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Search tags: S.J.D.-Peterson
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review 2018-02-03 21:05
Review: Royal Ruin by Jessica Peterson
Royal Ruin: A Second Chance Royal Romance (Flings With Kings) - Jessica Peterson

Ten years ago, Emily was an honor student at big economic school in London. Her TA was none other than a prince - and a big one, as in the Queen’s grandson. Kit is enamored with Emily, but stays away because she’s his student and she has a boyfriend. However, when Emily comes to his office, a mess after finding out her boyfriend back home was cheating on her, he gives in to temptation. 

 

Flash forward to present day and Emily has a trendy interior design firm, that is losing money. She’s going on one last interview for none other than the Royal family. While she ends up with the design contract, she also receives a proposal from Kit to be his fake fiancée for a few months. In exchange, he’ll save her failing company.

 

Royal Ruin was a mixed bag for me. There were parts that I absolutely enjoyed, but there were parts with which I struggled. First the good: I loved how much Kit admires Emily right from the start. He falls head over heels not just because of a physical attraction, but he appreciates her brilliant mind and wit. They make a good team when they gel. And when the pair get real with their feelings and passion, the story is wonderful.

 

However… I had an issue early on with Emily and it never really went away. First, ten years ago, her world falls apart because the love of her life cheats on her… so what does she do? Uses her TA, and he still has the condom on when she talks to her BF and decides they want to work it out. My thoughts went to Rachel and Ross’s “We were on a break” - one of the worst storylines in the sitcom’s (Friends) long life. Then when time moves to present day, I felt Emily continued to make some poor decisions. For example, why hasn’t she blocked her ex from the ability to call or text her? They went through a horrible divorce, yet she still has his number in her cell. And don’t get me started on the ex storyline, which felt forced and contrived.

 

Then there is the Royal family. In one breath we learn how important appearances are, and in the next, they are having obnoxious family squabbles in front of strangers. And when the Queen just says “fake engagement to Emily” will solve their problems, Kit jumps to it. I had a tough time buying this.

 

Overall, I enjoyed reading the story, however, I did have issues. The characters felt a bit immature and both had annoying traits. It was hard for me to get behind the couple and the relationship for a long time because I really didn’t care for Emily all that much. But I did like how much Kit liked Emily right from the start - it gave some credibility to his actions. I did like the emotions written into the characters as they make the decision to break up due to their respective careers and life goals. Seeing the results of that decision was the only way for the couple to have a chance at an HEA.

 

My Rating:  C+ Liked It, but I had issues

Review copy provided by author.

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-12-18 13:01
Mother's Day Out by Karen MacInerney
Mother's Day Out (The Margie Peterson Mysteries) - Karen MacInerney

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

My feelings are pretty mixed about this one. I really enjoyed the last book by Karen MacInerney that I read a few months ago so I decided to give this one a try when I saw it offered through Prime Reading on Amazon. I had a moment while listening to this book that I considered not finishing it. I decided to keep going and did find the second half more exciting. I would say that this was an okay read in the end.

Margie has been a stay at home mom but she decides to go back to work to help make ends meet for her family. Getting a job turns out to be more of a challenge than she expects until she gets a job with a local private investigator firm. Now while her kids are at preschool, she is out doing surveillance and whatever is needed. Everything seems to be going okay until she finds a murder victim while on the job.

There were a few moments that were humorous during the story but I often felt like the book was trying too hard to be funny. There was never a time that I actually wanted to laugh out loud. I may have actually groaned a time or two due to the forced humor which wasn't all that funny. 

I was also not a fan of Margie's husband. From the very start of the story, I didn't care for the man. As the book progressed and I realized that he was hiding a few things, I liked him even less. What I really disliked was Margie's response to everything. I couldn't understand why she wouldn't sit down and have a conversation with him instead of investigating everything. Although, I must say that one of the things that kept me listening when I considered stopping was that I wanted to know what was going on with this man. 

