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Malinda

I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)

Phoenix, AZ, United States | Member Since 2006

195
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 174 reviews
  • 190 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 57 purchased in 2014
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  • Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By David Aaron Baker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1981)
    Performance
    (1743)
    Story
    (1742)

    Once presided over by a flamboyant Hollywood mogul during the Roaring ’20s, the magnificent West Coast property known as Roseland is now home to a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants. And, for the moment, it’s also a port in the storm for Odd Thomas and his traveling companion, the inscrutably charming Annamaria. In the wake of Odd’s most recent clash with lethal adversaries, the opulent manor’s comforts should be welcome. But there’s far more to Roseland than meets even the extraordinary eye of Odd, who soon suspects it may be more hell than haven.

    D says: "Odd Apocalypse; Oddly Great"
    "Good new addition to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been a Koontz fan for a while and have always liked the Odd Thomas books. I found this one to be just as good and a fine addition to the series. I deffinately enjoyed it and was happy I bought it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Fighting for Irish

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Gina L. Maxwell
    • Narrated By Holly Fielding
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    Former MMA fighter Aiden "Irish" O'Brien hasn't stepped into the ring since he accidentally took someone's life in the heat of rage. When his friend calls in a favor that sends him south to check on family, Irish figures he's got nothing to lose. His life is on the ropes. The least he can do is make sure the sexy redhead is safe.

    Jordy says: "Gina Maxwell does it AGAIN!!! Irish ♡Kat!"
    "Great addition to the series! :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5-5 stars

    This was a great story. I loved Kat and Aiden and really got caught up in their story. This is my favorite of the series so far.

    Kat grew up in a bad home environment. She was protected from this by her sister, Vanessa (the heroine from Rules of Entanglement), for many years but when things seemed safe, her sister went off to college and Kat suffered sexual abuse by her mother’s new boyfriend (among other things). Kat ended up involved with a guy that wasn’t good for her but got her out of her home. She travelled around with him for years because he’s all she had (and she didn’t want to burden her sister) but when he went in to prison, Kat finally realized that she could live on her own. She has to stay hidden though because her ex’s debts are chasing her and she has no way to pay them off.

    Aiden is a good guy. He used to be an MMA fighter in Boston but a tragic incident caused him to swear off fighting. Since then he hasn’t been real happy and has just been existing, not thinking he deserves anything better because of misplaced guilt. He ended up in Louisiana looking for Kat at the request of his friend Jax (who is her sister’s fiancée). He found her and was only supposed to stay for a couple weeks but he ends up staying much longer, unable to leave once he gets a look at Kat.

    Aiden gets a job working at the bar that Kat waitresses at (using his nickname of Irish and Kat is using the name Sidney). He gets some friends of his to come to help him but they get jobs doing security for the bar as well. Kat doesn’t have any idea who Aiden actually is and just thinks he’s a very protective co-worker. When it’s been 6 months and no one has come after Kat, Aiden and Jax are thinking that the danger is over. Just about this time, of course the bad guys show up. Aiden tries to help Kat and figure out how to fix the issue but Jax and Vanessa are on a cruise and out of touch so they have no easy way to get the needed money. Aiden gets Kat safe and talks to the guys that are after Kat, trying to figure out what he can do to free her from the debt. There’s no easy answer and Aiden makes them a bargain where they give him a month and he’ll pay them the money they’re owed plus extra for the extra time. He also makes it part of the arrangement that Kat not know she’s still in danger and the guys won’t follow her around during the time Aiden is given to gather the money. While Kat and Aiden are forced together, there’s an attraction between them that grows. Kat has some problems dealing with the intimacy because of her past sexual abuse and Aiden is gentle and slow with Kat, working past her issues with sexual touch and doing his best to make things special between them so she knows she’s with someone who cares. And Kat does know this; she realizes that Aiden’s patience and caring is something special.

    Kat was seriously considering leaving (because she thinks she’s free and clear of her debt) but Aiden convinces her to stay by promising to try a relationship with her. The problem lies in the fact that Aiden has decided that he’s not good enough for Kat long term and doesn’t actually plan to stay past getting her out of trouble, figuring a broken heart is better than her ending up dead or sold in to the sex trade by the bad guys. When Aiden starts fighting in the underground tournament (in order to make the money) he plans to hide it from Kat but when he comes home beaten up it becomes obvious he’s fighting so he tells her that he’s just trying to get his fighting career back on track. Things continue alright until Kat happens to find out about Aiden’s connection to her sister. They have a fight and Aiden thinks things are over; he apologizes to Kat and plans to leave after the fight the next night (which is supposed to end the money issue). Kat thinks things over and decides she’s unwilling to let Aiden go and goes to the fight to root him on and tell him she’s not giving up on him. Unfortunately, things don’t go the way they’re supposed to at the fight and Aiden and Kat are both in danger from the bad guys. Aiden and Kat get in a very tough situation and Aiden has to call and old friend to help things end safely for Kat. Things are tense but end well. Kat and Aiden are reunited and after spending some time touching base with their families they start to plan how to live out their HEA.

