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TBR Tuesday – 30 Jun 15

TBR Tuesday
Love Slave for Two: Reckoning
Author: Tymber Dalton

Purchased: 29 October 2012
Date Finished: 17 April 2015
Time on TBR: 901 days

Review: When I think back to my progression of reading through different genres of romance, Tymber Dalton figures fairly prominently in them. One of my first BDSM romances (The Reluctant Dom) was one of hers, as was one of my first m/m romances; I read my first romance featuring a disabled character (Cross-Country Chaos) and even ventured into the world of science-fiction romance with her. So when I realized that I had one of her Love Slave for Two books still stashed on the pile, I was excited to dig into it because I was a fan of the series. However, to my disappointment, this entry in the series just didn’t hold the same magic for me. There wasn’t the spark that I’ve come to expect from her books – to me, there was too much focus on the “suspense” aspect that just wasn’t what I was looking for at the time. Maybe because it had been a feature in all three of the previous books (aside from the prequel) and I was just tired of it. Don’t get me wrong, the romance/smexy bits between Nevvie, Adam and Tyler were as hot as ever – but the rest of the story was just ehh to me…

This entry in the series only got 2.5 stars from me, but considering I’ve rated the rest of her books in the 4 star range, I guess its ok to have a disappointing one now and then. Thankfully, I know that this is an anomaly in Tymber’s writing and I will continue to read her stuff in the future.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 09 June 15

TBR TuesdayWicked
Author: Sasha White

Purchased: November 11, 2009
Date Finished: 14 May, 2015
Time on TBR: 2012 Days

Review:
I’m always amazed at the books that I find when I start digging through my kindle archives and what inspired me to buy a certain book at a certain time. Looking at my record for this one, I bought it while I was deployed to Iraq in 2009 and not long before I headed home – so I’m thinking it may have been a book that I bought to read on the flight and then likely got distracted (I mean, really, those flights SUCK for reading). And then forgot about it (like it seems I have for many books on my TBR). But I needed a book for a reading challenge that had a single word titled (and was at least 250pgs in length) and this was one of the first ones that I found while browsing my kindle archives that I have actually managed to catalogue on Goodreads so far. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize at the time that this was a book 3 in the series, and I didn’t really have time to go back and read the previous 2 books in the series, so I hoped that I could just jump on in and not be too lost.

Thankfully, while this is a “series” they are only loosely combined – in that they are part of the Dungeon series, which is the club that individuals visit, but that the stories are all separate and can be read by themselves. I thought that the basis of the characters for Wicked – a divorce lawyer and Lara (who is actually very hard to describe character wise) was a great combo – the idea of the guy who needs dominance in his nightlife, because of the dichotomy in his day (sometimes having power, other times not). I found the suspense element of the story to be a bit of a let down – it just felt like it wasn’t really needed and I would have preferred to have seen more of a story between Karl and Lara, rather than the additional storyline – IMHO it just wasn’t really needed.

I’m intrigued enough by the series that I want to go back and read the previous two in the series (and its highly likely that I have at least one of them in the TBR pile somewhere). I gave Wicked 3.5 stars and will be definitely checking out more books by the author in the future.

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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Review – Claiming Their Royal Mate – Andie Devaux

claiming their royal mateClaiming Their Royal Mate
Author: Andie Devaux
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Review Copy Provided by Author

Description:
Daniella Clark has lived blissfully unaware of her heritage, but as her true nature reveals itself, a need rises that she cannot control. Her sexy-as-sin neighbor, Owen, eases her carnal heat and introduces her to a world she never even suspected existed.

But the weretiger prime, Erick, wants her for his own. And he is more than willing to fight his second-in-command for the woman he claimed the moment he laid eyes on her luscious form. He will do anything to protect his people, and their future rests in Daniella’s hands.

Even as Daniella revels in the sensuality of the weretiger males, she fights to maintain her sense of self. But when old enemies arise, the battle for her heart isn’t the only fight they must face. And Daniella will have to decide how much she is willing to risk for the men who want her for their mate.

