Friday, 27 January 2012

The Truck Comes On Thursday by Sue Hardesty

Loni Wagner returns home to her small Arizona home town from L.A after her grandmother has a stroke. Loni is still grieving after the death of her partner and love of her life Maria, who was shot in the line of duty. If Loni expected a quiet life after the hustle and bustle of being a cop in L.A, she was very much mistaken in her thoughts.

Highway Patroller, Loni sees plenty of action, including a suspicious plane crash, car accidents galore, rapes, murders, drug running and human trafficking from across the Mexican borders are just for starters.

Her homophobic racist Chief hates her, he gives her every horrible and menial job he can find. He is a sexist redneck pig and Loni despises him.

Loni has her own family problems too. Her Native American grandparents are suffering great losses at the hands of cattle rustlers. Losses they can ill afford. Will Loni be able to catch them?

While Loni is trying to move on from Maria’s death, she finds herself drawn to two women. But can Loni let the past go and move on?

Meanwhile there is a mystery to solve too. Will Loni be allowed to work on it? The Chief is against Loni, so are others. Will Loni win through?

This is an extremely well written book that is much more than ‘just another mystery’. Yes, there is a mystery Loni has to solve, with or with out the help of her fellow police officers. Some of whom she’s not sure she can trust. But this book also goes into the history of Loni’s ancestors, giving us a great look backwards into the past and bygone days in Arizona.

The story is set in present time Arizona with glimpses back into the past using writings given to Loni from her grandparents time. Loni is part Native American and is not always treated with respect by some of the white folks around her. The story tells us of how Loni copes with the racist remarks thrown her way. There is a glimpse into Loni’s school days also. It is always nice when I can get to know how the character got to where they are today.

I especially like the way Sue Hardesty has interwoven the stories of Loni’s grandparents in-between the present day goings on.

The characters are a pleasure to get to know, well, some of them are. Even the baddies are written so you dislike them immediately. They are written exactly as they should be.

The Arizona settings are magnificent. The heat radiated off the page. Even though it’s winter I began to feel hot.

So, if you are looking for a book that is as much history and regular police work as it is mystery, give this one a try. I don’t think it will disappoint you.

After The Night by Rachel Dax

Set In Berkshire, England in the 1960's

Chief Officer Jean MacFarlane works at Deepdown Women’s Prison. She is loved by the prisoners and most of the staff for her fairness and compassion. But Jean is hiding heartbreak. She has loved and lost her one true love.

Leah Webster has just joined the staff as a nurse in the prison hospital. Jean MacFarlane is the person that has to show her around. Within days, of Leah beginning her new job, all hell breaks loose. Jean and Leah find themselves involved in the near death by beating of a young prisoner, Amy Hodgkins, the murder of a much loved elderly prisoner and the homophobic beatings of other prisoners. To top everything, Leah begins to find herself falling in love with Jean. How can this be? Leah is straight and engaged to be married. In a panic Leah does something that will have an outcome on the rest of her life. But before the consequences of her actions become apparent, Leah finds herself more in love with Jean than with anyone else she has ever known. She doesn’t even know if Jean is a lesbian or even if she feels the same. Will Leah allow societies prejudices to stop her from finding out?

A thoroughly enjoyable fast paced read that kept me up most of the night. I simply could not stop turning the pages. The author covered some sensitive topics with sympathy and understanding. I loved the characters too. I had never heard of Rachel Dax until a friend recommended her book. I hope to read more from her soon.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

L As In Love Book Two by Ruth Gogoll

Warning Spoiler Alert. Read Book One Before Reading This Review.

This book continues where book one left off and is mainly focused on the lives of Carolin and Rebekka.

Carolin is still in her long distance relationship with Ina. But there are things about Ina that Carolin will find out when she takes an unexpected trip to Kassel to visit Ina. What will Carolin find? Will it be the end of their relationship?

Sabrina and Chris have separated. Sabrina is living with Anna. She is terribly unhappy. Will Sabrina stay with Anna or go back to Chris?

Rebekka can’t have the love she desires. She has an arrangement with Svenja. A friends with benefits arrangement. But is this enough? Svenja wants more, but certainly not out of love for Rebekka. Will Rebekka give in?

Rick helps Anita out after her affair with Marlene ends. They begin a mutual relationship even though neither of them loves the other. Rick is still carrying a torch for Melly. What will become of them?

Chris is still devastated by the end of her relationship with Sabrina. But how does Ina suddenly come in between Chris and Sabrina?

Melly’s sister, Silvia arrives on the scene to see Melly after a ten year absence. How does she know Marlene?

What happens when Anita and Anna meet again at a book fair?

Will Rebekka’s mother be successful in playing matchmaker between Carolin and Rebekka? What will happen when Carolin finds out the truth of who Rebekka really is?

These two books are a brilliant start to a promising new series. Book one doesn’t quite conclude, therefore it is essential to have book two ready to read. I am really looking forward to reading further books in this lovely series. I feel that I know these characters personally, I got totally lost in the story and both books had ended before I knew it. I’m really looking forward to book three in this series. It’s a real pleasure to read of the ups and downs of every day life with the surprises that crop up for these friends along the way.

These books are well written and the characters are just like a group of friends that any of us may have. This is what made these books so real for me. This could be a group of friends and the stories of their lives in the town any of us live in. As always with Ruth’s books, they are expertly translated from German.

L As In Love Book One by Ruth Gogoll

This book is set in Cologne, Germany and it is a story of a group of friends that rendezvous from time to time at the Sappho Cafe.

The first book in this series focuses on the lives of a married couple, Sabrina and Chris.

Sabrina and Chris have been together for several years. They have spoken about having a baby together. Unfortunately, Chris is a workaholic. She is obsessed with making money so much so that she neglects Sabrina and their love life suffers.

When Chris decides to go away to Norway for a minimum of six weeks, possibly more to earn even more money, it is the final straw for Sabrina. Will it be the end of their relationship?

Sabrina and Chris are surrounded by their diverse group of friends. Friends who get together from time to time in the Sappho Cafe for drinks, coffee or dancing.

Marlene is sex mad and treats her women with contempt. Her latest conquest is shy and timid Anita. How long will Anita put up with Marlene’s chauvinistic ways?

There is Rick and her best friend Carolin. They’ve known each other since school. Rick is in love with Melly, who runs the Sappho Cafe. Her love is unrequited. Rick meanwhile dates Thea. But her heart isn’t in it. Will Melly change her mind and date Rick? Will Rick throw herself into the relationship with Thea?

Carolin is in a long distance relationship with Ina. She wants more though. Will Ina move to be with her?

Rebekka, a woman Carolin met by chance, appears to more than like Carolin. But Carolin is with Ina. Will Carolin allow anything to happen between her and Rebekka?

The writer Anna has designs on Sabrina, knowing full well she’s married to Chris. Will Sabrina succumb to Anna’s charms?

There are a lot of different characters in this book, but because they are gradually introduced it was easy to keep up with who is who.

The story tells of the lives and loves of a group of friends from all walks of life. But you can’t just stop at reading book one. Book two is a must and it follows directly on from book one. I feel that it is a good idea to purchase them both together and read them consecutively.

