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 genre--the hardened war veteran band of brothers series--has been so done in the past decade. It has been very very hard for authors to replicate the success of Suzanne Brockmann's two series on the now overdone Navy SEALS. And I confess, I'm pretty burned out on a lot of mediocre listens and reads lately.
But in the Red Team series by Elaine Levine, we finally have a new contender and I was wary last nite as I watched the clock count down in the story, dreading the close of the story. This book opens on a new series of a different kind of special operator, one that seems to be a cross between "Alias" and "Green Berets". Sure, we have some of the common ingredients--horrible tragedy, PTSD, emotionally distant males, females who want to help, imminent danger from a bad bad evil requiring saving said female and more.
Levine does a lot here that will excite hardcore readers who have wearied of the genre or of romance. Where romance writing has been heading into S & M and dominance for a couple years (if I hear "alpha male" one more time, I'm gonna puke), this book is going to turn you over in a different direction. I'm torn between needing to tell other readers what a cool book this is, and not wanting to provide spoilers.
Rocco is all guy, all male, all warrior. But he's also brilliant and gifted and has sides to him that are going to make many of you fall in love all over again. Levine unfolds the personal tale with the larger suspense tale in a way that keeps you engaged and in suspense all the way thru. The pacing is great. The growing cast of characters is introduced gradually--and left me relieved--indicating we have enough characters to fill many books to come. But you'll never get overwhelmed.
There are some very unique emotional sides to this books. First, I haven't read another author who has done such good research on PTSD before. Our war vet has a most extreme form of it, and while Levine never gets clinical, how she unfolds the cause is pure craft. And it will wrench you out of whatever you might be doing when you are listening to this.
Second, his character is one of the most unique I've read in a long time. You'll see why when you read the book. Levine challenges us to rethink how we view men and grief.
The narration by Eric Dove was really well-done. His ability to impart the different male and female voices and then the different characters within a genre were noteworthy. His ability to portray passion was well-done too. Few narrators get 5 stars from me, but I really enjoyed him.
Levine leaves us with several surprises at the end, and a great set-up into the next book with a true cliff hanger that you will get a peak at at the end of this book. It is with bated breath that I hope Audible will be releasing the rest of the series (book 2 just came out).
Get this book and settle in.
I was enjoying this romance for a while until towards the last quarter when it got sickly sweet and silly. And a little embarrassing.
The couple has clinched the romance all over the farm and the inevitable death of the old barn cat dying of leukemia dies offering the heroine the opportunity to be ridulous about the cat she's known for less than 2 weeks (I'm a lifelong multiple pet household so I get the pain). But Andre has to create a situation (why? to bring them even closer together?) and it feels forced-the whole scene as they bury the cat and he's preparing for her histrionics while she waxes philosophical instead. So, everything is going great w/ Grayson, no clouds on horizon, and Lori thinks to herself "nothing is forever, Sweet Pea (the cat) taught her that". I love romance to death, but I wanted to choke on a chain saw. Its like the author took a vacation and came back and had to finish it quick.
Then it followed with silliness with her brothers (including the "lethal" pitcher--sorry, I had to giggle at that). Its all manufactured obstacles and no flow, no logic.
I can't recommend this book unless you are addicted to the series and need to finish it. I'm not at all compelled to read the others in the series. I've enjoyed several Bella Andre books. This isn't one of them.
This is an unforgettable book telling the tale of survival, strength, enduring passion, and outright heroism on both male and female parts.
Pamela Clare's I-Team series carries the badge of authenticity of a real investigative reporter and editor and the clean smooth writing and pacing of a career writer. The original and realistic tales the I-Team reporters are ramped up by the intense hot romances of the amazing men they team up with.
But this one was a little different, and dealt with really hard subjects. I don't want to give anything away, but the word "Epic" kept coming to mind as I listened. For the second time. I bought the book last year when it first came out, and just re-listened a second time and am struck by the sweeping nature of the story. We get the usual happy ever after, but not the one we were necessarily expecting.
