GILBERT, AZ, United States | Member Since 2009
Well, I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read this book, but it's not that the book was a disappointment, but not what I expected. It seemed like the book was setting a foundation for the series...but not in the typical way.
The best part of this listen was the incredible narrator....WOW, what a voice! Phil Gigante has a gigantic talent in voicing. I was even pleased with the female voices. Wow, what a dreamy, throaty, sultry voice!
I liked the leads & other characters in the book. The leads, Nicholas and Rowan were interesting and had great chemistry. This book was about their friendship, courtship, bonding and at the very end of the book (last 5-8 minutes literally) their marriage & consummation. I liked how Nicholas became Rowan's coach, encourager and strength when she was learning to harness the power of her gift in relation to the Targe.
The book left you hooked as the epilogue revealed the Kind of England's wrath about the outcome of his mission and his next move to capture the Targe......so creepy & scary. It leaves you with the feeling that NIcholas & Rowan have not reached their "ever after." There is a lot more adventure & danger for the clan in store for them.
Well, I started this series out of sequence...oops on my part. I read this book before book 1, yet, it was easy to delve into this wonderful, light-hearted, fabulous read/listen. The writing style is very good and flows smoothly, just as the characters in this book. I was immersed in the world of the Bradford's with their larger-than-life personalities and obsession with food. In like manner, Zoe was introduced into this family through her landlord, Trevor.
The book starts out with Zoe experiencing the worst day ever, followed by a major confrontation with Trevor and the rest is history---I loved the chemistry, banter and antics between these two. What first begins as an "arrangement" with Zoe food shopping and cleaning up Trevor's side of the townhouse falls into something more intimate that Trevor rationalized as "getting Zoe out of his system." Well, thankfully, Zoe never "gets out of his system" because the man just can't get enough of her. A comfortable, easy-going and fun relationship deepens into a searing, hot formidable forever-kind-of-love that is seasoned with flair and light-hearted drama that you would come to expect from a Bradford romance.
Both leads transform in this book and each change is unique. Zoe struggles with her weight and makes some major life-changes. Zoe describes Trevor as a "walking advertisement for sex," as he is over 6 ft. tall, very handsome and appealing to the ladies. Yet, Trevor has some hang ups of his own, as well as his "checklist" for the "perfect woman" who he plans to marry. It was fabulous to see Trevor's checklist fly out the door and replaced with Zoe, as the love of his life. Trevor's assessment of Zoe changes throughout this story. Initially, he was very critical of her, as she was not at all his type, but later he describes Zoe as "curvy" and "sexy as hell." Overall, Zoe is described as rather plain, but when Trevor reflects on her "bright-baby blue eyes, mahogany hair with light brown natural highlights, and as refers to her as "aggressive in bed." Well, she didn't seem all that plain to me. The background of the leads further roots this story into something really special and unforgettable.
This book is absolutely enjoyable at each fun-filled, sexy moment. You will get a great filling of the Bradford family in all of their colorful appetites for life, family and most importantly, food. The epilogue was perfection, just like this book! Can't wait to sink my chops into the remaining two books (order not important, at this point...LOL)
Narrator: Fran Jules did a fantastic job! I loved her voicing for females and males alike. She really brought each of the characters to life! Bravo!
4 STARS BECAUSE I'M SUCKED IN…..
I've heard so much about the Crossfire series that I finally decided to dive in….And, let me tell you, I dove into an intricate tangle of drama, emotional highs and lows all wrapped up in the enigmatic Gideon Cross and beautiful Eva Eva Hammel. The writing is very good and we are introduced to both leads in the lively New York City. I was captured by the fact that everyone in this book (main characters) are beautiful, but seriously messed up through childhood sexual abuse. We only learn about Eva's backstory in this book. Both lovers meet and meld into each other due to this undeniable, animalistic, magnetic sexual attraction. Yet, Gideon makes the first move and aggressively pursues Eva.