Golden Gate by Erin Jennifer Mar

Maggie McKinnon is a junior reporter in San Francisco trying to make a name for herself. She is poking around at the scene of a warehouse fire when she meets Private Investigator, Julia Cassinelli. Maggie and Julia feel an immediate connection to each other. Although Maggie is a lesbian, she is inexperienced and Julia has been burned before by past love affairs.

When Maggie is given a break by her editor to report on a break in at an internet company called Netsports, she meets Julia again. Things begin to hot up for Maggie and Julia. Not just in the love department either. It soon becomes apparent that there is more to the break in than meets the eye. Julia gets beaten up in her office. Maggie is shot at at the scene of one of the warehouse fires. Maggie’s younger drug addict brother Patrick, appears on the scene and there are more attempts on both women’s lives. Somehow it seems that all these things are tied up, but how?

Will Maggie and Julia be able to find the answers? Will they have a relationship? Will they even be able to survive the attempts on their lives?

This book had several bad reviews among some good ones. I always like to make my own mind up about a book and decided to give this one a try. I really enjoyed it. It had a good strong storyline that kept me wanting to read faster to find out what happened. The two main characters really complimented each other and were further enhanced by a strong cast of supporting characters. Some nice and some not so nice. The romance between Maggie and Julia with their ups and downs added some nice spice to the story. Unfortunately, this looks to be Erin’s only book. Apart from some fan fiction, I can’t find anything else she’s written. This is a shame as I would like to see more from this author.

For The Love Of Miss Bard by P Crow

When Alex Trout takes her daughter Samantha to kindergarten for the first time, she meets Kathryn Bard, who is to be Samantha’s teacher. Alex is immediately captivated by the beautiful Kathryn. Unknown to Alex, Kathryn is captivated too. But Alex feels she can’t follow up on her feelings, not with Samantha’s teacher. Kathryn is having exactly the same thoughts about the impossibility of dating a parent. Eventually though, the inevitable happens and the two women embark on a relationship they hope to keep hidden. Unfortunately, Kathryn has a stalker and they are found out. There is trouble ahead for Kathryn and Alex. Will their budding relationship survive?

The storyline in this book was quite enjoyable. Unfortunately the book had a number of inconsistencies and typos. I also found it rather disconcerting that there was no explanation as to why Alex even had a child.. Her previous relationships had all been the love them and leave them type. It’s a great pity about these things as the story had great potential.

Deadly Intersections by Ann Roberts

Realtor Ari Adams discovers the body of businessman Warren Edgington in his car. She had seen Warren arguing with Stan Wetz just a short while before. Her detective girlfriend, Molly Nelson turns up to investigate the case, which at first glance, appears to be suicide. Not long after this, Ari becomes involved with finding a property for the business tycoon, Stan Wetz.. Is it just coincidence that Ari had seen Stan and Warren arguing?

Molly meanwhile finds herself investigating the shocking murder of a child. She is finding more questions than answers though. Ari’s estranged father comes to visit her hoping for a reconciliation. Then a former client of hers, Biz Stone, has a business proposition for her. Ari knows this will upset Molly, but goes ahead anyway.

Will Ari’s and Molly’s relationship survive amid all this turmoil? Add to this police corruption, greed and mystery, with no answers forthcoming and you have a time bomb just waiting to go off.

I love these little mysteries. They keep me guessing right up to the end. Plus they always leave a little something to look forward to in the next book.

Petra's Canvas by Ann Roberts

Dani O’Grady, CEO of a large candy company, allowed her ex lover Petra to tattoo her body. The tattoos became an internet legend, except that nobody knows whose body the tattoos are on. Over the years, Dani has gone from lover to lover. Her personal life seems to be falling apart. Her son Liam has just married a money grabbing ex stripper and her previous exploits regarding an incident with a woman lover, has resulted in her being banned from entering Provincetown.

Dani meets a fascinating young woman, Cat, they have wild sex, then Dani finds out she is the adopted daughter of a half sister she never knew existed. Dani’s half sister Olivia, lives in Provincetown, Dani has to surreptitiously return there to meet with her. When Dani eventually gets to Provincetown, she discovers that Olivia has a will that entitles her to half of Dani’s company. Olivia intends to collect on this unless Dani persuades Cat to marry the man Olivia has lined up for her. Among all this turmoil, Dani meets Rafi, the owner of an upmarket candy store that her company does business with.

Will Dani and Rafi get together, or will Petra’s tattoo legacy come between them? It’s make up your mind time for Dani. What will she do?

I enjoyed this book which was fast paced and humorous in parts. The scenic settings made me just want to get right on down to Provincetown for a visit.

Like Lovers Do by Lori L Lake

To all intents and purposes, Kennie McClain is a security guard at the Allen Arms. Unknown to all the tenants in the building, Kennie actually owns the Allen Arms. Kennie is still grieving from the loss of her life partner, Janeen ,of thirteen years, three years earlier. It was after Janeen’s death that Kennie, to escape her previous life, moved form New York to Portland for a fresh start. Kennie is gradually refurbishing the Allen Arms, while she tries to overcome her grief.

When Kennie meets Lily Gordon, a well known painter who lives in the penthouse flat at the Allen Arms, Kennie begins to think she may just be able to pull out of her deep dark despair. Lily has been dumped by her lover of four years, PJ. When Kennie and Lily get together, the chemistry between them is electrifying. Kennie is elated to find she can respond to someone again. But it all comes crashing down around her when Lily decides to give PJ another chance. Kennie is now left nursing a double broken heart. Will Kennie ever get over Lily’s betrayal to love again? How will she manage to live in the same building as Lily? How can she stand to see her each day?

Another winning book for Lori Lake. I found myself hoping that Kennie and Lily would somehow get back together. I really felt for Kennie. I loved the character of Max, the teenager that Kennie helped out. A story of love that showed me that blood family isn’t always as important as the family you choose for yourself.

Beautiful Game by Kate Christie

It’s 1991 and Camille Wallace, (Cam) is a soccer player on a scholarship at San Diego University. Life is good for Cam and her future looks bright. She is doing well, has lots of gay friends and a best friend, Holly, that she hangs out with when Holly isn’t with her girlfriend Becca.

When Cam meets star tennis player, Jess Maxwell, she doesn’t see anything beyond the possibility of friendship and that’s only ‘maybe’. Over the course of time, Cam and Jess do become friends and Cam begins to fall in love with Jess, but doesn’t think she stands a chance and keeps her feelings to herself. Cam is all too aware that Jess can be withdrawn and seemingly stand offish, but she has no idea that Jess is holding in a terrible secret. A secret that could completely destroy her life and everything she’s worked for.

Meanwhile Cam and Jess go on being just good friends, concentrating on their respective soccer and tennis and studying together. With Cam still hankering after the seemingly untouchable Jess.

Their comfortable friendly existence takes a turn for the worse when Jess thinks that Cam is dating someone. Why is Jess so bothered about Cam dating someone? Will Jess listen to Cam’s side of the story? Will Jess finally confide in Cam and tell her secret? What will happen to their friendship, let alone any chance of a relationship? Will Jess be able to come to terms with the past and let go of it to have a future?

