A closet readers take on: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Erotica, YA Fiction & Audiobooks

Sunday, October 4, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Crista McHugh's BREAKAWAY HEARTS (The Kelly Brothers Bk2)



http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Breakaway-Hearts-Audiobook/B00S8IYM7I/ref=a_series_c2_2_saTtl?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=1WF2MRWHENFN6WW2KDDC&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=series-detail&pf_rd_p=1374482202&pf_rd_s=center-2


 Title:  BREAKAWAY HEARTS
Series:  The Kelly Brothers, Book 1
Author:   Crista McHugh
Narrator:  Therese Plummer
Release Date:  1-15-15
Price:  $17.95
Publisher: Crista McHugh
Length:  5 hrs  19 min
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible



 My Ratings

Plot:  4.5/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  4.5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  5/5

Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  40.5/45 =  90%

 





Synopsis

Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night.

Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he’s out to sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice?




Review

Sometimes some comes into your life, and you know they are the one.  And sometimes they are taken from your life for one reason or another.  Sometimes you find out why, and sometimes you don't.  Ben Kelly met the girl of his dreams, Haily Eriksson one night after a game.  Their chemestry was off the charts.  After a smoking hot evening in bed, a miscommunication tore these two apart.  Ben want on to be one of the top NHL players, until possible a career ending injure sidelined him.  And Hailey's dreams of playing for the national Olympic Women's Hockey team were also destroyed due to an untimely pregnancy.  These unfortunate circumstances brought these two back into each others lives.  Will their painful pasts and secrets, keep them from finding their way back to each other?

I totally fell in love with these two!  I adored Hailey's heart, personal strength, grit, and willingness to not let go of the sport she loved.  And Ben's transformations from NHL playboy to strong and compassionate man, was extremely endearing.  No matter how hard these two fought, I cheered for them the entire way.  I loved how strong, and sometimes stubborn, each of the characters were.  They both were slightly broken, when they found each other again.  It was like they were missing puzzle pieces.  Neither were complete with out the other.  In the end, they held each other up.  These two has several misses, but they destined to be together.  And not to give to much away, but the final scene was just so sweet.  It had me wiping away tears.

Therese Plummer is one of the top narrators in the business.  Having her narrate this series, is such a gift.  Her dictation and pacing are astonishing, and her character voices are unbelievable!!!!  As a female narrator, it's can be extremely hard to do convening male voices.  She does it seamlessly!  While listening to her narration, I tend to forget that it's only narrated by one person.  It tends to sounds more like an ensemble performance.  She was able to capture this stories deep emotions.  And she truly brought this story to life for me.    

This book is an emotional roller coaster for the listener.  It was sweet, funny, and even tragic in places!  I really couldn't put this audiobook down.  I was amazed at how well flushed out these characters were for such a short story.  The dialogue was smart and touching.  This has to be my favorite book in this series so far!  Christa McHugh and Therese Plummer hit this one out of the part!  If you are looking for a short, sweet read this one's for you.




***Audiobook was provided by the author in trade for a fair review*** 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

NEW RELEASE AUDIOBOOK: Rachel Vincent's





http://amzn.to/1KUpiXm


Author:  Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Audible Audio Edition
Price:  $19.59
Listening Length: 10 hours and 57 minutes
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books
Audible.com Release Date: September 29, 2015
Language: English
ASIN: B015TKAISY
Purchase from Amazon or Audible
Add to your Goodreads Bookshelf 




Synopsis

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie…

When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger's Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she's forced to "perform" in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she'll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.
 





What I'm Looking Forward to Most
Saying that I'm a Rachel Vincent fan, is a massive understatement!  If she wrote it, I've read it multiple times. She was the first author that got me into the urban fantasy genre.  She tends to write outside the box, when it comes to these kinds of books.  She doesn't follow the rules or wright about what is currently in style. Her world building skills are beyond fantastic!  She writes deep characters, with extremely smart dialogue.  I cannot wait to pick up MENAGERIE!  It seems to have a very interesting storyline.  Nothing like I have ever seen, in this genre.  I'm sure it will keep me on the edge of my seat.  Plus, the narrator involved with this audiobook is spectacular.  I cannot wait to see what Rachel Vincent has up her sleeve for us this time!!!     

Friday, September 25, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Shelley Bradley's WATCH ME





Title:  WATCH ME
Author:  Shelley Bradley
Narrator:  Sasha Dunbrooke
Release Date:  8/04/15
Price:  $9.95
Publisher:  ListenUp Audiobooks
Length:  4 hrs
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



My Ratings

Plot:  4.5/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  4/5
Originality of Plot:  4.5/5
Characters Development:  4/5
Ending:  4/5

Heat Level:  4.5/5
Cover Art:  4.5/5
Narration:  4.5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  4.5/5

Overall:  43/50 =  86%








Synopsis

Shanna York was set to achieve her glittering ballroom dreams and become a dance champion—until her dance partner gets tangled up in scandal and blackmail. With the clock ticking and all her ambitions at stake, the last thing she needs is the gorgeous owner of a sex club tempting her with the forbidden.

Or maybe that’s the very thing she needs…

Alejandro Diaz has sizzled for Shanna since he set eyes on her months ago. Her repeated rebuffs will make her surrender that much sweeter. She’s ambitious and driven…but so is he. When she asks for his assistance to ensnare a voyeuristic blackmailer with a video fetish, he doesn’t hesitate to help her stage a bedroom trap. But neither is prepared to face scorching, endless passion, the blackmailer’s real identity—or the undeniable love that grows between them.




