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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Audiobook Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward, Narrated by Jim Frangione

When I started “Lover Awakened” by J.R. Ward I knew that I would be hearing a story about vampires but I had no idea that I would become completely hooked! First, I had to start this story twice because it picks up very quickly. I went to the library and checked out the first book in the series “Dark Lover” so I could have a little background and a little more understanding.

So J.R. Ward’s writing. I have to say that her storytelling is very good. She was able to develop these hard cord vampires known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They live on earth but they stay away from humans although they need to feed. Feeding for them means drinking blood. Unlike the usual vampire stories these vampires eat, drink, sleep just like people and they can be killed. They also have enemies, The Lessers. The Lessers are not vampires and they are not humans. They are soulless beings and basically the bad guys. From this audiobook and from the first book I read, I understand that Ward focuses on one vampire and their love interest but the other characters are very much a part of the story as well. My one gripe about this is that the way she transitions from one scene to another is a little overwhelming. I had to rewind a couple of times to make sure I understood who was in what scene. For anyone that has never read JR Ward her books they are at least four hundred pages, the audiobooks is about sixteen hours. But all well worth it!

Ok, now onto the good stuff. In the BDB there are the main vampires: Phury, Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Tohrment and Zsadist. The focus of this book is the love story between Bella and Zsadist. Zsadist is a very broken vampire. He lived as a blood slave, the lowest in the vampire hierarchy. As a blood slave he not only had to feed his mister but he also suffered a lot of sexual abuse. This is a constant problem for him in the present day and he becomes overwhelmed by his memories. He constantly feels dirty and has a very difficult time connecting with people. Bella comes from an aristocratic family of vampires. She is held captive by a Lesser that claims her as wife. In the previous book Zsadist meets Bella and is drawn to her. She is held captive six weeks by the Lesser but him and the BDB never stop looking for her.

Personally I loved Zsadist his feelings of unworthiness made my heart ache. He is a real jerk to most of the people he encounters but it’s his way of dealing with his issues. When he can’t distance himself from Bella and feels she is getting too close he really pushes her away. I also like Bella but since I’m on my 3rd book in the series (I became so intrigued by it, I went to my library and checked out the available books in the series) Ward tends to make her females very one dimensional. It’s very frustrating. Bella basically lays around waiting for Zsadist to come to her. When he finally breaks her heart (I’m using self -control and not giving too much away) she goes to see her brother Rehvenge. He’s in control of Bella’s life as well. The female roles that Ward writes are a little frustrating and it almost had me liking the books a little less. However, at the end she really had showed redemption for Bella’s character. I also liked the tremendous transformation that Zsadist put himself through so he could be worthy of her.

Finally, there are so many more characters in this story but I’ve decided to just focus on Bella and Zsadist. The bond of the brother is really beautiful and I enjoy reading about it. I’m also intrigued by Phury his dedication and love for his twin, Zsadist, brought tears to my eyes. I can’t recommend this series enough. I could not helped become hooked and I never thought I would love a paranormal series this much!

Purchase: | Audiobook | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Review: On the Record by K.A. Linde

On the Record is the second book in the Record Series by K.A. Linde, and picks up after the events of the first book. These are not standalone novels, and should be read in order. I couldn't wait to read On the Record after finishing Off the Record, and I had to know what would happen next. K.A. Linde always does such a great job of drawing you into a story and then ending with things up in the air. While it is frustrating at times to have all the angst and cliffhangers, I always know that it will be worth it in the end. This series is really good, and I am loving Brady so much.

Liz left Brady after the primary election, knowing that she couldn't have him make an impossible choice between her and his campaign. It broke her heart, but she knew that she believed in him and wanted him to be happy. Now as Liz tries to move forward with her life and with the election coming up, she is forced to think about her future while still dealing with her feelings for Brady. Liz decides to give Hayden a chance after turning him down for months. But when Brady reenters her life, she can't help but feel as though Hayden will never compare to what she had with Brady. Brady has also been seeing someone else though. Can Liz and Brady find their way back to each other, or will they be unable to move forward with one another now that there are more obstacles than ever?

I really love Liz and Brady. I have had a few issues with both of them over the course of the first two books, but I still find them to be likable and I can't help but root for them. Brady wasn't as big of a player in this book, and I really missed him. It seemed to take forever for him to show up, and I was couldn't help but try to rush to the part where I knew he would be back. Brady was a little different in this one, and I really liked it. We not only got to see the sexy and alpha Brady that was used to charming and commanding others, but we also got to see a bit more of his vulnerability. He had been hurt with how things went with Liz, and it was clear that he was just trying to get by and move forward the best he could. Liz drove me a bit nuts at times, and I honestly didn't care for her with Hayden at all. I never felt it between them, despite her having had a crush on him for years. I just always felt as though things were more of a friendship for them, so their relationship left me feeling slightly uncomfortable. They didn't come close to having the same chemistry or passion that Liz and Brady share.

