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review 2017-06-23 22:48
Holy Moly!
DIrty Dark Deceit: A Criminal Bad Boy St... DIrty Dark Deceit: A Criminal Bad Boy Standalone - Lacey Alpha

Holy Moly! When Lacey Alpha says Bad Boy, she's not kidding. Logan is arrogant, bossy, often crude, wants no strings, and a criminal! I absolutely loved him! Of course, there's always a woman out there that is tailor made to tame a bad boy, and Logan finds his in Darcy. This one is a rollercoaster ride of revenge, lust, loss, love, hate, and even a bit of hope.
It's everything I've come to like about this author and more.

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review 2017-06-23 20:51
I'm thinking this ones on me...at least partially...
Chief's Mess - L.A. Witt

So far I've really enjoyed this series both 'Just Drive' and 'Fear of Flying' were stories that I really enjoyed and I basically knew what this story was about going in to it. 

 

Noah Jackson is a member of Anchor Point's military police. He's got a stressful job and unfortunately his solution for dealing with the stress of his job comes from a bottle and he sees no problem with this. As a matter of fact he's so on board with this that when a problem results from his drinking his solution is to make his life accommodate the drinking...can't drive home because you've had too much to drink...take a cab...problem solved because drinking less or not drinking doesn't even ping his radar as a reasonable solution. Noah is what is known as a functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately he's not as functioning as he believes people like his best friend and superior officer, Senior Chief Will Curtis see what's happening. I'm sure most of us have met or had someone like Noah in their lives at one time or another, I know I have. 

 

While we weren't introduced to Noah in 'Fear of Flying' we did meet Anthony. Anthony is the supportive brother of Curtis's ex-wife. There was a lot about Noah's behavior that I understood in regards to his mildly paranoid behavior about how much Noah drank. I got that and I remember being so cautious about people in my life and how much they drank wondering how much and how often they truly drank. Honestly, it's not fun living like that doubting and never fully trusting until you're sure really sure that it's safe to trust that person because they aren't going to crawl into a bottle every chance they get.

 

Noah and Anthony start out as a hook-up one night of hot sex. But one night becomes a few more until Anthony has to go home. As time passes Anthony and Noah begin texting and then as they get to know each other and each remembers how good the sex had been they decide to take a shot at a long distance relationship. 

 

You see the fact is that while I've known Noah, I've been Anthony...been part of the rubble left behind when the landslide stops. I've lived through the lies, the deceptions and justifications, the heartbreak of knowing you can't fix them. That they're the only person who can fix themselves and not until they're ready to.  The frustration of knowing that you've reached the point where the only thing you can do is walk away and save yourself.

 

The one real issue that I had with Anthony in fact actually goes back to the events of 'Fear of Flying' and Anthony's lack of basic compassion and understanding for his brother-in-law Curtis. Logically I knew where it came from, but, I still can't say I liked it.  

 

The concept for this story was good and while I liked it, I think maybe for me it came just a little to close to a reality that I've known which was a big part of the reason that I didn't enjoy 'Chief's Mess' nearly as much as the first two books.  However, I am looking forward to the next book in this series...'Rank & File' is Senior Chief Will Curtis's story and while we did get a bit of Will's background in this book, I'm hoping that 'Rank & File' 

will give us a all of Will's story and a peek at how things are going for the other men of 'Anchor Point'.  

 

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A copy of "Chief's Mess" was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-06-23 16:50
Love with all it's dings and dents...
Afraid to Fly - L.A. Witt

'Afraid to Fly' is the second book in L. A. Witt's series 'Anchor Point'. We were briefly introduced to Travis Wilson in 'Just Drive' the first book in this series as best friend of Paul Richards one of the MCs from that story.

 

In 'Just Drive' Travis encouraged Paul to take a chance on love and now it's Paul's turn to do the same for Travis. While the author didn't really tell us a lot about Travis in 'Just Drive' we were told enough to know that Travis deals with chronic pain and in 'Afraid to Fly' we are given a much clearer picture of just how bad that chronic pain is and insidiously it has invaded every aspect of his life. Along with the chronic pain Travis deals with PTSD and shares his home with his adult daughter who also deals with her own PTSD.

 

Clint Fraser works down the hall from Travis and he's got his own case of PTSD to deal with...one that's cost him a marriage and time with his 3 kids.

 

It's always interesting when I finish a book to reflect back on the why I did or didn't like a book. Sometimes, I'm not really sure why and it's just a case of the story worked and I connected with it sometimes there's something very specific that I liked or several things and in the case of 'Afraid to Fly' while there were several things that I liked about this story the number one reason was Travis. I connected with Travis. I totally understood what his life was like. As someone who also suffers from chronic pain, while thankfully mine is rarely as extreme as Travis's is. It does affect my daily life. So I understood what it was like to always be thinking ahead wondering can I do this? How much more will I hurt? How can I manage the pain? and on and on. It's just what you do and how you have to deal with things to try and have as normal of a life as possible. To keep as much independence as possible. I got this, I understood his mindset and I really got his insecurities about his and Clint's relationship and how much it meant to him to have someone who accepts him with all his 'dings and dents' just as Travis does with Clint and his PTSD and the fact that he's a 'recovering' alcoholic. 

