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review 2017-09-01 21:59
It's said that 'we should start as we mean to go on'...
The Heart of the Lost Star - Megan Derr

It's said that 'we should start as we mean to go on'...

 

So that's what I'm going to do. From the first book my reviews have started at the cover and this one is no different. Seriously, these are some of the most beautiful book covers that I've seen in a very long time. While each cover is uniquely beautiful. They are also tied to each other by how their similarities. it's a thing that I tend to notice about book covers and while the book cover isn't a factor when I'm rating a book, when it's as beautiful as these I like to give them the admiration they so richly deserve.

 

'The Heart of the Lost Star' is once again set in the world of Harken and while we've met both Kamir and Jaden briefly in previous books, mainly 'The Pirates of Fathoms Deep'. Those glimpses were brief and gave us very little information about either of this books MCs. Kamir is the youngest and sadly mistreated son of some minor nobles and in this third book we find out the full extend of how hard Kamir's life has been and how strong Kamir truly is. 

 

Kamir has suffered abuse at the hands of his parents...mostly verbal and emotional, it would seem but that can be every bit as damaging, sometimes even more so than physical and this was compounded by marriage to Theoren, an abusive man who had no problem with adding physical abuse to the mix. But Kamir's strong so incredibly strong and he does what he needs to do to protect his children and to get himself and his children away from Theoren. He's worked hard to make a life for them which unfortunately has also put him back under his parents influence. It's while living in the castle that he first notices and finds himself attracted to High Commander Jader.

 

Jader grew up an islander his origins lost to him because of a shipwreck that left him on Pearl Island where he was adopted and grew up with a large and loving family and worked his way through the military to become the High Commander of the army, upon Lesto's departure with his husband, Shemal, in the second book.

 

It's not until Kamir crosses Jader's path in the royal gardens that he truly notices him and their relationship begins only to see duty take Jader away from the capital for weeks. It's while Jader is away that he begins to realize that Kamir has come to mean so much more to him than a dalliance of a night or two. 

 

Megan Derr has once again worked her magic to create the Kingdom of Harken and the people who reside within it's realms creating a story that's intricately woven giving it depth and texture to both capture and hold the reader's attention and once again we are given characters who have depth and personality and are very likable.

 

Fantasy is my catnip but I have to admit I am one picky soul when it comes to fantasy and I have a very small list of books on my go to list when I want to read a fantasy novel and with this book Megan Derr has ensured this series has a permanent place on that list. 

 

'The Heart of the Lost Star' is a book readers biggest quandary...it's that book that you can't put down and yet at the same time you are praying that it will never end...all the while knowing that 'all good things do come to an end'...that is until the next book is released.

 

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An ARC of 'The Heart of the Lost Star' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-16 02:24
Sometimes things just work...
Arrows Through Archer - Nash Summers

I have to admit I'm head over heels in love with this book and honestly I'm not totally sure how to explain why, so I'm probably going to just ramble a little here.

 

Have you ever read a book and loved it just really loved it and had someone ask you why? And then you find that you don't really have a definitive reason. All you can say is 'because I did' that's pretty much what I'm feeling here. I know I've read books that are as good maybe even better but they didn't connect with me the way this one did. They didn't make me feel the way this one did. 

 

Was it well written? Obviously I think it was and truthfully from as objective of a viewpoint as I can give I'm sure it was. Have I read books that were written better? Probably, I've been reading for around 50 years now so I'm sure there's a good chance that I've read books that technically speaking were better written and some of them I'm sure I liked as much or more than this one but I also know that there a fair number that I probably couldn't tell you much more about them, than the author's name and the book title, partly because it's been a long time since I read them but mostly because they didn't make a place in my heart the way this one did.

 

So what else do I know about this for sure, well I know I reallyliked the characters...

 

Archer grabbed my heart and shredded it from the first page and he also made me want to mother him...yep, it's milk and cookies time. He's had some really crappy things happen in his life and he's struggling so hard to deal with it all and I felt that. I mean seriously felt it. It was like a sucker punch to my heart.

