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review 2018-03-03 22:05
Whistling in the Dark (Audiobook)
Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen

This is true Tamara Allen sweetness here: a quiet little story full of hope in a bleak time.


Sutton and Jack are WWI veterans trying to figure out how to get back into civilian life after the war. Jack runs an emporium which is struggling because of the economic times. He's also suffering from PTSD, unable to sleep most nights. Sutton suffered a hand injury that has prevented him from getting back to playing the piano, and he's running out of ways to make it on his own in NYC.


I really liked the way Ms. Allen took her time with this story and building up these characters and their relationship, so that while this is another one-month romance, it didn't feel rushed at all, and it actually felt like a lot more time had passed. She really pays attention to the details, like the "treatments" for PTSD and the "health advice" for influenza, and makes sure the characters feel like they're from the time period. Normally, when this many side characters are tolerable of Jack and Sutton's relationship, I'd bemoan "gay okay" revisionist history in M/M, but Ms. Allen never loses sight of the consequences, not just of the general public but of the law as well, if the wrong people find out or decide to spread the word. Plus, it's New York, where almost anything goes. There's also a variety of different ways that the characters react to it when they find out, so they're not exactly 100% on the Rainbow Train even when their responses are mostly positive.


I also liked that Sutton wasn't the wide-eyed country boy, and that Jack wasn't the "corrupting" influence his friends teased him as being. Though they'd both served in the army, they didn't come out of it tough-as-nails warriors like you see so much of in contemporary stories. You can see the weariness on them both, and Jack especially had a hard time forgetting the things he saw or the people who died so he could do his work. They were tired of fighting and eager to put it behind them.


The narrator, Meral Mathews, has a nice old-timey quality to his voice that suits the story. I do wish he'd made more of a distinction between the various voices, but I was still always able to keep track of who was speaking and which POV we were in.

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review 2018-02-04 19:31
Made My Heart Sing
Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen

"And jazz- it didn't sing sweetly, like the music he'd been raised on. It shouted out, fierce to lift the weariest spirit. It could own a fellow's soul if he let it- and even if he didn't " 
I wish I could hear that jazz, played in clubs in New York at that time.

It's one of those books whose characters I want to know personally.
I wanted to listen to Sutton play, go wander the streets at 2 am with Jack, go to their parties and have a drink with them. I wanted to have a friend like Harry...

The author has done an amazing job composing the setting, building masterfully a character at a time when PTSD did not even exist as an idea, when free jazz and "Dixieland" did not hold the significance they do now, and the Prohibition knocking on the door.

This is my favorite book by Tamara Allen and for some strange reason while I read I remembered Palahniuk's words describing the world we live in now : 
" We're the middle children of the history man, no purpose or place, we have no Great war, no Great depression, our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives " 

Whistling in the dark is that one work that made me want to time travel and shake the hands of those characters, who've lived and experienced all that we / for better or worse / can never have

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review 2016-08-24 00:00
Whistling in the Dark
Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen,Me... Whistling in the Dark - Tamara Allen,Meral Mathews

I knew I knew I knew it!


You can ask me HOW COULD I KNOW?

[b:Whistling in the Dark|6112351|Whistling in the Dark|Tamara Allen|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1397431867s/6112351.jpg|6290310] was just my SECOND book by Tamara Allen, and the first one, [b:Downtime|13600507|Downtime|Tamara Allen|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1334335668s/13600507.jpg|6855119], I rated with ONLY 3 stars!


Let me explain you something:

-there are authors I read, rate with 3 stars and I know, I probably NEVER EVER read anything by these authors in my life again.
-and there are authors I read, rate with 3 stars and I know I just NEED to read more of their works. Tamara Allen belongs to THOSE authors.

I think Tamara Allen writes what I expect/like/enjoy in MM Romance.

- a slow-building romance

- characters that make you FEEL/CONNECT

-PLOT!!! It is a story behind. A real story

-SETTING/historical aspect


Of course I'm going to read EVERYTHING this talented author wrote. But I have to warn you:
Even if I rate some of her works with ONLY 3 stars...consider it just as a full moon problem (Ask my hubby, he can explain it to you better). In other words, a bad timing, not a proper mood, common trivialities.

I love the story, I love the characters, oh and HOW I LOVE the ending!..
It is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo romantic, beautiful, touching and emotional.

Some words about the audio book:

I have to add Meral Mathews to my fav narrators.
He created a real great theater/movie in my head.
I didn't have a feeling that it was just a SINGLE narrating person: women, men, old, young, everything(depending on) sounded soooooo different! Simply GREAT!

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review 2016-04-13 14:19
A Good Book For Discussion
Whistling Past the Graveyard Target Club Pick - Susan Crandall

If you enjoyed any of the following titles, then I think you will enjoy this book:


*Secret Life of Bees

*Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

*The Help


The story itself was multi-layered, and I read it for a book club discussion, which was indeed lively and interesting. One of the more interesting ones we've had in a while.


I really enjoyed Starla Claudelle. She defied the odds, to have the gifts we have hidden inside, revealed.


All in all, a fast paced read with interesting characters, that produced a lively book discussion amongst all participants.


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review 2015-12-26 00:56
Whistling Women
Whistling Women - Kelly Romo

By:  Kelly Romo

ISBN:  9781503950887

Publisher: Lake Union 

Publication Date: 11/17/2015

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  3 Stars 

A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Kelly Romo delivers an emotional debut of two estranged sisters, WHISTLING WOMEN, complex relationships, choices, forgiveness, sacrifices, consequences, and family--in an era when women had limited choices.

The novel opens in 1935 in Northern California at the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony where Addie is living. Providing a safe haven for her to hide from a crime.

Addie has read the letter so many times- a letter from her sister, Wavey. Now the residents are packing up to go on an exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego. Her niece Rumor wants to meet her aunt and bring their family together; however, to do so, the women will have to face their past in order to move forward.

Sometimes there is a need for cracks in order for the light to get in.

When the parents die, Addie is sent to an orphan asylum. Later Wavey wants her to come and live with her family. Something happens which is the big mystery. The two sisters are separated, each taking a different turn. Addie belongs to a nudist colony; single, no children. Wavey has two daughters, Mary and Rumor.

Told thought the voices of Addie and Rumor, Whistling Women is an exploration into the values of family and sacrifices. Complex relationships between sisters and the power of love. Mary/Rumor and Addie/Wavey. Secrets bind and at the same time tear apart families.

A little slow at times; however, enjoyed the nudist colony intertwined with the Biblical, sin and wickedness, wit and history of the era.

"A whistling woman and a crowing hen never come to a very good end…or so the saying goes." Some think it means that these are traditionally considered unnatural and improper activities for females, and that females who perform them are unnatural and ill-omened. Everyone has their own interpretation.

There are a couple of interpretations for the saying itself --I like this one: "Be who you’re meant to be. In other words, march to your own beat or drummer. Rather than worrying what other people think of you—Live life as you see fit for YOU."

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Whistling-Women/cmoa/560daad00cf2a7bb74c1f5d2
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