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review 2017-10-26 20:55
dark and gritty
Hush - Nicole Hart

Hush is a heart-wrenching and emotional psychological thriller. Rachel's story is dark and gritty, and absolutely impossible to put down. The abuse that a child suffers often torments them into adulthood, and in this case, it comes hurtling back with a vengeance. Nicole Hart gives us a wonderfully written, edge of your seat thriller that begs the question of how people deal with trauma. How does one person move on while another's mind bends in ways that are unimaginable? There is quite the twist at the end and while I did see it coming, it doesn't take away from the book for me.

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review 2017-10-25 20:08
Hush - Tal Bauer

Phew. Gotta catch my breath here a bit.
I want romance in my books. The kind with deep connections, plenty of fluff and an HEA. And I got that here. But I got so much more to the point where the romance took a back seat to the rest of the story. And I was fine with that because the thriller/suspense part was so amazing I sacrificed lunch with my colleagues today to spend an hour more reading in order to finally get to the bottom of things.


After a terrorist attack in DC, Federal Judge Tom Brewer is the lucky(!) man who gets to preside over the ensuing court case. The detailed scenes from the trial and the politics surrounding the whole thing should have make me run away screaming - I would usually consider stuff like that utterly boring. But not in this book. I was completely on-the-edge-of-my-seat-spellbound by all of it. It is so well written I could almost feel the tension from that court room radiate off my Kindle.


In parallel to the criminal case Tom and U.S. Marshal Mike Lucciano are getting close but having to hide their relationship Mike would otherwise be pulled off the protective detail assigned to the trial making it impossible for them to be together. And that is just not an option. Tom needs Mike presence, needs him to hold him up through the nightmare of having the entire world watching his courtroom in combination with taking his first tentative steps towards coming out of the closet.

Which brings me to the part of the book that got to me the most; Tom's struggles to overcome the crippling fear of being 'found out'. A fear he has been living with for twenty-five years. The story of how he ended up pretty much running into the closet and bolting the door from the inside, his memories of the world and society in the early nineties from his perspective as a gay man with ambitions, the fear he still carries with him through life and which has kept from getting close to anyone for so many years. It is all so absolutely heart-breaking. And knowing that when it comes to this part of the book, none of it is fiction just makes it even worse.

I actually went and googled 'bowers vs hardwick*'. It's one of those things my small mind just cannot grasp. And we are not talking 17th century here but the 1980s! The case took place during Tom's youth and we get to see the impact it had on him. Having a court confirm that you being you is basically illegal is a concept I cannot comprehend. It hurt to read, yet I am grateful for this part of the book. Grateful for the way it shows that BS laws actually affect people. That they cause real damage to people.

To sum up: I loved this book. There will definitely be more Tal Bauer on my reading list in the future.


(On a  side note - I also learned that apparently it is even today illegal to sell sex toys in Alabama. But I guess nothing should surprise me anymore!)


*Short version: The court in this case basically confirmed that it was ok for Georgia to have a law forbidding gay sex even behind the closed doors of someone's private home.

I particular like (yeah, that's sarcasm!) the Wikipedia note on 'later comments' from one of the majority-vote justices: "However, Powell believed that the case was one of little importance and in 1990 stated that he hadn't devoted thirty minutes to thinking about it since the ruling."
Little importance? Of course it was to everyone who wasn't actually gay. I'm pretty sure it was pretty important to a lot of other people....

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review 2017-08-22 20:13
Hush Money: A Novel (Hush Money Mystery) - T. E. Woods
I love T.E. Woods' "The Fixer" books and was sad when The Fixer decided to get out of the life of fixing. That girl was AWESOME! I wondered what would come next in in T.E. Woods' world and now I know. I loved this book. 

I loved the locale, Madison, WI is a beautiful city and I loved the main character, Sydney Richardson. A woman with a lot of issues of abandonment and a huge heart. During opening night of her "two", yes not just one, restaurants the Mayor is murdered. His wife had to be driven home in a taxi, so she can't be the suspect. However, one of Sydney's new employees, Wanda Fields, is a no show for work. There is no phone call or a replacement found. 

Wanda Fields, with no restaurant experience at all, tugged on Sydney's heartstrings with her status as a single mother. Sydney hired her right away. Now, Wanda is the main suspect in the Mayor's murder.

Sydney comes to the rescue with money for a lawyer, bail and a babysitter for her young daughter. She is bound and determined who killed the mayor because she knows Wanda did not do it.

A great story with not really a lot of suspects. There is no clue that there was anyone in that house besides the mayor and Wanda. However, some shady actions behind the scenes provide quite a few suspects. A fact I was happy to see because I really liked Wanda, as well.

The jaw dropping ending reiterated the fact why T.E. Woods is one author that I request her books without even reading the description!

