Friday, July 31

Audiobook Review: The Dark Light of Day by TM Frazier

The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day, #1)Author: T.M. Frazier
Narrator: Christian Fox, Lucy Rivers
Title: The Dark Light of Day
(King #0)
Genre: Dark, Romance, Contemporary
Format: Audiobook 
Pages: 313 
Published: September 15th 2013
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Summary: Homeless, sleeping in a junkyard, and on the run from a system that has failed her over and over again, Abby meets Jake, a tattooed blue-eyed biker with secrets that rival her own. Two broken souls that can't be healed, they can't be saved. Abby and Jake have to decide if they can accept the darkness not only within one another, but within themselves.

If they can accept each other for who they really are they might learn that love isn't always found in the light...

WARNING: This is NOT your typical romance.
The story of Jake & Abby contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, sex, strong language, drug use, and all types of abuse.

Been having a lot of sweet romances lately so this made me curious. 

The story follows Abby and Jake. Jake is a tattooed-blue-eyed biker with a lot of secrets and comes from a broken home. Abby is now homeless after her granny dies and is avoiding the system since she is only 17. In order to help her, Jake brings her into his home and they come to realize they are both broken people who need each other. 

This book made me really sad. I didn't cry, but I felt so sad for them. Especially for Abby. She can't seem to catch a break. Poor girl....especially when we find out what happened to her as a little girl at the hands of her parents. Grrr!

Jake had a sad life too. He had the perfect life until his mother and brother passed and his father turned to the bottle for comfort.

But yes - the warning is nice because this is dark and the characters have to face a lot of demons in order to find happiness with each other and with themselves. And even with the warning, there were some really dark spots that shocked me.

I did really enjoy watching these characters open up and talk about their issues. There was insta-lust, but it took a minute for love and full trust. Even when they realized they loved each other there were some issues. Which GRRR I wanted to shake Jake!!! Fool!!! COMMUNICATE! And Abby....I get you being mad and all but just show him the pictures and be honest and tell him. GAH. Communication people!

The narrators did well. I wish we had heard more from the male narrator but he only did Jake's POV which we only got a small amount of that. SIGHS sad. I love that narrator. The female was new to me I think. She did awesome!

I do wonder what is next in the series. I'll have to check out. I think we'll have new characters. 

Overall, I enjoyed this. It was dark for sure so be prepared this. The narrators were good. I wish we had more of Jake's POV. Overall, I'll give this 4 stars. 

- #34 for Audiobook Challenge
- #7 on THE BAD BOYS OF ROMANCE challenge

Thursday, July 30

Audiobook Review: Expecting His Proposal by PO Dixon

Expecting His Proposal: A Darcy and Elizabeth Short Story
Author: P.O. Dixon
Narrator: Pearl Hewitt
Title: Expecting His Proposal (Darcy and Elizabeth Short Stories)
Genre: Historical Romance, What-if, Novella
Format: Audiobook 
Pages: 92 
Published: August 12th 2014
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Summary: In this diverting Pride and Prejudice short story, what if Darcy had not wounded Elizabeth's pride by insulting her at the Meryton assembly and had danced with her instead? What if Elizabeth had refused to hear a negative word formed against Darcy by his former friend, George Wickham? What if Elizabeth had been so agreeably engaged with thoughts of the master of Pemberley that by the time his visit to Kent was drawing nearer to its end, she was indeed expecting his proposal?

Another P&P variation. hehe. 

This one changes the events of things. What if Darcy didn't wound Elizabeth's pride by insulting her at the Meryton assembly and actually DID dance with her instead. What if Elizabeth had refused to hear a negative word from Wickham? Things are all different except that Darcy DID convince Bingley to abandon Jane since she doesn't seem to care about him.

I liked it. It was cute. It was fun watching Lizzie wait for his proposal at Kent. It was adorable seeing them be in love early on. 

But not all is roses and rainbows here. Darcy STILL did convince Bingley Jane doesn't have real feelings. And of course...somehow (won't say)....Elizabeth did find out about this. So yes - there was some drama. Darcy did a good job fixing everything, but I was worried about HOW he would fix it. 

The narrator was perfect! I think she did the last one? I can't remember, but I have heard her voice before. 

This was short and cute. If you need some P&P variation in your life, I recommend this. There are others in this "series" but it is just a collection and not a real "series" as we know it, so you can read out of order like me. I'll give this 5 stars. 

- #33 for Audiobook Challenge

Wednesday, July 29

Book Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1)
Author: Nalini Singh
Title: Cherish Hard
(Hard Play #1)
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Format: ebook
Pages: 374 
Published: November 14th 2017 
Where I Got It: My shelf (Amazon)

Summary: Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

A friend recommended this (*cough* Blodeuedd *cough*) and it was freeeeeeeeeeeeeee on Amazon so I grabbed it. Plus I've been wanting to read more by this author. 

