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Review – Make Me Up – Avery Flynn

make me up Make Me Up
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #3 in the Killer Style series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
Former special ops-turned private-investigator Cam Hardy leaves a trail of broken hearts wherever he goes. He’s all charm and sex appeal, and who can blame him for putting it to good use? Besides, it works damn well on the stunning and tough-as-nails makeup artist Drea Sanford. Only this time, Cam may be in over his head…

Drea is trying to keep her naughty affair with Cam a secret. After all, he’s Harbor City’s version of a Casanova…if Casanova had a motorcycle. When Cam makes their hot little liaison known to the public, however, Drea vows never to have sex with him again. Then one of her clients turns up dead. Now Drea is suspect number one—and she needs Cam’s help. But sleeping with him is one thing…trusting him is quite another.

Review:
Ever since Avery introduced Drea in High-Heeled Wonder as one of Sylvie’s partners in crime (and knowing Avery and her 2 partners in crime, I have an idea of who Drea is modeled after, I think) – i’ve been waiting for her story. She has one of those quirky personalities, that I could see early on was going to make for a fun romance between her and whoever her partner ended up being. And don’t worry, Cam didn’t disappoint either. Although I will admit that while I remember Drea from previous books in the series, I don’t have as much of a recollection of Cam (although, I’m sure that he has made an appearance because he works for the same Private Investigations company that previous characters have been employed by).

In keeping with previous themes, each chapter of Make-Me Up started off with a quote about make-up and its influence on life. That being said, anyone who knows me, knows how much I am not a make-up girl. Diverging a bit from my review (but it kind of ties in), I needed to buy make-up for an event a few years back, so my friend took me to Sephora and asked the sales woman to help…let’s just say, deer in the headlights was probably a good description when she started asking me about my make-up routine and t-zones…but even with my lack of make-up wearing (i mean, seriously, make-up or 10 min more in bed in the am…bed is going to win); I could connect to Drea as a character.

I will admit that the mystery/suspense element for me was fairly obvious and I knew the reveal about halfway through the book, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of Drea/Cam’s romance. I loved how Drea was a strong enough/confident enough woman in her own sexuality that she was ok with having a sex-based relationship with someone because that is what she wanted (does that make sense?). Overall, I gave Make-Me Up 4 stars and can’t wait to see what Ms Flynn comes up with next.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Armchair Audies – Overview – Erotica

Armchair Audies

The second category that I am listening to/reviewing for the Audies this year is Erotica (although personally, from the descriptions I’ve read, all of these books seem to fall more into an erotic romance category, than Erotica – but that is a discussion for another day, because there is a difference). I would say in the grand scheme of reading that erotic romance/erotica probably makes up about 40% of my reading, with straight romance another 30% and then miscellaneous other genres, the remaining 30%. But when it comes to audiobooks, erotic romance/erotica is not a genre I normally pick up (due in part to listening in the car during my work commute – there is nothing like having a red face going through the security gate at work because you just got done listening to a hot/steamy part of a book ;) ). But I was intrigued by the books chosen and look forward to listening.

The nominations (with descriptions and initial thoughts) for each book in the category are:

EROTICA
alphaAlpha – Jasinda Wilder – Narrated by Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
The first time it happened, it seemed like an impossible miracle. Bills were piling up, adding up to more money than I could ever make. Mom’s hospital bills. My baby brother’s tuition. My tuition. Rent. Electricity. All of it on my shoulders. And I had just lost my job. There was no hope, no money in my account, no work to be found. And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, I found an envelope in the mail. No return address. My name on the front, my address. Inside was a check, made out to me, in the amount of ten thousand dollars. Enough to pay the bills and leave me some left over to live on until I found a job. Enough to let me focus on classes. There was no name on the check, just “VRI Inc.,” and a post office box address for somewhere in the city. No hint of identity or reason for the check or anything. No mention of repayment, interest, nothing…except a single word, on the notes line: “You.” Just those three letters.
If you receive a mysterious check, for enough money to erase all your worries, would you cash it?
I did.
The next month, I received another check, again from VRI Incorporated. It too contained a single word: “belong.”
A third check, the next month. This time, two words. Four letters. “To me.”
The checks kept coming. The notes stopped. Ten thousand dollars, every month. A girl gets used to that, real quick. It let me pay the bills without going into debt. Let me keep my baby brother in school and Mom’s hospice care paid for. How do you turn down what seems like free money, when you’re desperate? You don’t. I didn’t.
And then, after a year, there was a knock on my door. A sleek black limousine sat on the curb in front of my house. A driver stood in front of me, and he spoke six words: “It’s time to pay your debt.”
Would you have gotten in?
I did.
It turns out $120,000 doesn’t come free.

Initial Thoughts:Of the 5 books nominated in this category, Jasinda Wilder is only 1 of 2 (the other being Shayla Black in the anthology) that I have previously read. I remember liking that book (Falling Into You) but this one seems to have a lot of iffy reviews on Goodreads (I don’t rely on them, but do reference them – in particular those of friends on the site). I will admit that personally, I struggle with the millionaire tropes in romance/erotic romances, they just don’t do anything for me – but I’m trying to not let that affect my listening. Both of the narrators are new to me and I am a fan of dual narrations.

beauty from loveBeauty from Love – Georgia Cates – Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black
Jack McLachlan is fulfilled by more than he dared to dream possible. He finds everything he never knew he wanted—or needed—in Laurelyn Prescott, his last and final companion. Life is beautiful with his beloved by his side but their post-wedded bliss is cut short when his dark past springs into their present happiness. He wants to shelter Laurelyn but keeping her untainted by his previous life proves impossible when yesterday’s sins insist on returning to haunt him. Will it be possible for them to find happiness in their forever with a past like his?

