Saturday, April 30, 2016

Series Saturday Audiobook Review: Seduction in Session by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake

Series:  Perfect Gentlemen
Pub. Date:  Jan. 5, 2016
Publisher:  Penguin Audio / Berkley
Narrator:  Kaleo Griffith
Length:  13 hrs 50 min
Format:  Audiobook

The Perfect Gentlemen are back with my favorite hero of the group. I think. At least until the next book. Or we find out that Maddox isn't dead. Shayla and Lexi were being very mean about this at the RT Convention and would not give us any hints!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Audiobook Review: Loving a Lost Lord by Mary Jo Putney

Series:  Lost Lords #1
Pub. Date:  July 1, 2009
Publisher:  Blackstone Audio / Zebra
Narrator:  Kate Rawson
Length:  10 hrs 50 min
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Hoopla

The Lost Lords series follows a band of brothers-by-circumstance on their journey to find the perfect companion, starting with a unique hero who doesn't quite fit in and a capable, yet desperate, heroine.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Throwback Thursday Audiobook Review: The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

Original Pub. Date:  1979
Re-Release Date:  2012
Publisher:  Tantor Audio
Narrator:  Gerard Doyle
Length:  14 hrs
Format:  Audiobook
Source:  Hoopla

This was one of my favorite movies growing up - and I still love to watch it today.  I mean seriously, who doesn't want their own Falkor the Luck Dragon???  If you have kids, I hope that you will encourage them to read this book and watch the movie.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ARC Review: The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Orig. Pub. Date:  May 7, 2015
Re-Pub Date:  April 19, 2016
Publisher:  Amulet Books
Pages:  384
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

This was a bit of a different read for me, but I enjoyed the change of pace and can always appreciate a well-crafted story.  This is a Victorian Gothic coming-of-age for a young girl, Faith, during the  time when it was still unfashionable for women to be smart or clever, and they had to depend on the males of society for nearly everything. (((Shudder))) Seriously, this point was driven home to our heroine in drastic ways by numerous males of her acquaintance. Whether they were ruminating over the smaller size of the female head/brain, chastising her for being too knowledgeable, or telling her what a burden she was... Faith just couldn't win.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ARC Review: Ride Hard by Laura Kaye

Series:  Raven Riders #1
Pub. Date:  April 26, 2016
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  320
Format:  eARC

I love the premise of this new MC Club series which is modeled after the charitable organization, Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA). Perhaps between the light being shined on the organization from Laura Kaye (and Kristen Ashley) more funds can be raised to assist those in need.

So the Raven Riders MC are a group of bad ass men (and some old ladies) who, instead of trying to be an outlaw gang, use their power, numbers and resources to help those in need, particularly women in violent situations. I liked all of the club members, who ranged from big teddy bear like characters to flirty playboys to mother figures. I think Laura has created a good foundation here for a longstanding series of swoonworthy heroes and those they protect.

This first installment is the story of the club president, Dare Kenyon, finding his HEA in the midst of turmoil. Dare has a tragic past involving an abusive father (a member of a 1%er type MC), and the loss of his mother and brother. Dare's backstory really tugged on my heartstrings and added a depth to his character that you could sink into. At 37 years old, he is quite a bit older than our heroine, but he has an immediate attraction to her beauty and vulnerability. 

Haven Randall has a tragic past of her own, being raised by a mid-level crime boss father, who treated her like a commodity to be bossed and punished at will. Haven is on the run and hiding when she is taken into the Raven Riders fold with her best friend, Cora. Unfortunately I didn't have a great connection to Haven's character. I think most of that was due to her age (22), and these younger heroines of late making me feel the need to see how many gray hairs I may be sporting. I think her personality and maturity level were on par with her age though, so it's just a personal preference thing and nothing to do with the writing style or character development. My heart did ache when Haven recounted some of the things her father put her thru, particularly the reason why she is afraid of thunderstorms. 

While the book took place only over the course of a month, this did not feel like a story of insta-love. Haven and Dare grew closer together at a steady pace, which accommodated Haven's past experience and naivety. I loved that Dare wanted to be the one to introduce her to new experiences, but sometimes I felt like his maturity level dropped to match hers. But again that could be me wishing for older heroines, particularly when the hero is my age.

All-in-all, this was a solid start to the series and I was glad to get in on the front end so I can follow the new releases as they come out. I received an advanced copy of this book from Avon via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars / 3 flames.

About the Author

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Pre-Release Blitz and Giveaway: His Scandalous Kiss by Sophie Barnes

COMING 7.26.16

Secrets at Thorncliff Manor #3
Sophie Barnes
Releasing July 26th, 2016
Avon Books

Thorncliff Manor is the perfect setting for a masquerade ball . . . where the heart’s secret desires are about to be uncovered in this scintillating Regency romance from Sophie Barnes

Richard Heartly has exiled himself from society since the war, plotting his revenge for a terrible betrayal. A masked ball at Thorncliff Manor is intended to be a brief diversion. Instead, he encounters a fascinating young woman as entranced by the music as he is. He can’t reveal his identity to Lady Mary. But her siren song keeps drawing him back, and their clandestine meetings could be hazardous to his plan—and to her virtue . . .

