GILBERT, AZ, United States | Member Since 2009
I bought this book after reading the "Too Far" series without realizing it was in the YA genre. For me, this book was a good "in between" book when you're too burnt out of the more dark, ansty, drama-filled reads. It's evident that this is an earlier work by Abbi Glines. I liked Jax Stone, the teen, rock star sensation. He reminded me of a Jonas brother as he came across as an All-American good guy who was tired of the superficial, highly publicized celebrity lifestyle seeking something more in life. Well, he certainly finds it! While vacationing in Sea Breeze, Alabama in his luxury family home, he catches sight of the very beautiful Sadie White who is in his employment as a maid. Sadie is somewhat of an "old soul" as she is very mature for her age of 17 years. She has had to grow up quickly living with an irresponsible single mother, who at the moment is pregnant. Sadie takes on this job to support her household.
The secondary characters are endearing. I felt bad for Marcus (Sadie's work colleague) as he experienced unrequited love from Sadie. I enjoyed Ms. Mary, the head of the service personnel, and I also liked Marcus' younger sister Amanda.
The love story between Jax and Sadie was sweet and not too steamy. Because the leads were so young, this book felt unfinished, even when you knew they would end up together at the end. There isn't a real solution since Sadie is still living under another person's roof (since she's under age) and both Sadie and Jax can only dream and plan about their future together. I understand their story is further developed and explored in the books that follow. I'm not sure if I will continue with the series as it's a bit too tame for my liking. I may continue when I'm in an "in between" phase again, but this is more due to my own preferences and not that there was anything wrong with this book or series.
Narrator: I really liked Shayna Thibodeaux's narration. She brought an ease and casualty that radiated through and made this one easy listen. I thought Kirby Heybourne did well also.
OMG! Jay Crownover really hit the ball out of the proverbial ballpark! This installment was excellent! To date, it's my favorite Marked Man couple. Rowdy St. Claire's sweet southern, yet quiet charm was always appealing to me, and I'm so glad we got to explore his story--And, what a story it was!
Initially, I was worried that Crownover was going to exploit and try to remediate a taboo triangle between Rowdy and the two Cruz sisters, Poppy and her older sister Salem. I mean, Rowdy's claimed Poppy was "the one" who rejected him and broke his heart. Yet, Salem was the friend, of his heart, who left him behind when she fled her hometown, in an attempt to distance herself from her father's tyrannical rule over her. Immediately, there are questions that came up for me, such as, "why did Salem come to Colorado in pursuit of Rowdy if he had a previous history with her younger sister?" "What was the extent of Rowdy's involvement with Poppy and Salem, alike?" etc. Well, just know that those questions are applicable and they get answered in the best way possible, and that's just part of this fabulous ride with Rowdy and his exotic Latina-betty page, Salem.
Crownover delivers on all levels! The backstory between the leads is compelling and greatly moving. When Rowdy and Salem finally give themselves to each other, it's powerful and emotionally grounded. These two are perfect for each other. And, the love scenes are sensational with tat on tat-covered bodies with interesting, eh-hem…intimate hardware. OMG, yes!!--Sensational for sure!!!
One thing that I loved was the beautiful theme of family that the Marked Men and their women formed. I loved seeing the new "family members" who integrated into this loving group of people. This book shouldn't be read out of sequence because you need to fall in love and become vested in the previous couples, as they are just as pertinent and the current couple. I also thought it was so moving how Rowdy talked about "good luck" and "good fortune" in what seemed like a fluid, mythical quality. So, I loved it when this theme of fate finally ended up delivering a beautiful story to Rowdy, as he so deserved his HEA with Salem.
This is my favorite kind of story, one in which the leads don't engage in "STUPID." During times of conflict they take time to process their feelings, but are always invested in the potent connection to one another. And, I loved how Rowdy and Salem just clicked together….Dam, they were so good together!! Salem drove Rowdy nuts with her blood-red lips, voluptuous curves, ebony hair (with a red streak), and beautifully-marked skin. Rowdy, was just wonderful himself, with his charm, golden looks, broad hard-body, with his own unique body art! The style and individuality was off the charts! I loved every minute of their heart-felt story!---Can't wait to continue with the rest of the series, and the budding romances!!!