I will say that even though I didn't really care for Liz and Hayden as a couple, that what happened with Hayden in this story didn't really feel right. It felt like his actions weren't really true to his character, but I do understand why it was necessary for Linde to take it where she did. But for me, it just felt out of character for him to have done what he did. I will say that I really enjoyed seeing Liz and Savannah grow closer in this book, and I am really loving Savi. I can't wait to see more of her in the next book, and I would love to get her story as well. I really loved where things were when this book stopped, but I am definitely waiting for more! Brady and Liz are shaping up to be one of my favorite couples, and I cannot wait to see how things play out for them after what happened in On the Record. I highly recommend this series and I think that it is one a lot of readers will really enjoy!

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository |

A Kiss Between Friends...with Brooklyn Ann and Giveaway

A Kiss Between Friends on Christmas Eve - Brooklyn Ann

A lover of witty Regencies and dark paranormal romance, Brooklyn Ann combines the two in her new vampire series. The former mechanic turned author lives with her family in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

Find Brooklyn at:

Friday, December 19, 2014

ARC Review: One Song Away by Molli Moran

One Song Away is a sweet second chance new adult romance from Molli Moran. I love second chance love stories, especially when it is a best friends to lovers book as well. So I couldn't wait to read this one. While I did enjoy the story, I also had a few issues with this one as well.

Sophie-Claire Wright returns home after her life in Nashville falls apart. She knows that returning home will require some adjustments, but she refuses to live with her parents for long. She sets out to find a job so that she can get her own apartment when she runs into her childhood best friend and crush Jake Cooper. Jake and Sophie-Claire instantly reconnect and find that they can help each other. Jake is looking for an employee at his coffee shop, and Sophie-Claire is looking for a fake boyfriend to keep her mom from setting her up with horrible dates. But the more that Sophie-Claire and Jake spend time together, the more the lines between fake and real begin to blur. When Sophie-Claire finds herself falling for Jake all over again, can she finally get up the nerve to convince him to give them a real shot?

I really liked Jake. He was by far the high point of the book for me. Through talks between Sophie and Jake, he was the rich golden boy when they were in school and everything seemed to go his way. But after Sophie left town and he went traveling and found himself changing from a boy to a man. Since he had returned, he was a great guy. He was genuine and nice, and really sweet. I loved that he had that boy next door way about him, and I thought that he was a great hero. I really wish that we had been given some of his POV rather than just Sophie-Claire's. My real issue with this book was Sophie. Sophie is portrayed to be a tattooed and pierced bad ass songwriter that has always been a bit of a wild child. She left home after graduation to pursue her dreams and life her own life. But the problem for me was that she was almost always immature and insecure. She came off as whiny and irritating, and I honestly couldn't see the appeal. I didn't really feel the tension or chemistry between her and Jake, and to me it was her fault. She was always second guessing everything and it got really old.  

Besides Sophie-Claire's insecurity, I also had a problem with how she handled a lot of things. This story is another case of miscommunication/lack of communication between the hero and heroine, and there really wasn't anything new or fresh here. When these two finally got everything out in the open though, instead of them going for it Sophie-Claire decides to run away because she can't handle things. I know that Jake initially handled things poorly by not reacting the best to her confessing her feelings, but Sophie never really gave him the chance to explain anything. Then they finally do talk and she can't deal? That pretty much killed any kind of connection I had felt to her character, and it was pretty impossible for me to really get behind the relationship at that point. I wanted Jake to be with someone he deserved because he was so fantastic, and to me that just wasn't Sophie. I also felt like this story was a bit slow and drawn out, especially the beginning. I thought that Molli Moran had a great writing style, and this story was well written. For me though, it was simply a matter of not liking the heroine and the fact that this book didn't really have anything new or fresh to it. I think that if you are looking for a straight forward standalone new adult romance, that you might give this one a chance. For me though, this just wasn't what I had been expecting or hoping for and while I enjoyed it, I didn't love it.

**ARC Provided by Xpresso Book Tours**

Purchase: | Amazon |

A Duke Surrender's His Heart...with Lorraine Heath and Giveaway

A Duke Surrender's His Heart on Christmas Eve - Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers (as Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker and with her son as J. A. London).

