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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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Audiobook Review – The Baller – Vi Keeland

audie-nominee-erotica

the-baller The Baller
Author: Vi Keeland
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrators: Mackenzie Cartwright, Sean Crisden
Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio
Run Time: 8hrs 49min
Audiobook Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Description:
The first time I met Brody Easton was in the men’s locker room. It was my first interview as a professional sportscaster. The famed quarterback decided to bare all. And by all, I don’t mean he told me any of his secrets. No. The arrogant ass decided to drop his towel just as I asked the first question. On camera.
The Super Bowl MVP quickly adopted a new hobby: screwing with me. When I pushed back, he shifted from wanting to screw with me to wanting to screw me. But I don’t date players. And it’s not because I’m one of the few women working in the world of professional football. I’d date an athlete. It’s the other kind of player I don’t date. You know the type. Good looking, strong, cocky, always looking to get laid.
Brody Easton was the ultimate player. Every woman wanted to be the one to change him. But the truth was, all he needed was a girl worth changing for. Turned out I was that girl. Simple, right? Let’s face it. It never is.
There’s a story between once upon a time and happily ever after…and this one is ours.

Review:
Sometimes I feel like i’m uber far behind in current hot authors that friends are reading – and Vi Keeland is just one of those authors who I had heard a lot about and never read – so when one of her books was nominated for an Audiobook Audie in the Erotica category, I figured it was time that I checked her out. Although asking several of my goodreads friends told me that The Baller possible wasn’t the best of her books to be my first one – but I have to say it honestly wasn’t horrible – I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. the romance between Brody and Delilah was hawt – but I could have done without the addition of Brody’s ex – I honestly just felt like that didn’t add anything other than un-needed angst to the story that was actually pretty solid in the romance department (although I will debate whether its actually erotica, but that is a story for another day).

This was my first time listening to Mackenzie Cartwright but not my first time listening to Sean Crisden. I will say that I really enjoyed Mackenzie’s narration – I found her range of voices to be solid and even the portions where she narrated as a male was enjoyable. The pacing of her narration felt natural (meaning I didn’t feel like I needed to speed up or slow down the narration to enjoy it). Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Sean Crisden (although I have listened to other stuff by him before). While I enjoyed the portions where he was narrating as Brody (or other male characters) – I wasn’t a fan of his female voices – in fact they actually made me cringe at times. His female narration was one of the reasons for my 3.5 stars for this audiobook – I just personally, I couldn’t get past them.

I’ve been a fan of Tantor Media’s audiobooks for years and enjoy their continued high quality audiobook productions. I know when I listen to a book done by them, that it will be solid with no issues. Overall, I gave The Baller – 3.5 stars for the book and the narration and 4 stars for the audiobook production.

 

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Review – Crossing Hearts – Kimberly Kincaid

crossing-heartsCrossing Hearts
Author: Kimberly Kincaid
Series: #1 in the Cross Creek series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Book Won in a Giveaway Held by Author

Description:
Hunter Cross has no regrets. Having left his football prospects behind the day he graduated high school, he’s happy to carry out his legacy on his family’s farm in the foothills of the Shenandoah. But when a shoulder injury puts him face-to-face with the high school sweetheart who abandoned town—and him—twelve years ago, Hunter’s simple life gets a lot more complicated.

Emerson Montgomery has secrets. Refusing to divulge why she left her job as a hotshot physical therapist for a pro football team, she struggles to readjust to life in the hometown she left behind. The more time she spends with Hunter, the more Emerson finds herself wanting to trust him with the diagnosis of MS that has turned her world upside down.

But revealing secrets comes with a price. Can Hunter and Emerson rekindle their past love? Or will the realities of the present—and the trust that goes with them—burn that bridge for good?

Review:
So I actually read Crossing Hearts close to a month ago – it was officially the first book that I read in 2017 but since it had a release date of today (which means, Happy Book Birthday dance), I decided to wait to post my review. But as in typical Kimberly Kincaid fashion – I just end up gushing over her books! I swear – I haven’t read a bad one by her yet and Crossing Hearts just made my heart go all squishy inside.

