Friday, June 15, 2018

Blogger Chick/Reader Chick Chat Review ~ Taint ~ S.L. Jennings #ShelfLove

Taint (Sexual Education, #1)Taint by S. L. Jennings
Sexual Education #1
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher at RT 2015. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
"Right now, you're probably asking yourself two things: Who am I? and What the hell are you doing here? Let's start with the most obvious question, shall we? You're here, ladies, because you can't f*ck."

Oh, stop it. Don't cringe. No one under the age of eighty clutches her pearls. You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you're going to hear that word a lot. And you're going to say it a lot. Go ahead, try it out on your tongue. F*ck. F***ck.

Okay, good. Now, where were we?

If you enrolled yourself in this program, then you are wholly aware that you're a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle. For those of you who have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You've been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to f*ck like a porn star. And I guarantee that you will when I'm done with you. 

And who am I?

Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I'm the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life. 

I'm Justice Drake. And I turn housewives into whores. Now...who's first?



BLOGGER CHICK - READER CHICK CHAT


Y'all have heard me talk about Denise...she travels with me quite often to book events. She's even been designated as my and Lexxie's reader wife. Well, I'm putting her to work this summer reading books from authors attending Book Bonanza...and we're chatting about 'em! Enjoy!

***

Me: What did you think of the premise - Justice's job portion of the premise anyway? Were you put off by it? Did it make you laugh or steam??

Denise: At first it was really weird, then the further into the book I got, listening to what Justice had to say, it was more intriguing. I was not really put off but was taken aback at first. I would say I laughed and steamed - some of the "lessons" were pretty funny but as time went on, they got hotter.

Personally, I think I was initially shocked, which was probably the point but the further we got into the story, and the classes, the more fun I had with that part of the story line.



How did you think Jennings did with a male POV? 

I feel she did pretty good. Some of the directness and to the point attitude was really good.

Of course, I'm not a male but I think she did pretty well conveying a male's point of view. I loved being inside his head, privy to everything he was thinking. I liked his humor and his ice cold facade. But I think what I liked most was getting to see his vulnerable side - even if he didn't show it to Ally until late in the game.



What did you think of Ally?

I thought she was a genuine character. I felt she had a huge heart and a lot to give to someone who truly loved her.

Omigosh, I loved her quirkiness, her love of Friends, mint chocolate chip ice cream, chicken and waffles...and that she wasn't afraid to be real...at least with Justice.



Was the romance realistic? And did it bother you that they let things go that far?

Yes the romance was very realistic. I can definitely see something like that happen. Normally, infidelity does bother me but with this case it was a little different. I think life is too short to have to deal with a cheating spouse even if you are trying to keep up appearances, so I understand how things went that far. I think the character building was great and you got to see the deep emotions of two people who were not necessarily being truthful to themselves until they found each other.

I felt the romance was very realistic. Justice validated Ally for who she was and she did the same for him even if she didn't know his whole story. And really, it was a slow-burn. They both fought against the attraction...the pull between them. As for things going as far as they did when she was still married...in real life, I might not agree with it. But then again, her husband was a lying, cheating son of a bitch, so... Is turnabout fair play? Maybe not - in real life anyway. But it made for good fiction. LOL One thing I wanted to add...I liked how the romance helped in character growth. Justice certainly did a lot of growing, realizing the things he thought he wanted, the things he thought were important to him, weren't so much. And Ally - I know we didn't see her before she arrived at Oasis but you could tell that she put on a show in her life. She wasn't herself - only conveying the image that was expected of her. So watching her let her light shine as she and Justice got closer was something to see. :)



Did you guess Justice's secret?



I didn't. I had a feeling it had something to do with Evan but not what it ended up being.


In the end, both Denise and I gave Taint 4 Bookworms and I'm fairly certain we'll be reading the next in the duet. ;)





Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #81 ~ Taint by S.L. Jennings


Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by my blogger wife, Lexxie, @(un)Conventional Bookviews. It's a way to highlight a book using quotes that revolve around food and/or drinks. Every Thursday, post a line or two...or heck, a whole paragraph, that spoke to you in some way using food and/or drinks. *wink* Don't forget to link up!

My pick this week for Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is from:

Taint by S.L. Jennings

If you had to choose, what flavor would it be?

