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review 2017-07-21 20:29
Well Built - Carly Phillips,Erika Wilde

Kyle Coleman and Ella Fisher were high school sweethearts until one fateful night when their siblings caused their world to come crashing down.  Kyle left Woodmont, IL ten years ago, broke and determined to make something of himself.  Now living in Chicago, Kyle is a part owner of Premier Realty with his 3 best friends, and a successful multimillionaire.

After that fateful night, Ella dropped her dreams of college and took over running the family grocery store since her father was unable to.  Now that the old building next door to the grocery story has finally gone up for sale, Ella has plans of buying that building and expanding the family store.  Imagine Ella's surprise at the bidding sale when someone else also makes a bid on the building....none other than Kyle Coleman...the guy she still has never gotten over.  She may have recently broken off an engagement to another guy, but her heart has always been with Kyle.  Kyle knows he is crushing Ella's dreams, but he has plans of his own....he want to fulfill his mom's dream of owning a bakery and an event center.

In the beginning there was some fun sparring between these two.  It was obvious that the chemistry between these two was still strong.  When Ella tries to convince Kyle that he should sell her the building that is when the fun begins!  Car trouble, stuck in Chicago, Kyle's place....etc....it didn't take long for these two to give in to their feelings.  Afterwards, Ella lets Kyle know that their hookup has to be a one time thing because her father couldn't handle her being with a "Coleman boy" and she couldn't risk his health any more.  Of course this doesn't last long and soon they are sneaking around like they did back in high school.  Eventually problems arise and all hell breaks loose.  It takes some long and hard soul searching for these two to finally make it back to their happy ending, but they finally do.

I just adore these characters.  Kyle was just a perfect dream man...exactly what someone would want in a guy.  Ella had a hard time standing up to her dad because she was always the "good" daughter and this caused her to really end up putting her life on pause.  Once she stood up for herself you just wanted to tell her...way to go Ella!  Overall this was a great, second chance story of two characters who never really gave up the thought of the other, even 10 years later.

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text 2017-07-19 10:28
19th July 2017
Lark & Termite - Jayne Anne Phillips

Talk between women friends is always therapy... 

 

Jayne Anne Phillips

 

Happy birthday, Jayne Anne Phillips! After earning her B.A at West Virginia University, the American writer embarked on a cross-country road trip to California. Instead of driving a direct route, she stopped to take on odd jobs and meet new people. Phillips would later use many of those experiences in her writing.

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review 2017-07-18 14:08
Book does not do this interesting man's story justice.
Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of G... Chasing Space: An Astronaut's Story of Grit, Grace, and Second Chances - Leland Melvin Phillips

Honestly, the only reason why I picked up this book was because I recognized the picture of Mr. Melvin with the dogs. It's a picture that has been around the internet and occasionally pops up now and again. So when I saw he had a book (although admittedly I had never heard of him before seeing the picture) I thought, why not? Someone who uses that picture as the cover of the book (and for other purposes I imagine) must have an eventful and fascinating life story.

 

And he does. The reader learns about Melvin's life and times, from being an NFL receiver to becoming an astronaut despite suffering an injury that temporarily left him deaf. Just getting into the NFL OR becoming an astronaut that actually goes into space (despite the injury) is tough. But doing both? Whoa. 

 

That said, the critical reviews are on the mark. Melvin himself seems like someone you'd love to be friends with and listen to his stories but the writing does not do him justice at all. It's tedious, it doesn't do a lot to make the reader want to turn the pages and learn more. He sound like an earnest, humble guy from the "voice" of the writing and I'm not sure if that might have constrained him a bit or if the editor/publisher wanted that voice at the cost of telling the story.

 

That said, it's still worth a read. If only for the journey but he covers other topics as well. He discusses setbacks (like how he was injured) and darker issues like mentioning how he had been sexually abused by neighbors as a child (he doesn't describe what happened but more of the aftermath so this is more of a heads up), how he had been accused of cheating for an exam while at college and how he had his own brush of not so nice interactions with the police. Again, while some he probably doesn't want to discuss further I still wonder if the publisher/editor deliberately had it that way so this could be arguably more marketable for younger audiences.

 

I enjoyed it, though and don't mind reading it. I'd say I'd like this a little better than say 'An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth' which tried to be both a biography and a bit of a self-help guide. But I also don't think the book really gets his story in some ways either.

 

Definitely recommended for people who have an interesting in NASA/astronauts, perhaps for people who enjoyed 'Hidden Figures' (movie and/or book) or know a younger person in high school or college who has an interest in science, space, etc. I understand that there is a YA version of this book too so that may be more appropriate if the reader is younger. Otherwise I'd say it's a good library borrow.

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review 2017-07-14 00:00
Well Built
Well Built - Carly Phillips,Erika Wilde Erika Wilde and Carly Phillips are an explosive combination. With Erika's spicy dialogue and Carly's blend of complication and emotion, Ella and Kyle set fire to the pages. Kyle creates his own brand of smooth from brash antics to suave words, he has the moves to make a woman forget herself. Ella is the spark that lights him up. She's a good girl that knows how to work her inner bad girl. Well Built gives a well written nod to the seductive while going for broke with some sweet romance. When greatness is expected, it's no surprise when it's delivered.
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review 2017-07-10 22:12
Sarah Phillips by Andrea Lee
Sarah Phillips - Andrea Lee

This is a very well-written book, clear and evocative, and I particularly liked the early chapters, which evoke suburban childhood summers and follow the young protagonist through her first encounters with race. Sadly, the later part of the book didn’t jive as well for me, though the writing is equally good. The chapters are episodic to the point that it resembles a short story collection more than a novel (some of them appear to have been published independently), which I wasn’t expecting. It was also odd, given that this is presented as a semi-autobiographical work and people who meet the narrator identify her as black, to see a picture of the author – she looks vaguely southern European, perhaps Hispanic, and I struggled to reconcile that with a book about coming of age as an upper-middle-class African-American woman. (I realize that a portion of the author's heritage is African-American and she identifies as such, but that seems to me a vastly different experience from actually looking black.) At any rate, though it didn’t all quite come together for me in the way I expected, this is an elegantly-written and complex work with realistic, nuanced characters, certainly worth the relatively short time it takes to read.

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