Reunited by Daniel Gothard

reunitedBlurb: In 1992, Ben Tallis is coming to terms with the recent death of his father. His ability to cope isn’t helped by the fact he’s secretly in love with one his best friends. At least keeping a daily journal helps him make sense of events, and he believes it’s the perfect preparation for his plan to one become a successful journalist. In 2012, Ben has achieved his career ambition—he’s a highly respected journalist and is engaged to a hardworking and ambitious lawyer. But this seemingly “perfect” relationship is fraught with problems. Ben mentions in passing to his editor he has received an invitation to a 20 year school reunion but doesn’t want to go. His editor, however, smells a great feature article and insists Ben returns home, faces his past—including his secret teenage yearning—and writes a feature on how much we change and yet in so many ways stay the same. As Ben reluctantly re-engages with his past, he soon comes to realize that we can never run from the truth—or who we truly are.

Netgalley

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2 stars

I was not a fan of this book.  I found it boring and slow  moving.  It was supposed to be my book bingo block for a comedy.  I didn’t laugh once so I’m not using it, especially since I just realized that I already have that block covered.  I honestly don’t know what else to write. It was the opposite of good.

I thought the MC was whiny and immature.  He kept looking at his fiance as someone who was keeping him in line because he was always messing up.  And the fiance left him for a very long time over one little fight.  I’m not exaggerating, she came home from work and they had an argument, then she left him and wouldn’t return his calls or emails for days!  So you argue and then you just leave?  You take off and avoid the conflict, that sounds childish to me and I was over their relationship pretty quickly after that.

I liked the flashbacks.  High school teenage angst I get. Scared of rejection?  I get that.  But I failed to see how any of it was humorous.  I know that european humor is different than us over here in the states but I have never had this issue before and I love to read Euro and Aussie books.

I guess I can chalk this one up to a fluke.  I got this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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STATUS by Jordan Belcher

statusBlurb: In social media, nothing is what it seems … Tyesha Fenty is a beautiful 22-year-old mother of one very precocious little girl—and an unashamed internet addict. Between taking care of her daughter and posting updates about her life via the Web, Tyesha stresses over love and family. The father of her child is a spiritually devout drug dealer named Rodrick Al-Bashir who has a thing for other women. And her mother, Velma Fenty, is a widowed hoarder on the verge of losing her house.

Stalking is the least of Tyesha’s worries, until one of her social media “friends” starts showing up at her gym, at her job, and at her home. Soon tragedy strikes, and when detectives catch her stalker—and just as quickly release him—Tyesha is forced to take matters into her own hands.

Be careful what you post … he’s watching …

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This book satisfies my African-American mystery book spot.

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2 stars

The blurb was written amazing and the cover was great too; it is what initially caught my eye.

But this book wasn’t very good for me. There is hardly any showing but loads of telling. The action scenes are poorly described and the kid seemed to have been thrown in as a plot device. There were hardly any emotions written so it was hard to know what anyone was feeling. And there was little to no character development. No growth at all. The only good thing about this book is the dialogue. But it far outweighed any anything else so the book seemed a bit lopsided.

I didn’t get how having a guy stay faithful to you meant you won over some over bitches or you were better than them. It really just made her look stupid. As if the dude dealing drugs was such a great catch. She had an AA degree and worked at the DMV! She was the catch for him. And her friends were assholes. They treated her like crap and she seemed way more concerned with how she looked online than how she actually felt.

The way the story played out could have been excellent and I think it had great potential. But the characters need to be more fleshed out and emotive. I especially loved how her life was online, that part I can relate to and is the main reason I picked this book to read for my book bingo challenge. I don’t think I will read the rest of the series though, it just had too many cons and not enough pros.

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Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

two-boys-kissingBlurb:  David Levithan tells the based-on-true-events story of Harry and Craig, two 17-year-olds who are about to take part in a 32-hour marathon of kissing to set a new Guinness World Record—all of which is narrated by a Greek Chorus of the generation of gay men lost to AIDS. While the two increasingly dehydrated and sleep-deprived boys are locking lips, they become a focal point in the lives of other teen boys dealing with languishing long-term relationships, coming out, navigating gender identity, and falling deeper into the digital rabbit hole of gay hookup sites—all while the kissing former couple tries to figure out their own feelings for each other.

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Favorite Quotes: 

Your humor is your compass and your shield. You can hone it into a weapon or you can pull its strands out to make your very own cotton-candy blanket. You can’t exist on a diet of humor alone, but you can’t exist on a diet without it, either.

It is one thing to show someone your best, cleanest version. It’s quite another to make him aware of your deeper, jagged self.

Neil has assumed that love was like a liquid pouring into a vessel, and that the longer you loved, the more full the vessel became, until it was entirely full. The truth is that over time, the vessel expands as well. You grow. Your life widens. And you can’t expect your partner’s love alone to fill you. There will always be space for other things. And that space isn’t empty as much as it’s filled by another element. Even though the liquid is easier to see, you have to learn to appreciate the air.

