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review 2018-05-11 17:02
Should read for a good take on sex workers
Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work - Melissa Gira Grant

I'm glad I read this book. I'm not sure what my view about prostitution is. I do wish that Grant had more than ancedotal evidence ( and to be fair, she acknowledges her somewhat limited viewpoint). But Grant does have some very good points about how we should see sex workers and how shaming and policing are used to enforce feel good policies that might do more harm than good. If you are interested in the topic, you should read this book, simply for the reframing discussion about how to view sex workers.

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review 2018-04-09 02:20
Personal Training (Work Out, #6) by Andrew Grey Review
Personal Training - Andrew Grey

Determined not to end up like his seventy-year-old diabetic father, Holton knows he needs to make a change. His quest to improve his health drives him to the gym, where he meets Marcus, a trainer with the body of a demigod. For three months Holton works hard, watches what he eats, drops a few pounds—and catches Marcus's eye not only for his slimmer body but for his dedication.

Holton can barely believe it when Marcus asks him out, but he isn’t about to say no. Despite several common interests, though, Marcus and Holton have some roadblocks to overcome. A harrowing event from Holton’s past has made him gun-shy, and Marcus has insecurities of his own. If their relationship is going to work, they’ll have to get past their hang-ups and prove that what really matters is the man inside.

 

Review

 

Holton and Marcus have a romance that is pretty touch and go because they both have lots of things to wade through.

I rooted for them but wanted more emotionial intimacy. I liked the world and cast a lot and will read more in the series and I am a fan of plainer heros.

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review 2018-03-20 20:39
Unsettling, entrancing tale of escaping the traps we're born to
Along the Indigo - Elsie Chapman

Disclaimer: Reviewing pre-publication proof via NetGalley

 

I loved this. Vivid, strong character writing and a fully fleshed-out sense of place from the first page made this an engaging story, and the dark fantasy/paranormal elements, while light, tinted the story with a deliciously creepy atmosphere.

 

Marsden is saving up to skip town with her 8-year-old little sister before one or both of them get roped into joining Nina's girls like their mom. Their dad died (or killed himself) when she was her sister's age, and their mom started working the not-so-secret nightshift in the boarding house they live in/brothel.

 

Being pressured toward sex work isn't the only source of Marsden's misery. She's half Chinese in a white, rural American town. Her mother's job - and her likely future - are an open secret, and the predatory, bullying behaviour of her peers and neighbours has her self-isolating to survive. And she can't hear the voices of the dead - despite regularly visiting the covert behind the boardinghouse to strip the bodies of the dead for cash. It's the last remaining piece of family property, a sort of suicide forest, tainted by the murder spree of a mad ancestor.

 

So there's a lot going on here. The visible minority/POC/mixed ancestry thing is handled well and comes up in Mars & her sister's experience, as well as another boy in town's story. The absent/abusive parent thing is troubling but very well handled, as is the dysfunctional community. And the suicides. There's heaps upon heaps of messed up in this book, but the author doesn't bury you in it. It's an engaging read, atmospheric and challenging without feeling hopeless. It reminds me of Brenna Yovanoff's books, and Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed In Blood just a touch. I think it's set in eastern Oregon or Washington maybe, or one of the prairie/desert states further east of there, but it has more in common with Southern Gothic paranormals. Creepy, foreign and familiar at the same time, unsettling and entrancing. Will circle back to this author's earlier works and follow her future books with great interest. Highly recommended read.

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review 2018-03-02 18:06
Glass Houses (Men at Work: Tall, Dark & Smart #11) - Anne Stuart

Dude on cover looks more like your friendly neighborhood MD or pharmacist than a business tycoon.

 

Heroine owns art deco high rise in NY (and also a modeling agency). Hero is developer who wants to put in a modern plaza on the block her building occupies - the whole block. Alrighty then.

 

I do get that real estate is like, gold there. Seems though that some nods to an architectural gem should be made. I mean; I'm trying to imagine the architect who'd brush off something like that so casually. And maybe thinking they're in the wrong business. Just imagining the reaction if word got out that someone wanted to bring down the Chrysler building and put in a soulless high rise.

 

But that's neither here, nor there. It's just that as a plot point, it's kinda weak. And well, there's not much said about how the surrounding buildings were brought down.

