~*Krissys Bookshelf Reviews*~

 

 

 

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The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding - Amanda Prowse

 

AuthorAmanda Prowse

Title: The Art of Hiding

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Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought the Art of Hiding could use some extra information in some places but I really enjoyed this book despite being so short and lacking some information because it touches on the fact that not everyone realizes that once you've become someones wife and mother of their children a part of a marriage and a family and a social group that you can sometimes lose who you used to be in the middle of it all, and trying to find yourself again is more difficult than you think especially when you learn that some things about the man you were married to weren't on the up and up.

Trying to find who you are and how you lost your way is only half the battle and I wish we'd gotten a deeper exploration of that. Still, its a great read and a great book.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy from Lake Union Publishing.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

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Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: Release by Patrick Ness!

Release  
Adam Thorn doesn't know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam's life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn't he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam's life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

LEARN MORE
 


1

THE YOKE



ADAM WOULD HAVE
to get the flowers himself.

His mom had enough to do, she said; she needed them this morning, pretty much right now if the day wasn’t going to be a total loss; and in the end, Adam’s attendance at this little “get-together” with his friends tonight may or may not hinge on his willingness/success in picking up the flowers and doing so without complaint.

Adam argued—quite well, he thought, without showing any overt anger—that his older brother, Marty, was the one who’d run over the old flowers; that he, Adam, also had a ton of things to do today; and that new chrysanthemums for the front path weren’t exactly high in the logical criteria for attendance at a get-together he’d already bargained for—because nothing was free with his parents, not ever— by chopping all the winter’s firewood before even the end of August. Nevertheless, she had, in that way of hers, turned it into a decree: he would get the flowers or he wouldn’t go tonight, especially after that girl got killed.

“Your choice,” his mom said, not even looking at him.

It’s only the Yoke, Adam thought, getting behind the wheel of his car. And the Yoke isn’t forever. Still, he needed a few deep breaths before he started the engine.

At least it was early. The late summer Saturday stretched ahead, with its hours to fill, hours he had filled with a schedule of things (he was a scheduler): he needed to go for a run; he had a few hours’ stock-taking to do at the Evil International Mega-Conglomerate; he had to help his dad at the church; he had to stop by Angela’s work to make sure the pizzas were still on schedule for the party—

Morning, his phone buzzed in his lap.

He smiled in a small way. There was that today, too.

Morning, he typed back. Wanna buy flowers?

Is that code?

He smiled again and backed out of the driveway. Fine, let go of the anger, because what a day ahead! What fun it promised! What laughs! What drinks and food and friends and sex! What a stab in the heart at the end of it because the party was a going-away one! Someone was going away. Adam wasn’t sure whether he wanted them to go away or not.

What a day ahead.

What time are you coming by? asked his phone.

Around 2? he typed back at a stop sign.

The reply was a thumbs-up emoji.

He pulled out of his wooded neighborhood onto the wooded road into town. “Wooded” in fact described everything within fifty miles; it was the overwhelming feature of the town of Frome, indeed the overwhelming feature of the state of Washington. Take it as a given, a sight so often seen it became invisible.

Adam thought about two o’clock this afternoon. There was so much happiness to be had there. So much secret happiness.

And yet, a sinking of the stomach, too . . .

No, stop that. He was looking forward to it. Absolutely. Yes. In fact, think about—

In fact, yes, that.

Another stop sign. Blood is flowing places, he messaged. Engorging things.

The reply was two thumbs-up emojis.

So consider Adam Thorn, as he pulls out onto the farther main road—wooded, naturally—the one that leads to the garden center, the one with ever-increasing traffic, even at this early hour on a Saturday. Adam Thorn, born almost but not quite eighteen years ago in the hospital ten miles along this same road. The farthest from here he’s been in his life is when his family went on a fun-free driving holiday to Mount Rushmore. He didn’t even get to go on the mission trip to Uruguay with his father, mother, and Marty when Adam was in the sixth grade. Afterward, his dad had made it sound like a nightmare of mud and evangelical-resistant locals, but Adam—deemed too young and sentenced to three weeks of four-thirty suppers with Grandpa John and Grandma Pat—couldn’t help but feel that wasn’t the point.

Twelve more months, he thought, and the Yoke is off. Senior year started in just over a week.

After that, the sky.

For Adam Thorn wants to get away. Adam Thorn longs to leave, with an ache in his gut so acute it feels like vertigo. Adam Thorn wishes he was going away with the person going away at the end of tonight’s going-away party.

Well, maybe he does.

Adam Thorn. Blanched blond, tall, bulky in a way that might be handsome but is only just starting to properly agree with gravity. A-student, fighting for the college of his choice, fighting for college at all as the money troubles that are supposed to be passing don’t seem to be doing so, not helped by pointless purchases of chrysanthemums because “preachers’ houses have to look a certain way,” but he is focused on a goal, focused on what will get him the hell out of Frome, Washington.

Adam Thorn, keeper of secrets.

His phone rang as he pulled into the garden center. “Everyone’s up early today,” he answered as he parked.

“How many times do I have to tell you I’m not everyone?” Angela grumped.

Everyone is everyone. Whole point of ‘everyone.’”

“The whole point of everyone is for them to constantly do stupid things while we—not everyone—make fun of them for it and feel superior.”

“Why are you up?”

“Why else? The chickens.”

“The chickens are every reason for everything. They’ll rule us one day.”

“They rule us now. Why are you up?”

“Replacement flowers. For my mom’s garden of punishment.”

“You are so going to need therapy.”

“They don’t believe in it. If you can’t pray it away, it’s not a real problem.”

“Your parents. I’m amazed they’re letting you go tonight. Especially after Katherine van Leuwen.”

Katherine van Leuwen was the girl who was killed, which seemed impossible with a name so strong. She’d gone to Adam’s school, a year ahead, but he didn’t know her. And okay, so, fine, she had been murdered last week at the same lake where the get-together was planned (Adam had never used the word “party” with his parents as that would have closed discussion immediately), but the girl’s killer, her much older boyfriend, had been caught, had confessed, and was awaiting sentencing. She had always hung out with the meth heads and it was meth her boyfriend was amped up on when he killed her, raving about—of all things—goats, according to an equally methed witness. Angela, Adam’s closest friend, raged against anyone’s even slight suggestion that Katherine van Leuwen had brought it on herself.

“You don’t know,” she’d nearly shout at whoever. “You don’t know what her life was like, you don’t know what addiction is like. You have no idea what goes on inside another person’s head.”

That was certainly true, and thank God for that, in the case of Adam’s parents.

“They think it’s a quote get-together with three or four of my friends to say good-bye to Enzo,” he said now.

“That sentence is factually true.”

“While at the same time omitting much.”

“Also true. When pizzas? Because, pizzas.”

“I’ve got a run to do, then work, then I’m seeing Linus at two, and I have to help my dad set up for church tomorrow–”

“Dad and church post-coitus with Linus? You dirty boy.”

“I was thinking seven? Then we could go straight to the party. ”

“Get-together.”

“There will be together to get, yes.”

“Seven. Good. I need to speak to you.”

“About what?”

“Stuff. Don’t worry. And now chickens. Because, chickens.”

Angela’s family had a working farm. She swore they’d adopted her from Korea because it was cheaper than hiring a laborer for the livestock. This wasn’t true, even Angela knew it; Mr. and Mrs. Darlington were unobtrusively decent, always good to Adam, always giving him an implicitly safe place to get away from those parents of his, even if they were too kind to say such a thing out loud.

“When is it that you’ve got my back again, Adam?” Angela asked, in their usual farewell.

He grinned. “Always. Until the end of the world.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s right.” She hung up.

He got out of his car into the early morning sunshine. The lot was nearly full at a little past eight. Serious gardeners around here, getting ready for the approaching fall. He stopped a minute under the sky, only cleared of trees for the parking lot but still: open sky. He closed his eyes, felt the sun on his eyelids.

He breathed.

The Yoke wasn’t even his word. It was Biblical. It was his dad’s. Big Brian Thorn. Former professional football player—three seasons as a tight end for the Seahawks before the shoulder surgery—now longtime head preacher at The House Upon The Rock, Frome’s second-largest evangelical church. “Until you leave my house,” he’d bellowed right into Adam’s face, “you are under my Yoke.” Adam’s car had been taken away for a month that time. For missing curfew by ten minutes.

He breathed again, then went inside for chrysanthemums.

