Friday, 16 May 2014

Letting Go by JM Dragon

A novelette.

When Stella Hawkes lover ended their relationship, Stella was devastated. Her life was in ruins. Then to add to Stella’s problems, her grandmother suffered a debilitating illness and Stella gave up her army career to care for her in her final days. Stella’s return to Ashville brings her once again into contact with an old army pal, socialite Reggie Stockton. Reggie’s family owns the local newspaper. Stella can either accept Reggie’s help to get her life back on track and turned around or she can wallow in self pity. Will Stella accept the help Reggie is offering?

Both women embark on a journey where they are compelled to look at what they each want out of life. Will their paths be the same leading to a happy ever after, or will they part forever?

A delightful well written little story of finding love after loss again. JM Dragon’s books are always a welcome addition to my library and this one is no exception. As always with one of her books, it is hard to put down once started. No problems with this novelette though, I sat and read it in one sitting. It certainly is a page turner.

Both Stella and Reggie are multi-faceted and interact really well together and with the secondary characters. The dynamic between the two women is sizzling. Both women feel the pull of attraction, but both have to clear their minds and hearts and more importantly let go of their pasts be able to trust again to allow any feelings to develop. Unfortunately, outside influences are fast at work impeding them at each turn. 

I have just one problem with this book, I wanted more, much, much more. I also want to know what happens next with Stella and Reggie. A sequel would be fantastic.



Friday, 9 May 2014

Deep Merge by Linda North

Geneticist, Kaesah, comes from an all female species living on the opposite side of the galaxy to Earth. Kaesah is stranded on Earth after her beloved mate Atimki died suddenly. Without Atimki, Kaesah can’t pilot the starship back home. It’s imperative to the survival of her species that Kaesah returns home to report events happening on Earth that could have serious consequences for her people.

Kaesah must find a human female capable of Deep Merge, a process which will enable the starship to maneuver through the galaxy to her home planet. The problem is, Kaesah does not like human women, so how can she form a close bond with one?

Antonia Lorne, (Toni) is still grieving from the death of her wife Lisa. She is on the brink of trying to turn her life around and to join the land of the living again. The last thing Toni envisages is waking up on a starship with an alien, even though she’s an attractive one, after being kidnapped. Nor can Toni comprehend the new life Kaesah has mapped out for her. Will Toni be able to move past her fears to Deep Merge? More to the point, will Toni want to leave everything behind her for a new and unknown life?

This is a beautifully written romantic science fiction story that is as realistic as any other romance in any other genre. The settings are so well described, I found myself lost in with the characters. Both Kaesah and Toni are fully developed and multidimensional as are all the secondary characters. 

A story of two very different women who have loved and lost their life partners and how they found the courage to take a chance on love again in the most extraordinary circumstances.

Linda North has created a wonderful new world that is alien, yet has a familiarity about it that enabled me to identify with the surroundings, people, plant species and food. Different, yet not so different, so it was very easy to visualize. Linda has perfected the art of showing the reader rather than telling them what they are seeing.

The way this story unfolded is a true delight to read. A book I was unable to put down until I’d reached the end. There is just one problem, this story is screaming out for a sequel. What happened to Kaesah and Toni? How did Toni cope with her new love and life? Did they have children? All questions and more that are running through my mind as I’m thinking about this book days after I finished it.

This is a definite re-read for me. 


Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Colde and Rainey by RE Bradshaw

A Rainey Bell Book

When Rainey Bell hears that one of her late father, Billy Bell’s, oldest friends has been killed in a hunting accident, Rainey simply has to go to the funeral to pay her last respects. The fact that there is a blizzard forecast is not going to stop Rainey. After all, it is what her father would expect of her.

But, nothing is ever simple for Rainey Blue Bell. The blizzard strikes quickly and Rainey is stranded after the funeral at the home of the late Captain Wellman Wise with his wife and family. Rainey has no idea that she is about to become the target of a serial killer.

Another well written winner from the pen of Master Storyteller, RE Bradshaw.

Retired FBI Agent, Rainey Bell is back, busier than ever, even though she has left the BAU. Trouble just seems to follow Rainey wherever she goes.

