Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet ☆

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5starsplus

One day I’ll live a life that doesn’t force me to make such cold-blooded decisions, she thought. But today is not that day.

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennet
Series: Founders #1

Number of pages: 503 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the steampunk-ish fantasy world!
Bad things about this book: I want the sequel right now.
Do I recommend it? Yes, read it!
Rate: 5+++/5 (it’s a favourite!)

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Some here will whisper of liberty – but you can’t be free if you aren’t alive.

I LOVED IT!!! I loved it more than I thought I was going to! It surprised me, in an incredible way. I went in thinking I was going to find another amazing adventure by Bennett and found exactly that but so much more! I’m amazed, I’ll talk about this book with everyone!

This book is certainly different from Bennett’s Divine Cities trilogy; it is less dark and pretty straightforward, but it doesn’t lack twists and revelations that took the story on a very enjoyable level.

I liked Sancia right away; a former slave who’s been tortured and modified so that now she hears the scrived devices and feels the objects she touches learning all their secrets. In this world, there are devices modified through antique symbols to defy their natural role in the world. For example, you have a sword, you modified it telling it the gravity it’s feeling is 10 times the one it actually is, so the sword, when used will hit harder and make so much more damage. The scrivers use all their knowledge to come up with more ways to tell objects they should be doings things that’ll defy physics laws. I found this very fascinating.

What I loved, like really loved, about this book, was how it gave the world a love is love state of being. There were many political problems with the merchant houses, the foundries, the crimes, etc, but at least who you liked wasn’t an issue and I thought it was refreshing as hell. When I saw a character blushing because they saw a naked shoulder of a same gender character, a SHOULDER, my eyes opened comically; I was so glad Bennett thought of giving his characters the freedom to choose whoever they wanted to love with the normality our real world should have done from the very beginning of time. Giovanni saying he wanted to go to an exotic island because he’ll be among so many gorgeous sailor, made me smile so much. There were so many funny moments in this book.

Of all the side characters there were, and I’m always afraid about many side characters because it means some are expendables at some point, Clef was definitely my favourite. Brilliant, emotional, deep, and so selfless. Berenice has many more sides of herself that she will show us, I’m sure of it. Orso managed to be okay-ish at first, but then I warmed to his grumpiness. He gave a kind of vibe that made me doubt everything he did, a vibe that told me he was going to do something I wouldn’t approve. Gregor, sweet Gregor, what can I say about him? Follower of rules, he wants a better place for people to live in. He has this utopic dream of the world being a big happy place with people helping one another. He likes to think he’s doing the things he does for the greater good and he does, maybe it doesn’t always end like he intended but he tries his best. I liked him a lot and can’t wait to see what he’s going to do now, after everything that happened in Tevanne. Oh boy, things happened, so many things.

I will now be waiting anxiously for the sequel, because I didn’t have enough of Tevanne and I need more of it and of its characters. I got to know them, and I’m now like a mama hen, and will be very protective of my babies. Don’t you dare hurt them, Bennett! I’ll be heartbroken. After the Divine Cities’ trilogy, I can’t help but being scared.

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Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak

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5stars

“Everything about us was entirely normal, really. We were as ordinary as anything we might come across in this world.”

Title: Wonders of the Invisible World
Author: Christopher Barzak
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s written in a very magical way. I loved everything about it.
Bad things about this book: I feel that this is a kind of narration that can be hard to get into.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I’ll give it a chance if I were you.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As I thought from the blurb and from the first chapters, I really liked this book and how the story unfolded, circled back, flashed forward, backwards or whatever. It has that touch of magical realism, spells, curses, a world beyond the world, harbingers of death, mysteries, everything that I love. Peculiar and magical with a love story as sweet as honey, the perfect combo!

It was pretty weird and sometimes it could be hard to follow with all the dreams sequences and memories, but I found it fascinating, so I focused really hard and enjoyed the ride. Aidan is such a sweet boy, trying his best to remember what’s been forgotten, while experiencing feelings he thinks he is supposed to find wrong but instead come to him as easily as breathing and seeing the invisible world.

“Here they were, the people we were becoming, about to knock on our front door, hoping they could undo the mistakes we were making at that very moment.”

Jarrod is one hell of a supporting character; he supports Aidan in all his crazy life with such sincerity and love, just because he cares and wants to be with this sweet boy who sees what other people can’t. Aidan’s mother was a bit of a pain in the butt with all her evasiveness and half sentences, but Jarrod comes to the rescue every single time, and he stole, not only Aidan’s heart, but also mine.

