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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-20 23:11
The Lost Hero
The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1) - Rick Riordan

This book was too long. Seriously. Also Rick Riordan obviously never watched Charmed.

 

The references in this book were less obvious than in Percy Jackson and the Olympians but that might just be because I'd read those before and I was coming to this series fresh.

 

Also, this series needs some good Asian characters. Before I started Son of Neptune I actually googled Asian characters of Rick Riordan's because I needed reassurance some were coming... I was not disappointed and that's pretty much the reason I kept with the series. I mean, before Frank the best we had was Annabeth's stepmom who's in the series for all of two seconds.

 

The Lost Hero continues with this whole "too much" makeup/people who wear makeup are shallow/natural beauty is best bs idea. I'm still not a fan of that.

 

But I'm glad Riordan finally addresses the use of "half-blood" in the series (forgot to mention that in my PJO reviews... oops).

 

I also have a lot of thoughts about Piper's dad and his Hollywood career, but they're not organized in my head yet.

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text 2017-07-20 18:56
Need You for Keeps by Marina Adair 99 cents and KU
Need You for Keeps (Heroes of St. Helena) by Adair, Marina (2015) Paperback - Marina Adair

When it comes to caring for the furry residents of St. Helena, California, groomer and pet rescuer Shay Michaels can handle anything. Humans are another story, though—especially Deputy Jonah Baudouin. He’s the town’s resident superhero: upright, uptight, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous, even when he’s investigating complaints about Shay’s beloved foster animals. And that spells danger for Shay, a free spirit who can’t risk trusting the wrong person again.

Jonah and Shay have been circling each other ever since she came to town, and he’s running out of reasons to not kiss her senseless. But this deputy is a straight shooter with his eye on the sheriff’s badge. He can’t afford to get involved with Shay, a chaos magnet with luscious curves who’s liable to turn his career—and his life—upside down. He enforces laws. She breaks them—repeatedly. Keeping her out of trouble is becoming a full-time job…and it’s one he hopes is never going to end.

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review 2017-07-17 21:43
Review: Keeping Her: A Dark Romance by Angela Snyder
Keeping Her: A Dark Romance (Keep Me Series Book 1) - Angela Snyder

What a roller coaster of emotions! One moment I was hating the characters, the next I was sympathizing with them, the next I was in love, and before I knew it was exasperated and then back in love. Crazy stuff! 

Now, I feel the most important thing I need to point out is that this is a dark romance and that there are some serious **** TRIGGER ISSUES **** that may make some readers uncomfortable so read with caution. 

The story, which was narrated in first POV by various characters, gave me that feeling of intense passion and angst. I think the author made a good job by portraying Lucian with so many emotional and character flaws, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to overlook his numerous acts of possessiveness and cruelty, even after a very important truth is uncovered and he has no reason to keep acting that way. Adeline is the sweet and innocent girl that captures his attention in a way that no one thought possible. And when I say innocent, I really mean it, and for good reasons too. Odd thing was that it was hard for me to connect with and understand her character but I think that was because of everything that happened in her previous life and her current situation. I just couldn’t relate to her in any feasible way. 

The story has a good pace and flow although I found the characters talking too much to themselves and at times I found their inner dialogue a bit repetitive. However one thing I liked a lot was that even though Adeline started as a victim, she never behaved as one and that made her a more realistic character. 

On a side note, I was totally blindsided by what happened towards end and the cliffhanger. It’s a good thing we don’t have to wait too long how this story ends as the next installment will be out in only a couple of months. 

I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.

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review 2017-07-17 02:22
ARC Review: Smitty's Sheriff (Hope #3) by Cardeno C.
Smitty's Sheriff: A May December Contemporary Romance (Hope Collection) - Cardeno C.

It pains me to no end to have to give such a low rating to a CC novel, but I hated Richard in this book, and the romance here was not what I expected.

I quite liked Todd, and I really wanted him to fall for someone not Richard, someone who deserved him, but I guess the heart wants what the heart wants.

Todd is in his early 20s, and six months ago, Richard, the town's sheriff, broke off their three year hidden relationship for no apparent reason. Just no longer called or came by. Todd doesn't know why, and he's still carrying a torch for the sheriff, but doesn't know how to get him back. 

