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review 2018-04-15 23:08
Love, Nina
Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life - Nina Stibbe

I picked up this book because I watched the series based on it on Netflix the other week and really liked it - probably because of the cast (Helena Bonham Carter played Mary-Kay Wilmers).

 

The book, however, was a different story. For some reason the story works on tv, but in epistolary novel format reads like a mildly amusing but gratingly inconsequential run down of stories that try to re-imagine Willy Russell's Educating Rita (but set in London) with added name-dropping of the London literati. 

 

I'll give Stibbe's other books a miss.

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text 2018-01-21 21:49
Book Review for Where My Heart Lies by Angela Marie
 
 
 
 

    Title: Where My Heart Lies
Series: A Spawn of Chaos Novel
Author: Angela Marie
Genre: MC Romance 
Release Date:  January 10, 2018
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Nicola

 
You know you’ve hit rock bottom when you fall down and can’t be bothered to get back up.
My entire life had been one endless beating, and I’d reached breaking point.
I was done.
Until a letter gave me the strength I’d been missing.
Those precious words gave me enough courage to dust myself off, to try one more time.
In that moment I realized something.
I wasn’t done.
Not even close.
And I had an entire family I didn’t even know existed standing at my back.
 
Irish
 
You know you’ve hit rock bottom when putting powder up your nose is the only way to make it through the day.
My life took a wrong turn, so I poisoned my body in an attempt to escape.
I was done.
Until I found salvation on the back of a bike.
With nothing but the open road and the wind in my face, I found the courage to live.
In that moment I realized something.
I wasn’t done.
Not even close.
 
And my family might not be blood, but they were standing at my back.
 
 
Great start to a brand new series!We loved it from cover to cover.I will say although I loved it I am so pissed the way the story ended. OMG I hate cliffhangers and this one had one of the biggest ones that I have read so far.For me this is what turns me off from a author.I am the type who loves to read series and once I finish up my current story I am diving right into the next one.I was so engrossed and into the story that when things are finally getting really good the story just ended and oh I was so mad that I didn't get to see the outcome.
 
I thought that this was really a endearing and touching story of two opposites that are attracted to one another and two really messed up people who's past followed them right into their adult life that is still effecting their every day lives.Some other reviewers believe that It took forever to get to the romance part of the book and was slow going to this point but, for me I was okay with it as Nicola's whole childhood was awful and then once she finally escapes that life she gets involved with a sociopath with cult beliefs that becomes a stalker and abuser.For me she just needed that time to heal and gain some of her confidence she lost along the way.But, one thing she never lost was her fire and sense of humor as she made me laugh so many times throughout the story and not only that I loved when she got her back up she turned into a fire breathing dragon. LOL
 
 
I always pick a favorite character and mine is going to be Nicola.I loved her from the very beginning.I thought her to be smart,sexy kind, fiery,had a great sense of humor and determined to overcome a past that would have left most people broken.I loved how she spoke her mind and through it all she remained so innocent in more ways then one.
 
My favorite quote by her would have to be telling
Irish "Make like a tree and leaf" LOL I laugh anytime I think about that quote and the chuckle & smile that it brought to Irish's face.
 
For me this romance reminds me how the cat plays with the mouse before the kill.Also Nicola's ex boyfriend reminded me so much of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy with Julia Roberts.The chemistry and attraction was always there from the very beginning between Irish and Nicola.Irish's protective instincts took over at just  one look at her. Omg!I loved how flustered that this love them and leave them kind of guy was laid low but a itty bitty girl he hadn't even spoken to yet.I just love seeing the player being brought down by a innocent.I loved chuckling and smiling all the way though the story.
 
