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review 2016-02-15 06:40
One of the best MM of 2016, hands down.
Foxes - Suki Fleet

FIVE HEARTS--My first published Suki Fleet. I've been Fleeted.



I needed time to recover...regroup...gather the thoughts swirling inside because there are plenty. I'll probably gush out my feels because I have been torn asunder, then dragged through glass, left bleeding, cringing with each breath by words. Words that were pieced together by a wordsmith, a craftsman. Knew this from the first chapter, from the first few paragraphs.

This book is art.

You see that rating? Suki Fleet earned every heart. (Even if mine ended up bruised in the long run)

If this review does nothing else, just know:

1 - Suki Fleet is super talented. (I mean she caught my eye with a flash fic and left me hooked.) I knew that if I got my hands on a novel, I was going to be proved right. And I was. Run to her books. This is quality. Remember her name.

2 - This is one of the best stories of 2016 (Yes, already.) I have a third of this book highlighted.

Sometimes you read a book and you know it's good for entertainment purposes, but it's not going to leave an impression.

This book...did.

I'm still thinking about Danny. I know a Danny, actually more than one. Maybe you do too. It was good to see that this author gave a character with a disability the dignity they deserve. The same can be said for Micky. Two damaged souls with baggage some backs can't carry yet they keep going, they continue living. It's a struggle and the reader gets to experience that struggle rather eloquently in Foxes.

I think some readers might not like some of the outcomes. (Yes, there is a HEA) I think Danny might test some of the boundaries for a few readers as a consenting main character while having mental health disorders. (He is well aware at all times)

The angst is thick. I heard the author's writing style about prior to going in, but I didn't know how deep Suki Fleet can cut.



Look at Fleet consume me with her angst for days. And she'll keep going too. *gulps*

If I had to summarize Foxes's plot: think beauty and the beast (sort of) in modern day destitute side of London. Impoverished teens are selling themselves for survive, while a killer is on the loose and a scarred homeless teen with a number of disorders tries to saves lives including the most beautiful American rent boy he has ever clapped his eyes on. All while he battles his inner demons.

Danny would be a psychologist's dream (or nightmare). But he is one of the best frigging characters I've read in a while. Told entirely in his 1st POV, we see the world through his eyes. How people treat him due to his disability, his face. We learn through bits and pieces how Danny came to be. The author gives it out slowly, love that. He's so mysterious, our champion. He keeps his world small and at the moment, it is filled with finding his best friend Dashiel's murderer. He can't keep the words inside, his head gets too full. So he writes them down. People mistake his silence for stupidity but he's so far from it. Danny also knows how to fix things, especially mechanical things. Through this skill, he meets Micky, the skinny cross dressing blonde prostitute American who makes his heart beat really fast.


How am I supposed to relax? It's an impossible situation. If this is falling in love, it's impossibly beautiful, and when that person is so sweet and kind it hurts in the best way, but because you know they can never return those feelings you have to try and hide the intensity of it. And this is intense.


Micky doesn't make fun of Danny like some of the other street kids do. He takes time to learn his quirks and habits. Danny goes hunting for bad guys aka "sharks" at night, trying to protecting a world everyone seemed to turn their back on and ignore. And with his anxieties and hardships, pain and grief...he ignores the love, the hope that springs from his friendship with Micky.


"--having smooth, unscarred skin does not make you beautiful. Shining the brightest light in the dark does, though."


Reading their friendship blossom was beautiful. It was tentative in the beginning because Danny doesn't get a lot of people who seem him for who he is. Who better to understand a damaged man other than a fellow damaged man? Micky's was the Louisville slugger on the angst barrel. The romance when it got full steam was powerful. So much so, I didn't even want to read a kiss between them at first. I thought it would mess up the pureness of it all. Inexperienced versus experienced themes can vary. But Fleet handled it well and did not cheapen the romance in the least. Their love was like...the bathtub.



Given freely, full of good intention and signifying their strong bond. This is definitely new adult, though the main characters were in their late teens. Don't let their age stop you. they have had a rough life and more adult experiences than a lot of people. So the intensity of their bond was 100% believable.

