Sunday, May 31, 2015

Waves of Sunday #63

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are spotlighting:
Room for You (Cranberry Inn #1) by Beth Ehemann
Published May 5th 2015 by Montlake Romance
Kacie Jensen has one main priority in her life: raising her twin daughters, Lucy and Piper. Ever since her ex—the girls’ father—vanished four years ago, Kacie’s sworn to keep her head in her studies and her heart out of trouble. Moving back home to her mother’s bed-and-breakfast had seemed like the best way to start over.

But when hockey star Brody Murphy washes up on the front steps of the Cranberry Inn during a raging storm, he awakens a hunger in Kacie that she’s long forgotten…and he opens her eyes to a life she never thought was possible. With so much more to lose this time around, can Kacie trust her heart to make the right decision?

Room for You is the sweet, tantalizing first novel in bestselling author Beth Ehemann’s heartwarming Cranberry Inn series. 

Arlene's Thoughts
I've been looking for books that take place in cafes, diners, small town restaurants… don't ask… it's just a weird craving I've had lately. So if you have any suggestions, please let me know.  Well in my search, I came across Room for You by Beth Ehemann. It doesn't quite fit with what I was looking for, but it's pretty close. When I was adding it to my overwhelming TBR, I noticed that a few people on my flist have read and loved this book. Well, needless to say, I'd like to tackle this one soon to see what all the excitement is about. Sounds like my cup of tea. :)

Crystal's Thoughts:
This one does sound interesting.  I am more intrigued by the vanishing husband and am really curious if makes a cameo at any point.  This genre has been really hit or miss with me lately, but this one does sound interesting and I am thinking I will definitely give it a go!  Great pick Arlene!

Rachel's Thoughts
I get cravings for a small town romance as well, like Arlene.  I adore The Green Mountain series by Marie Force, but I remember having a great time with The Lovesick Cure by Pamela Morsi, a few years back.  Room for You sounds like it could be another great.  Like Crystal, I wonder about the husband disappearing and if he'll show up again. I'm definitely looking this one up! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge - Team Update

It's time for our Waves of Fiction 2015 Reading Challenge Update!
Several of us at Waves of Fiction started this reading challenge at the beginning of the year. To learn more about it, you can go HERE for the details. 

It's been five months since we started, all of us have made some pretty good progress. Arlene has conquered, finished, killed it, etc, so it's just Crystal, Brandie, and Rachel (me) left.  Let's see what we've accomplished this month!

So I completed five reads this time! I'm really excited because I didn't realize I knocked out so many.  I think "A book most of your GRs flist have read" is going to be difficult. I have a lot of friends on there. Wish me luck!

A book with time travel - My Highland Lover by Maeve Grayson
A book set in the past - Only a Promise by Mary Balogh
A book with a number in the title - The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag
A book with a place in the title - Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young
A book that's a stand-alone title - The Alibi by Sandra Brown

Great job Rachel! Only three books left in your challenge. Well if you're looking for a book that most of your GR flist has read, I would recommend Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I'm sure a majority of your fellow readers have read that book. Okay, okay… I know you've been hesitant about this one, but maybe you'll at least watch the movie with me??? :) If anyone is looking to meet the category of a book that was made into a movie, I would suggest that one!

I finished my challenge last month and had a blast going through the categories. It really helped with picking up a different array of books than what I normally would have read.  This month I've kept up with my eclectic reading choices. One of the novels I really enjoyed was Meet Me at Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan. What a fun book. So if you're doing the Waves Reading Challenge and you're looking for a book that takes place in a small town or another country (UK), I'd give that one a try. Loved it!

This challenge also got me back into Australian authors, which I absolutely enjoy. This month I read two books in that category, including You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn and The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex by Gabrielle Williams. I really enjoyed both of those novels. 

There's just one more category I'd like to mention, which is a book that is set in a college. This month I read The Deal by Elle Kennedy and really enjoyed that novel. So, if you're looking to fill that category, I would suggest it!

Well I hope many of you are enjoying this reading challenge, and we'd love to hear your progress!!

 This month I only completed one category--Read a book published 10 years ago.  I read Storm Front by Jim Butcher and it was pretty good.  It has been on my tbr for forever so I am really glad I finally knocked it off!  Next month I am hoping to catch up to my amazing roomies!! Great Job ladies!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Review: Play (Stage Dive #2) by Kylie Scott

Play (Stage Dive #2) by Kylie Scott
Published March 25th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
Kylie Scott returns with the highly anticipated follow-up to international bestseller Lick.

