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review 2017-06-15 06:06
Trust
Faking It (Ringside Romance Book 2) - Christine d'Abo

This story is book #2, in the Ringside Romance series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and to better understand the series, I recommend reading this in order.

 

Grady has reasons for being far from home.  He is helped by a stranger one night, a night he barely remembers.  What does impress him, is how little the stranger cares about his celebrity status, money, or h is family.

 

Max has his focus on his club, his friends, and keeping Ringside open.  When he meets Grady, some of that focus is off.  He cannot help but be attracted and quickly smitten with someone who needs him so badly.

 

This couple is obviously meant to be.  It is a joy to read about men who can be both strong and sensitive.  This book is packed full of lots to enjoy.  There is heat, heart, and some hot sexy times.  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publisher.

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review 2017-05-22 14:00
The Wrong Woman by Cass Lennox - My Thoughts
The Wrong Woman - Cass Lennox

I am totally the wrong person for this book.  I read it as a Riptide Advance Read and didn't realise that it was SO New Adult.  I was hoping for a good lesbian romance but that's not what I felt I got.  

 

I did not like either of the main characters, I thought they were totally self-absorbed, arrogant, and completely clued out about how to go about having any kind of relationship.  And the inner dialogue.  It was constant.  CONSTANT.  And irritating.  I wish I had a dollar for every time one or the other thought "UGH".  I could have a good shop for books, let me tell you.  

 

I don't know, if I hadn't been reading it for Riptide, I would have DNFed it by the end of the 3rd chapter.  

 

But that being said... I'm fairly sure the fault lies mainly with me and not the book itself.  Maybe the young people out there will like it?  I really hope they're not all like the ones in the book - even the secondary and tertiary characters.  I honestly didn't find anything romancey about it (I still don't know why the MCs are together other than that they're hot) at all and as for the mystery at the centre of the plot, well, it was more an afterthought than anything else, it seemed to me. Sadly. 

 

This just re-affirmed that New Adult romances are not for me one little bit.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-01 04:52
Good
Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections B... Finding Your Feet (Toronto Connections Book 2) - Cass Lennox

A Toronto Connections Novel While on holiday in Toronto, Evie Whitmore planned to sightsee and meet other asexuals, not audition for a dance competition. Now she’s representing Toronto’s newest queer dance studio, despite never having danced before. Not only does she have to spend hours learning her routine, she has to do it with one of the grumpiest men she’s ever met. Tyler turns out to be more than a dedicated dancer, though — he might be the kind of man who can sweep her off her feet, literally and figuratively. Tyler Davis has spent the last year recovering from an emotionally abusive relationship. So he doesn’t need to be pushed into a rushed routine for a dumb competition. Ticking major representation boxes for being trans and biracial isn’t why he went into dance. But Evie turns out to be a dream student. In fact, she helps him remember just how good partnering can be, in all senses of the word. Teaching her the routine, however, raises ghosts for him, ones he’s not sure he can handle. Plans change, and people change with them. Learning a few steps is one thing; learning to trust again is another entirely.

Review:

Dear Cass Lennox,

I reviewed the first book in this series here at DA and I really liked it. As blurb tells you the second book features a completely new couple - straight transgender guy and an asexual woman who is not completely straight since she dated both men and women before the beginning of this story. Evie came to Toronto because she was going to be doing a graduate program here, but the program starts in the fall and she ended up doing a two week vacation in Toronto while staying with the Internet friend Sarah who was also asexual. 

Evie is the kind of person who plans things ahead, so she is surprised that not only she is not on holiday which was not really planned, but she also auditioned and won a part to be in the Pride dance competition as an amateur to be paired with one of the dance teacher from the two rival queer dance studios. Basically three teachers from each dance school would be paired with the three amateurs and the teachers were supposed to teach the amateur a dance routine in a week and to have a competition during Toronto Pride. Toronto Pride is a major part of why Evie decided to spend couple of weeks here anyway, so while she is initially reluctant to commit she decides to participate in the competition.

Tyler is a dancing teacher who is paired with Evie. We are shown that Tyler was also initially reluctant to participate in the competition, but he changed his mind with a little push from his boss Derek. Evie and Tyler’s first meeting may have been a little bit contentious, but they click pretty well when they start rehearsing the dance and they only have one week to do it.

I have read Amazon reviews before buying this book and one of the reviewers seemed to feel that a lot of time was spent on the description of the dancing rehearsals and dancing in general. I agree that there was a lot of dancing in this book and I liked it very much. The start of Evie and Tyler’s relationship is set against their dancing training and dancing is what Tyler loves and is passionate about. It is not just his career, it is his life. I really thought it was cleverly done how they communicated while dancing and it was clear that they enjoyed each other’s company when they may not have realized it themselves yet.

I thought the tension between Evie and Tyler was nicely done too – Tyler’s insecurities made perfect sense to me because his ex fucked with his head and made him doubt himself at every turn, but somehow I did not find the book very angsty probably because dancing was such an important part of his life and no matter what Tyler’s doubts were about pursuing the relationship, he never thought about stopping the dancing? I don’t know, I just know that I really liked how Tyler’s issues were portrayed and how he dealt with them. Evie also had her own issues to deal with. It was said that not all her partners in the past were okay with her asexuality (sex is not very important to her, but she did not mind sex with the right person and at the last time – was the word demisexual appropriate here? I was not sure, it seemed so, but I am not asexual and the word was not used in the book). But once again, somehow the romance was playing off against Evie and Tyler rehearsing and their issues felt very real, but did not feel very angsty to me. Opinions may differ of course.

