Saturday, 29 August 2020

The Couple Next Door - Rick R. Reed

The Couple Next DoorThe Couple Next Door by Rick R. Reed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not quite sure how I would classify this book. Is it a romance? A thriller? Romantic suspense? It's possibly actually all three, but it's also very different from anything I've read before. Right up until the very end I wasn't really sure how it was going to all pan out.
When Jeremy meets his new neighbours Shane and John, it's clear that there are plenty of secrets and problems surrounding them. As he discovers more about them he finds himself drawn further and further into their world. Can he really trust what he is told and learns about them?
Although there is romance here and it is that which drives Jeremy's connection to the two other men. The real heart of the story though is the life that John and Shane have been living for years. There are lots of twists and turns here. Although there are some elements that at least seem obvious from the beginning, there's still plenty to keep you guessing. I really don't want to say anything that might give away anything, so I'll leave this review here. I only really want to finish off by saying this is a gripping read that has you guessing right up until the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Eagles in Flight - Ramcy Diek

Eagles in Flight
Ramcy Diek
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: August 25th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Emma’s life changes the day Ruben Templeton walks in and asks her out on a date. Over dinner, she’s a little disappointed when his best friend, Jesse Kimball, joins them. Jesse is a senator’s son who just announced his candidacy for mayor.
Twenty-seven-year-old Emma is surprised, but excited when it’s Jesse who calls her the next day instead of Ruben.

Jesse introduces Emma to a life with mansions, expensive cars, cocktail dresses, and status. It doesn’t take long for him to sweep her off her feet. He’s handsome and charming, making her feel like the center of his universe.

When Emma receives devastating news, Jesse asks her to marry him. From the moment she agrees, their relationship starts to deteriorate. Desperate to understand why her new husband is so cold and distant, she reaches out to him, only to be met by anger.
Hurt and confused, Emma turns to Ruben for advice.

Ruben suggests they give each other space for a few weeks. Weeks she can use to help him locate his younger brother Axel, who has gone missing. Emma agrees, and soon finds herself on a road trip across the country.

Will Emma and Jesse’s temporary separation clear the distance between them, or will she find love in the arms of another man?

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Author Bio:

A long time ago, I fell in love with the United States while traveling around in an Oldsmobile station-wagon with my husband. We are both born and raised in the Netherlands.
Together, we eventually found our way to the Pacific Northwest, built up a business, and raised our two boys into amazing young adults with their own careers. During this time, I also made a slow transition from reader to writer of many different stories.

My multiple award winning debut novel "Storm at Keizer Manor" sets the bar high for my second novel, Eagles in Flight.
All my books are stand alone novels in different genres. You might be in for a surprise, or a disappointment.

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When I first started Eagles in Flight I wasn't entirely convinced that I was going to be able to get into it. It wasn't long before I was hooked by the story as it unfolded. Although this is a romance novel, it's perhaps not a romance in the traditional sense of the genre. 
Emma is a librarian. She lives with her mother, who is wheelchair-bound and longs to see her settled and happily married. When Ruben, someone she knew growing up introduces her to Jesse, a mayoral candidate, she finds herself swept away in a whirlwind romance. All isn't as it appears though and it isn't long before Emma finds herself questioning what love really is and finding it in unexpected places.
Emma is a very naive character. It may not be obvious to her what is going on, but to the reader, I think that the motives of Jesse and Ruben are pretty clear. It even becomes clear fairly early on what their feelings are and why they are acting as they are.
The only thing I struggled with was Jesse's behaviour. He seems to act in one way one minute and then when we meet him later his character seems to have changed entirely. In fact, some of his actions make no sense in the context of his motives. Or they didn't to me.
Ultimately, this is a story with a happy ending and one that will leave you satisfied. Emma certainly deserves that happiness. If like me, you struggle with this one to begin with, then I urge you to persevere with what is in the end, a very enjoyable read. 

