Cover Image: Not This Time

Not This Time

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Member Reviews

This novel falls under the “second-chance” category of romance.  The two main characters are Maddie and Sofia.  They are in an all-girl band and are hoping for their big break to come soon.  However, Sofia makes the decision to go off on her own leaving her band friends feeling betrayed.  In addition, Maddie and Sofia were in a romantic relationship and is hurt and confused that Sofia made with decision without even talking to her first.

Five year later, Sofia is a super-pop star.  However, now she is tired of non-stop touring and being told what types of songs to write and sing.  In addition, she has been in a fake relationship with a man because her manager suggested that it would not be good for her to be gay since her target audience are young people. 

Maddie has since moved on and has left the music world behind.  She lives in Miami with her young child and owns a successful interior decorating company.  As the story unfolds, Maddie is hired by Sofia to completely decorate her mansion in Miami.  The twist to the story is that Maddie is unaware initially that her new client is her old lover and Maddie is not told who runs the interior decorating firm. Of course, the chemistry is still present between them.  The story will lead us through how they are able to bridge the emotional gap and not hurt Sofia’s music career.

Ms. Binfield has written a good story that readers will enjoy.  Maddie’s character sends us through a wide range of emotions, and I was rooting for her happiness.  I would be remiss if I did not mention the secondary characters because they, too, help to cause a great deal of the emotional ups and downs in the story.  There is Noah, the fake boyfriend who thinks he is really her boyfriend, Sofia’s mother who is the typical backstage mother, and Mateo, Maddie’s cute little son. 

I recommend Not This Time and rate it with 4 out of 5 stars.  I look forward to reading more of Ms. Binfield’s future books.

I received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This was really fun, sexy and easy-reading! Loved the focus on LGBT in the music industry and the ending was so hopeful and warm.
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For some strange reason I was feeling like I'm reading One Direction fan fiction but with female characters. I didn't love the story, but also I didn't hate it.
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3.5/5 Stars 

Not This Time is a really fun second chance sapphic romance between two women who were formerly in the same girlband. I really enjoyed the two main characters, Sofia and Madison, and I liked their different complexities and quirks. In general I'm quite a fan of second chance romances and this one did scratch the itch I had for some good old fashioned adult romance, but I did have a wee bit of a problem with the pacing - particularly in the second half of the book I felt the story dragging on a little as so much of the conflict/hesitations between Sofia and Madison felt extremely repetitive and I honestly felt like the story could have been cut shorter by at least 50 pages or so. I also wished that there had been a teeny bit more of the women's respective jobs in the book as it felt like Madison's interior decorating plotline got a little bit lost among the romance and honestly, I'm just a sucker for books with singers in them and it's purely self-indulgence that made me want to see more of Sofia's life as a singer! Overall, a fun, quick read and I'm looking forward to reading more by the author in the future!
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When the conflict of heart desires and music industry occur, Maddie and Sofie must try and fight the odds or lose each other trying. After losing each years ago, they meet again during different circumstances and find the fire is still lit.

While the drama was similar compared to other lesbian romance novels, the plot and character development were what captured my attention to not put this book down. The accuracy and struggle in the public eye were enticing and an excellent read. Would definitely recommend this book.
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That’s in exchange of an honest review that I received an ARC of "Not This Time" by MA Binfield from BSB (via NetGalley). 
So, here it is !!! 

My rating : 2.5 ⭐️

The story sets mainly in Miami, Florida and focuses on burnt out highly popular singer Sofia Flores, and Madison Martin, Sofia’s former bandmate in America’s hottest girl band, turned interior designer & now with a 3 years old son. Once upon a time Sofia and Madison were more than bandmates … Their biggest secret was that they were lovers and madly in love ― the forever and ever kind ― until Sofia told Madison she was going solo. After five years apart, the universe and its sick sense of humor make them meet again, when it turns out that Sofia is Madison’s new client.

