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review 2018-03-17 05:16
‘Time Bomb’ is like ‘The Breakfast Club’ with an awful school bombing; suggests teens might just be ticking ‘time bombs’
Time Bomb - Joelle Charbonneau

This was an extremely fast read for me; I flew through ‘Time Bomb’ in a matter of hours, and it almost felt like I was following a similar clock to the one that was ticking away in the book. Six exceedingly different students, not unlike seen with the setup in the movie ‘The Breakfast Club’, find themselves trapped together because of the horrific circumstance of someone having set off bombs at their school (although, conveniently, school isn't quite in session yet, so there aren’t mass casualties).
The wrecked and damaged school that has them stuck inside, suspicious of each other, is a reminder of all the problems that schools represent for schoolchildren today: the gun debate because of the mass shootings inside schools, bullying, kids and their constant need to live up to certain standards, whether it’s their own or others’, unchecked mental illness, prejudice of others based on appearances...and by bringing ALL of this up in the teens’ conversations and through their own perspectives, Charbonneau makes the novel about more than just the bombs going off at this high school. The different stereotypes that the kids all fit into, serve to remind us that, right up until the end, when we find out ‘whodunnit’ all these kids are essentially ticking ‘time bombs’ waiting to go off. If not then, they could at some point. I think it’s easy to focus on the event of the bombs in this book, and kind of ignore that it’s all emblematic of the tumultuouness of teenagehood.
While ‘Time Bomb’ held my attention all the way through, I think this all could have been delved into in a more concrete way, because there were a lot of open doors to explore the hard issues that these teens were going through. Overall though, it’s a definite page-turner as far as the story and action go, with a surprise twist at the end.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-15 09:52
Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge (2017 Review)
Look Behind You - Sibel Hodge

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Waking up and surrounded by an eerie darkness, Chloe Benson soon discovers she's trapped underground in what appears to be someone's tomb. Desperate to avoid the same fate as the skeleton in her midst, she musters all the strength she can to escape, however emerging back into her ordinary life proves to be just as dangerous. Someone wants her dead, yet due to issues with her memory, she just can't recall who.

(WARNING: this review contains minor spoilers.)

I finished this book last year, October (2016) to be specific, and didn't feel overly eager to voice my thoughts upon its completion, so suffice it to say; it's been a long time coming in that regard. You might wonder how I could possibly still remember the finer details, and indeed; my memory's not exactly fresh, however I can still recall what irked and disappointed me, as well as what stemmed the little amount of enjoyment. That being said, I had wanted to read something a little different than my usual flavours, and this one was ready and waiting in my library. What did I expect? Well, a mystery, of course - something that kept me guessing, kept the wheels of my mind turning. It was unfortunate that it promptly fell short, and the conundrum didn't require much thought at all; the identity of the "villain" was clear pretty much immediately. There were several moments I questioned; "Could it be this obvious?" and lo and behold, it was exactly that.

Admittedly though, the beginning drew me in, and I sincerely believed the rest would've thus followed its strong onset. A woman, trapped underground in complete darkness; the narrative truly expressed her helplessness and her will to survive. From there, it morphed into something not-so-thrilling, and it felt much like a long wait for it (or rather, Chloe) to reach the conclusion I already knew was coming. Thankfully the book wasn't that long, so I was able to force myself through the boredom without it becoming too much of a chore.

The character of Chloe was rather unmemorable, as despite how hard I try, I can't say much about her. I always like to take the time to analyse the main protagonist, but the sheer lack of impression was even worse than disliking her, because at least then she would've made me feel something. The same goes for the rest of them - the domineering husband, the too-perfect other man; none of them had much personality, besides being convenient to the plot. One thing that I did find outrageous however, was the general attitudes of the authorities. Both the police and hospital staff were unrealistic, in that they were outright rude to a patient they believed to be mentally ill. At least in the real word, such cold treatment has the possibility to distress the patient further, thus I highly doubt the "shut up, you're crazy" tactic is actually applied.

In conclusion: Have I mentioned how utterly apparent the "twist" was? Well, I'm saying it again - a mystery should have mystery. It should keep you guessing until the truth's finally unveiled. This was largely a disappointing read for me.

Notable Quote:

Why does anyone stay in a relationship that deep down they know isn’t right? You don’t know why until it happens to you. It’s easy to fool yourself. To stuff things under the surface where they can’t hurt you. To persuade yourself it’s all just normal. Make excuses. There’s a fine line between craziness and love.

