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review 2017-09-25 00:11
So yeah, if you're looking for me or Josy...
Axios: A Spartan Tale - Jaclyn Osborn

We'll be right here...

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/despicableme/images/a/ab/Penny.png/revision/latest?cb=20131027083926

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We tried guys we really, really tried and at the end of it all I don't think either one of us is really sure why this one went sideways on us, but it did. So here we are back in the box of shame.

 

Ok, I can't really talk about what didn't work for Josy...mostly because Josy's all growed up and likes to speak for herself as it should be. So I'm going to try and explain why I'm sitting in this box again...

 

First off let's start with what I liked because obviously 3 stars meant I liked something...I just for the most part didn't love things or at least didn't feel that connection to the story that makes me want to love things and as I've already said "I'm just not sure why." so I'm probably not going to really dwell on what I didn't like because it's pretty much an abject and subjective thing. 

 

In the interest of being honest I will freely admit historical books aren't at the top of my reading list. It's not that they never work for me it's just that they're more often than not a challenge for me to really get into, which is rather ironic given that when I was in school history was one of my absolute favorite subjects. But be that as it may if you're still here I'm assuming it's because you're wondering what my thoughts were on this book so let's move along...

 

First off I want to say that this books is well written and while I'm by no means an expert on the history of Sparta or even ancient Greece for that matter, I'm also not so obtuse that I can't see that Jaclyn Osborn has committed a considerable effort to making this book feel authentic to the time in which it was set. There's a lot of background for this one and that's ok because it's integral to the story and it's also part of the story and it was by no means given in the form of an info dump. 

 

The characters in this story were beautifully presented they had depth and I liked seeing Axios and Eryx go from young children to grown men and not just Axios and Eryx...there were so many other characters that were a part of their lives Haden, Theon, Quill, Leanna, Felix and on and on and they were all so integral to who Axios and Eryx ultimately became. 

 

Ironically one of the things that this author did that I'm not usually a fan of was the time jumps but in this story they worked. The author handled them perfectly and I was never left feeling like I'd missed something because of them. If anything they actually helped to keep the story flowing at a consistent pace.

 

And yet, somehow I was bored, I essentially remained detached from all of it. I wish I could say it was overly detailed or that it was too long...but, it wasn't either of these things. I've read books that were every bit if not more detailed than this one, I've read books that were in the range of 800 pages, more or less, and savored every page. I've read books that absolutely were not as well written as this one and been far more enthusiastic about them...so guys, I'm totally saying this ones on me...at least 99% anyways. But before I wrap this up I also want to say...

 

HOLY HELL!!! That ending...it's magnificent! It was...I don't really want to say expected but for me it was pretty well the only plausible ending and then there was the epilogue which was the absolute best part of the book for me. It was beautiful and unfortunately in spite of all the punch the last chapter and the epilogue held for me, I  can't in all fairness say that this makes up for the rest of the book. However what I can say is that while I'm only giving the book itself 3 stars, if you ask me about the last part about that final chapter and the epilogue well I'm not going to split hairs here I will tell you that it deserves *5 Beautiful Spartan stars*

 

Seriously if you haven't read this book and especially if you love historical stories you need to at least give it the courtesy of checking out all those other reviews the ones written by the people who read this book and connected to it from start to finish because you may be one of them. If history maybe isn't your thing than check out those reviews anyways but proceed with caution you may be another me or Josy....my awesome buddy read partner who's sitting here with me in the box of shame wondering what we missed?

 

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review 2017-09-24 21:54
It's time to revisit an old favorite...
Texas Family - R.J. Scott

It’s been four years since I read this book and I have to admit in my reading experience I’ve found that sometimes when there’s a large gap of time between originally reading a book and when I re-read it or in this case listen to the audio book it doesn’t always go well, but I’m happy to say that was not the case with this book…If anything, I enjoyed the audio book just a little bit more than I enjoyed this story the first time around.

 

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of R. J. Scott’s Texas series and having the opportunity to revisit these characters in audio book format has been a treat, so much so that I’m looking forward to treating my self to the rest of this series in the near future.

 

Sean Crisden is the narrator for this title as well as previous titles and I have to admit when it comes to books involving cowboys he’s one of my favorites. I love his deep, gravelly, easy drawl along with the fact that he consistently ticks all my basic audio narrator boxes with his consistent, unique and expressive voices.

 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with this series I strongly recommend starting at the first book and reading them in order. Jack and Riley are the main characters in this series and their story starts back in the first book…The Heart of Texas.

 

Jack and Riley started as an enemies to lovers story in book one and each successive story follows them as their relationship grows and here in the fourth book Riley and Jack have decided it’s time for their family to grow and have decided that surrogacy is how they want this to happen and Jack will be the father. But as can often be the case plans go astray and things may not end up the way they intended but both men are quick to realize that while they didn’t get what they’d signed up for…they were getting the family they wanted.

 

In spite of all their advantages, this isn’t a story that’s so perfect it makes me feel like I’m going to sink into a diabetic coma. Jack and Riley still have the stress of day to day life and the problems it brings to deal with…running a horse ranch, managing an ethical oil exploration company, dealing with relationship struggles both theirs and their families, making compromises and finding solutions.

