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review 2018-01-20 19:32
Review of novella "Undercover Magic" (Dragon's Gift: The Valkyrie Book 1) - Linsey Hall
Undercover Magic (Dragon's Gift: The Valkyrie Book 1) - Linsey Hall

So, random Amazon prime borrow (Kindle Owner's Lending Library) -- a freebie, self-/indie published  and a shorter length work that I really wound up enjoying.


Not really sure why beyond liking the heroine.  It threw so much at you at once that I'm not sure I have a handle on the story, the series or the worldbuilding.  But just go with it; action-packed and full of pretty much everything supernatural, paranormal or fairy-tale-ish.


Not sure yet why series is called Dragon's Gift or Valkyrie.  No Valkyries yet.  The main character and her sister's powers are still unknown at end of this one.


Probably the best review I can give this is that I plan on reading the next novella in the series.

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review 2018-01-20 17:25
Review of "No One Lives Twice No One Lives Twice" (Lexi Carmichael #1) - Julie Moffett
No One Lives Twice No One Lives Twice - Julie Moffett

Well, this stayed unexpectedly action-packed start to finish so was fun (particularly when turning to the James Bond international espionage drawing in MI-6, CIA, FBI, NSA...).


I enjoyed the read.


Not sure it's what I'd consider Young Adult.  Lots of romantic possibilities with yummy men (not what I'd consider a love triangle, thank goodness -- but definitely a PG or less explicitness so maybe that accounts for the "YA"?  Lexi is an independent adult with degree, steady job, own home, not a teenager, not a 18-24 college student or new adult, not in any academy type of setting -- pretty much not seeing where this is YA.


Which is a good thing; YA is a love/hate for me with many great books but far more angst-y, clueless, high school-ish, and loveg ringlets.


Read for the booklikes' YA Book Club; I think it may have been just me unless someone has yet to join in or post.

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review 2018-01-07 15:53
Review of "A Little Change of Face" by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
A Little Change of Face - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 

This was so hit and miss with me, I need to review it.  I was drawn to this library wishlist-one because of interesting premise (think reverse Pygmalion), an author I've been meaning to try, and wanting a funny read.  


Well, I like the author's writing and the humor.  The premise somehow turned just plain mean.


It was a funny book.


Mixed feelings about the main character.  Every time I thought about DNF'ing the book, she'd do or say something I could relate to or sympathize -- none of which carried through to the end.  I did not like or connect with her or any of the characters.  I expected shallow and vain from the book description, but I expected it to be hilarious and lesson-worthy instead of the woe-is-me-I-can-get-any-guy-and-will-even-if-I-don't-want-him.  Mean-spirited on the part of the default best friend and main character often mean-spirited to others.  Still, she had her moments so did not DNF. 


I think the premise went too far.  If main character had decided to drab herself up to see if guy was attracted to her or her looks, that would have worked better for me than the frenemy harassing her into it from jealousy then pushing it too far.  By too far, I mean changing name, job and residence -- who would do that?  At least MC fought back when frenemy pushed for more like binding breasts and hinted at actual surgeries (that saved a DNF right there).


Everyone was at times judgmental, selfish, jealous, petty, mean, arrogant, blame others good qualities for why others notice their bad qualities ...


Overall all, didn't really like most of it (mostly for characters) but would read more by the author.  Ending seemed a bit rushed and could have been more satisfying without some cheating, hypocrisy and deus ex machina.  


Really close to the end there was a rape-apologist bit that would have made for an automatic DNF had it come anywhere earlier.  It totally soured the book for me despite earlier laugh-out-loud moments.  

That was MC's reaction to a preteen with boobs budding early that main character had given a makeover for a first school dance.  Preteen was actually attacked and her shirt ripped by date wanting to grope boobs.  Returns to MCs house for help/comfort(?) and nothing really.  The  buck-up-it-happens, minimal reaction or lack of advice bad enough.  Inner monologue of MC actually thought it was such a wonderful thing this happened to the girl so young because it was a lesson learned about how boys will be boys and the girl needed to get used to it.  

(spoiler show)

See?  If you read the spoiler you know a big reason I disliked the main character.  I don't think she learned or grew at all from the experience other than dumping the frenemy.

*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on  Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  


Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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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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