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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

God in Pink

God in Pink - Hasan Namir
Homosexuality in Islam is a difficult topic. It HAS to be tragic, if the characters live in a strongly Muslim country. While reviewing such a book, it is difficult to separate myself from the political and religious matters and to focus only on the writing style and MCs.

imageParagraph 175 (known formally as §175 StGB; also known as Section 175 in English) was a provision of the German Criminal Code from 15 May 1871 to 10 March 1994. It made homosexual acts between males a crime.


You got it? Comparing to Germany in 1994, Iraq of 2003 (and in the moment even worse) has a VERY long way to go. I am really sorry for all homosexual people who was born in a wrong country. But I am also sorry for all women who were born there. MCs name it traditions. I name it human rights abuses.


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"After we were married, I told her that she could not eat at the same table as me. She said that when she was growing up, her family did not separate the men and women at meals, so it bothered her; I think it may still, but it is tradition passed down from my great-great-grandfather. We accept it for what it is. I cannot break with tradition."
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"One time she wanted to go out with her sister without a man to accompany them to protection. I didn't allow it."
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"Choosing a wife based on a photograph alone is ridiculous, but I keep my opinion to myself. I realize that this is our tradition."
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"I realize that, after all these years, they are still in love. I wonder how this could be possible when they don't have any children. Aren't children what keep a husband and wife together?"
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"A Muslim woman must not touch a man who is not her husband or a close relation."
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The plot could be interesting if it were less cliche and less superficial. The MCs lacked the depth and credibility. The writing is simple, but not in a good way. I see how hard the author tried to make it poetic, but I didn't buy it.

All in all - I still can't believe that this book won Lammy in 2015 in the category Gay Fiction.

Femme

Femme - Marshall Thornton, Joel Leslie imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

I had a pleasure to read and review this book BEFORE it was published.

I got an audio book shortly BEFORE our vacation. And you know what? I was excited to re-read it and I enjoyed it as an audio book even MORE. Yes, in spite of my NOT a re-reader-type. I don't do re-read normally. Why should I?! There are so MANY books to read! There are really VERY few authors I re-read. And Marshall Thornton is my top re-read author.

I read [b:Femme|30250833|Femme|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1463922477s/30250833.jpg|50718844] and enjoyed it, BUT I had my own idea how Lionel and Dog SOUNDED. You know it is something that solidly anchored in your mind during reading. The VOICES. The APPEARANCES. The images. A movie in your own head. It is there. With your own casting.

[a:Joel Leslie|13846511|Joel Leslie|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png] was/is a great performer. He made this story to a special event. He made this story to a wonderful holiday read. BUT he was not MY Lionel. And he was not MY Dog. Not immediately. And I needed some time to get used to HIS Dog and HIS Lionel. But it
didn't take too long.

I had a great time with this love story. It is light as a summer breeze, delightful as a summer cocktail. An excellent selection for a holiday read, a delicate and fine piece of a modern gay romance, an ideal choice as an audio book. Well, and not ONLY as a holiday book.

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Revelation

Revelation - Carter   Wilson Is [b:Revelation|29382108|Revelation|Carter Wilson|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1466014273s/29382108.jpg|49630910] a character-driven novel or a plot-driven suspense thriller?

I would tend to the first one. But it is also a gripping psycho-drama in the fast-paced thrills and exciting action, with unexpected twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Some violent scenes are very graphical, see it as a warning.

It was without doubts a 5 stars read through and through up to the end, but the VERY ending was slightly overloaded for my taste.

Still an excellent book that I would highly recommend to all fans of the genre.



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

Under Parr

Under Parr - Andrea Bramhall
I didn't read the first book in the series, [b:Collide-O-Scope|28494448|Collide-O-Scope|Andrea Bramhall|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1452353135s/28494448.jpg|48644855], but I didn't feel I missed something essential, you can read [b:Under Parr|31564260|Under Parr|Andrea Bramhall|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1485188030s/31564260.jpg|52249073] as a stand alone.