Review

Shanna York is an extremely driven and talented ballroom dancer.  Some might go as far, as to call her a bitch.  The trouble is that she has the reputation for running through dance partners that don't suit her.  She's pretty happy with her current partner, but unfortunately his extracurricular activities might not sit well with the straight laced judges.  To bad someone has it out for her, and has decided to blackmail her with a video of her partner from a fetish club.  

This was such sexy, short read.  I tend not to pick up stand alone books or novellas.  But WATCH ME really packs in a lot of storyline in such a short audiobook. I would have loved it to have been just a little bit longer, so I could spend more time in Shanna and Alejandro's world.  However, I did have to look past the "insta-love" that is a necessity of such a short story. 

The two main characters were extremely entertaining and had wonderful chemistry!  Their heat jumped off the page.  Even though Shanna could come a crossed as hard and sometimes difficult, she's got such a great heart deep down.  I enjoyed how Alejandro saw straight threw her persona.  He was able to break down her walls, and give her things that she never even knew she needed.  

I know I'm dating myself by saying this, but it reminded me of the 1992 movie The Cutting Edge.  I don't mean that in a negative way, since I loved this movie growing up.  It's about a girl who blows through teammates, like it's her job. Just replace dancing for figure skating. 

I only have one criticism for this story.  I felt that the blackmail scene in the beginning was unnecessarily gratuitous and over the top.  I am in no way a prude.  I love my sexy book...EXTRA sexy!  The scene just felt forced.  I know it needed to be scandalous, but I felt like the author used every trick in the porn book to do it.  It actually, almost made me stop listening.  I think that for such a short story, the word count would have been better used on hot scene between Shanna and Alejandro.

This was the first time, that I've listen to Sasha Dunbrooke's narration.  I'm extremely tough on narrators!  If the narration doesn't add additional layers to the story, I might as well read the book for myself.  So I was surprisingly impressed with Sasha!  Her character voices were distinct and spot-on.  I was specifically impressed with the way she portrayed Alejandro character.  Her pacing and dictation were phenomenal. She really brought this story to life for me.  Bravo Sasha!  She has landed herself on my Must Listen list of narrators.

This was just a delightful short listen!  Overall, I felt that the author pulled together deep storyline in a short audiobook.  I enjoyed spending some time in both the dancing and sex club worlds.  I loved the juxtaposition between the two.  I think that Shelley Bradley and Sasha Dunbrooke make a great pair!  I would recommend this audiobook for anyone who's looking to escape into a sexy world for a few hours. 



***Audiobook was provided by the author in trade for a fair review*** 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Richelle Mead's SUCCUBUS BLUES (Georgina Kincaid Bk 1)




http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Succubus-Blues-Audiobook/B002ZP6HEQ/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1439751414&sr=1-1

Title:  SUCCUBUS BLUES
Series:  Georgina Kincaid, Book 1
Author:   Richelle Mead
Narrator:  Elisabeth Rodgers
Release Date:  12-04-09
Price:  $21.95
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length:  11 hrs  29 min
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible



 My Ratings

Plot:  5/5
Setting:  4.5/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  5/5
Characters Development:  5/5
Ending:  5/5

Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  43.5/45 =  96%
 







Synopsis


Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. 
Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid.

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. Her boss is a middle-management demon with a thing for John Cusack movies. Her immortal best friends haven't stopped teasing her about the time she shape-shifted into the Demon Goddess get-up, complete with whip and wings. And she can't have a decent date without sucking away part of the guy's life.

At least there's her day job at a local bookstore--free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to best-selling, sexy writer Seth Mortensen, aka "He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't". 

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny.


©2007 Richelle Mead; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.




Review


An Imp, an Angel, and a Succubus walk into a bar.  No this isn't a joke, it's Georgina Kincaid's life.  During the day Georgina works at a local book store, and at night she lures men into her bed steals their souls.  She sounds like a very busy girl. Then two unforeseen things happen, her author crush Seth Mortensen comes to her book store, and someone's trying to kill the immortals of Seattle.  As you can imagine, pardon the pun, all Hell breaks loose.

I fell in love with Georgina within the first chapter, demoness getup and all!  She became a succubus, to make up for past mistakes.  I enjoyed her attitude and sharp tongue, even when it gets her into trouble.  She is the reluctant hero of this story.  She's the succubus, that doesn't want to be a succubus.  She picks the most unlikely place for a succubus to work, a book store.  And trouble tends to finds her, whether she is looking for it or not.  Thankfully, she has an amazing assortment of friends, including an imp, an angel, and a couple vampires, to help her along the way. 

Richelle Mead certainly knows how to write a romantic lead.  And in this story, we get two.  I adored Seth and Roman for completely different reasons.  Seth appeals to my goofy, nerdy side, while enjoyed Roman on a more primal level.  Both are sexy in their own right.  I love how Seth is this perfect person in Georgina's mind, until she actually meets him.  She finds his social awkwardness endearing.  Roman swoops in out of nowhere.  He sexy and charming ass hell.  That's not to say he doesn't have his fair share of faults. There were actually points in the story, where I had decided that Georgina must pick one guy, and then the other would rally.  I don't want to give to much away, but I will say that I'm happy how this ends.  The last couple chapters of this book both broke my heart, and gave me hope for Georgina's romantic future.  I was very touched by the final scene between Georgina and the guy she chooses.

