Wow! I wasn't expecting that! Not only was that smokin' hot but I kinda like all the interpersonal relationships. It's a big, strange, open family rel...moreWow! I wasn't expecting that! Not only was that smokin' hot but I kinda like all the interpersonal relationships. It's a big, strange, open family relationship. I'm really interested to see where it goes.(less)
Connor is an agent of Primrose and the PA of a well-known lieutenant within the organization. He's work...moreReview posted at The Armchair Reader.
Connor is an agent of Primrose and the PA of a well-known lieutenant within the organization. He's worked hard at his job, doing detective work in the office and field finding aliens and alien artifacts, and the fact that he was handpicked for his job and works well with his very picky boss shows how well regarded he is by his colleagues. He works strange hours, just like regular detectives, which leaves little time for a love life. His best friend Isa, also a Primrose agent under a different team, is constantly trying to set him up… if only Isa was a good judge of character, or even a relatively competent matchmaker.
Connor is surprised and pleased when Isa sets him up with the perfect guy, Jason. Their relationship is steadily progressing as Connor's work duties pile up. The whole organization has been working tirelessly for months trying to figure out why their search for alien artifacts has been recently returning empty handed, and where some of the aliens are disappearing to. On top of his dating life with Jason and the work that is always on his mind, Connor starts to feel as if he's being stalked. He's almost certain of it when he starts to feel a strange sensation of another being entering his mind.
For the most part, this was a thoroughly satisfying read. Though the situations thrust upon Connor are quite serious and the danger often very high, the tone of the story is light, and combined with the subject matter, somewhat reminiscent of the movie MIB (Men in Black). The story is quite different, however, not limited to the addition of the romance in this story. In addition, the case that Primrose is trying to solve, with Connor thrust into the middle, is engaging. There are really two cases at the heart of the story, the wider investigation by Primrose into the missing aliens and artifacts and the case of the man stalking Connor. It is easy to guess from the beginning that they're somehow connected, and while the overall outcome was no real surprise to me, the details of it were satisfying enough for me to become increasingly engaged with the progression of the case. Added together, it made the story very easy to become involved in, without an overly intricate plot.
An important part of the progression of the story is the link between the characters and the cases, and I was happy to see that play out with little previous information about how they're all connected. So, I don't really want to get into a character analysis, lest I give anything away. Without getting into that, this is the part of the story that I had wished had gone in a bit of a different direction, because I found myself wishing that the central couple would have gotten more on page time to spend together. The time they do have together is often used to explore their psychic connection, which by nature is best shown while they're apart. I would have liked to see them spend more time together in addition to that. Much of the second half of the book seemed devoted to the resolution to the cases, rather than exploring their relationship while together. The story doesn't take this to the extreme, or ignore their relationship, but I still wished that they had more time to get to know one another (there's a reason for this in the story, but I wasn't quite sure that the idea of it translated through words to it's best benefit).
This doesn't seem to be a planned series, but the world created and the resolution of the story seem perfect for a sequel. I'd like to see one, because I enjoyed this story and world so much, and I would like to get to know some of the characters even better. This is the first story I've read by this author, and it won't be the last. This author made some choices in the plot and the writing that I didn't expect but had impact and intrigued me to read more of her work. I have been looking forward to reading this book for the last few months, and I have to say that I feel it mostly lived up to my expectations. Sometimes the greatest part about being a reader is when a book is so easy to just fall into to pass the time, and the tone of this story in combination with the world allowed me to do that. So I'm pleased :)(less)
The Heart of Texas is the tale of two families: their sordid history, professionally and personally, a study in how two families that could have been...moreThe Heart of Texas is the tale of two families: their sordid history, professionally and personally, a study in how two families that could have been so similar are so different, due to their choices, and the two men that reconnect them after over twenty years of simmering hate, greed, and secrets. Riley Hayes, the second son of Gerald Hayes, the spearhead of HayesOil, opens the book in a rage over the meeting he just attended with his father and his older brother Jeff, who has just been left the multitude of shares in his father’s company. Riley had expected them both to get equal shares. Jeff helps run the day to day operations along with Gerald as well as securing contracts and other operational duties (though Riley has wondered at times just how nefarious his brother and father have become to be so successful in their dealings), and Riley has taken charge of the research and development portion of the company. He maps, finds oil prospects and draws up the information for his father and brother to acquire new assets for the company. He has put his life and soul into his work, and when his father tells him why he won’t share equal holdings in the company — that he’s irresponsible, a playboy, and doesn’t have a wife and stable family, and loosely refers to his bisexual best friend Steve — Riley assumes that the real reason is his father knows that he has preferred both sexes himself, though, admittedly, he seems to prefer women. To placate him, his father tells him that he will change the contract to split the company evenly between the brothers if Riley marries for love for at least a year’s time. Hurt and angry, Riley thinks of the one way he can contractually adhere to his father’s wishes, yet still shove the contract in his face. He will marry a man, and he has the perfect man in mind, Jack Campbell, the son of his father’s arch rival and former business partner.
