Romance Bingo 2017 Progress:
One lonely bingo (top row).
1. Insta-love - The Lady's Scandalous Night by Jeannie Lin
2. TSTL - Sarah Sunshine (Montana Romances #2.5) by Merry Farmer
3. Headless Woman - Sweetheart in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
4. Love is Murder - Lowcountry Bordello (Liz Talbot #4) by Susan M. Boyer
5. New Adult - My Writing Professor by Nicolette Dane
6. Young Adult - Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
7. Regency Romance - The Sport of Baronets by Theresa Romain
10. Gothic Romance
11. Blown Away - Switched by HelenKay Dimon
15. Historical - An Illicit Temptation by Jeannie Lin
16. Secret Billionaire
17. Twins - Double Love (Sweet Valley High #1) by Francine Pascal and Kate William
18. Fairy Tale Retelling
19. Wedding Bells - My Friend the Bride by Nicolette Dane
20. Second Chances - Long Gone Girl by Amy Rose Bennett
23. Next Door
24. Interracial - Heir to a Desert Legacy by Maisey Yates
25. Urban Fantasy - A Bit of Bite by Cynthia Eden
Romance Bingo square - Wedding Bells
Romance Bingo square - New Adult
I decided to make a two-in-one review posts as these books were only 50 pages each.
My Writing Professor - 1 star
This felt like a teaser excerpt for a longer novel, but unfortunately, it is a stand alone novella. There are major gaps in the story, such as the narrator's (yep, first person POV) entire back story/characterization. The only thing the reader knows about the narrator is that is in her early twenties, is in a MFA for writing program in Chicago, has no job/has no need for a job, and is a student of the title character. The writing professor character has a little more back story, but nothing deep enough to connect the reader to the character. There is a lot of sex and a lot of mental analyzing what all this sex means to their relationship. In the end, the student follows the professor to New York City (even though the student mentions how rural life is more her preferred environment) and leaves the writing program and Chicago without a thought as what she will do in NYC, other than have sex with her girlfriend. Honestly, there was no deep feelings or thinking by anyone in this story and no point in reading this.
My Friend the Bride - 1 star
Again, first person narrator without much characterization to separate herself from a mannequin. The bride is the narrator's secret ex-lover and present day best friend. Narrator is the maid of honor, and thus in charge of helping bride plan her big day while fantasizing about being lovers again. The opportunity to bump uglies one more time during a weekend bachelorette party. The bride comes from a religiously conservative political family and is marrying a guy from another equally religious, conservative, political family. I really felt that the groom got a raw deal in this story. The narrator does everything to convince the bride to call off the wedding, come out of the closet, and get into a serious relationship with her. The bride wants her cake (big, expensive wedding and honeymoon bought and paid for by her family) and eat it too (secret intimate relationship with narrator) - so the basis of this relationship at the end of the story is that the bride is cheating on her new husband. The narrator seems to be content with being a side dish and complicit in her girlfriend's cheating. There is a lot of sex and no relationship building, so there is no reason for the reader to root for the girlfriends' relationship over the bride's and groom's relationship
Reeling from a volatile break-up Claire has no idea what she’s in for when she spies the beautiful brunette alone at the local McDs. Zoe, also recently scorned, can’t believe her luck in the form of a kind stranger and scores a “house-nanny” job in exchange for room & board.
Tucked away among the serene country-side, Zoe and Claire’s friendship blossoms slowly. These two have both had their trust irrevocably betrayed and fate has chosen them to cross paths to learn: life does go on.
The writing of this story was absolutely breath-taking! I could smell the lilac hanging in Zoe’s room and could breathe in Claire’s earthy scent from hang drying her laundry. Not to mention the comfortable description of my absolute fantasy home! I would love to live in a cottage with high beam rafters and exotic wood throughout the place.
And what's more, it was one thing to have a houseguest, and another to be sharing her sanctuary with someone who evoked so many emotions in her. The young woman was as skittish as a newborn foal and brought out every protective instinct in Claire.
Claire and Zoe’s relationship bloomed slowly yet realistically. No insta-love here; each woman fell in love naturally after their initial attraction. Although mostly a romance, there were some super hot spanking scenes that will make any reader blush and I found the circumstances of how each woman came to be scorned very unique. The past betrayals of each of their exes involved taboo instances and were unlike any other plot line I’ve read.
One thing that did stick out to me was I didn't feel Claire was necessarily true to age. Her age in the book was 27 yet I felt she was characterized to be more in her mid 30s. Her dress, mannerisms, and the way she held herself seemed overly mature in my opinion. Overall not a detractor but I did connect with Zoe more than Claire.
I love reading stories like this one that absolutely consume you and are so detailed and well-characterized you almost feel familiar with the setting and characters. Highly recommended for erotica or romance readers alike. xx
*Received an arc in exchange for an honest review*
"We're lucky. We live in a time where our lives aren't dictated too much. We don't have to stay on the road with no interruptions, no deviations, no loose ends. We have the freedom to do things that we want to, change direction: live our lives as we choose."
What happens when you find your soul mate at the wrong time?
Engaged to Josh, a sweet and considerate man, Amy never expects to find passion with Josh’s twin sister Celeste. Their attraction is undeniable but like The L Word says, “What starts in chaos ends in chaos.” Celeste is a Doctor who travels the world and has seen all kinds of horrors. Nothing could compare to the horror of meeting her soul mate and never being able to have her. The more the two deny their attraction, the greater it seems to build- leading up to a breaking point.
Denial was a timeless, epic doomed love story which spanned over the course of about 10 years. Everything is laid out in a realistic time frame. Girl meets Boy. Girl meets Sister. Girl falls for Sister. Girl denies the attraction and tries to live her life. Each character was lovable, yet flawed. I found all characters multi-dimensional and the reader truly gets to know each and every one throughout the story.
The book took a turn I didn’t expect which made the story even more tragic. There was so much beautiful heartbreak! This is a book that will stay with me forever but I’m not sure if I’d want to go through reading it again! Definitely pulls on the heartstrings!
I do think this story could have been cut down a bit as some of the book tended to be slower than others. Pivotal scenes would happen in about 5 pages and at times twice as many pages would characterize the daily lives of the character which was a little much to me.
Overall, one of the best F/F romances I’ve read. Sweet, beautiful, gritty, and a lot of angst. I’m a sucker for forbidden romances! Highly recommended xx