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Search tags: happens-all-the-time
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review 2019-02-15 02:38
Saved by Time, Jennae Vale

Although I'm not a big fan of time travel, I did enjoy this romance. I received this for free and voluntarily chose to review it. In a community in Scotland, several women chose to travel through time to find husbands. This was interesting in several ways and explained many things but not all of the things they dealt with. If you enjoy time travel type reading, you may enjoy this. I have given this a 4.5* rating.

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review 2019-02-11 16:57
Rambling Thoughts: Part Time Cowboy
Part Time Cowboy - Maisey Yates

Part Time Cowboy

by Maisey Yates
Book 1 of Copper Ridge

 

 

A one-time bad girl comes home to small-town Oregon in the first in a sexy, heartfelt new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates…

Sadie Miller isn't expecting any welcome-home parades on her return to Copper Ridge.  Least of all from part-time rancher, full-time lawman Eli Garrett.  The straight-laced, impossibly hot deputy sheriff glares at her like she's the same teenage hoodlum who fled town ten years ago.  But running from her demons has brought Sadie full circle, ready to make a commitment at last.  Not to a man, but to a B and B.  On Garrett land.  Okay, so her plan has a tiny flaw…

Eli works too hard to let a blonde ball of trouble mess up his town.  But keeping an eye on Sadie makes it tough to keep his hands off her.  And if she's so wrong for him, why does being with her feel so right?



Bear with me here, because this rambling is going to get very bipolar.  And before we start thinking that I completely despised this book after the next three paragraphs, the truth is, the book somehow managed to win me over.

I considered dropping this book after Eli was introduced.  Eli was introduced in the first chapter.  And I already didn't like him.

There's broody, and then there's douche-nozzle, and in my honest opinion at that time, Eli landed very clearly in the latter.  He wasn't just broody, and even calling him "straight-laced" or "no-nonsense" was probably way too nice (and misleading) a descriptor.  Eli was just a jack ass--an arrogant, judgmental jackass... who also plays at double standards.

Meanwhile, Sadie isn't the best heroine in the world either.  She had a penchant for being reckless and seemed to have trouble respecting boundaries.  However, Eli's reactions to her actions were overly intense and extreme.  If he didn't like what she was doing, he could have just said so without resorting to insulting her person, or referring back to her wild child days.  But the moment that Sadie set foot back in Copper Ridge, Eli was already bound and determined to judge her by the one incident of her trouble youthful shenanigans, immediately seeing the worst in all of her actions, certain that she was in town to cause trouble and, gasp, gasp, cost him his run for town sheriff!

But here's the kicker... Eli admits that he only wants to be town sheriff to satisfy his need to be a control freak and run things his way.  He's not in it for the people; he doesn't even seem to like the people, despite what he claims.  He wants everyone to stay off of his property and leave him alone and stop talking to him about community events...  Or so it seemed.

My first thoughts after reading about a third of the book was that this book had a lot of potential for a cute, contemporary romance.  It had the all-too-familiar and pretty well liked "Bickering Couples" trope--this is something that sometimes draws my attention.  You've got a straight-laced cowboy slash small town sheriff, versus a free-spirited, devil-may-care wanderer...  (Sawyer and Chloe?  Though not an exact replica, I'll give you.)  And that cover is super, super cute, and just oozes "Cute Contemporary Romance" to the max!

But the bickering between Sadie and Eli got pretty old, pretty fast, and started turning into a verbal display of juvenile hair-pulling between the two.  Their arguments were eye-roll inducing, and a lot of times I felt like the two were arguing like teenagers just for the sake of arguing like teenagers.  There was childish taunting, with the occasional extension of an olive branch by one side, only to be shot down when the other party just decides to be insulting about it.  And usually it was Eli being insulting in his judgmental, holier-than-thou way.

By this time, still only about a third of the way into the book, I was dead set on being annoyed with both story and characters.  I'd thought to drop it and the series, but I kept on with it if only because I wanted to see how this relationship imploded in on itself.  Whether or not Eli stopped being so arrogant and judgmental.  Whether Sadie stopped being so childish.  And also, I did find myself liking Connor and Kate, the other two Garrett siblings, in spite of their brother's character flaws.  Connor at least displayed a sense of humor, and Kate is just a nice, normal young woman who knows how to interact with people without being a jerk.

Incredible thing of all things...  This book somehow managed to win me over and I'm not even sure when or how it happened.  Like I said, I was set on being annoyed with it and was sitting firmly in a 2-Star rating.  The next thing I know, I'm plowing through the rest of the book, unable to put it down.

The "Bickering Couple" morphed into a more agreeable "Friends With Benefits."  And while their bickering still felt kind of juvenile, the banter was MUCH more akin to fun and flirty rather than childish taunting and pulling of hair.  You start learning more about both Sadie and Eli, and it was as if each of their characters made massive personality developments you didn't really see coming.  And yet, at the same time, that transition wasn't all that jarring.

You learn that Eli is quite aware of how controlling and judgmental he is, and that he has his reasons.  I'm not saying that his reasons give him a right to be insulting to random people, but it's more understandable from his perspective, why he's so uptight.  But because he's also a caring and good man, I'm guessing it was just easier to accept that his arrogant front was more of an exterior defense mechanism--a public persona as a part of his campaign running for town sheriff.  And what made it so much easier to start liking him was that he starts to curb his judgmental, holier-than-thou attitudes, and lessen his controlling tendencies.

And he admits that he was wrong for insulting Sadie's lifestyle without understanding the history behind her need to wander.