Initial Thoughts: I’m honestly surprised I haven’t seen/heard this book talked about more in various online book groups that I belong to because it seems as thought it would be something right up my alley when it comes to erotic romance. It should be noted that this is the last book in the trilogy, but that the first one is also nominated (and I’m sure that I will read the middle one somewhere in between listening).

beauty from painBeauty from Pain – Georgia Cates – Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black
They agreed on three months…but their love knew no boundaries.
Jack McLachlan is a winemaking magnate and easily one of Australia’s most eligible bachelors. His success and wealth make him no stranger to the complications of romantic relationships and that’s why he goes to extreme measures to avoid the hassle. He prefers simplicity in the form of a beautiful female companion with no strings attached. He arranges relationships like business deals and they’re always the same. No long term relationships. No real names.
It’s his game and his rules. He’s content to play as usual, but when Laurelyn Prescott enters his life, his strategy must change because this player is like none he’s ever encountered. His world is turned on its head after he begins a three month affair with the beautiful American musician. Nothing goes according to plan and as he breaks more and more of his own rules for her, she’s exceptionally close to becoming something he never thought possible. His ultimate game changer.

Initial Thoughts: This is the first book in the trilogy by Georgia Cates, from reading spoilers of the third one (mentioned above), I know how some things are going to play out (darn it) – but since romance/erotic romance is about the journey, seeing how they get from point A to point B could be fun. I will admit that I tend to be skeptical of Australia romances written by US authors (as this one is) because they never seem to be well-researched/not believable, but a girl can hope right.

carter reedCarter Reed – Tijan – Narrated by Lucy Rivers
Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by her boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her. Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.

Initial Thoughts: I’ve been on a huge mafia romance kick recently, since I discovered Roxie Rivera’s stuff a couple of months ago. I’d admit that based on descriptions this is the category nomination that I am most looking forward to listening to. It seems like it could be right up my alley – but I’m hoping that the story is as strong as the erotic elements. And once again another new narrator to me (yay!).

oen dom to loveOne Dom to Love – Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl – Narrated by Christian Fox
Raine Kendall has been in love with her boss, Macen Hammerman, for years. Determined to make the man notice that she’s a grown woman with desires and needs, she pours out her heart and offers her body to him—only to be crushingly rejected. But when his friend, very single, very sexy Liam O’Neill watches the other Dom refuse to act on his obvious feelings for Raine, he resolves to step in and do whatever it takes to help Hammer find happiness again, even rousing his friend’s possessive instincts by making the girl a proposition too tempting to refuse. But he never imagines that he’ll end up falling for her himself.

Hammer has buried his lust for Raine for years. After rescuing the budding runaway from an alley behind his exclusive BDSM Dungeon, he has come to covet the pretty submissive. But tragedy has taught him that he can never be what she needs. So he watches over her while struggling to keep his distance. Liam’s crafty plan blindsides Hammer, especially when he sees how determined his friend is to possess Raine for his own. Hammer isn’t ready to give the lovely submissive over to any other Dom, but can he heal from his past and fight for her? Or will he lose Raine if she truly gives herself—heart, body, and soul—to Liam?

Initial Thoughts: Initially I was confused by this book – I thought it was going to be an anthology with the three authors contributing, but rather its one story written by the 3. I’ve read dual author books before (Ilona Andrews being one that I can think of off the top of my head), but none with 3, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Many of the reviews that I skimmed said lots of sex (not that that is bad). And another new narrator in Christian Fox for me, although a friend of mine who listens to lots of audiobooks was raving about him recently – so i’m looking forward to listening.

Pre-Listening Predictions:**
1. Carter Reed – Tijan; Narrated by Lucy Rivers
2. Beauty from Pain – Georgia Cates; Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black
3. One Dom to Love – Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl; Narrated by Christian Fox
4. Alpha – Jasinda Wilder; Narrated by Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
5. Beauty from Love – Georgia Cates; Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black

**predictions are complete random based on book descriptions, and personal opinion of authors/narrators

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Armchair Audies – Overview – Paranormal

Armchair Audies

Whoo-hoo! Yes, I’m doing a funky trying to dance in my seat at work without making it too obvious ;) because this is one of my favorite posts of the year. This is the third year that I have participated in the Armchair Audies. In past years, I have listened to and reviewed the books in the Romance category, but my disappointment with the nominations this year (hello, James Patterson really!) lead me to look at other categories that I would be interested in. And of course, one is never enough ;) So for 2015, I will be listened to and reviewing 2 categories – Paranormal and Erotica. Both of these categories are once which I dabble in when it comes to both listening and reading (although I will debate whether Erotica is the correct term for the category, more like Erotic Romance, but that is a discussion for another day).

So without, further a-do – here is the list of the books nominated in the Paranormal Category and my initial thoughts on each:

PARANORMAL
damorenDamoren – Seth Skorkowsky – Narrated by R.C. Bray
A secret society of monster hunters. A holy revolver forged to eradicate demons. A possessed man with a tragic past. A rising evil bent on destroying them all.

