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review 2019-08-23 21:45
BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR by Curtis M. Lawson
Black Heart Boys' Choir - Curtis M. Lawson,Luke Spooner,S.T. Joshi

BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR required a bit of time on my part for everything to sink in. Once it did, I felt liking shouting BRAVO and throwing some roses at the author. A friend took me aside and told me this was frowned upon, so I decided to write this review instead.

 

Lucien has recently lost his father to suicide. Shortly after that, he loses his mother to grief, (among other things.) To top it all off, he and his mother are required to move from their rather posh house, to a humbler home in a condominium. He is full of anger and disgust-with himself, and his weak parents. He begins hearing music in his head, as well as voices, and shortly thereafter he discovers a piece of orchestration that his father began to write but never finished. He sets out to quiet those voices and the music-will he be triumphant? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I became a fan of Curtis Lawson last year and immediately bought another of his books when I finished the first. (I haven't been able to get to it yet-story of my life.) However, when he offered me a chance to read this one early, how could I say no? At first, I was a bit confused as to what was going on, and to be honest, I wondered if this novel was going to require some kind of musical knowledge or at least the ability to read music. I needn't have feared, since all that was required was close attention on my part. That wasn't hard to give because the narrative soon swept me up and carried me to the denouement, much like a wave at the beach carries you to shore.

 

Why did I need time to mull over this story? I can mention some of the reasons here, some I cannot because...spoilers. Lucien was not altogether likable, even before some of the more distasteful events occurred. Luckily, I'm okay with real people being the main character-meaning in real life, people are not all good or bad, so why do some expect that in their fiction? Another reason I needed to mull for a moment is mental illness. (Lucien reminded me a lot of a young man I knew who suffered from Schizophrenia.) In the end, this tale broke another way, but somehow I came away from it with a better understanding of the young man I once knew. (Or at least, I think I did.)

 

As a whole, BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR tackles a lot in its few pages: suicide, death, abuse, neglect, teen friendships, (and many of us know the friendships made during that difficult time in life are hard to break), resentments, music, mental illness (?), demons...well, you get the picture.

 

Hopefully, you now understand my reasons for mulling over this tale. I believe I will be thinking about it for quite some time. These are generally the types of stories that stick with me-the mull-ers. If what I've described above sounds good to you and if you enjoy thinking about a story long after it's finished, then I highly recommend BLACK HEART BOYS' CHOIR!

 

*Thank you to the author for the e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2019-06-25 07:10
Release Blitz - Changing Lines

 

Changing Lines by Toni Aleo is available NOW! "Be still my heart! Toni has done it once again!"

 

 

Amazon -- https://amzn.to/2QAHfTI

iBooks -- https://apple.co/2WxVAG6

Kobo -- http://bit.ly/2YY0b1K

B&N -- http://bit.ly/2K8E1qa

 

 

Claire and Jude Sinclair have been living the perfect life for the last ten years. Blissfully in love, professionally successful, happily married… They have everything they want—except a baby to make their family complete. On the eve of the birth of the baby they’re planning to adopt, Jude gets traded to another hockey team in another state, and their thoughtfully planned-out road to parenthood hits a speed bump. But they didn’t survive all the turmoil of their pasts to get knocked out now. This is their game seven, and they won’t accept anything less than a win for the family they’re destined to have. This is a STANDALONE romance in the BELLEVUE BULLIES Series. ****

 

ADD TO YOUR TBR -- http://bit.ly/2ItznB0
 
 
 
 
 
 

Changing Lines (Bellevue Bullies, #5)Changing Lines by Toni Aleo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #5, in the Bellevue Bullies series. This can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

Jude loves Claire without a doubt. He wants her with or without children. Claire was meant to be a mom. She loves children and has great instincts. Not sure what will happen in the future, they get ready to move to a new team and location.

This short story is a great addition to the series, and to the characters. It was great to visit the Sinclair family again. Even in a small way this was a joy to read.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 
 
 
 
 

 

About the Author:

 

My name is Toni Aleo and I’m a total dork.

I am a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic.
 
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena’s glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
 
When my nose isn’t pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son’s hockey games, my daughter’s dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and reading the latest romance novel.
 
I have a slight Disney and Harry Potter obsession, I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, I might have been a Disney Princess in a past life… probably Belle.
… and did I mention I love hockey?

 

Connect with Toni!

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonialeo1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ToniAleo1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/toni_aleo

Intagram: https://instagram.com/tonialeo1

Bookbub: http://bit.ly/2yGqqR6

 

 

 

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review 2019-06-25 03:33
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Changing Lines (Bellevue Bullies #5) - Toni Aleo

This is book #5, in the Bellevue Bullies series.  This can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Jude loves Claire without a doubt.  He wants her with or without children.  Claire was meant to be a mom.  She loves children and has great instincts.  Not sure what will happen in the future, they get ready to move to a new team and location.

 

This short story is a great addition to the series, and to the characters.  It was great to visit the Sinclair family again.  Even in a small way this was a joy to read.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2018-12-23 02:16
Book Review: The Art Of Falling In Love by Eli Summers
The Art Of Falling In Love - Eli Summers

There be spoilers. I'm pretty pissed off at the moment. What a waste of time this was.