A lesbian mystery isn't a frequent guest on my TBR, and those few books I read, I mostly picked up by chance. I don't think I will become a regular reader of the genre, but from time to time to come across a book that is not your usual read and enjoyed it is a welcome change.

A great North Norfolk's atmosphere and scenery of a murder mystery. I read it during our summer vacation, melting under the Greece sun, but with a strong feeling of the salt wind and the rain of the Norfolk Coast. I enjoyed the romance between Kate and Gina, their careful and slow approach, and was actually glad that it was kept on a slow burn.

All in all- a promising good written series that I'll keep on my radar.


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


The Lawn Job

The Lawn Job - Chuck Caruso 3,5 stars

This book started a bit too slow for my taste. But it was definitively the writing that kept me on reading, and I am glad that I didn't give up too early.

The second part rewarded me for all my patience. A well written debut novel by Chuck Caruso is a thrilling and at the same time hilarious read. It is an unusual mixture of humor and social satire, a soap opera and psychological thriller. A brilliant final match that won't leave you indifferent. Even if it won't come totally unexpected.

But what for a crazy set of circumstances! It is a point where I can't give more away not to spoil the story for you.


3,5 stars rounded up without any hesitation and put the author on my don't miss his next novel list.

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

Omorphi

Omorphi - C. Kennedy DNF at 15%

Blood Truth

Blood Truth - Matt Coyle
What I really like in the Rick Cahill Series , is a perfect pace of the plot.

The author knows EXACTLY how to keep your attention: melancholic quite parts alternate with pure actions at a dizzying speed. It is why I recommend you not to start this book late in the evening if you have a list to do on the next early morning – there is a high risk that you'll stay awake and read the whole night through.

And what I REALLY love is of course – the main character, a PI Rick Cahill. He is A-MA-ZING, an exemplary model of a lone warrior who has been hit by blows of every kind in his life and yet stays true to himself and his principles, a loyal fighter for justice who is difficult not to fall for.

In [b:Blood Truth|35236571|Blood Truth|Matt Coyle|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1496153937s/35236571.jpg|56585154] Rick works on two cases, that represent two parallel story-lines that on the first sight have nothing in common. The first one is Rick’s private matter related to his long dead father that sheds light on the mystery of his destruction. VERY EMOTIONAL. The other one is a delicate case that he agrees to take only because his ex-girlfriend, a woman that he still loves, begged for it. Rick has to find out if her husband is cheating on her. Is it a possibility to get her back? Is it THE case that will prove his loyalty?

I ENORMOUSLY enjoyed this book. The previous one, [b:Dark Fissures|29901553|Dark Fissures|Matt Coyle|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1469651883s/29901553.jpg|50275180], my first of [a:Matt Coyle|1248617|Matt Coyle|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1486022435p2/1248617.jpg], was already good enough, but this one exceed all my expectations.

Matt Coyle’s series has everything you need to savor: dynamics, great characters, an exciting and emotional plot and very enjoyable writing. It was the book#4 in the series, and my second in it. I normally don’t read series in reverse, but I like this so much, that I’m seriously considering to go back to the very beginning and read the first two books that I've missed.

Note: You can read [b:Blood Truth|35236571|Blood Truth|Matt Coyle|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1496153937s/35236571.jpg|56585154] as a stand alone.
And if you like a good mystery with a likable character, you really should.


**Copy provided by Oceanview Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Story of the Lost Child

The Story of the Lost Child - Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein, Hillary Huber Absolutely stunning.

This ending left me speechless and with the heaviest book hangover EVER.




P.S. I'm proud to have the same first name. Elena. Isn't it beautiful?

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay - Elena Ferrante, Hillary Huber imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

House of Cards

House of Cards - Garrett Leigh
DNF at 40%

It is my own fault. I shouldn't have asked for an ARC, because after my last book by the author I swore to myself not to read anything by Garrett Leigh again. But I fell into the trap of nice reviews and...my own sloppiness.