Rainey’s life is settled and comfortable. She has her wife Katie and triplets Mack, Timothy and Weather to look out for, so she has more than enough to keep her occupied. The last thing Rainey needs is another adventure and another brush with death.

Here we follow Rainey’s latest escapade beginning when she attends the funeral of Wellman Wise. Who knew that a funeral would dredge up so much of the past and once again throw Rainey into another intriguing case, where she would be hot on the trail of a murderer and fighting for her life and the lives of others.

This book is slightly less dark and slower paced than the previous Rainey books. But, none the less, it’s still a dynamic blockbuster. It’s a page turner right the way through. As always with any RE Bradshaw book, it’s never long enough for me. The tension, mystery, suspense, intrigue and well placed humor throughout, had me reading well into the night to finish the book.

RE Bradshaw’s writing is tight, the plot fraught with tension and the story had this reader rushing through to find out how the book ended. Each time I tell myself to read RE Bradshaw’s books slowly to savor the story. Lets face it, we don’t get nearly enough books from RE Bradshaw. But, I never do. I then have to re-read the book to simply enjoy the story without the hyped up feeling of eager anticipation and agitation I get the first time round. This, for me, is the sign of an excellent read.

I also like that RE Bradshaw included much loved characters from some of her previous books. In this Rainey book, we have lawyer Molly and her partner, Leslie. Always a welcome addition. Plus Danny McNally, Rainey’s ex FBI partner. I also thoroughly enjoy the interaction between Rainey and her family. I would dearly love to see more of Rainey at home with Katie and the triplets

This book has left me wanting more, much more from RE Bradshaw and has joined all her other books in my re-read folder, to be read time and again.


Sunday, 4 May 2014

First Blood by JD Glass

Samantha Cray lost her mom when she was two years old and her fire-fighter father when she was fifteen. Then she lost her best friend the year she left high school.

Lost and lonely and on the brink of self destruction, Samantha goes to London at the invitation of her guardian, Uncle Cort. It’s here that Samantha learns the secret of her bloodline.

Samantha is now known as Ann and is set to become the Wielder, which is a power dedicated to the Circle of Light, which fights the Dark in its various forms.

Ann’s best friend Fran visits her in London and as well as becoming Ann’s lover, finds herself embroiled in the Circle with Ann.

Ann is on a mission to learn all she can, as quickly as she can. The Dark is fast catching up and will soon overpower her and harm her friends.

This is another book in the Wielder series. The story hasn’t always been easy to follow in previous books. This book actually explains a lot that has puzzled some readers who have read JD’s previous books in this series, as to what the Circle of Light and the Wielder is. Also how Samantha/Ann became a Wielder and part of the Circle of Light as previously written about in Glass Lions and Punk and Zen Part 1: The ReMix.

As is usual with a JD Glass book, it’s well written and the characters are all multidimensional. Both Ann and Fran are great people and easy to get to know and like. The secondary characters, especially Uncle Cort, Elizabeth and Graham, all enhance and progress the story forward, each playing their own roles to perfection.

This is a story of being lost and of finding ones way back from the brink of destruction. It’s an incredible journey for Ann and her friends. A journey full of twists and turns and surprises along the way.

The heat factor of this story is off the charts. There is sex, lots and lots of sex. Sex where both Ann and Fran are figuring out their sexual uniqueness and experimenting with each other and the roles each of them feels comfortable with.

I’ve read all of the previous books JD has written in this series and I have to say, if I could have chosen where to start reading the series, I would have chosen to read this one first. In my opinion, this book gives the reader the background on the entire Wielder/Circle of Light and the grounding we need to appreciate and enjoy the rest of the series. But, whichever book you start with, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

If you haven’t read any of JD’s books yet, you are in for a treat with this one.

This story was previously published as American Goth. It has been revamped and revised though.

Second Chance by Taylor James

Sequel to Chance

Maureen Chance has made it to the Pro’s, she’s been signed by the Washington Royals basketball team. Unfortunately, this means she is separated from her ex coach and lover, Lonnie. They are finding it hard being apart, but are committed to making their long distance relationship work.

Maureen is finding playing pro ball vastly different. It’s no longer just for fun. When Maureen is finally given a chance to prove herself, she impresses one coach, but not the head coach. In fact, he makes the rest of the season into a living hell for her.

