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review 2018-02-24 22:56
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) by Brooklyn Ann
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) - Brooklyn Museum

This is the fifth book in the Hearts of Metal series but I promise it can definitely be read as a standalone. I know this because I’ve only read the previous book yet I never felt lost. 
I love how the author was able to weave so many characters into one book without making it feel convoluted. All of them felt true to their nature, including “slutty” Cliff, who can still be a jerk at times but now that we start seeing things from his POV it’s impossible not to have feelings for the guy. Christine’s independent spirit causes more trouble than not but even so she was a lovable character because it was not mischief what drove her but an honest will to live her own life. 

I felt this book centered more around the dynamics of the band’s members and their personal struggles, but even so it did not lack in the romance department. Christine and Cliff’s relationship may take a backseat at times but it’s always present throughout the book. Their emotions are all palpable and when they were together it was all but fire on the pages! The mix of drama and funny, laugh-out-loud moments made this book pretty enjoyable. And the fact that we get to visit with all of the other bands, including Rage of Angels (from the Bride of Prophecies series) makes it a memorable one as well. In short, I think this story is the perfect tease because if anyone picks this one up before the previous books in the series will want to get them all and start reading them asap. 

***I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2018-02-24 22:52
No Earls Allowed (The Survivors #2) by Shana Galen~ 4 of 5 stars
No Earls Allowed (The Survivors) - Shana Galen

Neil is sent on a new mission: bring Lady Juliana back home after she’s spent months away taking care of orphan children. What was supposed to be an in-and-out kind of mission turned out to be the life changing event that neither Neil nor Lady Juliana had planned on. 

The story was a riot and a half. Neil is the kind of man that may seem reserved but in reality is pretty laid-back. I liked that he knew what to do, when to do it, and best way to go about facing a new challenge. Even though Juliana was pretty inexperienced in everything she set her mind to, she was no simpleton and faced everything with as much mettle as she could muster.

The plot itself was unpredictable and unique. I mean, I don't think I've read about ladies accepting rats for pets of their children (ee-ew, eewww, EEEWWWW!). The children were sweet and good-natured, even those that rebelled and may had caused some trouble because of their circumstances showed great character. I for one don't like reading much about children but when they are written with as much heart and wit then I will take them any time! Juliana and Neil simmered in passion for each other but didn't take their relationship to the next level until they knew for sure that's what they both wanted. And when it happened it was sublime, real, and oh, so sweet. I always complain about authors creating this far-fetched, earth-shattering event when the couple makes love for the first time because although nice to read, is it really like that in real life? I thought the author did a great job here giving me a more realistic, couple-in-love moment. 
I also loved that all the survivors made an appearance. We dug farther into the lives of some of them and we get to see more of Ewan, my boyfriend from the first book-- I mean the hero from the first book in the series. The story had a villain that didn't get to play much of a villain however his presence gave the survivors plenty to do and caused Juliana lots of headaches and heartaches. If anything I would have liked Juliana's growth to be more palpable but it was more on paper than in her character. All in all it was a great read that left me wanting more. 

** I was gifted a copy of this book and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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text 2018-02-24 21:11
Granite Noir: Hugh Fraser & Robert Daws

I know this is a crappy picture. Sorry.

The talk with Hugh Fraser and Robert Daws this afternoon, however,  was quite a lot of fun.

 

It all started with a spotlight on a local author, John Bolland, who was given a chance to read a few pages from his own work - a crime novel written in Doric, which sounded like it was going to be an entertaining read. I need to find out if it was published, yet, or still in progress.

 

This was then followed by an interview of Robert and Hugh - with Robert doing much of the talking, I thought - and a follow on Q&A from the audience. 

 

It was fun. Both actors are well at home with interviews, both have a great sense of humour, and a very down to earth, approachable manner. They clearly enjoy their new career as crime fiction authors. 

 

As enjoyable as it was being part of the event this afternoon, there was very little I have learned in addition to what I had already read about the background to Hugh's series. Except maybe that Lizzie, the dominatrix/prostitute girlfriend of his main character Rina, was based on a friend of the author's. And that he used to work (playing in a band) in some of the dives in Soho that are described in the books. 

 

I was somewhat glad to hear hear about his motivation for some of the plot/character choices in his books, as I had some issues with them (mentioned here and here). I still have issues with some of these choices - the, what felt to me like, gratuitous sexual violence, the depiction of some scenes, the lack of decent make characters - but I get what he was trying to do, and I still maintain that the Rina Walker series is a fun romp of a read (just with added "eeww" and "wtf" factors).

