REVIEW: Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3)

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever (Jane Jameson #3), by Molly Harper
Published December 29, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Star
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult paranormal romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Nothing sucks the romance out of world travel like a boyfriend who may or may not have broken up with you in a hotel room in Brussels. Jane Jameson’s sexy sire, Gabriel, has always been unpredictable. But the seductive, anonymous notes that await him at each stop of their international vacation, coupled with his evasive behavior over the past few months, finally push Jane onto the next flight home to Half Moon Hollow — alone, upset, and unsure whether Gabriel just ended their relationship without actually telling her. 

Now the children’s-librarian-turned-vampire is reviving with plenty of Faux Type O, some TLC from her colorful friends and family, and her plans for a Brave New Jane. Step One: Get her newly-renovated occult bookstore off the ground. Step Two: Support her best friend, Zeb, and his werewolf bride as they prepare for the impending birth of their baby . . . or litter. Step Three: Figure out who’s been sending her threatening letters, and how her hostile pen pal is tied to Gabriel. Because for this nice girl, surviving a broken heart is becoming a matter of life and undeath...

There was so much to love in Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. Jane finally grew a backbone in regards to Gabriel and his big secret. Zeb and Jolene start a family. Jane gives Ruthie a piece of her mind. And Dick... is Dick. 

Gabriel has been keeping a secret from Jane for awhile, and when he invites her on a vacation to Europe, she thinks he's finally ready to come clean and focus soley on her. Instead, they kinda sorta break up, and Jane returns to Half Moon Hollow sad and really pissed off. To distract her wayward thoughts, she throws herself into the opening of her new bookstore and the preparations for Zeb and Jolene's impending family. But, then Gabriel returns, and Jane starts receiving death threats. Jane's undead life is waaaaay more exciting than what she had bargained for.

One of my bigger issues with earlier books in this series is that they sometimes have a tendency to be too goofy. Don't get me wrong - I love the humor in this series. In every single one, I have laughed out loud - frequently. But, sometimes, I just want Jane to stop joking about everything and be a woman of action. People walk all over her, and I suppose part of the charm of the series is that she's a vampire and could wipe the floor with most everyone if she wanted to. Yet, she continues to let her family and her community treat her like crap while she laughs it off.

And, lately this secrecy with Gabriel has been driving me freaking crazy. A guy claims he loves you, he vows to protect you, and then he skips town for two weeks and doesn't call. You try to call him, and he's not where he says he'll be. I don't know about you, but most girls I know wouldn't stand for that for very long. They would demand answers, and when they were fed a pat answer of, "There's nothing going on. Just trust me. I'll tell you everything soon," they would kick him to the curb. Yet, Jane says nothing. For MONTHS.

It was a fresh new Jane in Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. The jokes finally fall away (for the most part), and Jane gets mad, cries her tears, and decides to move on with everything else until Gabriel comes to his senses and starts some serious groveling. But, Gabriel's not the only one Jane finally has a come to Jesus meeting with. She has it out with Jenny, Grandma Ruthie, and for good measure, Zeb and Jolene's contractor. Jane has finally located her backbone.

It really was my favorite part of this book. The laughs are definitely still there. Many of them come during exchanges between Dick and Jane. Dick is, without a doubt, my favorite side character in this series. The brother-sister relationship he has with Jane is absolutely adorable. And, his new relationship with Andrea shows a softer side of Dick that was wonderful.

Jane grows up a lot in this book. She makes tough decisions in regards to all the relationships in her life. She, once again, fights for her life with a nemesis that not only is deadly, but one that makes things personal. VERY personal. There are some real shockers in this one that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Once again, Amanda Ronconi delivers an incredible narration in the audio version of Nice Girls Don't Live Forever. Her portrayal of all the characters in Half Moon Hollow blows me away every time I hear it. I've already purchased the next book in the Jane Jameson series - I can't wait to see what happens next.

REVIEW: Night After Night (Seductive Nights #1)

Night After Night (Seductive Nights #1), by Lauren Blakely
Published April 16, 2014
Publisher: Blakely Books
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) Their world was sex, love, and lies.
 

He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed.
 

With a dirty mind and a mouth to match, Clay Nichols is everything Julia never knew she wanted and exactly what she cannot have. He walked into her life one night and unlocked pleasure in her that she never knew was possible. Possessing her body, captivating her every thought. Which makes him way too dangerous for Julia to risk her heart, given that she has a price tag on her head. She ran after one mind-blowing week with him, but now he's back, and determined to make her his own.
 

No matter the cost.
 

She was a sexy drug to him. Fiery, unforgettable, and never enough, Julia is an enigma, and Clay isn't willing to let her go without a fight. But she's got dark secrets of her own that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness. She's a wanted woman - the stakes are high, her every move is watched, and yet the lure between them can't be denied. Can two people burned by love trust again when desire and passion are met by danger at every turn?

