Saturday, March 03, 2018

Protected by Elisabeth Naughton

Series: Deadly Secrets book 3

RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2018

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½ I quite enjoyed this book. The suspense was great, and had me guessing at a few different options. The romance was sweet and sexy and I think it was a good follow up to the others in the series.

Kelsey and Hunter had wonderful chemistry. I felt the author dealt with Kelsey’s background issues well, which made the way Kelsey handled situations more realistic and not crazily overblown. Hunter was protective, but not so over the top “alpha”, that I wanted to rip my eyes out.  Also, I liked the little nod to Darcy Burke and her character Alaina Pierce. Took me a few mins to remember where I read about her.  

Every time I start a book by Naughton, it feels comforting. Her writing is easy and clear that it doesn't feel like I am reading at all. The dialogue and situations are simple and feel real, and I love the best friend's sister plot. It’s one of my favourites.

*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*   

The Blurb:

A passion to live for—and to die for—in the RITA-winning series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton.
Up-and-coming designer Kelsey McClane is on the cusp of success. Recently divorced, she should be enjoying her newfound freedom and glamorous future. Instead, she’s living in fear of the past. When she returns home to Portland on a press tour, danger creeps closer than ever. As threatening messages from her bitter ex-husband leave her vulnerable, a new man in her life makes her feel protected.

Former Army Ranger turned security professional Hunter O’Donnell is hired to guard Kelsey. When a shattering explosion rocks her world, Kelsey’s ex is the prime suspect, but Hunter speculates there’s more to the situation than Kelsey’s letting on. Intent on keeping her safe, he delves into Kelsey’s past. As the two work together to unmask her stalker’s identity, a fire ignites between them that they both struggle to contain.

While the investigation proceeds, it draws them closer not only to each other but also to a lethal plot that’s been in the works behind their backs. And with each new secret unveiled, it’s not just temptation putting them at risk—it’s a madman who will not stop until Kelsey is dead.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Duchess of Love (A Prequel) by Sally MacKenzie (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Abby Craden
Series: Duchess of Love book 0.5

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This was a super short, sweet story. Venus and Drew had a wonderfully fun “meet-cute”, along with great chemistry. The writing was easy and humourous, which makes me hope the rest of the series will be equally as good.  The summary for this story did a good job in drawing me in.

The narrator did a fine job. Had a variety of voices for characters. I would listen to her again.

The Blurb:

A Duke In Disguise. . .

The day was as hot as the pond was inviting. It's not as if anyone in Little Huffington was going to happen upon a secluded vale on the Duke of Greycliffe's lands. And Venus Collingswood didn't want to get her shift all wet. It was the perfect setting in which to plan her lovely bookworm of a sister's betrothal to the mysterious new duke arriving seven days hence. If only she had a suitable accomplice. . .

Andrew Valentine, Duke of Greycliffe, never thought arriving at his own household a week early would cause so much trouble. The housekeeper thinks he's his own cousin. Actually, the chance to not be the duke for a while is a pleasant opportunity indeed. It might even help him interrogate the delectable little nymph he's discovered swimming in his pond--if he can manage to get a word in edgewise. . .

Thursday, February 15, 2018

xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan (Audiobook)

Narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt

3 Stars - This book was pretty good. I liked the premise, however from the summary I was hoping for more letters/poems than there was.  Zach and Poppy had good banter between each other and the story moved along nicely.

Both narrators did a wonderful job as usual.

The Blurb:

The first time we met was at a party. 

Your ex arrived to show off the person he'd left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date. 

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty--and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days. 

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact. 

I know I'm crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that's the only reaction I can get out of you, I'll gladly take it. 

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I'm falling for you, and I know it's wrong. I know that I'm only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here's the thing. I think you're falling for me too.

xo, Zach

Monday, February 12, 2018

Irreplaceable by Angela Graham (Audiobook)

Narrated by Xe Sands

Series: Harmony book 2

2 Stars - I was disappointed in this book. I truly enjoyed the first, and I think the author had good intentions to try and draw it out in 3 books.. (yes this book also has cliffhanger of sorts) but for me it fell flat and I lost interest.

Cassandra’s lack of confidence that Logan could love her even though he works hard to show her how he feels, frustrated me.  I missed the fun flirtiness of the first book. This seemed to be more of Logan sort grovelling or trying extra hard to be there to gain back her trust.- Cassandra should either trust him or not.

I am not going to read the third book. Personally, I think all of this could have been accomplished in one book, and it would have been a great book! That said, I do see many great reviews for this story, (for all 3 books actually) so perhaps I am just someone who isn't into one couple's story that span more than one book. I like a book to have a beginning middle and a firm ending. If you like those drawn out romances, I bet you would enjoy this one.

Xe Sands did a wonderful job narrating.

