Review of Trail Magic by Cara Malone

Trail Magic

I love spending time outdoors camping, hiking, and just overall enjoying nature. I was really drawn to Trail Magic by Cara Malone because of the mixture of romance and the thrill of hiking the Appalachian Trail. I read a large section of this book while I was camping. It really helped to add to my enjoyment of the book.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

Raven is two years cancer-free on the day she arrives on the Appalachian Trail, ready to prove to the world that she’s more than just a breast cancer survivor. She’s still Raven, and she’s strong enough to tackle the 2,000-mile journey.

Kit shows up with nothing but a hastily-packed bag and a new pair of hiking boots. When her boss and her girlfriend dump her on the same day, she decides now is as good a time as any to tick the AT off her bucket list.

Trail magic brings Kit and Raven together on the mountain. Raven needs a friend and Kit needs an experienced hiker to guide her.

They share meals, fireside stories, old wounds and new dreams… and a one-man tent in the wilderness.

But can they bring that magic with them off the mountain?

 

I really enjoyed this book from the moment I picked it up. It really made me want to go camping. The descriptions of the Appalachian Trail and the different points of interest were one of the best aspects of the book. It made it feel like you were really there. I also liked the other hikers that were on the trail. Dodger was my favorite. Even though he was a drunk party boy he has some very wise moments that really add to the story.

 

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the romance aspect of this book but in the end, it blew me away. I thought Kits development was phenomenal. I liked how she was so young acting and the reason behind her attitude towards life. It made her such a relatable character. The way she bonded with Raven was very sweet. The book really had a slow burn type of feel, which worked really well. I like how Raven had to overcome her insecurities and open herself up to Kit’s love and affection.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes outdoorsy romance novels.

 

Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

You can purchase a copy of Trail Magic by clicking here.

Review of Mercy by Michelle Larkin

Mercy

When I saw Mercy by Michelle Larkin listed on NetGalley I was intrigued. I love thrillers. But I was a little shocked when I found out it wasn’t the traditional thriller that I was expecting.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

FBI Special Agent Mercy Parker has never shied away from a difficult case. But finding and stopping the man who plans on single-handedly annihilating the human race—armed only with her 9mm, integrity, and sense of humor—is definitely not in her job description. Perhaps it’s time to ask for some help.

 

Psychic ex-profiler Piper Vasey keeps everyone at arm’s length, but Mercy’s wit and selfless dedication to the greater good slowly break down Piper’s defenses. As their attraction for one another grows, they’re joined by an unlikely team of extraordinary people. Together, they embark on a race against time to recover a journal, a dog, and a kidnapped girl with unique psychic abilities.

 

There’s a slim chance they’ll succeed in saving the human race, but will it be enough to restore the balance between unseen forces of light and darkness that have plagued humankind for centuries?

 

As I mentioned before I thought that Mercy was going to be a traditional thriller, but I was wrong it was more of a supernatural thriller. I don’t think the blurb does a good job of explaining that. I mean I was expecting psychic but not all of the other extraordinary abilities. Once I got over that shock the book really sucked me in.

I liked how action packed and fast paced the book was. It really kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed all of the characters and how they banded together. Two of my favorites are Emily and Bobby. Emily was one tough little kid. I also loved how much she cared about animals. When she pulled the little skunk from her backpack my heart melted. I also loved Bobby the giant golden retriever. As everyone knows I love dogs and Bobby was the perfect addition to this book. The way he protected Emily was great. They had a very special bond.

 

I thought the romance aspect of the book was okay. It was kind of a love at first sight type of deal, but it worked well with the theme of the book. I never really felt passion from Mercy and Piper. Their relationship was kind of teasing each other. I never really felt any heat from their actions. But this aspect didn’t take anything away from the story in my opinion.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an action-packed read. This book defiantly kept me on the edge of my seat.

 

You can purchase a copy of Mercy by clicking here.

Review of Seeing Red by Cara Malone

Seeing Red

I have always loved a good fairy tale. Seeing Red: A Sapphic Fairy Tale by Cara Malone hit the right spot with its modern-day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood by The Brothers Grimm.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

Hunter has spent the last two years running in place.

 

Trying to get ahead of the bills.

