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review 2020-01-20 21:45
If you're looking for that next happy, happy, joy, joy feel good story...keep going, because...
Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat - Roe Horvat,Vance Bastian

...this is not that story.

 

Thankfully I knew that going into this, so I was prepared and able to appreciate this for what it was...a deeply painful and emotional story not about finding love but about surviving it.

 

Dr. Simon Mraz keeps the world at a distance. He can cold, aloof even abrasive at times. He's not a happy go luck guy...that's just not who he is or will ever be. But still he has a solid career as a specialist and lecturer at Prague's Charles University and he has friends who can see beneath his icy exterior. 

 

As a student Matej is off limits to Simon or 'The Cruel Dr. Frost' as he's called by students. But Matej isn't worried about a bit of frost...no he's fascinated by it and determined to get 'The Cruel Dr. Frost's' attention.

 

"A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat" is the story of what happens when he does. This is a story that's filled with pain and heartache, but it's also a story that's filled with love. 

 

Simon knows he shouldn't get involved with a student but when it comes to Matej, he's drawn to the colorfully dressed, tattooed young student like a moth to a flame and just like that moth when he gets to close, Simon's knows he's going to get burned but still finds himself helpless to resist.

 

I basically listened to this book in one sitting and I'm sure a lot of people would agree with me when I say that finding nearly 7 hours (6 hrs., 52 min.) to just and listen to an audio book isn't always the easiest thing to do but just like Simon and his attraction to Matej, I found myself helpless to do otherwise. Every time I considered stopping so that I could get some things done I found that leaving whatever I needed to do for another day so that I could listen to..."Just a bit more" became the logical course of action.

 

While I'm not normally a fan of stories that jump around their timeline the way that this one did. I found I was a little more challenged keeping up with things on the audio version that I would have If I'd been reading the e-book but still I never felt like I'd really lost track of what was going on and when either so a bit of a niggle but for me not a really big deal either.

 

Surprisingly I never found myself in need of tissues with this story but I think that's mostly because I went into it knowing it was 'that kind of story'. However, what I did find was that most of the time I was left with a dull, empty ache inside of me like something was missing and I realized at the end of it all this was very much because of Simon and how strongly I related to his character, I imagined that to some degree this was how he often felt. 

 

I have to admit that bringing me to tears isn't really a big challenge, however, making me feel such a deep emotional connection that it's like an actual physical ache, as I did with this story is something that rarely happens. 

 

Roe Horvat is quickly becoming a writer who's stories I find to be incredibly compelling whether I'm reading them or listening to them on audio. Once I begin a story, I find that setting it aside is not acceptable. They are for want of better words 'deeply intense, and compelling often times speaking straight to the readers heart'. 

 

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review 2020-01-20 20:14
Have you ever wandered through a park...
Fade In - V.L. Locey

or maybe some public gardens and wondered about the people you see there…Who are they? Where do they come from? Where are they going to? Why are they there? So many questions. In ‘Tales of Bryant’ Ms Locey creates stories that could easily play out in such a place…a place that really could be anywhere even around the corner from where you or I live, but in this case the park happens to be in New York, and it’s called Bryant Park.

 

Bryant Park is the thread that joins each story to the next. In the first book Bryant park was where Isamu and Brian’s story began. Then in book #2 we again returned to Bryant Park to as these two men became husband and husband but just as one story was getting it’s happily ever after another one was beginning.

 

It was during Isamu and Brian’s wedding that Caiden and Devon first meet and their attraction is something that neither man wants to ignore and what starts off as a one night stand quickly becomes something much stronger and far more than either of these men are prepared for.

 

Caiden and Devon are two very different men, at very different places in their lives. Caiden is a successful producer of LGBT movies. His career is established, he’s got the connections, professionally he’s proven himself.  He’s had relationships and even he’s cautious because he knows he’s quick to fall in love and he wants to give Devon everything…except the one thing that Devon wants the most.

