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review 2017-04-19 23:45
Finders Keepers ★★★★☆
Finders Keepers: A Novel - Stephen King

This was a much slower moving story than Mr. Mercedes, with the setup and history to the main action taking up the bulk of the book. But the author is so good at breathing life into the characters and sprinkling action and excitement into seemingly mundane scenes, that I was carried along without really even noticing it. And I was pleased that his awkward and unconvincing attempts at romance in the first book was mercifully absent in this one.

 

And does anyone do murder scenes better than Mr. King? NOPE.

 

Okay, I’m ready to dive into the last book!

 

Audio version, via Audible. Will Patton’s performance was masterful. He does much more than just allow the listener to distinguish between the voices of different characters. He uses a different voice for each scene, depending on the central character for that scene. He creates a unique voice, with breath, speech patterns, and pacing, for each character, that fully embodies the its characteristics. I especially loved his voice for Holly. His voice for Morris was absolutely menacing, it gave me chills.

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review 2017-04-16 16:55
Marrying Winterborne ★★★★☆
Marrying Winterborne - Lisa Kleypas

I picked this one up because I had enjoyed the first in the series very much. I had low expectations, though, because the male love interest seemed more the stereotypical Romance genre alpha-male, on the rapey-side, based on his appearance in Cold-Hearted Rake. Much to my surprise, though, the author gave him a more nuanced character in this book, and although he was certainly a bit manipulative, the heroine had full agency. Most of what I like about this series of books is the rediscovery of Romance as an enjoyable, escapist read.

 

Audiobook borrowed from my local library via Overdrive. Excellence performance by Mary Jane Wells.

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review 2017-04-16 14:45
Mr. Mercedes ★★★★☆
Mr Mercedes - Stephen King

Well plotted and plausible thriller, but as usual with King’s books, it was the characters and their individual stories that drove me on through most of the book. The “what happens next” takes the co-pilot seat in the last third of the book, turning into a real nail-biter at the end.

 

King’s genius, to me, is his ability to bring fascinating characters to life and in the story game of “what-if”. I nearly always find romantic relationships between his characters awkward and unconvincing, though, and the sudden and intense romance in Mr. Mercedes was no exception.

 

He does that thing again that I both love and hate, where he

introduces characters and makes you invest in them, then kills them off and makes you start over with new characters. I don’t know if it’s intentional, but it puts me, the reader, on cautious footing with the new characters, feeling untrustful and not quite willing to commit. Until those new characters are in peril, and I find that I *am* invested in them, after all.

(spoiler show)

 

Audio version, borrowed from my local library via Overdrive. Will Patton’s narration is fantastic. He breathes life into the story and characters, and I loved how his vocal (oratory? Not sure of the proper word here) style changed, even when not voicing dialogue, for each section when the narrative switches between different characters’ stories. I could instantly tell when the story changed from following Brady, to following Hodges, to following Jerome, just by the change in voice. I might have finally found a new favorite reader of King’s stories, years after Frank Muller’s passing.

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review 2017-04-12 01:28
Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse
Ten Simple Tips for Surviving the Apocalypse - Cari Z.

Why yes, I just did use my "WAFF" tag for a book about the zombie apocalypse. What of it?

 

This was cute! Like puppies and kittens in springtime! Just ignore the killer mutant hordes coming to eat your face off. You'll be fine. There's even a quiz at the end that ramps the cuteness factor up to eleven.

 

I did think the romance was a bit on the thin side, but that didn't really bother me, since this is a fun breezy read and anything too angsty would've messed up the tone. Still, if you're looking for steam, look elsewhere. The epilogue could've answered a couple of extra questions than it did, and it was never explained what caused the plague, but again, not a big deal that it didn't. 

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review 2017-04-05 03:12
Play Dead
Play Dead - Avery Cockburn

This is the ending I wanted for Playing To Win. Playing To Win set up this great and fantastic dynamic between Colin, a poor uni student and football player who grew up on government benefits, and Lord Andrew, who is obviously very much the opposite of that. I've always loved their dynamic, because while there was no pretending that Andrew holds more power socially, politically and financially than Colin ever will, Andrew willfully gives up power in the bedroom - and Colin is more than able to take control. Seeing Andrew slowly have his eyes peeled open about social injustices and seeing how they both have their insecurities based around their family dynamics made Playing To Win a real treat. And then it ended rather abruptly, with all the plot threads summarized and wrapped up in a pretty bow without showing us how any of that happened. I was bummed!

 

So getting this novella, which deals with the aftermath of Colin's and Andrew's assault, finally filled in some of those things that were skipped. Andrew's struggles with his PTSD felt real and not melodramatic, which for this drama queen is saying a lot. Colin's struggles to get back into physical shape to start playing football again were also given their due attention. I still would've liked more with Andrew's family but what we do see is well written. 

 

As some of you may know by now, I don't read BDSM, so I skipped the one scene that included it. I did skim the beginning and end of the scene, enough to get the gist of what happened, and the following chapter filled in all relevant information. I didn't feel like I missed anything important, and getting to see Colin take such great care of Andrew following that scene

which ended because Andrew started having a panic attack during it

(spoiler show)

just made me appreciate their relationship more. These two are so adorable and perfect together, I could squish them! So if you're hesitant to read this because of the BDSM, rest assured it can be skipped. 

 

Oh, and as for Evan? I need his story NOW! He just got a billion times more interesting.

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