ARC Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Friday, July 29, 2011

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people...

Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.

Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

Susi's Thoughts:
Elizabeth didn't have the best start with us as the readers in book 1. She played the role of the antagonist  and I wasn't sure if I could warm up enough to her to really enjoy her book. But I did. Elizabeth is a complex character and there is so much hidden under her perfect and pretty shell. She isn't the shark and unfeeling agent we thought her to be. After the first few pages I already knew that I would like that woman. She is strong, won't back down and stands up for what's important to her. She is a fighter and never shrinks away from a challenge. I think she and sports are a fit made in heaven. She has the attitude and endurance to be successful in this branch. I loved to see how she ticks. She has so much heart and love inside her- she cares deeply for those she sees as her friends- it's just hard for her to show it.

Gavin is one hot alpha male.He knows what he wants, sometimes *winks*, and is as ambitious as Lizzie. He loves a good challenge and Elizabeth is his biggest yet. He loves her independence and her stubborness. He isn't one to back down either.

The predictment of their love wasn't pretty good from the start. The past makes it complicated for them to start fresh and without any burdens. The buildup was sexy as hell but also broke my heart one small step at a time. The emotional background in this book is always present but doesn't overshadow the actual story. Elizabeth's love for Gavin is always present but their "fling" gave the story a lightheartedness that just screamed fun. I really crossed all my fingers and toes for them- they really deserve a life together. They are so different but fit in a way that's just enviable. The way the love between these two developed was paced  just right but still I wanted to scream and rant at them more than once

I have to say that Ms Burton really knows how to write her sex scenes. Wowza says is it all. She creates this great mix of emotions and erotic sensuality- my favorite kind. *wink* But I'll be honest, the dirty talk in Changing the Game wasn't exactly made for me. Dirty talk is always a hit or miss for me- sometimes I love it and other times it starts to annoy me at least a bit if it seems to be a too big contrast to the characters usual behavior.  Another thing that irritated me was the baseball lingo but that could be because I have not the slightest idea how that play works besides that some guy hit that bat thingie against the ball and everyone starts to run around the field. I actually had to google words to see what it is. *hides in shame*

I can already feel that the next book will be awesome. We see some glimpses of Jenna and Ty- those two will burn the pages (and I actually know some things about hockey so I'm sure I will love the sports aspect in that one more).

Changing the Game is a great mix of everything I love in my romance novels. It is smoking hot and still made laugh and smile. When a book makes you love the bad girl it just has to be good. Never thought I would say that but Jaci Burton made me love stories about sports. Keep them coming, I'm already counting the days till Taking a Shot.
I give Changing the Game 4 out of 5 stars
with a HEA as it should be. 
Author Links:
Website, BlogTwitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads

Book Links:
Lea's review @ Book Lovers Inc, Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Chapters, Nook, Kindle, iBookstore


Earworm of the Week - Book Sountrack (aka Apocalyptica Love)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Saw this on Michele Hauf's blog
Sometimes authors post their soundtrack for the books their released. It can be very enlightening. But often for me it's a black and white situation, either I love the same kind of music and it makes complete sense, or I really don't like it and I start wondering if I really want to read that book. LOL.

I remember when I was reading Kim Harrison's Hollow series, I would often go to her website to see which songs she thought fit the characters the most. She also posted people's choices and I thought it amazing. Readers can see very different styles for the same characters and I found lots of new bands to listen to this way. Most of MY choices for her books would be Nine Inch Nails songs. (No I promise I won't start rambling about my NIN love *is being a good Caro*)

Anyway, I'm reading Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (and it ROCKS *sing song voice*) and it's about a rock band. I can't help but think of Apocalyptica. I'm not even sure yet which kind of music the Sinners really make but if I think sexy sensual rock-star I think Apocalyptica *g* Apocalyptica is everything I love about music, they ooze sex (again prolly just me *wink*) , I love their music, and I'm fascinated by their music videos ;) How I wish I had a backstage pass to THEIR concert! *dreamy sigh* I also really love that they often release 2 versions of their songs, the instrumental one and songs with singers from very different bands.

So now my Earworms of the Week  will be dedicated to this delicious band.

