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    REVIEW: The Dichotomy of Angels by N.R. Walker

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    The Dichotomy of Angels – N.R. Walker

    Nathaniel and Chasan are no ordinary angels.

    Destiny chose them to be twin flames, fated mates. But Nathaniel has avoided Chasan for nearly a thousand years.

    When sent to Earth on a mission to live and work together, Nathaniel comes face-to-face with his destiny. Short-tempered, petulant, and grumpy, he hates the idea of being fated to anyone and has chosen an existence of isolation rather than spending time with the calm, kind, and serene Chasan. But now he has no choice.

    One is fire, the other is air; a true dichotomy of angels. Together they will be ignited, or they will be extinguished. This assignment will seal their fate either way.


    Let it be known that all of Heaven speaks with an Australian accent. It is in the business of saving souls.

    Angels are just your regular hard working salarymen assigned to different departments, sometimes to walk among the humans. Saint Peter is in charge. He is their manager. The bosses were all the pantheons known to humanity. They were simply known as ‘Upper Management’.

    The most notorious department is the Hell department where the screams of the damned were absorbed by a machine and turned into tennis balls for dogs. The overseer of Hell is the Angel of Fire named Nathaniel.

    Nathaniel is always angry. No, not just angry. He “wears his rage like an armor” . He is also stubborn, prone to anxiety, and has a tendency to smite. He wears black. His wings are burnt umber. He is beloved by dogs everywhere.

    Chasan is the Angel of Air. He has a cool, calm, serene presence. He sees the good in everything and has a smile for everyone. He wears white. His wings are white with ice blue tips. He is full of heartache.

    Because the Angel of Fire and the Angel of Air were fated to one another. They were twin flames, a phenomena that happened once in a lifetime among beings who lived forever. But Nathaniel condemned Chasan to a life of loneliness by wanting to be alone by himself.

    This is a story of two opposite beings who were made for each other yet stand apart. Where angels questioned their faith and received answers from humans. Where they get drunk, eat takeouts, play with baby goats, teach twenty 4-year-old hellions and sing Octopus’ Garden. Where blood was shed and things come full circle. And most important of all, it is a story where all dogs do indeed go to heaven.

    Let it be known that Heaven is whatever you deserved it to be.

    P.S.

    N.R. Walker is author of some of the best gay romances out there. Read reviews of her books here.

    Rating:
    4.5 Stars – perfection is only half a step away

    Sountrack: Dream
    Artist: Birdy
    Album: Fire Within

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    FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: Let’s Drown Our Sorrows In Coffee

    First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons

    I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.

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    REVIEW: Tallowwood by N.R. Walker

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    Tallowwood – N.R. Walker

    Cold cases, murder, lies, and an unimaginable truth.

    Sydney detective August Shaw has spent the last decade of work solving cold cases. Since the death of his boyfriend eight years ago, August works alone, lives alone, is alone — and that’s exactly how he likes it. His work is his entire life, and he’s convinced a string of unsolved cold-case suicides are linked to what could be Australia’s worst ever serial killer. Problem is, no one believes him.

    Senior Constable Jacob Porter loves his life in the small town of Tallowwood in the middle of the rainforests in northern New South Wales. He runs summer camps for the local Indigenous kids, plays rugby with his mates, has a close family, and he’s the local LGBTQIA+ Liaison and the Indigenous Liaison Officer.

    When human remains are found in the camping grounds at Tallowwood Reserve, Jake’s new case turns out to be linked to August’s cold cases, and Jake agrees they’re not suicides at all. With Jacob now firmly in August’s corner, they face one hurdle after another, even when more remains are found, they still can’t seem to gain ground.

    But when the body of a fellow police officer turns up under the same MO, it can’t be ignored anymore. August and Jake must trace the untraceable before the killer takes his next victim or before he stops one of them, permanently.


    Another beautiful masterpiece from N.R. Walker!

    Tallowwood is intense, gripping and moving with just enough fluff to keep things from becoming too dark.

    August Shaw is a cold case detective working on an 18-year old serial killing case that nobody takes seriously, mainly because the victims were gay. One of them was his boyfriend, Christopher, who he found dead in their bathtub 8 years ago. It was made to look like suicide like the other victims. But August knew Christopher wouldn’t take his own life.

