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review 2018-01-19 02:46
Well that was sweet...
Finding Mr. Wrong - Charlie Cochet,Andrew McFerrin

Matthew Hart is the heir to Hart & Home Furniture he's had a good life raised by a loving and doting father after his mother passed away he grew up not wanting for material things or for love. 

 

Jax Foster was Matthew's friend and his first love until he disappeared without a word one day without so much as a by your leave for Matthew. Matthew was heartbroken...Jax had been his world...his best friend, his first love, everything a young man of 15 could have ever thought he'd want.

 

When Matthew has an allergic reaction to peanut oil that lands him in the hospital...because his epi pen magically disappeared he takes stock of his life and realizes that he loves his friends, his dad, his job but it's not enough. He wants something more and that's when Matthew and his PA and good friend Adam make a list so that Adam can find him, his Mr. Right.

 

It's when Adam gets a little help from Matthew's father that things really get out of hand because suddenly not only is Jax Foster back in town but when Matthew gets sent to meet with the contractor for a piece commissioned by one of Hart & Home's biggest clients the last thing Matthew expects is to come face to face with the person who broke his heart all those years ago.

 

I enjoyed this story it was sweet and watching Matthew and Jax get reacquainted with each other as Matthew resist letting Jax explain what happened all those years ago that caused him to disappear...events that could repeat themselves thanks to meddling family on both sides...family who's intentions are less than honorable.

 

I was a bit frustrated by Jax's father but in spite of that I loved that Jax stuck by his dad and continued to see the good in  him. He wasn't a bad man more a case of a good man making bad choices and Jax was able to see this which also speaks to the type of person that Jax was. Unfortunately the same can't be said for Matthew's cousin and his biotch of a wife...like seriously somebody get that woman a Prozac or two...maybe some Zoloft? Because damn she's got issues...serious, issues.

 

I really liked Matthew and Jax and as a couple they worked for me and while Matthew was initially resistant to resuming any kind of relationship with Jax I liked that it didn't become a drawn out and protracted state of affairs and we got to see Matthew and Jax re-ignite the love they had for each other a love that has stayed with both of them over the years just waiting for a chance to once again burn brightly.

 

As much as I liked Matthew and Jax and as steamy hot as things were between them.  What I'd really love would be Adam's story...well, actually I'd like to see a story about Adam and Rai. Adam is feisty and I'm pretty sure that Rai would make a good tree for him to climb.

 

I'm a fan of Charlie Cochet's writing and Andrew McFerrin has done a wonderful job of bringing her words to life and giving voice to these characters. 'Finding Mr. Wrong' was a fun, short, low angst story about first loves, second chances and happily ever afters.

 

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An audio book of 'Finding Mr. Wrong' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-01-19 00:51
I love it when a series just gets better...
Model Bodyguard: Haven Investigations, Book 2 - Dreamspinner Press LLC,Lissa Kasey,Brian Hutchison

I really enjoyed 'Model Citizen' the firs book in Lissa Kasey's 'Haven Investigations' series this one has definitely stepped things up a notch or two.

 

While 'Model Citizen' was about Ollie's POV this time around we're given Kade's POV on life with Ollie and I loved it. Kade loves Ollie there's zero doubt about that but he also sees Ollie in a very realistic way which is really, really good for Ollie because Ollie's got some issues that need to dealt with in a realistic way. I just love that I don't feel like Kade views Ollie as a burden to be taken care of. For Kade, Ollie's issues are just a part of Ollie and need to be dealt with in a positive and constructive way which is what Kade does.

 

Things are going good for Ollie and Kade. As a couple they're on fairly solid ground and the PI business is doing a lot better with the addition of Kade.  Plus the house that Ollie bought for him and Nate to build a family in is getting renovated by Kade as well and even this task shows Kade's love for Ollie with how sensitive he is to how much the house means to Ollie and that there are areas of the house that he knows Ollie's not ready for him to tackle yet because they were meant to be Nate's space and Ollie's still grieving for his brother. He's trying to get on with his life but it's hard and it gets a little harder when questions start arising surrounding Nate's death.

 

Kade's POV not only gives us a closer look at Kade's life before he came to Haven Investigations but more detail as to how he came to be at Haven Investigations...he had some scary stuff going on and we're not talking PTSD from the war here, ok? 

