The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

Blurb:
23252517If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.

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My Review:
4 stars — I’m often loathe to read books that are so highly regarded by so many people, b/c I’m always worried I will be the black sheep.  And I sort of am in a way for this book, in that unlike my friends, this was not a full 5 star read for me.  In fact, part 1 was not super compelling for me.  Ms. Harmon’s writing is really beautiful, but it’s not always my favourite style personally.  It’s really…lyrical?  Or you know, just more formal and literary-like than is usually my bag.  I just end up enjoying more straightforward writing sometimes.  Ms. Harmon is actually one of the few authors that tends to break me from my norm b/c her storylines are just very heartfelt and emotional, and they are worth taking me outside my comfort zone.

I was so glad that a few of my friend’s reviews mentioned that this story had a paranormal aspect, b/c I would have been really surprised otherwise.  Not that I don’t love a paranormal touch, but I hadn’t expected it from this story when I bought it so long ago.  But it was really intriguing, and I loved the way it was woven into the story, and the way it was described.  And how it changed and molded Moses, and how it affected his relationship with Georgia.

So why did Part 1 not compel me?  It was Moses.  He was kind of a dick.  I mean, I could sort of understand why he was the way he was, and I sort of understood how he became that way and why he acted the way he did towards Georgia…but at the same time I needed something to pull me in, and I don’t feel like I got enough from his perspective to really have me give him enough benefit of the doubt.

And Georgia was definitely more interesting of a character, but I couldn’t always understand who she was all the time either.  But I think that’s my failing, not the failing of the book.  I enjoyed how different she was, how spunky and straightforward and how she saw something special in Moses.

I didn’t expect all the different aspects to the story…not just the paranormal aspect, but the mystery as well.  And while I could see that the mystery was going to come into play, I can say that I didn’t predict the outcome to that at all.  And while I knew this book was going to slay me, I don’t think I knew in quite what way and so it still really got me.  I’m definitely glad I packed my pockets full of kleenexes for the end of this story, b/c I used them all.

So in the end it was part 2 that really made this book for me.  It was full of heartache and beauty and growth and just sucked me in and made me feel and gave me exactly what I was looking for.  And now I’m definitely going to have to read Running Barefoot.  Super intrigued.  And that’s my distracted review.

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Waking Up Alive by Emma Shortt

Blurb:
28012875After surviving the zombie apocalypse for two years, Tye LeBow never expected to be saved from a hungry gang of zombies by a geek with a bad attitude and a penchant for explosives. Tye can’t quite work out why scientist Polly Parker saved him. She doesn’t want his protection, and she certainly doesn’t want his company. But Tye has no intention of leaving the beguiling geek behind.

Polly doesn’t want to leave her home, but when the wakers begin to show signs of a burgeoning intelligence, heading south is the only option. With a car packed full of homemade explosives, and Tye’s very large axe, they are ready for the road trip of their lives.

Bombs and blades aren’t the only keys to survival–they’ll need to rely on each other, in a way that neither could have imagined…

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I moved this book up on my TBR b/c I’m trying to read books featuring black characters for black history month, and from the cover I assumed Tye was black.  I feel like there are different reasons for having diverse characters, and if your reasons are to see things from the perspective of someone of a different race (in this case black), then I’m afraid you’d be disappointed.  It really didn’t come into play at all.  Perhaps because it’s the zombie apocalypse, and race is the least of anyone’s worries.  It’s also just nice to have representation, which is the other reason to have diverse characters, and this would have worked for that.

So after that long winded paragraph, I was definitely entertained by this novel, but it never succeeded in truly sucking me in.  Everything was just good for me, but not great.  Well, except maybe Tye.  He was such a sweet but still badass guy.  Polly was a bit harder to fall in love with, an I must say that I don’t think I ever really did.  I enjoyed her, she was likable, but I tend to gravitate towards snark and sass, and Polly lacked most basic social skills.  There was one point where Tye talks about her sense of humour, and I thought to myself “what sense of humour?”  I guess I like to see it, rather than be told it exists.

