Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review ~ Mr. Match ~ JA Huss

Mr. Match (Mister, #5)
Mr. Match by JA Huss
Misters #5
Release Date: December 7, 2016
Genre: Adult, Romantic Suspense
Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Oliver Shrike thinks ahead. He likes to make lists and tick off boxes. He plans, he plots, and he's got everything under control.
Until one day he sees my videos on his dating site. The private erotic videos I make just for him.
When I'm looking at the camera I can practically see his face. Hear the internal arguments. Feel his desire.
Because I'm that kind of woman.
You should delete my videos, Oliver Shrike. It's your job to keep that dating site on the up and up.
But you don't, do you?
You watch them. You get off on them. You crave them.
Every week I make a new one with you in mind. I've got you addicted to my body, my moans, my secrets. I've hooked you now, Mr. Match. You've been in control for way too long and this is where it ends.

Mr. Match is the last book in the Misters series. NOT a standalone book.

Decisions, decisions... Which Mister is my favorite? Well, Oliver Shrike slayed me with his poetic words and artist's soul. His desire to do what he can to protect those he loves. Yeah, this Mister ticked all my boxes. *wink*

Of course, there was a story here - a mystery to solve. And I don't mind saying I had absolutely no idea where Huss was going. None. But oh how I enjoyed the ride. And in hindsight I can see where Huss was leading me in certain instances but mostly she was just messing with my mind. Mr. Match ties together all that's happened with the previous Misters and ties up most of the loose ends. (just one is left dangling and frayed but that's a story for another day - next  year) I appreciated how everything fit together, all the puzzle pieces falling into place. And the story was fantastic - all that backstory, history...incredible.

And then there's Oliver and Katya. Was their meeting fate or something more sinister? I'll let y'all decide but I'm a romantic so... Their obvious deep-rooted feelings, what they've suffered and endured and finagled in order to get each other back...that's a love story.

Mr. Match was exciting and enlightening - well, that last one was saved til the end. But it was worth the wait because Huss kept us dangling but kept us entertained. I'm sad to say goodbye to all these characters. Who knows though...we may seem them again sometime.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Favorites of 2016 ~ Books & Audiobooks

I decided it'd be fun to bring 2016 to a close by listing some of favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites and I'd be happy to hear about any of your favorites!

*~*Books & Audiobooks*~*
  • Colorado Mountain Series - yep, the entire series from Kristen Ashley
  • I'll Give You the Sun - a powerful read from Jandy Nelson
  • The Rest Falls Away - part of the Gardella Vampire Hunters series by Colleen Gleason
  • Bossman - still best first meeting EVER in a book by Vi Keeland and narrated by Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell
  • First Grave on the Right - a book I put off for far too long by Darynda Jones
  • Him - maybe one of the best finds of 2016 by Sarina Bowen
  • My Heart's in the Highlands - a great story by Angeline Fortin and a great listen narrated by Kirsten Potter!
  • Sugar Bowl Trilogy - this story was a nail biter but it allowed me to explore Sawyer Bennett's writing more AND meet Christian Fox *sigh*
  • The Siren - such a unique story and so very well conveyed

2016 Bookish Resolutions Update/Wrap-up ~ December

BookishResolution Challenge 2016

Laura @Trips Down Imagination Road and Michelle @Because Reading are once again hosting the Bookish Resolutions Challenge in 2016. I participated in this challenge last year and it was a good way to keep me motivated in certain areas, so I decided to do it again this year.

My Goals for 2016
  • Blogging Goals
    • Keep up with commenting back weekly
    • Link up my challenge posts bi-weekly
    • Learn some HTML to change up format of posts
  • Reading Goals
    • Raise my Netgalley rating to 50%
    • Read books my kids *need* me to read
      • Alice in Wonderland
      • Death with Interruptions 
      • Everything is Illuminated
      • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
      • Listening for Lucca
      • School of Good and Evil
      • The Things They Carried
      • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
      • Wonderstruck
  • Personal Goals
    • Stick to my daily schedule

Progress made in December

Blogging Goals
  • I've been better at keeping up with commenting and commenting back in December. Yay! :D 
Reading Goals
  • I RAISED MY RATING! It's only at 25% BUT I raised it a whole 3%, y'all! Can you tell I'm delighted?!? *happy dances* 
  • I didn't get any of my Kids' Recs List read in December, but I've kept this list on my Resolutions Challenge for next year, with some updates from my kids. 
Personal Goals
  • Personal goals? What personal goals? I didn't put forth much effort towards my personal goals in December. I was just too busy with other things. I have tweaked this goal category for 2017 to make my goals more tangible so I hope to meet my goals better each month. 