JD McLaren was working the flower department. They had world literature and chemistry together. “Hey, Adam,” he said, with his usual plump friendliness.

“Hey, JD,” Adam said. “I didn’t even know you guys opened this early.”

“They saw how many people were lined up at the drive-thru Starbucks at five every morning and thought there was business they were missing out on.”

“They’re probably right. I need chrysanthemums.”

“Bulbs? Wrong time of year to plant those.”

“I need the full, blooming flowers. My brother flattened the ones bordering our driveway. My mother had a stroke.”

“Oh, my God!”

“She didn’t really have a stroke, JD.”

“Oh. Okay.”

“But I need to procure them or be denied social occasions.”

“You mean Enzo’s thing tonight?”

“I do. You going?”

“Yeah. I heard there’s going to be kegs because his parents are European and don’t care if we drink.”

“Angela and I are bringing pizzas from her work.”

“Better and better. Does it matter what color chrysanthemums?”

“Probably, but as she didn’t specify, I have the chance to blame her if they’re wrong.”

“I’ll get you the most garish.”

“And maybe . . .”

JD waited. Adam couldn’t quite meet his eye. “Maybe not the most expensive?”

“Not a problem, Adam,” JD said, seriously, and headed off into the massive field of flower pallets. Those were all in dirt, to be planted into your own gardens, but the garden center had a cooler of cut flowers, too, if you needed a bouquet. Adam wandered over to it, his brain idly moving through the day ahead, coupled with a song he was presently unaware of even humming.

A red rose, alone in its plastic bucket. He reached for it, though it didn’t really register in his consciousness until it was in his hands. A single red rose. Could he buy it? Was that something that was okay? That boys did? If it was for a girl, obviously, yes, but if it was for . . .

He had no rules for this. Which was liberating some of the time because that meant there were none to obey, not even with Linus. But sometimes a guide or history or a long-established literature would have been useful. Could he buy a rose? And give it? How would Linus take it? Did everyone else in the world know the answer except him?

If it was even Linus he gave it to.

He placed the pad of his right thumb onto one of the rose’s thorns—which, along with “crown of,” was one of the two “jokes” people told about his last name, never making anyone laugh but themselves—and slowly but firmly pressed. It pierced the skin and in the quickness of the drop of blood that flowed there, he saw—



—an entire world, fast as a gasped breath, of trees and green, of water and woods, of a figure that followed in the darkness, of mistakes made, of loss, of grief—



Adam blinked and put his bloody thumb to his lips. It was gone. Like a dream. Like vapor. Leaving behind only a feeling of disquiet and the tang of blood on his tongue.

When JD returned, Adam bought the rose. It was only two bucks.



She wakes, suddenly, to the smell of blood, of roses, as if her heart has been pricked by a thorn. She is drenched. Has she walked up from the water’s edge? Has she stepped out of the water itself?

She doesn’t know. There was flurry, there was rush, there was release—

And then a snag, as if on that thorn in her heart, a drop of blood pearling itself . . .

She sits up and the water pours off her like she passed through a waterfall seconds before. But the shore is dry, as shores go, the mud beneath her damp but firm. She runs her palm over it, like she is mystified by it, and maybe she is. It is coarse under her fingertips. She pinches a bit between her thumb and index finger, bringing it to her nose, inhaling deeply. Rich, peaty, the smell of earth, but not the source of the blood scent.

But then why would it be? she thinks, of a sudden. She is surrounded by wild rosebushes, she knows this, she doesn’t know how, but she does. She is surrounded by thorns—

And the scent shimmers away, like a voice heard before waking.

She stands, still dripping into the newly formed puddle at her feet. This dress is hers, she thinks. This dress is not hers, she thinks. The contradiction is true. It is patterned floral, light, tasteful, a young woman’s dress but either ironically retro or actually from another time.

Do I wear dresses? she thinks.

Yes. No.

There are pockets in the dress, which would seem to mark it out as very old-fashioned, but they’re distended, stretched, heavy. She reaches for the weight inside each and pulls out two solid bricks, dense enough to drag her down.

To drown her.

She stares at them for the longest while.

She drops the bricks. They each bounce once on the mud.

“Death is not the end,” she speaks aloud.

What? What was that? What does that even mean? She puts a hand over her mouth as if to keep it from speaking again, holding the words in.

A song. It’s a song. She feels the tune humming itself in her diaphragm, a melody emerging, words that she knows. A song for funerals, gravesides. Or perhaps one only written to sound so, perhaps done with the same irony that wove this dress.

She closes her eyes against the sun breaking in the trees. She sees the veins and capillaries on the insides of her eyelids, red as murder.

She breathes.

Then she vomits up more water than her stomach could possibly contain. It is only water, no bile or food, clear in the cataract that rushes from her mouth. She eventually has to kneel from the force of it, until the overwhelmed puddle beneath her opens a channel to the lake.

Finally, there is no more. She pants, gathering herself. When she stands again, her hair, her skin, her dress, are all dry, not a hint of dampness anywhere.

She breathes once again.

“I will find you,” she says, and on bare feet, she begins to walk.


Behind the rosebushes, the faun watches her go. After a moment, he follows, worried.

 

The Flirtation (Submissive #10) by Tara Sue Me

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Tara Sue Me

Title: The Flirtation

Series: Submissive

Cover Rating:

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Lynne has not wanted for anything since she began working as Nathaniel and Abby's nanny--until the night they invite her to a group BDSM meeting. The abrupt breakup she had with her last Dom made her turn her back on the lifestyle, but now she's ready to dive back in. When she starts chatting on online BDSM message boards, she's shocked to discover Simon, her former Dom, is a frequent poster--and even more shocked at herself when she creates a secret identity and strikes up a conversation.

After messaging with a mysterious submissive online, Simon forms an immediate connection. Lynne and Simon's D/s relationship grows in intensity, but can their relationship survive after the truth is exposed, and Lynne's identity is laid bare?

 

 

 

 

Catfished but in reverse? The Flirtation wasn't a favorite of mine. Having to trick your ex lover into being with you when things already fell apart is kinda sad, and trying to be someone you aren't to make them happy when they aren't fully engaging in what it is you're both supposedly into wasn't enough reason for me to have Lyn and Simon brought together again. The sex was okay but I didn't feel any engagement on either side from either of them for any of it to take place which kinda bummed me out but I don't really think it fully captured the feel and genuine relationship of a true DOM or SUB. 

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Publishing.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

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The Final Score (Play-by-Play #13) by Jaci Burton

 

 

 

 

Author: Jaci Burton

Title: The Final Score

Series: Play-by-Play

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Nathan Riley is ready to follow in the footsteps of his famous football player father. He’s been drafted as quarterback for his dad’s former team, and his sports future is bright. When his friend Mia Cassidy moves to the same city, their years-long friendship suddenly sparks hot, reminding him of the one night they had together in college that he can never forget. 

Like Nathan, Mia is from a sports dynasty family and embarking on an incredible new career—as founder of her own sports management company. Her friendship with Nathan means everything to her, and tossing sex into the mix again could jeopardize it all. But the chemistry between them has always sizzled, and it isn’t long before Mia realizes she wants more with Nathan than just late-night talks and pizza. 

Passion has a funny way of changing the rules, and soon Nathan and Mia realize that to win it all, they’ll have to make an unexpected play for love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't judge me for the three stars I gave the book I'd actually give the book four stars but the three stars is because of me. I would have loved this book so much more if I didn't already know who Nathan is.

For readers who have already read the Play by Play series you'll recognize the fact that Nathan Riley is the child of Mick and Tara Riley from book one, while Mia - Nathan's love interest is Mia Cassidy child of Grant and Katrina Cassidy in book nine. That's where I got snagged. I felt so odd reading about Nathan and Mia being intimate because in my mind here I am thinking that even though they're grown up that these are their babies and my mind got stuck on that. I felt like I shouldn't be reading about them, that I shouldn't see this part of their being adults because in my mind I wasn't ready for them to grow up so soon.

That doesn't prevent The Final Score or Nathan from scoring big with little Mia who isn't so little anymore but in my mind I'm still stuck on them being my previous fav's kids. Oy!

Fun. witty and very entertaining I just wasn't ready for our babies to grow up so soon! :)

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Penguin Publishing.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

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Dark Legacy (Dark #27) by Christine Feehan

 

 

 

 

Author: Christine Feehan

Title: Dark Legacy

Series: Dark

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In a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire.

Now, it’s his voice that haunts her...that calls to her in the dark...that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm.

