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review 2019-09-13 10:02
or "For The Rest of Their Lives"
Obsession - Ramsey Campbell

Obsession is a book and a half. From the afterword I learned that the title was forced on the story by the publisher and Ramsey Campbell wanted "For The Rest of Their Lives". While Campbell's preferred title would have grabbed me more quickly, I do think "Obsession" suits the story, which deals with the destructive power of an obsessive idea - that having wished for an received something four children would spend the rest of their lives repaying, well at least in the case of one of the four.


<spoiler>Peter is a hero when he saves his grandmother's life, but when she moves in with him and his parents life becomes difficult for all of them. He wishes she would leave, and she does so by dying. The guilt he carries poisons his adult life and drives him to do terrible things.</spoiler>


It's powerful stuff and the clever twist makes it tragic. So much is lost and so little gained for a moment's breathing space. The maxim "Be careful what you wish for" has never been more apropos.


I read this as part of Halloween Bingo. Assuming it is called the planned square is SMALL TOWN HORROR.

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review 2019-07-23 09:32
Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession (Six Tudor Queens #2)
Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession - Alison Weir

In the first book of the series, Weir’s Katherine of Aragon saw Anne Boleyn as a petty, vindictive avatar of evil incarnate. I was super curious how Weir would depict Anne in her book. Every one’s the hero of their own story, so how would this historical “villain” see herself? I’m not sure how Weir feels about Anne Boleyn personally, but for fictional purposes she seems to have taken a more sympathetic stance than historians usually do.


Weir’s Anne Boleyn is a complicated woman. She’s skilled in “the game of courtly love” (or “harmless flirting” as it were) and also zealously guards her virginity. She’s a feminist who wants to see more women in positions of power. She chafes under the double standards women are subjected to (which is a nice touch considering one of those double standards gets her executed for adultery while her serial philanderer husband is free to marry his new mistress). She has no romantic feelings and little respect for Henry VIII and doesn’t try to attract his notice, but when he notices her anyway and relentlessly pursues her (for years) she decides “What the hell, I’m gonna get me a crown and be one of those women in positions of power I want to see more of. And I’ll make Henry reform the super corrupt Church while I’m at it.”


She then proceeds to nag her way into a crown and then nag her way straight back out of it. Anne sees what a shrew she’s becoming, and she occasionally tries to correct her behavior. But as Henry’s divorce proceedings drag on year after year, and as her enemies begin to vastly outnumber her friends, the strain of her increasingly untenable position erodes her self-control until there’s almost nothing left but her sharp tongue and bitterness. Her favorite nagging subjects involve punishing people she feels have wronged her, and considering her targets include some of Henry’s favorite people on the planet, it’s quite amazing to me that he didn’t kick her to the curb long before he found himself threatening his first wife and daughter, executing his most loyal advisors, and risking excommunication by the pope and war with his in-laws.


The overlap of this book with Katherine’s manages to be interesting rather than repetitive, though I’m not sure I’d feel the same if I’d read the two back to back. Events of course look slightly different from Anne’s point of view. I liked Anne’s story more than Katherine’s for the simple fact that Anne was more proactive and lived a more interesting life. Five hundred pages of waiting and scheming beats five hundred pages of waiting and praying.


I’m anticipating Jane Seymour’s book will overlap both previous books as she served both queens as a lady in waiting. Weir’s Anne Boleyn declared her someone who was “sly, deceitful and never had a word to say for herself!” I’m looking forward to seeing how she’s portrayed, and how she feels about being the next chosen one after personally witnessing Henry getting rid of two wives in increasingly cruel ways.

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review 2019-06-27 16:06
Their Obsession (Four Mercenaries #2) - K.A. Merikan

This author did a wonderful job continuing the story of Clover, Pyro, Drake, Boar, and Tank. It's a little bit dark and a little bit bloody, but a whole lotta awesome! We get to learn more about all the guys in this book. Some issues come to light during this story within the group and some bad things happen. I really liked the interactions between the 4 guys and Clover. I was really happy to see that Clover got his vengeance. The story flowed really well and sets up the last book to hopefully resolved everything. The end broke my heart and I am really counting on the author to put it back together in the next book.

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review 2019-04-29 02:23
Most of the Book Focused on Suspense Not the Romance
The Obsession - Nora Roberts

Not too much to say here. Roberts focuses mostly on the suspense aspect of this book and it works much better. The main reason why I gave it three stars is that I think that it would have been smart to include the POV of Naomi's brother as well. Thank goodness though he doesn't enter into a romance in this one. I loved how they both changed based on what happened with their parents and the paths they took. Other than that the book felt a bit boring to me. I guess because bad guys like depicted in this book seem really stupid. I guess I have been reading too many books about serial killers (Ann Rule) to think that anyone would be this freaking stupid, I digress.

