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review 2017-12-12 01:40
The Christmas Fling by Heidi Cullinan - My Thoughts
The Christmas Fling - Heidi Cullinan

The first of my Christmas books to read and ooh, it's a good one!  In The Christmas Fling, we return to Logan, Minnesota, the setting of the Minnesota Christmas quadrology.  We meet many old friends - as one does when they go home for Christmas, and we meet a pair of MCs that have issues.  Oh, they both have issues. 

The book starts of with a bang- almost literally.  Before we are many pages in, we find ourselves in the midst of a hugely satisfying, steamy, sexy scene that is really enough to curl your toes.  And a bit of a warning here, we're talking some kink, more specifically, some humiliation kink - which is not everyone's cup of tea.  It's really not mine either, in fact it usually squicks the hell out of me, but the way Heidi writes it, I found the workings of the characters' minds fascinating.  Characters are Heidi's strength and it really shows in this book. 

We have Evan, who is most likely on the spectrum, who can't really remember faces, who has a tendency to one-track-mindedness to the point of forgetting to take care of himself.  Another one who has his own neuroses, his own insecurities, his own bloody one-track-mindedness.  *LOL* 

But honestly, aside from the terrifically drawn characters, the other wonderful thing about this book, and really about all of Heidi's books, is the sense of family.  Found family and blood family.  It never fails to warm my heart and often sets me to tearing up.  And then there's Linda Kay who is right up there as fave Cullinan character of all time with Randy Jansen. 

So great start to my Christmas reading!  :)

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review 2017-12-11 18:38
Review: "Maelstrom" (Whyborne & Griffin, #7) by Jordan L. Hawk
Maelstrom - Jordan L. Hawk

 

~ 5 STARS ~

 

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review 2017-12-11 15:50
Dress Blues (Recalled to Love #2) by Lisa Carlisle
Dress Blues - Lisa Carlisle
Dress Blues is the second novella in the Recalled to Love series, and is a complete standalone from the first. In this one, we meet Vivi who left the military after a devastating injury, and Jack, who has now left the military too but is unsure of what to do now. The sparks flew between these two when they first met, but nothing was allowed to come of it as Vivi was enlisted and Jack was an officer. Now though, they don't have those rules to get in the way, so it's all dependent upon whether they can work it as a couple.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I have to say that Stella stole the show! There is uncertainty in both of them for different reasons, and they will  have to overcome those before they can move forwards together. I loved that Jack was pushy for all the right reasons, but could also completely understand where Vivi was coming from. I admired the fact that she admitted the fault, and worked on it to conquer it, rather than letting it beat her. 
 
The story flowed at an even pace, and there were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow. This story has the feel-good factor, and is definitely recommended by me.
 
* 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. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

 

Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/recalledtolove12bylisacarlisle
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review 2017-12-11 15:47
Temptation Returns (Recalled to Love #1) by Lisa Carlisle
Temptation Returns - Lisa Carlisle
Temptation Returns is the first novella in the Recalled to Love series, and we meet Antonio and Lina. This couple were together, but when Antonio joined the military he pushed Lina away as he didn't think it was right to keep her waiting for him. Lina eventually got over him, and found someone new. Unfortunately, Brad was 'safe' and there were no real sparks or passion between them. A couple of weeks before the wedding, and Antonio is back in town and sees Lina in a nightclub. The passion between them is still there, but Lina is now engaged, so things have changed between them.
 
I have to say that, for me, it was Antonio who made this book. I can understand Lina being conflicted when Antonio returned, but I can't agree with her actions following that first kiss. Yes, Brad turned out to be a first class jerk, but still... As for the story as a whole, it was fast-paced, angsty, and thoroughly enjoyable in many ways. There were no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, and the scenes flowed from one to the next. A quick coffee break book, recommended by me.
 
* 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. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Source: sites.google.com/site/archaeolibrarian/merissa-reviews/recalledtolove12bylisacarlisle
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review 2017-12-11 14:16
Review: Let Us Dream by Alyssa Cole
Let Us Dream - Alyssa Cole

This is a novella that was originally published in the anthology Daughters of a Nation.

 

I read this for square 7 (International Human Rights Day) as it takes place in Harlem (in 1917) as the state of New York prepares to vote in the November elections, especially the amendment to the state constitution giving women the right to vote. Bertha is a business woman running her own restaurant/night club/whorehouse and is working hard to help the suffragettes get the vote. She also has to fight off some men who were former clients when she was selling sex now that she is widowed. Her dead hubby wasn't a great guy and there is no lingering grief going on....seems Bertha saw it as much of a business decision as anything else in her life. Bertha wants the right to vote so that she can help her fellow women business owners and her girls, pretty much every woman who are often overlooked or mistreated. She also has to contend with the vice squads that are bringing down the hammer on clubs like hers due to selling sex and race mixing. I liked Bertha as a boss lady and teacher (she taught civic classes to her girls and other people when the club was closed so that those that can (or will soon be allowed to) vote can do so with a foundation of knowledge.

 

Amir left the British navy as a cook hoping for a more stable and socially upward mobile life in America. Unfortunately he has only met with brick walls and is just trying to survive. He is unsure if he wants to return to Bengal and live as a farmer under British rule or keep surviving in America. He has no papers, so staying out of law enforcement's grasp is a daily reminder he is Other. Bertha needs another cook to help/sub for her club's cook who is mightily pregnant. Amir has political/community organizing, along the lines of labor unions, but Bertha's lessons open him up to refining his political beliefs. I really liked Amir and his friends/roommates, especially Syed. I also like how Amir is identified as a Muslim, first in the dialog between him and Bertha and then later on while he was praying for her safe return from jail.

 

The characters were great, the setting and issues of the day were well written, but the romance sucked. I did believe they had sexual chemistry, but not an emotional connection. Bertha acted like a cold bitch to Amir several times and every time he apologized but she never admitted she was out of line. Maybe if the story was longer, there would be more time for Bertha to open up to Amir the way he did with her.

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