Huge thanks to Random House/Alibi and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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review 2017-07-21 21:49
Book Review: Hush Now, Don't You Cry
Hush Now, Don't You Cry (Molly Murphy Series #11) - Rhys Bowen

Book: Hush Now, Don't You Cry


Author: Rhys Bowen


Genre: Historical Mystery/Fiction


Summary: Molly Murphy, now Molly Sullivan, and her husband, Daniel, a captain in the New York Police Department, have been invited to spend their honeymoon on the Newport, Rhode Island, estate of Alderman Brian Hannan in the spring of 1904. Molly doesn't entirely trust the offer. Hannan - an ambitious man - has his eye on a Senate seat and intentions of taking Tammany Hall to get it. When Hannan is found dead at the base of the cliffs that overlook the Atlantic, Molly's suspicions are quickly justified, and as much as she wants to keep her promise to Daniel that she won't do any more sleuthing now, there isn't much she can do once the chase is on. Rhys Bowen's brilliant wit and charm are on full display in Hush Now, Don't You Cry, another outstanding addition to her Agatha Award - and Anthony Award-winning historical series. -Minotaur Books, 2012.



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review 2017-07-15 03:53
HUSH by Tal Bauer (My VERY first book review – yaaay!!!)



I need to preface this review by telling you that I am a _crazy_ Tal Bauer fan. My love of his writing began when the bff texted me: “Oh. My. GOD. You _have_ to read this series called The Executive Office!” Okay, I may have paraphrased a little, but that’s essentially what she said. And so I did. And… Oh. My. GAWD! You _have_ to read his Executive Office series, but this review isn’t about those books so I won’t gush about them overmuch. 


I recently found out that Mr. Bauer has only been writing professionally for 18 months. Whaaat? Shut the front door, not possible, and yet he’s the one who said it so it must be true.


Tal’s attention to detail and fact floor me. The massive amount time he has spent researching is what breathes life into Hush and his other books.  His knowledge on a wide array of the subjects he writes about is truly impressive. And knowing that he does a deep dive into those areas he’s unsure about, in order to make the stories he writes authentic, only make the books that much more real. Both The Executive Office series and Hush could be ripped out of multiple headlines in today’s media. He tackles politics, prejudice, racism, climate change, intolerance and persecution head on in a thoughtful and factual manner. 


Take Hush, the book this review is about, it came out on July 13, 2017 and the story captivates you from the very first sentence.


The book is about Tom Brewer, a _deeply_ closeted 40-something year old US Federal court judge who is a recent appointment to the Washington bench. Tom’s closet was built from past events that impacted him profoundly and caused him to lock that part of himself away for the past twenty-five years. He has channeled all his passion into law, cutting himself off from his community and isolating himself from everyone but his beloved basset hound, Etta Mae, in the process.  


But the changing social landscape of the world and an unexpected friendship with co-worker U.S. Marshal Mike Lucciano, as well as a supernova heat of attraction, slowly coax him out of his closet one terrifying and painful step at a time. And you do _feel_ his pain, his fear, and his anxiety with every word Tal puts to paper. But it will make you hurt sooo good.  Tom and Mike will rip your heart out, toss it into a wood chipper, gather up the shredded pieces, and then make you whole again.


Mr. Bauer not only lets you see one of the most terrifying chapters in LGBTQ history through Tom’s eyes but he makes you realize how profoundly, and rapidly, the world has changed as he shows you the same world through slightly younger man Mike’s eyes. He makes you see how much just a few short years can impact and change the world. Tom and Mike come from different places in the struggle for LGBTQ rights and somehow manage find common ground in the slow burn of mutual attraction and flared passion; they celebrate together the joy and colours of Pride as Tom takes his first brave steps into outing himself to the world and then…


Tom’s world turns on its axis, and he and Mike are thrust headlong into events that neither of them could have dreamed of in their worst nightmares, an assassination attempt on American soil in Tom's judicial district. Their newly formed romance is threatened by events beyond their control; but not just their love is in danger of being destroyed, Tom’s life may be on the line as well as he is thrust into the international spotlight and forced into a role that he never thought he’d find himself in, trial judge for the most important case of his career, one that could have global reprecussions.


How far will Mike go to keep the man he loves safe? Will Tom allow his newly found courage to wither and die before it had chance to flourish, chasing him into his Narnian-deep closet once again? Will the world, which teeters on the knife edge of war, tip over to chaos or back into peace?  If the first half of the book was a slow seduction, the second half is a nail-biting car chase that leaves you breathless and constantly second guessing yourself, and the author, with all the twists and turns that come at you.


Tal Bauer compliments the main characters with fully fleshed-out secondary characters (and Etta Mae) who will make you fall in love with them, sympathize with their plights or hate and despise them completely.  They fill out the book, add more life  and vibrancy to it's pages and play pivotal roles in the story of Tom and Mike. From cover to cover, Hush will leave you feeling punch-drunk, like you’ve survived the most amazing thrill ride you could possibly imagine; breathless, shaken, exhilarated and wanting more.


 And yet, despite the political and legal backdrop and all the thriller aspects of this story, at the very heart of it, this book is about relationships; about accepting oneself, opening up to love, to the possibility of happily ever after and being unafraid and proud to live one's life. THAT message is what makes it such a profound read. Everything else? Icing on the delicious cake. 


I cannot recommend Hush enough. Go, buy and read it ASAP! You’ll thank me.


(I also suggest you have a fresh box of tissues next to you because this book hits you right in the feels. All the feels!)


      5/5  hearts from me! 


Also, I want to thank Jamie from Alpha Book Club (https://www.facebook.com/Alphabookclub/) for running the Advanced Reader Copy contest that let me start the book 2 days early! I needed the extra reading time :D


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