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.
OMG, I've had this book in my wish list for ages….why the heck had I not read/listened to it sooner???? I suppose with the cover, I assumed this would be a very blatant, porn-like relationship???--I'm not even sure why, but I prefer sweep-me-off-of-my-feet romance that is subtle, but strong. And, oh did this wonderful, little sexy book deliver (it was nothing near to my first assumption)!
First, let's talk about the prologue narrated in Shane East's masculine, gorgeous, deep voice with his caressing British accent….OMG….It's like melted butter over a warm pastry…SUMPTUOUS!! Shane East is an excellent narrator, even if he only narrated for the prologue. Grace Grant did a great job as well, as she narrated for the rest of the book.
I loved the intensity of the romance and love affair between Ethan Blackstone and Brynne Bennett. Ethan is a millionaire and owner of Blackstone Security, and Brynne's father, as a friend called up a favor asking for Ethan's help to protect his daughter who was in danger. Ethan was busy and hesitant at first, until he received her picture……
"That picture changed everything. I was not the same after I saw it and I couldn’t go back to the man I’d been before seeing it either. Not after we met that night on the street. My whole world altered because of a photograph. A photograph of my beautiful American girl (Ethan Blackstone)."
Ethan's need, longing, craving, desire, and pull toward Brynne is astronomical. I mean it's off the charts, and I love it when a playboy/rogue can get roped in with that one woman who will come to mean everything to him. Ethan definitely falls for Brynne hard and fast (well, I suppose pun intended since it's accurate.…LOL). Brynne, herself is sweet, smart, and a survivor of a devastating tragedy. We don't find out what that tragedy is, but the reader is aware of how impacting and damaging it was to Brynne's psyche and ability to trust men. But, when Brynne meets Ethan at a gallery showing where he bought her picture, they were destined to be inseparable…mainly due to Ethan's persistence. Needless to say, the chemistry between the leads is ON FIRE and consuming. It was great to see the steps Brynne took in trusting Ethan and her comfort level when spending time with him.
I have to mention that her dad, in particular, was kind of interesting. I mean, he is protective of Brynne, but then again he encourages her modeling (nude modeling) and sends the main nude, but tasteful picture of his daughter to Ethan when asking him to protect Brynne. LOL…I just found that to be an interesting combination…protective dad, but proud of his daughter's nude pics…Well, he is definitely one very supportive parent, and Brynne really needed that since her mother left much to be desired.
The ending was what I expected, as a secret comes out that causes that delicate infrastructure of trust between Brynne and Ethan to fracture. So, it's an automatic download for the second book in the series….I'm going to devour this series and I'm so happy that all of the books in this series are out for my delectation.
I decided to take a chance on this audiobook since it had a lot of good reviews, but once I was about 20% into it, I was having a hard time figuring this book out. It seemed like a parody to me because most or all of the relationships are very exaggerated. To the extremely punishing female boss, to the mafia-style debt collector to the slutty-wild but "gorgeous" best friend….I mean I could go on and on. Even when it comes to the hero Torment (or Max) he can be something likable to everyone (depending on what you like in your alpha male) because he's an MMA fighter, a hot biker, billionaire venture capitalist, and Mr. BDSM in the bedroom. The heroine, Mikayla (Mic) is corky, dorky, but cute in her own way. This story is taken from her perspective and the girl sees the world through a lens of humor…very exaggerated humor, even during the dangerous or serious moments.
I decided that the reason I finished this audiobook was because I thought the best parts were when Max and Mikayla were together and well when the romance is good, I'm typically interested. They have plenty of things to work through in their relationship, but overall, I thought they had good chemistry and their romance was interesting. HOWEVER, I could NOT STAND Mikayla's friend, Amanda…or Dr. Drake. Ok, this is a bit of a rant on my part, but here goes---- I am not reading her book which follows this one. She is not a worthy heroine, AT ALL….I didn't find her to have any redeeming qualities. Amanda has a great thing going with her boyfriend Jake (MMA fighter), she tries to manipulate him in bed, he doesn't give in, so she breaks off with him and sleeps with Dr. Drake who wants Mikayla. But, Amanda's generous, I suppose, (major eye roll) since she kept offering to let Mikayla "have Dr. Drake" if she wanted him, as he's so kinky in bed and Mikayla needed to loosen up--- Ugh, Amanda just grossed me out. And, most of Mikayla's stupid decisions were made when she was with Amanda. I also thought she put her friendship with Amanda before her relationship with Max. Anyway…..there were countless times I thought this would be a DNF for me, but I pushed through because of the romance……So, overall, it gets 2.5 STARS for the silly, moderately steamy, and interesting romance between Max and Mikayla.
