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review 2019-02-17 03:36
Beautiful-Ugly
Wolf Whistle - Lewis Nordan

At times, the author’s language is like poetry. At other times, he enters so intimately into the mind of a violent racist the story becomes repellent. Sometimes there seems to be a plot and a sense of direction. At other times, there doesn’t.

 

In only one scene did the author write with what came across to me as respect and compassion for his characters, the aunt and uncle of the young black teenager whose murder is the raison d’etre for this rambling story. The victim himself, however, is turned into an all-seeing ghost. I struggled to endure scenes in the points of view of various white townspeople and could never decide if they were meant to be satirical or were exaggerated out of contempt. Whatever the case, I wanted to escape these people, but kept forcing my way through the book in case it got better.

 

Overall the only aspect of this novel I can recommend is author’s art of writing. He makes the South come alive in both its natural beauty and its historical human ugliness.

 

In a flight of magical realism, he devotes several pages to ancient buzzards that fed on the bodies of the dead in the Civil War. As a Southern ex-boyfriend used to say, that’s about as subtle as a train wreck. All in all, I would rather have read a nonfiction account of the events surrounding the murder of Emmett Till than this peculiar take on it.

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review 2019-02-15 16:08
Review ~ Steamy
Hungry Like the Wolf (SWAT) - Paige Tyler

Book source ~ NetGalley

 

Dallas SWAT, under Commander Gage Dixon, has shaped up to be the best unit in the US. He’s built his team from scratch in under 10 years, recruiting only those that meet his exacting criteria - they have to be the best in their field. Oh, and they have to be a werewolf. Say what?!

 

Journalist Mackenzie Stone smells something funny about the much-touted Dallas SWAT team and she’s determined to dig until she finds out if they’re dirty or pumped up with PEDs (performance enhancing drugs). She had no idea she was walking right into the wolf’s den.

 

I admit that I kinda loathe reporters/journalists and Mac is no exception. What a self-righteous prig she is. Not a fan of her, but at least she’s no shrinking violet. I love Gage and the entire SWAT team. The action is fast-paced, the bad guy is a bit too real, the steamy stuff is definitely fan-worthy, and I like the lore and humor. I’m not much on the plot device of having a woman be The One or whatever anyone else calls it. I think it’s a cop out. Blah. Anyway, other than those two points this is a pretty good read.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2019/02/hungry-like-wolf.html
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review 2019-02-04 02:15
The Breadwinner - Deborah Ellis,Rita Wolf

The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is a fantastic story that takes place in Afghanistan in a city called Kabul. The story follows a strong-willed young girl named Parvana who lives under the rule of the Taliban. During the story, Parvana's father has been wrongly placed in prison because of his arrest food is very scarce in the household. Parvana must make the tough decision of dressing up as a boy to provide for her family. I believe this story is excellent for students in 4th and 5th grade. Stories like this always give students a more in-depth look into what life was like for people around the world during different periods. 

 

Lexile: 710L

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review 2019-01-29 08:18
Book Blitz: The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf by Sarah Mäkelä with Giveaway
The Leopard Who Claimed A Wolf
Sarah Mäkelä
(Cry Wolf #6)
Publication date: January 15th 2019
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

When a wolf loves a leopard…

He’s her protector…

Caitlyn Fraser, a wereleopard who has always hated cruel werewolves, is the former prisoner turned mate of Dougal Sterling, Alpha of the Scottish pack. She’s courting jeopardy with her determination to attend the funeral of her brother’s father, since the Pack blames her for Alistair’s death. But still Dougal protects her from his wolves.

Her defender…

Short of allies, Dougal struggles to balance loyalty and attention between the Pack and Caitlyn. When the Pack’s stability crumbles, he’s faced with the return of his older brother, the rightful Alpha, who shirked his duty after their father’s death. However, Ewan’s challenge will be a battle to the death. Sheltering Caitlyn can only lose Dougal more friends, but he knows she’s the mate he’s longed for.

But survival takes two…

Menace lurks in every corner of the Highlands; Alistair and Ewan’s supporters and haters of shapeshifters abound. Caitlyn and Dougal must stick together, pushing back fiercely when they are attacked. Even if that puts them in mortal danger…

 
EXCERPT
 
Caitlyn
 
The driveway leading up to the Scottish Pack’s massive headquarters stretched almost half a mile. I rested my chin on my arms and stared out of the Alpha’s window on the second story, overlooking the circular section of the drive. The Pack’s castle came complete with its very own dungeon, but at least they weren’t keeping me in there anymore. The memory of Alistair’s craggy face haunted my dreams each time I closed my eyes. His brutal fists hammered away against my face, ribs, and stomach, until I could no longer sleep.
 
Tension radiated through my shoulders, and I balled my hands into fists. No, Alistair—Colin’s father—was dead. Dougal had protected me, and my brother, from that monster when I didn’t have the strength to fight back.
 
Not that it mattered.
 
Two days had passed since my brother’s sudden departure. Now Colin was on his own with no one to watch his back. How could he leave without saying anything to me? I flexed my fists again, welcoming the anger as it bubbled up in my chest and replaced my sadness.
 
The heavy weight of a man’s hand descended on my back. I twisted around, my knuckles connecting with a solid jaw lined with dark, coarse stubble. A familiar jaw. Shite.
 
Dougal stumbled back half a step, but then he planted his feet like a tree with strong roots, not budging any further. Sharp power flared outward from him before he squelched it, stretching the muscles in his jaw. A frown tugged at his lips, and the corners of his eyes creased, either in pain or displeasure.
 
