Friday, March 30, 2018

Review ~ Unmaking Marchant ~ Ella James #ShelfLove #TakeControl #TravelingtotheTerminus

Unmaking Marchant (Love Inc., #3)Unmaking Marchant by Ella James
Love Inc #3
Release Date: February 12, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtotheTerminus

Marchant Radcliffe, owner of the exclusive Love Inc. brothel, is no stranger to darkness. He lost his parents in a plane crash and since college has harbored a secret almost too terrible to bear. He keeps his head above water by pouring his energy into his business - and he's thrived, despite the dark blot on his soul.

Then, after ten years of good fortune, Marchant's skeletons start to peek out of the closet, tossing him down a trail of ruin that begins with arson and could end with murder. Because he's kept his struggles private, he has no one to pull him back from the brink.

After a breakup with her longtime fiance, Suri Dalton, daughter of one of Silicon Valley's tech tycoons, has nowhere to go except her BFF's new penthouse in Las Vegas. The last thing Suri is looking for is a man, but after drowning her woes in wine on the flight over, she stumbles into a torrid make out session with a beautiful stranger - who just so happens to be Marchant Radcliffe, playboy and literal pimp.

Despite an immediate attraction, Suri writes Marchant off as exactly the sort of guy she should avoid. Until Love Inc. goes up in flames, Marchant winds up at the bottom of a swimming pool, and Suri is the only one around to pull him out.

What happens when what you see isn't what you get? What do you do when destiny is too alluring to resist and too dangerous to survive?

Marchant is an interesting character - one who's been difficult to get a read on - so I was eager for his story. I'd met him, or more accurately seen him, in the previous installments but he's sort of an enigma. I'd also met Suri previously and when I realized she was going to play a role in Marchant's story I was excited. If anyone needed some happy in their life, it's Suri. Fortunately, or unfortunately, she got Marchant - or they got each other. The result? A compelling read.

Marchant is action erratically when the story begins. He's drinking and smoking pot and gambling...all seemingly in an effort to deal with an anniversary of some sort. It remained difficult to get into his head - to understand him - for quite awhile but what I did understand is that he carries a lot of guilt for several events and feels unworthy of love. But Marchant is just broken. He's fixable and definitely lovable. He only needs someone to get through to him.

Suri is one of those people who want normal and thrives on taking care of people. She's shown that with Lizzy and with Cross. She's even aimed at getting her normal while also taking care of her alcoholic fiance. When she realizes normal isn't going to happen with him - that maybe normal doesn't even really exist - she dumps her fiance and heads to Las Vegas where Lizzy and Cross are...and meets Marchant.

I found Marchant and Suri's story riveting. Not only do they deal with Marchant's behavior but also the tragedy at Love Inc, the brothel Marchant owns, and the fallout as well as the danger coming from an unknown source. is it the gambler whom Marchant owes money? Or someone from Marchant's past? We don't know. And unfortunately I didn't find out as EJames left me hanging. And equally as unfortunate, the final chapter in Marchant and Suri's story isn't available. :(

Unmaking Marchant was fascinating and suspenseful. EJames did well in dealing with a few touchy topics (I'm being purposefully vague here), the ramifications of dealing with these topics on all those involved. I don't typically mind a cliffie but I went into this story thinking this was the final chapter in these characters' lives (it was the final book in the Love Inc boxset I purchased), so it was disappointing that it wasn't. However, I think Unmaking Marchant is my favorite in the series despite the cliffie because Marchant and Suri are so well developed. And so I'll anxiously await the rest of their story...

Monday, March 26, 2018

Audio Review ~ Dark Desires After Dusk ~ Kresley Cole #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove #TakeControl

Dark Desires After Dusk (Immortals After Dark, #6)Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
Immortals After Dark #6
Narrated byRobert Petkoff
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Genre: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased on Audible
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtoTerminus

A seductive beauty he can never have. Yet can't resist...
Cadeon Woede will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she should fear, but can't deny...
Raised as a human, Holly never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon's wicked touch.

Surrender to dark desires...
Yet just when he earns Holly's trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs--and claim his heart?

It's been a little while since I spent time in the Immortals After Dark world. I've missed it! Dark Desires After Dusk revolves around Cadeon and Holly and the dangers they face while dealing with Holly's rold in a prophecy about the Accession and her being Cadeon's Fated.


