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review 2018-06-14 21:48
Drifting to You by Kianna Alexander
Drifting to You: Cape Fear Shipworks - Kianna Alexander

A great historical romance novella set in Fayetteville, NC. The heroine (Rosaline) is working as a baker with dreams of owning her own storefront; she has the opportunity to meet wealthy clients and get a fat profit by baking and serving a cake for the Goodman family when they set sail on their new pleasure boat. The hero (Will) is the shipbuilder who has been having his eye on courting Rosaline and thinks the cruise down the Cape Fear River is the perfect time to ask for her consent to his courting. 

 

There is a lot to their individual back stories, namely that both Rosaline and Will were former slaves and they learned their trade prior to being free. I liked both as individuals and as a couple. Will accepted Rosaline's medical condition and didn't make a big deal out of creating a family with her through other means. A sweet but not cloying romance.

 

 

*This story was originally published in The Brightest Day: A Juneteenth Historical Romance anthology*

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review 2018-06-12 21:56
Owl's Slumber (Trials of Fear, #1) by Nicky James 4 Star Review!
Owl's Slumber - Nicky James

Imagine what life would be like if panic ruled your world at the mere thought of going to bed at night.


For as long as he can remember, Finnley Hollins has been crippled by his extreme phobia of sleep. Every night is a battle, and every morning isn’t without consequences. The root cause is something he’s ashamed to admit to anyone. It’s his war, and he will fight it alone. 


When an unexpected turn of events lands the stunningly gorgeous Aven Woods at Finnley’s place of business, his life gets turned upside down. 


All it would take is one night together for his secret to be exposed. Finnley wasn’t prepared to fall in love. More so, he wasn’t prepared for his phobia to completely consume his life. Not only is it affecting his job and his relationship, but now it’s affecting his health. What will it take for Finnley to finally admit he needs help?

 

Review

I like the concept of this series dealing with heroes who struggle with phobia's so severe they limit their lives.

Fin is afraid of sleep and with good reason that is a slow reveal through out the book. Aven falls from Fin and as we watch the relationship build so does the need to for Fin to seek treatment.

I think there could have been much more time on the falling in love part of the book for the relationship part is very good as is the whole cast and backstory for each hero.

A lovely HEA as well.

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review 2018-06-08 19:04
Fear University by Meg Collett, narrated by Lidia Dornet
Fear University - Meg Collett,Lidia Dornet

I’m not fond of the title of this one. It gives the book a generic feeling of YA or NA and does the book a disservice because it’s a gritty, violent and action-packed story that deserves a title such as Aswang: Demon Dogs! That’s catchier, don’t you think? Or maybe Devil Dogs Want to Eat Your Tasty Bits. Yeah, I like that one but maybe that’s why they don’t ask me. Anyway, I grabbed this because the blurb caught my attention and I’m glad I did because it was pretty darn good.

Ollie has never been able to feel physical pain. Because of this, she ended up abandoned by her mother and was tormented by those who should’ve protected her. She’s grown up tough and resilient and has been living on her own since becoming a young adult. One day she is attacked by a dog-like creature and wins the fight as two young men watch. They can’t believe their eyes. Average humans, AKA civvies, aren’t supposed to win fights against the “aswang”, they’re supposed to become their dinner. They kidnap her and bring her back to “Fear University” where only select families are training to fight a secret war against the aswang beasties. She’s soon entrenched in training for the war by a handsome but all business guy named Luke who is reputed to abstain from sexy times because he likes it too rough. She feels no pain. She is intrigued!

So all that’s going on and a whole lot of other stuff that I will not spoil. This book is definitely more urban fantasy than NA angst or romance and I liked that about it. There’s action, the pace is fast, there are many revelations and surprises, the characters are imperfect and their interactions are interesting. But it’s Ollie who makes the book sing for me. She’s carrying the weight of a painful past and she’s sarcastic, cynical and doesn’t take any crap from anyone but she’s also funny and reminded me a bit of Liv from IZombie.

“I didn’t like Luke or his stupid dick.”

She lies too :)

This was a very good urban fantasy but I recommend picking up the next book (and maybe the one after that) in the series if you’re like me and prefer to have all of your questions answered. This book leaves things a-dangling and may leave you pulling out your hair if you don’t have book two all lined up and ready to go. My library does NOT so arrrrgggh!



The narrator is most excellent. She sounds youthful and tough and exudes emotion exactly where needed.

