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review 2019-03-20 23:33
Definitely not a standalone
Six Impossible Things: Rhymes With Love - Elizabeth Boyle

If you want to have an idea of what is going on in this, make sure you've read from #3 and on in this series, this is #6. I read #3 in 2014 and #5 in 2016 and I could barely hang in there as it was in the beginning. 


This pretty much follows the mystery set up in the books I mentioned, one of the bigger villains is pretty much already dealt with but while the other books dispatched of him, they also hinted at someone else behind the scenes, this is all about the hunt for that someone behind the scenes. 


I feel like I've been complaining about this a lot lately, just my string of luck with picking stories I guess, but our hero and heroine had a childhood friendship, we get no scenes of it. Basically, she already has found him sexy and wanted him, while he is waking up to the fact that he, too, has always wanted her. I missed watching and experiencing the development of attraction. 

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review 2019-03-19 17:21
Hot to the Touch by Jaci Burton
Hot to the Touch (Brotherhood by Fire) - Jaci Burton

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


The first in a new series following three firefighting brothers, Hot to the Touch was a steamy fast paced read. After his parents were killed in a car accident, Jackson was sent into the system, only to become a teenager living on the streets. He finds himself a sort of leader trying to take care of kids younger than him but really bonds with two other boys, Rafe and Kal. When a firefighter ends up rescuing them one night, they finally find themselves adopted and in a happy home but Jackson still bears the scars of those early years.


Rebecca “Becks” had a crush on Jackson when they were homeless kids and missed him when he and his “brothers” disappeared. When fate brings them back together, she finds herself attracted to the man. With some matchmaking brothers, healing old wounds, and sexual tension, two former homeless kids may just get their happily ever after.


I enjoyed the set-up of Jackson and his brothers being rescued by a firefighter only to be adopted by him and grow up to work along side him. In order to create some tension between Jackson and Becks, the author had him being unnecessarily rude and short to her. His poking at her for cleaning and cooking while she stayed at their home (she loses hers after a fire) was forced and had him coming off more of a jerk than grumpy teddy bear. His supposed reluctance to love anyone (he seems to have no problem loving his brothers and parents) was dragged through the whole story and only overcame/worked through at the very, very end (90ish%). I'm not even sure I understand the big deal about him not wanting to discuss and/or wallow about his past as a homeless kid.


Becks was a positive character with her raising herself up to become a business owner. However, I felt like her character was never really delved into. She ended up being adopted by a good family but there's no foundation felt from that and her journey from doodling artist to tattoo business owner delivers no emotional impact. She still visits her old stomping grounds and brings essentials to homeless kids but they are such short scenes that they never fully make an impact.


The romance between the two definitely had their steamy moments but since the emotional components weren't fully there for me, I had a hard time connecting. I got from both of them that they found the other sexually attractive and some emotional carryover from Becks' childhood crush but I was never able to feel their connection. Jackson's “don't ever want to talk about the past” dominated the story and it kind of felt like we were spinning our wheels for the majority.


The writing style had a lot of short sentences, which I think hurt the flow for me. The characters also felt very surface, their issues are stated but never expanded on, delved into, or flushed out, making this feel a little dry. There was also an inclusion of a secondary character that is probably being set-up to be a heroine in a future book and her actions felt over-the-top and forced to try and create some friction. The outline and character issues were there but the depth behind them wasn't, this was a fast read but not particularly engaging.

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review 2019-03-19 01:33
Ch6 and Conclusion
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Liz Kalaugher,Matin Durrani

If the cuckoo egg hatches first, the early-bird chick pushes its rival eggs out of the nest. Now it can catch the worm – it’s won the undivided attention of its new foster-parents. And if the cuckoo emerges after the host bird’s chicks, it shoves its step-brothers and sisters over the edge to their death.


I had no idea the cuckoo was so hardcore, dang. 


the strike rate of one species is more than 94 per cent.


I thought the experiment of seeing if the fish is born with the ability or has to practice was interesting but then saying they only did it once and then ran out of funding kind of gives it a flat ending. 


And if your diving buddy is pale, you’ll have noticed their face turn green and their lips blacken as you sink deeper.


Yeah, this is creeeeeepy!


This is one of the disturbing things about doing underwater research, Johnsen says: something can be the size of a 747 Jumbo Jet and only 3m (10ft) away, yet it’s impossible to see. ‘That’s true underwater all the time,’ he adds. ‘Even if the water seems quite clear, you’re never going to see more than about 100m [330ft].