I did have a little bit of an issue with how the transvestite characters were treated in this story. The murder victim in this story is a transvestite and had an identity both as a man and a woman. I didn't think that this was handled in the story with any sensitivity. It almost seemed like it was supposed to be funny when the characters stumbled over which pronoun to use. 

There were several storylines going on during this book and I wondered how everything would eventually come together. I did find the story to be a bit more exciting once some real action started happening. I did think that some of the things that happened in this book to be a bit of a stretch and there was at least one "clue" that Margie suddenly remembers from the very beginning of the story seemingly out of nowhere.

This was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to Cris Dukehart narrate a book and I think she did a great job with it. There were a lot of different voices that she used to really help bring the story to life. She had a very pleasant reading voice and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to her work again in the future.

In the end, this was a book that had some good moments and some moments that weren't as great. I thought it was okay but I probably won't be continuing with the series. If you are wanting to try one of Karen MacInerney's cozy mysteries, I would recommend picking up Killer Jam instead.

Initial Thoughts
I am honestly not sure what I think about this one. It seemed to try a little too hard to be funny at times and some of these steps taken to solve the mystery were a reach. I didn't hate it and I didn't love it. It was simply okay. I don't really feel compelled to continue with the series even though I was enjoying the story a bit more by the end. The narration was great.

Book source: Kindle Prime borrow

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review 2017-11-30 00:00
Cherished Mercy
Cherished Mercy - Tracie Peterson Cherished Mercy - Tracie Peterson * I received a copy from the publisher for review. This does not affect my review.*

While I haven't read the other books in this series, I found it easy to follow along with the events with this one. I wasn't sure I would enjoy this, as I'm picky about this genre. That said, I really enjoyed this one! I loved reading Mercy's tragic story, and her sense of purpose. Her quest for peace leads her to Adam, who she becomes romantically involved with. I normally don't like romance as a genre, but the rest of the story made this one an interesting read. I wasn't crazy about how race was portrayed as 'sides' in this story, but I understand the reasoning was was able to overlook it after hearing Mercy's story.
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review 2017-11-19 01:13
I probably should have quit while I was ahead...
Something's Brewing at Joe's - SJD Peterson,Wayland Johnson Chase

I first read this book back in early July of this year and I guess I went into this thinking that this story might work better for me on audio...it happens. What doesn't happen very often is that things go from well...bad to worse. 

My original feelings about this story haven't changed. So here's my original review if you want a refresher...

There's more than just coffee brewing at Joe's, that's for sure... 
Murphy and Joe first meet when they hook up at a club shortly after Murphy has arrived in Tampa. Neither man is looking for more than a little no strings attached stress relief.

Joe's frustrated with his 'forced' vacation and he's decided that a night out for a few drinks, some dancing and with any luck a little something more with a hot body is just what the doctor ordered. 

When Murphy moves to Tampa on the promise of his dream job being told that said job is on hold is not what he's expecting to hear. He doesn't want to go back to Michigan only to hear a chorus of 'I told you so's' from his family and friends and decides that he's going to find something to keep him afloat until things get sorted out, but being a little frustrated and stressed out over the news pushes him to decide he needs a night out to relax, unwind and just forget about everything for a few hours. 

Needless to say there wasn't a lot of personal information exchanged during their one night stand so it's no wonder that Joe's more than a little surprised when he returns to his coffee shop and finds out that his assistant Kallie has hired someone to renovate the upstairs apartment that Joe's been talking about fixing up for as long as Kallie can remember and that someone turns out to be none other than Joe's one night stand Murphy. 

Both men decide this isn't going to be a problem...after all they're mature adults right? And just because Joe wants a repeat of what he and Murphy shared and Murphy's determined that things need to stay strictly business...*spoiler alert* willpower...Murphy has none...seriously NONE!!! his determination didn't last a day...wait, I'm not even sure it lasted an hour forget a day. As soon as these two laid eyes on each other again it was game on.

