Review of ‘Taking chances’ by Erin McKenzie.

Valerie Cruz spent most of her childhood in foster care and now she is a children’s librarian who likes to keep to herself avoiding any serious relationships. After becoming a foster parent herself, she meets case worker Paige Wellington. Their attraction is undeniable but a conflict with Valerie’s foster children and her conviction to stay away from relationships make it hard for Valerie and Paige to have a future together.

This is as much a romance as a story about foster care. As a foster parent herself, the author knows the inner works of the system and it shows in the story. It gives a very good insight on fostering from the different points of view of the social workers, the fostering parents and the children.

The characters, adults and children alike, are well rounded, credible, and their actions are justified by their past. The children seem authentic considering their ages and their traumatic experiences. Connie, Paige’s boss, is a funny but savvy character that brings a bit of lightness to the plot. The dialogues are natural sounding and the balance between telling and showing is good.

The plot seems divided into two parts, the first half deals mainly with the fostering system and the second one focuses more on the romance. Some readers might not like that the romance takes so long to develop and then rushes slightly to the end. Other than that, this novel was interesting and entertaining to read.

Overall, a good romance with a deep insight on the US child fostering system. 4 stars.

ARC provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘L.A. Metro’ by RJ Nolan.

Dr. Jess McKenna is the busy ER Chief of the LA Metropolitan Hospital. She’s known for her impenetrable facade needed to get her through difficult cases and essential to guarding her past personal burden. Dr. Kim Donovan is a psychiatrist relocating after a disastrous stint at a hospital near her hometown in Detroit. Her ethics were questioned while working on a case and much to her devastation, everyone near her, including her closeted girlfriend, deserted her. Now her job is to liaison with the emergency department and the formidable Dr. McKenna. Can these two women help each other heal and move past their insecurities?

Confession time- I enjoyed this book more than I probably should have because of the hospital/medical setting. The book is well written with well defined characters, including a handsome Great Dane. There was no depth to the medical cases but enough said to be enjoyable and also propel the story forward. I also loved that Kim is a psychiatrist as it seems the majority of the hospital settings revolve around first-responders, ER and trauma specialties. Who knew psych would be such a novel and welcomed field?

The women had immediate chemistry and attraction. However, do not be fooled. This is a slow-burn romance. I enjoyed the characters’ journey was great and interesting. The only thing that I disliked was how many “inner thoughts” were literally shared and how at times they were simply not needed since the thought was obvious or even cliche.

This is the first of three full length books in the series. There are two novellas to go along with the first book and one prequel. Gaby reviewed the third and final novel ‘Wounded souls’.

Overall a good read that will appeal to anyone who loves medical romances. 4 stars.

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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.

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