Reading about the depths that some of these creatures live in the ocean (up to 3,300ft for octopus) is a great reminder for how vast ocean life is and how much we do not know about it. I feel like I need to watch the movie Abyss again, lol. 


I don't know, I thought this last chapter was the least interesting of all. Maybe light refracting is just not as interesting to me but I felt like there was some whiffing on details and depth. The first half was vastly better to me than this latter half. I thought there was some fascinating information in here but I found myself furthering my research from other sources because this didn't provide enough. However, like I mentioned, I am a visual learner so, I'm naturally more inclined to get more out of YouTube and other videos. Definitely wasn't to technical and would worked great as a baseline informational read. I still can't help feeling the last two to three chapters lost the energy of the first. 


Updates with comments and quotes:


Intro & Ch 1


Ch 2 & 3


Ch 4 & 5


Thanks to Flat Book Society for letting me hop into another buddy read!


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review 2019-03-18 00:12
Structure felt cobbled
The Highlander Who Protected Me - Vanessa Kelly

You know I don't flirt,” he said. Then he titled his head, as if considering. The late afternoon sunlight caught the red in his burnished mahogany hair, making it glow like fire. “Except with you.”


This is the first in the series but there felt like a lot of background I was missing. What I felt from our hero Royal was insta feelings and “ok, sure” from the heroine Ainsley. They seem to have met in a previous book where Royal abducted her, which she liked, didn't like? I really felt like I missed them bonding or getting to know one another.


The story structure of this felt off and cobbled together. The first half is Royal sad because he thinks there is no future for him and Ainsley, the middle is Ainsley lying while Royal is a mary-sue, and the last half is Ainsley lying, arguing with Angus (Royal's grandfather), and Royal wanting to sleep with Ainsley while being in pain with his leg injury.


This just didn't flow for me, it was a little over four hundred pages and whole sections dragged for me as we went round and round with Ainsley keeping some big secret from Royal, leg pain, and arguing. For Royal having such a large supportive family, I forgot some brothers even existed as their names were mentioned only a handful of times, I do know the twins were little devils to raise though, as it was mentioned over and over. I liked Ainsley's Aunt Margaret but after appearing in the middle part, she is never heard from again. Angus and Ainsley's relationship could have been a nice secondary addition if the fighting didn't last so long and feel so acrimonious and skim over their eventual starting to like one another finally.


Since it seemed some of these two's story started in another book, I missed their bonding; there didn't feel like any romance in this story. The pacing was slow and the structure had this feeling like three sections not melded together and characters spinning their wheels for four hundred pages.


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review 2019-03-14 18:48
An Irish Attraction by Louisa Masters
An Irish Attraction: Emerald Isle Enchantment - Louisa Masters

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Stop laughing!” Keela demanded, smacking him with a cushion between her own bouts of giggles. “It’s not that funny.”

Flopping back against the sofa, Seamus gasped for breath. “Not that funny? A ghost who lived before the Industrial Revolution wanted to give you the sex talk!”


Castle Tullamore Hotel is a hot spot for supernatural activity, when the owner assigns the senior concierge, Seamus, to assist another paranormal investigator coming to visit, he is none to happy. Keela is not your average investigator though, for one, she can see and communicate with the ghosts. An elevator that can send you on interdimensional travel, matchmaking ghosts, and a budding romance, help make this a short and fun read.


The story starts off with Keela giving validation to the existence of supernatural and paranormal beings, she can see and communicate with them, so the reader gets to just settle into and enjoy the world the author has created, no questioning of what is real in that aspect. I liked the spark and interaction between her and Seamus, their romance moves very quickly (short page count) but their closed door romance added some cute moments and emotion to the story.


The main mystery Keela is there to investigate, a Victorian age elevator that can send its inhabitants time traveling or on an interdimensional journey, started off intriguing. I would have liked Keela and Seamus to have went on a journey and the final reveal of what was truly happening was a very quick, kind of confusing at certain points, info dump feeling of an explanation.


The setting of Castle Tullamore Hotel provided a fun location and seems rife with interesting characters for the author to highlight. There are matchmaking ghosts, a studious library ghost, werewolf bellboys, and many more to wreak havoc with guests. This was just over one hundred pages, you won't get a lot of depth to characters, but if looking for a fun, quick read, this will immerse you in a lively little world.

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