NOTE: I purchased the book, but received an ARC for story “Ch-ch-ch-Changes” by Karen Grey. I’ll continue to add thoughts on individual stories as I read them.
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What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Eleven of today’s most entertaining contemporary romance authors have teamed up to support reproductive choice in the new year. This anthology features feel-good fiction that’s heartwarming, often hilarious, and hot enough to light your sparklers. So raise a cup of kindness to the days of auld lang syne, and settle in for a steamy read.
100% of the royalties from this collection will benefit the National Network of Abortion Funds.
1/29/2023 – Fool Me Once by Addie Woolridge is a short story spanning a decades worth of New Year’s scenes where Deep & Tim can’t seem to get the right timing to launch a relationship. Whether it’s being too young, still having career aspirations, or even just being scared – Deep is always holding back. Until this year…
1/28/2023 – Bold Vibes Only by Sara Whitney was a sexy neighbors to lovers romance. Gracie finally gets the courage to let the sexy chef next door know she’s interested in more. Cam jumps at the opportunity to see if this is attraction or the relationship he’s been looking for. Things go great, but an unexpected mishap has them on a mission driving all over the city. I like that they already know each other and spend the night learning even more. Gracie finds courage to stand up for herself and others while Cam is 100% supporting her. Love the epilogue and the HEA for these two.
1/27/2023 – Look Up and Dream by Kathy L. Wheeler is a sexy and unique take on mistaken identity and office – in this case, costars in a play – romance. Maylis and Aiden’s story is a great mix of contention turned to passion, steamy, sweet, and finding a way to make it work when it seems impossible. Wheeler managed to pack all this into a novella spanning a year that left me wanting more while simultaneously feeling complete. I can’t wait to check out more of her backlist.
1/26/2023 – Flirting with Temptation is part of the Wicked Sanctuary series by Marie Tuhart. I haven’t read any of those (YET!) and did just fine.
I liked the way Tuhart kicked this off with a couple who already know each other. Amber’s sister is engaged to Gavin’s brother. After their encounter together Amber is scared when she realizes she feels more than a casual one-time-thing. Gavin makes it his mission to convince her they’ll be great together. An amazing evening featuring light BDSM and he’s sure of their future, but Amber is holding on to some difficult secrets.
These two were amazing and I love that while Gavin is dominant, he’s also caring and sensitive to what Amber has been through. Great HFN and easy to see they’ll have an HEA.
1/25/2023 – Everything I Dreamed Of was my first time reading Alexa Rivers and I enjoyed it. Poor London, she’s a bit clumsy and slightly awkward which has led everyone in her life to treat her as incapable. However, she’s determined to start an animal rescue and horse riding farm. Large animal vet, Cal, is immediately attracted to London but his past makes him think they aren’t a great match. Some cute and heartfelt interactions make for an adorable HFN.
Looking forward to more of the Destiny Falls series and Rivers’ writing.
1/24/2023 – Be My Angel by Tinia Montford features a pop star trying to break free from her past and create her own path. While I normally prefer dual POV’s, this worked well being only from Shay’s perspective. I love her crush on bodyguard Graham and his unwavering support. Lovers of road trips and only one bed (like me!) will swoon for Montford’s closed door story. They get an HFN in their professional and personal lives.
I enjoyed Montford’s writing so much I grabbed her latest release, The Last Minute First Lady.
1/23/2023 – Champagne Punch by Lainey Davis is a short story featuring secondary characters from her Brady Family and Bridges & Bitters series. Fun for fans of either but aren’t necessary to read first to enjoy this.
Set entirely on New Year’s Eve, Lyra and Ray meet via mutual friends at a big party. Neither of them enjoy the raucous scene and decide to find a quieter evening. One thing leads to another and they end up spending the evening together.
Things end on an HFN for this cute couple. Davis notes they’ll be getting a full book sometime this year and I can’t wait to read it.
1/21/2023 – The Billionaire’s Brouhaha by Danika Bloom was hilarious. I got the serious side eye from my husband (and our cat) for cracking up so much while reading it. I love stories with older MCs, Cathering & Eric are both over 40. It was also sweet, sexy, and poignant. Bloom packed a lot into such a small novella and now I’m hooked.
I loved Catherine and Eric – individually and as a couple. Poor Catherine wanted to be a bit grumpy and not get attached but Eric was (respectfully) persistent and they made a wonderful couple. As an artist making huge statements, Catherine is used to having her work criticized and is thrown for a loop when she meets Eric working on her latest project. Not only is he aware of her previous installations but he fully supports her perspective and vision… until he might be featured in it.
I enjoyed how Bloom brought these two together and their HFN. I also loved the secondary characters in the story and can’t wait to see where she takes them as the series continues.
1/10/2023: Beach Resolution is set in the Wanderlust series by Liz Alden. Michelle is stuck, alone at a resort while experiencing a medicinal abortion. In the next room, Greg, who also happens to be a doctor learns of her situation and offers to help. While this seems like an unlikely meet-cute – the time spent convalescing gives them the opportunity to get to know one another.
I love Greg’s adorably awkward initial conversations paired with Michelle’s desire to be independent yet knowing she needs help. They’re a sweet couple and Alden gives them some steam too in the epilogue.
This is my first time reading Alden’s writings and I enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to more of the Wanderlust series.
12/3/2022: Ch-ch-ch-Changes by Karen Grey. Fans of Grey’s Boston Classics series will enjoy this novella as a fun addition, however it’s also a great chance to check out her writing style. As always, I appreciate her ability to mix serious topics, budding romance, a little conflict, and humor into her stories.
Spanning a decade, Grey gives us vignettes of several New Year’s Eves for Sam and Dee. From their meeting while working/volunteering at Planned Parenthood to life as a married couple and then as parents. As with many marriages – there are hard times, big decisions, and sacrifices made. However their love, laughter, and dedication to each other shines through and they get a lovely HEA.
Content Warnings (possible spoilers):
Check individual stories for CWs.
I purchased the book, but received an ARC for story “Ch-ch-ch-Changes” by Karen Grey. I’ll continue to add thoughts on individual stories as I read them.
My Favorite Quotes
“A single thought enters my mind: I’m going to get that girl to marry me. And I don’t even know her name.” – Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes by Karen Grey
“From our first date, which ended in bed, smelling Sam has been one of my favorite pastimes.” – Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes by Karen Grey