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review 2021-03-29 09:27
The death of love – and what comes after


“Ah, so this is what the world looks like from the epicenter of grief–”


Songs for Solo Voice

By James R. Whitley


This quote from Here, one of the poems in James R. Whitley’s Songs for Solo Voice, sums up this entire book of thirty-five poems.

After a second reading, I realized the works reminded me of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. Though Whitley’s book only has four parts, with a little rearranging and a bit of imagination the poems began to take on a significance for me they didn’t have initially.

The entire collection appears to focus on a failed relationship, the death of love, and begins with works that address anger and bargaining. A stanza from Souvenir says it best, “If I take it all back—the jagged insults hurled like careless daggers, the failing stargazer lilies and their accusations of neglect, every unconscionably late anniversary gift—could there be room left for negotiation?”

In Quite Taken, the bargaining continues for a reprieve from the unrelenting pain: “Does it explain my pleas for mercy that continue long after the church has crumbled to dust around me?”

Depression that comes with loss is expressed in Sostenuto“No matter how striking the tune, the sound after a song has been sung is no sound at all."

The suffering continues, but with a glimmer of acceptance with the realization in Here“is not just where I am, but where I am meant to be.”

Gradually the poems convey a hint of optimism as in Here, Finally, “…there comes a point when you realize that, no matter how long or torturous, no road is your enemy.” By the end of Songs for Solo Voice, the impression is one of reconstruction and working through, “but know that, when it comes to loss, none of us is immune." (Trembling Deliciously) and “…a game played—however badly, however distressing the ultimate defeat— was an option to win something. (The Inside Story of It)

And finally, in She Hangs Brightly, a declaration of hope; “Trust me when I say you will survive this, despite the difficult music lurking in the background. This is just the music of never-forgetting-her, the score of the rest of your life.”

Whitley uses a number of musical terms, which this reviewer did not understand or initially appreciate. But after looking up their definition found them to be remarkably appropriate in subsequent readings.

When read individually, most of the poems in this collection are exceptional for their raw beauty and intensity. However, as a theme, the bitterness and disappointment, the self-flagellating, and accompanying insecurity become burdensome.

Regret, like worry, is unproductive and tedious

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review 2019-11-28 14:34
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Regret at Roosevelt Ranch (Roosevelt Ranch #4) by Elise Faber
Regret at Roosevelt Ranch (Roosevelt Ranch #4) - Elise Faber

@faberelise, #Contemporary, #Romance, 4 out of 5 (very good)


Regret at Roosevelt Ranch is the fourth book in the Roosevelt Ranch series, and we finally get Henry's story. Henry is Kelly's best friend and has been nursing a broken heart for the last five years. Isabella turns up and asks Henry to cater her wedding, a wedding that is never going to happen.

You find out all the twists and turns that have kept Henry and Bella apart for the past five years, and within pages, you are desperately wanting them to get back together. Of course, the path of true love doesn't run that smoothly in Darlington, Utah, so they have their own problems to contend with.

Both main characters and secondary characters help to make this a fantastic story. All our previous couples make an appearance, even if it's only a quick one. The pacing is smooth and will keep you turning the pages.

I thoroughly enjoyed Henry and Bella's story and have no hesitation in recommending this great addition to the series.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/11/28/Regret-at-Roosevelt-Ranch-Roosevelt-Ranch-4-by-Elise-Faber
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review 2018-04-30 14:25
REVIEW BY MERISSA - Regret (Under My Skin #1) by Christina Lee
Regret (Under My Skin #1) - Christina Lee

Regret is the first book in the Under My Skin series, and is a fantastic second-chance romance. Brin fell hard for Nick when he was younger, but due to Nick's 'cowardice' they broke up before things could really get started. Fast forward and Brin finds out that Nick is the roommate of his friend, where he will also be staying whilst his condo is put back together after a flood. Brin finds out he still holds a lot of resentment towards Nick, and feelings too. He is confused over what he feels, and gives Nick hell, who just seems to accept everything Brin throws at him. Brin becomes intrigued and is determined to find out more, as Nick continues to worm his way past Brin's defences and into his heart.


This story is a second chance story, with a hint of enemies to lovers, and also an openly gay vs. closeted in the mix too. There is something here for everyone, and it is exceedingly well told. Although Brin can hold onto a grudge, he is also prepared to accept people have changed. It may take him a while, but he isn't completely closed off to the notion. As for Nick, boy, that man really needs to have some therapy. I can completely understand the guilt he feels, but to hold onto it for so long, so strongly, well, it made my heart break.


With no editing or grammatical errors that disrupted my reading flow, this was a story that pulled me in and wouldn't let go until I'd finished. Absolutely brilliant, and definitely recommended by me.


* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *



Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!


@Christina_Lee04, #M_M, #Contemporary, #Romance, 5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2018/04/30/Regret-Under-My-Skin-1-by-Christina-Lee
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review 2018-01-02 19:53
There were certainly no regrets here from reading 'Regret Me Not'...
Regret Me Not - Amy Lane

'Regret Me Not' started out good for me. I have to admit I totally got where Pierce was coming from...done it, seen it, been there and I remember, oh boy do I remember I was that grumpy old person, lashing out at the people who loved me and wanted to help me and then regretting the words as soon as they were out of my mouth. Wanting to take back everything I'd said but not being able to. Frustrated because the things that I'd taken for granted being able to do I couldn't, knowing that some of it was temporary and some was stuff that I'd be able to do again someday when I was fully recovered but at the end of the day that didn't help a lot when dealing with my frustration...so yeah, I really got where Pierce was coming from. 


Pierce takes refuge at his friend Derrick's Florida condo and on his first venture out to the pool to do some aqua therapy he finds himself being coached by an attractive young man who really seems to know his stuff when it comes to therapy. Hal's hiding out at his parent's condo...he's lonely, frustrated and just generally trying to get control of his life. He's been in school for 5 years trying to get his degree which would be a whole lot easier to accomplish if he wasn't squeezing the courses he wanted in between the ones his parents think he needs. Hal wants to be a pysio therapist...his parents want him to be a lawyer and probably not gay would be good in their eyes too.


Pierce and Hal fit together like puzzle pieces. Pierce needs help not just getting his body back in shape but getting his heart and soul in order too. Hal needs to help. He's a nurturer, helping people is in his soul, it's an integral part of who he is.


Hal thinks Pierce is a unicorn but Pierce...well, Pierce knows that the unicorn is Hal. He's bright and shiny, special and unique and Pierce is sure that he's too old and just not the good person that Hal sees in him. 


I loved how well Hal and Pierce fit together, how good they were for each other and to each other. This was a sweet story about two people getting the best gifts of all for Christmas...the gifts of friendship, love and family. 


Best of all a the end of the story when I thought I was going to have to have to say good-bye to this adorable pair, Ms. Lane gives the reader one last gift the promise of more...Pierce and Hal will be continuing their adventures and they'll be shared on the author's blog. I know I look forward to continuing to find out more about Hal and Pierce as they continue to go through life together sharing whatever comes their way.



An ARC of 'Regret Me Not' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-08-21 18:02

Been an interesting and eventful few months since my last post.  I've been reading but not doing much in the way of reviewing.  Hope to get back into the swing of it.  Hope everyone has been doing well!

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