logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: man-hands
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-11-14 14:47
Sexy
Man Cuffed - Sarina Bowen,Tanya Eby

This is book #4, in the Man Hands series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading these in order intended.

 

Meg met Mac under the funniest of circumstances.  A case of mistaken identity, a sexy cop, and then an emergency.  When they see each other again later it steals the breath from her body.

 

Mac has the hots for Meg.  Has wanted her since the moment they met.  They seem to be good friends, so why not stay that way?  His family makes him do drastic things.

 

This is the best book in the series to me.  I laughed all the way through.  I could not devour the pages fast enough.  When I was done, I wanted to read it again.  Such an incredible addition to an already excellent series.  I give this read a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-11-12 03:34
The Aftermath of a Police Shooting Seen from Multiple Angles
Hands Up - Stephen Clark
“If you want to survive as a cop on these streets, then you need to check your conscience at the door. Sometimes there’s casualties. But if we don’t do whatever it takes to get the bad guy, then we could end up like your dad"


About a month ago, I posted about N. Lombardi, Jr.'s Justice Gone, and as I started to write this post, I noticed I was about to write something very similar here. But why re-invent the wheel? I'm just going to repeat the first few sentences (don't worry, I get original after that).

 

I've mentioned before here that after I decide to read a book I forget what its about (if I even know) to keep myself coming from being disappointed by preconceived notions. It worked this time, I really had no idea what it was about when I opened it on my Kindle last week.

 

Which made the opening pages, featuring the killing of an innocent and unarmed black teen by the police, as shocking as they could've been. But they also led me to believe I was in for a grim, adult version of The Hate U Give.

 

That I've used that idea twice in a month says a few things to me, including: 1. Angie Thomas has clearly taken up residence in a corner of my mind (welcome, Angie, sorry for the clutter); 2. the fact that I keep running into novels about the police killing innocents says something about our cultural moment (and it's not positive); and 3. thankfully, all three of these authors run with the concept in very different directions.

Lombardi quickly becomes about other killings (prompted by the police's unjust actions and the officers not facing any consequences), Thomas focuses on what happens to the witness of the shooting (but includes what happens to the family of the victim and the city in the aftermath), Clark focuses on the aftermath of the killing on the victim's family and the officer who pulled the trigger ending Tyrell Wakefield's life.

 

Let's start with that officer, Ryan Quinn, shall we? We meet him in the opening pages, working to reassure himself that he's not a murderer as he prepares to give a statement about the shooting. He's been a part of the Philadelphia Police Department for 8 months at this time. His partner, Sgt. Greg Byrnes knew Ryan's father when he was an officer, too. And after Ryan's dad was killed on the job, Byrnes has acted as a surrogate father. It's because of Byrnes that Ryan was in a position where he had to make that fatal choice, and it's Byrnes that guides him through the aftermath (for good or ill, I'll let the reader decide).

 

Clark makes the very uncomfortable choice (for the reader, and I can only imagine for the author) of making Ryan the only first-person narrator of this book. Early on, I resented having to be in his head through all of this—especially as I learned just how sketchy the circumstances around the shooting (and what Byrnes did afterward) were. I didn't want to be that close to this man's thoughts at this time, I didn't want to find him sympathetic, I didn't want to pull for him at all through this process. Which is exactly the reaction I think that Clark wants. It's uncomfortable by design.

 

The shooting affects Ryan, his family and his fiancé. He starts having panic attacks, getting professional help, and taking steps to become a different person on the one hand, while trying to keep his job, avoid prosecution, and rescue his career on the other hand. Too many authors would make him a complete villain or a misunderstood hero. Clark does neither. Or maybe he does both. Either way, Ryan is depicted in a very believable way.

 

One complaint with Ryan: throughout the book, Ryan thinks of his mother by her first name. I found that distracting at best. I can't help but wonder if Clark changed him from third-person to first late in the process and forgot to change that to "Mom" (or an equivalent) in the editing process.

 

As far as Byrnes? Ugh. Clark clearly wants the reader to not trust him, not like him, and wish that Ryan would get away from his influence. He succeeded in all of that with me. He's not a cartoonish racist cop or anything, he's just a horrible person.

 

Now, on to Tyrell's family. We first meet his sister Jade minutes before she discovers what had happened to him. She then has to break the news to her mother. Their grief and anger feels real, it feels raw, and you can't help but share their desire for justice and their pain.

 

Jade's our second protagonist and from the moment we meet her up until the very end of the book, she's the one you really identify with, pull for, and agree with almost every step of the way. If Clark had put her in another novel, I'd really enjoy spending time with her as a character instead of watching her in the tumultuous days of anger and grief.

She's a bartender, and one day Ryan comes into her bar for a few drinks. She recognizes him, he has no idea about Tyrell's family. Things get interesting from there.

 

The third protagonist in the book is Tyrell's estranged father who comes back to Philadelphia after a decade or so away when he gets the news.

