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Lenaribka

Lenaribka

"We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate."

 

~Henry Miller

Currently reading

Operation Rubikon
Andreas Pflüger, Merlau, Günter
The Future Won't Be Long
Jarett Kobek
A Short History of Nearly Everything
William Roberts, Bill Bryson
The Power of One
Humphrey Bower, Bryce Courtenay
The Romanov Mission
Robert Jackson
Goliath: A Thriller
Shawn Corridan, Gary Waid
Last Days of Summer
Steve Kluger
And the Band Played On
Randy Shilts, Victor Bevine

Seven Suspects (The Bobbi Logan Series)

Seven Suspects (The Bobbi Logan Series) - Renee James imageIt is NOT a stand-alone. Seven Suspects wrote a new sequel in Bobbi Logan Crime Novel Series was a mixture of excitement and concerns. As much as I enjoyed the series, I was a bit skeptical: The case was solved (you have to know that the both books ARE about the same case, but from different perspectives), sealed up, the guilty ones got what they deserved and Bobby Logan became her life fully under control (at least it is what I desperately hoped to). And Bobby is not a detective, but a businesswoman, an owner of a beauty salon, a very talented hairdresser. What a new sequel in the mystery series could be about? With an emphasis on MYSTERY? Don't worry, buckle up and be ready for a rollercoaster ride!

imageMaybe it is a good possibility to warn that violence sciences are very graphical, but if you read the previous books, and I hope you did, then you must know that the author does not spare her readers a detailed description when she writes about hate crime.

I read [b:Seven Suspects|33892778|Seven Suspects|Renee James|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1484935456s/33892778.jpg|54852886] with a MC Bobby Logan, a transgender woman, an amazing character, an owner of a beauty salon and a very talented hairdresser, almost in one sitting and I loved every minute of it. The dynamic and the unexpected twists in the second part of the book, in contrast to the smooth and quiet beginning made me forget about everything around myself, I don’t know who drove me more crazy - Bobby with her good faith, or the author for putting us both through this.

Bobby has arrived at a point in her life where she lives in balance with herself and her body, she leads a quiet and content life, she runs successfully her own business, she has people she loves and who cares for her around. But she is a survivor type and a natural born fighter: to become a person she is now she had to overcome some extremely difficult stages in her life. And though she mastered them all with bravery, she made some enemies along the way.

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When one day she becomes a feeling, she has been trailed and watched by someone, she is concerned but first tries not to pay too much attention to it considering it for an obsessive idea. Though the situation becomes much serious when she starts to receives anonymous threats. When one day her salon fells victim to vandalism, and shortly after an unknown intruder breaks into her apartment leaving behind a trail of destruction, she realizes that she can’t be a silent observer who waits for the police to find the villain. She is torn between her female nature and her male side that is still there, hidden deep inside.
The other part of me wants to take bloody, unrelenting revenge on the sick coward who did this. I know this is my male side, the one I’m not supposed to have, the one that was supposed to go away along with the testosterone that made me strong and hairy and inclined to violence. This feeling reveals me as a fraud, a hopeless queer with no real gender, but just now, I don’t care . The anger feels right. The determination to defend myself feels right. The willingness to kill or maim this villain feels good. The motherfucker who did this is going to pay.

She has to take the law into their own hands.

She makes a list of six suspects of her own. But maybe she missed someone? Who is this person? And why does he want to hurt her?

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I have to admit, I was actually surprised that Bobby didn’t have THIS person on her list from the beginning. Even if I didn’t know FOR SURE who it COULD BE. (All six were not trustworthy, to tell the truth). But when it became clear WHO it WAS....the last 15% left my blood frozen.(Or boiled)

Absolutely great resolution, excellent writing, but the most a magnificent attraction of the series is the main character. Bobby Logan belongs to one of my favorite characters EVER. I could have never imagined that to be in a head of a transgender woman could be so fascinating. Transgender fiction is a difficult genre to win a wide audience; it belongs to a marginal genre of LGBT fiction. But maybe one of the reasons, there are not enough GREAT books to attract readers?
For this reason I appeal to all my GR friends and people who read LGBT fiction, and for all those who read General fiction and mystery, you simply HAVE to read this series.

