Review | Lonesome Town by Tom Mendicino

Lonesome Town

 

Title: Lonesome Town
Author: Tom Mendicino
Genre: 
Publishing date: 24th November, 2015
Published by: Lyrical Press
Pages: 100

My Rating: 3/5 stars  

 

*ARC received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Charlie Beresford and Kevin “KC” Conroy came of age in Tom Mendicino’s KC, At Bat and Travelin’ Man. Now they’re struggling with the realities of adulthood, in this powerfully honest story of unlikely friendship and enduring love.

At twenty-two, Charlie Beresford has a Dartmouth degree, an entry-level radio job, and a hunch that he’s already made one of the biggest mistakes of his life. It’s no wonder his old high-school crush, KC Conroy, is wary when they encounter each other again. Five years ago, Charlie callously discarded him after they shared an intense adolescent affair.

This KC is wiser and more worldly than the aspiring baseball star Charlie used to idolize. Back then, fame and success seemed a given. Now KC is chasing his last chance to make it as a pro, playing with an independent minor league team. But Charlie has changed too. Time and distance have taught him what’s worth fighting for, even when the odds are long—and that the only thing worse than striking out might be never taking a chance at all.


My Take:

Oops, this is the third and last book in the trilogy, didn’t know that. :/ 😛

I still had no problem following up the story. I liked the writing, I liked the time interval jumps, and I liked the character development. Although everything about them was a little vague it might be because I haven’t read the first two books so obviously I can’t say much about the character development but from what I gathered in this book, both the leads matured beautifully.

I like it when the writing juggles between time intervals, there’s not a chance to get bored with a time of the story because there’s another to the rescue and as a reader it feels like participating in the story by piecing different pieces of the story together. It gives me the feel of reading multiple books at a time.

I needed more of KC and Charlie’s relationship. I think the characters aren’t implored to their full strength. From the beginning itself there are a lot of characters to keep track of, all the baseball talk just went above my head. Not a sports fan, so might be that.

Charlie isn’t exactly that likable but he is okay and their relationship would have been more likable if it was given more time. I felt there was lot of things happening that not one thing could be felt connecting. The situations were all over the place making it really effort-taking to keep a hold of what was happening to whom and who was whom.


Why would I pick it up?

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To understand it better, maybe. 😛

 

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ARC Review | Dear Hearts by Ericka Clay

dear hearts

 

Title: Dear Hearts
Author: Ericka Clay
Genre: Fiction
Publishing date:  2015
Published by: Tipsy Lit
Pages: 140

My Rating: 3/5 stars  

*ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

From the outside, Mitch and Elena Reynolds are a typical White Smoke family: married, raising a daughter, running a local business, attending church on Sundays. But their happy family image starts to crack when Mitch has an affair with local White Smoke resident, Aaron Hooper.

Mitch and Elena’s tumultuous relationship is further tested with failed attempts to get pregnant again, forced AA meetings to curb their alcoholism and bitter therapy appointments to try and “fix” their daughter, Wren. It’s not until both Mitch and Elena trust in their love for their daughter that they begin to rekindle the connection they first formed as kids. But is it too late?

From the author of Unkept, Dear Hearts is an exquisitely told tale of love, loss and human connection in the wake of darkness.


 

My Take:

A shout out to a fellow blogger, Ericka, who blogs at Tipsy Lit, who also happens to be a writer. She has more books under her wings but this is the first book I have read by her. Thank you Ericka for providing me with your book. 😀

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This is the first line of the book. (I used another reader so the image isn’t that clear but you can still read it. Ohh, chuck it! I will just type it again. 😛 )

People do things out of love, I guess, but I also got this theory that you do them because there’s a story building.

This line had me hooked in the start but Mitch didn’t convince me much as a character. He started boring me and when I thought it couldn’t get better from this point, we got Elena. Elena, according to me is a better narrator than Mitch. 🙂 Their daughter, Wren, suffers from some kind of bladder problem and wets herself. I think that’s the result of stress on that little kid because of her parent’s fights after downing too much alcohol. Yes, Mitch and Elena are alcoholics.

