The Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rights of Passage – #BookReview

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there click here.

SYNOPSIS

An ancient evil, a teenager on the run from a tragic past, and a collision course with destiny, fate, or maybe something else entirely.

Sage City Colorado is a beautiful but struggling town. It’s mining history has dried up, leaving it only with a dark local legend that may just be more history than myth. But an East Coast developer named Lucius Furr and his team, including Lennox Dupree and Elena Cordova, might just bring salvation- or awaken a long dormant evil.

Sawyer Shepherd, an eighteen year old orphan on a road trip of self discovery- and running from a tragic past- finds himself caught up not only in Furr’s plans for the small town, but also an ancient and epic battle between good and evil. Guided by locals Eli Romer and Mandy Jane, Sawyer will seek to overcome the demons of his past while also trying to survive a real life demon that seems to seek only to consume. Or is it also trying to open the door for an even greater and more powerful evil?

REVIEW

2/5 Stars

Sawyer Shepherd has a tragic past and is taking some time to see life on a road trip. He finds himself in Sage City, Colorado, a small town with a bit of mountain charm and a bit of dangerous wilderness surrounding it. While there he runs into Eli Romer, known as the town drunk, Mandy Jane, a beautiful and intriguing local, and a group of developers looking to invest in the town. Soon after he arrives, Sawyer finds himself face to face with a snow storm, an ancient evil, and the tragedies of his own past. Will they survive or will this be the end of Sawyer and his companions?

While the concept of the book was intriguing, a town trapped in a white out with something hunting the people in it, the execution left a bit to be desired. The main characters fall into most of the typical horror tropes. The main focus, Sawyer, has a tragic back story, while still being the cool action hero type, and finds out there may be more going on to this story than he is being told. This could have worked better in my opinion but I do see it having the potential for a series. And while the monsters were well described, they were also somewhat repetitive in their actions which eventually makes the story feel less frightening than it could have been.

There were quite a few spelling and grammar errors in the book. While that’s somewhat to be expected in an advanced review copy, these were excessive in this book. That did make this a somewhat difficult reading experience.

Undoubtedly, there will be people who enjoy this book but it did not ever quite work for me. The concept is similar to things like the television shows Supernatural or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The best moments of the book were when the group felt trapped with no way out, especially during the snow storm, similar to The Shining but with a different kind of monster coming after them. It felt like something we have seen before in horror books but didn’t add much of a new take to it. There were twists and turns, and there is an ever present amount of gore involved yet the fear one would hope for in a horror book never quite came through for me.

If the series continues it would be nice to see a little less of the expected tropes and a few more surprises for those of us who like a good horror book.

Sincerely yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Roland’s Vow – #BookReview

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there click here.

SYNOPSIS

The Warlock of the Marshes is a man marked and cursed by a past of horrible deeds. Will Roland hear his plea? Can Roland trust the daughter of such a man, or will his own desires betray his reason?

Roland and Eldryn take to the seas of Stratvs, alongside their new Slandik friends, and discover an exotic city that exists in the shadow of harsh laws and savage practices. Lavon is home to every type of trade and pleasure. However, such riches place its very soul in peril.
In the distant land of Lawrec, Roland will face trials that will test not only his physical strength, but his own code of honor as well. Roland’s constitution continues to be forged as he struggles against the evils of the world and his own pride. But will his efforts be enough to save a land besieged by raiding armies and a people starved of hope?

Join Roland as he takes Swift Blood in hand to battle pirates, fallen champions, and worse. Roland’s quest to earn his father’s approval continues in Roland’s Vow, Book II of the Heirs of Vanity series.

REVIEW

3/5 Stars

Roland and Eldryn set out on their journey as young men but now have experience on their side. They continue the hunt for an evil mage that escaped his punishment in Roland’s Path. Along the way they make new allies, learn new tactics and realize that the world is a much larger place than they could have imagined. The world is at risk from the evil Daeriv and Roland knows he must act to stop it from overwhelming the innocent. Along the way he learns more of his heritage and meets beings of incredible power. The companions must decide whom they can trust and watch out for one another before it is too late.

The action Roland’s Vow is excellent and does not let up. The battles are epic in scope and extremely enjoyable to read. The danger keeps looming larger and it was fun to see how it all played out. Roland and Eldryn are not such young men as they were and they are beginning to get some recognition for their deeds. There are new allies that shine in this book and it will be interesting to see how these relationships grow and change throughout the course of the series. Also refreshing was how the motivations of Roland and Eldryn moved from trying to prove themselves to their parents towards doing good for the sake of helping those who cannot help themselves.

The weakest part of the story was the romantic entanglements that both Roland and Eldryn are swept up into. Between that and the somewhat frequent spelling errors, this book doesn’t quite live up to its full potential. The villains motives also remain somewhat vague, although this will surely add to the plot in future installments. Those issues did not stop the story from being an enjoyable read however.

Anyone who loves Dungeons & Dragons and enjoys epic quests, large battles, fast action, and the forming of a fighting party to take on evil will find this book a thrill most of the time. If you love books like The Sword of Shanara then the Heirs of Vanity series is a worthy companion to place next to it on your shelf.

Epically yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Roland’s Path – #BookReview

Note: this review was first posted on Reedsy Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there click here.

SYNOPSIS

When two servants of evil escape during young Roland’s watch, he is driven by his own shame and vanity to take up his axes and track them down himself. Raised on the rural edges of Gallhallad, can he survive the dangers and complexity of the road ahead?With the help of his lifelong friend Eldryn, the Cavalier hopeful, and an uneasy bargain with a dagger wielding cutpurse, Roland pursues a wizard of unknown powers and a woman of uncommon beauty and skill.Will Roland’s vanity not only doom him, but a kingdom he hoped to one day serve as well?In Roland’s world of Stratvs, vanity has a high price. A price paid with the blood of the innocent and the guilty. Around him, swords once pledged to justice rust on the altars of the self-righteous.

REVIEW

3/5 Stars

Roland and Eldryn are young men who have large shoes to fill. Roland is trying to live up to his father’s expectations and has his first test before him when two prisoners escape under his watch. This leads to an epic adventure across the lands where danger is around every corner, friends are few and knowledge and training make the difference between life and death. Roland and Eldryn make an alliance with a cutpurse to help them track down and return the escaped prisoners. They will be tested, challenged and hunted. Will they be able to survive, return the prisoners and fight with enough honor to make their ancestors proud?