Mal Ericson, drummer for the world famous rock band Stage Dive, needs to clean up his image fast—at least for a little while. Having a good girl on his arm should do the job just fine. Mal doesn't plan on this temporary fix becoming permanent, but he didn't count on finding the one right girl.

Anne Rollins never thought she'd ever meet the rock god who plastered her teenage bedroom walls—especially not under these circumstances. Anne has money problems. Big ones. But being paid to play the pretend girlfriend to a wild life-of-the-party drummer couldn't end well. No matter how hot he is. Or could it?

My Thoughts
Play is the second installment of the Stage Dive series, and like the first novel, it's filled with steamy moments and gorgeous rockstars.

Mal Ericson is the drummer of Stage Dive. He's confident, sexy and knows what he wants. However, being in a rock band comes with wild partying and hard drinking. Couple that with an inner struggle to deal with his mother's illness, Mal balances on the side of volitile.

Anne Rollins has had to take care of her sister since she was young. After having her father abandon them and her mother battling with depression, Anne's lost out on the chance of going to college and enjoying her life. She focuses on making sure her sister has what she needs, so she lives with the bare minimum. So, when her roommate takes off leaving Anne with back rent and no furniture, she has to reevaluate a new plan.

When Mal propositions Anne to pose as his girlfriend, she accepts the opportunity as a way of making ends meet, but what soon ensues are sparks and promises that leave them both winded.

There wasn't much to this story that I haven't seen before. It was entertaining to a mild degree, but I would have liked more development of their characters so I could come to like them a bit more. Mal sure knew how to flex his cocky side... no pun intended. However, I wish Anne would have given him a run for his money. Reese's part in this whole story confused me because it seemed his part was to simply make Mal jealous and show his crazy side even more.

Overall, not much to this book. Maybe the next installment will have more substance to the story.
3 Suns

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion
Published October 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster
An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

My Thoughts

“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.”

The Rosie Project falls under the category of “I wish I would have read this sooner.” What a hilarious and heartwarming novel that was oh so charming!! This book was perfectly casted and properly paced. With a blend of humor, wit, sincerity and truth… what else could you ask for in a fictional novel?

In The Rosie Project, we meet Don Tillman who has decided to embark on The Wife Project to help identify the perfect mate for himself with the least amount of wasted time and effort. As a result he creates a questionnaire to weed out the undesirables that would ultimately not prove to be a perfect match. The research efforts seem to be going well, and Don has no trouble disqualifying women based on smoking habits, ice cream flavor preferences and all sorts of other criteria, which he’s deemed relevant to finding a life-long partner.

Then comes Rosie who happens to represent the complete opposite of what Don has defined as the perfect match. She barrels into his life asking for his help to find her biological father. Well this professor of genetics decides to put aside his project for the moment and help Rosie with The Father Project. As they work together to obtain DNA samples using questionable methods that could clearly get Don fired from his post, they begin to get to know each other and Don slowly realizes that Rosie has not only upset his well-defined and properly balanced life, but also has uncovered some emotions he never knew he was capable of.

Don was an instant hit in my book. I loved his socially awkward ways and rigid to a fault personality. It added a whole new level of charm to this character that was never blatantly defined has having autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, but with the coincidental references throughout the book, it left much for interpretation. His demeanor was factual, abrupt but always delivered with a sense of wit that I couldn’t help but enjoy his reactions to situations and questions.

“But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.
I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact.
‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.”

There were so many moments of honesty and sincerity that I just couldn’t keep up. Every time Don estimated someone's BMI upon meeting them, I cracked up! The way this story was narrated was entertaining and engrossing. What a delight! For chickdude-lit, it was the perfect blend of romantic and funny. Completely worth my time!!
4 Suns

Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: February 5th 2013 by Signet
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

She’s smart, seductive, and in way over her head.
He’s her only way out.

An undercover DEA agent has gone off the radar. Suspecting an internal mole, the government needs Luke Dubois and his elite team of operatives to recover their man, and the New Orleans native thinks he’s found his way inside the dark underbelly of Manhattan: Olivia Taylor, the girlfriend of a mob boss and the sexiest woman he’s ever laid eyes on. His new mission objective? Get past Olivia’s defenses and convince her to take a chance—on him.

All Olivia wanted was to finish law school and live a normal life, but that dream was shattered when one dangerous night put her deeply in a mobster’s debt. Now Luke and his team will help her escape—in exchange for intel on the missing agent. But Olivia doesn’t anticipate her intense attraction to the reckless Louisiana charmer or that she’ll be forced to risk everything—including her heart.