CW: Homophobia, racism, cheating, and sexual assault.

I only liked Holden. And even he was an idiot. But I could empathize with this struggles - coming to terms with his feelings for another boy, figuring out that he's bi-sexual (though I'm not sure why he'd think that, since he hasn't even had a girlfriend), and dealing with being bullied at school, on top of living with an asshole father and a doormat mother, unable to live up to his Golden Boy older brother, who was much less an asshole than I expected based on how his character was initially set up. Holden's best friend of 14 years (Tiffany) is abandoning him for a boy, though I'm honestly not even sure why Holden thought of her as his friend in the first place - she was nothing but a bitch to him. 

All the characters in his book are one-dimensional card board cutouts. You have the rich boy jerkface who thinks he can throw his daddy's money in everyone's face, the bitchy-only female, the pedophile principal (ew, ew, ew, what the fuck was that shit, touching Holden inappropriately, talking about blow jobs to make a record go away, and then comparing his dick to Aaron's whose dick he presumably knows NOTHING about), and the cheating daddy fucking Holden's best friend, who's - you guessed it - suddenly pregnant.

None of the characters, including Aaron, the love interest, made any fucking sense with their actions. Not a single one. Not Holden thinking he can just go to the city and enroll in college, and find a job that will pay him enough to cover his cost of living, not Aaron, whose pillow talk was the most ridiculous thing I've ever read in a romance novel, not Jeff, the jerkface, not Tiffany, the bitch, not the principal (what the FUCK was that shit), and not Holden's parents. 

At one point Aaron's father leaves for a conference of some sort in Seattle - which, super convenient, amirite, so Aaron and Holden can have a sleepover and sex it up (virgin ass and all), and we're supposed to believe that a small town mechanic goes to a conference, leaving no one to work on the cars in the shop? 

This book was an utter mess, and I don't just mean the stilted, unrealistic dialogue and ridiculous plot. The editor was MIA, and the proof-reader took a vacation, I guess. Grammar seemed optional. 

Men don't have a g-spot. A virgin like Holden, never having even CONSIDERED gay sex, has likely not heard of the prostrate. And he sure as fuck wouldn't call it a g-spot. 

At one point, Aaron says "Open Says Me". I suppose the author meant OPEN SESAME. How was that not caught? Then a few pages later, Aaron opens the condom and puts it on, with HIS TEETH. On himself. Uhm, sure, whatever floats your boat. I guess you're super bendy. Never mind the holes you just made with your teeth, you moron, which sort of defeats the purpose of putting on a condom in the first place. 

And to top off the editorial proof-reading fuckery, in one instance HOLDEN is called AARON. 

And, and, and... there's no HEA, not even a HFN - the couple has broken up at book's end because Holden is leaving town and Aaron isn't. We get a "To Be Continued" as if that isn't something you should tell your readers up front.

Not recommended. Possibly the worst book I've read this year. JFC. Yeah, I know it's YA, but young adults would like to read good books. And this isn't a good book. 

I'm so sorry, Secret Santa. I was swayed by the blurb and the positive reviews, and I now regret putting this book on my wishlist. I kind of hate that you wasted your money on this, even though I truly appreciate you getting it for me. 

Not recommended.

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review 2018-10-23 02:37
ARC Review: Adder And Willow (The Rowan Harbor Cycle #6) by Sam Burns
Adder And Willow - Sam Burns

This series just keeps getting better, with every new book the author releases.

Adder And Willow is the 6th book in the series, and the third book of the 2nd trilogy, in which we catch up with Fletcher and Conner, whose relationship is still growing.

Now Conner's mother and step-father are coming to visit, and Fletcher is dreading meeting them. Not because he doesn't want to meet his boyfriend's parents, but because he's a terrible liar, and he knows that he's no good at keeping secrets. And the supernatural parts of himself and Rowan Harbor must be kept secret from outsiders.

Fletcher is also having meetings with Oak, the Dryad, who have been working with Fletcher to continue the training his mother couldn't. It is during one of these meetings that Fletcher finds out something he may have already sort of known, but that might put his future with Conner in danger.

And, as if that isn't enough on his plate, he also stumbles across two strangers in a stranded car, a mother and son, who are intrinsically linked to Rowan Harbor.

I just adore this series. The characters are complex and fully fleshed out, and each one is so different. There is never any confusing one character with another, because they all have different personalities. Fletcher may be one of my favorites, because while he's timid to some extent, and not assertive, he has much more steel in his backbone than he realizes. 

Conner is still growing into his new powers (you'll have to read the previous book to find out about that), and he's going to be tested here.

What also stands out about the characters is how they're all connected - not only because of their supernatural powers, but also because they feel like family, and they treat each other that way. They stick together, they stick up for each other, and they work together for the common good. 

The book is alternately humorous and serious. There is action, there is danger, and there are sweet moments between Fletcher and Conner that really cement their relationship. 

This series cannot be read out of order - each subsequent book builds on its predecessor - however, each book does end in a satisfying way. There are no cliffhangers. 

The writing style of this author really works for me, and I flew through the pages. 

Recommended! 



** I received a free copy of this book from Signal Boost Promotions as part of this review tour, in exchange for an honest review. **

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