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review 2013-11-24 10:40
Book Review - Unacceptable Risk, by Jeanette Grey
Unacceptable Risk - Jeanette Grey

I loved this dark story, with its gritty world and hardcore woman MC. It took only a few pages for me to completely give in to whatever the author handed me—the voice rang so true, so fast, I bought all the tech and all the world-building at face value, as is, at once. That is quite a feat. 

To FINALLY read of a strong woman lead character is for me truly a form of catharsis, to say the least. I love how she had a job to do, but was still woman all the way, without ever falling into the black hole of bitch/silly babe. She was real, a woman you can meet anywhere. A woman who, through circumstances of life, is having to act tougher and harder than most of us ever have to. 

And a woman who gets the job done.

Then this author goes on to add a brilliant, brilliant male character, both the techie and the love interest, as it were. And Edison? I think I love him. Seriously. Love him. Someone who stands behind a woman on a mission, hands her all she needs to get back on her crusade, silently prays for her safe return, but NEVER stands in her way or diminishes what she needs to do. As I said in my updates, I find Edison to be the complete and total antidote to all the bullying-asshole-male-stalker-leads that are currently running around scaring chicks in the romance genre. (Scaring chicks I say, but they are really falling like headless hens, go figure). 

Edison, you are a sight for sore eyes, a haven for thirsty and strong women. I salute you. And hope to see more of your brethren in the future.

I shall follow this author. Ms Grey has an interesting way with words and she paints a dark and convincing picture. One that is also filled with love. 

As I said, quite a feat.
The only thing that bugs me is when a book ends at 89 %, and then the publisher fills the remaining pages with promos for other books from other authors. I thought there was more left of the story, and was really sad when it ended so abruptly.

This book is for men and women alike— and HOW many books can you say that about?

Kudos Ms Grey. This was awesome. 


***
I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, and I paid for it with my own money.

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/201437/post
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review 2013-09-10 00:00
Book Review - The Apothecary's Garden, by Julie Bozza
The Apothecary's Garden - Julie Bozza

What can I say? This book is still with me, the writing just went right into my soul, slow and steady, just burrowed in to stay.

I can perhaps say as Hilary himself was thinking:

 

"He was breaking the habits of a lifetime. It was enough to make a man giddy with delight."

 

Yes, giddy with delight. How very appropriate. Absolutely. Exactly. Me, too, Hilary! Me, too!

 

This book is made of soft-spoken awesome. Yes, it is a relationship that you do not encounter everyday. And No, it didn't turn me off. And Yes, I adored it.

 

It was simply a story of love. And love is love. That is all. Tom says it best:"You've got a heart that loves ... and bits that give you pleasure ... and dignity to be respected."

 

Oh, Tom, you rascal, you made me cry and snotsob, and then you made it all better, and then I was afraid again. And Hilary was just the same, making me cry like a baby and smile like a loon. For once, here is a man who turns down a handjob. And. It. Makes. Sense. Here. First time ever. See, this is where following your character takes you—when you're truly following the personality of a specific character, it takes you to certain places. And things happen in specific ways, BECAUSE of that character.

 

I love an author who knows to follow that voice, the one that tells you who this character is, on a fundamental level. Beautiful.

 

And Hilary, this sweet, but slightly cautious man, has truly entered my heart. He is here to stay. As is his garden, a garden that I can see in front of me as I write these words now. I can both see it as it must have appeared the first time he set eyes on it, all jungle-like and impenetrable. But I can also see it with my mind's eyes now, after Tom has lived, and moved things around, and taken care of it for years. Oh, but it is truly beautiful.

 

Love, dear people, is love. And when it comes your way, you better be ready to grab it with both hands. And once you have grabbed it, hold on to it, because you never know for how long you will have it.

 

And read this book. Do away with your feelings of "Eew, he's older!" Just think about the love that one can find. And embrace it. Run with it. Hilary. This lovely man of very few, soft-spoken words and endless pots of tea and encouragement.

 

What a man. What a beautiful man!

 

Thank you, Ms Bozza, for writing this story. You made it shine. So, so beautiful.

 

***

 

I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money.

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/188137/review-of-the-apothecary-s-garden-by-julie-bozza
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review 2013-02-18 00:00
Book Review - Something Like Winter, by Jay Bell
Something Like Winter - Jay Bell

I have been sitting on this for a while now. 
First, it took quite some time to get into the action seeing it all from Tim's side. I have problems with people who are untruthful, and Tim? He doesn't even tell the truth to himself. 
Second, I was still angry with Tim from the last book, Something Like Summer, and I had to come to terms with that. 
Third, it is a very hard book to sum up. At least, if you want to make a good job of it. And I do.
So here's me trying my best.

