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review 2017-08-15 18:08
Monday Mini – Secrets Are Revealed – The Father Hunt by Becca Campbell @beccajcampbell
The Father Hunt (Flawed #3.5) - Becca J.... The Father Hunt (Flawed #3.5) - Becca J. Campbell,Jessie Sanders

Becca Campbell has done a fantastic job with her Flawed Series and I have a character novella to share with you today.

 

Sooo, let’s meet Graham.

 

The Father Hunt (Flawed #3.5)

 

Amazon  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

The title makes the premise obvious, but Becca has a way of adding bits and pieces, bringing the characters to life, revealing them in all their glory, faults and all, allowing us to share their journey, good and bad.

 

Graham wanted to know who his father is, but…his mother wasn’t talking.

 

He heads on vacation with his friends. You know how kids are, looking for something to get into. This time, they had a mystery to solve.

 

I enjoyed this novella of a young boy, friendship, his insecurities, his need to know, his first love, sweet, hopeful, happy and sad…but I FEEL GOOD at the end.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  3 Stars

 

GOODREADS BLURB

 

Fifteen-year-old Graham has always wanted to know his real father, but his mom won’t share that hidden part of her past. When he discovers an old love letter stashed in her closet, he suspects this clue may lead him to the truth.

 

While vacationing at the beach, Graham, with the help of his feisty and beautiful friend Violet, searches for evidence of this mystery man.

 

Will digging up the past lead Graham to find his real father? The secrets he discovers are bigger than he ever expected.

 

The Father Hunt is a novella-length companion to the Flawed series that can be read alone.

 

MY REVIEWS FOR BECCA CAMPBELL

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/monday-mini-secrets-are-revealed-the-father-hunt-by-becca-campbell-beccajcampbell
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review 2017-08-05 02:21
A Daddy's Girl...
Monticello: A Daughter and Her Father - Sally Cabot Gunning

Martha Jefferson is the very epitome of a daddy's girl. Her entire world revolves around him, and while others appear in her line of sight, the light never moves away from the one constant in her life, Thomas Jefferson. The pressures that he is under do nothing to lessen the attention that he lavishes on his daughters, both of whom have accompanied him to France. Upon their return, Martha is overjoyed to be home and back in familiar territory. But things are never going to be the same for the Jefferson's. Thomas Jefferson has been appointed as Secretary of State. But Martha is about to add her own stress to the mix.. a marriage to Thomas Randolph! What a marriage it should have been! But instead of everlasting happiness, she finds disappointment, debt, and an ever sure footing in the foundation of her father. While some of the ideas that they hold are not popular with some of their friends, they are views that are held and nurtured to a hope that it might one day come to pass. 

While the world crumbles around her, Martha does her best to run her plantation, but the ever increasing debt, and the unraveling of her husbands family have left deep imprints on him. While Tom tries his best to make things work, nothing seems to flourish under his hand, except the growing brood of his children. While Martha continues to run Monticello, Varina and Edgehill to the best of her abilities. While her husband sulks, and continues to borrow large amounts of money from her father, Martha does her best to smile and carry on as though nothing were wrong. But, everything is wrong. The papers have caught wind of Sally Hemings, and while everyone denies the relationship, there are things that Martha notices, but cannot get her father to confirm. The charmed childhood she held so fond in memory, has turned to the ugly realities of adulthood, and the facing of truths that are not always pleasant. When her sister Maria dies, Martha is left feeling alone and wondering where her comfort will come from. Tom cannot or will not help, and there are none that she can truly turn to. 

When Thomas Jefferson is elected President, Martha does her best to continue caring for things at home, but she misses her father. The short visits he makes back to Monticello are brief and always filled with work. Visitors stream to and from the house, and Martha wonders when they will ever be truly alone. But of course, things cannot last forever, and even great men, lions in the foundations are only mortal....



This book is a MUST READ! It was one that I was able to finish in two settings, and kept you engaged from the first page to the last. You hoped for the best, you cared for some of the characters while wishing some of the others would simply drop off the pages, and laughed at some of the antics. I will say that I was a little surprised that there was no mention of the falling out between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both great men in our history. They of course both made up and corresponded later in their lives, but on an interesting note, they both died within hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. But other than that little note (history nerd moment), this book was fantastic! There is not a dull moment in this book!! Take it from the book lady here... this is a book that is worth the time!