Another winning title from Kate. A page turner from the very beginning. I loved the two main characters and there is some really lovely supporting characters that add to the story too. Although this book title is Beautiful Game and gives the impression it is all about soccer, it is not. The story revolves around soccer and tennis, but there is so much more to it. Much more than a romance too. The character of Jess and the secret she is hiding has been written about with sensitivity and understanding in a totally acceptable and believable way. I have to admit, I’m not ‘into’ sports, but I loved this book as the sports aspect is not overwhelming. Plus I could understand and relate to the descriptions of the games. So, don’t let that put anyone off. There is plenty for sports fans too. A happy medium. Now, I have to ask, how long do I have to wait for your next book Kate?

Tats by Layce Gardner

Lee Hammond has just about had enough of her stripper girlfriend Ginger. She borrows Ginger’s Harley and goes for a ride to think things through. She ends up sheltering from a thunderstorm in a cemetery and gate crashing a funeral.It’s here that Lee meets up with Vivian Baxter, an ex cheerleader from her past. Lee and Vivian ride off together and end up in the bar where Lee’s girlfriend, Ginger, works. Ginger shows up to claim her Harley back, deliver Lee’s car and to break her nose! Lee and Viv hang out together amid much hilarity and Lee discovers that Viv is on the run from some men after stealing some money. Lee has always had a fancy for Viv, but Viv is straight. But you never know, just maybe Viv can be persuaded to change teams.

If you want a book for a light hearted read and a good laugh to escape reality, you won’t get much better than Tats. There is a laugh on almost every page. Just don’t read it in public, you may be carried off! Being a Brit, I don’t always ‘get’ American humor, but this is so funny, I’m still grinning just thinking about it.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Near Myth Murder by Kate Sweeney

Kate Ryan is back. She has been persuaded to re-open her P.I business after an absence of over six years. Maureen Costello has talked Kate in to being her mentor. So, the P.I business of Ryan, Costello and Winfield is formed. Yes, that’s right, you did read that right the first time..........Winfield. Meaning both Aunt Hannah and Maggie are now in the P.I Business too. No wonder Kate is feeling her sanity is going to be tested to the limits.

When Kate’s old college roommate and friend dies unexpectedly while hiking with her sorority sisters, everyone is shocked at what at first appears to be a tragic accident. But there are things regarding Jan’s death that are not all they seem to be. Hence Ryan, Costello and Winfield have their first case to investigate.

Kate half heartedly agrees to attend the reunion at her old College, Hillcrest. Jan had always wanted Kate to attend, so now she will in the hope of finding some answers to how Jan died.

Kate meets up with some of her old friends, also with some of Jan’s sorority sisters. She also finds the weekend to be a trifle more exciting than she envisaged.

Will Kate find Jan’s death to be murder? Or is it just what it seems, a terrible accident? For those who have read the Kate Ryan mysteries before, you will know that nothing is straight forward in Kate’s life.

I absolutely adore this series. I love Kate, I find her antics hilarious. Her long suffering lover Maggie has a lot to contend with. Aunt Hannah is now taking an active part in the P.I business, this alone had me grinning from ear to ear. With Maureen Costello thrown in to the mix, you couldn’t ask for more.

Kate Sweeney writes these characters with such a wonderful sense of humor, while keeping the serious side of the mystery part of the story right where it should be. This is what makes this book a page turner from the first page through to the last. She has kept the perfect balance between mystery, romance and humor. When I buy a Kate Ryan mystery, I know I’m in for a nail biting romantic fun read. Kate Sweeney is the perfect story teller.

This whole series would make an absolutely brilliant film or TV series. Now I have to ask, when is the next Kate Ryan due out?

Friday, 20 January 2012

Firestorm by Radclyffe

Mallory James, (Ice) is a firefighter/paramedic in charge of a unit of smokejumpers. Their job entails parachuting into remote forest areas and to deal with raging fires in any way they can. They all live and work together as a team. Mallory is the boss and has a small group of rookies to train for the next four weeks. Mallory thinks she has everything in hand until she sees a new name added to her list of rookies.

Jac Russo, hotshot and with an unsavory ‘reputation’ has been included into the smokejumpers training course at the last minute due to her Senator father’s intervention. She does have the qualifications to do the job, but will she be given the chance to prove herself?

Mallory and Jac get off to a really bad beginning. But it’s not long until the sparks between them begin to fly, sparks that have nothing to do with firefighting.

Will Ice melt into Jac’s embrace? Or will she fight the raging fire within herself? Will Jac be able to prove she is worthy of a relationship with Mallory? Both women have reasons not to pursue a relationship, but will they listen to their hearts?

Although I enjoyed this book, I can’t help feeling that the story didn’t match up to the title. I was expecting this first responders book to be primarily about the job of the smokejumpers, plus the usual romance, of course. I was a bit disappointed that the situation involving Jac and her father was not resolved, I felt it would have added to the story too. Radclyffe usually ties up any loose ends. None the less, the story was good and the scenery settings were great. A worthwhile read.

Storms by Gerri Hill

Carson Cartwright has been estranged from her father and four brothers for the twelve years following her mother’s death. She gets a phone call out of the blue from her twin brother, Chase. Their father is on his death bed and Chase urges Carson to return home for a reconciliation before it’s too late. Carson reluctantly returns to the Montana ranch she grew up on. On her return she finds that the ranch is rather run down and the brothers have been struggling to make ends meet. She also discovers that her brothers have hired consultant Kerry Elder to help them to turn their working ranch into a guest (dude) ranch.

Kerry has only just started her own business. She will do almost anything to win the contract, including flirting with Carson’s brother, Cody. Little does Kerry know at the time, it is not Cody who will take her eye, but Carson.

Kerry is confused by the feelings Carson brings out in her. She has always considered herself to be straight. Carson herself, although a confirmed lesbian, is frightened of her feelings for Kerry, she’s never actually been in love before.She’s always steered clear of commitment.

Will Carson let go and allow herself to fall in love? Will Kerry come to terms with falling in love with another woman? Will Carson reconcile with her father and forgive him? What will happen when Cody finds out the woman he intends to marry is smitten with Carson?

After a bit of a slow start, the story really picked up nicely. I like Gerri’s way of writing. The characters come to life on the page and the stories are always well written. This is a typical lesbian romance. What I would call a nice comfortable read.

Love Another Day by Regina Hanel

Law Enforcement Park Ranger Samantha Takoda Tyler, (Sam) works at the Grand Teton National Park. She’s been doing the job for five years and she loves it. Her personal life is a different matter. Sam keeps on reliving a devastating loss from her past and suffers nightmares that therapy has failed to cure.

Halie Walker is a photojournalist for The Wild International. She has arrived at Grand Teton to do an article on the area.

Sam is called in to her chiefs office and given the task of taking Halie around the area. Sam is not pleased with her babysitting task and the two women initially do not get off to a good start.

As time passes, Sam and Halie find that they actually do enjoy each others company and begin to spend more time together.

Sam however, can’t allow herself to have a relationship with Halie. She can’t bring herself to talk about her past to Halie and explain why either.

When Sam’s ex lover shows an interest in Halie, the fragile relationship between Sam and Halie breaks down completely. When Sam eventually works through her demons and feels ready to talk to Halie, it may be too late. A helicopter in which Halie was travelling has crashed in the forest. Will Sam reach the crash site in time to save Halie? Will she get the chance to love again, the love she almost threw away?

