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Search tags: jp-sloan
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review 2018-01-16 08:47
good book and characters
Lost Rider (The Coming Home Series) - Harper Sloan

It had been eleven days since the doctor had told Maverick/Mav his career was over. Eleven days of drinking himself into a stupor. Mav had become the thing he had swore he would never be , become the man that raised him. Mav had everything he ever wanted in the palm of his hand. Riding was all Mav had ever needed and now it was gone. Ten years of living his dreams and then it was gone. Bull riding is one of the two things in Mav’s life that bring him peace. Mav still had a fearless streak. For almost ten years Maverick had been the biggest name in professional bull riding. He had always been able to conquer the bulls until Lucifer. Then the doctor said Mav had too many head injuries. One more and he would be taken out of the arena in a body bag. So Maverick was heading home and his older brother Clay was calling again to see when he would get there. Quinn was Mav’s sister. Their father had died and they wanted Mav at the church. Mav had a rough childhood.  But their father hadn’t wanted Maverick around ten years ago. Just being home made Mav feel trapped all over again. There was one thing Mav had wanted more than riding but he had run away from it to chase his dreams  and lived with the regret  since. No matter what he had done or accomplished it still hadn’t made his father proud of Mav. Then Mav thought of Leighton/Leigh. Mav had known Leigh had a crush on him for years. But Leigh didn’t want to leave Pine Oak. Leigh and Quinn were best friends and she sat next to Quinn in church to comfort her. Leigh still loves Mav Leigh was now a baker and owned the Pie Hole.

I enjoyed this book. It was a good hot romance and I loved it.  I liked the plot also. I loved Leigh and Mav together. I felt this was well written. His was a passionate sweet second chance romance story. At times this book dragged for me The chemistry between Leigh and Mav was sizzling. This caught my interest from the beginning and held it until the end. I love how it focused  on the healing of Mav and Leigh. This was a little repetitive at times. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I recommend.

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review 2018-01-01 19:43
Review: Cowboy Up (Coming Home #3) by Harper Sloan
Cowboy Up - Harper Sloan

 

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series. As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there's a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with disastrous end to his last relationship, he's just fine with his quiet, solitary life. Most of the time. What he hadn't counted on was cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She's the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn't lived an easy life, but after escaping an abusive ex, she's finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis, a night she can't stop thinking about. So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it'll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little... Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?

Finally with the last book in the series we get my favorite Davis brother, Clay.  While he was the most quiet and reserved he was my favorite since book one and I couldn't wait to learn more about Clay. There is a sating about "still waters run deep" and so on and that is the case with Clay, At least I thought so.  I really enjoyed to learn even more about Clay's backstory and his crappy history plus his heartbreak with women.  I also loved Caroline who is pretty much the opposite of Clay and really brings him to life. She learns quick what buttons to push with him. She also had  less than pleasant history and still has troubles, Clay ever the gentleman is helping her out.  Clay really is the prefect mix of gentleman and bad boy in this book.  I really enjoyed this awesome blend of humor, steam and thrill. Also liked that we see the other familiar faces quite a bit, but without taking away form Clay and Caroline.

 

I rate this book a full 5★

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

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review 2017-12-17 00:00
Cowboy Up
Cowboy Up - Harper Sloan Clay and Caroline are different in many ways, but they share a bond that is destined to bring them together. Both have been burned by love and scarred by life. Clay is the ever responsible older brother determined to lead by example. His role hasn't been easy and his choices not always wise, but his heart has always been in the right place. When it comes to love of family he's on solid ground, matters of the heart are a personal minefield. Caroline is the first woman who slips under his radar and finds her way into his heart. She has a few suitcases full of her own emotional baggage to carry. Trust issues, painful memories and a fresh start, land her right in the path of the biggest recluse in town. What unfolds is a relationship that is passionate, flawed and will make a heart ache, but it will also inspire. Before reading this series, I had never heard of Harper Sloan and now I can't imagined my bookshelf without her.
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text 2017-11-04 11:28
DNF after 13%
Shadow Worlds: A Space Fantasy Adventure... Shadow Worlds: A Space Fantasy Adventure (Shadow Corps Book 2) - Justin Sloan

Way too much teenage stuff.

 

Very immature magic teenager up to save the universe, has enough time to have a crush on the boy on the resistance force with her, be jealous because he is with some other girl, is totally immersed in how much more attractive the other warrior woman is when she is drawn into a special force unit to save the universe.

 

So bad.

 

I read an article in the Guardian about a book Tom Hanks wrote. It was a quite critical article with some reflection on why many male authors, directors, writers, journalists cannot portray women with any depth.

Unfortunately there is some truth in that.

Anyone who is in a dire situation, life and death all around, survival is the goal, and she is only concerned with "does he like me" and "she is way prettier than me"?

 

I am out of that.

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review 2017-10-22 22:59
The Dark Interest
The Dark Interest (The Dark Choir) (Volume 4) - J.P Sloan

I've been procrastinating on this review for months, to the point that I've even been avoiding BookLikes and Goodreads. No matter how it looks, I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, particularly of series that I previously enjoyed. I really wanted to like The Dark Interest. I've relished the rest of the series: I like the magic system that Sloan sets up, the affectionate familiarity with the city of Baltimore, and I even enjoy disliking jerkish antiheroic protagonist, Dorian. The series has routinely gone in directions I didn't experience, often leading to the tarnishing and darkening of Dorian's character. I've found it fun because it's so unexpected.

