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review 2018-10-30 23:52
If you haven't read 'The Blueprint'...
A Deeper Blue - S.E. Harmon

It's probably best to do that before jumping into this one. Could you read 'A Deeper Blue' without reading 'The Blueprint' possibly but I don't think it would be as enjoyable and possibly you'd read it feeling like you missed something...so lets go with no...you need to read 'The Blueprint' first.

 

Ironically for me one of the things that bothered me the most about 'The Blueprint' is actually dealt with here in 'A Deeper Blue' and that was the ending, as I said in my review for 'The Blueprint'...

Without going into a lot of details there was one thing that totally kept this from being a 5 star read for me and that was the ending. I just didn't understand some of the choices that were made...especially by Kelly and while I would have at least liked a Happy For Now with a strong promise of a happily ever after what I feel like I got was more like a 'this'll probably all be good'. It just felt like after every thing that Blue and Kelly went through and put each other through things should have been more solid.

and mainly it turns out that was because where we were left in 'The Blueprint' wasn't the end...it was more of a pause in the story.

 

So here's the thing in 'A Deeper Blue' we basically pick up where 'The Blueprint' leaves off and Kelly and Blue are solidly planted in their relationship...no it's not happily ever after time and things aren't perfect but for both of these men...'this is it.'

 

Other than to say that at times I found things to be moving a little slower than I would have liked there were a lot of things that worked well for me in this one. First off lets talk about the relationship...

 

The thing that made the strongest connection for me with these two men was their focus in the relationship. For Kelly it wasn't that being with Blue meant being in the closet it was Blue's safety. He got it. He got the fact that Blue having the career he did couldn't just be out and proud. Not that he liked it or was complacent with it but he understood and for Kelly the priority was Blue being safe and he already stressed about the potential injuries that Blue faced ever time he stepped out onto the field without adding the increased potential of being a gay and out football player and the increase risk that it would mean to him...homophobia in sports...sadly, it's still a thing. In Kelly's eyes the risk to Blue outweighed the benefits of him being out about their relationship. It's what you do when you love someone...you put their well being and happiness above the things you want...which leads to Blue...

 

Blue was probably every bit as miserable as Kelly maybe even more so about keeping their relationship in the closet. But in his heart it wasn't what he wanted. All he wanted was Kelly...yes, he still loves football and wants to play but for Blue his priorities are changing and he's starting to realize that footballs not all he wants and maybe it's not the most important thing that he wants. 

 

The road to happily ever after is neither easy or clear for Kelly or Blue. Both men are going to find that in order to get what they want it's going to take faith, trust, compromise, patience and a lot of determination.

 

There were some surprises with some of the secondary characters that I liked...like Blue's agent, it turned out he was one of the good guys and then there was Blue's brother. Ian may not have been the perfect supportive brother but his response to finding out about Blue was real and for him it wasn't about understanding or approval but it was about the fact that Blue was his brother...his family and you don't turn your back on family.

 

Then there was Blue's father...yep, he's still a-bag-o-dicks, sorry but for me this man did not deserve the sons he'd been given and add in a blast from the past that was heading Blue's way and it's only with Kelly's love and support that he's able to man-up and deal with things and as always with these two men there's laughter and smiles.

 

'A Deeper Blue' was the ending that I needed and was looking for in the first book and that's ok because anything worth having, is worth waiting for.

 

************************

An ARC of 'A Deeper Blue' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-09-09 05:32
Mini-Review of "Wearing the Cape: A Superhero Novel" by Marion G. Harmon
Wearing the Cape: A Superhero Novel - Marion G. Harmon

I just had to buy thus one after the downloaded free sample hooked me.

 

Fooled me.  I kept wavering on whether or not to DNF.  There kept being pieces where it would start to get good, the world start to be interesting ... so uneven.  Nothing really wrong with the editing like the books I can really rant about.  It just seemed like couldn't make up its mind what story it wanted to tell.

 

I should have DNF'ed and won't be continuing the series.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out the book was a collaboration with authors far apart in age.  Equally the inconsistency could be just a newbie author not quite pulling it together.  "Done with the series" doesn't mean I'd never give this author another chance. 

 

One thing I really disliked in main character was how there was an implied judgment tIhat only she was a good, moral person -- sometimes her attitudes and decisions read like author was a mom creating perfect Stepford daughter.  Then again, I'm getting to where I loathe stories where the moral choice is whatever main character does but same choice made by other character is immoral.

 

I sampled a lot of superhero books after really liking Velveteen vs. The Multiverse - Seanan McGuire  and Heroine Complex - Sarah Kuhn.  This was hardly  the worst one out there based on my sampling.

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review 2018-08-06 16:21
Poppy Harmon Investigates - Lee Hollis

 

 

Not only is Poppy Harmon grieving the death of her husband, she learns he has gambled all of their money and left her penniless.

