Duo Review – Franco by Kim Holden

Franco Genovese is the drummer for world renowned American rock band, Rook. He’s got it all. A killer smile. Tattoos. Talent. Razor sharp wit and humor. And a heart as big, and generous, as they come.
Life is good. Steady. Uncomplicated. Just the way he likes things.
Until one night at an unassuming L.A. bar changes everything.
Enter Gemma Hendricks.
She’s a successful young architect from Northern England with an adorable smile, sarcasm for days, and an unparalleled trusting heart.
The attraction is instant.
So is their friendship.
It’s also temporary because they’ll both be heading home, thousands of miles apart from each other, in a few days.
Or is it?
There’s something Gemma wants more than anything else.
And when Franco propositions her to provide what she’s looking for, everything changes.
Will it transform friendship into love, or will it be their ruin?
Note from the author: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is recommended for mature audiences.


 Buy Franco today at Amazon Also Available on Kindle Unlimited


BFF A & BFF K – DUO REVIEW of Franco


BFF A’s Review

Bright Side breaks your heart.

Gus heals your soul.

Franco makes you smile.

I love Franco so much!  Meeting him in Bright Side and Gus, I knew a little bit about him, but I have a whole new appreciation for him now.  He and Gus have an amazing friendship.  Seriously, they are the relationship everyone needs to have with at least one person in their life. Unconditional, no questions, laugh, cry, shenanigan creating friend. #goals  #dudebestfriends

Franco meets Gemma.  I like her right away and know she is my kind of girl because she doesn’t like beans and guacamole. (I know, seems really weird from a taco loving person.) She is an independent girl who knows exactly what she wants and has a plan in place that fits her style, life and timeline.  Gemma and Franco fit perfectly together.  They are real, they are a perfect compliment to one another.

“There are some people in life that you can vent to, or pour out sadness to, or voice frustrations to, and they readily and willingly absorb it for the sole purpose of ridding you of it.  They’re the same people who can immediately replace that negativity with their light. Their presence gives you the power to purge the bad and embrace the good.  It’s rare.  I’ve only known a few people in my life who are that way.”

Franco is unconditional in all of his relationships, he is so easy to love, to want what is best for him, because he is always puts others first.

“I’m just going to hold her because sometimes touch is the only way to tell someone that you care unconditionally.  It doesn’t require complemented, deep explanation- it only requires effort.  Effort is who I am, I can give her effort all night long.”

Seriously, how can you not love a guy like this?

And this is the absolute truth, favorite words spoken by Franco, a perfect summary to the entire series.

“We all have issues and we all do our best to overcome them.  Hold close the peeps you love while you’re going through your shit, that’s all any of us can do.”

Kim Holden does not disappoint.  She has such a magical way of making everything seem right in the world, even when your heart is breaking, you feel her love and support through Kate, Gus and definitely Franco. This is such a perfect ending to such a soul touching series.  It makes me smile.


BFF K’s Review

This is one of those books that you just want to read with your BFF, so you can text/talk to each other as soon as it’s over (See the Instagram post below.)

There’s still time for you to add one more book boyfriend to your 2016 list, and Franco is the one!!!


All of the characters in Franco are so calm and reasonable. They must all have major $$$ invested in therapy, and it’s such a wonderful, inspiring, refreshing, change from sometimes needless character dramas. This whole crew is a perfectly-imperfect cast of rational, well-adjusted, thoughtful, kind, caring, people. And to really blow your mind, they’re mostly men!


Franco is like the cherry on top of the Bright Side Sundae. (If sundaes made you cry.) It is so good to see Gus doing so well in this book. After the heartbreak for Gus (and everyone else) in Bright Side, it’s heart-warming to see Gus not just surviving, but thriving. And the relationship he has with Franco is something else! #SquadGoals #DecoratingWithDouchebags #FrancoCrush


Gemma meets Franco in a bar in LA and there is an instant connection. While the connection is partly physical, it’s predominantly a friendship born of affection and a shared sense of humor and snark.  She’s facing some tough, emotional stuff, but it doesn’t change who she is at the core. And, the fact that she loves Edward Cullen just sealed the deal for me. #AlwaysandForever #Sparkly


But, the very best of the part of the book is Franco and Gemma together. They are sweet and kind and funny and crazy-in-love and perfect for each other. God bless the wankers.


I’m sad to see the Bright Side world come to an end, but it is an incredibly satisfying conclusion. While I believe that you will most enjoy this book if you’ve read Bright Side and Gus, I think the quality of the writing and the relationships will allow this book stand on its own.


Join us in the J.O.G Club – Jealous of Gemma or Jealous of Gus. You will all want Franco to be your BF or BFF!









AND – there’s an awesome shout-out to a couple of our FAVORITE Colleen Hoover characters!

signoff_A_sm     signoff_K_sm



Advance copies of this book were received from the author. Receipt of these copies did not impact the content or independence of these reviews.


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About the Author

I (Kim Holden) live in the greatest city in the world: Denver, Colorado. Some of my favorite things: reading, writing, the two coolest guys on the planet (my husband and son), my bicycle, Facebook, iced coffee, and music. I also love dreaming. And speaking of dreaming, I have a bit of advice for anyone reading this … follow your dreams. It’s never too late. Get started today … heck get started RIGHT NOW! Make your dreams reality.
I love to hear from fellow readers. Love. It. Please come find me. We’ll hang out. It’ll be fun:
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Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7445352.Kim_Holden
My Website https://kimholdenbooks.com

Review – Beard Science by Penny Reid


Beard Science

by Penny Reid
Winston Brothers #3
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Humor, Romance


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | Smashwords

Make a deal with the devil and you might get what you want, but will it be what you need?

Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate.

And desperate times call for Cletus Winston.

Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do?

Likely, the last thing you expect.

‘Beard Science’ is the third book in the Winston Brothers series, is a full-length romantic comedy novel, and can be read as a standalone.


BFF K’s Review of Beard Science


I first must say that I’ve never read a Penny Reid book I didn’t LOVE. And, Beard Science ranks near the top of my list of “Favorite Penny Reid Books!” If you’ve followed the Winston Brothers Series, you may have wondered, like me, how Reid could turn the odd-ball, scruffy, philosopher into a romance Hero. But, any possible doubts were soon put to rest at a glimpse into the complicated mind of Cletus Winston. I absolutely adore this character! And, he has found his perfect match in Jennifer Sylvester, The Banana Cake Queen.

Penny Reid has a way of writing quirky, odd-ball, weird characters that absolutely make you fall in love with them and their stories. Cletus and Jennifer epitomize this exceptional talent. I would read volumes of books with characters as rich and wonderful as these.

I have highlighted passage after passage of wonderful quotes and I’m already trying to figure out how I can make time for a re-read. (And I NEVER do that!) If you want a wonderful romance with heart-felt, truly authentic, charming and delightful characters, Beard Science is not to be missed. Please give yourself a gift and one-click this book today!













An advance copy of this book was received from the author. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review.

dual point of view




BFF K Favorite Quote


Excerpt from Beard Science

“So Cletus told me I needed to change one thing every day. He wasn’t specific about what I should change, just that I should decide on the one thing myself.”

Billy nodded.

I continued. “At first I didn’t see the purpose, but—do you know?—Cletus was right. Something as trivial as paining my nails a different color made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.”

Billy smiled.

I continued. “Cletus also said-”

Billy cleared his throat. “Do you go to the jam session much? I think I’ve only seen you here a handful of times.”

“I don’t, actually. I’d like to, but Saturdays are busy. I’m usually making special orders on Friday night. I’ve heard you sing a few times, though. You should do it more often, you have such a nice voice.”

Billy smiled again, his eyes sliding to me then away. “Thank you.”

“And Cletus is amazing on the banjo. Last year he did a folksy version of Thriller, during Halloween. It was spectacular.”

Billy sighed.

Conversation was surprisingly easy with Billy Winston, once I stopped being afraid of saying the wrong thing. Instead of worrying, I just said whatever I wanted. He wasn’t a big talker, other than asking me questions, so I filled the silence. Sometimes what I said made him laugh. Sometimes it made him nod. Sometimes it made him cough.

But usually whatever I said made him smile. And that was nice. He was nice.

He pulled his truck into the community center lot and it was clear the jam session was already in full swing. The evening was chilly, so folks were dressed in coats.

I pulled my shawl over my shoulders and Billy opened my door, helping me from the car. I slipped my fingers back into the crook of his elbow while trying to suppress a new, and more powerful, flutter of excitement as we approached the community center.

I wondered if Cletus would be there. I wondered what he would think of my dress, and my hair in a bun, and my purposefully minimal makeup, and my nail polish. Even though I was nervous, I grinned at the thought.

“What are you smiling about?” Billy asked, giving me the side eye.

“I’m nervous,” I answered honestly, feeling breathless, then asked before I could catch myself, “Do you think Cletus is here?”

Billy’s mouth tugged to the side and he studied my face. “I’m sure he is. Why?”

“I wonder what he’ll think of my dress,” I admitted excitedly.

Billy chuckled and shook his head.

“What? What is it?” I pressed, searching his profile for a sign as to why he was laughing.

He pulled us to a stop and faced me. “Since this is a practice date, do you want me to give you a tip?”

I nodded eagerly. “Yes, please. All tips are welcome.”

“Okay. Here goes,” he gathered large breath, like he was bracing himself, and said, “When you’re on a date with a man, it’s probably best not to bring up a different man.”

My lips parted as my face fell. “I’m sorry. I keep talking about your brother.”

“No, no. It’s fine.” He reached for my hand and squeezed it. “This is a practice, no need to apologize. I’m not upset. But if this were a real date, you bringing up Cletus and wondering what he’s going to think of your dress would definitely rub me the wrong way. If I’m on a date, I want that woman to be thinking only of me. Does that make sense?”

I nodded, because it did make sense. “Just like, I probably wouldn’t like it—if this were a real date—if you kept bringing up other woman.”

“That’s right.” He moved my hand back to his arm. “You’ll want to keep the conversation about the two of you.”

I considered things as we walked. “Thank you, Billy.”

“For what?” He opened the double door for me, placing his hand on the small of my back to usher me inside. The entryway was full of people, but I hardly noticed them.

“Thanks for doing this, and for the tip. Thanks for sacrificing your Friday night.”

Billy covered my fingers on his arm with his hand. “It’s not a sacrifice, Jennifer.”

“Well, it can’t be pleasant.”

He grinned again and gave me an incredulous look.

“What? What did I do this time? Do you have more tips?” I needed to know. I hoped he filled the whole night with tips, so I would be an expert when the time came for a real date.

