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review 2016-04-17 00:00
Trainwreck: Book Two
Trainwreck: Book Two - Michele Micheal R... Trainwreck: Book Two - Michele Micheal Rakes Book – Trainwreck Book 2
Author – Michele Michael Rakes
Star rating - ★★★★☆
No. of Pages – 227

Cover – Good
POV – 3rd person, multiple person
Would I read it again – Yes.

Genre – Crime, Dark, Suspense

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

Picking up exactly where Book 1 left off, I was so glad that this one picked up more on the MM aspect that it lacked in the first part. Knowing it's a five part series, I can assume that things won't be wrapped up until the last book, which is slightly frustrating.

On one hand, I really love the story. But I would never have gone into book 1 if I'd known it was part of a serial. It implied it was part of a series, but it wasn't until I was already hooked and had picked up book 2 that I knew the story would never be resolved until the end.

For me, this one picks up on the memories and flashbacks of events that were hinted at in book 1. Although these are important and the flashbacks often made me cry, I had to admit that it feels like the story is dragging out purposefully. So many times this book stopped to tell stories of the past, often twice from a different POV, that it just felt like overkill.

Sadly, I'm knocking a star off. Half for the serial aspect, which I've never been a fan of and which leaves me with a frustrating cliffhanger that I have to wait months if not a year to resolve. Another half half goes to the filled aspect of this story. Yes, these things are important, but book 1 could easily have fitted most of them, by eliminating the many scenes with Delia and the kidnapper, which were often just repeats of each other.

Overall, though I love the story and the characters, and I'm glad to finally see the MM aspect come to bear, I'm left feeling angry. Nothing happened here that wasn't already hinted at or known already, at least by the reader. Half the book was informative and the other half was flashbacks. I'll keep reading the rest of the series, but when it takes me one day and one sitting to read a book, I may have forgotten the story entirely by the time the next one comes around.
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review 2016-04-16 00:00
Trainwreck: Book One
Trainwreck: Book One - Michele Micheal R... Trainwreck: Book One - Michele Micheal Rakes,Drai Bearwomyn,Tina Adamski,Dan Skinner Book – Trainwreck
Author – Michele Michael Rakes
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 374

Cover – Fitting
POV – 3rd person, multiple people, all confined to their own scenes
Would I read it again – Definitely.

Genre – Crime, Dark, Suspense

Reviewed for Divine Magazine

TRIGGER WARNINGS: eludes to child rape, with some scenes on page. Torture, kidnap, suicide, drug use, alcoholism, child abuse, pain play, erotic asphyxiation, violent drunk, dead child, BDSM, cheating

Warning #2: This is the first half of a story. I don't mean part 1, but literally one half. It stops abruptly, with a cliffhanger. So, be warned.

Okay, so this is a bit darker than some of my recent reads, but it totally takes me back to some of my early reads from this year. The pain and torment of the main character is the driving force. But, you know what? The first thing that really struck me when I started this book was the brutally honest and touching Dedication and Acknowledgements. They made me want to love this book and the author. And, I do.

Forget romance, forget all those mushy feelings you want from an MM romance. This isn't it. This is a super hard hitting, edgy, dark read, with one heck of a twisted main character. But, amongst all of that – buried beneath the pain and the torture – is a man who is crumbling to pieces and who isn't quite sane anymore. And he hasn't been for a long time.

Vince's past is an enigma that takes a long time to figure out. As the case progresses, so does our understanding of this very complex man. Sure, he's a total man whore, but I love how the author makes it very clear why he's like that. He has desires and needs that he feels he can't share with his wife, which is perfectly understandable. As is his fear that to tell her would mean the end of their already fragile relationship.

At heart, Vince is supremely complicated – dyslexic, suicidal and prone to self harm, he's a man who can't control himself. From a young age, he's done everything to protect his wife, even when that meant taking so much worse than beatings, to keep her safe. He's a broken child, suffering as an adult. Not only the loss of his child, a fractured marriage and a case that hits far too close to home, but he suffers sexual secrets and mental and physical scars that he can't explain.

Vince and Nick are brilliant characters. So vast and deep; they both have these tangled webs of emotions that are slowly explored throughout the story. The contrast is almost painful. Nick is living the perfect life – married with kids and a career he loves – that Vince has always wanted. And almost had.

When it comes to the other characters, I really like Mattie and Momma. I really hate Angela, the judgemental ass that she is, and Beck. Obviously, I hate the bad guys (not telling you who they are!) but I find it really creepy and interesting that we get their POV. I've read the POV of sadists and rapists in stories before and normally it just makes me want to scream and throw the book away. But, somehow, this one delves deep into that psyche and makes you curious enough to keep going. At the same time, we're given the POV of the victims, as they're being tortured, which is also new.

At 5% I was already in tears. Reading how much Vince missed Mary, his daughter, really made an impact. Not only because it was so powerfully written, but also because it reminded me of the dedication and how real all these emotions are. This isn't fiction; it's one persons soul poured out onto paper. And that's moving. Then again, I also cried at the Momma and Vince talk on the porch.

Quite honestly, I haven't seen any MM sex here. This isn't an MM story, at all. I wouldn't even class it as anywhere in that genre. The MC just happens to be bisexual and has had sex with men before. So, if you read this expecting a big sweeping MM love story or even the hint of one, you'll be disappointed. It doesn't happen. There is, however, a mass of MF sex scenes and all are explicit.

