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review 2017-08-20 14:02
a cute easy read
Ebb and Flow (Love's Charter Book 2) - A... Ebb and Flow (Love's Charter Book 2) - Andrew Grey
Independent Reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book two in the Love's Charter series, but you don't need to have read book one, Setting The Hook for this to make sense. But I will recommend that you do, and explain more as I go. We met Skippy in book one, he and his friends hired Mike's boat. Skippy is in town on business for his father's law firm, but is having a few days off before he starts. Billy Ray is now first mate to Bubba on Mike's boat, since he got a second boat with William's prototype engine in. Billy Ray knows he is gay, has done a long time but he hides it, mostly because of his religious father and the power he has over Billy Ray. But Skippy calls to Billy Ray, in a way no one else ever has. And it will take both men standing up to their overpowering fathers to figure out just want they really want. I listened to book one, but I READ this one. I should know better to switch mid series. This one doesn't have the warm and fuzzies that book one did, but still a cute read. Skippy's father sends him to the town in Florida (that I can't even say, let alone spell!) that has the harbour Mike works his charter out of. An oil company wants to built a pipeline right across the harbour. While that doesn't go down the way Skippy's father wanted, but the client and the twon are happy with the result. Standing up to his father, Skippy finds out just why it seemed he was so busy for the firm and just what his father really thinks of him. I loved that both men were able to stand up to their respective fathers, even though they both knew they could lose everything. I didn't feel the same connection I did to Skippy and Billy Ray that I did to Mike and William, but that might just be because I listened to that one and read this one. Oh, I said you didn't NEED to read book one first. But it might help you understand Bubba's reaction to Billy ray's coming out to him. When Mike did the same, Bubba reacted badly. He's better here, but you'd just get that extra insight. It says this book is 200 pages, but it didn't seem like it. One of those books you can just fall into and forget about the world for a while. Took me little over 90 minutes. A cute read, but not quite a warm and fuzzies one too. 4 solid stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-30 16:12
And the cover is so pretty...
Realms: The First Year of Clarkesworld Magazine - Jeff VanderMeer,Sean Wallace,Elizabeth Bear,Caitlín R. Kiernan

... which is not a word I would use for what's inside.

 

This is not to be read in one sitting. For the most part, the tales in this collection are  upsetting, full of triggers, dark, squicky or all of the above, with some beauty thrown in for flavor. I found about half of the stories very interesting, immersible, though provoking; half I did not quite get; about a quarter were absolutely disgusting; maybe a tenth were just mind-blowing awesome. And almost none could be ascribed to just one or two of those categories.

I'm not totally sure of my rating, I don't know that I really liked experiencing these in a couple of days. But the independent shock value of each piece is really something.

- A light in Troy: Gutting. Specially because it's left there. But maybe for the same, a bit hopeful.

- 304 Adolf Hitler Strasse: Sickening. Take-that to slash too. Recursive. My brain hurts a bit.

- The Moby Clitoris of his beloved: first, WTF is that title (same as above, actually). It was... ick

- Lydia's Body: Well, that was uncomfortable *grimace* You can see it going wrong, and then it turns a 180 and goes worse.

- Urchins, While Swimming: It's Valente. Beautiful and bittersweet.

- The Other Amazon: Meta. A readers' wet dream.

- Orm the Beautiful: Jewels, dragons. No possible loss. But damn was it beautifully bittersweet.

- Automatic: grim

- Chewing Up the Innocent: The agony of the (creepy) artist and mid-life crisis. Little good can come out of it. And it is still oddly hopeful.

- Attar of Roses: Creepy like the smell of wilting flowers at cemeteries

- Clockmakers Requiem: I did not understand that one at all, but I liked the strange world it painted.

- Something in the Mermaid Way: AH! God!

- The Third Bear: That was pointlessly cruel.

- The First Female President: Well, talk about cruelty.

- There's no Light Between Floors: Sad and claustrophobic. Those that forget history and all that.

- Qubit Conflicts: I don't know that much about programing for this, but it IS heavily ironic.

- The Oracle Spoke: That's a terrifying concept.

- Moon Over Yodok: It doesn't say it, but, Oh, my God. She's the rabbit, and she made him her soup. So sad.

- I'll gnaw your bones, the Manticore said: Loved it, for the questions it raises, and for the departure from the all around dark cast.

- Transtexting Pose: Wait, what? Also, squick.

- The Taste of Wheat: Mystical, but ew!

- The Beacon: "Ant's life" and Armageddon and drastic changes in social mores. Awesome-sauce.

- The Ape's Wife: Nightmarish collection of might have beens and excellent exploration. Bonus point for putting me to search for "The thunder, perfect mind"

- Lost Soul: I admit I though it would go deeper. Still:

Are you surprised?” Bela said. “You ought not to be. Did you not know that every woman has a soul that belongs to her alone?