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Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Forbidden Need - by Lee Colgin

Forbidden NeedForbidden Need by Lee Colgin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the 'they bite' series and like the previous books, it features a relationship between a vampire and a shifter. In this case, we have Samuel a vampire over a hundred years old and Rudy, a Coyote shifter in his thirties.
As vampires go, Samuel is a particularly grumpy one. Even so, there is something that is almost innocent about him when it comes to relationships. He has had a number of bad experiences over his long life and although it has led him to become the hardened warrior that he is, when he meets Rudy a softer and more vulnerable side to him comes out. Some of the story is told via flashbacks to both Rudy and Samuels youth and we find out more about what has shaped both of their characters.
I enjoyed seeing the unfolding relationship between them. From the start, Rudy is convinced that Samuel is his, but it takes Samuel much longer to come around. After all that he has been through, he's not convinced that he deserves the kind of relationship and happiness that Rudy is offering him.
This third book is another great read and one that I really enjoyed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Saturday, 22 August 2020

Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

Feel the Fire (Hotshots #3)Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Often when there is a series set in the same place or around the same career there's a danger that the storylines become too similar, but that is far from the case with the Hotshots series. I think this is partially because the characters are all different with different circumstances. There is something a little bit more to it than that. Although all of these stories are set within the world of wildfire fire fighting, the roles that the various characters have are very different. This time we are dealing with Tucker and Luis.
Tucker is involved in fire management and control. He has a past with Luis, but they haven't seen one another since they were teenagers. When Luis is called in to help out in her role of a fire investigator, they find that their attraction hasn't diminished over the years and that they need to address what happened between them before.
This story is as much about following your dreams and it never being too late to do so as it is a romance. Alongside Luis and Tuckers growing love, there are Tucker's twin boys Walker and Wade who are growing up and dealing with similar problems to those Luis and Tucker faced as teenagers.
This was a great read and just as enjoyable as the first two instalments on this firefighter romance series. I'd be more than happy to read any more that come along.

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Friday, 21 August 2020

A Dangerous Goodbye - Fliss Chester

Your lost love never came home after the war. Would you risk everything to find out what happened
A Dangerous Goodbye - Fliss Chester
to him?

1944. While war rages in Europe, Fenella Churche is doing her bit in the green fields of England. But when she finds a letter addressed to her on the scrubbed farmhouse table, she knows the news won’t be good. She hasn’t heard from her fiancé Arthur since he was posted to France on a dangerous undercover mission, and from his very first words she knows he may not be coming back.

I fear this may be my last letter to you, my darling, Arthur writes. Fen won’t give up hope and calls the war office, wanting to know if Arthur is still alive; they refuse to tell her anything. Searching for answers, she returns to his letter, but parts of it just don’t make sense. Through her tears Fen realises that her darling Arthur is giving her all the clues she needs to find out what happened to him.

1945. With the war behind them and nothing left for her in England, Fen travels to the deceptively pretty French village where she thinks Arthur might be, but there’s no sign of him. She’s close to giving up when she finds his silver cigarette case and another letter full of clues. But when the local priest is killed, it’s clear someone wants to keep wartime secrets buried. If Arthur, a brilliant spy, was outwitted and betrayed, can Fen stay alive long enough to find out what happened to the man she loves?

A gripping story of war, mystery, espionage and murder. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd and Rhys Bowen will absolutely adore this unputdownable World War Two murder mystery.

My Review

What a fantastic read this was. If you enjoy historical murder mysteries, then you won't go far wrong with this one. Set just after the close of the second world war, it focuses on Fennela Churche, who travels to France to see if she can find out what has happened to her Fiance. As she starts to look around the chateau and winery that he was based at, it becomes clear that whatever happened to him is tied up with events that are unfolding at the chateau now.
The book had a great sense of time, atmosphere and place. It wasn't hard to picture the small village in 1940's France and the life that they are trying to put back together after the German forces have left. The characters in this book are fantastic, both those who lead the story and those that are on the edges. It adds a great richness to the story.
As for the mystery itself, it worked well. I had solved it and the reasons behind it before the reveal, but that didn't really matter. I was still caught up in the book and wanted to know if my deductions were correct. The whole thing was well signposted with clues and the odd red herring. I don't think it was too obvious though.
I really liked Fen as a character. She's a great combination of brave and daring, without being unbelievable. She certainly feels of her time and not out of place in the historic setting. I quite liked the way that she has a little bit of a weakness when it comes to her appearance, it's these little things that humanise a character.
I really enjoyed A Dangerous Goodbye and will certainly be reading the next book in the series. I'm looking forward to what Fen might get up to next. 

