Friday, July 13, 2018

Audiobook Review: Divorced Desperate and Delicious by Christie Craig

Series:     Divorced & Desperate #1
Pub. Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher:Dreamscape Media
Narrator:Jennifer Woodward
Length:8 hrs 37 min

I have seen this series floating around for quite a while, and I thought it sounded like fun. I'm not divorced (or married for that matter). I guess the desperate and delicious is up for debate... but I feel like I'm doing a little better than our heroine here. This series focuses on a posse of divorced femmes, seemingly obsessed with sex, and their lack thereof. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Shadow King by Heather Killough-Walden

Series:The Kings #7
Pub. Date:April 10, 2018
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Antony Ferguson
Length:6 hrs 25 min

The Shadow King is the 7th book in the Kings series, which revolves around 13 paranormal kings of various supernatural species. These are quick reads that really work well as a binge series, and I find that I am having a hard time remembering some of the earlier books after waiting a few years between the first books and these last few. I do think this series is a candidate for the re-read pile though, so I will definitely look to binge them one day in the future.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

ARC Review: Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Series:Strays #1
Pub. Date:  June 19, 2018
Length:336 pgs

Stray Magic is the first book in the Strays series, and my first read by Kelly Meding. I really like this author's writing style, and I'm so happy to have found another urban fantasy series to read. It seems like the genre has been slowing and not as many UF books are being introduced these days. This series has a unique cast of paranormal character, a feisty and interesting heroine, and the promise of steamy romantic entanglements.

Monday, July 9, 2018

ARC Review: Smoke and Iron by Rachel Caine

Series:The Great Library #4
Pub. Date:July 3, 2018
Length:448 pgs

I have been thoroughly impressed with Rachel Caine's The Great Library series since it's inception, and I'm so happy that we have more books to come. The world-building is complex and detailed, and just superb from beginning to end. I also love the diverse cast of characters from just about every walk of life - there is someone for everyone to identify with.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Audiobook Review: Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

Series:     Old West #1
Pub. Date:January 26, 2016
Narrator:Kim Staunton
Length:9 hrs 27 min

Forbidden is my first read from the highly-acclaimed Beverly Jenkins, and it certainly will not be my last. I am not typically a fan of western romances, but I was drawn into this story and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Jenkins certainly has a lovely writing style, which was complemented by this narrator, Kim Staunton, who had a very soothing voice. The cadence and pacing Staunton employed was perfect for the old west feel of this story.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

ARC Review: The Risk of Rogues by Sabrina Jeffries

Series:Sinful Suitors #5.5
Pub. Date:July 2, 2018
Publisher:Pocket Star
Length:95 pgs

Drat, I realized as I went to start this book that I have missed the last couple of releases in the Sinful Suitors series! I don't know how that happened! So now I have some catching up to do, because I have enjoyed the installments that I have read thus far.

The Risk of Rogues is a short story novella, which was a nice diversion and easy to get through as I have been recovering from surgery this week. I think it can be read fine as a standalone, though I do believe there was some character crossover from the past couple of books.

Monday, July 2, 2018

ARC Review: The Highlander's Promise by Lynsay Sands

Series:Highlanders #6
Pub. Date:June 26, 2018
Length:384 pgs

Lynsay Sands' Highlanders series has been one of my favorites over the last year or so. I love the big rambunctious and loyal Buchanan family, and have enjoyed seeing each brother (and sister) meet their matrimonial end so to speak. But when I saw the blurb for this book and realized it was about Aulay, I got grabby hands. I feel like this may have been my most anticipated installment of the series.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Audiobook Review: Dating-Ish by Penny Reid

Series:     Knitting in the City #6
Pub. Date:May 18, 2017
Narrator:Joy Nash
Length:11 hrs 13 min
Source:Audible Romance