This book is bang for your buck as you'll be able to come back to it again fresh, and you'll be able to appreciate the twists, turns, complexities and the choices the characters will have to make.
Get this book--its worth every penny or credit.
Take one of the best action-romance authors and pair herin this re-recording with Lawlor and Ewbanks on vocals and you have nothing short of an extraordinary gift.
This is one of the best of the troubleshooters series by Brockmann. Even with the previous poor recording from a few years back, I had listened to it several times. The story, the action and the unique parallel stories running thru the large story arc of the SEAL team 16 are captivating. While we are engaged with the contemporary action romance of Chief Ken Carmody and American aristocrat Savannah Van Hopf, we are drawn into the tale of Savannah's grandmother's--who we will see in several subsequent books--heroism and her own WWII love story. And if that wasn't enough to keep you totally glued, is the story of Dave Jones (grady morant) and the irrepressible and inspirational 40-something missionary Molly. Their own story will come up again in a later book in the troubleshooters series and it will never leave you.
This book gets Five stars for story, romance, action--heck it has it all, and the5-star vocal performance really turns this into a knockout.
Consider this book a great investment--you'll enjoy it the second and third time around. and fourth....
Lara Adrian's particular vampire world is so well-crafted, diverse, action packed, dramatic and sexy, it really has only one other competitor--J.R. Ward's BDB.
I was thrilled to get this in a recent sale, since I've read the book a couple times years ago, and have enjoyed a couple more audible versions of later books in the series for many re-listens. Nico, Rio and Tegan's stories in particular are incredibly memorable and I love a revisit with them annually.
Unlike so many series, this series opener is just as good as the next few. Sometimes the author is working things out in the first book, and get better as they go one. Not so with Adrian. She really spent time working out the details of later books while writing the first one. Her writing is clean, crisp and tight. No extraneous meanderings and over-narrating inner thoughts. The action is fast-paced and the story plot continues long thru the series. Like Ward's BDB, Adrian created a fantastic plausible world (ok, as plausible as any vamp story can be) overlapping our own, and an interesting vamp creation backstory. What is great about revisiting this early tale after having read the series, is that I can admire her early foreshadowing and her craft in her vision of how things would play out much later in the story arc. THAT'S real talent, IMHO.
In my alltime list of best series, I put this as a tie for number one with BDB, but I would note that Adrian is much cleaner and tighter in the story telling.
Really really appreciating Lara Adrian again, even hundreds of other authors later.
Get this book and prepare for a long ride as you get lost in this series.
Reading the other reviews for this book, I thought I should chime in to clarify a few things. First, the book is entertaining. Second, it definitely is miscategorized if its pegged as erotica since it took forever for anyone to act on attraction and it was 1980s lukewarm. That's not to say it was bad, but for a lot of folks, they would prefer to skip erotic details and they'd like this book. Our male hero is wonderfully emotional which is very unusual for this genre (think of Lucky ODonlon of Suzanne Brockmann's series). He knows pretty quickly that he wants long term, but wisely doesn't share that immediately.
Now, for tactical: I have returned a book of Ms Cross before because of the weak premise and poor research. In the wild opening chapters, I kept mentally thinking of several books with the same premise and a few episodes of The Unit and of course, the movie Navy Seals with Charlie Sheen. This might not be fair because I'm getting to the end of this genre's library shelf and its getting hard for me to find "fresh".
There were some glaring and less glaring tactical errors (such as leaving your principle in a firefight mentioned by another reviewer) that are consistent with Ms Cross writing. She's done some reading up, but for those of us a bit more familiar with military strategy or tactics,or these particular spec warriors...yeah, we're gonna be irritated. For the general reader however, it was an entertaining and enjoyable read. We suspend reality on the later part of the book as they chase the devil to ground. But on the other hand, it was refreshing to have her place events, people and motivations within the actual context (Mahdi Army; Muktada al Sadr etc). And in fact, I did sit for a while thinking about some current events from a perspective she introduced. Can't say that's common at all for me after reading one of these.
So, despite the caveats above, I enjoyed the story and the listen enough to overlook weaknesses in plot and storyline. The narration was well done and very much added to the enjoyment.