I get sad when I see a low rating of a book I’ve loved, but I understand where they come from; this is the kind of book that you love or don’t understand its meaning or purpose. It’s weird and full of details many may find boring and unnecessary. But if you come to understand it, you’ll see how truly marvelous and magical this story is and you’ll love it. That’s what happened to me, and I hope it happens to many other readers who’ll decide to give this book a chance.

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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3stars

But the past is much less scary than the future, I know what’s already happened; I know how bad it was. I don’t know what’s coming, though.

Title: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe
Author: Lauren James
Good things about this book: It’s set in space, there’s fanfic, fangirling and, I repeat, SPACE.
Bad things about this book: The last chapters felt a little bit random.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

When I stumbled upon this title, I was intrigued by the blurb and by the gorgeous cover. It was a sci-fi story set in space. Mysteries and space just make a great combo. I don’t exactly know nor remember what I was expecting to find, I just feel like I didn’t. It was enjoyable, and I read it fast and easily. Some stories aren’t for you, I guess.

I don’t know if I liked the way this book went down. I don’t dislike twists, surprises and sudden changes, but here something just felt off. I liked the pace of the book until I didn’t, not as I used to at the beginning. It was a calm book, with Romy being all by herself on The Infinity being its commander years after the death of her parents. There were things unsaid about the circumstances or their deaths; I liked waiting for the reveal, but the reveal? Wasn’t worth all the trepidation.

The mysterious J, commander of The Eternity, a ship sent to join her in the mission to inhabit Earth II, seemed like an alright guy but the fact that you didn’t know who he was, automatically made him sketchy. Sketchy until proven otherwise. Sometimes too much info is not good, but other times not enough info is also not good. I feel like knowing more about Romy, about the years she spent by herself, would’ve helped me connecting more with her. She did seem like a lonely girl, I just needed to empathize with her situation; I didn’t, I found her sometimes annoying. And her situation didn’t excuse her for how she sometimes behaved.

It was a solid 3.5 stars read (3 here because there are still no half stars). I don’t regret picking up this book and I will recommend it. I want to hear someone else’s pov and see if I missed something. I won’t give up on this author because the writing was very nice. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t love it either. And I thought I was going to love it.

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Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Restless Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #1
Number of pages: 204 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I just love how this author tells stories.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, there are ghosts.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Stayed up until 2am to know how this was going to end. I was hooked. I love ghost stories and this one was great, worth of losing a few hours of my beauty sleep! I wish I’ve found out sooner about this series by the amazing Jordan L. Hawk; I’m happy I now have started it. The characters are diverse, they come from different backgrounds and they all have their own opinions, being them frustrating or totally reasonable. Being set in the past I knew there were going to be things that’ll anger me, frustrate me to no end, and there were. Oh my, I could have punched more than a couple characters real hard!

Vincent and Lizzie are a very peculiar couple of friends, each one of them with secrets well hidden. Vincent is dealing with an exorcism gone bad and he is struggling to live his medium life, and the consequences of his “medium block” might be the end of his and Lizzie’s job and economic stability. When the opportunity to earn easy money with a haunting present itself, Vincent is forced by Lizzie to help her. They will find that the case is not at all as easy as they thought it was going to be.

Enter Henry and his cousin. Henry was scammed by a fake medium and has devoted his life to use science to get rid of ghosts and spirits. He thinks every medium is fake and will never trust any more of them. But then he meets Vincent and everything he has vowed himself not to do, is hard to follow because the temptation of this man, so beautiful and flirty, is throwing him off his science path.

I had a very hard time trying to like Henry: from the high of his white privilege, he didn’t see how his behavior could damage the people around him. Let’s see how he acts in the remaining books to see if I like him or not. If he deserves to be with handsome Vincent or not. So far, he has only angered me. He may be sweet, and I know he now cares about Vincent, not only because of his appearance but also because of the man he came to know during their days in the haunted mansion.

The second book promises to be just as good. What will happen?? I need to read it as soon as I can!

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[ARC] Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen

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5stars

We’re weapons. They made us this way.

Title: Nyxia Unleashed
Author: Scott Reintgen
Series: The Nyxia Triad #2

Number of pages: 400 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: So many twists, such an intriguing story!
Bad things about this book: That ending left me wanting the next book now!! (not a bad thing, I know)
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given to me by NetGalley

I didn’t expect anything to go the way it went. Everything caught me by surprise. I’m speechless after those last chapters, and I need the third and last book like right now because I don’t think I can’t wait a minute longer. I love sci-fi novels, and I love when sequels are as good as the first books, or even better. Color me shaken and excited. But mostly shaken!

