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review 2017-05-20 16:21
So I'm playing a bit of catch-up here...
Helping Hand - Jay Northcote

'Helping Hand' is the first book in Jay Northcote's Housemates series and since I recently reviewed the third book on audio my book OCD kept telling me that I needed to go back and play catch up with books 1 and 2. 

 

While I wasn't over the moon in love with this one, it was short, sexy and cute. I did really enjoy it. Jez and James McKenzie (Big Mac to his friends) have both decided it's time to settle down and get serious about their education since they've both pretty much partied away their first year...a common mistake...done it seen it, been there, had a few friends who came with. So needless to say for me this was a very believable theme. 

 

What starts out as a mutual support system to enable each man to get through the school year and keep their grades up as well as their finances under control turns into something more as Jez and Mac spend time alone studying and helping each other while their friends are out having fun. As things slowly heat up it seems there's no stopping these boys and what starts as watching porn and getting a little 'mutual stress relief' steadily turns into a relationship that both men realize they want to continue to explore and see where it takes them, but neither man is sure how to confess their feelings about. 

 

Mark Steadman is the narrator for this book and as with previous audiobooks that I've enjoyed by this narrator, he has once again done a superb job with the narration easily ticking off my 'what I enjoy in an audiobook' checklist.  

 

'Helping Hand' was a nice start to this series and I look forward to seeing how things play out for the rest of Jez and Mac's 'Housemates'. So things may not have started off with a 5 star bang here but I do know for me it gets better, book 3 got 5 'I love it' stars.

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review 2017-03-29 22:02
Helping Helper
Helping Helper - Tara C. Allred

Title: Helping Helper
By: Tara C Allred
Publisher: Patella Publishing
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Helping Helper" by Tara C. Allred

My Thoughts....

What a story that showed when you turn it all loose and truly forgive you will be able to take hold of your life as it was for Kora who seemed to have a hard time with all she went through to get to the right part of her life s she learns to trust the right person.....herself! What had happened when Kora's then husband Tony was simply horrible at what he had done leaving her in Helper. However, was this a good thing due to the fact that in Helper it seemed like maybe Kora life was changing for the good in so many ways. Will Kora even find a love there in Helper after she divorces Tony? Working in the restaurant and becoming involved with the community activity working on the Plein air which was about "painting in natural light instead of a studio" and it seemed like all was going well for Kora but you guessed it...things don't always go the way they should. With Kora meeting a lots of wonderful people there in Helper as she really is starting to have a different view of her life after all that she had gone on with her ex husband but what will happen when her sister Tess tell Kora really what had gone on in her on personal life with her husband Tony? How will this make Kora feel toward her sister who she had always thought of her as being miss prefect. Will Kora and Tess be able to "make the right choices to find happiness?" And now Tony comes back in the picture and will this present a problems for Kora? Is Kora still wishing and hoping for a wonderful life she had written and read in her journal about this guy, Tony? Now, I will say that Kora worked my last nerve at times as she seemed to drift back and forth but with a few interesting characters [from Tony, Martha, Tess, Luke, Colton, Greg] to name a few that will be in the story as some of them will hopefully keep her on the right path. I enjoyed how this author was able to bring out all out of what had happened previously between Kora and her parents. The author gives the reader a little suspense toward the end that had me holding my breathe. The story "Helping Helper" will definitely keep you turning the pages as this author will take the reader through a lots of it all from the 'wishy-washiness ' of the main character as [Kora] makes up up mind what is best for her and in the end I thought she was quite surprised at how things ended for her. At lease I was! To find out how Kora life will come out from this story you will have to pick up the good read to see how well the author presents "Helping Helper" it to the reader.

 

 

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review 2017-03-12 14:41
Nice romance - m/m
Helping Hand - Jay Northcote

It is a friends to lovers, GFY/BFY kind of story. Both MCs are really young, they just started uni and they start with a tentative physical approach.

It felt believable and pretty straight forward. 

The whole story was without much drama or unexpected turns.

The end felt a bit rushed, but overall a really nice read.

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review 2017-01-27 22:16
The Little Red Pen -Lexile level AD300L
The Little Red Pen - Janet Stevens,Susan Stevens Crummel

The Little Red Pen, written by Janet Stevens, Is about a little red pen who is struggling to finish grading a pile of papers. The little red pen asks the pushpin, stapler, highlighter, etc. to help her finish the papers, but the others do not want to help because they believe the pen is to strict. Well, when the little red pen falls into the pit of no return (trashcan), the others have to come together to find a way to help her get out of the pit. This is a great story to teach children about helping others and working together with others. It is also a book that appeals to Spanish speaking students because the pushpin speaks Spanish throughout the book. This book is a great book to read during shared reading time, and to guide a discussion of working together, and helping others in need. I would use this book from first through fourth grade. This is also a great book to help incorporate activities, such as re-telling the story with the characters from the book, or using paint chips to review the theme, main character, setting, etc.. 

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review 2017-01-21 04:39
Bully B.E.A.N.S
Bully B.E.A.N.S. - Julia Cook

This book really impressed me. The story itself is about a bully tormenting her classmates and her classmates learning to stand up for themselves and their peers. When a student goes to her mother looking for advice, the mother comes up with a genius plan. Magic "Bully Beans".....special jelly beans that give you the courage and confidence to stand up to a bully.  The book offers great advice on how to handle bullies and good strategies to come to a good outcome.  It also asks thought provoking questions asking why the child is being a bully. I would use this book in grades K thru 4th. This book I would incorporate into the reading section of the day. In the lower grades I would work through the book as a whole group breaking it down into KWL. In the upper grades I would break it down into literacy centers. 

Reading Level: K thru 5th

ATOS reading level: 3.60

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