When I Fall | 5 Stars

When I Fall
By J. Daniels
5 Stars

Oh, Beth and Reed! I fell in love with Reed so fast. I’m from a small town in Wisconsin, and when I read that Reed was my kind of country boy—Jacked up truck? Works construction? Yes!—that was it for me. Not to mention his big softie heart beneath that rough and tumble exterior. And did I mention that he’s hot as hell, and kinky to boot? Be still my heart!

And Beth doesn’t disappoint. She meets him toe-to-toe in the kinky department, and then some. Talk about a sexy read! And with all the feels, of course. I loved the natural build in their relationship. They both had very intriguing and emotional pasts that come back to haunt them, and I just loved it. That’s the best way to say it.

The Simplicity of Cider | 3 Stars

The Simplicity of Cider
by Amy E. Reichert
3 Stars

I really enjoyed that our heroine had the ability to see tastes – that is, the taste of every apple was assigned a color in her mind. It was an original and intriguing addition to the story.

I wasn’t particularly fond of this story, as a romance. The relationship between the two main characters wasn’t much, and I certainly didn’t feel like this was a once in a lifetime love for them. I also didn’t find them particularly likeable. I felt that they both gave up on their loved ones too easily and without a fight, which made it hard for me to believe that they wouldn’t give up on each other.

I grew to like this story, by the end. It took a while for me to really warm up to the characters, but by the end, I was happy with the story.

Writing a Book with My Dad: The Mustache

A few weeks ago my dad and I sat down to talk about what our characters look like. When deciding on a look for our male lead, we got excited about him having a mustache. (I don’t know why we got so excited, but we did.) I usually write much younger characters in their early twenties, while this character is a more mature fifty, and I’d never written a character with a mustache before. My dad has a great mustache that has defined his appearance for as long as I can remember. We were excited about branding our hero in such a way—and then we did a little research. Our hero is in the military, and my dad did a little research on the rules for a serviceman’s appearance. The limitations for a mustache did NOT fit with the gorgeous mustache we had envisioned for our hero (maybe one as glorious as Tom Selleck’s) … so now, he is clean shaven. It was with a heavy heart that we said goodbye to that fabulous mustache we dreamed of, but we’ll find other ways to make him dashing!

The End of an Era

My publisher Less Than Three Press announced this past week that they are closing their doors after 10+ years in business. They were my first publisher back in 2011, and I will always be grateful to them for taking a chance on me and giving me the encouragement I needed to pursue a career in writing. Over the past eight years I published more than twenty novellas and short stories with them. This past year or so I hadn’t released any new material as Less Than Three is a queer publisher and I was trying my hand at m/f romance, but I did have several of my stories still available on their bookstore when they announced their closing. I’m planning to release a number of these as free reads on my website and possibly on Wattpad in the coming weeks. They’re stories that I still enjoy and feel others may as well. Stay tuned for more to come on that!

Torn | 3 Stars

Torn
by Lauren Dane
3 Stars

I enjoyed this story until the end. The fight they have as the climax of the book seemed to come out of nowhere for me, and I felt that the characters blew it out of proportion. I also didn’t feel particularly satisfied by the ending itself. Yes, it was more realistic than a fairytale ending, but I didn’t get a feeling of resolution.

Writing a Book with My Dad: The Adventure Begins

Last Friday, my dad and I sat down and put pen (or rather, pencil) to paper as we started writing a book together. For the past few years, he’s bounced story ideas off me, and this year, we decided to finally do it. Earlier this year, we had decided on which idea to pursue, and on Friday night, we got started.

First, we sat there. Watched some TV. The cat sat on our notebook. My dad asked the cat to write the book for us, and the ice was broken.

More or less.

Then we stared at an empty notebook page. I said, “I’ve never written a book with anyone before.” My dad said, “I’ve never written a book at all – but I have read one.” So we’ve got that going for us, and it actually made me feel pretty good about things.

Finally, we got down to business. My dad, it turns out, is a lover of backstory. Lots of backstory. Timelines of backstory. We spent the evening backtracking our hero’s family, all the way to his grandfather’s military service. We talked about the different military branches his father might have served in and debated the merits of different officer positions he may have been promoted to.

All in all, a good first night, I think. We’ll see what next week brings.

All I Want | 4 Stars

Talk about a girl who can give it as good as she gets it! Tessa and Luke fight like cats and dogs, and while I was sometimes taken aback by how forward they both were in their bickering, I quite enjoyed how evenly matched the two of them were. I never once felt like one was being “mean” to the other, or dishing out more than the other would return to them. I also enjoyed how open both of them were about sex—particularly sex they’d had with other people. I thought it was refreshing to have two characters who had no qualms about seeing other people when they weren’t together, and again, they were evenly matched. Tessa isn’t saving herself for Luke while he’s sleeping his way around town, and vice versa. I think that’s the best way to describe these two: evenly matched. And speaking of sex—woah! These two are hot hot hot!

A Good Yarn | 4 Stars

A Good Yarn
by Debbie Macomber
4 Stars

I read this book during my breaks at work, and it was so hard to put it down when break time was over!

I loved the interweaving stories, especially the multiple generations of women involved. The story had a little something for everyone, no matter what age or stage of life you’re in, which I thought was very clever. My only complaint was the “fairy godmother” type resolution at the end that made me wonder if the characters would have been able to make it on their own. Still, a very enjoyable read that was hard to tear myself away from!

The Taming of a Wild Child | 4 Stars

The Taming of a Wild Child
by Kimberly Lang
4 Stars

For a story featuring a passionate fling between two young people, this story is surprisingly sweet. The family dynamic between the heroine and her parents and sister is just lovely and very believable. There were times when I had a little difficulty swallowing the restrictions her place in society was putting on her, but then again, I think many readers would, and that’s what makes us feel for the heroine as she is being stifled. While thrilling and forbidden, the love affair between the characters is held behind closed doors – I would have been floored if the author had chosen to keep the bedroom doors open so to speak and let the reader into these scenes. As it was, the story was sweet, fun, and fresh, and it was definitely enjoyable to read.

Phaze | 5 Stars

Phaze
by S. C. Mitchell
4 Stars

I LOVED this book! The flirtatious tension between the two main characters is absolutely delicious, and the author has a real way of making the secondary characters come alive. There was plenty of action and romance, as well as a fun amount of comic relief to keep things from getting too dark and heavy, even in these life and death situations.

As always with this author, my favorite part of reading his work is just how knowledgeable he is about science and technology. It makes everything seem completely plausible and I never question what he says. Another great book!