How did y'all do with goals in 2016? Any tweaks for success in 2017?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Favorites of 2016 ~ Couples

I decided it'd be fun to bring 2016 to a close by listing some of favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites and I'd be happy to hear about any of your favorites!

  • Bowen and Mariketa - their banter is so fun since Bowen is "old" and Mari is so made for a lot of playfulness between them
  • Auburn and Owen - fate plays a huge role in this couple's romance and it strengthened my belief that things happen for a reason 
  • Blue and Wilson - student/teacher to friends to lovers, these two brought all the feels
  • Nora and Soren - their's is an unconventional relationship if ever there was one and yet I still adore them
  • Adam and Mercy - their bond keeps getting stronger and stronger
  • Hero and Ian - their love was so powerful it spanned time - sooo romantic!
  • Rachel and Trent - their relationship started on very rocky ground but over the course of the series (The Hollows) they've developed mutual respect and, well, love *sigh*
  • Charlie and Cain - I love relationships that defy the couples' desire to maintain distance
  • Boyd and Chelsea - another unconventional start to a romance but it worked and it made me smile
  • Jamie and Wes - I couldn't make a list without including this couple - watching these two guys falling made me swoon
  • Max and Nina, Tate and Lauren, Ty and Lexie, Chase and Faye, Colt and Feb, Ham and Zara, and Jacob and Emme - in other words, all the couples from the Colorado Mountain series and one from The 'Burg. *wink*
Can you guess which books these couples starred in?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Favorites of 2016 ~ Worlds/Settings

I decided it'd be fun to bring 2016 to a close by listing some of favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites and I'd be happy to hear about any of your favorites!

  • The Hollows - there's nothing I don't enjoy about The Hollows!
  • Gnaw Bone/Chantelle/Carnal, Colorado - these mountain towns that make up the setting for Kristen Ashley's Colorado Mountain series are where I LIVE! Gnaw Bone really is based on the town where I live but these mountain towns really come to life in the stories...
  • Regency Era London - this is where the Gardella Vampire Hunters series is set and it's perfect! From spending time with the Ton to skulking about in dark alleyways, it suits the story well.
  • Austin, Texas - I've spent quite a bit of time in Austin, where Dannika Dark's Seven series is set. Dark does an impressive job of setting the scene in this Texas town. From the heat and humidity (or the disabling snow!) and the barbecue, it makes me miss my home state!
  • Arlington, Virginia - since I was a teen, I was fascinated with this area - Quantico in particular - because that's where the action is. ;) I like this setting as shown in Trisha Wolfe's With Ties that Bind series.
  • The Realms of the Eternal Mates - I've enjoyed spending time in the different realms where Felicity Heaton's characters dwell. With portals between realms, I've visited many but my favorite so far is probably the Elf Kingdom. :)
  • Britain - I've spent some quality time in Britain this year, between My Heart's in the Highlands, Stormswept, and The Spymaster's Lady...and a few in between, my love of Britain has only grown!
  • Laguna Beach - Tara Lain has made this particular area of California interesting. I love the beach, the restaurants, and, of course, the men who aren't afraid to love their men! 
  • Denver, Colorado - I know, I know...but there are so many authors who live here and/or set their books in this great state where I live! Kristen Ashley, Jay Crownover, and JA Huss just to name a few... it just adds to the pleasure of reading when I know the places described OR they're places I can easily travel to. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Favorites of 2016 ~ New-to-Me Authors

I decided it'd be fun to bring 2016 to a close by listing some of favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites and I'd be happy to hear about any of your favorites!

*~*New-to-Me Authors*~*
  • Vi Keeland - I listened to two from Keeland and am eager for more. Her stories have it all - complex characters, compelling story, and all the feels!
  • Sarina Bowen - I continue to collect Bowen's books after the greatness that was her combined effort with Elle Kennedy, Him.
  • Jandy Nelson - I was so impressed with I'll Give You the Sun...the complexity of the story and characters and the brilliant delivery, I'm excited to read more from her.
  • Colleen Gleason - meeting Victoria Gardella from Gleason's Gardella Vampire Hunters series was a highlight for me in 2016!
  • Darynda Jones - I know! Better late than never! Charlie and Reyes and Cookie and Bob...need I say more?
  • Scarlett Cole - She delivered a riveting story and managed to incorporate Dante...loved it!
  • Heidi Cullinan - She writes M/M beautifully and realistically. I've procured quite a collection of hers so be on the lookout for reviews in 2017.
  • Joanna Bourne - I listened to Bourne's The Spymaster's Lady and then proceeded to add more of her to my library. She delivered a wonderful story with fantastic characters.
  • Amy Harmon - A Different Blue dazzled me early in 2016 with it's complexity and characters I came to love. 
  • Tiffany Reisz - Again, I know! I can't believe I put off reading Reisz for so long but I'll be reading her more and more...