Places to find Lorraine:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Royal Affair...with Sophie Barnes and Giveaway

A Royal Affair on Christmas Eve - Sophie Barnes

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish, and Romanian. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading.

Find Sophie at:

Inkslinger's 2014 Advent Calendar Giveaway


Happy holidays, everyone! Everyone at InkSlinger - the publicists and the fabulous authors they work with - wanted to do a little something special for the bloggers and readers who constantly amaze them with their support, so they put together an advent calendar full of fun prizes!

Each day you can check their advent calendar to check for the giveaway for that date! They'll be hosted by different bloggers on each day, but the advent calendar will link directly to the posts! And don't worry if you miss a day - the giveaways will run all month long, so there's plenty of time!

I'm hosting today's giveaway - check out the details below!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ARC Review: Stroke of Midnight by Kelli Scott

Stroke of Midnight is a short novella about a New Year’s party and new beginnings. It’s an erotic novella where two strangers meet for a one night deal, nothing like a one night stand for a bit of revenge and a bit of moving on. It may not seem like it will have a HEA but it does in a way, more of a Happy for the Foreseeable Future. As part of the 1Night Stand series both Marley and Ian have contracted the agency for a one night stand. Madame Evangeline arranges one night fantasies for people who need it; in a safe and sane situation.

I like the story Marley and Ian are both very likeably people. Marley who has her heart stomped on needs the confidence boost to feel wanted and loved again. Ian is a good man but his dead wife really worked him over and he needs a kick start in his love life.

Madame Evangeline arranges a New Years fantasy for Marley and Ian in a Las Vegas Hotel, swanky. Marley flies in from Seattle and spends the day getting pampered and primped and shows up looking and feeling nothing like herself, in fact the night doesn’t start off well getting hit on and being mistaken for a high priced escort. Luckily for her Ian shows himself and poof instant attraction, after a bit of awkward conversation they get in to why they went to 1Night Stand. Marley for payback and to regain her confidence after her fiancé admitted to cheating on her. Ian reluctant to share at first admits that after a bad marriage that ended in his with wife’s death, not able to have the closure he needed hasn’t been able to let it go even if she was horrible. Ian almost blows it when Marley confides in him about her fiancé and storms off, Ian not one to give up easily follows her and after an apology they spend the night together. They share a spectacular night making love and exploring new things determined to start the New Year with a clean slate and a fresh start.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

Caught with a Rogue...with Grace Burrowes and Giveaway

Caught with a Rogue on Christmas Eve - Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty historical romances, and a child welfare attorney practicing in western Maryland. She loves to hear from readers, and can be reached through her website at

Find Grace at:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

ARC Review: Sinfully Ever After by Jayne Fresina

Book two of the Book Club Belles Society is just as good as the first book. Really I think I liked it more than the first one. Rebecca Sherringham is a strong character; she is strong in her attitude with a rake brother like hers and an absentminded headstrong father she needs to be to stand up to them. She has had to deal with more than her fair share of gambling reprobates because of her brother and her opinion of men is not very complementary. Captain Lucas “Lucky Luke” Wainwright is supposed to be dead, until he shows up at the doors of his lawyers looking for his inheritance. Shocked to find his upstanding and proper brother married and living in a quaint little village in the home their great uncle left him he goes off to settle thing with him never expecting to find Rebecca.

Years past Rebecca made a deal with a gambler known as Lucky Luke in exchange for her brothers vows she owes him a kiss. He lets her go saying he will collect someday. Now back to the present Rebecca has no idea Lucky Luke is Lucas Wainwright her best friends new back from the dead brother-in-law. Their debt collecting kiss got out of control and was witnessed by the town gossip and now Rebecca finds herself engaged to Luke, despite her many protests. Luke spends the book trying to convince everyone Rebecca in particular he really doesn’t want his title back he is willing to sign it all over. It also takes Rebecca most of the book and several amusing antics to realize and accept the truth of her feelings for Lucas.

In this book the Book Club Belles Society are reading Sense and Sensibility and you can see the similarities and parallels between their book and what’s happening to them as in the first one. I enjoyed the book and I look forward to see what to other girls will get themselves in to and what Austin book will be their corresponding story.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | iTunes |

An Unexpected Guest...with Gina Conkle and Giveaway

An Unexpected Guest on Christmas Eve - Gina Conkle

Gina Conkle Gina loves history, books and romance…the perfect recipe for historical romance writer. Her passion for castles and old places (the older and moldier the better!) means interesting family vacations. Good thing her husband and two sons share similar passions, except for romance…that’s where she gets the eye roll. When not visiting fascinating places she can be found delving into the latest adventures in cooking, gardening, and chauffeuring her sons.

