Review at AudioGals

I’m over at AudioGals with a review of Breathless in Love by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully (who some readers may know as Jasmine Haynes), narrated by Eva Kaminsky. It was fairly predictable and I did roll my eyes at some of the over the top billionaire-ness of the story, but it was (mostly) harmless and enjoyable enough, with solid narration from the ever reliable Ms. Kaminsky.

Breathless in Love

Full Exposure by Amy Jo Cousins

full exposureWhy I read it:  The author tweeted the cover and I was pretty much all in after that. It’s FREE!!

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  There’s more than one way to be a rock star.

Evan Pak is a card-carrying geek (he even has the job to prove it), but when his photographer brother invites him to tag along on a photo shoot with rock star Riley Flood, he figures it will be two days of ogling and eye-rolling and nothing more. But the reckless bad boy is nothing like he expected, and Evan is mesmerized by the mix of cocky and sweet he sees in Riley. When a spontaneous idea ends with Evan stripping down under the hot lights for an intimate portrait for Riley’s next album cover, Evan is absolutely sure their connection won’t end when the lights are turned off. Especially since Riley can’t seem to keep his hands off the tattoos Evan hides under his clothes.

Even a spoiled rock star wants to give up control sometimes, if only for a weekend. The world is full of people who want things from Riley and the demands on him never stop. Evan knows exactly how to turn off the noise in Riley’s head and it starts by putting him on his knees.

Together, they will push each other higher and farther than either one of them have ever gone before. It’s easy to take risks when there’s a time limit on the game. But when their time is up, what comes next if they don’t want the game to end?

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This story is told in three distinct parts. Part One is the longest and is where Evan and Riley meet at the photoshoot. It sets up, briefly, that Evan is a devoted son and the reason he lives with his dad is more than money. Riley’s character is a little opaque because the story is told entirely from Evan’s (third person) point of view. I got glimpses of a man who felt there was no-one on his side, one who was mainly being used as a cash cow and felt alone but it was mostly glimpses. Evan might be a “geek” and work from home in IT but he is not a pale, basement-living, never-see-the-sun stereotype, thankfully.

September Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Necessary ForceNecessary Force by DD Ayres – B I recently read Primal Force, which is book three in this series. Even though I had some difficulty with it, there was plenty to like and it was enough to make me look up the other books in the series. I bought two and wishlisted the other. Necessary Force is book 0.5. The stories are only very loosely linked so far as I can tell – but they all feature service dogs. Georgie Flynn is a photojournalist who, as a favour to a friend, takes the pictures for a beefcake charity calendar featuring hot servicemen and their K-9 companions. There, she meets a gorgeous and charming man and has an out-of-character and super hot one night stand with him. A couple of months later, her apartment is burgled and the FBI become involved when they believe she is somehow connected to a bomb left in a prominent Washington DC location. Guess who turns up with his service dog, Zander, to search for explosives residue?

The story is pretty clever actually – the villian is a little obvious and the motivations not entirely clear (there are reasons for this) but it all held together pretty well.  Our hero is a good FBI agent and acts in sensible ways which fit with his job and Georgie is a smart and savvy woman at the peak of her profession. They have combustible chemistry but don’t let it get in the way of catching the bomber.

Black Gold by Vivian Arend, narrated by Madison Vaughn

black goldWhy I read it:  I received a review copy via the author.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Their wolves are howling at the moon. Their human halves are on different planets.

Lone wolf Shaun Stevens’s automatic response to the words “happily ever after”? Kill me now. Yet with all his friends settling down he’s begun to think there may actually be something to this love-and-roses crap.

One thing’s for sure: his dream mate will have to out-cuss, out-spit and out-hike him. So he never expected the one to push his forever button would be a blue-blooded Southern debutante with a voice as dark and velvety as her skin.

When Gemmita Jacobs steps off the plane in Whitehorse, Yukon, it’s about more than her caribou research project. It’s her declaration of independence from an overprotected upbringing. Except there’s something in the air she can’t quite define—something that unexpectedly rouses her mating instincts.

Moments after their eyes lock, the deed is done—and done thoroughly. When the pheromone dust settles, though, all the reasons they don’t belong together become painfully clear.

It’s enough to make a wolf learn a whole new set of cuss words…

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  This is the first Vivian Arend shifter book I’ve read or listened to. I have a few on the TBR of Doom (TM Shannon Stacey) but haven’t gotten to them yet.  I have a feeling that Evan, the Takhini Alpha and Shaun, our hero, may have appeared in a previous book/series, or at least the context in Black Gold seems to indicate that’s the case. I suppose this made me feel a little bit lost at times but it wasn’t a major drawback.

Shaun is a lone wolf who has recently rejoined the Takhini pack. I gather he has a reputation of breaking the rules and pleasing himself. He’s nice enough but not terribly reliable in the sense that he will do what he wants to do and what suits him rather than what might be good for the pack or for others. He is feeling dissatisfied however. He longs for a mate and for deeper connections. He is ready for a change.

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