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review 2017-03-28 00:27
What color is your world...
True Colors (True Love) - Anyta Sunday

I'm sure there are probably a dozen stories out there like or similar to this one but sometimes it's not so much the story as how it's told and for me this story was woven through with the colors as much as the words and enriched with characters who added yet another layer of richness to it's brilliant colors. 

 

Marco's mama had colors for her days but for Marco it was people.  He saw colors for the people in his life. Marco's first color was sunglow yellow. He saw a color that was bright and full of happiness and life...full of everything good and right. That was Oskar's color, until Oskar's color became..."Dark, burnt-orange rust. A color to throw away."

 

"True Colors" is told through Marco's eyes as he shares his colors with us and watch his struggle to move on from a past that's filled with heartache and pain. The pain of losing his mother in horrible car crash that left Marco scarred and then the heartache of his best his best friend's betrayal. Marco and Oskar were best friends inseparable until the day that Oskar did the unimaginable and betrayed him. I won't lie, I was pretty damned angry with Oskar and honestly I'm a firm believer in second chances but it took me a while to truly believe that Oskar deserved one.

 

While we are given this background the story actually starts in the present when Oskar returns to Berlin...that's right everyone...this story is set in Germany and I have to say I loved that, it was just a nice little touch of something different. 

 

The journey that Marco and Oskar take to find their way back to each other is filled with anger, frustration, heartache, confusion and love no matter how hard Marco tries to fight it the bond of friendship and love that started when they were boys was never truly broken and texting lots and lots of texting and I loved these conversations.

 

I can't honestly say that I feel like I have adequate words to explain how deeply this story touched me and how much I loved it. It didn't feel so much like being run over by a steamroller as having  a small child tugging gently on your m hand in an effort to get your attention and then when you finally look down you realize that this is what love looks like. It's small and fragile with an underlying strength and resilience that can leave you speechless.

 

And of course for me one of the songs for this one was obvious...

True Colors and Listen to Your Heart

 

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An ARC of 'True Colors' was graciously provided by the author via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-26 21:27
This one's not only worth reading...
A Boy Worth Knowing - Jennifer Cosgrove

But I'm pretty sure at some point I will be doing a re-read on this.

 

I honestly only have one big issue with this book and that's the title because there's not one boy worth knowing in this book there's 2. There's funny, smart, sweet, adorable, isolated Nate and then there's James. Handsome, loyal, not afraid to think for himself, James.

 

Now before I go any further let's talk about the title...truthfully the title is perfect, but you'll have to read the book to find out why...I'm not spoiling. Also I probably wouldn't have read this book so soon if it wasn't for my friend Todd's review over on GR. Seriously it's an awesome review, check it out...Todd's Review 

 

I think a lot of us remember what it's like to be a teenager and I'll be one of the first to admit. It's not easy and for me it often wasn't fun and I have no desire to repeat it. But imagine being a teenager able to do something that pretty much anyone else can't...like, I don't know maybe see and talk to dead people. Seriously, life would suck.

 

Nate's been on his own for a long time so when someone like James moves to town he doesn't expect him to want to friends much less anything else with the school pariah, but James likes what he sees in Nate and he's not afraid to follow his instincts.

 

There's so much about this story that's simply awesome. James and Nate together are wonderful. I loved them both and truly couldn't imaging how any mother wouldn't. 

 

'A Boy Worth Knowing' is a young adult story and as such the steam and sexy times are kept appropriate for that age level but this is not a story that lacks for depth of emotions by any means and while the central part of the plot may involve a paranormal element the high school setting and the people in it are very reflective of the real world that we all live in.

 

Every class has it's Penny, a queen bee who rules not because of their merits or how deserving they are but because of their ability to intimidate and manipulate. Ironically this is the part of the story that had merit above all else of me. The part of the story that in the end told us that people like words only have as much power as we give them.

