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review 2017-09-24 21:54
It's time to revisit an old favorite...
Texas Family - R.J. Scott

It’s been four years since I read this book and I have to admit in my reading experience I’ve found that sometimes when there’s a large gap of time between originally reading a book and when I re-read it or in this case listen to the audio book it doesn’t always go well, but I’m happy to say that was not the case with this book…If anything, I enjoyed the audio book just a little bit more than I enjoyed this story the first time around.

 

I’ve really enjoyed reading all of R. J. Scott’s Texas series and having the opportunity to revisit these characters in audio book format has been a treat, so much so that I’m looking forward to treating my self to the rest of this series in the near future.

 

Sean Crisden is the narrator for this title as well as previous titles and I have to admit when it comes to books involving cowboys he’s one of my favorites. I love his deep, gravelly, easy drawl along with the fact that he consistently ticks all my basic audio narrator boxes with his consistent, unique and expressive voices.

 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with this series I strongly recommend starting at the first book and reading them in order. Jack and Riley are the main characters in this series and their story starts back in the first book…The Heart of Texas.

 

Jack and Riley started as an enemies to lovers story in book one and each successive story follows them as their relationship grows and here in the fourth book Riley and Jack have decided it’s time for their family to grow and have decided that surrogacy is how they want this to happen and Jack will be the father. But as can often be the case plans go astray and things may not end up the way they intended but both men are quick to realize that while they didn’t get what they’d signed up for…they were getting the family they wanted.

 

In spite of all their advantages, this isn’t a story that’s so perfect it makes me feel like I’m going to sink into a diabetic coma. Jack and Riley still have the stress of day to day life and the problems it brings to deal with…running a horse ranch, managing an ethical oil exploration company, dealing with relationship struggles both theirs and their families, making compromises and finding solutions.

 

‘Texas Family’ is a nice slice of life look at what’s happening in the world of Jack, Riley and their family. It was also a chance to see them building the life together that they’d started in ‘Texas Family’ and continued to work towards in ‘Texas Winter’ and then in ‘Texas Heat’. I love this series, these characters the lack of angst and extreme drama, no great mystery to solve…just the day to day life of two people in love building a life together that would see their dream of family become reality.

 

There are a few authors whose books are comfort food for me…for my brain, my heart and my soul. I know the kind of story I’m going to get and it’s one that I can lose myself in and enjoy. They’re my go to authors when I’ve been left with too many jagged edges by life and/or by emotionally draining books. R. J. Scott is one of those authors and her Texas series are among those books.

 

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An audio book of ‘Texas Family’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-12 20:28
Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change of Heart, Faith-Ann Smith
Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change Of Heart... Mail Order Bride: Cate's Change Of Heart (Nurses Of The Civil War Book 4) - Faith-Ann Smith

I really enjoyed this clean, Historical romance. I voluntarily chose to review it. I've given it a 5* rating. This heroine was a civil War Nurse. She is gutsy, stubborn, and kind hearted. The hero is basically a good guy, caught in a bad situation. This has a few twists and turns and a real nice ending. There are also some bonus stories with this story, so you get a little more for your money. So I'm on to the next story.

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review 2017-09-11 17:28
This one slipped at little towards the end...
Never Let You Go - Andrew Grey

Ashton and Brighton have been friends for most of their lives...falling in love just seemed like a natural progression in their relationship. Ashton protected Brighton and along with his Aunt Petey gave Brighton a place to feel safe and loved when he first came out to his parents. When Ashton enlisted in the military Brighton was always there waiting for him to come home on leave...waiting for him to come home after his final mission and the end of his tour of duty...only things went wrong and Ashton never came home.  Brighton was left believing that the man he loved was dead and Brighton was left trying to put himself back together with only half his heart.

 

It's nearly two years later when Ashton and Brighton see each other again. Neither man is the same. Brighton has a niece to raise following the death of his sister. Ashton's still recovering both physically and mentally from the mission that nearly ended it all for him.