This is Regina Hanel’s debut book. I really enjoyed the storyline, although I thought the book was a bit on the short side. Nice for an afternoon read though. The two main characters, Sam and Halie complimented each other. The story went beyond a romance and had a few diversions to provide some excitement. I don’t want to provide any spoilers here, but I thought that there was one storyline in Halie’s apartment that didn’t do anything to progress the overall story. It just seemed out of place. In fact, I kept looking for a follow up on it. But apart from that one small gripe, I thought this was an excellent first book and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Different Dress by Lori L Lake

Kip Galvin is getting on with her life after splitting up with her ex lover Bren. She is still nursing a broken heart. Kip is a school teacher, who writes songs and sings in her spare time. When singer Lacey Leigh Jaxon gets rid of yet another opening act on her tour, Kip is asked to stand in. It’s a really big chance for her.

Jaime Esperanza is an electrician, come general dogs body with the tour. She deals with just about every job, including dealing with her ex lover, Lacey’s, tantrums.

Kip and Jaime hang out together, forming a comfortable friendship. It doesn’t take long for Kip to find out that Jaime and Lacey had been an item and that Jaime is still hung up on her. Which is a shame for Kip as she is falling in love with Jaime, big time.

Although Kip doesn’t get on with Lacey, she gets on really well with the rest of Lacey’s band and they play well together, much to Lacey’s disgust. As time passes, Lacey becomes more irrational and unmanageable. It eventually becomes apparent that Lacey’s problem is alcohol. She is fast spiralling out of control.

When Lacey hits rock bottom, she wants Jaime back. Will Jaime drop everything and go running back? What will happen to Jaime and Kip’s friendship? Will all this affect the tour? Will Kip stay around to find out?

This is not the first time I’ve read this book and it won’t be my last. It is the first time I’ve put my thoughts out about it though. As with all of Lori’s books, it drew me in from the very beginning. I love the two main characters, Kip and Jaime. I became so caught up in the story that I found myself wanting to slap Lacey and really shake Jaime. I’ve never been on a tour with a band, but now that I’ve read this book, I feel that I have experienced the pleasure. The book is extremely well written and I lost myself completely in the story. I was there with them all. The cast of supporting characters added a lot to this story. I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. It’s a true delight and will always have a place on my book shelf.

Looking For Julie by Jackie Calhoun

When university student Sam Thompson returned to see her shrink, Dr Julie Decker after a prolonged absence, she was informed she had moved away. On the way back from her office, Sam and her best friends, Jamie and Nita, were involved in an altercation with a truck driver, which unknown to them at the time, was going to have far reaching consequences. Sam’s problems all seem to arise because she has a crush on her roommate Nita Perez.

When Sam meets Karen McGregor at the university, the two girls begin an affair. But will this take Sam’s mind off of her crush on Nita?

Sam and her friend Jamie are being terrorized by the unknown truck driver. Jamie enlists the help of his Aunt Edie. When Edie comes to Madison to help Jamie and Sam, she also takes the opportunity to see Claire, a woman she is having an affair with.

Added into the mix, Edie is a skier and she skis with a woman called Jennifer. Jennifer seems to ‘like’ Edie. Woven into the story is the hunt for the elusive Julie.

This book hopped from one set of characters and their stories to to the next so much that I found it hard to keep up with it. The story is intense and once I sorted out who belonged where, I quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately I found the ending rather rushed. I love Jackie Calhoun’s books, but in my opinion, this is not one of her best.

The Other Mrs Champion by Brenda Adcock

Fifty five year old Sarah Champion has a really great life. Her wife Kelley is an extremely successful business woman and they’ve been together for twenty five years. Sarah’s life as she knows it is about to come to an untimely end when Kelley suffers a massive stroke while away on business.

Sarah, her two grown up children from her previous marriage and Kelley’s attorney set off for Vancouver to be with Kelley as she lays in hospital on life support. When Sarah arrives at Kelley’s room, she sees an attractive auburn haired woman leaning over her. To Sarah’s horror she is informed the woman is Kelley’s wife. Sarah’s horror turns to disbelief when she learns that Kelley’s attorney, the person she considered her friend, knew about Kelley’s other wife.

Sarah is devastated. She just cannot come to terms with the fact that Kelley is a bigamist. Where will that leave Sarah? How can Sarah find the answers to explain the reasons why Kelley had two wives? Will she find the answers she is looking for from Pauline Champion, the other Mrs. Champion? Will Sarah and Pauline ever be able to become friends? Will Sarah and Pauline ever get over the fact that they have both been betrayed by the woman they loved? Will they fight the attraction they both feel between them for each other, or will they cave in to it?

Like all the rest of Brenda’s books, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is certainly different and unusual. I found that I just could not put the book down, I had to know the outcome. The story left me feeling that good things can come from nasty situations. As always when I’ve finished a Brenda Adcock book, I eagerly await the next.

Entangled by Maria V Ciletti

Seventeen year old Hayden Crissman has a huge crush on her former teacher, Abbey Spencer. When Hayden graduates from high school, she and her best friend Calli, both get summer jobs at a fun fair in the Erie area. While she is living there she bumps into Abbey again. Her attraction for Abbey is stronger than ever. Will Hayden act on it?

Abbey Spencer returns to Erie and her closeted life with her lover, Professor Ann White. On her return home, Abbey discovers that Ann is still seeing Jackson Price, a man she had previously told Abbey she had made a mistake in having sex with. Ann maintained she was just curious and Abbey forgave her at the time.

Abbey is devastated and distraught when Ann tells her she wants Abbey to move out of their home and that she is no longer a lesbian.

Ann White is a devious and manipulative liar who will stop at nothing to get tenure. Even if she destroys the lives of those around her.

As with all of Maria’s previous books, the story is extremely well written. The agony and the angst comes off the pages in waves, I could really feel the suffering the characters endured. I also felt myself becoming extremely angry for the way Abbey was treated. Ann’s devious behavior leads to a catalogue of disasters for Abbey and also Hayden, causing untold pain to them both.

Whilst the actual story was good, I was not happy that there is actually more hetero love scenes in the book than lesbian love scenes. This book was sold as a lesbian fiction book and I felt cheated. The reason I buy lesbian fiction rather than mainstream is because that is what I like. So, unfortunately this book was a big turn off for me, which is a great pity because I was a big fan of Maria’s.

Love At Last by Kate Sweeney

49 year old Alana (Allie) Sanders’ life was at a crossroads. Her children were grown up and had left home. Allie had put her artistic career on hold when she married and devoted herself to her family and her home.

Allie and her husband Paul, had grown further and further apart over the years and the situation got worse after their children left home. Paul was a workaholic and Allie had time on her hands to think about her past and what she wants in her future.

When Allie meets out lesbian Toni O’Hara, a fifty year old Chicago fire inspector, she feels an immediate attraction and begins to question if the life she is leading is the life she should be leading.

Toni makes Allie happy, makes her laugh and becomes a good friend. She helps Allie through the trauma of realizing her marriage has failed.

Paul meanwhile, has been hiding a secret from Allie for years, which had Allie known at the time may have shaped her life differently. When Paul reveals all, will it alter the way Allie maps out her future? Will Allie find the courage to go for what she wants? Will Allie be able to experience true love at last?

As always with Kate’s books, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on my copy. This book was well worth the wait. A standalone romance, extremely well written with the usual laugh out loud Kate humor for good measure.

Both Allie and Kate are lovely characters, each striving for true love. They interact well together and there is a nice cast of supporting characters that fit right into place and add to the richness of the story.