The Blurb:
It wasn't his fault she lay broken and battered. He wasn't responsible for the injuries covering her bruised body. Her heart, however, told a different story. She endured the pain of its jagged edges as it shattered against her chest, ripping through the hope she once held. Her spirit was broken, and only one man was to blame for that. Cassandra Clarke had known better than to trust her all to a man like Logan West. She'd thought he was different-a better man than he'd portrayed to others. A man worth risking it all for. But she was wrong and would never make that mistake again. Faced with Logan's persistence, Cassandra must find the strength to keep her guard up or risk falling again for the one man her body feels is . . . irreplaceable.Contains mature themes.

Friday, February 09, 2018

Inevitable by Angela Graham (Audiobook)

Narrated by Xe Sands
Series: Harmony book 1

4.5 Stars - I picked up this book solely because of 2 things.. it was a romance and it was narrated by Xe Sands.  I haven't heard about this author before and I was quite enjoying it until boom!  CLIFFHANGER!!! What?!?!? Ugh...  I hate cliffhangers. Now thankfully this book was written in 2013.. so I currently have the next audiobook downloading as I type this. But wow, seriously did not see that coming - this is where an actual paperback type book sorta warns you… you know, with the lack of pages left… lol

Anyway, back to my review. This book has lots of flirty moments, it's a slow burn kinda book, lots of wishing and wanting and almosts.. which have built the tension nicely. I like both Logan and Cassandra and they are fun together. Oliver is a nice addition and offers a little more to each character in how they interact with him.  There are some intense moments, some sweet, some not so much. I have paused in what I was doing more than once to just listen, as I watch the scene unfold in my mind.  

So Yes, Still enjoying it.. and now as the download is complete.. I am off to listen to book 2! As always Xe Sands does a great job. She is one of my favourites!!

The Blurb:

After experiencing a humiliating breakup, twenty-two-year-old Cassandra Clarke is fresh out of college and living a simple solitary life without any intentions of pursuing love anytime soon.

When the estate next door sells, the last thing Cassandra expects is the unnerving attraction she feels for her sinfully handsome neighbor, Logan West, the young and charming single father with a playboy reputation.

It’s through Oliver, Logan’s four-year-old son, who keeps popping up in her childhood tree house, that she slowly begins to catch glimpses of the compassionate and wounded man Logan has hidden beneath his strong exterior.

Cassandra knows it's wrong and that she's heading for another heartbreak. 
Logan will never be able to give her what she wants…love.

Well Hung by Lauren Blakely (Audiobook)

Narrated by Sebastian York
Series: Big Rock book 3

4.5 Stars - I found this book quite enjoyable. Typical Lauren Blakely, good wit, sweet sentiment, and fantastic chemistry. Just what I was looking for!

As always Sebastian York was a wonderful narrator.

The Blurb:

From the NYT bestselling author of Mister O, comes a hot and hilarious new standalone.
Here's what you need to know about me - I'm well-off, well-hung, and quick with a joke. Women like a guy who makes them laugh - and I don't mean at the size of his you-know-what. No, they want their funny with a side of huge, not to mention loyal. I've got all that plus a big bank account, thanks to my booming construction business. Yup. I know how to use all my tools.
Enter Natalie. Hot, sexy, smart, and my new assistant. Which makes her totally off limits...Hey, I'm a good guy. Really. I do my best to stay far away from the kind of temptation she brings to work. Until one night in Vegas...Yeah, you've heard this one before. Bad news on the business front, drowning our sorrows in a few too many Harvey Wallbangers, and then I'm banging her. In my hotel room. In her hotel room. Behind the Titanic slot machine at the Flamingo (don't ask). And before I can make her say "Oh God, right there, YES!" one more time, we're both saying yes - the big yes - at a roadside chapel in front of a guy in press-on sideburns and a shiny gold leisure suit.
But it turns out what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas. And now my dick doesn't stay in my pants when she's around. But the more we try to keep our hands to ourselves, the more we end up naked again, and the more time I want to spend with her fully clothed, too. The question I take this woman to be my ex-wife?

Monday, February 05, 2018

Theory of Second Best by J. Bengtsson (Audiobook)

Narrated by Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt
Series: Cake book 2

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ This book was one of those books that has really good parts and just ok parts. I felt that there was a bit too much time spent on what happened to Jake in book one, than was needed in this book. I understand that it is now showing us how Kyle dealt with this tragedy, but coming straight from reading the first book it was a bit slow for me.

Kyle, while I find he has a bit of a sarcastic wit, he also comes across with a little less confidence in himself than I like in a leading man. Again this fits in with the story and his position as brother to a rock star, but I would have liked to see him surprise me.  I did however really enjoy the parts where Kyle and Kenzie were on the page together. They had great chemistry and the story was very enjoyable.  The group of people they meet on the island made for interesting situations and a few good laughs.

