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Review – Hot on Ice Anthology

Hot on Ice
Authors: Avery Flynn, Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone, Virginia Nelson, Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Desiree Holt, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Angi Morgan, Susan Scott Shelley, Misty D. Waters

20% of royalties from sales of Hot on Ice will go to Homes for our Troops, a charity that builds specially modified homes for injured veterans.

Description:
Wow! Some of the hottest romance authors have banded together to write a hockey romance anthology for charity about a whole team of hockey players who win The Cup and fall in love in some hot, sexy stories.

Review:
Ok – now that I’ve finished fanning my face – because wowsers, i’m pretty sure Hot on Ice, may have melting the ice that the Cajun Rage played on when they won the cup. Pardon me in advance because I may go slightly fan girl during the course of this review (I mean, because with all these awesome authors – who wouldn’t!!). I will prefer this review with admitting that I always find it hard to write reviews for anthologies (especially ones with 18 different contributions) – because who wants to read a review that could run to multiple pages long…so I’m just going to hit a few highlights – but all I can say – is go and buy this book now! you won’t regret it (and if you do…well…ummm, yeah I got nada).

I love seeking out anthologies with multiple authors like this because its rare that a) I either know all the authors or b) all the authors are new to me – so I frequently get exposure both to new stories by old favorites (yes, I’m looking at you Kimberly Kincaid, Avery Flynn and Robin Covington) and well as new authors to check out (everyone that isn’t the afore mentioned 3 favorites!). For me the success of this anthology was the basis of how all the stories were partly inter-related – focusing around a championship winning hockey team and then each author taking their unique storytelling abilities from there.

Please don’t ask me to pick my favorite story in the anthology because I CAN’T! I mean, all things being equal – I can see myself going back and re-reading all the books in the anthology again in the future. So do yourself a favor, run, don’t walk to your nearest favorite ebook retailer and buy Hot on Ice!

Buy Links:
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2jFsJg8
iBooks: http://apple.co/2fOCS8g
B&N: http://bit.ly/2gC6ceJ
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ggBnyg

Giveaway Link – click here to enter into a rafflecopter giveaway (chance to win a $25 Amazon Giftcard!)

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Blog Tour, Book Review, Review

 

Review – The Valiant – Lesley Livingston

The Valiant
Author: Lesley Livingston
Series: #1 in the Valiant series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
Princess. Captive. Gladiator.
Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king, the sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha, and the sworn enemy of Julius Caesar.
When Fallon was a child, Caesar’s armies invaded her homeland, and her beloved sister was killed in battle.
Now, on the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in the fearsome Cantii war band. She never gets the chance.
Fallon is captured and sold to an elite training school for female gladiators—owned by none other than Julius Caesar. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon’s family might be her only hope of survival.
Now Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries and deadly fights—in and out of the arena. And perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her forbidden yet irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier.

Review:
A couple of months I received an email from Netgalley (as I do quite often) about a new young adult historical fiction book that was due to be released in February. Normally, I take a quick scroll through these emails but don’t pay a lot of mind – but this time something caught my eye – maybe it was a rather unique time period (ancient rome) or the cover that just showed a single young woman standing in a stadium – but I knew that if I didn’t request it, then I was going to ask my library to purchase it (which they so kindly did). Anyways, I had had a long week and so I curled up in bed with the pups one Saturday and pretty much read the Valiant in one sitting – which is something that I rarely do.

Ancient Rome is definitely not a popular time period in historical fiction, and a book featuring a female gladiator (gladiatrix) is even rarer (honestly – I can’t even think of a recent book featuring male gladiators). Fallon has to be one of the most kick-ass heroines I’ve read about in a long time – especially considering the time period that the book was set – where women were often seen as little more than chattle. From the get go, I knew that Fallon was a character that I was going to be drawn to – like many other well-known females in history, she bucked the traditions of her time, and pushed the boundaries of proper behavior.

While there were the undertones of a potential romance between Fallon and one of the Roman soldiers (or male of significant rank, I can’t remember exactly what his position was) – it wasn’t overwhelming (and thankfully there was no love triangle!). It was more of an adventure/coming of age than a romance – but I believe that is a second book in the works, so that could change. I know that I will be looking forward to reading it when it does come out. I wish in general there were more books set in time periods like Ancient Rome (or similar civilizations). The Valiant got 4 stars from me with a heavy recommendation for anyone who likes historical fiction with kickass female characters!

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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Snow Day Maybe…..?

