Monday, October 31, 2016

ARC Review: Archangel's Heart by Nalini Singh

Series:     Guild Hunter #9
Pub. Date:Nov 1, 2016
Length:384 pages

Archangel's Heart is a wonderful rejoinder back into the relationship of the couple who started it all... Raphael and Elena. This story picks up about two years after Archangel's Enigma, where we saw Naasir and Andi pair up, an ancient archangel awake, and the Cascade continue to shake things up for everyone. Things have been quiet over the past two years, and the stagnant period has everyone getting more and more antsy. With all the trouble that Lijuan has caused in the past, everyone is concerned by this long period of silence. So when an ancient sect of monk-like angels, the Luminata, called a conclave of all the archangels, I just knew things were going to get interesting.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Series Saturday Review: Dragon Heartstring by Juliette Cross

Series:     Vale of Stars #0.5
Pub. Date:Oct 25, 2016
Length:161 pages

I went into this little novella blind. Juliette's writing never disappoints me, so I knew I would like the story no matter what... but I wanted to be surprised on the main characters and romantic pairing.  And I was!

If you have read the Nightwing Security series and/or Waking the Dragon, you will recall the powerful Cade family. As I read these series out of order, my memories of Jessen Cade and her family were still somewhat fresh from Soulfire, where the Cade patriarch and his his son, Demetrius, were heavily prejudiced against the Morgons, a race of human-dragon hybrids. So I was blindsided that the hero of this book was Demetrius Cade, the workaholic corporate mogul who went to great lengths to prevent his sister from marrying a Morgon male. While I am used to Juliette's yummy alpha male dragons, Demetrius proved that you don't have to breathe fire to be a tough guy. Demetrius has grown a lot since Soulfire. While he is not bosom buddies with the Nightwings (yet), he has at least accepted Jessen's marriage and spends time with her son on a semi-regular basis. He had the protective aspect of alpha maleness down pat, and he wasn't going to allow anyone to hurt his family or our heroine. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Audiobook Review: Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Pub. Date:June 20, 2016
Narrator:Michael Pauley
Length:9 hrs 23 min

Sparrow is a tale of an modern-day arranged marriage of the Boston underworld. It's not a heart and roses story, so pick this one up when you are in the mood for something gray and shadowy.
Troy Brennan was the devil, but sometimes, even good girls wanted a healthy dose of evil in their lives.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

Pub. Date:March 30, 2010
Publisher:Blackstone Audio
Narrator:Cassandra Campbell
Length:9 hrs 50 min

Tis the season for a good ol' spooky read to get in the Halloween spirit, and I love nothing more than ghost stories happening in a grand ol' gothic mansion. Wendy Webb knows her gothic haunted mansions, and I have previously enjoyed her stories The Fate of Mercy Alban and The Vanishing

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ARC Review: Beard Science by Penny Reid

Series:     Winston Bros. #3
Pub. Date:Oct 18, 2016
Length:384 pages

The whole Winston Brothers series has been fantastic, and Cletus has been a favorite from the beginning. So I knew that there was no way that I wouldn't just love this book. I did the prior two books in audio so I will say that I totally missed hearing Cletus and all the southern accents. Penny chooses fabulous narrators for her books and they really bring the characters to life... much better than I can do them in my head. So I may grab this one in audio as well just so I can get my fix.

Monday, October 24, 2016

ARC Review: A Date at the Altar by Cathy Maxwell

Series:     Marrying the Duke #3
Pub. Date:Oct 25, 2016
Length:384 pages

Throughout this series, we have been (in my case) not-so-patiently waiting for love to fall in the lap of Gavin Whitridge, Duke of Baynton. So I knew when this book came out that I had to get my hands on it... so, thanks Avon! I urge you to read the books of this series in order so you will get Gavin's whole story, but its not absolutely necessary if you are picking up this book before the others.

Warning!!! This review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the series. Not big ones... and you can probably figure them out from the book blurbs, but I thought I would throw out the warning just in case.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Audiobook Review: The Broken Ones by Sarah A. Denzil

Pub. Date:Oct 11, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Alison Larkin
Length:6 hrs 56 min

This is such a hard review to write because I don't want to give anything away! So... bear with me if this seems a little vague, but I really do think it would be preferable for you to find out everything for yourself.

Sophie is a primary school teacher living with her mother in Yorkshire.  All-in-all, she has a pretty sad life. Sophie is in her 30s. childless but wanting a child, no dating life to speak of, and very few friends. Don't get me wrong - I am not knocking childless single heroines in their 30s (I am one myself!), but I would hope they are single and childless by choice, evincing a girl-power-type independence and rocking their single life. Sophie is none of those things. She is a victim that is co-dependent on an abusive and caustic mother. Sophie is so beat down that she seems to have given up on living her own life. While normally this would irk me, I actually found her to be a sympathetic heroine. Sophie's mother was truly awful... suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's has not improved her life-long bitterness and scathing treatment of other people. I can't imagine growing up with such a vile person and then voluntarily remaining in the toxic relationship as an adult. But Sophie really was a good daughter despite her mother's behavior. While she seems to have given up on obtaining her mother's approval for anything, she has continued to care for her after the onset of Alzheimer's and despite the repeated abuse.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

ARC Review: So Many Boots So Little Time by Kalan Chapman Lloyd

Series:     Misadventures of
Miss Lilly #3
Pub. Date:Oct 18, 2016
Publisher:Rebelle Press
Length:398 pages

Sassy Southern Belle Lilly Atkins is back again in this third installment of the Misadventures of Miss Lilly. This series follows the unapologetically southern attorney and her wacky girl posse in a slapstick blend of chick lit and cozy mystery.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Audiobook Review: Hidden Blade by P. DaCosta

Series:     Soul Eater #1
Pub. Date:Oct 11, 2016
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Paul Woodson
Length:4 hrs 49 min

I am a huge urban fantasy fan, and have run through the majority of urban fantasy authors on my TBR. So I have been trying to branch out and find a new one. Pippa DaCosta writes several different urban fantasies so I have tried a couple of hers... but so far none have grabbed me.  