You ever "save" a book for a reading slump... and then forget that you were saving it? That is totally what happened to me with Dating-Ish, as I am a huge fan of the Knitting in the City series. I remember deciding to wait to read this one until I hit a dreaded reading slump, and then I realized that I was still saving it when I noticed that Marriage of Inconvenience was about to be released. So I had to rectify the situation immediately. And I was so happy that Joy Nash was narrating again. I fell in love with her narration in Truth or Beard, and she did a stellar job in this story. Joy's narration brings the zany characters to life and she has great comedic effect and timing that works so well with Penny's romantic comedies.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

ARC Review: Dark Challenge by Christine Feehan

Series:Carpathians #5
Re-Release Date:June 26, 2018
Length:400 pgs

I have been trying to get caught up on Christine Feehan's backlist for a while now... but she is so prolific that I don't think I will ever catch up. (And that's a good thing seeing as I like her writing.) I happened to be notified about the re-release of Dark Challenge, and it coincided with where I was in the Carpathians series, so I jumped at the chance for a review copy. I have been curious about Julian for a while, and I was glad to dive into his story.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ARC Review: Ain't She a Peach by Molly Harper

Series:Southern Eclectic #4
Pub. Date:June 12, 2018
Publisher:Gallery Books
Length:305 pgs

Ain't She a Peach is the fourth book in the Southern Eclectic series, which focuses on the McCready family in small town Lake Sackett, Georgia. I was at Nola Storycon last year when I heard Molly Harper talking about her new southern series involving a family who runs a combination bait shop and funeral home, and I knew that this was the romantic comedy for me! I love Molly's wit and humor, and the Southern Eclectic books are good light fun. While it's not absolutely necessary to read this series in order, I would caution you not to read this book without reading its prequel, Peachy Flippin' Keen

Monday, June 25, 2018

ARC Review: Ocean Light by Nalini Singh

Series:Psy-Changeling Trinity #2
Pub. Date:June 12, 2018
Length:430 pgs

Ocean Light is the second book in the Psy-Changeling spinoff series, Psy-Changeling Trinity, which focuses on the alliance (and its members) among the Psy, Changelings and Human Alliance. Instead of focusing on the races separately, we now are working toward a more integrated society with the signing of the Trinity Accord. Silence has fallen for the Psy, and they are attempting to make inroads into the human race as they have learned that, much like the empaths, they are necessary for the health of the PsyNet.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Audiobook Review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Pub. Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher:Random House Audio
Narrators:Colleen Marlo
Kim Mai Guest
Length:9 hrs 5 min
Source:NetGalley / Library

This is another book from my blogger shame pile. I actually started and stopped it a few times before deciding to try it in audio on my drive east not long ago. I have been wanting to try Kathy Reichs for a while as I really enjoy Bones, the television adaptation of the Temperance Brennan series.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Review: Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy

Series:     Chronicles of Dasnaria #1
Re-Release. Date:June 12, 2018
Publisher:Rebel Base Books
Length:160ish pages

Prisoner of the Crown is the first book in a new fantasy series by Jeffe Kennedy, which is either titled Chronicle of Dasnaria or The Lost Princess Chronicles... I'm seeing it as both, so I'm not sure which it is. I kinda like the latter best and feel it fits our protagonist best. Jeffe is branching out as this is straight fantasy (vs. fantasy romance), though it is connected to her prior fantasy romance series. As obtuse as I am, I didn't realize exactly HOW connected it was until I had read about 2/3 of the book!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Audiobook Review: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Series:Night Huntress #4
Pub. Date:Dec. 22, 2010
Publisher:Blackstone Audio
Narrator:Tavia Gilbert
Length:9 hrs 33 min
Source:Audible Romance

So this year I have not been able to go on a road trip this year without getting a craving for Cat and Bones, so the re-read has continued with Destined for an Early Grave, the fourth book in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. 