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Winds of Fear - Gledé Browne Kabongo

Winds of Fear
Glede Browne Kabongo
(Fearless Series #3)
Publication date: October 23rd 2019
Genres: Adult, Psychological, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

Their dark secret could destroy her family

When Abbie Rambally meets the couple next door for the first time, she’s convinced something isn’t right. Why are the Paynes so fascinated with her oldest son and why do they ask so many probing questions about him? Then Abbie’s loyal and dependable nanny quits without giving notice, and Jenna Payne is only too happy to step in and help out. But Abbie begins to suspect that the Paynes’ choice of neighborhood was no accident.

Though Abbie wants to believe she can trust her neighbors, too many things about the couple don’t add up. So when a stranger in a café calls Jenna by a different name and insists they’ve met before, one thing becomes clear. If Abbie doesn’t uncover what the Paynes are hiding, her family will be in terrible danger.

From an award-winning author comes the latest installment in the “gripping and powerful” Fearless Series. This nail-biting psychological thriller can be read as a stand-alone, and will leave you breathless until the final, jaw-dropping twist.

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Author Bio:

GLEDE BROWNE KABONGO writes gripping psychological thrillers–unflinching tales of deception, secrecy, danger and family. She is the #1 Amazon bestselling author of The Fearless Series, Swan Deception, Conspiracy of Silence, and Mark of Deceit. Her love affair with books began as a young girl growing up in the Caribbean, where her town library overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. She was trading books and discussing them with neighbors before Book Clubs became popular.

Gledé holds a Master’s degree in Communications, and was a featured speaker at the 2016 Boston Book Festival. She leads workshops on publishing and the craft of writing and hopes to win an Academy Award for screenwriting. Gledé lives outside Boston with her husband and two sons.

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My Review 

Winds of Fear is actually the third book in a series. That said, I read this as a standalone, not having read the previous books. I still really enjoyed it and was gripped by this thriller. The book tells the story of the Rambally family. Abbie and Ty are both busy with their careers and with three children to raise, life is busy. When a new couple moves to the area and becomes interested in their lives, at first they seem to be helpful and offering what they need, but it soon becomes clear that they have other motives that are a lot more sinister.
Like all good thrillers, I found myself almost screaming at the book, 'don't trust them' as Charlie and Jenna start to infiltrate the family. But of course, that's the way that it should be, we have the advantage of being able to see everything that's going on, so it's easy for us to see what they can't.
This was a gripping read and it really didn't matter that I hadn't read the previous books. They do feature the same main characters I believe and I would be interested in going back and reading them too. 

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Thursday, 20 August 2020

Here to Stay - Adriana Herrera

Here To Stay

Award-winning, highly-acclaimed author Adriana Herrera delivers the sexy, modern enemies-to-lovers

romance you’ve been waiting for.

Starting over is more about who you’re with than where you live…

Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year.

She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling…except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.

It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South.

The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.

My Review

It makes a refreshing change to read a romance book where the hero isn't an overbearing alpha type. Not that Rocco, our hero, in this case, isn't a strong, complex and interesting character, he is. It's just that he's also sometimes unsure of himself, very sweet and caring and carrying around quite a bit of baggage. Julia, his heroine has issues of her own, but these have far more to do with her past relationship. She's unwilling to commit to someone who might whip the rug out from under her and leave her high and dry. 
In many ways, Julia and Rocco are well suited. It takes them both a while to accept this and this isn't a fast-moving action-packed story, but I think that it's all the stronger for that. Although Julia isn't sure about getting involved with Rocco, the more that she learns about him and sees who he really is, the more that she cannot resist him. I really did enjoy the development of their relationship.
The only thing that confused me was the age of Rocco's niece Blue. I'm sure that we're told at the beginning that his sister was 15 when she got pregnant and that she was now 21. That would make Blue 6 or 5 at the very youngest. Towards the end of the book, she seems to be a toddler and they refer to her as the baby. I don't know if that was my mistake or an error in the book? It is a minor point in what was a great read.
This was hugely enjoyable and I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys romances that go that little bit further than just a simple love story. 

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

The Name of Red - Beena Khan

The Name of Red
Beena Khan
Publication date: May 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Romance

Two strangers on the same path.
Survivors. Companions.
They will be each other’s salvation.

