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Posts Tagged: War & Military

Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: Off Base by Annabeth Albert

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Off Base by Annabeth AlbertOff Base (Out of Uniform, #1) by Annabeth Albert
Published by Carina Press on January 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, GLBT, Love & Romance, Contemporary Romance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Status Update, Love Me Tenor, Beta Test

Place(s) Traveled To: West Hollywood, California // Coronado, California // San Diego, California

First Line(s): “What do you mean they’re not coming?” Zack tried hard to sound like the badass navy SEAL he was now.

OFF BASE is the newest release from a new favorite author of mine, Annabeth Albert. I’ve been devouring everything she’s written and so was very excited to get my hands on this one. Especially since its a spin off of her #gaymers series which I adored. We first meet the main characters in OFF BASE, in CONNECTION ERROR (review coming soon) and Zack seems even more up tight than he was when we first meet him. Its a good thing that Pike worms his way into his life because he is Zack’s opposite in many ways and the two of them really work well together.

OFF BASE is filled to the brim of heart achy feels because Zack is just so tortured about who he really is. He’s been brainwashed since he was young that being gay was wrong and he’s faced nothing but homophobia since which has made it hard to be comfortable in his own skin. Things start to change when he is roomed with Ryan in the VA hospital and he starts to see another side to what he thought he always knew. I loved all the moments between Zack and Pike and the cameos of Ryan and Josiah. They all just made my heart sing. What I didn’t like was the homophobia that ran rampant throughout the book. It just made my skin crawl whenever Zack’s teammates said something or when Zack talked to his parents.

Overall though, I really enjoyed the relationship between Pike and Zack. I do wish that Zack was a little more comfortable in who he was but I understood it. I also liked watching Pike come into his own as he found his grove in teaching. I liked that he learned that sometimes the unexpected path could lead to something even better than what he dreamed was possible. And once Pike and Zack started to put their difference aside this story because a favorite enemies to lovers story. There was just so much tension between Pike and Zack that I couldn’t stop turning the pages in order to see how they would reach their happily ever after.

I find that Annabeth Albert really excels at writing a feel good story that often packs a punch to the emotions. Her characters are real and raw and they are all so uniquely drawn. Every story she tells does follow a certain path but there is always a fresh spin that keeps me coming back for more. The are quick, engrossing reads that I just suck up when I get my hands on one. I lose track of time until I hit the final page and then I am sad because I can’t read the story for the first time again. If you are a fan of MM Romances then you really want to give Annabeth Albert a try.

Add Just Drive by L.A. Witt to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino HassellStrong Signal by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove,
Also in this series: Fast Connection
Published by Self-Published on 15 Feb 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 235
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Afghanistan // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania // Rickston, Pennsylvania // Peoria, Illinois

First Line(s): There’s only one thief in the Army, and everyone else is just trying to get their shit back.

Recently I’ve been on a contemporary romance kick, especially contemporary MM romance, and also blitzing through most of Megan Erickson’s catalog of works. So I was very excited to see that she co-wrote STRONG SIGNAL an MM romance with Santino Hassell. I pre-ordered this baby as soon as I was able and began to read it the moment it was available. I had initially intended to alternate between STRONG SIGNAL and other read but once I started this book I couldn’t put it down and was up late as I couldn’t stop reading. I just loved the story of Kai and Garrett and thought that they had some amazing chemistry. I loved how their story developed and how they really got to know each other by talking on line. I adored their meet cute and well just everything about them!

I liked how accepting that Kai and Garrett were of each other and of their issues. On one hand, I do think that Garrett enabled Kai a bit too much but on the other it was really nice to see that Garrett never tried to cure Kai of his agoraphobia. Garrett accepted him for who he was and would have made things work as he knew that any changes made had to come from Kai in order for their to be any success. I loved how these two characters really supported one another and how they both became better people for the meeting. And oh how they both made my heart ache!!!

Strong Signal Quote

I loved how Kai and Garrett really talked to each other and oh how their separation slayed me!! No pointless breakups here just the realities of life that are sometimes hard to overcome. STRONG SIGNAL is as real as it gets for a book that still remains on the page. I know there are times when I don’t like too much reality in my books, especially the romances, but it worked so well in STRONG SIGNAL and I really wouldn’t change much at all about this story. Well, other than the need for the two leads to have to separate in the first place but that is all part of the romance formula so its needed. Plus, its sometimes takes a parting for characters to really know just how much the other person means to them.

