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review 2018-07-02 19:46
A Kind of Romance (A Kind of Stories, #2) by Lane Hayes 4 Star Review!
A Kind of Romance - Lane Hayes

Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Review

 

You will like Benny right away. Zeke takes a will. Zeke is difficult and mule headed but when he does grow, it is sight to see.

Benny and Zeke are opposites and they end of dating to appease Zeke's match making dad. 

Zeke has revenge (which is really minor to the plot but the need for it is a large part of his personal journey), anger at his father for his treatment of him when he came out, internalized homophobia, the need to prove that is more than good enough all swirling around in him.

And then he meets Benny who is loved but not fully accepted in his family, who tries to balance his art with his day jobs, and takes no crap from Zeke.

Lots of sparks, funny, tender and moving all at once. 

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review 2018-07-01 22:22
Our Kind of Cruelty
Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall
Mike was a twisted dude. I mean they both were twisted in the beginning and then later as I read, I was shaking my head for Mike just couldn’t seem to find reality. He was so confused that I began to wonder if perhaps I was the one confused. Dang, this novel was great!
 
Crave. It’s a game that Mike and V created, where an intense reuniting is the grand finale to this activity. It begins when V appears alone at the bar. They wait until a strange male approaches her. As this male begins to talk to her, to hit on her, the excitement begins. Mike rushes to the scene and he calls the man off. It’s a huge turn-on for both of them and they like to do this, a lot. I find it disturbing. I found as I read, that Mike seems too obsessed with V, whereas V likes Mike but not to the same degree that he likes her.
 
It’s decided that Mike would go to America to work for a few years, he’ll make more money there in a shorter amount of time. V will stay in London. When Mike returns to London, Mike tells V of his one-time affair. Well, that set V off and they ended up parting. Not long after that, V informs Mike that she is getting married. What?That didn’t take V long and now, I am starting to dislike V. Mike feels that V is still in love with him and that this is part of a secret Crave that she has created for him. He is so excited about this Crave, you can feel his anticipation and enthusiasm. I start to become obsessed with this novel as everything Mike sees and hears is about this new secret Crave, I mean everything! I am thinking, no Mike you are just a crazy, obsessed person. I begin to wonder what will happen when Mike realizes that she doesn’t like him anymore. Will he lose it? Will he walk away or go off? Mike starts to change his life for V but yet she is getting married to SOMEONE ELSE, hello Mike…. can’t you see what’s happening in front of you?
 
Mike starts to pass out from drinking and not remembering what happened. I can’t even begin to tell you where I thought this was headed. He starts to email her and his emails are off the wall. I’m wondering what V is thinking when she gets them. Then, when he finally confronts her face-to-face, I was like holding my breath because was this really happening? I was now totally confused but loving every minute of it. This was one twisted book.
 
Seriously, I loved this book! I couldn’t get enough of it. If you could see my copy, you would think I had it for years as it looks like, it has seen better days. I crunched it, it is water damaged from being around the pool, the covers do not lie down right, this book looks loved. If you like a dark, creepy, psycho thriller with some sex in it (not graphic sex) then, I highly recommend this novel. 4.5 stars
 
I won a copy of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway – thank you Farrar, Straub and Giroux for the novel. This review is my own honest opinion.

 

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review 2018-06-29 09:04
OUR KIND OF CRUELTY review
Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall

I'm pretty sure I spoil this book. Thing is, I'm not 100% sure I nailed the author's intention, so I'm not hiding it behind a spoiler tag. Just read at your own risk. If you've read the book, I'd love to discuss it with you in the comments below.

 

I'm going to try to review this book without naming the book I was thinking about the entire time I was reading this one. Suffice it to say, OUR KIND OF CRUELTY is, without a doubt, its own book, and the antagonist is far less likeable than He Who Shall Not Be Named.

 

Throughout the entirety of OUR KIND OF CRUELTY I felt like an ass for questioning a certain character's motives. Araminta Hall does a fantastic job of making the reader uncertain with regards to who to trust. Given the current political climate, and this world's history of treating women like animals, I didn't hesitate in considering that Verity could be as much at fault here as our unstable narrator. Gillian Flynn has made a career of writing about vile women, and I thought that's what I was reading here. It wasn't until the final pages (and the author's note at the end of the book) that I began to hate myself for ever questioning the author's intent.

 

OUR KIND OF CRUELTY deals with victim-blaming in a brutally-honest, realistic way, so much so that I was considering that the victim might have actually had something to do with the crime. It is a testament to how topical this book is that it made me take a closer look at myself, someone who would never consider blaming the victim in a situation like this, considering the possibility that the victim could be to blame. In this case, anyway. I'm so used to rooting for the bad guy in books like this that I never once considered the possibility that the bad guy was an unforgivable monster. He certainly was not relatable, or even likeable, but that was the author's intention. He's supposed to be a monster, from beginning to end, and the fact that I questioned his role says so much about the state of modern psychological thrillers.

 

We've grown to worship shitty human beings. We've come to romanticize bad men. This book takes a hard look at the victim, and asks you to see them, to believe them. Hall trusts you to make the right decision, and I almost didn't, because this isn't YOU, by Caroline Kepnes, and this crazy motherfucker is definitely not Joe Goldberg.

 

Fuck. I just failed, didn't I? Gahdameet!

 

In summation: OUR KIND OF CRUELTY will be compared to YOU until the end of days, but it truly does stand stunningly well on its own. Hall has created a puzzle that is only a puzzle because of where we are as a society. She turns a mirror on us, those who hero-worship characters like Joe Goldberg, and asks us to take a long hard look at ourselves. I, for one, didn't like what I saw, but that doesn't make me like Joe Goldberg any less. Odd how that works.

 

Final Judgment: Buy it for the amazing cover, read it for the brutally-honest social commentary.

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text 2018-06-27 16:31
A Land More Kind Than Home ★★★★☆
A Land More Kind Than Home (Audio) - Wiley Cash,Mark Bramhall,Lorna Raver

A Land More Kind Than Home is wonderful storytelling, dark and tragic, with delicious atmosphere. Much of the mystery derives from the non-linear structure and the reveal coming in slow dribs and drabs from the point of view of three different characters of varying ages and levels of involvement. This adds to the tension and the fun, but ultimately was a little unsatisfying as I didn’t feel fully connected to any of them, although there were moments that were deeply touching.

 

This is the second book I’ve read by Wiley Cash, and I’ve enjoyed both. I’ll keep looking for books from this author.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. The audio used three different performers to represent each main character and all were terrific, especially the voice for the sheriff and the old woman.

 

Previous Updates:

6/24/18 – 25%

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text 2018-06-24 14:19
A Land More Kind Than Home - 25%
A Land More Kind Than Home (Audio) - Wiley Cash,Mark Bramhall,Lorna Raver

It's hard to be patient with the nonlinear storytelling, because it feels like wasted energy trying to figure out which parts have already happened vs. what's the current story and whose story this is. But the voices are interesting and the audio performances are very good so far. 

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