So I’m hanging out on my couch right now, watching the first decent potential snowfall of the year (yes, I know its march..) and wondering if I’ll be lucky enough to have a snow day tomorrow…my snow day pj’s are on, I have a stack of books from the library waiting to be read…now all I need is for a Code Red to be called (government speak for offices being closed…)

Everyone needs to take this as their queue to commence doing a snow dance – I know I’d be forever grateful!

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in General

 

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Audiobook Review – Sweet Dreams – Sunny Leone

Sweet Dreams
Author: Sunny Leone
Rating: ☆ ☆ ½

Narrator: Simone Lewis , Vikas Adam
Run Time: 3hrs 41min
Audiobook Publisher: Audiobooks.com Publishing
Audiobook Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
In this thrilling erotic story collection from India’s most Googled person, listeners finally get inside the mind of actress and entrepreneur Sunny Leone with 12 short stories that range from sweet to seductive to scandalous.

Review:
According to the cover of Sweet Dreams – it is a combination of Mills and Boon, and Fifty Shades with a touch of India – I can’t really say if that is completely true – since I never read Fifty Shades, but honestly this was probably the most lackluster Mills and Boon, I’ve read or listened to. For me, it barely met my level of romance – let alone erotica – some of the stories were mildly hot, but mostly, I was left scratching my head. Looking back the ones I enjoyed the most were those set in India – but the few that were supposedly set in the US – you could tell that they were based off a fantasy of how things were – a young new engineering spending several hundred thousand dollars for an escort…

Both Simone Lewis and Vikas Adam are new to me narrators and while I can’t say I loved their narration – it was solid and enjoyable. However, since the book was only 3hours long (although at times, it felt longer than that) – I wasn’t truly able to explore their narration abilities – with the short stories – and them alternating back and forth – I would just start enjoying one narration and it would end and I’d have to switch to another one.

Personally, I found Sweet Dreams to be kind of disappointing and it just didn’t work for me – I gave it 2.5 stars, but the narration did get 3 stars from me.

 

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Random Reads Rebooted – March 2017

Random Reads Rebooted

Random Reads was a blog feature that used to be hosted by the blog, I’m Loving Books, however, it is no longer active (at least that I can find). Random Reads Rebooted is a reimaged version of this and I hope you will join me.

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a bad habit of buying books and then forgetting about them…I’m like a squirrel storing away its nuts for winter, except I do it with books. Random Reads Rebooted is dedicated to finding (and reading) those books that have long been forgotten about it.

On the first Saturday of the month (or within that first week), randomly select a book that is on your bookshelves (it could be a virtual shelf like a Goodreads one, or a real shelf that you have someone randomly numbered). I recommend using random.org to help you pick that special or forgotten book. At the end of the month, come back and let us know what you thought about the book that you picked.

February Pick Summary:
I have to admit that Guns will Keep Us Together was kind of a quirky read – I mean, a humorous romantic comedy featuring a family of assassins. I found myself chuckling to myself within the first couple of chapters. It was the second book in the series – but I’m intrigued enough that I may see about trying to find the first one.

dustMarch Pick
Over the last two months, I’ve read books that were purchased from Amazon in 2009 and 2010. So for March, i’m going to my Amazon 2011 purchases list. And I’ve organized my goodreads shelf (Amazon 2011 purchases) by author alphabetically. After doing this, the random number, I drew was 93 which correlated to Dust by Arthur Slade. After having read a couple of romances in the past 2 months as part of this feature, March is going to feature a Young Adult book – so i’m interested to see how it turns out.

Purchase Date: September 2, 2011

Description:
SEVEN-YEAR-OLD MATTHEW DISAPPEARS one day on a walk into Horshoe, a dust bowl farm town in Depression-era Saskatchewan. Other children go missing just as a strange man named Abram Harsich appears in town. He dazzles the townspeople with the promises of a rainmaking machine. Only Matthew’s older brother Robert seems to be able to resist Abram’s spell, and to discover what happened to Matthew and the others.

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Random Reads Rebooted

 

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Review – Living Death – Graham Masterton

living-deathLiving Death
Author: Graham Masterton
Series: #7 in the Katie Maguire series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
DS Katie Maguire is at a loss. Last year, she and her team destroyed the biggest drug trafficker in Cork. So how is the city’s drug trade at an all-time high? Meanwhile, a spate of violent attacks which leave victims severely disabled has brought confidence in the Garda to an all-time low.