***

"If you could only eat one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, would you pick Rocky Road or mint chocolate chip?"
"Excuse me?" I sit on the stool across from hers, brows raised in question.
"Just humor me. Rocky Road or mint chocolate chip?" She smiles amusingly and digs back into her ice cream.
I'm not sure what to make of this girl. First she's calling me an asshole, and now she's asking me about ice-cream flavors? I frown in confusion.
"Please?" she says just above a whisper. "I haven't had a regular conversation about something other than shoes or handbags, or who our husbands could be sleeping with, in days. I just need to...forget. Just for a little while."
I nod and let out a breath, my chest suddenly full of some foreign, unnamed emotion. Sympathy? Yes. But something else too. And it has nothing to do with pitying her.
"Well, being that I've never had mint chocolate chip, and I vaguely remember trying Rocky Road as a child, I'd have to go with that flavor," I reply with a shrug.
Ally's eyes grow wide with playful shock. "You've never had mint chocolate chip ice cream?"
I shake my head. "Nope."
"Then you haven't lived!" She scoops out a small bite and offers it to me, the spoon a mere inch from my lips. "Go ahead; try it."
Okay, I've got two choices. Door Number One: I refuse to play along with her little game and kick her out of my house, offending her and demolishing any ounce of trust she has for me. Or Door Number Two: I let her innocently spoon-feed me ice cream and force myself to see the act for what it is - a chaste, nonerotic gesture between two adults.
Yeah, right.
I lean forward so that the cold tip of the spoon just grazes my bottom lip. Ally slowly eases it forward, causing me to open wider for her, my tongue reflexively jutting out to taste the first sweet drops of cream. I wrap my lips around the mound of chocolaty mint and suck it off the spoon, letting out my own sounds of pleasure.
"Good, right?" Ally beams, nodding her head.
"Hell yeah," I half-groan against my better judgment. But it's too late. Allison Elliot-Carr has weakened my defenses with just a spoonful of Haagen-Dazs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

New Release Review ~ I Flipping Love You ~ Helena Hunting #2018NewRelease

I Flipping Love You (Shacking Up, #3)I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting
Shacking Up #3
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from St. Martin's Press via Netgalley. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
SHE'S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off...


HE'S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn't normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman's dreams. He's just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance - without burning down the house?

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.




I flipping love this book! My only exposure to HHunting was her Clipped Wings series and I've been very curious how she'd do with the lighter side of romance. She impressed me with her deeper side and...she did with the lighter side as well! 

Rian - like Ryan but with an "i" - has had a hard row to hoe. She and her sister have built a business and a reputation in real estate from the ruins they were left with at 18. Her sister, the free-spirit of the two, has been her only constant since the fall and Rian has always looked out for her, learning not to allow anyone else close lest they leave like everyone else.

Pierce knows what it's like to live on little and live with a lot. And while he is appreciative of all he now has, he's not living his passion until circumstances place him in the Hamptons working on home renovations with his brother.

Rian and Pierce meeting was pretty comical as was their subsequent encounters. Soon neither could deny their chemistry not the fact that something kept throwing them in each other's paths. Some home sales and renovations later and their on the precipice of something life-altering. But they have to trust that any skeletons escaping their closets are going to be overlooked.

The chemistry, sexual tension, and snarky banter was off-the-charts. It had me swooning and laughing alternately. But I appreciated how HHunting proved Rian and Pierce had more than mere chemistry - they worked both in and out of the bedroom splendidly. I enjoyed the blossoming romance as well as the specifics of the real estate market - open houses, sales, renovations, and flips. I also enjoyed the secondary cast of characters - siblings and neighbors. AND I loved how HHunting used both Rian's and Pierce's pasts to illustrate their character growth. I liked their dynamics between each other, the dynamics between them and their siblings, and I most enjoyed watching as they figured out how to make their dreams come true and then how to incorporate each other into those dreams.

I Flipping Love You was such a delight! I look forward to catching up on the other books in the Shacking Up series as well as the rest of HHunting's backlist as I'm confident I'm going to be delighted with anything she writes.



