‘The love song of Sawyer Bell’ will make you smile.

Review of ‘The love song of Sawyer Bell’ by Avon Gale.

3.5 Stars. I wasn’t blown away by this book but it was a fun weekend read. This book is a re-release for June under a new publisher. According to Gale not much has changed from the original story. While I have never read Gale before, I have heard of her name since she is pretty big in the M/M world. I think it’s nice to see authors like Alexis Hall, KJ Charles, and Gale, write lesfic so I finally have a chance to try their books.

I almost always enjoy books about musician or artists. I have no musical talent myself and to this day, I completely blame my parents. I had dreams of being a drummer in a rock band, but they would not let me play the drums because it would “make too much noise” so I was forced to take piano lessons by a slightly scary woman with horrible breath. Needless to say I enjoy a book like this where I can live vicariously through the characters.Read More »

A blissful read.

Review of ‘Blissfully Blindsided’ by Robin Alexander.

Well, this was just another funny and delightful read by Robin Alexander!

Caleigh Breaux has just relocated to her grandparent’s town in Southern Louisiana after taking a job at a local company. After her previous job required constant travel and made a relationship impossible, she is ready to put down roots and find someone special. She meets Blaze Sonnier literally on her way to town as her car gets a flat tire and Blaze stops to help. There is some immediate chemistry but they part ways with no plans to see each other. What follows is a funny story about love, family, the town, and making amends…with some romance in there too.

Blaze’s character is by far my favorite. She is, how can I say this, misunderstood. Her life seems to be a constant stream of hilarious events that have been twisted and blown out of proportion by the townspeople. Caleigh is also a likable character with her own silly situations. Likewise, Blaze’s sister going through menopause was both comical and scary.
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Review of ‘Pas de Deux’ by M. J. Duncan.

Well, I feel all I do is confess something or the other nowadays. I am a Duncan fan and have enjoyed all her novels. This author is one of the reasons I decided to renew my Kindle Unlimited membership as her books are available through this service. Of course, I figured that out after actually buying three of them. Wait, I don’t think I needed to confess that…

This is an age gap romance that sees Mallory Collingswood (age 39), a violin prodigy who has returned home to lead the London Symphony Orchestra, deal with a failed marriage proposal and give love another chance. That chance takes the form of Addison Leigh (age 24), a ballerina prodigy making waves with the Royal Ballet. Mallory is presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to collaborate with the Royal Ballet in a project that will push her skills to the max while getting her to step out of her comfort zone in other areas. Mallory accepts and finds herself working tirelessly alongside a new and unexpected partner.

This story starts almost a year after ‘Symphony in Blue’, which was released in 2017. You do not need to read that book to get the story in this one. In fact, I wonder if it was more of a hindrance for me since Mallory was not cast in a good light in that book. I had to get over the previous feelings of Mallory being self-centered and just plain inconsiderate and warm up to her in this story. It helped that Mallory does allude to her shortcomings and shows growth through the book.

This was a straightforward tale with no angst in it. Characters were rational and took their time to know each other. The relationship developed over time and at no point felt unrealistic. Ms. Duncan does a great job describing things such as little courtesies towards each other that allows the romance to feel genuine. The author also did a fantastic job of creating the setting. The ballet scenes were great and one could feel the anxiety and magnitude of the events within the scenes. More palpable though, was the beauty of it all. And I am not even close to being a ballet fan.

On the downside, the book felt drawn out a bit. There was no conflict at all in this story except for executing the ambitious show to perfection. The age difference came up once and it was simply an acknowledgment of it. Parents loved the mains so no conflict there either. Heck, the mains’ hectic schedules did not really affect anything either. The presence of a few typos seemed uncharacteristic for this author as well. That said, Duncan kept me reading as she usually does.

Overall, a solid slow-burn romance that will especially appeal to music/dance fans. 3.5 stars.

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Review of ‘Write your own script’ by A.L. Brooks.

3.75 Stars. I have read all of Brooks’ books except for ‘The Club‘ and found this book to be my favorite of hers. This is actually the second Hollywood romance I have read in a row and I’m happy to say this was much more up my alley. I think this will be widely enjoyed by romance fans.

