Saturday, February 13, 2016

My TBR List ~ February ~ And the Winner Is...

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. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


***

This month, I let y'all pick my next Blogger Shame Challenge read. 


And the winner is:


Sultry with a Twist (Sultry Springs, #1)Sultry with a Twist
Sultry Springs #1

Synopsis

Welcome to Sultry Springs, Texas: where first loves find second chances...

Nine years after June Augustine hightailed it out of Sultry Springs with her heart in pieces, one thing stands between her and her dream of opening an upscale martini bar: a bogus warrant from her tiny Texas hometown. Now she's stuck in the sticks for a month of community service under the supervision of the devilishly sexy Luke Gallagher, her first love and ex-best friend.

If Texas wasn't already hot enough, working side-by-side with June would make any man melt. Luke wants nothing more than to strip her down and throw her in the lake-the same lake where they were found buck naked and guilty as sin all those years ago. In their heads, they're older and wise. But their hearts tell a different story...



Thanks for voting, y'all! And check back on February 27th for my review! :D


Friday, February 12, 2016

Brandee's Bookish Babble #13 ~ Series Endings, Is This Really Goodbye?


Welcome to Brandee's Bookish Babble. There are many, many similar posts to this one - but basically I wanted a place to discuss bookish and/or blogging stuff and I needed a title. :) I hope you enjoy!


***

Since I've made it a mission to travel to the terminus for the many series that I'm woefully behind in AND have read reviews of some series ending books, I got to wondering... Is it better that the ending is completely satisfying or would it be easier if it weren't? That may sound like a ridiculous question. I mean, of course we want the end of a beloved series to leave us satisfied. But does it make it easier to say goodbye if it's not? And can an author really ever satisfy every reader??

I can think of one series in particular whose ending wasn't quite what I would have liked. Oh, all the loose ends were tied up except for one - and it was a doozy. I have chosen to believe things with that plot thread ended how I wanted it to end. And I know tehre were extenuating circumstances with the publisher causing this author to have to end the series before she was ready to. However, I do think it made for an easier goodbye with these characters whom I'd grown to love.

On the flip side, there's another series that comes to mind where everything tied up just how I dreamed it would - but I was left wanting more. I wanted to know what happened after these characters got their HEA...did they live a mundane life or did they find themselves fighting the big baddies after getting the kids to bed?

And then there are those series ending books that split their readership - half love the ending and half hate it. Are the haters hating because they just can't say goodbye?

I don't know which way I prefer. I'll get back to y'all once I finish up a few more series. *ha* How do y'all feel about it?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

That's What HE Said #51 ~ Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #32



That's What He Said is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely ladies @Chapter Break. Here's the deal: every Thursday, post a line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind, these are direct quotes from dialog in the books. The quote doesn't have to be romantic - just something our hunky hero said to his lucky lady. Be sure to link up over at Chapter Break as well.


My pick this week for That's What He Said is from:

Rock Chick Rescue by Kristen Ashley

I'm currently re-reading Jet & Eddie's story ~ and I just had to share the love. ;) In this particular scene, Eddie is explaining his plan to keep Jet in his life.


***

"If you're indebted to me, you're connected to me. Whatever makes you take care of you Mom, your Dad, kids getting chemo and friends who make bad decisions on who to date is gonna make you stay connected to me because you owe me. You aren't connected to me, the minute this is all over with your Dad, you're gone. I'm makin' certain that doesn't happen."
...

"Whatever happens, you're worth it and I don't want to hear you say again that you're not. Get me?"


*~*~*~*~*~*


Here's the setup. So, Jet's a pretty good cook. She's made several different things, including chicken fried steak, for Eddie. At that particular dinner, Jet's mom and her mom's friends told Eddie that Jet's chocolate sheet cake was so good, he'd want to marry her for it. In this scene, Jet is preparing for a dinner at Eddie's mom's house.

