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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-22 19:01
I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.
Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

I am a big fan of Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows series its one of my favorite young adults from the recent years. I was very eager to finally start this series, based on the fact that I loved her later works. Sadly this one didn't invoke the same feelings as I had when I read Six of Crows. To be fair this is one of her earlier works, so I can give it some slack in that regard. However had I read this first I do not know if I would have read her other works. The writing in this book is not so much the problem, the author can tell a story there's no doubt about that. But my main gripe with it was that I felt that the Darkling was made the villain for the sake of being the villain. It felt very light is good, dark is bad kind of vibe and that felt very tropeish to me. Already he was seen as someone to be feared, so people feared him. I was hoping that while he could do terrible things, it wasn't necessarily because he was evil down to his core.

 

The building chemistry between him and Alina really had me looking forward to that being the angle. When its revealed suddenly that he is the one, that created the Fold in the first place. Outside of wanting my ship to happen, it just felt very forced and just kind of dropped into the lap of the reader half way through the first book. If something was like this revealed later, it might have had a bigger impact on me. But with it being right in the middle of the first book it created this bland feeling. I wasn't surprised or shocked, mostly just disappointed because it didn't have an impact on me. Even the way its revealed was just sort of made no sense to me. Baghra is revealed to be the Darkling's mother, and she tells Alina of his true identity. Its never shown until later, that Baghra was right. It just bugged me that the protagonist is able to be convinced by someone, without witnessing the truth until much later. Now onto the romantic pairing I was obviously not a fan of this ship. But that's because I loathe childhood friend tropes, its overdone and when one is involved nearly every time you already know who the protagonist is going to get with. 

 

It was clear the two had a connection, and the feelings were one sided for a while. That aside it felt like the ship was being made to fit, where it didn't make a whole lot of sense from Mal's side. He only came to the realization after the fact, that Alina was taken into the Little Palace that he had feelings for her. Before that he didn't seem that romantically interested in her, considering its stated numerous times that he was known to go out and be with other women. Which that is not something that bugs me, but its clear he didn't feel on the same level for Alina as to what she did for him. It felt more like a brother sister relationship, perhaps akin to a twin bond. Clearly the romance factor regardless of everything else that is going on is more pushed to the front, unlike Six of Crows.  My gripes aside I do love the Grishaverse its ripe with interesting lore, and I love all the different powers that Grishas have. Its a unique and very vivid world.

 

I just wished I could have felt that sense of awe in this book that I got from Six of Crows. To be fair because it did not have the same feel, as her later works it is likely that I am judging it more firmly. Its not a bad book but the reasons I stated are why I did not enjoy the first book. I intend to finish the other two books  in the series and I do look forward to seeing how the series grows. Because it does deserve a chance, but if the theme continues on its likely my stance will not change much.

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review 2018-09-21 05:18
Review: The Blackstone Chronicles, Part 4: In The Shadow Of Evil: The Handkerchief
In the Shadow of Evil: The Handkerchief - John Saul

Re-read.

 

After the tragedy that had befallen her aunt Martha and cousin Andrea, Rebecca is taken in by Germaine Wagner, who is just an asshat!  The way the people in this town treat Rebecca is just infuriating.  But I digress, she basically wants to use Rebecca as slave labor and to have someone else to do the bidding of her overbearing mother so that she can get a break from it.

 

Oliver Metcalf, who is at the heart of all of the weirdness going on in the town of Blackstone--though he doesn't know it-- is sweet on Rebecca.  After "finding" a beautiful hand embroidered handkerchief in a box in his attic, he thinks it would be the perfect gift for Rebecca--because it's embroidered with the initial "R".

 

Evil and heartless as they come, Germaine confiscates the handkerchief from Rebecca stating that she would only ruin it, and that she would gift it to her mother, Clara.  Clara freaks out when she sees this thing, so Germaine takes it back and decides to keep it for herself.  Little did she know she was doing Rebecca a favor because, the owner of said handkerchief is prone to vivid hallucinations.  The town's latest tragedy strikes the Wagners, and I have to say it couldn't have happened to a nicer pair of women.

 

Meanwhile Oliver is trying hard to uncover repressed memories from his childhood, which, if remember, could shed some light on what is happening in his town.

