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review 2018-04-11 02:12
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein,Christopher Welch,Christopher Evan Welch
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Oh my heart! There is just something about books about dogs that gives them the ability to touch on every single one of my emotions. I am going to let you in on a little secret. I love dogs. A lot. I like my three dogs more than I like most people and would love a chance to spend one moment in their heads so this story really appealed to me on every level. I loved this book when I read it years ago and I loved it just as much when I listened to the audio for a re-read. It was a lot of fun to spend a few hours in Enzo's mind.

I was really kind of surprised by how much of the book I actually remembered from my initial read years ago but it seems that this story had really stayed with me over the years. I loved Enzo's voice. Did he sound like a dog all of the time? Probably not. I mean I think if I were to hear one of my dog's internal monologues there would be a lot of requests for snacks and ball playing and not a lot else. Who knows maybe I am wrong and my dogs are pondering the meaning of life but I honestly doubt it. Enzo is a bit of a philosopher and hopes to eventually get his chance as a human. Nothing really gets past Enzo and he seems to figure what is going on in his house before the humans do.

This isn't just a book about a dog. It is really a book about a family that is told by the dog. Denny is Enzo's human and he has some really high points in the book and some really low one. With everything that Denny has to deal with in this book, it is amazing that he is able to stay so positive through it all. The one constant in the story is the bond between these two. We get to see Denny adopt Enzo as a puppy and then go through a lot of milestones together.

This was the first time that I have listened to Christopher Evan Welch narrate a book and I thought he did a great job with this one. This was a rather emotional story at times and I thought that he really was able to pack a lot of feeling into his reading. He used a very pleasant reading voice and read the story with perfect pacing. I would definitely listen to his work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I probably felt just about every emotion while listening to this one. The only part of the book that I wasn't a huge fan of was the epilogue because it was just a little too much for me and didn't feel necessary. I do love the book and will probably read it again in a few years.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my heart. This was a re-read for me and I think it might have broken my heart just a little bit more this time around. I may bump my rating up to 5 stars after I have some time to fully process everything. I actually remember more of the story than I thought I did. This isn't just a story about a dog. This is a story about a man and his family told from the dog's point of view. There were people that I hated in this story and others that I loved. I thought that the narrator did a terrific job with this story.

Book source: Audible purchase

 

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review 2018-04-10 15:25
Solid Collection by Pilcher, Just Thought Some of the Stories Didn't Work
Flowers In the Rain & Other Stories - Rosamunde Pilcher

So I read this one after the other collection of short stories by Pilcher. I wish I had waited. Maybe that is coloring my review. I just thought that the majority of the stories in this one didn't work for me at all. Also, I got really tired of reading stories about broken engagements. They could all be summed up as so and so chose this person as second best. I don't think I would run off with anyone that just broke up with someone, so maybe that's my personal bias working. 

 

"The Doll's House" (3.5 stars)- A young boy missing his dead father, goes through with a promise to make a doll house for his younger sister. While that would be enough, he also has to deal with knowing that a local man is interested in his mother to marry and he hopes that she doesn't. Pilcher leaves us with enough to know how the story is going to end when we get finished with this story.


"Endings and Beginnings" (3 stars)-This one read as the longest story in this collection. A man (Tom) goes home for his Aunt Mabel's 75th birthday. He tries to get his girlfriend to come along and she declines. While home, he makes the acquaintance of his cousin or I don't know cousin once removed Kitty. Kitty's life has been a bit of a mess and now Tom seems intrigued by it and her. 

 

"Flowers in the Rain" (1 star)-I really didn't like this one at all. A woman returns back to a place her family spent holidays at. She's there (supposedly) to say hello to Mrs. Farquhar, but really she wants to know about her grandson, Rory. I think it just bugged me since it read as if the main character had put her life on hold for Rory. And though I was reading him as saying goodbye (he won't see her again) I think she was deluding herself a bit thinking he would come back to Scotland. It just read as depressing.

 

 "Playing A Round With Love" (2 stars)-I see this married couple getting divorced eventually. A man who is married acts surprised that his wife would not want him to take a whole day off to go golfing on the weekends. 

 

"Christabel" (1 star)-Another common theme in Pilcher's short stories seems to be young women/men who realize that they shouldn't marry someone like days before their wedding. I didn't see why Christabel or her grandmother were so impressed/loved the character of Sam. He was not developed enough for a short story for me to care about a tall. 

 

"The Blackberry Day" (2 stars)- A woman (Claudia) travels to her childhood friend's home to get away from the fact that a man she has been in a long term relationship with for years does not seem to be any closer to proposing marriage. I hated how this one ended since it just seemed that Claudia was going to choose whatever as long as she wasn't alone.

 

"The Red Dress" (1 star)-I was so confused by this story. I don't know if the main character was angling for an affair or what. She seemed way too intense/involved with the gardener who was married with kids. 

 

"A Girl I Used to Know" (3 stars)-An okay story. A woman finds out she can actually do things that she is scared to do. All of this winds up being about her being afraid her boyfriend will dump her if she doesn't ski.

