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text 2017-03-30 07:01
Cover Reveal - Locke And Key

lockeandkey-banner

 

LOCKE AND KEY by Cristin Harber is coming May 2nd and we're so thrilled to share the cover with you! Check out the full cover below and find out more about LOCKE AND KEY!

 

CristinHarber_LockeAndKey_2500px

 

ABOUT LOCKE AND KEY (Releasing May 2nd):

 

THE STOIC SPECIAL FORCES OPERATOR

 

There’s only one person to blame for darkening the last years of Locke Oliver’s military career: Cassidy Noble. And damn if he doesn’t have to save her from the side of a frozen mountain.

 

Even after the job is done, he can’t shake the woman from his thoughts. He blames her for the deaths in his Army unit so many years ago, and he’s not ready to let that go. It’s driving him to the point of distraction, and now his Titan Group boss says to get his act together or get out.

 

THE FEISTY, FALLEN REPORTER

 

Cassidy is a disgraced journalist, once accused of treason—Or she’s an American hero. It depends on who you ask. She’s on a mission to rebuild her name and started with a simple question but discovered a complex web of spies and possible human trafficking.

 

Titan Group believes in her.

 

Locke does not. Until he can’t deny the truth any longer about the past or what she’s uncovered in her investigation.

 

BECOME AN INSEPARABLE TEAM

 

Cassidy volunteers to go undercover. Locke would do anything to stay by her side as she slips into the network and is sold to the highest bidder. All is going right until everything goes wrong. Nothing is as they expect including falling in love with the woman he thought he hated.

 

Preorder LOCKE AND KEY now:

AmazonBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

 

 

 ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER:

 

Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

 

 

Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Team Titan Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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review 2017-03-27 22:38
I seem to be getting over my age gap issues...
Just Drive - L.A. Witt

and if I'm not well, I need to be since I keep reading books where the MCs have significant age gaps. 

 

It's been quite a while since I've read an L.A. Witt book and I've had this one on my TBR list since it was released so once again I can thank the joys of audiobooks for helping me take a bite out of that pile.

 

Let's start with the audio portion of this review because that's going to be short and sweet. Nick J. Russo was the narrator and as usual he did not fail me. His voices for both Sean and Paul were spot on for me. I loved Paul's deep voice with it's hint of gravel to it and Paul's voice had a bit of a younger tone to it and matched my minds idea of a twenty-somethings voice wonderfully. I love the emotion he instills in these characters. I don't have to try and imagine Paul's anger, frustration, passion, love for Sean or Sean's emotions as these two men struggle to sort things out and figure out how to be together...Mr. Russo gives those emotions in spades with his narration of this story.

 

As for the story...well 4 standing at attention stars...I think it's safe to say that I really liked this story. The age difference was a definite issue for these men. Paul's the CO of the local navel base...Sean's father is the Senior Chief on said navel base...he reports to Paul...Sean's listed as his dependent...there are rules about this...rules that can end careers if news of their relationship gets out.

 

The age difference on this one is a solid 20+ years and I was ok with it because of how it was represented.  It was shown in where these two men were at in their lives. Sean's in college and yes he still lives at home with his father but he's neither immature nor juvenile. He understands how much Paul's career means to him and he tries more than once to walk away for both Paul's sake and his father's. Paul's got two marriages and a few relationships plus a 24 year navel career under his belt. Yes there's a strong sexual relationship here but there's also a strong sense of mutual compatibility, shared interest and two people who just like each other. As well as a growing romantic relationship there's a bond of friendship and mutual respect developing between Paul and Sean.

 

The fact that the author didn't do the typical stereo-typing of making the older MC always be the voice of reason and the dominant sexual partner was definitely a refreshing take on this May/December romance as well.

 

Sean's relationship with his father was another aspect of this story that added more depth and believe-ability to things. Sean loved his dad and while he loved and respected his father, he also resented the impact that his father's career has had on his life. While his father loves him, they still find themselves at odds over things and they talk. Maybe things aren't always resolved instantly but again the love and mutual respect is evident. I really enjoy stories that give us real parents, not perfect just normal everyday people who love their kids and want to try and do what's best for them.

