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review 2018-05-11 00:38
Darkstorm by M.L. Spencer
Darkstorm (The Rhenwars Saga Book 1) - M.L. Spencer

Darkstorm by M.L. Spencer

Plot 4/5 : Interesting plot with some twists.
Characters 4/5 : Well fleshed out characters
World building 4/5 : An interesting setting 
Pacing 4/5 : Steady pace with spurts of action.
Writing 5/5 : Beautifully written with tastefully written scenes of sexual encounters

Overall 4/5

I definitely recommend this book.

Purchased from Amazon.

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review 2018-04-12 23:46
Heroine is the one with the power career
Small Town Girl - LaVyrle Spencer

For more comments, quotes, and discussion - Buddy Read Small Town Girl

This leans a little more towards women's fiction with the focus more on the heroine Tess, her career, and how she integrates with her family life. Our hero Kenny doesn't get many povs but when he does appear on the pages, you'll love the heck out of him. 

It was super refreshing to have the heroine with the rich glamorous lifestyle and how the dynamics were a bit different because of that. The author does an A+ job of bringing you into the heroine's world. I hate to be all, oldies did it better, but I can't help but compare the obvious research and how fantastic the author flushed out Tess, story, and characters, to how a fair amount of newer publications skimp on this; it does wonders in helping you sink into the story. There were a couple times the details slowed things down but overall, I was fully immersed into this world. 

I would definitely read another by this author again, a few are highly recommending Hummingbird. The romance wasn't prevalent enough on the pages for me but when it was, I liked how they sparked off one another. If you're looking for a heroine focused with emotional family dynamics, this was fantastically written.

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text 2018-04-10 17:11
35%
Small Town Girl - LaVyrle Spencer

She marched over to confront him at closer range, glaring up at his eyes. They were brown and belligerent with a spiky set of lashes that were perhaps his best feature. His mouth might not be bad if he ever stopped crimping it up like a rooster's asshole.

Rooster's asshole. Rooster's asshole I can't find someone fast enough to insult this way. Everyone is a rooster's asshole from here on out.

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text 2018-04-07 19:52
Reading Update: 20%
Small Town Girl - LaVyrle Spencer

Five years ago she'd offered to build her mother a new house with a dishwasher and air-conditioning and anything she wanted! Five years! But would Mary say yes? Of course not. Instead here was Tess, washing dishes by hand and glaring out a window at Kenny Kronek's house!

Family dynamics, ego-checking, and anticipated sexual tension battles afoot.

 

More quotes and comments - Buddy Read Small Town Girl 

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review 2018-03-23 19:33
"Dog On It - Chet and Bernie Mystery #1" by Spencer Quinn
Dog on It (A Chet and Bernie Mystery, #1) - Spencer Quinn

"Do On It" was original, funny and an absolute must-read for dog lovers.

 

Told entirely from the point of view of Chet, a large, mixed-breed dog with mismatched ears, who, for reasons we never quite get to, didn't make it all the way through his police dog training but who is now partnered with Bernie, a large, divorced, ex-cop, ancient-Porsche-driving PI.

 

The story is wrapped around the investigation of the apparent abduction of a teenage girl who is missing but for whom there has been no ransom request.

 

Bernie knows that something is wrong and is determined to find out what. Chet is right there with him. Bernie does the thinking part and Chet does the grab-the-trouser-leg-and-don't-let-go part.

 

Seeing the world through Chet's eyes is what makes this book special. Spencer Quinn clearly knows dogs. He captures that ability for sudden, irresistible urges to chase or smell that can distract even the most focused dog. He lets us see how concentration fades in and out, how some memories slip away yet certain smells or sounds become embedded in the psyche. He shows how aggressive growls and stances can happen even before a dog knows he's reacting to something and he captures a dog's irrepressible optimism.

 

Chet's vocabulary is limited but he is a natural raconteur. He starts many tales that he doesn't finish, comes back to tales he's told before and punctuates many stories with: "We, Bernie and me...". He finds humans, even Bernie, limited in strange ways but still often worthy of love and devotion.

 

At one point, Chet and Bernie become separated and Chet's life is in danger. He is not truly conscious of this until the very last minute, yet I found the whole thing almost unbearably tense. I couldn't have borne an "Old Yeller" moment.

 

Bernie's character emerges strongly as the book progresses, giving me a kind of double-exposure view - once as Chet sees him: the human with the second-best smell in the world, who can make things happen, solve puzzles and silence whole rooms of people, even if he does have a strange obsession about water - and once as the ex-cop now struggling PI that the rest of us might see.

 

I also enjoyed the relationship between Chet and his best canine friend and close neighbour, Iggy. It's very much a dog thing, characterised by exchanges like:

"Iggy barked. I barked back. He barked. I barked. He barked. I barked. He barked. I barked. Bernie said, "Chet! Stop that." I tried to stop."

 

In the first hour or so of this book, I wasn't really won over, but I stuck with it and was soon carried along by characters that I cared about (some of them even human) and a plot that was just twisty enough and tense enough to keep me wanting to know what happened next.

 

This is the start of a series of Chet and Bernie books. I'll be back for more.

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