Pride and Joy – M.L. Rice

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I don’t quite know how to describe a book that is both incredibly depressing and a page-turner. I felt so sad reading this but I couldn’t stop reading, despite the domino effect of each event playing out on the page.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a great book – I’ll even want to read it again, but the attempted rape, homophobia, conversion therapy and life-changing accident are hard hitting so make sure you’re in the right place to read this before you start.

The book is split into parts – spanning approximately 10 years of the main characters life, starting with senior year in high school. Bryce’s realisation that she’s gay came a little quickly for my liking but her comfort level with the realisation is a welcome change of pace. I really enjoyed the friendship group that features around Bryce, especially as they’re another great example of chosen family.

This is a quick read, which despite it’s heavy storyline has lots of redeeming features and is well worth the time to read.

Trust – April Canniff

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I’ve been lucky to be on a roll with good books recently and this one definitely continued the trend. I couldn’t put this book down. I loved the balance between the intrigue and the romance. I’m a fan of military romances and cop romances separately, so combining the two was always likely to lead to a good thing for me.

Knowing this was the author’s debut I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the writing.
The book is set up really well by a great opening, leading to a slow burn that’s pretty satisfying. There’s lot of detail on the missions, which I didn’t mind at all as it served to show the MCs struggle between mission and personal life.

I loved both MCs and the balance between the toughness required for the job and the gentleness underneath for both of them. The best friends provide important insights and are well integrated. The wider team needed some more development but I can understand why this might have been overlooked as the rest of the team are male.

I debated back and forth with myself over the rating on this one, but have settled for five stars as I think it has a lot of aspects that were better than some of the other four stars I’ve handed out recently.

The book ends with an opening for a sequel and I hope we’ll be getting one!