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review 2017-08-16 16:43
Review: Love, Special Delivery by Melinda Curtis
Love, Special Delivery (A Harmony Valley Novel) - Melinda Curtis

The first half of the book is a solid 3 stars, but it falls apart in the second half. The plot moppets (Maddie's sister and Ben's godchild) grated on my nerves and sucked a lot of enjoyment from reading Maddie and Ben's story. And this is the second book I read this week that did not resolve the paternity question that is the heart of the hero's motivation - so frustrating!

 

Maddie is an okay heroine, although her constant smiling drove me up the wall. She has the stereotypical tragic back story, a little OTT for my taste. Her mother abandoned her and her younger sister to their grandparents, her grandmother died of cancer, her grandfather died from complications due to mismanaged diabetes and dementia, her sister is a cancer survivor, and since she had to take care of her younger sister after all that death, she never went to college and instead became a postal worker. She was given the promotion of postmaster in Harmony Valley, her grandfather's old post office that hasn't been open in more than a decade. The younger sister is a piece of work, closing in on 18 going on 8.

 

Ben's story isn't puppies and rainbows either. He left a fire station in Oakland, CA to move with his dying dad and mother to Harmony Valley so that his dad can finish out the 10 months left for a full retirement and benefits. Dad is the new fire chief, Ben is regulated to firefighter and to cover for dad's less than awesome health in front of the council and mayor. Oh and he is the guardian of a bratty seven year old after the brat's mother (and Ben's colleague) died in the line of firefighting duty. He is searching for said brat's father (named John Smith on the birth certificate) but there might be a chance the brat's his daughter. His mother "naps" a lot and the brat leaves the house to explore the town and find critters of the animal variety to bring home. Ben just wants to find the brat's dad, get his own dad safely to retirement, then leave this crap town for good and become a fire investigator.

 

Needless to say, I didn't warm to anybody in this book and I actively hated the sister and godchild/possible daughter by the end. Maddie and Ben love being in denial about their lives and constant crappy decision making. The arsonist villain got off with a slap on the wrist (excuse me "psychological evaluation") due to his advanced age. I have no interest in continuing reading this series.

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review 2017-08-14 15:37
MR. TROUBLE BY: NANA MALONE
Mr. Trouble - Nana Malone

 

  This was a cute contemporary romance. It was a quick read, which explains why like went to love rather briskly. The characters were well developed and likable. Kinsley was smart, sweet, independent lady and Jarred was your typical billionaire on the playboy path that needed something or someone to point him in a better direction. While it sounds pretty standard for the romance genre, I liked that Jarred wasn't a total jerk. It seemed like it was more him finally living up to the low expectations his parents had set for him. It was nice seeing him grow out of his parental issues and finally take his life more seriously. Kinsley and Jarred made a cute pair and they seemed good for each other. I was hoping for a little more of the happy couple at the end, but things wrapped up in a nice way.

 

 

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-08-10 22:58
Review: Extreme Honor (True Heroes, #1) by Piper J. Drake
Extreme Honor - Piper J. Drake

Review originally featured on Angel's Guilty Pleasures

 

Extreme Honor

True Heroes, #1
Piper J. Drake
Romantic Suspense - Contemporary Romance
Forever
January 26th 2016
Paperback
384
Library

 

Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the dogs that always have their backs. EXTREME HONOR is the first book in a high adrenaline contemporary suspense series from Piper J. Drake.

 

HONOR, LOYALTY, LOVE

 

David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier's toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope's Crossing Kennel can break through the animal's grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas's heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde's mesmerizing effect isn't limited to canines. But when Lyn's work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.

 

Lyn realizes that David's own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he's gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else-and he's willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn't want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .

 

Goodreads

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Barnes & Noble

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GooglePlay

 

 

So I first tried the True Heroes series with book three, Absolute Trust and I soon learned that I needed to read this series in order, so I set down Absolute Trust and request from my library the first book Extreme Honor.

 

Extreme Honor is a light and easy romantic suspense read. I had an ok time reading. It was a little bland, but enjoyable enough. I did have some trouble getting into the story; because it’s slow to get going, but once you hit 60% things start to pick up.

 

The suspense was predictable and of course not completely resolved by the end. Some threads where left open to carry on into the next book. And, the romance did have some heat with a little tension, but I never felt that the couple connected.

 

My main issue with this one and where I had trouble was the dog training. Why? Well I’m a fan of D.D. Ayres K-9 Rescue series and that women knows her dog breeds and the training that goes into military dogs, police dogs, and well all the different types of work a dog can do. I didn’t feel that Piper J. Drake did much research on the different areas, that she didn’t understood dogs; let alone working dogs, and I never felt that her characters connected to the dogs they worked with. It was disappointing.

 

Extreme Honor was meh and enjoyable enough to read. I will say I’m intrigued to check out the next book Ultimate Courage just from the except that I read at the end of Extreme Honor.

