Lust, Money & Murder by Mike Wells is a wonderful mystery, suspense, thriller with a dash of romance thrown in that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole ride. I was actually given a review audio copy for my honest review, so I'll make mention to the audio version as well but first, a brief synopsis.
Our heroine is named Elaine Brogan. We follow her life from child to adult. As a child, she had a knack for puzzles. Her father was completely devoted to her and gave her everything he could and couldn't afford. Elaine's life seemed to revolve around money and when a tragedy strikes, she goes into the Secret Service to seek out her own revenge but when that goes awry, she transfers to Bulgaria. While there, she finds herself working closely with her boss, Nick, who's smart, handsome and roguish. By Nick's side, Elaine finds her groove and quickly makes a name for herself as the girl who can spot fake money a mile away and everyone in the agency wants to use her but getting her away from Nick will take an act of God because she's falling in love with him, fast! Ok so maybe not an act of God but how about bad guys whom want to use her for their own nefarious purposes. Soon Elaine is sent on wild goose chases across the globe, no one is to be trusted and survival is the only goal.
I'm personally not usually a mystery type of person. I love my strong heroines', my alpha males and my HEA which usually aren't in mystery books but OMG is it ever in this one. The story is told from Elaine's POV and through her eyes, we see a life of naiveté through rose colored glasses but also someone who's brilliant in her own right. Yes she has her moments of extreme stupid but don't we all? She does definitely learn from those moments and tries not to fall into the same traps. She's also is a survivor. She doesn't rely on the hero to come rescue her. There's moments in the story that she seems backed into a corner with no way out but then she finds the little crack in the window to rescue her own bacon.
If you can't tell, I loved the characters, the action is high and the HEA is wonderful. The audio reader is absolutely brilliant as well. She brings life to the book with each character having a distinct voice and it's delightful to follow along. I honestly think that for this book, I would recommend the audio version over reading it on your own.
Definitely highly recommended!
Matthew!!! He's so freakin' perfect, broken, romantic and ......... OMG just, just, just..... no words....I have no words.
What was not to like?? He brought humor and sexiness to Matthew's POV.
All of it but especially the end......Vegas baby!!!
So I downloaded the audio version of Tamed this afternoon. It's not a long book but I totally love me some Emma Chase and gobble anything up by her because well, her male POV books are the Shyt! I loved me some Tangled and so when Tamed came out, I thought, I gotta get me some more Drew!! But guess what, this one isn't Drew but his BFF Matthew. Normally when a series spins off with another character, it's either totally not the same as the original and sometimes ruins the series or it adds much, much more to the world and characters that the author has created. Guess what, Tamed did just that! I didn't think Drew could be topped but I think I've fallen a bit in love with Matthew. In Tangled, we know Matthew as Drew's BFF and later we learn that he's dating Kate's BFF, Dee as well. Their story is more on the periphery of Tangled until we get a novella called Holy Frigging Matrimony in which we find out that Matthew is married. It's like WTF!!! So guess what, Tamed now fills in the gaps. It starts and parallels Tangled. We get to read about the whole gang in Tamed and see as Drew is beginning to court Kate and we get to see how Matthew and Dee's relationship skyrocket to marriage. It's a wonderful read and full of all the male POV, macheesmo, dating/relationship advice that we loved in Tangled but this one is also full of heart and romance as well. I grinned like a loon though the whole book and I think you will too! Tame your inner Negative Nancy to find true love with Matthew! Can be read as a stand alone but is enjoyed more as part of the series.
The Drive-By Wife by Mike Wells is an instant thrill ride from start to finish and will keep you on the edge of your seat till the very end.
When wife, Cynthia decides she’s tired of being neglected by her workaholic husband, an idea to start an affair with a fellow student starts to look very appealing. Before the affair even begins, Cynthia is accosted by a would-be rapist but guess who comes to her rescue……her husband?!?! Unfortunately the couple’s luck turns from bad to worse. The couple is plagued with consequences from rash discussions and stalked by a trucker whom wants Cynthia for his very own. From blackmail to murder, will the couple survive or will this ultimately destroy them?
Filled with colorful characters and a series of unfortunate events, we follow the decline of a fledgling marriage and the hunt for a mysterious trucker as the story plows towards a climatic ending.
The author brings to life the spiraling decline of a loveless marriage but then throws in the twist of how one bad decision can completely change many lives in a moment then mix in the horror of a creepy stalker, it makes for a real awesome ride. I listened to this on audio book as a gift from the author and I must say, I absolutely loved the reading of it. The voice actor does a fabulous job of distinguishing the characters with wonderful voices and bringing life to the various characters as well as slowly building the suspense. If you’re looking for a story full of mystery, suspense and just great storytelling, give this book a try!