Billy’s grin faded as his piercing blue eyes moved over my face. If he’d done this just last week I think I would’ve fainted on the spot, mortified and terrified and assured of my own failure.

But so much had changed in a week. I wasn’t afraid of him anymore. I was changing, becoming braver. So I met his glacial eyes straight on and lifted my eyebrows encouragingly.

“You can tell me, whatever it is,” I whispered earnestly, stepping closer. “Like I said, all tips welcome.”

Finally, he said, “You have no idea how gorgeous you are, do you?”

I gaped at him, because that was not what I’d expected him to say.

But before I could recover, a stern voice to my left interjected. “She has no idea whatsoever.”

I turned and found Cletus standing at my shoulder. Startled, I stumbled a step to the side so I could see him better. What I found surprised me.

His jaw was clenched.

His mouth was curved into a frown.

And Cletus’ eyes, a dangerous and fiery blue, were narrowed on his brother.



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About The Author

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Review – Some Sort of Love by Melanie Harlow


This is one of BFF K’s favorite reads so far in 2016!



Title: Some Sort of Love
Series: Happy Crazy Love #3
Author: Melanie Harlow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: February 9, 2016

On the surface, I have it all—a career I adore, a loving family, the Nixon metabolism but not the Nixon ears, and a salary that supports my lavish taste in designer shoes, fine wine, and lacy lingerie…but I have no one to share it with.

Until the day I run into him—my one night stand from college with the cocky smile, let’s-get-out-of-here eyes, and dirty, dirty mouth.

Levi Brooks is six feet four inches of hot bearded fantasy. A sexy single dad with broad shoulders, strong hands, and a fantastically big…heart. (I mean, it’s massive. And generous. And it pumps so hard… um. Sorry. Lost my place.)

But he lives for his son, and he’s keeping me at a distance because he thinks I deserve someone better—a man who can give me more time, more attention, more of himself. He doesn’t believe he could ever be enough.

But he’s wrong.

He’s everything.


Purchase Links



BFF K’s Review


Some Sort of Love is the continuation of this absolutely wonderful series by Melanie Harlow. And, one of my best reads for far in 2016. If you haven’t read the other books in the series, you’ll want to start now. Though each is a standalone, the characters are interconnected. I can’t imagine missing out on any of these great stories. The thought of missing these makes me feel sad. Seriously, not exaggerating, the thought of never having read these books makes me sad!

Some Sort of Love is the story of Jillian and Levi. A VERY brief college tryst is reignited when the two run into one another at a wedding. (I won’t say whose!) The attraction and chemistry is immediate and off-the-charts! But, life isn’t as simple as it was in undergrad. Both Jillian and Levi have demanding careers and Levi is the single father to a son with special needs. These are some rough waters to navigate and the couple must decide if their attraction and affections are a strong enough foundation to build a new life together.

Some Sort of Love brings back an incredible cast of characters – Jillian’s sisters, Skylar and Natalie and their men Sebastian and Miles. I love each of these books for so many reasons. I love each of these couples and their unique struggles and circumstances. I absolutely can’t pick a favorite!

And, let me just spend a minute worshiping all that is Melanie Harlow. I’m absolutely head over heels for her storytelling. Melanie Harlow creates characters that are a lovely combination of strong and vulnerable. There’s something so relate-able and insightful about her characters, it’s like you get a glimpse into yourself through the lens of her terrific players. The steamy scenes she dreams up are second to none. And, Harlow can describe a simple cocktail that makes my mouth water!

It was 2am when I finished Some Sort of Love and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! If you haven’t read the Happy, Crazy, Love series – start right now, PLEASE! This entire series is packed with wonderful, emotional, dreamy romance and the most incredibly human, deliciously flawed characters. I finished this book in less than a day and I will be recommending it for weeks!










An advance copy was received in exchange for an honest review.

dual point of view

 Favorite Quotes

“Love isn’t a finite thing in the universe. It’s not like it gets used up by people who get there first.”

“Harry Potter fan, huh? So what are the chances I can Slytherin to your chamber of secrets tonight?”

“Ah, wine. Wine was my friend. Wine understood me. Wine knew it was entirely possible to be one hundred percent happy for your sisters and also ten percent jealous, because Wine does not care about mathematics. And Wine would never ask why I didn’t have a man by age thirty. Wine and I had spent enough alone time together that Wine knew it wasn’t that I didn’t want to find love-of course I did. But it was fucking hard.”

” ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m thinking about kissing you.’

‘Stop thinking.’ ”

“Over sea bass and grilled tuna we shared firsts and favorites,”

“I’d rather be someone’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea.”


“So.” I glanced out the windows to the patio. “You want to go back out there?”

“Not really,” she said.

“You want to get out of here?”

She grinned. “Yeah. I do.”

I watched her rush up the stairs to get her things, and as soon as she was out of sight, I adjusted myself in my pants. My dick had jumped to life the second she said yeah, I do, as if the question had been you want to get naked and fuck? rather than something much less suggestive. Not that I didn’t want to get naked and fuck—hopefully I’d last a little longer than I had in the broom closet eleven years ago—but I didn’t want to make her feel like that’s what I expected. She wasn’t a horny nineteen-year-old college student anymore; she was a doctor, for fuck’s sake. She was beautiful and smart and mature and sophisticated, and a woman like her did not want some Neanderthal who probably needed a haircut and a new pair of shoes to throw her up against a wall for a five-minute fuck.

