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review 2018-02-12 06:15
Yours
Bailing Out (Snow-Crossed Lovers) - Carrie Quest

Gabriel and Isabelle have a hot and tainted history.  There were too may factors that interfered where they did not belong.  Now, trapped together in Russia, they get another chance to clear the air.

Isabelle AKA "Belle" has had too many hard knocks in recent years to believe that Gabe would want to get back together.  Then the chance arises to find out just what really broke them up last time.  After finding out the truth, can they both learn to forgive?

This was such a fast paced, but really hot story.  I loved the characters right from the start.  They seem like they are better together than apart.  This was a great intro to the Snow-Crossed Lovers series.  I am very excited now for the next installment!  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!


***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-02-06 19:27
Russian dragon royalty + hot historian Cinderella-style shifter romance
Grigori: A Royal Dragon Romance (Brothers of Ash and Fire) - Monique Patterson,Lauren Smith

I picked up a copy of this by mistake as part of a newsletter chain/giveaway/review group and I don't usually read adult romances, but I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of writing. There's an underlying story that holds up quite well even without the racy bits, character motivations are clearly expressed and somewhat believable (I mean, aside from all the paranormal/shifter stuff), the writing style is strong and engaging, and the world-building is convincing.

 

I don't particularly care for dragons or shifters in general as a trope or topic, but I do like paranormal or fantasy stories and romance subplots, so it wasn't too much of a stretch for me. Cinderella-style romances with a rich guy are generally a good time, and there are other pretty classic storytelling threads that are combined competently enough to be entertaining, if predictable. It seemed pretty short, but there was a reasonable story arc and some character development, so it just very clearly leads into a series for the larger story. I would have continued on if it were less explicit, but that's totally a matter of personal taste, and I think this would do very well with romance fans. In my opinion, the writing and storytelling, as well as the quality of production, are a cut above typical indie fare.

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text 2018-01-31 19:57
Reading progress update: I've read 140 out of 945 pages.
Russka: The Novel of Russia - Edward Rutherfurd

My collection of physical books is so large (upwards of 3000) that it's rare for me to get anything new in anything other than Kindle format. These days, I reserve the purchase of paper books to those that are truly special. And a bit over 100 pages into this book, I knew it would be one of those. Thus, the change in progress update format from percentage to page numbers. Onwards!

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text 2018-01-30 21:19
Reading progress update: I've read 13%.
Russka: The Novel of Russia - Edward Rutherfurd

Almost done with the second section (Ivanushka's story). I've loved this part; it felt very "Dostoyevskian."

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text 2018-01-23 13:23
Russka: The Novel of Russia - Edward Rutherfurd

I probably won't be able to finish this before the end of the month (I started this book club pick just a few days ago, and I'm a slow reader), but I'll definitely finish it. I'm on the second chapter/story, and so far have really been enjoying the combination of fiction and geography/history lessons. Both aspects of this book flow smoothly, so it never feels pedantic.

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