MATT HOLLIS is the current wielder of the holy weapon, Dämoren. With it, he stalks and destroys demons.
A secret society called the VALDUCANS has taken an interest in Matt’s activities. They see him as a reckless rogue—little more than a ‘cowboy’ corrupted by a monster—and a potential threat to their ancient order.
As knights and their sentient weapons begin dying, Matt teams up with other hunters of his kind such as LUIZA, a woman with a conquistador blade; ALLAN, an Englishman with an Egyptian khopesh; MALCOLM, a voodoo priest with a sanctified machete; and TAKAIRA, a naginata-swinging Samurai.
As the hunters become the hunted, they must learn to trust one another before a powerful demonic entity thrusts the world into a terrible and ageless darkness.

Initial Thoughts: I typically enjoy Urban Fantasy and I’m looking forward to a book where the Urban and Fantasy are more focused on that the romantic elements that seem to be prevalent in other books (don’t get me wrong, I like/love romance, but sometimes a girl needs more). The idea of a Holy Weapon is intriguing. I’ve listened to R.C. Bray before (of note, this is the first of 3 nominations featuring him in this category) and look forward to listening to more by him.

girl of all giftsThe Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey – Narrated by Finty Williams
Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Inital Thoughts: A short and sweet synopsis which is intriguing. Several people I know have either read or listened to the audiobook and it seems to be either a love book or a hate book, very few seem to fall in the mid-range. Finty Williams is a new narrator to me, which is exciting.

pleasure dark princePleasure of a Dark Prince – Kresley Cole – Narrated by Robert Petkoff
A DANGEROUS BEAUTY…
Lucia the Huntress: as mysterious as she is exquisite, she harbors secrets that threaten to destroy her — and those she loves.
AN UNCONTROLLABLE NEED…
Garreth MacRieve, Prince of the Lykae: the brutal Highland warrior who burns to finally claim this maddeningly sensual creature as his own.
THAT LEAD TO A PLEASURE SO WICKED….
From the shadows, Garreth has long watched over Lucia. Now, the only way to keep the proud huntress safe from harm is to convince her to accept him as her guardian. To do this, Garreth will ruthlessly exploit Lucia’s greatest weakness — her wanton desire for him.

Initial Thoughts: Of all the nominations in this category this is the only author/narrator combo that I am completely familiar with. I’ve been listening to Robert Petkoff’s narration of Cole’s Immortals After Dusk series since they started to release them in audio. So far I haven’t found one that I dislike yet.

a second chanceA Second Chance – Jodi Taylor – Narrated by Zara Ramm
St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max. Once again, it’s just one damned thing after another. The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese- rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC – concussion by cheese. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose. So, make the tea, grab the chocolate biscuits, settle back and discover exactly why the entire history department has painted itself blue …

Initial Thoughts: This is another new author/narrator combo to me – from the description is sounds like a quirky type novel that I typically enjoy – I’m a fan of time travel (if done right), especially if its historical. Although I’m still underdecided (or need to verify) whether I need to read the previous 2 books first.

suffer the childrenSuffer the Children – Craig Dilouie – Narrated by R.C. Bray
Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod’s Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

Initial Thoughts: Of all the nominations in the category, this is the one I am probably dreading the most. The idea of an illness wiping out all the children around the world is just freaky…added to that the returning from the dead (hello, zombies) and the need for blood…But I have faith that RC Bray’s narration will carry me through (ok, that sounded totally cheesy but you get the point).

yeserday's goneYesterday’s Gone, Season One – Sean Platt, David Wright – Narrated by R.C. Bray, Chris Patton, Brian Holsopple, Ray Chase, Maxwell Glick, Tamara Marston
On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. everyone on Earth vanished.
Well, almost everyone.
A scattered few woke alone in a world where there are no rules other than survival… at any cost.
A journalist wanders the wretched reality of an empty New York, in search for his wife and son.
A serial killer must hunt in a land where prey is now an endangered species.
A mother shields her young daughter from danger, as every breath fills her with terror.
A bullied teen is thrilled to find everyone gone. Until the knock on his door.
A fugitive survives a fiery plane crash. Will he be redeemed, or return to what he’s best at: the kill?
An eight year old boy sets out on a journey to find his missing family. What he finds will change him forever.
And there’s a few people who aren’t surprised that this happened at all. In fact, they’ve been dreaming about this day for years.
These survivors aren’t alone…

Someone or something is watching them.
And waiting…

Strangers unite.
Sides are chosen.
Will humanity survive what it never saw coming?

The only certainty is that Yesterday’s Gone.

Initial Thoughts: I’ll be the first person to admit that I’m not a fan of serialized work, because for the most part, they end in cliff-hangers which irk me and authors (in general) seem to draw them out. However, since this is more as a TV show style serial with a fixed number of episodes, I’m intrigued enough – and the cast of narrators, led once again by RC Bray will make this a unique listen. Bray is the only one of the 6 narrators who I have listened to in the past.

Pre-Listening Predictions:**
1. The Girl with All the Gifts – M.R. Carey; Narrated by Finty Williams
2. Damoren – Seth Skorkowsky; Narrated by R.C. Bray
3. Pleasure of a Dark Prince – Kresley Cole; Narrated by Robert Petkoff
4. Suffer the Children – Craig Dilouie; Narrated by R.C. Bray
5. Yesterday’s Gone, Season One – Sean Platt, David Wright; Narrated by R.C. Bray, Chris Patton, Brian Holsopple, Ray Chase, Maxwell Glick, Tamara Marston
6. A Second Chance – Jodi Taylor; Narrated by Zara Ramm

**predictions are complete random based on book descriptions, and personal opinion of authors/narrators

Stay Tuned for the Erotica Summary – Coming Next!

