Review of ‘Take your time’ by V.K. Powell.

This book is part of the ‘Pine Cone romance’ series by three different authors: ‘Take my hand’ by Missouri Vaun, ‘Take a chance’ by D. Jackson Leigh and ‘Take your time’ by V.K. Powell. This series follows the lives of three friends: Clay, Trip and Grace in the small town of Pine Cone, Georgia.

There are series written by an author that usually need to be read in chronological order, series of standalone novels by different authors under a common theme, and the ‘Pine Cone romance’ series which is a bit peculiar. In this series the three different authors decided to create three romances (one in each book) but with the three stories overlapping. For example, if the three friends share a scene, it will appear in all three books but with a different point of view. D. Jackson Leigh says in her acknowledgements that it was arduous to write. Well, sometimes it’s also arduous to read. I personally found some issues, one is that after reading the first book (whichever the order) the reader has sometimes a sense of deja vu, a feeling of having read that before because… they read it in the previous book. It works fine in some scenes as it gives other characters’ perspectives but in other cases it is tedious. Also, some events that overlap in the books give information that act as spoilers for the other books’ stories which is a bit annoying. Finally, I found that there are a number of unresolved secondary plots which are main plots in the other books, so in order to grasp the full story, you need to read all the series. So I guess readers can rate each book separately but also the series as a whole. Due to these problems appear throughout the series, you’ll see some of my comments repeated in the other reviews.

‘Take your time’ is the story of Grace Booker, a police officer in Pine Cone who is left with a parrot who hates her. When she takes the bird to Dani Wingate, a local vet, there is an undeniable mutual attraction. But Dani is a city girl staying in Pine Cone temporarily and she’s not looking for anything serious. Will their initial chemistry have any future?

This is a slow burn romance with very little action on the side. The author is a retired police officer and she normally writes crime novels so I was expecting more action. However, I understand the restrictions of writing a story with other two authors. The characters are well portrayed in their rights and wrongs but I personally couldn’t feel much chemistry. The final chapters seemed a bit rushed and one of the crimes is left unsolved. All in all, the funny moments, specially with a very peculiar parrot, worked better than the serious ones.

Now that I’ve read the whole series, my overall rating is 3.5 stars. It’s an interesting writing experiment that, in my opinion, didn’t work that well in the execution.

Overall, an ok read though I recommend to read the rest of the series in order to fill in the gaps in the story. 3.5 stars.

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Review of ‘The London of us’ by Clare Lydon.

This is book 4 in the ‘London romance’ series. It can be read as a standalone novel though I recommend to read them all if you like lesbian romances with a British feel. As in the previous books, London is at the background of a beautiful love story.

Alice Di Santo has a comfortable life. A job that she enjoys, great friends, supportive family and a lovely boyfriend. Even her social media life is thriving as a co-star in an increasingly popular YouTube channel. But lately she feels that something is missing in her life soon discovering her growing attraction for her friend Rachel, a sexy and very lesbian chef. Surely this is a passing crush, or is it?

‘The London of us’ is as much a romance as a coming out story. Ms. Lydon wisely chose to write it in first person from Alice point of view getting us into her headspace as she deals with her first ever attraction to a woman. The book starts with a bang and keeps the momentum with humour and wittiness that puts a smile on your face. Those of us who have experienced the coming out process know that it’s not an easy path and Ms. Lydon showcases this but the angst, while realistic, never takes the lightness of her writing style. As a matter of fact, Alice’s coming out scene with her parents is the funniest I’ve read in lesfic. All the characters – mains and secondary – are well portrayed and the intimate scenes are hot, highlighting the chemistry between the main leads.

Overall, a very good addition to this successful series. Great read for romance fans. 4 stars.

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Review of ‘Take a chance’ by D. Jackson Leigh.

This book is part of the ‘Pine Cone romance’ series by three different authors: ‘Take my hand’ by Missouri Vaun, ‘Take a chance’ by D. Jackson Leigh and ‘Take your time’ by V.K. Powell. This series follows the lives of three friends: Clay, Trip and Grace in the small town of Pine Cone, Georgia.

There are series written by an author that usually need to be read in chronological order, series of standalone novels by different authors under a common theme, and the ‘Pine Cone romance’ series which is a bit peculiar. In this series the three different authors decided to create three romances (one in each book) but with the three stories overlapping. For example, if the three friends share a scene, it will appear in all three books but with a different point of view. D. Jackson Leigh says in her acknowledgements that it was arduous to write. Well, sometimes it’s also arduous to read. I personally found some issues, one is that after reading the first book (whichever the order) the reader has sometimes a sense of deja vu, a feeling of having read that before because… they read it in the previous book. It works fine in some scenes as it gives other characters’ perspectives but in other cases it is tedious. Also, some events that overlap in the books give information that act as spoilers for the other books’ stories which is a bit annoying. Finally, I found that there are a number of unresolved secondary plots which are main plots in the other books, so in order to grasp the full story, you need to read all the series. So I guess readers can rate each book separately but also the series as a whole. Due to these problems appear throughout the series, you’ll see some of my comments repeated in the other reviews.

Trip Beaumont is Pine Cone’s veterinarian and a well known player. Officer Jamie Grant is the new police officer in town, owner of a drug sniffing dog called Petunia. Trip is intrigued by the elusive officer who frequently writes her parking tickets but when they finally cross paths they realise that they have a conflicted past in common. Will they be able to leave the past behind to build a future together?

‘Take a chance’ is a slow burn romance with a dog as a cute secondary character. Animals play a big part in this book with Petunia at the forefront, a variety of big and small animals and in horses’ metaphors used by Trip. There are a few flashbacks to the main characters’ shared past but most of the story ocurrs in the present. The secondary characters are a bit flat, specially for the ex girlfriend. The main conflict seems a bit irrelevant and Jamie’s PTSD is treated lightly. The subplot involving Petunia is not completely resolved considering that she’s such an important secondary character. But, most importantly, the subplot regarding Trip’s veterinarian colleague is left unresolved, surely to be covered in ‘Take your time’.

Overall, an ok romance read that might interest animal lovers. 3.5 stars.

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com