If you’re looking for a romance, I would say that Polly and Tye’s may not quite satisfy you.  It was definitely sweet, and I really did feel a connection between them, but it didn’t give me butterflies.  And it’s not because there were only maybe a few light kisses, it was more just that Polly is such an odd character internally that I was just never swept off my feet and believed her tummy flips.  I will say that their connection as companions is FANTASTIC.  I really felt how much they needed each other and cared for each other.  Not sure if I’m making any sense, b/c that probably sounds contradictory.  It was like more than friends, but I didn’t quite get any sexual chemistry (which can exist even in clean reads).

Now as far as a zombie book goes, I thoroughly enjoyed the action, suspense, and overall questions of how one would survive and what would that do to the people left.  I will note that I don’t read many zombie books, so I cannot give a comparison to what is out there.  And I also did not read book 1 in this series, but other than making me a bit curious about Jackson and Luke’s story, I didn’t feel I missed anything.

I enjoyed the different reactions to the zombies that both Polly and Tye had, and how they viewed those people.  I was actually intrigued to see a view into the zombies thought processes, I hadn’t been expecting that, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel, but in the end I felt it worked for the book.

I’m not sure if I will read more in the series.  If I didn’t have a HUGE TBR, I definitely would.  But given I do have too many books to read, if I don’t get to it I won’t be heartbroken.

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Hot Licks by A.M. Arthur

Blurb:

33238136Benji Moore is living his dream traveling as the lead singer of his band. His life would be perfect if he could get his boyfriend, Josh, to commit to an exclusive relationship.

Even though Josh loves Benji, he has good reasons not to trust in long-term relationships. So Josh decides to take some time to himself and sublets a room at a friend’s beach house. But when he walks into the nearby Off Beat bar, he finds a bartender who may be a good distraction from his relationship problems.

Van Holt doesn’t do anything deeper than sweaty one-night stands. But when Josh sets his sights on him, Van is surprised by their connection. Except Van also doesn’t do complicated, and the situation between Josh and Benji defines complicated. But the more time Van spends with them, the more he’s realizing how hard it would be to let Josh and Benji go.

Can the three of them find a way together, or will they all end up going solo?

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Well damn, that was even better than I was anticipating.  Again, with this series I dove in to the 2nd book without reading the first, and I had some conflicting feelings about that story and the amount of angst it contained.  So when I was offered a widget for this book, I took it with some trepidation.  Because I don’t mind angst, but I don’t seek it out as some do.  But I was really intrigued finding out that this was Van’s story, and while I didn’t really know much about Benji and Joshua b/c they were probably more heavily featured in the first book that I missed, I still really wanted to find out what their story would be like.

And can I just say before I get to the meat of my review that the blurb really doesn’t give a good feel for the story and what all in contains?  Because it’s really just a taste of the very beginning of the story, but there is so much more to it.  And as another side niggle, they usually called him Joshua, rarely Josh.  And also, can I just say I’m not a fan of the guy on the cover?  I’m assuming that’s supposed to be Benji, but I really didn’t get the impression that he was that cut.  Van’s really the only one that would fit that physical description for me.  OK, enough with the superficial.

So while this book still had the problem of having angst up the hoo-ha, it didn’t have a lot of the side story angst that the previous book was bogged down in.  I still feel like it seemed a bit much for each main character to have their own tragic childhood story, but I could deal with it a bit more for some reason.  Maybe because I expected it?  Or maybe it just was because at least there wasn’t outside tragedies happening as well that we had to encounter.  And even though Van’s tragic story was left til the end, it fit with his character and I wasn’t surprised by this.  I thought each of their childhood traumas were given the proper respect and resolution within their relationship.

I had no idea that this story was going to deal with the gray asexual spectrum, and I actually found that it was dealt with quite well, b/c it is really complicated and all over the place, and Benji’s story gave us a flavour of someone within the spectrum.  I ADORED that part.  And I was satisfied in the way it played out in the story.  I was a bit disappointed that Van’s pansexuality was never explored, but I guess it didn’t really need to be.

I also really loved the way the story addressed poly relationships, and how much time and thought all 3 men took when considering it for themselves.  I was especially intrigued since this story contained an established couple, but I never felt like I missed out on anything.  It all flowed really nicely, and I loved the way it all expanded when Van was added to the mix.  I felt the chemistry between all 3, and the steamy scenes were fantastic.

