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Anke

Anke1028

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The Hardest Thing: A Dan Stagg Mystery
James Lear
Six Degrees of Separation
Taylor V. Donovan
Homespun
Layla M. Wier
Owning Corey
Maris Black

GRL Atlanta 2013

My thoughts to this years GRL:

 

It was my third retreat and I was very much looking forward to it - only to now afterwards I have to say, it fell short. If not for meeting my good friend Lynley it would have been a big let down. Regarding the venue I had some doubts after reading the reviews on tripadvisor, but as I stayed at a hotel nearby, I thought it wouldn't matter that there were rather few good reviews.

 

When first arriving, the whole hotel felt outdated, the meeting rooms were not very good up-kept and besides ice water there was nothing offered from the hotel. After attending this years UK Meet - with coffee, tea and cookies all day long - I was a little bit disappointed. 

 

Nevertheless, the panels, Q&A, readings and so on were very interesting, if only the electronic equipment would have worked better. On top of that the A/C was hit and miss - one day we were sweating like pigs, the next day it was freezing cold.

 

Anyway, it was very nice to meet with old friends, listen to interesting discussions and I don't want to miss it. The highlight for me was the Q&A with T.J. Klune and Eric Arvin:) On the other hand - the Dinner with an author was that loud, I couldn't understand a word of the person sitting next to me.

 

My biggest problem with GRL this year was: everything took place inside the hotel. I don't want to start recapping the first year in New Orleans, but there we were in the middle of the French quarter and several meetings/bar brawl, cruise on the Mississippi took place outside, within the community we wanted to support. But even last year in Albuquerque we were driven by bus to Old Town for a bit of sightseeing and afterwards a very fitting cocktail hour at an 'hazienda-like' setting.

 

This year - nada. We could have been in the middle of nowhere for all we had to experience the surroundings. The only one profiting from our retreat was the hotel. 

Overall I have to say - my beloved readers retreat developed into an author/reader convention and the charm from the first year, already waning last year - this year it was rather gone.

 

I already decided not to attend next years 'retreat', because we have scheduled vacation at that time, but after this years experience I'm not sad about missing it.

 

Elements of Retrofit - N.R. Walker When will I finally learn it? START A SERIES WHEN AT LEAST A FEW, IF NOT ALL BOOKS ARE OUT, STUPID!!! Now I did it again! I started this series - how many will there be, btw? 3? - and I loved this book, yes, really. This is what I call a romantic love story and the May/Dec. angle was an added plus. It has a wonderful pacing of the story, from start to finish. Yes, a bit fairy tale like but it totally fits the story line and the characters. *sigh* This could have been quite some pages longer. Now I have to wait til when? I think I read part 2 will be released end of the year and now I have the problem to still remember everything when that book finally will be released. Well, there is always the solution of a re-read.
Overall, what's missing for 5 stars, nothing but the continuation, of course:))
Pitch - Will Parkinson Funny, how different opinions can be. For me this book didn't work. I'm rather proud that I made it up to 47% but that's about it now. And I don't think that I'll give it another try later, nope, sorry. It started with the evil girlfriend, moved on to the speech with recapturing the sob-story that was the love-interests life and then came the Kevin-desaster. On top of all that there were stilted dialogues and the whole book felt unbalanced.
A Vintage Affair - Josh Lanyon September Flavor-of-the-month Challenge
I really should listen to my subconscious that has me leaving lots of my books for a long time on my TBR. This was one of them. I chose it for my challenge and it was an ok read - nothing really gripping, more like flowing along nicely - up until 85%. Then a scene happened that was rather out of the character's behavior up to that point. In fact, at first I thought, ok another one of those dreams I don't like. Sadly that wasn't the case and so my not-too-big enjoyment of the story took a rather huge nosedive. Not even the conciliatory ending helped.
From the Ashes - Daisy Harris Somehow this book didn't work for me. I found their behavior with each other not fitting to their situation. I'm sure that's just me, but I couldn't get further along than 10% without constant eye-rolling.
Spook Squad - Jordan Castillo Price Ok, I tried. Although book #6 of this series didn't work for me, I thought, well, I loved this series and this book has a number of very good reviews, so I'll give them another try. Sadly, obviously this series has run it's course for me. So, sorry, dear book, but back to the DNF shelf with you, only just for you I created another shelf and you are the first to live there - perhaps-another-try-later! Be honored:)
Home Team - Jameson Dash More like 3.5 stars
This was a short, interesting read with a very distinctive writers voice. It got me wanting to know how it ends, which was nice although it left several story lines hanging open. Overall I had an aloof feeling.
Heartstrings - S.J. Frost More like 3.5 stars
A fast, easy read, in times too sweet. The whole thing flowed along quite nicely, no real ups and downs.
Raining Men - Rick R. Reed

