Tag Archives: emotional

Tensions abound in this peek at London life from Garrett Leigh

53904933._SY475_Redemption by Garrett Leigh

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Garrett Leigh kept me awake until half one this morning with this book. I started reading it around 10pm, thought I’d just get a few chapters in and then could not actually put it down until I’d made sure that Paolo and Luis were going to be okay.

I mean, it’s a romance, so I knew they’d be okay eventually, but oh my gawd the tensions throughout this book were immense.

Not between them, they’re just utterly perfect for each other, the way they just meld together is a joy, fraught as it is with all the extra complications that come from who they are as individuals.

And this is why Garrett’s writing is my book drug of choice.

She crafts characters and settings which feel like you’re just sneaking a peak into real peoples’ lives who she knows and who just said yeah, go for it Garrett, write our story when she puts forth an idea for her next release.

Nothing is easy about this book, Luis spent six years in prison for a pretty shitty crime, he’s not an innocent man by any stretch. But he’s also not a bad man, family pressure gave him a life he wouldn’t have chosen and he was happy to do his time.

Now he’s out and life is confusing and oh how my heart hurt for Luis. He’s not the man his reputation painted him and his six years inside have markedly changed him, both mentally and physically.

Paolo’s grandfather Toni’s caff (because that’s how you pronounce a London greasy spoon 😉 ) gives him his first sense of peace in years and the man running it, his first spark of attraction in just as long.

I loved their relationship development. From wary work colleagues, through to friends, into intimacy and the wonderful emotionally vulnerability of falling in love, but with this overpowering sense of foreboding threatening everything.

Because Luis might have turned his back on his former life, but that’s not a decision he’s allowed to make on his own and my heart was racing so much as the narrative sped along to the eventual conclusion – hence why I was still reading at 1.30am.

The big major drama plot surprised me in one way, but – and there’ll be no spoilers here – also didn’t at all. Because this book’s main driving thread through everything is about family, about loyalty, about making decisions on the knife’s edge.

The Epilogue is just all ends up wonderful and I really, really wish that Toni’s Cafe did exist in a tucked away corner of a South London High Street, filled with builders and locals alike, passing hipsters with annoying mustaches wanting beans on toast with the smell of fried bacon and Italian tomato sauce on a Sunday.

I think I’d like to spend hours there just watching Paolo and Luis work together, seamlessly blending love and found-family into a Happy Ever After that feels utterly grounded in truth.

Now I can’t wait to see if there will be more, and who is the focus of the next Darkened Skies novel, because there’s one candidate here who I think would be a fascinating character to explore and a great redemption narrative to work.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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This Top Gun homage wraps up with an emotionally satisfying conclusion

Classified AMAZONClassified by Brooke Blaine & Ella Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Full review tomorrow when I’m at the laptop.

***

This was a tension-packed final entry in the story of Panther and Solo and it delivered on both the emotional highs and the sensual.

There’s a relationship wobble which brings additional drama to the plot and it totally worked for me as a medium by which to introduce the level of doubt needed to create a stumbling block on the way to final happiness.

Panther and Solo, aka Grant and Mateo, are as scorchingly hot as they have been in the first two books, but there’s way more emotional investment in Classified and I loved how both men were allowed to be vulnerable.

As this is basically a Top Gun homage, there is loads of detailing on the final few weeks at the Elite pilot training centre and I liked where Brooke and Ella took that particular plot line, it was a satisfying conclusion.

But, as I’ve said in my other reviews of this series, I really don’t think it needed to be broken up into three books. Each individual part really was just a single chapter in the overall trilogy of story narrative.

That’s just a personal view though. Each individual book works, although there is a cliffhanger at the end of book one, and the release dates between them have been short enough to not lead to too much frustration.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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If this book doesn’t capture your heart I’d be surprised

53764231._SY475_
His Horizon
by Con Riley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I alpha read this book for Con, and also proofread it, so blame any stray commas on me not catching them 😁

But, having got that out of the way, I think anyone looking at my book reviews would already know just how much I am in love with the way Con writes. She has a unique way of getting into the heart of what makes someone fall in love.

In this quintessentially British romance, set in the beautiful wilds of the Cornish coast, she gives us two men both driven for quite different purposes.

Jude has been on a mission since his parents’ boat disappeared during a storm. Rob has been doing his best to keep the small pub which belongs to Jude’s family afloat after a similar devastation destroyed the main tourism attraction and at the same time, prove to his father he doesn’t need his leg-up to be a top chef.

Jude is also closeted and dealing with all kinds of grief and rage over the loss of his father, who he believes would never have accepted his sexuality.

The slow burn tensions are delicious in this book, Rob and Jude’s lives become inescapably linked during the battle to keep The Anchor going, compounded by a snotty London food critic who might be the making, or the ruination, of all their efforts.

There’s a glorious cast of secondary characters and the setting is so vivid I could smell the salt air, hear the seagulls and the crashing waves against the harbour breakwater. The idea of family and what makes one is also put under the microscope and friends turn up in unexpected places.

Steamy, sweet, emotional – I actually cried when reading this book and believe me, that’s a rare occurrence – humourous, warming, I fell for Rob big time and it took me longer to warm up to Jude’s prickly hide.

But beneath that exterior is a man who needs to adjust to knowing he’s deserving of love on his own terms and when he does, oh my heart just melted.

Wonderful start to this new series and let me tell you, from the sneaky insider information viewpoint book two is going to be even better 😉😘🚢

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