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review 2017-11-24 22:30
On Davis Row
On Davis Row - NR Walker

You get through life trying to be invisible. You think no one’ll notice you don’ read or write too well if you just hide in th’ background. Disappear. You think if they don’ notice you, they won’t ever know. Well guess what?” He slid his hand up to my neck and ran his thumb over my jaw. I couldn’t breathe. “I see you, Clinton Davis. I see you.”

 

And see him he did.

 

NR Walker has once again created such a touching and beautifully developed couple in CJ and Noah and a story that is so unique and quintessential Walker. My goodness, she even brought the act of hugging to all new heights.

 

My eyes burned with tears and I had to suck back a breath. I could feel myself about to cry and I forced myself to stop. But then he slid his hand around my neck and pulled me against him. In that safe and warm place I’d only ever known with him.
A hug. A simple fucking hug. His warm arms, gentle and kind touch, that I could feel sewing up the gaping holes in my heart, in my soul.
It was just a hug, but it wasn’t. It was so much more.
It was human touch. It was kindness and understanding. It was reassuring and soul-mending.
I clung to him, like a fucking kid. Like if I let go, I’d fall apart. And he held me, just held me without question, without judgement.

 

 

This is by no means a sex filled book. But the acts of love and commitment are far from absent. This relationship is just beautiful and the compassionate nature of Noah and the way Walker explores the lives and perceptions of those on Davis Row are quite compelling. I'd be lying if I said I never had these same perceptions about someone. Terribly accurate honestly and just sad when you fail to see things from a completely different perspective. I mean...

 

 

Yes, I thought of this often. It took someone with the wisdom of Atticus to see the truth that was Clinton and that person was Noah. This story was so well developed and not rushed at all. I loved Noah's "rule" and how this only heightened the sexual tension between them. Phew.

 

And I absolutely loved the epilogue here. It was so them.

 

He was everything I never knew I needed. He was everything I wanted, longed for, dreamed of, and never thought I could have.

 

Definitely another of my favorites for 2017 and one I look forward to revisiting time and time again.

 

*An ARC was received from the author in exchange for an honest review

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review 2017-11-24 17:56
Skeletons in the Closet – Blood Loss by Ashley Fontainne @AshleyFontainne
Blood Loss - Ashley Fontainne,Lillian Hansen

Bloss Loss by Ashley Fontainne has one of those covers that makes me realize…I must go into the forest. I love covers with trees, forests, and woods, so this makes me want to enter another of Ashley’s fantastic stories, jumping and skipping down the trail. I must follow that path, no matter that I am alone and there is danger.

 

Ashley has been writing this series with her mother Lillian Hansen. It is the second Magnolia novel and it is based on a true story. You can see my review for the first story by following the Blood Ties link at the end of the post.

 

Cover and Interior book design by One of a Kind Covers

 

Blood Loss - A Magnolia Novel

Goodreads Amazon

 

MY REVIEW

 

I am so happy to be back with some familiar friends and am looking for another mystery to solve. Blood Loss by Ashley Fontainne and her mother, Lillian Hansen, is the second Magnolia story, based on a true one, and I don’t want to miss a thing.

 

We pick up where Blood Ties ended, but I believe you can read this as a stand alone. If this is your first foray into the Magnolia series, I do recommend starting at the beginning.

 

The Magnolia has become Karina’s home. She and her mother inherited the home for the elderly and it seems like mysteries and danger arise from the house itself.

 

Karina’s nightmare awakens her, but it’s nice having her hunkie boyfriend at her side. Bo tells her the nightmares will pass.

 

“They’re all dead thanks to you, so that makes you the predator, not the prey.”

 

Karina is a strong, determined ex cop, as is her mother. They have put that behind them, but it’s a good thing they have those skills to draw on.

 

She’s tough, snarky and has a potty mouth. Pull a gun on her and she’ll blow your head off, but she has a big heart and guards it well.

 

Death by dick wouldn’t fly anyway, though it would be a memorable obituary for sure, going viral in hours. (Karina’s thoughts about Bo’s insatiable libido).

 

I laughed out loud when I read her version of the song You Don’t Own Me.

 

Karina has me cracking up throughout the pages and I love being inside her head.

 

It is that kind of writing that gives Ashley’s stories a fun and humorous bent and keeps me coming back for more. I think humor goes hand in hand with romance and mystery.

 

My first big surprise I never saw coming. No warning, but at least it’s all good.