Rolands Path reminded me of an extended Dungeons and Dragons session. That is not an insult in any way. I love those types of adventures and any time I can go on an epic quest with a well written character, I am on board. The best moments of this book were full of action and heroic sword battles. The action is constant and very well detailed. The danger is palpable and it never feels guaranteed that any of the main characters are going to survive the next minute, let alone to the end of the book. At its best this story feels like something that could sit next to R.A. Salvatore’s famous Homeland book, although with a less flawed protagonist than that series has.

While the heroes are well fleshed out and there was a good sense of where they came from and what they wanted, the villains were another story. Their motivations were unclear and some of the tactics they were using did not always make sense. Some of this is probably due to the fact that this is the first in a series of books and hopefully these characters will be more well developed in the future books.

This was close to a four star book, except for the vague definition of the villains and the fact that there are a lot of distracting spelling mistakes. The ride is fun and the action is good. If you are a fan of fantasy books, this is a good one to pick up. The follow up is sure to be an exciting ride and something to look forward to.

Epically yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Edge of Darkness – #BookReview

Note: this review was first posted on Discovery, an awesome website that pairs independent authors and readers. To see the post there click HERE.

Cyberpunk fans and fans of far future fiction will enjoy reading this book.

SYNOPSIS

In 2065, corporate sponsored governments jockey for supremacy in the biotechnical arena. Bullets and missiles take a back seat to cyber-enhanced soldiers and pulse weapons. In this extreme environment, only the most hardened body and mind can survive.

Calder McKenna was a failed experiment in the military’s push for power. Now a special agent for the metro task force, he lives day by day trying to forget the ones that were lost… the ones that he could have saved.

When technology and humanity collide, Calder is forced to make desperate decisions, but how do you destroy the monster without becoming one yourself?

REVIEW

3/5 Stars

Calder Mckenna is an ex-soldier working as a cop who is still haunted by the actions of his past. His life gets a whole lot more complicated when a mysterious package shows up at his door. While what is in the package might unlock hidden potential inside him, it might also make him into a monster. This story is about his struggle to maintain his humanity while still protecting his partner and those around him.

The book starts off strong and is full of action. The integration of technology and humanity is a consistent theme throughout the book. Calder also starts out as a rather interesting character to me. I found myself wanting to know more about him and why he was the way he was. For most of the book I was excited about it and enjoyed the story. There was at least one relationship that I found a little less believable than others but I won’t go into detail about it to avoid spoilers but otherwise I was intrigued.

I was reminded of things like Altered Carbon or Phillip K. Dick novels as I was reading this. While this is not quite as realized as those worlds, this was still an entertaining read. I liked how these mega corporations are controlling everything from behind the scenes but I never got a great sense of what exactly they were doing or why. It was clear that they were not above board and needed to be stopped, but I feel like that is part of the book that could have been strengthened.

The action is fast and continuously interesting and I found myself rooting for Calder to succeed. There is a lot of action and for this kind of story, I find that a great plus. I enjoy a little bit of philosophy about the way things are but then I am ready to get back to the fight. Edge of Darkness provides a constant stream of intense action with real, high stakes.

For me this just narrowly missed being a four star book, mostly because I felt like some of the scenery and background could have been delved into a little more, and like I said one relationship never quite worked for me.

If you like far future fiction, this is a good one to go with and I will be checking out the sequels.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

Friday the 13th Part 2 – #MovieReview

Use the Buddy System People!

Do you need a reason not to go outside and get into a crowd? Here’s one. There could be a deranged killer at that camp you were going to so you’re probably better of staying at home anyway. That’s the lesson of Friday the 13th Part 2. If you ask my opinion, they should have called this Saturday the 14th but no one asked my opinion so too bad I guess.

Fair warning that I am going to spoil some of this movie so if you haven’t watched it yet, get Shudder (you can actually get it free for 30 days right now with the code SHUTIN) and watch up before you read on!

Okay now that you are back I am going to give you a very brief summary of the plot and then I am giving you Slick Dungeon’s camping tips for when we can finally all go camping again.

The film starts off with Alice from the first movie dreaming about her horrible experience. But it might as well have started off with a narrator saying, “Previously on Friday the 13th!” because it’s just a mish-mash of scenes from the first movie. I guess the film makers just couldn’t trust that people hadn’t seen the first one and thought it would be very important to kill a few minutes showing that so that we all could know what happened before. Because see we were so invested in these intriguing characters from the last film that of course we need that update. Can you tell this part annoyed me?

Anyway, pretty soon Alice is dead because the killer shoves a pointy object through her skull, but not before leaving a decapitated head in her fridge. Alice sees the head, realizes it is the head she decapitated in the last film and then bye bye Alice.

We fast forward five years or so and a new group of teens is coming up to the lake to be camp counselors. This time they aren’t counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, just a camp right near that camp, but on the same lake. It’s not the same okay?! If you thought this movie was practically identical to the first one, then why would the camp where all the killing happens be a whole short hike away?!?! Totally new material here I promise.

There is a part where the dude leading the camp tells a scary ghost story about Jason and his mother. If I was making the movie I would have just used that instead of the beginning part that felt tacked on and pointless here. Anyway, the same kind of thing from the first movie happens where a killer, who we mostly know is about to kill because the camera turns to a first person point of view shot, finds and picks off camp counselors one night right before the camp is supposed to open.

I’m not really going to go in how each character dies because that’s the only possible reason to watch these. I will say that the whole decapitated head thing is kind of creepy but they hit a lot of standard horror tropes in this movie. There is the guy warns kids away scene. The guy who warned kids away gets killed scene. The cops come to check stuff out and almost catch the killer but get killed scene. There is the car won’t start early in the movie to set up the fact that it won’t start later at a crucial moment in the movie scene. And like I said in my last post, there is the no one believes the victim scene, which I hate.

I will give away one death here. There is a dude in a wheel chair in this who is clearly the strongest guy there. He crushes everyone at camp at arm wrestling but he dies in a very disappointing way to me. He doesn’t even really get to fight Jason, he just takes a machete to the face. I wanted him to at least arm wrestle the guy. Why not do that since the movie spends so long having the character arm wrestle? Wasted opportunity there.

