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review 2021-08-18 06:48
Robb Starr - J.A. Howard

Mia had a crazy crush on Rob, just like everyone at her school.  Their mom's are best friends so they basically grew up together.  When tragedy strikes and he notices her, she feels like it is the time to make the most of it.


Rob, to his credit spends a lot of time with her.  She has no idea why and worries about it a lot.  Mia does not feel worthy of him - but still he comes back around again and again.  Is it even possible to wish a future into happening?


This story was quite wordy.  I felt the pace went fast and I felt lost several times while reading.  This was more of a coming of age book to me than young adult.  I give this a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-04-30 03:01
Take a Pass on Haskell
Howard Haskell Takes a Bride - Merry Farmer

Title: Howard Haskell Takes a Bride

Series: The Brides of Paradise Ranch #0.5

Author: Merry Farmer

Publish Date: July 20, 2016

Publisher: Self Published

Format: Kindle

Page Count: 91 pages

Source: Kindle store, personal copy

Date Read: February 2-14, 2020



A waste of time and effort, both on my side and the author's side. Seriously this is a contemporary erotic romance crudely and sloppily disguised as a historical novella. Even the cover is way too contemporary. Everything about this novella annoyed me - the characterizations were so shallow, you didn't want to jump into the pool for fear of hitting your head; the plot was so thin I wondered why the author bothered with having one at all. 


Elizabeth is the spoiled brat of wealthy Cincinnati high society parents who wants adventure on the frontier and keep her money at the same time. Her parents were pushing her to accept and move forward with an engagement to one of her father's young business associate. This young associate gave a big whiff of being possibly gay, so yet another historical romance with an evil, possibly gay boyfriend coming in between the hero and heroine - I do not like this trend at all. 


Elizabeth meets her "hero" Howard Haskell at a ball. There is a crap ton of telling about how physically attracted the two are to each other and how they found their one. This goes on for pages. One dance and then more monologuing about how attracted they are to one another. Howard is a blowhard egotistical ass, but honestly, Elizabeth is no prize either so I could see them having a HEA - for the rest of us not having to be in a relationship with either of them. There is a ton of sex scenes, mostly the outdoorsy type. There is a ridiculous foot race between bad boyfriend and hero to prove who was more worthy of Elizabeth's hand in marriage *eye roll*


There is no connection between this novella and the series it supposedly was the prequel for. So there is no reason to read this story to complete the series; there is no reason to read this dreck at all.

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review 2020-03-15 12:13
Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Troublemaker - Linda Howard

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was good. Years ago I read a ton of Linda Howard but I stopped picking up her books for one reason or another. I decided to give this one a try and I found that I do still enjoy her writing. I found this to be a really enjoyable listen.

I really only have one main complaint with this book. I can't believe that I am going to say this but too much of this book was about the dog. I love dogs. My world revolves around my three dogs and I have to admit that they are incredibly spoiled. I love it when dogs are a part of the story. This book took things a bit far even for me. I felt like I had spent hours listening to how Tricks liked to play catch, how smart she was, how she liked to be fed, where she thought she needed to sit in the car, and the list goes on. Do you see that cover? It should have had the dog in the foreground with the humans in the background because that would have been more accurate.

Now, on to the humans. Morgan works for an elite unit and is enjoying some time off at the start of the story. He is attacked near his own home comes close to losing his life. Once he has recovered enough to leave constant medical care, his supervisor arranges for him to go to the home of his step-sister, Bo, who lives in a small remote town. Bo is the part-time police chief of a small town. It's is an administrative position and she fills in the rest of her time with computer work out of her home. She does not expect to find an incredibly sick man on her doorstep but he is in such bad shape she can't bring herself to send him away.

There is a lot going on in this book. Not only do they need to figure out who is responsible for the attack on Morgan at the start of the book, but Bo also has some issues in town that prove to be more dangerous than she counted on. It did feel like nothing happened with the mystery of who was responsible for trying to kill Morgan for the majority of the book and then everything came together really quickly at the end of the story. Bo's situation in town filled in the main part of the book nicely.

I thought that Morgan and Bo worked well together. Morgan was pretty open and shared as much with Bo as he could. Morgan was in pretty rough shape for a long time in this story but when he started to recover he seemed to do so very quickly and that is when things started to heat up between the pair. I thought that they had good chemistry with each other and I liked them as a couple.

I thought that Tanya Eby did a good job with the narration. It did take me just a bit to get used to her voice but once I did, I had no complaints. She handled all of the character voices very well and was able to add a lot of emotion to the story. I had no problem listening to her voice for hours at a time.

I think that readers who enjoy romantic suspense and love dogs will enjoy this one. I didn't think that this was Linda Howard's best work but it was an enjoyable story. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of her work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow via Edelweiss and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.

Initial Thoughts
This was probably closer to 3.5 stars but I am going with 3 for now. I love dogs. I have 3 dogs that mean the world to me and I do adjust my life quite often to meet their needs. I love dogs in books so it pains me to say that there was just too much of the dog in this book. If I talked about my 3 dogs as much as this book talked about, Tricks, nobody would want to be around me. I feel like the book was 50% about the dog with the rest of the story taking a back seat.

I liked Bo and Morgan well enough. It seemed like the book kind of forgot that Morgan was in danger for the bulk of the story until it came back into focus at the very end. Morgan went from being quite frail to almost superhero status in a blink of an eye which seemed odd to me. I thought that the story was interesting enough to keep me going. I listened to this story and thought that Tanya Eby did an acceptable job with the narration.

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review 2020-03-09 05:40
My review of Ian Howard's "Harthacnut: The Last Danish King of England" is up!
Harthacnut: The Last Danish King Of England - Ian Howard

My fifteenth review is up on the Best British Biographies website! Please enjoy with my compliments.

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review 2020-01-27 03:58
Don't Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate: The Essential Guide for Progressives - Dan Hazen,Howard Dean,George Lakoff

I learned about this book via Eric Garland on Twitter. He is a strategic forecaster, per his bio, and I learn a lot from his tweets. 


I find this book fascinating and essential reading for those of us more on the Left politically. 


George Lakoff lays out nicely the Conservative strategy and how best to handle those awkward family discussions that can sometimes become heated. I never know what to do myself in those moments beside walking away and it is time to engage with our own talking points and reframe the conversation. It is also disturbing the rise of control of media via Conservatives. 


He repeats his points a lot, and gives some great examples so you can understand that Conservative family member. 


My takeaways are : 

- understanding our values 

- reframing the conversations

- and having our own talking points : Stronger America, Broad Prosperity, Better Future, Effective Government, and Mutual Responsibility


A worthwhile read. 

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