Monthly Archives: February 2018

Cracking Love by Emily King: a review

Cracking Love by Emily King

 

Cracking Love by Emily King
Release date: February 15, 2018
Publisher: Bella Books
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Is love all that it’s cracked up to be? Does it make you go a bit nutty? Have sour experiences made your heart a tough nut to crack? Okay, okay…okay, I’ll stop with the delightful nut puns (for now) and talk about Cracking Love, Emily King’s debut romance. Janet Webber feels burned out by constant travel and low satisfaction she gets from her new job as a regional pharmacy manager. Newly relocated to a small California town, she chats up an airport shuttle driver and ends up invited to a house party. Mingling and noshing on BBQ, Janet meets other local lesbians and L.A.-based friends of the host couple. However, she only has eyes for walnut & veggie farmer, Gail Lawrence. The two hit it off, but personal baggage gets in the way.

Along the way to love, Gail grapples with deeply rooted issues of mistrust and the prospect of losing clients for her produce. Trust issues arising from past partner infidelity and gold digging college girlfriends creates much of the drama separating Janet and Gail from HEA with each other. Line dancing connects the women to their community, to each other, and to themselves. This is especially true for Janet. It mirrors the steps they learn as they negotiate relationships and careers. Once you figure out the basic step combinations, you can move on to more complex patterns with confidence.

Quick pacing makes this story easy to devour in a sitting or two.  I chalked up their expedited pairing to deep thirst for emotional and romantic validation. The intensity of their feelings clashes often with what they want and with their insecurities. Ultimately, Janet and Gail seem to balance each other out. In-between flights for work, tending to crops, and line dancing lessons, there is a lot of steamy bedroom scenes. It’s an enjoyable debut romance, overall. If you’re looking for romance set in small towns, women that work with their hands, midlife career changing magic, and some boot scootin’ boogie, then this just might be up your alley.

Hungry Reads

Eat with snacks nearby! All the talk of walnut bars and candies had me craving the praline treats I ate in New Orleans last year. I can’t vouch for any of these recipes (yet), but here are a handful of walnut bar and candied walnut recipes I found via Allrecipes.com and Martha Stewart. I wonder if author Emily King has a stash of go-to baking recipes…

 

 

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Categories: contemporary, lgbt, romance | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lighthouses: A Cover List

The unifying element between these ten books is the fact that they have a lighthouse on the cover. This in itself makes these books awesome and irresistible to me. Last Christmas, happenstance tossed Lighthouse Christmasa delightful historical fiction picture book about the Flying Santa program, across my path. And I still need to watch The Light Between Oceans. It’s waiting for me at home. Life on a coast also means that I have lived a good portion of my life less than an hour from a lighthouse. Pretty dang sweet, I agree. May these beacons guide you to romance, excitement, thrills, and mystery. If you have other books that you want to share, please write them in the comments below. Cheers!

Categories: booklist, mystery, romance, suspense, thriller | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Almost-Married Moni

Almost-Married Moni (Girl Meets Girl, #3.5)

 

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! This morning started off on the right foot when I found a bowl full of York peppermint patties in the break room at work 😀 Since many of us are clocking in at our jobs, there probably isn’t much time leftover for romance when you get home. Between making dinner, running errands, and everything else in between, the 14th seems a bit much. A nice glass of wine, some chocolates, comfy pajamas, and a stash of romance novels is my recipe for a great night. 

Almost-Married Moniheartwarming celebration-slice-of-life, features Moni and Sue from “Not-So-Straight Sue“. Three years after their engagement, marriage equality becomes an Australian reality. We reunite in the Outback with couples from all three of Cheyenne Blue’s “Girl Meets Girl” series, as well as their friends, family, and a surprise guest. Treat yourself to this short and sweet Valentine.