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2015 in Audies

 

Review – Chasing Desire – Joya Ryan

chasing desireChasing Desire
Author: Joya Ryan
Series: #3 in the Chasing Love series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
It’s her best friend’s wedding, and Autumn Lane is trussed up in a pink bridesmaid dress with a big “everything is great” smile plastered across her face. She’s not going think about her life imploding, or spending the next two weeks housesitting in the ridiculously small town of Diamond. No, she’d rather think about the tattooed hottie in the wedding party…and how to turn the wicked way he’s looking at her into a night of intense pleasure.

Huck Galvin is fiercely attracted to his mystery woman’s no-BS attitude, but their one-night-no-strings plan backfires when Huck discovers that Autumn is the out-of-towner he’s “chaperoning” for the next two weeks. Outside the bedroom, the two can’t stand each other, yet Huck can’t deny how much he wants one more night with her. But Autumn isn’t going to make it easy for Huck. Not by a long shot…

Review:
I had an unplanned day off work today (thank you 6″ of snow and the Federal Gov’t closing), so in typical fashion after shoveling myself out of my driveway, I jumped in the car and headed out for a pedicure, kindle in hand with Joya Ryan’s new book just sitting there waiting to be read. Yes, I am that kind of dork when it comes to reading! So I settled in to get my pedicure, opened my kindle and was sucked into Huck and Autumn (Auto’s) story. I’d read the first book in the series previously (although not the second), so I knew the context in which the opening scenes took place (and while I think this could easily be read as a stand-alone – knowing the previous couples in the series is also advantageous).

Ms Ryan has a very smooth but energetic way of story-telling – you find yourself sucked into the story, clicking away one page/screen at a time, and before I knew it, I was over 3/4 of the way done (thankfully, I still had to wait for my toe nails to finish drying, so I could finish reading before I left). but I’m sure no one wants to read about my adventures in pedicures (although I will admit picking a nail polish can be kind of an adventure) ;) So on to the book…

Where to begin…I loved Autumn as a character, she was kick-ass and thankfully didn’t have any TSTL moments (to stupid to live) like many heroines in romances nowadays. Her job as a mechanic was something different (I can only think of one other romance featuring a female mechanic right now (Start Me Up – Victoria Dahl) – although plenty of ones with male mechanics (maybe because the visual of a grimy, sweaty man just makes hearts go aflutter). And you could tell that the author had done her research and Autumn was believable in how she presented herself – her job wasn’t just in the story as a place-holder/in the background – it was an active part in moving the plot and relationship between her and Hank forward. Seriously, I mean, not many women (at least that i know) would grab tools on the day of a friends wedding (while she is supposed to be getting ready) to fix something that needed fixing…I’m just sayin’

And then there was Huck…ok, so yeah, the name threw me at the beginning because it just seemed to out of left field – I mean, I was having visions of Huckleberry Finn at times, and not the tattooed/pierced bad boy he was. While he was presented in a very visual way, I do wish some more of him as a person was developed – there were some great one-liners with him and his father about his lack of mechanical skills (even if he could build anything else) – and I felt the lose that he suffered, that made him part of the curmudgeon that he could be seen as being early on in the story.

As with my previous books i’ve read by her, one of Ms Ryan’s strengths is the secondary characters who appear in the town. I particularly liked Huck’s father and you could see from his characterization how much he loved his son/wanted to see him be happy. I also liked seeing Jenna and Colt (from bk 1 again); and now I want to go back and read book 2 for Penny and Sebastian’s story. if you want a fun, smexy, mostly-angst free contemporary romance, I highly recommend Joya Ryan’s Chasing love series. 4 stars

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Book Review

 

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2015 Audies Finalist Watch

Credit: Erin Cosyn - Tattle

Credit: Erin Cosyn – Tattle

Ok, yes, this is where I show my complete audiobook dorkiness. Over the last few years, I have had a great time listening to and picking *MY* winners for the various Audie categories. The Audies are the annual awards hosted by the Audio Publishers Association (APA) that recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. And while I haven’t always agreed with the nominees (hello, Nicholas Sparks is NOT romance); for the most part, they make me diversify my listening and get me out of my comfort zone.

However, today is the big day when the nominations for each category are announced, which means, its almost time for the Armchair Audies.

I’ll be checking back in during the day to post the nominations for each category as I see them annouced, so stay tuned ;)

AUDIO DRAMA
Anne Manx and the Blood Chase - Larry Weiner; Narrated by Claudia Christian, Moira Kelly, Patricia Tallman, with full cast
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Adapted by David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright; Narrated by Geoffrey Arend, Wilson Bethel, Seamus Dever, Sarah Drew, Henri Lubatti, James Marsters, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson; Narrated by Terence Aselford, Kimberly Gilbert, David Jourdan and a full cast
The Swords of Riverside - Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman; Narrated by Ellen Kushner, Barbara Rosenblat, Katherine Kellgren, Dion Graham, Simon Jones, et al.
Under Drake’s Flag - G.A. Henty; Narrated by Brian Blessed

not my fathers sonAUTOBIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
Daring: My Passages - Gail Sheehy; Narrated by Bernadette Dunne
Living on Air - Joe Cipriano and Ann Cipriano; Narrated by Joe Cipriano
My Life in Middlemarch - Rebecca Mead; Narrated by Kate Reading
Not My Father’s Son - Alan Cumming; Narrated by Alan Cumming
Yes Please - Amy Poehler; Narrated by Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Mike Schur, Eileen and William Poehler, Patrick Stewart, and Kathleen Turner