Sure, there were some rough elements, some moments that made me wince, particularly in the first book. But this book took it to a whole new level, and in ways that can't simply be dismissed as a jerkish protagonist's warped perspective. Fair warning: because some of my issues with the book are major aspects of the plot, there may be spoilers from here on out.

In recent years, Baltimore has been central in a nationwide struggle over race, police brutality, and equal justice. In 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray in police custody (and Tyrone West in 2013), the city erupted into mass protests that led to a declaration of emergency, enforced curfew, deployment of the National Guard, dozens of fires, and hundreds of arrests. For years afterwards, national news was riddled with stories of mass demonstration, civil unrest, and arrests of protesters. Despite it all, all six police officers associated with the tragedy were acquitted or had charges dropped against them. More recently, Baltimore police have been arrested for racketeering and caught on the bodycams they thought were turned off planting evidence to incriminate suspects. Long story short, like many cities in the US, a conversation on equal justice is an inescapable part of the reality of the city. 

In The Dark Interest, Sloan brings up that conversation, but in the most tonedeaf way imaginable. A riot erupts when the story starts, and Dorian being Dorian, his major concern is whether his restaurant will be destroyed or whether the riots will generate "a vibrant dinner rush." . Much of the subsequent plot involves the Baltimore riots, without ever quite saying as much. More specifically, he appropriates them as a plot point and attributes the anger to supernatural forces:

"Even though all of this was very real, this uprising wasn't a natural process. Long in coming though it may have been, this violence was engineered. Angry, ancient forces were pushing this city over a tipping point it might not pull back from."
"That's what this Summer of Blood is all about. Don't you see it? They're cranking up the heat."

I'm generally uncomfortable with this sort of twisting and belittling of history, but when the wounds are still so raw and the struggle is still ongoing? There are tragedies it is utterly unacceptable to appropriate, conflicts that it is repugnant to twist and debase and minimize and devalue. America's current conversation about race and justice is one of them.

The problems with this book don't stop there. Much of the story involves the "Jokomo Gang," a Black gang from New Orleans "displaced by Hurricane Katrina" . The members are described as "into drugs and guns" . Their brand of magic is described by Dorian as follows:

"It's not African voudou. It's Louisiana flavor, which blends lots of horrible shit from the Catholic Church, Santeria, and basically anything else the Dark Choir decided to toss into that gumbo pot."

The practitioners are termed

"Reckless dabblers. They stir up primal beings that rage unrestrained and unstewarded into our world."

The leader, Lasalle, is called a "wannabe crime lord" "a hoodlum" "an outright criminal" , and the "lead thug" . Lasalle is portrayed as a slow-witted, surly, angry, immature Black man who Dorian actually castigates a "acting like a child." Just in case you're in any doubt about the dog whistles going on here, Dorian later casually accuses the gang of "Get[ting] their free ride in Baltimore." 

When the gang confronts Dorian, questioning him about his recent actions, the "good cop" protagonist appears to "save" Dorian by harassing and belittling them without apparent cause, going so far as to refer to them as "boys": "You boys raising a ruckus out here?" If you don't understand why referring to African-American men as "boys" is toothclenchingly offensive, I'm happy to point you to some references. But in the book, this is portrayed as a heroic rescue against a gang of "your basic street thug[s]" . At another point, Dorian ends up in a police station and assumes that everyone else behind bars-- all African-American-- are "probably wondering what a man like me was up to in a police station." (emphasis mine).

Things began less than optimally when Dorian stops a kid--poor and African-American, naturally-- from committing a theft, and they have a conversation in the author's attempt at dialect. It went downhill from there. I was mystified when Dorian jumped to the conclusion that the kid from the intro was running with the Jokomos-- the only thing I can imagine is he assumes all Black kids are muggers and gang members and all of "them" stick together. There is absolutely no other reason to think that. And of course, naturally, a Black kid is the mugger. Of course, there were other things that pissed me off about the book. Dorian has always been a jerk, and his level of jerkhood in this book is over the top. He decides he deserves to run the city because he can trust no one else. He has no principles other than self-preservation. He decides that he "had to betray Choi" to save himself. Why not just take consequences for his own actions rather than destroying someone else's life? At the very least, he shouldn't pretend he was forced into that choice-- he could have chosen to accept responsibility.

(spoiler show)


I wanted to like this book. I really did. And actually, even though it infuriated me, I found it interesting to explore the perspective of a character so imbued with white privilege that his only thought during a mass protest against police brutality is whether he'll get a dinner rush. But what I have real trouble with is the unexamined nature of much of the prejudice; the thoughtless, caustic nature of the white privilege that imbues it. 

Maybe if you understand what this book is going in, you can get past all this, but I couldn't. That doesn't mean I won't give the next book a try; I'm constantly fascinated by how far down Dorian can be dragged, and the ending is a zinger.

Okay, that's all from me. At least now you know why I've been procrastinating and avoiding Goodreads for these last few months.

~~I received this ebook through Netgalley from the publisher, Curiosity Quills Press, in exchange for my (depressingly) honest review. Quotes were taken from an advanced reader copy and while they may not reflect the final phrasing, I believe they speak to the spirit of the novel as a whole.~~ 

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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