Reading [b:House of Cards|34093924|House of Cards (Porthkennack, #4)|Garrett Leigh|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1487206401s/34093924.jpg|55111015] simultaneously with Elena Ferrante's L'amica geniale Series (an audio version) was not a good idea and not to the advantage of this book, but I like to combine audio books and eBooks in different genres with each other. Until now it worked perfectly. But here the difference is simply galactic. Sorry.

I don't like the story, I don't care about the characters, I dislike the writing. I don't like the vulgarity of her language. Too many f*ck words, and THAT can your read in a nice conversation on one single page:

a prize wanker
a cunt
a lecherous prick
wankers
a slut
lucky fucker
an arsehole


It pains. The dialogues are painful to read. The characters are painful to follow. No, not because it is a heartbreaking, it is jut bad. It is just not my kind of book.

But the author is popular among the MM readers, and so it looks like her works make many people happy, unfortunately I'm not among them. I was bored to death.


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


The Story of a New Name

The Story of a New Name - Elena Ferrante, Hillary Huber imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

BRAVO.

Five stars, hundred stars, all possible and impossible stars for [a:Elena Ferrante|44085|Elena Ferrante|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/f_50x66-6a03a5c12233c941481992b82eea8d23.png]!

I wish I can read it in a language it was written.

Envy my Italian friends.

Pity the books that come after...


My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante, Hillary Huber, Ann Goldstein imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

[b:My Brilliant Friend|35036409|My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1)|Elena Ferrante|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493655783s/35036409.jpg|19174054] is simply brillaint.

It was a great recommendation (thank you, Katie!) that I (I have to admit it) didn't take too seriously at first ( I'm not a fan of a female narrative). I loved everything in this book. EVERYTHING.

I'm intrigued and NEED to read the next book NOW.

A Solitary Man

A Solitary Man - Shira Anthony, Aisling Mancy, Jim Pelletier imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

4,5 stars

“This story is dedicated to honoring all of America’s law enforcement heroes – those who have died in the line of duty and those who continue to serve and protect.”



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I have never read anything by the author(or authors) before, but the blurb sounded just too enticing that I decided to give it a try. I started it with open mind, much unbiased, I haven’t even checked the reviews from my friends and an average rating BEFORE, what I really do seldom.

To tell that I was positively surprised would be a huge understatement. This book exceeded all my expectations – a compelling story that combines a thrilling, complex plot and arouses an entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. The readers though should be warned ahead (if you missed the authors note at the beginning): the topic of the book is not for the faint of heart - drug trafficking, child abuse and child sex trafficking. If it is a taboo subject for you, then you should probably skip it. However, do not forget that this book is also about people who are involved in the fight against this evil, who risked their lives, and in spite of some tragic, heart-rending scenes and the earnestness of the subject this book offers a warm humor and feeling of happiness, it is optimistic, promising and full of hope.

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The last undercover operation of FBI agent Xav Constantine in South America went wrong: two kids, whom he was supposed to rescue from the hands of the child sex trafficking mafia, died in a gunfire. This tragic event becomes a turning point in Xav’s life. He quits his job as FBI agent in California, moves to a small sea town in North Carolina to become a new deputy sheriff to lead the Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Chance Evan Fairchild, Assistant District Attorney, whose own mother died from overdose, devotes his life to the fight against illegal drugs and tries to do everything to get drugs off the streets of his home city. He himself struggles against his own demons of the past and hides behind the arrogant appearance not only a sensitive soul but also his sexuality. Chance is the closet case. In opposite to Xav, and he never DOES the same guy twice. He is a solitary man.

Imagine his reaction and his confusion when he is introduced to a new deputy sheriff, in whom he immediately recognizes his one-night-stand. Xav is embarrassed too, but he also understands that he has to behave as if they have never met before. They both do everything to keep themselves out of each other's way, try to avoid each other and keep their job and private interests strictly separate while silently suffering in doing so.