Think Omen crossed with The Shining…..
Author Mike Wells bring us this interesting mix of baby horror in his book Baby Talk.
The book starts out with a horrific event of a man attempting to jump off a roof with a baby. A split second before going over, he tosses the baby at a nearby cop screaming about the baby being a demon. After the scene, the story then jumps back in time to tell us about what lead to the man to the roof. We soon find out that the man is indeed the baby’s father, Neil. Neil is a bit of an ass but whom could blame him. He was a star athlete in school and headed towards his degree in chemistry until he gets his one night stand knocked up. Neil was raised right and wants to do the right thing, so he marries the girl. Unfortunately in doing so, his own father decided to stop paying for his schooling and now Neil finds himself the sole bread winner to his young wife and child. He’s also having a hard time making ends meet. The only job he can find is that of a flower delivery driver for an unscrupulous couple. If all this wasn’t enough, there’s something very odd about his child. His wife, barely an adult, doesn’t see it but when his 5 month old daughter starts talking to him, enough is enough! Poor Neil tries to talk to his wife about it but she thinks he’s crazy, he himself thinks the same. Slowly but surely events unfold to drive Neil even more insane but is he really? Could his child be the source of it? Is she a demon in disguise or is Neil truly around the bend??
The author provided me with the audio version in exchange for my review, so I’ll focus on the audio edition. The actor, Karin Allers, whom does the narration does a great job of separating out the characters voices from the narration and does a totally creepy job of creating baby Natasha’s voice as well. The story itself flows nicely and she adds nicely to the authors’ story. For fans of the horror genre, I think you’ll enjoy this creepy little baby’s story.
Oh....My....Freakin'....God!!! The man's voice is sexy on a stick or yummy-goodness whispering sweet nothings all night long.
Ash!!!! Always and forever!!!
I LOVE ME SOME SHERRILYN KENYON!!! Now with that being said, having all her wonderful short stories in one location and read by the wonderful Fred Berman...... (swoon). That man has the sexiest damn voice and just brings life and total hotness to SK's wonderful characters. As always, the stories are full of hope, heartache and heroes. From the first story, I laughed, I cried and I went through the whole gambit of emotions along with the characters. And it didn't stop there, each story is unique. Some are in her Dark Hunter world and some are from others. It's just like the title says but instead of Dark Bites, I'd say they are yummy, yummy bites of PNR goodness for new and old SK fans!
From the World of the Dark-Hunters:
House of the Rising Son - (Aricles & Bathymaas: you can find more about them in Styxx's book). OMG I absolutely loved this story and now I wanna go back and read Styxx again but I warn you, it's a tear jerker but of course, so was Styxx. This story lays the ground work for Styxx's romance, so if you haven't read Styxx yet, read this first. If you have read Styxx, you're gonna wanna read it again after reading this. This is everything you love about SK's stories in a short, fabulous package. FREAKIN' LOVED IT!
Phantom Lover - (V'Aidan's story) that was first in "Midnight Pleasures" - This is a Dream-Hunter story, sort of. It's a lovely story about redemption and true love. It's about a woman whom has terrible nightmares and the hero who comes to her rescue only to need saving himself. I read this one when it was originally published but it was wonderful revisiting the story again. Still loved it!
Winter Born - (Dante & Pandora's story: Were-Panthers) that was first in "Stroke of Midnight" - As someone who frequents Comic-Con, this story has always held a tiny piece of my heart although it's set at Dragon-Con, LOL. It's wonderfully descriptive in describing all the wonderful characters present at a Con. It has the fabulous Ash and Simi as well as Were-Panthers reeking havoc. Just a great fun story.
A Dark-Hunter Christmas - (Gallagher's story) originally posted online - Again, this story holds a special place in my heart and has one of the best lines from Simi ever "We have three kinds of family. Those we are born to, those who are born to us, and those we let into our hearts.”. Just hits home, ya know? We also get to see how the DH's do Xmas as well as get some extra special Ash yumminess!
Until Death Do We Part - (Velkan's Story) originally published in "Love At First Bite" anthology - This is a classic Dark Hunter tale of one of Ash's Dark Hunters whom is a cross between the classic dracula and Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. I know right! Well unfortunately, his Juliet is also super pissed off at him and has been estranged from him for.....oh......five hundred years, LOL. You'll have to read it to find out what happens.
A Hard Day's Night Searcher - (Rafael's story) originally published in "My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding" anthology - Again, another DH story. This one is of Rafael, whom is an ex-pirate and he's had a major crush on a cute little OCD squire who's been sent to haul Rafael's own squire in before the counsel because his squire is as dumb as a door nail. Can Rafael make a deal to save his squire and spend time with his cute little OCD crush? Super cute novella with all the wonderful hi-jinks and fun as well as getting to know more about the squires.