Please, read it.


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***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

A Short History of Nearly Everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything - William Roberts, Bill Bryson imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors - B.A. Paris imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

I found the beginning much more better than the whole package. The more I learned about an other monstrous nature of a charming lawyer the more implausible the whole story appeared. Not that I don't believe that domestic violence exists, but here it is another level of it, let's talk about a maniac, a psychopath, who managed to keep his real "I" from everyone and everything. But here though everything around Jack's personality is extremely unreal and illogical. I just cant see HOW and WHY he became what he became. The author didn't convince me. An eagerly awaited resolution came as a relief: Thanks God, it is over.

An interesting, small but IMO a very significant detail at the very end.


In spite of many complaints about the plot I still NEEDED to know HOW it would end, and kept on listening (even with eye-rolls).


One bonus star for the narrating.

Before the Fall

Before the Fall - Robert Petkoff, Noah Hawley imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

A very well written thriller that made a thrilling audio book with an excellent performance of [a:Robert Petkoff|2889695|Robert Petkoff|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/m_50x66-82093808bca726cb3249a493fbd3bd0f.png].

A plane crash. Two survivors. A four year old boy and an unknown painter who swam 8 hours in the cold Atlantic at night with a boy on his back.

Is he a hero or the reason for this crash?

How did he get on the board of the private jet with two of the most richest and powerful people of the USA? Why his name is not on the boarding list? Does he tell the truth? And what happened on the board of the machine?

Aside from the investigation and a less spectacular outcome - too fresh the memories of the Germanwings Flight 9525, google if you don't remember- the book delivers a very important massage, IMO:

Journalism was meant to be objective reporting of facts; no matter how contradictory. You didn't make the news fit the story. You simply reported the facts as they were.When hat that stopped being true?


...

Der Sohn

Der Sohn - Sascha Rotermund, Jo Nesbo imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

Well...Now I know:

There ARE corrupted cops in Norway and...mafia!

I mean, if it were a novel set in Italy, Russia, Latin America or even USA, no one would have been surprised. But Norway?! REALLY?!

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Oh YES.

They are the worst . Believe me. Or at least I blindly ate up the whole story, and I am NOT GOING to question ANYTHING here. I sat on the edge of my seat and went almost crazy because the tension in many situations was UNBEARABLE. I got more grey hair, that's for sure.

But what a great story, what an excellent idea.

Ingeniously implemented, brilliantly written. With one of the most unique and endearing lone justice warrior who seeks revenge against evil.


With THIS terrific suspense novel [a:Jo Nesbø|904719|Jo Nesbø|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1493220079p2/904719.jpg] got my WHOLE attention.
Oh yes, he did.

Come Home

Come Home - Patricia Gussin DNF at 32%

Maybe you know how it is, when you find the characters so annoying and terrible, not only those who are supposed to be unlikable but in the first place (and it is even worse) those who are supposed to have all your sympathy, that you are simply unable to spend one more minute of your life on them. When a flat boring story is no longer an issue. Because you just loathe every single person in this book.

Well, I know how it is now.



***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Bull Mountain

Bull Mountain - Brian Panowich, Brian Troxell imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1


I probably have more questions than I normally have after finishing a mystery book. This novel left me in a state of an emotional emptiness. Because it was over. And because I wanted more. I am still thinking about the fateful intertwining of the destinies, questioning the happenstances and blaming the invidious circumstances. In other words – I am STILL emotionally loaded, isn’t it what books supposed to do?

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I’m a sucker for mysteries set in the wild outdoors, gripping family sagas and stories that can’t be predicted from the opening pages. I have everything in this book. AND…THIS ENDING!
(In spite of the fact, that I would rather see another resolution of the whole case, but I appreciate the unusual twist here.)

A terrific debut novel (look at all these awards!), and a great audio book. Bravo!

Night Drop

Night Drop - Marshall Thornton 4,5 stars


What a crazy genre's cocktail!

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Mystery, drama, comedy and fun.



Marshall Thornton’s new novel is without any doubt a historical fiction, set in LA in the early 90s. Here I have to confess (to my shame) I mistaken it first for a apocalyptic fantasy (not my preferable genre, BTW).

