Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 Bookish Resolutions Challenge ~ June Update

Bookish Resolution Challenge

Laura @Trips Down Imagination Lane and Michelle @Because Reading are the lovely hosts of this challenge. You can click the button above for all the details.


My 2015 Bookish Resolutions are:

  • Improve my Netgalley Rating (started at 15.2%)
  • Listen to one audio book per quarter.
  • Write more discussion posts and/or create some fun features for my blog.


Unless you count listening to more audio books and continuing with my feature/discussion posts, I didn't make progress towards my resolutions this month. Buuut, I'm going to consider that progress! ;) 

COYER Scavenger Hunt Summer just started so hopefully I'll make some progress towards my Netgalley resolution in July. 

The audio book portion of my resolutions challenge is FINISHED! I started Ever After by Kim Harrison. It's one of my Reading Challenge books and as I'm typing this update (6-20) I'm ~3 hours short of finishing. I should have it done by the 30th. :) I also used some of my Audible credits I had built up to pick up some more listens and I'm excited to start on them. Who knew I'd end up rather enjoying audio?!? 

As for discussion posts/fun features, I continued posting my monthly Travel by the Book post as well as my Beyond the Books posts. And I've also continued my Brandee's Bookish Babble posts.

I'm still really happy with all I've accomplished so far this year. And I'll aspire to do more for July. How did y'all do in June?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Brandee's Bookish Babbly #4 ~ Genre Binging

Welcome to Brandee's Bookish Babble. There are many, many similar posts to this one - but basically I wanted a place to discuss bookish and/or blogging stuff and I needed a title. :) So this is my new discussion feature.


As y'all know, I never used to read outside the Literary Fiction section of the bookstore. And then I read a little book called Twilight and my reading life changed! I was looking through my book journals and I found a trend. After reading Twilight, I binged on Young Adult books. Then I got bored and move to a different genre. I binged on Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy books. Then I got bored with that and I moved to something new. I binged on Romance. Then I got bored again, so I moved onto a different genre. I binged on New Adult. Then...yep, I got bored AGAIN.

This year, with all the challenges I'm participating in I'm really jumping around between ALL the genres I enjoy. And I've figured something out. I prefer the variety. I like reading a vampire book and then reading a contemporary romance...and then a young adult. I'm also switching back and forth between my ereaders, physical books, and audio. I think it's making me a happier reader. And best of all, I'm not getting bored.

So I wondered...do y'all genre binge read? Or do you hop from genre to genre? Do you switch up your reading format? And for those of you who only read one particular genre, how do you keep from getting bored?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Blogger Chick Chat ~ Hollywood on Tap ~ Avery Flynn

Hollywood on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery, #2)Hollywood on Tap
Sweet Salvation Brewery #2
Release Date: November 23, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms

For years, Sean O'Dell has hidden his past as a Hollywood heartthrob from everyone at the Sweet Salvation Brewery. Howver, the arrival of nosey efficiency expert Natalie Sweet threatens the status quo. It doesn't help that with her glasses, buttoned-up sweaters and always pulled-back hair that she's uncovered one secret already: His attraction for hot librarian types.

Natalie has had enough of the strong-and-silent Sean submarining her efforts to change the brewery for the better. She's ready to do whatever it takes to make her vision a reality, even if that means taking down a pig-headed and too-hot-for-his-own-good brewmaster.

Sizzling attraction battles stubborn determination as Natalie and Sean go head to head in a battle that's anything but business as usual.


Lexxie (@Unconventional Bookviews) and I are continuing this series and our chats about it. We hope you enjoy!

Omigoodness - I don't know where to start! I loved Natalie and Sean's story. I felt like I really knew them better and could empathize with them both. I can't put my finger on the 'why' though. What do you think the difference is between their story and Miranda and Logan's?

The chemistry between Natalie and Sean was combustible, wasn't it? I mean, I could really feel the energy and tension between them. It was sooo good. :) And I'm rather a sucker for the 'forbidden' love angle, even though it was a foregone conclusion.

