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review 2020-02-24 00:46
Unforgiven by Jay Crownover
Unforgiven (Loveless) - Jay Crownover

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Kody and Hill have history, the kind where Kody was engaged to Hill's brother and Hill harbored a secret love for her. Kody resented Hill for taking a step back from her and his brother and after his brother killed himself, Kody barely wanted to speak to Hill.

Now that they're older and Hill is assisting in the investigation into Kody's father's murder, there is no escaping each other.

They've had a painful past but maybe there's love in their future.


I never want to see you again, Hill Gamble. I hate you.”


Second in the Loveless, Texas series, Unforgiven gives us Kody Lawton and Hill Gamble's story. A novella and first in the series starred Kody's brothers, Case and Crew, while giving reader's glimpses at the pain and unresolved feelings between Kody and Hill. The author does a great job of recapping anything you might need to know from the series and I would say you could comfortably pick this up without reading the rest in the series.


Half the time I don't know if I'm helping or hurting things where you're concerned. I'm always trying my best to do right by you, Kody, trying to be all the different things you need me to be. I failed at that task once before. I don't want to let you down again.”


Hill is back in town to help assist in the murder investigation for Kody's father. He was an abusive alcoholic who made Kody and her brother's childhood miserable and while he was sheriff, he committed many corrupt acts; due to this, the murder suspects could be endless. While the murder investigation is the reason to keep Hill in town, the majority of the story is focused on the relationship between Kody and Hill.


I thought the author did a good job showing the emotional struggle of Hill feeling guilty for having feelings for Kody and distancing himself from her and his brother because of it and how Kody not realizing his feelings, being angry with how she felt he abandoned them. I thought there was some repetitiveness with Kody going over and over how Hill wasn't there for her and how she had always saw him as her protector only to have him cut her off, in the first half. However, I did think it gave some emotional heft to the story and Kody's character when Kody works through why she pushed away her feelings for Hill in the beginning and accepted, transferred them to Hill's brother.


He kissed me back in a way that made me wonder if he'd been secretly fantasizing about this moment for as long as I had.


Kody had her frustrating immature moments at times, due to age and/or simply impulsive personality type but our Texas Ranger Hill was the perfect calm, cool, and collected hero who burned hot for her. I thought the war he battled with himself in wanting to help his brother with his issues of bipolar and depression but not being able to be around Kody when he felt so deeply for her were expressed emotionally through the writing.


Could a guy like him, controlled, concise...and, more importantly, honest and law-abiding, even have feelings for someone as messy and reckless as I was?


The murder mystery involving Kody's father is only half-way solved, in that it is revealed who was most likely responsible but that the person isn't caught. The whole murder mystery comes off as its sole purpose was to bring in the character Presley, who turns out to be a secret half-sister to Kody and her brothers. She looks to be the heroine in the next book along with Kody's friend Shot, the President of a motorcycle club called the Son's of Sorrow. If you're looking for more of focus on a friends-enemies-lovers with second chance-ish romance, this would be it. Internal character dialogue with emotional searching and growth that slowly changes into external between Kody and Hill is most of this book rather than outside plot threads driving the show.


I enjoyed the return to Loveless and liked how the author has interwoven the characters, loved how Kody and the two past heroines have invited Presley to their girl's night. I'm definitely looking forward to reading how Presley and Shot get together.


You. My entire world looks like you.”

It was about time, because mine had always looked like her.



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review SPOILER ALERT! 2020-02-23 22:53
Book Review: Ouran host club volume 3
Ouran high school host club volume 3 - Bisco Hatori

February 21-23

In this sharp-witted romantic comedy about the clash of the classes (of all kinds), a poor girl at a rich kids' school ends up working at the school's toniest club, and gets mistaken for a boy!

One day, Haruhi, a scholarship student at exclusive Ouran High School, breaks an $80,000 vase that belongs to the "Host Club," a mysterious campus group consisting of six super-rich (and gorgeous) guys. To pay back the damages, she is forced to work for the club, and it's there that she discovers just how wealthy the boys are and how different they are from everybody else.