 
I have to say that I did love Irish.I loved his smiles and cockiness .I loved the bad boy in him and those sizzling looks of his.I sensed his loneliness and this hardened  jaded biker had a side of him that he never lets anyone see yet we got a glimpse of the lonely boy who just wanted someone to love him and truly be his and his alone.I think I was a little bit in love with Irish myself .My heart broke for him as he finally has what he always wanted within his reach for the taking but, pushes the one and only thing away that truly brought him any happiness in a very long time.I loved how he was willing to put Nicola's happiness before his own and was willing to love her from afar.I kept falling even more...
  
 
This story for me had really fun and engaging characters that made you laugh as well as cry.I have to say that I loved the sensual dance that went on between this couple as the sparks and chemistry were always between them and you new when Irish let go of all the reasons why  they couldn't be together it was going to be explosive and hot as hell and he didn't disappoint.I just loved how he was when he was around Nicola almost as if he was a totally different person yet still as deadly.
 .
 
I think that the author did an amazing job for her first debut novel and we are so looking forward to the conclusion of this story.I am hoping that this author plans to turn this into a series as I would so love to see some of those other love-able brothers of Irish's be brought to their knees as they were so enjoyable to read about and they all had a wicked sense of humor.
 
5 stars from us
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prologue - Nicola, 9 years old
 
The house is dark and eerily quiet as we make our way toward the front of the residence where the ‘formal living room’, as Mrs. Smith likes to call it, is located.  I have no idea what it looks like inside, as the door is always firmly shut. Mrs. Smith pointed it out to me when she showed me around on my first day here and told me that the room was strictly off limits. Stepping inside or even opening the door earned you an immediate punishment.

 
I’ve come to learn that within these walls, all it takes is a wrong word to earn you a punishment. Or in my case, speaking to the wrong person.

How was I to know that I couldn’t speak to the beautiful lady with the black hair and green eyes wearing the black vest over her brightly colored blouse? She was friendly. Mrs. Smith was very angry when she saw the two of us talking. She sent me inside with an angry rebuff and told me to wait for her in the kitchen. Talking to a stranger earned me a night in the punishment box.

 
The nightly curfew of eight o’clock has come and gone, meaning all the other children are in bed. Tucked under their covers, lying on a comfortable mattress, cozy and warm, waiting for sleep to carry them off to dreamland. I hear Mr. Smith’s shuffled footsteps upstairs, going from room to room and switching off the last of the upstairs lights, bathing the house in darkness.

 
I hate the dark, only because I'm afraid of what I can’t see, making falling asleep difficult for me. Every bump and creak startles me, and my overactive imagination conjures up frightening pictures which leaves me shaking in my bed. Voicing those fears gets you nothing, and especially not much-needed comfort. The Smiths don’t believe in such things. 

 
“Hurry up,” Mrs. Smith hisses, pushing me to walk faster. “We don’t have all night.”

 
I want nothing more than to drag my feet, draw this out as much as I can, but I know that it will only be delaying the inevitable.

The closer I get to the room, which houses the punishment box, the sicker my tummy feels. Suddenly we’re there. 

 
Mrs. Smith flicks on the light switch, bathing the room in light. The walls are unadorned, painted a stark white color, the floors dark polished wood. The smell of the lavender-scented beeswax used on the floors lingers in the air. Thick white curtains that are closed cover the large window, making the room cold, dark, and foreboding.

 
Directly in front of the drawn drapes sits a large wooden chest. The dark wood of the box is rough and weathered, the intricate design that was painted on it eons ago faded.

 
The faint odor of bleach pours out when Mrs. Smith opens the lid. The smell makes my stomach turn even further, as well as making my nose burn and my eyes water. The box doesn’t look very big, and I wonder how I’m going to lie in there the whole night.

 
Mrs. Smith gives me a push toward it, clearly wanting me to get in. Climbing into that thing is the last thing I want to do, but a glare from Mrs. Smith forces me to do so, and quickly.

 
“You’re not to move from here till morning, not even to go to the toilet. A word of warning—if you wet yourself, you’re going to have to lie in it all night, and come morning, you’re going to be scrubbing the inside of that thing. With bleach. Leaving the box means another night of punishment. Is that understood?”

