A Month of Reading: May Book Reviews

This month I was out of town for ten days and, as a result, didn’t spend much time with my nose in a book. During long car rides I caught up on the spring issue of Dunes Review; on the side I tackled another Netgalley ARC, read Ruby Dixon’s latest release, was thoroughly amused by KFC’s Mother’s Day “gift” to the literary world, and finished the Wager of Hearts series.

Yes, you read correctly above—this is where I review KFC’s novella, Tender Wings of Desire. Reviews are in order of date read. (My star ratings are explained here.)

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Dunes Review Volume 21 Issue 1 (Spring 2017)  4.5-Stars

Michigan Writers literary journal, Dunes Review, released its first issue for 2017 in late April. I attended the reading and was quite impressed by the variety and quality of various works inside. After reading through the entire issue on vacation, here are my favorites:

  • Duet by Joanna White: This was the first poem presented at the reading, and I think the beauty of it spoken made me appreciate it much more. The author and her husband are both musicians, but were unable to attend the reading, so a male and female presenter stood in. The male presenter read the left stanza, the female presenter the right, then they re-read both stanzas by alternating turns for each line. I love the ingenuity and beauty of it all.
  • To the Story Girl by Joanna White: This one resonated with me because I am a fan of the short story that the poem is a response to: The Use of Force by William Carlos Williams.

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Review: Pieces of Me

Pieces of Me Book CoverPieces of Me by Shiloh Walker
My Rating: 2.5-Stars
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Formats: Kindle Unlimited, Kindle (~$3), Paperback ($12.99)

Pieces of Me is the story of Shadow Harper, starting with her uneasy life in South Carolina several years following her divorce to her horribly abusive and 15-years-older ex-husband, Stefan. He was never convicted due to his high-powered connections, and so Shadow lives a life of fear, distrust, and isolation. She is constantly watched by a neighbor paid to report back to Stefan, and has only two friends and her sketching to keep her company.

“I ran away from him once, but he just found another way to torment me. That fear of him still haunts me, controls me.”

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A Month of Reading: April Book Reviews (Part Two)

Picking up where I left off yesterday, today’s batch of books include both fantasy and romance titles:

FantasyShadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell and White Sand Volume 1 (graphic novel).

RomanceFire in His Kiss (also fantasy), the new Beauty novella quartet (also fantasy), Sonata for a Scoundrel, and Wrong Turn, Right Direction.

Reviews are in order of date read. (My star ratings are explained here.)

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Fire in His Kiss  by Ruby Dixon 4.5-Stars

I reviewed the first book in Dixon’s newest post-apocalyptic dragons-on-Earth series last month and while it was enjoyable, I was left unimpressed with the world building and had hoped Dixon would start explaining why, or at least who, these dragons are. With Fire in His Kiss she managed to do just that.

“Emma pulls out her gun with shaking hands and points it at Dakh. ‘W-what the f*ck is he?'”

This book reveals quite a bit about the dragons’ past lives before they were forced onto Earth. The exact cause of the cataclysmic event called the Rift is still unknown, but that’s okay–for now. We also discover ways that non-fort dwellers are hiding from attracting the attention of dragons.

“This is about my survival, and I’m just going to have to suck it up. Women have been trading their bodies for safety ever since the Rift. I’m no different from any of them at the end of the day.”

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A Month of Reading: April Book Reviews (Part One)

Another month flew by with me reading a bunch between courses, work, side work, and remembering to occasionally sleep. For Netgalley I reviewed a new release, Making Waves, a couple weeks ago and have another review for Pieces of Me (releases in May) coming up likely on Wednesday.

Like last month I don’t have time for a lot of individual reviews, so instead I’m giving a summary and overall impressions for each book. There’s quite a few books this time so this will be divided into two posts, one tonight and one tomorrow. Today’s titles include:

RomanceHow to Lose a Duke in Ten Days, So I Married a Highlander, Making Waves, Duke of Pleasure, The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland, Haunted on Bourbon Street (also fantasy/paranormal), and Barbarian’s Lady (also fantasy).

Reviews are in order of date read. (My star ratings are explained here.)

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How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days  3-Stars
So I Married a Highlander 1.5-Stars
What Happens in Scotland Series #1 & #2, by Kate McKinley

This short regency romance introduces us to Pippa Welby, daughter of a wealthy tradesman who is against marrying into higher society due to their treatment of her, and Lucas Alexander, the ninth Duke of Arlington. Lucas meets Pippa at a ball but gives her the impression that he is aloof to her existence, when really he desires to make her his. So he concocts a plan that makes sense only to one of the most powerful men in London: announce their engagement ball and invite Pippa to it.

Things heat up quickly between the two, and though Lucas’s motives were questionable for a while, things get sorted out and these two lovebirds get their happily-ever-after. The characters are both likeable, but both could use more development (a constant problem in shorter novels).

“I just want you by my side, Pippa, however I can get you. I don’t know how to do this. If I want something, I take it. I always find a way. But this, with you… us… I feel so damned lost.”

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Review: Making Waves

Making WavesMaking Waves by Laura Moore

My Goodreads rating: 4 of 5 stars
My actual rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Making Waves introduces us to Dakota Hale, an independent concierge business owner in the Hamptons and Max Carr, the successful business man who recently purchased the old Hale family estate and hires Dakota to help furnish it.

From the moment they meet sparks fly between Max and Dakota, but much of the latter half of the book is spent rebuilding. These two worked hard for their HEA.

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