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review 2016-12-05 01:26
In a Ranger's Arms
In a Ranger's Arms (The Men of at Ease Ranch) - Donna Michaels

Stone bought his family's ranch with his brother and 2 of their Army friends. The goal is to own a successful construction business that hires veterans while allowing them time to acclimate back to civilian life. Jovy's family owns a successful business and she is in a contest with her cousin to see who will take over for their grandfather who wants to retire. Jovy's task is to open a vegan cafe in the middle of Texas cattle country.
Both Jovy and Stone are likable people. Jovy is able to admit when she made a mistake. Stone was a bit of an asshole at first. Both had insta-lust upon meeting quickly changing into love. It was fast, but worked in this case, because both characters respected and complimented each other. I did think the end and make-up was a bit rushed.
Lula Belle was a riot! I also liked the secondary characters and I will have to keep an eye out for their stories as well.

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing/NetGalley
Published Nov 28th

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review 2016-11-21 00:00
In a Ranger's Arms (The Men of at Ease Ranch)
In a Ranger's Arms (The Men of at Ease Ranch) - Donna Michaels description


Jovy Larson has four weeks to prove to her grandfather that she has what it takes to become CEO of the family company. Her task, to set up a gluten-free, vegan food café in the heart of Texas. If only her landlord wasn't such a jackass...

Stone Mitchum left his Army Ranger days behind him. Now with help from his brother, and two buddies he is working to build his company that helps to transition veterans back into society. The last thing he needs is a distraction in the form of a sassy mouthed little tenant...

With sparks flying, and a jealous cow to contend with, can these two find a gluten-free HEA in the heart of cattle country?


I've never read anything by this author before, but I will be remedying that right soon. I ADORED this book. It was super sweet. It had a warm close-knit friends feel to it. Had a very likable hero and heroine. Had an amazing cast of secondary characters that I CAN'T wait to read about. It was well written and kept me turning the pages. It was steamy. It was humorous. It was a TINY bit angsty (near the end). I wish it had an epilogue, but since this is the first in a series I am sure we will be seeing more from this couple (and LuLa Belle) in upcoming books.

Honestly, I can't think of a SINGLE thing I didn't enjoy about this one. Two HUGE thumbs up from yours truly.


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review 2016-09-09 01:25
Review: Men at Arms (Discworld Book 17 of 53ish)
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett

Men at Arms is the second book in the City Watch subseries of Discworld.  I liked this one better than the first book, Guards! Guards!.  The story held my interest much better, and I enjoyed the characters more.  Of course, it had a lot of the same characters as the first book, but I thought this one focused on more interesting characters.  I like Carrot quite a bit, and we see a lot of him in this book.  There are also two new members of the Watch, Cuddy the Dwarf and Detritus (don’t salute!) the Troll, and I really enjoyed both of them.


We saw less of Captain Vimes in this book, and that may actually be one of the reasons I enjoyed it more.  So far he’s been a pretty morose character, quick to sink into despair and self-pity.  He’s often off sulking (or in an alcoholic stupor) while everybody else is doing all the real work.  He cares, I’ll give him that, but I prefer reading about characters like Carrot who care more effectively and less self-destructively.  Carrot is a bit too perfect, actually, but I don’t mind because he’s fun to read about.  Most of the Discworld characters are pretty over-the-top anyway, in one way or another, so he fits right in. 


I’m giving this 3.5 stars on BookLikes and rounding it up to 4 stars on Goodreads because I enjoyed it enough that I thought it deserved more than 3 stars.


Most of these last two books have been read with this distracting view in the background, either from this angle (my hotel room balcony) or from a much lower angle directly on the beach. :)  


Discworld makes for great beach reading material.  It’s light and funny, but the stories never really absorb me in such a way that I have to force myself to put the book down so I can do vacation-y stuff.  That’s why I read two of them in a row this week instead of breaking them up more like I usually do.  Since I fly home tomorrow and my swimsuit is drying off for the last time before getting packed, I’m going to move on to some non-Discworld material next.


It’s been a long time since I’ve taken an actual go-away-and-do-something-fun vacation, since I’m usually traveling for business often enough that staying home on vacation sounds like more fun.  I had a great time, and miraculously managed to avoid getting any sunburn despite spending so much time in the sun.  (I'm very pale and burn easily.)  I’m ready to get home now, though.  I want to see the cat, curl up on my own furniture with my fridge stocked with my own drinks and food, and take a shower in water that doesn’t smell like sulfur. :)  I always feel this way by the end of a trip, no matter how much fun I have – ready to get back to the comforts of home, even if the comforts of home don’t include such a gorgeous view!

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-12-15 10:09
The Nightwatch Returns
Men at Arms (Discworld, #15) - Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett is now taking aim at the detective fiction in his gonne sights in one of the most amusing Discworld books that I have read to date (though that is a bit of an exaggeration, but this book does sit up there with the best of the series). We now return to the antics of the nightwatch and discover that there have been some promotions (though poor Noddy is not among the ones who have been promoted). The Patrician has also decided to embrace the idea of affirmative action, so he encourages the watch to bring in some new recruits, including Detritus the Troll (who is famous for being the bouncer at the Broken Drum), Cuddy the dwarf, and Angua, though we are not sure if it is because she is a woman,


or a werewolf.

