Monthly Archives: January 2016

Untrained Eye – Jody Klaire

Untrained Eye - Jody KlaireBook 3 of the Above and Beyond Series and it’s a cracker. This time our three complex and unusual characters are off to save a bunch of children from the slave trade and have to fight through evil gangsters, traumatised teenagers and their own extremely mixed up psyches.

In this episode Frei takes a much stronger role and we get to learn where her cold and uncaring demeanour comes from. Renee gets to be the mixed up kid and Aeron is the ‘normal’ one. The interplay between the three ranges from coolly professional to extremely emotional as their complex relationships grow.

These are amazing characters and unusual plots. Jody Klaire manages to mix up a thriller crime drama with a psychic whodunit and an ever so slowly burning romance. It’s a wonderful action adventure story for girls. Add in humour, great dialogue, brilliant writing and these books are just a joy.

Jody KlaireIf you haven’t read The Empath and Blind Trust you have a huge treat in store.. go get all three and take the week off work because you wont be able to put them down. And then join the rest of us while we wait with frustrated anticipation for the next instalment.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 396 pages
  • First published 2016
  • Publisher: Bedazzled Ink (January 14, 2016)
  • ASIN: B01ANW578E
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La Vie en Bleu – Jody Klaire

Jody Klaire – La Vie en BleuI noticed Jody Klaire’s new book Above and Beyond Series, Untrained Eye, is due out about now which reminded me I hadn’t reviewed her romcom La Vie en Bleu that was out last August.

La Vie en Bleu is an absolutely lovely read. It is well written, humorous and full of excellent human observation combined with an interesting version of the classic re-united lovers romance. It is very different from the Above and Beyond Series, but like all Ms Klaire’s work is extremely well done.

Pippa has settled, she is with a man she doesn’t love living a life she doesn’t like, because what she wanted was too scary. When her past is forced upon her the passion she left behind is impossible to ignore. The only question is whether she will have the courage to go back, to claim what is hers for the taking, and admit she was wrong.

Jody KlaireMs Klaire manages to get the ‘will she wont she’ tension in on several levels while nothing is over the top. The main characters are likeable and whole, faulty and human. The matching pair of best friends add a huge amount of fun to a romantic comedy worthy of a Hollywood script, and the background is ably filled by a beautiful setting and a loving village life.

Definitely a “highly recommended” for those who like a light-hearted romance, I look forward to more of the Romantic Ms Klaire.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing (August 1, 2015)
  • ASIN: B014EAPQ0U
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Chasing a Brighter Blue – Gerri Hill

Chasing a Brighter BlueThe newest Gerri Hill is another excellent read. Set in Colorado at Christmas, Ms Hill uses her knowledge of the outdoors as a wonderful backdrop to a charming romance.

Reagan is the damaged and tormented Photojournalist, withdrawn and struggling to survive. Shelby is the daughter of an exclusive hotel chain owner. They are brought together for a fantastical wedding party where their siblings are destined to marry, among scheduled breakfasts and fights over bridesmaids dresses.

There is an instant attraction. But Reagan is far too damaged to want more than instant gratification and Shelby knows women just want her money. So while they arrive at an uneasy truce and start to enjoy time together escaping the ridiculous pomp and ceremony, there is no way either would be interested in more.

Gerry Hill biogAs always with Gerri Hill’s books the characters are complex and engaging. Both our main protagonists and a range of secondary characters are quickly drawn in with a skilful touch that makes them very real.

The scenery in this novel is magnificent and exceedingly well drawn. Without ever being heavy-handed Ms Hill enables us to imagine the views and relish the freedom.

