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Review: Wolfsong (Wolfsong #1) by T.J. Klune

Wednesday, May 31

My rating:
4 Stars….75
Quote…And I've been waiting," Joe said. "For him to look at me like I looked at him. And he finally did. He finally did. And I'm going to do everything I can to make sure it stays like that. Because I want him for always."

What I loved:

So. This one hurt my heart. I'm putting that down as something I loved because it was meant to hurt my heart. Ox had it so rough early on in the story, that I got to this point:
Quote…People won't understand you," he said.
"They won't get you."
"I don't need them to." I wanted them to, very much, but I could see why they wouldn't.
And thought Ummmm. Should I maybe stop before my heart falls out of my ass? So Mr Klune does an amazing job of pulling on the ole heartstrings and making you fall in love with Ox from the start. It's that protective kind of love, more than the I want to lick you like a lollipop, I'm crushing so hard kind.
Quote…I'm not much. I don't have a lot. Sometimes I feel dumb and I say stupid things. My dad left, and I make mistakes all the time. I didn't go to college, and I come home with grease under my fingernails and on my pants. I don't have many friends..."


The slow burn, friends to lovers story is always a good'un for me. When we first meet Joe he's only a little guy, and we watch he and Ox and their friends growing, and bonding, and developing as characters in a really well thought out way.

The writing style. The story is told by Ox, and Ox has a really simple way of looking at the world, so we get to share in that. I don't know if I could read in this voice all the time, but it was perfectly suited to this story, and to Ox, so I enjoyed it. It was easy, it had a good speed, and it was quirky.

Ox's friends. The Bennett's, Chris, Tanner, Rico, Jessie - I loved their loyalty, the humour they bought to the story, the depth, the way Mr Klune made me care what happened to all of them, and the way he made all of them care for Ox.
Quote…I know karate," Chris said. "I took it for three months when I was 10."
"I have a hammer," Rico said.
"Jesus Christ," I muttered. But I thought they were ours.
The wolf stuff. I loved the way they communicated, how they shifted, how they carried themselves, all of it. This was my first ever werewolf story - if you don't count Twilight, and I don't - and I loved how I was drawn into that world.


What I didn’t love:
The lying and keeping secrets from loved ones, about midway and again near the end. It never ends well, and I don't like it in anything I read because it turns me against characters and I really didn't want to be turned against this particular character. 

Apart from that, this would have been a 5 star read for me, instead of an almost 5.

Quote…i'm coming
please don't leave
please wait for me
please love me

Review: Rough (Filthy F*ckers MC #2) by Scott Hildreth

My rating:
5 Stars…
Quote…A great kiss is a sign of what's to come."


What I loved:

Tegan. She might be one of my favourite heroines in all the book worlds ♥ She's so comfy in her own skin, so genuine, candid, but also thoughtful, caring, open hearted, strong, independent, and she doesn't take shit from anyone. She's just so many great things. I have so many highlighted sections for her that I don't even know which ones to show you!
Quote…I let you slide the first time you called me a bitch, back at the wreck. I felt like I owed it to you. But if you call me a bitch again, I'll drop your big ass where you stand."


Pee Bee. Ok, so I was in love with him after Hard, but I always thought his name was short for Peanut Butter. Who knows why I thought that. Anyway - he's aaaahhhhhh-mazing. I love me some sexy giant, and he's 6'8 so yeah - there's that. But more than that, he's so cool. I love that this is an enemies to lovers story, and he really is an asshole to her in the beginning. And for some damaged reason I find that hella sexy. Then we see them building a relationship, and I loved the way it unfolded. No insta-love here, and I was so excited by how this story focused on our characters, and didn't lean on the FFMC or manufactured, unnecessary dramas. And Pee Bee is actually such a gentleman. When he decides to step up and woo (tried to find another word, but woo fit best), holy shitballs he does it all the way.

And the vengeance. The delicious, evil, violent vengeance against that guy! I love when Pee Bee unleashes his inner demon.
Quote…If you scream or stand up while I'm walking away, I'll come back here and cut your fuckin' throat, understood?"

The relationships. This is what I mean - this story was all about the characters, and their bonds with each other. Pee Bee and Bradley, Tegan and Bradley, Bradley & Deann, Crip & Cholo & Pee Bee... considering that this story deals with a really sad thing, there were so many heartwarming, happy, laugh out loud moments to be had here.
Quote…You do one thing, and I mean only one, to hurt that girl emotionally, physically, or spiritually, I'll get up out of this chair and kick your ass up between your shoulder blades. You'll have to take off your shirt to take a god damned shit. Is that understood?"
"God damn, Pop. I was just -"
Quote…You didn't have to fuck with me in front of the fellas, Crip," I complained. "Seems like you just like doing it sometimes."
"How long you been in the club, princess?"
I glared at him. "See? That was un-fucking-necessary."
- Crip & Pee Bee
What I didn’t love:

I would have liked to know more about what Tegan's ex did. Maybe?

Also - and this isn't the author's fault at all because technically Bradley was right to play it in Scrabble, but our native tree is not called a kaury. It's a kauri. Fuck you, Websters Dictionary. If you're interested, this is a kauri - his name is Tane Mahuta and he's 2000 years old. Those little coloured blobs at the bottom of the picture are full grown humans.


And now, back to the review...

Quote…Balls out.

Review: Frog by Mary Calmes

Tuesday, May 23

My rating:
4 Stars…& a 1/2 ♥
Quote…Thank you."
"For what?"
"Wantin' me instead of the guy who's better for you."

