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review 2019-02-21 07:30
DNF The Wicked Vampire
The Wicked Vampire (Last True Vampire series) - Kate Baxter

It’s bern nearly two months since I last picked this book up and current have no desire to finish it. While there are some deliciously steamy sex scenes the plot seems repetitive in the I love you but I hate you theme. It’s not badly written or anything it’s just not doing anything for me personally right now.

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for the review copy.

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text 2019-02-21 07:10
Release Blitz - Tropical Inferno
 
 
Tropical Inferno by Kat Mizera is available NOW! ONLY 99c!
 
B&N(Nook) -- http://bit.ly/2Gru1q0
 
 
Garrett “Hawk” Hawkins may be a bad boy in the rink but he doesn’t know what to do when he’s wrongly accused of on-ice misconduct. Given a five-game suspension by the NHL, he heads to a resort in Oahu to lay on the beach for a few days and get his head on straight—until he runs into a troubled beauty who happens to be the sister of his ex-teammate.
 
Madison Teller is struggling to get past the trauma of her brother's brutal attack, but her much-needed vacation is turning into a nightmare. The sexy tattooed stranger who saves the day is just the distraction she's looking for, but she isn’t prepared for the way he makes her feel.
 
When his present collides with her past, they’ll have to learn to trust each other before both their hearts end up on ice.
 

ADD TO YOUR TBR -- http://bit.ly/TropicalInfernoGR

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

 

Kat Mizera is a South Florida native. Born in Miami Beach with a healthy dose of wanderlust, she’s called Los Angeles, Long Island, upstate New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Atlanta home. She’s never been able to pick which locale is her favorite, but if pressed, she’d probably choose the west coast. Kat’s a typical PTA mom with a wonderful and supportive husband (Kevin) and two amazing boys (Nick and Max). When she’s not writing, she’s either scrapbooking or indulging in her second love (after writing) – traveling. Greece is one of her favorite places in the world. She loves that Athens is a big city with a small-town feel. The food, beaches and culture keep her going back as often as possible. She hopes to retire there one day so she can spend her days writing books on the beach.

 

Kat has been a working freelance writer for nearly 30 years. She sold her first article–a review of a rock concert–for $10 in 1985. Since then she’s been an entertainment journalist, waitress, bartender, legal assistant, food critic, magazine editor, substitute teacher, and sports writer. She also spent some time working at A & M Records in Los Angeles. As you can guess from her series, the Las Vegas Sidewinders, Kat loves hockey. She is also a freelance hockey writer, covering her favorite team, the Florida Panthers, and any other teams that have an interesting story. The rest of the time, she writes novels: sexy, romantic fiction that she hopes makes you as happy as it makes her. There’s something enticing about hockey players and romance…

 

Connect with Kat:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatmizera/

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lzRBG6

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorKatMiz

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2li6zRe

Website: http://www.katmizera.com

 

 

 

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review 2019-02-20 23:03
Running on, running on empty Running on, running blind...
Running Blind (Havoc, #2) - S.E. Jakes,Mark Larchmont

When I saw the title of this book I have to admit one of my first thoughts was I wonder if the author was a tiny bit motivated by the 1977 Jackson Brown song...'Running on Empty' when she picked the title for this book. I don't know about the rest of you but I graduated from high school that year? Anyways, it was just a random thought that floated through my brain when I saw the book title. The story not to confuse anyone is set in the present.

 

When Bram tries to leave 'The Heathens' Motorcycle Clue he learns the hard way that if getting in was painful getting out will damned near kill him. Bram's not really a biker but if 'The Heathens' find out that he's actually an undecover ATF agent what he will be is a dead man. So after a somewhat failed attempt to leave that nearly cost him his life and finding out that his brother Linc is missing he does the only logical thing he can...he heads to Shades Run the last place where his brother was known to be and in less than a day he captures the attention of 'Sweet', who's not just any Havoc member...nope, turns out he's the president of the Havoc MC and as much as he wants to stay off of any Motorcycle Club's radar finding himself on Havoc's also offers him a level of protection that like it or not he's going to need if he hopes to survive much less make progress in his search for his brother.

 

As Bram and Sweet work together to try and find Linc while each man tries to keep his secrets hidden both men find that they may be able to hide their secrets but they're not so good at guarding their heart.

 

Bram and Sweet's relationship is often times a case of come here, come here, get away, get away as both men keep trying to throw  up obstacles to why they shouldn't be together...to be fair Bram does this more often than Sweet, but Sweet manages to throw his obstacles in there as well all the time never letting them got in the way when he thinks Bram needs saving or protection.