I am looking forward to reading the third book, however I may take a break before doing so, as I see in some other reviews that Emma’s story also follows along with how she has dealt with Jake’s tragedy.  

Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt did a wonderful job narrating this story! It was a pleasure to listen to them.

The Blurb:

Twenty-two-year-old Kyle McKallister has lived his life in the shadows. Younger brother to one of the world’s most elusive and embattled celebrities, Kyle has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But his life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show. 

Small town girl Kenzie Williams has come on the show for one thing only: to win. But when a disastrous start forces her to rely on an eclectic band of misfits, she finds herself immediately smitten with a handsome and mysterious cast mate. 

But life on the island is just a game. Can Kyle and Kenzie’s fragile spark survive the pressures of the real world? 

Friday, February 02, 2018

Cake by J. Bengtsson (Audiobook)

Narrated by Andi Ardnt, Joe Arden
Series: Cake book 1

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet, laugh out loud funny at parts and I just didn't want to put it down. The character's banter was fantastic. It felt true and real. Even though this is a "wounded hero" type story, Jake didn't dwell on his issues too much and the story left me with all good feelings.

The alternating narrative was great. Both narrators did a great job. First time I have read this author and I am soo looking forward to the next book!

The Blurb:

Jake McKallister might have been a rock star, but he was no ordinary one. Surviving an unspeakable crime as a young teen had shaped him into a guarded workaholic, and he now lived his life trying to forget. If it hadn’t been for music and the redemption he found through it, he might not have survived. Career success came easily for him. Personal connections did not. 

When outspoken, vivacious college student Casey Caldwell was paired with the famously reserved rockstar for a friend’s wedding, she was prepared for the worst. What could they possibly have in common? She was a bubbly talker; he was a reclusive loner. His life was filled with music; she couldn’t carry a tune. She’d enjoyed a happy childhood; his was a well-publicized nightmare. 

Yet despite their obvious differences, Jake and Casey found each other, and her light balanced out his darkness. Would their love be strong enough to survive the weight of his tragic past? 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a *full-length* standalone romance. Cake is a love story at heart but does deal with a sensitive topic and may not be for all. 
Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of eighteen.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Completely Yours by Erin Nicholas (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Vanessa Edwin
Series: Opposites Attract Book 1

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I enjoyed to premise of the story. Geeky girls finding love. I also loved how the author was able to convey gaming and sports in a similar fashion. All about being passionate for what you enjoy. The writing was sweet and light. There was a good back story and plot, lots of flirty moments, the characters were well developed, and it left me with an overall happy feeling. This was the first time I have read this author, but I will read her again.

The Narrator did a wonderful job. She was clear and well spoken, with enough voices to make it an easy listen.

The Blurb:

Kiera Connelly leads a quiet life, and that's just how she likes it. She's built a name as a graphic designer and meets up with her friends online, all from the comfort of her living room couch. But when a rare outing turns disastrous, Kiera finds herself up close and way too personal with an unbelievably hot real-life hero.

Zach Ashley doesn't see himself as a hero. He's just a regular guy who gets to help people every day as an EMT. But when he's called to a scene and has to treat his most gorgeous patient ever, he finds himself mixing work with pleasure. He never hesitates to put his life on the line...but will he ever risk his heart?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell

 ❤ ❤ ❤ ½ This was a decent listen. There were a few chuckles and even though the authors used a few words which were not my favourite, more times than I would have liked, the storyline was good. I enjoyed the texting between Graham and Soraya they worked well together. Both leads were strong characters and seemed to keep their ideals which was good. Graham was uber possessive and a wee bit of a jealous monger. Soraya worked through some past trauma with her father which allowed her to grow.

The two narrators did a great job. I would listen to them again. 

The blurb: 

Four consecutive weeks on the New York Times and #1 in Romance.
It started out like any other morning on the train.
Until I became mesmerized by the guy sitting across the aisle.
He was barking at someone on his phone like he ruled the world.
Who did the stuck-up suit think he was...God?
Actually, he looked like a God. That was about it.
When his stop came, he got up suddenly and left. So suddenly, he dropped his phone on the way out.
I might have picked it up.
I might have gone through all of his photos and called some of the numbers.
I might have held onto the mystery man's phone for days―until I finally conjured up the courage to return it.
When I traipsed my ass across town to his fancy company, he refused to see me.
So, I left the phone on the empty desk outside the arrogant jerk's office.
I might have also left behind a dirty picture on it first though.
I didn't expect him to text back.
I didn't expect our exchanges to be hot as hell.
I didn't expect to fall for him―all before we even met.
The two of us couldn't have been any more different.
Yet, you know what they say about opposites.
When we finally came face to face, we found out opposites sometimes do more than attract―we consumed each other.
Nothing could have prepared me for the ride he took me on. And I certainly wasn't prepared for where I'd wind up when the ride was over.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn't see coming.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Duke in My Bed by Amelia Grey (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Barrie Kreinik

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ This was a good read. There were some parts that really pulled me in and showed me the feelings between Bray and Louisa, but sadly, for me, there wasn't enough of that. The storyline was good and I enjoyed Bray learning about what a family is.  I enjoy the way this author writes and will definitely continue with this series.

