Category Archives: Disabled

Finding Hope (Finding Series #5) Sloane Kennedy

                         💫💫Reviewed by Michele💫💫

TITLE: Finding Hope

SERIES: Finding Series Book 5

AUTHOR: Sloane Kennedy

PUBLISHER: Self Published 

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2017

BLURB: At 19, Beck Barretti is living two lives. To his family, he’s a young man trying to find his way after years of battling a mental illness that nearly cost him everything. But to the rest of the world he’s just another privileged kid with problems. The truth doesn’t even lie somewhere in between because Beck’s entire life is actually about keeping secrets.

From the people he loves.

From the ones he doesn’t.

From himself.

Spending a summer in Dare, Montana with family friends isn’t about starting fresh – it’s about escaping the crippling darkness that threatens to consume him.

Until one encounter that was supposed to mean nothing ends up changing everything…

Quinn Donovan had the life he’d always dreamed of until a brutal act of violence ripped it all away. Even though he’s found a new future working at the CB Bar Ranch in Dare, Montana, he’s not interested in trying to get back what he once had. All he wants is a quiet life that includes a job that’s worth getting up for each morning and hanging out with his best friend, a black and white Paint stallion named Koda.

But nothing prepares him for the strange twist of fate that brings not one, but two men into his life…

Brody Wilder is done hiding in the closet. As the son of a political scion, he’s spent his entire life hiding the truth about who he is just so he could inherit a legacy he never wanted. But those days are behind him and he’s starting a new life in rural Montana where he’s saving lives as a paramedic and building a successful construction business that would surely horrify his old-money, society-loving family.

After years of denying himself, he’s taking advantage of his newfound freedom by indulging in random, meaningless sexual encounters that are about pleasure, not emotion.

So no one is more surprised than him when one night in the back room of a sordid gay club leads to something more…

Can three men who came together by chance find the hope they need to build a future with each other, or will they end up letting their fears tear them apart?

Trigger Warning: This book contains multiple triggers. To review what they are, please take a look at the sample or use the “Look Inside” feature and scroll to right before the table of contents. Reviewing the triggers may cause spoilers.

***This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone…no cliffhangers. However, there will be additional enjoyment if the series is read in order***

REVIEW: WOW! That’s all I can say. She did it to me again. My emotions were all over the place while reading this painful but cathartic story. For me this one hurt but in a good way. As I read Beck’s story, and I read all 4 of the previous books in this series, the characters in Finding Hope were by far the most captivating. The story was well written, which given that this was a ménage can be difficult.

This book is about 3 men, Beck, Quinn, and Brody, who separately are struggling with issues from their past. The lack of acceptance and betrayal by your own family, the painful loss of who you thought was the love of your life, and the physical and emotional abuse inflicted by those knowing and unknowingly who took an oath to protect, and those who professed their friendship only to be used in a game of deception.

Beck’s story brought out my feelings of indignation as I felt his fear, pain, sadness, and anger. I had to pull myself together more than once in order to continue reading. Even as I was flooded with all those emotions the story continually showed Beck coming out of the darkness of his past as he discovers himself and finds friendship, acceptance and love in the small town of Dare, Montana. This is a MUST READ. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

BUY LINKS:

Amazon

 

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Ghosts of Halloween Past (Sequel to Blind Devotion) by MD Grimm

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7016

GhostsofHalloweenPastLGBlurb

Sequel to Blind Devotion

Wolf shifter Sheriff Jack Ulger and cougar shifter Travis Kuger protect the shifters and their human allies living in Haven, Montana. They have known each other for nearly a decade but weren’t always friends. One Halloween night, as teenagers, that changed when Travis saved them both from an abandoned mill and the ghosts haunting it.

Years later, it’s Halloween again, and Travis never shared the ghostly experience with anyone, least of all the skeptic Jack. But he soon regrets the omission when Jack becomes trapped in the same abandoned mill while trying to find two lost kids. Jack must now protect the children, fight off a spiritual attack, and find a way to freedom. Travis knows something is wrong and enlists the help of their friends, and he can only hope they’ll be in time to save Jack from the dark entities.

Review

This is a nice Halloween story that takes a look at Jack and Travis before they’d mated and again, later, after they’d been together awhile.

The ghost story is spooky and creepy – just like you’d want for a Halloween story!

I enjoyed seeing some of the back story for our couple as well as seeing them again, more fully mated.

For fans of the series this is a must read!

4.5 of 5 hearts

4.5

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Blind Devotion (Shifters Book 3) by MD Grimm

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3140

 

blind devotionBlurb

“The Shifters: Book Three”

In Haven, Montana, the shifters and their human allies are safe-for now. But that safety hinges on the town’s location remaining a secret, and it’s about to be compromised.

