Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review ~ Conviction ~ Corinne Michaels #ShelfLove #TravelingtotheTerminus

Conviction (Salvation, #4; The Consolation Duet, #2)Conviction by Corinne Michaels
Salvation #4, Consolation Duet #2
Release Date: May 27, 2015
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Military Romance

Source: Borrowed from Denise on Kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #ShelfLove, #TravelingtotheTerminus
Goodreads

Synopsis
I fell in love with Liam only to be shattered into a million pieces. Again. The idea of being without him cripples me but the reality is, he's gone.

He doesn't understand and I can't make him.

If only he'd see the conviction behind my words - then Liam would still be here.




I admit to being a little worried about how CMichaels would work everything out. I'm happy to report she did so more than satisfactorily. *grins*


Highlights

  • Character Growth
    Okay, so I already loved and was fully invested in Lee and Liam. The events at the end of Consolation had me concerned about their ability to be rational and sane with regards to where they now stood. I wanted to shake them at times and Lee really upset me with some of her actions towards Liam but they both did some emotional maturing and I was so happy and relieved. Also, with regards to one character and the obstacle he poses to Lee and Liam's happiness I have to give props to CMichaels for redeeming him in my eyes. I really was unsure he was redeemable but she managed it.
  • Romance
    There were HUGE obstacles thrown in their way but I *knew* Lee and Liam's love was the real deal and that they'd be able to weather any storm. Well, I was relatively certain anyway - I mean, the title is Conviction. :) And can I add that the way Liam was with Aarabelle made me swoon? Love a man with or around a baby. 
  • Plot
    I liked how CMichaels wove several sub-plots into the main plot because they added depth to Lee and Liam's relationship. One sub-plot was left unresolved so I'm going to have to read more (the Salvation series) to see if those answers are ever given.
Overall, I'm pleased with my introduction to CMichaels. Luckily I own the Salvation series already so I can go *back* and get Jackson's and Mark's stories.




Monday, May 21, 2018

Audio Review ~ Reese's Bride ~ Kat Martin #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove

Reese's Bride  (Bride's Trilogy, #2)Reese's Bride by Kat Martin
Brides Trilogy #2
Narrated byAnna Parker-Naples
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor AudioThis did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
Years ago, love-struck Reese departed his home at Briarwood with a promise from raven-haired Elizabeth Clemens that she would make a life with him upon his return. But mere months later, she married the Earl of Aldridge, attaining wealth and status Reese could never match. Memories of that betrayal make his homecoming far more bitter than sweet. Seeing Elizabeth on his doorstep dressed in widow's garb twists the knife even deeper. But fear for her young son's safety has overcome her pride: She begs Reese for protection from those who would see the boy dead to possess his fortune. He agrees to an uneasy alliance, sensing Elizabeth still harbors deep secrets - and Reese knows that he's placing himself in danger...of losing his heart all over again.




KMartin continues to impress me with her storytelling skills. I'm currently listening to book #3 in the trilogy. :)

Highlights:
  • Favorite Trope
    Second chance romances is one of my most favorite romance tropes and Reese and Elizabeth's second chance, while hard earned, was deserved and sweet. There were a lot of emotions surrounding the reasons they were kept apart but the primary emotion - love - remained strong.
  • Plot & Sub-plots
    The element that brings Reese and Elizabeth back together provided for tension and suspense but one of the things I find I enjoy about KMartin is her ability to weave in sub-plots that keep me riveted without detracting from the main plot. One of the subplots incorporated a character from Royal's story as well as introducing a new character and I liked how KMartin wove these two characters together.
  • Romance
    Not only do we get to see Reese and Elizabeth work their way back to each other but KMartin gives us a secondary romance as well and in this case it was also a second chance of sorts so I was doubly delighted.
  • Characters
    KMartin delivers a well-drawn cast of characters and her cast is rather large so that is impressive. From Reese and his brothers down to the security men and even the villain, she has me intrigued by, cheering for, and despising her characters as warranted. That many characters appeared in both Reese's and Royal's stories (and hopefully Rule's) is a bonus since I got a little attached. :)
  • Narration
    Anna Parker-Naples once again had me admiring her delivery. She's able to keep the pacing perfect, evoke all the emotions, as well as keep me engaged. She does have a slight issue with male voices but overall her voices and accents bring to life this large cast.



