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review 2017-02-16 16:34
Book review – Sight Unseen, by Susan Mac Nicol
Sight Unseen - Susan Mac Nicol

Loved, just loved this.

Loved the language, loved the story, and loved the way life goes on, only differently.

 

So happy to see that there were no quick fixes, and no miraculous come backs, only a hard-earned struggle to make life work again.

 

Kudos, author, you did a great job.

We need more books like this one.

Simply loved it.

 

*** Bought this book with my own monies ***

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1530752/book-review-sight-unseen-by-susan-mac-nicol
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review 2016-11-25 19:37
ARC Review — Heartifact, by Aisling Mancy
Heartifact - Aisling Mancy

Harper is a marine archeologist, and he has a job with an oil company, mapping out new drill sites on the Great Barrier Reef. His boss doesn’t want to hear about how what they’re doing there is killing the reef.

 

At night, Harper is visited by a gorgeous man in his dreams—a stunning soul that leaves him breathless. (And me, I’d like to add).

 

Harper needs a break. He gets one, when one day, his old friend Stick calls him: Stick is a woman I loved from the second she walked onto the page. There is an underwater archeological dig, in the Mediterranean, by a Greek island. And there are intelligent and knowledgeable people running the dig. Smart and fun. Such a treat. Off they go!

 

The story takes a fantastic turn when Harper starts diving. This is a thriller. With twists. And it’s hot. Very hot.

 

I fell into this story, as always with this author, and came out on the other side in an amazed daze. I love how there are a gazillion things happening at the same time, there is action and stuff going on at several levels, and then BAM! It’s over, and I’m still reeling.

 

I don’t know how Mancy crams so much into so few pages; this is a short story of some 150 pages, but holy moly, he packs them full!

 

There are plenty of technical details about the underwater world and work, details that convince you of the well-documented research that has gone on behind the scenes to write this story. I am forever impressed with the erudition of this author, his stories span such diverse topics.

 

The point of a short story is to be precise, concise, and pack a punch at the end.

 

Well, then. Check, check, and check.

 

To add to the marvel, I am in love with the cover. Such a radiant underwater feeling of magic and slanting sunshine. I just love it so much.

 

Extra bonus: Proceeds from this book go to supporting three different causes:  Le Refuge in France, Arcigay in Italy, and The Trevor Project in USA.

 

So, even though I was given an ARC for review purposes, I went and bought my own copies. Yes, plural, because this short story was also released in French—and the translation by Bénédicte Girault is absolutely stunning. Every nuance, every feeling, masterfully rendered in French colors. I hear the Italian version will be coming soon, so I’ll wait for that one, too.

 

Well worth my time to read this, and then read it again.

 

Try it.

 

Because you’ll also help some very good organizations.

 

 

***

 

I was given a free review copy of this e-book from the author, but then I went to buy my own eBook copies to support the good causes.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1499993/arc-review-heartifact
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review 2016-10-28 09:39
ARC Review – Must Like Spinach, by Con Riley
Must Like Spinach - Con Riley

Fast track. Slick business boys, cutting costs for huge corporations, walking over dead bodies.

All things I positively hate.

 

And here goes Con Riley and makes me love this boy, Jonathan. How he finds peace in a garden in Seattle. How he connects with an elderly lady (how unusual to find real characters in an m/m story), and how he connects with the young man across the yard, despite at first judging him harshly.

 

Not everything is as it seems, and a garden in which to grow spinach is just one of the many layers of story within this story.

 

When your career makes you have to choose between being a good man and continuing in your job, you need to sit down and have yourself a good long think. And somehow this is not about Jon, no, it’s about the corporation he’s currently evaluating.

 

As usual with Con Riley, this is not a steamy story. It is slow burn. I love this. This is introspective, delving deep into what makes a man a man, and why we sometimes lose sight of who we are.

 

Isn’t it just great that sometimes a good story can set us straight again?

 

This is one of those stories.

 

I absolutely loved it, and hope you will all read it, too. Slow and easy.

 

5 stars

 

***

 

I was given a review copy of this book, and a positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1489301/arc-review-must-like-spinach-by-con-riley
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review 2016-04-10 20:00
ARC Review – Thárros, by C. Kennedy
Thárros - C. Kennedy

We must start with courage.

And Thárros is courage.

 

Only in truly great fear, (or pain, or grief), do we need to muster truly great courage—but we do muster this courage, because without it there is no hope.

 

And without hope, we are all lost.

 

This story digs deep within, and it blasts open the dams, releasing a deluge of sorrow and pain, but also rivers of courage, hope and love. And as much as it has a sad base-line, it is also an uplifting story; it is beautiful, and amazing, and action-filled, and absolutely thrilling.

 

It runs away with you, it breaks your heart, and then it puts it back together again.

 

But it also delivers the extra bonus: It is so much fun! Meeting Christy and Michael again with all their crazy and exciting friends at school, and Lisa and her Uncle Smitty, it makes you giggle, and laugh, and smile, and feel good. I adore these fantastic families that know how to do things right.

Mothers and fathers who care. Teachers and a school principal who take their responsibilities seriously.

This is a little bit like a Technical Manual of Care and Maintenance for those who work with our collective youth, especially if they work with children or young adults who have had a hard time.

 

The series is, of course, centered around Christy, and I find that he is a hero of enormous value and valor. What he has overcome would make most of us just want to roll over and give up. What he does with his knowledge, once he’s gotten his own power back again, is what makes him different from the rest of us. Because he uses every inch of what he’s been through to help others, especially a kid called Thimi who enters the storyline at the end of this book, a little bit on the side. Beautiful new character. Cannot wait to get to know him a little bit more.

 

Thárros explores how we confront fear and pain, and it shows us how to find our strength, our courage. It also shows us that we can, and should, lean on our friends, trust that they will love us and help us when we need it. And it shows us how even the strongest of us sometimes give up, and need help to come back.

 

It is a story of great struggles, of great friendships, and of great pain, all turned into a wondrous blend of both strength and love.

 

The end result? The telling of a great, great love story—with true friendship shining through, the kind of love that inspires both happy endings and hope.

 

Now, we must lean back in our armchairs, and wait for the last book in this series, Elpida.

 

Because Elpida means hope.

 

And, as we said in the beginning, without hope, we are all lost.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1376587/arc-review-tharros-by-c-kennedy
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review 2016-03-30 17:59
ARC Review — As Autumn Leaves, by Kate Sands
As Autumn Leaves - Kate Sands

What a delightful short novel this is. I love the strong main character, Kayla, and I enjoyed walking by her side as she started to come to terms with who she was.

 

We need more books for young adults that cover the whole spectrum of diversity, and this one is great at talking about the age-old teenage problems of Where do I fit in? and, Who am I?

 

Few things in life are more confusing than being a teenager. Not feeling “normal” is normal. But getting someone to help you see your true potential and who you are? And making sure you get what you want?

 

Priceless.

 

Easy to say, I loved this. It is clean, clear, and beautiful—and it brings hope. I want this in the hands of as many young adults as possible, so that they can see that they are okay, as they are, and that they can have any kind of relationship that makes them happy.

 

I loved it. Because it’s great also for grown-ups.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this book from the publisher, Harmony Ink Press. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1366613/arc-review-as-autumn-leaves-by-kate-sands
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