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review 2017-02-21 21:26
Have you ever wondered about the one that got away or...
Dating in Retrospect (States of Love Book 1) - Lila Leigh Hunter

 maybe it was the one that you let slip away...

 

It's been 15 years since Clint last say Aaron and in all that time he's never forgotten the man that he'd planned to spend the rest of his life with.

 

Clint went off to California and Aaron was suppose to join him there. They were going to start their life together...follow their dreams and make their fortunes and all their dreams come true. But as can sometimes be the case with distance dreams fade and become little more than memories. Aaron never joined Clint in California...it was just never the right time and there was always something keeping him in Iowa. Eventually Clint decided that he needed to let Aaron go so they could both move on but neither time nor distance has changed how Clint feels about Aaron and after 15 years he's ready to go back and hopefully reclaim the love he gave up.

 

I liked that Clint was determined to win Aaron back and that he wasn't wishy, washy about it. Their relationship wasn't a one night stand or a weekend fling. They were together throughout most of college and for him to show up after 15 years of basically silence between the two of them was a pretty ballsy move and to do anything less than believe that Aaron still love  him, as much as he loved Aaron just wouldn't have been very convincing, but he was also smart enough to know that he could only push so far and his plan of them dating over the course of a year to give them a chance to become re-acquainted and re-build their relationship just seemed perfect because it also gave Clint the time to show Aaron that he was serious and committed to making it work and last between them.

 

I enjoyed the dates that Clint arranged for these two they had meaning and relevance to their shared background. I also appreciated that while Aaron didn't give in right away he also didn't play games and keep Clint dancing on pins and needles when he knew that in his heart he still loved him. He was cautious and rightfully so but he was also willing to take that second chance.

 

I also very much appreciated that both of these men were un-apologetically bisexual, yes they were both male and in a relationship but there was no instances of 'I'm gay because I'm with a guy'. They were two bisexual men who happened to fall in love with a guy. 

 

Unfortunately I didn't feel the over the top passion that I wanted to with Clint and Aaron. I really wanted to and when you have someone making the grand gestures that Clint was making I think the emotion between the couple needs to be reflective of that so for that reason this was a sweet story with little to no angst and while I really liked it. I wasn't over the moon blown away with it. But still a sweet, little second-chance story that gave me some laughs and allowed me to relax for a while as Aaron and Clint fell in love all over again, how can that be bad?

 

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An ARC of 'Dating in Retrospect' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-02-21 18:50
Warning train wreck ahead...
Jumping In - Cardeno C.

But on the upside I've learned something about my self. I really, really hate writing reviews for books that I didn't enjoy. I know...I'm not alone. I've been procrastinating and putting this one off. Seriously did you know I have a million and one things that I need to do before I can get this done...ok, not really but I wish I did.

 

So here goes short version. In theory this sounded good, cute a nice feel good story about love at first sight...insta-love, whatever term you want to use. I was ready to settle in for a cute, feel good read that would leave me sighing happily and smiling. Sadly that did not happen.

 

In execution what I got was a story about a small town deputy who had the day from hell, crashed his ex's engagement party because even though he was sent an invitation he wasn't actually suppose to go, got drunk and honestly I don't blame him. If I'd had his day I'd have been heading for the bar as well. Then he ended up being taken home but the deputy mayor whose name was Hawk Black and let me just say we're not having this conversation because I've deleted it twice. Anyways, so Hawk Black who is the deputy mayor and laid eyes on Clint once then proceeded to close his business as a political and managerial consultant in DC and move across the country from Washington DC to New Mexico based on seeing a guy once to pursue him..."HELLO!!! Can we say STALKER!" and this is where the story went from cute and fluffy to a big old clusterf*ck of a train wreck for me. 

 

I needed not to know this...If dear, sweet Hawk Black had moved to New Mexico for the job and discovered that Clint floated his boat, I would have been all over this. I know it's just one  teeny, tiny, little detail but for me it's a biggy. It's the detail that took this from aaaahhhh!!!! to eeeewwww!!!! Because not only did he move half-way across the country to pursue Clint but he basically continued to stalk him and then picked him up when he was drunk under the pretense of taking him home but instead took Clint to his place to 'sober him up' so they could have copious amounts of sex...what-the-hell? Where's the relationship?

 

Ok so now that I'm over my little hissy fit about this story. I just want add that while this story obviously didn't work for me, I know it worked for a lot of other people so at the end of it all am I saying this is a bad story...no, it's simply not the story for me. I've read a few other stories by this author and I've loved them and I plan on reading more. This for me is a case of we all got the same words and just didn't read the same story.

 

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An ARC of "Jumping In" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-20 00:29
Review: Conceiving by Thomas S Flowers
Conceiving (Subdue Book 3) - Thomas S Flowers


Conceiving is the latest book, and the best so far, in the Subdue series by Thomas S Flowers. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't perfect, it needs editing to fix a few repetition issues, spelling errors and wrong words, but I enjoyed it much more than the previous two books.

 

A lot of my enjoyment was due to Luna's character, she felt real and relatable. I was actually interested in her and her story. I got to experience and enjoy her storyline without being sidetracked by too many characters. The whole reading experience flowed better, it wasn't as busy so there was less distraction, fewer side characters jumping in between me and the main storyline.