STRONG SIGNAL was well plotted and well written and I am looking forward to the next book in the series, FAST CONNECTION (Goodreads), which will be out later this year. FAST CONNECTION will involve, Dominic Costigan, who we meet here in STRONG SIGNAL and its his character that may have annoyed me the most in this book. He was just mentioned and used way too much. While I’m curious on his story, Costigan was just too much of a distraction in STRONG SIGNAL and wish he’d been edited down a bit more. But other than that I did adore STRONG SIGNAL. Its a fresh, fun, heart achy story that I think will appeal to many a romance reader. Just be warned…you may needed a lot of coffee the day after starting this one as it really is hard to put down.

irishdarkblue

IR - Strong Signal

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads. (Review Coming Soon.)

four-stars
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest ClineArmada by Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Crown on 14 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Dystopian, Friendship, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Beverton, Oregon // Unknown, Nebraska // Moon Base Alpha

First Line(s): I was staring out of the classroom window daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer.

When I went to BEA last spring there were only a couple of books that I needed to get and one of those was ARMADA by Ernest Cline. I loved his first book, READY PLAYER ONE (my review) and was so excited to see what he came up with next. But then I became torn because it was announced that Wil Wheaton would be narrating just as he did with READY PLAYER ONE and I decided to wait until I could get my hands on the audiobook.

The wait for the audio was a great decision because, as always, Wil Wheaton was most excellent in his narration. I just love Wheaton’s reading style and the energy and life that he brings to a story. It especially helped with ARMADA because I found the actually story to be a bit slow and hard to get into. There was a lot of repetition to the story and the story was a little bit too similar to READY PLAYER ONE mixed with ENDER’S GAME mixed with WARGAMES.

Armada Quote

There were no surprises in ARMADA and each big “twist” was just anti-climatic and predictable. The build up was overly drawn out which left very little time for the big climatic battle. Which left the ending something to be desired. If I’d been reading this one in print than I may have DNF’d this one or just ended up skimming to the end to see how it all turned out. The only reason why I didn’t was because of Wil Wheaton.

I’m still a fan of Ernest Cline and I am looking forward to his next book but sadly ARMADA just wasn’t the book for me. The writing was ok it was just the plotting and the pacing and even some of the characters that really didn’t mesh with me.

irishdarkblue

IR - Armada

Add Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer to Goodreads.

Add The End of All Things by John Scalzi to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff
Series: The Illuminae Files,
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on 20 October 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Young Adult
Pages: 608
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Kerenzie IV and Deep Space via the Alexander and Hypatia  (Year: 2575)

First Line(s): “So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”

When I first picked up ILLUMINAE by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff I wasn’t sure what to expect but I do adore a good sci-fi and I was intrigued by the mixed media concept. So I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t be disappointed by another poorly done sci-fi story and I dove in expecting to read this one slowly over the course of the month.

Fingers Crossed

Well the joke was on me because it wasn’t long before I found myself unable to put this book down. I was totally immersed in ILLUMINAE and this series of gives pretty much sums up how I felt once I was fully invested in the story:

can't stop reading

why are you doing this

ten in the rain

not ok

Star-Trek crying

lots of feelings

a river of tears

Seriously. I was a puddle of emotion and even now I find it really hard to put all my thoughts into words. This book just took me by surprise and even now long after I’ve finished it I am still locked in its grip. There is action and mystery and horror and romance and suspense and just so much more. The books formatting makes for a quick read and while there are times when mixed media can feel cold and impersonal in a book it really works well with this story. Despite the entire story being told in “found documents” (emails, video transcripts, IMs, etc) you really get to know all of these characters. Oh how I felt for Kady and Ezra and OH MY STARS how terrified I became of Aidan!

Illuminae Quote

scared

ILLUMINAE is a book that took me totally by surprise and literally made me gasp aloud. I can’t tell you the last time that happened with a book. It also brought me to tears and made my heart ache so very much. It was filled with everything that I love in a story and was also so much more. The story…the characters…the setting…it was just all so right and even though this book is 600 pages in length I devoured this book in just 2 days. And let me tell you the ending…oh that ending…it was the worst part. Cliffhanger.

no

Which I hate because I have the patience of gnat but at the same time it was just so fitting for the story. ILLUMINAE is filled with lots of delightful twists and turns and I can not wait to see where things will go in the next book. This is one of those books that you really need to read to understand just how amazing it was and if you trust my reviews at all then trust when I tell you that you need to read this book. It was just that good.

fainting

irishdarkblue

IR - Illuminae

Add Across the Universe by Beth Revis to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey to Goodreads.