    This was really enjoyable. I loved the characters and thought the story was very well done. Aiden and Kat were perfect for each other and I’m so happy that Kat realized it and was willing to fight for Aiden (when he was being a bit dense and self sacrificing) . I also loved how Aiden was so patient and worked with Kat to get past her issues with sex because of her past. He was so sweet! I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I’d recommend this book. 2 thumbs up. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rules of Entanglement

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gina L. Maxwell
    • Narrated By Holly Fielding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    Jordy says: "Hot! Hot! Freakin HOT!"
    "Very good addition to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I really liked both Vanessa and Jackson. Their story was good and kept interesting by the adversarial start to their relationship.

    Vanessa is an attorney and a very controlled woman. She grew up in a very bad home and has a lot of guilt and anger from that time. In college, Vanessa decided (after a night of heavy drinking with tequila) to make 7 rules to live her life by. These were supposed to protect Vanessa from ending up in the same place her childhood had been but really the rules only succeed in keeping her alone.

    Jackson (aka Jax) is a good guy and a MMA fighter. He’s had some success in his career but got a late start because his parents died when he was 18 years old and he had to take care of his 13 year old sister, Lucie (the heroine from book #1, Seducing Cinderella). Once Lucie was off to college, Jax went to start his fighting career but because of the load of responsibility he had to shoulder at a young age, now that Jax was free he tended to shy away from responsibilities (outside of his career). He’s had some short term relationships but nothing that ever worked for long term.

    Vanessa shows up in Hawaii and is supposed to be getting picked up by Jax. He does pick her up but not until she’s been left waiting there for an hour. When he does show up he flashes some charm and no apology and expects her to be ok with it. This gets Vanessa’s dander up and she tells Jax off and wants nothing to do with him (as shirking your responsibilities is against one of her rules). Jax is surprised to find that Vanessa is such a strong willed woman and doesn't seem to be susceptible to his charm. When Vanessa tries to blow Jax off, he doesn't like the thought of not seeing her except at the wedding and he says the first thing that comes out of his mouth…that they have to masquerade as Reid and Lucie because of the reservations and wedding planning rules since the resort the wedding is at is very exclusive. Lucie has a bug and is too sick to travel, which is why Vanessa is there early (to set the wedding up for Lucie) but no one told Vanessa anything about these restriction but she’s willing just to help Lucie (although lying and saying she’s Lucie makes her break another one of her rules, no lying). Jax starts feeling guilty about lying to Vanessa and intends to tell her the truth but the longer he’s with her the more he finds that he wants to spend more time in her company. He’s sure if he tells her about his lie, she’ll be pissed as hell and never talk to him again so he takes the easy path and let’s himself put off the truth.

    Jax and Vanessa spend some time setting up the wedding but also end up spending some time together. At first things are a little stilted between them but Jax starts learning Vanessa and her reactions and by paying close attention, he finds he is able to find ways to get to her. At first Jax was a bit of a jerk (mostly just to get a rise out of her and get her out of her safety zone) but as they spend more time together, Jax shows his sweet side and he shows her the island and some of his favorite spots. The attraction between them grows until they finally strike a deal (although Jax isn't thrilled about it) to have a 3 day fling and after that they’ll go their separate ways. Jax is fine with taking things further between them but he is determined to get her to realize they have something good that should extend past the 3 days. During the 3 days they have their ups and downs as they get to know each other. Vanessa has some problems because Jax makes her break all of her rules and she finds that maybe they’re not as all important as she always thought. She realizes that she’s fallen for Jax as the 3 days are ending. Jax has spent the 3 days trying to show her how much they have between them and how much he cares. He sets things up to tell her the truth and things are looking good but a call from Vanessa’s sister messing things up. Because of drama with her sister, Vanessa freaks about Jax's lie and things go to hell. Jax and Vanessa are both a mess as Vanessa is upset about Jax’s lies and Jax is freaking about Vanessa being gone. There are a tense couple of days but Jax manages to make things right with Vanessa (in a beautiful best man speech that turns her rules around on her) and they make up and start their HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. I really liked both Vanessa and Jax (although I wasn't sure about Jax at first). Once again, this story didn't have an action story line but the romance story line was interesting enough that I was fully engaged until the end of the story. I fully intend to read the next book in the series (I've already bought it). I’d recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seducing Cinderella

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Gina L. Maxwell
    • Narrated By Holly Fielding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (123)

    Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light-heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care - Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up....

    Amazon Customer says: "Narrator needs more experience"
    "Very good start to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked both Lucie and Reid and enjoyed their story a lot. This is actually the first book I've read with an MMA fighter hero and I liked it. This is also the first book I've read by this author and I liked this enough that I've already bought book #2 from the series.

