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review 2017-01-30 18:18
I think it's time to move on...
Open Case - Mickie B. Ashling

This one actually started out on  a fairly good note for me. I was enjoying it. Some parts were a little bit blasé but I was finding more that I thought was cute and enjoyable. Plus bonus points for the restraint on the terms of endearment, either that or I'm becoming oblivious to them but let's go with a more moderate usage. 

 

I didn't even mind, that not since the movie 'Home Alone' have I encountered a more moronic villan than Owen. I'm sorry but seriously, he's committed arson x2, assault x2+, fraud, attempted blackmail, sexual assault, uttering death threats, kidnapping and those are just the highlights from the second book, 'Open House'. Yet this idiot is angry because his employer terminated him without getting his side of the story and he doesn't see that he's really done anything wrong because it's not his fault that he's done all these things no, it's Seth's fault...FFS! Are you serious? That's not deranged in my world that's deranged + stupid. Ironically this didn't really bother me because lets face it this happens in the real world, too. People commit crimes all the time that they don't perceive as being their fault. There's always some 'justifiable' (in their minds) reason why they had to do it. I was easily past the 70% mark in this one and it was looking good that this was going to be my favorite of the series and then it happened...I wanted to scream, to rage...ok, maybe I did a little bit, but hubby and the son are use to this...I couldn't stand it and I actually considered doing a dnf! At over 70%? No, I decided this was not going to happen...I would finish this book and I did...so, now you're wondering..."What? Karen, what in the name of all that's holy made you rage and rant? What happened?...well, you see this is where we have a problem because it was the ending...not, the epilogue. I liked it. The epilogue was actually kinda' cute and definitely sexy...there might have been manites involved...but I'm not telling.

 

No, it was the actual ending to the story the part that involved our TSTL villian named Owen and this is where my problem comes in because I refuse to spoil a book for someone even one that ended up not working for me, so I really can't tell you exactly why but there was a part of the ending that didn't work for me it was just incredibly unbelievable...to the point of irritation and frustration and spoiling what was probably going to be a solid 3.5 star read.

 

This is my fourth book by this author sadly two of them...not so great and two of them were just ok. I'm not sure that I'm going to go any further with this. Not every author is for every reader and I guess maybe this just isn't the author for me but there are a lot of lovely reviews for her books out there. So check them out what's a miss for me may very well be what makes it a hit for someone else.

 

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

An ARC of 'Open Case' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-01-30 17:14
Like a bridge over troubled waters...
Thick & Thin - Charlie Cochet

'Thick & Thin' is the 8th installment in Charlie Cochet's series THIRDS and for me it was more of a bridge linking what's happened to the changes that are about to happen and the new direction that things seem to be going in. 

 

It wrapped up some things from 'Smoke & Mirrors' the 7th book and it also gives us a peak at the changes that will be happening to Destructive Delta as a team and on an individual level. 

 

While I liked this and it was nice to get a bit more info to complete the events from 'Smoke & Mirrors' I was a little disappointed at the brevity of the story and it just didn't seem to have the edginess that I've come to expect from this series. 

 

However, I'm still looking forward to seeing what happens next. One of the things that I've really love about this series is that while each story may focus on one couple...Dex & Sloane, Ash & Cael, Calvin & Hobbs...we also get to see what's happening with the rest of the group as well. I love those little glimpses of the individual members and of their interactions with members of the team other than their partner and I have to admit I'm really, really hoping that with this new change we don't lose that. I love Dex & Sloane but I still want to see Dex & Ash tormenting each other, Dex protecting his little brother, Cael or Sloane & Ash having a beer as Ash complains about Dex or to loose the presence of Letty and Rosa the only consistent strong females in the series or the glimpses of this group as they relax on their downtime and party hard at Bar Dekatria.

 

'Thick & Thin' for me was a story that served as more of a bridge from what was to what will be...whether it's over troubled waters or not remains to be seen and for now I'm willing to make of show of faith and see what Ms. Cochet has in store for us on the other side of the bridge.