 

Illuminae Collage

 

Ten-Rose-badwolf-tenth-rose-21263420-500-278
five-stars
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: Come Back to Me by Mila Grey

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Come Back to Me by Mila GreyCome Back to Me by Mila Gray
Series: Come Back to Me,
Published by Pan Macmillian on 19 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 373
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Oceanside, California // San Diego, California // Kabul, Afghanistan // Unknown, Guam

First Line(s): A whorl in the glass distorts the picture, like a thumbprint smear over a lens.

COME BACK TO ME by Mila Gray is one of those books that I requested and then forgot I had until a couple of my friends started talking about it on Twitter. The buzz made me excited to rediscover this book as it contains one of my favorite tropes, falling in love with a siblings friend. It just gets me in the feels…every…single…time. This one had the added draw of military men and I just dove right in. At first I was wary because of the opening. I am never a fan of openings that start in the middle of a story before flashing back to how it all began. As much as I loved the TV show FLASHPOINT I always hated that it used that trope to open each and every episode. So with COME BACK TO ME you learn right off that something terrible is going to happen but you aren’t entirely sure what and then before the reveal it cuts back to a few weeks earlier.

COME BACK TO ME is primarily the story of Jessa and Kit, who is the best friend of Jessa’s older brother and also despised by Jessa’s dad. This set up ensures that there is lots of tension throughout the book as Kit and Jessa initially have to keep their growing romance a secret. Things heat up fast for Kit and Jessa and as a reader you fall hard right along with them. The sparks are real and the chemistry just sizzles off the page. They are so sweet with each other and I love how Kit respects Jessa and encourages her to follow her dreams because her father is hell bent on trying to keep her locked up like a child. Jessa is 18 and she’s not allowed to drive, have a phone, stay out late, or even choose her own college. Her fathers behavior made me all ragy and that coupled with some of the language just gave this book a 1950s vibe at times.

Come  Back to Me Quote

Deplorable parental figure aside this book just makes you feel ALL THE THINGS!!! There were times in which I thought my poor heart my break in two. My Goodreads updates are just a jumble of emotions as I rushed through COME BACK TO ME in order to see how it all ends. Even with the predictor in the opening it still comes as kind of a shock to the gut when you see how it all places out. In that way COME BACK TO ME makes me think of GOD-SHAPED HOLE (goodreads) and THE BOOK THIEF (goodreads). And like with many romance books there were a few times when I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into the characters. To get them to talk to each other and find their happily ever after.

The conflicts in COME BACK TO ME were all realistic and there was no pointless breakup in site. This made me very happy as regular readers know how much I don’t like that trope. That said I really really really could have done without the epilogue. Oh my stars every time I see an epilogue I tell myself not to read it. That reading it will only lead to disappointment and yet I always ignore my own advice and then find myself rolling my eyes or sighing at how cliche it all is. I’ve yet to meet an epilogue that I like and one day I really will stick to my advice and avoid reading them. I swear! But one thing that I will read more of are books by Mila Gray because I just fell head over heels for this one and I think that you will like it too. After all, we all need a sucker punch to the gut sort of read in our lives.

irishdarkblue

IR - Come Back to Me

 

Add Rule by Jay Crownover to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Full Measues by Rebecca Yarros to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Let Go by Laura KayeHard to Let Go by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 30 June 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): The warehouse was an abandoned shell.

Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye is the final book in her crazy pants Hard Ink series and features Beckett Murda and Kat Rixey who we first meet briefly in the previous book, Hard to Come By (my review). As with the previous full length novel, Hard to Let Go takes place in about a weeks time and so there is a lot of suspension of belief to the story given that the whole series ARC takes place in around a months time. Add to these complexities the fact that Kat is the sister of Murda’s very good friend and commander who is fighting some demons of her own because crazy motorcycle gang bangers were not enough to this whole storyline. Not to mention the set up for Kaye’s next series which will feature the good motorcycle gang, the Raven Riders (Goodreads link). Which I will probably read because sometimes you just need a little crazy pants action in the books you read.

