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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-18 10:05
Eine ganz andere Geschichte von Hakan Nesser, Barbarotti #2
Eine ganz andere Geschichte (Barbarotti #2) - Håkan Nesser,Christel Hildebrandt

Auf Urlaub mit seiner Freundin Marianne erhält Barbarotti einen merkwürdigen Brief, der einen Mord ankündigt. Tatsächlich wird auch eine Leiche gefunden. Dieses "Spiel" wiederholt sich, und auch die Medien bekommen Wind vom Kontakt zwischen dem mutmaßlichen Mörder und dem Polizisten. Zuletzt erhält Barbarotti die Aufzeichnungen eines Urlaubs in Frankreich - doch wie hängen diese mit den jetzigen Morden zusammen?

 

Dieser Roman konzentriert sich mehr auf Barbarotti, sowohl beruflich als auch privat, als es "Mensch ohne Hund" tat. So erfährt sein Privatleben einiges an Turbulenzen, auch aufgrund des Scheinwerferlichts, in dem er sich durch die Briefe des Mörders plötzlich befindet... womit er nicht wirklich ideal umgeht. Was ich ausgesprochen zu schätzen lernte, ist die "innere Stimme" Barbarottis im Kontakt mit seiner Familie: die Telefongespräche mit seiner Tochter Sara, die in London weilt, auch der Umgang mit seiner Ex und ihren Neuigkeiten... staubtrocken und enorm witzig.

 

Nach anfänglich durchaus vorhandener Spannung zieht sich der Fall selbst aber zum Schluss ein wenig wie ein Strudelteig - und leider wird er wiederum durch eine Art Geistesblitz gelöst, dessen Ursprung im Dunkeln gelassen wird. Das ist ein wenig unbefriedigend, zieht sich aber auch schon durch die anderen Nesser-Romane, die ich bisher gelesen habe: langsamer, spannender Aufbau und dann, 20 Seiten vor Schluss, bekommt man wegen der unvorhergesehenen Wendung fast ein Peitschenschlagsyndrom.

 

Gut, in diesem Fall wiegt es nicht ganz so schwer, weil sowieso eher die Charakterisierung Barbarottis im Vordergrund stand, aber trotzdem ist diese Art der Auflösung schon ein Negativpunkt.

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text 2018-10-17 11:30
Facts About Me: How to Use Canva

For authors and publishers, finding a good site to make your own promo posters is a must. Making posters can be a time consuming task for authors, taking hours upon hours, especially when making multiple posters or those for a series, so the site they use has to be simple, effective, and ease to navigate.

My go-to site has been PicMonkey until now, however, I always had a few issues with the site – it never let you save your project, so you couldn't go back to make changes, and it never gave you handy templates or a grid to find the centre of your poster. The new BETA version does this, but it only began recently, and by then I'd already found Canva. Now, it's my preferred site.

For those curious, this is a step-by-step guide from my own experiences. So, if there's anything wrong, it's all my fault. Canva has a free version, as well as a paid, upgrade, version. I use the free version and that's what I'll be showing you. Also, Canva 2.0 only got introduced a week ago and I haven't been able to give it a try yet, so this How To is for the 1.0 version.

~

TIPS:

  1. Open Canva, sign up and move through the options, buttons and changes with me. It can be a practice run, made up of crappy images or made-up text, but it really is the best way to follow along and see what I'm talking about. By trying it, you'll get a better feel for what you're doing. Canva will auto-save after each change, so you don't have to worry about losing your progress if anything goes wrong. But, if you're nervous, simply click File and Save to make sure as we go along.

  2. Use the Chrome browser. I usually use an Opera browser for all my internet needs, but Canva isn't properly set up for Opera so won't work effectively there. Here's what Canva tells you in the Help section about supported browsers:

"For the best experience using Canva, we recommend using the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer or Edge. Mobile versions of these browsers are not supported."

~

STEP 1: THE BASICS

This is your Home Page, where all your designs will be stored. They're automatically labelled as the name of the design, but on this page, you can rename them to your own title, as well as delete or make copies of them using the drop down arrow menu in the top right corner of each project.

This is also where you'll be able to choose from "all your designs", "shared with you", "create a team", "your brand", and "find templates". While all the tabs are basically self-explanatory, the "Your brand" is an area that makes suggestions based on your previous uses, for example, colours, templates and themes that you've used before. However, Your Brand is a paid feature, so I can't show you an example of that.

