Coming over from Goodreads, dipping a toe in the waters over here.

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Fish & Chips
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Progress: 26 %

Kindles on sale for some lucky people (including me!)

Anyone in the market for a new Kindle (reader or tablet) at a discount? If so, check the Kindle page on your Amazon account. Apparently they're doing a random, targeted promotion, and I'm one of the lucky ones. So I got a PW for $44! I don't need it, but how could I not?? I've been waiting for a deal like that to check them out. :D


ETA: Hmmm, I just saw a comment on the Slickdeals thread that someone didn't get the offer when looking at their account, until they clicked this link to get there. I just tried on my other Amazon account (I keep my ebooks separate from all the rest), and got "We're sorry, you are not eligible for this offer." So who knows. But it couldn't hurt to try.


And here's an image of what your Kindle page will look like if you have the offer.

Forever Promised  - Amy Lane

Update: I'm trying to update my Calibre reviews into GR and just discovered I apparently wrote one for this... who knows when? But here 'tis:

I re-read the first three books and then dove right into this one while on a road trip. Re-reading the first three confirmed what I already thought about them: KPR is one of my favorite books and Deacon one of my favorite people; I adore Shane and loved his story more than I'd remembered; and although I like Jeff and Collin, for some reason I've just never gotten as invested in them. Also, I'm totally confused as to exactly what the age difference is between them. I know it's 7-10 years, but the math and references result in different numbers at almost every mention. 

Also, what ever happened to Judy Thompson, and why did she apparently have a few dinners at The Pulpit and never get mentioned again? She seemed like she'd fit right in and really add something to the group, so I was disappointed when she just disappeared. I don't remember noticing that on my first reading, but it stood out now.

So that was the context with which I eagerly dove into this fourth book. It's not a fair comparison to say it didn't grab me like KPR, because very few books do. But I found that for as much as I was enjoying spending time at The Pulpit, and thinking about the people as I was driving, I didn't find it too difficult to set down each night.

I loved that we got each of the different POVs and wrap-up and resolution for everyone. Well, almost everyone. There was one major event that I did NOT see coming, and that pissed me the hell off when I stumbled into it. That's what it felt like, that jarring step when you misjudge the distance to the ground and roll your ankle, then fall to the ground. In other words, this particular plot point went over with a THUD for me.

I couldn't see what purpose it would serve, other than to provide angst and tug the readers' (and the characters') heart strings. Amy Lane is a good enough writer that even knowing I was being emotionally manipulated didn't stop me from tearing up. But I really think the story would have worked even better if there'd been the happy resolution I was expecting for that particular thread.

And look, here was this incredible, wonderful, powerful story neatly wrapping up the lives of people (not 'characters', they're too real for that!) I've come to love, but is that the first thing I thought to mention? No, and that's really sad. Because it is a wonderful, powerful story that wraps up almost perfectly the lives of these lovable people.

Original "review" 09 July 2013: I finished this yesterday and I'm still figuring out how to rate and review this one. So much I loved, and a little I hated.

Reading progress update: I've read 47%.

Shaking the Sugar Tree - Nick Wilgus

What am I missing? I'm struggling to keep reading this, and think it's time to give up. All my friends raved about this book, basically saying it was unputdownable. Not for me.


I'm not feeling the insta-love, and the only characters I really like are Noah and Mrs. Warren. Not that I dislike the others, I'm just not engaged.


Life's too short to read books I'm not into. Moratorium it is; maybe another time.


Reading progress update: I've read 26%.

Fish & Chips - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

This article makes me think maybe the C&R FBI plots aren't as unrealistic as we thought!


I'll hang out on the deck chair with Ty and Kate while waiting for Lena Lena to catch up.

Reading progress update: I've read 23%.

Fish & Chips - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

Referring to cliff diving:


"It helps if someone shoves you over the edge,” Ty told him seriously, thinking Zane's fear of falling might go beyond simply falling off a cliff. It was the loss of control. It was just one more reason Ty knew that falling in love with his partner was a solo endeavor.


I'm appreciating the foreshadowing here, and overall enjoying the guys.

Reading progress update: I've read 5%.

Fish & Chips - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

"Quit ogling me, sidekick," Ty warned without having to turn around.


I think I've laughed at least once on every page so far, and then I get to this. I think I might've laughed at it before. Before B&C, when Zane truly was relegated to sidekick status. Or maybe I mean Ty was relegated to sidekick status, and Zane became a handy piece of ass...


Whatever, I'm not laughing now. :(

Reading progress update: I've read 4%.

Fish & Chips - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

"We need walls, partner," Zane sniped as he got to his feet. "Something for you to splat against."




[Ty] didn't say anything to Zane, just held out one taped hand and gestured for him to bring it.


Oh yeah, here are the guys I love! I'd forgotten how much fun this opening scene was. Bodes well for the rest of the book as the buddy read with Kate (and now Lena) continues.