As with most of the couples, Kat and Beckett have an instant attraction but they try to hide it by being all gruff and standoffish with each other. Partly because of Kat’s brother and partly because they are dealing with gangs that shoot rocket launchers at them. (Rocket launchers!! Seriously, I can’t get over that from Hard to Come By). There is also continuing investigation into the overall story ARC which just never really held up in this final installment in the series. The previous books were all leading up to this big crazy reveal but in the end it just sort of lost steam and fizzled out. I expected something more, something flashier and so was disappointed in the end. Not to mention that Hard to Let Go seemed to be more hurry up and wait than any of the previous books so it was a slower read than the others.

Baltimore, MD -- The glow of the city lights begin to equalize after the sun sets in a view from the top of the Domino Sugars refinery, above the inner harbor Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff) [] (_1D34072.JPG)] COPYBLOCK: I had no time to waste. Knowing how fast the sun actually sets, I quickly assessed what angles might reveal good moments in time lapse, bearing in mind to also look for telling images of the skyline from the unusual perspective of being at the base of the Domino Sugars sign.  With two Nikon cameras, one GoPro, and a Lumix FZ200 in tow, I set three of the cameras to capture by intervalometer, at 2-3 seconds per frame. The FZ200 churned out HD video clips, but the files were later compressed in post at about 1000x live speed. In all, there were 13 different angles captured, with cameras being moved about on the roof an behind the steel frame of the neon sign, with little time to enjoy being in a place where few people gain access. My iPhone 4s recorded panoramic images, capturing a 180-degree image from the glowing neon icon to the inner harbor skyline, and then back from the cityscape to the sign as the exposure balanced between light source and sky at dusk. Using the two images created an almost seamless turn-around to show how the scene looked if spinning clockwise, capping off the shoot.

Hard to Let Go also added all these extra complexities to the who reason behind the units framing and dishonorable discharge that even with all the belief suspension that I’d done previously (I mean rocket launchers…in Baltimore!!) was just sort of tossed out the window. I rolled my eyes a lot in this book, not that I didn’t with the others, but there was a lot more of me mumbling “seriously?!” as I turned the pages in the story. Then there was the whole subplot of Kat’s that was just a distraction and diverted much needed words and attention for the big bad rocket launcher using baddies. Which made for a rushed and unsatisfying ending.

Hard to Let Go isn’t a book that I’d recommend to everyone as its not really a great story. Its rushed and unrealistic but there is something addictive about it all the same. The sex scenes are hot, though not as numerous as in some romance books, but the akward dialogue moments often ruin the moment. With Hard to Let Go I found it hard to connect with Kat and Murda and didn’t really care either way if they got together in the end out not. It just seemed a bit like more of the same rushed romance that we’d seen in the three other books of this novel. All the love interests all met and fell head over heels in a matter of days all while under intense outside pressures that its hard to imagine them lasting for any length of time. I definitely prefer the slow build romance over what Kaye brought to the table with her Hard Ink series and yet I was compelled to read every book. This series will never be a favorite and I will probably never re-read it but the thought of rocket launchers going off in Baltimore will always make me giggle. And sometimes that’s all you need in a book.

irishdarkblue

 

 

IR - Hard as it Gets

 

Add Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

three-stars
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura KayeHard to be Good by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 14 April 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 160
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): Jeremy Rixey stood in front of the ruins of half of the warehouse building he owned in east Baltimore – his home for the past four years, and wondered what the hell had happened to his life.

Hard to be Good is a short novella in Laura Kaye’s crazy pants Hard Ink series and it tells the story of Charlie and Jeremy. Charlie is Becca’s brother and Jeremy is Nick’s, both who had their story told in the first book in the series, Hard as it Gets (my review)Hard to be Good picks up hours after the events in Hard to Come By (my review) end and nothing in this story really adds to the over crazy pants story arc. This is just a short little vignette that brings Charlie and Jeremy together as a couple which is something that has been in the works since the beginning. These two have danced around each other as secondary characters in the other books and it was nice to get into their heads for a bit.

Both of these characters made my heart ache as they struggled with their feelings unsure of where the other stood. Though, I felt that this story lacked depth and seemed to focus on the sexy times more so than the emotional bonding moments that make you really cheer for a couple to get together. Not that I didn’t want Charlie and Jeremy to find their happily ever after because I did. I’ve been hoping since they first met that they would fall in love. And in many ways Charlie and Jeremy have a longer courtship than any other couple in the series even if theirs is one of the shorter stories.

