What An Amazing Week in LGBTQ History and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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Rainbow Empire State BuildingLast week was such an amazing week for the LGBTQ community.  SCOTUS ruled on DOMA and Proposition 8, declaring DOMA unconstitutional and returning Prop 8 to the lower courts, essentially removing the opposition to gay marriages in California, marriages which resumed almost immediately following the decision.  Celebrations were countrywide, loud and joyous.  Even the President phoned to offer his congratulations on the ruling to the couple named in the suit.   True, the opposition has vowed to continue to fight equality, but that tide is turned and their efforts will ultimately be futile ones.   Some people will always continue to be clueless (see Paula Deen) about history lessons. No putting the genie back in the bottle or ushering people to the back of the bus once they have tasted equality.  To be adult about it, nuhuh, ain’t goin’ to happen, folks, so just deal! Woohooo, what a week.

In the FYI portion of the blog, I found Fynn’s F*&k You Scarf Pattern from Missouri Dalton’s The Night Shift.  You can find the pattern here, courtesy of Ravelry and Missouri Dalton.  Really, this pattern is too hysterical for words and looks great too.  Winston is doing great in his adjustment to the household and other dogs, almost seamless.  He is a joy for all of us.  New books are arriving in the Bellingham Mysteries series from Nicole Kimberling (Loose id) and the Recon Diaries series by Kendall McKenna, so look for book giveaways soon.

It’s been a soggy, humid week around here, with fireworks going off willy nilly it seems at local jurisdictions seemed to have planned Fourth of July celebrations anywhere but on the fourth.  Let me tell you, my dogs are  not happy about that! Sigh.

So here is the week ahead in reviews:

Monday, July 1:                      Scattered Thoughts June Book Review Summary

Tuesday, July 2:                     The Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest

Wed., July 3:                           Birds of a Feather by Nicole Kimberling

Thursday, July 4:                   Son of a Gun by A.M. Riley

Friday, July 5:                         Bully for You by Catt Ford

Sat, July 6:                               Pickup Men by L.C. Chase

American Flag CocktailAnd here is a Fourth of July cocktail recipe for you to enjoy.  Happy Fourth of July in advance!

American Flag Cocktail:

American Flag drink recipe made with Blue Curacao,Creme de Cacao,Grenadine,. How to make a American Flag with all the instructions and ingredients.
Recipe Rating: 4.6 stars based on 13 votes
Ingredients to use:
0.33 oz Blue Curacao
0.33 oz Creme de Cacao
0.33 oz Grenadine
Directions:
Mix together with crushed ice in a glass and garnish with mint leaves

For more Fourth of July cocktail recipes, visit this site.

Review: Love You Like A Romance Novel by Megan Derr

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Love You Like A Romance Novel coverJefferson  “Jet” Kristopherson, is a rock star. Jet and his cousin, David “Dai” Kristopherson, form the very successful rock band, Forever and a Dai.  But their careers and fame came at a high cost, their families.  Both families disassociated themselves from Jet and Dai the moment Jet fled the family home and business he was being groomed to run, taking his cousin along with him.  While Jet knows abandoning the family business for a career as a musician made him an utter disappointment in his families opinion, the real blame laid on his shoulders was taking Dai with him,  and their families have never forgiven him.  Now circumstances beyond his control force him back to confront his family and issues he hoped were buried in the past.

Jason Kristopherson is everything his cousin and brother are not.  Jason is a successful entertainment lawyer at his father’s law firm just as his family had planned.  He is powerful, well respected or feared by his peers and others in the industry.  And it is expected that Jason will assume the leadership role in Kristopherson, Carmichael, and Jones, his father’s firm when his father retires.  But Jason is hiding a few secrets of his own that if revealed will shatter his family and the future they have so carefully planned out for his life.

The future is about to change drastically for all three men. Who will survive when all the secrets are exposed?

First let me say that as a fantasy author, Megan Derr can do no wrong.  With regard to her fantasy stories and series, I can count on her plots being dynamic and complex, her characterizations beautifully realized complete with a lively dialog that moves her fantasy narratives along at a smooth and exuberant pace.  I can also say the same of some of her contemporary romance stories.  Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Love You Like A Romance Novel.

My quibbles with this story boil down to just a couple of issues, but for me they are big ones. Let’s take them one at a time.  First is the dense narrative.  The first half of this story is so densely packed with backstory and repetitive dialog that it slows the momentum down.  So much of it entails the family business and family history that the real drama between Jet and Jason  (as well as Jason and Dai) becomes diluted.  I noticed that this story was a serialized entry for Megan Derr and Less Than Three Press and wondered if the somewhat jerky movement of the story might be due to the fact that it came out in spurts as a series does rather than a planned novel.  That might explain the lack of smoothness in the narrative I found throughout the story.

Secondly, parts of the plot lacked realism.  A law firm knowingly deals with major criminal elements and than they are surprised when their reputation (and other things) takes a hit?  The characters also react in a way so counter to the situations they are in that at least this reader pulled back in disbelief more than once.  When someone knows they are a target, do you really walk into a dark house?  That sort of thing happens in a variety of ways here.  Perfect, perhaps for a soap opera or yes, maybe a bodice ripper but not a contemporary romance.

But I think my most serious issue is with the characters.  I did love Jason Kristopherson.  He is the most layered and grownup of the group.  He really saved this story for me.  He has just a delicious secret that he is keeping, one I did not expect.  Jason is ruthless, powerful, self aware and extraordinarily complicated.  I wish his counterparts in the story had his complexities.  Unfortunately, in regard to Jet and Dai, the first half of the story comes across as Lifestyles of the Rich and Whiny.  Both men are wealthy, came from uber rich families and spend most of their time whining and yelling at everyone around them.  Neither man is good at listening and communication issues abound throughout the story. Jet is actually 30 years old but his behavior never seems to rise above that of a teenager.  In fact, had one meeting been held at the beginning and they actually talked things out, then the book would have been over at page one.  But no, Dai and Jet jump to conclusions, run away or just yell at everyone.  Exasperating the first time it happens, tiresome and juvenile when it occurs repeatedly.

After the fifty percent mark, the story started to get interesting and engaging and my interest perked up.  But then a major character does something so unrealistic that I was jolted back to the beginning and all the reasons I had a hard time investing in this story.  And that was a pity because there are some good bones here underneath the thick surface layer and character missteps.  Perhaps had the characters more interesting layers, less money, and more real problems, I could have disregarded some of the other issues I had with Love You Like A Romance Novel, but as it stands I loved it less than a romance novel, in fact I loved it not at all.

The cover art is too dark for me to see the graphics, does not seem designed to grab a reader’s attention.