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review 2018-10-18 19:44
Sometimes it's a fine line between love and obsession...
No Tears for Darcy - Vicki Reese,Brock Hatton

It's a fine line between love and obsession...

 

Cameron's trying to get over the loss of his loved ones but it's hard when the people you care about keep dying...first it was his parents, then his boyfriend and now his friends seem to be falling victim to this mysterious curse that's following him.

 

Pete Minchelli is recovering from an injury sustained during his job so he's come to visit his family and friends as he heals and begins to consider his growing discontent with the direction his life has been going in. When Pete's friend,Will Carson, from his academy days ask for help with a case that brings Cameron into his life. Ultimately Pete's confusion over things is only compounded.

 

Pete and Cameron are drawn to each other from the moment they meet and as the story progresses their attraction grows increasing Pete's resolve to keep Cameron safe and find a way for them to remain in each other's lives. Along with his growing attraction Cameron is trying to deal with his past and the wreckage of a relationship that

he's quickly beginning to realize is was even more less than ideal than he had ever thought it could be...as an ever increasing number of lies and deceptions are revealed. As the number of lies and deceptions his relationship was based on increases, so do the number of bodies. It begins to seem like there's one secret that someone's willing to do anything to hide...leaving everyone wondering if anyone is safe from Cameron's stalker...even Cameron himself.

 

There was a lot about this story that I really enjoyed but unfortunately for me there was one thing that really detracted from it and that was the fact that I figured out who the stalker was far to early. While this doesn't always bother me in this case the story was too dependent on the mystery aspect of things and I really needed for the story to have kept me guessing longer than it did. 

 

I liked both of the MCs and as a couple, for me, they worked. Next add in some interesting secondary characters and this should have worked better than it did. However, even though I was able to figure out the mystery part of it earlier than I would have liked and for me that did take away from my over all enjoyment of things I also think the fact that I still gave this 3.5 stars speaks to the fact that there is still a good and enjoyable story here.

 

Now at this point your probably thinking 'who the hell is Darcy?' or maybe even 'Is there a Darcy?' well I will tell you there is a 'Darcy' in this story but what I'm not going to tell you is who they are or what role they play. So if you're curious about Darcy you'll need to either read the story or listen to the audio narrated by Brock Hatton.

 

As well as my first time with this author 'No Tears for Darcy' was also my first audio experience with Brock Hatton and it appears to be this narrator's first audio narration. I have to say I was suitably impressed and look forward to seeing what future efforts will produce. I think my only real concern with this book from an audio perspective was that at times, mostly at the beginning of a chapter, it felt like the narrator was reading a little fast almost like his voice was in a race with a stop watch. This was not a really big variance and honestly some people may not even notice it, nor was it consistent which is probably why I did notice it because as the narrator progressed in the reading his voice seemed to level out into a slower more natural rhythm that combined with the individual voices and their expressiveness that I quite enjoyed. While I was definitely impressed with this first time effort, I'm also looking forward to following this narrator and seeing how he progresses and what future narrations his talents will enhance.

 

The ending for this story is more of an HFN (Happy For Now) with strong potential for an HEA (Happily Ever After) and while I would have preferred a more solid HEA I can see it happening based on where this story leaves us but I can't say I wouldn't be interested in reading a little more about Cameron and Pete and finding out just what else might happen on their way to happily ever after.

 

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An audio book for "No Tears For Darcy" was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2018-09-19 18:40
The Alex Rider travel-fest
Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz,Dan Stevens
Crocodile Tears - Anthony Horowitz
Scorpia Rising - Anthony Horowitz
Never Say Die (Alex Rider) - Anthony Horowitz

As I mentioned, I've spent the last 12 days on a road trip. The route was:

 

Morrisville, TN - Nashville, TN - Memphis, TN - Clarksville, AR (lunch with a dear friend) - Elk City, OK - Albuquerque, NM - Phoenix, AZ (my parent's house) - The Grand Canyon (amazing) - Kingman, AZ - Las Vegas, NV - Reno, NV - home.

 

This was a loooong trip. To keep ourselves occupied on the trip, the three of us (husband, self, 18-year-old son) ended up having an Alex Rider-fest, which was great. We ended up listening to the final four books in the series.

 

Snakehead: as our recent introduction to Alex (we'd all listened to the earlier books YEARS ago, so I was partially guessing when I decided where to start with this trip), we really enjoyed Snakehead. Alex, as always, is dragged unwillingly into helping out a spy agency, in this case, the Australian version of the CIA. The book starts with him plummeting back to earth after fighting the villain from Ark Angel on a space station. It goes from there, with trips to Bangkok, an illegal organ harvesting hospital in the Australian outback, a preposterous kayak ride down a river, a major betrayal, and, finally, reunification with Jack Starbright, his "housekeeper" slash best friend slash caregiver.

 

Crocodile Tears: This one has Alex escaping from a murder plot at a house party in the Scottish Highlands, and then getting into big trouble at a school trip to a place that does genetic modification of plants. He manages to figure out a plot involving a fake charity, and is ultimately kidnapped, taken to Africa, nearly fed to crocodiles, and foils a plot to commit mass homicide for cash. 

 

Scorpia Rising: Scorpia is back, and they are plotting against Alex. MI-6 and Alan Blunt fall for the trickery hook, line and sinker, and Alex is dispatched to a fancy school in Cairo, Egypt. He is captured (again), as is Jack Starbright, who has accompanied him to Egypt. The downside of this book is that it takes a long time to set it up - Alex doesn't make his first appearance until almost 40% of the book has gone by. Far too much time is spent with the two villains. It also has quite a shock ending.

