by Charlie Cochrane
Published by Bold Strokes Books
WWI hero Sam Hines is used to wearing a face that isn’t his own. When he’s not in the trenches, he’s the most popular female impersonator on the front, but a mysterious note from an anonymous admirer leaves him worried. Everyone realizes—eventually—that Sam’s not a woman, but has somebody also worked out that he also prefers his lovers to be male?
When Sam meets—and falls for—fellow officer Johnny Browne after the war, he wonders whether he could be the man who wrote the note. If so, is he the answer to Sam’s dreams or just another predatory blackmailer, ready to profit from a love that dare not speak its name?
Cute little story about negotiating attraction and avoiding blackmail in the years after the First World War and long before decriminalisation of gay sex. Bitter sweet in so much as not everyone we meet at the very beginning of the story is still alive by the time the main, post-war plot kicks off. One to revisit regularly as well.
The Guy Not Taken: Stories
by Jennifer Weiner
Published by Pocket Books
In The Guy Not Taken, a young married woman happens upon her ex boyfriend's wedding registry and wonders what life would have been like if she'd ended up with him after all -- only to wake up and find out her dream, for better and worst, has come true. In Tour of Duty, a young man visits an ivy league college with his mother who does not know how to tell him that his father has left and is moving out during their weekend away. And in Kidnapping Nana two sisters travel to a beach resort and kidnap an older woman so they have a place to stay while they're there -- and find an unexpected bond with the older woman in the process.
A rather mixed bag of stories, although I did enjoy the title story and also the very last one.
Late Last Night (River Bend Book 1)
by Lilian Darcy
Published by The Tule Publishing Group LLC
It’s May 1996 and Marietta High School English teacher Kate MacCreadie is almost at the end of her rope, torn between the demands of her work and her heavy involvement in helping her younger brother Rob and his wife Melinda take care of their five young children on the MacCreadie family ranch.
When Marietta’s fine-looking new sheriff, Harrison Pearce, pulls Kate over for her third traffic violation in as many months, they both know it’s a sign that something has to give.
Kate finds it almost a relief to be told by this calm, strong man to get her life in order, and then she just keeps on seeing him - at school after there’s been a suspicious break-in, on the evening of the prom when he’s off duty and driving his nephew and friends to the event in one of his brother’s gorgeous vintage cars.
Late that night, after prom is over, a tragedy at River Bend Park brings Kate and Harrison together yet again, and this time, in the highly charged atmosphere, Kate discovers that she never wants to let him go. But with his divorce still fresh, is Harrison ready for someone new?
Reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.
Crash Into You
by Katie McGarry
Published by Mira Ink
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes the explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane.
The girl with straight A's, designer clothes, and the perfect life - that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers... and she's just added two more to the list.
One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker - a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.
Isaiah has secrets too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks - no matter how angelic she might look. But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
Third in a series that I'm now going to have to read all of, although this one worked fine as a story in its own right. Rachel has spent her whole life trying to live up to the memory of a sister who died before she was born, and suffers panic attacks so severe that she's been hospitalised previously. All she wants to do is work on her car and do well at school, but her mother and brothers press her into public speaking engagements in support of the charity set up in her sister's memory. Meanwhile Isaiah also excels at driving and fixing up cars. When an illegal road race is busted, the pair find themselves in debt to a local gangster and working together to raise the money draws them together in spite of the vast difference in family backgrounds. I loved all the characters in this one, especially Abby, who I hope will get a book of her own soon.
The Scent of Butterflies
by Dora Levy Mossanen
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
A novel singed by the flavors of Tehran, imbued with the Iranian roots of Persepolis and the culture clash of Rooftops of Tehran, this is a striking, nuanced story of a woman caught between two worlds, from the bestselling author of Harem, Courtesan, and The Last Romanov.
A Love So Deep Can Forever Scar the Soul
Such audacity she has, Soraya, a woman who dares to break free of the diamond-studded leash of her culture. A woman who refuses to accept the devastating betrayal her husband has perpetrated. A woman who refuses to forgive her best friend.
Soraya turns her back on Iran, fleeing to America to plot her intricate revenge. The Shah has fallen, her country is in turmoil, her marriage has crumbled, and she is unraveling. The cruel and intimate blow her husband has dealt her awakens an obsessive streak that explodes in the heated world of Los Angeles.
Yet the secret Soraya discovers proves far more devastating than anything she had imagined, unleashing a whirlwind of unexpected events that will leave the reader breathless.
To be reviewed on The Good, The Bad, & The Unread.