  • Cadeon and Holly
    I've always enjoyed Cadeon the Kingmaker - he's snarky and funny - but getting his whole story helped me understand how he came to be the, demon - he is. And he may be a mercenary but there's so much more to him that he lets on. Holly made me smile. She's this gorgeous math geek who has all these OCD tendencies but once she realizes why she is the way she is - at least in some ways - it's fun to watch her embrace her new self.
  • Pacing/Suspense
    The story kept me listening as often as I could with all its adrenaline pumping action. I had to know what was going to happen next, what new hurdle Cadeon and Holly would have to scale, how Cadeon would get himself and Holly out of their latest predicament.
  • Humor
    Cadeon provided humor through his reactions to situations he and Holly would find themselves in. Holly was funny at times as well but Nyx - Holly's aunt - that Valkyrie had me rolling with laughter.
  • Robert Petkoff
    His narration - the voices and accents for each character which he somehow manages to keep consistent throughout the series - as well as his inflection and pacing...he's just a master! He sets the mood, convey the emotion, makes me laugh as well as gasp. He's definitely one of my all-time favorite narrators!
Dark Desires After Dusk was a more than satisfying installment in the series and I'm eager for the next one!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Review ~ Beautifully Done ~ Riley Mackenzie #ShelfLove #TakeControl #TravelingtotheTerminus

Beautifully Done (Beautifully Awake, #2)Beautifully Done by Riley Mackenzie
Beautifully Awake #2
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER, #ShelfLove, #TakeControl, #TravelingtotheTerminus

Diagnosis: Borrowed time
Treatment: Trust
Prognosis: Beautifully Done

Asher Craig drives fast, flies high, and screws hard. But make no mistake, he's a gentleman.

He learned way too young that we're all on borrowed time. Fair or unfair, you only get one ride. He vows to live for the moment because it's the only time he owns. The past is beyond his control and the future may not exist. With his only loyalties being his family, he thrives for that edge where plunging over is always in the realm of possibility.

When a beautiful familiar face tilts his axis, he re-examines everything and realizes that second chances are overrated and a lifetime of first are irreplaceable. In the end, it's not her medical degree but his trust that needs to prove that the ride together is worth it ... until it's Beautifully Done.

I read Beautifully Awake back in 2013 and I loved it so I don't know why I waited so long to read Beautifully Done and finish this duet. For some reason, Beautifully Done didn't resonate with me as deeply as its predecessor but I enjoyed Asher's story all the same.

Asher grew up with Chase and they're best friends so I'd met him in Beautifully Awake and was eager for his story. Asher's life has been traumatic in many ways - mostly medically - so it's no wonder he lives every day as if it could be his last. Honestly, I rather like his philosophy on life with the exception of his refraining from forming intimate relationships. Asher is a successful attorney, is close with Chase and Lily (who I delighted in getting to spend time with) as well as his family. I appreciated the close-knit relationships he has with his parents and three older sisters and their families. He's a good guy - caring, loyal...loveable.

Talia was a part of the foursome that made up TACK - the band name she, Asher, Chase, and his twin sister Kimi performed under. They were inseparable until the accident that took Kimi from them and then Talia disappeared. Now, nineteen years later, she happens to bump into Asher in a bar in Boston. Talia, now a successful doctor, has a lot to answer for. The question was whether she'd give Asher the answers he was looking for.

So these two were close and maybe wanted more before Talia's disappearance. The estrangement has hurt them both but doesn't seem to have diminished their chemistry or their feelings. But Talia's keeping something from Asher. I didn't really feel that their connection was something that could have lasted nineteen years. I did feel their connection eventually though and the authors did well in illustrating Talia's feelings over the years. I guess it was Asher's feelings that I didn't seem to have been as strong but I got there with him. I enjoyed watching them reconnect, regret all they'd missed and build something deeper and more meaningful.

The incident used to create tension and hurdles for Talia and Asher - well, the main one since there were a few - kinda came out of left field for me. It accomplished its goal - the hurdles - but the circumstances were a little contrived. In the end though, I was completely invested in these two and was bawling my eyes out at the end. I think for that reason alone - that days later I was still emotionally affected - Beautifully Done gets bumped up from 3.5 to 4 Bookworms. 