A woman like that deserved attention all night long. She deserved someone who would undress her slowly and delight in each new inch of her skin as it was revealed. Someone who would run his hands all over her body and find out where she liked to be touched, how she liked to be touched, what she wanted to hear whispered to her in the dark. Someone who would wrap those gloriously long legs around his neck and use his tongue until she begged for his cock, then use his cock until she begged for mercy.

Fuck. I could be that guy.

Except I couldn’t be. Not tonight. Because I wasn’t a horny college student anymore either—I was just a horny single dad who didn’t have the luxury of taking a woman home and lavishing all my time and attention on her the way I wanted to.

As soon as I had the thought, I felt guilty. Scotty was the love of my life and always would be, and whenever I felt the slightest bit resentful about something I couldn’t do because of him, that resentment was immediately crushed by shame. He didn’t ask to be born wired differently, into a terrible relationship, to a mother who would decide she couldn’t handle being a parent, to a father who wasn’t prepared for any of it. He was completely innocent, and he needed me to be a better man.

Running a hand through my hair, I exhaled and wondered if I should ask Jillian for a raincheck on a night when Scotty’s usual sitter could be there. If he woke up again and I wasn’t home yet, he might never get back to sleep. We’d be up all night, tomorrow would be miserable, and the whole start to the week would be off.

But she was so beautiful. And I hadn’t been this attracted to someone in so long.

“Fuck,” I muttered, checking my watch. What was the right thing to do? If she were a different sort of woman, if her brother-in-law weren’t my friend and client, if we lived three states apart…if any number of circumstances were changed, I’d grab her hand, drag her out to my car, and spend the next thirty minutes fucking her brains out in the back seat. It would feel so good to take control that way, to lose control that way, to release some of this fucking tension. But was that fair to her?

My phone buzzed in my pocket.


“He’s up again.” Monica’s voice was strained, and in the background I heard the familiar keening of a nighttime meltdown. My chest hurt, the way it always did when Scotty was upset.

“Shit. OK, I’m on my way. Twenty minutes, OK? Thirty at the most.”


“Tell him he can play on his iPad.”

“That’ll just rile him up more. He’s tired. He needs to go to sleep.”

I clenched my fist. “Just do it, OK? It will help calm him until I get there.”

As I ended the call, I heard footsteps above, and then Jillian appeared at the top of the stairs carrying a small suitcase. I watched her descend, the tightness in my chest growing. Also the tightness in my pants. “Hey.”

“Hey,” she said, her face concerned as she reached the ground and saw my expression. She set down the suitcase. “What’s up?”

Sighing, I put my phone back in my pocket. “I have to get home. Scotty woke up and he’s upset.”

“Oh.” She tried to hide it, but I saw the disappointment in her eyes.

“I’m really sorry. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”

“That’s OK. I understand.”

“Can I call you?”

“Of course.” She smiled, and her lips looked so soft and inviting, I took a step closer.

If you kiss her, it will be that much harder to leave.

I knew it was the truth, but I couldn’t help myself. One kiss. Just one. And then I’ll go. I moved even closer and took her head in my hands.

The curve of her smile deepened. “What are you doing?”

“I’m thinking about kissing you.”

“Stop thinking.”

I lowered my lips to hers and let them rest there, fully intending the kiss to be short and sweet, just a goodnight.

But I couldn’t break it off. I wanted more—I wanted to taste her. Slanting my head, I changed the angle of the kiss, teasing her mouth open with mine, slipping my tongue between her lips. A little sigh escaped her, and my dick jumped to life again.

You have to go, you have to go, you have to go.

But her hands were moving up my chest and my fingers were sliding into her soft brown hair and I could smell something sweet and citrusy on her skin and it mingled with the taste of whiskey on my tongue and oh God, I wanted my tongue everywhere on her body. I wanted make her come with it just so I could hear that little sigh again and again and again. And I wanted to feel my hands in her hair just like this while she got on her knees and took my cock between her lips, looking up at me with those big blue eyes…

Groaning, I forced myself to take my lips off her before I completely lost my senses. “God, I wish I could stay,” I said, resting my forehead against hers. “I wish a lot of things.”

“I know.” She played with my tie again. “I wish I was taking this tie off you, not straightening it.”

“What a coincidence, that’s one of my wishes too.”

She laughed and kissed me quickly. “Another time, maybe. You better go.”

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About the Author

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she’s not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak.
Melanie is the author of the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.


Review – Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid


Happily Ever Ninja
by Penny Reid
Publication Date:
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor


Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

From the USA Today Best Selling Author of ‘Truth or Beard’

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

BFF K’s Review


Penny Reid warns readers that this is an “odd book” in fact, all of her books are a little weird and that’s really what makes them so wonderful. Happily Ever Ninja is unlike anything else that I have read. The story centers around a married couple, their life, love and marriage. The tension in the book does not stem from a death or an illness or an affair. Penny Reid says, this is a book, “about a married couple with none of the cheating, divorcing, or standard plot-lines/tropes.” So, I wondered what it could possibly be about….