MA Binfield really has a great potential as a still new author. I really LOVED her first book, "One Small Step", when I read it at the beginning of last year … Good writing style and likeable characters with a great chemistery were found in it … So, I was really impatient to give a try to her second novel … But, nope, the "magic" of this new (and quite short) book of hers didn’t work for me the way I hoped it would, not this time … because I really struggled through this reading …

What to say about the MCs ?? => Well, for sure that none of them was likeable & the dynamic between them was, at best, weird and I’m probably not the only one who had a very hard time believing that their "love" for each other went any deeper than physical attraction & sex… And the intimate scenes – nope, I can’t even call them "love scenes" – were not as well written as they could have been, they were definitely not engaging & the (I’d guess, supposedly erotic) first encounter after their reunion (the one which happened in Paris) was even pretty unhieginic … Seriously, I wasn’t able to connect with either of the them. Madison was very annoying (especially with her fast judgment and her propention to accuse & also the poor image she projects about bi people : a woman breaks her heart, so, she get drunk, seduce guys and sleep with them (and ends up pregnant) ... Seriously ?? ) and Sofia/Sofi/Sof was just tiresome with all her useless contradictions, her more than numerous lies (beginning to those to herself …). & her imaginary body issues. OK, that last one was a minor part of the novel but having such body image issues seems hard to believe for such a popular singer who could have easily afforded to use professional assistance to get rid of them … Maybe it could have been interesting to explore this arc (since Sofia's Mom did everything to maintain this biased image) which is, in this case, a missed opportunity … it could have counteract some stereotypes and given them an opportunity to fight some battles together, and allow Madison to show (at least a part of) her love for Sofia. Well, if you can believe that they once were in love. Personally I’m still wondering why they would have broken-up if it was, indeed, the forever and ever kind … It doesn’ make any sense …

I found the permanent switch between "Sofia", "Sofi" and "Sof" very irritating because not consistent. From my POV, choosing one name only for each situation – one professional and one personal -- for the MC would have been better than switching between the three all the novel long.

Gosh … The entire Noah situation was just totally ridiculous and definitely both irritating and boring. It would have been a story set in the past, like 30 years ago, I would have understood (well, at least, I guess I would have …) but the excuses given by Sofia and her people for NOT coming out and play this stupid masquarade seem totally unbielavable in the current days … especially when you know than, in real life and between others, there are more and more (for example) former Disney "favorite" singers coming out (wherever they place themself in the spectrum) … So why would it be an issue for a singer as popular as Sofia is supposed to be ??
It saddens me but, especially compared to the author’s great first novel, the story about this felt really "flat" despite the tons of drama put in it … and in addition, it was full of repetitions. It’s really hard to believe (even if it’s actually the case) that both books have been written by the same author ….

TBH, my favorite character in the entire book is little Mateo, even if his introduction felt as flat as the rest since we didn’t see much of interactions of the kid with the grow-ups … I wish we could have had more scenes about him & I think it would have been more interesting to have more interactions between him and Sofia, he could have helped her in her struggle againt her poor body image since kids, usually, love people unconditionally … Maybe those scenes existed in the very first draft and have been cut afterwards, which would be a shame if it happened this way because cuting them would have cut our chance to find a genuine interest in the MCs & see a human, loving and maybe also compassionate side of them …

If I had to make a very short and quite different version of my review, it’d be something like this :
- Did I enjoy this book? => Not really. Sadly it wasn't up my alley like I thought it would be.
- Did I find the characters believable? => Nope &, in addition, they were not likeable and even very annoying …
- Is this book now included in my "must be re-read"-list? => Nope !
- Will I purchase the paperback? => Nope !
- Would I read another book by this author? => Yes because she’s a promising author that I appreciate a lot and I don’t want to stay on this disappointing experience. I just hope that her next novel will meet, at least, the quality level of her first one …
- Would I recommend this book => I’ll let people use their free will to read the novel, or not …

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I can see why others might like this book, but it just wasn’t for me. First of all, Maddie’s character had a kid in tow and if the book description had mentioned him, I probably wouldn’t have read it. Nothing against kids, but I was expecting more rock and roll and less domestic bliss but it's hard to be rock and roll with a toddler. At one point the pop star character says her life is hollow without the usual trappings of a relationship and babies. I just found it boring.
To make it even more boring, the main characters rehashed the past over and over again,  were repeatedly interrupted before their second first, kiss, and then managed to miss communicate their intentions multiple times nearly ending the relationship before it even gets started (again) multiple times.