 

This one started out good for me and I liked the initial reunion between Ashton and Brighton. While the men were separated in part because of a misunderstanding when they finally talked it wasn't an over the top dramatic event and while the forgiveness came fairly easily it wasn't done in an unrealistic way things didn't instantly fall into place. It felt more like an acknowledgment of mistakes made and a willingness to try again.

 

Unfortunately it's not enough that Ashton and Brighton have to work through their own circumstances and get to know each other again...to learn the changes. They also find themselves having to possibly face Ashton's reaction to the news that his nightmares may be looking for him. 

 

There were things that for me just detracted from the story and niggled at me. Things like the fact that the reason Ashton had originally stayed away quite honestly made sense to me and Ashton's actions were done purely out of his love for Brighton and because he thought Ashton was happy and he didn't want to risk spoiling that for him. The fact that Brighton seemed to understand where Ashton was at one minute and then the next he acted like Ashton now should be the same Ashton who enlisted in the military years earlier and hadn't endured what he had...in other words at times Brighton just seemed a little wishy, washy in his responses and how he felt about things emotionally.  He loved Ashton enough to always be waiting for him, to understand when they put their plans for the future on hold while Ashton served in the military. He loved him enough to want to try again when they were reunited and suddenly when Ashton's behavior isn't what Brighton thinks it should be, even knowing what Ashton suffered Brighton's giving ultimatums and saying that he can't do it anymore and they're through? WTF? For me it felt like this was when Ashton needed someone the most. His behavior was like a neon sign screaming that Ashton needed help and Brighton walked away.

 

As much as I was enjoying the beginning of this book for me the last part of the story just wasn't working and then we got what was almost a magical HEA and things just ended up being ok and not as awesome as they'd started out being.

 

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An ARC of 'Never Let You Go' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-10 23:37
Take one L. A. Witt book about two men in the military and...
Afraid to Fly - L.A. Witt

add the voice of...Nick J. Russo and you have the makings of several hours of pleasurable listening.

 

I've totally become a glutton for re-reading books via audio books and especially books that I really enjoyed reading the first time around that are being narrated by one of my favorite narrators as was the case with 'Afraid to Fly'. Having read this book when it was first released back in January, I have already reviewed this story and my original review still works for me so I'll post either the review or a link to it at the end of this one...once I'm done rambling about how much I enjoyed the audio book efforts of Nick J. Russo. 'Afraid to Fly' is book #18 in my list of Nick J. Russo audio books and like the 17 before it. It was a pleasure to listen to from start to finish.  

 

I freely admit Nick J. Russo is one of my favorite narrators. I never fail to enjoy his audio books and without fail I come away from the experience having enjoyed the book even more. I love the depth and character that Nick J. Russo's character voices add to the story making it so easy just to close my eyes sink into the story, relax and enjoy myself.

 

The following is my original review...

 

Love with all it's dings and dents... 

'Afraid to Fly' is the second book in L. A. Witt's series 'Anchor Point'. We were briefly introduced to Travis Wilson in 'Just Drive' the first book in this series as best friend of Paul Richards one of the MCs from that story.

In 'Just Drive' Travis encouraged Paul to take a chance on love and now it's Paul's turn to do the same for Travis. While the author didn't really tell us a lot about Travis in 'Just Drive' we were told enough to know that Travis deals with chronic pain and in 'Afraid to Fly' we are given a much clearer picture of just how bad that chronic pain is and insidiously it has invaded every aspect of his life. Along with the chronic pain Travis deals with PTSD and shares his home with his adult daughter who also deals with her own PTSD.

Clint Fraser works down the hall from Travis and he's got his own case of PTSD to deal with...one that's cost him a marriage and time with his 3 kids.

