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review 2019-10-08 16:18
Just color me happy when it comes to this series...
The Good Green Earth (Colors of Love #3) - V.L. Locey

‘The Good Green Earth’ is the third book in V.L. Locey’s ‘Colors of Love’ series and when I started reading this one, I expected that I’d enjoy the story. What I didn’t expect was that this would become my favorite story in the series so far, as a matter of fact in all honesty once I actually started reading the story I began to think that this one might not be for me at all. This was mostly due to the fact that Nathan Zinkan and I just didn’t get off to a good start…as in I was really not a fan of his attitude, his behavior…of him in general but I was determined to stick with it on this one. I’ve enjoyed the previous books and a lot of other stories written by Ms Locey, so I decided to go on faith and stick with it for a bit longer on this one…turned out to be a good decision on my part.

 

I loved how the relationship progressed in this story. Specifically, how the age difference was dealt with. There was a time when an age gap as considerable as this one and with the potential power imbalance that could result because of the individual ages of the MCs would have garnered a big ole ‘no thanks’ from me and while I’ve gotten better about this over the past year or two, I have to admit, this one still pushed my limits but sometimes you’ve just ‘gotta have faith’.

 

While Nathan was a bit of a hard sell for me at the beginning because what we were given was a young man who appeared to have it all including the sense of entitlement that sometimes comes with it. Fortunately as the story progresses, we get a deeper look at Nathan’s past and a lot of what has led him to become the person that he is…some of which is good and some not so good. Most importantly in regard to Nathan though is we see how he changes, and this is a big part of why this ended up being a 5 star read for me. In spite of his faults Nathan is someone who tends more often than not to see the half full part of his glass and he’s definitely not afraid to live life to the fullest and while this maybe needs to be tempered a bit that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad trait…just one that would benefit from some better life choices and a bit more maturity. Both are things that Nate starts to gain as he begins to pursue a relationship with Bran and reflect on the events that have led to his current circumstances taking him from being a character that I didn’t like very much to someone that I was rooting for…a character that I genuinely cared about and wanted to see succeed…in the end Nathan became someone who I’d be proud to have as my kid.

 

Bran is considerably older than Nathan and when they first meet, he sees in Nathan everything he loves and everything he hates. It’s in spite of his reservations that Bran takes Nate on as part of a community service program and on a more personal level this is Bran’s way of keeping a promise to someone who meant everything to him.

 

While Bran’s a bit broken in his own way, he’s also had more time and a better support system to help him deal with things and he’s got a whole lot more life experience to fall back on when it comes to decision making in general. Most importantly Bran’s nature seems to lean towards being compassionate and supportive something Nate’s had little of in his life and here at his personal crossroads it’s what he now needs the most.

 

On the surface Nathan and Bran really don’t seem to have a lot in common, but as the story progresses the reader discovers that each man has a story to tell and each story is heartbreakingly unique and integral to the person that each of them has become and to what they bring to the relationship and each other.

 

There were a few interesting secondary characters in this story such as Bran’s niece, Dixie and the seniors who tended the community gardens at Bran’s garden center. They added an awesome touch of humor, color and insight as many seniors often do in real life, especially Maggie who maybe makes some pretty yummy brownies. As for family Bran as well as his niece Dixie he also has an aunt and uncle who pretty much raised him. While Nate has an ailing father, a major jerk of a brother and a mother…who’s somewhere doing someone…so essentially Nate is on his own. While these characters definitely help to flesh out the story adding to the overall interest from start to finish it’s Nathan and Bran and their relationship that unfailingly remain the focus of things.

 

I loved some of the details that were woven into this story and while they may not have been integral to the story they also added depth and texture to the story and simply put, for me this all added to my overall enjoyment of the story…yeah, I confess I’m totally a Neil Diamond fan…my recommendation put on the Neil Diamond and check out this book it’s a beautiful second chance story even if you haven’t read the first two books in the series you’ll be fine with this one and who knows you may find yourself wanting to go back to the beginning. I know I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.