Narrator: Lucy Rivers did a decent job. I think her exaggerated voices for some of the MMA fighters and characters was in line with the writing in this book--both kind of weird…especially when the leads texted each other in 3rd person. On these parts, narrator sounded like a cave man????--Not sure…. This whole book was just overall kind of weird experience.
I found this to be a light, but fun Scottish romp as the hero, Tayg Munro, and heroine, Catriona MacLeod become entangled with one another on an unexpected journey with different purposes to find the King of Scotland. As a future laird, Tayg temporarily takes on the role of a bard (not a very good one according to Cartoon), while Catriona is running away from her brother's grasp and a pending marriage to an unsuitable laird. This romance is not as steamy as I would have preferred, but it was fun, the banter hilarious (at times), and the reader is exposed to a budding romance between two very strong characters. Don't get me wrong when the two leads come together and finally give in to one another, it's hot and steamy, but this only happened one time. Otherwise, Catriona and Tayg shared a teasing and flirty kind of romance throughout their journey.
Catriona is known as the "Shrew of Assynt" and her sharp-tongue and short temper definitely warrants this term, but there are always reasons behind the shields people erect. I liked how Tayg was able to look beyond her defensiveness and understand the reasons. But, Tayg did something special for Catriona, he helped teach her new behaviors and reign in her temper. I liked how Catriona became aware of her jarring personality and found better strategies in dealing with people. The interaction between Catriona and Tayg was many times very funny. You could just picture Tayg rolling his eyes or really tripping out on Catriona's character. Females tended to worship him, not annoy, and verbally spar with him as Catriona did, especially at the onset. Even thought his was a decent read/listen, it definitely could have been much better. The action and adventure was great, but it needed more opportunities for the leads to enjoy the steam of their relationship.
The narrator, Ralph Lister, was good. He did a great job with the male voices and a decent job with the female voices. I bought this book on sale and it turned out to be a good experience for the price.
Wow, this is one power-punched audiobook! Let's start with the dreamy narrator----OMG! Where the heck did he come from???? What a gorgeous, masculine voice of perfection with a nice, smooth Texan accent! I'm serious, Reid Kerr's voice is just delicious and natural. He does great things for this book---An already sumptuous, sweet, sexy, erotic read enhanced by Mr. Kerr.
This book was a great treat. No unnecessary drama, only a hot band of cowboy brothers who get introduced though out this book, and an incredibly hot chemical romance between Aaron and Libby. Libby, as a heroine, was sweetness personified and the reader is beckoned to root for her HEA every step of the way. You come to appreciate her love of life, as she was determined to be happy and not get burdened with small issues. It was interesting to read about a cancer patient on remission. I think that especially gave LIbby a wonderful, very grown-up character for her age. Aaron, the hero, and eldest of the brothers was a nice piece of Alpha-Male, cowboy fantasy..LOL. I appreciated how became more and more tangled in his love affair with LIbby. His growing nicknames were so sweet and endearing. Both Aaron and Libby enjoy a heated, but sweet romance that lights up as quick as wildfire with a widespread impact. But, you won't find a better pair of leads who deserve their HEA as this pair.
I enjoyed the writing as it was interlaced with fun sayings and cute metaphors. This read/listen is pretty smooth sailing. There are struggles and barriers, but they're very minimal. The focus is on the developing romance between Libby and Aaron along with the character development of the brothers.