 

 

 

 

Dark Legacy is actually book 31 of the Dark Series and continues where we left off from Dark Carousel with Emeline sacrificing herself to the big bad dark Drag for a relationship she isn't so thrilled to be in despite being a victim puts herself back in that place for her own good and the good of the others.

We continue the new mix up that the bad guys aren't really bad guys anymore and that the real bad guys are evil or assumed to be evil must be conquered through love which is brought in by the women who don't actually do a whole lot or serve much of a purpose other than to empower the men who don't really fight anymore.

There's a lot of old dogs learning new tricks, men waiting for their child brides to grow up so that they can mate with them and be whole, crazy cameos, and some ackward not so thrilling circumstances that put it all in motion. Whats the most obvious is that despite this series being so long in installments Feehan obviously doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. This book spends a lot of time building up connecting her worlds and expanding them for more future series and installments but over all it was an okay read.

Warning: Dark Legacy contains continued topics of forced sexual interactions/ rape / dominance of women and children.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a print copy from Berkley Publishing.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

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Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera!

They Both Die at the End  
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day.

The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

 
LEARN MORE
 


PART ONE
Death-Cast

To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that’s all.
—Oscar Wilde

 

September 5, 2017
MATEO TORREZ
12:22 a.m.

Death-Cast is calling with the warning of a lifetime—I’m going to die today. Forget that, “warning” is too strong a word since warnings suggest something can be avoided, like a car honking at someone who’s crossing the street when it isn’t their light, giving them the chance to step back; this is more of a heads-up. The alert, a distinctive and endless gong, like a church bell one block away, is blasting from my phone on the other side of the room. I’m freaking out already, a hundred thoughts immediately drowning out everything around me. I bet this chaos is what a first-time skydiver feels as she’s plummeting out of a plane, or a pianist playing his first concert. Not that I will ever know for sure.

It’s crazy. One minute ago I was reading yesterday’s blog entry from CountDowners—where Deckers chronicle their final hours through statuses and photos via live feeds, this particular one about a college junior trying to find a home for his golden retriever—and now I’m going to die.

I’m going to . . . no . . . yes. Yes.

My chest tightens. I’m dying today.

I’ve always been afraid of dying. I don’t know why I thought this would jinx it from actually happening. Not forever, obviously, but long enough so I could grow up. Dad has even been drilling it into my head that I should pretend I’m the main character of a story that nothing bad ever happens to, most especially death, because the hero has to be around to save the day. But the noise in my head is quieting down and there’s a Death-Cast herald on the other end of the phone waiting to tell me I’m going to die today at eighteen years old.

Wow, I’m actually . . .

I don’t want to pick up the phone. I’d rather run into Dad’s bedroom and curse into a pillow because he chose the wrong time to land himself in intensive care, or punch a wall because my mom marked me for an early death when she died giving birth to me. The phone rings for what’s got to be the thirtieth time, and I can’t avoid it any more than I can avoid what’s going down sometime today.

I slide my laptop off my crossed legs and get up from my bed, swaying to the side, feeling really faint. I’m like a zombie moving toward my desk, slow and walking-dead.

The caller ID reads DEATH-CAST, of course.

I’m shaking but manage to press Talk. I don’t say anything.

I’m not sure what to say. I just breathe because I have fewer than twenty-eight thousand breaths left in me—the average number of breaths a nondying person takes per day—and I might as well use them up while I can.

“Hello, I’m calling from Death-Cast. I’m Andrea. You there, Timothy?”

Timothy.

My name isn’t Timothy.

“You’ve got the wrong person,” I tell Andrea. My heart settles down, even though I feel for this Timothy person. I truly do. “My name is Mateo.” I got the name from my father and he wants me to pass it down eventually. Now I can, if having a kid is a thing that happens for me.

Computer keys are tapping on her end, probably correcting the entry or something in her database. “Oh, apologies. Timothy is the gentleman I just got off the phone with; he didn’t take the news very well, poor thing. You’re Mateo Torrez, right?”

And just like that, my last hope is obliterated.

“Mateo, kindly confirm this is indeed you. I’m afraid I have many other calls to make tonight.”

I always imagined my herald—their official name, not mine—would sound sympathetic and ease me into this news, maybe even harp on how it’s especially tragic because I’m so young. To be honest, I would’ve been okay with her being chipper, telling me how I should have fun and make the most of the day since I at least know what’s going to happen. That way I’m not stuck at home starting one-thousand-piece puzzles I’ll never finish or masturbating because sex with an actual person scares me. But this herald makes me feel like I should stop wasting her time because, unlike me, she has so much of it.

“Okay. Mateo’s me. I’m Mateo.”

“Mateo, I regret to inform you that sometime in the next twenty-four hours you’ll be meeting an untimely death. And while there isn’t anything we can do to suspend that, you still have a chance to live.” The herald goes on about how life isn’t always fair, then lists some events I could participate in today. I shouldn’t be mad at her, but it’s obvious she’s bored reciting these lines that have been burned into memory from telling hundreds, maybe thousands, about how they’ll soon be dead. She has no sympathy to offer me. She’s probably filing her nails or playing tic-tac-toe against herself as she talks to me.

On CountDowners, Deckers post entries about everything from their phone call to how they’re spending their End Day. It’s basically Twitter for Deckers. I’ve read tons of feeds where Deckers admitted to asking their heralds how they would die, but it’s basic knowledge that those specifics aren’t available to anyone, not even former President Reynolds, who tried to hide from Death in an underground bunker four years ago and was assassinated by one of his own secret service agents. Death-Cast can only provide a date for when someone is going to die, but not the exact minute or how it’ll happen.

“. . . Do you understand all of this?”

“Yeah.”

“Log on to death-cast.com and fill out any special requests you may have for your funeral in addition to the inscription you’d like engraved on your headstone. Or perhaps you would like to be cremated, in which case . . .”

I’ve only ever been to one funeral. My grandmother died when I was seven, and at her funeral I threw a tantrum because she wasn’t waking up. Fast-forward five years when Death-Cast came into the picture and suddenly everyone was awake at their own funerals. Having the chance to say goodbye before you die is an incredible opportunity, but isn’t that time better spent actually living? Maybe I would feel differently if I could count on people showing up to my funeral. If I had more friends than I do fingers.

“And Timothy, on behalf of everyone here at Death-Cast, we are so sorry to lose you. Live this day to the fullest, okay?”

“I’m Mateo.”

“Sorry about that, Mateo. I’m mortified. It’s been a long day and these calls can be so stressful and—”

I hang up, which is rude, I know. I know. But I can’t listen to someone tell me what a stressful day she’s been having when I might drop dead in the next hour, or even the next ten minutes: I could choke on a cough drop; I could leave my apartment to do something with myself and fall down the stairs and snap my neck before I even make it outside; someone could break in and murder me. The only thing I can confidently rule out is dying of old age.

I sink to the floor, on my knees. It’s all ending today and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I can’t journey across dragon-infested lands to retrieve scepters that can halt death. I can’t hop onto a flying carpet in search of a genie to grant my wish for a full and simple life. I could maybe find some mad scientist to cryogenically freeze me, but chances are I’d die in the middle of that wacky experiment. Death is inevitable for everyone and it’s absolute for me today.

The list of people I will miss, if the dead can miss anyone, is so short I shouldn’t even call it a list: there’s Dad, for doing his best; my best friend, Lidia, not only for not ignoring me in the hallways, but for actually sitting down across from me in lunch, partnering with me in earth science, and talking to me about how she wants to become an environmentalist who will save the world and I can repay her by living in it. And that’s it.

If someone were interested in my list of people I won’t miss, I’d have nothing for them. No one has ever wronged me. And I even get why some people didn’t take a shot on me. Really, I do. I’m such a paranoid mess. The few times I was invited to do something fun with classmates, like roller-skating in the park or going for a drive late at night, I bowed out because we might be setting ourselves up for death, maybe. I guess what I’ll miss most are the wasted opportunities to live my life and the lost potential to make great friends with everyone I sat next to for four years. I’ll miss how we never got to bond over sleepovers where everyone stayed up and played Xbox Infinity and board games all night, all because I was too scared.

The number one person I’ll miss the most is Future Mateo, who maybe loosened up and lived. It’s hard to picture him clearly, but I imagine Future Mateo trying out new things, like smoking pot with friends, getting a driver’s license, and hopping on a plane to Puerto Rico to learn more about his roots. Maybe he’s dating someone, and maybe he likes that company. He probably plays piano for his friends, sings in front of them, and he would definitely have a crowded funeral service, one that would stretch over an entire weekend after he’s gone—one where the room is packed with new people who didn’t get a chance to hug him one last time.