Monday, June 11, 2018

Audio Review ~ Rule's Bride ~ Kat Martin #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove

Rule's BrideRule's Bride by Kat Martin
Brides Trilogy #3
Narrated byAnna Parker-Naples
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor AudioThis did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
After their strategic "marriage of commerce" three years ago, Rule quite forgot about Violet Griffin, the teenage heiress to a Boston manufacturing fortune. He simply spoke his vows, took over her father's business, and returned to England to resume his usual pursuits: high-priced wine, high-stakes gambling, and highborn women. Yet when Violet, now a sophisticated woman, unexpectedly appears at Rule's London town house, husbandly duties no longer seem so odious - he can't wait to take his stunning bride to their marriage bed. Violet, however, is not so easily led: She has her own ideas and is seeking an annulment to marry another. But as Rule attempts to win her over, someone else is determined to frame him for murder and keep him out of the way for good...




While there were a few things that didn't work for me quite as well in this final installment, I did enjoy Rule and Violet's story.

Highlights:
  • Character Development - Rule & Violet
    One common trait in all the Dewar brothers has been their loyalty to their family. Each brother made a promise to the father on his deathbed and each kept it. I thought it was interesting the way KMartin had Rule keep his promise and I appreciated that although he'd made some questionable choices, Rule did prove himself as loyal, honorable, and able to love. I've enjoyed the independent streak in all the heroines of this trilogy and Violet was nothing if not independent. Being American gave her a little leeway - very little - but she was smart and very determined. I admired her commitment to her values and her father's legacy.
  • Plot & Sub-plots
    Even though there were elements in the sub-plots that didn't work for me on the whole - specifically the reason behind Rule's determination not to fall in love and the angst between Caroline and Luke - the plots and sub-plots wove together well to create a compelling story. I think had Rule's reasoning for avoiding love been explored more thoroughly, it would have had more of an impact on his character. I feel that same of Caroline's and Luke's characters. If they'd been developed a bit more, they'd have had more depth. Because they lacked some depth, I felt the tension felt more contrived that genuine. I did appreciate the inclusion of the impending Civil War in America and how KMartin wove that element in. I also liked how she created the suspense even though I did figure out a portion of the mystery and the resolutions felt a bit too tidy.
  • Romance
    Witnessing Rule work at winning over Violet was fun. Although she realized she'd given her heart to him early on, she still didn't make things easy for him. She wanted love and she taught Rule how to love - that he had the capacity for it despite his belief otherwise. I also delighted in watching Rule fall without ever realizing that was what was happening. KMartin once again gave us a secondary romance - this time between Violet's cousin, Caroline, and Rule's best friend, Luke. Neither felt they wanted marriage but after circumstances demand it, their fall was angsty yet heartwarming.
  • Narration
    As I've mentioned previously, Anna Parker-Naples' range for male voices is a little limited and I continued to notice this in Rule's Bride. She also struggled with her American accents. However, her ability to do a range of British accents is amazing and even though those few things niggled at me, I still found her narration - her pacing, and her ability to convey the emotion required - to be brilliant.

My introduction to KMartin and Anna Parker-Naples was a pleasure. I'll be on the hunt for more from them both.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

My TBR List *June* ~ And the Winner Is... #MyTBRL

MyTBRList

My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 


***


And the Winner Is:

(by an overwhelming margin...)

Opposition (Lux, #5)
Opposition
Lux #5

Synopsis
Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomes his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her - could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything - even what they cherish most - to ensure the survival of their friends...and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing...



Y'all be sure to check back on June 30th so I can gush all about Daemon! *wink*


Saturday, June 2, 2018

My TBR List *June* ~ Polling is Open! #MyTBRL

MyTBRList

My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


***

In 2018, I'm once again working at catching up on series and y'all get to decide which series I'm going to read each month! :D

This month, I'm letting y'all choose from series that I only lack ONE book finishing! :)


Your Choices Are:

Opposition (Lux, #5)
Opposition
Lux #5

Synopsis
Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomes his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her - could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything - even what they cherish most - to ensure the survival of their friends...and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing...



Struck from the Record (Record, #4)Struck from the Record
Record #4

Synopsis

Clay Maxwell is a smart, quick witted, sex-driven, manwhore with the good looks to match. Plenty of women have shared his bed, but only one has ever been constant, Andrea.

Their rules were simple. When they're together, it's just the two of them. When they're apart, anything is fair game. And it worked. For ten years.

