Cover Image: Back to September

Back to September

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Member Reviews

A cozy and fluffy feelgood lesbian romance between a bookshop owner and a romance author. While this wasn't particularly memorable reading it was like drinking hot cup of chocolate on a cold night, warm and comforting.
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3.75-4 stars - Melissa Brayden has become one of those authors I can rely on for a good time. She writes well, her characters are usually very likable and her books always give me that happy-cozy feeling. You can never go wrong with Brayden and Back to September doesn’t disappoint.

Hannah Sheppard owns A Likely Story, an independent bookshop in downtown Providence. The shop has seen better days and Hannah is afraid she won’t be able to keep it open for much longer. At this point, she is ready to try anything to bring in more customers, but when Luna suggests they put up a display of Parker Bristow’s new romance novel in the window, Hannah isn’t convinced. But a window display turns into a book signing and pretty much all of Hannah’s dreams come true.

Hannah and Parker have great chemistry. They hit it off right from the moment they meet and you can’t help but root for them. I usually like 1st person POV, but I would have liked to see the 2 different perspectives or it be told in third person so I could get a little bit more insight into what Parker was thinking/feeling.

With Back to September, Brayden delivers the drama and angst. Her books are usually pretty sweet and formulaic (and I actually don’t mind too much when it comes to her work), but with this one, she seems to have challenged herself to come up with something a little different and it’s definitely worth it. However, I felt at times that the angst was a little bit forced and not really believable.

As with any other Brayden books, I definitely recommend you give this one a try. Especially if you like bookstores, small towns and angsty romances.

***Thanks to Bold Strokes Books for providing me with a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review
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Can we all take a second to jump up and down that Melissa Brayden has a new book out? You can stay seated but know, I jumped up and down with excitement and glee. The books Brayden writes just bring me so much happiness and joy. I live for her stories, her amazing characters, and their witty dialogue. Back to September does not let me down. What a wonderful book!

Hannah Shephard’s book store is in trouble. It’s in the red and even though it’s in an amazing location in Providence, it just does not have enough foot traffic to keep the lights on much longer. Hannah is a bit of a loner. She keeps to herself and her circle of friends, while amazing is very small. She likes it that way, she enjoys her solitude and thinks other than that her business woes life is perfect just the way it is. Luna, a friend/employee talks her boss into taking a chance on romance.

Parker Bristow is the queen of romance. Her books are best sellers and she has become a superstar in Hollywood. She is known for her books, her looks, and her on-screen personality. Parker’s people book her a book signing at A Likely Story, Hannah’s shop. The rest is history!

Out two mains hit it off right from the first meeting. They just have that chemistry, they know it and you as the reader can just feel it jumping right of the page. One problem, they don’t live in the same towns or move in the same circles. Time and distance keep pulling these two apart. You follow their journey navigating fears and self-doubt. No doubt you will feel emotionally tied to these two. Brayden writes in such a way you as the reader feel their struggles and share in their joy.

Back to September is a delightful story, with a lot of a bit of heart and a little bit of heartache. As always, anything by Melissa Brayden is worth reading, and this is one is no exception. As always I am excited about the next one!
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I think I would have enjoyed Back to September more as a movie. It was a really cute story but I'm finding it difficult for contemporary books to hold my interest lately. Regardless of my personal preferences/experience I recommend picking this book up and maybe we'll get that movie one day! 😉
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5 Stars – Brayden is Back in Back to September!

For whatever reason and I can’t remember specifically why - I couldn’t get into Brayden’s Seven Shores series. For the most part I loved her previous books.  The first book of the series, "Eyes like Those" I stopped and started but I couldn’t finish. I even tried the audiobook.  I was so disappointed; I didn’t pick up any of her new books. Therefore, I haven’t read a new Brayden in quite a while.

This book came up on my Netgalley list and I decided to give it a shot. Brayden is Back in Back to September!  I was so happy because I could not put it down.  

