THE LAST LONGSHOREMAN : A Chilling Tale of Crime and Corruption on the Boston Waterfront

THE LAST LONGSHOREMAN                              MARC ZAPPULLA

Anthony “Tony” Costa grew up admiring his Uncle Dom—a made member of the New England mafia— so when Dom asks him to collect gambling debts from around the neighborhood, Tony is happy to help. Even after his uncle gets thrown in jail, he does his nephew a good turn from behind bars, getting him a job as a longshoreman on the Boston waterfront. The year is 1958, and Tony is only eighteen. His new job quickly teaches him what it will take to survive on the docks.
Tony and his violent new friend Butchie Shea soon carve out a life for themselves on the pier. But when Butchie convinces him to take desperate, brutal action against an adversary, Tony realizes just how badly his criminal lifestyle has tainted him. He vows to go straight and focus on his wife and family—but old habits die hard, and the opportunity of a lifetime yanks Tony back in. The job could lead to big rewards, but Tony might not see just how risky it is until it’s too late.
HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is an excellent story that follows a man Anthony “Tony” Costa, from 1958 working on the docks in Boston to after his retirement. You met Butchie Shea also at the beginning and he becomes a big part of Tony’s life on and off the docks. The author takes you back in time through Tony’s childhood and how his uncle Dom who is a made member of the Mafia. The journey the author takes you feels like you are actually following a real person that is what makes this a very good book. The cast of characters are people that at least for me are believable, his uncle Dom reminded me of an old uncle of mine from New York. You get see Tony married and have two children with his wife Marie, and the struggles they have. There is one scene where Marie is cooking they get an argument and she throws a potato at him, that is something at least for me is believable, for an Italian woman potato, rolling pin, whatever is close glad she didn’t pick up the knife or the story might have ended. Needless to say these men get into messes and because of those Tony is forced to something he does not want to do but needs to protect his family. This book will keep you going and you won’t want to put it down. A very good book with excellent characters. A must read. My wife got me this book from the author so thank you very much. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

MISTLETOE BETWEEN FRIENDS & THE SNOWFLAKE INN

MISTLETOE BETWEEN FRIENDS                        SAMANTHA CHASE

Two gorgeous stories about the most romantic time of the year...

The holidays don't have to be fraught with tension, as lifelong friends Lily Cavanaugh and Cameron Greene discover in Mistletoe Between Friends when they cook up a scheme to fool their family and friends.

The Snowflake Inn shows rivals Grace Brodie and Riley Walsh that Christmas is a time when dreams come true-even if you've given up on those dreams long ago.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is a fun and fast read about two longtime friends, Lilly Cavanaugh, and Cameron Greene. They have decided that from Thanksgiving to after New Year’s they are going to date each other as to stop the endless blind dates their mothers set them up on. This is fine for both because they have been in love with each other since they were kids. They get each other and it is shown at the first get together when Lilly’s family is harping on her about a job, and career. Cameron just comes in without being rude and sets everyone straight, and once again Lilly’s heart goes to Cameron. The only ones who believe that they are faking are them. Even Lilly sister says it is about time the two of them got together, when she tells her the truth. Her sister says I don’t think he was faking by the way he was looking at you. She believes it is too late to tell him though because he already the cabin everyone was staying at early for his job. Now Cameron looking at his apartment getting ready to leave for Europe for his new job realizes that all of his photos everywhere are with her, and now must decide. Go to the airport or back to the cabin and get the women he loves, which for him is totally out of character. A wonderful story with some nice twists at the end. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com 

TOP SHELF (Aces Hockey #3)

TOP SHELF                                                             KELLY JAMIESON

Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart.

Kelly Jamieson’s USA Today bestselling Aces Hockey series can be read together or separately:
MAJOR MISCONDUCT
OFF LIMITS
ICING
TOP SHELF

Don’t miss any of Kelly Jamieson’s alluring reads:

The Bayard Hockey series: SHUT OUT 

The Last Shot series: BODY SHOT 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
Jarred was in the author's other books because the team comes to his bar. Now we have a story about him and his hockey, and escapades with a lot of women. The last part is a theme of this book and at times it got old, but I understood it. Sidney is starting over in a new career and in life as single. Being divorced you find out what happens in the story. I actually like her character and I think because of the way the author made the character as strong, and tough on the outside helped me with this book. There is an attraction between them the first time they met. She now coming up with plans or ideas to help bars, restaurants, on menu, drinks, the decor, etc... This is good because she goes after him right away at his lack of are you a sports bar or not? Why don’t you have a drink menu that caters towards women since you have so many that come in during and after a game? If you did along with a better menu you might even get more of the married teammates to show up once in awhile. He does not like what she has to say but the manager agrees with her and when she goes behind the bar to work and make drinks he is totally impressed. Now they have taken their friendship to the next step and he even wants more of her time when he finds himself jealous, for the first time. This is when the story and the relationship between them pick up and each of them must deal with things from their past. His is his childhood, and she is her failed marriage. There are plenty of hot steamy sex scenes to keep the story going, and some actual hockey. Overall a good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. 
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THE PROTECTOR (Sons of Texas #2)