But one of them has changed the game...

Clay must decide if his player ways are worth losing the one girl who has always been there.




Jet (Marked Men, #2)Jet
Marked Men #2

Synopsis
found.
With his tight leather pants and a sharp edge that makes him dangerous, Jet Keller is every girl's rock and roll fantasy. But Ayden Cross is done walking on the wild side with bad boys. She doesn't want to give in to the heat she sees in Jet's dark, haunted eyes. She's afraid of getting burned from the sparks of their spontaneous combustion, even as his touch sets her on fire.

Jet can't resist the Southern Belle with mile-long legs in cowboy boots who defies his every expectation. Yet the closer he feels to Ayden, the less he seems to know her. While he's tempted to get under her skin and undo her in every way, he knows firsthand what happens to two people with very different ideas about relationships.

Will the blaze burn into an enduring love...or will it consume their dreams and turn them to ashes?



Okay, now vote! And thanks! :D


Create your own user feedback survey

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Review ~ Murder of Crows ~ Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)
Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
The Others #2
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased on Nook
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges
Goodreads

Synopsis
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside's shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.




Oh boy! I sure do love this world and spending time with the inhabitants of Lakeside and its Courtyard. I'm guessing you can tell how much I love it considering how quickly I read book #2?!? =)

Murder of Crows picks up essentially where Written in Red ended. The Others are still dealing with the threat to themselves as well as trying to avoid an all out war and also trying to protect Meg from those who'd try to take and/or harm her. And there's another issue - that of Simon and Meg's friendship/relationship and all the ramifications it could have.

I adore all these characters - their dynamics and interactions. Seriously love. But what makes this story that much more rich and engaging is that it's so thought-provoking. I think there are many parallels in Bishop's world and our own. I think there are some lessons we would learn - lessons in things like nature vs nurture, preconceived notions and prejudices, and the cyclical nature of animosity...I have 2 pages of notes! My family knows all about Meg, Simon, and the Others because it's a story that is constantly making me think and I have to share. LOL Maybe it's just me and Bishop didn't intend for all this thinking to occur...but this world affects me.

On the lighter side of things, I'm enjoying watching Meg and Simon as the fall for one another. And while its certainly a slow-burn (I don't even know if anything will ever come of it!) and I wouldn't mind things between them moving along more quickly, things have to move at this pace because Meg is so inexperienced in the world. It wouldn't work with her and Simon any other way.

I also admire how Simon and his Courtyard have taken on Meg's pack, how Simon's Courtyard differs from all others in their dealing with humans, and how it sets an example for all the others and Others.

I liked the new characters I met in this installment - especially Jean and the Intuits and I'm excited to see their impact on the story overall. I'm simply excited, period. I'm eager to see what happens next - what new danger will present itself and how relations between humans and Others will change - better or worse?

There's not a thing I didn't like about this story. And I'll be reading book #3 ASAP.


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

#COYER Big Summer Birthday Bash Sign-up Post


Y'all, Berls & Michelle are celebrating FIVE YEARS of #COYER! Can you believe it?!? Y'all know #COYER is one of my favorite challenges because we *ALL* need to clean off our ereaders... amiright?!? And it's such a fun and interactive challenge! Berls & Michelle have come up so much goody-goodness for this celebratory version. I've listed the basics below and a little information on the other elements of the challenge as they apply to me. If you're interested in joining me - and why wouldn't you be?? - can click the graphic above (or here) to check out the FULL details. Here are the basics:

  • The challenge begins June 9th at 12 a.m. EDT and ends August 31st at 11:59 p.m. EDT
  • You must create a sign-up post anytime between now and June 9th on blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, etc. Be sure to indicate your cleanup goal and don't forget to link your sign-up post to the linky here.
  • It's Summer and you know what that means...anything goes! You can read books in any format, purchased at any price as long as you legally obtained it. Library? Yep! Borrowed? Yep! KU? Yep! $500? Yep (but are you crazy?)!
  • Link your reviews to the linky that will be provided on the Kick-off Post.
  • There will be two grand prize winners - $10 gift card - one for the linky review list, and one for the Birthday Bash goodies.
Sounds fun, yeah? Here's where it gets even more fun! Berls & Michelle came up with Birthday Bash Goodies for each COYER they've hosted thus far. Again, for ALL the details, click the graphic above but here's the Goodies I'll be partaking in.

