Monday, June 15, 2015

“A book you can finish in a day” (cont.) 2015 Challenge; BRAVING THE ELEMENTS by K.F. Breene

Like I said before, since I finished the previous novella in a day, I went on to read the second novella in the series as well.  **Just to be fair.**  Yes, I finished them both in a 24 hour time span.  Of course, I got nothing done around the house, burned dinner, and even had my whole body covered with the comforter at 2:30am so my husband didn’t wake up to the glow of my iPhone and see that I was still awake due to the fact that COULDN’T TEAR MY EYES AWAY FROM THE SCREEN.

Novella 2 in the Darkness Series


Sasha has always known she was different, but now she also knows that the shadow men she’s seen all her life, are real.
With a life goal of fitting in, Sasha hopes her strange abilities will finally make true friendship a possibility. Unfortunately, her magic doesn’t function like everyone else’s. What she thought would make her belong, sets her apart now more than ever.

Stefan, all but promised to a different woman, has tried to keep his mind on his duties instead of the irresistible and free-spirited human. But when she is threatened, he can’t keep his distance anymore. He realizes he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe, and more importantly, make her his.

Just when one thing clicks into place, another spirals out of control. Stefan’s clan isn’t the only group that would benefit from an extremely rare type of magic. And their enemies will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Braving the Elements is the second novella in K.F.Breene’s long awaited Darkness series. Sasha’s story is one of discovery, awareness, and understanding, and is jam packed with action, humor, sexual tension, and an overwhelming desire for final acceptance.

5 out of 5 *Stars*
Surprise! Surprise!

“Today was a good day to spill blood.”

This novella was just as entertaining and fun as the first.  The story is compelling with good chemistry between Sasha and Stefan.  It’s almost as if the pull between the two could be felt through the words.  Sasha is witty with some unique ways to describe her talents, such as her intuition… “My lower cheeks tingled.”  Then we have Stefan.  Ohhh… Stefan.  I’d say he’s pretty dream-worthy.  Gruff, abrupt, and commanding, but soft and welcoming around Sasha.
“Women often said he had a face like an angel, if that angel hadn’t shaved in a day and road a Harley.”
(Like I said… “dream-worthy”)
I loved to read along and see how the two complimented each other.   
At the same time that I was enjoying the connection between the two main characters, I was also laughing at the funnier than ever banter between Sasha and Charles once again. 
“Thank the gods you’re not a vindictive bitch.”
“That you know of.”
“Oh no, I’ve catalogued your bitch side. You’re an explosive, wild, unpredictable bitch, but if I avoid all the triggers, I’m good.”

“I hope you don’t plan to be grouchy.  I’ve had a bad couple of days, and I’m not in the mood for your sass.”
“My days haven’t been any better.”
“Yes, but I am the man, and men suffer more thoroughly than women. Everyone knows this.”
I don’t think I’ve enjoyed another character in a book as much as I’ve enjoyed reading Charles.  I could never guess what he was going to do or say next. 
“the Boss came barreling through in a battle rage.  Thought he’d kill me.  Then thought he’d kill whoever was with you.  Then thought he might kill you accidentally because you tried to save someone, all the while I hid in the bush like a bitch.” LOL
I don’t remember the last time that my favorite character was NOT the hero or heroine.  If only he were the “bad-boy” because apparently those are the only ones that take center stage of may daydreams.  Apparently, Jonas has that role for this series.
If it were just about story, or characters, or content, I would say to rush out there and get the book as quick as you can.  However, it’s not just about those.  Now it’s time to talk about price of the book compared to it’s size.  I know. I know.  I gripe all the time about spending more than $0.99 for a novella and saying that there is no way in hell that I’ll ever do it.  Now, here I am spending $2.99 on one.  You know it’s gotta be damn good if I’m doing it, but who am I kidding?  $2.99 is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on a novella, a continuing series novella at that!  I can’t in good conscience recommend this series for that reason.
What I can do is give you all the facts, and let you decide on your own.  Is it a good story?  Hell yes!  Is it a story worth reading?  Hell yes! Do I love this series so far?  Isn’t that obvious… Is it worth $2.99 per book, equaling a total of $20.93 for the entire series of 8 NOVELLAS?  I just don’t know.  It sounds extreme, but when taking in the size and putting the math together, it would equal close to $6.50 for one full length novel.  I’ve done worse than that on my favorite MC series.  Who knows maybe I’m just grasping at straws and finding something to justify spending another $2.99, because let’s be honest… I’m going to do it.  I’m hooked.  This series is like crack, or in my case chocolate, and I can’t get enough.  Till next time…
Hold the phone!! A wise woman last night informed me of something I wish I would have known a week ago.  There’s a box set! Books 1-4 for only $5.99.  That’s one hell of a savings!  I’ll even go one step further, because I love you all…  The Amazon link to the box set is below.