    Lucie is a great physical therapist and a very nice woman but she's also very shy and doesn't see herself as attractive even though she is. She thinks she's plain and tends to dress down and in unflattering styles. Lucie was married briefly when she was in college and it was someone that was her complete opposite. It ended badly and so she's determined that her next relationship will be someone she's "compatible" with and not based on emotions. Lucie has been crushing on another doctor that she works with named Steven. They work well together professionally and have a lot in common so she thinks they'd be perfect together but he's never looked at her like a woman.

    Reid is a MMA fighter and a good guy. He's had a lot of success and is a rich guy from his fighting career. He recently messed up his rotatory cup and needs a physical therapist to work with him to get him healed and ready for a title fight in 2 months. Reid lives his life for his career and his focus rarely strays to anything else. Anything with women is brief and physical. Reid has always had artistic leanings but never had time to indulge because of his fighting career but it's something that still calls to him.

    Reid goes back to his hometown of Reno (he normally lives in Vegas when he's not on the road) for his physical training since his usual guy had something that kept him from working with Reid. Reid goes to this new person but hasn't met her before. He's surprised to realize that it's Lucie, his best friend's little sister...someone he grew up with as a little sister. When he shows at her office he realizes she's been crying he wants to know why. Lucie admits to him that she's been wanting Steven to notice her but he just got done asking her for her friend's phone number and ignoring the fact that Lucie is a woman. Reid thinks Steven must be a jerk but he offers Lucie a deal...work with him full time on his PT to get him ready for the fight in 2 months and he'll teach her how to seduce a man. Lucie isn't sure if it's a good idea but ends up agreeing to the deal. She takes some vacation time so she has time to work with him full time and Reid stays with her and her place so they can easily work together. Reid gets Lucie to get clothing that accentuates her figure instead of hiding it, gets her to wear contacts more and gets her help in the hair and makeup area. By the end of the makeover Lucie is looking good (although Reid finds he kind of liked her better with the glasses and messy hair) and Reid starts teaching her how to flirt. Although the lessons aren't supposed to get physical, Reid finds himself unable to keep his hands off Lucie and he doesn't know why, feeling like he's losing his mind because he can't stop thinking about her.

    After the first week, Lucie goes to a baby shower for a work associate and Steven sees her there. Of course now that she's all spiffed up he's falling all over himself to ask her out (which in my opinion proves jerkiness on his part) and Lucie accepts. Around this time things are getting hotter between Lucie and Reid and they're both having trouble keeping their hands off of each other. They end up agreeing to take their relationship in to the physical realm but decide it's just during their training and after Lucie gets Steven and Reid goes back to Vegas it's over with no strings. This is easier said than done though because as they spend more time together and delve in to their physical relationship, both of their feelings get involved. Lucie finds that she's not as hung up on the idea of Steven after all. Reid is nothing like who she planned to be with but while her head tells her that Steven is the right choice, her body and heart are leaning towards Reid. When Lucie goes out with Steven, it's nice but it doesn't halt her growing feeling towards Reid. Reid start to recognize jealousy in himself the more he thinks about Lucie with Steven or any other man and he realizes he's falling for her. Unfortunately, Reid doesn't believe he's good enough for Lucie and also doesn't think they can make a relationship work between them if he's still fighting. Reid has a bout of relationship stupidity and tells Lucie he's leaving and there's nothing between them. I was actually quite proud of Lucie because she didn't take that crap lying down and argued with him about what he was throwing away (I hate it when most heroines agree with the split up to save face! Fight for what you want!). This didn't work though and Reid goes back to his life and his impending fight and Lucie tries to go on with hers. Thankfully, Reid realizes his mistake (after some serious thinking and a talking to from someone he trusted) and he goes after Lucie. He makes a pretty good effort (although I wouldn't have minded a little more groveling) and Lucie forgives Reid, starting them in to their HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. I liked both Reid and Lucie a lot and was glad to see them get together. There wasn't really any action story line but the relationship story line was very good and interesting enough that I stayed fully engaged until the end of the book. I'm moving on to book #2 of the series right after I finish this review. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Twilight Before Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Christine Feehan
    • Narrated By Teri Clark Linden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (393)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (342)

    Best-selling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town's annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn't mind working in the undeniably eerie house -- not if it means getting closer to Kate. There's something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.

    Paige says: "Narrator so bad I quit after 5 minutes"
    "Pretty good witchy romance :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Kate and Matt and enjoyed their story. I've read a few books from Feehan's Dark series but haven't tried this series before. I thought this story worked well as a stand alone as each story is about a different sister.

    Kate is one of the 7 Drake sisters, all of whom have special powers (aka they're witches). All the Drake women are good and use their powers to help those around them. Kate is an award winning author that has traveled all around the world but she hasn't had any relationships to speak of. The one guy she's always wanted is Matt (from her home town) but she doesn't think he'd ever want her.