I giggled so hard over Sean hiding out from Natalie and her clipboard. And then, when he finally read her "billion point plan" and had his epiphany, I giggled some more. Why are some men so dead-set on believing women don't know what we're talking about?!?

The mystery of who was sabotaging things at the brewery had me grasping at straws. I honestly had pointed my finger at someone else. So I truly was shocked at the reveal. Were you?

Speaking of the brewery, I was glad more time was spent in the brewery in this installment. We still didn't get a lot of time with the staff but listening as Sean waxed poetic about his stout recipe made sigh. And wish someone would actually brew it. (Hmm, may have to get James on that one ;) 

I.LOVE.RUBY.SUE!! That woman! I could hug her! I loved Sean's description of her as "a deadly combination of brass-knuckle tough love served with a side of cookies." That's exactly what he got from her, exactly when he needed it.

Could you believe Sean's dad? That guy was a piece of work. What a jerk!

We didn't really see Olivia in this book so I'm curious as to what the next installment will be like. I assumed it would be her book...

So I really enjoyed Hollywood on Tap. It left me feeling like I'd had some of Ruby Sue's famous pecan pie and iced sweet tea. Satisfied. I still can't say why this one was more enjoyable though. I want to know what you think...

I agree, I felt like I got to know both Sean and Natalie so much better! Even if it was just glimpses into their pasts, that was necessary. Like, why Natalie had those pearls, and when she started to use them. And also why she felt like she needed to control was important to understand. Organizing things around her helped her feel more in control, and it showed us a lot about who Natalie was as a character, I think. That is one of the biggest differences between Sean and Natalie's story as opposed to Miranda and Logan in my opinion. Because we got to know them better, I also felt more attached to them.

Oh my goodness, I agree! They were very hot together, their chemistry was off the charts, and I almost felt like cheering for them! And the 'forbidden' angle really worked for me, too! All the reasons why they shouldn't became reasons why they had to ;)

LOL, Sean thinking Natalie didn't even realize he was hiding from her was hilarious, and when she was waiting for him, blue-lipped, in the cold-room I was laughing out loud. I'm not so sure Sean was hiding from her clipboard because she's a woman. I think it was just as much because he wanted to think he had everything under control on his own.

I was totally shocked at the reveal about who was sabotaging the brewery, I was so sure I knew, too, and when the show-down happened I had no idea! 

We did spend more time in the actual brewery in Hollywood on Tap, and we even learned the names of some of the people working there - big improvement! And I loved that Sean shared so much about that stout he wants to brew - I want one like that, too! If you can get James to make one, I'll be happy to come for a tasting ;)

Ruby Sue should have her own installment! She's such a hoot! Knowing everyone, but rooting for our Sweets, I already enjoyed her in Enemies on Tap, and she was another character who was even more present in Hollywood on Tap.

Sean's dad truly got what was coming to him! What an arse! I have never understood people who push their children to fulfill their dreams, rather than the child's own dream. And the way he talked to Natalie was so bad. But she showed her backbone anyway, as soon as she got a little help seeing that Sean might be better than she thought after talking to his dad, that is.

I think we maybe felt like we knew everybody better in this story because we had met them already, and the back-stories were definitely more fleshed out! I loved the fun interactions between Sean and Natalie, and also Natalie's inner musings which showed what made her tick.

I forgot to say anything about Olivia!! I think the next book will be hers, and I'm impatient to finally meet her. I was a little bit disappointed she only appeared in phone conversations once more in this one. However, it seems like the three sisters are really close, and I look forward to meeting her in 'person'.

You're absolutely right, Lexxie. Getting the background information on both Natalie and Sean did help me invest more in their characters. That was a complaint I had about Miranda and Logan - that I wished we'd gotten more about them so I could have been better acquainted with them. I really did feel like I got that with Natalie and Sean. And yes, it also helped that we'd met them previously but I really liked getting the explanations about certain things about them - and I liked that those explanations were given to each other rather than just in their heads. They each gave up some control to let the other in when they gave those explanations.

I got some looks from my family when I was laughing over Natalie being in that freezer. That was hilarious! She was one determined woman!

