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review 2017-09-19 06:45
Sincere
His Convenient Husband (Love and Sports) - Robin Covington

Isaiah & Victor have a flash of sexy in their past that may come back to bite them.  Isaiah is offering to help Victor stay here in America.  To go home for him would be death.  Isaiah struggles with this, since he is very attracted to Victor and has a hard time staying hands off.

 

Victor is starting to have real feelings for Isaiah.  He finds the many parts of his personality very attractive and knows he is falling for him.  How do you find love when the person you care for has no interest in falling?

 

This book was really sexy.  I loved the interaction with the characters.  The pages sizzle with electricity from the main characters chemistry.  I love that the backstories of both are varied, diverse, and very real and easy to understand.  Really good read.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-05 23:46
DNF - 40%
Penalty for Holding (The Games Men Play Series) - Georgette Gouveia

Unfortunately I had to call time on this one at about 40%. I actually started skimming at 33% and then finally had to give up. 

 

I felt like I was reading this book forever. The narrative would jump from one event to another, past to present, until I lost the thread. It seemed to meander along. It took forever for the MC, Quinn, to meet the love/sex interest (both of them). And that's when things went from bad to worse for me. There was no connection between the MCs before the 'relationships' started, and because of the way the story was written I never got any sense of relationship. One relationship was almost dub-con, and was definitely abusive. And then Quinn started a relationship with another character (who also had history with the abusive character), a character he thought himself in love with, but chose not to say anything. I got to the point where I couldn't stomach anymore.

 

On a positive note, I did like the cover.

 

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review 2017-07-09 09:43
Heartbreaking in places
True Colors (True Love) - Anyta Sunday

When I started reading this book the whole set up with the pirate play sounded familiar. Checking the blurb I realised that I had read the previous book, True Luck, back when it had been called Bottle Boys. And even in my review back then I had wondered, what's the deal with Marco. Well, this is Marco's story and it is told purely from his pov. It also runs in tandem with the events in True Luck. 

Marco and Oskar had been best friends until something happened to tear them apart. What this thing is we the reader don't really know and we find out in fits and starts as the two friends turned enemies try to come to terms with Oskar's return to the neighbourhood.

 

The forgiveness Oskar seeks is a hard won battle and the romance is slow-burn, more so because Oskar is already in a relationship when he returns. The secondary characters have a lot of page time as their families still live next door to each other and Marco's family is Oskar's family and vice versa. 

 

Not only must they overcome what happened in the past, but Marco also needs to address his own body issues due to the scarring he received in an accident when he was a teenager. This also means we get a virgin MC, and the deliciousness that goes with this.

 

There were a number of missing/wrong word issues, but not enough to drag the reader from the story.

 

Overall this was a lovely, hard fought love story which managed to break my heart in places. 

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review 2017-06-29 23:08
Cover has nothing to do with the story
Bad Beginnings (Anchors) (Volume 1) - Nicole Field

The cover had nothing to do with the story that I could see, although it did make me hungry.

 

This is the second story in the Anchors' series. I haven't read the first story as it is M/F and not a genre I read.

 

This was a 2 to 3 hour read but I have to admit that it felt longer, I think this is because the story got bogged down in unnecessary parts of the story.

 

I enjoyed parts of the story more than others and I think the author missed an important focus of for story, and one that she had set up at the beginning of the story.

 

Pros:

Dante - come on, he owns a comic book shop, he needs a 'hobby' so decides to open a drop in place for trans/queer teens, he's respectful and considerate to his partners. What's not to like?

Did I mention the drop in centre for trans/queer teens?

The relationship between Dante and Kit. Very sweet. Respectful.

The relationship between Dante and Con (his brother, who is trans) and the support given between the two. 

The 'family' dynamic was perfect. 

 

Cons: 

Story got bogged down in too much information when it came to the law suit. I skimmed a lot of the law suit information. It had no bearing on the relationship and added nothing to the story.

The teen centre idea was introduced early on but wasn't given full rein until the end. I would have liked this to be a partial focus of the story rather than the law suit.

Not enough on-page relationship development. This links into my next point...

Time jumps. There were several annoying time jumps where you would expect important relationship developments to take place. In fact after one of the most important events there was then a 4 week time jump, which was disappointing.

