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review 2017-02-19 14:20
The Gatekeeper- Michael Sisti

 

At first I thought my failure to keep a grip on the long cast of characters was going to sink me and at felt a few early point of view shifts were a little too sharp, however once I settled into this very fast paced book I really enjoyed it. Sisti has structured this story with very short chapters that add to the pacey feel. We are trotted through literally years in which a business grows from nothing into a large regional bank, and then collapses in the trauma field of the financial crisis started by the 2007 sub-prime mortgage collapse in the USA.

The gatekeeper in the male testosterone fired world is a woman, and not one modelled on a kick-arse beauty that can floor any man with a combination of looks, intelligence and gymnastic battle crafts, the likes of which have never yet actually been witnessed in real life. All the characters are just about believable, if in many cases rather clichéd. With so many actors to follow it was as well that many were solidly familiar, stock personalities.

This book makes business acquisitions and mergers seem like exciting stuff, and as if this isn’t enough there is an interesting bit of sexual intrigue as well. This is a fun read, one that once it had me hooked had no trouble keeping me so.

Sisti is a good pulp fiction writer. I mean that with the greatest of respect. He writes in a sharp entertaining, to the point, style, that draws unrepentantly on those characters that surround us all in real life. And all this is done without any demonstrable physical violence, murder, torture, or natural disasters. I’m sure I’ll read another Sisti before very long.

For the traveller, those short chapters make this book just right for reading on a crowded train.

AMAZON LINK

 

 

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review 2017-02-19 11:23
Safe
Crave Me - Cecy Robson

This is the 3rd book in the O'Brien Family series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Erin AKA Wren meets Evan when he comes in to buy a car from the dealership she works at.  The heat between them sizzles and sparks right from the start!  Evan knows what he wants, but Wren is not planning to mix business with pleasure.

 

Evan has never had his skin set on fire by a woman like this before.  He will have to plan carefully to make his move.  They both have some secrets in the past that may derail the future.

 

This series just keeps getting better.  I loved the heat between the two main characters.  Familiar favorites are here too.  I loved the suspense, the pace, and the humor.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-02-19 10:56
Perfection
Going for the Goal (The Perfect Play Series Book 3) - Sara Rider

This is book # 3 in the Perfect Play series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For your enjoyment, and to better understand the series I recommend reading in order.

 

Jillian & Nick have quite the past.  Now, as he begs her to be his agent, she does not think it is wise to mix business with pleasure.  Her reputation and future are at risk.

 

Nick has waited almost a decade to be with his dream woman.  Now, her needs her for more than just the physical.  He needs her to save his career.

 

This was such a heartwarming and HOT book to read.  I found myself with laughter and tears.  I am hoping the series continues, since it is so good.  I give this book a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2017-02-18 22:29
ARC Review: There's This Guy
There's This Guy - Rhys Ford
There's This Guy starts out very dark and is a super slow burn of a romance, and I was very much appreciative for that slow burn in this case. It's a heavy story and Jack, especially, needed the time. And I loved it, I really did.

Jack (or Jacques) Moore is a pretty screwed up guy. He grew up in an abusive household, being told by his mother that being gay was an abomination, and his father, well...his father was abusive before he knew and was homicidal, after. Growing up in that kind of environment is hard on the soul and Jack never felt worthy of anything more. And the one time he reached for something more, he got slapped hard by life and that is something he never forgot. So Jack is in a dark place that he has no idea how to leave.

In between Jack's moments of darkness, he is a welder, by trade. He specializes in historic restorations and he's an artist. I knew a metal sculptor, once, and she could do amazing things with metal and a blow torch. Jake is like that, and if it weren't for that outlet, he'd probably have succumbed to the darkness, long ago. As it is, Jack's life has been on hold while his father's life drags on in hospice and though the old man isn't worth the oxygen he breathes, Jack won't let him die alone.

Dallas Yates has had a very different life. He's from a family that loves him and accepts him and he's never wanted for anything. His current project, a drag club on the outskirts of WeHo, is how he meets Jack, because the building's original metalwork needs to be restored. Dallas and his best friend, Celeste, have their work cut out for them to get the building to where it needs to be before they will be ready to open Bombshells.

From the very start, there's an attraction between Dallas and Jack, but their romance takes time because Jack is pretty broken and isn't ready to face who he is. They become friends, and Dallas recognizes that a friend is what Jack needs most, aside from therapy, which he encourages. I was happy for that because Jake needed more help than a friend, or boyfriend could provide. No magic dicks here (thank you, Rhys).

There's This Guy starts out in a dark, heavy place, but as the story progresses, the feeling gets lighter as the weight on Jake's soul lessens. But do not expect anything fluffy, here. This story is anything but fluffy. And as Jake sees that he is not only worthy of love, but actually loved, it's beautiful. I've enjoyed many, many books by this author, and in my opinion There's This Guy is her best work to date.

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ARC of There's This Guy was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2017-02-18 08:14
Review: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil - Melina Marchetta

Quick review for a progressive read. It's hard to describe my reactions to this novel, because, on one hand, this is quite apt to Melina Marchetta's style of writing - strong characterizations, compelling family-centered stories, and emotional revelations on the topics she touches upon (particularly with respect to race, violence, prejudice, etc.) I enjoyed the journey this novel took me on for the most part, even as it handed down its revelations progressively rather than in one felt swoop like the magnitude of the crime(s) this book centers upon.

It took me quite a while to get into this novel, and there's a large cast of characters within this narrative to keep track of. Hence why the pacing feels like it crawls in sections of the novel, but on the whole of things, this is a powerful novel with more of a focus on the people who are caught within these tragedies/mysteries.

Bish is a suspended inspector whose daughter is among the victims of a bus bombing. Although his daughter isn't hurt, Bish learns that a young woman whom he'd encountered many years before is at the center of suspects surrounding the bus bombing: Violette LeBrac. His journey to not only find Violette but determine who was behind the bombing takes him to many places and uncovers many difficult situations in Bish's own past. Other major characters include Bee, Bish's daughter, Violette, who struggles to maintain her own innocence despite the fact her mother and other members of her family were charged in a bombing that took several lives years before; Noor LeBrac, Violette's mother and a complex character in her own right - reluctant to help Bish, but it's clear she cares for her daughter and family greatly.

I wish the presentation of the novel had been more smooth for transition and consistency in narrative voices. The stories in this novel were powerful and impactful, ones that definitely stood out to me long after I finished the novel, but there were times when the narrative threw me out for the sheer length of time and amount of stories packed into the narrative itself.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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