What I loved:

Frog is ultra-fluffy. Like, bless my little cotton socks fluffy. I think that's something you need to be in the mood for, but if you are feeling a little traumatized and violated by your last book - this is your jam.

So. Fluffiness factor set to mad high because this gorgeous little story has:

A vulnerable, over 40's hero with a glorious heart, a compassionate, gentle nature, who is down on his luck. I loved Weber's understanding in all people-related situations - he was laid back, accepting, and totally the mountain Micah thought he was.

An ultra successful, closed off hero who, even to his own family comes across as aloof, standoffish, cold and distant, but who blossoms into a gorgeous, happy, playful lover who wears his heart on his sleeve, when Weber is with him.

Quote…Web," he growled low, hands on my hips. "Please let me have you. I will take such good care of you."
Gorgeous little kids who desperately need some love in their lives.

Fantastic, supportive, no-drama family support.

Welcoming, encouraging peripheral characters.

Awesome sex. I should have put that up the top, because it really does belong in the top 2 reasons I love this book.

And I was so, so thankful that in this story, everybody finds a place for themselves. Everybody fits, and everybody is important and that was exactly what I needed.

What I didn’t love:

It's so short! I didn't take any bit of a point off for it, because I kind of felt like it ended right when it should, and had tons of good shit in there so I didn't feel anything was missing, or that anything could be added.

Having said that, there was a point where I felt like I'd come into the story half way through, and most of the bonding had already happened. It would have been good to maybe see Weber leave once? Like, even just one chapter of their past. We do get the chapter where they met, which was hot.


The writing was excellent, the pace was smooth and engaging, and the story itself was the shit. Loved it like a fresh-outta-the-oven brownie with ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge sauce, a big glass of pinot, fat pants and a roaring fire.


Review: The Like Switch by Jack Schafer

Friday, May 19

My rating:
3 Stars…& 1/2 stars
Quote…If you want people to like you, make them feel good about themselves


What I loved:

I really enjoyed the real world examples from Dr. Schafer's time with the FBI. They were interesting, and I liked trying to spot the ways he put his own advice into action.

Learning more about body language. Since I listened to this on Audible, I got the accompanying PDF, and I'm always down for reading that feels like a game. This was one of those books that gives you things to spot and situations to analyze. And it's always fun putting human behaviour tips into real world situations - in a bar, at a dinner, at sports functions - just watching people interact, armed with a whole new insight.

The last chapter, about the German prince and the lady. Interesting stuff.

His fresh take on empathic statements. We all know how to mirror back what someone is saying, to show we are listening, but I felt like The Like Switch offered ways to make empathic statements not sound so cheesy and obvious. Speaking of - I liked that Dr Schafer pointed out that while we might feel the use of these techniques is obvious, they really don't have to be noticeable to be effective. Having used them a few times lately, he's so right. It feels obvious and manipulative when you're doing it, and then you see a good result and think holy shit, I can't believe that worked.

The chapter about why you shouldn't engage with angry people. That one, I really liked.

What I didn’t love:

I felt like this book was confused about it's target audience. A lot of the early chapters were like People 101. Most of us, who have spent any amount of time around people, know not to be too handsy with strangers because it's creepy, and don't cross your arms when you're talking because you look defensive or angry, and make reasonable eye contact without staring because staring is super weird, and angle your body towards someone if you're trying to build rapport. Those things just come from being a reasonably functional human being, I think. I felt like the kind of person who would buy a book like this already understands the basics, so there were a few wasted chapters there.

Likewise at the end, there was a chapter about safe internet use, which I felt wasn't relevant for anyone under the age of 65. It would have been nice to have some more real life examples from Dr Schafer's life to see the Like Switch system play out.


A good read with some useful techniques and I learned a lot. Case in point:
Quote…Men with lower self-esteem tend to select women who are less physically attractive and women with lower self-esteem tend to select mates who are lower income earners

Review: Hot as Puck (Bad Motherpuckers #1) by Lili Valente

Tuesday, May 16

My rating:
5 Stars…

Holy shit, this was good! I'm jealous of everyone who still gets to read it for the first time.


What I loved:
Quote…He's a shark who roams the open sea banging all the sexiest, most beautiful and successful female sharks, and you're a goldfish who's never been out of your bowl.
Lili Valente is an amazing storyteller. I have highlights on almost every page. There's something wonderful unfolding all the time in this book, and I just couldn't tear myself away from it. I wanted to absorb it into my bloodstream or something less weird but equally as graphic.

All the characters are amazing.

Libby is a sweet, little-life-having, humble, kind, insightful, thoughtful, funny, awkward, charming, phenomenal woman. If she was real, I'd trade my BFF in for her, except that crochet still sounds hella boring to me unless there's a naked Justin selfie involved.

Justin is all kinds of hotness. The chemistry between these two is off the charts, but even when they weren't going at each other like rabid Energizer bunnies, I still wanted to know everything. Listen to every conversation. He has real depth, and he's smart, and thoughtful, and takes care of her. Actually, that's probably my favourite thing about this story - they take such good care of each other. And Justin making the unicorn hat?


Laura, and Brendan, and Chloe, and even Nowiski. I want to learn more about everybody, and I'm already invested in Laura & Brendan's story even though it's not out yet. Normally, this kind of thing chafes my balls. But this time, I'm in so much book love I don't even care.


Impeccable writing, great banter, fun, humour, lots of sexy times, all the good stuff is in here!

What I didn’t love:

I've got nothing. I hope you read this book ♥



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