The Crown of the Queen (from the duology, For Crown and Kingdom) is a very enjoyable look behind the scenes, as it were, as the series transitions froThe Crown of the Queen (from the duology, For Crown and Kingdom) is a very enjoyable look behind the scenes, as it were, as the series transitions from the original Twelve Kingdoms trilogy to the upcoming series which will focus on the changes to the kingdoms after the fall of Uorsin and the reintroduction of the Tala magic to all the lands.
Told in the first person POV of the loyal historian/librarian, Dafne, the novella focuses on the coronation of Ursula to High Queen. I loved this short for a couple reasons. First, it helped me recall the events of the previous book and downfall of Uorsin prior to reading the upcoming title, The Pages of the Mind. Second, I like that things weren't magically "okay" after the bloody battle for control of the twelve kingdoms and death of Uorsin. The author does great justice to her series by not leaving the storyline as the proverbial "riding off into the sunset HEA". The entire transitional story adds emotional intensity and a bit of, dare I say, realism to the tale. Beloved characters all make necessary appearances, and we even get a brief glimpse into the romance of the upcoming book.
All-in-all, The Crown of the Queen is a must read for fans of the Twelve Kingdoms series, and due to the nature of the series, should not treated as a standalone. It's an entertaining look at life for the three princesses, now each a ruler by her own right.
My Rating: A- review copy provided by the author ...more
Note: This review contains spoilers from the previous book. Shadowed Blade continues a couple of story arcs from earlier titles in the series, and theNote: This review contains spoilers from the previous book. Shadowed Blade continues a couple of story arcs from earlier titles in the series, and therefore should not be read as a standalone.
Opening shortly after the jaw-dropping conclusion of Edged Blade, we find Kit working for President of the United States: a man whom we discovered is a Non-Human (NH). The book moves quickly, as Kit and Justin search for NHs on behalf of President Whitmore and get caught up in some seriously perilous situations.
Having absolutely loved the first three books in the Colbana Files series, I found myself struggling a bit on the direction of the past two books (Edged Blade and the novella, Misery’s Way). While I’m happy to report that I enjoyed Shadowed Blade much more than these two titles, I still had some issues with confusing, obtuse scenes. The first three chapters were extremely cryptic, and I wasn’t sure if Kit was having flashbacks, or if some of the events were abbreviated references and overlaps with the novella.
However, after these initial problems I had getting into the book, the flow of the story smoothed out and the story was a bit more coherent and definitely more gripping. As Kit pieces together what Whitmore is and is not, she also must dance along a dangerous edge with someone from her past. I liked the introduction of the mysterious stranger who appears to help Kit. Her presence shakes up much of Kit’s world and adds some interesting twists that will need to be addressed in future titles. However, I felt Kit and Damon’s continuing romantic storyline is petering out. They don't communicate and aren't careful with the other. Their relationship is all fire but no substance.
Part of the problem I’ve been having lately with this series is the cryptic nature of scenes. A successful first person story works because the author pulls the reader inside the head of the main character. Readers are privy to thoughts, feelings, and theories that the heroine experiences. But not so with Kit. I feel that I am constantly left in the dark, making for an extremely frustrating and confusing read. While this wasn’t the case as much in Shadowed Blade, there were still too many times that I wanted and needed more from Kit to keep me in the loop and completely engaged.
Additionally, I am struggling with the dark nature of the Colbana Files. While previous titles have taken Kit to very ugly, dark lows, I’ve been able to embrace the scenes because of the nature of the well-written storylines. However, now I feel like too much is happening to Kit and/or those she cares about. Some people love dark, but I find lately, it’s harder for me to enjoy.
In the end, Shadowed Blade was an entertaining read. Despite my own early confusion with the storyline, overall, the book flowed much more smoothly than the previous title. Both the Whitmore and mysterious stranger storylines were strong and engrossing. However, I felt that Damon and Kit’s journey left much to be desired. Shadowed Blade is an Interesting story with definite ending, yet opens doors to future storylines.
My Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues Review copy provided by author...more
In Into the Darkness, author Katie Reus tackles two love stories and wraps up some loose ends, giving the book an end-of-series feel (although based oIn Into the Darkness, author Katie Reus tackles two love stories and wraps up some loose ends, giving the book an end-of-series feel (although based on the epilogue, it’s not). The story opens from POV of Rhea, warrior wolf with Finn's pack. She's being pursued by Conall, the powerful alpha of a pack-friendly dragon clan. The pack is preparing for the wedding of friends Bo and Nyx (romance featured in book 4), bringing Conall and his family to town; however, it looks as if a deadly part of Rhea’s past has resurfaced to create havoc for Finn and his pack.
As the wedding planner, Liberty has become accustom to the supernatural beings surrounding her life. It’s been eight months since Bo and his brothers, most notable of which is Rory, rescued her from a hell dimension where she was tortured and abused. During the past few months, she’s learned to be more independent and is ready to move forward in a romantic relationship with her protector, Rory.
I absolutely enjoyed Into the Darkness; it’s definitely my favorite book of the Darkness series. Bringing together action, suspense, and romance, the book shares solid storylines with an extra helping of steamy passion. Ms. Reus successfully weaves together stories of traditional paranormal mating while giving the romances time to develop and blossom in a smart, contemporary manner.
The number one reason both romances, and the overall story, are a success and a marked improvement over most of today’s PNR titles is COMMUNICATION! I loved the communication going on in this book, and not just between our main romantic couples. The author presented problems and pitfalls, but rather than let them fester and grow into huge conflicts, she gives the characters time to express and explain. *happy sigh* One perfect example is when Conall and Rhea kiss for the first time, and his mating glow starts. She freaks and says no. Instead of this dragging on as a misunderstanding, Rhea explains she can't mate him because she'd make him weaker. He realizes her rejection is out of fear and concern for him. The conflict remains and is still heartbreaking, but for all the right reasons instead of misunderstandings. So impressed!!
I enjoyed reading Into the Darkness tremendously. Several of my annoyances from previous books, and PNR in general, weren't present. The author does a wonderful job developing the characters and fostering solid relationships that are both "meant to be" but also meaningful. The HEAs feel solid and strong. I love that in both cases, and in both genders, the individuals were willing to accept the other as they are and not come to that acceptance only after losing him/her. I love that they converse and compromise without it feeling like someone lost. The book also features a great mix of action, story, and romance. Best book of the series!!
My Rating: A-/B+ Enjoyed A Lot Review copy provided by author Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About...more
For five years, Shay did everything for Richard and then he dumped her. During those years, Shay changed who she was to please Richard, even leaving bFor five years, Shay did everything for Richard and then he dumped her. During those years, Shay changed who she was to please Richard, even leaving behind an amazing job opportunity. Now she and her best friends, Lily and Raven, are in Aspen for a crazy ski weekend, reclaiming the pre-Dick Shay.
Kolton and his buddies, Sawyer and Nico, escaped their crazy lives to have some time away on the slopes of Aspen. His boutique outerwear business with Sawyer is taking off and being a single dad is wearing him down. This is the longest Kolton has been away from his 7-year-old son, Jackson, but he needs some time to regroup.
When a collision on the slopes literally pushes Kolton and Shay together, neither can stand to be around the other, but they also realize they can’t fight their powerful attraction. My Perfect Mistake is an enemies-to-lovers romance, with the pair alternating between arguing and making out. The I-Hate-You-But-I-Want-You spark ignites some explosive emotions and leads to passionate sex.
Shay and Kolton's story isn't necessarily wholly original or written in magical prose, yet their journey gripped me, kept me glued to the kindle, and captured me. Their romance is powerful and absorbing all at once. I was invested in their success, both professionally and romantically, and I enjoyed almost every moment of the book (although I wasn’t happy with the set up for Kolton’s mea culpa). I appreciate that the author doesn’t dumb down the issues surrounding the couple, rather making the characters talk and work through problems.
Ms. Siskind excels at the little moments. She finds ways for the characters to express the depths of their feelings in both small moments and grand gestures. For example, early on in the book, Kolton reflects back on the four days he spent with Shay in Aspen. In one paragraph, we learn exactly how much Shay effected Kolton and altered his life on the inside. While he hasn’t changed his routine or lifestyle, he realizes more than ever, he wants Shay in his life… and that Shay has replaced his first love, Marina, as the benchmark to measure all potential dates and mates. It’s well-timed and simply put, packing a powerful punch.
