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review 2017-12-15 11:22
"Jacob T Marley" by R. William Bennet - DNF
Jacob T. Marley - R. William Bennett

I chose "Jacob T. Marley" because I was searching for festive cheer and the premise of the book sounded interesting. The publisher's summary promised a story that:

"... focuses the spotlight on Scrooge's miserly business partner, Jacob T. Marley, who was allowed to return as a ghost to warn Scrooge away from his ill-fated path. Why was Marley allowed to return? And why hadn t he been given the same chance as Ebenezer Scrooge? Or had he?

Written with a voice reminiscent of Dickens, Jacob T. Marley is to A Christmas Carol as the world-famous Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz as this masterfully crafted story teaches of choices, consequences, and of the power of accountability."

I listened to the first two hours of this four-hour audiobook before abandoning it.

The idea, at least at the beginning, was as original as it sounded. The writing is well crafted and sounds suitably Victorian without lapsing into pastiche. The narration is first rate.


I abandoned the book, despite its strengths because I felt it was withering in the shadow cast by a "Christmas Carol". Dickens' novel has a light touch that delivers a unique blend of humour, pathos, horror and moral certitude. By comparison, this book feels weighed down by the need to honour its progenitor while generating something novel of its own.


To me, it seemed that after-life that Jacob T. Marley encounters was more firmly rooted in Christian myth than "A Christmas Carol" was. As I read "Jacob T. Marley" I realised that Dickens had painted a mostly pagan view of the Spirits of Christmas and that much of its joy and sense of possibility comes from not being held to account to Judeo/Christian Ledger of Atonement.


I'm sure many people will enjoy the four hours that they spend in Jacob T. Marley's company but it wasn't what I was looking for.

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review 2017-12-11 18:29
Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
Fitness Junkie: A Novel - Lucy Sykes,Jo Piazza,Susan Bennett

This is a book about wealthy people wasting their money on fad health crazes and one 40ish successful woman’s descent into it all after her business partner who is her childhood friend tells her she is an embarrassment and can no longer be the face of the company she helped build because she’s too fat. And no, very much to my disappointment, she does not stab him to death.


She owns 49% the company and though she’s hurt by his rejection and horrible insults, she silently slinks away and embarks on all of the fad fitness journeys that money can buy. And, apparently, money can buy you a lot of useless diet aides (clay eating?!) and retreats and painful over-priced workouts. Thankfully, I’ll never have enough extra money laying around to throw away on a $50 topless yoga class!


Janie wasn’t too bad as the main character. She’s dealing with a double whammy of betrayal and humiliation and manages to keep on plugging away instead of falling into a fit of “poor me” despair. Despite being a little insecure and very dumb about her business partner, Beau, she’s pretty likable as far as these types go. She knows these things are ridiculous but she goes along with them anyway; drinking strange juices, spending $15,000 on a retreat, eating a little clay, taking her top off and buying a fitness watch thingy that embarrasses her at every turn.


This book does poke fun at Gwyneth Paltrow and her silly Goop-iness but other than that I found it all pretty shallow and only vaguely entertaining and though it promised to be “outrageously funny” it really was not. However, you may have a better sense of humor than I.

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review 2017-12-04 00:56
The Rogue is Back in Town
The Rogue Is Back in Town - Anna Bennett

I have not read any of the previous books in this series but that did not lessen my understand or enjoyment in this book. This book follows Samuel and Julie. Samuel is widely known for being a rogue and is finally kicked out by his brother and given the task of kicking out the man who lives in a property that his brother owns. Little does he know that he'll encounter the fiercely protective Julie living in the home with her uncle. From the moment they meet the sparks will fly.


I loved both Sam and Julie and quite frankly couldn't get enough of Uncle Alistair. I loved the chemistry between Sam and Julie from the start. While at times they did have little fights that I would consider stupid I did really enjoy the progression of their relationship.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the galley.

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review 2017-12-02 00:10
Van by Sawyer Bennett
Van - Sawyer Bennett

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was great! Honestly, I think that this may be the hottest book in the series so far. If you follow my reviews, you probably already know that I am a huge fan of the Cold Fury Hockey series. I jumped into the series with the second book and haven't looked back although I should probably check out the first book at some point. This is a series that works great as stand alone books but fans of the series will appreciate seeing well loved characters for just a bit. Van is a excellent addition to the series.

I went into this book hoping that I would like it as much as the others but not sure that I would warm up to Van as a Hero. Let me assure you that was not a problem because I fell completely in love with him. He has such an interesting history that really explains some of his behaviors. He is really a great guy that has spent his life trying to remain distant from other people.

Simone was something else. She is the baby sister of the two Fournier brothers that have been the Hero of their own books, Max and Lucas. Simone is at a crossroads in her life and is trying to figure out what direction she wants to go. One thing that she knows she wants is Van and I loved watching her go for what she wants. I loved how Simone isn't afraid to take risks and was so willing to put her heart on the line.

This book actually takes place at the same time as the previous book in the series. You do not need to read the previous book to enjoy this one but I really enjoyed seeing certain events from a different perspective. The book opens with Simone moving into the house the her brother shares with Van. The chemistry between Simone and Van was wonderful and grew throughout the story. If you are looking for a steamy story, this one brings quite a bit of heat. I just loved this pair together.

I would recommend this book to others. I had so much fun reading this sexy romance with great characters. I can't wait to read more from Sawyer Bennett very soon!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
Whew! This may be the steamiest book in the series so far. I liked Van and Simone together a lot.

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review 2017-11-28 15:18
Van - Sawyer Bennett

I just adore this series!  Every hockey player's story have been awesome so far and Van Turner's story is no exception.

Van is currently living with his teammate Lucas Fournier.  When Lucas' little sister Simone comes to temporarily live with them, that is when the fun begins.  Van and Simone are both emotionally guarded and emotionally explosive people and when these two finally hook up....WOW!

Van likes to act like an a$$hole and pretend that nothing bothers him, but in reality, that is not true.  He has a whole past history that has bothered him so much he was withdrawn socially from anyone.  Too bad Simone doesn't care about how Van acts, she just wants Van.....ANYWAY she can get him!

It takes one, stubborn, pushy female to finally get through to Van, but when Simone finally does....it was well worth it.  I just adored Simone.  She is such a strong female and goes after what she wants even if it isn't the normal thing to do.  Van may have seemed like not the world's best guy, but after realizing about his past, you can certainly understand why he is like he is.

Overall I loved the explosive journey these two went on to get to their happy ending.  These two were so hot, it was crazy!  The epilogue was even perfect too, although I must say I never would have guessed at that ending!

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