Narrators: Alexandra Marcuse was perfect! She presented with an authentic, Latina voice. And, well, Cody Hammersmith….when I heard his voice as he narrated Rowdy's POV, I just about dropped my iPhone (which I was using to listen to this audiobook) because his voice was smooth, masculine, and swoon-worthy perfection! WOW! Excellent audiobook!
AMAZING JOB JAY CROWNOVER!!!--MORE MARKED MEN AND THEIR LUSCIOUS LADIES PLEASE!!!
OMG, the best part about this story is definitely Jackson Knight (aka Jax)!! OMG, the man was glorious perfection. He was charming, educated, successful in his individually-owned business, had good manners (the ever-conscientious gentleman), but he was also a potent fighter. You get the picture, Jax had heart-palpitating appeal. So, it's no wonder how Lily St. Claire reacted when she first caught sight of him. That was one of my favorite parts....when "boys meets girl," or more accurately when "boy catches sight and can't keep his eyes off of girl, then she notices and falls all over herself"--LOL.
From the beginning Jax and Lily hit it off and their moments together were filled with special tension, the kind that made you want to rip-your-clothes-off-tension. Although Jax made no qualms about his pursuit of this beautiful girl he'd fallen for, Lilly is hesitant. Her reasoning was quite sound, as well. Lily is the co-owner of a growing franchise of specialized gyms and Jax got intertwined in the business aspect of her life through his company Knight Investments. Since he became a part of her business-related life, she refused to get involved romantically with Jax after a bad experience with another MMA fighter named Caden. Caden, her ex-boyfriend continues to make her life difficult since he still works for her and is stalker-like and super controlling.
Yet, some things are simply inevitable, as with Jax and Lily. These two are inseparable and their easy-going banter and friendliness turns into something more delicious, steamy and serious. I loved Jax and Lily together, they were cute, fun, romantic and hot! But, this story began to lose stars at the conflict part, and that's when the "stupid" came out of the heroine. I HATED how she dealt with the conflict within the relationship, as instigated by a person she should have known better than to trust. Anyhow, during that "stupid phase," I forwarded most of that part until we got to the good part; the reconciliation. Aside from Lily's stupid phase, this book was really good, and it was all because Jax was irresistible! The epilogue helped me forgive Lily a little bit. Oh, and I loved the part where Jax and his brother form a lasting, unbreakable bond. I suppose that was the only good that came out of the conflict in the book.
Overall a good read/listen. The narrator performed well.
As Daniel and Hayley's saga continues you get more drama, added with some sweet get-aways, and unexpected moments, and you have a nice finale to this love affair. Both Daniel and Hayley have a bit of aftermath to resolve from when they were broken up, but the make up part is always nice. The love scenes are not extremely emotionally compelling, or as detailed as I would like, but I guess you could say that they were good enough. You still have a very strong best friend trio who are always there for Hayley, in the good and bad times. Daniel seems to work a lot in this one, and the time apart was kind of a bummer, but Daniel seemed to make it up to Hayley in some way, or other. In this book, you get to meet Daniel's mother Iris, who was so sweet. There is also some jealous moments on Daniel's part that he had to work through. Drama ensues when one of Hayley's past hook-ups comes to stir up trouble (which I thought was refreshing since novels always seem to explore the crazy past hook-ups of the guy's coming to haunt the couple). Hayley is still a commit-a-phobe, but there are some events that occur that have her moving forward in her HEA with Daniel. I thought the epilogue was lackluster, as it was too sketchy, moving here and there. I couldn't say that the epilogue was amazing, only good and sweet. But, I think that's a good descriptor for this romance in general, it was "good," nothing remarkable or amazing, just good. Hey, sometimes, that's good enough.
