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review 2018-07-07 03:09
The Last Thing He Needs (Audiobook)
The Last Thing He Needs - J.H. Knight

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but it was really good. I admit, if this had been from Bobby's POV, I probably would've had less patience with it and wondered more why he'd risk his job getting involved with a guy like Tommy. Not that I didn't still wonder that, but since this was from Tommy's POV (though it's in the third person) I didn't spend much time mulling over it. 

 

Tommy and Bobby have a great friendship and relationship, and I like that actual months - instead of merely weeks or even just days - pass before they get to the ILUs. Tommy's got a lot on his plate, and grew up in poverty with parents who were addicts. He's responsible for his seven younger brother and sisters, and sometimes that means taking shortcuts to make sure they have necessities like toilet paper and food. But he does have morals and he has lines that he won't cross, and he does his best to make sure his siblings are growing up in as safe an environment as he can provide for them. Bobby coming into his life requires Bobby to open up to someone else, and then rely on and trust him. 

 

I really liked Bobby and his mom Judy, and there was good time spent with the older siblings so I could actually tell them apart from each other. There were some dropped subplots that I expected to see more of but didn't, or at least get a line or two about in the epilogue but didn't. 

 

I do have deduct points for the ridiculous sex scene that takes place after one of the MCs has been pretty seriously injured. Please, authors, stop doing this! I would find it much more romantic if the uninjured MC takes care of the injured MC than if they just go at it like there aren't stitches and pulled muscles and slings to consider. I'm just saying.

 

The narrator for this one is Michael Stellman. He does an adequate job with the text and he's easy to listen to and follow along with. He does a good job emoting too. But, he didn't really differentiate between voices for the various characters enough and it was sometimes difficult to tell who was speaking. I probably would've enjoyed this more if I'd read it on my own.

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review 2018-06-24 19:45
Reeve of Veils (Inheritance #4)
Reeve of Veils (Inheritance) (Volume 4) - Amelia Faulkner

Hmmm, not sure what to make of this one. 

 

First, this goes back to Knight of Flames timeline and gives us Freddy's POV, so there's a lot that's repeated. Pretty much the first and last quarter of the book, in fact, and I ended up skimming the bulk of those parts, looking only for new details. About the only new thing we learn during those parts is that Freddy's a bigger jerk than I originally thought he was. We get confirmation of his powers, which are more extensive than hinted at prior to this.

 

As for the new stuff in the middle, well... Freddy's a jerk and I prefer not to read POVs of jerks. Mikey's somewhat better, but he's been a victim for so long that he (and Freddy) actually deludes himself into believing he's left that behind even as he willingly becomes Freddy's literal plaything. Which brings me to the second thing.

 

Second, there's just no way to see Freddy and Mikey's relationship as anything other than D/s, which is a dynamic I don't enjoy. Just because Freddy thinks he's doing good by Mikey and Mikey's getting out of the ghetto doesn't erase that. Freddy might want to see themselves as equals for whatever reasons he needs to, but they're really not.

 

Plus, Freddy's just not that good of a guy. He's not a complete bastard, but he's barely one sidestep away from Kane - and even that's only until he succeeds in his plan to off dear old daddy, which I assume is the next book, and then he will be exactly like Kane. (Actually, I'd argue that he's worse than Kane, since at least Kane's victims know they're victims. Freddy's don't.) Morals and ethics mean nothing to this guy. Or to Mikey. So I guess they are perfect for each other in that respect, but they're certainly not a couple I'm rooting for or care about, and the insta-love here is just completely unbelievable given that Freddy's practically a sociopath.

 

Ok, I give Freddy credit for not violating Mikey's sexual consent (or so he claims). But since he violates consent in every single other respect with everyone around him, that credit doesn't get him very far. It gets him a crumb. A crumb ground into dust.

 

The good news is you don't actually have to read this book. The last two books made it perfectly plain that Freddy's manipulating Laurence and how, and that he's trying to line up Quentin to kill their dad. So this book ends at pretty much the same point as the previous book, just with a bit more info than we had before. 

 

Two more little nitpicks:

 

Mikey's a drug dealer and a high school dropout who's never been outside San Diego. He's not going to measure distances by kilometers. This same thing happened with Laurence in the last book. We use feet and miles in the USA. There are various conversion charts and calculators available online. This sort of error shouldn't happen, and it pulled me out of the story both times.