 

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An ARC of 'Thick & Thin' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-01-23 19:39
This one was definitely buddy read material...
Scars and Ruin (Loose Ends Book 2) - Avril Ashton

...so, lucky me I had my girls, Jewel and Ele to rely on. You ladies are awesome. Thanks for taking this crazy adventure with me.

 

First I'm just going to reiterate what both Jewel & Ele have said in their review 'this book does not read well as a standalone'. I highly recommend reading both 'The Brooklyn Sinners' series and 'Run This Town' as well as the first two stories for this one. I know it sounds like a big commitment but honestly if you really want to take this trip and not feel like you made a left turn when you should have gone right, it'll be worth it.

 

I've been looking forward to this one because it's Hunter/Dane/Dutch/Savage/? damned if I know this guy's got more monikers than Imelda Marcos has shoes and while there was a reason for it. I can't like it was a bit of an irritant for me. So for now let's just call him Dutch and be done with it.

 

So this is the story where we find out the history between Dutch and Varun Patel and I've been curious about this one for a while. You see for me, Dutch is a bit of a quandary because mostly I've just wanted him to go up in flames but every once in a while I like him and I've wanted to know more to see him get a bit of happiness. Dutch's happiness is wrapped up in one person and one person only...you guessed it...Varun Patel.

 

These two men have danced around each other for years and now we get to find out what happens when the music stops. Their's was not a simple relationship and as intense as everything was outside of the bedroom, it was even more so when the clothes finally came off. 

 

I really enjoy the dynamics between these men. I liked that Dutch was the badass, alpha who scared the hell out of everyone and always seemed to be two steps ahead of it all, I like that Patel was his weakness and he'd do anything to protect him even walk away from him. 

 

While I was happy to finally get Dutch and Patel's story. I have to admit there were times when certain aspects felt like they were maybe getting over done and I would have enjoyed it if things had been tightened up a bit more.

 

Sadly I have to admit that the ending for this one still isn't sitting well with me. Things that we had been led to believe were so complex and un-doable suddenly happened with ease in the blink of an eye and that took away a big chunk of the stories overall credibility for me especially in regards to Dutch's character as this big badassed dude that I couldn't decide if I loved to hate him or hated to love him. I liked the larger than life persona that I'd given him and right now it's feeling a little fuzzy around the edges and not so much bigger than life...I'd like the old Dutch back...please?

 

One of the things that I really, really enjoy about not just this Avril Ashton series but the previous one's that I've read as well is that things like who are the good guys and who are the bad guys aren't always black and white. There's a lot of grey in here. Sometimes it's not a matter of good guys and bad guys but good guys doing bad things and bad guys doing good things and the reasons why.

 

I think Syren Rua said it best when he told Patel...

“I told you that the actions by men like Dutch and me, that’s how we get judged.” Something flashed in Syren’s eyes. Could have been regret. “Not our intent. Never our intent.”

At the end of it all maybe this one wasn't quite what I had hoped for but I'm still all in on this series, there's Renzo and Low, their stories next and it's looking promising and there's still Kyo and Priest...sweetbabyjebus!!! I want their story. Not to mention somewhere in there we have 'Call the Coroner'...Ele, please tell me you're with me on this one...please?

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review 2017-01-18 20:48
Well the vamp may be dead or is that undead?...but...
Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary - Jordan Castillo Price,Gomez Pugh

The libido lives on and on...

 

So let's start this round  up with some full disclosure. While I do own the e-books. What I'm reviewing here are the audiobooks for what basically amounts to the first half of Jordan Castillo Price's series Channeling Morpheus. I was fortunate enough to attend GRL last October and it afforded me the opportunity to meet a number of authors among them were several whose writing I am particularly fond of and you guessed it JCP is on that list. So when I had the opportunity to listen to the first half of this series on audiobook...of course I grabbed it...I may be crazy but seriously...I'm not crazy enough to pass up an opportunity like this.

 

I'm an absolute Psycop addict but I've read and very much enjoyed other stories by this author. So I was definitely interested in this series...see ^^^above comment^^^ (I own the books). Now my only obligation here was to listen to the audiobook and I've done that, but I do apologize for having taken so long to get to them, I had certainly intended to listen to this much sooner, but as fate would have it or real life as it's otherwise known it did take me this long but Hey! Here I am!