Narrators: Nelson Hobbs continued to perform for only the epilogue as it's in Daniel's POV. I do love his voice, so it was enjoyable. Aletha George continued to do well in her narration.
3.5 to 4 STARS (can't decide)
This is an enjoyable audiobook. It took me a bit to get used to Aletha George's voice, as it's different, but overall I thought her performance was good. Now, regarding Nelson Hobbs, well I freaken love his gorgeous voice, but he only performs for the epilogue at the end.
This story is a familiar one. A beautiful young woman (Hayley Grace), who recently graduated, has a chance encounter with a handsome, self-made millionaire (Daniel Stark) that sets them on a course of no return in the journey toward love. Even though it was a familiar story, I did enjoy the variations that strayed away from the typical. For example, it seems like so many heroines in these type of novels don't realize their own beauty and ALWAYS overly admire the beauty and lack of inhibitions of a best friend (who always seem to have green eyes). Well, Hayley does have a best friend with green eyes, who is beautiful, but I did like that Hayley does seem to have a good handle on her own beauty as well, and didn't overly dramatize the best friend's qualities as they were both pretty equal. Plus, add to that Ian,a gay model who is also a bestie, and you have a very fun trio of friends who serve as Hayley's support group.
Hayley's not shy when it comes to men, in fact, she's used to dropping them like flies when it's necessary. She's not one to commit, or form emotional attachments until Daniel Stark, that is. Oh Daniel Stark, he's tall, blonde, has tattoos, gorgeous body, and well even his scars are appealing. [on a side note, I should add that the cover model doesn't really match with the hero described in the book. The cover model seems to have darker features than the book hero--that was weird, but hey whose complaining?] Daniel's also somewhat of a workaholic with a temper who Hayley likes to peg as having a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide" temperament. Oh my goodness, that is one thing that I LOVED about their relationship, both Haley and Daniel are funny! They flirt like crazy and share awesome banter between the two. It's evident that Hayley's witty humor really does something to Daniel...perhaps she inspires the unexpected.
So, take a trip on this Daniel and Hayley ride. I enjoyed it. I think this is a good book to read/listen when you're in between more turbulent, angsty reads. Both Daniel and Hayley definitely have things to work out in their relationship, but everything is pretty low on the angst part. This didn't seem like a complete book to me, but more like a volume I, as there is a cliffy at the end. You have to push through to the next book in order to continue and finish this saga.
There are not many love stories that can pull you in, grip your heart, tear it apart and then sew it all back together like this one. OMG! I have been obsessed with this book (3rd & last in series) as it brought Tristan and Danika home.
So, entering this last book you already know that Tristan and Danika have been separated for 6 years. Now, I thought they had NO contact during those years, and that made me resentful, but I was dead wrong. While Tristan worked on his sobriety, he never lost sight of her....and I loved that (of course Danika never lost sight of him either). This 3rd book tells a story of two people who never let go of each other, even when they were separated.
In this book, Tristan and Danika move toward each other like magnets, but the push was initiated by Tristan. He set himself on a mission to win her back and I ADORED how he did it! He was cunning, he was sexy, he was resourceful, sympathetic, sensitive, tender, assertive, relentless and so dam loving! Tristan is still the same man, but he definitely had a better reign on his caveman tendencies (I mean he only beat one of Danika's suitors this time), he communicated his feelings so well and he simply loved Danika with every part of him...he loved her like a starving man who had been without sustenance for too long. Danika also matured. She had always been stunning, but now she was more grown up with a polished elegance, yet the same gift for words. I admired Danika like no other heroine. She handled her casualties with grace and fortitude, and when she directed her healing words toward Tristan, well it was no wonder why the man could never give her up.
I have to say something about the biotches who came out of the wood work to disturb Danika, and try and steal Tristan from her....they were IRRELEVANT and INCONSEQUENTIAL...they didn't even come close to touching the power and strength of Tristan and Danika's bond (even though they annoyed the hell out of me). I must add, Danika handled them like a charm.