 

Devon’s a film student and after being thrown out of his home for being gay, he’s also determined to show his father that he can make it on his own. He’s working a minimum wage job at a bakery to try and make ends meet, he’s got classes and when he gets offered the intern position at Budgie in the Dell studios…he’s not crazy of course he jumps at the opportunity…really, what’s a few less hours of sleep?

 

While the age disparity between these two men isn’t a favorite of mine just as it wasn’t with Brian and Isamu, somehow it all seems to work. In both cases the men all bring something unique to the table helping to keep things balanced and to offset the difference not so much in regards to the age difference but in regard to the power dynamic of an older, career established person with considerably more life and career experience vs someone whose career hasn’t really started and whose life experience is much more limited and yet in both cases the author has made this dynamic work for me.  For me the fact that both of the younger men have the strength of character to stand up for what they want and who they are, even when they’re afraid it could cost them what matters to them the most is definitely a large contributor towards making these relationships work.

 

Along with Isamu and Brian who have returned from their honeymoon the story offers us a peek at Adrian, whom we met in ‘Nine Small Sips’ and we are also introduced to Luis, Caiden’s cook and housekeeper and one adorably colorful personality. I’ve got my fingers crossed that future stories will see both of these men paying a visit to Bryant Park to see what destiny has in store for each of them.

 

The ‘Tales of Bryant’ each provide a story that feels complete in both content and emotion as well as offering a connection to more and I’m definitely looking forward to more.

 

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An ARC of ‘Fade In’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-01-20 20:08
It's Indiana Jones in steampunk Victorian era London with a touch of a gay romance...
The God's Eye - Anna Butler

‘The God’s Eye’ is the third, and rumor has it, final story in ‘Lancaster’s Luck’ the Victorian Era Steampunk trilogy by Anna Butler.

 

In ‘The Gilded Scarab’ we were introduced to Rafe Lancaster and followed his return back to civilian life after leaving the Britannic Imperium’s Aero Corps. As Rafe tries to find his bearings upon returning to civilian life the reader goes on a journey with him while he learns about running a coffee house, deals with a jealous ex-lover, fends off murder and kidnapping attempts and begins a new relationship with Ned Winter, first heir to Gallowglass House…it was only meant to be a brief dalliance but as fate keeps drawing them together, it turns into something stronger, something more…possibly the key to Rafe’s future happiness.

 

Then in ‘The Jackal’s House’ the reader travels to Aegypt with Rafe and Ned on an archaeological excavation in the temple ruins of Abydos where strange things began to happen…things that became dangerous…life threateningly dangerous. At every turn they find themselves facing more and increasingly dangerous things. It soon becomes clear that if they’re going to survive, they need to get to the bottom of what’s happening and quickly.

 

And now in ‘The God’s Eye’, Rafe and Ned’s once again find themselves in jeopardy. Rafe is to become First Heir of House Stravaigor and as his father hovers on the brink of death leaving Rafe tied to a future he never wanted but knows he must accept he finds himself unable to accompany Ned to Aegypt for the archaeological digging season. Rafe’s deepest worries are realized when Ned fails to return from a trip to the remote, unexplored highlands of Abyssinia.

 

As much as he is reluctant to do so, Rafe knows he must follow his heart and leave Londinium with its house and familial commitments behind to travel to Aegypt and ultimately Abyssinia in search of Ned so he can bring him safely home.

 

When I first began reading this series, I said that not only was this Ms Butler’s wheelhouse but she was in the driver’s seat…my belief in this has not changed. Although it’s been a while since I read ‘The Jackal’s House’ slipping back into the steampunk world of Victorian era London was effortless.

 

While there’s a very definite romance in this story…actually in all of them for the most part it’s the action and adventure that holds center stage. So admittedly if you’re someone who wants their romance front and center than you may not enjoy these stories as much as I did. But also know that there is a very definite romantic relationship between Rafe and Ned and while it’s not always the main focus neither does it ever become completely lost to the story.

