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review 2019-07-16 16:55
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount by Amy Rose Bennett
How to Catch a Wicked Viscount (Disreputable Debutantes) - Amy Rose Bennett

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Sophie was sent to a young ladies' academy to hopefully make connections so that she can marry well and save her family from impoverishment. While she makes three great friends and they form the Society for Enlightened Young Women, they end up getting expelled for breaking some rules. Now three years later, she may be forced to marry a man she despises to save her family. When one of her friend's invites her to London to spend the season with her, Sophie jumps at the chance.

Nathaniel is a man of his day, he is a viscount, an heir, fought in Waterloo, and lives a life of gentlemanly leisure. However, when some of his antics catch his father's attention, he is given the ultimatum to grow up or be cut off. He doesn't want to marry quite yet but his younger sister's friend is having him thinking thoughts he never has before.

 

The first in the Disreputable Debutantes series, I enjoyed the friendship between our heroine Sophie and her three friends. We are introduced to them at the ladies' academy and how their curiosity and wanting the same knowledge as their male counterparts gets them thrown out and causes severe consequences for them. I liked how the author aligned the juxtaposition of the rather mild actions of Sophie and her friends with the debauched antics of Nate and his friends and the severe consequences the women faced and the almost complete lack of any for the men. This had me feeling for Sophie but even though Nate was a man of his time, I struggled with how immature him and friends came off and how childish their bets and pranks were.

 

She bit her lip to suppress a small smile. It suddenly occurred to her that perhaps the viscount might be a little bit infatuated with her too.

 

The friends decide to hone their flirting skills on rakes, the excuse of already having a scandalous reputation for being thrown out of the academy as their reason, and Sophie's friend caught Nate in Sophie's room due to a drunken mix-up and decides to blackmail him to help them in their quest. This was all a bit shaky to go along with and neither really pans out as the story goes along. I had the same issue with Sophie writing a child's novel and Nate's pain from Waterloo. Both were introduced and occasionally revisited but felt more like afterthoughts in the story, they ended up feeling like “what was the point?” because they didn't add any emotion to the story.

 

Well, she wouldn’t beg. And if Nathaniel Hastings had a change of heart, he knew where to find her.

 

With the consequences of Sophie and her friends' actions, along with the lifestyle of Nate, this did have more of a Regency time period feel to it. There also felt like a hint of naughtiness just around the corner. In the beginning with Nate and his friends, there was some threesome talk and just an overall vibe of sexuality. However, I didn't think it completely compromised the historical mood and I actually thought it gave this a bit of a fresh feel because of, for the most part, keeping it to more of teasing the idea. I did struggle with the ending; throughout, Sophie and Nate acknowledge the danger of acting on their feelings only to, what felt like to me, act in a way that wildly went against what felt true to their previously written characters. This not fitting into the fabric of the story or characters ruined any romance I was supposed to get out of it.

 

Overall, I believed in the lust attraction between the two but not sure I felt the depth of emotion, Sophie and Nate never spent enough quality time together to build this up for me. Sophie's novel writing to try and save her family and Nate's Waterloo pain felt more like footnotes than incorporated into the story enough to provide emotion but the covertly contrasting of consequences for men and women of the time was nicely done. The author lined up enough secondary character series baiting teasers that I will find myself picking up the next Disreputable Debutante's story. There was some emotional depth missing for this but Nate does read Pride and Prejudice, Sophie mentions it is her favorite book, because he is missing Sophie and I can always get enjoyment out of a reading hero.

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review 2019-07-16 09:40
Eines Tages werden sie sich gegenseitig umbringen
Obsidian Butterfly - Laurell K. Hamilton

Der Auftragskiller Edward ist meine absolute Lieblingsnebenfigur der „Anita Blake“-Reihe von Laurell K. Hamilton. Ich liebe seine Kompromisslosigkeit, seinen tödlichen Pragmatismus und seinen ganz speziellen Sinn für Humor. Vielleicht sollte es mir zu denken geben, wie sehr ich eine Figur, die mühelos als Soziopath durchgeht, mag, aber es beruhigt mich, dass ich mit meiner Sympathie nicht allein dastehe. Edward erfreut sich einer soliden Fanbasis, was die Autorin eingangs überraschte. Dank seiner großen Popularität erfuhr sie, dass ihre Leser_innen sich ebenso sehr für ihn interessieren wie sie selbst. Deshalb widmete sie „Obsidian Butterfly“ allen Edward-Fans, denn der neunte Band rückt ihn ins Rampenlicht.

