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review 2017-12-28 22:40
Eventually your past will catch up with you
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel - Matthew J. Sullivan

I had hoped to keep up the momentum and actually post a new review every single day leading up to New Year's but I got super busy with mom in town and...ah well. :-)


I thought I made notes about every single book that I've read this year and then it's time to review Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan and I've got nothing. This leaves me in an interesting predicament because I read this book quite a while ago (September to be precise) and so this is going to be a test of the narrative's sustainability in my memory. (Full disclosure: I had to look up the synopsis because all I remembered was 'mystery, death, and bookstore'.) Without being too spoiler-y, the book follows a young woman named Lydia who works at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Lydia has a secret. Well, it's at least a secret from her closest friends and co-workers. At the very start of the novel, Lydia discovers the body of one of her favorite patrons hanging in the bookstore where she works. (This isn't giving anything away because it's on the book jacket, ok?) This sets her off on a journey to not only discover why he killed himself but how the two of them might be interconnected beyond the clerk/customer relationship. Full of suspense (and not a little gore), this was an enjoyable read. I felt a bit like Sherlock Holmes trying to suss out the real clues from the barrage of information that the author threw my away but it wasn't too overwhelming. This is definitely a novel full of drama so if that isn't your jam I don't recommend this one. (And if you're squeamish I think you'd better steer clear.) 8/10 with a few points lost because I predicted the ending somewhat.


What's Up Next: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories 


What I'm Currently Reading: I FINALLY FINISHED SCYTHE

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-01-30 06:41
Little lies
Uncensored (The Manhattanites Book 7) - Avery Aster

This is the 7th book in The Manhattanites series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading in order.


Vive and Rod meet for the first time at the farm.  I say this term loosely since they are both recovering addicts who have had a lot to deal with over the last year.  Vive has great friends who want to help, and that makes all the difference.


Rod has had his life torn apart.  Nothing is the same.  He can actually say he has hit rock bottom, and lost everything.  When he comes face to face with his adversary, however, he is not sure at first how to react.  They both are hiding secrets that can change the course of the future for both of them.


I felt like this was the best book in the series.  It had such depth.  The characters had to really lose to win.  It was a very powerful story, infused with humor and heat.  The sexy times are really hot!  Great add on for The Manhattanites series.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



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

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review 2016-08-05 08:01
Blog Tour w/Review # 1 - Counting Daisies
Title: Counting Daisies
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: MM Romance
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Dylan Roberts and Cameron O’Neil were good kids. Growing up together, they shared everything. By the age of fourteen they were more than best friends – they were in love. They dreamt of their future, of success, marriage…happiness. They were going to grow old by each other’s side. But… “Kids are stupid.” When tragic circumstances forced them apart, Dylan discovered that life wasn’t the fairytale he dreamed of; it was dark, difficult, saturated with pain and shame. Life wasn’t meant to be enjoyed, merely survived, but even that became a challenge. Damaged, worthless, and disgusting, he saw no point to his pitiful existence… Until he came face to face with the boy he used to love. Successful, honourable, and happy, Cameron had achieved the future they planned. He was good, positive, popular…everything Dylan would never be. What would happen if Dylan let him back into his world? Would he destroy Cameron too? Would his poison push him away like everyone else? “Everybody leaves.” “They leave or they die.” But what if…what if Cameron didn’t?
“This is a deep and powerful book with the main theme which is refreshing less about the path of a relationship and way more about the real life gritty obstacles that come on the way of their HEA.” - Reader Review
“This book was phenomenal. I cried so many tears. Story was heart breaking and heartwarming all at the same time.” - SiKReviews
“This was a beautifully crafted story of friendship, love, bonds, addictive behaviour and heartache. It was hugely emotional in parts, and Nicola doesn't hold back.” - 2 Girls & Their Kindles
He clung to my shirt, his knuckles turning white. “Make it s-stop.” 
“I…I don’t know how.”
Fuck this. Fuck heroin. Why the hell would someone do this to themselves? I’d never seen this level of pain before that hadn’t resulted in death, and even that was only on TV. 
Dylan sobbed into my chest and I held him while he did. My arms were all I had to offer. He remained so cold despite my palms rubbing up and down his back, and he was dirty, too - dried up vomit sticking to his skin and hair. I’d never felt so helpless in all my life.
Needing to do something, anything, I climbed to my feet, lifting his body with me. “Come on,” I encouraged, struggling to take his weight on my own. “Try and walk for me.”
He whimpered and mumbled but made little effort to move. So, sliding one arm behind his thighs, I scooped him up like a baby, carrying him towards the bath. He clung to my neck, his grip weak, while I turned on the water. I turned the temperature down to barely warm, worried the heat might burn his shivering skin, before lowering him into the bathtub, under the fine spray of the shower. 
His muscles twitched and his eyes closed as he hugged his knees to his scrawny chest. Taking a sponge and some shower-gel, I scrubbed softly up and down his trembling body, gently manoeuvring his arms and legs when needed so I could clean every inch of him.
“I’m tired, Cam,” he barely whispered, dropping his head to the side.
My heart ached, like it was trapped inside a vice that was trying to crush its ability to beat, as I lathered some shampoo into his fair hair. “You can sleep soon. Nearly done.” 
I tried not to cry as I massaged his scalp. I wanted to be strong, but I’d never felt more vulnerable. Removing the showerhead from the hook on the wall, I hovered it over his head, rinsing away the tea-tree scented suds, before doing the same to the rest of his skin. After shutting the water off, I grabbed a large towel from the heated rail next to the toilet and rubbed it over his skin in the bathtub before lifting him out and doing the same to his back.
“I-I can’t d-do it anymore,” Dylan cried as I wound my arm around his waist, urging him to take a step.
“You are doing it. It’s almost over.” I had no idea if my words were the truth, but I had to hope they were for both of our sakes. Honestly, I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore either.