I loved it. Bet you didn't expect that, seeing the intro up there, huh? But I did love it, and I loved Tim, this broken, unhappy, sad and lonely character, who finally finds a voice to transmit what and who he is to me. A beautifully lost young man, who ends up finding himself. 

Fantastic. Mr Bell, I hand it to you. A platter full of the most delicious kudos. I did not think you would be able to make me like Tim ever. But you were. You did it. I do. And I loved the epilogue that took us a bit further into the future.

I'm not big on spoilers, so I'm not going into the intricate dealings in this story. Suffice it to say that I adored many things in this book, but especially Tim's Mexican Nana, and her new priest. This is Tim's interaction with her on that, and it went straight to my heart:

"The priest, he is younger than me, but he says that love isn't a sin. You love a woman, you love a man, you love a tomato. God is happy, because he created love."
Tim stared at her. "Do you agree?"
Nana shook her head. "No one should love a tomato. But the rest, yes."


Gotta love that Nana. And her priest. 

There are several more stories woven into this one, and Mr Bell intelligently gives us suffering and death, addiction and mental illnesses, without ever lecturing us on any of it. It just IS. 
And while this is an M/M romance book, there is very little sexual action, (which I realize might be off-putting for some people), but holy hell! if it doesn't make it all the more fantastic. Some stories just don't need the sexing. This is one of them. 

It broke my heart in all the right places. "...because of course it was summer. Whenever Tim pictured Ben, it was always summer." 

Language-wise it would have benefited from one last editing run-through. I found both silly errors and the omnipresent confusion between the verbs lie and lay. I am fighting a losing battle, I believe. 

***
I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money, as I do for all the books I read, all the music I listen to and the movies I watch.

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/188343/something-like-winter
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review 2012-12-25 00:00
ARC Book Review - Aiden's Luck (Seattle Stories), by Con Riley
Aiden's Luck (Seattle Stories) - Con Riley

Why am I not surprised? This story took off, just like the others in the series, and I flew with it.

 

I love the hardship and the problem-solving that happens, I adore Marco and his obnoxious, in-your-face-loving-ways, and I love that Aiden manages to finally take a step outside himself, and let the rest of the family help HIM, for once.

 

I adored Marco walking around in Ben's footsteps, trying to get a glimpse of all the things Ben had experienced in Seattle. It actually brought me to big snotty tears, when Marco was describing how he’d been walking, feeling like Ben was still there with him, and saying hello to all Ben’s friends.

 

And I loved walking around the Quadrilatero in Milan with Aiden, peeking inside one of the fancy mansions that sit quietly behind heavy, wooden doors. I was transported.

 

Happy sentences? Well, of course!

 

“I think we could be magnificent together. Perfetti…”

 

I love the fast-forwards, and flash-backs of this storytelling. The glimpses into the past arrive exactly at the time when you need them, and the fast-forward happens just to make sure you can't put the book down. It's uncanny how Riley works this tool. Thank you for letting me into your world. I kind of adore it.

 

And I wish I had Marco’s Mamma for a Mother-in-Law. Just sayin’.

 

***

 

I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone. I did, however, receive it as a present, so for once I did not pay with my own money. But to be honest, after reading this story, I went to Dreamspinner Press and bought a personal copy of it, so that I can give it away as a present, too. It’s simply too good not to share.

 

ETA: 18 August 2013—Just read this whole series again, and the emotions are even greater when you get them one after the other, without having to wait.

 

This confirms my theory of me liking finished works. 

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/201646/arc-review-aiden-s-luck-seattle-stories-by-con-riley
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review 2012-11-12 00:00
Book Review - Easy, By Tammara Webber
Easy - Tammara Webber

Holy smokes, but this was good.

 

 

Believable characters, good banter, intelligent language.

I enjoyed this very much, especially the take on violence, and what you do when you're close to violence happening. I also loved the empowerment of women, the celebration of a woman who finds the strength to fight back and kick-ass.

 

Lucas's: "You are amazing," had me grinning so hard my face hurt.

 

Yeah, another book that gets five stars from me. It seems that this is all I can do, lately. Lucky me, I seem to be finding all the gems.

 

What? You haven't read this yet? Go. Now. Just do it. *nods*

 

***

 

I was NOT asked to read this book by anyone, I paid for it with my own money.

Source: AnnaLund2011.booklikes.com/post/159268/easy
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