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review 2020-02-25 21:47
Review ~ Awesome!
Past This Point - Nicole Mabry

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

When Karis Hylen decides to give up dating and be a crotchety hermit she had no idea it would save her life. Her recent antisocial behavior comes in handy when a new virus starts killing people and the east coast gets quarantined. Alone in New York City with no transportation she holes up in her apartment building. But as the weeks drag on, the emptiness and quiet starts to get to her. Good thing she has her loyal companion Zeke with her to keep her grounded. But when her supplies start running precariously low, she knows she has no choice but to make for the quarantine border in Loveland, Iowa. How the hell is she going to get out of the city and all the way there when she has no wheels?

 

Put in an impossible situation, Karis has to survive not only physically, but mentally. This isn’t just a story about how she keeps herself and Zeke safe and fed. It’s about her mental state and coming to terms with how she has lived her life and how she will move forward if she makes it out of this situation alive. It’s at times heart breaking as well as heart pounding and completely enthralling. I kept thinking, would I know what to do in a situation like this? Do I have knowledge buried in my brain that could help? I think so. While it could drag a little bit in spots, it was hard to put down. I wanted to see what Karis had to deal with next. If you like apocalyptic stories then I highly recommend this. Especially since Karis is older than your typical main character in this type of story. At 38 she has some experience to pull from. I have to tell you, this book stuck with me long after I finished it. And I’m sure my family got sick of me telling them all about it. LOL So, grab it now and let me know what you think.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/past-this-point.html
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review 2020-02-24 19:41
my fav of the series!
Slow Dances Under An Orange Moon (Colors of Love #4) - V.L. Locey
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. And just like that, back up to 5 full stars AND it's single point of view! I LOVED this instalment of these hockey players, I really did. Kye returns home after retiring from professional hockey with two things on his agenda. Look after his grandad, Dunny. And get his man back, David. First one is fairly easily sorted but the second one? Not so much. David is, even after 20 years, angry with Kye. So angry for leaving him, but more so for not even coming home in all that time, not ONCE. David would have had a long distance relationship, but Kye was still in the closet and did not want to ruin his career. Leaving Davey all that time ago killed Kye, but now he is on a mission to get his man back. Will David as he likes to be called, want him, though? Kye is very vocal about many things, but the biggest thing he has a say about is his regret for leaving David and not coming home. He needs David to understand, even after all this time, he LOVES David, deep within his soul and he just needs a chance to prove that. There follows a delightful tale of a man on a mission, a woo-ing mission, to get his man back and Kye does it so beautifully! He can see David giving in, with the little twitches of a smile, the sparkle in his eye, the way he wants to go slow about kills Kye, but he knows he has to play David's game if he really has any sort of chance. Only Kye has a say, yes, I know, but his voice is strong, and fills in all the gaps that David NOT having a voice leaves. David manages to get his point across, though. I didn't find it as explicit as a couple of the others, but it's not missed. This is more about the LOVE between these two men, rather than that sex. Some difficult reading about the poachers and what David, as a wildlife conservation officer finds, but I think that probably is needed, to explain a lot of how David feels about his job and what he has to deal with on a day to day basis. Also, Dunny, Kye's grandfather, is ailing in body and mind, and that is also difficult reading, but extremely well written and absolutely needed. Arn pops up, and I loved the little digs to Kye about the other couples in this series, I really did! Made me chuckle, what Arn comes out with! Kye had no clue what he was talking about, though, and it shows that there really is no link between the series bar Arn and the colour theme. Who's next? No idea, but please, keep these guys coming! 5 full and shiny stars **same worded review will appear elsehwere**

 

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review 2020-02-24 19:30
warm and fuzzies, and too stinking cute!
I've Got This (Joy Universe #1) - Louisa Masters
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian, I was gifted my copy of this book. This book has been edited and tightened up, following being released from the previous publisher. I enjoyed this, I really did! I will admit, I had an old copy that I started to read ages ago, but never finished it. Something IS different about this copy to that, but I have no idea what! It’s a warm and fuzzies, too stinking cute kinda book that just wiles away a couple hours, and you can forget about the laundry and the cleaning, and just fall into the Joy Universe! I must admit, at first, for some reason, I thought that the Joy Universe was an ADULT place to be, you know? And I couldn’t place dancers in that world, not for the life of me! But all becomes clear when Derek starts to do his thing, dealing with a murder on site and an attack of food poisoning that decimates his dance troop! Derek is a big ole teddy bear, that has a work smile I would be so proud of, but I loved that Trav can see right through that false smile, that work face Derek puts on. Loved that Trav could bring a real smile out of him, just by looking his way. I understood Trav’s. . .not hatred, more a strong dislike of the image Derek puts across. When explained why he has that reaction, it makes a lot more sense. The murder thing takes a twist, and I didn’t see it going that way. So I liked that. Some sexy on screen time, some not. Some deep emotional bits, some a much lighter feeling comes at you. Just enough of everything, to make it interesting. I liked this book, a LOT. But for one thing. First person, present tense AND both Derek and Trav have a say. Maybe that’s why I didn’t finish it before, but I’ve made a decision to give a book a couple of chapters, even if it IS written in my least favourite way, and I’m glad I did. Not a difficult or hard read, just what I needed at this point in time
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-02-24 05:47
Review: The Queen's Assassin by Melissa de la Cruz
The Queen's Assassin - Melissa de la Cruz

 This book was almost a four star book for me, the final few chapters were what changed my mind in the end. The premise of this book is nothing new. A rather ordinary female lead character who dreams of doing bigger things who crosses paths with the daring bad boy. Together they run off on an adventure and fall for each other along the way. It’s a tried and true formula in young adult. When done properly it makes for a very good read. But sometimes authors fall into a trap of feeling like they MUST make their story different and so they do things that don’t make sense. That is what happened with the end of this book I believe.

