bank, let alone to know anything about handling vast sums of money or investments. Maddie takes it upon herself to try to advise her newest, richest, shy customer. She’s going to have her work cut out trying to protect the vulnerable Cody from people who have designs on her money. Even Cody’s family have to be stopped somehow.

Amidst all this, Maddie finds herself falling in love with Cody. But Cody is a customer and it wouldn’t be ethical. Cody has feelings for Maddie too. But she can’t allow herself to fall in love with a woman who’s ambition is to move to a bigger city and to climb the career ladder. Anyway, Cody asks herself what Maddie would see in a hillbilly like herself. Even if they did decide to take a chance on love, Maddie wouldn’t be happy in Ramp and Cody couldn’t possibly be happy in a big city. Will there be a chance one or the other of them can change or will they have to go their own separate ways?

Quite simply put, I love this book. It’s one of the best Susan Meagher has written. I’ve loved some of Susan’s other books, among them Arbor Vitae and All That Matters, this is up there on a par with these two favorites of mine.

The story is well written, tender, passionate, humorous and the book had me riveted from the first page right through to the last page. Even though this book is fairly long, I still didn’t have enough.

I love both main characters. Cody is so vulnerable and lovable, she’s had everything so hard throughout her life, it was great to see her blossoming with her good fortune. Maddie is a high flyer, managing a small bank in a small town. She wants more. But when she starts helping out Cody, she discovers a love for the great outdoors. Together Cody and Maddie begin to learn more about how each other lives.

When Cody decides to come out to her family, she isn’t really telling them anything they didn’t already know. Although they are not too happy, they don’t get on her back too much either. Eventually they come to accept that Cody has her own life to lead and if she happens to want a woman, that’s fine with them.

The scenic descriptions were vivid and colorful. I could easily visualize myself being there up in the mountains, hunting, or fishing or in the bank with Maddie. The whole book was a delight to immerse myself in.

I like the way the story left nothing and no stone unturned. Everything was explained and shown in a descriptive way rather than being told with cold hard facts.

It’s nice to see the way Cody gradually comes out of her shell, how she becomes more confident and begins to learn to trust people. I liked seeing how Maddie slowly changed too and how she began to realize that material things really didn’t matter when she had nature all around her.

I’m not sure if there is a moral to this story, but I’ve personally taken a lot from this book. The main thing being, that money is nice to have, but it really can’t buy everything, love and happiness included.

I’m putting this in my re-read pile. I will definitely be reading it again very soon.

Sullivan's Trace by Ali Spooner

Micah Sullivan, (Sully), is running the family horse business after the death of her father. Unfortunately, Sully’s lover, Alisa, Can’t bear the isolation, so she up’s and leaves Sully. Sully is left with a lack of faith in relationships and people.

Veterinarian Bryn Barton, is a childhood friend of Sully’s. She hasn’t seen her for many years. Bryn has returned to take over her grandfather’s veterinary practice as he is due to retire. Bryn had had a crush on Sully when she was a girl. Even just thinking of her now gives Bryn a nice glow.

When Sully and Bryn meet again, Bryn knows her feelings haven’t changed. But Sully is wary of love. When one of Sully’s prize foals is attacked by wild dogs, Bryn and Sully are thrown together in a desperate attempt to save the foals life. Strong feelings develop between the two women. Then another tragedy strikes. Will this bring Sully and Bryn closer? Or will it tear them apart?

This is a beautiful heartfelt story with a lovely romance and it’s set among the world of horses. Whether you like horses or not, the story is well worth reading. It’s not all about horses and nothing else. There is a lot about family relationships and family ties. Ali Spooner writes with a sympathy and understanding of personal trauma.

The two main characters, Sully and Bryn are multidimensional and interact so well together, it’s like a synchronized dance. They are fully supported by a terrific cast of lovable characters that enhance and progress the story along at a nice pace. Also central to the story is Sully’s niece, Kendal. Kendal is five years old, going on fifteen, she’s wise beyond her years and a delight to read about.

All too soon, this book ended. There are a few loose ends and the story ended rather abruptly, like there are some chapters missing. I’m hoping this is because we are going to see a sequel. I love the characters and the settings of this book and I haven’t read anywhere near enough about them. I want more please and soon.

There are a few typos throughout the book. Nothing that pulled me out of the story though. For the very reasonable price I paid, I can easily look past them. Top marks for another delightful read.

Something So Grand by Lynn Galli

Vivian Yeats is a highly successful designer, in Aspen. Her clients are almost all rich and some are famous. She’s been hoping against hope that she will find someone to love for a long time. Her career takes up most of her time though. Is Vivian destined to be alone for ever?