 

Poppy, a former 80's television actress on a detective show is now in her early sixties and doesn't have a clue where to start looking for a job to support herself.  After throwing herself a pity party her sexagenarian best friends, Iris and Violet suggests she open a detective agency because she loves to solve mysteries on screen and in books.  At first she thinks the idea is ridiculous, however seeing a picture in your mind of being homeless and hungry will change a thought process.  Just because she had a role on a tv detective show will she have the skills to be a detective in real life?

 

I enjoyed the idea of the author writing this cozy mystery with a "seasoned" protagonist however, that's where my enjoyment stops.  The mystery happened fifty percent into the story.  I felt Poppy should have let her voice be heard more and not be so laid back.  I didn't feel any connections with the remaining characters and didn't agree with the role of one of the characters.  

 

Once the story's pace gets moving, all the suspicions and suspects come into play.  Although there were multiple story lines which added more twists and turns they did connect and were easy to follow. The ending was a total surprise.

 

Poppy Harmon Investigates by Lee Hollis is the first in the Desert Flowers Mystery.  I hope to see the future releases in this series to have stronger character development and a less lingering of the plot.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Kensington for the advanced reader's copy in exchange for my honest review.

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review 2018-07-30 02:51
It's going to take hail mary pass for this one to work out...
The Blueprint - S.E. Harmon,Sean Crisden,Alexander Cendese

Britton 'Blue' Montgomery is living the dream. He's the star tight end of an NFL football team and he's got his best friend Kelly Cannon...except lately it seems like Kelly's avoiding him. He doesn't return his calls and just doesn't seem to be himself...Blue's not sure what's wrong but Kelly's been his friend for most of his life and he's not putting up with this. Kelly's damned well going to tell him what wrong whether he wants to or not.

 

Kelly's life is good. He's got his dream job as a teacher and he's got a nice little place of his own with an awesome family and a great group of friends...especially his best friend...whom he's fallen in love with...his straight best friend.

 

'The Blueprint' is an enjoyable and entertaining story of coming out/GFY and friends to lovers and I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship between these two men. The banter between Blue and Kelly frequently had me laughing out loud, While the friendship between Kelly and Blue had a very organic feel to it and I found that it really wasn't very challenging for me to imagine that somewhere in this world there's a Kelly and his best friend Britton 'Blue' somewhere trading friendly insults and banter.

 

I also really liked how these two were there for each other...when Blue was sidelined because of an injury Kelly visited him at the hospital and took him home so that he could convalesce at his house and have someone with him for at least part of the day and someone to be a barrier between him and the world that wanted him to return to the game before his body was ready...Kelly was there to ensure that Blue had the time and quiet that he needed to ensure his recovery was stress free. Something that while the average person may not need it someone who's a high profile personality like a star football player would not only appreciate but probably be in desperate need of.

 

When Blue finally confronts Kelly and Kelly is honest about how he feels things go from bad to worse for both of them. Blue wants Kelly but being a star NFL football player, he knows that whatever they have can't be out in the open and Kelly as much as he wants Blue, doesn't want to have anything in the closet besides his shoes and clothes.

 

While I enjoyed a lot of this story I was also a little frustrated with how oblivious to things Blue could be at times. He couldn't be out and with Kelly but damned if he wanted Kelly to be with anyone else. However, in spite of these issues there was no excessive angst and drama in regards to them and I'm good with a character giving me a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride which both Blue and Kelly did at times. Things went back and forth between these two and all things considered that seemed about right for the relationship dynamics. Their best friends who are trying to figure out how to redefine their relationship when they realize that while their feelings are changing neither man is willing to let go of a life long friendship as they try to maneuver through the potential landmines that await them in their efforts to keep their friendship and see what the future holds for them as a couple which leads me to the one issue that kept this from being a 5 star read for me and that was...the ending.

 

Without going into a lot of details there was one thing that totally kept this from being a 5 star read for me and that was the ending. I just didn't understand some of the choices that were made...especially by Kelly and while I would have at least liked a Happy For Now with a strong promise of a happily ever after what I feel like I got was more like a 'this'll probably all be good'. It just felt like after every thing that Blue and Kelly went through and put each other through things should have been more solid.

 

'The Blueprint' was narrated by Sean Crisden and Alexander Cendese and while Mr. Cendese is a new to me narrator Sean Crisden is not and I have enjoyed many an audio book narrated by him and this one was no exception to this and happily Alexander Cendese held his own providing me with a totally enjoyable audio book experience that I'm looking forward to enjoying more of in the future when I re-play this audio book and hopefully discover other titles by one or both of these narrators.

 

*************************

An audio book of 'The Blueprint' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-07-24 20:47
Reading progress: 18%. And on the fence.
Wearing the Cape: A Superhero Novel - Marion G. Harmon

This was an impulse buy after the sample totally hooked me -- writing, characters and worldbuilding.

 

But I'm now on the fence about continuing.  Because main character is actually listening to the stranger that invaded her apartment, knocked her out, tied her up and is giving their possibly supervillain speech about their viewpoint of things.

 

Is she TSTL?  Is there more victim-abuse-me-but-I'll-take-your-side stuff down the pipe?

 

Putting aside for now.

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