Since I was obsessed with this book, I could go on and on, but I just have to say that it was awesome to see all of the surrounding characters from the Up In The Air series get their HEAs as well. Yet, the ending of this book was absolutely amazing and so touching. Out of all of the things life had taken away from Tristan and Danika, they came away as champions with so much more than they had lost, and that's saying something. Their love story will stay with me forever......
Narrators: The narrators were excellent: Chris Ruen with his sexy voice, and Sarah N. with her incredible talent at conveying deep emotion...Needless to say, I was impressed. The only complaint is that Sarah N. kept mispronouncing Stephan's name as she pronounced it as "Steven."--Come on! Otherwise, everything was perfect!
This book will go down in history (for me) as being a very conflicted one. It kindled so many emotions that I needed a few days, after finishing it, to try and make sense of my response. Lilley has written this book for someone, hell, for everyone....everyone in life who has lost something very deeply impacting and life changing. Yes, there is grief, loss, drug abuse, and decline. But even if you never experienced addiction, this book will give you a life experience regarding addiction and it's unalterable negative impact on people. This is not a textbook version of addiction, you will experience it as one living in the trenches. Lilley never gives you a scene where the lead is abusing, snorting or anything like that, it's all of the subtle erratic behaviors that become more volatile across settings, as experienced through Danika's eyes.
This second book left me feeling as though Tristan and Danika were in reach of the world at so many points, yet, it all slipped away. After reading this book I wanted to find myself a dark room and cry for days....that's how I felt. I was also conflicted with Tristan--so angry with him, yet tender sympathetic feelings also flowed through. And, Danika.....precious Danika, she was such a strong, beautiful woman who did not deserve to be part of the collateral damage.
This book starts off at a steady pace. Tristan and Danika are dealing with the tragic loss of a loved one. Tristan's rock band was doing well as they had been offered a record deal. Danika was still working as a nanny while studying and pursuing her love for dance. Yet, despite challenging schedules, demands from the band, and every other stressor that pushed on Tristan and Danika, they remained really strong and quite insatiable for one another, I might add. On that note, OMG, I freaken loved how Tristan adored Danika. This man could not live without her.....breath without her. He was caveman-possessive, and a beast in bed--so passionate, so immersed in his love for Danika. And, she responded to him with a love so fierce, and so committed that I knew the unraveling of their separation would be huge. They simply loved each other too hard for it to not end in anything less than catastrophe, and immeasurable pain. By the publisher's summary, readers know that this is the book where Tristan and Danika split up. So I read in dread and there are ominous warnings through Danika's memory as she retells some portions of their experience. Yet, for about 75% of this book, the angst was tolerable. You are left feeling like, OK, that was hard, but they will forge through....Tristan and Danika will get through it...THEN, at about the 30 or 25% mark, disasters uncoil and the freight train is released from the hinges and it all falls a part in the most terrible way possible. The hardest part to digest is that all of the disasters at the end were AVOIDABLE!!! They were within reach of someone's decision, but the wrong decisions were made, no attention was given to predators living in the midst of them, and the constant hunt to find numbness created a savage ending.
After finishing this book, I needed healing for Tristan and Danika and immediately delved into the 3rd book where I knew they would come home to each other.....
Narrators: Sarah Naughton and Chris Ruen were amazing! Sarah was utter perfection. I was even touched by her voices for the little boys Danika took care of. And, well Chris's voice is male perfection....gorgeous voices made this one well-planned, well-performed, well-executed audiobook.
OMG, this book is not just a read/listen that you pick up and forget easily….it's a journey… it's an experience. After being exposed to Tristan and Danika in "Grounded," from the Up In The Air series, I was intrigued. I knew their story had heart-break and devastation so I have waited until the release of all 3 books in their trilogy and a free weekend to explore and experience their love affair.
