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review 2017-05-24 02:26
Review of "Under Witch Moon" (Moon Shadow #1) by Maria E. Schneider
Under Witch Moon - Maria E. Schneider

This was surprisingly good.  A page turner of a mystery with paranormal elements.  If I was a bigger mystery fan, I'd likely rate it higher.  

 

I liked the heroine, the world building stayed logical even with paranormal elements and her being a witch.  Not the devil worshipping, coven-controlled-hierarchy, or *poof*-gee-unexplained-powers-chicklit type of thing that irritates me in some books.  A well-written element of the book that added to the story.  No insta-lust/luv or fated mate stuff (a whiff of potential romance towards the end).

 

I'm likely to read next in series when in the mood.  I do want to know what happens next with the characters (and am even looking forward to the romance if it happens because guy wasn't a douchebag).  A tiny personal irritation -- that I also had with Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books that doesn't seem to bother most fans of that series -- is her knowingly putting one character in danger even though thinking it was wrong to do so (and spending part of the same book protecting same character).

 

I would not have guessed this a self-published book had I not already known before reading/buying it.

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept me reading in hopes would get better.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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review 2017-05-23 18:13
Painters Gold Coast | House Painters Brisbane

Find Professional House Painters in Brisbane, Gold Coast. Shine Painting offers Interior  Exterior Painting, Residential Painting services in Brisbane, Gold Coast.

Source: shinepaintinginbrisbane.com.au
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review 2017-05-22 21:48
Back to the world of Delta Restoration, Renovation & Design...
Michael, Reinvented - Diana Copland

This is book 2 in Diana Copeland's series 'Delta Restorations' and while I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first book it still held my attention and gave me a lot of good moments. 

 

I would definitely recommend reading this series in order as both the characters and events from the previous book factor strongly into this one. We first met Michael and Gil in 'David Renewed' when David dragged Michael along as his muscle to help move some furniture he'd bought from Gil and while the attraction was instant it was a physical thing. Gil liked what he saw when he looked at Michael...yes, he thought that they could have more and wanted to explore the possibility of  where things could go for them but the problem is Michael doesn't do relationships. He's tried it and he got burned so he's not willing to take that chance again. Lucky for Michael, Gil's persistent and patient.

 

Whether he wants to or not Michael eventually finds his life and Gil's getting tangled together because of their work at DRR&D and because as hard as he may want to deny it he's drawn to Gil. Gil's not only sex on legs for him but he cares about Michael and is determined to keep him safe when events from the first book continue and once again this group finds themselves under attack. Plus Gil's not just easy on the eyes, he's one hella' nice guy and try as he might eventually Michael finds himself unable to ignore how much he genuinely likes him.

 

it's not until things escalate though that Michael realizes how much he wants his mountain of a man and that sometimes taking a chance is better than letting it go and living with regrets.

 

One of my favorite parts in this book was the solid mystery taking place allowing us to once again see this awesome group of men pull together to take care of each other and keep one another safe. 

 

This type of series where we get a different couple for each story while also having glimpses at past couples and ones that are yet to be explored is total book crack for me, it's like spending time with old friends while meeting new ones. In 'Michael Reinvented' we started off with a bit of David and Jackson as Jackson pulled out all the stops to give David an over the top Valentines day. Which for me, ironically, turned out to be the weakest part of this story.  For me this just didn't work, while all the elements were there for it somehow I just didn't feel the romance of the occasion and I have to admit I think that in part this was just a personal preference issue that made it not work for me so pfft, it didn't work not biggie these things happen.

 

However, there was a scene later in the book that pertained to Michael and Gil, specifically to Michael finding out something about Gil that for him was a bit of an eye opener and this worked so wonderfully well for me that quite honestly it had me in tears. It was beautifully done so again personal preference. Which just goes to show how truly subjective reviews are. What works for one person may not for another and in this case I can easily see where what didn't work for me will work for others and what had me in tears may only be nice or sweet or no big deal for someone else.

 

Overall though I loved this story. I liked the banter between Michael and Gil both verbally and texting. I was good with the way the relationship developed and grew. I really enjoyed the mystery aspect of the story and how it tied into everything. So yeah, overall just a really good read and one that has me hoping that whatever comes next, comes soon...maybe Vern and Manny? While I'm not sure how I feel about them as a couple if that's even where they're heading because at times I almost feel like their relationship is more of a big brother/little brother type relationship. What I do know for sure is that I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for this hard working group of friends.

 

*********************

An ARC of 'Michael Reinvented' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-22 16:47
One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva
One Man Guy - Michael Barakiva

I'm always on the lookout for cute LGBTQIAP+ books to read. I heard about One Man Guy a couple of years back but never got around to reading it. When my partner read it and told me that it was a cute read, I went looking for it at my library. I found it, read it, and agree. It is a cute book. However, I do have my problems with it.

 

The first being the writing. I am not in love with this writing style. It's almost too simplistic. To the point where I feel some sentences don't make sense. One sentence in chapter four reads, "He cheated his eyes open a sliver." Reading that is awkward. It doesn't flow well and you feel you need to reread it to make sure you didn't read it wrong. Barakiva did a great job in telling a coming-of-age story about an Armenian teenager discovering himself and his sexuality and I loved learning more about Armenian culture. but his writing style I just could not get behind. 