“Dougal! I’m so sorry.” The sudden movement of punching him had shot a searing ache through my battered ribs again. The pain stole my breath away, but I tried to force it down. How could I have been so careless? If he’d been anyone else in the Pack, I would’ve caused World War III.
 
“Dinnae fash. The punch bloody well hurt, though. I didn’t realize you were so strong.” Dougal’s frown melted away as he pulled me closer and pressed a kiss to my forehead. “Seems like you’re recovering your strength.” His gaze drifted past me to the long gravel driveway of the estate. “How are you doing, love?”
 
The emotions I’d been stomping down now bubbled to the surface again. “I cannae believe Colin left me. He left before I even regained consciousness. How could he?” With anyone else, I wouldn’t show weakness, but I rested my forehead against Dougal’s chest, needing his touch and savoring his warmth. “I barely had time to talk with him, and when I did, it wasn’t a good time to ask how he was doing after the months he’d spent in that bloody research facility—or even to ask where he would go to heal…”
 
Tears welled in my eyes, but I held them back, refusing to cry. “I gave up so much—my job, my flat, my life—while trying to track him and bring him home. What if my sacrifices were all for naught?”
 
“Nae, they weren’t for naught, love.” Dougal kissed the top of my head. “I know you’re hurting. You have plenty of reasons to be, but the man who came back wasn’t the same one who left for the United States.” He lifted my chin, forcing me to see the sincerity in his clear blue eyes. “Whatever those scientists did affected him in ways neither of us will probably ever know. Waiting at the window won’t make him return any sooner.” He wrapped his arms around me and gently pulled me against his chest again. “Let me draw you a bath. Remember, I’m here if you need to talk.”
 
He was right, even if I didn’t want to admit it. Waiting for Colin’s return wouldn’t help, but what else could I do? “I know, but that doesn’t make this any easier for me. He’s my younger brother. I feel helpless that I cannae be there for him…again.” A heavy ache settled on my heart, and I pulled away hating the awkward emotions crushing me. “Sorry.”
 
Dougal turned away from me and stared out of the window again. His jaw clenched and unclenched, as if he were trying hard to hold in his words. A lot was going on in his life too, and yet he was making a strong effort to support me through my problems. Things had become increasingly strained between him and his Pack since my arrival and Duncan and Alistair’s subsequent deaths. He didn’t talk about what he faced, and I didn’t want to pressure him.
 
After a few moments of silence, he released a sigh and turned back toward me. “You’ve done what you could for him, lass.” The ghost of a grin spread across his lips. “Do you still want the bath?”
 
 
Author Bio:
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author and a life-long paranormal fan who still sleeps with a night light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies, and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Want to learn about new releases? Sign up for my newsletter! http://bitly.com/SarahMakelaNewsletter

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review 2019-01-24 21:45
The Wolf and the Watchman - Niklas Natt och Dag

In chaos theory, there is something called the butterfly effect. The idea is that one small action can greatly affect the outcome of a later, seemingly unrelated event. This novel is full of little moments that show how one person’s decision can permanently alter the lives of others.

 

The year is 1793 & Stockholm is a city on edge. Rebellion by lower classes in countries such as France have made the Swedish elite a tad nervous, especially after the murder of King Gustav III. This is the backdrop for a story of 4 people living separate lives until a single event causes their paths to cross. All it takes is the discovery of a mutilated body.

 

Mickel Cardell returned from the war with shattered nerves & one less arm. Now he’s a watchman….when he can be bothered to get up off his barstool. That’s where 2 youngsters find him one night with news of a floater in the lake. But the body Mickel “rescues” is not exactly what he expected. In fact, it’s not even really a body. Just a torso….no arms, no legs.

 

Cecil Winge is a lawyer who works as a consultant with the Swedish police. He’s an intelligent & private man who has fought for progressive changes to the legal system. He’s also dying from consumption. So it’s no wonder he feels a sense of urgency about his latest case….to give a name to the unidentified torso & find a killer.

 

Kristofer Blix is a handsome farm boy who heads to Stockholm with dreams of becoming a doctor. He soon realizes how unprepared he is for life in the big city but could never have imagined where it will lead.

 

Anna-Stina’s young life has been full of poverty & struggle. And it’s about to get worse. If she wants something better she’ll have to be brave, smart & resourceful. Thankfully, she has those things in spades.

 

At its heart this is an engrossing murder investigation but as we meet & get to know the 4 MC’s, it becomes so much more. Their personal stories add depth & guarantee you become as invested in them as you are in solving the mystery surrounding the torso. The historical setting, political situation, class system & living conditions are so well rendered that sometimes it feels all too real.

 

I finished this a while ago & have been struggling to write a review that does it justice. Even the rating was a challenge. If I look at it purely as entertainment, I can’t say I enjoyed every part. There are passages that are difficult, even revolting to read. But here’s the thing. Life for many people at that time WAS difficult & revolting to our modern sensibilities. It was about survival. And the reason you feel these emotions so keenly is all down to the author’s skills as a story teller.

 

He has an extraordinary ability to write prose that completely envelops you. You feel everything as you follow these characters. Fear, anger, frustration, grief & scattered glimmers of hope. All your senses are engaged. Yes, there are scenes that made me want to look away but I couldn’t. I cared deeply for these people & carried the book with me to read every chance I got.

 

Soooo…by now you probably figured out this will not be found under “Cozies”. Sometimes when I’m asked about my last couple of reads, I struggle to remember names & plot details. This is a visceral & haunting story that has stayed with me. The ability to transport a reader to another time & place is a gift & I look forward to the author’s next book. But maybe I’ll have a wee beverage before cracking the cover.

 

 

         

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