BUSINESS/EDUCATIONAL
#GIRLBOSS - Sophia Amoruso; Narrated by Sara Jes Austell
Creativity, Inc - Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace; Narrated by Peter Altschuler
A More Beautiful Question - Warren Berger; Narrated by Michael Quinlan
Playing to Win - A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin; Narrated by L.J. Ganser
Like TED - Carmine Gallo; Narrated by Carmine Gallo

hero's guideCHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES 8- 12
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Narrated by Derek Jacobi, Neil Gaiman, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, and Julian Rhind- Tutt
The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw - Christopher Healy; Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
How to Catch a Bogle - Catherine Jinks; Narrated by Mandy Williams
A Snicker of Magic - Natalie Lloyd; Narrated by Cassandra Morris
Unstoppable Octobia May - Sharon G. Flake; Narrated by Bahni Turpin

CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES UP TO 8
Deep in the Swamp - Donna M. Bateman; Narrated by Tom Chapin
Follow, Follow - Marilyn Singer; Narrated by Marilyn Singer & Joe Morton
H.O.R.S.E. - Christopher Myers; Narrated by Christopher Myers and Dion Graham
Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker - Patricia Hruby Powell; Narrated by Lizan Mitchell
This Is Not My Hat - Jon Klassen; Narrated by John Keating
Timeless Tales of Beatrix Potter - Beatrix Potter; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren

CLASSIC
Andersonville - MacKinlay Kantor; Narrated by Grover Gardner
Breakfast at Tiffany’s - Truman Capote; Narrated by Michael C. Hall
Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil - W.E.B. Du Bois; Narrated by Bernard K. Addison, Dion Graham, Lisa Renee Pitts, Bahni Turpin, and Mirron Willis
The New York Stories - John O’Hara; Narrated by E.L. Doctorow, Becky Ann Baker, Dylan Baker, Bobby Cannavale, Jon Hamm, Richard Kind, Jan Maxwell, Gretchen Mol, and Dallas Roberts
The Odyssey - Homer/Robert Fitzgerald; Narrated by Dan Stevens

EROTICA
Alpha - Jasinda Wilder; Narrated by Summer Roberts and Tyler Donne
Beauty from Love - Georgia Cates; Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black
Beauty from Pain - Georgia Cates; Narrated by Bunny Warren and Robert Black
Carter Reed - Tijan; Narrated by Lucy Rivers
One Dom to Love - Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl; Narrated by Christian Fox

FANTASY
Cress - Marissa Meyer; Narrated by Rebecca Soler
The Emperor’s Blades - Brian Staveley; Narrated by Simon Vance
Hawk - Steven Brust; Narrated by Bernard Setaro Clark
The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Words of Radiance - Brandon Sanderson; Narrated by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer

five and twenty fivesFICTION
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr; Narrated by Zach Appelman
Fives and Twenty Fives - Michael Pitre; Narrated by Kevin T. Collins, Nick Sullivan, Jay Snyder, Fajer Al-Kaisi and Michael Pitre
The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd; Narrated by Sue Monk Kidd, Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye
Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King; Narrated by Will Patton
Us - David Nicholls; Narrated by David Haig
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood - Diana Gabaldon; Narrated by Davina Porter

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
The Bully Pulpit - Doris Kearns Goodwin; Narrated by Edward Herrmann
Enduring Courage - John F. Ross; Narrated by Edward Herrmann
Enemy Coast Ahead – Uncensored - Guy Gibson; Narrated by Simon Vance
In the Kingdom of Ice - Hampton Sides; Narrated by Arthur Morey
Lincoln’s Gamble - Todd Brewster; Narrated by Todd Brewster
A Spy Among Friends - Ben Macintyre; Afterword by John Le Carré; Narrated by John Lee

HUMOR
Ben Franklin: Unplugged - Josh Kornbluth; Narrated by Josh Kornbluth
The Disaster Artist - Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell; Narrated by Greg Sestero
Food: A Love Story - Jim Gaffigan; Narrated by Jim Gaffigan
God Is Disappointed in You - Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler; Narrated by James Urbaniak
Yes Please - Amy Poehler; Narrated by Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Mike Schur, Eileen and William Poehler, Patrick Stewart, and Kathleen Turner
You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty - Dave Barry; Narrated by Dave Barry

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH- BASED FICTION
The Auschwitz Escape - Joel C. Rosenberg; Narrated by Christopher Lane
Chasing the Lion - Nancy Kimball; Narrated by Joseph Narducci
The Christmas Light - Donna VanLiere; Narrated by Donna VanLiere
The First Phone Call from Heaven - Mitch Albom; Narrated by Mitch Albom
Grounded - Angela Correll; Narrated by Lyssa Browne
A Sensible Arrangement - Tracie Peterson; Narrated by Barbara McCulloh

INSPIRATIONAL/FAITH- BASED NON- FICTION
Before Amen - Max Lucado; Narrated by Ben Holland
Living a Life That Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream - Ben Lesser; Narrated by Ben Lesser and Jonathan Silverman
Prepared for a Purpose - Antoinette Tuff; Narrated by Robin Miles
The Singer and the Song - Miriam Therese Winter; Narrated by Janis Ian
Steel Will - Shilo Harris; Narrated by Johnny Heller

JUDGES’ AWARD: SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The Copernicus Complex - Caleb Scharf; Narrated by Caleb Scharf
The Marshmallow Test - Walter Mischel; Narrated by Alan Alda
A Primate’s Memoir - Robert M. Sapolsky; Narrated by Mike Chamberlain
The Second Machine Age - Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; Narrated by Jeff Cummings
When Google Met Wikileaks - Julian Assange; Narrated by Tom Pile

