Stacking the Shelves (152)

Stacking the Shelves

I have never read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but I have heard enough about it that I knew what it was about. It’s about cancer cell research, with a dose of medical ethics. Which meant that I was beyond puzzled and well into flummoxed when I read that a woman in Tennessee was claiming that the book was pornographic and that not only should her 15-year-old son not have been assigned the book in school, but that it should be banned from the local school district.

As far a this woman is concerned, the information about the subject’s cervical cancer, which does include the information about her cervix and vagina and that all women have them, is too graphic for a high school student. I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that someone thinks that a woman discovering she has cervical cancer should be called pornographic. Considering what happened to Henrietta Lacks and the cells harvested without her permission or consent, I’d use other words. Pornography isn’t even in the same hemisphere.

I’m reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks for Banned Books Week later this month.

For Review:
After Alice by Gregory Maguire
Burn it Up (Desert Dogs #3) by Cara McKenna
Cast in Honor (Chronicles of Elantra #11) by Michelle Sagara
Dark Secrets by Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy and Mina Khan
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell
Heart Legacy (Celta’s Heartmates #14) by Robin D. Owens
The Paladin Caper (Rogues of the Republic #3) by Patrick Weekes
The Prophecy Con (Rogues of the Republic #2) by Patrick Weekes
Target Engaged (Delta Force #1) by M.L. Buchman
When the Stars Align by Jeanette Grey

Purchased from Amazon:
The Autobiography of James T. Kirk by David A. Goodman (review)
Captured in Ink (Art of Love #3) by Donna McDonald
Diplomats and Fugitives (Emperor’s Edge #9) by Lindsay Buroker

Borrowed from the Library:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 5-24-15

Sunday Post

In the U.S. this is the Memorial Day weekend. A lot of people, including us, are visiting friends or relatives or just plain taking advantage of the three-day weekend.

But there was a last week on the blog, and there will be a next week, so there is still a need for a Sunday recap. The world will, after all, return to normal on Tuesday, whether we like it or not.

Current Giveaways:

$25 Gift Card + an ebook copy of The Case of the Invisible Dog by Diane Stingley
3 copies of The Curse of Anne Boleyn by C.C. Humphreys

Blog Recap:

lowcountry boneyard by susan m boyerA- Review: Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer
B+ Review: The Curse of Anne Boleyn by C.C. Humphreys + Giveaway
B- Review: The Case of the Invisible Dog by Diane Stingley + Giveaway
B Review: The Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockmann and others
B+ Review: Echo 8 by Sharon Lynn Fisher
Stacking the Shelves (136)



murder and mayhem by rhys fordComing Next Week:

Memorial Day 2015
Beyond Galaxy’s Edge by Anna Hackett (review)
Murder and Mayhem by Rhys Ford (review)
The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy (blog tour review)
Love and Miss Communication by Elyssa Friedland (blog tour review)

Review: The Way of the Warrior by Suzanne Brockmann and others

way of the warrior by Suzanne BrockmanFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genre: military romance
Series: Deep Six #0.5, Elite Force #4.5, Protect and Serve #0.5, Endgame Ops #0.5, Justiss Alliance #3.5, Night Stalkers #6.6, West Coast Navy SEALs #3.5, Troubleshooters #17.5
Length: 512 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date Released: May 5, 2015
Purchasing Info: Julie Ann Walker’s Website, Catherine Mann’s Website, Kate SeRine’s Website, Lea Griffith’s Website, Tina Wainscott’s Website, M.L. Buchman’s Website, Anne Elizabeth’s Website, Suzanne Brockmann’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Suzanne Brockmann, Julie Ann Walker, Catherine Mann, Tina Wainscott, Anne Elizabeth, M.L. Buchman, Kate SeRine, Lea Griffith

To honor and empower those who’ve served, all author and publisher proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Wounded Warrior Project was founded in 2002 and provides a wide range of programs and services to veterans and service members who have survived physical or mental injury during their brave service to our nation. Get involved or register for programs and benefits for yourself and your family online at

“It is a proud privilege to be a soldier.” —George S. Patton Jr.
“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.” —Winston Churchill

My Review:

The Way of the Warrior is a collection of military romance stories that was published in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. All of the author and publisher proceeds are going to the project, in honor of those who have served.

Some of the stories include references to the Wounded Warrior Project. Some of the vets in the stories, are using its services, some volunteering, some both.