Kolton and Shay are explosive and passionate. While they both have hang-ups, I like that their passion takes control often, which is how they end up together in the first place. It works, and I love it. The lesson is that sometimes we just have to let go, and it can be frightening. Their interactions and feelings are relatable on different levels, giving them a sense familiarity. They’ve both been through a lot, which colors their decisions for both good and bad, but keeps them grounded. I wanted them to make it because they both deserved to be happy again. I like that they each acted both on their lust and desire, but also after thinking things through and trying to be level-headed. The additional characters are also fun and a great support. I am looking forward to Lily and Sawyer’s story next!
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About Review copy provided by Netgalley...more
Apparently I'm in the minority, but I didn't LOVE this book. I did enjoy it, and it was a treat to see EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER Ms. Singh ever wrote froApparently I'm in the minority, but I didn't LOVE this book. I did enjoy it, and it was a treat to see EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER Ms. Singh ever wrote from this series. I did get all the feels and even teared up a couple times. But the book is mostly mini slices-of-life, spread across multiple characters. While there are a couple solid storylines, it is more of a transitional piece than a full story, with many threads open for the next set of books. I rated it lower because I missed the solid, complex storylines and rich plots that I've come to expect and love from Ms. Singh.
Full Review to come closer to publication date....more
Hello. My name is Jen. I am a recovering BDB addict… Yes, I was one of the many who felt betrayed by JR Ward when she wrote and released the previousHello. My name is Jen. I am a recovering BDB addict… Yes, I was one of the many who felt betrayed by JR Ward when she wrote and released the previous Black Dagger Brotherhood book, The Shadows. I wanted to read The Beast because 1) I love Rhage and Mary, and 2) I wanted to see if I was finally over my obsession with all things BDB. In the end, I’m glad I read The Beast, and I probably would have enjoyed it more had The Shadows never happened.
Generally, The Beast is a fun story and it brought back some of the old school fun the series has been lacking for years now. Most of the page time is dedicated to Rhage and Mary, telling the story of how they relate as a couple, and to the outside world, after a few years of mating and living with the BDB. Additionally, there are sidestories that follow the continuing path of Layla, Assail, the Scribe Virgin, and the Lessers. And per her usual, Ward tosses in new characters that don’t even interact with the main characters in any way. Here are my thoughts about each storyline:
Assail storyline: Assail has been around for a while, but he’s not really making any forward progress. Back a few books ago, I liked his story, but then it dragged on and on. Now it looks like he may have hit rock bottom, but I don’t seem to care. I found him to be pathetic for most of the story. Ward has set him on a path for redemption, which began in The Beast, but I felt the reason for it, and the sudden 180 turnaround in his personality, was too abrupt for his character. He felt like two completely different people from the beginning to the end of the book, and it didn’t sit well with me.
Layla / Xcor / Bastards storyline: Ugh. Layla has turned into an idiot again. I had hope for her character there for a short while in earlier books, but alas, I don’t like her again. She lacks any real personality and personal strength. She’s whiny, even in her own head. Her love for Xcor is ridiculous and childish because it was never really given much time to develop. Then we have the defunct Bastards with Throe up to something, but we don’t know what. Meanwhile, Xcor is present during most of the entire book, but a non-factor. And then, when it looks like he’s finally going to be part of the story, Ward drops his character and storyline from the book completely. Not. Happy. It’s not even a cliffhanger, it’s just an utter lack of storytelling.
Jo - New storyline: Jo is going nowhere in her life and when a stoner/loser friend insists he has video of a giant purple dragon, Jo decides to investigate. Is she on to something? Are there vampires in Caldwell? Again, Ward brings in new characters and side stories, but doesn’t complete them. I will admit, that while I mostly figured out her connection to the Brotherhood, it still was a somewhat interesting twist; however, I fear that Ward will spin Jo off to her other series, leaving this BDB reader frustrated. Again. Maybe she won’t. We’ll see.