Avoiding an unwanted marriage was easy when Lady Mary was ignored by the ton. Thanks to her dazzling appearance at the masquerade, she’s a wallflower no longer. Eligible suitors abound, yet the only man she wants is the brooding, seductive companion who keeps his face hidden. A man who tempts her to disclose her own shocking secret, one that could divide them forever . . .

Pre-Order Today
Amazon | B & N | Google | iTunes | Kobo

Born in Denmark, Sophie Barnes spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world. She's lived in five different countries, on three different continents, and speaks Danish, English, French, Spanish and Romanian. She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parsons. But, most impressive of all, she's been married to the same man three times—in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion: writing. When she's not busy dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.

Find out more of the Secrets at Thorncliff Manor

Monday, April 25, 2016

ARC Review: How to Manage a Marquess by Sally MacKenzie

Series:  Spinster House #2
Pub. Date:  April 26, 2016
Publisher:  Zebra / Kensington
Pages:  352
Format:  eARC
Source:  NetGalley

How to Manage a Marquess takes place somewhat contemporaneously with the last part of What to Do with a Duke. I recommend you read the first book because you will need the backstory to understand the story of the Spinster House, and you meet all the characters in that first book.  If you haven't read the first book, the short of it is that Isabelle Dorring cursed the Dukes of Hart to perish before their heir is born. When Isabelle was jilted 200 years ago by the Duke, she took up residence in a house in Loves Bridge, now known as the Spinster House. Part of the curse requires that whenever the Spinster House becomes vacant, the current Duke of Hart must choose another spinster to live in the house. Unfortunately for Marcus (the current duke), three assertive spinsters are all vying for the chance to move in and aren't going to make the process easy for him.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

ARC Review: The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath

Series:  Hellions of Havisham Hall #2
Pub. Date:  April 26, 2016
Publisher:  Avon
Pages:  384
Format:  eARC
Source:  Edelweiss

This is one of the hardest reviews I have had to write. Let me start out by saying that Lorraine Heath's writing was beautiful as always. In fact, it's a credit to the writing that I was able to finish the book because I just couldn't accept the premise of the story. But more on that later.

Stackin' the Shelves #30 - #RT16 Recap!

Hello Bambinas!
I made it home from Vegas (mostly) unscathed. I am freakin' exhausted though!  I slept until 10:30 this morning, and have been dragging myself (barely) to work at the last possible minute all week. The RT Convention, if you have never been, is very peopley. So you have to be *on* all the time. And there are lines. Lots and lots of lines. Your feet and back will hate you. But I met some fun people, bloggers that I have been interacting with on social media, and lots of my favorite authors and some new-to-me authors as well.

This episode of Stackin' the Shelves is gonna be somewhat long, because I got SOOOOO many pretties from the RT Convention - and I want to do a convention recap so I can go back and reference it next year. Let's start with the pretties, shall we?  Check it - this is just some of the stuff I brought back that I was either given or purchased. This does not include the suitcase full of books I took to get signed.

Oh and let me just apologize now for the quality of my photos. There is just SO much stuff that there is not a good place to photograph it... and I am out of bookshelves!  So I have everything thrown on my guest bed until I can go out and get another shelf (or three).

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Series Saturday Audiobook Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

 Series:  Castles Ever After #3
Publisher:  HarperAudio / Avon
Pub. Date:  August 25, 2015
Narrator:  Carmen Rose
Length:  8 hrs 37 min

I have had a lot of fun with the Castles Ever After series by Tessa Dare. I was listening to this third installment while I was at the RT Convention, where I got to meet Tessa (super nice!) and won these awesome gift baskets from her. Keep an eye out because I will be hosting a giveaway on the bloggity soon for a signed book and some swag!

Carmen Rose has done a fabulous job narrating the series, but I have to say that this was my favorite performance from her. She portrayed our Scots perfectly, from the brogue to the cadence, and I just loved listening to her.

Madeline "Maddie" Gracechurch was a heroine close to my heart, shy and awkward to the extent that she freezes in a terrorized panic when in a crowd. To avoid a London season, she invents a fiance, one who is away fighting the war so she never been seen with him. Maddie writes to her fake beau regularly, and posts the letters to fool her family never thinking there might actually be a Logan MacKenzie serving in the war. I loved that we got to hear/read Maddie's letters. That was one of my favorite parts.  What would you write to an imaginary person if you thought no one would ever read or see it?  Maddie poured herself into those letters, so anyone reading them would know her innermost desires, thoughts and fears. It really gave our hero an unfair advantage!

Friday, April 22, 2016

ARC Review: The Randy Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn

My Rating:  
Sultry Scale:

I don't read a lot of romantic comedies, but when I do, none can make me donkey laugh quite like Meghan Quinn.  The Virgin Romance Novelist was one of my 5-Star Reads for 2015, so I was super excited to see what Rosie was going to get up to next. I'm happy to report that Rosie was just as ridiculous and over-the-top in this installment as she was as our virginal disaster. I do recommend that you read The Virgin Romance Novelist (if you have not done so) to get the full back story between Rosie and Henry.