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review 2018-10-22 21:21
Croc's Return (Bitten Point #1) by Eve Langlais
Croc's Return (Bitten Point Book 1) - Eve Langlais

 

This was a standard paranormal romance with a great world building but the characterizations could use some work. It was a quick read because it took all of two minutes to be immersed in the swampy Everglades and the town of Bitten Point. The hero, Caleb, has returned to his hometown after leaving really quickly one night four years ago and going into the military. After escaping the military, he recovered in one of Langlais' other series towns, before coming back. The heroine was Renata (Renny), high school sweetheart to Caleb until he just upped and left, leaving her with a parting gift that is 4 years old at the start of the book. Thankfully, it doesn't take Renny long to tell Caleb about Luke, so there is no big misunderstanding. There is "big, bad secret" that forced Caleb to leave BP - and that secret felt a little lazy from the get-go, moreso when Caleb gets truth via the POV of secondary character who he doesn't like but does trust. 

 

I loved the world and will probably give the other books in the series a try. The humor is great and the shifter animals are very different than the typical paranormal romance - Caleb is a crocodile shifter, his brother is a python shifter, Caleb's BFF is a panther, and there are bear shifters and gator shifters. Langlais takes time with her world-building, adding details to make the world make sense and yet mysterious and different from the real world (such as the reproductive rules/limits of inter-species coupling).

 

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text 2018-10-21 13:23
Dewey Read-a-thon Autumn 2018 - Update #5 Final Update
Croc's Return (Bitten Point Book 1) - Eve Langlais
Mr. Churchill's Secretary - Susan Elia MacNeal

Update #5

Finished my second book of the read-a-thon, Croc's Return. Read for a total of 13 hours and 15 minutes, exceeding my standard goal of 12 hours. 

 

Post-Read-a-thon Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

           9th hour, as I jumped into the next book too soon after finishing the first book. The books were very definite in genre and tone, so the shift slowed down my reading. That's when I decided to go to bed and pick up the second book in the morning.


2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read!

         Mr. Churchill's Secretary (Maggie Hope #1) by Susan Ella MacNeal

         Croc's Return (Bitten Point #1) by Eve Langlais

         
3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners?

            It would depend on what the participants' goals were.


4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thon that would make you happy?

               Nothing I am pretty happy with my production this time. The mini-challenges didn't interest me at all.


5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? 

                   Yes, I am planning on doing the Spring 2019 one. 

 

 

Now all I have left to read is Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission #6) by Amelia Autin and Black Rose (In the Garden #2) by Nora Roberts for the final push before the end of Halloween Bingo. By the time October 31st comes around, I should have three bingos.

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Update #4

Finished book one. Forgot to start the timer, so my reading time is off on my stop watch, but I have been reading for a little over 8 hours now. Haven't had the wine yet... Onto book two, Croc's Return on my Kindle.

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Update #3

A little late with this update. Got 47% done with Mr. Churchill's Secretary....definitely making plans to read the next book in the series. And it most assuredly fits the Darkest London square, as WWII black out laws are already in effect when the book opens. I am digging the characters (except for the twins), the world building, and plot lines. 

 

Took a look at the mini-challenges and nothing seemed interesting, so I may not get around to doing any of them. I will give them a second look later.

 

My dinner smells amazing and I still have half a bottle left of the wine the recipe called for. My next update may be a bit drunkly written....

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Update #2

Pre-Read-a-thon Survey

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

        Brandon, Suffolk County (East Anglia), UK


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

        Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Ella MacNeal 


3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

        Homemade chocolate chip pumpkin bread


4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

         So close to a bingo for Halloween Bingo!


5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? 

         Use my crock pot to make dinner ahead of time so I don't have to try and read while I cook and the family can help themselves whenever they get hungry. Maybe listen to an audiobook tomorrow morning while I take the dog for a walk. 

 

My IG is https://www.instagram.com/tearainbook/, which will be the only other place I am doing the Dewey. I am starting with Mr. Churchill's Secretary as my first book.

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Update #1

Already finished the first two books on my TBR. One last night, one this afternoon at my car's MOT appointment. Guess I can take tonight off and indulge in video games!

 

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Goals:

1. Reading time will be measured using the stopwatch feature on my phone. The start time in England is 1pm, which is perfect for me. The hard part is trying to stay awake when it gets dark out so early here (sunset at around 5:45pm). 

    a. Standard - 12 hours

    b. Stretch #1 - 15 hours

    c. Stretch #2 - 18 hours

 

2. Finish at least two books and work on two more books, all for Halloween Bingo. All the other books will work to get two bingos out of my card when the squares are called (if not already called), and a possible third bingo by the end of the month. Writing the reviews on Monday night.

      a. Finish Leverage in Death by JD Robb (New Releases)

      b. Finish In Her Bones by Kate Moretti (Modern Noir)

      c. Read Croc's Return by Eve Langlais (Shifters)

      d. Read Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Ella MacNeal (Darkest London)

      e. Start Killer Countdown by Amelia Autin (Romantic Suspense)

 

 

3. Post here and at IG with updates about every three hours. I would like to participate in 2-3 mini challenges. I'm using this as my master post and will update the title and post timestamp along with my updates.