I loved Elizabeth Rodger's narration of this story! She was able to carry off Georgina's sharp sense of humor, Seth's sweet shy nature, and Carter's dry humor. She's really mastered differentiating the character, and pulled each voice off like a pro!  Her pace and dictation are amazing.  And she has a wonderful ability to give an emotional performance, that totally captures the listeners attention.

SUCCUBUS BLUES is sexy, snarky, and full of adventure.  My favorite thing about this series, is how fresh it feels.  In a sea of generic Urban Fantasy books, this one truly stands out.  Strong character development and world building make this book a vibrant listen. Also, the characters are the true heart of this story.  You can tell that Richelle Mead spent a lot of time creating such distinct characters.  I can't wait to just into the next audiobook in this series!!!

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: CD Reiss' CONTROL, BURN, RESIST: Books 4-6




Title:  CONTROL, BURN, RESIST: Books 4-6 
Series: Submission Series Bundle 2 
Author:   C. D. Reiss
Release Date:  06-23-15
Price:  $17.46
Publisher:  Flip City Media Inc
Length:  11 hrs  48 min
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible




 My Ratings

Plot:  4/5
Setting:  4.5/5
Writing:  4.5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  5/5

Heat Level  5/5
Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  45.5/50 =  91%







Synopsis

This bundle includes the three novels of sequence two. 

Control
What you're breaking isn't some little, meaningless coupling. We aren't some casual screw, and we never were. Not from the first night. Not from the first time I laid eyes on you. You were built for me. I denied it as long as I could, but we were meant to be together. You are the sea under my sky. We are bound at the horizon. 

Burn
Here's how it's going to be, goddess.
Until you surrender yourself to me fully, I will not touch you.
Until the world can know you belong to me, I will not kiss you.
I'm going to be inches away, at your side. I'm going to whisper in your ear and put my breath on your neck, but the heat of my skin will not feel the shudder of yours until you commit yourself to me completely. 

Resist
I looked down at him, with his tourmaline eyes and copper hair, and believed him despite my better judgment.
I forgave him despite my misgivings. I loved him just because I did.
My heart wasn't sensible or guarded enough. Not by a sight. I was a walking raw nerve ending of emotion, as if the years I'd spent away from men and sex had made me more emotional, more vulnerable, more foolish.
I ran my fingers through his hair, feeling like the victim of a crime of consent. 


©2013 Christine DeMaio (P)2015 Christine DeMaio




Review

Control, Burn, Resist picked up right where Bundle #1 left off.  And this time we also get to jump into Jonathan's head with the change to dual POV's.  This added another emotional level to this series.  I was super excited to get a glimpse into what haunting things make this domineering man tick, while continuing with Monica On her journey of self discovery.

CD Reiss writes the most interesting and deep characters.  They have an edge of realness to them, that most books in this genre are lacking.  She draws the readers in, and makes them care about these broken characters.  In a way, this series is a mystery.  Each have secrets they hide deep inside.  You just want to read more, and find out why these characters act they way they do.   

I really enjoyed Monica's character.  She's driven, talented, smart, caring, and sexy.  She's not the standard wet mop female lead you tend to find in this genre.  I like how she takes charge of her own life, but has a wiliness to submit to Jonathan in the bedroom.  I enjoy watching her butt heads with Jonathan, as well.  She takes a stand on the important things, and that's what really matters.  She decided that sometimes letting go of control can be a good thing.  She's also good for Jonathan.  He's not used to having people stand up to him, and she's not his standard submissive.  Also heat and sexual tension between the two of them flies straight off the page. 

Where do I even start.  Jonathan might just be one of my favorite erotic male leads.  He's sexy, driven, smart, and tends to take what he wants.  Unfortunately, Jonathan can be his own worst enemy at times.  He's a bit self destructive.  In Bundle #1, he seems to be in  control of just about everything.  I think that in the Bundle #2, you get to see what's actually going on below the surface.  I enjoyed seeing seeing the damaged parts of Jonathan.  It made him more real to me.  Jonathan's part of the story was like peeling back the layers of an onion. You get to see why he's always holding back emotionally.  

I really wasn't sure what to expect from the narration side of this audiobook.  The first bundle was performed by a solo narrator, Jo Raylan.  I so was blown away by her passionate performance, that purchasing the second bundle in this series was a no-brainer.  Then it was announced that Bundle #2 would be a duel narration between Jo Raylan and Christian Fox.  I'm not usually a fan of dual narrations, it can sometimes be distracting and disjointed.  However, Jo and Christian's combined performance brought this series to whole new emotional level.  They're narrations flowed so smoothly into each other, that I was never distracted by the change in narrator.  I also loved the little snippets, where one narrator would pop-up in the other narrator's chapter.  It was like a little yummy chocolate surprise, dropped in the middle of the chapter. Both narrators did a spectacular job encompassing the true emotions of their characters. I absolutely have to call attention to Jo Raylan's singing.  She did such a wonderful job with Monica's lyrics.  She has such a deep, soulful quality to her singing voice.  These two really brought CD Reiss' story to life for me!

