Monday, November 30, 2015

Audiobook Review: One Rogue at a Time by Jade Lee

One Rogue at a Time 
by Jade Lee
Series:  Rakes and Rogues #2
Pub. Date:  Dec. 1, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca / Tantor Audio
Narrator:  Carmen Rose
Length:  10 hrs 38 min
Pages:  384
Format:  eARC / Audiobook
Source:  NetGalley / Hoopla

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

USA Today bestselling author Jade Lee continues her saucy, vibrant Rakes and Rogues Regency romance series with a high-society outsider who may have met his match… 

A brown-eyed bastard with nothing to lose

As the illegitimate son of a duke, Bramwell Wesley Hallowsby grew up tough, on the fringes of society, learning to hide his hurt and cynicism with charm and Town polish. He’s carved out a place for himself as a mercenary, serving as bodyguard and general strong arm for the peerage. Bram has nothing to lose… and he’s exactly what Maybelle “Bluebell” Ballenger needs.

Meets his match in a blue-eyed beauty with everything to hide

Maybelle needs a mentor to teach her to speak and act like a lady, so she can claim the place in society she was denied. As they team up to take on the ton, Bram knows she’s hiding something even from him. Despite the deception he sees behind those sparkling blue eyes, Bram wants to believe that Maybelle’s love is no lie. But it seems fate has served him up his just desserts in the likes of this determined damsel.

This is my second book from Jade Lee, and I think she will be on my auto-buy list for historical romances in the future. Her characters are really engaging and I get lost in the story easily.

Our hero in this installment is Bramwell Hallowsby, the bastard son of a duke. Bram is the half-brother of Elinor, who you may remember as the horrible snob from 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake. Bram is a historical bad boy.  The circumstances of his birth have forced him to live on the edges of the Ton, and he has taken to protecting others. Stories of his heroic deeds abound, yet he is still not accepted in the inner circles of society. I really didn't like Bram at first - he was so cynical and it seemed like he was really only looking out for his wants and needs.  At one point he performs a such a masterful seduction of our heroine using Bible references and feet washing of all things, that I felt sorry for her. But by the end Bram had totally won me over and even made me shed a tear or two.

Similar to 50 Ways to Ruin a Rake, our heroine in this installment is also a country girl. Maybelle Ballenger is granddaughter to an earl, but has been hidden away in the country because her mother was a simple housemaid. Growing up in the small town of Hull has been very hard on Maybelle because everyone speculates about her birth and assumes she is a bastard. She has tried her whole life to prove that she is just as good as everyone else in town.  And now that her mother has passed and she is a female all alone, she also has to fend off lecherous advances from every man she passes. I admired Maybelle's determination to right the wrong done to her mother, and prove herself a lady. I was frustrated right along with her when Bram was being a dunderhead, but was so happy when they got their HEA.  And that proposal - OMG super romantic and caused a few happy tears.

As far as secondary characters, Bram has a few annoying ones to deal with. Then we have Elinor in this story again, and she was not as bad this time as she was in the first book. If you remember from that book, she was always putting Mellie down and I just really didn't like her.  But maybe Elinor's snobbishness is tempering a little because she didn't deliver as many cutting remarks this time. It will be really interesting to see if Elinor herself falls for someone who is not considered "good ton."

I received an advanced copy of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Although I received the free copy, I ran across the audiobook on Hoopla and decided to listen while I was cleaning the house today. This series has translated well to audio and the narrators have done a really good job keeping my attention from wandering.  I am looking forward to the next book, The Richer the Rogue.

Rakes and Rogues

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Review: In the Company of Wolves by Paige Tyler

In the Company of Wolves
by Paige Tyler
Series:  SWAT #3
Pub. Date:  Dec. 1, 2015
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages:  352
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

He opened his mouth to order her to drop the MP5 she had aimed at him, but nothing would come out. It was like she’d robbed him of the ability to speak. Shooting her wasn’t an option, though. And the idea of arresting her didn’t make him feel any better.

There's a new gang of criminals in town who are organized and ruthless in the extreme. When Eric Becker, along with the rest of the Dallas SWAT team, ends up in the middle of a shootout, he immediately senses werewolves-a lot of them. Turns out, the new bad guys are a pack of wolf shifters.

In a spray of gunfire, Becker comes face-to-face with the most gorgeous woman he's ever seen. Becker does the logical thing. He hides her and leaves the scene with the rest of his team.

Jayna Winston has no idea why that SWAT guy helped her, but she's glad he did. Ever since she and her pack mates got mixed up with those Eastern European mobsters, everything had pretty much fallen apart.

So what's a street-savvy thief like Jayna going to do with a hot alpha-male wolf who's a police officer? 

I have been a total cover whore for this series by Paige Tyler. Luckily, the stories do not disappoint. I mean, what's not to like about a SWAT team comprised of seventeen alpha male (and one female) werewolves?

So this is the third installment of the SWAT series, and we learn a lot more about werewolf society in this installment. While our SWAT team is made up solely of alpha wolves, we are now introduced to betas and omegas. It's kinda weird that none of the SWAT Team (besides Gage) knows anything about other werewolves. You would think that would be something he would want to teach them as soon as they turn and he recruits them to the team. But anywho, it is what it is.

So our hero in this installment is Eric Becker, he who is obsessed with yoga pants. I can't remember much else about him from past books besides that little tidbit. Becker goes out of his way to help our heroine, Jayne Winston, and her pack, out of a very bad situation. While he may be an alpha werewolf, I didn't find him to be all that demanding like most alphas are. Once he fell head over tail in love/lust at first sight/sniff with Jayna, he seems pretty considerate and understanding. He was a nice guy, but he didn't have that broody quality that I usually like. Overall I liked him, but not quite as much as Xander and Gage.

Jayna Winston is a tortured heroine who grew up in a crappy home and gained her werewolf abilities during a horrible incident with her lecherous stepfather. Once she left home, she was taken in by a pack who now has her loyalty. Only her alpha has gotten them into a dangerous situation with some mobsters. Jayna has never heard about the fated mate aspect of werewolves, so she does not understand her extreme attraction to Becker. And given her past, she is understandably gunshy about sexual entanglements. I liked Jayna. I was a little worried that she was going to push Becker away, but she impressed me with her willingness to accept his help and give the relationship a shot.

The action and suspense in this story was pretty good. The Albanian mobsters were super greedy and sociopathic, and Liam was easy to hate. This book was not quite as steamy as the last one, but it still had a good heat factor. Becker and Jayna were a little more low key given Jayna's past. Cooper played a bigger part in this book as a secondary character, and I like him quite a bit so I am looking forward to his story.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

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Stackin' the Shelves #12

Hello Bambinas!
Welcome back to Stackin' the Shelves, the weekly feature where I showcase all the books I have accepted for review, one-clicked, won or borrowed from the library!  There are SO many books and SO little time! It's hard to keep track of all the books that I hoard... particularly with my little one-click habit.  So this is what I have gotten over the past week! Have you read any of these, or do you plan to?