Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Charlie (Cultivated #1) by Elin Peer


Charlie (Cultivated #1)Charlie by Elin Peer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB: Charles, the reserved, mysterious, and unattainable guy I had a major crush on in college, got tangled up with the wrong crowd. Being the heir to one of the largest business dynasties in the US made Charles a target for the narcissistic and cunning cult leader O’Brien. Now, I’m flying to Dublin to get him out. “

With degrees in both anthropology and psychology, twenty-seven-year-old Liv is convinced that she can resist being sucked into Conor O’Brien’s cult. But it’s been years since she and Charles last met; will he even remember her and will he trust her?

Charles and Liv are about to learn just how dangerous it is to go up against a possessive psychopath like Conor O’Brien.

Charlie is the first installment in Elin Peer’s contemporary romance series Cultivated, which offers suspense and drama. Like all her books, this one has a fast pace, lots of great dialogue, and it leaves you wanting more.


A fascinating story and masterful storytelling. This story had it all: action, suspense, intrigue, romance and redemption. What I love about Elin Peer’s stories is that I always feel I was treated to a story unlike the routine and cliche tropes that are so abundant in the romance genre. In this particular novel, we are treated to an insider look into the intense fear of family members when their loved ones are caught in the snare of a cult.

Charlotte Christensen aka Liv or Charlie met Charles Robertson at a coffee shop by accident. At the time they were both going by the nickname “Charlie”. There was a spark there, but nothing serious materialized from their college flirting. Five years later, Liv was contacted by Charles’ grandfather who wants a friend to help rescue Charles from a cult that was siphoning off his inheritance. This opportunity gave Liv another chance to reconnect with Charles, but he wasn’t the man she remembered. To save Charles, Liv had outmaneuver a sociopath a cult leader with Charles’ love and life as the prize.

I don’t know much about cult except what we see on the news but my nerves were jarred. I enjoyed the glimpse into a cult’s intricate layering in order to brainwashing people of various intelligence. It was a lesson on how masterminds sense esteem issues and use it to their advantage while gaining their absolute dedication and loyalty. It was a gently reminder that even the smartest person has vulnerabilities that can be exploited by devious people.

My favorite part of the story was Liv and Charles reconnecting. It felt like young love all over again and it added some pleasure and levity to this heavy situation. Liv and Charles were really nice individuals and they made a sweet couple. I was completely absorbed into this struggle for Charles. The author skillfully weaved an engrossing tale. What an excellent beginning to a new series.

*Thank you to the author for the advanced reading copy. My opinions of the book are solely my own.

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Falling into Fall TV (2019)


It’s Premiere time for television and I am setting my DVR to record new shows as well as making sure my old shows are still set to record.

These are the shows that I enjoy and follow religiously. What are your staple shows?

There were some very intriguing commercials advertising new shows that made me add them to my line up. I usually give shows 4-5 episodes to hook me. So by the end of October, I should know which shows are keepers and which ones aren’t for me.

What new shows caught your attention? What shows are people recommending to you?

Audiobook, Blogger Themes, Fiction, Review Books, romance

Forbidden Letters (Men of The North, Book 0.5) by Elin Peer


Forbidden Letters (Men of the North #0.5)Forbidden Letters by Elin Peer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BLURB: “Few dared live as close to the border as us. Not even the long-standing peace treaty between our two nations could make people forget how the savage Men of the North used to hunt down and kidnap women here.” 

If only Devina hadn’t been so damned curious by nature, she would have never picked up that letter thrown across the Northern wall. Now, she is horrified to see that it’s from a teenage girl who is only weeks away from being auctioned off in a bridal tournament. With no time to waste, Devina is determined to help the girl escape, even if it means putting herself in danger.

THOUGHTS: I’m amazed that with so many books in this series, author Elin Peer continues to deliver high quality story-telling, complete with a well developed plot, fleshed out characters and an emotional appealing romance. I am in awe and I’m just speechless.

