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review 2017-11-23 20:56
A haunting we will go, a haunting we will go...
Love Wanted - John Inman

What I thought would be a sweet and different story for me just turned out to be a train wreck.  I thought the concept for this one sounded different and interesting but when I got to it...for me this just didn't work. I really couldn't buy into the whole concept of why Mr. Stanhope was doing what he did...even suspending my disbelief my brain still said..."Nope, not a chance...this is so bogus." I just couldn't get my brain around it and then there was the ghost...I've read a few books with ghost in them and I knew there was one in this book but damned if I could buy into all the stuff that this ghost could do and quite honestly I really didn't care for him...nor did really care for most of the characters in this story...so in a nutshell, this one just wasn't working for me on a whole lot of levels.

 

What it comes down to for me is that sometimes a story can be hit or miss and this time around it was definitely a miss but on the upside I got to listen to a new narrator and....

 

Truthfully for me the best part of this book and probably the reason I finished it was that I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by new to me narrator Eziekiel Robison who did an awesome job with the narration on this one and I honestly enjoyed listening to him as he read this book. I liked his voices and the fact that he kept them unique, clear, expressive and consistent all combined to give me an enjoyable listening experience and even thought the story didn't work well for me...the narrator did just fine and I look forward to enjoying future books narrated by Mr. Robison.

 

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An audio book of 'Love Wanted' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-23 20:06
'Love in Laguna' has definitely been a hit and miss series for me...
Fool of Main Beach - Tara Lain

The first four books have garnered anything between 2 and even 5 stars as a rating from me.

'Fool of Main Beach' just had too many things that appealed to me, so when the chance came along to check out the audio book and the narrator was an 'almost' new to me narrator...K. C. Kelly, whom I've only heard narrate one other audio book. I decided I needed to go for it...so we're heading for Laguna Beach and the men who live there.

So let's start with what I love...

First off this is one of those series where we get a different couple for each book but we also get to re-visit the men from the previous books so the new and the familiar...one of my favorite things.

Dogs...lots and lots of dogs...come on we all know dogs make everything better and this one has dogs in spades.

Totally unlikely MCs...I love it when an author takes 2 characters who on paper are just never going to happen...they have nothing in common, their connection defies the obvious. 

Diverse and interesting secondary characters...this one has those in spades from the collection of acting industry people to Merle's family to Tom's family and let's not forget the men from the previous stories. 

Most of all I quickly discovered that what I loved the most about this book was Merle and Tom...but especially Tom. I'm not even sure how to explain Tom and all the feelz I have for him. Truly we would all be better people for having a Tom in our lives. Tom is sweet and honest....so guileless and absolutely so much more than he appeared to be. Tom would be the kind of friend that anyone with a brain would treasure and that any parent worthy of the name would cherish and be humbled for having played a part in gifting the world with.

Ok, let's move on to Merle because honestly I could probably wax poetic about Tom and why I love him all day but I think I've made my point Tom is awesome but in his own way so was Merle.

Merle is the star of a television show and he aspires to star in movies but more importantly Merle is at his heart an sweet and gentle soul looking for the right person to love him. It just takes him a bit of time to realize that finding the right person to love him means looking not at the package but at what lies inside...although it might not hurt that Tom is also very nicely packaged...he's big...as in tall with all kinds of lovely ripped muscles and the face of an angel and he thinks that Merle is so beautiful and talented. 

I loved that no matter where things were at between these two men if one of them needed help the other one dropped everything to get to them as soon as possible. I loved how Merle saw and never lost site of Tom...not the superficial that people saw at first glance but the man who saw the world just a little differently from others and whose honesty is both guileless and refreshing. 

Merle and Tom are in many ways as unlikely a pairing as a person could imagine and their story from when they are brought together when Tom first rescues Merle from an act of bigotry and hatred. As they become friends then friends with benefits continuing to rescue each other, Tom and Merle find their lives becoming increasingly entangled and yet in spite of the fact that both claim a relationship between them would never work, neither of them is willing to truly give up the other. 

I really enjoyed listening to this story on audio. K.C. Kelly's narration was well done and really added to my enjoyment of the characters and the story in general and easily ticked off those boxes in my 'things I look for from an audio book' list. 

'Fool of Main Beach' is a sweet, feel good, hurt/comfort romance that at times had me laughing and there may have been a tear or two as well and without a doubt this is one of my favorites from this series.


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An audio book of 'Thief of Main Street' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-11-23 19:43
And the G-man is back...
Nobody Rides For Free - Neil Plakcy
'Nobody Rides For Free' is the second book in Neil S. Plakcy's 'Angus Green' series and I have to admit this one was a tough go for me. Try as I might I just couldn't get into the story and for the first 60ish per cent of this book I was on the edge of calling it quits and probably would have if it wasn't for the fact that I like the author's writing style.

Truthfully once I picked up the book and got reading it was ok. The real problem came whenever I tried to go back to reading after having to set my e-reader aside. A lot of the time I found that going back to the story took more effort than it should have, but once I got there things moved along and I found myself wanting to read...just a little bit more.

I have to admit if this had been a book that I bought rather than one that I'd requested for review I very well might have DNF'd or at least entertained the idea a bit more strongly but in all fairness when an author and/or a publisher is willing to provide me with a copy of an e-book or an audio book I feel compelled to do two things...one is to at least read or listen to the story from start to finish, the second is to be as fair and unbiased in my review as I can...so having said that let's go back to this story.

