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review 2017-10-19 23:39
Trevan & Landry on audio...I'ma happy, happy girl...
Mine - Mary Calmes

It's literally been years since I read this story and by years I mean 2012 when it was first released. I devoured this one. Absolutely loved every word of it. It's without a doubt my favorite standalone story by Mary Calmes. I can't even really point to any specific reason why I enjoyed it as much as I did but I did and that's all that matters to me. 

 

Having said all that I have to admit I was a little nervous about listening to the audio...I mean what if I didn't like it as much as I remembered? What if I didn't like the narrator? It's not Tristan James or Greg Tremblay and for this author these are first choices for narrator or Sean Crisden he usually does a fairly good job when it comes to Mary Calmes audiobooks...seriously I've had this one on my audio wishlist for quite some time now but I finally decided that I was going to bite the bullet and get this one. I'm a grown-up, if it doesn't work I can handle a little disappointment...I wouldn't cry...to much...honest. 

 

So I did it, I bought the audio...cue the sound...and breath a sigh of relief because it was ok. I still absolutely love this story, it's a favorite and while the narrator was a new to me narrator. I was not disappointed. Caleb Dickinson did justice to this near and dear to my heart story and it was definitely a listening experience that I look forward to revisiting.

 

My other motive for revisiting this story is this is the first story in which we meet 'Conrad Harris' guardian angle and friend to Trevan and then we meet him again in 'A Day Makes' but at the end of October with the release of 'Late In the Day' we are given his story or at least a whole lot more of it, so I wanted to refresh my memory and what better way to do that than to revisit the early days and now that I've revisited 'A Day Makes' and 'Mine' on audio...I am so ready for more Conrad Harris.

 

Mary Calmes never fails to delight me with her stories and I am so looking forward to more Conrad Harris and if he made a visit to check up on Trevan and Landry along the way that would make for a nice slice of reading happiness for me, so I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope but either way I have little doubt that I'm going to enjoy this one as much as I have previous stories.

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review 2017-10-09 23:13
This one was delightful...
His Convenient Husband (Love and Sports) - Robin Covington

 

'His Convenient Husband' is about what could happen when a man who has everything loses the love of his life...his forever after meets a man who's still looking for his.

 

Raising his son and playing professional football in the NFL has probably been what's gotten Isaiah Blackwell through the past three years since his beloved husband Stephen was taken from them.  What Isaiah's not ready for is the attraction that he feels towards the sensual, gender fluid, outspoken and confident ballet dancer Victor Aleksandrov whose stance on Russia's treatment of gays has put his life in jeopardy if his request for asylum in the United States is denied and he is forced to return to his homeland.

 

Isaiah may not be out and proud but he's not hiding in any closets either. He really just wants to play football and raise the son that he and Stephen adopted. While someone like Victor may not be his type, he can't deny the pull of attraction that he feels and after spending a passionate night with Victor, Isaiah learns that Victor has been denied asylum he does what any decent man would do...he proposes...a marriage of convenience.

 

I really enjoyed this one it ticked more than a few boxes for me. I loved Victor, he was simply a wonderful character that worked beautifully in my mind. I can't say that I thought he was perfect but he was wonderful. To me he was neither brash nor loud. He was confident and outspoken, he believed in his cause, having gotten outside the borders of Russia he felt that he had a duty to speak out about the treatment of the LGBTQ community in Russia but he truly did this with style and finesse. Sadly at the end of it all though Victor was outspoken about what he believed in and Isaiah played for the NFL and was a man who like to keep a low profile on his private life and his priority was to give his son as normal of a life as possible out of the limelight.

 

While Isaiah's intentions were admirable what he failed to factor in was how amazing his son was. Evan was definitely a favorite in this story. He was an amazing human being and if the author ever decides to give us Evan's story...maybe a few years down the road in his life...sign me up and consider me there.

 

Along with Evan the other secondary character in this book whose story I would totally be on board for was Isaiah's best friend and agent Ian Carmichael...this man is begging to be struck by lightening. His idea of a long-term relationship means he paid for the hotel for a long weekend. He's British, he's snarky and calls a spade a spade but at the heart of it all he wants the best for the people he cares about. 

