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Lenni Reviews: “Enter the Dragon” by Jamie Sullivan

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Jac Conway has always dreamed of working with dragons. Having joined the Academy, he is eager to work with them directly but novice students are not allowed near dragons. But when a prank by older students lands him smack in a dragon’s cave, he gets much more involved with them than he planned.

This is a pretty simple set up with the conflict centered around Jack being tricked into his initial encounter with his dragon mate rather than it happening by chance. That was a bit offputting but everything is consensual so no triggers here if you’re looking to avoid non-con.

It’s short with not much staying power but it’s cute enough. The best parts are the baby dragons. 3 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Rise Again” by L.J. Hamlin

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*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Arkady is a rising star, the bad boy of ballet until a freak accident destroys his leg; ending his career. His physical therapist, Prisha, recommends he befriend Cade, an artist with a handicapped arm. Their attraction quickly becomes more than friendship but the freak accident wasn’t an accident at all and whoever tried to kill Arkady hasn’t given up.

When I read the description from the book, I did not expect a killer. I expected Arkady’s struggles to recover from his injuries and face his vastly altered life. Even so, that struggle is there and given its short length, perhaps going with a killer as the main plot was a good idea.

That being said, I liked main leads who aren’t perfect, chiseled gods among men and they have real human flaws and scars. They are normal people just different. Their relationship is still instalove but that’s alright. They work even if Cade is a little too chill with someone trying to kill his new boyfriend. A quick fun read. 3.8 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Storm Lords” by Ravon Silvius

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Rowen lives in scorched and lonely life in a village ravaged by heat storms. After losing her parents and his voice, the final straw is his fellow villagers leaving him exposed in the sun for a crime he didn’t commit. Before the heat can claim him, Rowen is rescued by Kristoff, a Storm Lord who came to break the heat storm with his powers and sensed Rowen has some abilities as well. Jumping at the chance to prevent the same sort of heat storms that claimed his parents, Rowen throws himself into his training but when his abilities flummox his mentor, Kristoff doubts he can be the man Rowen needs in every sense of the word.

Even without the romance, this would be a cool fantasy novel. The best parts are the world building and the magic, as well as Rowen himself as a sympathetic and determined character. From there this book wanders into mediocre territory where not much development is given to other characters, even Kristoff. Overall this balances out to a 3 out of 5 for me; good but not great.

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Lenni Reviews: “Alice: From Dream to Dream” by Giulio Macaione, Giulia Adragna, Giulia Adragna, & Jim Campbell

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Alice has the unique ability to share dreams with whomever she’s sleeping next to. Not a good situation when her family has recently moved and she must share a room with her older brother. She can’t get a good night’s sleep, can’t tell her parents, and Alice is bullied mercilessly at school. Her one saving grace is her best friend Jamie. But when he’s left in a coma after a car accident, Alice must use her abilities to bring Jamie back, unearthing family secrets in the process.

This is a cute riff on the Alice in Wonderland theme. Alice herself is a bit of a doormat to the point where it is not just gratifying to see her standing up for herself, it’s a relief! The art is perfect for this story, nailing the mundane and the otherworldly in a story that’s surprisingly compelling given its short length. It was easy to read this more than once and still enjoy it and the conclusion is satisfying. 4 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories” by Neil Gaiman, Mark Buckingham, & Chris Blythe

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In this collection of macabre tales, Gaiman is on show with his usual creativity and great storytelling, however, there’s something missing. They all feel too short as if they’re clipped off at the end without a real ending. The art is the best aspect of this collection but the rest just wasn’t up to Gaiman’s usual fantastic standards. 2 out of 5.

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Lenni Reviews: “Dreams of the Boardwalk” by Matthew Keville

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Life hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Sarah Brannigan. Divorce, loss of home, loss of her good job… Now in a cramped apartment with roommates working two crappy jobs to barely make her bills, Sarah has only one respite; her dreams. At night she escapes to Coney Island in its heyday with her dream man. But too much time in her dreams has them leaking out into the real world.

This is an interesting story about living too much in your “what if’s” can take away from your “now.” Sarah is a great character, a smart woman just in a rough patch but not willing to give up. And the ending is not what you would expect.