Review : I loved this volume it was funny so the host club ends up going to the beach and then a situation happens where Haruhi gets hurt and Tamaki gets mad at her cause she could of been in danger so he vows not to talk to her until she sees it . But then she realizes the rest of the host club was worried about her also . Tamaki finds out Haruhi is afraid of thunderstorms so he helps her not be scared but the host club walks in on him and Haruhi with a blindfold on her it was to funny . The next part was the is where we meet girls from a all girls school zuco club who want Haruhi to join their club and leave the host club but Haruhi never planned on leaving and the host club members end up dressing as girls . Then we get to a Halloween part where Haruhi gets "cursed" cause she saw a witch but it turns out to be a trick the twins were playing on Haruhi so she could enjoy Halloween which was kinda nice . The host club members end up checking out Haruhi house and they have tea and cake and Haruhi is going to make lunch for them when tamaki falls on Haruhi and then her dad comes home .


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text 2020-02-23 22:50
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Ouran high school host club volume 3 - Bisco Hatori

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text 2020-02-22 20:46
"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - abandoned at 38%
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - Jane Austen,Seth Grahame-Smith,Katherine Kellgren

"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" was my second read for my "Pride, Prejudice and Pastiches" reading challenge. Unfortunately, it turned out not to be for me. I abandoned it at 38% (a little more than four hours).


I was attracted by the wonderful title ( a gift from the author's editor) and the fun movie (which was visually stunning) so I had some hopes that the book would be equally amusing. Sadly, it wasn't.



The book is a roughly sewn quilt which uses small squares of the Austen original, with all the wit and nuance washed out, to hold together a Georgian zombie story.


For this to have been worthwhile, the zombie parts of the book needed to have something fresh and compelling that went beyond the unlikely juxtaposition of genteel Georgian young women, Japanese samurai sword-play and stumbling zombies.


What I was offered was a series of splatterfests that were neither funny nor gruesome and a picture of the Bennet sisters as a pack of dagger-wielding, pistol-shooting, throat-slitting, neck-slicing, psychopaths with a lust for weaponry and fond memories of abusive training by a master of the Chinese martial arts.


The Austen parts so simplified the people that I found them more horrifying than the zombie scenes. The zombie scenes were shallow and repetitive. Worst of all, Elizabeth Bennet became someone I would cheerfully have seen dismembered with her own sword.


Katherine Kellgran does a good job at the narration. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.

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review 2020-02-21 16:42
Love the series
Beauty Like the Night (The Spymaster Series) - Joanna Bourne

She used light words that didn’t say what she was thinking. He was doing the same. They leaned on each other and everything important between them went unsaid.


While you absolutely could read this book without reading the rest in the series, you absolutely do not want to. The romance is a little weak, the mystery threads dominate and I had problems feeling like I "knew" Raoul. Do not look for really any movement in the romance front until after 50%.


“I understand. I’m not an innocent.”
“That’s not what I’m saying, Séverine. Not what I’m asking. I want to explain that this isn’t a game to me. I’m free. This is courtship.” He leaned to set his lips to her breast, through the fabric of her shift. “I thought you should know."
Now, just because I said the romance is weaker, it doesn't mean there isn't love in this story. Why I think you should read the preceding in the series is because Severine is the daughter (adopted) of the hero in "The Forbidden Rose" and sister-in-law to the hero in "The Black Hawk" and the love/relationship between the three is so worth reading. Also, Black Hawk has been my favorite of the series, so reading this, seemingly simple description of him:  Hawker sat at the head of the table, his feet propped on one chair, evening coat and cravat thrown over another. His shirt was open at the collar, his cuffs rolled back, and his waistcoat unbuttoned. had me wanting to read his book all over again. What disappointed the heck out of me was that the wives/heroines of these two men were off page the whole time and I missed out seeing them together again. 
Women saw that glint of reckless sensuality in him. The promise that he would not only please a woman in bed but make her laugh while he did it.
Severine's character did not disappoint and I loved her; I would be first in line for a novella about her time serving the Military Intelligence. The mystery plot of Raoul searching for his daughter, an amulet, and who/why killed his wife (a forced marriage, he hadn't even seen her in years) was really only interesting to me because of the strength of the characters (Severine, William Doyle, and Adrian Hawkhurst) and how real, nuanced, and wonderfully Bourne writes them. 
Bourne's writing style is one of my favorites, its immersing, emotional, and at turns beautiful. I'm just a little worried that reader's new to the series wouldn't have the background attachment to stay with this, because of the slow burn, not always the focus romance.
The series is great though, so if you want to fall in love with Severine like I did, definitely start from the beginning. This was a very quietly and understated emotional story, which worked for me at times and didn't at others. 
*In case any group members are reading, this series would be a great Buddy Read series ;)


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