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Thursday, August 25, 2016

JUST MARRIED

JUST MARRIED                                                    JENNA BAYLEY-BURKE

Seattle attorney Miranda Rose arrives in Las Vegas determined to keep her best friend-with-benefits from making a costly mistake – marrying some stranger just to save his family trust. But once there, Miranda discovers she’s the surprise bride! One red-hot honeymoon later, they’re back to their over-scheduled lives on opposite coasts. But a marriage of convenience with regularly scheduled sexytimes turns complicated when Miranda gets the shock of a lifetime: she's pregnant...with twins.

Miranda has always wanted a family of her own, but her infertility made it impossible. Besides, Callum’s difficult upbringing places him adamantly in the no-kid zone. Now she must decide between the man she’s been in love with for years and the children she’s longed for. Or will Callum surprise her yet again and come through when it matters most?

MY REVIEW:
     Sometimes our internal struggles over our fears cause us to make decisions that are less than rational.  Or if we were to just face our fears head on.  As was the case of Callum Kerr.  He always seemed to feel he had to play an angle in order to get those he love or liked to do the same back.  Sad to say for the most part in his world he did.
     You see he was from a world of great privileges but it could not buy you everything like time and love.  So as a child at a very you age, before he could tie his own shoes, Callum was sent to boarding school.  When he was at home he had a nanny to care for him.  His father mostly traveled for work back to Scotland to the family castle and their textile company there.  Then come back to New York but he was emotionally unavailable to his family but especially his son.
     His mother Bridie was never the motherly type at least not that he can remember.  Yet, he always remembered being her micromanaging his life.  He never wanted to take over the family business which he had told his father about.  He wanted to be a lawyer.  But tradition had it that the first born would take over the textile and all the companies holding which had grown to over 20 businesses.  Or his uncle’s son, Dirk a good for nothing party boy would get all, and he planned on selling it all.
He hated the family tradition for as the saying goes, “Heir and not the spare.”  That he felt is what killed his uncle, as did Dirk. Callum got his wish and went to law school where he met Miranda Rose. 
     Miranda Rose and he started a secret affair his first year in college in Seattle.  To him it was just sex so he said.  But this affair had been going on for almost a decade and that is about how long Mira has been in love with him. Callum had bought a house and had rented it out rooms she a several other were still all good friends and lawyers to this day.  Although Callum was now a textile mogul all those that lived in the house are all still friends today and live near Mira.  Mira was from New York but she had no one.  Her parents were gone and her aunt who never really wanted the nine-year-old Mira was good too. She had gotten a job in Seattle for a good law firm so she stayed in Seattle to be near all her friends with a support group/family.
     Callum on the other hand had a job at home waiting. He ended up becoming a textile mogul anyway for his father passed away and being the first born he had to take it over.  His father’s passing was especially difficult on him.  Mira was right there for him not just for their weekend getaway either.  She was at his home for the week and she helped with the funeral and all.  Callum knew he had a decision to make after that.  So a plan soon after was set in motion when it was close to his birthday and by that date he would have to be married or Dirk would get it all.
     He calls Mira says come to Vegas tomorrow I’m flying you and the friends to my wedding I’m getting married.  I need my best girl by my side.  Mira to say the left is in shock not to mention hurt.  Her world is imploding on itself.  How could he disrespect something he knew she holds so sacred?  Her world was spinning out of control.  Mira has loved him for almost ten years but for Callum it was just a screw.  She asks to who he is getting married but he evades the question.  She says you have a prenup he says no!  Now she is pissed and tells him he is being stupid.  He says he trust he and that jealousy doesn’t look becoming on her.  Can Mira come he says?  He needs his best girl with him by his side and could she wear the dress she wore to Rob and Molly’s wedding? 
     Mira is really pissed now and says you know when I come to this there is no us?  He’s like I’m not married yet.  NO!  She says but your engaged and that’s something that to me that is important.  She tells him she knows he doesn’t take marriage as something sacred but she does.  He says but you’ll come?  She says yeah!  To talk you out of this.
     She gets there to find out he wants her as his bride but only in name their lives will remain the same.  Except free sex with each other no hiding, vacationing together, etc.…. Just live still two different places and two different lives and NO KIDS!!! Until an OOPS!
     I laughed at this story because it is every fear before marriage and of being a parent times ten all rolled up into Callum’s fear.  Poor defenseless Callum.  His problem is he never had the right tools as a child, young adult, to adult to problem solve, cope and adapt with the changes of life and emotions.  That talking is better than running away from the feelings. This author did a wonderful job of putting out there what a lot of people go through but are afraid to talk about when it happens.  She just made it so fun to read about.  Mickey was his saving grace and best friend in the end.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at:

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PLAYING FAST (New York Saints #5)

PLAYING FAST                                                      MELANIE SCOTT

THREE STRIKES AND HE’S OUT…

When baseball bad-boy Finn Castro raises one eyebrow too many, the Saints send him down to the minors. He’ll have to earn back his major-league dreams with the Sarasota Springs Preachers. Finn’s certainly never claimed to be a man of the cloth, and cleaning up his act isn’t going to be easy with stunning Eva Harlowe at the heart of the team’s administration…

UNTIL SHE THROWS A CURVEBALL
Eva knows having a crush on Finn Castro is about as sensible as wishing for an eighth day of the week, but seeing the gorgeously muscled player in person melts her resolve. If she’s planning to leave baseball at the end of the season, a hot fling could be a fantasy home run. But when no-strings sex begins to feel like a perfect partnership, will Finn and Eva choose the love of the game or real life together?

MY REVIEW:
     When faced with a tragedy we never know how we will react.  But when you have three younger sisters you don’t have time to think your needs any longer it’s all about them.  So it’s wheels up as they say.
     At eighteen she became a mom and took a job working for the Preachers a Triple-A baseball team.  Their parent club being the New York Saints.  She worked as well as making sure that the girls continued their education and their extra curricular activities.  Then she helped all three transition into college.
     Two have now graduated but the youngest has now continued on to medical school which is Lizzie who is now in California.  The last two are now closer Kate is an accountant in New York and Audrey is web designer who owns her own business now but lives in their hometown of Saratoga.  So all her chicks have left the nest.  So she is just now starting to feel comfortable enough to have steady Friday night dinners with her best friend since kindergarten, Jenna.
     In all the years working for the club she has never dated a player.  For her it’s a rule.  There is no such rule in place for the front office at all.  But there is a closely guarded secret that she has been keeping.  Well actually two… One she will be leaving at the end of the year.  She has been accepted in a photography school in California with a well know photographer that only takes 10 students per every 2 years.  Which is a big thing because he only photographs dancers and athletes.
     Eva Harlowe’s second secret is… That she has a mad ass crush on Finn Castro.  The first baseman for the Saints.  Or he was before he got into a fist fight at a bar that oops!  Was owned by one of the owners of the team.  So now you guessed it he is being demoted to Triple-A with the Preachers as his slap on the wrist.  So he will have to earn his way back up the ranks by keeping his now clean.
     The coach Don Mannings & his wife are more like parental figures to the girls since their parents died.  Than Eva boss.  So, when it comes to Eva everyone at Preachers keeps an eye out for her.  Some even have crushes on her.  But on day one she plays it cool maybe even cold indifference when Finn arrives.  So he will have no idea she has a crush.  She keeps it all business.  As for Finn he can’t take his eyes off her.  Her persona says one thing, her style says another, and then her tone that she takes with says something totally different again.  He wants to solve this puzzle but not in a weird way but in a, I want to get to know you way.  She is the first woman in a long time to interest him that has depth.
     Eva proves to be a tough nut to crack.  He bides his time and keeps trying to engage her in conversation each time he sees her.  It’s not until he meets up with her by accident at a restaurant by his home.  She was with Jenna having dinner so he stops by to say hi and Jenna ask him to join them.  Eva starts to thaw but he knows not to overstay his welcome and leaves them after his bite to eat.  Jenna likes him and convinces Eva to do the short term lovin’ thang.  Can she talk him into it?  Does she really want to try?

