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review 2017-02-17 02:29
Crazy Like a Foxe
Crazy Like A Foxe (Skyler Foxe Mysteries Book 6) - Haley Walsh

Maybe I wasn't quite in the right mood for this one after all, or maybe Skyler was being too OTT and TSTL for my tolerance levels. Skyler's always been reckless but this is the first time I remember fearing for the future since, as a teacher, he's responsible for molding young minds. He really should not be responsible for teenagers. :P

 

Summer's coming to a close and Skyler's summer job at the local museum is coming to its end as well. Everything's hunky dory until valuable items start going missing. A mysterious death soon follows, and Skyler's on the case (and frankly, I thought it took him too long to cotton on to what was going on, at least in one respect). There's also Keith's old boyfriend back in town, and the ex is up to no good. On top of all that, Skyler's still trying to wrap his head around his parents getting back together, and his various trust issues with his father.

 

Actually those same trust issues could explain a lot about Skyler's behavior in general - why he's such a control freak and needs to know everything NOW instead of when people are ready to tell him, and why he always assumes the worst case scenarios. That doesn't explain the various members of the SFC going along with his harebrained antics, especially when it involves

breaking into a storage facility and busting their way into a storage locker. If I were Sydney, I'd let them all sit in the tank for a night instead of finding ways to get them off the hook all the time. That's not even mentioning hacking into Keith's phone, which is a far worse offense on a personal level.

(spoiler show)

But then they wouldn't be the SFC we know and love if they didn't 100% support Skyler. At least Phillip has some sense.

 

We don't spend as much time with the kids in this book as in previous ones, and there's a lot of focus on the football team when we do, due to Keith signing up a girl to play on the team, and not as a kicker. We also get to learn a bit more about Keith's background, which leads to some in depth discussions about where Skyler and Keith envision their relationship going.

 

Joel Leslie usually does a decent job on the various accents, but in this book we meet a female football player name Eleigh (sp?). The first time she spoke, based on the accent Leslie was using, I figured she'd be Australian. Nope. Turns out she's Samoan, and I don't think she grew up in Australia. That's just the complete wrong accent to use. I've lived around Samoans my whole life and never once heard any of them use any accent even close to Australian. Just...WTF was that? It was terrible and it grated more and more each time she spoke. Everyone else, he does well and Joel and Rodolfo have always been my standout favorite characters that he voices. They all continue to shine here. 

 

This was still funny and fun, and hopefully some of the growth we see in Skyler in this book will stick.

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review 2016-08-17 03:51
Status Update
Status Update - Annabeth Albert

This was very sweet and cute, and not just because of the dogs, though they certainly don't hurt. :D

 

Noah is a closeted professor at a conservative, parochial university and grew up in a conservative family with an abusive, domineering father. As such, he's super repressed, to the point that he's never even had sex, or even a kiss. He's convinced himself he doesn't need it and all he really needs from life is to make tenure. Adrien is a gamer geek and programer. Even his tattoos are geeky. He's outgoing and loud and has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth. He's great at long-distance relationships. A little too great. He uses them as a crutch for his own insecurities about relationships.

 

I really liked that these guys could learn things from each other, and not just be all lusty. I mean, there was lust, and the mandatory sex scenes, but this was really more about them getting to know each other - and themselves - because they each offered something the other was missing. 

 

I don't think I buy the whole road trip snow storm on Thanksgiving thing. Someone who lives out that way, does it actually snow that time of year? It's still autumn. Would've made more sense for there to be some sort of mechanical failure with the RV that then needed repairs to strand them, but whatever. I can be flexible sometimes if the story is worth it, and I think it is in this case. 

 

I also really appreciated the balance given to Noah's coming out. Too many authors think that conservative = hates all the gays. And yes, this is a larger problem with that demographic than it is among liberals, but there's also a spectrum. Not everyone meets the stereotype checklist, so I liked that Noah was met with both understanding and acceptance by some and misguided "help" by others.

 

I don't know if we'll have another book with these two later, but I hope so. I'd love to catch up with them at some point.

 

Narration: Sean Crisden isn't my favorite narrator. I find his regular reading voice to be on the droll side, but he voices these two well, and doesn't do that high-pitched thing for the women voices like some guys do, and he hit the emotional queues pretty well. 

