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review 2017-05-01 00:19
Enemy Within - The Executive Order Series
Enemy Within - Tal Bauer

**Spoiler Free Series Review**


As I sit here at my kitchen counter trying to decide what the fuck to say about this series I decide to scroll into Amazon for a look around.  In doing so, I see authors like David Baldacci, Ayn Rand, and of course, Tom Clancy.  And I wonder, what the hell?  Why isn’t this series at the top? 


I suppose if you think about it, becoming the next John Grisham is about like becoming the next Beyonce or the next Leonardo DiCaprio.  There are thousands if not millions of talented people in this world.  And those that make it big just happen to win the lottery.  They make that one connection that leads them to the next big thing.    


Last year I completed my read of the Red Rising series by Pierce Brown.  The first book in this series was written in a matter of months by an unknown 25 year old author in a room over his parent’s garage.  And while this brilliant series got over 120 rejections, once it was picked up, it became a NY Times best seller and is soon to be made into a motion picture.  I love this series and if you have not picked it up…do it.  It is truly unbelievable and like Tal’s series, I was a mess of emotions throughout the entire third book.  So what is it that makes one author a household name?



Part of it no doubt is luck of the draw, and part of it I have to believe is getting recognized by that one person that can make a difference.  A YouTube video goes viral. Why?  There are millions out there with very few hits and it is that one in a million that spreads like wildfire.  And I want this series by Tal Bauer to spread like wildfire...



Because I want everyone to read this…I want everyone to know the brilliance that is created here and to see what I see.  See the magic that forms on the page and experience the heart stopping moments I did.  To be left in such a state they can barely go on.



Because dammit…EVERYONE should look like this when they are at work!!!


And I am not going to lie...several times over the last few weeks we (thanks to my fellow buddy-reader, Marco) seriously contemplated that Tom Clancy had not died at all but just became the author we know as Tal Bauer. I have no idea if Tal even likes Clancy’s work and honestly I have only read one.  But dammit…Clancy was a brilliant storyteller and his accolades included such statements as the following:


"He constantly taps the current world situation for its imminent dangers and spins them into an engrossing tale." —The New York Times Book Review


"Heart-stopping action. . . entertaining and eminently topical." —The Washington Post


"Brilliant" —Newsweek


"Highly entertaining" —The Wall Street Journal


And every single one of these comments could equally be attributed to Tal Bauer’s series.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.  


The Executive Order series is absolutely mesmerizing and the amount of research that went into developing this series is quite remarkable.  Tal weaved a tale so applicable to today’s political situation that it was quite scary at times.  And yet the story told here was so completely different.  From LGBT rights, the Presidency, ties to Russia, to moles and spies infiltrating our political system, to even such things as cloning and the modernization of Islam.  And while I would probably characterize this first and foremost as a political and military drama, the romance is so well done and heartbreakingly accurate that the love between these characters just melds into this story beautifully.  We all hope and strive for inclusion, for a world when it doesn’t matter who we love.  To look upon a person in love and see that their life is full because of this other person.  To accept that love, to encourage that love and to help that love succeed is something we as humans should cherish and want to see.  And as the series progresses, the friendships that are formed and forged are strong because of love.  Love binds us all.   


While the entire series is captivating with situations that leave you catching your breath and constantly on guard wondering who will stab you in the back next…nothing beats this third installment. I swear I was a mess for the better part of this book and left staggering around looking for a place to lie down between chapters.  Fucking hell man. 



Yeah…I might have fangirled a bit here with my thoughts and honestly this review may make absolutely zero sense.  I posted really nothing about this story, these characters and posted no quotes…because you just need to read it!!! 



And if you finish this series and don’t honestly wish that you could elect Jack Spiers right now, then that is really unfortunate because you have clearly missed the reasons why.  I would be so damn proud to call Jack Spiers MY President of the United States.  Maybe one day.


