Friday, June 15, 2018

Undone by Elisabeth Naughton

♥ ♥ This is the third book in the series and again it starts where the last one ended, so you will need to read the first two to understand what is going on. Now what to say? First off, let me say, this genre of romance is not for me. I like flirty, happy, funny romance books. This is not that. So why did I read this book.. well, I wanted to see how the series ended. I wanted to know if I could like Luc and Natalie together, and if I could even respect Luc, as in the other books I didn’t.  My verdict… sadly still undecided. Luc seems to have changed a bit for the better in my mind. He hasn’t done anything horrid in this book, though I really cannot abide the rules of his “House”, nor can I fathom how he lets the “House Rules” control his life. Also, I had trouble identifying with Natalie, as I could not be in a relationship like this. For me not being on the same page with either character, made the book a bit of a hard read for me.

The story seemed to be primarily made up of sex, self doubt, self incrimination and.. more sex. To be honest I started skimming the sex scenes as there were too many for me.  The last quarter of the book picked up pace, with a bit of suspense, and for me, a few WTF moments. I was somewhat ok with the ending. I can see Luc and Natalie love each other and that is a positive, though having read almost everything this author has written, I had hopes for something that would leave me feeling relieved or happy. Instead I am almost mad at what life looks like for these two. The sacrifices they have to make, all because of his HOUSE… ugh. I can’t. I am not a fan of living your life by other people's rules.

I know this sounds like a negative review, but please keep in mind, that is only because this is not the type of romance I like. I read romance to feel the happy butterflies in my belly and to be left with a silly grin on my face. A large plus for this book is that Naughton’s writing is easy to read and her words paint vivid pictures, those aspects together make it feel like you are in the pages of the book and part of the story. If you like dark and twisted romances with lots of sex, and cultish type rituals, you would probably love this book! I see others have reviewed it quite favourably.

* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. *

The Blurb:

From New York Times Bestselling Author Elisabeth Naughton, the third book in the House of Sin Series.

Behind the doors of the House of Sin, no one is safe...

I love him. It’s the only truth that matters now.

I’ve cast my old life aside and given myself fully to his wants and desires, to the fire he alone ignites inside me. And together, we’ve found strength and salvation in each other.

But there are evil forces who will forever see me as a threat that must be undone. I trust that our love can withstand any test, but I can’t ignore the growing shadows lurking beyond our door.

Because I understand now that those shadows are not waiting to destroy me as I once feared. They’ve come for him. To steal him away from me for good. And to finally and completely engulf him in a sinister world he’s eluded for so long.

In the inescapable darkness of the House of Sin

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gentleman Nine by Penelope Ward (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Sebastian York and Andi Arndt

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ I have read a few books that Ms. Ward has co-wrote with another author, but I think this may be the first I have read by her as a solo author. I enjoyed the premise of the book. I love when childhood friends grow up and fall in love. I also loved the chemistry between Amber and Channing. The only downfall for me was the amount of sex (the act or the thought of the act). At points I felt like that was the only thing driving the story - which isn’t my favourite, however once the storyline filled in there was some really touching moments. The writing was good and in the end the story left me smiling.  I would like to try more of her books.

As usual both these narrators did a great job.

The Blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Ward, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.

Growing up, the three of us were friends.
He was the nerd.
I was the playboy.
She was the beauty.

Deep down, I only ever wanted her. I kept it inside because Rory and I made a pact that our friend, Amber, was off-limits.

He lied.

I went off to college, and he got the girl.
Amber never knew how I felt.
They were together for years—before he broke her heart.

Through it all and across the miles, she and I casually stayed in touch.
When my job sent me to Boston for a three-month contract position, Amber let me stay in her spare room.

Still reeling from her breakup, she’d sworn off men.
One night, I opened her computer to find the shock of my life. She’d hesitantly contacted a male escort company. Afraid to date and get her heart broken again, she was looking for sex with no strings.
Every emotion imaginable ran through me: protectiveness, jealousy—curiosity.
Amber had chosen Gentleman Number Nine and sent him a message.
She opened up to him, confessing, among other things, her physical attraction to her friend—me. But she considered me off-limits—and she thought I was a manwhore. (Ironic, considering the circumstances.)

