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review 2017-05-18 22:08
How TJ Klune broke me in less than 100 pages...
Olive Juice - T.J. Klune

So this is going to be a short review because I am definitely keeping it spoiler free. 'Olive Juice' starts off on a heartbreaking but definitely an elusive note. It's only as the reader continues to read that the reason for the heartache becomes revealed.

 

As my friend and fellow reviewer, Todd said:

"Mostly, this story was about when "THE MOST TERRIBLE THING IMAGINABLE" happens."

"Olive Juice" is a story filled with the heartache and despair of two men as they struggle to survive and get past having their world torn apart...to find a way past it, living with the aftermath and reshaping their lives to find a way back to each other.

 

There really is no happiness and light with this one but I can't imagine not reading it. The writing, in true TJ fashion, is both gripping and compelling and while I definitely felt emotionally wrung out at the end I was also left with the tiniest spark of hope that said 'It's ok, they'll be ok." and maybe that's not the HEA that we all love so much but sometimes the HEA that life gives us isn't tied up with a bow or covered in rainbows and sprinkles... sometimes the HEA that we get is having gone through the storm and having the strength to put ourselves back together...to keep trying.

 

Be brave read this, it's less than 100 pages (on my Kobo), it's heartbreaking and amazing. It'll leave you saying 'thank god it's not me' only don't let yourself be fooled because sadly it could be you, it could be any of us and that's why you need to read this story.

 

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An ARC of 'Olive Juice' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-11 01:15
This guys...this is freaking amazing....
The Lightning-Struck Heart - T.J. Klune

Ok first thing I want to say is a huge, huge, ginormous thank you to my cyber child, Josy who gifted this awesome audiobook to me. I knew you were totally one of the sweetest people every from the minute we started chatting over on GR. That you shared this wonderful experience with me is just further proof, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

 

I've been wanting to read the book for ages now and something constantly keeps getting between me and it so Josy because TLSH is her happy place felt that I needed to have this experience and she gifted me with a copy of the audiobook. I now totally understand why you've listened to this so many times and I have zero doubt that I will be listening to this again as well. I'm already plotting to see how soon I can start listening to it again.

 

I tried to explain this story to my hubby and what I came up with was 'it's like Camelot, meets Merlin, meets Monty Python meets a whole lot of sparkly gay only better. Seriously I'm not sure I have the words for this one. 

 

I loved the characters all of them...well except maybe Justin... the jury's still out on him, but I have to admit I think Kevin may have been  my fav...well, come on what did you expect? Hello, DRAGON!!!! But you all knew that didn't you? It's just so hard to decide because Sam, Gary and Tiggy are oozing with awesomeness as well, not to mention Ryan...I like him and Sam's parents, the king...oh hell, who am I kidding I loved everyone. I loved the whole damned book it was fabulous. It was funny and I may have even had a teary moment or two. 

 

On top of all these awesome characters there was one incredibly good story so really what's not to like? Seriously if you haven't read "The Lightening Struck Heart" you need to fix that little oversight and if you really want a treat get the audio book it's nearly 20 hours of pure pleasure. Michael Leslie has done an amazing job with this one. I'm impressed and then some

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review 2017-05-11 00:49
Have you ever felt like you knew but you didn't...
Last Dance of The Sugar Plum - Al Stewart,Claire Davis

I'm not really going to talk about the story with this one so much as the experience of reading it.

 

'Last Dance of the Sugar Plum' is the type of story where you probably spend most of your time wondering 'what the hell just happened?' or at least I did. For much of this story I felt like I knew what was happening and yet at the same time I also felt like I had no clue. What I did figure out really quickly was that I didn't care because for me this story was beautifully written and simply demanded my attention. No matter how much I did or didn't feel like I understood what was happening at no point did the idea of not finishing this book appeal to me...hell, it never even entered my mind. There was a dark and haunting tone to it that demanded my attention and I knew even if I had wanted to...which by the way I didn't, I would never have been able to set it aside.

 

I love stories like this and usually I really enjoy trying to see how fast I can figure things out and maybe I would have figured more out before the end, than I did, if I hadn't become so lost in simply reading the story and savoring the journey that I found within.

 

Sure I wanted to know what happened in the end, but truthfully, I was so enchanted by the beginning and the middle that I just didn't feel the need to rush to the end. I knew it would all be there waiting for me when I got to it. As is normally the case my only real issue here was that as complete as it was I wanted more. 'Dance of the Sugar Plum' is not a long story more novella length but what the reader needs to remember is that while it may not be long...every word is a clue, means something and needs to be remembered.

 

If you enjoy reading stories that keep you guessing, keep you on the edge of your seat, make you want to hide in a room where no one can find you until you've finished...stop right here because you want to read this book. 

