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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 2018-05-15 17:40
My ninety-ninth podcast is up!
Barbarians in the Greek and Roman World - Erik Jensen

Podcast #99 is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview historian Erik Jensen about his book on the idea of barbarians in the ancient world and the insights they offer into Greek and Roman concepts of identity. Enjoy!

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review 2018-04-07 22:35
Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen 4.5 Star Review!!
Block and Strike - Kelly Jensen

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

 

Review

 

Jacob and Max. I love the complexity of this romance. I love how much each hero has going on internally and externally when they meet. 

All the conflicts press in on them and they fall in love anyway and we want them too. 

This is a well written love story with so many fine details: internalized homophobia, martial arts, bi phobia, anger management. Despite the dark themes, this is a hopeful and healing romance overall with a great cast and wonderful arc for each hero. 

Jacob delays telling Max somethings too long in ways that don't make sense but they are both flawed, lovely and lovable characters that I adored.

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review 2018-02-21 23:11
After 60 Life
I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks: Irreverent Advice on Living Well After 60…. Because Wine is Always Age-Appropriate - Vikki Jensen Claflin

I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks by Vikki Jensen Claflin is a humorous take on senior life and living.  The tips may come in handy, if not they'll at least make you laugh.  The quick stories are entertaining and fun.  You're not even close to 60?  It'll still give you a laugh and a peek into what awaits you down the road of life.  I enjoyed reading I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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review 2018-01-23 00:00
Uncommon Ground
Uncommon Ground - Kelly Jensen Uncommon Ground - Kelly Jensen This book was just the right mix of science fiction and sexy gay romance. I had not read anything by this author before so did not know what to expect. What I got was an awesome read with really interesting characters, plenty of suspense, action and some realy hot sex. It was definitely not what I was expecting as it is listed as being part of the "Kindle Worlds - Memories from the Breakfast Club" series. Since I knew it was based in the universe created by Felice Stevens I certainly never expected actual aliens to be in it, despite its other series title being "Aliens in New York". However , I have to say despite its ground in the Breakfast Club universe being pretty thin, the book was very well-written and a very enjoyable read. Dillon and Lang are pretty awesome and fit together like a lock and key. There were a few nice surprises by the end that I will let you discover for yourself. This book left me in the place of wishing book 2 was already available cuz I just need to know more!
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