Danny, the fox, his coming of age was slow going. And at times, he reads like a martyr, the scarred hero that seems to have a lot of bad happen & he does a lot of good in return. It's just his character, his nature. He reminded me of the unlikely hero from "Brute" sometimes.

Foxes are so integral to who Danny is. And reading him coming into his own and realizing some things about himself even when it hurt, especially when it hurt...oh how I love him more.



The suspense in Foxes was all about the sharks and shark hunting. There are so many bad people in the world. And the culmination of the suspense arc was a little surprising. But it made me think and actually agree...with the villain. Hm...




There were two parts that felt unfinished to me. It was answered and I know if it were tied up in a pretty bow I'd have probably called it out for being wrapped up too neatly: Milo and Dollman. Being as the story is totally from Danny's point of view, those questions would be unanswered and should be (keeping to character)....but I still wish I knew. Call it reader being greedy. And it wouldn't have hurt to see the interim moments before the last two chapters. But again, it's Danny's story so, it's not necessary but it wouldn't have hurt. Because...greedy.

I don't want to give away this plot, but the story hurts so good. The characterizations are really done well. The angst is super heavy, some parts made me stop so I could get a break but I had to go back in to see how it would play out. I came to care for the characters Micky and Danny and just about all of the secondary characters. Ms. Fleet shines a flashlight on the gritty underbelly of a world a lot of people tend to ignore - teens selling their bodies and souls.

Suki Fleet brought a realistic hope without getting into the Disney lane. I'll end this review with this quote:


Because we're not our pasts--because we're more than that. We have to be. Don't we?


The story isn't perfect, but neither is life. What this story is, is amazing. Can't rate it any less than five.

If you think you can handle the subject matter, please try this book.
Don't be like me, who is just now reading this underrated talent that is Suki Fleet.



A copy provided for an honest review.  

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review 2015-08-09 21:30
The MANTEARS were awesome.
Breakthrough - J.H. Knight

A Hearts On Fire Review

4.5 HEARTS--Want a short story that gives a good case of the comfort?

This story has it.

I was touched by the entire cast of characters, every one of them, even the grandkids and cats. That's how charmed I am with "Breakthrough". Like...I might've sprung a leak in the upper half of my face and made my cheeks hurt while grinning kind of charmed. The feels were touched.

Jack is a forty-nine year old (silverfox!) accountant with a successful career. He's divorced, has one son, Rick and two adorable grandchildren. But sadly Rick has been devastating his family and himself with drug addiction for years. Drug addiction devastates so many and I'm happy to say this book isn't trying to sludge you down with reality. It doesn't cheapen the effect and gives more perspective from the family member's POV while still giving you a glimpse of reality.

Jack blames himself for his son's addiction. He came out of the closet late life, while married to Rick's mother. Jack likes things to fit into their boxes. Some might say picky but I totally get Jack's mind frame. He doesn't easily show emotion, a fact his best friend says is why he hasn't struck gold in the love department. The thing is he hasn't met the right man, he's met a couple of characters but no one to challenge him.

Enter, Rick's drug counselor at his rehab, Seth. Seth sees something in Jack. (Don't worry nothing tawdry begins while Rick is under Seth's care) The two form a friendship, Jack discovers a different side of himself. And let me tell you the MANTEARS were abundant but in a GREAT way. I chortled so much at each drop that left a certain someone's face.

So good.
So, so, so good.

The two become friends and confidants through email. They get along so well and how they end up together is pretty funny and sweet.

Well if I loved it so much, why not the full 5 hearts? There were two instances when I had to reread a changing scene over to understand that the time changed. And I wished there was a scene or even a conversation with Rick discussing his feelings on "Davey" and his dad. Maybe a little brief something instead of Seth telling Jack Rick was cool with it. I'm sure it wasn't just hormones talking...but I'd have liked it.

The story ends at 93% and with a solid HFN (with room to grow). I'm not even complaining about the early end...story is that good.

Could I have read another 200 pages on this couple including the secondary characters? Yep.

But I didn't need it and I think the story has done it's job and then some. I'm running to get all works of this author. Twice in a row my chest cavity has been engaged with their author's words.

