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review 2019-07-17 07:10
Blog Tour w/Review - Carpool


Carpool by Noelle Adams is available NOW!



Book Info:


Title: Carpool

Series: Milford College #1

Author: Noelle Adams

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing date: July 17th, 2019





The last thing I want is to share a forty-five minute commute with the most obnoxious (and attractive) man I know. But I can't afford a new transmission right now, so I'm stuck with Marcus for at least a month.

He promises to be good, but Marcus Greene is never good. And I'm not sure how long I can resist him.

Carpool is the first book in the Milford College series, novellas about the faculty and staff of a small liberal arts college.




Read now on:

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | IBooks | Kobo





Carpool (Milford College, #1)Carpool by Noelle Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jennifer has basically grown up in the same small town as Marcus. When her grandmother warns her to stay away from him - she takes it seriously. She takes everything seriously.

Marcus is completely shocked when the woman of his dreams asks him for a favor. As they get to know one another by carpooling to and from work, they are surprised to find common ground. Now if he could just convince her to give him a shot......

Such an amazing and sexy book. Felt like I was right there feeling the emotions of the characters. Their journey may have been a long one, but with the right words it can be the best one. I was very happy to root for these two to be together.

***This ARC copy was given in for my honest opinion and review.

View all my reviews




About Noelle Adams:


Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.


She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.




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review 2019-07-13 14:22
Carpool (Milford College #1) by Noelle Adams
Carpool - Noelle Adams




She thought she had him all figured out. Turns out, she couldn't have been more wrong. Noelle Adams simplifies complicated with a sweet, less than obvious courtship in Carpool. Marcus and Jennifer are neighbors and colleagues. He pushes her buttons, just by breathing. When her organized life is disrupted by an unexpected expense, Jennifer reluctantly turns to Marcus. As she gets to know the man behind her nemesis, she starts to discover she never knew him at all. Carpool rode shotgun into my heart. If less is more, Adams exceeded all of my expectations.

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review 2019-07-11 14:57
Carpool - Noelle Adams

Jennifer has basically grown up in the same small town as Marcus.  When her grandmother warns her to stay away from him - she takes it seriously.  She takes everything seriously.


Marcus is completely shocked when the woman of his dreams asks him for a favor.  As they get to know one another by carpooling to and from work, they are surprised to find common ground.  Now if he could just convince her to give him a shot......


Such an amazing and sexy book.  Felt like I was right there feeling the emotions of the characters.  Their journey may have been a long one, but with the right words it can be the best one.  I was very happy to root for these two to be together.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This ARC copy was given in for my honest opinion and review.

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review 2019-07-07 03:46
Lumberjanes: A Masterpost
Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson (2015-04-07) - Noelle Stevenson
Lumberjanes Vol. 2 - Noelle Stevenson
Noelle Stevenson: Lumberjanes Vol. 3 : A Terrible Plan (Paperback); 2016 Edition - Shannon Watters, Carolyn Nowak Noelle Stevenson
Lumberjanes Vol. 4: Out Of Time - Noelle Stevenson,Shannon Watters,Grace Ellis,Brooke Allen
Lumberjanes Vol. 5: Band Together - Noelle Stevenson,Shannon Watters,Grace Ellis,Brooke Allen

As I was trying to put together my review of the first volume in the Lumberjanes series (collaboratively written and drawn by Grace Ellise, Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson, & Brooke A. Allen) I realized that it was going to be nigh on impossible for me to formulate new thoughts/observations about further volumes without repeating myself ad nauseam...so a masterpost. 


