Jack Savoretti @ Royal Festival Hall, London (29 March 2017)

Jack Savoretti – what a guy. There is nothing he doesn’t do well, whether that be songwriting, singing, whistling, guitar-playing or general performing and that is why I decided to go and see him in concert twice in four months.

The venue was different (November was the gig-friendly Eventim Apollo at Hammersmith whilst this time was in the more traditional all-seated Royal Festival Hall) but the setlist (and all the few “stories” in between songs) was pretty much the same as in November. Hearing the excellent renditions of the same songs again by no means diminished the enjoyment.

It’s so hard to choose highlights as it was true perfection from start to finish.  However, special mention has to go to the solo ‘Soldier’s Eyes’ which was just Jack and his guitar in all his glory, the amazing vocal solo at the start of ‘Breaking The Rules’ during which he was accompanied by his music director on piano and of course the ones that got everyone on their feet singing and dancing like ‘Home’, ‘The Other Side Of Love’ and ‘Start Living In The Moment’.

It was the closing night of the tour and I loved that Joseph J. Jones the support act was invited back on stage (accompanied by a beer in his hand) to sing with Savoretti on’“Knock Knock’ during the encore

As someone whose favourite band is Fleetwood Mac, I am used to going to concerts where I am one of the youngest people in attendance (though I wouldn’t consider myself actually young any more!) but I have to admit that I was surprised at the fact that the grand proportion of the audience was indeed of the slightly maturer generation. I feel sad that youngsters these days have no taste in music and a guy with an excellent voice who plays his own guitar and writes his own songs has no appeal.

Acoustically the Royal Festival Hall was without fault but the ban on photographs was very disappointing and the first time I’d experienced this during a gig. You are never going to get everyone to comply to the rules but watching the numerous venue employees walk around trying to get people to stop taking photos was incredibly distracting. I can understand this rule for plays and musicals where you are relying on people to pay to see the same thing night after night but the people who go and see live concerts probably already have the songs  in their music collection so some photos or videos of the gig floating around the internet are hardly “spoiler alerts”.

Here are a few photos I managed to sneak (and no I wasn’t one of the ones who got told off!).

Lastly I just wish to say Savoretti firmly deserves all the success he has gotten recently and I have never been more glad that he decided not to give up on his music career when the going got tough a few years ago.  As a fan from the beginning, I hope that in the next concert, I will get to hear the song which first introduced me to Savoretti : ‘Blackrain’.

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology by Various

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology (Chicago Rebels, #.5; Station Seventeen, #1.5)ARC received from: the authors

Rating: 2.5*

Review:

The rating reflects the average rating for the anthology as a whole. Individual ratings given below.

This book almost defeated me but I was determined to get through it all so I could give it a fair review, even if it meant speed-reading and skimming a few of the stories which really didn’t work for me.

Overall, this anthology is worth buying just for the 4* reads given that a percentage of the profits are going to charity and you never know, you might discover a new favourite author.

Kimberly Kincaid – Deep Check
4*
Love this author and the firehouse series.

Katie Kenyhercz – Bear Naked
4*
An interesting introduction for me to the native American world and the juggling of cultures

Desiree Holt – Body Check
1*
No consistency with the absence of the “Keeper of the Cup” and a hotshot hockey guy thinks he can get his old love back now that he is injured and finally has time for her? Ugh.

Angi Morgan – Breakaway Brook
1*
Paranormal super powers in a contemporary romance? No thanks.

Kim Golden – Under A Midnight Sun
1*
I am sensing a repetitive theme here ….. cocky hockey guys who, once they’ve won the cup, think they can go back to their hometown and reunite with an ex-girlfriend.

Kate Meader – In Skates Trouble
4*
This was what I really tried this anthology for and it didn’t disappoint!
I am really looking forward to Harper’s book, the first full length novel in a new series from one of my favourite contemporary romance authors!

Misty D. Waters – Checking Yes
1*
I’m pretty sure I read this before in this anthology ….. hockey star abandoned his childhood sweetheart when he went off to play hockey and now he wants her back …. This one just has additional family and Southern drama thrown in for good measure.

Robin Kaye – Penalty Box Blues
2*
The hockey star who can’t even remember the girl who used to tutor him every day

Robin Covington – Free Agent
2.5*
I’m usually not a fan of 1st Person POV but I enjoyed this one more than I expected to

Avery Flynn – Blade
4*
Interesting set-up with two old acquaintances having to work together to stop the cup being stolen

Susan Scott Shelley – Making His Move
3*
Coffee addict hooks up with a sweet girl from his childhood whilst spending more time with his sporty family.

Christi Barth – Check My Heart
4*
Really liked the background of she being his brother’s hospice nurse and loved the chemistry between these two

Heather Long – Blocked
3*
Hockey star helps pop princess avoid the press.

Andie J.Christopher – Full Contact
3*
A virginity story with a difference. Really weird to see Eddie turned into some kind of bad guy though

Lena Hart – Courage
2*
Not really interested in a story about a marriage in trouble especially when the guy is so self-involved

Nana Malone – Ransom (The Player)
3*
A story around the size of a hockey player’s dick and the geeky classmate he lusted for from afar.

Virginia Nelson – Caged
1*
A desperate small town girl tries very hard to get a hockey star to realise he’s in love with her by making him a plastic trophy

Xio Axelrod – The Warm Up
3*
Flirtation on the cancer ward.

Hot for the Fireman (Boston Heat #1) by Gina L. Maxwell

Hot for the FiremanARC received from: Netgalley

Rating: 4.5*

Trope: Firefighter

Chemistry: Off the charts Scorchio

One-Sentence Summary: Firefighter Versus Therapist

Review: It’s been awhile since I’ve read a romance that gave me all sorts of tingly feels but this one certainly did it!

I loved the set up of Erik and Olivia meeting each other and not knowing that they were going to have to work together in “real life”. Erik’s persistence at getting her to go out with him was nicely mirrored in the latter half with Olivia refusing to give up on him.

Whilst I spent the first half wondering when Erik’s PTSD, the whole reason for them meeting, would come into play when it finally did, it did so in a big way. It felt so raw and real and I really felt for him.

Erik’s condition keeps him off work for the duration of the book so for those of you looking forward to a book full of sexy firefighting action, you may be a little disappointed but I am sure Maxwell has plenty of time to explore that side of things in the rest of the series

One of my favourite things about the book was undoubtedly the introduction of Dozer and Angie. I am guessing their book is up next and I, for one, absolutely can’t wait to read it. I love a good reconciliation romance.

PS. Loved the shout-out to Kate Meader’s awesome Chicago firefighting series!

Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl (9/52)

I was not, like everyone else in England seems to be, an Ed Sheeran fan right from the start.

I was put-off from trying him out because I couldn’t understand why a singer-songwriter and ace guitar player would want to insert rap into his songs.  Also, I’m not keen on the constant references to smoking, taking drugs and drinking alcohol in his lyrics.

But as much as I wasn’t won over by +, I was hooked by some catchy songs on X and Divide is more of the same.

Galway Girl is really catchy and I love the Irish fiddle.  I can’t believe Sheeran even had to justify this song to his record company!