If you like slow burning romance that is all in the characters’ heads and ends in domestic bliss, toddler in tow, this may the book for you, but it wasn’t the one for me.
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3.5 rounded up 
It was decent, but it wasn’t my type of story. 
Would definitely recommend to those I know would enjoy this.
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This was an enjoyable book. I liked how both protagonists struggle with similar and yet different things as well as the way their characters develop throughout the story: while Maddie's struggles root in her personal life, Sofia's root in her career. I hated some secondary characters, such as Noah (who I'm pretty sure was written in a way that the reader is supposed to dislike him) and Rosa, Sofia's homophobic mother who becomes 'okay' with her daughter being in a relationship with a woman at the end of the story., I'm not sure what the author expected us to think about her; she was written in an antagonist kind of way, although Sofia says several times that her mother isn't a monster even though she may seem and sound like one sometimes, and Rosa being okay with Sofia and Maddie dating felt like a redemption of some sort and it truly didn't feel that way for me. Realizing that YOUR DAUGHTER dating a woman is okay doesn't equal a redemption arc if she's been homophobic several times, only in this book. So, yeah, she's a bitch and I hate her.
I really enjoyed Ashley's character though. I personally didn't like Daya, but I get where she came from and thought her character well constructed: she does things that piss you off, but you can see she just wants to protect Maddie. Ashley, on the other hand, does all the right things, at least in the way I see it. I found Daya unreasonable at times, but Ashley felt like... the voice of reason, you know. Maybe because Daya herself was involved, as one of the bandmates Sofia supposedly used to get her way to the top, while Ashley was an outsider who was just worried about Maddie's happiness, as her sister, not someone who was personally a 'victim' of Sofia's actions. I also liked the development of Felix's character. I can't say I like him, but he wasn't a straight up homophobe, but he did recognise he didn't support Sofia like he should have and... well, he's an interesting one. Not saying he's a good person, but nicely written? Sure.
It uses a lot of 'internet' slang, abbreviations etc. which I didn't mind, but I have to say that I cringed when Noah said "okay, boomer" to Maddie. Not only because Noah's entire existence is cringe, but because... does he know what boomer means? They're both the same age and it was kind of ridiculous. I'm still not sure if that was supposed to portray how ridiculous Noah's character was or if it was the author's fault, but I had to address it. I cringed HARD. 
I also would've enjoyed it more if there were a little bit less sex scenes, but that's a personal preference, and it isn't so much as to make it the famous porn without plot or anything of the sorts, so, not a fault of the book or the author. All in all, the book has many soft scenes, but it can also show the characters as sad and also sexy, and troubling, and ill and making wrong decisions, fucking up and admiting their mistakes. These aspects made the characters feel real and multifaceted. 
If you're looking for an easy to read romance that also deals with heavy topics, but in a light manner, and that also has good F/F romance, then this is your calling: you should read this book. And with that, I finish my last review in 2020. Happy new year and hopefully, 2021 will be better and allow you to increase that feedback radio here on NetGalley because I know you're trying!
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This book was a real gem. It was somehow both sweet and angsty, creating a perfect mix of emotional and heartwarming. I was not necessarily hesitant going into this book, but second-chances romances tend to be a hit-or-miss for me. Some seem to fail to establish the love the characters have for each other in the past which is very important for this kind of romance. This book had absolutely no trouble in developing a deep, heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love between Maddie and Sofi. From the first few chapters, the extreme emotional charge and adoration between these women was so palpable. I had fallen in love with their relationship and was rooting for them even before they met for the first time in years. 

