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review 2017-05-14 01:25
Infected: Bloodlines (Infected #2)
Infected: Bloodlines - Andrea Speed

If you read the first book, none of this should be a spoiler, but if you haven't, then proceed with caution.

 

Let me get my one gripe out of the way first. Paris is pretty. Like, really super duper fantabuloso everyone-with-eyes-wants-to-bang-him sexy hot. I know this because the author reminds the reader of this repeatedly. If I cut and paste all those passages together, it would probably take up five pages minimum. I vaguely remember being annoyed by this in the first book, but in this book, we're told that Paris's tiger virus has reached critical, that he's lost 50 pounds and is only 150-something, pale, always cold - he's sick, chronically so. So I don't need to hear about how super duper mega hot sex-on-legs he is every other page. One, I actually remember that from the previous book. Two, he's SICK! And at over six feet and only 150 pounds, he's not broad-chested. He's a toothpick. I just found the constant fascination with his sex appeal to be really shallow and misplaced in this book, and I could've done without it. Especially since the author could've gotten the same point across by showing and not telling...and telling...and telling...and telling...

 

Moving on to the actual story:

 

On the mystery front, I give this one three stars. The mystery wasn't really that involved here, and the revelation of the whodunit comes almost by accident. Almost. And since Roan's in an emotionally unstable place, that outcome isn't what you'd expect it to be - and that's all I'm saying about that. 

 

On the personal story front, I give this five stars. Read this with a box of tissues close at hand, because you're going to need it! In only two books, or two and a half if you read the novella "Infected: Paris" before this one, Ms. Speed created a beautiful couple in Roan and Paris. They're flawed, they're sometimes stupid, they're occasionally too sweet to bare, and they're real. And in this book, they're raw. They both know what's coming, and while Paris is preparing for the inevitable, Roan's living as close to denial as he can get for as long as he can, because to face reality would be the end for him as well. The supporting cast is all back. Dee is a saint of an ex-boyfriend, and Kevin's still a mess. Matt's much more prominent here. We don't see as much of the coppers, but when we do we get to see their concern and support. 

 

There are a couple of things that are brought up and then dropped, and some things are mentioned that happened between books that I would've liked to see on page. The editing is better than the first book but could still use work on making the "he's" and "his" more clear on who is being talked about. Still, the editing here is better than many. 

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review 2017-04-05 03:12
Play Dead
Play Dead - Avery Cockburn

This is the ending I wanted for Playing To Win. Playing To Win set up this great and fantastic dynamic between Colin, a poor uni student and football player who grew up on government benefits, and Lord Andrew, who is obviously very much the opposite of that. I've always loved their dynamic, because while there was no pretending that Andrew holds more power socially, politically and financially than Colin ever will, Andrew willfully gives up power in the bedroom - and Colin is more than able to take control. Seeing Andrew slowly have his eyes peeled open about social injustices and seeing how they both have their insecurities based around their family dynamics made Playing To Win a real treat. And then it ended rather abruptly, with all the plot threads summarized and wrapped up in a pretty bow without showing us how any of that happened. I was bummed!

 

So getting this novella, which deals with the aftermath of Colin's and Andrew's assault, finally filled in some of those things that were skipped. Andrew's struggles with his PTSD felt real and not melodramatic, which for this drama queen is saying a lot. Colin's struggles to get back into physical shape to start playing football again were also given their due attention. I still would've liked more with Andrew's family but what we do see is well written. 

 

As some of you may know by now, I don't read BDSM, so I skipped the one scene that included it. I did skim the beginning and end of the scene, enough to get the gist of what happened, and the following chapter filled in all relevant information. I didn't feel like I missed anything important, and getting to see Colin take such great care of Andrew following that scene

which ended because Andrew started having a panic attack during it

(spoiler show)

just made me appreciate their relationship more. These two are so adorable and perfect together, I could squish them! So if you're hesitant to read this because of the BDSM, rest assured it can be skipped. 

 

Oh, and as for Evan? I need his story NOW! He just got a billion times more interesting.

