Friday, April 28, 2017

ARC Review: Ride Rough by Laura Kaye

Series:     Raven Riders #2
Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Length:320ish pages

Laura Kaye is back with her next installment of the Raven Riders series... the biker gang that is more altruistic than outlaw, using their collective power for good by helping abuse victims. Ride Rough picks up shortly after Ride Hard left off, and I recommend you read the books in order so you have the back story on the characters, MC club and past events.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Lethal Game by Katie Reus

Series:     Red Stone Security #15
Pub. Date:Jan. 10, 2017
Publisher:KR Press, LLC
Length:180 pages

Lethal Game has pulse pounding suspense and action along with the bonus of two great romances! A second chance for old flames, government secrets being sold, Russian mercenaries, a most-wanted hacker extraordinaire, and one cute dog.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

ARC Review & Author Interview: Snared by Jennifer Estep

Series:     Elemental Assassin #16
Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Publisher:Pocket Books
Length:400 pages

Gin Blanco is one of my favorite heroines in urban fantasy. She is a kickass assassin and crime lord (kinda), but she also is altruistic with a huge heart. Even though her main talent is killing people, Gin uses that power for good and is taking out all the big bads and nasties around Ashland. I love the dynamic between her cold and calculating side mixed with her vulnerability and love for her family and friends. And I am in absolute LUST over her cooking... LUST I tell you. I can't read one of these books without having some serious cravings for barbecue, mac & cheese, and good southern comfort food.

Monday, April 24, 2017

ARC Review: Blade Bound by Chloe Neill

Series:     Chicagoland #13
Pub. Date:April 25, 2017
Length:384 pages

Oh its a happy sad end of an era with Blade Bound, the last book of the Chicagoland Vampires series. It's hard to believe that all thirteen of these books have taken place in the span of a year or less... sometimes it seems longer, and sometimes it seems like just yesterday that Merit was made a vampire. It's definitely been a crazy eventful year for Merit and Cadogan House.

We begin Blade Bound with the last minute preparations for Ethan and Merit's wedding, and all the details required to make the event "fit for a Master" of the City as Helen would say. This was one of my favorite parts of the book, and I actually felt myself getting a little teary-eyed during the big event! But as history has proven for Ethan and Merit, things never quite go as planned.

Another big bad is emerging (or returning?) and the city is on the cusp, waiting for things to explode. Between crazed delusional people and wonky weather, the tensions are definitely running high. There are still humans protesting supernaturals and blaming them for the destructive and dangerous events that have happened in Chicagoland, and this big bad is not going to help ease those tensions. The resolution for this conflict saw input from the normal gang - the Cadogan vamps, the Omsbuddies and Mallory. Human law enforcement and military got in on the act, as well as the Order, with varying results. Of course there are always those who think they know better and are too arrogant to take advice from the team... so we had some back and forth between city government, The Order and Team Cadogan. I would have liked to see the shifters step in, and there was a small cameo from the fae that I wished would have been developed more. But in the end, we can always count on Merit to get things done.

While I enjoyed this final installment, I was hoping for a bigger bang. The conflict and resolution of the plot in Blade Bound didn't vary greatly from the last few books. A big bad emerges, Merit and the gang investigate and do battle to save the city. I was expecting this last book to be explosive and action-packed, but it just a nice steady story that follows the same formula that we've seen before. That being said, the formula has worked and the stories are entertaining. The wedding aspect was stellar, and I loved the epilogue (though I wished it was longer and more expansive). Overall this has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, one that I will probably re-read at some point in the future.

We've heard rumors of a spinoff for this series, and the epilogue definitely gave me ideas. If my suspicions are right, I think that would be a stellar storyline and would be excited to get my greedy lil' hands on it.

Don't miss the giveaway that Chloe Neill is hosting on her website through April 28th. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley.

