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review 2018-01-14 05:57
Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Kaje Harper
Nor Iron Bars a Cage - Kaje Harper

I would love to know more about pretty much everyone in this book (other than Lyon and Xen). More about Tobin and the king. More about that annoying captain, who drove Lyon crazy in the second part of the story. There is So. Much! Loved it.

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review 2017-12-19 20:02
Going Great Til Last 12 Percent
Stories I'd Tell in Bars - Jen Lancaster

I do love Jen Lancaster's memoirs. For the most part I have enjoyed them all, though there were two I was pretty meh about after finishing. This one gets four stars from me, I deducted a star because she includes her script for a housewife dramedy that I guess she pitched to people in Hollywood. It just felt like a lazy way for her to end her memoir. I needed a better wrap up than the one she gave us readers. 

 

Now that Lancaster is almost 50, she seems way more laid back and pragmatic about her upbringing and how that affected her as an adult.

 

We get more details about her wedding day to Fletch (her husband) and I found myself sympathizing with her. We also get to read about her newfound pushes to lose weight and eat healthy. We also got a hilarious story (sorry it happened!) about her and her friends trip to Italy with the worst tour ever. Let's just say fleabites were involved.

 

What I really enjoyed about this one is that if you have been reading Jen for a long time there are a lot of callbacks to earlier incidents so it was nice to read the other side of things, and or find out what happened after something is brought up in a book (i.e. Jen learning Italian).

 

I also get that Lancaster is dealing with a sense of not knowing where she belongs in the book community. She is writing YA books (I have not read those) and she wrote one book called "women's literature" that I thought was okay (By the Numbers). I think she sees a lot of new authors popping up via other means and doesn't know what to do since she's not the next new hot thing. I would suggest if she still loves to do it, keep writing her memoirs. And also, I wouldn't be in a hurry to tap into a market. I would just write what she knows/likes and see where she can go from. Not every book is going to be "The Hate U Give" kind of awesome.

 

As I said above, I was not thrilled with the last 12 percent of the book just being her script for a television show. I don't know what she or her editor were thinking. It just felt lazy and I can now see why some readers were not that happy with this one. If I exclude that last 12 percent this would have been a 5 star book, with it, it's only 4 stars.    

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text 2017-12-19 13:36
Reading progress update: I've read 74%.
Stories I'd Tell in Bars - Jen Lancaster

Still laughing. I have to say though the book is slowing down a bit for me. Just got done reading about how Jen and Fletch (her husband) started doing ride alongs in their area and though the stories of the nice policemen is nice and all....I still have a hard time believing it. I get that the majority of the police are good guys, it's sad my first reaction is to see a police officer and tense the hell up and get as far away from them as I can without looking suspicious. 

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text 2017-12-18 23:22
Reading progress update: I've read 50%.
Stories I'd Tell in Bars - Jen Lancaster

At 50 percent and have been howling! Dying at the messed up Italy trip and her and Fletch trying to befriend and not alienate new neighbors. Love the additions by Jen. I also get her angst by being pushed out of the YA market and people acting as of her stories are not what people want. Pshaw. Keep writing. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-24 00:00
Behind Bars
Behind Bars - Meredith Katz Behind Bars - Meredith Katz Overcoming prejuidice

This story is aptly named Behind Bars and its title and implication of imprisonment only to start the story from the bartender’s perspective. The bartender being the main character Pel who is raising his sole child, Bruant, in a strict Inquisition approved establishment. The style of writing is intriguing and the author’s use of words and turn of phrases entertains whilst at the same time drawing the reader into the thickening plot.

Pel was a guard protecting humans from the supernatural in a village that is not supernatural-friendly. Pel fell in love with an innkeeper’s daughter, married her, had son Bruant, and inherited inn and lost unprejudiced wife Phalene to a vicious demon. Pel, having worked as a city guard protecting against demons, becomes an Inquisition informant reporting anyone whom he thinks are acting suspiciously. He and his son are not seeing eye-to-eye on the Inquisition and attitude towards supernaturals. Imagine all suspects being treated to a Salem witch hunt on someone accusations. If you sink, you’re innocent… that’s okay, right? Regardless once accused you’re dead!

Enters into Pel’s bar/inn, traveler Tari in search of a room during her travels. Thinking this was an M/M book, I kept waiting to meet the protagonist’s love match. Again, I felt the author is quite talented in and made twists in the plot in just the right amount of time to keep the reader from feeling like the storyline was boring or not well-paced. In the meantime, Pel is observing his surroundings as usual on the scope of information or actions out of the ordinary. He is concerned about his relationship with his son, but brushes most anomalies off as growing child pains.

Pel observes Tari’s ability to get along with people and her and his son’s instances of conversation. In hopes of improving his and his son’s relationship, he starts talking with Tari more. At some point, they become attracted to each other!? During a heavy make out session, he finds out she is an intercubus – neither male nor female, but most comfortable in between. Pel, still trying to work over the death of his wife, his blind discrimination against all supernatural due to the nature of his wife’s death, his unwilling guilt over having reported so many suspecting individuals to the Inquisition, and now in bed with a he demon, overwhelmingly tells Tari if she leaves his inn and his family immediately, he will not report her to the Inquisition.

At this sad point, one wonders what else remains in this strict Inquisition village that will give our story the necessary impetus to move on to the happy ending we all look forward to. Well, well, what do you know – Bruant is witch, has found love with his newly bonded familiar Kip, and oh, has been captured by the Inquisition. This proved to be the necessary impetus to change Pel’s outlook. Pel works hard to get over his ingrained habit of hating supernaturals. He finds and begs Tari, the only other supernatural he knows, to help him with his plot to rescue his son.

The two journey to save Braunt and in the process may just find freedom and to learn to love each other openly despite their issues.

Behind Bars is certainly not all m/m or highly sexual novel, I almost hesitate to call it a romance novel. If you like twisty supernatural stories, with characters full of emotional angst and flirt with hermaphrodite as a sort of gender ambiguity, this story is for you.

An free copy was provided to me from Reading Alley in exchange for an honest and unbias review.
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