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review 2018-09-16 19:18
Shadow (Satan's Fury MC: Memphis #2) by L. Wilder
Shadow - L. Wilder

Shadow is book 2 in the Satan's Fury MC- Memphis Chapter Series by L. Wilder. I have read the 1st book Blaze as well and it really sucked me into this series. Shadow did not let me down, if anything it was better. I love how even though this is a stand alone, it was more or less a continuation of the first book, at least as the characters go. I enjoy books that keep the same characters and adds new ones. This book and series are very fast passed.and I found myself hurrying around other things I need to do to get back to reading. The books has colorful language, some sex scenes, some violence, it is dirty and gritty at times but all in all a awesome read. There is an 18+ warning as well, and I can see why, as far as the language, sex, and violence go. But the book actually has a sweet love story baked right in. 



In this book we get to know Shadow better. He is an Enforcer in the Satan's Fury MC Club. At age 10 he lost his parents and sister in a house fire and went into a Foster Home. If loosing his family wasn't enough the abuse he suffered there was, but his troubles do not end there. During his time in the Military he was held captive in Afghanistan as well. Completely broken when he returned to the States he found his salvation in MC. No the club does not work above the line of the law but he ha found a true family to help heal his broken heart and mind. 



Alex finds out about Daddy's dirty little secrets and leaves everything she has ever known. She starts out driving a BMW but afraid Daddy would find her trades it for a beater car. When she gets to Memphis Tennessee the beater car gives up on her. Hallie runs a quaint little book store where Alex stopped to get out of the rain. When the car dies Hallie saves Alex by inviting her in for the night. That night has lasted 6 years when Hallie dies and leaves the place to Alex. 



Now 7 years later Shadow frequents the little book shop on occasion to get away from everything for a little while. He grabs a book off the shelf makes a cup of coffee and goes to the comfy sofa at the back of the store to read and not think, and lately to get a glimpse of the pretty little shop owner. When he is done he drops a $20 on the counter and out the door he goes back to life and reality. One morning Alex tells him he doesn't nee to leave the money and he tells her her knows but wants to. This is the beginning of the Alex and Shadow story, and let me tell you it is a awesome story.
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review 2018-08-24 17:06
Book Review for Shadow by L. Wilder Satan's Fury MC Memphis Chapter #2
 
 



Title: Shadow
Series: Satan's Fury MC Memphis Chapter #2
Author: L. Wilder
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Reviewed by Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
5 star read
Arc copy
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“This couple may very well be one of my favorites by this author.” -Rose Reads
 
“I have read everything from L. Wilder and I can confidently say that her writing gets better and better.” -Donna Parrott
 
“Awesome storyline with phenomenal twist. This one is a definite must read.” -Julie Jackson/Goodreads Reviewer
 
 
Even as a kid, I knew the kind of hell the world could dish out. I grew to expect the worst and learned to face it head on. When I became Satan’s Fury’s new enforcer, I knew I could handle whatever came my way—until Alex Carpenter, the gorgeous book store owner who brought color into my world of gray.
 
The club was at war, fighting an unknown enemy, and she was a distraction I didn’t need nor want. My focus should’ve been on my brothers and our latest adversary, but I felt an unexplainable pull towards her. Her beauty and innocence captivated me, and just being near her made the shadows of my past seem less daunting. Without even realizing it, I let her in, but as we grew closer, I quickly realized that her walls were even more guarded than my own. 
 
Like me, Alex had a past filled with secrets. Could our broken souls find a way to mend together, or would we remain imprisoned by our past?
 
 
 
 
 
I loved this story and I am loving this series as well and all the characters in it !
 
This was just a really cute and super sweet romance read with a little bit of drama and a tale filled with a whole lot of secrets.
 
Alex was a favorite of mine as she was just super sweet ,caring loving, and witty and made me laugh time and time again.
 
I loved Shadow as well and I loved seeing him open himself up and taking a chance on loving someone and being loved in return.Shadow was a little big broken so this was a big step for him.
 
Alex and Shadow were super sweet together.I loved that their romance was a little bit of a whirlwind.This couple had amazing chemistry and I love seeing them together and they we also amazing in and out of bed as we had some super sexy scenes.
 