 

As well as how Travis's chronic pain and PTSD was dealt with how we saw Clint's medical issues, both the PTSD and the alcoholism dealt with for me was well done. It was an important part of the story but it never felt like it overpowered the development of their relationship but just like Travis's chronic pain and his own PTSD these were things that both men had deal with, it was all a part of the relationship dynamic. 

 

For me 'Fear of Flying' was about finding that person you connect with, want to spend your life with and loving them not in spite of their 'baggage' but because it's a part of them and who they are and ultimately you come to know and accept that the love they have for you is as strong as what you feel for them.

 

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review 2017-06-22 06:52
Review: Zodiac by Neal Stephenson
Zodiac - Neal Stephenson

Zodiac is the first book I’ve read by Neal Stephenson, an author I see mentioned fairly often, often with mixed reviews. My own reaction to this particular book is a little mixed. 

 

The title, Zodiac, refers to a type of motorized raft the characters used. The story is set in Boston and is told from the first-person perspective of a character who tries to catch, publicize, and prevent corporations from dumping toxic chemicals into the Boston Harbor.  Naturally the big, powerful corporation people aren’t happy and don’t take his interference lying down. 

 

The book is probably better classified as a Thriller than as Science Fiction. There was at least one small science fiction element but, for the most part, it seemed entirely based on technology and scientific knowledge from the 1980’s, when the book was published.  There’s a decent amount of science, usually explained well enough for the layman to understand, and I never felt like I was reading infodumps.  I learned some things, and I liked that. 

 

On the other hand, the story itself just wasn’t that appealing to me. Since the book is more story-driven than character-driven, it was hard to be too enthusiastic about it if I wasn’t enthusiastic about the story itself.  I liked the main character well enough, but I never felt attached, and I didn’t feel much interest in the other characters at all. 

 

As far as entertainment level, this was pretty middle-of-the-road for me. There were parts when I did feel more eager to learn what would happen next but, mostly, I didn’t feel any compulsion to keep reading when I had other things to do.  Fortunately, this was a pretty short book.  If it had been stretched out into a longer book, I might have had more trouble making it to the end.

 

Next Book

I’ll be continuing on to the fourth Temeraire book with Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik.

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review 2017-06-20 22:34
Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch...
Noble Intentions - Andrew Grey

When Robert Ashton's uncles dies. Robert is in for a surprise when the will is read and he learns that he's the Earl of Hantford and that title comes with a couple of money pits. The family estate Ashton Park and a place in London which he quickly decides he'll probably sell but Ashton Park has been in his family for generations and it would break his mother's heart to see it sold and Robert's not sure selling Ashton Park is something that it's in his heart to do. But the problem is he doesn't have the money for the much needed repairs. However, Robert's thinks she has the perfect solution...she's sure that Robert just needs to marry someone with the much needed money.

 

Putting her plan for her son to marry someone with money into action. Robert's mom signs him up for a matchmaker service and before Robert knows it he's meeting Tech Wizard Daniel Fabian for dinner while on a business trip to New York. Danial has his own reasons for using a matchmaker and what he's looking for someone with a title so that when he goes to his high school reunion filled with old money snobs he can show up as a member of the aristocracy.

 

While Robert and Daniel ultimately ended up enjoying their first date in spite of it's awkward start and it did lead to arrangements for a second date. Thankfully it wasn't a case of insta-love. 

 

Overall I enjoyed the story and I liked that while it wasn't long before Daniel and Robert found themselves falling for each other it wasn't insta-love and they did take time to get to know each other. While neither of them confessed to their reasons for using the matchmaker service it was shared fairly early in the relationship so there wasn't any unnecessary miscommunication issues.

 

While there was the occasional bit of over the top sweetness it wasn't in excessive amounts and overall it didn't detract from the story for me. 

 

Robert Nieman was the narrator for this audiobook and while I really loved his narration for the previous audiobook that I listened to by him. This one wasn't working as well for me but I can't really say that has as much to do with the narrator as it does with the fact that while I liked this story I didn't fall over the moon in love with it. The only thing that bothered me that is directly related to the narration was the fact that while Robert was suppose to be British he really didn't have a British accent nor did his mother or any of the other secondary characters who were suppose to be British. The voices were distinct just not British.

 

'Noble Intentions' was a sweet standalone story about two men looking for solutions to the problems in their lives and what they find is that sometimes the answers to our problems come wrapped in love even when we aren't looking for it.

 

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An audiobook of 'Noble Intentions' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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