This story had good potential as I don't feel the mythology aspect with the Egyptian deities has been overdone as a trope/subject. Unfortunately, this story didn't work for me either. I didn't feel like there was any world building. Everyone is just somewhat plopped down into New York with occasional trips to the Underworld. Why are the Egyptian deities in NYC? I wanted an explanation of the world, how they came to be in New York, descriptions of the setting (particularly the Underworld), an explanation of the relationship dynamics between characters, etc. Instead, there was a lot of telling and not enough showing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ARC Review: Mission:Black by A.D. Starrling

Series:     Division Eight #1
Pub. Date:Oct 18, 2016
Length:130 pages

I have been looking forward to this new series by A.D. Starrling for quite a while... and not just because I got to name one of the characters! You see, Ms. Starrling writes some of the best fast-paced action stories that I have read. Her heroines are kickass, and her heroes are not so bad either. So I was stoked for this first book of the Division Eight series, with its own kickass heroine, Rachel Carter.*

Monday, October 17, 2016

Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway

It's that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting spookier. Yes, it's time for tricks and treats, goblins and ghouls, chills and thrills and huge amounts of sugary sweets. But at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog it's also time for the 5th annual Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway. Join Laughing Vixen Lounge and our bewitching co-hosts The Kids Did It, The Mommy Island, Herding Cats and Burning Soup, The Hopping Bloggers, Mama Smith's Reviews and Women and Their Pretties for a spooktacular Halloween event.

Enter to win a $250 Prize Pack filled with goodies from 10 wickedly fabulous shops. All shops are offering Gift Cards or your choice of item(s) so there will be something for everyone. Many of the shops have items perfect for any book lover along with lots of unique, handcrafted and custom designs to choose from.

Visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog daily during the giveaway for the Halloween Movie Marathon. Test your movie knowledge with the Guess the Movie Game. Then try to solve the Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt, if you dare! Each event will get you daily entries in the giveaway plus a special giveaway for the Scavenger Hunt. Find full details for these events HERE.

Bambi's favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus - a kitschy throwback to the 90s.
I loved the music, and the comedic way the witches were portrayed while still being the villains.
What's your favorite scary or Halloween themed movie?

Bambi's favorite spooky book is Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub. This was a fantastical horror story where this black house was the doorway to a parallel universe. Lots of murder, mayhem and scary creatures. Do you have a favorite scary book?

You can start by entering the Rafflecopter widget below. To experience all the games, movies, shop features, giveaway info and all around awesome fun make sure to stop by the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog HERE.

The giveaway runs October 18th - November 1st and is open worldwide to anyone 18+. 1 winner will win the Prize Pack and 1 winner will win the Scavenger Hunt Prize Pack. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. Click HERE for full details.

ARC Review: Away From the Dark by Aleatha Romig

Series:     The Light #2
Pub. Date:Oct 18, 2016
Publisher:Thomas & Mercer
Length:350 pages

Warning!!! This review contains spoilers for the first book in this series, Into the Light.  If you have not read the first book, you probably do not want to read this review.  And what are you waiting for? Into the Light was a fantastic 5-star read!

Aleatha Romig really knows how to get the reader's adrenaline going. Every book that I have read by this author has had me sitting on the edge of my seat, and kept me turning the page well into the night. Away From the Dark is no exception - this is sure to be a hit with suspense and thriller fans.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: Ghost by A. Zavarelli

Series:     Boston Underworld #3
Pub. Date:Sept. 28, 2016
Narrator:Tracy Marks
Length:8 hrs 5 min

Phew. This book was D-A-R-K. I knew that it was going to be dark, but it went somewhat beyond my expectations. Tracy Marks again did a good job with the narration - she does great accents and her Boston and Russian accents sounded authentic to my ears. The character affectations in this performance (particularly the heroine) did sound nearly the same as the last book, Reaper, so I would just advise not to read them back to back to avoid confusion. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Audiobook Review: Highland Chieftain by Hannah Howell

Series:     Murray #21
Pub. Date:Sept. 27, 2016
Publishers:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Angela Dawe
Length:352 pages
8 hrs 35 min

The Murray series has been around quite a long time, over fifteen years if I am remembering correctly. While I haven't read the whole series, I am a fan of Hannah Howell and do pick up one of her books occasionally when I'm in the mood for a lil' bit o' Scotland. This latest installment of the series surprised me a bit with darker tones than I remember reading from her other books.

Fall Into Romance Giveaway Blog Hop

What books made me fall in love with the genre, 
or keep me smitten and coming back for more?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Kindle Unlimited Review: Touched by Amy Stearman

Pub. Date:Sept. 29, 2016
Length:244 pages
Source:Kindle Unlimited

This is my second read from Amy Stearman, and this one was quite a bit different from the first (Altered). For some reason I thought Touched was the second book in the Altered series... but I was totally wrong. Touched is a standalone contemporary romantic suspense with a minor supernatural element.