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review 2018-02-03 22:07
Lap Dog (Shelter #2)
Lap Dog: Book Two of the Shelter Series - Kate Sherwood

Dang you, Sherwood! I was supposed to quit this book halfway through in a boiling rage, ready to rip Simon a new one. Instead, I grudgingly liked him by 25% and was rooting for him about halfway through and just hoping everything would work out. 

 

 

This still isn't perfect. Simom Yeung is the first prominent main character who is Chinese-American in any of Sherwood's books that I've read, and he's in a crime family. Really? And just because the characters call this out doesn't really take away from the problems of this, just as having them call out the old school family honor/respect stereotypes doesn't really mean she's not using those stereotypes. 

 

Yet despite that, this was a great story. I don't know if I'd categorize it Romance (™) but Simon and Tristan do come to first respect each other, then kind of like each other, then warily admire each other and finally care for each other. I didn't think it was possible from the initial set up that opens the story, but their journeys and getting to know each other were well-paced and given the time to really breathe, despite all the chaos going on around them. The resolution was perhaps too easy and convenient, but I honestly don't care because I wanted these two to get their HEAs - not just with each other but for themselves as well. They still have things to figure out about their new lives though, so there's more room to tell more stories about them later. (And hopefully resolve a few more of those dangling threads that didn't get addressed here.) 

 

It was also great seeing Shane and Noah again, and seeing glimpses of their relationship throughout. They even get a short story interlude at the end of the main story. It felt more like it was there to explain why Shane doesn't label himself asexual (though he is clearly on the spectrum) but whatever label someone wants to use or not use is up to them.

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review 2018-02-03 02:41
Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2)
Killman Creek - Rachel Caine

This book picks up a little after where the first one ends, and keeps the action going pretty well throughout. We get not just Gwen's POV in this one, but also Sam, Connor and Lanny.  While I wish their POVs had sounded more unique to their characters, it wasn't too much of a detriment. The chapters flow smoothly and it was never confusing which POV I was reading.

 

I did start finding the various twists and reveals to be over the top. The more that got piled on this whole dark net network, the less seriously I was able to take it. It reached the point of ludicrous, which I'm pretty sure wasn't the author's intention. Also, there was a serious plot hole with Connor

being slipped a cell phone that belongs to his dad. The phone is supposed to look exactly like the one that Connor's mom got him at the beginning of the first book. However, Sam gets everyone new matching smart phones at the beginning of this book because they were all supposed to ditch their old phones. So why is no one questioning why Connor still has a phone that looks like his old one?

(spoiler show)

that makes his whole storyline rather unbelievable. 

 

Still, this is probably one of the few times I wasn't yelling at characters for being TSTL because their actions and motivations actually made sense to them and their situations. So bonus points for that. Though I did find it rather convenient that they didn't question at least some of those twists and turns sooner.

 

There's been a third book announced, but I have no idea where Ms. Caine can go with this without tormenting her characters more than is actually necessary (I say while reading A Song of Ice and Fire). Also, the plot is pretty well wrapped up here, so this may just be where I leave the series. 

Maybe the letter at the end is more important than we were supposed to think at the time? But even the letter doesn't make sense, because for Melvin to have written it, he'd have to have believed there'd be a chance he would lose. And no way would he ever entertain that idea.

(spoiler show)
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review 2018-02-02 02:44
The Napping House
The Napping House - Audrey Wood,Don Wood

The Napping House is one of my favorite stories! I love how the action in this story grows and grows. When reading this story with little people, I love to discuss how the perspective of the pictures changes as the story progresses. I think it would be especially fun to allow this book to accompany a pajama day. I would allow the students to retell the story and sequence the events using pre-made character cutouts.

 

DRA - 16

Lexile - NP

AR - 2.8

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review 2018-01-29 04:12
Lost Treasure (Audiobook)
Lost Treasure - Kate Sherwood

For a story about a guy going up to Canada to settle his estranged grandmother's estate, this is a refreshingly angst-free story. Sure, Kyle has regrets about his grandmother, but mostly he spends the book remembering why her cabin by the lake was once a happy summer retreat for him and realizing that he's been a little too compliant with his parents' expectations for his life. 

 

He also gets reunited with his childhood friend Ryan, who of course has grown up to be a total hottie, and who has a great kid who is freakishly well-behaved but not a total pod person. Since Kyle isn't planning to stay, they decide to just stick to being friends. Of course, that doesn't last long. Look, can someone explain to me why getting beat up is such a turn on? What is the appeal here? I don't get it.

 

In the meantime, Kyle has to hand out his grandmother's bequests, which is a series of baffling "interviews" with various townsfolk who all have their own stories to tell about Kyle's grandmother. And isn't it great that they all became better people? :D

 

This is a short, sometimes sweet sometimes funny but mostly average romance with a dash of self-discovery thrown in for good measure.

 

The narrator did a decent job, though he really made me want to fast-forward through the sex scenes even more than I usually do.

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review 2018-01-23 20:28
Clifford's Teacher's Pets - Norman Bridwell
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is an adaption of an episode from the TV series. 

A cute story with a very nice ending. I liked the moral at the end of the story about trying your hardest and doing the best you can. 

Simple story that is a bit repetitive, but still a good read.
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