Monthly Archives: December 2014

Under a Falling Star – Jae

under a falling starSolid, well-written and charming romance. Jae just writes good stories. Clever plot, interesting development and perfectly crafted as always. This is as ‘trad’ romance as you can get, and set as an office romance to boot, but she manages to make it new, refreshing and hold your interest. I couldn’t put it down.

Full of wit and humor with the occasional laugh out loud comedy moment Jae has a subtle style that draws you in and just carries you along. Truely amazing given English is not her first language.

Great cast and, as always, well thought through character development, I particularly relished watching Dee grow and Austen come out of her shell. Really enjoy how Jae can take such disparate types with unequal social situations and forge them into a balanced partnership.

Jae - biogThe setting, a high-powered corporate world inhabited by an obnoxious self-centered corporate dynasty, is both realistic and convincing. Despite the appearance of a Trad romance and the belief we would be given a happy ending, especially in a Christmas novel, there was still a level of tension that made it a page-turner.

Heart warming romance, brilliant writing, one not to miss – and a perfect late stocking filler for Christmas night.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (October 28, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00OZYIXOW
  Amazon.comTo buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

June Magee, R.N. Festival Nurse – Ann McMan, Salem West and Barrett

June MageeIn homage to the pulp fiction of the 50’s, Jane Lawless, Cherry Ames, R.N., and all the fabulous tales from when the world was a simpler place, the terrible trio of Ann McMan, Salem West and Jeanne Barrett Magill have crafted a witty, amusing and cleverly modern tale.

June Magee R.N. is the quintessential 1950’s “perfect woman” – at least on the surface. She appears flawlessly proper and fulfills the ideals of dedicated womanhood, putting her career above all else – followed closely by the appearance of modest perfection. Photographer Roi may be retro in her London Drape Suit, but everything else is bang up to date from her Boi styling to her wordly-wise knowledge of the gay scene. When the pair are sent to Rehoboth Beach FEST for Nurse Magee to do a book reading, all kinds of revelations and escapades ensue.

Ann McManSomehow, throughout a romping Nancy Drew style adventure, June remains a poster girl for a simpler era, while at the same time revealing both a three-dimensional character who becomes increasingly adorable and a complex self aware woman whose past is less perfect than the image she portrays. Add in a charming romance and a gentle whodunit and this book will definitely entertain on a number of levels

Exquisitely written, full of perfectly balanced and clever observation, witty asides and a cast of characters that makes “Birdcage” look tame, “June Magee R.N. – Festival Nurse” is slated to be the first of a series, and I can’t wait for more. I haven’t quite worked out how they managed to juxtapose a character who feels so totally lifted from the 50’s with a modern cast and setting, but it works seamlessly, teasing your mind with the question when the time warp will appear. Quite brilliant.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bedazzled Ink (December 1, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00QHEUE86
  Amazon.comTo buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

Twist of the Magi – Caren Werlinger

TWIST OF THE MAGIChristmas is not looking very merry for Penny Havers – she won’t be seeing her family for the holidays; she hasn’t had a girlfriend in forever; she can’t get her stories published. When two young women are hired at the shop where she works, Penny begins to think her luck may have changed. Penny is about to learn that, when Christmas works its magic, what you hope for isn’t always what you get.

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An excellent short story that will put you in the Christmas spirit. This is a delightful romance, well written, fully rounded and fleshed out in a very small and sweet package.

Caren Werlinger BiogMs Werlinger always delivers excellent stories. Her works are well written, well considered, well thought out. Her characters are deep and multi-dimensional. Her romance is tender and delicate. And over-all we end up with a gentle but heartwarming tale that thaws the cockles in an almost Dickensian style.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 38 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services (Nov 5TH, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PASHS3O
  Amazon.com

To buy the Kindle edition – click here.

Seasons Meetings – Amy Dunne

Seasons MeetingsAmy Dunne’s second novel, Season’s Meetings, reinforces the writing skills and storytelling ability we saw in her Goldie winning first novel, Secret Lies. This is a gentler, easier read, without the YA angst and issues of abuse and self-harm, falling solidly into the Traditional Romance category. But that doesn’t detract at all from how good a wordsmith Ms Dunne is.

The characters are engaging, well rounded and three-dimensional. From Angus the snowplow driver to the Celtic witch in the tourist shop, every person you meet will resonate. The main characters invite our empathy and our good will, we want then to make it… even the annoying best friend Beth has redeeming traits.

The plot is a sweet and heartwarming seasonal fair, but filled in with a level of detail that makes it more than just a vehicle for a romance. The journey is well done and the juxtaposition of Holly, the tinsel loving, big family traditionalist with the bah-humbug Scrooge, Catherine, gives Dunne a perfect foil to make Christmas something new and exciting.

amy dunneIntertwined throughout is the theme of family. We see examples from happy global networks and small village life to lost, broken histories that have left a lifetime of pain. Amy Dunne brings them all in to play in the remote Scottish Highlands, and from the mix forges new traditions, and possibly even new families.

KimmyNo review would be complete without mentioning Kimmy, the orphaned cairn terrier who wriggles her way into Catherine’s heart. Full of character, lovingly drawn, she comes close to stealing the show and will definitely endear herself to all the fur-baby loving readers out there.

Thoroughly enjoyable reading, a great Christmas present and a well-done second novel that firmly establishes Amy Dunne as a talent to be watched.

(publisher review copy received)

 

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 15, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PTFPVLY
  Amazon.com
Available to pre-order,

out on the 15th December
To buy the Kindle edition – click here.

To buy the Paperback – click here.

L is For – Kiki Archer et al

L is ForA great mixed bag of short stories, from ghosts to erotica, humor to romance.

