Review of ‘Stunted’ by Breanna Hughes.

Jessie Knight is a professional stunt-woman working in the film business. She enjoys her dangerous job but prefers not to get involved with anyone in the industry, specially actresses. But when she meets famous actress Elliot Chase she decides to make an exception. After a steamy night together, a sex tape is leaked causing havoc in both women’s personal and professional lives. Will they be able to overcome their difficulties and stay together?

This is a hot romance with a bit of action and celebrity scandal on the side. Written in third person from the point of view of both leads, the main characters are well written and their chemistry is spot-on, though it is close to insta-attraction. The intimate scenes are well done and steamy. However, most of the secondary characters are a bit stereotyped and lack the depth of the mains.

The dialogues are natural sounding and engaging but the balance between show and tell is a bit off. The plot gives a good insight into the movie making business and celebrity life though a few parts of the story will try the reader’s suspension of disbelief. However, if the reader isn’t too demanding about authenticity, it’s a good story for fans of celebrity romances and scandal.

Overall, an ok read with a bit of action and celebrity scandal on the side. 3.5 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Review of ‘Charming memory’ by E.L. Bossert.

Jamie Jordan is a famous actress whose son Max is saved from being run over by a truck. Max survived unscathed but the rescuer suffered severe head injuries. As a result, the savior lost her memory and has no recollections of her identity. Jamie is attracted to the mysterious woman who has a refreshing disregarding attitude towards Jamie’s fame and money. But under those strange circumstances, can they find a happily ever after?

This is a debut book and unfortunately the reader can tell. It would have benefited from
a more thorough editing process. The choice of an omniscient point of view with multiple characters without clear transitions confused me. I think that maybe writing this story from the point of view of both main characters would have helped in developing the story better.

Having said that, the chemistry between the main characters was believable and the intimate scenes were well written. The main plot idea was good in combining the amnesia and celebrity tropes but it just needed a better execution.

Overall, 2.5 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Review of ‘Full English’ by Rachel Spangler.

Emma Volant is an American best-selling author that, after a nasty divorce, decides to leave the US for a small town in North Eastern England. Full of insecurities and low self esteem, she slowly starts to interact with people in the village, specially Brogan McKay, the pub’s bartender and job multitasker. As Emma and Brogan’s friendship grows so does their mutual attraction, but, Emma needs time to heal and Brogan thinks Emma is out of her league. Will they have a happily ever after?

According to the author, this book was conceived after Ms. Spangler and her family spent 9 months living in the north east of England. In her notes, the author described the challenges of writing a book set in England with American and English main characters. As a reader based in Northern Ireland, I appreciate her efforts to explain her spelling choices and pronunciation guidelines for the otherwise perplexing Irish names. I’ve heard so many times people butchering my sons’ Irish names that her endeavour is appreciated.

This book is as much a romance as a crash course in British culture. The author goes beyond highlighting the obvious differences in spellings and regional words and opens up a world of different types of food, habits and social conventions. I found that Ms. Spangler researched the issue well and I found her descriptions of the landscape, the weather and social classes’ issues very realistic. As a foreigner in the UK, I concur with Emma’s problems while driving on the left side and her newfound love for scones and clotted cream!

Written in third person from the point of view of both main characters, I found the book slow in developing the romance mainly because there are a good number of secondary characters and a whole set of cultural differences that needed to be introduced. Some readers who aren’t interested in the clash of cultures or life in small towns might find the pace of the romance too slow. However, once the romance part of the story starts developing, their personal issues and their conflict is realistic and credible.

Having said that, while in most of the book both characters voiced their feelings so well, the later stages of their conflict felt a bit forced. The secondary characters are well rounded, even considering that there were lots of them. While I recognise the ubiquitous gossip of small towns, I’m not convinced that the meddling in the mains’ love life is characteristic of British or Irish families. The McKays might be an exception but, in my experience, I find that both British and Irish people, while they love their gossip, they tend not to voice or meddle with other people’s affairs. That’s my only criticism in the depiction of British and Irish cultures as I found that the rest was spot-on.

Overall, a very good story about American and British culture clash with a moving romance at the side. 4.5 stars.

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

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com