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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

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

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%


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.  


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)

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%


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) 


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***