I loved the plot and how it all played out.I enjoyed the fact that Alex as Shadow's Old Lady played and important part in the outcome of the story.There's a first time for everything...I found Alex to be unbelievable strong to leave it all behind to save the ones she loves.What I loved most about her was not only did she fall in love with Shadow hard and fast she did so with his MC family as well.
 
This story was where opposites attract and end up being just what the other needs making them perfect for one another.We loved the story from beginning to end and everything in between!
 
Recommended read to all!
Be sure to check out the series to as it totally awesome !
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I heard the loud rumble of several motorcycles approaching, and as they got closer, I noticed something familiar about one of the men. Even in the pitch black of night, I knew it was him—the hot biker from the bookstore. I stood frozen in place as he and his friend whipped past me.
A black SUV pulled in right behind them and they all parked near the front door of Newman’s. I watched in awe as he got off his motorcycle and removed his helmet. He turned to look in my direction, and as those penetrating blue eyes locked on mine, all my sense of reason seemed to just wash away. I couldn’t move. My pulse was racing, my palms were sweating, and my hormones were raging. He looked so damn good with his dark hair tousled, and it was impossible not to notice how his jeans clung to him in all the right places. I was a complete mess. No man had ever had such an effect on me. I didn’t like it. I wanted to get into my car and shake it off, but when I realized that he was leaving his two friends to walk in my direction, my mind and body just wouldn’t cooperate. I simply stood there like a total idiot.
After he finally made his way over to me, I was surprised by his furrowed brow and intense expression. He just stood there staring at me for several seconds, and having no idea what else to do, I mumbled, “It’s you.”
“Yeah. It’s me.”
“I’m sorry … I don’t actually know your name.”
“It’s Shadow.” Before I could respond, he took a quick glance around the parking lot and asked, “You out here alone?”
“Yeah … I was just about to head home.”
“You shouldn’t be out here by yourself. It’s not safe,” he growled.
Surprised by his fierce tone, I became even more nervous and started to ramble. “I’m okay. My friends are inside. We were watching the band. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of them … the Smoking Guns. They’re pretty good. Not exactly my thing. A little loud for my taste. Not the loudest one I’ve ever been to, but close. At least I had an excuse to leave early … I have a shipment coming in tomorrow morning, so I need to be at the store early. What about you? Are you here to see the band, too?”
“Not exactly.” Without giving further explanation, he asked, “Where’s your car?”
“Um … it’s right over there,” I answered as I pointed in its direction.
He leaned to the side as he looked around me and grimaced, clearly not impressed by the state of my vehicle. “That’s your car?”
“Yeah. I know it’s not much, but it gets me to where I’m going.”
Just when I thought the moment couldn’t get any more uncomfortable, Jason stepped out of the bar, and as he glared at the burly biker standing next to me, he shouted, “Hey, Alex? You okay?”
“Yeah. I’m good. I was just about to leave.” When he didn’t move, I said, “You’re going to miss the closer if you don’t go back inside.”
“You’re sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, Jason. I’m fine.”
“Okay. Don’t forget to text me when you get home.”
“I will. Don’t worry.”
Once he was gone, I turned my attention back to my biker. He studied me for a moment, his eyes lingering on my mouth for only a fleeting moment; then, without saying a word, he started walking towards my car. Having no idea what he was doing, I just stood there trying to wrap my head around exactly what was happening. He turned around and looked over at me then said, “I thought you were leaving.”
“I am.” He cocked his eyebrow as he motioned his hand towards the driver’s side door. Feeling like a complete idiot, I rushed over to him and quickly unlocked my door.
He watched me get inside and asked, “You okay to drive?”
“Yes, I’m fine.” He again stared at me for a moment like he was trying to decide if I really was okay. “Seriously. I had one beer two hours ago. I’m fine.”
“Good.”
I expected him to step back, but he just stood there looking down at me. I felt warm all over, my heart was pounding so loudly that I was certain he could hear it. I felt my face turning red, and not wanting him to see my body’s reaction to him, I said, “Your motorcycle is really something. I bet it’s awesome to ride on a night like this.”
“It is.”
“Okay, well … I guess I better get going.” With a bit of hesitation, I put my hand on the door handle and as I started to close it, I said, “Thanks for walking me to my car.”
His expression softened as he moved out of the way and said, “Be careful.”
“I will. Thanks.”
After I closed the door, I gave him a smile and a quick wave goodbye, then started my engine. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I glanced up at my rearview mirror, and a chill ran down my spine when I noticed he was still standing in the same spot, watching intently as I drove out onto the main road.

