Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review ~ Take ~ Ella Frank #COYER

Take (Temptation, #2)Take by Ella Frank
Temptation #2
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Genre: Adult, M/M Romance
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms

Take - verb: to reach for and hold in one's hands or get into one's possession, power or control.

Logan Mitchell is a man who's always been more than happy to take what he wants. It's a philosophy that's proven lucrative in both his business and personal life, and never was it more apparent than the night he laid eyes on Tate Morrison. After pulling out all the stops and convincing the sexy bartender to give him a try--he's hooked. Now, Logan finds himself in a predicament that demands more from him than a smart-ass answer and his innate ability to walk away when things get too deep. He has a choice to make, and it'll force him to do something he's never done before--take a chance.

Tate Morrison knows all about taking a chance. He took the biggest one of his life the night he showed up at Logan's apartment to explore his unexpected reaction to the man. Ever since then, he's thought of little else. At first he was convinced his attraction was based solely on his body's curiosity. But the more time he spends with the silver-tongued lawyer, the more Tate realizes that their physical chemistry is only the beginning. He's starting to catch a glimpse of what life with Logan would be like, and it's one full of excitement and satisfaction--a far cry from what he had in the past with his soon to be ex-wife.

Each man will face their fears as they begin to understand the true meaning of give and take. Their feelings for one another will be tested, as will their very beliefs. But now that they've found love where they least expected it, will they be brave enough to reach out and take it?

In Take, Tate and Logan attempt to move forward in their relationship but must deal with their fears first. Tate struggles with his feelings for Logan and how those closest to him will react. And Logan will have to expose his past and himself for Tate to move to the next level. And that scares him.

Ms. Frank did an amazing job of delivering the feels. The anguish Tate felt at the treatment he received from his family was palpable. Tate is nothing if not honest. I adore his straightforward approach to life. Sure he's confused by his feelings for Logan - and the intensity with which he feels them. But he takes the time to examine those feelings and when he realizes what he wants, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. The fear Logan experiences over having a relationship - and understanding that fear - allowed me to really see Logan. For all his confidence, deep down he's still that nerdy boy he was as a teenager, looking for acceptance.

I ADORE these two men and their story. It's so raw and realistic - I can't get enough. And I'm enamored with the side characters - Logan's family - as well. I think I just might binge on Ms. Frank's Exquisite series soon - but I'll be reading Trust, the finale for Tate and Logan, first. :)

2015 Bookish Resolutions Update ~ September

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.


Once again, I made progress on all my resolutions. I'm so happy I decided to participate in this challenge. It's really given me motivation to try new things and work at some things I really needed to focus on. :) 

The audio book portion of my resolutions challenge is FINISHED! But in September, I finished Exquisite Trouble by Ann Mayburn. It definitely wasn't a favorite but I finished it. I also listened to Lick by Kylie Scott. Loved it! And then I began binging on Dannika Dark's Seven series. I've completed Six Months, Five Weeks, Four Days, and Three Hours. I'm currently listening to Two Minutes. This series is fan-freakin-tastic! I'm going to be sad that the next (and last) one isn't available yet. But I plan to binge on the Stage Dive series next.

As for discussion posts/fun features, I continued posting my monthly Travel by the Book post as well as my Beyond the Books posts. I've also continued my Brandee's Bookish Babble posts. And I'm once again doing my OctobeRec Fest for the month of October. And I have an idea for something fun for November and December. 

I'm working at making sure I've left reviews and links for the books I've received and read from Netgalley. As it stands, my rating is 18%. Not stellar...yet. ;) But I'm working on it.

I'm *still* feeling good about my accomplishments with this challenge. We'll see how I fare in the coming months. How did y'all do in September?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

OctobeRec Fest ~ A Month of Recommendations

Welcome to my Second Annual OctobeRec Fest. As a nod to Oktoberfest, I'm once again spending a month dedicated to reading the many, many books on my ereaders and bookshelves thanks to you, my blogging friends. (and a few beers will probably be added into the mix! ;) That's right - the entire month of October, I'm going to be reading those books that I've one-clicked (or physically grabbed) thanks to your reviews and recommendations.