As a side note, I am also making my way through the free bytes on Tal Bauer’s website and what a treat these are.  That there is hope for future installments makes me extremely happy.  Much love for all of these beautiful characters and a special shout out to Captain Anderson…gaaahhh I loved this man too and desperately want a snip-it of him post Enemy Within. : )


My boys… 



And Tal…thank you for this unbelievable ride and for a series that lands on my 6 star shelf.  Cheers to you!



And a special thanks to Elsbeth and Marco...what an amazing BR this one has been.

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review 2017-03-16 17:26
Misfits - Garrett Leigh

Hi.  My name is Cass and I am a 28 year old chef living in the London area.  I thought since my POV in this book was rather lacking I would take a moment to tell you a little about me, and how Jake, Tom and I came together. Yes this could get a little spoilery but hey…you don’t hear from me until the end of this book so really…my feelings on the matter seem to be irrelevant.



I run and own 6 restaurants with my business partner and soul mate Tom.  We have been together 9 years. As Tom likes to say…”we live together, own a business together, and we’re totally committed to each other.”  And yes, I suppose that is pretty accurate.  I grew up with my Nana Dolly and my mother who disappeared when I was 15.  We have always assumed she met her untimely end from a trick that went bad…yeah she was a prostitute so it was risky...but to this day we still don’t fully know what happened to her.  Her departure from my life left me feeling empty. I stole cars, got into drugs and spent a year in prison prior to meeting Tom. I have no idea how I met Tom, how I learned to become such an amazing chef or what made us fall in such love with each other.  But I could not live without him.



Since day one, we have known we were meant to be together, and yet there was always something missing. For one thing, I like to top sometimes and Tom…well...he doesn’t bottom...like ever.  So yes, we fuck around.  But we are always open and honest with each other…telling each other everything.  I am really not sure what Tom doesn’t get from me that he needs someone else, but he still enjoys our “open relationship”.  We are committed and love each other…so it is OK.  There are times we don’t see each other for weeks.  Work keeps us busy and it’s easier to stay closer to work instead of making the trek home to be with each other.  Even still, we manage to find the time to pick up someone else to fill our sexual needs.


There are times Tom makes me feel like shit.  He can be condescending and self-absorbed and his words hurt. I find myself flinching at times like I have been slapped. But I love him. And I would do anything for him. 



It was not until I walked in to find Tom’s new lover, Jake, alone in my bed after his first time with Tom. I knew something was different. As far as I know, Tom doesn’t usually leave a nobody in our apartment alone so this guy meant something.  After a few weeks, I could tell Tom was consumed with thoughts of Jake.  Tom acted different and seemed happier yet conflicted.  So I wanted to see who this person was that was filling this void in my Tom. 



But…Jake was amazing. I fell for him myself and wished I had found him first.  Jake has Tourette’s Syndrome and while it makes him wild at times, I was drawn to him, so curious about this man. I could tell Tom chose to just ignore Jake’s tics but I was fascinated and wanted to know more.  From that first meeting I could tell Jake was uncomfortable being around me…he didn’t understand the open relationship Tom and I had but I could also tell he was comfortable with Tom and wanted him.  I told Tom that Jake was exactly what he needed and Jake needed Tom. 


“You always know when someone needs your help.  You’ve got a sixth sense or something. The fact that he’s hot is a bonus. Find him. Fuck him. Fix him.  It’s what you do.”



Meanwhile, I started texting Jake.  I needed to be sure Jake knew he was right for my Tom and I needed to know this man more as well.  Sounds fucked up and yes for many I guess it is.  But, I mean, even though I bug the shit out of Tom and he says stuff that is hurtful to me and I end up pushing him away, I know he is a good man.  Everyone says so.  And he loves me.  He tells me so and I can see it in his eyes.  But Tom needed Jake.  And I loved my exchanges with Jake too and I could tell we were growing closer. Jake saw things in me that Tom just didn't.  Tom found out and was not too happy (at first)…I guess we do keep secrets sometimes.  But I told him “I wanted to get to know him better.  You can’t give him up, so I figured we should at least be friends.” 