Other various characters: I loved Lassiter in this one. He’s one of my favorite characters, and enjoy when he’s around. Additionally, there are some wonderful pranks played in the mansion, involving Rhage - old school BDB, which was fun. V had a lot of page time, and I’m not sure what his internal conflict will be when he gets his own “redo” book. A major event shakes V’s life, but nothing has come from it, yet. I felt the revolution of this event should have been a concern to Mary and Rhage, but it wasn’t discussed, so I just let it go. The Lessers and Omega show up, but it’s a token appearance.
Now on to the best part of The Beast: Mary and Rhage. If their story was the only one in the book, I would have given it a B+. I loved the pair together. I loved that their internal conflicts didn’t get dragged out or blown out of proportion. They TALKED and loved, and had an adult relationship. Their love strengthened and grew. I felt that Ward handled their storyline wonderfully, albeit a bit too happily. In fact, this entire book is almost too feel-good. It’s a make up for The Shadows, but maybe it went too far? There really is nothing that brought me down in this one at all.
Overall, The Beast is a beast of a book. At over 500 pages, it should have been edited down. I got bored and disinterested at multiple points and had trouble connecting to the various characters and parts because of it. Is this a “must read” for BDB fans? Probably. I’m glad I did read it, but I’m wondering if it’s time for me to let the Brothers go.
My Rating: C+ Liked It, but I had issues; neither loved nor hated Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About Review copy provided by publisher...more
Ansel and Mia experience a wild, drunken, lust-filled night in Las Vegas. What did Ansel feel that first morning after? Written from the POV of Ansel,Ansel and Mia experience a wild, drunken, lust-filled night in Las Vegas. What did Ansel feel that first morning after? Written from the POV of Ansel, Sweet Filthy Morning After is his recollection of waking up next to Mia and remembering everything that happened the previous night.
At only 30 minutes long, the story is truly only a short, slice of life and not meant for those who haven’t read Sweet Filthy Boy, the book from which the scene comes. For those who loved Mia and Ansel’s story, but missed hearing any of Ansel’s side of the story, Sweet Filthy Morning After is a real treat. Written like an entry to Ansel’s personal diary, we learn how fast and hard he falls for Mia. While I wish we’d had his POV in Sweet Filthy Boy, I understand why it would have changed the entire nature of the book.
Jason Carpenter does an excellent job narrating the story as Frenchman Ansel. He portrays an enjoyable French accent without seeming pretentious. However, his narrative speed is way too slow, and for the first time ever, I listened to a book at the 1.5x speed comfortably.
My Rating: B+ (as a companion to Sweet Filthy Boy) Narration: B...more
Oliver and Lola have been best of friends for eight months, ever since they were briefly married in a wild night in Vegas. However, unlike their frienOliver and Lola have been best of friends for eight months, ever since they were briefly married in a wild night in Vegas. However, unlike their friends, Oliver and Lola never consummated their relationship, and have remained strictly in the friend zone. Lola is consumed by her work: becoming a NYT best seller / graphic novelist sensation overnight, her book is now in the process of being made into a movie. Oliver’s newly opened comic book shop is wildly popular, and he works every day. Their friends all see how perfect they are for each other, but Lola and Oliver are both scared of messing up the friendship to push for more.
Dark Wild Night is the third book in the Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren. Although the book is a standalone romance, we meet Oliver and Lola in the first book, and I think seeing them in the previous books helps define their backgrounds and makes for a stronger history. As the book opens, we witness how much their mutual bond means to both, and how much each loves the other. The unrequited love is so overwhelming, that I am swept up in their secret desires as much as the characters are. The authors are masters at building up the emotional and sexual tension, and I literally felt like I was going to explode before these two finally fell into that first kiss.
Oliver is an amazing man: he’s patient and gentle. He wants what is best for Lola, even if it means sacrificing his own feelings. So that moment, when he first senses the change in Lola, is so exciting, I imagine him like a dog with its tail wagging, watching his owner come home. The love inside of him wants to burst out, and he can barely contain it. And it is so overwhelming that Lola nearly drowns in her feelings. She’s terrified of being like her mom, who abandoned her and her dad, and she’s scared of losing Oliver forever. Her fear is tangible, but it is equal to the power of her love.
