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And it snows..

Adventures of an Urban Homesteader Book Cover Adventures of an Urban Homesteader
Brooke L. Davis
Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humour
Gallatin River Press
June 30, 2020
294

After three years under the thumb of a cretinous boss who’s sucked all the joy out of working a 9-to-5 job, twenty-eight-year-old Kendall Whitney has had enough. She flees San Francisco, her annoying roommates, and her overbearing mother, and takes refuge in Bozeman, Montana, where it feels like the big sky’s the limit. Safely ensconced in her best friend’s guest room, she promptly launches a three-pronged plan: to live alone for the first time in her life, develop a successful graphic design career, and figure out what she wants in a relationship. She embarks upon Operation Kendall Independence, only to realize that she doesn’t know the first thing about adulting. Hangovers, homemaking, freelancing, friendships, and modern cowboys bent on monogamy . . . it’s enough to send a single girl running for the gin & tonics. With self-deprecating charm and endearing humor, Adventures of an Urban Homesteader is the raucous and heartwarming diary of a young woman who’s determined to seek stability and security on her own terms, and to make her own safety net in case she fails.

Ah Montana – the mountains, the cows and cowboys that you need for them, and then there is the cold! Lots of cold.  Bozeman where our heroine moves to, is noted for being trendy – and snow can fall for 3/4 or more of the year! So coming from San Francisco was surely quite a shock to her. Clearly hadn’t invested in the correct undergarments – try Uniqlo in future… they even have self-heating jeans.

I liked the format of the book and the writing style was engaging and fun. Her ‘adventures’ with cows and cowpats and ‘wild’ creatures were amusing and I liked her friends and her boyfriends.

This was a lively book to read and enjoy in the less than freezing temperatures of Southern UK where you can giggle at our current 17 degree c in mid November and all the flowers blooming – and no need to put on woollies – wellies yes though as it has rained a lot! See La Sevillan rose and our LiquidAmbar in full glory in our garden late October 2020.

Oh and do look up the blog from High Country News which gives 10 reasons not to move to Bozeman – funny. The author is debunking all the people who say move to Bozeman for the laid back life etc. A small paradise it is often said.

https://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/top-10-reasons-not-to-move-to-bozeman

So number 1 reason is the Name – lame.. and number 2 is the weather… it has been known to snow heavily in June. That said, snow in the UK comes later – or earlier – in the year, depending on how you look at it, in the South rather than the North, and has frequently snowed on our son’s birthday late April – but only a sprinkling.

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Not so young as their name.

Fake It Book Cover Fake It
Young Brothers Book 1
by Brisa Starr
New Adult | Romance
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 26 Sep 2020

Harper Dallas is so desperate for the job, she's willing to lie on her resume to get it. But she has a good reason, and she's qualified. So that makes it OK, right?

Ethan Young is her devastatingly hot and sexy new boss, and he hired her based on her lie. He's wonderful, and he's falling hard for Harper. But office romance is forbidden, so he can't touch her, no matter what his heart and hormones say. 

But when the boss and employee take a business trip to Las Vegas, well... what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas! 

Eventually, Harper knows she must tell Ethan the truth, even if it means risking everything... her newfound happiness, her amazing job, and the man of her dreams. 

Her lie is eating her alive. If she comes clean, will their love survive? 

Author’s Note: Fake It is a standalone steamy romance novel about a hot-n-sexy boss and employee relationship. It has a happily every after ending. It’s also the first book in a romance series, with stories about Ethan’s brothers, Gavin and Benjamin!