ARC Review: The Thing About Love by Julie James

Series:     USAO/FBI
Pub. Date:April 18, 2017
Length:400 pages

It's been a while since I have read anything by Julie James, and now that I am back on the wagon, I need to catch up on her books for the last several years. As an attorney and fed myself, I am hesitant these days to pick up some legal-themed romances because I tend to pick them apart. But Julie James' stories are well-researched and don't make me twitchy like some other legal/LEO plots.  This last book of hers I read was in the FBI/USAO series, and I'm not sure if this book is included in that series or not. It's not listed as being included on Goodreads, Amazon or iBooks... but there is some character crossover with that series and the main characters here are FBI agents. You can read it as a standalone, but it would also be enjoyable to know some of the stories of the secondary characters that pop in from the FBI angle.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Audiobook Review: Neanderthal Seeks/Marries Human by Penny Reid

This quickie review is for both Neanderthal Seeks Human and Neanderthal Marries Human, the first books of the Knitting in the City series by the delightfully quirky Penny Reid.  These two books both follow the same couple - Janie Morris and Quinn Sullivan.

Janie Morris is a unique and refreshing heroine that you can't help love despite (and maybe because of) her oddities. She is not quite on the autism spectrum, but she seems to exhibit some of the similar signs of Asperger's (or similar issue). Janie is highly intelligent and analytical with a near-eidetic memory. She reminded me of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, but more likable. Janie is also a healthy girl at 5'9" and voluptuous, with a head full of crazy Medusa curls. I loved that she wasn't a perfect Barbie - both physically and mentally. Also - I totally identified with her hair woes! I thought that her propensity to spout random facts when nervous was endearing, and I totally felt sorry for the family issues she had to deal with.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Viper Game by Christine Feehan

Series:     Ghost Walkers #11
Pub. Date:Jan. 27, 2015
Publisher:Berkley Jove
Length:448 pages

Wyatt is your typical Feehan hero - an over the top alpha male but I liked him! His interactions with his grandmother showed a softer side most don't glimpse. With his teammates he showed confidence, loyalty, and humor in dangerous situations. 

A product of Dr Whitney's crazy trials, Pepper is the equivalent of a siren. Designed to lure men to their death by using her voice and body, she's classified a reject because she refuses to use her abilities. She's smart, moves with the speed of a cheetah, and is trained as a soldier, but longs for the kind of family and life Wyatt has. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ARC Review: The Wedding GIft by Gemma Brocato

Pub. Date:April 18, 2017
Publisher:Lucky Red Press
Length:2712 pages

I'm bringing you a fabulous value with this Indie Wednesday spotlight... this anthology has over 2,500 pages of wedded bliss for only 99 pennies! I will be packing this compilation around on my kindle for a while to pull out in the waiting room at the doctor's office, auto shop, etc. For now, I'm reviewing one of the stories for one of the Kickass Chicks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Audiobook Review: The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

Series:     Casquette Girls #1
Pub. Date:Dec. 29, 2015
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Narrator:Kate Rudd
Length:17 hrs 39 min
Source:Kindle Unlimited

I really love what Alys Arden did here, taking the myths, legends and history of New Orleans and expounding upon it in a modern-day paranormal story. The Casquette Girls is an amalgamation of the city's vampire legend mixed with the history of les filles a la cassette at Ursuline Convent, brought back to life in post-Katrina New Orleans. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Audiobook Review: Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid

Series:     Knittng in the City #4
Pub. Date:Dec. 1, 2014
Narrator:Joy Nash
Length:11 hrs 52 min

It's not often that you find a book that can make you laugh and cry at the same time, but Penny Reid has succeeded.  I'm reading this series out of order as I wanted to jump into Ashley's story after reading the Winston Brothers series... and it was fantastic! It gave me a new view of the Winston boys and their family dynamic, and made me ugly cry for the loss of their mother.

Friday, April 14, 2017

ARC Review: Wild & Sweet by Rhenna Morgan

Series:     Haven Brotherhood #2
Pub. Date:Apr. 10, 2017
Publisher:Carina Press
Length:432 pages

I can't tell you how happy I am to have finally started reading Rhenna Morgan... and am kicking myself at the same time for not getting on the ball sooner!  There are very few authors these days that will inspire me to read a contemporary romance. The angst and annoying heroines were just getting to be too much for my patience. So having another author in this category really makes me happy, and Rhenna is definitely serving up some swoonworthy heroes and likable heroines.