If you like Suzanne Brockmann, Marliss Melton, Stephanie Tyler, Catherine Mann then you'll likely enjoy this one too.
This book picks up where book one left off. Cyn and Raf haven't resolved their feelings or a relationship and Cyn takes the opportunity offered in a case in Texas to get some distance. She quickly realizes the vipers den she's entered into.
What's nice about this series, is that like Cat and Bones (J. Frost), Sookie Stackhouse, Anita Blake and other paranormal female heros, Cyn isn't defined by the male hero, and neither is the story revolving around the romance. In fact, Cyn isn't waiting around for Raphael to stop his dude-denial and calmly moves on with her life. With this particular couple it's more the story of some dangerous cases in book one and book two that Cyn has to resolve (seems compelledf to resolve). Oh, and by the way, in the background there's a hot dude and some combustible chemistry and they have some unresolved things to hash out. This makes for a pleasant change up.
I really enjoyed the strong female hero who doesn't NEED the guy to be complete, but they find their HEA after all the suspense and drama in a more quiet way. I had a couple eye-rolling issues, such as why, if she can communicate mentally with him, doesn't she warn him of the trap he's walking into or communicate other salient and simple things--but those might be freshman author things that will smooth out later. I'd give this a 4.1 rating.
I'm hoping there will be more of the series offered on Audible. I'd spend another credit on the next one willingly. In fact, I'll be buying a couple paperbacks in the meantime. Fans of the series above will likely enjoy this one.
I wasn't prepared for the surprise whodunit Bella Andre whipped up this tale. I was thinking it would be another awesome romance and I guess I forgot she's good at weaving a complex mystery-suspense while she's at it. I really didn't see it coming.
If you are looking for an engrossing read with characters you're really gonna like, this is your book. If you're into firefighter heros, you'll like all the insider info on the hotshots who are like the SEALs of firefighting.
Mystery and romance done right.
How do you manage a story that has to be fun and lighthearted yet thoughtful and poignant? Shalvis does this in this story as a former troublemaker does a surprising tour of forgiveness, prompted by an accidental hide-out in an AA meeting, hiding of course from the male lead in the story.
One satisfying thing Shalvis does in this series is exercise resolution of difficult childhood relationships (usually with parents) as the leads struggle with current relationship challenges.
The plot satisfies and the characters (ok, we ALL need a Lucille!) entertain while the leads struggle like we all do to realize the role of past in how we've dealt with people and relationships. Shalvis's talent is the patently original characters that don't follow stereotypes yet are sympathetic and endearing.
A great investment of a credit. I can't wait to listen again because Annie Greene is perfect!
From the description, I was expecting this to be a cross between Christine Feehan's intense rockstar romance Turbulent Sea and Olivia Cunning's Sinners on Tour sexcapades. Since most of Cunning's sinful sexcapades were too much for me with the acrobatic and gratuitous erotica, I was thrilled that this was more like the sexy intensity in Turbulent Sea.
But that's where the similarity ends. With a wonderful role reversal, James creates a fascinating character in Liberty, the soldier sister mentioned in Saddled and Spurred, sister to lead Harper Masterson. Liberty is dealing with post war reintegration as a security specialist and now bodyguard, a role usually played in romantic fiction by the male. But Liberty is far from butch. And Devin is far from the stereotypical music star. If you've caught him in previous books in this edgy series, you probably suspected that!
James does an excellent job of turning these two characters toward one another despite a lot antagonism on both sides and I was thrilled that she avoided some of the usual cliches often seen in romantic suspense. Mostly I was thrilled that she didn't used the tired "misunderstanding" plot device as I was convinced of early on. The who-done-it part was a little too obvious, and I'd down grade a great listen to 4.5 if we could.
The pacing will keep you engaged in the story, the romance will keep you warm, and the sexy parts will make you burn. James has written the best one of the Blacktop Cowboy series--in character development, plot, and resolution. Altho all the other books in the series earned four stars from me, this one gets a 5.
Thoroughly enjoyable. I might even give country music a second try!
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