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review 2017-06-27 22:27
Kept - Maya Banks

Oh man, I thought this was terrible. I've enjoyed a lot of Maya Banks' books. Especially her KGI series. But this one, just dumb. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl on the first sight. Therefore he must own her and from there on....typical love story I guess. Just not my favorite from this author. 

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review 2017-04-24 16:49
ELLORA'S CAVEMEN: TALES FROM THE TEMPLE III
Ellora's Cavemen: Tales from the Temple III - Jaid Black,Cheyenne McCray,Mary Wine,Delilah Devlin,Anya Bast,Diana Hunter,Sherri L. King

Anthology Average is 3 stars out of 5

1. Wolf’s Law by Cheyenne McCray. Okay story about a werewolf coming upon a woman sold into slavery and falling in love/lust. 3 stars.

2. Scarlet Sweet by Anya Bast. The fae separate to separate planets and find themselves in dire straights. One has the potential to be "embraced" which makes her something more and maybe finding someone more. Good story. 3 stars.

3. Writers Unblocked by Diana Hunter. A couple who have been married for two years finally come clean about what floats their boat. 3 stars.

3. Looking Forward by Mary Wine. Colonists come to a planet and one of the women becomes an unwanted widow until the planet's inhabitants get a look at her. Good story. 3-1/2 stars.

4. Raptor's Prey by Delilah Devlin. He's part of a dream but he's not. They have sex in these dreams but she's not sure if it's real because he ended one talk with a really cryptic remark. And what's up with the hawk? 2-1/2 stars.

5. Voyeurs Overexposed by Sherri L. King. People living under Earth's crust fight evil and try to stop humans from finding out. One of the Shikar meets a photographer who took pictures of a battle. Why they sent this girl, I have no idea. Okay story. 3 stars.

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text 2017-03-10 22:31
The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier
The Mountain of Kept Memory - Rachel Neu... The Mountain of Kept Memory - Rachel Neumeier

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you probably won’t be surprised that I’m writing about this book. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Neumeier’s work since reading The City in the Lake back in 2011. And I definitely have some unspoken expectations when it comes to her books–themes, types of characters, a general style and set of interests that seem pretty common across the different kinds of stories she writes. The Mountain of Kept Memory is really interesting because it is very much a Rachel Neumeier book–but it also feels a little different, in a way I really liked.

 

Neumeier’s books nearly always focus on main characters who are resourceful girls and young women. Oressa, daughter of the king of Carastind and one of the two main characters in The Mountain of Kept Memory, certainly fits into this pattern. She’s very good at understanding people and motivations, potential costs and shifting allegiances. Her place in her father’s court is limited, but this doesn’t diminish the fact that she’s an extremely strategic thinker–which is helpful when everything begins to go wrong.

 

There’s an interesting comparison here to characters like Gen and Miles Vorkosigan. Oressa is also almost hypercompetent, good at sneaking through her father’s palace. But unlike Gen and Miles, there’s a strong suggestion that she’s developed these traits at least partly as a way to survive her father. He holds her future in his hand, and it’s pretty clear that he’s not a safe person to be around. There’s a sense of danger in him that’s more hinted at than shown, but which is very effective.

 

And both her father’s disregard and her overall vulnerabilities are partly because she’s a girl. There’s one really powerful moment which I unfortunately can’t seem to find again where Oressa realizes that her brother Gulien sees their father totally differently, because he’s been treated totally differently. But since Oressa is a girl and therefore largely despised and expendable, she’s been pushed to the edges and largely ignored.

But over the course of the book, she also finds a way to use her compensations to her and Guilen’s advantage. I loved watching her come to terms with the power that she does have and the shape of it. This idea of strengths coming out of vulnerabilities and the way that plays out was really fascinating to me.

 

Oressa was certainly the heart of the book for me, although I liked both Gulien and Gajdosik. Without wanting to give too much away, there’s a complicated romance here, which worked pretty well for me once it got past the initial stage. Shifting power and understandings are also very present in the relationship between Oressa, Gulien, and Gajdosik. We see it in the bond between the siblings, and the way their strand resolves, the way power is handed back and forth.

 

But we also see a question of power and relationship in the Kieba and her guardianship over Carastind. Will she exercise her old promise to keep the country safe, or will she let it fall? There’s a real sense of danger here, a sense that something could go truly and finally wrong. And Neumeier shows an nonhuman sense of the world very well, making it especially fraught. How can you predict what the Kieba will do, when she doesn’t think the way we do?

 

Overall, there’s a feeling of sharpness and almost horror to the scenes in the Kieba’s mountain. I’m thinking of a couple moments in particular which have really stuck with me. It’s not that there’s never a sense of danger in Neumeier’s other books–indeed, there’s quite frequently a very thorny problem driving the plot. But here it feels heightened in a way that’s really effective.

 

All in all, this was a book I thoroughly enjoyed, though sometimes in a slightly horrified way. There’s a feeling of familiarity in the political intrigue and family complications, but there are also some interesting turns in the story that made it feel also alive and real.

 

Book source: review copy from author

Book information: 2016, Saga press; adult fantasy

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text 2017-03-10 01:30
The Southbourne Tax Group: Lowell tax preparer allegedly kept refunds; tips for choosing tax preparer

 

There are a lot of scam warnings at tax time, but you may not have considered this one before: Make sure you check out your tax preparer.