"I took a shower and began my herculean preparations. At the same time I made peanut butter cookies and smushed a big, old square of Hershey's chocolate in them after they came out, hot and puffy, from the oven. I ran back and forth between the bathroom and the kitchen like a woman on fire.
Eddie hung out through all this activity, alternately watching a football game and watching me.
At one point he strolled into the kitchen and grabbed one of the cookies when I wasn't paying attention and ate it in one bite, then immediately reached for another one.
I smacked his hand. "Those are for your mother."
His arm wrapped around my waist and he pulled me to him.
"Trixie was wrong. Chocolate sheet cake bought you protection. Make these for me and I'll put a ring on your finger."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Unraveled ~ Jennifer Dawson


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Jennifer Dawson's Unraveled. Below you'll find all the details on the book, my review, a teaser, and a giveaway. Enjoy! :)


Unraveled (Undone, #2.5)
Unraveled by Jennifer Dawson
Undone Series #2.5
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Source: I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: #2016NewRelease, #COYER B2B
Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ B&N

Synopsis
Valentine's night. Three women. A hot new club where anything can happen.

After a life changing tragedy Layla Hunter is finally happy. Michael Banks has pulled her back from the dead and given her a love she'd thought was lost to her forever. Now, all she wants is to return the favor and give him the one thing she swore she'd never do again.

Jillian Banks is up for absolutely anything and her smoking hot fiance, Leo Santoro, is determined to give it to her. After exploring her fantasies in the privacy of her own home, Jillian's read for more and Leo is going above and beyind to make her happy. In return, she'll do anything to make him proud.

Ruby Stiles isn't sure what she's doing at a sex party at one of Chicago's most anticipated new clubs. Currently she's blaming it on curiosity. All she wants is to disappear into the background, only her emotions have decided to go on a roller coaster ride and the last thing she expects is for Chad Fellows to pick up the pieces. 

Sometimes even the best laid plans unravel...

*While Unraveled can be read as a standalone for fun, it is best read after reading CRAVE and SINFUL.



Oh-hohoho - sooo good! Unraveled was the perfect fix while I'm waiting for the next in the series - as well as the perfect setup for Debauched.

Unraveled takes place in one night - Valentine's Day - and we spend the night with Brandon (whose story I'm anxious for), Layla and Michael, Leo and Jillian, and Ruby and Chad (who I'm not gonna lie - I was hoping for more from him!). They're all attending the private opening of Brandon's newest club. The Lair. And that, in itself, is an experience. But what Unraveled really gives us is this:
  • a deeper look into and a deeper understanding of the relationships between Layla and Michael, and Jillian and Leo. I loved this. It is said that a D/s relationship is all about trust with the D knowing exactly what the s needs. Dawson, in my opinion, brilliantly conveyed exactly that between these couples. Layla and Jillian thought they knew what they wanted - what they needed - but Michael and Leo gave them what they *knew* was really desired. The even that occurred served to strengthen both relationships on an even deeper level.
  • an introduction to BDSM and the beginning of a deeper introspection for Ruby. She's always been curious about her best friend, Layla's lifestyle choices but has sworn it isn't for her. Spending the evening being up close and personal with the lifestyle, and in the company of Chad, has Ruby's brain spinning - especially since Chad seems to be so observant and insightful towards her.
I delighted in getting updates on Layla and Michael, and Jillian and Leo - seeing their bonds strengthen. But with Unraveled, Ms. Dawson whetted my appetite for Debauched. I'm anxiously awaiting its release and the continuation of Ruby and Chad's story.