 

Kelly saw his son for the first time in ten years, lying still in a casket, he could feel his heart breaking. He knew he could never get back all the time he lost with him. But if only he could have five minutes. Five minutes to catch up on his life. Five minutes to pass on his wisdom. Five minutes to tell him how much he loved him. Kelly just sat in the pew, staring at his son’s body in silence.


Now, Kelly's a major complication that this family didn't need at this time. Initially, I was very sympathetic toward him and wasn't sure that Jade (and the others, but primarily Jade) were giving him a fair shake. Jade's openly hostile toward her father—even when others warm to him. It didn't take me long, though, to get on Jade's side and start to wonder about Kelly (and Clark did a nice, subtle job with his character).

 

Each protagonist's storyline takes on turns that you might not expect going into the book—Kelly and Ryan do a lot in a short amount of time and their characters change and develop. Everything that happens—even though much of it has nothing directly to do with the shooting happens in the shadow of Tyrell's killing. It colors every conversation, every event, every reaction. In time Jade, Ryan, Kelly and the others will be able to move past this and do other things with their lives. But none of that happens now.

 

There's some stuff with Kelly and Jade at the end that made me think about rating this lower, but in the end, Clark pulled it off (and more than once I wondered if he could). Kelly makes some choices that I initially thought unnecessarily complicated a pretty full plot, and I'm still not sure that Jade would have done what she did (and I'm less sure I should accept her explanation of it). But the more space I give those events, and the more I mull about Clark's resolution, the better I feel about them. But I'm primarily giving this rating for what happens in the first 80 or so percent of the book.

 

Also, some of my reactions (still) to what happened in this book are so visceral that I've got to give Clark the credit for that. This is a much more even work than his first novel (which I liked, but had reservations about), but shares his talent for taking people who should be antagonistic toward each other, untrusting, and disinclined to to build any sort of relationship with each other—and helping them see the common humanity in each other and moving on past their differences. I'm a sucker for that kind of thing, as long as it's not done in a cheesy, "A Very Special Episode of..." kind of way. Which, I want to stress is why I like Clark's approach.

 

It's not a perfect book, but it's a good one—with some powerful moments that are dealt with skillfully. I encourage you to check out Clark's work and join me in waiting to see what he'll do next.

LetsReadIndie Reading Challenge2019 Cloak & Dagger Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2019/11/11/hands-up-by-stephen-clark-the-aftermath-of-a-police-shooting-seen-from-multiple-angles
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-09-29 18:53
loved this in both formats!
In Safe Hands - Michael Pauley,Victoria Sue
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. Mav is. . . .broken, and thinks fixing things is downing a bottle of Jack. Crashing on his sister's sofa isn't doing him or her any favours. When Jamie calls him out to do something for her, Mav really has to dig deep to get out of his stupor. Meeting the new client, however, does wonders. Deacon needs some help. After a scandal last year left him penniless, he can't afford to pay for the protection he needs. someone is out to get him, and the bodies keep piling up. Mav needs to up his game, and when the threat comes to a 2 year old child, Deacon's niece, both Mav and Deacon know they would do anything to keep her safe, even if it means Mav breaks Deacon's heart. I am, personally, not in a good place. Not a BAD place, just not doing so well and my reading is suffering. I said I would read this before the poop hit the fan, and I was concerned I would not be able to give this book my full attention, or worse, not be able to finish it at all. BUT!!! I bloody LOVED this book! Mav is, by his own admission, one drink short of becoming an alcoholic. His sister takes him in, and he's drowning his sorrows every night. Losing his career, and his leg, after a helicopter was bombed while he was the pilot has soured Mav to life and he just wants to be left alone. His sister, Jamie, ain't having none of it! She ropes him into talking to a possible new client, while she attends another job for her private investigations business. Deacon, lead singer of a boy band who was spectacularly disgraced last, is the client. A reporter twisted some truths, and Deacon's life came crashing down around his ears. He lost custody of his niece. Now, no one believes him, that someone is following him. When things escalate to a break in at his flat, and said reporter turns up dead, the police start to take notice. All the while, as Deacon continues to fall, Mav holds him up, keeps him close. I loved that things crept up on Deacon and Mav, the feelings they begin to have for each other. It's not that thunderbolt and lightning thing: more a sweeping rain storm that starts off as drizzle then increases in it's intensity til neither Mav nor Deacon can deny it any longer. Loved that, after the initial shock of seeing Mav's face, Deacon is like: okay, scars make you, YOU. Mav is concerned about the other scars, the ones on his leg and residual and again, Deacon is not at all bothered. It makes Mav see that maybe, just maybe, they can make it work. I must admit, I had an inkling who might be doing what they were doing to Deacon, very early on. Something they said set off bells and it was great being able to watch it all unfold. I have no idea WHAT this person said, I really don't, but something they said went ding ding ding and when Mav puts the pieces together, oh my! That man's alpha-protect-whats0mine instinct went into massive overdrive! Loved that, when it all went down, Mav and Deacon both knew, with just a look, that they might not come out of this alive. LOVED that the baddie gets a voice! Mav and Deacon's story carries some difficult topics: drug abuse, alcohol abuse, PTSD, murder (in some detail from the baddie!) All difficult topics, but very well written, and the research shows. I was particularly impressed with the research into Mav's accident, his injuries and what he went through after losing his leg. That doesn't always come across in a way a lay person such as myself can fully comprehend, but Ms Sue nailed it here! This book may well have been the one to kick start my ability to write a coherent review, or at least I think it makes sense! 5 full and shiny stars! Michael Pauley narrates. Having READ this book previously, what I was particularly looking for was the baddie’s voice. When I read it, something they said made my brain go ding, ding, fire alarm in the head, ding and I KNEW that this person was the baddie. HERE, in audio, I wanted to see if I could pick up just WHAT they said to make all the alarms go. And I got . . . nothing. The voice gave nothing away! Pauley NAILED that, he really did! So, while I was glad I didn’t get what they said to set me off, I’m also a little miffed
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-08-14 01:11
Gotten as a kindle freebie
Fifty Bales of Hay - Rachael Treasure