 

Es gibt nur einen Menschen auf der Welt, den Anita Blake fürchtet. Mit seinen babyblauen Augen wirkt Edward wie ein netter Typ, doch Anita kennt sein wahres Gesicht: er ist ein Kopfgeldjäger, ein eiskalter Killer und vielleicht der einzige, der gut genug ist, sie zu töten. Dennoch verbindet sie eine eigenwillige Freundschaft. Deshalb zögert sie nicht, als er sie bittet, ihm bei den Ermittlungen in einer besonders grausamen Mordserie in New Mexico zu helfen. Dort angekommen stößt Anita jedoch bald an ihre Grenzen. Nicht nur belasten sie die grausigen Details des Falls und ihre Ahnungslosigkeit, welches Wesen verantwortlich sein könnte, sie erhält auch unverhoffte, tiefe Einblicke in Edwards Leben, die sie auf eine harte Probe stellen. Kann sie akzeptieren, dass sogar Edward versucht, sich ein Stück Normalität zu bewahren? Vielleicht sind sie sich doch ähnlicher, als sie dachte…

 

Wer glaubt, Anitas Beziehung zu Richard und Jean-Claude sei kompliziert, hat sie noch nicht mit Edward erlebt. „Obsidian Butterfly“ beleuchtet ihre unkonventionelle Freundschaft, die stets am seidenen Faden hängt, in aller Detailschärfe. Es ist beeindruckend, wie gut Laurell K. Hamilton ihre Charaktere kennt. Natürlich sollten Autor_innen die Persönlichkeiten ihrer Figuren zuverlässig einschätzen können, aber dieses Maß analytischer Einfühlsamkeit ist definitiv außergewöhnlich. Anitas und Edwards Verhältnis ist haarsträubend komplex und häufig vollkommen widersprüchlich. Sie vertrauen einander, obwohl sie auf ein strenges Konstrukt unausgesprochener Regeln angewiesen sind, um sich nicht gegenseitig umzubringen. In professioneller Hinsicht sind sie ein tödlich effizientes Team, aber privat kollidieren ihre Ansichten ständig. Sie konfrontieren einander mit unangenehmen Wahrheiten, reflektieren sich gegenseitig und projizieren ihre eigenen Wünsche, Ängste und Erinnerungen auf das Gegenüber. Nichtsdestotrotz fürchte ich, Anitas Beziehung zu Edward ist die gesündeste, die sie zurzeit vorweisen kann, weil sie stets weiß, woran sie bei ihm ist, was sich von Jean-Claude und Richard ja nun nicht behaupten lässt. Zumindest wusste sie es bisher. Hamilton bietet in „Obsidian Butterfly“ erfreulich zahlreiche Informationen über Edward, die ihn in meinen Augen menschlicher erscheinen lassen. Ich dachte erstmals darüber nach, wie er überhaupt lebt, dass er über eine Biografie verfügt und seine Besuche bei Anita selbst für ihn nichtrepräsentative Extreme darstellen. Anita findet heraus, dass Edward in seinem eigenen Revier in New Mexico ein weitreichendes Doppelleben führt, was sie zutiefst schockiert. Ich glaube allerdings, ihre Entrüstung stammt nur zum Teil daher, dass er andere Menschen täuscht und gefährdet. Meiner Meinung nach ist sie verärgert, weil ihr klar wird, dass sie im Grunde nichts über ihn weiß und sie seine Farce eines Alltags daran erinnert, wie wenig alltagstauglich ihr eigenes Leben ist. Der Fall betont, wie weit sich Anita und Edward von der Normalität entfernt haben. Deshalb sehe ich die Ermittlung, die ausnehmend grausame und spektakuläre Details beinhaltet, eher als Katalysator für das unorthodoxe Duo, der die Entwicklung ihrer Persönlichkeiten vorantreibt, statt als eigenständiges Handlungselement. Wieder einmal fand ich den Kriminalfall unzureichend durchdacht. Hamilton involvierte viel zu viele Parteien, die die Situation unnötig verwirren und wenig zur endgültigen Auflösung beitragen. Besonders die lokalen Vampire empfand ich als kolossal überflüssig, weil ihre einzige Aufgabe darin besteht, einen Bezug zum antiken Volk der Azteken herzustellen, den die Autorin leider nicht befriedigend ausarbeitete. An ihrem Beispiel hätte „Obsidian Butterfly“ erhellende Einblicke in die aztekische Kultur und Mythologie liefern können, beide Aspekte werden jedoch lediglich oberflächlich angerissen. Wozu vampirische Zeitzeugen etablieren, wenn sie ihre Vergangenheit kaum teilen dürfen? Wozu einen Fall mühsam um eine untergegangene Kultur konstruieren, wenn der Täter dennoch aus dem Hut gezaubert wirkt? Erneut überzeugte mich Laurell K. Hamilton als Psychoanalytikerin, nicht aber als übernatürliche Kriminalistin.

