I'm sure that in a few months when I've forgotten the plot or characters, I'm going to remember the sizzle and steam of this book. And I'll never be able to think about ranchers the same.
Our guy hero is your classic reticent rancher, but deplores conspicuous consumption (overt displays of wealth), and hints at a strong moral compass and a little discerning when it comes to women. Our gal hero is not what she seems, as he soon finds out.
The relationship intrigue builds. The surprises keep coming in this book. Our rancher has not only read 50 shades and its ilk, he apparently modelled it back before he became discerning (smile). Ms James does sex like no one else (& I've read/listened to over 52 books this year). And she does it differently than anyone else. The couple's explorations arn't so much the power/dominance dynamic as they are and expression of the growing emotional intensity as they both anticipate the countdown of her departure while trying to mask their emotional attachment to each other.
If you like linda lael miller, but want a lot more heat a lot of the time, this'll crown your bookshelf.
The narrator is truly excellent, in a rare top 5 category. This is an excellent buy for one credit or for cash. I'll be ready more by this author. After a cold shower and a cool down with Larissa Ione or Christine Feehan.
I'd give this a 4.5 if I could. I'll round up to a 5. I really think you should get this book.
THIS is the book you fall in love in with.
THIS is the book you call off sick to finish listening to.
Lachlain is the guy you Stockholm Syndrome for.
Emma is most of us.
This is book you will call off work for.
This is book that will change your perspective.
Girls--this the story that will break the alcoholic. Call your sponsor.
Lachlain is the guy we all dream about. That we'd walk backwards on broken glass across the country to help.
Kresley Cole does it again, and Robert Petkoff elevates it with a perfect voice.
Get this book.
What J. Frost is to Vlad the Impaler, What Larissa Ione is to demon hotties, and Robyn Carr is to salt-of-the-men, Kristin Ashley is to hot, smart, blue collar, sexy lover-heros.
While this starts with a libido catching bang, the story is warm, wonderful exploration of a new and healthy relationship between bad relationship survivors. Ashley is truely versatile, showcasing leading males and females from different walks of life, at different ages, and the complexity of multi-generational AND blended family dynamics in a way that will make you yearn to be, or be WITH either the male or female hero.
Ashley also cuts her leads from real cloth, so expect spicy language, real ex-spouse dramas, and the rich relationship development over time that we all secretly yearn for.
This author knocks it out of the park. I give her 3rd place of my 220 + books this year. A surprise for a confirmed bachelorette, given that this story features older leads (40s), step kids, evil ex's and more. You'd never know it from the non stop action and realistic drama. (Ok, there is a certain "Jersey Shore element in there...)
PS--the trailer for Lawman's story--I'm so torqued its not yet available at this writing. I've a month + to wait for the next one. And it seems to bear no resemblance to this story line--an Ashley speciality. She's on my auto-buy list now.
This is a lovely, realistic story with a slow, tantalizing build up. The romance was warm and intense with a pair of heros you can like, sympathize with, and can't wait till they get to know each other better. This is my 2nd book by this author, and the one thing I really like is the warm intimacy, the fun dialogue and the finish-each-other's sentance component as the relationship develops. This isn't as common to this genre as one might expect, so I really enjoyed it. In addition, the sex is wonderful, warm, sensual, explicit and our female lead is just as skilled and confident as our male. THAT is nice change.
It gets 4 stars because of the contrived scenario at the end to give the couple an obstacle to split them up. It could have been done a bit differently. I still give it a 4 because 9/10ths of the story was enjoyable and I carried my laptop around with me so I didn't miss a thing.
In particular, I really enjoy the narrator who adds the right touches of sighs, exhalations and other non-verbal cues that often are overlooked by narrators. She does an excellent job in nearly acting, with tones and inflections that really bring this to life. In fact, she may even elevate the overall story with her skills. I'd put her up there with XE Sands, Justine Eyre, & Kaleo Griffith.
Definitely worth a credit.
This is an ho hum listen if you get it on $5 sale from an author who has written other more solid works. There is some suspense with the save-the-girl-who-is-target-from-the-mob-theme and of course the wounded warrior looking for redemption. But the dialogue and movement of the relationship is choppy, unsophisticated, and at times hackneyed. I began to suspect that this might have been the first published work from this author.
