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review 2018-03-23 03:39
Personally, not for me
Fancy Pants - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I had the flu while reading this so my notes/thoughts were mired in me feeling like I was experiencing a slow death. Because of the homophobic comments and misogyny, I just couldn't get into this. If I had read it when it was first published (I gave This Heart of Mine 5 stars and that has a huge problematic scene) maybe I would feel differently but as Sam(AMNReader) says, "when you know better, you do better" in her Review, I read it at age 35 in 2018 and I personally felt there were a lot of Not ok things being done and being said. 

This was almost more of a contemporary with some romance as the main couple didn't spend a lot of time together. The heroine goes through one heck of a journey and I would have gave the book 2 stars for her alone but she makes a decision 

doesn't tell hero she had his kid, even when original reason not to, wanted to stand on her own feet, becomes mute

(spoiler show)

; I just couldn't side with her. Romance books have to make me like the hero and heroine and I had no love for them here. 

This was supposed to be a buddy read, Quotes/comments here but yeah, the whole flu thing kept me from being too talkative. 

Anyway, a spoiled rich girl who travels to America, has one heck of a personal growth journey, and an abused runaway boy who plays golf, never feels good enough, and a handful of secondary characters that make the story better (Skeet and Miss Sybil) and worse (Holly Grace, not because of who she is married to but her comments). 

Here are a couple of quotes I first started to highlight before the tone and flu took me over:

"Running musses your hair and makes your face all red. People won't love you if you're not pretty." She clasped Francesca tightly in her arms while she uttered this most terrible threat, using it the way other mothers might offer up the horrors of the boogey man.
The author did an amazing job, you'll get complete backstory on the heroine's mother, of showing why our heroine was the way she was. You'll think it is hard to sympathize with a spoiled rich girl but she never really had a chance to be anything else and she works her way out of it.

He threw the toothbrush at her, hitting her in the arm. "Take it! Take the fucking thing!

She drew back her arm and slapped his face as hard as she could. He slapped her back. Although he was mad enough to hit her, he wasn't mad enough to hurt her, so he struck her with only a small portion of his strength. Still, she was so small that she lost her balance and bumped into the side of a car. She grabbed the sideview mirror with one hand and pressed the other to her cheek. "Jesus, Francie, I hardly touched you." He rushed over and reached out for her arm.
There are some very touchy, cringing moments between the hero and heroine. At the point of these two quotes, the hero and heroine and only spent about a week together. The vibe of a guy throwing anything at the heroine in anger, screaming at her, or even slapping her "with only a small portion of his strength" in any context is take a good hard look at worthy but without personal relationship for knowing personalities, it feels abusive for the heroine. Men screaming at women just isn't the back and forth I look for; I don't know it felt super uncomfortable for me here. 

"I want to do it! I know it's wrong. I know I shouldn't let you, but I just can't stand it anymore. I feel like I'm on fire." She tried to make him understand. "All those months, Billy T made me do it. All those months he hurt me. Don't I have the right, just once, to choose for myself?"
The younger issues involving the hero and Holly Grace was deep, dark, and I thought very emotional, it touches on issues no one likes to talk about but can be therapeutic for people to read and see discussed. 

There were numerous comments about the heroine raising her son wrong and he might grow up "strange" or queer with the hero also early on making a comment about how he didn't want to be in a f****t calendar. Not my cup of tea views. 

This was written well because Phillips is a good writer but well written homophobia is still homophobia. I didn't like a lot of the characters' actions and comments, it was stuff the romance community has seemed to want to clear out, which I definitely think to the betterment.

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review 2018-03-22 21:21
2 Out 5 "A little too much Y and not enough A" Stars
You Look Different in Real Life - Jennifer Castle




You Look Different in Real Life

Jennifer Castle



For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.


The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.


Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.


But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.






While You Look Different in Real Life wasn't really for me, I think for a younger audience it may work.  The only reason I listened to this in the first place is for a reading challenge (I needed a narrator whose name started with a Q). 


Overall, for me, the characters were not memorable and it was really difficult for me to see where this story was going.  Ultimately, there is a message there and that's why the ending is the only part that got a decent rating from me.











Plot~ 2/5

Main Characters~ 2/5

Secondary Characters~ 1/5

The Feels~ 1/5

Pacing~ 2/5

Addictiveness~ 1.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 2.5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 2/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 2/5

Ending~ 3.5/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.


Book Cover~ It's whatever…

Narration~ Samantha Quan is not bad in this, but I really didn't like the book…so maybe that makes it kind of difficult to figure out how I feel about her as a narrator.

