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review 2017-10-17 05:42
Tricky
Off the Ice (Hat Trick) - Avon Gale

Tristan is a hockey player who knows he cannot play the sport forever.  He makes plans for the future.  Going back to school is the best solution.  Being attracted to his teacher, is just not an option.

 

Sebastian does not want to be attracted to his student.  He needs to stop dreaming and thinking of the one man he cannot have.  But, it seems like it might be mutual....

 

These characters were just such a joy to read.  I am not a fan of the teacher or forbidden trope.  In this story, it just works.  I will not spoil it for you - but I really am looking forward to reading more in this Hat Trick series.  These authors never disappoint.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

*** This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley and its publishers.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-01 02:28
sweet but...
The Love Song of Sawyer Bell - Avon Gale

A Tour Dates Novel Victoria “Vix” Vincent has only two weeks to find a replacement fiddle player for her band’s summer tour. When classically trained violinist Sawyer Bell shows up for an audition, Vix is thrilled. Sawyer is talented, gorgeous, funny, and excited about playing indie rock instead of Beethoven. Their friendship soon blossoms into romance, even though Vix tries to remember that Sawyer’s presence is only temporary. Sawyer’s parents think she’s spending the summer months touring Europe with a chamber ensemble. But Sawyer is in dire need of a break from the competitiveness of Juilliard, and desperately wants to rediscover her love of music. Going on tour with her secret high school crush is just an added bonus. Especially when Vix kisses her one night after a show, and they discover that the stage isn’t the only place they have chemistry. But the tour won’t last forever, and as the summer winds down, Sawyer has to make a tough decision about her future—and what it means to follow her heart. Word count: 62,000; page count: 232.

 

Review:

Dear Avon Gale, I loved your solo hockey books, but passed on two of your recent books with coauthors because those did not sound like my cup of tea. So when DA commenter Cleo recommended your solo f/f romance with Riptide publishing I was very excited to buy it and started reading.

In many ways this book had what I came to associate with your writing style. Two charming likeable heroines, low angst story, a lot of funny banter between the characters – this story had all that and I really enjoyed it up to the point.

The blurb describes the set up perfectly. Victoria aka Vix Vincent and her band are looking for the substitute fiddle player for their summer tour and almost ready to give up till Sawyer who will start her senior year in Juliard shows up and wins them over very fast.

Sawyer felt incredibly stressed at Juliard for couple of years, but did not quit it for many reasons. She hoped to rediscover her love of music by trying something different than auditioning for the spot in the classical orchestra for the summer.

Audition shows that she was a perfect fit for the band and Sawyer feels that she may rediscover her love of music without much of extra stress on top of it. She and the band members hit it off right away and off to start the tour they go.

As blurb also told you Sawyer was in high school with Vix who was three years older and spent a year they were in the same school having a major crush on Vix even though they met and spoke only one time (which for this story and these characters made perfect sense to me). Crash went nowhere but now when Sawyer realized that the leader of the band is the same Vix she is even happier. Vix of course did not remember her.

I really liked the beginning of the story – I felt as if I was with them in the small van they were driving between the tour cities, I felt their love of music and appreciated some glimpses in the process of song writing. I liked how Vix and Sawyer seemed to have such a sweet chemistry together before they ever started having sex and how natural the first kiss felt to me.

Sawyer is aware (or should I say almost aware) that she is a lesbian but she did not have any experience with the women, she had one relationship with the guy in Juilliard which did not go anywhere. Vix is bisexual.

Both women find out pretty fast that they really enjoy each other’s company and even though initially Sawyer is nervous, they end up having sex together and start a relationship. Sawyer embraces the confirmation of the fact that she indeed prefers to be with women with little or no angst and good humor.

"Well, that was a ringing endorsement right there, wasn’t it? Sawyer picked up one of the packages and eyed Vix thoughtfully. “I should get this. It’s like an investment, right?” “Um.” Vix raised both eyebrows at her. “Are you going to collect dildos?” “Well, everyone needs a hobby,” Sawyer said, which made Vix want to kiss her. “But I mean, an investment in my lesbian lifestyle.” She smiled at the woman helping them. “I’m new to all of this, can you tell?” The shopkeeper giggled. “That’s amazing. In fact, I’ll give you a twenty percent discount on all your purchases today, how’s that?” “Thank you,” Sawyer enthused."

