#ReleaseChanger: “The Austen Playbook” – Lucy Parker

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2VeD6cW
Released Today: The Austen Playbook is 4th book in this series of interconnected standalones. Cameo appearances by a smattering of previous MCs from prior books but genuinely can standalone.
I love Lucy Parker’s voice. Her wit and understanding of people is exquisite.
Griff is a Grumpy Theatre Critic & carrying the weight of the seeming money pit of a historic House, passed down through the generations. His spendthrift parents & sibling adding to that burden.
Freddy (Frederica) is trapped by other people’s expectations, mostly her Father’s. She has a legacy in “Serious theatre” to uphold, whereas her heart is drawn to Comedy & Musicals.
They’d interacted before, with Griff’s take on Freddy’s performance being dry but truthful. So we start with an Enemies to Lovers feel. However, once they start to interact, they’re definitely overcome with Pants Feelings!
This book take both our main characters on a journey of revelation, about themselves, about their place in their families & their respective worlds. Their journey towards an acceptable of themselves and their feelings for each other feels balanced, neither one of them hog’s the limelight. They challenge and support each other through the pain of their individual growth and they are the catalyst for each other’s changes.
It felt like a very grown-up romance, un-contrived & featuring internal and external conflicts requiring resolution.
I loved it.
**ARC received from NetGalley in return for an honest review, I’d already preordered prior to ARC approval**

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“Secrets Never Die” – Melinda Leigh

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2DRCqkm
Morgan Dane – Book 5

Melinda Leigh is one of my top recs for Suspense with Romantic Elements. As the couple in the Morgan Dane Series are together after book 3? It’s not really romantic Suspense.

These and Kendra Elliott are books I stack up when I’m travelling as I know the Audiobooks (whispersynced for KU) will keep me entertained for long journeys.

I love the exploration of Morgan and Lance’s Relationship as they figure out working together, Lance’s relationship with Morgan’s Kids (3 young girls), plus Morgan’s extended Family.

There are longer story arcs going on with Morgan & Lance’s dealing with the town bureaucracy (there’s a particular thing I want to have happen in that regard, & if I does I’ll shout from the rooftops).
The secondary story line of Sharp’s ongoing tete a tete with the reporter is delicious gravy.

I happily take the ride that Gray’s Hollow and Scarlett Falls are small towns with plenty o’murders in a Jessica Fletcher kind of way.

As long as Ms Leigh keeps writing, I’ll keep devouring and subscribing to Kindle Unlimited.

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#CoverReveal “The Last Wingman” – Daisy Prescott

AMAZON Series LINK: https://amzn.to/2Hr2Tsw Book 1 is free right now
The Last Wingman Amazon link to Follow

The Last Wingman: Jonah Kingston is the last wingman standing.
June Moxee doesn’t care if he’s the last man on earth.
I haven’t exactly avoided relationships, but love has never been a priority.
Solitude doesn’t bother me and being alone doesn’t mean being lonely. Until she
moved to the island and I had to reconsider everything.
June seems content running her yarn shop, knitting with the local church ladies,
and avoiding me. She’s a temptress in a handknit sweater. And for some reason,
she’s not a fan of mine. It might be the tattoos. Or the beard. Or the fact that
we’re polar opposites.
A woman has finally caught my attention. Too bad she thinks she hates me.
Good thing I’m stubborn enough to try to change her mind.

The Last Wingman is the sixth standalone, lighthearted small town romance in
the Wingmen series. You do not have to read the previous books first to enjoy
this book.

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#CurrentRead “Rafe” – Rebekah Weatherspoon

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2MRKhRJ

3rd Person. Dual POV.

Single Parent, Heart Surgeon Heroine.
Nanny Hero.

Gah! Loving this strong, emotionally intelligent Hero and this vibrant, competent Heroine.

I loved these fully fleshed out characters. They had familial support, found family support. There was emotional vulnerability that felt tender and true.

The kids were to die for, sassy, brave and real. I loved it.

Thanks to the Ripped Bodice for my signed copy.