 

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An ARC of ‘The Good Green Earth’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-09-18 04:29
Ok, I'm going to go out on a limb here...
Hellion (415 Ink #3) - Rhys Ford

and say that while I'm pretty sure there will be at least 2 more books in this series because we've still got to get Luke and Bear's stories to discover and while I know I'm very much looking forward to them for me I think Ivo's story was it and by it I mean this was the story that I was truly waiting for...this was the one that was going to get 5 stars from me not because it was a five star read but because there were only 5 stars for me to give. I loved Gus's story and Mace's story got 5 stars from me because I loved it even more than Gus's but even if there'd been more than 5 stars that's what it would have gotten but Ivo...well I'd happily give it 5 stars and then some.

 

Ivo's the brother who's captured my attention and intrigued me the most from the very beginning. While his life's been easier than his brothers in some ways in other ways he's faced his own demons and still is. Ivo's spent his whole life trying to fit into boxes to make people like and accept him...to be enough but the one thing he's learned from it all is that when you try to fit into other people's boxes you end up leaving behind pieces of yourself in your efforts to conform until you feel like there's nothing left anymore.  Thankfully Ivo had his brothers to show him that not only is he enough he's more...so much more than enough. He's finally at a place in his life where he's comfortable with who he is and with the fact that the only person whose approval he truly needs is his own.

 

Ruan Nicholls grew up in a different time and lives in a different world...he grew up in a time when admitting you were gay could garner you anything from rejection by those you love to a beating or worse and as a by the book cop his world is still fairly conservative but it's changing and Ruan knows that if he doesn't want to spend his life alone than he needs to change to but somethings are easier said than done and sometimes with the right motivation a person can find the strength to do what's needed.

 

Ivo and Ruan's paths have crossed before...ten years ago when Ruan was still wearing a uniform and not a detective's badge, but Ivo was too young back then and Ruan's career was just getting started and while they found each other attractive it was a case of time and circumstance not being what it needed to be.

 

I found it so easy to relate to Ivo's family dynamics with the over bearing, well meaning but meddlesome brothers because he's the youngest and having held that position in my own family for the past 60 years. I get it...I know what it's like to be the youngest in the family, that person who no matter how old you are, what your accomplishments are or what's happened in your life to the rest of your family you're always going to be 'the baby' of the family.  it's all done out of love and good intentions but let's face it we all know what road is paved with those good intentions. 

 

Between Ivo's brothers and Ruan's internal struggle to be the man that he wanted to be and that he knew Ivo needed him to be , I enjoyed the way Ivo and Ruan's relationship developed and that they came together first as friends and then as lovers. It wasn't that the physical attraction wasn't there but once again for them it was a case of time and circumstance but I loved that they didn't let this stop the relationship from developing on a different level first before they became lovers. 

 

'Hellion' was for me one of those stories that just fell into place and worked even more so than 'Rebel' or 'Savior' and I really loved both of those books so who knows when we get to Luke and Bear's stories I may be changing my mind about which book is my favorite in this series but to be honest I'd be really surprised it that happened which is not to say that I'm not looking forward to the next one in this series. 

 

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

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review 2019-07-15 03:21
There are four seasons in a year and...
Season's of Love - Carol Lynne

Four seasons to love...

 

'In Seasons of Love' and just like nature's seasons love begins with 'spring' when like the flowers love begins to bloom for Sidney and Nash. 

 

I admit this was a bit of a challenge for me because of the age difference or more specifically the ages at which the MCs first met. Sidney was all of 10 years old, but before you panic...ok, before I panicked I reminded myself of a couple of things one I've read many books by this author and nope that shi*t won't be happening in one of her books and two sometimes ya just gotta' have faith and I did. Let me just say Ms. Lynne handled the age difference very well.  During the first 10+ years of Sidney and Nash's relationship it was more of a big brother/protector dynamic and Sidney needed someone to protect him because to his last breath Sidney's father was a total, absolute, abusive, douche of a father and sadly Sidney's mother died when he was only 10 years old...yeah, there's a connection there. 