In the end, I loved Lola and Oliver’s story, but I wanted more. There was so much overwhelming emotion at the beginning of the book, but then it got lost in Lola’s desperate crazed life. And I get where Oliver was coming from, but I was disappointed that after he promised he’d take it slow and stand by her that he did a 180 when she hurt him. I wanted more by the end - more of them together, on solid ground. Of all the titles, Dark Wild Night was most like an HFN than the others. Lola and Oliver didn’t feel as settled; that they just barely got their act together by the end of the story. And maybe it’s because I’ve fallen so hard for these characters, I want - need - more and more!
The Wild Seasons series has quickly become one of my favorites, and will be one of my go to comfort reads. The romances are genuine and passionate. I highly recommend the books to all!
Harlow Vega is having a bad day. After a less than memorable one-night-stand, being awakened by said boy’s mother at 6:00 am, and then running into heHarlow Vega is having a bad day. After a less than memorable one-night-stand, being awakened by said boy’s mother at 6:00 am, and then running into her ex-husband (of 12 hours), Finn at Starbucks, she finds out her mother has stage 3 breast cancer. Needing to take the edge off her life and forget her troubles, she reengages with Finn for some mind-blowing sex. The problem is, she can’t get Finn, the sexy Canadian fisherman, out of her head.
Finn Roberts thought he knew Harlow, with her rich parents and larger-than-life persona. He didn’t mind being her sexual distraction until he started to know the real Harlow. Now he’s falling for her and doesn’t know what to do.
Dirty Rowdy Thing is intense! I absolutely love Harlow and Finn, both individually and together. They compliment one another so well, and it’s heartbreaking when they both realize it and chose to step back. Neither is ready to deal with the overwhelming emotions that begin to surface as they spend more and more time together, both in the bedroom and out. And WOW! in the bedroom, the pair are smoking hot! Their sex is incredible: hot, naughty, and powerful. Of all the books, I think Dirty Rowdy Thing has the most intense and detailed sex scenes of the series. But it’s not sex just for the sake of sex, regardless of what the pair thinks. The scenes provide windows into the characters’ hearts and souls. They are literally laid bare to the other.
As much as I used to dislike the alternating first person POVs, I am now a fan when it’s done right, and in this series, it is done right. I realized after the fact (and even while reading the first book), that I missed it terribly with Mia and Ansel’s story. I love knowing that the guy is falling as hard as the girl. I love getting his prospective on the relationship and the sex. It makes the book so much more fulfilling.
Another thing I love about this series, and Dirty Rowdy Thing in particular, is how the authors don’t rise to a quick climax (pun intended) and ending. The conflict builds over time, and the characters are given space to think, react, and resolve the issues without feeling rushed. It’s wonderful storytelling. And the romance is made better for it. I am in LOVE with these characters and all they go through. They are crazy but mature. They are fun, but serious. They make mistakes, but aren’t stupid.
Harlow and Finn share so much in common, it is a delight to watch them navigate through the pitfalls and fall in love. And the sex is off-the-charts steamy and sensual. I absolutely loved Dirty Rowdy Thing.
Having recently listened to and LOVING the audiobook of Wicked Sexy Liar (WSL), the fourth book in Christina Lauren's NA series about recent UCSD gradHaving recently listened to and LOVING the audiobook of Wicked Sexy Liar (WSL), the fourth book in Christina Lauren's NA series about recent UCSD grads, I found myself compelled to get more of these characters and their stories. So I decided to pick up the first book, Sweet Filthy Boy, on my kindle, and I'm so glad that I did.
Having started with the fourth book in the series, I was already familiar with main couple featured in Sweet Filthy Boy. However, I didn't know their history and story, other than a few small details, so no spoilers to ruin the enjoyment of the journey. Mia and Ansel have a whirlwind, lust-driven weekend in Vegas, which leads to her following him to Paris for the summer. But the trip over isn't romantic in the least (and is in fact, one of the most laughable, horrible situations), and there is a huge strain between the pair once they arrive at Ansel's home. In fact, the awkwardness is horrifying at times and my heart hurts for the pair. However, the couple learns to share and open up though cos play and scenes, which leads to some uber sexy moments.