You're also right about Sean needing control and that was why he was avoiding Natalie's plan. Now that you mention it, I think it's ironic that they both need control in and of their lives but they go about it differently. And that was one more way in which they go together despite being so seemingly different. Sweet and sour indeed.

Ruby Sue should totally get her own installment. But I bet we have to be happy with the role she plays in the lives of the Sweets. I love that she sides with them and will stand up to anyone who tries to run them down.

Yeah, I was disappointed that Olivia didn't come to Salvation like I was expecting. But the sisters do seem very close and I'm really excited to meet Olivia in person as well. :)

It's really too bad we weren't able to be as invested in Miranda and Logan, because they both had a lot of potential, too. I agree about getting to know more about Natalie and Sean, we did learn about their little quirks, and were able to understand them much better! Learning what Sean had gone through as a child-star in Hollywood made my heart bleed for him! And it was not difficult at all to see why he would not share any of that with Natalie or anyone else. When it comes to fame, some people are such vultures!

LOL we both get looks from our families while reading, it seems :D It would be fun if we could ALL meet up one day, you and I could hide somewhere and read (we'd quickly be found because of our giggles, though) and the men and the kids could go hiking or biking ;)

Oh, I hadn't even seen the irony in the way both Sean and Natalie needed control, because they hadn't had any at all when they were younger! Very good point, my dear :)

Yeah, I don't think we'll get an installment with Ruby Sue, but it would be glorious! I hope she'll show up even more in Olivia's book. I think Trouble on Tap will be released in July... a summer buddy- read, maybe?

My Final Thoughts
Overall, Hollywood on Tap was a much more satisfying read than it's predecessor. I felt I knew and understood Natalie and Sean better and therefore was really invested in them. Their chemistry was electric! And the suspense created by the saboteur added that little extra to the story. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Jax Reviews ~ A Dark Inheritance ~ Chris D'Lacey

A Dark Inheritance
Unicorne Files #1
Release Date: May 27 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Purchased Hardcover
Rating: 3 Bookworms
When Michael Malone discovers his supernatural ability to alter reality, he is recruited by an organization dedicated to investigating strange and paranormal phenomena. He joins in hopes of finding his fater, who mysteriously vanished three years earlier. Michael's first task is to solve the mystery of a dog he rescued from a precarious clifftop -- a mystery that leads him to a strange and sickly classmate and a young girl who was killed in a devastating accident. Stakes are high as Michael learns to harness his newfound ability and uncover the deadly truth about his father's disapperance.
A bold and thrilling tale of alternate realities, paranormal mystery, and extraordinary adventure.

***Jax's Review***

Once upon a time, one of my favorite book series was Christopher D’Lacey’s The Last Dragon Chronicles. Thinking back on it, it was very scattered and, well, interestingly organized. However, I loved it in fourth grade, and when I found a new book he wrote, I thought I might as well read it. It is called A Dark Inheritance, where young Michael discovers he can alter reality exactly like flipping through the pages of a book, and wants to be recruited by a secret agency.

The warning lights of a cliché were coming on. There was the boy, Michael, considered to be a delinquent by everyone now. There was his obnoxious little sister, there was the mysterious goth girl who doesn’t have a place, the guiding force. The agency that recruits him, called U.N.I.C.O.R.N.E., is dedicated to investigating the paranormal. They assign Michael the task of finding out the story behind a dog that he rescued, and this leads him to the goth girl, Freya, who is being haunted from inside her own body, in an obscure form of possession.

All in all, D’Lacey did his usual off-the-beaten-path-fiction, with the incredibly strange plot, but cliché characters, leading for a mostly enjoyable book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brandee's Away on Vacay Giveaway #2

Yep, I'm gone again. This time I'm enjoying the beautiful beach and tropical landscape of Kauai. :) And once again, to make up for my absence from the blogosphere, I'm hosting a couple of giveaways!

The first giveaway is US only and there will be TWO winners. Each winner will receive a 'grab bag' of books and goodies. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The second giveaway is for my International peeps. Y'all can win a $15 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Day Blitz & Giveaway ~ Wasted Lust ~ JA Huss

Happy Release Day, JA Huss!!
Wasted Lust is here y'all! Woohoo!