 

Once again Ms Butler has maintained the world she’s created while taking the reader on an epic adventure with some very memorable characters. Many of which we’ve met in previous stories but here in ‘The God’s Eye’ we are given a closer look at some of the people in Ned and especially Rafe’s life. I think for me one of the main reasons that I’ve enjoyed this series so much has been the authors writing style and that she’s not only written a story that feels like it’s set in steampunk Victorian Era England and that it holds such an intimate feeling to the era that in the best possible ways it feels like she lived it.

 

Just a little side note here…as well as my recommendation in previous reviews to read the series from the beginning and in order. I would also encourage visiting series page on the author’s website (https://annabutlerfiction.com/my-books/lancasters-luck/) where you’ll find links to a lot of fun and interesting information on the series and on steampunk London. It’s a fun place to poke around and add a more visual feel to the story in terms of the era and how things appeared as well as things specific to this series, it’s information that can only add to your reading experience.

 

“The God’s Eye” may be the final book in ‘Lancaster’s Luck’ I’m hoping that it’s not the authors only foray into the world of Steampunk London and for me the only thing that could have made this better would be if I could enjoy it all over again on audio…“le sigh!” a girl can hope…right?

 

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An ARC of ‘The God’s Eye’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-18 23:57
Book Review : Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling,Kazu Kibuishi,Mary GrandPré

June 9- January 18

Harry Potter is preparing to leave the Dursleys and Privet Drive for the last time. But the future that awaits him is full of danger, not only for him, but for anyone close to him – and Harry has already lost so much. Only by destroying Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes can Harry free himself and overcome the Dark Lord’s forces of evil.

In this dramatic conclusion to the Harry Potter series, Harry must leave his most loyal friends behind, and in a final perilous journey find the strength and the will to face his terrifying destiny: a deadly confrontation that is his alone to fight.


Review : I've finally finished the Harry Potter series I love this series and this book might be my second favorite other than goblet of fire . In the last book Harry's destiny one must die so either him or Voldemort. Bill and flur wedding is going on and harry must be is disguise . Ron , Hermoine and Harry are going on the run death waters show at the wedding so they must go to serius house where kreacher is there Harry is his master . kreacher doesn't really like harry . Harry Ron and Hermione must destroy the horcruxes. Ron gets angry with them and leaves them Hermione is angry Hermione and Harry go on and are almost killed . A lot happens in this book Ron finally comes back . Remus and Tonx had their baby they named him Teddy . Hermione was tortured by bellatrix but they saved her and Dobby died I cried when he died and Hedwig very sad . They must get to Hogwarts they go through the pub and meet Dumbledore brother who tells them of Dumbledore and his sisters death . They get to Hogwarts and the war has started . Harry knows it's time to meet with Voldemort. Ron and Hermione finally kiss aww
Snape was killed by Voldemort and harry goes to the pensive to see Snapes memories of when he first met lily and everything how he was working with Dumbledore and how they planned Dumbledore death wow .Fred was killed I sobbed . Harry goes to the forest where Voldemort tries to kill him and Harry passes out for awhile but hes not dead Draco mother asks if Draco is still alive and she tells Voldemort Harry is dead .Hagrid takes Harry back to Hogwarts they all think Harry is dead and the fight is still going on Bellatrix tries to kill Ginny by mrs Weasley is not having it and kills her . Harry finally kills Voldemort. 19 years later and his son is going to Hogwarts and his son is worried he will be in slytherin but Harry tells him not to worry and if he wants he can get the hat to the house he wants . Loved this book and series .

Quotes :How do you feel, Georgie?" whispered Mrs. Weasley.
George's fingers groped for the side of his head.
"Saintlike," he murmured.
"What's wrong with him?" croaked Fred, looking terrified. "Is his mind affected?"
"Saintlike," repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. "You see...I'm HOLEY, Fred, geddit?”