Almost-Married Moni by Cheyenne Blue
Ylva Publishing, December 2017
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Categories: Holiday, lgbt, novella, romance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2018 Winter Olympics: A booklist

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Public Domain. Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (67)

The drama for Winter Olympics bronze-silver-and-gold glory will unfold in PyeongChang, South Korea. Every four years ice skating, skiing, curling, and snowboarding, and other ice and snow-based sports receive maximum exposure via television, radio, and internet platforms. Audiences around the world can thrill to speed skating and women’s hockey, and kids can imitate the intricate, powerful moves of ice skaters (like I did in my socks around the kitchen). Growing up, the Winter Olympics were my primary exposure to sports that I could never hope to play. For many of the countries competing, it is reflective of who can afford to train with equipment and facilities that far exceed a pair of sneakers and an open road.

I’ve gathered up a handful of books that center on the high stakes Olympic drama, as well as stories that feature winter sports, but don’t take place during the Olympics. I’ll continue to add books through the 25th. Please share any related books in the comments below! Let the games begin!

Olympics

Edge of Glory (2017) by Rachel Spangler
Delay of Game (2017) by Tracey Richardson
Fire on Ice (2018) by Jea Hawkins

Winter Sports (non-Olympics)

Rebirth (2017) by CS Patra
Castles in Flames and Ice, Book 1

Categories: booklist, fiction, lgbt, sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Delay of Game by Tracey Richardson – review

BEL-DelayGame

 

Thanks to the TV monitors affixed to cardio machines at my gym, I can watch all kinds of sports that I’m not able to at any other time (being one of the cable-free, I’m bound to the internet). On one particular night in late December, I watched men’s college football and basketball, and the final minutes of a pro Hockey game. There was a period in high school when I was pretty into watching hockey on ESPN, though I had no other connection to it. The speed and dexterity on ice, the full body contact drew me in like a moth to a flame. I participated in something called “broom hockey” on ice years later and ice skate occasionally, but that’s it.

As the on and off ice drama in Delay of Game sucked me in, I felt a new appreciation for the hard work involved in setting up and executing plays, not to mention extensive traveling and low pay for women. While I watch men’s games, I can’t but think about Eva Caruso and Niki Hartling, passionate players representing the United States and Canada, respectively, on the grand stage that is the Winter Olympics.

The two women have a deep history, one severed by youthful passions and manipulation. Niki has moved on from professional hockey, teaching at a university and raising a precocious daughter. Recently widowed, she isn’t looking for anything that will upend the delicate balance she’s achieved. However, a scandal rocks Team Canada months before the 2010 opening ceremonies in Vancouver, BC, and Niki is pulled in as a reluctant head coach. Eva, meanwhile, hasn’t hung up her skates just yet. Hungry for another chance at an Olympic medal, she relies on her competitive nature and Hall of Fame level skills carry her through injuries and the pains of life on the road. As the oldest on Team USA, Eva also shoulders some of the leadership responsibilities, helping focus her younger teammates’ drive.

Hockey and romance given equal time on the ice, making for a satisfying sports romance. As a reader, you get a good feel for the investment players make in ascending to the championship level, as well as the personal costs it exacts. Meanwhile, the complicated history between Niki and Eva, escalating stakes for Olympic glory, and the struggle Niki feels about romance after the death of her wife, adds drama on the personal and broader levels. In the midst of all this, there is added mystery of a fox in the hen houses of Team Canada and Team USA.  Delay of Game sat on my TBR shelf for several months, but once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. And once you read it, you’ll be itching for some hockey action. Below you’ll find a link for the 2018 Olympic women’s hockey schedules. Opening ceremonies in PyeongChang are on February 9th. Cheers!

Women’s Hockey, Olympic schedule here.

Delay of Game by Tracey Richardson
Bella Books, 2017
Available from Bella Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. You can ask your local indie booksellers to buy a specific lesfic title and they just might! Also, check with your public library (request purchase if they don’t carry it).

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Categories: lgbt, romance, sports | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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