    Matt is good guy that works in his family's construction business. He was in the Army as a Ranger for 10 years and just left the service to come back home. Matt has tried dating but never found anyone that measured up to the one he really wants, Kate.

    The story begins with Kate just moving back to town with the Christmas holiday approaching. Matt is driving with his brother, Danny, when he sees Kate and runs his truck off the road. Apparently this this has happened a few times when Matt sees Kate and Danny wont let him live it down, laughing at Matt the whole time Matt tried to talk to Kate (which isn't good because Kate thinks that whenever she sees Matt and his brothers that his brothers are laughing at her...not that they're laughing at Matt). Matt and Kate do manage to have a conversation though and Kate tells Matt that she bought an old mill and wants to renovate it. They're setting up a time to go over there the next day to look it over when there's an earthquake that opens a crack in the Earth. The next day, Kate and Matt go out to the mill to look around and come across a seal that was uncovered by the earthquake. A mist seems to escape from the hole in the ground and Kate worries that something has been let loose. There's engravings on the seal that indicate that some of the Drake ancestors sealed a malevolent spirit in there.

    Kate consults with her sisters and they start researching the old family books to find out what happened. In the mean time, Matt tries to make it very evident to Kate that he's interested in perusing a relationship with her. Kate wants Matt very much but is afraid he wants someone more action driven because he's very forceful and action oriented (although I don't know why she thinks this is his preference because I never heard about him dating other aggressive/action oriented women). Matt has his hands full convincing her but it helps that she can't think her doubts when he's kissing her. Hehe. She also doesn't think Matt can accept her and her family's "gifts" but as the action with the spirit progresses it becomes apparent that Matt is ok with it (he doesn't believe at first but he has an open mind enough to see what was there as things began to happen) and is willing to support Kate in what she has to do. There are multiple attacks Kate and her sister's have to weather and try to push back before they figure out how to stop the threat. Some people get hurt but the sisters are able to put the spirit to rest and restore peace just in time for Christmas. As things wrap up, Matt is able to convince Kate he knows what he wants and he most definitely wants her so she agree to marry him so they have a HEA for Christmas.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked Kate very much and Matt was really a good hero. He wasn't able to do much in some of the conflicts but he always did his best to be there for Kate as much as possible. They made a good couple and I was glad Kate finally realized that. I liked this book and the characters enough that I plan to go back and read the whole series when I have time. I'd recommend this story. :D

    * note - I liked the narrator. She did a good job on the voices of the 7 sisters, I could tell them apart easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sugar Daddy

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Lisa Kleypas
    • Narrated By Jeannie Stith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (170)

    Liberty Jones has dreams that will take her far away from Welcome, Texas, if she can keep her wild heart from ruling her mind. Hardy Cates sees Liberty as completely off-limits. His own ambitions are bigger than Welcome, and Liberty Jones is a complication he doesn't need. When Hardy leaves town to pursue his plans, Liberty soon finds herself under the spell of a billionaire tycoon.

    bluebelle says: "A Terrific Read!"
    "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    Warning...I do tell who Liberty ends up with in this review so don't read it if you don't want to know.

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Liberty and Gage and liked their story overall.

    Liberty is a good woman that hasn't had an easy life. She grew up with her mother but her father died when she was young which left her and her mother in a tight situation money wise. Her mother went out with guys that weren't worthy of her and Liberty never understood why her mother did what she did. When she was still in high school, Liberty's mother had another daughter but wasn't much of a mother and Liberty became more of a mother to her sister than her mother was.

    The story begins when Liberty is 15 years old and her and her mother have just moved in to a trailer park in Welcome, TX. That's where Liberty meets her first love, Hardy. Hardy is a few years older than her but there's a definite connection between them. Over the years, the attraction between Liberty and Hardy grows stronger but Hardy wont let it go any further because he said if he was with Liberty she might tempt him in to staying in Welcome. Hardy makes it very clear that he's determined to leave town to make something of himself and he's not willing to stick around for anything, including her. Liberty understands this but has lost her young heart to him so it doesn't help much. Liberty tried dating other guys but no one makes her feel like Hardy does and she finds that she's always looking for Hardy in the guys she dates. Hardy leaves town and things get worse for Liberty when her mom dies (without insurance) leaving Liberty on her own with a sister to take care of and little else other than bills. Liberty does have a bit of good luck when she manages to get a scholarship for a beauty school. Once she finishes her training she's able to get a good job in a nice salon. This is where she meets Churchill and becomes friends with him. Many people think that Churchill is her Sugar Daddy but it's not like that at all, they're actually just friends. Liberty and Churchill are friends for a few years when he offers her a new job, one working for him (paying a lot more than what she makes now) as his assistant. Part of the job is living at his house and Liberty isn't sure (especially considering her sister and how things might affect her) but eventually she agrees.