** spoiler alert ** 4.5 stars
It was a slow beginning, as Bobby's voice got on my nerves. So I put it aside, read something else, but then I returned and from chapter 2 on it was a very good read. Poor Bobby, following his journey wasn't fun, but very engaging to read. His character growth was believable, complete with relapse. What a joy when he was able to withstand another one! And to witness how much his little dog helped him along the line - very nice. My only niggle, yes I have one again, is, for me the development in the end was a bit too fast. Yes, there was attraction between Bobby and Aaron along the line, but nevertheless, I would have enjoyed to read a little bit more of their realizing, well at least on Bobby's side, that the right one was in front of him all the time. There was a very fitting epilogue, perhaps a bit too nicely wrapping up the story lines with Wade and Caden. But that's probably just me:)

Raining Men - Rick R. Reed 4.5 stars
It was a slow beginning, as Bobby's voice got on my nerves. So I put it aside, read something else, but then I returned and from chapter 2 on it was a very good read. Poor Bobby, following his journey wasn't fun, but very engaging to read. His character growth was believable, complete with relapse. What a joy when he was able to withstand another one! And to witness how much his little dog helped him along the line - very nice. My only niggle, yes I have one again, is, for me the development in the end was a bit too fast. Yes, there was attraction between Bobby and Aaron along the line, but nevertheless, I would have enjoyed to read a little bit more of their realizing, well at least on Bobby's side, that the right one was in front of him all the time. There was a very fitting epilogue, perhaps a bit too nicely wrapping up the story lines with Wade and Caden. But that's probably just me:)
Surfeit for the Senses: Appetite Series, Book 3 - Talya Andor

Oh what a wonderful read! Yes, no insta-love, no story front to only string together love/sex scene after another. Nope, this was a slow burn and nicely developing story among a setting that was very interesting and entertaining. I totally like cooking shows and I especially like fine dining, it always amazes me what a highly skilled cook can do with a handful of ingredients! Therefore it was especially entertaining to read this story with regard to the well-balanced telling of the cooking part and the relationship-building part. Like a successful menu this whole series worked out wonderfully. It was a joy to read from beginning to end and I am looking for the next book by Ms. Andor.

The Competitive Edge (Appetite) - Talya Andor

Have to think about it - I'm still in the world of fine dining, food competition and - cooking. Yes, also Nik and Alex, too cute, those two:)
After a good night's sleep, tomorrow I'll see what'll come to me.

A Cut Above the Rest (Appetite) - Talya Andor

What a nice start of the series! I really like Ms. Andor's writing and this was another joy to read. Off to start part 2.

Redemption by Fire - Andrew  Grey Read for the Sept.-Flavor-of-the-month-challenge
Nice enough read, overall a rushed feeling.
Surfeit for the Senses - Talya Andor Oh what a wonderful read! Yes, no insta-love, no story front to only string together love/sex scene after another. Nope, this was a slow burn and nicely developing story among a setting that was very interesting and entertaining. I totally like cooking shows and I especially like fine dining, it always amazes me what a highly skilled cook can do with a handful of ingredients! Therefore it was especially entertaining to read this story with regard to the well-balanced telling of the cooking part and the relationship-building part. Like a successful menu this whole series worked out wonderfully. It was a joy to read from beginning to end and I am looking for the next book by Ms. Andor.
The Competitive Edge - Talya Andor Have to think about it - I'm still in the world of fine dining, food competition and - cooking. Yes, also Nik and Alex, too cute, those two:)
After a good night's sleep, tomorrow I'll see what'll come to me.