Harry is Back!
I love James Marsters's performance, in my mind he is the voice of Harry. He has that great timing and dry witty humor that is the trade mark of these books. I sorely missed him in ghost story.
The story takes our characters on a sharp left turn, after ghost story many of the characters have been altered deeply. They are the same but fundamentally off. It's sad, almost like running into an old dear friend and realizing you can never go back to those crazy college day.
Some reviewers are really disappointed in this, but I think it show great growth in butcher's writing. If we look at the characters as developing "living, breathing" people, then after everything that has happened, what else should we as a read expect. Heck personally I'm surprised some of them haven't been institutionalized yet.
I really enjoyed the latest addition to Johnny and Sean's growing nonfiction catalog. As always, Simon Whistler was a wonderful narrator.
What this book is:
The book Fiction Unboxed follows Johnny B Truant and Sean Platt, from start to finish, as they plan and write [book:The Dream Engine|22663684]for the Fiction Unboxed campaign.
They talk about every element of the project from starting the KickStarter campaign to brainstorming to writing in detail.
What this book isn't:
This isn't a "how to" book. While there are "take aways" at the end of each chapter, this book is not instructional. You will not find a "This is how you develop beats" or "This is how you run a kickstarter" chapter anywhere in this book.
Why I think this book is a good addition to any writer's reference self:
Writing fiction is not a tangible skill. Even with the best "how to" books there's still a lot of the process that can't be laid out in easy to follow steps. Fiction Unboxed gives you a peak into the head of one (okay two) author's head for the full process of writing a book. By "watching" some of the "magic" of writing is dispelled, and you can apply some of their techniques to your own process.
I highly recommend the book.
I have a huge library of writing books. This book is by far one of my favorites. While none of the advice is earth-shattering, almost all of it is practical. Sean and Johnny go into detail about what worked for them. This is not a "how to make millions in self-publishing" book, but a down to earth, how to put in the hard work and see results guide.
Most of their advice is universal and can be applied to any genre. But the title really says it all. You need to Write, Publish, and Repeat in order to see real success.
A note on the Narrator: Simon Whistler was a pleasure to listen to and made the book enjoyable and not like you were listening to a college lecture.
I'd give it 3 1/2 starts.
From the cover (I "read" the audio from audible--which has a less manchest cover), I expected a sweet romance, and on some levels it was just that. It's a story about a cowboy and the girl next door. Blake is much older and tries to see Jaxi as a little sister (even though he finds he sexy). Jaxi on the other hand, is trying hard to get him to notice her.
It's definitely a sweet story about a love affair, a loving family, and friendship. I wasn't expecting the extra hot sex.
The rest of this review contains SPOILERS!!!
YOU WERE WARNED!
The sex is steamy and not all missionary all the time and not always with just two people! Holy ménage Batman! Where did that come from!
Things I liked:
The Coleman brothers. Wow. It isn't called the "Six Pack Ranch" because there are six of them! The author did a great job at giving all six brothers distinct personalities, and hinted at plenty of debauchery to come from the descriptions of the brother's preferences. I'm looking at you Travis...I know what your secret is!! (not to mention Jesse and Joel)
I loved Blake. I can totally believe Jaxi was in love with him her whole life.
What I didn't:
I felt the second half of the story dragged on. There was the big sex scenes right in the middle of the book, but then we went back to "dating." The pacing felt a little off. I get the "extra" stuff in the book helps set up the series, but some of the side scenes slowed the story down.
I have issue with Jaxi. I would have liked her completely 100% if it wasn't for the fact that, for being in love with Blake, she sure didn't have a problem with fooling around with his brothers. Even if things were just flirty with them, it's not something you do when you're in love with a guy.
Over all, I enjoyed the book. I've already downloaded the next book. I really liked the brother and want to find out their fate in love.
I wish the story was longer. All in all, the story was complete from start to finish. The main characters seemed well rounded, but I wish there was more to this.