Honestly, I have no idea why it doesn’t get full 5 stars.  Just a gut feeling.  Probably because of my personal preference away from angst.  But yeah, it was nice to see all the things that bothered me about book 2 not becoming a problem in this book as well.  And it was nice to see glimpses of the characters we knew from the other stories, I always love that.  One tiny note: if you read this book first, you will get a bit of a spoiler for book 2.  But I don’t think it would spoil it enough that you couldn’t go back and read it and enjoy it.

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A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Blurb:

30376044Sora’s life was full of magic–until she discovered it was all a lie.

Heir to Mt. Fuji’s spirit kingdom, Sora yearns to finally take on the sacred kami duties. But just as she confronts her parents to make a plea, a ghostly army invades the mountain. Barely escaping with her life, Sora follows her mother’s last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while her parents’ true daughter remained safe but unaware in modern-day Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own. Now, with the world’s natural cycles falling into chaos and the ghosts plotting an even more deadly assault, it falls on her to train the unprepared kami princess.

As Sora struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the draw of an unanticipated ally with secrets of his own, she vows to keep fighting for her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for one mortal girl to make a difference in this desperate war between the spirits, she may have to give up the only home she’s ever known.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I’m a day late, but I started reading this book to fulfill the January theme for one of my Diversity challenges, which was “Stories based on/ inspired by diverse folktales/culture/mythology.”  This book fit that theme PERFECTLY and I’m so glad I picked it up with this challenge in mind, b/c I was thoroughly entertained by Sora’s story!  This is not a book that typically piques my interest, as I tend to go for either contemporary or more modern paranormal/sci-fi.  But after reading a review from Lillian @Mom With a Reading Problem, it sort of just stuck with me.  So when I saw it go on sale, and noticed it matched the diversity theme, I snatched it up.

So after that long-winded explanation…ahem.  I really loved that this one introduced me to some mythology from Japan.  It was all so enchanting, and I loved the blending of the world of the Kami with the modern world in Japan.  I’m not really a huge fantasy reader b/c I enjoy the linking back to the real world, so I loved that this was both…I guess kind of urban fantasy then, eh?  If you couldn’t tell, I’m really not that familiar with the genre.

I loved the uniqueness of Sora’s journey.  So often we read about a seemingly ordinary girl who actually has extraordinary powers and saves everyone.  In some ways Sora’s story was kind of opposite.  She grew up thinking she was a being of extraordinary powers, but in the end she was a normal human.  But it was her normal humanness that helped save everyone (sort of).  I really LOVED that.  I loved seeing her struggle with the lies she had been told, and how she would deal with her new reality, eventually coming to embrace what it meant.  I enjoyed Sora as a narrator, I thought her struggles were relatable and she grew in a reasonable way.

And the plot kept me hooked!!  I enjoyed the journey the whole group went on to fulfill the prophecy and defeat the bad guys.  There was exciting fight scenes and intriguing plot twists.  I was up til 3am reading this bad boy, before I had to finally put it down.

I’m not a fan of love triangles, but this one only bugged me a little since it was pretty shallow, though I will admit that I fell for the first boy and didn’t give the second boy nearly enough of a chance, so I didn’t really get totally on board with the romance.  It’s funny, b/c I tend to require romance in the books I read, but I wasn’t super invested in this one.  It had some great butterfly moments, but I wasn’t always convinced of the feelings involved.  Perhaps I didn’t get what was drawing them together outside of attraction.

As for the side characters, I really enjoyed them and loved that they all had some depth, with both admirable qualities and flaws.  I thought Chiyo would annoy me, but I actually came to enjoy her and root for her (and I loved her romance with Haru).  I felt similarly about Haru, but he really surprised me, and I kind of loved that.  I almost wished I knew more about Takeo, b/c I really enjoyed him, and I felt like there could be more there.  And then there’s Keiji.  I had a harder time forgiving his flaws, but I also enjoyed his redeeming moments (and they made me bawl).  I also really liked that he was a bit of a nerd and beta boy.  I even kind of enjoyed the bad guy and the story surrounding him.

One of the things that has me rounding down instead of up is that I found I guessed a few major plot twists, and how to defeat the bad guy, quite early on, and so it was frustrating to wait around while Sora (or the others) figured it out.  Sometimes I get giddy when I figure things out, but this was just quite obvious so it wasn’t quite as fun.

