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Search tags: guys-with-kids
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review 2017-08-26 18:48
Accepting the Fall
Accepting the Fall - Meg Harding

This is my first book by this author and it's a good one. It's a nice slow burn as Cole and Zander reunite and get to know each other again after their disastrous first attempt at love as teens. Cole's now a teacher and Zander's a firefighter with a daughter in Cole's class. While there's plenty of focus on their past and current relationship, this doesn't ignore the rest of their lives and I liked having that balance here. I might have found it a little hard to believe they'd still be hung up on each other after 17 years apart, but there was enough time given to them getting reacquainted that it didn't bother me too much.

 

I loved Savannah, and Cole's plethora of pets. Savannah was a realistic five-year old - not sweetly perfect but not out of control disruptive either. She had a lot of issues and I like they were taken seriously, and I really liked seeing Zander overcome his own issues to help  her deal with hers.

 

Aside from the inability to capitalize "Marines" ever, and one very wrong wording choice, there weren't too many editing issues, better than most stories out there today. 

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review 2017-01-22 04:07
Semper Fi
Semper Fi - Keira Andrews

4.5 stars for the war flashbacks; 3 stars for the post-war scenes

3.75 stars final rating, rounded up

 

I liked the flashbacks that started out each chapter, going back to boot camp and the various fights and shore leaves they had during the war. We meet some secondary characters that they fought with and get to see how Cal and Jim became inseparable during WWII. The flashbacks steadily grew in tension as the war progressed and they got closer to Okinawa. There was a great sense of place in them, and maybe it's just all the rain we're currently getting here in SoCal, but I felt like I was drenched right along with these guys as they suffered one monsoon season after another. They weren't too graphic, but the second to last one is the most detailed in the war horrors they faced. 

 

It's a good thing those scenes are there, because once we get to the "present" day timeline of 1948, it becomes a pretty commonplace romance. Cal secretly pines for Jim, believing Jim can never feel the same. Jim slowly comes to realize just what all these feelings he has for Cal really means, and he struggles to accept them. But there was just too much pointless sex after awhile. Which is a shame because some of those sex scenes early on were actually pretty hot, but then they just got predictable and boring, at least for me. 

 

This wasn't a gay-okay rewrite of history. They have to discuss how to keep things a secret, as homosexuality was illegal back then, and discuss living arrangements. They go through some struggles that were believable for the times. Though... for guys trying to keep things on the downlow, they choose some questionable places to have sex. Honestly, they act more like hormonal teens than grown men at times.

 

Jim's kids were mostly great. Adam's just a tike and doesn't do much. Sophie's more of a focus and is the main obstacle Cal has to overcome when he first arrives on Jim's orchard. She was written pretty well, but there were a couple of times where I couldn't really believe her dialogue as being that of an eight-year old. The sentiment behind the words was fine, but the way she expressed herself sometimes felt a little too old for her.

 

There's also a little "mystery" about Jim's wife and her death. It was interesting, and not really all that hard to figure out. It's a common enough story for soldiers returning after years away at war.

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review 2016-11-29 00:39
Children of Noah (Mahu #9)
Children of Noah (Mahu Series Book 9) - Neil Plakcy

Oh, but this one was fun. It's the most domestic of the books in this series so far, and it's great to see Kimo taking on the dad role when he was so hesitant about having kids in the previous books. He and Mike are great foster dads to Dakota, and while we didn't get much time with the baby twins, what we did get was fun. And for once, it made sense that these two guys wouldn't really know what to do with babies, not having any previous experience. I really enjoyed getting to see more of their day to day lives than we normally get.

 

The mystery here was as well done as in previous books, though religious fanatics and cults are things I don't care to read about, so I didn't really connect with it. This is Kimo and Ray's first assignment with the joint task force with the FBI, and about the only difference so far is they have a wider jurisdiction and get to assign the grunt work to someone else. :D They still have plenty to do here, and they're not quite as out of the action as Kimo's family had hoped. I really loved how supportive Mike was of Kimo. He can be worried and protective without being possessive and smothering, just as Kimo has to be of Mike's job investigating fires.