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review 2017-07-25 10:50
so freaking awesome!!!
Unbreak My Heart - K-lee Klein,Nick J. Russo
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted the AUDIO file of this book. I usually write a blurby bit but for this one I'm gonna jump straight in, with an apology up front if I gush too much. So, I went on holiday, and there I am, poolside, listening to this book. Oh, I CANNOT separate the book from the narration, I simply can't!. So, I'm poolside. I'm thinking this is good, I like this. Then I really don't like this, its making me cry! Its making me cheer, and making cry again, and its making sit straight upright, and shout, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! And its making me cry again. And people came up to me, asking if I was okay, cos let me tell ya, I was bawling my bloody eyes at this book!! Brett's heart break at losing Walt 3 years ago jumps off the page from the very beginning. His battle with himself comes over with every letter and song he wrote after Walt's death. It comes over with every emotion as Nick J. Russo narrates them, and reads the letters and songs. Brett's fight with himself to give in to love again, to let someone else in, after so much heart ache comes at you, in random places along the way, that just breaks your own heart for him! JT, the kid, has attraction for Brett from the beginning, and I loved that he lets Brett take the time he needs, that JT is so patient with Brett and his yoyo-ing back and forth. Loved how JT himself was so heart broken when Brett found out what JT had done. As I said, I simply CANNOT split the narration from the story itself. I have no doubt, none at all, had I READ this book, it would still have been a 5 star read, but so much of the emotions can't be portrayed when reading. THAT can only come from a highly skilled narrator, and Russo is such a master at his craft. I have listened to his work before, and loved all of them, but this one has to be my all time favourite. Its the way Russo reads Klein's work, because, without HER words, Russo wouldn't be able to give over such emotion and heart break, and such joy again, once Brett finally, FINALLY lets JT in. There is, at the very end of the book, a song Brett writes for JT. I don't usually use bits from books in my reviews, but I felt the need to do it here. These words touched me, possibly more so than the rest of the book, no idea why, but they did, and they NEEDED to be included. SO I give you... A Song For The Kid, by K-Lee Klein One hundred miles from Dallas On a ranch southwest of town An old heart battered and broken Was somehow saved and found They had nothing much in common A burnt-out musician and a college boy One from California And the other Southern as a belle is coy But an interfering mama And an old cowboy with a quiet way Saw fit to toss them together And the rest is history as they say Well, the musician he was stubborn, Determined his heart would never beat again But the kid was kind and patient Didn’t give up on what could have been I was lucky to find true love once When I was barely that California boy’s age Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave But now I understand the meaning Behind it’s better to have loved and lost Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed And for the new feelings that kid has caused So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit I’m begging for a lot more time Because there’s nothing as important in my life Than needing that kid to be mine. And though I don’t believe in marital bliss Or in ceremonies trumped up for show If you’ll take my hand I can promise you I’ll never let you go I don’t have a whole lot to offer Someone with so much potential drive Just a bare-open, battered heart And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe But I can vow to love you With every inch of my soul With this bandaged heart And just one important goal Please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night I wanna make you feel as loved As the warmth I have inside I wanna hold you so close to me Our hearts beating side by side I promise to love and honor And try to see things your way I promise, Darlin’, to love you Forever and a day So please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night ’Cause without you I’m cold I’m shut down and alone I can’t seem to function And my heart turns to stone So please be my partner in life My friend at my side The one I turn to during the day The one I hold at night I’ll hold back the sun Or steal the moon from the sky I’ll sail you round the world And together we’ll fly So will you be my partner? Will you be the love at my side? Will you be the one I turn to all day? Will you be the one I hold at night? I love you, kid, with all my heart From morning to night, from dusk to dawn All I need is a chance For our hearts to become one Let me show you how much love You make me feel every day I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’ So please—what do ya say? And FIVE full stars for the book AND the narration. I cannot express who much i freaking loved this book!!! ** same worded review will appear elsewhere** and now I'm blubbering again, just reading the song words!!

 

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review 2017-07-25 10:00
loved this, excellent narration
Setting the Hook - Andrew Grey
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my AUDIO copy of this book. William hires Mike's fishing boat twice a year to just get away from it all., from the job he has begun to hate. Running the family business was never what he wanted to do. His time on Mike's boat is precious, because it's MIKE he comes for, not really the fishing. Mike looks forward to William's visits, because he has had feelings for William since that first time. But he could never act on those feelings. Living and working in a small town has major draw backs and he has his daughter and his mother to look out for. It takes a hurricane for these men to act on their feelings and there is a lot of water to cross before they can be truly happy. Andrew Grey has a way of writing that no other has, and I LOVED this first book in a new series. William has feelings for Mike and vice versa. One bolt of lightening, one heated look and its only a matter of time before they finally give in to their feelings. I understood Mike's hesitancy to out himself, he has his daughter and his mother to look after but it had been so very very long since Mike allowed himself to feel, to have a connection to a man, and he really couldn't fight any more. And its beautiful, their coming together, really it is!! I love William's mum and dad turning up on his "vacation" and Mike's reaction to William telling his parents of their relationship was a priceless moment! I also love the unexpected turn of events for his parents, and how that made William see them in a different light. Couple questions I am left with though. It never fully explains about Mike's friend in the Navy, and what happened to him. While I can piece it mostly together, I would like to have had the full details. And the coin Mike's daughter found? What happened with that. Bonus points for not shortening William to Will, not once! AUDIO review. Greg Tremblay narrates. And, really, need I say more? I mean, the man could narrate the bloody phone book, and I'd love it! I love the way Tremblay has with voices. William and his parents are very proper and upper class, and Mike, his daughter and mom are much softer, smoother voices. It makes for easy listening, because I don't have to concentrate too hard on making out who is speaking and I can just lose myself in the narration. Tremblay's reading voice is clear and even, and you can feel the emotions coming off each man. A true joy to listen to. 5 stars for the book 5 stars for the narration 5 stars overall. **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-25 06:11
Fake out
The Wedding Hoax (Entangled Lovestruck) - Heather Thurmeier

Daisy & Cole have a history.  They did not part well.  So when the chance comes to both of them to save their respective business, they want to jump on it.  Until they find out it means being together.

 

Cole has pressure coming at him from all sides.  The personal and professional are all blending for the first time.  Daisy makes it all seem so much better.  Can they learn to keep the future bright while the darkness closes in?

 

Such a great start to the fun and sexy Hoax Series!  I really love these characters and how real they come across.  Their situation is not uncommon.  I felt they were very easy to understand and relate to.  While the story moves along, there is much heat and laughter also.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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