Future Mateo would have a longer list of friends he’ll miss.

But I will never grow up to be Future Mateo. No one will ever get high with me, no one will be my audience as I play piano, and no one will sit shotgun in my dad’s car after I get my license. I’ll never fight with friends over who gets the better bowling shoes or who gets to be Wolverine when we play video games.

I collapse back onto the floor, thinking about how it’s do or die now. Not even that.

Do, and then die.


12:42 a.m.

Dad takes hot showers to cool down whenever he’s upset or disappointed in himself. I copied him around the time I turned thirteen because confusing Mateo Thoughts surfaced and I needed tons of Mateo Time to sort through them. I’m showering now because I feel guilty for hoping the world, or some part of it beyond Lidia and my dad, will be sad to see me go. Because I refused to live invincibly on all the days I didn’t get an alert, I wasted all those yesterdays and am completely out of tomorrows.

I’m not going to tell anyone. Except Dad, but he’s not even awake so it doesn’t really count. I don’t want to spend my last day wondering if people are being genuine when they throw sad words at me. No one should spend their last hours second-guessing people.

I’ve got to get out into the world, though, trick myself into thinking it is any other day. I’ve got to see Dad at the hospital and hold his hand for the first time since I was a kid and for what will be the last . . . wow, the last time ever.

I’ll be gone before I can adjust to my mortality.

I also have to see Lidia and her one-year-old, Penny. Lidia named me Penny’s godfather when the baby was born, and it sucks how I’m the person expected to take care of her in case Lidia passes away since Lidia’s boyfriend, Christian, died a little over a year ago. Sure, how is an eighteen-year-old with no income going to take care of a baby? Short answer: He isn’t. But I was supposed to get older and tell Penny stories of her world-saving mother and chill father and welcome her into my home when I was financially secure and emotionally prepared to do so. Now I’m being whisked out of her life before I can become more than some guy in a photo album who Lidia may tell stories about, during which Penny will nod her head, maybe make fun of my glasses, and then flip the page to family she actually knows and cares about. I won’t even be a ghost to her. But that’s no reason to not go tickle her one more time or wipe squash and green peas off her face, or give Lidia a little break so she can focus on studying for her GED or brush her teeth or comb her hair or take a nap.

After that, I will somehow pull myself away from my best friend and her daughter, and I will have to go and live.

I turn off the faucet and the water stops raining down on me; today isn’t the day for an hour shower. I grab my glasses off the sink and put them on. I step out of the tub, slipping on a puddle of water, and while falling backward I’m expecting to see if that theory of your life flashing before your eyes carries any truth to it when I grab hold of the towel rack and catch myself. I breathe in and out, in and out, because dying this way would just be an extremely unfortunate way to go; someone would add me to the “Shower KO” feed on the DumbDeaths blog, a high-traffic site that grosses me out on so many levels.

I need to get out of here and live—but first I have to make it out of this apartment alive.


12:56 a.m.

I write thank-you notes for my neighbors in 4F and 4A, telling them it’s my End Day. With Dad in the hospital, Elliot in 4F has been checking in on me, bringing me dinner, especially since our stove has been busted for the past week after I tried making Dad’s empanadas. Sean in 4A was planning on stopping by on Saturday to fix the stove’s burner, but it’s not necessary anymore. Dad will know how to fix it and might need a distraction when I’m gone.

I go into my closet and pull out the blue-and-gray flannel shirt Lidia got me for my eighteenth birthday, then put it on over my white T-shirt. I haven’t worn it outside yet. The shirt is how I get to keep Lidia close today.

I check my watch—an old one of Dad’s he gave me after buying a digital one that could glow, for his bad eyes—and it’s close to 1:00 a.m. On a regular day, I would be playing video games until late at night, even if it meant going to school exhausted. At least I could fall asleep during my free periods. I shouldn’t have taken those frees for granted. I should’ve taken up another class, like art, even though I can’t draw to save my life. (Or do anything to save my life, obviously, and I want to say that’s neither here nor there, but it pretty much is everything, isn’t it?) Maybe I should’ve joined band and played piano, gotten some recognition before working my way up to singing in the chorus, then maybe a duet with someone cool, and then maybe braving a solo. Heck, even theater could’ve been fun if I’d gotten to play a role that forced me to break out. But no, I elected for another free period where I could shut down and nap.

It’s 12:58 a.m. When it hits 1:00 I am forcing myself out of this apartment. It has been both my sanctuary and my prison and for once I need to go breathe in the outside air instead of tearing through it to get from Point A to Point B. I have to count trees, maybe sing a favorite song while dipping my feet in the Hudson, and just do my best to be remembered as the young man who died too early.

It’s 1:00 a.m.

I can’t believe I’m never returning to my bedroom.

I unlock the front door, turn the knob, and pull the door open.

I shake my head and slam the door shut.

I’m not walking out into a world that will kill me before my time.

 

Great idea- reading to the children affected by Hurricane Harvey

Reblogged from My Never Ending List:

Read or have children read books out loud and then post them here.  What a terrific idea!

 

https://www.today.com/parents/hurricane-harvey-book-club-helping-little-flood-victims-t115677?cid=sm_npd_td_fb_ma

 

Kids Corner - Story Time: Welcome to Dead House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RL STINE

 

 

 

 

 

 




Enjoy An Exclusive Sneek Peek Of: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens!

Dress Codes for Small Towns
As the tomboy daughter of the town's preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She'd rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she's in love with Woods, Billie's filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods...and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered "one of the guys," Billie doesn't want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it's not that simple.
 
LEARN MORE
 

THE SHORT PART
before
PART ONE

 

That’s the way things come clear. All of a sudden.
And then you realize how obvious they’ve been all along.
— MADELEINE L’ENGLE , The Arm of the Starfish

 

NINE YEARS EARLIER

Three-hundred-year-old oaks were good for two things: hiding from playground fights and kingdom-watching. Billie McCaffrey climbed skyward and settled into a sprawling fork to observe her classmates. Over by the four square concrete slab, Janie Lee Miller sat cross-legged with her nose in a library copy of A Wrinkle in Time. Across the field, Woods Carrington was campaigning for a kickball game. Just below, two third-grade boys, Mash and Fifty, fought over a fourth-grade girl in blue bows and light-pink sunglasses. Other boys swung from the monkey bars while a herd of girls huddled, giggling and happy, around the adults. Their teacher, the center of the girls’ commotion, was dressed in a plain denim jumper and wore a bouquet of smiles. She produced from an ugly black handbag her newly awarded Corn Dolly. “Ooooh,” said the little girls. “Ahhhh,” said other teachers, who asked if they could hold the doll. They treated that decorated corn husk like Billie’s daddy treated a Bible.

Billie oooohed and ahhhhed like everyone else, her voice barely above a whisper. No one even glanced up.

Before the end of that school year, Billie had learned from her daddy that if she wanted friends, she couldn’t stay in tree forks. So she stopped climbing up, up and away, and befriended every boy in her grade by either brute force or voodoo charm. Woods, Billie’s new best friend, claimed it was her kickball skills. By God, that girl could kick a ball farther into Mr. Vilmer’s cornfield than anyone in the class. Even the most competitive boys loved her for it. The girls were a different story. They didn’t quite know what to do with her. And Billie didn’t know what to do with them.

Late summer brought water-gun fights, fishing at the quarry, and biking to and from the dam to skip rocks along the mirrored surface of Kentucky Lake. All this good fortune sparked a happy question from Woods.

“Hey, B, will you come to mine and Janie Lee’s wedding tomorrow?”

Billie chomped on an apple they’d smuggled from Tawny Jacobs’s orchard. Juice ringed her lips. “Do I have to wear a dress? ”

“Nah,” Woods said. “You’re my best man.”

After passing the last bite to Woods and wiping her mouth with her shirtsleeve, she considered his request. Seemed fair. Seemed important. “Sounds good to me,” she said, even though it sounded worse than awful.

“Promise? ” He looked concerned that she might go back to her tree-climbing, avoiding-everyone ways.

“Promise.”

She made the mistake of spit shaking. That night she asked her dad, “Will I go to hell if I break a promise? ” He’d assured her that hell did not work that way. But she didn’t know which way hell worked yet, so she tore up all the notes she’d written asking Woods not to marry Janie Lee.

