Rescuing Finley is a beautiful story about healing, second chances and the unconditional love of dogs. The best part for me was that Finley th4 ½ Stars
Rescuing Finley is a beautiful story about healing, second chances and the unconditional love of dogs. The best part for me was that Finley the dog was given his own point of view and he had a lot of thoughts that made me teary. I wish more writers would do that. I’d rather see the world from the dogs POV than through the eyes of some obnoxious human character.
Finley is a sweet but rowdy young golden retriever mix whose owner joins the military and leaves Finley with his mom who is not a dog person. Sad things happen and Finley ends up in a shelter, confused and depressed. His anguish is soooo hard to read but the author doesn’t linger there for long. Finley is chosen to join a prison program where female inmates train homeless dogs to become companions for soldiers with PTSD. He is paired with Amy, a young lady who messed up her life with a meth habit and poor choices. They both thrive in this program but will Amy be able to part with Finley when it’s graduation day?
The book is written pretty simply and cleanly (I later discovered Dan Walsh is a Christian author). There’s no fancy prose, humorous dialogue or action sequences that’ll make you hold onto your undies or whatnot but it worked for me. Sometimes simple is just right. When I say simple I don’t mean boring. If it were boring I’d tell you. But if you are not interested in dogs, dog training or the healing powers of love and dogs, this one might not be for you. There’s a lot of dog time here, probably why I loved it so much, as well as time spent going over training protocols, the prison dog training program and humane society intake rules, etc. Here and there I found the author repeating himself. This might’ve been more apparent to me because I was listening on audio and listening with my full attention for once!
Somehow this book manages to tackle difficult situations but it never gets too dark. There is a deep dive into the life of a soldier once he’s returned home from war and seen atrocities that follow and haunt but instead of dwelling in that dark space, this story is about how one man pulls himself out of it and decides to live his life again. The end wraps everything up in a nifty little bow which might’ve just gone a wee bit over the edge for me but you may or may not think so depending on your outlook on life.
Anyway, it’s a lovely read and the narration by Hillary Huber is excellent and very professionally done. She hits all the right notes with her performance and I have no complaints there.
*I received this book from Tantor Media. I hope they don’t regret it!...more
This is an adorable little fable. It’s about a man named Alex who was turned into a talking cat by an irate witch. He’s been this way for a few yearsThis is an adorable little fable. It’s about a man named Alex who was turned into a talking cat by an irate witch. He’s been this way for a few years when the book begins and is living the cat life with his ex-boyfriend Ethan. Ethan was kind enough to take him in even though they were already broken up at the time because Alex was sassy, sarcastic, self-centered and snobby and an all-around dreadful boyfriend. Oh wait, he’s still all of those things! Except he’s no longer the boyfriend (that’d be too weird even for me) and now that he’s a cat, he makes good company for Ethan who prefers to stay in and watch tv after a long day of work. But Alex doesn’t want Ethan to turn into some lonely, antisocial cat man.
Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .
Still, it’s time for Ethan to put himself out there and find a boyfriend– even if the thought of Ethan with another man makes Alex a little queasy.
This story is simply delightful. If you are not a fan of m/m romances because most tend to be heavy on the angst and the sex, this is one that isn’t like the rest. It’s sweet and funny and I really enjoyed the characters. I think it will charm even those who think their heart is dead (not that I’d know anything about that . . .)
There is so much fun dialogue packed into this little novella but I think this line from Ethan describing cat Alex’s faults was my favorite.
"You also yell at the pigeons outside, watch too many cooking shows, and have a blog entirely dedicated to pictures of yourself."
Honestly, the only thing I’d change about this book is the cover. This is a book that features a talking cat who wears designer clothing and it has a generic cup of coffee on its cover? A pretty cup of coffee, sure, but seriously, what is up with that? So much opportunity squandered! I say ignore the cover and picture any of these dapper fellows on the cover instead.