We follow Allie through her realization that she may be a lesbian, how this will impact on her family, how she copes and how she finally comes out to her family. We also follow Toni through her anguish of what she is sure is going to be unrequited love for Allie.

This is not just a run of the mill romance, the story is one that will stay with me a long while and will be a definite re-read. Oh, just as an added bonus there are some really hot scene’s in it too. Kate really has excelled herself. But then I say that about all of Kate’s books.

Unchained Memories by Karen D Badger

Cat O’Grady and Billie Charland are leading an idyllic life with their three children. Until the past rears it’s ugly head.

Cat receives an anonymous envelope in the mail. When she opens it, there are photo’s of Billie in a compromising situation. The catalogue of events that evolves from the moment the envelope is opened, could change Cat and Billie’s lives forever.

When Cat confronts Billie with the photo’s, Billie reacts in a way Cat never thought possible. Billie continues acting out of character, she’s also suffering from headaches and blackouts. Cat asks Billie to let her doctor father run some tests. The results of the tests are shocking. Cat has to make a decision that could result in tragic consequences or at the very least, ruin their entire lives.

Will Billie see that Cat had no choice? Or will Billie leave and take her biological son with her? Will Cat and Billie’s love survive this latest trauma in their lives? Will the suffering ever end for them?

Although this is the second book in the series, there is enough information to make this a standalone book. However, I would strongly advise you read the first in the series, which is In A Family Way. You will be missing out on a truly excellent book if you don’t.

I love Karen’s writing. The characters are heartfelt and warm. Cat and Billie are people I would love to have as my friends. They are made for each other, they are true soul mates.

There is a great cast of supporting characters, all adding to the story in their own rights and adding to the enjoyment of the book.

Although this book has a serious theme, there is also a great deal of humor too, which takes the edge off the angst and makes it a more comfortable read. A hard hitting story of family life, the difficulties of illness and how love can win through against all odds.

The third book in this series can’t be published quick enough. These books will always have a place on my shelves.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Fix-it Girl by J.M Dragon

Elise Ridge is a successful business woman and the head of her own company. She has little or no time for love and relaxation. Her life consists solely of work.

Jill Marrack has been Elise’s personal assistant for five years. Elise’s very own fix-it girl. Although Jill has worked for Elise for a long time, she has never got to know her boss in a personal capacity. That is, until Jill receives a call one evening to go to Elise’s home in the country to fix her latest problem. Jill’s sister Grace, needs someone to look after her six year old daughter Lily, at short notice, while she leaves the country for work. On the spur of the moment, Jill offers to move to Headridge, Elise’s family home, temporarily, to take care of Lily.

When Jill meets the rest of Elise’s family, she wonders if she has done the right thing. But Jill finds herself loving little Lily, who has been starved of affection, so she stays on and arranges to take Lily to her parents home in Cornwall for a break.

On their return back to Headridge, Elise and Jill begin to get to know one another on a personal basis. When Elise notices how well Jill and Lily are getting on, she begins to think that there is more to life than just work.

Elise is attracted to Jill and begins to wonder at the possibility of there being something more between them. Jill herself is feeling a similar attraction, but she has been badly hurt in the past. Can Jill allow herself to trust and love again? Will Elise find the time from her work for a relationship?

Then there are outside influences that seem to stack up against Elise and Jill having a relationship.. Will they allow interference in their lives? Or will they trust each other?

Right from the very first page of this book I felt the lure of exciting things to come. I was not disappointed. This story is not a run of the mill lesbian romance, it is so much more. The two main characters, Elise and Jill, are both vulnerable in their own different ways.

Elise is the head of a dysfunctional family. One family member will stop at nothing with their conniving, lies and deceptions to ensure that Elise and Jill’s new relationship comes to an end.

There are many other characters throughout this book. Each and every one helps to enhance and progress the story.

The story is full of twists and turns that had me turning the pages really quickly to get to the end, causing an absolute rollercoaster ride of emotions. Of course the ending came far too quickly, I simply had to go back and re-read this book over again.

I am hoping there will be a sequel to this book. The characters have a lot more to say. The story simply cannot end here. Please, please, please write more J.M Dragon.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Half To Death by Robin Alexander

After Sloan Hawkins suffered a near death experience, her life as she knew it was never going to be the same again. For months Sloan almost drove herself insane hiding a secret so bizarre, she thought nobody would ever believe her. When Sloan finally confides in her best friend Miranda, she begins to regain her grip on her sanity once again and sees that her life maybe able to return to some semblance of normality.

Corrine Verner, (Jade) is a trainer at the gym where Sloan and Miranda work out. Sloan finds Jade attractive as soon as she meets her, but thinks she is too perfect and untouchable.

Jade herself, is hiding a secret from her past and considers herself to be unworthy of a relationship with anyone.

Will Sloan be able to resolve her issues to be able to move on with her life? Will Jade learn to trust Sloan and begin to live her life instead of just existing?

An enjoyable romance with a difference. The two main characters, Sloan and Jade, are both hiding secrets, making for a rocky beginning to a friendship, without putting a relationship into the mix. They are supported by a strong group of friends, some of whom have their own problems, which adds more to the story. But their deep friendship shines through. Another winner for Robin. The thing I like about Robin’s books, is the story lines are always so different. But there is always sweet romance.

Cool Side Of The Pillow by Gill McKnight

Clara Dearheart is an undertaker, but not just any run of the mill undertaker. Clara takes care of the dead and their families. But she also sees and talks to the dead. That is, all the dead except her dead partner Frances. When Frances died, she never appeared to Clara. Clara is at a loss to understand why Frances hasn’t visited her and she can’t move on with her life.

Bebe Franklin is a scriptwriter for a really bad TV soap series. She returns to Preston to look after her Aunt Arlene’s house and her deceased grandmothers parrot, Darling, while her aunt is away. When Bebe meets Clara, she feels an attraction for her and can’t understand why Clara rebuffs her every move. She has no idea that Clara is holding on to the past and her dead lover, Frances. Bebe doesn’t stand a chance.

When strange things begin to happen in Aunt Arlene’s house, Bebe begins to think it may be haunted. She is at her wits end.

Will Clara give up waiting for Frances to appear? Will Bebe get through to Clara? What will happen when Bebe discovers Clara sees and talks to the dead?

An extremely funny laugh out loud book, also with a serious side to it. The antics of the parrot, Darling alone had me curled up with laughter. A cast of characters that meshed well. The dead and the living really worked in well together. I think this is Gill’s best ever book yet. Definitely one to re-read.

The Best Defense by Carsen Taite

Ex homicide detective, Skye Keaton’s life has taken a spiral downwards. Since her forced resignation, she’s just drinking and womanizing her life away. Her father finds her a two bit job in a security company. Skye is really at rock bottom. Then an old friend of hers, ex cop, now attorney, Parker Casey, comes to her rescue. Parker and her law partner wife, Morgan Bradley, need a private investigator and Skye fits the bill.

Aimee Howard, real estate broker has had her home and office turned over by a team of Federal Agents looking for her niece Nicki. She hires Parker and Morgan to find out why Nicki is a wanted person.

When Aimee and Skye meet, Aimee is not happy to find out that she will be the PI on the investigation. Aimee decides that she will have to help the case along and joins a very reluctant Skye in Austin.

