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review 2017-12-10 18:39
Portrait in Death
Portrait in Death - J.D. Robb

This isn't exactly a review. I just wanted to mention a couple things that really pleased me about this book.

 

  • Roark finding out a bit more about his past, and his reaction to it, and then Eve and Summerset's reaction to his reaction. The always cool, unflappable Roark was shaken to his very core and to see him so off balance was really something.
  • Eve and Summerset. At best, their relationship can be described as prickly. But I've always felt that underneath it all that while they may not exactly like each other, there is a mutual respect there, and yes buried way down deep - caring. They'll never be best buddies, but still.

 

 

I used this book to fill the following square:

 

 

Book themes for International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not anglo-saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused.
–OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the U.N. and U.N. World Court respectively).

 

And I think I actually managed to fill a square on the actual day of the event.

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review 2017-12-09 22:10
It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian
It Takes Two to Tumble: Seducing the Sedgwicks - Cat Sebastian

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Phillip has spent most of his life at sea, as the Captain, he knows his place and is effective in managing his people. When his ship finally berths after two years, his shore leave allows him to go home for awhile, a home where letters have informed him that his wife has died and his three children are running wild. 
Ben enjoys his job as the vicar; it allows him to see to everyone. When he gets tasked with taking care of the absent Captain's children, he may be in over head. 
Phillip and Ben haven't been able to fully admit certain truths to themselves but as their relationship grows, they begin to become whole through each other. 
 
Phillip hadn't planned on lusting after the vicar. 
 
The first in a new series, the author introduces us to Phillip, the stern rigid naval captain and Ben, the affable mellow vicar. Both characters were very contained people in their own way. Phillip has dyslexia but has managed to figure out how to hide it and be effective as captain and he also carries around some melancholy which seems to be due to not being able to fully be his self. Ben had to essentially be the father to his brothers as theirs ascribed to a very bohemian philosophy that led to a lack of structure or responsibility. Both acknowledged their attraction to men but kept it in a contained box that as long as they didn't make it personal, putting real feeling in to it, they could lead "normal" lives. When they meet each other and start to develop those more emotional feelings, beyond just sexual, hard truths have to be recognized. 
 
But comfort and ease suddenly seemed like pale and flimsy things. 
 
I loved how Ben and Phillip's personalities played off each other. Ben's effortless charm and lightness cracked open Phillip's hard walls and helped him be at ease more, while Phillip's strength and willing to prod at Ben helped Ben release his more passionate side. They became more themselves through the other and there is nothing more romantic than that. For how much Phillip's children played a part in the story plot, I thought they were strangely more absent from the story than warranted. We get some scenes with Phillip bonding but I never felt like I knew them; they felt like obvious plot elements instead of woven into the story. I also thought Phillip's relationship with his former Lt. McCarthy needed to be flushed out more. It started off like there was a big emotional attachment but then it seemed to be more on the physical side, not quite fully explained well enough. 
 
"When we're together it feels right. I want to go down that path and see what's there."
"With me?" It was a hoarse whisper.
"Together."
 

 
This is my first book by this author and I was impressed with the ease of her writing flow, how secondary characters felt complete and added so much to the story, and the historical feel. This had faint whisperings of the Sound of Music to it and I could read all day of Ben taking some starch out of the Captain and Phillip igniting some fire in the vicar. There's a slow burn feel as their relationship starts off challenging, to tentative, to heated and I enjoyed how they both were, somewhat, virgins not only emotionally but physically and we got see them explore and learn together. There's also a hot desk scene that you won't want to miss. 
 
I missed interaction scenes with Phillip's children to get to know them better which in turn would have created more depth in Phillip's character, the middle seemed to meander a smidgen as the outer story took over more, but I delighted in Ben and Phillip's relationship. There's some bitter sweetness to the ending as Phillip and Ben don't quite get the full happily ever after they deserve due to the time period and country they live in, but they worked for and got more than most do. The author's talent with emotions will have me searching out her books from here on out.

