Hi…I hope you’ve had a great weekend.
I’m sorry I’ve been so tardy in completing My Way. It will be on its way as soon as I feel better, but I’ve been a bit blighted by injuries of late. All of which have left me in no fit state to give Mac & Joe a fitting ending. On the plus side? The list of things I can’t do have freed me up to do one of the things I love best of all. I read more novels last week than I have for months; authors both new-to-me and firm favourites.
I’d love to share a few of those with you but first and foremost… I’d like to welcome an author from the latter category and celebrate her 2020 Goldie Award for Erotica and the release of her latest novel: On The Square.
My special guest and most beloved f/f author…the brilliant Brenda Murphy.
On The Square by Brenda Murphy
Series: University Square, Book One
Heat Level: 3
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?
There is but one way to begin this review. A cards on the dinner table declaration: I loved this novel.
Loved it like Haagen Dazs Pralines ‘n’ Cream with hot fudge sauce and nutty sprinkles. Warm walnut shortbread. Freshly baked bread. Whiskers on kittens. Those are a few of my favourite things…another? This story.
As the blurb covers the plot, I’ll focus on a few more favourites instead:
1. The characters. Always my clincher. The plot doesn’t matter to me as much as people it revolves around…but this book is a buffet of both. A feast of treats; beautifully written with fantastic characters. I adored Mai. Loved her. She’s as hot as hell and as passionate in her beliefs as she is in the bedroom. The sort of woman who would rather surrender everything than the courage of her convictions. Who loves harder than she’s had to be, in order to survive. I’d marry her in a heartbeat. This woman can cook. She’s feisty and fabulous and has dress sense t’die for. I may be a meeny mite in love with her.
2. Dale is the perfect foil for Mai. The sparks that fly at their first meeting set up the story and the start of their relationship wonderfully well. The sexual tension sizzles as fabulously as a flambé. I very much enjoyed the fact that Dale – the lushly curved, femme character – was more dominant than Mai. How I love a tenderhearted butch, but they are oft so few and far between in fiction; where sass takes precedence and attitude is all. I like my badasses with a soft centre. Mai’s is cherry brandy. Rich and luscious with a kirsch kick. Irresistible.
3. Life has been harsh to our heroines. When we meet them they are badly bruised, without being embittered. Dale has been betrayed and her finances decimated by her last long-term lover. Mai has forever suffered a double dollop of discrimination; for being both visibly butch and mixed race. I adored that she not only expressed her anger when treated despicably, but stood up for herself in shovelfuls. Not only that, she took Dale to task for failing to understand the fury she had every right to feel, and did so while retaining her dignity. She was magnificent in her rage, an utter goddess. I loved this woman. I may have mentioned that.
4. This tale has so many more treats to bring to the table. It was splendidly seasoned by the delightful duo of Noah and Eli; Dale’s son and father. Noah is a gem, the story is enriched by his very presence. I adored that Mai was able to connect with him in addition to drawing him out through their mutual love of cookery. He was a joy to spend time with, as was Eli – a fabulous old cove with Cpt. Jack plaits in his beard who tells it like it is – in that wondrous way older folks delight in doing so well.
While Brenda’s writing is always as emotionally rich as it is erotic, it was a real treat to have the former brought to the forefront in On The Square. I relished this more romantic story telling; it was Bailey’s Irish Cream after Tequila Slammers. Both delicious but serving the senses with their own distinct charms.
As hitherto mentioned, Ms Murphy is an award winning writer of erotica. She has always crafted fascinating women as diverse as they are deserving of the happy ever afters she gifts them. In this – the first novel in her new University Square Series – she proves that her characters can whip up a family soufflé as superlatively as they wielded a whip.
AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Square-University-Book-ebook/dp/B08FR64BTY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=P8C6I8W5OXRQ&dchild=1&keywords=on+the+square+by+brenda+murphy&qid=1600036471&s=digital-text&sprefix=on+the+squ%2Cdigital-text%2C310&sr=1-1