When Lonnie calls on Maureen as an unexpected surprise, she discovers her in a sexual situation with other women. Hurt and bewildered, Lonnie breaks up with Maureen, causing her pain and devastation.

When Maureen returns back home after the worst year of her life, she is a broken and defeated woman.

Maureen is teetering on the brink of a complete mental and physical breakdown. Will Lonnie forgive her and help her back on the road to recovery?

I have to say, I read Chance first and was not impressed with the book. But, I had already bought Second Chance and decided to give it a try. This book is even worse than Chance. There are many typos and grammatical errors, more than I am willing to forgive for the price I paid here in the UK.

Possible spoilers ahead.


Onto the story. With all the mental and physical abuse Maureen suffered, it was a wonder she wasn’t dead. There was simply just so much and so many things happening, it did not ring true at all. Drugs, alcohol, multiple sexual partners, mistresses, rape, you get the picture! Not much of a story, just one situation after another.

Then there is the graphic hetero sex scenes in this supposedly lesbian book. A gay man and a lesbian having hot sex was just too much to take. To top the lot, the gay man kept asking the lesbian to marry him. Not as a beard though. He was still off having sex with his gay men friends. It’s not like this was a one off drunken fumble. It happened more than once. No indications of this when purchasing the book.

I’m not going to waste any more of my time on this review, suffice it to say, that although I have purchased several more of Taylor’s books, I won’t be reading them. Note to myself, read one book by a previously unread author before buying any more from reading the synopsis!


Friday, 2 May 2014

Hearts and Flowers Border by LT Smith

Teacher, Laura Stewart’s life is plodding along at a nice steady pace. Until suddenly a blast from the past, thirteen years past to be precise, nearly knocks her world of its axis. Memories, some good, some bad, all buried deep in her subconscious come flying back with a vengeance to the forefront. With them comes all the pain of Laura’s first true love.
Will Laura’s raw pain spoil her chance of a happy ever after with the beautiful, but untouchable Emma Jenkins?
Will Laura put the past behind her, or will her mistakes be repeated again?
I read this book years ago and really enjoyed it. I was so pleased to see that it has been re-published and is now available in ebook. LT Smith is an accomplished writer. Her books are a delight to read and her wit and humor is wonderful.
This is an easy and comfortable read. The story is told from Laura’s point of view and follows through from her teens and her first love through to adulthood. There is a melting pot full of emotions running rife throughout, with a lot of intense drama and angst both from the teenage Laura and Emma through to the adult Laura and Emma. But, there is a lot of laughter too.
Both Laura and Emma have their own hidden secrets and desires. Their young love would probably have never survived. Once they get everything out in the open, maybe their more mature love will stand a chance. It’s the path of true love we read about here. A path that isn’t smooth along the way and comes to a dead end until new ground is broken for a new path. A wonderful story that will stay with me a long time.
Although I’ve read this book three times now, I will still be reading it again. As I’m British, I love the British sense of humor. Having said that, I feel that the humor can be appreciated by our overseas friends too. 
I look forward to reading more from LT Smith soon.

Grace Falls by HP Munro

Doctor Madeleine Marinelli, (Maddie)has decided it’s time for a change. After being dumped by her partner, Joanna, of twelve years, she has no reason to stay in Atlanta. Maddie lines up a prestigious job as head of an ER in San Francisco. Unfortunately, or may be fortunately, Maddie didn’t make it to San Francisco. Her beloved T-Bird broke down en route, just outside of the tiny town of Grace Falls. Her car is going to take a while to repair due to some shenanigans by the mechanics at the garage. Meanwhile, Maddie gets caught up in the laid back way of life in a small town and meeting some of it’s quirky residents.
Alex Milne has spent most of her life caring for others, now she’s raising her young daughter, Jessica, while running her own coffee shop. When Alex meets Maddie, she is immediately attracted to her. But she can’t chance getting involved with her. Maddie will not be staying in town. She’ll be leaving as soon as her car is fixed. Alex simply can’t risk her heart, can she?
This is the first book I’ve read by H.P. Munro. I have to say, it won’t be the last as I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is a true delight to read. The two main characters, Maddie and Alex are so obviously made for each other. Both are multi-faceted with a fantastic back up cast of secondary characters all interacting wonderfully well together to progress the story forward. Alex’s daughter, Jessica, was the star of this book. She’s humorous and years older than her actual biological age. In fact, she had me literally laughing out loud at some of her antics.
I loved that this book was set in a small American town where everyone knew everyone else’s business. In some cases, even before they knew it themselves. It all added to the closeness of the characters, although it in turn caused some problems. Which added to the entertainment value.
The one thing I would have liked to know was ‘what happened to the Grace family that Grace Falls is named after’. They were alluded to and I kept waiting for them to either put in an appearance or for some sort of explanation. There was a small mention of Alex and Charlotte Grace, but that was all. Just a minor point and it didn’t spoil the story one bit. There was so much going on at all times.
There were a few typos and grammatical errors, but nothing that pulled me out of the story.
I would love to meet these characters again. A sequel would be more than welcome.

