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review 2018-12-13 14:24
SEASON'S READINGS A True Cowboy Christmas by Caitlin Crews
 
A True Cowboy Christmas (Cold River Ranch, #1)Cold Creek Ranch #1, I love when new series start off with Christmas books. Cold Creek Ranch is in Colorado up high in the Rocky Mountains, a hard place to live. I really enjoyed this book I loved the characters; Gray, Abby, and Becca were well written and easy to connect with. Gray is a hard man being raised by a man who was hateful, ungrateful, and just plain ornery Gray was determined never to be like his father. The biggest way to do that was to not repeat his mistakes he's already done it once and payed the price for it, marrying a flaky girl who couldn't keep her pants on, had no interest in staying at Cold Creek Ranch and died leaving with her lover. One good thing did come out of the marriage his daughter Becca. With his old man dead and buried and his brothers, Ty and Brody, wanting to sell of the land the brothers start to argue. Brody and Ty worry about Gray and they are afraid he will end up like their father, all alone and mean. So Gray comes up with the idea that he needs a wife, one that he knows is steadfast, loves Longhorn Valley and Cold Creek, someone with roots just as deep as his.

Abby Douglas has always loved Gray Everett and now he's proposing to her, something she's always dreamed of but not for the right reasons. Ever since Gray came up with the idea of marrying Abby he's looked at her in a new light more as a woman than just his neighbor and he likes what he sees. The more time he spends with her the more the attraction grows but Gray has spent to long with the main focus of his life as the ranch he's already more like his father than he thinks. All Gray needs is Abby's steadfastness, her unassuming beauty, and her honesty to knock some sense into him but is she willing to risk her heart for something that may never be reciprocated?  
 
Overall, this was a heartfelt and emotional read. The Everett boys aren't 100% mended but they are off to a great start.Abby and Becca have so much in common they form a quick bond and they are good for each other just as much as Abby is good for Gray. This story was addictive I didn't want it to end I look forward to the rest of the series.     
 
 

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-10-25 16:28
Review: Seasons of the Moon 1- Six Moon Summer by S.M. Reine

 

 

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Packed off to summer camp while her parents get divorced, Rylie is determined to see it through and hope for the best- until that one night where it all changes and she's attacked by something she can't identify. Almost immediately she notices herself changing both physically and psychologically, yet as understanding blooms she doesn't understand how she survived the attack. An enigmatic boy at the camp, Seth, has the answers she seeks and offers to help her, but as the summer wanes and the wolf in her grows stronger, Rylie fights to maintain her self-control and hopes for a cure even as she searches for clues about the one who did this to her.

 

What's Good: The premise is intriguing- going from being a nobody to a monster and all things that happen in between. Rylie's teen angsting about her parent's divorce is what you'd expect. There's also some good secondary characters- I especially liked Louise, one of the camp counselors. I actually had more empathy for her than Rylie.

 

What's Bad: The MarySue/Speshul Snoflakiness of it all. At the wise old age of fifteen Rylie wants nothing more than to spend the summer in the art district of this nameless city sipping chai tea in coffee shops while reading and going to exhibits and summer festivals, just like the typical teenage girl she's supposed to be. Oh, and she doesn't have any female friends because they're too catty yet wonders if all her male buddies' girlfriends hate her because she's blonde and slender. Any of this sounding familiar, yet?

 

For someone who's life's been destroyed by becoming a legendary monster, Rylie's pretty blasé about it. It's all "Dear Diary: Mean girls at camp are bothering me... met a cute boy by the lake... I'm a werewolf now." Her biggest concern about it is her distaste for her insatiable cravings for meat, what with being a vegetarian. At least until the fateful night when she rips apart a fawn, then she has an emotional breakdown. She's actually more upset about eating Bambi than becoming a rampaging monster that'll want to slaughter things to begin with. But hey, we got veggie vampires nowadays so why not tofu werewolves? Plus the mysterious yet cute boy she meets knows a whole lot about what's happening to her yet she barely bothers to ask him more than a couple of questions at a time. And some of his answers don't make a lot of sense. When Rylie asks Seth what's happening to her, he responds, "The new & full moons are different. You change on the new moon because it makes the human weak, so the wolf emerges. On the full moon the wolf becomes strong. It dominates you." You kinda see what the author's trying to get at, but it doesn't come across very well. Like a friend of mine said: Heads, I win; Tails, you lose.