There were a lot of things I liked about Eva…she's beautiful and has wealthy connections, but is not pretentious. Her mother loves the lifestyle that comes from money and married a millionaire, but Eva seems anchored through the love of her father who is a cop in San Diego. Eva also has an interesting roommate, Cary Taylor who is a model with a climbing career in the industry (who is also seriously messed up & goes further into a tailspin in this book). I liked that, as a heroine, Eva has a feminine vulnerability, but she is also assertive with Gideon. She doesn't give in to him right away, and is not afraid to vocalize why. She is always assertive and tells Gideon hows she feels. I appreciated that she did not hold anything back in the relationship.
Gideon Cross is extremely wealthy as he has his hand in the pot of various businesses, hotels, night clubs, gyms etc. The guy is loaded, but he's also charismatic, gorgeous, striking, with the grace of an animal and exudes a quiet aura of power. I didn't really think that Gideon was an overbearing alpha male…not when he gave in to Eva so much and spent most of his nights at her house. He mentioned some S&M, but when Eva objected, we never heard about this suggestion again….lol
The plot moves forward through a series of experiences between the characters that are emotional, draining and sexually potent. Eva and Gideon are ON FIRE in the bedroom, but outside of the bedroom they can't seem to escape relational problems. I felt Eva's plight with Gideon because he could be emotionally distant, and didn't deal well with the women in his past. Even though Magdalena Perez was disarmed as a threat for the affections of Gideon, a new threat, Corinne was introduced at the end of the book, and I felt a rage and jealously for Eva…..Gideon does not "get it" when it comes to these women…So, I know the drama has only begun since this series which was originally meant to be 3 books is now being drawn out into 5 freaken books!!!!
OMG, WHAT THE HECK DID I GET MYSELF INTO???? If I give in to the sensible part of myself, I will stop at this juncture and wait till all 5 books are released before proceeding. However, if I give in to the unhealthy and curious part of my psyche…the part that is sadistic and inflicts pain without reason….well, I will move forward with this series…..I haven't decided yet.
Narrator: I really liked Jill Redfield. She executed her performance very well.
I wanted to love, or even like this book, but I couldn't. Let's look at the positive side, this book is a love trilogy (which indicates that that this romance will be explored in detail so maybe there are some nice twists and turns to come), the cover is smoking hot (whoa...seriously smokin!!!), and the synopsis seemed interesting (if even to see how this author added her creative take on a familiar path).
Successful CEO, Jett Mayfield hires Brooke Stewart, young real estate agent, to work directly for him as his personal assistant. He also offers a sex contract stipulating a non-disclosure statement as well as a "no-strings attached" type of relationship. Well, the problem with these contracted relationships is that feelings tend to get in the way and make things complicated, as it did in this relationship, but that should be the exciting part, right????...anyway....
Throughout the story, it's evident that things don't match up, but I wasn't sure if that was due to Reed's writing style, poor character development or that the "WTF moment" other reviewers have alluded to would bring it all together at the very end and make this book work. Unfortunately, it didn't.
I struggled to connect with this book for three reasons; the heroine, unremarkable sex/love scenes and forgettable romance. With the heroine, Brooke Stewart, young realtor in New York, mainly, I questioned her intelligence and general awareness in life. For the love scenes, hero, Jett Mayfield talked a big game, but nothing memorable happened. Most of the sex/love scenes were forwarded over, "they made love all evening...all day, all week." etc. Um...where's the spark? Where's the emotional connection? Where's the damn sexual chemistry??? There were some intimate moments where the heroine shares her family trauma and that was significant. Yet, the hero is so mysterious and closed off, I had a hard time finding any curiosity about him....even with his tribal hot tattoos......But lastly, I didn't believe the romance....and that means I won't be completing the series. Can I have another book too match the cover???? Please???
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger's voice sounded like a smoker's raspy voice....It bothered me at first, but I kept trying to pretend it was sultry...epic fail on my part.
I always enjoy a great romance and especially a medieval one that is set among castles and lush landscapes, with strong warriors and beautiful damsels. Crosby gives us very likable characters in the legend referred to as the Silver Wolf, Weston FitzStephens and Chrestien de Lontaine, a Norman noblewoman. Weston is a fierce warrior who champions King Henry's causes. Weston is feared by his enemies, considered a hero by his people and sought after by the ladies. Yet, our fierce warrior is very suspicious of women and doesn't really hold them in high-esteem, until he meets and falls in love with Chrestien. Chrestien is a very smart, young woman who is loyal to her loved ones, so much that she puts their needs and safety before her own. Chrestien is bold and has a temper, for this reason her father feared that she would be abused by an impatient husband, and therefore guided Chrestien toward the idea of becoming a nun.
