Bland Characters Gun Each Other Down in Gunning For Trouble

Genre: Contemporary

Page Count: 217 Pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Caleb was in a dead sleep until his phone alerts him to a break-in to his apartment. Immediately his defensive instincts — honed by his dangerous work of tracking missing persons and protecting witnesses — surface and he springs out of bed with his gun to tell the would-be burglar they have chosen the wrong apartment. But he ends up pointing the gun at Avery Walters, his former boss and ex-lover.

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4 Cozy Romances to Read Before Spring

This winter I’ve become fascinated by the Danish concept of hygge, or coziness. Growing up in Maine, curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book was how I kept my sanity with three feet of snow on the ground. It turns out the Danish had a very similar idea. Even though I’m spending the winter in  Florida this year, I still love books that inspire a feeling of coziness. Here are four novels that have made me feel cozy and warm inside even if it was miserable outside.  Continue reading “4 Cozy Romances to Read Before Spring”

Boyfriends for Sale: Read for a Better World Edition

When I started Lover’s Quarrel, I wanted to make the world a better place. Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

Now, for the first time, Lover’s Quarrel has raised a significant amount of money for charity and I know, with your help, we can raise $100 for charity in 2017.

We are 57 percent of the way to our goal and I know we can make it. To help, I’ve compiled a list of romance novels that have high affiliate rates. Half of those affiliate earnings will go to the Malala Fund, a nonprofit that helps women and girls around the world get 12 years of safe, quality education. I’m giving you the opportunity to help them.

However, you need to act fast to make the maximum impact with your purchases. At the end of August, these affiliate rates can fall back to the standard 11%, so buying after August 31 could mean only 5.5% of your purchase goes to the Malala Fund. 

Here are 10 romance novels you can buy to make the world a better place.

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Book Review: Of Mice Not Men by Donald L. Canterbury

33386633Genre: Science Fiction, Non-Romance

Page Count: 350 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After manmade natural disasters wiped out most humans and life around the world, war breaks out among the remaining humans. The faction called the Developers want to take the resources from Earth and leave the dying planet behind to join the stars. The Harmonizers want to stay and restore Earth’s resources. Both factions race to stop the other, using deadly, even sadistic measures. After all, the fate of the planet and the human race lies in the balance.

I had my ups and downs with this book to be sure. Aside from the book badly needing a proofreader, the writing itself is well done, only dipping into preachiness about human’s greed a couple of times. The brain curdling torture scenes were deliciously awful and made me stop reading a couple times to look up pictures of pet pigs until I calmed down enough to continue.

pigsimage
Look at that face. It makes everything seem better.

I thought I had a stomach for violence. I read Stephen King books and have watched plenty of horror movies. In middle school I reveled in shocking my classmates with presentations of General Sherman’s March to the Sea and torture practices from the Spanish Inquisition. In high school I was the only one who could watch the video of a shark eating a turtle without looking away ( but I ended up crying about shark fin soup later that year).

The point is, violence in books usually doesn’t bother me. But Canterbury takes it to a whole new level in a few of the torture scenes. It wasn’t just the twisted sadism in the scenes that bothered me, however. It was the fact that both sides are tooth achingly aware of the finite resources left and yet they both spend resources making inefficient weapons. The Developers do it in the name of sadism and the Harmonizers end up with weapons that are less effective than gun powder guns. I guess it shows that humans don’t make sense.

There are a lot of characters in this book, but Jasmine is the main character. I didn’t like her at first. I found her too cold-hearted and hot-headed. Granted, she’s in deeper and darker shit than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, but despite her parents dying, she isn’t a sympathetic character for most of the book. Her relationship with Thomas feels as forced as a cheap jigsaw puzzle. Mostly she is indifferent to him or pushing him away. For awhile the only reason she was still with him was out of fear of being alone. And then suddenly she loves him? I never really bought it. Cynthia’s relationship with an alien artificial intelligence robot feels more real and she thought she was hallucinating it.