When I read a regency novel, I go into it expecting something great from the heroine since women were already at a disadvantage in this era. I look for a heroine who will be a maverick and surpass the confines of that time period and shine through. In that respect, I thought Lady Emily Parr did a great job of showing cunning, restraint, intelligence and charm as she was kidnapped by 5 rogues. --Whoa, now talk about a testosterone rush!!! I loved it when Emily fought the men, especially when she fought Godric St. Laurent, the Duke of Essex. Together these men composed the infamous "League of Rogues." All were men of high societal standing and quite dashing, but the kidnaping of Emily Parr was solely Godric's idea which, for me, seemed an idea not very well thought out by these rogues. Godric planned to ruin Emily as a way of getting back at her uncle, but the man and his faithful friends end up being something else to Emily entirely…that is, they become her friends and protectors. And, that sexy duke with green eyes ended up being the love of her life (Ah, I love a good HEA). The villain in this story is sleazy and vindictive, so I especially found satisfaction in seeing him defeated in the end. This story was further enhanced by the gifted narration of Heather Wilds, who was perfect. OMG, and I couldn't help but think that the name "Godric" sounded so sexy pronounced with an English accent!!!
Overall, this was a good story, but my only note of dissatisfaction was that the sex life between Godric and Emily felt unfinished, and I didn't like that. I want to know that each will be equally fulfilling to one another. Maybe it wasn't meant to be a big deal, but after a few of the other men came back from a tryst with some "ladies of the night" well they tell Godric about some interesting new techniques (mild bondage etc.), when Godric mentions this to Emily she begs him to never do that to her. Yet, Emily was so new at sex that I thought Godric could have had fun exposing her to new things, I mean the girl did really love sex with him…ugh…I don't know…it just seemed like an unfinished thought from the author because it was never touched upon late in the story. The writing came across, to me, as being from a young writer. This is good because it means the writing is only going to get better with opportunities and time. In that respect, I look forward to the other books and hope more depth and density is inserted into the lives and background of the characters.
How does a beautiful, good-hearted woman lose her way in life? That's what I kept thinking in regard to heroine, Lauren Grahame, who had just suffered the ultimate betrayal from her husband, Brad, and best friend, Haily. This betrayal lead to a painful divorce and an intense, soul-searching experience which brought Lauren to the biker town of Carnal, Colorado.
Lauren meets the hero, Tate Jackson, gorgeous male specimen, in the biker bar called Bubba's where she was seeking employment as a waitress. Unfortunately, Tate (prospective employer) failed to make a good impression as Lauren overheard Tate saying some awful things about her that he would later come to regret. (OH TATE, YOU DEFINITELY REGRETTED THAT SLIP UP)--I felt so bad for Lauren!!! My heart dropped with what he said about her, especially since she was already going through her painful divorce from her jerk of a husband. Yet, the love affair between Tate and Lauren is one of the most special love stories I have read. What an amazing love story, as both leads take on huge transformations, both as individuals and as a couple.
I was impressed with this book because not only does K.A. give readers two fantastic leads with interesting personalities and backgrounds, but she also gives readers a fantastic community as you can help but fall in love with the people who came to surround Lauren and accept her as one of their own, from the town of Carnal. I'm not sure if it was Lauren's strong, kind spirit that served as the glue that brought the town together, or if it was that she was so special that the town "let her in" to their tight knit community. From Ned & Betty, to Shambles & Sunny, Jim Billy, Wendy, Crystal & Bubba, and so many more!!! Each of these townspeople were pertinent and played an important role in each step of the way as Lauren healed and found her way.
This book is very well written. In fact, it is superb, in that, the action, the suspense of a serial murder looms, and the love development between Tate & Lauren is something to remember. I adored the progression of their relationship. I especially loved their heart-to-heart intimate conversations as they came to be singular to one another. Initially, I was very insecure about whether they were even good together. With Tate's background with his ex, I just didn't know if Tate was the right hero for her, but OMG….I don't know how K.A. can write these characters that you resent and fear at first, and then as you are let into their lives, you come to love them, as I came to love both Tate and Lauren together. Tate gave something back to Lauren that was taken away from her throughout the years, and she found her way back, and her "something special." The ability to have sweet dreams came from the peace of mind that she was completely safe with Tate. Love scenes were steaming hot, and the action at the end was crazy-amazing! I was so shocked to discover who the serial killer was. I wasn't even close! The epilogue was also superb….LOVED Buster and Jonas, and the life Tate and Lauren built together.