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review 2017-08-03 12:54
The Drops of God (manga, vol. 1) story by Tadashi Agi, art by Shu Okimoto, translation by Kate Robinson
The Drops of God 1 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi

Shizuku Kanzaki is the son of Yutaka Kanzaki, a world-famous wine critic. Ever since he was a child, Shizuku was exposed to a variety of sights, smells, sounds, and tastes, all the things he’d need in order to properly appreciate wine. Unfortunately for Yutaka Kanzaki, it backfired. The relationship between father and son became strained, and Shizuku eventually went to work for a beer company without ever once tasting a drop of wine.

Shizuku has been estranged from his father for two years when he learns of his father’s death from pancreatic cancer. His father left a will describing 12 great wines and one legendary wine called “The Drops of God.” Shizuku can only inherit his father’s property if he is able to correctly identify the wines and their vintages before the end of a one-year time limit. Not only that, but he has a rival: Issei Tomine, “the prince of the wine world,” a famous young wine critic. Issei convinced Yutaka to adopt him a week before his death, so Issei is legally Yutaka’s son and also gets a chance at inheriting everything.

Issei and Shizuku’s first task is to identify and describe a particular wine set aside by Yutaka. The person who comes up with the most appropriate description will get to live in Yutaka Kanzaki’s mansion. Although Shizuku drops his glass before trying the wine, something about its appearance and smell brings to mind a wisp of memory. He seeks out the one friendly face in the wine world that he knows of, apprentice sommelier Miyabi Shinohara, to help him figure out what that wine is and why it affects him so strongly.

I’ll start off by saying that I rarely drink, even socially. I’ve drunk wine a grand total of maybe twice in my life, and both times I thought it tasted a lot like medicine. I went into The Drops of God knowing very little about wine, and it only took a few pages for me to realize that I knew even less about it than I thought.

Shizuku spent his childhood being given an intensive wine tasting education but never took the last step, actually tasting wine. That’s where Miyabi and her friendly and supportive mentor, Shiro Fujieda, came in. As Shizuku learned more about wine, readers got an education as well. This volume covered things like decanting and terroir as Shizuku attempted to identify the first wine in his father’s will, helped Miyabi find a similar tasting replacement for a bottle of major-league wine that she broke, and tried to get Taiyo Beer’s new wine division going.

I enjoyed the volume’s educational aspects, even though there was only so far I could go in my level of understanding without actually taking part in a wine tasting. Which, by the way, I’m not planning on doing. This manga has succeeded in convincing me that those two wines I drank might just have been terrible, or perhaps improperly served, but I’m not so convinced that I want to go out and see what I’ve been missing.

Overall, this reminded me a little (a very little) of Yakitate!! Japan (a bread baking manga), if that series hadn’t been so ridiculous. Both series made frequent use of over-the-top reaction shots, although in The Drops of God’s case they weren’t intended to be goofy - they were literal depictions of what characters were feeling, tasting, and smelling when they tasted wine. One wine, for example, reminded Issei of a particular painting (which he then spent several panels discussing), while another wine mentally transported Shizuku into a Queen concert.

Shizuku got past the chip on his shoulder regarding his father so quickly that I found myself thinking it was a shame the two men couldn’t have sat down at some point and talked things over. At any rate, I enjoyed seeing Shizuku and other characters try to understand the sensations and emotions various wines evoked in them. My favorite part of the volume was Shizuku and Miyabi’s quest to find a replacement for the broken bottle of major-league wine. The end result of that story was a reunion between Miyabi’s boss and a past acquaintance. It was surprisingly sweet and romantic, even though I, personally, thought it was stupid and risky as heck to make everything ride on one person interpreting a wine just so. Years wasted, because the characters couldn’t bring themselves to use words like normal people.

All in all, this volume interested me enough that I’ve already put in a request for the second one. The story and characters were a little thin, but I enjoyed seeing wine through the eyes of people who appreciated it more than I ever will. I also enjoyed the artwork. Although something about it struck me as just a tad boring (maybe because Okimoto tended to skip drawing backgrounds unless it was absolutely necessary?), it was precise and attractive.

I want to see if Shizuku can manage to identify all the wines in his father’s will and thereby come to a better understanding of his father and what I imagine was his father’s final message to him. With these people, wine is never just wine - it’s a given that there’s a larger message in the thirteen wines Yutaka chose to include in his will. I’m also interested to see whether there’s a message for Issei as well. There has to be more to the adoption than just setting Issei up to be Yutaka’s rival, right?