I started the book barely remembering all the character’s names and personalities. It’s been a year after all. By the first quarter of the book I was all caught up on the characters and I would’ve killed anyone who wanted to hurt them (all but Isadora. Also, yay for lgbt representation! Do not kill them, please, Mr. Reintgen, PLEASE). By the end I was so messed up by everything that was happening that I almost forgot to pray the alien gods for their safety. It’s not a YA contemporary, lives can be lost, the characters, no matter how important, could die at any moment. I was eternally on edge.

There’s absolutely no way I can write about this book without telling too much, giving up too much information that I got later on the story. The last book ended with Emmett having to fight for his place in a launching pod that’d have taken him to Eden. This book starts right inside the pod with Emmett on his way to the planet’s surface. All the rivalry is put aside as they team up to mine Nyxia, partner up with the Adamites, and sense that things aren’t the way they appear to be. They never are, right?

Emmett is like a living lie detector. He senses when things aren’t right, reading the little tells everyone have when they are not being truthful. Morning is no less; she is truly a force of nature. In the first book I thought their romance was forced because it really was, but now I love them as a couple. They are adorable and care for each other deeply. As much as I didn’t like the way their relationship started, I love how it blossomed to the way we see in this book. They are meant to be together, and I will fight whoever hurt them! I want them safe with their friends on Earth. It’s my wish and I demand it to be granted!

Book series are great and all, but you need to wait months and months for the next book to be published, right? And it’s not only the human memory (mine) that is weak and will make me forget about all the characters, it’s also the fact that I will imagine multiple scenarios in my mind about how this will end, and I will be worried about all the characters’ well-being until the day I’ll read the third and last book. I know some characters won’t make it; they are too many, too easy to sacrifice. How can I live with the knowing that all my babies won’t be happy and safe surrounded by the people they love? A reader’s life is a hard life.

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Anatomy of a Murderer by Tim Floreen

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4stars

“We humans like to think of ourselves as more rational than we are. We imagine we navigate through life using pure logic, but far more than we realize, we do things for illogical reasons and then bend our perception of reality to make our actions seem logical, at least to ourselves. It’s a trick of the brain, something we all do.”

Title: Anatomy of a Murderer
Author: Tim Floreen
Number of pages: 370 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It has pretty dark themes but I liked how they were portrayed.
Bad things about this book: Read the trigger warnings before starting it.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I do.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Oh, how I wish I could just spoil the entire book and write every little thing that’s in my mind right now. I have a lot of thoughts, really a lot! When I picked it up, intrigued by the darkness it promised, I truly didn’t expect to read what I read. I found myself following Rem’s mind, influenced by his feelings and thoughts. Our brain is really powerful; it tricked me into believing things that should have been obvious from the start. Maybe I didn’t want to believe, maybe I just wanted to imagine how the story would turn out if things went my way.

This is not an easy book; it has many triggering moments and it surely isn’t for everyone. I got palpitations during a few scenes, nothing that made me close the book but, in those moments, I imagined how these scenes would look like to someone who has experienced school shootings and bullying. I can’t begin to imagine how traumatic it could be and how frightening it is to live in a country where everyone can brandish a gun and kill whoever they want.

In the past, I have always thought of American high schools as some sort of great experience I wish I could have done: proms, sports, science labs, the canteen, the friendships. I don’t remember at what point my eyes opened to the awful reality that that high school dream hides. The bullying, the way if you do sports you are deemed a king and you can do what you want with no consequences, the shootings, the suicides, the popular kids feeling like royalty. I started to fear it, to start seeing high school in the US as a place you went but you never knew if you’d come out unscathed or alive.

This book made me think of myself back when the idea I had of high school broke into a million pieces. I felt for Franklin, being an odd kid, targeted by bullies for how he looked, what he liked, and how he was in general. I tried to understand Rem and the way he thought he was protecting himself by not being the nice guy everyone thought he was. I really tried to see the reason Rem’s mother had for starting her brain experimentations in Franklin in the first place. I tried to give everything logic, my logic, and failed.

Everything that happened couldn’t have been avoided by Franklin not being a sociopath, by Rem being always nice, by Tor and Pete not being bullies, by Callie making less jokes, by Lydia stopping herself from saying a bad thing. If it wasn’t Franklin shooting Pete, that day a year in the past from when this book takes place, it could have been another kid, another day, with a gun they could have gotten easily. And that’s the problem. Not only we should try to treat people they way they deserve, the way we want to be treated, we should also understand that without the means to violence, with guns purchased online with few to zero background checks, maybe things wouldn’t go as awry as the do today. Violence wouldn’t end but maybe it would be easier to control, and people with ill intent would be easier to stop if instead of a gun or a rifle, they were armed with a knife.