Shadow of the Moon - (Fury's story: Werewolf) originally published in "Dead After Dark" - Fury meets his match and his mate! Ok, I love me some of SK's Were's and I know Savitar told Fury he had already met his mate but when this chick comes on stage, ugggggg! I'm totally not a fan of hers but I am his. Also I still want to just shoot her and be done with it but I did love visiting all the Were's again and Savitar steals the show again!
Fear The Darkness - originally a digital download for her fans. It is a little piece of Nick after his mother died. Just like the title indicates, this is Nick at his darkest moment. He's returned home after his long absence, only to find the aftermath of Katrina. It's very dark and depressing. It's really more like a couple of scenes that really don't go anywhere but just give you a glimpse of how depressed Nick is and how far he's willing to go for revenge.
Where Angels Fear to Tread - (Zeke) originally published in the "Blood Lite" anthology - Just a quick tale or beginning with the caveat: "Be careful what you wish for". The story or scene was so quick that I wasn't even sure what was going on or if it was part of the DH world. Anywho, it's nicely written but again, it's more the beginning of a story with not a lot of explanation. I don't know how else to explain it.
Redemption - A bonus scene from The Guardian - If you loved Seth and Lydia, you're gonna love this short scene. Savitar also makes a scene-stealing appearance as well. Definitely has that awwwww factor!
Love Bytes - originally published in "Naughty or Nice" - Loved this quick contemporary romance short story about a computer geek and his assistant. Super cute and super romantic.
Santa Wears Spurs -originally published in "All I Want for Christmas" anthology. Written as Kinley MacGregor - More of a historical romance based in the old west about a man torn between the woman he has always loved and his good for nothing brother. Not my favorite out of the bunch but I still liked it.
Let me just say this, I really enjoyed Collected. I definitely love the Coveted series so far and can't wait for the next one, Kept to come out (due 11/27/12), so this was a great little appetizer to keep me tied over until then. Collected is a great little prequel/novella that takes place 7 months before the first book Coveted. Nat has a bad case of OCD and collects holiday decorations to help bandage some pretty soul deep issues. She wins an online auction for a figurine and is supper excited about it. When it's due to arrive, it's stolen off her doorstep. Now as a collector myself, I totally can sympathize with her. I know I've been driven half mad waiting for something to come in the mail and become a total witch when it doesn't arrive when it should. I can't imagine my "precious" being stolen from my doorstep, the nerve! Anywho, in order to get it back, the perp makes a bargain with her and chaos ensues.
Shawntelle writes a fun, fast-paced story that anyone who collects can surely sympathize with and for those that don't collect, well you'll love the story too.
It's a wonderful story that basically boils down to the moral....be careful what you buy at an online auction, you might just get more then you bargained for.
Update: Shawntelle was sweet enough to ask Toot's Book Reviews to review the new audio version of this story. The audio version is narrated by Audio Élan, whom does a wonderful job bringing werewolf Nat to life. Audio expertly coaxes the listener into Nat's world via a mixed bag of beautifully narrated voices. As a frequent audio book listener, I know how important a good voice actor is to a story. They can either add to it or in some cases really, really ruin it but that is not the case here. Audio does a fabulous job bring depth and dimension to this unique world built by Shawntelle Madison. Definitely worth the download.
Ok so here's my confession. I discovered Alice Clayton a few months ago. I read Wallbanger first (her third book) and fell in love. I knew about the Redhead series but it didn't really appeal to me. I had it in my little pea brained mind that there was NO WAY Alice could capture the brilliance of Wallbanger and seeing Redhead was her first few books, there was just NO WAY they could be even half as good!!! As you can tell, I absolutely loved Wallbanger and didn't want to ruin that experience by going backwards (you all know what I mean? Sometimes authors catch lightening in a bottle that can't be recreated). So when I met Alice Clayton this summer in Las Vegas, I told her how much I loved Wallbanger and she asked if I had read her "Redhead" series. I did tell the truth and I sheepishly said no. She suggested that I do so and I agreed but as you all know, my TBR pile is hella big! So while traveling for work (many, many months later) I picked up the audio versions of this series and........*to my shagrin* I totally love it!
I gobbled those two books up. I didn't sleep last night because I needed to hear the end of it but guess what, it's not the end of the series *does happy dance* there is going to be a third book out in December *sings Hallelujah with an angel choir*
So let me tell you a bit about my thoughts on Alice Clayton and then the Redhead series. First, Alice writes like no one else! If you want to read a book CR from a woman's POV, read a CR, any CR and you've got it but if you want to read a book from the POV from inside your BFF's head, the friend who's totally crazy, cool and a bit neurotic, then read Alice's books. I swear she placed a tape recorder inside a few of my friend's heads and wrote it all down, LOL. The books are funny, snarky, sexy, fun and fresh. I absolutely adore these books! If you've read her Wallbanger book or Tangled by Emma Chase (male POV but funny as hell), you'll love these as well. Super, duper, don't miss these great CR books!!!