Setting~ New York and the surrounding area…I think

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)



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review 2018-03-22 18:22
Shave & Shimmer (Sangre Trilogy #2) by Alex Carreras
Shave & Shimmer - Alex Carreras
Shave & Shimmer is the second novella in the Sangre Trilogy, and now that Asher has found love, he is determined everyone should. The first person on his matchmaking list is Tory, the high maintenance twink we were first introduced to in Asher & Niko's story. Tory wants to find The One, but has had no luck so far, which is why he agrees to Asher's suggestion that they go on a double-date. It starts off well, but ends badly, through no fault of Tory. He finds out more about Ray's past and what made him react that way.
This is once again a well-written but extremely fast-paced novella. It ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, no doubt leading to the third and final story. The story, this one moment in their lives, is well-told and is complete. I would love to know more about them, and what their futures hold though. 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/sangretrilogy12byalexcarreras
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review 2018-03-22 18:20
Buzz & Blow: A M/M Vampire Romance (Sangre Trilogy #1) by Alex Carreras
Buzz & Blow - Alex Carreras
Buzz & Blow is the first novella in the Sangre Trilogy, and we start off with Niko, a rough and ready type, and Asher, a primpy "ponce" (as described by one the characters). Niko works at Killer Kuts, the barber shop which is situated across the street from Everlasting, where Asher works. The attraction has been between these two for a while, but they have never spoken to each other. Once they do, the ball starts rolling, quickly gathering momentum.
This is a fast-paced novella, with the situation between Asher and Niko happening over a very short amount of time. Of course, when you're a vampire, you kind of know what you want ;) Still, these guys worked pretty fast! Not only do they have time together, but they need to help clear Niko's cousin, Mario, from murder charges. He didn't murder anyone, but he was stupid. He had played close to the fire a few too many times, and this time ended up being burnt. I would love to know if Mario is one of the future couples in this series.
On the whole, it was written well, so long as you can keep up with the speedy pace and plot line. This was a good short story, and I look forward to reading more in this series.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/sangretrilogy12byalexcarreras
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review 2018-03-22 14:24
Review: Cowboy SEAL Homecoming (Navy SEAL Cowboys #1) by Nicole Helm
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming - Nicole Helm
Cowboy SEAL Homecoming

Navy SEAL Cowboys #1
Nicole Helm
Contemporary Romance
Sourcebooks Casablanca
January 2nd 2018


Three former Navy SEALs
Injured in the line of duty
Desperate for a new beginning...
Searching for a place to call their own.


Alex Maguire never thought he'd go home again. The perfect soldier, the perfect leader, he's spent his whole life running away from Blue Valley, Montana―but when a tragic accident bounces him and two of his men out of the SEALs, there's nowhere left to turn but the ranch he used to call his own...and the confusing, innocently beguiling woman who now lives there.


Becca Denton's like nothing he could have imagined. She's far too tempting for her own good, but when she offers to help turn the ranch into a haven for injured veterans, he can't exactly say no. He'll just need to keep his distance. But something in her big green eyes makes Alex want to set aside the mantle of the perfect soldier and discover the man he could have been...safe and whole within the shelter of her arms.


The Prodigal SEAL has come home.




Barnes & Noble




Cowboy SEAL Homecoming is a sweet and adorable romance.


I picked this one up; because of a teaser Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup shared. It’s the first night/morning the guys are at the ranch and that morning a goat gets in the house. That scene was so funny. I had to just smile and laugh. It reminded me of farm life. I didn’t have any goats, but I sure did have several other farm animals. You can check out her review and see the teaser; here. Their was also another goat scene that made me smile as well. Goats, they are just too funny!


Becca reminded me a lot of myself. She has been sheltered her whole life; because she was a very sick child and her mother worried, so as a result she’s made animal friends on the farm. I wasn’t sheltered, but I didn’t have many friends and preferred to spend my time outside with my animals then with people. I had a great time watching Becca come out of her shell and stand up for herself and her needs and wants. I like that she wants to open an equine therapy ranch for wounded veterans and her stepbrother is all in to help, now that he is out of the service.


Alex returns home after pretty much running away from home. The ranch and town hold difficult memories for him. Coming home he is forced to face his situation and all those memories in the past. My heart went out to him. I would have liked to see more time spent on Alex getting help and dealing with his issues.


Becca and Alex are step-siblings, but they didn’t grow up together and barely have any type of a relationship, so the romance; between them didn’t raise any issues that I usually would have with this type of a set up. Their romance isn’t steamy, it’s a slow and sweet build. I think anything more wouldn’t have been believable; especially with how sheltered Becca was and the issues Alex has.


I had a delightful time with a Cowboy SEAL Homecoming. It had some wonderful touching moments and showcased life’s struggles and overcoming them.


Rated: 3 Stars


Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!


Challenge(s) (2018): Try Something New (Author/Series)





I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2018/03/review-cowboy-seal-homecoming-navy-seal-cowboys-1-by-nicole-helm
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