All Your Designs

Shared With You

(I sent this to myself, from a second account, to test the feature)

Create a Team

Find Templates

~

How to open a template: choose an option from the home page "create a design" section (or choose More... to see other options), then click the design you want and your template will open automatically into a new tab. Each template tells you the size it will be, either in px, mm or in. Choose the one most fitted to your needs and, if you're not sure, there are options for set sizes like Instagram and Facebook will give you a recognisable size to work from.

How to create a blank template: on the home page, choose "use custom dimensions" and insert your choice of size (px, mm, in). You can Google conversions if you're not sure what size you prefer, or you can base the size of your need on the measurements of an existing template that needs to be adjusted. You cannot resize a template or a design in the free version.

How to save a completed design: use the "download" button on the top right of the screen, and choose your format (png, jpg, pdf). Your download will auto-save to your computer "download" folder in your preferred format. (Canva will auto-save as you're working; but you can choose the File, Save option to make sure if you're nervous.)

How to share your design: click the "share" option while your design is open. There are multiple options for sharing with a link, through an e-mail address, or straight to a social media site or by embedding it.

~

STEP 2: TABS and BUTTONS

The most important thing to know about Canva is that it looks daunting, but it's actually simple to use and navigate. Everything is clearly labelled, there are information buttons all over the place, and the paid features are clearly marked. There is nothing hidden about using Canva.

To start, I'll walk you through the Tabs, which appear once you've selected a template. Then through all the buttons that are associated with each tab, until you feel like you know your way around. Only then will we start creating.

Choose a Template

Choose a template on the home page. You'll see a few options at the top of the page, but you can click on the "More..." option to see more templates for other sizes (which show you their dimensions if you hover over them) or you can create your own using "Use custom dimensions" where you can use the drop down menu to determine px, mm, in. Here's a broad view of the templates on offer through the More... page:

Once you've decided on your choice, you can start making your design. Here, I've chosen the "Instagram Post" option, which is 1080px x 1080px. To choose it, just click on the image provided and it will open in a new tab.

As you can see from this screenshot, you have the choice of making your image public, ordering prints, downloading the result and sharing the image to social media sites, by using the buttons in the top right corner. On the left, that's where you make the changes to your design.

The images on the left are templates - you can see from the bottom right of the images which ones are free and which ones you have to pay for. You can also "add a new page" which is a great option for when you want to make a PDF or make copies of the same image. I'll show you how I did that later.

~

Using the "upload" button, I've added a couple of images from my computer. You can also upload from Facebook or use the images that Canva offers. Progress bars will appear on each image to show you how far they've loaded. The image can't be accessed until the progress bar disappears. If you get an error message and image is unclickable, that's an internet connection issue and you can try to upload that image again, once all the others have finished. I do find that, sometimes, when uploading multiple images, at least one will fail due to the connection being overloaded or cut.

You can work while the images are being uploaded, switching tabs, editing text etc. The Uploads title in the bar section will turn into a circle with flowing green water that rises as your uploads complete, to let you know how it's getting on. This is great if you want to get busy while your images upload.

Once they've loaded, just click the image and drag it into the template. Alternatively, you can have a blank template and drag your image into the white space. You can resize your image to the full scale of the template, or move your image into the space until it auto-inserts itself. There is a sweet spot for doing this, and it will take a few tries before you find it.

If your template comes with a frame-template (such as the template I've chosen does) you can remove the existing image without replacing it with your own. Simply click the image, then choose the "rubbish bin" symbol at the top right corner. You'll be given the option to "delete image" or "delete element" aka the frame-template. This is great to know before you start.

Here's a quick view of what all the buttons do.

Transparency speaks for itself - you can fade your text/image.

Arrange - this is great if you want to layers or manipulate how your text/image sits in the poster. You can move things back or forward, depending on how you want it to look. For example, if you want an image/design to overlay your text you can do that, or you can move it behind the text.

Delete - delete image allows you to delete the current picture in the frame-template, but delete element will remove that frame-template entirely, if you decide you don't like it or if you want to start from scratch.

~

Tabs

Going left to right, let me talk you through what each section does:

Layouts - This is where you choose a template, if you want to. If you don't, you can easily choose a simple template and delete all the elements to start afresh. We'll come back to explore this area more later, where I show you how to "build" your own elements into an image.

Elements - This is where you find all that useful stuff you might want to add to your picture. Squiggly lines? Check. Shape blocks? Check. Pictures, frames, lines, details, or grids. It's all here.