This writing duo touched on tough topics such as Alzheimer's, cancer, spinal cord injuries, infertility - highlighting their background in the medical field. These elements helped give depth to the story and its characters. I'm glad I finally read this. I have no idea is Riley Mackenzie has written anything else, but I'd read this duo again.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #79 ~ Past Imperfect ~ Alison G. Bailey

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 or drinks. *wink* Don't forget to link up!

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

Past Imperfect by Alison G. Bailey

I picked this particular scene because it made me laugh! =)


She huffed, blowing her bangs up and off her forehead. "They didn't include any forks," she said, slightly annoyed.
Swallowing a piece of my sesame chicken, I said, "Use the chopsticks."
Scrunching up her eyebrows she looked at the two sticks as if a person would need to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use them. She tentatively picked them up and peeled the paper away that they were wrapped in. I continued to eat while watching her out of the corner of my eye as she tried to position the chopsticks correctly between her fingers and attempted to pick up a piece of chicken. I felt her eyes on me, watching as I popped another piece in my mouth and then picked up some rice and vegetables with ease. She attempted using the prehistoric eating tools a couple of more times without success. She was stubborn and determined to master them herself.
Unable to keep the smile off my face and the laughter out of my voice, I turned to her and asked, "Mabry, you've never used chopsticks before, have you?" Sarcasm flowed through each word.
She narrowed her eyes at me. "Smartass."
"I'm a smartass with a belly full of Chinese," I said patting my stomach. "It's delicious too. Gimme." I extended my hand, flexing my fingers for her to hand over the chopsticks. She looked back and forth between my hand and the sticks before finally slapping them into my palm. "Turn around."
"Turn around?" she asked confused.
"Yes, so your back is to me."
"What are you going to do?" She sounded alarmed.
"I'm going o show you how to feed yourself. Just trust me and turn around." She did and I moved in closer to her.
My eyes closed while I breathed in a little more of her. I caught an unobstructed view of the very top of her tits and my hand went slack. I felt Mabry jerk around and then yelp.
"Ugh, I think a snow pea went down my bra," she said snapping me out of my haze.
"Snow pea. In. My. Bra."
Lucky snow pea.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Brandee's Bookish Babble #35 ~ Question for Audiobook Fans...

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 still consider myself to be an audiobook newb even though I've listened to quite a few over the last few years but I have a question for those of you audiobook listeners/lovers... How do you figure out if a narrator you like or dislike goes by different names??

I've had it happen that I've listened to several audiobooks in a row that were narrated by So-n-So. And it's not that I don't enjoy So-n-So's narration but I wanted to listen to a different voice, you know? So I pick a new audiobook with a narrator I've never heard of and I'm excited because this So-n-So might be a new favorite narrator. I'm giddy with anticipation as I queue up the audiobook and then it begins....aaaand this new So-n-So is actually the So-n-So that I was wanting a break from. *sigh*

When I Googled whether these two people were the same? Nothing. When I click on the narrator's name in Audible or Goodreads, the only books listed are those published under that particular name. Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place? Maybe I'm just clueless?? 

So all you audiobook fans, is there a way to figure it out ahead of time?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Review ~ Jack & Coke ~ Lani Lynn Vale #AudioChallenge #TakeControl

Jack & Coke (Uncertain Saints MC, #2)Jack & Coke by Lani Lynn Vale
Uncertain Saints #2
Narrated byMason Lloyd and Kendall Taylor
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 3 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove, #TakeControl


Mig's wife is a bitch.

How else do you describe a woman that lies, cheats and steals to get what she wants?

That's exactly what happens when she traps him into a marriage he wants nothing to do with, saddling him with a kid that he knows doesn't deserve to be in a world like his.

He's doing a pretty bang-up job at ignoring everything but his responsibilities as a DEA officer and a member of The Uncertain Saints MC.


Annie teaches Mig that not every woman is out to get him.

Her love for Mig stretches past what's appropriate for two friends, and Annie soon straddles that invisible boundary between appropriate and inappropriate.

Annie's not a cheater, though.

When she tries to say goodbye, Mig won't let her leave, and soon the tiny town of Uncertain blows up with the news of Annie and Mig's innocent friendship.


