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review 2018-11-13 23:43
Contemporary Romance
Mr. Trouble - Nana Malone

Mr. Trouble is a fun contemporary romance by Nana Malone.  Ms. Malone has delivered a well-written book.  It is written in the first person, alternating point of view format, which I'm not a fan of.  The story is so good though I can overlook that.  Jarred has had his trust fun cut off by his father.  Kinsley has received notice that her apartment is going to be sold plus she has to evacuate for fumigation.  Kinsley and Jarred's story is a fun read and loaded with drama, humor and sizzle.  I enjoyed reading Mr. Trouble and look forward to reading more from Nana Malone soon.  Mr. Trouble is book 1 of the London Billionaire Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2018-11-07 15:41
Flat Cats vs Tribbles: "The Trouble With Tribbles" by David Gerrold
The Trouble with Tribbles - David Gerrold

(Original Review, 1980-11-19)

I have always found the similarities between RAH's "Flatcats" in THE ROLLING STONES and Gerrold's "Tribbles" in THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES to be more than just coincidence [2018 EDIT: Incidentally Star Trek writers wrote two episodes based on this same story: "The Trouble with Tribbles" (Star Trek) and "Trials and Tribble-ations" (DS9)].
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


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review 2018-10-23 20:15
Exquisite Trouble by Ann Mayburn
Exquisite Trouble - Ann Mayburn

WTH? This book is only the first part of the story? How could I miss it while reading the introduction and the reviews of the book. 

The main character Swan has autistic traits - she can't stand people touching her skin, can't read people's expressions very well, and has several weird habits. She works as a waitress in a strip club, has two university degrees (in maths and accountancy) and watches porn in her free time. She also has a twin sister Sarah, whom she doesn't communicate very much. But then her birth mother steals from very bad people and leaves her daughters in very dangerous situation. Sarah goes after her mother trying to protect her fiance and Swan. She disappears and Swan gets kidnapped. Fortunately Iron Horse MC has Swan under surveillance and they manage to save the girl. That's how Swan finds out that the sexy client from the strip club is actually a member of the Iron Horse MC. Smoke has been keeping an eye on Swan form weeks now. He likes everything about the young woman and wants her for himself. He is also a sexual dominant and decides to take his time to ease Swan into the lifestyle. Sarah's fiance is the leader of the Iron Horse MC and asks Swan to find her sister. So, Smoke and Swan leave the town to find Sarah and girls' treacherous mother.

The story was a bit too kinky for my taste.
There were also some contradictions - Swan always stressed how people couldn't touch her skin without her feeling bugs crawling all over her. The only people who could touch her, were the people she really trusted. And then during a few days she meets three men, who all can touch her without any problems. Oh, and don't forget, all three are smoking hot. Why am I not surprised. 
Swan also seemed to be addicted to Smoke. She didn't need more than seeing him and immediately her panties were wet. I'm quite sure, it's not healthy to walk around wearing wet underwear all the time.

Exquisite Trouble had a lot of potential and I enjoyed parts of it. Swan's family was amazing and snippets about her childhood were really interesting. I also liked how Smoke didn't rush with having sex. They did quite a lot of kinky stuff, but he always made sure that Swan was comfortable with those acts. 
It annoys me a lot that Swan and Smoke's story continues in a second book. I really wanted to find out who the villains were. 
I would say it was a little bit more than OK read.
2.5 stars

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review 2018-10-05 03:13
Tromly (and Digby & Zoe) saved the best for last.
Trouble Never Sleeps - Stephanie Tromly

This picks up right on the heels of Trouble Makes a Comeback leaving Zoe and Digby (and their friends) to deal with the social fallout of the events of that party. Then and only then can they start to decide how they're going to deal with the deal Digby was offered: steal some top-secret research data in exchange for information on his sister's whereabouts. Sure, it's technically treason and will likely end up destroying Digby's life as well as the lives of Felix's family.


Meanwhile, there's a complication to the caper in the last book -- Zoe left something tied to her in the evidence collected by the police. The repercussions of that caper are also in danger of hurting some of the students they set out to save.


Both stories are good uses of the characters, and were strong stories on their own. While I have enjoyed Digby's schemes and how they work out (or how they almost do), but I had a hard time swallowing his plan (or how it was carried out) for the non-high school caper. By the way, it took several tries to stay away from spoilers in that sentence.

However, once I decided to not care about how outlandish it all was, I enjoyed reading it.