    August ‘wears his grief like an old coat‘. He’s drawn into himself, he’s socially awkward, an asshole to others and very, very determined to prove that what were ruled as suicides were actually murders. He’s almost to the point of obsession. It took a small town constable with a winning smile to shed light on a little known fact: the gritty detective could be so damn adorkable!

    Jacob Porter is a senior constable in Tallowwood who contacted August in order to consult him with a case that might be related to the detective’s. Jacob is a cheerful, very likable person who’s also smart and very good at his job. He is a ray of sunshine with a side of bossy. You have no choice but to love him.

    The two men discovered they worked well as a team. They go over case files, visit families of victims, open old wounds, and sought fresh perspectives for that much needed break in the case. While doing so, they bond over food, small town life, Scarlet the cat, and kookaburras.

    The book treated its subject with appropriate gravity and depth. It talks about grief, loss, needing closure and giving oneself a chance to move on. Even with these weighty themes, the story didn’t feel too heavy. The author was able to inject humor with perfect timing. It done so naturally without ruining the profundity of the moment.

    My heart went out to August. I could feel his grief and frustrations pouring off the page. He’s one of those characters who badly needs a hug. I loved how Jacob showed him simple acts of kindness that worked so effectively. He made him feel safe and cared for. The romance was appropriately slow-burn and one of the best of its kind out there.

    Tallowwood is a complex, well-written police procedural. I liked how it focused 80% on the mystery while still delivering a wonderfully done second chance romance. Not only was the mystery hard to solve but people in high places were placing roadblocks whenever they could. I thoroughly enjoyed going through the nitty gritty of the investigation. I was in the dark until the author dropped the big hints.

    I loved how the author built up the suspense and brought everything together in an explosive climax. All loose ends were resolved completely and we were even gifted with a delightful epilogue. I couldn’t ask for a better ending.

    This is the kind of book you’ll want to read non-stop from start to finish. I would have done so if not for the need to sleep. I recommend reading this on a weekend so you could binge. And remember to always watch the kookaburras.

    Rating:
    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: Dead Hearts
    Artist: Stars
    Album: The Five Ghosts

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    “When you lose someone you love, something in you changes. You can’t get the pieces to fit together again because the picture of you has been changed. They need to understand your pain and how it changed you before they can understand how the new you needs to be loved.”

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    FIRST LINES FRIDAY 56: Sabhailtcachd, M’Cridhe

    First Line Fridays” is by Hoarding Books and is all about the first line of a current/upcoming read. Friday 56 is a meme hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you turn to page 56 (or 56%) in what you’re reading a find a snippet that jumps out at you. The idea to combine the two came from Kat @ Here There Be Dragons

    I found this meme on The Writerly Way. And I’m doing this on a Thursday just to be difficult.

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    THE BE A GOOD HUMAN BOOK TAG

    This tag is all about books that hit a chord and made you a better person. It was originally created by Jen Campbell. I found this tag on The Coy Caterpillar Reads. Check out Yvonne’s answers here

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    My Top 10 Reads of 2018

    1. Death and the Devil Series – L.J. Hayward

    Explosive, action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thrills. Sizzling unconventional romance. Yes, the entire series is the best thing to come out this year. Everything’s a solid 5

    Reviews here.

    2. The Agency: Merlin in the Library – Ada Maria Soto

    The ace romance story of my dreams

    Review here.

    3. Green Greek: Ravensong – T.J. Klune

    dirt and leaves and rain. packwitchmateheart

    Review here.

    4. On Davis Row – N.R. Walker

    So emotional and emotionally satisfying I got goosebumps.

    Review here.

    5.  Captive Prince: The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant – C.S. Pacat

    We’ll make another kind of empire.  

    Review here.

    6. The Auspicious Troubles of Love: The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe – Charlie Cochet

    A sqee-tastic, tension filled, delicious slow burn dance of the young and impetuous.

    Review here.

    7. Bureau: Creature – Kim Fielding

    Because love means loving him, even though. The best Bureau story so far.

    Review here.

    8. Bad Behavior: Reckless Behavior – L.A. Witt & Cari Z

    A police procedural story that went above and beyond. Perfect combination of flawless writing and heartfelt narration.

    Review here.

    9. Lord of the Butterflies – Andrea Gibson 

    Powerful poetic stuff!