This book is a series of three about the Young brothers who own restaurants across Arizona. Book One deals with marketing. I thought that the marketing ideas were rather old hat and as for lying on your CV that’s okay we all exaggerate and take a little bit of what our bosses do into our own tasks and responsibilities. The office was based on the West Coast laid back style with games and nap chairs type but still seemed rather more conventional than many I have read about. I did like the element of autism that was brought in very empathetically. I give this four stars

Book 2 of the Young brothers dealt with a lot of body enhancements. I found it very difficult to warm to the characters as they were so extreme in their views – there was the view of frugality as opposed to spending; the issues of biohacking; and it seemed to me that saving a million is not enough to retire on especially if it’s invested in the stock market  – as it would require interest and the stock market goes up and down loads.  And interest is often negative on savings. And then, using houses as retirement savings is also a dodgy area, in that you need a. the renters and b. what happens if the economy crashes. A lot of friends of mine ended up with negative equity with the last house price crash, and I understand that it is worse in the US. If the writer had made more of the true finances of retirement and savings at present, I would have given this book another .5 star. I give this three stars. Book 3 is not yet out.

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Flaming Napalm!

The Flame Game Book Cover The Flame Game
(Magical Romantic Comedies, #12)
R.J. Blain
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publication date: November 24th 2020

A corrupt police chief is on the loose, and it falls to Bailey and Quinn to put an end to him before he finds some way to weaponize the spreading rabies virus, create yet another batch of potent gorgon dust, and otherwise wreck Bailey’s happily ever after.

With a pair of orphaned gorgon whelps to care for, more animals she can shake a stick at, and her husband’s determination to make the world a perfect place for her, Bailey has her hands full. To protect everyone she loves, she must embrace her dubious role as the Calamity Queen and rain hell down on those who stand in her way.

The Flame Game is on.

Warning: this novel contains two fire-breathing unicorns on a napalm bender, action, adventure, chaos, mayhem, humor, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

 

Book & Author Details:

Purchase:

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-flame-game/id1486451929

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-flame-game Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=9aLGDwAAQBAJ

AUTHOR BIO:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.


Author links:

https://www.thesneakykittycritic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rjblain.author/

https://www.instagram.com/rj.blain/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7190903.R_J_Blain

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Shade in the Light:

Thrall Book Cover Thrall
Blood Trails #8
Jennifer Blackstream
urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Skeleton Key Publishing
(22 Sept. 2020)

Village witch turned PI Shade Renard receives her latest case from a most unlikely source in this pulse-pounding installment of USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Blackstream’s latest urban fantasy series.

The dream sorceress who once tried to kill Shade is after her again—

To hire her.

An evil being from the astral plane is building an empire in the physical world. One of his victims sought sanctuary with Arianne—and was turned away. When that same poor soul is murdered, a shocking revelation exposes personal stakes for Cleveland’s most powerful sorceress.

Now Arianne wants Shade’s help to hunt down the killer—and the thralls who serve him. But Arianne isn’t the only danger from Shade’s short, but eventful career as a PI that’s making a reappearance.

Shade soon finds herself playing deadly games of cat and mouse with enemies old and new. To make matters even more complicated, she must also navigate awkward alliances with a persistent masochistic goblin and a tempting, but off-limits alpha werewolf.

Being a village witch was simple. Being a private investigator? Not so much

Review of the series of books about the witch Mother Renard or Shade as she prefers to be known…

Shade is, or was, the mentee /trainee of Baba Yaga or Mother Hazel as she now prefers to be known.

Shade does not know how long she has lived with her mentor, but during that time she has learnt at least 7 languages, and has acquired in depth knowledge of a number of topics equivalent to at least 5 PhDs. She has barely aged and helped Mother Hazel with many village witch activities such as healing, birthing, and childcare, but has not practised her magic a great deal, rather spending her time with learning new knowledge.

As this series begins, Shade has completed, she believes, her apprenticeship with Mother Hazel and has been given a village to look after.

Shade wants to become a Private Investigator not just a village /hedge witch, even if the village is more like a small town, and finds herself meeting a very influential vampire as her first official client.

She also joins up with an FBI agent- Andy- and finds herself with a fey admirer who continuously tries to seduce her. not to mention an Alpha werewolf.