Cougar shifter Travis Kuger spent the past ten years alternating between craving revenge and wishing he could forget his painful past. Ever since the shifter-hating Knights blinded him and killed his family, Haven-and Sheriff Jack Ulger-have been Travis’s refuge.

Travis and Jack know their friendship could be much more, but Jack is part of Haven’s ruling wolf shifter pack. If he takes a non-wolf mate, he’ll be banished forever. But when one of the Knights infiltrates Haven, love becomes the least of their problems.

Review

Travis is hurt by a group of hunters who hate shifters. He finds his way to Haven, a place where shifters can be safe. He is befriended by Jack, but resists anything more because he’s afraid to love again. He lost his entire family to the hunters and can’t risk that kind of emotion again.

Jack has been slowly falling for Travis, for years. But he can’t be with someone not a wolf shifter and still be in the pack’s good graces.

When danger comes to Haven, Travis and Jack are forced to admit their feelings and fight for their right to be together – both against the pack and their own worries.

**

This was a really sweet, slow burn love story. Though there is some danger and some struggle against the pack, most of this is the two of them getting to know one another and slowly growing from friends to lovers.

I love that their pull is as strong as any “True Mate” type attraction, though that isn’t the case. I also loved the magicky stuff the Agency people add to the mix.

I really appreciated the slow pace and easy love in this story and am excited to read the sequel! (I haven’t read books one and two but will absolutely do that now, the continuing saga with the Agency and the Knights is very compelling.)

4 of 5 hearts

4

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Caged Sanctuary by Tempeste O’Riley Blog Tour with Giveaway

Caged Sanctuary - Media Kit_html_5d46b602

Order:

♥ ♥ Dreamspinner Press All Romance Amazon

Add to: Goodreads

Description:

Kaden Thorn, a dental surgeon who lives a quiet life, has no hope of finding the love he craves. A vicious gay bashing cost him the use of his legs and confined him to a wheelchair. He has given up hope of finding a Dom or even a nonkink partner to love him. When his best friend practically forces him to attend a dinner party, the last thing he expects is a strong Dom who can see beyond his wheels. 

Deacon James is an architect and a demanding Dom, but he has spent the past couple of years without a sub or partner. When an employee invites him to a dinner party to meet his girlfriend, Deacon smells a setup but agrees anyway. He prides himself on being an excellent judge of character, and when he meets the younger dentist, he sees past the chair and finds a sweet submissive man who more than piques his interest. 

Kade’s fears and demons continue to haunt him, challenging Deacon to use everything he’s learned as a Dom to earn Kade’s trust and submission. Deacon’s determined, though, willing to battle all of it to have Kade by his side and at his feet.

Resource Links:

Caged Sanctuary - Media Kit_html_4d5fdd1eCaged Sanctuary - Media Kit_html_m4b3b83e2Caged Sanctuary - Media Kit_html_m30a90269

Other Books By Tempeste:

Designs of Desire Bound by Desire Desires’ Guardian Temptations of Desire Truth in Lace

♥ ♥ Grand Adventures Hope & Love

About the Author:

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic that loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life, though writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, and Muse as her greatest blessings in life. She lives in Wisconsin with her children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, Rainbow Romance Writers, and WisRWA. Learn more about Tempeste and her writing at http://tempesteoriley.com.

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog

Win a free e-book!

One lucky commenter will be selected to win a free e-copy from the author’s backlist. Simply comment on this post for a chance to win!

What No One Else Can Hear? By Brynn Stein

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6685

WhatNoOneElseCanHearBlurb

Young Stevie Liston is diagnosed with autism, but is really an overwhelmed empath who mentally called out for help. Jesse McKinnon heard him in a dream from clear across the country, and that dream sent him on a six-year search to find Stevie. Once they meet, they think everything will work out and Jesse will help Stevie cope.

Stevie does improve immensely, but a disgruntled coworker of Jesse’s conspires with Stevie’s estranged but politically powerful father to keep Stevie and Jesse apart with trumped-up legal charges claiming Jesse sexually abused the boy. Jesse must watch helplessly as Stevie loses all the advances he’s made.

If it wasn’t for his growing relationship with his coworker Drew Ferguson, Jesse knows he wouldn’t have the strength to fight for his rights and Stevie’s future. Drew just might be the real thing, but with the very real possibility of serving jail time for a crime he didn’t commit, Jesse’s hopes for a future with Drew might be doomed.