Books in the Undone Series


Crave
Undone #1


Sinful
Undone #2

Unraveled
Undone #2.5


Debauched
Undone #3
Releases April 26, 2016








Jennifer Dawson is the author of the popular Something New series; spicy, small town romance released with Kensington, and pens the dark and edgy contemporary romance series Undone.   Jennifer grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day, she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they are married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog. These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever-watchful eye on her ever-growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband. Jennifer loves connecting with her readers and invites you to check out her website, Facebook page, and join Dawson’s Darlings, her private Facebook Fan group. Sign up for her monthly Newsletter for exclusive insider peeks, new release information and more.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Audio Review ~ In Bed with a Highlander ~ Maya Banks

In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1)In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
McCabe Trilogy #1
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Release Date: March 22, 2012
Genre: Adult, Historical Romance
Source: Audible Credit
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Challenges: Historical Romance 2015
Goodreads

Synopsis
Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his--until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan's clan, but for a man who dreams only of revent, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn--and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin's strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons--and embrace a love that means more than revenge or land.




I'd already fallen for Banks' highlanders, via Potter's narration, with the Montgomery's & Armstrong's series so I was eager to become acquainted with the McCabe's. I was not disappointed!

Mairin Stewart is a young woman who's lived hidden due to her parentage and birthright. However, an evil man, who's been tirelessly searching for her, found her. With some luck, Mairin and a young charge, are able to escape and she finds herself at the McCabe Keep, under their protection.

It takes Ewan McCabe some time to get the pieces of Mairin's story and put them together, but he realizes that Mairin could change the circumstances for his clan in a huge way. And lucky for them both, they've already begun falling for one another once Ewan has this realization.

Mairin is such a feisty, headstrong lass. She doesn't filter her thoughts or words and it made for a lot of fun even while it drove Ewan a bit crazy. Ewan is everything strong and noble you'd expect from a laird. He's a good man and he and Mairin made for a good match.

Banks' addition of Crispin to their story, Ewan's son and the young charge that led Mairin to Ewan, was a delight. He's a well-developed character and added much to the story. Duncan Cameron is a brilliant villain. He's crafty and determined to take Mairin and her inheritance, which would ensure him great power in Scotland. It may sound awful, but I'll be glad to see him run through.

I was also delighted in my introduction to the other McCabe brothers, Alaric and Caelen, as well as the warriors and other members of the McCabe clan. I enjoy a story with a well-developed supporting cast and in a story set in the Highlands, a large supporting cast makes sense. The secondary characters are colorful and reflected the type of leader Ewan was in the actions and interactions. Banks also wove in some intrigue and suspense which left me gasping at times.

Kirsten Potter did a fantastic job of narrating. She rocks a Scottish accent and her delivery not only kept me riveted, but she also has the ability to raise goosebumps during particularly intense scenes. I find that impressive.

I'm loving this series and I can't wait to read more!



Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Post #4 ~ Snow Day!

Sunday Post

As y'all probably all know, the Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share my news from the week whether it be book, blog, or just life news. Since I read so many of your Sunday Posts and I wanted to add something new in 2016, I've decided to join in the fun!


***
This week was much more calm. It started snowing here on Sunday and didn't stop until Tuesday night, and we ended up with about 2 feet of snow. The kids got a snow day on Tuesday, which was nice for us all. We relaxed in front of the fire and caught up on things. :) 

This coming week, we have band/orchestra concerts as well as the first winter guard competition of this season. Busy, busy!

OH! In BIG NEWS...my daughter was accepted to Reed College, her first choice. We haven't seen the financial package yet but our fingers are crossed. :D

Reading-wise, I did something crazy - something I've never done before. I started reading 4 books at one time!! I'm listening to Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks. And I'm reading Confess by Colleen Hoover (a read-along hosted by Chapter Break) and Riding the Storm by Sydney Croft. And since I can't read a physical book on the treadmill, I started a book on my kindle, Facade by Nyrae Dawn. I've finished Facade but that's the only one I've finished.

I hope y'all had a wonderful week! And I hope the upcoming one is chock full of great reads! :)


***


COYERBTBsignupBookworm BrandeeBlogger ShameNew Release Challenge 2016 - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Challenge Updates
So far, I've read 12 books out of 40 for COYER B2B, 8 books for #ShelfLove, 7 books for Blogger Shame, and 5 books for my New Release challenges. Some of these overlap - I've read 20 books so far this year.

