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review 2016-11-25 19:37
ARC Review — Heartifact, by Aisling Mancy
Heartifact - Aisling Mancy

Harper is a marine archeologist, and he has a job with an oil company, mapping out new drill sites on the Great Barrier Reef. His boss doesn’t want to hear about how what they’re doing there is killing the reef.

 

At night, Harper is visited by a gorgeous man in his dreams—a stunning soul that leaves him breathless. (And me, I’d like to add).

 

Harper needs a break. He gets one, when one day, his old friend Stick calls him: Stick is a woman I loved from the second she walked onto the page. There is an underwater archeological dig, in the Mediterranean, by a Greek island. And there are intelligent and knowledgeable people running the dig. Smart and fun. Such a treat. Off they go!

 

The story takes a fantastic turn when Harper starts diving. This is a thriller. With twists. And it’s hot. Very hot.

 

I fell into this story, as always with this author, and came out on the other side in an amazed daze. I love how there are a gazillion things happening at the same time, there is action and stuff going on at several levels, and then BAM! It’s over, and I’m still reeling.

 

I don’t know how Mancy crams so much into so few pages; this is a short story of some 150 pages, but holy moly, he packs them full!

 

There are plenty of technical details about the underwater world and work, details that convince you of the well-documented research that has gone on behind the scenes to write this story. I am forever impressed with the erudition of this author, his stories span such diverse topics.

 

The point of a short story is to be precise, concise, and pack a punch at the end.

 

Well, then. Check, check, and check.

 

To add to the marvel, I am in love with the cover. Such a radiant underwater feeling of magic and slanting sunshine. I just love it so much.

 

Extra bonus: Proceeds from this book go to supporting three different causes:  Le Refuge in France, Arcigay in Italy, and The Trevor Project in USA.

 

So, even though I was given an ARC for review purposes, I went and bought my own copies. Yes, plural, because this short story was also released in French—and the translation by Bénédicte Girault is absolutely stunning. Every nuance, every feeling, masterfully rendered in French colors. I hear the Italian version will be coming soon, so I’ll wait for that one, too.

 

Well worth my time to read this, and then read it again.

 

Try it.

 

Because you’ll also help some very good organizations.

 

 

***

 

I was given a free review copy of this e-book from the author, but then I went to buy my own eBook copies to support the good causes.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1499993/arc-review-heartifact
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review 2015-01-12 14:34
Book Review – Red Dirt Heart #4, by N. R. Walker
Red Dirt Heart 4 - N.R. Walker

The Sutton Station final installment, and what a beauty it is.

 

And how brilliant is it that this one is told from Travis’s point of view? What a gorgeous man he is. The whole setting gets a new light, seen from his eyes. Still full of red dirt, but with the added awe of a person who has chosen to live in this wondrous land, one who wasn’t simply born into it.

 

So, author. You proceed to break my heart in so many pieces I’m still looking for some of them. Then you go on and mend it, like it was never broken in the first place.

 

As I sit and read, I get lost in the red dirt trails, and I rightly don’t know where I am when I look up from the pages. It takes a moment to realize that I am in my home, not in the outback, struggling.

 

What I really loved in this last book was the fact that there wasn’t any mandatory romantic crisis, no shocking turn of events to put everything upside down. Just life, and all its quirky happenings of deep joy, coupled with deep sorrow—that’s what a good story is.

 

The only minus note I have is that the women in this last installment were extremely traditional in their roles, except for a very small window of red disappearing into the setting sun at the end. All the other women, from Ma, to Travis’s mother in Texas, they were all cooking and taking care of their houses. It irked me a bit. One yiihaa-cowgirl scene doesn’t make up for all the fabulous roles these ladies could have presented.

 

Another thing I absolutely adored was the fact that all the love scenes were mostly fade to black. I am very weary of the explicit sexing, and this was just amazingly well done. Thank you. It was sweet, and good, and just enough.

 

The epilogue was great, I loved it. It added a lot of little nuggets of fun facts, little things that I know I would be wondering about, later.

 

Because, you see, this is a story that stays with you. For days, dare I say months? Charlie and Travis are real, to me. They live very far away, so I don’t hear from them very often. But they are friends, nonetheless.

 

The first three were my Best of 2014.

This last one lands smack-bang in the newly instated Best of 2015.

Read this series.

 

*** 

 

I was given a pre-edit ARC copy of this book. A positive review was not promised in exchange.

 

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1085015/book-review-red-dirt-heart-4-by-n-r-walker
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review 2014-10-24 12:26
Book Review – Most Beautiful Words, by Raine O’Tierney
Most Beautiful Words - Raine O'Tierney

I am shattered by this book, and so happy I got to read it.

The first half was thrilling, loving, mindblowing, and so gorgeously confusing!

 

Then all the pieces are slowly worked together into a whole tapestry of interwoven lives, all seen through the wild and amazing eyes of a young girl.

 

Absolutely mesmerizing, and smashing language to boot.

 

There is so much love in here that it almost flows off the pages, oh how I love to read about great-grandfathers who have made a difference. Here, storytelling has a way of taking wings and flying into your dreams at night. Here, fantasy becomes imagination, and then dreams happen, that go on to become reality. Or not.

 

Of course, you need to love family, and be the kind of reader who doesn’t get upset when she squeals in joy or gushes forth in amazing amounts of tears. Because there was plentiful of both.

 

This book is going to stay with me for a long time.

There is hope and emotions and happiness and sadness and bisexuality and love and understanding and… Great-Grand Fathers!

 

Well. Go read it, eh?

 

Because I find myself crying again, as I’m writing this review.

 

*** 

 

A copy of this book was given to me by the publisher, Dreamspinner Press. A positive review was not promised in exchange.

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/1027806/book-review-most-beautiful-words-by-raine-o-tierney
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review 2014-10-08 10:45
ARC Review – The Shearing Gun, by Renae Kaye
The Shearing Gun - Renae Kaye

This is all I look for in a story set in the country-side: nature, horses, sheep (lots of sheep!), and hot men. Lots of nature. And really lots of sheep.

 

Absolutely marvelous storytelling, where the Australian landscape is brought to life in front of me.

Without ever falling into the trap of transcribing dialect, the Aussie sound shines through in word choices and actions. The Aussie drawl when Hank calls Doc “Quackle” simply resonates within me.

 

For once, I adore being in a first person setting, because Hank is adorable. Clueless, but adorable.

 

Favorite sentence:

I gave you a lamb to name. What part of that doesn’t say I love you?

 

Now, add to this all the sensual loving, all the good feels and heeee-haaa sexing, there is brilliant wit in here. Crushing humor that had me bellowing out loud. God, I love a book that makes me laugh, and Hank? He’s just the best. Did I say clueless and adorable? Hot and totally unaware.

 

Shearing gun and fun guy éxtraordinaire.

 

My favorite combo.

 

Will look into this author to see what else is there.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Dreamspinner Press, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/1005422/arc-review-the-shearing-gun-by-renae-kaye
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