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review 2017-12-17 05:14
It's another swipe at the Tower of TBR thanks to the world of audio books...
Jack: Grime and Punishment: Brothers Grime, Book 1 - Audible Studios,Z.A. Maxfield,William Arden

I've wanted to read these books for ages now. I'm totally a fan of Z.A. Maxfield and while I haven't read all of her books I'm working on it and I've wanted to read this one for quite a while now. So while I still love to read my books like most things I have come to realize that audio books have a place in my reading routines. 

 

'Jack: Grime and Punishment' is the first book in the series 'The Brother's Grime'. Jack is one of the partners in a company that specializes in crime scene clean up. A company that came into being when Jack's career as a firefighter came to an abrupt end. 

 

Ironically when a job comes up to clean up the house of a suicide victim it's Jack's turn to move on from the past when the victim and owner of the house turns out to be Nick Foasberg...Jack's first love and the person who betrayed him in unimaginable ways. But if Nick is Jack's past then what does that make Nick's cousin Ryan Halloran...is it possible he's Jack's future?

 

To say the least Jack's career gave this story an unusual setting at times and there's a solid cast of interesting characters adding depth and dimension to the story. There was a fair amount of tension and misunderstanding between Jack and Ryan, which was appropriate given the history between these two and add in some interference from Jack's well meaning friends and things definitely got challenging for Jack and Ryan at times.

 

I've enjoyed reading Z. A. Maxfield for a few years now and now I'm enjoying her stories on audio book. I'll probably never conquer my personal Mt. TBR but between my e-books and audio books I'll certainly be giving it a valiant try...so, I'm off to the next book in 'The Brother's Grime' and then who knows where the world of audio will lead me in quest to conquer Mt. TBR.

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review 2017-12-17 03:41
All the world's a stage...
Between Loathing and Love - Andrew Grey,Tristan James

Payton Gowan long ago gave up his dreams of being an actor and turned his talents to making things happen for others, but when the reason for his careers change of course steals his treadmill at the gym Payton comes face to face with is past.

 

When Beckett Huntington bumps into Payton at the local gym he doesn't realize that he's not only meeting the person he blames for outing him all those years ago, the person who caused him to become interested in acting but the he's meeting the person who can help make all his dreams come true.

 

'Between Loathing and Love' is a quintessential 'enemies to friends' story. Payton is a nice guy he's honorable and in spite of the animosity of the past between him and Beckett he sees how talented the man is and he's totally professional in how he behaves in regard to Beckett's career. 

 

I wasn't so sure about Beckett at the beginning but as the story progressed he grew on me and I liked the change from the person we were given to understand him to have been as a young man in high school and the adult that he's become. 

 

There's definite communication challenges between Payton and Beckett which for me made sense given their background these two had a long of trust building to do and just generally needed to develop a better comfort level that allowed for open and honest communication.

 

There were some interesting secondary characters in this story...Beckett's neighbor Val was someone whom I'd like to see more of. He was an interesting character and I liked his open, honest nature and I'd really love to see how things turn out with him and Lars and then there was Rob and while I'm not going to say exactly where he factored into things I will say when last we saw him in this story he shared some things with Payton and Beckett that made me want to have more of a story about him. Then there was Beckett's douchebag co-worker while I don't need to see more of him, I will say he did add some interest in this one.

 

I really liked this story but I have to admit what really added to my enjoyment was the narrator...Tristan James. I cannot like this man is one on my top 5 list of favorites when it comes to narrators. If he's reading the story I just sink right in. I love his voice and the character voices are consistent, expressive and unique, injecting a tone that simply compels me to listen and I do so quite happily.

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review 2017-12-17 02:42
It's what's on the inside that really counts...
On the Third Kiss - George Loveland

As Donna Tracey, Drag Queen extraordinaire Sebastian Bennett works hard and he’s looking forward to a well deserved vacation with his boyfriend and the love of his life Elliot Bolton in the Gran Canarian or at least he thought he was until he came home to find Buster his chihuahua alone with nothing but a note telling him that Elliot needed a break and was going on their vacation with someone else…which this is bad enough right? But no Elliot didn’t stop there. Needless to say, Sebastian is devastated…hell, I was devastated with him.

 

Feeling like his world is crumbling Sebastian turns to the one person he can rely on pub manager and friend, Javier Reyes-Martinez. Javier doesn’t hesitate to step-up offering Sebastian support, friendship, a shoulder to lean on…whatever he needs.

 

When Christmas day rolls around and Sebastian decides that if he’s not going to be in the Gran Canarian that he might as well go home to his family he doesn’t hesitate to take Javier with him and it’s in the midst of a broken heart and being with his family who mean the world to him that Sebastian begins to realize that maybe Javier could be more than a friend…maybe, he’s what Sebastian really needs in his life.