Text - This is where you can choose a text layout, if you're not sure how you want your text to look. This is great inspiration for grouping text together, or to help you get the set you want, without having to do all the work yourself. I'll show you how to "group" text later.

Background - Here, you find options for adding a "background" to your image. This is great for layering, and I'll show you how to use it later.

Uploads - This is where you'll find all the images you've uploaded, where you can search the images Canva provide, and where you can organise them into or out of your design.

~

Because the Elements tab offers so many options, here's a closer look at what it involves:

The grids tab is great for making Character Cards or collages, for advertising a series. The frames tab is better for when you want to make posters with multiple images or overlays, in circles or odd shapes. Take a look at the Canva offered templates to see how they utilise these features.

I admit that I use the white square a lot when there's an aspect of a photo that I need to hide from my poster - e.g. text on clothing or background features that don't fit your theme. You can change the colour of ALL of these shapes to anything you want. You can also change the colour of ALL of the lines, too.

These three tabs I have never used. Only because they don't fit anything I need or want for my posters. One day, I might need them and, if so, I know where to find them.

~

STEP 3: GET CREATIVE

The best way to learn is to do. So that's how we'll start. I'll walk you through how to choose a template, how to create a simple poster, and then save it, step-by-step from start to finish. Then I'll walk you through how to add all the little touches, embellishments and fancy stuff. Through all of that I'll show you how to use all the tabs and additional features.

~

Add Text

To add an image to my template, click the one you want, drag it into the blue/field template and it will automatically center-align the image.

To edit the text of a template, simply double-click the existing text and re-write it with your own. Or, you can choose the Text tab, and choose a template to edit, or click "add" and edit that.

Canva supply their own fonts. If you want to use your own, you'll have to upgrade to the paid version. However, I find the fonts that Canva supply to be diverse for my needs. If you want to use another font but don't want to upgrade, simply download your design without text and add that special font using another program like PicMonkey.

~

Add Effects

As well as adjusting your text and image here, you can add effects to your image. Simply click the image and a whole new set of buttons will appear.

It can feel daunting, at first, considering how many buttons and options there are, but I find that the top row offer the best adjustments for your image, and once you know your way about, it becomes second-nature.

My favourite effect is "Cali" which offers a softer version of your image. Or, you can add an overlay image by using the side buttons. What I love is that Canva shows you what your image will look like with that effect.

~

How to Group Text

To start off, let's group some text. As you can see from my image, I used the template as provided. This means one image, one frame, and one text. Click on your text, then click the "copy" button to create a second option. Then edit that text to something new. For this design, I'll make it my name. Now, click outside the box and drag until it highlights ALL of the elements. A new button "group" will appear. Click that and we're good to go.

Now, all of that text - The Bright Side Brigade, and Elaine White - are linked to that white square. By clicking the corner circle, you can resize that entire selection to whatever size you like. See below. A handy addition to Canva is that it will automatically show you when you've reached the centre of your image, by displaying non-intrusive lines that disappear once you release your resize/selection.

      

As you can see, changing the size can completely change the look of your design. Say that I'm super happy with how it looks, I can click the download button to save it. It will auto-save to your Computer "download" folder.

Now that I've done that, I want to make a new poster. I can go back to the beginning and start a new design. For now, I'm going to keep this one and delete the text "group" and change the image to keep it simple.

As you can see, I've simply changed the image, and chosen a new text template "Certificate" - now I can start customising it. By changing the text words, resizing so that the text takes up more space, I can create a whole new poster. But I'm not going to stop there. I've changed the top font to something more my style, now I want to add a background.

I go to the background tab and choose one that I like. This time, I'll choose one that is a purple dimple (Second down in my screenshot)

Now, I want this purple dimple to be black. So, I click on my image and drag it down so that I can see what's behind it. Then I click the purple dimple and choose the light grey option (the one just above white) from the colour chart.

Then I just have to move my image back and make a small adjustment so that you can see the background through the image. This means adjusting the transparency to 65%. But, that's not all I want to do. Now, I want to add some sort of design, to make it a bit more elegant. I've chosen to search for a "flower" element. Canva is very transparent about what elements you pay for and which are free. I'm going to scroll through the results to find a free option.

Now, I've chosen my flower, adjusted the size and resized my font to allow it all to fit nicely.

I love the design, so I download it. But, I want to make a new poster for a new series, while saving THIS one for later, in case I want to come back and reuse it for another book, or in case I have a title change. But, at the same time, I want to keep some elements of this design.