My Thoughts:
Midnight Alias continues the story of Jim Morgan’s mercenary crew and Noelle’s chameleon assassins teamed up again in another thrilling mission. We get Luke’s romance this time and who’d have thought the sexy, charming ladies man would fall so head over heels for a woman so quickly, but Olivia drew him in like a moth to a flame. 

Olivia went to work as a dancer/stripper when her mother got sick with cancer and her work at a restaurant wasn’t paying the bills. Angelo, the club’s owner and unknown to Olivia, mob guy, zeroed in on her when she started working, but she was always able to fend off his advances. Unfortunately, the situation turned from bad to worse since Angelo took advantage of a situation and now has Olivia under his thumb. She became his “girlfriend”, more from him saying it was so, and now has to think of ways to keep him at bay and not sleep with him. Olivia’s is hemmed in a suffocating position closing in all around her. But she’s is biding her time, saving her money to make her escape. She gets more than a chance to escape when Luke crashes into her life and into her heart.

Luke, the sexy Cajun operative in Jim Morgan’s band of mercenary soldiers is part of the unit assigned by the DEA to track down their undercover agent gone missing at Angelo’s club.  The club is partially a front to launder money for the mob in their drug dealing business, and unknown to Olivia, Angelo is an integral part of the operation. When Luke meets Olivia as “Livy Lovelace” her nervous fear sends up red flags and also a potential in with Angelo and the inter-workings of the club, but Luke sees Olivia as more than just an asset to their case.  He’s taken with her the first moment he lays eyes on her and as he gets to know her, the attraction burns even brighter.

Midnight Alias is my third book in the Killer Instincts series by Elle Kennedy while it was my least favorite of the series so far, it still was an action packed, enjoyable read.  I think the situation with Angelo, the current villain creeped me out and was a bit unbelievable.  I mean, what mob boss would allow his girlfriend, a stripper, put him off and delay sex for more than six months? At any rate, Luke and Olivia’s romance was hot even if a little sudden.  I have to say Trevor and Olivia’s chapters caught my attention more than the main couple’s romance and I was a bit crushed by the ending.  No worries, though, I just finished the next book, Midnight Games, Trevor and Isabel’s story, and it did not disappoint!  It’s my favorite of the series so far.  Maybe tied to Midnight Action (my review), Noelle and Jim’s story, but more on that to come soon.   

If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, the Killer Instincts series is not to be missed.  Elle Kennedy is a pro at sucking you into a story and making it impossible to put down. Danger, excitement, suspense along with a wickedly hot romance is the standard for this series.

3.5 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Waves of Sunday #62

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are spotlighting:

Consolation (The Consolation Duet #1) by Corinne Michaels (Goodreads Author)
Published March 18th 2015 (first published February 26th 2015)
Book One in the Consolation Duet

Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.

Arlene's Thoughts
What caught my eye about Consolation by Corinne Michaels were the ratings and passionate reactions I've seen on Goodreads. The storyline sounds like it has a fair share of angst and a touch of forbidden to it. Two elements that always seem to satisfy my reading cravings when it comes to adult fiction.  I've added this book to my TBR and I'm queuing it up soon!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Review: Kaleb (Alluring Indulgence #1) by Nicole Edwards

Kaleb (Alluring Indulgence #1) by Nicole Edwards 
Published January 13th 2013 by SL Independent Publishing, LLC
Zoey Stranford might’ve had a crush on the sexy boy next door since middle school, but she’s a woman now, and that crush has turned into a full blown case of lust. So why is it that at twenty nine, her libido decides to ramp into high gear and the only thing she can focus on is the intensely sexy, scorching hot boy next door who is definitely not a boy anymore?

The only problem is that Zoey and Kaleb have been best friends for as long as she can remember. Not to mention, Kaleb and his brothers are working on buying Stranford land to build a new resort, and she’s more than a little hesitant about his intentions.

Kaleb Walker has had his eye on Zoey for close to twenty years, but never before has he considered taking their friendship to the next level, no matter how many fantasies he’s had about her over the years. That doesn’t explain why Kaleb is hell bent on having her – in as many ways as possible.

Kaleb finds himself in a precarious situation. His brothers have nominated him to pursue Zoey’s father about purchasing the land needed to get their new resort off the ground. Finding out that Carl Stranford is on the brink of foreclosure and Zoey might just lose her house and the land, Kaleb now has to convince her to put aside her pride and let him help her.