 

tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock...times running out. Why aren't you reading?

 

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An ARC of "Last Dance of the Sugar Plum" was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-11 00:10
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...
Snowblind - Eli Easton

I was a little disappointed with this one. Not that it wasn't good...it was. I guess I was expecting to like it a lot more than I did. 

 

The blurb for this book reads like a sweet, sexy snowed in story and it was until it turned into a whole lot more and I have to admit this was actually one of the best parts of this story for me. I loved the extra suspense we got when this became more of an action/thriller type story. 

 

Hutch is ex-military and he lives in isolation in the Alaskan wilds. It's what he wants, so needless to say he's pretty surprised when he finds an attractive man half frozen on his front porch one afternoon. But he's not about to leave said man outside to freeze to death so he takes him in and offers him shelter during a snowstorm. 

 

Spending a few days cooped up in Hutch's cabin with the sexy, surly man isn't anything that Jude really finds to be a hardship. Needless to say it's close quarters when there's no place to go so the sexual tension builds and neither man is really putting up a lot of resistance so things get toasty warm fairly quickly between these two men.

 

Unfortunately once the storm ends Hutch quickly figures out that maybe his lost traveler wasn't as lost as he seemed.  Once Hutch starts to realize what's happening his warm feelings towards Jude cool off real fast and things get colder than a snowstorm again as far as he's concerned. 

 

I honestly can't say I didn't like the writing because hey, it's Eli Easton and I'm totally a fan of this author. But somehow I just didn't feel a connection to the story. As much as I liked the turn that it took I started to feel like events were a bit on the predicable side and maybe it's because I've read a few stories like this over the past while. I really can't say for sure but while I enjoyed it, I just didn't find myself really feeling invested in the story so for me it was an ok, listening experience but not great. 

 

John Solo did the narration for this one and it was good. His voices were solid and expressive. There was a kid in this one but thankfully her part was very, very small so at least there was no real issue there for me and I have to admit I think this one was probably a story that worked better for me in audio format than it would have been as an e-book so there was that. 

 

Maybe I needed someone to blow more sh*t up because I am a fan of blow sh*t up stories...kidding...I know a number of my friends really liked this one so seriously don't just take my word for it check out a few other reviews you may find you really like this one. 

 

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

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review 2017-05-08 17:41
Well that was moderately entertaining...
Wolfmanny - Julia Talbot

Ironically for me this one was saved by the narrator. Joseph Morgan is a new to me narrator and I have to say he totally saved this story for me. His voices were good even his kids voices and there were more than a couple of kids, both boys and girls, in this one.

 

'Wolfmanny' is the story of Kenneth who is the pack alpha, Miles who is Kenneth's second in command and whose feelings for Kenneth are stronger than either are willing to acknowledge until the arrival of Jack. Jack is the latest manny in a long list of nannies hired to care for Kenneth's nieces and nephews who have come to live with him following his sisters death. It's not easy finding someone to corral 5 kids let alone 5 shifter children ranging in age from 15 down to 3 year old twins, but Jack's not just any manny...he's ex-military and with this bunch that's a definite plus.

 

I enjoyed the interaction between these three. While both Miles and Jack respected the fact that Kenneth was the alpha it didn't mean that they weren't willing to call him on his bullsh*!. Unfortunately it's as our men are exploring their newly discovered attraction that Kenneth needs to go out of the country on business. The repercussions from his absence have some unfortunate consequences on Kenneth and Jack and Miles decide that desperate times call for desperate measures.

 

There was a lot of potential to this story and for me there was only one real issue and it was a big detraction from what was suppose to be the main storyline of the relationship between these three men and that was the details...all the details...so many details and more details. There were so many details at times that was all there was detail, after detail, after detail, after detail and on and on and on. I get that this was done in part to reinforce how crazy the day to day lives of these men were with 5 children, a pack to protect and provide for and a multi-million dollar company to run but at times it was such a distraction from the story that well to be  honest I pretty much forgot anything else that was going on other than the details of this group cooking a mean. I think anyone who comes from a large family or runs a business can appreciate how busy life was for this group without the constant and repetitive litany of the details of their day to day activities. 

 

I have to admit had I been reading this the constant repetition of these events would probably have bored me to tears. Luckily for me I was listening to the audio book and Mr. Morgan managed to keep things from sounding like so much tedious repetition. 

 

Unfortunately for me this was a bit disappointing because my first experience with reading Julia Talbot was her 'Thatcher Brothers' series and for me that series was pure delight. I love those Thatcher boys and Ms. Talbot's writing was over the top entertaining and I have to admit that series is the standard by which I judge anything I read from this author. So while the Thatcher's were all 5 star reads for me...the men of Wolfmanny just didn't measure up. They were entertaining just not over the top.

 

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

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