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review 2016-04-30 05:37
Desert Foxe
Desert Foxe - Haley Walsh
Yes! Time for more fun and hijinks with Skylar, Keith and the SFC. This time, they're heading for the White Party in Palm Springs for a weekend of sexy good times with their boyfriends. Murder and Mayhem - and a couple of delinquent teens - have other ideas.

This was fun, and funny. I laughed several times, and I still enjoy hanging around with these guys. Walsh mixed things up a bit. Nearly the entire story takes place within a 24-hour time span, and most of that over the course of the night, so it's more condensed than other stories in this series. It was a great way to keep the momentum going (sort of, more on that in a sec) and helped with the suspense of disbelief as there was less time for all these guys to stop and ask if they should be doing what they're doing. (Some of them - No! Some of them - Yes!)

We also get multiple POVs for the first time, getting to see events taking place when Skylar isn't there. I did like getting to see glimpses of the other characters without it being filtered later with the "tell and catch up" aspect we get in previous books. There were a lot of sweet and touching moments between the various characters that just wouldn't have worked hearing about them second-hand, and we got to see how these characters actually relate to each other on their own.

The only thing I didn't like about this was that the storylines aren't told chronologically. Maybe that was an attempt to amp up tension and suspense, and maybe that would've worked better if I'd read it instead of listened to it. It didn't quite work for me, whatever the case, and I thought it would've flowed better and tighter if the storylines were closer together. It would've meant more scene jumps, but it would've kept the momentum going too, instead of stopping a scene mid-action, and then jumping to somewhere else to play catch up with the other guys. That's just my opinion though. Others might not have the same issues and prefer it the way it's told.

There are a couple of niggles: the generic "Asian" guy. Asia's a pretty large continent. Is he Russian? Chinese? Cambodian? Indian? Israeli? Like, if you have a Canadian character, you wouldn't call him the North American. I would really like to see authors at least narrow down "Asian" to a specific country, if nothing else.

I know some people will have issues with the terms "Native American" and "Indian" being used interchangeably. I personally don't see how one is really better or worse than the other. But my opinion doesn't matter and I'm not getting into that here. Just follow this link to see what actual Natives feel on the topic, because they're really the only ones who have the right to be picky about this:
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/21/blackhorse-do-you-prefer-native-american-or-american-indian-6-prominent-voices-respond

Narration: Joel Leslie is back and he... sounds like he's getting over a cold? I actually stopped the first chapter to see if it was the same narrator. After I finished the book, I even went back and downloaded an earlier book, wondering if it'd just been too long and I'd forgotten what he sounded like, that maybe after the smooth silkiness of Chris Patton, Leslie just sounded gruffer by comparison. Part of it was that, but his voice is a wee bit on the scratchy side here. I hope he wasn't sick and it was just an issue of recording equipment instead. :( To be clear, he still knocks it out of the park and does a great job, overall, especially with all the SFC. Except he mispronounced "dour" as "doer" at one point. I did have issue with his "big guy" voice, or Keith's voice. I love it for Keith's voice. I didn't love it when it was used for the other "big guys" as there wasn't enough of a difference and it made it a little hard to follow along sometimes when there was more than one "big guy" in the scene.
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review 2016-03-04 11:15
My Hero Academia Vol 1
My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 - Kohei Horikoshi,Caleb D. Cook

This. This was exactly what I needed last year. I couldn't seem to read anything, so anime was my staple. But I kept hearing everyone sing the praises of this new series, so I had to give it try. Superheroes in manga/anime seems to be a thing now. Not too long ago, Tiger and Bunny came out. Now, One-Punch Man and My Hero Academia have come out roughly at the same time. I've only read the last but if the others are as good as this one, I may finally jump on the Superhero bandwagon!

 

Our hero, Izuku Midoriya, lives in a world where 80% of the population has a "quirk," a superhero ability that can range from water, gigantism, explosions, and even stranger ones. With so many people holding powerful abilities, the police forces were unable to handle them and so some rose up to take the mantle of hero and keep the peace. The best known hero, All Might, is Midoriya's personal hero as well. He wants to save people with a smile just as All Might does. There's just one problem. Midoriya is one of the rare 20% born quirkless. How can someone without powers ever be a hero?

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