Eventually, she set up a date to meet Gentleman Nine at a hotel. 
When she showed up several nights later to meet him, she was stunned to see me standing there—with an offer I hoped she wouldn’t refuse.

At the Stroke of Midnight by Tara Sivec (Audiobook)

Narrated by: CJ Bloom

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This book had me laughing right away and kept the humour up throughout the story.  I liked the spin on the Cinderella fairytale, and I felt the author portrayed strippers well and seemed to shed positive feelings toward the profession.

The titles of the chapters were a great way to ensure a chuckle, the characters were fun and intriguing and the romance was sweet. This was my first time reading this author and I look forward to reading the next books in this series.

CJ Bloom did a good job with the narration. It was also my first time hearing her. She was clear and brought the characters to life.

The Blurb:

Meet the Naughty Princess Club: a brand new series from USA Todaybestselling author Tara Sivec that introduces readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that ensue when three women start a new business to make it rain.

Once upon a time Cynthia was the perfect housewife. Between being the President of the PTA and keeping her home spotless without a hair (or her pearls) out of place, her life was a dream come true. Her husband was once her knight in shining armor, but now he’s run off with all their money…and the babysitter.

Dressed as a princess at the annual Halloween block party on Fairytale Lane, she meets two other “princesses” also facing money troubles: antique store owner Ariel and librarian Isabelle. When the women are invited to wear their costumes to a party where they’re mistaken for strippers, Cindy, Ariel, and Belle realize that a career change could be the best way to make their money problems go bippity-boppity-boo.

But can structured Cindy approach a stripper pole without sanitizing wipes? And could the blue-eyed anti-prince that has been crossing her path become Cindy’s happily ever after? At the Stroke of Midnight is a hilarious, empowering story where princesses can save themselves while slaying in stilettos.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Deceived by Elisabeth Naughton

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ This book starts off right where the last book ended, so you will need to read Forbidden first to know what is going on. That said, this book is a bit of a conundrum for me. Early on in this book, some events happen that just make me upset, and I thought to myself “seriously.. If this happened to me I would LOSE it!” Which on the plus side, allowed me to relate to Natalie a lot. Then comes the middle of the book where both characters seem to do a 180 on their attitudes and behaviour, and I am wondering if this is what the title is about. I am also secretly hoping that this is who the hero really is, because I am a romantic and I love a happy ending with all the good lovey-dovey stuff. However, if that was the case it would also leave me unable to understand how Natalie could ever trust Luc again. I know that this is not the end, there is one more cliffhanger, and one more part to this story.

Naughton amped up the suspense just a wee bit at the end there to get you ready for the last book and I am left with conflicting feelings. Part of me doesn’t see a true HEA in their future, but the other part of me sure hopes there is!  The content for me is a bit on the darker side then I would normally go for, but the writing is still wonderful.

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

The Blurb:

From New York Times Bestselling Author Elisabeth Naughton, the second book in the House of Sin Series.

Some doors were never meant to be opened...

I made a fateful mistake. I should never have peeked behind the doors into his forbidden world.

But I did, and now I’m a prisoner. Trapped by the man I thought loved. The man I once foolishly trusted. The man who, despite his lies and deception, I continue to crave.

He can melt my resolve with one rough, whispered demand, and I feel myself giving in to the desire he still stirs inside me. And yet, if I want to survive, I must find a way to escape. Because if I don’t, I’m afraid I’ll be consumed by a shadowy world that will ultimately destroy me.

Lost forever in his wicked House of Sin

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dear Bridget, I Want You by Penelope Ward, Vi Keeland (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Zachary Webber & Andi Arndt

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ I Loved this book. I wanted to stay up all night and listen to it.. I couldn't sadly but first chance I got I finished it.  Bridget and Simon were fantastic together. They had a great first meeting, I thought their notes to each other were endearing, and the two of them made me laugh often.  This book was sweet, funny, sexy and heartwarming. Just what the doctor ordered. Pun intended.

Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt did a fantastic job with their narration, really loved it.