Matters of the heart are foreign to Mig, and it takes Annie being gutted for him to see the wrong he's done.

He waits too long, though, and Annie's heart is broken.

She wants it all, or she wants nothing. She can't take anymore half-hearted attempts at being just friends.

The heart wants what it wants, and it doesn't take long for Mig to realize that.

But just when Mig finally has it all in the palm of his hand, his life is ripped to shreds by a new player in the game, and it takes all of Annie's love and devotion, as well as help from the men of The Uncertain Saints MC, to put Mig back together again.

Jack & Coke pulled me in a bit quicker than its predecessor and seemed to have resolved some of the editing issues that took away from my enjoyment of Whiskey Neat. While I still felt some of the plot threads were too over-the-top, and the storyline a bit formulaic, I did like Mig and Annie's story. There were elements that kept me engaged - mostly the suspense part because I wanted to know who was behind things and how it would work out. And I liked Mig and Annie - they were decent people who both worked to help others although through vastly different means. I liked meeting/spending more time with some of the other characters. However, as I was writing this review and thinking about the story I realized these things:

  • the story is predictable - following a similar outline to the first book
  • the characters were a bit morally questionable and suffered traumas and tragedies that were too far-fetched for me
  • the plot had promise but also had quite a few elements that were too over-the-top
Does this all add up to a bad story? No. It had its moments. But I think the narrators are the best part. Mason Lloyd and Kendall Taylor do a stellar job with what they have to work with and that is admirable.

I have two more from this series in audio but I don't know if I'll continue. I'm definitely going to take a break though.

As an aside, I saw quite a few people were upset by a certain plot is not described/detailed in the story, just stated. It didn't bother me and was explained in a way that made sense and developed another part of the plot. But just so you know - date rape drugs/date rape (perpetrated by a female) is a part of the story.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Review ~ Consolation ~ Corinne Michaels #ShelfLove #TakeControl

Consolation (The Consolation Duet #1; Salvation #3)Consolation by Corinne Michaels
Salvation #3, Consolation Duet #1
Release Date: March 18, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Military Romance

Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TakeControl

Liam wasn't supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn't even on my radar.
He was my husband's best friend - forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I'm alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or it he's just the consolation prize.

This was my first read from Corinne Michaels and yes, I realize I started at #3 but it's also #1 AND a friend really wanted me to read it. So I did. And I can tell you that I will absolutely be reading #4/#2 ASAP as well as starting at the beginning because Corinne Michaels? She left me wrung out and utterly shocked.

Consolation started off in a way that left no doubt that I was in for an emotional read. Witnessing Lee fall to pieces and then have to put herself back together - or at least look like she had - was difficult. I can't imagine being in her shoes. And although she put on a brave face, nothing and no one was getting through to help her move on. Then Liam knocked on her door. Liam was there to help his best friend's wife - a woman he'd known for years and had come to care about - pick up the pieces, do what needed doing so she could move on. This was done out of respect and love for both his best friend, Aaron, and for Lee. But what started out innocently grew into something so much more.

CMichaels handled all these challenging elements so realistically. The feelings experienced through grief and then those that came once new feelings began developing - guilt, betrayal, hope, These are things no military spouse ever wants to deal with and yet there are many who struggle through it. I have no experience with it but I felt CMichaels portrayed it well. I also felt as though she portrayed the military "family" realistically. The supporting cast is filled with Lee and Aaron's friends who are currently or have served in the military alongside Aaron and who've been a support network for each other. This felt genuine and gave depth to the story.

And then there was the ending which left me stunned. I didn't see it coming and it left me a weepy mess.

Consolation would have been a 4.5 bookworm read but for one element that I felt was used more as a plot device and wasn't developed as well as it should have/could have been.