I just nod and try to hold the tears I can feel burning the backs of my eyes. I lie on my side and seconds later the lid slams shut, plunging me into darkness.

The crash of the lid echoes in the small space and right through my body, causing me to shake. I’ve just gone from a brightly lit room to total darkness in a matter of seconds. I raise my hands to the front of my face, but I can’t see them. I try again and again, but the result is the same. I begin to panic, bile slowly rising from my stomach. I beat at the roof of the box with my tiny fists, my voice small and sobbing at first, growing louder with each passing second as I beg to be let out. A swift kick to the box silences me. I wrap my arms around my belly as my breath comes out in rasps.

 
“Shut up,” Mrs. Smith shushes. “You’ll wake up the whole house with your screaming. If you do, you’ll be spending another night in there.”

 
Another night?

 
I cringe, my muscles tensing, my body going rigid. I hold my breath to stop myself from whimpering out loud, my eyes stinging with unshed tears. Silence fills the box. I hear Mrs. Smith’s footsteps as she walks out the room, turning off the overhead light, the click of the door shutting letting me know that I’m alone.

I take a deep breath before curling into a ball, pulling my nightshirt over my legs. Despite it being the middle of summer, the temperature sticky and humid outside, it’s cold within the confines of the box. I can’t stop shivering. I lie as still as I can, my small hands clapped firmly over my ears.

After a little while, my hip starts to hurt from lying in a fetal position on the bare wood. I try to find another comfortable position, but I don’t think there is one inside this box. It’s meant to be uncomfortable; it’s a punishment, after all.

One night within its confines is supposed to make you grateful for everything the Smiths do for you on a daily basis. They’re the ones who took me in when nobody else wanted me. They provided me with a roof over my head and three meals a day. They provided the clothes I have on my back and even the opportunity to go to school and learn.

The last thing I feel is grateful.

 
I would trade it all in to be back in the small trailer I called home. To feel my momma’s arms around me as she read me a bedtime story. I would even gladly eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the rest of my life, if it meant that Momma would make them in her own special way.

The older children had warned me that the punishment box could be frightening the first time, but it would get easier each time. I don’t think that’s even possible.

 
I’m scared.

 
Terrified of the endless darkness that surrounds me.

 
My eyes are closed tight, my arms wrapped around my still trembling body. My chest feels tight, and breathing in and out has become difficult. A wave of dizziness hits me, leaving my whole body weak. My heart is beating so fast, almost like it wants to jump right out of my chest.

 
I try my hardest to conjure my mother’s image in my mind. I want her beautiful face to comfort me, her voice to whisper soothing words to calm me, her arms to wrap around me and hold me close.  

Momma, I miss you so much!

 
I allow the tears I’ve been holding in just minutes ago to fall freely. Here in this box, I allow myself to cry knowing that I won’t have to explain my tears to anyone. Won’t have to risk punishment for mentioning my mother. Mentioning her name within the walls of this house has been forbidden. I’ve been told to forget about her existence and the life I had with her. But how do I do that when I miss her every day?

 
According to the Smiths, I’ve been given a second chance at redemption, by God and his earthly church. A chance to have my mind, body, and soul cleansed of the evil that flows through it. That’s why I was brought to the Smiths. They are going to make sure that by the time they’re done with me I am good and pure. Ready to serve in whatever capacity I’m needed within the church. The woman who birthed me and the biker scum who fathered me will be nothing but a distant memory.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Angela Marie was born and raised in South Africa, but now calls the sunshine state of Queenland, Australia home. A wife and mother to two almost teenagers she loves nothing more than to curl up on the couch at the end of a busy day with her husband and an action movie.