I wasn't sure that I could the CD Reiss could surpass the emotional power house that was Bundle #1, but she did it.  CONTROL, BURN, RESIST was seductive, thrilling, and at times mysterious.  CD has knack for writing beautifully broken characters.  You can't help, but fall in love with them and their journey.  The narrators of this audiobook, Jo and Christian, brought amazing depth to this story.  I was completly enthralled, and I couldn't put it down.  CD's passionate writing combined with very strong narration, made this one of my favorite audiobook of this year.  I cannot wait until the release of Bundle #3, because this story left me on the edge of my seat.

          

 ***Audiobook was provided by the author in trade for a fair review***

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Carly Phillips' DARE TO SURRENDER (Dare to Love #3)




http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Dare-to-Surrender-Audiobook/B00NFSBHMY/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1430092628&sr=1-1
Title:  DARE TO SURRENDER
Series:  Dare to Love Bk #2
Author:  Carly Phillips
Narrator:  Sophie Eastlake
Release Date:  9/16/14
Price:  $10.49
Publisher:  CP Publishing
Length:  4 hrs 49 min
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



 My Ratings

Plot:  4/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  4.5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  4.5/5

Heat Level  4.5/5
Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  44/50 =  88%







Synopsis


After ending a relationship to a cheating, domineering man, Isabelle Masters takes off in her leased Mercedes, only to be arrested for grand theft and hauled to a local police station. To her surprise, she is rescued by the most unlikely person possible, Gabriel Dare, a man she's been attracted to for far too long. Gabe offers Isabelle freedom along with an invitation to Eden, an exclusive island resort where everything and anything is possible. 

Although Gabe yearns to possess Isabelle, he knows all too well he must fight his primitive need to bind her to him, and instead help bring out the independent woman she yearns to become - or risk losing her for good. 

A woman who needs to run her own life. A man who needs to exert control. Can she surrender to his erotic demands without losing her sense of self once more? 


©2014 Karen Drogin (P)2014 Karen Drogin




Review

Say Isabelle Masters is having a bad day, is an understatement!  She had just left her cheating, and emotional abusive boyfriend.  She knew that no amount of money was worth staying in that kind of situation.  On top of all of that, she ended up at the police station.  Her scummy ex-boyfriend reported her Mercedes as stolen.  Isabelle did have one thing going for her, she was arrested by Gabriel Dare's brother and he just happen to be at the station. She knew Gabe from attending society events with her ex.  Gabe rushed to the rescue on his white horse, trying to help her.  Immediately, Isabelle goes on alert. Is this knight in shining armor to good to be true?  She's already been burned once by a guy that seemed to be a good one.

Isabelle was such an amazing character!  I enjoyed that fact that she was written flawed.  She came into the situation with Gabe with lots of baggage.  She left one controlling relationship, and stepped right into a new relationship immediately.  Those things let her question Gabe's motives.  I appreciated that she was smart enough to take a step back to work on herself and her career.  She was able to prove that she could make it in the world without a man.  The entire experience made her a stronger women.  It was such an empowering message!

Sophie Eastlake brought her A-game on this one.  This book contained so many different emotions, from deep despair to heated passion.  Sophie was able to pull them all off beautifully!  Also her sultry voice and pacing, really set the tone for the sexy book.  Her different character voices were distinct and clear.  She made listening to this audiobook an extremely enjoyable experience.  Sophie is an another narrator that is on my 'Must Listen" list, because of her amazing character voices and consistent performances. 


Carly Phillips has done it again!  I enjoyed this book's roller coaster of emotion,  and the fact that the author wrote extremely realistic characters.  She has a real talent, when it comes to writing truly broken characters.  This book was also inspirational, I know I personally got a lot from Isabelle's journey.  This audiobook contained a lot of story content, in such a short book.  If I had one tiny complaint, it would be that I wished I could have spent more time with Isabelle and Gabe.  But I'm pretty sure we'll get to see them pop-up upcoming in another Dare to Love book.


 ***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review*** 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Dakota Cassidy's SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT (Plum Orchard Book 2)



Title: Something To Talk About
Series:  Plum Orchard Book 2
Author:  Dakota Cassidy
Narrator:  Scarlet Chase
Release Date: 10/21/14
Price:  $15.00
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Length: 9 hrs 24 min
Format: MP3-CD
Purchase at Tantor or Amazon



 My Ratings

Plot:  5/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  4.5/5
Heat Level:  4/5

Cover Art:  4.5/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  45.5/50 =  91%   









Synopsis

Sexy is as sexy does. And in Plum Orchard, sugar, it does!
  Emmeline Amos is sick of her ex saying she's boring and prissy. After all, she works for a phone-sex company! (As general manager, but still.) On a rare girls' night out, fueled by blender drinks and bravado, Em accepts a shocking dare—to handle a call herself. But it's tipsy Em who gets an earful from an irate single father on the other end of the line. Awkward.

But not as awkward as discovering that same mad dad is Call Girls' gorgeous new programmer. Jax Hawthorne is still upset that his daughter called the "girlfriend store" on his behalf, but he can't deny he'd choose a hot-librarian type like Em if he were looking for love. Which he's not.

Em wants to do more than just talk the talk. So she makes a bawdy bargain with Jax. They've both been burned before—this time, they'll keep it strictly physical. Except as soon as they settle on no strings attached, things start to get tangled.