Monday, December 26, 2016

Favorites of 2016 ~ Narrators

I decided it'd be fun to bring 2016 to a close by listing some of favorites from the year. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my favorites and I'd be happy to hear about any of your favorites!


  • Kirsten Potter - she can rock an accent making her a favorite for historicals
  • Christian Fox - his delivery is so natural, and entertaining, I'd pay him to read my grocery list
  • Robert Petkoff - his range of voices and delivery keep me chomping at the bit to listen to Immortals After Dark
  • Mindy Kennedy - she *is* Teresa Drazen and her voice for Antonio Spinelli rocks as well
  • Joe Arden - he does a great job at conveying the emotions of the heroes and makes a great duo with Maxine Mitchell
  • Maxine Mitchell - she does well with conveying emotions as well and she and Joe Arden are one of my favorite narrating duos
  • Sebastian York - his growly voice, well, it does nice things to me so listening to him is an absolute pleasure
  • Nicole Poole - she amazes me! I'm always impressed with her ability to keep character voices distinct over a number of books, especially a series like Dannika Dark's Seven series where there is a large cast.
  • Mason Lloyd - his delivery of the crusty men of According to Hoyle was so spot on it made the story even more enjoyable

Friday, December 23, 2016

Audio Review ~ Stormswept ~ Sabrina Jeffries

Stormswept by Sabrina Jeffries
Wales #1
Narrated byCarmen Rose
Release Date: November 8, 2016 (audio)
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: Tantor Media sent me a complimentary copy
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease, Goodreads Reading Challenge
Goodreads ~ Tantor

The first wedding night that Lady Juliana St. Albans spent with the dark and daring Rhys Vaughan was intoxicating, the heady culmination of her new husband's driving hunger and her own awakened sensuality. When he mysteriously disappeared the next morning, she waited for him in hope and desperation. And when he was finally proclaimed dead in a shipwreck, she bitterly mournted the loss of her love.

The second wedding night that Juliana spent with Rhys Vaughan was six years later, after he returned to claim her just as she was about to wed another. This Rhys was different--bolder, harder, and convinced that she'd betrayed him. Only their blazing passion remains from from their years apart. But is it enough to light their way through the maze of mystery, menace, and mistrust--to the love they once shared and would have to find again?

Gah! Finally the blasted stubborn man found some sense!

Yeah, that's a reaction I had to this story. I adored Stormswept though. Jeffries has a gift with unconventional heroines and Juliana was no exception. Sure she might seem a little fickle in her youth but she typically behaves impetuously even once she's older. Rhys is stubborn to a fault and he's lucky to have met his match in Juliana since she's tenacious and strong-willed enough to wait him out.

Juliana and Rhys meet at a meeting of radicals - Welsh men wanting to shuck off the shackles of British rule. Despite Juliana being British, and the daughter of the man responsible for Rhys having lost his estate, Rhys can't help but be drawn to her. After a secret courtship, the two marry only to be found out by her older brothers. That leads to some none too pleasant things for Rhys.

Flash forward six years and Rhys has returned to claim what is rightfully his. However, he believes Juliana had a part in what he's endured for the past six years and this forms the foundation of the tale of subterfuge, intrigue, and learning to trust and love again.

Jeffries crafted a wonderfully entertaining story. While Rhys and Juliana were fleshed out well, some of the side characters were more one-dimensional. For example, I never fully embraced Darcy's (Juliana's oldest brother) political ambitions as an excuse for his actions. I felt he was simply greedy and selfish, wanting what he wanted. The passion between Rhys and Juliana though was palpable.

Carmen Rose was an excellent narrator. She made the distinction between English and Welsh accents believable. And her pacing in the delivery as well as the emotions conveyed by the characters kept me listening usually longer than I intended.

