Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: The Pact by Karina Halle

Book: The Pact
By: Karina Halle
Published: December 28, 2014
Published by: Metal Blonde Books (Self Pub)

My Thoughts: I so completely love Karina Halle; I'd read her grocery list. Everything she writes is so freaking good, and despite The Pact being much different than any of the other books she's written, it was just as perfect as the others

The story: Linden and Stephanie are best friends. They've been best friends since the moment Stephanie walked into his friend James' Bar and got a job there, and began dating James. As you can imagine, Steph and James broke up and moved on with their lives and Linden, Steph, and James became best friends. Of course, the chemistry between Steph and Linden had been hot from the moment she met him, though he didn't/couldn't make a move because James snatched her up first, and with the whole "bro's before ho's" mentality, she had become off limits to Linden.

Fast forward a few years and a few drinks. Linden and Steph are at the bar, both complaining about their relationship woes, and they decide on a friendly pact. If neither of them are in a serious relationship by 30, they'll just marry each other. Stephanie thinks Linden is joking, though he's dead serious, and the two agree nonetheless. James hates the idea, of course, because he may still be in love with her. What ensues is an amazing story that begs the question, can men and women actually be "just friends"

Verdict: I loved this book so much. Stephanie and Linden are so perfect for each other, and the characters themselves are just flawed enough to be realistic. I also liked that this story was absolutely believable. Even I made a deal with a best friend that I would marry them if I reached 40 and had no prospects. Of course, she was a girl despite me being a heterosexual, and it was made as a joke, but still. The only thing that stopped me from giving this book a perfect 5 stars was James' character. Sometimes I felt he said things aloud that no person would actually admit, and it frustrated me a bit. Still, 4.5 stars and an awesome read.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Audiobook Review: Addicted by Nicole Edwards

Book: Addicted (Club Destiny #2.5)
By: Nicole Edwards
Narrated By: Sabrina Brooks and Jay Crow
Published: January 27, 2015
Published by: Blackstone Audio - Unabridged
Length: 2.0 hours

**This audiobook was received from Audiobook jukebox in exchange for an honest review**

My Thoughts: Addicted was another hot and steamy book from Nicole Edwards that extended the first book in the series to show what happened to Sam and Logan in the fallout of Luke's new relationship. Still, there was no real storyline. It just seemed like an excuse to add some more steamy scenes with a new third

The Story: After book 2, Luke is no longer able to be the "third" in the relationship between Samantha and Logan. Despite this, Sam misses that experience, and Logan wants to ensure that she doesn't miss it for long.

Narration: Sabrina and Jay are the better narrators in this series so far, but I still don't love them. They didn't seem to get into the various scenes as much as I would have liked them to. Their voices spoke them the way they would have spoken anything else. No heavy breathing, no real shouting. I found myself actually rephrasing and rereading it properly in my head to compensate. This one just wasn't my favorite narration job.

Verdict: I give this one 2 stars. The mix of the story being nothing more than extra sex scenes and the search for a new "third" for those scenes, and the narration not quite getting into the mood of the story made me just not really enjoy it much.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Audiobook Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Book: Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress #1)
By: Jeaniene Frost
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Length: 11 hours and 17 minutes
Published: October 30, 2007 / March, 31, 2010
Published By: Avon / Blackstone Audio

My Thoughts: This review will be brief because I would like to get back to breezing through this series. I got this one because all the hype surrounding it made me give in. Also, Ilona Andrews (author of the Kate Daniels series) sings the praises of Jeaniene Frost and this series, so I had to see what the hype was about. So freaking glad I gave in. Jeaniene Frost is now on my auto buy list, and as for the Narrator Tavia Gilbert, I love her forever.

Halfway to the grave follows Cat, a half vampire who wants to kill all vampires in hopes that one day she will find her vampire dad, the one who raped her mother and caused Cat to exist, and kill him. Along the way, she meets Bones, a sexy English vampire hitman who trains her to be a better vampire killer. That's all I'm saying about the plot because, just read it.

There's so much action, and so much wonderfulness, and I just love every character in here, even the bad ones. Cat is so badass, and Bones makes me quiver. (At the time I'm writing this, I have already read book two, and all I can say is...Chapter 32 *sighs*)

If it's not obvious, I love this story/series already. I give it 5 giant stars, and I know for sure I will read them again. There will be no reviews for the next books in the series, but feel free to check out my goodreads to see how many stars I give them all. By the time this review is posted, I will have read all the books in the series and all the spinoff novels. If you havent started this series, you're really missing out on something amazing.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Audiobook Review: Temptation by Nicole Edwards

Book: Temptation (Club Destiny #2)
By: Nicole Edwards
Read By: Jack Dupont, Joanna Patrick, and Houston Fullbright
Audio Published: January, 27, 2015
Published by: Blackstone Audio
Run Time: 11.3 hours (Unabridged)

**This audiobook was received from Audiobook jukebox in exchange for an honest review**

My Thoughts: Temptation picked up right where Conviction left off, though instead of focusing on Sam and Logan, this one focused on Logan's brother Luke, who we saw a few times in the last book, their friend Cole, who briefly made an appearance as well, and Sierra, the new arrival.

