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review 2019-01-16 05:09
Shocking
Now or Never (San Francisco Thunder #4) - Victoria Denault

This is book #4, in the San Francisco Thunder series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Winnie has known Holden most of her life.  He made her feel bad in her youth.  Now he is more of a white knight.  Can she forgive him about the past?

 

Holden is trying to gain the trust of those he has wronged in his youth.  He has grown up and past the angst that plagued him back then.  Now, he is hoping most for the trust of one specific woman.  The one he has always wanted.

 

I really enjoyed reading this story.  I had wondered and waited for this book about Winnie.  It had more of punch than I expected, but it also felt very real.  The feelings were strong, the heat was sizzling, and the couple is just right.  These characters are so fun to read.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2019-01-12 17:57
Die rote Königin // Red Queen!!!
Die Farben des Blutes, Band 1: Die rote Königin - Victoria Aveyard,Birgit Schmitz

german and english review (spoilerfree)

First things first: I received this book through NetGalley

 

Ich hab es doch tatsächlich geschafft das Buch fertig zu lesen. Dabei lag es nicht mal so sehr an dem Buch, sondern an mir. Erst hab ich es öfter nicht zur Hand genommen, weil ich Serien aufholen musste zu gucken, dann hat mich das Sims Fieber wieder gepackt und Lesen war wieder zur Seite gerückt und dann...dann ist der Nintendo Switch bei mir eingezogen und ich wusste garnicht mehr was ich zu erst machen sollte. Aber genug mit den Ausreden, weiter zum Buch. Denn das war wirklich gut.

 

Inhalt: Rot oder Silber – Mares Welt wird von der Farbe des Blutes bestimmt. Sie selbst gehört zu den niederen Roten, deren Aufgabe es ist, der Silber-Elite zu dienen. Denn die – und nur die – besitzt übernatürliche Kräfte. Doch als Mare bei ihrer Arbeit in der Sommerresidenz des Königs in Gefahr gerät, geschieht das Unfassbare: Sie, eine Rote, rettet sich mit Hilfe besonderer Fähigkeiten! Um Aufruhr zu vermeiden, wird sie als verschollen geglaubte Silber-Adlige ausgegeben und mit dem jüngsten Prinzen verlobt. Dabei ist es dessen Bruder, der Thronfolger, der Mares Gefühle durcheinander bringt. Doch von jetzt an gelten die Regeln des Hofes, Mare darf sich keine Fehler erlauben. Trotzdem nutzt sie ihre Position, um die aufkeimende Rote Rebellion zu unterstützen. Sie riskiert dabei ihr Leben – und ihr Herz

 

Meine Bewertung: Das war gut. Das war wirklich so gut.

 

Ich mochte gleich von Anfang an wie die Welt geschrieben und vor allem auch beschrieben wurde. Ich mochte wie all die Fähigkeiten der Silbernen beschrieben wurden sind und wie viele verschiedene Fähigkeiten es da eben auch gab. Das fand ich unheimlich spannend. Die Welt ist extrem unfair den Roten gegenüber, doch deswegen gibt es eben auch eine aufkeimende Revolution und wenn ich etwas in Büchern liebe dann ist es eine anständige Revolution.

 

Und die Charaktere.

 

Ich liebe Mare. ich mag sie bevor alles anfängt, als Diebin, die irgendwie versucht ihrer Familie unter die Arme zu greifen. Ich liebe sie als sie ihre Fähigkeit entdeckt und auf einmal ihrem alten Leben komplett entrissen wird, ihren Namen abgenommen bekommt und mit neuem Namen in eine komplett anderes Leben geworfen wird, das genauso viele neue Gefahren für sie bereit hält.

 

Das Buch erinnert einen immer wieder daran, dass man niemanden trauen soll. Hab ich die Warnung ernst genommen? Natürlich nicht. Ich habe Charaktere ins Herz geschlossen. Ungläubig über andere den Kopf geschüttelt. Andere sofort gehasst. Jetzt schüttel ich über viele immer noch den Kopf und hasse mehr Leute als am Anfang des Buches.