 

And I have to admit that once again I found the Havoc MC to be an oxymoron all on it's own. They're bad-assed bikers who will mess you up in a heartbeat if you mess with them or break their code and all while helping you if you're in trouble and they feel your cause is just...in a sentence 'they are unlike any biker club I've ever heard of' but again it's fiction and the fun thing about that is the story can go pretty much where ever the author wants to take it. In spite of the fact that this may seem a little unlikely for me it's also reflective of the fact that in the real world things are often not always how they appear to be. 

 

Overall I found that I enjoyed this story a bit more than 'Running Wild' however, I don't think I would have if I hadn't listened to that audio book first since a lot of the characters from 'Running Wild' play a role in this book some more so than others...such as sweet who was secondary character in 'Running Wild' but who's a main character here and while Bram is essentially new to the story Linc is a good friend to Noah and Sean (who is also known as 'Rush') and there are a some others but I'll leave them for readers to discover when they are enjoying the story.

 

Now about the narrator...I'm one of those people who usually like the consistency of the same narrator from story to story in a series...unless...that's right unless the MCs are different from story to story...of course having said that should a future story have Ryker and Sean as the MCs than I admit it I would be happiest having their voices reprised by Dorian Bane rather than another narrator...that's just how I roll. 

 

Now back to this book and this narrator...Mark Larchmont is not only a new to me narrator but it would appear that he's new to the world of audio book narrating in general. 'Running Blind' is currently the only audio book he has to his credit on audible, however, when I had a peek at his site it tells me that he's currently working on another audio book for S.E. Jakes and there was a sound clip for a m/f book...that I was unable to find a title for. I found all this because I was honestly hoping that there were other books of his that I could check out. I really enjoyed this one and while I liked Dorian Bane's performance during 'Running Wild' I have to admit I think for me I enjoyed the audio on this one just a tiny bit more...hence the 3.5 stars and I'm definitely going to be looking out for more bu this narrator.

 

*************************

 

An audio  book of 'Running Blind' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-02-20 19:19
Running Wild held just a bit to much chaos for me...
Running Wild (Havoc, #1) - S.E. Jakes,Dorian Bane

'Running Wild' is the first book in the series Havoc by S.E. Jakes.  Sean Rush is a bad boy adrenaline junkie who steals and races cars...preferably classic muscle cars and is drawn to Ryker a lieutenant in the Havoc Motorcycle Club who coincidentally enough can't seem to stay away from Sean. 

 

I have to admit this is a bit of a bizarre MC they make they money producing legit porn and aren't involved in drugs, arms running or prostitution. They help get vets re-integrated to civilian life after they've served and keep the town they live in as drug and crime free as possible...but don't cross them because they know how to get rid of the bodies. 

 

I have to say I definitely found this to be a bit of a fantasy world. But what the hell it's fiction and if vampires can sparkle than bikers can be good bad boys...right? It could happen. I have to admit I found it damned lucky for Sean that Ryker was so into him because seriously he saved Sean's backside on more than one occasion.

 

When all was said and done I definitely liked Ryker more than Sean and even Sean didn't frustrate me as much as his friend Noah...seriously with friends like Noah one would do well to skip the enemies.

 

Sean's actually trying to stay on the right side of the law but eventually thanks to a friend he gets dragged back into his past and thankfully Ryker's on hand to guard his six because things aren't adding up in Sean's favor and if not for Ryker there's a good chance that Sean wouldn't survive events long enough to find out who and why someone wants him dead.

 

All this made for enough action and interest to keep me listening...well this and Dorian Bane's narration giving the MCs each their own unique and voice that...and forgive me if I'm stereo-typing here but I liked that each of these men had voices that I as easily able to attach to someone of their character and image. Their voices were gravelly and husky at times giving a hint of danger and other times they held the promise of sex. For me Mr. Bane definitely nailed it with his vocals for these men.

 

In spite of all this there were times that it just felt like these wild boys were just a bit too tame. While I enjoyed listening to this on audio I can't honestly say that it would have been as enjoyable to sit and read the story. For me this one definitely benefited from the narration.

 

And if you want to read a really epic review for this one just follow the link to my friend Dani's review...Dani's Review of 'Running Wild'

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review 2019-02-20 18:16
"Annihilation - Southern Reach #1" by Jeff Vandermeer - Highly Recommended
Annihilation: A Novel (The Southern Reach Trilogy) - Jeff VanderMeer

"Annihilation" is a deeply disturbing exploration of the truly alien. It's a difficult book, not because it's hard to read but because it's hard to stop, no matter how uncomfortable reading on becomes.

 

From the very beginning, this story is a quiet nightmare that won't let you wake up. It's a vivid hallucination with a pervasive sense of threat, a compulsion to continue and a heightened awareness of your own helplessness. 

