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review 2018-05-25 03:15
ARC Review: A Full Plate by Kim Fielding
A Full Plate - Kim Fielding

This was utterly adorable. And it's apparently true - the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

At least, in this case, that old adage works - Sage seduces Tully with his cooking skills.

I'm getting ahead of myself though...

Bradford Tolliver aka Tully is a hot shot young lawyer, living in a fancy condo, driving a fancy car - and living an empty life. When his colleague asks for a favor for her cousin to live with Tully for a few months, less than a year, Tully reluctantly agrees.

Sage Filling (what the heck, Kim Fielding?) took a job as a short order cook for reasons, but his dream is cooking on a much higher culinary scale. He loves trying out new recipes, and Tully is only too willing to be the guinea pig. He doesn't mind the hot kissing either. He doesn't mind spending a bit of his cash on some fancy cookware either if that keep Sage cooking up culinary delights.

The focus of this story is on the slowly developing romance between the two men and the presumably inevitable ending - Tully's life is in the city, and Sage wants to go home to his small town. 

There's a wee bit of drama with Tully's filthy rich ex Eddie who needs to learn the meaning of NO, and who comes across as a bit smarmy. I didn't like him much, though the Thanksgiving standoff was highly entertaining. 

This is a romance, so of course they get their happy ending. That's not a spoiler, is it?

This is a really sweet, adorable story, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone - the author is Kim Fielding after all. Enjoy this with a glass of wine or two, or read it lounging by the pool this summer. You won't regret giving this book a chance. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-05-25 02:35
ARC Review: Bad To The Bone by Nicki Bennett
Bad to the Bone - Nicki Bennett

This was for the most part a sweet second-chance romance between two men who were friends in high school and could have been more if it weren't for small town bigots and needing that scholarship.

Back in high school, Alex was going to be a big shot football player at college until an injury put an end to that dream. But that injury didn't happen until he had already lost his heart to Ricky Lee, a boy his age from the wrong side of the tracks, who shared his love of books. 

So Ricky Lee left town, and Alex stayed. He's now working at his hardware store he co-owns with his sister, his marriage has failed, and his life hasn't turned out at all how he imagined it would.

And then Ricky Lee comes back into town because of their high school reunion and makes it very clear from the start that he's never forgotten Alex. Ricky Lee now lives in Portland and is some kind of technology genius. He wants Alex and he starts his pursuit from the time he arrives back in town. 

This being a Dreamspun Desires title, the plot and happenings inside are deliciously OTT, the characters are slightly too perfect, and the supporting cast is a bit one-dimensional. I liked Alex's sister a whole lot - she seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, and I liked his cop friend as well. I liked Alex and Ricky Lee, and Ricky Lee's somewhat flamboyant friend/business partner. 

As the romance gets its second wind, the small town bigots do their very best to try to put a cork in it. This is where the plot leaves realistic territory and veers dramatically into what the hell just happened. 

I was entertained, of course, and the scenes where Alex and Ricky Lee are on page together without others are really well done. I believed that they still had feelings for each other after all these years, and that those feelings were easily rekindled into a raging fire. 

This is a feel good book. It's an easy read for a day at the beach or curled up in your favorite chair with your favorite beverage. It's not deep, it's not memorable, but it's definitely enjoyable.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2018-05-24 22:06
Bullet: Anita Blake #19, wherein a lot of things and nothing happens
Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #19) - Laurell K. Hamilton

The weirdest thing about this book, by far, is that it simultaneously manages to have no plot and too many plots all at the same time. There are at least five plot hooks thrown into this novel and none of them really get fully pursued. There's too much planning, and angsting, and screwing, and agonizing, and ruminating on long winding metaphysical descriptions and threats, and even dancing, to ever get around to totally engaging with any one thing. If this book is about anything it's about the whole plot with the weretigers that has been brewing for...four books? Five? I'm not sure. At any rate this book comes to a screeching halt after Anita collects her entire rainbow (not joking) of weretigers, leaving plot lines like assassins and evil vampires dangling for another time.

 

More and more these books blend into one another so that they cannot stand on their own - each book a record of a day in the life, if every day is rife with conflict and melodrama. It feels like fanfic, except the original author is penning it. It's almost like a new weird art form born of loose editing and fever dreams. Regardless, the series marches on, and I will continue my dabbling out of morbid curiosity. (Again, I'm reading these so you don't have to. You're welcome.) I give this book a solid shrug.

