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review 2019-01-23 21:56
Putting Away Childish Things

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25494267-a-christmas-vow-of-seduction" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="A Christmas Vow of Seduction (Princes of Petras, #1)" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1436129140m/25494267.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25494267-a-christmas-vow-of-seduction">A Christmas Vow of Seduction</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3430431.Maisey_Yates">Maisey Yates</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1391087734">3 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I really did like that Zara was able to keep Andres on his toes and go head to head with him. He was a jerk and his behavior towards others were unconscionable. While I understand he had a rough childhood and acting out became a way to get attention, he's a grown man and he needs to act like it. There was a nice amount of angst and tension in this story and Zara and Andres had great chemistry. I think I would have enjoyed it more if Andres was a touch more likable. It's been a while, but I recall that Zara's backstory was tortured as well. I did feel a lot of sympathy for her and I wanted her to be loved the way she deserved. I liked Andres' colder older brother Kairos a lot, or let's say he intrigued me. I thought there was a story to be told about his marriage. It got me excited to read Kairos's story <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25434325.The_Queen_s_New_Year_Secret__Princes_of_Petras___2_" title="The Queen's New Year Secret (Princes of Petras, #2) by Maisey Yates" rel="nofollow">The Queen's New Year Secret</a>, but I didn't like it as much as this one, sadly. <br /><br />The good chemistry and the angsty storyline made it a <b>3.5 star</b> read for me.
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<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1570669-danielle-the-book-huntress-back-to-the-books">View all my reviews</a>

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review 2019-01-20 15:21
Audio Book Review: Spirited Christmas
Spirited Christmas: A Jonathan Shade Holiday Story - Gary Jonas

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Jonathan arrives at the office one cold December morning to find a little girl has been balled up waiting for him for an hour. Madison wants to hire him to take care of the ghost that haunts her house at Christmas and grabs at her.

I've listened to previous Jonathan Shade books and Joe does a great job, as he always does, with Jonathan. Joe knows Jonathan inside and out as he voices Jonathan when joking and being serious. You know what Jonathan is up to by Joe's voice. I'm so glad Joe has continued to carry through as the voice of this series. As always, the audio is clean and clear listening. I'm not distracted from the story in any way.

I love how Jonathan is with Madison. She's young, ten, and he treats her so well. When Esther tells him he wasn't going to not help this little girl, he is great at his payment as Madison only has change to pay with - all her money in the world. This is a small Christmas gift to the young girl so she can enjoy Christmas. Madison made me smile with her humor and personality. She could give Jonathan a run for his money on humors remarks. lol. She is a cute little girl. I enjoyed her interaction with Jonathan.

Jonathan finds that there's more to the ghost haunting than expected. In true Gary Jonas fashion, there is much more to the story than one would expect. Jonathan has a soft heart and it shows in this book. He's determined to do what's right but also what is wanted. The two do go hand in hand from time to time.

The ending brings the feeling of the heart of the Christmas spirit story, like many endings of Christmas stories. It made me smile as it warmed my heart. Also we have Jonathan in his fun remarks with Kelly as friends at the holiday.

The novella is marked at 9.5 in the series, but it's placed before the first book. There are things still in place for the first book or two. If you listen or read this novella, you can do so at any time. Read it before you get to the series or any time during the series. It gives nothing away for the events in the novels but gives a feel for Jonathan and Kelly, the major characters in the series. So, pick it up for the holiday this month!

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review 2019-01-16 21:47
In the Bleak Midwinter / Julia Spencer-Fleming
In the Bleak Midwinter - Julia Spencer-Fleming

Heavy Snow...Icy Desires...Cold-Blooded Murder

Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Millers Kill, New York. She is not just a "lady," she's a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Millers Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks. What they discover is a world of trouble, an attraction to each other—and murder...

 

I never know these days when I pick up a mystery whether it will be a hit or a miss—I have read so many of them at this point that I’ve become pretty picky.

So I was pleasantly surprised by this selection—for a first book of a series, it was great. First off, I enjoyed the author’s style. I was never distracted by the words, I was able to immerse myself in the world of Millers Kill, N.Y. and go with the flow.

Secondly, I really connected with her two main characters, Rev. Claire Fergusson and the Chief of Police, Russ Van Alstyne. I loved Clare’s independence, the unexpectedness of her being an Episcopalian priest, being ex-army, driving an impractical hot little red car, and learning the ins and outs of this new community where she has been hired. I also couldn’t help liking Russ, who grew up in the community and has returned after his army career.