Unfortunately due to geo-political differences, Chrestien's father placed himself on the opposite side of King Henry, which made him an enemy of the Crown. On the battlefield Weston's men defeated Chrestien's father, leaving all that he owned as property of the Crown. Weston is sent to take over Lontaine and secure it for the King. This is where he runs into the beautiful and cunning, Chrestien. The first encounters, discovery of one another, and the chemistry that binds the connection between the H/h is interesting, palpable and just great. I loved seeing them fall in love with one another. With two very strong characters they had a lot to work through, but overall their relationship was passionate and became deeply rooted.
There are very interesting supporting characters who any reader would gravitate to, and perhaps love. Unfortunately, there is a tragedy that occurs in this story that will be hard for readers to get over it. I had read various reviews and therefore learned about this spoiler, but even knowing that this tragedy was coming it didn't really prepare me for the impact. It was really sad and it's kind of hard to get over. It left me wondering why the author went in that direction.
For the most part, the romance is very good. I also enjoyed the relationships in the story. Yet, the sweet aspects are contrasted by the overshadowing of betrayal, and treachery by an emotionally misguided villain. Thankfully there is an HEA that is endearing and sweet between the H/h.
Narrator: Marian Hussey was excellent. I enjoyed her performance for all of the characters.
OH MY GOODNESS! Well, book 2 in this series certainly did not disappoint! I understand why so many who review this series jokingly say that they will need therapy post this reading because this romance is like a train running the tracks at break neck speeds that, many times, seems like it will come crashing out of the railings, but never quite does. This "coming close to the edge of a cliff, but not jumping" feeling is all because of the masterful writing of Jodi Ellen Malpas. What leads she has given us!! Readers need therapy because this romance is one you want to follow, but is not just unconventional, dysfunctional, unhealthy and implosive, but it's also cushioned by the aspects in the relationship which are tender, loving and sweet, and well, just feel right. And, it's all because of JESSIE WARD…lol
So our leads have endured 5 tortuous days without each other in a bad break up stage. Ava is sick and dejected, but Jessie is true to his over-the-top nature and is completely in meltdown mode. Ava cautiously comes to Jessie's side while he's down, but when Jessie regains his strength and wits, a better description is that Ava is swallowed by his side.
So, through out the book the relationship between Ava and Jessie is like a tight band of tension that represents Jessie's dominant will over Ava. Sometimes, the band loosens with Ava's prodding and opposition, but mostly, the band always bounces back to Jessie's corner of advantage. My feelings toward Jessie teetered from wanting to physically restrain him and beat him to feeling softness toward him because of his tender love for Ava.
In this book, Jessie's possessiveness of Ava has increased exponentially as she is his shiny, beautiful toy that he doesn't want to share with anyone and he will TRAMPLE anyone who impedes him from having his way with Ava. Yes, there's still more of the "sleepy sex,"reminder" sex, and "sense" sex; but you also have to add "sleepy" sex, "retaliation", sex, "al fresco" sex, "make-up" sex and "TRUTH" sex (which was introduced by Ava). Haha!!! That was one of my favorite parts in seeing Ava become more assertive. If you didn't realize already there is A LOT of sex in this book…I mean A LOT!
Even though I was hoping that Ava would acquire more control, power or influence in the relationship, sooner in the book (the first half seemed to be a series of Ava negotiating and ultimately losing the battle with Jessie's strong will), however, toward the latter part it becomes evident that Ava's strategy with Jessie was working toward the side of progress. After a major incident and turning point in the book where Jessie flies off of the handle and self-destructs in a bloody way, Ava responds in a manner that most sane people would not endorse. Yet this action initiated a series of deep talks between the pair and it spills out that Ava has much more control that she realizes. In addition, Jessie starts sharing parts of his heart that he has neurotically and protectively kept hidden for fear of losing Ava's love and affection.
Kate- I have mixed feelings about Ava's best friend. I don't like how she become secretive regarding her club activities and how she did not seem like the strongest advocate for Ava during major fighting scenes between Ava and Jessie. Toward the end, she did seem like a better friend….but just barely, in my eyes.