Apparently, I was not the only reader who was knocked sideways by the books. The interviewer was quite shocked by the fact that this had come from the man who portrayed the quiet and genteel Captain Hastings for decades - these books are as far removed from the image of Arthur Hastings as you can get. A turn that Hugh said was not planned by him, but just happened that way when he first "met" Rina "walking into that hotel in Acapulco, the opening scene of the first book Harm. 

 

With respect to Robert Daw's books, I cannot say much. The setting in Gibraltar does sound interesting but I have not read the books. I may have a look at the library later next week. 

 

I leave with one of the funniest parts of the Q&A, when a lady in the front row prepared her question with something along the lines of "I don't mean any offence but you both are gentlemen of a certain age. What motivated you both chose much younger, more attractive women as your main characters ...?"

Much laughter ensued.

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review 2018-02-24 16:18
Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
Written In Red - Anne Bishop

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the earth and whose prey are humans.

 

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.

 

Shape-shifter SImon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg a job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide whether she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

 

I had this book sitting on my shelve forever along with the three next books. I just never got around it. So now that I finally have I think I’m totally hooked on the series, well based on the first book. I loved pretty much everything about it. The fantastic world building, the characters, the writing, the story that is different than what I read before alongh with the plot twists.

While the overall tone is fairly dark, with humans being the prey and could end up as a meal anytime for the Others at any time, we still get plenty of humor and heartbreaking and warming moments. We also get plenty of action and suspense along the way as we get to know the world of the Others. I loved that no matter how far we get they still remain a threat t  humans, no matter how much the deal with them and they. If not maybe a little bit more the more we get into it.

I went blind into the book and I really enjoyed that not knowing much and discovering this world and characters as I went along.

I loved all the characters, the good, the bad and the ugly . I love that it is very clear early on who and or what the villains are.

I really enjoyed Meg, while she is a bit naïve but that is part of the story and she is supposed to be, I love her will. She learns fast and also has a way to sneak into your heart. She is strong and will fight for what she believes in is right no matter the cost to her. I loved learning with her and I also loved how she found a way to work with the others. Overall I can just keep going how much I enjoyed Meg, even with all her flaws if not even more so. I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Sam.I loved Sam but his story also broke my heart a bit. But again I loved learning and coming back from trauma with him. I cant say too much without giving anything away so I just leave it as is and say I love the whole dam storyline, the good and bad.

Simon, ugh … I did really like him but there were a few times that I really didn’t and just couldn’t make up my mind about him. Overall I really enjoyed him and his internal struggle about Meg or really any human but mostly Meg. He is also someone I can’t wait to read more about.

The different clans ,the Crows, Owls, Wolfs, Bears and so on, is also something I enjoyed. They all brought something new and different  to the story and while all are different they all have a common enemy , the humans.  

Tess, was also one of my favorite characters and it was made clear early in that she is something completely different and we learn more and more throughout the book and get some hints on what or who she might be. I just really enjoyed her charterers arc.

While not Other , the elementals were a huge part and I reckon will be a huge part of the story arc . I’m really looking forward t read more and get to know some more of them as we move along in the series.

The Ponies were so much fun, unlike Asia. Ugh I really did not like that weasel and I kept waiting for a special at the butchers to show up.

We of course meet a few humans along the way besides Meg, obviously some good some are not so much. But I enjoyed getting the POV and their thoughts about the Others.

Overall I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this book and if you have not read it yet and like Urban fantasy I highly recommend it.

I rate it 4 ½ -5 ★

 

Image result for werewolf howling gif

 

 

 

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url 2018-02-24 12:50
Book Review: Ten Predictions 2018: Plus the US Midterm Election Forecast by John Hogue

There are more than ten predictions in this book. I noted nineteen specific statements of what will happen in 2018 (and a few years beyond). So think of the Ten as topics of current events or current themes that prophecy speaks to and that contain specific predictions. Even so, as with all of Mr. Hogue’s books, if you’re just looking for a checklist of “what’s going to happen,” you’re missing the meat of the material. Ten Predictions 2018: Plus the US Midterm Election Forecast speaks in a broader perspective to what is likely to happen in the coming year of these tumultuous times...(take link to the full review)

 

 

Source: arbordinparkpress.net/rayviews/book-review-ten-predictions-2018-plus-the-us-midterm-election-forecast
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