 

Ironically it's once again Ollie's past that brings a mystery back to their door along with Jacob...Ollie's ex and a definite contributor to Ollie's issues. Nate's a rock star and a playboy he doesn't do relationships just sex and kink but somewhere along the way he's picked up a stalker...one who's decided that he needs to be punished in a permanent way and there's no limit to the suspects in this one. Jacob's whole family is at the top of the list. This is one serious group of users and leeches and getting to the bottom of things and figuring out who wants Jacob punished may be impossible since Jacob's loyalty is pretty extreme in that he feels that his family is above reproach and would never hurt him...did I mention that Jacob might be a little delusional...trust me he is because I wouldn't trust any of them as far as I could throw them.

 

Kade's got his hands full as he tries to keep contact between Ollie and Jacob to a minimum because honestly interacting with Jacob really isn't in Ollie's best interest and Kade's got his own insecurities where Ollie's ex's are concerned because Ty...who is also an ex of Ollie's seems to be around a lot more as well, thankfully though this is because he's seeing Tomas so his presence is far less stressful and concerning for Kade. Also let's not forget Kade's still dealing with his own physical injuries and a past that doesn't want to let go of him and may not be over yet.

 

I loved seeing things from Kade's perspective and I really loved how much Ollie and Kade's relationship has strengthened. Kade is so good for Ollie and good to Ollie. I also felt that Ollie was truly beginning to get past his grief from losing his brother Nate and make a real effort to move forward with is life. I loved seeing Ollie as a capable, contributing partner in Haven Investigations and not some damsel in distress who needs constant rescuing.

 

Kade and Ollie's relationship may be fairly solid but that doesn't mean that having Ollie's sexy rock star ex in their lives isn't going to be a test for them and sadly for the ready because...holy hell!!! did you see the size of that cliff that the author has left us sitting on? It's a biggie and while I know I could pop the next e-book onto my e-reader to find out what happens I've really been enjoying this series on audio. While the first one was narrated by Mike Pohlable this time around we've been treated to the narrations of Brian Hutchison and I've really enjoyed this one. While I liked Ollie's voice in the first book pretty much everyone else except the annoyingly whiny Donovan was just ok and while this is only my second audio book narrated by Brian Hutchison I have to admit that from an audio standpoint I enjoyed this one a bit more.

 

I'm really enjoying this series on audio and I admit I'm hoping, really, really hoping that the third audio book isn't too far off but in the meantime because I can't wait to see what's going to happen next with Kade and Ollie but until it arrives I'll just be sitting here over on the cliff's edge...you know that really, really steep cliff that Ms Kasey has left me on passing the time with some more audio books or an e-book here and there...who knows I may even have a DTB or 2 lying around to pass the time with.

 

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

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review 2018-01-18 23:29
I've wanted to read this one for a long time now...
Model Citizen - Lissa Kasey,Mike Pohlable

Ollie Petroskovic is finally going to pay his brother back for all the years that he's been there for him taken care of him been the parent that they both lost years ago. Signing the papers to purchase the home where Ollie and his brother, Nate will live. Where Nate and his future wife can raise their children. It's a fixer upper but Ollie knows that's what Nate would love a house that's a DIY dream come true.

 

Ollie's sure that he's finally made their dreams come true. Ollie can continue his modelling and clothing design career while helping Nate with Petroskovic Haven Investigations, a house where they can be happy as a family. What no one saw coming was how the dream would come crashing down when Nate could no longer deal with the nightmare of PTSD and saw taking his own life as his only escape from it.

 

A year later Ollie's struggling to try and keep what's left of that dream alive as he continues to work at the PI agency that was Nate's dream but without an Investigator's license it's a struggle that he's slowly loosing until Nate's friend Kade Alme arrives PI license in hand and tool belt strapped on. Kade's looking for to honor a promise made to his friend to take care of Ollie but he's also looking for his own fresh start. He's fresh out of the hospital with his own battle wounds but he's determined to make this work because for Kade that fresh start includes Ollie in his life in whatever capacity he can get him...if it's as friend and co-worker than so be it but if Kade has any say in things it'll be a far more intimate relationship than friend and co-worker.

 

Ollie's pretty resistant to Kade's help and it takes a lot of patience and determination but Kade's got those in spades and before they know it the two men are firmly involved in a case as they try and help an old friend of Ollie's who seems to be in a lot of trouble.

 

'Model Citizen' is a fast paced story with a lot going on. I loved both Ollie and Kade. Ollie appeared to be androgynous and identified as gender fluid, while his orientation is gay. Kade identifies as male and his orientation might be gay but to me it was more like he was Ollie-sexual because from the word go Kade was all about Ollie or maybe it was just the manties...nah, I'm pretty sure Kade was very into what was in the manties...mind you I'm just guessing.