Review

Jesse has been finding 10 year old Stevie lost in the woods for the last six years – in his dreams. He finally finds him in the real world in a home for special needs children. Stevie is both autistic and an empath and Jesse has been able to reach through to him in a way nobody else has, ever.

Together, Jesse and Stevie work to help make Stevie’s world livable by creating mental barriers to all the emotion that bombards Stevie at every moment.

As though that weren’t tough enough… Chuck, an attendant in the children’s home, has it out for both Stevie and Jesse. Stevie’s long lost father is suddenly back in the picture and making waves that could separate Stevie and Jesse. Someone wants to cause trouble and nearly kills Stevie in a fire. Suddenly, Jesse is facing a law suit for child endangerment and worse!

Oh, and Jesse and Drew are friends who become lovers.

**

I find myself having a hard time reviewing this book for several reasons. I try very hard to be as constructive in my criticism as possible and to allow for all sorts of tastes and interests to create a wide variety of styles and tastes.

First and foremost, this is only very, very loosely a romance. Jesse and Drew do become lovers and later partners but that occupies less than 10% of the story’s breadth. That in and of itself brings the book down in my estimation ONLY because I thought I was reading a romance and that is really not the main point of this story.

Though the story about Jesse and Stevie finding one another and connecting is a beautiful one – it is not a romance. I did love this part of the story. The vaguely supernatural elements driving Jesse to find Stevie was intriguing and the way Jesse could reach Stevie and help him navigate his challenges was wonderful and very touching. For this I’m willing to give the story some credence because the writing about this was wonderful and the relationship Jesse and Stevie formed was amazing.

What made me give this story such a poor rating was the absolutely ludicrous plot line surrounding Stevie’s biological father and his cohort. I never understood how someone as foul as Chuck would have ever gotten nor retained a job working with challenged children. Nope. Never. He was a douche-nozzle extraordinaire and no way would anyone allow him near a kid – ever. Then there’s the dad. Why did he even buy into Chuck’s line of BS? What could he possibly gain by ruining Jesse? How would that help his campaign? And who in their right mind would believe Jesse was ever doing anything to hurt Stevie? That entire plot just didn’t make any sense and it brought this lovely story about love and learning and disability to that of a second-rate soap opera.

While the writing was fine and the characters (for the most part) were engaging and the storyline between Jesse and Stevie was awesome – I could not let go of my disbelief in the rest of the story – and that overshadowed my enjoyment of this story. Add to it that the “romance” was barely a thing at all and I was thoroughly disappointed with this book.

If you ignore the romance aspect and are willing to take the rest of the story with a giant grain of salt then the lovely story of a relationship that we see develop between two empathic individuals is a good one.

2 of 5 hearts

2

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Resurrecting Elliot by Cate Ashwood

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6661

ResurrectingElliotBlurb

Nightmares and panic attacks following a horrific tragedy leave Professor Elliot Lawrence a prisoner in his own home. After months of relying on his sister as his only connection to the outside world, Elliot is desperate for a sliver of independence. But leaving the safety of his home isn’t an option, not yet, and he reaches out in the most innocuous way he can think of: grocery delivery.

Colton Kelly, retired porn star and recent college grad, is struggling at two minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. During one of his grocery deliveries, he meets Elliot. Although the attraction between them is instant, they must first traverse the long road of putting Elliot back together. When disaster strikes yet again, this time in Colt’s life, Elliot’s not sure he’s strong enough to be the man Colt needs him to be.

Review

Colt delivers groceries while trying to get a job teaching and hoping to stay out of porn for good. (We met him in Keeping Sweets – the super nice guy who helped Evan while Bran was “thinking”.)

Elliot witnessed a student suicide in his classroom and now can’t function normally due to crippling anxiety. When Colt delivers his groceries one day there is an instant attraction that blossoms into romance.

**

First – I loved Keeping Sweets. I was psyched for Colt’s story, he always seemed like such a nice guy!

Second – I love porn/ex porn stories because you usually get hot sex and someone who is really looking to find something more meaningful in their life.

Third – I love books about shy/anxious/nerdy types who need that out-going person to help them break from their shell, finding all the lovely hidden layers.

I was so disappointed by this book. Colt’s career is almost a non-issue and though there are a couple of references to his friends and a “maybe I’ll have to go back because I’m broke” moment – it really doesn’t factor into things. I was worried Elliot would be prudish about Colt being such a public figure, but they barely even discuss the issue and it just goes away.