I’ve never hidden the fact that reunited love/second chance love is a favorite romance trope of mine – combine that with small town romance and rancher romance (with a women in a kick ass career) and yes – there was little that I didn’t love about how Crossing Hearts came to be. I will say that sometimes family drama in small town romances kind of bugs me and Emerson’s family kind of ticked me off a bit – but at the same time, since she wasn’t all the forthcoming with her medical issues – I don’t blame them entirely either. It is proof positive that bad news only gets worse over time – especially when it is being withheld from people who love you.

One of the things I have always appreciated about Kimberly’s writing is the level of research and detail that she incorporates into her stories. I’m not sure who she worked with to get all the details on being a physical therapist, or how MS affects the body – but you could tell from the writing that she was able to meld the information that she gained from different sources into such a well-developed, well-rounded character. And as for Hunter…well, what wasn’t there to love – former high school athlete, willing to sacrifice his dreams to stay at home to help his family out – yeah, i’m gushing. I can’t wait for the next two books in the series and to see his brother’s HEA’s!

4.5 stars for Crossing Hearts and unfortunately not, I have to start the tedious wait time for a new book by Kimberly (which just sucks!)

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

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It’s Monday – What Are You Reading?

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

It’s Monday – What are you reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Happy first Monday of 2017 – here’s hoping that the year finds everyone with lots of new books to read, new authors to try and old favorites to fall back on!

One of my goals for 2017 is to be a more consistent blogger – I’m aiming for at least 12 reviews a month, including a couple of audiobook ones, as well as 4 blogging posts (kind of like this one). I also need to be better at planning posts for reviews, so that I’m not writing them on the day they are supposed to go live (yeah, I did that a few times last year!). My other non-blogging related goal is to make sure that when I buy kindle books that I log them onto my shelves on Goodreads! I just spent the last couple of days logging 3 years worth of purchases (and I’m still not done yet). Yes, I read a lot, but most of those picks were based on books I had listed on my Goodreads and not other ones that I owned. According to my shelving, I bought 420 books from Amazon in 2016, and only read like 15 of them (out of the 350 odd books that I read). (This also means that I should apologize to any Goodreads friends who may have had me spam the heck out of their feed the last few days as I was shelving books).

crossing-hearts-pictureNow onto what am I reading…in true fashion, I spent most of yesterday in bed reading and finished up my first book of the year – Crossing Hearts by Kimberly Kincaid – I won this in a giveaway on her Facebook author page and wow! My review will go up closer to the book’s release date (Feb 7, 2016). Now, I’m digging into some older books that are in my kindle archive – several of which I’ve owned since the first year I bought my kindle (2008/09)…Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay and Fire and Ice by Liz Andrews.

promises-in-deathOn the audiobook side of the house – i’m still slowly chugging away at Les Miserables (you can anticipate seeing this update for the next couple of months). For context, Valjean and Cosette are currently on the run from Javert and have just found themselves in the Convent in Paris. I am also listening to Promises in Death by JD Robb (and all I can saw is Morris 😦 ). One of my goals this year is to listen to at least one of the In Death books a month – which will put me in the high 30’s range by the end of the year (not quite caught up but getting there). When I finish up Promises in Death, I’m going to jump over to the next book in Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawski series, with Blood Shot.

Stay tuned for my first Bout of Books 18 post that will be going live soon and have a great first Monday of the year!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

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Review – Dirty Like Me – Jaine Diamond

dirty-like-meDirty Like Me
Author: Jaine Diamond
Series: #1 in the Dirty series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by the Author

Description:
Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of sex kitten in his hot new music video. But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker. Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting over a broken heart, but when Jesse touches her, sparks fly. The sex is fake but the chemistry is real, and soon the steamy video is blazing up the charts.

Then Jesse makes Katie an irresistible offer: act as his girlfriend for six weeks while he promotes his new album. The only catch? Their sizzling make-out sessions will be for the cameras only.

