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review 2018-01-06 18:22
Striking Sparks - Jordan Castillo Price

Daaamn, this was HOT HOT HOT!!!


Andrew is looking for a palm reading, because he's getting married and he needs answers, as he has doubts in heaps.


I mean, he's so deep in the closet even he doesn't know what he needs, although he has been fantasizing for years.


Naturally, Crash is more than happy to get under the man's skin and show him a thing or two.


And let's be real, who can resist Crash?


Dirty-mouthed, tattooed, confident and bossy Crash.


No nonsense. Just sex. No strings attached.


Newsflash. People do what they want to do. You want to stay? You will. You want to go? Then leave. End of story. All the other stuff is just a bunch of excuses.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-08-09 08:42
A Review of the Feminist Fantasy book, A Plague of Angels, by Sheri Tepper in 6 Quotes
A Plague of Angels - Sheri S. Tepper


My second Tepper read was succulently good! I wanted to savor the book, so I took my time with it. I am sharing my favorite parts of the book here like I do in most reviews. However, this time, I have chosen 6 quotes that sum up how I felt about the book.


Quote # 1

Sometimes, it was the way the author described an emotion, such as the horror that a character felt when the Witch took her mask off.



Quote # 2

Other times, it was how a character expressed a philosophical thought about gangers simplifying language to such an extreme that they started looking down at poetry and literature. The quote below reminded me of the restrictions being placed on characters in the novel 1984.


If you take out the different words that describe completely different things that are also the same, what are you left with? For instance, I think love when I read the word, red. I don’t think that when I come across scarlet because I associate it with scandal. Then there is crimson, which reminds me of blood.  



Quotes # 3 & 4

Then there were times when a character stated the truth in the simplest manner. The line is easy to miss with so much else that is going on. Yet, if you stop and think about it, there is depth in those words. Two particular examples that made me shudder are mentioned below:




Quote # 5

As were the times when a character who is still young and inexperienced said something profound. I went back and read this quote multiple times because it resonated with me. If you find it touching your heart too, you might want to check out my review of The Handmaid’s Tale.



Quote # 6

Finally, there were some parts that sparked something in me. While reading them, I thought I could base my next story on these lines. I find that the books that end up on my favorites’ shelf have that in common. I think that each line in those books could be hiding a story in itself.



I would very much love to read the second book in the series even though it would be lacking one of my favorite characters from this one. Care to join me for a buddy read?



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review 2017-07-10 06:26
Striking Distance by Pamela Clare
Striking Distance - Pamela Clare

Javier “Cobra” Corbray and the world watched Laura Nilsson being kidnapped on live TV. Two days later, the terrorist who kidnapped her told the world she was dead, and Javier swore vengeance.

Eighteen months later, he finally gets his chance. Leading a SEAL Team on a raid to a terrorist compound, he can’t wait to get his hands on the bastard who killed Laura. Then, a tall figure breaks away from the gaggle of “wives” in burkas, claiming to be an American...Underneath the burka is Laura Nilsson. Alive.

Two years later, Laura is finally feeling like herself again, but after the terrorist who tortured her for almost two years, calls a fatwa on her head at his trial, the old fear is back. Fleeing back to Denver, amid the FBI’s doubts her life is truly in danger, Laura comes face to face with yet another ghost from her past, Javier Corbray.

I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel slightly disappointed by this story. It wasn’t bad, far from it, but unlike what the blurb or the prequel or the prologue “promised”, the final result didn’t really reach the mark.
It was emotional, yet, despite rather similar experiences by both heroines, Megan’s book packed a bigger punch. It was also suspenseful, yet didn’t bring the intensity of the previous books in this series.

