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review 2017-08-19 19:09
Sad and difficult to read
Goodbye, Dearest Holly: Ten Years On - Kevin Wells

This is an extremely sad and difficult book to read and even though some 15 years have passed since the brutal and callous murder of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman the events still remain fresh in my mind. Who can ever forget that last picture of the two little girls wearing their Manchester United tops the clock behind them showing the time at 17.04. How could loving parents ever guess that within a matter of hours their two beautiful daughters would have their lives taken from them by the evil monster Ian Huntley. Kevin and Nicola were exemplary parents and had instilled in Holly the need to be always vigilant and aware when out on her own. No one could have anticipated that someone employed as a school caretaker and who together with his girlfriend, and teaching assistant, Maxine Carr, could oh so callously murder two such innocents. The sad fact is that it took such an evil event to happen before the laws concerning the vetting of individuals (especially those employed in the company of children) would be drastically overhauled. If the background of Huntley had been known and in particular his history of sexual relationships with minors he would never have found himself in the trusted position of school caretaker and so it follows that the lives of Holly and Jessica would have been spared and their date with destiny avoided on that warm summer evening in 2002.

 

The safeguarding vulnerable groups act 2004 was introduced following the Bichard inquiry into the Soham murders The Act introduced a ‘Vetting and Barring” scheme for people working with children, whereby a new independent safeguarding authority (‘ISA’) must maintain lists of people who are barred from certain kinds of work with children and adults. That list includes those who are convicted of, or admit to, certain specified criminal offences, including various sexual offences, and those involving violence or the mistreatment of children. Once barred, the restrictions on work last from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 10 years.  One of the greatest failings of the police was their inability to retain, store and pass information to neighbouring forces and colleagues throughout the UK. If only the residents of Soham had been aware that Huntley had in the past been accused of rape and sexual assault ( a charge that was later dropped due to lack of evidence) then the events that unfolded in Soham need never have occurred and the families of Jessica and Holly would not have had their lives altered in such a sad and callous way.

 

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review 2017-08-16 02:06
Release Day ARC Review: Out Of The Shadows by KC Wells
Out of the Shadows (Dreamspun Desires Book 40) - K.C. Wells

I adored this so much! What a sweet romance between one hunky gardener/handyman and one damaged, hiding young man who thinks an accident 8 years ago that left him severely scarred turned him into a monster not fit for society. 

Josh is a gardener/handyman for an apartment complex and has been tasked with modernizing some of the apartments by upgrading the kitchens and bathrooms. The first apartment is the home of a mysterious resident, whom nobody has apparently ever seen. Josh is a really nice guy, easy-going and kind, and he has no preconceived notions about the man who lives in the apartment. Josh feels he's there to do a job, and he plans on doing a good one. He also has a nice group of friends, including two (Nate and Dylan) who may be given the "oblivious men of the year" award. I sure hope the author has a book planned for them as well. 

Christian made a horrific mistake 8 years ago while helping a stranded motorist to jump-start his car and hooked up the wrong side first, resulting in severe acid burns to his face, arms and chest. He moved to Boston to start a new life - if you can call it a life - and cut himself off from friends, family, and everyone. He orders what he needs online, groceries are delivered to his front door, and he only rarely goes outside, and when he does, it's at night, cloaked in darkness. He's afraid of people's reactions to his scars and would rather be alone than see them pity him or recoil from him.

Unbeknownst to Josh, Christian has been watching him work in the flower beds and such, admiring and lusting after him. Of course, Christian has no illusions of getting any closer to Josh than through the window, but ogling is enough. Or so he tells himself.

On the first day of the renovation job, Josh believes that Christian isn't home, but the truth comes out, and Christian has a difficult time believing that Josh's reaction to the scars (and the monster he sees in the mirror) is so calm and accepting.

A mutual love for Harry Potter brings them closer, they share lunch every day while Josh is working on the apartment, and even after he's done and has moved on to the next place, and it was so lovely to watch Christian begin to trust Josh, who starts to draw the slightly older man out of his shell. Shared lunches turn into watching a movie at the theater (late at night, of course), and meeting Josh's friends.

Christian blossoms under Josh's unfailing support, and their mutual attraction fairly quickly turns into real emotions and a desire to be together. Josh helps Christian realize that what he sees in the mirror is not a monster after all, and that while some people may react in a way Christian expects them to (recoiling in horror), the majority of folks do not. 

I would have liked Christian to consider therapy to deal with his self-hatred, because Josh is not a therapist, and while he provided steady support, love, and understanding, I wasn't sure that Christian's rather rapid progression to being comfortable in public spaces (after hiding for so long) was completely realistic. However, considering that this is a Dreamspun Desires title, this did not influence my rating or enjoyment of this book.

The author did a great job with the characters, and their romance was believable within the parameters of this series. Their story is, while definitely on the fluffy side, super romantic and hopeful, and their HEA was well deserved. A quiet, low-key romance, very little angst, and so very sweet - I had a fabulous time reading it.

And I'm serious about Nate and Dylan needing their own book. Please get right on that, Ms. Wells.