 

Eines Tages werden Anita und Edward vermutlich ein für alle Mal klären, wer besser ist. Ich hoffe, dass bis zu diesem Tag noch viel Zeit vergeht, denn es gibt nur zwei mögliche Szenarien: entweder, die „Anita Blake“-Reihe endet mit ihrem Tod durch seine Hand oder Edward stirbt und ist für die Geschichte verloren. Ich weiß nicht, welche Option schlimmer ist. Dank all der intimen Details, die „Obsidian Butterfly“ über Edward bereitstellt, steigerte sich meine Sympathie für ihn ungemein. Mehr denn je nehme ich ihn als vollwertiges Individuum wahr. Edward ist nicht gefühllos. Er ist mehr als ein prototypischer Killer. Diese Erkenntnis wiegt für mich schwerer als der ungelenke Kriminalfall, den ich ohnehin als Mittel zum Zweck einschätze. Wie immer sind Erlebenswelten wichtiger als inhaltliche Entwicklungen. Dass ich die Chance erhielt, in Edwards Erlebenswelt herumzuschnüffeln, weiß ich wirklich zu schätzen. Er mag ein Soziopath sein – aber er bleibt meine liebste Nebenfigur der Reihe.

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/16/laurell-k-hamilton-obsidian-butterfly
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review 2019-07-16 07:10
New Release Blitz - Bumper To Bumper

 

Title: Bumper to Bumper

Author: Gretchen Evans

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: July 15, 2019

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 19300

Genre: Contemporary, age gap, contemporary, dirty talk, gay, hookup app

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

Gabe is bored with hookup culture. He’s in his thirties and wants something more stable. But sitting in traffic is even more boring. He expects more of the same tired, headless torsos when he swipes open Cruised, the most popular hookup app for men, during his morning commute. Instead, he meets Mark. Mark is handsome, funny, and interested in conversation. He’s also interested in meeting Gabe in coffee shop bathrooms for quickies on the way to work.

 

Mark doesn’t rush out of the room after sex either. He’s tender and sweet, and way more than Gabe had hoped for. The sex is hot, but the connection between Gabe and Mark is something deeper. Gabe’s feelings grow each time he and Mark text, but seeing an attractive woman driving Mark’s car stops Gabe cold. He doesn’t want to hookup with a cheater. He doesn’t want to stop seeing Mark either. But could it all be a misunderstanding? Gabe knows nothing about Mark’s life or how to negotiate a hookup into something more. Does Mark want something more, or is he already taken?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Bumper to Bumper

Gretchen Evans © 2019

All Rights Reserved

 

Gabe’s car lurched as he stomped on the brake. His bumper stopped inches from the expensive-looking sedan in front of him. He was going to be late. Again. He groaned and let his forehead rest on the steering wheel.

 

The traffic on I-40 was terrible. Every day it seemed to get worse. It was also unpredictable. Some days, his twelve-mile commute to the office took fifteen minutes. Other days, it took forty-five. It was impossible to tell which it would be before hitting the on-ramp.

 

At least he wasn’t the only one suffering like this. He spent so much time sitting in traffic during morning rush hour that he recognized a lot of the cars around him. It was a strange camaraderie. There was the middle-aged lady in the tiny hatchback whose hair color changed every week. The old hippy in a political-bumper-sticker-covered hybrid always rode in the left lane, even when traffic cleared up. The white luxury SUV driven by the angry twentysomething blonde only showed up some days, but she had passed him on the shoulder first thing this morning. He did his best to ignore the giant red truck with gun and Confederate flag stickers that always cut in front of him.

 

He moved ahead a few feet but stopped almost immediately. The car behind him swerved onto the shoulder to avoid rear-ending him. If someone hit him, he’d at least have a good excuse to give to his boss. But there was no way his twenty-year-old, hand-me-down car would survive.