 

Shadow is a pretty good character. She has a more finely honed sense of self preservation than most female leads in fantasy novels, so I appreciated that. She was strong and looking for adventure, not afraid to leave her entire world behind to do it. The love story between her and Cal seemed very organic, which can be unusual in the genre. But she was also too stubborn for her own good and it made no sense. She defied Cal or opposed his opinion just because she could. There was no logical reason behind her belief that her idea was better than his, she just decided that her idea was better. Even though this whole adventure was Cal’s job, literally, and he was very good at it. It might have been better to defer to his expertise from time to time. It might have saved both of them some trouble along the way.

 

Cal was a fairly typical young adult love interest. At times he was dashing, brave, and witty. And at other he seemed like a set piece. I had no real objections to him, but I did not find him particularly compelling in his own right either. And I have no idea how this magical Blood Vow actually works either. Supposedly it binds Cal to the Queen, to do her bidding until he fulfills the vow. And if he tries to defy the vow he will be in horrendous, increasingly awful, pain the longer he tries to resist. But, he does resist the Queen’s orders, for most of the book and doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort. Because Shadow told him this was the Queen’s plan, so I guess his belief is a loophole? If he believes he is following the vow then he is? That makes no sense if it’s a magical thing. The story would have been just a good without this piece that wasn’t actually explained.

 

As for the plot and the plot twists, I expected most of them. Especially the big one, I knew it from very early on in the book. But I also didn’t really mind, the fact that I had figured it out was largely inconsequential to the other pieces of the puzzle. I may have discovered one piece, but the rest of the puzzle didn’t hinge on that one piece so it was still a surprise to me later. A few of the “twists” I didn’t really find that shocking or distressing. Cal seemed distressed over them and frankly I didn’t know why. Maybe it was because there was so little world building in this book that I didn’t have enough information to be as disturbed as other characters were. The only world building is an occasional chapter of an excerpt from some historical text. So, a few info dumps. And honestly, as a reader, I never remember information given to me in an info dump. They are boring and my mind skims them automatically. As a consequence, I know very little of the history of the world or how its magic works. That didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story, but it might have impacted how I felt about certain plot reveals.

 

Now, my one and only SPOILER WARNING for this review:

 

I figured out very early on that Shadow was really the Princess. All I needed was to know that the Princess was secreted away somewhere as a commoner, and that Shadow’s mother worked in the palace and I knew. It wasn’t difficult. But, Shadow’s chapters are narrated in the first person. So the reader is quite literally inside her head. She never actually revealed that she knew she was the Princess in her narrative. So, as a result, I figured that she did not know. That everyone had kept it a secret for her own protection or something,

 

But then in the last few chapters she literally thinks, “My mother is the Queen of Renovia. I have known this for my entire life. And I have been in denial about this truth my entire life. For my own safety, I do not speak of it, let along think about it.” (Chapter 49, page 350). So, wait, you don’t even think about it? I recognize that this is an attempt at giving the author a good “out” for why Shadow was narrating in first person but didn’t let on that she was the Princess. But, our brains are messy things. Human thinking is a messy thing. Thoughts come in and out of our minds like clouds, entirely without our bidding. It doesn’t make any sense that at no point she didn’t randomly think “Cal would be so horrified if he knew who I was.” or “I feel so bad for deceiving him about my identity.” I was very confused about that. Our brains are tricky things that often think things that we don’t intend to think.  This was the most annoying factor in the entire book. Why not just narrate Shadow in the third person? Cal is narrated in third person, it wouldn’t have been out of place.

 

So that’s the book. I liked it a lot. I think I will tune in to the 2nd book in the series to see where it goes. Some bits were a little frustrating, it certainly isn’t perfect but it was a fun use of my time.

 
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review 2020-02-20 16:34
Review ~ Awesome!
Kingshold - D.P. Woolliscroft

4.5

 

Book source ~ Tour

 

Jyuth is an ancient wizard who founded the Kingdom of Edland and put the butt of the first king on the throne in Kingshold. Over the great span of years he’s had to return to kill a corrupt king and put a new one in place, so this time is no different. Except this king and queen are exceptionally corrupt and perverse and have left no heirs to inherit the throne. So, a weary Jyuth declares that there will be no more kings. There will instead be a Lord Protector and anyone can run for the position. However, only those with 1000 gold crowns can vote. This is an obvious advantage to the nobility of Edland and the mass of poor citizens don’t like it. When Mareth, a middle-aged drunken bard who happens to be a third son of a nobel, is put forth as a candidate the people rally behind him. But is it enough?

 

What an epic fantasy! Mareth isn’t the only one who can tell a good tale. The author really drops the reader right into this story and then takes off running. There are several points of view that bring it all together and it is enthralling. I like the world and the characters are awesome. The whole election thing is interesting, too. But there are also sinister forces at work and things aren’t always as they seem. Intriguing! While this story has a conclusion there is obviously more about this world that needs told. Things are brewing, people! I’m looking forward to more stories about Edland, Kingshold, and the characters I’ve come to care about. May they all survive what’s coming.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/kingshold.html
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