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review 2017-11-07 19:45
So that thing I did...well, there's more...
Cask Strength - Layla Reyne

'Cask Strength' is the second book in 'Agents Irish and Whiskey' and definitely every bit as good as the first one. 


Aidan and Jamie take a step back to the life that Jamie came from as Jamie goes undercover in the sport of basketball. What starts out as an investigation into illegal betting and identity theft soon turns out to be more with possible ties into another case that Jamie and Aidan have been investigating...something that ties into the death of Aidan's husband nearly a year ago.


Once again Tristan James's narration only helped to enhance my enjoyment of this story giving even more dimension and depth to the story and the characters. 


As the mystery surrounding the death of Aidan's husband and his former partner grows so do the feelings that Aidan and Jamie share for each other. Agents Irish and Whiskey is a fast paced and intense story and the danger, mystery, intrigue and passion in these stories are all off the charts. 


Highly recommended!

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review 2017-09-29 21:48
A Seal's Strength (Military Match) by JM Stewart
A SEAL's Strength (Military Match) (Volume 2) - JM Stewart


Out of tragic circumstances a second chance blooms.  The alpha in Gabe is put to the test.  When a father's love for his daughter collides with first love, one mighty Navy Seal is about to be brought to his knees.  A Seal's Strength is a sweet dash of salty with regular sprinkles of naughty.  My favorite moments are the interactions of a father with the love of his life, his daughter. He encourages her, he listens to her and he becomes a better person because of her.  Ms. Stewart can seduce with the best of them, but her stories are more than just wickedly tempting, they spark emotion and humor.

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text 2017-08-22 10:54
Reading progress update: I've read 71%.
Cask Strength - Layla Reyne

Well, I kind of had the plan to just read this second book now and save the 3rd for a bit.

I’m starting to think that was somewhat naive... (*rushing off to buy book 3*)

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review 2017-07-10 04:44
Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness - Tracy Kidder

This is a readable but mediocre book that gets a lot of praise because it’s about an impressive person and a tragic topic. Deogratias grew up in rural Burundi with few advantages, but made it to medical school, until he got caught up in the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi in 1993. A friend helped him flee to New York City, where despite a job delivering groceries he found himself homeless at first, until making friends who helped him get back on his feet. He then went to college and medical school in the U.S., and returned to Burundi to set up clinics for people with no access to health care.


This book reminds me of Ashley’s War, in that both are about people and subjects that absolutely deserve a book, but their authors sell them short. Kidder’s writing feels superficial throughout. From early on I had the impression that he was drawn to Deo but never really understood him (or perhaps Deo wasn’t willing or able to open up to the extent an author would need to write a biography that appears to be based mostly on his own disclosures), and so was able to relate the facts but only on the surface level. This becomes even more apparent in the second half of the book, when Kidder accompanies Deo on one of his trips back to Burundi. They visit numerous memorials and sites from Deo’s past, and Kidder describes how Deo reacts, but in the end we get more of Kidder’s feelings about the trip than Deo’s.


Though this is primarily a biography, we do get some information about the genocide in Rwanda and Burundi as well, along with a brief overview of the countries’ history. Though, again, this feels superficial, it’s an adequate starting point and is interesting for a reader with relatively little knowledge of the area. Especially interesting is Deo’s theory that the genocide was made possible in large part by structural violence – that when everyday life is full of fatal illness and injury, hunger, violence at home and at school, and little opportunity to improve one’s lot in life, people perceive the value of their own lives as low and therefore value others’ even less. Also interesting is the fact that, although westerners reading about the genocide assume Hutu and Tutsi are clearly definable ethnic groups, the reality seems to be anything but; these are apparently social groups more than anything else, and it appears Deo isn’t alone in being unable to tell the difference.


At any rate, this is a very readable book, not a bad choice for those who are interested in the topic. (It’s also worth pointing out, for those unsure about whether they can handle a book about genocide, that only one 35-page chapter is all about that; most of the book is about Deo’s life before and after, and about Kidder spending time with Deo and the people who helped him in New York.) But I’m underwhelmed by Kidder’s writing and likely won’t recommend this to others.

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