There's more to Lee and Liam's story. And I'm eager for it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Release Day Review ~ Exposed: A Romance Anthology ~ Karen Stivali, et al. #2018NewRelease

EXPOSED: A Romance AnthologyExposed: A Romance Anthology featuring: Annabeth Albert, Karen Booth, Amy Jo Cousins, Robin Covington, Tamsen Parker, Vanessa North, Tiffany Reisz, and Roan Parrish
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, M/F Romance, M/M Romance, F/F Romance, Menage Romance

Source: I received an ARC of Karen Booth's contribution to the anthology. This did not affect my rating and my review is provided voluntarily. 
I also purchased the entire anthology on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms (Rating of Wishing only)
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Hot. Naked. Guys. Reading.
When the sexiest Top 30 Under 30 men agree to post naked for the "Expose Yourself To A Good Book" charity calendar, their hot bodies aren't the only thing that gets EXPOSED. Nine brand new romances with M/F, M/M, F/F and menage pairings from bestselling and award winning authors, there's something for everyone in this limited release anthology.

Annabeth Albert
When Landon, a genius physicist, is picked for a charity calendar, he must deal with an inconvenient attraction to Bailey, his rising-star photographer. Can he slay enough demons from his past to ensure a future together with him?

Karen Booth
Jobless and painfully single, Samantha agrees to drive musician Duncan to a photo shoot. He's in town for only five days, so sexy, and she's eager for a no-strings fling. But Duncan shoots straight for the heart, making her unsure how she'll ever survive his goodbye.

Amy Jo Cousins
Garden center manager Kate Rhee is on a mission. No more hook ups with women or second-guessing her recent break up with an unavailable man. Too bad the foxy, pink-haired bar owner she meets at a naked calendar photo shoot has sworn off girlfriends. Because Kate isn't doing casual. She can totally resist that temptation. Totally.

Robin Covington
Oliver Burns publicly bragged he'd sign the reclusive artist "G" - creator of the First Nations graphic novel, Ghost Warriors - to his comic publishing company. But that gets tough when "G" is Gareth Rain - the man he pulled a post-one-night-stand runner on years ago and the man has never forgotten.

Vanessa North
For Kaitlyn, seeing her best friend Gordon naked is no big deal - until watching Sean tie him up changes everything.

Tamsen Parker
Teague has been License to Game's bassist for over a decade, during which time he's slept with almost everyone in his path. But it's always felt like going through the motions. Until he sees his bandmate Christian naked at a charity photoshoot and suddenly, he knows what it is to want.

Roan Parrish
When buttoned-up botanist Stefan Albemarle meets freewheeling urban gardener Milo Rios, it's hatred at first sight. But hatred quickly turns to lust as Milo shows him how exquisite it can feel to lose control. When opposites attract, love blooms in unexpected places.

Tiffany Reisz
Jason "Still" Waters' life looks perfect from the outside - money, fame, and the words "World Champion Bull-Rider" after his name. But Jason has a secret, one he never planned on telling anybody...until he meets Simone. She's the kinky girl of his dreams...and his conservative family's worst nightmare.

Karen Stivali
When organizing a naked charity calendar puts Rose's tenure bid in jeopardy, the last person she wants help from is Michael, the gorgeous, arrogant lawyer she butted heads with during his shoot. He'll defend her for free, but if their secrets come out they could both pay with their hearts.

A few things...

1) This anthology is ONLY 99 CENTS during release week. Go one-click it NOW! You're welcome. :)
2) My review today is only for Karen Booth's Wishing. I did purchase the anthology though, so I'll be reviewing more of it as I get the stories read.
3) There is controversy swirling around this anthology since Santino Hassell was originally set to be included. However, in light of the situation, the other authors involved decided to remove Hassell from the lineup. You can go here to see the statement released by the authors. 


Wishing is a story set in the world of KBooth's Bring Me Back series. You do not have to have read Bring Me Back to enjoy Wishing but I think having that backstory made Sam's story all the sweeter! This anthology sets out to prove that love is love no matter what and KBooth did that with a romance that blossoms in only a couple of days. Love doesn't follow a set of rules though. It doesn't always make sense. It's

Sam has come home after losing her job and her boyfriend. She's feeling disillusioned with life and is a little disappointed when she arrives home only to find her mom and step-dad have another house guest. Luckily the house guest is a hot guy - a musician no less. And she gets to chauffeur him to a photo shoot...where he's posing naked.

Duncan is in town not only for the photo shoot but also to put the finishing touches on his solo album. He's experienced tragedy fairly recently and hasn't had much to feel happy about. However, he admires and feels close to Chris Penman, Sam's step-dad who's producing the album, and he's almost tongue-tied at meeting Sam.

