Damage Control – Jae

Damage Control - JaeGrace Durand is at the top of her game, hot romantic and rom-com actress who gets to choose her roles and seems to live the dream life. Except, of course her life is constrained by all the expectations placed upon her since she started modelling diapers as a baby. Grace is about to turn 30, and beginning to realise she needs to forge her own life rather than allow everyone else to make her decisions.

Lauren Pearce is her new publicist who is about to face a torrent of crises as the paparazzi hound Grace about her sexuality, her marriage and then the spiraling gossip that surrounds her. From a Hollywood background herself Lauren doesn’t think too highly of the diva’s she represents. As she gets to know Grace and her co-stars, Jill and Amanda, she realizes not all stars are as shallow as she thought.

These two women are great characters, well drawn, three dimensional and multi-layered. Along with their friends, co-workers and Grace’s overbearing and interfering mother, they form a wonderful cast. Their growing friendship is fun to read and gentle backdrop to a growing attraction between them.

Jae - biogThis is the most traditional of romances – a lesbian and straight woman resisting the pull. It builds slowly throughout the book and leads to the inevitable questions about Grace’s courage when her attraction to a woman might damage her career and Lauren’s professional choices. But alongside the customary emotional rollercoaster the romance brings we also see these women grow, questioning their long held beliefs about themselves and those around them.

Jae always writes good books. This is a light and easy read which will charm away the hours and bring a smile to any romantic soul. Well done and thoroughly enjoyable as always.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (1 April 2015)
  • ASIN: B00VKMZR64
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Soiled – Lin Phillippi

SoiledThe first Shannon Patrick Landscapes Mystery introduces us to the wonderful Shannon Patrick and her long-suffering wife Karen. Shannon a landscape designer and Karen, a collectibles dealer, live in Palm Springs with Mooch and Bailey, their two quirky cats.

Shannon has an uncanny ability to find trouble at every opportunity, leaving Karen at her wits end. She has already had several close calls but if trouble is to be found, rest assure that Shannon will find it. A visit to a clients home starts a chain of events that has Shannon facing all kinds of misfortune -stumbling across a pool of blood and shattered glass is just the beginning.

Her hunger for the truth leads her down a dangerous road and her antics place both hoer and Karen in danger. As the suspense, intrigue and tension build we find her dealing with a smuggling ring, mystery women, a biker gang, a sexy police officer and a fight for her life.

Lin Phillippi bioThis is an outstanding debut novel, combining mystery fiction with slapstick comedy. I had several laugh out loud moments and was so enthralled I struggled to put the book down. Within five chapters I found myself checking to see if she had other titles.

It’s well written, perfectly edited by Katherine V. Forrest and highly entertaining. My only disappointment and yes I only have the one, is that I don’t have another Shannon Patrick Landscape Mystery to read. Ms Phillippi please give us many more because the first is magnificent.
(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Sapphire  (March 13, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00UPFOV6Y
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Deception By Design – Tara Wentz

Deception by DesignA story filled with suspense and enough twists and turns to cause whiplash.

Kellen Reynolds lives for the adrenalin rush that can only come from burning up the pavement at the local amateur racetrack, during the day she works as a graphic/software designer and her best friend is also her dog Chigger.

Photographer Joshlyn Davis tries to keep her life uncomplicated with few friends or acquaintances and a treasure trove full of secrets her mission in life is to go unnoticed. She has worked hard to get her life just as she wants and needs it but then life isn’t always that accommodating.

The two women meet and have an instant attraction. Ms Wentz paints a gradual picture as Kellen and Joshlyn fight against it. Each holding secrets close but inevitably love is too powerful an emotion to run from. They both choose to take small steps hoping that fear will not raise its ugly head. But then love is never that simple.

Tara Wentz bioWe are thrown into turmoil as the story heats up. With enemies crawling out of the pages and both women fighting for the truth, it’s difficult to know who has the most to hide and in the end who is the most in danger. With twists and turns, you are left screaming “whatever next”.