Here are some of the books on my schedule for the month. I'm sure you'll recognize your recommendations but I'll make sure to call you out in my reviews. ;)

Immersed (Immersed, #1)Pure AbandonImmortal Ops (Immortal Ops, #1)Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands, #1)AustentatiousLooking for Trouble (Jackson: Girl's Night Out, #1)Welcome to Sugartown (Sugartown, #1)All the Pretty Lies (Pretty, #1)Crash into You (Loving on the Edge, #1)The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1)Silver Wolf Clan (Silver Wolf Clan, #1)Disarm: the Complete NovelDeer in Headlights (Hearts and Arrows, #1)The Wright BrotherReaper's Property (Reapers MC, #1)The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)Torn from You (Tear Asunder, #1)Beyond Shame (Beyond, #1)First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson, #1)The Arrangement 2: The Ferro Family (The Arrangement, #2)Red (Transplanted Tales, #1)Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1)Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1)

Thanks so much to you all for sharing book love! And hopefully I can get a few of you interested in some new books to try. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Travel by the Book ~ Portland

Welcome to Travel by the Book. I know for most of us, reading is an escape. One of the things I love about reading it getting to travel. And I'm sure I'm not the only reader who has wished to take a trip inspired by a place I read about in a book. I've been fortunate in that my Hubs is kind enough to indulge me and take me to said places. This is where I share those vacations that were inspired by a book.

***The Book***

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6)
So this Travel by the Book is a bit different because it happened kinda backwards. For my 40th birthday, Hubs and I were doing an exploration of Northern California (you'll see that in a different TbtB post) and western Oregon. We hadn't planned much for the Portland area outside of visiting breweries and Powell's :) but I started River Marked on the morning of our departure and it ended up shaping our visit to this area. Weird, right? I mean, I had no idea that River Marked was set in the Columbia River Basin when I started it but it seemed serendipitous that I'd begin reading it while on my way to the area.

I've always enjoyed the lore and mythology Briggs uses in this series. It was even better that she'd incorporate some Native American lore in River Marked, seeing as it's a big part of who Mercy is. And getting to see some of the sights and learn more about the particular lore used really enhanced my enjoyment of this installment in Mercy's story.

***The Travel***

We visited the Portland area in March - therefore it was appropriately gloomy, dreary, and rainy then entire time. We traveled a scenic byway where we saw several of the falls mentioned in River Marked, most notably Multnomah Falls.

Although Mercy and Adam were in this area during the summer, I was still awed by the amount of green and water everywhere. I think there might actually be more moss on the trees here than in Forks, Washington. ;)

There were just as many, if not more, waterfalls in this area of Oregon than in Washington.

Here is the beautiful Columbia River. We went to a Visitor's Center where we learned a lot about Tsagaglalal, the "river devil", who caused some problems for Mercy and Adam.

This ended up being a fantastic trip that just so happened to coincide with my reading about this particular location. I might suggest you visit the area in early summer though. ;)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Audio Review ~ A Hunger Like No Other ~ Kresley Cole #ShelfLove #COYER

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #1)A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
Immortals After Dark #2
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Release Date: March 28, 2006
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Audible
Rating: 4 Bookworms

A mythic warrior who'll stop at nothing to possess her...

After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Or partly one. This Emmaline is a small, ethereal half Valkyrie/half vampire, who somehow begins to soothe the fury burning within him.

A vampire captured by her wildest fantasy...

Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents--until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. There, her fear of the Lykae--and their notorious dark desires--ebbs as he begins a slow, wicked seduction to sate her own dark cravings.

An all-consuming desire...

Yet when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

Carmel (@Rabid Reads) has been touting the greatness of Robert Petkoff's narration of this series, so I decided to dive in to see for myself. She was so right. Petkoff does an amazing job with his narration and I see myself becoming addicted to this series.

I loved my introduction to this series and all its supes. Emmaline Troy, the heroine, is a rarity. Part vampire, part Valkyrie, she's grown up learning prejudice against other supes - including the supe she is. When we meet Emma, she's alone in Paris. She's looking for something but what she finds, or rather what finds her, is life-altering.

Lachlan MacRieve has been suffering for over a century at the hands of his vampire enemy. Until he scents her. He's lived for centuries, always seeking the one and now he's found her, nothing will keep him from his mate. But fate has an interesting sense of humor giving him a mate outside his species.

A Hunger Like No Other is essentially the story of Emma and Lachlan getting to know one another and overcoming prejudices. Although, in Emma's case, it's mostly her fear that her aunts won't be able to overcome their own prejudices. And Lachlan pays lip service to his prejudices but realizes in the end that it takes more than that and he hurt Emma in the process.

There's also the vampires that are searching for Emma for an unknown reason.