4 stars

I think this book was excellent.  It was written from the POV of past/dead gay people. The narrative used the word ‘we’ a lot.  At first I didn’t recognize who it was referring too but figured it out pretty quick.  As someone who grew up during this time frame, I could see how each story related and how it would have been quite different then as opposed to now.  I remember the fear then, the blame that was placed and the hate that was spewed wantonly through my peers and the news.  Mostly I remember being afraid and not knowing why.

This book goes through many different specific gay encounters including some very intense self introspection.  My favorite was the pink haired boy and the blue haired boy.  I could totally see how that encounter would have played out in the early 80’s.  I was afraid for them. The two boys kissing being the main encounter that pulls most of their stories together. Its not really a story with a plot line and climax.  Its more of a then and now kind of perspective. I was quite enthralled throughout and will be looking for more books by this author in the future.

Oh and this book satisfies my YA LGBT book bingo being hosted by Just Another Girl and her Books.  I’m almost done Katie! And it’s one of the most challenged books in 2015, making it a perfect read for banned books week. I know its already passed but I try to read at least one during that week.

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Expired Listings by D.M. Barr

expired-listingsBlurb: House up for sale?
When the lockbox goes on,
You won’t believe what these agents pull off …

Someone is ‘deactivating’ the Realtors in Rock Canyon and almost no one seems to care. Not the surviving brokers, who consider the serial killings a competitive boon. Not the town’s residents, who see the murders as a public service. In fact, the only person who’s even somewhat alarmed is Dana Black, a kinky, sharp-witted yet emotionally skittish Realtor who has no alibi for the crimes because during each, she was using her empty listings for games like Bondage Bingo with her sadistic lover, Dare. And yet, mysteriously, all clues are pointing her way.

Along with clearing her name and avoiding certain death at the hands of the ‘Realtor Retaliator,’ Dana has an even bigger problem: she’s inadvertently become a person of interest in more ways than one to Aidan Cummings, the sexy albeit vanilla detective investigating the case. While his attentions are tempting, Dana is torn—does she continue her ironically ‘safe’ but sterile BDSM relationship with Dare, or risk real intimacy with Aidan?

Kink, Suspense and Satire–Expired Listings masterfully combines all three while exploring the universal need for validation and the toxic nature of revenge.

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4 stars

I didn’t realize there was no actual sex in the book.  ::face palm:: I did it. I totally judged a book by its cover!  And what a fabulous cover it is!

The MC is hilarious in this book.  Her wit and charm are effortless and I love how she incorporates her BDSM lifestyle into this book without it being raunchy or uncouth.  If anything it made me more interested in this lifestyle. 🙂

The author wrote the people who are part of this lifestyle three dimensionally.  They are not sex symbols nor are they sex addicts.  They are normal people with normal jobs who happens to have abnormal tastes in what turns them on.  They have families and day jobs, they go out on lunch dates and gossip.  The author made it seem all very normal and ordinary.  Which shows me how talented she is.

Combine that with her mommy issues and you’ve got a recipe for a great multifacated story. It reads almost like a cozy, but it is not.  The mystery was very well laid out, I pegged the whodunit way later in the book than I normally do so that was pretty cool for me.

While I don’t usually read mysteries now a days, if these are the kind that are being published, I could be persuaded to pick them back up.

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Haven (War of the Princes #1) by A.R. Ivanovich

havenBlurb: From missing socks to missing people, nothing could remain hidden from seventeen year-old Katelyn Kestrel for long, but after locating a forbidden passage out of her isolated country, Haven, she discovers for the first time that there are some things that should never be found. Outside the safety of her homeland’s borders, Katelyn meets Rune, a young soldier who will die without her immediate aid. She never considered that helping him would lead to her capture. While being held prisoner by the handsome Lord Dylan Axton, she learns that the outside world is rife with war and controlled by people with extraordinary powers. It becomes clear that there was a very good reason the founders of Haven locked their people away from the rest of the world. The depth of her peril reaches a fever pitch when a ruthless Commander wants Katelyn dead. Her only hope is to return to Haven, but can she survive long enough to find her home?

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5 Stars

First off, can I say I liked the other cover better.

This book was so gloriously awesome I don’t know how I have never heard of this author before.  This book is classified as steampunk and while it has elements of that sub-genre, it wasn’t the main focus of the book like other steampunk’s I have read before.  I would classify this book as being a dual genre for that reason.

But it was glorious!  From the world building to the abilities everyone had, the differences between the nations and the push and pull of the emotions!  Everything was lined up so perfectly and just collided into this amazing read.  It has already crept up the ranks to become one of my favorite books.

