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Roll Against Trust (3d20 Book 1)
Roll Against Trust (3d20 Book 1)
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot, Engaging Menage Novella, December 18, 2014
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Roll Against Trust (3d20 Book 1) is a contemporary romance, a genre I tend to avoid. In truth, I can’t remember the last romance I read that didn’t have paranormal elements. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this novella—so much that the rest of what I was supposed to do yesterday afternoon took a backseat.
Natasha works for a data consulting firm as a midlevel manager. Two of her longtime friends, Seth and Ryan also work there. Tension in the workplace created by Natasha’s less-than-straightforward boss (or maybe his brand new girlfriend) drives Natasha to confide in Seth and Ryan. And that’s where I’ll leave things to avoid spoilers.
Things that worked especially well in this book were vibrant characters, believable dialogue, and a quick pace. The sex is hot, but there’s an engaging storyline too. I particularly liked how the author—a gamer herself—wove gaming into the interaction between the characters.
Can’t wait for subsequent books in this series! Great job, Ms. Lindt.


Sins of the Flesh
Sins of the Flesh
Price: $0.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Tantalizing Historical Romance, December 2, 2014
This review is from: Sins of the Flesh (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoy Robin Danner books. Loved her Princes series. Where that was more fantasy, Sins of the Flesh is a historical romance. It brings the sugarcane plantations in Tobago and seafaring men (and women) alive with vibrant details. Elizabeth is a gutsy heroine, striking out after what she wants—something most women of her time wouldn’t do. And Jeremy. What to say about him? He’s definitely a hunky, alpha hero, with a tortured edge. My favorite kind. I was fortunate enough to be a beta reader for this book and really, really enjoyed it. The secondary characters were well-drawn too. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. Without risking spoilers, let me just say it features a female pirate captain and she breaks all the rules.


Sebastian (Ephemera Book 1)
Sebastian (Ephemera Book 1)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Urban Fantasy World, September 5, 2014
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This book has gotten its share of spotty reviews, but I loved it. Anne Bishop's strength is in her world building and this book didn't disappoint. Ephemera is one of the most complex UF worlds I've come across and Bishop handled it with great consistency. I had no trouble visualizing the shifting landscapes and the different types of bridges between them. I also appreciated Ephemera's link to people's emotional state.

Sebastian is a great character. Part incubus, part wizard, he comes into his own as the book progresses in a satisfying character arc. Glorianna, Lee, and Nadia are well-drawn characters too, as is Lynnea.

There were a few side-threads to the plot that probably didn't need to happen and a few I'd like to have seen expanded. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it for UF fans who like the unusual in a genre that often repeats itself.


Straitlaced
Straitlaced
Price: $3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explicit Regency Romance, August 30, 2014
This review is from: Straitlaced (Kindle Edition)
Declan Radisson was born poor and orphaned early. Raised on London’s streets, he became wise to how to get by. With a fortuitous combination of luck and brains, he clawed his way into the nouveau riche arm of society. He has plenty of money now, but is frequently bored and wonders about his life’s purpose.

AnneMarie Sommers’ childhood couldn’t have been more different from Declan’s. Born into the aristocracy, she planned to carry on old traditions, but her husband’s untimely death changes all that. It shocks her to discover she’s nearly penniless, and she scrapes funds together to open Fall From Grace, an upscale bordello catering to the gentry’s fetishes and whims.

Declan shows up at Fall From Grace with an Earl he’s friendly with and is immediately taken with Lady Grace, the name AnneMarie’s taken to hide her real identity.

This book moves well from the opening scene onward. Ms. Danner’s descriptions bring Regency England alive. Definitely an erotic romance, it will have readers rooting for Declan and Grace to overcome their pasts and find a way to an HEA.


In Too Deep
In Too Deep
Price: $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paranormal Romance with Some Intriguing Twists, June 15, 2014
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This review is from: In Too Deep (Kindle Edition)
I've been a Christy Gissendaner fan for a while now, and I believe this is one of her best books. Emma has been a friend of the Randolph family for years. Alyssa is her closest friend, and Emma has yearned for Drake, Alyssa's oldest brother forever. Alyssa is on the verge of marriage and Emma is to be her maid of honor. Because the Randophs are uber-wealthy, the bridal party gathers at Tybee Island, an upscale resort, to celebrate a week before the wedding. In betwixt and between parties and rehearsal activities, Emma discovers perhaps Drake isn't as uninterested as he'd always appeared. Truths surface about both of them, truths that threaten their developing relationship. This book was a good, quick read. It definitely kept me turning pages.


Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Person Tent
Big Agnes Fly Creek UL 2 Person Tent
Offered by Trailwalker Gear
Price: $369.95
7 used & new from $369.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not freestanding and a tight fit for two, June 2, 2014
I just bought this tent from Backcountry.com and now note they are no longer carrying it. Too many returns, I guess. I've spent two nights in this tent and my plans were to use it for longer treks where weight is at a premium in my pack. It would be marginally acceptable for that purpose. It's likely fairly weatherproof. That being said, the ONLY thing you can do in this tent is sleep. The only place I can sit up straight is right in the middle at the head end of the tent. There's enough floor space for my gear, but not enough headroom. And to put two people in this tent, you'd have to be very friendly. The other problem is your sleeping bag ends up right against the tent wall, which is okay if there's a breeze. If you get any amount of condensation (and all tents condense), the tent wall gets your sleeping bag wet requiring a stint outside to dry.

