Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ARC REVIEW Need You by Stacy Finz

Need You is the first book of Stacy Finz's new series The Garner Brothers. It's in the same universe a her Nugget California series, where this takes place is Glory Junction and it's the tourist town that is just a stone's throw away from Nugget. I love this series already. The Garner brother's are all just... man, I am looking forward to each of their books.

Colt Garner is the Sheriff of Glory Junction, his parents helped put glory Junction on the map with their Outdoors Adventure company. They offer group trips that go hiking, white water rafting, skiing, and a multitude of things that you could do outdoors. Colt fills in when needed but he wants to concentrate on being Sheriff  especially since the new mayor is not a fan of Colt's and is trying to undermine everything. But aside from the idiot mayor and trying to move past his ex-fiancee everything is fine or it would be if his big city neighbor would stop parking in his spot.

Delaney Scott moved into her Glory Junction home after the bitter divorce to her business manager, who not only got half the company in the divorce but also her name. The Delaney Scott brand was her's and while she admits she didn't pay as much attention to the business side as she should have it's her creative genius that made the brand famous. Now she has to start all over, if only she can create something new. Delaney hit a slump she hasn't been able to design anything since the divorce and if she wants to start over she needs something spectacular. What she finds is the stubborn sheriff who provides a fresh new perspective and a muse.

Delaney and Colt make a cute couple it's a shame it took them so long to figure it out. Once they get past arguing over parking spots and they become friends who finally give into the sexual tension that's been building every time they are together. The build up of their relationship was really nice and really cute. They both have things going on in their lives and they help each other out when and where they can and work to get past the baggage that they carry.

Overall, I really liked it. I love Stacy Finz's writing style and she's has such a way with small town romances.        

ARC REVIEW Pieces of Me by Shiloh Walker

Pieces of Me is an odd one. If you know Shiloh Walker's writing you know she can get really dark and this one is no exception. Shadow Grace Harper was a young artist who met an older man and fell head over heals, as the years pass she finally break out of his controlling hold, he has manipulated her and abused her to the point she is no longer the person she once was. She has become so paranoid he'll come and force her back that she has become obsessive compulsive about her locks, windows and everything else. It's been three years and she is just starting to feel in control of her life, sort of. She has a routine she follows and any deviation will cause severe panic attacks.

One morning as her usual she spend down at the beach drawing, the man she nicknamed Lobo because his tattoo spoke to her. Caught completely by surprise she panics, it's only late she realizes she left her notebook, the same one she's been drawing very suggestive pictures of him. The whole day she spent worrying about her notebook absolutely certain it would be gone forever. But the next morning she finds it sitting at her usual spot but on one of the pictures her mystery guy wrote something.  She continues the morning as usual except this time he sits with her introduces himself, Dillian Jenkins.

Dillian is patient and kind to Shadow, he pushes her comfort zone but yet she feels safer with him than she has in the last eight years. But Shadow's ex-husband hasn't left her alone completely he has been paying someone to watch her and when Dillian comes into the picture he comes back to torment Shadow once again. But can Dillian offer her the much needed strength so she can finally get rid of her ex for good or will Dillian's own secret betray that trust.

Overall, the story was heartbreaking. The insta-lust between Shadow and Dillian was hot; sexual chemistry up the wazoo. Unfortunately this has one of those non-end kinda endings, it could be a cliffhanger but it doesn't feel like it. I enjoyed it it was an emotional journey for Shadow. Shiloh Walker knows how to write heroes I love.          

ARC REVIEW DC Universe Rebirth Justice League of America vol 1: the Extremist

Justice League of America

DC Universe Rebirth

Vol. 1 The Extremist

Issues 1-6
By Steve Orlando
Art:  Joe Prado, Ivan Reis, Various, Felipe Watanabe

Story: Now that Superman and Batman have redeemed Killer Frost they need someplace to put her and Batman has just the place. With the Justice League full of Aliens Batman feels that the people need a group of superheroes that aren’t aliens, so he got together Vixen, Black Canary, The Ray, Atom (but not Ray Palmer) Frost who has dropped Killer from her name, and Lobo. (Wait Lobo I thought this was supposed to be humans, whatever.) Finding out how they work together is trial by fire when a multiverse group of powerful beings tries to take over the world to save us from ourselves, by any means necessary. That includes killing anyone who objects to them. JLA decides the best course of action is to rally the people and defeat the Extremist together.

