Modern English ~ A Review

Modern English was a perfect introduction to Rachel Spangler’s writing for me. Yes, this was my first Spangler book and I am proud to say I now consider myself a “Spanglerite”, or die-hard Spangler fan. (Hey, if Xena can have Xenites, Rachael can have Spanglerites)

I fell so hard for Vic & Sophia, and their friends. Each and every one of them breathed so true for me that I connected with them without hesitation. I watched them argue, crush and fall for each other, I sat in the pub and drank with them and I wanted to slap nobility, which was a first for me. The landscape that they called home was so well written that I could smell the grass, the water and the ale. And that castle? I fell in love with it too. If I closed my eyes and reached out with my mind, I’m pretty sure I could feel stone under my fingertips and be struck dumb by the beauty of such a grand old architectural wonder.

I read so many books that sometimes I’m immune to the sex scenes. But in Modern English I found the most cranial, sexiest, intelligent love-making I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. But even more so than that, Vic and Sophia were equals. Not by the end, but all the way along. Sophia was just too daft to see it. They were equal partners who challenged each other to reach for their dreams while they supported each other and challenged each other to grow And that? THAT made me fall in love with the book, the characters and most importantly, Spangler’s writing genius. And I don’t toss those words around often.

It is saddening that I cannot give this book more than five stars. It is worthy, every word, of ten stars.
My name is Carolyn, and I am an unashamed Spanglerite.

Modern English is a #WLW romance novel, so if that’s what you like to read, get your copy here. (Tell them Carolyn sent you)

Undercover Justice

There is a town held fast by the powerful grip of fear – of one man. No one dares to stand against him until a secretive, mysterious stranger comes to town looking for medical help. They just want to be patched up and leave town, but the raging infection and a stunning brunette doctor won’t allow that. When enforcers start dying one by one, suspicion starts to fly as thick as the dust on the street. But no one suspects the stranger.
One day, there is a showdown between the stranger and the man who rules the town with fear, and only one of them will be left standing.

This is a tale of secrets, hope and the bravery it takes to stand up to cruelty.

Cheaper than a burger, you can find it at Smashwords, Amazon or other fine retailers.

The Sea Within

I’m a big fan of Missouri Vaun’s writing, so reading this was easy… Except for the disturbing look at what the human race has done to the environment with such brash lack of concern. This novel is the perfect clarion call for us to wake up and pay attention to the effect we’re having on our world. Really, we aren’t that far away from the Earth Missouri Vaun paints for us.

It’s obvious the author put a great deal of research into her work, she explains the grim future so clearly that I could very nearly smell the choking air at the beginning of the book. What a horrifying way to live – needing breathers to go anywhere, dead water, extinct birds and the list of environmental dead goes on. It didn’t take much for me to get caught up in the quest for a cure for the planet.

I desperately wanted Elle and Jackson to succeed, I could feel the ache of their rattled bones, I cringed, ducked and cried with them. Ms. Vaun wields her skill so deftly that I was certain I could reach out and touch the giant trees, or lose a hand to the ancient wildlife. These women may “live” in the near-future, but our hopes for a better world ride with them. They could have been any one of us…with kick-ass military training or a genius I.Q.

If you enjoy reading eco-fiction, and lesbian fiction that will reach out and grab you, and demand you keep reading until the last page is turned…this is the book for you. Go now and get your copy from Bold Strokes Books!

As The Crow Flies

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I hardly know where to start gushing about this book!

I expected a typical run-of-the-mill romance. I got so, so much more than that.

Ms. Williams is a superb writer, a story-teller in the finest sense of the word. She understands the fine dance of engaging your reader, sucking them in, capturing their heart and their imagination, and does not let go until the final word.

One of the central characters is Bertha the Crow, shown on the front cover. She is unique, smart, generous and loyal. More than I can say about some people I know. Sam, Liz, Gwen, and Isabel are all so well written that I want to go and have dinner with them. They have such captivating and intelligent conversations – they discuss everything from art history, quantum physics, string theory, the multi-verse, even possession and auric attachments. Even though I already knew about multi-verse theories and auric cameras, I did learn a great deal about other topics, so rest assured, this is not romantic fluff!

The level of writing is top-notch. It’s not all seriousness either. Check out this passage,
“…Everything was fine in the straight world until, one day, while Ken was away on a business trip and Skipper was at camp, Midge came over for a swim and found Barbie by the pool. Midge made margaritas, Barbie put on music, one thing led to another – what can I say? – the whole Mattel household went to hell.”
You can’t help but laugh out loud!

The author’s skill at writing visually enchanting passages is at a level rarely seen. In fact, her words painted such vivid pictures that my heart broke more than once. (Read the book, you’ll see what I mean). There are books we read, others we are absorbed by – consumed by – but this novel drew me in until the world around me faded away and was replaced by one constructed of images painted by written words. I did not want to leave that world, and I was sorry to see the story end.
This is a rare and moving novel that will teach you, break your heart, and show you what true love is.

Get it. Read it. You won’t regret it.

Home~A Review

Home

Can a chef from the Rose City find true love in the heart of Texas?

I was caught by the cover, so of course, I wanted to know the answer to that question!

I loved everything about this book, the cover, the descriptive passages painting a humid picture of Texas, the horses, and did I mention the cover? There is humour here, heartache, frustration, hope, and did I mention horses? The writing is top-notch. The characters are so real, you can feel their dreams, feel their disappointments, their passion and fears. I could smell the horses, see the stars, taste the food…oh, the food! The food alone is a great reason to read this book.
Seriously, I did not want this book to end. If I could give it fifteen stars, I would.
I will be reading this one again. It has definitely earned a place in my read-once-a-year-pile.