Review

In the previous book, Emmeline Amos suffered the most humiliating moment of her life. To as insult to injure, it was witnessed by Jax Hawthorne.  Em thought that she's blown her chance with this sexy, mysterious man.  Fast forward a couple months, and the chaos in her life is starting to die down.  Em's friends have decided to help her break out of her shell.  After her divorce, she also felt that it's time to reinvent herself.  One night, her friends have her field one of the Call Girls' calls, that would change her entire life.

This story is about second chances and finding love. I really enjoyed watching Em's journey from a shy, quiet girl to a sexy, self assured women.  Em and Jax brought out the best in each other.  I liked that these two weren't looking for love, but found it anyway.  And I loved that these two were able to blend their families so easily. Jax's daughter needed a women in her life, and Em's boys needed a man in their lifer.  It was such a beautiful story.   

I'm completly falling in love with this series! It has a sense of humor. It's sexy. It has well thought out characters. And most of all, it has super smart dialog. It really stands out in a sea of sub-standard, fluffy contemporary romance. Dakota Cassidy's writing is absolutely a step above the rest.  I also loved that she kicked the heat level up another notch in this book!  I also never saw the big secret that was revealed towards the end of the story. Well played Dakota!     

Scarlet Chase is an excellent fit for this series.  Her slightly sweet, honeyed southern accent is the perfect accompaniment to this series.  She has a way with dialogue and pacing, that she puts most narrators to shame.  Every character had their very own distinct voice, even the men.  It's always wonderful, when a narrator show great range when it comes to narrating a character of the opposite gender. She's was the biggest reason that I got completely caught up in this audiobook, and couldn't put it down. She's quickly becoming a must-listen narrator!

I love this books heart!  And while it's both sexy and serious in a lot of places, this book was really funny.  It made for a very smart, hot read for me.  I fell in love with Em in the last book, and grew to love Jax as well.  I flew through this audiobook, and couldn't wait to download the next.  The ladies of Call Girls' have truly stolen my heart, and I can't wait to see what the have in store for us in the next book.  If you're looking for a new contemporary romance series, this is a must read!



 ***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review***

Thursday, March 12, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Chloe Neill's DARK DEBT (Chicagoland Vampires #11)




http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1494552639?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393185&creativeASIN=1494552639&linkCode=shr&tag=nigidotrenabo-20&linkId=QWFWK3UWTCS6336P&qid=1425763496&sr=1-1
Title: DARK DEBT
Series:  Chicagoland Vampires #11 
Author:  Chloe Neill
Narrator:  Sophie Eastlake
Release Date:  3/03/15
Price:  $17.99
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Length:  10 hrs 11 min
Format:  Tantor Direct Download
Purchase at Tantor or Amazon



My Ratings

Plot:  5/5
Setting:  4.5/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  5/5
Ending:  5/5

Cover Art:  3/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  41.5/45 =  92%







Synopsis

A vampire never gets old, but neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan's dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don't know whether he's friend or foe. But they'll have to figure it out soon because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soirée attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs.

The connections to Chicago's Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and one wrong move could be her last.  




Review

Wherever Merit goes, trouble always seems to follow.  Black tie functions attended by Chicago's social elite aren't safe.  Even wearing a gown that belong on a red carpet, Merit is able to thwarts an assassination attempt on a a party attendee. Question is, who's behind this latest attack and how is it connected to Chicagoland's vampires.  

The Chicagoland Vampires' series, is an absolute favorite of mine.  Chloe Neill puts together the perfect balance of action, humor, sex, and wonderful characters.  While most series tend to get stale around book 10, Chloe keeps this series fresh with each new book.  And DARK DEBT is no different.  I also felt that this book brought the series back to it's real roots.  It's back focusing more on the vampiric houses of Chicago.

This book turned Merit and Ethan's relationship on it's head.  Though Merit is really coming into her own vampire powers, Ethan has always been the rock in their relationship.  An unforeseen person from Ethan's past, turns their world upside down.  Now it's Merit's turn to be the strong one.  Even when Ethan's greatest foe comes after Merit, she has his back.  Ethan's fully lets Merit in emotionally.  I really loved these two together.  Their chemistry is so steamy and all encompassing.  No matter what tragic things happen, these two have each other.  They have proven over and over again that their love can defeat just about anything.

While this book gave me plenty of Merit and Ethan, DARK DEBT was really about the series' secondary characters. Against my better judgment, I have always love Morgan.  He has done some terrible things in the past, but he really get the chance to turn things around.  We got to see the charming Morgan, that we haven't seen in several books.  Mallory and Catcher, really got to take a front seat in this book, as well.  Mallory has fought really hard to earn everyone's trust back.  She is given the chance to come to Cadogan's magical rescue.  I was so happy to see Mallory and Catcher's romantic relationship taken to the next level. I also really enjoyed that Merit got some resolution with her father, since they have always had such a strained relationship.
  
Sophie Eastlake's narration, as always, was real treat.  She has this perfect dark quality to her voice that lends well to the story.  She has created very divers, unique voices for each character.  She does such an amazing job telling this story, that the listener can get lost in the audiobook.  DARK DEBT is full of deep emotion, from agonizing fear to heart stealing love, and Sophie hits these emotion out of the park!     

