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review 2017-08-06 06:07
He Speaks Dead by Adrienne Wilder
He Speaks Dead - Adrienne Wilder

Damn, Briggs!

I am not happy! :/


How can Charlie and Ethan live with themselves after all, I have no idea. This book made me mad :(

I read some reviews and I am glad to find out that I am not the only one who is upset about Briggs being disposable. He was treated like crap during the whole book, used and abused through its entirety (except for the first chapter, granted) 

only to be killed off without a second thought in the end. 

(spoiler show)

 

While Ethan is at least reflecting on the events of the fateful night in the epilogue, Charlie is perfectly cool with having a bright new shiny Ethan in a mighty meat-suit all to himself. Who's Briggs again? Only a person who saved their asses and the world :/ But - not a pause, not a care.


Anyway, I do realise RL is a bitch, but the two MC's are total and complete jerks. The last chapter made me despise Charie. And I don't understand how the author could do it to her character, leaving him a heartless, callused jerk.


2.5 stars
 

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review 2017-05-29 21:55
Might I suggest, if you haven't read this book...
Complementary Colors - Adrienne Wilder

before you begin you might want to consider stocking up on tissues, chocolate or other preferred comfort foods, a very cuddly teddy will be helpful and possibly copious amounts of alcohol...just sayin' it never hurts to be prepared...oh, and most important of all grab a couple of friends because this one really is best not read alone.

 

So first thing I did grabbed Josy, who in turn grabbed Simone. We're good that way, we try and drag as many people as possible down the rabbit hole with us when we go there.

 

Next I grabbed Jackson, he's just the cutest cream colored bear in the world and he lives in my office where I do all my buddy reads. Right now he's trying to get his fur dry...it's almost there...honest. Then I checked the tissue supply...8 boxes...I should be able to manage with that, finally it's off to the story to lay in my supply of comfort food...ok, now I'm ready...

 

Ok, forget that I only thought I was ready because really I wasn't...I'm not sure anyone could ever be ready for this book.

 

'Complimentary Colors' is a romance, a love story, a murder mystery/thriller, it's stark and cold in it's portrayal of how easily wrong outward appearances can be because once you look beyond the surface what appeared to be a charmed life...is in fact a cursed life.

 

Paris is an artist, he's famous, he makes obscene amounts of money, he's beautiful and everybody wants him. He sees the world through colors...colors that he puts onto canvas for the world to see. Except no one ever sees what he's truly put onto canvas...no one that is until Roy. 

 

Roy is all those things that we often take for granted. He's solid, dependable, constant, honest, loyal, patient and kind. Basically he's all the good things that Paris hasn't had in his life wrapped up in one nice sexy package and this made me happy because Paris...well his story broke me and I needed for him to have someone like Roy. I needed to believe that after all he'd gone through there would be some happiness for him...some color for his life...beautiful vibrant colors...the colors of love.

 

Let's talk about Paris's jailer next and yes that's what she was. For years his sister Julia kept Paris trapped in his own living hell. I hated Julia...no, seriously H-A-T-E-D with a passion, a strong and burning passion...a part of me spent hours plotting her demise and is honestly still working on it. Ok, my rage is building let's move on to Paris's sister Alice, my thoughts on here a little more ambiguous and I'd have to go into far too much detail to clarify that for anyone who hasn't already read the book. So Alice = ambiguous, for more detail you'll need to read the book...sorry...not.

 

I was more than a little impressed by the wonderful secondary characters Adrienne Wilder created...whether it's someone as vile and horrid as Julia or as warm and wonderful as Louise or Dr. Carmichael. The depth and life that they add to the story is incredible and does so much to enhance the detail and bring this story to life.

 

I could probably go on and on about this book. It was a heartbreaking story. Probably one of the hardest I've ever read. For me it was on a level with 'A Little Life', 'Listening to Dust' or 'Blood Memories' (ok, this is the biggie for me folks because very, very few books every get put on the same shelf as this one in my world). Anyways, I could go on but I'm not going to because I think the best that I can say now it...if you want more reviews there are some truly amazing ones on GR so here's the link to the book page...

Complimentary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

follow the link scroll down and there they are a plethora of awesome reviews for you and the other thing read the book, I know it's a hard read but it's also a worthwhile read (see the instructions about this at the top of this review) 

 

Now, last of all Josy and Simone...thank you so much for holding my hands on this one and as promised here are the songs...

I couldn't decide on one so there's 3, I hope you find them as fitting as I did. The first one is Paris's song for Roy...

Iris by The Goo Goo Dolls

this one is Roy's song for Paris...

I Won't Give Up by Jason Mraz

and this one...well it just seems to belong to the book...

How to Save a Life by The Fray

 

Can't wait until our next buddy read ladies, I'm sure Jackson will be dried out by then if needed or maybe we could find something a little lighter next time just to give ourselves a break...either way just let me know and I'll be there.

