Dara’s review of Retribution by Sloane Kennedy

Retribution (The Protectors #3)Retribution by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I devoured this book. It turned my heart inside out, left me wanting, breathless, angry, heartbroken, amazed, longing, happy and with a heart filled with love. In other words – it was perfect.

View all my reviews

My Hero Wears Bandanas

My father is a character

He’s always hated conforming to someone else’s rules – he wants to be free to make his own rules

When he got his job as a physicist in the early sixties they told him he had to wear a necktie to work.

He hates neckties….with a passion…and he told his bosses that

They looked him in the eye and told him he had to wear something around his neck

So he tied a bandana around his neck and went to work

And a unique character was born

For the next thirty-odd years that he worked there he was the bandana guy

If someone new was around they were told, “Oh, you don’t know Ted? He’s the bandana guy,” and they instantly knew who he was

Unique, funny, stands out, a little crazy – yep, that’s my dad

And he spent his off time surrounded by girls – his beautiful wife and his four daughters, of which I am lucky to be one

We weren’t rich by any stretch of the imagination but we were comfortable, we were accepted, we were free to be whoever we wanted to be and we were loved

We all knew that no matter who we became in life we would be loved

We all knew that we were unique in our own ways and we would be accepted

We were free to make our own choices, our own way, free to follow our hearts, free to follow our dreams and we knew that no matter where our unique paths took us, Dad would be there cheering us on

We were encouraged to be unique, to be whatever we wanted to be

Was he perfect?

Not a chance

He would hate if I said that he was – perfect means that there’s no room for improvement, no reason to keep trying

His patience was lacking but over the years we learned that was because he knew we could do so much better, he knew we could be so much more – so we always tried harder

He gave his love of nature to all of us

He gave us his love of music

He gave us his love of photography

For me, he gave me his love of writing

And more than anything he gave us his love of human beings – no matter what color they are, what sexuality they are. Whoever he met, if they were kind and good he’d treat them like the good friend he knew they would be.

That’s what resonates the most with me

Love one another, accept one another

It’s how my sister’s and I were raised

It’s how we raised our children

It’s how our children are raising their children

And it was taught to us by our hero…..who always wears a bandana

Dara’s Review of Saving Ren by Sloane Kennedy

Saving Ren (Barretti Security Series, #3)Saving Ren by Sloane Kennedy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ll be honest. This one was tough sometimes. Like watching a scary movie between your fingers cause you’re afraid something bad is going to happen tough. But almost like finding a hidden treasure in a store full of junk, if you can power through the scary stuff, you’ll peel back the layers and find something amazing and beautiful and so worth it.

View all my reviews


At work today it was “Pride Day” – which was good because it raised donations for the Pride Foundation (that supports WA, OR, MT, AK & ID).  Of all the donations raised, my work matches them dollar for dollar which I love and I know it helps but I wanted to do more.

So I wore a Love is Love t-shirt – but does it help?

Or does it really just make me feel better because I’m showing off my support?

Hopefully both

Did it make some people uncomfortable when they walked by me?  Maybe

Did it make some folks sneer or look away in disgust?  Possibly

Did it make some look at me and wonder ‘is she one of them?  Or ‘is she a lesbian?’  Probably

Do I care?  Hell no


Because every time I can make people see my support is a success

Because every time I can voice my support to someone with closed off views is a win

Because every time I don’t turn away if I hear or see someone bullying a gay person or couple is a step in the right direction

Because every time a co-worker’s eyes widen when they see it and they whisper, “I can’t believe you wore that” – I can say, “Of course I did.  Where is yours?”

Because every time someone says to me, “Oh, you’re so brave for wearing that,” I can tell them, “Let me tell you who are the REAL brave people are.”

Because I am a fricking human being and that is the only kind of them that I give a shit about.

Am I afraid that someone might lash out at me over this or I might lose friends over it?  A little

But my fear is NOTHING compared to the battles faced every minute of every day by the LGBTQ community.

I’m never afraid when I walk down the street holding my husband’s hand

I never worry that we won’t be accepted when I introduce him to new people

I never think twice about kissing him goodbye when we’re out in public

Because what he and I have is considered ‘normal’, it’s acceptable

And THAT’S what needs to change

I am but one straight voice in this fight and that may not seem like much

But every voice can be heard if we all speak at once

If every voice speaks up when they hear a gay slur or see someone being bullied for being gay – it can help

It’s easy to hide your beliefs and tell yourself not to get involved or not to speak up because what difference can one person do?

But easy doesn’t change things

Easy never makes a difference

Easy doesn’t challenge

And easy doesn’t reward

So fuck easy

If we all stop hiding – if we all ‘come out of the fear closet’ and stand up to the bullies, stand up to the bigots, stand up to the haters – together our voices can be louder than theirs

So I wore a shirt today

I walked around in it with my head held high and a smile on my face

A smile that said, “Yes this is my shirt and I proudly believe that EVERYONE deserves to love openly and without fear”

Hard?  A little

Rewarding?  Absolutely

Empowering?  Definitely

I’m a straight female – this isn’t my fight

But I’m a human being – so it is

If just one person opens their eyes and looks at my shirt – I win

Because if I can get them to open their eyes then I just might be able to get them to open their heart too

It may not seem like much, it may not make a difference

But it’s my voice

I’m shouting it loud and I will not stop

Not until everyone can walk down the street holding hands and nobody gives it a second thought

Not until we start holding Human Pride parades and everyone joins in

It’s my voice and I will keep shouting

Today I shouted by wearing a shirt 

Review of Speechless by Nicole Edwards

Speechless (Pier 70, #3)Speechless by Nicole Edwards

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Can two people find love when one can’t speak and the other doesn’t know sign language? Can two people find love when one is emotionally withdrawn and the other is emotionally damaged? Can two people find love when neither of them thinks they’re worthy of it?
The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes.
Because love is the universal language that can bring together even the most disheartened souls.
Beautiful story. Beautiful love.

View all my reviews

Review of The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez

The Spiral Down (The Fall Up, #2)The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my God. Can I give this more than 5 stars? If I could I would. So emotional, so funny, so devastating, so EVERYTHING. This book will suck you in as if it were locking you into a plane and taking off. You won’t be able to leave it until it’s done, until you land safely on the ground with a smile on your face, joy in your heart and the realization that love really can conquer all.

View all my reviews

Review of Test Drive by Riley Hart

Test Drive (Crossroads #3)Test Drive by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved Justin and Drew’s story. Loved Drew’s patience. Loved Justin’s humor. Loved how they helped each other grow. But why 4 stars instead of 5? One reason: too much sap. Yeah I get that Landon, Rod, Nick, Bryce, Jacob & Shannen are all great together and love each other very much. But does it have to be shoved in my face multiple times throughout the book? I get it. They’re in love. Move on an tell me more and Justin and Drew. With that said, I can’t wait for the next one. Call me a sucker for sap I guess.

View all my reviews