Happily Ever Ninja is a stunning, heart-warming, introspection of marriage. While Fiona and Greg may not be like every other married couple; she’s former CIA, and he works away from home months at a time. There are many, many parts that seem like a snapshot of my marriage and countless others that I know. It feels as though this book is a tribute to marriage, a hymn of praise dedicated to the ups and downs of these complex and essential relationships. I believe it is impossible to read this book without turning the looking glass to your own life. Those in a marriage will see common struggles and successes. Those who are searching for a happy marriage will find a realistic and honest look at the kind of relationship worth striving toward. Happily Ever Ninja does an amazing job of reminding us why the conquest is worth the struggles.

“But, I’ve yet to meet a monogamous person who is an expert on sex, nor have I ever met a polygamist who is an expert on love. Each marriage is a living thing, just as complex as the two individuals within it.”

Fiona is a fantastic heroine. While I was frustrated with Greg’s propensity to “save” Fiona when she is clearly more than capable; he has some seriously swoon-worthy moments. His quick wit, overwhelming devotion and that bloody British accent are almost too much. I love being able to check in with all of the amazing women from the Knitting in the City series. It feels like meeting up with a group of girlfriends I haven’t seen in months. Every book in this series leaves me more anxious for the next.

Penny Reid is a master of writing relationship-driven romance novels that are smart, funny, unique and completely unexpected. Happily Ever Ninja is another book on my list of ‘must reads’ and I will continue telling everyone about this wonderful, witty, unorthodox look at romance, commitment, love and marriage.












An Advance Copy was received in exchange for an honest review.


I tucked my fingers under her chin and lifted her face to mine, stealing a kiss; true distress clawed at my chest, traveled like a spike down my spine. I didn’t want to guess, or entertain any possibilities. Inevitably, my mind always jumped to the worst possible conclusion whenever I saw her inexplicably sad (i.e. brain tumor).

Even so, I attempted to keep my tone level and calm. “What could be too important for the greeting card aisle? It’s the perfect place to tell me anything and everything. There’s likely a card we can buy afterward for the occasion.”

She huffed a laugh, laughed a bit more, and then began crying again.

Her laughter was a good sign, so I went with it.

“Let’s see . . .” I shuffled us both to the rack and plucked a greeting card from it. “You tell me if this one describes your situation.” I cleared my throat and began to read, “Dear Brother, Many blessings on your fortieth birthday. May your girlfriend bring home that hot girl she works with and suggest a three-way.”

Fiona began laughing in earnest, burying her face against my chest.

I returned the original card, walked us a few steps farther down the aisle, and selected another card at random. “Here’s another. Dear Friend, Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I am so lucky to have you in my life, especially after that time I hit you with my car and salted the earth around your house.

I cracked a smile as I grabbed another card. She was laughing so hard she could barely breathe.

“Dear Co-worker, Get well soon. Sorry about the scorpions in your bed. And the leprosy. And the chlamydia.”

“Stop! I can’t- I can’t breathe.” Fiona gripped the front of my shirt as though she needed my solid frame to remain upright.

I took one more step and picked a new card. “Dear Dad, Happy Father’s Day. I know I’m not your favorite child, but I hope you will . . . you will . . .” I stopped reading because Fiona had stopped laughing.

In fact, she’d grown eerily still, though her fists remained anchored in my shirt. I don’t think she was even breathing.


She released an audible exhale—as though bracing herself—and titled her head back. New tears shone in her eyes and she looked . . . emotional.

Not sad. Not worried or scared. Just emotional.

And I knew.

“I’m going to be a dad,” I said.

She nodded, her mouth wanting to smile but her eyes betraying the disordered chaos of her thoughts.

I had no idea what she was thinking.

I had no idea what I was thinking.

But I felt like I’d just been punched, slapped across the face. And it felt scary. And good.

I felt like I was the king of the universe, the luckiest man alive.

I felt panic, because I didn’t know how to be a dad, at least not the kind I wanted to be.

I felt a bizarre surge of pride, of accomplishment.

I felt a heady wave of possessiveness, for this woman I loved, for the child we’d made. I felt responsible.

But I did not feel burdened.

And I knew nothing would ever be the same.


About the Author

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Review – Appealed by Emma Chase

The New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled books returns with the third romance in the Legal Briefs series, a collection of sexy novels about first crushes, second chances, and the final verdict of the heart.

When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman…who wants to crush the most intimate—and prized—parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Louboutins.

When Kennedy looks at Brent, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue–worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school in order to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell for her.

But she’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore—she’s a Washington, DC, prosecutor with a long winning streak. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case, and Kennedy thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out the way she planned. Brent has his sights set on Kennedy, and every fiery exchange only makes him want her more—and makes her wonder if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. In the end, they may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

Amazon Purchase Links

US Amazon Kindle Link for Appealed  – Releasing January 19th

US Amazon Kindle Link for Overruled

US Amazon Kindle Link for Sustained

Amazon Kindle Link for the Legal Briefs Series


BFF K’s Review


Appealed is the 3rd and final book in Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series and I have to say, I’m sad to see this series come to an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Stanton, Sofia, Jake, Chelsea, Brent and Kennedy. The entire Legal Briefs Series is delightful and full of fun and romance. Emma Chase is the master of smart and funny novels from the Male POV!

Brent is hilarious – a comic book and pop culture virtuoso. He’s all alpha; self-assured, confident but well-adjusted thanks to years of therapy. He cares deeply about his friends and family. When Kennedy comes back into his life, he immediately determines that he will never let her slip through his fingers again. He begins to right some of the wrongs from their earlier years. Brent also makes sure that Kennedy knows the torch he carried for her as a teen is burning hotter than ever before. And by hot, I mean STEAMING hot!

