Recommended Read, Review

Review: Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn (2023)

Heat Factor: The kind of sensuality that comes with a lot of emotional but not specific description

Character Chemistry: Mercy

Plot: Georgie’s a mess on the outside, Levi’s a mess on the inside, and their messes complement each other until they crash and make me cry

Overall: I knew this book would give me big feels and tears, and I was right, and it was AWESOME

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Review, TBR Challenge

TBR Challenge: Starting Over

January’s theme prompt for Super Wendy’s #TBRChallenge 2023 was “Starting Over.” Here are the books we chose to tackle our TBRs this month.

Erin Read: Got Me Thinking by Casey Cox

Vet Shop Boys, Book #4

Why was this book on your TBR?

I read the first three books in the series but the rest weren’t available in audio yet.

Why did you choose this book for this month’s challenge?

Both of the MCs are starting over after long term relationships ending. Also it’s available in audio now.

What are your thoughts on the book?

This is very much in the middle of a series. The veterinarian, Chase, has been experiencing the end of his marriage until this point, and all the other protagonists and their partners show up immediately and with great regularity, and not just because they all work together. Could it be a standalone? Sure. But it’s definitely going to be a more robust read if you have Chase’s background and care about the secondary characters. 

This whole series is really soft. It centers on self-exploration and vulnerability, overcoming deep-rooted fears to embrace love. The protagonists in this book in particular have very few personal struggles to overcome—Chase is trying to figure out who he is after trying to be who everyone else wanted him to be his whole life, and Fischer is figuring out how to adjust to his life as a single parent of twins after moving back to his hometown when his ex walked out. They’re not wealthy, but they don’t have to worry about money, or their jobs, or their families, or past trauma… You get the idea. It’s just really soft. 

At first, Fischer and Chase simply befriend each other because neither has revealed he’s gay and both are doing the work of dealing with life. It’s a lot of charming, playing house relationship building. When their mutual attraction boils over, their relationship becomes a bit more rocky, since neither knows where he stands with the other, but their charming togetherness is never far away. 

This book (and the series) is a comfort read to me. I don’t get the high highs and low lows of a really gripping story that makes your stomach flip-flop, but I was charmed by the care Fischer and Chase took with each other as they tried to figure out what they wanted as individuals and together. I appreciated that Fischer considered how his choices would affect his family, even though the girls were still babies. Also, Chase felt a lot of guilt over his divorce, but his ex was happier not being married to a man who wasn’t attracted to her, so here’s another one for the amicable divorce column. It was just a nice, feel-good romance.

Buy Now: Amazon

Holly Read: An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole (2018)

The Loyal League, Book 3

Why was this book on your TBR? 

I read the first two books in the series a few years ago and thought they were fabulous (reviews of Book 1 and Book 2), but I hadn’t gotten around to this one. 

Why did you choose this book for this month’s challenge? 

I had named this book as the one book I definitely wanted to read in both 2021 and 2022, so in the interest of starting over, I am actually working to meet my goals this year. 

What are your thoughts on the book?

It actually worked quite well as a story of starting over—both Daniel and Janeta are coming to terms with their new identities in light of what they experience and learn. I’m talking a serious reevaluation, based on the discovery that the freedom they enjoy is conditional because of the color of their skin. As you might imagine, there is significant trauma involved in this realization.

The basic premise of the story is that Daniel is working through his PTSD of being kidnapped and sold into slavery as an adult by being a spy for the Union and occasionally killing Confederate agents; he is assigned to work with Janeta, who is a new member of the spy ring. However, Janeta is actually a double agent, who plans on passing information on to her Confederate boyfriend in a bid to free her father from prison. They go on a road trip together into the Deep South to crash a dinner party between an English agent and Jefferson Davis.

There’s a lot of angst (Janeta) and brooding (Daniel) and pining (mutual), and the end result is a fabulous slow burn romance that hits on every level. I really enjoyed it, and can’t believe it took me so long to read. Holy shit is it a winner.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

Want to join us in tackling your TBR? February’s theme is “Getaway.”


Review: Chick Magnet by Emma Barry (2023)

Heat Factor: They go to bed around two-thirds through, but it feels like an extremely slow burn

Character Chemistry: They recognize each other’s sadness

Plot: Vet falls for new neighbor (who happens to be a chicken influencer)

Overall: I’ll be honest, I was feeling kinda down when I finished this one

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort (2023)

Heat Factor: Coming like a fire tornado

Character Chemistry: They are so hot for each other and it’s fabulous

Plot: Gender-swapped Phantom of the Opera, with an HEA for the Phantom

Overall: I am utterly delighted

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Dragon Prince’s Magic by Elva Birch (2022)

Royal Dragons of Alaska, Book #5

Reviews of previous books in the Royal Dragons of Alaska series: Book #1, Book #2, Book #3, Book #4

Heat Factor: They’re in bed before 30%, but it’s not detailed

Character Chemistry: She jumps in feet first, and he does, too, but he’s not at first convinced it’s real 

Plot: Katy is…hired… to teach the children rescued by the palace, but the Compact actually wants Katy to be Raval’s mate. And then the children disappear.

Overall: This book was fabulous

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