When Chicagoland's the magical community comes together, there aren't many things that can stand in their way.  I just love these deep characters that the author has given us.  I was really happy that this book had the feeling of the earlier books in the series.  The constant drama and action kept me hooked, and I could put this audiobook down. Chloe Neill has a real knack for setting up story surprises that the reader never sees coming.  DARK DEBT has the perfect combination of  mystery, action, and characters that you can't help but love. The Chicagoland Vampire series has done it again!  I can't wait to see what the next book in this series has to offer.  Hopefully, we'll get more Jonah.




 ***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review***

 

Monday, March 9, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Carly Phillips' DARE TO DESIRE (Dare to Love Bk2)



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L5QCEUC?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00L5QCEUC&linkCode=shr&tag=nigidotrenabo-20&linkId=EGMTGWRPFIOI4X3C&qid=1425867747&sr=8-1
Title:  DARE TO DESIRE
Series:  Dare to Love Bk #2
Author:  Carly Phillips
Narrator:  Sophie Eastlake
Release Date:  6/20/14
Price:  $13.96
Publisher:  CP Publishing
Length:  6 hrs 14 min
Format:  Audible Audio Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



 My Ratings

Plot:  4.5/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  5/5
Ending:  5/5

Heat Level 4.5/5
Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  46/50 =  92%








Synopsis 

New York Times best-selling author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family...siblings shaped by a father's secrets and betrayal.

Quarterback Alex Dare had it all - an all-star football career and his choice of willing women - until injury forces him into early retirement. When he is offered a ground-breaking position with a rival team, he's intrigued, but there's a catch. He'll be working alongside the same woman he callously hurt when she got too close for comfort. Social worker Madison Evans grew up in foster homes and knows what it means to have-not. She isn't impressed by Alex Dare's wealth or charm. Not since she fell hard for him once before, only to discover she was just one of his too-easy conquests.

This time around Madison refuses to succumb to Alex so easily. But Alex wants Madison. And if there is one thing Alex does well, it's to get what he wants. Can he convince Madison to take a risk and dare to love?

©2014 Karen Drogin (P) 


Review

Like most top athletes, Alex Dare was living the high life.  He had physical strength, money, fame, and more willing women then he could count.  This is why it was terribly unlikely to for him to settle down with one women, that is until his half-brother introduced him to Madison Evans.  She was a sexy, smart social worker, with a sad backstory.  The trouble wasn't catching Madison, it was keeping her.  After a career ending injury, Alex's live took a nose dive.  He made the mistake of letting his anger drive Madison away.

Half a year later, Alex is left with no real career path.  After getting back in his feet, his half-brother offered him a consulting position at a rival football team.  This position would allow him to help other players make more positive life choices, now and in their future.  It was an amazing opportunity.  To bad the position would require him working side-by-side with Madison.  Neither could turn down a job like this.  Could he get her to trust him, as well as allow him back into her life.

The glimpses of Alex we were given in DARE TO LOVE, drive me to pick up DARE TO DESIRE immediately.  There is nothing I love more them a cocky, athletic, bad boy.  It's a character flaw, I know.  I can't help myself.  I also loved his interactions with Riley.  He couldn't have been all bad, seeing how much he cared for her as they grew up.  I really enjoyed pealing back the layers of Alex's character, and seeing past the face he gave the world.  He was willing to make amends for past bad decisions.  I was really touched by the person Alex become.  I liked Alex in the first book, but I really fell in love with in this one!  

Madison is absolutely amazing and resilient!  She wasn't so lucky growing up.  She had to fight hard for to get where she is today.  I was very impressed that she had made a career helping kids have a better life then she had.  It took so much for her to let Alex back into her life.  And I really enjoyed how she made him really work for it.  He was able to give her the emotional support that she greatly needed in her life.     

Sophie Eastlake's narration of this book really made Carly Phillips' world come to life.  She has a deep, sultry quality to her voice that lends well to this genre.  Her character voices were distinct and clear.  And her pace and phrasing we spectacular.  The emotions that she brought to this story, made this a truly enjoyable listen for me.

DARE TO DESIRE brought together a wonderful mix of heat and heart.  Although this was a short audiobook, I felt that author really took the time fully flush out the characters.  I loved how this book was really about second chances.  I also think the storyline in DARE TO DESIRE, took the emotional depths even further then DARE TO LOVE.  I really grew to care about these two, and the rest of the Dare family.  I just wished that we had gotten more of their pre-injurey relationship.   I can't wait for the next installment in this series!


 ***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review***

Friday, February 27, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Jeaniene Frost's BOUND BY FLAMES (Night Prince Bk3)



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RAWC1X0?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00RAWC1X0&linkCode=shr&tag=nigidotrenabo-20&linkId=PJCQCM4D5QOTM262&sr=1-1&qid=1424224825
Title:  BOUND BY FLAMES
Series:  Night Prince Bk 3
Author:  Jeaniene Frost
Narrator:  Tavia Gilbert
Release Date:  1/27/15
Price:  $14.55
Publisher:  Harper Audio
Length:  8 hrs 4 min
Format:  Audible Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



My Ratings

Plot:  5/5
Setting:  4.5/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4.5/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  5/5

Cover Art:  4.5/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  43/45 =  95%
 









Synopsis

The climactic third novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost's Night Prince series finds Vlad and his newly turned bride, Leila, at odds with each other—and vulnerable to the one vampire powerful enough to end the Dark Prince's reign . . .

