Review: 50 Hours by Loree Lough

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50 HOURS is a powerful, uplifting story about hope, friendship, love, courage, and the amazing resiliency of the human spirit.

Franco’s life changed the moment he served his 50 hours community service at Savannah Falls Hospice. Before that, he was an angry man who grieved his wife’s death, especially on the day of her death anniversary. When he arrived at the hospice, he was determined to keep his head down and finish his service so he could get on with his life. But the moment he heard a woman (Aubrey) being bullied, he couldn’t help but go to her aid, despite it being unwanted and could potentially get himself in trouble (entering a resident’s room is against the rules).

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Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

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LETTERS TO THE LOST is a compelling, emotion-filled read, maybe better read by more mature YA. However, even while the letters started because Juliet lost her mother, this book doesn’t only deal with death and the resulting grief, but also the wider themes of fate and choice.

The first few chapters were raw with emotion, especially the letters, and especially where Juliet used photographs to convey certain thoughts or feelings. The main characters are not your usual teens; having lost people important to them, they’re deeper, weightier, sounding almost like mature grown ups (because there are immature ones), especially in their letters where they’d discuss fate and choosing paths. I thought there was a bit of disparity in their real selves and the selves in their letters, but I suppose that’s only to be expected because somehow it’s easier to let a stranger see your real self without the barriers and prejudices of a lot of things that come with knowing who the other person is. (You’ll understand what I’m talking about when you read the book)

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Review: Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

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It’s rare to read a book that touches you on so many levels. LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES is more than a rom-com; it’s about love, life and choices–the ones we make and the ones that are forced upon us. And courage, of course.

Kensington Shaw finally has the boyfriend that’s guaranteed to win her battles with her family. Bradley Connors is the one…or so she thinks until her ex, Shane Bennett, comes back into her life. To secure her job, she has to make nice with Shane (who’s hiring her agency), and if it includes living–acting out–movie moments with him, then she’s game. But what happens when these scenes reach inside to rediscover the girl who’s been hiding beneath all these years? Continue reading

Review: Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny by Cindi Madsen

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Cindi Madsen takes us on a wild, thrilling ride in CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY, which is unexpectedly fun to read.

Lindsay is a great narrator; I love her voice and her strength, especially the way she turned her life around and made the goal of pursuing her dream. More than her though, I love Ryder, especially the way that Lindsay’s past didn’t matter to him, and that he only wants “her future”. If only more men were like him! Both characters are lovable and relatable, and I kept rooting for them all the way! Continue reading

Review: The Highwayman’s Proposal by Vanessa Liebe

Why does Lady Godwin find it so hard
to obey her highwayman?
REVIEW

The Highwayman’s Proposal is a fun, short story that is both heartwarming and sexy and erotic. The chemistry between Gabe and Caroline shoots sparks off the pages, and their romance is both believable and spine-tingling. Caroline is a relatable and sympathetic heroine; I can’t imagine what she must have gone through with her father bedbound and the debts he incurred resting heavily on her shoulders. I’m happy to be living in these present times, where women have more agency and power. Still, Caroline made do with what she has (and good she found a friend in Gabe), and her courage is something to aspire to.
It was certainly fun to see Caroline in the role of a highwaywoman, and though it was a set up for the eventual spanking, her motivations for her actions, no matter how rash, were believable and realistic. Though there’s some spanking involved between consenting adults, it’s light and something you might see in general romance novels.  The mystery of Gabe’s identity is easily solved toward the end, and I wish there could be a bit more scene between him and his brother and Caroline. But maybe there’ll be like a big Blakeney family reunion in the last book. It’s certainly something to look forward to. Though The Highwayman’s Proposal is the 3rd book in the series, you don’t have to read the previous 2 books to enjoy this.
Rating: 4 stars

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Review: The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

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I was intrigued by the summary–I mean, a librarian caught up in spy games–and I took a chance, and boy, was I glad I did! THE LIBRARIAN AND THE SPY exceeded my expectations, being a compelling read with original, unforgettable characters.

Susan Mann seamlessly weaved popular culture (Harry Potter, LOTR, etc… the only thing lacking was Game of Thrones) into Quinn’s and James’s conversation, and their banter and quips were quick and lively and engaging. Quinn is an amazing heroine–refreshing and strong and confident in herself. I love how she totally loved books (kindred spirit there!) and how they need her mad librarian skills to solve the mystery. I also love the way she lived and breathed spy novels–it’s in her every pore and pours out in her conversation and actions. I thought she, the untrained civilian, would overshadow James the spy, but I was glad to see James held his own in the end. Continue reading

Review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

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BROTHER’S RUIN is my first in the gaslamp fantasy (sub)genre, and I was intrigued and fascinated all at the same time. I love the mix of magic with the historical era, in this case, Victorian, if I’m not mistaken. This is a novella introducing the Industrial Magic series, and it’s a good first book in the series, as I want the next one now!

In Charlotte’s world, people who show magic–especially one as powerful as hers–are often taken away to be trained in the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts. While the mages are then trained to control their magic, the downside is that they lose their freedom. Or so Charlotte believes. Thus, she hides her magic, but when her father became indebted and needed money, he had no choice but to report her brother, Benjamin, who had exhibited some talent so that the family could be compensated for “losing” their son to the arts. But Ben isn’t the talented one, but his sister… Continue reading