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review 2018-04-13 15:50
4 Out of 5 "Redemptive" STARS
Retribution Rails - Erin Bowman

 

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~ABOUT THE BOOK~

Retribution Rails

Erin Bowman

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REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE

 

When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece's path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

 

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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I think it has to be tricky to write a YA/Western.  The Old West is rather violent, and difficult to pull off in a YA scope.  You can't help but feel that scenes in Retribution Rails would have gone slightly differently in these infamous days of old, had they been true to them.  So, yeah, this is a lightly (somewhat) watered-down version of the old west.  Despite that, it is an engaging tale, with characters who have their own hopes and dreams that are inspirational in a time with little inspiration. 

 

While not necessary, I would suggest reading Vengeance Road beforehand, because the main characters in that book are present for a large chunk of the story in this book.  It will enhance your reading experience to know all about Kate and Jesse's story too.

 

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~MY RATING~

4STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 3.7/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4/5

Theme or Tone~ 4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.2/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 4/5  Cliffhanger~ Nope.

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Book Cover~ Very Awesome!

Narration~☆4.5☆ Amy Melissa Bentley & Michael Summerer both did excellently.

Series~ Companion to Vengeance Road

Setting~ Old West, Arizona

Source~ Audiobook (Scribd)

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review 2018-04-10 12:45
UNBURY CAROL by Josh Malerman
Unbury Carol: A Novel - Josh Malerman

Hell's Heaven! I haven't been this torn about a book in a long while. UNBURY CAROL was brave in exploring new territory, (weird western, I'd call it), while at the same time it wallowed in repetition.

 

Carol has a rare condition which causes her to fall into a coma for days at the drop of a hat. To anyone unfamiliar with her disease, she appears to be dead. It's important for at least someone to know what's going on with her so that she doesn't get buried alive by mistake. However, Carol is reluctant to tell many people for fear of rejection, and in one case, the departure of her true love who just didn't want to deal with the responsibility. Will she ever find true love again? Will there ever be a cure for her malady? You'll have to read this book to find out.

 

I'm going to attempt to be honest here, while also attempting not to spoil anything. I feel obligated to mention the repetition of certain words and phrases. They had me rolling my eyes repeatedly. "Hell's Heaven" (!), is a phrase that nearly everyone uses to no end. It's this world's version of OMG, or "Holy shit!", I guess. One overused word was "outlaw." (I get it. These are outlaws. We're in the west, they're wanted men.) Lastly "pig-shitters." Low down and dirty are the pig shitters. I get it. EVERYONE gets it. I'm speculating that the author used these words and phrases with the aim of world-building, and perhaps they helped to accomplish that...at first. After that, they just became so repetitious and irritating that it became kind of funny. (Or that could just be me, I'm told my sense of humor is off.)

 

Speaking of that world-building-I've read that the hardcover has a map of the Trail. (Everything that happens in this book happens along the Trail itself, or in the villages and towns located on the Trail.) That map is something I would like to see and I'd also like to read more about the Trail in the future. The villains in this book were interesting and a lot of fun, and they ALL had seemed to have some history that involved the Trail. In most cases, those people and the Trail's history were more interesting than the main characters-at least for me.

 

So, again, I am torn. I loved the creativity and imagination that went into Carol's disease and the building of this western world, while I was bothered by the repetition and what felt like an anti-climactic finale. Where does that leave us? At a 3.5/5 star rating. As always, your mileage may vary and I wold love to hear your thoughts on UNBURY CAROL when you're done!

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2018-04-09 10:00
Review! A Real Cowboy Never Says No (Wyoming Rebels #1) Stephanie Rowe!
A Real Cowboy Never Says No (Wyoming Rebels) - Stephanie Rowe

 

 

New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Rowe delivers a brand new series set in Rogue Valley, Wyoming, home to the Stockton brothers, a clan of fiercely loyal and honorable men, and the women who touch the hearts of these rugged, loner cowboys. 

The only reason rancher Chase Stockton and his brothers survived their brutal childhood was because they protected each other. Nothing will ever come between them…until a sudden tragedy calls in a life debt Chase can't ignore, forcing him to make a choice that could destroy the very bonds that hold his family together. 

Mira Cabot has never asked for help, but when a sexy, protective cowboy makes her an offer she can't afford to refuse, she finds herself on her way to Wyoming to be the shotgun bride of a man she has every reason…and no reason…to trust. 

The sizzling connection between Mira and Chase turns a rescue mission into something dangerously addictive, one that could either heal two broken hearts, or shatter them forever.

 

 

This cowboy romance tugs at the heart strings and makes me want to go out and find a real cowboy to love!

 

Mira and Chase are strong, captivating and are easily related to as they draw readers into their story and refuse to let go until they own every last bit of the reader’s heart. The romance is rocky with lots of heart felt emotional turmoil that adds depth and has readers empathizing with this captivating couple. The story also introduces the Stockton brothers who also grab reader’s attention and captivate their hearts due to their heart breaking past and ensures that the readers will want to know their stories as well.

 

Stephanie Rowe brings her heart capturing world to life with well written words that paints vivid imagery and her wonderful characters life like and I was completely captivated from the very beginning and found her cowboys to be sexy and loveable, so I will definitely be visiting with the Wyoming Rebels again.

 

 

 

A Real Cowboy Never Says No is the 1st book in the Wyoming Rebels series.