Art: The art was nice it had one awesome two page spread. I love how Frost and Vixen were drawn, and even though I don’t like Lobo he was drawn pretty well.

Review: After first reading it I really liked it but going back to it now I find it a little lacking Justice League vs. Suicide Squad was massive and non-stop and unfortunately JLA did get dry in some spots. I liked the characters (except Lobo) and I like them working together; this was a great idea but finished product it just okay.      

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ARC REVIEW Blackthorne's Bride by Joan Johnston

Blackthorne's Bride is book four in the Mail Order Bride series. It is part of the Bitter Creek universe the Wentworth family married into the the Creed family in the previous book of this series. The Wentworth's are orphaned, their parents died in a fire and the children went to an orphanage. The older siblings one by one ran away taking the younger kids with them. The girls had no choice but answer mail order bride ads to save themselves and their siblings. Josie was with her older twin sisters in a wagon train when it was attacked by the Sioux. Josie defended herself and for that she was captured and tortured. Marcus Wharton, the Duke of Blackthorne, was in the American west with the hope of hunting buffalo what he found was a young woman with a will stronger than anything he's ever seen. After buying her from the Sioux he nursed her and brought her back to England with him. He asked his best friend and soon to be brother-in-law to make sure she made it back to her family after she healed.

Marcus continued living his life he married but his wife died along with the child she was carrying. Marcus was devastated by their deaths and finding out just how much his father squandered away a left the family and estates in desperate need of funds. In his final act of desperation Marcus put an add in the paper looking for a willing heiress. Marcus often thought about that girl he saved and where she was now.
Josie Wentworth wasn't that far way, she never made it back to America she was taken to one of Marcus' forgotten estates in Scotland and became a maid-of-all-work she grew to hate him not just  for not sending her back home but also for the abandonment of his nephews, two rambunctious boys. But that all changed the day a Pinkerton man came to the estate and told Josie that not only was her family alive and well but the money they thought was gone after their father's death had been stolen by their Uncle and was now returned to the children. She was now an heiress.

Josie hated leaving the boys behind but her plan was to convince Blackthorne to give her custody of the nephews he cares so little for and she will give him the money he needs. Josie doesn't remember what Blackthorne looks like she was too fevered to remember and she's hoping he doesn't recognize her. The plan changes slightly after meeting Marcus she agrees to marry him that way he gets his money and she has every legal right to the boys. But Blackthorne isn't who she thought he would be and she finds herself falling in love with him. Marcus is intrigued with the beautiful American who showed up on his door in just enough time to save the day. Josie hiding who she is isn't the only problem they face the Dowager Blackthorne hates Josie, Marcus' twin sisters are beautiful young woman but trouble makers and Marcus' best friend is hiding something he should have told his friend long ago.

Overall, this was a typical Joan Johnston romance novel, that's not a bad thing, I love her books it just means that the main characters go through a lot before they finally get their HEA in a way that is very telling to Joan Johnston, I could probably pick out her books anywhere. I love the Bitter Creek series but this is my first of the Mail order Bride series, I did feel a little lost not knowing everything that had happened before but not so much that I didn't enjoy the book. I will add this series to my Joan Johnston library.    

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ARC REVIEW Dark Horse Comics: Life and Death mini series

Life and Death

Dark Horse Comics

Predator and Prometheus

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Andrea Mutti (Prometheus), Brian Thies (Predator)
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Cover Artist: David Palumbo

The story starts off in Predator, where a group of colonial marines are to assist the Weyland-Yutani in making sure the planet isn’t being illegally strip mined. Not only do they find evidence of another company there but a strange horse shoe shaped alien craft that is being protected by a group of ruthless hunters. The colonial marines are split into two groups as one distracts the Predators and the other sneaks on board the alien craft. But something happens and the original pilot wakes up and takes off with the marines still on board. In the second chapter, continued in Prometheus, the engineer takes off and lands on another planet. The marines exit off the ship only to run into a bunch of xenomorphs, they are rescued by a small group of survivors including a Predator they named Ahab. This just keep going from bad to worse when the Engineer wake up another one of his kind and starts hunting the survivors. It continues in Aliens Life and Death.

Art: Absolutely beautiful, both Brian Thies and Andrea Mutti did a remarkable job depicting the alien landscape, space and the Xenomorphs, Predators, and Engineers. The level of detail in each is impressive. So much of the story is told in the art and I think they did a great job telling their part.

