Review of ‘Fore play’ by Julie Cannon.

Peyton Broader is an ex-con on parole working at a golf club and trying to stay out of trouble. Leigh Marshall is a hotshot executive in a big company with strict fraternisation rules and homophobic executives. When they both meet in a golf course, their attraction is undeniable but trying to take their relationship to a more serious level might destroy Leigh’s career and threaten Peyton’s parole status. Will they have a future together?

‘Fore play’ is written in third person from the point of view of both main characters. Judging the book just by its title and cover, one might think that most of the plot revolves around the game of golf, but there is a great deal of the story describing how Peyton ended up in jail and her life in prison. A word of caution: there are some references to extreme violence and also some violent scenes that might not be suitable for everyone. With respect of the game of golf, Ms. Cannon goes into a bit of explanation of its rules and characteristics of the game that might be excesive for people who aren’t interested in it. Golf aficionados might feel that there is no need for such detail either.

Ms. Cannon is really good at creating chemistry between her characters, specially lust. The sex scenes are well written and hot. However, the plot lacks a bit in the romance department in which the reader is told about the characters’ feelings but there is little showing. For that reason, some parts of the story feel a bit forced, specially at the end which also seems rushed. This story would have benefited of an epilogue as some parts of the plot and subplot would have needed further development such as Peyton’s sister situation or Leigh’s workplace issues.

Overall, an ok read, good in the lust department, not so much for romance fans. 3 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Cameron’s rules’ by Baxter Brown.

After an accidental meeting in which writer Julie Carter spills coffee on corporate lawyer Cameron Kassen’s clothes, Julie gets hooked and invites her on a date. But Cameron lives in Toronto and Julie in San Diego and the distance between them isn’t just physical…

One of the issues I have with this book is that, in my opinion, it is marketed completely wrong. I have three reasons to support my argument: first, it is under the romance category while it should have been categorised as general fiction. Second, the cover suggests a light read which is completely the opposite. Third, the book blurb is misleading, again suggesting a playfulness that this novel lacks. It’s not wise to mislead the readers as it can backfire when the expectations don’t meet reality. The proof is in the reviews, don’t take my word, see what other readers say.

‘Cameron’s rules’ is written in first person from the point of view of Cameron which gives the reader a prime access to her headspace. To say that Cameron isn’t a lovable character is the lesfic understatement of the year. In 90% of the book she comes across as a self-centered, manipulative and irredeemable person. She would be a great evil character. Unfortunately, she’s not very good romance novel material. Being in her headspace for long feels a bit claustrophobic but luckily there is a story inside the story that it’s written in third person from Julie’s point of view. Not enough to balance things out but at least to give the reader a break.

The book is not badly written, as a matter of fact, it’s a very good standard for a debut novel. The balance between showing and telling is fine, the dialogues sound natural and the characters are well rounded. However, in my opinion, if the author was trying for a romance, the plotting and the characters’ development should have taken another direction. Unfortunately, 90% of the book is spent on why the characters couldn’t be together. So much so that the author successfully convinced me that they shouldn’t. Not the best of ideas for a romance. I’d downright call it anti-romance.

As much as I appreciate the effort that the author put in her work, I found this read unrewarding and, unfortunately, I cannot recommend it if you are looking for a romance. However, I’d read another book by this author in the future as I see talent and potential in her writing.

Overall, 2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

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

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Review of ‘In fashion’ by Jody Klaire.

Darcy McGregor is a fashion stylist who hosts a successful UK television programme called ‘Style Surgeon’ featuring women in need of restyling. Kate Bonvilston is a security guard with little sense of style and a broken heart. When her mother volunteers Kate to feature in the show, Darcy finds in Kate not only a challenging fashion makeover but someone who can get dangerously close to her heart.

This book features the popular romance trope of an ice-queen, in this case in the fashion world, possibly inspired by Devil wears Prada. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters Darcy and Kate, the story is set in Wales and London. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I have to admit that her writing style was for me sometimes hard to follow, I was confused reading some of the dialogues and her sense of humour didn’t appeal to me. The use of social media hashtags which is quite central in the book (for example, #embracedesigner), will probably make this book outdated in a few years time.

Darcy is the epitome of an ice queen, a very closeted lesbian with a young daughter and a lot of baggage. Kate is unfashionable but lovable, relaxed and loyal to her family. They say that opposites attract and it should be true for Kate and Darcy but I couldn’t feel their chemistry or empathise with their feelings, specially Darcy’s choices regarding her sexuality. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the story, some parts felt close to a melodrama and, for me, it was almost a ‘did not finish’.

Overall, an ok read if you are into ice-queens in the fashion world with a bit of melodrama at the side. 3 stars.

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