Her love of read and writing started from a very young age and she loves nothing more than dreaming amazing stories with interesting and diverse characters which she can't wait to share you with.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Be Sure to Follow Us here :

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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review 2018-01-21 21:40
Book Review for Garrett by Jessie Cooke
 
 
 
 

                            Title: Garrett
Series: Southside Skulls Motorcycle Club
Author: Jessie Cooke
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: January 15, 2018 
 
 
 
 

Garrett “Bear” Banks, has the stealth of a sniper and the strength of a viper. but the bad things he’s done, have taken their toll, and now… a life changing decision will free him from his demons.

 

What he hasn’t planned on, is a woman getting in the way. 

 

Paige is ready to put her demons to rest, when a giant of a man appears just at the wrong time to make the right decision.

 
Two tortured people standing at the same place in life, at the start of a journey that will change both of their lives, and those they love…forever.
 
This is the 8th book in the Southside Skulls MC Series. It is a Standalone Romance Novel but characters from the previous novels, DAX, CODY, GUNNER, ZACK, LEVI, KAT & HUNTER are included in this story too.
 
The Southside Skulls MC Series is about members of the MC club, their associates, and friends. 
 
Each story, while focused around one or more main characters, is not necessarily about a Southside Skulls club member, but the story is related to Skulls members and the club. 
 
HEA and No cliffhanger. 
Intended for Mature Readers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
For me this series just gets better.As the series progresses I keep finding more and more story characters to be my favorite but, I think Garrett has turned into my absolute favorite character.This story was a pager turner and we loved it from cover to cover and we couldn't put it down.For me there was always so much going on in the story emotional as well as the continuing club drama making it intriguing and suspenseful.
 
I loved both the main characters as you were at times overwhelmed with their pain and sorrow that both carried within them.For this couple you had to believe in fate as Garrett and Paige were put in one another's path for sure each becoming the others savior.
 
One thing that I love about this club and its members is that they are trying to make right the wrongs others are doing to innocents.This club has been trying to take down as many human traffickers as possible who are dealing in women and children.You got to loved them for their cause .Being in this position of saving innocents Garrett was able to relate to Paige in more ways than one.
 
This tale really touched my heart and tugged at your emotions. Paige's pain was due to the fact that she believed she was responsible in some way for her sister death.Garrett's pain was due to the loss he suffered from being at war and protecting our country and a rights as well as our freedom.So many of our soldiers end up like Garrett and it breaks your heart thinking of the horrific things they have done and seen yet come away broken and unable to cope in the life they return to.For Garrett his brothers were his saviors for a really long time but, never really seeing how much pain he was really in.For me the most touching part of the story had to be the letters and the effect that it had on his loved ones.I have to say right then in there the tears started to fall and continued falling throughout the rest of the story.I love when a author is able to bring you to tears.
 
I always pick who's going to be my favorite character and mine is going to be Garrett.I just loved how protective and kind as well as loving he was.I loved how he took charge of Paige all the while putting his own life on hold as well as ending his own demons.This couple were good for one another and truly understood the kind of pain each other were in.Love was the true healing balm for this couple.
 
The chemistry between this couple was amazing.Holy hotness! These two were each others soul-mate for sure. I love being on this couples journey of healing and sacrifice.
Although the story was emotional and suspenseful it had many other secrets come to life that you were like omg! how did I not pick up on that before now!It was good to be surprised in that way and made things even more interesting.I love when you never saw that tidbit of info coming to light.
 
I love when you are able to connect with the characters that you are reading about and I was able to do that as I started loving them for the onset of the story.Let's not forget the other brothers as they made this story even more entraining as we love them as well .Each of them are so different from the other but, you see the love they share for each other how protective they are of each other and love and laughter is always guaranteed amoung this family of misfits.
 
I loved this story and I am loving this series.A recommend read to all and it series!
 
