The Secret Poet – Georgia Beers

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I’m still working my way through Beers back catalogue, but I’m beginning to learn that you can’t go wrong with a Beers romance, especially when you’re looking for a feel-good, easy, enjoyable read. The Secret Poet is no exception to this.

Morgan works for her brother, Perry, at his medical practice. In her spare time she likes to read and write poetry. She’s happy working with Perry, and enjoys her day to day life with her two cats – Ross and Rachel. Zoe is a pharmaceutical rep, she’s new to the area, and when she goes to visit Perry’s clinic meets Morgan.

A significant chunk of the book revolves around Perry falling for Zoe and trying to get her to date him. Her effectively guilt trips Morgan into helping, and despite the fact she’s also developing a big crush on Zoe offers to help him out because she loves her brother.

The book is all told in the first person from Morgan’s point of view and I enjoyed being in Morgan’s head. Beers has found a great balance between the low level angst of Morgan’s lack of confidence and her humour, which makes it okay that we don’t experience Zoe’s point of view in the same way.

Both characters are really likeable and they are easy to imagine together. Their flirting is really well written and their connection seems genuine. Their chemistry is also pretty great. Even when they have a moment and don’t talk for a while, they aren’t mean and they’re open to communication and acceptance on both sides of the relationship.

It’s a shame that so many of the feelings of both characters revolved around Perry for so long, but at the same time, it makes it effective as a narrative, so I can completely see why it was this way.

I don’t love this as much as I did Hopeless Romantic or 16 Steps to Forever, but I would still highly recommend this to all romance fans, especially when you need a pick me up.

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

All I Want for Christmas – Beers, Cummings, Riley

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Three high quality Christmas novellas. I enjoyed all of them for different reasons and am actually struggling to decide on an overall rating so I’ve rated them all individually below:

Triple Dog Dare – Georgia Beers

5 stars – I loved this story. Sasha was interesting as Brooke’s boss in 16 Steps to Forever but she’s great in this. I love the premise of needing a fake girlfriend for Christmas in order to try and win a date from your sister. Sasha and Kennedy are great both as a fake couple and a real one. I loved the back any forth between Sasha’s sister and Kennedy as she tried to trip them up and how Beers deals with the grief of lost ones at Christmas, the emotions around really falling for one another and the guilt in lying without making this a heavy story. I’d have loved this if it was a full novel too.

Hustle & Bustle – Maggie Cummings

4 stars – Toby is a cop with a social work background. She’s sweet and romantic at heart. She meets Hannah at Central Park Christmas market where she’s running a stall. I liked the diversity snuck into the story and enjoyed spending time in New York during the Christmas season. I enjoyed this storyline but I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed it as much without the New York setting. The narrative is sweet and sincere, with as much of a slow burn sweetness as is possible to get in a novella. The epilogue left me sated with a nice ending to Toby and

A Christmas Miracle – Fiona Riley

3.5 stars – I haven’t had the opportunity to read Bet on Me yet, so I’m only aware that Mira is a character in the novel and am coming to this not knowing anything else about her. I enjoyed this story but wasn’t able to connect with it as much as the other two works. I liked both Mira and Courtney as characters and they work well together on the page. This had more angst in it than the other stories due to the tensions at work for Courtney and the issues Mira was having her bar due to staffing so I felt pulled out of the Christmas fantasy a little. The humour was enjoyable though and I liked the journey both characters took in the short period of time the story covered.

I’d happily recommend this collection to anyone looking for some fun wlw Christmas reads.

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

16 Steps to Forever – Georgia Beers

Rating: 4 out of 5.
A feel good, sweet romance from Beers. I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as Hopeless Romantic but this definitely cemented my enjoyment of Beers’ work for me. I liked this took place in the same universe as Hopeless Romantic and I’m hoping there’s more to come from this town.

Brooke has recently moved into town for a new job with a real estate agency. She’s well thought of in her field and is leaving behind family disappointment. Macy is a home stager who happens to work with the company Brooke has started with.

I liked Macy’s animal menagerie and the delicate way that Beers wrote her exploration of how to meet someone whilst dealing with the death of a previous partner. I loved her clumsiness and reactions to both Brooke and her family. I also really enjoyed her interactions with her nephew.

I really identified with and liked Brooke. I appreciated that Beers included a character that was both bisexual and of faith. I thought both of these and the reactions of the characters to these things were written really well. From the quick reading of the blurb I did I was expecting Brooke to have a lot more control issues than she actually did. Her moving and settling into a new job, whilst meeting someone she likes and trying to keep control makes things interesting.

I liked that both characters were intriguing with careers and pasts that made sense with regards to how they react to each other, which made the book a compelling read.

Fans of Beers will love this, and all romance fans will enjoy this too.

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