Colt’s career as a high school teacher seems particularly far-fetched for a former porn star. Sure – it could happen – maybe??? But it would have to be a HUGE stumbling block for him – not just his inexperience. The ex-career more than the inexperience would have made for a far more believable plot device.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Elliot’s anxiety/illness/PTSD situation. I had a really big issue with his therapist and that plot point as well as his entire recovery. I’m not sure his responses seemed at all consistent – letting a stranger into his house and immediately befriending him while being unable to step outside then going from that to jumping on a plane… it seemed a bit inconceivable.

I generally like Cate Ashwood’s work so this was a bit of a letdown. I loved the premise on so many levels and I don’t think any of them played well. I also wish we’d seen more from the guys from Sweets and that the career had either been dealt with more or more realistically.

The writing was good and Elliot was sweet and Colt as kind as ever, but I can’t say the story was very good.

2.75 of 5 hearts

3

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Must Love Dogs by K Lynn

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6669

MustLoveDogsBlurb

Since a mugging a year ago, Ben’s lived with blindness. Despite an art career on hold and a deadbeat boyfriend who left him because of his disability, he’s finally getting his life back on track. Ben is gaining a new sense of independence thanks to his guide dog, Colt.

But Ben’s carefully balanced life is thrown into chaos when veterinarian Dr. Jay Connor hits Colt with his car. While Colt is on the mend and recovering nicely, Ben finds that Jay is not only fond of Colt, but also quite interested in Ben.

However, one overheard conversation might put a stop to their romance before it can grow into something more. Maybe Ben’s destined to go it alone in the dark. Or can Jay help him see there’s still a chance for happily ever after?

Review

Ben was attacked and made blind. His boyfriend left him when it was clear the blindness was permanent. Now he is a painter struggling to find a new outlet for his art. His newly acquired guide dog is bumped into (not really hurt) by Jay’s car when Ben is out one night.

Jay is a veterinarian who falls for Ben and his dog nearly upon first meeting them. He tries very hard to break down the walls Ben has built to protect himself from hurt and is almost “in” when a misunderstanding nearly ruins everything.

**

This is a short, relatively angst-free story of two men falling in love while learning to trust one another. It is fairly low steam, but sweet. The author could do a better job of showing over telling and the “misunderstanding” was a little silly, but overall it was enjoyable.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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The Mating of Michael Audiobook by Eli Easton Narrated by Michael Stellman

Dreamspinner Presents http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6754

MatingOfMichael[The]AUDMEDBlurb

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

Sex in Seattle: Book Three

Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.

James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.

Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.

Review

(From previously on this site)

Everyone should have a Michael in their lives. If we did, the world would be a better place.

I fell in love with Michael in the first of the “Sex in Seattle Series” and was so excited to see him finally get his own book. Eli Easton has taken a somewhat controversial subject, surrogacy, and shown us how beautiful and powerful a tool it can be for healing.

Through Michael’s story we are shown how sex is not only an important part of being in a realationship or being in love, but how it’s a natural part of being ourselves, being human. She has clearly done her research, as she explains in the prologue, and her effort shines through. I admit, when we met Michael at first, I wondered, along with him, how he could possibly have a long term relationship for himself, given his job. I felt how sad for him, and/or for his potential clients, because what he offers is such a gift, but it must be hard to share that with someone you love. This story addresses that issue. It is touching and sweet, sexy and informative. It made me laugh and cry and I couldn’t put it down.

I love Eli’s characters. They are not physically perfect gods, they don’t have picture perfect resumes, they have flaws, quirks and are real people. She has a fantastic grasp of pacing and story telling. I never felt like I needed to rush ahead but was always on the edge of my seat. The story just plucks at every darn heart string and leaves you with a huge smile on your face, after you’ve gotten done crying, of course.

James’ character is so heartbreaking, you feel for him, from the first page. His back story is amazing and so sad, but his ability to use his pain and turn it into something wonderful is a precious gift.

Marnie and Tommy are also inspired characters and brought both pain and love and humor to an already rich story.

I really loved the snippets of James’ book that we are shown throughout Michael’s story and would love to read the real thing! Eli may have to branch out into some serious Sci-Fi next, clearly she has a knack with the genre. Lamb’s story also made me cry… you bastard!

This is another one of those books that I will have to read and re-read because there was just so much going on that I am sure I missed some the first pass. But it will be a pleasure to find every nook and cranny because it is such a good book.

Thank you Eli for giving us Michael’s story and I really hope that there are people out there doing your work, it sounds amazing.

I highly recommend this book!

Audio

Michael Stellman does a great job with this narration. He doesn’t do much to the different voices, but he is really easy to listen to and handles the emotion so well. I really think this adds to the overall enjoyment and recommend the experience.