LITERARY FICTION
The Bone Clocks - David Mitchell; Narrated by Jessica Ball, Leon Williams, Colin Mace, Steven Crossley, Laurel Lefkow, and Anna Bentinck
Euphoria - Lily King; Narrated by Simon Vance and Xe Sands
Nora Webster - Colm Tóibín; Narrated by Fiona Shaw
The Patrick Melrose Novels - Edward St. Aubyn; Narrated by Alex Jennings
An Unnecessary Woman - Rabih Alameddine; Narrated by Suzanne Toren
Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? - Dave Eggers; Narrated by MacLeod Andrews with Marc Cashman, Mark Deakins, Michelle Gonzalez, Rebecca Lowman, John H. Mayer, Kate McGregor- Stewart, and Bruce Turk

MULTI–VOICED PERFORMANCE
The Anatomy Lesson - Nina Siegal; Narrated by Adam Alexi- Malle, Peter Altschuler, Emma Jayne Appleyard, Hannah Curtis, Gildart Jackson, Bruce Mann, Steve West
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Narrated by Derek Jacobi, Neil Gaiman, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, and Julian Rhind- Tutt
Land of Love and Drowning - Tiphanie Yanique; Narrated by Cherise Boothe, Korey Jackson, Rachel Leslie, Myra Lucretia Taylor
A Long Time Gone - Karen White; Narrated by Susan Bennett, Jennifer Ikeda, and Pilar Witherspoon
The Sixteenth of June - Maya Lang; Narrated by Julia Whelan, Will Damron, and MacLeod Andrews
Stars: Original Stories Based on the Songs of Janis Ian - Janis Ian (editor), Mike Resnick; Narrated by Janis Ian, Emily Rankin, Gabrielle du Cuir, John Rubinstein, Kathe Mazur, Kristoffer Tabori, Paul Boehmer, Sile Bermingham, Stefan Rudnicki and Susan Hanfield

MYSTERY
The Dead Will Tell - Linda Castillo; Narrated by Kathleen McInerney
Hounded - David Rosenfelt; Narrated by Grover Gardner
Malice - Keigo Higashino; Narrated by Jeff Woodman
Missing You - Harlan Coben; Narrated by January LaVoy
Rag - Bruce DeSilva; Narrated by Jeff Woodman
The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith; Narrated by Robert Glenister

herbie hancockNARRATION BY THE AUTHOR or AUTHORS
A Fighting Chance- written and narrated by Elizabeth Warren
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities- written and narrated by Herbie Hancock
Not My Father’s Son- written and narrated by Alan Cumming
What I Know For Sure- written and narrated by Oprah Winfrey
Yes Please- written and narrated by Amy Poehler, with Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Mike Schur, Eileen and William Poehler, Patrick Stewart, and Kathleen Turner

NON-FICTION
Being Mortal - Atul Gawande; Narrated by Robert Petkoff
Deep Down Dark - Héctor Tobar; Narrated by Henry Leyva
Boys - Michael Lewis; Narrated by Dylan Baker
Furious Cool - David Henry and Joe Henry; Narrated by Dion Graham
The Innovators - Walter Isaacson; Narrated by Dennis Boutsikaris
Unruly Places - Alastair Bonnett; Narrated by Derek Perkins

ORIGINAL WORK
The Child - Sebastian Fitzek; Narrated by Rupert Penry- Jones, Jack Boulter, Emilia Fox, Stephen Marcus, Robert Glenister, and Andy Serkis
Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book - Adele Park; Narrated by Garry Morris, Andra Harbold, Lesley Mendenhall, Abby Elvidge, Rhett Guter, Melissa Sandberg, Kent Hayes, Jack de Golia, Steve Campbell
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A.J. Hartley and David Hewson; Narrated by Richard Armitage
Mandela: An Audio History - Nelson Mandela; Narrated by Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and Joe Richman
Transparent: Behind the Scenes; Narrated by Jeffrey Tambor

PACKAGE DESIGN
Bad Kitty Christmas Storytime Set - Nick Bruel; Package Design by Margo Goody
The Hall; from The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum; Package Design by Cindy Belinfanti;
Jean M. Auel’s Earth’s Children® Series - Collector’s Edition
- Jean M. Auel; Package Design by Kathlyn Miller
Light at the End - Nicholas Briggs; Package Design by Alex Mallinson
Under Drake’s Flag - G.A. Henty; Package Design by Steve Tyrrell/Tyrrell Creative

girl of all giftsPARANORMAL
Damoren - Seth Skorkowsky; Narrated by R.C. Bray
The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey; Narrated by Finty Williams
Pleasure of a Dark Prince - Kresley Cole; Narrated by Robert Petkoff
A Second Chance - Jodi Taylor; Narrated by Zara Ramm
Suffer the Children - Craig Dilouie; Narrated by R.C. Bray
Yesterday’s Gone, Season One - Sean Platt, David Wright; Narrated by R.C. Bray, Chris Patton, Brian Holsopple, Ray Chase, Maxwell Glick, Tamara Marston

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success - Steve Harvey; Narrated by Mike Hodge
Autism Breakthrough - Raun K. Kaufman; Narrated by Raun K. Kaufman
Becoming the Kind Father: A Son’s Journey - Calvin Sandborn; Narrated by Michael Puttonen
Learning to Speak Alzheimer’s - Joanne Koenig Coste; Narrated by Pam Ward
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons - Meg Meeker MD; Narrated by Marguerite Gavin
What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey; Narrated by Oprah Winfrey

burn for meROMANCE
The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller; Narrated by Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale;
Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews; Narrated by Renee Raudman
First Love - James Patterson; Narrated by Lauren Fortgang
Just This Once - Rosalind James; Narrated by Claire Bocking
Rumor Has It - Jill Shalvis; Narrated by Karen White