 

The mystery of the identities of the werewolves attacking the camp is nothing special. One's a bit of a surprise and the other one isn't, but what makes it bad is the ham-handedness of the whole situation. Rylie has questions (naturally) and is clearly a danger to herself and everyone else during her furry nights, yet the alpha wolf who bit her lets her flounder until the climax of the story. And their actions and motives are ridiculous- without going too far into it, how does this individual expect to keep the massacre of an entire summer camp secret? The second person's identity discloses more ridiculous plot holes: they've been a werewolf for a year yet apparently still lives in the city. Clearly this person was brought into the fold immediately but again, why wasn't Rylie? And how has this person been managing on their wild nights and why can't Rylie do the same?

 

And speaking of 'the city'... Wondering why I called it that? Because everyone in the book does. Rylie, Louise, Cassidy, Amber- everyone comes from 'the city'. The summer camp has a name, the mountain is located on has a name as do the river and lake around the camp, but the city, county and state they're all in don't, even though 'the city' has a North End and East Side with an art district.

 

The final showdown is a cartoon. Werewolves in human form can heal at an amazing rate- Rylie breaks her ankle yet it's well enough in a matter of moments for her to run full tilt along a mountain trail. Somehow none of this translates onto any other werewolves but her: in the final battle Rylie gets her throat ripped out but can keep on fighting since she's young and strong, which enables her to eviscerate her opponent- alpha were described as the size of a horse- to the point that he's on the verge of bleeding out. Really.

 

What's Left: There's flashes of good storytelling, especially the little insights into Rylie psyche before and after her transformations, but they're scattered and almost lost in all the MarySue-ism and silliness. Too many parts of the story feel slapped together because too much space is wasted showing how speshul Rylie is to help justify her being chosen becoming a werewolf in the first place. Which didn't make any sense, either.

A couple of minor twists in the story will keep you entertained but all the fudging to keep our girl the centerpiece of the story drags it all down.

 

The romance between Rylie and Seth is forced. Rylie knows he knows more than he's letting on yet she never asks him more than a couple of questions at a time- she's too preoccupied with flirting with him to remember why they're sneaking her away from camp during full moons.

 

There's a good premise here but it's bogged down by some absolute nonsense. The old adage of keeping it simple applies here, and simply put the series needs to be what it says it is: the story of a girl who gets turned into a werewolf.

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review 2018-08-23 13:17
Review of Different Seasons by Stephen King
Different Seasons - Stephen King

This is King's classic collection of four novellas, the first of which led to the beloved movie Shawshank Redemption. I enjoyed two and a half of the stories in this collection. The Shawshank story was outstanding (and it was interesting to see the differences between the book and the film). The Apt Pupil story was disturbing but very good (I have not seen that movie). The third story of the kids looking for the dead body really dragged for me. I also didn't care for the whole "story within the story" technique of sharing the writing work of one of the characters. I thought the fourth story had great potential, but then it also fell back on the story within a story and, while more interesting, didn't quite capture my imagination. Still well worth the read for King fans.

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review 2018-02-26 08:41
A Bride for All Seasons
A Bride for All Seasons - Margaret Brownley,Debra Clopton,Robin Lee Hatcher,Mary Connealy

Four short stories, each set in a different season of the year, featuring the mail order bride trope. The common thread between the stories is each story's couple had sought a partner through the Hitching Post catalog where the interfering editor rewrote letters between couples to play matchmaker. They inevitably discover the deception early in the story, but of course the marriage (or some kind of chaste partnership) must continue and eventually feelings develop.

 

Each couple has a different backstory and set of circumstances which was interesting. It is all terribly cliche, of course, but in a nice cotton candy sort of way. Happy endings all around. I believe this is technically under the Christian romance sub-genre and there are no sex scenes in any of the stories - although there are a few saucy sentences!

 

It was a cute and comfortable dozing-off-in-bed kind of read.

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text 2018-01-11 21:34
Reading Update: 10%
Beyond Scandal and Desire: A Sins for All Seasons Novel - Lorraine Heath

He’d been scheming for far too long to cast it all aside now. He’d climbed as far as he could up the social ladder. To reach the higher rungs, others had to fall—far and spectacularly, like fireworks burning out on their way down. He would be paid what he was owed. And God’s mercy on anyone who stood in his way.

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