The next day, Woods Carrington stood behind one of those sprawling playground oaks and wed Janie Lee Miller with a grape Ring Pop and a peck on the lips.

Billie wore her cleanest jeans and stood by Woods’s side.

She looked up to her old perch and thought this friend thing was very hard.

 


PART ONE
HEXAGONS ARE TRIANGLES

First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.
— EPICTETUS

 

1

 

I’m waffling on my tombstone inscription today. Elizabeth McCaffrey, born 1999—d. ? R.I.P.: She found trouble. Or. Elizabeth McCaffrey, born 1999—d. ? IN LOVING MEMORY: Trouble found her.

“This is a bad idea,” Janie Lee tells me. Which is her way of saying we’re going to get caught.

“We will not be contained by a grubby youth room and pointless rules,” I reply.

Janie Lee peers down the hallway. There’s no sign of my dad, but her expression indicates she’s voting for retreat. The dingy carpet beneath her feet is patterned with repeating arrows that all point the way back to our assigned sleeping room.

I tickle-poke her in the ribs. She giggles and leans into the tickle instead of away. “I’ll protect you,” I tell her.

That’s enough prompting for her to skitter down the hall with me—two handsome thieves on a wayward mission.

We stand in front of a door labeled Youth Suite 201. It’s 3:12a.m. Janie Lee is wearing a sweet pink sweatshirt, flannel pants, and UGGs, which always make me ugh. I am wearing a camo T-shirt, jeans I stole from Mash last weekend, and combat boots that I found at a local army surplus. Clothes I can sleep in. And, well, clothes I can live in.

Elizabeth McCaffrey, born 1999—d. ? IN LOVING MEMORY: She died in her boots.

I perform the prearranged triple knock.

Davey props open the door, and behind him the rest of our boys offer various greetings. He’s the newest of the gang and we’re all still learning him. There’s an awkward pause while we work out whether we’re supposed to fist-bump or shoulder punch or hug. I up-nod, and that seems to be acceptable enough for him to duplicate.

I turn my attention to the rest of the room. I’ve just noticed that Einstein the Whiteboard is leaning against the mini fridge when something hits me. It’s Woods, tackling me to the decades-old carpet.

“Hello to you, too,” I say from beneath him.

He licks my face like a Saint Bernard and then pretends to do an elaborate wrestling move that I don’t evade. (Even though I could.) Without warning, a two-person dog pile becomes a six-person dog pile. Davey hesitates, then lands near the top. He must be learning us a little. Boys really are such affectionate assholes. I am crushed at the bottom and Janie Lee is half-balanced on top of Davey’s back.

“Love sandwich,” she mouths at me.

It is. It’s not. It’s more. Labeling and limiting something as big as us feels somewhat impossible, but usually we call ourselves the Hexagon. On the account that sixsome sounds kinky and stupid.

“Up! We’re crushing Billie,” Woods says, because he’s always directing traffic.

Fifty farts in Davey’s face in a momentous fashion, and just like that, the jokes begin and the dog pile ends, boys sprawling onto the two couches as if it never happened. I digest the scene as I slouch against the door. Boys. My boys. I’ve been collecting them like baseball cards since third grade.

Woods. He’s not pretty, but he’s stark and golden and green like a cornfield under noon sunlight. Tennis shoes; low-cut, grass-stained socks; ropey calf muscles; blond leg hair; khaki shorts; aqua polo; and an unmatching St. Louis Cardinals hat tamping down floofy blondish-brown curls: he is these things. He is so much more. I know exactly what he’ll look like in thirty years when he’s sitting on our porch drinking peppermint tea.

Davey, elfin and punkish in smeared eyeliner, sits next to his cousin Mash, who looks nothing much like him. Fifty always appears a bit smarmy, and tonight is no exception. His dark hair is oily and he hasn’t shaved in a week. Janie Lee sits slightly apart, cross-legged and petite in a papasan chair. She takes up about as much room as a ghost. Then me. Knees up. Chin up. Happy. Taking their mischief like the gift that it is.

Some lock-ins are for staying up all night and playing shit-tastic games. This one is for parental convenience. The youth group is cleaning up Vilmer’s Barn tomorrow—early prep for the upcoming Harvest Festival—and Dad didn’t want to run a shuttle at six a.m. Tyson Vilmer, barn owner, patriarch of Otters Holt, grandfather of Mash and Davey, will be there waiting with his enormous smile and incredible enthusiasm. Despite the fact that we were supposed to be in separate rooms and asleep by two a.m., I am pretty damn excited to help. Two a.m. bedtime was wishful thinking on my father’s part. We are not true hellcats, but the Hexagon is particularly bad at supposed to when we’re all under one roof.

The other four can’t decide who will open the meeting: Woods or me.

I copy Dad’s southern drawl and say, “Let’s start with glads, sads, and sorries and then say a prayer.” They all laugh, except for Davey, who hasn’t been to enough Wednesday night Bible studies to get the joke. I gesture to the writing on Einstein the Whiteboard. “Dudes and Dudette, I predict this lock-in ends poorly.”

Woods will hear nothing of my prophecy. Einstein is among Woods’s favorite things on the planet—a medium-sized board that technically belongs to the youth group but practically belongs to him. Woods developed leadership skills in utero, and he thinks in dry-erase bullet points. Currently, Einstein says: THINGS TO DO WITH A CHURCH MICROWAVE. Five bullets follow, and most of them look like a one-way trip to a stark-raving Brother Scott McCaffrey, my father.

In the bottom corner, someone has drawn a sketch of a Corn Dolly being lifted on high by a stick figure. They’ve labeled the stick figure Billie McCaffrey, which makes me label them all idiots. The joke is so old it has wrinkles.

A Corn Dolly is only a corn husk that has been folded and tucked and tied into the shape of a doll. In the town of Otters Holt, the mayor handpicks this husk on the morning of the Harvest Festival, which is an annual event the town treats like Christmas-meets-the-Resurrection. The dolly is then assembled and bestowed during the middle of the Sadie Hawkins dance to the most deserving woman of the year.

Hence, the joke.

“Ha. Ha. Ha,” I say, slow clapping.

Woods is positive THINGS TO DO WITH A CHURCH MICROWAVE is suitable 3:15 a.m. material. “You say ends badly. I say ends brilliantly,” he says.

Fifty has an opinion on the matter. “The only thing farfetched is Billie actually winning a Corn Dolly.” He laughs at himself. Too hard. We are often forced to forgive this failing since his facial hair allows him a fake ID, which allows us the beer that comes along with that privilege.

I’m eye-rolling. “You asshole.” Just because it’s true doesn’t mean he needs to say it.

Fifty stands up as if to challenge me while Janie Lee buries her face in the nearest pillow and reminds us that teenagers don’t, won’t ever win the Corn Dolly—Gloria Nix, twenty-three, was the youngest.

I wave Fifty forward with both hands, ready to wrestle him down.

“Back to Einstein,” Woods announces before Fifty and I go for a real row. This may have happened a time or two in the past.

“Back to Einstein,” everyone, including Fifty, choruses. The merriment rises to previous levels.

“This microwave thing.” I point to the first bullet point: Cook Pineapple Bob. “I do like it.”

Woods is beaming proudly. “He’s had a good life.”

I agree. Pineapple Bob is, well, a pineapple. Frozen these three years in the youth fridge. Named by yours truly.

“We’ll burn down the youth room,” Davey replies. He doesn’t say it in a distressed way. It’s more of an FYI. Like he’s maybe done something like this before. I’ll light fire to that backstory eventually and smoke out some truth, but right now, it’s all Bob, all the time.

The youth room microwave is from the eighties, black as coal, and built like a tank. No doubt donated by some senior church member who moved to assisted living. Its smell is a mix of baked beans, ramen noodles, and burnt popcorn (with the door closed). So if we properly execute bullet point number three (Melt 50 Starlight Mints), its condition will drastically improve.

Janie Lee laughs nervously, her UGGs bouncing against the wicker of the papasan. She’s sipping hard on some vodka–wine cooler concoction Fifty has made. I give her a little fist-bump love for showing initiative. On both the rebellious drinking and the microwave. She doesn’t offer me a drink. I don’t need alcohol; I get drunk on schemes.

We begin.

The first three steps are disappointing. Pineapple Bob pops pretty loudly, as does the handful of Monopoly houses and hotels we’ve stolen from the game closet. The Starlight Mints have to be scraped off the microwave walls. It’s more eventful when Mash pukes up wine cooler on a half-eaten bag of Twizzlers.