Hard to be Good is a quick read and can be skipped if you just want to dive back into this whole crazy world that Laura Kaye has created. I for one though did enjoy the little break from the crazy times and enjoyed this installment in the series.

irishdarkblue

Hard to be Good Quote

 

three-stars
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura KayeHard to Come By by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 25 November 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, War & Military
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland // Annapolis

First Line(s): Derek DiMarzio was going bat-shit crazy.

Hard to Come By is the third book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series about a group of 5 ex-military men and the crazy pants mob and drug war that they find themselves in after being framed and dishonorably discharged. Hard to Come By picks up almost immediately after the previous book ends and is a direct continuation of the story even though the POVs are different. This is definitely a series that you need to read in order or be totally lost at what is happening. Because a lot happens in each book. Seriously, this series is totally crazy pants with its over the top story lines but its also oddly addicting and I find myself unable to put the books down once I pick them up.

A couple of things that have started to grate on my nerves with this series is the repetitiveness and the cheesy dialogue. I get that there are times when a general recap of events or who people are is needed and if its a one and done I’m good. But it seemed like every time a certain character was talked about Kaye went into his whole backstory and what happened in previous books and it was just overkill. The same was done with details that were just talked about a few chapters before or even a few paragraphs above. It just made me sigh and seemed like a waste of words. Words that could have been better used to move the overall story arc along. Because there is a lot of detail in this crazy pants story and each new book in the series just seems to add more crazy instead of less.

Hard to Come By Quote

Like in Hard to Come By there is a rocket launcher used against them. Let’s pause a moment to wrap our brains around that. A rocket launcher. A rocket launcher used in downtown Baltimore. Seriously. I can not make this stuff up! And while this whole series is crazy and over the top it all somehow works. Much like the Die Hard movies work even as Bruce Willis is using a car to take out a helicopter. Hard to Come By is filled with this crazy action sequences that would do any action movie proud. Yes its a bit ridiculous but at the same time the escape from reality can be a nice break.

Although, I do kind of wish that more time was given between moving from one event to the next. From the start of the series in Hard As it Gets (my review) to this book its been about 2 weeks. And by the end of Hard to Come By another week has gone by. So there is a lot going on in a very short amount of time which is fine for the overall story arc but its pushing things a bit with the romance portion of the story. Each of these characters has pretty much met and fallen in love with their significant other in the span of a week. In the case of Marz and Emilie its more like 3 days, not even as they mostly meet over dinner before things go postal. All in all though, crazy pants storyline aside this is a fun series and worth it as long as you suspend much belief and just want to be entertained.

irishdarkblue

IR - Hard as it Gets

Add Hard as it Gets  (Hard Ink, Book 1) by Laura Kaye to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood to Goodreads. (Click here for my reivew)

three-stars
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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Narrator: Lucy Gaskell, Morven Christie
Series: Code Name Verity,
Published by Bolinda Publishing on 06 June 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptation, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Mystery & Detective, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 7 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Ormaie, France // England – Various (mid-1930s – early 1940s)

First Line(s): I am a coward.

When it comes to Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity there is a lot of suspension of disbelief that must occur on the reader end of things. For while its a beautifully written story the series of events that occur in the first half of the book just would never have happened. Not that a young girl wouldn’t have been captured and tortured by the Nazi’s but that her interrogators would have allowed her to weave her story of nonsense for as long as they did when they were trying to obtain valuable information.

There were also a lot of crazy inconsistencies throughout the narrative of Code Name Verity and I know some of it was because Verity was weaving her little deceptions but some of it just did not make sense with the time period or the history of the war. So I found myself sighing a lot. Especially when a slip of a girl, no matter how smart and talented, was able to fool so many soldiers in the German army. I get that Verity was good but again they wouldn’t have allowed her to tell her history and the history of Maddie for as long as she did as there was no value to that story. Yes it was a pretty story but it lacked substance.

Code Name Verity Quote

Despite all my issues with Code Name Verity I did like the beginning of the book. That portion of the story that was told by Verity. I liked the narrator for that section, Lucy Gaskell, and it was her narration that kept me listening even as the story annoyed me. A good narrator can make or break a book and the Gaskell certainly kept me invested. I didn’t like Morven Christie’s narration as much but I think that was do in part that I didn’t really like the POV of that section. For I’ve listened to clips of Christie of on other audios and I like that snippets so I definitely think that it was the text and not the narrator that caused my dislike.