Just like the last one, this one was hot and steamy, and quite heavy. Totally one for readers 18 and over though even I was blushing a bit. There were m/f scenes, m/f/m scenes, m/m/f scenes, and even m/m scenes, and they were quite descriptive. Totally out of my comfort zone, but still interesting to say the least.

The Story: Like I said this one picks up right where Conviction left off, only from a different perspective, with Luke dealing with the ramifications of his actions and his possible feelings over his sexuality at the end of Conviction. Then, he meets Sierra and is talked into being her date at a convention in Vegas. Cole, the one and only guy Luke can't get out of his head, is also going to Vegas for the convention, and the sexual tension between the three of them is heavy, because they both like her, and she likes both of them, and the feelings they have for each other are way more than like. What ensues is a bunch of heat, some definite insta-love, and a ridiculous amount of angst, confused feelings, and frustration.

Narration: The book is written in third person, and the narration is a multi-cast performance. Though I liked knowing who's perspective we were seeing from, the changing narration was a bit distracting from the story as a whole, and the two male narrators voices weren't different enough for me to be able to tell who was speaking without the story clues. I would have preferred one narrator in this case.

Verdict: I didn't like Temptation as much as I liked Conviction, whether that was because of the issues I had with the narration or the fact that the insta-love was so prominent and the angst was excessive, I'm not sure. Regardless, I found myself frustrated at the constant back and forth of Logan's feelings, and unable to relate to the love that sprung up between these characters with no preamble. Still, it was quite entertaining, and I must say I had some definite heavy breathing at some points while reading/listening to this one. I think I may continue the series, just to see what happens with the next characters who have a bit more history to affect their feelings. I give this one 2.5 stars and I would recommend it to those of you who have read Conviction, and who want some more heat and are open to m/m scenes.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Random Rant Thursday: On wanting to be a vampire, and other personal inadequacies

It's been quite some time since I've written an RRT, and that's mainly because I just wasn't feeling it. My wedding, my writing, my reading, my listening to audiobooks, and just my general life have been taking up all my free time, and I haven't wanted to write about what I'm doing or reading or listening to as much as I have wanted to just do it, or read it, or listen to it. Then the other day, I decided I wanted to be a vampire.

Okay, in my defense, I had been listening to the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost (review coming soon) on audio practically every spare second of my day. Ran through the whole 7 book series, plus 1 novella and 5 additional spinoff novels in less than 2 weeks. Thats probably too much supernatural in one span of time for anyone to make any real sense. Then I went out with my husband and his master's program peers one night, had a few drinks, and thought more about the stories I was so obsessed with.

I legit found myself looking around me and wondering if some of the people around me may be vampires and I just wasn't paying attention. I was looking to the skies to see if someone may be flying, and trying to see if there was something just a little too surreal about some of the people around me. Needless to say, I found no such vampires, and I woke up the next morning with a screaming headache.

That isn't to say I don't believe in the existence of some other worldly creature, whether it be vampires, or shapeshifters, or any other strange being. I absolutely do, just like I believe in the existence of a higher power, and likewise in the existence of that higher power's opposing power. In my opinion, it doesn't make sense that just because I don't see that something is there, doesn't mean it's not there.

To me, they all exist outside of my human realm of understanding and viewing, and with that existence comes the urge to become more than who I actually am. All the stories I read and love surround the one basic ideal of one person (or in some cases many people) being secretly more than who everyone else is. They're faster, can read minds, carry magic, control minds, drink blood, eat an over abundance of food,  you name it and they do it. I'm just human though, and I can do none of those things, so what makes me so special, not just to myself but to those around me.

Perhaps that's the underlying reason I picked up jiu jitsu, so I can somehow feel like I'm not wasting my life away and doing nothing to make me stand out from the crowd. Maybe it's why I no longer care when people tell me I'm different because I read a ton, or different because I think slightly different than other people they've met. Maybe it's why I write about girls with superpowers and unexplainable urges. I'm not sure. What I am sure about is that if I had a choice, I would prefer to be a shapeshifter of some sort because in all the stories they get to eat as much as they want and not gain a pound, and they can go out in the sun. Realistically though, I probably wouldn't get much of a choice because vampire, shapeshifter, secret government experiment, or just plain human, I'd make the best of whatever hand I get dealt. What other choice do I really have.

What are your thoughts? Do you believe? Does your reading ever make you wonder about who you are as a person? Do you wonder if you would actually make good decisions if given even a percentage of the power of some of the people in these stories we read? Let me know in the comments below.