Night After Night was one of the cases of me picking up a book soley based on its cover. I mean - look at it. Helloooo eight-pack. I saw it on NetGalley, and had remembered hearing about it. It was one of those impulse requests. You know what I mean. We've all done those. 

So, in Night After Night, a hot guy (Clay) walks into a bar. One owned and bar tended by a hot girl (Julia). They share one incredible night together, with no intentions for anything other than those 12 hours. But, those 12 hours stretch into 24. Then, into a weekend together. And before either of them knows it, there's emotions and feelings involved. But, Julia's hiding a big secret from Clay, and he's made it clear that he doesn't tolerate lies of any kind. So, the question is, does Julia have it in her to shut things down with him?

I've gotta be honest with you. For half the book, I struggled. I was having a hard time connecting to Clay and Julia. Julia was kind of a tough-as-nails sort of girl. Not warm. All about sex, but not really into meaningful conversations. That's not really my favorite sort of female MC. And, then there was Clay. I couldn't decide if he was one of your atypical bad boys or a sweet empathetic type. He seemed to flip flop back and forth between the two ends of the spectrum. While some might think that makes her a very lucky girl, for me, it was just a little confusing. 

The cool thing is, though, that at some point in the book, I became engaged. Like, REALLY engaged. I couldn't put it down! All of a sudden, I had to find out what happened to these two and whether they would end up together. I can't even really pinpoint the exact spot or event that shifted my thinking. But, all of a sudden, Julia's troubles and Clay's fascination with her was all I cared to think about. 

Julia's troubles were pretty hard core, too. Her douchey ex left her with a dangerous situation that she was being forced to clean up. I can't blame her for her lack of warmth and connection. She had gotten burned once. Fool me once, and all that. Clay was wonderfully persistent though. The first time we see him, he's the bad boy version of himself. He's confident and beautiful and domineering. But, as he learns more about Julia, he softens. 
  
I mean that in the figurative sense. Because Clay and Julia have a lot of sex. A LOT. If you enjoy the super steamy stuff, then you should like this book. It's really well done too - super hot and emotionally satisfying too. They both are quite the dirty talkers. It's good stuff. 

Despite the rocky start, when I reached the end of Night After Night, I immediately bought book #2, After This Night. I HAD to find out what happened next. Because, even though Night After Night didn't end on a cliffhanger, it also didn't exactly end in a HEA. When it's all said and done, I really did enjoy this book.  

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 Seven Books People Have Been Telling Me I MUST Read

1. The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green - This is a wildly popular book, and I'm sure it's very well written. So many friends who have read it have raved about it. They just can't understand why I refuse to read it.

2. An Echo In The Bone, by Diana Gabaldon - All my Outlandish friends keep bugging me to continue on with the series. I stopped at book #6 because the series just didn't capture me anymore like it used to. Perhaps some day I'll get back to it.

3. The Bronze Horseman, by Paullina Simons - I have many friends who absolutely rave about this book. I've been reluctant to pick it up because it's based during WWII, which is not my favorite time period to read about. Too depressing, usually. But, my friends' recos are usually rock solid, so maybe someday...

4. Days of Blood & Starlight, by Laini Taylor - I read Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and to be honest, I wasn't all that taken with it. I keep hearing that I should read the second one. That the series is amazing. It's just hard to want to pick up the second book in a series when you weren't in love with the first, y'know?

5. Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo -  This is a series I had every intention of starting. Friends love this series. So, I got the first book for my birthday. And, I just didn't get around to it. And, now that the series is finished, and I've heard some spoilers, I'm not sure I want to read it.

6. Darkness & Light, by J.A. Belfield - One of my bestest bookish friends loves this series. And, lately, I've been really into the werewolves. I think I would really like this book.

7. Seduction and Snacks, by Tara Sivec - Many, many of my friends absolutely rave about this sexy and hilarious book. I even have it on my Kindle. I really need to make time for this one, I think.





BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3)

Welcome to my stop on the Sugar on the Edge blog tour, organized by AToMR! Three books in, and I'm a HUGE fan of Sawyer Bennett's Last Call series. Read my review to find out why and don't forget to check out the other stops! And, even better, Sawyer Bennett is giving away a print copy of Sugar on the Edge to one lucky winner - enter at the bottom of the post.


Sugar on the Edge (Last Call #3), by Sawyer Bennett
Published July 28, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, obtained from AToMR Tours and the author
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.
Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?


Every book in this series gets better and better. I've been waiting for Savannah's story - the sweet, quiet girl who runs herself ragged. All work and no play make Savannah a dull girl. Turns out, Savannah's anything but dull, and it took cranky Brit Gavin to draw her out. 

