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Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: HARD TO BE GOOD by Laura Kaye

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Review by Amy

Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye was quite an interesting book for me. It was my first male/male romance book. I absolutely loved Jeremy in the Hard Ink Series and while I have not read any m/m books, I thought I would give this one a try because it was from an author I know and trust to do a good job.

HardToBeGoodIn Hard To Be Good, we are treated to Jeremy’s love story. As it sort of builds up in Hard to Come By prior to this, it came to no surprise to me that Charlie would be his perfect match. The two of them are finally able to spend time alone and when that happens, they are unable to hold back their feelings for one another. While I mentioned earlier that I love Jeremy, I am still not sure what I think about Charlie. He is very insecure and while I understood that and first felt compassion for him, I was a little annoyed with it as the story went on. I wanted to slap him really.

The author does a nice job with this novella in the series. The overall plot progresses a little yet, not enough that you would miss anything major if you don’t read it. While I am no stranger to erotic romance and like detailed intimate scenes, this one was a bit much for me. I just can’t connect with male/male intimacy. I found myself looking forward to the non-sex parts of the book and sort of wanted it to be over quickly.

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Review: WHERE THE WIND LEADS by Vinh Chung

Where the Wind Leads by Vinh Chung is a remarkable and inspiring true story of one family of refugees.  The Chung family had built themselves an empire in Vietnam but when the communists took over in 1975, they began to loose everything.  Eventually, the family realized that if they didn’t leave the country,  their growing family would have no chance for success in life. The family ended up becoming one of the thousands of “Boat People” who fled Vietnam and took to the sea,  not knowing where they would end up or if they would even survive.  After enduring horrifying conditions at sea, the family was eventually rescued and resettled in Fort Smith,  Arkansas.  The book follows young Vinh all the way until he graduates from Harvard and discusses the challenges of living in America.

18126604It’s hard not to read this book and not think about how immigration reform is in the news lately.  Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the majority of us have ancestors who were once immigrants or refugees.  For hundreds of years,  America has been a beacon of hope for others around the world as they dream of a better life.

Chung is a remarkable story teller.  He does an excellent job of explaining Vietmanese/Chinese culture to his readers.  The rules if their culture might not make sense to American readers,  but it is what kept the family alive.

One of the most inspiring topics in this book is the subject of faith.  The Chungs were one of the first families rescued by World Vision,  a Christian humanitarian charity.  While on the rescue boat,  Vinh ‘ s father listens to a sermon on Christ and begins to accept Him as his savior.  The entire family comes to believe that without Jesus they would have never been rescued.  Chung remarks on his faith and his family’s faith throughout the book.

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Review: THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein

In The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, Enzo isn’t like other dogs and he knows it. With a deep philosophical soul, Enzo could be almost human if only he had opposable thumbs. Unfortunately, Enzo doesn’t so he spends his life with his human, race car driver, Denny Swift. Together the two of them celebrate Denny’s successes on and off the track and comfort each other when Denny’s life takes a turn for the worst.

I read this book for my book club back in March 2014. I was highly skeptical when I heard the narrator was a dog. How good could an adult fiction book be good with this quirk? The answer: AMAZING!

Enzo has wonderful insights into human nature.  He feels the same emotions his human family does. Enzo feels the pangs of jealousy when Denny meets his future wife, the heart bursting feeling of love when Denny’s daughter, Zoe is born, and the adrenaline rush of watching racing. Enzo picks up much quicker than his human family on the pitfalls they are facing and feels overwhelming frustration at not being able to communicate what he knows will happen. Continue reading