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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Hitman vs Hitman by Cari Z. & L.A. Witt

I don't even know how much time it took me to read this book as I started and stopped a few times before I committed myself into it. Something about Ricardo and August/Augustus didn't "work" for me. They spent most of the book quarreling with one another disagreeing about anything and everything. The attraction was always there - I got that and I actually really appreciated that it took them time to act upon it. The book was very suspenseful but the real action started I think round 70% in and didn't stop right until the end which is when I got REALLY invested in the story. 

If you look at the almost satirical website "Rate Your Hit" you'd find the best hitman out there is Ricardo Torralba and right under him is August Morrison. This might look like the kind of website to have a good laugh about but it's actually genuine. But when Ricardo and August find themselves on the same job to off billionaire Lance Baldwin they feel like something is wrong. So very wrong. 

They run without finishing the job only to realize that since they didn't off each other whomever put them on the job is more than willing to finish it on his own. That means that though they're not exactly team players they need to work together and learn to trust one another and FAST.

Monday, August 24, 2020

Have Mercy by Christina Lee

This book is EVERYTHING.  I don't know how and if I can review it, or rather if I can give it the justice it deserves. This book spoke to something so deep inside me. A whisper of the past, of who I used to be, of what I've been through and the horse that stood by my side, silent, observing, offering comfort. "Only takes one horse to get their hooks in you" That's the truth. His name was Comet. I made a sad and conscious decision years ago to put my love for horses aside. It's no wonder I chose the closest thing I could have inside my home - a Great Dane. This breed own my heart, for sure. But my horses are not and will never not be forgotten.

Julian North is lost. He used to have a "job", a purpose, but after his honorary discharge from the military he is left with a bad knee and nightmares (not only during the nights). He is having a hard time adjusting to life, especially in the big city. Yet when his mother suggests spending the summer in cousin's farm in Wyoming he isn't sure it's a good idea. He always liked Sienna and she needs his help in something he is good at and would enjoy doing - converting a silo into a small store - still he isn't sure about it. Once he gets there it doesn't take him long to fall in love with the place, and a certain person...

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Stacking the Deck (The Kings: Wild Cards #1) [Jack & Fitz] by Charlie Cochet

While I'm usually a huge fan of Charlie's writing, this one didn't grab me. I liked both MCs but there was just too much cheese (as a lover of cheese myself). I have a very eventful and stressful few weeks and though books are my usual go-to destresser I needed something to HAPPEN. These two WERE adorable together but everything went SO WELL for them (until the action started about 60% in). Once THAT started this book was impossible to put down and I enjoyed it SO MUCH, exactly like I expect to with Charlie's books.

While this is the first book in the "Wild Cards" series, and I guess it COULD be read as a stand alone I don't recommend you do. This is an unmistakable continuation of the "Four Kinds Security" series. Jacopo Lorenzo Constantino or as everyone calls him - Jack (as well as Joker) were a part of the original Marine team together with Kind, Ace, Lucky and Red and if you haven't met them and experienced their shenanigans I think it's either going to put you off or confuse the HELL out of you. They are all happily coupled now. My recommendation - Start from the beginning! If you're into romance - the sweet and endearing kind - and also enjoy action this is the right choice for you. 

So back to the book at hand, Jack and Fitz have been dancing around each other for two years now. They met in Red and Laz's book ("Be Still My Heart") as Laz is Fitz best friend but though they haven't really been in touch, the Kings have been trying to push these guys together for all this time. Though it's mostly done by sneaky Laz making sure both were up-to-date with what's going on in each guys' life. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

High Heat (Hotshots #2) [Garrick & Rain] by Annabeth Albert

There are many elements I really liked in this one, including the issues Garrick was dealing with due to his accident while on the job as a Smoke Jumper. Rain was a breath of fresh air, to him, but also to me, as a reader. He's such a sweet considerate guy, none judgmental and honest in the best kind of way. He saw in Garrick so much more than the physical state he was in. So much more than he let the world around him see.

Near the end of the first installment Garrick Nelson finds himself hospitalized with severe injuries to his head, legs and spinal cord. The prognosis isn't very promising but he is a fighter, always has been and he is going to work HARD and get back to work, jumping off planes, even if it takes time to get there. A year later he has made a lot of progress and though he is frustrated at times he doesn't let himself dwell on those feeling - he fights on. His life is a lot more isolated than it used to be. He was a social guy, going out, hooking up, meeting with friends, but now everything is different. His friends offer him help and he doesn't know how to react - if they are serious or not (or just being polite..) - and also there are the looks, the questions he doesn't know how to answer, the memories and the knowledge he is "missing out" while his friends are doing the thing he loves most and cannot do now.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Better Be True (Harrison Campus #3) [Nico & Luke] by Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo

This book was THE sweetest. I loved everything about it so it's no wonder I finished it literally in one sitting. I'm already sorry this series is over. I hope Anyta and Andy have more plans for collaborations in the future they work so beautifully together - Nico and Luke are a "living proof" of that. While this is not exactly friends to lovers as they haven't known each other for long, it's more of a close proximity to lovers, the easy friendship they established right from the start made the transition from "pretend" to real more than natural. Both men were after a very recent breakup so jumping into a new relationship wasn't the best bet, but I think as both haven't experienced THIS kind of a connection, it was easy to put aside the heartache to build something real.