It’s that good.

And not just because of the horses.
Did I mention how much I love that cover?

Thank you to Jenn Alexander for a wonderfully captivating book, and Bywater Books for the ARC in exchange for an honest review that resulted in my love affair with this book.

‘Where We Are’ A Wonderful Surprise!

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I almost did not get this book, but am I ever glad my partner talked me into it!

There are layers to this story that I’ve not seen in many other books. It is so much more than I expected. The characters are well-drawn and realistic, but this book’s gifts go beyond just that. They’ve each suffered a loss that had brought them to their knees, and when we meet them, they’ve learned how to pick themselves up and move forward. One of the main characters, Sid, is an art gallery curator. In the book, there is a description of a painting hanging in her father’s great room. From the description alone, without knowing who the artist was or the title of the painting, I knew which painting it was. The description was that good! Sid and Mia have a discussion about the Group of Seven, and I admit, I was surprised at the level of intelligence and depth in that conversation. I did not expect to find the Group of Seven in this book, so that was a nice surprise. Another gem was the dimes that kept popping up throughout the story. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean).

All in all, this is an intelligent enemies to friends to lovers tale. The romance is complicated, as it should be. The two main characters are both experienced in life and love, smart, headstrong, and driven. Another thing that impressed me was the love scenes. Even they were a cut above most I’ve read. There was an emotional connection, which is rare in most fiction, straight or same-gender. The physical reactions weren’t the same old thing we’ve seen a hundred times, the descriptions weren’t over-done and even I read them in their entirety. (Which my partner can tell you is rare)

This was my first exposure to this author, and I have every intention of getting every one of her books as she writes them. If I could give her more than five stars, I would. Sharp writing, great characters, dogs, and all that food… This one deserves 8 stars for sure!

Thanks to Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Changing Course~A Must Read!

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Another hit outta the park!

No matter what genre Brey Willows turns her hand to we can count on meeting incredible characters, falling into a mind-blowing world and being swept away by a wonderful story. To say I loved this one is a bit of an understatement. I consumed it. I couldn’t put it down and I will read it again.
The characters (except for the walk-ons) are all well-drawn and memorable. Even the bad guy. Even the bad guy that was supposed to be the bad guy, but really wasn’t. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean)
The landscape was so real I could feel sand and grit and desperation.
The ending made perfect sense and was not contrived in any way. It was a great wrap-up. And would you look at that cover! Gorgeous! The romance worked perfectly too!
Loved it…loved it…loved it!

You can get a copy on November 1, 2019 at BoldStrokes Books

Thank you to NetGalley, and Bold Strokes Books for the opportunity to read the ARC, and to Brey Willows for sharing her gift once again.

Tim Hortons, Poutine and A Fake Romance

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I’m not normally enthused by ‘fake-romance’ stories, but honestly, what got me to give this one a chance was the cover. It reached out and grabbed me right away. Not only does it depict a city I am very familiar with and have fond memories of, but it is a gorgeous cover!

Through skilled storytelling, you get to know all the characters fairly well, with only a couple of exceptions. These are very minor characters, so it’s easy to understand. There are so many bits of Toronto in here that any reader familiar with the city will recognize them, but not so many that it will put off readers not familiar with the city. (I was especially thrilled to see Tim Hortons and poutine make an appearance!)
The author has given us not only well-drawn characters but two very determined main characters. One is a little more sure of what she wants than the other, but their dynamic is so real, that their determination carries the plot through the slower parts. It’s not all roses and unicorns though. There is pettiness, jealousy, courage, understanding, ambition and greed here. There is an undercurrent of society-induced hesitation about a business leader being a lesbian, but trust me, it works out better than you expect in the end.

I was almost as fascinated by the author’s notes at the end of the book. They added another dimension of enjoyment that was quite unexpected and refreshing.

This is absolutely, definitely, without question going on my ‘READ THIS AGAIN’ pile!

Thanks to Bella and NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thanks also to Sheryl Wright for an absorbing and entertaining novel.

Second In Command – A Review

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This book was a pleasant read. Not dark and twisty as I expected. The characters are memorable, even the one I wanted to slap for being spineless most of the time. She eventually breaks out of that pattern and grows, so don’t give up on her. The rest of the cast is so memorable, I was still thinking about some of them days later.

I’d like to see if these characters turn up anywhere else in the author’s imaginary universe. They’re the kind of people I could have Sunday brunch with. Wonder how I can get an invitation?

I was honored with an ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley. This book is due out December 11th.

Gnarled Hollow – A Review

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Normally, I’m not one to read books that’ll scare me into staying awake, and for a little bit, that’s what this one did. But I had a really hard time putting it down. I don’t read horror, so I have no idea if the premise of this book is original, but it was sure new to me! I had to keep reading to find out what was so weird about the house. Doors that close on their own? Sure, I have those at my house. But that’s where the similarity ends, thank goodness.

I enjoyed the way the past was brought forward, the spontaneity of the aggression of the house…and there is aggression and danger, believe me. The way each of the characters responds to the house, to each other and to their jobs is fascinating.

In the end, I stayed up far later than I should have to finish this, and even though I’m not one for things that go bump in the night, I really hope there’s another book to follow this one. I’ll just read it with the lights on.

I was honored to be allowed an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

You can find this delicious novel at Bold Strokes Books