The night goes on, Jason does more killing, the one character who sort of believes the whole story about Jason is the one to survive but no one is going to believe her. I had some questions though. If it has been five years since that first bloody night, those cops did a terrible job of crime scene clean up if Jason can get that head. Why do these cops suck so much? Also, why is Jason a ghost story here? I would think he would be more of a news story if anything and people should just be like, man these cops suck, let’s investigate why the cops suck so much at their jobs before we open another camp up there where the cops couldn’t protect anyone.

On the whole this movie is still entertaining as a horror exercise and while I suspect it’s the best of the sequels, it’s nowhere near as good as the first one. Why? It’s much less original since it’s just the same story only with the killer being Jason instead of his mother.

On to my tips for camping.

Slick Dungeon’s rules for camping

  1. When you are out camping in the woods, please for the love of God, do not wear teeny tiny shorts from the 1980’s. Do you know how much poison oak and how many tick bites you are going to have to deal with? If someone on the set of these movies didn’t end up with lyme disease I would be shocked.
  2. When you and your buddy go off to look at the creepy camp nearby, tell someone where the heck you are going. I mean, I know it’s forbidden and all but at least tell the other counselors who wouldn’t care so that when you do get killed they don’t have to take forever out in the hot sun searching for your remains on the Saturday after okay?
  3. This one I cannot stress enough. If you go skinny dipping in the middle of the night, take a buddy with you. Yes, you might be embarrassed about being naked in front of someone else but you will be less murdered.
  4. Also, when you ignore my advice and go skinny dipping anyway and one of the jerky guys in camp steals your clothes and you get all mad and demand your shirt back, maybe you should realize that barely counted as a shirt and we didn’t have much left to the imagination in the first place.
  5. Also, when you announce to everyone before you go skinny dipping that you are going for a walk, tell them where you are walking to. AND TAKE A BUDDY.
  6. I mean your buddy is probably going to get killed too once he gets caught in a bear trap but you can leave him there as bait so that you can get away.
  7. But seriously if you go camping at all, like ever, bring a buddy.
  8. If you are the person in charge of one of these places, don’t leave the camp okay? I mean you have been prepping this place for months without all these teenagers and the minute they get here you go into town and leave the camp open for everyone to do whatever they want there and next thing you know you have dead bodies all over your camp. That’s going to drop your summer camp rates from like $1000 per week not including food to $500 per week including food. I mean, you aren’t going to close for good because goodness knows you can’t find a camp cheaper than that and parents are gonna risk it because every other camp is full or more expensive this summer but still. Think about your return on investment! Oh and not getting killed when you finally do come back to the camp.
  9. I saw almost no one drinking water in their hikes, swims, campfires, running for no reason or other physical activity. It gets hot out there and you are at a higher elevation so hydrate or die-drate people! I mean it, if you go camping, bring a freaking water bottle. It’s no fun having to go home early in an ambulance getting pumped full of fluids when you could be up there with your friends trying to survive a deranged murderer instead.
  10. Finally, if you are the townspeople who know that this camp is nicknamed camp blood because it is drenched in the blood of teenage camp counselors, do everyone a favor and make sure to warn people better. Maybe have a sign out there that says murderer danger high/medium/low today so campers can plan well.

Happy Campingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

PS want to watch this rehashed sequel click below.

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

To Be Taught If Fortunate – #BookReview

Hello out there in cyberspace. Slick Dungeon here and I just read a book about outer space that I want to share with you. I enjoyed this one a lot and I will be doing a little review. There will be some spoilers but I will not give away the whole plot here. You’ve been warned if you want everything in the book to be a surprise.

To Be Taught if Fortunate by Becky Chambers is a hard science fiction novella that had me interested cover to cover. It follows the adventures of four astronauts in the far future who have been sent from Earth to explore a few planets and their ecosystems in the interests of science and humanity. Ariadne, Chikondi, Elena and Jack have all been tasked to take scientific recordings, samples, etc. and sent back to Earth for study.

The book is full of beautiful descriptions of new species, the harsh realities of space exploration and the breakdown of difficult scientific ideas into understandable concepts. The characters are very well developed for such a short book. I was pretty gripped throughout, whether it was the personal struggles of the space explorers or the underlying question of the book; should we seek knowledge just for the sake of curiosity?

Those of you out there who are space nerds will probably know that the title is taken from a small snippet of a quote on the golden record on the Voyager space craft. This book takes the idea that we ought to be curious, that we need to find more out about the universe around us seriously. That can be said for a lot of science fiction and especially hard science fiction books. Where I think this one is different is that it also asks if our curiosity does harm. Are we hurting foreign species we might encounter in space? Are we able to minimize that? And if we can minimize it, is that really enough? Should humanity care about space exploration if there are problems on the ground right here on Earth?

What I love about this book is that it does not provide hard and fast answers to those questions. We follow along as the astronauts go to different environments, with different challenges both for the astronauts and the species (or lack of species) on each planet they touch down on. It isn’t a silly novel where there are a ton of bipedal humanoid species. No, the species they encounter might be microscopic or look somewhat like rats but have truly nothing in common with the earthbound creatures we think of. And it’s very well described.

Maybe the one thing I would change about the book is the ending. I feel like it could have been more conclusive. On the other hand, that may have been the whole point. The book doesn’t give us answers to a lot of important questions, but it dares to ask them. So maybe the end is made that way too. So that we have to form our own opinions and ideas of not only what the right thing to do is when it comes to science, but also how our heroes end up in the long run.

If you’re looking for an entertaining, deep, yet short read, and you have any interest in space exploration at all, I highly recommend To Be Taught If Fortunate.

If you’ve read this, let me know what you thought about it in the comments.

Space-ily Yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

A Pizza to Die For – #BookReview

Take the Pizza Leave the Mystery

Have you been stuck inside for days with nothing to do but read or watch movies? Me too. Although, I live alone in a dungeon so it makes sense. Slick Dungeon here with a cozy mystery book review for you in your time of boredom.