We've met Nico Giacomo Amato in the previous installment. He's
Isaiah roommate and best friend. While he's definitely the guy who knows how to have fun he doesn't seem to be able to keep any guy long term. People consider him to be "too much" - too touchy-feely, too colorful and too loud. But that's just who he is, and being anything else is simply unacceptable so when Tomas dumps him for exactly these reasons it hurts. That's exactly the moment his sister Elisa asks him to take over arranging her wedding and he NEEDS the distraction. Only problem is, he has to find a place in Philly for the summer to be able to do that and while he generally has the means to do it, he would rather find something cheap. That's where Luke comes in.

Lucas "Luke" DeRosa had it all figured out. He's the man with the plan. Always. So this time it's not different. After 9 months together (mostly long distance) he and Kent are going to share an apartment in Philly and work together in the law firm both are doing their internship in. That's when he gets an Email - an Email (!) - from Kent ending their relationship. As he's already signed his lease with Mrs. Randazzo for a one bedroom apartment - he cannot afford on his own - he doesn't know what to do. Looking for someone to share freaks him out but with his best friend and roommate Coury's encouraging him he puts an ad and hopes for the best.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Who Knows the Dark (The Vigilante #2) by Tere Michaels

Though this was a SUPERB book I was SO disappointed to realize the book ends with a cliffhanger and there in NO third book in sight. I mean Tere has said the book is practically ready but for some reason it hasn't been published yet. So while I DEFINITELY recommend this book (and the previous one"Who Knows the Storm"), keep in mind there are still a lot of unanswered questions and though Cade and Nox got closer together they still have a way to go before they can even call themselves a couple.

The previous book ended with Nox Boyet and his "son" Sam, together with Cade Creel, Mason Todd, Rachel Moon and Damian running away from New York City to Cade's family farm in South Carolina. It might felt awkward at first but with Cade's mother cooking a storm (and helping Sam get back in shape), his father patrolling with his shotgun (even if he plays the unhappy disappointed parent) and his brother who somehow turned into a hacker they manage to regroup and try to piece everything together. I wouldn't say Nox warmed up to Rachel (Jenny) but he came to realize she has a lot of knowledge that can help them solve the mystery of what's REALLY going on.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Who Knows the Storm (The Vigilante #1) by Tere Michaels

This (!) was a WONDERFUL surprise! It just shows when you adore an author venturing out to your less read genres is more than a good idea. I can't believe I read Tere's "Faith, Love and Devotion" series almost 6 years ago! It was superb! But as I'm still careful about reading Sci-Fi it took me long enough to actually grab it and start reading. While I usually find it difficult to connect with a futuristic dystopian world, Tere managed to make this cold rainy and frankly terrifying New York City too intriguing to put aside. Our two MCs couldn't be more different in the way they conduct their lives but inside they are both caring and loyal so when they realize they have something to figure out working together felt right.

Nox Boyet life consists of secrets and lies and not only because he chooses to wear black every night to protect the lives of the less fortunate citizens of New York City. There are thugs, gang member as well as drug dealers selling "Dead Bolt" the newest designer drug. That's why he stayed when he could have found a way to leave this decrepit part of the city. His other focus in life, the one that keeps him going, is his son Sam. He isn't really his son but it doesn't matter and he would rather not think about that day when so many died and he and Sam lived.

When a "model" from the Iron Butterfly Casino appears at their door offering Sam a letter concerning his "real" parents, Nox is LIVID. While he knows the truth, or enough of it, he doesn't want Sam to be a part of any of it. He would rather keep Sam in the dark about the powerful people who played a part in their need to keep quiet and away. It's better everyone thinking Nox Boyet has died that day and Sam doesn't even exist. But it seems someone found out after all.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Hands Down by Mariana Zapata

I ADORE Mariana's writing. I didn't even KNOW I love slow burn so much until I started reading her books. But I do! and in this one you have to WAIT and wait and wait and it's SO worth it because besides LOVING the slow burn it's also my favorite trope of (best) friends to lovers. It took me long enough but I DID finally realized why Zac was familiar.. He has already appeared in a previous novel by Mariana - "The Wall of Winnipeg and Me" - being firstly Aiden's roommate and second a close friend to Vanessa. These two actually make an appearance in this one which was much appreciated and also made me want to read it all over again.

Like all of Mariana's books this one is also solely told from our heroine - Bianca Maria Brannen. While she didn't have the easiest life she has managed to make it her own and even make a successful business as a cook on social media. She is still working at the front desk of "Maio House" (the business Elena's family from "The Best Thing" has founded) but until her close friend Deepa who also works there finds another job she is staying to be there for her and secure herself a bit more before counting on her rather new found business to support her.

She has a big extended family, but her close one is rather small with parents working far away they entrusted both her and her her big sister Connie to the loving hands of her Mama Lupe who cared for both girls as well as 2 certain boys until her last days. The two boys are Boogie - Bianca's cousin who is like a real brother to her, and Zachary "Zac" Travis his best friend who also lives close by. All of Bianca's childhood and teens are filled with endless memories of them spending time together and though Boogie and Zac are 7 years older than her, it never truly affected their friendship spending time together, playing and laughing. But things changed when Zac left their small town to college and became a known quarterback. They might call him "Big Texas" now, but he used to be her much smaller "Snack Pack" best friend. Back when he remembered who she was..