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review 2017-05-26 06:27
Age gap yum yum!
At Attention - Annabeth Albert
  • A Group Unicorn Review with Adam and Cupcake



    FOUR HEARTS--I've seen this author's work, perused the blurbs and I didn't bite.

    But this blurb was the prettiest show pony with SRAL approved buzz words and themes:


    widower still grieving after partner's passing (bring on the pain)
    widower has kidlets AND needs a manny
    manny is the widower's best friend's little brother
    best friend's brother has had a crush on widower since his teens
    AGE GAP
    NAVY SEAL


    RING A DING DING!!! GUESS WHO IS COMING HOME WITH ME?



    Of course, I lassoed the hell out of this book and gobbled all the words.

    Being as it's my first Annabeth Albert read, I'm not sure how it rates on the Annabeth Albert scale. If this was very on her A-game or there's better? *shrugs*

    I was entertained and had a great time reading At Attention.

    23 year-old Dylan gets a chance of his lifetime when his unrequited crush hires and moves him in his San Diego home for the summer. Dylan's crush, 34 year old Apollo needs a nanny to take care of his adorable 4 year old twins whole Apollo works on a naval base. This book can be read as a standalone, I wasn't lost. And I'm curious about the previous and future pairings.

    Dylan tries to tamp down his lusty feelings as Apollo works through his grief. Two years has passed but there is no time limit on grieving. And Apollo is a grumpy, more reserved bundle of emotions. He would take time to start to contemplate having feelings for another man. Luckily, Apollo's libido isn't broken. And try as he might, he can't deny the easiness he has with Dylan. The camaraderie and sharing his daily worries of being a single parent added more base to their friendship foundation formed with Dylan was just a teen.

    The story is a good mix of nerdy, adorable, (lightly) angsty, sexy and sweet. Dylan can't stop his feelings from blooming once again. Apollo sees his friend's kid brother in a new light, an adult. They try going the friendship route on equal terms, but their bodies won't be denied.

    The sex in this book?




    The sex was...hot. If I had to give it a flavor, it's hot vanilla custard. Sweet, varied and with a hint of spice. (highlights: intercrural (yay!), frottage, light domination/ control a smidge of exhibition) There is mirror sex but, it could've been hotter in my opinion. I might have been spoiled by a hotter mirror scene in another NA series I've read.

    The grieving and the time given for Apollo to work through his process was more important factor for me. Apollo plays hot and cold. The ghost of his lover is one he surrounds himself with daily and it's hard to break through. Dylan makes him crack through the shell. Plus, he's possessive and doesn't want any other guy getting Dylan's time. He wants it all to his self. That was bonus characteristics that I enjoy. The possessiveness and the control in the bedroom (of course).

    The best bonus of all? Dylan wasn't a pushover. And he spoke his mind even if might hurt, be it himself or Apollo. I'm #teamDylan all day!

    This story was really good. Not Earth shattering, or extremely memorable. For all themes it had going on, it worked. The writing is easy to read, all of the characters are likeable. All of them from kids to grandmas. I really liked how it ended, well maybe before the fluffed ending. It was added sugar I could have done without. But HEA lovers will totes lurve it.

    This couple totally worked for me and I see them having a long loving future ahead of them.

    Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary, like the tropes I listed and wallow in second chance romance.

    Come join me as I ride my pretty pony into the sunset.