It’s a terrific project and also a terrific thing that the creators of this anthology are doing with this book. But what about the book itself?

All of the authors of the individual stories are well-known for their military romance, and all of the novellas are part of their ongoing series. In the case of Lea Griffith’s War Games, Kate SeRine’s Torn and Julie Ann Walker’s Hot as Hell, the stories here are introducing their new series.

And even though the other stories are in the middle, or in the case of Suzanne Brockmann’s Home Fire Inferno, deeply into their series, the stories stand alone. It probably helps that all of these stories are novella length, so the author’s have plenty of time to establish their characters and setting.

Howsomever, in reading the collection there was something that bothered me. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good military romance, but there’s an accidental theme that runs through too many of the stories. Out of 8 stories, 3 feature a heroine who is being stalked and needs her military man to rescue her from her violent and escalating stalker.

In all of the cases, the stalkers are so clever and organized that they leave no clues behind and the police are unable to help the victim, even when the stalker’s identity is known. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen (all too often) in real life, but this is fiction. Even though the individual stories were good, there was too much of this theme for my tastes. I don’t like to see my heroines as victims, especially not over and over.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Of the stories that were not about stalker victims in need of rescue, my favorites were Julie Ann Walker’s Hot as Hell, War Games by Lea Griffith, and of course NSDQ by M.L. Buchman.

In Hot as Hell, our heroine is an administrative assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. Harper is also trying to ignore the chemistry that was sparked in her one-night-stand with SEAL Mark. His unit is supposed to be guarding the embassy from a prospective attack, but after weeks of nothing happening, they’ve temporarily been sent to another assignment. And Harper has been ignoring his calls, pretending that she can’t bear the thought of being involved with a military man.

When the embassy is overrun by terrorists, Mark is the first person Harper calls. His unit is supposed to be back that day, and Harper needs a hero. Bad.

What I loved about this story is that Harper rescues herself first. As soon as she sees the gunfire, she does what she is supposed to do and gets herself into the embassy “panic room” in a nerve-wracking game of hide-and-seek, with her life as the prize if she doesn’t hide. Not that she doesn’t need Mark and his team to clear the embassy, but she might not be there to rescue if she hadn’t kept a clear head.

And not that the adrenaline rush of the danger and Mark riding to the rescue doesn’t finally melt all of Harper’s resistance to the man she already loves.

The heroine in War Games is also every bit as badass, in her completely different way, as her hero. Vivi is a CIA Cyber Spook, and she has arrived at Leavenworth to rescue her brother’s best friend, Navy SEAL Rook Granger. Because the last thing that her brother said to her before he died was that Rook was being framed, and that the op that killed their team was a set up from the get go.

It’s not an easy rescue. Rook isn’t just in solitary confinement, he’s chained to his cell to keep him from leaving. The solitary is to keep him from talking. Whatever went wrong on that last op, there are too many low people in high places who want to make sure that the truth never gets out. And that Rook doesn’t either.

But Vivi brings down all the security, and its backups and its backups’ backups, to pay her brother back one last time. As Vivi and Rook cross the country, both pursuing and being pursued by people who are tracking their every move and are one step ahead every moment, they discover that they can only trust each other with a secret that can topple governments. And that they can finally trust each other with the hearts they both believed were dead.

Like Harper in Hot as Hell, Vivi is a heroine who takes care of herself. She isn’t as physically intimidating as Rook. In fact, she isn’t physically intimidating at all. But she can, and will, mess with people’s minds, their systems, and their credit reports as needed to get the job done.

In today’s world, fists aren’t the only way to beat someone to a pulp.

160th_SOAR_Distinctive_Unit_InsigniaAnd last but not least, a novella in M.L. Buchman’s Night Stalkers series, NSDQ. NSDQ is the Night Stalkers’ motto: Night Stalkers Don’t Quit. Lois Lang has to tell herself those words every single day, as the ace chopper pilot is learning to live with a career ending injury. On a rescue mission, her chopper was hit with a full load of crew and wounded. With one engine down, the only way to keep her crew and passengers alive during the oncoming crash was to roll her bird so that it landed pilot side down. Everybody lived, but Lois lost one leg below the knee.

She’s a heroine, but she’s also certain that the Army will invalid her out of the only job she’s ever loved, or even wanted.