On a rainy, winter night, a mysterious woman in a red dress seeking shelter comes inside the restaurant Kabir was busy working in —primarily the bar— and night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot. That is where he sees her for the first time.

Hundreds of patrons around her try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them. It appears she wants to remain in a blissful peace alone with her booze and books. After seeing the mysterious woman reading a book, and because of his shy nature, Kabir gains entrance into her life by anonymously leaving books with notes for her.

The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever.

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Author Bio:

Beena Khan lives in a suburb in Queens, New York in her apartment. She's's a Literary Fiction Novelist and Poetess. She is 27 years old and from Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. She's an immigrant who moved to New York when she was five years old. She currently holds a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Cuny School of Professional Sciences. She enjoys reading, writing, and netflixing.

The Name of Red is her debut novel.

Her website is

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My Review

First things first, it should be mentioned that this is the first book in a duet of books. That said, this one doesn't end in a cliffhanger. Instead, it's clear that there is more to be told about some of the characters that appear and that the story will continue. 
The book tells the story of 'Red' a mystery woman who turns up at Kabir's bar and restaurant on a rainy night, dripping wet and on her own. She sits reading and drinking, not paying attention to anyone around her and Kabir is captivated by her. Over time, they become friends and slowly something else develops, despite the fact that they are both battling loss and pain in their past. The book deals with many difficult topics from death and loss, to alcoholism. 
I did find the book a little hard going, to begin with. It doesn't flow as easily as you might hope and the pace is a little slow and drawn out in places. That said, the more that I learnt of the characters and their backstory, the more that I was drawn into their world. 
The Name of Red is a great read that deals with some tricky topics. It isn't your usual romance story and it's perhaps not quite right to classify it as one. It is an interesting read though and one that's well worth your time sticking with. 

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Sunday, 16 August 2020

The Best Next Thing - Natasha Anders

The Best Next ThingThe Best Next Thing by Natasha Anders
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Juggling a meaty topic such as physical abuse and the recovery from a relationship defined by that with a romance can be a bit of a challenge. That's exactly what Natasha Anders does in The Best Next Thing and she manages to pull it off incredibly well.
Charity has been hiding away from the world since the death of her physically abusive husband. (Although it would be more than fair to say that he was sexually and mentally abusive as well.) For the last three years she has been working as a housekeeper for Miles Hollingsworth, without them ever really seeing one another. She has become adept at blending into the background and giving the impression that she's much older than she really is. When Miles comes to spend time recuperating at the house, it isn't long before the barriers between them begin to crumble.
I really loved Miles, he was sweet and caring without being wet or pathetic. He and Charity work really well together and there was clearly much more there than the initial chemistry that we often see in romance novels. I loved the way that Charity was shown as such a strong character, despite what she had faced. Like many things, dealing with abuse and recovering from it is something that will never be a quick fix or overnight solution and this story didn't try and hide that.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. I loved reading about Mile's and Charity's relationship and couldn't help but cheer them on from the sidelines.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Friday, 14 August 2020

Snowball's Christmas - Kristen McKanagh


Snowball's ChristmasSnowball's Christmas by Kristen McKanagh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a rule, I'm not a huge fan of sweet romances, I like something with a little bit more spice. The premise of this one appealed to me, even if it's not Christmas right now, the idea of a kitten trying to sort everyone out and get the couple together appealed to me.
Lukas has returned to his Aunt's bed and breakfast for the first time in years. While he's been gone, things have become quite run down and it's clear that she has been struggling. Amazing baker and cook Emily has been helping her out, but it's obvious to Lukas that it's about time that his Aunt retired. What he doesn't count on is the attraction he feels for Emily and with a little help from Snowball the kitten, he soon begins to wonder if selling up is really the best option.
This was quite a sweet romance. I enjoyed the growing romance between Emily and Lukas. She distrusts him from the beginning and although she does her best to keep him at arm's length, it's clear that she can't resist him, any more than he can resist her.
Snowball does try to get things moving along, but the meddling from the kitten is quite funny and almost has the opposite effect from time to time.
I enjoyed this dip into a different kind of read for me and I'd be happy to read more from Kristen McKanagh.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Withstanding the Enemy - T.L. Mahrt

Withstanding the Enemy
T.L. Mahrt
Publication date: January 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Emma Andrews was orphaned at a young age with no family to turn to. Tired of the broken foster-care system, and believing it was her only option, she runs to a multi-millionaire with a reputation of hiring young women. It is only then that she learns what real monsters look like…

Emma uses her overactive imagination to help her get through the toughest of days. By daydreaming a life full of love and freewill, she manages her colorless prison, but even in her wildest dreams, she would have never imagined it could become a reality. That is, until she meets Chance, a man willing to lay his life down to save hers.