The Love Sucks Club by Beth Burnett

After a terrible tragedy and heartbreak, Dana McComb moves to a beautiful Caribbean island where she becomes a bit of a loner. Feeling nothing but numbness is the only way Dana can stop the visions she’s been having about the death of her soul mate, Fran.
Dana had a rebound relationship that failed dismally. So, she’s even more determined to hunker down in her isolated house on the top of a hill. Dana’s only companion is her middle aged, Maine Coon Tom cat, Frank. She’s determined to live a quiet and uneventful life.
Dana and her best friend Sam, start up The Love Sucks Club. A club which enables them and their friends to sit around moaning about their pitiful, almost non existent love lives.
Dana’s state of misery gradually begins to subside when her younger sister and a few of the islanders start interfering in her life and her plans for being a hermit are slowly ousted.
When a new woman arrives on the island, Dana’s visions return with a vengeance. Suddenly, hallucinations, nightmares and panic attacks are an everyday occurrence. Dana wonders if she is going insane.
Dana’s attempts at shutting out her past are failing. She has to do something and soon. She begins on a journey to put her dead lover to rest, knowing it could either be a life saver or a complete disaster, making matters worse.
A nicely written book full of humor and beautifully set on a Caribbean island. From the well defined descriptions, I totally lost myself in with the characters and lived the story with them and I was hooked in from the first page.
Dana and her best friend Sam play the biggest parts in this story. Both are well developed and multidimensional. They are backed up by a great cast of secondary characters all interacting well together. Characters I could easily identify with and think of as friends.
The story mainly follows Dana as she tries to get over the loss of her lover. Without adding any spoilers, all sorts of ups and downs and twists and turns occur throughout. Emotions boil over one minute, followed by gut aching laughter the next.
Life on the island is never dull and Dana’s futile attempts at being a hermit are thwarted at every turn. Until eventually, The Love Sucks Club goes from bitching about the lack of love it’s member are experiencing, to actually having the hope of love to come.
This is an extraordinary original story, one which will stay with me a long time. Totally different from Beth’s first two books. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Dana’s life after the hurricane. But, maybe that’s for another book, hopefully.

Second Chances by MJ Duncan

Twenty nine year old sports journalist, Charlotte Bennett, (Charlie to all but Mackayla) is assistant editor of a prestigious sports magazine. Her professional life is going really well, but her personal life is a disaster. Charlie is still in love with her college sweetheart, Mackayla Thomas, (Mac to all but Charlotte).
Unfortunately, circumstances at the time caused Charlotte to walk away from Mackayla eight years before. No other woman has ever matched up to her  though and after yet another disastrous one night stand, Charlie decides she must make some changes in her life.
When Charlie is offered a one year guest lecturer position at Blake University, New Hampshire, she jumps at the chance and takes a year long sabbatical from her job.
Leaving Manhattan for New Hampshire, Charlie expected to find peace and quiet. But instead, she runs into Mackayla.......literally. After which, her life will never be the same again.
Mackayla is still nursing a broken heart from being dumped by Charlotte years before. She’s determined no one, especially not Charlotte, will be let in to her heart again. Charlie however, has different ideas. She sees their meeting as a sign that a happy ever after could still be on the cards. For that to be possible, Charlotte has to convince Mackayla to put the past behind her and to give her a second chance. Will Charlie succeed? Or are both women destined to be alone forever?
This is the fist book I’ve read by MJ Duncan. I really enjoyed the story. It’s the typical formula of ‘girl meets girl, girl loses girl and girl goes all out to win girl back again’. It’s tried and tested and it works. The story itself is fast paced and a comfortable read. I like the two lead characters, Charlie and Mac. There are some wonderful secondary characters too. Both women have male best friends who play a nice part in progressing the story forward.
One thing that irritated me a bit was the constant referring of Charlie and Mac as the blonde and the brunette. Beyond the actual description of a character, it’s unnecessary. But, that is a minor point and in no way ruined the story for me.
The one thing I really liked about this story is there are no other people muscling in on the tentative friendship that develops between Charlie and Mac. They will either make it on their own or they won’t. No unnecessary drama to annoy the reader.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading more from MJ Duncan in the near future. If you are looking for a short, tender, sweet romance, you should enjoy this one.