 

And lastly, mailbox flags work the exact opposite of how they're used here. When you have outgoing mail, you raise the flag. When the mailman comes, he lowers the flag and leaves the incoming mail. If the flag is up, that means the mail hasn't been delivered yet, not that it has been.

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review 2018-03-13 02:15
Half Moon Chambers (Audiobook) - DNF
Half Moon Chambers - Harper Fox

I should've read the blurb. And I should've followed my gut when this started with a sex scene. But it's Harper Fox, right? Nope. Unprofessional professional. Cop sleeps with a witness. DNF. :(

 

Narrator was okay.

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review 2018-03-03 21:53
Knight of Flames (Inheritance #2)
Knight of Flames (Inheritance Book 2) - Amelia Faulkner

You know that feeling when you're reading a good book and you sort of know where it's going and it goes there but it's still okay because you still had a good time getting there? But there's also this undercurrent of weird niggling at you the entire time and then you get to the last page and it sucker punches you in the brain and then you can't figure out if you're really excited or super dreading what's going to come next?

 

 

And all of a sudden everything you've read prior to that moment is put into this whole other context and it makes this horrible kind of sense and you don't know what to make of it? Yeah, that's me and this book.

 

This was going to be a solid four stars, and the first 95% of the book totally is. But now? Gotta raise it up a star. The author is toying with us, just because she can! I bet this is what Ms. Faulkner was doing as she was writing that page:

 

 

Laurence and Quentin are still figuring out their psychic powers and their relationship, and how to get past Quentin's various hangups with sex or anything sexual in nature. Along the way, Quentin gets an unexpected visitor, Ethan gets a boyfriend, and we get to meet new psychics. The other really starts to expand on this world while also giving us a little more background on Quentin. We don't get quite as much focus on Laurence, as this one is more Quentin-centric, but we still go back and forth on their POVs.

 

The flaws exist only because the characters are flawed, and to say more about it would be giving away too much of the plot. Let me just say, you'll yell at these characters like they're in a horror movie but at least Laurence is somewhat genre savvy. Quentin is as always tragically oblivious.

 

What else can I say? The author's geography of San Diego continues to prove good. Kind of off on our weather. May's usually not that hot, but freak heat waves do happen all year long so I'll give her that one.

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review 2018-02-24 03:09
Twice Shy (Shelter #3)
Twice Shy: Book Three in the Shelter Series - Kate Sherwood

Since Micah has spent most of the previous two books in a constant drug haze, it was nice to get to know him once he's free of the drugs. He's smart and philosophical, and he's realistic about his situation and the people he hurt with his drug habit. He knows he's got to keep working the program, even the parts that seem silly to him, and he doesn't get defensive when he's called out for veering off the rules. He knows he's got a lot of bridges to rebuild and relationships to mention, especially with his found family who he betrayed in the previous book. So getting know the real him was great.

 

I also liked that he was just miraculously clean after a stint in rehab. He's still tempted, and he's aware of his triggers and his pitfalls. Being idle is bad for him, so when his fellow rehab friend Austin gets his brother to offer Micah a job, he jumps at it.

 

Jake, Austin's brother, is a down-to-earth guy trying to grow his landscaping business, but he also has to take care of his younger brother, whose recovery is not going as well as Micah's. And with all his issues with Austin, I really couldn't buy it that he'd jump so quickly into a relationship with Micah. Yes, he questions the wisdom of it several times, and this is one of the few times the mid-book breakup actually makes sense. And even though this relationship develops over a few weeks, as opposed to the first two books which were both over a handful of days, this felt more rushed somehow. Maybe because I didn't really feel the connection, because I kept wondering why Jake, or even Micah, would risk a relationship at this point in their lives, and Austin's just another complication.

Really, this is a massive spoiler. You've been warned.

(spoiler show)

And I kind of felt that killing Austin off was just a little too "easy" for getting rid of that complication. Obviously, not easy emotionally for the characters, but easy narratively for the author.

(spoiler show)

 

I'm not sure what to make of the gentrification plot that's introduced here and which will be resolved somehow in the next book, which makes this kind of a cliffhanger. I guess I'll wait and see that resolution before deciding on it - though reading the blurb for the next book, I can already guess where that's going to go.

 

The three little snippets or interludes at the end were more like teasers for the next book than anything else, fun to read but not necessary.

 

Oh, and no way is that African violet surviving. They're way too picky and finicky to grow under the best of circumstances.

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