A Pizza to Die For by Chris Cavendar is one in a series of cozy mysteries that take place in or around a pizza shop in Timber Ridge, North Carolina. It’s about a pair of sisters, Eleanor and Maddy who run the place called, A Slice of Delight. I’m going to give you a little plot summary but then I had some issues with the whole thing so I am going to rant about that for a while.

If you just want a nice, tidy, mystery, there are definitely worse you could read out there. If you want a nice, tidy, mystery that constantly makes you wish you were eating pizza because they say the word every other sentence, this is absolutely the book for you. I think I gained weight just by reading it to be honest.

The story goes like this. A new pizza place is about to open. The restaurant is called Italia’s and not only will it have a fancy, dancy, high-falutin, wood fire oven, there’s a chef there that will toss the pizza dough in the air right in front your very own face. Maddy and Eleanor are none too pleased with this and so she and her crew go to see the dude opening it up. His name is Judson Sizemore and they basically threaten him to, you know, not open the place, but after he was a jerk to them, so apparently that’s all okay behavior.

I bet you see this coming. Judson ends up dead. Eleanor and Maddy are suspects of course, so they attempt to clear their names by solving the mystery. In case you actually want to read this, I am not going to give away who does it but there are spoilers that follow so you have been warned.

Here are some thoughts I had along the way.

  • At one point this book has the required “get off my lawn” scene where they go to try to talk to one of the suspects and he pulls out a shotgun and says he will shoot Maddy and Eleanor if they don’t leave. So many mysteries have this but this one to me was exceedingly ridiculous. The guy threatens to shoot them for, you know, walking up to his door, but then how is he talked down? Eleanor tells him she also has a house that is a bungalow house, like the one he owns. Oh. Okay. Yeah I was willing to blow your face off two seconds ago but IF you happen to own a home LIKE mine, then that’s all good, no problem, let’s be best friends. Give me a break (so I can grab a slice of pizza).
  • I know this book was written a while ago and takes place far away from Chicago but these people in this town seem to feel like you have to have some kind of magical ability to make Chicago style pizza. They go on about this for pages. Pages I tell you. And you know what? Now I need me some deep dish!
  • So Eleanor and Maddy think what they have to do is figure out who did the killing at Italia’s the night Judson dies. Guess who they never talk to even once? Yeah, everyone that was working there. Nope, none of them could possibly be suspects despite the fact that Judson in his few scenes where he is alive seems like a total jerk. Great detective work.
  • Speaking of detective work. This town has a Chief of Police who warns Eleanor away from doing her own little investigation and other than that pretty much shows up on occasion to order pizza or do some dishes in the back with Eleanor. The Chief, Kevin, has history with Eleanor because they went to the same high school. But he does no real investigating of this whole situation other than to basically ask Eleanor where she was on the night of the murder. I swear I have never read a cozy mystery where the police department ever does a good job. How are the tax payers okay with paying you Kevin? Huh? Come on, man, the Timber Ridge residents deserve better from you!
  • Also, I have made this statement in other reviews about mysteries but how is a pair of civilians going around and bullying people into confessing to them, not to the police in any way, going to help in court? I am pretty sure a lawyer who is worth a dime is going to get that case tossed in seconds flat.
  • Speaking of crappy lawyers. There is a lawyer in this who is dating Maddy, named Bob Lemon. Well, Bob Lemon does the smart thing exactly once. He tells Maddy that she should not go investigating other people for a murder she might be a suspect for. She jumps all over him for it and pretty much puts him in the doghouse for it for a good chunk of the book. And he apologizes for it! I mean, the dude is a lawyer and the first rule of good lawyering is to get your dumb client who is going around looking very suspicious to you know, shut up. If I was Bob Lemon I would not have apologized. I would have demanded my hourly rate of $100 an hour for that one bit of advice and left Maddy to make her own dang mess.
  • The suspects in this book never looked like they had that much guilt or motive or even opportunity to do this crime but why would they confess anything to Eleanor and Maddy? They do have a friend that seems to intimidate people because he must be into some criminal stuff but that doesn’t seem like enough for someone who committed murder to just be like, oh yeah, I am gonna confess every dark secret of mine to you.
  • Also, as I said I won’t give away who did it but like in every one of these stories, why would the killer actually confess in the last part of the book? They had every opportunity to you know, shut up and just kill the people confronting them. All I can think is that person must also be dating and ignoring a lawyer who gave good advice and then apologized for it.
  • This book even has the prerequisite relationship with a criminal and the protaganist (in this case a pizza maker) that makes no sense at all. I mean, this may have come about in previous books but how many small shop pizza owners are like, yeah let me hang out with a mobster? I could almost buy it if the protagonist were crooked or, like in law enforcement but just a pizza shop owner? Really?
  • Speaking of crimes. In several sections of the book they mention that the local health inspector is away on a honeymoon. Well, it’s a good thing because the kitchen in A Slice of Delight seems to be like Grand Central Station. (Well Grand Central Station a few weeks ago). Everyone shows up there to ask Eleanor stuff, tell Eleanor stuff, and do this dishes with Eleanor. I mean, are there no rules about this sort of thing? She doesn’t even tell anyone to put on a hair net or gloves or anything. It made me want pizza less and that is nearly impossible.
  • There is one thing that I can say for this series though. Their pun game is strong. This one is A Pizza to Die for but they have a bunch of other books with titles like, A Slice of Murder and Rest in Pizza. I wholeheartedly approve. I am gonna murder that slice of pizza to die for and go rest in the remains of it now.

Man that book and review made me really want pizza. Think anyone will deliver to a monster filled dungeon out in the middle of nowhere in thirty minutes or less?

Hungrily yours,

Slick Dungeon

This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever endorse products I have personally used. Thank you for your support!

P.S. Hungry for more murder pizza? Check out this series here!

Temptation – #BookReview

I have No Idea What is Happening in Texas

Hello out there to those of you above ground. It’s Friday the 13th today and that means bad luck. What was my bad luck today? Reading Temptation by Brenda Jackson.

I tend not to like romance books much and this one is a prime example of why not. From a barely there plot, to poorly developed characters, to really weird obsessions with mouths, this book was awful from start to finish. It was so bad that I was at times baffled and at times just straight up angry at how bad this could be.

