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review 2016-11-25 19:37
ARC Review — Heartifact, by Aisling Mancy
Heartifact - Aisling Mancy

Harper is a marine archeologist, and he has a job with an oil company, mapping out new drill sites on the Great Barrier Reef. His boss doesn’t want to hear about how what they’re doing there is killing the reef.

 

At night, Harper is visited by a gorgeous man in his dreams—a stunning soul that leaves him breathless. (And me, I’d like to add).

 

Harper needs a break. He gets one, when one day, his old friend Stick calls him: Stick is a woman I loved from the second she walked onto the page. There is an underwater archeological dig, in the Mediterranean, by a Greek island. And there are intelligent and knowledgeable people running the dig. Smart and fun. Such a treat. Off they go!

 

The story takes a fantastic turn when Harper starts diving. This is a thriller. With twists. And it’s hot. Very hot.

 

I fell into this story, as always with this author, and came out on the other side in an amazed daze. I love how there are a gazillion things happening at the same time, there is action and stuff going on at several levels, and then BAM! It’s over, and I’m still reeling.

 

I don’t know how Mancy crams so much into so few pages; this is a short story of some 150 pages, but holy moly, he packs them full!

 

There are plenty of technical details about the underwater world and work, details that convince you of the well-documented research that has gone on behind the scenes to write this story. I am forever impressed with the erudition of this author, his stories span such diverse topics.

 

The point of a short story is to be precise, concise, and pack a punch at the end.

 

Well, then. Check, check, and check.

 

To add to the marvel, I am in love with the cover. Such a radiant underwater feeling of magic and slanting sunshine. I just love it so much.

 

Extra bonus: Proceeds from this book go to supporting three different causes:  Le Refuge in France, Arcigay in Italy, and The Trevor Project in USA.

 

So, even though I was given an ARC for review purposes, I went and bought my own copies. Yes, plural, because this short story was also released in French—and the translation by Bénédicte Girault is absolutely stunning. Every nuance, every feeling, masterfully rendered in French colors. I hear the Italian version will be coming soon, so I’ll wait for that one, too.

 

Well worth my time to read this, and then read it again.

 

Try it.

 

Because you’ll also help some very good organizations.

 

 

***

 

I was given a free review copy of this e-book from the author, but then I went to buy my own eBook copies to support the good causes.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1499993/arc-review-heartifact
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review 2016-03-24 09:16
ARC Review — Chasing Shadows, by Annabelle Jacobs
Chasing Shadows - Annabelle Jacobs

It must be a nightmare when a family member just disappears.

 

Jamie’s brother, Michael, was painting in Cornwall when he suddenly went missing. Jamie travels down there to go looking for him.

 

In Cornwall, he meets Felix, an ex-army man, and sparks go off. As an aside, Cornwall is almost a character in itself in this story, and is beautifully depicted. I can actually almost smell the sea breeze.

 

I’m not a big fan of switching POVs, so that brings the experience down a little bit for me—I know some people love it, so all I can say is that it is well done, here. Not head-hopping, but switching at chapter beginnings.

 

There is mystery. Attraction. Slow-burn happening, as they keep looking for clues as to Michael’s whereabouts. And then sizzling hot as they finally get it on.

 

It’s a good story, (with a little mandatory OMG-angst at checkpoint 75%), and the mystery is solved. Kinda.

 

I feel the book could have benefited from more meat on the bones of the actual mystery than concentrating on the romance. But that’s me. I always want 75 more pages of the Real Story. Everyone else always want more romance.

 

It’s a really nice read. Recommended.

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this self-published book from the author. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1363797/arc-review-chasing-shadows-by-annabelle-jacobs
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review 2016-03-07 10:16
ARC Review — Sleight of Heart, by Aisling Mancy
Sleight of Heart - Aisling Mancy

Oh my, I never thought I’d enjoy a vampire book again in my life, and here Mancy goes and steals my heart.

 

This storyline was fresh, as I’ve never read one about a Rroma man before. I have met many Rroma men and women in my travels, especially in The Camargue, in southern France, and what little they let me understand of their culture, rang true in this book. Of course, theirs is a very secluded culture, so it can be difficult to know what is and what isn’t. Here? It sang loudly of sincere truth.

 

I must admit, I haven’t met many vampires, though, so my viewpoint may be biased on that one, as I simply loved the lore in this story.

 

AND THERE’S A DRAGON. Just putting that out there, for future reference, and for some people I know who are interested in these things.

 

Mancy is the king of purple prose. He makes it fun to read again, and I also had to look up fourteen words in the dictionary while reading this, so that must be considered extra-bonus brownie points.

 

Personally, there was too much sexy times in this book, but if that’s what you like, here’s where you find it. Instead, I find that the true strength in this story lies in the chapters between the intimate moments, when there is running, and jumping, and fixing, and hoping, and thinking, and pining, and flying, and…and…and…

 

Whew. What a ride!

 

And then I realize this is Book 1 in a future series.

YAY!

 

There will be more!!!

 

*happy dance*

 

***

 

I was given a review copy of this book from the publisher, Cool Dudes Publishing.

A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

Release date: March 14, 2016

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1354235/arc-review-sleight-of-heart-by-aisling-mancy
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review 2016-01-29 09:28
ARC Review – The Law of Attraction, by Jay Northcote
The Law of Attraction - Jay Northcote

This book resonated with me. Not because I’m into hot lawyers lawyering in their lawyer office. No, because I’m into people who actually change, who sit down and think, and then make the necessary adjustments in their lives.

 

It’s kind of corny, as the setup of this story is cliché with a hot and steamy Friday-night-hook-up that turns into your new intern showing up at your workplace on Monday morning, but that’s where the cliché ends.

 

Because what we end up with is a story where integrity and standing up for who you are is central. Ed is out and proud. Alec is not. And without pushing or forcing, Ed simply does not want to be shoved back into the closet.

 

So Alec has some thinking to do. And, I am happy to say, he doesn’t take all that long to get his head screwed on right.

 

In the meantime, there’s a lot of work and a lot of steamy hotness happening. Like, a lot.

 

What never ceases to amaze me is that Northcote's storylines, at first glance, may seem cliché, but the books themselves are never boring, never trite, and they always manage to make me feel good. (Also, they are both well written and well edited, a rare thing these days of self-publishing).

 

Thank you for that, Northcote, it is endlessly appreciated.

 

Thank you for writing stories for us. They do light up my dreary winter’s day.

 

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this self-published book from the author. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

 

 

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1334342/arc-review-the-law-of-attraction-by-jay-northcote
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review 2015-12-13 17:00
ARC Review — A Serious Thing, (Will & Patrick 1.5) by Annabelle Jacobs
A Serious Thing - Annabelle Jacobs

A shortie with a look-see into a Christmas setting for the two boys of A Casual Thing. Absolutely charming. Go get it!

 

Thank you, Jacobs, for this.

Made my day. 

 

 

***

 

I was given a free copy of this self-published book from the author. A positive review wasn’t promised in return.

Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1303003/arc-review-a-serious-thing-will-patrick-1-5-by-annabelle-jacobs
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