At 41, Richard is considerably older than Todd and a condescending, judgmental, stuck-up ass. He likes to be in charge, but he also looked down his nose at the younger man, his carefree, somewhat flighty personality, and didn't consider it appropriate to be known as "the grocery boy's booty call". Say what now? >.<

Both suffer from a serious lack of communication with each other, with Richard being averse to Todd sleeping with others, and Todd not knowing that Richard wants a committed relationship, when Richard never even hinted at it. When you're someone's secret booty call, the message they're sending is not one of commitment. 

But then Todd's sister needs a babysitter (how convenient), and since Todd couldn't possibly handle the baby by himself, he's expected to move into Richard's place to get help with his niece. I didn't like Todd's sister either. She older than Todd and closer in age to Richard, and they BOTH treated Todd like he's just a fuck-up.

But he's not. And I guess as Richard sees a more grown-up, responsible side of Todd, he has to reconsider his actions and maybe realize that he was wrong. Only he doesn't really think he was wrong, and it takes Todd telling him what he didn't consider for Richard to pull his head out of his ass.

The book makes it sound like Richard misses Todd as much as Todd missed Richard, but jealousy and distrust don't make a good foundation for a relationship, and for Todd to feel as if he has to justify himself all the damn time, and for him to offer Richard access to his phone so Richard can verify that Todd is not sneaking around with other men - UGH, NO!

CC's usual writing style of course shines through here, which is why I finished the book, because the fluff and hot sexy times are all there, but the romance was definitely lacking, and I don't have high hopes that these two will ride off into the sunset together. 

If you love CC's books, I hope you'll give this a try. You never know - it might work for you, even though it didn't for me. 

 



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

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review 2017-07-14 00:53
ARC Review: M4M by Rick R. Reed
M4M - Rick R. Reed

This book is told in three parts/novellas and span about 10 years of Ethan's life.

We start off with VGL Male Seeks Same, in which Ethan, in his early 40s, has lost hope of ever finding someone to build a life with. He's tired of the bar scene and his empty bed. When he overhears a younger colleague at his job talking about a website to meet other men, he's intrigued and signs up. At first, he doesn't get any bites, but when he changes his profile picture to that of a fabulous hunky silver fox, his profile gets a ton of responses. Including one from a hot guy named Brian. 

This story really drove home the point that looks can and do fade and what matters are the personalities and compatibility of two people in a relationship, as well as the fact that many people on dating sites will focus more on looks and less so on the actual person behind the profile. And that lies have a way of catching up with you. 

I quite liked this - 4 stars.

In NEGUB2, Ethan goes for a routine HIV test and is told that it came back positive. Knowing he hasn't had sex with anyone but Brian recently, Ethan is immediately convinced that Brian has to have infected him. He stops responding to emails and texts and avoids his boyfriend while he grapples with his new reality. Needing an outlet, Ethan starts a blog "Off To See The Wizard Of Poz", in which he shares his fears and muses on what the future will hold. I really liked the blogposts that were included for this, but I hated Ethan for jumping to conclusions and the utter lack of trust he displays in Brian. It frustrated me that he would immediately suspect Brian of infecting him, and it took the advice of a co-worker for Ethan to pull his head out of his ass and talk to Brian. Still, considering that this novella kept me glued to the pages, I give it 4 stars also.

In the third novella, Status Updates, we catch up with Ethan 8 years later. And the moment I found out what had to happen for this novella to take shape, I was mad. I understood why the author did what he did, but I hated it nonetheless. Sure, it brings Ethan's story full circle, and it was beautifully written and really brought out the author's ability to write realistic emotions, which is why it's getting the 5 stars it deserves, but I was so upset at Ethan being alone again that I actually cried. Ethan's grief was heartbreaking. 

I thought that the entire trilogy was very realistically written. The character of Ethan was beautifully done, and while I didn't always agree with his actions and reactions, he did feel real to me. He could be that guy I saw the other day at the grocery story, looking a little sad, while filling his basket with groceries for one. 

It's not a grand romance, but there is love inside, real love, and loss, too. And it begs the question - is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?


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

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