Tag Archives: published: 2012-08

Texas Heat by R.J. Scott

Texas Heat

Texas Heat by R.J. Scott

Series: Texas, Book 3
Published by: Silver Publishing on August 18, 2012
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Despite a nontraditional start and a few obstacles thrown in their path, Riley and Jack Campbell-Hayes finally seem to have things going right for them. The Jack is expanding the ranch and Riley is working on business ventures of his own. A newcomer to the ranch, Robbie, is still reeling from a loss but happy to be on board and assisting Jack in any way he can. And Riley’s photography friend Eli has convinced the guys to let him use the Double D for a cowboy-themed photoshoot. When Eli and Robbie’s paths cross, it’s lust-at-first-sight for Eli…but Robbie’s hesitant to get involved with someone new. As the various business opportunities are pursued all around, it’s Eli and Robbie who need to decide what to do about the Texas heat this time around…

I find myself thoroughly enjoying this series–more than I expected I would. With everything that went on in the first book, I was not sure if the author would be able to sustain an interesting story that continues to develop the characters and keep readers interested. But while everything did blow up in the first book, I still find myself along with these guys every step of the way and on every single page.

Love, Hypothetically by Anne Tenino

Case7.0x10TemplateKey.inddTitle: Love, Hypothetically (Theta Alpha Gamma, Book 2)
Author: Anne Tenino
Published: August 25, 2012
Pages: 100
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Paul is a graduate student who works as a tutor for undergraduates and has a strict “no jocks” policy. But when the new softball coach specifically requests Paul to tutor his players, it looks like that policy might be out the window. To make matters worse, the new coach is Trevor, the guy who broke Paul’s heart in high school, the one he has been trying to get over ever since. But Trevor isn’t just interested in Paul’s services for his players–he’s interested in a second chance. And that’s something Paul is just not sure he can give.

Well, this was a bit of a roller coaster ride, and I mean that in the best way possible. I really enjoyed reading this. The characters are complex and real, and the pacing of the story kept me simply gripped to every page. It’s not overly angsty (though, clearly it’s not all bright and shiny happiness, either), but it’s honestly a lighter story than one might initially expect.

This is the second in a series, but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. I wasn’t huge fan of the first book, so I’m glad that this one was more enjoyable. It has me considering picking up the third installment…

The Melody Thief by Shira Anthony

15767793Title: The Melody Thief (Blue Notes, Book 2)
Author: Shira Anthony
Published: August 23, 2012
Pages: 230
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Cary Redding is a renowned violinist by day with a bit of a wild streak by night. After he is mugged coming out of a club after another anonymous hookup, he finds himself rescued by Antonio Bianchi, a lawyer who quickly draws Cary’s interest. Cary never expects to see him again, so he gives him a fake name and backstory. But can he keep up the charade as he finds himself more and more drawn to Antonio and wondering if maybe he’s finally found what he’s been looking for.

While this is the second book in the Blue Notes series, there’s no real direct connection to the first book. All of the books can be read as stand-alone stories. It was great to read a romance that was set in the world of classical music. As a classically trained musician, there were parts of this that really spoke to me in ways that I hadn’t entirely expected.

The flow and build of the relationship between Antonio and Cary really seems to work here. I did feel like the business with Cary’s family stuff seemed a bit drawn out, but I fully understand why it was included as part of Cary’s arc.

Pride and Politics by Daisy Harris

15771980Title: Pride and Politics (Men of Holsum College, Book 6)
Author: Daisy Harris
Published: August 25, 2012
Pages: 145
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Review:

Hunter Ford has led what anyone from the outside would call a privileged life.  He’s from an affluent and influential family, and it looks like their prominence is only set to rise.  But for Hunter, the restrictions and chains that come with the ‘perks’ just don’t seem enough to make him happy–like being stuck on his uncle’s campaign for Vice President.  And to make him even less happy, his uncle has hired Steve, an image consultant, to make sure he doesn’t mess anything up.  Steve knows Hunter will be difficult and Hunter certainly doesn’t want him around–but will they be able to find some common ground since they’re stuck with each other?  And what might the tension between them give way to if it breaks?

This is definitely one of my favorite installments in this series.  We’ve had a glimpse of Hunter before, so it’s nice to get more of an understanding of his story and who (and why) he is.  The build and dynamic between Steve and Hunter is intriguing and it’s wonderful to see the character growth that occurs here.  It feels natural–not forced–and seems to fit in with their personalities (both as individuals and together).

Skybound by Aleksandr Voinov

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Title: Skybound
Author: Aleksandr Voinov
Published: August 20, 2012
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Pages: 44

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Review:
World War II. 1945. A Third Reich airfield. A young mechanic, Felix, is smitten with Baldur Vogt, a fighter pilot. Felix knows that he can do nothing more than observe Vogt from afar, but after Vogt pulls Felix from a crash and gets an offer to spend a few days away with him on leave, he learns maybe there can be more than just crushing in silence.

This one is definitely short, but there still a richness to the story. It’s always interesting to see stories set in WWII that don’t focus on Allied forces (because the latter tends to be what I see more often). While that wasn’t necessarily a huge factor in how the story played out, it was a difference that definitely stood out to me.

Title: The Liars’ Gospel
Author: Naomi Alderman
Publication Date: August 30, 2012

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
Review: 
This is a book that I would not have been likely to pick up if it hadn’t been offered to me by the publisher to read. And it’s honestly not surprising to me that the reviews on this book are pretty much at either end of the spectrum. Some people have a very hard time thinking objectively when they feel something touches close to their belief system, especially if it asks them to consider a different possibility or perspective.

The Liar’s Gospel is a work of historical fiction that looks at Jerusalem during the time of Roman occupation through the eyes of four people: Miryam (Mary), Iehuda (Judas), Caiaphas, and Bar-Avo (Barabbas). While, obviously, one common thread between these is the life of Yehoshuah (Jesus), I personally saw this as a text that looks much more at everyone else. It attempts to understand the political climate that existed at the time and how others may have viewed (or been forced to view) the situation and their options. It reflects the struggles of a people against an oppressive imperial regime and also points out just how often the story that ends up being told or remembered often leaves out both the struggles and accomplishments of those who aren’t central to the prevailing thread. As Alderman’s own epilogue states “Storytellers know that every story is at least partly a lie. Every story could be told in four different ways, or forty or four thousand. Every emphasis or omission is a kind of lie, shaping a moment to make a point. […] Do not imagine that a storyteller is unaware of the effect of every word she chooses. Do not suppose for a moment tat an impartial observer exists.” And this text illustrates that assertion splendidly.

(eGalley provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)