Gosh I Wish I was a Good Writer

I love my books and this is the best way for me to give them the respect they deserve. Even when I dislike a book and it happens, I'll always try to respect the writer.  

My Last Entry - This is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You - Jonathan Tropper

I am done with BOOKLIKES. It does nothing but freeze, is slow as molasses in winter and gives me a headache. Thanks to all you book buddies out there. I hope to see you at Goodreads or in a bookstore. 


 This is Where I Leave You is a hilarious book. I don't normally go for humor this is one of the funniest and touching books I'd ever read. The patriarch of a Jewish family has died and the family is asked to sit shiva for seven days and so the story begins. Judd Foxman leads us on a winding meandering, sometimes bumpy and always an insightful path to the end of this complicated family event. Each one of the siblings had their own unique style of hilarity that added to each situation, in fact, I think the scenes when the whole family is together are the most moving, honest and the funny moments. Despite being 400 pages this book moves quickly. There are lots of heartfelt emotional flashes as Judd confronts the past he's had with his estranged wife, their painful attempts to become parents, some school friends, and with the woman, from his past, he could still have. Each character added color to this story's canvas. The mother was insanely entertaining and watching the siblings disconnect and reconnect was a thrill. Tropper created a vast array of visiting mourning characters that just kept the story moving, each well-rounded, well-written and invariably entertaining. In my opinion, Tropper used shiva with grace and respect always slipping the beauty and reverence of the ritual in on the readers and his characters. Did I mention this book was hilarious?

My Men

His Request  - Ava March

I can't believe how easy it was to sync back into the relationship of Ava March's lovers from HIS CLIENT. I normally shy away from these short sequels but I believe in and have faith in Ava March. She made me fall in love with Nate and Jasper all over again. I picked up exactly where I left off and it felt like I'd never left these wonderful, wonderful characters. For me, this was a perfect book to end my year of reading on.


Falling Down - Eli Easton

Have you ever read a book that strikes you as beautiful? Well FALLING DOWN was beautiful to me. The lines that were written through Josh's eyes caught me by the heart. Mark was well written but Josh's anguish was so real and honest. The whole story left me tearing up on a city bus. Once again Eli Easton has taken me to the summit.

Middle of the Road

Merry Gentlemen - Josephine Myles

Merry Gentlemen took a little while for me to get into it but once I did I was hooked. I connected to more to Riley than his love interest Stan. I loved the strong sense if place but then Josephine Myles is excellent at that. I found this relationship depended almost completely on one character growing up. I didn't get a Christmas vibe but whatever.


St. Nick - Alan Russell

I've been in a crazy holiday-themed reading stream. For a lark, I picked up an audible book - St Nick by Allen Russell. What a whim. Even though it is totally outside my normal reading choices I enjoyed it immensely. Raymond made me cry happy & sad tears and Mitchell the Basset Hound made me laugh out loud in public. Nick is the kind of character I like too much but I avoid like the plague because they make me feel too much. Allen Russell wrote a sweet adult story that touched on some incredibly heavy subjects but somehow he was able to make it light and loving and funny and full of compassion.

I Want A Sawyer

Wrapped Together  - Annabeth Albert

Annabeth Albert always seems to come through for me. When I started Wrapped Together part of the Portland Heat series I was sure this was the one that was going to let me down but it turned this story just got better as it went. Hollis stuffy, stuck in his ways introverted. Sawyer big, bold, fun, extrovert. Everyone should have a Sawyer in their life. This is a holiday story and they're rarely sexy & steamy but this one is a hot kinky little read. I think for me this book worked because of the way Albert had Hollis & Sawyer interact with each other. It crept up on me like just like the way it did to Hollis. Hard 4.5 star for me.

Too Short, Under Done

Blue Christmas - Avery Ford

First, let me say Blue Christmas would have made an amazing full-length story. A man discovers his true path in life even if he has to give up things he thought he needed. For me, I liked both Bing & Xander very much but we needed so much more time and depth to make these two men mean something more. It felt like they were both 19 or 20 when they were dealing with their parents. I wanted more island life and both families' side of things. But alas this was a quick, short holiday themed story.

