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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

No Small Parts (Bluewater Bay #16) [Nat & Rafael] by Ally Blue

The struggle was real unfortunately.. I gave this one my best shot, I read through all of it, yeah from round the middle I DID skim a little but I tried and failed to connect to either Nat and Rafael. While Nat's life situation is heartbreaking, Rafael's life is nearly perfect (just needs to kickstart his directing career which he achieved throughout the story). He was too damn nosey but I guess it's what made Nat open up to him in the end. The story felt flat for me, even though it was dealing with difficult stuff - Nat's father addicted to pills, struggling with depression and Nat having to deal with all of it by himself with no help from anyone. Yet there were very few instances where I truly FELT Nat and ached for him. Which was a huge part of the problem..

Nat is playing a "silent werewolf", meaning his role doesn't include any lines but it's still the best paying job he could dream of, for taking care of his father and his issues though it's never actually enough.. His other family members couldn't care less about his father.. or rather, how Nat is dealing with all of that on his own even if his uncle (his mother's brother) and sister could help HIM and not directly his father. It was annoying how self centered they were and how much they didn't see what Nat needed. 

Rafael is working as an assistant to two stars on Wolf's Landing - Carter (whom we've met in previous books though it doesn't matter even if you haven't a clue who he is..) and Solari. Nat actually had a crush on Solari but in the end they both realized they are better off as friends. Also while Nat is bi, Solari is gay (and has a serious girlfriend, even if they have problems). That's how Rafael and Nat meet and from there the three of them form a friendship. While there are a few secrets between them they still make a friendship/safety net for Nat who couldn't believe his luck any time they step up and help him out. Back to Refael. His role as assistant is exactly what he needs to get in touch with Anna - the director of the show, so he can learn from her and also he has a little side project on his own he wants to promote (mostly through kickstarter) and he finally found his dream star for it - Nat! For him, Nat is a natural, even if most of the time he doesn't speak on his role as werewolf. Though even Anna realizes how much potential Nat has even if he doesn't have any experience in acting. 

Nat and Rafael start off as friends. It was actually nice this way. It takes them half the book to become more, and when they do, it's obvious how much they mean to one another as they are already good friends and as Nat gets more and more frustrated with the situation at home, he has someone to grab unto. 

I didn't like the way things were resolved (and at times never resolved) between Nat and his father. I mean, it was the PERFECT solution, I ask for this exact same thing in so many books were there is a poisonous character you want OUT of the picture. BUT, it's also the easy way out. Not to mention SO many things were left either unsaid or unresolved between them, between his other family members. It was totally flat, as so much of the book felt to me. The story was a good one, but the way it was written didn't grab me at all. I was bored out of my mind most of the book even though the things that were happening felt like they SHOULD matter, yet they didn't. 

Very disappointed. Don't know how to recommend this one (or not). I think if you can FEEL this story when you start you might have a totally different experience but for me it was a struggle almost right from the start. I couldn't connect to neither Nat nor Rafael's character. That's the frustrating thing about reading this kind of a series, the previous one was AWESOME, there were some others I really enjoyed but there were also quite a few I didn't enjoy.. and when each is written by a different author you can never know what you'll get.. Funny enough I started this series because of ONE book, and that one I didn't connect with as well.. grrrr frustrated! 

Read on:
24 Jan 2017

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought by collective authors, each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

1. Starstruck By L.A. Witt [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] (Published 3 November 2014) ★★★★
2. There's Something About Ari By L.B. Gregg [Buck Ellis & Ari Valentine] (Published 8 November 2014) ★★★★
3. Hell on Wheels By Z.A. Maxfield [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler-Constantine] (Published 29 November 2014) ★★★★
4. Lone Wolf By Aleksandr Voinov & L.A. Witt [Hunter Easton & Kevin Hussain] (Published 20 December 2014) ★★ (DNF 25%)
5. The Burnt Toast B&B By Heidi Belleau & Rachel Haimowitz [Ginsberg Sloan & Derrick Richards] (Published 11 January 2015) ★★★½
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid (Bluewater Bay #6) Valentine's Anthology (Published 7 February 2015) ★★★★
    [ Just Another Day [Levi Pritchard & Carter Samuels] by L.A. Witt  ★★★ ]
    [ Nascha By Amy Lane  ★★★★★ ]

    [ No Easy Way [Cary Teijan & Dylan James] By S.E. Jakes  ★½ ]
    [ Helping Hand [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] by Anne Tenino  ★★★★★ ]
    [ I'll Be There [Nash Holly & Spencer Kepler] By Z.A. Maxfield  ★★ ]
7. Wedding Favors By Anne Tenino [Lucas Wilder & Gabriel Savage] (Published 11 April 2015) ★★★★
8. The Deep of the Sound By Amy Lane [Cal McCorkle & Avery Kennedy] (Published 13 June 2015)  ★★★★
9. When to Hold Them By G.B. Gordon [Doran Callaghan & Xavier Wagner] (Published 15 August 2015)  ★★ (DNF 49%)
10. Rain Shadow By L.A. Witt [Jeremy Rose & Scott Fletcher]  (Published 17 October 2015) ★★★
11. Stuck Landing By Lauren Gallagher [Anna Maxwell & Natalya Izmaylova] (Published 12 December 2015) ★★ (DNF 38%)
12. How the Cookie Crumbles By Jaime Samms [Frederic Jackson & Blaire Caruthers] (Published 13 February 2016) ★★★¾
13. Selfie By Amy Lane [Connor Montgomery & Noah Dakers] (Published 16 April 2016) ★★ (DNF 51%)
14. All the Wrong Places By Ann Gallagher [Brennan Cross & Zafir Hamady] (Published 12 June 2016) ★★★½
15. Bluewater Blues By G. B. Gordon [Jack Daley & Mark Keao] (Published 15 October 2016)
16. No Small Parts By Ally Blue [Nat Horn & Rafael Cortez] (Published 19 December 2016) 
17. For A Good Time, Call... By Anne Tenino & E.J. Russell [Nate Albano & Seth Larson] (Published 8 April 2017)

Though I enjoyed many books in this series, I'm not going to continue past the 17th. Firstly, this series, with so many different authors and different themes and at times sub-genres made the whole experience "bumpy". I had too many books I didn't connect with and I feel like it's going to stay this way with the authors who weren't my favorite. Secondly I feel a bit unsure about supporting this publisher considering its recent revealed "shade".

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