    Review here.

    10. Whyborne & Griffin: Balefire – Jordan L. Hawk

    The best W&G book yet! Whetting our appetites for the final magnificent showdown.

    Review here.

    Bonus:

    A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – Marlon Bundo & Jill Twiss

    Attack of the super cute!

    Review here.

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    On Davis Row – N.R. Walker

    Nearing the end of a suspended jail sentence should unlock a brighter future for CJ Davis, only the chip on his shoulder is as hard to shift as his bad reputation. Born into a family of career criminals who live down Davis Road, an address the cops have dubbed Davis Row, his name alone is like a rap sheet that makes optimism impossible.
 

    Brand-new parole officer Noah Huxley is determined to see the good in men like CJ. After all, he knows firsthand that bad things can happen to good people. His colleagues mock his doe-eyed optimism, but Noah soon sees CJ’s bad attitude and bravado are weapons he uses to keep people at a distance.

    Both men know one simple mistake can change a life forever. At first glance, they might seem to be polar opposites. Yet underneath, they’re not that different at all. 

    My god, that was beautiful!

    Right after I finished this book, I had to stand up and pace around the house because I was sooo high. I am not an emotional person and it takes a lot to make me feel things but this book!

    I just had to root really hard for CJ. He was dealt a really shitty hand. Born into a family of criminals, didn’t graduate from school, had to put up with abuse, had to cope with illiteracy and deal with the stigma that comes with his name. Through out all this, he tries really hard to get by along with Pops, his grandfather who raise him. Pops has emphysema. His dad is in and out of jail. The asshole has also been abusing CJ since he was a child. Everybody assumes CJ is as bad as all the Davis before him, but CJ’s boss, Mr. Barese would be the first one to tell you, “he’s a good boy.

    Noah is a rookie parole officer. Still enthusiastic and optimistic about making a difference. The great thing about Noah is that he never lost the spark. He really believed not only in CJ but in all his parolees. AND *stage whisper* he smells really good!

    Bloody hell. I wanted to hug him again. “You’ll nail this. You watch. You’ll pass everything and the only thing you’ll be left wondering about is why you didn’t do it sooner.”

    When he looked up, his dark eyes were vulnerable, like the true CJ Davis was exposed within them. “Because ain’t no one believed in me before now.

    There were ethically murky lines between them and though they dip their toes across once in a while, I love them for sticking to the rule. The rule being they become officially boyfriends the minute CJ’s parole ends, unofficially is another matter. Thus begins the delicious anticipation, a whole lot of USTs and the goddamn countdown that made me a messy bundle of paranoia because Pops might wheeze his last breath, CJ might descend into a downward spiral, Noah might fail CJ, the dad might beat the living crap out of CJ just because, things might blow up their faces, the system might screw them and so on because something will jinx this, I just know…!!!

    So I breathed a sigh of relief when, among other things, Pops kept breathing.

    It was so uplifting to see CJ gain his confidence and a little bit of happiness day by day until the time he was finally free. Noah’s sincerity really impressed me. He kept assuring CJ that no matter what happens between them he would still help him with everything. And I know he really would.

    I love the list of firsts. CJ has missed out on a lot of things, the kind of things people take for granted like being able to read, getting a hug or having a driver’s license. Noah was his first in a lot of things. My favorite were the hugs.

    He was rigid, uneasy, but he didn’t recoil, and he didn’t tell me to fuck off.

    “You can hug me back, you know.”

    Then I realised that maybe no one had ever bloody hugged him before either. Pops was a great guy but none of the Davis clan seemed overly affectionate. Without pulling away, I said, “I’ve wanted to hug you for a while.”

    Still, with his arms by his sides, he asked, “Why?”

    “Because sometimes people hug as a way of saying things are gonna be okay.”

    I’ll hug you too, CJ!

    This book is full of emotions but it’s not sappy. It’s also one of the most emotionally satisfying books I have read this year. The slow-burn and the chemistry were amazing. That last chapter!  I got goosebumps and a pleasant case of hangover.

    A solid 5-star book, no doubt about it.

    Rating:

    5 Stars – absolutely perfect

    Soundtrack: Worth the Wait
    Artist: We Are Scientists
    Album: With Love and Squalor

    (source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36668702-on-davis-row)