Forbidden Letters is a prequel in the Men of North Series. It gave us some background into the continual breakdown of relations between the Mothlanders and Nman due to some prejudices due to the war. What a subtle commentary on societal prejudices and stereotypes, but written without a heavy-handed dose of opinion. I didn’t feel like it was preachy at all.

Devina and Tyton are one of my favorite couples in this series. They were both brave and flexible despite their societal views at that time. Tyton reminded me of Alexander Boulder, Christina’s husband, because he was protective without being overbearing or aggressively alpha. But he really worked and sacrificed to have relationship with Devina who lived in the other side of the wall. Devina reminded me of Christina for similar reasons.

Tyton’s Family was exactly what Devina needed and I love their journey to love as it was full of twist and turns. The story flowed so well, the pacing was perfect and the story left me feeling really happy at the end. The unfortunate thing was the society was even more fractured by their quest to be together.

I recommend that readers DON’T start with this one. I believe I enjoyed it more having read the other stories in order first. But you won’t be disappointed with this series. It’s entertaining and humorous and has an HEA in every book.

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Audiobook tag


I discovered this tag at Blue Mood Cafe  and thought it would be fun to do for this month’s celebration of audiobooks. I have been chatting books with Jonetta for years on goodreads so let’s do it!


Have you always listened to audiobooks or when did you begin?

My husband encouraged me to try audiobooks a few years ago when I would ride the train an hour each way to work. My first book was Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton (Book 1, Anita Blake). The narrator Kimberly Alexis was amazing and I was hooked. I tried a couple of other book before I realized that a narrator could make or break my enjoyment.

 

What is your favorite audiobook?

That’s impossible so I will pick my top five in no particular order..
1. Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Robert Petkoff, narrator)
2. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (Callie Dalton, Narrato)
3. The Witness by Nora Robert (Julia Whelan, narrator)
4. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Rosalyn Landor)
5. Sempre by J.M. Darhower (Carla Mercer-Meyer)

What is my least favorite thing about audiobooks?

A Monotoned narrator can really bore me and make me lose interest. Some make narrators have terrible female voices too.

What do you think is the difference in experience between physically reading a book and listening to it?

The difference to me is that I get someone who knows how to properly pronounce words (I hope) and the cadence of the reading is different from my own. Some narrators do a great job conveying humor, sadness etc. I feel like a kid being read a bedtime story to. Also if its a smutty book, I feel like someone is whispering something naughty in my ear. hehehe.

How and when do you listen?

I listen on my phone, in my car, sometimes on my tv via the audible app while I’m doing mindless household chores, grocery shopping and laundry. I listen while I am in bed, exercising, pretending to pay attention at work etc. I listen all day.

What style/genre do you prefer?

I don’t have a genre I prefer since I mostly read romance. I pretty much listen to all my reading selections if they are on audio.  I do have narrator that I avoid like the plague. If I see their name, I opt for the e-book instead.

What are some audiobook/narrator recommendations?

I highly recommend with a male and female narrator. Top five favorites are Rosalyn Landor, Julia Whelan, Therese Plummer, Lauren Fortgang and Jeffrey Kafer.   I do have honorable mentions like Bahni Turipin, Callie Dalton, Robert Petkoff, Shane East and Tristan James

What are your thoughts about audiobooks?

Feel free to do your own version of this tag!

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Tag: The Liebster Award


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This is the first time I’ve been tagged so I’m excited to post a few answers even though, it took forever for me to publish this post. Better later than never… right? I was nominated by Literary Everything. Thank you, Lady B!

THE LIEBSTER AWARD RULES

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

11 Questions From Lady B:

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

Twist Me by Anna Zaires and Beast by A. Zavarelli are among ten books that I rated 1-star rating on goodreads. Both area popular dark romances, complete with kidnapping and rape etc. They were disturbing and I didn’t enjoy anything about them, not the writing, the characters or the journey. Nothing!

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My family and a book to read.