I’m rambling because I’m scared. This isn’t fiction, this isn’t fantasy, this is real. These things happen all the time. They are happening so often that, even though I’m all the way here in Italy, I’m scared every morning when kids the other side of the ocean go to school, hoping they all make their way back home safe and sound.

This book was hard to read but I’m glad I did. I think it will make a very nice tv show or movie. It has all the elements needed to be great. I started reading this book expecting something entirely different from what I got, and, as rarely as it happens to me, I liked how things ended here more than how I wanted them to end in my head.

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Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron

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3stars

Title: Out of the Blue
Author: Sophie Cameron
Number of pages: 279 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: A lot of potential and it reads easily.
Bad things about this book: Too many answers left unanswered.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

It was a cute little book. I was expecting a bit more, though. I kept expecting something more to happen and it didn’t. Maybe it’s just me but I felt something missing. Maybe I have to be the one filling in the blanks. Maybe it’s a lesson as to how sometimes it’s better not to know everything. Whatever it was, I still liked it a lot, the mystery elements surrounding the Beings and Jaya’s mission to hide and heal one.

Have you watched The Leftovers? One day a lot of people just vanishes, no explanations given, no explanations found. This book is a little bit like that. One day the Beings (angels) start falling from the sky; skin that shines like metal, blood the color of gold, big broken wings. They fall and they die because of the impact. And people, seeing as they are the usual stupid human beings, start cults, sell the feathers online for a lot, become not fascinated but obsessed. They see what they want to see.

Our main character, Jaya, and maybe a few others, are curious about the real mystery. Not when are they going to fall, but why are they falling. What is happening wherever they come from that it’s causing them to fall? They are not things to be sold, dissected and sold to be studied. They are humanoids, they have feelings, they bleed, so why are people treating them like objects to be earn money from? I hate them all; Jaya’s father, his obsessions, the Standing Fallen and their dumb believes, and the followers. So many “souvenirs”, restaurants, merchandise, depicting dead angels. Why? Because it sells, they gain money from it. It’s atrocious but so likely that it made me twice as mad.

A being that doesn’t die because of the impact falls right in front of Jaya while she takes her dog out for a walk. From that day, it’s just days spent feeding the female looking being, trying to keep her safe, healing her broken wing, and getting her back where she came from. There’s no final goal but that. I guess I just thought more things were going to be solved. Call me mad, but I was hoping the being, Teacake, was going to sense sickness and cure it. I hoped she was going to draw the place she came from, give some insight. I don’t know, I just feel that we were left with more questions.

Yes, I know, Jaya was having a lot of grieving issues due to her mother’s recent death and her girlfriend leaving, and this was also a journey for her to find some peace inside and out. But the beings were so important to the story that I was hoping they would’ve been of more relevance to the solving of all the little issues present in the story. Maybe I just went in with the wrong kind of expectations.

I would’ve loved an epilogue: I still think that some things were missing and maybe an epilogue would’ve helped. Cute book, though. A fast read.

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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4stars

Title: White Rabbit
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s really entertaining and captivating.
Bad things about this book: The bullying is always a sore spot for me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I say you can give it a chance.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I started it midafternoon yesterday and finished it at a little bit past midnight. I couldn’t put it down. While it wasn’t without flaws, I kind of liked how it was written and how over the top it was. Like a movie or tv show with teenagers doing unnecessary things in criminal situations instead of going to the police. I can think of at least five shows exactly like this (Riverdale, people??). Totally unlikely in real life but extremely entertaining.

I wanted to know how it was going to end so until the last page I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know who the murder was or I was going to dream about it! I liked the mystery and I liked how the two characters with obvious unresolved business were put together in this ridiculously dangerous journey that would also help them talk about the past that left Rufus heartbroken. I hated Sebastian for most part of the book. What he did to Rufus, how he made him feel, for whatever reason he thought he was doing it, was too much.

I would have given it five stars if it wasn’t for the bullying. Everyone bullied and threw ugly degrading words at Rufus, yet nobody did anything about it. He knew better than to say anything because the adults, as much as his schoolmates, were absolutely useless. Is it really like that in schools with rich kids? I hope not but I’m afraid to know the ugly truth.

As random and ridiculous as it got, there were many sweet parts that made me forget for a bit the bad ones. Rufus and Sebastian were cute and frustrating and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking my head when they were stubborn and annoying and so clearly in love with each other.

Recommended to fans of shows like Riverdale, fans of mystery books and thrillers, and fans of over the top narrations that you can’t stop reading!