Still 24 books down, 28 more to go!
Happy Reading, Everyone!! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

“A Book You Can Finish In A Day” 2015 Challenge; INTO THE DARKNESS by K.F. Breene

Ok, you caught me.  This is technically a novella.  It’s close to half the length of a full novel, and so to make up the difference, I read the next novella in the series as well.  Yes, my full intension was to be fair, it wasn’t AT ALL because I couldn’t contain my excitement to jump right into the next part of the story.
*Can you tell I’m smirking right now?  I hope not.  That wouldn’t be very professional, now would it?*

Novella 1 in the Darkness Series
FREE ebook! 


Sasha has grown up with one surety: she’s not normal.

She sees things in the darkness that no one else can see. Mysterious men cloaked in shadow, moving through the night. The problem is, pointing out invisible people is a fast track to a padded cell. Orphaned at age five, Sasha quickly learns an important survival tip: keep her mouth shut and stay out of the spotlight.

Until one night, everything changes. She and her boyfriend, Jared, find themselves stranded on the wrong side of town. Suddenly, the men she was convinced were hallucinations, are very real. And very dangerous.

As a new world opens up around her, she meets him. The Boss. An alpha leader who entrances her mind and tugs on her body. Primal and sexual, his people have a different set of rules. And they don’t always play nice.

As danger rises up around her, her differences may be the only thing that saves her life. She must embrace what she’s tried so hard to hide, while resisting the person her body craves most. Sasha has finally found her shadow men, and they will change her life forever.

5 out of 5 *Stars*
I’m in love! I’m in love! I’m absolutely in love! 

Oh yeah, that’s right…
(That’s me, in a nutshell.)

I was out and about here recently, and had a few minutes to spare, so I thought I would search through my Kindle library.  Came across this book… sexy cover, interesting synopsis, good reviews…  Good enough for me.  Fifteen pages in, and I was kicking myself for waiting so long.  I found a series that I am absolutely in love with!  Granted, it’s a series of novellas, but it doesn’t feel like it.  
It’s a story where a woman, Sasha, finds herself thrown into a world of people that are like humans but better; better hearing, faster speed, stronger, etc. etc.  The unique thing about these beings is the different magic they can use. 
Oh, and did I mention that they’re sex craved.  They actually release pheromones that make humans wanna get their freak on, successfully bending people to their will sexually.  All the while, having the idea that if a human is “dim-witted”, they succumb faster.  Surprisingly to all of them though, Sasha is immune, PLUS she can access magic.    
Holy hell!  This story was good, and exciting, and sexy. Not to mention, freaking hilarious!!  I couldn’t stop laughing.  The main character, Sasha, is funny on her own.

“Seriously, can everyone stop stroking their penises?  It is rude, strange, and distracting all at the same time!  Social etiquette, people.”

Then there is the 38 year old with the maturity of a 16 year old.  Oh, how I love Charles!

“No, Dr. Over-Analyze-Everything, it feels good.  But we don’t protect ourselves hoping we can work up a little procreation.  Otherwise, we are just a dying breed of amaze-balls.”