Regardless of all that, I was fully invested in this story, and I LOVED that this was a standalone novel, and I felt like the story got everything it deserved in just one book.  And Sora is definitely one of my favourite YA characters, she deals with so much and I admire how she navigated her journey.

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Jacked Up by Samantha Kane

Blurb:

32506423The secret about the Birmingham Rebels is out: With a girl in the middle, two mouth-watering football studs are better than one.

Linebacker Sam Taylor feels like a ticking time bomb. He left the army with emotional wounds as fresh as the scars on his back. Sam’s been living like a monk, but his best friend, defensive lineman King Ulupoka, wants to get him laid. Easy for him to say. The larger-than-life Samoan is a hard-bodied, tribal-tattooed fantasy. Sam agrees, under one condition: King stays to watch.

ER nurse Jane Foster is done being a good girl, and nothing says wild like picking up two of football’s sexiest players and bringing them back to your hotel room. Trouble is, she can’t decide which one she wants more. Sam is hot, sweet, and vulnerable. Jane’s more than willing to ride him into oblivion. But King’s intense gaze from across the room promises that the best is yet to come.

Sure, King has had his choice of girls and guys in the past. That doesn’t mean he’ll jeopardize his relationship with Sam over a case of locker-room lust—until a naughty nurse pushes them both out of their comfort zones. Seeing Jane and Sam together turns King on more than he ever imagined. If they’re game, he’s ready to tackle a three-way play.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

I’ve read a few books in Ms. Kane’s historical menage series (Brothers in Arms) and really enjoyed them, and this modern series is quite entertaining as well!  It had some intriguing characters, a bit of depth (which is always nice for an erotica read), and obviously some hot sex.  And I enjoyed the little glimpses of either past book characters, or potential next book characters in the series.  It’s always fun when a series follows a close knit group of characters, in this case all being involved in the same fictional NFL football team.

I adored King.  I loved that he brought a little bit of diversity with his Samoan heritage, and I didn’t feel as though he was a caricature.  But he was so laid back and accepting, I just wanted to hug him for always thinking the right things and helping Sam and Jane get to the right places.

Sam was a bit up and down for me.  I LOVED the military background story we got with him, and he was so damaged and vulnerable, but willing to make baby steps and try to change and grow and slowly embrace the changes.  I loved some of his conversations with the team psych, Mark.  Heck, I loved some of King’s conversations with Mark too.  But he just brought this book from normal erotica to something with more depth and interest, if that makes sense.

And then there’s Jane.  *sigh*  She was a tough character to love, b/c she spent a lot of the book slut-shaming herself.  And I really don’t deal well with that, but it was kind of the topic of the book and something she was supposed to be learning to deal with and changing and growing about.  But there was just so fricking much of it, it was hard to take.  And it took her so long to learn, and I’m still not sure she really did and accepted it as much.  For all that self-flagellation, I was hoping for more of an obvious breakthrough I guess.  And other than that I’m not sure I really learned enough about her to like her a lot.  Not that I disliked her, she just didn’t make a big impression.  Although I did love how she handled Sam, and his issues from the PTSD to being confused about being bi.

And now onto the major aspect of any good menage erotica: the steamy scenes!!  And oh my gawd, they were a contradiction.  They were sooooo hot sometimes, like really woosh.  And then they would start talking.  And quite frankly, the dirty talking just didn’t work for me in this book.   It might have been just me, but it was just too comical at times.  I know it was supposed to be, but then it just felt forced to me.  Like how I would sound dirty talking.  Like from a script or something.  It was just a personal taste thing.  And it was pervasive through every steamy scene, so it was a mix of good and bad I guess.

So in the end it was a solid erotica, but the little things (like the dirty talking and the slut shaming) just have me rounding down instead of up this time.