THE PROTECTOR                                                  DONNA GRANT

EVERYTHING’S HOTTER IN TEXAS

When Marine Force Recon captain Cullen Loughman learns that his father’s been kidnapped, he will do whatever it takes to find him. In order to achieve his mission, Cullen will need to team up with the best of the best—someone who just happens to be the most stunning woman he’s ever laid eyes on…

This isn’t the first rodeo for ex—Air Force pilot Mia Carter. Still, Cullen’s bad-boy good looks and charm are distracting her from duty. . .and it appears that the feeling is mutual. As Mia and Cullen make their descent into a dark, dangerous world, their attraction reaches the boiling point. But is their desire worth the risk when a ruthless enemy is waiting in the wings—or will their Lone Star love conquer all?
 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is the second story and it involves the youngest brother Cullen. He travels to the base where Mia Carter the pilot for their father’s team has her plane. Once there he must help her out of a jam with Colombians. Once the two of them met and dance around each other they begin the search for Orrin, his father. Cullen also recognizes that Mia has a relationship with his father that he and his brothers don’t have. All of the women have the relationship. The story begins to take shape and you find out about the drug that they are looking for that Orrin sent away. You find out the name of a group called the Saints and that they have power and connections, in the U.S. and Russia. You as the reader are starting to wonder who are the good guys, and the bad guys. While Cullen and Mia are fighting for their lives they also connect as a couple, and this makes sense really because Mia’s character is strong, as is all of the female characters in the first two books. Plenty of action, more in this book than in the first, and still some bedroom scenes. Overall another good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

THE HERO: (Sons of Texas #1)

THE HERO                                                              DONNA GRANT

THE HERO’S HOMECOMING

Owen Loughman is a highly-decorated Navy SEAL who has a thirst for action. But there’s one thing he hasn’t been able to forget – his high school sweetheart, Natalie. After over a decade away, Owen is returned home to the ranch in Texas for a dangerous new mission that puts him face-to-face with Natalie and an outside menace that threatens everything he holds dear. He’ll risk it all to keep Natalie safe – and win her heart. . . .

Natalie Dixon has had a lifetime of heartache since Owen was deployed. Fourteen years and one bad marriage later, she finds herself mixed up with the Loughman’s again. With her life on the line against an enemy she can’t fight alone, it’s Owen’s strong shoulders, smoldering eyes, and sensuous smile that she turns to. When danger closes in, she holds close to the only man she’s ever loved…
 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is the first book in a new series about three brothers who are all in the service, but in different branches. They are all sent home from their current missions to their Texas ranch only to find out that the two people, an aunt and uncle have been killed. They also find out that their father a former Navy Seal and doing black op missions is missing, and his team has been killed. Owen the middle brother and also a Navy Seal was not only surprised that they were called back, but to find his high school flame Natalie there at the ranch. Turns out she has information that will start them on the path of finding out who has done this deed. The more time Owen and Natalie spend together they begin to work out their past. As they are working together, you the reader are slowly given clues to follow with the characters to see where this might all lead. You do know there are going to be three books since three brothers so once you get to a point in the story you can’t go any further you must prepare for book number two. This was a fast-paced story with a lot of action, and romance, and action in the bedroom. Overall a good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com

EVERY DAY I FIGHT

EVERY DAY I FIGHT                                              STUART SCOTT, LARRY PLATT

Shortly before he passed away, on January 4, 2015, Stuart Scott completed work on this memoir. It was both a labor of love and a love letter to life itself. Not only did Stuart relate his personal story—his childhood in North Carolina, his supportive family, his athletic escapades, his on-the-job training as a fledgling sportscaster, his being hired and eventual triumphs at ESPN—he shared his intimate struggles to keep his story going. Struck by appendiceal cancer in 2007, Stuart battled this rare disease with an unimaginable tenacity and vigor. Countless surgeries, enervating chemotherapies, endless shuttling from home to hospital to office and back—Stuart continued defying fate, pushing himself through exercises and workout routines that kept him strong. He wanted to be there for his teenage daughters, Sydni and Taelor, not simply as their dad, but as an immutable example of determination and courage.