“Come on, man,” Fifty says. “I wasn’t done with those.”

“You okay?” Janie Lee comforts Mash, which is pointless. Every group has a hurler: he is our hurler. He is used to puking. She is used to babying him. They are a very good team.

“Shhhhh with the upchucking,” Woods orders.

Woods and I turn our attention to step four, which is seeing How Many Peeps Is Too Many Peeps? The answer: more than forty. It’s messy and delightful.

Woods and I clean, reload, and move on to bullet five. Fifty moves on to more vodka. Typical. Step five involves boiling a used sock—Woods’s, because he has the worst-smelling feet—in Dad’s newly purchased World’s Best Preacher mug. Two minutes in, we’ve got gym smell and no action. It’s a little anticlimactic to be bullet five.

As we watch the mug-and-sock do its nothing, Woods says, “In basically three hours we have to be in the barn.”

Fifty lifts his head from a plank position on the floor and says, “In three hours, we could be walking Vilmer’s Beam.” This makes Mash throw a blanket over his own head. Everyone is tired of hearing Fifty bellow about walking the loft beam in Vilmer’s Barn. It was a dumb dare in fifth grade. We’re seniors. We’re over it.

I say, “I hate mornin—” and the sock catches on fire.

“Heck, yeah!” Mash says, too loud, and then laughs.

Janie Lee says, “The other room!”  Because there is a group of our fellow youth snoozing in Youth Suite 202.

The fire is small—barely more than a magnifying-glass-on-grass sort of spark—and entirely worth the four steps that came before it.

“Hot cup of sock, good sir?” I ask in a British accent.

“Don’t mind if I do,” Woods says, reaching for the microwave door.

Davey sits bolt upright. “Do not—!”

The moment Woods opens the door, the small fire becomes a larger one. The mug rockets out of the microwave and explodes on the carpet. The fire—well, most of the fire— lands on a fuzzy blanket. The flames poof. Woods snatches the other sock—the one whose mate is now ablaze—and beats at the fire. He only fans the flames.

We are all screaming. There is more fire. More sparks. Both shoot out of the microwave; the antique appliance dismounts the counter and lands on the carpet with an explosive bang.

I imagine my father sitting up down the hall, scratching his head, lifting his nose toward the ceiling, sniffing. A yell gathers in his throat.

“Give me something to beat it out!” I shout, and Mash laughs so hard that he vomits again.

“Puke on the fire, man,” Fifty says.

Davey shucks his jacket; Janie runs into the bathroom and returns with a damp towel. The jacket is working but not fast enough. Janie Lee throws the towel over the whole mess in a big Ta-da-I-will-fix-this fashion.

The fire is suddenly enormous.

“Was that the towel off the floor?” demands Woods as Davey rolls his eyes and says, “I’m calling 911.”

Janie Lee shrinks from Woods’s tone, nodding furiously. There’s commotion in the hallway. The counter, where the microwave previously sat, is also on fire. The alarm begins a high-pitched wail and the sprinklers descend from the ceiling as if they are Jesus in the second coming. We are all getting soaked as Woods yells, “We used that towel to mop up vodka!”

It’s hard to tell what is fire and what is smoke and what is microwave, but incredibly, I see the toe of the sock that started it all. Dad is going to kill me.

“Time to peace out,” Davey says, gesturing toward the exit.

The fire alarm continues to pierce our eardrums. Woods throws open the door to the hallway. “Abandon ship!” he shouts gallantly. Always directing traffic. He’s glistening with sweat. We all are, but he’s glorying in it.

Mash throws last week’s bulletin onto the fire before heading to the hallway. Fifty gives the wall a pound and yells, “Wakey, wakey. Church’s on fire.” Davey issues me a long look. He’s got some I told you so in those eyes. I’ve got some I know, I know in mine.

I grab Janie Lee in her sweet pink sweatshirt and UGGs and drag her behind me into the hall. She’s as soaked as the rest of us and not wearing a bra, and that’s gonna be a problem when we hit cool autumn air.

I think: I didn’t mean for all this to happen. I also think: I effing love Einstein the Whiteboard adventures. I have a moment of true fear when Woods plunges back inside the youth room. Before I even have time to process this, he reappears, coughing, and says, “Help me, Billie.” He darts into the smoky room again.

In I go to rescue Woods, who wants to save his precious whiteboard. Einstein is too near the fire. The edge is already melted, and I assume too hot to touch. “I’ll get you another one,” I promise him.

Not what he wants to hear. I drag Woods away and shove him toward the back stairs.

Around us, kids are evacuating. They’re carrying phones and sleeping bags and pillow pets. Two sixth graders are getting on the elevators while Fifty screams at them, “Take the stairs! Didn’t you learn anything in kindergarten?” A very familiar form is swimming upstream against the evacuees: Brother Scott McCaffrey. My tired and scared and angry father frantically counts everyone he sees. He flings opens doors, yells, moves to the next room. Precise words are impossible to hear over the fire alarm. But as I watch him check Youth Suite 201, I see he’s putting two and two together.

Likely conclusion: where there’s smoke, there’s Billie.

Janie Lee and I quick-walk toward the exit. She pulls me against her and says right in my ear, so I hear it over the noise, “Billie, I think maybe I’m in love with Woods!”

“Jesus,” I say, and hope it counts as a multipurpose prayer.

 

Let Me See Your.... Shelfie! (#3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I tried to attach original source for the images with the image itself, if image does not link back to source it was because I wasn't able to locate the original source the image belongs to. *Sorry* 

Missing Book Covers?

I just made my first attempt at adding book covers for some posts that were missing them on other people's posts, hopefully I didn't mess anything up!

 

*Here's to first tries*

Nauti Angel (Nauti #9) by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

AuthorLora Leigh

Title: Nauti Angel

Series: Nauti

Cover Rating:

Book Rating:

Buy This Book:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angel Calloway isn't the girl next door. Known for being rude and cursing like a sailor on a bender, she's meaner than the two mercenaries she's followed since she was young. Needing anyone is not what she's about. Or so she thought--until she found the mother she was taken from so long ago, Chaya Mackay, wife to the notorious Natches Mackay.

One night with Angel and devilishly sexy Marine Reece Duquaine was hooked. She nearly blew his head off, and moments later, she blew his mind. He's been after her ever since, wrestling with a desire that fights to consume him. But now he has her in his sights--and is ready to take his shot.
Unless someone else moves in for the kill first..

 

 

 

 

*Warning: Minor spoilers*

Nauti Angel was a good story but I didn't like it - BUT not for the reason you think.

I really felt for Angel.

I felt for Angel when she revealed to the Mackay's her mother in particular and the group her secret and she was treated the way she was. It was awful. I actually cried. It broke my heart.

Even after she left and was forced to come back and deal with them after the way they acted it was like her feelings didn't matter what so ever to any of them.

It didn't matter at all what Angel needed or wanted emotionally or mentally after that experience all that mattered was that the Mackays didn't want to feel guilty for the way they treated her, so to make them feel better about themselves she was forced to come back despite how she felt and was manipulated into it. I hated that.

Its insensitive, its cruel, and everyone dismissing it as if it didn't matter upset me.

What's more is that I was insanely disappointed in the Mackays because of how they acted toward her. Where did all that cruelty come from even if was to protect Chaya? They're harsh and cold and the whole situation made me sad. The whole thing dominated the story for me beyond the intense plot and the love story because I was stuck on the interaction that started the whole thing. I liked the story and everything was really great but that one thing really effected the way I've felt about the Mackays this entire time.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley Publishing.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Free Ebooks (8/24/17)

 

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE FREE PRICING IS ONLY A SPECIAL FOR THE DIGITAL FORMAT OF THE BOOK THAT IS LISTED AND IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME, SO BE SURE TO PURCHASE THE E-BOOKS BEFORE THE PRICE RETURNS TO ITS NORMAL LISTING. (Unless you want to buy them at full price:)

 

Don't forget to check my Free Ebook page on Pinterest for more Free Ebook titles and genres not listed below!