 

Gabe gave up dreams of getting into a minor fender bender and inched ahead again. There must have already been an accident up ahead. Traffic was always slow, but it wasn’t usually this bad.

 

Sure enough, a fire truck and police car zoomed past on the shoulder. Great.

 

He picked up his phone to text his work wife he’d be late. He’d done that a lot lately, so she was a pro at covering for him. Maggie was great to have around but definitely the only type of wife he was ever going to have. She dodged traffic by taking backroads to the office, so Gabe didn’t feel too bad getting her to cover his ass. Her idyllic suburban lifestyle could support his terrible commute.

 

Maybe Miss Impatient in the SUV was the cause of whatever had them all trapped here. Gabe was annoyed enough to smile at that uncharitable thought.

 

Text sent, and he was still sitting at a dead stop. There was no harm in using your phone in the car if you weren’t actually driving, right? The highway was basically a parking lot right now.

 

Gabe tapped open Cruised, the hookup app he’d had the most luck with in the past.

 

Not that he’d had much luck. In quantity, sure, he’d had lots of luck. Gotten hella lucky. But in terms of quality? Nah. It was a desert of huge cocks with no brains attached out there. But, it couldn’t hurt to look. Looking was pretty much all he did these days, but it was nice to see some headless torsos and dick pics. Better than trying to figure out what the specialty license plate in the lane next to him meant.

 

He thumbed through profiles, most of which he’d seen before. It didn’t seem to matter if he was checking at home, work, or in the club, it was always a collection of the same tired old faces. Or not-faces. As frustrating and predictable as morning traffic. He glanced away from his phone to cover a few feet of space left open by a car switching to a moving lane. Why was the lane next to him always moving?

 

His phone buzzed in his hand—a surprise. No one ever messaged him first. Well, some guys did but no one he wanted to respond to. The message wasn’t from a name he recognized either.

 

SilverFoxxx

 

That had promise. He swiped the message open.

 

Hello.

 

That had…less promise. But at least it wasn’t a dick pic right away. And he’d managed to spell out “hello.”

 

Hi, Gabe tapped out as he crawled forward. He kept one eye on his phone and the other on the bumper in front of him.

 

The response came back immediately. Maybe everything seemed instantaneous when Gabe was traveling along at less than five miles an hour.

 

Your pictures make you look attractive.

 

Was that a neg? thats bc i am attractive

 

Your pictures make you look VERY attractive.

 

Damn right Gabe’s pictures made him look attractive. He’d spent a long time taking the perfect selfie to highlight his dark eyes and scoured through old text messages to find a shot of him at the beach to show off how his light-brown skin shone in the sun. It helped that the clearly defined abs he’d once had were on display too. Gabe tapped over to his mystery man’s profile but didn’t find anything other than the stranger’s picture. No preferences, or kinks, or anything.

 

Even his picture was just his head and shoulders, turned slightly away from the camera but not fully in profile. And with the sun shining directly behind him so everything was in shadow. The only things easily seen were the outline of his jaw and the clean-cut lines of his hair, but that was it. Very artistic, but not very illuminating.

 

your picture doesn’t make you look like anything

 

A little snide, perhaps, but these conversations never went anywhere. SilverFoxxx would eventually ask for a dick pic, Gabe would say no, and that would be the end of it. Or he would skip straight to asking to meet up for a fuck. Gabe might say yes, but he always ended up disappointed.

 

He was reaching the point where meaningless hookups weren’t doing it for him anymore. Even if the sex was good, it left him strangely listless afterward.

 

Maggie would say that was what happened when you turned thirty, and Gabe would tell her to take her soccer mom ass back to the suburbs and shut up about it.

 

That didn’t mean she was wrong, though.

 

His phone buzzed again.

 

I value discretion.

 

Was this guy a robot? Who said stuff like that? Who texted in full sentences?

 

Traffic started to clear a bit, and Gabe was able to get up to nearly twenty miles an hour. It was exhilarating but short-lived. They slowed back to a crawl less than a quarter mile later. He was going to be very late.

 

With his foot firmly on the brake and nothing else to do, Gabe turned back to his phone. SilverFoxxx’s last message continued to glow up at him. It was too tempting to ignore.