The volumes of this series that I've read thus far:

  1. Beware the Kitten Holy
  2. Friendship to the Max
  3. A Terrible Plan
  4. Out of Time
  5. Band Together

On first beginning the series, I immediately felt like I was somehow starting in the middle as the reader is launched immediately into the inner circle of our main protagonists (Jo, April, Molly, Mal, & Ripley). What initially caught my interest were the excellent illustrations and the various looks of the main characters which are all widely different (much like the characters themselves). [A/N: I want to say here that the illustrative style changed for each of the volumes and I didn't really dig that.] I kept reading because the format of survival manual blended into a narrative arc was unique and I like the idea of a female led story being written and drawn by females. This is a great message for girls who may have felt that the comic book world wasn't for them. That being said, I'm not likely to continue the series beyond these 5 volumes and if I do I won't be reviewing it here unless it totally ends up blowing my mind. It felt gimmicky and at times I felt they were trying too hard and falling into contrived territory. I get that they're trying to be hip and inclusive (major props that there's not only a lesbian couple but a transgender character) but there was so 'trying to be hip' vibe that the story became second fiddle. Strong elements of fantasy, mystery, adventure, and friendship will appeal to all sexes but I don't think I'm the right age demographic (and this is coming from someone who routinely reads picture books). It's a 6/10 for me.


What's Up Next: Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg


What I'm Currently Reading: Our Uninvited Guests: The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 by Julie Summers

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-06-08 04:18
Wherein I babble about a smidgen of the fantastic elements of this book
Dead Inside - Noelle Holten

I honestly don't know what to say about this gobsmackingly good mystery. There are so many things I want to say, but I'm quite aware that no one will stick around to read all of them (and, well, I have to go to work, too -- I don't have that much time). I'm very tempted to leave my mid-point check in to stand, I inadvertently hit the essentials that I'd want to talk about now. I'm also thinking of a rant about the really lousy book blurb (no offense to anyone) because you keep waiting for all the events it describes to occur, and it was late in the book for all of it to happen -- which I found distracting. But what do I know, might be too hard a sell without it. There's no way I can do justice to all the characters -- we're talking a cast the size of Abercrombie's The First Law or Martin's A Clash of Kings. I could talk about how this could be an extremely preachy, issues book -- but Holten so skillfully dodges that, letting the circumstances do the work while she tells a compelling story -- and ultimately that's more effective (and affecting) than the alternative. I could go on and on about the way that Holten constructed the mystery component of this novel -- with enough suspects to satisfy Agatha Christie or Rex Stout, cleverly placed clues (and red herrings), and a very satisfying reveal or two. Or I could speculate about why someone who so clearly knows what she's doing could introduce a series character with a book that doesn't focus on the series character.


See what I mean?


Let me start with this and see where I go from here...yup, that's right. It's stream of consciousness time, boys 'n girls. Outlines are for wimps.


The day this released, I wrapped up reading another book -- which had this great ending (that I didn't expect) -- a wistful, romantic, ending to a fun, funny and exciting read. I was in a great mood, and noticed that I had more time before dinner would be ready, so I decided to dip my feet in the water with Dead Inside. I read the prologue -- a first-person near-nightmarish description of a fearing what her drunk husband would do to her when he got home and pretending to be asleep to delay the inevitable (all for the sake of the little girl on the other side of the wall). So much for that happy mood -- this prologue is one of the best bits of writing I've had the pleasure to encounter this year -- it can compete with some of the best of The Power of the Dog -- culminating in two sentences that shattered me. I remember practically dreading returning to the book after that, I wasn't sure I could handle 400 pages of intensity. Thankfully, I was able to get back to that good mood by remembering the other book (and, sure, spending time with the people in my life that aren't fictional creations). But that prologue stuck with me until I was able to get back to the book (although, almost a week later, I haven't totally shaken it).


A quick, but important, aside: I know several of my readers have a pretty strict "No Rape" policy -- and I'm not one to convince anyone against that. Rapes happen in this book -- but you don't get a play-by-play. It's all either in past tense (e.g., "my husband raped me," "sex was forced"), or an expression of fear that it might happen. It's all matter of fact, completely un-exploitative, and necessary. If that's too much, so be it -- spare yourself putting this aside and don't pick it up. But speaking as someone who has DNF'd in the past because of rape scenes, I'm telling you this is the way it should be dealt with in fiction.


Now, following the Prologue, the book drops the first person narrative, pulling us back to a more detached third person as it introduces us to a large cast of characters (the comparison to Martin was hyperbolic, but it doesn't feel that way) -- domestic abusers, domestic abuse victims, people in denial about being either of those, probation officers, police officers, police consultants, and so on.