5 stars from Us
 
Another amazing read that goes onto the keeper self to be re-read again and again.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Winter wonderland, my ass,” Garrett said aloud as he trudged up the hill, dressed in white from his head to his toes. He blended easily with the fresh snow, so he should really be happier about it, but cold just wasn’t his thing. It wasn’t that Vegas couldn’t get cold in the winter. Those desert storms could make a man’s balls feel like frozen meatballs. But it was still not the same as winter in Massachusetts. He was anxious to finish this job for Dax and get back home. He’d been in the middle of wrapping up his business when Dax called.
Garrett had five sealed letters in the saddlebags of his bike, but for some reason he’d been carrying the sixth one around in his pocket. Maybe it was because that was the most important one. That was the one that explained to his little girl why she would be better off in a world where he didn’t exist. One last kill…one more sin to add to the list of many, and then he’d be ready to stand up and answer for them all, in front of his maker. If his mother was right with the stories she told him when he was little, and there was a set of pearly gates and a little man named Joseph who sent you up the escalator or down into the heat, he knew where he was going, and it was good that he’d rather be warm. His life hadn’t been all bad, and his sweet little Jessie was proof of that, but he had done unspeakable things and answering for them was the only part of dying that worried him.
Right now, though, he needed to put that on the back burner and concentrate on the task at hand. He kept walking, climbing steadily, and each one of his steps left an indentation in the virgin white powder that covered the earth. He was a big man, weighing in at 310 pounds the last time he checked. That number might be worrisome if he weren’t six-foot-six and the weight weren’t evenly distributed and almost solid muscle. Of course, even if it were fat, it wouldn’t matter now.  
The higher Garrett climbed, the more frigid the air became. His face was covered with a white knit ski mask, but the skin around his eyes stung from the ice that was clinging to his bottom lashes. He should be wearing his goggles, but he hated walking around in them. He’d put them on when he reached his rendezvous point. His thick, white leather gloves were heated at least, and they felt fucking fabulous. His hands were the most important tool he had besides his rifle, so he had to take care of them, but the rest of his body was fucking freezing. The thick, white coveralls he was wearing were saturated with the wet, falling snow and if he thought he was ever going to need it again, he might have worried that his dick would freeze solid and crack right off.
He pushed on. He’d worked in a lot of worse places under a lot of worse conditions. He slowly maneuvered a path that was littered with hidden bushes, stumps, and rocks, but by now he knew where every one of them was at even though the snow had blanketed them all during the night. The branches of the trees that were still visible hung heavily toward the ground, the icicles tugging at them and dangling perilously close to Garrett’s head at times. He walked the obstacle course in snow up to his knees, and it took twice as long as it would have taken in clear weather. It was easy to see why Dax hadn’t tried to take on this job himself, and despite putting his own urgent business aside to do it, Garrett didn’t really mind. This was the one thing in his life that he’d been good at. He was sure it wouldn’t be the thing that got him into heaven, but once he took his own life, that probably wasn’t going to be an option anyways.
When he finally scaled the top of the snowy ridge, he dropped the heavy rifle that had been slung over his shoulder and the backpack he carried, down into the snow, and let his heavy body fall beside them. He lay there in the snow for several minutes, creating a snow angel the size of a dragon before he finally sat up and grabbed his water bottle. As he drank, he looked in the direction of the curling smoke. He couldn’t see the cabin with his naked eye, but he’d already scoped the place out, and he knew Josiah Miller’s routines.
He reached over and unzipped the protective case the rifle was sheathed in. He pulled it out and began his safety checks. The rifle was like an old friend to him. It had taken countless lives…but it had saved countless more. He worked as part of a team in the military, with a spotter, but the truth was that he preferred to work alone. It was the same with most of the rest of his life. He preferred solitude, and he didn’t have very many close relationships. It was why he’d chosen to be a nomad, why he hadn’t seen or talked to his mother in three years, and why he knew he’d be a terrible father to his beautiful little girl—at least, it was one of the reasons. He sighed and began pulling things out of the backpack and setting up his area.
Garrett had studied aerial maps of the place before even going up the mountain for the first time. He’d looked at photographs and satellite pictures, and the first time he went up, he took photos of his own from every angle. He walked the perimeter until he found the perfect spot to stage his kill and then he’d established his own escape route. Then for the next few days he watched Josiah Miller come in and out of the cabin and he got familiar with his target’s routines. Now, he lay down in the snow, ranged the target, and adjusted the position of the gun for the wind and elevation and other variables.