Lois Lang, named for two of Superman’s loves, needs to find her very own Clark Kent to see that not only can she have a good life with her injury, but that she still has a lot to offer the Army and even SOAR. Because heroines aren’t made of legs, they are made of heart.

This story was especially sweet, and also just a bit different. In this one, it’s a woman warrior who is wounded and needs to find a way to recover her life, her purpose and her dignity. Even Superwoman needs someone to lean on now and again. The role reversal in the story made this one especially poignant.

Also, I just plain love this series.

Escape Rating B: That’s for the book as a whole. There were too many “stalker rescue” stories for my personal taste, especially since those are three of the first five stories. By the middle of the third, I was praying not to visit that theme again. I prefer a relationship of equals in contemporary romance, and those weren’t it.

A couple of the other stories just didn’t do much for me, but over my personal pet peeves rather than anything wrong with the story. In any collection, there are always a few stories that aren’t my cuppa. That’s kind of the point in a way, that everyone gets a sampling, and hopefully finds something they like.

I liked both the Walker and Griffith stories so much that I will be looking for the upcoming books in those series, and I always grab the Night Stalkers as soon as they appear in NetGalley. I’m still very happy that I followed that series from the beginning.

And I would happily give Hot as Hell by Julie Ann Walker, War Games by Lea Griffith and NSDQ by M.L. Buchman “A Grades” if they were published separately.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

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Stacking the Shelves

The good and bad news about midnight impulse buying, all in one tidy list. This was a week where it seemed like everything I read was a mid-series book where I not only hadn’t read the previous books, but in some cases hadn’t even known there were previous books.

After I finished each of them (Medium Dead, Seduced by Sunday and Officer Elvis) I decided that I’d had so much fun and/or enjoyed them so much that I had to get the rest of their respective series. And after I reviewed M.J. Scott’s The Shattered Court over at The Book Pushers, I discovered that she writes contemporary romance as Melanie Scott. So damn many books, so very little time.

For Review:
After Midnight (Denver Heroes #1) by Kathy Clark
After the War (Homefront #2) by Jessica Scott
Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Potting Shed #3) by Marty Wingate
Cities and Thrones (Recoletta #2) by Carrie Patel
Lawless in Leather (New York Saints #3) by Melanie Scott
The Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey
Risk It (Rule Breakers #4) by Jennifer Chance
Ruthless by John Rector
The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson
This Wedding is Doomed by Stephanie Draven, Jeannie Lin, Shawntelle Madison and Amanda Berry

Purchased from Amazon:
Angel in Armani (New York Saints #2) by Melanie Scott
The Devil in Denim (New York Saints #1) by Melanie Scott
Fiance by Friday (Weekday Brides #3) by Catherine Bybee
Half a Mind to Murder (Dr. Alexandra Gladstone #3) by Paula Paul
An Improper Death (Dr. Alexandra Gladstone #2) by Paula Paul
The Last Clinic (Darla Cavannah #1) by Gary Gusick
Marcus 582 (Cyborgs: Mankind Redefined #3) by Donna McDonald
Married by Monday (Weekday Brides #2) by Catherine Bybee
Single by Saturday (Weekday Brides #4) by Catherine Bybee
Symptoms of Death (Dr. Alexandra Gladstone #1) by Paula Paul
Taken by Tuesday (Weekday Brides #5) by Catherine Bybee
Wife by Wednesday (Weekday Brides #1) by Catherine Bybee


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Stacking the Shelves

Today is the 4th anniversary of Reading Reality. 2011 seems like a LONG time ago. The official celebration (and giveaway) will be on Monday, April 6. I’m starting to measure my life in when we moved and where we were when “X” happened. When I started Reading Reality, we were living in Gainesville, FL. After that, we moved here to Atlanta. and moved again within Atlanta. Then Seattle, and we moved again in Seattle. Now we’re back in Atlanta. That’s a lot of moves to end up back in the same place. We often drive by that second place we lived in when we were here before. It’s hard to resist the impulse to turn in!

On the bookish front, Humble Bundle is currently offering a science fiction bundle that is pretty awesome. Check it out!