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review 2017-12-09 20:35
Topping the Alpha: Trident Security Series - Samantha Cole
  This story give us an insight into a slightly different type of BDSM relationship, Male Dom/ Male Sub.
But not just any Sub, Nick is still an Active Seal, he is also not actively in the lifestyle. I love Nick he is strong, has a mind of his own and though willing to Submit to Jake while they play still expects to be treated as an equal in normal daily life. He puts up with a lot from Jake giving him time to work his issues out, being patient and listening when needed. Jake is a Dom with big problems from his past, he hasn't spoken about them to anyone hiding not only the scars on his back but the internal ones . Jake might be a Dom but is actually the weaker of the two, his vulnerabilities causing uncertainty and doubt. Jake brought out my mothering instincts, I wanted to wrap him up in a hug. Although there is sex in this story its almost minor to everything else going on, with Jake's history plus helping and trying to protect a teenage girl from an abusive father who's trying to kill her. Ian is up to something as well with secret meetings going on, as well as the new team gradually integrating into the missions. There is some violence in parts but nothing to excessive or out of proportion to the happenings in the story. This series continues to grip and enthral me, the characters weaving their way into my heart as they each find their loves, their soul mates.

 

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review 2017-12-09 19:33
Good and bad
Monster: Part One (The Monster Series Book 1) - Evangeline Lee

This is supposed to be the first novella out of three that were supposed to be released in the span of four weeks time but for the life of me I cannot seem to find others from this series but this one so I will only review what I have on my Kindle and what I was able to read.

 

This novella is a contemporary mystery/crime, adult erotic romance with a dark edge novella which plays around with abduction and rape as lightly as it would be dangling rope in front of kittens.

 

I think that from my point of view this story held a lot of promise in the first half but then it came undone in the second half when the storyline pretty much fell apart and the characters became either non-existent in personality or overly sex driven to the literal point of becoming a psychopath.

 

 

 

"I wanted to show her that her high and mighty superiority, her degrees and diplomas, her privileged existence, her sense of security, was a façade. I was going to breach the fortress that was her privacy. I was going to leave my mark on her life like a dog pissing to mark his territory, and one day soon, I was going be in her bed fucking her brains out."

 

 

All this said in that one first sentence would be perfectly understandable in this kind of a story if the female protagonist Mina ever did anything of the sorts. She didn't. She is barely present in this novella. She is simply there for the real main character Mikhail to obsess about after meeting her just once. Yes, one look at the woman and our main ex marine, ex special ops, enhanced ex soldier is completely taken with her. I wouldn't mind it so much if Mina was at least interesting or different from a horde of good looking women out there.

 

That was my first complaint. I didn't find them believable as a couple at all. Maybe this is due to the shortness of the story. So I won't judge too harshly because of that.

 

But the second complaint I have that even with the story being so short, some things make no sense whatsoever.

Example: Mikhail is an enhanced soldier who is on the run from a government that created him and now wants him dead so he assumed a different identity. He gets captured by the FBI because of some mafia involvement and when in custody he meets a doctor who was present at the early stages of the Program when he was turned into the enhanced soldier. And for no apparent reason or any other connection, previous or more personal, this doctor helps him in every way possible, even with his escape plan and with providing him the address of his student Mina. It's just not believabe. It took me out of the story. There is no connection or friendship between them. There is no reason for that doctor to risk his career and life to help a man like Mikhail.

(spoiler show)

 

There were a couple of passages/sentences that I liked very much, that were what I thought this whole story would be like.

 

 

"Nothing like making a woman orgasm to point out how they were creatures of the flesh just as much as men.
Bring her down to my level."

 

 

"Revenge is cleansing. It's the only way to move forward because it sets things right. Civilization is this thin veneer that overlays the beast beneath it, hiding its true nature."

 

 

All in all, I think this was a good novella to pass the time and interesting enough to make me pick up the second one in the series (if I had one).

 

If only it had been a little longer and more consistent and provided us with more characters' personality so I would care more about what happens with the protagonists I would certainly give it more stars as I would be more invested.

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review 2017-12-09 11:23
Mine
Slammed (San Francisco Thunder) - Victoria Denault

This is book #2, in the San Francisco Thunder series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Dixie is working in the publicist department for this amazing hockey franchise, she finds there are rules that restrict her personal life.  Rules she is willing to live by - to achieve her goals.  Until it runs into her current guy. 

 

Elijah is excited to be working with his brother's team.  It is like a dream come true.  He is extremely attracted to an employee, who is afraid for her job if they get together.  He has his own demons from the past, and forging a future currently seems like an uphill climb.

 

This was such an amazing addition to the series!  I loved the characters right from the beiginning.  Their banter, the tease, the sparks.... oh my!  This was a joy to read.  I laughed right along, and felt riveted when with each new page.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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