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review 2020-05-09 00:53
More Colin and Joshua…what more could a girl want…not much…unless it means having a bit of Nate and David as well.
Love's Lawyer - Janice Jarrell

I am such a fan of this series, but I have to admit even the best of fans can have off days. I jumped at the chance to read this book and part way into it I found myself saying “When did they get married? I don’t remember Colin and Josh getting married, what the hell?” and today my mystery got solved when I realized that I’d somehow managed to miss a book…seriously I missed reading a whole book here and it was the one wherein Colin and Josh got married…have no fear it’s on my e-reader and I will be remedying this unfortunate event at my earliest opportunity.


Now you’re probably thinking what the hell, Karen? Seriously who cares if you missed a book. That’s your problem and has nothing to do with me or this book. Well you’re right but it does concern the accuracy of what I’m about to say which is that while you can read “Love’s Lawyer” without having read the previous books and probably without an over abundance of confusion…I strongly recommend at least reading books 2 & 3 in the authors series ‘Revolutionary Heart’ although to be honest reading all of the stories in this series is no hardship. I realize I’m biased because as I said earlier…I am such a fan of this series.


I’m going to go out on a bit of a limb here and say that while “Love’s Lawyer” is listed as the first book in what is a spin-off series to ‘Revolutionary Heart’ it could also easily be considered the next book in the series ‘Revolutionary Heart’ because I’m fairly sure that things pick-up for Colin and Josh if not where they leave off in ‘Love’s Glory’ very shortly after that point, since there doesn’t seem to be a huge time gap between where one story ends and the next one begins.


Events that started in ‘Love’s Trials’ and carried through ‘Love’s Glory’ as well as the fallout from them continue here in ‘Love’s Lawyer’. Colin and Josh have survived everything that’s happened so far and Colin’s strong and determined and pretty damned fearless…but neither of them are truly prepared for the demands of law school and the Colin’s unrealistic expectations that he places upon himself and in spite of all of his own training, knowledge and experience as a psychologist Josh’s belief in Colin’s strength blinds him to what’s happening right in front of his eyes.


I’m honestly not even sure where to begin with this story. Colin and Josh are a relationship that we don’t get to see in a lot of stories. They have their ups and downs, they fight, they make up sometimes…even though we all know it’s one of the worst things a couple can do…they even go to bed angry with each other in other words they feel real, their relationship feels real.  


These things happen, I can personally attest to this as someone who’s been married for 31 years to the same person. Sometimes, pride and frustration and just the heat of the moment keeps people from thinking clearly and seeing what’s truly important but at the end of the day they also remember how important their marriage and their love for each other is and that nothing really matters more.


It’s not just their relationship that gives me such a strong feeling of connection to these two men.  The situation that they’re in with Colin returning to schools for me is also a very relatable situation, since I found myself similar circumstances when I returned to school following an accident that like what happened to Colin, forced me to re-evaluate my career goals. Thankfully unlike Colin law school was not a career goal for me, so my foray into the world of academia while demanding was no where near as intense as Colin’s.


Sometimes it’s nice to read books that aren’t all sunshine and lollipops and sometimes being able to read a book with characters that I could so easily imagine being neighbors or even friends with makes the connection that I’m looking for.


Without fail no matter what my mood these Ms Jarrell’s characters and their stories find their way into my heart to share their story with me and leave me feeling like I’ve just spent time with some dear friends and I’m left looking forward to their next visit.




An ARC of “Love’s Lawyer” was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-02-10 03:01
It’s back to the world of academia…
Love's Trials - Janice Jarrell,Walker Williams

In ‘Love’s Magic’ we were introduced to the characters of Professor Nate Reese, Professor David Gardener, Sergeant Colin Campbell & Dr. Joshua Abram and while we saw Nate and David get their happily ever after we really only saw the beginning of Colin and Joshua’s story, so now here in ‘Love’s Trails’ the reader/listener gets the rest of their story.


For both of these couples getting to their happily ever after has been a hard fought battle, but a well deserved victory. I thoroughly enjoyed “Love’s Magic’ so much so that I very willingly listened to it again before beginning ‘Love’s Trials’ and if anything I have to say I think I may have been a bit stingy with my stars but be that as it may, I’m going to let that rating stand because really 4 stars is not a shabby thing in my humble opinion. Even more surprising to me than realizing that I seem to have enjoyed the first book more than I realized at the time is the fact that for me the second book was just that tiny bit better.


I knew from ‘Love’s Magic’ that I liked Colin and Joshua, which was part of the reason that I was so excited about this audiobook. What I didn’t realized was how much I would connect with this book on an emotional level…more than once I found myself reaching for the tissues.


While ‘Love’s Magic’ addressed the very real issue of violence on today’s college campus’s, ‘Love’s Trials’ takes it a step further when adding in the issues of drugs.  Colin and Joshua each face their own challenges as these two men endeavor to become a committed couple. Colin’s a bit of a commitment phoebe or he was until Joshua entered his life, while Joshua is struggling to adjust to life with a man whose job puts him in harms way on a daily basis. He’s always known what Colin does for a living he’s quickly coming to realize that knowing this and living it are two very different things.


After getting through the Charlottesville ‘Unite the Right’ riots life should have been a breeze for them but when Colin finds himself in charge of an informant program intended to infiltrate a drug ring he promises Joshua that he won’t be in the line of danger and he’s determined to keep his promise until one of the student’s in the program is placed in harms way and suddenly Colin’s the only thing between him and life threatening danger. It’s the aftermath of these events that will test the strength of Colin and Joshua’s commitment to each other.