There are some pretty dark and sexy scenes and the connection to Coney Island is vivid and real, like you could reach out and touch it. Very enjoyable! 3.8 out of 5.

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Today’s Run: I cannot believe it…

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And thus we conclude week 8 of C210K as a rousing success! Day 3 is 5 minutes of a warm up, 30 minute run, then 5 minute cool down. And I actually did it! I ran for the full 30 minutes.

It was rough towards the end. I found myself wanting to stop with only 5 minutes left on the clock but I pushed through, ignored the numbers, and caught up with American Horror Story: Apocalypse.

Nothing more motivating than the end of the world to keep your feet moving.

Week 9 is back to intervals but longer workouts. I am liking how my endurance is now; my hard work paying off in spades. I’m trying not to count chickens before they hatch but I am thinking of what I will work on next after I complete C210K. I’m thinking speed training and more weight training on my off days.

But yeah, one thing at a time. See you in week 9!

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Lenni Reviews: “The Closet Boy” by Sean Michael, Jeff Gelder (Narrator)

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*This audiobook was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Disowned by his hyper-religious, homophobic parents, Way’ra lands a job as a janitor at the Iron Eagle Gym. Only problem is he has nowhere to live so he secretly spends his nights sleeping in a closet at the gym. When gym member Neil McPherson develops a crush on the young man, Way’ra is desperate to keep his circumstances a secret. Neil is determined to get this shy young man back off his feet and out of his shell.

Holy crap, this was a long sit… First off everything came off as unintentionally funny because the narrator sounds like Mister Metokur, and I cannot blame anyone but myself for that comparison.

Secondly, this is another book where the couple has their insta-love but then… Nothing. They’re together. The rest is basically slice of life as they go about their days and meet up at home. And cook. And eat. And have sex. Then do it all again. I kept waiting for the third act breakup or SOMETHING but it never happens. Way and Neil are so sweet, I have diabeetus.

The religion thing just kinda pops up to remind the reader it IS still a thing and Way’s innocence can come off as a little creepy; like he’s too young to be in this story. All in all, I was just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the ending. This has a LOT of untapped potential to be explored and it’s a shame that opportunity was missed. 2.5 out of 5.

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Today’s Run: Ramping it up?

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This run is week 8 day 2 of C210k. It starts with a 5-minute warmup, a 29-minute run, then a 5-minute cooldown. And I did it! I ran the full 29 minutes.

It’s tomorrow I’m worried about. Week 8 day 3 is a full 5k run without stopping. Why would I be worried if I do 5k races all the time? Because I usually do my walk/run or run to 10 combos. This time no breaks for me.

If I can make this, it would be a major victory for me. I’ve been running for two years or so and never made it much past 3.5 miles with breaks. LOTS of breaks. If my endurance is up to the task, a 10k may actually really be in my future! And finishing a 10k was one of my goals for the year!

Also, I am FINALLY done with season 3! There are currently 7 seasons of Zombies Run! and I’ve been trying to catch up to the end so I can fiddle around with supply missions and try out an airdrop mission. There’s also all the Radio Abel content. My completionist’s itch is driving me crazy.

Wish me luck tomorrow! I’m sure I’ll be hurting by the end of it no matter what happens.

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Lenni Reviews: “The Charlatan’s Conquest” by Vivien Dean

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*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rates 18+

Brody Weber is a man of science so when his father is willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a ghost hunter, Brody is livid and hot to prove the man a fraud. But, when Cruz Guthrie digs into the investigation, Brody comes face to face with things he never knew existed.

What made me interested in this book was how both Brody and Cruz are men of science; Brody is a neurological researcher and Cruz is a software engineer who moonlights as a ghost hunters assistant. Neither one of them expects real paranormal activity on this case so they get to know one another and we get to know them as the investigation takes place.

Given its short length, the story does a decent job developing our main leads and the threat they’re facing. You don’t get as much as say, the Storm and Winter books, but it does the job. I think it would have been more memorable with some length, giving more of a chance for the ghosts to be scarier but overall a good short story! 3.8 out of 5.

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