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review 2017-07-24 09:13
great first book, second not so much.
Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga Road Trip Vol. 1 - BA Tortuga
Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is a two book set, Racing The Moon, and Steam And Sunshine, and I read them back to back, so my review will be for both books, as a single listing. I enjoyed reading about Sonny and MJ, in Racing The Moon. They come together in an unusual way, Sonny running his Moonshine and MJ blowing up Sonny's escape route! There is immediate chemistry between these guys, I mean, they are trying to kill each other but it quickly turns into sexual chemistry. And THAT is way off the charts! Once these guys get with the programme, they are at it like bunnies and I LIKED that ....in the first book. But in Steam and Sunshine?? not so much. Every little thing sets them off, like EVERYTHING!!! And its on every bloody page, almost. Oh, I'm not against high levels of sexual activity, not at all, but it has to be in keeping with the book, and it took me an inordinate amount of time to read the 330 pages its billed on Goodreads as. I had to keep putting it down, and coming back to it, just to give myself a break from it all! In the first book, its pretty much just Sonny and MJ, with side characters, but in book 2, Neil and Paddy are introduced, hog tied and kidnapped! And these guys are great, weird, as are Sonny and MJ, but great. I liked them. It's very well written, from Sonny, MJ, Neil and Paddy's point of view. All four of them are very different, and it does take a little time to get into each character's way of thinking. Quite hard, at first, but I found it quicker to get with Neil and Paddy, than Sonny and MJ, possibly because I read them back to back. And these guys are BADASS! All of them are, but Sonny and MJ more so. They make no apologies for who and what they are, and I did love that, even badass as they are, Sonny and MJ managed to find those three little words. Kinda cute, but don't tell them that! There is a bigger picture across the stories, and I'm not seeing it yet. I have inklings, but I can't see that picture, and BECAUSE I can't see it, I would love to be able to read books 3 and 4 in this series. Had I just read book one, I would have rated that 5 stars, but this is for volume one, and is for two books and I had some issues with book two, so.... 4 stars **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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review 2017-07-21 16:57
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall
Seven Stones to Stand or Fall: A Collection of Outlander Short Stories - Diana Gabaldon

A few of these I've read already, so I'll be lazy and link to those reviews. ;)

 

The Custom of the Army - 2 stars


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/524842810?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

The Space Between - no rating

 

I didn't bother getting this when it was originally released solo and I'm glad I didn't. I don't have much interest in Joan, and even less interest in the Comte St. Germain, nor did I ever once wonder what happened to the guy or what his backstory was. So this was one long bore and I skimmed a lot of it to get to the important plot points. It was nice to see Mother Hildegard, but her role here is pretty much just cameo and doesn't make up for the rest.

 

A Plague of Zombies - 4 stars


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1900984342?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows - 5 stars


(No review for this one though. Sounds like a good reason for a reread.)

 

And reread I did and loved it just as much as the first time. Roger's father, Jerry MacKenzie, is unexpectedly launched back in time when his plane crash lands, and he goes through hell and back to get back to his time and his family. We get a few scenes of what's going on with Marjorie and baby Roger, but most of this is focused on Jerry. It's beautifully and heartbreakingly written, because if you've read the Outlander books you already know what everyone believes to have happened.

 

Virgins - 3 stars

 

Jamie and Ian are mercenaries in France. There's a lot of anti-Semantism in this one, as Gabaldon doesn't shy away from the prejudices of the time, and even our protags are guilty of it. The Jewish characters themselves though do not appear - at least to me - to be caricatures or stereotypes. Some of the Scottisms seemed strange - Ian's constantly referring to Jamie as a "wean" - I didn't think their age difference was all that great, so it felt odd. There's also this whole subplot with one of the other mercenaries who makes Gregor Clegane look like a fluffy kitty.

 

A Fugitive Green - 4 stars

 

Minnie and Hal's first meeting! I was intrigued by the backstory we got about Minnie in The Scottish Prisoner, so getting to see a more detailed telling of it was great. Minnie's wonderful and resourceful, and we even get a brief (too brief, I thought) subplot of Minnie's mom and her quest to find her. That was rather melodramatic - the mom's backstory that is - and I kept feeling like there was something more there going on than we heard

because nuns getting pregnant is not exactly unheard of so why exactly did Minnie's mom go mad because of it?

(spoiler show)

 

The ending also felt a bit rushed, so I hope this isn't the last exploration we get into these characters' backstories.

 

Besieged - 4 stars

 

Man, John can't even leave an assignment without getting pulled into a war. :P This is an interesting follow up to A Plague of Zombies, as John's still temporary military governor of Jamaica and trying his darnedest to resign that post. Enter his stepfather with some harrowing news. Loved seeing Tom Byrd again, and it was neat to see how Rodrigo is dealing after being zombified. There's your ingrained racism of the time, what with the slavery and all. I've never liked John's pragmatic view of slavery, but it is what it is, I guess? At least here, that pragmatism is a help to them.

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review 2017-07-21 10:42
An excellent naval history of the Civil War
War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865 - James M. McPherson

A few years ago I decided I wanted to read a naval history of the Civil War. To my surprise, I learned that, for all that has been written about the conflict, there are relatively few books about its naval aspects and the ones I found proved disappointing. Had I waited a little longer I would have discovered that this book was a perfect fit for my needs, as James McPherson brings his expertise as the nation's foremost Civil War historian to the study of its naval aspects. Drawing upon both primary sources and secondary studies he surveys the various components of the naval war, from the Union blockade that was a critical dimension of the conflict to the revolutionary development of steam-powered ironclads, all of which he describes in his clear and assured prose. If there is a complaint to be made about this book it is that the apparent parameters of the Littlefield series for which he wrote it limited the amount of depth in which he can explore his subject, yet within its confines he has provided the best single-volume history of the Civil War at sea there is or is likely to be for some time to come.

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review 2017-07-21 05:39
Spark
A Dead Man's Pulse: Trident Security Omega Team Book 1 - Samantha A. Cole,Eve Arroyo

This is the start of the Trident Security Omega Team series.  It is advised to first read the Trident Security series in order to avoid spoilers.  If not, this book can be read as a standalone novel.

 

Logan AKA Cowboy is immediately attracted to Dakota.  She is not impressed with him when they first meet, as he assumes she needs his help - but she can take care of herself.  He meets her again later and the sparks fly all over the room.  Now he just hopes he can impress her enough that she gives him a chance.

 

Dakota is a police officer who is always trying to prove herself in a man's world.  With all the odds stacked against her, she wishes for greater things.  When it turns out a killer has her in his sights, she is going to need all the help she can get.

 

Amazing and riveting conclusion of the mystery killer from many books before in the previous series.  Introducing the new Omega Team series, where the members are new and very hot.  This story has so much heat and such a compelling mystery, the pages nearly singe the reader.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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review 2017-07-20 22:43
Podcast #59 is up!
The Plague of War: Athens, Sparta, and the Struggle for Ancient Greece - Jennifer T. Roberts

My fifty-ninth podcast is up on the New Books Network website! In it, I interview Jennifer Roberts about her new history of the Peloponnesian War (which I just reviewed here). Enjoy!

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