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review 2017-04-30 16:42
That cover! The Blurb! The book :/
Witches for Hire (Odd Jobs) - Sam Argent

I was really excited to say the least when I stumbled across this story the blurb sounded awesome and the cover...I mean seriously? Who doesn't want to read this book once they've read the blurb and seen that cover so on a promotional level this book nailed it because really that's what the blurb and the cover are...they're promotional materials meant to draw the reader in and gain their interest in the book and if I was giving stars for that this book would probably get at least 4 out of 5. But that's not what I'm giving stars for...nope, those two stars are for what comes after the cover and the blurb.

 

Sadly what came after the blurb for me was a bit confusing. 'Witches for Hire' is the first book in Sam Argent's series 'Odd Jobs' unfortunately for most of this book I felt like I'd been plunked into the middle of a series without the background info that often helps things make sense. As the story progressed I was given a fair bit of background that did help sort out much of my confusion but I would have really liked some of this info to have come sooner than it did. 

 

'Witches for Hire' was a bit of a mixed bag for me because while there were things that I liked about it, there were also things that just didn't work for me and as much as I would like to go into more detail about what I didn't like, I don't feel that I can do this without divulging some pretty pertinent information in regards to the story's plot. So, I'm going to focus a little more on some of what worked for me.

 

One of the things that worked the best for me were the characters. I liked Jeremy. He was interesting and far more complex than he initially seemed. Many of the secondary characters were also rather interesting and what we were given of their background hinted at strong potential for their own stories...Simone, Witches for Hire's receptionist, a witch who is married to a werewolf and has no coven and also seems to be far more powerful than she lets on, Clive a knight from another realm who is the new owner of 'Witches for Hire' who is extremely powerful running out of realms he can go to. Clive's friends Mia and her husband, Raj, who run their own magical detective agency, also knights and seem to show up when they're least expected. The Amazon, Edarra, who works at 'Witches for Hire' and has some heroic deeds she needs to accomplish. Senator Ragsdale, Jeremy's father. Desmond the Great, Atlanta's star magician and someone with much stronger ties to Jeremy than most realize, council member Salvatore someone who wants much stronger ties to Jeremy. 

 

It all sounds so intriguing and has the potential be one hella' good read but somewhere along the line the waters got muddied and things were oftentimes confusing with POVs jumped around and scene changes happening in such a way that I was left wondering if I was missing pages or paragraphs, at least, because I'd find myself going back and re-reading to try and figure out when and how I suddenly went from point 'A' to point 'E' and what happened to the stuff in between.

 

So in summary this wasn't so much a bad story as one that simply didn't work for me. There was strong potential and I did find the last 20 to 30% far more cohesive and interesting. Most of all I really wish that this had felt more like the first novel in a series with stronger background and world building rather than leaving me feeling like I was reading the third or fourth book in a series that needed to be read in order.

 

The result for me was that rather than enjoying what should have been a fun and interesting story, I was often left frustrated and disappointed. However, in spite of the potential for future stories I'm not really sure whether or not I'll continue, I definitely need to give that a lot of thought...but in truth...I doubt it, the again one never knows... never say never, right?

 

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An ARC of 'Witches for Hire' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-29 23:50
I'm a little late to the party on this one...
In The Absence of Light - Adrienne Wilder

I've had this book floating around on my e-reader for a while now and I keep squirreling off to other things but when it came up in a conversation with my buddy read besties, Josy, Christelle and Simone. I didn't hesitate to say yes and I am so, so glad that we did this. Thanks ladies once again you made an amazing story so much better. 

 

'In the Absence of Light' isn't just a romance or a love story. it's a story about loving someone who's different and what that means both to love them and be loved by them. Morgan is autistic and he's amazing. He probably shouldn't be as highly functional as he is but because he was raised by an amazing woman who refused to give up on him, he has never given up on himself.

 

Grant has moved to Durstrand in the hopes of living a quiet life for a few years before slipping away to some place with sandy beaches and warmer climes or at least that was the plan until he meets Morgan. 

 

I was totally enchanted with Morgan from the beginning. He's open and honest and he sees the world in a way that others wouldn't even consider trying to look for. He's creative and fiercely independent and the moments that we spent seeing the world through Morgan's eyes were like small gifts the kind that touch your heart and warm you from the inside because of the impression it leaves on your soul. 

 

i didn't warm to Grant quite as quickly but I did like him. I liked that he allowed himself to see Morgan. Not just the Morgan with the ticks who threw out thoughts and seemed to ramble random ideas into the world. Grant was able to see past that to the strong, intelligent, creative man who wanted him and was willing to share himself with Grant and show him what was hidden by the light.