While I found the first part of this story to be a bit dry at times, it was also necessary. We're given an update on Angus from where we left him at the end of 'The Next One Will Kill You' as well as a lot of background for the current story. We meet some new characters and get a glimpse of some characters we met in the first book...so all in all in spite of the fact that for me the first part of the book was dry and at times a tiny bit boring...definitely necessary and in all fairness to this story not everyone is going to share my feelings about the first part of the book...hell, maybe not anyone will and that's ok, it's just happened that for me it didn't go so well...but let's move on from there and talk about....

The reason that I'm glad I stayed with it and finished the book and that reason would be the last 30 to 40 percent of the story. For me things picked up...like seriously picked up. The mystery which I was already a bit invested in started to get even better and really come together...there was a hella' lot going on here and while it may not have seemed possible initially...in the end everything pulled together and there were some surprising connections to be made. Best of all Lester and Felix...these two made my day. One returned and the other survived and ended up in a far better place...yeah, that's right if you want to know more you'll need to read the story because I'm not telling.

I only had one small niggle with events of the second part of this book and to be honest it's something that struck me as not being quite right but maybe, it was ok...so, I'm not willing to let it spoil the last part of the story for me and on the other end of things while it isn't a part of my overall rating of this book I strongly recommend taking a moment to admire the cover of this book and actually the first book as well. Book covers are a thing for me and whether it's a DTB or an e-book I love indulging in taking the time to admire or possibly despair over. 

By the end Angus had once again won me over and I have to admit if I'd done a DNF on this one not only would I probably not be continuing with this series but I would have missed out on the best part of the story.

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A copy of 'Nobody Rides For Free' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-11-23 19:34
Tales in Colour by Kunzang Choden
Tales In Colour And Other Stories - Kunzang Choden

This is a surprisingly good collection of short stories about the lives of women in contemporary, mostly rural Bhutan, by a Bhutanese author, whose own life I wanted to read more about after the all-too-brief introduction detailing her own culture shock as a young girl in an Indian boarding school and her observations of the way women’s lives have changed in Bhutan, often becoming less independent under the influence of foreign culture.

The quality of the book was unexpected to me because, first, I bounced off the author’s novel awhile back (I may now give it another chance), and second, the publishers really let the author down here. The punctuation is bad and there are some grammatical mistakes. It’s unfortunate, though understandable, that this lack of professional copyediting has led some to conclude that the author lacks literary talent, when other indications are to the contrary. The thirteen stories are well-structured and engaging, getting the reader quickly invested in the characters’ lives.

As a cultural document this is fascinating, illuminating various aspects of ordinary life in Bhutan. The stories range from optimistic (a young woman who alternates between visiting her brother in the city, where she adopts the life of an urban sophisticate, and returning to the country to muck out sheds for her mother) to tragic (a dwarf who is shunned by most of her family and community until her death). There’s a strong sense of community life: in one story no one will turn in the village thief because everyone is interdependent, while another, about a single mother whose hard work gets her son through school and allows him to achieve a comfortable life for them both, feels not quite triumphant because it’s framed by the villagers left behind, who experience their success only by viewing photographs.

But the stories are still focused on individual choices and lives; many of the protagonists are poor single mothers, either giving birth outside of marriage, or providing for their families after leaving or being left by their husbands. It is certainly a more dynamic view of individual and family life than Western stereotypes about Asian farmers would lead you to expect. It’s mostly a realistic collection, but there is room for fancy too, as in one story about a misunderstanding between a woman and a mouse.

I finished through this collection quickly, was engaged by the stories, found the characters believable and sympathetic, and enjoyed the strong sense of place and learning about Bhutan. It’s a shame the publishers didn’t do their part; with a bit of polish and a strong publishing house behind it, this could be a real literary success.

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review 2017-11-23 19:26
You know it's a good story when...
Tramps and Thieves - Rhys Ford,Greg Tremblay

You love it every bit as much the second time around as you did the first and that was the case with this audio book. I actually reviewed this book back in September when it was released and I loved it, so when the audio book narrated by Greg Tremblay was released there was zero doubt in my mind that I'd be doing this again. Not only did I enjoy it just as much but I can honestly say I'm already looking forward to listening to it again...right after I re-play the first book 'Murder and Mayhem'. 

One of the things that I commented on in my original review was how much I enjoyed Greg Tremblay's narration of 'Murder and Mayhem' and that when I started reading 'Tramps and Thieves' in my head it was Greg Tremblay reading it to me...so you can safely assume that I was squealing with delight to enjoy just that...Greg Tremblay reading 'Tramps and Thieves' to me giving voice to the characters and bringing this wonderful story to life and if you want to see more from that review, here's the link... Review: Tramps & Thieves

While I still adore the men of Sinners and it hasn't been that long since I revisited them on audio and Wow!!! That was just an awesome adventure and I'm definitely looking forward to having that same adventure with Cole and Jae when I listen to them on audio narrated by none other than the awesome Greg Tremblay...it's on my Christmas list. But without a doubt Rook and Dante have a solid hold on my heart and while I'm happy to revisit them again. What I'm really looking forward to is finding out what comes next for this pair.

If ever there were two men who are opposites it's Dante the cop and Rook the cat burglar...or more accurately retired cat burglar and I have to admit I wouldn't be adverse to finding out more about Rook's cousin Alex and his cop or maybe a story about the first time Rook met his grandfather and his cousin Alex. There's world of potential in this series and I'm I can't wait to see what Ms. Ford has planned for these unusual pairing and the people in their lives.

E-book or audio book this series is simply a must for me and highly recommended.

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An audiobook of 'Tramps and Thieves' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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