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review 2017-04-02 19:27
Life Is Awesome
Life is Awesome - Jordan Castillo Price

This book made me so angry! I wanted to punch a certain someone in the face and now I want - no - NEED - a Mnevermind/Leverage crossover to make things right. 

 

Let's go steal us a mnem!

 

 

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, I loved this! It's not quite as good as Forget Me Not, but what can really compare to Elijah's POV? I liked the way the story progressed here. Some things were left (understandably) unresolved, because not everything in life does get resolved. I was bummed though that

Daniel never told Elijah "I love you". He kept thinking it while they were in mnem. He should've said it! The ending would've been the perfect time to say it. 

I was also waiting for Daniel to take Larry's comment about mneming at home to come up with a mobile mneming business, but that never came up again either.

(spoiler show)

If this means there's a potential for a fourth book somewhere down the line though, I'd be down with that. :D *hint*hint*nudge*nudge*

 

It was so gutting to see Daniel go from disillusioned to hopeful, to see Elijah and Big Dan come up with ways to take some of the pressure off Daniel for his dad's persistent mnem, and to see Larry again who is always a hoot and a half, and to see Daniel actually be able to relax for once - only to see it all blow up 

because of Delmonico's backhanded tactics to steal Life Is Awesome and drive Daniel out of business. And Chuck has the nerve to ask Daniel for a job reference! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Hadouken to your faces!

(spoiler show)

Once again, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

 

But Daniel takes his lumps and keeps on trucking. He may be more pessimistic than his father, but he got his resilience from his dad, and Elijah's teaching him how to hope again. He has to go through the worst to see what's best. Or as a hobbit near and dear to my heart once realized, "the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach." [Excerpt from Return of the King, by J.R.R Tolkien, "The Land of Shadow"] And a life well-lived is the best revenge, and all that.

 

Though I personally think revenge, in this case, is a dish best served cold. Eliot? What do you think?

 

 

Now THAT would be awesome. ;)

 

My only wish is for more Daniel/Elijah relationship development. There is some, and what we get is great, but it felt shunted to the side what with everything else going on. This could've been a little longer to give us more cuddle time with these two, and then this would've been perfect.

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review 2017-04-01 00:27
Forget Me Not
Forget Me Not - Jordan Castillo Price

OMG THIS BOOK IS AMAZING AND I LOVE EVERYTHING IT CHOOSES TO BE!

 

I loved so much that we got a book from Elijah's POV. Now, I'll say upfront I'm not autistic, so I can't say if this is an accurate portrayal of what it's like to be autistic. JCP says in the afterword that she did contact people who have autism and did her research before writing this, and from everything else I've read by her, she takes her craft seriously. So I trust her to make this as close to possible as an accurate portrayal as she can get - bearing in mind that autism is different for everyone who has it. But I'll leave it up to readers who are autistic to make that determination.

 

What I did appreciate about this was that it gave Elijah a voice. It let us into his thought processes and his emotional processes, both of which were often hard to discern in the first book through Daniel's POV. We see how he processes information and how he filters everything that comes his way throughout the day. We also get to learn more about his background and his problems at work. He's a fully developed character, not a list of behavioral traits.

 

It was also fascinating to watch him and Daniel figure out how to communicate with each other, and to see Elijah so excited to figure out he's gay and not being worried or afraid to pursue that part of himself. Not that it's all easy. He does have challenges from outside to deal with, and those parts were rather tense reading about.

 

This book was a treat and I'm already plowing through the last book in the trilogy. 

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review 2017-03-07 02:33
PsyCop Briefs - Audiobook
PsyCop Briefs: Volume 1 - Jordan Castillo Price,Gomez Pugh

This is a fun collection of short stories and novellas, ranging from before Among the Living to after Spook Squad. Most are older ones that I've read before, but there are a few new ones, including one from Lisa's POV. 

 

Gomez Pugh is perfect as Victor Bayne, and I can't imagine anyone else doing his voice. While he's improved on Jacob's voice, I'm still not 100% happy with it and probably never will be. I can usually go along with it without much issue, but the short story from Jacob's POV where Pugh is doing Jacob's voice through the whole thing was a tad painful to listen to.

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