Put those two together, and I was rolling! 
Here’s the kicker… It’s a continuation series.  I know… ugh, right?  I hate series where you have to spend money so many different times just to find out how it ends.  I mean, just write one book, charge one fee, and be done with it.  The last I saw, this series had eight novellas at $2.99 each, after this free one.  I saw that, and thought, I’m gonna go broke just finishing this, because this is a story that I am completely invested in now.  Once in a blue moon, you get a story that’s worth going back for.  This is one of those.
So here’s my “overall”…  Yes! Yes! Yes!  Read it!
That is, if you don’t mind spending over $20 to get through the whole story.  Because once you start, you won’t be able to quit.  For me, I’ll have to read through it now, but it will have to be in increments.  I get a little nutty when my Amazon gift cards run low.  Anyways, till next time…

24 books down, 28 more to go!
Happy Reading, Everyone!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

“A Book With A Love Triangle” 2015 Challenge; UNBELOVED by Madeline Sheehan

“It was how they survived, how they paid the bills and cared for their families.  It wasn’t about greed or excess, it was about living a certain way, being a certain kind of man who didn’t have to bow down to the laws and the government who enforced them.  It was brotherhood, a camaraderie.  It was about really, truly living your life the way you wanted to live it.
It was about…  Freedom.”

Ahh!! It’s Madeline Sheehan!!  Strong will, strong stomach, and open minds needed…  The moment I saw “love triangle”, I thought of the infamous trio introduced by Sheehan.  Oh course I had to prepare myself to read one of her books before I started it, and no matter how much I thought to read a different love triangle, it couldn’t be helped.  It was like a gravitational pull, leading me to this story. 
UNBELOVED by Madeline Sheehan
Book 5 in the Undeniable Series

Dorothy Kelley is a born romantic, searching for her prince. Instead she finds herself pregnant at fifteen, and in a loveless marriage by the tender age of eighteen.

Then hope comes riding into her life on a motorcycle and within weeks, Jason “Jase” Brady, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen Motorcycle Club, sweeps Dorothy off her feet.

But nothing is ever simple for Dorothy. Jase is married with children. And as Dorothy patiently waits for Jase to give her the happily-ever-after she’s been dreaming about, James “Hawk” Young, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen with secrets of his own, sees an opening into Dorothy’s life and takes it.

Carrying on two secret affairs is no easy feat. As Dorothy tries to dig herself out of the mess she’s created, covering one mistake with another, tragedy strikes, nearly costing Dorothy her life and that of her unborn son.

What follows is a long and painful journey of self-discovery and forgiveness, as Dorothy comes to realize that home was exactly where she’d left it, and the love she’d forever craved had always been within her reach.

This is the story of Dorothy, Jase, and Hawk.

We are all born pure; it is our journey that burdens us and leads us astray. Our mistakes that beat us down and cover us in guilt and shame, burying us a little more with each passing hardship. It is up to us to dig ourselves out, to come to terms with our faults, to embrace not only our imperfections but those of the ones we love, and to once again find the path we strayed from.

Warning: This is not a conventional or predictable love story. It involves one woman and two men bound by a love so destructive it spans two decades, pitting brother against brother, and shattering the lives of those touched by it.
3 out of 5 *Stars*
I have to say… this was a lot different than expected.  Is Sheehan going soft?  Oh God, I hope not.  When it comes to MC romances, there are certain series that I compare others to.  The softer but just as good MC books get classified with Motorcycle Man and the other books to follow in the Chaos Series by Kristen Ashley.  The really good MC books with hot sex, great conflict, and intriguing storylines, get put with the Reaper novels by Joanna Wylde.  Then there are the MC romances that push the level of your comfort, creates conflict that keeps you at the edge of your seat and at the time still creates timeless romances that you can’t help but grow attached to.  Those are my Sheehan books in the Undeniable series. Undeniable was the second MC book that I read (after Motorcycle Man) and I was hooked!!
However… Yes, there’s a “however.”  Her last two books have slowly been dwindling in what gets her in my comparison books.  Where’s the villain???  Sheehan made some kick-ass villains, and her last two had none.  Conflict, yes… but no villains.  No epic character that could sway the balance and create havoc for the two love birds.  This book, Unbeloved, hardly even had a conflict.  Jail time?  Yeah, it sucks, but is easily overcome. 
Then comes the love triangle…  This triangle was legendary in her series.  Everyone wanted to know who would be picked and what the big showdown to win her heart would be like.  Nope.  No show down, no fight for her, just a heartfelt decision made by Dorothy towards the beginning of the book.  Yes, we got to see how the other guy progressed, which was okay, but I still found myself reading through those parts quickly so I could get back to the main story. 
The sole reason this book got three stars from me was character development.  I didn’t think I would like Dorothy.  She never did anything for me in the previous books, and I didn’t think I would want to read her story.  Same with Hawk.  He was always so quiet and I felt didn’t have too much of a personality.  The only character I thought I would like was Jase, therefore I didn’t feel that there was any rush to read this book. 
I was completely wrong on that aspect.  The way she built the characters and there backgrounds made the missing pieces in their personalities slip together to make people that will stay in my mind always.  I especially love the past that Hawk was given.  He was so much more interesting after that.  Then there was the love story, which was a tear jerker.  Granted, the sex scenes were way more tame than her other books, but the passion was definitely felt. 
Overall, it’s an okay book.  Yes, read it because it’s in a series that I recommend, but there’s no big rush to do it.  Hopefully, her next books that come out will go back to her original style of writing.  The type of story that would come with a warning label.  Maybe ZZ’s story… One can only hope! 
Till next time…
23 books down, 29 to go!!
Happy Reading, Everyone!

