CL Hart – From A Distance


Who do you trust when you have no one left but yourself? Kenzie is a military trained assassin, hunting her target in Mexico. Cori is a student at the University of Guadalajara. One fateful afternoon their lives will come together under a flurry of gun fire. Questioning the ties around them, they will soon learn that they can not live without each other. On the run from an unknown enemy, they must learn to trust each other, and to believe they’ll make it out alive. 

Guess who made the mistake of starting this novel at 9:30pm on a school night? Yep. I went into work with dark circles and bags under my eyes. Dead. Sexy. I’m lucky I didn’t trip all over the place in my heels while slow-crawling into my office this morning.

For the life of me, I couldn’t put this damn book down. Believe me, I tried. I really really really tried.

Not really. I started bargaining with myself after the first half hour:

Inner Monologue at 10:00pm 
“Kindle says i’m 25% done with the novel. I can read another hour, no biggie. That’ll give me at least seven hours of sleep tonight.”

Inner Monologue at 11:30pm
“I’m more than halfway. Hey, it’s not even midnight. It’s not even tomorrow yet! I’ve survived on less sleep. It’ll be fine! Man, I love this book.”

Inner Monologue at 12:00am
“Ok, I’m at 83%. I’m almost done. I can’t stop now. Hell no! Mama didn’t raise a quitter!”

Inner Monologue at 12:30am
“I’m done! Wow, amazing. Totally worth it! I’m sure I’ll be bright and chipper tomorrow morning. Come on, that’s a whole 330 minutes of sleep!”

Inner Monologue when I woke up at 6:00am
“F…M…L” *Cries*

Hashtag, TheStruggleIsReal

If you’re a fan of books in the crime/mystery/thriller genre, you’ll LOVE this book. The excitement (and anxiety) I felt reading this novel is comparable to when I read Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code and Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. The pacing is FAST. CL Hart hardly gives her main characters Kenzie and Cori a breather. Geez… have a little mercy, CL Hart! This reading experience was like running a full marathon without training, stretching, warming up, or even eating. The readers are thrown in the middle of the action right away. You’ll be so engrossed in the story, that you may even forget about blinking.

The story is intriguing and the plot whips you around some pretty interesting turns and corners. The characters in this story are well-developed and complex. I had an affinity for both of the main characters, especially Kenzie. Kenzie’s character pulled the heck out of my heart-strings, and I truly cared about how she would turn out in the end. Thankfully, the author didn’t disappoint.

Readers can feel the heat of attraction and tension between Cori and Kenzie from the first page. Through trust and love, their relationship becomes a beautiful partnership as they save each other through all the obstacles they face together throughout the story.

Standing ovation for From A Distance!

1. Nine Inch Nails – We’re in this Together
2. Poe – Haunted
3. A Perfect Circle – 3 Libras
4. Lacuna Coil – Fragile
5. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
6. Stone Temple Pilots – Plush (Acoustic)
7. Deftones feat. Maynard Keenan – Passenger
8. Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
9. Hozier – Like Real People Do
10. Alice in Chains – Rooster
11. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
12. Chris Cornell – Sunshower
13. City and Colour – As Much As I Ever Could
14. Nine Inch Nails – The Day the Whole World Went Away (Still)
15. Smashing Pumpkins – Stand Inside Your Love

This book would be best read with….



Jack Johnson

“Love is the answer at least for the most of the questions in my heart
Like ‘Why are we here?’, and ‘Where do we go?’ and ‘How come it’s so hard?’
It’s not always easy and sometimes life have be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together”
Better Together

MJ Duncan – Atramentum


Joss Perrault left Sky, Colorado after high school with no intention of ever returning, but all that changes when she inherits Atramentum. Burned out on public accounting after too many sixteen-hour days, the allure of operating a small, independent bookstore is too tempting to register, and Joss decides to walk away from the career she spent the last decade building to move back to the resort town high in the Rockies. Cupid strikes as she’s moving into her new place outside Sky and, contrary to popular belief, Cupid has four legs and a tail, hits like a linebacker, and answers to the name of George. Before Joss can recover from being tackled by the Great DAne, she finds herself face to face with George’s mom, Maeve Dylan. Joss is immediately smitten with her beautiful neighbor, but their conversations walk the line between friendliness and flirtation like it’s a tightrope, and Joss is reluctant to do anything that will risk their budding friendship. Thankfully for her, however, George doesn’t give up so easily.

When I was typing in the title of the book, I felt like I was entering in my WiFi internet modem password. A….T…..R……S…Wait, fuck (Backspace)…A…ME…N…..T….UM. You bet I wikipediaed the word, and guess what I found?

Atramentum or atrament, generally means a very black, usually liquid, substance. For example, an octopus may emit a puff of atrament (see cephalopod ink). In ancient Rome, the term atramentum signified any black colouring substance used for any purpose.

They even have this picture to go with the definition:
Just a guess, I think that MJ Duncan fancies Latin / Ancient words. (Veritas, anyone?)

In Atramentum, Atramentum is the name of the bookstore that the lovely protagonist, Joss, inherits from her Aunt Helen. She decides to chuck her lonely life in Los Angeles and her career as a public accountant, for greener pastures (because anywhere is greener than LA) in Sky, Colorado to manage this charming little bookstore.

