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review 2017-07-20 18:07
Review: "Lovers in Arms" by Osiris Brackhaus
Lovers in Arms (Extended Edition) - Osiris Brackhaus

 

~ 4.5 stars ~

 

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review 2017-07-20 15:51
Review of "A Dance of Cloaks" (Shadowdance, #1) by David Dalglish
A Dance of Cloaks - David Dalglish

I will be reading the next book in this series—which is probably the best indication of how I felt about the read.  (No, this book did not end with a cliffhanger).

 

It's fairly usual for fantasy genre gone a bit dark with thieves, assassins, corrupt folk in high places, religions, magics and a whiff of larger worldbuilding with snippets of other countries and races.  Yet also orginal.

 

Frantic almost in the pacing and everything that happens.  Somehow managed to not be chaotic with all the new characters that show up.  Great story arc — something many first-in-series books miss.

 

Yet that "frantic" kept me from rating higher because it meant I was slower to get into specific characters and the worldbuilding stayed pretty light (for example, new magics show up with no explanation; kinda video game-ish because as soon as one character seemed too powerful *poof* here comes an opposing power).  Even the main character did not really get a great deal of "on stage" time.

 

I read the traditionally published (Orbit) reissue of the self-published book.  Lo and behold, I had actually downloaded and shelved the self-published one when free (partly because the series had several books in it but mostly because liked the sample).  I won't be curious to read the self-published version — but, the author added a note to the new edition about how the self-published one was even more frantic with even more stuff thrown in.  I'm having trouble imagining ...

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text 2017-07-20 03:55
Galveston Capital Tourism and Marketing: Indonesia promotes marine tourism in three Chinese cities

 

The Tourism Ministry is set to hold sales missions that focus on Indonesian dive sites in three cities in China, namely Beijing on July 25, Chongqing on July 26 and Guangzhou on July 28.

 

“The Chinese market is important for Indonesia. Apart from being the ministry’s main target market, China also contributes a significant amount of tourists to the country,” said the ministry's deputy minister for Overseas Promotion, I Gde Pitana.

 

“The Chinese tourists are currently interested in marine tourism. Our main target markets are Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, while the secondary city that we are eyeing on is Chongqing,” he added.

 

Among the destinations that will be promoted at the sales mission events are Bali, Lombok, Komodo Island, Alor, Derawan, Wakatobi, Togean, Ambon, Banda and Raja Ampat.

Around seven sellers from Indonesia are scheduled to meet with Chinese buyers during the event.

 

Last year’s sales mission reportedly managed to bring together five sellers and 75 buyers in Dalian, six sellers and 73 buyers in Qingdao, and five industries and 80 buyers in Beijing.

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review 2017-07-19 20:38
A horse trainer and a retired surgeon...how could things possibly go wrong?
An Unexpected Truth - S.A. Meade

‘An Unexpected Truth’ is my first book by this author…definitely not my last. I was pretty much enchanted from the word go when I realized that the story was set in England. I have a definite fondness for England…maybe, my in-laws are from there and maybe my mother’s family is from there and maybe it’s just a beautiful country but whatever, I love it so reading a book with England as the setting was definitely no hardship add in that it’s set in the countryside and there are horses and things are just getting better and better.

 

Brendan Matthews trains racehorses for a living and he’s happy with his quiet life but he’s also not a foolish man so when opportunity brings 6 yearlings that display more than a little potential to him and they happen to be owned by a man who’s ‘not to shabby either’. Who is Brendan to not open the door when opportunity knocks.

 

Adam Ahmadi is a wealthy orthopedic surgeon who’s looking for something to do with his time and money after an accident damages his hand forcing him to retire early. He was thinking horses but one look at Brendan and Adam’s interest go beyond having Brendan train his horses.

 

I really enjoyed this story from start to finish. The first part of the story focused on Brendan and Adam’s relationship and it was wonderful. These two men getting to know each other was sweet and a slow burn. They spent time together taking care of the horses, cooking for one another, taking walks, getting to know one another. There was no insta-love here and while there’s a bit of an age gap it’s not a big deal…so much not a big deal that I really can’t remember exactly how big of an age gap it was…so definitely not an issue for me.

