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review 2018-03-04 02:50
Blue Sage (Western Lovers: Ranch Rogues #2) - Anne Stuart

I ponder a lot, about these characters who stay in small towns where they're miserable. I really ponder why this town continues to exist. Seems like such a tragedy in a town that barely qualifies for a truck stop (with no gas station...where do people gas up?). the kindest thing would be for the whole town to die. And of course, I wonder why something like what happened would keep being rehashed.


So basically, the past is that the H's father, a Korean war vet, had...issues...from his time there. And the H's mother, freaked out by him, left with the H, then a 2 year old. 15 years later, he snapped during the 4th of July, and shot a bunch of people. It is implied that prior to this, a bunch of animals in the area turned up dead, at his hand. The h was the lone survivor among the victims - she was shot in the knee.


The H has spent the last 15 years having people look at him suspiciously due to who his father was. I kinda puzzled at that. His almost-step-father insists that he go back to his parents' home town and well, figure things out.


The h has become, whether she wanted to or not, the town martyr. She wants out. The town judge took her in by marrying her (he's dead now), and well, everyone takes care of her...until she sleeps with the H, then they turn on her like rabid dogs. (see "why do people remain in small towns when they're miserable?"). He stays away for a bit and they sort of forgive her, deciding she's been victimized again (well, yeah - by them).


In the meantime, someone is planning on recreating the tragedy. The H's reappearance is v. convenient as everyone suspects him. The person makes their move against the h, the H for whatever reason goes back and gets her untied, then they go and avert disaster.


As stated earlier, I don't get why the h had stayed there. I don't get why she let herself get railroaded into a marriage (no relatives apparently). I don't get a lot of things about this set up really.

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review 2018-03-02 18:06
Glass Houses (Men at Work: Tall, Dark & Smart #11) - Anne Stuart

Dude on cover looks more like your friendly neighborhood MD or pharmacist than a business tycoon.


Heroine owns art deco high rise in NY (and also a modeling agency). Hero is developer who wants to put in a modern plaza on the block her building occupies - the whole block. Alrighty then.


I do get that real estate is like, gold there. Seems though that some nods to an architectural gem should be made. I mean; I'm trying to imagine the architect who'd brush off something like that so casually. And maybe thinking they're in the wrong business. Just imagining the reaction if word got out that someone wanted to bring down the Chrysler building and put in a soulless high rise.


But that's neither here, nor there. It's just that as a plot point, it's kinda weak. And well, there's not much said about how the surrounding buildings were brought down.

So our H is determined to buy, and our h is determined not to sell. And because his lawyer is having no luck, he decides to try himself. It does backfire on him, because she gets under his skin. It's one of those frenemy sort of things - once contact is made, he keeps finding reasons to see her, even though things always seem to end in an argument...except when they don't.


There's a lot of other drama that's kind of filler - a new model for her agency, who tries to blackmail them, the model's ex who wants to know if he really is an ex (because the cow didn't just tell him; she slunk off), the receptionist and her as-yet unrequited crush on a male model (which gets resolved. Yay?). There's also the H knowing the report that the building needs some serious work because it's becoming unstable and using this knowledge to cause damage to the structure.


Eventually, the damage has results - the building has to be evacuated. The h, in a moment of enlightenment, signs the papers, gives her receptionist half the agency, and leaves for CA.


As grand gestures go, I'd guess deciding to remodel the old building while having new plans drawn up for the rest of the block is a pretty grand one. And it gets her attention - she comes back...and signs that last bit of paperwork she'd ignored all attempts by lawyers to get signed. It's a prenuptial agreement. Sneaky. V. sneaky. She didn't even look at it first; just signed it.

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review 2018-02-24 20:48
Learning Cents!
The Penny Pot (MathStart 3) - Stuart J. Murphy,Lynne Cravath

Another great counting book for children to learn money skills. This book also has activities in the back to help work on counting change. The setting is great for younger students and is relatable to something that they might actually experience in life. One fun math activity would be this example. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/165155511305014404/ 

Grade Level: 1-5th

Lexile Measure: 480L

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review 2018-02-23 15:50
"Dangerous Perceptions", by Stuart Murray
Dangerous Perceptions: The Road To Nowhere - Stuart Murray
The Road to Nowhere 

I had “The Road to Nowhere” on my TBR list for a very long time, a book I had downloaded a few years back from Amazon. After I had read more than half the book my friend asked if I was reading the latest edition…the book had been completely revised. I usually do update when I noticed them although here I cannot be certain I did…. So with this in mind my review reflects the edition I had in hand….

