Time Illusion – Luna Harlow

Rating: 3 out of 5.
A good second follow up sci-fi novella to Four Bodies in Space.

The members of The First Breath of Spring are called to action to rescue the remainder of the citizens on the planet Rommys from an anomaly.

Whilst there is no romance in the book there are mentions of ex’s and I think this may be a very slow burn over the series of a relationship to come.

Whilst this is sci-if and clearly discusses ships, other planets etc. I find these novellas to be more about interesting characters than anything else. Again, as with the first novella I enjoyed Harlow’s use of language and getting to know both Solaris and Li more. I hope there will be a third instalment to the series and that it will be longer.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Four Bodies in Space – Luna Harlow

Rating: 3 out of 5.
An interesting sci-fi novella. The author does a good job of setting up a series about a space force of which Solaris is a member.

The novella has a mystery that weaves through the narrative and introduces a number of characters. I really liked the way ships are named and I found the authors use of language fascinating too as it helped to embed the story more into the sci-fi environment.

I’m looking forward to the second part of the series and learning more about Solaris and Li.

[Un]Common Ground – Erica Abbott, Pol Robinson

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The best word I can think of to describe this book is pleasant.

Short of one particular scene which had me howling with laughter for a couple of minutes, I didn’t really experience any emotions whilst reading this, either positive or negative.

The book certainly isn’t terrible, it’s very well written, in an impressively seamless manner considering it’s written by two authors, but it lacks something quite significant – emotion. The main characters have feelings about their pasts, but never really openly express them, and when they do, it just doesn’t land with this particular reader. They also don’t really appear to have strong emotional responses to each other.

The storyline itself is also amiable. There’s barely any angst which isn’t in itself a bad thing, but when there is some, it’s either resolved and swept away quickly, or doesn’t add any fervour to the situation, which left me feeling somewhat disconnected from the MCs and the storyline. I think the character I connected with the most might have been the dog.

I think it’s highly likely others will feel differently to me about this book. It is at its heart a sweet romance, a story of finding home and a perfectly pleasant way to pass a few hours.

The Holiday Detour – Jane Kolven

Rating: 3 out of 5.
This was what I’d describe as a quick read page turner. The main part of the story took place over less than 24 hours giving it a road trip caper movie kind of vibe and making me want to know what would happen next. In the moment I quite enjoyed the craziness of the storyline and the genderqueer representation, but after dwelling for a little while before writing this review I feel somewhat differently, so it’s possible that there are many people out there who will feel differently to me.

Dana is heading home to Chicago for Christmas to visit her Nana when her car breaks down. Charlie takes pity on her and offers her a ride.

Dana’s constant stream of conscious was tiring at times and her seemingly obsessive thoughts at times about a boy from her past became kind of odd after a while.

The discussions on more serious topics such as pronouns, misgendering and the dangers of public bathrooms for people like Charlie were handled well – both informative and fitting for the storyline. From my experience Dana’s reaction to these things fell in the pretty normal spectrum, so whilst frustrating and disappointing to read, I’d say they were also done quite well.

***Spoiler Start***

I can understand falling for someone in such a short span of time – but moving in together just seemed a bit much. Sure, they’d be entering into a relationship with some distance, but they weren’t going to be living on opposite sides of the world. I can see why this narrative was used, but my personal preference would have been an epilogue with them moving in together after some time.

***Spoiler Finished***

Some of the other reviews have mentioned that the premise of this book would work as a movie and I tend to agree. As a debut book I found the writing style to be ok and I’d certainly give their next book a read, I just wish this book was a little bit different.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Let the Beat Drop – Cheri Ritz

Rating: 3 out of 5.
This was my first novel by Ritz and I found it to be an easy, enjoyable read that passed the time quickly. As soon as I read the blurb I knew I would want to read this, as I often find musician based romances enjoyable, however whilst it had its moments it didn’t quite meet my expectations.

At its heart the book is a romance between Sadie and Jess after both return to their home town for the summer, but it takes a long time for the couple to actually get together, giving the book plenty of time to focus on the secondary storyline of a band of middle-aged women and the third storyline – a mystery that seemingly threads the narrative together and keeps you turning the page, both with anticipation and trepidation as to the eventual reveal.

All three storylines are done well, and I didn’t feel that the book was dragging on. Both Sadie and Jess frustrated me at times and whilst they both face turmoil for different reasons, something that normally bonds me with a character, I didn’t feel particularly connected to either MC, which stopped this being more than a high three star book for me and kept it in that easy read category.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick easy relatively sweet romance to read. My feelings could easily be different to someone else’s – and it did leave me smiling at the end.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.