I have all the details on the book, a spicy excerpt, and a giveaway! Enjoy! ;)


Wasted Lust (A 321 Spin-off)
By JA Huss
Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 24, 2015
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N

Wasted Lust can be read as a standalone. It is a 321 spin-off, full-length, romantic suspense filled with lies, secrets, and the power of redemption by the New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss.


Sasha Cherlin died the night she let Nick Tate walk out on her for a life of crime. Her very essence was destroyed when they broke their promise to one another.


Nick Tate made his choice with her future in mind. He loved Sasha enough to know that leaving her behind was the only way to keep her safe.


Special Agent Jax Barlow understands the bond of love and he plans to use it to get justice. Nick and Sasha will do anything to rewrite their past. He’s counting on that to bring them down.


$100 Amazon Gift Card, Coach Tote Bag, all JA Huss Books SIGNED – starts June 24 ends July 5.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I’m not a player. I know there are girls out there who do this kind of thing for a living. They scout out prospective husbands. Dress up, put on a show, try to hook one with the bait.

I have no bait. I’m cute—not sophisticated like my mom’s friend Rook, or badass like her friend Veronica, or even smart and sassy like my mom, but cute. A Smurf, they used to call me. 

And those ladies are the only real role models I ever had growing up. That’s it. The extent of my wily ways with men come from half-ass copy-catting people who have more game in their pinky fingers than I have in my whole body.

So I’m at a complete loss here. Because Jax insists on treating me like a woman. And I’ve spent a good number of years trying to avoid this kind of scenario. The kind that sweeps you off your feet. The kind that jumpstarts your heart and makes it hum in a way you never thought possible. The kind that makes you doubt all those pledges you made to yourself through the years.

I will never love again. I will never give my heart to a man. I will never have to endure the crushing reality that comes after the only person I ever wanted to be with practically begged me to forget about him.

I tried it, it just didn’t work. I can’t just erase my first crush. I can’t just throw away the one thing I held onto after my father died. I kept the boys at bay all during high school. I didn’t even lose my virginity until my first year of college. Ford made sure of that. The memory of his crazy overprotective antics as I grew up make me smile.

So I don’t have much experience. 

But Jax is a player, I can see that now. He’s got me wound up tight. My head is pounding with the possibilities he comes with.

Sex being one of them. I have not had sex in over two years. And I’m not one of those girls who go for a toy at the first hint of a dry spell. After two years though, I’m considering that option.

But now Jax is here. Kissing me. Making my whole body tingle. Awakening the desire I’ve pent up for so long. 

“Are you afraid of planes, Sasha?”

I look over at Jax. “What?”

“Does landing bother you?”

“No,” I say, confused. “Why?”

“You’re squeezing my hand so hard, you might be cutting off my circulation.”

JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who make you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).

If you're interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Audio Review ~ Highlander Most Wanted ~ Maya Banks

Highlander Most Wanted (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #2)Highlander Most Wanted
The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #2
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Format: Audio
Source: Audible Credit
Rating: 5 Bookworms

Genevieve McInnis is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen's rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress--something warm, wicked, and tempting.

Bowen seizes his enemy's keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He's enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer's skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her--even if it means losing her forever.

I wouldn't have thought it possible for Banks to move me more, to wring more emotion from me, than she did with Never Seduce a Scot. I was wrong. Bowen and Genevieve's story was even more compelling, more evocative - and I found every reason I could to listen. (by the way, I finished it in 2 days!)

Bowen Montgomery has been installed as the laird of McHugh Keep, following the rescue of Eveline from her McHugh captor, until Graeme decides what to do with it. Upon his arrival, he's impressed by a young woman - not only by her courage, but also by her beauty. As he gets settled, he learns this woman, Genevieve, was responsible for helping Graeme locate Eveline. In getting to know Genevieve, he learns many things about her - some he wishes not to know.

Genevieve is not a McHugh - she was brought into their keep against her will by Iain McHugh. However, no one in the clan has shown her a bit of kindness - in fact, they not only shun her but also revile her for something not her fault. That Genevieve can stand proud against their taunts and actions - even championing the remaining members of the clan - is a testament to her character.

