Call Numbers: The Not So Quiet Life of Librarians by Syntell Smith

Call Numbers: The Not So Quiet Life of Librarians (Book 1)
by: Syntell Smith

call numbers

Life is a book… and every person is a chapter.

Everything’s looking up for Robin Walker. It’s 1994 in New York City, and he’s been transferred downtown to the 58th Street Branch Library. Ready to move up the ladder, Robin is excited about the opportunities that await him.

But success, personal or professional, is as elusive as a first-edition rare book. Robin struggles with his strange new work environment as this motley crew of employees generates more drama than a runaway bestseller. He doesn’t know who to believe – or who to let in. And as potential romance mingles with devious machinations, there’s no telling where Robin’s story will go. All he knows is that he must see it through to the very last page. – Goodreads

*Received in exchange for honest review*

Call Numbers definitely has a good setting. Libraries don’t seem to be used enough as a central location where events go down. There probably are other titles but I haven’t read them before. Its also a novel that reminds the readers that any location with people is a place for drama and some level of office politics. In this case, this story starts off with a new part-time clerk, Robin joining this library with their own tight-knit group of employees who reject his presence because it has hindered one of their owns future there due to their situation. As he tries to adapt to the new environment and be accepted, this group proves to have their own agenda to challenge him constantly.

Call Numbers is separated into different groups of characters and each side of the story jumping through each of these characters. There’s a lot of characters. While its not exactly hard to follow once all their personalities and plots are straightened out, its quite an information overload situation at the beginning of the book to know each of their names and their alliances and where they stand in the spectrum of this person and then what their own personal challenges are. Having more characters gives a good foundation to have more paths to take in the future of the story and fills up the book but then, it has the downfall of being hard to get into at the beginning as it can get a tad confusing to follow. Although, once the characters are more familiar, its quite an interesting group of characters to read, at least the majority of them, of course, the focal point being Robin and the two managing this library branch, Sonyai and Augustus.

Suffice to say that the characters are the star of this novel and they are quite plentiful as mentioned before. The issues they go through are real enough to understand their different situations. However, if there was something that did bother me a little more is the whole set up for a cliffhanger endings. Its rather a personal preference that books are standalone even in a series and not leaving it hanging in some dire situation to continue to read about in the next novel. It definitely affected my score a little.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Tasting the Boy Next Door by Katy Baker

Don’t judge me…just don’t. That’s all I ask. This was for free on Amazon Kindle books.  By the time I got around to it in the last few weeks, the title had changed to Banging the Boy Next Door.  Let’s just check it out.

Tasting the Boy Next Door (The Boy Next Door #1)
By: Katy Baker

tasting the boy next door

Melissa Smyth is outraged when her parents enlist their geeky neighbor to look after things while they’re away. Determined to prove she’s in charge, Melissa decides to use her feminine charms to make Rory Thompson her slave. But Rory has other ideas. Recently returned from Thailand, he’s geeky no longer. Who will come out on top? One thing’s for sure – sparks will fly. – Goodreads

I don’t know what was crossing my mind when I downloaded a ton of these erotic free books.  I really don’t. Like I said before, don’t judge me.

But you know what? I judge myself.  I guess that’s the problem because most of you don’t judge me even when we agree to disagree. Tasting the Boy Next Door is an erotic short.  First issue I had is right there. Tasting the Boy Next Door is 15 pages long so yes, it qualifies as a short and man, its erotic alright because its takes about 7 pages (Kindle page count and Amazon page count seem to be different) to get to the sexy bits of striping and the whole nine yards and that’s the rest of the story, ladies and gentlemen.  I’m not saying this is a bad story, because if this was a scene in a drawn out novel (or even a novella), I’d be totally into it.  The sex scene was written well enough. What angers me about this is that there are 2 more sequels after this and they cost money so this story is like a prequel or a teaser.  I’m all for a good tease but then this prequel wasn’t even enough to make me know what else I’m getting into in the next two.  Like another 40/60 deal with the majority of it being sex scenes and the actual 40 not being of any character development but thats not true because the sequels seem to be longer in length and probably that’s why it costs money, except I don’t even care enough about spoiled and rather b*tchy Melissa or ex-geek and now super muscular Rory one bit to want to invest in it. This feels a little like manipulation and that is a turn-off.

Okay, let’s step back and calm down (I need it before I move on!).

I’ve read erotica before and I’m not even that opposed to it.  Heck, for one of my Nanowrimo’s it was a romance/erotica novel and those scenes are challenging to put together and try to evoke those feelings that the author is thinking of.  If it wasn’t for the language here that didn’t work, the scenes worked quite well.  I understand the effort and hard work that goes into putting a story together.  What I hate is how this emphasizes that girls or ladies will have sex or have some lustful rushes over a hot guy: muscular, tall, handsome.  Are there not enough stereotypes that this needs to be reinforced? There’s not a switch in our brains that just goes, “OMG! Look at those muscles under that tight shirt! I just can’t resist him, let me have sex with him RIGHT NOW!” There’s no build-up, no nothing…I guess this goes back to my first paragraph. I like looking at hot guys, just check my Pinterest account.  I literally have a board just for the handsome gentlemen actors out there. But this one…no, just no.

Either way, I gave Tasting the Boy Next Door 2 stars out of 5 on Goodreads. For what it is, its okay.  If you think of this as a sexy quick turn-on piece, it does the job.  I mean, I can’t really complain about free and its short enough that it took 20 mins on a bus ride home from work so at least it didn’t feel like it wasted my time.  Between me and you (which is like the world that drops by here and read to the conclusion), I like this sort of erotica stuff and its fun even in a cheesy way when there’s context to it.  This didn’t have that.  Its just a teaser for a novella disguised as a free short story because its literally just one sex scene. For me, I won’t be pursuing the series anymore.  It had its merit but I’m not down for anyone trying to manipulate me into following a story that wasn’t even structured as one.  If it was done in a way of putting all 3 stories into one novella and charging a few dollars, I would have appreciated it much more that way and probably been much more forgiving.