Gerri Hill has written a lot of very good romances, yet manages to keep them fresh and new. Chasing a Brighter Blue is an excellent example of the best sort of lesfic romance – light and easy to read, but engaging and three-dimensional. Definitely one for the re-read pile.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Bella Books (December 22, 2015)
  • ISBN: 9781594934698e
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Cast Me Gently – Caren J. Werlinger

Cast Me Gently - Caren J. WerlingerCast Me Gently is a story of growing up, of loneliness, of coming out and the transformative affects of falling in love. Caren Werlinger always writes intriguing novels about complex and very real people. Once again her well-crafted plot and elegant prose transport us into the lives of her characters with all consuming intensity.

Ellie is alone; she lost her mother early and her brother to the streets. She has carved a life for herself, growing up fast and surviving by shear hard work. Somehow she has managed to keep her dreams of travel and finding her brother, as well as her kindness and humanity alive.

Teresa is part of a huge Italian-American family and while she is older, educated, mature, professional and responsible, she hasn’t really grown up or out of the confines of her family business and home.

Caren Werlinger BiogSet in the early 1980’s in rust belt Pittsburgh we see the grittiness of the city during an economic recession, with large unemployed and homeless populations. Like Ellie and Teresa the city shows us two sides, the strong closely knit ethnic groups and the down and out wandering the streets and surviving on hand-outs.

The period is a complex one, post Stonewall but way before any gay rights, Ms Werlinger uses this recent past to set very real roadblocks for the romance, issues and concerns that most of us will remember. As always her use of place and time is subtle but real, from the ever-present smokers to the grim reality of the streets and the prejudices of the time.

This is an Intricate and delicate story made up of pain and hardship, love and loss, real life emotions that every one of us will empathise with. The themes of growing up, loneliness, even ostracism, make Ellie and Teresa’s journey painful and reminds us just how hard being honest with ourselves and our lives can be. But in the end it is a tale of love, of the joy in finding that “one”, and having the strength to stand up for what will make us whole.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Ylva Publishing (October 15, 2015)
  • ASIN: B01678SJDI
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Just Three Words – Melissa Brayden

Just Three Words – Melissa BraydonI didnt read as much as normal over the spring and summer and missed some excellent titles. I also realised I had done Melissa Brayden a huge dis-service by not reviewing Just Three Words. So apologies for being behind the times.

I loved this book. It is well written, has excellent and endearing characters, a charming backdrop of shared history and deep friendship. I enjoyed the camaraderie, the well drawn but varied characters, the recognition that their very differences are what made them such a fine team. The secondary characters are just as well drawn, and we get a real sense that Ms Brayden is a a student of human nature and a fine observer.

Melissa BraydenIt is a fine romance. We know where it’s going and don’t expect any radical surprises, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a very well done book. Excellent style, well edited and put together, and an altogether enjoyable read.. must be, I have read it twice this year and that’s a rarity.

If you haven’t sampled Melissa Brayden’s superb romances you are definitely missing out.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (April 20, 2015)
  • ASIN: B00UTPQSI4
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Sweet Hearts – Melissa Brayden, Rachel Spangler and Karis Walsh

Sweet HeartsThree short stories giving us an insight into the love life of the besties from Melissa Brayden’s Heart Block, Rachel Spangler’s LoveLife, and Karis Walsh’s Worth the Risk.

All light and fun reads, exactly what you would expect from such good romance writers and a lovely way to follow on from the main event. All three use the characters from the first book, but all stand alone as charming little tales.

In Firework by Melissa Brayden: Lucy Danaher was born into a life of privilege, and has always enjoyed the view from the top. But after clashing with reporter and rights activist Kristin James, she wonders if there’s more to the world than she once thought.

In Getting Serious by Rachel Spangler: Lisa Knapp has never been the romantic lead. She’s better suited to comic relief, but when another guest at her best friend’s wedding doesn’t go for the easy laugh, Lisa has to face the prospect of getting serious.

In Risk Factor by Karis Walsh: Myra Owens runs a therapeutic riding program for returning soldiers. She won’t risk getting hurt by becoming personally involved with her riders until Ainslee Cooper challenges her to take a chance on love.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • First published 2015
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 15, 2015)
  • ASIN: B018A2PJJQ
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