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Lone Survivor – Audio Book

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I literally spent the last two hours of this audiobook in tears. Crying out loud, tears.

On Goodreads, I don’t get political. Personally I don’t feel this is the right place for it. While I respect others that might; I simply don’t feel the need to engage in that sort of discussion with pretty much anyone. Because I’ve found that most people’s political (like their religious) beliefs are deeply held and resistant to change. Again, I respect that.

So I won’t engage in a political discussion about this book. I will, however, explain why this book impacted me so deeply.

I hold the United States Military in the highest regard. Government? Politicians? Not so much.

The men and the women who volunteer their lives to protect the country I love? The people who lived their personal and private lives with respect, honor and dignity – I will never speak a bad word against.

My father was a U.S. Marine. My husband served in the U.S. Navy and now serves with honor in the Air Force. My father-in-law, my brother-in-law and my son are all either U.S. Air Force veterans or currently serving. My father-in-law is a veteran of the first Gulf War. My close friends include retired Army Rangers, retired Navy Seals, current Air Force officers and enlisted and even a Coast Guard officer. To say I am pro-military is to make a understatement so great I don’t even have the words to express it.

What this book was to me was a look into the heart and soul of an American hero.

Marcus Luttrell takes us on a winding journey at first; back and forth between present time, his childhood, his Seal training and what was present day. We learn about the heart of a Seal in general, the heart of one Seal in particular. The heart and soul that allow a man to walk deep into hostile, enemy territory because he believes he is doing right and defending his country. The type of heart and soul that keeps a man fighting as his brothers fall and die beside him. The type of heart and soul that helps a man with severe injuries fucking crawl almost 5 miles on an Afghan mountain. The type of heart and soul that I can barely comprehend. That you, if you are honest, can barely comprehend. Or we’d be there too…willing to pay the ultimate price for the United States and her people.

I learned more about terrorism (from a man who has looked terrorists in the eyes) and the history of Afghan tribes from this book than I’ve leaned from the media or politicians since September 11, 2001. I discovered how the media impact warfare. How politicians who have never set foot in a hostile environment influence command and control. I discovered the deep integrity and honor with which some Afghan tribes operate. And the ruthless warfare the Taliban engage in.

Perhaps this book is preaching to the choir, though I wish everyone would read/listen to it.

Because while it is political it is also written to honor the heartfelt sacrifice of the men who perished during Operation Redwing. Men who were husbands, brothers, fathers and sons. Men who decided to risk their lives so that I can be free and safe. Men who deserve to be remembered (as do all of our fallen soldiers) for all eternity for doing so.

While the movie that is based on this book does follow quite well, there is so, so much missing. Much that deserves to be read, understood, pondered.

As I said previously, people hold their political and religious beliefs closely and deeply. It is my hope that they do not hold them ignorantly, taking the word of talking heads in media or government as truth. If I could wish one thing it would be that people would gladly take it upon themselves to be educated in their opinions. Research. Listen to opposing views. Most opinions have a grain of truth and the truth is not always something that we want to hear. However, we as a people, as a nation, need to understand what goes on around us. We need to understand current affairs. We need to understand history. We need to comprehend how it all ties together.

Or it all falls apart.

I highly recommend this book/audiobook to everyone.

P.S. The narrator did a phenomenal job. I’ve seen and heard many interviews with Luttrell and I felt like it was the author himself narrating the book! Well done and bravo! I was mesmerized for over 16-hours.

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Category: 5 Stars, Freeking AWESOME  Comments off

Just a Kiss (The Bradfords #5) by Erin Nicholas

Just a Kiss (The Bradfords, #5)Just a Kiss by Erin Nicholas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about Just a Kiss?

First I can say that I am a total Erin Nicholas fan girl. Complete with squee and stuff! She is one of my auto buy authors – regardless of subject matter and I have read her entire back list. She is one of those writers that superbly craft character relationships, complete with their ups and downs and that keeps me coming back for more.

