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review 2018-06-15 14:42
good book and characters
Her Favorite Duke (The 1797 Club) (Volume 2) - Jess Michaels

Margaret/Meg Rylon was dress in full black and she should be mourning as her father had just been put in the ground a few hours ago. But she did not see sadness in her eyes and she didn’t feel it either. She felt nothing in her heart for her father the late Duke of Abernathe. The man had not spoken directly to her in three years even though the lived under the same roof. She had been nothing but a failure at an attempt for a spare. To her she had been cruel. In truth she was happy he was dead. Meg’s mother had turned to the bottle for comfort already as her husband despised her. Meg was sure her mother the Duchess was fully drunk and would stay that way for weeks using her husband’s death as an excuse. Then Meg noticed that Simon and Graham had arrived. It had been six years since she had met James - her brother-best friends. Seven years later Simon was Duke of Crestwood. He was in the ballroom staring at Lady Margaret -sister of one of his closest friends and her fiance Graham who was the Duke of Northfield. Graham didn’t like to dance so Meg often came to Simon to dance with her as graham wouldn’t. But Simon secretly wants meg for his own. At some point Simon just had to had to forget his feelings for Meg. He wanted the same thing James had with his new bride but with Meg. Since Meg’s engagement to Graham Simon and Meg had gotten closer and though he would never say it out loud Meg was Simon’s best friend. Simon had cared and wanted Meg seven to eight years now. But he couldn’t ruin everything and let his feelings out. Meg felt deeply about Simon and hated the women in his arms as they danced. Then Graham talked of the date they would marry Meg agreed then went outside and sat at a table and put her head down and cried.  Then Simon came out and saw Meg crying. And sat at the table and slid his arm around Meg’s shoulder and guided her toward his shoulder and she rested her cheek against his chest. Then Meg got up and walked back into the light from indoors. Simon realized Meg didn’t really want to marry Graham. Then Meg and Simon are caught in a storm and have to find shelter in a cabin then everyone finds out they were alone in a cabin and Simon was forced to marry Meg which he wanted anyway. Meg can’t take all the guilt Simon feels and how distant he has become and leaves him. The way that Simon and Meg were found hurt everyone and basically destroyed a couple of lifelong friendships.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the plot and the pace. I don’t understand why Graham is so bitter he didn’t love Meg he was engaged to her as he felt it was an obligation to James. I also felt Simon didn't have to go on so long about the guilt he couldn’t change it and he had gotten the one he loved. I also think Meg should have tried harder to make things better between Simon and his friends and let James know she didn’t want to be with Graham. I didn’t want to put this down as I wanted to see what would happen next. I advise you to read the books in this series in order so all will run smoothly when reading this book. I enjoyed the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend.

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review 2018-06-13 01:20
Dark Harvest by Chris Patchell
Dark Harvest (A Holt Foundation Story) (Volume 2) - Chris Patchell,Mark Cooper,Monica Haynes

Note: Dark Harvest is Book 2 in the series and works best if read after Book 1 simply because you get so much character development that carries over from one book to the next.

I really liked that Brooke, who suffered a brutal kidnapping in Book 1, isn’t all sunshine and roses. She is still walking the hard, dark path to recovery. Marissa, her mom, struggles with how best to help her but she’s doing her best. Brooke’s younger sister, Kelley, puts in a few appearances but we see far less of her than in Book 1 and I missed her. Seth continues to be my favorite character. He’s doing his best to navigate these choppy waters with Marissa and her family, along with his work and memories of his dead wife.

Marissa was hard to root for in this book. She’s really self-centered and I think the author intended for us to see that. However, I don’t see Marissa becoming aware of her flaw and then taking action to better herself. She’s really wrapped up on Seth. He wants to give them all a bit of space to allow Brooke the time to heal and Marissa the time and energy to help Brooke. However, Marissa takes this as rejection. Ugh! Why, Marissa? Why? I wanted to give her a little reality check. I can see why she has a long history of failed relationships.

I also have to mention Marissa in one more thing. This is a MINOR SPOILER. Marissa has failed to take her birth control pill religiously and guess what happens? Yep. This really pissed me off about Marissa. She’s a career woman in her 30s who has basically raised her daughters on her own after becoming unexpectedly pregnant at 16. She’s been down this road before and apparently didn’t learn her lesson. The pill doesn’t work 100% of the time but when you negligently forget to take the pill daily, you’re borrowing trouble.

OK, so let’s talk about the mystery because that’s what really kept me in this book. Someone has been targeting pregnant women but no bodies have turned up. Pretty early on we get to know something about the kidnappers so the majority of the book is a cat and mouse game between the cops and the Holt Foundation and the bad guys. The motivations of the kidnappers were layered and deeper than I initially expected. I really liked that about this mystery. Tori, oh Tori! I wanted things to come out better for you even as I knew you had to pay for what you did. Xander Wilcox, I wonder if you were always so arrogant? Definitely interesting ‘bad guys’.