Garrett didn’t like to think of himself as a killer, but he had to admit that was what he was. While he was in the Navy, he could justify what he did by telling himself it was only a job, and one that was saving humanity at that. But once he got out and his job had morphed into traveling the United States for the MC and doing almost exactly the same thing, he wasn’t able to justify it that way any longer. He kept doing it, because it was all he was good at…and he took jobs like this one for Dax because, well, there were just some people you didn’t say no to. Garrett had known Dax for so long that he knew Dax wouldn’t have faulted him for turning the job down, but Dax had been one of very few constants in Garrett’s life. Dax wasn’t frightened or fazed by the changes in Garrett’s personality when he was gone, and he was also one of a handful of people that Garrett knew would be there, saddled up and ready to ride or die, if he needed him. So, he wasn’t about to tell Dax no, even if the job did get in the way of his own plans, temporarily.
Garrett took the high-powered binoculars out of his backpack and while he sat with his back against a tree, he brought them up to his face. He adjusted them until the cabin came into focus. There were no signs of life outside, but the smoke from the chimney told him Miller was inside. It was almost time for him to rise and drink his coffee on the porch. It was what he did every day. Garrett marveled sometimes at how people were such creatures of habit. It was what had gotten a lot of them killed, and they probably didn’t even know it. Garrett had the opportunity to take Miller out many times over that week that he’d been watching him, but he had to wait until everything was in place.
This man had taken Dax’s old lady with the intention of doing her great harm. Even to a killer like Garrett, that was not okay. Miller thought he was paying Dax back for ending his old man’s miserable, hateful existence. He couldn’t see that Dax had done the world a great favor. Dax had also saved Cody and his older brother from continuing to suffer the horrors of abuse the man heaped upon them, but Josiah Miller either didn’t know or didn’t care about any of that. From what Dax told Garrett about what he’d been able to find out about Josiah’s past, the old man hadn’t been any easier on him. But the kid had watched Dax kill him, and then he had spent eighteen years locked up. He was a kid when he went to prison, and according to the prison psychologist’s notes that Dax had somehow gotten his hands on, Josiah had created a fantasy parent in his head. He’d managed to block out the broken bones that could still be seen on an x-ray. When the psychologist asked him about the knife and burn scars on his back, he’d blamed them on his mother and her “string of men.” If not for the fact that Cody had almost identical scarring on his own back, that might be believable.
Josiah had allowed his hate for Dax, Cody, and the Skulls to fester for all the years he was locked up and he’d come out mean, vengeful, and dangerous. The only way Dax could rest easy and know that his family was safe was if this man was no longer on the planet, and Garrett was okay with that. But Josiah had found a place where Dax and his crew would never be able to take their bikes to get at him, so Garrett had made a promise to Dax that before he took him out, Josiah would know who was behind the bullet. He’d set that up last night and now all he had to do was wait.
He lowered the binoculars and, with some effort, got his big hand into the pocket on the front of the coveralls. The photo he put there was hard from the cold. If he bent it in half, it would probably break. He smiled as he looked at Jessie’s little face. His daughter looked like an angel, and Garrett still marveled at how he could be any part of her. Jessie had just turned four years old. She had blonde hair and big, round brown eyes. Her eyelashes were longer than any Garrett had ever seen and all she had to do was bat them in his direction to get anything she ever wanted. She had the softest skin. Garrett had touched many women, and he loved the feel of a woman’s soft skin against his calloused fingers. But Jessie’s was even softer…it was so new. Everything about her was new, and that was a big reason why he had finally decided she’d be better off without him.
Garrett was home on leave when he met Leanne. She was the cousin of one of his brothers in the Sin City Flames and she was home from college at the same time. Garrett met her at a party at the club and by the end of the night he’d taken her back to his place. They’d spent the rest of the weekend in bed, and in the shower and on his couch and even once up against the wall in the garage where he kept his bike. She was hot, and they both consumed a lot of alcohol that weekend. A few times he remembered using a condom, but a few more times they’d gotten caught up in the heat of the moment and they hadn’t.