Let me say that this book is exquisitely done. R.K. Lilley is brilliant as she has created these characters who are vivid, they invoke raw emotion, and wonder, as well as being so likable. In fact, you want the best for them--for both Tristan and Danika as well as every person who touches their lives. I loved seeing James Cavendish (before he met Bianca, the love of his life), and Frankie…..Oh sweet Frankie!!! She is such a wonderful friend to both Tristan and Danika! She really made a difference so many times!
When you start this book, immediately, you know Lilley has give something to readers that goes beyond just another insatiable couple---She's give us a jewel with Tristan and Danika. This series is devastating and I felt that from the onset. This book will make you fall in love and believe in Tristan and Danika. Even though the title is "Bad Things" the reason you hold on, as a reader, is because of all of the good things that meld together as Tristan and Danika are so incredible as a pair. Danika is sassy, sweet, she's a survivor and she is so loving. She's also a student, a nanny, and a dancer. Tristan is kind of lost. He's a club promoter and singer for a band. Yet, even somewhat bereft, Danika awakens something beautiful in him. Her affections, combined with their electric chemistry, does something to Tristan. You can see it, you can feel it. However, Tristan is wrestling with so many demons that serve as heavy weights to his complete commitment to Danika. However, Tristan does grow a lot in this book. He grows in his ability to admit the strength of his feelings for Danika, which allows him to commit to her. There are so many fun moments between the pair, and their dialogue is awesome! In the sex department, they smolder, as they love each over in flames.
But, something's just not right…there is tragedy in this book, and from what I understand it's only the beginning. But even if there wasn't tragedy, there are other land minds that are imbedded deep inside Tristan, and we have only begun to see how his relationship with Danika will unravel and hit "rock bottom" before it plows forward in a much deserved HEA. I haven't even gone through the whole Tristan and Danika experience, but already I KNOW they deserve a beautiful HEA. I wish I could skip book 2 and just jump over to book 3, so I could watch this couple make it home together….oh well…the journey is 1/3 over!
Narrators: Sarah Naughton is freaken AMAZING!!! She did such a wonderful job in her performance. She really brought these characters to life! Chris Ruen narrated during the intermittent Tristan POV's that are inserted here and there, and his performance was delicious! This was one superb audiobook experience!
This is the type of book that I find really hard to rate. I really loved the chemistry and intensity of the connection between the leads, Derek Alexander and Melissa Jones, but there was one thing that made it lose stars for me (which I'll mention later).
Derek and Melissa meet in Scottsdale, Arizona as Melissa is on a spa retreat with her best friend Elaine, and Derek is staying at the same resort for a conference. He is also accompanied by his best friend, Patrick. The hot, steamy sexy-time between Derek and Melissa begins right away, but it's always somewhat strained because Melissa is in the middle of a really bad life event that she refuses to disclose (to the reader and the male lead). Yet, I enjoyed how Derek sought her out and, oh boy, when Melissa stopped churning the wheels of indecision in her head, these two couldn't stop the floodgates of their passion. However, my issue stems from when Derek and Melissa part ways after spending a hot, but emotionally road-blocked week with one another. So, while Melissa goes through her "stuff" (which is pretty bad), well Derek is not present in the book….his absence was too long for me (maybe for about 1/3 of the book). And, it pissed me off that the secondary characters, the "best friends" had a smoother love affair than the leads….GGGGrrrrr!!!! Derek reenters the book right on time, but 38 minutes before the book ends!!!! UGH!
The only thing that made Derek's absence balance out was the beautiful epilogue. It is from Derek's point of view and it's the only time where you get Derek and Melissa, hot and steamy with no road blocks in sight (well not major ones). The other redeeming quality is that there is a second book in this series that is dedicated to Derek and Melissa and when I read that I was like, "damn straight!!!" The author needed to remediate Derek's absence in this book and give readers some more sexy Derek and Melissa time.
Narrators: Lucy Rivers did a fantastic job narrating the majority of the book. Christian Fox came in at the end as he narrated only the epilogue. His voice was super sexy and dreamy.