There was couple of things in the story I did not like. While in general Tyler’s insecurities made perfect sense to me (as an outsider! I never was in the abusive relationship), there was also a smaller reason why he was reluctant to think about something more than casual with Evie and I found this incredibly annoying and I have to mention a SPOILER.

When they first meet during Evie’s audition for the competition she is mentioning in her “audition interview” of the sorts that she is here in Toronto for couple of weeks and then she is going to leave for few months and come back to start school. Tyler is conveniently spacing out at the very moment Evie says that she will come back to go to school and then worries about starting something with Evie because she is going to leave anyway. I *hate* this when something so artificial is used as the reason for the conflict. Now, as I said here this was not the main issue, this was just a fake barrier that Tyler put in his mind while the real reasons were his insecurities because of the past abusive relationship, so overall it worked out for me, but I was still annoyed. I wanted to tell Tyler to just ask Evie about her leaving. Just ask her – so easily done.

I also thought that brief appearance of Vaughn from the first book was awkwardly done. I mean, he is part of the group of the asexual friends, so his cameo in itself would not have been bad, but attempt to make Tyler jealous was also based on miscommunication. Evie learned that he was exclusively attracted to men almost right away, why could not have she shared that with Tyler it was not clear to me at all.

These miscommunications issues were not my favorite parts, but overall I still really liked the book and the main characters.

Time wise the book only covers a week. However author managed to convince me that these two have a good chance to make their relationship work.

Grade B.

 

 

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review 2017-01-22 09:38
Right here
This Piece of My Heart (Clearing the Ice) (Volume 1) - Robyn M. Ryan,Mary Callaghan,Rachelle Reese,Francy Dickinson Saunders,Karla Fouts

Caryn meets Andrew when they literally run into one another.  The attraction is immediate, and mutual.  Until he finds out about her dislike of athletes and that she is young & still in school.

 

Andrew wants no more of the party days that are behind him.  Caryn represents the future and all he could have, if they can just find that common ground that seems so elusive.  Can he show her they have a shot?

 

I really enjoyed this book.  I found the characters and plot interesting and at a good pace.  So glad there is more to this series, since this is a great start to another hockey series to sit on my shelf for a re-read.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-09-16 00:49
Late Bite by John Matsui
Late Bite: TV Talk Show Star or Killer? (The Toronto Chronicles) (Volume 1) - John R Matsui

Al Hamblyn is a lawyer on the edge of complete failure until he gets the strangest case of his career

 

A man has been arrested for a series of attacks. Attacks in which he drunk blood

 

He is representing a vampire on trial – and trying to prove this revelation not guilty in the middle of a media storm.

 

 

 

This book brings us a court case with a vampire accused of assault and drinking blood

 

That alone is an excellent twist as we see the whole concept of vampirism and drinking blood actually being out on trial

 

It also brings us a really fascinating concept of vampires – as a separate species evolving alongside humanity and slowly being wiped out by humanity’s numbers. Not because of hatred, or persecution or murder (except way back in out history where, thought provokingly, it points out that the lack of other subspecies in the homo genus does suggest that ye old homo sapiens did not adapt well to competition) but through simple environmental devastation. It’s a very original concept

 

The problem is that I find myself being distracted or becoming disinterested in a lot of this book. Many times I kept questioning why I was being given various pieces of information – almost from the very beginning this book introduces me to Al Hamblyn, the main character and Dragul’s lawyer and we get a mini biography of him. Or a not so mini biography. And it’s not bad or even badly written – but who is this guy and why do I care so much about his life? This happens several times in the book, we get more snippets of Al’s life and I’m just not really sure why I know


And it’s not like Al is a bad character. He isn’t – far from it. He’s intelligent, driven, far from perfect, with good flaws even though he tries. He has some great friends and some great people in his life who really make up a really fun legal team. This is not a bad thing even by close – it’s not a bad story I just don’t really know why I’m reading it

 

In some ways it feels like Dragul is almost tangential to the story

 

There’s also a surprisingly smooth pathway. Everything just seems to go so well. The court case, their life after the court case. It also does the annoying thing of introducing the middle of the book as a prologue so the court case fails any attempt at tension because we already know the result of it. I find myself fighting not to skim this book simply because I know exactly what is going to happen for so long.

 

 

Again, it’s not bad, it’s not a bad story, it’s not exactly boring but it’s not exciting either. It’s interesting, mildly fun and has the excellent world building backstory of the vampires to give it more originality than I’ve seen in so many other books. I didn’t regret finishing it, but at any point I could have put it down, not picked it up again and not felt compelled to find it


And I have no idea why it has such a creepy compelling cover

 

This means when the story changes immensely after about the half-way to two-thirds when we finally, and belatedly, get some action. It’s almost jarring – suddenly we have Russian mercenaries everywhere. It’s like a second book was hastily pasted on the end – and it was certainly more exciting but also confusing

 

We do have a lot of racial diversity in this book – it is set in Toronto and there is definitely some representation that Toronto is not an all white town. From police to lawyers to witnesses, to crime victims – there’s a large variety of races represented. But none of them are major characters. Al, his mentors Sally and his old professor, Dragul, his assistant and his ex-wife and son are all White. All other characters are really minor, little more than names.

 

 

Read More

 

 

 

Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2016/08/late-bite-by-john-matsui.html
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