Counting Daisies (Counting, #1)Counting Daisies by Nicola Haken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dylan & Cameron grew up together. They did everything together. In their teens, they fell in love too. Growing together was their greatest happiness.

Cameron went on to live a pretty good life, without Dylan. Dylan had found the dark, negative side to life - away from Cameron. When he saw him again, he was afraid to say anything.

Dylan and Cameron want to find each other again. How patient can you be to relive a first love? Can it be rekindled at a later date? Dylan only wants Cameron. Nothing maters more.

This book was so touching. So very compelling to read. I was spellbound. I hurt when they hurt and I cheered when they triumphed. I loved every page.

***This ARC was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Nicola lives in Rochdale, England with her husband and four children (six if you include the dog and cat!) She is the author the author of the m/m romance Souls of the Knight series, and is currently working on a standalone with new boys, James and Theo, due for release early 2016. When she is not busy playing with her imaginary book friends (or talking about them with real life friends!) she can usually be found carrying out her ordinary mum/housewife/all round slave duties. Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they're sleeping...
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review 2016-03-05 02:14
Apparently I like scripts
Verity Xuereb-Smith - Steven Hugh

It wasn't until I reached this last book in the series, Verity Xuereb-Smith, that I figured out the reoccurring theme of all three books. (I was helped along a bit by the title of the trilogy, Beginning Again, which I had forgotten until looking back at my initial email from Steven (sorry!).) All of these title characters are looking for a fresh start. They're turning away from the people that they were and discovering who they always wanted to be. Barbara wanted solitude and respite. This was natural as she had already suffered so much turmoil (spoilers!). Ian was tired of his boring job and the drab scenery of Leicester (fool!). He wanted to be in charge of his own life and he fell in love with Spain. Now there's Verity who is an aging actress who has definitely seen her fair share of drama (ha ha ha I am hilarious). I found this one to be the most enjoyable of the three and I think a lot of that had to do with the structure. The moving plot device is that Verity is being interviewed while on a plane ride from Spain to London. The chapters flip flop between interview style question and answers about Verity's career and snippets of her scripts. Apparently I really enjoy reading scripts. I felt the ending was rather abrupt but overall quite good.


I wanted to give an overall summary of my thoughts on this trilogy but I find myself indecisive. On the one hand, I found them quite slow moving at times and not exactly action packed. On the other hand, I found them to be interesting character studies and now that the theme is obvious to me I think they're rather charmingly optimistic. If you're looking for something easygoing that won't take terribly long to get through (I read each book in a couple of hours) then this trilogy is for you.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2016-03-01 21:13
Are middle grade books even a thing?
The True Meaning of Smekday - Adam Rex

If you haven't figured it out by now, my other passion besides books are movies. I watched Home which came out last year and starred (the voices of) Jim Parsons, Rihanna, and J. Lo. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it was based on a middle grade (I struggled over this designation) novel entitled The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex. (Do you see where this post is headed?) Both storylines focus on a little girl named Gratuity "Tip" Tucci as she tries to find her mom in the aftermath of an alien takeover. The aliens are called the Boov and they've corralled the humans into a centralized location and taken over everything. This is where the similarities mostly end. The relationship between Tip and her mom, Lucy, is less than ideal. Her mother drinks a lot, is financially irresponsible, and relies heavily on her daughter who is only eleven. I appreciated that Rex wrote this in a matter-of-fact way. It's a reality that exists for many children and I think realistic relationships such as these are underrepresented. What's important is that despite all of that Tip is determined to find her mother so that they can be reunited. Of course, it's not as easy as that. She's in Philadelphia and the majority of humanity have been sent to Florida. She buys a car with the emergency savings they have in their apartment and sets out with her pet cat, Pig. (That wasn't a typo.) She meets a Boov named J. Lo (Firstly, it's a boy Boov which is awesome. Secondly, the book is actually dedicated to J. Lo and as mentioned above she voices a character (the mom to be exact) in the movie.) who enhances her car so that it hovers. They go on a rollicking, dangerous adventure to find her mom while dodging the Boov and another race of aliens called Gorg (actual race is Nimrogs but they are all named Gorg) who have also arrived to colonize Earth. Rex uses illustration in a clever way throughout the book. There are "polaroids" (pencil drawings) of different parts of their trip as well as comic strip illustrations from J. Lo with written explanations by Tip. It's a quick, fun read that I think would especially benefit reluctant readers. It had a lot of heart and touched on a lot of topics such as substance abuse, race, and loyalty. I really enjoyed it. :-D

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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