GILBERT, AZ, United States | Member Since 2009
I was in the mood for something angsty, and since the Viking series on the History Channel, I've also been interested in reading/listening to something from that era. So, this book delivered on both fronts in this chemical romance through the melting together of Viking Hero, Brant (Lord Blackwell), the Flame, and his "lady-wife" Lady Della, the Cold-hearted.
As previous reviewers have indicated, you will feel a myriad of emotions on this medieval journey of love. It is an emotional, roller-coaster especially for the values of a 21st century listener! Yet, through the many tumultuous emotions that encompassed the experience of this book, overall, I was rooting for a fabulous HEA for both Brant and Della.
This book is about a very conflicted relationship between a couple from different cultures who go through many misunderstandings because they don't share all of their feelings, they speak too harshly and can't take things back due to pride. Della, herself has one of the most sharp-tongues I've witnessed from a heroine. She says awful things to Brant that come very close to fruition. And, even though, most of the time, Brant was the more patient of the pair, he was ruthless in his treatment of his wife (even though he felt remorseful). In this era, it was what was expected. In fact, with all of the brut power and force of the law on the husband's side, it's amazing how much influence and control Della actually held in her manor and with her husband. She is a very strong heroine, despite her shrewish flaws. But, there's always a reason behind the way people act, and Della definitely has a reason for her prejudice and hatred of Vikings. Brant understood this and seemed to really exert effort in making his marriage work.
Despite the tumult, I kept listening because I couldn't stop. Also, the steamy romances between the two was really good. I just wish there was more coverage of the blissful and light moments between the lovers because when they loved it was amazing…..they loved almost as passionately as they fought. Unfortunately, the end felt very rushed and it did not fully make up for the dramatic, violence that preceded it. For this reason there should have been an epilogue. On the positive side, thankfully, there is a resolution to their issues. This story may have a lot of emotionally, crushing moments, but it is very well written. Let me tell you Michelle Pillow really knows how to tell a story, no matter how steamy or chilling.
Lastly, I thought the narrator was excellent. Mason Loyd did a great job in narrating both the masculine, Viking voices as well as the ladies.
This story had a lot of elements that were good. You have a gorgeous, hot & kind hero in professional hockey player Jason “Ryke” Ryke, and a sweet heroine, Kate Camden who met in group grief counseling environment. Both Ryke and Kate had experienced loss in their lives and this is the cement which seemed to bind them together. They had good chemistry and I loved how Ryke pursued and had so much patience with Kate. Ryke was definitely the best part of this book. For me, the issue was with Kate, as she was too hot & cold. I felt like she kept Ryke on a leash and pulled it when she wanted. Yes, I understand she was grieving, but a lot of her evasiveness was too much. She didn't want him to see other girls, but avoided him etc. Also, when Ryke intimately shared about aspects of his previous wife that caused problems in their marriage, well, I couldn't help but feel that Kate exhibited some of the behaviors that were similar in his deceased wife. She was definitely super moody and Ryke really had to work for her affection. Lastly, I prefer more heat in my novels. When their only love-making scene was 26 minutes before the end of the audiobook, well....um...that's just not good enough for me. They did share a chemistry and bond, but Ryke and Kate never really seemed to completely enjoy that love in this book. I kept checking to see if this was an abridged version, but no, it's the whole book. This book felt half done because I needed to have more moments of bliss between the couple aside from the frustration of their budding relationship.
I'm not planning to read/listen to the next book..the heroine was just too frustrating. Sorry Ryke!
On a positive note, the narrators, Chris R. and Kirsten L. were excellent. They performed the alternating POV's very well.
OMG, what an incredible, unpredictable, beautiful love story this was! The first scene between the leads was rather shocking as it was devastating and quite broken. Then, the author took the reader back to the past, to build the story and smoothly landed in the present tense. The blend of incredible leads, secondary characters, great writing style, as well as the fabulous performance of narrators made this an awesome listen!---Actually, a superb listen! Shirl Rae is one of my favorite narrators and she did so well in her performance in this one, and Marc Bachmann's voice was sexy as hell.
Maverick Hart IS "badass personified" as a Navy SEAL. Yes he is a man-whore, but in broader terms he's a part of a brotherhood that was wonderful and so touching to explore. I loved Maverick's POV! He had such a crude, dirty mouth, especially with his SEAL brothers...but it all felt like a realistic depiction of their masculine world. You can’t help but admire and fall in love with these fierce SEAL brothers!