 

‘Texas Family’ is a nice slice of life look at what’s happening in the world of Jack, Riley and their family. It was also a chance to see them building the life together that they’d started in ‘Texas Family’ and continued to work towards in ‘Texas Winter’ and then in ‘Texas Heat’. I love this series, these characters the lack of angst and extreme drama, no great mystery to solve…just the day to day life of two people in love building a life together that would see their dream of family become reality.

 

There are a few authors whose books are comfort food for me…for my brain, my heart and my soul. I know the kind of story I’m going to get and it’s one that I can lose myself in and enjoy. They’re my go to authors when I’ve been left with too many jagged edges by life and/or by emotionally draining books. R. J. Scott is one of those authors and her Texas series are among those books.

 

********************

An audio book of ‘Texas Family’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-09-23 19:48
Book List for Halloween Bingo 2017 Updated

Gothic:

Haunted Houses:

Werewolves:

Locked Room Mystery:

Diverse Voices: The Sky Throne - (9/9/17)

 

Amateur Sleuth:

Cozy Mystery:

Romantic Suspense:

Monsters:

Magical Realism:

 

Murder Most Foul:

Vampires:

Free space:

Terror in Small Town:

In The Dark Dark Woods:

 

American Horror Story:

Ghost: The Ghost of Mavis

Classic Horror:

Modern Masters of Horror:

Darest London:

 

Chilling Children:

Witches:

Aliens: Rookie Privateer - Takes place in space and the main person is an earth -Mars citizen (9/21/17)

Terrifying Women:

Supernatural:

 

My Bingo Card:

Called but not Read: Boo

Read but not Called: Raven

Read and Called: ??

 

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review 2017-09-22 00:59
First there was Cole McGinnis...then it was the men of Sinner's Gin and now...
Tramps and Thieves - Rhys Ford

Now we have Rook Stevens retired Cat Burglar extraordinaire and Dante Montoya the man who stole his heart and spends his days fighting to keep that same heart alive because Rook seems to have a penchant for trouble...the kind of trouble that can get a person dead.

 

When I first started reading this author's works I actually started with her 'Sinner's' series and by the time I was part way through that one I was wondering what was wrong with me that I'd been ignoring 'Cole McGinnis' for so long? I mean seriously, how could I have been so obtuse? Well never mind, that deficiency has long since been remedied. 

 

So here we are several Rhys Ford books later and we have what has quickly become an absolute favorite couple for me with Rook and Dante...please understand I love Cole and Jai, I adore the men of 'Sinners' like seriously adore them...they are some of the hottest men going, but something about Rook and Dante just speaks directly to my heart. When these two men are together they just melt my heart. I want them to be together.

 

I'm not even sure how to explain these men. They're like to parts of the same puzzle. For me these men just click. I loved the first book and absolutely delighted in the story as I listened to the voice of Greg Tremblay...the man really is an audio narrator marvel and I have to say that for the first time ever when I started reading 'Tramps and Thieves' the voice in my head reading this story to me sounded suspiciously like his.

 

There was definitely a mystery here and I did enjoy it but more than that I love the relationship developing between Rook and Dante. Dante's definitely an alpha male and while it goes against his instincts at times and he struggles with it being what Rook needs and loving him is all Dante wants to do...well that and keep Rook alive. 

 

Rook's not an easy man to love. He's not had anyone in his life like Dante and more than the thrill he gets from pulling off a job. He want's what having Dante in his life offers him and he's willing to give up his old ways to keep him but it seems like his old life isn't so willing to give him up.

 

Add in the mystery that was full of twist and turns and a surprise or two. Along with a whole lot of interesting characters like Dante's Uncle Manny and his partner Hank, Rooks Grandfather Archie and his cousin Alex and for me this was pure reading bliss.

 

I'm still more than happy to revisit the world of Cole McGinnis, the men of 'Sinners', 'Hellsinger', 'Half Moon Bay or anywhere else that Ms Ford would like to take me but please oh please let there be more 'Murder and Mayhem'!

 

********************

An ARC of 'Tramps and Thieves' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-21 00:34
And this folks is why I've missed Josh Lanyon...
Stranger on the Shore - Josh Lanyon

I've had this one for awhile now and when I saw that it was on audio I decided that audio was totally the way to experience this story and damn! was I right.

 

Josh Lanyon has created one hella' awesome story with this one. 'Stranger on the Shore' is far more mystery than romance, now that doesn't mean there's no romance because there is one. But overall this story focused more on the mystery that was going on and while I like me some romance it doesn't have to be there all the time and given how well crafted the rest of this story was I'm good with it all.

 

Once again I'm a little late to the party with this one so rather than try and re-invent the wheel or in this case the 'rave review' I'm going to take the lazy way out and simply say "There are some awesome reviews out there for both sides of the argument...love it or leave it, but you can add me to the list of I loved this from start to finish". Jeremy York was the narrator for this thriller/mystery/romance and while this was my first time listening to this narrator, I'm hoping it won't be my last. I really enjoyed the listening experience. Mr. York nailed the voices for me. They were consistent, expressive, unique and very suited to how I imagined the characters would sound.

 

Listening to this audio book felt very much like how I imagine it would feel to listen to an old time radio program as my parents and grandparents did back in the day.

 

While I'm sure this was due in part to the strong influence that the book 'The Great Gatsby' and the 1961 song 'Stranger on the Shore' had on one of the MCs. I think it was more strongly influenced by the wonderfully crafted noir story stylings of Josh Lanyon and the superb narration of Jeremy York...you can be sure that this is another audio book that will be on my repeat list.

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