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review 2018-06-18 21:58
Set the Night on Fire - Laura Trentham

I loved returning to Cottonbloom, such distinct and strong characters, and the plot was entertaining and passionate.  The love story was sweet with a bit of the emotional tension that always heightens the storyline.  Mack and Ella were perfect together, so strong they jumped off the page. The conflict of her having bought out Ford’s share of the Abbott garage, and how Mack wants the interloper gone as quickly as possible, was well executed and developed really well.  It made for such a great story. Ella hasn’t had it easy and she has made something out of her life and doesn’t want to hand over control to a man ever again.  Mack is such a take charge and manage everything kind of guy that Ella totally shakes up his well oiled life in a way he isn’t sure he wants.  I loved every second.  It was sweet.  It was beautiful.  It was romantic.  Such a great small town romance series.

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review 2018-06-17 06:37
A WHITE HOUSE DINNER FOR THE AGES
Dinner in Camelot: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House - Joseph A. Esposito

Prior to reading "DINNER IN CAMELOT: The Night America's Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House", the most I knew of this most unique dinner which took place on the evening of Sunday, April 29, 1962 was from a now famous statement President Kennedy made there. It is as follows: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House - with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." One of my high school U.S. history teachers first made me aware of that quote, which left a deep impression that hasn't left me after almost 40 years. 

Joseph A. Esposito has taken considerable care in reconstructing for the reader what that White House dinner was like - down to the various personalities (e.g. Linus & Ava Helen Pauling; Dr. Ralph Bunche, the first African American recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the UN in negotiating the 1949 armistice between Israel and the Arab States; J. Robert Oppenheimer - the father of the atomic bomb - for whom this dinner marked the beginning of his political rehabilitation after having had his security clearance stripped away from him in 1954; the poet Robert Frost; the widow of Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway; the literary personages Mr. and Mrs. Lionel & Diana Trilling; Pearl Buck; William & Rose Styron - who later became close friends of the Kennedys; the writer and social critic James Baldwin; and the astronaut John Glenn) in attendance. 

The book also has the complete seating plan for the dinner, which took place in the State Dining Room (where President Kennedy presided at the lead table, # 7) and the Blue Room (where the First Lady, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, sat at the lead table, # 17) - in addition to several photographs that were taken at the dinner itself. They help to recapture, in a large sense, an America that was sure of itself and its place in the world despite the perils and challenges of the time, and the essence of a President and First Lady who encouraged a flowering of the arts and sciences among all Americans - as well as inspiring people to be and do better for themselves and humanity. 

I absolutely enjoyed reading "DINNER IN CAMELOT" which I think will serve in years to come as the main source for anyone wanting to know more about this unique and seminal event in 20th century U.S. history. It may also remind the reader that it is possible for the U.S. to extricate itself from the polarization and toxic national politics that bedevils us in the present time. For we live in a nation that has had many ups and downs since its inception in 1789 - and managed to, at various times, to embrace "the better angels" of its spirit and character.

 

Let "DINNER IN CAMELOT" remind the reader that We the People can work together anew to make a better nation for ourselves and future generations through encouraging a renewed appreciation for the arts and sciences.

 

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review 2018-06-17 01:38
Fantastic Contemporary Romance
Set the Night on Fire - Laura Trentham

Set The Night On Fire by Laura Trentham is a fabulous, well-written book by Laura Trentham.  Ms. Trentham has given us a book that is loaded with outstanding, lovable characters.  Ella bought shares of the Abbott Brothers Garage and Restoration, against the wishes of three of the brothers.  Mack is determined to buy back the shares and keep the business in the family.  Ella and Mack's story is loaded with drama, humor, sizzle and a bit of suspense.  I enjoyed reading Set The Night On Fire and look forward to reading more from Laura Trentham in the future.  Set The Night On Fire is book 6 in the Cottonbloom Series but can easily be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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review 2018-06-14 21:26
Night-gaunts
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

If ever a cover would catch my eye, it would be this one. It hints at a bit darkness and mystery and even the colors seem to draw the eye. That said, what I found inside didn't quite deliver for me. I usually enjoy collections of stories in one book. They're perfect for reading a story here and another there as time permits, but after reading the first in this collection, I have to say that I wasn't left with much inclination to move on to the next. I did eventually finish the book in hopes of finding at least one story that I could connect with, but only found more of the same. The writing felt choppy and abrupt, which may have played a part in my lack of connection to the characters or their stories. I also did not find anything particularly mysterious or suspenseful in these tales, which could also lead back to that lack of connection. From the ratings, I realize that I am indeed in the minority here, so I'm going to chalk this one up to not the book for me.

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review 2018-06-13 14:31
All Night With The Cowboy
All Night with the Cowboy - Soraya Lane
This is the second book in this series but don’t let that stop you from enjoying this cowboy as this novel acts like a standalone. I enjoyed this novel just as much as I enjoyed the first one. As they say, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas well, what happens in Fuji was more than both parties had planned. They couldn’t contain what happened in Fuji to just Fuji, so what happened in Fuji followed them home.
 
They were high school sweethearts until Lauren called it off suddenly. Tanner took the break-up hard and has held a grudge against Lauren for years. Lauren couldn’t tell Tanner exactly why she broke up with him but her feeling towards him have never changed. It is now twelve years later and Tanner has just taken a hard fall. A well-known professional bull rider, Tanner has made his way to the top again only to be trampled by his competitor, Thunder Cat. After hospitalization, Tanner needs therapy from what the bull has done to his body and he needs the best. After some negotiation from both parties, it is agreed that Tanner will meet Lauren in Fuji where she was headed for vacation. Tanner will get his therapy and they both will enjoy some needed vacation, separately.
 
Lauren is all professional and business-like when they meet which disturbs Tanner. Tanner wants to air out the past and then move forward, whereas Lauren just wants to start Tanner’s therapy and enjoy her time in Fuji. It doesn’t take long for Tanner to make the first move on Lauren and the hardheaded woman, reciprocates. It’ funny how Lauren tries to get all professional again but her mind and body are thinking something totally different. After some serious thought the two of them come up with a plan. Why not have some fun in Fuji and then leave it in Fuji? Their time there is, well you can imagine. When it is time to head back into reality, it’s time to put the brakes on this adventure and get back to work. Afterall, they both have respectable jobs that they have worked hard to achieve.
 
Lauren goes back home to her job and Tanner goes to his parent’s ranch where he can get some assistance while he continues healing. Being in close proximity to each other has its advantages and disadvantages as now, they can’t put the past few weeks behind them. They each know that they have pressing job with major commitments to attend to. Being together is complicated but together they have a great connection and they are good together. Do they really have a future together or are they just kidding themselves?
 
I liked the seriousness of the characters and the fun that they had together. I liked how they were devoted to their careers and how they strived to achieve their goals. I liked how mature they were when thinking about their lives and reality, sure they could have some fun while on vacation but they both decided it would be short-lived and they both were willing to do that. It was a fun novel. I really enjoyed reading it. I suggest you read the first novel in the series also but it is not necessary to enjoy this one.
 
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.

 

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