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text 2017-10-30 18:04
Knowing the Score by Kat Latham 99 cents Love this series!
Knowing the Score - Kat Latham

Rugby player Spencer Bailey is determined to win a spot on England's World Cup team. But with a month break before the selectors start watching him, he's eager to have fun with a woman who knows the score: the relationship will end when rugby season begins. The lovely American Caitlyn Sweeney seems perfect for the role of temporary lover, since her visa will run out soon anyway.

Caitlyn works for an international disaster relief organization and can handle the world's worst crises, but she flinches from her own. Her past has left her with a fear of intimacy so deep that she has trouble getting close to anyone--until she meets sexy Spencer. His hot body and easygoing nature are too much for even her to resist.

Neither Caitlyn nor Spencer expects to fall hard for each other. But with their relationship deadline approaching, the old rules of the game seem less important than before...until past secrets surface, challenging everything they thought they knew about each other.

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review 2017-04-02 04:52
Dreamland Burning
Dreamland Burning - Jennifer Latham

Title: Dreamland Burning
Author: Jennifer Latham
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Dreamland Burning" by Jennifer Latham

My Conclusion from reading ...'Dreamland Burning'.....

After I saw a news coverage in my area about this author, her new novel "Dreamland Burning" and especially with her being from my area I knew I wanted to read her novel and also met her[and even got her autograph]. I am so glad to say I had that privilege of three things.....meeting this author, reading"Dreamland Burning" and reviewing her excellent read.

When I was in college...many years ago I did a paper on 'Tulsa's Race Riot 1921' so when I saw and heard what this novel was about I knew I had to read it. Even though it is a genre as a historic fiction it is mixed with some mystery and truth that I found in the history of the 'race riot' was fairly right on the mark of what had gone on in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. At that time there was 'extreme racism, discrimination and hate especially toward and against African-Americans'. This 'race riot' resulted in the death of hundreds of black African-Americans and the destruction of the Greenwood area of town of Tulsa was known to be one of 'the worst incidents of racial violence in the U.S. history.' What shocks me even today is that many people know absolutely nothing of this incident. It did happen people!

This author really gives the reader some descriptions of certain areas that I was able to pick up and know the area in which was spoken about. A lots of these locations described in the read are still located in Tulsa today.

My thoughts on how this author presents this story using the past/present version [alternating perspectives in different time periods] was really quite unique in how it was done using two main diverse characters...

Rowan Chase:[as the story is from the present] living in the modern day in Tulsa[2017].... a seventeen year old, bi-racial...her mother was African -American and her father was white...from a wealthy family...went to private school and they even had a servant's quarters. For Rowan lived in a 'post-racial society and a fairly sheltered life.' Rowan's mother was a lawyer and her father was a doctor.

And then we have .... a little connection...with these two main characters....The Chase's home where the skeleton [I know I am getting a little ahead of the story] was found had been commissioned to be built by William's parents in 1921. The money that was used to build this home was however, not from William's father but his Osage mother. Now, why was that?

William Tillman [as the story is from the past] living in Tulsa in 1921 during the Tulsa Race Riot... a bi-racial boy seventeen year old living with ...his mother who was Native American [Osage] and his father is white. William's father was the owner of a Victrola store. This period of time of this [past]story was between May 31 and June 1st, 1921 when Jim Crow was at its height.

I loved how this story will alternate back and forth from Rowan to William to Roman back to William all the way to the end of the read. You get a Part I and even a Part II. So, nothing is left but for you to do but start reading! I took several days because I wanted to absorb all of the well written story even though some of the read had such 'virulent hatred that just leaped off the page' that caused me to really shake my head and wonder how can some human beings be so cruel. But that's the way it was back then or is it still like this for some African-American people in some form or another?

How does this all start....

The present...
Now this author gives the reader quite a story of what happens after Rowan mother gets the 'old servant's quarters' renovated and that is when a century old skeleton is found buried underneath in the backyard on the Chase property. We find Rowan who was a great protagonist setting out to discover who this was and how they died by doing some amateur detective research. Oh, I will say at this point Rowan had some help with all of her investigating and that was her best friend, James who just happened to be a asexual character [Oh Yes!] and just happened to be 'part Kiowa and part Black.'
What happens while Rowan is interning at a local clinic in Tulsa where there will be issues of racism, and social inequality that turned out to be quite a eye opener for her?

The past...
The story comes in where William who goes to a 'Two -Knock'' with his friend Cletus Hayes and gets upset seeing a white girl [that he liked] being touched by a black man named Clarence Banks. There will be a lots of tension built from this situation ...because this was definitely a no no at this time in history. Now, what all will become of this situation when it was known at this time in history that.....even

"Glancing sideways at a white woman was near enough to get Negroes lynched in Tulsa. Shot, even, in the middle of Main Street at noon, and with no more consequence than a wink and a nudge and a slap on the back."