Find Gina at:

ARC Review: Bring Me You by Ryleigh Andrews

Let me start off by saying that this book absolutely wrecked me. I have been trying to get my thoughts together to write this review, and it feels almost impossible. I have to give it Ryleigh Andrews, she packed a powerful punch with her debut novel Bring Me You. This one turned me into an emotional mess, and had a ton of ups and downs. The ending left me completely shattered, and I need the next book now. I am not kidding, I would do just about anything to get more of this story because I absolutely hate where this one left off. It is a great story don't get me wrong, but talk about the mother of all cliffhangers.

When Mia heads to visit her best friend Luke and his daughter Kaitlyn, he drags her to a work party. There he introduces her to football star Ethan Christopher. They instantly hit it off, and despite knowing that there will be distance between them decide to start a relationship. Though Mia refuses to fully open up to him, things take off quickly for them and they soon find themselves falling in love. But when Mia's band gets their break, the time apart between Mia and Ethan grows. Soon with Mia's touring and Ethan's schedule, they find themselves struggling to keep in contact. Soon both Mia and Ethan are making bad choices that could lead to their downfall.

I loved Ethan for the majority of this book. That is until close to the end when he did something that seriously made me want to punch him and ask him what he was thinking. The whole time he had been this great guy, loving and supporting. We got to see all the sweet and thoughtful things that he did for Mia, and he seemed to be such a fantastic guy. I loved seeing his POV and where he was coming from. That being said, we weren't getting the whole picture. He had also done some really bad things that neither the reader nor Mia had any idea about. Mia on the other hand had issues from the start. She was sweet and caring, and I loved her friendship with Luke and his daughter. They started off as so much more, and at the beginning I was kind of hoping that they would be more, until I started to fall for Ethan right along with Mia. But Ethan was so good for Mia that it was impossible not to want those two together. Mia clearly had demons that hadn't been dealt with, and I wanted so badly for Ethan to be the one to help her. I guess that is part of what wrecked me so badly with this story, because I feel as though he completely missed what was right in front of him while he was off doing things he shouldn't be.

Overall, this story was really interesting and I absolutely could not put it down. I knew going into this one that it was the first in the series, but I never expected to be feeling the way I was at the end of this one. I am still shattered by what happened, and unfortunately I tend to blame Ethan more than Mia. If it weren't for his actions, I don't think that Mia would have been in quite the shape she was in or have done the things that she did. I really hope that these two can find a way to heal themselves and move past everything that has happened. I am still rooting for these two to figure things out, and I really hope that they find their HEA without a lot more hurt and heartache along the way. I honestly can't wait for more, and I really hope that we get the next book soon. I thought that Ryleigh Andrews did a great job with this story and this was a really solid debut for her. I did think that there were a few times that things got a bit repetitive though and there were a few times that things were a bit confusing or didn't quite make sense. That was the only reason for this being a four star read for me instead of a five star. I am looking forward to the next book and also to seeing what else Ryleigh Andrews writes in the future.

**ARC Provided by Truly Schmexy PR**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |

Monday, December 15, 2014

Upcoming Event: A Naughty New Year...Brazen Style

Are you ready for A Naughty New Year? Starting December 29th, we've teamed up with the awesome people at Brazen to bring you A Naughty New Year Event. Each day a different Brazen author will be stopping by to share a special hot and smexy New Years' inspired scene and giveaway. On top of the daily giveaways up for grabs, we've also got a few fabulous grand prizes that you will be able to enter to win. 

With appearances by:
Diane Alberts
Tessa Bailey
Samanthe Beck
Nina Crespo
Nina Croft
Karen Erickson
Elle Kennedy
Kelsie Leverich
Julie Patricka
Cari Quinn 
Katee Robert
Joya Ryan
Amanda Usen

The event will run from December 29th - January 10th.

Make sure to mark your calendars and so you don't miss all of hot and smexy fun!

A Proposal...with Erin Knightley and Giveaway

A Proposal on Christmas Eve - Erin Knightley

Despite being an avid reader and closet writer her whole life, Erin Knightley decided to pursue a sensible career in science. It was only after earning her BS and working in the field for years that she realized doing the sensible thing wasn’t any fun at all. Following her dreams, Erin left her practical side behind and hasn’t looked back. Now a USA Today bestselling author, she is living her own Happily Ever After in North Carolina with her tall, dark, and handsome husband and their three spoiled mutts.