And friends we became.  Jake eventually moved in with us.  We both fell in love with him, but Tom would not fuck me in front of Jake…and I only wanted to watch them together.


“Since Christmas they’d we’d fucked a lot, sometimes with Cass me present, sometimes without. Truth be told, Jake preferred it when Cass I was there, kissing him and whispering dirty things in his ear, and he’d have liked it even more if Cass I joined in. Not that he Jake was going to complain about Tom fucking him every night, Cass me watching or not. Hell no. Though he did wonder when Tom and Cass I found the time to love on each other, because if they we were doing it, they we weren’t doing it in front of him.”


And Jake was right.  We weren’t.  I mean who has the time? I work all the time and honestly prefer to just sleep at the restaurant than make the commute home.  Plus Jake could handle everything. At 24, the guy could do it all.  He single handedly is starting this new restaurant for us, designed and drew the construction documents…


(this is my friend Julie…as an Architect, this kind of shit drives her bat shit crazy)


…is overseeing all the renovations, designing the company’s website and growing our social media presence all while being the best power bottom we have ever met.  Yes, he can do it all…and I don’t even think the guy went to college!


It took nearly 9 months after we started living together for us to come together and bond as three in the way we had always needed.





I still have no idea what we were missing before (other than our relationship was kinda disfunctional), but we had it now.  The open relationship no longer necessary as we each had one night a week with the other, and one night a week with all of us together.  It was scheduled and we were happy. 



All this time later and it is still so hard for me to believe there was never any jealousy between us.  We knew it was right all along. 


“Cass I had felt no jealousy when he’d I’d discovered Jake in their our bed, the sheets rumpled with sex and sleep. No, he’d I'd only felt hope . . . hope that Tom would finally get the life he deserved, a life where his lover didn’t beat him back and shut him out. A life that made his smile reach his eyes every bloody time.”





What a life.


And my friend, Julie, wants to thank Marco for this fantastic BR.  I cannot imagine them making it through our story without each other.  I am sure I have missed so many moving moments in our journey to find happiness but I bet Marco covers those even better than I could.  ;)

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review 2017-01-30 14:40
Thanos - Ella Frank

48 hours later and I am still not quite sure where I stand with this book at all.  So my feelings, my rating and my review may change over time. There is no doubt that I will be rereading this entire series again and again.  So who knows...


For the majority of this book, I was in utter awe.  The way this story plays out is not at all how I imagined.  The relationship between Thanos, Paris and Eton unlike anything I could have envisioned.  Just wow!  The continuation of greek mythology and the Scriptures of Delphi continue to play an important role and how these Gods play into this story was unbelievably crafted.


There is very little sex in this installment at all, but what it lacks in sex it more than makes up for in absolutely beautiful moments of love and devotion between these characters. In the looks, the touches and their actions, these vampires show their ability to love one another.  I was left in tears on more than one occasion.  Leo and his interactions with not only Vasilious and Alasdair, but how he interacts with Thanos was breathtaking.  Some of my favorite scenes of this book actually took place in the floor of a bathroom. Gaaaahhh...I need to go reread this scene again.


For me, it is the conclusion to this series (the epilogue) which has left me in honestly a disheartened state.  




If you know this movie at all, you know what Doc Brown says here and that is all I am going to say.

(spoiler show)



So what does this mean going forward?  I have to believe in my heart that there is more to come for these beloved characters.  Elsbeth and I have spinned countless scenarios to continue this story in our desire for more of Thanos, Paris, Leo, Alasdair...hell what am I saying...I WANT THEM ALL!!!


Until then...Elsbeth, we will carry on in our heads...



Thanks Elsbeth for the BR! <3

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text 2017-01-27 16:12
Thanos - Ella Frank

I gotta think about this.  


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text 2016-12-17 18:59
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
BOYSTOWN Season Five - Jake Biondi

Mind blowing how much happened with that ending. Phew!


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