Tuesday, August 22, 2017

ARC Review: Tougher in Texas by Kari Lynn Dell

Series:     Texas Rodeo #3
Pub. Date:Aug. 1, 2017
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casa.
Length:416 pages

In short, this is a special book. Anna over at Herding Cats and Burning Soup is always gushing about her cowboys, and that made me realize that I haven't read many cowboy books. So I set out to rectify that situation, and I decided to start with a new-to-me author, Kari Lynn Dell. I think I am glad I started with this story because I definitely want to pick up her other books now. While there was some character crossover from earlier books, I didn't feel lost or confused with the story. So I think you are fine starting w/ this book if you haven't read the others. I also think you will want to go back and read the earlier books (like me) once you finish this one.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

Series:     The Tufa #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 29, 2011
Publisher:Blackstone Audio
Narrators:Emily Janice Card
Stefan Rudnicki
Length:9 hrs 42 min

The Tufa books have been on my TBR it seems like forever, so I was super happy to see the audiobooks available on Hoopla when I started my roadtrip last week. This isn't my usual read as it wasn't a romance per se, but more on the urban fantasy side. Though it was in more of a rural setting than urban... rural fantasy? LOL

Friday, August 18, 2017

ARC Review: Bliss by Lynsay Sands

Pub. Date:July 25, 2017
Length:384 pages

Bliss is an over-the-top enemies-to-lovers trope in the historical romance arena. I am always happy to pick up a Lynsay Sands historical as they tend to be on the light and fun side, with engaging and entertaining characters.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Audiobook Review: Beauty and the Highland Beast by Lecia Cornwall

Series:     Highland Fairytale #1
Pub. Date:June 20, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Ruth Urquhart
Length:9 hrs 33 min

I have had Beauty and the Highland Beast on my TBR for a while, so I was happy to see it come out in audio just in time for my latest road trip. I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I was extra excited about a Highland beast!

Dair Sinclair is our beast. He is a once proud son, rumored to be a pirate, with all the cocky swagger that entails. But after being captured and tortured, Dair has returned home a broken man whom most of his clan thinks to be mad. Between injuries, scars and nightmares, he made a sympathetic beast.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Leave the Light On by Laura Trentham

Series:     Cottonbloom #4
Pub. Date:Aug. 1, 2017
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
Length:350 pages

Sutton Mize is a good girl who toes the lines, worries about appearances, and always does what's expected of her. Her engagement to a prominent attorney is more of a merger than actual relationship and she's..mostly okay with that. Until she's presented with an incriminating set of panties, belonging to her bestie, under the front seat of her fiancĂ©e's Camaro..that she just drove in to Abbott's garage to have restored as a wedding gift. To make matters worse, Wyatt Abbott, the bane of her childhood existence, is there to witness her mortified reaction. Instead of embarrassing her, however, he agrees to her rash plan of a fictional relationship as payback. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

ARC Review and Playlist: The Forbidden by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Pub. Date:Aug. 8, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Length:368 pages

Goodness. This is going to be my most conflicted review of the year. Let me start off by saying that this book is very well written. Jodi Ellen Malpas has honed her craft over the years and each book that I have read of hers has been progressively better, and this one is no exception.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Audiobook Review: Slouch Witch by Helen Harper

Series:     Lazy Girls Guide
to Magic #1
Pub. Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Tanya Eby
Length:8 hrs 9 min

Slouch Witch is the first book in the series, the Lazy Girls Guide to Magic. The series title and blurb sucked me in for this story - I thought it would be a cute and light-hearted read. I was right! 

Slouch Witch takes place somewhere in Great Britain (London, I think but can't quite remember), and revolves around the lives of witches. Most witches are members of the sanctified Order, and they all have their own feline familiar. Our heroine, Ivy Wild, bucks convention and got herself kicked out of the Order for cheating and assault, and now makes her living by driving a taxi. Between a very vocal familiar and her lackadaisical outlook on life, Ivy definitely marches to the beat of her own drum. I thought her laid back attitude and lazy genius were endearing, and I found her character to be fun and entertaining.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Forever Mated by Alma Black

Series:     Shifter Date #4
Pub. Date:Jan 10, 2017
Length:100 pages

Professionally, Kyra is a confident and intelligent woman. When it comes to relationships, however, that same confidence disappears leaving her struggling on the dating front. She's made a fool of herself once in the love department and has no desire to repeat the experience. But there's just something about Zac that calls to her inner lioness. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Audiobook Review: Wondering Sight by Melissa McShane

Series:     Extraordinaires #2
Pub. Date:June 30, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Cat Gould
Length:11 hrs 16 min

Wondering Sight is the second book in The Extraordinaires historical fantasy series, following Burning Bright. These books can be read as standalones if you are so inclined, there was no noticeable character crossover in this installment. The Extraordinaries have special talents above and beyond the rest of society. They can control fire (scorchers), or move large objects  via telekinesis (movers), teleport (bounders), heal and shape the human body (shapers), or prognosticate (seers). Not everyone has a talent, and not every talent is extraordinary... but this series seeks to showcase the most extraordinary people of the time.