But what Emma doesn’t expect is to fight her own personal demons—her heart.

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Author Bio:

T. L. Mahrt is a former business owner, where she utilized her education in cosmetology, barbering and massage therapy for several years. She was raised on and is currently living on a farm in Nebraska, where you can find her running barefoot in the country side with her loving husband and inspiring children and massive dogs.

After having her son, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, she made the life altering decision to stay home to care for her two children and pursue her love for writing. She has a love for romance and poetry where, her overactive imagination, along with her adventures and up beat lifestyle drives her inspiration for her writing.

T. L. Mahrt has a thirst for knowledge, and is currently working on her Bachelor of Applied Science in Communication Studies degree.

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My Review

There's a lot going on in this story. I have to admit that I didn't realise when I started it that it would be part one and that the story would be left on a cliffhanger. I don't mind when that happens, but I prefer to know upfront. I think as it became clear how many different layers there were to the storyline, it became obvious that things weren't going to be wrapped up neatly by the end of the book.
Most of the story focuses on Emma. She has been the victim of abuse for a long time and from a fairly young age. So much so that she has lost grip on who is good and who isn't. She has started to develop feelings for her abuser and her emotions are all over the place. Into this comes Chance, who is assigned to be her security. Emma finds a sizzling connection with him and she can't help but be drawn towards him.
Overall this was an interesting read, with many quite difficult subjects tackled. I struggled a little bit with the way Chance behaved towards Emma at some points, really he should have been giving her more space and be less jealous. Particularly when he fully understands what she's faced. I couldn't completely feel for Emma. Yes, she's had it tough, but she was a little too innocent for someone who has dealt with the things that she has. I also felt that the confusion around Chance, Rick and Ocean Eyes was a bit much. Throw in the final threat it all seemed a little odd, but perhaps things will become clearer in the next book.
I'd be interested to find out what happens in the next instalment of this story. Particularly if we get a bit more information on Emma's background. 

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Friday, 7 August 2020

In Deep - Blue Saffire

In Deep (The Blackhart Brothers, #2)In Deep by Blue Saffire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Deep tells the story of Demaris and Kevin. Demaris is an undercover FBI agent, working as a detective and trying to get to the bottom of the corruption in the police force. She's reluctant to get involved with anyone, as she has been living a fake life for years and has begun to forget where she ends and her undercover identity of Danita starts. When Kevin comes into her life for the second time, she soon realises that there's no way that she can continue to keep him at arms distance. No matter how hard she tries to not get involved, he has different ideas.
I really liked the chemistry between Demaris and Kevin. He's willing to accept who she really is, even when she's keeping much of her real-life secret from her. I thought it was quite interesting to see a relationship where he was willing to accept her as she was and not push too hard against the secrets that she was keeping.
The only thing that I wasn't totally on board with was Kevin's accent. I'm not keen on lots of dialogue written with an accent, which is probably just a 'me' thing. I also wasn't sure why he even had an accent, his parents might be from Ireland, but he seemed to be American unless I was missing something.
Overall, this was a gripping romantic suspense and I'd certainly be keen to read more from the Blackhart Brothers.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Behind Closed Doors - Rachael Reilly

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by Rachael Reilly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Behind Closed Doors is a fun and quick read. It's really more of a short story with chapters than a novella and I read it in one sitting. That said, it is quite a bit of fun. We have romance, a bit of a problem to overcome and it's quite hot. Don't let the length fool you into thinking that there isn't plenty here.
Behind Closed Doors is the name of a sex shop that Julia, a middle school librarian decides to visit. She broke up with her previous boyfriend over a month ago and has been missing sex. She decides to take matters into her own hands. While at the shop, she runs into owner Clay and from the second that they meet the chemistry between them is explosive.
The relationship between Julia and Clay is fast-moving but still enjoyable to watch it unfold. There isn't a lot of space for huge discoveries or deep developments, but that's not always what you're looking for. This was a good quick read and I'd certainly be keen to see more from this author.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Hard Knox - Amber Molloy

Hard Knox
Amber Malloy
(Perfect Stats, #2)
Publication date: June 16th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Book two in the Perfect Stats series

Everything comes easy to quarterback Gavin Knox—women, football, even money. However, the only thing he truly wants but can’t win is the beauty of his dreams, Remy Bell.