Killing Rosa by Lynn Kear

Sequel to Black Hearted Bitch.
A Kell Digby Crime Novel
Kell Digby is a former hit man. Her girlfriend Gretchen has just left her and she’s devastated. Being at a loose end and in between assignments, when Kell’s ex boss, Rosa, calls her for help, Kell drives down to Miami from her home in Georgia. Rosa needs Kell to come out of retirement and to kill a business rival.
What should have been a simple, straight forward hit, turns out to be anything but. Kell needs all her wits about her to out smart a dangerous enemy.
Another well written, great story in the Kell Digby series. It’s full of ups and downs and twists and turns throughout, ensuring a gripping, thrilling, exciting and steaming hot read. 
Kell is a whacky, multidimensional character, who under normal circumstances should not be liked and her actions abhorred. But, I really like her. Having said that, I don’t agree with all the things she does, although I can well understand, but not condone, why she carries out some of the hits. Kell is backed up by a great cast of secondary characters, some good, some bad, but all essential to the progression of the well laid out plot.
In this book, Kell finds herself embroiled in a world of scams and murderous plots. It’s really a case of her protecting her friends or sitting back and watching them get killed. The plot is written with a tongue in cheek sense of humor and like Black Hearted Bitch, cannot be taken too seriously. It’s for entertainment only, not true to life. It certainly amused me and I enjoyed the story. It’s light hearted and a black crime thriller/comedy with a raunchy bit of action thrown in for good measure.
I’m hoping there will be more adventures with Kell soon.

Say Something by Jade Winters

When teenage sweet hearts, Jessie and Toni’s clandestine love affair is exposed, not only does their world come crashing down around them, it nearly destroys one of them. It’s said that a first love is the sweetest, but not in their case.
Jessie’s world had been spiralling out of control for sometime, it was only Toni’s love and friendship that helped her cope. Unfortunately, the constant bullying by her peers and Toni’s ultimate betrayal leaves Jessie bereft and with no choice but to make some drastic changes. Jessie vows never to trust anyone again.
Ten years elapse. Jessie is now a powerful and prominent employment lawyer. When Jessie comes face to face with Toni, the woman who had betrayed her ten years earlier, her world begins to spin. Will Jessie be able to forgive Toni and put the past behind her? Will she be able to deny all the old feelings that come rushing back to her? Toni was her first love and her only love, will she be her last?
Another page turner from the very first page through to the last from Jade Winters. Each of her books are so very different. This book is about bullying and the consequences of a person being bullied. Not only bullying in schools amongst children and teens, but bullying within the work place. It happens far too often. Jade has portrayed these cases with knowledge, care and understanding. She has obviously researched the subject very well. Jade has picked a tough subject to write about, she’s done it extremely well and fearlessly.
Both Jessie and Toni are damaged, flawed characters in different ways. Each carrying their own secrets and living with their own personal hell. Each coping in her own way to get her life back on track.
In her school days, Jessie is the one needing help from Toni to stay strong. She is let down and betrayed. Fast forward ten years and the roles are reversed, Toni needs Jessie’s help. Whether Jessie will help Toni or not, is really down to whether she can find it in her heart to forgive her. It’s this journey that makes for powerful reading.
There are a few typos throughout, but nothing that pulled me out of the story. For the very reasonable price of the book, they can easily be forgiven.
I’m looking forward to Jade’s next book. She’s become one of my favorite authors.