Goody #1 in Honor of COYER #1: Declare Your Cleaning Goal:
  • Light Clean - 1-10 books
  • Spring Clean - 10-20 books
  • Deep Clean - 20+ books
I'm going for the Deep Clean! =)


Goody #3 in Honor of COYER #3: Read-a-thons
  • Fairytales with a Twist: Read fairy tale re-tellings and give those childhood favorites a twist. Read-a-thon runs Sunday June 17th 12am EST to Saturday June 23rd 11:59pm EST
  • Christmas in July!: Read Holiday themed books. Read-a-thon runs Sunday July 15th 12 am EST to Saturday July 21st 11:59pm EST
  • Dusting Off the Shelves: Read the oldest books in your physical or e-library They have to have sat on your shelf for at least 1 year. Read-a-thon runs Sunday July 29th 12am EST to Saturday August 4th 11:59pm EST
  • Scary Stories by the Campfire!: Read about ghosts, goblins, and any other horror/thriller that would make for a scary campfire tale! Read-a-thon runs Sunday August 5th 12am EST to Saturday August 11th 11:59pm EST
  • Short and Sweet!: Fill your final days not with Novels but with Novellas! Read-a-thon runs Sunday August 26th 12am EST to Friday August 31st 11:59pm EST
This is gonna take some planning but I hope to participate in ALL the read-a-thons! =)


Goody #4 in Honor of COYER #4: Mini-Challenges 
Participate in 1 or ALL the mini-challenges hosted by COYER participants to get an entry in the goody bag. Get an extra entry for hosting a mini-challenge.

These are always fun so if I have time I'll participate. And Lexxie and I are going to host one as well!



Goody #5 in Honor of COYER #5: Scavenger Hunt
COYER #5 was a summer scavenger hunt and I really had fun with it. So participating in the mini-scavenger hunt Sunday August 12th 12am EST to Sunday August 25th 11:59pm EST earns you an entry in the goody back. And seeing as I still have the list around with books chosen for the different categories, I'm in for this goody!


Goody #6 in Honor of COYER #6: Back to Basics
All you have to do to earn an entry in the goody bag for this one is participate in the Social Media games on Facebook, the Instagram Challenge, and the Twitter parties. I'm good with that. ;)


Goody #7 in Honor of COYER #7: Summer Vacation BINGO
Fill in 1 or all the BINGO cards over the entire summer for one point per board in the goody bag.


Goody #8 in Honor of COYER #8: Survive Hurricane Berls
COYER #8 was Winter Storm but since this is summertime, gear up for a hurricane! Hurricane Berls hits Wednesday July 25th thru Saturday July 28th. For 1 point per book, read only ebooks, purchased for $1 or less (ARCs are okay) prior to June 9th.


Goody #9 in Honor of COYER #9: The One with the Lists
COYER 9 was the Summer Reading List. In honor of that list, we're making a list again. :) Make a list of 15 books and read 10 of them for a point in the goody bag.  

My List:
Inescapable by Amy Bartol
The Air He Breathes by Brittainy Cherry
We Were Here by Daisy Prescott
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Driven by K. Bromberg
Strings by Kendall Grey
Arsen by Mia Asher
Eversea by Natasha Boyd
Unbreakable by Rebecca Shea
Surviving Raine by Shay Savage
Savage by SL Scott
Rescuing Raine by Susan Stoker
White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert
The Weight of Life by Whitney Barbetti


Goody #10 in Honor of COYER #10: Summer Switch
The most recent COYER was Winter Switch and it was a lot of fun! Summer Switch runs from Sunday June 24th to Saturday July 14th for up to 3 points in the Goody Bag Giveaway. Pick your order for the Strict, the List, and the Twist...one per week...June 24th to June 30th, July 1st to July 7th, and July 8th to July 14th.

The Strict:
  1. Every book you read must be an ebook or audiobook.
  2. Every book must be either free or less than $5.
  3. No library books, borrowed books, or KU books.

The List:
  1. Make a list of up to 15 books (since it's legal, I'm using the same list from Goody #9)
  2. Every book on the list must be in your possession BEFORE you put them on the list. Books on the list can be any format, any price, obtained in any LEGAL way...so that means library books, KU, borrowed, etc.