6 of 5 hearts!

amazing

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Breaking (Book two of the Fall or Break series) by Barbara Elsborg

Samhain Publishing Presents http://www.barbaraelsborg.com/book/breaking/

This book is slated to be released July 28, 2015

breakingBlurb

Archer Hart is on the move before the man he’s just killed is found. When a bullet whizzes past his ear, he realizes hunter is now hunted. So much for his retirement plans. Someone wants him dead and all he can do is keep running.

Downed by a hit and run driver, barrister Conrad Black is certain the ‘accident’ was deliberate but he has no proof or support. In recovery, struggling to work out of partial paralysis, he has plenty of time to wonder who regrets not striking him harder. At this point, running anywhere is a distant dream.

The confidence, determination and stamina of two alphas males will mean little if neither is willing to bend—seize the love offered—and work together to understand why they’re suddenly both marked men. Not easy for either when Archer has broken the law in the worst possible way and Conrad is the law.

Review

Wow! Another amazing, gripping, very HOT and tender love story from Barbara Elsborg.

We met Conrad in book one, he was Malachi’s ex, the controlling, self-centered, almost kinda evil guy, who redeems himself at the end. He’s been struck down by a hit and run driver and was paralyzed from the accident – briefly. While he’s on the mend, he takes himself to a beach cottage and searches for the person he’s convinced tried to make the hit and run look like an accident.

On a walk one day he sees a surfer nearly drown and risks his own life to save him. That man is Archer, a murder-for hire who is trying to get out of the business. Archer also has someone after him – and he needs time to figure out who that is.

Together, these broken men – both uber alpha – struggle against their powerlessness, their attraction to one another and their pasts.

Of course – neither trusts the other – one being on the side of the law and the other being on the side of the highest bidder.

As the story unfolds it becomes clear that the men might have more of a connection than just the beach rescue.

(I’m not going into that more here – you’ll just have to read it to find out!)

**

As with book one, I thought this was an amazing story with really richly developed characters who organically grew and changed over the course of the story until they became the men who could accept the deep and abiding love that finally finds them.

I grew a bit tired at the secondary plot – it was certainly important – but I wanted to skim parts of the “intrigue” and “action” scenes.

I absolutely loved how Conrad turned from villain to good guy. It felt very real and authentic and not at all forced.

The final scenes were a little confusing to me – I wasn’t sure what Archer’s motivations were in keeping Conrad in the dark for so long – but… in the end it all worked out really beautifully and the epilogue was both hot and terribly sweet!

I highly recommend this book and this series.

4.75 of 5 hearts

5

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Blue Eyed Stranger (A Trowchester Blues Novel) by Alex Beecroft

Riptide Presents
http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/blue-eyed-stranger

blue eyed strangerBlurb

Billy Wright has a problem: he’s only visible when he’s wearing a mask. That’s fine when he’s performing at country fairs with the rest of his morris dancing troupe. But when he takes the paint off, his life is lonely and empty, and he struggles with crippling depression.
Martin Deng stands out from the crowd. After all, there aren’t that many black Vikings on the living history circuit. But as the founder of a fledgling historical re-enactment society, he’s lonely and harried. His boss doesn’t like his weekend activities, his warriors seem to expect him to run everything single-handedly, and it’s stressful enough being one minority without telling the hard men of his group he’s also gay.
When Billy’s and Martin’s societies are double-booked at a packed county show, they know at once they are kindred spirits, united by a deep feeling of connectedness to their history and culture. But they’re also both hiding in their different ways, and they need each other to be brave enough to take their masks off and still be seen.

Review

This is the second book by Alex Beecroft I’ve read and the second book in her Trowchester series. I really admire her writing. She is fluid, coherent, descriptive and not telling, creates amazingly detailed characters and a deeply emotional story.

This is a very DARK story. There is an almost instant connection between the two lovers but the physical aspect of their story is a slow burn.

Martin is in the closet and Billy has some serious psychological problems. When they find each other they find that other piece of their soul that completes them.

Martin teaches history at a high school (British equivalent) and is obsessed with historical re-enactments. As a result there is A LOT of history in this story.

Billy’s depression also plays a major role in the story line and though Martin helps he is not the “cure”, which is awesome.

So… I have a hard time reviewing this book. On the one hand it’s quite good, but… I can’t say I “enjoyed” it. It’s very hard to get through at times, the subject matter is heavy and the history will either be fascinating to you or boring…

In either case – if you are in the mood for a more “meaty” romance I’d recommend this – if you’re looking for light and fluffy – keep looking.

3.5 of 5 hearts

3.5

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