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Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

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5stars

I wanted to save everyone. I wanted it so bad. Maybe it’s because no matter how much I try, I can’t shake the thought that they’re dying because of me. I fell on a hand and I brought the world to the brink of war.

Title: Waking Gods
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #2
Number of pages: 320 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I love the writing style and all the science!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

What a rollercoaster of a book. I was left shaken and with my jaw on the floor. So many things happened. So many twists I should have taken into consideration but instead didn’t so I was genuinely surprised. And shocked.

The first book ended with Rose literally coming back from the dead without her memories of working with Themis and her team of soldiers and scientists. This book starts nine years after that, with Rose feeling out of place and like a fake, and with Kara and Vincent still being the Themis pilots going on tours around the world. A new organization for the protection of Earth has been founded and it has the giant robot as sole protector of the planet. But the feared alien invasion, even if later than anticipated, decided to arrive and one after the other, bigger giant robots than Themis start appearing on Earth in highly populated cities. People in power don’t know what they want, they are scared, and scared people make mistakes. Things weren’t looking very good for humanity.

I still love the writing style of this book: the dialogues, the journal entries, and the mysterious man behind it all. It felt like a movie was playing inside my head while I was reading. No long descriptions, just the characters interacting among themselves or involved in some mission that could be fatal. Sometimes this kind of narration is refreshing.

The third and last book of this trilogy, Only Human, is on its way and I will receive it soon. I have already put it on my may tbr list so I will read it as soon as it gets here. I’m really curious about what is going to happen after than ending! I didn’t really see any of that coming. These books would make a really great mockumentary movie.

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[ARC] Lock Nut by J.L. Merrow

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5stars

Did couples buy each other wedding presents, anyway? I mean, he’d be getting me, which some might say was quite enough to be getting on with.

Title: Lock Nut
Author: J.L. Merrow
Series: The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5
Number of pages: 330 (kindle edition)
Expected publication: May 14th 2018
Good things about this book: Tom and Phil!! The ending!!
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes yes yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

I may have already mentioned it but I requested this book from NetGalley because I thought it sounded interesting and when I got approved and was ready to read it, I noticed it was the fifth book of a series. Bad luck? Au contraire, I’d say! This mistake made me discover one hell of a book series I have fallen in love with. There’s always room in my heart for more fictional characters to love and cherish.

This book was really sweet (besides the murders) and, surprise surprise, Phil wasn’t a bum in this one. After four books of him being the broody melodramatic man our Tom loves, I was ready to slap him if he dared do anything to upset my boy. He did, of course he did, but it wasn’t like in the first books when their love was just beginning. I forgave him almost immediately.

“You’ve got him well trained,” Dave said with a smirk.
“Too right. Want to see him come when I call?” I winked in case he hadn’t got the innuendo.

Cherry and Greg got married, left for Scotland for a pretty cold honeymoon, so now it was Tom and Phil’s wedding countdown. With only a few months to spare and a lot to plan, Tom is overwhelmed and overthinking. This led to some misunderstanding but not something to be worried about. Tom and Phil are super in love and it shows. There weren’t the steamy scenes we got in the first two books and I was weirdly okay with that, with only imagining how they had fun when nobody was around. I knew they were all over each other and that they loved each other so much they wanted to protect the other from harm.

There’s nothing easy about this protecting from harm business when they are always involved in murder investigations, though. First one man dead, then another, and Tom and Phil are once again among suspects they want to trust but can’t, seeing as it could lead to them getting badly hurt, again. Like that never has happened in the past.

Giving us a polite smile was a young man—early twenties, I’d guess—who set my gaydar pinging off the scale. So going by past results, he was probably happily married to his second wife and with a baby or six on the way.

I love the idea Phil has about Tom’s abilities being evolving because he’s using them more. I want him to stop thinking himself a fraud and try experimenting at home to see to what extent he can find what’s hidden. This will help him in the future and it will make their lives much easier when someone hires Phil for a job.

The ending was precious. Nothing over the top with forced tears or forced emotions. You find yourself truly invested in the lives of those two men and the feelings you are having are authentic. You are really happy they found each other again even if when they met at first one was the living nightmare of the other. The part where Tom reveals something hard about his past as a bullied boy, broke my heart. I think Phil needs to know this, not to make him feel guilty but I think he needs to know this part of Tom’s past. I think it’s important and I wonder why Darren, having witnessed the speech, didn’t say anything about it. I wonder if we’re going to come back to it in the next book. Because there’s going to be a next book, right? I need Tom in my life! I need more of him!

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