Once Burned (Night Prince, #1)

Once BurnedAuthor: Jeaniene Frost
Published: June 26, 2012
Pages: 346
Listening Length: 8 hours and 30 minutes

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Synopsis:
She’s a mortal with dark powers…

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Review:
As much running as I’m doing, I thought I might try to listen to something besides music. I’ve only tried books on tape once and hated it. The voice annoyed me more than anything else and I struggled to get into the book. But let me reassure you, that is not the case with this book!! I will admit by the end of the book I was a little annoyed with the voice that was given for Vlad, but overall I thought the person reading the story did a really nice job. In fact, more often than not I didn’t want to stop listening.

Something else to note is that I wasn’t able to take notes while listening to the book. Which in case you are wondering, that is not the norm for me. So bare with me because this review might be different from my others.

Leila is a strong character who is more comfortable blending in than getting attention. She has a unique ability, or maybe curse, that whenever she touches someone she can not only see their past and future but she also gives off an electric charge. As you can imagine, this makes having a love life impossible.

There were two things I didn’t really care for with Lelia’s character. The first was how fast she fell in love with Vlad. For me it was far too close to the love at first sight thing. If it wasn’t for the taunting banter her and Vlad had in the beginning, Lelia’s feelings for Vlad would have been far too much for me to handle. The other thing that somewhat irritated me had more to do with the person reading the book. I really didn’t care for how the reader pitched her voice in a way that made Leila often sound weak, timid, and scared. Because the impression I got from the story was Leila’s character is anything but. Yes, there are times in the book she is scared but those aren’t the strong emotions that leave a lasting impression on me. Like I said above, she is strong, but also determined, brave, and stands up for those weaker.

Vlad’s is arrogant, caring, and everything an alpha male should be. His confidence and strength is everything I remember from the Night Huntress Series but also so much more. I will admit there were times I had to stifle a laugh while out running with how over the top he was. Vlad was so sure he and Leila were a done deal that he not only set Lelia up with another guy but he practically dared her to sleep with someone else. And he did all of this just because she tried denying her feelings/attraction towards him. But then there are times in the book that made me kind of stop and remember exactly who Vlad is. He isn’t always charm and oozing sex appeal. In fact, Vlad almost seems at odds with himself in this book because one minute he is a perfect gentleman and the next he is a ruthless torturing killer.

 

My favorite thing in this book (oh how I wish it lasted longer) was the mental and verbal battles between Vlad and Lela. The sexual tension and banter between the two had me smiling to the point that I probably looked like an idiot. And the sex scenes were detailed but not overly graphic where you might feel embarrassed reading them. Jeanine Frost is amazing at creating a world that is both realistic and easily visualized. I love how she describes just enough for you to understand but not enough that you drown in the details. The way she writes makes everything flow effortlessly. If you haven’t picked up a book from her, you should because she is one gifted author.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Ultimately, I still prefer to read a book as apposed to listen because I felt like I could read this book faster. Also, listening to an audio book isn’t always the most convenient thing. But I am surprised with how much I enjoyed listening to this book and would be open to more books on tapes.

I’m not sure how I feel about the ending of this book but there is no question about reading the second book in this series. I am glad I didn’t jump right into this series after finishing the Night Huntress Series. I think if I had, I would have been terribly disappointed. Because even though Leila is a strong character and her and Vlad have some amazing sexual tension, it doesn’t compare to Cat and Bones. My recommendation is if you just finished with Cat and Bones, wait a while before jumping into this series. If you haven’t, then by all means pick this book up because I am sure you will enjoy it!

Throwback Thursday- To Kill a Warlock (Dulcie O’Neil #1) by H.P. Mallory

throwback

Today’s Throwback Thursday is the first book in the Dulcie O’Neil series- To Kill a Warlock.  The book is a quick read (210 pages) and was published on January 1, 2010

To Kill a Warlock

Synopsis:

The murder of a dark arts warlock. A shape-shifting, ravenous creature on the loose. A devilishly handsome stranger sent to investigate. Sometimes working law enforcement for the Netherworld is a real bitch.