Although Wishing is a novella, KBooth did a great job with character growth and I delighted in seeing how both Sam and Duncan experienced personal discovery while also falling in love. They were mature in how they handled their feelings and worked at giving each other space - room to grow - as well as building a strong foundation for their relationship. They may have fallen quickly but they took things slowly.

Would I like more? Absolutely! But I'm quite satisfied with Sam and Duncan's story. Love follows its own path and when you know, you just's love!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Audio Review ~ Whiskey Neat ~ Lani Lynn Vale #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove

Whiskey NeatWhiskey Neat by Lani Lynn Vale
Uncertain Saints #1
Narrated byMason Lloyd and Kendall Taylor
Release Date: September 13, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 3 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove

Griffin Storm wasn't prone to violence, but when someone takes what Griffin holds dear, the world as he knows it is gone.

Retaliation, revenge and rage fuels him. His club, the Uncertain Saint's MC, do their best to offer support, but Griffin is beyond redemption. He'll do what he has to do. Kill who has has to kill.

He doesn't care if that means he dies. If it gets him what he wants, then it's worth it.

He fakes it all until the night he walks into a sex shop for batteries and lays eyes on a woman that will change his life.

Lenore makes him think past tomorrow. Makes him want to see just what the future might bring.

But his life's a dangerous one built around pain and deception, and not for the faint of heart.

He won't give up the past, not until he's done what he promised to do.

And if that means she's not there when the dust settles, he'll risk it.

Lenore, though, won't give up on him. She'll fix him, whether he wants her to or not.

Whiskey Neat served as the introduction to the Uncertain Saints series and while the story and characters have promise, the execution made for a bumpy ride.

What Worked:
  • Griffin & Lenore
    These two had interesting backstories with Griffin searching for the person who took what mattered most to him and Lenore dealing with...well, several things. They're both good people but Griffin is treading a fine line and sometimes steps over in his quest for justice. And besides dealing with her issues on her own, Lenore also runs a sex toy shop. That part was a hoot!
  • MC Brotherhood
    The camaraderie between Griffin and his brothers was strong and it allowed me to meet all the players in the series.
  • Plot
    I liked how Lenore and Griffin were brought together and how determined Griffin was in his mission for justice. The way things began revealing themselves created suspense too which helped keep me engaged.
What Could Have Worked Better:
  • Griffin & Lenore
    I liked these two characters but it seemed like they were dealing with too much - especially Lenore - so that their stories were a bit far-fetched.
  • Plot
    Although I liked the story overall, some things were a little OTT for me...stretched my ability to suspend disbelief.
  • Editing
    I think having listened to Whiskey Neat made the editing issues more glaring. Editing might have helped in tightening the plot and it would have helped with things like "These thoughts carried her to the door as she locked the door."

The real highlight was the narration! Mason Lloyd and Kendall Taylor were pretty phenomenal. They kept me engaged where I might have given up otherwise. Their voices for each character were distinct and they managed a nice pace for the story.

Whiskey Neat wasn't bad. It just could have been better. Since I have the series in audio, I'll give these guys and gals another go.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My TBR List *March* ~ And the Winner is...


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 catch up on each month! :D

And this month's winner is:

End of Days (Penryn & the End of Days, #3)End of Days
Penryn and the End of Days #3


After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They're both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn's sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe's past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

Thanks for voting, y'all. Be sure to check back on March 31st for my review! :)

Friday, March 9, 2018

Review ~ Epilogue ~ C.J. Roberts #2018HW #COYER #ShelfLove #TravelingtotheTerminus

Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3)Epilogue by C.J. Roberts
The Dark Duet #3 
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Genre: Adult, Dark Romance

Source: Purchased on Kindle
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018HW, #COYER, #ShelfLove, #TravelingtotheTerminus

I'm writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well. Who am I? Well, that's what I'm trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves. She loves me. It's quite sick, isn't it? Of course, there's more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I'm at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you're reading this, I don't need to make those justifications. You've already made your own. You're reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again. It didn't happen exactly as Livvie said. She's been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more...complicated.

I just realized that I never reviewed The Dark Duet here on my blog even though I was blogging when I read it. I'm sure I had my reasons then but I can't fathom what they were. It's been almost 5 years now since I last visited Livvie and Caleb but I found their story just as riveting. 