Riley knows that the only way he will get Jack to agree to the marriage is to blackmail him. After the breakup of the company 20 years previously and the falling out between both families, the Campbell family has fallen into financial ruin due to Jack’s father’s gambling addiction, debts to their ranch, and Jack’s baby sister’s heart problem, which has gutted the families bank accounts. Knowing that the Campbell’s stand to lose everything and that he holds a secret that Jack doesn’t yet know, he offers his contract of marriage to Jack for one year. Jack refuses to accept, assured that he can find a way to keep their ranch and his pride at the same time, until Riley tells him that his sister is pregnant, and she might not live to term due to her weak heart. Cursing the name Hayes, Jack feels that he has no choice but to accept, in order to afford the healthcare that could save his sister’s life.
The following months deal with a whole slew of family members that hold a whole slew of secrets, and despite their hate for one another, Jack and Riley find that they are leaning on one another throughout the messes of scandals that pile around them and that they will need one another to make it through this year of marriage with their sanity intact.
At the center of the story are Riley and Jack, who for the first half of the book, loathe one another. Obviously, Jack hates Riley, not only for the family he comes from, but for blackmailing him (which he soon finds out about). At the same time, I still feel a bit puzzled at why Riley held animosity toward Jack and the Campbell family, although for the most part it seemed to be tinged with pity at their poor state. I suppose that he envied them, having grown up in a cold home with only his little sister Eden as a true friend. It is easy to hate Riley until you understand his motivations, or at least why he felt like he needed to act the way he has done for most of his life, trying to beat his family at their own game, even while destroying lives in the process. Jack, on the other hand, is presented as a bit of a martyr. He sacrifices of himself daily for his family and his pride. Yet, I found that I had a difficult time coming to like him as well. I never felt like he was a pushover, in fact I felt like he more strength than Riley and he was often the one calling the shots in their sham marriage, but I didn’t understand his decision to immediately capitulate to Riley’s contracted marriage when faced with his sister’s pregnancy. He doesn’t seem to tender any other possibilities of providing for his family and sister. I wondered, then, if this was maybe just a setup for the story to get underway. It felt disingenuine to his character and I wondered why he would even consider such an offer except at the last resort.
The only two characters that I didn’t feel were totally fleshed out were the villains of the story, Gerald and Jeff. I felt like I understood Gerald until the very end, when his character seems to shift, and he is remorseful. Is it just that he finally sees the consequences of his greed? I wanted to understand more, but I ended up assuming that this was why. I wouldn’t mind that normally, not knowing for sure, but this story shifts POV between several of the characters of the family, and to shift into Gerald’s POV once or twice throughout the story is inviting his thoughts to the reader, without fully explaining them. On the other hand, Jeff himself was an enigma to me. The point, it seemed to me, was to present him as the embodiment of evil, without giving any real evidence as to why he is the way he is, except for the fact that he was raised in a cold-hearted family (even though the other children didn’t turn out that way). In wanted to know more about Jeff, how he came to be the evil man that he is, and what exactly his motivations are, other than a sick sense of megalomania. I don’t think that it justifies the crime by understanding how the criminal came to commit it and why. So, I didn’t understand why he was protrayed the way he was.
Though the soap opera style of this story might not have been to my taste, I think that it was done rather well. The characters become more interesting the further you read and the scope of this novel is very large for RJ Scott to attempt. The whole story is a giant web, the characters interconnecting with each other, always with a secret to be revealed and a new emotional bomb about to be dropped into the middle of the families, just waiting for them to scurry about trying to put the pieces back together. It is an intricate plot line and I thought that the various pieces were juggled well. I liked that, while Riley could have been made out as GFY, he wasn’t. He had a prior inclination to men, even having experiemented some. Also, I thought the setting was portrayed very well, having grown up only a few hours away from this area all of my life, I really felt the Texas countryside, as well as the feeling of Dallas within the pages and I applaud RJ for her representation of a place so far from where she lives, geographically and culturally. The only character than I really loved was Donna, Jack’s mother. She was a real spit-fire woman who refused to bow down to the pressure she’d felt her whole life, to don the hat of a Dallas debutante, and to curl up and surrender under the weight of all she had to face in her life. I only wish that we could have seen more of her.