Sarah-OH I was so happy when Ava FINALLY put her in her place toward the end of the book. I wanted to see Sarah suffer more, but oh well, we have to be civil here…lol
Ruth Quinn-I can't wait to see what part she plays in book 3 as her pushy character was brought into this book for a reason.
Narrator: Edita Brychta is absolutely one of the best in the business. Her performance has been excellent for all characters. She has made this audiobook superb!!
So, the end of the book was absolutely fabulous!! And, even though I was "crazy mad" during many parts of this book, I also was able to "make friends" with Ava's love for her man, Jessie Ward…..that's all a part of living in "CENTRAL JESSIE CLOUD 9," I suppose.
NOW TO BOOK 3, THE FINALL INSTALLMENT!!!!
I can't believe that this was Malpas's debut trilogy! She did a wonderful job in creating leads who were so potent, interesting and flawed that they felt real and tangible.
Ok, I have to admit that this book had so many emotional edges that I had to call in a life line. I threatened to go straight to the epilogue if my friend (who had already read the book) did not give me some assurances that things would be alright (silly, I know)…LOL (thankfully, she never spilled any spoilers). The first part of the book was more rocky, but after a point, it was smooth sailing and simply sumptuous and beautiful between Jessie and Ava.
My goodness can Jessie and Ava fight!!!--BUT OH MY GOODNESS, they LOVE way better than they fight. And, believe me for every time they spent apart they made up for it like 10-fold. Yes, this book is steamy, hot and that never changes….the chemistry between Jessie and Ava was always ON FIRE!
Throughout the series I had been interested in the balance of power between Jessie and Ava and I felt like Malpas did a great job in establishing a "normal" that works for these lovers. Jessie loves Ava in a violent-crazy, intense, beautiful, amazing kind of way and Ava returns that love and accepts his ways. But, Ava not only accepts Jessie's ways, she loves them (constantly finding ways to get a "sense" sex, or "retaliation" sex out of him etc.
Fortunately for readers, this book leaves no stone unturned when it comes to unresolved issues or suspicions carried over from the previous 2 books. The things that bothered me most about Jessie was how he applied a double standard in how he dealt with the women that pined for him as compared to how he makes Ava deal with the men that seek her out. YET, this aspect is dealt with and there is an "ah-hah" moment for the reader.
There are so many things I loved about this book--the way Jessie and Ava love, play, and who can forget how she holds on to his body, "baby-monkey style." There are so many surprises in this book, but there was 1 surprise that really melted my heart and KILLED ME….LOVED IT!!!
Now I have to say, I still don't like Kate (Ava's friend), I didn't like the way Ava dealt with her brother, and I still felt no sympathy for Sarah…but, that's part of how much these characters felt real. You can't like everything about people in real life, right?
The epilogue was stunning……simply stunning. I was left feeling happy, giddy, satisfied and sad all at the same time because this wonderful trilogy was over.
Thank you Jodi Ellen Malpas for delivering such an emotionally, crazy, interesting and hot romance. I really loved the authenticity in this romance based in modern-day London with all of the colorful British colloquial language: "bloody, shag, cow, knickers, willy-nilly, twat, tart, toilet (instead of restroom), etc. "
Narrator: Edita Brychta was excellent. She performed beautifully. Loved her British accent!
I have been burning through my monthly credits and decided on this series because of the mix of interesting reviews as well as the length of the books.
Well, delving into this book was like diving off of a cliff into roaring rapids……shallow roaring rapids….OMG!!! THIS BOOK IS CRAZY!!! And, it's all because of JESSIE WARD. I have never read about a male lead that can come close to Mr. Jessie Ward, Lord of the Manor and his level of pursuit of female lead, Ava O'Shea. Ava is a successful, young interior designer who is becoming renown for her creativity and work in luxury living.