Deception By Design is a well written and edited story. A thoroughly enjoyable read that keeps you on the edge of your seat, especially when Kellen is behind the wheel.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Sapphire Books (March 25, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00V5MGW8Q
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The Rainey Bell Thrillers – R.E.Bradshaw

Rainey DaysWhen I picked up the first book in this series Rainey Days I had absolutely no idea that I would be transported into the world of an exceptional storyteller.

Rainey Days introduces us to the aloof FBI agent Rainey Blue Bell. On medical leave after a life-changing encounter with a serial killer the previous year, we step into her world as she continues her fight to forget the nightmares and move on with her life. Her struggle to cope often has her looking for answers at the bottom of a tequila bottle.

Rainey NightsCurrently running her deceased fathers bail bond business, a request from an old friend may put her back in the firing line.

We also get our first glimpse of the charming Katie Meyers who is unknowingly placed in danger, a pawn in a game where only those with the strongest will to survive have a chance.

The two women find themselves enthralled, each captivated by the other and as the story unfolds we join them in their spellbinding attraction.Rainey Season

With fast-paced action scenes and a sophisticated plot that grips the reader Ms Bradshaw has also fully fleshed out her heroes and villains. The series perfectly balances a gentle  love story with the ever-present danger that shrouds Rainey.

RE Bradshaw bioEach novel has its own menace, its own evil lurking on the pages and as the series develops we learn more about the monsters Rainey Bell had to deal with whilsColde & Raineyt working with the BAU. We also see the supporting cast grow and evolve as we learn more about them.

The Rainey Bell Thrillers capture the imagination of the reader with such ferocity that resistance to reading the complete series to date is futile. As each book comes to an end Ms Bradshaw leaves us with the need to reach for the next instalment.

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All We Lack – Sandra Moran

All We LackSandra Moran writes interesting books. This is her fourth and while there are some common themes, the novels are all completely different. They have a lesbian element. They explore our place in the world and our perceptions of the world around us. But ultimately all are unexpected, whether from the twist in the tale, the concept, or the point of view.

“All We Lack” is a story of journeys. 4 main characters and a series of bit players are taking bus trips to Boston via New York. Each person is on an expedition to find something they are lacking – in themselves and in the world they inhabit.

Maggie seeks a wholeness she both yearns for and disdains. She threw away one chance for a life mate and is determined to try and create a second chance, despite her ongoing fear of living a ‘real’ life.

Bug needs a home, security, care and compassion. A little boy nobody wants, seeking nothing more that a feeling of belonging, the barest of kindnesses enough to fill him with warmth.

Helen searches for a life with more excitement than the boredom of being married to a controlling man she despises. She gives up everything for the chance of happiness with a gorgeous doctor she met on the Internet.

Jimmy is the archetypal loser. Fat, frumpy, boring and a misfit, he has spent his whole life making bad decisions he can blame on a crummy childhood. He longs to be the man he could have been, but hasn’t yet accepted that the choice is ultimately his.

Each one of Sandra Moran’s characters is a detailed and complex portrait with enough depth and intricacy to fill most other books. In addition we have a whole range of secondary players who both fill out the story and add a layer of interaction that the main characters never quite manage between them

Sandra Moran biogThe writing is, as always, imaginative and immaculate, every word considered and placed. The timeline is complex – a series of flashbacks, overlapping, layered and convoluted. But they flow from the page exactly how our thoughts flash across interconnected life experiences. The concept intrigues, pulls you forward and keeps you glued throughout.

Another winner from Ms Moran, one that will make you think, consider your choices, and ultimately provides the perfect vehicle for people watching without the leaving the comfort of your armchair.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Bink Books
    (March 18th, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00UXXRFPW
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The Vision Painter Series – RJ Samuel

The Vision Painter series so far consists of 2 novels; Falling Colours and Casting Shadows. Unusual stories – they combine romance with paranormal and mystery whodunits. Ms Samuel is a gifted storyteller and these novels pull you in and keep you riveted.

Falling ColoursFalling Colours tells the story of an Indian/Irish woman, Kiran, who lives in semi exile from her family in Connemara, Ireland. Unbeknown to her father’s Indian community she has inherited his gift as a Vision Painter, somebody who can literally paint a vision and have the vision come true. Her exile is primarily because girls cannot be Vision Painters, but her lesbianism doesn’t exactly help her relationship with her father.