Overall this was a great historical romance!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #53 ~ Encore from Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley

If y'all remember last week's TT&HH post, you know that Jacob asked Emme if she was making Indian food. She informed him she didn't know how to make Indian food. Turns out, he did. ;)

"What's that I smell?"
"Murgh makhani. Pilau rice. And naan bread that's going to become cheese naan soon but it's goona suck because I don't have a tandoor." He told her and finished with, "But we'll make do."
Her eye drifted from the stove to him. "What's murgh makhani?"
"Indian butter chicken."
Her face got close to the look it got when he slid his cock inside her.
He was about to order her to come to him again when she went on.
"What's a tandoor?"
"A traditional Indian clay oven."
"I'm getting you one of those for Christmas," she declared.
Deck burst out laughing.
When he stopped, she was smiling at him.
"Come here, Emme."
Finally, she hauled her ass to him.
he pulled her into his arms for a quick kiss and when he lifted his head, she stated, "I'm not joking about Christmas. My sister lives in India. I'm going to ask her to send me one."
"It'll probably cost a mint to send it here but, just sayin', it will not go unused."
Her eyes slid to the stove then back to his. "I hope not. That smells awesome."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Brandee's Bookish Babble #27 ~ Challenges ~ Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

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. :) 

Challenges. I have a love/hate relationship with them, honestly. On the one hand, I'm kinda goal-oriented (at least I accomplish more if I have a set goal) but on the other hand, they cause me a lot of stress!

This year, I reduced the number of challenges I participated in, thinking to reduce my stress. And I've done well with a few of those challenges. However, there are several challenges I'm not doing so well with - one I've even failed - and that causes me to feel pressure and guilt...and stress. Even with my Goodreads Challenge, I got a few books behind and the pressure was ridiculous. I have a physical reaction!

So in making blogging/reading plans for next year, I've thought about reducing the number of challenges I participate in once again. But I think what I've decided on is to reduce the number of books I'll read for the challenges. Hopefully that will alleviate the stress. I'll be sure to let y'all know how this works out for me at the end of next year. :D

What about y'all? Do y'all do challenges? Why or why not? How do you deal with the stress?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review ~ Crash ~ Nicole Williams

Crash (Crash, #1)Crash by Nicole Williams
Crash #1
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased Paperback
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove

Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are this generation's Romeo and Juliet: Explosive. Sizzling. Tragic.

A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won't let anything get in her way...except Jude.

He's got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that's been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude's a cancer, the kind of guy who's fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy--and he tells her so.

But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy's not listening to Jude's warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings? This racy romance is hot, hot, hot!

I've had Crash sitting on my shelf since RT 2013! I'm kicking myself for having waited so long because it was a fantastic read. One thing to note - although this is YA (the characters are 17+ seniors) it straddles the line between YA and NA, so it's meant for mature YA. There is no sex though.

Lucy has moved away from her childhood home into a cabin that was once her vacation home. She's startin at a new school in her senior year - public rather than private. If it sounds like her life is idyllic, it's not. And it wasn't even before the tragedy behind the reason for her family's move. Dancing is the only thing that keeps her grounded and sane. When she sees a guy playing ball on the beach, she gets a feeling - there's something about him that pulls her in.

Jude is a bad boy with a rap sheet to prove it. He doesn't do dates or girlfriends. He's drawn to Lucy but knows he's no good for her and warns her away. Yet there's something about her that keeps him near.

I adore Lucy and Jude. She's out to save the world. He's seemingly out to fill the role society has defined for him. Together they bring out the best in each other. But when they each learn something about the other unexpected, it threatens to destroy what they've built.

It's hard to say exactly why Crash resonated so much with me. Williams' writing is easy to read and the story flowed well. I was captivated by Lucy and Jude - wanting to know all they'd experienced which shaped them into the people they are. What I found endeared them to me even more. They each hurt and reacted to it in different ways. But they really did bring out better things in each other. Although they path they took put them through some heartache, I liked where they ultimately ended up. And I'm eager to see where they go from here.

Thanks to Teresa @Readers Live a Thousand Lives for the nudge to read Williams. We made a pact whereby she read one of my favorite authors and I read one of hers. :D

Monday, December 19, 2016

Audio Review ~ Hunting Season ~ Shelly Laurenston

Hunting Season (The Gathering #1)Hunting Season by Shelly Laurenston
The Gathering #1
Narrated byAlexandra Shawnee
Release Date: September 6, 2016 (audio)
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Tantor Audio sent me a complimentary copy
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease

Stubborn, lethal, and from Jersey...what more could a Viking warrior want from his woman?