 

I loved how supportive he was of Ollie. But that didn't mean that he was a pushover where Ollie was concerned. Kade wasn't the least bit timid about standing up to Ollie when someone needed to but he also stood up for Ollie when someone needed to. 

 

I enjoyed the mystery in this one while there were things about it that were fairly obvious or easily figured out this story kept my interest from start to finish, so much so that as soon as I was done listening to 'Model Citizen' I jumped right into 'Model Bodyguard' because I wanted more. 

 

Mike Pohlable was the narrator for this audiobook and I have to admit I'm a little torn on the audio for this one. I really liked his voice for Ollie for me it aligned with Ollie's identity of being gender fluid. 

 

While Kade's voice didn't work quite as well for me, most of the time it was ok as were most of the other voices in the audio book but then there was 'Donovan' and I guess in some ways I would have to say his voice was good because for me Donovan was just an annoying little sh*t but really did he have to be such an annoyingly whiny little sh*t! Because there were times the whiny  in his voice was way more than I could stand. As far as I can tell 'Model Citizen' seems to be this narrator's first audio book so I think I'm just going to sit back and see what the future brings before deciding yeah or nay with this narrator...who knows I may love whatever he does next or not but for now it's on to 'Model Bodyguard' and another new to me narrator.

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review 2018-01-18 20:25
Mema by Daniel Mengara
Mema - Daniel Mengara

This novella was a pleasant surprise. It’s told from the perspective of a boy who grew up in a traditional village society in Gabon, and the beginning didn’t seem to bode well due to some repetition and meandering. But it soon hits its stride, and once I realized that the style of storytelling, with a certain amount of repetition, was drawing on oral tradition, it became much more palatable.

This short book is perhaps reminiscent of someone telling stories around a fire in way the narrator moves from one subject to the next. He first builds a picture of his childhood world, recalling how the community traditionally solved problems like wives leaving their husbands (this involves large meetings between both villages, since a marriage between two people is the marriage of their families). Then he talks about his mother, a woman with a strong personality who has the misfortune of losing her husband and daughters and being accused of sorcery by her husband’s village, but refuses to give up. And then he moves on to his young life in the village and for a few years with his adult cousin in town. It isn’t strictly plot-driven and there are stories within the story, like the village legend dealing with children’s duties to their parents. But I found it to be well-told and engaging.

Interestingly, some reviewers seem to have understood this as a book about the tension between tradition and modernity. I saw it much more as an ode to the narrator’s mother and to traditional village life, with a brief foray to the city, though the end implies that the narrator will later rejoin the modern world. Nevertheless, one of its strongest passages is all about that tension between the two:

“The white man's world was like that. It made you think about things, not people. It made you forget about people. It made you want things. It made you want many things. And when you started to want many things, you had no time left for thinking about people, because you spent so much time trying to get those things you wanted. So you forgot about everyone. And you no longer cared about anyone else, and no one else cared about you. You were left alone to fend for yourself because everybody else was so busy fending for themselves too.”

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review 2018-01-17 12:25
Alpines Dorf unter dem Mikroskop
Blasmusikpop: oder Wie die Wissenschaft in die Berge kam - Vea Kaiser,Susanne Rossouw,Roman Danksagm├╝ller

Gemäß meines Ziels schwerpunkmäßig österreichische Literatur zu lesen und weniger bekannte österreichische Autoren zu empfehlen, möchte ich Euer Augenmerk auf diesen Roman lenken. Trotz der etwas reißerischen Aufmachung von Cover, Rückentext, Titel und der Kritiken, die schon fast als Drohung den Begriff innovativ und humorvoll zitieren, ist dieses Buch kein Roman mit schenkelklopfendem Witz aus hinterhältigen Bergdörfern, auch kein furchtbares, extrem gewalttätiges Heimatdrama mit unglaublichen Tragödien in der isolierten Bergwelt und auch keine kitschige Liebesschnulze am Berg, sondern ein ganz normaler, brillant geschriebener Generationenroman über ein dennoch ganz normales, abgeschottetes Dorf und eine Familie, die auf Grund ihrer Intelligenz und ihres Wissensdurstes zwar immer ein bisschen am Rande der Dorfgemeinschaft agiert, sich aber dennoch integriert.