Aimee is very attracted to Skye and has been since she first saw her in a bar weeks before and tries her best to get Skye to notice her in a romantic way. Skye however, wants to keep their association on a professional level. Although she more than likes Aimee, she is all too aware that their lifestyles are very different.

Will Skye allow herself to see that she is worthy of Aimee? Will Aimee have to forgo her lavish lifestyle to get to know Skye? Why are the Feds looking for Nicki? Will Skye and Aimee find Nicki before the Feds do? These and many more questions are answered in this brilliant crime story.

This is another crime busting winner from Carsen. This book is an absolute page turner from start to finish. Some of the characters have appeared in Carsen’s previous books, which is a plus to have familiar loved characters. But the story is totally complete and stand alone.

It would be really great to see these characters as part of a crime series. Hello Carsen...........PLEASE.

Faithful Service Silent Hearts by Lynette Mae

Devon James has not had a good childhood. She suffered abuse from her alcoholic mother, which got worse after Devon admitted she was gay.. Devon joined the army to escape and with the hopes of improving her life. At the end of boot camp training, Devon was recommended for officer training. Devon meets and falls in love with Jillian, the woman of her dreams. Unfortunately the CID (Criminal Investigations Division) have Jillian on their radar. Both Devon and Jillian’s careers are at risk as the CID begins a witch hunt against them and their friends. Circumstances cause Devon to lose the woman she loves and she throws herself into moving on with her career.

Devon is posted to the middle east, where she suffers a tragic loss and is injured herself. On her return stateside to recover, Devon discovers the CID are still determined to oust her from her exemplary career. They will stop at nothing, even telling lies and trumping up evidence. It doesn’t even matter that Devon is a highly decorated, officer and a brilliant leader.

Will the CID get the evidence against Devon? Will Devon ever find the love she so badly needs?

A riveting, nail biting story I simply couldn’t put down. This book fired up so many emotions for me. The character Devon, will stay with me for a long time. The anger I felt at the CID knocked me sideways. Only a well written story could bring these feelings out in me. I honestly felt as though I was there with Devon every step of the way.

I served in the military in the early 1970’s, in a different country from where this book is set. But no one would know the difference between the way the two armed forces conducted their witch hunts. The behaviour of the CID is so accurate, it caused shivers down my spine.

Well done Lynette Mae, this is a brilliant debut book.. I look forward to reading more from you in the very near future.

Getting There by Lyn Denison

Kat Oldfield has two failed relationships and now she considers herself to be a complete failure. She is estranged from her family and since she broke up with her partner of ten years, Shael, she is living alone in a dingy apartment. Kat’s best friend Mary Margaret, (Em) talks her into moving into a house she inherited from her ex lover, Ruth. Kat is reluctant to do this though. The house is in dire need of repair and is also right near where her parents live. Kat decides she can’t go on the way things are, so she makes the decision to move into the house and to begin the renovations herself. She won’t go any where near her old family home though. Kat soon realizes she is going to need professional help with some of the repairs and hires a company of builders, where she meets Jess. Right away Kat feels she likes Jess more than she should and tries to keep her distance. After all, Jess is straight, isn’t she?

When Meggie, Shael’s daughter comes to stay with Kat, they meet up with Jess and her family.Meggie and Miranda, Jess’s daughter get on really well together and Kat feels her attraction for Jess growing stronger.

Will Kat give into her desires and chance being rebuffed by Jess?

I love Lyn’s writing and have done for years. This is the first book Lyn’s published in a long time. It didn’t disappoint. It was like coming home for me. The familiar writing was a true pleasure. I love the two main characters, Kat and Jess. This is more than just a simple romance, the story has a nice twist to it. This will join the rest of Lyn’s books on my shelves to be re-read.

The Indelible Heart by Marianne K. Martin

Sharon Davis is still only just about coping with her life ten years after the murder of her friends, Evonne and Donna at the hands of Charlie Crawford. Sharon’s life changed drastically after their deaths. She fought for justice for them, but her life spiralled out of control and she turned to alcohol just to get her through the traumatic experience. Her reliance on alcohol cost her her relationship with her partner Laura. Laura couldn’t cope with the similarities between Sharon’s drinking and how her father’s drinking had affected their family.

Sharon was helped to cope with Laura’s departure by her best friend Kasey and their other close friends. Sharon finally manages to get her life mostly in control until she hears that Charlie Crawford is dying and his family are seeking an early release. Sharon is devastated and consumed with renewed hatred. She can’t forgive Charlie Crawford and once again turns to alcohol. Before Sharon gets too far out of control, help arrives in the form of a tiny bundle of fur, a dog named Abby. The turning point for Sharon came when Abby got knocked down by a truck. She had to stay sober to look after her.

Unknown to Sharon, her ex lover Laura has returned to the area to care for her mother.

Will there be a chance Laura will take Sharon back? It’s obvious they still love one another. But will that be enough? Will Sharon ever be able to let go of her hatred and forgive Charlie?

This is another wonderful book from Marianne. The story is well written and right from the beginning I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down until I’d finished it.

There is so much in this book. Much more than a romance. Hate, depression, anger, alcoholism, loss of love, courage, love, romance to name but some of the topics. All written with sympathy and understanding.

It’s great to see characters from previous books back too, especially Sage and Deanna.

Although this book is a sequel, Marianne has artfully written it so that there is no need to have read Love In The Balance first. But I would most strongly urge you to do so. You will be missing another wonderful book if you don’t. In my honest opinion, we don’t get enough works from Marianne and when a new book does come out, it has to be savored and read slowly. This will join the rest of Marianne’s excellent books on my shelves to be re-read again and again.

Hidden Truths by Jae

The story began in Backwards To Oregon, with Luke and Nora beginning a new life together. Now it continues with their two daughters grown up and finding their own way in their lives.

Luke and Nora Hamilton along with their daughters Amy and Nattie are now living on a ranch in Oregon. They are like many other families during the 1860’s. Hard working to survive the harshness of the west. There is one big difference between the Hamilton’s and other families that could result in the family being run out of the area or even death if it is discovered. Luke is a woman.

When mail order bride Rika arrives on the ranch to marry their foreman, Phin, life for the Hamilton’s changes in so many ways. Rika is hiding her own secret from Phin and the Hamilton’s. Luke and Nora have hidden the truth about Luke for years. Their daughter, Amy, is hiding her own secret from her family. Nattie, their youngest daughter is also hiding a secret.

What happens if all these hidden truths are revealed? Will Luke and Nora’s secret be exposed? Will Amy and Nattie reveal their secrets? Will Rika tell Phin and the Hamilton’s the truth? Will life for the Hamilton family ever be the same?

A gripping blockbuster of a western saga. Well written and the story well told. A page turner from start to finish.

Although this book is long, it still wasn’t long enough for me. I love the Hamilton family, their friends and their way of life and the time period the story is set in. Each page just sucked me further into the wild west. The fact that this western contained romance too, was just the icing on the cake for me. I would love to see at least one more book with the Hamilton’s, more if possible. Although this book is a sequel, it has enough information that you can catch up with the story without reading Backwards To Oregon first. But I would recommend you read it first or you will miss out on another wonderful book. Another one for my re-read shelf.