SCIENCE FICTION
The Beam: Season 1 - Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant; Narrated by Johnny Heller, Tara Sands, Ralph Lister, Ray Chase, R.C. Bray, Jeffrey Kafer, Chris Patton, Eric Martin, Brian Holsopple, Rachel Fulginiti, Stephen Bowlby, and Emily Woo Zeller
Dark Eden - Chris Beckett; Narrated by Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, Hannah Curtis, Robert Hook, Bruce Mann, Nicholas Guy Smith, and Heather Wilds
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - Claire North; Narrated by Peter Kenny
Lock In - John Scalzi; Narrated by Wil Wheaton, Amber Benson, and a full cast
The Martian - Andy Weir; Narrated by R.C. Bray

margaret thatcherSHORT STORIES/COLLECTIONS
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher - Hilary Mantel; Narrated by Jane Carr
Dangerous Women - George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois; Narrated by Claudia Black, Scott Brick, Karen Dotrice, Jonathan Frakes, Iain Glen, Janis Ian, Stana Katic, Inna Korobkina, Jenna Lamia, Lee Meriwether, Emily Rankin, Maggi
- Meg Reed, Fred Sanders, Allan Scott- Douglas, Sophie Turner, Harriet Walter, Jake Weber
Faceoff; Edited by David Baldacci. Written by Linwood Barclay, Steve Berry, Lee Child, Lincoln Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Linda Fairstein, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner, Heather Graham, Peter James, Raymond Khoury, Dennis Lehane, John Lescroart, Steve Martini, T. Jefferson Parker, Douglas Preston, Ian Rankin, James Rollins, M. J. Rose, John Sandford, R.L. Stine, F. Paul Wilson; Narrated by Dylan Baker, Dennis Boutsikaris, Jeremy Bobb, Daniel Gerroll, January LaVoy, with David Baldacci
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of the Greek Myths - Bernard Evslin; Narrated by Todd Haberkorn
The Legend of Drizzt: The Collected Stories - R. A. Salvatore; Narrated by Dan Harmon, Danny Pudi, Al Yankovic, Felicia Day, Greg Gurnberg, Melissa Rauch, Michael Chiklis, Sean Astin, Tom Felton, David Duchovny, Ice T, and Wil Wheaton
The Wily O’Reilly: Irish Country Stories - Patrick Taylor; Narrated by John Keating

SOLO NARRATION — FEMALE
Boston Jacky - L.A. Meyer; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Life Drawing - Robin Black; Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Murphy’s Law - Rhys Bowen; Narrated by Nicola Barber
Until the End of the World - Sarah Lyons Fleming; Narrated by Julia Whelan
Written in My Own Heart’s Blood - Diana Gabaldon; Narrated by Davina Porter
Yellow Crocus - Laila Ibrahim; Narrated by Bahni Turpin

SOLO NARRATION — MALE
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark - A.J. Hartley and David Hewson; Narrated by Richard Armitage
The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw - Christopher Healy; Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
The Martian - Andy Weir; Narrated by R.C. Bray
Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King; Narrated by Will Patton
The Other Story - Tatiana de Rosnay; Narrated by Simon Vance
Radiance of Tomorrow - Ishmael Beah; Narrated by Dion Graham

impossible knifeTEENS
The Accidental Highwayman - Ben Tripp; Narrated by Steve West
Boston Jacky - L.A. Meyer; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren
Cress - Marissa Meyer; Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Curtsies and Conspiracies - Gail Carriger; Narrated by Moira Quirk
Egg & Spoon - Gregory Maguire; Narrated by Michael Page
The Impossible Knife of Memory - Laurie Halse Anderson; Narrated by Julia Whelan and Luke Daniels

THRILLER/SUSPENSE
The Avengers, Lost Episodes Vol 1: Hot Snow; Adapted by John Dorney; Narrated by Various
Dead Six - Larry Correia and Mike Kupari; Narrated by Bronson Pinchot
In the Morning I’ll Be Gone - Adrian McKinty; Narrated by Gerard Doyle
The Lost Key - Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison; Narrated by Renee Raudman and MacLeod Andrews
Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta; Narrated by Robert Petkoff
Wayfaring Stranger James Lee Burke; Narrated by Will Patton

BEST OF LUCK TO ALL OF THE NOMINEES!

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Audies

 

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Review – Dragon Her Back – Susannah Scott

dragon her backDragon Her Back
Author: Susannah Scott
Series: #3 in the Las Vegas Dragons series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
How To Claim Your Dragon…

As the head of security of Vegas’s Crown Jewel casino―and its hidden dragonshifter sanctuary―ice dragon Darius Dachien commands respect. Unfortunately, that respect isn’t always reciprocated. In fact, when it comes to the stunning Mei Chen, hostility might be a better word. Which makes things even harder for Darius, since Mei is his dragon mate. Without her, his dragon form is fading fast… and once lost, will be gone forever.

Mei can’t deny the fierce chemistry that simmers between them. If Darius were ever to discover who―or rather, what―she really is, she wouldn’t just lose him, but her place with the dragonshifters. The moment Mei’s past comes crashing into her present, she realizes her time for secrets has ended. Now she must reveal her true self… and risk both her life and her heart with the one man who could destroy her.