I remember reading this book for the first time and being thrown for a loop with some of the revelations about Cat's past. It was definitely not something I predicted, and I am happy to report that I am still discovering (or rediscovering) tidbits that I didn't remember from before. A totally unexpected vampire has surfaced to derail Cat and Bones' relationship, and he has some unique dreamwalking powers that are super scary and put Cat in danger. Gregor was an interesting character... I almost wanted to know more about him and his motivations. 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

ARC Review: The Varlet and the Voyeur by LH Cosway and Penny Reid

Series:Rugby #4
Pub. Date:June 14, 2018
Length:344 pgs

The Varlet and the Voyeur is the fourth book in Cosway and Reid's Rugby series, that follows an Irish rugby team as they give up the bachelor life and find their lifemates. Like most of Reid's books, this is a quirky romantic comedy that will have you in stitches at times. I have not read the earlier Rugby books (yet), and there is some character crossover in this story, but I didn't feel overly lost or confused as I read. So if you are just jumping in now, like me, you will probably be fine.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Audiobook Review: A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

Series:     Seven Kennings #1
Pub. Date:Oct. 17, 2017
Publisher:Random House Audio
Narrators:Xe Sands
Luke Daniels
Length:22 hrs 14 min
Source:Overdrive / Library

So this is a book outside of my normal wheelhouse - an epic fantasy sans romance. I think this review may be a bit hard to write because this is a very complex story with detailed world building and cast development. The book gave me a feel of The Hobbit and/or Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones. I commend Kevin Hearne on his imagination and ability to develop such a complex society with varied cultures, language and races/species.

So the basis of this society are the kennings - which are magical abilities. There are five well known kennings (air, water, fire, earth, plants) and lesser known sixth (animals) and seventh (unknown) kennings. The kennings are largely split by city (kindgom?) and/or culture. This is a western society where the people have mostly dark skin, and are further divided by their magical abilities. The western society is invaded by giants from the east who have pale skin that burns, and no magical abilities. We will be operating in the western society for this first installment of the series. That is a very basic and brief overview the society as a whole that certainly doesn't do justice to the complexity of the story.

(I apologize for any misspellings for character names, places, etc. in this review. As I listened in audio, I will be using my best guess for unfamiliar words and names.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ARC Review: Venom in the Veins by Jennifer Estep

Series:Elemental Assassin #17
Pub. Date:June 12, 2018
Length:267 pgs

Venom in the Veins is the 17th installment of Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series. This is a series that triggers my grabby hands when a new book is coming out - I just can't wait to set my eyes on the next installment. But I'm warning you - don't read these if you are trying to diet! There is enough discussion of delicious southern comfort food to make your mouth water and having you running out to your local BBQ joint. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

ARC Review: Stand & Deliver by Rhenna Morgan

Series:Men of Haven #4
Pub. Date:June 11, 2018
Publisher:Carina Press
Length:384 pgs

Stand & Deliver is the fourth installment of Rhenna Morgan's steamy Men of Haven series, that features a close-knit group of alpha males who have created their own family, regardless of blood ties. While this story could probably be read as a standalone, I do not recommend it. You will want all the mouthwatering details from the beginning, so start with Jace's story in Rough & Tumble to get the scoop on how this brotherhood started.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Series:Colorado Mountain #2
Pub. Date:June 24, 2014
Publisher:Hachette Audio
Narrator:Emma Taylor
Length:25 hrs 6 min

Last week I had to go to Denver for work, and decided that I would take the scenic route through Utah and the Rockies. I thought for sure that I would be lucky enough to get lost (and found) in Carnal, Colorado. Sadly, that didn't happen. (Though I did visit Evergreen - which was supposedly the inspirational setting for Gnaw Bone!)  Anywho, driving through the beautiful mountains made me nostalgic for the Colorado Mountains series, and I popped in Sweet Dreams so that Tatum Jackson could keep me company on the drive.

Sweet Dreams is the second book in the Colorado Mountains series, but it can be read as a standalone if you have not read the first book, The Gamble. Though I encourage you to read them all... you will probably be ready to pack up and move to a small Colorado mountain town at that point.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Audiobook Review: Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon

Series:     Ice Planet Barbarians #4
Pub. Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrators:Mason Lloyd
Hollie Jackson
Length:5 hrs 36 min

Barbarian Mine is the fourth book in the Ice Planet Barbarians series, and takes place somewhat consecutively with the last book, Barbarian Lover. While we have previously met our heroine, Harlow, our hero is a new and unexpected addition to the series. This series has a fairly linear and chronological storyline, so I recommend that you read the books in order. 