Because:

1) I knew NOTHING about the riot in Los Angeles in 1992 .

2) I googled and couldn’t believe what I read: a situation close to civil war, an outbreak of violence and bloodshed that cost 63 people their lives!


Aside from the atmosphere during the riot, there is a great feeling of the 90s. Absolutely phenomenal how the author with his writing and myriad elaborate details manages to transfer his readers in this era.

Night Drop OF COURSE is a murder mystery, with a dead body (-ies). I don’t mean those who lost their lives in the riot BECAUSE of it. But just imagine, that someone in this chaos might have seen a good possibility to suppress uncomfortable truth and even to get rid of some inconvenient person(s). Fortunately our main character, Noah Valentine, as an owner of a video rental shop, has watched enough mystery movies in his life to be able to become a skillful sleuth when the circumstances required it.

At the late on the page 10 you’ll want this novel to be a movie. The focal point of life in this story is an apartment of Noah’s neighbors downstairs, Marc and Louis, a gay couple who takes care of Noah. In their small apartment they have lunch, dinners and long after-dinner conversation, here their friends come together, events and cases are discussed and opinions are shared. An enjoyable microcosm in Silver Lake, a wonderful world to escape to (with a glass of chardonnay). I pretty much enjoyed the language play and the interactions of different characters.

But what kind of movie it should become? A delicious soap opera? (it is supposed to become a series, after all). Or a sitcom? Yes, a sitcom, because there are so many situations that are hilarious. The borders between SERIOUS and lighthearted are blurred. Yes, it is funny, campy, very easy breeze-y and cruisy reading. The characters are wonderful, the dialogues are extremely good and it has THIS WOW-effect at the end. When you think you know everything, lean back and are prepared to get your quiet sweet ending, the author dropped that bombshell.

Don’t worry, it is not a cliffhanger, it is just a decent change of the genre. Again.

Now I would like to know how Marshall Thornton is going to resolve the situation he put himself into…

One more reason to looking forward to the next book!

VERY recommended.


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***Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review***

Heart Stop

Heart Stop - Radclyffe DNF at 60%

My first Radclyffe.
I can totally understand why she has already received many awards and prizes for her works. I WISH I could enjoy FF fiction as much as I enjoy MM fiction to be able to give a fair opinion on this book.
But lesbian fiction IS my not my first choice. I CAN enjoy it, but I am VERY picky here: I need a plot where a love story doesn't occupy so many place, a zero steam and better not too much tension, and well...women in tight dark jeans, motorcycle boots, and a black T-shirt don't do it to me. I was incredibly bored with this book.

I'm a 100% straight woman, I can't help myself - I LOVE men.

I have to check, if Radclyffe wrote something in the category GAY fiction/MM Romance.

This book is very good written, and though it is the book#6 in the series, you can read it as a stand alone.

**Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Role

The Role - Richard Taylor Pearson, Sean Lenhart imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

A good story, and I think I'd have enjoyed it more had it been shorter.
The length made it unfortunately too repetitive.

Maybe if Kevin were a lit less of a pain in the back side I COULD live with it, but he was a WAAAY too annoying. (Are all actors such narcissistic drama queens?!)

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A nice ending though.
[a:Sean Lenhart|13672960|Sean Lenhart|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] is a good narrator.

Nobody Rides For Free: An Angus Green Novel (Angus Green Series)

Nobody Rides For Free: An Angus Green Novel (Angus Green Series) - Neil S. Plakcy [a:Neil S. Plakcy|126217|Neil S. Plakcy|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1249251789p2/126217.jpg] is the author I planned to read since I started to read MM romance genre and gay fiction books. It was the time when an entirely new world opened up and my TBR became close to collapse. *sigh* What a wonderful time!..


The first book in the Angus Green Series did not really knock me off my feet - though I have to admit, it was not bad - besides, sometimes you need to have a little patience with a starter in series. It was too early to judge it.

The eponymous of the series, FBI Special Agent Angus Green, is a good-looking man, an enthusiastic and motivated employee, a smart guy and - without any doubt - a very nice person, but probably also he is the reason why I find the series somehow boring.