Waiting In The Wings by Melissa Brayden

All Jenna McGovern has ever wanted to be is an actress. Her whole life has been centred around training to go on the stage. She gets her big break right after she graduates. She auditions for a part in Clean Slate, a stage show that is currently touring the country. When Jenna discovers her long time idol, Adrienne Kenyon is playing the lead role, she is beyond elated.

Jenna is soon up on stage, acting really well and is a popular member of the cast. Most importantly though, the audience love her.

Jenna and Adrienne find they get on very well together both on and off stage. It’s not long before Jenna and Adrienne begin a romantic relationship. This works out fine all the time they are acting together in the same show. But what will happen when the show ends? Will Jenna give up on her dream of an acting career to pursue a relationship with Adrienne? Or will she put her career first before happiness?

This is a terrific debut book from Melissa. A great story which goes far beyond the usual, ‘girl meets girl, loses girl and gets girl back'.’ The settings are Broadway and Hollywood on both stage and film sets. What makes this more interesting is the time span. The story takes place over several years. Somehow Melissa has cleverly written this so that it seamlessly follows on. I love the two main characters and the book has a strong cast of equally lovable supporting characters, which enhances the story. Oh and it didn’t hurt that the book was smoking hot in parts either. All tastefully written to further the story.

I would never have known this was Melissa’s first book. The writing is superb. A real page turner. I’m looking forward to reading more from Melissa in the near future. A definite keeper for my re-read shelf.

Sterling Road Blues by Ruth Perkinson

Special needs teacher, Carrie Tomlinson’s life is on a downward spiral. She is fast losing control. She is still grieving from the loss of her lover, is drinking far too much and hasn’t got much control over her pupils either.

Audra Malone is Carrie’s best friend. Always around to pick up the pieces when Carrie is hung over or getting dumped by one of her endless stream of women.

One day life at Sterling Road High School changes forever. The day when special needs student Elizabeth announces over the school loud speaker system that she wants to marry fellow special needs pupil Melissa.

The school is divided. Half of the school backs Elizabeth and Melissa, the other half is against such a union.

Audra tries her best to protect her vulnerable pupils from the fall out. But Carrie is busy trying to get her own life in order. That is until an event in her life changes her outlook forever.

A nicely written, humorous look at life in a high school. I couldn’t help loving Elizabeth and Melissa. Two students loving one another with an innocence that really puts life into perspective. I think this is Ruth’s best book yet.

Forbidden Passions by MJ Williamz

Corrine Staples works in a mans world, dresses the part and also loves women. When her best friend Della is having problems with her plantation records, Corrine travels to New Orleans from Baton Rouge to put her book keeping skills to use and help her out. On her arrival there, Corrine discovers that Della’s daughter Katie is no longer the little girl she used to carry around on her shoulders. She’s grown into a desirable nineteen year old beauty. Can Corrine do the right and honorable thing and ignore her growing passion for the young girl? Or will she give into the forbidden passion she feels? If Corrine gives into her lust, it could be the end of her friendship with Della.

Katie Prentiss is a feisty young woman. Well used to having her own way. She is determined to have her way with the delectable older Corrine. Katie has out grown the loveless sex she has been having with her maid servant. She is ready for more. She is ready for love. Katie tries every trick she knows to seduce Corrine, will she succeed?

A most enjoyable bodice ripper set on a plantation in New Orleans before the civil war. Although the book is erotica, the story is well written and the balance of story and erotica is, in my opinion, just right. The story deals tastefully with quite a few different issues. A May/December romance, illness and grief. I thought both Corrine and Katie’s characters were great. I couldn’t help myself hoping they would eventually get together. A great book to curl up with on a cold winter evening.

Three Days by L.T. Marie

A very reluctant Dakota Riley arrives in Las Vegas. Her best friend Riann is getting married and having her bachelorette party there. Dakota is not looking forward to spending three days in the company of a bunch of women she doesn’t get on with. The heat alone is enough to get on Dakota’s last nerve. The only thing playgirl Dakota is looking for is some down time and mind blowing sex with some beautiful women. That is, until the arrival of Riann’s cousin, Shawn. Dakota’s life as she knows it will never be the same again.

Shawn Camello is a last minute addition to Riann’s bachelorette party. She really does not want to be in Las Vegas. She is only there because of Riann’s request that she wants to reconnect with her after a twenty five year separation.

As soon as Shawn meets Dakota, she knows she is in big trouble. The attraction she feels for player Dakota is dangerous. She could lose her heart so easily. Shawn must avoid Dakota at all costs. This is not easy, every time Shawn turns round, Dakota is there.

Will Dakota win Shawn round? Will Shawn give in to her desires and risk a broken heart?

An excellent, well written and hot, steaming hot, debut book, full of love and desire. The heat radiates off the pages. Both Dakota and Shawn the main characters are great in their own ways. The chemistry between them sizzles and is there from the moment they meet. They just have to allow themselves to take a chance.

This book is short, but there is so much packed into it. It is a true delight to read. I was sorry when I came to the end. I look forward to reading more from this author, hopefully very soon.

L.A. Metro by RJ Nolan

Dr Kim Donovan’s life is in a real mess. After an incident at work brings her medical ethics in to question and she refuses to back down, her family and her lover, ER Chief Anna cast her aside. Kim decides that she has no choice but to totally change her life and secures a post at LA Metropolitan Hospital in California.

Standoffish Chief of the ER at LA Metro, Dr Jess McKenna is immediately attracted to Kim. But she can’t allow herself to act on her attraction. She is hiding too many secrets from her past. She is already the gossip of the hospital thanks to her ex lover, Myra.

Kim meanwhile is also attracted to Jess. Kim is carrying around her own baggage from her past though.

Jess and Kim decide they like each other too much not to be together, so they become firm friends. Will either woman be able to let go of their pasts to have the chance of becoming more than friends, a chance to have a future together? Or will the past forever keep them from happiness?

I love RJ’s books. This book is well written with a touch of humor and sympathy for the issues covered. As always with RJ’s books, I was into the story from the very first page. I love the characters, Jess and Kim. Two strong, efficient women at work, but extremely vulnerable when it comes to love and friendship. The cracks are so deep, they threaten to shatter each woman. Piece by small piece these cracks have to be repaired to allow each of them to move on. I hope there will be another RJ Nolan book out soon.

Harmony by Karis Walsh

Andrea (Andy) Taylor is the type of woman who wants a quiet and peaceful life. It doesn’t matter at what cost to her personal life though. She gives into her family, friends and even her lovers to have peace. She is almost obsessive in her need for order, everything must always be in it’s rightful place. That is until she meets Brooke Stanton and Brooke turns Andy’s well ordered life upside down.

Brooke has hired the string quartet that Andy plays in, to play at her wedding rehearsal dinner. The last thing Brooke expected was to feel an attraction for another woman, or was it?

Brooke’s mind is in a turmoil, what can she do? She is attracted to Andy. She can’t ignore her desires, but can she pursue them? Can she leave everything in her life behind to take a chance on love with Andy? Both Brooke and Andy have to make choices, what will they do?

This is a debut book, but most certainly doesn’t seem like it. The book is very well written, the characters are really well formed and presented and there is a terrific cast of supporting characters to further the story along and enhance it.

This is a tender romance and I couldn’t help but love the characters, so much so, that I wanted to give them a nudge at times to push them together.

I look forward to reading more from Karis. I can’t wait to see how she is going to top this book as it is excellent.