Hannah Shephard owns a small bookshop in Providence, RI, just a couple of blocks from the main drag. An ideal location. She did well the first few years, but now the bookshop is in trouble. She has two longtime part time employees, Luna and Kurt.  They are loyal to Hanna and love working there, despite the minimal pay.  Luna convinces Hannah to request THE best-selling romance author, Parker Bristow to stop by for a book signing during her tour.. In truth, Hannah admits she is a book snob. She doesn’t understand how people can love the whole romance genre.  But they sell a lot and to her surprise, Parker agrees to visit her store. Needless to say, the book signing brings in a large crowd of book buyers and even a local TV news crew.  Parker is not just an author, but a celebrity with a large twitter following and a media darling.  Hannah is impressed that Parker is as kind as she is beautiful.

This is told in Hannah’s point of view.  I think it was very effective to really get to know Hannah and yet Parker is sometimes a bit of a mystery. Or in other words, you sometimes you just want to ask Parker “What the hell were you thinking?”

I loved all the characters. You want to be in Hannah’s small circle of friends and I suppose you are when you read this book. I want Hannah or Lola to match me with my perfect book(s).  You’ll probably disagree, but Hannah and her sister, Bo reminded me of the relationship of the TV series sisters Kara/Supergirl and Alex. (This stuff pops into your (my) head when you are sleep deprived).

Hannah’s Perfect Match also reminded me of my favorite Podcast – Modern Mrs. Darcy’s “What Should I read Next?  Anne Bogel asks a reader every week, what are 3 books they loved and one book they “didn’t” and she will give them recommendations. Granted I don’t read the majority of the books they discuss but I just enjoy listening to book lovers talk books. https://modernmrsdarcy.com/what-should-i-read-next/

Another side note - Sad news. One of my favorite independent bookstores is very close to shutting down if they don't find a buyer ASAP. It's called Mysterious Galaxy and it specializes in Mysteries and SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal etc. They would get some big name author signings. Many times because they supported authors early in their careers and they remained loyal.

My one quibble – I don’t understand the cover. The book title is clever, but the book cover? Where I live when I think of September, I think HOT, sweltering heat. Not knit hats. Or maybe she is remembering the last September in mid winter?  Whatever, read this book next.
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Reading a Melissa Brayden book is like hanging out with your best friend from college while you watch Fleabag and eat ice cream on the couch: delicious comfort. 

This is the story of Hannah, a struggling bookshop owner and introvert who lives in Providence. Enter Parker Bristow, world-famous romance novelist, and internet personality. When Parker comes to Hannah's shop for a signing she becomes a catalyst for big changes for Hannah's store and her life. What follows is an excellent push-and-pull romance full of angst, heartache, twists, and tenderness. 

When I started reading this book, I wasn't pulled in immediately. I found the main character, Hannah, a little too much like a Disney princess, and some of the early supporting characters also bothered me. It is a true testament to Melissa Brayden that by 70% into this book every character had won me over.

My initial hesitation about how quickly the story seemed to move at first faded away once I got further into the story--it was obvious that events had to happen at that pace to set up the rest of the novel. Masterful.
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Wow.. This book!! I have never seen Melissa Brayden bring the angst on as she did in this one. And so so sexy. The chemistry between Hannah and Parker was off the chart from the 1st time they met at Hanna’s bookstore, A Likely Story. Hannah’s store is in trouble. Luna, her employee, suggested to have a book signing to get more traffic. Hannah doesn’t read romance novels but Parker Bristow a romance writer with a new book out is doing book signings, so she signs up for it. Enter Parker. Beautiful, engaging and totally down to earth. They go out after the signing and sparks fly. You never see a sex scene so early in a Brayden book. And it was hot! I remember listening to Melissa talk on a panel at Clexa-Con. She was saying that she was writing a book where the MC’s “get to it right away”. Yep, it was this book. I think this is Melissa Brayden’s best book ever.
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A famous romance author does a book signing at a quaint, cozy shop in Providence, RI. Mega fireworks ignite between the celebrity and the down to earth store owner. There’s plenty of steam and good banter that’ll leave you grinning. Back and forth angst. Just enough humor to keep it from getting heavy. 