Did I say they were high-school sweethearts? Because they were. 😀

Mitch bores you, Elena keeps you sane but at the same time I couldn’t understand some of her actions. Her following some random woman like a creep and her tendency to clean things and then smell like bleach herself when she was upset. 😛 Like, what more do you want to do, woman? 😛 Elena, according to me is crazy. She has this secret job at a second-hand cloth store, buys a tv and then stores it on rent, envies her friend’s rich life, creeps people out, steals from the mall, drinks Dr.Pepper with alcohol all the time. 😛 Man, she would have made one hell of a protagonist if not for Mitch.

Mitch came out as blunt and distant and confused. A gay man, who refuses to accept his sexuality and hides under the cover of his marriage. While trying to have another baby with his wife, he is also having an affair with a man. He seemed so selfish at times. His reaction to his daughter’s bladder problem, leaving Elena and then going to Aaron and then deciding to go back to Elena and then dump Aaron. He removed Elena’s ring from his finger without a second thought when Aaron kind of proposed him with a ring and then on his way back home he again without a second thought tossed Aaron’s ring in a dustbin. How stupid of him to do that. :/ He was just toying around with everyone’s feeling because he was confused of his own. :/

The end was unimaginable. I didn’t get the end clearly. Was he murdered or was it an accident? But, whatever, I didn’t expect it to end that way and it obviously came as a shock. Like the complete interesting component was hiding in the last page. 😛


 

Why would I pick it up?

Life isn’t as simple as it seems. Sometimes, there’s lot more going on under the surface. To read under-the-surface pick this book up. 🙂 🙂


 

Get it here:

||Amazon||

ARC Review | White Horse in Winter by Franci McMohan

white horse in winter

 

Title: White Horse In Winter
Author: Franci McMahon
Genre: LGBTQIA, Mystery & Thrillers
Publishing date: 14th September , 2015
Published by: Bold Strokes Books, Inc
Pages: 240

My Rating: 4/5 stars  

 

 

*ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Montana rancher, Becky Miles (who decidedly drops the Becky part) is drawn into the snake pit of internalized homophobia when she travels to Vermont to find out if her gal, Jane Scott still loves her. Jane’s life is enmeshed by old guilt and compassion for Georgia, whose horse training business is tarnished by a tragic death in her barn. Miles has little patience for Georgia, a closeted lesbian who is desperate to pass among the upper crust of the horse show world. Neither Jane nor Miles has any idea, at first, just how desperate Georgia is to pass in the straight world.


 

My Take:

Before we get on with my take on this book. Let’s take a minute to appreciate the cover. Oh boy! The cover is spot on. ❤ The cover was the reason I decided to read it in the first place. (Yes, I am guilty. 😛 ) All the white, the horse, the snow. ❤ The title and the cover are a match made in heaven. ❤ (Okay, back to normal. 😛 )

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I enjoyed this book despite the rating I gave. To be honest, I love mystery but when other aspects of the book are ignored then I kind of get confused on what to rate the book. Should I give it a 4 star because it is a mystery book and that part was definitely good or should I not because the base, that is, Jane’s and Mile’s relationship that kickstarts the story didn’t appeal to me much.

But then, It’s the package that makes the deal, isn’t it? I didn’t read the book to separate awesome moments from not so awesome ones instead I read it for the sheer joy of reading it.

This book isn’t the find the culprit types. Here, we knew who the culprit was from the middle of the book. The problem here was pinning her to the crime and making her confess. According to me, the most difficult type of criminal is the one who in his/her mind did the right thing. The people who suffer from a psychological problem. There’s nothing more dangerous than human brain.

The culprit in this book is homophobic. Her homophobia makes her commit crimes as she thinks it is the only way to keep her life and pass off as straight.
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Our fears usually get the best of us. What’s important is to realize our fears and get a hold of them before they destroy you. Life this line says: “School in your feeling, girl. Don’t ever let them get the upper hand.”

The end was so unexpected. I could’ve never imagined one of them to die in the end. It was going so smooth one minute and when they thought they had the culprit pinned, the wheels turned.

Screenshot_2015-09-18-10-59-18-1Apart from the mystery there is so much to learn about horses.
Just like horses, terrified humans don’t make much sense either. When we are afraid we too tend to look for comfort in others.

As for the title goes. It is a perfect sum-up of the story. Which the author explains herself. Lies can hide till the circumstances allow them to, but in the end the truth comes out.Screenshot_2015-09-18-11-00-09-1


 

Why would I pick it up?