Go Kit, Go!

Christmas with Danny Fit - Amy Lane

Say what you will about Amy Lane but don't say she can't write. This is a sweet, little story about Kit Allen, an overweight accountant who falls for his thin, little, perky assistant, Jesse. Yes, this is short but it's chock full of good writing and very little angst and lots of interesting characterization. I enjoyed watching this character extract himself from his lonely, depressing, life with his mother to become the man he wants to be. Finding your voice over 30 is hard. Finding the lover you didn't know you could have is terrifying. 

Nice Enough

Cold Feet - Jay Northcote

Cold Feet had a warm British feeling to it I enjoyed. Two friends are stuck in a cabin and they finally find an interesting way to deal with their attraction to each other. I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the story but after Christmas, it kind of became a little angsty and slow for me but I liked the actual end of the story it was sweet.

Just Right

Saving Jason - K.C. Wells, Michael Craft, Meredith Russell

Saving Jason was a zero angst story that basically takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. David's job gives him a reason to really strike up a relationship with a lonely, hardworking owner of a coffeehouse. This story takes place in NYC and Wells made mention of the homelessness and how easy it is to help. We also see the beauty of the city. Both men were likable and the story moves at a pleasant clip. I would have loved more time with Travis but what are you gonna do?

I'm happy to say this is what I want from a holiday story.


Three Dates of Christmas - K.C. Burn, Jay Aheer

This was a strong 3.5 star. Now this was a warm & fuzzy story about a Scrooge-type guy and the happy well-rounded man who took it upon himself to teach him to enjoy Christmas. It's interesting how we can sometimes get stuck overprotecting ourselves from the pains of our past. There was a lightness to the story that wasn't just fluff. There was zero angst of the mellow dramatic kind just a sexy, warm eye-opening to the wonders of the holiday season. Plus, I was in the right mood.


Too Much!

Dust of Snow - Indra Vaughn

A Dust of Snow was what I'd call a 'hot mess'. It had way too many ideas and this writer didn't have the chops to follow through with most of them. Let's see there was the crazy ex, odd boss, Ashley's family drama, Greg's cool mother - this could have been a great story all alone and well it was just too much. I wanted it to end at the about the halfway mark. They were not hot or sexy and I thought they were wusses at times. Oh wait, I forgot Ashley's sleeping disorder that could have been an entire book in itself. Just too, too many loose strings for me.

I Wanted More

Grateful - Kim Fielding

Grateful by Kim Fielding was a quirky Hanukkah boy-finds-cool-boy with a big dose of family appreciation. I do wish this had been a longer story because I know this author could have done some amazing things with these characters. Did I mention this was a Kim Fielding's work?

They Need Love

The Invasion of Tork - Al Stewart, Claire Davis

Let me be totally honest. While I was reading this I kept ticking off the names of book-buddies I knew would enjoy this book. I am not one of those people because of the stylized writing but please don't get me wrong I found the characters were two dudes who need love. Now let me say it was beautiful but so sad at the same time and this time of year I don't need any kind sad of any kind. If asked, I'd suggest to my fellow book explorers to definitely check this one out.


Gingerbread - Avery Ford

Kellen, the cop meets the one that got away, Alex. They both want the same thing but they have to find a way to get there out of their own heads. The children, Alex's nephews are used blessedly sparingly but well. I would have loved to have had more Reed time. I felt there were one too many booty calls and wow, I was glad when Kellen pulled his head out of his self-pity-baby boy-thing. I'm giving 4-stars to each scene, not about Kellen & his parents. The epilogue was overly sugary for me.

Why is he nude on the cover?

Very Pleasing

A Family for Christmas - Jay Northcote

The word I would use to describe A Family for Christmas would be charming. Zac, a jaded but not mean fellow is admired by a shy coworker, Rudy. They end up heading to Ruby's family home for the holiday. Zac's eyes are opened to the joys out there for the taking when he is taken into the heart of the family. If you need angst and action skip this one. This is all about heart and joy. Yup, all that plus cats & dogs. I'm happy.