Review:
I’ll admit that I’m normally not a fan of serial type romances, but since this was the complete story, I decided to give it a try. I’ll even admit that I was kind of surprised with how much I enjoyed it and how well the story was constructed/written. Yes, I’ve been known to be very verbal about my dislike of the serial trend in general… I also appreciated how the author used different types of were- compared to current popular wolves/bears/lions (even if Tigers are big cats) ;) As this was a book that had been originally published in a serial format, each of the 4 sections had a satisfying beginning/middle/end – even if they were each only about 70pgs long. There were a few cliff-hangers between each of the sections where I just wanted to scream out loud – thankfully, I didn’t have to wait for a new installment to come along – I just don’t get how people can wait for story resolutions like this!

I found the authors writing style to be very engrossing and I found myself not wanting to put down the book once I started (and not just because of the cliff-hanger endings) – but because I was invested in the world that she created. And she wasn’t too shabby on the smexy scenes either, and since it was off the charts hot from the start, that doesn’t surprise me. Although, just so you are warned – this does feature a menage storyline – so stay clear if you don’t like those sorts of things. I liked how Ms Devaux developed the suspense element of the story – it was solidly written, but didn’t overwhelm the romance, which is always important to me. And most importantly, I was invested enough in the characters and the world building that I want to read more stuff written by the author in the future.

Overall, I gave Claiming Their Royal Mate 3.5 stars, mostly because I while I realized it was a serial, I wanted more to the storyline – it was solid, but there were a few places where there could have been some more development. But I’m intrigued enough that I want to read more by the author in the future.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2015 in Review

 

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TBR Tuesday – 26 May 2015

TBR TuesdayRuthless Heart
Author: Emma Lang

Purchased: July 6, 2010

Review: I’ve been a fan of Emma Lang for years – mostly with the writing under her other name (Beth Williamson) – so I was surprised to find this book loitering on the pile unread – I guess I bought it in a one-click haze and then forgot about it (yeah, I have a tendancy to do this). I will admit that I do prefer her Malloy family series to this book, but that I did enjoy this one more than several of her most recent books – so it was a fairly solid read by her. And I will admit that I am a sucker for a well-written historical western – they are for me, one of my favorite genres – unfortunately, it also seems to be a genre that has fallen out of favor over the last few years. Specifically, in this one, I liked how the prim and proper Eliza and the rough and tumble Grady came together – it was a great meshing of characters with enough suspense to make it enjoyable, without overwhelming the romance side of the house. I’m intrigued enough that I want to check out the other books in this series.

How did you guys do this week – did you find any gems on your TBR?

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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Featured Author Friday – Kelsey Browning

featured author friday

Welcome back to Featured Author Friday! There was a bit of a delay in getting this one launched because my next guest author has been busy gallivanting the countryside with her writer cohort in crime on a Free Little Library Book Tour” So I wanted to give her some time to get home and (hopefully) put her feet up for a little while ;) Please welcome Kelsey Browning! I discovered Kelsey through one of my other favorite authors, Jamie Farrell, when she posted about Kelsey’s new release on her facebook. The description intrigued me and before long, I had one-clicked away and added her books to Mt TBR! Her books are described as Sassy, sexy and sweet romances set in Texas (and of course, what kind you expect from an author who wears such awesome cowboy boots!)

kelsey browningDee: What has been your favorite book to write so far?
Kelsey: That’s like asking which of my children is my fave. Oh, wait a minute, I only have one kid! ;-) Personal Assets was the first book I wrote from start to finish, and so it has a very special place in my heart. It did go through extensive content edits when it was acquired by Carina Press, and those edits taught me a ton. But as far as sheer fun, I’d have to say Designed for Love. I knew I would revisit Ashton Davenport and her wily little dog, Napoleon, in that story. Interestingly enough, the Texas Nights series was originally supposed to be only three books until I wrote Ashton into Running the Red Light. But once I wrote her as the antagonist of that story, I knew she needed one of her own! I had a ton of fun using Napoleon to torture Ashton’s love interest, Mac.

Dee: Who would you say your biggest writing influence is?
Kelsey: You ask the hard questions, don’t you? I think that’s changed over the years as I grow and change as a writer. When I started out, I probably would’ve told you I wanted to be Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Jennifer Crusie when I grew up. I kinda still do, but I read all over the place—from thrillers to nonfiction—to get inspiration these days. Especially since being an author isn’t just about writing anymore. In publishing now, you have to be an entrepreneur too. So I look to people like Dan Blank, Joanna Penn and other author-entrepreneurs for inspiration.