I requested a copy of this book from Netgalley because of the author’s previous book “Lovely Wild” . That was such a unique book. What I didn’t realiI requested a copy of this book from Netgalley because of the author’s previous book “Lovely Wild” . That was such a unique book. What I didn’t realize was that I was requesting only one novella in a collection called “Shadows of the Night”. From my 30 seconds of internet research, I learned there may be two other stories included in the book that I did not receive for review.
My review and my rating is for Touched by Passion and only for Touched by Passion. Sadly, this story feels like a set up for the other two and it left me hanging, not the main romance, but all of the woo-woo stuff. I have MANY questions and I hate when that happens. If you purchase the finished book you may not have any of my issues.
Because it’s roughly 100 pages, I’m going to keep most of my words to myself. Things start out fabulously with echoes of an X-Files-like plot. Samantha is a nurse (who may or may not really be a nurse) who is caring for a handsome young man who has special powers. Powers that make others very fearful of him. But she likes him and she doesn’t mind his not so covert touches to her bare skin as she examines him. His arousal kind of her turns her on, truth be told, and she takes her sweet time taking his vitals each day. Well, wouldn’t you?
Anyhow, he was apparently part of cult where all of the children had super powers and he’s spent his life being a guinea pig and is nearing the end of his usefulness to the Powers That Be. Samantha may be the only one willing to save him.
What follows is some action, some scatterings of plot breadcrumbs and a rushed and rather disappointing sexy time but then again, I have been reading a lot of pervy books lately! It all ends rather abruptly, most likely because there are two other connected stories that I was not privy to. As a standalone? It doesn’t entirely work for me so I’m giving it a three....more
Strays is a sexy little romance with a slight hint of danger. I needed a mini horror break but wasn’t in the mood for hearts and unicorns and th4 1/2
Strays is a sexy little romance with a slight hint of danger. I needed a mini horror break but wasn’t in the mood for hearts and unicorns and this one came through for me.
Nero splits his time working at several restaurants. His life consists of waking, prepping, cooking and sleeping and he likes it that way. He’s grumpy and a workaholic and his routine keeps him from thinking too hard about anything – especially about that awful thing in his past. His grumpiness keeps most people at arm’s length which is just fine by him. When his boss (who he owes) asks him to take in a stray named Lenny his routine is about to get all kinds effed up.
“Keep Lenny close, if you can. Don’t let him be scared.” What the fuck did that mean?
Lenny is on the run from a persistent, super creepy stalker whose last letter to Lenny included Lenny’s own blue painted toe-nail clipping (ugh). The cops won’t help and he has no family support so when his kind boss finds him a safe place to land and a new place to work, he doesn’t turn down the offer. Had he known he was going to be holed up with such a prickly dude he might’ve reconsidered.
As Nero shows him the ropes, the two become friends and Nero (who is bi) finds himself wildly attracted to Lenny and quickly gets used to him being around. Wherever Nero is, Lenny is but their fast friendship and obvious adoration of each other might not last if Nero continues to keep his guard up even when it comes to Lenny. And, of course, there’s that nasty stalker . . .
Lenny is an open book and easily shares his past hurts and life with Nero and finds Nero’s crabbery amusing. He’s vibrant, artistic, sassy and used to be the life of any party. Now he’s afraid to look outside. Nero doesn’t know what to make of him and all of these feelings he’s stirred up.
Nero hung up and stared at his phone screen, wondering why Lenny’s voice twisted his insides so much. He’d started walking again while they’d talked, but he drifted to a stop now, feeling somehow . . . lighter? What the actual fuck? Nero was used to trudging through life under a cloud of temper and sarcasm, his only shield between him and a world that had fucked him over more times than he could count, not spinning giddily because of the way a bloke he hardly knew said his name.
Ah, poor Nero is a goner.
I really enjoyed this book and both of the main characters. Nero is young but very much like a crabby old man and he does not care.
"Sorry I screeched at you.”
“Don’t be. I’m a dick.”