 

a hookup app isn’t for u if u want to be discreet

 

He should have spelled out you. SilverFoxxx probably thought he was an idiot. Ordinarily, Gabe didn’t care about stuff like that, especially from randos on Cruised, but this time, he was anxious. He stared at his phone until the car behind him laid on the horn.

 

Gabe crawled two car lengths forward but stopped again. Lights flashed on the left shoulder ahead of him. Hopefully, traffic would clear after this accident, and he could get to work.

 

The vibration of his phone in his hand sent a little thrill down his spine. Traffic was trickling forward, so Gabe glanced back and forth between his phone and the road.

 

But it’s convenient. What are you here for?

 

Gabe wasn’t sure what to say. He could be flirty. Or more than flirty and jump to the next predictable step. Or he could be honest.

 

not sure. mostly bored in traffic

 

Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to text and drive?

 

There was no hint of tone, but Gabe smiled anyway. Deep, rich, and sardonic—this guy’s voice was already in his head. So Gabe’s type. Obviously, he wasn’t stretching. Not at all. SilverFoxxx sounded like he was teasing.

 

im rebelious

 

I bet you are.

 

Gabe’s grin grew wider. This was fun. No gross comments or pushy requests yet. It was like SilverFoxxx could actually hold a conversation.

 

His phone buzzed again before he was able to think of a response.

 

Traffic is clearing up.

 

Gabe checked the location information. It seemed like SilverFoxxx was closer than he’d been before.

 

are u texting and driving too?

 

Gabe skidded all the way into the work parking lot looking for a response that never came.

 

 

Purchase:

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

 

 

Bumper to Bumper (Cruised, #1)Bumper to Bumper by Gretchen Evans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Gabe is sick of the long boring commute to work. He is also sick and tired of hook ups that go no where. Trying one app just one more time he hits the proverbial jackpot. Now all he has to do is convince Mark he is worth taking the chance.

Mark is very attracted to Gabe and he is not afraid to show it. He finds the best locations to meet up and make sure to get alone time with the amazing Gabe. The only catch here is he really wants to take it to be something more. Is it time to try?

This short story is a sweet tickle of hotness. The book itself may be small, but the content is still very HOT! Nice treat for any avid romance reader.



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

View all my reviews 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

 

Gretchen Evans is a bisexual, cis woman living with her partner in North Carolina. Her day job involves figuring out the best way to ask people questions they don’t want to answer. In the evenings, she does hot yoga and watches any TV show that can be read as queer-coded. She only drinks beer disguised as root beer and her perfect Sunday involves half listening to an NFL game as she reads a book. She plans to continue writing queer romance with engaging characters, sexy times, and feelings. You can find Gretchen on Twitter.

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Blog Button 2

 

 

 

 

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review 2019-07-16 03:52
The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle #2) (Audiobook)
The Tombs of Atuan - Ursula K. Le Guin,Rob Inglis

This was a great improvement over The Wizard of Earthsea. Since it wasn't trying to set up the entire universe and the rules in it, there was much less info dumping and less meandering. Le Guin narrowed in on the titular plot, following along with a young priestess name Arha (which sounded like Aha in the audio, lol) and the ancient underground vaults she's in charge of. The use of language here is lush and vivid, even more impressive that so much of it takes place in complete darkness. 

 

This follows up on some things set up in the first book, though I won't go into details, and adds a new dimension to it as we get to see another part of this world. The legend of the Priestess of Atuan is neat and the tombs sufficiently creepy. I thought the climax was a little too pat, though.

 

Rob Inglis continues to be a great voice in fantasy narration, and I found that listening to him at 1.4x was just right. Of course, every time I listen to one of these, I want to relisten to The Lord of the Rings. :D

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review 2019-07-16 02:41
Fate
Forty Days & One Knight - Samantha Cole

This is book #2, in the Trident Security: Omega Team series.  This can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader to completely understand, I would recommend readers read in the order intended.

 

Darius is undercover with a hellish drug lord, when in comes more women for his human trafficking ring.  This one he recognizes.  She is someone who can blow his cover too.

 

Princess Tahira has no idea where she and her cousins have been taken to.  She must escape or fall victim to the worst sort of crime.  Good thing a hero is there in the shadows.

 

Such a dark and stormy knight!  Sorry did not mean to be flip.  This read is actually quite difficult and a warning to the readers is in order.  If you have been following along with this incredible series you will not want to miss this one.  You have danger, suspense, heat, tension, friendship, and more.  I was happily to find these characters are so deep there is so much development to them.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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