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review 2018-04-20 21:55
Barefoot Season (Blackberry Island #1) by Susan Mallery
Barefoot Season (Blackberry Island) - Susan Mallery

I loved this book. It is definitely going on my best of list for this year. This is going to be nothing but a love fest of a review.

 

Michelle is back home in Blackberry Island (located off the coast of Seattle and in the Pugent Sound) after being wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan (the book only mentions "the desert") - she is home to rehab her hip and claim her inheritance, the Blackberry Island Inn. She is in pain, has crippling PTSD, and soon realizes that her inheritance is more a PITA than her hip. She is snarly, adjusting poorly to civilian life, and is drinking heavily to help her deal with everything.

 

Carly is the manager, jill-of-all-trades of Blackberry Island Inn. She and Michelle have a twisted history, and she is struggling to take care of her 9 year old daughter and run the inn now that the trustee of the inn is deceased - Michelle's mom Brenda. 

 

Michelle and Carly are trying to rise above their shitty childhoods and fucked up family dynamics; together, they help each other get a really good place in their lives at the end. Oh, but that journey is a minefield of past hurts, truths long buried, and one bank manager who holds onto grudges for more than a decade. There are romantic elements, mostly on Carly's end as Michelle's romantic relationship started off with the grumpiest former Army sniper trying to help her deal with her shit from three deployments.

 

What I love is that Michelle is not a SEAL, Delta Force, Ranger, SOF or anything - she was a supply troop! But the nature of war has changed; no longer is the super duper elite macho types getting killed, but anyone could be blown away by an IED or sniper fire. I loved to see women vets in romance, even better when they are given such a realistic portrayal like in this book. Also this book showcased what PTSD really looks like for women vets and no magic peen was used to "cure" Michelle. Instead she got into a vet support group, got on some medication, and stopped drinking so heavily (her drinking was a coping mechanism and not alcoholism, but she still watches what and how much she drinks). And she rehabbed a neglected/abused dog, giving her purpose - this happens in the real world and their are vet groups designed to give emotional support dogs to vets to help them recover. 

 

Seriously recommend. I was so glad I decided to request all three books from ILL so I could start book two right after finishing this book.

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review 2018-04-07 02:22
Meg Collett: The Killing Season
The Killing Season (Fear University Book 2) - Meg Collett

This is the second book in a series, so you are going to want to read the first book in the series Fear University to understand this world and who/what the main characters are fighting/fighting for.

Winter in the Alaskan North has short days and long nights especially for 65 days of the year, which is perfect for the Aswang to hunt and kill and challenge. This is where Ollie and her friends have been stationed. They need to protect the humans from the Aswang, so each night they along with the other hunters will stalk, hunt and kill. But the fight for survival does not begin and end as one enters and leaves their base, murder is about to happen inside the walls as well, so there is no where that they are safe they always have to be on gaurd, but they only need to try and survive for 65 days, that's doable right?

I liked this one better than the first, I found that this one was darker, more twisted and at times fairly graphic when compared to the first book in the series. Additionally, I did not feel like this book had any down time in the story, as it is the Killing season, there are lots of hunts and killing that need to be achieved as well as trying to figure out what is going on inside the base walls. It was also interesting the family dynamics that are played up in this book that you do not really know who Ollie should trust and really is there more danger in the house rather than outside it.

The first book also lacked having more than one point of view, so it was really nice to have Sunny's POV in this book to give a change up from Ollie's very negative one (really she is doom and gloom most of the time). Sunny was also able to give a different perspective on what was happening and how Ollie is perceived by those around her even her friends. For lack of better words having Sunny tell part of the story was very refreshing in this book.

If you are a fan of books with sexual tension well, The Killing Season has is in spades between Ollie and Luke. You will keep wanting to have them interact more and more as the book goes on as eat time is more "heated" than the last. If you are wanting more of a love story/crush then you have Sunny and Hatter, so Collett does a good job of covering both these aspects but at the same time having those relationships secondary to the main premise of the book.

I think my least favourite part in this book is that I was able to figure out the big twist way before it was revealed (which is the same problem I had with the first book in this series) and I was just waiting for the characters to catch up to what I had already figured out. However, this series as a whole so far has an interesting premise which overall does make for an interesting read.

I am enjoying this series and it is nice that Collett has improved from the first book to the second, which makes me have high hopes for the third, which I am planning on picking up soon.

Enjoy!!!

If You Like This,
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review 2018-04-05 18:24
The Silver Coin by Andrea Kane
The Silver Coin - Andrea Kane

A shadowy figure had sworn revenge against Lady Breanna Colby at the end of The Gold Coin, and has recently put the revenge plan in motion. A revenge that starts with threatening letters and gifts, terrorizing Breanna, and will end when both cousins, Anastasia first and Breanna last, are dead at his feet.

But the assassin didn't count with the fact Damen Lockewood's friend, an expert in finding people who don't want to be found, Royce Chadwick. Royce is very good at what he does, but now he has an added incentive to win—Breanna Colby.


This was another great suspense novel set in the Regency era with a very determined killer stalking his victim, terrorizing her with notes and gifts.
The romantic sub-plot was once more relegated into the background, which was good, since, as in the previous book, it didn't bring much to the table. It was once more rather forced, and quite jarring in comparison with the main arc of the story, deterring from the plot instead of enhancing it.

The second problem was the pacing. The second half of the story was too slow and plodding, decreasing the tempo instead of increasing it as the story came to a fold.

Still, the characters were nicely developed, the friendships sounded genuine and the connection between the cousins was nicely written.

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review 2018-04-03 23:59
Bookburners : the Complete Season Three - Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Andrea Phillips,Brian Francis Slattery

Bookburners continues to be an enjoyable read. The characters twist and turn and grow and reveal new secrets, Grace's change of reading matter had me braced for something having gone occultishly haywire with her, and the nod to Paul Cornell's Shadow Police series in the last episode made me laugh (that team and the Vatican crew would be one heckuva crossover)

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review 2018-04-01 16:58
Give me all the Bowen books
Duke of My Heart (A Season for Scandal) - Kelly Bowen

For whatever weird reason, I’m extremely uncomfortable with historical romance featuring a female MC who has been already ruined, been a figure of scandal, and is somehow supposed to still get a happily-ever-after with a member of the aristocracy. It’s a really massive obstacle to overcome in HR, and I’ve read a number of them that were basically, “we love each other and we don’t really want to be in London, so society be damned.” Which, sure, but still left me vaguely unsatisfied because I want my female MCs to triumph at the end.

 

Here’s the great thing about Ivory in Duke of My Heart, yes she’s an opera singer, yes she married a duke and was never properly received, but Bowen makes this her backstory, and the reason why she gets to invisibly glide through society now, handling scandals for other people. Everything about the premise worked for me. Ivory is talented, smart as hell, and totally running her life on her own terms. And she continues to do so, handling cut-throats and aristocrats with equal aplomb.

 

Maximus was a good male love interest. He ticked all the boxes for me, but the real fun was watching Ivory manage him. Seriously, I cannot rave enough about her. Duke of My Heart is smart, sexy, witty and a one-sitting read.

 

If you haven’t checked out Kelly Bowen’s work and you love historical romance, then you need to start reading her.

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