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review 2018-05-20 00:48
Man & Monster (The Savage Land #2)
Man & Monster (The Savage Land: Book 2) - Michael Jensen

It was great (I guess?) getting back to Hugh's Lick, which is still as much a stain on the frontier as it was in the first book. I hoped that we would get to see John, Palmer and Gwennie again, and we do. Even though they're not the MCs here, we still see plenty of them as they help Cold-Hearted Cole, new to the frontier and not having a good time of it. Wendigos trying to devour you can be such party-poopers, ya know. ;)

 

I really liked Pakim (I don't remember if he was in the first book or not) and the relationship that developed between him and Cole was often humorous and sweet, even while Cole was fighting his feelings. There was some good sexual tension there too, just don't expect any mind-blowing sex scenes.

 

I didn't feel as engaged in this book as I did with Man & Monster. Cole isn't as engaging a POV character as John was, for starters. Cole is purposely closed off for various reasons, and while we do get to see flashes of who he is underneath the cold-hearted persona, it's not quite enough for me to care about him as a character. Then there's the really bad horror movie aspect of the book that involves the monster/wendigo that's terrorizing Hugh's Lick. 1) The majority of these settlers deserve to be eaten, and 2) it was like reading the equivalent of "running up the stairs in the dark" for two hundred pages. The pacing felt off, if not downright slow, and the characters barely even paid any attention to the warnings or advice they got. I also figured out pretty quick who at least one of the wendigos was going to be. The editing also could've been better.

 

Thankfully, once the show - or the characters - finally get on the road and get to doing something not phenomenally stupid, the action was pretty well-written, if just as over the top as you'd get from any blockbuster movie. 

 

It was good, and fun, but I think going through and trimming out about twenty pages would've helped a lot.

 

I do think when authors take liberties with historical figures, they really should make an author's note on their research and what they decided to change about that person for the sake of their story. So there's that.

 

In closing:

 

"Oh, the Lord is good to me.
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the rain and the apple seed;
The Lord is good to me."

 

Bet y'all haven't thought of that one in a hot minute.  I know I haven't. ;)

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review 2018-02-18 19:20
Safe Place
Safe Place (Dangerous Bonds) (Volume 2) - Shani Greene-Dowdell

Title: Safe Place
Author: Shani Greene-Dowdell
Publisher: Nayberry Publications
Series: Dangerous Bonds Book 2
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Safe Place" Dangerous Bonds Book 2 by Shani Greene-Dowdell

My Thoughts....

I enjoyed the story even though it was a little predictable. However, it was still a good sweet read where you find Tameka had a horrible marriage and coming out of it with two children she definitely had reason for trust and heartache issues especially what she had endured from that crazy ex. I will say karma is something in what call comes to that ex.

It was great to see by the end Tameka finding someone like Jeb who went after what he wanted and even having his cousin Channing and his wife Kemara behind him was definitely good.

So, from heartbreak to truly happiness...."Safe Place" would be a good read to see how it all happened.

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review 2018-02-17 04:48
Undone By Fire
Undone by Fire (Undone Series Book 2) - Falon Gold

Title: Undone By Fire
Author: Falon Gold
Publisher: F. G.
Series: Undone Book 2
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Undone By Fire" by Falon Gold

My Thoughts....

I really enjoyed reading 'Undone By Fire' which dealt with Naveah and Orion. How this story went from a trial to a HEA was simply well written for these two giving the reader quite a captivating read. I loved how these two seemed to bond from the very beginning of their meeting. Then you add in that abusive person and let's not leave out some other outstanding characters...Tommy, Astrid, Gary along with a few others and you will have one heck of a good read. I will say that Tommy was one funny character that will keep you laughing at his antics throughout the story. Even though the reader will find some funny parts of the read this was still a serious story about 'Domestic Violence.' It seems like it took Naveah a minute to understand that she had people who were willing to help her but will she be willing to receive their help? This was a good story in that when certain things happen through abuse one cannot stay silent. There is 'help out there and it will not just stop and just go away.' No person should have to go through this situation alone especially when there is help for you! Well done novel to the author for such a real good entertaining read.


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review 2018-02-03 22:07
Lap Dog (Shelter #2)
Lap Dog: Book Two of the Shelter Series - Kate Sherwood

Dang you, Sherwood! I was supposed to quit this book halfway through in a boiling rage, ready to rip Simon a new one. Instead, I grudgingly liked him by 25% and was rooting for him about halfway through and just hoping everything would work out. 

 

 

This still isn't perfect. Simom Yeung is the first prominent main character who is Chinese-American in any of Sherwood's books that I've read, and he's in a crime family. Really? And just because the characters call this out doesn't really take away from the problems of this, just as having them call out the old school family honor/respect stereotypes doesn't really mean she's not using those stereotypes. 

 

Yet despite that, this was a great story. I don't know if I'd categorize it Romance (™) but Simon and Tristan do come to first respect each other, then kind of like each other, then warily admire each other and finally care for each other. I didn't think it was possible from the initial set up that opens the story, but their journeys and getting to know each other were well-paced and given the time to really breathe, despite all the chaos going on around them. The resolution was perhaps too easy and convenient, but I honestly don't care because I wanted these two to get their HEAs - not just with each other but for themselves as well. They still have things to figure out about their new lives though, so there's more room to tell more stories about them later. (And hopefully resolve a few more of those dangling threads that didn't get addressed here.) 

 

It was also great seeing Shane and Noah again, and seeing glimpses of their relationship throughout. They even get a short story interlude at the end of the main story. It felt more like it was there to explain why Shane doesn't label himself asexual (though he is clearly on the spectrum) but whatever label someone wants to use or not use is up to them.

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review 2018-01-28 22:14
The Wedding Date
The Wedding Date - Jasmine Guillory

Title: The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
Review:

"The Wedding Date" by Jasmine Guillory

My Thoughts...

This was one quite interesting story that will keep you turning the pages to see what was coming next. It was definitely a story where Dr. Drew Nichols did get on my nerves with his stubbornness a few times in the way he handled things with Alexa Monroe. Yes, there were many ups and down but aren't there in many relationships...especially with they are a bi-racial couple. However, all in all the story did come out come out giving the reader a well written story that was entertaining and funny. I did feel that this story was somewhat predictable but still a good read. One thing for sure these characters loved to eat. To check out what all that is about you will have to pick up 'The Wedding Date' and see for yourself how well this author brings out this story of a interracial relationship where 'love wan't part of the deal.'

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.

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