Seth struggles on several levels in this book. Henry, the computer genius at the Holt Foundation, doesn’t mind breaking laws to get data (phone records, arrest records, utility info, etc.). Seth has retained his cop sense of right and wrong and is mightily uncomfortable about Henry’s activities. However Nathan Holt isn’t interested in pushing Henry to follow the letter of the law. After all, the Holt Foundation is about finding victims before it’s too late. Seth is also struggling to both respect the needs of Marissa’s family as a whole and be supportive to Marissa as his girlfriend. Then he realizes that he hasn’t fully dealt with the death of his wife Holly. He’s a complicated guy and I really enjoyed watching him overcome one hurdle after another.

The ending had a few surprises. Henry! Oh, my! I also like that Seth has wrapped up some of the lose threads of his life. I would have liked further character growth for Marissa because she is a twit in this book. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Lisa Stathoplos and Corey Gagne did a really good job with this book. I really like Gagne as Seth and Stathoplos has a perfect voice for Marissa. She also does a great job with the voices for Kelley and Brooke making all 3 ladies distinct but still sound related. I especially liked the aggravated, arrogant voice for Xander. 5/5 stars.

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

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review 2018-06-13 00:49
The Flames by Kyle Prue
The Flames: Book II of the Epic Feud Trilogy (Volume 2) - Kyle Prue

Note: It’s best to experience Book 1 before diving into this book.

I really enjoyed Book 1 and Book 2 doesn’t disappoint. In fact, I may have enjoyed this book a bit more. The teens from Book 1 are in the wind for the most part. Some are in hiding, some are still dealing with evil characters, and some question whether they should join the rebellion. This tale reminded me a little of The Hunger Games (teens rebellion against the ruling government), Game of Thrones (scions of the ruling houses duking it out), and X-Men (these kids got skills but desperately needed a trainer). All around, an excellent mix.

Each of the kids that survived Book 1 undergo a bit of a journey in this book. In Book 1 they were all basically a result of their powerful houses, the values impressed upon them (or smacked into them) as kids. In this story, they are away from those influences and have to work stuff out on their own. Bianca and Anastasia were two of my favorites. While there is a tie between them, they each grew up very differently and have different battles. Initially, I really wanted to hate Anastasia but by the end of the story, I found her to be a very sympathetic character and a minor hero.

Rhys! Oh, my poor lad! Rhys will need therapy after this book. He’s our scholar with all his book learning, so of course it was easy to engage with his character. In some ways, he’s the glue that binds our little band of up and coming heroes. Everyone likes or respects him and doesn’t want to see him harmed.

There’s an addition of these sea-faring folk (Tridente, if I recall correctly) in the later half of the story and I really enjoyed the time spent with them. I can see potential for them in future tales. The brother & sister brought some much needed levity to the story as well as their own unique powers.

The villains are quite villainous, and for the most part, are archetypes. Sometimes, since the true villains were so very obvious, I just wanted to kill them and move on with the more interesting parts of the story. Yet they do play their part in the plot. The Hyena was the most unpredictable because you never knew if he would leave someone alive or not, and his reasons for doing so. The Doctor was a broken, driven, mad scientist that I looked forward to seeing put down.

While there were a few times where someone or something conveniently  swooped in to save the plot, I still really enjoyed this novel. Even with my minor quibbles, I give this tale 5/5 stars for sheer entertainment value.

The Narration: Jon Eric Preston did a great job with this story. All his character voices are distinct and his female characters sound like ladies. He also did a great job with the range of emotions the characters go through in this novel. His voice for the Hyena was absolutely creepy (as it should be) and I also liked how he did the mechanical lisp for The Doctor. Preston also took the time for the little touches, like making an echo-y voice sound that way, or when 2 people speak at the same time, it really sounds like that. An excellent performance and recording all around. 5/5 stars.

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

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review 2018-06-13 00:00
360 Degrees Material, Volume 1
360 Degrees Material, Volume 1 - Minami Touko Completed Series Rating
⭐️2.5 stars⭐️
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review 2018-06-12 07:48
Gears Of Fate
Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods) (Volume 1) - Wilbert Stanton

My previous experience with Wilbert Stanton's work, The Artful, was not a good match, but how could I resist a book that mixes steampunk, Greek gods and Fey.

What I liked was that it tried to deliver something different, mixing a lot of things together and trying to be fresh in a genre where that is not easy. However, while some concepts where nicely worked out, the different Pantheons for example, the pacing felt off. There is a rather slow start with a lot of explaining and then, at the end, a lot happens in the final few chapters.

A nice concept, but the execution could have been better.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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