© Red Lace 2017

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/15/look-behind-you-by-sibel-hodge-2017-review
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review 2018-03-14 18:42
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mandie and the Shipboard Mystery - Lois Gladys Leppard

Mandie has just celebrated her thirteenth birthday and been surprised to discover that she has permission to go with her grandmother to Europe. It's just too exciting to be true!

Grandmother Taft, Celia, and Mandie are given a big send-off as they board the Queen Victoria bound for Europe. Traveling on the ship with them is Senator Morton. His attentions keep Mrs. Taft distracted to the point where she slightly neglects Celia and Mandie a situation guaranteed to mean trouble.

The girls meet some unusual people on board, and even find someone in their room when they return to it one night. Candy and fruit disappear from their cabin, and someone's valise turns up under their settee. Then comes the real surprise!

Uncle Ned won't be able to rescue them this time! (from Goodreads)

This was actually a good Mandie book. Mandie herself was pretty decent and didn't act like a spoiled brat. We were introduced to Jonathan in this book, a character whose name has been featured in future Mandie titles. Also Celia (my favourite character next to Uncle Ned and Sallie) is going to be featured in the next, like, ten books, so that's great. 

I'm also intrigued about the fact that the next few books take place in Europe, starting with England, the only European country I've been in (unless you count two hours in Scotland). 

As for the Mandie book, this follows Mandie and Celia as they travel across the ocean towards England. The entire book minus the first chapter or so is set on the actual ship, and I always find ship books fascinating (especially if characters don't suffer from seasickness). They encounter a mysterious old woman and a stowaway. They also have a shocking revelation about class, which I enjoyed because it feels like all the main white characters are rich, except maybe Joe, which bothers me because it implies that us poor white people can't have adventures either.

All in all, this was a solid Mandie book, and I can't wait to see what adventures await them in Europe!

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review 2018-03-14 04:36
Book Review for Hard Wood by Jenika Snow
Hard Wood by Jenika Snow
  • File Size: 1190 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (March 1, 2018)
  • Publication Date: March 19, 2018
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B076ZLX914
Arc Copy Provided by Netgallery
Reviewed by: Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
Gene: Erotica Romance , Novella,Romance
The Dirty Bits from Carina Press give you what you want, when you want it. Designed to be read in an hour or two, these sex-filled microromances are guaranteed to pack a punch and deliver a happily-ever-after.

A new supersexy insta-love novella from USA TODAY bestselling author Jenika Snow that has a gruff lumberjack yelling T-I-M-B-E-R for the woman he’s been waiting for.

The Ash Brothers—they know how to handle their wood.

I’m a hard man. A loner. Or so town gossip says. After having my heart sent through the chipper, I’ve kept to myself. I prefer the quiet of the woods to the ramblings of clingy women who think they can tame a wild mountain man.

Until Mia. Now she’s all I think about.

I should have stayed away. She’s too sweet for a brute like me, but I can’t stop wanting her, picturing her sated in my sheets.

Mia knows just what kind of wood I’m working with. She’s the soft to my hard, the sugar to my bitter bark.

And I love seeing her walk on the wild side.

This book is approximately 15,000 words

For those times when size does matter. The Dirty Bits from Carina Press: Quick and dirty, just the way we like it.
Lets start of saying that this story started off with a bang and a sizzle.This was one of those instant attraction instant love stories.Noah and Mia are instantly attracted to one another and the sexual fantasies they are having with one another are super super hot!
Noah has been hurt by a lover in the past an has been withdrawn and keeps to himself but, spotting Mia something has awaken in him after a very long time when things have pretty much been dormant.Mia on the other hand has been struggling of late with her own unhappiness and she is hoping this move is going to improve things for her. Spotting Noah across the room at a diner definitely puts a smile on her face and some pink in her cheeks! Instant attraction and heated looks hell yeah!
This stories plot was interesting.This couple had more fantasies with each other and more sex in they heads prior to actually meeting one another and I have to say their sexual fantasies were smokin!
For me I enjoyed the characters they were very like-able but the story itself didn't really give you a chance to love them.I enjoyed this short story as the story started out as super hot.I am okay with the instant love story but, a writer for me anyway is suppose to carry that attraction and intenseness and that possessiveness they feel for each other and somewhere along the middle of the story I felt that all flame die out after their first sexual encounter.
For me the sexual fantasies each had with one another was hotter than the deed itself.Then after the deed its two weeks later.Something happened in the middle here and they lost me.I guess for me I missed the couple getting to know each other on paper all the things your are learning about your sexual partner .The fun the playfulness the heated looks etc.I think the author should have added something  to that effect in the middle of the story.Two weeks later you understood they are getting to know one another but, we are not seeing it on paper.For me the story would have been more enjoyable had the author carried through with the spark,sizzle, and fireworks as the say  to the very end.
3 stars from us
Personal note: Even though this story was not a top favorite I have enjoyed many other of this author stories that she has co written with other authors.I would like to read more about these Ash brothers so were are looking forward to that.
Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and children. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse. 

