I’m so sorry for the lack of new writing, my brain seems to have left the building and embarked upon a bitalot of a break. Left to my own devices I’ve been catching up on Drag Race, watching movies and, o’course, reading.
Not many authors could have lured me from the thriller-fest of assassin slaughtering antics I’d been devouring—particularly between books 2 and 3 of a trilogy—but Brenda Murphy is as irresistible as Valkyrie is invincible. Thus, it was that Bourne had to stuff his Ultimatum where the sun don’t shine until I’d sallied forth on a second trip to University Square.
*Review progress report: they seem to be getting more random, rather than less, with practice*
Series: University Square, Book Two
Publisher: NineStar Press
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+ romance, family-drama, interracial, lesbian
After a string of failed relationships, brilliant litigator Eunice Park is determined to stay single. Who needs distractions when you’re trying to make partner at Chicago’s most prestigious law firm? A Sunday afternoon visit from the police is the beginning of a series of events that turn Eun’s life upside down, and she’s forced to return to her hometown and confront her estranged family.
Morgan Wright, locksmith and part-time animal shelter volunteer, is convinced the perfect woman exists, just not for her. After a chance encounter with Eun, Morgan becomes embroiled in Eun’s family drama.
Charmed by Morgan’s easy swagger, Eun invites her back to her hotel room. Bone-melting sex and a surprisingly soulful connection leaves Eun questioning her return to Chicago. But not everyone in Sikesville is happy Eun has returned.
As much as I adored the first book in the series, I may have enjoyed Lockset even more than On The Square. The instant sense of familiarity was a pleasure in itself. As luscious as sinking into a bubble bath scented with my favourite almond blossom. It felt as if I’d never been away…
If I loved the first novel like Haagen Dazs Pralines ‘n’ Cream with hot fudge sauce and nutty sprinkles…warm walnut shortbread and freshly baked bread…this story? Was a litre bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream; lavishly laced with a whiskey warm kick. I may have made these novels sound supersweet; they are not. They are rich and real and feel as authentic as they are fulfilling. I love these women. They are strong in the sort of way I admire most. They retain a stubborn pride in their own self-sufficiency, above and beyond all reason. A trait that does tend to result in a refusal to rely on others and an inability to accept (let alone seek) help. All of which makes for fabulous friction in tandem with sizzling chemistry. And fantastic fiction, full-stop.
Eun may have had a dump truck of misfortunes land in her lap but she retained the sort of quiet strength that makes sharing them a journey, rather than an endurance. I never for one moment doubted that Brenda Murphy would give these wonderful women the destination they deserved. No matter how rocky the road or tire-slashing the lurkers lying in wait to throw a spanner in their works.
On that note…the image of Morgan weilding a wrench was the single most sexy sight I wish I’d witnessed since Mai last licked her fingers in On The Square. (I am sure she must have done this. She is a cook. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it). It was an added dollop of delight to visit her now thriving restaurant and see her again. I could clearly do with another season of Nigella to warm my cockles. Or a reboot of The (exceedingly) Delicious Miss Dahl. I p’raps have a bit of a type…warm, sensuous women with lush curves…and sublime skills with a bag of sugar. Ah well, in the meantime, I can but hope that a third trip to University Square might be on the menu and offer utmost compliments to the chef who cooked up this delicious series for our delectation. Oh, and a five star recommendation.
Treat yourself…you deserve it. Times are tough. 😁
On The Square
Dropped from her television show after a very public split with her cheating ex, celebrity chef Mai Li wants nothing more than to reopen her parents’ shuttered restaurant and make a fresh start in her former hometown. So what if twenty years of neglect has left the building in need of a major renovation?
Seduced by Mai’s charm and determination, hard-edged contractor Dale Miller agrees to take on her renovation project.
After a spring storm causes significant damage to the building and renovation costs exceed Mai’s budget, Dale offers her a deal, but is it a price Mai is willing to pay?