 

The writing is vivid, the narrator fundamentally unreliable and the nature of the narrative is literally mind-bending.

 

The story is told from the point of view of a member of the twelfth expedition into Area X, an all-female, four-person team made led by a psychologist (which immediately removed my trust - who puts a psychologist in charge?), and consisting of an anthropologist, a surveyor and our narrator, the biologist. What Area X is, what the mission objectives are, even why the fifth member, a linguist, dropped out is all left not just unexplained but proactively obscured.

 

All we see is the landscape, unspoilt apart from the things left behind by previous expeditions.

 

What follows is an exploration of Area X that shows the duplicity of the people sending the expeditions and the deeply alien core that defines Area X and makes the people who send the expeditions afraid.

 

"Annihilation" deals with the truly alien. Not the well-they're-a-little-like-us-except-they-do-this- and they-think-that-and-they-look-funny. What we and our narrator come to understand is that the truly alien is unknowable. It is literally incomprehensible.

The more we are driven by a curiosity sharpened by scientific method and the habitual identification of patterns and the garnering of knowledge, the more painful it is to be confronted with the obviously present but incomprehensible.

 

That kind of contact forces us to look inwards, towards the familiar, the known, the human, so that we can tear our vision from the insanity-inducing contact with something that we cannot process.

 

Our narrator, The Biologist (we never learn her name but we know that she tolerates her husband calling her Ghost-Bird, a reference to her emotional distance and disengagement with the people around her) has the perfect background for encountering the alien and still having the potential to survive. She is someone with a strong, although not necessarily positive, sense of self, who has, since childhood, preferred solitude and welcomed the opportunity to slide her consciousness into a deep embrace with whatever ecosystem she is studying The Biologist is an Uber-introvert who is highly resistant to and suspicious of, outside influence.

 

Early in the book, in the journal she records this narrative in, she comments:

That’s how the madness of the world tries to colonize you: from the outside in, forcing you to live in its reality.

The telling thing here, I thought, was the Biologist's view that we choose the reality that we live in.

 

It soon becomes clear that The Psychologist and the people who sent the team on this mission have taken steps to shape the reality the team sees, even going as far as to implant strong hypnotic suggestions. That our narrator spots and resists this seems to central to her character. She is someone who naturally joins teams or shares her life. Her Ghostbird nickname was earned in part because of her inability to share herself with her husband. At one point, she writes in her journal:

It may be clear by now that I am not always good at telling people things they feel they have a right to know,

The biologist has a gift for letting her focus widen, letting her mind still and waiting for patterns to emerge. She is someone for whom imagination and knowledge are both routes to understanding. This changes the way she sees Area X and gives her a perspective previous expeditions have not been able to achieve.

 

When she thinks about the motivations of her superiors, who send the expeditions, she comes to the conclusion that, while they perceive Area X alien and threatening, they are unable to let themselves fully understand what that means and so have become locked in a pattern of behaviour that does not offer a way forward. She says:

our superiors seemed to fear any radical reimagining of this situation so much that they had continued to send in knowledge-strapped expeditions as if this was the only option.

I found The Biologist as fascinating as Area X. I can see that her dispassion, her tendency to obsess, her ability to be so fully present in the moment that she fades into it, and her emotional toughness would make her seem strange to many, but she is not alien, only different.

 

When making life or death decisions in the face of imminent personal threat, she says:

You can either waste time worrying about a death that might not come or concentrate on what’s left to you.

I admire the pragmatism of that. Yet she is not an emotion-free logician but rather is driven by an emotional connection with the world around her. Her scientific training as a biologist provides with a mother-tongue but it is her connection with her environment that turns the words into poems.

 

She has often failed to have her field assignments renewed because her form of focus is seen as a lack of discipline. She says:

I had gotten sidetracked, like I always did, because I melted into my surroundings, could not remain separate from, apart from, objectivity a foreign land to me.

The Biologist's up close and personal encounter with the animus of Area X is mind-bending and beautifully wrought. There are no easy answers here, only a recognition of our limited ability to know and the dangers of trying to exceed those limitations. She describes part of the encounter by saying:

But the longer I stared at it, the less comprehensible the creature became. The more it became something alien to me, the more I had a sense that I knew nothing at all—about nature, about ecosystems...

...And if I kept looking, I would have to admit that I knew less than nothing about myself as well, whether that was a lie or the truth

I particularly like the last clause. The Biologist is never in doubt that reality is more malleable than truth.

 

I highly recommend this book if you're in the mood for a thoughtful and sometimes challenging read, filled with strong emotion and beautiful prose.

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