Natalie Harper works hard and long hours in her construction job. She’s not in a relationship and hasn’t really been looking for one. That is, until she meets Vivian. Natalie is smitten by her. But she won’t do anything to jeopardize their working relationship. Vivian and Natalie become really good friends. Each harboring the desire for the other. What will it take to bring them both together romantically?

Quite simply put, I love Lynn Galli’s writing and I love this book.

As with the rest of Lynn’s books, I found the characters here multidimensional, lovable and so easy to get to know. The scenery is so well described, I could lose myself in the story completely.

It was lovely to see friends from Mending Defects, including Vivian. Although this book is a standalone, I would strongly advise reading Mending Defects first. It’s always nice to meet the characters from the beginning, but not essential.

This book is a bit on the short side, but there is a lot packed in to it. Family issues, relationships, business problems, all written in a seamless dialogue. Last but by no means least, there is a slow burning romance that radiates love from the pages.

If you want a nicely written page turning romance to curl up with on a cold winter night, or even a beach read, give this one a try. The only complaint I have with this book, is...... I wanted more, much, much more. But, I guess I’m going to have to wait and hope there will be a third book in the ‘Aspen’ series. Bring it on!

Changing Shape by Kathleen Wheeler

Elizabeth Thornton is an only child. It’s always been just her and her mom, Patty. Elizabeth has worked hard and is now at the top of her game. She has almost all she wants in life, a town house in Boston, her prestigious career, what more could she want? Nothing material, but the one thing she doesn’t have is love.

When Elizabeth’s mother Patty is suddenly diagnosed with cancer, Elizabeth immediately returns home to Colorado to care for her.

Hailey Jenson is a newcomer to Colorado. Hailey and Patty soon become fast friends. Patty is like a second mom to Hailey. When Patty becomes ill, Hailey is distraught. It brings back all the emotional turmoil into her life she’s carefully hidden. Hailey has been through the devastation cancer brings for a loved one and their family before.

When Hailey and Elizabeth meet, there is a definite attraction between them. But neither woman is prepared to take a chance of something more. What will it take to make them realize life is too short to turn away love?

This story got off to a really slow start. I was beginning to wonder if anything was going to actually happen. However, it did pick up all of a sudden. I don’t want to put in any spoilers, but one particular part of the story didn’t quite mesh. Elizabeth made a phone call after finding out her mom was in hospital. Instead of speaking to the person on the other end, she asked her to hold, while she gave out numerous instructions to her assistant. I would have thought her mom would have been first and foremost in her mind.

The other thing I did not like at all was an explicit hetero sex scene. I don’t spend money to read that in a lesfic book. By all means allude to it if it is an integral part of the story, but for me, it is a major turn off.

After the distaste of that, I found it difficult to get back into the book again, especially as the two characters were intending to hook up again. But I persevered.

The emotional and heart rending story of Patty’s cancer and the way in which Elizabeth and Hailey handle it, was told with a sympathy and understanding that I have to give top marks for. Kathleen Wheeler certainly knows how to get across the highs and lows of the emotions that this devastating disease brings on.

The book on the whole was reasonably good. It is not all filled with doom and gloom. There is a humor throughout, as well as some hot lesbian sex scenes.

There were a few typos and editing issues and overall, I think the book is way over priced.

Also Known As DNA By Kelli Jae Baeli

Jobeth O’Brien and her partner, Phoebe McMasters, are enjoying a peaceful life together on Manor Lane in Colorado after moving from Oklahoma. Jobeth has her P.I License and has her own agency, AKA Investigations. Their new start together is suddenly interrupted by ghosts from the past.

First of all, Jobeth’s estranged sister Izzy turns up out of the blue. At first Jobeth and Izzy don’t appear to get on too well together. But as they get to know one another, that changes. Izzy turns out to be more like Jobeth than either of them thought.

Phoebe’s past comes back to haunt her. In fact, it causes heartbreak for both Phoebe and Jobeth in a big way.

Ginger, Jobeth and Phoebe’s detective friend, has moved to Colorado with them and occupies the cottage behind their house. Ginger is looking for love. Will she find it? Ginger and Izzy appear to get on well together. But Izzy is a lot younger than Ginger and she’s not into relationships. Will Ginger get her heart broken?

It will take the ingenuity of all four of these women to get rid of the ghosts from the past. But will they be able to keep themselves alive to outwit the deranged felons?

Even though the plot to this story stretched my imagination a bit, I actually thoroughly enjoyed the story.

I loved Jobeth, Phoebe and Ginger from Armchair Detective and to have them back again is a true pleasure. Izzy has joined the three other women and her character has fit right in with the others. They all interact so well together and play an essential part in furthering the story.