 

And Mallory. He's the father of Archer's best friend, Danny. Mallory's fighting his own emotional demons, but when Danny drags Archer home for Thanksgiving, Mallory finds he likes his company and the two men become comfortable with each other almost immediately...no we're not talking insta-love or even lust here and that's probably one of the things that I can clearly say contributed to how much I liked this book.

 

The comfort level between these men, while it was quickly established it wasn't an excessive over the top thing. It was that day to day thing that happens to any of us when we meet a person. I know every time I meet a new person how comfortable I feel with them varies. The first time I met my best friend we started chatting like we'd known each other for years there was no awkwardness, we just started talking. The same with one of my son's friends from the minute he walked into our home he became one of my kids and yet ironically my son's partner and I took time to get to that level of comfort...don't get me wrong I adore that girl and heaven help anyone who hurts her because I am a momma lion and she is as much mine as my son is. Ok, I think I've made my point and hopefully it explains a bit about why I loved this story so much...simply put it was little things like this that added realism to the story for me. 

 

On a more obvious l note and just one more little thing that added to my enjoyment was the setting, most of this story takes place in Banff, Alberta, CANADA and if you know anything about me you know that I am Canadian and Banff is practically in my backyard it's less than a 10 hour drive so of course I've been there...I've been to the Tim Horton's that Mallory and Archer went to for coffee...l know if you've read the book you're probably thinking this girls crazy there is no mention of Tim Horton's but you see there is...Mallory went through a drive-thru window and ordered Timbits and 2 regular coffees and there's only one place in Banff that you can do that.  I know that every book can't be set in Canada and certainly not in places that I'm familiar with but needless to say when they are I also know that I can enjoy the hell out of it and I did.

 

I'm not sure where this author makes her home but if she's not from the Banff, Alberta area. She's either spent some time there or does really good research because her descriptions totally nailed the beauty of the place and I really just want to say thank you for that Ms Summers it was yet another little thing that added to my love of this story.

 

'Arrows Through Archer' is not my first read from this author but it is definitely my favorite and one that I honestly hope to revisit. There was a balance to this one that I often look for in a story...there were bad times...heartache, sadness and loss, but there was also good stuff...love, joy and hope. It balanced and when it's done right like it was here the overall tone of the story creates a warm and harmonious imprint on my heart in a way that while hard to define is still very solid and real.  

 

So that's my ramble. I have some very definite things that I know made this story enjoyable but truthfully those things aren't what I connected so strongly with, they helped but it wasn't what sealed the deal for me. I think it comes down to the fact that sometimes things just work and just like with the people in our lives we love who and what we love and reasons aren't really necessary.

 

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An ARC of 'Arrows Through Archer' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-16 01:22
I loved this book hard core and...
Shelter the Sea - Heidi Cullinan

so did my husband and he didn't even read it...not really. But I was so taken with this story that I did something I don't often do, I rambled perpetually about it to him and because he's patient and loves me, he sat and listened.

 

'Shelter the Sea' is Heidi Cullinan's follow up story to 'Carry the Ocean' and like 'Carry the Ocean' it's a story that is touching and burrows its way into your heart but it's also a story with such an important message...a message that is both current and relevant to our times. It's through Emmet and Jeremy's eyes that we get to see what it means to live in a world that's geared towards people who are on 'the mean' while bypassing the percentage of society out there whose needs are different but whose right to have the same quality of life as those who are on 'the mean' is real and not only to be met but safeguarded from those who would deprive them of what many consider basic human rights. 

 

Emmet, Jeremy and their friends set out to protect the lives they've made for themselves at the Roosevelt, but not just their lives also the lives of their friends and so many other people with special needs. As their home state restructures its health care system into something that will make it even harder for people with special needs to receive the care and assistance that would enable them to have the quality of life that everyone is entitled to and many simply take for granted.

 

'Shelter the Sea' isn't a story that messes with the HEA that Emmet and Jeremy were so firmly headed towards in 'Carry the Ocean'. It's a chance to see Emmet and Jeremy as they grow as a couple fitting their lives firmly into each others. Loving and supporting each other both in their good moments and their bad. Like any other couple keeping their happily ever after is something that they need to work at on a day to day basis and the love and support that these two give to each other is so sweet and a lesson for all of us because anything worth having is worth working for and while it's such a simple concept Emmet and Jeremy get it in a way that truthfully eludes many of us who live on 'the mean'.