For Review:
Deadly Election (Flavia Albia #3) by Lindsey Davis
The Dismantling by Brian DeLeeuw
Dissident (Bellator #1) by Cecilia London
Finding Mr. Right Now (Salt Box #1) by Meg Benjamin
The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig
The State of Play edited by Daniel Goldberg and Linus Larsson
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Purchased from Amazon:
The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files #1) by Charles Stross
Crushed (City of Eldrich #2) by Laura Kirwan
The Fire Seer and Her Quradum (Coalition of Mages #2) by Amy Raby
Impervious (City of Eldrich #1) by Laura Kirwan
Target of the Heart (Night Stalkers) by M.L. Buchman

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Stacking the Shelves

Early this week we went to a lecture/presentation by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the human star of the new Cosmos, among other fascinating achievements. If you are interested in science or space or simply an intelligent presentation, he’s definitely worth seeing if he comes to your city. He was fantastic. And he just added a whole bunch more books to my TBR list.

And if you enjoy urban fantasy but are looking for something just a bit different, A Key, an Egg an Unfortunate Remark by Harry Connolly is awesome!

For Review:
Chaos Broken (Chronicles from the Applecross #3) by Rebekah Turner
Day Shift (Midnight, Texas #2) by Charlaine Harris
Desert Rising by Kelley Grant
Homefront (Homefront #1) by Jessica Scott
A Match for Marcus Cynster (Cynsters #23) by Stephanie Laurens
The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith
Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling #14) by Nalini Singh
The Silence that Speaks (Forensic Instincts #4) by Andrea Kane
The Undying Legion (Crown & Key #2) by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith

Purchased from Amazon:
A Key, an Egg, an Unfortunate Remark by Harry Connolly (review)


The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-8-15

Sunday Post

Did you remember to “Spring Forward” last night or this morning? Are you still groaning about the time change? I love that it happens early, but I’m less and less able to figure out why we bother. How about you?

It is Spring here in Atlanta – the temperature is supposed to be in the 60s all week. Time to turn off the furnace and open some windows! I think we need some lawn furniture – sitting in the backyard in the sun and reading sounds like a lovely idea.

Current Giveaways:

Sourcebooks romantic suspense prize pack including M.L. Buchman’s Bring on the Dusk
First Time In Forever by Sarah Morgan (paperback)

Winner Announcements:

The winner of One Wish by Robyn Carr is Brandi D.
The winner of Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall is Erin F.

madness in solidar by le modesittBlog Recap:

B Review: First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan + Giveaway
A Review: Madness in Solidar by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
A- Review: Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
B+ Review: Bring on the Dusk by M.L. Buchman
Guest Post by Author M.L. Buchman on First Meetings + Giveaway
A Review: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Stacking the Shelves (125)


trigger warning by neil gaimanComing Next Week:

The Dead Key by D.M. Pulley (blog tour review)
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (review)
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear (blog tour review)
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman (review)
A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott (review)

Guest Post by Author M.L. Buchman on First Meetings + Giveaway

bring on the dusk by ml buchmanI’d like to welcome M.L. Buchman back to Reading Reality. He is the author of today’s marvelous review book, Bring on the Dusk, the latest in his terrific military romantic suspense series, The Night Stalkers. I think he and Jessica Scott are the two authors responsible for my love of military romance. In this guest post, M.L. talks about the importance of first meetings, as well as providing an excerpt of the first meeting between the two leads in Dusk. Not a meet cute, but a meeting under fire.

First Meetings
by M.L. Buchman

First meetings are so much fun! In the following scene from my newest romantic suspense novel BRING ON THE DUSK, my heroine Claudia has just picked up Delta Force operator Michael Gibson from the middle of an operation. To everyone else, Michael is the inscrutable super warrior, the very best there is. Yet from the first moment, Claudia understands him, his odd quirks, and even his little jokes.

What defenses can a soldier, no matter how experienced, have against that? As they fly away from the successful mission, Michael begins to discover that the answer to that question is “absolutely none!”

Michael registered many things about his pilot.

Female by her voice.

She flew well, with a smoothness that he liked, as if she knew exactly who she was and where she was going. It was a trait they looked for in Delta operators; only the very best had it. And no one but the very best made the Delta grade.

There was nothing to see. Flight suit, armor, and vest. Flight gloves, full helmet with projection visor, and even her lower face covered with a breathing mask and radio mike that let pilots breathe and be heard in even the dustiest and noisiest environments.

But he couldn’t stop glancing over.