“Damn,” I muttered to myself.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leslie Wilder grew up in a small town in West Tennessee. A country girl at heart, she’s always thought that life is too short, but she had no idea how short it really was until her brother passed away in 2014. She’s always been an avid reader, loving the escape only a great book can give, and wondered if she had what it took to write one of the wild romances she’d come to adore. With the support of her family and friends, she published Inferno: A Devil Chaser’s MC, one year after her brother’s death. With him in mind, she fulfilled her lifetime dream of writing. Since then, she’s completed the Devil Chaser’s Series and continued on with the Satan’s Fury MC Series. She has so many stories in her head, and can’t wait to share each and every one.
Leslie has been blown away by the support of her readers, appreciating every message, review, and encouraging word she’s received over the past year. She looks forward to continuing this journey with them for years to come.
 
 
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review 2018-08-15 02:11
Turns out that things went a little better this time around...
Sun and Shadow - Dirk Greyson,Andrew McFerrin

Ok, here we are at the end of book #2 and somethings worked better for me so let's take a look at them...

 

First off there's the overall story...the mystery/thriller/action all that stuff and this time around this part of the story was on the plus side of things for me. I liked the story premise...a lot! I'm a bit of an art geek so when story is based artworks like this one was it gets brownie points with me from the get go and then there was the whole issue of the race between Knight and Day vs the Russians which definitely had some good moments even...dare I say humorous ones...

like when Day told Knight they couldn't go around messing with the cars of every Russian they meet...ok, if you say so Day but personally I'm cool with it, especially when it seems like every Russian you meet is trying to kill you. I say go for it.

 

and then we have Knight. I'm still not sure that I can say I like him but I was happy to see a bit of growth with him and I liked the whole side story of him and the kid that he caught robbing his garage...it was sweet, but not overly and that's all I'm saying on that subject. Well that and the fact that this was a nice little side step from everything else that was happening and I liked getting to see Knight interact with someone other than Day or the 'bad guys'. While he still maintained his gruff demeanor, we also got to see a kinder more caring Knight than I had believed was there...I have hope!

 

As for Knight and Day's relationship well there was a bit of growth there as well. While Knight's still got a long way to go at least this time around we got to see a bit of introspection on his part...although the visit from the dead wife was something I so could have done without...but maybe that's just me.

 

Day has thankfully stood up for himself form the word go with Knight and I like that this continued in spite of the fact that he's willing to take care of Knight when he's needed, it didn't mean that he wouldn't stand up for himself whenever Knight decided to be a jerk! Day would call him on his douchy behavior, something that Knight desperately needed. But on the other side of this coin I have to admit that I found it hard to buy the attraction between these two because of how often they were at odds with each other...maybe, if this aspect of things could shift a bit so that the conflict between these two eases up a bit I'll find them to be more believable as a couple and maybe that's just me and I'm cool with that too. We all have our own personal preferences as to what does or doesn't work in a relationship and I can honestly think of more than one couple that have had pretty high levels of antagonism going on between them and still as a couple it's worked for me. This is such a subjective aspect and while Knight and Day aren't quite there for me as a couple at least this time around I started to feel like I could see the possibility.

 

Once again I was treated to the opportunity to enjoy the narrations of Andrew McFerrin and he did not disappoint in any way especially since having the same narrator in the second story as there was in the first one made it that much easier to become invested in the story.

 

Even more important than whether or not a narrator sounds how I think a character should sound is having the consistency of that character sounding the same from story to story. Something that adds believability and realism to the story for me as a listener.

 

So far there's one more book listed for this series, 'Dawn and Dusk' and I have to admit while I doubt I'll read the e-book if it gets released on audio and  Andrew McFerrin's the narrator I may just give it a try. 

 

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

An audio book of 'Sun and Shadow' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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