Second I can say that I do not want The Bradford series to end. *sob*

Just a Kiss is Kevin’s story. Finally. I’ve been in love with Kevin from the beginning for a few reasons – he’s solid, steady, amazingly generous and a positively portrayed Christian man. That’s something hard to find outside of inspirational romances.

Kevin is strong in his faith and rather than preach and shove things in the faces of those around him, he lives it. He, as his heroine Eve comes to see, walks the walk. He does not judge, offers good advice and is always a supportive shoulder. Someone as wonderful as this totally deserves his HEA, don’t you think?

Eve and Kevin married the day they graduated from high school and spent less than 36 hours together. He thought their marriage had been annulled and whoopsie…nope! Eve never signed the papers.

What follows is explosive sexual chemistry, a brilliant 10-year old half-brother, lies, confusion, longing and some pretty awesome sex. Most of the obstacles in this relationship are emotional and trust issues. There are some outside forces but those are more to amp things up rather than creating the actual problems. I love this in a story.

Both Kevin and Eve grow and progress forward in a realistic manner throughout the book. It really is a joy to watch them rediscover each other – as they are now and not how they were 14-years ago. It is also wonderful to see most of the supporting characters come back to add their two cents and support.

I found every aspect of this story to be plausible – from Kevin’s conversion, Eve’s falling away from the faith, their difficulties with each other and their expectations of one another and their eventual HEA.

Another win for Erin Nicholas as I wait for her next release!

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Night Whispers (ShadowLands, #1) by Alisha Rai

Night Whispers by Alisha Rai

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m an Alisha Rai fan and that’s the only reason I purchased this book. Generally I’m not a fan of anything with Zombies because, well, Zombies don’t say romance for me. In addition to having Alisha Rai on my auto-buy list I also love a good post apocalyptic romance. There is something about people being pushed to reach into themselves to survive that fascinates me. This book hit all the high points for me and was, in my opinion, a raging success!

Set in a world a few years after an Illness spawns Shadows (aka Zombies)and governments have reacted by throwing bombs around Night Whispers is the story of Jules and James. And I love them. Love, love, love them!

Jules is a kick ass heroine, literally. A former gang member and drug addict she has gotten clean and is working for the surviving government in a form of search and rescue. She finds humans who are on their own in a very hostile world and helps get them to various safe zones. In her search and rescue work she also has to kick some Zombie ass! Woot!

For the past year Jules has been working with James, a former CIA analyst who has been hidden safely in an underground bunker. James is a superbly drawn beta hero. Brainy, thoughtful and quite romantic. He has been working with Jules via high tech surveillance equipment for a year. They are able to speak to each other and he can see her surroundings but they have never physically met. He is borderline agoraphobic but his feelings for Jules push him way outside his comfort zone when she is in trouble.

These characters are already in love when we meet them – though neither of them are aware of that fact. Circumstances are such that it is HIGHLY unlikely they will ever physically meet. This makes the relationship quite safe for both of them and their respective neurosis. *grin*

It is awesome to see this beta hero at work. So many times a book with start with a beta and end up with some super alpha hero midway through. Thankfully James stays beautifully true to form – scared, nervous but pushing through to try to take care of his woman. And James is in no way weak, he is flawed. And it’s wonderful!

While Jules is physically capable of taking care of herself she is scared to death of relationships and being dependent on another person. James is perfect for her with his gentle persistence.

In addition to a solid romance, complete with hot sex, Rai also delivers a well developed, interesting world with compelling secondary characters. Several of whom I am looking forward to seeing in future books. It’s indicated that this is a series, however I’m not sure how many are planned. I do know that I will be quickly buying them as soon as they are released.

Well done Alisha Rai! Can’t wait to see what is coming up next!

“You have me. You know I won’t leave you. You know I’ll cross states and territories and I’ll fucking battle monsters just so I can stand by your side. But you’re so scared something will still happen and I’ll leave you one way or the other, so you’re responding by pushing me away first.”

She thought of that burning anger that had fueled her battle against the Shadow the night before. Her anger at James, specifically, though he had never abandoned her, not once. She knew better than anyone how fickle love and loyalty could be. Even if he found her, there was no guarantee he would stand by her side forever. “Shut. Up.”