THANK YOU KRISTEN ASHLEY FOR AN AMAZING, BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY!
Narrator: Emma Taylor is EXCELLENT! She did so well with the various accents. She made me laugh with all of her varied voices for the townspeople…OMG, she is talented! This was an excellent audiobook experience!
OH WOW! TAKE ME TO THE BEAUTIFUL BLUFF AND COLORADO FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL AUDIOBOOK!
Nina resides in England and decides to take a 2-week "time-out" from her fiancé Niles. Who is completely oblivious to her emotional plight and needs. She rents an A-frame home nestled in the mountains of Colorado and finds that it's inhabited by the owner Max, who is not happy she's there. Yet, the misunderstanding of this booking is just the right set up for a Mountain Man to fall in love with a chic, beautiful woman whom he challenges to take a gamble on love with him. If it's hard to imagine a Mountain Man and a classy lady, then take the gamble to read this incredible story about recognizing something precious and fighting for it, despite the odds.
Regarding the leads, there were things I loved and disliked about Max and Nina, but I think that's what makes their characters more realistic. Max wields this quiet strength and dominates in a subtle, possessive manner. He's not one to explain his thoughts, feelings or background, even though he seeks to pull down Nina's emotional shields. I loved that Max made his mind up about Nina very quickly and he was determined to make her stay with him….forever. I also loved the little things that Max did. He seemed to touch Nina all the time--the sweet almost subconscious touches throughout the day, and he really listened to the things that were important to her. Also, his endearments for Nina were so darn sexy!!! ( DUCHESS, darlin', and baby).
Now, Nina is simply adorable! She has this effortless charm, intelligence and beauty that captures people's attention, unbeknownst to her. I love that she loves make-up, fashion, coupled with her genuine love for people and her courage get down to the nitty-gritty of issues is what makes her one awesome, strong heroine.
Nina finds herself in a whirlwind as Max sweeps her off of her feet in a love development that evolves around the countless needs of the townspeople who are a big part of Max's life and the bevy of characters from Nina's life who also come to make this one big adventure! Yet, there is also danger, and a murder to be solved and Max and Nina find themselves heavily involved in the solving of that case.
This book is long and if you enjoy really getting into background and character development with townspeople who are larger than life in the mountains in Colorado, then this will be a audiobook dream because Emma Taylor is an excellent narrator as she brings these characters to life! I loved this audiobook! And, since I've been running out of credits fast, it was perfect due to the length.
Lastly, the sequence of events that brought this book to a culminating end was fascinating, and so unexpected! K.A. is an exquisite writer as she keeps readers on their toes. I particularly love K.A uncanny ability to write about alpha males and the sassy, strong heroines who catch their attention. And, this romance between Max and Nina really caught my heart and attention. This story was sealed with an epilogue that was just gorgeous….so fulfilling, so endearing and so beautiful!
If you have not read the first book, "Broken," then I suggest you back up and start reading that book first as you will be lost since "Broken Dreams" follows, and starts where "Broken" ended. It has been a while since I read Broken and I really wish I would have listened to it again before venturing into this one. However, after a while I was right on board with the characters & where all the drama had left off.
First of all, be prepared for a fabulous audiobook. Shirl Rae is excellent. She is one of my favorite female narrators. I especially love the southern accent she provided for Reed. And, NELSON Hobbs….OMG…HOT-SOUTHERN-MAN-VOICE-ALERT. What a gorgeous voice Nelson has! I need to find more audiobooks he performs in! The combination of both Shirl and Nelson made this one sumptuous listen!
As far as the story is concerned, the love development between Reed and Courtney is low on the angst and high on the fun and romance. In fact, this is what I consider an indulgence for the helpless romantic. Reed and Courtney do face personal issues and conflicts brought on by outside sources, however, they are resolved or addressed either quickly or within their proper timing in the plot development. But, the romance between Reed and Courtney is fun, sexy, cute and continuous. The best part is that if you liked Layton and Whitely from "Broken," then you will adore this book because not only does it explore Reed & Courtney's love story, but simultaneously gives you more of Layton and Whitely which is awesome! What a perfect combination for two best friends from NYC, Whitely and Courtney, to fall in love with their gorgeous southern gentlemen, Layton and Reed. This is a sweet romance that takes readers into the beautiful landscape of the Texan countryside, to the range riding horses, to the vibe of dancing in hot night clubs, and two-stepping in town circles.