 

Last week, a court approved an injunction requested by State Attorney General Maura Healey, aimed at stopping a Lowell tax preparer, Samuel Dangaiso, of Tax Enterprises, from doing business.

 

“We allege that this defendant filed more than $2 million in fraudulent deductions and pocketed tens of thousands of dollars of the falsified refunds,” said Healey. “This tax season, we will be watching for scam tax preparers and will take action to stop tax fraud in order to protect the public.”

 

The attorney general's office alleges that Dangaiso filed tax returns that included invented, unjustified deductions without the knowledge of his clients.

 

Dangaiso would then direct the full refund to his own bank account, pay the customer their expected amount and then keep the rest, Healey said.

 

The investigation revealed that he kept at least $150,000 in refunds from more than 300 returns since 2009.

 

The IRS strongly suggests that consumers check the qualifications and history of their tax preparer. The IRS maintains a directory of credentialed preparers that you can access through this website.

 

Additionally, the IRS said that consumers should never sign a blank return.

 

They should also double-check all routing numbers for bank accounts on their filings to verify that refunds will be sent directly to them and not to the preparer.

 

Additional resources for business accounting tips are available here

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text 2017-03-06 06:00
Kept From You by Nashoda Rose Release Blitz
 
 
Kept From You (Tear Asunder #4) by Nashoda Rose
 
Book Title: Kept from You (Book 4: Tear Asunder) 
Author: Nashoda Rose 
Genre: Erotic Romance 
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
 
Goodreads Button with Shadow
 
Cover photo: Copyright © 2016 Wander Aguiar Photography (http://www.wanderbookclub.com) Model: Nick Bennett (https://www.facebook.com/nickbennett6/
Cover design by: Kari Ayasha, Cover to Cover Designs
A first kiss that changed everything.
Killian Kane. 
He was the most feared guy in high-school.
Guarded. Angry. A fighter.
But when I caught him watching me with his captivating green eyes I saw something more. Something protective and kind. 
He warned me to stay away from him.
I did. 
Until I didn’t and he kissed me. A knee weakening, body tingling kiss that left me breathless. And scared the hell out of me.
 
And then… 
He warned me never to come near him again or next time he wouldn’t let me go.
 
That was eleven years ago.
We aren't teenagers anymore. He has probably forgotten me. He’s a famous rock star now. I’m a dance instructor with a broken dream and desperate for a job.
So, when we cross paths again I don't expect him to remember me.
He does.
And his warning eleven years ago? I'm about to find out exactly what that meant.
 
 
Excerpt copyright 2017
 
The thin sweet crunch mixing with the light, airy cream tickled my tongue.
 
Indulging was rare. Indulging in something like crème brûlée was heaven on a spoon.
 
But what made it even more like heaven was that Killian watched me with desire blazing in his eyes.
 
I swallowed, then with the tip of my tongue, I slid it over my lower lip, licking the remnants of cream.
 
“Fuck,” he growled.
 
I secretly smiled, heart pumping wildly.
 
I’d never been sexy or tried to be sexy, but I wanted to be with Killian. He made it easy for me to be brave.
 
Lights dim, candles flickering, the soft jazz music in the background, skin tingling from the sexy-as-hell man next to me, yeah, I was brave.
 
I dipped the spoon in again, but Killian’s fingers spanned my wrist, stopping me.
 
I met his eyes and without a word, but knowing exactly what he wanted by the silent exchange of his steady expression, I released the spoon to him.
 
His attention went to the dessert where he tapped the light thin sugar shell before breaking through and sinking into the airy lightness.
 
He lifted the overfilled spoon at the same time as his eyes.
 
I thought he was going to take a bite himself, but he held the spoon out to me. “Open.”
 
I nervously laughed, thinking he was kidding; it was a huge mouthful. “It’s too much.”
 
“I know. Open, Savvy,” he said.
 
Oh, God, my belly dropped and my sex clenched. I swallowed, licking my lips again.
 
“No,” he said with a firm voice. “I didn’t ask you to lick your lips. Although that is fuckin’ delectable as hell.” His tone lowered further. “I asked you to open your mouth.”
 
My eyes widened. Holy. Fuck. That was hot. Demanding and a little scary because him using that voice I’d pretty much do anything he asked.
 
I opened, and he slid the dessert into my mouth, and since there was so much, it hit the roof, sides, and back of my throat. He didn’t remove the spoon right away and watched as I struggled not to pull away.
 
When I was just about to say screw it, he said, “My cock will fill your mouth a hell of a lot more than this.”
 
I nearly choked. And I would’ve if he didn’t slowly remove the spoon, my lips dragging over the cool, smooth surface of the spoon to make certain I took the entire dessert.
 
His elbow rested on the table, spoon in his hand, eyes on mine as I swallowed little by little until it was gone. The entire time I thought about his cock.
 
 
meet the author
 
 
Nashoda Rose is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Toronto with her assortment of pets. She writes contemporary romance with a splash of darkness, or maybe it’s a tidal wave.
 
When she isn't writing, she can be found sitting in a field reading with her dogs at her side while her horses graze nearby. She loves interacting with her readers and chatting about her addiction—books.
 
 
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