 

'A Boy Worth Knowing' is a story worth reading and not just for young adults. My young adult days are so far behind me that Nate and James could have easily been my grandchildren and if they were I would have wanted them to read this story. It's an incredibly well written work of fiction that holds a very real message about believing in yourself and being true to who you are and trusting that your real friends are the ones who walk in while everyone else is walking out.

 

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An ARC of 'A Boy Worth Knowing' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-26 19:17
When your world is going up in flames who better to fall in love with than a fireman...
Cleansing Flame - Andrew Grey

'Cleansing Flame' is the second book in Andrew Grey's series 'Rekindled Flame' and while I did enjoy the first book a tiny, tiny bit more it wasn't enough to really make a difference on my rating.  'Rekindled Flame' which is the title of the first book as well as the series was a really solid 4 star read for me while this one was a little bit of a weaker 4 stars but still quite enjoyable.

 

Dayne's life over the past couple of years hasn't been good it started with a car accident that left him seriously damaged and with a new best friend named 'Pain' and grieving the loss of Jeff the man he loved and thought he was spending forever with. Barely a year later he's burying his mother and now at the start of the book he's back in school trying to get himself turned around and essentially remaking his life only to arrive home and find his home going up in flames. Dayne's pretty much at his limit of how much crap he can handle having dumped on him and really 'can you blame him?' I know I couldn't. 

 

I really like Dayne...sure he has the occasional pity party but he keeps going, he doesn't just give up and wallow in it and I think a lot of people would. He's smart and determined. Truthfully he's not really asking for much he just wants to get on with his life and get out from under the damned black cloud that seems to want to follow  him everywhere and it's when he's at his lowest trying to fight back the tears and despair that are threatening to drown him that the world gives him a glimmer of light in the form of an incredibly kind hearted and attractive firefighter named Lawson...someone he'd met earlier that day at the local historical society.

 

Lawson's attractive, friendly and as kindhearted as they come and he doesn't hesitate to offer Dayne a place to stay when he realizes that this sweet attractive man whom he'd had the chance encounter with has no one to call on in his time of need.  It takes a bit of fast talking from Lawson with strong dose of help from their mutual friend Mason to persuade Dayne to at least accept Lawson's offer of a place to stay for a few days.

 

Now don't be thinking that these two men head off to Lawson's house and fall into be and live happily ever after...nope sorry just like real life it doesn't happen that fast for them. There are obstacles both within their control and not and then even when they do begin to work things out it's still not a smooth road but it's not an over the top WTF angst filled one either.  However, have no fear while it took a while for the sparks to ignite between these two once they did things were definitely hot. 

 

We get to see a bit of Richard and Mason, they're the MC's from book 1 and while they by no means over shadowed the story in this book, they were definitely a nice addition to the story. Having MCs and secondary characters from previous books show up in subsequent books is something that I love happening when I'm reading a series.

 

There's also a secondary part to this story that relates to Dayne and Lawson's first encounter at the local historical society that I really enjoyed I found this part of the story to be incredibly sweet touch adding an opportunity for Lawson and Dayne to get to know each other better and help their relationship grow. 

 

Like the first book in this series, 'Cleansing Flame' is a sweet, low angst, romance that makes for a relaxing and enjoyable read and I'm looking forward to seeing whose story is next in this series and how hot those flames will burn.

 

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An ARC of 'Cleansing Flame' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-22 21:05
It seems the circus has come to town...
The Mystery of the Curiosities (Snow & Winter Book 2) - C.S. Poe

While I enjoyed 'The Mystery of Nevermore' book 1 in C. S. Poe's Snow & Winter series a tiny, tiny bit more than this one that does not mean that 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was anything less than enjoyable. 