Review: Overall, I think this was a great crossover between the three, and so far the story is captivating and the art beautiful. One thing I have noticed about Alien and Predator comics is that always just seem to throw you into the story and then fill in the blanks as you go. There is minimal character development but each new one brings in more characters. The Weyland-Yutani company plays more of a part in Predators and the ruthlessness of the company comes out very clear especially when the representative is willing to sacrifice the Marines to the Predators in order to get the alien spacecraft back to the company.

ARC REVIEW DC Universe Rebirth Harley's Little Black Book

Harley’s Little Black Book

DC Universe Rebirth

Story by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

Art by: John Timms, Amanda Conner, Simon Bisley, William Tucci, Joseph Michael Linser, Dave Johnson, Neal Adams, Mauricet, Amanda Conner, Flaviano

Story: This is yet another collection of Harley hijinks. It includes Harley impersonating Wonder Woman, talking to the dead with Zatanna, gaining Lantern powers and fighting the Green Lantern, fighting an epic battle royal with Superman, working the Bombshells to defeat Hitler, and getting lost in space with Lobo. It is 258 pages if Harley being Harley, trying hard to be good but often her actions get misinterpreted.

Art: The art is all on par with what I expect from Amanda Conner, John Timms, and Dave Johnson. Mauricet works the Green Lantern story with John Timms for some pretty impressive Lantern action. Joseph Michael Linser does the art for Dispirited Spirits, a beautiful Zatanna and the eerie supernatural. Billy Tucci shares the Bombshells with Joseph Michael Linser and Flaviano with plenty of that outstanding Bombshell style and double the Harley. No Pain No Sane features the art of Neal Adams it’s a riot of activity and color (Paul Mounts) the amount of detail is impressive. Bare-assed and Belligerent is probably the only one I didn’t like both art and story, I’m just not a fan of Simon Bisley’s art.

Characters: Harley and her Gang, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, The London Legion: Double Decker, Tiffany Terror, Pub Crawler, Big Bad Ben; Green Lantern, A trio of unlucky ghosts and the demon that binds them to Earth, The Bombshells: Batwoman, Amanda Waller, Zatanna, Big Barta, Catwoman, Harley Quinn; Superman, Lois, Jimmy, and an unsuspecting Aliens looking for a fight, and Lobo

Review: Overall it was fun as are most of Harley’s adventures, silly and very, very not politically correct. Lobo’s story was the only one I really didn’t like, but I really don’t care for Lobo anyways.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

ARC REVIEW Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Too Scot to Handle is book two of the Windham Brides series a spinoff series to Grace Burrowes' Windham Family series. I tell you I was a little intimidated when I opened the book and saw that big family tree, but it is safe to say I read this one just fine without reading the first book or the books in the previous series. The Windham Brides are four sisters, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Megan, and Anwen Windham they are cousins to the Windhams in the other series.

This book was so fun to read, it was well written with the right amount of humor, deception, romance and action. The main characters kind of ease into their romance. Anwen is so concerned with the orphanage she is almost oblivious when Colin starts to show interest. It's an easy romance too, once they share with each other how they feel it's nice because they are both open and honest about everything, not even the vindictive and conniving actions of certain people can change that. Anwen has dedicated herself to the orphanage the House of Urchins. She's trying to find a way to make sure they have enough clothes, food, and coal for the winter months as well as the salary for the headmaster. The older boys are a rambunctious group who have a pivotal part in the main story line. Colin is out of the Army and at times wishes he was back in it, trying to fit in with the London society is very depressing, his so called friends are a bunch of idiots who spend money better than they make it and as much as Colin needs help fitting in his patience only goes so far. Anwen is the only person he's met that has ethics close to his and getting in on the board of directors for the House of Urchins is his way of getting close to her not to mention he agrees with her cause.

Anwen's overprotective family sees what is happening and makes sure they know everything about Colin, even though his brother did just marry Anwen's sister, in the book The Trouble with Dukes. Someone is out to get Colin, to scare him out of London and make a mockery of him, but not even blackmail will work. Colin quickly learns that even though Anwen's family is overprotective they will close ranks and protect what's theres and that now includes him since it's obvious Anwen loves him. But it's not just Colin that's in trouble but the orphanage is in trouble when a great amount of money has gone missing.

Overall, this was a great book, very enjoyable, loved the characters and the protagonist was perfectly hateful.