Not Strong Enough (Featuring Brent Smith from Shinedown)

End of Me (feature Gavin Rossdale)  <=== YUM

Since I can't pretty well add all the videos of the songs I love (WAY too many *g*) I'll just link a few more:
- I Don't Care (featuring Adam Gontier from Three Days Grace)
- The Path (Instrumental version <== love it)
- The Path (featuring Sandra Nasic from Guano Apes)  <== Love it too *g*
- Bittersweet (featuring Ville Valo of  HIM  and Lauri Ylönen of The Rasmus)

Ok will stop there because this could go on forever lol.
I will leave you with an insane video of The Hall of the Mountain King played live in Germany.  It's insane how fast they play by the end. Look at their fingers playing.
I think this is the song I thought of the most while reading Backstage Pass, because the Olivia Cunning mentioned a few times how her characters had very 'adept' fingers. *g*.

If you've read Backstage Pass, which band did you think of when reading it? 
Did you have a specific sound in mind?
If you haven't read it, do you like seeing the author's Soundtrack for their books? 
Anyone else completely addicted to Apocalyptica?

PS: this post is dedicated to Susi, because I know she shares my love of Apocalyptica (AND Backstage Pass!


ARC Review: Seduction & Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone

Sunday, July 10, 2011

With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage—even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attentions of the reclusive Earl of Black…whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactly as she described in her book.
Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black.

Yet as he pursues her, with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.

If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real, and treacherous, thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most….

Caro's review:
Seduction and Scandal is the 1st book in the Brethren Guardians series. I really wanted to love this book. I'm a big fan of Charlotte Featherstone's writing and I was very excited about reading this one. The blurb was warning us of a dark and mysterious hero, that's exactly my kind of hero, so I was looking forward to it.

I won't lie, I was disappointed by this book. It had real potential but too many things irked me. Still I think the series has a lot of potential and I'll be waiting for the next books because I really liked the 2 other Brethren Guardians. I'm pretty excited about their story.

But let's come back to this book. Isabella's past is better left a secret, she'd rather no one knew about her family's scandalous past. She lives with her cousin Lucy. Isabella is obsessed with Death, she writes a gothic novel where the heroine meets Death and he's dark mysterious, handsome...he is there to take the life of the heroine but she falls in love with him. Now, you'll tell me, she's an author, she can write whatever she wants! True, but Isabella, is obsessed by Death. And when she meets the reclusive Earl of Black at a ball she start seeing Death in him. He becomes her muse. I think my main problem was that the book had a huge Gothic vibe and I'm not really interested in those. I tried getting into the story but often the comparisons with Death made me roll my eyes.

I admit that I really liked Black after a few chapters. He's obsessed with Isabella, he knows more about her than she thinks. He'd do anything for her. I was very curious, I wanted to know her secrets too! Talking about secrets...Black is part of the Brethren supposed to guard some very important items with their life. This didn't go well either for me. So these 3 guys are hiding and guarding 3 crucial items but somehow they loose a few. Yes just like that. LOL I'm sorry but I also rolled my eyes there. I had a hard time adhering to this side of the story. The mystery surrounding this didn't grab my attention.

I think it all comes back to 1 thing: the gothic vibe. Charlotte Feathertone's writing was very much in vibe with the feel of the book. The prose was a bit too flowery for me. Black often declares his undying want of the heroine, with metaphors and hyperbolas.

For the whole book though, I was captivated by the secondary characters. I'll admit I wanted to slap Lucy a few times and the ending really was a bit too much BUT, still I will be waiting for their story. And most of all I'll be waiting for book 3 which will feature my favorite characters *g*.

So in conclusion, if you like gothic romance novel you should read this one. It's a good story, it just wasn't really for me.

I give Seduction & Scandal 3 stars.
With a cheesy HEA
Author Links:

Book Links:
Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository


June's HEAs

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Caroline's books:
Making this post is a real eye opener for me. I seem to have a problem with rating books LOL. By that I mean...look at my books and see the ratings? If you ask me I’d tell you that there are different kinds of ratings depending on the genre I read. I’m more demanding of a Historical romance than an erotic novella. THIS is my problem, I don’t seem to know how to rate as a whole, but by genre. So yes I know it looks like I’ve given the same rating to all the books... *sigh* Anyway...

1. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews (4 ½ stars) :
It was fun and exciting. Not the best in the series but it was good. I can’t wait for more Roland time. Yes I’m Team Roland LOL

2. How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries (4 ½ stars) :
This 1 was a bit slower than the previous books in the series but it was still really good. I love this series and I can’t wait for the next 2.

3. Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn: (4 ½ stars)
Cute! A very cute story. Alright, so it wasn’t very smexy but it was funny and easy to read. I loved seeing the Bridgerton again.

4. Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison (4 ½ stars)
Hot, fun, fast-paced, original. NOM Talk about a hot hero! I have to admit there might have been some eye-rolling at the heroine’s secret but it was still fun. Will be waiting for next book.