I received a copy of this audio from Tantor Media. Thanks, Tantor!

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text 2018-06-08 12:03
Friday Reads - June 8, 2018
Drifting to You: Cape Fear Shipworks - Kianna Alexander
A Radiant Soul: A Sweet Way to His Heart Novella - Kianna Alexander
The Valcourt Heiress - Catherine Coulter

Tomorrow is the kick-off of COYER Big Summer Birthday Bash. To start, I am reading two books off my COYER reading list, Drifting to You and A Radiant Soul by Kianna Alexander. These were historical romance novellas from two different indie published anthologies that are now sold separately, at least in the Kindle store. 

 

I already have two books done for Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo this week: Winds of Salem for "time travel" square and When Summer Comes for "heroine is older than the hero" square. Right now I am working on a third, the one for the "Pre-Renaissance" square (The Valcourt Heiress by Catherine Coulter, set in medieval England).

 

I gave up on that WWI book because I couldn't get through the first chapter. I am taking the summer off from the reading list and will get back to it in September.

 

Started the grad school application process this week. Hopefully by September I will be back in school along with my kids.

 

 

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review 2018-05-17 22:43
Where Angels Fear to Tread
Where Angels Fear To Tread - E.M. Forster

For the dead, who seem to take away so much, really take with them nothing that is ours. The passion they have aroused lives after them, easy to transmute or to transfer, but well-nigh impossible to destroy.

I love Forster's writing. So, much so that to celebrate it I got myself a whole new set of lovely, matching editions of his novels recently.

 

Where Angels Fear to Tread was his first novel (published in 1905), and re-reading it this time I can see how this is very much a first novel, and why it has never impressed me on previous reads. You see, I came to Forster by way of Howards End, his fourth novel (published in 1910), and that reading experience set the bar vary, VERY high for any other book that was to follow, especially any other book by Forster.

 

This time, I read the book from a much altered perspective on life, but I still found the plot rather stilted and the characters simply unbearable - apart from Miss Abbott. Forster's message - which is quite daring for its time! - gets a little lost in the characters' bickering. Sure, there are some signs of great character study and an underlying satire of English and Italian society, but the characters are also really annoying. A satire is something I want to enjoy reading, the people in this story I just wanted to shove off the train. 

 

There was one scene, however that I absolutely adore:

“You are wonderful!” he said gravely.

“Oh, you appreciate me!” she burst out again. “I wish you didn’t. You appreciate us all—see good in all of us. And all the time you are dead—dead—dead. Look, why aren’t you angry?” She came up to him, and then her mood suddenly changed, and she took hold of both his hands. “You are so splendid, Mr Herriton, that I can’t bear to see you wasted. I can’t bear—she has not been good to you—your mother.”

“Miss Abbott, don’t worry over me. Some people are born not to do things. I’m one of them; I never did anything at school or at the Bar. I came out to stop Lilia’s marriage, and it was too late. I came out intending to get the baby, and I shall return an ‘honourable failure’. I never expect anything to happen now, and so I am never disappointed. You would be surprised to know what my great events are. Going to the theatre yesterday, talking to you now—I don’t suppose I shall ever meet anything greater. I seem fated to pass through the world without colliding with it or moving it—and I’m sure I can’t tell you whether the fate’s good or evil. I don’t die—I don’t fall in love. And if other people die or fall in love they always do it when I’m not there. You are quite right: life to me is just a spectacle, which—thank God, and thank Italy, and thank you—is now more beautiful and heartening than it has ever been before.”

She said solemnly, “I wish something would happen to you, my dear friend; I wish something would happen to you.”

“But why?” he asked, smiling. “Prove to me why I don’t do as I am.”

She also smiled, very gravely. She could not prove it. No argument existed. Their discourse, splendid as it had been, resulted in nothing, and their respective opinions and policies were exactly the same when they left the church as when they had entered it.

There is an understatement in that scene that makes it lovely, sad, and very critical at the same time. And the fact that it is Miss Abbott, the woman who is expected to fall in line with expectations of her more qualified peers, who is - without having to shout it from the rooftops - the wiser and more worldly of the characters, just puts Forster way ahead of his time. Those aspects I really love about the book, but they just do not come to the fore in Where Angels Fear to Tread

 

Instead, we get to meet a lot of fools.

For the barrier of language is sometimes a blessed barrier, which only lets pass what is good. Or—to put the thing less cynically—we may be better in new clean words, which have never been tainted by our pettiness or vice.

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