Pick of the Day

The Art of Us by K.L. Hughes

⭐⭐⭐⭐ This book is an intensely emotional journey that had all kinds of emotions churning and bubbling up in us. Charlee Parker i...

The X Ingredient by Roslyn Sinclair

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

This one is trope-laden: age-gap, boss-subordinate, ice queen, rich-girl-poor-girl but when written the way it has been, we’re swept by the sex and swooning over the romance.

Laurie Holcombe is struggling in her professional life. Still in her twenties, she’s already had difficult years but has managed to stay afloat. Diana Parker is a take-no-prisoners, abrasive and arrogant top lawyer. Laurie applies for the post of Diana’s assistant and surprisingly lands it. Diana doesn’t make it easy to work for her, but Laurie navigates her way through. But what really throws their work life in a spin is the mad attraction between them. An attraction that has Diana feeling insanely possessive of Laurie even while she’s holding her at a distance with ten levels of iciness. When their draw towards each other cannot be contained any longer, it leads to an ‘arrangement’.

We were really surprised (pleasantly) by the unexpected dynamic between Laurie and Diana when it came to sex. Laurie had our heart from the start but Diana was not bad either. This one is definitely romantic erotica with equal measures of romance and erotica. Yes, lots and lots of wonderful sexy times. Loved the whole angle of denial, struggle with self-acceptance and the solid support from the romantic half in coming to terms. In fact there is nothing to not like in this one – great pacing, amazing chemistry, fantastic romance…it is the whole package.

Read it this weekend – just do it!   

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Fare Game by Cade Haddock Strong

⭐⭐⭐☆

This one has a thoroughly intriguing storyline with a major financial crime at its centre, very likeable MCs and great chemistry.

Kay Corbett is a long-time employee at Logan airline and has recently been moved into the upper echelons of the company. Kay’s father had also worked in Logan for decades so fondness for and loyalty to the company is ingrained within Kay. Soon after joining the rarefied senior management, Kay is dismayed to discover that there is a huge cross-airline consortium working together and cheating customers. Willy-nilly Kay is dragged into the whole nefarious scheme. She starts gathering evidence against the consortium hoping to expose them. Hardworking and brilliant Riley Bauer, a new member of the Finance team of Logan, has a huge crush on Kay. On an overseas trip to Tokyo, Riley and Kay realise that their attraction is mutual. Back home things are fraught because of Kay’s secret mission. Taking a leap of faith, Kay shares information with Riley and finds her new girlfriend rock-solid in her affection and integrity.

The high-stakes white-collared crime makes an interesting premise. However, the writing is uneven in the sense that a lot of times it feels like dispassionate narration and at other times there is this fantastic chemistry between Riley and Kay. We loved Riley – she is sexy, risk-taking emotionally, open, loyal, has high levels of integrity, honest and practical. Kay is also a strong and solid protagonist. The whole whistle-blower rules, rights and process is very interesting.

This is an engaging and interesting read.  

⭐⭐⭐☆

The Art of Us by K.L. Hughes

⭐⭐⭐⭐


This book is an intensely emotional journey that had all kinds of emotions churning and bubbling up in us.

Charlee Parker is an artist with her own studio. Her proficiency is the female form, the nude female form, specifically. She is involved with a guy, Chris, for about ten months but holds a secret quietly in her heart from him. A secret of loving someone else and pining for the other person for five years. The other person is Alexandra Woodson. Charlee and Alex met in college and fell in love immediately and promised each other forever. Life got in to the way of their promise to each other when Alex went away to the other end of the country for her internship. The distance and Alex’s lack of time took toll on their relationship but when Alex decided to take a permanent job in the same office, it broke them. Five years thence, Alex is back in town having shifted for her work. She is with Kari now but harbours the same love for Charlee that she always had. When Charlee and Alex meet again it is in front of a giant nude of Alex that Charlee has painted. That meeting sets them on a slippery slope of longing, awkward, hurting (especially their current partners) and finding their way back to each other.

We loved Charlee. Didn’t like Alex much. But the ‘us’ that the two of them create together is magical. Their chemistry is phenomenal.

However, we felt rather disturbed (remember, we said this one sets emotions churning?) by Alex’s cheating of Kari and are left wondering what was the right thing? We loved Charlee so we wanted her to get her happy ending. But Kari was such a lovely lady that she did not deserve her partner to just check out on her, not be present and above all, we felt her love should’ve been fully returned too. So we are still uncertain about what would’ve been an ideal scenario in the circumstance created by the author.

Charlee in Chris we not the same level of problem because as soon as Charlee acknowledges that for her it has always been and will always be Alex, she has the decency to tell Chris and break-up with him. Alex, on the other hand, stays with Kari saying and doing nothing, but just not being present with Kari. This was quite awful. Plus there is this whole group of people who want Charlee to tell Alex that she loves her so that Alex feels comfortable knowing Charlee is waiting and then she can break-up with Kari. Seriously? Alex’s own emotions are not strong enough that she has to have an army looking out for her and Charlee to create a soft spot for her?

There is a huge amount of angst (which felt especially drawn out excessively by Alex towards the end) but there are just so many sweet moments peppering the narrative. It grabs you and draws you in so much that you’re likely to be unable to put it down and actually have a hangover of emotions for quite a while. Clearly, a must read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐

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