Neecy Lawrence, winged warrior for a Viking goddess and second-in-command of the fierce Crows, doesn't know what to do with a nice guy. As it is, making up for a past she'd sooner forget leaves her barely polite most days. But Raven leader and loyal Odin warrior, Will Yager, isn't just nice. He's gorgeous, hot, and a distraction she simply can't afford.

Yager has wanted Neecy in his life--and in his bed--for a long time. Not just for a night, but forever. And, like any self-respecting Viking, he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants. So what is she's the most difficult, complex, never-gives-him-a-break woman he's ever known? She's more than worth the effort. In fact, she's worth everything.

And if it turns out that twenty-four hours of non-stop, any-way-she-wants-it sex doesn't work with Neecy? Then it looks like he'll just have to get a little more creative...

Overall, I enjoyed this introduction to The Gathering series. It was fun, steamy, and suspenseful. I'll definitely continue the series. Here's what worked for me, and what didn't work:

What Worked:
  • Neecy Lawrence. She's tough, smart, independent, and loyal. Everything I want in a heroine. Oh, and she has wings!
  • Wilhelm Yager. A big, brawny Viking, Yager is also tough, smart, loyal, and wily when he needs to be. He also has the patience of a saint, which he needs in trying to woo Neecy. Oh, and he has wings, too!
  • Norse mythology. That Laurenston used Skuld's Gathering and Odin's Ravens was particularly exciting. The series apparently revolves around a war between gods which involves their warriors.
  • Robust cast. Since the series is about The Gathering and the Ravens, we meet many characters from both groups. I enjoyed the camaraderie and dynamics within the groups as well as between them. I'm eager to see what happens next - who pairs up.
  • Suspense. Even though the suspense element played second fiddle to the romance, I was still anxious about what was going on and who was behind it.

What Didn't Work:
  • Neecy's continual fighting of her feelings for Yager got to be a bit tedious after awhile.
  • Language. No, I'm not talking about profanity. At least, not exactly. There was an extreme repetition of certain words that became annoying since I was hearing it over and over. That said, it might not have been so irksome if I'd been reading it rather than listening.

As for Ms. Shawnee - I liked her voice and her delivery. She kept the story flowing. However, she lacked the range for such a large cast of characters. I think she'd be better suited for a book with fewer voices required.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

#BookishResolutions 2017 ~ Signup/Goal Post

I'm once again participating in the Bookish Resolutions Challenge. This challenge is hosted by Michelle @Because Reading and Laura @ Trips Down Imagination Road

For complete details and to sign up, click the graphic above or here. These are the basic rules:
  • Challenge runs January 1 - December 31, 2017
  • Choose from 3 Main Categories: Blogging Goals, Reading Goals, Personal Goals
  • You must choose at least 2 of the 3 Main Categories and you must have at least 1 goal per category (with the exception of Blogging Goals which must have 3 sub-goals)
  • Post and link up an update on the 20th of each month. (29th for February)
There are Twitter parties and giveaways to inspire you in accomplishing your goals, too! Come on, join in the fun and reach that wonderful feeling of accomplishment!

**MY GOALS FOR 2017**

I've been moderately successful with the challenge the past 2 years but I think I've come up with some tweaks so that I'll be even more so in 2017. Mostly I'm making my goals more specific and therefore more quantifiable. :)
  • Blogging Goals
    • Comment back THREE times a week
    • Visit TEN blogs a day
    • Link up my challenge posts on the last day of each month (or last day of month quarterly for those updating quarterly)
    • Keep track of my progress on my calendar
  • Reading Goals
    • NO BOOK BUYING without a gift card (that was gifted!)
    • Read TWO Netgalley reads per month
    • Read (at least) TWO books I already own per month
    • Read ONE book from a series I'm behind in per month
    • Listen to TWO review books per month
    • Read books my kids *need* me to read
      • Born to Run (Jax)
      • Death with Interruptions (Jax)
      • Everything is Illuminated (Sky)
      • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Jax)
      • School of Good and Evil (Berk)
      • The Book Thief (Sky)
      • The Lightning Thief (Berk)
    • Keep track of my progress on my calendar and in my book journal
  • Personal Goals
    • Exercise FIVE days a week
    • Keep a food/exercise journal
    • Spend an hour daily writing/editing
    • Spend ONE day a month on a different hobby - paper crafting or knitting
    • Keep track of my progress with writing/editing and crafting on my calendar
Are y'all participating in this challenge? Leave a link if you are so I can check out your goals. And good luck!