 

"The Watershed" (4 stars)-I liked this one. A married woman who is about to celebrate her pearl anniversary, is wondering if she and her husband should stay in their big home. She is thinking about downsizing and moving to something small since their children have homes and lives of their own. 

 

"Marigold Garden" (2 stars)-Another broken engagement story.

 

"Weekend" (3 stars)- A young woman is afraid to get married thinking it could mean the end of her ability to be self-sufficient. Or at least that is what I took from this story.

 

"A Walk in the Snow" (3 stars)- A young girl realizes that the young boy she's in love with has moved on from her. The story ends in such a way though you realize she's already thinking of someone else. 

 

"Cousin Dorothy" (5 stars)-My favorite in this collection. A widowed woman trying to do her best for her daughter on her wedding day. I would have maybe shaken my daughter since the girl acted like a brat pretty much the entire story. Her husband's cousin rides to the rescue.

 

"Whistle for the Wind" (2 stars)-Another broken engagement story. 

 

"Last Morning" (4 stars)-A woman prepares for her son's wedding day. 

 

"Skates" (3 stars)- A young girl finally realizes that someone in her family sees her for who she is, not what she can be. It was a pretty weak story (IMHO) to end on in this collection. 

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review 2018-03-23 16:48
Rain of Ash by Gwen Mitchell
Rain of Ash: Skydancer Book 1 (The Zyne Legacy) - Gwen Mitchell

This is my first book by Gwen Mitchell. It will not be my last though. Rain of Ash is the story of Briana Spurrier. The last of her family has passed away and she must return to her home town. Years before Bri turned her back on everything and everyone including her magic to be a concert pianist. Now that she is back she must unleash her magic to battle a demon to save herself and everyone else.

 

She hooks back up with her friends from childhood. Astrid her best friend and Lucas her first love, to try and break the curse against Bri. Along the way we also meet Kean, who feels that he is getting a fresh beginning now that Bri has returned, and Eric from her present life as a pianist. 

 

The book was very interesting and full of action, magic, and love or lust. i was not crazy about Kean and his attitude an the way he handled things but there's pretty much one charater in every book you just can't fall in love with. Bri was not always where she needed to be but i still liked her character pretty much. I do feel that she would of been stronger if she wasn't lost. I personally do not decide if most series are going to be good or bad until after book 2. Which I am fully willing to read, I enjoyed this book and can see it only as getting better. 

 

The book was narrated by Daniela Acitelli. She done an Ok job, but Bri's character came off a bit whiny at times, when I felt that the passage had her being a bit more tough. Other then that I enjoyed her narration. 

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Gwen Mitchell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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review 2018-02-08 21:04
Was Bogie Here – Blood Rain in Trieste by George Henry @georgehenry47
Blood Rain in Trieste (Volume 1) - George Henry

 

Blood Rain in Trieste by George Henry made me think of Casblanca and Humphrey Bogart. I wonder…did Bogie ever visit Trieste, Italy?

 

Blood Rain in Trieste

Goodreads  /  Amazon

 

MY REVIEW

 

Sounds like shades of Casablanca and Bogie made a trip to Trieste, Italy and ran into Hawaii Five-O.

 

Milo Marchetta is a musician, a club owner…in walks a dame, only this one wants to hire him to commit a murder.

 

Mobsters, hookers, money laundering, murder and bullies. What more could you ask for? Small men acting big. Walking a line between life and death. The characters are not prim and proper. I love flawed characters, but these characters are past flawed. They are desperate, twisted individuals, the dregs of humanity.

 

Milo has a big mouth and a penchant for putting his foot in it, or should I say someone else’s foot. Flawed…he is twisted, broken. As he gets his ass and a bunch of other things kicked…I can’t help but laugh. Even when he tries to do something good it craps on him. He’s so friggin’ damaged I don’t know how he’s still alive.

 

Forbidden love…the ultimate price…death.

 

There is so much going on, double cross, triple cross, revenge, betrayal, murder…don’t look away. You might miss something.

 

This was heavy, slow reading for me. It felt like work, like I was studying for school. Normally, this would be right up my alley, so I wonder, was I having an off day? You’ll need to judge for yourself.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 3 Stars

 

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review 2018-01-28 21:30
Out of the Rain by Renae Kaye Review
Out of the Rain - Renae Kaye

Mitch never knew what awaited him when he answered his elderly neighbour’s calls. Finding a stranger crying in her backyard was a new one. Little did he know that rescuing Elijah out of the rain was going to change his life. 

Elijah is too young, too good looking, and too bruised for Mitch to consider falling in love with. But Elijah is soon in his house, in his bed, and in his heart.

At thirty-eight, Mitch has a lot of experience with life. Elijah is only twenty-three and just starting out. Mitch’s bedroom skills enrapture Elijah. Mitch just hopes it will be enough to make Elijah want to stay.

 

Review

 

I liked everything in this novella. The cover has nothing to do with the book.

It is sweet hot age difference romance and the couple time is good. However, neither hero gets the development he deserves and there should be more communication but it is a nice way to spend an afternoon.

 

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