"After a few more songs, Vix nudged Sawyer with her elbow. “So, we’re driving straight on tonight to Portland. And we’ll have one last chance to rock out to Racer tomorrow.” “Thank you for the reminder, Google Calendar,” said Sawyer. Vix stuck her tongue out.. “I was thinking we could go find that alcove for a bit while no one’s missing us.” Sawyer slipped her hand in Vix’s and squeezed. “Mark me as attending that event,” she joked, and let Vix pull her away."

 

For quite a while both Vix and Sawyer seem to worry about one thing – where would their relationship go after summer ends. Sawyer would have to come back to Juilliard and Vix is not going to abandon her band and will be once again on tour much more often than not. That worry seemed reasonable and understandable to me.

 

However what comes after the solution was presented came out of left field to me. I understand of course that human beings do not always act consistently to put it mildly but I keep coming back to this quote about the difference between fiction and reality being that fiction has to make sense. Vix’s reaction made no sense to me. All summer she was freaking out about one thing and now she was freaking out about a completely opposite one.

Without going into spoiler territory I also would like to say that of course fictional character can act inconsistently as well, I just need to be convinced that she had reasons to *act inconsistently* and to me Vix’s freak-out was not sufficiently supported by the text (it is as if the editor looked at the book and said to the writer – oh wait, not enough angst for the separation plot point. Must have one no matter how contrived it sounds).

 

And to be honest in the second part of the story I also wanted more plot. Note I am not trying to rewrite the story which was presented, I am just saying that I was a little bored by what was presented in the second half. They tour, they have sex, and they write songs. It became a bit repetitive for me.

 

Grade C+/B-

 

 

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review 2017-09-30 03:52
The Love Song of Sawyer Bell by Avon Gale - My Thoughts
The Love Song of Sawyer Bell - Avon Gale

Sadly, I'm disappointed again.  I saw a couple of good comments about this book and in reading the blurb it seemed to have some of the things I love.  Rock bands, musicians, song writers, a pair of heroines who didn't sound like angsty belly-button watchers. Maybe I had found that very rare things for me, a good f/f romance.  I should have known it was too good to be true.  Seriously, these books are not meant for me and I will learn to spot them at some point.

The first 3rd of the book was fine.  Yes, the girls were younger than I'd been hoping - 21 and 25 years of age - but they seemed to have a good grasp of things - like life.  *LOL*   They weren't vapid, they made sense, they had dreams and they had flaws and quirks.  They were real, fully formed people and I was hopeful. 

Then they got together.  And I was in the dreaded NA territory.  See, there's a difference between a book/romance with young protagonists and one that's New Adult.  The girls began to feel for each other and at the same time they began to focus on their own 'perceived' flaws which made them begin to hide things from each other and avoid talking about things that might edge too close to those feelings of less-than-worthiness. And there was so much over and over accusing of one wanting 'dick' because she was bisexual and the other gal didn't do guys... I don't know, it just seemed that if they'd stop being so sensitive and prickly and actually talked to each other a lot of these hurts could have been avoided.  And this basically went on until just about the end when they finally got their shit together - mostly because of come-to-Jesus talks with one of the other members of the band - a man.  An older man (maybe 30-ish?).  It all felt less than empowering to me. 

I had other, smaller problems too.  Yay for diversity!  I'm all for that.  But really, do we need to have the labels of almost every character in the book proclaimed? Does it matter to the story of Sawyer and Vix if this one is gay, that one a lesbian, those 3 bisexuals, and that one over there straight... and so on?  I don't think so.  The diversity felt forced, not natural and I think that's because it was being pointed out over and over again. 

Another problem I had was the 'ew, boys' stuff.  Boys aren't always disgusting, unfeeling, shallow sots... well not all the time anyway.  *LOL*  That felt kind of juvenile to me.  But what do I know, maybe young lesbians all talk this way?  (And then the author totally dissed Nickleback, which did not endear her to me because I really like Nickleback!)  Another small thing... is it a new young girl uniform to wear tank tops... all the time tank tops.  Day in and day out? 

