Anonymous Acts. Christina C. Jones. 2017. 364 pages. [Source:Kindle Unlimited.] As always, I devoured a great new book from CCJ. I had been reading samples leading up to its release, but was still pleasantly surprised with the plot twists and turns of Anonymous Acts. The book focuses in Monica Stuart’s legal woes, both for her once-thriving cosmetics company and for herself, as she faces murder charges in the death of her estranged husband. As much control as she exerts over the quality of her nail polishes, she can’t figure out why she’s getting nothing but bad reviews for her upcoming “Wicked Widow” line. This is followed, coincidentally, by the vicious murder of her philandering husband, leaving people to guess whether she took her new product line a little too literally. To make matters worse, her virtual friend with benefits, whom she’s never met, is arrested on suspicion of the murder.
Heated Harmonies. Alexandra Warren. 2017. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] A weekend of great reading continued with the release of Heated Harmonies. It’s centered on pop icon Zalaya as she tries to redefine not only her image but also her sound. She fixes her sights on unknown producer Gabriel, but instead of jumping at a chance at stardom, he wants nothing to do with Zalaya or the music industry. Zalaya is used to getting her way. Being harshly rejected by a “nobody” is a bitter pill to swallow, so she doesn’t. In fact, she’s a bit relentless — if not reckless — in getting Gabe on her musical team. However, in trying to find musical chemistry, they actually find a nice amount of personal chemistry as well. It really stands out that their “relationship” actually started from platonic (even if it doesn’t always stay that way).
Something Like Love. Christina C. Jones. 2017. Warm Hues Media. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] “He’s just a guy; she’s just a girl. They’re just falling in love.” Spoken by the author herself in a pre-release video message, these words are a very apt description for the plot of Something Like Love. The story, which is the sixth book in the Serendipitous Love series, takes a refreshing look at love and sexuality through the courtship between Eddie and Astrid. Eddie holds a generally one-sided animosity toward Astrid, who for her part just seems to be amused. She’s not quite sure where the hostility came from, but quickly decides Eddie’s just mad because he wants her. The problem is that both of them have more or less sworn off relationships. Sure, they’re up for no-strings-attached arrangements, but finding someone who can be with them and accept them for who they are is just not in the picture. So the fact that they keep bumping into each other seems, at least to Astrid, kismet. I was happy to see them explore their obvious attraction, and appreciated the story that came from it.
Love and Vandalism. Laurie Boyle Crompton. 2017. 366 pages. Sourcefire Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] They had me at graffiti. They kept me with this heartbreaking/uplifting story. Rory is the town’s secret vandal. She’s been tagging lions under the cover of night, somehow dodging the watchful eye of her sergeant father who’s forbidden her from art. She’s remained anonymous until Hayes catches her one evening, but instead of turning her in, he turns her into his own personal tour guide. It’s definitely blackmail, but Rory sees an opportunity to complete her magnum opus – painting a lion on top of the town’s water tower. This is definitely a compelling story that tackles several sensitive topics. Hayes is recovering from an addiction, so it’s quite interesting to see how how he comes to terms with the damage he’s done to others near him and how he tries to put his life back together in a new place. Rory initially seems like an angsty teenager who just wants to rebel for the sake of being combative. Her fractured relationship with her suspicious father and near idol-worship of her artist mother factor prominently. It’s not immediately clear why her father is so adamant…
To Me I Wed. K.M. Jackson. 2017. 368 pages. Dafina. [Source: ARC provided couresty of NetGalley.] Lily is great at her job – she plans exciting events, whether weddings or birthday parties. However, no matter how happy she says she is with her single-hood, being asked when she’s the next to get hitched is getting old. What better way to shut up the critics with a spectacular wedding … to herself? To Me I Wed has a pretty interesting concept. What made me want to read it was the idea of Lily being surrounded by people who expected her to simply wait for Mr. Right to sweep her off her feet, but instead she opts to show them that she was whole on her own. The wrench thrown in by her attraction to Vincent makes for a lot of tension, sexual and otherwise.