Dang Near Erotica Level MILF Lesbian* RomCom. Seriously: Read the title of this review. If that type of book isn’t for you for any reason at all… save yourself the time and the author the 1* review and just find something else to read. The sex scenes start in Chapter 1 and are fairly frequent throughout the book – and *far* from closed door. XXX “on screen”, in fact. And all the sex is between a 40 something woman whose daughter is in college and a 21yo female college senior. Again, if that isn’t your thing… just move on. Finally, there are f-bombs and other curse words quite heavily as well (not sailor/ programmer level, but also not Independent Baptist Church level either). So yet again, not your thing… just move on. Please.
For anyone else that is still here… this is a somewhat slow ish angsty romcom, but the resolution comes perhaps a bit too quickly once it finally gets to that point. Still, there actually is a decent amount of drama here, and a seemingly realistic (enough) portrayal of people actually in these types of situations. The comedy part of the “romcom” label is mostly in the initial few scenes between the leading couple, but there are laughs to be had throughout the book and the romance itself picks up when the comedy wanes, so it works. Really the only quibble for those still here is the flash-forward epilogue, which is one of those things your mileage may vary on but which does add a bit of humor to the tail end of the tale.
Overall this was a solid tale well told, and the characters themselves are rare enough that anyone seeking “something different” will find this quite refreshing indeed. Very much recommended.
*Note: While the characterization of the leading couple is *actually* bisexual, according to the text here, and one has even been married and had a kid (and the other had a boyfriend before the events of the book), the only romantic/ sexual relationships actually in the book are all of the sapphic nature, and thus for actual purposes of review would be considered lesbian in at least some circles.
This review of Mistakes Were Made by Meryl Wilsner was originally written on October 8, 2022.
This week we’re looking at a book that has a slow start and a LOT of moving parts that ultimately all ties together into a satisfyingly suspenseful tale. This week we’re looking at The Lying Club by Annie Ward.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Slow Start Yet Overall Satisfying. This is one of those books that starts a bit slow and has a LOT of moving parts and thus can be a touch difficult to keep track of at times, even for those of us who like this type of setup. One where there is little action and it seems a touch pointless at times… until the back parts of the book where the action truly finally picks up steam and gets fairly suspenseful. And yet, by the end all is tied up neatly – perhaps a bit too neatly, and the epilogue is perhaps unneeded as well. Ultimately a strong book that arguably tries to do a bit too much – but still largely succeeds in telling its tale its way. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, social and buy links.
Continue reading “Featured New Release Of The Week: The Lying Club by Annie Ward”
For this blog tour, we’re looking at a workable yet promising debut featuring a pair of murders in a small college town separated by several years. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Compelling Mystery. Could Have Used A Bit Better Editing. This is one of those debuts where the author clearly shows quite a bit of promise – even if trying to wrap in as many tropes as remotely plausible within the story – yet could clearly still use some polish. The mystery (ies!) is actually quite compelling, and the reader finds themselves *wanting* to know who the murderer (s!) is. That noted, using third person to tell the stories of both timelines makes them a bit harder to distinguish – particularly without any kind of time reference at the beginning of the chapters. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from Chapter 2 of the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Killing Time by Brenna Ehrlich”
For this blog tour we’re looking at a solid mystery that utilizes the new podcast fad quite well but which could have used better pacing overall. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan.
Solid Mystery That Could Have Used Better Pacing. Reading through the other Goodreads reviews on this one, a common complaint is the pacing and bloat of this book – and I tend to agree, to a point. There was in fact a lot of going over the same facts of the case, and that probably added a solid 20 pages to the length of this book just in that fact alone. But it wasn’t something that I particularly noticed while reading, and indeed while reading I thought this was a truly solid use of an emerging technique to solve cold cases. And while the body count may seem a bit high for a town with less than 80K (real-world) people, a quick Google shows that it actually isn’t outside the realm of reality, even this Millenium (when until recently, violent crime was plummeting across the nation). It does in fact read a bit as a setup for a potential series with our former US Marshal investigator here, and it could actually be an interesting series if that is the case. Overall an interesting and compelling mystery that will keep you guessing until it wants to reveal it secrets – and then transitions into a bit more of an action/ suspense tale to finish up the case. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Sorority Murder by Allison Brennan”
For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that further shows how an often stigmatized neurodivergence can actually be used for good rather than its stereotypical evil. For this blog tour we’re looking at Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian.