It was Garrett’s club brother, Leanne’s cousin, who had written to him and told him about the baby. He was in Niger at the time and the letter took months to reach him. By the time he got it, the baby was four months old and Leanne had met someone. By the time Garrett made it home again on leave, Jessie was almost a year old and Leanne was planning a wedding. The man she was marrying wasn’t in the club. He had some professional job and a big house and a nice car. He was well-groomed and educated and articulate and worlds apart from who and what Garrett was. But when Leanne asked Garrett to sign papers giving up his rights to the baby, he had flatly refused. He knew as soon as he saw her that she was his. It was some kind of unspoken bond as soon as his eyes met his daughter’s eyes. They were his eyes, and although everything else about her was her mother, he recognized the same eyes he saw in the mirror every day, looking back at him through his baby. He’d never loved anything or anyone at first sight before, but Jessie’s smile was seared into his soul, the first time she pointed it in his direction. He’d gone to his platoon leader and they’d arranged for a DNA test that proved Garrett was her father.
She was almost two by the time Garrett came home again and they met in court with their lawyers. Garrett was having second thoughts about staying in the little girl’s life until he saw her again. Most kids were afraid of him. He was like Goliath to their David, and he didn’t blame them. But Jessie had seen him that day and once again she’d smiled and stretched out her tiny little arms. Leanne cried when she saw him pick her up, and the man Leanne married had been the one to suggest they call the hearing off and share custody of the baby.
Garrett had to go back for almost another year after that and when he came home again and visited the toddler, things between them were still just as good. The difference was Garrett. He was plagued by nightmares and flashbacks. He refused to take the medication the army gave him. He’d be damned if he’d walk around drooling like a fucking zombie. He self-medicated with weed and alcohol, and sex. His life was an endless party while he was awake and a house of horrors while he slept. The only thing that brought him peace was Jessie. He was selfish enough at first to revel in that and visit her as often as Leanne would let him.
But it had only taken him a few months of visits to realize she had the kind of life he’d never be able to give her. She had a huge room and it seemed to have everything in it that any little girl could ever want or need. He would sit on the floor for hours sometimes while she introduced him to her dolls and stuffed animals and fixed them all tea with a china tea set he was afraid to touch. Or they’d sit in the backyard of the house that looked like a park. It had rolling hills and a play set unlike any Garrett had ever seen. Jessie was always smiling and she talked nonstop to him about her friends at preschool and her mommy and Jake. Jake was her stepfather, the one that worked every day to give her everything she had, everything she wanted, and everything Garrett knew she deserved. It didn’t take him long to realize that the longer he stayed in her life, the more she’d come to know that her real father was the man who tucked her in every night and told her a story…not the funny giant who just came to visit and didn’t have anything of value to offer her.
The day Garrett had that realization was the day he started planning his own death. He would have gone through with it by now, but the letters had taken him weeks to write. He wanted the people he cared about, and most importantly Jessie, to know that leaving them was a necessity, not a choice. He wanted Jessie to know how much he loved her and he needed her to know that the only thing that would ever take him from her was the knowledge that she was going to be so much better off without him. She might forget him eventually, and her mother might choose to not even give her the letter, but his soul wouldn’t have been able to rest if he hadn’t tried to explain it to her. Garrett wasn’t a talker and when he did talk, he wasn’t articulate like Jake. He’d spent hours on spell-checking the letter alone. He didn’t want his little girl to think she’d come from a man without a brain. He wasn’t stupid, but even as a kid, school had not been his thing.
Once he finally finished her letter, he’d written the rest of them, slipped them into envelopes, and was gathering what he needed for his final trip. That was when Dax called and now instead of resting in a box, he was freezing his ass off on the side of a mountain. Thankfully, that would be over soon. He saw movement near the cabin and with one hand, he tucked Jessie’s picture back in his pocket and with the other, he picked up the binoculars.
Garrett focused them on the porch and saw Josiah Miller. He was wearing a long-sleeved flannel shirt and a pair of jeans and boots. He had a coffee mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other. He was leaning up against one of the wooden beams and looking out at the snow that surrounded him. Garrett knew it would take Miller a few minutes to see what he’d left him. He lay down in the snow behind his rifle and put the binoculars down. He sighted his scope, taking his time as Miller continued to nurse his coffee. Garrett’s finger caressed the trigger and watched through the powerful scope as Miller’s eyes grew wide, his face went pale, and the mug slipped from his fingers. The bullet tore through his head before the mug even finished shattering against the wooden porch.