While I loved David and Nate’s story and I was rooting for them from start to finish in ‘Love’s Magic’ even then I was equally as curious about Colin and Joshua. Here in ‘Love’s Trial’s’ for me it was all about these two men and the struggles they faced. There’s a solid dose of realism here from start to finish as we’re given a story that’s not wrapped up with a pretty pink bow but held together by two men who are committed to each other and sometimes held together by the strength and clearer heads of friends and loved ones who aren’t afraid to step up to help them find their way back to each other.

I honestly can’t even say that their reactions would have been mine…again that’s not how the world works we don’t all react the same way to the same things but for me how these two men reacted to their circumstances was believable…sometimes heartbreakingly so.


I loved that we got a fair but not overwhelming amount of David and Nate. The friendship that began in the first book between these four men has continued and as the story progresses, we get to see it grow even stronger. So often in series we’ll see couples that start as friends but with subsequent stories the friendship seems to diminish and sometimes the characters disappear altogether and that’s fair enough…it happens that way in real life to but what also happens in real life is that friendships grow stronger as times passes and within the pages of this story we are shown this in a way that isn’t often captured in a story. I’m a fan of stories where we get to see the MCs interact with the rest of the world and not just each other for me it just gives everything a more realistic atmosphere.


This story had me hooked from start to finish, but it was the latter part of the story that left me feeling a bit shattered. There was so much there that I was able to relate to. For very different reasons, I know how it feels to suffer a really traumatic injury and the havoc this can play on even the strongest of relationships add to this the fact that we were given things from both men’s perspective and this story for me was taken to a whole new level.


Add in the fact that Walker Williams was once again the narrator for this story and it all combines to create what was for me a supremely awesome listening experience that I know I’ll be repeating in the near future…this one’s definitely recommended.




An audio book of ‘Love’s Trials’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2020-02-05 23:50
"Special Topics In Calamity Physics" by Marisha Pessl
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Janice Card,Marisha Pessl

A unique, beautifully written book about that I fell in love with, got frustrated by and ended up being just good friends with.


I've decided that the best way to do justice to a book as long and complex as this one is to start by offering up my overall impressions and then sharing the detail of the experience of reading the book, based on the notes I made as I went along. There are no spoilers.


Overall Impression


"Special Topics In Calamity Physics" is a book with a personality all of its own. Reading it was like meeting a very charismatic person for the first time and being dazzled by their larger-than-life not-afraid-of-anything personal style, seduced by their erudition and left hungry for more of their stories and views on the world.


For the first half of this book, I was in love. But it's a very long book, nearly twenty-two hours of audiobook, and, just as with people, long exposure meant that, by the second half, some of the glamour rubbed thin, the erudition began to seem compulsive and irritating and I became hungry for the author to GET ON WITH IT.


By the end of the book, my admiration for it was more considered. I admired the depth of characterisation, the boldness and originality of the idea, the unashamed intellectualism of the delivery and the persistent vein of humour that kept everything human. It was an experience I wouldn't have missed.


On the other hand, I was frustrated that the book seemed to meander rather self-indulgently at times and that the impact of the bold idea was almost lost under the weight of the writing style. I was reminded of an interview with Dennis Hopper where he said that the hardest thing about making "Easy Rider" was knowing which of the perfectly shot scenes to leave out. With "Special Topics In Calamity Physics" nothing was left out.


Then there's the last chapter, "Final Exam". I hope that was humour but it felt more like a sneer.


This book may not be for everyone but I strongly recommend that you give it a try and see if it's to your taste.


My experience reading "Special Topics In Calamity Physics.


I've already posted most of these comments on BookLikes. If you're interested in seeing them in one place, please go HERE




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text 2020-02-05 18:13
Reading progress update: I've read 95%.- so I've had the big reveal but...
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Janice Card,Marisha Pessl

I'm almost at the end now. Over twenty-hours listened to and less than an hour to go. 


I enjoyed the drama on the mountain and the way the impact it had on Blue and Bluebloods was covered. I found all of that believable.


Now, I've had the big reveal, which I won't share, and I'm not quite sure what to do with it.


Blue figures it all out step by step and the "it" is huge and complex and has been hidden  in plain sight all along. Now she's put a pin through it, like a dead butterfly straight from the killing jar and is turning it around in the light so I can see it from all directions. She's also providing me with the equivalent of a full set of footnotes and sources covering all evidence and inferences.


The idea really is huge and bold but the reveal has all the drama of being given a detailed technical briefing on the engines and weapons system of a Rebel TIE Fighter when what you really want to know is whether Luke will close his eyes and use the force before Vader blows him away.

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text 2020-02-03 13:50
Reading progress update: I've read 59%. - something finally happened, but...
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Janice Card,Marisha Pessl

So something finally happened.


Something messy, emotional, irrational, violent, cruel and irrevocable.


It happened in the presence of Blue, our main character. Not to her or by her but observed by and futilely and feebly opposed by her.


If this were John Irving, my emotions would be a mess by now. He'd have been setting me up to be ripped apart for at least a hundred pages and I would have fallen for it even as I saw it happening. But this isn't John Irving and emotional devastation isn't what Marisha Pessl seems to be aiming for.


I feel the same stunned detachment Blue does. It's a numbness I recognise and it feels more real to me than the sorrow Irving manages to drench me in at least once in every novel. Sad to say, my life is more like Blue's than not. When bad things happen, I shut the emotions down, try to do what needs to be done and, in the back of my mind, pace the cell of my distress repeating "how did this happen?" to myself.


It may seem odd but this detached response to an eruption of violent emotion has re-engaged me with the book because it seems real and familiar and yet is seldom written about.





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