Play with fire, pay the price

Leila's years on the carnie circuit were certainly an education. What she didn't learn: how to be a vampire, or how to be married to the most famous vampire of them all. Adjusting to both has Leila teetering on a knife edge between passion and peril, and now the real danger is about to begin . . .

Vlad must battle with a centuries-old enemy whose reach stretches across continents and whose strength equals his own. It isn't like Vlad to feel fear, but he does . . . for Leila, because his enemy knows she is Vlad's greatest weakness. As friend and foe alike align against him—and his overprotectiveness drives Leila away—Vlad's love for his new bride could be the very thing that dooms them both . . .




Review

I got a new Night Prince novel, so I jump up and down in fan-girl joy.  Jeaniene Frost and Tavia Gilbert are probably on of my favorite author/narrator combos EVER!  Jeaniene's beautiful storytelling and Tavia's emotional delivery, really pack a very powerful audible punch.  I recommend this series, and it's connecting series to all of my friends. 

I really enjoyed how Leila and Vlad have become more comfortable in their relationship.  I mean Vlad's is still slightly controlling, I mean he is still Vlad.  But he takes steps to let Leila make some of her own decisions.  These two are on more of the same level, because Leila's power and strength have grown dramatically.  I love how Leila is probably the only person that stands up to Vlad.  And that he finally lets her know how much she really means to him.  I think I feel even more in love with Vlad in this book.  He showed a more sensitive site of himself. 

This series is really driven by it characters.  I love the reoccurring cast from Jeaniene's other series.  Any chance that I get to have more Bones, Kat, and Mencheres, is a real treat for me.  I also really enjoyed Maxinus' storyline.  I spent most of the book trying to figure out his game plan.  As soon as I decided that I hated him, he would turn around and do something to counterbalance that.  He has such an interesting history with Vlad, and the ending was emotional for me.  And as much as Leila's sister annoys the living crap out of me, I was very happy to see that Leila was able to reconnect with her family.

Tavia Gilbert's performance really takes this BOUND BY FLAMES to the next level.  This series could have been a very complicated read for most narrators.  It's full of all kinds of varying emotions, and characters with extremely different and difficult accents.  She pulls it off like a pro!  Her mastery of the diverse accents was superb. Tavia is the Night Prince series!  Her voices created such a vivid picture in my head, that it sounds like a movie.  Her pace and dictation are astonishing.  She is a real pro, and a "must listen" narrator for me!  

This story was extremely fast paced, heartbreaking, and full of soul stealing love.  It really kept me on my toes. I enjoyed how Jeaniene wasn't afraid to take the story to another level.  There were scenes that just completely broke me into pieces.  The book does contain some graphic scenes, and isn't for the faint for heart.  This series get better with every book!  So I am super excited that the powers that be, have decided that we'll get one more book in this series.  I will be waiting very impatiently.  This series is a must read for those looking for in-depth PNR world building and emotionally charged characters!  If you haven't read Jeaniene's Cat and Bone's series, I recommend would starting there first. 


Thursday, February 19, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Crista McHugh's THE SWEETEST SEDUCTION (The Kelly Brothers, Book 1)



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SBVLCZW?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00SBVLCZW&linkCode=shr&tag=nigidotrenabo-20&linkId=PUYPGEAQOV27O5AD&qid=1423616548&sr=8-1
Title:  THE SWEETEST SEDUCTION
Series:  The Kelly Brothers, Book 1
Author:  Crista McHugh
Narrator:  Therese Plummer
Release Date:  1/16/15
Price:  $17.95
Publisher: Crista McHugh
Length:  5 hrs 17 min
Format:  Audible Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



My Ratings

Plot:  4/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4/5
Ending:  5/5

Heat Level: 4/5
Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  44/50 =  88%





Synopsis


Lia Mantovani has created one of the hottest restaurants on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, but all that could disappear if she loses her lease with Kelly Properties. Having had her dreams ripped away from her before, she’ll do everything in her power to keep her restaurant. Her fate hangs on the whims of the frustratingly handsome Adam Kelly.

Adam has spent years trying to convince world famous chef Amadeus Schlittler to open a restaurant in Chicago, but he wants the prime location held by Lia. Business has always come first… until sparks fly when Adam meets her. When things get hot outside the kitchen, though, they’re both in danger of getting burned.
 



Review

Meddling mothers might just be the biggest thing that chief Lia Mantovani and real estate mogul Adam Kelly have in common.  The two mothers decided to trick Lia into cooking an marvelous, authentic Italian dinner for Mrs. Kelly and her boys.  They hoped that Lia would find a love match with one of the Kelly boys.  After meeting Lia and trying her amazing cooking, Adam isn't sure which he like more her flavorful food or her sexy body.  Sparks fly between these two from the very beginning. To get away from the prying eyes of their family, they decide to escape on the Kelly family boat.  Then things escalate quickly, until the two are interrupted by passerby. 

Adam's having one heck of a week.  He meets this amazingly interesting women, while also working on a deal to bring world famous chef, Amadeus Schlittler, into one of his Chicago properties.  To bad the only place chef Schlittler is willing to set up a restaurant, is right where Lia's restaurant is currently located.  Adam had no idea that he held the lease for Lia's restaurant space, until he walked in with eviction papers.  Now that's the way to a women's heart!  Adam and Lia have two big even bigger problems.  He isn't the kind of man that mixed business with pleasure, and she isn't the kind of women who would rely on man.   

