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review 2017-08-22 03:12
Heat Trap (The Plumber's Mate #3)
Heat Trap - J.L. Merrow

Oh geez, so much going on in this one! 

 

I complained in my review for the last book that I thought Tom and Phil's relationship took a backseat. That was not the case here. The case Phil's working on effects them both personally and even brings out some secrets Phil has been hiding about himself. It really tests their relationship, bringing up old concerns, but doesn't go into melodrama territory. 

 

The case is again well-done. Marianne, the new bartender at the Dyke, is running from her abusive ex-boyfriend, and Phil's asked to dig up dirt on him. The ex is a Douche-with-a-capital-D and annoyingly wily when it comes to the law. 

And I can't believe Tom fell for Grant's line about being misunderstood. Com'n Tom, that's Abuser Manipulation 101.

(spoiler show)

This has some good and creepy twists to it and definitely doesn't end up anywhere I thought it would.

 

On the personal front, Tom's still trying to sort out how he feels about a family secret coming out in the previous book,

about his mother having an affair and his father not being his biological father,

(spoiler show)

so there are family tensions to deal with but again it avoids from going into melodramatic territory. I enjoyed seeing more of Cherry and Greg, and of course Gary and Darren are always a hoot. Oh, and I have to give a shout out to Arthur and Merlin too. They're just the coolest cats, if maybe a bit too quick with their affections. :D

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review 2017-08-03 04:21
Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate #2)
Relief Valve (The Plumber's Mate) - J.L. Merrow

Since I wasn't busy on the mystery of why Tom was dating his former bully, Phil having finally won me over in the previous book, I was actually able to pay attention to the real mystery this time around. There are two actually: who's trying to kill Tom's sister, Cherry, and what did Auntie Lol hide in her old house for Tom to find? For the first there are plenty of potential suspects, all with their own potential motives, and enough red herrings to keep you guessing until the reveal. For the second, that wasn't at all what I was expecting either and has some interesting potential for the upcoming book(s). 

 

As good and entertaining as the mysteries were, I felt like Tom and Phil's relationship got shunted to the side a bit. There's some relationship development, but it's more of a subplot and not as much of a focus as I felt it should be. Or maybe I'm just so used to the insta-love typical of the genre, I'm not used to the more slow, natural-moving pace of actual relationships, LOL. They do reach an important milestone, so there's that.

 

Really, the most entertaining part of the story was Cherry's fiancé Greg, and Tom's multitude of epitaphs for him. I'm with Tom. Anyone who smiles that much has to be shady. :P

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text 2017-07-17 02:23
Reading progress update: I've read 77%.
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

Man, it's getting hard out here for an imp.

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text 2017-07-03 07:07
Reading progress update: I've read 71%.
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

BEST!

 

CHAPTER!

 

EVER!!!!!!!!

 

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text 2017-06-18 17:30
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
A Storm of Swords - George R.R. Martin

 

Well, it doesn't involve cute little innocent kittens licking themselves and being adorable, let me tell you!

 

I HAVE SEEN THINGS THAT CANNOT BE UNSEEN!

 

 

AKLKSDFJALDSFHDSALFHDASKLJKAJF

 

And I even had this whole

Bolton/Frey alliance figured out (though not for the entirely right reasons) way back in Book 2. I knew something like this was coming.

(spoiler show)

 

Still not prepared.

 

CATELYN TOO? WHYYYYY?

(spoiler show)

 

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