 

The relationship between Brendan and Adam unfolded beautifully and was definitely one of my favorite parts. Also, there was a bit of drama and suspense unfolding in the background and while this part of the story was more prominent in the latter part of the book and for a while it was the dominant part of the story it was necessary in order for things to play out to a conclusion that brought us back to Brendan and Adam’s relationship and the HEA that these men so deserved.

 

As Brendan and Adam’s relationship deepens Adam’s past rears it’s ugly head forcing them apart and leaving Brendan more than a little mystified about what Adam’s feelings are and whether or not the future he wants with Adam can be a reality or not.

The ending of this one worked for me. There was just enough going on to hold my interest but not enough to make it overwhelming or confusing since most of what happened around Adam’s past wasn’t really revealed or dealt with until the last half of the book.

 

For me ‘An Unexpected Truth’ was a story that I was easily able to slip into reading and enjoy. The writing style was so enjoyable and easy to follow, the characters worked well together and I found myself enjoying all aspects of the story…the romance, the suspense, the little bit of a plot twist that I didn’t quite see coming. It all came together to create an unique and enjoyable reading experience that I look forward to experiencing again.

 

********************

 

A copy of ‘An Unexpected Truth’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-19 18:45
Well this one caught my attention...hook, line & sinker...
Setting the Hook - Andrew Grey

'Setting the Hook' is the first book in Andrew Grey's latest series 'Love's Charter' and I do have to admit it's been a while since I've enjoyed one of this author's books as much as this one.

 

William Westmoreland has a high pressure life in Rhode Island. Helping his father run the family business and trying to live up to the expectations of his parents. Who I have to admit in spit of everything else were at least accepting of William's sexuality.  William's only bit of self indulgence is his twice a year trips to Florida to charter on Mike Jansen's fishing boat where he can relax, catch some fish and enjoy the scenery...all of the scenery.  But he's never done more than look.

 

Mike runs his charter fishing service so he can provide for his mother and daughter and he keeps everything else firmly locked in the closet to ensure that they stay safe. Following his heart isn't an option in Mike's eyes. 

 

Neither of these men are looking for a relationship. For different reasons each man's life is ruled by fear making love a complication that they just don't have room for. William doesn't have time and lives in fear of letting his father down...Mike lives in fear of what he could lose if he follows his heart. 

 

When Mother Nature steps in and forces these two men together they begin to realize that they can no more fight their feelings than they can the storm raging outside and keeping William in Florida.

 

The relationship between these two wasn't a direct line to happily ever after for either of them. There was the real world to deal with, choices and decisions to be made and none of it was easy for them. William returned to Rhode Island to the life that he felt he couldn't escape and this was when he realized that it was a life he couldn't and didn't want to continue to live. At the same time Mike began to realize that while he loved his mother and daughter and wouldn't change anything that had happened in the past he needed to find a way to redefine his future and still provide for them and keep them safe.

 

These men and their story worked for me. Things weren't easily resolved for them and at times the floundered but I loved that they were both willing to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and keep trying, keep working to find a way to be together and create a life together. 

 

As well as letting their fears rule their lives, both William and Mike treasure their family in their own way. Mike's mom is loving, strong and supportive and does her best to help him raise his daughter. At the same time she sees so much more of her son and who he is than he realizes and truly wants the best for them. 

 

William's parents were a bit more complicated and at the beginning I can honestly say I was not a fan and while I never fully warmed up to them as the story progressed I came to appreciate the potential that was beginning to grow as his parents began to change and see that the life there son was leading was neither the life he wanted or needed. Throughout the story there was conflict between William and his parents as he struggled to change his life so he could be with Mike. I liked that we got to see things between William and his parents start to improve. It was nice to read a story where a child and his parents were able to work through their conflicts come out on the other side with a stronger relationship rather than being alienated from each other.

 

Greg Tremblay was the narrator for this story and as always he did not disappoint. The voices worked for me, they were expressive and conveyed emotion giving depth and life to the story.  Mr. Tremblay is definitely one of my favorite narrators, his audio books without fail 

 

'Setting the Hook' has given a solid start to this series and I'm definitely looking forward to continuing with 'Love's Charter' and seeing whose story will come next.

 

********************

An audio book of 'Setting the Hook' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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