Find Erin at:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

ARC Review: Little Wolf by Amélie S. Duncan

Prior to reading this novel, I had no idea what to expect, nor did I know how the story would unravel. Thankfully, I was surprised by Amelie’s work and enjoyed it. The story focuses on the heroine Tala Velsik, a very strong young woman with a future she is unable to look forward to. Also, there is the hero Adrian Caro, who is the opposite of Tala in every way imaginable. He is a man with everything to look forward to in the future thanks to his wealth, talent, and connections. Bring these two characters together and we have beautiful chemistry and intense attraction. Let’s not forget, however, that their strong connection has to unravel before it can rebuild itself to be unbreakable.

Before meeting Adrian, Tala is a girl without what she considers to be beauty, luck, and prosperity. She also suffers from childhood trauma due to her mother’s psychological issues and abuse. Not to mention that she still loves her mother deeply, does not blame her for the debilitating disease she has, and she works hard to pay for her care. Despite all of that, she is such a strong, inspirational woman; truly. I love that Amelie created such a powerful female lead. Furthermore, she stays true to herself and captures Adrian because of her unfailing ability to be compassionate, honest, and real.

Adrian is sex incarnate, and is unbelievably unique. He expects loyalty and wants nothing more than to find his perfect match. Due to his celebrity status as a director, photographer, and playboy he finds himself growing tired of the trickery he finds with every woman he has bedded. Then, he finds Tala. Well, let’s just say he seeks her out through his connections. He has secrets involving such information, and I’ll let future readers learn more about said secrets for themselves.

Jax, who is Tala’s brother (she was adopted, and they are close siblings) and is an artist. He creates his masterpieces through expression in the world as a playwright, so to speak. Tala fills in for one of his actresses, Adrian sees her, and now must possess her as well. She ends up leaving with him, under the impression that she will be involved in his photography, and in the process earn plenty of money. Of course, as someone who struggles to survive, Tala is willing to do what is necessary even if the path paved to do so is unorthodox. What she is not aware of, is that Adrian does not intend to only have her for a job, but also claim her in every way possible.

Along the way we meet some characters that I would personally like to see incarcerated, such as Tristan and Suzette. However, there are other characters that I cannot help but love, like Sophie; Adrian’s Aunt (and I’ll admit I am intrigued by Sergio, Adrian’s cousin, who I hope she writes more about later…maybe he will end up with someone less psychotic than Monique). With that said, I loved the interaction between Adrian and his family, as well as how loving, open, and generous they were with Tala. I am also still reeling from the look into Senegal, the setting in which the majority of the story takes place.

Apparently, Senegal is in West Africa, which I knew nothing about. The author does a great job incorporating the language (which is generally French), as well as a beautiful look into the beauty of the place itself. I enjoyed the descriptions she provided of the sand, water, and the architecture. Moreover, I liked the drama in the story that focused on the more uncivilized aspects of such places. In order to prevent too many spoilers, I’ll just say that when Tala and Adrian’s love is tested, she ends up in trouble; trouble that is all too real in society.

What else did I love, you ask? Well, I love how Adrian is a blatant dominant, but that he is not a complete prick. I have in some cases been turned off by male leads that are overly dominant to the point of lacking any social tact. Or, the male leads that actually finds sexual pleasure in the pain caused to the submissive partner, which I find abhorrent. Adrian, well, he is possessive, dominant, and somewhat controlling. However, he is cooperative and willing to give a little. So, to say that he is a perfect mixture of both would be an understatement. So, ultimately, I must say that I loved his character so very much.

I also loved how he fought for Tala in the end. She could not have found anyone better for her. Between there tangles in the sheets, the places they journeyed to (like the little beach house his mother and him stayed in), and the playful times they had, I enjoyed this couple. I also loved the growth in their relationship. Adrian started out wanting to find someone perfect for him, but had no idea how to truly immerse himself in a full-blown relationship. By the end, he was able to realize the gravity of eternal love, and he did not hesitate for a moment to give Tala every piece of himself. Tala, on the other hand, began this journey unable to be vulnerable, or to be close to anyone. Once they came together, she learned how to give and take in a relationship, as well as how to balance out co-dependency with independence. I will gladly read another book by Amelie in the future.

**ARC provided by Author**

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N |

A Kiss Between Enemies...with Caroline Linden and Giveaway

A Kiss Between Enemies on Christmas Eve - Caroline Linden

Caroline Linden Caroline Linden was born a reader, not a writer. She earned a math degree from Harvard University and wrote computer code before discovering that writing fiction was far more fun. Eleven years, fifteen books, three Red Sox championships, and one dog later, she has never been happier with her decision. Her books have won the NEC-RWA Reader's Choice Beanpot Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award, and RWA's RITA Award.

Find Caroline at:
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