Dee: What is best writing advice you can give?
Kelsey: Just do it. Yeah, I know, people hate to hear that. But it’s true. Believe me, I’m one of those writers who has studied. I’m always looking for something that will make me a better writer. But at the end of the day (or in my case, at the beginning), you have to put words on the page. Fear will try to stop you (Steven Pressfield is brilliant at talking about resistance. Writers, read The Art of War for Writers stat). I’ve written well over 10 books and that fear plops down on me almost every time I sit down to write. Do it anyway.

Dee: If you could cast your book as a movie, which book would it be and who would have the starring roles?
Kelsey: Nancy Naigle and I would love, love, love to see The Granny Series books (Southern, humorous women’s fiction) made into movies. We say these gals are just like Dirty Harry, only over-50, female, and from the South. Early on, I was told my writing was too “over the top,” meaning I wrote crazy scenarios. Well, when it comes to our Granny Series characters—Lil, Maggie, Sera, and Abby Ruth—we can let our OTT freak flag fly! Hmm…so who would I cast for these roles…
Lillian – Annette Bening
Maggie – gosh, Maggie’s hard for some reason. Maybe a Sigourney Weaver/Melissa McCarthy mix
Sera – Michelle Pfeifer
Abby Ruth – a Jamie Lee Curtis/Jane Lynch combo

Dee: If you were a character from the Wizard of Oz – which one would you pick and why?
Kelsey: Well, I played the wicked stepmother in my fourth grade class’s production of Cinderella. But I was seriously typecast. ;-) That being said, I’d have a heckuva lot of fun playing the Wicked Witch of the West. I want to be one of those people who loves being nice and sweet like Glinda. But in reality, my finely honed sense of snark just won’t allow me to be that way. What can I say? It’s just too damned fun to be the bad girl. :-)

Find Kelsey on Social Media
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest

Buy Kelsey’s Books
Texas Nights
Personal Assets (Texas Nights Book 1)
Running the Red Light (Texas Nights Book 2)
Problems in Paradise (Texas Nights Book 3)
Designed for Love (Texas Nights Book 4)

By Invitation Only
Amazed by You: a contemporary holiday romance (By Invitation Only Book 1)

The Granny series (with Nancy Naigle)
IN FOR A PENNY (The Granny Series Book 1)
FIT TO BE TIED (The Granny Series Book 2)
In High Cotton (The Granny Series Book 3)
Always On My Mind: A Jenny and Teague Novella (The Granny Series Book 1)

And it wouldn’t be Featured Author Friday without a giveaway – so comment below for a chance to win a Kelsey Browning book of your choice. Entries will be open until Friday May 29th!

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Featured Author Friday

 

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Review – Before I Fall – Jessica Scott

before I fallBefore I Fall
Author: Jessica Scott
Series: #1 in the Falling series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah – a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.

Review:
I’ve been a fan of Jessica Scott’s for over a year now because I love the realism that she manages to inject into all her books. As I warn people when I recommend her stuff, don’t expect a military romance that is full of bunnies and rainbows – you will be disappointed – they are gut-wrenching and realistic, and you will often find yourself going through an emotional roller-coaster (and that is what I love about her stuff). But at the same time, I’m firmly in the skeptical camp about the New Adult (NA) sub-genre of books – mostly because for me, they are a time period that I want to forget (I mean, what woman REALLY wants to be reminded of herself in those years between high school and college). So I will admit that when I saw Jessica was branching off into NA and trying something, I wasn’t sure if I would pick up Before I Fall or not – but when it was offered as a review copy via NetGalley – it just seemed like fate.

In Before I Fall, you meet Beth and Noah – Beth a struggling college student, acting as a primary care-taker of her father (an injured military veteran) and Noah, a former Army soldier, now pursuing a college degree. From the get-go, I was pull into the trials and tribulations of Beth and her struggles. I will admit that compared to her other books, Before I Fall, was much more in your face (as the reader) for highlighting issues with the VA medical system. I mean, you hear from veterans and in the media how much it is broken, but Jessica was able to elevate the level of horror I felt to mind-boggling. As a former Navy member, I just don’t get it and I guess I should thank my lucky stars every day, that I haven’t been forced to use their services yet.