 

I loved how things played out between Sebastian and Javier. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that Seb was slow on the uptake but it did take his mother, his sister, his uncle with dementia…no seriously Seb’s uncle had some surprising moments of lucidness and imparted so pretty good words of wisdom and then there was Buster…that was one seriously smart chihauhau with really good taste in men and there might have been a few other people dropping hints before darling Seb finally got a clue but in his defence…douchebag boyfriend…screwed him over…so he might not have been seeing things as clearly as he should have.

 

On the flip side Javier may have known how he felt about Seb but he also cared about him enough not to push. He knew that Seb was a bit of an emotional wreck and he wanted to give him some time and space.

 

‘On the Third Kiss’ was a sweet holiday, friends to lovers story by a new to me author, whom I’m looking forward to reading more from in the future.

 

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An ARC of ‘On the Third Kiss’ was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-17 02:05
Sometimes it's the family that you make that truly gets you...
Foxglove Copse - Alex Beecroft

'Foxglove Copse' is the 5th book in the 'Porthkennack' series. I haven't read all the books in this series and while I hope to do so at some time I'm really enjoying being able to pick and choose the ones I read without feeling like I've missed anything in the ones that I do chose to read.

 

This is actually my first time reading a book by this author and I really enjoyed this story. Sam Atkins had the life...the money, the home, the job all the material things that are often taken as signs of success but for Sam the price that he's paid for this has been extracted from his heart and soul and when he finds he can no longer pay that price he runs. Divesting himself of his material gains he begins to live the life of a wanderer and six months into his vagabond life he finds himself on the road to Porthkennack. It's a road that not only leads him to the place he'll ultimately call home but the man who will help him begin to heal.

 

Whatever flaws this story may have contained were by far outweighed by the heart of this story. 'Foxglove Copse' is more than a love story it's a story about love. I know it seems like semantics but love is probably the most complicated four letter word in any language and while it has can be defined by just a few words there can be a zillion different meanings and in this story we get to see some of those meanings through the eyes of Sam a man whose family has abused him mentally and emotionally leaving him floundering for a place to seek shelter and call home until he meets Ruan.

 

Ruan is a man whose family loves him unconditionally. Ruan knows what it's like to have that surety that no matter what he will always be loved...he will always have a shelter from the storms that life may bring his way. 

 

Together Sam and Ruan discover that home is where the heart is and both men realize that they can trust each other to protect their heart. But there's more to this story than just the romance between Sam and Ruan there's a mystery because someone's trying to scare Ruan's Aunt Jennifer and as things escalate Sam and Ruan get drawn into the heart of events whether they want to be or not.  People are being stalked, harassed and bullied...people that Ruan cares about, people that Sam is beginning to care about. Somehow events at Aunt Jennifer's farm are connected to things even more sinister and if Sam and Ruan are going to have a future than they need to work together to figure out what's happening and why.

 

While I love a good mystery and this one was more than a little interesting what enchanted me the most about this story was Sam. For Sam this was about more than falling in love. This was Sam's second chance...his chance to find himself and reclaim the part of him that he believed was gone. His faith and confidence were shaken to the core if not non-existent and while Ruan may have helped him. In the end if was Sam who had to dig down deep and believe in himself again if he wanted a chance at a life with Ruan and the promise of home and family that it offered and Ruan came to realize that in Sam, he had a partner and that together they could shelter each other from life's storms. 

 

Equally as important is the role played by family and community in this story. Ruan's parents are loving and supportive of their children which is a real contrast to Sam's family, whom we only get glimpses of through Sam's conversations with his mother and yes, I am using this term loosely and then there is Sam's sister and I'll just say here yes, I wanted to slap-a-bitch here. Seriously she opened her mouth once in this book and it was one time too many. 

 

In the end yes, the mystery gets solved but it's Sam who made me love this book so much. It's seeing him go from a broken man who ran from his family...from an environment that was robbing him of his heart and soul to a man who found love, who was finding himself again and who was creating a family for himself the kind of family that would love him and believe in him...a family that would always have his back. This was the story that enchanted me.

 

'Porthkanneck' is quickly becoming one of those places that I enjoy visiting and I'm sure I'll be going back again soon.

 

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A copy of 'Foxglove Copse' was graciously provided by the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-12-16 02:58
Review: A Letter from Lancaster County
A Letter from Lancaster County (Lancaster Discoveries) - Kate Lloyd

A Letter for Lancaster County is a good sweet story. It seems about a redemption and learning to deal with death and grief. What a lovely plot. Katie Lloyd does a good job with it. We get the perspective of the main characters named Rose and Angelina.

 

They get a letter from their aunt Sylvia. Both girl are dealing with their own problems and grief of their mother. Will they learn that letting go and have faith? There a budding romance going on as well. What could that be and can Glenn and Rose being a match? You will need to find out by reading.

 

Can Angelina figure out what going on at home and her husband and family. To find that out, you will need to read to determine that. They find out that their Aunt Sylvia is sick, Will Rose decide to stay or will see go back to her home in Washington? This is a lovely and sweet story of love, friendship and redemptions.

 

Book themes for Calan Gaeaf:
Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is / has Rose or Ivy in it.

 

 

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/12/review-letter-from-lancaster-county.html
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