Review:
When I requested Dragon Her Back via netgalley, I was an idiot and didn’t realize that it was the third book in a series. Of course, I quickly realized that when I plugged the info into Goodreads (oh when will i actually learn to check first…). Normally, I would try to read previous books in a series in a similar scenario, but honestly, in true fashion, too many books and too little time – so I opted to just dive on it and hope that I wouldn’t be too lost in the world building. And for the most part, Dragon Her Back can be read stand-alone. There were some details in the world building (like the different types of dragons and some of the world politics) that I felt like I was missing early on, but they were explained as the book continued. And there were also some inside jokes between the main characters that I didn’t always get because I missed the back story (but that is the story of my life).

I’ve mentioned before that Enemies to Lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes and while Darius and Mei’s relationship doesn’t quite reach that level of dislike, there is a definite feeling of dislike between the two of them. One of the things I liked the most about Mei was that she was a true take no shit female, maybe it was because she was a dragon (lol) – but she gave as good as she got when it came to interaction with the different people in the story. Even in the face of the conflict between herself, Darius and outside entities – she wasn’t just going to give in and didn’t put herself into idiotic situations.

This was my first book by Ms Scott, but I was intrigued enough by the world premise and enjoyed the writing enough that I’m going to go back and read the previous books in the series and will hopefully get an opportunity to read more book by her in the future. I gave Dragon Her Back 3.5 stars, but rounded up to 4 stars on Goodreads and Amazon.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Book Review

 

Audiobook Review – Virtue Falls – Christina Dodd

virtue fallsVirtue Falls
Author: Christina Dodd
Series: #1 in the Virtue Falls series
Rating: ☆ ☆

Narrator: Rebecca Solar
Run Time: 16hrs 22min

Review Audiobook Provided by Publisher

Description:
Twenty-three years ago, in the isolated coastal town of Virtue Falls, Washington, four year old Elizabeth Banner witnessed her mother’s brutal murder. Elizabeth’s father was convicted of killing Misty and sentenced to prison. Elizabeth was sent to live with relatives, and grew from a solitary child to a beautiful woman with a cool scientific mind and an instinctive distrust of love. Now Elizabeth is back in Virtue Falls, a geologist like her father, living cautiously, her life guided by logic and facts. But nothing can help her through the emotional chaos that follows the return of her ex-husband, Garik Jacobsen, an FBI agent on probation and tortured by the guilt of his past deeds. Nor can it help her deal with her father, now stricken with Alzheimer’s and haunted by Misty’s ghost. When a massive earthquake reveals long-concealed secrets, Elizabeth soon discovers her father is innocent. Is the killer still at large, stalking ever closer to the one witness to Misty’s murder? To Elizabeth herself? Elizabeth and Garik investigate, stirring old dark and deadly resentments that could provoke another bloody murder– Elizabeth’s own.

Review:
For as long as I have been reading romance and romantic suspense, I’m honestly surprised that I have never read a Christina Dodd book. Unfortunately, based on my experience with Virture Falls, I will be hesitant to pick up another one by her in the future. I actually listened to this book several months ago, but its taken me this long to try and get my thoughts in line to write my review, because my issues with the book, far outweigh the positives, which is unfortunately, because based on the book description, i was hoping for a solid romantic suspense read/listen.

This book is a case where the blurb doesn’t really match how the story plays outs. Based on it, I was expecting a romantic suspense mystery with a serial killer theme – unfortunately, that is not what I got. Instead a majority of the book focused on a natural disaster (earthquake) and the subsequent recovery of the town. The murder theme was a distance second to the disaster theme in the story and that was a disappointment to me. The prologue of the story was suitably dark based on the description, and i thought, ohhh good, setting up for a good story. Looking back now, I almost wish that I had put the audiobook aside and not finished it, rather than continuing to trudge through – but I did so, mostly because I didn’t have any other audiobooks lined up for my commute and (as bad as this sounds), it fit into several different reading challenges.

I spent probably about 95% of the book wanting to slap Elizabeth (the main female character upside the head) – she was supposed to be really smart (on the Academic front) – but when it came to common sense – it was like it was Gone with the Wind. She put herself into situations, all in the name of her studies, that a sane person wouldn’t. And yes, I know, in order to make it big in science there have to be risks, but these were just dumb – going places without letting someone know where you are heading after a major natural disaster type things. She just ugh!

And then there was Garik – while I admit that I liked him more that Elizabeth – but that doesn’t say much. I found him to be a fairly underdeveloped character. There was a lot of stuff going on with him in the background of the story (much of which was mentioned in his introduction) and then it was just like all of his issues disappeared the minute Elizabeth (his ex-wife) may have needed him (or at least so he thought) – he just went running to her. I will admit that he and their relationship made the story slightly more paletable (if the book was supposed to be more of a romance than a mystery).

With all my issues with the plot, if the narrator had been solid, it might have made the audio version more paletable – However, I had issues with her narration as well. While her female voice narrations were solid and easily distinguishable – her male narration was a struggle and it made me cringe in places. My other complaint was during the times when Elizabeth was in full-on academic mode (during some of the observation scenes) – instead of a serious academic, she sounded almost like a tabloid reporter with a new hot tip. It was just too much. However, this was my first experience listening to Ms Solar and I would like to try listening to her narrate a different book or genre.

Overall, I gave both the book and the narration 2 stars and while I’ll likely try the narrator again, I’m less sure about the author, unless I get a serious endorsement from a fellow reader who I follow/trust when it comes to recommendations.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Audiobook Review

 

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