 

“Like the Good Book says, the love of money is the root of all evil. And it’s a thick root that runs deep into bloodstained dirt.”

 

Government conspiracies? Never underestimate the power of greed. Some will stop at nothing. 

 

A home for old folks…not surprising there are skeletons in the closet and secrets hidden. In 1957 two women vanished without a trace and the game is afoot.

 

Karina misses the rush of the hunt, so when the mystery appears, she jumps on it, regardless of being warned off. It’s just not in her nature. She cannot resist the mystery and I know she will find danger.

 

I’m onto you Ashley. The second surprise is about Karina. I didn’t see this one either and I love when the author can surprise me. Ashley Fontainne has that ability, and so much more. She draws me into the story quickly and easily. The characters become my friends. I worry about them, want the best for them, and if I could climb into the pages of the book, I would help them. As it is, all I can do is read…

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Blood Loss by Ashley Fontainne.

 

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 4 Stars

 

Read more here.

 

Ashley Fontainne’s writing is so spectacular, I am always anticipating the next book I will read of hers. Here are my reviews…so far:

 

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/skeletons-in-the-closet-blood-loss-by-ashley-fontainne-ashleyfontainne
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review 2017-11-23 19:22
Some great ideas that stumble in execution
Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Delena White

Disclaimer: I'm reviewing an uncorrected proof via NetGalley, so it's possible the final draft changed some of the issues. Also, I made it about 10% before throwing in the towel.

Basically, something's gone wrong with the worldbuilding on this one. It kind of seemed like a second in series or spin-off series, where lots of people and places are being referenced as if to remind you of who/what/why? But I checked Goodreads, and this is a debut book, so I think the author was trying to do too much worldbuilding and it came at the cost of story and characters.

 

OTOH, maybe the problem was with where the story started. I think the author could have backed up a few scenes and let us get to know the characters and their stakes before diving into chaos and it would have given her space to spin out the worldbuilding in a more natural manner. Instead, there's just a string of extended info-dumps with a lot of running around in between and . . . I wanted to care, I really did.

 

I liked the striking cover design. I liked that there was obviously a big, fully-realized world with rules and tensely-navigated interactions between fae and humans and magic/alchemy-users, and . . . I mean, there's royalty, there's orphans with powers a la X-Men, there's lady alchemists and shady politics and freakin' faerie wings and that's all great, except in practice it just felt really dry. So, pass. Maybe a strong developmental editor could turn this around, but my tbr is too big to keep wading through all the words to find the story.

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review 2017-11-22 23:39
I want an open road summer...
Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

 

Book Title:  Open Road Summer 

Author:  Emery Lord

Genre:  YA | Contemporary Romance

Setting:  On the road across the USA

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  4.5/5

Pacing:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Ending:  4/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5: 2

Total: 4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

A super-cute YA romance/coming of age story.  Effortlessly readable, with characters that felt real and were likable.  A realistic look at a celebrities life from their side of the camera.  Seriously, It would suck to read about your supposed life on the front of a magazine cover at the grocery store…the price of fame, I guess… While the ending had a bit too much drama, especially when the book had stayed away from overdone drama most of the way through, I found this a refreshing read, and just what I needed.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yeah, I may do so soon, actually.

 

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review 2017-11-22 23:04
Tackling real-life teen issues...with the power of music.
This Song Will Save Your Life (Audio) - Leila Sales

 

Book Title:  This Song Will Save Your Life

Author:  Leila Sales

Narration:  Rebecca Lowman

Genre:  YA | Realistic Fiction

Setting:  Glendale, Rhode Island

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4.5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  4.2/5

The Feels:  5+/5

Pacing:  5/5

Addictiveness:  4.5/5

Theme or Tone:  5+/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger:  Nope.

Steam Factor 0-5:  2.5

Total:  4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

A feel-good storyline paired with excellent narration and I couldn't help but love this.  A coming-of-age story about trying to fit in and wanting to just give up on it ever happening.  But…the thing is when you're not looking for something…that's when you'll find it.  

 

Does the storyline always seem plausible…not all the time, but it doesn't really matter.  It's not really the point of the story.  (I mean, seriously, I would never want my 16-year-old daughter walking the streets at night by herself, and I don't care how safe the town is supposed to be.)  But hey, I really liked Elise, her quirky family and most of her adorable friends.  Along with the narrator, they all made this a rather enjoyable listen on Audio.

 

Will I read more from this Author?  Yes.

 

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