The Blurb:

From the New York Times Bestselling authors of Stuck-Up Suit and Mister Moneybags, comes a new, sexy standalone novel.
Dear Bridget,
I'm writing this letter because it's highly doubtful I'll ever garner the courage to say this to your face.
So, here goes.
We're totally wrong for each other. You're the proper single mum with a good head on your shoulders. I'm just the carefree British doctor passing through town and temporarily living in your converted garage until I head back to England.
But here's the thing... for some bloody reason, I can't stop thinking about you in very inappropriate ways.
I want you.
The only reason I'm even admitting all of this to you right now is because I don't believe it's one-sided. I notice your eyes when you look at me, too. And as crass as I appear when we're joking around about sex, my attraction to you is not a joke.
So, what's the purpose of this note? I guess it's a reminder that we're adults, that sex is healthy and natural, and that you can find me just through the door past the kitchen. More specifically, it's to let you know that I'm leaving said door cracked open from now on in case you'd like to visit me in the middle of the night sometime.
No questions asked.
Think about it.
Or don't.
Whatever you choose.
It's doubtful I'll even end up sliding this letter under your door anyway.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Forbidden by Elisabeth Naughton

Series: House of Sin book 1
Release Date: April 24th, 2018

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ I find it hard to write this review, as I am left with mixed emotions, and I don’t want to give away spoilers. The author’s writing is fantastic and honestly, that was the major reason I kept reading. I have to add though, whenever there was talk of a “punishment,” I felt that part was sorta cheesy, and didn’t seem like Naughton’s writing style at all. Thankfully there were not too many of these moments.

The characters are fully developed, which I love, as I feel I know them well enough, that when things seem out of the ordinary for them, I end up questioning it. Halfway in, the content and plot line, made me put the book down and leave it for a while. I started to dislike both the main characters, this was just a personal opinion and due to my aversion to someone having to be in control of someone else in a relationship, and the other person allowing it. Once I got over myself and picked the book back up, I was glad I did, as there was superb suspense in the last quarter of the book, which was awesome!

Luc and Natalie - Honestly, they have great chemistry together. Do I wish that she would continue to stand her ground and not let Luc excuse away his behaviour?.. Yes. Do I wish that he would respect her wishes, and not demean her?.. Yes.  Do I think that if these things changed in the book, would the story be just as good?.. I don’t know, it would be a different story then and perhaps wouldn’t fit the plot as well.. so I can see the point to some of it, but as sadly there is a cliffhanger!!!!.. Ugh..  I don’t know what is going to happen, I have to assume, it all has a purpose, though at this moment, I don’t see how Luc will earn my trust back enough for me to feel it is ok for Natalie to have an HEA with him. I have faith, even though this is a new direction for this author, and is not one I would normally seek out. Naughton has never let me down, so I can’t wait to see how she wins me back! I bet it will be epic.

*Arc provided in exchange for an honest review*

The Blurb:

From New York Times Bestselling and RITA Award-winning author Elisabeth Naughton, the first book in the House of Sin Series.

She has no idea what lurks behind the forbidden doors of the House of Sin...

He is temptation. Forbidden fruit. A craving I can’t seem to resist.

I went after him in search of answers, certain he had blood on his hands. Now I’ve fallen prey to his seductive looks and commanding charisma.

I know he is a threat. He's entwined in a dangerous world I don't understand. But even that doesn’t stop me from aching for his touch, for the taste of his wicked lips.

Before I can truly surrender to the fire smoldering between us, I need to know more. I have to see behind the doors he keeps firmly locked.

I need to discover what he's hiding in the shadowy world known as the House of Sin...

This book is very sexy, very dark, and very addictive! Features a mysterious hero with a dangerous secret. This is a big story that can't be told in only one book so there is a cliffhanger - but never fear, book two releases three weeks later. The release schedule is as follows:

Books in the House of Sin Series:
FORBIDDEN -- Book 1 -- April 24, 2018
DECEIVED -- Book 2 -- May 15, 2018
UNDONE -- Book 3 - June 5, 2018

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Capture by Penny Reid (Audiobook)

Narrated by Cris Dukehart

♥ ♥ ♥ ½ I am going attempt to write this as spoiler free as I can. This was a rollercoaster relationship spread over 3 books. Martin is still a hard guy for me like. Not quite sure what bothers me about him but it’s there. Does Kaitlyn deserve better? Does she stick her head in the her closet and therefore confusing her feelings because Martin was her first everything? Could there be anything between her and another someone? Does it feel like she will have a true HEA after this book is over?  All questions I have.