The easiest way to keep this design while being able to use it for another project is to make a copy. Go to File, click "make a copy" and an identical design will open in a new tab. Voila!

Here, for the new design, I'm going to delete EVERYTHING, and start from scratch.

~

For this design, I want to make a collage of images, but I also want to make it for my 6 book series: Decadent. So, I'm going to want SIX identical designs, with only the title changed. First, I want a layout that I like, so I click "Element" and choose "Frame":

I'm going to pick a split design, because I want one image and one place for text in each picture. So, I click the design I want, and it appears in my blank template. I only have to resize it to fit the full template space and then I'm ready to add my elements. First, an image and some text.

Now, I've got quite a few images already left over from my old project and I don't need them here, so I'm going to delete them - this will NOT make them disappear from my other design, nor will it mean that I can't adjust that design again later without uploading the image first. All images already IN your designs remain there and on the server, but if you delete them from your design and change your mind long after the "undo" button is no longer an option, then you will need to add it back in again.

To delete an image, simply go to your Uploads tab, and hover over the image. You'll see a little i icon in the bottom corner. Click that and then choose "trash". All done. Now it's time to upload new images for the new poster design.

~

By clicking the Text tab, and then "add subheading" I can add unformatted text and choose the font from the list provided. I'll use this text for my quote. But I'm going to use a vector for my title/author name. To do this, I simply created the text in a blank white template, saved it, and used LunaPic to make the background transparent. I'll add this transparent vector to my design just as if it was any other image, in the uploads section.

A transparent vector CANNOT by treated like any other image on Canva. It can't be inserted into a frame-template, and you'll get a warning message that it can't be used like another image every time you click on it. It's a small annoyance but one that is worth remembering.

~

I've chosen a frame-template that is square, with a square cut out, so when I choose a background image that will appear as a square frame. I'm going to choose a background image that is like marble, and pick a colour from the actual image so that they match/contrast.

Once I've put it all together, I want to make a copy, so that all six for my series will be the same. Instead of making six different files for all six books of my series, I want to keep them in one place. So, I'll go for the other "copy" option that Canva offers: making a second page.

To do this, there's a simple image of a page at the side of the image, as well as the more obvious "add a new page" button beneath it. Either one of these will do, but "add a new page" will appear blank, while the double-page image will create an exact copy of what I've already got on my screen. That's the one I want for this design.

Now, I just delete the vector for book 1, replace it with the vector for book 2, change the image and the background colour, and change the quote. Simple! And repeat until all six books are done.

Now that all six posters are complete, there are a few options for saving -

  1. save as a zip file
  2. save an individual page at a time, by specifying that page number
  3. saving as a PDF

Saving as a PDF is a great option, if this is now a poster project but one that will be printed, or one that you're going to use it for an online website or promotional material. Saving as jpgs or png are better for poster options.

~

So, that's Canva. I know it looks complicated, but it takes me less time to whip up a poster on Canva than it does on PicMonkey - old or BETA version. It just takes time and understanding what aspects you need to access and which ones you don't need to use. And, if in doubt, use the search option!

Now that I've shown you about, I'm going to show you what can be done with Canva. These are some of my favourite mock-covers and posters that I've made with Canva. These are the ones that took the most time, the most effort, and made the most of the features available on Canva.

And, yes, I made this collage in Canva. As a P.S. let me just say that the first cover, Moirai, was my favourite to make, because the split picture is actually a template provided by Canva. You can insert either three different images or add the same image into all three slots.

If you do the latter, as I did, then there's this really cool feature that helps you line up the images so that they match perfectly - double click the center image and get it lined up to where you want it. Then release it, double click the first image and as you begin to move it, you'll see it line up with the center image. Keep going until they match perfectly (you'll see a slight blur until it matches) and then you release that image and do the same for the third image. In the end, as I have, you'll have a perfectly matched image across three lines.

~

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review 2018-10-16 00:28
My review of How the Dukes Stole Christmas by Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan & Joanna Shupe
How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sophie Jordan,Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe

How the Dukes Stole Christmas: A Holiday Romance Anthology - Sarah MacLean,Tessa Dare,Joanna Shupe,sophie jordan 

 

For starters, DUKES! I don’t care how many make-believe dukes have been created, I’ll read them for as long as they keep writing them. Secondly, Christmas! I’ll admit that I prefer to read dark, scary, paranormal stories during the month of October, but c’mon, who can say no to Christmas stories, specially when they are written by some of your favorite authors and they all come together in one pretty package!
And that actually brings me to say that thirdly, it’s freaking Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and Joanna Shupe, what?! If you haven’t read books by them then let me tell you, you are missing out on some serious awesomeness. And in case you haven’t noticed, I’m a super fan of all of these ladies so forgive me if I gush too much.

