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Search tags: i-m-in-love-with-this-book
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review 2018-01-12 14:49
Let There Be Love (The Sled Dog Series Book 1) - Melissa Storm

Let There Be Love by Melissa Storm
Starts with offer of a free gift Lauren has just gotten news that her father had died and she thinks that is impossible. they had just exchanged Christmas gifts.
She quits her job because her boss wouldn't give her time off from work and prepares her fathers affairs.
Memory boxes of their life are in his closet but she finds one about Alaska and dog sledding which she knew nothing about.
All kinds of newspaper clipping and she starts to understand about his other life. One of Shane and his dogs but he's injured and needs a handler. Her dad was one of the top best.
Wicked funny he has rules set for her while she's living at his house tending to the dogs and training...
Love learning about the terminology of the mushers as she investigates her father and Shane's lives in Alaska.
Fire makes him fire her and she leaves ... she thinks she is good with the dogs and agrees to help him when he comes back.
They both have hidden pasts that come to light and they have a lot of turmoil to get through, alone or together?
Next book involves Scarlett. Loved how this story came about. Other works by the author are highlighted at the end.
Review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2018-01-05 01:34
ARC Review: Prelude To Love by Anne Barwell
Prelude to Love (Dreamspun Desires Book 49) - Anne Barwell

This was a sweet hurt/comfort romance set in Wellington, New Zealand. Joel is a music teacher at a local school and is still not quite over his ex-boyfriend, and Marcus is a landscaper who is moving to Wellington after a break-up. Marcus' sister is married to Joel's college roommate and best friend. 

Neither is looking for a relationship, but with family/friends in common, they meet early on. There's interest on both sides, and as the book progresses, we see a sweet romance develop. 

The book has little relationship angst, other than both men being concerned about possible consequences with their shared family/friends if things don't work out. Marcus' ex shows up too to wreak havoc but doesn't get very far. Both men had some hang-ups they needed to work on, but once they made the decision to try, it worked out quite nicely.

I liked both characters, though I connected a bit more with Joel, as Marcus felt detached on occasion, and they were both drawn realistically and felt relatable. The supporting cast in Marcus' sister, Joel's best friend, and their daughter was also well done, and they played a huge role in getting Joel and Marcus to push past their fears and give their budding relationship a real shot. The pushy woman who tries to win Joel for herself (lol, he's gay) was a bit annoying on occasion, and I wasn't quite clear on her purpose, to be honest. I don't think she brought anything to the table, and I wouldn't have missed her, had she been removed from the book.

This is a feel-good book, one you'd read on a cold winter's day, curled up with a hot beverage, in your favorite chair. I enjoyed reading it, and I think you will too. Give it a try.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2018-01-05 00:00
I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays
I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Es... I Wrote This Book Because I Love You: Essays - Tim Kreider https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/169340335638/i-wrote-this-book-because-i-love-you-essays-by

Any serious self-examiner who may consider him or herself a discerning reader, will completely miss out on an uplifting and enjoyable reading experience if caught up in ignoring this book because of its title. Obviously, Mr. Kreider, on surface, could have come up with a better choice. But the hype surrounding it, and all the publisher’s included blurbs, at first made me excited enough to read this book regardless of the corny title. My rather lukewarm reception and relative non-engagement with the very first essay severely disappointed me however. But, in fairness, his second essay, titled Kind of Love, happened and all was forgiven. In it the ex-cartoonist, Kreider, is reversely propositioned by a performance artist doubling as a successful prostitute, and the book definitely becomes for me a potentially interesting read. Her offer of a no-strings-attached appreciation-blow job followed by the fortuitous opportunity of his spending an entire week with her at his secluded cabin seemed to me to be an extraordinary proposition. They spend hours discussing questions of existence and relationships, not to mention a few other experimental behaviors.

…We both suffered from bouts of abysmal self-doubt, and each sometimes lay awake at night wondering O what is to become of me?…

This second essay offered many reasons for self-reflection, and even as I continued on reading Kreider’s further essays, I was astounded by the quality and interest still generated by that amazing second one.

…I’ve often thought that if I’d been impressed into an arranged marriage with one of my old girlfriends I’d’ve been perfectly happy—or at least no unhappier than I am now…

Kreider is so refreshingly honest on the page, and though he makes no excuses nor apologies for his being so forthright, he realizes his flaws and humbly submits them to a meaner reader’s criticism. David Foster Wallace publicly declared, “Kreider Rules”. And the more I read of him I too get what Wallace was saying.

…I suspect the more unsettling truth is that there are quite a lot of people out there you could fall in love and spend your life with, if you let yourself…The romantic ideal whereby the person you love, the person you have sex with, and the person you own property and have children with should all be the same person is a more recent invention than the telescope.

The essays keep getting better and better. Even if a reader believes he or she is involved in what could be considered a healthy relationship, Kreider provides ideas and anecdotes that further the discussion and examination of one’s self. An amazingly intelligent and interesting read. Not myself a cat lover, Kreider even suggests that feline romance might be looked into as well as he goes into great detail regarding his own nineteen-year relationship with a once-stray cat.

…having been given up at birth…It wasn’t until I found myself still single in my forties, long after all my friends—even the most obvious misfits, womanizers, sots and misogynists—had successfully mated and reproduced, that I started to wonder whether it hadn’t had some more significant effect.