 

Overall I enjoyed this story but it could have benefited from a deeper/stricter edit.

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-28 09:06
The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
The Hideaway - Lauren K. Denton

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there. Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected. Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways. When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Sara Jenkins is an antiques dealer living in New Orleans, Louisiana when she gets word that her 72 year old grandmother, "Mags", (the last of Sara's immediate family, after being orphaned at the age of twelve) in Sweet Bay, Alabama has passed away. In addition to this news, Sara is told that she has been left her grandmother's home / business of sorts, The Hideaway Bed & Breakfast. Sara visits the property with the idea to immediately get the house listed so she can make a quick sale and truck it back to New Orleans to carry on with her life. Once on site however, Sara sees that what was affectionately being referred to as a bed & breakfast is actually more of a seniors' community made up of Mags' friends taking up residence in all the rooms. Quickly falling under the charms of these senior citizens, Sara decides to take on all the intensive, desperately needed renovations.

 

Whether she'll sell or stay, she's struggling to decide.... the choice becoming even more complicated once she meets the attractive contractor hired onto the job. While elbows deep in the work, Sara comes upon a box of letters & mementos belonging to Mags, items that tell of an entirely different woman than the one Sara thought she knew. The Mags in the letters is bold and wildly in love, far from the sweet, subdued nature of Sara's grandmother. As Sara tries to make sense of all this, she is simultaneously forced to fend of a greedy land developer interested in snatching up the property for a shopping area / apartment plan in the works. 

 

Told in alternating POVs -- between the story of Mags and that of her granddaughter, Sara -- this novel opens in modern times and spans back to the 1960s, when Mags' letters introduce the reader to her 22 year old newlywed self (albeit then known as Margaret Van Buren), already in a struggling marriage to a wealthy, respected, but emotionally neglectful (not to mention philandering!) man. It's largely through the letters that the reader is given insights into how the woman of status, "Margaret", became the artsy, go-with-the-flow, B & B owning- gypsy soul known as "Mags".

 

 

 

Well, I'll start off by saying that this is absolutely the perfect, easy-breezy, poolside kind of read. Perfect for fans of The Notebook! Not saying the plot is necessarily super-similar, just that the tone / feel one gets from this is similar to that Sparks novel. The Hideaway definitely has Hallmark summertime movie (adaptation, that is) all over it. While the plot itself is not terribly original --- person inheriting property, deciding what to do with it, going on a literal / emotional journey that leads to revelatory information about benefactor being brought to light in the process -- the characters themselves are what make this particular novel a solid good time. Each resident at The Hideaway is endearingly unique and heartwarming in character. 

 

That being said, there were just a few things that bothered me leading me to knock my rating down a bit:

 

*

Mags basically vilifies her philandering husband but kinda walks into a kettle-pot situation when she SO easily takes up with William. 

(spoiler show)

 

* And also this quote by Mags: "At 33, I'm long past the age of letting myself get swept up by a man, no matter how charming or handsome he may be." I just found that line depressing. One needs a lovely moment of getting "swept up" from time to time, regardless of age! 

 

* Sara's assistant in New Orleans, Allyn: I knew going in that this book was published through a Christian publishing house, so I don't know if that plays a role in this, but it bugged me that author Lauren Denton hinted at Allyn being gay in such a heavy-handed way but never actually uses the word. In an age where LGBTQ+ representation in fiction is so strongly requested and sought out, I thought Denton dropped the ball in this respect. 

 

Near the end of this novel, some of the "reveal" bits of the story, where issues are magically explained into sense, reminded me somewhat of some of the big plot reveals used in Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. Personally, I wasn't entirely happy with the fate Denton wrote for The Hideaway property, as far as the specifics of how things were resolved. Still, I quite enjoyed the underlying inspiring theme of people finding a true sense of family and community with people who accept them just as they are... oh my, went a bit Bridget Jones' Diary there for a moment! 

 

Also, bonus points for throwing my own town into the mix of places used in this book! 

 

For those who might want to use this for a possible book group selection, a discussion questions guide is included in the back of the paperback edition. 

 

FTC Disclaimer: BookLookBloggers.com and Thomas Nelson Publishers kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book & requested that I check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

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