The Twist:
  1. You can read ANY book. ANY price. Obtained any LEGAL way.
  2. The Twist is, you have to stick to one format. If you choose audiobooks, then you can only read audiobooks during whichever phase you assign the Twist to. Same goes for ebooks.


So the only Goody I'm skipping is #2. 
Y'all, this COYER might be the best one yet! I hope y'all will join in the fun!! 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

My TBR List Review *May* ~ The Girl in the Sea ~ Lisa Akers #MyTBRL #BloggerShame

MyTBRList

My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading



***

The Girl in the Sea (Let Me Go, #3)The Girl in the Sea by Lisa Akers
Let Me Go #3
Release Date: November 9, 2015/February 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Source: I received an ARC from the author. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily.
Rating: 3.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #BloggerShame
Goodreads

Synopsis

A Gripping Psychological Romantic Suspense Novel

Book 3 of the Let Me Go Series:
Olivia has a new job; one that unknowingly lands her right smack dab in the middle of a dark, depraved world of prostitution and sex-trafficking.
And to make matters worse, she's finally found someone. She thinks he's everything she wants, but he's strictly an online friend. While he tries to remain hidden behind his avatar, she's at last ready to put her rocky past behind her, if she can convince him to step out from behind the curatin.
But when she invites her anonymous friend to her sister's wedding on the beautiful, beachy, sub-tropical have of Bald Head Island, he says no; he's not ready to reveal his true identity. Instead, along with an unexpected squall that blows in, Grayson--the mysterious brother of the groom--arrives.
Olivia is rightfully wary of Grayson. He's a dangerous, real, flesh and blood man, after all. So, when her own heart beats out a warning tempo, she takes heed. Danger finds her anyway, as the beach is slammed with murderous hurrican winds, and the two are thrust together.
All is not as it seems, and she must dig deep if she is to unmask the mystery of the man, and save herself, by forcing him to confront his own inner storms and secrets, while he battles his two biggest demons: revenge and redemption.
Fiction: Romantic Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Family Saga 
Trigger Warnings: abduction, vague references to prostitution and sex trafficking, violence to women



First of all, my apologies for the late review. This past couple of weeks have been SUPER busy with Sky being home (for only 16 days total) and end of school craziness on top of getting both she and Jax ready to leave for the summer (drum corps again). I haven't had enough time to dedicate to reading and blogging. James and Jax left on Friday morning headed to Arizona and Sky and I leave this coming Tuesday for Oregon. *sniff* It'll just be Berk and I (and James, of course) again this summer.

Second of all, I received this book as an ARC a long time ago...so long ago that the title was different. Akers changed the titles of all the books in the trilogy but I don't know if the content changed or not. So I'm letting you know my review is of the ARC. I'm certain the overall story didn't change though and it was a good one.

What Worked:

  • Format
    After having met and coming to adore these 3 sisters, I was grateful that the early portions of the book included their POVs along with Olivia's - who was the MC. We also got Grayson's POV - the other MC - and that not only enhanced his character but also amped the suspense.
  • Story
    While Akers has always tackled difficult subject matter - abuse, PTSD - she incorporated a relevant subject in this story...human trafficking. I'm excited over the fact that she apparently did some spinoffs of this series that delve further into this element and I'll pick up those but in The Girl in the Sea, I admired the fact she didn't stray too far from her "roots" so to speak, focusing on the themes she's made the heart of this trilogy - survival, redemption, forgiveness, and strong familial bonds. Those are the things that kept me riveted to her books in the first place. We not only get Olivia's story - seeing how tights she is with her sisters after all they've survived - but we also get Grayson's, who is the brother of Olivia's younger sister's fiance. I like and am invested in all these characters and I appreciate Akers giving us this tight-knit group of "family". I also appreciated the suspense elements - and there were a few. I found myself worrying over how things would unfold and I admit to not having guessed parts of the outcome.

What Could Have Worked Better:
  • Suspense
    There were certain areas that felt a little rushed and I feel like would have had more of an impact if things had been fleshed out a little more.