I absolutely love hollywood romances, but especially books about musicians. The tension between the craziness that is celebrity life and those left behind creates so much angst, I just love it!  It was especially angsty in this book considering Maddie was dropped from her music label while Sofi, here ex-band member, was having an extremely successful solo career. Both parties made so many mistakes, and the hurt was just pouring off the pages. Don't get me wrong, this book wasn't completely sad or angsty. The sweet scenes between Maddie and Sofi, as well as the very charming side-characters (especially Matteo, the cutie) helped balance the angst. All in all, this made the book emotional but also heartwarming, 

Since this is the first book I have read from M.A. Binfield, I am excited to read more from her. Knowing that this is only her second published book (or so Goodreads tells me), I am even more surprised at how well-written and emotional the book was. I can only imagine how many more great relationships she will construct in the future.
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Sofia and Madison are ex-girlfriends who meet 5 years after their girl group disbanded. Sofia is feeling burnt out  in her career as a solo singer and is burdened by the the demands of her mother, manager, and fake boyfriend. Madison is a single mother with a successful interior designer. With lingering feelings between them, they can't stay away from each other even though both feel hurt by the other person still. I like how you could see how much they love and care for each other. I felt Sofia was scared for the longest time and felt it was realistic for her to be able to stand up for herself once she has Madison back in her life. The plot wasn't perfect. The fake boyfriend wasn't really necessary in my opinion and I felt Sofia could have told Madison sooner about him. There was a lot of doubt on Madison's part because Sofia put her career ahead of anything else for the longest time. The book was a good read overall.
4/5 stars
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I love you and always will. I promise to make room and time for you in my life. I like reads about girl bands and I was looking forward to seeing how this read would unfold. Sofia is driven to be a successful and famous musician with her bandmates. Along the way, she finds love with Madison, one of her bandmates. Their relationship has to be kept secret because it would have a negative impact on the band's image. After misunderstandings, misinformation, and perceived betrayal, the band breaks up and so do Madison and Sofia.

Five years later, Sofia and Madison are brought back together and the pull is still there and so is the love. Madison has moved on from the judgmental and demanding music world and for the most part is happy. Sofia is a successful solo artist, working hard to stay relevant. Madison wants Sofia to take some time away from the tour which may be seen as pushy but in actuality, it is friendship and caring. Sofia is tired physically, mentally, and emotionally and it seems that Madison is the only one that sees it. A good read for pop music and I will love you always fans.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. It's a fantastic romance. I loved that music is such a big part of the plot.

Sofia is a pop star but she's tired of the life she's living, she hates living a lie every day with her fake boyfriend. One day, after she collapses on stage, she takes a few days off in her beach house. And that's a great opportunity for her to meet her house designer and tell her how she wants everything. But she doesn't know the designer is Madison, her ex-bandmate and ex-lover. Madison, former singer, is starting a design business and she accepts a job in a wonderful beach house. She has no idea that the house belongs to Sofia until they meet again the first day of her job at the house. Is this fate giving them a second chance?

A romance mixed with music? Yes, please! This was really good. I loved Mateo's character (who wouldn't?) but Sofia and Maddie were great too. Even though I thought it was a bit predictable, it was a wonderful story.
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I gave this book an honest try.  The synopsis sounded interesting -  about two women who were members of a band, their music, and a second chance romance.  The story started out with a prologue (something of which I'm not a fan), and then jumped several years in the future.  Unfortunately, it then slowly, very slowly, continued.  I didn't find either Sofia or Madison interesting women.  They spent a lot of time going over and over their past break-up.  The miscommunication between them was annoying.  I kept waiting for something to happen.  Maybe it finally did, but I gave up about half way through.
I wish I could recommend this book, but not this time.
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Netgalley Review:

Not this time was my first book by M.A. Binfield. I thought it was fun, fast, and enjoyable. It is a good second-chance plotline with the usual back and forth before getting together. The writing was good. I think as far as plot, it could have relied a bit less on the -being interpreted right before saying the truth- scene, but I definitely kept turning the page. I will definitely lookout for more from M.A. Binfield! 3 stars.
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I was given a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The story has so much - first love, first heartbreak, first betrayal, coming back together and making tough choices to find happiness.

