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review 2017-04-21 07:06
Arc Review: I Dared the Duke (The Wayward Wallflowers, #2) by Anna Bennett
I Dared the Duke - Anna Bennett

Second installment in The Wayward Wallflowers series but can easily be read as a standalone. Both Alex and Beth are unique characters in that he’s not what he’s allowed the ton to believe and she’s not the meek mouse he’s thought her to be. Although there is some sort of spark when they first meet there is no instant physical attraction, which I truly appreciated. I was glad to see their feelings blossomed from engaging in actual conversations and from daily interaction.

There was an easy and funny banter between the two that made their relationship feel real and believable. Even though the Duke behaved roguish and intimidating at times, Beth showed plenty of resolve and strength of character, both to resist his charms and later to help him overcome some personal issues.

There was however that little issue with the so-called “incidents”. The heart of the matter is that it appears someone was trying to hurt Alex. Instead of enlisting the help of professionals or at least gather more intelligence before jumping to conclusions he actually secluded himself into his old home with the person he said he loved the most. There is also Beth, who at the beginning of the story showed such wit and an agile mind but towards the end was pushing Ben to act recklessly and even use her as bait to uncover the villain. It was as if she was a completely different person than the woman at the beginning.


In short, I was hooked when the story started but not so much as the story progressed and quite frankly I was conflicted in how I felt when I finished it. I suppose it was still a good story but in my opinion it just didn’t deliver in the mystery aspect nor did it provide the ending I needed.
3.5 stars.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-20 14:30
Arc review: Saving the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey #3) by Nina Croft
Saving the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

Third and final installment in the fast-paced, action-packed, sometimes incongruous but still funny at others saga.

Ruby and Killian live another day only to find themselves back in the lion’s den, attempting to complete another suicide rescue mission, only this time Killian is no longer a pirate but a man with a purpose and a sense of honor. Against all odds, the mission is a success, there are more surprises along the way, and Ruby and Killian find some kind of HFN.

I thought the serial as a whole was pretty interesting, if only there would have been more story as opposed to so much insta-lust and gratuitous sex then I would have liked it more. Then again this is more of an erotica so I'll take it as is and I'm sure other readers will enjoy it much more. 

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-18 22:54
Review: Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey #2) by Nina Croft
Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins’ Sexy Space Odyssey) - Nina Croft

Ruby finds herself back where it all started. Her mission may be back on track but now she may be in more danger than ever before.

Here we get to see more of the other creatures Ruby and her friends have to deal with and the villains they have to defeat. There were a few twists along the way that kept the story interesting and a pretty awesome, action-packed, nail-biting ending, which was another cliffhanger.

We also got to see Killian in a more redeeming light, which was good of course. Unfortunately Ruby continued to act like a child in a chocolate factory regardless of everything of what was happening to her. I mean, I get that there are certain things that get some people off, and hey! More power to them for enjoying what they like when it comes to sex. However, I wished she started acting more like a hero and less like a lioness in heat. All in all a good continuation to the story and I’ll definitely read the final book.

*** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-04-16 16:04
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer ★★★☆☆
The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer - Krista Davis

I enjoyed this second book in the Paws and Claws series a bit more than the first, but that might be more due to my adjusted expectations than to any real difference in quality. With my vast experience of a single book in the cozy mystery genre, I have a good idea what to expect, and this book met expectations admirably. It’s a cute story, with uncomplicated characters, and not only does this book add on to the DOGGIES(!) from the first book, it has more KITTIES(!). Seriously, who cares why an unlikeable character drowns under mysterious conditions when there are doggies and kitties galore? The solution to the mystery is almost an aside, for me.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Jeanie Kanaley’s narration is just as bad as it was in the first book. I had to laugh aloud every time the main character says or thinks “ugh” (which is lamentably often), because Ms. Kanaley actually pronounces the word, rather than verbalizing that guttural grunt of disgust that it represents. Yes, she actually says, “Ugg,” like she’s referring to trendy footwear.

 

And yes, I’ve already put the 3rd book in the series, Murder Most Howl, on hold at the library, because in spite of all the flaws, DOGGIES!

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review 2017-04-15 04:49
Connection Error
Connection Error - Annabeth Albert,Sean Crisden

As with the previous two books in this series, traveling and getting to know each other while trapped together in a confined space plays an important part in the MCs' relationship. Unlike the previous two books, they weren't frenemies beforehand, and the traveling didn't force them to come to terms with their differences and learn to appreciate each other, with that appreciation quickly turning to love. 

 

I said in my review for the second book - Status Update? Or was it Beta Test? I don't really remember which one came first or second. - that they were too similar to each other and I probably would've done better to wait to listen to the second book so I could better appreciate it on its own merits. And that's why I waited so long to finally get around to this one. Well, that's one reason. The other would be Sean Crisden, who is at best a meh narrator for me, so he doesn't exactly inspire me to rush out and get his books. Yet somehow, despite his meh-ness, I still really enjoyed this book. 

 

I was really pleased to see that this book deviated a bit from the previous two. Ryan doesn't work for the video game developer that Josiah works for, so the first time they meet is on their flight, which they're both taking for different reasons. So there's none of that boring frenemy nonsense to bog through. They hit it off immediately and forge a really strong friendship while geeking out over the video game expansion packet Josiah is developing. 

 

And then they land - and Josiah realizes for the first time that Ryan, the super hunky Navy SEAL he's been sitting next to this whole time, is a double amputee, missing both his legs - and in true Josiah fashion he blurts out the most horrible insensitive thing you can say to an amputee. It doesn't matter that he doesn't mean it in a cruel way, that he's just stating the obvious in his shock. It's a bad thing and he knows it and immediately tries to apologize. Thankfully, Ryan's able to forgive him and their friendship continues.

 

A lot of this is told through their various texts and emails as they have a friends with benefits relationship long-distance while Ryan does his rehab in Texas Josiah works on his video expansion pack in Germany and California. We get to see them actually be friends and come to care for and like each other in that capacity. Yes, Ryan knows very early on that he wants more than just friendship, but there's no instalove here. I loved pretty much everything about their relationship and how it developed. Ryan takes longer to get to where Josiah is, but he's actually there a lot sooner than he realizes or admits. 

 

While I did like seeing them chit chat back and forth, these parts did kind of drag a wee bit. I'd have skimmed/skipped right over all those To:s and From:s and Subject:s if I were reading this myself so I could get to the actual messages faster. Crisden naturally had to read all those headers out in full. Also, Crisden does this weird thing with his voice when he's reading their texts and emails, like he's almost trying to make them sound a little robotic or automated. Or maybe he's just being typical Crisden. Hard to tell.

 

All the rehab stuff with Ryan and his goals and ambitions were very well done. I can tell the author did her research, and while I can't validate any of this as authentic, it did seem to be stuff that a double amputee would be reasonably expected to tackle during his recovery.

 

Josiah's issues at work though - I feel like Josiah got shortchanged in his own book. We get to meet Ryan's rehab team and see him doing his rehab and having his setbacks and successes and frustrations. Josiah's issues at work, leading a team for the first time and dealing with his ADHD and how that makes people undermine him, is mostly given lip service. We're told about it, but we don't actually see it. There's only one scene in the entire book at his job. One! Everything else we hear about secondhand, and not even from Josiah some of those times. And for all that we're told his ADHD can make reading social cues difficult, other than that first snafu on the airplane, we're also not really shown that either. There's so much focus on Ryan, that Josiah just got shifted to the side.

 

If there had been a better balance of scenes, I'd have given this four stars easily, but as it is, 3.5 is the best I can do.

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