 

What starts as a marriage of convenience to keep Victor from being deported quickly becomes a quagmire of emotional landmines for both of these men as their attraction grows and real life intrudes bringing with it some much unwanted attention that leads to misunderstandings and leaves both men frustrated and hurt.

 

I really enjoyed this and the only little niggle that I had was the ending. It was good I just needed it to go a little further...I wanted a little more of this sexy as hell couple but as I said it's only a little niggle because we were definitely left with these men in a good place...this one was a HEA to be sure but still, I'm greedy I want more.

 

*************************

An ARC of 'A Marriage of Convenience' was graciously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-10-03 21:57
What can I say..."I just wasn't wild about Wild."...
WILD - Adrienne Wilder

So me and my Buddy Read Besties...Christelle, Josy & Simone decided that we needed to read this one together because it's the perfect book for a buddy read and 'EVERYONE' is loving this one...well...everyone except me and Simone and Josy (I think)...but we liked it really we did.

 

I have to admit I'm feeling a bit lazy today and Simone really covered a lot of reasons that I happen to agree with so in the most efficient lazy reviewer style ever here's the link to Simone's review...

Simone's 'WILD' Review definitely worth reading and can I just say "cutest wolf pup evah!"  Also sorry Simone but in my part of the world that bet would be what we call a sucker bet.

I think about the only other thing that didn't work for me was part of the ending. There were things at the end that were just to quickly and easily wrapped up all nice, neat and tidy with a bow...sorry, I like a good HEA but this one just didn't work for me. 

 

And in fairness to all those who haven't read this book and to the lovely Christelle who ended up being the odd man out on this one because she loved this book and made some very valid points in her review for why this story worked so well for her here's the link to her wonderful review so that you can see both sides of this coin...

Christelle's WILD Review

 

And that's not to say that there weren't things I liked in this story because there were...

like my friend Simone I was enchanted with the setting the wild's of Alaska for all it's savagery it is also a bold and beautiful country and it takes an incredibly bold and strong person to be able to live there. In short the author chose a setting that is both scary and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Daisy...Daisy  and August are the perfect example of what can happen when man and nature work together...

and then there's the she bitch or the permanently pissed off momma bear as I can to think of her...

 Unfortunately the addition of Alaska and all of it's natural beauty was not enough to take this book over the top for me but it certainly gave this story a beautiful setting to play out against and the addition of my Buddy Read Besties as always provided me with the best of company to take this adventure with. 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-03 17:00
So if reading the book was hard...
Memento Amare - D. G. Cox

Writing the review may be damned near impossible.  I could probably give you a laundry list of why this book shouldn't have worked because there is a bit of just about everything in this book that has at times driven me crazy while reading other books and yet somehow this time they either didn't bother me or they just made the story work and I mean work. 

 

While the storyline in 'Memento Amare' may not seem that unusual it's a mystery/romance/spy/thriller type book what sets it apart for me is how the author has brought this story to life. First off this story covers a really long time period we first meet Phalen Cole when he's a very young child and by the end of this story both men are well in to their 50s/60s and what a life they've had. But I'm not even going to start with that because this would easily go from a review to a very lengthy essay because at 130,000+ words be prepared for a lengthy read but trust me it's so worth it.

 

So why shouldn't this story have worked well it's insta-love...sort of but not really. I'd probably call it more of an insta-attraction and when all was said and done it worked for me because while the attraction was instant acting on it wasn't.  While insta-love's not really my thing this isn't the first book that I've read where the author made it work...so really, all in all this was a small niggle and like I said it worked because while it may seemed like insta-love these guys didn't automatically fall into bed and live happily ever.

