Hell Struggle, the second in a series by King Samuel Benson, is a YA Urban Fantasy novel set a few years in the future. A New Government is in place aHell Struggle, the second in a series by King Samuel Benson, is a YA Urban Fantasy novel set a few years in the future. A New Government is in place and Alex King finds himself having to decide whether to join the New Government's Special Force. He refuses and walks out of a meeting, accompanied by his good friend, Mercy Damalie, thus setting up the arc of the book. The story is intriguing, fast paced with a few unexpected twists along the way, as well as a bit of romance in the midst of all the action.
Benson's writing keeps the reader engaged in the story. The plot moves along at a quick pace, neither over- or underwhelming the reader. His descriptions are minimalist enough to allow the reader to visualize the scene while also allowing the reader to add enough of the reader's own imagination to remain engaged in the story.
Alex King is the hero in this story. He refuses to be recruited into a Special Force run by a New Government he doesn't believe in. He is questioning, yet determined to see his own way. Along the way he loses the trust of his dear friend Mercy, and realizes what he must do to win it back, perhaps at great sacrifice to himself. Benson allows for Alex to question and doubt himself during the course of the story, reminding the reader heroes are also human.
Hell Struggle is an enjoyable read; and even though it's part of a series, it can stand alone as there are just enough references to what happened in the first book to keep the reader's interest, and perhaps piquing interest in the prior one should the reader come into the series at this point. ...more
I first came across this book shortly after it was published in February 2013. The premise intrigued me as I was reeling from a divorce and the emotioI first came across this book shortly after it was published in February 2013. The premise intrigued me as I was reeling from a divorce and the emotions associated with it left me, well, not smiling. I found the book to be very helpful, and quite to the point. I’ve looked at other ‘self-help’ books that are overladen with technical terms, but this is written from a very down-to-earth layman’s point of view. Santoro also uses his personal experiences to illustrate his points, rather than telling the reader how to move forward. All in all, a very helpful guide to regaining your inner smile. ...more
A foreign-born gay man goes missing in the United States. Not quite the most interesting premise for a story but, when the man is the legally marriedA foreign-born gay man goes missing in the United States. Not quite the most interesting premise for a story but, when the man is the legally married husband of a male US citizen, it becomes a bit more complicated what with same-sex marriage recognized only in a handful of states. Move the setting to rural Alabama, hardly a bastion of tolerance, either for gays or for the foreign born, and you have the premise of Missing, the debut novel of new m/m romance author, Drake Braxton.
Blain Harrington attends his high school reunion with his gorgeous Brazilian-born husband who suddenly goes missing during the reunion. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was first attracted to the book as it was being marketed as an m/m romance. And yet, Braxton bends the rules by bringing many suspenseful moments into the story thereby creating a romantic thriller or perhaps a thrilling romance. There are plenty of plot twists to keep the reader involved in the plot and many a moment for the romantic to shed a tear with just the right amount of sex to titillate. For me, it was quite the page turner on all accounts; the suspense, the romance, the sex, the trifecta! I am anxiously waiting his next release. ...more
"Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism" is a well written book aimed at children to explain what autism is. Most books writt"Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Super Hero with Autism" is a well written book aimed at children to explain what autism is. Most books written for children (and adults) to explain autism are from a parent's/teacher's/psychologist's perspective. Chicken Boy tells what it's like to be autistic from the child's own point of view, what it's like for him. Gregory Allen doesn't mince words, he tells it directly to the reader in simple language, and takes away any fears children may have about being friends with an autistic person, or having an autistic classmate. I would read this book to any class, any age....more
Take a very diverse cast of characters -a meddling, busybody landlady but who has a heart of gold, and her tenants: a gossipy, single, middle-aged, flTake a very diverse cast of characters -a meddling, busybody landlady but who has a heart of gold, and her tenants: a gossipy, single, middle-aged, flamboyant gentleman; two very handsome American journalists stationed in London; a seemingly too-proper male and one beautiful, single, divorced female. Mix that with the spring unveiling of a world famous jewel designer’s line, add some unexpected twists and turns and you have Marengo, by Carey Parrish. The book begins slow which gives the reader time to get to know the characters but as it progresses, like a proverbial roller-coaster, it builds, twists and turns leaving the reader wanting more. In some points it seemed a little formulaic and I anticipated many plot twists, I was surprised I discovered I was wrong and he took me in a different direction. It is a fun read and very enjoyable. ...more
Well With My Soul by Gregory G. Allen tells the story of two brothers, Jacob and Noah Garrett. One is gay, the other straight. One is liberal, the othWell With My Soul by Gregory G. Allen tells the story of two brothers, Jacob and Noah Garrett. One is gay, the other straight. One is liberal, the other conservative. Both are on their respective paths in life and as is often with brothers, their life paths take them in different directions. As it true with siblings, they have their own interpretations of their life growing up together and how their parents treated the other brother, which in my family has been very revealing.
The story itself is an emotional ride through the ups and downs of sibling rivalry, filtered through the gay/straight and liberal/conservative lenses. Jacob is lured off to New York by the dream of a successful career in modeling and show business with all the glitz and glamour that goes with it. With Jacob off in New York, Noah feels duty bound to stay home with their mother, hurt by Jacob’s rejection of their small town comfortable life in the American South. As the story progresses, the brothers find their paths cross and have taken some unexpected twists, much like life itself.
The story itself is a look not only at the relationship between the two brothers as they examine their own relationship with the other, but also their relationships with the significant others in their lives, and most importantly, their relationship with themselves. Allen’s storytelling is touching, at times very light-hearted and at other times very deep, but always provoking. The story resonated with me in such that I began to examine my relationship with my brothers and the twists and turns we have had. A definite must read. ...more
Proud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir, but Gregory G. Allen is just that; unconventional. This is a very touching memoir of a man recalling his difficProud Pants: An Unconventional Memoir, but Gregory G. Allen is just that; unconventional. This is a very touching memoir of a man recalling his difficult life; a life filled with addiction, abandonment and anger issues. He recalls his life, slipping back to the past, returning to the present, like a patient slipping in and out of consciousness. It is gripping and at times difficult to read, but very moving and deeply touching. All in all, a must read. ...more
All in all it was a very good story. I'm not sure many students will get the spiritual nature of the story or the characters. It's well written, but nAll in all it was a very good story. I'm not sure many students will get the spiritual nature of the story or the characters. It's well written, but not an overall compelling read. I will read the others, but don't feel in a rush to pick them up....more