Still a favorite

Sticks & Stones  - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux

This book is still as much a favorite as I'd remembered, despite my reservations at 43%. I decided to persevere and was rewarded for doing so, as around 60% or so I got right back in the groove and read the remainder in one sitting. So although I might not have rated it 5 stars now, I'm going to let that rating stand.


This was the Zane and Ty I fell in love with: two proud and flawed men who seem to communicate best by fighting and/or fucking, and who complement each other perfectly. They were raw, and the writing was at times rough (the constant rubbing noses with a broken nose was excruciating to read), but I think that's all part of what made them "real" and lovable. The plots were over-the-top and unbelievable, but they made for a fun ride and were a great backdrop for the character development. No one ever read the C&R books for the plots, it was always about Ty and Zane.


Kate and I have hypothesized that the change came when Madeleine Urban stopped writing Zane, but that's also when Riptide started publishing them and it occurs to me now that could also be a significant factor. It's not surprising that Zane might become less Zane-like when his creator stopped writing him, but I also think it could be the Riptide over-editing that results in homogenized books that lose a great deal of their character. The newer versions of Ty and Zane seem like characters to me, whereas the original guys were believable as real people.


So it seems memory did not deceive me: the good parts are about as good as I remembered. Maybe the bad(ish) parts are a little worse now that some of the shine has been scrubbed off (I was going to say 'worn' but it didn't seem active or violent enough), but overall these books and characters are still appealing and worth reading. I'd thought I might need a break before reading more, but the end of this book rekindled my enthusiasm enough for me to want to continue on to Fish & Chips.

Gotta thank the Cut & Run books for all the new friends

One good thing about the C&R books: love 'em or hate 'em, they're great for bonding with other readers and making new friends. It started with the giddy anticipation for D&C in 2011 and it continues with the crushing disappointment of B&C in 2014. Looking forward to what new friends 2015 and book 9 will bring, even if I'm not exactly looking forward to the book itself. :)

Reading progress update: I've read 43%.

Sticks & Stones  - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux

I probably ought to have put more distance between B&C and this reread. Because although I'm enjoying seeing the real T&Z again, I'm also struggling to stay engaged. I keep putting the book down and forgetting to go back to it. But I don't think it's the book's fault, I think it's that my enthusiasm has been (temporarily, I hope) dampened by knowing the travesty that's to come as the series draws to an end.

Reading progress update: I've read 28%.

Sticks & Stones  - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux

Sometimes [Ty] wondered if Zane just tolerated him because he was a good lay, or if he truly enjoyed being around him as much as Ty did Zane.


I know Ty doesn't have the benefit of Zane's POV like the reader does, but isn't it pretty obvious? Why is Ty so dense and insecure?

Reading progress update: I've read 15%.

Sticks & Stones  - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux

If Deuce and Earl are both tall enough to make Ty look like the runt of the litter, are they Zane's height? Taller? At 6'5" with bulky muscles, how imposing can Zane really find Earl?

Reading progress update: I've read 2%.

Sticks & Stones  - Madeleine Urban, Abigail Roux

Zane was right behind him. “Three buildings over. Fire escape.” He'd memorized the downtown layout the night before while Ty worked on today's plans with Benson and the rest of the crew. Of course, those plans were now blown to hell. At least Ty still had the walking map with him.


That's the Zane I remember, the detail-oriented planner. The walking map. When the hell did he become a side-kick unable to think for himself?

Buddy read with Kate

Cut & Run - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

I enjoyed the first 70% or so of this as much as I remembered, and the buddy read with Kate was a blast. My enthusiasm flagged for a while after that, and it became increasingly difficult to stick with it and finish it. My attention really wandered at the end.


I still love the characters as much as ever, but despite my best efforts to ignore them, the editing issues really got in the way. Not only the plot inconsistencies and stupidities, but also some significant pacing issues. Still, with major editing this book could be every bit as wonderful as the rose-colored glasses made it seem. In lieu of editing, skimming works reasonably well to compensate. Ty and Zane make it worth reading.


I originally rated this 5 stars, and would probably rate it 3 based on this read, so I'm compromising with 4 now. I've always thought of Sticks & Stones as my favorite in the series, so I'm eager to move on to it now and see if that's still true.

Reading progress update: I've read 94%.

Cut & Run - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

The last time I was at this point in this book, I was riveted and would never have set it down to do a status update. Some of the magic has faded, I'm afraid. I'm finishing it out of cussedness now, and anticipation for S&S.

Reading progress update: I've read 84%.

Cut & Run - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban

I'm sure this is one of those overly-logical questions I shouldn't be asking, but where did the bad guy manage to steal a cab with completely, darkly tinted windows?


I remember loving this scene the first few times. Sadly, right now I'm just feeling tired and antsy.