    

 

 

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text 2018-09-28 18:28
Friday Reads - September 28, 2018
The Siren - Kiera Cass
Presumed Guilty - Tess Gerritsen
A Touch of Midnight - Lara Adrian
Kiss Me Hard Before You Go - Shannon McCrimmon
Fairest - Marissa Meyer
Croc's Return (Bitten Point Book 1) - Eve Langlais
Eighth Grade Bites #1: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod Graphic Novel - Julia Laud,Heather Brewer,Tony Lee

My AF library is losing subscriptions to a number of databases/ebook services due to budget issues at USAFE HQ, so my Halloween Bingo list went to crap. I had hoped to use much of my library's eboo/digital audiobook stock to get my card to black out, but now I am combing through my own books to replace those that I lost access to.

 

This week I DNF'd two books for Halloween Bingo (Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and In the Woods by Tana French). I have an alternative for the carnival square, but I am just not cut out to read Noir, so I am leaving this square blank. I've read The Siren by Kiera Cass (Drowning Deep square) last week and Presumed Guilty by Tess Gerritsen (Diverse Voices), so reviews to follow.

 

This weekend is the our Cub Scouts pack's Rain Gutter Regatta, and the kids and my husband had a lot of fun building their boats for tomorrow. On Sunday, I am pulling babysitting duties for friends' so they can have a kid-free trip to the Harry Potter Studio tour, the last "To Do" item on their UK list before they move back to the States next month. 

 

So this weekend's/upcoming week reading:

1. Touch of Midnight by Lara Adrian (Relics and Curiosities)

2. Kiss Me Hard Before You Go by Shannon McCrimmon (Creepy Carnivals)

3. Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Grimm Tale)

4. Croc's Return by Eve Langlais (Shifters)

5. Eighth Grade Bites by Tony Lee et al (Dead Lands)

 

I have Seduction in Death (#13) for the Unlucky 13 square and Leverage in Death (#47) by JD Robb for the New Release square on request/wait list at the library. Fingers crossed they come into my possession sometime this week.

 

Continued good luck to those participating in Halloween Bingo and Happy Reading to all!

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review 2018-07-16 15:39
Bad mother
Twice Bitten: An Argeneau Novel - Lynsay Sands

I can see why Elspeth Argeneau ran away from her mother, I could imagine some mothers who would like to have the power to make their children do what they want them to do at all times.  When her mother follows her she isn't sure what to do next.  However she's somewhat distracted by her landlady's hot grandson who isn't sure about her, after all he fell for her when he was in London four years ago but she doesn't remember him.

 

I really enjoyed this, a park brain read where you don't ask too many questions but I enjoyed the ride.

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review 2018-06-02 21:36
Women of the Underworld Re-Read
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

I "discovered" this  series returning from Kentucky.  My friend and I stopped at a bookstore and three volumes of this series were on the sale table. Those books were 3, 4, and 5 so I didn't read this, the first book, until later.

 

Bitten was Armstrong's first published book and in some ways, it shows.  The writing and pacing could be smoother.  There are some bit too repetitious details, and when two characters die, the emotional impact is lacking because while the heroine, Elena, is close to them, the reader has been told this and not shown.  And one of the sex scenes is a bit creepy.  Secondary characters are not as developed as they will be in later books (this is true about Clay who changes slightly).

 

But, it is a cut above most Urban Fantasy, and the creepy sex scene is one of the reasons why.

 

Bitten is about Elena Michaels, the Otherworld's only female werewolf (supposedly.  At least the only one anyone knows about).  In Armstrong's books, you can become a werewolf by birth, but only if your father was one and if you are boy; or you can become a werewolf by getting bitten by one - something that kills most people.  Elena became a werewolf because her boyfriend, in wolf form, nipped her and drew blood (She did not know he was a werewolf at the time).  Elena, therefore and with good reason, blames her boyfriend, Clay, for her change in life.  What makes it worse is the question of whether it was intentional or not.  At the start of the book, Elena has left the pack, mostly because of her anger and conflicted feelings, and lives in Toronto.  She has a human job and boyfriend.  She gets along well with his family.  The late night walks need some excuses, but so far so good.  She gets called back when dead bodies get left on pack land.  Needless to say, this causes issues.

 

The creepy sex scene occurs when Clay looses binds her arms.  He points out that if Elena says no, he will stop.  The way Clay is drawn by Armstrong as well as the sitution make it quite clear that this is true. Elena doesn't say no, but the whole binding her arms without permission is a bit well .  . creepy.  Clay is also a bit pushy.  He borders on stalkish.  He never followed her to Toronto, but he does invade her space.  He's charming but a bit much.  You can understand the attraction, but like Elena, you are conflicted.

 

Or you should be.

 

Many reviews of this book and the second in series, say that Elena was too tough on Clay, that she needs to get over it.  But, I think that is the point.  What would you do if the man you loved and thought you were going to marry, changed your life by making you something other than you were?  You have to give up everything - the job you wanted, the life you wanted.  You become stronger and special, but also bloodthirsty.  And if the bite was intentional?  Too often in Urban Romance the romantic lead does something suspect to the heroine - think Jean Claude who forces Anita Blake to date him by threatening to kill her boyfriend.  How is that charming?  It's not.  It seems that Armstrong is trying to explore a complicted issue.  To be fair, I think she doesn't pull off entirely, but at least she is trying to explore those issues of consent and stalking that other Urban Fantasy takes as a trophe of romance.

 

Elena is a fresh breath not just because of her confliced feelings (which are beautifully illustrated and totally human) but because she is realstic about her looks.  She is wanted by other werewolves not because she is stunning (she's not) but because she is the only female wolf and to male werewolves she smells like heat.  She  is insecure and messy.  She tries her best, but is far from perfect.  And when characters call her upon her behavior, she, like most of us, gets defensive but then thinks about it.  

 

 

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