This author gives the reader chapter after chapter of the days leading up to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 and I will say it wasn't a pretty read at all for me. As the read goes on we find that William worked in his father's shop where he comes involved with two African-Americans...Joseph and Ruby. Now I will stop here and only say you will have to pick up this good read to see who they were and how they played into this very interesting story. I will not say who but their is another character that really I didn't care for and oh ....well I will say just pick this up this enthralling read and see for yourself who this person was that was one creep as you read through the read.

Now if you continue to read 'Dreamland Burning' you will get one twisted story that will go back and forth giving the reader quite a historical fiction read but it doesn't stray away from the truth of just what was going on [DURING THAT TIME PERIOD]. "What will happen as William must decide which side he is on and what to do about his decision?"

The characters in the past/present were all off the chart [but there were a few I didn't care for at all] but for the most part I found some were well developed but also complexed too, well portrayed, defined and even down right believable. The the reader is given this 'incredible as well as a astonishing read that will give one something to think about long after you put this engrossing read down. I will say even though there was some 'profiling, violence racial slur [n-word] may have been used I felt it was used to give a true understand and the effect of that particular situation at that time. I thought it was well done by this author and I liked the note the author left concerning why she used those racial slurs in her read.

What will happen when these two versions from different centuries come out and their stories intertwine as harsh truths from the past and present begin to surface?

Now, I know a lots of people may not be interested in this kind of historical fiction read but it was good read about racism all up front and center even as the past/present racism was showed... due to the color of their skin and the injustice that it causes. This is where I say again you will have to pick up this good read of 'Dreamland Burning' to see how Rowan becomes 'savior of the present day in Tulsa and Williams story of the past that happened in 1921 comes together so smoothly. All of the questions asked and more will be answered as the reader reads on and on to the very end.

By the end the reader will be given one amazing read...full of historical fiction, ninety year old mystery, murder with some other complex themes that one will definitely be able to relate to its humanity during this social unrest at that time. The author brings the story all together giving the reader the 'understanding of this history [Tulsa Riot 1921] and its mysterious skeleton.' I felt that this author did a heck of a good job as she was able to give the reader of "Dreamland Burning' that takes place at two different times/ places and in the end bringing it all together before us as we are given definitely a eye opening all front and center of what had truly happened in this whole story.

I will say that this author really did some extensive research work giving the readers quite a story even though it is historical fiction but how she brings in two main characters who were bi-racial...dealing with the issue of racism and hate crimes were truly well done with such humility and tack. It definitely presents the problems that has happened in the past and even addresses the present in the 'prevalence of the same issues we still see every single day whether one wants to admit that the Tulsa Riot of 1921 did happen. Well done to you and thank you for giving the reader one excellent well thought out riveting read. I hope many who may not have heard of the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 will know that this did happen right here in great city of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. "Dreamland Burning" is not only a important novel but one smart one that may not have all the answers but ultimately hopeful ones to pull from. Is there room still for growth as our Tulsa society when it comes to race issues? YES!

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review 2017-02-12 00:00
Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Ecclesiastical History of the English People - Bede,Leo Sherley-Price,D.H. Farmer,Ronald E. Latham If two brothers had married two sisters and one of the brothers and sisters have died can the survivors marry? I liked the book when it dwelt with all important questions such as that. I liked it when Bede would say that we go to church on Sunday because that is the day the lord arose and it has nothing to do with the Sabbath commandment. Also, entwined within the story there is an interesting history of the early development of Great Britain, who would have known that Pope Gregory would have been so puny? I didn't.

The best thing I can really say about having had read the whole book is it's one of those books that I knew I had to check off my list. I wish that I didn't have that kind of personality for which when I start a book I feel obligated to finish it.

All the miracles reported in this book sort of got tedious. I found a strange parallel between this book and the Book of Acts (by far, imo, the most important book in the bible and is the must read book of the bible). There is a multi-volume work on how Acts must be true since there are over 50000 other confirmation of all the events, places and people are confirmed by other sources. Bede has that same kind of phenomena going for it. There is as history inside the story but also fantastic events entwined. There was even a magical (i.e. divine intervention) of some body who gets out of chains while locked up in prison just as Peter did in Jerusalem with the aid of the Holy Spirit. There are also Tempests at sea which abate because God (or the Holy Spirit) answers the prayers and so on.

In Bede's defense, he never really says anything that's not strictly true. He'll say stuff like "I've been told by the most reliable monk 'A' that he saw 'B' who performed a miracle while 'C' was gone and related it to me". There's not a lie in the book and he's reporting them as fact. Or he'll say that 'miraculous events are still being reported there today'. I just kept thinking how Bede is not a Liar, or Lunatic, or reporting truly about the Lord, but is reporting on legends (or what we call urban legends) which are at best third hand hearsay. It's up to an author to write about what they think is credible because all acts of creation means something will be left out and what is put in the author is giving some credence to (a very obscure example would be to re-read the NYT to the run up to the Iraq War of 2003 and pay particular attention to the articles of Judith Miller. Everything she says within the articles are true, but the 'sin of omission' still lingers and what she wasn't telling meant she was wrong. Yes, I'm mad about that war and the lies that led to it and one day I'll get over it, but even a book written over 1000 years ago can illustrate the same kind of problems that journalist who want to mislead!).

