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review 2018-06-14 04:24
Team Phison by Chace Verity
Team Phison - Chace Verity

Phil is a grumpy restaurant owner who spends his free time playing first-person shooters and going on unsuccessful dates. He's playing his newest favorite FPS one night when he meets an enthusiastic newbie player, BisonFalls, and agrees to give him a few tips. He figures that's the end of it, but then Bison sends him a friend request and the two men eventually start talking about more personal stuff. It turns out that Bison's real name is Tyson, he's bisexual, and he's currently single. Phil finds himself arranging time to play with Tyson, texting him, calling him, and just generally thinking about him a lot. But the guy's just a gaming buddy. A young gaming buddy, 28 to Phil's 55. Surely there's no way he'd ever be interested in someone like Phil.

This was pretty sweet. For the most part, Phil and Tyson's romance was light and fluffy. The main things keeping them apart were distance and Phil's own doubts about his attractiveness to Tyson and worries about the difference between their ages. 

Tyson was like a friendly Golden Retriever in human form. Phil had a tendency to jump to conclusions and be a bit judgmental, but he was willing to listen, reevaluate his ideas, and apologize if necessary. Watching Tyson slowly turn Phil into putty was adorable, and I loved the encouragement Phil got from his friends and staff (even as I raised an eyebrow a bit at the hypocrisy of Phil texting Tyson during work hours while telling his staff they shouldn't be on their phones at work).

As I believe I've mentioned in the past, I'm not generally a fan of first-person present tense. It mostly worked okay here, other than a few moments that gave me fan fic vibes. And the sex scenes - first-person present tense sex scenes are weird.

 

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

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text 2018-06-09 15:17
Reading progress update: I've read 25 out of 116 pages.
Team Phison - Chace Verity

Now that I've finally finished A Rational Arrangement, I can choose a new book to read on my e-reader. I went with this one, in the hope that its romance would work better for me than the romance in A Rational Arrangement. May-December - a grumpy older gamer who owns a restaurant, and a younger gamer who works as a server. So far it's cute. Phil, the older guy (and POV character), is a bit judgy but not totally unwilling to revise his opinions, and Tyson, the young gamer, is as friendly as a Golden Retriever.

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review 2018-05-16 02:11
Fantasy epic filled with forbidden magic, monsters, and cleverly crafted subplots; one of my favorites of the year so far!
Onyx and Ivory - Mindee Arnett

Before I fully launch into my review (which I've saved up for release day), I have to first say how totally excited I am that this book is going to finally going out into the world. I got to be on the ‘Street Team’, one of the 'Relay Riders', for 'Onyx and Ivory', which meant I helped get the word out for it on social media. BUT that does not play into my review of the book.

 

Happily though, I fell in love with Mindee Arnett's book. I've not read her other books but I have a feeling she is putting something different out here and pouring something of herself into this one. O&I is an epic fantasy that started off (I believe) as a germ of an idea for Mindee some 6 years ago now, and it became a novel that opens up a world of dark monsters, forbidden magic, and brings us characters that feel complex and vibrant.

The main character of the novel is Kate, otherwise known as ‘Traitor Kate’, named as such for her father’s actions, for trying to assassinate the high king of Rime many years ago. Her father had been master of horse to the king, but he was executed for his crime, one that Kate can’t believe he would have knowingly committed.
Now she hides the gift of wilder magic that allows her to touch the minds of animals that makes her so in tune with horses as her father was, but wilder magic is forbidden and punishable by death. Because of her father’s treachery, she has been relegated to being a Relay rider for Farhold, the imperial courier service, but there are these nasty monsters out there called ‘nightdrakes’ (deadly flightless dragons), that make her job intensely dangerous, and soon these drakes are attacking in the daylight, massacring whole caravans of people.