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

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url 2017-08-14 18:25
Going Rogue! Free range reading ... nominate and vote any book for the Sept. thru 2018 books the booklikes TOR ebook club will be reading
Tor.com Publishing's 2017 Hugo Finalist Bundle - Carrie Vaughn,Kij Johnson,Victor LaValle,Nina Allan,Seanan McGuire,Fran Wilde,Kai Ashante Wilson,N.K. Jemisin,Alyssa Wong
Dark Run - Mike Brooks
The Adventures of Little Fuzzy: From the Original Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper - Benson Parker,H. Beam Piper,Michael Whelan,David Wenzel
The Ghost Brigades - John Scalzi
All Systems Red - Martha Wells
We Will Destroy Your Planet: An Alien's Guide to Conquering the Earth (Dark) - David McIntee
Fool's Assassin - Robin Hobb
The Quiet War - Paul J. McAuley
The Phoenix in Flight - Sherwood Smith,Dave Trowbridge
Alien Tango - Gini Koch

With TOR putting their monthly ebook freebie program on hold, our booklikes bookclub is going rogue, off the grid, off schedule, free range ... nominate and vote for any books that might be remotely suited for TOR (speculative fiction, fantasy, science fiction ...).

 

Above, I displayed some of the currently nominated ones; visit the link and scroll down to nominate, vote and edit your voting. (Or click the "Next Books" tab in the bookclub if you lose this post/link.)

 

Books with most votes will be our September book, the next most likley the October book  (will look at current voting in case that changes during September) ..

 

Vote for as many as you like. Nominating a book automatically votes for it. If you click "Remove" that will remove your vote, not the book.

Source: booklikes.com/book-clubs/next/88/tor-monthly-free-ebook-science-fiction-and-fantasy
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review 2017-08-13 15:33
While Lace was nice...Satin was totally smooth...
Satin (A Material World Book 2) - K.C. Wells,Meredith Russell

Detective Joel Hunter is on a stakeout with his partner, Trish at The Paradise Club when he first sees the singer 'Satin'. He's more than a little fixated with her and arranges for them to return until the assignment is finished and the club's owner is behind bars. 

 

With the assignment finished and no reason to return to Club Paradise, Joel finds he's unable to get the sultry singer out of his mind and returns to the club at his first opportunity. When Satin realizes that the attractive detective is still returning to the club the question that plagues here is whether Joel is interested in Satin or the man behind she becomes once she leave the stage...Ross Duantry.

 

Every once in a reader gets lucky enough to read a book that just works from start to finish it just all goes right and sometimes it just works because it does, sometimes there are reasons and you can identify them and sometimes it's a mix of both these things. This time for me it was a mix. There were things that I liked but at the same time there was that intangible quality that connected with me. 

 

So let's talk about my favorite part of this book Detective Joel Hunter and Ross Dauntry. First Joel...

 

I loved Joel. He's not perfect and he makes mistakes but he's willing to try and fix things. Initially Joel's put forth as being straight but there are a few times in the story when the indications are more that Joel's suffering from a dose of indecision complicated by a touch of denile ...he knows he's not straight, but admitting this to himself also seems to be one of his biggest challenges. Joel doesn't always react to things as well as he could or should...he's human he makes mistakes, but it's not the mistakes that show who we truly are, it's how we deal with them and while Joel occasionally waffles back and forth on his decisions in the end he made the choices that kept taking him back to Ross.

 

Now Ross Dauntry. I loved that Ross was unapologetically Ross. He was comfortable with his sexuality and just who he was in general. That's not to say that he didn't have his own issues and insecurities...because he did. Ross's been hurt...more than once so while he definitely wanted Joel and wanted to see where things could go between them he was also a little cautious about how much he put himself out there.

 

For me the relationship was more of a slow burn. There was the initial attraction when Joel first saw Satin at The Paradise Club but things slowed down again when Joel realized that 'Satin' was Ross. Joel needed to re-evaluate his perspective on things and while Ross's feelings continued to intensify he was also guarded as to how much he was going to put himself out there and risk having his heart broken again.

 

There were two secondary characters in this story that had important parts to play as well one was Trish...Joel's partner and her I really liked. She was honest and upfront and called a spade a spade even if you wanted it to be a club. Trish was truly the kind of friend that everyone needs. She was willing to give Joel the hard truths. The other character was Ross's roommate, Helena, whom I liked until she crossed that line...the line that says 'you've gone from good friend to meddling biotch'. While Helena's heart was probably in the right place her actions were not.

 

Now the other thing that I liked was Joel and Ross together. These men were hot, seriously hot. It's been a while since an author has made me squirm in my seat and trust me when I say K. C. Wells made me squirm more than a little bit. This author not only knows how to write the sexy times but she put the emotional connection there for me as well. I love it when an author can write a scene that's not just about the sex but adds the feelings that take it from 'having sex' to 'making love', I know it sounds cliche but it's the best way that I can explain the difference to me. 

 

'Lace' was the first book in this series and I like it. It was definitely ok...but with 'Satin' things have stepped up for me and I know I plan on being around to see what K. C. Wells has in store for us in 'Silk' the third book in Ms Wells 'A Material World' series.

 

********************

 

An ARC of 'Satin' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-08-11 06:04
Hiding
Out of the Shadows (Dreamspun Desires) - K.C. Wells

Christian lives his life in hiding.  He watches, works, and basically hides from the world.  The same world that dealt him a cruel blow of fate.  He is interested for the first time in someone.  Does not even know his name.

 

Josh usually works in the gardens on the property.  While the renovations are going on he will be working inside the units.  He meets Christian and it is almost game over from the start.  The attraction is immediate.  The voice, the humor, the mystery.... it just all makes for a hot package.

 

This story is a very realistic & sweet account of how it is possible to look past the obvious and find someone attractive.  I think we learn a lot from these characters.  I found myself unable to put the book down.  I hope we get to learn more about the other characters inside this great book.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

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

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