It doesn’t take long before the flames start burning bright and hot, and the two of them burn up the nights and the days as they explore each other’s forbidden fantasies. But can their friendship survive a business transaction or the new friends with benefits clause? Or will they realize that they’ve been overlooking something much deeper that’s been right in front of them all along?

Warning: This book contains sexual encounters and graphic language that some readers may find objectionable, including, but not limited to m/f/m encounters, anal sex, exhibitionism, and voyeurism. Consider yourself warned! Contains graphic material that is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.

My Thoughts
Not quite what I expected, but entertaining none the less. Definitely a 10 on the steam scale! Kaleb and Zoey can turn up the heat and adding a third person to the mix made it even more intense.

The plot was a bit light, so it wasn't hard to keep up with what was happening. Kaleb works with his brothers, and their most recent project is to build a resort on the Stranford property. If they can only get Zoey's father to agree with selling his land that's been in the family for generations. With Kaleb and Zoey being long time friends but never taking it to the next level, a connection is inevitable due to the chemistry between the two. Now that Zoey is divorced, there's all the more reason for these two to connect. However with the small conflict of Kaleb wanting Zoey's family property, things can get heated even outside of the bedroom.

First off, I struggled keeping all of the Walker boys straight. There were quite a few of them, so it's interesting to see that each/most will get their own book. All of the characters were interesting and not hard to like.

Nicole Edwards can definitely write some heated scenes, and she wasted no time in getting to that part of the story. However, what took me by surprise was the threesome that was added to the story. It felt like it came out from left field. Just as steamy, but a bit abrupt.

Overall, the story ended in a pretty interesting cliff-hanger and kept me interested all the way through, so I might just keep on going with this one.
3 Suns

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy

Publication Date: May 1st 2012 by Signet Eclipse
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Dangerous. Ruthless. Savage. And she's the good guy.

Abby Sinclair had a desperate childhood until she was rescued and adopted by a retired army ranger who molded her into a master of self-defense. Now, she's a cunning and fearless assassin thrust into assignment after dangerous assignment, using everything she has-nerve, resilience, strength, sex-to come out on top. Her only rule: trust no one.
Abby's latest assignment is in Columbia: go undercover and snuff out a dangerous arms dealer active in the underground sex trade. But when Abby purposely blows her cover in a last-ditch attempt to free the helpless victims, deadly mercenary Kane Woodland is recruited as back-up. His mission: get Abby out of that hell hole.

The last thing Kane expects is to feel a primal attraction for Abby. But when she convinces him to join her on her perilous mission, their newfound passion could put the lives of their whole team at risk.
My Thoughts:
You probably recognize Elle Kennedy’s name from her hit New Adult books, The Deal and The Mistake, but she’s also the writer of fabulous romantic suspense novels.  I read Midnight Action (book 5) and really enjoyed it so I jumped at the chance to start this action packed series from the beginning!  Midnight Rescue was full of suspense, danger, and of course, a sexy romance.

Abby is one of Noelle’s Chameleons, elite female assassins/operatives, and Abby is one of the best.  As a teenager she was rescued from a horrific situation by an army ranger who then adopted Abby and trained her to take care of herself in every deadly way imaginable. Abby’s put those skills to use working for Noelle. I do so love a lethal woman, only when she’s killing bad guys, of course!  On assignment Abby comes across a group of girls held captive and set to be auctioned off as sex slaves.  The only way to gain access to their location is to blow her cover, and allow herself to be captured.

When Noelle realizes Abby’s been captured she enlists the help of Jim Morgan and his impressive team of mercenaries. As second-in-command to Morgan, Kane takes point and when they rescue a bruised and battered Abby, Kane can’t help the protective urges or the attraction she stirs up in him. It is evident Abby’s tough and guarded, but Kane yearns for her trust and confidence. Will she let him in?

While the subject matter of sex slavery trafficking and Abby’s past made parts of this book difficult to read, the majority was thrilling, fast paced, and sexy as heck!  Kane teaches Abby to let someone in and let go, and Abby is the first woman Kane has cared in many years (yes, there is a tragic story there). 

What I love about this type of romantic suspense is the fact there’s no languishing in angst or melodrama.  There’s no time when you have much more important things to worry about, like rescuing teenagers from being sold into sexual slavery or possibly getting shot! 

Midnight Rescue had a thrilling end with some loose romantic ends left open for Trevor and Isabel, but I have to wait until book three for their romance!  Dang it.  Luke, the sexy Cajun better deliver is all I have to say because his romance is next.

4 Suns

Connect with Elle Kennedy:

Website Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy
Published February 24th 2015
She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy...