Dulcie O’Neil is a fairy. And not the type to frolic in gardens. She’s a Regulator—a law-enforcement agent who monitors the creatures of the Netherworld to keep them from wreaking havoc in the mortal world. When a warlock is murdered and Dulcie was the last person to see him alive, she must uncover the truth before she’s either deported back to the Netherworld, or she becomes the next victim.

Enter Knight Vander, a sinfully attractive investigator sent from the Netherworld to work the case with Dulcie. Between battling her attraction to her self-appointed partner, keeping a sadomasochistic demon in check, and fending off the advances of a sexy and powerful vampire, Dulcie’s got her hands full. As the body count increases, Dulcie finds herself battling dark magic, reconnoitering in S&M clubs and suffering the greatest of all betrayals.

My thoughts:

This book was entertaining and I found myself smiling throughout the book. At the end of the book I was a little undecided about the main character Dulce. Three men in the book are swooning over her but her attitude is anything but desirable. She is often rude, pushes others away, and can be a bit brass. But I can say as the series progresses, I did enjoy her Dulce more.

I also loved the twist in the story! I wish I could say more but I don’t want to give anything away. I can say I never saw it coming. Overall, this book is well written, has entertaining characters, and has the love/hate drama which we all know I love.

Quotes:

“I glared daggers at him, but they just bounced off him like water on a freshly waxed car.”

“Okay, okay. Sheesh, I guess getting changed into a gigantic booger put you into a crappy mood.” “Gee, you think?” My legs ached”

Dirty (Dive Bar, #1)

Dirty

Author: Kyle Scott
Published: April 19, 2016
Pages: 288

Stars: 1 out of 5

 

Where to Buy:
$4.99 Kindle
$4.99 Barnes&Noble

 

 

 

Synopsis:
The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that comes with her.

Lydia Green doesn’t know whether to burn down the church or sit and cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it’s with his best man is another thing all together. She narrowly escapes tying the knot and meets Vaughan only hours later.

Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessman she thought she’d marry. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and unsettled. But she already tried Mr. Right and discovered he’s all wrong-maybe it’s time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.

After all, what’s wrong with getting dirty?

Review:

Lydia has really low self esteem and comments on her weight far too much. Within the first chapter, the author makes fun of Lydia’s plus size weight close to three times. This really bugged me because I don’t find it humorous or even entertaining. I wouldn’t classify Lydia as the most stable of characters but her weaknesses overshadow her other qualities. She is a bit all over the place and her low self esteem drags everything down. I think I would have liked this book better if Lydia’s character was stronger. Lydia mentally rambles far too much, especially when she should be focused on other things like being kissed.

Vaughan, my first impression was he’s a tad crude and a bit vulgar. One of the things he does early on that seems a bit undesirable is how he openly ogles Lydia’s breasts. It’s not so much that he does it but more the way he does it. It’s not done in a flattering, sexy way. It leaves the reader with this cheap feeling. That paired with Lydia’s unbelievably low self esteem and the whole scene just doesn’t sit well with me. But he offered his friendship to Lydia, so I really tried to like him…But I just couldn’t like him. His tough guy mentality wasn’t doing it for me. And it drove me crazy when he would grunt instead of giving a response.

I didn’t like the authors writings style. It was choppy and didn’t flow well. The way she wrote, it was closer to stating facts than showing the reader each characters personality or what emotions they were going through.

And honestly, I know this is a small thing but it really drove me crazy. The cover doesn’t match the description of Vaughan. Supposedly he has reddish blond hair with blue eyes, which I have never seen before but whatever. So not only was it difficult to picture what he looked like, I honestly couldn’t imagine blue eyes going with light hair. Dark, yes. Which brings me to the cover. The guy on the over has very dark facial hair, not the red/blond the book described. Did I miss something here?

This book is a contemporary romance with humor mixed throughout and one of those love at first sight books. Or in the authors terms, crazy at first sight. Which I would have to agree with the crazy part. According to Goodreads, my review is not the norm. Most people in fact loved the book.