Kennedy is no longer the awkward tween, she’s transformed into a talented, lovely, independent woman. She’s prepared to show Brent all that he’s missed. What she isn’t prepared for is his repentance for past mistakes and tenacious efforts to bring them back together; this time for good.

Appealed is a great contemporary romance. It has a terrific plot, phenomenal characters, interesting storylines, fun settings and plenty of butterfly-inducing, steamy romance. I highly recommend this entire series! The Extended Epilogue is the perfect conclusion to these stories.  (The Legal Briefs series are standalone novels with interconnected characters. My reviews of Overruled and Sustained will be coming very soon.)
















An Advance Copy was received in exchange for an honest review.

male point of view


About the Author

By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she toils away the hours bringing her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
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Some of Emma’s favorite quotes from Tangled -“You are making me crazy!”
“Crazy like you want to rip my shirt off again?”
“No – crazy like the itch of a yeast infection that won’t go away!””And I will be damned if Kate Brooks is going to walk her ass in here and take that away from me. No matter how fine of an ass it may be.””Words are cheap. Actions win wars. Actions heal wounds.””It makes me want to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. I’ve never been into S&M. But I’m beginning to see its benefits.”


Review – Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills

A scarred fighter.

A girl with rules.

One night of unbridled passion.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Bennett: she’s smart as a whip, always in control, and lives by a set of carefully crafted rules. She’s learned the hard way that people you love the most always hurt you in the end.

But then she meets Declan Blay, the new neighbor at her apartment complex.

A tattooed British street fighter, he’s the campus bad boy she’s supposed to avoid, but when he saves her from a frat party gone bad, all her rules about sex and love fly out the window.

She gives him one night of unbridled passion, but he longs for more.

With only a cardboard-thin wall separating their bedrooms, he dreams of possessing the vulnerable girl next door forever.

One night. Two damaged hearts. The passion of a lifetime.


BFF K’s Review

rating_4.5 I’ve spent the last week being a lunatic about this book! I’ve recommended Dirty English to everyone – friends, family and virtual strangers. It is that good! Dirty English is a modern love story based on Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Declan are an absolutely fantastic couple and this book has all of the elements of a terrific New Adult novel.

Elizabeth Bennett has a scarred and tragic past. She has spent a couple of years protecting her heart, following some strict rules, keeping love away and pretending that she isn’t permanently damaged by one horrible boy. Elizabeth is also lovely, creative, genuine and hard working. Declan Blay has baggage of his own. He lost his beloved mother when he was young and struggles with a meaningful relationship with his overbearing father. Declan also has goals and ambition and pride in spades. Individually they’re broken. But, together their broken pieces are made whole.

A couple of other notes of extreme importance….Declan is British. Yes – that means an accent and fantastic British phrases. Declan is also a twin! Dax is one of the best parts of this book. He’s cocky and funny and a primary ingredient in this delicious story. I’m anxiously awaiting Dax’s story! (Yay for a #1 Amazon rating! Ilsa Madden-Mills said she would write Dax’s story if Dirty English reached #1 in the Amazon store and it did! I am so desperate for Dax’s story that I bought 5 copies for friends.)

I could go on and on with all the ways I love this story, but that just wastes time you could spend reading it. Which you need to do, right now! You will not regret a single minute you spend with Declan and Elizabeth. You’ll only wish your time together could last a little longer!











An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.


★★ PURCHASE Dirty English Today!★★

Amazon       Amazon UK





“Come to my apartment and spend the night with me.” I touched his face, my fingers stroking the softness of his sensuous lips. “Just one night and we can make this shitty world disappear.”

He exhaled. “A one-night stand?”


He cupped my chin. “Someone hurt you, didn’t they?”

My lips tightened. No one at Whitman knew about Colby except for Shelley and Blake, and I sure as hell wasn’t telling him. He’d judge me like everyone else had in Petal, North Carolina. “That’s none of your business.”

“I see.” His eyes searched mine until I felt like a bug under a microscope. “What if I wanted more than just one night?”

“Then your hands can let go of my hips now.”

He removed his hands slowly, the tips of his fingers grazing mine. “This may surprise you, but I don’t sleep with every girl I kiss.”

I’d been rejected. Again. “Blake said you got around, that you used—”

“And you believed him?” His voice was incredulous. “Dude is in love with you and he saw exactly how we looked at each other tonight—”

“Looked at each other? What are you talking about? You refused to dance with me and then you ran off with your girlfriend. Not to mention I just kissed you and you didn’t even care.” I threw my hands up.

“I wanted to fuck you the minute you walked in that party,” he snapped.

“Then why don’t you,” I bit out, tossing back my shoulders.

“You think you want me?” he said tightly. “You can’t handle me, Elizabeth. I can see it in your eyes. You’re scared of something, maybe not me, but something.”

My eyes went to his black eye.

He let out a harsh laugh. “Ah, that’s what you’re afraid of. You want the real truth? You told me tonight you didn’t like violence, but I’m an arsehole who uses his fists. That’s who I am.”

“What do you mean?”

