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review 2017-11-25 01:58
Review: The Ghost of Mavis
The Ghost of Mavis - Mary Lynn Plaisance

The Ghost of Mavis had me intuited by wanting to know what it was about. Was it a mother that died with a young girl. There a mystery to it that you are pondering from the minute you start reading.

 

Mavis shows up at the Pearly gates in a wedding dress. Why and what reason. Mary Lynn Plaisance write the story well. This is her first book, that I have read. She leaves you guessing and pondering about a little girl. Who is this little girl and what is she waiting for? All we know at the beginning Mavis as died and is at the age of 88. What her angels tells her is, that she miss her lick and was to marry again.

 

Mavis is confused but are we as well? She also wondering why she wears wedding dress. She wants to go back to earth to be born into a rich family. When she goes to ask, her angels she's going back to earth on mission. To do that she will go back as a ghost and her angel Anna will help her until she finds this James Windsor.

 

You start to wonder what life is after death. Where do we go? Is it a belief that we reincarnate back to our family or do we stay in haven. That you will have to decide. Mary does a splendid job with this and talking about the afterlife. I would suggest if you enjoy paranormal fan or even a little mystery fan this is a good book to read. I recommend it to read.

 

The book is well written and few mistakes. I believe a may have caught like one mistake in the entire book. It was probably one that got the word misplaced not even spell wrong when editing, it wonderful. I hope to read more by Mary Lynn Plaisance.

 

Square 1: November 1st: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos & Calan Gaeaf

Book themes for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

Book themes for Calan Gaeaf:
Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is / has Rose or Ivy in it.

 

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/11/review-ghost-of-mavis.html
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text 2017-11-24 22:05
Let's do this one story at a time...
Stocking Stuffers (2017 Advent Calendar) - Rick R. Reed

THE BLURB:

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most….

The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony, after the grandiose presents have been unwrapped, the stocking stuffers are still waiting to add that final sparkle to the perfect celebration. Even the tiniest trinkets can be gems when they’re chosen with love, and like a good love story, they are held close to the heart and treasured for years to come. The festivities don’t have to end after the feasts and gift exchanges. Dig a little deeper for romantic stocking stuffers both naughty and nice.

Enjoy a tale of men in love with men every day throughout December.

 

The following are my reviews for some of the stories in Dreamspinners Stocking Stuffer Collection (2017 Advent Calendar) For a full list of stories and their blurbs you can find them on the Dreamspinner Press website.

 

O Hell, All Ye Shoppers

Louisa Masters

~ 3 Christmas Stars~

Ethan’s plans for a lazy day at home away from the madness of last minute shoppers on Dec. 23 are set aside when his sister calls with a crisis that sends Ethan to the Australia’s largest shopping center and a specialty shop aimed at women and his kindness gets the better of him as he comes to the rescue of Ty the only other man in the store and while both men are desperate to escape the retail hell that is the mall at Christmas time, neither man is is in a hurry for their time together to be over. 

 

‘O Hell, All Ye Shoppers’ is a sweet story about two men who find the gift of love at a time of year known for it’s miracles. Ethan and Ty were an adorable pairing and there was a really nice twist to this one that wasn’t totally unpredictable but still added a nice touch to the story that I enjoyed. This ones sweet with some steam and just a hint of sexy times but it definitely left a warm spot in my heart.

 

The Peppermint Schnapps Predicament

Clare London

~3.5 Shining Holiday Stars~

Frankie Faraday’s got a crush on his boss, Bill Mason, but it’s going nowhere because they’re total opposites or, so it seems until Frankie and Bill find themselves trapped in the seasonal stockroom with nothing but candy, peppermint schnapps and time.

 

Frankie and Bill find that they have more in common than either of them ever realized as they get to know each other and discover that the solutions to their problems lies inside of themselves and each other.

 

Frankie and Bill’s time in the stockroom was cute, funny and held some steamy times. My one little niggle was the jump from Frankie and Bill in the stockroom to after they were rescued was a little abrupt for me and I really would have loved a bit more detail to transition them into being a couple. Otherwise this one was a fun, sweet, angst free holiday story. 