Bowen and Genevieve's dubious early acquaintance is prickly as Bowen makes a judgement without knowing all the facts and Genevieve feels she's deserving of his punishment for her role in Iain's actions. However, Bowen is a fair and just man - just like his brother, Graeme - and he listens to Genevieve's story and takes it all into account. Genevieve makes her true character known in all she does - taking up her bow in defense of the keep when they're attacked, fighting for people who'd just as soon turn her out. She endured much at Iain's hands yet she survived.

I adore the pluck of these Scottish heroines. Banks created the perfect complements for these Highland warriors - women with courage, ingenuity, resourcefulness - and although I love Eveline, Genevieve is my favorite at present. Banks also draws an incredible supporting cast of characters in the Montgomery siblings Teague and Rory, as well as Brody Armstrong. Rory is a true delight - living in each moment with gusto. Oh, and I mustn't forget Taliesin, the only McHugh to befriend Genevieve. She has quite the spirit.

I was once again enthralled with Kirsten Potter's narration. She is adept with giving characters their own voice, and she really does an amazing Scottish accent. I'm beginning to think that enjoyment of a narrator is a very subjective thing - and I'm enchanted with Potter.

Highlander Most Wanted is a rich story, brought to life by robust characters. I'm taken with these Highlanders and am eager to know what will happen next for them. And, of course, I won't hesitate to listen. :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Othello Station ~ Rachael Wade

Happy Release Day, Rachael Wade!

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Rachael Wade's Othello Station. My stop includes the details for the book, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Enjoy!


Othello Station by Rachael Wade
Publication dateJune 22nd 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Every woman in my life is supposed to be like Othello Station – a last stop. Unless they know how to keep their distance. I’ve managed to maintain a routine, one that works for me and one I have no intention of ever changing. But this dove came along. Soft and delicate, tainting my thoughts. I can think of twenty different ways to get rid of her. I need this dove to take flight.

But she won’t fly away.

She won’t release me from her cage.

Her wings ensnare me.

And now I want to get off this train. I wish I never boarded this ride. Because I’m about to crash and take this dove with me. But sometimes you can’t stop the crash. Sometimes you just have to hang on and let the flames ignite. Let the fire burn.

Sometimes, the fire is what saves you.

“You’re here,” I say with surprise. This girl actually came to see me.

“Can I come in?”

I shake myself from the haze and move aside. “Sure, of course.”

She ducks her head and slips past me into the hotel room, like a covert spy. “Wow.” She eyes my vitamin set-up as she tugs off her hat and wig. “Are you a doctor or something?”

“Do I look like a doctor?”

“Not really. Health nut?”

“Something like that.” I immediately thank the gods I didn’t pull out the blood pressure cuff yet. “What’s with the get-up?” I gesture to the wig. She looks down, gripping it tightly. Her hands are shaking.

“Dumb, I know. I just didn’t want to be recognized at the front desk.”

“Okay, 007. Any weapons I should know about underneath that snazzy vest of yours?”

“Only the ones I bought at the thrift shop.” Her gaze rises to mine, and a small smile creeps up.


“See what I did there?”

“Tried to make a joke?”


I assault her with my signature bland expression. “Yeah. You definitely suck at jokes.” She laughs and looks back down at the hat in her hands, which are still trembling slightly. It dawns on me that maybe it couldn’t hurt to have a little pity on this girl. “But you’re good at other things.” I begin an easy stride toward her.

“Other things?” She swallows hard and wrings the wig between her fingers, shifting on her feet. 

I nod loosely and take another step, bringing us nose to nose. My chest warms and radiates with need as I sense her strawberry perfume. Maybe it’s shampoo. Whatever it is, I’m sold. Sign me up for that shit. She’s good enough to eat. “Like turning me on.”


My hand snakes forward and latches onto hers. I steady her shakiness. Her skin is ice cold. “Hey. Look at me.”

She keeps her gaze down, watching the contact. “Just bear with me,” she whispers, voice as uncertain as her fingers. “It’s been a while since I’ve done this.”