His gaze was intense, dark and low, his face struggling as he fought to find the right words. “I’m in a fight club for money. I show up at warehouses and fight other blokes. Sometimes I beat them so bad they need medical attention. A few times, I’ve been beat to unconsciousness. I’m everything you need to stay away from.”

I inhaled, anger and lust and excitement all riding me. Anger that he was pushing me away, lust for the alpha male in him, and God help me, the fighting thing repelled me and excited me at the same time. “I don’t want to stay away from you. I want you to fuck me and stop making excuses for why you can’t.”

My words seemed to snap his taut restraint.

He pulled me back in his arms, his lips fusing with mine unerringly. His tongue plundered me in a sensual way my body had craved for years. I wrapped my arms around his neck, my anger morphing into all-out desire as he turned us and pressed me against the wall.

Yes, yes, this is what I craved.

A passion to remind me that I was real, not just some sad excuse of a girl who chose to exist on scraps of love.

Before I knew it, he’d shoved my robe off, his hands sculpting my shoulders, massaging them as he ravaged my mouth. I reveled in the warmth of his hand on my neck as his mouth skated down, kissing the hollows of my throat, sucking on my collarbone.

“Like this?” he asked, his voice dark and gravelly. “You want me to take you up against this wall?”

“Yes,” I moaned. Gone. Past caring as long as he kept his hands on me.

Out of control, my brain whispered, but I beat back the dark warnings as his warm hand found my breast and squeezed, his fingers rolling my nipple between his thumb and forefinger.

I gasped in pleasure and arched my back to get closer to his body, ignoring the fear that pricked at the surface.

The rules girl in my head stamped her foot and yelled at me. I ignored her.

But even if I wanted to stop right now, I couldn’t. My tongue tangled wildly with his, my hands pulled at his hair, spurring him on, his hand palming my breast and then tugging. Sharp sensations of need went straight to my core.

“Is this what you want? Something quick where we just take what we want and forget each other the next day?”

No. Not that. Not like the way he said it, like it was something dirty.

“Yes, like that,” I whispered against his shoulder, my mouth on his skin, tasting him as my teeth bit down.


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About the Author

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.

She’s addicted to all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding heroes in books. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), Sephora make-up, and tattoos.

She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.

When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets, paints old furniture, and eats her weight in sushi.


You can stalk her on her website as well as get signed books: http://www.ilsamaddenmills.com

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Other books by Ilsa Madden-Mills:


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Amazon iBooks BN Kobo


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Duo Review – The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal….

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.

BFF’s Duo Review


BFF A’s Review

A summary of the text conversation between BFF K and myself.

BFF K: You HAVE to read The Bourbon Kings. It’s soooooo good.

Me: OK

BFF K: No, you have to download it NOW and start reading, I need to talk to someone about this book. I love it so much. (I think there may have been a little drooling on her part)

Me: Ookaay!!

So of course I buy the book. I mean, how can I not after that conversation? When your best friend insists you read a book, you do it, right?

Here’s the text after I finished reading:

Me: I did it! I started and finished reading The Bourbon Kings yesterday.

BFF K: OMG, I’ll call you when I’m on my way home! What did you think? I might cry if you didn’t love it.

Me: Please don’t cry. Of course I loved it, I read the whole thing in one day!

So, if you haven’t dropped everything you are doing and started reading The Bourbon Kings, you must do it now!

I was so caught up while reading; it felt like I was living through the story. I was upset when I didn’t find myself relaxing by my gorgeous outdoor pool, being delivered fresh lemonade by the butler while watching the gardener create fabulous floral arrangements and the maid cleaning the house. Reality check, I guess it’s up to me to get all of that accomplished, not the staff I have at the estate. I also found myself wanting to shop for large, fancy hats to wear to the derby while sipping on a glass of the family reserve of bourbon.

The story line is just like a soap opera; there are a lot of characters and so much going on, but once I got to know each of them and make connections, I couldn’t put it down. Start with the wealthy family trying to cover up deep down secrets and hide love affairs that are not supposed to happen. Mom is sick and bed ridden, unable to communicate with the family. Children have been kidnapped, lost and abused and end up with scars, both physically and mentally. Daddy is hiding many demons and always getting his way, even if that means cutting off all the family money when one of the children doesn’t do what he wants. A crazy wife married to one of the sons, she is so manipulative, you just want to reach in a slap her. But the best part is the love story. Love between two people that is so genuine and real, but not without broken hearts and obstacles to overcome to get to your true love. Death, manipulation, lies, tears, and secrets are exposed, but not all answered, which kept me hanging on, wanting to know more and find out the truth. I can’t wait until the next book comes out!

BFF K’s Review

I grew up watching Dallas, Knots Landing and Days of Our Lives. I’m a BIG fan of epic, sprawling, family-based, character driven stories; the seedier and steamier, the better! I remember my mom and my aunt’s gathering on Friday nights to watch a new episode of Dallas and then sitting around for hours discussing the characters and their predicaments. We would hypothesize for days anticipating the next episode and wondering what dastardly things would happen the next week. The Bourbon Kings is just like that, only BETTER. Think Dallas meets Downton Abbey, soaked in bourbon and deception!

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version of The Bourbon Kings. I’ve listened to the audio TWICE in the last 6 weeks. I’ve got bookmarks and notes everywhere and keep replaying my favorite parts over and over! This narrator’s thick, deep, smooth, southern drawl has me swooning like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve been over to BFF A’s house to pet the hard copy because seriously, how beautiful is this cover?!?! I just bought the Kindle version. I LOVE everything about this book.