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice... even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

...and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn't take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn't going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

My Thoughts
Great story!!!

It's been a while since I've jumped into a New Adult book that centers on college life. I feel that genre and theme have played itself out over a year ago. However, I kept seeing great ratings for The Deal by Elle Kennedy, so I thought… why not.

So glad I caved to my instincts and tried out this novel that many have raved about. The book was absolutely perfect for my current mood!

Garrett Graham has everything going for him. He’s the captain of his college hockey team, going to the school of his choice on his dad’s dime and enjoying the attention of the puck bunnies that throw themselves at his feet to up their social status at school. However, when he lands a big fat ‘F’ on his philosophy exam, his hockey playing might be in jeopardy if he doesn't bring his grade up. Garrett isn’t one to let his chances of playing pro hockey slip through his hands, so if he can just convince the class brain to tutor him then he’d be back on track.

Hannah Wells doesn’t have it as easy when it comes to school life. She works to pay for most of her expenses and studies hard to maintain the scholarship that keeps her enrolled at Briar. However, after playing it safe for years because of a tragic event that left her damaged, she realizes she’d like to catch the attention of a football player she’s been crushing on.

When Garrett proposes to help her land her crush’s attention in exchange for some tutoring sessions, they are both in for a rude awakening after an innocent kiss.

The Deal had everything I enjoy in a novel…. A strong willed girl, an adorably arrogant guy, witty dialog, fun nicknames and name calling and a plot that unfolds itself in a way that has me falling for the characters.

Garrett was absolute perfection! I loved his stubbornness and determination to get what he wants. I adored his protectiveness of Hannah and I fell for his antics that proved how far he was willing to go to keep the girl he loves by his side. When his past revealed itself, I quickly learned that as plush as his life looked on the outside, there was definitely a price to what I thought was a free ride.

Hannah Wells was immediately likable with her strong-willed personality. I loved how she handled Garrett’s cocky attitude and gave him a run for his money. In the end, her sacrifices for his well-being proved to me how much she truly cared for him.

Together these two were a perfect pair! Their sparring and carefree ways with each other had me feverishly turning the pages until I stumbled upon the ending too soon. Overall, I loved the college setting, hockey games, and music recitals these two experienced at school. The Deal was exactly what I was looking for, and I finished it all too quickly!
4 Suns

Monday, May 18, 2015

Review: The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R. Ward

The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R. Ward
Published March 31st 2015 by NAL
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice… 

Arlene's Thoughts
I’d like to note for the record what a good book friend I’m capable of being. I had no intention of reading The Shadows after touting how (1) I’m completely done with the BDB series, (2) J.R. Ward lost me several installments ago, (3) there’s nothing I find interesting in this world anymore, blah, blah, blah… So leave it to my favorite reading buddy who has a convincing, or rather determined should I say, way about her to get me to read something I didn’t have my radar on. You know who you are… ;)
Well it was no surprise that the flavor and style hasn’t changed from the last installments that have been major misses on Ward’s part. Unfortunately, The Shadows didn't keep my interest in the slightest. It’s a wonder I completed the book in its entirety, which didn’t involve me skimming or skipping any parts. No, I suffered through it completely.

I read all about Trez and Selena, which I’ll have to admit that their ending surprised me. I suffered through Rhage’s anxiety attacks, Assail and the Lessors drug fest, iAm’s search for a cure to Selena’s condition and the opening of the new BDB training center, which introduced us to Paradise. As I've said before, too many storylines shoved into one book. Too much going on and nothing that I was interested in.

I will say that for some reason the dialog and narrative in this book annoyed me quite a bit. All the acronyms and lingo made the story feel contrived, which didn’t add to the heavy nothingness that hung in the air.

As I’ve said before, I have no interest in continuing with this series despite Ward’s intention of rehashing all of the brother’s lives once again. My feeling is if you told their story once and you feel you need to tell it again, you clearly didn’t do something right the first time. Yes, that’s a blatant reference to the debacle that was Blay and Qhuinn’s story, but Ward had her chance and I’ve lost interest. Sorry to say…
2.5 Suns

Crystal's Thoughts:
I have given this series everything I have. I've looked past what Ward did to Jane, I've looked past the numerous storylines that take over the entire book and main couple, I've even grudgingly let go of Qhuay, but I can't do it anymore. This was my one last ditch effort to fall back into this series that I once loved and unfortunately it just showed me that I have to let it go.