Meanwhile, Sadie also drops her childish taunting; though if I were to nitpick, her development was less prominent than Eli's, probably because I didn't really have much a problem with Sadie in the first place.

In the end, this couple just kind of worked.  They clicked and that chemistry just started sparking.

The romantic development was MUCH more credible as the two started getting to know each other.

I would have liked for some of the more serious issues to be addressed a bit more properly.  Both Sadie and Eli come from rather broken families, and their histories shape the type of person they started off the book as, as well as continues to influence their actions throughout the story.  I'm not sure if they were truly handled all that well, or if we just pulled a "Jill Shalvis" and cloaked the resolution under a "love cures all" machination.  The truth is, I got so caught up in those last few chapters and the resolution of the romance that I didn't really notice... aside from the whole Alison episode with her abusive husband and how that incident seemed to resolve itself way too easily for my liking.

But the kicker is that these issues are also left pretty open-ended, as if there were room for more exploration, off-the-page.  At least that's what it felt like to me.

So yeah...  This book totally screwed around with my review, because I couldn't think of the best way to talk about how annoyed I was by this book... and yet at the same time, how much I ended up enjoying it, without this whole post becoming a messy rambling.  In a way, I'm glad I stuck with it.  However, the first third of the book probably could have benefited from having a less intensely judgmental and arrogant hero, and better outlined bickering... and maybe not have the couple have sex against a wall while they still dislike each other?

Maybe it's my own lack of reference or experience, but if a guy is nothing but insulting, rude, and judgmental towards me within the first couple meetings, I don't really find that much of a turn on.  Insulting my lifestyle doesn't really add points either.  Although I DID find it amusing that the two of them decided to start learning to get along after setting up their Friends With Benefits plan...  I suppose if they're going to sleep with each other, it would help them to actually try to like each other.

Will I read the next book?  Yeah, probably.  I'm not going to rush out and get it immediately, but this is definitely a series I'm interested in following, and Maisey Yates' writing is pretty solid.

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2019/02/rambling-thoughts-part-time-cowboy.html
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review 2019-02-10 22:19
The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas
The Psychology of Time Travel - Kate Mascarenhas

Four women working together in a remote laboratory invented time travel in 1967. Over five decades it has became one of the most influential forces in the world. The Conclave, as the center of time travel is called, is an entity in and of itself with its own laws and traditions. One of the pioneers suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after their discovery was announced, and was forced out of the field. In 2017 her granddaughter Ruby is drawn into the intrigues of that world when her grandmother receives a cryptic note reporting the murder of an unidentified elderly woman. Is this a warning, or a sign of something much larger?

 

This was a lovely blend of sf and mystery, The narrative jumps back and forth through many different women, each chapter is headed by a month and year and name, though the story centers mostly on Ruby and Odette's separate journeys to understand the crime. The perpetrators, the victims, and the bystanders add to the story and fill in gaps about the world of time travel and what, of course, psychologically that would do to a person.

 

'The Psychology of Time Travel' is fantastic. At times the jargon became confusing (though there is a glossary in the back) and the timelines were complicated, but the thrust of the story overrode any objections I might have had. I loved how detailed the world was, effortlessly diverse and female. Another great debut novel for 2019.

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review 2019-02-09 13:52
No Time for Surprises (No Brides Club, #6) by Karen McCullough
No Time for Surprises - Karen McCullough

 

 

No Time for Surprises is packed full of "aha moments". McCullough keeps it simple with wise words and thought provoking scenarios. Julie and Dan once had it all. Promising careers, trust and love, but once that trust is broken, it's hard to gain back what was carelessly thrown away. Can a broken heart see it's way to a second chance?

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review 2019-02-08 21:35
Doomsday Book / Connie Willis
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis

For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received.

But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin--barely of age herself--finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours.

 

One of my pet peeves about time travel stories is the ease with which the people blend in and communicate smoothly with people from the past. Having studied just enough linguistics to be dangerous, I’m pretty sure that language changes quickly enough to scuttle that part of the plot line! Witness all the people who struggle with Shakespearean language today, and you realize that traveling to the past is not going to be a cake walk. Kivrin struggles enough upon her arrival in the Middle Ages to be credible.

I thought the flu epidemic in the future environment was a stroke of genius on Willis’ part. Disease is disrupting life on both ends of the time travel, creating uncertainty everywhere. And I suspect that Willis has spent time in a university environment (as I have) and is fully aware of department heads like Gilchrist who think that they know everything and regard cautious people as foolish. It’s not usually the life of a student which is on the line, but we are familiar with the guy who won’t listen to reason and doesn’t have to because he’s “in charge.”

This also made me consider how we view historical texts—how we try to reinterpret them according to our own contemporary standards. Kivrin’s studying of Middle English, for example, and how she finds it incomprehensible when confronted with those who spoke it naturally. Gilchrist’s easy assumption that people of the Middle Ages exaggerated the number of deaths due to plague. It’s so easy to sit in our comfortable 21st century chairs and criticize their observations!

I also remember being tied to a landline phone as Mr. Dunworthy is in flu-epidemic-stricken Oxford! At the time that this book was written (1992), mobile phones were still pretty clunky. If there were to be a revised version, some of it would have to change to make the same problems for smart phone users. People do leave mobile phones behind or turn them off or get outside of networks, so the same problems could be created. But it did seem strange to have a book set in our near future that didn’t incorporate mobile phones at all.

All in all, I found this a very satisfying tale and I’ll look forward to reading the next installment in the Oxford Time Travel series.

Book number 306 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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