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review 2017-08-17 16:25
Review of "Within the Hollow Crown" by Margaret Campbell Barnes
Within the Hollow Crown - Margaret Campbell Barnes

The subtitle for this book is "A Valiant King's Struggle to Save His Country, His Dynasty and His Love."

And valiant he is. The author is setting forth a clearly heroic tale. Interesting times making potentially for a good story.  I am feeling kinda force-fed what a valiant -- if naive -- young man he is. Author doesn't need to try quite so hard.


Overall, a decent tale of a little covered period of history that I would have liked much better if less sappy and slanted.  And if more atmospheric of the period -- meaning some very modern viewpoints crept in, not that I had major issues with the history or historical details.

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review 2017-08-06 19:13
Review of "An American Werewolf In Hoboken" (Wolf Mates Book #1) by Dakota Cassidy
An American Werewolf In Hoboken (Wolf Mates Book 1) - Dakota Cassidy

I knew going in that this was one of author's first books (with parts worked into later books).  I have no idea how to rate it.


I enjoyed her finding and adopting her "dog" she called Fluffy.  Loved how quickly she became attached and how the werewolf that was actually Fluffy didn't have the heart to stop being Fluffy because she cried so hard when once thought Fluffy was lost.


I know I would have enjoyed the story way more if the worldbuilding that was introduced well past the halfway mark had been introduced earlier.  The whole curse, the nature of their pack that took in so many disabled or ostracized others, the politics involved ... all would have immersed me more and made me care more about the romance/mate part.


Parts were hilarious.  The sex scenes (often introduced at chapter start) weren't particularly interesting because I wasn't invested in the romance part and it was wrong he wasn't honest.  They weren't badly written or anything, I just skimmed them as uninteresting parts on the way back to the charming, funny story bits I liked.  Again, I think that was partly the fault of the romance/lust development lacking the context that got introduced past the halfway mark.


Not finished with the author.  Likely to continue series (one of those that sounds like each book changes the main characters) for the bits of worldbuilding teased in this one -- but not in any hurry at all.

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review 2017-08-05 22:08
Review of "Spying in High Heels" by Gemma Halliday
Spying in High Heels - Gemma Halliday

I had fun with this zany, screwball comedy, cozy mystery, chick lit, whatever book.


The main character, Maddie Springer, is a fun mess.  The book just works.


Heck, an incipient love triangle was even handled by Maddie making an actual decision.


Not sure what else to say without spoilers.  I enjoyed it and regret letting this start of a series languish so long on the ereader.

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review 2017-08-02 05:20
Review of "Blood Trade" (Jane Yellowrock #6) by Faith Hunter
Blood Trade - Faith Hunter

Re-Post of 6/16/2017 review now that there's a bookclub for series:


I like Jane.  I enjoy this series.  I'm looking forward to reading the next one.


This one ... just somehow didn't measure up to the first five.  Filler maybe?


Flat might be a better word -- in comparison to earlier books.  Seriously, this was a good read that fell short of expectations.  Everything below this is relative to previous books.


Flat on the action.  Nope, infodumps on guns and armament do not count.


Flat on the story and engaging my attention (okay so there were violin inducing catch your heartstrings innocents, people to rescue and urgency.).  The urgency and timing seemed very staged.


Flat on the romance.  Okay, that's unfair because no romance.  Same angst-y mess with all the potentials.


Flat on the characters (I don't count the introduction of insta-lust wish fulfillment one for  for one of the side characters or the brief redneck bashing where in Mississippi they have to have bubbas living in filth and drugs in a single-wide trailer ...).  I wanted more of Beast and Jane and Leo and everyone.  


I really don't count the preachy part about Jane-the-contract-killer-for-money-once-bounty-legalized is too special to carry automatic weaponry cuz only purpose is to kill but okay with rest of her team using knowing the expected bad guys will be using.  That just added nothing except an eyeroll for the hypocrisy and a groan for probable repercussions. Nevermind how much armament she carried -- and described in great detail -- that may as well have been classed as full automatic.

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review 2017-07-31 18:10
Review of "Neanderthal Marries Human" ( Knitting in the City #1.5) by Penny Reid
Neanderthal Marries Human - Penny Reid

Overall, a fun read with main characters enjoyed in first book plus all the side characters. Full-length ( despite series numbering "1.5" ) novel that probably could have been better as a novella.

No huge surprises beyond some family drama raised and some resolved.



The reason I didn't rate higher was a mix of moments that were almost too sappy and other moments that should have been deemed horrid that these characters just breezed right past accepting. By horrid, I don't just mean rationalizing blackmail to get real justice or putting up with family issues. It bothered me -- not a spoiler for the ending, happens mid book at bachelorette trip, nor any huge plot point but I'll put it in a spoiler in case could ruin someone's surprise:

the knitting circle girls get their drinks spiked with moonshine gone methanol and their chocolate mickey'd with a different drug than perp planned, both at same time by two of the girls and everyone was okay with that, dismissing as would have been just fine if both had not happened at once (even thought Quinn sending the remnants to a lab to identify the substituted drug overkill) -- plus while out of their minds everyone was okay marrying one girl off in order to get everyone to go back to hotel rooms versus security or police just making them go to hotel or hospital rooms.

(spoiler show)

Fun, but disturbed by the spoiler and other moments. I have more books in series free and library has others so may or may not eventually finish series.


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