 

Pining for Perfect

Ki Brightly

~5 Hopeful Holiday Stars~ 

Stokely is solid and dependable, he’s got a respectable job and leads a quite life…he tries to always do the right thing but he really hates Christmas…well most of it…everything except listening to Asher Banks a the radio. He loves Asher’s optimism.

 

Asher’s the total opposite and he loves Christmas and schedules himself to the max with holiday fundraising and community events. It’s at one of Asher’s events that he and Stokely meet and make a connection.

 

I loved Asher and Stokely and their interactions were so sweet as they got to know each other. ‘Pining for Perfect’ was a warm, sweet story about two men finally being given the best gift of all…the gift of love. The holiday are a really lonely time of year for many and ‘Pining for Perfect’ holds a sense of that loneliness but it’s also tempered with the warmth and hope of the season as well.

 

Poison Marked

TJ Nichols

~4 Joyous Holiday Stars~

Nikko is the court poison master and his loyalties are to his king but it’s the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas who holds his heart. It’s the Solstice Festival a time of celebrations when the king orders Nikko to poison Lord Rodas destroying all he holds dear and placing the fate of a kingdom in the balance.

 

‘Poison Marked’ was a wonderful historical fantasy about faith, love and being true to who you are. Nikko and Rodas both struggled to follow their heart and their conscience in this one even when it felt like one would be the undoing of the other. I loved the author’s writing style with just over 50 pages the author has written a story that is fully fleshed out and totally enchanted me.

 

The Probability of Mistletoe 

J. Russell

~4 Happy Holiday Stars~

It’s been 10 years since Keith Trainor last saw his best friend Parker Mulvaney and now that he’s ready to start his software company there’s only one person that he wants for his partner both in his personal and his professional life…but how to make amends for a failed attempt at kissing Parker under the mistletoe at winter formal senior year.

 

Parker should have known that scheduling a high school reunion two days before Christmas was a bad idea but one text from Keith has everything looking better for Parker.

 

Nothing says ‘tis the season like a good friends to lovers, second chance, feel good story with two sexy nerds under the mistletoe at Christmas time.  I loved that the author gave enough background to give a sense of a connection from the past between these two as friends, without sacrificing the events of the story that was happening in the present.

 

The Puzzle Box

CC Bridges

~4.5 'Tis the Season Stars~

Cole Peters and James Carducci are childhood sweethearts they’ve been together for years but Cole’s facing a lonely Christmas this year James is deployed. What he’s not expecting is the puzzle box that James sends him as the beginning of a scavenger hunt that could end with a gift to exceed Cole’s fondest wish.

 

‘The Puzzle Box’ is a story about a gift that is truly from the heart. James takes Cole on a journey down memory lane as he leads him on a scavenger hunt that ends on Christmas eve when Cole receives his final gift.  C.C. Bridges has created a story that’s filled with love in spite of the fact that for most of the story the MCs aren’t even in the same country, not an easy task to accomplish in less than 30 pages but definitely well done.

 

I was really lucky in that I enjoyed all of my holiday reads from Dreamspinners 2017 Advent Calendar. While there’s definitely more steam than sex in these stories, they still all had me sighing with happiness and contentment.

 

