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review 2017-03-22 21:34
Review: Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan
Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Sarah Morgan

I'm giving this book zero stars because I hated each character featured in the story and the writing was amateurish even though the author has an expansive backlist. It was all telling (the chemistry between hero and heroine was mentioned about a thousand times) and no showing with a cast of characters straight out of British chick lit audition room. Add in the never ending snow storms and picturesque scenes of Vermont at Christmas time so sweet it will give you a toothache, and it ends up being a boring book about horrible characters. The only reason I read the whole thing rather than DNF is because it can be used to fill in a challenge prompt. I am not going to read anything else by this author.

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review 2017-03-22 21:05
It seems the circus has come to town...
The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter Book 2) - C.S. Poe

While I enjoyed 'The Mystery of Nevermore' book 1 in C. S. Poe's Snow & Winter series a tiny, tiny bit more than this one that does not mean that 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was anything less than enjoyable. 

 

I think possibly part of my added enthusiasm for the first book was just the joy of discovering a new author who was writing a new series that I wanted to read...see all the shiny new that's going on here? I was dazzled...that's right I suffer from magpie syndrome. However, while this book isn't the shiny new of a first book in a new series by a new author it still holds it's own with a well written story about characters that I truly like solving a well done mystery. Ms. Poe had me guessing right up until the end when I knew who did it and why only to find out things were not as they seemed...well done, I love a mystery that keeps my brain guessing from start to finish.

 

While I did get a bit frustrated with Seb for his perpetual lies of omission and half-truths, I do have to admit were I in his shoes I'm not sure I would have done any better and I think that while I don't advocate his behavior I probably felt a little more lenient towards him once my initial frustration wore off and I was force to admit that while his decision making skills weren't always stellar neither were they malicious or intended to do harm...in fact, it was quite the opposite he wanted to resolve things in the hopes of keeping anyone else from being hurt...so his intentions were good...mmmmm...I think there's a road somewhere paved with good intentions...just sayin'

 

Apart from the mystery and just the story in general one of the things that I truly loved was the approach that the author took with Calvin's PTSD. It wasn't made light of with implications that little more than some good sex would fix it. While Calvin doesn't want to seek medical help neither is Seb willing to give up on getting him to reconsider this decision. There is real concern for Calvin on the part of his partner, Quinn and Seb's father and not just Seb, but as we all know you can't help someone until they want to be helped. So to me Seb was being realistic about things in that he wasn't forcing Calvin to do something he's not ready to do but neither was he willing to stick his head in the sand and just hope it'd go away.

 

I love Seb and Calvin the passion is there and it's wonderfully tempered with humor and sweet yet sometimes awkward moments of them sharing their feelings whether saying 'I love you' or when Calvin is trying to explain how much he needs Seb to be safe or Seb seeking Calvin's forgiveness for something that he new he shouldn't have done long before he ever did it. These two tug at my heartstrings and make me smile contentedly as I travel along with them to solve their latest mystery.

 

While 'The Mystery of Nevermore' gave us the shiny new 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' proved that this author's candle is still burning bright.

 

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

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

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text 2017-03-17 19:00
Friday Reads!
Sleigh Bells in the Snow - Sarah Morgan
Cat Trick - Sofie Kelly
Rick Steves Travel as a Political Act - Rick Steves
The Idle Parent: Why Laid-Back Parents Raise Happier and Healthier Kids - Tom Hodgkinson

Happy St. Patrick's Day to the Irish and Irish diaspora around the world. I can claim Irish heritage via my great-grandmother and great-grandfather who came to the US from Cork.

 

My hubby came back from his TDY and surprised me with volumes 3 and 4 of Saga; he found them at the BX at the base he was TDY and remembered I had picked up one and two. He also bought a crap ton of Italian wine.

 

Tonight and tomorrow is my farewell trip to London with two friends, one of which is leaving to move back to the US. We are staying at a Harry Potter themed B+B, going to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie, do a Harry Potter themed walking tour on Saturday, followed by a little lunch and a little shopping.

 

Here is what I am reading this weekend and into next week:

1. Finish Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (print copy from personal shelves)

    I am only continuing with this book because it fits a Pop Sugar prompt. I am definitely not feeling Morgan's writing or the category-length story stretched out to a full book length plot line.

 

2. Cat Trick by Sofie Kelly (Kindle book via OverDrive)

     Another Pop Sugar prompt filler. A quick cozy mystery from an author I read before (another book in the series for Halloween bingo last autumn).

 

3. Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves (Kindle book via OverDrive)

    Yet another Pop Sugar prompt filler, but I have had this one on my OverDrive wish list for a long time. I admit that if Steves or Samantha Brown had not written this book, I probably wouldn't have given it a second look; but because I like Steves' work on TV, I am looking forward to how he might incorporate politics (international and/or domestic) into the arena of travel.

 

4. The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson (Kindle book via OverDrive)

    One last Pop Sugar prompt filler. My Kindle is going to get quite the work out this week.

 

Also, I have at least three reviews to write, but just not feeling the writing vibes as much as the reading vibes.

 

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review 2017-03-17 09:33
Not mine
Maybe This Time - Jennifer Snow

Coming home at the end of a bad marriage, Abigail and her daughter have to find their way.  Jackson has always been there, but not always friendly.  What could happen now?

 

Jackson has been in love with his best friends girl since before they knew what a relationship meant.  He has suffered through her being someone else's, and now he hopes for a chance to change that.

 

The story is rather cute.  I always love a good hockey book.  This one came across a bit forced.  The pace is good, dialogue original, but the story just does not seem smooth.  I give this book a 2/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2017-03-11 07:58
DNF at 20%
Ark: A Scifi Alien Romance (Dragon Empire Book 1) - Lucy Snow

Just some quotes to illustrate why this wasn't for me (besides the absolutely silly heroine):

 

Heroine, who accompanies the Earth ambassador to the most important meeting in all human history: "Of course I wanted a family. Working with Fuller all this time over the last few years had been wonderful, but it wasn't the same as having a special man in my life."

First of all, she sounds like 16, so "the last few years" had me scratching my head, and her general demeanor has me doubting Fuller's sanity for choosing a "I want me some romance" silly clutz as his attendent. Major FACEPALM.

 

The hero, who likes to kill things. Talking or interacting - not so much; killing, yeah! - tall, muscular, alpha: "I remembered venting to Kaalax in private, railing against the shame at being assigned to escort him to a "conference". The very world sounds like something babies would play at, not fit for real men, real warriors."

 

Of course insta-lust on the heroine's side as soon as she sees his muscular warrior's body, she nearly loses her professional cool (AHEM).

 

Their dialogue is so cringeworthy, I simply couldn't go on.

"Tell me about yourself, Ark." Ark stopped eating long enough to stare me down. "I am a warrior."

 

Oh, but he has a sweet and romantic side too! He has a little monologue about how passionate his race is about love, while shoveling food supplements down his gullet. And her reaction: 

I blushed, and quickly looked down to try and hide my face just as I noticed Ark's eyebrows raise in question. "Tell me about how your species loves, Ark. You make it sound so all-encompassing."

 

I even cringe inside writing that down. That has to be the worst come-on line in all history, alien or human. I can hear bad 70ies shag music in the background, groovy!

 

Then our precious heroine does a little slut-shaming with saying that humanity's way of love is basically crap with only serial affairs and one-night-stands and such awful things instead of sticking with their choices, because it has become "so easy to jump between relationships" (the 50ies called, they want their sexual morals back...)

 

I rest my case.

 

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