Kreider’s adoptive mother volunteered him at John Hopkins University for a psychological study as an infant. His brilliant and charming essay, The Strange Situation, goes into great detail over his search for answers over why he is the way he is and his investigative research into a study that had been previously kept secretly protected.

…“Whereas if I was securely attached as an infant”, I told Margot, “it would mean that I’m not a victim of some primal loss or trauma but just another dickhead.”
“My point exactly,” she said. “Even if you were traumatized, and even if you had some scientifically documented evidence for this, you are still ultimately responsible for any dickhead behavior.”…


Refreshing today to actually hear somebody state existentially that we are responsible for our own behavior, and our lives. So much blame on our mothers these days. Not to mention the trashing of our dads. A reminder that without these flawed characters reproducing we wouldn’t have had the opportunity of a lifetime. I am forever grateful my parents had me. Of course, things could have been better, but here I am working out my own existence, attempting to evolve, and struggling through my nagging frustrations.

…Church was boring, make no mistake—the drawings I did in bulletins could fill a multivolume set of notebooks—but at least it wasted far fewer hours of my life than school…Ceasing to believe what your parents and all the other nicest grown-ups you know have always taught you, and still believe themselves, is initially liberating, but it’s also alienating. It makes you feel secretly snobby, and sorry, and alone.

Kreider especially touches a nerve in this second-to-last essay in the book. There are so many relative points he makes in his always entertaining and enlightening prose. He is funny even when deathly serious. It also becomes obvious throughout that Kreider is simply a pretty good man, still single, but who maintains a growing number of close friends. Relationships that might be rightfully construed as long accomplishments similar to a good marriage.

…Although Lauren doesn’t love the idea of dying any more than the next person, it doesn’t especially upset her to believe that life is meaningless or the universe indifferent. She thinks people like me, taught as children that a just and loving God is watching over the sparrows, feel bereft, cheated of something promised. Which is why we’re the ones who suffer these chronic cases of existential despair.
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review 2017-12-29 01:54
ARC Review: Strike Up The Band by Sam Burns
Strike Up the Band (Wilde Love Book 3) - Sam Burns

This is the 3rd book in the Wilde Love series, switching back to Freddie Mercury Isn't Dead aka FRED, the band that got its start at Wilde's, Keegan's restaurant/bar in book 1. Some time has passed since then; they now have a hit single and are on a tour. 

The band is forced to take on a new member, to finish the tour as their record label demands, because record labels are cruel assholes only concerned with making money, no matter what it costs the band.

Jake McKenna doesn't want to stay on tour, he doesn't want to even interact with the new member of the band, one Brian Mulholland, and he sure as hell doesn't want a career in music anymore.

The aforementioned Brian is the ex-member of a now-defunct boy band, who is looking for a new start after firing his manager/mother when she caught him kissing another man. 

Now, I'm not going to give away the plot or why Jake feels the way he does about continuing in his music career - there's a reason why that's not in the blurb, and I'm not going to spoil things here. 

This book can be read as a standalone, though I don't know why you wouldn't want to read the first two books as well. 

I do want to talk a bit about Jake's sexuality - he identifies as homo-romantic/asexual - and how well the author worked that into the book, showcasing without ever getting preachy that love is definitely not dependent on sexual contact, and that someone like Jake can find the right person for him. Both Brian's bisexuality and Jake's asexuality are handled in really positive ways, making it clear that romance and love can happen even if sex is off the table. Brian is a really good guy, sympathetic and forgiving, even if Jake is prickly and disengaged at first, and they eventually begin a friendship that then leads to more, and I was happy that the author didn't change Jake for Brian, or vice versa. They had honest and open conversations about Jake not wanting sexual intercourse, and how that might affect Brian down the road, which allowed them both to make the right choice for themselves. 

If you've read the first book, Straight From The Heart, you already know what Jake is like, and I was happy to find that the author didn't change his personality from the first book - he's still the somewhat grumpy, mostly introverted guy who just wanted to play his guitar and write music. 

The author does a really good job fleshing out the characters and giving them realistic, complex, and somewhat flawed personalities. They're both more complex that what initially meets the eye, and I thought they were rather well suited to each other. There's not a lot of relationship angst here, though the beginning of book is somewhat difficult to read, and ... no.... not going to spoil it for you. I will say that I didn't expect the turn of events, and I must applaud the author for taking things in that direction, no matter how it... no... not going to spoil it for you. The romance develops slowly, as it should have, and is based on friendship with comfort, hugs, and kisses. 

What I also love is that this book isn't just about Jake and Brian and their slowly developing romance, but also about the other band members, about their strong friendships, about being a family of sorts, about their struggles to integrate Brian into the band, and how to move forward from... nope, sorry, not going to tell you.

Do yourself a favor and read this series. There's a 4th book out now too. 


** I received a free copy of this book from its author in exchange for an honest review. **

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review 2017-12-11 02:59
Fabulous Read!!
Prescription For Love (Destiny's Child B... Prescription For Love (Destiny's Child Book 1) - Zee Monodee

Prescription For Love by Zee Monodee is an amazing book.  Ms. Monodee has delivered a book that is well-written and furnished it with phenomenal characters.  Margo is a forensic pathologist and is guardian to 11 year old Emma.  Jamie is the town physician and their new neighbor.  Their story is touching and will warm your heart.  There is plenty of drama, humor and spice to keep readers wrapped up in this fantastic story.  I enjoyed reading Prescription For Love and look forward to reading more from Zee Monodee in the future.  Prescription For Love is book 1 of the Destiny's Child Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.  

 

I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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