This was definitely the most fun I've had reading any of the Petit Morts stories! Sean Kennedy really hit a home run with this funny, delight...more4.5 stars
This was definitely the most fun I've had reading any of the Petit Morts stories! Sean Kennedy really hit a home run with this funny, delightful story. For the first time, Chance really takes a more active role in this story, not only in his matchmaking, but with his abilities. And what a riot it was to see the changing behavior of the Conway family! I'm looking forward to reading more of SK's stories in this series, for sure.(less)
What a wonderful end to such a great series. I have always loved all three couples, though it took me a while to realize that Ang and Zach re...more4.5 stars
What a wonderful end to such a great series. I have always loved all three couples, though it took me a while to realize that Ang and Zach relationship worked for them, no matter how little I understood it at the time. I suppose time does that -- what passes for months or years can pass for a few hours in a novel, so I don't always take to the issues right away, or understand the characters' reactions to them. I suppose that is a benefit of a series. So, that's why I loved this book. As a standalone I know that it would never work (and not because most of the story are in the past books), but as a ending to an ongoing story, I loved every minute of it. I'm glad that the relationships have all grown to the point where most of the interaction between them all is light and fun. Plus, seeing Cole in the middle of that group is like putting a sassy shih tzu in the middle of a group of labrador retrievers. I can see the bumbling looks of humor and awe on their little furry faces!(less)
I think that should just be my review. Well, I'll say this:
I thought OMFG every time I turned a new page reading this. Like, half the time it w...moreO.M.F.G
I think that should just be my review. Well, I'll say this:
I thought OMFG every time I turned a new page reading this. Like, half the time it was serious, and the other half it was totally fucking wacky and hilarious. For the first half I was kinda taking it seriously, even the part where (view spoiler)[he sleeps with the 80 year old woman... AGAIN (hide spoiler)], but then I just kept laughing out loud over and over again as this story took turn after turn that I never ever expected. It's obviously just for fun, because even though its a sweet and serious story at it's core, the characters and their actions are just so fucking wacky.. I couldn't believe it, so I just didn't. I ran with it and laughed it up. I think this is the first book I've ever read where the characters really annoyed me half the time but I just didn't care! The ending was PRICELESS!
I love Dylan near the end where Sean has to get it up for a scene and Dylan is like FLUFFER! Fluffer here! Fluffer coming through! I'm his fluffer now everyone! practically busting up knees to get to kneel fast enough... hilarious!
The only thing I found disturbing (well EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA disturbing, lol) was the way everyone talked to Ms. Rosy like she had no life left and nothing to look forward to but them "generously" offering her their dicks.
So, I'd say read it, but don't expect a whole lot going in, just try to roll with it and have fun :D["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This novella was so thoroughly entertaining, I read it front to back and then front to back again, all in one day. I never do that, but when I finishe...moreThis novella was so thoroughly entertaining, I read it front to back and then front to back again, all in one day. I never do that, but when I finished it the first time, I had to go back and read the beginning again, where we see Fingers at his most hilarious, and I found I couldn’t stop reading. This story is so many different types of stories all wrapped up in one neat, little package. Its a fairy tale, a parable, a hilarious take on a Canadian’s experiences with the Japanese, and a story of two men whose worldview’s are changing. For Hank, this means his acceptance of the supernatural. For Tachibana, this means his acceptance of his sexuality and his latent spiritual powers. I won’t mention the creation of Fingers, even though it is told very early on, simply because I loved finding out in the prose and not the book’s blurb. Suffice to say, this is really a very important part of the story, so there is not a whole lot about the plot that I can tell you. That doesn’t matter, though, simply to say that Fingers was one of the funniest characters I’ve ever read. Essentially, he is a spirit created and imbibed with the virginal, horny, love-struck aspect of a boy/man. He is that horny teenage boy that has no filter on what he says while remaining completely endearing and loveable simply because of his ignorance. He is obsessed with every man that comes in Tachibana’s path (much to Tachibana’s consternation), but he knows that Hank is the one — evidenced by the red thread connecting his pinky to Hank’s pinky. Obviously, this must mean they share a true soul connection and are fated to be ‘Forever Loves.’
Sarah Black really advances with each book she writes. This just blew me away, and in the end, it leaves a really heavy impression about war and how i...moreSarah Black really advances with each book she writes. This just blew me away, and in the end, it leaves a really heavy impression about war and how it changes us, both individually and as a country. I loved it.