 

The bigger issue and the one that really should have had me doing a DNF was how the story played out. We get alternating POVs from the MCs which this part I like. I often don't do well spending too much time in one MCs head but the part that surprised me was that when it comes to the time line it's not linear folks we're all over the map and I think this is probably the first story I've ever read where I can honestly say that at the end of it all this was in a lot of ways what probably made this story work so well. As we're taken through Phalen's life and his relationship with Clyde we are given this story both as it happens and through memories and flashbacks by both MCs. Sometimes these memories are revisited more than once but from a different perspective, but I have to admit It took me a bit of contemplation to figure out why I was ok with this and what I realized was that often times when a person reflects on their life or even recounts it to others memories aren't always given in a linear order but often tend to be related in relevance of what has happened in the present to make that memory become relevant or important to events or the person recalling it. So as I was reading this I realized that this ironically was also one of the reasons that I was becoming so engaged in the story because more important than a chronological time line I was getting things that as they became relevant to the story. 

 

Most of this story actually takes place during the time that Cole and Clyde are members of the 'Global Anti Terrorist Force' or 'GATF' both Cole and Clyde's lives are woven in and what starts as a spy type story turns into an incredible love story filled with action and suspense that grabs the reader and wrenches on the heart. This is by no means the first book that's made me cry but it definitely is one of a select few that I can honestly say probably got as much teary time from me as not...seriously more than once I had to set this one aside because...too many tears to keep reading. 

 

In spite of the fact that Cole and Clyde are agents for the GATF the most important mission that these two men have is the one to save their life together as partners and as the story unfolds what we see is that the strongest weapon in either man's arsenal are words...words offering love, promise, hope, trust, faith, salvation and in the end redemption...

"What does it say about this world that men are rewarded for killing another man, and punished for loving another?"

 

'Momento Amare' is the first book that I've read by G. D. Cox. But I have to say given how much I enjoyed the interesting and unique journey that this author took us on I can't imagine that it will be the only one.

 

On a separate but connected note the author has generously added a short story entitled...'Memento Amare: All About the Memories' that at 22 pages is short but sweet and fun to read after the emotional ride you take reading the book...oh, it's also free!

 

This one's definitely recommended and best read with tissues and teddies on standby.

 

********************

A copy of 'Momento Amare' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-09-26 17:07
Well I didn't see that coming...
A Reason To Believe - Diana Copland,Jack LeFleur

So yesterday I decided I wanted to listen to an audio book just for me and not for any other reason than I wanted to listen to it and this was what I picked and really all I can say is..."Damn, sometimes I make the best choices."

 

I've had this one on my radar for ages and I have to admit I've put it off for a while now mostly because the murder victim in this one is a young child and I admit it, not a fan. I have child of my own and yes, he's now an adult in his 30s but he was young once. Just like the child in this story so mostly my heartstrings weren't up to being tugged on that hard but for whatever reason I decided I was going to bite the bullet on this one and I was honestly surprised with how much I liked this.

 

I think a big reason that this worked for me and didn't bother me the way I had thought it would was because the actual murder didn't occur on page and we are only fed details in small amounts throughout the book and none of it ever felt excessively graphic...truthfully the part that was the biggest sucker punch for me was the name of the child's mother...you see her name was Karen...yeah, that one made me gasp a little but the woman had to have a name right?

 

I've always been a fan of msytery/thriller stories and this one was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it but add in a solid romance and I was in story heaven. I really enjoyed the balance between mystery and romance in this story and loved how well it all worked.

 

Matthew Bennett is a detective and he doesn't believe in ghost until the spirit of the murdered little girl he's sent to investigate shows him where to find her body...well, needless to say Matt's not so sure that ghost don't exist and when is best friend drags him to meet renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick, Matt's world is about to get turned inside out as the two men begin to discover their mutual attraction all while working together to find out who killed the child who's ghost is haunting their every step and why? 

 

While Diana Copland isn't a new to me author and I've enjoyed her other books that I've read this one really tops the list for me and once again I got to enjoy a new audio book narrator whose name is Jack LeFleur. I was more than a little impressed with this narrator. I loved his voices they were distinct, emotionally expressive and I cannot tell a lie I loved Kiernan's voice it was perfect with just enough accent to make me think Irish but not leaving me wondering what he saying...yep, Kiernan's voice totally worked for me and overall I was definitely impressed with this narrator and will be keeping an eye out for more audiobooks with his name attached.

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