 

 

 

The China Pandemic on Kindle

The China Pandemic by AR Shaw: A weaponized bird flu ravished the globe to near extinction, and a former Seattle math professor races on a journey to survive. He meets a vulnerable community of survivalists without immunity to the killer virus and a young girl is exposed which threatens war between the few left behind.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

Kindle

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Whiplash on Kindle

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This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Eleventh Hour on Kindle

The Eleventh Hour by Anina Collins: Poppy McGuire is an amateur sleuth in the small town of Sunset Ridge where everyone knows her business. Alex Montero is a former Baltimore detective with as many secrets as the suspects they encounter. Together, they team up to solve the murder of one of the town’s most elite citizens, but if they’re not careful, they may be the next victims.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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A Million Doorways on Kindle

A Million Doorways by K. Martin Beckner: New to Rocky Creek, Kentucky, and still mourning the tragic loss of his father, 13-year-old Ethan Brook feels isolated and out of place. But then he takes a summer job working for the mysterious and eccentric Zelma Green. With the better part of a century between them, he finds in her an unlikely kindred spirit, unaware that her last husband’s body lies mummified in the cellar of her Victorian mansion. As terrible secrets unfold, Ethan faces a decision: does he run from it all, or does he stand and face his fears head on?

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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They Died in the Spring on Kindle

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This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Hell Hath No Fury on Kindle

Hell Hath No Fury by Sydney J. Bounds: San Francisco has enough crime, but not enough to keep Private Investigator Sam Spain busy. Worried about paying his rent, Spain takes the case of a little old lady who wants him to find her 22-year old daughter, Irene, who has been missing for a month. But the investigation takes him on a journey where his rent is the least of his concerns.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Cole Dust: Cole Sage Mysteries (Book 4) on Kindle

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This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Incident: Inferno Rising on Kindle

The Incident: Inferno Rising by Lars Emmerich: Special Agent Sam Jameson is having a bad week. People are trying to kill her. But this time, it’s the good guys who have her in their crosshairs. Can she unravel the brutal and deadly conspiracy before she becomes its next victim?

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Eavesdropper on Kindle

The Eavesdropper by Edward Trimnell: What would you do if you overheard three of your coworkers plotting a murder? Frank Joseph has a quiet life, a daughter he loves, and a “typical boring desk job” in the purchasing department of Thomas-Smithfield Electronics. One day he overhears three of his coworkers plotting the “elimination” of another coworker. A chilling workplace thriller.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Golden Icon on Kindle

Golden Icon by Janet Pywell: In the prequel to the Culture Crime Series, Josephine Lavelle is a headstrong and talented opera star. Emotionally blackmailed and lied to, she takes possession of a solid golden statue that dangerous men are prepared to kill for… As well as determining the fate of the Golden Icon, Josephine must come to terms with her past, and fight for her own life.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Token Series (Vol. 1-3) on Kindle

The Token Series (Vol. 1-3) by Marata Eros: Faren Mitchell runs from a past where she survived a brutal attack that left its mark on her hand… and her soul. When circumstances come together so she must rescue her mom, a man enters her life who could help her- but can she trust him? When the ghost from that terrible night catches up with Faren, will she let Mick save her or will she save herself… from a NYT bestselling author of dark romantic suspense thrillers.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Mastering the Marchioness on Kindle

Mastering the Marchioness by Em Brown: The last person the Marquess of Dunnesford expects to see walking into Madam Botreaux’s Cavern of Pleasures is his wife, Harrietta. He has no intention of revealing his secret activities to his new bride, but to protect her he must claim Harrietta for his own. Vale soon discovers, however, this feisty wife of his isn’t so easy to tame. Especially when things start heating up in the Cavern of Pleasures.

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A Wolf's Embrace: Wolf Mountain Peak (Book 4) on Kindle

A Wolf’s Embrace: Wolf Mountain Peak (Book 4) by Sarah J. Stone: It’s been a year since I lost you, my Laura. Twelve months since the accident took you from me. I have found other distractions in life. But I still miss you: your loving arms; your soothing voice; your smile; your kiss… everything about you. My pain led to a stupid decision. Now, salvation has knocked – in the form of a gorgeous passionate blonde – but I can’t accept the risk.

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Bad Blood Bear on Kindle

Bad Blood Bear by Anastasia Wilde: The last thing grizzly shifter Tank Morrison needs is a damsel in distress, since the last one he tried to help almost cost him his life. But when he meets Lissa, a black bear hiding out from the evil cult leader who Turned her, he’s drawn to her like a magnet, even though she stirs things in his soul that are better left buried…

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Red Dot: Based On True Stories (Book 5) on Kindle

Red Dot: Based On True Stories (Book 5) by Rose Fox: Thirty-year-old Kevin is perfectly happy with his easygoing, bachelor lifestyle. An unexpected relocation to India gives him a case of massive culture shock as he experiences spicy food, crowded streets and colorful markets. Above all his life is turned upside down by an amazing woman who completely bewitches his.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Rock Star's Email Order Bride: Romance Island Resort (Book 2) on Kindle

The Rock Star’s Email Order Bride: Romance Island Resort (Book 2) by Demelza Carlton: A mail order bride and a rock god: can they make fairy tales come true? Join over a quarter of a million readers who love this USA Today Bestselling series about a hot Aussie rock star looking for love in paradise.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Artfully Yours on Kindle

Artfully Yours by Isabel North: Elle returns to her hometown to help out her injured sister, but she isn’t prepared for the sexy stranger next door. Metal sculptor Alex is focused, intense, and knows his way around welding torches and hot metal. Dating and romance? Not so much. A sexy, sweet romcom about first love and second chances. First in a series!

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Leather and Lace on Kindle

Leather and Lace by Jessie Evans: A sexy, sweet, heartfelt romance… Harley-riding cowboy Sawyer Kane is two parts swagger, one part sexy drawl, and all parts off limits. At least as far as Mia Sherman is concerned. After barely surviving her last relationship, Lonesome Point’s resident prankster has sworn off men… But when long hot days become longer, hotter nights, Mia realizes she wants more than a summer fling. Will she and Sawyer find forever before a terrifying blast from the past tears them apart?

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Storm Damages on Kindle

Storm Damages by Magda Alexander: I didn’t plan to fall in lust that scorching hot summer day. And yet, that’s exactly what I did. Beautiful, brilliant, damaged Gabriel Storm, the drug I can’t live without. I risk everything to be with him—my career, my future, my life. But I can’t walk away. Because all I care about is the way he makes me feel when I’m in his arms.

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Charming You on Kindle

Charming You by Kris Jayne: Micky Llewellyn trusted men before—with disastrous results. Nick Halden’s life has unfolded according to plan: a career at a top law firm and an engagement to the perfect socialite (he hopes). Fate throws them together, and in their struggle to balance love and ambition, they have to decide what they want before they lose the one thing that matters.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Unintentional on Kindle

Unintentional by M.K. Harkins: Cade, the gorgeous song man, has every reason to steer clear of commitment and train his soulful eyes, heart-melting dimples, and sexy voice on every beauty clamoring for his attention. So why is it that he finds himself truly, deeply and unintentionally, fixed on the one woman who is not so easily swept away?

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Tainted Love: A Totally '80s Romance (Book 2) on Kindle

Tainted Love: A Totally ’80s Romance (Book 2) by Addison Moore: If you love ’80s nostalgia, then this book is a must read! Leg warmers, big hair, unforgettable music in an unforgettable era. It’s September 1985 and Heather Knowles senior year is really shaping up to be something. As if being falsely accused of shoplifting in front of her high school crush wasn’t mortifying enough, how about finding out your mother is his family’s new maid? If you love the ’80s you’ll enjoy each book in the Totally ’80s Romance series. Each book can be enjoyed as a standalone. They’re like, totally awesome!

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Dragonslaying Maiden on Kindle

The Dragonslaying Maiden by Daniel Pertierra: When the Norse god Odin looks over his hall and sees an ancient sword, he’s stunned to learn that no-one remembers the giantess who wielded it so long ago. Read on as Odin, compelled by an ancient memory, recounts the violent tale of Dana the Strong, a little girl who outgrew home in a big way and shaped the course of history. Journey back to the mythological past of Scandinavia, where swords, armies, magic, and monsters still held sway. This is the home of the Dragonslaying Maiden who overcame betrayal and prejudice in an age when monsters still roamed the Earth.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Histories of the Void Garden on Kindle

Histories of the Void Garden by Damian Huntley: Meet the Leechborn. We knew them only through myths and legends; our Gods and monsters, our fey and our foe. In modern times, they have hidden in plain sight as leaders of nations and masters of industry. Join the thrilling adventure as David and his 7-year-old daughter are dragged into their world.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Reflective on Kindle

The Reflective by Tamara Rose Blodgett: Born Reflective, and the only female of an elite team of world-hopping soldiers, Beth Jasper must use her innate skills to police parallel dimensions with the help of a hostile partner. Can she stay true to The Cause before her timepiece runs out – will she survive long enough to find her prophesied soulmate? From a NYT bestselling author of dark fantasy and romance.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Bitcoin on Kindle

Bitcoin by Artemis Caro: If you had invested just $100 in Bitcoin in 2010 it would be worth a whopping $72 million today, outperforming numerous tried and trusted investments like gold, stock and real estate! What is Bitcoin? How do I use it? Why would I want to invest? Nobody can predict the ultimate future of Bitcoin but it certainly appears that it has entered far enough into the mainstream that there is no going back. Bitcoin is here to stay and now is the time for you to get familiarized with it if you don’t want to be left behind!