 

I think possibly part of my added enthusiasm for the first book was just the joy of discovering a new author who was writing a new series that I wanted to read...see all the shiny new that's going on here? I was dazzled...that's right I suffer from magpie syndrome. However, while this book isn't the shiny new of a first book in a new series by a new author it still holds it's own with a well written story about characters that I truly like solving a well done mystery. Ms. Poe had me guessing right up until the end when I knew who did it and why only to find out things were not as they seemed...well done, I love a mystery that keeps my brain guessing from start to finish.

 

While I did get a bit frustrated with Seb for his perpetual lies of omission and half-truths, I do have to admit were I in his shoes I'm not sure I would have done any better and I think that while I don't advocate his behavior I probably felt a little more lenient towards him once my initial frustration wore off and I was force to admit that while his decision making skills weren't always stellar neither were they malicious or intended to do harm...in fact, it was quite the opposite he wanted to resolve things in the hopes of keeping anyone else from being hurt...so his intentions were good...mmmmm...I think there's a road somewhere paved with good intentions...just sayin'

 

Apart from the mystery and just the story in general one of the things that I truly loved was the approach that the author took with Calvin's PTSD. It wasn't made light of with implications that little more than some good sex would fix it. While Calvin doesn't want to seek medical help neither is Seb willing to give up on getting him to reconsider this decision. There is real concern for Calvin on the part of his partner, Quinn and Seb's father and not just Seb, but as we all know you can't help someone until they want to be helped. So to me Seb was being realistic about things in that he wasn't forcing Calvin to do something he's not ready to do but neither was he willing to stick his head in the sand and just hope it'd go away.

 

I love Seb and Calvin the passion is there and it's wonderfully tempered with humor and sweet yet sometimes awkward moments of them sharing their feelings whether saying 'I love you' or when Calvin is trying to explain how much he needs Seb to be safe or Seb seeking Calvin's forgiveness for something that he new he shouldn't have done long before he ever did it. These two tug at my heartstrings and make me smile contentedly as I travel along with them to solve their latest mystery.

 

While 'The Mystery of Nevermore' gave us the shiny new 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' proved that this author's candle is still burning bright.

 

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An ARC of 'The Mystery of the Curiosities' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-20 22:33
Definite cuteness factor here...
Adrian - Caitlin Ricci

I liked this one probably more so than the first one. Technically we've got an established couple here. Adrian and Corrin were matched up six months ago (before the start of the story) by the Faeted Agency and none other than Dyslander, himself did the matching and Dyslander never...never makes mistakes and yet, something has gone wrong and Adrian is going to make him fix it.

 

It seems Corrin has cheated on Adrian. Sadly Adrian knows he still loves Corrin but he also knows that when Corrin kissed that Dragon shifter...dragons!!!! I love dragons...wait, he kissed Corrin and Corrin's with Adrian...oh, bad, bad dragon. You need to go back to your cave until you can learn to behave...now, where were we? Oh, yes Corrin kissed the dragon and Adrian was standing right there...this did not end well. But I had faith in Dyslander, he'll fix things but his fix was totally not what Adrian had in mind but then again when faced with a naked and restrained Corrin, Adrian soon realizes that maybe this wasn't what he had in mind but he can be as open minded as the next dryad when it comes to matters of the heart.

 

So basically that's our premise and it was cute. I really enjoyed it. My biggest issue this story comes in at about 21 pages (the story started on page 7 and finished on page 28 of my e-reader) I really would have loved more from this pairing. In the supernatural world how often do we get stories about a Dryad and a Fire Mage? Cute and unusual make for fun and there really was more to the dragon than it seemed but you'll have to read the story to find out and the next one too...because Caldren is next and he's a Brownie and Dyslander seems to think that his Faeted mate is...a dragon...a dragon who maybe kissed someone he shouldn't have...is there any doubt that I am so there?

 

If you like stories that are cute, light, fluffy and just a bit of fun reading check out Caitlin Ricci's 'Faeted' Series the matches are interesting and there's dragons...really, you can't go wrong with dragons ;)

 

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An ARC of 'Adrian' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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