Loved this intro to a new series from Alison Hendricks

Final Stretch (Glen Springs, #1)Final Stretch by Alison Hendricks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Low angst, moderate steam, ranch setting, hot NFL player, ex jockey, what more could you ask for?!

For me, not much as I just like Alison Hendricks’ style of writing. This one centres around Travis, mired in a scandal and with a broken heart after the guy he was going to propose to leaks a sex tape.

I loved Travis, he was strong in character but with a vulnerability which came from never knowing anything but football. His relationship with his older brother was strained but you could sense within him the desire to make changes.

Shane also was flawed and his experiences had changed him in a different way, he was cautious and held back a bit but he held such passion inside.

Together they were just beautifully sweet and I’m looking forward to more in this setting.

Oh and the big gesture Shane makes – awesome.

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I totally fell in love with this pair

First Season (Harrisburg Railers, #2)First Season by R.J. Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adler and his lack of filter and ability to blurt out the first thing that comes into his head totally stole the show in this second offering from RJ Scott and VL Locey.

He truly was a wonderful character and perfectly suited to be the one who managed to break through Layton’s much needed walls. Layton himself, oh how I wanted to hug him, polished and professional on the outside but still suffering from a truly horrific incident in his past.

Together they created a sweet and tender romance which was firmly rooted in emotions as much as it was in getting off. They never progress past frotting and mutual blow jobs and I have to say, I’m glad. Given Layton’s past, it would have been a serious case of magic dick and something wholly out of keeping with the narrative.

I do believe they’d eventually get there though, Adler has an innate ability to work through Layton’ fears, demonstrating kindness and love.

There’s a wee glimpse into Ten and Mads’ coming out from the other side and plot bunnies firmly out in place for book three.

Plus we still get on page hockey talk, great in a sports book to actually read some game play, and the cover is fabulous.

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Great start to this new English set mystery series

Dead in the Water (Scarlet Cove #1)Dead in the Water by Agatha Frost

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*
Very different in feeling than the Peridale Cafe mysteries but still a cracking good tale with enough of a little twist and a couple of red herrings thrown in.

I liked Liz, she’s a believable heroine and didn’t feel like she was omnipotent, I liked the background created for her and the extra instincts she had from being a former police officer.

I did have a little chuckle that the occupations of what I suspect will be Liz’s potential new love interest and her own are the opposite way round from Julia and Barker in Agatha’s other mystery series.

I liked the seaside setting, although for me it felt very Robin Hood’s Bay with the twisty streets than a South Coast village. I liked meeting the people and hope to see more of Nancy and I felt really sorry for Christopher, so I hope he gets a happier fate along the way.

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

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Gorgeous new series starter from Brooke Blaine is a second chances delight

A Little Bit Like Love (South Haven, #1)A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved, absolutely loved this tale of second chances, of finding your place, of going back and making something right, of getting the boy you never forgot and throwing out the damaging things which have made you unhappy.

Brooke Blaine is supremely good at this type of romance, she builds up the tensions but never throws in “plot for plot’s sake” dramady (as I like to call it). The drama in this book comes wholly from within the narrative and follows the natural progression of two men – who were each tricked into thinking the other had dismissed them as unimportant after a single night of passionate commitment – when they find out the truth nearly a decade later.

I loved Lucas and Jackson, I loved the way they eased back into their teenage experiences but with a hint of holding back just in case. Then, when everything came out in the open, how they fully embraced the fact they’d never stopped holding a torch for the other.

It made perfect sense for Lucas to react as he did, the pain he’d kept inside him for eight years had been lanced and then he saw something which he felt was taking him back to the night his heart had been broken. And Jackson, he needed to have the confrontation with his past so that he could finally make the break from a life he’d been neatly slotted into without ever having a choice.

And the setting, this is the beginning of a new series with a whole host of beautifully drawn secondary characters who will be getting their stories too and I can’t wait to find out more about Shaw and Bash and I hope we still hear from Syd as it’s such a pleasant change to have “the female rival” not be an utter witch.

This romance is sexy, it’s spicy, it’s hot and passionate but it’s also about finding and reconnecting, it’s about emotions and love and it’s about making the choice to trust even though you’ve been hurt by the person to whom you’re handing over your heart.

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

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Great debut for this new partnership

Lost and Found (Twist of Fate, #1)Lost and Found by Lucy Lennox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Being a massive fan of both these authors and knowing how different in style their books are, I was fascinated to see how they’d work together.

Well, the answer is very well indeed. Lucy’s humour and soft touch marries perfectly with the skill Sloane has for creating well crafted drama even in the most unlikely of settings.

Perhaps Xander held onto his grudge a little bit longer than was maybe needed and Bennett took little bit too long to cut ties with his reprehensible parents, but these are minor points in what was, overall, a very nice romance.

I’m not sure I needed Aunt Lolly to live at a nudist camp but I guess she’s following in the footsteps of the Made Marian series’ Aunt Tilly, Irene and Gran by being a feisty older lady.

There’s an interesting mix of secondary characters too that I’m looking forward to finding out more about too.

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