 

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review 2017-04-29 23:50
I'm a little late to the party on this one...
In The Absence of Light - Adrienne Wilder

I've had this book floating around on my e-reader for a while now and I keep squirreling off to other things but when it came up in a conversation with my buddy read besties, Josy, Christelle and Simone. I didn't hesitate to say yes and I am so, so glad that we did this. Thanks ladies once again you made an amazing story so much better. 

 

'In the Absence of Light' isn't just a romance or a love story. it's a story about loving someone who's different and what that means both to love them and be loved by them. Morgan is autistic and he's amazing. He probably shouldn't be as highly functional as he is but because he was raised by an amazing woman who refused to give up on him, he has never given up on himself.

 

Grant has moved to Durstrand in the hopes of living a quiet life for a few years before slipping away to some place with sandy beaches and warmer climes or at least that was the plan until he meets Morgan. 

 

I was totally enchanted with Morgan from the beginning. He's open and honest and he sees the world in a way that others wouldn't even consider trying to look for. He's creative and fiercely independent and the moments that we spent seeing the world through Morgan's eyes were like small gifts the kind that touch your heart and warm you from the inside because of the impression it leaves on your soul. 

 

i didn't warm to Grant quite as quickly but I did like him. I liked that he allowed himself to see Morgan. Not just the Morgan with the ticks who threw out thoughts and seemed to ramble random ideas into the world. Grant was able to see past that to the strong, intelligent, creative man who wanted him and was willing to share himself with Grant and show him what was hidden by the light.

 

'In the Absence of Light' shows us that it's not about who we love but that we love. When that person who adds color to our world and makes us see things in ways we never thought to before comes along we need to grab onto them and love them with all we've got and make them our home so that we can be theirs.

 

For more really awesome reviews on this book you should check these out...

In the Absence of Light - GR book page

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review 2017-01-31 04:38
With a serious edit, I'd re-rate it to at least a 4 star read.
In The Absence Of Light - Adrienne Wilder

What to say about In the Absence of Light?

Well, it is an action-packed story about Grant, who used to move stolen items for criminals, made his money and almost got caught by the FBI, but he bailed on that old life and wants to start somewhere new. He's set himself a time frame till he can touch his squirreled-away money and move to the beach.

So, he picks this little backwater town, Durstrand, to chill in for a few years but then something pretty special happens.

He meets Morgan.

Morgan is severely autistic, but still able to function quite well in his small town. He holds down a job, maintains his own house and has a select group of friends and family.

The two main characters are very well fleshed out and quite believable. I don't know if Morgan's autism is accurately portrayed, but it felt realistic to me. Someone with more experience with people with autism would be able to advise on that aspect of his character, but I felt it fit with his character and added something special to those moments when he did look into Grant's eyes.

Things become interesting when Grant is forced to face his prejudices about Morgan's autism. He makes some mistakes, but the depth of the emotions between the two characters is brilliant and swiftly outshines the negative in this relationship.

This book has some quite intense and explicit sex scenes, but they're rather sweet, even with their graphic nature. I wouldn't recommend this for people who don't like intense sex scenes between gay characters, nor, for those who want the perfect fairy-tale scenes either. These love scenes are realistic, flawed and even comical. I especially loved the drive-in scene :) But really, any of the sweet private moments between Grant and Morgan were lovely to read about. Some were exceptionally sexy, others gentle and touching enough to melt even the iciest heart.

The writing is at times so beautiful it's almost poetic, and at others harsh and gritty, which works well for the crime aspect of the story. But the biggest let down for this book is by far the lack of editing and the general unpolished feel to it.

I picked up issues almost every other page, which brought me out of the story and broke the spell Adrienne wove with those beautiful words. It's a shame really, because this is easily a 4-4.5 star book.

With a serious edit, I'd re-rate it to at least a 4 star read. Here's all the things I picked up:

4% - ...rustic and neatly arrange(d) around...
9% - ...enhanced by and (delete d) undertone of...
10% - Chapter 2 is tucked into the last para of chapter one.
14% - "If (I/we) book him he's more apt...
- ...why don't (you) tell him you're too tired...
17% - "Nope" needs its own line.
18% - She Quit (lowercase q) her job...
19% - ...for Morgan (to) meet my gaze...
24% - "Well, with (delete with) as built as you are...
26% - A low lean grown (growl)...
- ... Repositioned his knees until the(y) flanked...
27% - His hand moved (to) the side...
- ...put them on (on) his way to the door...
29% - ...convince (you) you're just going...
- ...wore white Tshirts (t-shirts) under...
30% - ...Morgan pushed (the) cart over...
33% - ...left to prove what'd (delete 'd) you('d) done...
- ...to touch me (in) other places...
37% - ...told Jeff what was (in) the file...
38% - ...except for (the) man I knew...
39% - ...I bare(ly) got a breath in...
40% - ...a few inches them(then) coming...
- ...dumped myself into(onto) the floorboard...
45% - If he did, he (and) I were going...
52% - His dop(e)y smile was...
54% - ...in long slow stroked (strokes) he...
56% - ...the repair job cause(d) by tune,...
58% - ...they got (the) moment they...
60% - ...him and tears my (my tears) soaked...
63% - ...at fault was mine (me).
64% - ...didn't even (have) an idea where...
- He'd thought I to(delete to) believed in him...
67% - He's he's(delete second he's) taken more than...
68% - ...tearing up someone one's (someone's) life...
70% - ...but Morgan didn't see things didn't just see things not there. He just saw things no one else could. (Fix duplicate words)
71% - ...Pandora 's(delete space) Box so real...
72% - ...to(o) close to home.
75% - ...the board wouldn(delete n) never...
86% - ...to know why (I) was going through...
88% - ...knocked his drink in(on) the floor...
90% - "Because those people are(delete) act normal."
91% - ...soul (sole) purpose...
- ...enough (to) feed his ego...
92% - Is that (t)he line of shit...
93% - ...compared to my(space).45.
94% - A(s)ton Matin
95% - ...was not apart(a part) of the plan.
- ...keep you as far away from(delete from, add as) possible from...
96% - ...to let you (know).
- ...that damn puppy (he) picked up.
97% - ...on (h)is finger...
- ...that bad.." (Delete second full stop) 99%
- ...once I get settle(d) to let...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2016-05-22 21:56
In the Absence of Light
In The Absence of Light - Adrienne Wilder

This story shouldn't have worked. You've got Morgan, a functional autistic MC who busses at a bar and makes glass sculptures and fixes up his house in his spare time - when he's not busy making a fool of everyone who dares to make the mistake of underestimating him - and you've got Grant, an ex-crook from Chicago with a heart of tarnished gold who's being harassed by his ex-lover FBI agent into giving up his little black book of criminal contacts. Grant's only in Podunk, Deep South to be as invisible as he can be while he waits for the FBI to forget about him, then he can quietly retire to a private island courtesy of his offshore accounts. He wasn't planning on falling in love. And he certainly wasn't planning on Morgan. These are two worlds that shouldn't fit together, and trying to make them fit together should've been a giant, awkward mess. And I won't lie - sometimes it did make me scratch my head. But overall, it did work, and it worked wonderfully. I think I was mostly concerned about the apparently inevitable end, the "mob kidnapped my boyfriend" trope and everything that comes with it, but Ms. Wilder's story is smarter than that and takes some turns that aren't quite expected.

I appreciated how she introduced us to Morgan as well. She allows the readers to be Grant, first by writing the story in first person POV, and also by realizing that many readers would be as biased as Grant when we first meet Morgan. We slowly discover along with Grant how capable and smart Morgan actually is. I love the way they interact, from the early awkwardness all the way to them being fully comfortable and appreciative, and that Grant doesn't just miraculously change his attitude overnight. It's a learning curve, and not a sharp one. I did think the sex scenes went on a little too long and I skimmed most of them for the relevant character-related parts, and a couple of them were just weird. There was this part in the very first one that just made me uncomfortable, and while it wasn't as big a deal as it could've been, I still would've liked a scene where Grant explains the need to ask for consent beforehand.

During the middle of their first time having sex, Morgan just up and handcuffs Grant to the bed, both by the hands and feet. Grant's issue with this was just that he couldn't touch Morgan. But com'n. That's not a thing you should really surprise someone with in the middle of sex. Though as we get to learn more about Morgan's past, I can see why he'd want that extra bit of insurance that Grant couldn't do anything to him that he didn't want him to - but that's a two-way street. He had no way of knowing how Grant would react to being handcuffed.

(spoiler show)


The story is full of small-town charm and all the things you expect from a small-town setting - nosy neighbors, rumor mills that move faster than the speed of light, cows. Just, cows. You have to read it to find out why. ;) And while I did appreciate that this wasn't a bigoted town, though there was a bigot or two every now and then, seeing everyone acting so amazed and fascinated by the gayz wasn't exactly as amusing to me. Though maybe that was Ms. Wilder's way of letting Grant experience being a "freak show" in a small town, something that Morgan's had to deal with his whole life, and on that level it worked for me.

I'd easily give this 4.5 stars, except the editing took a bit of a nosedive in the last few chapters, which had more typos and missing words than in all the previous chapters combined. While the writing is top notch, the story is in need of serious restructuring when one chapter is the length of a novella. There wasn't even a reason for that chapter to be that long. It could've easily been broken up into several smaller chapters. In fact, quite a few of the longer chapters could've easily been split up. There are a couple of plot lines that are just kind of dropped or forgotten after the climax of the story as well. The plots aren't anything that really holds up the main story, but it would've been nice to at least get a footnote about them.

Did Grant ever sell the house he bought and fixed up? Is he still teaching Morgan to drive and did he ever get seat belts installed in his truck?

(spoiler show)

The ending also looked like it was setting up a possible sequel for Jeff, but looking through Ms. Wilder's backlog, it doesn't look like we've gotten it yet. I'll cross my fingers that she's working on it.

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