(spoiler show)

Alongside the antics of Detritus, Cuddy, and Angua, there is also a pretty impressive mystery (which involves a gun, or more precisely, a gonne) which has gone missing from the Assassins Guild, but let us first deal with Detritus and Cuddy. One thing that we learn about the Discworld in this book is that trolls and dwarves basically hate each other and wonder around in gangs beating each other up. However Detritus and Cuddy are forced to put aside their differences and work together (which they end up doing quite successfully because they are no longer a dwarf and a troll but members of the watch).


As for the mystery, we are first introduced to a rather intriguing assassin known as Edward d'Earth (I actually know of a person with such a last name), who was at one stage a member of a noble family but has fallen on hard times since the king was removed and the Patrician put in his place. However, due to some research, he uncovers the true heir to the throne and seeks to replace the Patrician with a new king, but this peters out pretty quickly because d'Eath ends up going missing pretty close to the beginning of the book. However Vimes comes to learn of some mysterious deaths which he decides to investigate (and we have his superior stepping in, as can be expected in your typical crime novel, and telling him to stop investigating, and then disbanding the watch because Vimes refuses to do so).


It is interesting Pratchett's take on the gonne because he paints it in the same way that he paints other technological innovations (such as film in Moving Pictures): it has a this magical effect upon society that irrevocably changes it. The funny thing with Discworld is that society is actually resistant to change, so we have these inventions having an almost magical effect upon those who are exposed to it to try to force this change along, and this is change that is usually for the worse. There is also something very seductive about the gun, sort of like the power that its possession gives the owner – the ability to be able to kill at great distances.


The interesting thing about Ankh-Morpork is that it exists purely due to the status quo, though one does seem to get more of a sense of a fairy-tale world than a pure fantasy world that one tends to expect from most fantasy novels (but then again Discworld is not like most fantasy worlds): a medieval European setting with wizards and dragons running around to make things interesting. Granted Discworld has its fare share of wizards, dragons, and a cornucopia of other caricatures, but there seems to an essence of modernism within this world, as if the thoughts and attitudes of the characters are more modern in scope than most fantasy novels. Then again this is not surprising since what Pratchett is writing satire as opposed to pure fantasy, and in many cases it is much easier to criticise society, and some of society's sacred cows, by shifting the setting away from the modern world and placing it in a fictional setting, whether it be fantasy, as in the case of Pratchett, or science-fiction, as in the case of writers like Douglas Adams or Grant Naylor.


That does not mean that the writings are going to be immune to criticism or outrage, as this tends to happen when writings start to demonstrate the absurdity of some of our sacred cows (such as religion in Pyramids and Small Gods, and gun ownership in the case of Men at Arms). Mind you, I have not heard anywhere near as much criticism being levelled against Pratchett as has been levelled against some other writers (such as Scorsesee in regards to The Last Temptation of Christ). I suspect that Pratchett has become something of a sacred cow himself (in the same way that Star Trek and Star Wars are also sacred cows) in that if one even thinks of writing a bad review of one of his books you are going to get someone complaining about how you are being unfair, don't understand, or simply (which is a huge assumption) haven't read the book (because, seriously, how could anybody even think of writing a bad review if they had actually read the book).

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/844699154
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text 2015-09-01 20:07
2015 Reading Plan- August Update
Men at Arms - Terry Pratchett
The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel (The Hedge Knight Graphic Novels, #1) - George R.R. Martin,Mike S. Miller,Ben Avery
Legends - Stephen King,Robert Jordan,Robert Silverberg,Terry Goodkind
Confirming Justice - David Munson,Diane Munson
The Hero of Ages - Brandon Sanderson

1) City of Glass by Cassandra Clare


2) Mythology by Edith Hamilton

3) Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett


4) Whistle Stop by Philip White

5) Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (re-read)

6) William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher


7) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 


8) Eric by Terry Pratchett


9) The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (re-read)


10) William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back by Ian Doescher


11) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury


12) Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett


13) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (re-read) 


14) William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return by Ian Doescher


15) The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory


16) Imager by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.


17) The Once and Future King by T.H. White


18) Outlaws of the Atlantic by Marcus Rediker


19) Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett


20) Witches Aboard by Terry Pratchett


21) A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (re-read) 


22) Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow


23) We Don't Need Roads by Caseen Gaines


24) Empire of Sin by Gary Krist


25) Small Gods by Terry Pratchett


26) Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson


27) Lords and Ladies by Terry Pratchett 


28) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (re-read)


29) Facing Justice by Diane & David Munson


30) The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson


31) Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett


32) The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel by Ben Avery, George R.R. Martin & Mike S. Miller


33) Legends edited by Robert Silverberg (includes re-read of The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin


34) Confirming Justice by Diane & David Munson


35) The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson


36) Soul Music by Terry Pratchett *started*


37) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (re-read)


38) The Rise of the Great Powers, 1648-1815 by Derek McKay


39) The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson


40) Interesting Times by Terry Pratchett




41) A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin (re-read)



42) The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume One by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


43) The Art of War/The Prince/Instructions to His Generals by Sun Tzu/Niccolò Machiavelli/Frederick the Great (three-in-one book)


44) Maskerade by Terry Pratchett


45) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (re-read)


46) The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume Two by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


47) A Short History of Byzantium by John Julius Norwich


48) Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett


49) A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin (re-read)


Bonus- The Poetry of Robert Frost (reading a few pages every few weeks)

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