 

It's also worth noting that Sidney's feelings of love towards Nash manifested first. Nash truly felt that he was too old for the ever determined and persistent Sidney, who was determined that for him...Nash was the one.

 

I very quickly became a fan of these two men. I loved seeing their relationship change as Nash went from being Sidney's champion and protector, to being his best friend and ultimately his lover and always the constant in his life. The one person that Sidney could count on to be there for him, to have his back and be supportive when he needed it.

 

As with the seasons of the year, Sidney and Nash's love moves from the new bloom of Spring to Summer's heat. Both men are ready to be together as a couple and as ever Nash is Sidney's staunchest supporter and willing packs up and moves to Chicago with him to allow his career as an architect to flourish. 

 

Nash and Sidney quickly discover that with a new city and new home come new challenges that they can only hope their love is strong enough to overcome.  As with any relationship it takes two and there will always be challenges to face, it's how that's done that can determine the relationships future. 

 

As Summer's heat fades and the colors of Fall begin to appear reminding the world that nothing last forever. Nash and Sidney get their own reminders that nothing is forever nor does it remain the same and once again it's the challenges of change that test these men. 

 

Finally the cooler days of Fall give way to Winter the season that reminds us all that another year has come to an end and in this final season of their story Sidney comes to realize that while another year is coming to an end, it's within his power to make sure that this isn't the end for him and Nash. It's going to take changes to ensure that they have more time together but they're changes that Sidney can and will make. 

 

As someone who's been married for nearly 40 years (33 next month) I loved this book I was so able to relate to much of the journey that Sidney and Nash took us on and I found myself laughing and crying with these men in equal measure.

 

I've enjoyed a lot of books by this author...I've read all of her 'Cattle Valley' series and the Lobster Cove spin off, her 'Poker Night' series, 'Good Time Boys' and a whole lot more in between but 'Season's of Love' is definitely at the top of my 'favorites list' for this author.  It may not be a perfect love story, but then what story is real or fictitious...love is what you make of it and what's perfect for some isn't for others.

 

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A copy of 'Seasons' of Love' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-05-29 03:16
It's the Bert and Ernie show...
Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water #4) - Amy Lane,Nick J. Russo

I admit it, if I love a book and you dangle the audio book in front of me...well, it's like putting something shiny in front of an magpie and I am all grabby hands and gimme'. So that explains why I'm once again reviewing an audio book of a book that I've read and I have no remorse about this because history has shown that the odds are in my favor that I'm going to enjoy the audio as much or more than I enjoyed reading the book.

 

So once again I'm going to borrow from my original review and add a few thoughts about the audio and creating an updated review.

 

We first met Lee Burton (Burt) in 'Racing for the Sun' when he came to the aid of Sonny and Ace finding not only men in need of his help but friends who would offer him a safe place to go when he needed it for himself or for a rather unusual young man with a talent for knowing things that he shouldn't and for being a diversion that Lee finds he can't live without.

 

It's not until 'A Few Good Fish' that we meet Ernie. When Burt is given the task of 'taking out' Ernie. He sees someone who is not a threat to national security or a terrorist of any kind but a young man who makes him want and distracts him but Burt tries to convince himself that he needs to walk away from Ernie but the heart wants what the heart wants and for Burt his heart wants Ernie.

 

While much of 'Hiding the Moon' takes place during the the same time frame as events from 'A Few Good Fish'. It's not Jackson and Ellery's lives or perspective that we're following and it's not until later in the story that Jackson and Ellery become a more direct part of events but even then for me Ernie and Burt were still the main focus of what was happening.

 

I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of stories that are retold from a different perspective quite honestly I find them to be boring and repetitive more often than not. That was not the case for me with this story and I think that one of the main reasons for this is that 'Hiding the Moon' isn't about retracing the actions of Jackson and Ellery but finding out what others were doing at that time...specifically Burt and Ernie with a bit of Sonny and Ace thrown in since they also play a role in both of the books that I've mentioned.