Overall, this book tackles some seriously hard core issues, with one seriously messed up trainwreck of a man. It's masterfully unapologetic in depicting the dark lives it delves into and exploring the harsh realities of abuse victims and the lasting effects that abuse can have on a child. It's a fantastic, dark, twisted story about child abuse with a strong criminal investigation woven into the tale. This book deserves to be read by everyone.


P.S. If there's one negative thing I'd say about this book it's that it's not placed in the right genre. I don't see any MM relationship even close to forming, so I wouldn't class it as MM, gay romance or anything like that. At a stretch, it's an LGBT book because of a bisexual MC. But, I have assurances that the MM relationship will come in book 2, so I've got my fingers crossed.

Oh, and I liked it so much that I bought book 2 before I'd even reached 80%. Now I get to go straight into the continuation of the story.


Favourite Quote

““I'm afraid you won't love me,” he said to the empty room. “If you really knew me, you'd run.””
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text 2014-08-08 23:44
Maggie Spence Finally Admits Her Book Has Some Issues

"Thank you for pinpointing it, Outlaw. I've struggled with the YA tag since the beginning but not sure what to do. I've had both positive and negative on the pov jumps but agree it needs some work. I really appreciate your feedback, thank you so much! I hope to rewrite, re-edit, and republish, soon. Any other insights you can add are sincerely welcomed."


OutlawPoet then gives her some good advice (similar to what authors and readers have been trying to tell her all along),


"I've now taken the time to read the one star reviews on the book. I don't think I've said much that was very different from some of what I read there. Different reviewers have different criteria for one stars. I would not give it one star, but it needs a lot of work.

Now I'll give my opinion on your drama.

Not everyone will like your book. And not everyone will look past its issues to read the whole thing. But you, as an author, must deal with that professionally. In spite of La Rice's comments on careerist reviewers, we aren't.

I'm a mother and a reader who loves books and likes to voice her opinion. You are the professional. You don't have the freedom of La Rice to act like the flea ridden backside of a donkey. You are still building your brand and unless you write bad girl books, you can't act as a badly behaved author. SPAs are discovered by mainstream houses all the time, but if your rep makes you out to be a liability, they won't want to work with you.

La Rice makes millions for her publisher. She can act that way. You can't.

Calling a reviewer at home has one effect. It makes people reluctant to review your work."


And of course Maggie reacts to that as she typically has, although does refrain from her typical name calling like "bully", "troll" and "psychotic",


"Ouch. Here I thought you were independent and just a really insightful reviewer. I checked your profile and loved that your reviews include books and Barbie ponies and cupcake stuff. I thought you were just jumping in randomly but now I see where the grain of salt gets added. Why do you include yourself with the carpet bombers? Ewww. You may not hang out with them regularly but you stroked them with that remark about their 1* reviews, not quite agreeing but careful not to anger them. Then you toss in the "LaRice" comments and make sure I know where you stand with her. Thanks for the lecture about BBA, it confirms a great deal about you. I like how you close with the warning about people reluctant to review my work when, in fact, there was a great deal of interest in reviewing my work. They just didn't take the time to read it first. The company you keep does matter. You would be wise to look around."





Source: www.amazon.com/forum/top%20reviewers/ref=cm_cd_pg_next?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2Z5LRXMSUDQH2&cdPage=116&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx26JFFERR4BV42
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text 2014-08-02 02:49
When You're Wrong- Threaten


Notice in the first ss she claims I'm "cheating" the system by upvoting her book on Listopia, that might be difficult because I don't think I did. Then she comes out and tries to "subtly" threaten my Vine status.


In the second ss she points out my review, which was a rating first before GR pulled it because saying I didn't think the author would agree with me is about the author not my actions, was posted very soon after she tried her "brilliant marketing strategy". Yes, and I have said that I don't reward bad behavior, one star for the cheater. This is the "coaching" from Linda:



If you have read my review of her book you will notice that none of the suggestions from Linda are there but I do point to several specific middle and near the end examples to prove that, yes, I have read the mess.


So she put together a "package" of my reviews and comments? Wut? Amazon does not care what you do elsewhere just what you do on their site but obviously Maggie thinks that this will, what? I don't know. Notice that when I point out specific points in her book she sidesteps?


In the third she talks about my blog, probably the one I wrote after she called me. Wonder what they would think if they read her blog where she claims to have made this whole mess up to generate interest in her book? Or the one where she lists reviews from GR and tries to mock them?


Yeah, yeah, I'll back mine over hers any day of the week.


THen in the last the ominous "proper channels". Are you kidding me? This is the woman who came back to GR under the stealthy name of spencemaggie to argue with posters on my status after she was banned?


Poor Maggie, still stripping on the corner, begging for quarters.

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text 2014-07-30 12:05
Maggie Spence Tries To Rally Other Authors

Most of you probably are aware that Maggie Spence joined in a discussion yesterday in the comments of a Booklikes review, in which she was...unpleasant.



When she was blocked from commenting further she started a thread on the KDP board attempting to rally other authors to her defense, talking about how she's been harassed and bullied and how mean people are to her.




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