2017 Reading/Blogging Challenge Signup Posts ~ All the Rest...

This challenge is hosted by Julie and Lynn @Chapter Break and Terri @Second Run Reviews. For complete details, click the graphic above. Here are the basics:
  • Sign up
  • Read books you already own (books procured prior to January 1, 2017) 
  • Responsibly grow your TBR
  • Participate in the discussion posts, quarterly this year
My goal for 2017 is 51+ Books or My Shelves and I Are Going Steady. To help me in achieving this goal, I'm challenging myself to read 8 books I own before reading a new release.

New Release Challenge 2017 - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Lexxie @Unconventional Book Views and Stormi @Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! are co-hosting this challenge yet again in 2017. And they made some tweaks to make the challenge a bit more, well, challenging. ;)

Since I'm aiming to show my shelves some love in 2017 and read books I already own, I'm only aiming for the New Release Pro status or 31-60 books. We shall see how I do! ;)

Herding Cats & Burning Soup is hosting this challenge meant to 'shame' me into reading all those many, many ARCs I've collected but haven't read. ;)

I'm aiming for getting 20 Review Books read and reviewed. I'm setting this goal without looking to see how many of these *forgotten* books I have...but it seems like a good goal to start with. :D

This is another challenge being hosted by Herding Cats & Burning Soup and I like this one because there's no finish date...just the finish line whereby I'll have read all the books by a particular author. The first author I'm choosing is:

Sabrina Jeffries

I'll update the graphic when I can find the one for 2017 but I'm once again participating on the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I've successfully met this challenge the past 2 years. For 2017, I'm setting my goal a bit lower (only by 25) in order to reduce stress. :) So my goal for 2017 is:

125 books

#2017HW Reading Assignment Challenge ~ Signup/Reading List Post

The Reading Assignment Challenge is hosted by Berls @Fantasy is More Fun and Michelle @Because Reading. Essentially, this challenge allows you to create your own "reading list" just like you wanted to do when you were in school. :)

For complete details and rules, click the graphic above. Here are the basics:
  • Challenge runs from January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017. You may sign up any time between now and July 1. 
  • You may only participate for the months after you sign up.
  • Create a list and commit to reading 1-4 books a month from that list.
  • Any genre or format is acceptable but it must have been published prior to January 1, 2017 AND be more than 100 pages.
  • Post your "report card" quarterly to let everyone know how you're faring.
There will be quarterly giveaways as well as a Grand Prize at the end of the challenge.

I've failed this challenge for the past 2 years but 2017 is gonna be a game changer! Why? I'm only aiming for ONE book a month. LOL 

Here's my Reading Assignment List:

Outlander (Outlander, #1)The TakerRedemption (Penton Legacy, #1)The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1)The Scorpio RacesUnleashing Mr. DarcyI'll Meet You ThereTumbleweedsThe Song of AchillesAnd I Darken (The Conquerer's Saga, #1)The Female of the SpeciesRed Rising (Red Rising, #1)

Are y'all participating? How many books are you aiming for? How did you go about choosing them? Good luck! And I'll keep y'all updated on my progress. :)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Audio Review ~ One Ride ~ Chelsea Camaron

One RideOne Ride by Chelsea Camaron
The Hellions Ride #1
Narrated byMaxine Mitchell and Joe Arden
Release Date: April 26, 2016 (audio)
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Tantor Audio sent me a complimentary copy
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease

Roundman, president of the Hellions Motorcycle Club, has kept the chaos surrounding the Hellions contained for the last thirty years. When the dangerous side to their business comes knocking on his only child's doorstep, he realizes that his precious daughter-Delilah ("Doll")-isn't safe anymore. With Doll in danger from the association she has with him and his club, Roundman makes the only decision he feels he can-send her away. Calling on the one charter club president he trusts, he sets up a ride to keep her safe, all in hopes that trouble won't follow. Talon "Tripp" Crews has been ordered to take Doll on one ride away from the dnager while the club handles the threat. She's off-limits. His head knows this, but his body can't deny the attraction. She's feisty, fierce, and fearless. Constantly in close confines together, will they give in to the desire? Can one ride turn lust into love? Contains mature themes.

I picked One Ride because I was in the mood for an MC story. While One Ride didn't deliver exactly what I was looking for, it was still an enjoyable story.

