Book Review: Interference by Sophia Henry

The Pilots Hockey novels are another example of a series that started out a little shaky for me but continues to get better with each story. Even though the characters irked me a bit in this one, I still enjoyed the story and I like all the social and family connections between the characters.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A cop falls for a single mother and starts a relationship even though he knows he won’t stay in the area. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Teen Mistakes
Indie is a single mother who got pregnant in high school and had to give up her dreams because the father of her baby refused to give up on his and help her with the child. Now he’s back in the picture, but he’s still not helpful and causes more harm than good on most days. Still, she has her younger brother and her mom to help her with her son, and since she’s going to college part time, she knows she’ll eventually reach her goals.

Cop With Issues
Jason moved to the small town to get experience as a cop, but his end goal is to return to Detroit. When he meets Indie, he knows he shouldn’t get attached because he’s not staying, but he can’t help himself. They start dating and the relationship ends up getting more serious. Jason falls for Indie and her son, but he has is own issues. He was given up for adoption when he was a baby, and it’s bothered him all his life, regardless of the fact that he grew up with a wonderful family and siblings.

The Conflict is Real
For the most part, Indie and Jason’s relationship seems normal, and I liked the realism of it. The conflict often comes when Jason wallows in his issues and Indie tries to make him see how selfish he’s being, seeing his issues as a reflection (sort of) of her own choices. They have some good conversations about it, and while I was never really sure where I stood on the issue, it made for some interesting conflict.


The Douchie Ex
There’s also the wrench of Indie’s child’s father in the picture, a real douche who wants time with his son when it’s convenient for him. When he threatens Jason and tells him to leave Indie alone, Jason actually thinks the idiot might be right, that maybe he shouldn’t be in a relationship with her and maybe he can’t ask her to move back to Detroit with him. Jason isn’t always on point with how he thinks about things.

The Good Side
The story itself was entertaining, and of course the hockey references made me happy. But these characters…I don’t even know. There were things I liked about them. Jason is a really nice guy who puts Indie first when they’re together. He bends over backwards to make her happy and to smooth things over if they have an argument. Indie is determined to reach her goals, and she says a few times that when she makes a decision, she does it with her son in mind, always trying to make the best decision for him. I liked them together and I liked them trying to overcome things that happened in their past, including Indie being seen as a slut for getting pregnant in high school thanks to small town views.

The Not-So-Good Side
But there were also things that drove me nuts about them. Even getting Indie’s point of view and understanding her motivations didn’t help the fact that I found her super passive-aggressive. Also, she’s under 21 and when she reveals this to Jason…a cop…as they’re drinking beer…he doesn’t really seem to care. She makes the argument that if someone has a kid before 21 they should be allowed to drink, and that line of reasoning bugged me. I’d be fine with them lowering the drinking age, sure, but generally speaking, having a kid doesn’t make you a responsible adult (to be fair, that goes for anyone of any age). Also, I would expect a cop to be a little more upset about the situation than Jason was. And, you know, maybe stop her from drinking.


The Romance Factor
Jason treats Indie well, and I enjoyed how he brought her into his family and supported everything she did. Which made it all the better when they have their big conflict…more angst, more feels. 4/5

The Steam Factor
This story is pretty light on the details of the sexy times, focusing more on the dynamic of Jason and Indie’s relationship rather than the steaminess of their bedroom interactions. 2/5

Final Thoughts
Though the characters were flawed and sometimes annoying, I liked that I could relate to them and see both sides of the story. I enjoyed the cameos from past characters and, of course, all the fun Michigan references. If there are more in this series, it’ll be interesting to see who the next set of characters are.

Book Review: After We Fall by Marquita Valentine

I had to go back and remind myself what happened in the previous book in this series to get familiar with the world and characters again. This book starts where the previous one left off (sort of) and has the same sweetness the other one did. I still haven’t read the first book in the series though. I really need to get on that.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman out of an abusive marriage is excited about starting a new life but nervous about being so close to the cop who saved her. A full synopsis can be found on this book’s Goodreads page.

We Meet Again
When Hunter last saw Evangeline, she was badly beaten and bruised. He was the one to save her, making sure she’d get medical treatment to survive what her husband had done to her. Since then, he hasn’t been able to forget about her. Even though he’s helped many abuse victims as a police officer, Evangeline got to him the most. So when he sees that she’s moving in to his apartment complex…to the apartment across from his, as a matter of fact…he reaches out to her.

