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review 2018-10-18 11:38
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Bloodlines by Denise Carbo
Bloodlines - Denise Carbo

Bloodlines is a story about shifters from another planet. They live amongst the humans now, in their clans, with mostly keep separate from each other. When one of Malcolm's clan member's turns up dead, he has a mystery on his hands - one that could lead to war. Add to that, he has an off-the-scale attraction to the hotel's new manager, and Malcolm's life is about to get rather complicated.

This was an easy enough read, with no major plots twists or intrigue to deal with. The 'big bad' was pretty clear from the start, but weirdly, this did not detract from the story. The biggest detraction, for me, was the so-called relationship between Malcolm and Elsie. If you add up the time they spent together, they probably weren't in each others company for more than 24 hours throughout the book, and yet Elsie has completely fallen for him. Not only that, but she is a complete limp lettuce where he is concerned. He walks all over her, is rude to her, only shows up when he wants sex. She is NOT okay with this (we get the monologues that tell us so), but she still "wilts" whenever he is near. Sorry, but I just didn't get their relationship at all!

The rest of it flowed easily enough. I found the supporting characters all interesting, although some of them had reputations I wasn't sure were deserved, or even why they had them. Apart from the main relationship, I found this book to be nicely written, with no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/08/31/Bloodlines-by-Denise-Carbo
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review 2018-09-28 03:51
A light, cozy snack of a mystery novel to kick off a new series.
 Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping - Cheryl Denise Bannerman

I tried so hard to work in a Clemenza joke here, even if it seems a bit obvious to do so. But I just couldn't.


Anna's a mystery writer -- successful enough that she can be a full-time author (a rare breed nowadays) -- a doting cat owner, and a pretty decent cook. All in all, the kind of person you'd want to spend time with (especially if you don't have to deal with cat hair). She's single, and is trying hard to convince herself that she's okay with that (but it's getting harder). We first meet here when she has an odd encounter with a man at a signing at a bookstore, but doesn't think much about it.


Not long after that, however, that man shows up in her life here and there -- and she starts to get worried. After one incident where he grabbed her momentarily, Anna tries to report it to the police, and is brushed off. So she's driven to take the skills her characters display and use them for herself to try to figure out what this man could be up to. While Anna is pulling her Ian Ludlow act, the stalker steps up his act and next thing Anna knows, she's been kidnapped and is going to have to fight to survive and get back to her cats. Meanwhile, the one police officer that took her seriously finds himself practically obsessed with her case once she goes missing.


We get this story told to us from three first person narrators -- Anna, her stalker, and Det. John Solace. Solace is the detective who takes the stalker report seriously and investigates when things get more threatening. Sometimes I find that kind of thing to be a choice that doesn't help a story, or sometimes I think it hurts -- but here, this really helps. This novel wouldn't work as well if you took one or two of these narrators out. Anna's voice is the strongest, the most approachable -- but even our villain is someone you can enjoy reading. Even when things get dangerous, the voices (to varying degrees) stay breezy, conversational and approachable. There is a sense of fun that pervades this work, and it's what makes this as successful as it is.


I do wonder about the rapid nature of the romance, it seemed a bit rushed. Then again, it's more satisfying than the 5+ years that the Cormoran Strike/Robin Ellacott build-up has gone on (at least for the readers) -- so who's to complain?


I do think that this book needed an editor -- and I'm not talking a copy editor (although, that could've helped, too) -- a strong critical pass or two to strengthen the strength points and cut the weaknesses from this and I can easily see this gaining fans by the bucket-load and even jaded guys like me being able to be effusive with praise. But as it is, I can just say that this is a cute story with a lot of charm -- and charm goes a long way. I could list the issues this book has -- and under different circumstances, I might. But why? Bannerman's not trying to be the next Don Winslow or Jacqueline Chadwick. This is supposed to be a breezy little cozy, and if you sit back and let it be that, it succeeds.


If you're looking for a light, sweet literary snack -- a cannoli, if you will -- this'll hit the spot. Give it a whirl. The sequel is set to come out in January, so you won't have to wait too long for another bite.


My thanks to damppebbles blog tours for the invitation to participate in this tour and the materials (including the book) they provided.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/09/27/cats-cannolis-and-a-curious-kidnapping-by-cheryl-denise-bannerman-a-light-cozy-snack-of-a-mystery-novel-to-kick-off-a-new-series
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-09-08 04:11
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus - Barbara Park,Denise Brunkus

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park is a very engaging book for young readers where students can relate to the main character Junie B. Jones. Junie B. has her first day of Kindergarten and has to ride the school bus to school, which Junie B. does not enjoy.  At the end of the day, instead of going home on the bus, Junie B. hides in the school causing lots of chaos.  Junie B. eventually agrees to ride the school bus if she gets to be with a friend.  Julie B. Jones is very clever, but still has many lessons to learn.  This book would go well with teaching the importance of rules, especially those enforced at school.  Using Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, teachers could have students help make classroom rules and specifically point out dismissal rules at the end of the day.  The Fountas and Pinnell text level for Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus is Level M (Grades 3 and 4).  

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review 2018-08-25 20:33
Tart of Darkness
Tart of Darkness - Denise Swanson Tart of Darkness - Denise Swanson

I had not heard of or read something by this author before, but loved the play on words (Heart of Darkness) and picked this up from the library. Once I started reading I had trouble putting the book down. I wanted to read wherever I could. (At home, upstairs, downstairs, Kings Island - that was me reading at the Festhaus). I had moments where I was laughing at some of the improbable things that had happened. It was a fun read and I did enjoy this story. I was not happy at the loose ends, but I am hoping that the next book finishes them off. 

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text 2018-08-19 18:00
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 240 pages.
Phreak - Denise Danks

enjoying it a lot - and I’m not tech-savvy enough (I hate cellphones..”the Devil’s tool”, I once read them described as, and it stuck with me) to know if phone cloning, phone hacking, is any different now than when this book was published in 1998. the phones have changed, I know that. anyway, I picked the Danks book voted Most Likely To Be Out Of Date, but I haven’t noticed - it’s not getting too technical, regardless - and I like the Mystery content, the characters, the pace, and the style.

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