“No. Not when you’re insisting on using that hero complex of yours to convince yourself that you’re saving me instead of killing us both. Fuck that, Guerrero.”

“Don’t talk to me like that, Bennett. You aren’t my boss here.”

“I was never your boss. I was always your man.” He grabbed hold of her hips and yanked her close, his lips swooping down to capture hers. At the first touch of their flesh, the anger between them shifted to passion. He groaned, his lips and tongue devouring her.

They really shouldn’t do this right now.

Aw, fuck it. Jules responded, kissing him back, rubbing her tongue against his.

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Just for Fun (Bradfords, #4) by Erin Nicholas

Just for Fun (Bradfords, #4)Just for Fun by Erin Nicholas

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am seriously crying right now. Why? Because this book is over. It’s over damnit! Gahhh….. Why do I let Erin Nicholas do this to me? Why do I let her drag me into her world, her character’s lives and then I fall so deep it’s like a slap in the face when it’s over? Ugh.

Let’s see if I can write this review without getting all fangirl. Most likely not.

Doug “Dooley” Miller is the easy going, laid back, sexy paramedic I developed a crush on over the course of the first three Bradford books. Kinda like your older brother’s best friend – he is always in the background and you get used to him being part of the environment but there are these brief moments when he is center stage and you look at him like…wow, there is something more there.

In Just the Way I Like It we get hints that Mr. Easygoing No Relationships has some depth. Some layers that are waiting to be peeled back. We also learn that he is all about relaxed, easy going women that don’t require vast amounts of shine and polish. He wants his dates to like jeans and t-shirts as much as he does. Having them on and off.

The book opens when Dooley’s hook-up from a charity dinner hunts him down at his favorite bar and asks him to go to Chicago with her for 3 days. Gotta love a girl who knows what she wants and why she wants it. Gotta love a guy that hooked-up so well that girl went digging to find him. While Dooley wouldn’t mind a few more trips through the sheets with her he can’t commit to going away from home for that long.

Morgan James is a class act who admits Dooley is the best she’s ever had and she’d like an encore please. She needs him to act as a sexual distraction from her ex during her business trip. Seeing as how is the only man who has ever exceeded her ex’s appeal in bed he is the only man for the job.

The trip goes to prove that they light up all of each other’s bells in bed and have almost nothing in common outside of it. However Morgan wants to keep seeing him and makes a proposition that is as logical as it is offensive. Dooley shoots it down and closes her out of his life.
Not one to take no for an answer Morgan wages her own war to get Dooley back into her life, finally ending up taking matters into her own hands and ending up on his doorstep.

What follows is an odd courtship but one that is perfect for who Dooley and Morgan are.

In typical Erin Nicolas fashion the strength of this book is the intricate, interwoven relationships between all of the characters that get page time. Watching Morgan fall in love with Dooley’s family and friends is as beautiful as watching them fall in love with each other. It’s absolutely refreshing to find that both of these characters are mature, emotionally healthy people. No raging insecurity, no deep dark secrets. Just the beautiful complication called life getting in the way of their relationship.

I love all Erin Nicholas books but so far I’ve loved this the most. Having a favorite supporting character take the lead, seeing the happiness of the couples from the previous books and learning even more about what a wonderful friend Kevin is…this book just totally did it for me.

Can’t wait for Just A Kiss, which is Kevin’s book, due in October. OCTOBER? What’s up with that??? Please write quicker Ms. Nicholas. Please?

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Ain’t Misbehaving by Jennifer Greene

Ain't MisbehavingAin’t Misbehaving by Jennifer Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Books like this are why I fell in love with the romance genre as a teen. Throughout this book there were multiple instances of me catching my breath, sighing, tearing up, laughing, my heart skipping beats and just plan old delight.

That is what this read was…simply delightful.

Mitch and Fay are both believable characters that are richly woven. The supporting cast is also alive and three dimensional. It’s a sweet romance that doesn’t show us behind the bedroom door but the foreplay is breathtaking. And there is a lot of foreplay.