So many things were wrong with this installment. I don't know if Ward has just lost her mojo or if she is taking this series in a new direction that just doesn't connect with but whatever the reason this book fell flat. What reasons did it fall flat you ask. From the top of my head I can tell you that the language she used which in past books I loved and thought was funny grated on my nerves, I had no connection to Trez & Selena, and the guys were WIMPS!

I'll start with the language. Ward has always had slang thrown in her books and at first it was fun because it wasn't over done. In The Shadows she must have had an expert sitting next to her because every other sentence it felt like she threw in slang words. At one point Wrath said scruued....Yeah it didn't fit. I'm okay with slang when it fits, but it was used way too much. And now that I am thinking about it maybe she used it to man up her men?? Which brings me to my next point...

The guys! WTH?! I remember reading these books and counting down the pages until I saw MINE! I remember thinking I have to wait 20 pages for a steamy scene?! That's too long! My goodness this book if I had to rate it on steam scale would be a negative 100. Okay well let me take that back because the Chosen sure sexed it up in this one. So much so that I felt uncomfortable and started wondering if maybe Ward gave the girls the testosterone! When Cormia came around she wasn't like this and I thought all Chosen were like her, a little timid, a little shy, and not very knowledgeable when it came to the opposite sex. Boy was I wrong. Selena could make even V blush I bet! Anywho back to my main point, the guys were so wimpy and emotional in this one. I just don't get what happened. I miss the MINE days and the selfish arsehole days *sigh*

Trez and Selena were another problem I had with this book which hello was about them so yep its a big problem. I was so psyched when I found out this book would be about the shadows. I have loved them from the beginning so I couldn't wait to dive in. Well what I wanted was not what I got. Basically Trez and Selena were an episode of the Bachelor with only one girl trying to win. Yes it was sad what eventually happened which I thought was unnecessary, but it didn't really bother me because I wasn't connected to either one of them. IAm storyline felt like Ward decided she needed some kind of HEA so she threw in a few minor changes and served a few things on a silver platter for her readers. Yeah not cool in my opinion and just made it all seem ridiculous.

Okay I'm done ranting. I could go on about the whole strange Shadow world that didn't really fit, or the Rhage situation that was a complete waste of time and made me want to scream GROW A PAIR, but I'll leave it and just say I am officially done. I don't need to see what happens with the BoB or the new recruits. I don't even need to see what happens with the angel. I'm just done.

1 sun..yes that's right 1 =/

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Waves of Sunday #61

It’s been a whole year since we’ve done a Waves of Sunday, and with so many books out there and so little time to read, I thought it would be great to start this feature up again to let you know what’s caught our attention and what we hope to be reading soon. So enjoy!

Today we are spotlighting:
Coming in from the Cold (Gravity #1) by Sarina Bowen
Published March 13th 2015
He can't have her. And he can't tell anyone why.

Ski racer Dane "Danger" Hollister does not do relationships, though he keeps his reason a secret. The real-life curse he's inherited from his mother will eventually cost him everything: his place on the Olympic ski team, his endorsement income, and his ability to fly downhill at top speed.

Reluctant country girl Willow Reade meets Dane by accident. Literally. Her skidding truck forces him off the road during a blizzard. Stranded together in his Jeep as night falls, the two loneliest people in Vermont find themselves sharing more than they'd planned. And not just conversation.

Yet neither can guess how their unlikely tryst will threaten Dane's frightening secret and Willow's tentative peace with her own choices. Only mutual trust and understanding can end their pain and give them a hard won shot at love.

Arlene's Thoughts
I’ve been consuming contemporary fiction quite a bit lately, and after recently finishing The Deal by Elle Kennedy, I’ve been reminded how entertaining New Adult fiction can be. Coming in from the Cold caught my eye because I like the sporty aspect to the description. Dane’s a competitive skier, so I’m curious how that shapes his personality. I’d also want to know what secret Dane is hiding and whether Willow will be able to break through what looks like a tough exterior. The premise of this story sounds interesting, and I can’t wait to give it a try.

Crystal's Thoughts
I haven't read a lot of NA lately and I think it's time for me to jump back in with this one!  I am really intrigued by the whole secret that Dane is hiding. I'm one of those people who just has to know everything and it's killing me even now not knowing!  I'm definitely excited to kick my NA reading off again!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1) by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1) by Christina Lauren
Published February 12th 2013 by Gallery Books
An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release. 