I recommend this listen/read when readers need a break from more ansty, drama-injected reads. It is all smooth sailing and as Reed & Courtney would put it….it passes the "swoon-worthy" test.
I'm convinced that Jay Crownover can write a compelling story about anything, or anyone, but most of all about bad boys!! As the first book in a new series, Crownover creates a world of contrasts between right & wrong, and the good & the bad when it ones to people, and the life choices they make. But, what I really love about Crownover's writing is her ability to write about incredible relationships between very real, flawed people, and she has more than delivered in this book! I was touched not only by the beautiful & gritty relationship between the leads, Bax and Dovie, but also the theme of family and relationships between brothers that included Titus (Bax's brother), and Race (Dovie's brother and Bax's BFF). "Better When He's Bad" is not only about the choices one makes with limited options and the trajectories those choices bring, but it's also about who brings you freedom. Most of all, I think this is what Dovie did for Bax; she brought him freedom and allowed him to unlock himself from a self-destructive pathway that would have lead him to the grave, or a life-time, in and out of prison.
The balance between the action, plot developments, revelations, and the hot romance is superb. Dovie is an admirable heroine and the way she and Bax connect with one another is passionate, intense, and always feels like there's an expiration date (until the HEA, that is). The need to resolve conflicts driven by the pressure and violence of evil villains equals one very riveting read/listen. I can't wait for Race's story, and even though Bax and Dovie found a beautiful HEA, I'm sure we will continue to hear about Bax and Dovie's love story in the books that follow.
Narrators: Mia Barron and Leland King were excellent. They performed very well. This is a great audiobook. I loved the sentimental intro. music at the beginning and the end of the book….nice touch!
I think you have to be in a mood for certain books and after finishing up with a trilogy riddled with twists and turns, I was definitely in the mood for something more simple, but still hot. Well, Alpha fit the bill perfectly. It's a rather quick listen, but it's a sumptuous, intriguing story that moves in gradients from sensuality to sexual explosiveness between Kyrie and her mysterious benefactor, V.R. I won't give his name as it's a part of the unfolding details, and games in this story.
Kyrie St. Claire has been down on her luck for a while, starting with the murder of her father. She was definitely at the last of her rope when the checks started flowing in to help her finance her mother's mental health care, as well as her brother's college tuition costs. But, when it was time to pay up, Kyrie was hesitant yet resigned to this fate. What I really liked about this book was the layers that became unfolded as we meet Kyrie's mystery billionaire, one game and sensuous step at a time.
In this love development (because no matter how it started it definitely leads to a hot, passionate love between the two), I enjoyed the time in which Kyrie and V.R. talked with one another, their dates and definitely their sex games. Both leads are sexually compatible and although this is story does NOT include kidnapping, BDSM, or black mailing, it definitely incorporates control as the H leaves the h with limited options. But playing by V.R.' games leads to sensuality, pleasure/pain sex, and very erotic love scenes. But, again, these two are extremely compatible in the bedroom and in their personalities. I loved that V.R. is so into Kyrie….you can tell the man worships her. And, I like how Kyrie seems to challenge and bring out a deeply passionate and intimate lover in V.R.
Although a few reviewers have commented that the story line is simple, it's anything but uncomplicated. The bomb that is dropped is pretty heavy and Kyrie needs to make a decision about whether she can accept V.R., unconditionally. Well, I know that I accepted this book unconditionally and I'm excited about the fact that Wilder is working on a book #2 called "BETA"……WOW!---Can't wait! Even though there is a very sexy-naughty HEA, there is still so much more to explore in the lives of Kyrie and her gorgeous love, V.R.
Narrator: Summer Roberts was excellent. I love that her voice for Kyrie was sweet and sultry. I also like what she did for V.R.'s voice---subdued, yet strong. Tyler Donne performs the POV for V.R. in the very last chapter. He did a good job as he portrayed V.R.'s mildly accented British accent well.
Overall, a great, little naughty read/listen!
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