Review of ‘Love like this’ by Melissa Brayden.

‘Love like this’ is the final book on the ‘Seven shores’ series that follows four friends living in the same condo in Venice Beach, California. This novel is the story of Hadley Cooper, an assistant manager of a boutique in Rodeo drive. When she meets fashion designer Spencer Adair sparkles fly between them. But Hadley’s ideas about love and commitment are very different from Spencer’s. Will they have a future together?

This is definitely my favourite of the series as the four friends’ stories wrap up and the readers get to know about their future in detail. All the best traits of Brayden’s books are present here: great dialogues, banter, humour, a well laid plot, multidimensional characters and, last but not least, a good old romance. The chemistry between Hadley and Spencer is extremely well done. As usual, the author manages the attraction and the sexual tension magnificently. Kudos to Ms. Brayden to introduce an interracial couple (only her second after Sarah and Emory from ‘Heart block’) which needs to happen more often in lesfic.

In the acknowledgements the author hints that this book might be different from what readers expected and, boy, is she right. We thought we had Hadley sussed out from the previous books but in this one we are up for a big surprise. It’s not that Hadley is out of character, it’s just that we see her from a more intimate perspective and the results are incredibly hot. I don’t want to be more specific to spoil anything but let me say that Ms. Brayden manages to blow our minds big time with this one.

The level of angst and drama is quite low compared to other books in the series but suits the story perfectly. This is mainly a feel good romance, upbeat and positive to suit Hadley’s personality and to finish the series on a high.

Overall, a feel-good, entertaining and sizzling hot romance. A great end to the series. 5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Sparks like ours’ by Melissa Brayden.

This is book 3 of the ‘Seven shores’ series featuring four friends living in Venice beach, California which I recommend to read chronologically. ‘Sparks like ours’ is the story of Gia Malone, a professional surfer, and Elle Britton, world champion surfer and Gia’s fiercest competitor. As number two in the world, Gia is determined to beat Elle whom she considers superficial and too perky. But when an advertising campaign brings them working together, Gia starts reconsidering her opinion about Elle and Elle begins to question her own sexuality. Will they act on their growing attraction or will their budding relationship be destroyed by the extreme competition between them?

This is by far my favourite book in this series, as now the four friends and the secondary characters’ personalities are well defined. The ‘Soho loft’ series is still my favourite but I suppose it’s a matter of taste. ‘Sparks like ours’ is one of Ms. Brayden’s books with less angst or drama I’ve read. The characters’ conflict is more due to career challenges than serious disputes or misunderstandings. It makes the conflict realistic and sad at the same time. The rest is pure Brayden’s usual style: witty dialogues, hot chemistry, well crafted plots. As always, Brayden uses the perfect balance between show and tell. In her books, we are observers as the events unfold and we experience the characters’ emotions which stir our feelings and trigger our imaginations. The author leaves the descriptions to her trademark intimate scenes. And, oh boy, how she excels at that. Ms. Brayden has the lesfic romance formula perfected and us readers cannot get enough. Her books are lesfic heaven.

As a bonus to her fans, there are a few cameo appearances or references to some of her most beloved characters: Molly and Jordan from ‘How sweet it is’, Mallory and Hunter from the ‘Soho loft’ series and Spencer from the forthcoming ‘Love like ours’.

Overall, another winner by Melissa Brayden which will make her readers happy. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Hearts like hers’ by Melissa Brayden.

This is the second book of the ‘Seven shores’ series which follows the lives of four friends living in a condo in LA. The first book, ‘Eyes like those’ focused on Isabel and presented the rest of the characters. This book succeeds in shaping their personalities better. There’s no denial that Ms. Brayden is one of the top lesfic authors. Her ‘Soho loft’ series was highly acclaimed for its entertaining, witty and romantic portrayal of love and friendship and one of my favourites. In my opinion, the ‘Seven shores’ series hasn’t reached that level yet.