The story follows Isa and Sailor. Sailor has only one goal for his future - to create a successful landscaping business. Isa craves a man who will cherish her and love her. She had cold parents and she wants a future where she and her children will never feel that coldness.

This was for sure insta-lust from the moment they meet. I loved how they did meet as adults (spoiler - no spoiler - they had seen each other in their youths at a party). I laughed out loud and applauded Isa. GET IT GIRL!

Yes, the lust was there. The love happened fairly quickly too, but it took a while for them to really realize it...especially Isa. She had a lot of doubts.

I LOVED SAILOR! He is adorable!!!!!!! He was soooo sweet even when they were just in the lust phase of their relationship. So very sweet. Isa was fun too and I really connected with her. I am so happy for her. 

Loved Isa's friend. I hope she gets a book (no I didn't look yet so she might).

My only issue was how unrealistic some of the issues of Isa's life were. A little over-the-top sometimes, but it didn't bug me too much. I just wanted her to find her own happiness and not have to take care of everyone.

But yes - I enjoyed this overall. It was fun and a cute romance between two great people who need it. I want to read book 2! I'll give this 4 stars. 

Tuesday, July 28

TMST: What Makes a Good Book?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings where Rainy discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. 

what things make a good book for you?

Been a hot min since I've done one of these!

What makes a good book for me? OooooOOOoooOOooo mmmmmmm *thinks* are some generic things that help make a good book...well...good:

- Good characters. NOT like goodie-two-shoes, but interesting and dynamic characters. Characters that intrigue me. 

- Well-balanced pace. I don't want things to drag and I don't want things to go so fast I feel like I'm missing stuff or get confused. 

- Fresh ideas. Sure we have the recycled storylines and it is hard to avoid them BUT I want them to feel fresh and new. I hate it if it feels like a copy-paste. 

- A book that makes me feel and/or think. I love a story that can make me feel or think or both. 

Ralph! My little model!

Monday, July 27

B's Monday Review: The Stepping off Place

Narrated by: Hope Newhouse
Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
Release date: 07-28-20
Language: English
Publisher: Quill Tree Books
YA fiction
To review

I have said it before, but when it comes to YA fiction, I prefer the ones that deal with real issues. Those have depth, and meaning.

And in this one we have Reid, a bit of a loner, who feels she is the beta to her bestie. And she is happy like that. But her best friend Hattie goes away every summer for 3 months, and this summer she does not come back.

It was real. Reid sank into a black cloud when she found out Hattie was dead. She went through all emotions, grief, denial, anger. There are flashbacks to their last year, and previous years. The fun they had, and slowly we see more into Hattie, and what happened. Why would she kill herself?

I liked it. It was never actually sad, it was  a search, and a celebration of a friendship. And how grief can shatter someone.

I liked the narrator. She put this insecurity into her Reid voice that fitted so well.
A really good audio to listen to

It's the summer before senior year. Reid is in the thick of Scofield High's in-crowd thanks to her best friend, Hattie, who has been her social oxygen since middle school.

But summer is when Hattie goes to her family's Maine island home. Instead of sitting inside for eight weeks, waiting for her to return, Reid and their friend, Sam, enter into a pact - to live it up, one party at a time. But days before Hattie is due home, Reid finds out the shocking news that Hattie has died by suicide. Driven by a desperate need to understand what went wrong, Reid searches for answers. In doing so, she uncovers painful secrets about the person she thought she knew better than herself. And the truth will force Reid to reexamine everything.

Sunday, July 26

Joint Review: All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Hello all! Blodeuedd and I will be discussing "All Systems Red" by Martha Wells. Blodeuedd is in red and I am in purple.

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries, #1)Author: Martha Wells
Title: All Systems Red
(The Murderbot Diaries #1)
Genre: SciFi, Novella
Published:  May 2nd 2017 
Format: ebook
Pages: 114

Summary: In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn't a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied 'droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

I have heard so much about this series, so I was really curious to start. And a novella was just what I needed.

Same! I think we needed a nice novella. I know I did for sure. 

Yes, I just haven’t had time to read. I was in a sort of time funk. And novellas are good when they actually work. Which I felt this one did

So odd! I’ve been in a small funk too for July. Not sure why. But yes - I needed this. It was fun and short. 