Maverick is a very strong man who leaves no challenge unanswered, and is thrown into a tailspin when he is rejected by the beautiful, but guarded Windsor Forbes. Yet what started as a game between predator and prey turned into an intense, extraordinary, deeply emotional love. I loved Maverick and Windsor together so much, especially their sassy humor, electric chemistry, witty banter, and hot-torrid love! There are so many powerful and romantic moments that Maverick, the adrenaline-seeking, tough as nails, yet soft as velvet, Navy SEAL hottie gave to Windsor.—Seriously, very beautiful MUCH ANTICIPATED love scenes, and romance at it’s purest. *Sigh*
Overall, this book drew out a great depth of emotions in me. I was angry at both Maverick & Windsor’s decisions, at times, but more than anything I was enchanted with how they never gave up and worked things out, reaching a satisfying HEA. There is also tragedy, and I cried noisily while I was driving to work, and had to pull it together. This brings me to the next book, all I can say is that I am going to be greatly conflicted at heart when I read it. Boy does Robinson have a feat ahead of herself with Morganna’s book!!! I was so impressed with this book as her debut, that I know she will not disappoint! What a great start to a series!!!!
EXCELLENT AUDIOBOOK! LOVED IT!
Wow! I'm really taken aback by this series...I'm loving it, and at the same time on pins and needles due to the dangers. In this series, you get the continuation of previous characters that are further built up (Ephraim & Madison's family, etc.), with the dimension of the addition of new characters, including our hero, Caine and beautiful heroine, Danni.
Caine and Danni's romance is a deep and powerful one. Caine is a 900 year old Pyte who was endeared to a bossy little girl, where they lived in the Sentinel compound. After noticing that the girl was rather neglected by her Sentinel parents, Caine became her protector and friend until the day he abandoned her when she was about 17 years old. However, quite a few years later, Caine and Danni get saddled together through the ploy of despicable villains. Caine's love for Danni is his weakness and the enemy knows it....even before Danni does.
In "Tall, Dark, and Heartless" you get a love between Caine and Danni that is filled with hilarious moments, hot-insatiable sexual need for one another, and so much danger and challenges that you feel the weight of it. Yet all this couple really wants, is to be together. No worries though, they do get an HEA, but you just know that their story will continue to be told in the next books in this series...So, definitely more to come for Caine and Danni!
Well, after my rant about the male lead in the book that preceded this one, I was so happy that Mathewson redeemed Chris Williams and his relationship with his mate, Isabella in this book. Chris made a permanent change in his outlook and we got to witness the sweet, devoted husband and father in him come to life. The lives of other characters, including a risky budding romance, between Jill and Logan, were explored in between the scenes with the leads, almost as commercials.
Overall, I love how Matthewson creates these hilarious characters and their love relationships that allow a lightness in this dark and dangerous world where despite the supernatural qualities of the characters, danger always seems to follow & with a vengeance.
Can't wait to read/listen to the next book (hoping it will be released soon)!!
Narrator: Stella Bloom has really come into her own with this series. She's doing a fabulous job in her narration.
OMG! After reading the 1st book, I was so excited to read/listen to this second installment in the series. What a let down! I know this may sound more like a rant rather than a review, but what the heck was R.L. Mathewson thinking when she created the male lead????
Chris, the adopted son of Madison and Ephraim was a total SOB, jerk, A-hole....you can add any expletive and it would fit. His treatment of the heroine, Isabella was not acceptable! He was so awful to her till about 95% of the book, when his turn-around began. Ugh, so many times this was almost a DNF for me, but it's the stubbornness in me that made me listen till the end.
Chris had been awaiting and dreaming about his Sentinel "mate" for years, which seemed to have been plenty of time for him to build up expectations. Well, when fate unites him with his Sentinel mate, Isabella, although she is a beautiful woman (green eyes, great figure--the whole package), he rejects her. Chris rejected Isabella because she lacked fighting instincts. I had such a hard time with Chris and his mistreatment of his lady, especially because Isabella did not deserve that from him. Isabella did not have an easy upbringing....no one EVER showed her love, and for most of this book, Chris could be added to the list of people who did her wrong in her life.
For most of the book, the relationship always felt 1 step ahead, while 3 steps back. When Chris finally started pursuing Isabella sexually, well, they had smoking hot sex, but you couldn't even enjoy those parts because it was sandwiched in with his cheuvonistic, regretful behavior. Even when you thought Chris was making some progress in his feelings for Isabella....BAM, he responded in a way that was appalling and gut-wrenching.
EVEN THOUGH I LOVE R.L. MATTHEWSON'S WORK, I'M SERIOUSLY PISSED WITH HER FOR THIS BOOK. OMG, and when you consider how Isabella was so powerless in the relationship, and was tossed, pulled around and used by Chris....it made me feel sick. There were a few times I felt like crying for her & I had to remind myself this is just a silly novel.