Friday, May 18, 2018

New Release Review ~ One Naughty Night ~ Shelly Bell @ShellyBell987 #2018NewRelease

One Naughty NightOne Naughty Night by Shelly Bell
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received an ARC from the author which had no influence on my rating and my review is provided voluntarily. 
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
She's his younger sister's best friend.
A cancer survivor.
A guest on his storm chasing tour.
Completely forbidden.
She's too innocent for a man like him.

For five torturous days, he's followed the rules and kept his hands to himself.
But now that he's read her naughty list, all bets are off.
He's going to fulfill every dirty fantasy on that list.

All except the one-night stand.
Because if he has his way, they'll last longer than one naughty night...



One Naughty Night was short and sexy...it reminded me why I enjoy SBell's writing. The characters were engaging and the story was relatable...and she delivered an inherently readable story with a side of steam. *wink*

We've all at least contemplated it - a bucket list of things we want to do before we're no longer able to. In Allie's case, she created bucket lists - yes, two. When she was forced to consider the uncertainty of life far too early in her life, Allie created a "nice" bucket list and a "naughty" bucket list. What would you do if you decided life was to short not to take risks? Chase a tornado? Get naked with the hunky storm chaser who just happens to be your best friend's older brother whom you've been secretly crushing on for years? And who also just happened to read your naughty bucket list? Um...yes!?! =)

I enjoyed how SBell brought Allie and Drake together. They each had their reasons for not risking their hearts but their connection and attraction was undeniable. The element of suspense created via storm chasing was exciting and felt realistic. And the sexy scenes were exactly that....oh so sexy.

One Naughty Night was a pleasure and even though its pages are few it was enough of a story that I'm satisfied. I do hope to see Allie and Drake again...maybe when we get Taryn and Jack's story?


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Release Day Review ~ Good Girl ~ Jana Aston @JanaAston #2018NewRelease

Good GirlGood Girl by Jana Aston
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Source: I received an ARC from the author which had no influence on my rating and my review is provided voluntarily. I also purchased my own copy on Kindle. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
I've always been a good girl.
I work hard, I follow the rules, and I always achieve my goals.

But sometimes good girls want things that aren't good for them.
Or someone who isn't good for them.
Like their new boss.

And sometimes they do very bad things to get his attention.
Like sell their virginity in an auction.

Who knew he'd be so very, very mad?
Maybe this was not my best laid plan...




Y'ALL! Ms. Aston does endearingly awkward so well! Good Girl was hilarious but also sweet, heartwarming, and so utterly entertaining. I loved every minute!

Lydia and Rhys' first meeting goes down as one of the best I've read - in the comedic category anyway. Lydia is a recent college grad and she's smart, quirky, and a little socially challenged. She and her BF/roommate, Payton, moved to Vegas to work at a new casino. One night, after Payton tricks Lydia into going to dinner only to take her to a bar, she sets eyes on Rhys. Things get very interesting from there.

Rhys is a guy who thinks he's in touch with his feelings - thinking he has none - but is so clueless as to be ridiculous. It's the only area where he is though. He's handsome, wealthy, about to open a casino in hopes of making a name for himself within his family - oh, and he only does one-night stands...until he meets Lydia and she challenges everything.

These two together are magic...and awkward moments...and passion...and humor. I don't know that I've ever laughed so hard at a book than I did at a particular scene in this one. I was grateful it was only my cats who witnessed i. But seriously, Lydia and Rhys are able to teach one another quite a bit about love and what it means to have a committed relationship. And while it took Rhys a little time to get it all together, he showed glimpses of the gem he was underneath. And Lydia - well, Rhys brought out a different kind of passion in her. They each uncovered the whole person in each other. It was honest, genuine, and on occasion, giggle-inducing.

Ms. Aston's supporting cast rocked as well. t seems we'll be seeing Lydia's BF/roommate Payton next and that promises uproarious antics. But I also hope Canon, a friend of Rhys', gets a story, too. *hint*hint*

It's been a hot second since I last read something from Ms. Aston. I've missed her but Good Girl was worth the wait. 


Monday, May 14, 2018

New Release Review ~ Rock Chick Reborn ~ Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 #2018NewRelease

Rock Chick Reborn (Rock Chick, #9)Rock Chick Reborn by Kristen Ashley
Rock Chick #9
Release Date: April 2, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Gift on Kindle (using gift card from Lexxie)
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads

Synopsis
As a Rock Chick, Shirleen Jackson lived through all the kidnappings and explosions. Along the way, she also watched the dramatic love stories that came with those rides unfold.