There are quite a few great reviews out that give a good summary so I’m going to skip that. I want to go right into what I enjoyed about the book. The romantic relationship between the two mains, a writer and actress, is what makes this book shine. While the character might have jumped into bed quickly, the connection and intimacy are so well done it doesn’t matter. These two characters built a relationship from sex and it actually worked. The more their walls went down and the intimacy went up, their connection grew stronger. This is what I look for in good sex scenes, to see that connection strengthened and Brooks did a great job writing it.

I do have to admit I felt the book slowed a little for me during times when the mains were not together. Their connection is the star of the book so when it’s not front and certain I didn’t care for those parts as much. I also wanted to see a little more about what happened at the end. I wish a few filler middle parts were cut and the story extended, but this is a mild complaint.

If you like Hollywood romances, don’t pass this one up. If you like romance with a strong intimate connection, this one is for you. This one is worth the read and I’m excited to see where Brooks goes next.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.

     

Review of ‘And Playing the Role of Herself’ by K.E. Lane

It is unfortunate that I simply had no clue lesbian fiction existed until a couple of years ago. On the upside, I am fortunate to be able to look at reviews and pick and choose books that have been well received in the past. Sometimes I feel just darn spoiled! I have been wanting to read this book for some time now as one can look at reviews, and even awards, and see how successful it was. I’m happy to say it lived to those expectations.

Caidence Harris is an actress in a hit primetime cop show. She is in her thirties, has come to terms with her sexuality but has not been able to act on it. Her attention for the past couple of years has been on another actress, Robyn Ward, who makes her heart race and her mouth babble when in her presence, but who is also very unavailable and involved with a handsome and charismatic tennis player.

The story is told from Caidence’s first-person point of view (POV). I love, love, love first person POV. I feel it lends to such intimacy and yet, the ability to have such witty internal dialog without simply stating it. I find the obvious thoughts of a character sometimes eye-roll inducing when they are just stated in third person POV. They are simply not funny unless someone is narrating it as they came up in their heads. I mean, we all have killer humor and witty internal dialogs right? If we don’t, please don’t embarrass me by pointing it out!

In a way, it is easy to see why this book was well received. There are the actress/Hollywood characters, the fauxmance and the misunderstanding of intentions amongst other tropes. The characters are endearing and I absolutely loved Caidence, who was very level headed and just real. The relationship between the main characters was great as I thought the arguments were legitimate and both of them held each other accountable for their actions. They manage to start the relationship sooner rather than later and Ms. Kane did a fantastic job at keeping things challenging and interesting through the remaining of the book. 

This was my second audiobook narrated by Lisa Cordileone, and another wonderful performance. She narrates the sarcasm and wittiness just like I would read it, so it simply was enjoyable to listen to and with several laugh-out-loud moments. The challenge was finding the time to listen to it. No time like the present to follow the low-speed limits in one’s neighborhood! I will point out I listened to it at 1.25x speed as I thought the regular speed was prolonging things a bit.

I did not realize this was an older book, although perhaps looking at the cover, it shows some. Nothing was outdated in the story and reads like a much more recent release.

Overall, a great romance with a fantastic and humorous inner monologue. 5 stars.

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Review of ‘Painted over’ by Sofi Keren.

3.50 Stars. I ended up enjoying this more than I expected to. It was a sweet romance and a good debut. This is a second chance romance with some angst (but not too much) and likable main characters. Sofi Keren is definitely an author I will keep my eye on.

This is a story about two best friends that have a falling out that leads to them not speaking for a decade. When a flat tire re-connects them, they must decide if they can pick up where they left off or is there too much heartbreak in the way.

The second chance storyline is one we see often in lesfic but it worked for this book. What I was most surprised to find was how invested I was in the characters in such a short amount of time. I found myself almost crying at one point and was actually happy about that because it meant the book was making me feel. The book is on the shorter side, but it just made it so the book had a nice pace that never got bogged down.

My only real complaint is I’m not a fan of third person single point of view. If you are only going to be in the headspace of one character the whole book, I would prefer it to be in first person. That way you can really connect to the one character. But this is a personal preference and the book still made me feel so I can’t complain too much.

This was short and sweet with some angst. I think most romance fans will enjoy this one. It’s not perfect but it’s a good debut and it put a smile on my face. This is one I would recommend.

An ARC was given to me for an honest review.