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review 2018-02-13 16:25
Riding Out the Wager: The Story of a Damaged Horse & His Soldier (The Father Michael Trilogy Book 1) - Hilary Walker

Riding Out The Wager by Hilary Walker
Love how this starts out with healing powers horses have. I've yet to ride one but they do fascinate me and the things they can do.
First time reading this author and enjoy the exploration into her works-want to read more already!
Starts out where a priest is spending dinner at one of his relatives and parishions house for dinner and meets the brother, Justin who is back from Iraq and very hostile.
Priest, Father Michael makes a wager he can get him to believe in God by Easter...
We learn of others confessions and how they are handled.
Love hearing of the step by step instructions on how to set up the saddle and everything associated with it, so very detailed and precise.
All different problems that are our everyday lives and solutions for troubles, priceless!
Although there are a lot of characters it's easy to keep them all straight. Amazing story! Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
What I liked the most is that there are different age groups, each facing different troubles in their lives and there is an answer to them all. Pray.
Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2018-01-29 05:47
The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away #1) by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away - Roni Loren
Finn and Olivia are part of a group of students that survived a school-shooting on prom night known as The Ones Who Got Away. He has been working as a cop for the past few years but returns home to take part in a documentary that will mark the anniversary of that fateful day. Once back home, he gets reacquainted with Olivia and other friends, but it’s definitely Olivia who’s never far from his thoughts and for whom he still has deep feelings.

I really liked their relationship. The traumatic event they went through helps them form a very unique bond since not many people around them are capable of understanding what their lives are like. At first they are a little hesitant to start any kind of relationship but then they realize that it’s in each other’s company that they will find the courage to move forward and live the lives they always wanted to live. I also liked how realistic and relatable the characters felt. I can honestly say I’ve never related to a character as much as I did to Olivia. Someone would say something to her and my mind would wander to a response and sure enough, that’s how she had responded in the book! I thought that was terrific and funny! Finn was such a perceptive and lovable man what with him being a cop trying to atone for past mistakes, and also being a regular man facing the same kind of problems any other person in his situation would. I thought the author did a great job in making such authentic characters. 

The story itself was different and even a bit gritty. While it has dark themes and deals with some PTSD issues it never falls into the extremes of angst or revenge, and it keeps the humor on the lighter side without being comical. In short, it was an endearing story about friendship, survival, leaving the past in the past, and above all, love. 

** I won a copy of this ARC through BookishFirst. This is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
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review 2017-12-29 07:28
Manga Classics: The Count of Monte Cristo (Manga Classics) by Crystal S. Chan (Story Adaptation), Alexandre Dumas, Nokman Poon (Art by)
Count Of Monte Cristo Manga Classics - Alexandre Dumas

This is my first attempt at reading the classic and I was really excited at the chance of reading this adaption. Unfortunately it did not meet my expectations. 
The cover is spectacular and it caught my eye right away. The artwork was lovely and it pretty much covered all my requisites for manga, but when it came to the actual adaption of the story… sorry but no. 
The narrative is hard to follow and there were so many characters in the first few chapters that were introduced without proper explanation that I wasn’t able to tell them apart or tell where the heck they had come from. I usually read a book before I gift it to my younger peers to make sure they will be able to understand it, and being that I had a hard time following this one I sincerely think it’s not something I will be giving away any time soon, at least not to anyone that hasn’t had a crash course on the classics. 

** I received this book via Netgalley at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-12-09 05:26
Review: The Bad Girl and the Baby (Cutting Loose #3) by Nina Croft
The Bad Girl and the Baby (Cutting Loose) - Nina Croft

Darcy has a painful past. She thinks she failed her sister and now she’s trying to make it up by making sure her sister’s daughter, Lulu is living a happy and safe life. The only problem is that Lulu’s guardian, uptight, ultra-organized, ex-SAS, Capt. Matt Peterson won’t allow her to even visit her. Now Darcy needs to find a way to convince him that being a tattooed ex-con is not as bad as it seems. 

I loved Darcy’s kick-a$$ character! I think the author did an excellent job of portraying the true nature of her character. She was tough and protective yet showed glimpses of vulnerability at exactly the right moments. Even when she was unsure or feeling susceptible, she still went ahead and made the tough decisions. 
Matt on the other hand cracked me up half of the time. He was supposed to be this stiff, uptight, almost super-soldier but when it came to Lulu and Darcy… well, let’s just say he became someone else entirely different but not in a bad way. He and Darcy formed some kind of bond, that as much as they tried to deny it existed, or not give it a name, worked excellent for me because it was that openness and honest attitude from both of them that made their nameless relationship work; as long as their meddlesome friends were not trying to dictate their lives. 
Argh! That really annoyed me, though! Darcy and Matt’s friends were always telling them how bad they were for each other and how much damage each would cause to the other. I mean, seriously, consenting adults? At least in the end, friends served their purpose and proved that without them life would not only be boring but also so much harder and lonely. 

It’s not very often I connect this well with characters but this book was something else. Even Lulu was a delight to read. Those that have dealt with little kids will immediately understand and chuckle at what the characters had to go through with little Lulu. 
It’s not very often I give 5 stars to books either but I think this one warrants it. There simply was nothing I didn’t like; if anything I could re-read this book just for the sheer pleasure of reading it again. 

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***
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review 2017-12-06 22:32
Review: Tempting Danger (Retribution #2) by Katie Reus
Tempting Danger - Katie Reus

We met Alina and Andre in the first book (Retribution) when she and her sister were trying to avenge their parent’s murder. This book was not as fast-paced as the first book nor did it have any paranormal elements but it was still an entertaining read. It was cute to see the things a hormonal pregnant woman has to go trough and how the people around her deal with the situations.

The thing I didn’t like much was that I was expecting more of a struggle in the romantic department. It went from “enemies” to “I want you back in my life” in the span of a millisecond (not quite literally but it sure felt that way) which I feel didn’t allow me connect to the characters that much.

 

** A copy of this book was provided to me by the author. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion. **

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