 

I can't in all fairness say that I didn't enjoy the stories because...well...I did. I gave this series 3.5 stars for a rating and I'm going to say this was very much a subjective rating...there's a lot of sex it these stories...I mean seriously A LOT!!! and in all fairness I was warned of this by the author herself...thanks for that heads up by the way. I can't even say that I would have wanted less sex because honestly it was very much a part of Wild Bill and Michael's relationship dynamics...and there were some pretty steamy moments happening. But I would have really liked more story because this is one hella' interesting couple who manage to get themselves into some really interestingly bizarre situations. So yes, I will be reading the remainder of this series since to say the least I'm more than a little curious to see where the road leads these two.

 

Just a quick comment on the narrator Gomez Pugh. This was my first time listening to a book narrated by this particular narrator and I have to say I'm pretty damned impressed. I liked his interpretation of both Wild Bill and Michael...so much so that I have little doubt that when I read the remainder of the books Michael and Wild Bill's voices will somehow be very familiar to me.

 

So in summary what I got was a paranormal book with one hella' interesting vamp. I can't lie I really like Wild Bill and his considerably younger boyfriend who could probably give me some make-up tips. Some interesting and precarious situations that these two managed to get in and out of with their bodies...essentially in tact and some pretty hot and stress relieving bedroom activities that if you have younger or easily offended sensibilities in your home you might want to invest in some headphones before you listen to them. So that about sums it up...good times were had by all and I'm hoping to go back for more soon.

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review 2017-01-09 22:58
It's time for the Gentlemen Brothers to take a final bow...
Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge - James D. Cox

'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' was the third and final story in 'The Gentlemen Brothers' trilogy by James Cox and that's why I decided to finish this in style with my first buddy read of the year. It was just me and Christelle this time around...apparently we were alone in our addiction to these Steampunk siblings...we're waiting for all our friends to discover this trio of steampunk hotness...and trust me...they are hot.

 

Joshua, Logan and Alex the Gentlemen brothers live in a steampunk world filled with danger and it's at the tender age of 11 that Alex quickly discovers how fast that danger can alter your reality. When their dirigible is raided, their father killed, Joshua falls to his death, or so his brothers are left to believe and Logan is rescued by the leader of the rebel force known as the Hinders it's in 'Broken, Collared and Ready for Revenge' that we get Alex's story and his is the darkest of all. Less fortunate than his brothers, Alex is taken to the mines where he's forced to dig for metals and fed barely enough to sustain himself. He and the other children there come to now hunger, abuse and deprivation as intimately as a mother's touch. Then when he's too big to dig in the tunnels he's collared and trained to be a mindless killing machine and he's raped.

 

The whole time right up until the torture that is the collar Alex believes that his brothers will find him and rightfully so because neither brother has ever given up looking for their siblings and when Joshua and Logan find each other they become even more determined to bring Alex home to them where he belongs. But it's not Joshua or Logan who give Alex the peace of mind that he needs to begin healing it's a quirky little inventor named 'one nut' Nigel, who brings peace to Alex's mind and passion to his soul.

 

I loved this series from start to finish and while the first book was admittedly my favorite I thoroughly loved the last two as well. Yes, I would have enjoyed this one had there been a little more page time dedicated to Alex and Nigel's relationship. These two men were adorable and I so enjoyed the romance as Alex discovered both his feelings and his undeniable attraction to Nigel...sweet, timid Nigel who was far more comfortable with his nose buried in a book than anywhere else until Alex came along. Their growing relationship was sweet and awkward and at times just so damned laugh-out-loud amusing. Who wouldn't want more?

 

The story of how these three brothers came to be separated and then reunited ran throughout this trilogy and while the ending was complete and nothing felt left out or missing for me it also had a tiny bit of a rushed tone to it, but that could just be me being greedy for more of something that I was enjoying...so sue me, I don't like to give up a good thing.

 

So at the end of it all...if you like steampunk, sex, damaged men, hot, fun sexy times and a solid HEA. Check this out because I think 'The Gentlemen Brothers' may be just what you're looking for.

 

Thanks for another awesome buddy read Christelle. It was definitely the right way to kick of a new year.

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