The second book and the second case for Special Agent Angus Green. He has to find out more information about flakka, a new dangerous drug that rapidly gains ground. While doing research in a local drugs scene Angus accidentally comes across another serious crime. It looks like the same people who are involved in the drug dealing also runs a gay porn business with underage boys, whom they get off the streets. Boys who have been victimized, abused or run away from home and are an easy prey for the mob. The Special Agent Angus Green makes to his essential mission to save those kids, to find the core of the evil and to destroy it.

I have to admit: the beginning of the book , and I liked it much more than the rest of the book. As the investigation progressed the dynamics dropped and the book became long-winded and at the end, FOR MY PERSONAL LIKING rather a chore than a reading joy.

I normally like books with an investigation routine. The books, where the research and perfect analytic skills of an investigator plays a very important role. But here I was very close to give up. SORRY.

There were many talking - talking with witnesses, friends, colleagues, there were many walking around - a gym, bars, shelters, streets, and there were many thinking (around). AND it all happened in a very mo-no-to-n-ous way for my taste. Maybe if the book would have been a bit shorter, it had exhibited more dynamics.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ask for more Hollywood-like actions and twists. But even some little actions in between, and a few corps didn’t affect a boring pace of the story.

My further personal problem was the first person pov. I didn’t feel the main character the way I should. First person POV belongs to my FAVORITE narration, but here it would bemaybe better to chose the third person pov. I really don't know.

All in all, the series is NOT bad, and it will for sure find its fans. But I think I'm not among them.

It is pity, because [a:Neil S. Plakcy|126217|Neil S. Plakcy|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1249251789p2/126217.jpg] CAN write.

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**Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

Snowblind

Snowblind - Eli Easton, John Solo imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1


I normally enjoyed Eli Easton's works, and I was in the mood for something fluffy, romantic, with a tiny dose of angst. It WAS all THAT + a lonely cabin in the woods of Alaska, FBI intrigues, an undercover case, hot sex and an excellent narrator. Maybe it was a material for a longer book, maybe it was not my kind of story, but I had more eye-rolls moments than would like.
The MCs fell very rapidly for each other for my taste, it was a bit too much drama around and a way too long sex scenes for the length of the book. One extra star for [a:John Solo|7935034|John Solo|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] for his narrating skills.

Murder Under the Fig Tree

Murder Under the Fig Tree - Kate Raphael 3,5 stars



I decided NOT to write my review immediately after I had finished this book in order to distance myself from political influence and to concentrate only on the fictional content, but it was not THAT easy. Well...It is not a fairy tale about a unicorn that got lost in the wood. It is a Palestinian mystery set in the middle of a long-time conflict, the conflict that is so old and established that meanwhile no one really knows when and how it began, but the worst is – no one really no how to solve it. Do you think it is possible to avoid politics in a novel like this?

The Plot:

The main character, Rania, is a female Palestine detective, who investigates on her own the murder of a young Palestinian man. She is officially not on duty, taking rest, after having being released from an Israel’s jail where she was kept imprisoned without charge. Rania wants to find evidence to prove that it was Israelis solders who shot the Palestinian student. That means compensation money from the Israel’s army for his family. For the local Palestinian police department the case is clear but insolvable, but not for Rania and her detective instincts. Though the deeper she gets into the investigation, the more involved people she interviews, the more doubts she has about the case. Her suspicion grows stronger when she finds out that the murdered Palestinian student was gay. Will Rania stay true to her principles of justice or will she stop digging and accept the official version?

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OK. I'll try to be OBJECTIVE.

It was less a mystery but rather an exceptional introduction into the foreign cultures and traditions. It was an entertaining narrative full of vibrant and colorful images. [a:Kate Raphael|4285293|Kate Raphael|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1442522264p2/4285293.jpg] doesn't stay on a single perspective, she gives us the story from different angles, different POVs. It is why I would say, the author has more than one parallel story lines.
It made the story in the whole more richly.

At the beginning I found her using of Arabic and Hebrew in dialogues a bit annoying, but soon I understood her reason, and appreciate it. It is indispensable for the development of the plot. Her characters are Jews, Palestinians and Americans, and it is important to know who winch language uses at the very moment.