The Girl in the Sea was a good read and I'm kicking myself for having let this languish for so long. I will be looking into more from Akers for certain. I want to add that I'm rather certain, having looked at the difference in page count from the original publishing to the current one, that Akers did flesh out the areas I felt needed fleshing out. I'll have to see about getting an updated version. :)


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review ~ Conviction ~ Corinne Michaels #ShelfLove #TravelingtotheTerminus

Conviction (Salvation, #4; The Consolation Duet, #2)Conviction by Corinne Michaels
Salvation #4, Consolation Duet #2
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Military Romance

Source: Borrowed from Denise on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TravelingtotheTerminus
Goodreads

Synopsis
I fell in love with Liam only to be shattered into a million pieces. Again. The idea of being without him cripples me but the reality is, he's gone.

He doesn't understand and I can't make him.

If only he'd see the conviction behind my words - then Liam would still be here.




I admit to being a little worried about how CMichaels would work everything out. I'm happy to report she did so more than satisfactorily. *grins*


Highlights

  • Character Growth
    Okay, so I already loved and was fully invested in Lee and Liam. The events at the end of Consolation had me concerned about their ability to be rational and sane with regards to where they now stood. I wanted to shake them at times and Lee really upset me with some of her actions towards Liam but they both did some emotional maturing and I was so happy and relieved. Also, with regards to one character and the obstacle he poses to Lee and Liam's happiness I have to give props to CMichaels for redeeming him in my eyes. I really was unsure he was redeemable but she managed it.
  • Romance
    There were HUGE obstacles thrown in their way but I *knew* Lee and Liam's love was the real deal and that they'd be able to weather any storm. Well, I was relatively certain anyway - I mean, the title is Conviction. :) And can I add that the way Liam was with Aarabelle made me swoon? Love a man with or around a baby. 
  • Plot
    I liked how CMichaels wove several sub-plots into the main plot because they added depth to Lee and Liam's relationship. One sub-plot was left unresolved so I'm going to have to read more (the Salvation series) to see if those answers are ever given.
Overall, I'm pleased with my introduction to CMichaels. Luckily I own the Salvation series already so I can go *back* and get Jackson's and Mark's stories.




Monday, May 21, 2018

Audio Review ~ Reese's Bride ~ Kat Martin #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove

Reese's Bride  (Bride's Trilogy, #2)Reese's Bride by Kat Martin
Brides Trilogy #2
Narrated byAnna Parker-Naples
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor AudioThis did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
Years ago, love-struck Reese departed his home at Briarwood with a promise from raven-haired Elizabeth Clemens that she would make a life with him upon his return. But mere months later, she married the Earl of Aldridge, attaining wealth and status Reese could never match. Memories of that betrayal make his homecoming far more bitter than sweet. Seeing Elizabeth on his doorstep dressed in widow's garb twists the knife even deeper. But fear for her young son's safety has overcome her pride: She begs Reese for protection from those who would see the boy dead to possess his fortune. He agrees to an uneasy alliance, sensing Elizabeth still harbors deep secrets - and Reese knows that he's placing himself in danger...of losing his heart all over again.




KMartin continues to impress me with her storytelling skills. I'm currently listening to book #3 in the trilogy. :)

Highlights:
  • Favorite Trope
    Second chance romances is one of my most favorite romance tropes and Reese and Elizabeth's second chance, while hard earned, was deserved and sweet. There were a lot of emotions surrounding the reasons they were kept apart but the primary emotion - love - remained strong.
  • Plot & Sub-plots
    The element that brings Reese and Elizabeth back together provided for tension and suspense but one of the things I find I enjoy about KMartin is her ability to weave in sub-plots that keep me riveted without detracting from the main plot. One of the subplots incorporated a character from Royal's story as well as introducing a new character and I liked how KMartin wove these two characters together.
  • Romance
    Not only do we get to see Reese and Elizabeth work their way back to each other but KMartin gives us a secondary romance as well and in this case it was also a second chance of sorts so I was doubly delighted.
  • Characters
    KMartin delivers a well-drawn cast of characters and her cast is rather large so that is impressive. From Reese and his brothers down to the security men and even the villain, she has me intrigued by, cheering for, and despising her characters as warranted. That many characters appeared in both Reese's and Royal's stories (and hopefully Rule's) is a bonus since I got a little attached. :)
  • Narration
    Anna Parker-Naples once again had me admiring her delivery. She's able to keep the pacing perfect, evoke all the emotions, as well as keep me engaged. She does have a slight issue with male voices but overall her voices and accents bring to life this large cast.