“Take all the time you need, baby.” I brush her hair to the side—her real hair, long and soft and so, so brown. Caramel spirals of light weave through the dark locks. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“You’re intimidating. You must know that.” She shivers as I brush her cheek with my thumb.

“Maybe. A little. Don’t worry about that now. Just look at me.” It takes some coaxing, but her timid eyes finally find mine. I cup her face, and she leans into me, as if she’s never been touched before. A soft murmur escapes her lips and her eyes drift shut. Holy fuck. It has been a while. When’s the last time a man’s touched her? The thought sends me reeling; adrenaline kicks into overdrive. “I’m sure you’re good at other things. Lots of things. I’m positive you’re good at this.”

“I used to be. I mean…I think I used to be.”

“You’re here. That’s already a very good sign.”

She stares at me with lost, heavy eyes. “I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m either really dumb or really brave.”

“Maybe you’re both. It’s okay to be both, you know.”

“Dumb implies naivety.”

“Are you? Naïve?”

“I don’t think so.”

“I don’t think so, either. You knew exactly what you were doing when you decided to come to this room. That implies awareness.” I give her cheek another brush, studying her closely. Everything in me wants to jump this girl. But her fear—whatever the fuck that fear is—tells me to slow down. To make her feel at ease. She needs to be comfortable for this to work. I need her to keep her eyes on me. But she can’t look at me for long. Her gaze alternates between my lips and our bodies, which are just barely touching.

“Maybe you should stop talking. Before I lose my nerve.”

“Maybe that’s a good idea.”

I take her face in my hands fully. “Let me touch you.”

“I’d love that,” she says, with all the honesty in her bones. Her voice shifts to a wary whisper. “I’m so scared.”

“I’ve got you.” I don’t understand for the life of me what she’s so afraid of, but I say it because it’s what she needs to hear.

And just like that, she closes her eyes and falls into me. Her arms come up and wrap around me, sliding over my shoulders and over my neck. I instantly lift her up, pulling her legs around my waist. I move us to the wall, turning and pinning her against it. I don’t want to be gentle. Right now the idea of being careful seems damn near impossible. I’ve been needing this outlet. A distraction. Immediate 
gratification. A woman in my arms.

Something I can control, even if just for a little while.

Rachael Wade is the Amazon bestselling author of The Preservation Series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the upcoming sci-fi series, The Keepers Trilogy. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. Visit her at www.RachaelWade.com and www.LightsOnOutreach.com, or come chat with her on Twitter via @RachaelWade.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Blogger Chick Chat ~ Enemies on Tap ~ Avery Flynn

Enemies on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery, #1)Enemies on Tap
Sweet Salvation Brewery #1
Release Date: July 14, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 3 Bookworms

Brewing up trouble one pint at a time.

Enemies...After years away, Miranda Sweet returns to Salvation, Virginia to save her family's brewery, but her fate is in the hands of her lover-turned-enemy, Logan. What's a girl to do when the only person who can help her is the man who betrayed her?

Lovers...Logan Martin can't believe his luck when the woman who smashed his heart to smithereens walks into his bank asking for his help. What she doesn't know is that he needs the land her brewery is on--and he'll do whatever it takes to get it.

An Irresistible Combination...Their wager becomes a battle between their attraction and their determination to win. But it's in each other's arms that they realize there might be more at stake now than their bet. With the town against the Sweet Salvation Brewery's success, Logan has to choose between what's expected of him and what he really wants...


Lexxie (@Unconventional Bookviews) had so much fun doing a buddy read and chat, we decided to do it again. I hope y'all enjoy our chat as much as we did!  ;)

I like that Miranda is confident enough in her skills that she'd shoot to revamp her family's brewery in a bid for a promotion.

I fell hook, line, and sinker for Logan - the Prince of Salvation who didn't want anything to do with that title. I like his persuasiveness (I'm thinking of the pie bet) and I feel for him living a role picked for him.

Natalie is an interesting character. We don't get to see enough of her for her to have much dynamic but I want to know more. I want to see how growing up in Salvation, and having 2 sisters that are mirror images of you, affected her personality.