Gavin moves to North Carolina to finish writing his latest book. He had to get away from England - away from all the memories that have haunted him, driving him to drink, which doesn't really make for a brilliant book. Needless to say, he's not a happy guy. But, now he's holed up in this huge beach house, and he needs some help keeping it clean. He hires Savannah to do just that, but she eventually becomes a bigger distraction from his grief, his drinking and his book. 

I love stories about bitter, tortured souls who are brought into the light by the most unexpected person. I loved this story. Gavin was as bitter and tortured as they come. He has experienced the worst kind of loss a person can experience, and it totally turned him inside out. He's sad and angry and it seems like no one can crack his rough exterior. He's pretty much given up on everything. 

Then, along comes Savannah. He hired her as a cleaning lady. It was supposed to be simple. Yet, she confounds him. She seems timid and shy one second, and then, feisty and fiery the next. She's beautiful all the time, though, and she turns out to be just what he needs to forget his pain. Their time together was explosive and hot and so, so sexy. I loved how Gavin called Savannah "Sweet" and she called him "Filthy." Their pet names for each other were very apropos. 

Savannah was a wonderful heroine. She works several jobs just to earn her own keep. At one job, she puts up with seriously icky treatment from her boss just because it pays well and is something she enjoys doing. She's a completely stand-up person - someone you can always count on, and someone who never allows herself to have much fun. No time. 

She might bring out the best in Gavin, but believe it or not, he brings out the best in her too. He encourages her to go for what she really wants and to give up what she doesn't. He asks her to go outside of her comfort zone, and it turns out it's a fun place for her to be. And, when the going gets tough and Gavin gets going, Savannah learns that Gavin also taught her to be resilient and strong even when you don't think you can go on. 

I haven't met a Sawyer Bennett book I didn't like. The previous two books in the Last Call series, as well as her new adult series, the Off Series, are some of my favorites. If you haven't tried her out yet, you really should. The writing is fantastic, the characters are interesting and the story lines will make the book really hard to put down. Even though Sugar on the Edge is the third in this series, you can start here if you want. I know a few friends, actually who did just that. They read Sugar on the Edge first, and then immediately purchased the first two books in the Last Call series because it was That. Good. Maybe you should do the same. 

About the Author

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate. 

Learn more about Sawyer --> Website / Facebook / Twitter



Giveaway

Enter below to win a copy of Sugar on the Edge.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let's Talk... Bookshelves

Recently I procured two large, new, beautiful bookshelves. They were badly needed. I had stacks and stacks of books sitting around with no home. It was sad, really. So, I brought my new shelves home, piled all my beautiful books up around me... and had absolutely no clue what to do with them. I wish I could've just waved my hands and had everything organized the way I wanted.


But, that was the question, right? How did I want them organized? By genre? By author? Did I want to keep hardbacks together? ARCs together? GAH!

So, what I ultimately decided on was to sort by age group (MG, YA, NA, etc.), then by author's last name. I put my YA books on my brandy new shelves since they're the biggest and I have more YA books than any other.


And, let me tell you - they are PRETTY. All the way from Jocelyn Adams to Michelle Zink, my books are now looking goooooood. 

I only have a few middle grade books. They took up less than one shelf. 


Then, in the darker corner that my kids are too scared to go in, is where I house my NA and Adult books. My so-called "naughty shelves." 

NA happiness

Adult steaminess

So, how do your shelves stack up? How do you have them organized? Are they organized or just sitting in piles in every room of your house? Tell me about it!

REVIEW: No In Between (Inside Out #4)

No In Between (Inside Out #4), by Lisa Renee Jones
To Be Published August 19, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: e-ARC, obtained from NetGalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 3.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) The fourth in the Inside Out erotic romance series by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones, this steamy novel resolves Chris and Sarah's relationship and leads into Mark's story.

"Chris and I have faced our demons and bared our souls to one another in Paris. Now that we are back home in San Francisco, I want to believe that nothing can tear us apart. Not Ava’s accusations against me to the police, or Chris's fear that he will destroy me as he feels he did Amber. And not Mark, who was once too intimately a part of our lives, and who I can see crumbling inside out. He believes he is invincible, just as I want to believe Chris and I are invincible. We have to be invincible. We need each other too much for any other ending."


I saw that No In Between was going to be the final full length Sara and Chris novel. And that meant answers! And sexy times! And closure! And I was all...


Aaaaaaand... well, the sexy times and all things Chris (*sigh*) were definitely there. The rest - the answers and closure - eh... not so much. I think I beat my head on my Kindle cover when I finished. Because, the book was good. The writing was fantastic. And, Chris - have I mentioned my obsession with Chris? - was wonderful. But, GAH! What does a girl have to do to get some finality??

Apparently, the answers we have all been so desperately seeking will come in Mark and Crystal's book, I Belong To You, due out in November. So, no answers and no closure, but thankfully, there was still plenty of sexy times. And lots of Chris. Chris is just... I love him so much (yeah, Krista, we know. Moving on.).