 

'Just Drive' is a wonderfully balanced story that easily felt like it could have happened at some navel base somewhere. But more than anything it was the ending of this story that tugged at my heartstrings. While our men may have gotten their happily ever after it was earned when changing priorities can only be achieved with compromise and sacrifice from everyone involved. 

 

'Just Drive' was a story that worked 'just right' from start to finish.

 

*****************

An Audiobook of 'Just Drive' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-03-26 02:50
Home to Our Valleys!
Home to Our Valleys! : True Story of the Incredible Glorious Return of the Waldenses to Their Native Land - Walter C. Utt

The Vaudois were a little Christian group that throughout the Middle Ages were not considered “orthodox” by The Church resulting in persecution and attempts to wipe them out, however after the Protestant Reformation they were considered important to many prominent Protestant leaders throughout Europe especially after Louis XIV influenced the Duke of Savoy to attack them.  Home to Our Valleys! is the retelling of the Vaudois’ return from exile during the onset of the War of the Grand Alliance by author Walter Utt using the official account of Vaudois leader Henri Arnaud as well as numerous primary sources from around Europe.

 

The Vaudois home valleys were in the Piedmont region of Italy, then known as the Duchy of Savoy, right next to the border with Louis XIV’s France.  Their exile as the result of French influence on the Duke of Savoy just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, made them refugees in Switzerland and German lands alongside the Huguenots.  It was these combined refuges that came together in a 1000 man strong force that left Swiss territory into Savoy marching for home, a journey that included a sliver of France jutting into Savoy territory.  Although this force avoided major battles, it continued to win minor skirmishes before reaching their home at which point their campaign turned into a guerrilla action against French forces operating in Savoy territory.

 

The overall subject of the book was very interesting, but was undermined by Utt’s decision of how to tell this story.  At times the book read like nonfiction then as historical fiction, going back and forth throughout.  This inconsistency is what really drove my rating of this book so low because while after thinking long and hard that for the most part this was a nonfictional account of the Vaudois with apparently reconstructed conversations between individuals as best guessed by Utt.

 

The fact that I had to debate what type of book this was while reading it and a while afterwards, took considerable attention away from content Utt was writing about.  The subject matter in Home to Our Valleys! is very interesting, but was lost in the style of writing that Utt chose to write in making the overall book underwhelming.

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review 2017-03-22 20:37
Review: Battlefield Angels by Scott McGaugh
Battlefield Angels: Saving Lives Under Enemy Fire From Valley Forge to Afghanistan (General Military) - Scott McGaugh

Scott McGaugh wrote a decent book about the military medicine corps and how they changed the battlefield throughout America's history. McGaugh is not a historian, which is clear from his choices to profile and how he structured the book; he is a communications director for a museum and so his writing reflects a public relations-type of delivering information. 

 

The Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War I each get one chapter that was very much an overview of the wars and where military medicine stood. Each of these chapters felt very similar, as the military was never really mindful of the medics, equipment, or processes that were advancing in the civilian world...until fighting broke out and men were dying. There was a lot of improvisation and development came from the Army branch. The highlight of this section was the mobile ambulance trains; I got to see and explore one on my trip to York's National Railway Museum.

 

This was followed by six chapters on World War II, five of which were devoted to the Marines fighting in the Pacific Ocean. And this is where the book fails a little for me - the one chapter on Europe dealt with the Army's advancement in medicine, but it was a total love fest between the author and the Marines. There was one chapter devoted to medical corpsmen who were POWs under the Japanese which was the most interesting chapter World War II section had.

 

And the Marine love-in continued in the one chapter on the Korean Conflict, even though the highlight of this era's medical advancement was the concept and execution of M.A.S.H. - Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (emphasis mine). Vietnam got two chapters, both dealing with Marines yet again. Ditto for the one chapter on Iraq (combination of Desert Shield/Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which was another fail for me as each operation was very different other than location), although for the first time a female medic was profiled. The lone POC profiled came in the chapter on Afghanistan, but you also get another group of Marines as well.  

 

Did I mention that my branch of service, the USAF, received 0, nada, nothing, Not. One. Damn. Word. about our medical corps? Yeah, this still annoys me a week after reading the book.