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

An ARC of the Dreamspinner Press 2017 Advent Calendar stories was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-11-24 13:33
2017 Books---- 182 and counting....
  1. What the F -- re-read
  2. 1421 --re-read
  3. Write It When I'm Gone -- re-read
  4. The Thin Man -- re-read
  5. Sacred Treasure, the Cairo Genizah --re-read 
  6. The Masqueraders --re-read -- 
  7. Charity Girl -- re-read
  8. The Breaking Wave -- re-read
  9. Break In -- re-read
  10. Bolt -- re-read --
  11. Blood Sport -- re-read
  12. Black Sheep -- re-read 
  13. The Black Moth -- re-read
  14. Beyond the Black Stump  -- re-read
  15. Behold, Here's Poison -- re-read
  16. Bath Tangle -- re-read
  17. Banker -- re-read
  18. Arabella --re-read
  19. April Lady -- re-read
  20. A Man Called Ove -- re-read
  21. Murder on the Orient Express -- re-read 
  22. Tragedy of Z -- NEW69
  23. Sourdough -- NEW68
  24. The Year of the Hare -- NEW67
  25. Engines of Change -- re-read
  26. Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast News -- re-read
  27. They Do It with Mirrors --re-read
  28. Splendid Solution -- re-read
  29. The Secret Adversary -- re-read
  30. The Remains of the Day -- re-read
  31. Prisioners of Georgraphy -- NEW66  HISTORY15
  32. Hickory Dickory Dock -- re-read
  33. The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam -- re-read
  34. Magyk -- NEW65
  35. Safe Passage -- NEW64  HISTORY14
  36. Einstein -- re-read
  37. Drama -- re-read
  38. Packing for Mars -- NEW63 SCIENCE6
  39. Evans Above -- NEW62
  40. Death on the Nile -- re-read
  41. Alexander Hamilton --re-read
  42. And Then There Where None -- re-read
  43. The Sirens of Titan -- NEW61
  44. Secretariat -- NEW60 HISTORY13
  45. My Favorite Universe --NEW59  SCIENCE5
  46. American Ulysses -- NEW58  HISTORY12
  47. Gulp -- re-read [book club read]  SCIENCE4
  48. After the Funeral -- re-read
  49. Rocket Men -- re-read  HISTORY SCIENCE
  50. The Day of the Jackel --re-read
  51. 13 Things that Don't Make Sense -- NEW57 SCIENCE3
  52. The Stranger -- re-read 
  53. Murder Most Frothy -- NEW56
  54. 4:50 from Paddington --NEW55
  55. A Man of Some Repute -- NEW54
  56. Latte Trouble -- NEW53
  57. 10 Lb. Penalty --re-read
  58. Whip Hand -- re-read
  59. Venetia -- re-read
  60. The Unknown Ajax  -- re-read
  61. The Unfinished Clue -- re-read
  62. Twice Shy -- re-read
  63. Trustee From the Toolroom --re-read
  64. Trial Run -- re-read
  65. The Toll Gate --re-read
  66. To the Hilt -- re-read
  67. These Old Shades --re-read
  68. The Talisman Ring -- re-read
  69. Sylvester -- re-read
  70. Great Courses: The Mysterious Etruscans --NEW52 HISTORY11
  71. Great Courses: A Skeptic's Gide to American History --NEW51 HISTORY10
  72. Great Courses: Privacy, Property and Free Speech --NEW50
  73. Great Courses: History's Greatest Voyages of Exploration -- NEW49 HISTORY9
  74. Great Courses: An Economic History of the World Since 1400 --  NEW48 HISTORY8
  75. Persons of Interest -- NEW47
  76. The Portrait of Dorian Gray -- re-read
  77. Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought -- NEW46 HISTORY7
  78. The Invention of Nature --NEW45 SCIENCE 2
  79. Great Courses: Cultural Literacy for Religion NEW44
  80. Great Courses: Industrial Revolution NEW43 HISTORY6
  81. Sprig Muslin -- re-read
  82. So Disdained -- re-read
  83. Smokescreen --re-read
  84. Shattered --re-read
  85. Second Wind --re-read
  86. Ruined City -- re-read
  87. Round the Bend -- re-read
