#BookReview: The Moonshine Messiah by Russell W. Johnson

Complex Almost Anti-Hero Leads Layered World Into Promising New Series. This is one of those books that touches on a lot of things – the opioid epidemic, the crash of coal in the push for so-called “green” energy, land speculation, family, the complexities of being on the right side of the “law” when your family isn’t, high school romance and the fallout thereof, traditional Southern living vs the newer get-rich-quick ethos… and even a strong dash of the militia movement and the mistakes on both sides of Ruby Ridge and Waco and the long shadows both of those events cast in certain communities. In the process, it creates a truly layered and compelling world that while just as complex as our own, still allows for a high degree of escapism (for most). And yet, it is also a brutal tale of survival and betrayal, of losing yourself and finding yourself over and over and over again. Of trying to become something you want to be, even as your community and even family are doing their damndest to drag you in other directions. Overall truly a remarkable tale for what it is, and one I am very much looking forward to coming back into this world. Very much recommended.

This review of The Moonshine Messiah by Russell W. Johnson was originally written on May 9, 2023.

#BookReview: Summer Nights With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews

His Father’s Son. (And yes, that particular phrase happens in this book.) This was a solid ending to this trilogy, featuring the oldest son of the family – and the one to turn his back on the family ranch, yet still be there when needed. There is a lot going on here, both within the romance and with Zach finding out that he doesn’t actually know everything he thinks he knows, and while the romance was a fairly standard/ fairly comedic “cold stoic meets fiery lady who can’t help but be awkward in his presence” type, the emotions playing out here with Zach and his parents – and in particular his father, late – are easily the show stealers of the tale. Yes, for those who have read this series starting with Book 1 (or even 2, as I did), we finally find out exactly why Zach left. And, ultimately, we get a long view conclusion of a happily ever after. Truly a book that works well on all fronts and accomplishes everything it needed to both within its own tale and within the series. Very much recommended.

This review of Summer Nights With A Cowboy by Caitlin Crews was originally written on March 21, 2022.

Featured New Release Of The Week: At Home by Carly Marie

This week, we look at a strong and rare (and unique, in my own reading experience) book from a debut author. This week, we look at At Home by Carly Marie.

This book overall is a solid romance between two guys roughly a decade apart in age (with the younger one being mid 20s) who happen to meet by chance. What follows is a moving romance wherein each tries to adjust to the other’s life while also exploring a particular kink that both have considered or actively participated in for several years. It is this particular kink – age play and specifically infantilism, including open discussion of whether the “boy” should wear a diaper – that ventures into “oh hell no” territory for this reader, but it works well within the story and Marie does a great job of humanizing those who enjoy this particular kink that many, perhaps most, would have the same reaction as this reader over. And it is for that reason above all others that this book is a very worthy read. It is a strong romance outside of those elements, but in its efforts to show that even those with kinks deemed particularly strange by mainstream society, it truly shines. Very much looking to see what Marie writes from here.

And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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