He’d heard another female pilot was incoming into SOAR’s 5th Battalion, D Company, so this must be her. Making it into the 5D said she was already an exceptional pilot. She hadn’t harassed him about his tapping thing; just checked in with him and then moved on, which said she knew to trust a soldier’s self-assessment. For some reason, his tapping drove a lot of people nuts.

It wasn’t like the jittery leg that so many soldiers had, though that was trained out of Deltas. Actually, not all that many guys with those kinds of nerves made it into Delta to begin with.

The gentle tap, tap was how he let the adrenal rush of action run out of him. The gentle rhythm reminded him of climbing trees in his childhood when he’d been seeking somewhere no one else could go. It wasn’t escape; it was going higher and farther than anyone before him that charged him up.

Right now he shouldn’t be thinking about her, he should be assessing the team’s performance. What could they have done differently to capture all eight unfriendlies? How could they have anticipated the arrival at the camp of four Tier One targets or the presence of so much unexpected intel? If there’d been anything to gather in the other rooms, there simply hadn’t been time to look. They definitely should have had another bird in deep backup; pure luck they’d gotten this one. The entire camp had erupted in blazes of gunfire from the trainers, answered by the dragon roars from the hovering attack platforms responding with rockets and miniguns.

But that didn’t reorient the direction of his thoughts.

This pilot simply allowed him “to be,” which he appreciated. Even Emily Beale, as well as they’d gotten along, had never understood his little jokes. Or quite known what to make of him.

Not surprising, Michael. You’re not the most accessible dude in the Force.

That he knew for damn sure.

He liked this woman sight unseen.

He also knew that, which was surprising.

MLBuchmanAbout M.L. Buchman

M. L. Buchman has over 25 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and Booklist “Top 10 of the Year.” In addition to romance, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.

He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics.

To learn more about M.L. Buchman, visit his website or follow him on
Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube.


Michael and Sourcebooks Casablanca are giving away a romantic suspense prize pack, including a copy of Bring on the Dusk to one lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Bring on the Dusk by M.L. Buchman

bring on the dusk by ml buchmanFormat read: ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
Formats available: paperback, ebook
Genre: military romance, romantic suspense
Series: Night Stalkers #6
Length: 416 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date Released: March 3, 2015
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

As a five-nation war simmers in the Caspian Sea, Captain Claudia Jean “Cee-Cee’ Casperson of the Night Stalkers and Colonel Michael Gibson of Delta Force are called in to subdue the conflict. They’ll need all their combined ingenuity to stop a clash that could have catastrophic global repercussions. And they’ll need to do it while remaining under the radar. It’ll take all the strength they have—but it will take even more for the pair to breach the walls they’ve built around their hearts.

My Review:

night is mine by ml buchmanI have read and reviewed the entire Night Stalkers series, so I couldn’t miss this one. And if you love military romance, you shouldn’t miss this series either. Start with The Night is Mine (reviewed here) and be prepared to sign over a bunch of your nights.

It wasn’t until the book hit me over the head, but all the books in this series have time in the title, specifically some time between dusk and dawn – because that is when the Night Stalkers operate. The dark is their friend, because it hides their operations – many of which have to be denied in the light of day.

At the very beginning of this story, Captain Claudia Casperson has to adapt herself to the Night Stalkers upside-down schedule. It’s about the only thing she really needs to adapt to, because she was born to fly for SOAR.

Delta Force, the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, is another group that relies on the dark of night to get their job done. If some SOAR operations are deniable, everything that the D-boys do is deniable to the point of sometimes denying they exist. They even give the credit for some of their operations to other Special Forces units, just to keep the terrorists they are countering in the dark.

I said D-boys not just because the Unit is still all male, unlike SOAR, but also because that’s the way they are referred to in the story. However, it is a unit where there certainly are no boys, only men who have taken on a hard and dangerous duty and expect to give their lives in the service of their country.

i own the dawn by ml buchmanThere are no boys or girls, no children or young recruits, anywhere within SOAR or Delta. Even Dilya, the adopted daughter of Archie and Kee (their story is in I Own the Dawn, reviewed here) is only a child chronologically, Her experiences have made her grown-up well beyond her teenage years.

I wonder (and hope) this series can go on long enough for us to see Dilya’s HEA. But I seriously digress.