I think the detail the author puts into each character is what really won me over.  I love character depth and this book has it in spades!  Each character is completely different and unique.  They all have something to offer to the story as a whole and there are no token characters.

The love that blossoms in a time of war always gets me so much harder because its felt so deeply.  I just love this book and can’t wait to see what the other books have in store for me

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A Cutthroat Business (A Savannah Martin Mystery #1) by Jenna Bennett

a-cutthrat-businessBlurb: Everyone has warned new-minted realtor Savannah Martin that real estate is a cutthroat business. But Savannah doesn’t think she’s supposed to take the warning literally … until an early morning phone call sends her to an empty house on the ‘bad’ side of town, where she finds herself standing over the butchered body of a competitor, face to face with the boy her mother always warned her about.

Rafe Collier is six feet three inches of testosterone and trouble; tall, dark, and dangerous, with a murky past and no future—not the kind of guy a perfect Southern Belle should want to tangle with. In any way. But wherever Savannah turns, there he is, and making no bones about what he wants from her.

Now Savannah must figure out who killed real estate queen Brenda Puckett, make a success of her new career, and avoid getting killed—or kissed—by Rafe, all before the money in her savings account runs out and she has to go back to selling make-up at the mall.

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4 Stars

This blurb is misleading for me.  For instance, the  “making no bones about what he wants from her.” is wrong.  Maybe I’m dense but it didn’t seem he wanted anything from her. Actually it seemed he was indifferent to her.   And she made it very clear from the beginning that she wasn’t into him.  They both seemed very cordial to each other, I never felt any goosebumps from their interactions and she was dating someone else during their meetings anyway.  So that knocked a star off right away since its classified as a romance.

Other than that, this book was a pretty quick read for me.  A clean NA Mystery that was very fun to read and solve.  OK, so I never figured out the whodunit, having to wait till the end and see.  But its the journey my friends, the journey!

I really enjoyed how flawlessly Savannah was able to get info out of people.  It didn’t seem forced or awkward. Her southern belle charm was so over the top as to be funny to me. She was so ridiculously polite and very demure, but it was intentional.  Therefore her going out of her comfort and investigating this murder on her own was pretty neat to experience with her.

Rafe was no one special to me, I actually got annoyed with him pretty early on. His flirtations were half hearted and incomplete to me.  It was like he was just doing it for the attention.  Trying to get under her skin for the sake of getting under her skin.  Which turns me right off.  He did take helping her seriously, which I appreciated.

All in all, I wouldn’t classify this as a romance in the slightest, but its a great mystery.

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Behind the Stars, Complete Series (Behind the Stars #1-6) by Leigh Talbert Moore

Behind the starsBlurb: Prentiss Puckett is certain of three things:
-Graduation is two weeks away.
-Summer only gets hotter in south Mississippi.
-She’s getting a job with air-conditioning.

She did not expect to be kidnapped walking to work.
And she never expected to become a hero.

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5 stars!

This book clears two of my challenge spots.  An alien invasion Sci/Fi hosted by Just Another Girl and Her Books and a finishing the series hosted by Bea’s Book Nook.

This was not what I was expecting at all! I’ve read a few books by LTM and I expected the story line to be similar in this book.  I have never loved being wrong more in my life.  This story starts off with a bang.  Literally within the first few paragraphs you see what the main story line is.

You may be wondering how I could have NOT known about the alien invasion part when its clearly in the blurb.  Well, I don’t normally read blurbs if I can help it.  Most of my recs come from other book lovers and bloggers.  I rarely do any pro-active searching for a book. There are so many books out there and I’ll admit, I’m lazy when it comes to looking for books.  So I just put my ear to the ground and listen to others recs.

At any rate, this series started out a bit slow but it held my interest anyway.  There was intrigue, suspense, strength of character and hopelessness.  It ran the scope of emotion for me, as each character contributed to one extreme of emotion or another.

Prentiss  (Love that name) was a simple, country girl who held no ambition in life but to be the wife of a farmer.  She didn’t think she was special or smart and she wasn’t intent on climbing any ladders; be they social or professional.  She was content with her life.  And I liked that about her.  I too, am content with my life.  We see her growth as a character in this book and its subtle enough that I didn’t find it too fast.  The strengths she thought she saw were in others were actually being exhibited by her once she was out of the shadow of the one she planned on spending her life with.

It was a wonderful path we followed with her.  She was so unassuming in the beginning, and we go on a journey of self discovery with her, realizing that the slightest change in circumstance can make an enormous difference in how you look at yourself.  The romance subplot was just a bonus for me.  I would have been happy if it was just about her.

Just….go read this.  The first one is FREE!!!

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Back in the Saddle (Double S Ranch #1) by Ruth Logan Herne

Back in the saddleBlurb: It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why.

Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor.  And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good?

