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review 2018-05-28 03:38
Winter's Edge - Anne Stuart

I think calling this a romance is a stretch, Harlequin stamp notwithstanding.

 

The heroine has amnesia. And she's not liking what she sees, either in herself, or in others. Even better, someone is out to get her, and her husband doesn't believe her.

 

The hero's reason for marrying the heroine seems to be a business arrangement gone awry. Basically, his dad left him the property, and her the money.

 

Problems arose when a married chick he'd been screwing around with (makes face) and his/the heroine's distant aunt plant all sorts of seeds of doubt in the heroine's mind while she's getting ready for the wedding. And then problems start. The heroine runs in fear for her life.

 

She awakens in a hospital with no memory of what happened, but she was found in a car with a dead man, and a lot of cash. The dead man, as it turns out, was her father, and he was strangled.

 

Eventually the culprit outs himself, the H/h get together, the end.

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review 2018-05-28 02:27
ARC Review: Nasu by Jet Lupin
Nasu - Jet Lupin

I was approached by the author about a review for this book. The blurb doesn't really tell you a whole lot about who (and what) Shige is, but I was intrigued so I said yes.

I'm glad I did. This was an interesting and enthralling read, despite the multitude of grammatical and spelling issues that a good editor or proofreader should have found. 

Phil, a nurse, is in dire need of some time off. He basically works, comes home to take care of his dog Hugo, eats, sleeps, and goes back to work. His shift is the graveyard one, so he's awake at night and asleep during the day, which doesn't really make for much of a social life. But now he's got some vacation coming, and his good friend decides they both need a night out on the town.

While at a club, Phil meets Shige, a handsome stranger. Attraction is instantaneous and mutual, and they spend a night together.

Then weird things happen. 

I won't spoil the plot here, but suffice it to say that the book had a myriad of interesting characters and doesn't focus on the romance between Shige and Phil. Evil forces are at work, and the relationship doesn't develop naturally because of those, as Phil and Shige don't spend a whole lot of time together, and even when they do, they keep getting interrupted. 

While Phil and Shige are interesting and engaging characters on their own, I didn't feel as if their relationship truly developed outside of the potential supernatural attraction they felt. Shige's mysterious aura, combined with his unwillingness to reveal his secrets, made for a contentious relationship, and though Phil eventually believes what his eyes (and everyone else) are trying to tell him, he too expresses a reluctance to commit. Not that I blamed him - if your entire life is suddenly uprooted because some guy you met a club whisks you off to his lair because of having put your life in danger, but doesn't tell you what's going on, you'd be pissed off too. 

The author did a fine job with the world-building. There was no info-dumping, and information was revealed slowly as part of the plot. There's a myriad of supporting characters, and the atmosphere created here is often dark and mysterious. The book kept me interested, and I didn't feel bored at all. The dialogue felt organic and believable, and I liked that Phil didn't take any crap from Shige or anyone else unless he absolutely had to. I also liked that he wasn't written as a "damsel-in-distress". 

What bothered me a bit was the ending - this wasn't advertised as the first in a series, and I was a bit surprised when I came to the end without having a HEA or even a strong HFN. There are still too many open questions, and I wasn't all that happy to find that the 2nd book isn't finished yet. While we leave Phil and Shige in a somewhat good place in their still developing relationship, their story isn't done, and I wish I had known this before starting this book. I wouldn't call it an absolute cliffhanger, but it wasn't a real ending. 

I mentioned the editing issues - on occasion, they would yank me out of the flow, and I recommend that the author get a good proofreader to fix those issues. I'd hate to see folks miss out on a good book because they can't get past the errors. 

This was my first book by this author, but I'm definitely interested to see what they cook up next. 


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

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review 2018-05-27 20:50
"They seek him here, they seek him there ..."
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Emmuska Orczy,Gary Hoppenstand
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Stephen Crossly,Emmuska Orczy

Oh, what a glorious prelude to the 2018 Summer of Spies.

 

Maybe not a "spy" novel in a narrower sense, but writing in 1902 and leagues ahead of her time, Orczy created the first book of what would become a series of perfect swashbucklers, starring a power couple in which the heroine is every bit her partner's equal and then some.