Here’s the thing though, when I read something that I think is awful, I just obsess over it somehow. How did this get made? Why? Who thought publishing this was a good idea? But then it hit me, there is only one answer to this riddle for Temptation. I need to find out right from the horses mouths (yeah cause Texas and horses and… ah never mind). So, lucky for me, I have run into several of the characters in the book! I will be interviewing them below. I have no idea how they ended up in the fifth room of my dungeon but here they are. I wish I could say it was good to see people but well… maybe next time send someone with a ladder so I can get out of here?

Anyway, I am going to provide a quick summary of the (for lack of a better term) plot and then dive right into the interview.

Sheila Hopkins is an emergency room nurse in Royal, Texas. One day she is driving and sees a hunka hunka burning man meat in the car next to her on the way to work. She gets to work and surprise, surprise, surprise, Mr. man meat is there and meets her. This guy is Zeke Travers who is a private investigator. A baby was left abandoned and someone is trying to name Zeke’s best bud and client Brad as the father. It’s part of a blackmail scheme to get some money out of rich folks who are in charge at the Texas Cattlemen’s Club. Zeke and Sheila hit it off and Sheila, within minutes of meeting an abandoned baby is supposed to take care of it for two weeks while the custody of said baby is worked out. Sheila takes a shine to the kid and names her Sunnie, Zeke takes a shine to Sheila and they kiss a lot while ridiculously saying they should stay away from each other. Zeke has to keep an eye on Sheila cause what if she is some kinda psycho who just was handed a baby (never mind that it’s kind of psycho to hand over a baby to a stranger). Zeke and Sheila hook up, break up (but not really), hook up some more, have some fights, Zeke figures out the plot, Sheila has to give up the baby but it’s okay because now she can have babies with Zeke. Happy ending and holy crap there are a bunch more books in this series.

Let me give a warm Slick Dungeon welcome to my guests, Sheila Hopkins, Zeke Travers, Sunnie, and Bradford Price.

Slick: Hi Sheila, nice to meet you. So you were a nurse for the whole book but you never did any nursing other than taking a kid home. What are your thoughts about taking a baby home instead of you know, leaving it say, at the pediatric ward of your hospital?

Sheila: Neither me nor my kitchen would be able to handle all the heat Zeke and I would make.

Slick: uhmmm, that didn’t really answer the question. About the baby…

Sheila: Earlier in the day a man proposed to his his girlfriend in the E.R. It was very romantic.

Slick: Uh, ok. I mean have you been in an Emergency Room? It’s noisy, smells weird and occasionally people walk in with a severed finger in a mason jar full of ice. Is that actually romantic? Anyway, about this kid who you took care of…

Sheila: I named her Sunnie because she stopped crying and smiled at me. That makes me most qualified to be her mother.

Slick: I’m not sure that fits the definition of qualified but at least you are on topic this time. What made you so attracted to Zeke?

Sheila: Have you seen him? He has a mouth that is hot. Also he said to me, “Good. Because if I get arrested, Sheila, so do you. And it would be my request that we get put in the same jail cell.”

Slick: Okay, first off, I doubt you would get the request granted. Secondly, a jail cell? Is that supposed to be romantic? I kind of think your idea of romantic locations is a bit off here. Was it tough keeping Sunnie? You didn’t seem to have much experience with infants when she was randomly given to you.

Sheila: Zeke did a background check on me and I got sooo mad. Then he built a crib while I showered. We kissed. Zeke smelled good. Most of the men at the hospital smell sanitized. Zeke reminds me of a real man’s scent.

Slick: Wasn’t he all sweaty from building the crib and like hauling things in for you?

Sheila: Yes.

Slick: Okay gross. Also, just because you smell sanitary really does not mean you are not a “real man”. I think a lot of male nurses, doctors, and people who don’t like to stink might take offense at that. But since you keep bringing up Zeke, let me switch gears and speak with him.

Slick: Hi Zeke, you are a private investigator who did almost nothing for two weeks while Sheila took care of a kid that you first handed over, then thought, maybe I should do a background check on this woman that I gave a kid to. Were you suspicious of Sheila? And do you think maybe the background check could have happened prior to the baby hand off?

Zeke: Sheila attracted me right off. I kissed her, even though I had only met her earlier in the day, first at a stop light, then when I gave her a baby to take care of. This kind of mouth interaction with Sheila was stirring things inside me that I’d tried to keep at bay with other women.

Slick: TMI dude. So, Sunnie was not even five months old and cried a lot and had been literally abandoned on a doorstep of a club that your friend Brad is a part of. Yet, you wondered why the kid didn’t have a bed time. You don’t know how babies work do you?

Zeke: My friend Brad is a good man. He hired me. I own a big ranch. I have a niece and nephew too so I know about kids. Did I mention I kissed Sheila?

Sheila: Even after brushing my teeth I could still taste Zeke.

Slick: You need to brush better.

Zeke: Sheila tasted good. I couldn’t get enough of it, which is why I was eating away at her mouth with a relentless hunger.

Slick: Dude, stop, we have been over this. TMI.

Sheila: But he’s so romantic. He said, “I want to cherish you with my mouth, Sheila.”

Slick: I’ve watched a movie where space zombies try to take over the planet and no one in that film said anything even close to as weird as that. Let’s try talking about something else. There was a hurricane threatening your neighborhood, Sheila. Zeke did what a responsible guy would do and came over to check on you. Then he basically pressured you into moving into his house to wait the storm out. That seemed reasonable because, hurricane. But you asked him not to seduce you while you were there. He wouldn’t agree to that. Sheila, that’s seriously disturbing behavior, why didn’t you call the cops on Zeke?

Sheila: I went to his house knowing I was attracted to his mouth.

Slick: Okay… Uh, Zeke, did you not think it was messed up to basically say, stay at my house to ride out the hurricane but I won’t promise to keep my grubby mitts off you to Sheila?

Zeke: Brad is a good man. I own a ranch. I had to clear his name and to do that I had to mostly spend time with Sheila. My job was to investigate the crime so I stayed with the caretaker of the baby.

Slick: Er, you really sucked at your job and at being a decent guy. Hurricanes are not prime opportunities to coerce women.

Sheila: I stayed way longer than after the hurricane was a threat. I can’t admit my feelings for Zeke.