Everything in this book feels very real. The author knows too good not only the difficult backdrop of the Israel-Palestine issue but also a Palestinian day-to-day life. No wonder- she lived in Palestine for a while and have close connections to LGBT community there, she has friends in Palestine. It is the reason why this book has understandings more for the one side than for another.

But I had a hard time reading through some episodes. With all my understanding of author's personal experience. Though I am aware that this story is told from the Palestinian's view, and – desired or not – I believe that she doesn't exaggerate, unfortunately also about the mutual hatred of Israelis and Palestinians.

I won't define this book as an extremely enjoyable read, because the topic is just a way too complicated and too serious and bloody to use the word “joy”, but it was a very interesting and somehow an exceptional read. With a solid and vivid writing style, authentic characters, an entertaining narrative flow from the different perspectives, with more than just one story line coined by vibrant and colorful images and with an ending that could have been very satisfying if not a spoon of tar in a barrel of honey on the very top. But maybe it is just me being subjective.

It is a second book in the series, but one can read it as a stand-alone. And the author made me curious enough to looking forward to the next installment of the series.


***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
 

The History of Bees

The History of Bees - Maja Lunde, Diane Oatley Let see it as a coincidence: a big egg insecticide scandal in Germany that has spread to food stores across Europe, "emissionsgate", Trump's energy policy and me, reading [b:The History of Bees|32920292|The History of Bees|Maja Lunde|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1485795323s/32920292.jpg|45708705]. Actually I can add many other scandals to this list, those that are happening because of our reckless behavior or indifferent attitude to flora and fauna, those that lead to damage which can never be made good.

The History of Bees is a book about bees. One could guess. It is Well not really. But it is so clever framed, so beautifully told that it is impossible not TO think about what will we leave to our future generation.

We follow the stories of three different families living in three different periods of time: in the past, in the present and in the future. Three different fates, three different lives, three different places, three different social backgrounds. cultures, mentality. There is a connection between all these fates, but which one? It couldn't be only bees, it has to be more.

You won't get the answer up to the end. Truly clever solved. I had many theories and partly I was right, but still I had a WOW-moment waiting for me.

What I really enjoyed, along with a melancholically beautiful way of telling, an enthralling story with an unusual building and interesting characters was a strong feeling of hope.
A single, unifying feeling: hope. And this is a good thing.

Very recommended.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8OksU9G9WA&feature=youtu.be

***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Guarding Morgan

Guarding Morgan - R.J. Scott imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

Rounded up to 3 stars.

Key words: witness protection, safe house, dirty cop, FBI

I know, you won't normally get anything new here, it was told and retold countless times. You have just to like these kinds of stories (or not). I do. Though a bit more originality in the plot would be welcome. Nothing extraordinary, stereotypical characters, predictable story, but the narrator made the best of it.

The first half of the book was much better than the second one, IMO.

And It Came to Pass

And It Came to Pass - Laura  Stone DNF at 35%

It was my second book by the author, and I was really sure I would like it. Because I enjoyed her previous book, and I knew that Laura Stone was a good writer + the rating for this book was good, but unfortunately [b:And It Came to Pass|33819190|And It Came to Pass|Laura Stone|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1483892096s/33819190.jpg|54735993] didn't work for me at all.

After struggling through Mormon's mentality I had to quite at 35%. Maybe I left the best of the plot unread, but...the subject, the worries of those two guys were so far from my field of interests, like thousands light years away!.. I've developed a strong aversion against all kinds of brainwashing. Two eighteen old Mormon guys spend their spare time with the philosophical questions about the Church and the principles of the Gospel instead of, for example, to question the political situation in the world or talking about football or something else more interesting. Pages after pages, after pages. I read the the Author's note in the beginning: Laura Stone knows the subject not from the research, but because she grew up in this system. I appreciate what she did and does, but I simply doesn't belong to a target audience.

I'm not religious, but I have many friends who believe and I normally enjoy books with a religion topic, they help to broaden my mind on the matter. But with this one I was bored to death.



***Copy provided kindly by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***