"I found redemption. I found forgiveness. I found love." 
Epilogue was the perfect gift from Roberts to fans of her Dark Duet. Experiencing the HEA or at least the happy-for-now through Caleb's POV made his and Livvie's ending that much more touching. And I wouldn't mind more from this world if Roberts were ever to feel so inclined. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Dark Duet, Caleb is the antihero - sort of villain - being the man who kidnapped Livvie. But through those books we learned about him, his past, what shaped him into the man he is, willing to do what he does. We also saw that he was redeemable. That underneath all his rough exterior and volatile moods and scary actions is a man who is flawed, damaged...but worthy of redemption and love. I wouldn't have read Epilogue if I felt otherwise.

So having access to his thoughts, fears, dreams, and nightmares in this final installment only served to solidify my feelings about him. Livvie and his feels for her make him vulnerable - which is a position Caleb hasn't been in for a long time. It's a position he isn't comfortable with. But to prove to himself that he is a changed man, capable of love, and able to earn redemption and love even though I'm not sure he'll ever feel worthy of it, he'll allow himself that vulnerability.

He took her life only to end up saving it. She, in turn, saved his. 
"Survival is the most important thing. It affords us the chance to live and to find all of the things that make living worthwhile." 

Epilogue was sweet, steamy, and heartwarming. Caleb and Livvie's love didn't come about conventionally. But it's love nonetheless and their story is one that will stay with me.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #78 ~ Beautifully Done ~ Riley Mackenzie

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 or drinks. *wink* Don't forget to link up!

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

Beautifully Done by Riley Mackenzie

Asher and Talia have recently reconnected and they meet up in a bar to catch up. Yes, there's some playful bantering about their choices in beverages but after a few too many of their chosen beverages, they're dealing with the after effects the next day...


"What's up with the wannabe champagne?"
"I like it. Like you're one to talk. Heineken?"
"What? It's a solid classic. Never disappoints, always delicious." Come on. Was there an argument?
Let me make it up to you.
Egg sandwiches make everything better.

U promising bacon?

Only girl I knew who appreciated bacon.

For you anything
"Think I might need hash browns, too." She was pathetically adorable I was ready to fry the potatoes myself.
A carafe of high test, two bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches, and a serious order of hash browns later, we felt human again. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Release Day Review ~ Sin with Me ~ JA Huss & Johnathan McClain (@JAHuss @MisterJMcClain ) #2018NewRelease

Sin with Me (Original Sin, #1)Sin with Me by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain
The Original Sin Series #1
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: I received an eARC from the author. This did not affect my rating and I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Sin with Me is the first book in a four-book contemporary romance series by New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss, and veteran actor and writer, Johnathan McClain. Each full-length novel will release three weeks apart starting March 6, 2018.

Two broken people in a city fueled by sin.

Maddie isn't looking to be saved. She knows the only person you can count on is yourself. Her moral compass might not point true North these days - but at least she's still standing.

The Military taught Tyler about loyalty. Being there for your brothers is the only thing that matters - but when it mattered most, he wasn't.

She's got a ticket straight to Hell. He's already been there and back.

Some sins scar your soul so deeply, you'll never be the same.
But this Devil in disguise might just be the angel he needs to forgive himself.

Omigoodness! You know, I've read and reviewed nearly everything Huss has written and it was starting to get difficult to come up with something fresh to say about her work. I mean, she gives good stories...good characters. And then. And then she gives me a break. She decides to collaborate with Johnathan McClain. And y'all. The result is going to have me waxing poetic!

In this first installment in The Original Sin series we're introduced to Maddie (aka Scarlett) and Tyler (aka Ford Aston). As an aside, I loved the nod to Huss' Rook & Ronin series.) Maddie is sort of down on her luck, working as a stripper to make ends meet while trying to her her latest business venture off the ground. Problem is, she's in debt to a kingpin, her strip club boss doesn't like her much, and she has some sort of anniversary looming that she can barely hold herself together just thinking about. Tyler on the other hand, is rich beyond his wildest dreams but is carrying a huge stone around his neck. He seems to believe he gets people killed. In fact, he's been dreaming about his own personal angel. And then he meets her.

