Tag Archives: books

Otherwise Occupied by Shay Savage

Otherwise Occupied

My thoughts

After having read Otherwise Alone, I’m intrigued if Evan Arden will be able to meet Lia in book two, Otherwise Occupied. This isn’t the first book I’ve read from this author, Shay Savage. Surviving Raine is my all-time favorite book and its sequel Bastian’s Storm will be always special to me. Seeing Bastian in a happy ending is the best way to conclude his story and knowing a kind of guy like him deserves his second chance.

Otherwise Occupied is about Evan Arden whose life revolves around his job and lives to please his mob boss, Moretti. He’s living in denial and crave for the companionship of a hooker, Brigitte, in return he gave her special attention. He doesn’t normally show care or concern with anyone except for Brigitte.

To avoid nightmares at night, he took Brigitte home to let her give him blowjob and allow her to sleep in his bed. That closeness, her smell and warmth of her body gives him peace of mind and nightmare-free at night. With someone beside him during the night, he could sleep. But then, his thoughts automatically wanders to that woman who unexpectedly arrived in his shack in the middle of the Arizona desert. Lia Antonio. As much as he wants to forget Lia, the thoughts of her and their lovemaking in that one lonely night in his shack kept coming back to him.

Reading about a hit man isn’t my first read. My first hit man was Cain, Killing Game by Felicity Heaton and it’s a novella. I’m not going to compare since they are different books although the heroes are both professional hit man. Both are hired to kill without remorse. My first hit man came from a rich family and isn’t even a broken guy. He isn’t even suffering from any emotional anxiety unlike Evan. He was just compelled to do the job because he ran away from home. He’s broke and needed the money to survive alone in New York. 

What I’m saying is that my experience reading Evan Arden who’s one heck of a damn Marine sniper, suffering from psychosis, tried to pretend that his life is normal and nothing is wrong with him. Just like normal people, we are a master of disguise. We pretend that we are fine but deep inside we are just like Evan.

Evan was having trouble with his PTSD. He’s in denial. He wants to feel nothing and deals with it with flying colours. But then, a person has his limitations. Everyone has their breaking point. He is like a balloon, when he can’t contain his thoughts and emotions he exploded big time, which is imminent for someone who is suffering from PTSD. The last part of the book, Evan frightens me and at the same time my heart weeps for him. I pity him because he has no one to care for him at the time he needed someone to be at his side. Odin was just lucky that at the last part Lia was there. Lia saw Evan broke down and being tugged down by a team of SWAT Team.

Otherwise Occupied isn’t an all-nighter book for me. I could go back to reading it without annoyance and remember the details even if I skipped from reading it in a day or two. If I was stoked with reading Surviving Raine series, Otherwise Occupied is still a book worth-reading but be prepared for some explicit sex scenes and violent killings.

Of course, I’m off to reading the third book, Otherwise Unharmed.

Ratings:       4 Stars


Quote #6 Franz Kafka


Photo Credit Pinterest


“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” —Franz Kafka

The Cat and The Smoker


photo credit The New Yorker

The Smoker by David Schickler

I accidentally came across this short story from a writer I frequently stalked for something I would like to read in her blog. I think she wrote one article for The New Yorker. She said she liked the story and mentioned something about a cat. I have no idea what the story is all about except that there’s a cat in it. So I clicked the link and I was redirected to The New Yorker website. I saw the title and the cover photo first caught my attention. Then, I saw myself reading it. I read it slowly and devoured every line. When I reached page 8, I exclaimed, “Is that it?!” I frantically looked for page 9 hoping I just missed it. But there’s really no page 9.

I liked The Smoker. It’s my second short stories I’ve read two days in a row. The first one is from Lydia Davis entitled, “Story.” I have a copy of her book The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis which I planned to read whenever I feel the need to acquaint myself with literary masterpiece.

I enjoyed reading The Smoker. I really liked it. The story is about Professor Douglas Kerchek and his brainy student Nicole Bonners. Nicole is intelligent, eccentric, well read and a headstrong woman. She knows what she wants even at the age of 19. Professor Douglas enjoys being alone, watching movies and has a boxer’s body with a PhD in his turf. He’s an attractive man, slightly attracted to his dangerously alluring student Nicole. But he never crosses the student – professor line. Until Nicole invited him to a family dinner and he met her parents.

I’ve watched the movie Meet The Parents and I remembered the cat in it. You’ll meet John Stapleton here.

The story is catchy and very entertaining. It immediately caught my attention and my eyes never leave the page until I’ve read everything. I’ve read it twice. No. More than twice until I’m satisfied and ready to let it go and move on to discover new ones to read.