 

Another thing I had a problem with are the characters. Not so much the main character, Alek. He was sweet, kind, moral, and understanding. I liked him. But the object of his affection, Ethan, is another matter entirely. I didn't see the appeal to him. Seeing as how Alek liked him so much, I wanted to like him, too. And there were some things he did that I just was not a fan of. The way he talked about gay culture was a part of it. His use of the F-word rubbed me the wrong way. He said that if you're a part of that culture, it's okay to use such a word. And, yeah, okay, I get it, but I haven't met many people in the gay community who uses that word as if it were nothing. So it bothered me a bit. Another thing that upset me about Ethan was how he explained it's quite common for gay men to experiment with more than one person, even when they are already in a committed relationship. No. Just no. That's a harmful stereotype that's been perpetuated by our society. To say that gay men CHEAT on their partners is not only wrong but harmful. There are many gay couples who are in committed relationships and DON'T CHEAT ON EACH OTHER. As I've said in other reviews before, if you're in a polyamorous relationship, then it's fine if both partners involved are okay with having other partners. It's NOT okay to lump in every gay couple into being "experimental" with other partners without the other's consent! I did not like that Ethan was teaching Alek this terrible stigma about the gay community. And the last problem I had with Ethan was how misogynistic he was. He made comments when Alek didn't want to do something, he was acting like a girl. I didn't like how he treated Becky, Alek's best friend who is pretty awesome by the way, and thought of her immediately as "lesser" because she was a girl. It took her having to "prove herself" in order for him to show her respect. Just everything about his character was disgusting and I just didn't understand why Alek liked him so much.

 

An aspect that I did like about the book was getting to learn so much about Armenian culture. Especially the food! The food in this book sounds delicious. I've never had Armenian food before but I want to have some now! It was also interesting learning about the Armenian Genocide that happened in Turkey. That is a part of history I am not aware of. It was never taught to us in school, but I'm glad I know about it now. I love learning about history. Especially history that is different from my own culture.

 

Another aspect that bothered me, though, were how Alek's parents were. Oh, the hypocrisy with those two. And the fact that they complained about any little thing to the point where they didn't even want to drink water out of a plastic bottle, I was about to flip. Good thing they eased a tiny bit up towards the end. People like them upset me. DX

 

In short, I thought this book was good. I would recommend it to people who want to learn more about Armenian culture and food, who want to read a cute coming out story, and want a pretty quick read. Keep in mind that there are some homophobic slurs and racism towards Turkish people. These things are questioned and rebuked within the text and shows how it's not okay to do those things. The only thing not ever questioned is the sexism, which is a shame. Other than that, it's a good read so give it a shot if you're curious.

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review 2017-05-21 06:29
Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu (Writer) and Sana Takeda (Artist)
Monstress Volume 1: Awakening - Marjorie M. Liu

So many people have been talking and raving about Monstress. I've heard so many good things about this comic that I immediately placed an order at my library so I could read it ASAP! ...only to wait for months and still not have them contact me to let me know when the comic will be in... only to find it on the shelves as if no one placed a hold on it at all! Ugh... no. No. It's fine. I'm not bitter. (I'm a little bit bitter.) Well, I finally was able to read it and I must say it is well worth the hype.

 

I almost don't want to tell you anything about it. I went in blind and I think that's the best way to go into it. You will appreciate the world more and the characters more. In this world there are humans, monsters, and half-breeds. Throughout the entire comic, you're able to see the mistreatment monsters receive for being "other" and how they're a people being oppressed. I love that this comic touches on inequality, racism, sexism, etc. I love that it's so expressive in the art and story! I will not tell you any more of the story because you HAVE to read it for yourself to fully enjoy it.

 

The artwork, however, I will talk about. Sana Takeda is incredibly talented. The art in this comic is one of the best artwork I have ever seen in any given comic. I am blown away by how stunning it is! It's detailed down to the very last lead in the forest scenes in this book. The colors are breathtaking! It's such a beautiful color palette with browns and greens and golds to match the "earthy" feeling to the story. I could go on and on about the art in this comic. It's just so beautiful!

 

And the characters are great. The main character is Maika Halfwolf. She is bold, strong, a bit sassy, and loyal. She is not without flaws. She tends to be a longer and can be a bit stand-offish but, considering her circumstances, I don't blame her. She is a wonderful character that I cannot wait to get to know. There's also my favorite character, Ren. He's an intelligent, magical, smart-mouth, talking cat. Yes, a talking cat, and I love him. He serves as a guide for Maika and what she can do in order to save herself and her world. I adore him so much and many of the ladies in this comic/  There are so many strong female-characters and they are strong not because they are cruel, but because they have their own goals and ideas and they will fight until they see those goals become a reality. I really enjoyed seeing these women shown to be in leadership roles without falling into the "cruel woman" trope.

 

I highly, highly recommend this comic. If you like strong female leads, action, adventure, magic, and talking cats, then I highly recommend you read this comic. There is swearing, violence, gore, and talk of sexual abuse so keep that in mind when picking this up. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy reading this comic. I had quite a fun time being in this world for a while~

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