Grinders Corner by Ferris Craig and Charlene Keel

Grinders Corner by Ferris Craig and Charlene Keel
Publisher: Red Sky Presents
Genre: Historical (Vintage)
Length: Full (368 pgs)
Heat level: Sensual
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Rose

Grinders Corner explores the world of taxi dance halls in the 1960s in all its raw hilarity. Saucy, sassy and sexy, but not the least bit erotic, it follows the adventures of three young women trying to survive in the glitter palaces of Los Angeles.

Like lambs led to the slaughter, Uptown, a newly divorced English major with panic anxiety disorder and no job skills, Voluptua, an out of work actress, and Mouse, a former child star trying to make a comeback all struggle to make enough tickets to pay the bills. Things get complicated when Uptown falls in love with a customer who happens to be a priest.

In Grinders Corner it was a simpler time, long before gentlemen’s clubs and pole dancers, and it happened in a place where shy, lonely men could talk to women, even dance with them, with no fear of rejection—for about fifteen cents a minute.

This book is a hoot! This is not the standard rom/com… it’s a book where misfits come together and make for themselves a new reality!

I had no idea that “taxi dancers” still existed into the 60s. I thought it was exclusive to the 20s and 30s. It was interesting to get a glimpse of a different time and a different way of living.

The story is told from the point of view of Uptown; however, it is based on true events in the life of author Ferris H. Craig (Mouse, in the book).

The characters are wonderfully drawn and some of the experiences described in the book were truly “laugh out loud”-able. Uptown starts the job as a naïve woman but under the tutelage of her new friends, Mouse and Voluptua, soon gets an education like she never experienced before.

Kudos to the authors for such a fun, entertaining work!

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The Congressman’s Wife by Charlene Keel and Arie Pavlou

The Congressman’s Wife by Charlene Keel and Arie Pavlou
Publisher: Red Sky Presents
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (277 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Review by Rose

All Eden Bancroft has ever been to her high-profile politician husband is a trophy wife, born and bred for the part. She believes she has no choice but to play it—until she meets a talented chef and restaurant heir who shows her the real meaning of love.

The more her husband uses and belittles her, the more deeply Eden falls for Kaleb. Even with Mitchell’s congressional campaign in full swing, the lovers manage to find brief stolen moments together. When her husband is wounded by a bullet from an angry lobbyist, Eden must stay by his side. What she learns can set her free, if she has the courage to take a stand.

This is a well-written story that revolves around Eden Bancroft and Kaleb Stravos and their relationship. Throw in a bit of suspense surrounding her husband and his campaign and the story was interesting enough to hold this reader’s attention.

However, the beginning of the book I had issues with and it took me a while to warm up to Kaleb. I have an issue with the whole falling in love at one glance trope to start with, and Kaleb’s actions at the beginning of the story came across, to me, as a bit stalkerish. I didn’t care for him at all. However, I have to admit that he grew on me. And, he can cook… I was hungry through most of the book because of the amazing foods he would cook. I do wish the authors had spent more time developing their relationship, though. That is my main problem with the book.

Eden—I loved her and, although I am definitely not a fan of the whole infidelity storyline, if there ever were a case where it was okay, this is it. Her reaction to Kaleb was a bit more believable. She admittedly had an attraction to him, but it took her more than one glance to fall in love.

One of the best parts of the book was the election shenanigans. I’m a fan of the TV show Scandal and, at times, I was reminded of that, albeit on a milder note. It was interesting to see how all that played out.

I could see this as a movie—there were some really neat locations. If you don’t have an issue with love at first sight, you will probably really enjoy this book. There are some neat things going on and the writing is good.