Attempted Murder

Acrobat by Mary Calmes 4 Star Review!

Review:

Acrobat - Mary Calmes

 

 

Forty-five-year-old English professor Nathan Qells is very good at making people feel important. What he’s not very good at is sticking around afterward. He’s a nice guy; he just doesn’t feel things the way other people do. So even after all the time he’s spent taking care of Michael, the kid across the hall, he doesn’t realize that Michael’s mob muscle uncle and guardian, Andreo Fiore, has slowly been falling in love with him.

Dreo has bigger problems than getting Nate to see him as a potential partner. He’s raising his nephew, trying to leave his unsavory job, and starting his own business, a process made infinitely more difficult when a series of hits takes out some key underworld players. Still, Dreo is determined to build a life he can be proud of—a life with Nate as a cornerstone. A life that is starting to look like exactly what Nate has been seeking. Unfortunately for Dreo—and for Nate—the last hits were just part of a major reorganization, and Dreo’s obvious love for Nate has made him a target too.

 

Review

While I was reading this book, I had a great time. Afterwards, there are lots of things that could have been better but it is an enjoyable read.

I liked all the characters. All of them. I liked how more and more just kept being added to the plot but it was the relationships that mattered the most. I enjoy all the kinds of love on display.

However, Nate was too perfect and I have no idea what he looked like except really attractive. He comes to this big self discovery but then we don’t get to see him put it into play and for him to grow.

I love Dreo but we get to little of him. Why did he choose to join the mob really? The sex is hot but I wanted more relationship time in his new life. 

There are dead ends to the some of the plots. 

So, I liked it a lot and then I was irrated but still a very good read overall. 

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Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith Review

Big in Japan: Accidental Sumo by Jennifer Griffith 3.5 Stars! 

Buck Cooper is big.

So big, in fact, that people don’t see him anymore—not at work, not in his love life. He’s become 300+ pounds of invisible. But when a family situation shanghais this Texan to Tokyo, suddenly being big makes him a spectacle—in a good way, especially when the spotlight at a sporting match lands on Buck and forces him into the sumo ring. Will this accident of fate be Buck’s chance of a lifetime, making him Big in Japan?

 

 

 

Review

The parts of this book that are good are so good that it warrant this high rating. I completely loved the book while I was reading it. However, as I have mulled over the book my enjoyment dims a bit because of some truncated elements of the plot that make it less fulfilling and silly in places.

What I loved: This book takes a deep dive into Sumo culture. I show up for this kind of detailed exploration in my romance novels. Clap my hands and give me a cool drink, I settle in.

Sumo hazing is crazy. I love me some Sumo (yeah not a sentence that most Westerns say but there it is) and was thrilled to to seek out this book based in the world of Sumo. It was really wonderful. The story showcases the sport, the athleticism and the culture.

The setting in Japan through our hero Buck’s (clearly and American) eyes well done. I got very hungry reading this story. All the senses are used to tell the tale of living in a vastly different place than he is use to and it is well done.

His hero’s journey is lovely to trace. Buck is the best person. His motivation are human and he is good without being saccharine. He does the right thing because that is his nature but the writer is gifted at showcasing how hard these choices can be for so many reasons.

The body issues that are explored here are powerfully rendered looking at culture, self worth masculinity, bullying and other nuances.

Buck works hard and is open minded. Love him!

When he falls in love, it is sweet. (FYI this book never gets past kisses which is a nice break from hotter fare).

However, the romance could have been way more developed, They are hardly ever together. We needed more couple time, I really would have liked some of the book from the heroine’s point of view. She remains pretty idolized.

There is crazy side plots of all kinds that are way over the top. Those are sort of fun but need to be balanced with more relationship development.

So, 3.5!

Just Stop Me (Escape to New Zealand #9) by Rosalind James Review

4 Stars!

Lots of young women dream of being a princess. Nina Jones isn’t one of them. After escaping from her palace/prison by burying herself under sacks of fertilizer, she ends up in a beach cottage on New Zealand’s South Island. She’s meant to be looking after a cantankerous widower. Too bad she doesn’t know how to boil an egg.
Iain McCormick may be an All Black, a member of New Zealand’s elite rugby team, and a bona fide celebrity. During the offseason, though, he’s meant to be a regular Kiwi bloke. A good son, a good neighbor, and a good citizen. But civility comes harder when you’ve been dumped at the altar. He doesn’t need anybody he has to look out for. He definitely doesn’t need to fall in love.

Yeah, right.

Review

I had a lot of trouble getting into this book because I really hate the fake royalty theme. I was restless at first.

However, I went back after reading James’ Just Say Yes which is a 5 star read for me and really loved this one.

I will say it is a tear jerker in the secondary romance of the heroes parents and the grief of his grandfather. I loved this part of the book.

The hero is messed up from his wedding that didn’t happen and the heroine is messed up from being controlled by all the people in her life.

It is a lovely book of healing and sexy too.

The hero and heroine both really grow and it is wonderful to see. The heroine could have revealed her secret a bit earlier and there is another something that doesn’t get followed up on that happens to her but overall this is a very good romance.