 

Die Beziehungen in dem Buch. Ich fand die Familienbeziehungen unheimlich kompliziert aber auch total interessant und spannend. Ich fand Mare's Freundschaft mit Kilorn wirklch großartig. Rein freundschaftlich, absolut nicht mehr. Ich mochte auch total gerne alle Momente mit Mare und Julian.

 

Ich konnte mich während dem Buch nicht für Mare/Cal oder Mare/Maven entscheiden. Am Ende des Buches sind die ganzen Liebesverwirrungen absolut nicht mehr interessant, für mich. Team Mare!!!

 

Zum Schreibstil will ich unbedingt noch anmerken, dass ich die Kampfszenen unheimlich gut beschrieben fand. Sie waren absolut nicht verwirrend, sie waren perfekt und voller Action.

 

Ich hoffe, ich hoffe wirklich, dass ich bald das nächste Buch lesen werde, weil am Ende des Buches so viel passiert ist, von dem ich unbedingt mehr Lesen will und auf das ich wirklich gespannt bin.

 

***

 

Believe it or not, but I actually managed to finish this dang book. It wasn't even the books fault, it was all mine. First I didn't reach for the book enough because I had tv shows to catch up on, then I caught the Sims fever once again and reading just really got put aside and then...then the Nintendo Switch joined my household, and let's be real, I got so overwhelmed with all these things I wanted to do, that I didn't know what to start first. But enough of the excuses, on to the book. It was a really good one.

 

Summary: This is a world divided by blood - red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

 

My review: It was good. It was really good.

 

Right from the beginning, I loved how the world was written and explained. I loved how the powers of the Silver were described and how many different powers there were. I just thoughts this was really exciting and interesting. It was also really freaking unfair towards the Reds but there is a resistance group and if I love one thing in a book, it's a damn good resistance.

 

And the characters.

 

I love Mare. I love her right at the beginning of a book, as a thief who just wants to help her family to get by. I love her as she discovers her own powers and all of the sudden she gets ripped from her old life, gets her own name taken away, to start with a new name, in a new life that has many dangers waiting for her.

 

The book keeps warning you not to trust anyone. Did I listen to that? Hell no. I let people in my heart. I shook my head confused over some people. I hated some people with a burning passion. Now, I still shake my head over some peope and hate even more people.

 

The relationships in the book. I loved the different family dynamics, all of them were so complicated and frustrating but also really interesting. I loved Mare's friendship with Kilorn. Just friendship, nothing more. And I truly loved every moment Mare had with Julian.

 

During the book, I couldn't decide between Mare/Cal and Mare/Maven. But at the end of the book, I couldn't care less about the whole lovetriangle thing, it doesn't interest me at all. Team Mare!!!

 

Going back to the writing, I truly loved how the fighting scenes were being done. They were described so very well. They didn't get confusing and were just perfect and full of action.

 

I hope, I really hope, that I will get to read the next book soon, cause at the end of the book so many things happened, that I really wanna know more about and that I'm just so excited about.

 
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review 2019-01-06 00:43
Living with vaginsmus: Dealing with the world's most painful pleasure - Victoria Johnston

In Living with Vaginismus: Dealing with the World's Most Painful Pleasure, Victoria Johnston provides a comprehensive overview of this pelvic pain condition.  She opens up about her own personal experience in order to try to raise awareness about an issue that most people either don't know about and/or aren't comfortable talking about.

Vaginismus involves the involuntary contraction of pelvic muscles (the pubococcygeus or PC muscles) making it difficult or even impossible to penetrate the vagina with even small objects like a tampon.  It refers specifically to the muscle contractions, and doesn't encompass other sexual difficulties related to things like desire or ability to orgasm.  One physiotherapist cited in the book describes vaginismus as panic attacks of the vagina, and Victoria describes sex as feeling "like you are being ripped apart".

Unfortunately, even many medical practitioners have a poor understanding of vaginismus, and the book includes multiple stories of negative experiences with health care providers.  The causes of vaginismus can be complex and multifactorial, and the book describes various physical and psychological factors that have been identified.  The book also includes stories about the often devastating effects the disorder can have, including strain on relationships and problems with mental health.