Their romance is exquisite: equal parts lust, heartache, and love. While I thought I knew what would be the major bump in the road, I was still surprised when it happened, leading my heart to fall to pieces along with Mia's. The authors are skilled at sharing deep emotions without telling or preaching.
The one thing that threw me a bit and surprised me is that the story was only shared from the first person POV of the book's heroine, Mia. This is because the few NA titles I've read, along with a book in this series (WSL), are shared from the alternating first person POVs of the hero and heroine. I have to admit that after all my harping on why I don't necessarily care for the alternating first person POVs, I missed it! I wanted to hear from Ansel - I wanted to know he was falling as hard as Mia, I wanted to know why he shares and doesn't share what he did (although in hindsight, the twist wouldn't have had as big of an impact if we'd known this!)
In the end, I adored Mia and Ansel's story. I love the storytelling of the writing team of Christina Lauren. The book made me want to fall in love all over again.
Once again, I’m excited to have the opportunity to listen to a book from one of my favorite series: Bound by Bronwyn Green and Jessica Jarman. This tiOnce again, I’m excited to have the opportunity to listen to a book from one of my favorite series: Bound by Bronwyn Green and Jessica Jarman. This time around, I’m listening to the third book, The Professor’s Student by Ms. Green. The story centers around Professor Josie Green, an American archeology professor, who is on a six week summer dig in Ireland, at Professor Declan O’Shaughnessy’s site. The pair have instant chemistry and engaging in a monogamous D/s relationship for the duration of her stay.
When I initially read and reviewed the book I wrote:
The Professor’s Student falls well within the erotic romance genre, with a focus more in the bedroom and less out of it. I really like Declan and Josie, and their play is sexy, fun, and just plain hot. Ms. Green is a master at crafting sexy, sensual scenes. While I missed some of the more emotional moments that I enjoyed in [the previous Bound stories], I still found The Professor’s Student a wonderful read and a perfect low-conflict, “getaway” story.
As for the storyline, my feelings haven’t changed. I really enjoyed the story, and I continued to feel like the book is more passion and eroticism than love. Josie and Declan spend much of their time apart or only in the bedroom, and I wanted to be shown not told that they bonded on a deeper level.
With that said, Tatiana Sokolov’s performance added a lot of value to my overall enjoyment of the story. Ms. Sokolov’s narrative voice, which is close to if not the same as Josie’s voice, is easy and fitting. Her Irish accented male voice for Declan is superb. I was extremely impressed with constancy and tone of narration throughout the book. Ms. Sokolov brings a lot of emotion - Josie’s embarrassment and shy desire, as well as Declan’s dominating nature - into her performance.
In the end, I enjoyed my “reread” of The Professor’s Student and found that I liked it a bit more the second time around. Ms. Sokolov adds much to the story with her performance.
Sophie Marren was a naive, young bride who married the first man who paid her some attention. Too bad Lucas turned out to be such a jerk. He kicked heSophie Marren was a naive, young bride who married the first man who paid her some attention. Too bad Lucas turned out to be such a jerk. He kicked her out, emptied her checking account, and left her with nothing. However, when the judge asked what she wanted in the divorce, she was so angry, she took the one thing that would hurt her ex the most: his precious boat. Now she’s unemployed and broke, living on a boat she hates. Vowing never to fall in love again, she doesn’t trust herself around the sexy Jacob Kincaid.
Jacob Kincaid is home on leave for the first time in nine years. When he left Cedar Ridge to join the Army, his twin brother and best friend, Hudson, told him never to return, and so Jacob didn’t. However, after his buddy was killed in a meaningless roadside bombing, Jacob decides it is time to make amends. What he didn’t expect was to fall for a funny, sexy woman who is hiding on a boat in his lake.
While Nobody But You is the third book in the Cedar Ridge series, I had no trouble jumping into the series without having read the first two titles. Jacob and Sophie are injured souls who are lost in their lives. Their immediate attraction drew me in and kept me interested in their story. Early on, they share a few drinks and let their guards down, having an honest heart-to-heart, once again, drawing me into their relationship.
