March 31, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This is one meme I can get on board with - I LOVE lists! I'll show you mine if you show me yours!

Top Ten Books I Recently Added To My TBR

1. Last Kiss (Hitman #3), by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick - I finished Last Breath (Hitman #2) last week, and it was so good. I immediately added Last Kiss to my TBR, because I'm now completely caught up in this dangerous, fascinating world.

2. Two of Hearts, by Christina Lee - I'm a big fan of Christina Lee's Between Breaths series, so when I found out she wrote a standalone adult contemporary, of course I added it to my TBR.

3. Trust the Focus (In Focus #1), by Megan Erickson - I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book by Megan Erickson.

4. The Deal (Off Campus #1), by Elle Kennedy - The Deal seems to be the new adult buzz book of the moment. I keep seeing it being talked about on Twitter and Goodreads and Facebook. It sounds like something I would love, too. I'm in.

5. Riot (Mayhem #2), by Jamie Shaw - I read Mayhem earlier this month, and before I even finished, I had added Riot to my TBR. I can't wait to get Joel and Dee's story.

6. Hard As You Can (Hard Ink #2), by Laura Kaye - I met Laura Kaye last month, and now I'm on a quest to read as much by her as I can. I loved the first Hard Ink book - can't wait to continue the story.

7. A Dirty Shame (J. J. Graves #2), by Liliana Hart - Book one in this series was truly a surprise. I listened to the audio version, and really loved everything about it. 

8. Manwhore +1 (Manwhore #2), by Katy Evans - OMG - that cliffhanger!! Manwhore ended with me hanging on the edge of my seat. The wait until July will be brutal.

9. Struck From The Record (Record #4), by K.A Linde - I binge listened to K. A. Linde's Record series earlier this year. I was so excited to find out that Cole Maxwell is getting his own book! The details on this book are still sketchy, but I added it to my TBR so that I wouldn't forget about it.

10. Luck On The Line (On the Verge #1), by Zoraida Cordova - I recently found out that Zoraida Cordova, author of the YA Vicious Deep series has written a new adult series. Can I get a hell yeah?

March 30, 2015

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: On the Record (Record #2)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

On the Record (Record #2), by K. A. Linde
Published August 26, 2014
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) For political reporter Liz Dougherty, election day—a day of looking toward the future and saying goodbye to the past—seems like a fitting time to start a new relationship. But feelings for her former flame still linger...

The sexy second book in bestselling author K.A. Linde’s Record series decides whether it’s better to pick up the pieces and move on...or to pick up right where you left off.

Oh for the love of angst everywhere. And I thought Off The Record (Record #1) was full of all the feels. Sheesh - On the Record had it beat by a mile. 

Liz is trying to move on after leaving Brady to his career. But despite all she does - throwing herself into her job as editor of the paper, taking Hayden on as her new boyfriend, avoiding all news of Brady at all costs - it's not enough. She can't shake the hold he has on her, and it appears that he has the same problem. But, what to do about it? And, does it even matter anymore?

I spent a lot of time while listening to On the Record frustrated and on edge. Brady, although a main character, is only very sporadically present in the first 75% of the book. The weird thing is, even though he isn't physically there, he's still very much present. He never is far from Liz's thoughts, and since the entire book is from Liz's POV, we hear a lot of thoughts about Brady. 

We as readers were sort of conditioned to root for Liz and Brady and their HEA. Despite Brady acting like a complete jerk in the first book, it was still something I wanted very badly. So, the fact that Liz spends most of the book together with Hayden was one of the biggest sources of my angst. I mean, Hayden was a nice guy and he really seemed to love Liz a lot. He was good to her in so many ways. So, why did I want her with the douchebag so much??! 

Sporadically throughout the book, and this book spans about a year and a half, Liz and Brady would run into each other. Every time that happened, the sexual tension and stress between them was palpable. It was clear that things between them were not done. It was clear they both still loved each other very much. Which just made me even madder that both of them were wasting their time dating other people. 

Most of the book was focused around Liz and her career path. She's been studying political journalism, and continues to do so, taking over as editor of the school newspaper in Hayden's place when he graduates and she becomes a senior. Despite her feelings for Brady, Liz is still very much focused on becoming a political reporter, and continues to follow local and national politics. I liked reading about everything Liz studies and all the possible directions she could go in once she graduates. This is a subject I don't see often in books, so it was unique and interesting. 

There wasn't nearly as much heat in On the Record as there was in book one. Things between Hayden and Liz don't reach that level until nearly halfway through the book because of her continued feelings for Brady. And, I have to give props to Liz for that - I'm glad she didn't totally lead Hayden on. She always held a part of herself back, and I think he knew that. 

The last 25% of the book, though, kept me absolutely riveted. I knew that something would happen to throw Liz and Brady back together again, but I had no idea what that thing would be. Hayden had always been so perfect and wonderful and Liz and Brady seemed resigned to spend their lives apart, despite their feelings for one another. It seemed an impossible thing. Once things were set in motion, though, I couldn't put the book down. The ending had my jaw dropping and tears coming to my eyes as pretenses fell away and hard truths were faced. 

The side characters of Clay and Savannah Maxwell were much more prominent in this book than in the first one. Clay especially is so hard to figure out. Is he truly such a bad guy, or is it all a facade erected for some personal protection? I know that eventually he will get his own book, and I truly look forward to learning more about him and his very weird relationship with Andrea. 

Once again, Natalie Ross delivered an incredible performance in her audio narration. The southern accent she adopts for most of the characters is so spot on. It's not too twangy - it's very subtle and doesn't distract from the story at all. Her intonation for Brady and Hayden were also really well done. 

I've already decided that I'll be listening to every single book in this series. I can't get enough, and I love the audio versions. K. A. Linde has created this awesome world with political intrigue and a crazy awesome love story that is standing the test of time. Such good stuff.   

March 27, 2015

2015 Audiobook Challenge - Quarterly Update

Once again this year I'm doing the Audiobook Challenge, hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens. I do love my audiobooks. Since my office moved much closer to home, though, I don't spend nearly as much time with my earbuds as I would like.

For this year's challenge, I've lowered my expectations a bit.

Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you?) - 20-30

So far, in the first three months of the year, I've listened to nine audiobooks.

1. One Week Girlfriend (One Week Girlfriend #1), by Monica Murphy
2. Second Change Boyfriend (One Week Girlfriend #1), by Monica Murphy
3. Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2), by Alice Clayton
4. Off the Record (Record #1), by K.A. Linde
5. On the Record (Record #2), by K.A. Linde
6. For the Record (Record #3), by K.A. Linde
7. Dirty Little Secrets (J.J. Graves Mystery #1), by Liliana Hart
8. Savage Awakening (Alpha Pack #2), by J. D. Tyler
9. Conviction (Club Destiny #1), by Nicole Edwards (currently reading)

I have discovered Luke Daniels. I KNOW. How have I not listened to anything narrated by him before now?? He was brilliant in his performances in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. I will definitely be seeking out more books read by him. He was definitely my favorite narrator of the quarter.

Yes, I binge listened to the Record series by K.A. Linde. Natalie Ross did a fantastic job narrating the entire series. But, more than that, I really got swept up in the story. I was finding excuses to sneak a ride in the car just so I could listen to a bit more. Those are the really good ones, you know?

Dirty Little Secrets was the big surprise of the quarter. Since it's Liliana Hart, I expected hot, sweaty, naked men. What I got was a fantastic mystery and quirky characters. And Laura Faye Smith was a wonderful narrator. It was completely unexpected and so much fun.

I'm looking forward to adding more awesome audiobooks to my list. What should I listen to next?