So what's with the Redhead? Ok now that you know how clever I think Alice's writing is, let me also tell you, you're gonna love this Redhead. She's almost like a modern day I Love Lucy.
This series follows the fresh new start in the life of Grace Sheridan (think Lucy). Grace tried her hand at being a star in her early twenties but it just didn't pan out. She left Hollywood with less stars in her eyes and went about trying to find her way into a normal life with a normal job and a little wiser from her crack at stardom but that wasn't in the cards for her either. After a few years away from the bright lights, she has pulled on her big girl panties and is going to give Hollywood one more try with her BFF as her manager, what could go wrong?
Back in Hollywood now, her BFF Holly is throwing a party for all her clients and wants Grace to meet the next "it" guy in town and who's one of her clients as well, Jack. He's going to be staring in a new movie that's kinda like an erotic Doctor Who for women about a sexy time traveling science guy. He's kinda David Tennant meets Robert Pattenson meets young Justin Timberlake. Basically he's totally blond, beautiful and British. Grace doesn't stand a chance!
Anywho, in the first book, Jack and Grace hit it off. They begin a very hot and heavy relationship. These two are absolutely, adorably, CRAZY in love but Grace is a bit paranoid about their differences, mainly Jack is 24 and Grace is 33. In Hollywood, she's practically robbing the cradle, not to mention that Jack's career is about to blow up and everyone is gonna want a piece of him. To add to Grace's neurosis, everyone says that him being unattached will be best for his career, so their relationship has to stay on the down-low. As his career takes off, everyone wonders who is that redhead Jack's been seen with all over Hollywood with, The Unidentified Redhead (hence the books name).
In the second book, we find Grace rekindling an old friendship, her own career starts to take off and she's forced to move to New York. Jack and Grace's relationship is tested but phone sex, sexting and red-eye flights work wonders until your heart and mind go to war.
The series as a whole, so far, is chalk full of fun locals, quirky characters, and all out slap-stick real moments that you'll swear Alice was spying on you and your friends.
If you want a laugh out loud fun and a truly unique CR, then these books are an absolute MUST READ!!!
Oh on a side note: I did enjoy the audio version but I do wish the reader would have done a British accent for Jack. Sometimes it was hard to differentiate between what was Grace's voice and what was Jack's but all in all, her enthusiasm for the character came through enough that it over rode the need for Jack's voice to be portrayed accurately.
too many to pick just one
Charley and Reyes
Yep, only took me about 2 days
I just discovered Darynda Jones a few months ago. I went to RWA 2012 and I kick myself for not knowing about her then cuz I would have totally been all fan girl all over her. After RWA I read their website about who won certain category awards. As always I was interested most in who won the PNR category and wouldn't you know it, it was Darynda Jones. I figured that was a good enough endorsement to read her books. So I picked up the first Charley Davidson book, First Grave On The Right and OMG I found a new fave!!! I gobbled them up but that was before my blog, so I never reviewed them on here, sorry. I did read before I blogged but there's too many books before my precious blog to go back and review them all. Anywho, I'm totally getting sidetracked. So when I found out that Darynda Jones was coming out with a new YA series also (what is with everyone starting YA stuff this month) I was totally excited because out of everyone, she probably writes the best dialog and it would totally fit for teens and guess what, I was right! I totally love this new series even though it deals with Angels and stuff of that sort rather then my beloved Vampires, Shapeshifters and Zombies but I digress, I did actually love this book. After reading so many YA recently that I was almost rolling my eyes at having to read another one and thinking "what more can they bring to the genre?" Darynda Jones brings a fresh take on it. There is still a teen girl and hawt guys and of course the ever present BFF but other then that it's fun and fresh. There is no love triangle for our main characters, which is refreshing but possibly one for our secondary characters. Each character is a living breathing entity all their own and the story moves flawlessly through them. The word play is witty and very realistic to the characters, seeing as how they are teens. Some YA books you read the characters come off as more adults trapped in teens bodies but not here, these characters truly come off as teens or at least teens from what I remember being (ah the memories or horrors, how ever I choose to view them, LOL). I definitely recommend this book to all teens and adults. I did not see any issues that I'd put an age limit on with this one. There's only a few kisses and that's it. I do have to say though, I'm a little creeped out by the main hero Jared and our heroin Lorelei being an item but I won't go into more then that. When you read the book, you'll understand. Other then that, which I'm sure I'll get over, the book is a must read! Love, love, loved it!!!
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