The Cranberry Hush by Ben Monopoli

the cranberry hushBlurb: Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works in a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can’t seem to act on. Like an old comic book, his life’s colors have started to fade. Everything brightens when Vince’s long-lost friend Griff appears on his doorstep in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff’s girlfriend called them “lifebuddies” — but Vince’s love for Griff had ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven’t spoken in years. Why has Griff shown up again? And, more importantly, can Vince handle his return?

Vince and Griff are two twentysomethings struggling to find their places in the world and in each other’s lives. This is a story of friendship and love, both unrequited and requited, and of learning how to fly through the post-college void, which just might hold more than a cranberry hush.

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Favorite quotes

The tiny pessimistic devil who usually sat on my shoulder and who’d warned me not to even bother with Griffin in the first place suddenly conjured himself in my stomach and began crawling up my throat, making it tight.  I wasn’t sure whether to cry that fucker out or throw him up.  I thought I might do both, and collapse in a puddle of tears and puke.

“But doesn’t it feel weird to have the potential to fall in love with every person you meet?  All your friends?”  “I don’t think so,” I said. “I think it’s weirder to only be able to fall in love with half the people you meet.”

I lived in tones and inflections, in glances and winks and stupid little taps.  I analyzed and sought meaning from stupid meaningless things.  It was a constant tug-of-war between what I wanted and what was reality

3.75 Stars 

This book is weird. This book is about nostalgia and basking in what could have been. It’s also about not being able to move forward until you deal with what’s behind you. It’s also about love.  It’s kind abstract honestly.  All these words are floating through my head, you know, and none if them are really tangible. Its not like one event or a turn of events you can pinpoint and say, “Oh, thats what this book is about.”  Its not like that at all.  The whole book itself is about the intangibles, and being able to move past them. It’s just very weird for me because I am not used to reading these kinds of books.

This book is about everything and nothing at the same time for me.  The love that was written into the story was just very oddly worded for me. I didn’t become emotionally involved with it.  I was kind of detached while reading because the way this was written came off as clinical to me.  I had a hard time getting into the book because of that style. But for some reason I could not put it down.  The transitions between flashbacks and present day were choppy to me.  I found myself going back and having to re-read them to make sure I was in the right time frame.

It seemed that every character had dual representations for Vince.  Griff repesented his past, comfronting it and moving forward.  Zane represented his present and not being able to move forward with it until he dealt with his past. At least that’s how it came across to me.  I’m glad I read it, I just don’t know if I would recommend it. This is one of those books that you have to be very clear on what the persons reading interest are.

Curly Carla_small

Shifters After Dark 6 book box set

shifters after darkUnfortunately, this set is no longer available to get on Amazon. Sorry guys.  I have tried to see if it was on B&N and Kobo but have had no luck. If you know of a store that carries it I would love to know.

You can find it on Goodreads though, not that that is any help: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23456673-shifters-after-dark

Of Wings and Wolves by S.M. Reine

Synopsis: When 20-year-old Summer Gresham, a coed with a secret shapeshifting ability, is singled out for a prestigious internship, she’s stunned to discover Nash Adamson emphatically requested her. A rebel angel in exile, Nash has more than a few secrets of his own. With an angel war in the making and Summer at its crux, Nash has to choose what matters most: their love, or his freedom.

3 Stars

 This book was pretty slow for my tastes.  And the storyline was kinda hard to follow, like it wasn’t very cohesive if that makes sense.  The love portion was decent and the writing was technically sound, but things happened a bit too fast for me and I didn’t connect with the characters on a deep level that I usually do. I don’t think I will be reading the next one.

Seven Years by Dannika Dark

Synopsis: Lexi Knight hasn’t seen Austin Cole since her brother’s funeral seven years ago. Now a dangerous bounty hunter, Austin reveals he’s also an alpha Shifter. But there’s another shocking twist, putting Lexi’s family in danger. Can their relationship be salvaged from the ruins of their past? Book One in a bestselling series about family, second chances, and finding that person who completes you.

4 Stars

I liked this one a lot.  It had struggle both internally and externally.  Lots of action that I love with shifter stories.  And the steamy scenes were very well written.  The only think I will say that didn’t blow me away was the fact everyone wanted her.  It was like some super scent that permeated off her in waves that drove everyone wild with lust.  It didn’t sit well with me for some reason.  I would read the next one.

Hood’s Obsession by Marie Hall

Synopsis: Lilith Wolf, daughter of the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood, is in heat–and being handfasted to the first male in her village to tame her wolf isn’t an option. So when Giles Damien comes calling, she journeys off with him to Fyre Mountain, crossing paths with an angry water dragon, a pub full of Merry Men, and rock dwarves with a taste for flesh … and maybe falling in love. These are the fairy tales no one ever told you about…

4 Stars

I am a huge fan of Marie Hall and have read most of these books already so I immediately liked this one as well.  I fell hard for Giles as soon as he appeared in this book.  Their conversations had a wide range of simple and easy going to intense and heartfelt.  I need to catch up on this series.

Bloodsick by Melissa F. Olson (box set exclusive)

Synopsis: Sashi’s mother warned her not to get involved with werewolf problems. But Sashi, a witch who uses her magic to help cancer patients, has never made a habit of ignoring pain. When she meets an abused shapeshifter, Sashi will risk everything–including her fledgling relationship–to save a woman who can’t save herself. An Old World novella from the author ofDead Spots, Trail of Dead, and Hunter’s Trail.

4 Stars

I think this one is a prequel that was written after the fact.  This one had me a little twitchy. I usually don’t have any triggers when I read but this book is very violent. Extremely violent I would say.  I may have got a little nauseous reading it.  She is very descriptive in her details.  The plot is very intense and a bit complicated. It has so much going on in it and I had to take my time reading it because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with all the storylines going on.  But it has lots of paranormals in it. Witches, werewolves and vampires to name a few.  I like when a book focuses on more than one species.  Like paranormal diversity. J  I am def going to read the next one because I liked it.

The Dark of Twilight by Kate Danley (box set exclusive)

Synopsis: Ever since she was a child working in his kitchen, Aein always longed to join Lord Arnkell’s army. When that day comes and she is sent on patrol with fellow warrior, Lars, it seems her dream has come true. But something has followed her home. When Arnkell’s wedding is interrupted by a werewolf attack, the dream shifts into a nightmare… Book One in the brand-new epic fantasy series Twilight Shifters.

4 Stars

This book took a bit for me to get into.  It had a steady pace and I got a little impatient reading it honestly.  The story is very original though and that’s what kept me from giving up.  It had political intrigue and action along with a bit of romance.  All great things for a well-rounded book in my opinion.  I want to say I will read more of this series but I have so many that I may have to put this one aside for a but and come back to it later.

Heartsong by Kate Danley (box set exclusive)

Synopsis: By night, as a Gabriel Hound, the fae Brinn runs with The Wild Hunt.

3.5 Stars

This book wasn’t bad but it didn’t hold my attention for very long at a time.  The story was good but it moved a bit slow for me.  The details were many and sometimes over abundant for my tastes.  I liked how they were able to share so much of themselves with each other without letting jealousy or vanity get in the way.  And there personalities were more serious than I usually read so that may have made me loose interest as well.  I don’t think I will be reading the next one in this series.

Curly Carla_small