The female lead is written to be somewhat disappointing, in her illogic with blaming him with morning-after regret in a petty (albeit short)conversation. After being on the run for less than two days, they somehow have both internally "realized" they are in love with the other. I realize in such a short novel that things have to move quickly, but it was jarring to me and I had to force myself to stick with it and not move to my next book in the queue. I stuck it out till four and half hours into it when the dialogue was something out of a 1970s Harlequin.
The reader was on dragging slow-mo for the first hour or so, and I had a hard time not focusing on his delivery and listening to the words and following the flow of the story. While it got better mid-way thru, it did not add to enjoyment but more of a distraction.
Don't waste a credit on it. Risk $5 if you are hard pressed, but only if you like very abbreviated sex (kiss to morning after in two sentances).
The original book was a splendid, fun, suspenseful read with an amazing female lead. This was even better as audio!
Justine Eyre is perfect voice for the exotic deadly Eden. This is BC Showalter (before she got born again), so its fun, exciting and passionate,without being too lora leigh. This is a loosely related book to the alien huntress series which is fun, delightful with wickedly deadly femme fatales and fun mockery of various stereotypes. Lucius is the link with the series if I remember correctly, but you definitely won't miss anything by treating yourself to this first. A key character for other books later in the series makes an entrance in this book and it is such a testimony to Showalter's originality and skill that she can make a guy who "collects" women at slave auctions on other planets turn out to be such a charmer here and hero later on!
Get the paper backs of the series until more come out on audio. I rate them up there with the night huntress series and Lora Adrians Breed series. Only a little lighter and more fun :)
happy reading all!
I've given lots of 4 and 5 stars and go thru a lot of books each month in the various romance genres, but even surviving several hours into this book, I was cringing at the dialogue, and after a while gritting my teeth.
There was so much 3rd person pre -commentating, eg "because of familiar' superior sense of [pick any superskill insert here] he was able to leap tall bounds/run at top speed for a full day/make her come with an exhale/tell someone was lying/detect intruders a mile away/decipher strange new languages" and so forth, that I started rolling my eyes.("Familiars" are the male lead's cat-like species).
I'm sorry to say it was very high school level writing.
The consistency of that simplistic phrasing-that conditional explanation before each narrative segment (I do not know what this is really called), had me irritated enough that I closed the book at 3.36 hours when 'he could make out something on the mountain..' [because] "familiar's eyesight was especially acute".
The other disappointment was the constant introduction of new people, things, entities that I just couldn't keep up with it. The author loves the sound of foreign words and it was so constant, I just started to ignore them to wait for the storyline of the two leads to continue.
Patricia Waddell does an excellent job with this kind of SciFi romance (altho without so much steamy sex), and she doesn't saturate the reader/listener with ridiculous names/titles/fake language speak for the sake of the sound.
If you enjoy Larissa Ione, Nalini Singh, or other top fantasy/paranormal, you may find this a let down in terms of sophistication of writing and plotline. There is much overlap in subject and elements like foreign worlds/planes of existence, foreign "species", paranormal abilities, and steamy sex, but the work of Ione and Singh aren't as self-consciously foreign and exotic as this book was.
This book relies on sex to drive a plot and all the characters and hides behind immature writing. Even though I'm an avid reader of steamy bodice-rippers, this really missed the mark if you are used to reading good stuff.
The narration was merely ok. Various of the evil character's voices were grating but likely consistent with the author's description. It just didn't, or couldn't help overcome the writing.
I cannot recommend this book.
This author has been in hiding and we've been the poorer for that.
If you want a rich characters that you will care about instantly, and to be sucked into the thriller and yet be wowed and exhilerated by how these two fall into each other, this is an audiobook you should be prepared to stay up all nite listening to.
Ms Rice has clearly done a much more research on the research line pursued by our lead female, Katherine than many other authors who try to carry a doctor as a lead. In this she rivals Christine Feehan (for technical research), and Robyn Carr (medical). But she doesn't require the reader to get anything overly technical to get the plot. It just adds to authority and legitimacy of the story and plot.