I wish we could see more of Ruby Sue. I like a little old lady with spunk and she has it in spades. She doesn't shy away from telling anyone like it is. And I'd like to have some of her famous sweet ice tea and pecan pie! (Have you ever had sweet ice tea or pecan pie??)

I think Flynn did an excellent job of conveying the benefits and big drawbacks of growing up in a small town. I think the negatives were more obvious in this story because this is a Southern small town.

I wish we could have a little more backstory on Miranda and Logan - how they came to be together way back when...before everything went to hell. I think that would have made it more clear the hurt between them.

I also would have liked a little more closure - how is Miranda getting out of her deal with her company? what about Logan's dad and his job? There were some things left 'untied' at the end. Although these things may be addressed in the next book...

I also wish we'd seen a bit more of the events that apparently happened off page between Miranda and Logan. I know they had history but since that wasn't well defined, things seem to happen rather quickly. I hope we'll see more of them in the other books. 

I really enjoyed the brew talk. Since hubs has brewed beer and we've done a few ;) brewery tours, I could really envision the brewery, all the equipment, the smells of the mash and hops...Flynn clearly has some experience with beer. ;)

So what did you think?

I agree that Miranda was a pretty kick-ass character on the surface, but I felt like I didn't really get to know her all that well. Between feeling bad because of how the small town had always treated her family, and the way she also felt about her family plus trying to get Sweet Salvation Brewery to become a profitable business, there wasn't a lot of place for character development. 

Logan was great, but I also didn't feel like I got to know him very well. I agree with what you said towards the end of your mail, that it would have been nice to have a little more back story for both of them. 

I am pretty sure we'll get to know Natalie better in the next book, and I hope we'll actually get to meet Olivia then, too! 

Ruby Sue was great, she didn't care what other people thought of her, she stood by the people she enjoyed, and that's it! Of course, she also had her famous pecan pie ;)

Apart from getting more closure - which would have been really great! - I would also have liked to have a little more brewing in the pages of the story. There was very little that really had to do with brewing beer... more about how to turn a business around, and problems with staff. But all of the staff kind of disappeared off the pages after Miranda fired Carl. only Sean was still present and a part of the story. That made the story feel like it was touching on the surface much more than going in depth as it could have, without adding too many pages to it overall.

And I could have done without all the passive-agressiveness of Miranda's boss at the financial company. We never met him either, but he almost had a bigger part in the story than some characters that I thought were more important than him...

I hope some of these things will be taken care of in the second book, because even if I gave three stars, I did enjoy it enough to continue reading about the Sweet girls and Salvation :) I wanna learn how to brew my own beer!

I'm glad you liked Enemies on Tap. :)

I do agree that more character development would have been nice. I think that's why I wanted more backstory, etc. I do like Miranda, Logan, Natalie...but it did feel as though we only get to know them on a certain level. More character development would have made each of the characters more robust and the story deeper.

I didn't even think about the fact we never met Miranda's boss. A lot of time was spent on him and I did *not* like him one bit. But that's part of the reason I wanted closure about Miranda's job. Flynn didn't explain how that was going to be taken care of and it was a pretty big 'loose end'. 

I, too, would have liked more time spent on the brewing of beer. You're absolutely right...Flynn did spend more time on the business aspect of it. And you're right about her staff disappearing from the story with the exception of Carl and Sean. 

We have a common theme going here, don't we? We both want MORE! I gave this 3 stars as well because Flynn did pull me into the story and I do care about the characters. But if MORE was there, Enemies on Tap could have been a richer read. I really do want to read Natalie's story to see if we get the MORE we're looking for.