Sofia and Madison are musicians who fell in love, deeply and passionately. Unfortunately for them, their record company would not allow them to be public about their relationship.

As often happens in life, their careers took different paths., misunderstandings took them away from each other and trust issues clouded their judgement.

Flash forward, Sofua is a pop princess in a contractually binding faux relationship with a boy pop singer. She is closeted, tied to a person she doesn't care for and working a punishing schedule in an effort to sell more and more albums.

Madison reenters Sofia's life and the rest of their story is about facing past and present demons.

This is a great love story - one many people can relate to.  Should I come out, how will it affect my family, how will it affect my career, what am I willing to do for my happiness?

Sex scenes are tasteful, characters are likeable.
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I’m not sure why but this one really surprised me. I try not to dwell on the book blurbs - only reading them when deciding which ones to review - so whilst I remembered that this was about a musician, I wasn’t expecting a second chance romance with as much passion and chemistry as I got.

The book opens with a lot of heat. We meet Sofia and Maddie at the point of the band they are both in breaking up due to Sofia making the decision to go solo. They don’t want to break up but it feels like a lost cause. I have to admit after that much steam I wasn’t quite sure where you could take the rest of the book - but Binfield does a great job of keeping up the narrative.

When we cut to the present day, Maddie is no longer in the business, she’s running her own interior design company. By chance she’s contracted for a job that ends up being for Sofia’s house. The universe bringing them back together forces Sofia to look carefully at the career she’s made for herself and whether she’s happy with her life choices.

I loved the push-pull of them getting back together. There’s lots of feelings between the two, from love, to hesitance and everything in between. The normally annoying lack of communication makes sense in this narrative.

There’s quite a cast of secondary characters - the majority of which all of have cringeworthy moments. Maddie’s son is absolutely adorable and I liked how the other band member we meet, Daya, is honest about the past with both Sofia and Maddie. I also really enjoyed the few moments Maddie has with her sister Ashley. 

I really enjoyed the romance and narrative of this story even though it does fall into some of the typical tropes. I think all wlw romance fans would find something enjoyable in this one.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This has been a normal romance; the truth is that, because of how it started I hoped that it would be better than it has ended up being. However, it has not followed that line and it faltered a bit.

The two protagonists are members of a musical group of adolescents and the story begins when Sofia is promoted as a solo singer, leaving her companions behind, so they feel betrayed. Maddie, one of the other members of the group, is also Sofia’s lover, a relationship they keep secret because the record company would never accept such atrocity. So, despite the fact that Sofia promises Maddie that she will do the impossible so that they can continue seeing each other, this ends up being impossible and the two lose contact. After an impasse, they meet again in very different circumstances, with Sofia being a successful artist and Maddie an interior designer who happens to be hired to decorate Sofia's new house in Miami.

Maddie has serious doubts about relating to Sofia again, she does not trust her, and now she has a son who is the main thing in her life. Nevertheless, Sofia is determined that this can be achieved, despite the obstacles that her team, mainly her mother, puts in the way.

I think there have been too many misunderstandings, certainly little respect for Sofia's wishes on the part of everyone around her and a certain passivity from Maddie, which at times have been a bit tiresome. Although it may have recovered a bit in the end and overall it was quite good.
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Had a nice time reading this book.  I will say it got kinda old hearing the same arguments over and over again between the two main characters.  But this is more like a cotton candy book, just tastes good but not a ton of substance
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Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Not this time was fine, it didn't really work for me personally as I found both main characters really unlikable and therefore hard to root for their happiness. It also relies a bit too heavily on miscommunication for my taste. I did really enjoy the last section or so, once they had talked through where they were both at and decided to make things work.
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