My Thoughts
Three generous stars for a book that truly has no plot. I noticed some pretty good reviews for Beautiful Bastard, and it kept popping up on my GR feed, so I've been meaning to jump into this book for quite some time. However, as much as I wanted to enjoy it, Beautiful Bastard and I just didn't hit it off. :(

Aside from a boss and his intern getting it on... and on... and on... and finally falling for each other, what was the true point to the story really? Don't fall for your assholish boss? Someone will always take credit for your work? Stop buying expensive underwear if someone is just going to rip them off of you? That part truly annoyed me. I recently ripped my favorite pair of jeans and grumbled about it for hours. I can't imagine how I'd feel about my expensive panties being ripped off and horded for no real reason but to make frequent visits to La Perla. ~la sigh~

However, I have to admit that I finally came to like Bennett toward the end. A little groveling always goes a long way. Chloe redeemed herself in my eyes and salvaged what little pride and self worth she had by her decisions at the end.

In the end, I don't think this author is quite for me, so the jury is out if I'll continue with this series. I like a side of plot with my serving of stories, and this one didn't quite do it for me. I don't like to read about sex for the sake of just reading about sex.... well not always…
3 Suns

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Falling (Fall or Break #1) by Barbara Elsborg

Falling (Fall or Break #1) by Barbara Elsborg
Published March 24th 2015 by Samhain Publishing

Falling is easy. Landing without breaking your heart? Impossible.

Harper is no longer behind bars, but it doesn’t feel like it. Ten years serving time for a crime he didn’t commit have left him shut down, numb, and a frozen wreck over the simplest of choices.

He’s acutely aware of the dark-haired young man checking him out in the supermarket, but he’s too deep in panic mode to even meet the guy’s gaze. Afraid the slightest move will trigger a fall that will never stop.

Fresh off a long-term relationship with a controlling man, Malachi is stuck living with relatives who think he’s a waste of oxygen. The tall guy in the long, gray coat is the first bright spot he’s glimpsed in a long time…though the man’s unblinking stare at a bottle of shower gel is a touch alarming.

Hard experience tells both of them to turn away before lust turns to hopeless attraction, and inevitably to disaster. But once their sparks connect, the arc of electricity is too strong to deny. Even if the cost is too much to bear.

Warning: Contains an ex-con with disaster written all over him, a boy toy who’s trouble with a capital T, a damp old British house, compulsive meddling, and enough hot sex to cure the severe case of nervous babbling.

My Thoughts

Hot chemistry and witty dialog! What else can I ask for when jumping into a Barbara Elsborg novel? As always, Elsborg inevitably pleases me with her engaging novels and easy to love characters.

Harper Shaw has just completed a ten-year term behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. This has left him jaded and completely closed off. He trusts no one and simply hopes to get on with a quiet existence reconstructing his family home to its original state. However, even making the simplest of choices and attempting the most common of progress, he finds that he can’t leave his past behind him and just move on.

When he collides with Malachi Jones, he knows his world is about to change once again. However Malachi has his own demons he’d like to keep hidden as well. After escaping a seven-year relationship from a man that was controlling and powerful and having to put up with his brother-in-law that treats him like the garage that should be taken out, he simply wants to appreciate a relationship that will help him move on and feel something real.

Together, Malachi and Harper face not only those that won’t let Harper move on from his past, but also the threat that he might be set up again to return to prison. Together they battle their own moments of mistrust, but they keep coming back to the connection they have with one another, which seems to be stronger than all of the elements against them.

Harper was an absolutely easy character to fall for right from the beginning. I sympathized with his skittish reactions and lack of trust towards those around him. I was glad to see him open up to Malachi about his past, his fears and most of all his hopes. I hoped from the beginning that he would get his rightful ending, but I knew it would come at a high price.

Malachi was an absolute gem. I immediately fell for this character and his witty, lighthearted ways. It was fun to see Malachi break down Harper’s walls, but he did so in a way that brought out the gentle easy-going layer that was buried deep within him. The sacrifices Malachi made for Harper were heartwarming and convinced me how much he truly cared for Harper.

The powerful element in this novel, which is signature for all of Elsborg’s books is the dialog between the characters. I love, love, love witty sarcasm that’s delivered with heart and sensitivity. There were so many one liners that had me smiling and laughing the whole way through, but what I loved most of all was how reluctant Harper was to Malachi, but through his words and actions he broke down those walls brick by brick. I appreciated every reluctant laugh Malachi pulled out of Harper and I enjoyed seeing these two fall for one another. Lovely!