 

Die Story von St. Peter und der Familie Irrwein beginnt mit dem Großvater, der nach einem vermuteten Kuckuckskind und einem überlebten Bandwurm – an sich bis auf das Ende beinahe schon die kuriosesten Wendungen im Plot – aus dem von der Umwelt isolierten Bergdorf auszog, um in der Stadt Medizin zu studieren. Als die Ehefrau krank wird und stirbt, kehrt er zurück, installiert eine Arztpraxis am Berg und übernimmt die Erziehung seiner Tochter beziehungsweise später dann jene seines wissbegierigen Enkels.

 

Die Dorfgemeinschaft und alle handelnden Figuren werden sehr liebevoll von der Autorin mit all ihren Stärken und Schwächen skizziert, die ganz alltäglichen Probleme der Familie Irrwein werden unter diesen speziellen Rahmenbedingungen geschildert, die Nöte eines alleinerziehenden Vaters mit der Tochter, die nicht so gerne lernen will, nicht aus dem Dorf weggehen will, um zu studieren und letztendlich den „falschen Mann“ (aber nur aus der Sicht ihres Vaters) heiratet, die Konflikte mit der Tochter, weil sich der Großvater in die Erziehung des hochbegabten Enkels einmischt …

 

Als der Opa bei einem Hilfseinsatz als Arzt stirbt, geht die Generationengeschichte mit Fokus auf seinen Enkel weiter, der so anders ist als alle anderen in St. Peter und die Dorfgemeinschaft ablehnt. Seine Jahre im Gymnasium des Konvents werden ebenso beschrieben, wie seine Rückkehr ins Dorf auf Grund seiner verpatzten Matura und dem Umstand, dass er letztendlich durch einen Zufall doch noch seinen sinnvollen Platz im Gefüge der hochalpinen Gemeinschaft findet.

 

Wobei das Happy End ist mir dann fast um eine Nuance zu happy und unwahrscheinlich. Vereinbart doch glatt Johannes A. Irrwein als Schreiber des Fußballclubs FC St. Peter unvermutet ein Freundschaftsspiel mit Hamburgs FC St. Pauli, weil dieser Verein grad 100 Jahr alt geworden ist, und die Analogie, dass der kleine Alpen-Peter mit dem großen Paul spielt, auch genauso genial verrückt findet wie ich. Ok diese unwahrscheinliche Kuriosität gefällt mir sehr. Letztendlich – und da wird es fast zu kitschig – erhebt sich das Dorf aus seiner selbstgewählten Isolation, neutralisiert die alten Querulanten bzw. Verhinderer (natürlich nicht gewalttätig, sondern liebevoll) und öffnet sich mit einem unglaublichen Fußballfest dem Leben da draußen.

 

Stilistisch haben mir weiters die kurzen historischen Abrisse vor jedem Kapitel wahnsinnig gut gefallen. Sie zeigen, analog zu Johannes A. Irrwein, der wie Herodot ein Ethnienforscher werden möchte, wie und in welcher Form sich das Dorf über die Jahrhunderte von der Umwelt abgegrenzt hat. Da kommen auch kuriose Geschichten heraus, zum Beispiel dass Maria Theresia wegen der Einführung der Schulpflicht und weil sie eine Frau war, im Dorf gehasst wurde, ebenso wie ihr Sohn, der Chaot Josef, Kaiser Franz Josef und seine Sissi aber wegen ihrer Naturverbundenheit geschätzt wurden, wie mit Gemeindebuchfälschungen die Männer des Dorfes vor einer Einberufung als Soldaten im 2. Weltkrieg bewahrt wurden, die Einstellung der Dorfjugend zum 1. Weltkrieg, zu Napoleon, zum bischöflichen Kloster in der nächsten Ortschaft und vieles mehr. Dieser Stilgriff passt inhaltlich zum Thema, denn er erklärt die historischen Ursachen der Isolation und ist perfekt in den Plot integriert, da er die Aufzeichnungen von Johannes A. Irrwein beinhaltet, der schlussendlich neben seiner Integration in die Gemeinschaft erstens als teilnehmender Beobachter und moderner Ethnologieforscher und zweitens als Geschichtsforscher in seinem eigenen Dorf endet.

 

Fazit: Eine ganz normale Generationengeschichte außergewöhnlich gut in einem außergewöhnlichen Ambiente erzählt. Ich habe mich keine Sekunde gelangweilt und kann sie nur wärmstens empfehlen, wenn auch das Ende für mich persönlich zu „heppi beppi“ ist. Ich glaube, die FAZ hat das Werk am treffendsten eingeordnet: „Es ist ein Bildungs-, Familien- und Coming-of-Age-Roman.“

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