Slick: I would say all the kissing you did is kind of an admission.

Zeke: There’s something about Sheila’s scent that makes me want to mate.

Slick: Seriously dude. TMI.

Zeke: I could only imagine the outcome of this mating. But I needed it the way I need to breathe.

Slick: The outcome is pregnancy. In case you didn’t notice, there was a baby the whole time. That’s the outcome of mating. and let me just say this again, T.M.I.! But speaking of the baby, it was really convenient that she cried a lot at the beginning and then kept her attention on Sheila so she could be given over. Then it was even more convenient that she didn’t cry later in the book when you guys were doing weird mouth things and mating and what not. Sunnie, do you have anything to say about this?

Sunnie: …

Slick: Well I suppose you are kind of a plot device.

Brad: That’s my job. I’m a good man. I was set up. My brother had a kid with a woman, was killed by her and her drug dealing boyfriend then they tried to blackmail me with his kid. This is all explained in about two whole paragraphs in the book.

Slick: True. Sheila, you seemed to get surprisingly angry and depressed over the fact that Zeke might miss a flight while trying to catch a crook. Are you over that?

Sheila: Oh totally. We got married and Brad and this other woman Abigail that I met just days ago who seems to be interested in Brad was there.

Slick: Uh, more in this horrible series to come then?

Brad: Yeah. See when I told Zeke I had a genetic link to the baby, he left the building without any explanation and then hooked up with Sheila. We figured out it was my brother’s kid but not before I made Abigail cry. Then we watched a tape with Abigail that literally could have solved the entire crime if Zeke had just done his job and showed it earlier to the people at the Texas Cattlmen’s Club. But he was mating with Sheila. I get my turn next. With Abigail that is.

Zeke: Well, I did have to fly to Dallas and then be almost late for when Sheila gave back the baby, so I could watch other people arrest the bad guy. So I called my super rich dad who I was estranged from until a few years ago and ask to fly in his jet. Then while on that jet I bought a wedding ring for Sheila and proposed to her.

Slick: You proposed in a parking lot outside of the Texas Cattlemen’s Club?

Zeke: I did and she said yes.

Slick: I guess it’s better than an Emergency Room. How did you propose?

Sheila: He said, “Do you love me enough to wear my last name, have my babies and spend the rest of your life with me?”

Slick: Err. I don’t know where to begin here. First, is a last name something you wear? In my experience I mostly say it, spell it or sign it. Also, I would just like to mention that they wouldn’t just be Zeke’s babies. They would be yours as well. Spending the rest of your life, I have no problem with. But seriously, Zeke, you are one weird dude.

Brad: But he knows I am a good man. I bet he shows up in my book!

Slick: I will not be reading that. Thanks for finding your way here down in the dark. Now all of you, get out!

Slick drops microphone and releases various types of lethal oozes to get them to leave.

I hope you enjoyed my exclusive interview. Next week I will be back with another review. This time I will be reading The Last Chance Olive Ranch by Susan Wittig Albert. I guess someone already must have taken the first chance olive ranch?

Journalistically yours,

Slick Dungeon

Summer in Tuscany – #BookReview

trust me, I’m a… doctor?

Slick Dungeon here and I am just hanging out in the fifth room of my dungeon where I keep all kinds of less than stellar books. This week I read Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler.

But wait, what is this? What is this thing I found rolling around on the floor? It’s my new patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter. This device will without fail let us know if something in a book sucks. Along with this meter, there is a set of instructions. They tell me that there is a rating scale. For every beep I hear while describing something in the book, that is a suckiness point. If there is no beep, I will remove a point. At the end we will discover if Summer in Tuscany sucks or not.

First, a very quick plot summary. An overworked doctor has to go to Italy because her mother inherited a villa where she grew up. As soon as she gets there, a land dispute breaks out with a handsome American man that we all know is going to end up with the main character. I have no idea why so many romance novels lately involve land disputes but whatever. Stuff happens, people hook up, there’s a wedding and we all knew the summer in Tuscany was going to end with a permanent residence there with said hunky man. Is this Doc Hollywood or Cars with the gender roles reversed? Basically yes.

Also, quick note, I listened to this on audio so if I misspell any names please forgive my unintentional error.

Suckiness meter activate!

