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review 2018-07-18 01:00
Fantastic Western Romance
Cowboy, Cross My Heart - Donna Grant

Cowboy, Cross My Heart by Donna Grant is an amazing western romance.  Ms. Grant has delivered a well-written book.  The characters in this story are stellar, I love them.  Naomi is visiting her friend and photographing the rodeo events.  Brice is a cowboy and just bought his a ranch and he's participating in the rodeo.  Brice and Naomi's story is loaded with drama, spice, action and suspense.  This book hooked me at the first page and held me captive until the end.  I loved it and look forward to reading more from Donna Grant in the future.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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review 2018-07-13 02:03
Audiobook Review: Hide My Heart (Love and Trouble) by: Rachelle Ayala (Author),Tor Thom (Narrator), Charley Ongel (Narrator)
Hide My Heart - Rachelle Ayala,Tor Thom,Charley Ongel


Audiobook Review: Hide My Heart (Love and Trouble) by: Rachelle Ayala (Author),Tor Thom (Narrator), Charley Ongel (Narrator)


Her heart lead her into danger, will his love rescue her from the fall out? Ms. Ayala has conquered the world of romance with her inspiring tales of heartwarming happily ever afters. Hide my Heart detours in a new direction. A chilling one, but no less emotional. Amber wanted her independence. What she got was a life on the run with a mad man hot on her trail. Nate wanted someone to love. A life of his own. What he got was family responsibility. When a single mother with a ton of baggage catches his eye, will his love be enough to rescue them both? The thrill is in the chase, but the hope is still there to stir up the heart.

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review 2018-07-12 19:32
Living and Dying
The Bright Hour - Nina Riggs
When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi,Abraham Verghese
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion
Blue Nights by Didion, Joan 1st (first) Edition [Hardcover(2011)] - Joan Didion
A Widow's Story - Joyce Carol Oates
Missing Mom - Joyce Carol Oates
About Alice - Calvin Trillin
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter - Sherwin B. Nuland

So, I've been off BL for a long, long time. A lot has happened, I got pregnant and had a daughter. My mom got sick and passed away. I had to clear out and sell my childhood home and all the contents while trying to balance all of that and my full time job. It's been...something.


For a while, not long after my mom died (3 days before Christmas 2016 when my daughter was only 5 months old) I started searching out and reading books that dealt with death and grief. I read a lot of Joan Didion The Year of Magical ThinkingBlue Nights. I read When Breath Becomes Air and About Alice and A Widow's Story. I started Missing Mom and couldn't go any further because it was too hard and How We Die.


The Bright Hour is one of the most beautiful books I've read, ever. I can't possibly describe it except to use it's full title--The Bright Hour: a memoir of living and dying. It is so full of life, all the messiness and happiness and tragedy and humor and it faces death and mortality head on, unflinching. 


I recently reread it, now a year and a half since my mother passed, it still has such power and peace. I can't recommend it enough.

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review 2018-07-12 19:08
Cowboy, Cross My Heart - Donna Grant

The second book in the Heart of Texas series takes place 12 years after the first one, Christmas Cowboy Hero, where Abby and Clayton get together.  In that book Caleb and Brice were young teenagers and Brice was in trouble for cattle rustling on the East ranch.  Now the two brothers are all grown up and living their lives and Abby and Clayton have two kids with a third on the way.  Naomi left Texas to pursue her photography dream and college.  She has come back to visit her best friend who she discovers is holding onto some very dark secrets about the Rodeo Pageant life, but she won’t tell Naomi for fear of reprisals by the very powerful men who are at the head of the horrible events Whitney and other Pageant girls have suffered. When Naomi goes to the rodeo to cheer on her friend she sees Brice compete and she can’t keep her eyes off him.  When he comes to her rescue as she and Whitney are attacked, it starts the ball rolling on one fast-paced adventure where they work together to bring to light the things that have been going on for years.  People are hurt along the way, there are tense moments of conflict, the plot is strong and moves quickly, and their love story also moves quickly (almost too quickly), but the plot and conflict make that not as much of a big deal as it would be otherwise. I did enjoy their story a lot and was not disappointed at all in how book 2 progressed and ended.  I want more from the Easts and friends.

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review 2018-07-10 16:37
Bad Heartburn
Your Heart Belongs to Me - Dean Koontz

Apologies on all of the Dean Koontz reviews today. I am just reading books as I find them in my messy under construction house. This has led me to re-read some Koontz books (really just skim since I have read them before). I forgot how much I disliked "Your Heart Belongs to Me" until my re-read of it. A main character who I didn't care for and a BS ending just made me roll my eyes. Koontz for once didn't have a HEA ending, but the whole book felt seriously out of sync.


A rich man named Ryan Perry has the whole world in his pocket. He has a woman he loves (Samantha) and can do anything he wants. Then he gets sick and gets diagnosed with something that is damaging his heart. If he doesn't get a heart transplant, he is going to die. Then Ryan starts to investigate how something could have caused him to get sick and then starts running scared from an unseen enemy. When Ryan meets with a doctor who promises he can get him on the top of a heart transplant list and damn the cost, the book goes sideways from there.


Ryan sucks. I really didn't like him and when we figure out as readers what happens and how Ryan was "saved" I really despised the guy. I can't recall Koontz ever writing a main character this way before. Ryan and Samantha are finished after his heart transplant and you are left wondering what the hell happened. When the book skips a year later we find out what Ryan has been up to and how he wants to reach out to Samantha again. When someone starts stalking Ryan and telling him that his heart belongs to her I maybe laughed a few times. The woman and the fear that Ryan has is not scary at all. I just felt bored and hoped that the woman ended up killing Ryan so something interesting would happen.


Samantha is perfection in literary form. Does Koontz know how to write women any other way these days? She is also a writer so when she and Ryan ends things, he spends a lot of time dissecting her work in order to read about the subtext behind her words. I hope you like the word subtext. I think it appeared like a billion times (sarcasm).


There are secondary characters I can't even recall or care about too much since in the end they don't matter. We have a red herring character who was just freaking odd and terrible. A mysterious nurse whose name I am blanking on.


I think the biggest issue I have with this book is that I don't think Koontz knows what it wanted it to be. We have Ryan who goes from being happy and in love with Samantha to then thinking she is all femme fatale. It doesn't ring true based on what Koontz shows us and we have to wade through a ridiculous amount of red herrings to figure out what is going on. The book was overly descriptive about things I did not give a damn about. At one point I wondered did I wander into a James Patterson novel (I stopped reading that guy years ago because I don't care to read about the thread count of people's fucking bedsheets) and felt really annoyed.


The dialogue was painful as hell to wade through. No one talks like this and stop it!

The flow was awful too. We just skipped a ton of stuff that I think was necessary to even get a gleam of figuring out what could possibly be happening.


As I said the ending was terrible. Koontz should have just went dark with things and been done with it. Also there are dogs and I maybe screamed a bit about that.

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