Chris and Sara have come home from Paris to a mess. She's still being accused of having a hand in Rebecca's murder. The police are all up in hers, Chris' and Mark's business. Mark seems to have completely given up. And, Allure is being run into the ground. Meanwhile, although Chris and Sara are engaged, neither one feels like the other completely trusts that the other can withstand the stress and difficulties that being together will bring with it.

Both Chris and Sara have come a long way from the very first book. Sara has grown out of many of her insecurities, thanks to Chris and his support. She's achieved this sort of inner strength thanks to Rebecca. She was able to read how Rebecca lost herself in her master, and therefore, lost control of her life. Sara decided that was not going to happen to her, despite the similarities she sees between her and Rebecca. And, I say, good for her.

Chris, too, has made a lot of progress. And, he had a lot of progress to make. I love that these two found strength in each other, and through that shared strength became better individuals.

Mark, however, has gone in the opposite direction. His guilt and discontent has destroyed the control he so tightly clings to. He's angry and frustrated and grief-stricken. He's got cops accusing him of things he didn't do, and Sara always...there... trying to help, but only succeeding in being a nuisance. I felt so badly for Mark. I get that he screwed up in how he treated Rebecca. But, he didn't deserve this. And, I am so excited to see how Crystal pulls him out of his slump. Because, she will. Right?

The story was good, although a bit slow at times. It didn't seem like a ton of things happened. My main drive was a.) find out for sure who killed Rebecca and where her body is, and b) find out what happened to Ella. When I looked down at the status bar on my Kindle and saw I was at 95% with still no answers, I had a sneaking suspicion they weren't coming. I can appreciate a good mystery as much as the next girl. But, four books with no closure is testing my capacity to hang on.

My love of Mark, Crystal, Chris and Sara will drive me forward through the next novellas and full-length novel. I don't know if we will ever get the answers we seek. But, I do think we will see these four find happiness, and at this point, that's enough for me.
 

REVIEW: Opposition (Lux #5)

Opposition (Lux #5), by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published August 5, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format: paperback, purchased
Genre: young adult sci-fi romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
 

Rating: 5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.


First he said he didn't want to have anything to do with her. Later, he said he would burn the world down to save her. The ride has been bumpy and scary and heartbreaking and sweet. Through it all, Daemon and Katy have had this incredible relationship that hasn't always been easy. Hell, sometimes, it's been absolutely deadly. But, their connection and dedication to one another has kept thousands of fans clinging to the edge of their seats, wondering what was going to happen to them next. 

The edge of my seat is where I spent most of my time reading Opposition. The Luxen have come to Earth, and they are pissed. They are ready for a take-over, and they want all hands on deck. That means Daemon, Dawson and Dee, much to Katy's surprise. But, Katy won't let the Luxen destroy all she has built with Daemon. She won't go down without a fight either. And, a fight is what is coming. 

This is it. The Lux series has come to an end with Opposition. This book was a pretty incredible ending to a pretty incredible series. I remember where I was when I first heard about Obsidian. The cover had just been redesigned and was getting ready for re-release. My bestie Jen from At Random met me for lunch and told me about Jennifer Armentrout and a giveaway she was having in honor of the redesign. I was all, "A book about aliens in high school? Yeeeeah. I'll give it a try Jen. Suuuuure." 

A year and a half later, I was waiting on pins and needles for the final book to be released to see how Daemon's and Katy's story ended.  To be honest, I stayed on pins and needles through most of Opposition. It was a stressful book, to be sure. For awhile, you weren't quite sure which side Daemon, Dawson and Dee had landed on. 

I knew, though, that there's no way Daemon and Katy could stay apart. They will always find a way back to each other. 

"Kat... I broke every rule of my kind to heal you and keep you with me...I've killed for you. Did you think I'd forget what you mean to me? That anything in this world - in any world - would be stronger than my love for you?"


Opposition was completely action packed from the very beginning through the very end. Aliens have literally invaded Earth. Everything you think that entails happens. Murder. Mayhem. Anarchy. It's scary and crazy and I LOVE that Jennifer Armentrout pulled no punches with this finale. I also love that we see lots of friends from other Lux books - including her adult companion, Obsession. Yes, Hunter and Serena are in this one, as are Hunter's brothers. It was fun seeing him again and watching he and Daemon interact - you know, seeing as how they're mortal enemies and all. 

Despite the very serious overtone of Opposition, Jennifer's trademark snarky language and witty banter are still there. Daemon and Katy still have those toe-curling moments that make you swoon. It's not all doom and gloom, and thank goodness for that. 

This was the send-off that this amazing series needed. It's all there - action, romance, and an incredible ending that makes everything - EVERYTHING - totally worth it.
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