 

Indeed, cleverly Orczy even tells this book's story chiefly from Marguerite's point of view, which not only has the benefit of keeping the first-time reader (though ... is there such a creature, in this day and age, when it comes to this particular novel?) unaware of the Scarlet Pimpernel's identity as long as possible, but also gives Marguerite an added reason to hurtle all the way to France in Sir Percy's pursuit once she has cottoned onto (1) his alias, and (2) the fact that Chauvelin has unmasked him as well and is now hunting for him in turn.  After all, the narrative perspective would go to hell in a handbasket if Marguerite were to just stay at home and gnash her teeth, anxiously awaiting her husband's safe return -- whereas this way, Orczy is able to present her as a woman of action ... even if, for the most part, it looks like the much-touted "cleverest woman in Europe" is stumbling blindly after her husband and Chauvelin in their respective tracks and comes darned close to ruining Sir Percy's whole enterprise, not to mention imperiling the life of her beloved brother Armand, to whose assistance Sir Percy had rushed off to begin with (well, that and in order to finish the job of getting the de Tournay family safely across the Channel).

 

No wonder, in any event, that the reading public soon demanded a sequel -- and Marguerite  and Sir Percy would soon also find their way onto the silver screen.  The rest, as they've never said more truly than here, is history ...

 

 

My "Summer of Spies meets Women Writers Project" reading list:

Women of Intelligence

(http://booklikes.com/apps/reading-lists/897/women-of-intelligence)

 

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review 2018-05-27 16:31
Beauty and the Black Sheep - Jessica Bird

Back before JR Ward wrote about vampires, she wrote under a different name...

 

Heroine - head of the family and managing the family pile (which at this point seems to be literally a pile). She has spent the past 10 years taking care of her sister and grandma following the death of the parents. She has control issues, and has pretty much resigned herself to spinsterhood due to the transient nature of most of the men she meets. The family pile is of course, a bed and breakfast, and it's falling down about her ears - literally as it were - in the opening chapter, the ceiling caved on her, dumping water from a leaky pipe and lord knows what else.

 

Hero - fairly well-known chef. His life goal, along with that of his friend, is to have his own place. He's currently unemployed while looking for the perfect place. He hires himself after a car breakdown, a hike for several miles, and coming in on the h and company trying to figure out how to feed guests after attempting to cremate the chicken. His issues are the result of an ex who assumed he was due an inheritance and when she found out otherwise, had an abortion and dumped him - in that order.

 

While I really don't have any quibbles about the characters themselves, some of the obstacles seem off.

 

There's a mortgage on the family pile. Unknown how much but it must not have been for a remodel. And it's a large one - h has to come up with $150k by the end of the summer. The state of the house - how long has it been since any repairs were actually done? The H's car - it's towed to a barn, he works on it briefly, and nothing else is said about it. The feeling I get that to the h, her sister is still a teenager. The brother who abandoned his family and only a nasty boat wreck brings him home...

 

Some of the scenes were really funny though - the H's decision to repair the gutter and remembering halfway up the ladder that he's afraid of heights.

 

In the end, he decides he's found the perfect place to ply his trade - in her b&b - so all is well. And apparently the plumber is a justice of the peace...

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review 2018-05-26 14:30
Release Blitz w/Review - If You Say So
  
 
Title: If You Say So
Author: Teagan Hunter
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance Novella
Release Date: May 24, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Blake and I weren’t always together. But, to be fair, we weren’t always not together either.
 
It began innocently. We were friends, nothing more.
 
Then two years ago, everything changed.
 
I noticed his stares. He noticed mine.
 
We weren’t just friends anymore—we were a whole hell of a lot more than that.
 
And that’s how we remained, blissfully in love and ready to conquer anything that stood in our way.
 
Except for ourselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If You Say SoIf You Say So by Teagan Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blake needs space and time from his boyfriend, who also happens to be his best friend. How do you tell someone that without making them feel it is their fault? They will have to break up for a time.

Nate is crushed when his boyfriend tells him he needs space. How will they work it out? Then the unthinkable happens and they both are in pain. Now they have to find their way back to one another.

This was a short and sweet story about best friends. I loved that all they thought about was each other. I was a little frustrated by the story itself, but so glad it ends with an HEA. The characters seem very compelling and I honestly wanted more.



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
By day I’m a freelance cover designer. By every other free moment, a writer. I’m a Missouri raised gal, but I currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband where I spend my days begging him for a cat. I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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