This was the first time I listened to Barrie Kreinik. I felt she did a good job.

The Blurb:

As a notorious member of the Heirs' Club, Bray Drakestone can't resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues-especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger's five sisters-sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it...

Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn't care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs' Club promised her brother-she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! With four sisters behind her, Louisa knows she can't lose. But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive...

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Someone Special by Eva Moore

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I have had this book in my tbr pile for a while, because well, the wounded hero plot is not one of my favourites.

I am glad I finally picked it up. The writing is good. I liked the banter and chemistry between Nick and Dani. And while I was not a huge fan of Nick’s destructive behaviour, I understand why it was in there. I loved the messaging that went on in the book (always a favourite for me) and in the end, I really quite.enjoyed this story. The door scene.. loved it! *sigh*.  I will gladly read this author again and plan to pick up the next book in the series.

The blurb: 

Dani Carmichael’s life has turned upside-down in a matter of months. Sex is the very last thing on her mind. Processing her grief? Yes. Rallying her girlfriends? Definitely. Starting a new career? Sure. But finding a man is way down on the list. Until she meets her new neighbor, Army Vet Nick Gantry. His hidden wounds and his bare chest tempt Dani to risk her bruised heart.

Nick is looking for a place to hide away and heal, after his last tour in Iraq. The apartment building close to the VA seems perfect, until he discovers the girl next door he can’t ignore. She deserves more than he can give her, but her sexy smiles and sinful cookies shake his ‘just friends’ resolution.

After their undeniable chemistry explodes, Nick beats a hasty retreat, afraid of hurting her. Dani is left angry and alone, picking up the pieces. He’ll have to battle his demons to convince her that she is truly someone special. She must decide if she can trust the man who broke her heart.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Neanderthal Marries Human by Penny Reid (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Sebastian York and Jennifer Grace

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ To be honest I completely skipped over this book and moved on to the second, thinking it was short novella/second epilogue kind of thing… it's not. It is a full length book. I came back to read it now, because I am OH so very much looking forward to Dan’s book release (March) and Ms. Reid mentioned that his book was for people who have read the entire series - if you haven't, you may not get the references.. so I wanted to make sure I hadn't missed anything.
The book is very much more of Janie and her quirks. Quinn trying to get her to marry him, which, I was enjoying it until Janie started getting all “women's rights" on me. She doesn't like Quinn holding the door, pulling out her chair.. she doesn't like that she had the spa to herself because Quinn has money.. she doesn't like that she is getting “prepped" polished, plucked, pedicured etc. That things have to be done because of tradition… but then why is she even wanting her lazy lack-of-a-father to walk her down the aisle… because it's tradition… she says!! Ugh, talk about contradiction! that I have given a somewhat spoiler (sorry) and got that off my chest, the rest was quite good. I loved the Vegas scene read by Sebastian York! He made that scene come alive!  It was funny and silly in perfect Penny Reid fashion, I loved the extra bits of Dan I got to see… YEAH!! And the lead up to Nico and Elizabeth's book. Jennifer Grace did a fantastic job narrating Janie. She spoke just like I would imagine Janie would.

   I am glad I went back and read this book and I can't wait till March!!! Dan’s book is gonna be good!!

The Blurb:

There are three things you should know about Quinn Sullivan: 1) He is madly in love with Janie Morris, 2) He’s not above playing dirty to get what (or who) he wants, and 3) He doesn’t know how to knit.

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn—former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat—is ready to propose marriage. In fact, he’s more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day—thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of pre-matrimony: engagement, meeting the parents, bachelor/bachelorette party, and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions. But Janie, much to Quinn’s dismay, tosses a wrench in his efficacious endeavors and challenges him to prove his devotion by going through the matrimonial motions, no matter how minute and mundane.

Will Quinn last until the wedding day? Or will he yield to his tyrant impulses?

Regardless, one thing is for certain, Quinn Sullivan will have to learn to expect the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. the unexpected) if he plans to have and keep Janie Morris as his wife.

This book is not a standalone. It is the sequel to ‘Neanderthal Seeks Human,’ it is book #1.5 in the ‘Knitting in the City’ series, and it is a full length, 100k word novel.

Again, you must read ‘Neanderthal Seeks Human’ first before reading this book.

This book is written in first person, alternating POV (Janie Morris AND Quinn Sullivan; but more Janie than Quinn).