The plot revolves around Autumn Primm, owner of the ‘Cat’s Pajamas’ coffee shop and her relationship with Kate Carpenter, an out of town firefighter who’s escaping from a traumatic experience in her past. There’s almost instant chemistry but will their budding relationship be as fleeting as Kate’s stay in LA?

‘Hearts like hers’ have all the ingredients that readers can expect from Ms. Brayden: witty dialogues, heartfelt relationships, hot chemistry and passionate romance. I would have given it a straight 5 star rating if it wasn’t for some plot twists that dampened the romance a bit. Despite that, it’s a very enjoyable and entertaining book which I highly recommend.

Overall, another enjoyable book by Melissa Brayden. 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Eyes like those’ by Melissa Brayden.

Disclaimer: I’m a fan of Melissa Brayden, she’s at the top of my favourite lesfic authors (see https://lezreviewbooks.com/my-top-tens/). Whenever her books are published, I automatically put it at the top of my to-read list. So I might not be completely unbaised in my review but who is it anyway?

Ms. Brayden introduces with Eyes like those, a new book series called Seven shores. But this time instead of New York (as in the Soho loft series), the setting is California. The author trades an advertising agency for a TV show production, skyscrapers for coastal sunsets, Starbucks for an indie coffee shop and midnight chocolate feasts for barbecues on the beach. Despite the obvious differences, she manages again to introduce endearing characters, long lasting friendships and a hot romance. Pure Melissa Brayden at her best.

Overall, another great read that won’t disappoint Brayden’s fans. Can’t wait for the rest of the series. 5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Strawberry summer’ by Melissa Brayden

Melissa Brayden is at the top of my favourite lesbian books authors (see full list here: https://lezreviewbooks.com/my-top-tens/). Her books have romance, angst, hot scenes, wit and funny dialogues. All these elements balanced in well conceived plot and subplots. The reader can safely expect a very enjoyable reading experience.
Having said this, I might have set the bar too high and now I expect to be wowed by every single book like I was with, for example, ‘Kiss the girl’. It wasn’t the case with ‘Strawberry summer’, hence, my 4 star rating. Don’t get me wrong, all the elements of Ms. Brayden’s style are present, the main characters chemistry, the hot scenes, the banter, the witty dialogues, the lovable secondary characters but just maybe not in Ms. Brayden’s usual eloquence.
The book is divided roughly in two parts, it starts with Courtney and Maggie meeting as teenagers and follow their romance through college years up to their breakup. The second part takes us to the present time, the characters in their mid twenties, when Courtney comes back to Maggie’s hometown. If they’d get their happily ever after is for the reader to discover. Here is my issue with the plot: it seems divided into two distinctive and separated parts and doesn’t seem to flow seamlessly. Present and past aren’t integrated as a whole. The reader gets a brief introduction of the present in a short preface and then is taken to the past for 65% of the book. In my opinion, the past section dragged for too long to maintain the conflict tension and resolution. However, don’t let my comments put you off, despite my criticism, I found this book a very enjoyable read anyway.
ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘First position’ by Melissa Brayden.

Wow… another Melissa Brayden’s masterpiece. She’s by far my favourite lesbian romance author… and by far I mean miles away from the rest. Ok, now that we’ve got established my not-so -subtle partiality, I have to add that this book is one of my favourites from this author along with ‘Kiss the girl’. For me it has the right amount of wit, romance, sex and angst. The combination of all these ingredients make an incredible read.

What else? The main characters have perfect chemistry, the secondary characters add depth to the story and the appearances of characters from previous books (including my favourites Jess and Brooklyn) is a nice bonus. Ms. Brayden knows how to take the reader into different worlds (in this case, classical ballet) with the talent of a cinematographer. That’s why I think many of her books could make very good movies. All in all, if you are looking for lesbian romance and are a bit tired of the butch-femme dynamic of damisel in distress with her heroine in shinning armour, this book is right for you. I cannot recommend it more but then, be warned that I’m a bit biased. 5+ stars.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.