The key to this book -- series, really -- are in the characters and their interactions. Not just Zoe and Digby (but nothing's more important, or better, than that), but Zoe and her mom, Zoe and her friends/frenemies/enemies at school, and Digby's strange interactions with everybody. I don't know if Tromly hit that better this time, or just as well has she had before -- either way, the dialogue sings and you believe it. These relationships are complicated and real and they make the books come alive.


I should probably add that the reason I didn't listen to the audiobook (unlike the last two) is because my library didn't have a copy, unlike the last two. It's not a reflection on Kathleen McInerney's work -- it was good for me to see that it was Tromly's words and not just McInerney's great narration that hooked me, though.


It's hard to talk about this book in any kind of depth without spoiling book 2 and ruining things here. So I'll stop now. It's a fun adventure, with laughs, tension, and all the warm fuzzies you could ask for.


The trilogy started off strong, stumbled a bit and then more than recovered with this one. It's the strongest of the series easily -- and sticks the landing (which I worried about, not because I didn't think Tromly could do it, it's just easy to miss). I'm going to miss Zoe and Digby. I'm so glad that I found this series this year -- it's been a blast to listen to and read. Great characters, strong character arcs over the trilogy, a good overall story, with some great smaller stories in the individual books. This series is going down as one of my favorite YA series ever.


2018 Library Love Challenge

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2018/10/04/trouble-never-sleeps-by-stephanie-tromly-tromly-and-digby-zoe-saved-the-best-for-last
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review 2018-09-24 19:22
Only Really Liked Four Stories (ETA: Meant Four!)
Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft - Tehlor Kay Mejia,Tristina Wright,Emery Lord,Andrea Cremer,Tess Sharpe,Jessica Spotswood,Brandy Colbert,Robin Talley,Anna-Marie McLemore,Zoraida Córdova,Brenna Yovanoff,Nova Ren Suma,Shveta Thakrar,Kate Hart,Lindsay Smith

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my review or rating. 


Instead of doing a review of all of the stories (15 of them) I am only going to review the four that I really enjoyed and gave 5 stars to. Everything else was a case of me going what did I just read, or feeling as if the story in question had too many holes or was incomplete in some way. All together I gave a collection a solid three stars. That is usually the way with anthologies unless the majority of the stories area  home run. 


Here is a list of the stories in this collection:


Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia 


Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer


The Heart in Her Hands by Tess Sharpe


Death in the Sawtooths by Lindsay Smith


The Truth About Queenie by Brandy Colbert


The Moonapple Menagerie by Shveta Thakrar


The Legend of Stone Mary by Robin Talley


The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma


Divine Are the Stars by Zoraida Córdova 


Daughters of Baba Yaga by Brenna Yovanoff


 The Well Witch by Kate Hart


Beware of Girls with Crooked Mouths by Jessica Spotswood


Love Spell by Anna-Marie McLemore


The Gherin Girls by Emery Lord


 The Only Way Back by Tristina Wright


Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May

My four favorites are:

Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer. This takes place in the 1600s in New England. An apprentice to a midwife is witnessed to a strange birth with a lot of details leaking out that this birth was not a result of the woman in question having sex with the devil, but more like with the master of the house. This is a great callback to the Salem Witch trials and since I just read a book about Salem, this story was uppermost in my mind while reading it. 


The Truth About Queenie by Brandy Colbert. Ugh. I wanted more. I was so ready to slap the dude in this story. So we have a story about a family of witches who are African American. The main character, is dealing with a lot of guilt we find because she believes (and is probably right) she threw a hex on a former friend who was bullying the love interest in this story. We also have her dealing with the fact that the boy in question is in love with someone else. When someone needs healing, he comes to her and asks for her help. 


The Gherin Girls by Emery Lord. Touches not only upon magic, but about mental and physical abuse. Reading about this family who love each other and won't let one of the daughters/sister disappear with a man that they know can and will hurt her. It was lovely. 


Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May. You will cry. You will rage. This is a great short story that feels like it was written in response to the Women's March as well as kind of companion to "A Handmaid's Tale". Considering what is in the news cycle right now you will think that Elizabeth May has a damn crystal ball. Going into why men would want to lock these teen girls up and not allow them to live is soul shaking. That all of the girls are punished for using their real names and then whisper them to each other at night. 


“Here’s how to fulfill a prophecy: you are a woman, you speak the truth, and the world makes you into a liar.”

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