5. Kisri by Moira Rogers: (4 ½ stars)
Short and satisfying. Smexy steamy story. (Review)

6. Hexed by Kevin Hearne (audiobook) (4 ½ to 5 stars).
I listen to this Audiobook and it was awesoooooome. I fell in love with both the narrator’s voice(s) and the characters. I am in withdrawals, i NEED book 3. NEED!! *eyetwitch* Only a few days to wait.

7. Shameless by Anne Stuart (4 ½ Stars)
I loved it, loved nearly everything about it. It ranks high on my top book of 2011 list. Once again Anne Stuart delivers a fantastic tale and give us the HEA of the characters of the previous book. <3 (review)

 8. Web of Lies by Jennifer Estep (Audiobook) (4 Stars)
It was a nice book but it felt a bit slow at times. I guess it’s because this audiobook is narrated quite slowly. I wanted to rush the narrator. I also really dislike the ‘hero’. REALLY dislike him. I also discovered one of my pet peeves with this series. The heroine can see LOTS of things in a look...I mean things like ‘something flashed into his eyes, hurt, guilt, desire, regrets, ..bla blabla’. O_O yes right, you can see all that in 1 look. O_o anyway...still good series. I’m addicted and book 3 is really good so far.

 9. Unlocked by Courtney Milan (4 ½ stars)
 How I wished this had been a full length novel. It was very original and emotional. I loved it to pieces. I think even Susi would have liked it!

 10. Seduction and Scandal by Charlotte Featherstone (3 or 3 ½ Stars)
 I wanted to love this book but I was disappointed. I’ll still be waiting for book 2. Review to come soon.

Susi's books:
June was pretty good but I only read so many books because many of them were shorts or novellas. And I cheated with the anthologies- I only read one story in those. *bad Susi*But I read some pretty good books. So yay!

1. Kiss of Snow (Psy/Changling #10) by Nalini Singh - (5 stars)
We waited so long for Hawke's book and let's just say it was worth every second. LURVED it!

2. Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5) by Ilona Andrews - (4 stars )
As always I really loved it but it was a bit slow in the middle. Still better than most but you know, high expectations and all.

3. What a Goddess Wants (Forgotten Goddesses, #1) by Stephanie Julian - (4,5 stars) (my review)
 Great start to a new series. I adore Julian's mix of sexy, fun and exciting moments.

4. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet (Rough Riders, #2) by Lorelei James - (3 stars)
 Still very hot but I didn't like how easy Carter had it at the end. >.<

5. Two Weddings (Southern Arcana #3.5) by Moira Rogers - (4 stars)
Very entertaining short- makes me want to read Cipher even more.

6. Pushed to the Limit (Limit Wars #2) by Nico Rosso - (3,5 stars) (my review)
Really promising scifi. Great setting but the romance developed too fast for me.

7. Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises, #2) by Lisa Kleypas - (5 stars)
I adored this book. Awesome romance and heartbreakingly good plot. All thumbs up.

8. Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises, #3) by Lisa Kleypas - (4 stars)
I really enjoyed this one too but it was my least favorite of all three. Still better than most books in this genre though. I highly recommend this series to all romance lover- outstandingly good.

9. Kisri (And the Beast, #2) by Moira Rogers - (3 stars)  (my review)
I enjoyed this one but for me Rogers werewolves will always be my favorites.

10. Fragile (Rafferty, #1) by Shiloh Walker - (3 stars)
I expected much of this one but sadly it was too much emotional talk with too many repetitions.

11. Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold by Bettie Sharpe - (3 stars) (my review)
Very unique retelling of Puss in Boots. The setting was funny but the heroine was a but too much for me.

12. Burning Up (Psy/Changeling #8.5) by Nalini Singh - (5 stars)  (I only read Magic Dreams)
So far Singh never disappointed me. I love her writing and the changeling have a special place in my heart.

13. Hexed (Kate Daniels #4.5) by Ilona Andrews - (4 stars) (I only read Whisper of Sin)
It was soooo good to read about Dali and Jim but it was over too fast. After reading the last sentence I turned the page and was like WHAT? It's over? *sad susi*

14. Return To Shanhasson (Blood and Shadows, #3) by Joely Sue Burkhart - (3,5 stars)
This last part of the Trilogy was not what I expected. I times I felt like a prude Greenlander. LOL But still so good to see this awesome series come to a conclusion. review to come!

Did you discover any great reads last month we should check out? 
What was your favorite read in June?



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