After the heart-rate-elevating prologue everything sort of slowed down, the suspense lost its strength and momentum, and the romance ended up being rather lukewarm.
The intimate scenes were still hot, as per usual, but I didn’t exactly feel the connection between Javier and Laura. They had more steam and chemistry in the prequel than in their full-length novel, which is to be expected after what Laura has been through, but even once that hurdle was behind them, they never really sizzled in an emotional kind of way.
I didn’t feel their romance was organic, it seemed the love came out of left field. It felt more like Laura was simply clinging to that last good memory before her ordeal and built up a fantasy, while Javier looked more like he respected her strength and valor instead of really having true feelings for her.
Or maybe it’s just me.

I really expected something more from this story. I wanted an emotional draining journey, not just for the characters, but for me as a reader as well. I wanted a more nail-biting suspense, instead of this rather weak revenge-fueled plot. Because when everything came to light, the villain, the motive, etc. it felt very anti-climatic.

What really got my blood flowing was the prologue, and what got my tears flowing was Laura’s final decision about the secret she’s kept so long.

The rest of it was merely “meh”, something definitely missing.

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text 2017-01-23 15:19
Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti $1.99
Mercury Striking - Rebecca Zanetti

With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury…

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review 2016-12-15 01:48
Release Day ARC Review: Striking Sparks by Ari McKay
Striking Sparks (Dreamspun Desires Book 24) - Ari McKay

Another winner in the Dreamspun Desires series.


Jake Parnell has returned to his hometown of Buffalo Lick, TX, after being gone since he went off to college. He basically left to escape being suffocated by the small town homophobia, and to not hurt his family's restaurant business, knowing that his twin Josh would be much better suited to run the place. He had a few run-ins in high school with Beau Walker, whose family also own a BBQ restaurant, and who bullied Jake for being gay.


Where Jake left for California, Beau stayed in Buffalo Lick and has since taken over his family restaurant.


But then Josh dies in an accident and leaves behind a wife and child, with another baby on the way. Jake immediately returns home and helps his sister-in-law and his family keep the restaurant open and afloat.


I really liked the execution of the enemies-to-lovers trope here. There was a lot of bad blood between Jake and Beau, and a lot of misunderstanding too. Add to that a football rivalry, what with football being the other religion in Texas, and you can imagine that the two just didn't get along.


Jake doesn't have time to grieve losing his twin, what with running the restaurant, taking care of his sister-in-law, figuring out whether to participate in the BBQ cook-off television show his brother signed up for, which will incidentally pitch Jake against Beau in competition.


Jake's memories of Beau aren't favorable, but then the line between love and hate is very thin, indeed. Turns out that Beau was a bully only to hide the crush he had on Jake, and Jake's crush on Beau isn't quite as non-reciprocated as he thought.

As the grills are fired up, so is the heat between Jake and Beau.


I really liked the emotional aspects of this story - Jake's grief and fears of not measuring up to his brother, his need to belong, to be loved for who he is, starting to see Beau in a different light, as well as Beau's turmoil and desire for Jake, his insecurity, his fears of not being good enough for Jake - all of it was really well done here.


I also liked the vivid descriptions of the cooking/BBQ parts - with super sekrit family recipes - and the competition was fun to watch unfold.


What I liked best though was the banter between Jake and Beau. There were lots of zingy one-liners, and I really enjoyed their romantic relationship once it truly began, once misunderstandings were cleared up and the truth had come out. The romance is obviously slow burn, what with it starting in high school, even though neither would admit to it at the time, and their connection turning from hate to love.


I would have preferred the intimate scenes to not have been fade to black - I think those would have really hammered home the point that these two men are perfect for each other, and enhanced this reader's enjoyment of their emotional connection. Alas, we're told about their bedroom exploits only after the fact, and while neither is virginal (thank you for that), and while I don't necessarily need steam to enjoy a book, I think the lack of steam here felt wrong, especially in light of their strong desire for each other. Their chemistry really burned hot, and their kisses were fabulous, and I would have liked to see that fire continue.


Still, I think this was an excellent read, and I finished the book in one sitting. I was fully engaged the whole time and couldn't put it down. Kudos to the authors for that.

Worth your time, definitely.


** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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