But long ago, Shirleen made her choice. It affected who she was and would always be. She decided to settle for what she had and not want for more. She had good friends. She was raising two fine young men who weren't hers, but she loved them anyway.

She was good.

And then Moses Richardson crashed into her life, literally... and deliberately.

Moses has different ideas about Shirleen. He's more interested in the Shirleen of now, mostly because she's interesting. And funny. And loyal. Smart. Beautiful.

But Moses has a big challenge on his hands.

He has to convince Shirleen of all that.

And then convince her she deserves to have more.




Rock Chick Reborn was like a more mature version of Rock Chick... a Rock Chick story with ALL the feels but without all the mayhem. And seeing as it's Shirleen's story, it was just right!

I've adored Shirleen since she first stepped onto the page. She's as selfless as they come, taking on everyone else's problems and love life  even taking on raising two street kids who needed love and stability. And getting to boss around badasses - the Hot Bunch - and making bets on their love lives was gravy. But Shirleen never thought to have bets made on her own love life because she felt she wasn't worthy.

Omigosh did I enjoy Moses' way of proving to her just how worthy she is! Moses was a more mature version of one of the Hot Bunch. Every bit as alpha - but a bit more...reserved maybe? in his methods. Watching him win Shirleen over - worm his way into her heart - was so sweet. Getting to spend a little time with both the Hot Bunch and the Rock Chicks was the cherry on top...and made me long for yet another re-read. *wink* Oh, and I appreciated that a character from the Chaos series - a minor character who made a huge impact on Joker and Carissa - appeared here, making an impact once again. Just made me smile.

The release of Rock Chick Reborn was a surprise and a very welcome one. Shirleen had to have her day, her say, and get her own Hot Bunch man. Now the series is really complete!



Saturday, May 12, 2018

My TBR List *May* ~ And the Winner Is... #MyTBRL

MyTBRList

My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Michelle @Because Reading. I think it's a fabulous idea because it gets y'all in the game and it helps me knock off some of the many, many books on my TBR list. You're more than welcome to join in the fun! I've included the basic rules below but you can click on the graphic above to hop over to Michelle's site where you can find all the details. 



***

Y'all...I'm shocked, honestly. I so figured y'all would choose *spoiler* Losing Hope! But you didn't!


And the winner is:

The Girl in the Sea (Let Me Go, #3)The Girl in the Sea
Let Me Go #3

Synopsis

A Gripping Psychological Romantic Suspense Novel

Book 3 of the Let Me Go Series:
Olivia has a new job; one that unknowingly lands her right smack dab in the middle of a dark, depraved world of prostitution and sex-trafficking.
And to make matters worse, she's finally found someone. She thinks he's everything she wants, but he's strictly an online friend. While he tries to remain hidden behind his avatar, she's at last ready to put her rocky past behind her, if she can convince him to step out from behind the curatin.
But when she invites her anonymous friend to her sister's wedding on the beautiful, beachy, sub-tropical have of Bald Head Island, he says no; he's not ready to reveal his true identity. Instead, along with an unexpected squall that blows in, Grayson--the mysterious brother of the groom--arrives.
Olivia is rightfully wary of Grayson. He's a dangerous, real, flesh and blood man, after all. So, when her own heart beats out a warning tempo, she takes heed. Danger finds her anyway, as the beach is slammed with murderous hurrican winds, and the two are thrust together.
All is not as it seems, and she must dig deep if she is to unmask the mystery of the man, and save herself, by forcing him to confront his own inner storms and secrets, while he battles his two biggest demons: revenge and redemption.
Fiction: Romantic Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Family Saga 
Trigger Warnings: abduction, vague references to prostitution and sex trafficking, violence to women


Be sure to check back on May 26th to see what I thought! =)


Friday, May 11, 2018

Audio Review ~ Royal's Bride ~ Kat Martin #AudioChallenge #ShelfLove

Royal's Bride (Bride's Trilogy, #1)Royal's Bride by Kat Martin
Brides Trilogy #1
Narrated byAnna Parker-Naples
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor AudioThis did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided. 
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #AudioChallenge, #ShelfLove
Goodreads

Synopsis
Though he is a tilted nobleman, Royal Dewar is singularly unlucky...forced to choose between his soul mate and his salvation.

After years abroad, Royal has returned to Bransford Castle to find his father dying and the family treasury nearly empty. Then the old duke wrests a final promise from his guilt-ridden son: that Royal will marry heiress Jocelyn Caulfield and restore the estate to its former glory. However, it is not his finacee who quickens Royal's pulse, but rather her beautiful cousin Lily Moran.