    #NoRegrets #teamDylan

    A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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review 2017-05-18 15:16
oh! I LOVED this one!!
A Worthy Man - Jaime Reese
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book five in the Men of Halfway House. It is a total stand alone within the series. But you should read the other books, if only because I said so and they are ALL five star reads. (I'm waiting for one to slip, but five books in and Reese is nailing every single one!) Ten years ago, Vann saved Dray's life and paid for it with his own. Some 520 letters later, Dray is able to finally get back the man he loved. But Vann is a changed man, and it takes time for him to get used to the fact that Dray still wants him, still loves him and waited so very long for him. I loved this!! Loved that Dray waited for Vann, loved that Vann could only hope for Dray. When I saw teasers for this book, it said low angst. Now, compared to A Better Man, is is very low but this isn't about Aiden and Jessie, this is Vann and Dray's story. And for me, I found there to be a different level of angst. And it simmers and bubbles all the way through the book. You never know when it will let up, and I loved that. Two things made this book for me. One, the epilogue. All the way through, every time 'their tree' was mentioned, I thought, why aren't they going?? And then, they do!! And its so beautiful. So very very beautiful. It made me cry! Two, when Vann says those three little words. Because up to THAT point, it didn't click that only Dray had said them!! I'm like. . He didn't, did he?? He didn't say them til that point, and again, I cried. Oh. Wait. Three. There is a line in the book where the title makes total sense. And guess what? I cried. Come to think of it, for a low angst book, I cried a lot. But still,an amazing addition to this series and I have no idea who might be next. A beautifully written book of waiting, wanting and getting that second chance with the only man you ever loved. All the guys from previous books pop up, and I loved that they do. There was a little recap about each pairing too. So, an emotional, single sitting read, that can only warrant.... 5 full stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-05-05 09:18
The more I though, the more I raged
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming

I have so many issues with this. The rampant misogyny, of course. The fact that, personally, I find the whole espionage reason d'etre detestable. And generally, the part where this was not the story I was expecting.

Let's say I waive away the misogyny with a bit of dark amusement (passing the middle-point, I just wanted Vesper to stick it to Bond; and then there is the line "sweet tang of rape" that should be killed with fire, you can get some great examples under the spoiler tag), and take the spy tale on the hope that it'll be some fast action cheap-thrill. I did not get even that. I got a lot of card-playing, torture, and then a mess... I don't even know of what category, certainly not romantic, maybe melodrama. Hell,  I though it was already cheap that a woman couldn't be competent unless she was evil, but it was something (see, even lowering my standards to not be an angry female, what a waste), and then Vesper couldn't even rate to Femme-fatal. So no, there is no way to waive the misogyny. It's entrenched into the plot.

Someone could argue it's truer to the real world and the era, either the unexciting grimness or Bond's stance. I say fuck all that. Let us please have no more Vespers in real life, no more Bonds being glorified in fiction. Let us find other icons.

 

You can find some the shout-inducing bits here

Women were for recreation. On a job, they got in the way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings and all the emotional baggage they carried around. One had to look out for them and take care of them.

 

Charming, huh? Another beauty:

 

And luck in all its moods had to be loved and not feared. Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women.  One day, and he accepted the fact he would be brought to his knees by love or by luck. When that happened he knew that he too would be branded with the deadly question-mark he recognized so often in others, the promise to pay before you have lost: the acceptance of fallibility.

 

Women, if they defeat you, take away you self-assurance.

 

This was just what he had been afraid of. These blithering women who thought they could do a man's work. Why the hell couldn't they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men's work to the men. And now for this to happen to him, just when the job had come off so beautifully. For Vesper to fall for an old trick like that and get herself snatched and probably held to ransom like some bloody heroine in a strip cartoon. The silly bitch.

 

He really likes that word.

 

'Torture is a terrible thing,' he was saying as he puffed at a fresh cigarette, 'but it is a simple matter for the torturer, particularly when the patient,' he smiled at the word, 'is a man. You see, my dear Bond, with a man it is quite unnecessary to indulge in refinements. With this simple instrument, or with almost any other object, one can cause a man as much pain as is possible or necessary. Do not believe what you read in novels or books about the war. There is nothing worse. It is not only the immediate agony, but also the thought that your manhood is being gradually destroyed and that at the end, if you will not yield, you will no longer be a man.

 

The bad guy has more respect for a woman that the "hero". Women are more difficult, not because of some chivalrous bullshit, but because men are so attached to their organ *eye-roll*. And for the WTF crown:

 

And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the sweet tang of rape.

 

It's supposed to be romantic. But then, this is just the inner character commentary, you have to still contend with the plot if you can go past that. Fuck this, I'm done.

(spoiler show)

 

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review 2017-05-01 00:24
Enemies of the State - The Executive Order Series
Enemies of the State - Tal Bauer

 

See my series review here.