You can find her at:

Website: www.jenikasnow.com

Facebook: /jenikasnow

Instagram: @jenikasnow

Twitter: @JenikaSnow

Email: jenika_snow@yahoo.com
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-14 01:04
Preta's Realm: The Haunting by J. Thorn
Preta's Realm: The Haunting - J. Thorn

Preta's Realm: The Haunting by J. Thorn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When certain people in his life start disappearing, Drew Green struggles to keep his mind and family intact. Something whispers to him at night; a voice of a person no longer living. It tells him of a time long past, and a curse set to haunt the bloodline. As events eventually spin out of control, Drew finds himself at the mercy of a creature that should only reside within nightmares.

(WARNING: This review contains minor spoilers.)

After about a year or more of having this on my kindle and eventually forgetting about its existence, it finally caught my eye once again. What followed was a last minute read of the month - it's a short book, which I was later thankful for. Initially I didn't know what to expect, but the words akin to "disgusting" and the likes on other reviews piqued my interest. Just how bad could it be? At this point I'd say I'm pretty used to the extreme use of gore and other similar themes, so my curiosity got the better of me. My concluding opinion is that whilst involving some nasty and sensitive elements, it was largely poor in regards to story. I found myself confused most of the time, not only questioning certain plot decisions, but also of how it was paced. A scene would suddenly jump in time without it being properly conveyed, yet I'm not sure if that was supposed to be intentional or not. Either way, it came across as not entirely thought out - like Thorn rushed through the process.

I can't say I particularly liked any of the characters, nor did I understand their actions. I found Drew to be dislikeable as a person; how he treated his family was a large part of that. It was hinted throughout that he suffered from something in the past, perhaps some form of mental illness, yet it was never explained, and thus I settled into a state of aforementioned confusion whilst trying to garner what I could of the backstory. I know Ravna was a decent man in the grand scheme of things, but I didn't get a good first impression of him and unfortunately that stuck. His introduction consisted of him fantasising about a younger waitress, which I honestly found to be offputting. He referred to her as his "gothic princess", and the moment he noticed her in a colour other than black, the fantasy was apparently ruined. Clearly this information wasn't relevant in any way, shape, or form, yet it was still relayed like it was somehow crucial. The others? I don't have much to say about them, other than they lacked memorable presence.

"Preta" and "Gaki" essentially mean the same thing - "hungry ghost" - and is a supernatural being present in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Chinese and Vietnamese folk religion. I can't say I was familiar with the lore of this creature until I did some homework. It's a good concept - I always like when authors include their on take on weird and wonderful monsters. I did find some discomfort in Thorn's representation, but I was simply too distracted by other elements to really appreciate the depravity. The accounts of the past, told through the spirit of Drew's grandfather, honestly bored me enough that I wanted to skim over; the narrative was written in such a way that didn't pull me in, or make me care for what was happening.

If I were to detail how this could've been a better read for me, then it would go like this; the focus solely upon Drew or Ravna, with either one being fleshed out instead of the back and forth. Drew was supposed to be a devoted family man, yet I didn't see that. Ravna was supposed to be some sort of hunter, yet I felt I was merely given a brief glimpse. Of course, this is my personal opinion; plenty of others thoroughly enjoyed it as it is.

In conclusion: I originally rated this three stars, however I've retracted one to better fit my thoughts. It was a definite miss for me - I didn't like much about it other than the somewhat disturbing scenes of "Gaki".

Notable Quote:

"The 'cesspool' you mention is humanity itself. The 'gateway' is the greed, lust and insatiable suffering of humankind. You can no more rid the universe of Gaki than you can of air or water."

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/03/14/pretas-realm-the-haunting-by-j-thorn
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