Victoria describes the various treatments that are available, taking a holistic view and explaining that what's most effective can vary greatly from person to person.  Treatments include the use of dilators slowly progressing in size, physiotherapy, counselling, and medication.  There is a chapter devoted to physiotherapy exercises, complete with photos to demonstrate.  Another chapter describes Botox, a promising approach that isn't yet commonly performed and is quite expensive.

The book includes contributions from a number of other women who live with pelvic pain.  Many felt invalidated by their health care providers, and a common theme running through their stories was how alone they felt in their experience.  The book also includes the stories of men whose partners have vaginismus.  I was surprised by how many partner stories Victoria was able to gather, and how openly these men spoke.  It really illustrated how this disorder isn't just an individual problem; it's an issue that couples need to face together.

Victoria calls out the many unreasonable societal expectations around sex, including the idea that is the only way of truly achieving closeness and connection, and the expectation that it's normal for females to have pain during sex.  She advocates for more realistic, open conversations about sex, something I heartily agree with.

While vaginismus manifests itself physically, mental health is often involved, either as a contributing factor or as a consequence.  As such, it's important to raise awareness in the realm of mental health as well as sexual health, which is why I thought it was important to review this book on my mental health blog.  I would definitely recommend it.

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text 2019-01-02 01:14
My January TBR (New Releases)
Flights of Fancy - Jen Turano
The Paragon Hotel - Lyndsay Faye
An Orchestra of Minorities - Chigozie John Obioma
The Only Woman in the Room - Marie Benedict
The Winter of the Witch - Katherine Arden
Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow - Lucy Worsley
The last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who fled Mao's Revolution - Helen Zia
The Wartime Sisters - Lynda Cohen Loigman
We Cast a Shadow - Carlos Ruffin
House of Stone - Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

For the last year I've become very picky about what I choose to read. I believe I'm very sure about my likes and dislikes at this point. I'm a Literary Fiction and Historical Gal. I really want to read my own books, but have bitten off more than I can chew, in past years, in requests. 

 

Going forward, perusing book websites to acquire more books will be in my past. I want to concentrate on reading what I've already obtained. My concentration will be put on the social media sites that are more of my lane and those are Goodreads and Booklikes. I'm a recovering Instagram scroller and Youtube time waster. This year I will have more focus and drive for what inspires me and allows me to thrive.

 

 

January 1

 

Flights of Fancy by Jen Turano

 

January 8

 

The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

 

An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozi Obioma

 

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benendict

 

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

 

Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow by Lucy Worsley

 

January 22

 

Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia

 

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

 

The Orphan Sisters by Shirley Dickson

 

January 29

 

We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

 

House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

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review 2019-01-01 15:44
Good Story and Good Characters
Falling for Her Enemy (Still Harbor) - V... Falling for Her Enemy (Still Harbor) - Victoria James

Alex has an adopted daughter Cassy who is seven from the foster care system.  But Hayden may be her biological father Hayden was angry he had not been told he possibly fathered a child. The biological mother of Cassy said she will go public with Hayden being a deadbeat dad  if he doesn’t give her a million dollars. Hayden finds a private investigator Matt who lives with Alex sister Kate. Hayden had never thought about fathering a child.Hayden found out a drunken one night stand may have resulted in a daughter.  Hayden is ready to take over the responsibility of his daughter. Hayden wants to bring his daughter home. Alex is scared she will lose the life she fought so hard to build. Alex has trust issues and a fear of abandonment and lives for Cassy and she is a single mom by choice. She feel she may lose the only good thing in her life again.   Alex was a bakery manager but hoped to but said bakery in five years. Than Alex finds out the owners must sell they bakery very soon and not five years from now. Alex and Hayden want to hate each other but their chemistry was hot. Alex has never had feelings and emotions like she has for Hayden. Hayden was a very successful man. He has lived to work since his mother had died when he was a child. Hayden forgot what a family feels like.  He is a workaholic and has no time for family ir love. Hayden spent his life trying to make up for a mistake he made when he was younger.

I enjoyed this sweet emotional read a lot. This grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept it until the end. I loved the plot and pace. I choked up at times while reading this book. I loved Cassy and felt she added to this book. I also loved Alex and Cassy relationship. I loved Alex and Hayden’s relationship and how they interacted. I felt bad for both Alex and Hayden and their pasts. I wish I could rate this a 4.5. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend it.

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