Both the hero and heroine volunteer at a children’s hospital on weekends and run into each other when visiting the same young patient. A kiss in the rain leads to a few sporadic dates and some really hot kisses. Slowly a relationship develops but Fay can’t figure out why Mitch won’t make love to her.

Mitch does not have much experience with women as he spent most of this oat sowing days very ill due to a heart condition. Fay is a sex education teacher that he is sure has so much experience with men he won’t stand a chance.

The relationship is a joy to watch develop. While the main problem in this relationship makes sense I wonder if it’s actually plausible for people in this age group (late 20’s). There wasn’t any need for suspended belief for me but some people might question that.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book for fans of sweet romances, alpha heroes that are rediscovering their alpha-ness, heroines who are not bogged down with self esteem issues and a solid HEA. So glad I took a chance on this book.

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Just the Way I Like It by Erin Nicholas

Just the Way I Like ItJust the Way I Like It by Erin Nicholas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A disclaimer first – I am an Erin Nicholas fan girl. Like *squee* hurrybuyallherbooksnow type of fan girl. 🙂 The fact that she writes wonderful, romantic, sexy character driven romances in a huge bonus for me.

Just the Way I Like It is a nice refresher to the The Bradfords series, not a stand alone book.

Told from many different points of view it gives us an update on all of the Bradford siblings and their spouses. It also bring back Kevin and Dooley and gives us some more insight into their characters.

Dooley seems to have quite a bit going on and I can’t wait to find out more.

I’m very interested in how Nicholas handles Kevin and his faith. It could be done very badly but I trust the author to be respectful as well as sexy and romantic. I really believe it can be done.

Looking forward to the HEA for these two characters and very good to know that the Bradford siblings and their loved ones are doing so well.

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321 – TWDP – Weekend in New Hampshire

This weekend I went to see my BFF in New Hampshire and Saturday turned into a baking free for all!!!  Her son helped, I helped and we cranked out some awesome cookies.  After baking – though we had plans for some yummy food for dinner – it was time to get out of the kitchen!  We headed to Olive Garden (one of my favorite restaurants!) and then off to see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.  Great movie!

I’m so glad to see the way Robert Downey, Jr. has cleaned his act up.  For me it was like he turned up his nose at Hollywood and said….I can beat this and I can come out on top.  Makes me respect him so much more as an actor and as a person.

It’s always wonderful to see my friend and I don’t do it nearly enough.  She lives 4 hours away and while that’s closer than my friend who is a 24 hour drive away – in Texas – it’s still tough to make the trip.  One of the things I am working on is making more friends that actually live near me.  My two BFFs are deeply ingrained in my life.  They know me better and have known me longer than my husband.  They are my family, the sisters of my heart.  For years the though of having other friends that know me even half as well has been scary.  It felt like a betrayal in my heart if that makes sense.  Yet I am coming to realize that I need the female companionship, the daily camaraderie that I simply can’t get from them because of the distance they are away from me.  I’m the dysfunctional one because they both have other friends they hang out with.  LOL  And lately I’ve been coming to realize the depth of my dysfunction.  How much of it was the depression, how much of it is my personality I’m not yet sure but it’s something I’m working on.

So about the cooking.  Here are the recipes we used and they were AWESOME!

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Yes, I would dance with him

This is awesome!

Oh, hai….

Thank you People. That is all…

 

Category: Freeking AWESOME, Guilty Pleasures, Scraps  Comments off

Entangled Publishing?!

Hey – hello Entangled Publishing!  How did I not hear about you before today?  Thankfully I saw you in my Twitter stream today, well before you started churning out books!

wOOt!

I love getting in the ground floor and whooo, hooo….your covers are yummy, your web site is sleek and your upcoming list of books sounds wonderful!  Time to start stocking up on my book buying budget cause baby, I think I’m going hog wild come August!

Wish List:

The “What If” Guy by Brooke Moss

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn’t thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn’s got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that’s been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love–and herself–with her “what if” guy teach Autumn to forgive before it’s too late?

Break Out by Nina Croft

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!

Yeah – these look good!

Color me excited!

 

 

 

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