Yeah, taking care of Miranda's job, and her boss, and make sure both are left behind for good without any trouble coming to show up in the future would have been really nice.
Having most of the staff on the outlines of the story could have worked, but they just plain disappeared, and that made me feel like the story was still a little rough… I'm sure you know what I mean.
Wanting more is a good thing, I guess, and I do look forward to reading Hollywood on Tap. I'm very curious about Sean and his past – hopefully we'll get more backstory ;)

My Final Thoughts
Overall, I enjoyed Enemies on Tap and will continue the series. Flynn got me interested and invested enough to want more of Salvation and the Sweet sisters!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Beyond the Books ~ Yellowstone

Welcome to Beyond the Books. This post was inspired by Lexxie @Unconventional BookviewsUp Close and (Un)conventional, who was inspired by Cuddlebuggery. It's meant to be a way for y'all to get to know me better on a personal level ~ Beyond the Books. ;)


This trip to Wyoming, my first which is sad since I live ~3 hours from Wyoming, was inspired by books for me (naturally) and my hubs' desire to take the kids there before our oldest graduates. Y'all will get more about my trip to Wyoming and Yellowstone in a Travel by the Book post sometime, but I wanted to share some highlights of our trip! By the way, we spent our first night in Wyoming in the Grand Tetons National Park on Signal Mountain Lake. It was gorgeous there as well. And hubs and I plan to go back.


Being in Yellowstone, in the Geyser Basin in particular, gave us all a really good idea of what prehistoric Earth must have looked like prior to the arrival of cyanobacteria. <-- My oldest, who wants to go into biology and my youngest who is a prehistory expert shared that piece of knowledge when I mentioned my thoughts on the landscape. The juxtaposition of a landscape very similar to where we live and that of what really does look like a moonscape was spectacular to see.

***Things We Saw in Yellowstone or Grand Tetons***

  • Bald Eagle - we saw one fly so close overhead we could see lovely detail
  • Bison - we saw so much bison and baby bison roaming free
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Deer - we saw deer but since we see it at home, we didn't marvel
  • Elk - see comment about re: deer
  • Fumarole - these are just vents in the ground which steam but have no water
  • Geyser - they steam and blow water...amazing!
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • Grizzly Bear - we had resigned ourselves to not seeing any bears (totally fine with me) and then we saw a mama and her 2 cubs on a hillside on our last day. This was the best way to see a bear!
  • Hot Spring - beautiful pools of water and seem like they'd be great to take a dip in until you find out they're 250 degrees Fahrenheit and have a pH of 1-2. In other words, it'll boil and eat your skin right off!
  • Moose - we saw a juvenile moose in the Grand Tetons NP
  • Mountains!
  • Mud Pot - a hot spring that has started eating the rock around it and the liquid looks like bubbling mud
  • Paint Pot - same as mud pot only it has extremophiles (bacteria) living in it that makes the liquid pretty colors
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River

***A Few Things We Learned***

  • Mosquitoes in Yellowstone are smarter than those here in our part of the Rocky Mountains. This means we got 'chewed' on quite a bit. The mosquitoes here are more like keystone cops - you can walk through a swarm and maybe end up with a single bite.
  • Theodore Roosevelt did not create Yellowstone National Park. He did form 5 other National Parks, but it was Ulysses S. Grant who signed the legislation that created Yellowstone. Yellowstone was a favorite of Teddy's though.
  • You can't fix stupid. Despite multiple warnings - BIG signs everywhere - we still witnessed people: a) step off the boardwalk onto thin and dangerous 'crust'. We even saw a woman walking barefoot through the drainage of a geyser and then lie down next to it; b) get too close to a bison. Yep, the bison actually charged the couple. Luckily for them, he was only giving them a warning.
  • Don't attempt Uncle Tom's Trail is you're afraid of heights. This grated stairway leads down into the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (River) where you can get a great view of the lower falls. My daughters couldn't make it though. They tried but I ended up coming back up with them before they had panic attacks. :)

***Favorite Quote from the Trip***

Kid: But I don't want to get up early. We're on vacation!

Dad/Hubs: Yes we're on vacation, but it's not a relaxing sort of vacation. It's a see everything we can cram in sort of vacation!

***A Few Photos***

Welcome to Yellowstone!

That's a moose!

A hot spring on the shore of Yellowstone Lake

Don't get too close to that buffalo!

Another hot spring - Dragon's Mouth

That moonscape I was talking about - and a geyser

A gorgeous hot spring

A waterfall - sorry I can't remember the name :/