I adored Jacob; how much he feels for Sophie and how he wants to do right for her and his family. He’s honorable and caring, albeit a bit stubborn. His POV was filled with his fears and desires over his feelings for Sophie, and I loved knowing how hard he was falling for her.
Sophie was a mixed bag for me. I admire her determination and obstinance, yet at the same time, she felt very wishy-washy. I had issues with her constant stance that she would never fall in love again, yet after a very short time, she has no problem falling for Jacob.The “I love you” came way too soon. Sophie and Jacob are two deeply wounded people, and I understand his willingness to jump in with two feet, but not hers. The whole premise of the story is that she’s not going to fall in love again and he’s going to have to work for it, but there really was no effort, other than him looking hot and being great in bed. I liked them together, but I was disappointed with how easily she jumped in to love again.
Other than the romance, the book focuses on the Kincaid family’s efforts to save the family business and how Jacob will integrate back into his family’s lives. His initial reunion with his siblings was extremely moving and well written. The other side story involves Sophie’s ex and his attempts to get his boat back. Lucas made for an excellent antagonist, until he does a complete 180 and suddenly is a better man. I felt that there was no justification for the change in his character, and it bothered me.
In the end, Nobody But You is a light, enjoyable read. While I would have preferred it taking a bit more work for Sophie and Jacob to fall in love, I still enjoyed the happily-ever-after ending.
My Rating: B- Liked It, but I had a few small issues Review copy provided by publisher....more
Ride with the Devil is a wonderful short, but mostly because I read and loved the follow up story, Dance with the Devil, which is part of the Dark SecRide with the Devil is a wonderful short, but mostly because I read and loved the follow up story, Dance with the Devil, which is part of the Dark Secrets anthology. Ride with the Devil tells the story of Jake, a man who's soul belongs to the devil because his mother made a deal with Morningstar in order to save Jake's life. Jake must do what the devil asks, or forfeits his soul. What he didn't expect was to meet the woman of his dreams while fulfilling his latest obligation.
Having read the second story first, I'm biased that everyone should do the same. I honestly don't know if I would have loved Dance with the Devil as much knowing Kathleen and Jake's history. Similarly, I would not have liked Ride with the Devil because of its ending, but knowing what happens next made the story interesting and exciting.
Together, the pair of stories make for an engrossing, dark love story. The theme of free will and making one's own choices is an interesting topic that plays strongly in the books. Ms. Hart weaves a fascinating tale that made me feel and left me thinking. I highly recommend picking up both stories and reading them either in or out of order.
London loves her carefree life, surfer by day and bartender by night. She knows how to flirt and smile, but never lets anyone close. She understands hLondon loves her carefree life, surfer by day and bartender by night. She knows how to flirt and smile, but never lets anyone close. She understands heartache after spending her college years with her sweetheart, only to find out he’d been cheating on her almost the entire time. She knows Luke is NOT the guy for her, but maybe one night of passionate sex will help scratch a certain itch.
Luke is every girl’s fantasy and enjoys sharing himself with most every girl that asks. But when he meets London and takes her home for one night, something inside changes, and he realizes he wants more. Now he has to find a way to prove to London that he’s worth a second or third look.
I picked up Wicked Sexy Liar, the fourth title in the Wild Seasons New Adult series, for review without having read or listened to the previous three titles, and it completely works. Although Luke and London may have shown up in previous books, their story is very much standalone (and honestly doesn’t spoil any of the earlier books either). However, now that I’ve finished this book, I can’t wait to go back and read the other three stories!
Luke and London’s romance is probably one of my all-time favorites. They share an instant lust and their sexual chemistry is off the charts. I found it both interesting and a bit of a let down (at first) that the initial two or three sexual experiences where shared solely from Luke's POV. I liked his explicit attention to details and loved how much the experience of having sex with London moved him; how emotional he was. However, I wanted to know what she was thinking and experiencing. Then when we finally did have a sexy scene from London's POV, I found it not as satisfactory because she worked at keeping distance between herself and Luke. The authors expertly convey each character’s emotions and moods with each encounter.
