Review: Threads of Desire by KM Jackson

There were surprisingly few unread books on my Kindle with less than 20 reviews, but Threads of Desire (Creative Hearts Book 3) by K.M. Jackson was one of them. I have not read the previous two books in the Creative Hearts series, but that didn’t matter. Threads of Desire works as a stand alone, but I suspect there are some Easter Eggs for those who have read the first two in the series.

I Threads of Desire is a contemporary romance with a friends to lovers trope and is the sort of story that can only take place in New York City, and I mean that in the best possible way. The heroine, Gabby, works in the fashion industry, and the hero, Nick, is in finance. The author, K.M. Jackson presents a lived in New York City that is realistic and reminds me of what I miss from the brief time I lived in the NYC area. The city was my second favorite character in the book, behind Gabby.

So often in the romance genre, the characters are all fabulously wealthy and successful, or at least the hero is. Part of my enjoyment in this book came from the characters’ professional struggles, which made them far more relatable than a billionaire-vampire-shiek. I particularly found myself drawn to Gabby, a curvy designer in the size zero fashion world. The author doesn’t reveal Gabby’s size and she doesn’t need to. I love that Gabby is happy and confident with who she is physically. She doesn’t need to lose weight to fit into some off the rack dress. Gabby makes her own style. The author’s description of design and fabrics seemed to come from a place of knowledge that ran deeper than watching a few episodes of “Project Runway.”  Threads of Desire tapped into the same awe I get when watching “Project Runway.” I may not be fashionable myself, but I love witnessing creativity at work. This book gave me a glimpse behind the curtain.

I didn’t love the hero in quite the same way as I did other aspects of the book. But all in all, this was an enjoyable by an author I’ll seek out again. I discovered I have another book by K.M. Jackson on my kindle, Bounce. The short tease for Bounce offered at the end of Threads of Desire has earned that book a promotion to the top of my to-be-read list once I’m through with the January Project. Bounce has a lot of great reviews already.

Review: The Confection Connection by Monica Tillery

After one false start, I’m finally posing my first review for The January Project 2015. First up, the brand-spanking-new contemporary romance The Confection Connection by Monica Tillery.

The Confection Connection conforms to not only the essential element of romance – the happily-ever-after but also to a tight focus on the primary romance and how the characters grow and change within and because of that relationship. In this case, Carly Piper and Michael Welch are rival bakers from the same geographic region who once competed for top cake honors in an eliminations style cooking show. A high profile wedding sets them in conflict but in a misunderstanding, the bride-to-be decides they are a couple and she wants her wedding cake made by them.

Ms. Tillery aptly handles the conventions of romance and the path from “They hate each other” to “They love each other” is a believable and satisfying journey.  The characters are complex and well rounded. Michael in particular will remind readers of some of their favorite Food Network personalities. The bride-to-be grew on me after my initial dismissal of her as a crackpot. She is a fun secondary character handled deftly, not obtrusive, but integral to the plot. If you watch a lot of cooking shows on TV, put down the remote and pick up this book, especially when something boring is on, i.e. a recipe not involving sugar or butter.

From the cover and the character professions, I expected this would be more of a foodie book.  For better or worse, it did not make me run to my closest cupcakery for a buttercream fix. When I read food scenes in any book, I want to salivate and vicariously enjoy forbidden treats like peanut butter (I’ve written elsewhere about food allergies in my family).  That’s more my issue as a reader than the fault of the author.