How are y'all doing with your challenges?

Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged #81


Bought, Borrowed, & Bagged is a weekly meme, hosted by TalkSupe, where I share with you the books I have bought, borrowed, or bagged (gifted or won) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, and any other bookishness I want to share. :)


***
So I picked up just a few items this week. However, I only purchased two of them! And those are all Melanie @Rabid Reads' and Tanya @Girl Plus Pages' fault. ;) 


Bought
Kodiak's Claim (Kodiak Point, #1) 
Tanya's review of I'll Meet You There was enough to convince me I *had* to read it. So I used a little Christmas loot and got myself a copy. ;) Melanie has been reviewing this Eve Langlais and this series quite often. I couldn't stand the temptation any longer!


Borrowed

I picked up these from the library! Lexxie's review of Firsts made me want to read it. And I've read so many fabulous reviews of Thief of Lies, I felt it was a *must-read* as well. :) 


Bagged

I won City of Light in a giveaway @Rabid Reads. Thanks, Keri Arthur and Signet Publishing.

I got this special package as an early birthday gift from a fabulous, generous, and beautiful book friend ~ you know who you are! ;) Thank you so very much!!! <3 <3


Last Week's Reviews
Upcoming Reviews
In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks
Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Saturday, February 6, 2016

My TBR List ~ February ~ Let's Vote

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. 

Here's how it works:
On the first Saturday of each month, I will make a post with three books from my TBR List (these books can be already on your ereader or bookshelf OR books you might want to purchase) and add your link on the linky that will be provided on Michelle's post. Y'ALL will help me choose which book I will read next. The following Saturday, I will announce which book won. Then the last Saturday of the month, I'll post my review.

Fun, right?!?


***

This month, I'm letting y'all pick my next Blogger Shame Challenge read. :D 


Your Choices Are:

Caden's Vow (Hell's Eight #6)Caden's Vw
Hell's Eight #6

Synopsis
His past has haunted him for a lifetime...but one woman could be his salvation.
Gunslinger Caden Miller's compadres are becoming a bit too domesticated for his liking. So he's off to Kansas territory to carve out a living and a space of his own--alone, just the way he likes it.
Maddie O'Hare has been drawn to Caden ever since she escaped to the Hell's Eight compound from the brothel where she was born and raised. And she's not ready to let him go so easily...until she's captured by his new neighbors.
When Caden discovers that Maddie is being held by a rival at a nearby ranch, his plan to rescue her backfires, and he finds himself the groom in what's literally a shotgun wedding. As shocked as Caden is by the bizarre turn of events, Maddie's grateful kiss holds a fiery promise that's far more unexpected. But with old enemies catching up with him, Caden and Maddie will face a danger that tests their passion--and will either bind them together forever or break them apart for good.




Sultry with a Twist (Sultry Springs, #1)Sultry with a Twist
Sultry Springs #1

Synopsis

Welcome to Sultry Springs, Texas: where first loves find second chances...

Nine years after June Augustine hightailed it out of Sultry Springs with her heart in pieces, one thing stands between her and her dream of opening an upscale martini bar: a bogus warrant from her tiny Texas hometown. Now she's stuck in the sticks for a month of community service under the supervision of the devilishly sexy Luke Gallagher, her first love and ex-best friend.

If Texas wasn't already hot enough, working side-by-side with June would make any man melt. Luke wants nothing more than to strip her down and throw her in the lake-the same lake where they were found buck naked and guilty as sin all those years ago. In their heads, they're older and wise. But their hearts tell a different story...





Don't Even Think About It (Don't Even Think About It, #1)Don't Even Think About It
Don't Even Think About It #1

Synopsis
SECRETS.
SCANDALS.
ESP.

Where weren't always like this. We  used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming.

Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.



Okay, now vote! And thanks! :D

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