    When she first moves in things aren't easy due to Churchill's son, Gage. Gage is convinced that Liberty is sleeping with his dad and is pissed about her moving in. He eventually comes to terms with everything (and realizes Liberty isn't sleeping with his dad) and isn't necessarily nice to Liberty but stops being outright mean to her. At one point, Gage gets sick as a dog and Liberty decides to stop in at his apartment to check on him because no one can get him on the phone and Churchill is upset, thinking something bad might have happened. When she gets there, Liberty finds Gage is very sick and in need of some help. She's rather soft-hearted so she stays for a few hours to fix him some food (home-made chicken and dumplings) and take care of him. After this, things get better between Gage and Liberty and (with some pushing from Gage's family) they end up on a date together. That goes well and they start seeing each other. Liberty hasn't had very good luck up until now with men and sex, typically having a lot of trouble with the big O, but fortunately things work very well between Gage and Liberty in that area. The main strife between Gage and Liberty is the money situation (she doesn't like him spending money on her and he gets annoyed because he just wants to give her what he wants without thinking about how much it costs) but overall they get along pretty well. Just as things are going well for them, Hardy shows back up. He's has some success with his business ventures and now has money, lots of it. Hardy tells Liberty that he wants her now that he's in a position to be with her. Liberty is totally confused at this point because she's been falling for Gage but she still has unresolved feelings for Hardy from their almost romance when they were young. Liberty has a lot of thinking to do and she spends some time with Hardy (with Gage's agreement) trying to see how much of her feelings are still true and how much are leftover from what she used to feel for him. Liberty ends up deciding that her true feelings are for Gage and not Hardy. Soon afterwards, Liberty finds out that Hardy did something pretty lousy and it just proved to me that Hardy had changed (not in a good way) in the years since they knew each other and that Liberty made the right choice in going for Gage. Liberty and Gage come together for good and start their HEA.

    Overall this was a pretty good story. I will admit that I ended it with a little bit of mixed feelings because I got invested in Hardy as the hero when I started the story so I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that young love didn't win out in the end. But considering the way things went I think the Liberty and Gage was the right outcome and one I was happy with. I liked Liberty...she felt like a pretty normal woman, not perfect but not a bad person...just someone trying to get as best she can. I liked Gage (once he got over his initial butt-headed behavior) but wished he had been a bigger part of the story (he didn't enter in until around 2/3rds of the way in). I was disappointed that Hardy came back just to end up being a jerk. I'm not sure if I'll try the next book in the series as it's around Hardy and Gage's sister and that almost seems a little too weird for me, especially so soon after this book. I'd recommend this story. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bite Me: Pride, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Shelly Laurenston
    • Narrated By Charlotte Kane
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots. When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life's irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad's untimely and unexplained demise. That's where Vic Barinov comes in-or his house does. Vic can't step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he'll have to woo her at high speed: All hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…

    Brooks Krabousanos says: "I Love this series!!!!!"
    "Very good addition to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked Vic and Livy in previous books of the series and I liked the way their story came together. This was a very good addition to the series.

    Livy is a honey badger shifter, a breed which doesn't associate with the other shifters a lot and is known for being very fierce and tough. Most honey badgers are also known for being criminals but Livy isn't interested in that life and instead has embraced her creative side and become a photographer. She currently has a regular job taking pictures of the shifter hockey team (for publicity shots and such) but she actually an artist and her photography is shown in art galleries. Livy actually has a show coming up soon but she's stressing because she feels like she's lost her creative muse (mostly because she's worried about being a sellout for taking a job to pay the bills) and doesn't think she has anything worthy of being in the show.

    Vic is a shifter that's a hybrid of a Tiger and a Bear. He used to be in the service and now does freelance jobs in the mercenary/secret agent type that have him traveling all around the world. He's done some work with some of the main characters from previous books and that's how Vic and Livy meet. They have become friends although Vic gets frustrated when Livy keeps breaking in to his house and stealing all of his honey.

    When the story begins, Livy is not having a good time as her dad just died and at his funeral, the family situation is tense to say the least. She goes back home after the funeral and things still aren't great. People think she's upset because of her dad's funeral but she's really freaked because she has an art show coming up soon for her photography and hasn't been able to get inspired and has no decent photos for the show. She's been doing jobs like being the photographer for the local shifter hockey team and feels it's been taking away from her creativity (although she does need the work to pay bills). She's even more stressed when Blaine asks her (and who can say no to Blaine) to photograph her wedding because Livy is an artist and not a wedding photographer! Needless to say Livy is unthrilled and Vic notices her being upset and it bothers him. Vic thinks it's because of her dad and tries to be there for her, even bringing her gifts of exotic honeys and other stuff in an attempt to cheer her up. While all this is going on, Vic gets a lead on a guy that's responsible for capturing shifters and letting humans hunt them for money. He asks Livy to check out an apartment for him and she agrees (although she's not a thief she has definite skills for getting in and out of places unseen). Livy is surprised and pissed when she goes to check out the apartment and finds evidence there that indicates her father was killed in a much different way than what everyone thought.