I picked up this book expecting a light hearted, run-of-the-mill contemporary romance, but this book was anything but cookie cutter!  Although this was a short audiobook, the author took the time to create rich characters and storylines that hooked me in.  I fell in love with Lia and Adam right off the bat, and their chemistry heated up my headphones.  I liked how Adam was this confident, powerful male, but he didn't feel the need to control Lia.  And I love how Lia had so much passion for her cooking, that she wouldn't let anyone get in the way.  Both characters made mistkes, but over all they were good people.  I loved how both characters were smart, talented, driven, and family oriented.  From the outside they seemed so different, but underneath it all they were very similar.  They both went about doing things in very different ways, which lead to many of their misunderstandings and miscommunications.  I really enjoyed the sweet HEA ending in this book.     

I will admit, that the biggest reason I picked up this audiobook was fact that the narrator was Therese Plummer.  She my might just be my all-time favorite female narrator.  When it comes to narrating romance titles, she has a magic touch.  Her voice had a sweet tone to it, that lends well to this genre. She has a wonderful ability to give such an emotional performance, that totally captures the listeners attention.  Therese takes the time to give each character their own very specific voice.  Not to mention that she creates such wonderful male voices, that the audiobook almost sounds like it has narrated by a male and a female.  I got so lost in her fantastic performance that finished this audiobook in one day!       

Overall, THE SWEETEST SEDUCTION had a lot of heart for such a short book.  The storyline kept me hooked from the first chapter.  This was a smart contemporary romance, with deep characters and  great dialogue. This first book in the Kelly Brothers series, sets the readers up for a real treat.  I can't wait to see  what kid of mischief Adam's brothers have in store for us.  If you're looking for new romance series, with a spectacular narrator, this is the one for you!




 ***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review*** 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Carly Phillips' DARE TO LOVE (Dare to Love Bk #1)




http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J2IHI10?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00J2IHI10&linkCode=shr&tag=nigidotrenabo-20&linkId=WXQJZ5EGTOXNFVZ6&qid=1423433432&sr=8-2
Title:  DARE TO LOVE
Series:  Dare to Love Bk 1
Author:  Carly Phillips
Narrator:  Sophie Eastlake
Release Date:  3/17/14
Price:  $19.95
Publisher:  Carly Phillips
Length:  7 hrs
Format:  Audible Edition
Purchase at Audible or Amazon



My Ratings

Plot:  4.5/5
Setting:  4/5
Writing:  5/5
Originality of Plot:  4/5
Characters Development:  4.5/5
Ending:  5/5

Heat Level: 4.5/5
Cover Art:  4/5
Narration:  5/5
Likelihood to Recommend:  5/5

Overall:  45.5/50 =  91%
 






Synopsis


New York Times Best-selling Author Carly Phillips turns up the heat in her newest sexy contemporary romance series, and introduces you to the Dare family…siblings shaped by a father's secrets and betrayal.

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her…and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he'd rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men - until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all-out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she's stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley's past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian's dominance might just cost her everything.

©2013 Karen Drogin (P)2014 Karen Drogin



Review

DARE TO LOVE isn't your standard fluffy shallow contemporary romance!  This storyline was filled with complex charters, unique plot twists, and great dialogue.  I really appreciated the familial connections woven within this story.  I enjoyed that it had a nice balance of heated sexual encounters and actual storyline.  For me, this was the hottest Carly Phillips book by far!  I felt the author did an amazing job squeezing so much storyline in such a short book.    

At it's core this is a story about strong characters overcoming great obstacles.  I absolutely adored Riley.  She's smart, driven, and full of heart.  With her tragic childhood full of abuse, I was so happy to see her find happiness as an adult.  And Ian is a swoon-worthy, Alpha male, with sensitivity just lying under the surface.  After learning about his history, I completely understood where he was coming from.  He was unwilling to lead the type of life that his father had.  Learning that made me love him even more.  I felt that their romance came on some what quickly,  but their connection was steamy from their first meeting.  I think that these two complemented each other very well, even though these two have such different backgrounds.  These two are quite a pair.  Ian would push Riley, and she would push right back at him. 
 
I also enjoyed getting to know Ian's family.  I can't wait until Alex gets his time in the spotlight.  There is nothing like a cocky, sexy athlete.  I love that this series centers around the Dare extended family.  These siblings might have come from broken homes, but I really enjoyed their journey in the book.  And how could you not love Ian's mother!  She is such a strong role model for her children.

As always, Sophie Eastlake really delivered in this book.  She has the perfect sultry voice to pull off this seductive audiobook.  There are a few female narrators out there that can do male voices, as well as Sophie.  I think she did a fantastic job with Ian.  She captured his sexy, authoritative tone exquisitely.  Her inflection and dictation are outstanding.  And she really brought the story to life for me.   

This book was a smart and sexy read.  I enjoyed the cleaver dialogue and extremely interesting characters.  It was a great audiobook to lose myself in for a couple hours.  DARE TO LOVE sets up the rest of the series very well.  I can't wait to read more about Ian's siblings and step-siblings!  This was a very quick read for me, and I can't wait to get my hands on DARE TO DESIRE.  This is a must read for those looking for a fast-paced, steamy romance!



***Audiobook was provided by the publisher in trade for a fair review***