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Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

Blurb:
23337863USA TODAY Bestselling Romantic Comedy Series

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the back roads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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My Review:
5 stars — My wonderful co-conspirator, Curly Carla, loaned this book to me through Kindle (which we both didn’t think was going to work since I’m in Canada and we Canadians can’t loan books, BUT IT DID!)!!  And I adored it so much I immediately upon finishing went out and bought it so I didn’t lose my multitude of highlights…

YOU GUYS!!!  I’ve been so worried that something was wrong with me, since my previous Penny Reid reads (*snort*) have not been stellar successes.  But it appears I just hadn’t found my match as yet.  Apparently I’m picky or something.  I don’t know, it just seemed that there was so much good in her writing, but I would inevitably be rubbed the wrong way by something or other.  BUT NOT IN THIS BOOK!!  This book was a delight from fricking beginning to end.  It was full of happy sighs and goofy grins and tummy tingles and great guffaws.

I actually own book one but have not read it yet, but I really needed a book for my Platypire Diversity Challenge since the theme for the month of January was “Body Positivity”, and I *knew* Sienna was a plus sized girl, so I thought SCORE!  Plus, extra bonus points since she is also a person of colour!  So it was kind of a lame reason, but I can’t believe how well it worked out for me.  I was honestly sucked in from the very first page.  Or rather, I had previously been sucked in by the first page because I’d read an excerpt (and promptly wishlisted this book), but it just continued to suck me further and further as the book went along.

Sienna was a delight.  She was silly and sassy and confident but with a hint of vulnerability.  Her internal monologue about being a plus sized actress had me immediately highlighting and wanting to high five her.  She also had an interesting family dynamic, that while it didn’t come into play a LOT, it made an impression on me.  And her first encounter with Jethro is just so….well, quite frankly, I swooned right along with her.

Jethro was just EVERYTHING I was needing in a hero.  He was this bizarre mix of confident, sweet, flirty, charming, damaged, vulnerable, complicated and deep.  But I’m right there with Sienna, the thing that drew me to him was just how genuinely and effortlessly good he was.  This is not to say that he doesn’t have his flaws, but I understood them.  And I just can’t gush enough about him.

And quite frankly, while they were both amazingly unique and intriguing individuals, it was their dynamic with each other that had me just glued to the pages.  They were exactly as Sienna described them — so EASY with each other.  They fit like puzzle pieces.  And even the conflict that arose between them made sense and ran its course and didn’t overly frustrate me, but allowed me to see their relationship grow and change.

I ADORED Ms. Reid’s note at the end about how Sienna Foster became Sienna Diaz.  I really appreciate that she took the time to try to make Sienna as authentic as possible, and it really shows.

I’m definitely excited to read more in this world.  I don’t know if I’ll have quite the same luck as with this book, because these two were just tailor made for me, but I’m so intrigued with all of the brothers (and Ashley) and their love stories, either already told or still to come.

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Make Lemonade by Cassie Mae

Blurb:
Make Lemonade.jpgBeth’s dream has always been Disneyland, and with the way life has been going, a trip to the magical world was just the ticket she needed. But with a broken transmission halfway there, Beth and her boyfriend Ben get stranded in the town of Hope Falls, and she is not in the best of moods.

As things continue to take a dive, Ben is determined to turn this situation around. With a knack for fixing cars and a ring in his pocket, he prepares to turn the sourest lemon into the sweetest lemonade, all for the woman he loves.

But the problem might just run deeper than a broken down car and a delayed vacation.

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My Review:
5 stars — I beta read this book, which sometimes makes it hard to review, but not in this case.  It was basically a masterpiece as written and I just spent a lot of my time swearing at Cassie for making me cry (for realz, poor girl took some abuse in the comments).

So how does she do it?  I don’t get it folks.  I don’t get how Ms. Mae writes these masterpieces of realism and awesomeness, but she’s done it again.  Honestly I shake my head.  It’s like she has a direct line to my consciousness and thoughts and feelings and decided to put them all in a novella, and rename the heroine Beth.  You know what that shows?  It provides incontrovertible proof that I’m not alone.  That all these feelings I feel, are shared by so many.  That depression is a stupid jerk that should be taken out back and shot.