Just like Agatha Christie, Spencer-Fleming has chosen a small town as a setting for her story. It gives Clare and Russ a much better knowledge of the people around them, making the crime-solving aspect much more informed and interesting. Solving murders in a big city involves much more luck, while these mysteries set in small communities allow for much more exploration of the human decisions that pull people into criminal acts.

Unlike so many series where I’ve sampled one book and feel no need to follow up, I suspect I will catch up with Claire and Russ again in the near future!

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review 2019-01-16 01:19
A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer
A Christmas Party - Georgette Heyer

This took me quite a while to get through, and I didn't finish it in time for the 24 Festive Tasks game, but I still really enjoyed it. The idea is that the master of the house is murdered at Christmas when the house is full of guests; suspicions ensue. I had guessed the murderer but I couldn't quite work out how they had done it, but that added more to my enjoyment than it detracted from it. It was quite clever overall.

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review 2019-01-15 20:24
A Swan for Christmas - M.M. Wilde

Una lettura dolcissima e piena di buoni sentimenti. La storia facente parte di una serie scritta da più autori ci porta in una cittadina dove regnano l'amore e le coccole, una cittadina fatata in cui shifter, umani, streghe e maghi vivono in pace ed armonia aiutandosi e supportandosi. Viste le premesse la novella scorre senza troppi problemi senza mai cadere nel angst o nel dramma. Troviamo Vic un Alpha shifter lupo, proprietario della locanda più famosa della piccola cittadina che durante una tormenta di neve salva da morte certa il dolce Kellan, uno sfortunato omega shifter cigno abbandonato dalla sua famiglia. I due seppur diversi per cultura, età e passato impareranno ben presto a conoscersi avvicinandosi sempre di più fino all'inevitabile, e anche piuttosto affrettato visto il numero di pagine, innamoramento. La storia è molto carina e piena di miele, perfetta per il clima natalizio e per combattere il freddo invernale. Vic è il classico bravo ragazzo che si lancerebbe nel fuoco per salvare l'amato e Kellan è il bravo ragazzo sfortunato, maltrattato e costretto a crescere prima del tempo per pregiudizio, ignoranza e crudeltà della famiglia. I due uomini si completano a vicenda e la loro storia seppur un po' troppo affrettata mi ha conquistato. La pecca principale che mi ha impedito di arrotondare a 5 stelline facendomi storcere il naso ahimè è proprio la lunghezza della storia. Essendo racconti brevi di appena un centinaio di pagine purtroppo mancano di descrizioni e approfondimenti. Sarebbe infatti stato bello esplorare maggiormente la natura degli shifter cigno essendo creature rarissime negli universi shifter/omegaverse così come il rapporto tra i due protagonisti. Non so se alcune cose verranno accennate in altri libri essendo in parte collegati (in questo ad esempio vengono citati due personaggi che saranno la prossima coppietta protagonista) però.. ho trovato i personaggi presentati (sia principali che secondari) non troppo approfonditi a livello di background. Sappiamo qualcosa in più su Kellan in base ai suoi racconti ma pochissimo su Vic e ancora di meno sugli amici della coppietta. Avrei voluto di più. Anche l'innamoramento è rapidissimo e si passa dal flirt al sesso in pochissime pagine. Tempo di uscire insieme che già si mettono insieme e la gravidanza rapidissima di Kellan non aiuta. Anche la gravidanza infatti avrei voluto fosse curata di più essendo particolare vista la natura del giovane omega. Curiosa infatti la scelta delle uova (seppur in tema) e avrei voluto capire come un lupo possa in effetti rendere fertili le uova di un cigno... avrei voluto il classico personaggio che spiega "è successo per questi motivi" almeno... ok che in un mondo fatato e magico le cose strane sono all'ordine del giorno però.. qualche dettaglio non avrebbe fatto male a nessuno. In ogni caso è una storiella carina che consiglio ma... credo sia da leggere solo dopo aver letto i libri precedenti. Non è indispensabile ma mi sono ritrovata a conoscere personaggi che a quanto pare sono vecchie conoscenze di Vic e che probabilmente sono stati approfonditi nei volumi precedenti e anche se ho potuto apprezzare il loro buon cuore e simpatia non mi sono entrati dentro come i protagonisti rimanendo personaggi di contorno carini ma nulla più quindi... anche se standalone lo consiglio solo dopo la lettura dei volumi precedenti della serie così da avere più chiara la struttura e i rapporti tra i vari personaggi secondari, la gerarchia della cittadina, le dinamiche tra le coppie ecc

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