Changes for the Worse
Evangeline pretends not to recognize Hunter when she first sees him, even though she very much does. She’s happy she finally got a divorce from her ex, but she’s still haunted by all the things he did and said to her, and she’s embarrassed that she let it go on for so long. Even though she’s attracted to Hunter, she has trust issues and is a bit skittish. She’s afraid to jump into a relationship because her ex had been amazing and sweet when they’d first gotten together, and she hadn’t seen or expected the change in him until it was too late. Now she can’t trust that it won’t happen with someone else. For her, it’s easier to stay alone.


Taking Life
Evangeline’s abuse was difficult to read about, and abuse survivors may want to take this as a trigger warning for the book. She flashes back to many of the ways he hurt her, not just physically (though there are some physical details), but also mentally, telling her she’s not worth anything and making sure she no longer has any friends or is in close contact with her family (part of which she isn’t because of her shame). There are a few times when she mourns the person she was before she met her husband.

Common Ties
Hunter and his mother were both abuse victims of their father, so Hunter feels especially protective of abuse victims. I felt that a lot of his attraction to Evangeline had to do with him wanting to protect her and help her come back from her trauma. It helped that his abuse was one of the things that allowed her to connect with him and eventually trust him.

Enemies & Friends
There is a bit of a damsel in distress plot, as Evangeline’s ex-husband starts calling to to harass her and things escalate. But it’s also another avenue in which she’s able to empower herself to take a stand against him. There’s also Saylor, the woman in the apartment that Evangeline ends up becoming friends with (a big deal for her since she hasn’t had friends in a long time) who’s a Star Wars nerd and completely adorable. The tone of the book was slightly dark and very serious, but Saylor helped lighten the mood. I really hope she gets her own story.


The Romance Factor
I love when a sweet hero takes such good care of a woman, and Hunter really does. The development of their relationship felt slow at first, building up to when Evangeline finally trusts him. It felt like there was a slow buildup and then a really fast slide into her jumping him, but I suppose in the context of a romance story, it has to happen at some point. 4/5

The Steam Factor
Evangeline wants to get her groove back, and she does. It takes her a bit to warm up to Hunter, but when she does, things get spicy. 4/5

Final Thoughts
I really like the way Marquita Valentine writes. It’s not overly flowy, but it’s emotional and gives me a good sense of how the characters are feeling. I get alot of passion and sadness, but I also get hope and I love the way the characters work together. This book was stronger on the sadness, but it still held my attention and made me swoon over Hunter a couple times.

Book Review: Steal Me by Lauren Layne

I’ve realized something about myself. I am a second-book girl, meaning that when I read a series, in most cases, I might like the first one, but I absolutely love the second one. This has proven true several times, and it was proven again with the second book in Lauren Layne’s New York’s Finest series. Frisk Me was good, but Steal Me gave me so many warm fuzzies.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

One-Sentence Synopsis
A moody police captain who feels he can’t have a career and a relationship starts falling for the waitress who has a habit of spilling things on him. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Dark, Broody Type
Anthony Moretti. So moody, so sexy, so conflicted. Due to something that happened with an ex-girlfriend, he’s resigned himself to the fact that there’s no way he’s cut out to work for the police department and maintain a relationship. He also hates it when the waitress who has endeared herself to his whole family spills things on him. And it happens all the time. Totally a case of food as foreplay, right?


Miss Independent
Maggie is a waitress who’s trying to get on her feet and become her own person after growing up with a lazy brother and an alcoholic father and being married to a man who wanted her to give everything in the relationship while he gave nothing. She’s super sweet, but that was part of the problem. She was a pushover. Now she’s determined not to be that person anymore.

Love in the Time of Crime
Besides just being kind of a crab-ass, Anthony is also irritated that he can’t find the burglar known as Smiley, a criminal who seems to be trolling the police department with his shenanigans. So when Maggie turns out to be a huge help for the case, he finds himself in close proximity to her more than not. Then he realizes how lonely he is, but he also realizes it’s not that easy for him to separate his personal and professional lives.

The Romance Factor
I’m such a sucker for the “lonely” characters, the ones who just want someone to be with, even if they think they can’t have them. Considering both Anthony and Maggie fall into this trope, I was all sorts of in love with both of them. Also, there’s a scene where Maggie “realizes” that like all the other men in her life, Anthony just uses her when he needs her. Obviously, we know that’s not the case, but that angst! So well done and enough to give me those feels. 5/5


The Steam Factor
Though there are steamy moments, compared to some of the other things I’ve read, the sexy times in this one are relatively tame. However, Layne writes really good sensual scenes, and so while Maggie and Anthony might not get as down and dirty as some other couples, they still made me melt. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This is a strong book in the series and I love the Moretti family. There’s a lot of build-up to the third one in the series as well, which seems like a friends to lovers type thing or a co-worker love story…either way, I can’t wait to read it, and I hope it stands as strong as this one did.