 

For me the romance between Emmet and Jeremy is so beautifully portrayed it's sweet and solid and for both of these men it's the foundation from which they draw their strength and support. It's built on friendship, love, faith and respect for and in each other.

 

This is a beautiful love story about two men willing to take on the world to protect all that they have and hold dear not just their relationship but their friends, their rights and the rights of others who they don't even know but, whom they know need someone to be a voice for them in world that often cares too little and sometimes not at all.

 

'Shelter the Sea' is a story that needed to be told and more importantly needs to be read and embraced by all and Heidi Cullinan has shown us with the beauty of her words that she was the person who needed to tell it. Thank you Ms. Cullinan from the bottom of my heart for bringing Emmet, Jeremy and all their friends into our lives.

 

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A copy of 'Shelter the Sea' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-08 18:45
Start with a little murder, add some mayhem & mystery and stir in some heat...
Risky Behavior - Cari Z.,L.A. Witt

it'll all make for some 'Risky Behavior and one hella' good read.

 

Andreas is a cop, a police detective...he just doesn't always play by the rules because sometimes the rules just get in the way of a good man doing his job. Andreas also works alone, he can't afford to trust a partner. Unfortunately we don't always get to decide those things. When Andreas boss decides he needs a partner someone to watch his back. Andreas is determined to see how quick he can get rid of him.

 

Darren's work hard to get his detective's shield and he's determined to do his job and do it well and if that means getting along with a partner who's got a rep and not a good one...well than that was just what would need to happen.

 

The plot for this story had so many smaller pieces scattered throughout but each piece came together to connect the bigger story. I loved reading this and gathering each of those pieces and putting them together to form the larger picture, just like a jigsaw puzzle.

 

While the romance is more of a secondary factor in this story that doesn't mean it's not hot and important...really, really hot and a strong part of the overall story.

 

'Risky Behavior' is a police procedural story with a strong romance unfolding in the background and this story was beyond awesome for me. I love mysteries/procedurals they're like the best kind of candy all tasty and yummy and good to the very last bite add in some well done romance and things become deliciously good...good enough to make me want more.

 

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An ARC of "Risky Behavior" was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-14 01:20
I loved it! I loved it! I loved it!!!
Home Fires - Kate Sherwood

This was it, the final book in Kate Sherwood's series 'Common Law' and it was perfect. Did I finally get my sexy times...yeah, there wasn't a lot of them but what there was I loved. But more importantly than that these guys got their HEA! and so did I.

 

Like the previous books in this series there was action...seriously Wade went to the toy store and came back with 'blow shit-up' toys...how sexy is that. Sorry, I have a weak spot for men who can blow shit up...I'm a 'Die Hard' fan...so sue me ;)

 

Each of these books has contained a different story and I loved that because it kept things from getting too drawn out and reaching that point...you know the one...come on I can't be the only one that sat in theater yelling..."Throw the damned ring Frodo, just throw the ring." So while we had the same MCs in each book we had a whole new series of events and weren't kept waiting for answers, so in fact no cliffhangers. Each book was a self contained story. But this one...this one was definitely my favorite. There was drama and action...and did I mention shit got blown up...mmm...I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

 

Definitely one of my favorite things about this series was the relationship between Wade and Jericho. It was neither easy nor perfect and there were times that things were definitely one step forward and 3 steps back which only seemed right given that these men stand on opposite sides of the law. I loved the banter between Wade and Jericho and needless to say with each subsequent it just got better and better.  I have to admit I'm sorry to see this come to an end. 

 

While the series stands complete as it is the epilogue does leave room for the author to revisit the lives of Wade and Jericho something that I would love to see happen. While I wouldn't list any one book as an all time favorite for this year I can easily see that the series in it's entirety will remain a favorite for me.

 

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An ARC of "Home Fires" was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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