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review 2018-05-22 16:00
The Case of the Missing Cross (Justice and Miss Quinn #1) by Felicia Rogers
The Case of the Missing Cross - Felicia Rogers

A great mystery and romance set in Regency Bath. I love the work partnership of Justin and Magnolia and the budding romance between the two is the right amount of angst for me. I still feel burnt out on Regency romances, but this one was different and I want to continue reading the series. The main mystery is solved, but there is a bigger conspiracy going on, which leads into book two. 

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text 2018-05-15 14:03
Meh- Three Stars
Kill Me Softly - Sarah Cross

Meh. This was okay. I thought the story had a great premise.

Setting:
I really loved the idea of Beau Rivage. But I think there was so much more that Cross could have done to give it more personality. I mean, she had this FAIRY TALE TOWN for goodness' sake. Liven it up. Instead the kids spent their time at concerts and beaches and getting drunk at parties. Seriously? Couldn't they do something more fairytale-ish? What? Was Cross trying to show the readers that the story characters are just like regular teens? Then there is no point. I just wish there could have been more. Except for the candy cottage, there wasn't much to say that it was very different than any other town.

Characters:
There is a slew of characters here, and some I like more than others. Obviously. But it is more because of how they are written than because of the characters themselves. Take Viv for instance. There is so much more that could have been done with 'Snow White'. Like, I don't know. Make her actually like SNOW WHITE instead of some spoiled brat. Or make Freddie more three dimensional instead of a doormat who just wants to be a hero. Give these characters some depth.

Relationships:
This is new for me. I usually don't focus on them as much, but since this book was nothing but relationships, here we are.
Blue/Mira- They're both dumb. Blue was wasting his time, pining over a girl in love with his brother. Honestly, if it took her that long to figure Felix out, she deserved to have the life sucked out of her.
Felix/Mira- What an idiot! All the signs were there. I get that he could 'charm' her, but she even considered the truth and still rejected it. I wanted there to be a spin so badly. Like maybe Felix saving Mira from Blue, but no. Predictable.
Freddie/Mira- Basically everyone and Mira. I mean, come on. He was like a wet, sad puppy. And even worse, that's all he was meant to be. I really wanted some closure for him. Like for him to get with a fairy or something. Just so he isn't the nice loser at the end.
Viv/Henley- What kind of messed up relationship is this? Basically, he is destined to simultaneously love and hate her. She teases and drags him around. It was just annoying.
Layla/Rafe- Honestly, I think this had the potential to be the most interesting relationship in the story, but they nearly completely ignored it. Barely gets a mention. Of course, Beauty and the Beast was always one of my favs, so I'm biased.

Plot:
So predictable. The only surprise would have been Mira finding her parents. Otherwise, you knew who the bad guy was. You knew what he was going to do. You knew who was going to save her. I kept hoping that something would pop up and surprise me, but no. 

Overall:
I really really liked the idea of this book, which is how it earned the three stars. But the execution left something to be desired.

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review 2018-05-14 16:44
Book #874 - 351,319 Pages Read
What Stands in a Storm: A True Story of Love and Resilience in the Worst Superstorm in History - Gillian Cross,Rick Bragg

I heard about this book from a podcast I listened to recently, entitled 'Tornado Talk'. I thought it sounded interesting and decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by one of the best books I've ever had the privilege of reading.

Slowly laying out a story that the author claimed "needed to be told", Ms. Cross has put together a book unlike any other I have read among similar genres. This book focuses on what has been called the worst tornado outbreak this country has ever experienced (4/27/11), surpassing even the infamous "Super Outbreak" (4/3/74). I was very, very impressed with the amount of research done, making the science understandable and basic, yet not oversimplified for laymen purposes as is found in so many other similar publications.

It is here that Ms. Cross begins to bring the human stories into the developing dangerous situation: a woman and her budding meteorologist-to-be son in Smithville, Mississippi; an experienced meteorologist in Birmingham who would spend literally all day in front of the cameras saving countless lives with his repeated warnings; college students in Tuscaloosa preparing in various ways for the worsening weather; a family in Cordova, Alabama frantically trying to survive. I bring these examples up because this may be the most ingenious way I've ever seen an author combine these stories with the scientific explanation of how that fateful day unfolded. The tension is palpable; the dread is real, and when the worst finally happens, the stories are really only beginning.

The second part of the book deals with the aftermath of the devastation. It is no less tense than the first part, but along with that it becomes literally, emotionally gut wrenching in parts. No spoilers, but I must mention the part of a particular search and rescue worker who volunteers her services along with her search dogs that literally had me bawling.

Whew.....Ms. Cross then does an outstanding job of slowly bringing hope back into the situation: descriptions of emergency rescue personnel along with other heroes, hundreds if not thousands of volunteers descending on Tuscaloosa to help any way they could, emotional reunions of victims with their rescuers, and people slowly getting on with their lives with hope for the future while dealing with the constant but receding pain.

Highly recommended....well done, Kim Cross, a truly magnificent effort.

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review 2018-05-11 16:05
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Cross by D.A. Roach
Cross - D.A. Roach

Cross is a young adult contemporary fantasy that not only deals with our main character having vEDS, but also we find out about magic, and barriers, and witches, and dragons. Trust me, there is never a dull moment. Ray is an excellent character, being charming but not cocky. He reacts to his parents' news in a completely understandable way without overreacting. He also sees people as they are, and doesn't prejudge them at all. With an action-packed story, this fantasy is one to enjoy.

 

With a solid story-line, great world-building, and excellent characters, this story was a delight to read. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, making this a very smooth read. Absolutely recommended by me.

 

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *

 

Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

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review 2018-05-01 13:26
HEXEN'S CROSS BY J KOWALLIS
Hexen's Cross - J. Kowallis

Mythology, magic and mystery...all my favorite M words in one novel.

 

 

 

If you read my reviews you know I'm a sucker for mythology, and Kowallis seamlessly weaves it into the world of the Hexens in an utterly unique way.

 

 

 

 

I also think it needs to be said that this story has some serious Indiana Jones vibes happening. The riddles to be solved, hunting for possibly fictitious relics from the past, magical BOOBY TRAPS, all being pioneered by the badass seeker of knowledge, professor/Hexen extrodinaire, Taran Grim.

 

 

 

 

Taran was pretty awesome. Although her Hexen legacy was not as accomplished as it could be, her knowledge on the mythological and mystical was second to none. Or at least, very few. I'm glad she still has some stuff to learn where her spells/powers are involved because I think if she had all that straight away she would be unstoppable at whatever she puts her mind to. I think I'll quite enjoy watching her develop and exact those powers as the story continues.

 

 

 

 

Now can we talk Collens Donovan for a hot minute? How is it even an accent on paper is HAWT?

 

 

 

 

I mean, he was kinda douchetastic at the beginning, but we all know sometimes those rough around the edges types are hiding all their many squishy loveable bits underneath. Coll was no exception. His magical prowess was a nice balance to Taran's wealth of knowledge. As Taran chipped away at his armor we got a much better idea of him as a person without the bluster and bravado...and of course, like Taran, it was hard not to like what I saw.

 

 

 

 

That ending was explosive, be prepared for twists and revelations you won't see coming! I was on the edge of my seat by the end and I CAN'T WAIT to see what happens next in this world of magic and mayhem! If you are a fan of mythology, adventure, magic, and swoon-worthy characters you need to add Hexen's Cross to your must-read list.

 

 

 

 

Btw still insanely jealous of Hexen's ability to magic their way around daily nuisances like doing your hair and avoiding traffic. Taran, share your secrets with me please!

 

 

 

 

*I received an ARC at no cost from the author*

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