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Blockchain on Kindle

Blockchain by Artemis Caro: “What the Internet did for communications, Blockchain will do for trusted transactions”.- Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO. Every year we run more of our lives on the internet. Ever since Bitcoin started gaining legitimacy there has been a lot of hype surrounding the concept of its architecture, Blockchain. But what does this term actually mean? What is blockchain technology? Why does it matter? In short, Blockchain is the answer to a question we’ve been asking since the dawn of the internet age.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Prepared on Kindle

Prepared by Roy Shepard: Learn the eight secret skills of an Ex-IDF Special Forces operator that will keep you safe and prepare you for any situation- from a street mugging all the way to a full blown global catastrophe! The number one thing you must remember is that being efficient can save your life.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Racing Through Paradise on Kindle

Racing Through Paradise by William F. Buckley Jr.: In this journey join Buckley as he takes his son, friends and his readers to another ocean, on a four thousand mile run across the Pacific. Mysteries and adventure await in this third entry of Bill Buckley’s sailing trilogy.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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A Life More Travelled on Kindle

A Life More Travelled by Jo Warwick: Travel is either a surface experience from A to B, or a journey in which we immerse ourselves in each moment, reveling in the new possibilities it brings. How we approach life is no different. In this guide book to the journey of life, be led away from fear and resistance and embrace the adventure of living each day.  Psychologist Jo Warwicke translates her funny and poignant reflections on travels around the world into tools for living harmoniously and successfully with the Law Of Attraction.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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The Gift: The Butterfly Effect on Kindle

The Gift: The Butterfly Effect by Margaret McHeyzer: Alexa Murphy has a gift. Some of the most dangerous men in the world want what she has. In order to use her, they have to steal her. In a world where power is everything, read how Alexa has to find her way through it.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Spirit Breaker: Occult Assassin (Book 3) on Kindle

Spirit Breaker: Occult Assassin (Book 3) by William Massa: The forces of darkness have a new enemy! One man, driven by tragedy, with one goal: to keep the world safe from black magic occult threats. Mark Talon’s chilling missions will take him across the globe and pit him against apocalyptic cults, cursed relics and supernatural terrorists bent on world destruction. In Spirit Breaker, Talon must battle an evil psychic and the chilling forces of the afterlife.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Crash on Kindle

Crash by Michael Robertson: Chris’s life of luxury is gone, devastated by the collapse of the European economy. Huddled in a small room with his petrified 10-year-old son, Chris made the decision to stay in his lavish and once cherished home. Gas, water, and electricity are all cut off; his wife and daughter have gone, and food is running out.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Dusty's Diary on Kindle

Dusty’s Diary by Bobby Adair: I played all the video games. I watched movies and read books. In most of those, the hero kills the zombies, drives an awesome car, has enough to eat, and always seems to get laid. I wrote this journal because the apocalypse sucks and doesn’t meet my expectations at all. Honestly, I was looking forward to it. It’s not like I don’t like people because I do. I was tired of all the crap I had to put up with. I was tired of dealing with traffic and my ex wife yelling at me. A zombie apocalypse looked like a good future for me. Here’s my story. Let me know what you think.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Oddjobs on Kindle

Oddjobs by Heide Goody and Iain Grant: This is for anyone who ever had a bad day at work. However bad your job is, you could be like these guys and work for the secret government organization responsible for making sure the apocalypse goes as smoothly and as quietly as possible.

This book is Free on August 24, 2017

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Sons of Flame MC - Redemption by Ashley Rhodes

Sons of Flame MC - Redemption - Ashley Rhodes

 

 

 

Author: Ashley Rhodes

Title:  Redemption 

Series: Sons of Flame MC

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Tess Bailey will never forget the day that Eli Flint burst into her life. He's a hard man, tempered by a life lived on the edge - but Tess sees something in his intense blue eyes; something that grabs her and just won't let go.

Eli's an ex-con; he served three years for selling guns as a member of the notorious Sons of Flame MC. Now he's out, and he wants to put his past behind him and move on.

Of course it's not that easy. It's never that easy.

Tess is Eli's probation officer. Young and idealistic, she's determined not to become as jaded as her coworkers. She deals with some of the most difficult and dangerous men - men who have always lived a life of crime, men for whom that life is all they know, and ever will know.

But Eli's different.

Underneath his tough, spiky exterior, Tess senses a man who wants to improve himself, who wants something better from life.

However, when Tex, the cruel and bitter leader of the Sons of Flame, blackmails Eli into working for him once more, Eli is forced back into the life he's trying to leave behind. And Tess, the woman Eli is falling for, is unwittingly drawn into this dangerous world with him...

 

 

 

 

The rating for this one was mainly my fault I think or well, it was actually bad timing. Oddly enough I had just finished watching the news on television when I started reading this book. The biggest thing that kept being played was a special about a guy in prison having a sexual involvement with a female guard who worked at the prison he was at and how she got in trouble because cops that work in the prison aren't supposed to have inappropriate relationships with the prisoners. Then I go and pick up this book and essentially get the same thing except the female is a parole officer etc.

So the entire time I'm reading this book that's all I can think about is seeing this news report on tv and my mind just kept going there.

Redemption is written fairly well and its characters are good and I liked the story but at the same time I wish I hadn't watched the news prior to reading this book. So sorry Rhodes, that kinda affected how I mentally saw this book play out in my mind. It was too odd a mesh between fiction and reality. I may have to come back to this one later on.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from the author.

All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Sex Therapy by Jillian Quinn

 

 

 

Author: Jillian Quinn

Title: Sex Therapy

Series: City of Sinners

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Lie down on my couch and spread your legs for me…

As the most respected sex therapist in Philadelphia, Dr. Jackson King has earned himself a reputation. His patients call him The Sex Doctor, the perfect name for a man who not only fixes marriages but also hands out orgasms on his lunch breaks.

He’s hot and impatient, insatiable and dominant. Underneath his confident swagger is a man with a real problem, an addiction Jackson can’t kick. He likes the man he has become, embraces his urges.

After five years apart, the girl who turned Jackson into the womanizer he is today is back in his life and ready to make up for lost times. To get to the root of the problem, Chloe will have to submit to Jackson and fulfill his every desire. If she does, Jackson will teach Chloe the true meaning of Sex Therapy.

 

 

 

 

I wanted to like this book more than I did but the whole revenge sex and the emotional best served cold turn over didn't quite mesh with me personally. I get all the hurt and using this facade as a defense but there's a point when the line of thinking and the acceptance of it regardless of how what she did effected him out of the blue really felt like a child in a tantrum.

The whole new personality 'manwhore' thing wasn't in a seductive way when it comes to the sex and using the sex manipulation to his advantage. It was kind of off putting after awhile and Chloe felt too hollow and too robotic for me to really like her as a character. I didn't like Jackson and Chloe as a couple, it wasn't worth it to me for them to be together.

 

 

 

Until next time book lovers...

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from the author. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

If any of Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews has been helpful please stop by to like my post or leave a comment to let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

 

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Krissys Bookshelf Reviews has a QR code for your phone!

 

Krissy's bookshelf: read

Reaper's Stand
Archangel's Shadows
To Love a King
Touch a Dark Wolf
Gray Bishop
The Viscount's Christmas Temptation
The Second Chance Hero
Loving Him Off the Field
Only Enchanting
Final Lap
Hunt the Jackal
Linger
Before You Break
Priestess Dreaming
Scandal And The Duchess
Hunters
Rival
Sci-Fi Nights: Alpha Bad Boys & Wild Girls of Futuristic Romance
Frayed
Love Bites


Krissy's favorite books ยป

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