Do you have a best friend or have you ever had one?
Yes. my best friend Dee and I have been friends since 1997. We are opposites. It’s interesting because she is the carbon copy of my husband. Conversely, I am the carbon copy of her husband. I guess opposites really do attract.

Excitement or routine?
Excitement. I like variety. I prefer to eat at a different restaurant every time because I like to try new things. There are a few things I like to remain routine like Thankgiving. No new recipes like Karen’s Macaroni and Cheese. However Christmas every year, we try a different cuisine. Last year for Christmas we did a Barbecue theme, the year before Italian and this year will probably be Thai food. Thanksgiving is sacred though, turkey and the fixings, my mother and I also cook a lot of Nigerian food, then we watch football.

What’s your favourite genre?
Romance! It used to be Historical Romance, then Paranormal Romance, but now, it is Contemporary Romance. Those are all still subgenres of Romance.

How many languages can you speak?
Three: Igbo, English and Spanish.

Which music do you listen to?
Pop music, R&B, some Hip-Hop. I am the biggest Celine Dion and Whitney Houston fan. I love music that tells a story and makes me feel it. Current music that talks of nothing annoys me to no end!

If you wrote an autobiography of yourself, what would the title be?
“Always Hopeful.” I am a girl that believes that the Glass is always half full. I am an optimistic to the hilt. So if there is the slimmest possibility, I am going to hold on to that hope and I support underdogs.

If you could visit only one country in the world, which would you choose?
Italy. So much history especially of oppression and violence. I want to the see the beautiful and also examine the pain the Romans inflicted on all. I was the biggest fan of Spartacus, which came on Starz. I loved that series.

What skill would you like to master?
Sewing. My mother and mother in law are seamstresses. I can put on a button. I wish I would know how to use their sewing machines. They make their own nigerian attire too. I am so jealous but clearly too lazy to ask them to teach me.

Music. I also wished that I had continued with piano and the viola. When my parents were paying for it, I saw it as a chore and that I was being forced. Now that I have to pay for it myself, I keep thinking “Damnnnn, that ish is expensive.”

What’s the best thing about getting older?
I feel less stressed about thing. Less concerned about what people think. More urgency to do things that I have been putting off. I am less judgmental. I also think sex is better now and maybe because I have less fear about propriety 😀

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I am a HUGE sports fan and enjoy most sports. I watch more sports than my husband.

2. I still watch Soap Operas. I watch General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.

3. I don’t sleep more than 3-4 hours a night (for the past ten years). It’s getting harder now that I am older and I feel tired all the time, but after 10 oclock when my kids go to bed is when I can have some quiet time to myself and relax. I end up bingeing tv until 2am-ish and have to wake up around 6am.

4. I am chronically late to work and events, and I am not a great rule follower. I like to live in the grey areas and push boundaries.

5. I have to eat breakfast everyday, even if it at night. But I can’t eat lunch or dinner food in the morning. For instance, I can’t eat pizza or a sandwich in the morning, but I can eat french toast or omelet at night.

6. I have 981 audiobooks on audible. It is crazy since you can’t even loan those books out. Once you read them, they just sit there. I think in 2020, I will go back to buying books. At least I can share them with people…well, I won’t loan out books that I like since my friends don’t return them.

7. I love period piece shows: Spartacus, Downton Abbey, Shaka Zulu, The Last Kingdom, Vikings, Reign, Dances with Wolves, Game of Thrones (Seasons 1-5 before HBO was left to their own devices), Braveheart.

8. I love Boy Bands. I have seen Boyz II Men four times in Concert. I went to see New Kids on the Block last Spring. I hope to see New Edition when they return to Dallas. I have plans to see Backstreet Boys in Dallas.

9. I walk around my house naked all the time so people better knock before coming into my home. They will be boob-flashed because the first thing I do when I come home is remove my Bra and free myself.

