Thursday, September 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Grin & Beard It by Penny Reid

Series:     Winston Brothers #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 5, 2016
NarratorsChris Brinkley
Cielo Camargo
Length:12 hrs 20 min

I just love the Winston brothers. These good ol' country boys paired with the beautiful Tennessee setting really makes me homesick. (Hopefully my mother doesn't read this. It's been a few years since she told me I need to move home, and we don't want to start that again!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

ARC Review: The Perks of Loving a Scoundrel by Jennifer McQuiston

Series:     Seduction Diaries #3
Pub. Date:Sept. 27, 2016
Length:400 pages

This book tickled my fancy. I knew from the start that it was going to be a good time... between a bookish heroine and a prankster rogue, there was lots of fun to be had.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

ARC Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

Series:     Heartbreaker Bay #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 27, 2016
Length:384 pages

I'm a bit surprised that this is my first read from Jill Shalvis. I have a ton of her books on my TBR list, but I don't see that any have actually made it onto my calendar yet. I met Jill at the RT Convention earlier this year and she was super sweet, so I'm glad I finally have one of her books under my belt and will be more apt to grab for one next time I get to pick something off my list. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Audiobook Review: Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson

Series:     Undead #13
Pub. Date:Oct. 7, 2014
Publisher:Recorded Books
Narrator:Nancy Wu
Length:10 hrs 53 min
Source:One Click Digital

It's been so long since I read the first twelve books of this series, that I was a little worried about trying to get caught up. I have the worst series amnesia if I go to long between installments. But worry not, the ever-awesome MJD did a lot of recapping in this book (complete with footnotes about what incidents happened in which books). As this is an urban fantasy series, albeit a humorous and wacky one, I would recommend that you read all the books in order.

Friday, September 23, 2016

ARC Review: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Series:     Three Dark Crowns #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 20, 2016
Length:416 pages

I was really intrigued by the blurb for this book as I love a good dark fantasy. The premise of the story is that three sisters (triplets) are born queens. Once they are born, it is the end of their queen mother's reign. The girls are raised together at the Black Cottage for a short time, but are all separated at six years old according to their magical powers. One is a poisoner and is immune to poison. One is a naturalist and can make things grow and have animals as familiars. And the other is an elemental, who controls the elements of earth, air, wind and fire. Katherine is being raised by the poisoners; Arsinoe is being raised by the naturalists; and Mirabella is being raised by the elementals. To become the next queen, one of the girls must murder her sisters and take the throne.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Audiobook Review: Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb

Series:     In Death #43
Pub. Date:Sept. 6, 2016
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Narrator:Susan Ericksen
Length:13 hrs 6 min

It's January 2061, and Eve Dallas is still going strong, speaking for the dead in her role as a lieutenant for the New York Police and Security Department (NYPSD). With her team of homicide cops and billionaire mastermind husband, plus an eclectic group of friends, Eve Dallas is one of the most interesting characters in fiction today. This is definitely the most long-standing series that I have read, and one that I hope does not end anytime soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Audiobook Review: Torn by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series:     Wicked Saga #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 13, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Amy Landon
Length:10 hrs 17 min

Torn picks up where Wicked left off. The fae prince made it through the door from the Otherworld and will now be seeking out a Halfling to birth his apocalypse baby and doom the humans to a horrible existence. With The Order's decimation during the Equinox, and all the information that seems to fall in Ivy's lap, it really seems to be Ivy and Ren against the entirety of the Fae in New Orleans.

Monday, September 19, 2016

ARC Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Series:     Kate Daniels #9
Pub. Date:Sept. 20, 2016
Length:336 pages

Man, this is one of my abso-favorite series and I am always so excited when a new book comes out. I am even more excited with this latest release because I get to meet Ilona and Gordon Andrews at Nola Storycon at the end of this month! I can't wait!!!

WARNING!!!! This review may contain spoilers for previous books of the series. So if you have read through Book 8 (Magic Shifts), continue at your own risk.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Series Saturday Review: Discovery of Desire by Susanne Lord

Series:     London Explorers #2
Pub. Date:Sept. 6, 2016
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablanca
Length:384 pages

Well Susanne Lord has blown me away again. She astounded me with her debut novel, In Search of Scandal. Now I am equally, maybe even more so, impressed by Discovery of Desire. I can't get over just how eminently likable characters her main character has been in each of these books.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Audiobook Review: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series:     Wicked Saga #1
Pub. Date:Dec. 8, 2014
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Amy Landon
Length:11 hrs 51 min

So Armentrout hooked me pretty early on this one... as soon as she tackled the heat and boob sweat that all us New Orleanians suffer in September (and the majority of the year). She definitely did her research on the setting for this story - modern day New Orleans with supernatural elements, mainly the fae. I love it when stories get New Orleans right, it really helps me to feel like I am taking part in the story to imagine walking the same paths, going to the same places, and seeing the same crazy people.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: All the Rage by T.M. Frazier

Pub. Date:    August 30, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Hollie Jackson
Roger Wayne
Length:7 hrs 31 min

I have been curious about Rage since we met her in Soulless. While All the Rage is a standalone, I encourage you to read the King series first to get the introduction to Rage through other people. She fascinated me in those earlier books.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Meeting by A.D. Starrling