Contributed by UK lesfic writers the profits are being donated to the charity R U Coming Outl At just over $6 (£4) this is an excellent Christmas present and a great way to support a worthwhile LGBT cause.

Contributors: VG Lee, Suzanne Egerton, Kiki Archer, Deborah Underwood, Angela Peach, Sarah Bolger, Clare Lydon, Crin Claxton, Angela Clerkin, HP Munro, Nic Herriot, Karen Campbell, Frances Gapper, Jade Winters, Tanith Nyx, Andrea Bramhall, Rain McAlistair, Katie Bennett-Hall, Chloe A Marshall

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 193 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: AMAZON (NOVEMBER 26, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00Q9F6Y1Y
  Amazon.com
To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

The Job – Jove Belle

The JobThe Job is one of those books you pick up and don’t want to out down, even when you reluctantly come to the end. From the beginning the characters and action adventure plot reach out and capture your mind, heart and imagination.

Sera Warren is an undercover FBI agent trying to use her job with a mobster to dig out information about the domestic terrorist group he is funding. When one of her ‘team’ discovers the truth she finds herself caught in the middle of a cross between a bank robbery and a terrorist bombing. Add in that they are robbing her ex-girlfriends bank, and the pressure to be the perfect super-hero agent who saves the innocent and stops the baddies is overwhelming.

find out more about Jove BelleThis is a fast paced tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The odds are overwhelming and the tools to hand are minimal, but you just will Sera to make it happen. Ms Belle has done an excellent job of keeping us engaged throughout as the baddies continue to show their callous disregard for life.

On top of it all is the bittersweet romantic flashbacks to the college days of Sera and Tara, made for each other and deeply in love but neither strong enough to make a stand. 15 years later and the chemistry is obvious. But realizing the love of your life is now a bank robber may take some getting over.

Well written, cleverly conceived and with wholly engaging characters, this is an excellent read and I sincerely hope it leads to a series of Sera Warren adventures.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (October 13, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00NWYGIZ2
  Amazon.com
To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

The Long Weekend – Clare Lydon

The Long WeekendThe Long Weekend is a charming tale of a 20 year reunion between university pals. Ten years on from their last get together we follow the ups and downs of friendships and relationships across the decades. Gone are the 20 something students who could stay up all night drinking table wine from plastic bottles, but the 40 year olds aren’t all quite ready to let go of their youth.

While some have settled into marriage and the consequential issues of monogamy and long-term relationships, others are still looking for fulfillment. Add in a wild child now suffering the effects of depression and the whole group feels the ramifications.

Clare Lydon BioWhether the 3 lesbian couples can survive the weekend forms one of the core questions, as Ms Lydon explores how we deal with infidelity, lies of omission and co-dependency. Even the lone singleton is not immune to the affects of adultery.

The characters are strong, well rounded people we will all recognize, as are the dramas that impact them, from minor squabbles blown out of proportion to the trauma of redundancy and despair. The tale is one of growing pains.. or perhaps that should be lesbi-drama “growing up” pains.

Interesting observations, well drawn, engaging characters and realistic , well-done dialogue made this an enjoyable read. A piquancy of humor and gentle romance lightened the tone and left the sense of a sit-com movie in the making.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 3248 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Custard Books (November 4, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00P9ZET9O
  Amazon.com

To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

At The Water’s Edge – Harper Bliss

At the waters edgeElla Goodman is recovering from a life changing experience. Filled with regret, self-disappointment and hurt, she retreats to her hometown in Oregon to deal head on with the demons that haunt her and refuse to allow her recovery.

Her stay at the West Water’s Lake Resort gives her hope and space to begin the healing process. Every step in her recovery, though small, is at least in the right direction.

Kay Brody is the manager/owner of the lake resort and wastes no time in building a friendship with Ella, a bond that in difficult times Ella will lean on for support and comfort.

Although the book has a serious message to convey it is, at its heart, a story of love, forgiveness and the possibility of a future.

Having read all the previous stories by Harper Bliss this is totally different. It’s a harder read, an emotional roller-coaster but worth every second. The two main characters are charming and the strong supporting cast add veracity to the tale.

I thought this book was amazing and it was a privilege to read. It joins my all time best top ten titles.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Ladylit Publishing (November 12, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00PKD1HX6
  Amazon.com
To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.

Against Doctor’s Orders – Radclyffe

against doctors ordersThe Argyle Community Hospital has been the cornerstone of the sleepy town since it began to grow six generations ago. From that day to the present a Rivers doctor has lead the provision of health care to the residents. Now the board have sold the failing hospital to a national health care provider and the Rivers doctors must brace themselves for a difficult fight.

Harper Rivers was the next in line to step up when her father retired but she isn’t ready to give in and let a health care conglomerate strip bare the town and it’s people of the hospital they desperately need.

In walks Presley Worth, a high-powered corporate financier sent to oversee the closure. Beautiful, smart and commanding, with the ability to remain professional whilst stripping the small community of its only hospital.

Harper and Presley have some battles ahead but the one they didn’t expect to fight is their attraction to each other.

RadclyffeThe book is beautifully written, transporting the reader to a time and a place when community and neighbourly love meant everything. The Rivers family are the heart and soul of the town and Presley Worth the corporate bully sent to destroy them. With brilliant main characters with a wonderful supporting cast, especially the Rivers sisters, you have a book that is impossible to put down.

I absolutely loved this book, you feel you’re part of the community. The characters jump off the page and pull you in. My only question is, when does Flannery Rivers get her story told, because I will be first in line to buy it.
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(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (November 17, 2014)
  • ASIN: B00OS4WOE4
  Amazon.com

To buy the Kindle edition – click here.
To buy the Paperback – click here.