If you recall from Barbarian Lover, our flame-haired and freckled Harlow was bonked over the head while she was out trying to piece together a travoy for one of the wounded aliens. We didn't hear from her the rest of the story. Though when she realizes that she has been abducted by an unknown big blue guy, Harlow takes everything in stride and doesn't get overly freaked out. That may have something to do with the constant purring in her chest that tells her she and the totally naked alien will be compatible... in all ways. I liked Harlow quite a bit. She was patient and understanding with our hero, and was able to teach him quite a few things to make survival more pleasant.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

ARC Review: Order of Protection by Lexi Blake

Series:Courting Justice #1
Pub. Date:June 5, 2018
Length:336 pages

Order of Protection is the first installment of the new Courting Justice series by Lexi Blake. This series ties into Lexi's other series involving the Lawless family and the McKay-Taggert guys. It seems that this series will follow some of the attorneys that we met in the Lawless series, and heavily features Noah Lawless, who has joined the firm. I am interested to see how these stories play out and entwines with the other two series.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

ARC Review: Shadow Keeper by Christine Feehan

Series:Shadow #3
Pub. Date:May 29, 2018
Publisher:Berkley Romance
Length:400 pages

Oooh lawd. Christine Feehan has me over here fantasizing about shadows! Did that one just move? The Shadow series and the uber yummy Ferraro Brothers, will have you looking a little harder the next time you see a shadow move across your field of vision. Shadow Keeper is the third installment of the Shadow series, and I would encourage you to read them in order. While each story has its own arc, it will benefit you to have some of the back story from earlier books. Plus, the whole series has been great so you won't regret investing the time.

Monday, June 4, 2018

ARC Review: The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren

Series:The Ones Who Got Away #2
Pub. Date:June 5, 2018
Publisher:Sourcebooks Casablana
Length:416 pages

This is only my second read from Roni Loren, and I'm jumping into a series already in progress. The One You Can't Forget is the second installment of The Ones Who Got Away. I haven't read the first book, and I felt like this one worked okay as a standalone. The series focuses on a group of heroines (and the hero of the first book), who are survivors of a mass shooting at Long Acre High School. The stories take place 10-15 years later, and our heroines are a close group of professional women living in Texas.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Audiobook Review: Half-Blood Dragon by K.N. Lee

Series:     Dragon Born #1
Pub. Date: April 24, 2018
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Mary Sarah
Length:3 hrs 35 min

Pirates and dragons and mermaids, oh my! How could I resist such a fantastic tale? This was my first read by K.N. Lee, and I like where she is going with the premise of this series.

Our heroine, Rowan, is a half-blood dragon. Not enough dragon blood to have scales or transform, but enough to have some strength and magical ability. Though I was confused on whether the magical ability came from her human side or her dragon side - that was a bit murky. As a half-blood, our heroine feels the sting of prejudice from everyone around her, and people easily believe the worst when she is accused of killing the crown prince.   

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

ARC Review: Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Series:Wildes of Lindow Castle #2
Pub. Date:May 29, 2018
Length:384 pages

Too Wilde to Wed is the second installment of Eloisa James' Wildes of Lindow Castle series, featuring the very large and entertaining Wilde family. I have read the earlier book, Wilde in Love, but I think you can get by reading this one as a standalone if absolutely necessary (though you will miss some of the backstory). 

Our hero in this story is Lord Roland Northbridge Wilde (a/k/a North), heir to the dukedom. After being jilted by his fiance and coming to an incorrect assumption, North enlisted in the royal army and went off to fight the Revolutionary War in the Colonies. In the first book, North had turned himself into a ridiculous dandy wearing saffron pantaloons and coats embroidered with cherries, all to gain the attention of a woman. But North has returned from the war and different, and less pretentious man. I really liked him as a hero. He was patient and understanding, and had a touch of vulnerability in dealing with his time in the war. He treated our heroine exceedingly well, but he wasn't the "nice guy that finishes last." North could steam up the sheets and steamroll his way when the situation really warranted it.