Lane and Lizzie…I adore this couple. Their re-connection and struggle to stay together despite all the drama in their lives is the steady heartbeat of this story. Lane is the playboy who runs away from adversity. His return to Charlemont, Kentucky, and Easterly, his family home, is fraught with emotions and entanglements. Lizzie King is the sweet, genuine, hard-working, love of his life that he left behind. This cast of characters is extensive and colorful. Everyone has a story, a secret (or 10) and a HUGE personality. Lane and Lizzie, Gin and Samuel T, Edward and Sutton/Edward and Shelby, Miss Aurora, William Baldwine, Chantal Baldwine, Rosalinda Freeland, Richard Pford….I can’t get enough of these characters! My heart soared and broke, and my anger flared with every drama-filled chapter!

I’m addicted to these characters and their stories. I have read/listened to parts over and over again. I’m dying to know what happens next and what the outcome will be for my favorites and the foes! I’ve badgered many of my BFFs into reading it, raved about it on Facebook, and talked with anyone who will listen about this amazing book! I know that the price point is higher than most of the books we recommend but, it is worth EVERY PENNY!

Please, please, please buy this book and then contact me so that we can chat because the only thing I like better than listening to/reading this book is talking about it with my BFF’s!

world creation_5


























BFF K’s Favorite Quote

“I’m prepared to be a very patient man when it comes to you. I will seduce you for how ever long it takes; give you space if you need it or follow you tight as sunshine on your shoulder if you’ll let me.”

His eyes locked on hers.

“I lost my chance with you once Lizzie King. That is not going to happen again.”

I’m not kidding – this quote gives me all the feels! And, you should hear it on the audio – OMG!!! Swoon!

Purchase The Bourbon Kings on Amazon

Purchase The Bourbon Kings on Audible

About the Author


J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.






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Review – Broken Juliet by Leisa Rayven

Some loves never let you go…
Cassie swore she’d never forgive Ethan for breaking her heart when they were in acting school years ago. He was her one great love, and when he refused to love her back, a part of her died forever…or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Finally he’s able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago…but can she believe him? Has he really changed, and what makes this time different from all his other broken promises?
The answer lies somewhere in the past, and now the truth will come to light. Will Cassie rediscover what it’s like to be trusting and open again–the way she was before Ethan? Or is it too late for these star-crossed lovers?
Don’t miss this mesmerizing final chapter in the Bad Romeo duet, the unforgettable love story that captured the hearts of over two million fans online.

BFF K’s Review


Broken Juliet is the absolutely sparkling conclusion to the story of Cassie and Ethan. I’m nearly at a loss for words to describe how much I love this series and how truly wonderful these books are. Parts are laugh out loud funny, parts make you want to sob in sadness or frustration. There is angst, romance and plenty of steam. Cassie and Ethan are phenomenal characters. Their dialogue is impeccably written and the story fresh and inventive. The words are lyrical, carefully crafted, and flow in a way that makes you pause thinking, “those sentences were absolutely perfect.”

Leisa Rayven uses a combination of flashbacks and modern day scenes to build the story of Cassie and Ethan and their tumultuous relationship. But, through all of drama, you see how Cassie and Ethan are desperately and completely meant for one another. It takes years (and some hard core therapy) for each to understand and accept themselves and the monumental feelings they possess for one another. The end result is worth every bit of emotion and speaks so honestly about who the characters are and what they want and need from one another.

Broken Juliet has caused a book hang-over of epic proportions. I’m certain I will spend hours re-reading all the highlighted bits and pieces to re-capture just a few of the emotions this book can stir. There are a few books and series that are on my “always recommend” list. Bad Romeo and Broken Juliet have shot toward the top of that list and I will be telling everyone I know that this series can’t be missed!







*An ARC of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

One Click Broken Juliet on Amazon

One Click Bad Romeo on Amazon

Purchase Bad Romeo to listen on Audible

Favorite Quotes

“The way he says my name is like a groan of frustration and a sigh of relief. A promise. An apology. A prayer.”
“Time is a fickle whore. Whenever you want it to pass slowly, it speeds up, and whenever you’re full of nervous impatience it crawls like a sloth on sedatives.”
“I have full-blown emotional vertigo. I’m completely turned around. Upside down and inside out.”
“From the moment I met you, it was only ever going to be you.”
“All the while he whispers to me about regrets, apologies, love, future.”

Dream Casting

I don’t do this very often, but I can see Ethan and Cassie so clearly in my mind….So here they are!


About the Author

Writing has always been a passion for Leisa, and even though she originally intended to be an actress, it wasn’t long into her time at drama school that she began writing plays.

Those plays were bad. Very bad. Well, her friends thought they were good, but that’s because they were always cast in them and any opportunity to be on stage was met with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm.

Since then, she’s honed her craft, and several of her plays have been produced and toured throughout Australia.

These days, playwriting has given way to fiction writing, and her debut novel, BAD ROMEO, will be available in a worldwide release through Macmillan Publishing in December 2014. The sequel, BROKEN JULIET, will be available in April 2015.

Leisa lives in Australia with her husband, two little boys, three judgemental cats, and a kangaroo named Howard. (*NB: Howard may or may not be her imaginary marsupial friend. Everyone should have one.*)