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review 2019-03-21 02:55
Sometimes all you need is a little love...
A Single Bright Candle's Flame (Criminal Intentions, Season One #9) - Cole McCade

'A Single Bright Candle's Flame' is the 9th episode in season 1 of Cole McCade's series Criminal Intentions and so far this series has not failed to deliver. As Malcolm Khalaji and Soeng-Jae Yoon have gone from new police partners to friends and ultimately lovers solving crimes and fitting themselves into each other's lives it's been one hella' good roller coaster ride of emotions. Along with the self contained crime drama that each story delivers there have been hints and clues to an overlying story line that has kept up a steady pace and so far promises to be explosive in it's conclusion...whenever that might be because so far I'm not seeing an end in sight.

 

Thankfully here in the 9th story we get a bit of a break allowing the reader to catch their breath a bit and I have to confess that while I thought the last book was the most relationship focused book to date...well, all I can say now is "Oops, my bad...because this one puts it to shame." however, don't think that just because there's not a crime to be solved you're entirely off the hook here because you're not. There's still so much to be learned from this one and enjoyed...holy hell so much to be enjoyed and savored. 

 

As Soeng-Jae works his way through the events from the last story, Mal is right there determined to be and give Yoon what he needs...he's not going to screw up this time...it's not going to be a repeat of Gabrielle not if he can help it. But Mal's also unsure what to do other than just being there which he'll happily do but he's missing the Soeng-Jae that he fell in love with and isn't sure what it'll take to get him back. Turns out that Mal's problem is going to be solved by a panicked phone call from his parents when his younger sister has runaway or more accurately she's running to something...her brother.

 

While this once again wasn't a long story it was still an awesome read. I loved all of it. Seeing the gentle and loving side of Mal as he cares for his lover and the new bit of vulnerability that Soeng-Jae showed to Mal, was just so...so...I don't even really think I have words for it to be honest...it was just so sweet and touching, yep, Karen melted a little right up there on that rooftop.

 

Plus we have Soeng-Jae being reunited with his sister which was just beyond delightful.  I really hope we get to see more of her...she's feisty and the joy of her brother's life and I'm pretty sure she had Mal totally charmed by the time she returned home as well.

 

But there were also glimpses of things that will connect events of the past to events that have yet to happen and all indications are that we are still in for one hella' wild and interesting ride...so, while this one left me in a happy 'I love Mal & Soeng-Jae' puddle of glue I have the feeling that the next story is going to be filled with a lot of what-the-f*ck-moments! while the strength of Mal and Soeng-Jae's relationship will once again be tested, but I have faith in these two and am looking forward to whatever comes next. 

 

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An ARC of 'A Single Bright Candle's Flame' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-01-13 23:20
Snapshots Through the Years
Through The Years - Z.A. Maxfield

This one surprised me a little bit. 

 

 

To be honest, I was never part of the hype surrounding ZAM. Simply because I haven't read that many books by this author and I don't think any of them rocked my world very hard. But this little one here was very well written. And I'm a sucker for good stories that are written episodical. 

 

I know that enough readers have their problems with this style. It's not easy to pull off, and when done right, the reader always has to read between the lines a lot. Imagination on both sides plays a huge part in making this work, as well as a good memory and a lot of empathic skills from time to time. It can be time-consuming, or at the very least laborious. Like I said, I'm a sucker for it, but it's most definitely not for everyone. 

 

Through the Years offers us bits of pieces of the life of Ethan and Barry, starting from the wildness of their teenage years and ending with... Nah, I'm not telling. But I liked it very much. In between we get to meet these two every ten years, going through life and hardship together. And struggle they did. With openness, with substance abuse, with hate and tragedy, family drama, loosing the right way and finding each other even in darkness. This book covers a lot of time and many themes in a very little space and time. But despite my reservations concerning length and believability, I enjoyed it thoroughly. There were just two regular guys dealing with every-day problems, unique conflicts and unusual character traits. It just felt real - always a plus in my book. Even though both guys might not have been the easiest MCs to like, they somehow got to me and I rooted for them until the very end. 

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review 2015-12-09 00:00
Home for the Holidays: A Doubleback Holiday Short Story
Home for the Holidays: A Doubleback Holiday Short Story - Lissa Ford

I love Jude. Not much more to add.

There wasn't a lot of meat to this story's bones. But I didn't really care, because I absolutely adore Jude. Rowan is sweet and all, and his idea was great. But Jude is Jude, and I love to read about him in any way I can.

That's all there is to it, really. If you liked the first two books in the series, pick this one up. Simply because JUDE.

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review 2015-11-26 00:00
Open Arms and Open Eyes
Open Arms and Open Eyes - Michelle K Grant

 

I was surfing YouTube the other day and I came across a vlog my boyfriend made. I didn’t even know he had a YouTube channel. He’s never told me he makes videos. He obviously wants to remain anonymous because he’s using a fake name. I only watched two of them.

 

Weeeell,...

The idea was good. An inventive, but ambitious way to interpret the prompt, and the writing was good.

But I think this was too ambitious. The story tried to cover some complex, deep and kind of dark themes in very little time and pages. In the end, it was okay, but these kinds of topics (such as drug use, addiction, anxiety) just requires more depth and lenght to really work for me. It was also a little confusing at times.

Not my favorite story, and one that could have a lot more potential as a full-lenght novel with less back and forth.

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review 2015-11-26 00:00
The Field of Someone Else's Dreams
The Field of Someone Else's Dreams - Amelia C. Gormley

Well, this one covered a lot of complex issues in just a few pages.


Chris, a young and promising athlete, needs a scholarship in order to not leave college with a debt as high as Mount Everest. But a sports scholarship and coming out just doesn't seem to go together, no matter how much you're wishing for a loophole. Add the pressure of a man-ly man as a father and the guy you're in love with (and just can't shove back in the closet as if it's nothing),and Chris has more than one full plate to deal with.

And shit happens. And everything comes to a head. And we get to watch it all.

I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Chris' desperation on so many levels - career, money, love - felt real and understandable to me. Matt was a sweatheart, he tried so hard to do the right thing again and again without losing himself. Watching these two struggling through real life problems of new adults was heart-breakingly real. Plus, the whole story line with Chris' parents was a great illustration of the power of words & the power parents' actions and casual remarks have over their children and their inner strenght or strife.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and was very happy with the way things worked out. It definitely got me interested in reading the next Saugatuck story.

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