I liked thinking about Emma, a 70 year old, as a youngster. She'd been sheltered, was naive in many ways, but found her inner-strength as well as her physical strength when it came to fighting for love. The differences between Emma and Lachlan were laughable. Not only are the different species, but they're from different centuries. It was fun to hear and see them try to meet in the technology age. It was sweet to see Lachlan really fall for Emma, too. He had much to overcome with his centuries of hatred toward the creatures that made up half of his Emma.

I also adored meeting the Valkyrie - Emma's aunts, as well as Wroth and Bowen. Cole infused a lot of humor into the story through them. I'm excited about the overarching plot of this series and am eager to see Emma's role in it. And I want to become better acquainted with all the characters I've met.

I'll be reading the next installment, as I already owned it, but I will then return to listening to this series. I'm as hooked on Petkoff as I am on Cole's characters and story.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blog Ahead 2015 Challenge ~ Sign Up Post

blogging, planning, blog ahead

Y'all, I have a list of over 20 review posts that I need to prepare and schedule. When I saw that herding cats & burning soup and Caffeinated Book Reviewer were hosting a Blog Ahead Challenge, I thought to myself "hmm, this might be a good challenge to partake in." ;) For complete details, click the graphic above.

The goal of the Blog Ahead Challenge is to prepare and schedule 31 for every day of October. But these posts are to be scheduled for November 1 and beyond! See what they did there? This is your chance to get yourself prepared for the busy holiday months. 

Challenge Dates
October 1-31

31 Posts
(although you can set your goal to whatever number you want to aim for)

Anyone can join and any post you schedule to publish on November 1 and beyond counts.

So, what do you think? Are you up for the Blog Ahead Challenge?!?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review ~ One to Hold ~ Tia Louise ~ #ShelfLove, #COYER

One to Hold (One to Hold, #1)One to Hold by Tia Louise
One to Hold #1
Release Date: October 7, 2013
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Amazon Freebie
Rating: 4 Bookworms

Derek Alexander is a retired Marine, ex-cop, and the top investigator in his field. Melissa Jones is a small-town girl trying to escape her troubled past.

When the two intersect in a bar in Arizona, their sexual chemistry is off the charts. But what is revealed during their "one week stand" only complicates matters.

Because she'll do everything in her power to get away from the past, but he'll do everything he can to hold her.

One to Hold was rather a sweet romance. Oh, there was definitely steam and there were secrets and a little suspense. But finishing Melissa and Derek's story left me feeling warm and fuzzy. And I liked that.

When Melissa and Derek's eyes meet across a hotel bar, it's as if lightning strikes. Their chemistry is white-hot but they each are only at this hotel for a week so their interactions come with an expiration date. Plus, they're both hiding something that at this point they're not willing to divulge.

Once the week is over, Melissa returns to reality and to attempt to put her life back on the path she wants. Here we see the kind of life she's been leading and I understood how much it meant that she'd opened herself up at all to Derek. Things come to light about Derek, though, and it really almost breaks her. I was thrilled when circumstances led them back together for a second chance.

In the beginning of the book, it did feel as though things happened at warp speed. It was insta-lust rather than insta-love but the feelings came quickly. However, once I got a little background on Melissa, I felt I understood her better and her 'fling' with Derek made more sense. Plus, I'm a hopeless romantic at times, so I chose to believe this could happen. :) I would have liked a little more backstory on Derek though. It would have deepened my connection with him to know more about the source of his pain. I really liked getting his POV in the epilogue though.

I'm sorry I've been hoarding this book for so long, Ms. Louise. I promise to read the next books in the series soon!

Cover Reveal & Giveaway ~ Wrong ~ Jana Aston

Ooh! Check out the cover for Jana Aston's Wrong. What do y'all think? I rather like it. I like the pink as well as the font used. And I'm a sucker for a man in a suit. There's just enough man shown to tantalize. I'm anxious to get my hands on a copy! :)


Wrong by Jana Aston
Release Date: October 7, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

I have a history of picking the wrong guy. Gay? Player? Momma's boy? Check, check and check.

Now I can't stop fantasizing about one of the customers at the coffee shop I work at between classes. It's just a harmless crush, right? It's not like I ever see this guy outside of the coffee shop. It's not like I'm going to see him while attempting to get birth control at the student clinic. While wearing a paper gown. While sitting on an exam table. Because he's the doctor. Shoot. Me.

But what if, for once, the man I've had the dirtiest, most scandalous fantasies about turned out to be everything but wrong?

Wrong is a full-length, standalone novel by Jana Aston.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Jana on Facebook.