Review: The Big Uneasy

I already loved The Road Ahead, and when I found out about the sequel, I was.. I don’t even know the words to say how absolutely thrilled I was.

Rebecca and Arabella are travelling together again, despite their first trip, which was not a success. This time they go to New Orleans (also known as The Big Easy). They’re also visiting Jenn, one of Rebecca’s friends, who works numerous jobs in the city. 

Jenn keeps running into Kathryn, who is on a forced vacation, and despite Kathryn’s prickly demeanor, wants to show that the city does live up to its nickname. Just like Arabella in The Road ahead, Kathryn claims to be straight. We’ll just see how that goes!

Rebecca and Arabella see the sights, explore the local cuisine and culture, and the reader gets to see not only the city through their eyes but also how their relationship develops. If you were disappointed that “nothing happened” in the previous book, it is all explained here.

The two separate storylines eventually converge, and with the help of a laughter-inducing supporting cast everything falls into place. I loved the parallels between the two pairs, the dialogue is again spot on, and dammit, I want to hug this book, too.

🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯 

Review: One Way or Another

Bethany hasn’t dated in ages. Sarah doesn’t do relationships. They meet sort of accidentally in front of a sex shop – one’s nervous, one’s outrageously flirty. This is, at first look, a simple opposites attract type of a romance, but there’s more layers than you’d think. I won’t spoil it, though, because there are enough hints throughout the slow burn (but fortunately not too slow!) romance.

I really, really liked One Way or Another by A.L. Brooks. I grinned, laughed out loud at times (so glad I wasn’t reading in public!), sighed happily, and at one point ground my teeth and needed some chocolate to take a break. I may also have called Sarah a few choice names.

The pacing was great, ditto the dialogue, supporting characters.. and just about everything! So.. five stars? Yeah, close enough, I’ll round this up to five. Maybe a bit more length and a bit less obvious secondary romance  (glad it wasn’t explored in great detail) and it would have been a certain, solid five.

🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: The Club

No-strings attached sex, for women-loving women. That’s what the club is about… but the book, The Club by A.L. Brooks, is much more than that. Yes, there are hot sex scenes of all kinds, but the story spans a couple of decades, the flashbacks seen through the eyes of the club owner.

There’s a bunch or characters, some appear only in one chapter, some have a longer story arc. At first it looks almost like a collection of short stories, but it’s not – it’s just constructed in a really cool way.

I pretty much fell in love with this book after reading the first few chapters. I was so invested in the characters’ lives and everything that I wanted to read it in one sitting (impossible, but one can dream). This was a perfect mix of sex and feels.. and made me so hungry for more. The day after finishing The Club, I bought another book by Brooks and devoured that too.

🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Climbing the Ladder

Chloe has finally landed the job of her dreams – at a magazine she’s loved since forever. Her first week is full of excitement, drama, and action.. quite the opposite of what you’d think a first week at a new job would be.

There’s a big cast of characters, some nice, some so not, lots of office gossip, intrigue and crushes (oh, poor Darcy!), but it doesn’t seem daunting at all once you get going with the story. It’s funny and cute and had me completely invested in the characters – although I wanted to shout at Chloe for… no, not going to say. Her parents too, oh god.

Another character in the book could actually be London. The snippets of life in the city – the tube rides, the streets and crowds – are so real I almost felt like I was there!

Climbing the Ladder by A.E. Radley left me happy but hungry for more. I really want to know what happens next… to every one of the characters – yes, the uptight asshole, too.

🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Four Steps

I finished this book just a couple of days ago and basically, I’m still flailing and trying to form a coherent sentence. So damn good! This deserves all of the awards and I’m blown away that this was a debut novel. Holy moly, what a start!

There’s a mystery that is revealed little by little, mostly through flashbacks. There’s a romance between the reclusive Alex and Lori, who’s finally realising she has settled for something that’s not quite what she wants. There’s a cast of great characters, plus all the beauty of the Scottish countryside and… just read it already if you haven’t!

At first the two plotlines in Four Steps by Wendy Hudson seem completely separate, but of course they won’t stay that way. When they intersect, the action speeds up and you will be hard pressed to stop reading and do something else (like go to sleep). It gets violent, though, so be warned if you’re squeamish.

The love story is slow and sweet and I’ve rarely read a more beautiful sex scene. All of the feels, none of the clinical description. The characters all seem real and believable, the baddies included.

Note to self: buy the paperback too!

🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Falling Hard

This was a nice book. Nothing too dramatic, nothing too angsty, just an opposites attract sort of story. Jordan is a bit of a player, Emma isn’t. Emma has a kid, Jordan doesn’t. Jordan is a surgeon, Emma was cheated by one.

Jordan gets injured and helpful neighbour Emma lends a hand.. and things develop from there. The characters are all pleasant enough and I did like the way the slow burn romance was done.. and I might even read it again.

It’s just that Falling Hard by Jae contains no surprises. A tiny bit of drama with the ex and that’s about it. The player is easily transformed into someone who wants a steady, exclusive relationship and although some people around her are surprised, most aren’t.

So, nothing wrong with anything.. but still, there was something missing (and I can’t put my finger on it). Liked it anyway, but I know Jae can write better.

🎯🎯🎯½ (rounded up to 🎯🎯🎯🎯)

Review: Chasing Stars

Swiftwing is a superhero. She is also a humble assistant to Hollywood star Gwen Knight. When Gwen needs someone to pretend to be her new girlfriend, Swiftwing/Ava steps in to help. The problem is, Ava already has a crush on her boss and it gets more and more difficult to just pretend.

Add some alien bugs, human drama, and a bit of angst, and it’s a highly entertaining romp. Chasing Stars by Alex K. Thorne is sweet, funny and action-packed – well worth a read even if you’re not that into science fiction or superheroes.

I especially liked how the character interactions and relationships were written – not just between the main characters but also the supporting ones, like Ava’s best friend Nic or Gwen’s son Luke.

Way back when this was a fanfic story, I read it at least three times. Now I’ve read the book version twice. It’s that good.

🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Confessions from the Heart

This is the prequel to the Confessions series, which I haven’t read yet. After this, I definitely will!

Cori is an aspiring writer, with a famous author as mother. She seems to have everything under control, but in reality, not quite. She and her best friend Annie have a friends with benefits thing going on, but when Cori runs across Kat and things soon get serious, complications arise.

Confessions from the Heart by T.B. Markinson is told from Cori’s point of view and it’s easy to see how Cori is sometimes clueless about things happening around her. The dialogue between Cori and Kat is brilliant, the supporting characters are fully fleshed out and not everything is revealed to the reader… which would be odd; Cori isn’t omniscient!

Next I’ll have to read the other two books in the Confessions series – I really liked these characters and want to know more about them.

🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Perfect Rhythm

Now this was a refreshing story! I don’t think I’ve encountered an ace main character in any book (least of all romance) before.

Leo is a super popular singer/musician, and now she’s back in her old hometown – to see her father, perhaps for the last time. Holly is the nurse who takes care of Leo’s father and who has almost become another family member. Holly is not impressed by Leo (or rather her public persona, Jenna), at all.

Add a difficult father-daughter relationship, small-town attitudes and expectations, and an almost reluctant friendship – plus a “charming” manager… Leo sure has her hands full, with no time to think of her brilliant career.

The romance in Perfect Rhythm by Jae is a real slow burn – apparently typical of this author – but not a boring one. Far from it; you won’t have to wait until the end before something happens. The relationship is nicely shown to contain much more than simple attraction, kissing and (the usually inevitable) sex.

Sure, there’s a bit of explaining about asexuality – in case the reader has no idea what it entails – but that’s ok, I didn’t think it interfered with the plot.

🎯🎯🎯🎯

Review: Greengage Plots

Kit Sorel is new to the island of Greengage. The island is a bit different from what she’s used to: here kittens can race, fruit can be sexy, wheelbarrows can be menacing, straight women might not be so straight after all, the owls are not what they… oh wait, that was another place! Anyway, when Kit tries to use her talents for plotting to help a friend, she soon discovers that on this British island anything can happen.

Kit tries to stay diplomatic and calm among the quirky locals, feuding families included, all the while working at the local library and not being interested in love or anything like that at all.

Greengage Plots by Emma Sterner-Radley has a whole bunch of funny characters, great lines and dialogue that wouldn’t be out of place in a 40’s screwball comedy (if it was made in Britain), hilarious and sweet moments. Especially the budding romance is a lovely mixture of cheesy and cute – sort of like in Tinderbox Tales, where tropes are simultaneously put to use and made fun of.

Really loved this story – I’m smiling even as I’m typing up this review – and will definitely recommend it to anyone who’s willing to listen (and even if they aren’t).

I wouldn’t mind reading more about the island of Greengage and its inhabitants, especially the co-owners of Pub 42!

🎯🎯🎯🎯🎯