I've said that I like a hero who is persistent in love, but Jessie takes the cake!!! This man is intense, persistent, domineering, possessive, and a stalker! But only with Ava, according to those closest to this man. Jessie is a tall drink of male perfection with his green eyes, dirty blonde hair, and toned physique. The sexual intensity between Ava and Jessie is supercharged, electric and close to complete detonation. Initially, Ava resists Jessie and although she is drawn to Jessie and has scintillating sexy moments with him, she, in turn, runs from him…quite a few times. But, I think that's her only defense against this unstoppable force that is Jessie Ward. Jessie is secretive to the exponential degree. When he finally wraps his tentacles around Ava, he is determined to NEVER let her go and never let any of his personal secret out as well.
But the major issue between Jessie and Ava is related to the concept of CONTROL and Jessie is determined to keep all of the control in his corner of the relationship ring. Jessie uses all kinds of sex to get his way and make Ava give in to his every whip, which includes"sense" sex--- "reminder" sex, and countdowns to make Ava's will foil.
Ava's weakness is her desire for this man. She is intelligent, has good instincts and impressions, but she always moves in a direction toward Jessie. This desire seems to override any pursuit of questions, and suspicions she has. This part of Ava drives me batty nuts!!!! There are times I just want to slap her upside the head! If this wasn't fairy tale book world, Jessie is the type of guy that Ava should be advised to stay away from and even place a restraining order against. But, since we're in fairy tale book world, the challenge is to see if Ava is able to gain more control and influence in this relationship as the series progresses. Every girl who wants to see a strong, female lead is waiting for Ava to grow in her personal assertiveness and self-advocacy.
I really wanted to see Ava beat Sarah down in this book.
I was also pissed with Kate, Ava's best friend…she seemed to be more Team Jessie than Team Ava and that left me with bad feelings about her.
OMG! The end of this book had me on pins and needles due to the big reveal!!! I immediately ordered the second book in the series without delay. This is going to be one, crazy, whirlwind of a ride….but, most definitely a memorable one!
I understand this was Malpas debut novel and series…Wow! What a series!!…it makes me feel like I need therapy with all of the highs and lows. In reading reviews about the next books, it seems like the most intense, neurotic, and crazy parts are yet to come!!!
HERE WE GO!!!…….
Well, I found it really hard to click the pause button on this one!!!
WOW! This book is true to the raving reviews. Loretta Chase has created two leads, Sebastian Ballister (the notorious Marquess of Dain) and Jessica Trent (the woman who caught his eye) with psychological and developmental backgrounds that compliment and interlock their love and need for one another in such a deeper level than most romances.
Sabastian's background was definitely the most hurtful and psychologically damaging. His ability to deal with the rejection of his father, the abandonment of his mother, bullies at his school, and the difficulty connecting with women demonstrated his powerful coping skills and resiliency. OMG!!--This man is the epitome of resiliency!!! Nonetheless, he still needed healing for the things that were not right in his life.---Enter the beautiful, intelligent, witty and big-hearted Jessica to come and scramble up Sabastian's life of debauchery and pull him in like a magnet to her. When both meet for the first time in a shop in Paris, their chemistry was so tangible it felt like a humming buzz that only got stronger as the story progressed!
This book is full of great scenes and dialogues between the two leads throughout their relationship development. There are also very interesting relationships between Jessica and her grandmother, Genevieve, her nit-wit of a brother Bertrie and her ability to connect with little Dominic. It was also interesting to see how Sabastian dealt with his greedy, inner circle of friends when their own lives began to unravel.
In reading/listening to this book, I laughed, I teared up, I felt excited and there were also some interesting "putting the puzzle pieces" together moments. Overall, this book was powerful because it showcased the healing power of love and how the cycle of mistakes made by a previous generation does not have to be carried over to the next. I loved how Sabastian (or Dain as he is referred to throughout the book) and Jessica's love story created a new legacy for their family. Jessica was the conduit for the healing...she was exactly what Dain needed, and Dain fulfilled her every fantasy. That's my kind of romance and HEA!!!
Narrator: Kate Reading is excellent! She did a superb job! This is one wonderful audiobook experience!
It's true that this book is somewhat of a departure from KA's style of combining action sequenced drama intertwined with her romances. This book is more centered on the relationship and love development between a very unlikely couple….Hopper "Hop" Kincaid, hot, tatted-up, Chaos MC biker and classy, beautiful lady, Lanie Heron.