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5 stars

I loved the cover.  This book has a lot to offer.  A diverse MC, a christian lesson and a great story.  This is my second christian romance and I gotta say I am pleasantly surprised I like them.  Usually I am very much into graphic sex, but this was a nice change of pace for me.

Colt is smart, responsible and a bit bitter towards his father.  With good reason, but I’ve always found that it takes too much effort to hold that anger inside and for long periods of time.  His character seemed to learn this as well, which made me identify with him and quite frankly like him more.  His character is a bit more serious than I am used to.  I really like how he seemed to realize that money was not all it was cracked up to be and how family was a blessing not to be ignored.

Angelina is a sassy, out spoken Latina with a fierce devotion to her family and the good book.  I liked how she took charge at the ranch and in her family life but I found her a bit too proud for my tastes.  She was very outgoing and always ready to help a friend or neighbor out.  Her protective instincts towards her family were admirable but a bit too overdone IMO.

Honestly, this book reminded me a bit (a small bit) of P&P.  One of my favorite books.

Ruth Logan Herne Bio

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I received the product above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC guidelines.

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Brooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy

Brooklyn on fireBlurb: After closing a case with the Brooklyn Police Department, Mary Handley is determined to become an official detective in her own right. And when Emily Worsham shows up at her new office— convinced her uncle John Worsham was murdered and desperate for answers—Mary’s second assignment begins.

As she investigates the curious circumstances surrounding John’s death, Mary soon finds herself entangled in a high-stakes family scandal, a series of interconnected murders, political corruption, untrustworthy sources, and an unexpected romance with a central member of New York’s elite.

Featuring historic figures like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and the Vanderbilt family, Brooklyn on Fire takes Mary on a wild journey from New York City to North Carolina to uncover not only the truth of one man’s death, but to unravel the mystery in three murders – with links tied perilously close to her own personal world.

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4 stars

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.  This book took me a while to get through.  It had so much going on that I confess to not being smart enough to figure out the whodunit till the very end.  This happens so rarely that I’m still trying to wrap my head around it.  There were so many things wrapped up in the plot that I got confused and lost interest for a bit.  The many crimes that happened seemed to be separate but by the end you get a clear picture of how they were connected.

Mary is a feminist in a world before it was cool to be that way.  She is extremely smart and charming and has a knack for making the men in her life see past her gender.  One of the best things I enjoyed about this book is that a lot of the things that occurred in the book also happened in real life.  The notes in the back of the book were very interesting to look through.  And it had a bunch of questions specifically designed for book clubs.

I loved her rational approach and her ambition to want more than her gender normally had at that time.  I also was quite impressed with her selfless approach to her love life and how she didn’t care what most people thought.  She wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, but she wasn’t reckless and knew when to remain silent as well.

Her family life is the opposite of her professional life giving her character a nice contrast that I enjoyed. Even though this is the second book in the series, you can read it as a stand alone.  I would recommend this book to mystery lovers.  I really dig the cover too.

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The Beautiful Dead (The Beautiful Dead #1)by Daryl Banner

beautiful deadBlurb: She’s dead.

In fact, the whole world’s dead. Every single person, apparently. Unburied and reimagined into a beautiful living-dead woman called Winter, she is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in a quaint, peaceful city with no hunger, no sickness and no bills to pay. Her Second Life is perfect in every way possible.

So why is she so bent on destroying it all?

After angering the mayor, befriending rebel headless teenagers and igniting romance with a dark and brooding neighbor, she finds herself wrestling madly with a First Life she cannot remember and this Second Life she cannot accept. Not to mention the maniacal army of rotting corpses who want her dead. Again.

But none of that matters in comparison to an even worse problem. There’s a guest in her house. A rude, good-looking man on the run … a man with a heartbeat.

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5 Stars

Ok first off, I have to say that the blurb doesn’t do this book ANY kind of justice.  It’s soooo much more than what is written.  Think negative space, look between the lines.  I think thats why it took me so long to start it honestly, it didn’t sound that interesting to me.

This book was wonderfully different than what I was expecting.  I have read his Brazen Boys series and  was expecting a bit more in the romance department because of that.  I’m glad it wasn’t like the other series.  To have more romance would have definitely taken away from the story.

The concept of undead having more than one type was kinda cool.  We don’t only have one type of human so it makes sense that the undead wouldn’t have just one type either.  This book had a great ebb and flow to it.  I would get sucked in to one part then out of nowhere, something else would pop up all shiny and attractive.

I honestly didn’t know where the story was going until I got closer to the end. Then everything kind of just fell together. The author did a great job of keeping my attention.

Bottom line, you should probably read this book, ya know, if you like good books.

book bingoThis book fills my Science Fiction Post-Apocalyptic book bingo spot.  A reading challenge I am doing from a fellow blogger Just Another Girl and Her Books.

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