  88. Risk -- re-read -
  89. The Reluctant Widow -- re-read
  90. Regency Buck -- re-read
  91. Reflex -- re-read
  92. Rat Race -- re-read
  93. The Rainbow and the Rose -- re-read
  94. The Quiet Gentleman -- re-read
  95. Proof -- re-read
  96. Pastoral --re-read
  97. An Old Captivity -- re-read
  98. Odds Against - re-read
  99. The Nonesuch -- re-read
  100. No Highway --re-read
  101. Nerve -- re-read
  102. The Masqueraders -- re-read
  103. Longshot -- re-read
  104. The Lonely Road --re-read
  105. The Relic Master --42NEW
  106. Louder Than Words -- 41NEW
  107. Notorious RBG -- 40NEW HISTORY5
  108. Landfall -- re-read
  109. Lady of Quality -- re-read
  110. Starman Jones -- 39NEW
  111. The Secrets of Wishtide -- 38NEW
  112. Hidden Figures -- 37NEW HISTORY4
  113. Nothing to Fear -- 36NEW HISTORY3
  114. Bad News -- 35NEW
  115. Mrs. Fortescue Steps Out --34NEW
  116. Great Courses: American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue' --33NEW HISTORY
  117. Anansi Boys -- 32NEW
  118. The Great Decision --31NEW HISTORY2
  119. What The F -- 30NEW
  120. The Crime at Black Dudley -- 29NEW
  121. Great Courses: The Illiad of Homer --28NEW
  122. Cairnaerie --27NEW
  123. In the Wet -- re-read
  124. In the Frame --re-read
  125. The Illiad & The Odyssey -- 26NEW  Bucket List
  126. Great Courses: The Odyssey of Homer  -- 25NEW
  127. Hot Money -- re-read
  128. High Stakes --re-read
  129. Spaceman --24NEW SCIENCE1 HISTORY
  130. Tess of the d'Urbervilles -- 23NEW
  131. Luck and Judgement -- 22NEW
  132. The Jungle Book --21NEW
  133. The Grand Sophy -- re-read
  134. Words on the Move -- 20NEW
  135. Frederica -- re-read
  136. Friday's Child --re-read
  137. Double Whammy -- re-read
  138. The Foundling -- re-read
  139. Flying Finish -- re-read
  140. The Spaceship Next Door --19NEW
  141. Great Courses: From Plato to Post-Modernism -- 18NEW
  142. Great Courses: English Grammar Boot Camp -- 17NEW
  143. Faro Daughter -- re-read
  144. The Far Country -- re-read
  145. False Colours -- re-read
  146. Even Money -- re-read
  147. Enquiry -- re-read
  148. Driving Force -- re-read
  149. Bloodline -- re-read
  150. Devil's Cub --re-read 
  151. The White Cottage Mystery -- 16NEW
  152. The Eyre Affair -- 15NEW
  153. On What Grounds -- 14NEW
  154. But for the Grace -- 13NEW
  155. Great Courses: The High Middle Ages 12NEW HISTORY
  156. Decider -- re-read
  157. Dead Heat --re-read
  158. Dead Cert --re-read
  159. The Danger --re-read
  160. Crossfire --re-read
  161. Cotillion --re-read
  162. The Corinthian -- re-read 
  163. The Readers of Broken-Wheel Recommend -- 11NEW
  164. Sunday the Rabbi Stayed Home -- 10NEW
  165. An Accidental Death --9NEW
  166. A Convenient Marriage --re-read
  167. Come to Grief -- re-read
  168. A Civil Contract -- re-read
  169. The Chequer Board -- re-read
  170. Charity Girl -- re-read
  171. The Breaking Wave --re-read
  172. Bret Farrar -- 9NEW
  173. Great Courses: Find Your Roots -- 8NEW
  174. Break In --re-read
  175. Great Courses: The Great Debate -- 7NEW HISTORY1
  176. Great Courses: 36 Books That Changed the World -- 6NEW
  177. Speaking American --5NEW
  178. You're Saying It Wrong --4NEW
  179. We are Legion (We are Bob) --3NEW
  180. Great Courses: English in America --2NEW
  181. Midnight Riot (aka A River in London) --1NEW
  182. Bolt -- re-read (continued from 2016)
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review 2017-11-23 20:56
A haunting we will go, a haunting we will go...
Love Wanted - John Inman