Recommended for readers who enjoy romance for a character later in life, feel good humor...and main character self-discovery.

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review 2015-03-12 16:27
Review: The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon
The Law of Moses - Amy Harmon
If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all...a love story.

 

 
 
 
The first few words of every story are always the hardest to write. It's almost as if pulling them out, putting them on paper, commits you to seeing it all through. As if once you start, you are required to finish. And how do you finish when some things never end?



This. Book. Just... You know when you love an author so much that you don't even read the excerpt to see what their next novel is about, you just read it? That's how I started The Law of Moses, and if I didn't love Amy Harmon before, I think I might be obsessed with her writing now. 

One thing I can say for certain is that Harmon isn't afraid to break your heart. And I don't mean a couple of tears here and there... I mean the full on sobbing and needing time to grieve and get over your pain kind of shattering. But after all that, she finds a way through her characters to allow you to come to terms with what's happened and even find happiness amidst a tragedy. 

Georgia and Moses come together in a way that most young people do. But Moses is different. He's hidden and mysterious and does things that make no sense, things that get him into serious trouble. But he's innocent, and I think Georgia sees that, and despite all the warnings, she can't help but want to break through to him, know him, and see what's beyond the sarcasm and harsh words he insists on using. 

Whatever it was, when Moses came to Levan, he was like water - cold, deep, unpredictable, and, like the pond up the canyon, dangerous, because you could never see what was beneath the surface. And just like I'd done all my life, I jumped in head first, even though I'd been forbidden. But this time, I drowned.


Most of Amy Harmon's books seem to have a touch of paranormal to them, and it's an element at the core of The Law of Moses. It seems to be the reason for everything. Bad and good and all in-between. 

"You seeing things that other people can't doesn't make you the problem, Mo. It just means there are fewer secrets. And that can be dangerous."


Moses has a gift or curse, depending on what moment you're seeing in his life. And while this novel is definitely a love story, I think it's mostly about Moses and what brings him to come to terms with who he is. 

From the moment that he and Georgia meet, her world revolves around him in some way or another. Even though she'd like to, she can't let him go, not completely, and it's not only this connection, but the incredible loss between them that, surprisingly, saves them both. 

Nobody told me that resisting would feel like trying to breathe through a straw. Futile. Impossible. Unrealistic.



I'm going to stop there because I've been as vague as I can manage and honestly don't know what else to say without giving away vital details. I'll finish by saying that Amy Harmon is an incredible storyteller and her writing literally makes me have to stop and take a breath sometimes. It's just that beautiful. 

Read this book. 

 
5/5 STARS


Cheers!!

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review 2014-12-28 00:20
This Was How Legends Were Made - Delta_I... This Was How Legends Were Made - Delta_Immortal



Dudes, totally not expecting this. I didn't even plan for this.

But it was. Oh it was.

I'm still in awe mode right now because this was a story. And the writer won in my opinion. She wanted to test stuff out (themes, adventure, darkness, etc) and *ahem, ahem* she won.

This was better than some published books I've read this year (and still trying to wade through *side eyes*)

I turn off the reviewer button when I read fanfic. Well I try, maybe I turn down more than off. And there are things you could nitpick but why would I nitpick about something someone wrote in a fandom for others to enjoy? Just...no.

"This Was How Legends Were Made" is quality work. The story, the plotting, the action, the attention to fleshing out her characters, the plot...the suspense. Damn it, I am so happy I just bucked up on this Christmas night.

See I wanted a slave!fic, preferably Stiles. And one that's completed because this other one by badwolfbadwolf is a WIP and though it rocks, it's not finished).

So I found this.