Friday, May 18, 2018

New Release Review ~ One Naughty Night ~ Shelly Bell @ShellyBell987 #2018NewRelease

One Naughty NightOne Naughty Night by Shelly Bell
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author which had no influence on my rating and my review is provided voluntarily. 
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
She's his younger sister's best friend.
A cancer survivor.
A guest on his storm chasing tour.
Completely forbidden.
She's too innocent for a man like him.

For five torturous days, he's followed the rules and kept his hands to himself.
But now that he's read her naughty list, all bets are off.
He's going to fulfill every dirty fantasy on that list.

All except the one-night stand.
Because if he has his way, they'll last longer than one naughty night...



One Naughty Night was short and sexy...it reminded me why I enjoy SBell's writing. The characters were engaging and the story was relatable...and she delivered an inherently readable story with a side of steam. *wink*

We've all at least contemplated it - a bucket list of things we want to do before we're no longer able to. In Allie's case, she created bucket lists - yes, two. When she was forced to consider the uncertainty of life far too early in her life, Allie created a "nice" bucket list and a "naughty" bucket list. What would you do if you decided life was to short not to take risks? Chase a tornado? Get naked with the hunky storm chaser who just happens to be your best friend's older brother whom you've been secretly crushing on for years? And who also just happened to read your naughty bucket list? Um...yes!?! =)

I enjoyed how SBell brought Allie and Drake together. They each had their reasons for not risking their hearts but their connection and attraction was undeniable. The element of suspense created via storm chasing was exciting and felt realistic. And the sexy scenes were exactly that....oh so sexy.

One Naughty Night was a pleasure and even though its pages are few it was enough of a story that I'm satisfied. I do hope to see Allie and Drake again...maybe when we get Taryn and Jack's story?


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Release Day Review ~ Good Girl ~ Jana Aston @JanaAston #2018NewRelease

Good GirlGood Girl by Jana Aston
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Source: I received an ARC from the author which had no influence on my rating and my review is provided voluntarily. I also purchased my own copy on Kindle. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
I've always been a good girl.
I work hard, I follow the rules, and I always achieve my goals.

But sometimes good girls want things that aren't good for them.
Or someone who isn't good for them.
Like their new boss.

And sometimes they do very bad things to get his attention.
Like sell their virginity in an auction.

Who knew he'd be so very, very mad?
Maybe this was not my best laid plan...




Y'ALL! Ms. Aston does endearingly awkward so well! Good Girl was hilarious but also sweet, heartwarming, and so utterly entertaining. I loved every minute!

Lydia and Rhys' first meeting goes down as one of the best I've read - in the comedic category anyway. Lydia is a recent college grad and she's smart, quirky, and a little socially challenged. She and her BF/roommate, Payton, moved to Vegas to work at a new casino. One night, after Payton tricks Lydia into going to dinner only to take her to a bar, she sets eyes on Rhys. Things get very interesting from there.

Rhys is a guy who thinks he's in touch with his feelings - thinking he has none - but is so clueless as to be ridiculous. It's the only area where he is though. He's handsome, wealthy, about to open a casino in hopes of making a name for himself within his family - oh, and he only does one-night stands...until he meets Lydia and she challenges everything.

These two together are magic...and awkward moments...and passion...and humor. I don't know that I've ever laughed so hard at a book than I did at a particular scene in this one. I was grateful it was only my cats who witnessed i. But seriously, Lydia and Rhys are able to teach one another quite a bit about love and what it means to have a committed relationship. And while it took Rhys a little time to get it all together, he showed glimpses of the gem he was underneath. And Lydia - well, Rhys brought out a different kind of passion in her. They each uncovered the whole person in each other. It was honest, genuine, and on occasion, giggle-inducing.

Ms. Aston's supporting cast rocked as well. t seems we'll be seeing Lydia's BF/roommate Payton next and that promises uproarious antics. But I also hope Canon, a friend of Rhys', gets a story, too. *hint*hint*

It's been a hot second since I last read something from Ms. Aston. I've missed her but Good Girl was worth the wait.