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review 2018-04-18 23:14
All For You by Jessica Scott
All For You - Jessica Scott

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This really was a fantastic read. I have had this book for years but for some reason never picked it up until now. Let me tell you that this was a big mistake. Huge mistake. This book was really good and made me think. It made me feel which is always a good thing. I think that I had expected this book to be a more typical military romance before reading it but I was completely wrong. I am really glad that I took the time to read this powerful story.

This book deals with military suicide and PTSD which are some pretty tough topics. Most of the soldiers in this story are affected by their time in combat in one way or another. Reza is a Sergeant First Class and tries to watch out for his men while dealing with his own issues. He often has to spend a lot of valuable time trying to find out what is going on with his me. Time that could be spent in training before their next deployment. 

Emily, a Psychiatrist, is new to the Army and really wants to help the soldiers that come to her for help. Her family is not in favor of her decision to enlist in the army but she is determined to make a difference. She quickly learns that there are a lot of things that she does not understand in regards to what the soldiers have been through so she works to learn what she can. 

I really liked Reza and Emily together. They had such great chemistry even though they were not at all alike. They both seemed to be able to support each other in exactly the way that was most needed. I really appreciated the fact that the romance didn't overpower the other issues that the book was dealing with. If anything, I would say that the romance aspect of the book was secondary to turmoil with Reza and his soldiers. 

I really liked how this book was able to show such tough topics in a way that felt realistic. Reza's battle with alcohol was painful to watch. There were some pretty graphic scenes that really got to me. I understood how Reza and Emily were taking thing hard because I was right there with them. I also really appreciated the fact that the book ended on a very hopeful note because I really wanted to see both of these characters get their happy ending.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought it was a really well done story that was quite eye opening. This book is the forth book in the Coming Home series but I read it as a stand alone without any trouble. I would definitely read more from this talented author in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this book. The book had a very strong focus on suicide and PTSD for soliders that have been to war. I think that the romance was good but it wan't really the main focus of the story. I liked Reza a lot and thought he showed a lot of growth during the course of the story. Emily was a good match for him and I really liked how seriously she took her job. I am really sorry that I let this book sit on the review pile for over 4 years since I really ended up enjoying it.

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text 2018-04-14 20:20
Guarding Morgan (Sanctuary Book 1) by RJ Scott Free!
Guarding Morgan - R.J. Scott

Morgan Drake witnesses a murder in an alleyway. He is the only person who can give evidence in prosecuting the cop responsible for the crime. When the FBI safe house where he's being held is compromised, he follows the instructions of the agent in charge and runs.

 

Nik Valentinov works for Sanctuary, a foundation that offers witness protection when FBI security is questionable.

 

When Morgan's handler sends him to Nik for safety, neither Morgan nor Nik could imagine that two weeks alone in a cabin in the woods would have their hearts racing with something much more than merely trying to keep Morgan alive.

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review 2018-04-13 00:00
Only a Millionaire
Only a Millionaire - J.S. Scott Love is...J.S. Scott. She has a way with hearts. From the bruised and damaged to the hauntingly dangerous and the lonely wanderers, her tales of love are also beacons of hope. Love has many subtitles, but the big picture is love is unstoppable. Through the painful hits, the heartbreaking lows, the inspiring highs and the frustrating uh ohs, there is no outrunning it's power. The Sinclairs are living proof of this awe inspiring emotion. In a world of hard knocks, they've thrived and survived. It's heartbreaking to say goodbye, but Only A Millionaire is the sweetest swan song. A chance to revisit old friends, make new ones and be a fool for love all over again. New beginnings, happy endings and loving families are at the heart of another sensational romance. Readers enter with a heavy heart but always leave with a smile. The magic of J.S. Scott.

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review 2018-04-12 18:21
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Scott Brick,Robert Louis Stevenson

I tried to listen to this audiobook this morning but it was just too wordy for me. I mean, I know it's a book, they're made up entirely of words but these words were not at all interesting to me. They were boring, dry, tedious words and they did not please me nor did they scare me. They made me sleepy is about all they did. And I had no a-hole cat around to wake me up if I fell asleep driving.



