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review 2017-02-03 17:57
Review - The Whole Man by CF Rose
The Whole Man - CF Rose

I really liked this book – there was a lot going on, but the overall story was good. Evan and Jesse have a very brief history so there is an element of a second chance, which I enjoy, and there is also a bit of mystery thrown in which allows us to really get to know the characters. And I’m a sucker for sports romances, so there were a lot of things I really liked about this book.

 

Both Jesse and Evan are carrying around some issues from their past. Jesse turned to alcohol as a way of helping him grieve the loss of his brother. Evan has closed herself off after breaking free from an abusive relationship. To say these two had some issues to overcome is an understatement. When they meet up 10 years after their very brief affair, they are not the same two people who shared a crazy 48 hours together. Neither one of them are good at communicating or sharing so a lot of things that may have been talked out right away are left unsaid and/or unknown to each other which causes a lot of angst between them.

 

One thing that seemed to slow the reading down a bit was that there were too many things going on at once. The overall story of Jesse and Evan finding their way back to each other was good, but there were many sub-plots going on within and between their two families which seemed to bog me down a little. I liked the abusive ex story line, but some of the other things I think could have been left out or reworked to keep the pace up.

 

Overall, I think this was a great debut novel for the author it definitely has me curious to see if there will be any other books that deal with Jesse’s brothers.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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review 2017-01-30 14:47
Review - Shadow Wolf by Heather Long
Shadow Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 10) - Heather Long

Heather Long does it again with another 5 star read in her Wolves of Willow Bend series. Shadow Wolf is the beginning of a new story arc in this series and boy...I could not put this one down!

 

From well-developed characters to an awesome plot that reveals enough to get you through Mitch and Amelia's story but leaves enough in question to have you anticipating the next book, Heather Long has a way of just drawing you into the world she has created. And now adding some additional dimensions into the world of the Enforcers has only made me more excited to see where this series leads...and has me hoping that it is many, many, many more books before it ends!

 

This is one of my favorite series and I can't recommend this book and series enough. Although you could read this as a stand-alone, I would recommend starting at the beginning so you can meet all the wonderful characters in the world that Heather Long has created.

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review 2015-10-21 21:06
Review: Haven Lake by Holly Robinson

 

NOTE:  A copy of this book was provided by the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 
I have read several of Holly Robinson's books over the last few years.  I started withThe Wishing Hill  (Review Link)  the story of three women whose lives are linked in an unusual yet unbreakable way.  That was followed by Beach Plum Island (review link ) a story of three sisters whose lives are linked and who are just beginning to understand the meaning of the word  "family".  Recently I had the privilege of reading a third book by Holly, Haven Lake, published April 2015 by NAL, $15.00 US.   I am pleased to say that I think this is Holly's best work yet. 
 
Like all of Holly's books that I have read, Haven Lake is a story about people, the connections that they make, and what actually constitutes a family.  In this case, we are introduced to Sydney Bishop, a women who left home at the age of sixteen after a pair of tragic deaths tore her family apart, and her mother, Hannah Bishop, a sheep farmer who still lives at the family farm where Sydney grew up.  Sydney is currently a child psychologist working with troubled students and engaged to marry Gary, a top notch surgeon with a teenage son.   The story unfolds as Sydney tries to forge a bond with Dylan, Gary's son, and steer clear of her mother and their strained relationship.

As I stated in my other reviews of her books,  Holly Robinson's strengths are the characters that she develops in her stories, and the actual flow of the stories themselves.  In that respect, this book is no different.  The main characters, Sydney, Hannah, and Dylan are all amazingly complex characters with a lot of depth and many facets in their personalities.  In fact, even the minor characters, Sydney's fiancee Gary, her grandmother, Hannah's friend and neighbor, Liz, and Dylan's crush are all complex and interesting in their own right.  In fact, there is not a single character in this book that did not do something surprising at one point or another.  The fact that the characters in the story were unpredictable at times only made them seem more real and allowed me to connect with them all the more.  As for the story itself, Haven Lake is once again filled with plenty of emotion...love, loss, betrayal, and enough twists and turns to make the story a page turner.

There were, however, two big differences that set this book apart and made it, for me, the best effort from Holly Robinson yet.  First were the male characters in this book.  I felt that the male characters in this book were more developed and played a bigger role in the flow of the story.  I was especially happy with the character of Dylan, as he is the first male character that has been used as the stories focus among the Holly Robinson books that I have read, and he was an excellent one at that.  The second reason that this book resonated with me more than some of the others has to do with the last quarter of the book, and the ultimate ending.  There were so many things revealed about the characters in this section of the book that made for a fascinating read.  In addition, the ending of this book was so realistic.  One thing that I really appreciate, is authors who do not succumb to the urge to always give books an ending where everything works out perfectly.  Don't get me wrong, I love happy endings, but I also appreciate realistic endings where you see that the characters still have decisions to make and journeys to go through.   In this respect, I found the ending to this story very satisfying.

The next Holly Robinson book on my list to read is Chance Harbor, which I highly anticipating.  Over the course of time as I have been reading Holly's books, I have become a true fan of her stories and look forward to much more from her in the future. 
Source: www.abookaddictsmusings.com
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review 2015-09-16 22:35
Review: Tidewater: A Novel of Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony by Libbie Hawker

 

My copy of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my review.