Trying to provide for her sister, Piper, and her nephews.

Trying to finish her nursing education.

Trying to keep Piper out of her criminal husband’s claws.

 

Big, bad Jed Wolfe is a con artist, a manipulator, and he’s currently doing ten years for counterfeiting. Now is Hunter’s best chance to convince Piper that he’s bad news and they can survive without him.

 

Except the mortgage is overdue again, there’s an eviction notice stapled to the front door, and Hunter can see it in Piper’s eyes. She wants to crawl back to Jed and ask him how to dig out of this mess.

 

They’re getting desperate and Hunter begs Piper not to be like him.

 

Then along comes a beautiful girl in a red cap. Her grandmother is sick, she needs Hunter’s nursing help, and the pay is great. It’s just what they need and soon Hunter is able to catch her breath. Stop running in place. Start to feel something that she hasn’t had time for in years.

 

Happiness. Desire. Love.

 

Until one day an old, familiar feeling returns.

 

Suspicion.

 

I thought the book started off kind of slow. It took me a little while to get into but once I got into it I was hooked. Hunter was a great character. She would do anything to keep her family safe. She didn’t want her nephews to have a hard life like she and her sister had. While Hunter worked hard to take care of her family. Piper pulled cons trying to provide. I loved how Piper’s character ended up.

 

I really liked Kiera’s grandmother. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Alzheimer’s patients. Even though it wasn’t Kiera’s main reason for moving in with her grandma I think it became important for her as her grandmother’s disease progressed.

 

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fairy tale retellings.

 

Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

You can purchase a copy of Seeing Red by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Radclyffe

Radclyffe

I just finished reading Dangerous Waters  by Radclyffe, and I have had the opportunity to interview the author about it!

 

Who or what inspired your latest novel Dangerous Waters?

 

I was impressed by the incredible response from people—from community members to first responders—to the two nearly back-to-back hurricanes in Texas and Florida in 2017. The selfless outpouring of aid and support made me want to capture some of that as a backdrop to a First Responders novel, so I quickly re-arranged my writing schedule to fit Dangerous Waters in as the next book.

 

Who or what inspired you to start writing?

 

Every book I’ve ever read has helped create my life-long love of reading. I started writing lesbian fiction to fill a gap in what I was able to find to read at the time. Now even though there is a wealth of new queer fiction available, I enjoy the process of writing and sharing my work with readers.

 

Which of your books was your favorite to write and why?

 

If I had to pick one: Safe Harbor, since it is one of the earliest ones and begins the Provincetown Tales. I have always loved the characters and the setting—one of my favorite places to visit.

 

Who is your favorite character from your books and why?

 

Again – not a fair question since I have quite a few characters I like to revisit and write about. At the moment it’s Blake Remy, a trans teen first introduced in the second book in the Rivers series (Prescription for Love). His story has turned out to be a major secondary plotline in three books, and I get lots of emails asking me to write more about him.  Writing a young queer character has been challenging and rewarding.

 

How do you approach writing a new storyline?

 

For me, any story, but particularly a romance, is about the characters. I start with two characters who find themselves in a situation they never expected, often at odds at first, who learn more about themselves as they come to know each other.

 

Where do your inspirations for characters and their lives come from?

 

Most of the situations I write about come from real life events I have either experienced (as in the medical romances) or events I’ve read about that seem to me to be important and interesting for readers. Life is filled with “every day” heroes and those are the stories I like to tell.

 

Where is your favorite place to write?

 

I can write anywhere, but I prefer writing while sitting on a sofa rather than at a desk. I don’t listen to music although I can edit a draft while watching baseball on TV 😊.

 

 

What is your writing process?

 

I dictate my first draft with voice-to-text software and then edit the transcription on computer. I write from page one to the end, and I never write scenes out of sequence. The book grows as the characters interact.

 

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

 

I learned to be a much better self-editor as I became more experienced. Being published has helped me be a better writer.

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

 

Becoming a member of the Romance Writers of America. Attending the annual meetings and learning from the best romance writers in the world has really helped me improve my craft.

 

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

 

I’ve been fortunate to receive countless messages of support over the years, and they are all invaluable. I am always especially happy when someone tells me my books helped them come out or to realize they are not alone.