We were introduced to both in Tack & Tyra's book (Motorcycle Man). Lanie is Tyra's best friend who had almost gotten killed because she stuck by her man (finance, Elliot Bellova) even after finding out about all of the trouble he was in due to his involvement with the Russian mob. Elliot was killed and Lanie became collateral damage as she experienced her own traumatic life events that the Chaos MC saved her from. For this, Lanie is a friend of the club and hangs out with Tyra and the gang at the compound. Lanie's beauty, cuteness (her flair for silly drama), and her "bedroom eyes" had gotten her noticed and admired by Hopper for years, but she was "class" and definitely not his usual type. Yet, it all changes when Lanie propositions Hopper for a " no complication, one night stand." (this proposition is in the prologue of the book, but not on the audiobook, unfortunately).
There are a lot of things I loved about Hop and Lanie's love affair. First of all, I love a hot, affectionate relentless alpha-male, and Hop is definitely that! Although it was Lanie who first initiated the rendezvous, it's Hop who insists on the continuation of the romance. And, this book is really a beautiful tribute of love between Hope and Lanie. Lanie has issues and Hop is patient and promises to help her win the battle with "the monster (the problems that tear her up from the inside out)." Hop is a great combination of classic biker tough and sweet, as honey, romantic. I thought it was so endearing to see how Hop cherished Lanie and told her how he'd never had "class" before. He almost displays a tender reverence or admiration for Lanie and formulates his own ideas on how Lanie needs to be treated, as a "lady"---_ Those parts are just cute and sweet. Lanie is definitely the damsel in distress here (but more due to psychologically-haunting issues), and she relents to Hop's advances and care of her. She also spoils Hop with her cooking, her deep love for him and his children.
For most of the book, their romance was blissful, but OMG, when these lovers fight while trying to merge both of their pasts, added to that, when both get mad at the same time---WATCH OUT! The drama that ensued between the lovers was really the only conflict that needed to be resolved along with telling others about their secret affair. If you are a helpless romantic and appreciate a great love story that centers on the individuals in the relationship, then you will love "Fire Inside."
Narrator: Kate Russell did a great job, as she always has with KA's audiobooks. Great listen!
This book should not be read as a stand alone, as it continues exactly where book 1 ends.
Awe….. I really loved this sequel!! I was on pins and needles with the way the last book ended, but this book is a dedication of how deeply Ronin fell in love with Amery and his persistent need for her…OMG!! --I just love a Hero who is persistent in love!
The beauty of this book is that all previous suspicions about the shady part of Ronin are either thrown out the door or explained. Amery accepts everything about Ronin, including his past as they work on their relationship as well as all of the challenges that come their way. Some of those challenges encompass Ronin healing from fighting injuries, sealing loose ends with his past, expanding his business with the Brazilian MMA fighters, rediscovering his family connection and most of all re-establishing his all-consuming relationship with Amery after their very bad break-up. Challenges that Amery has to deal with include her judgmental parents and Ronin's nasty ex-girlfriend.
Believe me there is plenty of movement in this story with the leads whose problems feel real and who are surrounded by supportive, interesting and fun friends (Chaz, Molly, Knox, Deacon, Shiori, etc.) Both Amery and Ronin are very stubborn and strong-willed people so you can imagine the things they have to work through. The parts where Ronin practices the Japanese style of bondage (Kinbaku and Sheebari) with Amery was actually very intimate, intense and quite beautiful. You could feel their connection and the intensity of their moments together. Who knew the use of ropes could be so sexy??? This is definitely one very steamy, erotic novel but with leads who are interesting and who you grow to care about.
Overall, I found this sequel to be very good. There is a resolution to each of the issues that arise which makes me sad because I don't know if that means that Amery and Ronin's story is over???? I hope not. I would love to have one more book about their love affair. (Although I have a feeling there is going to be a book with Knox and Shiori…they fight too much which probably means they're crazy for each other…LOL)
Narrator: OMG!! What happened to Rachel Vivette????? For half of the book I was trying to get over her loss. It felt as though I was reading about different characters…I missed listening to Amery's voice through Rachel V.---ugh!! So sad!!! Luke Daniels did a good job for the men, and especially for Ronin, but his voice for the women sounded like transvestites. I would have appreciated a dual narration from both Rachel V. and Luke D. rather than booting Rachel out on this audiobook.
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