September 23, 2016

2016 Audiobook Challenge - Quarter 3 Wrap-up

Well. It certainly seems as if I underestimated my audiobook listening abilities just a bit. LOL. The good thing is, my newfound desire to try and get in 10,000 steps every day has given me more opportunities to squeeze in some listening time. So, in addition to getting to listen to some really good books, I'm getting some exercise too! #multitasking

So, here's where we're at on my road to my goal:

My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted): 30-50 audiobooks

Quarter 1
1. Ride Steady (Chaos #3), by Kristen Ashley
2. Beneath This Mask (Beneath #1), by Meghan March
3. Screwed (Screwed #1), by Kendall Ryan
4. Caressed By Ice (Psy-Changeling #3), by Nalini Singh
5. Fading (Fading #1), by E.K. Blair
6. Forever With Me (With Me In Seattle #8), by Kristen Proby
7. Appealed (The Legal Briefs #3), by Emma Chase
8. Seducing Lauren (Love Under the Big Sky #2), by Kristen Proby
9. Love Hurts (Caged Love #1), by Mandi Beck
10. Master of the Mountain (Mountain Masters & Dark Haven #1), by Cherise Sinclair
11. Cocky Bastard, by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward

Quarter 2
12. Beneath This Ink (Beneath #2), by Meghan March
13. Delicate Ink (Montgomery Ink #1), by Carrie Ann Ryan
14. An Alpha's Path (Redwood Pack #1), by Carrie Ann Ryan
15. Falling For Jillian (Love Under the Big Sky #3), by Kristen Proby
16. Black Moon (Alpha Pack #3), by J.D. Tyler
17. Legal Affairs Box Set, Sawyer Bennett
18. A Taste For a Mate (Redwood Pack #2), by Carrie Ann Ryan
19. Tempting Boundaries (Montgomery Ink #2), by Carrie Ann Ryan
20. Harder Than Words (Montgomery Ink #3), by Carrie Ann Ryan
21. Written In Ink (Montgomery Ink #4), by Carrie Ann Ryan
22. Hunter's Heart (Alpha Pack #4), by J.D. Tyler
23. Cole's Redemption (Alpha Pack #5), by J.D. Tyler

Quarter 3
24. Trinity Bound (Redwood Pack #3), by Carrie Ann Ryan
25. Wolf's Fall (Alpha Pack #6), by J.D. Tyler
26. Savage Urges (The Phoenix Pack #5), by Suzanne Wright
27. Dirty Sexy Saint (Dirty Sexy #1), by Carly Phillips
28. Pucked (Pucked #1), by Helena Hunting
29. Beneath These Chains (Beneath #3), by Meghan March
35. Beneath These Scars (Beneath #4), by Meghan March
36. Tattered Loyalties (Talon Pack #1), by Carrie Ann Ryan
37. Working It (Love By Design #1), by Kendall Ryan
38. Craving Him (Love By Design #2), by Kendall Ryan
39. Shattered Emotions (Redwood Pack #5), by Carrie Ann Ryan

I have decided that Kirsten Potter is one of the best audiobook narrators I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. She narrated the first few books in the Alpha Pack series, but they switched her out after the third book. Which sucks, because she was perfect. I was delighted to find out she narrates Maya Banks' The Montgomerys and Armstrongs series, and I'm currently so taken with this book, I can't get enough of it. Her Scottish accents are so perfect. And this story is fantastic. 

So, what have you been listening to lately? 

September 22, 2016

REVIEW & EXCERPT: STRUNG UP (Blacktop Cowboys #7.5)

Welcome to my stop on the STRUNG UP blog tour! Check out my review and an excerpt from this awesome Blacktop Cowboys novella!

Strung Up (Blacktop Cowboys #7.5), by Lorelei James
Publish Date:
September 13, 2016
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Format: ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult m/m contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) Rancher Creston Grant retreats from the world after he loses the love of his life... Can his former flame, rodeo cowboy Breck Christianson prove he's a changed man who can give Cres a second chance at love?

There’s few things that get my blood pumping more than a hot cowboy in love. But two hot cowboys in love? Explosive.

Cres and Breck had one hot weekend together years before, but Cres knew the score going into the affair and bailed before Breck could ask him to. The rodeo world is violently homophobic, and if Breck wanted to keep on chasing his titles, he’d have to continue playing the straight stud.

Cres, on the other hand, was not interested in hiding, so when he found Mick and fell in love, he thought that was it. He’d found his happily ever after. Even if Mick was just like Breck and wanted to hide who Cres was to him, telling his family that they were simply roommates. But, when Mick was killed in a car accident, Cres’ world was rocked nonetheless.

Two years later, Cres is still having trouble getting over Mick’s death. Meanwhile, Breck’s secret has come out, and he was shunned out of the rodeo circuit. They meet again by chance at an event sponsored by Cres’ sister-in-law’s rodeo school. And now there’s nothing holding them back except themselves.

Breck was always a loudmouthed jerk. We’ve met him in previous books, and he’s never seemed like a good guy. Funny how perspective can change things. Once his behavior was explained, I could understand his actions better. Doesn’t mean he wasn’t still a jerk, but I now got that that wasn’t who he was deep down.

I can’t imagine having to or wanting to hide a part of who you are. That must take a toll on a person. It seemed to suck the life from Breck, and from what Cres says, Mick as well. For the first time in their lives, when Breck and Cres are together, they finally feel passion. Like real, out-of-control, overflowing PASSION. And it scares the heck out of both of them.

Of course, that means some really good reading for us. Cres and Breck are nothing short of combustible together. But, Breck’s fear of commitment to a man and Cres’ fear of loving another only to lose him too get in the way of the real feelings.