Overall, I felt the plot was too fluffy and shallow. I guess what everyone else considered humorous and enduring/cute, was too awkward for me and I just didn’t understand the humor. The book wasn’t able to engage my heart or mind and I found myself skimming the book. But I think if you have read books from this author in the past, then you will really like this book.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

All the Ugly and Wonderful things

Author: Bryn Greenwood
Published: August 9, 2016
Pages: 352

Stars: 5 out of 5

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Where to Buy:
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Synopsis:
As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking love story between two unlikely people that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer.

Review:
This isn’t the type of book I normally pick up but I’m glad I did. I’ll be honest with you, this book at times is terribly sad. The plot involves child abuse that is uncomfortable and guaranteed to pull an emotional response out of you. But it is also about strength and savoring those little moments of light. And I promise, the ending is worth getting to. There are some grammatical errors, but nothing you aren’t abel to read past.

Wavy is a complex child who comes with a hefty load of baggage. After her father and mother get arrested, she is sent into the system. After much persuasion, Wavy goes to live with her aunt. Although, that didn’t last long because of Wavy’s peculiar habits. You see, she isn’t like a typical child. She would rather eat out of the garbage than eat dinner at the table with her family. She would rather steal and sneak around than follow societal rules. She is a selective mute and yet so much more. Once Wavy goes back to live with her mother, there is no doubt she was lucky she didn’t turn out worse. The abuse her and her brother go through is horrifying.

I found myself reading this book wondering how in the heck did this little girl end up like this. Unfortunately that answer gets solved and you aren’t going to like it. Yet with everything Wavy has been through, she is such a strong character. The author did an amazing job describing the hopes and dreams of a little girl who caries around so many demons.

In this book, Wavy talks about the different sides her mom has. There’s happy mom who is attentive, caring, and loving. There’s scary mom, who is cruel, neglectful, and abusive. Then there is sad mom, who doesn’t care about anything and falls into a depression. Because of all these sides, Wavy (at the age of five) ends up practically raising her brother.

Kellen is a complex character. I can’t help but pity him. He isn’t attractive, is constantly made fun of, and overweight. But he is a savior to Wavy and a trusted friend. I’m not sure how old he is, much older than Wavy. I think he might be ten years older than her. Maybe more, like I said I’m not sure. Which is what kind of bothers me. The further I get into the story, the more Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed. At first it was really innocent. But as it became more, I couldn’t help but see Wavy as a child and Kellen as an adult. To be honest, it made me uncomfortable reading about this. But his character does redeem himself in some ways and by the end of the book I am happy with how things turned out.

As I was reading this story, I kind of felt like I was on a rollercoaster of emotions. And just when you think things are as bad as they can get, tragedy strikes and everything gets worse. You must be asking, what more could happen to this little girl that wouldn’t be classified already as a tragedy? Well, when you find out it’s like your heart stops. You’re reading the words but shaking your head not wanting to comprehend them. Your stomach turns with how unfair life can be. And you’re just not sure how much more of this you can take. That’s how gifted this author is.

Even with all the uncomfortable moments and my doubts about Kellen, somehow by the end of the book I desperately wanted Wavy to reconnect with him. I was surprised how this book stayed with me. When I wasn’t reading the chapters, I was constantly thinking about the plot or wishing I could read just one more chapter. I will admit there was one point in the book I wanted to put it down. It was around the time Kellen and Wavy’s relationship changed into something more and I wasn’t sure how much more of that I could take. But I’m glad I did’t because this book is truly amazing.

My final thought I want to leave with you is I promise you won’t be disappointed in this book. Yes it is emotionally charged and pulls at your heart, but the story is one worth reading. By the end of the book, you will fall in love (and sometimes hate) the characters in this book. My warning is to read the book for how it is. Wavy is not your typical little girl, so don’t try to cast her in that image. You will only be disappointed and end up disgusted. Good luck with this book if you decide reading it. Like I said, it will be one that stays with you.

A Fine Mess (Over the Top, #2)

A Fine Mess

Author: Kelly Siskind
Published: August 2, 2016
Pages: 340

Stars: 5 out of 5

 

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Synopsis:
Some guys should come with a warning label . . .

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn’t do relationships or promises or feelings. He’s never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She’s sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn’t easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart . . .

Review:

Although in a way this book could be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t recommend it. The first book was full of character development and without that foundation I think you would miss an aspect of who the characters are. Not only would you miss a part of their backstory, but I think the beginning would lack a certain degree of depth. In other words, read the first book. If you missed review, you can find it here.

Like I mentioned, this book doesn’t miss a beat. It opens will Lily in complete turmoil over needing to break up with her 11 year boyfriend but not wanting to throw everything they had away. Of course sexy, confident Sawyer also has something to do with how she feels.

Sawyer has a dysfunctional family. Although he tries his best to separate himself from them, he is scared he will become just like them. So when Lily tells him she is single, hoping to turn their friendship into more, Sawyer is too scared to move forward.

This story is not what I expected. The depth of both Sawyer and Lily pulls the reader into the story. Lily is not who I thought she was. She has secrets she desperately tries to hide. Both characters fall deep for each other and their feels get intense fast. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the intense that leaves you unable to put the book down. No, this is the kind that you know is going to come crashing down on them and end badly. The only question is when..

The plot is slightly predictable and I can’t say I love Lily as much as I did Shay. But still, I find myself getting pulled along on this emotional roller coaster that is Sawyer and Lily. And the ending!! It’s complete gush worthy. Regardless of the complexity of issues both Sawyer and Lily face, this is a great love story. I can’t wait for the next book to come out!!

A Fine Mess by Kelly Siskind- Cover Reveal and Excerpt

A Fine Mess


A Fine Mess

Title: A Fine Mess
Series: Over the Top, #2
Author: Kelly Siskind

THE OVER THE TOP SERIES
My Perfect Mistake, #1
A Fine Mess, #2

On Sale: August 2, 2013
Price: $3.99

Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

Synopsis:
Some guys should come with a warning label . . .

Sawyer West is Mr. One-Night Stand. He doesn’t do relationships or promises or feelings. He’s never cared enough to get involved. Until Lily Roberts. She’s sweet and shy and sexy as sin, and resisting her is testing his self-control. She believes Sawyer can be a better man, and for the first time in his life, he wants to be. But change isn’t easy, and Sawyer would do anything to protect Lily from his past self. Even break his own heart . . .

A Fine Mess
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A small-town girl at heart, Kelly moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head.

She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings-Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.

 

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads


Excerpt:

She holds up her new treasure. “Found a good one.” The blue stone in the center of the ring catches the light of a nearby lamp, the thick band decorated with filigree.

“Okay,” I say. “You first.”

She swallows and peeks at me from below her lashes. “There was this man.” Another swallow. “He was a soldier about to be shipped off to war.” She scrapes her teeth over her bottom lip. “He bought this ring but didn’t propose to his girl before he left. He was afraid. He didn’t think he’d do right by her. But he held on to it during every battle, and every horrible night. When he got home and realized he was being foolish”—she looks at me with glassy eyes—“the girl had fallen for someone else.”

Single Lily fights dirty.

My pulse kicks up a notch as I approach her. I stop a foot away and hold out my hand. “The ring, please.”

Trembling slightly, she places it in my palm, her fingers grazing my skin.

“A man,” I say, turning the band over, “proposed to the girl of his dreams with this ring.” I step closer. “He worshipped her. I mean, she was hot as fuck”—eye roll numero cinco—“but they were meant to be, like real soul mates. Then the unthinkable happened.” I shift my feet until there’s barely an inch between us.

Self-control at DEFCON 2.

“What happened?” she whispers.

I grin. “A car fell on her. Freak accident. Dropped from the second story of a parking garage. Nasty mess.” I grab her hand and place the ring on her finger as she mumbles something about my maturity. I knock her toe with mine. “Quiet. I’m not done.” Numero seis. I clear my throat. “Although the man loved his wife more than anything, he pawned the ring. He knew it was special. He hoped the next person to buy it could be as lucky in love as he was.”

That stops the eye rolls.

She looks at the ring, then at me, then back and forth again.

Her lips part. Her chest rises.

Sirens ring: DEFCON 1.

I’m a thrill seeker. Cliff jumping, fast cars, steep slopes—you name it, I love it. The adrenaline rush gives me Spidey-sense, and my pulse shoots from one hundred to 220 in ten seconds flat.