Penniless Lily knows that nothing can come of their undeniable attraction - but there is a way she can help Royal. Enlisting some questionable characters from her past, Lily concocts an elaborate ruse to recover some of the Bransford fortune from a notorious confidence artist. As the dangerous scheme unfolds, Lily and Royal are thrown together in pursuit of the very thing - money - that keeps them apart...




This was my first Kat Martin book and I'm congratulating myself on the choice as well as for having the foresight to request the entire trilogy. =) Royal's Bride deftly dealt with the social customs, norms, and mores of the day while also delivering a riveting story inhabited by a colorful and well-developed cast of characters. I'm eager to start #2, Reese's Bride. (edit: I'm halfway through!)

Highlights:

  • Character Development
    KMartin does an incredible job at fleshing out not only the MC's - Royal and Lily - but also an all-star cast who is also deeply involved in the plot. They are all good, loyal, and kind people and I'm hoping they'll be a part of the future installments.
  • Plot
    The plot made the story both exciting and suspenseful. Royal and Lily set about trying to solve the mystery of the loss of the Dewar fortune. Would they figure it out? Could they refrain from falling more deeply for one another while they try? Should Royal follow his heart or his head? I had some thoughts on what had happened to Royal's family's money but I was entirely wrong on all counts. I certainly enjoyed following Royal and Lily as they solved the mystery and set about recovering the money.
  • Romance
    The romance between Royal and Lily (and the romance between some side characters) was sweet and genuine. I could feel the affection between Royal and Lily - knew fighting it was hopeless. But then Lily was not set with the money Royal needed. I think watching Royal fight himself was the most entertaining.
  • Narration
    Anna Parker-Naples did well in keeping the pacing just right and conveying the emotions of the story. Her male voices gave her a bit of a problem but the book does have a rather large male cast. Overall, I enjoyed her delivery.





Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Release Day Review ~ Passion Rising ~ JA Huss & Johnathan McClain (@JAHuss, @MisterJMcClain) #2018NewRelease

Passion Rising (Original Sin, #4)Passion Rising by JA Huss & Johnathan McClain
Original Sin Series #4
Release Date: May 8, 2018
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: I received an eARC from the authors. This did not affect my rating and I voluntarily provided a review.
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #2018NewRelease
Goodreads ~ Amazon

Synopsis
Old demons are back.

Maddie's dealing with the fallout of her choices. Safety and happiness are relative, elusive things she's desperate to have. But they will forever remain out of reach until the demons of her past are laid to rest.

Tyler's mistakes resurface to haunt him and he's just beginning to understand that money can't fix a broken relationship. He must open his heart and search for answers he'd rather not find.

She wants peace in a world made of chaos. 

He wants to rid himself of a lifetime of guilt.

They're soul mates, but that's no guarantee.

They'll need to rely on each other to find their happily ever after.

Because the fight never ends - it just gets easier with someone at your side.




Wow. Passion Rising was honestly the perfect ending for this series as well as the perfect way to wrap up Huss & McClain's first foray into being writing partners.

Passion Rising did a one-eighty and went from being more action to more...cerebral. And that wasn't a bad thing. At least not for me. It made me stop and think - really examine the story as a whole. And I appreciated that. Maddie and Tyler have been through so much in their young lives. Things that would have broken lesser individuals. But while they were both damaged, the each continued getting up each day, putting one foot in front of the other because they felt there had to be something more. They've been through quite a lot since they reconnected as well. They were both in very dark places and I don't know why they had to experience even more "bad" together except to say that it couldn't have worked in any other way. They've endured tragedy before but in experiencing it together they realized that together is better...or at least makes handling it easier. And in each other - or maybe simply with each other - they found what they needed to fill in the cracks of their damaged selves and they maybe, just might have found purpose...which is something I think we all long for.

See? Cerebral. But don't worry. It wasn't all contemplating life's purpose, love, etc. There was an injection of suspense as well as plenty of steam. But again, Passion Rising made me take a stap back and look at the entire picture of Maddie and Tyler's story...put all the pieces together...and I was just pleased as punch with how it all came together.

As a sort of an aside, going into this book as a longtime fan of Huss, I think I had certain preconceived notions of what I'd get from this series despite her partnering with McClain. Passion Rising pushed home the point that this series is not a Huss book, it's a Huss-McClain book and therefore I got something a little different. And I must admit to enjoying the experience. I look forward to seeing what these two come up with next.