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review 2018-02-14 03:07
High Stakes
High Stakes (Betting Hearts) - Lilly Cain,Corinne DeMaagd

While I wouldn't necessarily call this one a comedy, it is an amusing and fun read. On first glance, it seems like the romance happens really fast, especially when you consider that the whole thing takes place over a weekend. But, Adrian and Jenn have known each other for most of their lives and been attracted to each other for quite awhile, so it's not the whirlwind romance that it seems. On the whole, this one is a fast paced, sexy but not overly steamy, light-hearted romance with some great characters and a bit of silly thrown in. 

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review 2017-11-05 00:00
Double Indemnity
Double Indemnity - James M. Cain Yikes! I read this on one day, and I read at only half the speed required for success in college, or so I was told back in my youth. Well, it was short, but also compelling. Not something one could easily put down once begun. Cain is a good author, if you like noir-y kinds of things. This is about as noir-y as it gets. A nice change from the heavier kinds of things I'd been reading.

So, an insurance agent, Walter Huff, makes a call on a client, Mr. Nirdlinger, who isn't home. Nirdlinger's wife, Phyllis comes down to meet Huff, and Huff is immediately smitten. Together they hatch a rather convoluted plot to insure Mr. Nirdlinger against accidental death with a double indemnity clause that kicks in should the accident occur in specific ways, such as being killed by an accident on a train. So, we get lots of plotting and practice.

Then, it seems, Phyllis has a 19-year old step daughter, Lola. Huff becomes rather enamored by Lola. Lola has a boyfriend, Nino, who may or may not be a sketchy character. Apparently, he is finishing up his Ph.D. in chemistry, but there are other things about him which may or may not be savory. Suffice to say the Nirdlingers did not approve of the alliance in the least.

Well, I could go on, but I can't write a plot summary nearly so well as Cain can write and flesh out the plot itself. One would be best to head for the nearest library, or book store if you prefer, and snag a copy. This is a true gem one should not miss.
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review 2017-10-31 00:00
Review: Cain (Out of the Cage Novel, #1) by Lane Hart
Cain (An Out of the Cage Novel) (Volume 1) - Lane Hart

Lane Hart does it again! It was a gripping story full of angst, drama, nail-biting moments, sweet yet passionate scenes, sexy and funny men. In short, all I could ever ask for in a story like this. 

I loved the friendship and banter among the three main males. Cain, Knox, and Ivan grew up together in a sort of “foster home” for homeless kids. The downside? They have to surrender their lives to a mafia mob leader as soon as they come of age. Their relationship was easygoing and relatable; each of them was true to their character from start to finish and as the reader I could understand their dilemmas and way of thinking. Gabby, the only woman of the group, may have sounded too innocent at times but that was completely understandable; she didn’t really have much life experience as she joined the men at a very young age. The fact that they all had each other’s back without even saying it out loud gave the story that feeling of tenderness and warmth. 

My only cavil (blame it on my pickiness and personal preferences) is that it was kind of hard to get past the idea that the two main characters were of a certain age and there was no fumbling, no silly experiencing, no funny or imperfect loving scenes. However, their romance was both raw and honest and if I'm being honest with myself (and when I was able to overlook what I mentioned earlier) then it all made for a phenomenal read. 


** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my honest opinion and it was not influenced in any way by the publisher or the author. ** 

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review 2017-10-28 18:35
Dark, gritty, and emotional
Cain (An Out of the Cage Novel) (Volume 1) - Lane Hart

Cain is everything that I've come to expect from this author. This emotional, beautifully written tale grabbed hold and didn't let go. It's so much more than just an MMA romance. It's a coming of age story of kids stuck between a rock and a hard place, doing what they must just to survive another day. Gabby's innocence and Cain's determination to protect that innocence from betrayals that she doesn't even know about is like a light shining in the dark. Cain and Gabby have such good chemistry and they are so good together, but this story is about so much more than just this couple. Together with Ivan and Knox, this is a family born not of blood, but of shared hardship and struggles.

Lane Hart didn't just tell me a story, she pulled me in to the lives of these characters. My heart broke right along with them as they clawed and struggled for their happily ever after. The only downfall for me was that I wanted more. Don't get me wrong, the book ended perfectly, but I was so caught up that I wasn't ready to let go. So, this reader will be not so patiently waiting for Ivan's story.

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review 2017-10-22 00:00
The Cocktail Waitress (Hard Case Crime)
The Cocktail Waitress (Hard Case Crime) - James M. Cain Apparently, this is a "lost novel" by Cain, which was only unearthed, edited, and published some 35 years after his death. I'd read some Cain previously, and very much loved Mildred Pierce. While, The Postman Always Rings Twice was ok, it wasn't all that special. I've yet to find Double Indemnity on kindle in a local library (now I have, and it's on hold). Anyway, I got this book thanks to my new library card with the Woburn Public Library, and it was great. Up there with Mildred Pierce, I think.

So, we have a young woman, Joan Medford, relating her experiences in the few years after her abusive husband, Ron, killed himself by driving into a bridge abutment (I think it was that, something hard anyway). Ron was a chronic drunk and an abusive husband and father. He routinely beat up Joan and their son, Tad, who was 3-years old at the time of the telling.

It seems that Ron's sister, Ethyl and her husband Jack, covet Joan's son, Tad. Ethyl had a medical problem and is sterile. Ethyl and Jack take Tad off with them, because Joan must find a job to support herself and Tad. But Ethyl also wants to make the caretaking of Tad permanent, so begins a whispering campaign to the police that Joan slipped something into Ron's last drink, implying that Ron was actually murdered.

One of the two cops investigating the case is desperate to pin the murder on Joan, the other gives her a tip as to how to find a job. He suggests she head down to the Garden of Roses and ask Bianca, the proprietress, for a job. Bianca starts to make Joan a waitress, but Liz, in the bar sees that Joan would be a hit in the bar. In the bar, they wear skimpy clothes, showing lots of leg and cleavage, and the better the leg and cleavage, the better the tips. Joan has the most amazing set of gams in creation, or something like that. She becomes an instant hit, and both Liz and she prosper.

Well, she makes the acquaintance of Walter K. White III, a widower, who is richer than Midas and who takes rather a shine to Joan. He wants to do something "nice" for Joan. She also meets Tom Barclay, who is so handsome that he gets her motor running, so to speak. But Walter has money, and that money would be a great help in getting Tad away from Ethyl. Tom has animal magnetism, but little money. Something like that.

Well, all kinds of things happen, many not so good, but Joan is smart, able to withstand hardship, and a rather interesting character. Then too, those legs! So, if you're into noir fiction at all, this stuff is nectar. If like my spouse, you like cozy "mysteries", with cutesy titles, little reality, and it's mostly tea, muffins, and village greens, then this might not be your cup of tea, so to speak.
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