10. I prefer to see the movie before I watch a film. It allows me to give the characters mannerisms and a face other than what I would imagine. Also, it feels like getting an outline or cliff notes version and the book adds detail and shade to the movie version. It is very rare that a movie is on par with the book so I hate that feeling of disappointment. For instance, The Host by Stephenie Meyer was a great book and a terrible movie. Same with The Darkest Mind by Alexandra Bracken or Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I saw the Color Purple before I read it. Same with Twilight, Five Feet Apart and I enjoyed the books much more AFTER the movie.

My 11 Nominations are:
Jonetta at Blue Mood Cafe
Lara at Naija Book Bae
Carla at Carla Loves to Read
Jennifer at Tar Heel Reader
Nickimags at Secret Library Book Blog
Sophie at Beware of the Reader
Melanie at Meltotheany
Nick at Book Bastion
Jessica at Jessica’s Reading Room
Susan at Susan loves Books
Zuky at Bookbum

My Questions For You:

Does your name have a special meaning?

Do you have a hobby, craft or talent?

Who is your favorite musician? Favorite song?

What was your first job?

What is the best book you have read in 2019?

Have you been to an author book signing?

Your top five favorite authors or top five favorite books

What meal could you eat everyday?

Who is your favorite actor and actress?

What is the best new tv show (and movie) you discovered in 2019? This must be something new to you.

What do you wish you could tell your 18 year old self? (An advise or admonishment you wish you had known at age 18)

 

 

 

 

Audiobook, Blogger Themes, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Review Books, Urban Fantasy, Werewolf shifters

Prophesy (The King & Alpha Series #1) by A.E. Via


 

Narrated By: Nathaniel Black
Length: 6hrs 50mins
 

Blurb: Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age 33, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice himself is sometimes able to control. His wolf howled long and hard, but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls, and the determined pacing inside him were overtaking him. Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full.

Chadwick “Wick” Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over 100 years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

My two favorite supernaturals were at war and eventually came to a truce: Werewolves and Vampires: Chadwick and Justice were a great match and I love how their names connected. I have never read this author and I also enjoyed the narrator. A very different take on werewolf and vampire lore. In this story, vampires and shapeshifters exist out in the open, known to humans. The humans don’t know everything, but there is enough knowledge that the various species co-exist together. But we see that the species have a duality to their supernatural side and it was all created by their deity in order to ensure their survival. 

I enjoyed their interaction together. It was sweet, charming and sexy at times. I love that they didn’t hide their feelings and it was widely accepted. I would have loved more development of both the plot and the characters but I am hoping that book 2 will fill in more details to this new inter-species mating. 

 

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

 

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Audiobook, Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves


Title: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series:
Narrated By:
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Format: Audiobook (4hrs and 59 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose, is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I am not a big fan of second chance romances but I love this author’s work so I was willing to take a chance on this book.

This novel was written from the perspective of the main characters Annika and Jonathan, and it vacillates from their past to their present. Annika Rose and Jonathan Hoffman met at college at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagn as members of the chess club. Annika was a shy and socially awkward girl who showed signs of having either Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. Jonathan was a confident transfer student who wants intrigued with Annika, especially with her chess expertise. Their friendship blossomed into a sweet college romance love and she ended up ghosting him after he graduated.

Ten years later, Annika accidentally ran into Jonathan at the grocery store so she asked him out for coffee. Annika saw this an opportunity to right a wrong from almost a decade ago. The readers get glimpses into the people they were back in college and who Annika and Jonathan are ten years later.
The story moves at an even pace, allowing the reader to get into the characters head and experience their emotions. It was certainly educational for me to see how different and challenging everyday occurrences can be for someone whose brain is wired is different from mine.

Tracey Garvis Gravis did a great job of presenting Annika and Simon without making it overly emotional and sappy. I also loved her addition of Janice, Annika’s roommate in college and current best friend. It was a journey of growth, independence and learning from one’s mistakes. It is also about communicating, understanding and having empathy for others who may not be just like you. It was very subtle the way the author mended something that was thought to be broken a long time ago resulting in a beautiful and more mature love. I enjoy stories where characters evolve and as a reader, I learn something new. I will definitely recommend it to others.