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From In Here is a multi-topic blog site covering subjects and issues from serious to silly, and a lot in between. Parenting, disability, widowhood, books, music, history, philosophy, pop culture, lots of giveaways … it’s all there to share, discuss, and consider. I’m always honest, even about the ugly truths in life, and always willing to interact with you, From In Here.

Reaching out to you, From In Here – Denise

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Book Review

Big Bad Bodyguard
by Ali Parker

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“Big Bad Bodyguard” is an entertaining book by Ali Parker that shakes up expectations a bit. You look at the muscular man on the cover and read the title and you know that the image represents the Bodyguard … but you’d be wrong to think that. The author flips expectations just like her heroine flips big, burly men far bigger than she, and both really made me smile.

Craig is as strong and smooth as the finest bourbon produced by the distilleries his family owns. When he interrupts a crime being committed against the business, he ends up targeted by the gang involved. His father and Jason, the only other person he or his father listen to, both agree that Craig needs a bodyguard, at least temporarily. Craig strongly disagrees with them and unsuccessfully fights the idea. When presented with bodyguards from which to choose, Craig decides to make a mockery of the whole thing; he selects the one woman among all the muscular men. Kali is used to being underestimated, and throughout her career has routinely used it to her advantage. Men are always shocked to find out how well-trained and highly capable she is. She has no doubt she can handle anything that happens and keep the client safe – even from himself.

This was a well-written book. The author does a great job balancing elements of suspense and danger along with sexual tension, family drama, humorous moments, business dealings, smart dialogue, clever conversations and steamy scenes. Both Craig and Kali are pulled outside their comfort zones by unfamiliar emotions, and they each must figure out how to deal with it all. There are several notable secondary characters, including Craig’s brother Lane and best friend, Jason, and Kali’s boss, Thomas, and best friend Mina. I thought the ending was excellent, and a perfect conclusion to this story.

A billionaire bourbon king needs a bodyguard, but the last thing he wants is me—a woman.

My attitude isn’t helping things much either. I’m not putting up with an ounce of this man’s overinflated ego.

He was in the right place at the wrong time, having caught a few thieves in the act. Now they’re in jail.

And he should be looking over his shoulder. That’s where I come in.

This hot pain in my butt thinks he’s God’s gift to the world, but Mr. Big Bad is in for a world of hurt.

I’m not interested in gifts. I’m here to do a job, and that’s to keep his assets free from harm.

Lucky for me, this isn’t my first rodeo with a sexy rich boy who doesn’t believe in female bodyguards.

The bill is paid and I’m stuck to his side.

Huff and puff all you like, handsome. This girl is guarding the one thing your family needs to carry on its line.

Your smoking hot body.


About Ali Parker:

Ali Parker is a full-time contemporary and new adult romance writer with more than a hundred and twenty books behind her. She loves coffee, watching a great movie and hanging out with her hubs. By hanging out, she means making out. The man is hot. Hello.

She’s a creative at heart and loves coming up with more ideas than any one person should be allowed to access. She lives in Tennessee with her hubs, teenage son, two grown daughters and two love-of-her-life grand babies! Telling a good story that revives hope, reminds us of love and gives a vacation from life is all she’s up to.

Website- http://aliparkerbooks.com/

Facebook-https://www.facebook.com/AliParkerAuthor/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/AliParkerAuthor

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/aliparkerauthor/

Insiders Group- https://aliparkerbooks.com/come-join-our-family/

The Red Button
by Keith Eldred

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“The Red Button” is a wonderfully clever book by author Keith Eldred. I think just about everyone is familiar with the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. This book expands upon what we learned from the first of the three ghosts who visit Scrooge on the infamous Christmas Eve in the original, classic Dickens story. In that book, the Ghost of Christmas Past reveals that after a painful childhood, when Scrooge was a young man, he fell in love with a woman named Belle. He even proposed marriage, and she accepted. Gradually, though, his love for financial success exceeded his love for her. To her credit, Belle realized that she was less important to Scrooge than accumulation of wealth was, and she ended their engagement – at Christmas time. Wouldn’t that sour anybody on both love and Christmas?

The book blurb lets a potential reader know that the romance between Ebenezer and Belle was doomed and in that respect the book has an unhappy ending. It’s not a typical fiction read for me, because, let’s be honest, the world is full of so much sadness and frustration already that fictional happy endings are always welcome. Yet, I was intrigued. The story of Scrooge practically defines the Christmas holiday. It was tempting to learn more about his character – even written by a contemporary author 150 years after the death of the original creator. Once I started reading, I found this book to be a compelling one. I give the author a lot of credit for taking on the daunting task of trying to provide that information in a way that pays tribute to the work of the original author.

Eldred does a good job broadening the characters of Belle and Ebenezer, although I do wish Ebenezer would have spoken more in the beginning and during the relationship. I liked that Belle called him Ben, which I thought humanized him a lot in an unexpected way. I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, because it’s clearly the result of significant thought and research. I will tell you that there are several unexpected aspects of the story, and multiple things happen that I never would’ve anticipated. A couple of those things were a little unnecessary, in my personal opinion, but I understood that the author was trying to kind of circle back to paranormal elements being included in the original.