 

Tessa Dare’s Meet Me in Mayfair was clever, funny, and oh, so romantic. It probably is one of the most charming and memorable “date” nights I have ever read.

Sarah MacLean’s The Duke of Christmas Present is a second-chance love story. There were some serious tug-at-your-heart scenes, specially when the heroine returns “home.” It was kind of hard for me to understand the reasoning behind both the hero and heroine’s actions but once I got to the end, everything made complete sense.

 

Sophie Jordan’s Heiress Alone was another great example of how chemistry between hero and heroine affects a story, even if it’s a short one and even if the romance happens rather quickly.

 

Joanna Shupe’s Christmas in Central Park had me worrying and suffering along with the poor heroine, and had me wanting to slap the hero upside the head for acting like a spoiled brat that just had to have his way. Their love story may had been full of funny and cringe-worthy moments but the way their forgive and reach their HEA made it all worth it.

 

In short, four different settings, four different kinds of delicious dukes, four great Christmas stories, and one happy reader that recommends this set to all historical romance lovers. Even if Christmas is not your cup of tea, the romance alone make this a perfect read. 4.5 stars.

 

*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**

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text 2018-10-10 11:30
Facts About Me: Project-Get It Done

As a reader and writer, I'm always facing some deadline or other. I don't always make them. My worst failures are not completing my Netgalley list (which is now at 300+ books) in a timely manner, and not finishing my Devereaux Case Files series. The latter is especially frustrating because I have books 1-9 complete, with book 10 started, and I haven't touched book 10 in 5 years, even though it's the last book in the series.

Now, though, I have different plans for that series, so it's not so awful.

My Netgalley list...well, there's no accounting for that. At first, there were just too many good books and not enough time. Then I spend nearly 6 months either sick myself or with family having serious medical issues. That was unavoidable. The other 6 months that I could have spent catching up were an especially amazing writing-sprint for me, that I just couldn't, as an author, ignore.

But, I have plans. I always have plans, I know. But these are plans in writing.

Does that make a difference?

Well, to me it does. I'm a list maker. And I can't abide having a list with things that aren't complete. But, I also can't abide having a list with a mess of crosses, marks, and notes on it, so I rewrite my lists often, to remind myself of what I've completed and what I haven't. The two best resources I've found are: Spreadsheets in OpenOffice, and Wunderlist, which is amazing.

~

Wunderlist ~ I find this amazing for a few reasons:

  • I can make numerous lists, which can have numerous items on them.
  • I can make folders, to bundle together appropriate lists which can be minimised or maximised to keep things neat.
  • I can send my lists to my e-mail!! I can even give access to other people, by adding their e-mail address to an approved list. Or I can save it to an online storage account.
  • You can not only sort your lists alphabetically or by creation date, but you can also move them manually, by pressing and holding then dragging them into position. Great for those last minute changes.
  • the whole point of the list is that it's on-the-go and that no matter how many versions you have (phone, tablet, laptop) it will sync between all of them. I can carry it around on my phone or tablet, in my bag, or I can sit at my laptop working and make adjustments when necessary.
  • there's also the accessory factor - it comes with various backgrounds that you can choose, but I prefer to keep things clean and simple with a black wooden board style.

~

Spreadsheet ~ my favourite functions are:

  • sorting. I sort in a dozen different ways, and I never end up with jumbled information or incorrect formatting.
  • highlighting is so helpful for those "urgent" tasks, and you can see it at a glance.
  • the options are endless: being able to add/delete columns, rows; moving information with a simple copy/paste; and being able to print it all at the touch of a button.

~

This year - 2018/2019 - I plan to hold myself far more accountable for my time. I've taken a lot of time away from my Netgalley list to get a mountain load of writing done, but that means that one of my tasks had totally fallen by the wayside. For the next year, I'm doing something radical - moderating my time.

It might sound simple and logical, because it is, but I've never been someone who works to a timeline, a deadline or a schedule. I'm a pantser for a reason.