I have always been fascinated by other cultures, and among the first that I sought out information on when I was in elementary school were the Native Americans.  Growing up in America I was told the story of Pocahontas and John Smith numerous times in my life, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I found out that Pocahontas and John Smith were never in love, nor were they ever lovers.  There is so much mythology and fairy tale attached to their story, that it is a true find to come across a book that tells a more likely, and to my mind likable, story of the two. Tidewater: A Novel of Pocahontas and the Jamestown Colony  by Libbie Hawker (Lake Union Publishing $10.95 in Paperback) is just such a book.   When I saw it being offered for review, I knew I had to read it, whether I was awarded the ARC or not.

The first thing that I noticed was that the  book begins with the arrival of John Smith and his cohorts from the Virginia Company in America and their decision of where to set up the colony of Jamestown.  In fact, although Pocahontas definitely plays a role in the first third of the book, the author mainly focuses on the developing relationship between the colonists at Jamestown and the Powhatan Indians.  Pocahontas' father Powhatan, her uncle Opechanacanough, John Smith, and various other colonists are the main characters for this part of the story.  Score one for both the book and the author.  As the story progressed, I was very impressed with the way that the author peppered the story with the actual names and customs of the Powhatan Indians.  In addition, she was meticulous in her descriptions of the colonists and the actual roles that each of them played, reminding us that John Smith was not the "leader" or president of the Jamestown colony at the time that he met Pocahontas.

As the story unfolds, we get to the part where Pocahontas saves John Smith from death and the resulting development of their relationship.  At this point in the book, Pocahontas takes on a more central role, as she most likely did in real life.  Although the book at this point details her relationship with John Smith and, in the last third, her life in the colony, conversion to Christianity, marriage to John Rolfe, and eventual trip to England, the author does a great job of continuing to let us know what is happening with the other characters, most notably, John Smith, Powhatan, and his brother. Through all of this, we get an excellent picture of Pocahontas, her true role in the Jamestown story, and her eventual life as a Christian and Englishwoman.

The one thing that struck me throughout this book, and perhaps my favorite thing about it, was the amount of detail and realism that the author included in this book.  It was apparent from the beginning that she had done a lot of research,  not only on Pocahontas her self, but on the Powhatan Indians in general along with the actual inhabitants of the Jamestown colony.  I was definitely pleased, although not really surprised, when I came to the end of the book and found listed there the titles of several non-fiction books that the author used to research and develop her story.  I definitely intend to check a few of them out.  

I ended up giving this book 5 out of 5 stars and am including it on my highly recommended list.  It is a true gem and I will am thankful to Libbie Hawker  for this more realistic glimpse of  this interesting woman who was caught up in history. I still love my fairy tale stories of princesses, but this book is so rich with great characters and interesting details that it is a must read for anyone interested in this time period.   It is my first book by this author, but it will not be my last!

Source: www.abookaddictsmusings.com
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review 2014-12-06 12:59
My Masters' Nightmare Ep 15 "Finale" by Marita A. Hansen
My Masters' Nightmare Season 1, Episode 15 "Finale" - Marita A. Hansen

Book – My Masters’ Nightmare (Episodes 1-15)
Author – Marita A. Hansen

Publication Date – Last episode December 2, 2014
Genre –Mafioso/Dark/Captive
Type – Part of Series
Cliffhanger – No
Rating – 5 out of 5 Stars

Complimentary Copy generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

My Thoughts - Story
Well this is the end, my friends…I’m so so sad to see this series go and with it all my friends – Frano, Jagger, Rita and so many others.

 

 

We have been through the ups and downs of Rita – first being thrown in as a sex slave, then being taken by Frano, by learning she has secrets and a past hidden which revolves around the D’Angelo family.

 

 

We lived through Jagger and his abuse as a teen in the hands of the infamous Padre – then again everyone in this series wants Jagger and his pretty face.

 

 

And how about Frano…big tough Don of the D’Angelo family? Who does in fact have a soft spot for Rita but will he come out on top with the island falling apart around him?

 

 

Definitely can’t forget about Matteo and his comic relief he brings to the story….oh Matteo – if you were only on the ‘good guys’ side!

 

 

What about Christo/Padre – the twins from hell?  We met new families along the way…the Rossos, the Santinis, the Landi and so many more….ohhhhh and what about the Black Russian?  Where does his story continue?

 

Continue?  Yes, you did read that correctly – now the Santini have their own set of books…Remember Alessandro, the tattooed, pierced sex god?  His last name is Santini – maybe we will see our old friends again pop up in some of these books?

 

But this series isn’t just special to me because of the characters in the book….this series is so special because it brought so many real friends in my life….Brain storming with Marita – and nearly wanting to pull my hair out with her stubbornness (love you) chatting it up with Andrea, Chippy, Jahy, Carla, Angie, Elaine, Carla, Rosanna and so many more!  The times Jahy I were editing and having so many laughs with our re-writes! Maybe crack a few jokes about special scenes in the book?

 

 

We have formed a bond through this one author, Marita; bonds that will probably never be broken all from a set of books.

 

 

So, my friends, I am sad to see this end…or maybe is it just the beginning?

 

Reason for Reading – Beta/Editor
Story – 5 out of 5 Stars
Steam –  5 out of 5 Stars
Angst – 5 out of 5 Stars
Writing – 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Content Flow – 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Told In – Multiple POV

Heroine/Personality – Too Many to Name…love all the characters

Hero/Personality – see above
HEA (Spoiler) – This will not be disclosed-Your own opinion must be formed

Would Read More from Author? DEFINITELY
Recommend To – anyone who is not skeemish with M/M, rape, pedophile, anal…oh shit…just about anything

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