But I ended up really liking Jasmine in the end, and even Thomas.  The plot was fascinating, even a couple of parts I was skeptical about at first and this book turned out to be entertaining, even though I guessed two of the biggest plot “twists” (if you can even call them that) as soon as the foreshadowing again. But one plot twist I didn’t see coming at all, which was great.

I do wish the sides were not so black and white. The Developers were clearly evil with practically no human sides in any main characters while the Harmonizers were clearly peaceful with no dark streaks to be found. It ended up making what could have been a great story about needless conflict and saving the world sound a little like anti space exploration propaganda. That being said, it is still entertaining.

While Canterbury’s writing skills are rough, he has the potential to be a great science fiction/horror writer.

I gave Donald Canterbury an honest review in exchange for a donation to the Borgen Project, a nonprofit that fights extreme poverty. Learn how you can do the same. 

You can get Of Mice Not Men on Amazon today.

5 Classic Romances to Read This Week

Sometimes you need to go and revisit the classics or discover some new classics. These are five books that are in the public domain, so you can find them for free. They are perfect when you need some old-fashioned romance.

pride-and-prejudice-book-cover1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

This classic is one of Austen’s best-known works. It has humor, romance, and a healthy dose of reality. Headstrong Elizabeth Bennet wants happiness for herself and her sisters. And that does not include marrying Mr. Collins, no matter how much he courts her. She enjoys the company of a handsome soldier named Mr. Wickham and tries to avoid the handsome, rich, and completely intolerable Mr. Darcy.  But when she learns the truth of Darcy’s past and his intentions, she finds him not as intolerable as she thought.

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5 Romance Novels for Foodies

One of the best things that go together is food and romance. After all, what’s more sexy than having your partner cook (or buy, for those of us who are challenged in the kitchen) our favorite meal for us? So here are 10 romance novels for foodies.

1) New Free Chocolate Sex by Keith Lowe

cvr9780743482103_9780743482103_hrGenre: Contemporary

Page Count: 336 pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.14/5 stars

Can your sworn enemy become your romantic obsession? What lies between sugar and spice? Do personal tastes ever change? And when should we try something new? As this irresistible novel reminds us, sometimes love is the least predictable flavor in life’s box of chocolates.

Matt, the brilliant young marketing director of the confectionery Trundel & Barr, loves chocolate. To him it represents sensuousness and innocent joy; it is to be adored, worshipped — and exploited — at every opportunity. For Samantha, however, chocolate represents something more sinister: While researching for a television documentary she learns that there is a darker side to Trundel & Barr, in the horrendous conditions of its African cocoa plantations. So Sam sets out to expose Matt — until she finds herself locked up with him in his own chocolate factory. Stuck together, they are at risk of having a complete meltdown. But if Sam and Matt can find a way to confront their differences and learn to accept each other’s passion for chocolate, their bitter situation stands a chance of turning out sweet….

Buy this at your local bookstore now.

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3 Ways to Listen to Audiobooks for Free

Audiobooks are really great for when you want to read, but you’re working with your hands. Whether you’re doing the dishes, cooking dinner, or commuting, sometimes you’re not able to hold a book. Audiobooks are great for that. But they’re even better if they’re free. So here are 5 ways you can listen to audiobooks for free.

1) Llibrivox_logoibriVox

LibriVox.org is a website with free public domain books read by volunteers around the world. They have over 10,000 works catalogued and are adding more all the time. Even if you don’t like the classic books you read in high school, you’ll find so many more interesting and amazing books to read and enjoy.

 

2) Free Audiobooks App by RB Audiobooks

This is a great app that I use quite a bit. You can either stream the books from the internet or download them for on the go. There’s a wide variety of books here, again from the public domain. Currently, I’m listening to The Amazing Interlude by Mary Roberts Rinehart through this app, and I’m really enjoying it. You can find it quickly by going to the app store and typing in “free audiobooks”.

3) Library of Public Domain YouTube Channel

There are plenty of audiobook channels on YouTube, but this one has one of the largest selections. With over 13,000 videos, there are plenty of choices for everyone.

What’s your favorite way to listen to free audiobooks? Comment below.