Kerrigan, in particular, was a great character and I wanted more!
Hollie Jackson did a great job with the narration. The story was a good quick listen that I finished in a day.
I've read my fair share of kink-laden books, but even so, the idea of "pets" put me off. But I have to say, the story (while filled with a lot...and I do mean a lot of sex) was sweet.
There's a real plot, with conflict and a love story, too boot.
I enjoyed seeing both sides of the characters (the pet and the IRL parts). I loved how Stella and Tino's story evolved and changed. (The way he acted with when they were with the professor... very much playing the Alpha pet protecting his mate)
As far as the sex...
KD Grace threw in everything AND the kitchen sink (yummy kitchen scenes) You have a little BDSM, M/W, M/M, M/M/F, even a little F/F/F (which you don't see as often).
Over all, if you're not shy about erotica, don't be put off by the "subject" of the book. The story is well written and doesn't veer too far into bizzaro land.
Grade A Stupid reads more like a Cozy Mystery than your typical broody YA novel. The Main Character was charming and funny, but always seemed to find trouble. The characters were fun and the mystery was filled with twists and turns.
The only thing that put me off was the way main characters thoughts jumped around. It was brilliant on the author's part, seeing as Darcy has ADD, but at times I found it distracting. It wasn't enough to take away from the story, but just enough to pull me out of the narration from time to time.
Patricia Fructuoso did a fantastic job with narration. She captured Darcy's personality perfectly.
I almost think Rosalind James is on the New Zealand tourism board (and if she's not, I think they owe her a big check)!
This is a very cute story that would have been great to read in any setting, but James does a wonderful job bumping it up a notch. The picture she paints of New Zealand is dreamy.
And OMG I'm Rugby's newest fan!!! Drew is a worthy ambassador. A true gentleman.
Just This Once is not the overly steamy. If you're looking for a Erotic Romance this one might not be for you. But I really enjoyed the story and the backdrop of New Zealand. This is a worthy beach read!
I love Jim Butcher's writing. I love Harry. I admire the way Butcher rebooted the world after changes. Everything is different, but the same. Very well done.
But... and this is the kicker, the same stuff is getting old. I love Harry being snarky, I giggle at the Star Wars references, I groan and roll my eyes at the obvious sexual tension, and I shake my head at Harry for being so hard on himself. And I have for 15 books now.
I don't know if it's the fact that we are on book 15 or if it's because the references now seemed forced (and there for a cheap laugh) but it's taking away from the story. I really think this was a solid story. It brought in some interesting characters. The twist at the end was well set up and seamless. But I kept getting distracted. The geek jokes were forced in at times when the plot should have kept the reader engaged. The snark didn't add to Harry's charm, it made me wonder if the man had issues b/c he was being obnoxious.
I love Harry. I'll stick with Jim until the bitter end, but Skin Game was a disappointment.
James Marsters did a fantastic job as usual. I'd listen to that man read the phone book!
Yesterday was a sweet romance tale set in two worlds.
The main character was a little hard to relate to at first, but as the story went on I grew to like her. The budding relationship between Amanda and Mark is charming and I really enjoyed 'listening' to their relationship unfold along side Amanda's tale from the past. The author did a wonderful job transporting us back in time with the characters. The descriptions of the setting were vivid and tactile.
By far the best character in the novel was the godmother. She was a nice counter to Amanda, straight talking and witty.
My biggest complaint would have to be the narrator. I was distracted by her voices at time and instead of creating a more vivid character, it would draw me out of the story.
If you are looking for a light romantic tale this would be a nice option.
for the third in the series I hoped that Harper would grow as a character. the mystery in this novel was at least compelling, but the series is more about Harper and her life and this is what drags the story down. I can't continue with a series where I find the main character so unbelievable stupid that the rest of the story becomes background, while I rant at the main character.
I'm sad to say this will be the last Harper Connelly story I'll be reading.
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