 

'In the Absence of Light' shows us that it's not about who we love but that we love. When that person who adds color to our world and makes us see things in ways we never thought to before comes along we need to grab onto them and love them with all we've got and make them our home so that we can be theirs.

 

For some really awesome reviews on this book you should check these out...

In the Absence of Light - GR book page

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review 2017-04-27 21:09
Compelling...
Everyday History - Alice Archer

That's my one word for this story. Ok, now let me explain where I'm coming from with this. Many years ago I had a very dear friend, whom I loved like a sister. We played this game where we'd point something or someone out to each other and then we'd each have to describe or explain whatever had been selected with one word. My friend has since passed away but this game, this test of the mind if you will is part of my 'Everyday History' with her so it seemed really fitting to me that I start my review with a bit of my own everyday history by finding that one word that explained this story for me. 

 

I could have gone with fantastic, amazing, riveting, lovely...there were so many words that came to mind for me. But I finally settled on 'compelling' and if you chose to continue reading I'm going to try and explain why...hopefully without spoilers or boring you to tears.

 

I actually bought this in e-book format when it was first released last year but as sometimes happens I squirreled off to other things and while I kept intending to go back and read it...well, it just never quite seemed to happen. So I made grabby hands when asked if I wanted to review the audio book. Hell yeah, here we go another on off of Mt. TBR. I was all over this and then I started listening to the story and I couldn't stop. It was all I wanted to do...just sit and listen to Daan Stone tell me this beautiful, amazing story about 'Everyday History', about Ruben and Henry, about finding love at the wrong time in your life and realizing to late what you'd walked away from and could never forget, about fighting to get it back and make yourself complete. But more than this as I listened to this amazing story told by what I believe for this book was the  perfect narrator, I found myself looking around my room, my little haven where I often spend days surrounded by my own collection of 'Everyday History' with a whole new appreciation for the little things in my life and the meaning that they have for me.

 

I have to admit going into this my one real concern was the age gap. I've done bigger age gaps than this one and been ok with them, but for me this one was touchy because of Ruben's age at the beginning he was all of 18...well...almost, while Henry was in his thirties. Thankfully the author's handling of this particular challenge and the fact that the age gap was in fact only 14 years helped to ease my concern in this regard and if  you've read any of my other reviews for books where there's an age gap than you probably need to give your jaw a push up right about now because me saying the words 'only 14 years' in regards to this issue is probably a bit of a surprise. However I have in fact stated on previous occasions that my age gap comfort zone is 10 years and can stretch to 15 if things work for me and in this case things worked for me.

 

At the end of this wonderful journey that was created by a new to me author, Alice Archer and narrator, Daan Stone, I can truthfully say that my word for this is still 'compelling'. It was a beautifully combined effort that enchanted me from the very beginning and made me want to do nothing more than close my eyes and allow myself to be surrounded by the words that created this story.

 

I may read this in book format one day but truthfully I'll probably just go for the audiobook again and let the smooth richness of Daan Stone's voice take me on Ruben and Henry's journey again...after all if it's not broke...why fix it?

 

'Everyday History' may be Henry and Ruben's story but it's one that we all can tell.

 

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An audiobook of 'Everyday History' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-24 21:59
This is not a romance...
Sparkwood - Daria Defore

But it does have a touch of romance in it. 'Sparkwood' is more of a murder mystery/thriller with a very subtle romance developing in the background and I do mean subtle about halfway through this book I was questioning whether or not things couple possibly ever work out between the MCs. Their relationship seemed firmly ensconced in the love to hate category...as in they loved to hate each other but there was also a definite pull of attraction between them, so of course I had to keep reading because one...I needed to know who did it and two...I needed to find out if these two were going to get together or walk away when all was said and done. 

 

There were a couple of definite issues between them one being that Finn is a closeted bisexual and the only person he's willing to admit this to is himself and he has no use for the fae...doesn't trust them.

 

Robin is fae and takes an instant dislike to Finn. He's come to Sparkwood to invite Finn to attend his twin brother's funeral in Sparkwood...the other Sparkwood...the fae version of Sparkwood.  The only thing that Finn wants more than to not go is to know what happened to his twin brother Luke.  Someone killed Luke and Finn means to make sure they pay for their crime.

 

What Finn doesn't realize is that things aren't what they seem to be and the rules in the Fae Sparkwood are very different making it so much easier for a mere mortal to find themselves in over their head. Suddenly what's suppose to be a few days for a funeral and a bit of subtle sleuthing turns into an extended stay with a member of the fae who's even more irritating than Robin. Leaving Finn with only one option of who to turn to for help.