Save this one for when you’re feeling down or out of sorts because it’s warm breezes and sunshine most of the way. Not to say it’s all fluff because Brayden is a class A wordsmith who can write memorable characters and tight passages as well as anybody. Expect a good cry because that always makes the HEA that much sweeter. I have the advantage of only having read three Brayden books so her writing is still new to me and it’s bliss.
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Another in a long line of wonderful stories. This author does not disappoint. You will fall in love with the characters and the whole world provided to you.
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'ARC provided by both NetGalley and The Publisher in exchange for a honest review' So to start off, Melissa Brayden is probably my number one Author and I have read pretty much every book she has done. That being said , this is another stellar read that I found hard to put down. I did have a couple issues being the first person style of writing as I would have liked to have had a better idea of what was going through the second leads mind at times. I think the story was well thought out and even though most know the way things go in these kinds of books the author threw a couple curve balls to mix things up. Another great read I highly recommend it and I look forward to her next book "To the Moon and Back" due out too far in the future.
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Brayden does it again with this earnest romance between a bookstore owner and an author of a genre that she doesn't read. It all started one day for Hannah Shepard when her shop assistant insists that she put romance superstar Parker Bristow's new book on her shop's one display area. Then she finds out that Bristow is doing a book tour, and in an attempt to help her failing shop, books her. What she wasn't quite ready for was Parker's down to earth personality that is at complete odds with the persona presented to the world. They begin an easy friendship that has Hannah trying new things, and Parker showing up in unexpected places, and the potential for more.

What I enjoy most about the two Brayden books I have read is that while the answer may seem simple - Parker and Hannah have connected and care about each other deeply - the journey to get them to a place where they can actually commit to each other is tough and full of roadblocks. Both Hannah and Parker are flawed people, and they show it in unexpected places, yet those emotional pieces are well earned and don't feel sudden. Also, the story is told entirely through Hannah's point of view, so there were some funny asides that gave the story that extra amount of depth.

Brayden fans will most likely rejoice, as she seems to have done it again with this novel, and romance readers will enjoy the earnest romance, with lovely characters, romantic gestures, and some great dramatic beats. Highly recommended.
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When I first started reading Back to September I had a first impression of the book as a fluffy romance with a nice setting in a book store similiar to You've Got Mail but with lesbian characters.  But part way through the book my impression changed to that of a book and characters with much more substance.  The last third of the book was especially impactful with the will they/won't they get together for the long term and the reasons that were holding Parker back.  The chemistry between Parker and Hannah was immediate and something they never experienced with another person.  The dialogue was witty and the use of characters such as pop star Carissa was inspired.  

I would recommend this book to other readers, but don't give up after the first third of the book.  The substance of the book, along with the angst, and hot love scenes improves incredibly after that point.  

I received an ARC from Bold Strokes Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Hannah Shephard is a bookshop owner who loves her uncomplicated and risk-averse life. Her bookstore is having issues and she might be forced to close it for good. When she invites world-renowned author romance novelist Parker Bristow her luck is about to change. But what isn’t in her plans is their mutual attraction and chemistry which leads to a shared evening and the possibility of more…

You cannot go wrong with Melissa Brayden’s books. They all do what it says on the tin, they will provide you with romance, hotness, and entertainment. Well-written dialogues, funny banter and off-the-charts chemistry are guaranteed in her novels. Consistently you get what you are looking for, it never fails. No wonder she is one of the top lesfic authors.

Both main characters are well developed and credible, in many ways they are opposites, but they share a common love of literature. I liked the premise that the mains didn’t agree on the genre of books they enjoyed, there was a good discussion regarding the value of romance books and their authenticity in the portrayal of love. I especially liked the way Hannah talks about matching a book to a reader, that’s exactly the tagline of LezReviewBooks.com website: ‘Find your lesbian book match’, I swear we didn’t copy each other!