 

At the end of each chapter, there was a paragraph or two that just spewed stats about the number of troops involved in that battle/war, the number dying, the number injured - but no real analysis. It was interesting to read, but really only recommend this to military history buffs or medical history readers.

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review 2017-03-21 21:54
I think the world might have tilted on it's axis a bit...
Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox

Oh, Ms Fox how I adore your writing. You bring stories to life for me as few other authors are able to. 

 

This one started on a bit of a challenging note for me. It was ok and I was enjoying it...possibly because "Buddy Read" with my awesome besties Josy and Christelle and initially I think perhaps this story was appealing more to them than me on a certain level. But as always I was still being drawn in by the wonderful word poetry of Ms Fox and that alone was enough to keep me reading but needless to say the more I was drawn into this web of words the more I wanted to read until I found myself happily devouring this story. 

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is not a simple story about a post-war romance between two men...oh no, it's not even close to that because for one thing a romance between two men at that time in history didn't have a snowballs chance in 'you know where' of being simple.

 

While the story between Rufus and Archibald (Thorne for the remainder of this review) is very much the main and central part of the story. It is surrounded by a explosion of colorful and often 'eccentric' characters set mainly in a small English countryside village. The struggles that are faced by both Rufus and Thorne on an individual level and as two men trying to find a place for their fragile relationship in a world that would see them jailed or worse for their feelings, for sharing words spoken in the still of night as gentle as a summers breeze meant only to offer comfort and ease...

"No more gods, no more war. I'm not a vicar, and you...you're not a soldier.

 Never again. There's just us, dear fellow---here we are."

 

'Seven Summer Nights' shows us a world that many of us never knew first hand, some like myself may have a bit of second-hand knowledge because of parents and grandparents.

 

Much of this book was ironically a reminder for me of why I'm not a huge fan of historical novels not because they're bad or uninteresting...in fact quite the contrary. I love history but unfortunately with history comes the reminders of the wrongs and injustices that have been committed and so often these transgressions are hidden behind such noble causes as God, King and country forcing men who would live in a world of tolerance and peace to fight those would control it through fear, bigotry and sheer brute force. This is what happened to Rufus and when he could fight no more his mind chose to forget. Ironically Thorne who is a man of god also fought but his terrors were not so dark and his memories were very different than that of Rufus.

"Yes. Oh, Archie, it seems terrible to talk about it.

To destroy your peace of mind with such a story."

 

"You won't. And even if you did, isn't that part of my job from now on--

  to share your wars and your peace?"

 

Two men fighting for the basic rights and freedoms of the same people who would deny them theirs. Just as they would deny the women who did their part their rights (it wasn't until 1928 that British women achieved full suffrage 3 years after the end of WWII and while this is an incredibly interesting topic...google is your friend). This is the setting of 'Seven Summer Nights' but we're not done yet because as well as the climate of the times Ms Fox has given us glimpses of Britain's cultural background through it's archaeology and it's folklore. We see the intertwining of England's religion with it's pre-christian days. There are subtle references to Anglo-Saxon paganism, England's witch hunts during the 1640s and things don't end there we are also reminded of the nightmare that passed for modern medicine specifically psychiatry during the early 1900's. 

 

You're probably thinking this sounds like a lot of gloom and doom right about now but it wasn't because woven in between these things was the strength of the human spirit and it's struggle for love in the form of Rufus and Thorne, the desire to govern ourselves and make our own decisions in the form Thorne's sister Caroline and Alice Winborn. There were characters of strength and courage in Maria who quietly took charge and gave people what they needed, Drusilla whose struggle to find her way back to herself, her child and her faith nearly cost her sanity and of course there were those who should have been hero's and failed.

 

'Seven Summer Nights' is neither a simple nor an easy story to read or explain...was it fantasy? No, not for me, there were no magical creatures...was there magic? I suppose of a fashion there was, but it was the magic of a world long gone. A world of faith so strong that it could alter the very fabric of ones reality...so yes there was magic. Then again isn't there always a little magic involved when it only takes words to transport us through time and space to a place we've never known to share an adventure with people we'll never meet? You're a wizard Ms Fox, a wizard I tell you.

 

"Oh, Archie. You and I both know--everyone who went to war knows--

the one thing none of us can be sure of is time..."

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