And look at these tags: 

slave!Stiles, medieval!au, Alternate Universe, prince!derek, War AU, derek is a beta, Laura is alive, werewolves can also be slaves, Angst, Character Death, deaths really, violence is not often but does exist, handjobs, Blowjobs, Nudity, crazy werewolf sex festivalEnemasBarebacking, Oral Sex, Anal Sex,Angsting, Whipping, Public Punishment, heart-gripping suspense, Panic Attacks, Rimming, Mild Gore, whipping wounds, Wounds, wound infections, graphic wound, Infection, Delirium, Fever, Crazy, Kind!Cora, Cliffhangers, All the timeRape/Non-con Elements,NO rape, but very strong elements of non-con without sex, badtouch!Peter, PTSD, Masturbation, it's a crytrain, implied bottom!derek, Blood and Gore, gore deaths, Happy Ending

(spoiler show)


Medieval, War AU and werewolves plus Sterek? Baby's reading this NOW.

Now at first, it was a little rough and I wondered should I continue? But the writer threw out clues, and I felt like a little detective piecing together a puzzle and before I knew it, I was consumed. Oh! Man. I have so many thoughts about this and I hope I convey them clearly because I full out love this story.

Love. Would have paid for it. Still feel like I should throw some money to the writer anyway for the experience. Wow.

This reads more like fantasy that historical just because the characters spoke 21st century. I'd have added a fantasy tag just to encompass the world. I see what the author wanted to do. But it's more medieval elements set in a AU because I'm pretty sure there weren't rubber enemas in medieval times.

Oh man, this was the most fun I had read about enemas. Um, I'll get back to that. 

I recommend to anyone who wants to read fantasy/historical-ish AU. It doesn't read historical and if you get caught up on the cleanliness of ye olden times...this story can settles your fears. IT's great. Seriously, run to this link....read this.

Stiles is fucking delicious. The author has him down perfectly. He's a newly captured slave for the Hale Pack. He struggles with his new lot in life. A lot. My god, does he mouth off. And he catches the eye of Derek, the Hale prince/ beta. He lurks in the shadows...he's just Derek. All martyr, damaged but open to this slave. The chemistry, their chemistry...



Derek and Stiles. Their love was like watching a seedling grow. You have to nurture and water it. It surpassed the sex, though it was awesome (alright maybe the first sex scene was a little long) but this is not erotica. This was romance. The things they do to each other...it might piss you off or make you not want to push through especially around the 47-60% mark, push through it's so worth it.

The characters! *giddy jumping*

Peter Hale is vile, right? But I can't quit the anti heroes. And he was evil in this but it turned me on. He was like Voldemort (yes, I dig Lord V in the movies, so what? ;P) and Stiles was an even better Harry but sorta like him because he sacrificed and was about the cause or in this case, pack. 

Just Peter was the shit, for me, m'kay? I liked this Peter a lot. Crazy mofo.

Ack! Scott! You can argue Scott's purpose in Teen Wolf because from what I've seen, Stiles steals the show but I think the author also captured all the qualities of Scott. Damn, I'd love a friend like him. He was so great in this. And Scott and Stiles are PB + J, yo. Batman and Robin. French Fries and Ketchup!

What else to talk about? What else? The entire ensemble kicked ass. No, not that. You want to discuss the enemas right?

It was so intimate between those two and oddly sweet. I have never smiled as much while reading on the topic...like ever. LOL, Stiles' regard to "poop dick" still makes me laugh. 

The angst was lovely, the suspense rocked, the ending...fitting these two characters. This was 5 stars from 60% on. 

C'est magnifique! ¡Magnífico! 

I have no more words for this review. I have to go read the second story to this RIGHT THE FUCK NOW! 

Here's the link to Intermission



Me after reading! 

Read! Hot plot ahead! 

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review 2014-10-22 03:35
One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt -A Review-

 

13635309

 

Title: One for the Murphys

Author: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Series: (Stand-Alone Novel)

Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-for-the-murphys-lynda-hunt/1106567858?ean=9780142426524

 

Summary: Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she's learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she's placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she's blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

It's easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she's there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determined to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighborhood bully and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she's feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.

 

Review: "One for the Murphys" is a thought provoking novel. It's easy to read and a page turner. There are elements in this that can make a grown man cry. Once you start reading, it will be hard to put down until you have finished.

If you could only read one book this year, pick this one. It is about real life, real situations and has a likeable main character. Be sure to have enough tissues to get through the whole book.

Overall, this is a 5 star. It will have you hooked from the start.

 

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