So our H is determined to buy, and our h is determined not to sell. And because his lawyer is having no luck, he decides to try himself. It does backfire on him, because she gets under his skin. It's one of those frenemy sort of things - once contact is made, he keeps finding reasons to see her, even though things always seem to end in an argument...except when they don't.

 

There's a lot of other drama that's kind of filler - a new model for her agency, who tries to blackmail them, the model's ex who wants to know if he really is an ex (because the cow didn't just tell him; she slunk off), the receptionist and her as-yet unrequited crush on a male model (which gets resolved. Yay?). There's also the H knowing the report that the building needs some serious work because it's becoming unstable and using this knowledge to cause damage to the structure.

 

Eventually, the damage has results - the building has to be evacuated. The h, in a moment of enlightenment, signs the papers, gives her receptionist half the agency, and leaves for CA.

 

As grand gestures go, I'd guess deciding to remodel the old building while having new plans drawn up for the rest of the block is a pretty grand one. And it gets her attention - she comes back...and signs that last bit of paperwork she'd ignored all attempts by lawyers to get signed. It's a prenuptial agreement. Sneaky. V. sneaky. She didn't even look at it first; just signed it.

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text 2018-02-28 11:00
Facts About Me: Too Many WIP's - Part 2

I'm a notorious busy bee. I can never stop, even when I'm already in the middle of something, so I usually have at least four or five WIP's (works in progress) on the go at once.

 

Here's a quick glance at some that I'll be working on throughout 2018. And, because I'm so bad at starting a story and not finishing it, or coming up with new ideas when I'm supposed to be doing something else, there are too many for one post, so keep an eye out for more, in the future.

 

~

 

 

When his brother places a personal ad to find 'Josey', an old friend from high school, Lucas couldn't be angrier. Until he learns that his brother made a mistake in the ad. A single typo – turning Josey into Joey – is about to knock Lucas flat on his ass and make his upcoming high school reunion the most awkward night in history.

If only he could regret his brother sticking his oar in where it doesn't belong.

 

~

 

 

There were things he couldn't say...but could someone else?

 

Injustice can make a man bitter, but when Texas is put into prison for defending himself in a bar fight, at just aged twenty, it proves to be a blessing in disguise. His new cell mate, Rigg, is exactly the kind of mystery that Texas craves to solve.

When prison politics rears its ugly head and Rigg and Texas are forced into a more intimate relationship than either expected, things take a turn for the strange. Not that Texas would complain, but his cell mate is painfully straight.

With one year in prison, a sexually giving but emotionally distant cell mate and an emotionally available but sexually off-limits guard peaking his interest, Texas is in a whole lot of trouble.

It will take a knife, a gun, the FBI and a family feud to add the spark to the flame of his life.

 

 

~

 

 

King Lennox Mortas will do anything to seek revenge against the man who killed his father and stole his kingdom. As long as Jerrell Loflin sits in his throne as King of Solrun, Lennox will never stop fighting for justice. Even if that means waiting for Jerrell to bear children and stealing his only male heir on his first night of existence.

The long game begins with Prince Eucen's birth, but will take twenty years to come into fruition, as Lennox gathers the might, wealth and allies who will see him rise to vistory over the tyrant Jerrell.

But can a simple peasant boy change the course of history? Can a young man, barely twenty, not only reunite the kingdoms under its once title of Sanelrun but save the people from two Kings with a personal grudge?

 

Every action had a consequence. Can Lennox see his, before it's too late?

 

 

~

 

 

Waking up in a strange, empty room, with no memories and no name, is only the start of Ayden's nightmare. Alone, kidnapped and confused, falling in love is unexpected. Facing a fight of strength and free will is bad enough, but lust, respect and love are worse.
Can Ayden tame his emotions or will love be his undoing?

 

 

~

 

 

When did no-commitment sex become so complicated?

 

With a growing addiction to being desperately needed, Houston takes up his friend's advice of joining the Dalliance Escort Agency, to get a little cash and feed his addiction. Hooking up with gorgeous men is always on his agenda, so Houston uses his inner wild side to become a team player – literally.

A social party that quickly descends into an orgy destroys his trust and crushes his heart in one night. Just when Houston has chosen the path for his future, in walks the only man who could derail him. Joining an escort service was supposed to let him enjoy his addiction in a safe environment. Instead, it brings a potential boyfriend, a love rival and a strangely sweet, closeted young man into his orbit.

 

 

~

 

 

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