Read Between the Lines by Rachel Lacey

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

Books are Rosie Taft’s life. And ever since she took over her mother’s beloved Manhattan bookstore, they’ve become her home too. The only thing missing is her own real-life romance like the ones she loves to read about, and Rosie has an idea of who she might like to sweep her off her feet. She’s struck up a flirty online friendship with lesbian romance author Brie, and what could be more romantic than falling in love with her favorite author?

Jane Breslin works hard to keep her professional and personal lives neatly separated. By day, she works for the family property development business. By night, she puts her steamier side on paper under her pen name: Brie. Jane hasn’t had much luck with her own love life, but her online connection with a loyal reader makes Jane wonder if she could be the one.

When Rosie learns that her bookstore’s lease has been terminated by Jane’s family’s business, romance moves to the back burner. Even though they’re at odds, there’s no denying the sparks that fly every time they’re together. When their online identities are revealed, will Jane be able to write her way to a happy ending, or is Rosie’s heart a closed book?

Review

This was such a fun read! If you are a fan of 90’s romantic comedy films, you are going to love Read Between the Lines. Lacey acknowledges the inspiration for this novel came from the classic rom-com, You’ve Got Mail. Lacey puts her twist on things to make them fresh, fun, and exciting.

Rosie Taft runs her family bookstore, and she loves it. Books, customers, connecting with people who love books as much as she does. Everything is threatened when Jane Breslin delivers notice her family’s company won’t be renewing the lease intending to demolish the building Between the Pages was housed in.

One bright spot in all of this is the fact Rosie can talk with her favorite author Brie online over Twitter.

Brie is a timid author who hides behind her penname and doesn’t make public appearances.

Life takes a wild turn when the world of Rosie, Brie, and Jane all crash together. No matter how angry Rosie gets with Jane, she can’t fight the attraction she feels towards Jane. Even with the turmoil of what it may mean for her business, Rosie finds her self drawn closer and closer to Jane.

Rosie is the sweetest and most determined character. Her enthusiasm for books made me excited to read again (this year hasn’t been my best reading year so to be excited about reading is huge). There were a few moments she irked my nerves, but I could understand her reactions.

Jane, I have a special place in my heart for Jane. As an author, who also writes under a pen name, I felt for her. She wants to please her family, but she wants to be a full-time author as well. She wants to help, but then she ends putting her foot in her mouth. A lot of people look down on romance authors, but this genre is such an amazing genre full of readers and authors who want to see the happiness of the world.

The chemistry between the two women, even when they were enemies, was intense. They were drawn to each other when they didn’t want to be. Which made their romance all the sweeter once it blossomed.

What I enjoyed about this, from both a reader’s and writer’s perspective, was the fact that we got to see their Twitter interactions. I’m a sucker for seeing letters, texts, emails in romance novels. You could feel the flirty undertones and the anxiety of their messages back and forth.   

 

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An Alabama Christmas by Karma Kingsley

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Four out of Five Stars

The Summary: Alex Greene has nowhere to go for Christmas. When he enrolls in the military’s Home for the Holidays program, he gets accepted into a family he never bargained for.

Trey Briggs is a gangly gamer that’s been in the closet since puberty. But when his family takes in a handsome marine, it becomes almost impossible for him not to expose himself.

The Review

Alabama Christmas is a quick, sweet holiday read. It takes place over the span of American Thanksgiving and Christmas. Alex is a soldier who has a little bit of leave time to use. His best friend, Jay, signs them both up for a program, Marine Home for the Holidays. Basically a family hosts them for a bit of time to give them a sense of home while they are in the service.

This is a fun, easy read. There’s not too much drama, it definitely speaks true about the south (I’m in Louisiana) and the chemistry between Alex and Trey is hot. I liked that Trey was a bit geeky and unsure of himself. He was a believable character. He doubted that Alex could find him attractive. I mean, Alex is a marine who puts a lot of work into his body in order to stay in shape for his work. Why would he be interested in a small town guy like Trey?

Turns out, both Alex and Trey have been keeping secrets from each other and Trey’s family. Alex actually came from a small town like the one Trey lives in, he isn’t straight like he’s been saying, and he can’t stop thinking about Trey. Trey hasn’t come out to his family, isn’t made to stay in the south and thinks he isn’t good enough for Alex.

Oh and those kisses *fans self* those kisses were something else. I’m a big fan of an excellent kiss scene, and Kingsley definitely knocked it out of the park. There was build up, delicious tension, and touches full of heat.

I really enjoyed reading this. Alex moved at Trey’s pace. He didn’t push Trey for more than he was ready for. They were tender, kind, and loving towards each other. It was exactly what I needed to feel better after a stressful day.

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