“You don’t need to be afraid. We’re not defusing a ticking bomb here, or doing brain surgery. It’s just sex. If you fall, I’ll catch you. Promise. Now hurry up and kiss me before zombies rush in and eat you. If that does happen, make sure you keep them busy while I escape.”
Great novel that I’m excited will continue with new characters to focus on. Count me in!
4 Suns

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Review: Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott

Lick (Stage Dive #1) by Kylie Scott (Goodreads Author)
Published May 6th 2014 by St. Martin's Griffin
Waking up in Vegas was never meant to be like this.

Evelyn Thomas's plans for celebrating her twenty-first birthday in Las Vegas were big. Huge. But she sure never meant to wake up on the bathroom floor with a hangover to rival the black plague, a very attractive half-naked tattooed man in her room, and a diamond on her finger large enough to scare King Kong. Now if she could just remember how it all happened.

In Kyle Scott's Lick, one thing is certain: being married to one of the hottest rock stars on the planet is sure to be a wild ride.

My Thoughts
If finishing Lick by Kylie Scott in one short day is any indication that I enjoyed this book, then yes, I shamelessly admit that I really liked this novel. Now, it’s not without a few flaws, but when the hot and handsome rock star David Ferris entered the scene, I threw all sense to the wind and just went with this wild and erratic romance.

When Evelyn Thomas heads to Las Vegas to celebrate her twenty-first birthday, she finds herself slap-ass drunk and hung-over the next morning. To add to her pounding headache, she soon learns that she got hitched to a famous rock star and has no clue how it happened. David Ferris sees things differently. He’s excited about the possibilities, but as soon as he realizes Evelyn wants nothing to do with this huge mistake, he walks out and gets the wheels in motion to annul their marriage.

Now under normal circumstances, I’d chalk this romance up as an over-the-top attempt to repurpose what I’ve seen and read before. However, I think Kylie Scott just caught me at the right time and the right moment because I just went with it and plowed through the story to see if these two could make it work.

It also helped that I liked both characters to a more than mild degree. I appreciated Evelyn’s sense to walk away and not take advantage of the situation she was in and I fell for David’s attempts to win the girl. It didn’t escape me that their romance was rushed and sudden, but I’m a sucker for romance sometimes and I handed it to them for winning me over so easily.

I’ve already reserved the next few books from the library, so yes.. Kylie Scott caught my attention. I can’t wait to read about the other members of the band.
3.5 Suns

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review: Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes

Silver Bay: A Novel by Jojo Moyes 
Published August 26th 2014 by Penguin Books
From the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You and One Plus One, a surprising and moving romance set in an old-fashioned seaside town on the verge of unwelcome change

Liza McCullen will never fully escape her past. But the unspoiled beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves—if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah. That is, until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt’s hotel.

The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and distracting eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbors her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love—never deserve to love—again.

For his part, Mike Dormer is expecting just another business deal—an easy job kick-starting a resort in a small seaside town ripe for development. But he finds that he doesn’t quite know what to make of the eccentric inhabitants of the ramshackle Silver Bay Hotel, especially not enigmatic Liza McCullen, and their claim to the surrounding waters.

As the development begins to take on a momentum of its own, Mike’s and Liza’s worlds collide in this hugely affecting and irresistible tale full of Jojo Moyes’s signature humor and generosity. 
My Thoughts
I've been a huge fan of Jojo Moyes since she broke my heart with her amazing novel Me Before You, so it's no surprise that I'd be charmed once again with her writing in this novel as well.

In this book, we meet a heartwarming eclectic cast that includes Mike Dormer who is tasked to travel to the quaint bayside town of Silver Bay as part of a venture deal to build a multimillion dollar resort. When he checks into the Silver Bay hotel, he meets Liza McCullen, her daughter Hanna, and her aunt Miss Kathleen that run the hotel. Mike is careful not to reveal his true intentions for staying at Silver Bay and this ultimately allows him to get to know the inhabitants of this town and the rich history that adds to its charm.

When the plans are revealed to the townies, Mike Dormer is met with their feelings of betrayal. He ultimately attempts to find a way to right his wrongs without revealing some of the past that might hurt those he’s come to care for.

Silver Bay is character driven with so many unique voices. The plot and steady narrative kept me engaged and once again it was a true pleasure to ride along this journey as Moyes weaved her tale about a bay side Australian town that was rich with history and populated with a cast of unforgettable townies.

This story also included a meaningful element of how the sea life would be affected by a vacation resort. To learn about the whales and dolphins that inhabited Silver Bay added even more depth to this novel, and I appreciated how Moyes weaved that into her story.

Overall, I enjoyed Silver Bay quite a bit and I can’t wait to jump into another novel by Jojo Moyes.
3.5 Suns