Watching this couple fall in love was utterly enjoyable. Their path was not easy, yet the tale flowed so perfectly. Luke is amazingly romantic. They way he loves London. The way he romances her and is so worried she doesn't love him back. London’s cautiousness is well deserved, yet she hides her pain from others. Seeing her learn to trust and open up made the entire story so much more rewarding.
As for the narration… This was my first experience with a dual narrators. I thought it was going to be a male performing male characters and female performing the female characters. Instead, it was a dueling, first person, present tense POV story, and so the narrators changed when the POV changed. Mr. Lee's voice came as a shock and was a bit jarring the first couple times Luke's POV started.
At first, I felt Luke's voice was wrong. Mr. Lee's voice was much deeper and richer that I would have expected from a 23.5 year old law clerk. I didn't care much for his performance of female characters either. I felt that Ms. Song did a better job of narrating all around. Her male voices felt masculine, and her voice carried itself more of a 23 year old. However, the more I became engrossed in the story, the more Mr. Lee became Luke for me, conversely, the less I cared for Ms. Song's version of Luke.
When all was said and done, I found that I have mixed feelings about dual narrators. Having a man and woman perform the male and female POVs, respectively, is nice and can be enjoyable. However, I found I wanted consistency in each character's voice, which can't happen when there are two different people performing them.
In the end, I absolutely loved Wicked Sexy Liar. I was especially taken with how much Luke's emotions surfaced during sex and every time he looked at London. I love how he embraced his feelings and dove head first into his relationship with London. It was more difficult to connect to London because she kept her guard up and a wall around her own feelings. Yet she was entirely relatable; her worries and fears and past that haunted her. It made the moment she final looks over the edge of the cliff and jumps amazing.
My Rating Story: A Narration: B
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster Audio...more
With things between the Fae and the rest of the world straining to a dangerous point, Mercy and Adam find themselves defenders of the Tri-Cities afterWith things between the Fae and the rest of the world straining to a dangerous point, Mercy and Adam find themselves defenders of the Tri-Cities after the Pack kills a nasty troll on national TV. Along with defeating the troll, the pair are reunited with their fae friends, Z and Tad, who bring with them a fire-touched human boy who has been locked in the fae realm for centuries. Now Mercy and Adam must find a way to keep those they love and those under their protection safe from the fae threats.
BAM! Mercy is back! Fire Touched is another amazing story from the creative mind of Patricia Briggs. Chronologically, the book takes place sometime shortly after and briefly refers to the events of Dead Heat (Alpha and Omega #4), and is tied to the larger story arc of fae discontent that has spanned both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series for the past few books. It also ties up some of the short-term and long-standing issues with which the pack and/or Mercy has been dealing. Warning - this book is NOT the place to start your journey with this amazing series!
There is so much that I loved and enjoyed about Fire Touched, it’s hard to express exactly what made it so great. I like that Ms. Briggs has brought Mercy and Adam back to solving a mystery that threatens their well-being, while much of the pack drama is laid to rest almost immediately (note: it’s about damn time!). Adam and Mercy’s relationship grew exponentially during the course of the previous book, and their mutual trust is strengthened as a result, making their actions seamless throughout this book.
I think I most appreciate how all the parts work together in this one. Each piece of the story supports the larger whole. Nothing is extraneous and superfluous. The storytelling is amazing, especially when shared by Lorelei King. Additionally, the book moves the entire series forward, while creating interesting changes that will significantly impact future stories. But it’s all done in a way that isn’t showy or brash, which is well-suited to Mercy’s persona. It wasn’t until the book was over that I realized how much was put to rest during the events of Fire Touched.
While I enjoy reading this series nearly as much as listening to it, Lorelei King IS Mercy to me. As soon as I heard that first sentence, I fell into a happy place that felt like home. Ms. King nails everything about Mercy from her confidence to her uncertainty; from her love for Adam and Jesse to her distrust of those outside her inner circle. She is young yet wise, which all comes through in Ms. King’s performance. But it’s not just Mercy, the cast of characters is huge, and each has his or her own voice, accent, emotional responses, and inflections.
Mercy Thompson has become one of my all-time favorite heroines and series. Fire Touched is one of the best books in the series, bringing together a huge cast and many parts to create an a wonderful story.