Now I realize this kinda' leads to the thought of 'what the hell?' these two can't keep their hands off of each other and there's roughly 200 pages here, but there's more to this story than just a case of boy-meets-boy, boy-jumps-boy and they all lived happily ever after because let's face it that's sweet but pretty dull when you've got 200 pages to fill, so luckily there's that job...you know the one that Murphy moved to Tampa for...yeah, it's a bit complicated and makes things a little tense between Murphy and Joe. 

I really enjoyed this part of the story...or at least the idea of it and to a degree the execution of it worked. More often than not when a story has this type of plot line to it I like a bit of tension and conflict...more so than what was here and while this was ok, for me it would have worked better if things had been not quite so easily resolved. 

So along with that, here's the reason this one only got 3 stars from me...it was the sex...seriously 'you know you have too much sex in a story when one of the MCs is complaining that the other MC 'broke his wanker'? and then cuts him off for a couple of days because 'said wanker' is sore...ok, he tried but it was Murphy and as I've already said "Willpower...he has none." I can honestly say I'm not sure that I've encountered a lot...if any stories where an MC is complaining about too much sex and trust me there was...even the bunnies of the world were cringing...forget jealous I'm pretty sure they were with me wondering 'How the hell does anyone have this much sex and accomplish a damned thing?' Thankfully some of it...just some mind you, was not actually on page for which I am grateful because I can honestly see how poor Murphy's wanker got broken...just sayin' 


I honestly figured at the very least this was going to remain a 3 star read for me...what I wasn't counting on and please believe me when I say this is a really, really subjective opinion here, but bizarrely enough this one got knocked down a notch because try as I might I just couldn't get past the narrator's voice. Now it's not that it's bad or that I couldn't understand him or any of that and honestly I can see where other people will probably be thinking that maybe Karen's a little cray, cray, but the thing is for me there were times when I'm sure that Joe and/or Murphy were meant to sound all sexy and passionately growly and to me it was more like an angry, ragey growl. In other words for some reason the emotion that was being conveyed wasn't the emotion that I was picking up on...hopefully this makes sense. 

So anyways, not to belabor the point I'm just going to summarize by saying Chase Johnson was the narrator for this one and for whatever reason this narrator's voice doesn't work for me and if I'm listening to what's suppose to be an intense, intimate scene between two people it just yanks me out of the story when I feel like one of those people is really angry rather than really passionate...it's me and I'm totally owning this one folks...like I said very, very subjective opinion here. 

I highly recommend checking out the audio sample if this one is of interest to you. After all, you never know...you may find you really like this narrator's voice and really that's all that matters at the end of the day is what works for any of us as individuals.



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


A audio book of 'Something's Brewing At Joe's' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-29 16:44
Beyond Duty (Expanded Edition) - SJD Peterson

Why did I wait so long to read this? So glad I finally did.

Mac and Gunny have served over twenty years in the USMC. They have been lovers almost as long. Something no one could ever know about due to DADT. They are best friends, they have each other's backs and their relationship is solid.
Now retirement is lurking around the corner and Gunny suddenly feels uncertain, no longer sure of his place in Mac's life now that everything will change and they don't have to hide anymore. Maybe Mac stayed with him because it was convenient and there was no risk of Gunny outing him since Gunny himself was in the same situation? But now? Mac can have anyone, right?
I hurt for Gunny when these insecurities surfaced. Luckily, Mac did not take long to make quite clear he had no intention of going anywhere.

There is not a lot of drama in this book. Just two guys preparing for the next phase of their lives which includes coming out to families and friends and taking their relationship out in the open.
I absolutely loved these guys. I loved how solid they were, how after so many years they know each other inside out. Nothing like two hot, grown men with some life experience (yeah, I admit, I feel kind of too old for most college boy stories...!) And the passion between them is palpable. Boy, these guys are hot together. I wish we'd gotten to see a bit more of the BDSM aspect of the relationship, but I have a feeling I will get that in Mauled (Beyond Duty, book 2).

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