Flowers On The Wall, Mary J. Williams. Working It, Christine d’Abo

Flowers On The Wall
Hart Of Rock And Roll – Book 1,  Mary J. Williams

Flowers On The Wall (Hart Of Rock And Roll Book 1) by [Williams, Mary J.]

Genre:  romance,

Hmnn…this has all five star reviews currently – and though I enjoyed it, a lot, its not a  five star for me. Maybe I’m just hypercritical? I hate when I’m out of step with others but – it happens.

So, Ryder and Quinn, both great characters, self confident, strong willed and when they meet there’s a real pull between them.

I like self confident female leads, but at times I felt Quinn was a little too assertive, a bit too confident. In males that comes over as cocky but appealing – so it ought to be the same with her, and yet I found she was almost brash and irritating at times.

Ryder, he’s been through a lot and come out on top, but not without some mental demons. That’s understandable and what makes him the man he is.
He sees Quinn – loved that first meeting BTW – and is attracted, and she feels the same but isn’t going to just jump because he says so. There’s a real sexual attraction here which grew stronger, but somehow I wasn’t convinced that it was more, that it was love rather than lust.

I would have liked to see more of the other band members, they stayed pretty much in the background except for Zoe.
I thought the suggestion of more from the manager would have developed, would have been an interesting storyline, but it seemed to be put in and then left. That could have made for some intriguing subplots, but as it never developed it made me wonder why it was started?

Its a good read, felt very real at times, with characters I liked. I really needed someone/something unpleasant though, some drama that was very down, to take from all the good/sweet/happy parts in this read.
For me a bit of unpleasantness, jealousy, a tinge of malice in action, makes the happy parts so much brighter. Without that contrast they just feel Good but not Great, and that’s kind of how I feel here. It was a good novel, but lacked the contrast, the dark side, the emotional context for me that would have made it a great one.
Others love it as it is though, so its not all of us who enjoy more in stories, need the dramas, the angst, the sorrow, ones like this are perfect for many readers, you’ll have to assess which side you fall 😉

Stars: Four, a good read but I wanted more drama for a five.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

****************************************************************************

Working It,  Christine d’Abo

Working It (Ringside Romance Book 1) by [d'Abo, Christine]

Genre:   Romance, LGBTQIA

My first Christine d’Abo read – and I’m going to take a look at more of her books as I now know I enjoy her writing style.

I really liked the sound of this, a fairly straightforward romance, no suspense dramas, no deep dark relatives, no hidden motives, just two people that fall in love, but where each have their own issues.
I enjoy all those other types of read but sometimes you just want an easy read, uncomplicated where its the two leads that are the main focus and thats what I was in the mood for when I picked out this one to read yesterday.

I loved Nolan, understood so well his issues, its hard picking up life after an accident like his which left him with life changing injuries. We can heal the body, though that takes time and Nolan is still healing even two years later, but the mind – well, that’s harder.
Nolan has learned coping strategies but its tough, and he still struggles sometimes.
I have to mention one thing though that irritated me. Nolan is musing “Phantom pain was no myth. the moment he started to thing about…” Well, that true BUT – Nolan Does Not Have phantom pain. That’s the pain amputees get, where the missing limb still feels pain, and as someone with no left leg, but who often gets severe pain from it 21 years later I can say wholeheartedly Nolan is right, it isn’t a myth but he’s not an amputee, he has severe pain, probably serve nerve pain from damage there, but he does not have phantom pain.
Right, got that off my chest * blush *. sorry, but some things just yank my chain and that’s one.
I really understood Nolan’s difficulties trying to get his life back on track, trying to be independent, having faced them myself after my amputation and that part was so well written that I found myself nodding with his thoughts and experiences.
When he worried about Zack seeing his scars – such a familiar feeling, when he didn’t want pity or sympathy – been there done that, and he felt so real for me. I just wanted everything to go perfectly for him.

Then there’s Zack, a real pain in the ar se boss. Yet as we get to know him we can see much of that comes from him wanting things done properly, without having to chase up assistants who should be able to deal with his requests.
Some people are good at that, some are not and Zack just wants to delegate and get on with his own work, he’s got a lot of it to do. Underneath all that tough guy, bluff and bluster is a geniune caring man.

The gym, what a great idea and goodreads had this book sub-titled (Ringside Romance #1)  so I hope we get to see more of the characters involved, and maybe catch up with Zack and Nolan.
Kids need places like this and its great when those who’ve benefitted in the past come forward to make it available to kids now who need it, as Zack and his friends do.
Those teen years are make or break time for many, get a record then and it stays with you for life, shaping what jobs you get, what direction your life can take, so its important to do everything possible to make them good years for those who are struggling. And lets face it, many teens do struggle, and if they’re Different in some way, race, religion, sexuality, disability etc then they feel all the more marginalised.
Provides a great background to this series of novels though 😉

Its a fun romance, fairly low on drama, and when things do go wrong its soon over. I liked the proportion of sex v story, so often the sex dominates and for me I want it to be more balanced.  I loved the setting, the characters and the gym but the story itself was a bit drama light for me, I do need a bit more angst for a 5 star re-reader, but its still a good four star read for me.

Stars: Four, a realistic read and one I enjoyed. I shall look for more from Christine.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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About jeanniezelos

I'm an avid reader, love my kindle and I have my head in a novel for hours daily : ) Mum used to say I'd read toilet paper if it was printed- it wasn't, so i had to contend myself with the back and sides of the cereal packets. I've always Needed to read and we had few books when i was a child hence my penchant for reading anything including adverts then... I review mainly contemporary, erotic and paranormal romance books though dystopian and urban fantasy also appeal. I'm currently rated around the 300 mark on amazon.co.uk for my reviews. I try to keep them structured and to say what I do and don't like about a book so other readers can use my review as a guide to whether they may enjoy the book.

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