  • The main character, Gemma, is a doctor but in the first chapter wonders if she should get breast implants. Does she not know how bad putting silicon in your body for no reason is for you? What kind of a doctor is she? +3 suckiness points for being a bad doctor.
  • Gemma is described as a hard, working, dedicated emergency room doctor in New York City, who does her best to help people, all while raising a teenage daughter on her own. No beeps. -1 suckiness point.
  • We learn pretty quickly she has a biiiig secret about a man named Chase Drummond who is a cowboy crossed with a surfer. I bet her secret is not all that bad! And seriously, Chase Drummond? I think he should have just been named Chiseled Manhunk. +4 suckiness points for overhyped masculinity and secrets that are not secrets.
  • Gemma’s mother Nona, is hiding that she has a heart defect from her own daughter who I may have mentioned is a doctor. I mean, I get you don’t want to tell your kid bad news but, free health care right?? +1 suckiness point for not using your own resources.
  • Nona has to go back to Italy because she is told by a shady lawyer type that she has inherited this massive property and is now a wealthy heiress. Gemma is going to disrupt her life, and take herself and her kid Olivia (who goes by Livie) for an entire summer to sort it out. I’ve heard much worse reasons to go to Italy so no beeps. -2 suckiness points.
  • The book really gets going once the fam arrives in Italy and there are beautiful descriptions of the scenery and the food described is mouth-watering. -3 suckiness points
  • They see all kinds of sights in this book including going up the stairs of the duomo in Florence but they never wait in line. +4 suckiness points for not making this completely fictional story seem more like reality.
  • Gemma seems to be lusting over virtually every dude she sees but she has promised herself she would remain celibate due to reasons involving that Chase guy from her past. Yeah right. +5 for unbelievability.
  • Gemma, as I have mentioned, is a doctor but at one point she wonders if the “sexy parts” (her words not mine) on her body are called the loins. Did you not have to take anatomy to become an ER doc?! +7 for making me crazy with annoyance at her poor job skills.
  • Gemma meets her love interest, a man named Ben Raphael who, I freaking kid you not, is super wealthy and has a daughter named Muffy. Muffy!! Is there a more stereotypical rich kid name ever? I think she should have been named Super Spoiled Rich Kid instead. +3 for the continuing trend of stupid names.
  • Nona gets her own cute little romance with a guy from the village who remembers her from way back when. I have no problem with this and kind of liked the part where they let the dog decide if they should get married. -2 suckiness points.
  • Livie goes on her first date, with some random Italian guy who thinks she is older than 14, and misses her curfew but kisses him. +9 suckiness points for a combination of bad parenting and predatory grossness.
  • Gemma is constantly questioning her looks, despite the fact that there is a man who is seriously in love with her and keeps telling her how attractive he thinks she is. Confidence, woman! Why do women in these books always have self esteem issues? +5 suckiness points for boring old romance tropes.
  • Ben Raphael is wealthy, handsome, divorced, in love with Gemma and runs a vaguely defined “business”. I think he’s probably doing something really shady to make his money. It never says that in the book, it’s just the obvious conclusion. +3 suckiness points for more romance tropes.
  • For a good part of the book Ben is living at the villa and when he wakes up one morning and the shower does not turn on, he immediately thinks Gemma is to blame. Here’s the thing though, she was kissing him just the night before and although they are in a bit of a legal dispute, she gave him no real reason to think she would do anything like that. Hmmmm…. the shower didn’t turn on, I know! It’s the woman who was kissing me last night. Perfectly logical conslusion. +3 suckiness points for Ben being an idiot.
  • Ben also has weird things he says to Gemma. He literally calls her a walking disaster. He compliments her by saying she is “looking girly”, this despite the fact that he earlier thought how great it was she wasn’t hung up on make up and didn’t care about looking perfect all the time. (Spoiler Ben, she really is hung up on make up constantly and you could tell if you just read her inner dialogue like the rest of us did). Then he proposes to her in an Italian jail cell. Smooth move bro. +7 suckiness points for fake romantic moments.
  • At one point Ben and Gemma are… doing that… and while Ben is looking at her and says how much he wants her, Gemma looks behind her and then asks David, “Me?”. Uhhhh… you got a medical degree you say? But did you really? +3 suckiness points for making Gemma seem dumb, incompetent and way too self conscious with one word.
  • There’s this little side story where they chase around that shady lawyer guy but never catch him. It’s just an excuse for Ben and Gemma to get separated, go to somewhere else in Italy, and then hook up again. I had no problem with this. There are much worse reasons to run all over Italy and it gave the author more room to have nice descriptions of the scenery. -4 suckiness points.
  • Gemma is constantly thinking about how much she needs and loves her job. How it defines her. But in the course of a summer, she is able to just toss it overboard because she met a super rich guy and now her mother owns this villa. It didn’t seem like she was gonna keep doctoring either. Maybe that’s okay considering her track record of not great statements in this book. But still, if she felt it was so important, why give it up so fast? +9 suckiness points for sending the message that you should find your passion and then abandon it for a handsome, wealthy man.
  • Also, I am not saying New York City is better than Italy in any way, they are both good in their own way. But why do these books constantly insist that the best way to live your life is outside of a big, bustling city? What’s wrong with New York? Gemma leaves it without a thought and doesn’t seem to ask her daughter if that’s even okay with her. +2 suckiness points for small country bias.
  • Ben is constantly told by Gemma that she can’t love him. She explains how she will always love Chase which he understands. But he still is on her to say that she loves him, over and over. He proposes and her first reaction is to say no. So he makes her propose to him. Come on man, learn to take no for an answer. I mean, I know the book wouldn’t happen if she didn’t “truly love Ben” on the inside but when a woman says no, take it for exactly what it sounds like. I get it if you want to try again later after some serious discussion but in the moment it shouldn’t be, oh she can’t have meant to say no to me. +15 suckiness points for having to point out again what should be obvious to any decent man.
  • I’m going to give away Gemma’s big, deep dark secret about Chase. She had been in love with him and things were going well. But one night, after her shift ends, she asks David to come pick her up for coffee. He gets in a car accident and Gemma ends up treating him. It’s clear almost instantly that his injuries were too grave for even the best of doctors to save him. I thought her secret was going to be that she was overtired and made a mistake. Or that she blamed herself for not learning some new technique to save him. Nope. She blames herself because she invited him to coffee. Seriously. That’s her big secret. She invited a guy she loved for coffee once and he ended up in a fatal accident. For this she is torn up with guilt. She also dives in to her job because of it. I get the second part, and seriously, I know that grief does strange things to the mind but why would she think this was such a dark secret that she couldn’t ever love someone else because of it? +7 suckiness points for fake secrets.
  • The little romance with Livie and the Italian boy doesn’t go anywhere and she moves on like a perfectly healthy 14 year old girl should. -8 for not making it weird.
  • The book ends with telling us that they get married and live in the villa but whether they stay there or make it a hotel or whatever “is another story”. Good God, there’s going to be a sequel? Please, please, I am begging you, just.. just… don’t okay? +7 suckiness points for sequelitis (undiagnosed by Gemma obviously).

Suckiness meter deactivate!

Well, there you have it, the patent-pending, scientifically tested, completely reliable, totally untested and unscientific suckiness meter worked like a charm! So what was the total?

Sucks = 97. Points taken away for non-suckiness = 20. Grand total of sucks = 77.

If you ever need to tell anyone how this book is, just let them know it sucks 77.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review more than I did reading this book. Next week I am going to be diving into paranormal romance with Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong. A whole store of magic?! For a dime?! Count me in!. Uh, hey can I borrow a dime?

Patent pendingly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Beach House Reunion – #BookReview

Turtles are the best!

It’s still summer so this week I am reviewing a summer book. The fact that pumpkin spice food is showing up and lots of kids are back in school will not deter me from remembering that we still have a month to go before fall.!

Beach House Reunion is the fifth book in a series about people who live in or come back to a beach house. Written by Mary Alice Monroe, the series is fairly popular and she has certainly hit best seller lists on multiple occasions. If you’re a big fan of hers, you probably are not going to like what I have to say about it. I can see how a certain audience would enjoy this book and I will say that the descriptions of the scenery are poetic and lovely. In addition I can respect the love for the environment and the health of an endangered species that the author shows. The rest of the book though, I could never get into.