 

I liked Burt in 'Racing for the Sun' and was pleasantly surprised to see him resurface in 'A Few Good Fish' but here in 'Hiding the Moon' seeing Burt and Ernie's relationship as it evolves has been absolutely delightful. I loved having a closer look at how these two met and their lives came to be tangled together.

Ernie may seem like someone who's partying their way through life with drugs and too much sex but he's so much more. Ernie's what some people would call gifted and when his gift gets noticed by the wrong people...his life is no longer his own. And it's only through a streak of luck that Burt is the one who is given the assignment to terminate Ernie. 

 

While I enjoyed the additional perspective into the events from 'A Few Good Fish' for me the best part was seeing Burt and Ernie's relationship grow from their first meeting and their interactions. On one hand we have Lee Burton by the book, black ops, military man, solid, dependable, a good man who's job is something bigger and then we have Ernie gifted with psychic abilities, so much more self sufficient than he seems, strong in ways that are less obvious than Burt's strength but someone who's lonely and wants nothing more than to have a family to call his own.

 

While 'The Fish Out of Water' series is narrated by Greg Tremblay who does a superb job of things...by the way, 'Racing the Sun' and 'Hiding the Moon' are both narrated by Nick J. Russo who also coincidentally does a superb job which explains why this one went from an awesome 4 stars to a totally over the moon 5 stars. 

 

'Fish Out of Water/Racing the Sun' are definitely a favorite of mine and while they're listed as two separate series the events and characters are so intertwined that for me they might as well just be one big happy series. I enjoyed revisiting this story from a different perspective and I loved Burt and Ernie as individuals and as a couple they were delightful. My one niggle here is that I still want more Burt and Ernie (yes, I do love that they're called Burt and Ernie). I'd love a story that gave us more about their life maybe picking up where this story leaves off...it's just a wish I have.


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An audio book of 'Hiding the Moon' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-05-23 01:28
Whoever said that 'all good things must come to an end...
Crescendo (Criminal Intentions: Season One #11) - Cole McCade

Needs to shut up and mind their own damned business.

 

Like a number of my friends I have  become totally, unapologetically, addicted to this series. I've enjoyed the individual cases contained within each story and the continued build of the overlying story arc but most of all and, I think a number of my friends will agree with me on this, what I've enjoyed is the relationship between Mal and Seong-Jae. Without a doubt this is one of the hottest, most captivating, magnetic pairings that I've encountered since...Ty and Zane (or just insert whoever floats your boat here, for me Ty and Zane will always have a spot at the top of my list).

 

While the mystery in this one wasn't quite as strong as previous stories I still enjoyed it and found it interesting and while I had most of it figured out earlier than usual in the story there were still a couple of details to things that surprised me so maybe not quite the usual but still a fairly solid crime. 

 

Meanwhile in other parts of the story we got a peek at Sade and enough to know that maybe some things would have happened differently or maybe not at all...I don't know but I have to say I'mma not happy with Mx Marcus at the moment and then there's the resident badboy, Sila...as far as this character's concerned I'mma' just gonna' say "He's batsh*t CRAZY!" and scary as f*ck!

 

Over the last few books we've seen Mal and Seong-Jae's relationship grow deeper and stronger  and now in this one...well, I don't know how to say this my friends but it seems we're about to take a side trip here and while I'm not entirely sure of all the whys, whens and what fors or how comes things are changing and let me just say as if I wasn't already addicted and committed to this series at this point you will have to pry the next book out of my cold dead hands before I'll not be reading it...oh wait, I'm already reading it. So yeah, that won't be happening this time around or anytime soon if I have my way because I am so on board for this whole adventure start to finish sign me up!

 

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An ARC of "Criminal Intentions: Season 1 Episode 11, Crescendo" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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