Seriously though, this little novella took me through the wringer.  And part of that is because it hit so freaking close to home.  I highlighted so many passages and commented with “I’ve felt that!” and “I’ve been here!”  For that reason alone this book was a masterpiece for me.  Because it made me feel validated, and represented, and even loved.  And through Beth’s relationship with Ben (we’ll get to him), it reminded me that the dark times are sprinkled with awesomeness.  That experiencing depression does not preclude you from having these amazing moments.  Heck, Beth and Ben reminded me of my hubby and I.  They really and truly are the epitome of relationship goals.  And not because everything is easy, but because it’s NOT.  Because they struggled.  But they made it through.

And it was so heartbreaking to watch Ben struggle with his side of Beth’s depression.  To see how it could bring out his own insecurities.  I just wanted to hug him to freaking death.  He is pretty much the most amazing guy (though not without his own flaws), and I just can’t even right now.  Seriously.

So enough with the heavy.  Because while there is heavy, there is a heck of a lot of light in this novella too.  And I cannot even tell you how much I laughed and smiled and just lit up inside reading about Beth and Ben’s romance.  I LOVE that Ms. Mae is not afraid to give us an established couple and show us that even they still have a story to tell.  From the bowling to the whole Disney day, my heart was just FULL.

I hate saying this, b/c it feels disloyal, but I do believe I have a new favourite Cassie Mae couple.  Beth and Ben were amazing.  And even though it’s not a full blown book, I’m pretty sure it’s trying to take top place as my favourite Cassie Mae book.  I don’t know if it’s because it hit so close to home, or if it’s because she basically just wrote awesomeness personified, but it was a treat.  It was everything my heart was wanting and needing.  I know I always sound like one of those people who’s being disingenuous with my effusive praise, but I guess Ms. Mae just writes what I want to read.  I’m never afraid to state my whole opinion, but in this case I have nothing but good to say.  *happy fulfilled sigh*

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Sight Unseen (The Limitless Series, Book 1) by Barbara Cutrera

sight-unseenBlurb: Marketing consultant Beth Panera thrills at the prospect of working with computer engineer Logan Kirkland to make his new business, Sight Unseen, a success in Sarasota, Florida. When they meet face-to-face and Beth discovers that Logan is blind, she welcomes the opportunity to learn how someone who is visually impaired can live independently and run his own business. Despite her hesitation when it comes to trusting men, she and the sexy, charismatic Logan become fast friends, comfortable with each other and their unique talents and quirks.
Once the Sight Unseen store opens and their business association ends, they decide to explore their relationship on a much deeper level. Logan’s blindness and society’s preconceived notions about it are only two of many difficulties that they face as a couple.
Beth comes to think of Logan as her “blind warrior,” a strong, handsome, honorable man she loves in spite of her fear of betrayal. However, it becomes clear that Beth is not the only one in their relationship who has trust issues to resolve. Logan’s greatest challenge lies ahead, and Beth’s blind warrior must fight the greatest battle of his life if he wants to win her heart forever.

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1 star

I am so glad I am done with this book. It was…. you guys, I don’t want to be mean but this book was terrible. Just awful. There was no real storyline to it. Just a series of events that happened in succession to these characters. There was no real plot, they met, fell in love and life happened. I found it to be melodramatic. It was also insta-love on top of that. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a good insta-love as long as its written in such a way to make me believe it. I just could not suspend my belief for this one.

The main thing that bothered me about this book was the way the author described BDSM. It was so far from what I know of it, it was just ridiculous. I get it. Its not everyone’s cup of tea. But she wrote a couple characters who practiced that lifestyle as delinquents and violent. Just so incorrect on so many levels.

And the way the male MC acted at the end was so out of character for him. I started to not only roll my eyes but I found my whole head was moving at some points. I think at some point the book was non-redeemable for me. Sometimes a book can change your mind as you read, but it just kept getting so off the wall that I didn’t even try once I got two thirds in.

I bet you are asking why I finished it instead of DNF’ing it right? Well, that’s an excellent question. When I started to read this book I was in a slump, so I put it aside because I didn’t want my own funkiness to interfere with my enjoyment of it. Took me about 3 weeks till it passed and I was very excited to start this one up again because I thought the beginning was pretty good. It just went downhill for me. I persevered because I didn’t want to start the new year off with a DNF, but alas, can’t please everyone.

Sorry guys.

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Rock by Anyta Sunday

23159305Blurb: Igneous.

When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life.

And then …

There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son.

All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again.

Sedimentary.

Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close … friendship.

Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers…

Metamorphic.

But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life?
Under pressures of the heart?

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4 Stars ~I’m a huge fan of Anyta Sunday so its no secret I was gonna love this book too.

This story took quite a bit of time to get to where it was going.  And I felt the climax was a but overdone.  But the love story was incredibly intense and deep.

I totally identified with Cooper’s reaction to his parents divorce.  I was thrown back in time feeling all those overwhelming emotions. I really got caught up in it in the beginning. But I never really understood his instant dislike of Jace in the beginning.  Nor did I understand how he didn’t know how Jace felt about him when they were younger.

This story takes place over many years so the background was a good half of the book. Honestly, I could have done without so much of it and I still would have been able identify with the characters.

Cooper used rocks as a way to ground himself when things got out of control for him. I really liked that.  He would be able to choose a rock and remember what memory it held or what he felt at the time he picked it.  A cool tangible way to recall memories.  He had a hard time with confidence and becoming comfortable in his own skin.  I think it helped that his HS friends really just rolled with the punch’s when it came to his sexuality.

Jace was a bit odd to me.  Sometimes they were so in sync that he was able to read Cooper’s mind but then others they were so far apart it was almost like, “What do they even have in common besides sharing a family?”  I think Jace overthought his feelings and couldn’t get past what some people would think.  I didn’t like him when he was in college. I felt he wasted time and allowed fear to get in the way of what could have been a great experience.

Then I think they each had to go it alone for a while because that’s what growing up is all about. Taking the journey.  So then my mind went all abstract on me and I understood why Jace was so withdrawn.

Honestly, I could go on and on about the nuances of this book!  Just, go read it!

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The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley

Blurb:
30415027Baseball player Kyle Sawyer has many labels: bad boy, delinquent, ladies’ man, fearless outfielder… Only one of them is actually true. But then sweet ballet dancer Faith Gladwell asks him to help wreck her reputation, and everything goes sideways.

Faith knows a thing or two about love, and what she had with her cheating jerk of an ex wasn’t it. When he starts spreading rumors about her being an Ice Queen, Faith decides it’s time to let a little bad into her life.

Lucky for her, Kyle Sawyer—dark, dangerous, totally swoonworthy Kyle Sawyer—is landscaping her backyard over Spring Break. Shirtless. And if she can convince him to play along, “dating” Kyle will silence the rumors.

But Faith’s plan threatens to expose Sawyer’s biggest secret of all…and that’s a risk he’s not willing to take.

Disclaimer: This book contains drop-the-book-and-fan-yourself kisses…and touches. Fall in love with a bad boy at your own risk.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

OMG, this one sucked me in so much at the beginning!  I was reading and just grinning from ear to ear!  Kyle is SOOOO my kind of book boy — a beautiful beta boy!!  AAHHHH!!!  I honestly didn’t know how his story was going to play out, but I really felt for him and all the background we got to see how his reputation was shaped, and why he let it happen.  It was so sad though b/c he really ended up being a loner, with only his Dad and Grandpa to rely on for love and guidance.  It was really a heartbreaking tale, and yet one I could so easily imagine happening to a sensitive guy like him.  Seriously though, SWOON!  Give me a shy nervous guy any day of the week, and I will be swooning.  And a gentleman to boot!!

Faith was a seriously solid heroine too!  I loved that she was kind of hard to pinpoint — she had so many strong points, and she was such a hard worker and so focused on her dreams, but she was also really vulnerable.  And I didn’t blame her one bit for being so confused with Kyle’s hot and cold moments.  I’m not sure what I would have done with the conflicting signals he was giving off.

It actually went in a bit of a different direction than I was expecting after Spring break ended.  I still really enjoyed it though, and it had a very satisfying “big moment”.

One of the things that really added to the story was both friends, Violet and Cade.  I wouldn’t mind a story for each of them!!  And the parents were actually pretty great too — I love it when the families aren’t completely buggered up, you know?  Like Faith’s parents were pretty solid, and I loved their reactions to Kyle.  And while Kyle’s Dad was pretty absent, Kyle’s Grandpa was a great influence for Kyle, even if he didn’t always get it exactly right.

All in all LOVED this one!  It was just what my heart needed!!

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