He’s like many people I’ve met in real life and I can easily picture him as an old guy screaming at brats to get the hell off his lawn. His thoughts, his cursing and his whole way of dealing with people were very real and often funny to me. People are annoying and Nero doesn’t hide his annoyance with them. The romance builds naturally out of friendship and doesn’t suffer from the dreaded insta-lust/love thing that drives me insane. Together they are lovely and somehow their very different personalities work together.
This is book 2 in the "Urban Soul" series and there are appearances by characters from a previous book but it stood on its own just fine. I hate mid-series books that don’t make sense unless you’ve read them all and this isn’t one of them.
I love messy characters. If you do too, you’ll likely love this one because it’s full of them! Or you could hate it. Who am I to say?
Harley is our herI love messy characters. If you do too, you’ll likely love this one because it’s full of them! Or you could hate it. Who am I to say?
Harley is our heroine and she is a drunken mess. Every year she grieves the anniversary of the death of her family by escaping for a week to drink away the pain and to sleep with a stranger or two before putting it behind her for another year. But this year will end differently . . .
Token (yep, that’s really his name) has been paid $10,000 to find her and find her does. When she wakes up in a hotel room that isn’t hers, hung over, sick and with a man who insists on bringing her sorry ass back home to her uncle, she isn’t having any of it. She only wants to be left alone but Token has other ideas. Thus begins the volatile, super steamy and surprisingly sweet love affair between Harley and Token.
Both of these characters have pasts that haunt them which adds just enough angst to keep up the conflict. As much as Token would like her to open up and face her demons, he doesn’t treat her like a project that needs fixing and pretty much accepts her for the mess she is and gives her time and that’s why they worked.
He’s different. When he looks at me it’s as if he sees the train-wreck and all the leftover debris spread around me but he doesn’t appear to want to save me from the crash that I’ve found my life in. Instead, he stands and patiently waits like he’s waiting for me to pull myself up from all the rubble and brush myself off. That’s what I feel when he stares at me. When his dark green eyes lay quietly upon my body. I don’t get the sense he wants to fix me but I also don’t get the feeling that he’ll leave me either. It’s strange. I don’t know the man. Still, I feel closer to him than anyone in my life right now but really, that’s not saying much.
He also has amazing powers of restraint.
“The past two days you’ve thrown your body at me, teased me, and tempted me.” His thumb runs across my chin. “Do you know why I resist you?” Gazing into his sincere eyes, I swallow hard unable to respond, afraid of his answer. “When I touch you, I wanna be sure you’re gonna fuckin’ feel it.”
Awww, if that isn’t romance, I don’t know what is!
Token comes from a very large, loud, loving and close-knit family so it looks like there’s room for many a sequel. I’ll follow along for now because the characters and writing intrigued me NOT because there was a cliff-hanger attached to the very end (arghh). Fortunately there was closure with Token and Harley’s story or I’d be a bit steamed right now. Cliff-hangers and I do not get along.
I really enjoyed this read. I found myself wanting to get back to it whenever I had to put it down which is kind of a rarity for me so if you like steam, angst and some heart-melting moments and can deal with imperfect people, you’ll probably like it too. If not, don’t blame me!
I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley. Hope they don’t regret it! ...more
This book starts out cute enough. A young girl of the lower class works tirelessly for days kissing frogs,
DNF'd at page 50 because life is too short.
This book starts out cute enough. A young girl of the lower class works tirelessly for days kissing frogs, picking leeches from her legs and getting mud drenched in the hopes of breaking a curse and earning herself the handsome prince. Well, she finally kisses the right frog but when he transforms he's not the handsome prince she was promised and she is pissed off. Her hopes forever dashed, she decides she doesn't want to marry him. He's not too find of the idea either considering how rude she's being about his looks.
The beginning was cute, witty and sarcastic but then it meandered down a different path and I lost interest. They hook up with a sorcerer's daughter and go on a road trip and I just wasn't feeling it.