I don’t want to add any spoilers in here, but suffice it say that the story is a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns throughout. There are so many ups and downs, the book is a real page turner from start to finish.

There is a mixture of humor, gut wrenching terror and emotional heartbreak amongst the action and romance. If anything, this story is even better than the first one. Both books are standalone, but I would strongly advise reading Armchair Detective first. It gives more of the characters background. Plus you would be missing out on another good book if you don’t.

I’m hoping there will be another in this series soon.

Armchair Detective by Kelli Jae Baeli

Amateur unlicensed Private Detective, Jobeth O’Brien, is living on the breadline, she’s not even keeping her head above water. Her night time job delivering newspapers doesn’t even begin to pay the bills. She’s hiding a secret which prevents her from getting her private investigators license. The one thing she has to her name that she loves, is her 1962 Falcon.

Jobeth meets rich socialite, Phoebe McMasters while she’s delivering her newspapers. Jobeth is smitten. Unfortunately, Phoebe is married and straight, isn’t she? Apparently not! The back seat of the Falcon sees more action than it’s probably ever seen before.

During the course of Jobeth’s investigations into the prostitution and blackmail case she’s on, she finds herself being battered, shot at, bitten by a Pit Bull and many other injuries she hadn’t bargained for. She also makes a startling discovery which alters the course of her friendship with Phoebe.

Jobeth is fast falling in love with Phoebe. Will her feelings be reciprocated? Or will Phoebe reject her like everyone else has throughout her life?

Meanwhile, Jobeth has a case to solve. Will she have the experience to solve it? Will she even be able to keep herself from harm? Someone out there wants her dead and will stop at nothing to kill her.

I honestly don’t know what took me so long to discover Kelli Jae Baeli’s books. But now that I have, I’m totally hooked.

I love the two main characters in this book, Jobeth and Phoebe. They are both adorable, multidimensional characters and they interact wonderfully with the rest of the characters.

The story starts out a little bit hit and miss in that the plot is a bit haphazard, a touch unbelievable. But that’s only for a tiny part, it soon picks up until there are so many twists and turns and ups and downs, I didn’t know if I was on a rollercoaster ride or a merry-go-round.

The overall story is a well written and fast paced page turner from start to finish. A real edge of the seat read that I couldn’t put down. The romance is hot and steamy, but does not over shadow the private investigation story the book is about. In my opinion, the balance is perfect.

I already have book two in this series as these books have been out a while. Don’t let that stop you from giving this a try though. I’m going to be buying any lesfic book Kelli Jae Baeli writes from now on.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Buyer's Remorse by Lori L Lake

Thirty Three year old Police Sergeant, Leona Reese, (Leo), has been on the force for over ten years. She’s always been a crack shot, but not this time. She’s just failed her bi yearly shooting test due to a problem with her eyesight. Leo is shocked and dismayed. She’s even more astounded when she gets reassigned to a DHS department. Although it’s a three month temporary assignment until Leo gets her sight sorted out, she’s devastated.

When Leo reports to her new department for work, she is given a case where an elderly woman has been murdered at an assisted care residential accommodation. At first it seems as though the woman has been murdered by a would be burglar. It soon becomes apparent that something is off. It’s definitely not the simple case it first appeared to be. Will Leo’s investigative police experience enable her to solve the case before someone else becomes a victim?

There is far more to this book than the synopsis outlines.

Leo has a life partner, Daria. Both women are struggling with their own problems and their relationship has gone off key. Work issues and now health issues have taken a toll on their relationship. Leo certainly has her plate full, she has an important decision to make regarding her health and a killer to catch. She also needs time to spend with Daria to get their relationship back on track. Due to Daria’s work commitments, this won’t be easy. Every way Leo turns there is an obstacle. Will she ever get her life sorted out?

First and foremost, this is a mystery. Following a close second, we have the characters and their lives outside of the mystery. This book actually has two stories. The main story with the mystery and how it’s solved. The secondary story follows the deceased woman’s partner, Eleanor. Both stories are cleverly interwoven together and each is important in it’s own right. All the characters interacted well together, they are well formed and multidimensional. The story is fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat.

The murder mystery is solved right near the end of the book. I didn’t guess who the perpetrator was either. Always an added bonus.

The story concluded, but there are a number of things left in readiness for the sequel, which should be due out soon.

This book is a page turner, as I’ve come to expect from any book Lori Lake writes. A well written story, with likeable characters, an exciting believable plot and a comfortable easy read. I’m always confident when buying a Lori Lake book of an enjoyable read. Another to add to my pile of books to re-read