So once again, caveat being given... I'm not the best person for NA romances.  They annoy me and I have no patience for these angsty kids.  The book was well written and would probably be loved by someone who gets NA.  I'm not her. So the hunt continues for some enjoyable (for me) f/f romances.

 

Oh, but .. the cover absolutely ROCKS!

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review 2017-09-29 23:07
Permanent Ink (Art & Soul Book 1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Permanent Ink - Avon Gale,Piper Vaughn

At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

 

Review

I enjoyed this romance between a much older man and and a younger one much more than I thought I might.

 

I love Avon Gale's writing which is why I picked it up and I have wanted to try Piper Vaughn.

 

I had heard a rumor of some Daddy kink and that is not my thing. And honestly Poe is young and aimless and really my ideal hero to read a love story about and the fact that Poe is Jericho's best friends kid. A lot of no from me.

 

However, the Daddy Kink is light, Jericho didn't know Poe as a child, and Poe grows up.

This is really a New Adult book to the max but with one of the heroes being much older so his journey is different. The New Adult, coming of age, growing up piece is really well done on most levels though I would have like more exploration of Poe's sexual tastes or how something about his sexual self moving into a fuller adult hood.

 

I, like Poe, love Jericho, though I am not always sure why Jericho loves Poe, He explains it a couple times and it has to do with art a bit but I think the book would be richer if Jericho had more of an arc and though he has a backstory there is something missing.

 

I love the setting and can't wait for more in this series. There are all these moments of emotional complexity seeded in this love story that make it a good read.

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review 2017-09-25 10:10
Review Tour - Chasing Christmas Eve

   

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes the next sexy, standalone novel in the Heartbreaker Bay series... Don’t miss the amazing excerpt and giveaway below, and order your copy today!

   

 

About CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE:

 

Meet cute...

 

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

 

Make merry...

 

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spencer immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

 

…and hope for a miracle.

 

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime

   

Order CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE in ebook or paperback, releasing 9/26/17!

 

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo| Barnes & Noble

   

 

 

 

Colbie Albright stood in the crowded LaGuardia Airport staring up at the flight departure board. Her chest was tight and her throat felt like it was closing in.


Classic anxiety, she told herself. Just breathe right through it.

 

Not that her body listened to her brain. Her body rarely listened to good sense.

 

In any case, it was December 1 and people were rushing all around her like chickens without their heads, while she stood still trying to figure out her choice of destination. Her only requirements were warm and tropical. An exotic beach would fit the bill perfectly.

 

Aruba.

 

Jamaica.

 

Oooh, I wanna take you…

 

Great, and now that Beach Boys song was stuck in her head. Doing her best to shake it off, she eyed the board again. So many choices for a twenty-eight-year-old runaway with a packed bag and no regrets.


From inside her purse her phone vibrated and she grimaced. Okay, so there were regrets. Buckets of them that made her suitcase feel like a thousand pounds and sucked the air from her lungs, but she refused to let herself turn tail and go back.

 

She was doing this.

 

 

 

 

 

Chasing Christmas Eve (Heartbreaker Bay, #4)Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #4, in the Heartbreaker Bay series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding of this fun series, I recommend reading this series in order.

Colbie needs a break. A fresh start to give her a chance to breathe before returning to her smothering life. Where to go? What to do? Well... how about San Francisco?

Spence sort of helps a dog cause a tourist to fall into their fountain. He feels bad. Then he feels attracted. Colbie is a beautiful, talented, funny, and amazing tourist he would like to get to know better. Where is this coming from? Even he doesn't know.

This is a laugh out loud funny story! It can also be sexy and sweet Typical for this author, however. There is a reason she is a go-to favorite. Her characters are real people. We can all put ourselves in these circumstances and relate. I found these characters so much fun to read. And... re-visiting with some of the series favorites in here was great also.


***This early copy was given by Edelweiss and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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September 18th

Bea's Book Nook – Review & Excerpt

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Inside The Mind of an Avid Reader – Review & Excerpt

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And don’t miss the previous books in Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay Series, SWEET LITTLE LIES, THE TROUBLE WITH MISTLETOE and ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE, now available! Grab your copies HERE!

 

 

   

 

About Jill Shalvis:

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s sexy contemporary and award-winning books wherever romances are sold and click on the blog button above for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.    

 

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