Now I get it when women seem to be swooning or fanning themselves when they mention Gideon Cross in reviews. This book was all Gideon Cross-sumptuousness! Oh how I loved it! I felt like Gideon and Eva's relationship emanated a strength and security that was further exemplified in the last 2 hours of this audiobook....OMG! What developments and direction this book took!!!!---Totally unexpected, and for me, that's because Gideon Cross is unexpected. He sweeps Eva off of her feet and always seems to surprise her with his reactions and demands which perpetually put her at the top of his priority list. I adore the way Gideon loves Eva...it's a desperate, insatiable, needy, all-consuming kind of love, and of course that love is reciprocated. There are steamy love scenes, and every development in this story brings Gideon and Eva closer together.
Regarding the secondary characters, I'm mixed about Kary (sp?), Eva's best friend. I hate his relationship with Tatiana, but we'll see what happens there. OMG, and Eva's parents kill me!!! I think their story is so sad, but I just know that in the next 2 books something good is going to happen to them...I have that feeling, even though their situation is depressing and lost right now. Eva's friend, Maouby (sp?)---well, there is something weird and suspicious about her, or her boyfriend.....I can't put my finger on it. I'm curious to see what washes up on the shore of past relationships for both Gideon and Eva in the next book. So far, every past relationship, for both has been deemed irrelevant. I hope that continues to be the theme as we go forward in this series.
Regarding book 4, which follows, I can't wait till November when it is released!!! I just hope that Gideon and Eva do not regress in how far along they have come in their trust and love for one another. Eva does tend to misread Gideon's brooding and quiet moments. When she thinks the worst, it tends to turn out that Gideon is even more committed to her than she realizes. I'm hoping that this is the worst type of situation that will occur in the next book. I don't want to be pissed about Gideon or Eva cheating, or anything like that. Well, the fact that I'm pontificating just proves how this series can really get in your head.
UGH, I'm hoping to survive the wait for the release of the final 2 books in this series.
To GIDEON AND EVA, AND THE ADVENTURES & HOT SEX THAT AWAIT THEM!
Narrator: Jill Redfield is incredibly talented. Her performance is excellent. I love what she does for Gideon's voice......she makes him sound so irresistible! She does a great job for all of the characters.
This was a nice georgian romance with a narrator that enhanced the story. I enjoyed Justine Eyrre's performance. Her female voices were feminine and clear, and the male voices were perfectly masculine and razor sharp.
This book got better as the story progressed. It's an interesting concept where the female and male leads somewhat switch traditional roles. Elizabeth was engaged to Marcus Ashford and broke her engagement to him after catching him in a suspicious situation. Yet, it was so hard to conceive how Elizabeth was able to get herself hitched to another man the very night she broke off her engagement to Marcus. What the????? Many questions came up right away for me. Why didn't Elizabeth give Marcus the time he needed to explain his predicament? How did she arrange to marry another so quickly? Well, these questions are pursued and explored by Marcus throughout this book as he returns to London in a poignant time in Elizabeth's life when she is both in danger and a widow. Marcus steps in to help solve the mystery surrounding her husband's murder as well as to protect Elizabeth as her fate is connected to the existence of a journal by her late husband. And so this love affair continues after being suspended for 4 years (from the time Elizabeth broke off the engagement to the present).
I really liked how both leads went through huge transformations throughout this book. In the first half of the book, Elizabeth is almost intolerable. She came across as a Type A personality and control freak to me. She also seemed hollow. In contrast, Marcus was a dream! Bless his heart, I felt so much sympathy for him because he fell in love with a very hard woman to love. When Marcus first saw Elizabeth at a debutante ball, he fell hard for her. She made an indelible impression that almost bordered on obsession for him. Marcus has not been well since Elizabeth jilted him. I loved to see how Marcus' relentless persistence turned this relationship into an incredible, insatiable love affair. He really did save Elizabeth, as a person. She didn't even realize how miserable she was until she opened up her heart to him. Lastly, the ending was very satisfying as well.
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