 

What book that you have read has most influenced your life?

 

The first book I ever read with a lesbian character—that was when I understood who I was.Beebo Brinkerby Ann Bannon.

 

How do you take your coffee?

 

Americano with ½ and ½.

 

Review of Dangerous Waters by Radclyffe

Dangerous Waters

So, everyone, I have a shameful secret. I have never read one of Radclyffe’s books. When I saw Dangerous Waters listed on NetGalley I thought I should take the opportunity to see if her books were as good as everyone says they are. I was not disappointed.

 

Here is a short blurb about the book:

Army National Guard Colonel Sawyer Kincaid has served her time dueling with death in the deserts of Africa. Now that she’s home, the only sand she wants to see is on the beach in South Florida. Too bad Tropical Storm Leo, swiftly gaining strength out over the Atlantic, is about to draw her in to another life or death war, this time on home soil.

 

Dr. Dara Sims has too many critical patients in the intensive care units at Miami Memorial to consider evacuation, no matter how determined the battle-hardened colonel is to make her. As far as Dara is concerned, evacuate is just another word for abandon. When a state of emergency becomes a state of siege waged by Leo, all she can do is hope the rising waters relent before she loses everyone, herself included.

 

I thought that the book started off kind of slow but once it picked up I couldn’t put it down. The book is action-packed. With a hurricane barreling towards Florida there is everything keeping Sawyer and Dara apart. Yet, they are drawn to each other. I liked how both women were strong and independent. They both respected each other’s authority in their given fields.

 

Sawyers backstory was amazing. I thought it brought so much to her character. It also gave great insight into why she does the thing she does. She has great respect for the damage a hurricane can cause.

 

I found the section at the nursing home after the storm particularly hard to read. It reminded me of what happened at the nursing home after hurricane Irma. It broke my heart. I have a soft spot for older people with dementia because of my grandmother who passed away last year.

 

If you enjoy action-packed romance, you will love this book.

 

You can purchase a copy of Dangerous Waters by clicking here.

Review of When the Stars Sang by Caren Werlinger

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I have been wanting to read a book by Caren Werlinger since I first saw an interview with her on the Lesbian Book Readers Club on Facebook. I thought she was very charismatic and her books sounded amazing. When I saw her latest book When the Stars Sang listed on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. Let me just say that I wasn’t disappointed.

Here is a short blurb about the book:

Nearly twenty-five years ago, Kathleen Halloran’s brother drowned during the last summer they ever spent with their grandmother on a remote island off Maine’s coast. Like a siren’s call she can’t resist, Kathleen is pulled back to Little Sister Island. She leaves her job and her girlfriend, packs up her few belongings, and moves into her grandmother’s cottage.

Molly Cooper loves life on Little Sister, where the islanders take care of their own. Kathleen Halloran doesn’t belong here, and her arrival stirs up unwelcome memories for the islanders—including Molly’s brother. Molly is certain Kathleen will pack up at the first big blow. When she doesn’t, Molly begins to see maybe there’s more to Kathleen than she thought.

Sometimes, before you can move forward, you have to look back.

This book hooked me in from the beginning. I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed how the characters had so much personality even the side characters. I liked how the island town kept to the old ways of their ancestors. It really drew me into the story. The book is so well written.  This book made me feel so many emotions and I enjoyed every minute of my reading.

The romance between Molly and Kathleen was so believable. Both women had so much to overcome in order to be together. They both needed to get over the past in order to commit to their relationship. I really liked how when Kathleen first came to the island Molly was hesitant about her. It made their relationship seem more real.

As everyone knows I am a sucker for a pet in books. This book delivered. Blossom, they stray dog Kathleen takes in, was amazingly written. He is so cute and derpy. I liked that he followed Kathleen everywhere she went. He also alerted Molly when Kathleen was in danger and helped to locate her. I also really enjoyed Miss Louisa and Miss. Oliva. I think they were my favorite characters in the whole story. The way they mothered and cared for Kathleen was amazing.

The only con for this book is that it has cut to black sex scenes. I didn’t find this to be a problem, but some readers might not like that.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It is one of the best books I have read this year. I cannot speak enough praise for it.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

You can purchase a copy of  When the Stars Sang by clicking here.