A simple favor to save the girl turns into the quarterback losing his heart.

As beautiful as she is fun, Remy Bell has only one problem—a psychotic killer with political power wants her dead. Always a ‘two steps ahead’ type of gal, she plans to outrun the maniac. Marriage and a sweet life in the football star’s hometown in Canada would give her the cover she needs, but Remy doesn’t stick around long enough to find out. She travels all over the world, photographing the most beautiful and devastating events, but her now-husband’s tabloid activities lead her to the one place she should avoid…back home.

Superstar Gavin Knox wins at everything. However, once he scores the girl of his dreams, he’s suddenly in danger of losing the one thing he has always needed. Before she can slip through his fingers, he offers her a deal she can’t refuse—marry him for Canadian citizenship, which will protect her, and after five years, they can divorce. Knox is positive that she will fall head over heels in love with him, but it doesn’t happen. After six years of marriage, two playoff titles and a third on the way, Knox is forced to contend with a successful wife almost more famous than he is.

Determined to get exactly what he wants, which includes having Remy and a family, he devises a stupid scheme that puts everything he’s worked so hard for in jeopardy.

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Author Bio:

Amber Malloy dreamed of being a double agent but couldn’t pass the psyche evaluation. Crushed by despair that she couldn’t legally shoot things, Amber pursued her second career choice as pastry chef. When she’s not writing or whipping up a mean Snickers Cheesecake, she occasionally spies on her sommelier. Amber is convinced he’s faking his French accent.

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My Review

I wasn't completely sure what I was going going to get with Hard Knox. The blurb suggests that Knox and Remy have a marriage of convenience and that he has feelings for her that he wants to take further. As the story progresses it soon becomes clear that this isn't really the case here. There's is a relationship that was possibly always going to end with them together, but in the early days, things happened that both rushed them to that place and then kept them apart.

As the story unfolds we quickly learn about Knox's feelings. But this isn't a one-way street and while they may have spent years apart, meeting up only at intervals, they understand each other well and know what the other wants and needs, even if they haven't fully admitted to themselves what they want.

I really enjoyed this romance. It wasn't a sporting romance in the usual sense. Or rather it was different enough from others that I have read to be set apart as something different. It was obvious, or at least I thought it was obvious why they loved one another. There were a couple of times where I felt the action jumped a little without it being obvious as to why, but I think that just helped things to move along at a fast pace and it didn't throw me out of the story.

Overall this was a great read and one that I would highly recommend. I haven't read the previous book in this series, but that didn't really matter. That said, I enjoyed this one so much that I'd be more than happy to go back and give it a go. 

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Monday, 3 August 2020

You Can't Buy Love - Melanie A. Smith

You Can't Buy Love (Life Lessons, #3)You Can't Buy Love by Melanie A. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Live Lessons series and like the previous two instalments, it's a great read. The books would work just as well as stand-alone books, so you don't have to have read them, but they are both good, so I'd recommend checking them out.
This time we have the story of Jules, the sensible nurse practitioner that works with Becca and Sasha from the previous books. She's passionate about her work, the hospital, her patients and her work colleagues. Unfortunately, that means that she doesn't always see eye to eye with the hospital administration. When she finds herself attracted to Noah, who has a key role in restructuring the hospital, it's clear that her personal life and professional life are going to clash.
I loved the romance and conflict between Noah and Jules. We only see things from Jules' point of view and while there are points where I would love to see what Noah is thinking and feeling, I actually think that it works better that we don't. Jules doesn't know what he's thinking either, although I think we might have a better idea than she does, seeing as we're not blinded by emotion.
This was a great read. I really enjoyed it. I don't know if there's more to come from this series and these characters, but I for one am not ready to leave the Rutherford Hospital behind just yet.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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