 

Daria Dafore is a new to me author and I have to admit this made me a bit nervous. Often times new to me authors are a bit of a toss up for me. It's either going to be incredibly good or horribly wrong. I can deal with incredibly good because really saying nice things it's fun. I mean who doesn't want to be able to tell someone things like "Wow! That was amazing, I loved it, etc. etc." hopefully maybe putting a smile on that person's face and brightening their day it's the other part that I hate doing so needless to say I'm happy that I get to have fun here. I enjoyed 'Sparkwood' the writing was good, the characters were interesting and likable and the story was easy to follow but not easy in the way that allows you to have it all figured out by the end of chapter one. 

 

I was intrigued by the premise of this book and in spite of the fact that it had fae characters, which not a deal breaker for me but once again it was either going to be epically bad or incredibly good...so again I found myself a bit nervous and I'm happy to say my nervousness in regards to this book was totally misplaced.

 

I liked the author's version of the fae and find myself more than a little hopeful that there will be more from this author about the residents of Sparkwood...especially if there's more Robin and Finn. I can't help but imagine that life with these two now that they're getting along would be anything but boring.

 

'Sparkwood' was an interesting and entertaining murder mystery/thriller with a nice dash of romance on the side from a new to me author that definitely had me intrigued and looking forward to finding out what comes next?

 

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An ARC of 'Sparkwood' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-04-16 21:43
3 stars for what had the potential to be so much more....
The Winter Dark - J.S. Cook

but...I needed more for that to happen.

 

Ok before I get into the actual story I'm going to deal with the audio. K. C. Kelly was the narrator for this book and he's a new to me narrator and one that I'm definitely going to keep an eye on. I really enjoyed his narration on this book but I've also taken the time to listen to some samples of other books he's narrated and I have to say I want to listen to a few of them. I like his voices they're filled with personality and life adding both depth and emotion to the story. So the audio portion gets 4 stars from me.

 

I love a good romantic thriller and this one had all the hallmarks of being just that. Sadly that didn't happen. In short order this story was too short. It almost felt like a detailed story outline rather than a complete story. It felt to me like there were a few opportunities for this story to be fleshed out and turned into a far more detailed novel or novella at the very least.

 

The setting is small town Mississippi and our MCs are the sheriff  Eli Gallagher and his deputy, Stan Leach. I liked these characters and I very much enjoyed the story that was there. The book starts with both Eli and Stan involved with other people. We quickly find out that Eli's current interest is...to put it bluntly a bag of dicks. Seriously this guy is so full of himself it's pitiful and laughable so I did...laugh that is. This was also what made me like Gallagher. Gallagher basically showed himself to be a class act...while Gilbert, Eli's love interest, (or BoD...Bag 'o' Dicks as I lovingly came to think of him...add copious amounts of sarcasm here please) proved himself to be a totally pompous, pretentious, self-absorbed BoD.

 

Seems good old Gilbert wants to get married to a woman because 'it's time to settle down'...no spoiler here it's in the blurb. Seriously this part of the story left me trying to get my jaw off the floor with how astoundingly oblivious and full of himself our man Gil proved himself to be. I was very entertained with how the author wrote this part of the story...loved it.

 

Meanwhile Stan suddenly finds his hands full with Harvey Faber until they're not...this would be one of those chances to fill out the story...oh well opportunity knocked and no one answered the door. This was another part of the story that I really enjoyed I liked how Stan was with Harvey. It was sweet and kind. 

 

So at the end of it all my biggest problem with this story wasn't that I didn't like it. It was that I did. I liked it enough that I really wanted the author to give me more story. More background on both of these men and definitely more relationship time between Eli and Stan because yeah, I liked these two as a couple and I would have loved to have had more time with them both while they're getting together and after they become a couple. By the way everyone did I mention...AGE GAP!!! That's right there's about 15 years between these two and I didn't care...I think I'm cured.

 

Simply put at the end of it all I wanted more. I needed more to take this from 3 "It's ok, I liked it" stars to possibly 5 "HOLY Crap! This was great stars. I definitely feel the need to check out more of this author's books and K.C. Kelly is a yes on my audio narrator list. So while the book wasn't as good as it could have been I'd say this one was a win and if there's ever second release that gets notably revised I think I'm on board for a re-read...eeeerrr...re-listen on this on.

 

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An audiobook of 'The Winter Dark' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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