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review 2016-10-31 16:43
Adventures in Audio
Phoenix Rising - Philippa Ballantine,Tee Morris
A Conspiracy of Alchemists - Liesel Schwarz
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter: The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire, Book 1 - Rod Duncan

Mr Ceridwen and I have been listening to audiobooks on our (somewhat long) drive up to the cabin, which has been generally enjoyable. We got through the entire "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" series, which was absolutely a great time. Good narrators, very interesting alt-history, a semi-twist ending I didn't see coming, very astute observations about gender, and on. Well recommended all around. So then we cased around for the next steampunkery to fill the hours. 

 

I downloaded A Conspiracy of Alchemists first, but holy God was the narrator bad. We just couldn't stop laughing at her hiccoughing reading style. Then we moved on to Phoenix Rising, which opens with a relatively fun rescue sequence, and then settles into ... a whole lot of not so very clever bickering. The main characters, named Books & Braun (gag), are a fussy librarian and a stabby brute, but, get this, the DUDE is the fussy pepperpot and the LADY loves explosives. Oh ho, I bet you thought the lady was the librarian, but you would be wrong! See our fascinating gender reversal! 

 

I actually fell asleep while listening. 

 

Which, look, I generally think whether I like this sort of pulp mid-list disposable reading is more dependent on the angle of the sun or the barometric pressure than, say, actual merit. Because this stuff is all more or less the same -- somewhat formulaic, dependent on action, sometimes quippy, little bit of romance for the ladies, etc -- so I wonder sometimes why I bother reading (or writing) reviews. Something called Conspiracy of Alchemists is going to be a three-star outing, shitty narrators notwithstanding, and that I thought Phoenix Rising boring and trite might because I ate something like all the doughnuts when I stopped in Hinckley and hit Toby's bakery. Noms. 

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review 2015-01-01 00:00
Like Coffee and Doughnuts
Like Coffee and Doughnuts - Elle Parker image

Okay I'm hooked. At times throughout this I wasn't all that convinced I liked it, it's a bit cheesy and has the feel of an old fashioned detective novel. Dino is an over the top PI circa the 1950's. I swear to god he actually called Seth 'red' at one stage. No joke. But as I read I got more and more comfortable with his voice and I got really into his and Seth's story and the investigation. It ended up being a really enjoyable, fun and easy read.

It also helped that as the story progressed we got more and more Seth and he was an absolute joy to read. I loved how he and Dino are polar opposites but those differences just add to their friendship and later relationship. It also helped that he was majorly sexy and there were some scenes where I'm pretty sure he made me drool.
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(Picture this guy with red hair and imagine him sprawled out on a garden chair.)

It did feel a bit wordy at times, you basically get the recipe for a Cioppino when Dino decides to make it for Seth but in the end I just enjoyed it and I kind of want to attempt Cioppino now. Do we need to know Dino's routine to the extent of what he thinks of paper work and what he has to do with it and how long it takes? No. But there was something relaxing about reading it. This is perfect holiday reading.

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Well really I love Seth but whatever. Straight on to [b:Like Pizza and Beer|9215946|Like Pizza and Beer (Dino Martini Mysteries, #2)|Elle Parker|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1283486424s/9215946.jpg|14095758] for me. The blurb tells me we get a jealous Seth. So hellz ya!!
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review 2014-08-12 00:00
Like Coffee and Doughnuts
Like Coffee and Doughnuts - Elle Parker Rating: 3.5 stars

Life Coffee and Doughnuts features a 41 year old PI, Dino Martini, and his sidekick/best friend/mechanic Seth. Dino's a classy guy who likes to charm old ladies. Seth likes to have sex with random women (and their boyfriends) in his garage. It's definitely a match made in heaven.

Told completely from Dino's point of view, Like Coffee and Doughnuts is a light-hearted read that's low on the angst. Don't expect a dazzling and thrilling mystery, or anything that pushes your emotional gauge to the limit. What we have here is a nice story with a likeable main character, and even more likeable love interest, and a bunch of charming old ladies.
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review 2014-04-20 00:00
Like Coffee and Doughnuts
Like Coffee and Doughnuts - Elle Parker 3.5, 4 stars. I enjoyed this story. Dino, a private detective type and Seth, a mechanic and usual tag-along of Dino's...they made for an interesting and comfortable friendship.
I will admit that I was much more invested in the development of Dino and Seth's relationship than the cloak and dagger-crime stuff that was happening but I enjoyed the entire story. Will be reading the next one.
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review 2013-09-19 00:00
Like Coffee and Doughnuts (Dino Martini Mysteries, #1) - Elle Parker How much do I love Seth? He's hilarious.

Dino Martini is a PI in Florida. He's old school, a gentleman, who was taught that chivalry is the way to go. He listens to Dean Martin and Peggy Lee, drives Matilda ;), drinks amaretto and whiskey, and carries a gun. His best friend and the guy who has his back is Seth Donnelly, a local mechanic, and always ready for a fight and the next warm body. He's a complete player and will have sex with anyone gender doesn't matter. He'll also eat whatever you put in front of him, so don't reach for the salt ;)

When working as a repo man with Seth they come across a mysterious package. Dino's curiosity gets the best of him and he can't let it go. Little does he know but that package is going to cause problems, lots and lots of problems.

While that is going on he has to come to terms with his feelings for his best friend. Seth makes a move on him and he's not sure how to take it. Oh, I didn't mention that Dino was straight? Yeah, but I like how Seth being a guy wasn't an issue, per se. It went deeper than that.

Will they figure it all out and keep themselves alive?

Oh and I LOVE the "Golden Girls".
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