Its always hard for me to peg what exactly I love about Jessica’s writing – its not only the realism that she brings to her books, but also the emotions. So many books nowadays just leave me feeling empty because I don’t experience the emotional connection – but I do with her books (and often will read it in a single sitting, or very soon after). Before I Fall did have a high level of angst, mostly inter-personal with Beth and her father; and Noah and his PTSD, and less on the Beth/Noah front – that I appreciated – although there were a few places, where I just wanted to reach out and shake her because I expected her to know better based on her experiences. But that being said, Jessica Scott delivered another solid read and I’m intrigued enough to want to pick up the second one in this series (as well as read her other new series). Before I Fall got 4 stars for me, but as a warning – make sure you have a box of tissues nearby while reading – you may need them.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Review

 

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Audiobook Review – Beauty from Pain – Georgia Cates

audies nominee erotica

beauty from painBeauty from Pain
Author: Georgia Cates
Series: #1 in the Beauty series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Bunny Warren, Robert Black
Run Time: 9 hrs, 9 mins
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
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.

Review:
I’ll admit it, i’m a sucker for a gorgeous cover and if I had been in the bookstore, Beauty from Pain (and its subsequent books) totally would have caught my eye. I love the black and white photography with the erotic looking cover, that still stays this side of being too much. But since I was listening to the audiobook, well, I did still gaze at the cover, but it didn’t affect my choice as much. I will admit that when I pick up a book that has been marketed as erotica/nominated in an erotica category for awards, I have certain expectations and unfortunately for me Beauty from Pain just didn’t live up to that. For me, erotica is about the sexual journey of the participants and while there were some spicy scenes in Beauty from Pain, it read more like a traditional romance to me. The only thing that really could potentially push it into the “erotica/erotica lite” category is that there really wasn’t a happily ever after which is required for a romance, but that being said, this was really the first in a series with a continuing storyline where I expect one to culminate at the end of book 3.

While the storyline was intriguing, I found the writing to be chunky in places with lots of redundant sentences. Maybe it was because I was listening to it, but weak writing is much more obvious to be when I’m listening to audiobooks, rather than when I’m reading. I think because I actually concentrate more in the audio, rather than reading where I tend to skim read. And maybe it is a small thing, but it got really annoying with the alternating point of views, that each chapter was titled who was speaking/thinking – I wish that had actually been left out, because I do think the voices were distinct enough that it was obvious the POV that the chapter was written from (also an minor irk, Laurelyn barely went by that name in the book, so it was disconcerting to hear that every time it was her point of view). In general, I didn’t mind Jack and Laurelyn’s story – I think it had potential to be really good, although there were some things that Jack did that just weren’t resolved for me. Certain things he was adamant about and then all of the sudden just changed his mind, no explanation (i mean, I’d expect that from a female, but not a male…well, you know what I mean – j/k) however, I spent the majority of the book hating the secondary characters. I wasn’t a fan of Laurelyn’s friend, or her friend’s brother (Ben) because he was a douchebag and the limited mention of Laurelyn’s mother made me go crazy, she was just so self-obessessed (and I have a feeling she is going to be significant in book 2, which I’m not looking forward to).

Both Bunny Warren and Robert Black were new narrators to me. I’ve found when listening to duo’s narrating books that I often really like one, and not so much the other; or find them both to be fairly middle of the road. In this instance, it was the former – I really liked Bunny’s narration – I found she did a great job of narrating Laurelyn’s POV – her voice was pleasant to listen to and I found myself sucked into those portions of the audiobook. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Robert Black’s narration. Maybe it had something to do with having grown up in Australia (for the first nearly two decades of my life), but the accent that he used for Jack just grated on me. Maybe that is how Australian’s sound to a complete outsider, but I don’t remember ever hearing them talk to like. I found it hard to listen to and distracting to the point that I struggled to listen to his portions of the audio. I almost wish I could have listened to Bunny’s stuff and read the male POV’s – it may have worked better for me. It also seemed like the author dug in and found all the random slang that aussies use – some frequently and other not so – I actually posted a question on facebook about one such phase because I had never heard of it in my life (apparently, Sanga is short for Sandwich, but not where I grew up). That made it hard for me.

I know that I will be finishing the series – because I want to see what happens between Laurelyn and Jack (and because book 3 in the series was also nominated for an audie award in the same category). But overall, I was disappointed – it didn’t live up to what I expected, based on the number of high rated reviews from Goodreads friends/ the fact that it was nominated for an award (even if the award was for narration). Both the story and the narration got 2.5 stars from me, but if Bunny had been the sole narrator, it would have been more like 3.5 stars.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Audies, Audiobook Review

 

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