Monday, July 31, 2017

ARC Review: Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Series:     Hidden Legacy #3
Pub. Date:July 25, 2017
Length:391 pages

I know Wildfire was originally planned as a three book series... but please don't let this be the end!!! I have fallen in love with these characters and their future potential so I really hope the publisher picks up more books or Ilona and Gordon self-publish. Even if Nevada and Rogan's story is somewhat finished, she has all those family members and employees that are just screaming for their own story. I'm crossing my fingers real tight.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Audiobook Review: Bohemian Gospel by Dana Chamblee Carpenter

So this series was an unexpected surprise. The Bohemian Gospel is mainly historical fiction with a little fantasy thrown in, but the subject matter was wholly unique. Dana Chamblee Carpenter sets the story of our heroine, Mouse, to begin in medieval Bohemia and Prague. Mouse is a convent-raised orphan with special abilities and mysterious origins, particularly when it comes to the dubious identity of her parentage. 

Originally I thought The Bohemian Gospel was a historical romance, but it is not a romance at all. Instead, you will follow Mouse as she comes of age and attempts to accept her special abilities and difficult life. Mouse's tale is not a happy one. She is constantly battling her faith, and faces untenable and heartbreaking situations. I was drawn into her story and captivated by the setting and strife as the story progressed. The ups and downs of Mouse's relationship with Ottokar really put me through the wringer, and I had to stop listening for a while when everything played out with Nicholas. Carpenter has a talent at drawing the reader in and I needed a break from all the feels.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Break Me by Tiffany Snow

Series:     Corrupted Hearts #2
Pub. Date:March 14, 2017
Publisher:Montlake Romance
Length:316 pages

Picking up two months after Follow Me ends, China is discovering the ups and downs of dating and relationships. And it's not all good. To the amusement of social media, her romance with Jackson has its fair share of hiccups. He's looking for commitment while she's...hesitant. Some of her waffling over Jackson was petty, but that may be the age thing along with her OCD quirks. Her relationship with Clark, however, appeared to be just friends, until Clark opened up over a personal matter. Now I'm wondering (okay, I'm hoping) if things will get complicated down the road...

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Follow Me by Tiffany Snow

Series:     Corrupted Hearts #1
Pub. Date:Oct 4, 2016
Publisher:Montlake Romance
Length:295 pages

China is a smart, socially awkward, computer programmer whose OCD tendencies border severe. Most of the time, I got a kick of her personality. Sometimes her extreme logic was annoying though and I couldn't decide if it helped or hindered her in some situations. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Audiobook Review: Once Bitten, Twice Burned by Cynthia Eden

Series:     Phoenix Fire #2
Pub. Date:May 23, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Jillian Macie
Length:12 hrs 27 min

Once Bitten, Twice Burned is the second book in the Phoenix Fire series, and it takes place mostly contemporaneously with Burn for Me. While the stories in the series are intertwined, I believe you could read these as a standalone if you really wanted to. However, if you start with Burn for Me, you will get more background as to the villainous plot and the phoenix supernaturals in general.

Richard Wyatt and his Genesis project is a corrupt government organization that has been experimenting on supernaturals against their will. In Burn for Me, Eve and Cain seemed to singlehandedly take on the bad guys. However we saw a headstrong vampire popping up at various times over the course of that book as he was searching for someone and generally getting in Cain's way. This is the story of that vampire and his fated mate.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Guest Review: Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch

Series:     Instinct #3
Pub. Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher:Calamity Jane
Length:244 pages
Source:Tasty Book Tours

Chloe Jeffries is a petite control freak with endless energy. Writing for a popular tv show let's her channel that energy into a lucrative and creative endeavor, but it's the voices in her head that provide the show with its entertaining storylines. Unfortunately, one of the voices is louder than most and has decided to stalk someone on set. Chloe doesn't know who the intended victim is, but she's willing to help figure it out..within reason, of course. She never expected someone like Shane Westman to show up and disrupt the little bubble of creativity she's created on the set, nor did she expect to be attracted to someone who has the personality of an ice cube.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ARC Review: Mission: Armor by A.D. .Starrling

Series:     Division Eight #2
Pub. Date:July 14, 2017
Length:150 pages

This is a quickie review for the second book in A.D. Starrling's second installment of the Division Eight novella series.  Mission: Armor is a bit of a prequel for the series as I believe it takes place prior to the first book, Mission: Black. So I don't think you would have any problem starting with this book if you are just discovering the series.

Division Eight is a team of covert operatives headed by our hero, Alex Slade. Alex is an extremely skilled operative, but he is also a tortured hero experiencing some PTSD-type dreams from his former capture and torture by a drug cartel. Alex has sought out Vivian Thorpe to be his second-in-command based on their prior history, one that saw her rescuing him from the clutches of the cartel. Vivian knew she was in trouble when she joined the team, particularly as she fell in love at first sight with Alex during that prior rescue mission. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ARC Review: Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

Series:     The Great Library  #3
Pub. Date:July 11, 2017
Length:368 pages

I have so enjoyed this alternate history fantasy series. Caine has provided us a dense action-packed plot in a complex world based on an alternate history of the Great Library of Alexandria. The Great Library has turned into a world superpower that is power-hungry and corrupt, and suppresses the people at every turn. The Library controls the books and the knowledge, and makes it illegal for the masses to own original books.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Audiobook Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

Series:     Storymakers #1
Pub. Date:June 14, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Arielle DeLisle
Length:8 hrs 19 min

Betsy Schow has created a fun and unique world of Story, which is an amalgamation of all our favorite childhood stories and fairytales. Spelled is a very loose retelling of the Wizard of Oz. While some of the characters are the same, the story is totally different and unique, with greater fantasy elements and more modern language and aspects.