When a client asks her to help him understand his wife’s suicide it launches them onto a roller-coaster ride involving stolen money, fake priests and murderous property developers. Mixed in with it all is the dream of a romance that seems doomed from the start.

Casting ShadowsCasting Shadows follows Kiran into the next phase of her life. She is happy and beginning to feel settled when her mother is taken ill. Rushing home to Kerala she discovers that somebody has painted a negative vision and caused her mothers sudden illness. As the mystery unfolds the evil follows her back to Ireland and impacts her new life. Eventually she is forced to confront the hidden past of the Vision Painter’s council and the hatred of those jealous of her and her fathers gifts.

Ms Samuel’s books flow and swirl with the creative gift of a bard, her words roll off the page in a way that make me think of oral storytellers sitting around the fire and weaving tales on dark winter nights.

RJ Samuel BiogThe characters are multi-dimensional and stand out from the page, the main players well supported by a wide ranging cast in Ireland and India – good and bad are real people with back histories and deep emotional journeys.

In addition RJ Samuel brings the countryside to life – the cold, fresh, rain-swept green of Ireland and the hot, dry, dust of India play a strong part in the novels, grounding us in the where but adding to the history and sense of cultural pressure.

All in all excellent tales of real people, on individual journeys, with complex subplots that add to the overall completeness of the story. Well written, well executed and highly engrossing, let’s hope there is a third book on the way.

falling colours Falling Colours casting shadows Casting Shadows

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The Treasure Seeker – Frankie J. Jones

Treasure SeekerMy first Frankie J. Jones and I really enjoyed the read. A tale combining a failing relationship, a murderous hunt for 80 year old loot and the awakening of a physic talent for finding.

We start with what seems like a fairly traditional busy lives – failing partnership story of Ry and Kate, too caught up to take the time and notice the romance has faded. When Ry accidentally brings home an extra box from an estate sale she feels compelled to take it back, and lands them in the middle of a families battle over missing money. The consequences mark the end of their relationship and the beginning of a whole new life for Ry, including the awakening of the second sight she seems to have inherited from her beloved Granny Jeter.

The book is well written and, of course well edited – by the mistress of editing Katherine V Forrest no less. It flows off the page and into your imagination like a good book should, no thought process required.

The ‘place’ is very well done throughout. The antique store, the Lawson House, the family farm, Granney Jeter’s cabin – all are evocative and add considerably to the emotion and mood of the scenes. Even the places Ry dreams, such as the derelict Dodd house and the cave, are used well to suggest time and place.

Rylene, her family – including her long dead great grandmother – and the other major players are well drawn, three-dimensional and extremely rounded characters. They take on a life of their own and stay in your mind. Kate is less likeable and maybe we wish Officer Matthews played a bigger role – but then that leaves us a tantalising opportunity for a come back if Ms Jones produces a sequel.

Frankie J Jones biogAnd the twist in the ‘normal’ tale, of Ry’s new-found talent for finding, definitely leaves the author with a huge opportunity to make this into a series – it would definitely get my vote. Ry’s talent is the perfect vehicle for all sorts of adventures and no doubt “The Treasure Seeker” cum do-gooder would have some interesting romantic opportunities along the way.

Thoroughly enjoyable reading, a great story and likeable and believable characters – what’s not to love?

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bella Books (May 12, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00LH2YWD6
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Cherokee Falls Series – D. Jackson Leigh

BarebackI think as a reviewer there is a difficult balance between always moving forward with new talent, new titles and current releases, but also acknowledging that previous novels may need a visit every now and then. It is easy to assume readers new to this genre must be aware of these great books, these wonderful writers, but then – maybe not.

With that in mind I thought I would review a series of books that always put a smile on my face. D. Jackson Leigh wrote the first in the Cherokee Falls series back in 2008, its title Bareback, followed by Long Shot and later Every Second Counts.


Long ShotThe novels each have there own stories to tell but the theme running throughout is that of long term friendship and the beautiful relationship between a horse and rider. Each book can stand alone on its own merit, however with muti dimensional characters you really can’t wait for the next instalment.