Leaning in to kiss Lily is like skydiving without a chute.

I don’t give her time to turn me down, not a moment for either of us to overthink. Heart in my throat, I taste her lips. Yep, strawberry. She’s soft and tentative, then eager, a whimper escaping when our tongues swipe. I grip her harder and walk until I have her pressed against a table. She tugs my hair. I grab her ass. The next whimper is louder, the sound shredding what’s left of my self-control. I need to hear what other sounds she makes, need to hear her fall apart. Will she chant my name or pray to her maker? Will she scream or groan? Our mouths move faster, hands greedier, my jeans barely containing me. If I don’t stop soon, we’ll be giving these antiques enough stories for another century.

By the time I pull away, she’s swallowed my heart.


A Fine Mess

This is such a great series!!  Click on the link for my review of book one- My Perfect Mistake.

I will be posting my review of A Fine Mess, tomorrow 🙂

Coming Clean (Monkey Business Trio #3)

Coming CleanAuthor: C.L. Parker
Published: September 20, 2016
Pages: 368

Stars: 5 out of 5

Where to Buy:
Amazon $7.99
Barnes&Noble $7.99

 

 

 

Synopsis:
The steamy conclusion of C. L. Parker’s Monkey Business Trio

They have been rivals who fought until the bitter end and lovers who know every sensual inch of each other’s bodies. Now sports agents Cassidy Whalen and Shaw Matthews are about to become the one thing they never expected to be: parents. But this new dynamic to their relationship threatens to fizzle the sizzling desire that once held them in thrall to each other. If salvation is only a forbidden fantasy away, then Shaw and the woman he loves must embark on the adventure of their lives.

Cassidy is aching to reignite their connection. In steamy assignations in strange places, she and Shaw live out their most intimate desires—and reveal their deepest secrets. But as Shaw works overtime to sign a superstar athlete, a corporate reshuffling could be a game-changer. Can Cassidy and Shaw save their relationship and have it all—a career, family, and passion that never quits?

Coming Clean is intended for mature audiences.

Review:
I think it’s important to acknowledge the authors note to the reader at the beginning of the book. With that said, I think I author nailed it with this book. This is perfect for any stay at home mother/parent. As the reader, I could just feel Cassidy’s exhaustion seeping through the pages. The emotions were palpable and the plot was strong.

Right from the beginning the prologue was intense. If you have ever given birth or had an emergency c-section, I think you can easily relate. Within this first chapter I was laughing to almost wanting to cry. The emotions the author pulled were strong and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t think you would get such an extreme response if you haven’t had a child before but you would still get the response the author intended. The author is extremely gifted at creating emotionally charged scenes.

The characters have really developed and changed throughout this series. In the first book, Cassidy was feisty, strong headed, and was on a mission. Don’t get me wrong, she is still the feisty woman we fell in love with. But after three years of putting her family first, always making excuses for why daddy isn’t there, and dealing with the affects it has on their child, in some ways she has lost herself. I love this quote and I think many parents can relate. This quote comes after Shaw once again breaks another promise to their three year old son and she is left picking up the pieces- “After staring the motor, I took a moment to gather myself, flipping down the visor and finding the reflection of a woman I didn’t know staring back at me in the mirror.” I know there are stronger quotes I could have pulled from this book, but that one really hit home with me.

The book moves at a fast pace and had me not wanting to put the book down. I actually had to tell myself it was ok that I didn’t finish the book in one sitting. The sex was fantastic and had me blushing like a school girl. It was risky but done in a classy way. Even if you aren’t into some of the sexual acts the book describes, the author does it in a way that it doesn’t turn you away from the book or plot.

The ending was a bit predictable but still lovely, romantic, and simply over the top. It’s easy to get lost in this book, which you should if you decide to read it. Even though there are unrealistic qualities to the plot, I couldn’t help but feel connected to the story. As a mother (and one that stays home) I could easily relate to Shaw and Cassidy.

I’m sad this series is over but it ended perfectly. This is an author I will be keeping my eye on and will take a chance on any future books.