    Livy ends up calling in her whole family about the issue and when they find out about what happened and the person responsible, they decide to take him down and make him pay. Vic tries to get them to leave it up to the shifter led authorities but someone in power seems to have pushed this case down in priority and Livy and her family aren't about to leave someone else to take care of the issue or not. Livy and Vic started out as friends but things escalated when they went on a trip to an all bear run town called Honeyville and they end up in bed together. Once she decides that her and her family are going after the bad guy, Vic decides he's not going to let Livy do this on her own and is there to back her up. I really liked how Livy and Vic's relationship grew. They were both rather busy with everything else that was going on but they both were able to recognize that their instincts seemed to be leading them to each other instead of away. They may not have been looking for love but once they realized it was coming up on them they didn't fight it but embraced it (although somewhat reluctantly at times). They had some really good moment together...I especially loved when Vic bought Livy the new camera and how he gave it to her. He's so sensitive to Livy's wants and needs... *sigh* And he even helped Livy to get her muse back. There are some interesting times as Livy's family plans and executes their revenge on the bad guy. This bad guy has been one that the shifters have been after for a while in this series so it's cool to see him get what he has coming. Once everything is concluded, Livy and Vic are solidly together and starting their HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. I really liked Vic and Livy together, they made a good couple. The story was interesting and concluded a long term series story line. I'll be interested to see what plots show up in the next books in the series. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vampire's Consort

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 58 mins)
    • By Caridad Piñeiro
    • Narrated By Natasha Singh
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Vampire Adrian offered Eliza a choice: die of a fatal illness, or become his consort and attend to his every need. Eliza chose life, but she did not expect to fall in love - and lust - with him….Nothing compares to the erotic excitement of watching Adrian pleasure one of his many willing companions, but she’s tired of waiting for Adrian to see her as more than his consort. She thinks she’s ready to move on with her human lover, John - until Adrian surprises all three of them with a sensual encounter that changes everything….

    CAROLYN says: "2 HRS FOR $2 - SHOULD SAY IT ALL !!"
    "Good short paranormal romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3-3.5 stars

    This was a good story. I liked the characters and the story was well done for as short as it was.

    This story is about Adrian and Eliza. Adrian is a vampire. He was in Ireland when he met Eliza, who was dying of an illness. Adrian can't stand the thought of her dying and offers to make her his "consort" (a servant that lives without aging and takes care of the vampire's home and such). It's not considered advisable to have a relationship with your consort and although Adrian has gained feelings for Eliza over the last 200 years she's served him, he's never told her. Eliza has fallen deeply for Adrian as well but it hurts very much to have to watch him bring home other women to feed on and have sex with. She tries to have a normal relationship with a human named John but breaks it off soon in to the story because it wasn't fair to John that she was with him but loved Adrian. Eliza finds herself at an impasse because she can't stand to stay with Adrian any longer but it saddens her. He birthday is coming up and she figures it's a good time to ask Adrian to release her from being his consort. Adrian thinks that she's upset because of the breakup with John and does something stupid trying to make her happy. I had a real WTF!!! moment during the story but fortunately things worked out well in the end for Adrian and Eliza (partially because of John) and the story ends nicely with a HEA for Adrian and Eliza. Overall, I enjoyed this story (outside of the WTF moment). :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unsung Hero: Troubleshooters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Suzanne Brockmann
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (701)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (317)

    After a near-fatal head injury, Navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton - the sweet girl next door who has grown into a remarkable woman.

    Luv2Read says: "Romance novel disguised as a thriller"
    "Pretty good start to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked the characters and how things turned out although some of the story was more sad than I'd have preferred. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I'll probably read more of her work in the future.

    Kelly is a pediatrician and a nice woman. She was married at one point but it didn't work out and she's now divorced. Kelly is the daughter of a man that gave her little love and she's always wanted a way to connect to him. It doesn't help things that her father is dying and her time is running out. She has a practice in Boston but spends most of her time in her hometown (around an hour away from Boston) to take care of her father as he's dying.

    Tom is a Navy SEAL and a good guy. He grew up a bit of a troublemaker but straightened out and became a responsible man once he joined the Navy. He hasn't had much in the way of relationships in the past. He ends up home on leave due to an injury and only intends to stay for a few days but circumstances cause him to change his plans.

    There's actually 3 romances told about in this book. The main one is between Tom and Kelly. They both grew up together and were strongly attracted to each other. There was some kissing when she was 16 but Tom knew she was too young and left to join the Navy. Unfortunately he left abruptly and without telling Kelly why or anything else so when he left he also broke her heart. They both still have a thing for each other but with the years of separation and the way things were left between them when they were younger, neither has hopes of actually having something real between them.