When Joss and Maeve meet, it’s almost as cute as this:
Animal companions that are determined to play Cupid for their human companions is a recipe for a fantastic story, folks! If only this happened in real life. I tried walking my cat, Marbles once. Unfortunately, this experiment miserably failed. He refused to walk more than two steps, kept rolling around on his back and belly, and I didn’t get any numbers! None! The most we got were very curious (and very sympathetic) stares from passersby. Ah, well. Anyone in LA need a dog-walker?

There are not two, but three main characters in this story. George certainly has enough personality to qualify. MJ Duncan, if you ever decide to do a spinoff starring George, I’m there! George helped make this a really delightful read for me. I almost miss her.

There’s plenty of “will you or won’t you” angst between Joss and Maeve. This mostly stems from “are you or are you not” regarding Maeve’s sexuality. Don’t you hate the guessing game? Everyone needs to wear a blinking sign, I think. The back and forth between the main characters is very sweet, and there’s plenty of romance and passionate love between the pages. There’s one section of the novel that readers and wordsmiths will certainly appreciate. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say that I had to go out for a nice looooooong run after I finished reading through it.

As with MJ Duncan’s other novels, this would be perfect to pack in your suitcase to read on your next vacation get-away.

Happy Reading!

1. Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood
2. Susie Suh – I Do
3. A Fine Frenzy – What I Wouldn’t Do
4. Jack Johnson – Better Together
4. Ingrid Michaelson – The Way I Am
5. Lianne La Havas – What You Don’t Do
6. Jason Mraz – Love Someone
7. Brandi Carlile – The Story
8. John Mayer – A Face To Call Home
9. Colbie Caillat – You Got Me
10. Leftover Cuties – At Last

This book would be best read with….


Sara Bareilles

“In the morning it comes, heaven sent a hurricane
Not a trace of the sun, but I don’t even run from rain
Beating out of my chest, my heart is holding on to you
From the moment I knew
From the moment I knew

You’re the air in my breath filling up my love-soaked lungs
Such a beautiful mess intertwined and overrun
Nothing better than this, and then the storm can come
You feel just like the sun
Just like the sun

And if you say we’ll be alright
I’m gonna trust you, babe
I’m gonna look in your eyes
And if you say we’ll be alright
I’ll follow you into the light

Never mind what I knew, nothing seems to matter now
Who I was without you, I can do without
No one knows where it ends, how it may come tumbling down
But I’m here with you now
I’m with you now”
The Light

John Mayer

“Too many shadows in my room
Too many hours in this midnight
Too many corners in my mind
So much to do to set my heart right

Oh, it’s taking so long
I could be wrong, I could be ready
Oh, but if I take my heart’s advice 
I should assume it’s still unsteady
I am in repair”
In Repair

RJ Nolan – L.A Metro


Dr. Kimberly Donovan’s life is in shambles. After her medical ethics are questioned, first her family, then her closeted lover, the Chief of the ER, betray her. Determined to make a fresh start, she flees to California and L.A Metropolitan Hospital. Dr. Jess McKenna, L.A Metro’s Chief of the ER, gives new meaning to the phrase emotionally guarded, but she has her reasons. When Kim and Jess meet, the attraction is immediate. Emotions Jess has tried to repress for years surface. But her interest in Kim also stirs dark memories. They settle for friendship, determined not to repeat past mistakes, but secretly they both wish things could be different. Will the demons from Jess’s past destroy their future before it can even get started? Or will L.A Metro be a place to not only heal the sick, but to mend wounded hearts?

Ever watch Grey’s Anatomy and wish that the show was about lesbian doctors? The lesbian-version could be Lesbian’s Anatomy. Er…. actually, that title sounds more appropriate for a lesbian porn movie. Maybe not a good idea. But RJ Nolan’s novel series featuring F4F McDreamys… DEFINITELY a good idea, and a great execution from the author.

Sometimes, we forget that doctors are people because they are often times perceived and defined by only their medical profession. But they have cuts and bruises, and wounds on the inside that need time and care to heal just like the rest of us. RJ Nolan does a wonderful job at humanizing the main characters in L.A Metro, and putting into perspective that there’s a person behind the stethoscope.

Jess and Kim both have unresolved issues when it comes to their past. (Sheesh, don’t we all). Despite their attraction towards each other, they try really really hard to maintain their professionalism and keep each other at arm’s-length. Jess and Kim… both of you get an A for effort, but thankfully for us readers, an F for keeping it in your scrubs. Humor aside though, the physical intimacy between the characters in this story is rich with emotion. Readers get the sense that Kim and Jess help each other heal and piece together the parts that were broken in their individual pasts. The journey that they take together in learning to love and trust again makes this a heartwarming and enjoyable read.

Now, if LA really had a hospital like L.A Metro… Hmm… I might not mind visiting the doctor. Doctor Doctor, take my temperature please, cause I’m burning up in here!

1. John Mayer – In Repair
2. Alicia Keys – Prelude To A Kiss
3. Jose Gonzalez – Heartbeats
4. James Morrison – You Make It Real
5. Joshua Radin – Cross That Line
6. Meiko – Stuck On You
7. Ray LaMontagne – Let It Be Me
8. Gavin DeGraw – Follow Through
9. Ed Sheeran – This
10. Sara Bareilles – The Light

This book would be best read with a….

-1 cup of frozen cubed mango
-1 cup of orange juice
-1 oz of lime juice
-3 oz of Patron Silver tequila
-2 tablespoons of simple syrup

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This drink contains Vitamin C from the orange juice, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K from the mango, and also Vitamin PartyTime from the tequila. Just what the doctor ordered. 😉