Delilah "Doll" Reklinger is the daughter of the President of the Hellions. As such, she's treated as precious. Even though the MC life is all she's known and is what she wants for herself, her daddy isn't so sure he wants this life for her. He's done a good job of keeping his club clean and Doll safe but when trouble shows up at Doll's desk, invasive action is required.

Enter Tripp Crews. Tripp is a trusted member of the Hellions and Roundman's first choice in carrying out his plan to protect Doll. If only Tripp wasn't so attracted to her. If only she wasn't off-limits.

Overall, I liked this story. The characters were relatable and I did immerse myself in their story. But here's the thing - I felt Doll acted bratty quite often and it bothered me. Also, I would have liked more exploration of and dealing with the danger. It would have given the story more depth. And I was looking for the dynamics and camaraderie within an MC but it wasn't here in the detail I was hoping for. Of course, that's what I get for going in with expectations.

Mitchell and Arden were excellent though! They kept me engaged despite the story not delivering all I wanted. I will continue the series - I have to know what happens with a few of the secondary characters.

Audio Challenge 2017 ~ Signup Post


The Audiobook Challenge is being hosted by Hot Listens and Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Although I've been listening to audiobooks going on 3 years now, I still consider myself an audio newb. I love them though! They're perfect for enticing me to clean, exercise, grocery shop, pick up name it! A challenge just sweetens the pot, so to speak. For full challenge details, click the image above. Here are the basics:
  • Challenge begins January 1, 2017 and ends December 31, 2017. You can join at any time.
  • The goal is to find love with audio OR outdo yourself by listening to more audiobooks in 2017 than you did in 2016.
  • Books must be in audio format. (duh!)
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other challenges are allowed.
  • You don't have to be a blogger to participate. You can chart your progress on Goodreads, Facebook, etc.
There are seven levels you can aim for. Since I'm aiming to outdo myself and I listened to 28 audiobooks in 2016, I'm looking to hit 

My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted)
30+ audiobooks

I hope y'all will join in the fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

That's What HE Said #71 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #52

That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies @Chapter Break. Here's the deal: every Thursday, post a line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from dialog in the books. The quote doesn't have to be romantic - just something our hunky hero said to his lucky lady. Be sure to link up over at Chapter Break as well.

My pick this week for That's What He Said is from:

Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley


"Emme, I'm lying in bed lookin' at your kaleidoscope sittin' on my nightstand, knowin' you've been with me every day for nine years. Which means I wanted you with me every day even when I didn't realize it. Which means you mean something to me and not a little something. You think I'd make that play tonight if I thought makin' it would fuck us up?"
"So, I made a decision and carried it out but I know what's at stake here and I'm gonna bust my ass to lead this careful, gentle so it doesn't get fucked up. I know this is fast, but from here we don't have to go fast. We just gotta go forward. And we gotta do it honest. So talk to me."


In this scene, Emme is making dinner for Jacob after not having seen him for quite a few years. I know there's no actual food eaten here but the scene is funny and swoony. :)

"I need to know if you don't eat anything," I lied.
Actually, it wasn't a lie. Although I remembered a lot about Jacob (most everything, in all honesty), I couldn't recall if there was something specific he didn't like to eat.
I could recall how beautiful he was, how tall he was, how strong he was. I could recall how smart he was and how funny he was. I could recall how cool he was with me. I could also recall how much I missed him. But I couldn't recall if he didn't like chicken.
But that wasn't the only think I needed to know. I needed to know something else too.
Much like last night, when he didn't make me feel like a psycho, in face, the opposite and sounded like he was happy to hear from me and would be willing to talk all night, he again sounded like my psychotically calling him yet again in a precursor to stalker way was no big deal.
"I don't eat it, I'll pick it off."
"You can't pick it off if I cook with it in it or if the mainstay of dinner on the whole is what you don't eat," I informed him.
"You makin' Indian food?" he asked.
"No. Don't you like Indian food?" I asked back.
"Love it," he answered.
'Then why'd you ask if I was making Indian food?"
"Cause I hoped you were."
I burst out laughing.
No, Jacob definitely didn't make me feel like I was being a psycho.
When I quit laughing, I told him, "Sorry, honey, I don't know how to make Indian food."
"Shame," he muttered, a smile in his deep, attractive voice, and if I was on an infrared scanner, specific parts of me would have shown up better.
"You haven't actually answered the question."
"I'll eat what you cook, Emme. Cook what you like."