The secondary characters were well written and distinctive, some of them with funny little quirks that bring them to life. A very good secondary character is Hannah’s step-sister Bo, I particularly enjoyed the parallel story with her own love interest and how both sisters dealt with relationship conflicts. Another great secondary character is pop star Carissa who is very funny in an infuriating way. She’s the protagonist of a hilarious scene that will stay in my memory for a long time, this is the first time Ms. Brayden had me laughing out loud, I really liked it, she should try it more.

The rest is pure Brayden style: hot chemistry, scorching sex scenes, a bit of angst and romance galore. ‘Back to September’ won’t disappoint her fans.

Overall, a very entertaining, lesbian romantic book. 4.5 stars.

ARC provided by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See all my reviews at www.lezreviewbooks.com
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Four stars for my very first Melissa Brayden book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and flew through it with in a day. 
This year I’ve been reading a lot more of the lesfic romance and have to say that Back to September has been one of my favourites.

I am very impressed with Braydens style of writing and how she was able to immerse the reader into the love story that is Hannah and Parker. There was a form of insta love between the two but that didn’t really matter because it was so sweet and perfect to who they are as characters.

Although Hannah is a great main character, I do have to say that I liked Parker just that little bit more. I had a definite soft spot for her.

Definitely an enjoyable read that I recommend if you are a fan of lesfic romance.
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Melissa Brayden just delivers with every book and I've happen to have read every one of them.  Her characters always have wit, charm, intelligence and a natural banter to draw you into her characters and make them likeable. 
Hannah Shephard owns a bookstore in Providence. The bookstore is struggling financially which has Hannah worried. Parker Bristow is an author of best selling romance novels and very famous.  Parker has just released a new novel and is doing a promotional tour. When Hannah's employee suggests she invites Parker to do a signing at her shop and attract some much needed attention to the store, Hannah never dreams that would come to fruition. When Hannah and Parker meet, Hannah realises they are polar opposites in personalities so any type of romance is completely unexpected. 
Hannah and Parker have such great chemistry,  just typical of all Brayden's characters. Brayden excels at is angst and there's plenty of that between the MC's. This is just another great read by Melissa Brayden, I thoroughly recommend it.
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This was a fantastic "love finds a way" type story. I enjoyed seeing the relationship blossom early an progress over time. It kept me engaged the whole way through. 

The characters are well written and interesting. I even liked the side characters a great deal. They had a lot of personality. The main characters worked well together.
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I enjoyed this book by Melissa Brayden - the plot wasn't predictable and each twist added a new element to the story and kept me engaged! The chemistry between the two main characters is palpable and keeps you rooting for them both. I enjoyed that each character had their own flaws - although Parker's flaws made her less likable to me, it did make for a more realistic romance. Overall a great read as usual. As with all Melissa Brayden's books, I would recommend!
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Hannah is a book store owner who prefers the classics to romance. She agrees to host a book signing event with a popular romance novelist. Parker seethes sensuality as she connects with fans at her book signings and over social media. She meets Hannah and is taken with the beautiful, reluctant romantic. Melissa Brayden has a way of emotionally connecting us to her characters. From struggles of life to delight of falling in love you will route for these two. This is a wonderful book for romance lovers.
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I adored every second of reading the beautiful story. I’ve read every single Melissa Brayden book ever published and it astounds me how every book she has written is flawless. And this book is no different, in fact, it packed a few new punches that had me in my element. 

This is my new favourite Brayden book. Grab some good vino, chocolate, a box of tissues and a blanket and settle in for the night because this is a book you’re not gonna want to put down.
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First book of Melissa Brayden which i DNF. I usually enjoy her book. I prefer to read books with 2 characters views. I know it weird 😂
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