Weid, last week I finally got something done cos I had to do something else at work which left me mostly alone for 8 hours. I was all finally, audio time! And reading time ;)

BF went to Alabama again for work this weekend (starting Thursday) so I’ve been binging a little bit. LOL So maybe I found my rhythm again thanks to this novella ;) 

Might have been the case for me too, since reading it I finished another book, print! I finished 2 audios. I was all YES. Omg but yes let’s talk about the novella too, ooops. So right, what did you think

Hey! This needed our call-out of helping us get outta our funks! But I liked it. I didn’t LOVE it like I wanted to, but I liked it a lot. It was fun and different. 

Same. I liked it, I did not love it as I wanted to. But it was so different, and exactly what I needed to get my groove on.

I did catch myself chuckling here and there. Was it supposed to have elements of comedy? That bot was funny. 

I assume so? I was thinking it would be like action thriller omg robots will kill us all, and then we met Murderbot. Ha, she was great.

So maybe the comedy was used like how they do in the movies. It gives a relief from all the action and thriller bits? But yes, I loved her. She was fun. 

Really well done in that aspect. It needed the relief, else it would have been really dry. It worked well as a novella too. It was a look into her life. And I do want to read more. What next?

Agreed! I think it would’ve been boring without the bot and her antics. I do want to read the next one. I’m curious if we get to see more of her? Or will we see another bot?

I haven’t actually read a blurb for the next, I hope it is her! I want to know what is going on in this world and with her.

Same. I haven’t really read about the next one. We’ll have to check, because if it is I think we should read that! I want to learn more about her and see what she is up to next. She really was the shining star of the story. I barely remember the other characters. 

Other characters? Ha, but yes she was the shining star. I am looking up the next one now, waaaait,...omg she goes back to that mine she was talking about. Where shit went down.

OOOOOOOOOOO snap. We’ll HAVE to read book 2 D: 

Book 2 in August?

I vote yes on that! I wanna read more!! One negative with shorter books….I always want more lol. 

True.But I am still really glad this was short. I needed that, and hey we have like 4 more so ;)

True true. LOL. But I liked her a lot. I’m glad there are more books. I am curious to see what happens/happened at that mine. It’s bound to be good. 

I am so glad we have a plan and that that plan is short! I really need to read more novellas like this. I was unsure about them when TOR started with them, but they obvi picked good ones.

Agreed!! Plus there is a lot of story left with our bot!! 

Yes! Ok, so yes I would recommend this. The kind of sci-fi I can work with

Yep! I’m not crazy about SciFi (I read like 5 a year I swear) and I really enjoyed this. It was done well.

The end?

The end! ‘Til next time! 

About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging for a long while now. The last few years the epic duo has been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.

Friday, July 24

Audiobook Review: The Unthinkable Triangle by Joana Starnes

The Unthinkable Triangle: A Pride and Prejudice VariationAuthor: Joana Starnes 
Narrator: Stevie Zimmerman
Title: The Unthinkable Triangle
Genre: Historical Romance, What-if
Format: Audiobook 
Pages: 301 
Published: September 23rd 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Audible)

Summary: All is fair in love and war – or is it? What if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Elizabeth Bennet’s hand and heart is not some inconsequential stranger, but his dearest, closest friend? How is he to reconcile the claims of loyalty and kinship with the urge to pursue his heart’s desire?

I'm not crazy about love triangles, but I have been itching for a good P&P variation, so why not?

The story follows Darcy, Elizabeth, and Colonel Fitzwilliam. Darcy is about to propose, but the Colonel beats him to it and Elizabeth accepts. What is Darcy to do? He loves Elizabeth, but how could he break his cousin's heart? 

I do love how this "triangle" was played out. It really wasn't a true triangle, so that made me happy. Elizabeth had no idea Darcy loved her and honestly...she didn't realize her feelings for him either so she accepted a good match. 

It was so sad seeing Darcy being in so much pain!!!!! I like the cousin too, but Darcy was a true gentleman the entire time. I wanted him to shove his cousin out of the way and take Elizabeth away. LOL. But Elizabeth needed time to realize her true feelings even though it took forever and a day. For a girl being so smart, she was super dumb here.

I do like how the author dealt with the Colonel in the end. It wasn't easy but I feel that was the best way. And I was happy he did what he did. It redeemed him for his selfish attitude at one point. 

Now...I did struggle a little bit with this at the beginning. Not sure why. Maybe it was because it was dragging on a touch? I'm not sure, but after a certain scene, I could not stop listening. 

The narrator was good. I liked her voices. I would love to listen to more with her. 

Overall, I did like this. I was pleasantly surprised the love triangle didn't annoy me like it normally does. The author did an excellent job of avoiding the a-typical triangle pitfalls. I did struggle to get connected at the beginning, but it turned around after a certain scene. I will stamp this with 3 stars. 

- #32 for Audiobook Challenge