If the relationship between the leads was better this would have been an incredibly fun, and action-packed book. In this book more of the Pyte/Sentinel world comes to life and you learn more about the dangers caused by demons, minions, vampire and were wolves. You also get a great update with the other characters in the book.
UGH, SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT!!! I'm not sure if I will take a chance with the next book in the series......I'll have to find a way to calm down after this one!!!!
Narrator: Stella Bloom did a good job in her narration.
This was a fabulous read/listen because it was funny, sexy and offered a world of varied blood-suckers & other superhuman qualities (Pyte/Sentinels/vamps etc.), that was refreshing and different. I really liked how R.L. Matthewson's adhered to some aspects of the classic vampire canons, while adding elements to these supernatural creatures that was unique to this story.
24 year old Madison, as a heroine, was maternal, loving, self-sacrificing, and completely loyal to the well-being of her siblings (Jill and Joshua). Her mother Candy was a low-life, selfish woman who only stuck around when it was in her interest. When Madison moved her family to New Hampshire to live in her grandmother's boarding house, well, that's when her life totally took a turn and became something remarkable after meeting the hero of this story.
The hero, Ephraim Williams, who is a Pyte (you have to read this book to learn what that is :-), is about 200+ years old [Yeah, big age difference---but age certainly didn't matter in his love affair] Although Ephraim lives in the same boarding home, he's a recluse until he catches scent of Madison's blood, and cannot stay away from her. As this story progresses so does the sexual tension between the leads and Ephraim's bloodlust for her.
There were a lot of hurdles and challenges both leads had to overcome and solve in order to stay together, but that part of the story was equally funny as it was dangerous. When Ephraim and Madison finally give in to their magnetic romance, I have to say that their Pyte/human sex was phenomenal....it was pretty supernatural, steamy & well crazy hot! LOL. Both leads shared a great love affair. OMG, Ephraim was totally whooped with Madison. The only thing that bothered me was how stubborn she was when she got pissed. OMG, the girl could hold a grudge, but Ephraim's relentless persistence paid off in both keeping her safe and winning back her affection each time she got upset with him.
I enjoyed what became of Madison, Ephraim, and her family.--They became a beautiful family unit which they all desperately needed. One of the best surprises was Chris who was Madison's student and how he got integrated into this unconventional family. I thought the best aspect was how, not only did the leads find this healing kind of love with one another, but that love also extended itself to the rest of the family. WOW!!! What a great story!
CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE NEXT BOOK WHICH IS CHRIS'S STORY! WOOT-WOOT!
Narrator: I've heard Stella Bloom before and I think she does a good job with her narrations. She adds sass and injects the right amount of inflection in the humorous parts.
When you have the combination of a vivid writer such as Jodi Ellen Malpas, paired with the talented narration of Edita Brychta, it is a feast for the senses, the heart, and the mind, as the story is told in such a magnificent way! After reading/listening to the "This Man" series, I was going through withdrawals because I wanted more....Thankfully, Malpas has gifted readers with what seems to be another fantastic trilogy!
Yes, it's true that the story surrounding Livy, a sweet but guarded stunning woman, and the drop-dead gorgeous, yet mysterious "M" certainly feels like a variation of Jessie and Ava's story, from the "This Man" series, but let me tell you, I DON"T CARE....Malpas can continue writing a thousand variations, and I'd be in bliss....Jessie Cloud 9, or something similar-kind of bliss...Hahaha! Yet, it's important to emphasize that even though the style of writing in this book is vintage Malpas, Livy and 'M's" romance catapults into their own unique story that will dazzle and keep readers intrigued.
I found Livy to be a very likable female lead, and her need to live and care for her grandmother added a special aspect to this story. I also enjoyed Livy's friends, who although are limited, are fun and very protective of her.
Now Mr. "M"....mmmmmm, where should I start? --Yes, he is mysterious, devilishly attractive, demonstrates impeccable manners, yet I like that he has his own neurotic tendencies that gave him a vulnerable kind of charm.
Livy and "M" have instant die-hard attraction for one another. The love scenes are steamy, and packed with longevity and stamina....LOL. "M" is emotionally as closed off as a fortress, and initially insists on only spending 24 hours of passionate indulgences with Livy, yet he definitely sees that she is special and wants more from her. I loved that he was able to come to the point where he could acknowledge a need for Livy that was powerful and pushed him to pursue her relentlessly (well, nowhere near Jessie Ward-stalker style, but still pretty relentless). I loved how "M" felt that his relationship with Livy was worth fighting for.