Shade is an interesting character. Especially as her abilities develop more than she expects all the time and yet she manages to get (into and) out of trouble with effort and capabilities that stretch her and make her better at her work. One problem with her solutions, as she starts to find out, is that although she may have ‘solved’ the case, the impact of her solutions live on and not necessarily to the good. This is a philosophical conundrum. If you do nothing then something bad happens – but what if your interference also causes something bad to happen (later) ?

The stories hold your attention and have an overlay of humor especially see the bumbag Shade carries and the various fey creatures and their delight in stationery and honey. There are always new Otherworld characters and creatures and the author has a creative imagination and/or done a lot of research.. The vampiric world is evident in more than one fey too. And don’t think that all ‘fairies’ or sidhe (pronounced Shee, just so you know when reading the books) are nice – see the water horses / kelpies and the goblins are just.. well. If you want a compendium of types of faery or sidhe then Faeriepedia has a list with descriptions. A good place to start your research,

 I read the complete series as an 8 book binge (last one just out) and each book developed the characters as their circumstances became more complex. Look out for the appearance of a rhino in Andy’s living-room!

I came across book 1 – Deadline in a book comprising 9 stories called After Midnight, published by Dark Valentine Press, 18 Sep 2019, 2508 pages. The book also contains full-length stories by:

  • Christine Pope
  • Kat Parrish
  • C. govkel
  • Nicole R Taylor
  • Kasey Mackenzie
  • SM Reine
  • Pippa Da Costa
  • Yasmine Galenorn
  • Colleen Gleason.

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The Impossible takes a little longer

Perfectly Impossible Book Cover Perfectly Impossible
Elizabeth Topp
Women's fiction, Contemporary fiction
Little A
2020-11
314

In this witty debut novel, Elizabeth Topp crafts a story that ventures behind the fanciful facade of Park Avenue and into the life of one lovable type A assistant. Anna's job is simple: prevent the unexpected from happening and do everything better than perfectly. An artist at heart, Anna works a day job as a private assistant for Bambi Von Bizmark, a megarich Upper East Side matriarch who's about to be honored at the illustrious Opera Ball. Caught between the staid world of great wealth and her unconventional life as an artist, Anna struggles with her true calling. If she's supposed to be a painter, why is she so much more successful as a personal assistant? When her boyfriend lands a fancy new job, it throws their future as a couple into doubt and intensifies Anna's identity crisis. All she has to do is ensure everything runs smoothly and hold herself together until the Opera Ball is over. How hard could that be? Featuring a vibrant array of characters from the powerful to the proletarian, Perfectly Impossible offers a glimpse into a world you'll never want to leave.

354 High Society Party High Res Illustrations - Getty Images

A fascinating insight into the life of a Personal Assistant of the American Ultra Rich. These ultra rich with their trials and tribulations that permit them to live a life costing millions each year, one that is carefully orchestrated for them by a large household of staff and is about external values and external views of this life.

Anna, our central character, is one of two (a job share arrangement) PAs to the wife of a billionaire. We know that at least some of the elements of the life described is based on fact as the author herself holds that role to a family in New York.

To remain a billionaire’s wife in New York society is hard work. There are always younger and no doubt prettier, even if only because of that youth, women ready to take your place. You must not only curate your family’s role in society to enable and enhance your husband’s business/es; or ensure that no other society hostess gains sufficient accolade to outshine you in your various endeavours – whether donations, parties, guests; or maintaining your figure, face, hair, clothes and other outward trappings of success – including statement jewellery of course. There is no time to slack off and relax unless it is during your manicure, facial or… and of course, as you get older it all takes a little longer to do all this and the romance of a new marriage wears off. Then it is all about your staff to help you – after all, their jobs and salaries and wonderful bonuses all depend on you holding onto your husband – and his billions!

Do we like our society wives? Well, who else could afford to fund an opera house for a year or more? As a vanity project? But when that opera is not available for the huddled masses, is this a worthwhile endeavour? This book delves into the back life of these households and just what it takes to maintain that gloss and what goes on behind the scenes and is riveting for just that glimpse of a reality so far from our normal, plebian lives.

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