    Another romance is a past love-triangle between Joe (Tom's uncle), Charles (Kelly's dad) and a French woman named Cybele. The love triangle took place in the middle of WW2. Joe was in love with Cybele (a member of the resistance) but she didn't love him. Cybele fell in love with Charles and Charles returned the feelings but he was married (to a woman he didn't really love) and didn't want to cheat on his wife. The story slowly unfolds throughout the book and it's interesting and sheds light on both Joe and Charles but for me it seemed to add sadness to the story because no one came out of the love-triangle with a happy ending.

    The third romance is between Mal (Tom's niece) and a guy named David. David is actually kind of a geek. He draws graphic novels and is really talented. He approaches Mal to model for him for his graphic novel. She doesn't believe him at first but ends up agreeing. They don't hit it off immediately but as she spends time with David, Mal realizes he's really a great guy. They spend more time together and fall for each other...it's rather sweet and I liked the addition to the story.

    The story begins with Tom coming home for medical leave. He got a head injury that has him dizzy and having some issues. His uncle Joe (who he stays with when he's home) is the grounds keeper for Charles and lives on the property so Tom finds out pretty quickly about Charles' health issues and Kelly being home to take care of him. The attraction between them is still strong but Tom has no plans for anything serious because he's only in town temporarily and doesn't do the "love thing". Kelly is still gone on Tom but quickly realizes if she lets her feelings free when he obviously isn't interested in something serious she could get hurt again. She locks away her feelings and decides to pursue a strictly sexual relationship with Tom. Tom realizes his attraction to Kelly is still strong and he wants her but doesn't think she'd be interested. Tom decides to stick around town because Joe might need him with his best friend of 60+ years dying. Soon he finds another reason to stick around because he sees a terrorist that should be dead in a local hardware store. Due to a WW2 ceremony happening in a couple weeks there's reason to believe there's a target but when he tries to tell his superiors about the threat they think he's just lost it due to his head injury and end up hindering him more than helping him.

    Tom isn't sure if his seeing the terrorist is delusions or not but he's unwilling to just stand by and let it happen if it's actually real. He calls in some of his friends from the Navy and also gets offers of help from Joe and Charles (and eventually Kelly). They start trying to find the terrorist and figure out what's going to happen. in the mean time, Tom and Kelly finally end up in bed and things get hot and heavy between them. Tom realizes that he has feelings for Kelly but doesn't tell her as much so when she makes mention of their relationship being sexual he freaks. Instead of telling her that he has feelings and wants to try for something more substantial, Tom acts like a jerk and makes Kelly pay for his hurt even if she doesn't understand why. There's a back and forth between them that lasts through most of the book. They can't stand to stay away from each other so they keep ending up back in bed together but they can't seem to work the feelings aspect out. Eventually Kelly has to be the strong one and with some good advice from her father (who finally gives her some love and actually talks to her) she gathers her courage and tells Tom (in front of his whole team at that) that she doesn't just want sex from him and that she loves him. I was happy with the way things turned out relationship wise but it was rather frustrating along the way. In the end, Tom and his team (which by this time also included Mal and David) are able to stop the terrorist plot and save the town (and prove that Tom wasn't nuts). The ending is a bit sad but overall was really good with Kelly and Tom planning how they're going to arrange things so they can stay together for their HEA.

    This was an enjoyable story. I liked the all the characters but to be honest, Tom disappointed me a bit. To me, it seemed like he acted a bit like a spoiled little boy not getting his way when he got pissy with Kelly about the type of relationship she thought they had. It wasn't too bad but I thought he could have been more mature about things. I liked the way things ended for Charles in the story, it was a fitting end. Overall it was a pretty good story. I may try more in the series later. I'd recommend this book. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Improper Relations

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Juliana Ross
    • Narrated By Victoria McGloven
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (182)

    When Hannah's caught watching her late husband's cousin debauch the maid in the library, she's mortified - but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she's used to being ignored. The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she's witnessed, but there's something about Leo that draws her to him.

    bluebelle says: "Definately erotica"
    "Pretty good start to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. Hannah was a really good heroine and I liked Leo as well but wished we could have seen some of his PoV at times. This is the first book by this author that I've read but I liked it and am willing to try more of her work in the future.

    Hannah is a widow and poor so she had to become a companion to her aunt (by marriage) who is titled and very full of herself. Hannah didn't love her husband but tried to be a good wife to him. When he died and left Hannah without means to take care of herself, she was revealed not have to go to the work houses but has little happiness, living a rather dreary life. She never expects a chance encounter to change her whole life.

    Leo is the second son of a titled Lord. He got in to some trouble when he was younger and now has been labelled as a lazy, partying second son that does nothing but provide embarrassment to his family. Never mind that he hasn't been that way for years and actually has a brain. His parents have recently decided that it's time for him to get married and "ally" another titled family or at least someone with a big dowry through his marriage. Leo isn't willing to get in to a marriage of convenience but his parents don't really listen to what Leo says.