Unfortunately, I’m going to be doomed to disappointment. Only five volumes of The Drops of God were published in English. The last one was released several years ago, and it looks like the series might be out of print. If I assume that each volume is an omnibus containing two to three volumes (this first volume was originally published as two volumes in Japan), that’s at most 14 volumes and probably more like 10. Wikipedia tells me that the series ran for 44 volumes and then continued with the currently ongoing final arc. I can’t imagine how the author managed to get the identification of 13 wines to take that many volumes, but the end result is that I’m not going to get to see how everything turns out. Well, it won’t be the first time. I’ve requested the next volume anyway.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2017-06-30 22:17
June 2017 Wrap Up
Alibi in High Heels - Gemma Halliday
Not My Father's Son: A Memoir - Alan Cumming
Heat Wave (Nerds of Paradise Book 4) - Merry Farmer
Double Trouble - Susan May Warren
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
A Mistress for Major Bartlett - Annie Burrows
Homefront Hero - Allie Pleiter
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter

 June's reading was all over the place - I read some great books, some average books, some awful books. But I didn't realize how many books I read until I finished this post. This doesn't count the 4 DNFs books or the 2 I didn't even get to 10% before giving up.

 

I can't believe the second half of 2017 starts tomorrow. Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!

 

Currently reading Rock Courtship: A Rock Kiss novella by Nalini Singh for RB Bingo and COYER.

 

 

Challenges

BL/GR: 97/150

Pop Sugar: 1

Library Love: 3; 35/36 for the year

COYER: 7/30

RB Bingo: 9/25

 

1. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuiston (RB Bingo)- 2.5 stars 

 

2. Not My Father's Son: A Memoir by Alan Cummings (Pop Sugar prompt - family member term in title) (Library Love) - 4.5 stars

   

3. Loose Lips (Dusty Deals #5) by Rae Davies (COYER) - 3.5 stars

 

4. Undercover in High Heels (High Heels #3) by Gemma Halliday - 3.5 stars

 

5. Christmas in High Heels (High Heels #3.5) by Gemma Halliday - 1 star

 

6. Alibi in High Heels (High Heels #4) by Gemma Halliday - 5 stars

 

7. A Charming Cure (Magical Cures #2) by Tonya Kappes - 2.5 stars

 

8. Any Means Necessary (Luke Stone #1) by Jack Mars - 2 stars

 

9. A Lesson in Chemistry with Inspector Bruce (Gentlemen of Scotland Yard novella) by Jillian Stone - 3 stars

 

10. An Encounter in Hyde Park (Anthology) by Various Authors (RB Bingo)- 2 stars

 

11. The Captain's Kidnapped Beauty by Mary Nichols (RB Bingo) (Library Love Challenge) - 1 star

 

12. Heat Wave (Nerds of Paradise #4/Magnolias and Moonshine) by Merry Farmer (RB Bingo) - 4 stars

 

13. Midnight Unbound (Midnight Breed #14.5) by Lara Adrian (COYER) - 1 star

 

14. Midnight in Legend, TN (The McClains of Legend, Tennessee #1) by Magdalena Scott (COYER) - 1 star

 

15. Double Trouble (PJ Sugar #2) by Susan May Warren (Library Love Challenge) - 4 stars

 

16. The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch #3) by Allie Pleiter (COYER) (RB Bingo) - 4 stars

 

17. A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo #1) by Sarah Mallory (COYER) (RB Bingo) - 4.5 stars 

 

18. A Mistress for Major Bartlett (Brides of Waterloo #2) by Annie Burrows (COYER) (RB Bingo) - 4.5 stars

 

19. A Rose for Major Flint (Brides of Waterloo #3) by Louise Allen (COYER) (RB Bingo) - .5 star

 

21. Homefront Hero by Allie Pleiter (COYER) (RB Bingo) - 5 stars

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-06-28 03:42
Father On The Brink - Elizabeth Bevarly

Cover commentary - is it just me or does he look like he's about to barf in her ear?

The epilogue was the best part of this one. It was pretty funny.

 

So the H, paramedic, working a blizzard, gets misdirected to a house where he finds a woman in labor rather than an elderly kidney patient. The woman has just discovered her marriage is a fake, and was in the process of bolting when her water broke.

 

She lists him as the father on the birth certificate...and bolts.

 

Shows up on his doorstep 2 months later, and finally tells him. Sperm donor tracks her down. She bolts again. H tracks her down, and tells her what he found about sperm donor. Convinces her he's serious about the whole marriage and family thing. Epilogue is 13 years later.

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