If you haven't read the first book in the series, Rough & Tumble, then you are totally missing out. But if you want to start with Wild & Sweet and read out of order, you should be fine. Basically what you need to know is that the Haven Brotherhood is a group of unconventional alpha male bikers. These men are totally hot, totally possessive alpha male, and totally successful. From club owners to pilots to doctors... these are bikers outside the norm when it comes to the MC romance trope. My favorite happens to be Axel, but I wouldn't kick a one of 'em out of my bed for eating crackers. (Sorry, my southern came out there.)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Guest Review by Julie: Hard Justice by Lori Foster

Series:     Body Armor #2
Pub. Date:March 21, 2017
Publisher:HQN Books
Length:384 pages
Source:RT Book Reviews

Fallon Wade wants to experience life but has to have a bodyguard in tow to keep her parents happy. When she's introduced to Justice Wallington, he looks like no bodyguard Fallon's ever seen. When attraction interferes with the job, Justice and Fallon have to make decisions on where they want to take their relationship. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ARC Review: Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland

Series:     Macleod #10
Pub. Date:Apr. 4, 2017
Publisher:Berkley Jove
Length:336 pages

As a fan of time travel stories, particularly Scottish historicals, I have been wanting to try Lynn Kurland for quite a while. I have actually been stockpiling her MacLeod/De Piaget books, but just haven't found time to fit them onto my reading calendar.  When I saw this new release available, I decided that I would jump in here - even though its the 10th book in the series - and hope that it worked okay as a standalone.

If you have not read the earlier Macleod/De Piaget books (like me), I would recommend that you go back and read those first before starting Ever My Love. There is a lot of character crossover and I felt a bit lost as I was reading this one, and often had the sense that I was missing something. While this story didn't work as a standalone for me... the Scottish setting did make me want to go back and read the earlier books. Kurland's love of Scotland comes across in her writing and really make me want to visit (and find a Highlander of my own). 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Audiobook Review: Dragon Squeeze by Eve Langlais

Series:     Dragon Point #2
Pub. Date:April 4, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Chandra Skyye
Length:6 hrs 14 min

Eve Langlais' audiobooks are perfect for me to pick up on a Saturday when I'm cleaning the house and running errands. The 6 hour length is the perfect amount of time to keep me busy and distracted from the mundane tasks and unpleasant chores. And... dragons! Langlais' dragons are arrogant, self-absorbed, obsessive, matriarchal and funny!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dual ARC Review: Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Series:     Black Knights Inc #9
Pub. Date:April 4, 2017
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casa.
Length:384 pages

Hiya bambinas!
Julie and I are doing another dual review today of the latest release in this long-standing series by Julie Ann Walker. I haven't read the earlier books, but have been wanting to try out this author for quite a while. Julie convinced me that I could start here without being lost, so keep reading to see how that panned out.

Bambi's Review

I'm late to the game on this series... not because I was not interested but because I haven't had time to add the 8 previous books to my reading calendar. I finally decided to jump in with the current release and read the stories out of order (even though that drives my reading OCD a little bonkers). So while I don't have the backstory of Black Knights Inc. (BKI), I managed to get through Wild Ride without feeling too lost or uninformed. If you have not read the earlier books and want to jump in and test the waters with this book, I think you will be fine.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring into Romance Giveaway Blog Hop

Spring is here! 
What better time to share our favorite reads for the season?
Join in and tell everyone about what new reads you're excited about!

Most Anticipated Spring Releases

Hiya readers! 
This Spring is going to be great for my reading interest... with several releases coming in my favorite series. So below are the books I am most looking forward to over the next couple months. Tell me what you are looking forward to!

Gin Blanco is probably the most kickass heroine ever. This series is a darker urban fantasy with an assassin heroine who runs a barbecue joint by day. The stories never fail to keep me entertained (and make me hungry as all get out).
This is the final installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series, and I will be sad to see them go. Ethan and Merrick were a great power couple, and the series offered lots of action witha little romance. I believe we will have a spinoff series to look forward to!
I was introduced to the Jane Yellowrock series after reading the Soulwood series earlier this year. I know I am late to the game, but I love Jane and Beast so much that I am in the midst of a binge read (in audio). So I'm excited for this next installment.
I met Rhenna Morgan at the RT Convention last year and she was awesome! I read the first book in this series, Rough & Tumble, earlier this year and I fell in love.  Her writing had the feel of Kristen Ashley, with strong alpha males and likable heroines. 


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