The situation is complicated. Even more when it becomes obvious that there is a connection between the expansion of the drug trafficking in this area of North Carolina and child disappearances which have increased significantly in the last months.

And yet, fate took its pay, two of them HAVE to work together…

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I enjoyed this book enormously. As a passionate mystery and gay fiction reader, I have to assume, I almost give up on a MM Mystery Romance. Too many books in this category that have nothing to do with the mystery genre; the mystery itself often falls by the wayside.

It is not the case here: an excellent plotted thrilling mystery beautifully interwoven with an inspired love story (HOW could someone assert it is not a romance?!), hot sex scenes inclusive. Two great main characters - real authentic, credible, endearing, and not forget - excellently developed secondary characters.

Notes to the audio book:


I had some difficulties with the audio book. Jim Pelletier did a great job, voicing different characters with different accents. Authentic and vibrant. Unfortunately, I, as a non-native-English-speaker, had problems with understanding when he spoke for some characters with a strong dialect, and I had to rewind, again and again, to understand what they(he) just said. It interrupted a fluent narrative for me. For THAT(I am reviewing here an audio-book) I have to take off 0.5 star. But be aware, it is ONLY my personal issue that has nothing to do with the audio book.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.




***Audio book provided by the publisher to GBR in exchange for an honest review. ***


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The Nix

The Nix - Nathan  Hill, Ari Fliakos imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

Honestly, this book has EVERYTHING I love: a COMPLICATED family history and how the old secrets that were locked behind ambiguous shrugs and half answers and vague abstractions and aphorisms come to light, bit by bit until all necessary fragments of an enigmatic jigsaw are put together. There are many moments, I laughed out LOUD, but there are so many heartbreaking moments. I love the idea of the book, I love the idea of the spirit. The writing is excellent, and [a:Ari Fliakos|15897519|Ari Fliakos|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1498483423p2/15897519.jpg] from now on belongs to my favorite narrators.

I love every minute of this book.


Aunt Belle's Time Travel & Collectibles

Aunt Belle's Time Travel & Collectibles - Marshall Thornton Honestly, have you ever thought about “how it would be great to be able to go to the past and correct some decisions we made by mistake”?
Or:

imageIf I got to do the whole thing over again, I'd have so much more sex. And I'd study harder. And save more money. And be nicer to the nice people And meaner to the mean people. And bring notes so I could tell them apart.image

If not, then I envy you, or maybe you just don't have enough fantasy to toy with the idea.

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So, when Terrance getst on his 45th birthday an original Gameboy 1989 model year from his best friend Sean his first reaction is: “It's too expensive, you have to take it back.” To which Sean replies, “It didn't cost very much.” It turns out to be right. A new little place, Aunt Belle's, that has been opened a few month ago, has an amazing selection of old toys in the window. But not only that. Aunt Belle offers actual time travel. For $295. With a money back guarantee.

And it is exactly what Terrance needs. To go back and completely erase his life with David, the biggest mistake of his life. Let's start with the day they met. David MUST NOT under any circumstances get his telephone number. Only it is not THAT easy. You actually can't change your past. But you can't change your future. If you make the right decision. NOW.

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I won't qualify this novel as a science fiction, in spite of The Time Travel Agency (actually it is a wooden time travel chair). The focus of the story is not set on technical effects, high tech devices or hardy understandable terms, typical for the genre. It is an easy and charming low budget movie from the category “what if” that focuses on the characters. Real, recognizable, boys next door.

A funny heart-warming and very enjoyable adventure.

I read it in one seating. And not only because it is short.

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

Everything I Know

Everything I Know - Josh Lanyon, Michael Ferraiuolo imageAudibleheadphones_icon_1

3,5 stars

Where is a dead body?!


Josh Lanyon can write not only mystery, but also a contemporary!

VERY unusual. (But NOT BAD.)

(Well, I'm actually OVER-CRITICAL considering JL' works).

It is an EXCELLENT contemporary romance from your NOT usual contemporary writer.

Highly recommended.