This past month, I've taken on the arduous task of filing through ALL of my books - from paperback, Kindle purchases, Kobo buys, all my e-books, and all of my Netgalley books - to create a list that includes them ALL. I even went through and read the blurbs of all my Amazon buys, to make sure that I really wanted to keep them, because I was an obsessive one-clicker for freebies back when I got my first Kindle. I managed to delete over 2000 books between those on my Kindle and my hard drive, from other suppliers. After that, I wrote them ALL into a spreadsheet - title, series, page count/word count. I have a tick column for those I've read, and one tick column for my Netgalley approved books, to keep them visible.

My next task is to actually read them. One by one, I plan to work my way through what has become 4017 books. Considering some of them are series of 20+ books, that's not so bad. At least if I don't like the series, I can avoid reading the next 15 books. lol. Obviously, I won't be reading them all in one year, but if I can manage to read nearly 300 books a year, it should only take 13 years to read them...*sigh*

Wish me luck!

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review 2018-10-06 21:30
WOW!!! Am I ever glad that I read this one...
Shipped - Karrie Roman

And for more than one reason. I was presented with the opportunity to read 'Sentinel' the second book in this series and when I was checking things out because...hey what can I say...this is a new to me author and I wanted to be sure or at least as sure as I could that this was a book that I would hopefully at least like. Anyways, somewhere along the line in my poking around I came to the conclusion that I needed to read the first book and fairly quickly I came to the conclusion that I needed to read 'Shipped' which is the first book before jumping into 'Sentinel' and for a number of reasons I was right. I honestly can't say I'd recommend reading book 2 if you haven't read this book first.

 

I definitely enjoyed 'Shipped' and when you get into 'Sentinel' you quickly realize that by reading this book as well you are far more familiar with all of the players and their background info than if  you'd skipped it...which for me makes the story much more enjoyable.

 

Lucas Evers is an established actor who's already earned a certain level of success for himself while Ryan Lowe is new to the acting scene and anxious to make a name for himself both men really are very likable and there's chemistry from the word go with them but it's not a simple case of boy meets boy, boy falls in love with boy and they all live happily ever after...no, Lucas has a wife but sometimes things are exactly as they seem, there's also the matter of Lucas's family...and don't they just put the fun back in dys-fun-ctional.  Plus there's the whole issue of Ryan isn't even sure whether Lucas is straight? gay? or at last bi?

 

While Ryan's live may seem a little simpler with being estranged from his father, who is also his only family an no love interest in sight...you would thing things would go a little smoother for him...but no, even Ryan has his trials and tribulations and his own personal stalker and as Ryan and Lucas's popularity increase...one of them becomes a target while the other is helpless in the grip of fear and panic.

 

When Ryan gets cast as Lucas's love interest  both men are determined to keep the romance on screen and confine their relationship to something strictly platonic but when their fans and their hearts have other plans what they want and what they get become two different things and fans are more than willing to switch from shipping the couple as  'SamDom'  to 'Lovers', yeah it was a little cheesie that their last names could be shipped to 'lovers' but hey, I've read way worse so it's all good in my world.

 

For the most part not only did I really like Ryan and Lucas but there were a lot of secondary characters that I liked as well. I loved 'Anna, Lucas's 'wife' and for more about that...you know the drill...read the story. I think you'll end up liking her a lot as well. She's pretty awesome and while there wasn't a lot of attention place on it...it was clear that Anna was a 'plus size' woman!!!! There aren't enough characters in fiction who are plus size and portrayed as being comfortable with themselves and we need them in real life and in fiction...it's not ok to shame people because of their religion, gender, sexual orientation or so many other things but fat-shaming...people that's not ok either and it's when I come across something like this that I feel good because I think..."Hey, maybe...just maybe the world is catching on...truly catching on. We're all different and that's what makes us all special and unique. I'd rather be healthy, happy and 40 pounds overweight than someone who's insecure and ruining their body with bizarre yo, yo diets  in an effort to become the media image of perfection." 

 

So stepping off of my pulpit let's get  back to this story and the fact that there as well as the main characters there are some secondary characters that I really liked and this is the part that ties into the next book because...you guessed it a couple of those characters are the MCs in the next book. Not to mention that several of the characters in this book will reappear at one time or another so as well as being a genuinely enjoyable story there's background for the 'Sentinel' in this one that helps to make the next one equally as enjoyable.

 

"Shipped" offered a solid and enjoyable start to a new series by a new to me author and I'm looking forward to seeing where the next installment in this series takes me.

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