"The Obsession" shows the aftermath when a pre-teen Naomi Bowes follows her father into the woods. Her father is a hard man, but Naomi, her mother, and her brother live to please him. Until the day they find out her's not what he seems. Naomi and her family's life gets turned upside down. I think at least the first 30 or 40 percent of the book follows the ups and downs of Naomi's family's life. I do wish we had gotten some background about why she likes taking photos though. It seemed random. Or maybe after reading "Sanctuary" I am realizing that this is one of Roberts go to careers for her female characters.

Naomi's brother Mason who goes into psychology and then the FBI was very  interesting to me though. I found myself wanting to read more about him. 


The bad guy in this one was super obvious though. 


The writing in the first parts were great. One wonders why Roberts doesn't just write thrillers. She does that part well. I found myself bored with Naomi's love interest Xander. I maybe laughed though because Roberts includes a lost dog in this one that becomes attached to her which reminded me of "Shelter in Place." The flow was so-so. I think it was because until things get going with the serial killer in this one we just read about Naomi renovating a huge house she built. And read about furniture she is buying. And we read about her painting and floors. I just renovated a major portion of my house. I didn't care. I just started skipping over things after a while.


The setting of Sunrise Cove read very small town and I don't know how realistic it would be for the town to be so welcoming when they find out who Naomi is.

The ending was rushed and ends abruptly. This definitely needed an epilogue and more interaction with the uncles. 

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review 2019-04-24 17:03
Deadly Obsession by April Hunt
Deadly Obsession (Steele Ops Book 1) - April Hunt

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Starting off a new series, Deadly Obsession, introduces us to the Steele family. A group of four brothers, their cousin Grace, and their lifelong friends, siblings Cade and Zoey. After her fifth heart surgery, Zoey decides that she is going to take life by storm. This includes getting out of the Dungeon and taking her crime scene investigating skills top level, investigating crime scenes as soon as they are found. It also includes going for it with the eldest Steele brother, Knox.


Knox has stayed away from D.C. for two years, but his brothers are starting to pressure him to make a decision on joining their new security start up Steele Ops and his best friend's little sister had a set back with her heart, the little sister he has found himself caring more for than big brother Cade would like.


When the Beltway Cupid Killer brings everyone together to work on catching them, Knox finds himself unable to keep resisting Zoey and thinking maybe home really is where the heart is.



If you're fan of romantic suspense, you're going to like this. Deadly Obsession is trope heavy, group of former military men, best friend's little sister, no-strings sex agreement that goes sideways, a teased second chance romance, and a serial killer haunting the edges. Hunt's themes and characters are well traveled but her ease of writing and dash of charm will still have people well read in the sub-genre enjoying the ride and newbies captured.


This was clearly a start to a series book, the focus was heavier on showing and developing relationships around characters rather than more on the outside story. The serial killer gets povs that I thought created a great creepy factor and helped add to the story but in the second half they kind of disappear and we lose this story thread for awhile. I thought the author did a great job with giving clues to who the killer was, it becomes kind of clear about halfway through, then the reader gets to enjoy being in the know and feeling anxiety whenever they appear on the page.


The storyline of Knox staying away for two years was probably the weakest, I'm not sure I fully understood the reasoning. His mess up that endangered other Rangers and then abandoning his brother Roman when he was in a hospital in Germany, was mish mashed together and we never got a clear concise story of how Knox messed up. The tension between the brothers and Knox as they work to set-up their Steele Ops security firm, under the cover of a brewery named Iron Bars, was a little mish mashy too, it is just something you have to go with as the security firm is obviously what will be the hub for the series.


This could never get old. That heat. That excitement every time he touched her. Instead of claiming a new piece of her every time they were together, Zoey Wright, without a doubt, claimed a small piece of him.


I really enjoyed Zoey's character, she has unrequited childhood love for Knox and lusts after him but she never lets him get away with anything, she calls him on his b.s.. It was a sweet additive to have Knox making a secret hospital visit to Zoey too, helps add foundation to him liking her as there is a lot happening in this book and Knox and Zoey's relationship doesn't always get the spotlight it deserves. Their no-strings sex pact felt thrown in, because it doesn't seem to completely fit in with Zoey's feelings, yes she is taking more chances but she seems to completely forget about all those deep feelings for Knox that were fed to the reader earlier. They have some cute back and forth and I believed in their connectivity as a couple. I do wish we could have gotten a bit more of a focus on their developing relationship, they go from pseudo lying to themselves about having sex to just sliding into being together; not a lot of struggle or heartfelt moments.


There were some missing pieces and some underdeveloped characters, Knox's reason for staying away for two years, Zoey's boss Mason seems to disappear, and a character connected to Zoey and Cade kind of just gets thrown in, but overall, romantic suspense readers will feel welcomed and comfortable in this series Hunt is setting up. Zoey lusts after Knox but she doesn't let him get away with anything and Knox is the protective trying not to fall for the best friend's little sister, all surrounded with a hint of danger. Zoey's brother Cade and Knox's cousin Grace look to be the next couple and the tension felt between them here, has me excited to dive into their story.


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