Which is fine with Katie, since she’s not about to trust her heart to rock’s most legendary lover. Her body? Maybe…

Review:
It seemed kind of like fate that the same day I started reading Dirty Like Me, that I saw the facebook video featuring auditions for the live show of Magic Mike…trust me when I say this video is worth your time…Magic Mike Live Audition YouTube or Magic Mike Live on the Ellen Show. Anyways, when I picked up Dirty Like Me, I had some great visuals in my head after I read the opening (and found myself fanning my face a bit because it definitely got a bit steamy in the car where I was reading).

So early on in the book, not only was I drooling over the cover (because just look at it), I had a solid visual of Jesse and Katie’s first(ish) meeting and it was a relationship of convenience…yeah, I knew I was either going to have a great reading experience or I’d eat my hat (or is it cover, since I was in uniform while I was reading?) One of the things that drew me to Katie early on was that she was independent but at the same time, wasn’t afraid to ask for help if she needed it (and had a solid family support system too). It was something that was slightly different from many of my recent reads when characters have needed help but were too stubborn to ask for it.

To say that the hotness of Dirty Like Me was chartable would be a lie…there were so many times when the chemistry between Katie and Jesse was like a volcanic explosion. But the smexy scenes (both the UST build-up and the actual scenes themselves) weren’t overdone and felt natural (and not forced or overpowering the rest of the story). Not only that, but the whole traveling with the band portion of the story was well done – there was drama but wasn’t drama for drama sake! If you are in the mood for a rock-star romance with the right touch of smexyness and unresolved sexual tension, then Dirty Like Me might be a book for you.

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2016 in Book Review, Review

 

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Review – Wild Zone – Skye Jordan

wild-zoneWild Zone
Author: Skye Jordan
Series: #4 in the Rough Riders Hockey series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Author

Description:
Tate “The Saint” Donovan’s jaded outlook really makes him more of a devil’s advocate. Ever since he discovered his ex-wife doing more in their bedroom than rooting for the home team, he’s given up on finding The One. In fact, he’s given up on finding Any One. So he isn’t surprised when his teammate’s engagement party is one mishap away from going up in flames—until a sexy, free spirit whisks in from Paris and drags the party from the fire. She’s whimsical, wild, and oh so wrong, but her breezy, freestyle attitude makes her utterly irresistible. Tate’s halo slips. He takes a walk on the wild side. And discovers wrong has never felt so right.

With big plans on the horizon, Olivia’s laissez faire attitude toward men is a perfect pairing. She’s drawn to Tate’s wounded soul, and the protective warrior beneath his brooding mask intrigues her…right into bed. Olivia quickly realizes the possessive passion he brings to the bedroom is like nothing she’s ever experienced, and her feelings for Tate turns her take-it-or-leave-it style love life on its head.

With her return to Paris imminent and his grueling hockey season approaching, Olivia and Tate must face the possibility that they are destined to be nothing more than star-crossed lovers.

Review:
I can probably count on one hand the number of times that I have binge read a series (and by binge read, I mean, reading all the available books in the series within about a week and a half time), but I did just that with Skye Jordan’s Rough Rider’s Hockey series. I randomly grabbed the first book in the series from Kindle Unlimited when I was looking for something non-sci-fi (because I had been on a huge alien/sci-fi reading binge) and I had read a couple of her books before and decided what the heck. The first book was great for breaking up the monotony of my daily metro ride the work (yay DC metro that breaks down on a regular basis) and I quickly read the next two books in the series. Then to my great surprise, I received a review request from Skye to read the fourth book in the series (and I totally jumped on the opportunity).