Taken By Surprise by Kenna White

Workaholic Corporate Lawyer, Leigh Insley, is finally taking a well deserved break. She heads off to her cabin in Aspen. She intends to sell the place as she never gets the time to visit. On her way there, she gets stranded in a snow storm. It’s here she meets snow plow driver Margo Tosch when she comes to Leigh’s rescue.

Margo Tosch is also a ski instructor and store owner among other things. Margo works hard to make a living for herself and her six year old daughter, Lindsey.

At first Leigh thinks Margo is a rough and rustic mountain woman. As Leigh gets to know Margo better, it becomes apparent they have a mutual attraction.

Will Leigh allow herself to get involved with Margo? Margo is hiding a secret, which once divulged could end their fledgling relationship. Will Margo walk away while her secret is safe? What will Leigh do if Margo’s secret comes out?

Another enjoyable romance from Kenna. I love the two characters, Leigh and Margo, also Lindsey, Margo’s daughter. I would have liked to know how life turned out for them all. A nice book to curl up with on a winter evening.

The Wedding Party by Tracey Richardson

Dani is on the verge of marrying the love of her life, Shannon. She has planned a no expenses spared wedding in Vegas. No cost is too much to lavish on her bride to be and their guests. There is one problem though, Dani is hiding a secret from her bride to be. A secret that could mean the wedding is off.

Shannon is in seventh heaven, she is about to marry her lover of six years, Dani. Unfortunately all is not as it seems with Shannon. She has a secret that is eating away at her. A secret that when it comes out, as it must, could put an end to the love between Dani and herself.

Claire, a doctor and Shannon’s best friend, has been alone since the death of her lover Ann, three years earlier. Her life has been on hold grieving for her lost lover. She goes to Vegas, only because she can’t not be at her friend’s wedding. Once there, Claire finds a love that she isn’t sure she can accept, for several reasons.

Amanda, Shannon’s niece, is hiding a huge secret from her aunt. One that she knows must come out. Whilst in Vegas, Amanda finds love again, but will her love be reciprocated?

Jordan, Dani’s best friend. Her love ‘em and leave ‘em way of life over the years has resulted in her leaving a trail of broken hearts in her wake. She is a player. That is until she meets Dez in Vegas. Then the tables are turned. Jordan falls for Dez, only to get a taste of her own medicine when she is dumped. Will Jordan be able to change Dez’s mind?

All these secrets waiting to come out. All these secrets that could destroy lives. What will happen to those in the wedding party?

This is a truly fabulous book. Each of these characters has a story to tell. I couldn’t put this book down. The book is a mixture of happy and sad, but the happiness shines through. The anguish felt by each character was superbly written. The cast of supporting characters throughout each helped in enhancing the story. It would be great to have a sequel or at the very least, meet some of the characters again in another book.

96 Hours by Georgia Beers

Scientist Erica Ryan is flying home to the USA after an unsuccessful business trip to London. She isn’t in the best of moods, all she wants to do is to get home and sleep in her own bed.

Abby Hayes is flying to New York City to spend a few days with her mother before flying off to visit friends in San Francisco.

Neither women will reach their destinations. Their plane has been diverted to Gander, Canada following the closure of USA airspace due to the tragic events of 9/11.

Standoffish Erica first notices Abby in the airport before their departure. She wasn’t enamoured with Abby’s flighty friendly happy go lucky ways.

When Erica and Abby find themselves thrown together in Gander for 96 hours, initially Erica is not happy. But then both women find themselves feeling attracted to one another.

Will Erica and Abby act on their attraction? Will they even remain friends when they return to their everyday lives? Or are their feelings caused by the tidal wave of emotions felt due to the devastation of 9/11?

Although this book is a fictional romance, it has obviously been well researched and is based on stories following the horrendous events of 9/11. An event, although happening on USA soil affected the whole world in many ways.

This is not just a romance. There is a lot of heartfelt emotion and feeling in this book. It is a story of how kind people can be and how they will rally together in times of great need. A story told with compassion. A story of personal conflict and personal change. A story of how love can come from the deepest despair and the disastrous events of 9/11.

The characters Erica and Abby couldn’t be more different, but opposites do attract. There is a fantastic cast of supporting characters, each and every one of them essential to the story, which moves along smoothly and quickly. My one wish would have been for a longer book. I really didn’t want this book to end. Another winner for Georgia Beers.

Callie's Dilemma by Vicki Stevenson

Closeted queen of straight romance, Callie Delaney is attending a convention for authors and fans of chick lit. While Callie is there she meets fitness instructor Dale Kirby. Callie immediately begins to feel an attraction towards Dale. But Callie’s contract forbids her to be in an open lesbian relationship. It will mean the end of her successful mainstream writing career.

Callie is unfortunate to witness what could have been a murderer making preparations to eliminate a person in one of the other conventions in the hotel. Although Callie is unaware of the significance of what she walked in to at the time. The killer however is fully aware that Callie has witnessed his actions and he goes after her to eliminate her.

Dale’s extended family of gay friends all rally round to help solve the mystery of why Callie is being stalked and to keep her safe from harm.

Meanwhile the attraction between Callie and Dale grows stronger each day. Will they give in to their feelings? Will Callie give up her career for the chance of love with Dale?

I really enjoyed this book. It is a well written combination of mystery and romance, a page turner, that me hooked in from the first page and held me through to the last. I love the way Callie and Dale interact. There are some much loved characters from the ‘Family’ series making an appearance too. But this book is a standalone story and it is not at all necessary to read the family series first. However, I would highly recommend them, purely for enjoyment, I loved the whole series.

All in all, this is a nice read, a book that I was sorry to come to the end of. I hope to see more from Vicki in the very near future.

Two On The Aisle by Robbi McCoy

Undercover food critic, Eno Threlkeld, real name, Wren Landry, has left San Francisco for a vacation in Ashland, Oregon. She is visiting her brother, Raven. Raven is playing Beatrice in the play Much Ado About Nothing.

Wren hasn’t had much luck with women. She always seems to attract the weird sort. When her latest date maintained she was from another planet, Wren had been glad she was going to Ashland.

Goatherd and cheese maker, Sophie Ward met Wren while she was in town selling her cheese. The two women hit it off right away and spend the night making wild passionate love. Wren was in heaven, she thought at last she had found the perfect woman. Sophie left the next morning though without leaving her phone number.

What happens next can only be described by me as a complete fun filled book, full of misunderstandings, mistaken identities, love and laughter. A true comedy of errors.

When the villain of the story, John Batard decides to find and unmask Eno Threlkeld, he bites off more than he can chew. What will happen next?

Amidst all the hilarity and on a more serious note, will Wren and Sophie ever find the truth and get past the total misunderstandings to find the love they both deserve?

An excellent, well written, laugh out loud book. I have to admit, when I saw Shakespeare being quoted, I thought, ‘oh no, not my scene’. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is much more to this book than Shakespeare. Although I’m British and I don’t always ‘get’ the American sense of humor, I found the book so funny and the story just flows along. This is so very different to anything Robbi has written before. The one thing that is the same though, is the quality of the writing and the excellence of the story telling. The characters are superb. The whole book reminded me of going to the theater and watching a play. I could almost smell the goats and taste the cheese.

Another winner for Robbi and on my re-read shelf.