Honestly, I don't know all the details of how Huss and McClain went about writing this story from dual POVs but what I do know is that each character has a distinct voice and the story flows together seamlessly. Tyler - he keeps a running dialog in his head and I kinda feel like it might represent what Huss' mind looks like but still... Another thing I know? I'm captivated. I love their separate stories and I adore how their stories converge. I knew the thing they had in common - I don't think it was meant to be a secret - but I was shocked to discover the real reason behind Maddie's fall down the rabbit hole. And I was even more shocked at the reaction both Maddie and Tyler have to the reveal. Add to that the movie references and I have to mention it again - Tyler's internal dialog which is reminiscent of Vince Vaughn's character's rapid-fire speech in the movie Swingers which makes you question his sanity, as well as Maddie's internal dialog where she rationalizes every decision she makes in a clear attempt to prove, if only to herself, she's not crazy - it all made for compelling reading. 

These two have some serious issues. You want to fix them, starting by giving them the hugs they so clearly need. And you want to get to the root of their issues, help them be whole and happy. Because fate certainly seems to be at work here bringing them together. 

Great character development, a solid plot line, and enough little reveals to keep me riveted, Sin with Me has me charmed and anxious for the next installment.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Audio Review ~ For 100 Reasons ~ Lara Adrian #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove #TravelingtotheTerminus

For 100 ReasonsFor 100 Reasons by Lara Adrian
100 Series #3
Narrated by: Alexander Cendese and Summer Morton
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove, #TravelingtotheTerminus

Billionaire Dominic Baine stepped into Avery Ross's life when it was at its lowest. Obsessed with the beautiful, struggling artist, Nick was determined to have her. What began as a scorching seduction soon burned out of control, exploding into a white-hot passion neither of them could deny. Yet Nick and Avery are two damaged people, both haunted by dark secrets with the power to destroy them. And for Nick, the ugly past that shaped him cannot compare the the unforgivable deception that drives Avery from his arms, from his life. Now the man accustomed to having everything he desires must find a way to redeem himself to the only woman he has ever loved. Avery Ross has known heartbreak. She has known betrayal and loss, but nothing like the pain that loving Dominic Baine has brought into her life. Reeling from the aftermath of his devastating revelation, instead of allowing despair to break her, she builds herself into something stronger - the fearless woman and gifted artist that Nick's passion has taught her to be. Yet her heart is in pieces, and despite everything she has, the one thing she needs is the man whose possessive desires and consuming love holds the power to either save them both or shatter her forever...Contains mature themes.

For 100 Reasons was the perfect way to wrap up the love affair between Nick and Avery - to convey the strength of the bond and the relationship they now have. And the addition of Alexander Cendese to narrate Nick's POV ROCKED!

This installment picks up where For 100 Nights ended and then jumps ahead in time a year. The revelations brought to light in Paris regarding how Nick and Avery met were more than Avery could handle. And Nick made a very unselfish move by letting her go.

One year later, neither has moved on so a chance encounter provides the possibility of a second chance. But this time, Nick has to be completely honest, bare himself in all ways and it's difficult for him to make himself that vulnerable.

I enjoyed that For 100 Reasons focused on Nick's past and the things he fears revealing to Avery. His childhood was every bit as traumatic as Avery's and if he reveals his truths, he worries Avery will turn away from him. That it was Avery's turn to prove she'd love him no matter what was a pleasure to experience. Being a fan of character growth and having seen Avery grow and mature over the course of the last two installments. I'm also a sucker for a hero who is flawed but has redeeming qualities. I was thrilled to see Nick do some growing and redeeming himself.

Samantha Morton once again embodied Avery. Her pacing and voices kept me engaged even if there were times when I felt her narration drifted to almost monotone. Alexander Cendese, however, was phenomenal! He truly brought Nick to life. His delivery made for more exciting listening as he was able to incite tension. His voices for female characters were surprisingly varied and well-done and I point this out since his voice is a cross between Sebastian York and Christian Fox. The emotion he evoked was impressive. His narration is more of a dramatic interpretation and I'm a fan! I have already sought out more books narrated by him.

In the end, For 100 Reasons was a wonderful ending for Avery and Nick. I knew I liked Adrian's storytelling capabilities being familiar with her PNR series. After giving this trilogy a go, I'll be sure to pick up more of her contemporaries.