This collection of short stories is, as most collections are, a bit of mixed bag. All of the stories take place either on a ranch or a farm of some type. The woman are usually take charge and know what they want. The men aren't bad.

The couples are nicely varied - so you have people who just met but you also have a married couple for instance, and I though the different types of relationships highlighted in each story was a nice touch.
 

 

The title is because there are sly digs at 50 Shades.  But this is a far, far, far better book.  (Look, I know pretty much anything except for stuff by dictators and orange is better than 50 Shades, but Treasure's book is pretty good without needing the comparison.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-07-27 19:14
Read this
At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America - Philip Dray

As I type this, the President of the United States Donald J. Trump has attacked Rep. Elijah Cummings.  It was a racist attack.  This attack comes on the heels of countless attacks on four women of color who are also representatives, including a false claim that one of the women was married to her brother.  One of his opening attacks was telling the women to go back to their countries – all four are American citizens, three were born in American, and the one who is naturalized has been a citizen longer than the First Lady and her Be Best campaign.  Then there was the time he said Congresswoman Wilson was a stripper.  Trump also believes that Obama is not an American and that the Obama family book deals should be investigated.

 

                People are wary to say the following – Trump is a racist - because of reasons.  I’m not entirely sure what those reasons are.  I know that some of them have to do with press rules, but considering that the above is only a fraction of what the Trump presidency has done in terms of attacking people of color, including the targeting of reporter April Ryan, and considering Trump’s record in NYC,  it should be a matter of record that Trump is in fact a racist.

 

                Tie that to the Federal Government going back to executions (under a President who wanted the Central Park Five executed after their innocence was acknowledged/proven), and we are entering an even scary time than most people (dare I say most white people) are aware.

 

                Dray’s history of lynching in America makes it abundantly clear that same circumstances that existed to allow lynching exist today.  In spades.   It wouldn’t be too hard to draw a connection between the violence that has been threatened towards AOC and Omar, and lynching’s.

 

                It is not surprising that Trump targets people of color who call him out on his behavior or are critical of his policies.  (And what is the difference between MAGA and the change that Omar and the squad say is needed?  Outside of how the policies are different, both are saying the country needs to be improved).  It is the same reason why lynching was done – it is a way to keep the power in the relationship, to enforce a racist hierarchy.

 

                But you know this. 

 

                In his book, Dray details not only famous and lesser known cases of lynching (including one at a university) but also the whys for the violence (he moves beyond the accurate if board racism) as well as those who fought against it (and sometimes those people will surprise you), he also details the society that allowed it.  The comments in the news, by people and such.  And many of those comments are pretty much the language that Trump and his supporters are using.

 

                That is one reason why you should read this book.

 

                You should also read this book because this part of American history is something that we should not ignore or be ignorant about.  In part, this is so we can avoid it, but also so we can understand and acknowledge the problems in the relationship between the justice system and minority communities: many of the lynching’s were done with approval or little intervention from the justice system, and we still see that impact today .In part, so that we can confront the ugly history the same way that countries such as Germany have confronted theirs.

 

                That is another reason to read this book.

 

                Dray’s writing is engaging.  He doesn’t shy away from the graphic unpleasant details, but he does not use load language to try to heighten the reader’s emotional responses. The cases that he focuses on are either famous enough to warrant mention, or because the lack of or response to the attacks is important historically.  While the book does have photos, and some of those are disturbing to look at (as they should be), the book is primary description, which as always makes the horrific even more so.  (If you are worried about being triggered, the photos are in the photo section (just over mid-way in.  The first photo in that section is not bad.  So, if you need to skip the photos, you can).

 

                The book is packed with information and you will discover other books to read in the narrative.  The one strange thing was that he starts with W. E. B. DuBois, and I was hoping for Ida B. Wells.  But I guess more people know DuBois as opposed to Wells.  Though, hopefully this book helps to correct that.

               

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?