But, alas this book doesn't end well, and I blame Livy for that one. I think she did wrong, and that makes the wait for the release of the next book even more excruciating!!!!! There are devastating revelations about both Livy and "M's" history, but Livy didn't accept "M's" history as well as he accepted hers. OMG!!! Right when things were going to well for both Livy and M!!!!! BAM!!!.....PLEASE CAN WE FAST FORWARD TO NOVEMBER ALREADY????
THIS WAS A GREAT START TO THE SERIES....CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT DEVELOPMENTS THE 2ND INSTALLMENT HAS IN STORE FOR READERS/LISTENERS.......
I decided to venture into this book since I was in a reading rut and couldn't decide on what to read/listen to next. I adore the narrator Ashford MacNab, and that's another reason I chose to plunge into this book.
I was ready to listen to something within the regency romance genre which was slightly gritty, realistic and nontraditional. Well, I definitely got that in this candid story with tragic elements of a woman fighting to survive in a world where women have very few advantages in society.
The development of the story line is different since the actions of the story are explored as a diary experience and through the heroine, Cozette's perspective. The book does work toward an HEA, with mild injections of humor, much tragedy, tough life lessons, pain and ultimately survival.
Cozette and Earnest have been separated, as late teenagers living in an orphanage, and have promised to find each other. Earnest is an absolutely gallant hero who protects Cozette and sacrifices so much for her. But, you don't really know the full extent of that sacrifice until the very end of the book, might I add after Cozette has experienced various trysts with other men. On that note, one of my biggest worries throughout the book was all of this unprotected sex Cozette had with various suitors....OMG talk about taking BIG risks when engaging in casual sex, in that time period!!!
Even though this book is well written, secondary characters are interesting, and there is an HEA at the end, if you are a helpless romantic as I am, you can't help but feel that there was a lot of wasted time and unnecessary heart-ache that could have been avoided altogether (but then, if that heart-ache was avoided this would be a very different book).
3 STARS FOR THE BOOK, AND 5 STARS FOR A GIFTED NARRATOR THAT CAN MAKE ANY BOOK COME ALIVE.
Maya Banks explores the lives of couples who are friends. Some of the couples are in the DOM/Sub relationship. But, it was interesting because I found the independent woman in me having some trouble with these characters.
Joss (heroine) is pretty much a trophy wife. She doesn't have children, but stays home and was the hostess with the mostess for her husband's business events etc. (really that seemed to be the biggest challenge in her life)....so her husband dies, and 3 years later she gets involved with her husband's business partner, Dash, who is a DOM. Joss loves this because she had "needs" that her husband never fulfilled, but the new guy does. Joss loved being dominated so this relationship with Dash is a dream for her.
What was weird for me was how the men in the book are big on caring for the women, supposedly "cherishing them" "loving them" etc. (even with the BDSM stuff & having other men involved in the sex-capades), but, my feeling was that the women were kind of helpless…..no career, no real goals except waiting for their partner to get home and get it on. I mean the biggest worry the heroine had was whether she should reinstate her nursing certificate., but SHE NEVER DID IT!!!! She had plenty of time since she stayed home all day and who knows what she did all day (except make dinner for her man)….UM, that's kind of low expectations for a woman, in general…….
So the biggest action in this book was Joss waiting naked for her man, then getting ready to go to the local sex club. And, Dash is like , "baby I cherish & love you, now trust me, turn around & let me whip your @ss & put butt plugs up your buttonhole"---SERIOUSLY!!!
Even though I loved Maya Banks' Highland series, I don't think I'm going to continue with this one. I mentioned the part of the story that I had trouble with, but I also took issue with how redundant and repetitive the internal monologue of the characters were. OH MAYA…NOT YOUR BEST WORK :-(
Narrator: The female voices were performed fine, but the performance for the male voices was lacking.
WOW!! This audiobook really captured my attention and heart because it brimmed with almost everything on my romance checklist. This is one scintillating, emotional and very touching romance between badass, UFL fighter Jonah Slade, and the beautiful Raven Morretti who is sweetness personified. (Might I add that both leads have incredible tattoos---which is another plus!)
This book had so many elements that made this a nonstop listen from start to finish. First, you have this great group of friends who are MMA fighters and simply hilarious and they comprise Jonah's inner circle. I can't wait to read/listen to each of their stories, especially Blake's--That man-whore with the crazy sense of humor…LOL.His story is next! Woot-woot! Jonah is a well-respected fighter and buddy among the group. Everyone wants to party and crash at his house. His friends also know Jonah's pattern with women--he never gets emotionally involved or sleeps with the same girl twice. (I mean we're talking about Vegas lifestyle here….)
