Review of ‘The road ahead’ by A.E. Radley.

Two days before Christmas, all flights from the south of Portugal are grounded due to technical problems. Among the passengers stranded are Rebecca Edwards and Arabella Henley, two strangers that decide to share the last rental car and drive the 1,500 miles back to London. The women can’t be any different and even incompatible but they’ll soon discover that the journey is also of self discovery and mutual understanding.

This is book one of the ‘Around the World’ series by this author which is followed by ‘The Big Uneasy’. Much of this book is spent in the building up of the mains’ friendship so, I suggest that in order to appreciate this story fully, you commit to read both books in chronological order.

‘The road ahead’ follows the ‘opposites attract’ formula and indeed, these women couldn’t be any different. Rebecca is in her late twenties, middle class and a lesbian while Arabella is in her early forties, upper class and – allegedly – straight. They are profoundly different but the author excels in transforming their relationship from the awkwardness of two strangers sharing a small space to find a common ground and to establish a budding friendship. This is where the book earned my 4 stars.

Unfortunately I couldn’t feel their romantic chemistry as much as their friendship bond. Maybe because the author doesn’t get the reader enough into Arabella’s headspace to see her musings about her life’s choices and sexuality, her romantic decisions come through as a bit forced and rushed. It doesn’t help either that the book finishes before their romance develops fully. So I think that this book is better appreciated as a whole with the sequel or else as a friendship story. Either way, it’s entertaining, sometimes funny, others sad, sometimes road-trip, others an inner journey.

Overall, an entertaining age-gap, opposites attract romance better enjoyed with its sequel. 4 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Welcome to Ruby’s’ by KC Luck.

Allie Dawson and her friends love spending their leisure time in Ruby’s, a lesbian bar in Portland. One evening, Allie meets Vivian Wade, a gorgeous and enigmatic brunette. Their attraction is undeniable but there are a few complications: Vivian is going through a bitter divorce and is Ruby’s new owner. Will these issues get in the way of their happily ever after?

‘Welcome to Ruby’s’ is a sweet slow-burn romance with a slight age gap. Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, the author highlights their differences but builds up a solid chemistry from the beginning, first by physical attraction and from there by their emotional connection. Vivian is brunette, in her early 40s, she is a successful business woman and lives in LA. Allie is blonde, in her late 20s, is struggling at her job and lives in Portland. Despite their differences, Ms. Luck gets the proverbial ‘opposites attract’ spot on.

The main plot is well written and the story is believable though the conflict could have been resolved with better communication. I would have given it a higher rating if it wasn’t for a few mistakes and typos. Additionally, there are a few secondary characters in Allie’s groups of friends with intertwined stories that aren’t completely developed in this book. This and the fact that the ending is a bit abrupt, makes me think (and hope) that maybe Ms. Luck is planning to write a sequel with some of the characters in mind.

Overall, a sweet and entertaining age gap romance where opposites attract. 4 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Bring Holly home’ by A.E. Radley.

Fashion magazine editor Victoria Hastings discovers while staying in Paris that her former assistant Holly Carter, who allegedly abandoned the job, is in hospital with amnesia. Victoria is adamant to bring Holly back home and help her recover but, in the process, both women will undergo a journey of mutual discovery of their feelings.

This is another novel based on the Devil wears Prada trope which normally features an age gap relationship and an ice queen against a more lively character. The peculiarity of this novel is that Holly suffers from amnesia which brings additional conflicts to the plot.

The novel is written in third person from the point of view of three characters: the leads Victoria and Holly and Victoria’s friend Gideon. While the main characters are well-rounded, I didn’t feel their chemistry until the very end maybe because the reader is told about the characters’ feelings more than shown by their actions. The secondary characters are a bit stereotyped and Victoria’s children sometimes act too mature for their ages.

All in all, the story is entertaining with some funny and humorous moments and a good twist at the end. Depite some situations feel a bit far-fetched, it’s a good read if you don’t take things too seriously.

Overall, an entertaining read based on the Devil wears Prada trope. 3.5 stars.

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