As Katie investigates, she realises that the two cases might be connected. Someone is using brain-damaged victims to smuggle drugs into the country. And the only way to find out more is to go in undercover…

Review:
Sometimes I want to curse my local library because of their awesome selection of new books – even when I just dart on it to grab something that I had reserved – I can’t resist doing a quick browse through the new book shelf and typically I end up adding one or two books to the epic Mt TBR. Living Death was one of those books that just caught my eye when I did a quick browse one day. I’m not exactly sure what it was that caught my eye because there isn’t anything unique about the cover that really makes it stand out – but it was a chunkier book and I was kind of in the mood for something longer – so maybe that was it…

Admittedly I didn’t check ahead of time to see if it was part of a series and I think I could have enjoyed it slightly more having read at least a couple of the previous books (since this was the 7th book in the series) – but honestly, the storyline was well-developed enough (with the exception of the background behind Katie’s Significant Others health issues) that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything significant. In fact, I thought Masterson did a solid job of getting into the dark underbelly of the drug smuggling world and the length that some people will go to get drugs into a country. Because, damn, there was some seriously sick/depraved characters in this book – it actually made me cringe a few times.

I’ll admit that i’m curious enough about both how Katie ended up in the position that she was in in Living Death and also where she might go in the future – that I am definitely going to check out my library for the rest of the books in the series. I know that Graham Masterson could easily end up as an auto-read author for me if his other books are as dark and depraved in places as Living Death. A solid 4 stars from me.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2017 in Book Review

 

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A Month in Reading – February

february

And with a blink of an eye, February is gone and March is here…I swear, it feels like I just got done writing my month in review for January and now I have to write another month…Kudos to Book Date for providing the inspiration for these month in review posts (and the great month graphics). February is typically one of my favorite months of the year because its normally that nice temperature between winter and spring…but apparently DC didn’t get that memo this year…seriously high 70’s for like a week and a half, followed by a tornado last weekend! Holy bi-polar weather batman.

On a reading/listening front, February is also a favorite month because its when the Audio Publishers Assocation (APA) announces their finalists for the Audies! Which means, its also the kick off for the Armchair Audies – an annual event hosted by Literate Housewife where listeners/bloggers listen to nominees in different categories and attempt to pick who they think the winner will be. I’m not going to regurgitate the process – but let’s just say, February has been a fun month so far with 4 of the books in my 3 categories completed (yeah, i’m a bit of an overachiever).

February Summary:
Books Read: 27
Audiobooks Listened: 5 (and 20hrs of another book)

storm-damagesMost annoying ending to a book:
Storm Damages – Magda Alexander – holy frickin cliff-hangers batman! Ugh, I should have done more research before reading this because then I would have known…and I didn’t enjoy it enough to warrant paying for the next book in the series 😦

Longest on Shelf
This was a race between two books that I read in February – both Sarah’s Key and The Sari Shop Widow were purchased in 2009. But ultimately, Sarah’s Key had been on Mt TBR the longest – with a purchase date of April 1, 2009 (for a grand total of 2864 days!)

allegience-of-honorSeries in Progress
Since I’m horrible about starting series and getting distracted – I’m trying to keep a running tally of series that I’ve had in progress and read installments of during the month. This month I got caught up on Cherise Sinclair’s Masters of the Shadowlands series with Mischief and the Masters. I also got caught up on Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changling series with Allegiance of Honor (and even read a couple of the novellas in between the main books). I also went back and filled one of the gaps in Singh’s Guild Hunter series with Archangel’s Storm.

january-carlanMost Read Author
Both a new to me author and most read during the month was Audrey Carlan. After listening to the first book in her Calendar Girl series, January and then I continued the series read with the next 5 books in the series (and i’m part-way through #6 right now). They aren’t too substantial or require too much thought – but were the perfect brain candy for the other weekend when I was in a bit of a reading funk.

Books I’m looking forward to in March
Devil in Spring – Lisa Kleypas – ok, so I know I listed this one in February, but my copy of it just came in at the library – so I finally get to read it!
Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys – I’ve had this book on Mt TBR for a while – but added bonus was that it was nominated for an Audie – so now I have more incentive to listen to it. I loved her previous historical fiction that I read (Between Shades of Grey)
Silver Stars – Michael Grant – this is book 2 in a WW2 YA alternate history I read a few months ago where the twist on history is that women were required to sign up for the draft following a Supreme Court decision. I just picked this one up at the library the other day – and was uber excited to see that the dedication page was to the first two women to pass the US Army Ranger training (Capt. Kristen Geist and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver).

Here’s to a solid reading month in March!

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2017 in Month in Review