THen you have this incredible woman who enters Jonah's life and it all changes from there….Let me say that this heroine, Raven is something else. I LOVED her! She is a survivor of a ruthless father (more like biological contributor) and a cold mother who neglected her. Her sperm donor, Dominic is a cold hearted bastard who is more like a monster than a human being, and he's her mother's pimp. So, imagine how beautiful it was to read about a sweet girl who beams with kindness. A woman who is so special, sweet and innocent despite her unsavory family background. Also, the fact that Raven is a dark-haired beauty with aquamarine/green eyes AND a car mechanic added an interesting twist which was refreshing, and unexpected.
So, you get Jonah and Raven together and you have this amazing couple…..Their romance was built up nicely and moved from sweet to sensual to completely unbridled hot-passion. Let me say, I love it when a man loves a woman like Jonah's loved Raven. He became her Hero, her protector, her lover, her best friend….I mean the man was completely smitten by Raven. The love making scenes were meaningful, and fiery and the challenges they face, as a couple were explosive. There is little angst in the romance. Mainly, the problems are external and initiated by Raven's monster of a father.
The narrators were amazing. Ryan West was a dream…I loved his voice as he really brought Jonah to life. Erin Mallon was simply brilliant as she performed a sweet, vulnerable, sultry voice for Raven that did her justice. The emotional inflections in her voice were just perfect for each circumstance.
In speaking of justice, the villains get what they deserved (I bit off all of my nails in the last 15% of the book due to the suspense and looming danger), YET, the epilogue was so moving and just perfect…..
JB Salisbury---You did an awesome job with this debut novel, and start to what is sure to be a promising series!
I felt a whole gamut of emotions with this wonderful book and world that Kristen Ashley has created. I love that in this Colorado Mountain series, K.A. has lingered in the town of Carnal. In the previous book, "Sweet Dreams" with Lauren and Tate's story, we see that Carnal was establishing the beginnings of community and belonging among the people who were slightly oppressed by the corrupt police department. But, no one had experienced that suppression more than Ty Walker, a half Black man who was targeted and set up for a crime he didn't commit all due to his skin color & a hidden, malicious agenda. Lexie Berry enters his life unexpectedly and ends up being his greatest tonic for dealing with the loss of freedom, power and his blood thirst for vengeance.
Now, with any of K.A. books, this one provides fantastic hero/heroine chemistry with a sexy, badass Alpha-male and a fun, beautiful, classy, and just a little goofy heroine. After reading one of K.A.'s books, I always come away feeling like she has solved the gender war, as she celebrates complete masculinity in the male leads, and a lovely, strong femininity in the heroine. And, in that respect, I loved both Ty and Lexie...I mean the pair smoldered together! Their sex appeal and connection was powerful and simply perfect.
This book also made me feel completely sad with a awful sinking feeling in my stomach, at times, because of the theme of prejudice in relation to people of color. There are also some very rocky parts of the H/h relationship that seriously conjured up my tears. Yet, the moments of elation and triumph for Ty and his beautiful sunshine, Lexie, were amazing!
This book progressed and built itself up in stages both in their relationship with one another and their involvement with their friends from town. OMG, there are so many powerful moments in this book. I will always remember Ella's (Lexie's mother figure) talk with Ty about coping with generational racism and how to deal.....OMG...POWERFUL!!!!
The villains are pure evil and they get their just reward in the end. But, a murder is left unsolved and that pushes readers forward into the next book WHICH I'M DYING FOR THE AUDIOBOOK TO BE RELEASED!!! Lastly, the epilogue was emotional, and superb. Not everyone gets their HEA, but those who really work hard at it definitely reach their HEA, including Ty and Lexie.
Narrator: Emma Taylor is a gifted and talented narrator. SHe was excellent in every accent and male/female role she took on. The only small complaint I have is about Officer Pena...I thought she laid on the Mexican accent way too thick. Otherwise, Emma T. is pretty close to perfect, as a narrator, in my book.
OK, the only negative and this is a big one for me is that I HATE it when the F-word is inserted in the middle of Jesus Christ. I think it's awful, disrespectful and unnecessary. I've never heard anyone talk this way in real life and I wish K.A. could use another string of curse words for her male leads to use that is not so offensive to a wide part of the population. I know it's completely jarring and offensive to me.
But on a positive note.....CAN'T WAIT FOR CHACE AND FAYE'S STORY IN BREATHE!!!!
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