Don't get me wrong, Reid’s writing is great and I enjoyed the books. I didn't find them as funny as the other books I have read by her, but still engaging. This series just left me feeling like Kaitlyn’s love life is not finished.

Cris Dukehart did a wonderful job with her narration. I would listen to her again.

The Blurb:

One week. 
Manhattan apartment. 
Super-hot ex-boyfriend.

…What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s been nine months since Kaitlyn Parker has seen or heard from Martin Sandeke—nine months and five stages of matter. She’s lived through the worst of first-love heartbreak, and is most certainly stronger (and less likely to hide in science cabinets) than ever before.

But now Martin is back. And he wants to be friends. But he’s sending mixed signals to the Bunsen burner in Kaitlyn’s pants.

Will Martin re-capture Kaitlyn’s heart? Can Kaitlyn and Martin ever be just friends? Or, despite an abundance of chemistry, are some bonds just too unstable to endure?

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Protected by Elisabeth Naughton

Series: Deadly Secrets book 3

RELEASE DATE: March 20, 2018

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ½ I quite enjoyed this book. The suspense was great, and had me guessing at a few different options. The romance was sweet and sexy and I think it was a good follow up to the others in the series.

Kelsey and Hunter had wonderful chemistry. I felt the author dealt with Kelsey’s background issues well, which made the way Kelsey handled situations more realistic and not crazily overblown. Hunter was protective, but not so over the top “alpha”, that I wanted to rip my eyes out.  Also, I liked the little nod to Darcy Burke and her character Alaina Pierce. Took me a few mins to remember where I read about her.  

Every time I start a book by Naughton, it feels comforting. Her writing is easy and clear that it doesn't feel like I am reading at all. The dialogue and situations are simple and feel real, and I love the best friend's sister plot. It’s one of my favourites.

*Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*   

The Blurb:

A passion to live for—and to die for—in the RITA-winning series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton.
Up-and-coming designer Kelsey McClane is on the cusp of success. Recently divorced, she should be enjoying her newfound freedom and glamorous future. Instead, she’s living in fear of the past. When she returns home to Portland on a press tour, danger creeps closer than ever. As threatening messages from her bitter ex-husband leave her vulnerable, a new man in her life makes her feel protected.

Former Army Ranger turned security professional Hunter O’Donnell is hired to guard Kelsey. When a shattering explosion rocks her world, Kelsey’s ex is the prime suspect, but Hunter speculates there’s more to the situation than Kelsey’s letting on. Intent on keeping her safe, he delves into Kelsey’s past. As the two work together to unmask her stalker’s identity, a fire ignites between them that they both struggle to contain.

While the investigation proceeds, it draws them closer not only to each other but also to a lethal plot that’s been in the works behind their backs. And with each new secret unveiled, it’s not just temptation putting them at risk—it’s a madman who will not stop until Kelsey is dead.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Heat by Penny Reid (Audiobook)

Narrated by Cris Dukehart

♥ ♥ ♥ I find it hard to write this review. I like Kaitlyn. I like her nerdiness and naiveté. I don't really know how I feel about Martin.. on the one hand I like how he seems to care about Kaitlyn.. but on the other, I dislike how Martin treats her, because if he truly cared, would he treat her that way? Ms.Reid writes him well as I feel the emotions I suspect she wants me to. I am about to listen to the conclusion of this series. Not quite sure what is going to happen.. I have hopes though so we shall see.  Yes, this book has a cliffhanger.

The narrator has done a great job.

The Blurb:

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.

And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.

What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?

Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.

But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.

Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Attraction by Penny Reid (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Cris Dukehart

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ I loved Kaitlyn, loved her awkwardness and smarts. I have mixed feelings about Martin, as this book is a bit of a cliffhanger I will reserve judgement on him until I finish the rest of the books. I truly enjoy Penny Reid’s writing style and I have the next book ready to go!

Cris Dukehart did great on narration. Clear spoken with enough variety in her voices to differentiate characters.