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review 2017-05-01 00:19
Enemy Within - The Executive Order Series
Enemy Within - Tal Bauer

**Spoiler Free Series Review**

 

As I sit here at my kitchen counter trying to decide what the fuck to say about this series I decide to scroll into Amazon for a look around.  In doing so, I see authors like David Baldacci, Ayn Rand, and of course, Tom Clancy.  And I wonder, what the hell?  Why isn’t this series at the top? 

 

I suppose if you think about it, becoming the next John Grisham is about like becoming the next Beyonce or the next Leonardo DiCaprio.  There are thousands if not millions of talented people in this world.  And those that make it big just happen to win the lottery.  They make that one connection that leads them to the next big thing.    

 

Last year I completed my read of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown.  The first book in this series was written in a matter of months by an unknown 25 year old author in a room over his parent’s garage.  And while this brilliant series got over 120 rejections, once it was picked up, it became a NY Times best seller and is soon to be made into a motion picture.  I love this series and if you have not picked it up…do it.  It is truly unbelievable and like Tal’s series, I was a mess of emotions throughout the entire third book.  So what is it that makes one author a household name?

 

 

Part of it no doubt is luck of the draw, and part of it I have to believe is getting recognized by that one person that can make a difference.  A YouTube video goes viral. Why?  There are millions out there with very few hits and it is that one in a million that spreads like wildfire.  And I want this series by Tal Bauer to spread like wildfire...

 

 

Because I want everyone to read this…I want everyone to know the brilliance that is created here and to see what I see.  See the magic that forms on the page and experience the heart stopping moments I did.  To be left in such a state they can barely go on.

 

 

Because dammit…EVERYONE should look like this when they are at work!!!

 

And I am not going to lie...several times over the last few weeks we (thanks to my fellow buddy-reader, Marco) seriously contemplated that Tom Clancy had not died at all but just became the author we know as Tal Bauer. I have no idea if Tal even likes Clancy’s work and honestly I have only read one.  But dammit…Clancy was a brilliant storyteller and his accolades included such statements as the following:

 

"He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale." —The New York Times Book Review

 

"Heart-stopping action. . . entertaining and eminently topical." —The Washington Post

 

"Brilliant" —Newsweek

 

"Highly entertaining" —The Wall Street Journal

 

And every single one of these comments could equally be attributed to Tal Bauer’s series.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  

 

The Executive Order series is absolutely mesmerizing and the amount of research that went into developing this series is quite remarkable.  Tal weaved a tale so applicable to today’s political situation that it was quite scary at times.  And yet the story told here was so completely different.  From LGBT rights, the Presidency, ties to Russia, to moles and spies infiltrating our political system, to even such things as cloning and the modernization of Islam.  And while I would probably characterize this first and foremost as a political and military drama, the romance is so well done and heartbreakingly accurate that the love between these characters just melds into this story beautifully.  We all hope and strive for inclusion, for a world when it doesn’t matter who we love.  To look upon a person in love and see that their life is full because of this other person.  To accept that love, to encourage that love and to help that love succeed is something we as humans should cherish and want to see.  And as the series progresses, the friendships that are formed and forged are strong because of love.  Love binds us all.   

 

While the entire series is captivating with situations that leave you catching your breath and constantly on guard wondering who will stab you in the back next…nothing beats this third installment. I swear I was a mess for the better part of this book and left staggering around looking for a place to lie down between chapters.  Fucking hell man. 

 

 

Yeah…I might have fangirled a bit here with my thoughts and honestly this review may make absolutely zero sense.  I posted really nothing about this story, these characters and posted no quotes…because you just need to read it!!! 

 

 

And if you finish this series and don’t honestly wish that you could elect Jack Spiers right now, then that is really unfortunate because you have clearly missed the reasons why.  I would be so damn proud to call Jack Spiers MY President of the United States.  Maybe one day.

 

As a side note, I am also making my way through the free bytes on Tal Bauer’s website and what a treat these are.  That there is hope for future installments makes me extremely happy.  Much love for all of these beautiful characters and a special shout out to Captain Anderson…gaaahhh I loved this man too and desperately want a snip-it of him post Enemy Within. : )

 

My boys… 

 

 

And Tal…thank you for this unbelievable ride and for a series that lands on my 6 star shelf.  Cheers to you!

 

 

And a special thanks to Elsbeth and Marco...what an amazing BR this one has been.

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