Another thing about this book. Bede had a weird fixation on when Easter should be. I bet you he mentioned that over 20 times within the book. You ever wonder why October is the 10th month and December is the 12th month even though 'oct' means eight and 'dec' means 10. March used to be the first month since Christ was annuciated on March 25 (exactly 9 months before Christmas). The first month of the year was said to be March. Having forgot that fact at first I wasn't always following his Easter arguments.

There is some history in this book, it also tells you how people thought uncritically during this time, and if fables dressed up as real is your thing this book could be fun. For me, I wish I hadn't started it or I wish I could have stopped it. I clearly would not recommend it to anyone to read because there is a tedium to it that is hard to ignore.
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text 2017-01-21 18:49
Best Romance Novels Read in 2016 Not Published in 2016
The Year We Hid Away - Sarina Bowen
Takes Two to Tackle - Jeanette Murray
Louder Than Love - Jessica Topper
Stealing Mercury (Arena Dogs Book 1) - Charlee Allden
Kulti - Mariana Zapata
His Christmas Gift (Montana Born Christmas) - Sarah Mayberry
Saving the CEO (Entangled Indulgence) (49th Floor Novels) - Jenny Holiday
SATED: #3 in the Fit Trilogy - Rebekah Weatherspoon
Dukes Prefer Blondes - Loretta Chase
Unwrapping Her Perfect Match: A London Legends Christmas Romance by Kat Latham (2014-11-06) - Kat Latham

Here are great books I read in 2016 but that were not published during that year. 

 

I am always looking for more wonderful books. Please share your favorite reads of the year with me! 

 

In no particular order... 

 

1. The Milch Bride: by J.R. BIERY

 

A good historical western is hard to find and this one is very compelling with all the best elements of the genre. 

 

2. The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

 

This whole series was beyond great and I power read it. 

 

3. Takes Two to Tackle by Jeanette Murray

 

Wonderful sports romance. 

 

4. Louder Than Love  by Jessica Topper

 

Gah. 5 Stars. Rock Star Romance with grown people. This book. Yes.

 

5. Stealing Mercury by Charlee Allden

 

Great Science Fiction Romance World building Gladiator style. 

 

6. Kulti by Mariana Zapata

 

5 Stars. I have already reread it 3 times. The best slow burn. 

 

7. His Christmas Gift by Sarah Mayberry and Three Nights before Christmas by Kat Latham

 

A perfect pair of Christmas Romances. 

 

8. Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday

 

Charming and sexy. 

 

9. SATED: #3 in the Fit Trilogy by Rebekah Weatherspoon

 

Fun. Hot. I love this author. 

 

10. Dukes Prefer Blondes by Loretta Chase

 

5 Star. Historical Romance doesn't get any better than this. 

 

 

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review 2016-12-03 16:32
Three Nights Before Christmas Kat Latham Review
Three Nights before Christmas (Montana Born Christmas) - Kat Latham

On the 3rd day of Christmas, my bookstore brought to be a train, a woman just out of prison, a christmas tree farm and a park ranger...

 

***2016 RITA® Finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Short Category***
***HOLT Medallion Award winner for outstanding literary fiction***

Have yourself a steamy little Christmas…

After three years in prison, freight train engineer Lacey Gallagher doesn’t expect this Christmas to be very merry and bright. At least chopping down trees for her brother’s Christmas tree farm will help her save money to get her life back on track. All her plans derail, though, when her new job puts her in territory patrolled by the man who haunts her dreams—the forest ranger who sent her to prison.

Austin Wilder isn’t thrilled about Lacey working in his forest—but he soon realizes he needs her help. His family is depending on him to restore an old steam train for a spectacular Christmas event, and train expert Lacey is his only hope of finishing in time.

Working together challenges every assumption Lacey and Austin have about each other, and they discover a desire hot enough to melt even the deepest Montana snow. But will the season of second chances be enough to mend the most hardened broken heart?

 

 

Review

 

I adore this book.

 

It is so thoughtful. Our heroine was a train engineer. My love of trains can't be understated so I completely get her train love. And this thing she loved was taken away from here when she was implicated in drug smuggling.

 

She is coming home to her family christmas tree farm after serving her sentence. She readjusting.

 

The hero is the ranger who arrested her. But he needs her to help fix a train. And then she gets to know her.

 

I love the heroine sexual agency. I love the hero's ability to see he was wrong.

The setting is great. The brother sister relationship is so well done. The romance is tender and brave and real.

 

And we get a Christmas Tree Farm at Christmas. Yes.

 

Snuggle up with this one.

 

I was given this book for my honest review so there you go! 4. 5.

 

 

 

 

 

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