Police chief Reese Daniels has been transferred to a resort town in Lake City, Colorado. She is used to a faster pace of life and takes her job as police chief seriously. However, she is only here to live out her one-year sentence after an indiscretion with the mayors’ wife. After a year, she will leave Lake City.
Forest Ranger M.Z. Morgan has lived in Lake City for a while and has made it home. She is considered one of the locals. She has a love-hate relationship with winter, but she likes the peace, quiet, scenery, and friendships she has made in this city. The only problem is, she is the single lesbian in the town. The new easy on the eyes brooding sheriff may change that, but Chief Daniels has made it clear she is only there for a short while, and nothing can transpire between them.
In a small town where everybody knows everybody’s business, Reese, unable to bear the loneliness, suggested they have a no-strings-attached, casual sex arrangement. Morgan agrees to the bargain on the condition that they are discreet and no kissing. Besides, it will be an excellent way to keep warm in the long uneventful winter months. It is temporary, so what if it is the best sex they’ve had? They can’t make more of it.
M.Z. Morgan is a loveable person, and we first meet her as she is struggling with the decision of putting down her beloved dog. You get to see that she is down to earth, funny (without trying to be funny), sensitive, and an overall enjoyable character. Morgan has been working as a forest ranger for some years now and loves her job, with the exception of cross-country skiing. She has accepted this small town even though she is the only lesbian in the area. Everyone she connects us adores her; she is the town sweetheart.
Reese Daniels is broody and aloof, and she has no desire to make friends. She is just here to serve her sentence for a year and leave. Reese loved her previous job as Police Chief in a busier resort area, mayor’s wife notwithstanding. She is having a hard time adjusting to this sleepy town that doesn’t even have a jail cell. Chief Daniels is now the woman in charge and will do her best to make the most of her time here. And, she is now the second lesbian in a the area where gossip travels fast.
The Writing Style
Gerri Hill knows how to draw you into her characters. The first thing she does is makes them relatable. You can easily see yourself as either of these characters or see them as people you know. She can paint a picture of a small town until you feel like you are there, or you must visit. She loves winter and small-towns, and we’re here for that ride.
Hill knows how to take the readers from 0 degrees to 100 with steamy scenes. The sex scenes are hot, and the chemistry is off the charts.
The characters are relatable. The built-up is sweet, and the dialog is funny and witty.
Abby Craden, need I say more? As always, she gave a masterful standing ovation performance. This book has been around for a while but finally made it to audio. When you first read the book it’s like drawing an outline, when you listen to Abby Craden narrate it, its like filling in your outline and adding color to the painting.
Her ability to voice many characters and make them distinguishable from each other is incredible. I didn’t struggle to figure out who was who. I listened to this in one sitting, and many things were ignored that day. She is one of those narrators who can bring any book to life with her performance.
The narrator is a big pro for this audiobook. Anytime I see a book with Gerri Hill and Abby Craden, it’s a must listen and a heavenly match.
The setting of this book is also fun. You want to read this with hot chocolate and feel warm and snuggly. I like that it has low angst (this may not be a pro for others).
The side characters are hilarious and keep the story going. You have the two gossiping old ladies, a wannabe police chief, a café that turns into a bar after 2 pm, a best friend and a progressive small town playing matchmaker for the only lesbians in the area. It doesn’t get any better than that.
The ending was abrupt and felt like quickly wrapping up the story.
You should read this book if you are looking for a low angst, engaging, small-town, no-strings-attached romance, so basically, everyone should read this book. If you read it in the summer, you will crave winter. If you read it in the winter, grab a hot cocoa, and get cozy.
Excerpt from No Strings by Gerri Hill
“She finally talked you into coming over, huh?” Reese said without taking her eyes off the magazine she’d been reading.
“She’s trying to play matchmaker, I’m afraid.” Morgan slid into the booth opposite her. “Along with Tina. I’m fairly certain it’s a conspiracy.”
Reese’s eyebrows shot up. “With me?”
“Of course with you.”
“Who’s Tina again?”
“She works with me. Seasonal. She and her husband are good friends of mine.”
“I see.” She tossed the magazine aside and folded her hands together. “And what do you think about this…this matchmaking?”
Morgan laughed. “I told them you weren’t my type.”
“That’s right. I’m brooding or something. Isn’t that what you said?”
Morgan spun her mug between her hands. “Actually, you thought I wanted to sleep with you and you politely said you weren’t interested.”
Reese looked across the table and met her eyes. “Speaking of that, perhaps we should revisit that conversation.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, maybe we should reconsider.”
Morgan’s eyes widened. “Reconsider sleeping together? Are you serious?”
Reese shrugged. “Why not?”
“For one, you weren’t interested, remember?”
“I’m not interested in dating anyone, no.”
Morgan studied her. “And why is that? Not that I want to date you either,” Morgan quickly clarified. “Dating leads to being a couple. That leads to living together.”
“Have a problem with monogamy, do you?”
“No, no. That’s not it. It’s just a big cycle is all. You live together a few years, you grow bored, you split up, you start all over with someone else and do the same thing. I just don’t see the point.”
“That’s crazy. The point is, if you fall in love with someone, you want to be with them, which means living together.”
“Yes, well, I’m not interested in that.”
“But you are interested in sex?”
Reese smiled. “I like you. I think you like me. We’re both of age and single.”
“So…so you want to have sex…with me?”
“It’s the middle of winter and I’m thinking we’re both bored out of our minds already. I know I am. What harm would there be for us to get together on a cold night and release a little pent-up energy? No strings. Just a physical, sexual relationship.”
Morgan stared at her, stunned by her words. “And you’re serious?”
“Look, if the idea of sleeping with me is disgusting, just say so. I mean, we’re friends. Or we’re becoming friends. So if you think we can’t still be friends—”
“With sex on the side?”
“Oh, my God! I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. I’ve never done anything like that before.”
“Yet you have sex with a perfect stranger?”
“I was drunk. And lonely.” She leaned forward.
“So would this be like a once a week thing or what?”
Reese picked up her soggy paper coaster and twirled it between her fingers. “I don’t know. Whenever we like, I guess.”
Morgan grinned. “So, do we have a secret sign? You know, to let the other one know?”
“So now you’re making fun?”
“No. I’m just shocked that I’m actually considering this. Because you know, I’m not certain I even like you.”
“Now that’s not true.”
“No, it’s not, I guess. I haven’t thrown my beer in your face yet because of this proposition.”
Reese leaned closer, her voice low. “Look, if we try it and find it’s not going to work, then no one has to know. We’ll just go about our business. If it’s enjoyable to both of us, then what’s the harm? I’m here eleven more months then I’m gone. And frankly, the thought of spending eleven months without female company is not all that appealing.”
“Tell me, Chief Daniels, do you make these kinds of propositions often?”
Reese looked up as Jeff brought over her dinner. “Thanks, Jeff.”
“Sure thing. Can I get you anything else? Morgan?”
“I’ll need another beer, Jeff.” Or perhaps she should switch to something stronger. A no strings affair with Reese Daniels? Good Lord…
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781615231744
- Publisher: Bella Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio
- Narrator: Abby Craden
- Gerri Hill Online
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