Bring on the Dusk is the story of two very quiet people who are the best of the best at what they do. Colonel Michael Gibson is the highest ranking Delta officer still in the field. He’s the best of the best, and he’s also the best at keeping his own counsel. He’s not prepared for anyone to challenge the fortress he keeps his heart in. But Claudia Casperson is also the best of the best at what she does, which is fly helicopters. She’s also good at being quiet herself.

Both Gibson and Casperson raised themselves. Gibson vaulted himself into the high Titan redwoods of California, climbing beyond where anyone else has climbed. His parents were there, but distant, and couldn’t follow where his mind or his heart led.

Claudia was a child of the Sonoran Desert, learning to fly at a young age and also taking herself out into the desert for the quiet and peace of the open spaces. Her tiny town in Arizona had no school and little opportunity. She educated herself, and her parents were also present but uncaring and distant.

Two people who both love the peace of being away from everything and everyone, find their quiet place in the midst of war with each other. It just takes both of these very intelligent people longer than you might expect to figure out that as important as it is to serve a cause that you are willing to die for, it is just as important to find someone that you are willing to live for.

Escape Rating B+: Part of the fun of this series is watching new people get introduced to the Night Stalkers that series readers are already familiar with. It’s always a hoot to see old friends from new perspectives,as well as get an update on how everyone is doing.

Speaking of which, it was terrific to see Emily Beale as she continues to adjust to life outside SOAR. Claudia calling on her as a mentor was a terrific scene. Emily is the prototype, and now Claudia has to step into Emily’s shoes in ways that she didn’t expect.

Also two women discussing military strategy for operations that they have planned or will plan and relying on each other takes the Bechdel test to a whole new level.

The romance in this story is a slow-building one, as many of them have been in this series. Gibson and Casperson are never quite sure whether the anti-frat regs apply to them or not, as they are both officers and Delta force is in a separate command structure from SOAR. But that isn’t the real barrier. The issue is that both of these people have locked their hearts away for reasons that seem good and logical, but get thrown out the window when they meet.

And neither of them knows how to handle it. Their mutual confusion makes their relationship come alive for the reader long before they figure it out themselves.

Into the middle of the romance is thrown a top secret military operation that requires both of their skills. The scene with the President, who is often referred to as just ‘Peter’ is fantastic as we see Michael and Claudia plan in front of their commander-in-chief by speaking almost without words, and the President deciding on the fly that Claudia is the best person to run the show, even though she has never commanded a black-in-black operation before.

The op itself is a nail biter, not just because of the stakes, but Claudia is almost literally biting her nails as she plans and controls at a higher level than she ever imagined, or ever expected to operate. She grows.

And afterwards Michael gets an attack of stupid and nearly wrecks any future they might have. His epiphany, and accompanying groveling (well sort of) makes for a heartwarming ending to the non-stop adventure.

***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

The Sunday Post AKA What’s on my (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand 3-1-15

Sunday Post

Earlier this week, in my review of The Interstellar Age I spent a lot of virtual ink on the way that the real story of the Voyager missions resonated with my memories of Star Trek. Which probably said as much or more about Trek’s place in my heart and how much of it I remember fondly. That struck me with full force on Friday with the announcement of Leonard Nimoy’s death. Watching as the internet exploded with the news, it was obvious that the show, and especially his performance, touched the hearts and minds of so many of us who grew up geek. He’ll be missed.

This week’s upcoming reviews include entries in some long-running series, as well as the start of Sarah Morgan’s Puffin Island series, First Time in Forever. Once I finally remembered where I had heard that phrase before, I got infected with an ear worm that just won’t let go.

Current Giveaways:

Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall (paperback)
One Wish by Robyn Carr (paperback)

Winner Announcements:

The winner of Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran by Marion Grace Woolley is Linda R.

interstellar age by jim bellBlog Recap:

B Review: Miramont’s Ghost by Elizabeth Hall + Giveaway
B+ Review: One Wish by Robyn Carr + Giveaway
A Review: The Interstellar Age by Jim Bell
B Review: Garrett by Sawyer Bennett
A- Review: Jam on the Vine by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
Stacking the Shelves (124)



bring on the dusk by ml buchmanComing Next Week:

First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan (blog tour review)
Madness in Solidar by L.E. Modesitt Jr. (review)
Hush, Hush by Laura Lippman (blog tour review)
Bring on the Dusk by M.L. Buchman (blog tour review)
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (review)