There is a lot of bait and switch in Code Name Verity and even though I guess the bulk of the story early on I didn’t mind as much. What I did mind was how the second half was almost a whole different book with a whole different writing style. And the clever clues that were laid out in the first half were swept aside and the reader was bludgeoned with revelations and told over and over just how smart and clever Verity was. Events just took on that too good to be real aspect and so my interest in the story started to plummet.

Perhaps, Code Name Verity, just had too much hype surrounding it that I set my expectations high. But I don’t see the masterful novel that others who read it before me did. I was frustrated throughtout most of the story and often rolled my eyes at some of the revels. If I had read this in print I probably would have DNF’d after tossing the book across the room a few dozen times. But I liked the narrator so I persevered. I’m not sorry that I read it as Code Name Verity was well written I just wasn’t a total fangirl for the plot.

irishdarkblue IR - Code Name Verity

Add Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Wrath and the Dawn  by Renee Ahdieh to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 03 February 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
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Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Something Real

Place(s) Traveled To: Creek View, California

First Line(s): The Mitchells’ backyard was packed, full of recent and not-so-recent grads in various stages of party decay.

I first was introduced to Heather Demetrios’s writing when people on Twitter kept harassing me to read her debut, Something Real. I say harass but as any bibliophile know book harassing (aka book bullying) is the best thing that one book lover can do to another and I was so glad that I picked that book up. When I learned that Demetrios had another contemporary coming out I was beyond ecstatic and was all bouncy with excitement even as my fingers itched to hold it in my hands. When I was able to read I’ll Meet You There I did it in a single sitting and was totally blown away by it. OMG the feelings that this novel managed to make me feel. Wow. Just wow. To compare this book with Something Real is kind of an impossible thing because the two are just so very different and if I didn’t know any better I’d almost swear they were written by an entirely different person. This isn’t a bad thing, not at all, it just shows how much Demertrios’s writing has grown since her debut and instills in me a very real fear. The fear that one day she really might kill me with her words. Although that might not be a bad way to go.

I’ll Meet You There is the story of Skylar, a girl who has spent her whole life trying to escape her small town. She doesn’t want to end up like so many of her friends and the adults she knows; married with children working a mediocre job. She has big dreams and she only has a few months left in Creek View before she can go and never look back. But then her mother loses her job and seems to fall apart and she bumps into her old friend Josh, home from Afghanistan wounded and different from the boy she knew. Skylar is a girl that has always wanted to go but now there are all these reasons for her to stay and she is at a loss on what to do. For sometimes, the dream you thought you wanted may not be the dream that is meant for you. I’ll Meet You There is an amazing story of friendship and falling in love. Its about learning to see the world in a new way and accepting that sometimes things can’t be changed and that maybe things aren’t as bad as you initially thought.

I’ll Meet You There is an amazing journey and I can’t even tell you the number of times it made my heart ache and brought tears to my eyes. Josh and Skylar are just so amazing together and yet at the same time you just want to shake them when they go off and do something stupid. Because they both do stupid things and they make assumptions and they are both scared and so push the other way and it all just breaks a poor readers heart. But even as Demetrios breaks your heart she works to put the pieces back together again and even if the heart is a little bruised afterwards the end result is stronger than it was before. Skylar’s summer is one of change and making choices and its a struggle that every reader can relate to. Life doesn’t always follow the plans that you have and you need to learn to roll with the punches or take an unexpected detour in order to get where you are going. This is a book that shows that sometimes its not the end result that is important but the journey that takes you there. The memories you make, the friendships you have, and the love that grows along the way.

There are not enough words to tell you how much I loved I’ll Meet You There but even if there were I’m not sure that I would be able use them well enough to express my thoughts. I’ll Meet You There is like a sucker punch to a gut and I could not put it down. It is filled with raw emotion and it will suck you in from the very first page and it won’t let you go until the words run out. Its a book where you’ll keep flipping that last page needing more and yet at the same time the ending is so real and perfect and filled with the right amount of closure. I’ll Meet You There is not a book to be missed so you need to run out to your nearest bookstore and bring it home today. Then come back here and tell me how much you loved it.

irishdarkblue

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I'll Meet You There Quote

five-stars
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