Every Day I Fight is a saga of love, an inspiration to us all.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This was a book that was difficult for me to start because not only of his passing, but also family members that I have going through cancer. I then realized I needed to do my review. First let me say this is a wonderful book and really something his two daughters can hold onto. I like so many other people watch Mr. Scott first on Sportscenter, his phases in describing the highlights were unique and finally something different. One I remember “cool as the other side of the pillow”, just that one phase would have been good for most but there were others. What I did not know was his friendship with Michael Jordan. You get a firsthand look at his treatments and you travel through his journey. Overall a good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy

THE PINE TAR GAME                                            FILIP BONDY

An award-winning veteran sportswriter who personally covered the Pine Tar Game looks back and explores one of the wackiest events in baseball history.

On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar—the sticky substance used for a better grip—on Royals third baseman George Brett’s bat. Brett wildly charged out of the dugout and chaos ensued. The call temporarily cost the Royals the game, but the decision was eventually overturned, resulting in a resumption of the game several weeks later that created its own hysteria.

The Pine Tar Game chronicles this watershed moment, marking a pivot in the sport, when benign cheating tactics, like spitballs, Superball bats, and a couple extra inches of tar on an ash bat, gave way to era of soaring salaries, labor struggles, and rampant use of performance-enhancing drugs. Filip Bondy paints a portrait of the Yankees and Royals of that era, featuring two diametrically opposed owners, in George Steinbrenner and Ewing Kauffman; a host of bad actors and phenomenal athletes; and lots of yelling. Players and club officials like Brett, Goose Gossage, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, David Cone, and John Schuerholz offer fresh commentary on the events along with their take on a rivalry that culminated in one of the most iconic baseball tantrums of all time. Rush Limbaugh, employed by the Royals at the time as a promotions director, offers his own insider’s perspective. Through this one fateful game, the ensuing protest, and ultimate fallout, The Pine Tar Game examines a more innocent time in professional sports, as well as the shifting tide that gave us today’s modern iteration of baseball.
 

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is one baseball book that I should have passed on. First about the game and the players I did not learn anything that I did not already know. What I did like about the book was the story of the rivalry between the two teams from the mid 70’s to early 80’s, and for me this really is the story. If not for this intense rivalry Billy Martin would have never challenged the bat used by Brett. Though the ruling was overturned later and the Royals would win the game, this really was Billy Martin Being him. Always looking to get into an opponent’s head, and if it didn’t work he sure got George Brett riled because I remember watching that game and Brett flying out of the dugout. Really the only time I remember him losing his cool. Not a bad book for those who have only heard about the story. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 3 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

BILLY MARTIN : Baseball's Flawed Genius

BILLY MARTIN                                                       BILL PENNINGTON

The definitive biography of one of baseball’s most celebrated, mercurial, and misunderstood figures 
   
Billy Martin is a story of contrasts. He was the clutch second baseman for the dominant New York Yankees of the 1950s. He then spent sixteen seasons managing in the big leagues, and is considered by anyone who knows baseball to have been a true baseball genius, a field manager without peer. Yet he’s remembered more for his habit of kicking dirt on umpires, for being hired and fired by George Steinbrenner five times, and for his rabble rousing and public brawls. He was combative, fiery, intimidating, and controversial, yet beloved by the everyday fan. He was hard on his players and even harder on himself. He knew how to turn around a losing team like no one else—and how to entertain us every step of the way.

Now, with his definitive biography Billy Martin, Pennington finally erases the caricature of Martin. Drawing on exhaustive interviews with friends, family, teammates, and countless adversaries, Pennington paints an indelible portrait of a man who never backed down for the game he loved. From his shantytown upbringing in a broken home; to his days playing for the Yankees when he almost always helped his team find a way to win; through sixteen years of managing, including his tenure in New York in the crosshairs of Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson, Billy Martin made sure no one ever ignored him. And indeed no one could. He was the hero, the antihero, and the alter ego—or some combination of all three—for his short sixty-one years among us.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
This is one of the better biographies that I have read. The person Billy Martin did have many faults which are describe in this book, but what cannot be said about him was the love of the game, and how hard he worked to get there. Getting an inside look into his childhood, and the neighborhood that he grew up in. it really is no wonder that he was a fighter, for it seemed that he fought since he could walk. Looking out for himself and for the ones he let into his inner circle he truly lived the code of the street. If you messed with him, you got an enemy for life. This also brought a lot of people looking to cause problems for him especially later in life when people would see him in a bar. The book also goes into his passion of baseball and not only how he loved to play the game, but also how from the minors through the majors he would sit close to the mangers going over strategies of the game. These tidbits would come back and make him a successful manager in the big leagues. He also had a winning record in the minors. What I liked about this book was his early life, and the not so famous stories. The ones about the coaches he would sit with and go over the game different situations. Some of his former coaches thought he would end up not only being a manger, but a good one as well. A very good book. I gave this book 5 stars. 
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JUSTICE BURNING (Hellfire, Texas #2)

