Review of ‘Rising above’ by Genevieve Fortin.

Ana Bloom is an engineering geologist in a sabbatical leave researching the effects of climate change in rising sea levels in the small town of Sainte-Luce-Sur-Mer. She is convinced that people have to relocate away from the coastline as the consequences of climate change will eventually hit it with destruction and life loss. She settles in the White Sheep Inn and soon she befriends the innkeeper Yvonne and her dog Miller. But Yvonne’s granddaughter, Melodie, isn’t convinced by Ana’s theory and sees her as a threat to her life’s values. Melodie is cold towards Ana and downright rude. But when a storm hits the White Sheep Inn both women will have to learn to join forces to fight it it and in the process discover their own feelings.

This book is plot driven around the conflict between Ana, who is
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Review of ‘Drawing the line’ by K. D. Williamson.

Dr. Dani Russell is a Pediatric resident dedicated to her job and nothing else. She comes across as distant and cold to everyone except her little patients and her best friend Rick. She is content with her life until Detective Rebecca Wells, Dani’s ex and the reason why she is so isolated, comes back to Atlanta permanently. She has done a lot of introspection and is decided to mend things with her. But Dani has changed a lot and refuses to even acknowledge Rebecca. Will they have a chance to heal old wounds, build a friendship or maybe more?

This is book 4 of K. D. Williamson’s ‘Cops and Docs’ series. ‘Drawing the line’ is a second chance romance with an interracial couple and a bisexual character. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, the reader gets in their headspace a lot. The problem is that, most of the time, these characters are hard to like. These women have serious baggage, for intelligent, independent women you wonder how they could sometimes be so immature.

To make matters worse, they are separated from each other a lot so it’s hard to feel their chemistry, except for some flashbacks when their relationship was fine. It is good to see, though, how they both start making an effort separately in their professional lives and with their common friend Rick who should win a prize for patience. The subplots of both mains dealing with juvenile disappearances or seriously ill children makes them more likeable but those stories do nothing to push the romantic plot forward.

Maybe Ms. Williamson wrote herself into a corner, she skilfully created conflicted and flawed characters and she excelled at making the sparks fly when they fight. Their minimal encounters, constant bickering and the hate sex (as described by Rebecca) don’t help building the relationship either. So a happy ever after in this context feels a bit forced. Not the best scenario for a romance.

Overall, an ok read if you enjoy second chance romances with a lot of drama at the side. 3.5 stars.

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

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Review of ‘Breaking down her walls’ by Erin Zak.

Julia Finch is a city girl used to constantly run away from her conflicted past and never settle anywhere. After dealing with her biological parents’ rejection she leaves Chicago towards the west. Her car breaks down somewhere in rural Colorado. Alone and without money, she gets a job as a ranch hand but when she meets the enigmatic and gorgeous ranch owner Elena Bennett, all bets are off. Will their attraction be enough to stop Julia from running?

This is an entertaining romance set in rural Colorado where the author grew up. Her descriptions of nature and the landscape are very picturesque along with her accounts of what ranch life is all about.

‘Breaking down her walls’ is written in third person in present tense from the exclusive point of view of Julia. Some readers might not be comfortable with the choice of present tense despite it isn’t as uncommon as one would think. Normally present tense provides a more intimate and immediate relationship with the character, it intensifies the emotions and the connection with the character’s consciousness. I personally haven’t issues with the present tense narrative but I think that Ms. Zak doesn’t use the intimacy with her character in its full potential. There were moments when the author tells us how Julia feels instead of showing it and the closeness is temporarily lost. But other moments, like Julia’s connection with her horse are really well done. Hands down, Leia is the best horse character I’ve read in lesfic.

It took me approximately half the book to feel the chemistry between the mains possibly because Elena’s character was harder to grasp. Maybe that was the author’s intention as it shows how Julia sees her. However, once the connection is established, the chemistry is strong and the intimate scenes are very realistic and hot. Unlike many lesfic books, the conflict around 80% mark doesn’t feel contrived or forced and the resolution makes sense within the plot.

Overall, an entertaining romance for nature and horse lovers. 3.5 stars.

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

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