Series:    Seventeen #0.3
Pub. Date:Aug. 9, 2016
Narrator:Michael Bower
Length:46 min
Source:Author / Audible

A.D. Starrling is killing me with all these novellas... they are such a tease! I am jonesing for a new full-length book in the Seventeen series. And Michael Bowers is really the perfect narrator for the series so I hope to do the next full-length book in audio. He has a great deep voice that lends itself well to the serious and intelligent characters in this series, and he does a great job getting your adrenaline going during the action sequences.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Audiobook Review: Raphael by D.B. Reynolds

Series:     Vamps in America #1
Pub. Date:July 7, 2014
Publisher:ImaJinn Books
Narrator:Traci Odom
Length:8 hrs 32 min
Source:Author / Audible

I have had this series on my TBR list for quite a while, so I was excited to see an audio review copy available as audiobooks are really the only way I get to my "personal" TBR these days. Traci Odom did a fairly good job with the narration... she is able to affect believable male voices and did a good job at conveying the correct emotion for the various situations. Some of the characters were a little stiff - but it worked to go along with their vampy nature.

Cynthia Leighton is a former cop turned private investigator, who also has access to a good deal of money from a family trust fund. She has a bratty jealous half-sister who she probably should have kicked to the curb long ago. As a PI, Cyn is often trailing after cheating spouses... but she also has the occasional vampire client. It seems that in this world (modern Malibu), vamps are not a well-kept secret. Cyn is a capable PI, she takes her client confidentiality seriously and is not afraid to gear up from her arsenal when the situation may require it. When Cyn is hired to find a kidnapped vampire, it may be her most dangerous job yet (in more ways than one). Unfortunately Cyn has a penchant for running off half-cocked and getting herself into trouble... this didn't jive with her type of character for me (as former LEO) so I had some eye-rolling moments when it came to Cyn.

Raphael is one of eight vampire lords of the United States. He is tall, dark, powerful and broody - a vampire that you do not want to mess with. When someone close to Raphael is kidnapped by a mixed group of vamps and humans, he makes the decision to hire Cynthia to assist with the investigation. I don't think he quite expected her to be better at the investigating than his vamps... and I know he didn't expect to be drawn to her romantically.

I'm not sure how to characterize the relationship between Cyn and Raphael. There is chemistry there, and they are drawn to each other... so much so that they end up bonking in the middle of a shootout. [Sigh.]  But there are obstacles preventing the relationship from really moving forward... and those obstacles are mainly coming from Cyn. I found her to be both obtuse and judgmental. For an investigator, she was quick to jump to conclusions without even trying to uncover the truth. Raphael had a hot and cold thing going on once or twice, but overall I found him to be much more willing to engage than Cyn. I will warn you that
The titles for the series threw me off. I thought this was a straight paranormal romance series with a different couple each book, but it appears that this series is a paranormal/urban fantasy blend where one couple will be constant with others sprinkled in.

The suspense plot was pretty good... and typical for the vampire trope. A disgruntled and power-hungry vampire is trying to take over Raphael's territory, but he underestimated the vampire lord. Most of the plot involved the investigation rather than the vamp-on-vamp battle, which was over pretty quickly. I wouldn't have minded to see Raphael in on the action a bit more, as he was the more engaging character for me.

Overall, this is a good start to the series, and I am glad that I finally started it.  I am looking forward to seeing whether Cyn exercises more street smarts and common sense in the next installment. I received a copy of this audiobook at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Vampires in America

Monday, September 12, 2016

ARC Review: Destined for a King by Ashlyn MacNamara

Series:     Bastard Brotherhood #1
Pub. Date:Sept 6, 2016
Length:266 pages

Destined for a King is a mix of medieval and fantasy romance, leaning more toward the historical side that fantasy. A battle for the kingdom between the rightful king and a usurper is sprinkled with premonitory visions and a starcrossed romance in this first installment of the Bastard Brotherhood series.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Series Saturday Audiobook Review: Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb

Series:     In Death #42
Pub. Date:Feb. 2, 2016
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Narrator:Susan Ericksen
Length:13 hrs 37 min

The In Death series is one of those series that I hope never ends. I never get enough Eve or Roarke or Peabody or Roarke or Mr. Mira or Roarke or, um, Roarke. In addition to great characters, I love the futuristic world envisioned by J.D. Robb... its almost like a sophisticated Jetson's with gravity-defying cars, off-planet travel, auto-chefs, house droids, and lots of techy goodness.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

ARC Review: The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

Series:     Invisible Library #2
Pub. Date:Sept 6, 2016
Publisher:Roc / Berkley
Length:336 pages

With The Masked City, Genevieve Cogman delivers another complex and fantastical adventure  that transcends worlds and features our favorite spy librarian. As a recap, the Invisible Library is an inter-dimensional entity that doesn't seem to be part of time or space, but that collects works from the different worlds as both a record and means of stability. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Audiobook Review: Pirate by Eve Langlais

Series:     Space Gypsy #1
Pub. Date:Aug. 25, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Chandra Skyye
Length:7 hrs 27 min
I don't read a lot of SciFi Romance, and I have been saying that I should remedy that. So this new series from Eve Langlais was the perfect opportunity. A trusted author and the blurb sucked me right in - winning! And this book had a bit of a Men in Black feel to me - I think it was the type of humor and the multitude of alien lifeforms.