This is not a freestanding tent. The back must be staked out and the tent needs all 11 stakes that come with it. It actually could use 13 to guy out a couple of other points, but when you obliterate the weight savings by bringing a million stakes, it defeats the purpose. I'm 5'2" and weigh 115. Hubby is 6'2" and weighs 190. Will we use this tent? Yes, but only on week plus trips. I'll take the Big Agnes Copper Spur any day. It weighs 3/4 of a pound more, but you can sit out a rainstorm in it and play cards and all your gear doesn't get wet from condensation.

This tent reminds me of a sleeker, modern version of our ancient ultimate tube tent, except even that one had more headroom.


Magic Burns (Kate Daniels Book 2)
Magic Burns (Kate Daniels Book 2)
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Urban Fantasy, May 12, 2014
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I loved this book. It's the freshest take I've seen on urban fantasy in a long time. As a plus, Kate is an incredible protagonist. She's strong, gutsy, but has a heart too. Definitely my kind of lead character, one who has a believable set of feelings and isn't afraid to show her soft underbelly. Ms. Andrews' world-building is superb. She creates a believable mélange of old and new, magic and tech, and stirs the mix into a seamless whole. Her knowledge of Celtic mythology is spot on, and I really appreciated the hints of other mythologies (Russian, for example) that she tossed in. There was just enough explanation to move the story forward without falling into being infodumps. This was my first Ilona Andrews' book, but I guarantee it won't be my last. Actually I'm excited. It's been a while since I've found a new-to-me author whose books I want to devour.


Delusional
Delusional
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Delusional - A Paranormal Mix of Suspense and Romance, April 14, 2014
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This review is from: Delusional (Kindle Edition)
Patricia Fowler is a twenty-seven year old disillusioned market executive. It’s been four years since she gave love a chance. Paul Bast is a married co-worker. Without inserting too many spoilers, one of the plot threads in Delusional is about the feelings that develop between them. Because Paul is married and the relationship constitutes cheating, this is not a traditional romance, but the chemistry between the pair feels real.

The other primary plot thread revolves around a diamond theft. The Hope Diamond disappears before a crowded group in a museum. Security tapes reveal confusing (and contradictory) evidence, but everyone agrees the possible thief simply disappears. More priceless artwork vanishes and the FBI continues to be clueless.

The plot threads start to weave together when Patricia’s nightmares begin. Her life spirals downward fast. Who’s behind her marginalized existence?
Overall, this was an enjoyable read. There were a few places where the plot lagged, and maybe a bit too much backstory intruded at the front end. The story definitely picks up around a third of the way into it and pacing and tension improved dramatically from that point.


Doctor Sleep: A Novel (The Shining Book 2)
Doctor Sleep: A Novel (The Shining Book 2)
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $3.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage King, but ever so much more…, February 4, 2014
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I’ve been reading Stephen King for many years, certainly not all of his books. Maybe not even half of them, but I’m sure I’ve read at least twenty since Carrie was published in 1974. Doctor Sleep is a very good book. After years of writing, King has developed grace, subtlety, and panache. Where The Shining bludgeoned me into paying attention, Doctor Sleep accomplishes the same thing with sharp writing technique.

The characters are crisp, clear, and well-drawn. I cared what happened to them, which speaks to King’s skill. In his author note at the end, he says he “hopes he can still write a kickass story.” At least in my opinion, he sure can. What made the characters in Doctor Sleep memorable is they are truly three-dimensional. They’re not perfect, and they’re not caricatures. They have strengths and weaknesses, like most of us. Without belaboring this, there are some very real differences between how I felt about young Dan Torrance in The Shining and how I felt about young Abra Stone in Doctor Sleep. Where I was scared for Danny, I appreciated Abra. Her imperfections, mingled with her courage, made her a memorable character.

Despite the book’s length, the plot clips along. King did an excellent job holding my attention and weaving plot threads together. I’ve developed a bad habit of reading reviews before I buy a book, so I was expecting Doctor Sleep to fizzle at the midpoint. It didn’t. What happened may not have satisfied some readers, but it was really the only way the plot could have moved forward. Having a thirteen year old girl travel cross country to confront evil directly wouldn’t have felt even marginally realistic.

Did I have nitpicks? Sure, I always do, but they were minor. I would have liked to know more about the True Knot. Not about the characters, but about how the group formed in the first place, and where they went after they die. I’d also have liked John Dalton’s character fleshed out a bit more.

This was the first book in a long time I truly had a hard time putting down. Hats off to you, Mr. King. Think I’ll take a look at 11/22/63, a date I remember well.


The Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri, with 100% PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany
The Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri, with 100% PFOA-Free Stone-Derived Non-Stick Coating from Germany
Price: $35.05
3 used & new from $35.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Big improvement over the green version, December 26, 2013
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I bought 8, 10, and 12" versions of the green Ozeri pan. As I used them, they became progressively less non-stick. This new pan, bought as a replacement for my old 12" one, seems to be a great improvement. It heats evenly, does a good job cooking a variety of foods, doesn't stick, and is easy to clean up. The one thing I don't know yet is how it will perform over time.


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