     Very interesting look into how we can allow ourselves to get crippled by our fears.  Yes, we know it’s normal to have some fears in fact it’s healthy to keep us alive.  Yet, when it stunts or we project it or feed it to those we love so they believe it and make them fearful too.  Not so good.  Eva comes full circle in this process with help from Finn and her sisters.  Almost at the expense of love.  I give this book 4 stars.  Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016

RED PLATOON: A True Story of American Valor

RED PLATOON                                                        CLINTON ROMESHA

"'It doesn't get better.' To us, that phrase nailed one of the essential truths, maybe even the essential truth, about being stuck at an outpost whose strategic and tactical vulnerabilities were so glaringly obvious to every soldier who had ever set foot in that place that the name itself -- Keating -- had become a kind of backhanded joke."
 
In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the U.S. military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend. 
 
On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing 14-hour battle-- and eventual victory-- cost 8 men their lives. 
 
Red Platoon is the riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counter-attack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions. 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
The first time I heard about this battle and outpost Keating was from a book titled “The Outpost” by Jake Tapper. In that book he did go into the battle but mostly you got the history of the outpost, and the surrounding outposts plus the fallout afterwards by the higher ups. This book is by Clinton Romesha who was awarded the Medal of Honor after this battle. This is not about any Special Forces members but about young men from high school and a few from college that were part of the 4th Infantry Division 61st Cavalry Regiment. He explains the weapons they had for protection and he goes into the back of the soldiers he was with. He also explains what they were up against in the Taliban and how they planned their daily attacks, but this day it was different at odds of nearly 6 to 1 in favor of the Taliban you get firsthand account of how the battle was planned out. How regardless of how hopeless it sounded at times these young men continued to fight and still during this 13- 14 hour battle men were going out in harm’s way to get the wounded and bring them to the make shift medical unit. You get a firsthand account of all of the action and you feel like you are right there. You feel is pain when friends are killed 8 would die that day, but they went out and got the soldiers this being important for them to not let the Taliban get a hold of a body. You will not get any political views or anything else other than just about the group of men for that is what they are that were supposed to dismantle the camp, but when all was said and done it took a couple of 500 lbs. bombs to do the job. Overall words cannot describe what this book is about, it is a fantastic story. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. 
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A SONG OF SHADOWS (Charlie Parker #13)

A SONG OF SHADOWS                                           JOHN CONNOLLY

Still recovering from his life-threatening wounds, private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she fears those who are coming for her.

His enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Solitary.

But they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.

For something is emerging from the shadows . . .

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
I have to say this was one of the better books in the series. Charlie is recovering from the last book and Sam his daughter is staying with him for a little while. Sam can also communicate with Charlie’s first daughter who has passed away. This just adds to the story. This story is focused on the WWII at the end of the war and the Germans who were in charge of the death camps and the Nazi war criminals that got away. It also goes into the searching for the people that they have not found yet. Once again Charlie ends up in the middle but it is because of him that some of the crimes are even looked at. This is a very through story with some twists and turns that will surprise you the reader. Charlie sidekicks are still around and make their presence felt once again along with Sam’s mother. Overall a very good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com

THE WOLF IN WINTER (Charlie Parker #12)

THE WOLF IN WINTER                                        JOHN CONNOLLY

The next pulse-pounding thriller in John Connolly's internationally bestselling Charlie Parker series.

The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town…

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.

Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins…

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
I am getting to this book late along with the review. I always want to read the next Charlie Parker book but there is a part of me that does not. Though the stories can and do have a dark side to them. I found this book to be a fast paced read and though it had a dark and sinister feel the story line stayed with this one book. It begins with a homeless man looking for his daughter, and you do find out why he is homeless and what is going on with his daughter. He ends up in a town in Maine but is sent away twice and after the second time told not to come back. The man keeps searching and reaches out to Charlie. By the time Charlie gets the message and looks for him he finds that he is dead. Now after asking around he is not going to let it go and is going to look for his daughter. This leads him back to the same town, and the leaders of this town want him gone. He is asking too many questions. The leaders of this town want him taken out but the sheriff is telling them to let him go. When you get to the end of this fast paced story you will find out you was right. An excellent book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

HIS TO PROTECT (Fireside #2)

HIS TO PROTECT                                                     STACEY LYNN

Declan James lost his last ounce of trust the day his wife walked out the door, leaving him to save the restaurant they built together. Throwing himself into his work, Declan swears off women—or at least, women who expect him to stick around in the morning. But when he discovers a skittish beauty scrounging through the Fireside’s trash to feed her dog, Declan offers her a job and a place to rest her head. There’s just something about her that awakens his protective side. And soon, not even that mangy mutt can stop Declan from caring for her.
 
After one too many trips to the ER, Trina Wilson finally gathered the courage to leave her husband, taking only her car and hyperactive boxer. Unfortunately, life on the run proves harder than she anticipated—until Declan takes a leap of faith on her. But even as Trina starts to see beyond his gruff exterior, she can’t relax, even for a moment. Not with her husband still tracking her down. What Trina doesn’t know is that in Declan, she has a powerful ally—and, if she would only follow her heart, a devoted lover.
 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
Declan owns the fireside bar and grill and as he is getting ready to leave he catches someone going through the dumpsters in the back. When he sees Trina for the first time he does not think of her as a homeless person, and when she finally comes inside to eat something he realizes that she has left a bad situation. Trina getting tired of going to the hospital finally left her husband and has vowed to herself she is not going back. At first she was frightened by Declan, because of his size but now she knows that he won’t hurt her. When you get farther along into the story you realize that Declan is getting over his wife leaving, and why Trina does not want to go back and why she is keeping a low profile. Declan has given her a job and a place to stay and she is beginning to like the people in the bar, she is also beginning to like Declan and he, her but neither one wants to act on it. This is a good book and the last half it is really exiting. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

ICING (Aces Hockey #2)

ICING                                                                         KELLY JAMIESON

Duncan Armstrong may be an NHL star, but he’s a country boy at heart. His ultimate fantasy is going home with the Stanley Cup, not a gold-digging airhead who aspires to be a trophy wife and nothing more. Newly single and hoping to enjoy a night out with his teammates, he ends up hitting it off with a down-to-earth waitress who’s a complete breath of fresh air—until Duncan learns that she’s a part-time model. He tries to forget about her, but their sizzling chemistry has him coming back for more.

Amber is working hard to put herself through school, and has zero interest in dating a professional athlete. She’s seen firsthand how fame and fortune can mess with their heads—her father’s brilliant football career ended in a firestorm of addiction and infidelity. So Duncan’s attentions immediately have her on the defensive. Still, there’s something different about him. And once she stops trying to freeze him out, irresistible temptation turns into all-consuming passion.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
Duncan and Amber meet at a bar where she is a waitress, and there is an almost immediate attraction but when Amber finds out the Duncan is a professional hockey player she does everything in her power to ovoid him. Duncan thinks Amber is the breath of fresh air he needs, for he is tired of models and gold diggers. What he can’t figure out is why Amber is so against them when he thinks they are a perfect match. What he does not know is that she is the daughter of an ex big time pro football quarterback who cheating, doing drugs, and who knows what else because he ended up in prison. Not wanting that for Duncan she also thinks most pro athletes live that type of life style and it is up to Duncan to change her mind if they are going to have a shot. A good story with some powerful characters, a very good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com