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

Sunday, August 16, 2015

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


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%


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.


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!!!


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%


This bundle includes the three novels of sequence two. 

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. 

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. 

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


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)

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%


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


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***