Friday, June 5, 2015

“A Book of Short Stories” 2015 Challenge; THAT’S AMORE! by Janelle Denison, Tori Carrington, & Leslie Kelly

“When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie
 That’s amore…
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore…” 
I’m going to let you all in on a little secret.  Shhh!!  It was a secret dream of mine to marry an Italian man, dance around our kitchen singing that song, and making spaghetti.  Yeah, I can hear it now, “That’s so cute,” or “Kids have the best imaginations.”  Ha! I was daydreaming of this when I was nineteen.  Then I met my stubborn German, and fell in love.  Even to this day though, I still look back at that dream and smile.

       With stories by Jenelle Denison, Tori Carrington, and Leslie Kelly
It’s way too late to elope!
MEET THE PARENTS by Janelle Denison
Like all dutiful Hawaiian daughters, Leila Malekala is expected to marry a Hawaiian groom handpicked by her parents. But guess what, Mom and Dad? Leila has wedding plans of her own. The groom is California bad boy Jason Crofton… and the bride is pregnant.
I DO, DON’T I? by Tori Carrington
Efi Panayotopoulou is about to marry her childhood sweetheart Nick Constantino. Everything should be perfect. But their families seem hell-bent on turning the wedding into a farce – or Greek tragedy. And Efi is about a baklava flake away from running offwithout her groom.
Luke Santori is engaged to “a nice Italian girl” from his Chicago neighborhood. But wedding plans get tossed – like unbaked dough at his familys pizzeria – when Luke falls for blond-haired, blue-eyed Rachel Grantthe dressmaker designing his fiancée’s bridal gown.
4 out of 5 *Stars*
It had been so long since I read one of these feel good books that does nothing but make you smile.  I used to read a ton of them.  Almost every short story romance book is one.  Once I got into the hard core suspenseful reading, I put them completely to the back of my mind.  When I picked this book up, it took me a little bit to get used to the feeling of not having that nail-biting suspense.  It was as if I had forgotten what it was like to just let loose and breathe easy while reading.
That’s exactly what this book did.  Each story was unique and different, but yet it tied into each other through a company that had sent the wrong wedding favors to each bride and groom.  Therefore, it made a book that technically was sectioned off into three parts, be connected to make one single story.
All the stories were well written and succeeded in drawing in the reader.  We get to see the many difference between Hawaiian, Greek, Italian wedding traditions.  Out of all of them, I believe that the second story was my favorite.  I don’t know whether to be grateful or sad that I’m not Greek.  Their traditions sound totally off the wall, extreme, and maybe a little suffocating at times.
“The marital bed was prepared by the single women.  Rose petals for romance.  Sugar-covered almonds to indicate the bitter sweetness of love and life.  Even her Cousin Helen’s baby was rolled across the mattress for fertility reasons.”
However, then there’s the aspect of being surrounded by family and so many people there to love and support you, no matter how crazy they might be.  Like a crazy grandfather Kiriakos that is arrested the day before your wedding for grand larceny.
“The officer stared at her. ‘It means he crashed his car through the window of a local furniture shop and made off with some of the goods.  When the responding officers caught up with him, he was dragging a dining-room table on a blanket on the street behind him.’
Her wedding gift of a dining-room table…”
I laugh even now remembering that scene.  I swear, the story was a lot like the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding but with the added look into hidden emotions and thought.  I kept wanting to pull out and read next to a bottle of Windex.
Anyways, I liked all three stories.  The first had some steamy love scenes, and the love story in the third felt really rushed but still fun and carefree at the same time.  Once returning this book to the library, I immediately walked back and got another short story romance book.  We’ll have to wait and see if the new one has the same effect on me.  Till next time…
22 books down, 30 to go!
Happy Reading, Everyone!!                  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