 

Never Say Die: Based on the ending, and the six year gap between Scorpia Rising and the final book (to date), Never Say Die, I think that Horowitz intended Scorpia Rising to be the final book in the series. Someone must have persuaded him otherwise, because Alex is back, and tougher than ever. He is still dealing with the surprise ending of Scorpia Rising living with the Pleasure family in San Franciso when he receives a mysterious email that takes him right back into the shadowy world he thinks he has left forever. The last uncaptured members of Scorpia are at it again, with a ridiculously convoluted plot to make millions of dollars.

 

By the end of Never Say Die, there are no surviving members of Scorpia. Horowitz sets up the next stage in the series with a meeting between Mrs. Jones and Alex, where she points out that once he turns 16, he can be openly employed by MI-6, and a final tease about a new criminal organization that has started operating, Nightshade. Nightshade, the title for the 12th Alex Rider, is scheduled for release next year.

 

The series owes a lot to Fleming's James Bond series. The villains are always coming up with wildly implausible plots, and they cannot restrain themselves from telling the entire plot to Alex once they capture him. Instead of simply putting a bullet in his head, they come up with convoluted methods of killing that give him an opportunity to escape. One of my favorite characters, Smithers, is the analogue to Q, and is always coming up with great gadgets for Alex, disguised as things a school boy might naturally carry. Everyone loved the Rider-fest, and it made the miles disappear!

 

I used my wild card on Horowitz, since there aren't enough categories to really fit these books into, and filled four squares on the bingo board with Alex: Genre Suspense, Free Square, Shifter (wild card) and Doomsday (wild card).

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text 2018-09-13 15:12
Alex Rider audiobooks
Snakehead - Anthony Horowitz
Crocodile Tears - Anthony Horowitz
The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud

So, our road trip has taken us from Knoxville area, Tennessee to Nashville, Memphis, a tiny dot on the map called Clarksville, Arkansas, Elk City, Oklahoma and now Albuquerque, NM, which is where I am posting from this morning.

 

Since we left Knoxville, we've managed to listen to books 7 & 8 in the Alex Rider series, which have entertained all three of us enormously. Anthony Horowitz's boy spy, Alex Rider, has had a rough year, for sure!

 

We have about a six hour drive into the Phoenix area, where we will spend tomorrow with my parents, and then head north to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon on Saturday. From there it's Vegas and then Reno and then home!

 

Next book up is the first in the Lockwood and Co. series by Jonathan Stroud!

 

I will be claiming Genre, Suspense and my Free Square with the two Alex Riders, and supernatural with Lockwood & Co, when I get some time to update. Right now, I'm having breakfast, and then we will hit the road.

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review 2018-09-05 19:42
Any Man will do...{{{cringing}}}
Any Man - Amber Tamblyn

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~BOOK BLURB~

Any Man

Amber Tamblyn

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In this electric and provocative debut novel, Tamblyn blends genres of poetry, prose, and elements of suspense to give shape to the shocking narratives of victims of sexual violence, mapping the destructive ways in which our society perpetuates rape culture.

 

A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.

 

What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

 

As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I'm not a fan of poetry type prose and this is mostly written that way…It also has a lot of social media commentary, but its also super short, only about 4 1/2 hours on Audio, so not a deal breaker by any means.  Even so, this wrecked me.  This book is not only brutally scary, it's also so unbelievably intense and emotional.  I cried real tears. 

 

Ultimately, the message that Any Man imparts is what its all about, and something I won't likely forget.  For that reason alone this is must read or listen, if you like audiobooks, I definitely recommend the Audio version.  There is a total of 14 people, including the Author, who lend their voices to this story, making it all the more compelling.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.5STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4.5/5

Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 5+/5

Pacing~ 3/5

Addictiveness~5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.5/5

Originality~ 5+/5

For its Message~ 5/5

Ending~ 4.3/5

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Book Cover~ Plain but inviting.

Narration~ 4.5 for a full cast with Glenn Davis, Ben Foster, Marc Maron, Jason Ritter, John Roberts, Russ Tamblyn, Amber Tamblyn, January LaVoy, Phoebe Strole, Robin Miles, Therese Plummer, Dan Bittner, James Fouhey, & Michael Crouch.

Setting~ Various Cities, and the internet

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

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review 2018-08-04 20:19
4.3 Out Of 5 "Surprising" STARS
Gentleman Nine - Penelope Ward

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~BOOK BLURB~

Gentlemen Nine

Penelope Ward

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Growing up, the three of us were friends. 

He was the nerd. 

I was the playboy. 

She was the beauty. 

 

Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits. 

 

He lied. 

 

I went off to college, and he got the girl. 

Amber never knew how I felt. 

They were together for years—before he broke her heart. 

 

Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch. 

When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room. 

 

Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men. 

One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings. 

Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity. 

Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message. 

She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.) 

 

Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel. 

When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I purchased this as an Audible "Deal of the Day" and it surprised me.  Early on it felt like it was going to be everything I hate about this genre, but it actually turned out to be a story with substance.  The characters were fairly likable and while their chemistry wasn't off-the-charts hot, it was still hot. They had real-life issues and not some overtly contrived dribble.  It won't be that for everybody, I'm sure…but for me, I liked it.   A few elements of the story actually resonated with me, personally.

 

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~MY RATING~

4.3STARS - GRADE=A-

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4.2/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.3/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4.3/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4/5

Originality~ 4/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ That guy is seriously hot…

Narration~ 5 for Sebastian York & Andi Arndt, these two are masters at this genre, especially when they are together in one book.

Setting~ Boston and a little Chicago

Source- Audible Audiobook

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