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review 2017-07-02 13:21
Ultimate Courage by Piper J. Drake
Ultimate Courage - Piper J. Drake

Elisa Hall has spent the last six months on the run from her controlling ex, but no matter what she does, or where she goes, the man always ends up finding her, and it's only a matter of time before he'll force her to go back with him. But maybe the chance encounter in an ER can be her saving grace, maybe the taciturn, brooding man taking care of his daughter might save her, offer her the freedom she craves...And maybe she can return the favor.


Oh, yes. Now we're talking. Much, much better than the first book in this series at least as far as characterization of the heroine goes. The romance was still rushed and rather instantaneous.

This one had it (almost) all. A wonderful hero, a great heroine (still with issues, but understandable and relate-able issues), an awesome dog (I like it how all the couples—so far—ended up with a dog of their own completing the family), and the amazing little whirlwind of joy that was Alex's daughter Boom. Usually when there's a kid involved in a story, everything revolves around that kid, and the kid's usually a whiny, passive-aggressive brat. Boom was so far removed from this cliché, I almost cried in gratitude. She was smart, fun, spunky, and knew her place in her father's heart and life, so she wasn't afraid of any "competition" so take that security away. And her matchmaking was utterly endearing.
This book certainly had its characters (both primary and secondary) down pat. Well-developed and nicely layered, their growth and change both in personalities and relationships was organic and realistic, and boy am I glad that despite their issues there was no dragging-on conflict that could've been resolved with a simple conversation. They were all adults, even the kid. ;)

True, there was a bit of a slip-up in the last couple of chapters, where I wanted to smack the hero upside the head, and although it served as catalyst for the final confrontation between Elisa and her ex, I couldn't help but feel it could've been done differently, without turning Alex into a temporary asshole. But hey, we cannot have it all.

The romance was, as mentioned, once more rather rushed, but rather more believable (despite the haste) as the one between Lyn and David. Alex and Elisa actually talked, they actually had meaningful conversations, they more or less knew each other's triggers and possible intimacy issues, and they still decided to give it a go almost from the start without the let's-keep-it-professional-because-we-work-together. They wanted each other and they went after it, I appreciated that.

But where the romance once more failed, the suspense picked up the slack. It wasn't as "in your face" as in the first book, it was all more subtle and slightly creepy, perfectly in tune with the stalker angle, but the final scene packed just as much punch.
I knew from the moment Elisa told her tale, that whatever dealings her ex had, had to be connected to the overall suspense arc, and I wasn't wrong. I would've liked for that point to be a little more expanded, the resolution maybe a little more detailed, but I guess every loose end will be connected in the next book.

Looking forward to it.

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review 2017-06-07 00:00
A SEAL's Courage (Military Match)
A SEAL's Courage (Military Match) - Jm Stewart J.M. Stewart gives new meaning to the term power ballad. Lust and love have no boundaries. Characters are compelling, stories are powerful and emotions are put on full display. She's gives the vulnerable a voice in times when they need the courage to be strong. A Seal's Courage is stellar evidence of that. Trent left a hero but came back a broken man. Lauren is a woman with love to give, but no one to share it with. Still waters may run deep, but Lauren and Trent add in an inferno of heat. Sensuality does not overpower the message of hope and healing conveyed in this seduction serenade of love.
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review 2017-04-29 04:55
A New Literary Classic
The Story of Diva and Flea - Mo Willems,Tony DiTerlizzi

Two unlikely friends embark on a life altering journey in The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi.  Diva is a small dog who lives in an apartment complex at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France.  She takes her job of guarding the courtyard very seriously.

Flea is a streetwise cat who loves exploring the city of lights.  One day, his travels take him past 11 avenue Le Play...and Diva.  He finds the petite pooch to be quite interesting.  Flea cannot understand why Diva runs away every time that someone enters the courtyard.  A miscommunication soon turns into a budding friendship.

Diva loves listening to Flea's stories about the wondrous sights of Paris.  She admires his bravery and courage and decides to become an explorer too.  Does this curious canine have what it takes to make it on the streets of Paris?  Can Flea conquer his fear of brooms and the humans that come with them?  Most importantly, will Diva and Flea's friendship survive despite their vastly different backgrounds?

I absolutely love this book!  The story reminds me of a mixture of Disney's Oliver and Company with a dash of Madeline.  While I have not been to Paris, I can definitely relate to the bond that Diva and Flea share.  My husband and I rescued a two week old kitten from the middle of main street in our town and our three-legged dog, Penny, immediately bonded with the kitten and began raising her.  

This story has so many fantastic themes woven intricately within the chapters.  I also love how the story is told from both Diva and Flea's perspective.  It is truly magical to see how their individual lives come together to create a relationship that each hadn't thought possible.

Tony DiTerlizzi's illustrations are enchanting.  Readers of all ages will fall in love with the adorable Diva and Flea.  I am also blown away by the detail that DiTerlizzi puts into each image.  His buildings are simply incredible!  I almost felt as if I was in Paris, smelling the scent of coffee and freshly baked bread.

I would highly recommend this book to readers ages 8 to 108!  This classic story of friendship, courage and discovery will surely be treasured for years to come.  I think it would also make for a fantastic movie or television series.

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review 2017-03-29 01:20
Good Read!
The Courage To Love (Love On The North Shore) - Christina Tetreault

The Courage To Love by Christina Tetreault is a great read.  Ms Tetreault has delivered a well-written book.  Sean and Mia's story is a fast paced read, full of wonderful characters. There's plenty of drama, bits of humor and spice to keep readers engaged with this book.  I enjoyed The Courage To Love and look forward to reading more from Christina Tetreault in the future.  The Courage To Love is book 1 of the Love On The North Shore Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-03-27 03:30
Tippy Toe Chick, Go!
Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! - George Shannon,La... Tippy-Toe Chick, Go! - George Shannon,Laura Dronzek

I read this story to first graders, and it was a cute story that teaches us to be brave no matter what comes our way. Great read for young children, 1-2 grade.

 

If I were to use this story in my own classroom, I would have my students do a "sequence of events" activity, putting in order the steps the chicks take to get past the dog to their feed. I would also use this story to practice sight words and reading comprehension by asking questions throughout the story.

 

Reading level: 2nd grade

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