    The story begins with Hannah in the library mending and Leo and a maid coming in to the library for an afternoon dalliance. Hannah knows she should make a noise so they know she's there and leave but she instead stays quiet and watches. Afterwards she's surprised to find that Leo knew she was there and let her watch. Leo offers to shows her the pleasures of the flesh but Hannah never felt anything but pain with her husband and isn't sure. Leo convinces Hannah to let him show her pleasure. He shows her a bit and then asks to meet again later for more. Hannah knows she shouldn't but is sucked in by the pleasure and the realization of how empty her life is. She agrees and her and Leo enter in to their own dalliance. Things continue for a few months but no mention is made of the future between them and Leo's mother is trying to push him in to a marriage (and Hannah would never be considered a suitable wife). There ends up being some major drama and Hannah & Leo are separated from each other. Hannah is very saddened by this but thinks there's no other way and she's lost Leo for good. Fortunately, Leo ins't about to be separated and takes things in to his own hands, bringing them back together and propelling them in to a sweet HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. I liked both Hannah and Leo and while their story is not unique in it's plot, it's well written and you get a lot for as short as it is. As I mentioned, I do wish we had gotten some of Leo's PoV...you can see tenderness in some of his actions that gives an idea of where his feelings towards Hannah are but since he doesn't express them (verbally) through most of the story, I wouldn't have minded getting a glimpse in to his head. Regardless of this minor complaint I liked the story and would recommend it for anyone interested in a sweet and sexy historical romance. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unexpected Gifts: A Castle Mountain Lodge Romance, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Elena Aitken
    • Narrated By Jennifer Drake Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    When you're looking for a little escape to the rugged mountain landscape that's as beautiful as it is wild, unwind at Castle Mountain Lodge. Christmas represents everything Andi Williams is supposed to have, and doesn't. Running away to a remote mountain lodge in the Canadian Rockies, sounds like the perfect way to escape, until a mix-up finds her sharing a villa with sexy, rough around the edges, Colin Hartford. Colin's determination to enjoy the holiday he's missed for the last five years, sweeps Andi into a season of joy that she's not sure she's ready for.

    Malinda says: "Pretty good non-sexual Christmas romance :D"
    "Pretty good non-sexual Christmas romance :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked both Colin and Andi and enjoyed their story. This is the first book I've read by this author and I may try more of her work in the future. Be warned though....there is NO SEX in this story. It's a nice Christmas romance but don't expect much steam.

    Andi is an event coordinator. She isn't feeling the Christmas spirit because earlier in the year she lost a baby and her boyfriend left her when she needed him most. Now with the holidays and the families all having special times Andi isn't feeling very cheery. She decides to get away to a mountain resort to avoid all the Christmas stuff at home.

    Colin has been living in the tropics doing security systems for years. He had a fiancee that cheated on him and ended up pregnant with another man's baby and now he doesn't get involved in relationships. He hasn't been back to Canada for years and decided that this year he wanted snow and a "real Christmas" so his assistant booked him at a mountain lodge that's known for it's Christmas activities.

    Andi and Colin meet at check-in. There's a mix-up in reservations and Andi doesn't have a room after all. Colin recognizes Andi during all of this and it ends up that Blaine (Andi's ex) had introduced them about a year before. Colin finds out Andi is no longer with Blaine and is there alone without a place to stay. There's a blizzard outside and Colin's villa has 3 bedrooms so he offers Andi a place to stay. Andi isn't sure if it's a good idea but Colin seemed alright when she met him before and it was take his offer or sleep on a couch in the lobby so she agrees. Colin and Blaine weren't very close and don't have a good relationship so Colin doesn't know what happened between Blaine and Andi but he quickly realizes that he doesn't care just as long as it's over because he really likes Andi. He also realizes her problem with the Christmas season and decides to make it his task to get her to have fun over the holidays. They go ice skating and have some other activities and things go well between them. Regardless of the fact that Colin doesn't do relationships and Andi doesn't do anything but relationships, both of them can't help but to want to explore the possibilities between them. Things are going well and Andi and Colin are helping to throw a holiday ball at the Lodge when things go to crap in the form of Blaine showing up and being a complete jerk and showing just why Andi shouldn't be with him. This causes some issues in the growing relationship between Colin and Andi but fortunately Andi tells Blaine off and he leaves (I just wish she'd have told Blaine off earlier). Andi and Colin end the story in what would probably be a HFN. They admit to falling for each other (yes, it's an insta-love thing) and decide to be together but since it ends immediately after that I'm not sure if it's established enough to be considered a HEA so I'm going with HFN.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked Andi and Colin and liked their story. My only complaint was that when Blaine showed up Andi should have told him off right away and not given him the opportunity to stick around and cause more problems. Overall though it was pretty good and a nice use of a few hours. I'd recommend this for people in the mood for a Christmas romance with no sex in it. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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