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review 2017-08-30 02:18
ARC Review: The Hike by John Inman
The Hike - John Inman

The Hike is half romance, and half mystery, with a bit of suspense, and a bit of horror and gore, when two friends go on a 300 mile hike through the Southern California desert to the mountains of Big Bear Lake, with their respective dogs, a tent, a two-person sleeping bag, cans of Spam, dry foods, and whatever else they might need on this hike. 

During the first half of this book, we meet and get to know Ash and Tuck, best friends since forever, who had a drunken night of sex on a previous vacation that was then never mentioned again, but who both want the other but are afraid of fessing up their feelings. For about 50% or so, as they gear up for their trip and set out into the great outdoors, we get to see how their relationship begins to grow, how they confess their feelings, how they get closer and become true lovers. The dialogue flows well, and as usual the author succeeded in creating realistic characters and emotions. The strength of their connection and the love they have for each other is part of what sees them through the horror they're about to face.

There are a few hints in those early days that not all is as it seems, and I couldn't help but start to become more and more concerned as the tension increased. These city boys were missing all the signs, and I just knew that something big was waiting to come down all around them.

Which it does in the 2nd half of this book. 

We are introduced to an older guy who lives in a cabin on his own, with just his dog, where our two friends stop for a night. 

Ash and Tuck meet a woman hiking the same trail. They camp for a night, and then the next day, all hell breaks loose.

I won't give away the rest of this book, but be warned. It gets scary, really scary, and gory, and I was on the edge of my seat until the climactic ending. 

Thankfully, the author gives us a sweet epilogue to bring the reader back down and able to breathe.

Out of all the books I've read by this author, this wasn't my favorite, but it was a solid novel, with a sweet beginning, building great tension in the middle, with a horrifying, tension-filled climax, and a gentle let-down that left me with a smile. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-07-31 18:41
Review: Axios by Jaclyn Osborn
Axios: A Spartan Tale - Jaclyn Osborn

 

~~
My warrior. My lover. My heart. ~
~~

 

After reading this a week ago, I still can't let this story go.

Few books were able to gut me. And this was one of them. It hurt unbelievabely. And searching for matching pictures just added to the pain.

I’ve never watched the TV series Spartacus but going through some pictures I ran into Andy Whitfield.

 

 

And doesn’t he make the most perfect Eryx?? Understanding that he lost the battle of cancer in 2011 makes me bawl like a baby.

 

 

Being that this is the most EPIC love story I have read til now, no way am I able to write a worthy review. I do want to post some amazing pictures of these brave Spartacan men with quotes.

~~~~~~

 

 

~~~~~~

 

 

”For as long as there is breath in my lungs, I will love you. Only you. And even when I leave this world, I will still belong to you, for my soul will forever seek yous. In both this life and the next.”

~~ Axios

 

 

~~~~~~

 

 

 

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review 2017-07-19 17:12
Review: "Shiny!" by Amy Lane
Shiny! - Amy Lane

 

~ 3.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-06-25 03:19
Book Review: Shadows On My Soul by Leigh Jarrett
Shadows On My Soul - Leigh Jarrett

First off, trigger warning - there's is on-page male on male rape in this book. Be aware. The blurb hints, but doesn't spell it out. It's thankfully not drawn out, and done with sensitivity toward the subject matter.

This was my first book by this author. I liked the complexity of the characters in this book, but they exasperated me as well.

Supposedly best friends as well as business partners, Justin has kept a huge secret from Derek, and Derek has a secret of his own. Neither of them has the emotional maturity to discuss things honestly and openly, and their relationship was highly dysfunctional. Even at the end, which is supposedly a HFN/HEA, I didn't believe they will make it. There was a ton of unnecessary drama that could have been avoided if Derek wasn't so emotionally stunted and hadn't make such stupid assumptions, and if Justin hadn't lied for so long. Both of them needed therapy after the trauma (Justin for being violated, and Derek for having seen the violation first hand) to help them cope, but neither got that.

Their inability to read each other's facial expressions and emotions also threw a big wrench into their relationship, so much so that it made no sense considering that they had been best friends since their high school days. They just didn't really seem to know each other at all.

In addition to this, the two of them are also apparently completely oblivious to how their friends perceive them - Justin pretends to be straight and not in love with Derek, and Derek has one-night-stands to distract himself from being in love with his supposedly straight, supposedly best friend, but to everyone around them, they appear to be a couple.

The writing itself was perfectly fine, but the characterizations and the constant back and forth drama between the two main characters who have lied to each other, by omission or directly, for years, in a story that was billed as a romance, didn't work for me.

YMMV.


** I received a free copy of this book from its author. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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review 2017-05-30 15:43
Switched
Switched - N.R. Walker

Sooo…I have had this one for what seems like forever.  I mean…it is a Walker book and typically I jump on these but timing wise it just hasn’t worked.  And I hate that!  Geez…this was so fantastic and just quintessential Walker. 

 

 

I adored this.

 

Now, I must confess…and this is not a spoiler at all…because if I had actually read the blurb completely I would totally know this.  The story is about our main character, Israel, learning that he was switched at birth. And guess what??? This story is not about those two switched boys…

 

 

 

Yep…I totally went there in my head. 

 

Not sure why or how or whatever but I am kinda embarrassed by the whole thing honestly.  But, there are many times, especially with authors I love, that I start without reading reviews, or apparently entire blurbs.

 

 

 

Yeah…I am nuts.

 

So what an unbelievable surprise this was to learn that this was a “friends to lovers” story.  And to realize that our beloved Sam would be “the one”.  I fell in love with this character from the moment he entered the page.  How Israel’s family dynamics and gut wrenching experiences impacted their friendship and the strength that Sam gave to Israel was just beautifully portrayed.  There was nothing these two had not shared.  No tears left unshed between them or walls left standing when these two were through. 

 

On top of all that...this has absolutely one of the best first kisses…ever. 

 

 

And then throw in some possessive behavior and I am a freaking mess.

 

I cornered him against the wall. “No one touches you but me.” His pupils were blown out, and his breath was shallow. He was definitely turned on. I put my hand to his jaw and slid my thumb over his bottom lip. “No one kisses you but me.” Then I slid my other hand down his stomach, over the bulge in the front of his jeans. “No one fucks you but me.”

 

Seriously?? 

 

 

There is nothing better than possession and claiming someone as yours.  Phew.

 

This is a must read and one I will be revisiting time and time again!  

 

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