Tag Archives: UST

Thicker Than Water, by Brigid Kemmerer

3 Sep

Format: e-ARC, 432 pages

Publisher: Kensington Books

Published: 29 December 2015

ISBN: 9780758294418

Genre: Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: On his own.

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

My review: I put off reading this for ages but once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The story took an unusual supernatural twist that I’m not sure I was expecting based on the blurb, and the resolution came quickly, leaving me wanting more. I could easily see this as the start of a series with these characters. They were all very well realised and interesting. I’d certainly love more of Nicole!

Kemmerer is a new author for me, and I will definitely be looking up her other work.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5



The Switch, by Beth O’Leary

13 Sep

48946446. sy475 Format: Audiobook ARC, narrated by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones (e-book 333 pages)

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Published: 18 August 2020

ISBN: 9781250751850

Genre: Women’s fiction

Back cover blurb: When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.

But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.

My review: This was such a fun story with an unusual pair of heroines, a burned-out Londoner grieving the death of her sister and her 79-year-old grandmother from a small village near Leeds. I really enjoyed how they were both looking for more out of life, and how much they embraced each other’s lifestyles as they initiated the swap where Leena took over her gran’s responsibilities in the village while Eileen got herself on Tinder and flatted with Leena’s friends in Shoreditch. There’s a wonderful cast of friends and neighbours, all of whom I could see clearly in my mind, and although Leena infuriated me near the end, the ending was very satisfying.

I listened to the Netgalley audiobook narrated by the wonderful Alison Steadman (Pride and Prejudice‘s Mrs Bennet) and Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People), and although I thought Steadman was probably a little young to play a 79-year-old, they were both fabulous. (The Netgalley app, though, is horrendous and I do not recommend. It kept losing my place and sending me back to the very beginning, or if I paused in the middle of a chapter it would restart from the beginning of the chapter before. Very frustrating! I hope they fix that soon.)

Beth O’Leary is an author I will now keep a keen eye out for. I’m eager to read her other work.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5




Little Battles, by N.K. Smith

29 Apr

Format: Kindle mobi

Published: April 28, 2011

Publisher: The Writers’ Coffee Shop Publishing House

Back cover blurb:

Spending time with Elliott instills a faint whisper of hope within Sophie Young; hope that both terrifies her and promises redemption.  But the demons of her past are never far behind, and old habits are hard to break.  The more she tries to push him away, the stronger the pull towards him becomes.  As Sophie’s broken heart continues to seek comfort in Elliott, can she put aside her destructive ways and take the most dangerous risk of all?

For many years, Elliott Dalton had lived a solitary existence, keeping his emotions under tight control.  But as his feelings for Sophie grow and her life spins further out of control, his carefully built facade begins to crack.

He is determined to protect her at all costs, just as he protects the hidden secrets of his past.   Secrets that threaten everything.  For if she knew, he would lose her forever…

My review:

This is the second book in the Old Wounds series by N.K. Smith, and if you recall I loved the first one and gave it five cupcakes.

In Little Battles, Sophie and Elliott continue to open up to each other and we begin to learn what horrendous pasts they both have had. Sophie reveals more than Elliott, and even begins to share her experiences with her counsellor in therapy, but for all the progress she makes she still finds herself in situations that, frankly, broke my heart. I had to walk away from the book in the middle when things got particularly dark, but I couldn’t stay away for too long.

Elliott is still so sweet and kind, but he reveals an anger management problem and hints at some of the horrors of his early years. I imagine the third book in the trilogy – Weight of the World, due out in August – will be more devoted to his story, and I also hope they can finally get it together by then!

Again, I loved this. The writing is excellent and the story really takes you over. I fear Smith must have experienced something like this in her own life, otherwise how could someone write about it so authentically? I hope she hasn’t, and that this is just an amazing writing gift.

My rating: 5/5

Cut & Run, by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

26 Apr
Format: Kindle Edition

Published: September 29, 2008

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Back cover blurb:

A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.

Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.

Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again – this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.

My review:

The gals over at the BDB discussion group on GoodReads recommended this series a while back, so I picked this up when I needed something involving law enforcement and an m/m storyline to fulfil one of their reading challenges.

Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are FBI agents with troubled backgrounds who don’t play well with others but are nevertheless partnered together to solve a serial murder case which looks like it was perpetrated by one of their own. Only a handful of agents know why they are on the case, which made it pretty clear to me after only a chapter or so who the killer would turn out to be. The elaborate methods of killing and the theme linking them all was an interesting premise but we never discover the motivation behind it, which would have made this book more satisfying for me.

I was also mildly irritated at the way Ty and Zane took turns getting hurt – it seemed too pat – and the obvious ineptitude of the doctors who let them walk away without adequate treatment.

The romance, however, was very realistic and satisfying. I love UST, and the first few chapters are tantalising as you begin to realise their verbal sparring is actually foreplay. I also loved their boss, Dick Burns (great name for slash!), and suspect he knows there’s more to their partnership than just the job.

There are a couple more books in the series which I will no doubt read. I’m invested in them now, and I think I will need to check in to find out how Ty and Zane are getting along.

My rating: 3.5/5