 

Rated: 2.5/3 Stars

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): Library LovePick Your Genre (Con) | Backlist Reader (2017)

 

 

 

 

I’m a 35 outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/08/review-extreme-honor-true-heroes-1-by-piper-j-drake
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review 2017-08-08 16:19
I Was Tired and Gave This One Three Stars
Something Blue - Emily Giffin

Honestly, I didn't like this one much more than "Something Borrowed", but due to the ending (which I had a hard time believing) I still gave it three stars because I think that the main character in this one (Darcy) was more honest about her crap than her ex-best friend Rachel. I did spend about 60 percent of the book disliking Darcy though. And I still found it farfetched that Darcy would go to England and just push herself on Ethan (introduced in the last book). And when Ethan did his reading of receipts to Darcy, the whole thing just fell flat.

 

Image result for read the receipts gif

 

"Something Blue" was an interesting book. A sequel to "Something Borrowed" the story also goes back some way to find out more about the main character in this one Darcy. In the first book in the series, I thought she was very under developed. And in this one, I thought her obsession with Rachel and Dex was a mess. I got it, but girl, really? After Griffin provides us with even more ammo to have us hate Darcy, I was just over her. She was blind to her issues and I can't see how she got through her life without someone slapping her on a daily basis.

 

When Darcy flees to England to get away from the mess her life is (no spoilers) it really doesn't feel organic to the story. But I liked the England parts better. There, Darcy reconnects with Ethan and in her own messed up way is there to try to drive a wedge between him and her ex best friend Rachel. 


Why did I give this three stars??

Oh yeah, the story moved to England and I liked how Griffin depicted it. Also we have Darcy growing up a lot in this book. I don't know if I buy she suddenly changed in like two months. And she was still making catty comments to herself about other characters. But I did like that she stopped to realize that she was selfish and took ownership of her relationship with her ex. I also thought that she had a point that Rachel was her best friend and that Darcy would not have done something like that to her. Ethan and others trying to bring up that Darcy stole Dex from Rachel (yeah no) was total crap. I do think that Darcy loved her friends, but she was selfish as the day is long. It doesn't absolve her best friend from sleeping with her fiancee. 

 

The writing was okay in this one.I didn't really care for Darcy's voice. When the book fast forwards a few years Darcy's voice is like night and day. That really surprised me. 


The ending was a surprise, but I don't know it really fit what we know about this character. 

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review 2017-08-08 16:09
Why oh Why Did I Read This Book?
Something Borrowed - Emily Giffin

So here's the thing. I used to read Emily Griffin books. For some odd reason I have this book and the sequel to this on my Kindle from way back when. After overstuffing myself with true crime books, I decided to switch to some chick lit. I honestly don't recall reading this book and I am kind of horrified that I ever bought it in the first place.


"Something Borrowed" I think takes way too much pangs to absolve the main character in this one (Rachel) from the guilt she rightfully should feel about having a one night stand with her best friend's (Darcy) fiancee. I think my main romance book reading rule is for the most part, no cheating. I hate reading it and I have a hard time cheering on characters who are doing it. So I ended up finishing this one and the next one in the story "Something Blue" and found that one to actually be much better than this one. Not by much though, I gave the sequel to this one three stars, while the first book just two.

 

The main character in "Something Borrowed" is Rachel. She's about to celebrate her 30th birthday and is doing well professionally. However, she ends up drinking a lot at the birthday party her best friend Darcy throws for her. She ends up sleeping with Darcy's fiancee Dex and most of the book is her being upset at times about what she did and her trying to justify it because Darcy is evil incarnate. 

 

I think the big issue for me is that Rachel cheats with her best friend's fiancee. I don't think that Griffin did a great job of showing that this was a clearly black and white situation, and had to amp up how terrible Darcy is/was in order to justify it to readers. I also don't believe that Rachel would have stayed friends with Darcy from childhood to her 30s if she was this flawed. 

I also don't believe that Rachel and Dex were fighting off some long held attraction for each other. I found him boring and also to be an ass if I may say so. He sleeps with his fiancee's best friend and pretty much runs around most of the book trying to get her to do it again. 

 

Rachel and Darcy have a mutual friend, Ethan, who honestly I think was a better match for Rachel. I was hoping that was the way things would go, but nope. Ethan was better than the other characters in this book by far.


I honestly didn't really dig the writing in this one. This is not my first foray into Griffin's books, but it's really boring reading about someone justifying cheating with a guy who is engaged to their best friend. Heck, even Carrie from Sex and the City realized she was garbage for cheating with Mr. Big and didn't dance around it. 

The flow was awful in this one. Maybe because I was tired of Rachel's voice about at the 50 percent point. 

 

And then the book ends on what is on what I think the author believes is a hopeful note. Ugh. I promptly went and read book #2 because that one was Darcy's story. 

 

Also, I sadly recall this was made into a movie that I never did finish. I was trapped on a plane many many moons ago (years) and I recalled when this was offered as a selection. I tend to like Kate Hudson movies (or at least older ones) so put this on and turned it off about 20 minutes into the movie. This is not a romantic comedy. Lord. 

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