A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rook by T. Strange — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 Rook is sent to the alien prison planet B-226 for twenty three years for killing his husband. The average life span on the hostile planet is three weeks. His plan is to live as long as possible to honor his husband’s wishes, and then die and join him. Upon landing […]

via A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rook by T. Strange — Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen, This Time Forever 1

Building Forever Cover
Cover By: Natasha Snow

I would rate this 4.5 stars

Charlie is a widower with a teenage daughter and a crush on his neighbor. Simon is on the rebound and rebuilding his life in a new state at a new job. When Simon’s ex Brian steps back into the picture, and Charlie needs to prioritize his daughter Olivia over his love life, things get complicated.

I find that I like the dual POV in alternating chapters approach rather than the willy nilly style some authors have. Seeing their relationship unfold from both sides made me care about each of them and I never struggled to figure out whose thoughts were whose. Charlie is adorable. His admitting he was bisexual and sharing that with his friend and daughter was handled in the confident way of someone who is honest with themself and others while still showing his doubts and anxieties. Simon is more serious and cautious, taking longer to think things through. I laughed out loud a few times; I felt weepy a few times too, and cringing–there was definately cringing. They burn up the sheets, but in a way that is real and human. They connect in that way that people do when they are actually honest when getting to know each, other instead of just putting on a face.

Their story is engaging with interesting side characters that give it richer layers: Simon’s friend Frank, Charlie’s friend Phil and his neighbor Cassie, Simon’s new business partner Aurther, even Charlie’s daughter Liv are all there to show us different facets of the MCs.

The difficult part about being in love and staying in love is the daily decision to–the decision to stay when things hurt, or are not fun and easy, but still confront and fix them. To think about what someone else needs even if they don’t communicate well or ask for help is part of building a partnership. Stressful things can either pull people apart or bring them closer together, and that’s a choice too.

Sometimes I feel like I judge books too harshly, like I’m being mean, but then I read a book like this and I know that all the books I gave a lower rating to are missing what this book has, and I feel fine about it. This is the kind of romance I want to read, regardless of genre.

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Review: Somebody To Die For By Kris T. Bethke, Requiem Inc. 3

Somebody to Die For Cover
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

 

Kris T. Bethke Somebody To Die For

This is the third book in the Requiem Inc., series. To learn more about the first book, Ghost of a Chance, or the second book, Lost Souls Found, go here.

The people who work at the company help find stranded souls so they can go on the next step of their journey after death and find peace. As a recap, the mediums find the spirits, the ghostwalkers die and go to them, the anchors bring them back and provide aftercare, and the guardians, as anchors with greater abilities, oversee several teams at once and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Ghostwalker Avery Wagner lost his anchor and bonded partner to cancer four years ago and now teaches rather than ghostwalking himself. Get ready to be mired in the angst of a widower. Jameson is in training, but doesn’t have the anchor gene. He’s awkward, determined and somehow really likeable because he wants to help people. The attraction is there for both of them pretty immediately and they both fight against it for different reasons. Even though the age gap here is 18 years and Jameson does make some immature mistakes, he also steps up when he needs to and learns from them.

Jameson hasn’t been assigned a ghostwalker yet and is going through the training alone. Thrust into working an emergency with Jameson, Avery is afraid of his feelings, not wanting to open himself up to that kind of pain again. The author took the time for Avery to be thoughtful about his grief. Jameson was so sweet and understanding. Their intimate moments were perfect: hot, sweet, and confused feelings. It’s the emotions that anchor this story and put it a shoulder above others. I did cry at one point. I love how everything is not magically fixed at the end–grief is a long process and love is complex. Even with the age difference, this gets to the point of being a true partnership where they work through issues and talk things out.

I’ve enjoyed this whole series. This may actually be my favorite of the three and it’s nice that the author finishes strong rather than the first one setting everything up while the other two seem tacked on to make more money. This is not that. This seems to have been a trilogy from the start and, whilst there could be many more stories to tell in this world if done right (there are 47 branch offices), the HEA of all the originally focused upon characters is now complete.

I would rate this 4.25 stars.

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