I loved these two guys so much. I wish they had their own full-length novel. I would’ve loved more from them. I wanted to know more about how Mick’s closeted life affected Cres. I wanted to see more of Cres’ interaction with his family. I wanted more of Breck’s job at the rodeo school. And of course I wanted more Cres and Breck sexy times.

But, this novella was still fantastic. Lorelei James packs a lot of story on not a lot of pages. It was a quick and satisfying read, and it set the stage nicely for the next novel in the Blacktop Cowboys series. I’m looking forward to catching up with Cres and Breck in that one.

Staring into the flames, I brooded about my uncertain future. I didn’t trust my ambivalence toward teaching because I was a master at self-sabotage. Maybe I considered this teaching experiment a failure so I had an excuse not to sign on for the next session. Then I could stick with the “I’m a ramblin’ man” warning I’d given Cres and return to the blacktop.

But I didn’t want to go back on the road. Facing miles of empty highway day after day…I knew firsthand it was as lonely as it sounded.

Loneliness hadn’t been an issue since I’d rolled into the Grade A complex. I spent my days surrounded by students and staff and my nights wrapped up in Cres.

Sexy, funny, sweet Cres.

I’d been such a fool to think I could work him out of my system. The more time we spent together the more I wanted. Yet Cres hadn’t mentioned extending our time.

Maybe because you’ve done a bang-up job convincing him of your “itchy feet.”

Only because he’d been so insistent about never getting into another serious relationship, and I didn’t want to be the pathetic hanger-on, trying to convince him that I was worth the risk to his heart, because I wasn’t sure I was.

There was some confidence. I’d gotten my mo-jo back in the arena, but I didn’t have the same certainty with Cres unless I was fucking him.

Why did this have to be so f*cked up? Why couldn’t I just tell him my feelings had changed and I needed more than “just sex?”

Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of contemporary erotic western romances set in the modern day Wild West and also contemporary erotic romances. Lorelei’s books have been nominated for and won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award. Lorelei lives in western South Dakota with her family…and a whole closet full of cow girl boots.

From Lorelei: “Why do I have a particular fondness for all things western? Well, I’m a fourth generation South Dakotan, living in the Black Hills, which is chock-full of interesting characters, including cowboys, Indians, ranchers, and bikers. The geographical diversity of the surrounding area showcases mountains, plains, and badlands. Living in and writing about rural settings gives me a unique perspective, especially since I’m not writing historical westerns. Through my fictional world, I can show the ideals and the cowboy way of life are still very much alive.”

Website | Facebook | Twitter

September 21, 2016

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Wolf Prey (Wolf Cove #3)

Wolf Prey (Wolf Cove #3), by Nina West
Publish Date:
 September 15, 2016
Publisher: self-published
Format: ARC, provided by the author and Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 4 STARS

(Synopsis) Forced to leave Alaska to run the family farm while her father recovers from a tragic accident, Abbi heads home knowing she has the one thing she wants most again –Henry’s affections. She’s determined to not let anyone get in the way of that again.

But love for Abbi has never been easy.

With an overbearing mother who believes she has the right to approve who her daughter loves, a childhood ex-boyfriend who will do anything to win her back, and a wealthy, handsome boyfriend who always gets what he wants, Abbi soon realizes she may have to make some impossible choices.

WOLF PREY is the third book in the sexy, addictive Wolf Cove Series, and should be read after WOLF BAIT and WOLF BITE. 

Henry and Abbi are in totally different places than they were in the first and second books in the Wolf Cove series - both literally and figuratively. We finally move away from Alaska to a few new settings, so we get a change of scenery. Also, Henry, while still in charge of Wolf Hotels, is not in charge of Abbi any more. She is back at home in Pennsylvania helping to take care of her injured father and fending off the advances of her lying, cheating ex who now wants her back. Meanwhile Henry is jet setting all over the world taking care of business. 

For sure, Abbi and Henry are in a difficult place. Henry finally professed his desire for a relationship and Abbi gets the man she's wanted. And then, they're separated for weeks on end, each facing their own temptations and roadblocks to happiness. 

On Abbi's end, she has her ex trying desperately to get her back. Her overbearing and difficult mother is adamantly against her relationship with Henry. And, worst of all, her own insecurities about her worth and whether she's good enough, pretty enough, rich enough and smart enough to hold on to a worldly man like Henry are constantly driving a wedge between them and making Abbi just a little crazy. 

For Henry, his job is keeping him running - a few weeks in Alaska, then New York, then Bejing, then France, and so on. Although he's made a decision to be with Abbi and no one else, there's women and plenty temptations at every stop. And he's feeling guilty about the tension he's causing between Abbi and her mother. 

Abbi and Henry are not the same people they were in the beginning. They've both grown a lot in different ways. Abby is still working on getting in touch with her sexuality and being okay with liking what she likes. Henry is working on opening up and letting Abbi in. He's working on being capable of loving someone. Because, if he can love anyone, he can love Abbi. Henry has definitely come a long way, but he still has some work he needs to do before he can be the man that Abbi needs.

The shenanigans with Abbi's mom made me positively irate. Any mother that treats her daughter the way Abbi's mother treated her needs a major intervention. It was definitely good practice for Abbi - lessons on how to steel her spine and not let people walk all over her, courtesy of her ex-boyfriend and her crazy mother. And Abbi's going to need those skills for what's coming next in book 4. 

Nina West lives in the city but spends her summers in the wilderness with her husband. She loves having a steaming cup of cocoa in one hand and a steamy story full of angst in the other. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter!

If you haven't yet experienced the Wolf Cove series, or if you need to get caught up, now is your chance! I'm offering one e-book from the Wolf Cove series to anyone in the US - good luck!

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