 

The pacing was better, the characters were better, and the storytelling was smoother. I got to know the characters better this time round. I experienced their stories rather than them being told to me like in the previous books.

 

There was a lot of my favourite horror elements in Conceiving. It had a touch of Rosemary's Baby and Frankenstein and as an added bonus there was a werewolf and some voodoo going on. I love me some voodoo in horror!

 

 

 

 

Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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text 2017-02-19 20:26
Week 7 of 2017
The Ersatz Elevator - Michael Kupperman,Lemony Snicket,Brett Helquist
The Vile Village - Lemony Snicket
The Hostile Hospital - Brett Helquist,Lemony Snicket,Michael Kupperman
Champagne for One - Rex Stout,Lena Horne
Black Orchids - Rex Stout
The Silent Speaker - Rex Stout,Walter Mosley

 Books Read: 6

 

The Ersatz Elevator, The Vile Village, The Hostile Hospital: I'm continuing A Series of Unfortunate Events, hoping to finish by the end of this month. Sunny, Klaus, and Violet begin to investigate the VFD after the loss of the Quagmire triplets. At the end of The Vile Village the series breaks off from it's usual search for a guardian for the siblings and leaves them to fend for themselves completely. 4 1/2 stars.

 

Champagne For One, Black Orchids, The Silent Speaker: I stated last week in my round-up that going back and re-reading the Nero Wolfe books I enjoyed them even more than the first time, this continues to be accurate. Champagne For One is my favorite of the three I've finished this week (5 stars), Black Orchids comes in second (4 1/2 stars), and The Silent Speaker comes last (3 1/2 stars).

 

Ongoing Reads: 1

 

The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Reveled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime: I'm still working my way through this. Reading this, I have to say, not much has changed in regards to how people behave during and after a murder investigation.

 

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review 2017-02-17 17:43
Uuuuummmm...excuse me, but where do I sign up for book #2?
Warlock in Training - T.J. Nichols

Because I want it...like yesterday...now would be good but yesterday would have been even better because then I could reading it now.

 

I admit this book probably isn't for everyone but when I saw the blurb I was curious and fairly certain it would work for me...well, that was an understatement. I loved it. It's magic and wizards, warlocks, mages, demons and Oh hell yeah! There's a dragon or two just for good measure. 

 

Let's start with Angus, he's definitely the center of the story. He's a warlock in training and in his world any warlock worth his salt has a demon and Angus manages to get the demon to end all demons because his demon's a mage.

 

Have I confused you yet? Well let me clarify things a little. Angus is human and he lives on the humanside and he's training to be a warlock, not that he wants to be but daddy thinks he should or at least he does until he doesn't but we're not going to go there right now.

 

For the purposes of this story a warlock is someone who is trained in the use of magic and draws their magic from his demon who he calls forth from the other side of the void, which is essentially the demonside of this world. Now a wizard is someone who uses magic but it's magic that they gather and they don't use a demon. Which is nice considering that no one asked the demon if he wanted to do this they just use them until they've used up their power and a mage is a demon who can use magic, so basically a combination of a wizard and a warlock in that they're trained but they draw their power from their surroundings more like a wizard and that's all the world building we're going to cover for now. 

 

So we have Angus a warlock in training who just happens to call forth Saka who is a mage and not in training and powerful. Now I'm going to talk about why I want the next book so freakin' bad.

 

First off while there is a romance in this book it's definitely a secondary part of the story and let's just say it's unusual...there's even a bit of a romantic triangle...potentially and bonus points boys and girls there's a orgy that's right a full on demon ritual orgy and it does involve both boy and girl bits, however, I really didn't find the details to be excessively graphic or offensive and lastly there's also a definite cliffhanger to the ending, so if any of this is an issue for you, than this might not be the book for you. 

 

T. J. Nichols is a new to me author who basically blew me out of the water with this book. I loved the world building and the character development, especially with Angus. He showed a lot of growth from start to finish and given everything he went through I probably would have tanked things if it had been any different.  

 

Saka was more than a little interesting and I'm really not sure how to explain him because...hello? demon here and a really interesting one not to mention pretty hot if we take Angus's word on things and did I mention he's got a tail...I'mma just sayin'.

 

Saka is a mage and a powerful one even by his people's standards. He's also a teacher, he wants to restore the magical balance to both humanside and demonside but what he also wants is to do it in a way that is beneficial to both races and without war between the two sides, however, time's running out for everyone because the humanside of this world is getting colder and demonside is getting hotter, so while a long term fix is the ultimate objective neither world can ignore the need for stop gap measures as well.

 

My only little niggle with this book was that the pacing occasionally felt a little slow but at the same time there's not anything in this story that I'm willing to give up...so little niggle from my perspective.

 

At the end of it all if fantasy, with some awesome world building, a side of romance and a strong plot is your thing you need to check this one out. Do I wish I had the next book...of course, if it's anywhere near as good as this one it's going to be one hella' good read. Am I sorry I read this one only to be left sitting on the edge of a cliff...nope, not even a little bit...the view from here is very promising.

 

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An ARC of 'Warlock in Training' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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