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Review: The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker

Thursday, June 22

My rating:
4 Stars…
Quote…He smirked like he knew the answer already. "Does it work?"
"Yes," I answered way too quickly. I wouldn't apologise for my excitement. He should just be grateful I didn't answer with interpretive dance. "Yes, it does.
Quote…
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What I loved:

I thought this story was hilarious! I loved so many things about Henry, and even though he hid behind jokes, his jokes were funny as shit and I loved listening to him.

Henry. I loved his motivation, and commitment to improving himself, and how - when he put himself out there and let people see the real him - he was spectacular. I would so love to be his friend. Except now he's super fit and active, and my most hardcore exercise this week involved carrying a wine delivery into my kitchen, but we could cook together because he makes some delicious dishes! I adored so many things about him, with all his social awkwardness.
Quote…Now I walked in with a smile. I couldn't believe how much had changed.
"Hi, Henry," some guy said, I think his name was Dave.
"Good, thanks."
Okay, well, not that much had changed.
Quote…
Reed. Not only does he sound delicious, he's a genuinely nice guy. This was a nice, happy, sweet and enjoyable story, with wonderful characters and a whole lot of the joys going on. I really needed Reed to get his HEA, because he earned it from start to finish.

Eadie - the sister. Even though we only met her once, I liked her. And Sean. And Henry's mum. Ms. Walker writes wonderful characters.

Also, I've read a lot of stories lately that involve some level of angst around the heroes being gay, and this story had none of that. Nobody cared that they were gay, neither of them were hiding it, and nobody in their lives had issue with it. Sean, Henry's BFF's boyfriend, was a spectacular conduit for laidback acceptance.
Quote…"I won't change that much," I replied. "Because believe me, when this pasta comes out I'm gonna suck those carbs down like a blowjob."
Sean choked on his drink, and Anika raised her glass to mine. "That's my boy."
Quote…
Also, I enjoyed reading an Aussie based story, because I know the places Ms Walker is talking about, and they speak like kiwis. So I feel like this is happening to someone I know. I like relateable.

What I didn’t love:

The sex scenes were good, but over super quick. Like, with all the sexual tension that built up, I thought it would be more explosive. Actually, being explosive was kind of the problem.
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Owned. That phrase was used a lot. He owned me with his tongue. Or with his kiss. Or with his body. Just, yeah... a lot of owning happening.

Emily and The Chat. I felt like that ruined what came after it a little bit, especially since this is a great, slow burn story. To have her push things the way she did didn't seem like it fit.

Overall…
I liked this story and the characters heaps, but I just wanted a little more in certain places.
Overall, though...

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Review: How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long

Tuesday, June 20
My rating:
4.5 Stars…
Quote…At the moment he could think of no finer accomplishment, nothing else he aspired to. I did that. I made her this happy.

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What I loved:

This is my first novel by Ms Long, and I loved a billion things about it. But I'll be brief, because I'm trying to simplify.

Phoebe with all her depth, intelligence, kindness, and her duality. She's a normal person - she appreciates the good, but still has her bitch side intact. She was definitely no angel, and that's what made her such an accessible, wonderful heroine.

Jules. Gorgeous, invincible, responsible, clueless Jules. I really enjoyed watching his character grow and fall in love, even though he had no idea how to cope with the love bit.

The storyline in general. It was entertaining, had great tempo, kept me enthralled, and also left me guessing because of how the first chapter kicked off. I kept thinking aha! This is when it happens! And then it didn't and so dummy me was stumped for another little while.

Ms Long writes pretty. I love how she writes.
Quote…She thought of the marquess scooping a moth out of the air and releasing it again, only to watch it head straight for the lamp again.
Helpless not to risk it's whole existence for light and warmth.

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I also liked that our couple was together in every chapter of the book, so no wasted time.
What I didn’t love:
Lisbeth was an asshole. And you knew she was going to be an asshole, so it bugged me that it took Phoebe so long to figure it out.

The trendsetting. It just all felt a bit... easy? Unbelievable? It was annoying, anyway.
Overall…
Loved it like a chocolate fish with hot chocolate. It was so easy to read, so enjoyable, so hot.

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Aaaaand this review was just as long as the rest.

Review: Off Base (Out Of Uniform #1) by Annabeth Albert

Sunday, June 18
My rating:
3.5 Stars…
Quote…He had a healthy fear of falling, an innate knowledge of what a bullet could do, but he hadn't thought a single word could end him. But here he was, dying as his heart walked out of this place with Pike. Quote…
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What I loved:

First off, and everyone probably knows this but me, the Carina Press Romance Promise. Nice work, you Carina Press peoples! I like that all their stories have a HEA/HFN guarantee.

Second off: Pike. He's out and proud, confident, and open. He is unapologetically himself, and I treasured him for that. He had already put himself out there in the past for a 'tourist' and he wants to protect himself this time around. I thought he was wonderful.
Quote…I would think you'd be happy to-"
Pike held up a hand. "How about you stop before you call me a slut, okay? And yeah, I flirt. That's my right. And joking about threesomes that aren't happening? Dude, have you looked at Ryan lately? And it's my right not to screw around with straight guys."
The writing is great.
Quote…Pike still felt the tendrils of the dream licking at his senses hours later.
Also, loved the military theme and how Zack & Ryan and friends deal with the bullying situation. I didn't know what the US army's DADT policy was until I read this book, so feeling a wee bit smart now.
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What I didn’t love:
I know Zack stepped up in the end, but I'm starting to think romances where one partner is struggling to come out are not my thing. I just spend too much time being sad for the other partner.

Overall…
Off Base is well written, a great story, and I can see why it rates so highly. But I struggled with Zack's struggle and it slowed the pace down for me.
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Review: Touching Ink (Touch #6) by Cara Dee

Friday, June 16
My rating:
4 Stars…

Hella filthy M/M/F ageplay novella, a decent storyline, and surprisingly - there was a fair bit of emotion packed into this one, too. More than the first 4 (I didn't read #5), but nothing over the top. Because lets be honest, you're not reading this hot little number for the character development.
Quote…You wanna put your hard little cock inside Daddy? Quote…
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Overall…

Cara Dee writes awesome dirty, and (not to be all high school teacher about this but) she also keeps it informed and responsible.

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Review: Mack Daddy by Penelope Ward

Wednesday, June 14

My rating:
1.5 Stars…

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What I loved:

Ms Ward does great dirty. One full star just for that, alone.

I liked Victor. And Jonah, Mack's son, was a pretty interesting little fella with all his issues.

What I didn’t love:

Just too many little things that, when combined, makes for one unappetizing story. The powerful, corrupt father figure and the idealistic son - I've read this story before, many times, in many incarnations, and this version was the flattest, dullest and most obvious, all at once. Heroine calling other women whores, whilst cheating (especially when Frankie's boyfriend didn't even need to exist!), justifying shit to make the plot work (evil ex, evil father, etc), couple moving too fast, unrelateable heroine, perfect godlike hero, random peripheral characters used to create dialogue that will point stuff out to the reader because A. we're too stupid to figure it out on our own, or B. the author hasn't taken the time to paint the picture. Caricature characters that had no human-ness at all. Just all of it.
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Overall…
1 star for the excellent smut, 1/2 pity star for Victor getting his ass played and not in the way I'd like to read it, no stars for the done-to-death plot, flat characters or the forgettable story.

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