Garrett took his time packing his things up, making sure he didn’t leave anything behind, before walking the two miles down to where the cabin was and the dead man lay, to do the same. The first thing he did was take down the picture he’d stolen out of Miller’s things while he was sleeping a few nights before. It was one that he’d had taken of Dax with his gun to some thug’s head. It was black and white and big enough for Miller to see from the porch where he stood each day. Garrett would gather the rest of the pictures once the body was taken care of. He’d take what he found in the cabin to Dax and then he’d go home to Las Vegas…for one last visit before he met Josiah Miller in hell.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
Jessie Cooke writes hot romance novels about tough guys, bad boys, bikers, fighters and lovers and the women of strong character who tame them. 
 
 

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review 2017-07-17 18:55
The Goddesses
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

Title:  The Goddesses: A Novel

Author:  Swan Huntley

Publisher: Doubleday

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"The Goddesses" by Swan Huntley

 

My Thoughts....

 

What will happen when Nancy want a change in her life as she 'jump starts her family' by moving to Hawaii?  This poor lady had been through so much with that cheating husband Chuck and twin boys that seemed to in into something one way or another.  With all of this drama going on in Nancy's life would moving to Hawaii cause her some happiness?  What happens when she moves to Hawaii with her family?  Who is the woman Nancy will meet and what affect will she have on life?  What will happen when Nancy finally gets out of this disillusion that she had felt so apart of?   This is a interesting part of the read as the story shows just how people often look for happiness in the wrong place.  I will say that was quite a toxic friendship.  Will Nancy learn that one can't live through other people?  Be prepared for lots and lots of drama! I will also say that author really knows how to give the reader a good entertaining read of thrills and  suspense that will keep one reading to see what will happen next in this beautiful Hawaiian setting.  I found "The Goddesses" quite a interesting read that even thought it was captivating it could be somewhat a frustrating read at times too. 

 

Thank you to Net Gallery for the read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-07-17 17:56
Seeking Sarah
Seeking Sarah: A Novel - ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Title:  Seeking Sarah

Author:  ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Publisher: Gallery Books

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"Seeking Sarah" by ReShonda Tate

 

My Thoughts...

 

I loved this story "Seeking Sarah" that was "about finding something you so desperately crave, and losing yourself in the process."

 

What a good read this story that was conveyed  so well to the readers.  I felt so very sorry for Brooke because I found that she really didn't know how to go about getting what she wanted and that was the love of her mom.  Therefore Brooke went to much from secrets, loss, deception, lies, even revenge and heartbreak that caused so much more than one would ever want to happen.  End the end will Brooke finally get all she wants ...the love of her mother and a husband?  Or will she have to settle for ... well, I will stop here and just say you will have to pick up "Seeking Sarah" to see how this story will all come out.  Be prepared for some twist and turns as the secrets come out and a ending that will leave one shaking their heads and saying wow!  You will definitely be left seeing "how important a parent's love is and how it can not only shape a child's life but also their future."

 

Thank you to Net Gallery for the read.

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