A man spies another man trample his way over a young girl. The decent man chases down the dastardly man and begins, what I can only guess because I'm a quitter, his own little investigation into who this man is. I only guess this because he says,“If he be Mr. Hyde" he had thought, "I shall be Mr. Seek.”.

I know I'm supposed to pretend I'm smart and struggle my way through this classic but I have too many other books vying for my attention that I know I will find interesting so I'm not going to struggle my way through another few hours with this sucker.

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text 2018-04-07 23:58
Wanted: A Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card

As my husband drove me to work the Monday after his father died, I said, “I wish we had a Speaker for the Dead for your dad.”

 

He said, “I was thinking the exact same thing.”

 

In Orson Scott Card’s novel of the same name, the second in the Ender’s saga, a Speaker for the Dead is a person whose job is to carefully, compassionately, and objectively examine the life of someone who has passed away, reconstructing an honest picture of the deceased that is shared at the funeral. The Speaker is a professional and an outsider, not someone who knew the deceased in life. The idea is that the Speaker may be able to find beauty and meaning in ways that those closest to the dead may not be able to and to find compassion even for those who may not have led exemplary lives. [As a side note, Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead would have his work cut out for him attempting to make sense of OSC’s early fiction’s messages of inclusivity and his later vitriol against the GLBT community, which is explored thoughtfully by the fine gentlemen of Overdue if you’re interested in hearing more.]

 

It’s been over 10 years since I read Speaker, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details, but what I do remember is that in the book Ender had to wrestle to find compassion and meaning in the life of a man that, to most of the world, looked like an abusive no-account.

 

As we reflected on my father-in-law’s life, collecting stories for the minister and for the obituary, I longed for someone who could make sense of a complicated life that had ended, and the complicated ripples that remained in the lives of his children, his siblings, and the others who were close to him.

 

Following an unspoken rule that we do not speak ill of the dead, his children shared stories and happy memories of their father’s hard work, compassion, generous nature, sense of humor, and resourcefulness. Choosing “The Good Samaritan” as the Gospel reading for the funeral, they talked about how he could never turn away anyone who needed help, often allowing people who were down on their luck to live in his home when they might have ended up on the street otherwise. After one glowing story from his daughter, his ex-wife commented, “I don’t remember your father that way, but I’m glad that you do.”

 

And therein lies the truth, that a single man can be so many different things to different people, and so many different things even to one person. Every beautiful story and memory told about him was true. But what was also true was the unspoken or the tactfully avoided, the vices that were no small part of the man’s life, that in fact loomed large enough to cost him his long marriage to a good woman and the mother of his children.

 

How nice if someone else could come in and make sense of it all.

 

But while our shared literary reference provided us some comfort and a shorthand language in which to communicate about my father-in-law’s life and death in the midst of a hellish, heartbreaking week, we knew that no Speaker was available to take this burden from his family’s shoulders.

 

At a meeting with our pastor, my husband talked openly about some of his father’s shortcomings. The pastor said diplomatically, “I won’t mention any of that.”

 

The beauty of a Speaker for the Dead, though, is that he WOULD have mentioned that, the good and the bad, and somehow made it all okay, all beautiful, all a piece of one rich and complex and completed life.

 

After the eulogy, the pastor invited those gathered to share stories about my husband’s father. Not surprisingly, a case of Midwestern shyness kept a room full of burialboisterous, story-rich family and friends silent.

 

The pastor pressed on. “One word to describe him,” he suggested.

 

“Hardworking,” my husband said.

 

“Generous,” said someone else.

 

“Determined,” said another.

 

A smattering of complimentary adjectives and agreements followed, until his sister blurted out, “Ornery!” Amidst the knowing laughter, his daughter muttered, “Stubborn.”

 

The pastor said, “Ah, now the truth comes out!”

 

Of course, the truth was in the hearts of those gathered all along. And while no one person alone could find a way to articulate the sometimes muddled tapestry that had been the man’s life the way that a Speaker for the Dead might have done, a room full of those who loved and knew him best turned out to be pretty adequate Speakers after all.

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