It is a perfect way to understand how our fears can turn us into the world of crime and destroy our lives as well as other’s too. Apart from the intelligence, it is a fast read to enjoy in between your work or before bed. 🙂 🙂 😀

ARC Review | Tarnished Gold (Cantor Gold Crime #2) by Ann Aptaker

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Title: Tarnished Gold (Cantor Gold Crime #2)
Author: Ann Aptaker
Genre: LGBTQIA, Mystery/ Thriller
Publishing date: 14th September, 2015
Published by: Bold Strokes Books, Inc

My Rating: 4/5 stars  

 

*ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

New York City, 1950. Cantor Gold, art smuggler and dapper dyke-about-town, hunts for a missing masterpiece she’s risked her life to bring through the port of New York. She must outsmart the Law that wants to jail her; outrun the dockside gangsters who would let her take the fall for murder; and outplay a shady art dealer, his lover, and a beautiful curator who toys with Cantor’s passion. Through it all, Cantor must stay out of the gunsights of a killer who’s knocking off rivals for the missing masterpiece—and stay alive to solve the mystery of her stolen love: Sophie de la Luna y Sol.

A Cantor Gold Crime


My Take:

The story starts off mid-action, catching your attention hanging to the book like the book opening to Cantor hanging on a freighter. I was hooked the moment she dived and got a nasty cut on her chin. Who doesn’t like risk-takers and dare-devils? I sure do! 😛

Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-28-26-1Set in 1950, it shows how difficult it was for people with different sexual orientation than what the society was used to. How people had to hide who they were because the Law thought they were wrong. The book addresses that problem pretty well. Not over-doing and definitely not trying to affect your mindset. Cantor puts it bluntly and I totally agree with her.

The thing that I liked about this book is that despite being labeled as LGBTQIA it doesn’t only talk about the difficulties of being gay but puts equal focus, in fact more focus on the mystery and thriller category it falls under. Like every other mystery/ thriller where there is a little mention of romance, this book has it too. The normalcy with which the main character Cantor being a lesbian is portrayed is what we need with this world. It’s just there, you don’t need to poke the shit out of the subject. I loved how Cantor handled every situation.

The mystery is plain laid, not even for a second seems forced or set up. Although I am not a fan of books that are written in first person present tense, several elements of the story made up for that. The love Cantor has for her missing love interest- Sophie, the confident persona she carries, her wits, her sarcasm, everything about her makes her an interesting character. The story effortlessly holds together. 😀

Like it happens every time I read a mystery/thriller, my mind worked over-drive, trying to pin suspicions on the behavior of characters, trying to read between lines and trying to find the killer and solve the mystery. And a story turns out good if the author has played right with your curiosity.  The line below confirms how I fell prey to what the author was trying to do, I fell for the bait and doubted the person writer wanted me too. 😛 Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-29-50-1

As soon as Cantor got the same suspicion as me, I moved on find another scapegoat. 😛

Cantor not only has the police but also the gangsters at her back to find the killer. The killer who killed her sweet old lady client. Cantor’s compassion for the old lady is touching. The lady has had a touch life, losing her family to the Nazis and escaping them, when she finds a little something to hold on to, she is killed and Cantor is the last person seen with her. More deaths follow, suspicions are aroused, and risks are taken. A simple yet entwined mystery goes a long way. 😉

I am not even counting the knowledge of paintings and art presented in this book. It still makes a worthy read. 😀

Let’s look at somethings that I marked off for some or the other reasons, shall we? 😛 😛

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I found this paragraph funny because, well, the kangaroo line was funny and even criminals have to fight against sexism to build a career.

Okay, so even though Cantor could outsmart all those thugs, gangsters, police and her high-society targets; she still had to face injustice just because she was a woman and to top it, a lesbian. Kind of funny, how people forget what actually makes a person what he or she is but focus on things that shouldn’t matter.

Screenshot_2015-09-13-21-29-12-1Here’s to taking the literal meaning of a figurative sentence. 😛

 

Here, the book has it’s share of life lessons. 😛 😛

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All in all, it was a mystery well woven, kept my attention, was fast paced and did not disappoint me. 😀


Why would I pick it up?

Who doesn’t like a easy going, fast paced mystery? 😉 A good read for the before-bed time, when you sometimes need something mind challenging but not too challenging.