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review 2016-07-27 04:02
Life, Some Assembly Required (The Rebuilding Year #2)
Life, Some Assembly Required - Kaje Harper

Pretty much everything I complained about in the first book got addressed here and in a mostly satisfying way. Ryan and John continue to be adults who talk to each other about things - fancy that - and they're honest and understanding and caring. That doesn't mean they don't piss each other off, but it does mean that things don't fester. Even if they don't get solved right away, they're still addressed and put out there, and it's so refreshing to see that.

 

There was some weirdness when Cynthia showed up. She's not quite as horrible here as the first book, but that's not saying much. She's still not the nicest person in the world and she's manipulative as hell. I thought John was way too forgiving to her, even if it was for the sake of the children. Mark, Ryan and John all still have some trauma from the fire that ended the first book, but we don't see much of that trauma on page except some nightmares and some reality perception issues. The trauma for all of them just kind of fades away, so I would have liked to see that handled a little differently. It's just too convenient that they're all able to eventually more or less shrug it off. Torey is more of a focus in this book, and I understood her preteen enthusiasm for wanting to kinda sorta parent trap her parents, and there's room left for her story to continue if there's another book. 

 

One little nitpick: section breaks! Use them please. It's very jarring to go from a sex scene to a classroom scene with no section breaks. This was an issue in the first book as well.

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review 2016-06-01 03:50
Then the Stars Fall (Audiobook)
Then the Stars Fall - Andrew McFerrin,Brandon Witt

Holy misogyny, Catwoman! Can't these manly men feel an emotion without comparing themselves to little girls? Because only girls (and women) have feelings, right, or do silly things like sigh or dream of the future? But not men. They have important things to do. And using derogatory words for female genitalia is just the cat's meow, ain't it? And Jason is the WORST one about it. Sure, he's a good friend to Travis, but that didn't stop me wanting to stomp on his balls. Just, SHUT UP. But they're country hicks, that's how they are, right? Erm... maybe? I don't actually know very many country hicks, and if this is how they all act, then thank Jesus for that. 

There's also quite a bit of homophobia and biphobia, though that at least served a narrative purpose. 

Anyway, now that I've got that out of the way...

I did overall like this. This was my first introduction to Brandon Witt's writing, and while it was a bit shaky here and there (lots of the story is summarized as time is skipped, and there's some repetition that wasn't really necessary) I did generally appreciate the slow pace. This was like taking a drive on a country highway on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You don't really know where you're going, or when you're going to get there, but the scenery sure is pretty. Travis and Wesley were great. The sex is off-page (a plus for me) so the focus was on the relationship: how they met, how they first got together, and how they stayed together. I would've preferred more family time with the kids than the aforementioned summarizing, but what we did get was pretty adorable. The kids are a little too perfect though. I though Caleb in particular would've had more issues than he did. Wendy was great and I liked that we got to see the POVs of some of the side characters and not just the MCs. The climax was a little over the top, maybe, but sadly believable given the character involved. 

Also, it's sad to have to say this, but points for using the b-word. You know the one. *whispers* bisexual. It was refreshing to see a story that acknowledges bisexuality exists, even if Travis isn't comfortable with the label for himself. I'm fine with the fact he chooses not to use it, so long as it's clear this isn't GFY. Still, I think he could've explained it to Caleb better.

The narrator did a great job with the story and all the characters. He has a good range of voices, and he makes them distinct enough to tell them apart, his paused between section breaks, and made it clear when he was reading narrative versus dialogue. There are flashbacks in this story. There's really no good way to read flashbacks for audiobooks, unless you utilize things like an echo machine or some other horrible device. He didn't do that, so the first time a flashback happened, it took awhile to cotton on what was happening. After that, it was easier to figure out when you were in a flashback and when you weren't. The flashbacks aren't very numerous, thankfully. I think I heard one mispronounced word, but it was a very minor thing. 4 stars for the narration.

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