 

Books 2-6 is available now.

 

 A Real Cowboy Never Says No is available in print or ebook at
Amazon   B&N   GPlay   iBooks   Kobo

 

Stephanie Rowe can be found at:

Website   Goodreads   BookBub    Facebook   Twitter   Pintrest   Instagram

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-08 09:13
Montana Grit
Montana Grit: Bear Grass Springs, Book Two - Ramona Flightner

My reviews are honest & they contain spoilers. For more, follow me:


Montana Grit is the book 2 of Ramona Flightner’s newest historical romance series, Bear Grass Springs. Even though I’ve enjoyed the premise, I have mixed feelings about this one. Will try to explain in my review in the following.

I always talk about Banished Saga, Ramona’s debut series, whenever I review her books. I’m a huge fan of that series and glad that there are a few more installments left before we bid adieu to it. Bear Grass Springs, IMO, is quite different from Banished Saga. Yes, it’s still a clean romance and yes, we still get to know about a family and see them find love one after another but you get your traditional HEA, rather than a Saga where it spans years and includes new characters of new generations. Of course, I’m not comparing the two. I like both styles. In fact, I’m a reader of traditional HEA who has come to love the idea of growing with a family and seeing them grow and expand, becoming their friend in the process.

Book 1, Montana Untamed, introduces us to the MacKinnon brothers Caliean, Alistair and Ewan and their younger sister, Socha. They came to America from Scotland to settle down after they were forced from their lands. Cailean and Alistair arrived first. Eventually, Ewan and Socha joined them. Cailean and Alistair are very successful livery owners, the only one in the small but surely budding town of Bear Grass Springs. They’re well-liked and respected among the people and, alongside Ewan, they’re also well sought after bachelors. Ewan’s skills lie with the carpentry. He’s also earning good. Among the brothers, Cailean the eldest is what I’d call a grumpy bear. Very serious and moody. Alistair, the middle brother, seemed like the one with a sound head on his shoulders. Cool and calm as they say. Ewan is the happy go lucky charmer who can be impetuous at times. His gambling habit is one of those things that his brothers do not approve of. Sorcha is still young and brash, she has her own burdens to bear too as you will read, but her brothers love her all the same.

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review 2018-04-07 23:25
Horrifying and magical somehow, 'Unbury' Carol blends genres, brings us one of our worst nightmares, and shows us another side of Josh Malerman
Unbury Carol: A Novel - Josh Malerman

You know that nightmare where you're buried alive, in a coffin, the dirt just being piled on top, and you try and claw your way out, the air just gradually disappearing? Or how about the one where you're stuck in a coma, but you're still aware of everything around you, and everyone around you just carries on as if you're already dead, although you're screaming inside that you're still alive but you can't move and do a thing? This is that book. 

 

Carol Evers has an illness where she falls into death-like comas, something she has kept secret, save for just a special few, and her malicious husband, Dwight Evers has had enough of her having the limelight (because she’s a wonderful person) and passes her off for really being dead this final time. And so begins a gruesome tale set in the Old West that is ripe with myth, and is basically a story of long-lost love, crossed with a tale of planned murder. In 'Unbury Carol', Josh Malerman craftily brings nightmares of being trapped in a waking coma, and being possibly buried alive, onto the page, because Carol Evers lives that horror at just one heartbeat a minute.

 

But a couple of outlaws ride along the Trail to try and make it back to Harrows to face off against each other and they are the infamous James Moxie, who left Carol once before, and a horrific character called Smoke, who thinks nothing of pouring oil down people's throats and lighting a match. This is the man who Dwight has sent for, to stop Moxie from waking and saving our Western Sleeping Beauty. Moxie, however, is known along the Trail for the 'Trick' and has his own magic, but is haunted by haven't left Carol all those years ago, and has lived with years of regret.

All this time Carol waits on a stone slab in the cellar, she isn't asleep or even dead inside; she knows and sees what her cruel husband is doing and while Moxie rides the trail, she's desperately trying to move even an eyelid, just an inch. She's not done.

 

This tale takes a while to get into; the language seems otherworldly, and will immediately strike you as a book that you can't just skim though. The writing won't allow you to, as the prose is too filled with poetic language, the sort that would have been been heard well over a century ago. But it’s not just that; Malerman has written with a pace that builds tension and makes you wonder if Moxie will get to Carol in time, and suits the time period wherein everything was slower. I enjoyed how the chapters are descriptive of what’s happening within them, and not numbered, as though they had their own little story to tell within the whole. The characters are all so brilliantly crafted and written as well; especially Smoke, the villain, such a gruesome and horrific figure to imagine. 

By just tapping into a common nightmare and fear of being buried alive, and being ‘awake’ in a coma with no way to communicate or move, Malerman has tapped into something so primal and frightening, and to put it into a landscape that is so unique is genius. Along with a tale of spousal murder (well, planned), and long-lost love in the Old Wild West, this is a something to behold in terms of horror literary fiction.

 

And a MASSIVE thank you to the MAN himself, Josh Malerman, for signing my ARC of ‘Unbury Carol’ and my copy of ‘Bird Box’ at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle in March, and having a chat with me. You made my day! I DID enjoy my time on the Trail!

 

*I received free books from Penguin Random House in exchange for this review. Thank you!

 

 

 

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