 

Now, beyond this basic plot of Kate and her forbidden magic, and the drakes, as a reader you are quickly immersed in a world where there is a lot going on. This is a book that is not fast-paced but it is totally absorbing: when I took my time to read it, I felt like I was settling in to fully entrench myself in the world of several sub-plots that weave together and a number of fascinating characters. They are key to enjoying this book.
To name some, there’s Corwin (Kate’s first love, and heir to the throne), Signe (her spunky best friend), Edwin (Corwin’s nasty brother and competition for the crown), and Bonner (long-time friend who knows her magical secret). Kate reunites with her first love Corwin, after saving him from an attack by drakes, and she and her counterparts must embark on a full-on quest to not only understand who tried to kill the king, but also who is controlling the daydrakes. Corwin must also prove he is more worthy to be the heir to the throne than his brother. Something that I particularly think that is important for a novel of this length, is that the characters felt fully realized and fleshed-out, so much so that I could imagine them all throughout the book like companions. While there seem to be a number of subplots going on in the book, Arnett proves she is a skilled writer because I never felt lost. When one part of the story wasn’t being written about, it was fine to just leave it for a while, and continue with another part, and then go back to the other one. I don’t want to say too much about the plot lines of the book because it is jam-packed, but somehow Mindee has threaded them all together, and they’ve culminated in an ending that begs for another epic book. As long as O&I is, I didn’t want the journey and the book to end!

 

There is so much great imagery and vivid world-building woven into the book, such as the different types of magic, the descriptions of clothing, and landscape; on Mindee Arnett’s Website, there is some beautiful artwork and images to represent the Land of Rime, maps that show political regions, all the magic descriptions, and way back to her original conceptual beginnings for the book; it’s all there if you want to see it in detail.

 

I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fantasy they can really dig into, not rush through; there’s action, complex subplots, strong friendships, magic AND monsters(!), depictions of females as positive, independent characters, and there’s also the questioning of judgement of others/hypocrisy with respect to the laws regarding use of magic. There may seem to be, at first glance, the usual tropes of ‘fighting for the throne’, and ‘childhood friend likes girl now she’s grown up’, but I didn’t feel like the book was covering old ground, particularly as I got further and further into it.

‘Onyx and Ivory’ really is an amazing book, and it’s already on my ‘best-of’ list for 2018. I definitely want to be there for the Relay Ride for Book 2!

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review 2018-04-22 23:34
Team Phison by Chace Verity Review
Team Phison - Chace Verity

For 55-year-old Phil Hutton, finding a new boyfriend is tough, especially since he’s still hurting from his ex leaving him for a younger man. Online dating has been a soul-crushing experience for the restaurant owner. Too many meat-haters interested in microbreweries or something called geocaching. His matches in the multiplayer for his favorite video game have been equally sucky too.

One night, he encounters a newbie who is so helpless, Phil can’t help showing him the ropes. It doesn’t take long for Phil to become interested in his enthusiastic teammate. 28-year-old Tyson Falls from Georgia loves working as a server in a rinky pizza joint and sees the best in everything. As Phil’s online dating matches get worse and his in-game matches with Tyson get better, he finds himself wanting to pursue the easygoing chatterbox with a thick, sexy drawl.

But Phil can’t get past the fear that Tyson could possibly want a fossil like him. If his brain doesn’t stop being so damn insecure, it might be game over for his heart.

 

Review

 

If you want a romance to make you smile, this is a good choice.  It is a lovely, sweet, met on line while gaming age difference romance.

 

Phil might be afraid but he still reachers out and our other hero is all about the emotionial bravery.

 

Good stuff. 

 

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review 2018-04-15 03:26
Review: Starting from Scratch
Starting from Scratch (Lancaster Discoveries) - Kate Lloyd

Eva Lapp is a young girl or woman. She takes a job that her cousin Olivia recommends. Her brother and his family show up at her parents home two days early. Her sister-in-law decides to send her on her way. 

 

When she gets to Yodel’s Nursery she is in surprise for she thinks she goes to be working with plants. There a surprise when she finds out she is to manage the small cafe. 

 

She seems to be getting suitor left and right, though she does not feel them. She thinks they are either too young or she does not know for sure. 

 

Jake returns and Eva has a feeling for him. Are they true or is she just think she got feelings. Things get a little bumpy when someone breaks into the cafe or at least looks that way. Stephen seems to have a feeling for Eva but does Eva have a feeling for Stephen? 

 

There is an adventure at every turn once you start reading. Some folks keep blaming Jake for the burned down fire? Did Jake do it? Eva also is having trouble with whether to stay Amish or to go English? Kate Lloyd writes a completing story and shows how Eva Lapp is snuggling with her problems. Can she overcome them? Will Jake and Eva turn towards God for help?

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2018/04/review-starting-from-scratch.html
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