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#CurrentRead “Tikka Chance on Me” – Suleikha Snyder

AMAZON Link: https://amzn.to/2WEHQq4

Interesting use of 1st & 3rd person!
Dual POV.
Fantastic Novella.
Good Girl/Bad Boy.

Pinky returned home leaving grad school behind when her mother became sick.  Trucker Carrington is the enforcer in the local Motorcycle gang.

Does he like her for more than her non-virgin Lassi? Is she just craving the freedom she left behind in Chicago?

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#CurrentRead “Sleeping with the Enemy” – Robin Covington

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2WJf5IV

3rd Person. Dual POV
She’s the GM of a VA based Baseball team and has her recently deceased father’s legacy to uphold.
He’s a baseball superstar on the rival team. Their fathers were best friends.

Second Chance Romance, Sports Romance, Workplace Romance

Their relationship ended seven years ago. Kat, our heroine, is determined to recruit Derek to her team, putting the kibosh on any potential relationship. Derek wants nothing more than to rekindle their relationship. Can they overcome the obstacles and reconnect?

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“Flare Up” – Shannon Stacey

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2TrEjJD

3rd Person. Dual POV.
Heroine: Domestic Abuse survior
Hero: Boston Firefighter

I have a sweet spot for Romances set in Boston. Even more so when it *Feels* like they’re actually in Boston.
Shannon gets the sassy, ornery nature of Bostonians right. We’re in your face either ’cause we hate you or we love you.
It’s up to you to figure out which it is.

CW/TW discussions of emotional & domestic abuse & stalking

This story was building for a while. Wren left Grant earlier in the series and now we find out why she disappeared.

Wren’s fear may have seemed irrational, but as one of my favourite quotes from the book says:
“When there’s a concrete problem you can fix it. But fear is, it’s personal and doesn’t always make sense to other people”.

Grant struggles to not ALPHA all over the situation. There was a level of emotional intelligence that made this hero the best kind of Beta-Hero instead. I really liked that he stepped back to give Wren the opportunity to take control of how things were dealt with.
The on going relationships with the other firefighters was delightful, and with Wren gaining a “Found Family”, this was a thoughtful grown up kinda Second Chance romance.

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“Physical Forces” – DD Ayres

AMAZON LINK: https://amzn.to/2UAjj3J

3rd Person Dual POV. Romantic Suspense set in FL.

Heroine: Pet Detective, Macayla finds & rescues lost pets.

Hero: Australian Search & Rescue K9 Operator, Oliver.

I liked most of this series. This didn’t feel like the strongest ending. I enjoyed the story, but the story beats were a little off and Oliver was almost an Aussie caricature.

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“The Conspiracy” – Kat Martin

AMAZON Link: https://amzn.to/2Ro16cj

Book 1 in a new series: 3rd Person, Dual POV (with a smidge (<5%) of other POVs)

This felt like a book of two halves. International and Domestic

The first half was Harper (Heroine) roping in Chase (her Brother’s former best friend who runs a security company) to track down her missing brother in the Caribbean.

The second half all took place in the US.

Then we have all the tropes, Brother’s Best Friend, Girl Next Door, Unrequited Love, Fish out of Water, Bodyguard etc etc.

The ebb and flow of Harper and Chase’s relationship, on again off again for *reasons* was good, but expected within this sub-genre. Although I’m not sure his grovel was enough.

It was just *A Lot* to be crammed into this story, is it the downside of book 1 in a series? Possibly, it felt like I was meeting not only the character base of this new series (the team at Maximum security), but maybe the characters for another series (the other Garrett brothers)?

I did like the attention to detail for 1) the International section, how travelling round Caribbean Islands & rescue ops in Jungles work, having to exchange money is a PITA etc 2) How Harper’s job/company/employees are impacted by the search for her brother. Although having $$$$ and private jets sure come in handy.

It just felt like it could have been “snappier”. The best analogy I can give is; If this were a film I might have gotten bored, but if it were a TV series, I’m sure I’d be happy with the ground work being done.

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