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review 2018-03-14 14:13
Review: On the Brink of Passion by Tamsen Parker
On the Brink of Passion - Tamsen Parker

Jubilee, a veteran SIGs pairs figure skater, has returned to the spotlight with new partner, Beckett. She was the SIGs four years ago with her husband as her partner, but shortly after, he suffered an untimely death. Vowing never to lose so much all at once again, Jubilee appreciates Beckett because he is hard working, dedicated, and has no desire to her friend.


Beckett missed out on the SIGs four years ago, after which his then partner and lover, Sabrina, dumped him. Finding Jubilee was a godsend, and the fact that they are favored at the SIGs after only two years together is almost a miracle. Beckett is looking forward to the competition, and everything (and everyone) that comes along with the ride. 


Through a mistake in room assignments, Jubilee and Beckett are placed in the same suite, and neither is happy. Jubilee needs her downtime and private space. Beckett needs to get laid, but the Ice Princess won’t allow him to bring anyone back to the room. So on a dare/joke, the pair decide to sleep together.


On the Brink of Passion is a wonderful, amazing story and by far my favorite of the Snow and Ice Games series. It works for several reasons, namely it punches all my yes buttons. I enjoy books where the primary couple already has a strong sense of an established, non-sexual backstory, which is especially important when characters fall deeply in love on a shortened timeline. I also love books that pull at my heartstrings, allowing me to feel the heartache and/or suffering of one/both characters, but also brings me up so high in their love. Finally, the story is well-written, lacking any side stories or distractions that detract from the ebb and flow of the book.


The romantic journey begins well before the book starts - even though neither Beck nor Jubilee recognize it. The pair meshes perfectly on ice, creating an intimacy even though they aren’t friends or lovers. This gives the book a solid foundation for which their love affair can grow. The ludicrous start, being placed in the same suite and having sex on a dare, creates a forced proximity and more intimacy, once again, even though the characters attempt to keep a distance. 


Beckett is strong and kind, funny and determined. There were times I was laughing out loud at his thoughts and actions. He had trouble with past partners and has finally found the perfect match in Jubilee. And once they break out of their standard routine and he gets inside of her mind and body, he realizes he loves her. But Jubilee is so determined for history not to repeat itself that she refuses to acknowledge the strong bond and love she shares with Beck. The give-and-take between the two pulled at my heart, causing me to become emotionally connected to the pair.


On the Brink of Passion follows Beckett and Jubilee as they go from platonic partners to lovers. Watching them grow closer, even though Jubilee is determined not to see history repeat itself, warmed my heart. Their story shares heartache and triumphs in equal measures, giving me all the feels. I absolutely adored their romance and highly recommend it to any and all.


My Rating: A, Loved It

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Review copy provided by Netgalley

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review 2018-03-02 12:07
I Swear to You - Sloan Parker

Wonderful story about Mateo and Grady finding their way back to each other after years apart. Grady has some groveling to do for his actions years before but he is determined to make things right this time.

Mateo still loves Grady but he is not quite the same man Grady used to know. With patience and love Grady gets Mateo to feel safe enough to trust him with the truth of his life during their years apart. And that is where this otherwise very sweet story turns rather dark and intense. But since Grady and Teo are meant for each other, things obviously turn out the way they are supposed to.

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text 2018-03-01 08:25
Reading progress update: I've read 58%.
I Swear to You - Sloan Parker

Mateo gripped Grady’s hands through the shirt and stilled them. “We do this, and I want it all.”




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review 2018-02-27 04:28
Recreating Animals
Grandfather Tang's Story - Ann Tompert,Robert Andrew Parker

This story is about two fairy foxes told using tangrams. It is an endearing game between a grandfather and his granddaughter which reveals a story of magic, clever animals, and true friendship. I will read this story three times before providing them with tangrams. While reading it the 4th time, I will stop after each animal so the students can creating the animals. The lesson will consist of me ask questions about the shapes and which shapes make a new shapes. 


Reading Level: Lexile AD660L


Grades: 1-4th

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review 2018-02-26 03:49
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé - poetry
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce - Morgan Parker

"Summertime and the living is
extraordinarily difficult...

This book is uncorrected proof. You read it
on your eyelids. You sleep under it.

...You say you read it but you didn't."


Sometimes books of poetry are extremely accessible with easy subjects about love and trees. Sometimes the poems are so tightly forced into form that if there was ever emotion involved, it's been stamped out. Sometimes a book of poems doesn't hit the mark.


None of that is like Morgan Parker's poetry. She's a good poet, experimental but not just weird, she's interesting, pushing boundaries, pushing consciousness, pushing her reader into some discomfort and pain rather than counted measure. I wouldn't say these are as accessible as nursery rhymes, but they aren't so "Poetry-ish" that they deny the feels.


She shows off her womanhood in all its glory here: complete with body parts, multiple Beyoncé-s, list poems, poems that feel found, surprises, joy, pain, grief, deadpan recountments, teaching poems and poems of discovery. She's in turns rough and then smooth as butter. I found my sense of smell heightened from these poems, which was just bizarre until I noticed my fingertips were tingling too. It literally woke me up and figuratively too.


I borrowed this copy from my library, and now I'm going to own one in "less than 24 hours" says the only retailer who would get me a copy. (Maybe some stores should try just a little harder and I wouldn't have to resort to online marketplaces. Anyway...)


I really loved these poems in the time I had them from the library. I didn't want to give them back, but someone else should enjoy them. I can actually tell from the shape of this book that lots of people already have, which is not the usual case with public library poetry books. I know that I will love them again and again.

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