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review 2018-05-24 21:51
Flirt: Anita Blake #18, Sort of
Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #18) - Laurell K. Hamilton

A short story, inflated to a novella, marketed as a novel. I did appreciate that this installment had more of an actual story arc than most late series Blake novels - the length kept it from spinning too far off the rails. It also focused primarily (though not entirely) on her necromancy more than other metaphysical wankery, which was refreshing. Unfortunately she also manages to somehow add a new man to her collection (through force I might add), and repeat herself every other paragraph. So...yay? I give this a resounding meh. (Again, I'm reading these so you don't have to.)

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review 2018-05-24 20:25
Ein faszinierendes Debüt
Der Brief: Roman - Carolin Hagebölling

Marie ist verstört als sie einen sonderbaren Brief in den Händen hält. Das Schreiben ist an sie adressiert und die Absenderin ist ihr bekannt. Dennoch scheint er aus einem ganz anderen Leben zu sein. Denn in diesem Brief lebt sie in Paris, ist verheiratet und hat sogar ein Kind. Aber wie kommt das, wenn sie doch in Hamburg wohnt?

"Der Brief" ist ein raffinierter Roman, der mit verschiedenen Realitätsebenen spielt. Zwar ist er weit von einem Thriller entfernt, regt dennoch zum Grübeln und Nachdenken an.

Was wäre, wenn man sich an einer Abzweigung des Lebens anders entschieden hätte? Was wäre geschehen, wenn man statt zuhause zu bleiben an jenem Abend ausgegangen wäre? Wie hätte sich der eigene Weg entwickelt, wenn man sich vor Jahren für Paris entschieden hätte?

Mit diesen oder ähnlichen Fragen wird Marie konfrontiert als sie den merkwürdigen Brief in den Händen hält. Er stammt von einer alten Schulfreundin und ist an sie geschrieben und adressiert. Aber das Leben und die Fragen darin widersprechen der Realität. 

So beginnt Marie dem Geheimnis hinter dem Brief auf den Grund zu gehen. Diese Reise führt sie in ihre Vergangenheit bis hin zu einer möglichen Zukunft in Paris, die im Brief jedoch schon Vergangenheit ist.

Marie ist Anfang Dreißig und hat auf mich den Eindruck einer ruhigen, gefestigten Person gemacht. Sie lebt in einer Beziehung, arbeitet als Journalistin und hat Hamburg als Heimatstadt für sich entdeckt. 

Zu Beginn tut sie das mysteriöse Schriftstück natürlich als bösen Streich und Humbug ab. Allerdings lässt es ihr keine Ruhe, schon gar nicht, als weitere Briefe ankommen. 

Ich mochte diesen Roman gern, weil die Atmosphäre sehr fesselnd ist. Laufend habe ich gegrübelt, was denn hinter den Briefen stecken könnte und über eine realistische Ursache nachgedacht. Genauso macht es Marie, die sogar kreativer als ich ist, weil sie etliche Möglichkeiten durchdenkt. 

Allerdings habe ich die Figuren eher als Statisten empfunden, weil sie nicht besonders in die Tiefe gehen. Zumindest entsprechen sie nicht üblichen Klischees, was über die glatte Oberfläche hinwegtröstet.

Hauptsächlich spielt ein philosphischer Grundton rein, der sich mit alternativen Lebenswegen beschäftigt. Denn die Thematik orientiert sich stark am  "Was wäre, wenn ..?" und wirft unterschiedliche Perspektiven auf Maries Entscheidungen. 

Trotz des ruhigen Erzählstils hat mich dieses Gedankenspiel an die Seiten gebannt. Es gefällt mir, dass die Autorin nicht in Richtung Mystery abdriftet sondern ganz und gar bei ihrem philosophischen Ansatz bleibt. 

Das Ende hat mir gefallen und ist passend gewählt. Zwar lässt es etliche Fragen offen, dafür stupst es das Gedankenkarussell ordentlich an. Auf diese Weise kann man selbst entscheiden, was denn nun wirklich geschehen ist. 

Insgesamt ist „Der Brief“ ein faszinierendes Debüt, das den Leser zum Philosophieren und Grübeln bringt, gerade weil das Ende offen ist. 

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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