Seventeen, eh!" said Hagrid as he accepted a bucket-sized glass of wine from Fred.
"Six years to the day we met, Harry, d’yeh remember it?"
"Vaguely," said Harry, grinning up at him. "Didn’t you smash down the front door, give Dudley a pig’s tail, and tell me I was a wizard?"
"I forge’ the details," Hagrid chortled.”

Here lies Dobby, a free elf.”


There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.
"Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!"
Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other.
"I know, mate," said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, "so it's now or never, isn't it?


On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981, Lily and James Potter lost their lives. Their son, Harry, remains the only wizard ever to have survived the Killing Curse. This house, invisible to Muggles, has been left in its ruined state as a monument to the Potters and as a reminder of the violence that tore apart their family. And all around these neatly lettered words, scribbles had been added by other witches and wizards who had come to see the place where the Boy Who Lived had escaped. Some had merely signed their names in Everlasting Ink; others had carved their initials into the wood, still others had left messages. The most recent of these, shining brightly over sixteen years’ worth of magical graffiti, all said similar things. Good luck, Harry, wherever you are. If you read this, Harry, we’re all behind you! Long live Harry Potter.”


Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.


“I am sorry too," said Lupin. "Sorry I will never know [my son]... but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.”

Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
"After all this time?"
"Always," said Snape.”

That wand’s more trouble than it’s worth,’ said Harry. ‘And quite honestly,’ he turned away from the painted portraits, thinking now only of the four-poster bed lying waiting for him in Gryffindor Tower, and wondering whether Kreacher might bring him a sandwich there, ‘I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime.”

Bellatrix was still fighting too, fifty yards away from Voldemort, and like her master she dueled three at once: Hermione, Ginny, and Luna, all battling their hardest, but Bellatrix was equal to them, and Harry’s attention was diverted as a Killing Curse shot so close to Ginny that she missed death by an inch — He changed course, running at Bellatrix rather than Voldemort, but before he had gone a few steps he was knocked sideways. “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!” Mrs. Weasley threw off her cloak as she ran, freeing her arms. Bellatrix spun on the spot, roaring with laughter at the sight of her new challenger. “OUT OF MY WAY!” shouted Mrs. Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. “No!” Mrs. Weasley cried as a few students ran forward, trying to come to her aid. “Get back! Get back! She is mine!” Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. “What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?” taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. “When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?” “You — will — never — touch — our — children — again!” screamed Mrs. Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backward through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart. Bellatrix’s gloating smile froze, her eyes seemed to bulge: For the tiniest space of time she knew what had happened, and then she toppled, and the watching crowd roared, and Voldemort screamed.”


Albus Severus," Harry said quietly, so that nobody but Ginny could hear, and she was tactful enough to pretend to be waving to Rose, who was now on the train, "you were named for two headmasters of Hogwarts. One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.”


But if it matters to you, you'll be able to choose Gryffindor over Slytherin. The Sorting Hat takes your choice into account."
"Really?"
"It did for me," said Harry.
He had never told any of his children that before, and he saw the wonder in Albus's face when he said it.”

 

 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-01-14 18:02
Book Review: Ouran host club volume 2
Ouran High School Host Club, Vol. 2 by Hatori, Bisco (2005) Paperback - Bisco Hatori
Dec 26-January 13

The school-wide physical exam has thrown the members of the elegant Host Club for a loop. How can the doctor not discover that Haruhi is a girl? And once the female customers learn the turn, Haruhi can kiss her job goodbye. Illustrations. Rated for teens.

Review: I'm enjoying this manga series its funny and the characters are entertaining in this volume the health test is coming up and no one knows Haruhi is a girl except the group so they find a way for her to get her health test and no one to know her secret. In the next part Hikaru and Kaoru get in a fight for the first time and the group is trying to figure out what to do Haruhi is the only one who can tell the difference between them she tells them they need to stop and it turns out they were messing with them and they weren't really fighting. This kid needs help talking to women but it turns out he only needs help talking to this one girl who is moving away and they play piano together very cute . Haruhi gets dragged to this resort and hunny gets separated and mori and Haruhi try to find him and he finds them .
 

 

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