It's always interesting when I finish a book to reflect back on the why I did or didn't like a book. Sometimes, I'm not really sure why and it's just a case of the story worked and I connected with it sometimes there's something very specific that I liked or several things and in the case of 'Afraid to Fly' while there were several things that I liked about this story the number one reason was Travis. I connected with Travis. I totally understood what his life was like. As someone who also suffers from chronic pain, while thankfully mine is rarely as extreme as Travis's is. It does affect my daily life. So I understood what it was like to always be thinking ahead wondering can I do this? How much more will I hurt? How can I manage the pain? and on and on. It's just what you do and how you have to deal with things to try and have as normal of a life as possible. To keep as much independence as possible. I got this, I understood his mindset and I really got his insecurities about his and Clint's relationship and how much it meant to him to have someone who accepts him with all his 'dings and dents' just as Travis does with Clint and his PTSD and the fact that he's a 'recovering' alcoholic. 

As well as how Travis's chronic pain and PTSD was dealt with how we saw Clint's medical issues, both the PTSD and the alcoholism dealt with for me was well done. It was an important part of the story but it never felt like it overpowered the development of their relationship but just like Travis's chronic pain and his own PTSD these were things that both men had deal with, it was all a part of the relationship dynamic. 

For me 'Fear of Flying' was about finding that person you connect with, want to spend your life with and loving them not in spite of their 'baggage' but because it's a part of them and who they are and ultimately you come to know and accept that the love they have for you is as strong as what you feel for them.

 

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An audio book of 'Afraid to Fly' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-07 01:09
I'm totally a softy where Virgo's are concerned...
Scorpio Hates Virgo - Anyta Sunday

I really, really loved 'Leo Loves Aries' and enjoyed the hell out of that book and while I'm not sure that I'd say I loved this one more I definitely loved it every bit as much as 'Leo Loves Aries'. 

 

Percy's returned home to the cul-de-sac after the funeral of his beloved Aunt and he's determined that he needs to sell the house that was left to him in order to move on with his life. What he hasn't counted on is that maybe the people in this close knit little community...his aunt's neighbors and one neighbor in particular would do their subtle and not so subtle best to make him see that sometimes moving on has more to do with where your heart is than your body.

 

Within minutes of his return to his aunt's home Percy's confronted by Callaghan Glover his nemisis and verbal sparring partner. 

 

Percy's got his hands full in this one. He's determined to sell his Aunt's house and move on from the grief that it holds for him. But first he's got to deal with a cousin whose grief is expressed through anger, a neighborhood that's convinced he needs to spruce up his aunt's home and make it his own, his nemesis who seems determined to change the dynamics of their relationship and whose family is starting to feel suspiciously like they need him as much as he needs them. Then there's the neighborhood game of 'Sherlock Gnomes' that's just too tempting to resist add in some eggnog and a few carrot cake muffins with cream cheese frosting and you've got the makings of some fun and yummy times.

 

I loved how sweet this story was and for as much as I enjoyed seeing Percy and Cal interact and watching their relationship develop and change I also loved all the neighbors and Cal's family...well, except for his dad...sorry, him I just did not understand and I really don't care to try. And I totally want to join in with the Sherlock Gnomes and play Zombie Apocalypse, this just sounds like to much fun to miss out on and hey, Leone, Theo and Jamie were on board for this too.

 

Percy's so busy with trying to move on that what he almost does't see is that he's building memories and re-starting his life right there in the place he wants to leave...

"...But you brought more inside, Cal. You brought kindness and affection. You brought friendship." Heat pooled behind his eyes and he blinked hard, voice catching. "You brought me family."

'Scorpio Hates Virgo' is a sweet, low angst, fun, enemies to lovers story and I loved the added touch of the compatibility of the different signs of the zodiac. While I'm not someone who checks their horoscope on a daily or even a weekly basis, I can't deny that in general the subject of astrology holds a certain fascination for me and in the case of this book it was just too tempting for me to resist since my son's a Virgo and I was curious to see if I would find any similarities between him and the character of Cal and I did...so needless to say I adored Cal. But, I also loved Percy too for all that he'd been through I found him to be feisty and caring and I loved that in spite of how much he claimed to want to sell the house and move away his heart was never truly into the idea.

 

I'm curious to see what signs Anyta Sunday has planned next for this series...maybe Gemini, Sagittarius, Pisces? There are so many possibilities, I'm definitely looking forward to finding out.

 

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An ARC of 'Scorpio Hates Virgo' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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