What I thought would be a sweet and different story for me just turned out to be a train wreck.  I thought the concept for this one sounded different and interesting but when I got to it...for me this just didn't work. I really couldn't buy into the whole concept of why Mr. Stanhope was doing what he did...even suspending my disbelief my brain still said..."Nope, not a chance...this is so bogus." I just couldn't get my brain around it and then there was the ghost...I've read a few books with ghost in them and I knew there was one in this book but damned if I could buy into all the stuff that this ghost could do and quite honestly I really didn't care for him...nor did really care for most of the characters in this story...so in a nutshell, this one just wasn't working for me on a whole lot of levels.

 

What it comes down to for me is that sometimes a story can be hit or miss and this time around it was definitely a miss but on the upside I got to listen to a new narrator and....

 

Truthfully for me the best part of this book and probably the reason I finished it was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by new to me narrator Eziekiel Robison who did an awesome job with the narration on this one and I honestly enjoyed listening to him as he read this book. I liked his voices and the fact that he kept them unique, clear, expressive and consistent all combined to give me an enjoyable listening experience and even thought the story didn't work well for me...the narrator did just fine and I look forward to enjoying future books narrated by Mr. Robison.

 

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

An audio book of 'Love Wanted' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-23 20:06
'Love in Laguna' has definitely been a hit and miss series for me...
Fool of Main Beach - Tara Lain

The first four books have garnered anything between 2 and even 5 stars as a rating from me.

'Fool of Main Beach' just had too many things that appealed to me, so when the chance came along to check out the audio book and the narrator was an 'almost' new to me narrator...K. C. Kelly, whom I've only heard narrate one other audio book. I decided I needed to go for it...so we're heading for Laguna Beach and the men who live there.

So let's start with what I love...

First off this is one of those series where we get a different couple for each book but we also get to re-visit the men from the previous books so the new and the familiar...one of my favorite things.

Dogs...lots and lots of dogs...come on we all know dogs make everything better and this one has dogs in spades.

Totally unlikely MCs...I love it when an author takes 2 characters who on paper are just never going to happen...they have nothing in common, their connection defies the obvious. 

Diverse and interesting secondary characters...this one has those in spades from the collection of acting industry people to Merle's family to Tom's family and let's not forget the men from the previous stories. 

Most of all I quickly discovered that what I loved the most about this book was Merle and Tom...but especially Tom. I'm not even sure how to explain Tom and all the feelz I have for him. Truly we would all be better people for having a Tom in our lives. Tom is sweet and honest....so guileless and absolutely so much more than he appeared to be. Tom would be the kind of friend that anyone with a brain would treasure and that any parent worthy of the name would cherish and be humbled for having played a part in gifting the world with.

Ok, let's move on to Merle because honestly I could probably wax poetic about Tom and why I love him all day but I think I've made my point Tom is awesome but in his own way so was Merle.

Merle is the star of a television show and he aspires to star in movies but more importantly Merle is at his heart an sweet and gentle soul looking for the right person to love him. It just takes him a bit of time to realize that finding the right person to love him means looking not at the package but at what lies inside...although it might not hurt that Tom is also very nicely packaged...he's big...as in tall with all kinds of lovely ripped muscles and the face of an angel and he thinks that Merle is so beautiful and talented. 

I loved that no matter where things were at between these two men if one of them needed help the other one dropped everything to get to them as soon as possible. I loved how Merle saw and never lost site of Tom...not the superficial that people saw at first glance but the man who saw the world just a little differently from others and whose honesty is both guileless and refreshing. 

Merle and Tom are in many ways as unlikely a pairing as a person could imagine and their story from when they are brought together when Tom first rescues Merle from an act of bigotry and hatred. As they become friends then friends with benefits continuing to rescue each other, Tom and Merle find their lives becoming increasingly entangled and yet in spite of the fact that both claim a relationship between them would never work, neither of them is willing to truly give up the other. 

I really enjoyed listening to this story on audio. K.C. Kelly's narration was well done and really added to my enjoyment of the characters and the story in general and easily ticked off those boxes in my 'things I look for from an audio book' list. 

'Fool of Main Beach' is a sweet, feel good, hurt/comfort romance that at times had me laughing and there may have been a tear or two as well and without a doubt this is one of my favorites from this series.


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

 

An audio book of 'Thief of Main Street' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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