The story in a few words:

Former Marines Steve Tait and Jeff McCrae decide to rekindle the romance they’d once had with their wives, Karen and Shauna. A peaceful drive from Omaha to the quiet town of Whitefish turns into a battle of life and death when they become victims of road rage from Wayne Jackson.

My thoughts:

What I liked:

“The Road to Nowhere” is mostly a gripping and adrenaline-pumping thriller. Mr. Murray’s imagination depicts brilliantly his diverse characters. Each are well thought out and through their eyes we are able to experience the confrontational and disturbing scenes they encountered. Whitefish is a town full of maniacal bullies and this thriller shows what happens when they come up against well trained former marine with PTSD. The story doesn’t stay there we go deep into Steve’s past and other problems that haunts his minds…back to the firing zones of Iraq and Afghanistan and the troubles his memories brought into his marriage. 

This is chilling tale of suspense, an action packed drama that explores the darkest desires and highest of hopes. To describe this story in a few words: a wild ride where people are swept up in one clash after the other…… “Dangerous Perceptions”, could have been a very captivating read if it was not for……

What I didn’t like:

What spoiled the experience is how terribly the chapters meshed together. It was as if a flash of darkness happened and in the next chapter you are reading a totally different topic. I wondered too often if my mind had been someplace else and if I had missed something. Too many chapters have no resolution again leaving you wondering what happened to the players and how they managed to pull through. Although the story is good for most parts, I think it touches too many subjects. It may have been better to stay more focussed on one or two at the most…..


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review 2018-02-14 20:00
Sugar - Kimberly Stuart

Going to go with four stars since I did enjoy a lot about this book. I just wish the author had surprised us with an ending that had the main character (Charlie) realize that if she is going to date someone, that they had to not only trust her, but understand her job. I had some dissatisfaction with that plot-line as well as the whole t.v. thing. It was weirdly done at the end and I don't know how to feel about it. 

"Sugar" focuses on Charlie Garrett, a chef at one of the hottest restaurants in New York, L'Ombre. Charlie puts up with the daily put-downs of the head chef (baker) at the restaurant who makes her and other co-workers days/nights a nightmare. Charlie puts up with it though since she is promised eventually she is going to get promoted. But when Charlie is given an offer to move to Seattle and work alongside her ex-boyfriend Avery, she leaps at the chance after one put-down/shitty move too many. There's a catch though for Charlie, working with Avery means she agrees to being filmed for a reality tv series and she can't talk about it with others. With her long days/nights put in at Avery's restaurant she doesn't have a lot of time with a budding relationship with a man she meets named Kai.

I have to say, Charlie was awesome in so many ways. She's smart, driven, a neat-nik, and loves to bake. She has dreams and knows that working with Avery in Seattle may be enough to get her to where she should be at in her life. But she feels forced to choose due to actions/conversations with her best friend and with Kai. I hate that there is this whole idea that women can have it all. Having it all means/looks like a lot of different things to people, and most of us cannot have it all. Most of us are going to work long hours and give up on tucking our kids into bed, that does not makes us a failure. There was some interesting commentary here and there that I think had Stuart wading in a bit to feminist waters. But that's all thrown out the door based on what Charlie ultimately does when faced with a decision.

Have to say it, I didn't like Kai much and thought Avery was a dork (not bad or anything, just dorky). Kai gets frustrated/upset because Charlie has a lot going on and then gets shirty when her boss (Avery) is at her place when he comes by. There was too many red flags for me in that whole thing. I also kind of hated Kai's family. Way too into his business and Charlie's and I didn't find it charming. 

Charlie's best friend bugged a bit too since she was also judging Charlie's life and seeming to think that without a man her becoming a head chef (baker) at a restaurant wasn't a big deal. I don't know, I loved Charlie a lot, but the previous two characters I met bugged me.

The setting changes from New York to Seattle and I really enjoyed how Stuart describes both places. You can even feel the difference between both spaces since New York sounds cramped, dark, and smelly and Seattle sounds like heaven on Earth with green spaces, farmer's market, and apartments with a lot of light and views of the water. 

The ending as I said above didn't do a lot for me. Though we do get a silver lining of sorts with Charlie getting her own version (I guess) of a HEA with an out of nowhere offer.

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