Complex Story With Interesting (But Unnecessary) Commentary In Finale. This is a particular idea that I didn’t really know I was drawn to until reading Victoria Helen Stone’s Jane Doe books, about a slightly more mature psychopath than these college students here. So when I saw the premise here, I pretty well *had* to check it out. The overall story works well and will keep you guessing – and you’re most likely not going to guess right until the final reveal. The various aspects of psychopathy shown work well, and work well to show that *everyone* can lead a fairly normal life – thus helping (a bit) to destigmatize the condition. Including the romance that at least a few other reviewers panned – I enjoyed it for showing that even true psychopaths are capable of it, though admittedly this isn’t a romance book and thus that element is never a core focus of the tale. The switching from character to character was usually abrupt and could have used a bit better editing, perhaps naming the character at the top of the chapter and even breaking into a new chapter (with character name) when a perspective jumps mid chapter. But that is perhaps something that could be seen at the beta/ ARC level (and this book is still almost two months from publication as I write this review) and *perhaps* corrected. So if you’re reading this review years after publication, know that this particular issue may or may not exist any longer.
The commentary in the finale, about the doc and his perspectives, wasn’t really necessary but did provide an interesting, rarely seen wrinkle. One I happened to know about outside of this book and largely agree with, so it was refreshing to see it both discussed and discussed in such a positive light here. But again, it was ultimately unnecessary for the tale and thus a bit of a momentum killer in the final stretch. (Though fortunately it *is* fairly brief, so there is that at least.)
Overall a truly enjoyable read with a fairly rare and possibly unique premise. Very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the usual publisher details – book description, author bio, social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian”
Complicated Yet Beautiful. Hawker has a way of painting pictures with words that are utterly beautiful, and yet also utterly ugly at the same time. Ultimately, this book reads like a more evocative, more painting quality version of the somewhat similar story David Duchovny created in Truly Like Lightning, even as it seems that both authors were working on these works for quite a number of years. Particularly in their showing of the worse sides of Mormon life, complete with overbearing and hypocritical fathers, this reads almost like as much an attack on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as the character study that it is. And yet, again, the way Hawker executes it here is utterly beautiful in its prose and storytelling. Hawker sucks you in, weaving these plot threads near and around each other before bringing them all together to grand effect. Ultimately the biggest quibble with this entire effort isn’t Hawker’s writing, but the actual description of the book – which leads one to believe certain aspects arguably happen sooner than they do. Indeed, Linda becoming “privy to a secret Aran and Tamsin share that could dismantle everything everyone holds dear” happens quite late (later than 80%, maybe even closer to the 90% mark), though again, the actual execution here is quite solid and indeed allows the book to end in surprising ways that were only very subtly hinted at much earlier. Even Aran and Lucy getting together to begin with seems to happen much later in the tale than the description seems to indicate, though that relationship *is* particularly well developed. Ultimately this is a book that Mormons likely won’t like, people with various misconceptions about Mormonism will probably tout, but one that tells a remarkable tale in the end. Recommended.
This review of The Rise Of Light by Olivia Hawker was originally written on May 21, 2021.
I got invited to work with another blog tour, this time working with a celebrity I’ve seen on my screens enough to be aware of the name and to have a generally good impression of. So for this tour, we’re looking at a book written by comedian Michael Ian Black talking about… well, most everything under the sun in what is truly a letter of love to his son on the event of his son leaving for college. This really is one of those kinds of books that so many fathers wish they could write to their own sons, and even more wish they had the ability to tell their sons their own thoughts on these topics and many similar ones. And that is the truest, brightest fact about this book: Black’s love for his son shines through in ways I’ve very rarely encountered in any other book. Which alone is more than enough reason to recommend picking up this book. Yes, I did in fact have a couple of quibbles with it as I discuss below in the Goodreads review. But even more than those, seriously, read this book just to see what so many sons wish their fathers could have told them and what so many fathers wish they could tell their sons. Truly a superb job, and you should absolutely go buy this book for yourself.
And the Goodreads review…
More Solid Than Jello, Less Solid Than Steak: Advice From Father To Son On The Event Of The Son Leaving For College. And with that long-ass title out of the way… 😀 Seriously, this is a near-perfect letter of advice about life, love, and other mysteries from father to son as the son heads off to college and happens to have a celebrity dad. His statements about mass shootings are 100% demonstrably incorrect in a couple of places (and I in particular once analyzed such data at a level *few*, *if any*, others have), and his statements about Ayn Rand and White Guilt are philosophically incorrect (but in line with expectations given his own liberal philosophy), but otherwise what Black writes here rings true. And nearly as importantly, the love for his son rings through even louder than any moral or philosophical point he makes here. This is a type of letter than nearly any man wishes his dad would have left him, and Black truly does an excellent job of showing his own thinking and philosophies about the various issues discussed. In the end, I personally would love a celebrity from the right – as well as one of the very few celebrity anarchists such as possibly Woody Harrelson – to write similar public letters for their own kids, as between the three one would likely get an even stronger overall look at the topic at hand. But for exactly what it is, this truly is a phenomenal work with a quibble here or there, and very much recommended.