Parts of this book have an unusual narrator, and it’s almost surprisingly effective in several different ways. That narrator doesn’t tell the whole story, and at times I thought the transitions were a bit awkward or unclear. Gaining a wider perspective on Scrooge also involves learning more about his connections with other characters in the original book. I was impressed by how thoroughly this story accomplished that.

If you’re a fan of the original book, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, or even if you only know of Scrooge from the movies, I think you’re likely to enjoy this excellent prequel. It’s great to read at the holiday season or any time at all.

Find fresh affection for A Christmas Carol with this classic prequel and enjoy the new holiday tradition of the Red Button.

The untold story of the doomed romance. 

Belle Endicott and Ebenezer Scrooge are young, bookish, hardworking Londoners drawn together by button-making. His brand-new factory threatens her family’s tiny shop, yet they fall in love and start planning their future. When personal and business calamities strike, they confront them vigorously side by side, but ultimately something has to give. We know what it is. They do not.


About Keith Eldred:

Keith Eldred created the THIS IS RED project with his wife Janet, a public library director diagnosed with early-stage dementia. With Janet’s condition making every day precious, they decided to make the most of 2020, the year of their 30th anniversary, by publishing 20 books. All profits from these titles go the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library, where Janet works. See more at www.thisis.red.

Keith is also helping his granddaughter Brook Johnson (age 8) create a book trilogy about her character The Puppy Queen.

Flawed Bride
by Blake York

Release Date: Available Now

My review:

“Flawed Bride” is the fourth book in the ‘Blood Empire’ series by Blake York. If you haven’t read any of the other books in the series, you’ll still be able to understand and enjoy this one. Each book focuses on a different member of the Rossi crime family. Ryker is the fourth of the five Rossi brothers. His father has arranged a marriage for him to Zoey, a woman who’s a stranger to him. Her father is the head of a criminal organization in New York, and the marriage is intended to formalize an alliance between the two powerful mafia families – the Romano Family in New York City and the Rossi Family in Chicago.

After a nightmare wedding night, Zoey and Ryker agree theirs will be a marriage in name only. They each did what family obligation forced them to do, but neither of them has any desire to be married. Both are furious at the situation, and after his behavior that night, they are even more furious at one another. While they are not speaking or seeing one another even though they live in the same home, Zoey works at the career she keeps a secret from Ryker. After a year of living in their strange circumstance, Zoey takes action to end it. It’s very helpful that this story is told in dual POV because that lets us understand what each character is actually thinking when they behave in the ways that they do. There’s plenty of dramatic tension, some suspense and several steamy scenes.

This book has nonstop action. It held my interest from the prologue right till the very end. After the way this story started, it was difficult to imagine how the author would make Ryker worthy of Zoey, but she managed to do it. I appreciated that there was character development for them both. There were a couple of little things in the plot that never got resolved completely, but didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book. The youngest brother in the Rossi family still hasn’t been paired up with a woman so I’m expecting his story will be next. There is also a cousin who played an important part in this book and I’m wondering if the author might consider giving him his own story ass well.

I was ordered to take Zoey as my bride.
But fact is, I wanted to bind her to me in all ways.
Now she’s slapped divorce papers in front of me and told me to get out.

Except she’s in trouble, and it’s a given that I’ll protect what’s mine.
Even if she doesn’t want me to.
What I discover is a depth to my wife that I never imagined, and now I can’t sign those papers or let her go.
Until I find out she’s betrayed me.

The blackest hearts still beat…and mine drums with revenge against the people trying to end my family’s reign.
And my disobedient wife will find out what my brand of punishment really is.
She’s about to learn another truth about me—I always get what I want, and right now, that’s her.

A bride in more trouble than she can handle…and the man who can show her just how far he is willing to go for her. Lord help her, she wants to give up all the control to him too.
If scorching dark romance is your thing, 1-CLICK FLAWED BRIDE NOW!


About Blake York:

Blake York got started writing dark romance as a teen, when the horrors of her mind lived on the page. Now she invites readers into that shadowed chamber with darker, filthier romance. And what can be more soul-shaking than a forced marriage into a twisted mafia family that rules its empire with bloodshed?

START THE BLOOD EMPIRE SERIES TODAY WITH DAMAGED BRIDE BOOK 1

Find Blake York on Facebook as blakeyorkauthor.

My Weekly Playlist

Swimming in the stars
by Britney Spears

Listen on  Spotify

Timber
by Pitbull and Kesha

Listen on Spotify

Up around the bend
by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Listen on Spotify

Poetry Corner

Thanksgiving Day [“Over the river and through the wood”]
by Lydia Maria Child

(Excerpt from https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/lydia-maria-child)

Lydia Maria Child [1802 – 1880] ranks among the most influential of 19th-century American women writers. She was renowned in her day as a tireless crusader for truth and justice and a champion of excluded groups in American society—especially Native Americans, enslaved peoples, and women. A writer who early heeded the call for an American literature with American themes, she was a pioneer in several literary genres. She wrote one of the earliest American historical novels, the first comprehensive history of American slavery, and the first comparative history of women. In addition, she edited the first American children’s magazine, compiled an early primer for the freed slaves, and published the first book designed for the elderly. Child possessed an uncanny ability for knowing exactly what the American reading public wanted and when they wanted it. She was also gifted at rendering radical ideas, such as the abolition of slavery, palatable for American readers.

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