While I loved all the books in the series, Wild Zone was probably the most emotional read for me. I’ll admit to not always being a fan of love (or lust) at first sight romance tropes, but for some reason, it worked for me in Wild Zone. I loved Tate and Olivia (Liv) from the first mistaken meeting to the roller-coaster of their relationship. But Wild Zone was so much more than just a romance – the family dynamics that existed within Liv’s family (between her, her sister and her mother) just made me so sad and frustrated at the same time. I spent a good portion of the book hating her mother (and that didn’t resolve itself with the end of the book) – even though I had an idea of what was going to happen with her family, I was praying that I was going to be wrong. But alas, I wasn’t…I debated actually throwing my kindle at one stage (but I didn’t because my precious 🙂 )

The quick blooming romance between Tate and Liv, even with all the drama from her family, hit my happy buttons. Especially, since having seen him in previous books and how he had been screwed over by his ex-wife…I just wanted him to find his HEA. They just played well of each other – you could tell that Liv needed to find her home again and while she hadn’t expected to find that with Tate, that was what he was to her. And seeing Tate’s interactions not only with his teammates, but with various kids throughout the story just gave me warm and fuzzies. Through-out this series, I’ve loved how Ms Jordan hasn’t shyed away from including children as supporting characters.

I gave Wild Zone a solid 4 stars and kind of hope that she’ll write some more books in this series – not only because it features my hometown(ish) of Washington DC, but just because I love her writing style for this series so much.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Book Review, Review

 

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Review – Worth the Risk – Jamie Beck

worth-the-riskWorth the Risk
Author: Jamie Beck
Series: #3 in the St James series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
When Jackson St. James decided that six weeks in Vermont’s Green Mountains would help him get his life together, he didn’t anticipate replacing his craving for whiskey with a craving for his alluring new landlord, Gabby. Now, instead of prioritizing his sobriety and the resolution of the lawsuit threatening his business, he’s making excuses to spend time with the spunky young landscaper whose candor is more than a little addictive.

Gabby Bouchard refuses to let her pill-popping mother and unreliable baby daddy turn her into a cynic, so she doesn’t fight her attraction to her enigmatic new tenant. Although Jackson’s smile rarely reaches his eyes, his generosity and dependability make her willing to overlook his demons. But once she convinces him to give in to temptation, Gabby’s jealous ex threatens to disrupt the life she has built for herself and her son.

With so much at stake, Gabby and Jackson must decide if love is worth the risk.

Review:
While Jamie Beck is a new to me author (on the reading front), I had previously come across her books in my recommendations on Amazon (I had just never quite jumped on the opportunity…which basically means, I’m an idiot!) – so when I was approached by a publicist to participate in a book tour for her new release, I jumped on the opportunity. Coincidently, my plan to read Worth the Risk, also fell on the same weekend as a planned 24 hour read-a-thon and knowing that I would likely need something compelling in the early hours of the morning, I held onto the book until then. And boy, it didn’t disappoint…I can safely say that it got me through the early hours of the morning (somewhere between 3 and 4am) when all I wanted to do was curl up and take a nap.

Its hard to decide where to begin in writing this review – from the total cover love that I had (I mean, I would love to live in a place with scenery like that) to the vivid descriptions of Vermont to the interactions between Gabby, Jackson, her father and her son…this book was just the whole package. As a reader, I enjoyed how the author tackled the topics of drug addiction and alcoholism – it made the characters seem more real because it showed how flawed people can be and still find love – rather than the need to be perfect. It just goes to show that sometimes love is worth the risk – what does it take to be willing to step off that cliff and fall in love with someone who may have a dark past, or potentially a dark future? the risk to stick your neck out after being hurt and to try again? every day of life is a risk – small or large and its the risk that we take that let’s us live the lives we that we do…but anyways, let’s get away from the philosophical musings…

Before I had even finished Worth the Risk, I had logged onto amazon and using my trusty Kindle Unlimited subscription – had borrowed the previous books in the St James series (now to find time to read them in the near future)…I also (as soon as it was a sane hour for facebooking people), told one of my friends that she needed to pick up a Jamie Beck book if she hadn’t already. So that is my advice to you – if you like contemporary romance with wit and humor, that is smexy without being too overboard – then Worth the Risk might be the book for you – but you can’t be afraid of darker, more honest themes.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in Book Review, Review

 

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