In many respects, Rice has challenged the average military/spec ops romance in her depiction of our lead male and his compatriots. I haven't checked Rice's bio, but she gets a lot closer to what SEALS are made of and are like in reality than the pumped up musclebound males who populate the genre that lead me to suspect she knows quite of few that she's modelled them after. To me this made the characters so real, so believeable, and is part of what made this book so riveting.
There is what I'd call a mild paranormal component which is required to further the plot, but its secondary to the plot and the romance. The romance is breathtaking, intimate and heartstopping at times. The intensity of it, and the fact that Rice isn't trying to create superhuman soldiers of superhuman size* to sway our lead female, create a wonderful believeable couple.
The narrator does an excellent job of bringing these characters to real life, even through a cold she developed in the later part of the recording. She really excels in being able to convey the lines of the persons thoughts differently than what they speak. In addition, she does a very respectable job of the Chinese accented English which I appreciated.
I have just bought the second book of the Ghost Ops series, and am ordering some hard copy books of her other works not available by audible. Audible:can't we look at her previous works and bbring them to life?
Ms Rice has just been elevated into my Top 10 list of authors which include Feehan, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Robyn Carr, Pamela Clare and more.,
*A note to authors: If you were to average the height of a real SEAL team--6 or any other-- I doubt you'd have a 6' average. They also don't have bulging biceps or thighs or any of the c#$#p you see in the past few years of romance novels. They wouldn't be good at what they do if they looked like that. At 5'8" or 5'10" or whatever, they are still the tallest, most commanding guy in any room. They do universally have washboard abs and not a spare ounce of flesh on them but have the lean solid muscle that allows them to perform superhuman feats. I'm a former military photographer who has taken thousands of pics of them in every aspect of training ;)
Get this book. Lock the kids out.
Did you fall for Steele like I did thru the series? Quiet-silent really-still waters run deep kind of guy? I have read/listened to all the books in the series simply because there are few in this subgenre (military/warrior/suspense romance) but have actually not finished several.
Eager anticipation for Steele's story met with flat disappointment. I think there was some laziness and formulaic writing here on Ms Banks part. I could have stomached the wimpy, whiny delicate doctor if we'd have seen more depth to Steele. But Ms Banks does deliver on sex. In this case, it has to create the bond between the couple cause chemistry and plot are lacking here. The plot devices are overused--accidental pregnancy, crazy mystery admirer who kidnaps heroine providing necessary opportunity for K&R expert creating artificial intimacy thru adrenaline sex. Banks likes these plot devices as seen in other books.
But there was almost no buildup/background to crazy kidnapper--it was like a chapter or two were cut at the last minute. I suspect ms banks was under contract to get this out while she was focused elsewhere. It shows.
On another note, the narrator, who we suffered thru in the previous book of this series has improved in this book. He does pretty well with Steele's raspy voice and it adds in a positive way. His performance was markedly better; the male lead actually has a lower voice than the female here, compared to PJ & Cole. His former monotone that made prolongued listening difficult has opened up a bit here and was not a detriment.
But it didn't save the book. I lost interest about 3/5ths of the way in. I listen to about 6-7 books a month at least, and 10% do not get finished. That said, I'd still give the book 2.8 (rounding up to 3).
Frost's writing takes you thru intense and such seemingly realistic emotions that all the supernatural stuff is just fun icing and secondary. You'll experience the intense emotional wrench as the Heroine has to make one of the hardest decisions of her life but I so wished I was like her when confronted with a strong man whose emotions were so walled up his pride ran the show.
Even if you didn't read the first book of this spin off from the Night Huntress series, you will love Leila and get caught up quickly. Vlad? No writer in the history of this genre has made a Vlad so complex, delicious and dangerous.
Tavia Gilbert works hard to bring the personalities and accents of the narrative to life. And boy does she take you to the heights at pivotal points in the story. It'll bring you to your tip toes.
Thank you Ms Frost for the perfect sequel and the perfect cliffhanger--that satisfies yet tantalizes!
Out of 20 or so books this year, this is my vote for best of the year.
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