The story centers on a few people of different generations who for one reason or another have come back to a beach house to spend the summer or in some cases, the rest of their lives in Charleston, South Carolina. The main focus is on the Rutledge family.

The story mostly centered on Cara, a widowed mother who has just adopted. She spends a good third of the book thinking about how she might be too old to be a mother. I get how you might see that as a problem but she really goes on and on about it. She spends all kinds of time looking for a babysitter for her daughter Hope. She seems gobsmacked to find out that there is something called a nanny. Then her niece Linnea is conscripted for the job and Cara can finally get some work done.

Linnea has her own issues with finding herself a job, you know, other than the nanny thing, and meets and falls in love with a guy named John. Her brother Cooper Pringle Ruteledge (the most one percent name ever) is in over his head with drugs and alcohol because he wants to go to USC and why can’t they just let him go to USC cause he really needs to go to USC.

The whole story is framed with facts about turtles and sea life which I think is supposed to be some kind of metaphor for these women. Also, they are apparently in a group called “Turtle Ladies” that looks for turtle nests to help with the population of the turtles. The turtle facts were probably the best part of this book.

There’s a few other side plots going on but those are the main thrust of the story. I had a few issues with the book so I am going to do my public airing of grievances below.

  • Cara, desperate and tired looks at her adopted daughter and for a moment sees her own mother. Now, personally if I see that, I am making an appointment with a shrink but, nope this all seems perfectly normal to Cara.
  • Later in the book, Cara feels like the ocean and a piece of furniture are her dead husband telling her it’s okay to like, move on and date a new guy. Again, I’d call that hallucinatory but whatever.
  • Because she feels like she never totally got to say goodbye to her husband, Cara, digs a hole in the beach and has Hope drop her wedding ring in it. Really? I mean I get you don’t want to wear it but that seriously seems like a waste. At this point I am really concerned that Cara needs some professional help, stat.
  • Also, Cara adopted a baby girl named Esperanza which I think is a great name. What does Cara do? Immediately translates that pretty name into boring old Hope. It’s her daughter and she can do what she wants but I felt like Esperanza would have been a fine name.
  • At one point Cara is talking to David, the guy she starts dating, and says that he is a “manny” – a male nanny. We don’t need to do that. If you are a guy who is a nanny, you can be a nanny, you don’t have to man-ify it.
  • I know that as new parents it’s hard to be able to do everything but at one point when Hope is crying, instead of hold, comfort or play with her, Cara looks up what to do about crying babies on google. Seems like she might have wanted to read a parenting book at some point? You, know after you get Hope to settle down.
  • David gives Cara a Burberry bag from Harrod’s and she tries to refuse it but then David says it’s insulting not to let a man pick up a tab for a woman. This is not the 1940’s and women can pay for stuff if they want to. There are waaay too many cases of men controlling women by taking control of their finances. How do they start that? By insisting that they should pay for everything. I know it’s not meant that way in the book but I just got tired of the rampant gender stereotyping in this book. Like really tired of it.
  • Cara came from an abusive home from what I can gather from this book. Her father used to get physically violent and her mother did not protect her from it. At one point her brother, Palmer, who is the father of Linnea and Cooper is showing clear signs of alcoholism just like Cara’s father did. Cara doesn’t do much to help him but just thinks he has to hit rock bottom for the cycle to end. Here’s what rock bottom is – throwing a bottle of bourbon at huge portrait and almost hitting your daughter. The fact that he doesn’t hit his daughter, in Cara’s mind, means the whole cycle has ended. B.S. this dude is going to get worse. He does end up going to AA and that might help but I just thought Cara’s attitude about the whole thing was dangerously passive.
  • Also, these people are stinking rich. They own this import/export business. It wasn’t clear what the goods were but that might have been covered in past books. They have big blow up arguments over what prestigious college their kids will attend and you know, own beach houses. Kinda tired of the filthy rich in real life, so reading about them in fiction (when they are not named Jay Gatsby) gets tiresome to me.
  • There is wine or alcohol mentioned like every other passage, yet they wonder why Cooper gets a DUI and overdoses. Can’t have anything to do with the constant availability of alcohol can it??
  • I also had a real hard time with the relationship between Linnea and John. John is a surfer who is staying for the summer before he goes back to San Francisco. He was born in the south and so does have relatives there and I think Linnea’s family knew his somehow but that wasn’t super clear to me. Again that could have been covered in a previous book. But boy howdy did I find this whole thing unbelievable.
  • John and Linnea first bond over the film Gidget and then later over the poem The Highwayman. I am not saying either of those things are bad but it made me wonder if they were college aged, or in their eighties. Gidget? Really? I mean come on, use a more modern reference to relate to the youth.
  • Linnea meets John because she tries to surf on her own and wipes out completely. The book says she looked up some YouTube videos on how to do it before she went. I gotta say, those videos were made by the worst surfers ever. First off, she went surfing alone. No surfer should do that. Second, she didn’t have a leash for the board, didn’t know what it meant to be goofy footed and had no idea how to push up off the board. These are seriously basic things I know and I don’t even surf!
  • At one point John hands Linnea a bottle of water out of a cooler. But before he gives it to her, he wipes it off with a towel and opens it. She is all impressed but what I thought was she is not a toddler!
  • Also, John is supposed to be a great surfer but he wants to go swimming at night in dark water. Hello! Did you not see Jaws? Oh yeah, you were too busy watching Gidget.
  • Towards the end of the book, after one summer together John invites Linnea to come to San Francisco with him to try and get a job. It seemed very transactional and not that romantic all in all but then Linnea sort of implies her father wouldn’t want her to go there without being married. John reasonably says that’s a bit much and Linnea totally agrees, But then she is disappointed he didn’t ask her anyway. Which is it? Also, do you really want to marry a guy you have known for like three months? That’s a bit of a rush.
  • My final question about this book has to do with the “Turtle Ladies”. Do you have to be a woman to join this thing? What if a guy loves turtles too? Are you going to exclude him? Even if he is a manny?

Next week I will be back with another summer read as I review Summer in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler.

Manny-ly yours,

Slick Dungeon

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.