JUSTICE BURNING                                               ELLE JAMES

Her groom was a no-show at her wedding, and Dallas debutante Phoebe Sinclair isn’t going to face her family and the hundreds of guests with the news. Taking nothing but her wedding dress, her grandmother’s locket and her fiancé’s rented convertible, she leaves the church, determined to get away and start a new life free of her society status. Foiled by a flat tire near Hellfire, Texas, she opens the trunk for the jack, only to discover a dead groom, just as a sheriff’s deputy pulls up behind her. 
When sheriff’s deputy Nash Grayson, lends a helping hand to a runaway bride, he doesn’t know half of what he’s getting himself into. Not only is she sassy and independent, she’s beautiful, sexy and wriggles her way past the protective wall he’s built around himself since he returned from the war. When she’s targeted by a shooter, he’s assigned protective duty until the culprit can be caught. Close quarters and hot Texas nights bring the unlikely pair closer to the truth about the dead fiance and their own burgeoning desires.

HUBBY'S REVIEW:
Phoebe Sinclair is not wanting to get married, but when she is told by the best man that the groom is nowhere to be found she panics and bolts from the church using the car that they were going to use for their honeymoon. Now hours away and who knows where the tire blows out. Upon opening the trunk she finds no spare tire. Leaving she drives into a fence post and is now stuck. Deputy Nash Grayson discovers her predicament and proceeds to help her. She ends up finding a place to stay and a job. She does not want to go back to Dallas, the people of this small town have taken a liken to her, and her to them and the deputy. Now I left out a mystery, suspense, and two men that are looking for her and want to do her harm, but I don’t want to give away the story. This is a very good story and gets everything done quickly but the author makes it work. I also like the characters. Overall a good book. I got this book from netgalley. I gave it 4 stars. Follow us atwww.1rad-readerreviews.com

COWBOY PAYBACK (A Sequel to Cowboy-Fiancé)

COWBOY PAYBACK                                           DONNA MICHAELS

Former Marine Captain Brett Brennan loves a good practical joke—when he’s the prankster not the prankee. Unfortunately, his twin brother has learned a lesson or two from the master and springs Operation Payback on him, thrusting Brett into a fake engagement to his former corporal, Trisha Jennings, in front of her matchmaking, District Attorney father. 

Relationships are so not his thing, but realizing Trisha is struggling to come to terms with a horrific incident from their recent deployment, Brett takes matters into his own hands, using their fake relationship to keep her on his family’s resort ranch, the perfect place for her to find peace and heal. After all, he would never let one of his own men down. 

Except, Trisha is no longer a corporal under his command. Out of uniform, she is all woman, and his unexpected attraction to her soon has him forgetting their prank relationship is only for show. Who knew payback could be so sweet?

MY REVIEW:
     Although the subject of PTSD is not a funny situation Ms. Michaels shows what lengths we will go to, to heal ourselves.  Some of those ways lead to some very funny situations.  At the same time, we all know it’s the times of slumber that can be dangerous for us and those around us if not treated.  Not taken care of, compounds the situation for mistakes from nightmares during the night. Leading to even more mistakes to be made during their waking hours.
     Yet, in this case it’s the things that are around all this that make it so funny.  Trisha Jennings has no clue she is stuffing her healing process aka her feelings.  She thinks if she can only stay at the resort dude ranch where her best friend Cammie and Cammie’s fiancé Finn live (who is part owner with her ex-captain Marine Brett Brennan) she can make all her bad feelings and nightmares of what happened on hers and Brett’s last mission go away.
     She needs to get there and away from her father who is overbearing and controlling.  You see after six years in service she has come home for good.  Her last tour was a bad one she is having a rough time of it.  Her father after only one day had her whole life planned out law school, work at his old firm and marriage to one of the guys there, one he would hand pick.  She needed an out.
     She didn’t want law after all, she wanted to teach.  So, she hatched a plan to get her captain to be her fake fiancé.  So, when she called the main house at the ranch he wasn’t there she explained it all to Finn his twin and he said no problem he knew Brett would help.  Little did she know this was the same scenario that got Cammie and Finn together just about.
     So, Finn never told Brett what was happening just that they were going to lunch from there life gets interesting for everyone.  Especially, for the captain who never planned to settle down the ranch is his wife.  But on this day, he was about to get a rude awakening as to the new fiancé he was getting for all he own.
     There is a scene with a spider that is the funniest thing ever.  I loved it.  I loved the way Ms. Michael’s used so many of the situations so well, to help set up learning moments or touching moments of thinking for the characters.  They are well developed characters you can see yourself being friends with each and every one of them.  I give this book 5++++ stars.  Provided by author for and honest review.  Follow us at:

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Hard Way (Jon Reznick #4)

HARD WAY                                                         J.B. TURNER Jon Reznick has never played by the rules, a trait that ha...