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Brandee's Bookish Babble #26 ~ To Freebie or Not to Freebie?

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. :) 

I don't think I'm telling y'all anything you don't already know when I say, "Hi, I'm Brandee and I'm a book hoarder." It doesn't matter if it's digital or physical copies, I procure more books than I can possibly read and I do it lightning speed. Lately, I've been one-clicking freebies like nobody's I *need* more books. And it got me to thinking... 

What are y'all's freebie-clicking habits? Do you automatically one-click because "hey, they're free!" Do you read the synopsis first before deciding whether or not to pull the trigger? Do you one-click only if it's an author you know? Or only if the rating is 4-star?

I'm really curious about your habits and here's why... I feel as though I use discretion with freebies because even though they cost me nothing monetarily, they cost me space on my ereader. (and y'all, I have FOUR!) I check the rating, read the synopsis, read a few reviews - both positive and negative - before I engage my finger. But I'm thinking this isn't enough - I don't know, caution? When I started preparing for the COYER Blackout challenge (which begins this Saturday) I created a shelf of freebies (and 99 cent steals) and I stopped when I realized I was already at 350 books! That's more than I can read in 2 years! So now I'm thinking I need a new filter - one to help me in refraining from all the willy-nilly one-clicking. Any ideas? Maybe a "will I read this within a few months?" approach where if the answer is "no", I don't click?

Opinions? Suggestions?? Therapy ideas??

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

#TravelingtotheTerminus Review ~ The Vincent Brothers ~ Abbi Glines

The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines
Vincent Boys #2
Release Date: December 18, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased Paperback
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TravelingtoTerminus

Getting a boy to fall head-over-heels in love with you isn't easy. Especially when he's been in love with your cousin for as long as you can remember.

Lana has lived her life in her cousin's shadow. Ashton always made perfect grades, had tons of friends, and looks model-perfect. And she's always had Sawyer Vincent--the only boy Lana's ever wanted--wrapped around her finger. But now things are different. Lana has a chance to make Sawyer see her, and she's taking it. If only he'd get over Ashton--because Lana is sick of second-best.

Sawyer's heart is broken. He's lost his best girl to his best friend. And then Lana comes to town. Ashton's cousin has always been sweet and soft-spoken, but now she's drop-dead gorgeous as well. Sawyer doesn't know if Lana can heal his broken heart, but spending time with her might at least make Ashton jealous.

What starts as a carefree fling becomes a lusty game of seduction. Sawyer and Lana may have different motives, but their scintillating hookups are the same kind of steamy...

Yet another book I've put off reading since May of 2013, where I met Ms. Glines and had her sign a copy of The Vincent Brothers. *sigh* Oh well. I'm happy I finally read it.

After finishing The Vincent Boys, it was important to me that Sawyer have his day - or rather, find the girl that truly made his heart go pitter-patter (can I say that in regards to a boy?). Maybe I should say the one that turns him into a neanderthal because that tends to be a Vincent reaction when it comes to his "woman." But I digress. I couldn't have been more delighted that Lana was the girl for Sawyer.

What Worked:
  • Lana's tenacity. She'd always lived in Ashton's shadow, even with her own mom, but she decided she wanted something - in this case Sawyer - and she went all out in her effort to get him.
  • The premise. Even though Lana and Sawyer's intentions differed when they began their "fling", I liked the entire setup. Sawyer did irritate me with some of his decisions but since he's only 18, I suppose they were rather realistic.
  • Small town setting. I love the bonds between families and the community in a small town.
  • The drama being downplayed. Despite the fact that Ashton and Beau have pivotal parts in Sawyer's and Lana's story, I didn't feel like that drama was overdone.
  • Football. Both Sawyer and Beau are football players and I liked the role it played in their story - even their college choices.
  • Dual POV. I so enjoy getting the story from both protagonists because  it allows me an inside look, so to speak, and helps me connect that much more with the characters.
  • The resolutions. They left me satisfied.
What Didn't Work:
  • The resolutions. At least a few of them. They were reached too quickly, too simply.
  • Dangling plot lines. There were a few plot lines left hanging and they seemed rather important.
  • Underage drinking. This is a reflection of where I am in my life but as a mom of teens, all in high school or college, it bothered me there was so much underage drinking. 
Overall, The Vincent Brothers was a pleasant read. It stirred up my emotions, had me rooting for Sawyer and Lana, and falling for all he characters all over again.