The Blurb:

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family's billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Duchess of Love (A Prequel) by Sally MacKenzie (Audiobook)

Narrated by: Abby Craden
Series: Duchess of Love book 0.5

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ This was a super short, sweet story. Venus and Drew had a wonderfully fun “meet-cute”, along with great chemistry. The writing was easy and humourous, which makes me hope the rest of the series will be equally as good.  The summary for this story did a good job in drawing me in.

The narrator did a fine job. Had a variety of voices for characters. I would listen to her again.

The Blurb:

A Duke In Disguise. . .

The day was as hot as the pond was inviting. It's not as if anyone in Little Huffington was going to happen upon a secluded vale on the Duke of Greycliffe's lands. And Venus Collingswood didn't want to get her shift all wet. It was the perfect setting in which to plan her lovely bookworm of a sister's betrothal to the mysterious new duke arriving seven days hence. If only she had a suitable accomplice. . .

Andrew Valentine, Duke of Greycliffe, never thought arriving at his own household a week early would cause so much trouble. The housekeeper thinks he's his own cousin. Actually, the chance to not be the duke for a while is a pleasant opportunity indeed. It might even help him interrogate the delectable little nymph he's discovered swimming in his pond--if he can manage to get a word in edgewise. . .

Thursday, February 15, 2018

xo, Zach by Kendall Ryan (Audiobook)

Narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt

3 Stars - This book was pretty good. I liked the premise, however from the summary I was hoping for more letters/poems than there was.  Zach and Poppy had good banter between each other and the story moved along nicely.

Both narrators did a wonderful job as usual.

The Blurb:

The first time we met was at a party. 

Your ex arrived to show off the person he'd left you for last month, and you asked me to pretend to be your date. 

I was more than happy to help. You were attractive, smart and witty--and that kiss we shared? It left me wanting you for days. 

The second time we met was in my office on campus where we were both surprised to discover you were the new master’s degree student in poetry that I would be working with. You promised to be professional. I did no such thing.

The late nights and intense study sessions spent alongside you majorly throw me off my game. I want you, and I fight with myself daily over this fact. 

I know I'm crass, that my sexual innuendos and dirty mouth annoy you, but I live for those two bright spots of color in your cheeks. If that's the only reaction I can get out of you, I'll gladly take it. 

You hate Mondays so every Monday I slip an anonymous poem into your bag and your smile gets me through the week.

I think I'm falling for you, and I know it's wrong. I know that I'm only supposed to be the adviser to your program and nothing more, but here's the thing. I think you're falling for me too.

xo, Zach

Monday, February 12, 2018

Irreplaceable by Angela Graham (Audiobook)

Narrated by Xe Sands

Series: Harmony book 2

2 Stars - I was disappointed in this book. I truly enjoyed the first, and I think the author had good intentions to try and draw it out in 3 books.. (yes this book also has cliffhanger of sorts) but for me it fell flat and I lost interest.

Cassandra’s lack of confidence that Logan could love her even though he works hard to show her how he feels, frustrated me.  I missed the fun flirtiness of the first book. This seemed to be more of Logan sort grovelling or trying extra hard to be there to gain back her trust.- Cassandra should either trust him or not.

I am not going to read the third book. Personally, I think all of this could have been accomplished in one book, and it would have been a great book! That said, I do see many great reviews for this story, (for all 3 books actually) so perhaps I am just someone who isn't into one couple's story that span more than one book. I like a book to have a beginning middle and a firm ending. If you like those drawn out romances, I bet you would enjoy this one.

Xe Sands did a wonderful job narrating.

The Blurb:
It wasn't his fault she lay broken and battered. He wasn't responsible for the injuries covering her bruised body. Her heart, however, told a different story. She endured the pain of its jagged edges as it shattered against her chest, ripping through the hope she once held. Her spirit was broken, and only one man was to blame for that. Cassandra Clarke had known better than to trust her all to a man like Logan West. She'd thought he was different-a better man than he'd portrayed to others. A man worth risking it all for. But she was wrong and would never make that mistake again. Faced with Logan's persistence, Cassandra must find the strength to keep her guard up or risk falling again for the one man her body feels is . . . irreplaceable.Contains mature themes.