Bareback introduces us to best friends Skyler Reese and Tory Greyson. The two women have been friends since childhood and know each other better than anyone else, good and bad. Skyler is the arrogant, confident player whilst Tory has always been the quiet, strong, loyal friend. That loyalty is put to the test when both women are drawn to newcomer Jessica Black.

Every Second CountsLong Shot continues the story of friendship and the ups and downs of making difficult choices; sometimes the hardest decision is knowing when to gamble and allowing      the heart what it truly desires

Later in the series Every Second Counts also gives us the opportunity to meet the third member of this ‘friends forever’ group Marc Ryder, who’s confidence with women makes Skyler seem rather tame.

The series is beautifully written and gives the reader a front row seat whilst we watch these D Jackson Leigh Biogthree strong, resilient and hard headed women grow, mature and finally acknowledge the things they need in their lives to make them complete.

Throw into the mix wonderfully descriptive settings, an insight into the life at an equestrian centre, oh and lets not forget the hot sex and I do believe that Ms Jackson Leigh has a winning formula.Three stories, three friends and a series that will warm your heart and soul.

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Undone – E.M. Hodge

UndoneThis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a love story from one woman t­­­­­o another. A rediscovery of emotion the author thought unobtainable, a life and passion she had despaired of achieving.

The themes are love, lust, fulfillment. Each poem a journey of expressing something heartfelt. An outpouring of wonder at the joy of rediscovery and re-emergence from a profound loneliness and desolation. We can feel the pain that has been before, and experience the rebirth, literally from darkness into light.

The language is exquisite. Some poems are wordy – expressive torrents that wash over the reader.

“The cicadas make the movie soundtrack
As we move in the way that lovers do
To heart beats and breezes
Rising and falling
And listening to the river
We flow”
            Lyrics

Others are minimalist, where every word fulfills a paragraph of meaning and the very simplicity becomes an art-form.

“Sometimes
Melts
Into Always”
                              Citadel of Me

Throughout each poem, and the collection, we experience emotional and physical ecstasy, at times almost overpowering. Deeply personal and yet made public, speaking to anyone with a romantic soul, a yearning for more.

E.M. Hodge takes hold of your heart and soul and twists them along with her angst, then releases the visceral pleasure of new love, new desire and the physical bliss of physical exploration.

She is a wordsmith of the highest order, where every word fills a place and a purpose, every phrase a rounded and well-mannered addition to the flow of feeling.

Whether you normally read poetry or not is irrelevant. This is a book for lovers, for dreamers, and most of all, for women who love women. Read it to lighten your own darkness with hope or to woo a new love with passion. Share it with your partner in bed every night. Speak it out loud and revel in the glory of a perfectly expressed emotion.

“She
spacerOn top of me
Inside of me
Captured
Anticipating
Needing

To be undone”
                  Undone

 

Product info:

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing
    (13 Nov. 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PM3YNXU
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My Happy Ever After – D.K.Linda

My Happy Ever AfterThis is by far one of the best novellas I’ve ever read.

My Happy Ever After is a story about the loves and heartaches of Talia and Michele, two women destined to find each other and live their lives surrounded by love, understanding and outstanding passion.

Ms Linda has a wonderful gift of developing the characters so that you literally feel their love and emotion seep through the ink on each page. As a reader you are with them as they take those first little steps that lead to first dates, their first kiss, and as for the sexual chemistry, be sure you don’t read the book in a public place, because it is definitely hot!

DK Linda BiogAs with most ‘happy ever after’ stories there is usually heartbreak and this is no exception. The story takes you on a roller-coaster journey of emotional ups and downs. But I think that is simply because it is so well written that you simply can’t help but feel as the characters do. Giddiness, joy, happiness, grief, devastation and, eventually, that slither of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

This novella has it all, two beautifully written female characters, a handful of furry babies, a strong supporting cast and a story that will have you holding your breath till the very end.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • First published 2013
  • Publisher: D.K. Linda (December 20, 2013)
  • ASIN: B00H5AF1RA
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