“A Book From An Author You Love That You Haven't Read Yet” 2015 Challenge; THE MASTER by Kresley Cole

Author, Kresley Cole never ceases to pull me in and make me love one of her stories.  I love all her different series, even the young adult one.  She is, by far, my favorite author.  That is why when this book came out, I knew that it would work perfectly for this task in the challenge.
THE MASTER by Kresley Cole
Book 2 in The Game Maker Series



A need colder than Siberian winter meets an attitude hotter than the Florida sun in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s sultry new Game Maker novel.

Everyone fears the Master...

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his... complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.

If pleasure is a game, play to win.

After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past—to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.

5 out of 5 *Stars*
Mind Blown! This was amazing!  For too long now, it felt as if I were reading mediocre books that I had to work to get through.  I was in desperate need of one that I could get lost in, and this was it!
It’s amazing how all of Kresley Cole’s different series have a certain appeal to them.  If you want to read something paranormal that keeps you on the edge of your seat through the whole thing, and has some really hot love scenes… the Immortals After Dark series is for you.  If you want something downplayed a little from the Immortals, with everything being a little more tame… the Arcana Chronicles are it.  Last, but not least, is the Game Maker Series.  Lots of intrigue, lots of steamy sex (way naughtier than her other adult series), and a buildup of anticipation that by the end of the book, you’re ready to jump out of your skin while waiting to see what happens, and Cole never disappoints.  I enjoy all three of her series, but the two based for adults are my favorites.  Other than that, I can’t shorten it down anymore. It’s like children, I could never choose between the two.
On to the book at hand…

“It happened.  It hurt.  Better things await you.”

What a mantra to live by!  This book had me captivated from the very beginning. What’s not to love about two tortured souls, thrown together by chance, and needed one another to help each other heal?  You can’t help but route for them every step of the way, and feel the struggle right along with them.  
I like how characters from Book 1 made an appearance, but nothing about this book centered on the first couple’s story.  We already got their happy ending, it was now time for his brother’s.  Ugh!  Except now I have to wait for Brother # 3’s story.  It’s almost painful at times… this waiting thing. 
The Master is a book I will come back to over and over again. 
It made me laugh...
“This whole weekend was surreal.  I was at the wedding of a Russian mobster’s daughter to a cherished hitman, sitting next to a mother-of-the-bride who was tripping balls.”

It made me cry…

“All those years ago, when I was down in that basement, I wish I had known that on the other side of the world, there was a bold little girl fighting for her pride.  And that she would come into my life one day to make it brighter.”

It made me beat my chest and wail at the sky when it was over.  Okay... maybe not so much the last part. 
Throughout the book, we got a buildup of the characters personalities, and with each word another layer was stripped away or chipped off.  The reader couldn’t help but feel connected to both.  It was written with the POV of Cat, but I would have loved the chance to get a glimpse into the mind of Maxim.  The storyline was intriguing and flowed smoothly.  Then there was the ending, which was bitter sweet.  I loved how it ended, but felt like I could have read on forever.  I don’t buy too many hard copy books, but I definitely foresee myself buying this one in the near future.  Till next time…

21 books down, 31 to go!
Happy Reading, Everyone!