The novel largely focuses on two characters -- and I will, too -- but there are plenty of other candidates. First, we have DC Maggie Jamieson -- temporarily reassigned from a Homicide team (for reasons alluded to, but not really made clear -- for her good, though) to a new team focusing on domestic abuse. The whole "reassigned to get away from homicide" part doesn't work out too well for her when the domestic abusers her team is supposed to be working with start being killed. She's smart, ambitious, haunted -- an interesting combination, to be sure. She's a good cop, and its nice to see that when it happens. Maggie happens to be the series protagonist, but you'd be excused if you didn't pick that up until the last chapter. Our other person of focus is Lucy, a tough, no-nonsense probation officer working with the same population (largely). At home, however, that toughness disappears to be replaced with a timid spirit focused on placating/not angering her husband so he won't beat her (or worse). The two "versions" of Lucy really couldn't be more different from each other without a MPD diagnosis (or an origin story by Stan Lee). The Prologue, we quickly learn, was from her Point of View and things haven't gotten better for her since then.


These two are surrounded by compelling, damaged, a well-fleshed out characters. Not every man is depicted as an abuser/potential abuser -- and many of those who are depicted in that way are done so with a little bit of empathy for what made them that, while not flinching from condemning their actions and the pleasure they derive from it. Similarly, not every woman is depicted as an abuse victim or enabler. Some are -- and they're shown with the same kind of empathy. Thankfully, some of the damaged men and women are shown as hard workers, trying to make the world better, despite their own circumstances. It's good to be reminded those people exist.


In short, Holten writes humans, not caricatures or types.


Not only is the cast of characters large -- so is the suspect list. The only people in the book not worthy of suspicion were the murdered themselves (and at least one of them would've were on the list for a bit). Holten did a great job of giving the reader reasons to suspect everyone. There was a pretty significant clue introduced about one character and I put in my notes that it was a goof on her part, or the most scarlet of red herrings you could imagine. My favorite candidate turned out not to be the one -- I didn't figure they would be, I was just relishing the idea of one particular dark horse. The perpetrator/perpetrators (I'm not telling) is/are the only real possibility(ies) at the end of the day, everything clicked for me about the time it clicked for the police -- and yes, I'd considered the correct solution, but liked my idea better until I saw what Holten was doing. A very satisfying solution. Better than the solution -- the end of the book is so hopeful it comes as a relief (and feels almost foreign to the rest of the book).


Anyone who's taken an Intro to Psychology class knows the syndrome where you start unconsciously diagnosing everyone you encounter/know with some sort of psychological disorder (those who've gone on to take Intro to Abnormal Psychology are probably aware of the more acute version of this -- how graduate students get through the program with any kind of social life intact is beyond me). I had a version of this thanks to this book -- I kept seeing people I work with, saw in stores, etc. as victims, abusers, enablers, and so on. Hotlen got in my head, no doubt about it. As I said the other day, "While I'm loving every second of this book, I'm having a hard time shaking the bleak outlook on life and humanity that seems to be part and parcel of this novel....Seriously, read a few pages of this book and see if you're not willing to replace humanity as the apex predator with something careful and considerate -- like rabid pit bulls or crack-smoking hyenas."


Dead Inside is not an easy read -- but that's because of the subject matter, the realism of the characters and circumstances, not a problem with the author. This isn't the cops dealing with a larger-than-life genius serial killer -- rather, it's the everyday reality for too many. Just this time tinged with a spree killer making a grim circumstance worse for some. It's a gripping read, a clever whodunit, with characters that might be those you meet every day. As an experience, it's at once satisfying and disturbing -- a great combination for a reader. You won't read much this year that stacks up against Dead Inside and you'll join me in eagerly awaiting what's coming next from Holten.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge
2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/06/07/dead-inside-by-noelle-holten-wherein-i-babble-about-a-smidgen-of-the-fantastic-elements-of-this-book
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