Monday, June 18, 2012

Chasin' Eight (Rough Rider's #11) by Lorelei James

Chasin' Eight (Rough Riders, #11)
Title: Chasin’ Eight
Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Rider’s #11
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Source: Personal e-book purchase

Rating:  B+


She wants it…he’s got it…and the chase is on…
Bull rider Chase McKay has finally landed in a pile too big to charm his way out of. Caught with his pants down, he finds himself bucked right off the PBR tour until he can get his act together.
Hollywood actress Ava Cooper became the tabloids’ favorite target when her longtime boyfriend was outed as gay. She needs a place to lay low and a chance to prove to herself that she can satisfy a red-blooded man between the sheets. The sexy, rugged cowboy she finds holed up in her Wyoming hideaway seems like the answer to her every fantasy.
But Chase has sworn off women. Forever. Or at least a month. Whichever comes first.
When they take to the road to get Chase more hands-on bull riding experience, they have every intention of keeping their hands off each other. But the two headstrong stars quickly end up riding a hot and heady rodeo circuit all their own—until the press gets wind of their affair. When the dust clears and the lights of the paparazzi fade, are they ready to give up chasing the dream for a chance of finding forever?

Warning: Strap in, another hot McKay is about to bust out of the gate and this bull rider knows a thing or two about riding hard…

Why I read this book: My mom introduced me to this series and I’ve really enjoyed it very much. I can hardly wait until the next installment is released in May. This is one series that’s VERY easy to keep going with.

What I Liked: I really liked how this story was written from a more psyhcological side of the characters. Chase and Ava each have their own set of demons to conqure and slowly but surely as the book progresses they do conqure those demons…Together. Another thing that I really liked was that the main characters though madly attracted to one another started off as friends and the actual romance/relationship gradually built. I also really liked how there wasn’t instant sexy times. Your actually a good chunk of the way through the book before there is any of that at all. I also really enjoyed the host of secondary characters and the inclusion of characters from previous stories.

What I didn’t care for: I was lukewarm on the way that Chase and Ava were written at times. I get that they are supposed to come off as spoiled and bratty at times but there were a few moments when it was just a bit too much. The scene in Wichita where a camera man tries to exploit an injured bull rider. I also didn’t really care for the amount of lying that Chase did.

Overall Impression: I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to just about anyone. It had it’s flaws but it was still a really good read. Though Chase and Ava aren’t my favorite couple in this series they are near the top of the list.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant

Title: The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
Author: Jim Gorant
Genre: Non-fiction, animals, sports
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: 2010, September 16
Format: E-Book, 488 pages
Source: Bought for my Barnes and Noble Nook
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
An inspiring story of survival and our powerful bond with man’s best friend, in the aftermath of the nation’s most notorious case of animal cruelty.
Animal lovers and sports fans were shocked when the story broke about NFL player Michael Vick’s brutal dog fighting operation. But what became of the dozens of dogs who survived? As acclaimed writer Jim Gorant discovered, their story is the truly newsworthy aspect of this case. Expanding on Gorant’s Sports Illustrated cover story, The Lost Dogs traces the effort to bring Vick to justice and turns the spotlight on these infamous pit bulls, which were saved from euthanasia by an outpouring of public appeals coupled with a court order that Vick pay nearly a million dollars in “restitution” to the dogs.
As an ASPCA-led team evaluated each one, they found a few hardened fighters, but many more lovable, friendly creatures desperate for compassion. In The Lost Dogs, we meet these amazing animals, a number of which are now living in loving homes, while some even work in therapy programs: Johnny Justice participates in Paws for Tales, which lets kids get comfortable with reading aloud by reading to dogs; Leo spends three hours a week with cancer patients and troubled teens. At the heart of the stories are the rescue workers who transformed the pups from victims of animal cruelty into healing caregivers themselves, unleashing priceless hope.

What I liked: I really liked how this book has changed my opinion on the American Pit Bull Terrier. Not only does this book talk about the Vick case it also goes into the history of this breed. Did you know that the American Pit Bull Terrier is known as the “Nanny Dog?” It was originally bred to be a family pet and a protector of the farm. I also really enjoyed that once things got rolling on the case each dog was evaluated on it’s individual merit. They got to learn how to be dogs and do dog things and interact with people on a positive level for probably the first time EVER. When the dogs were seized there was only 1 dog in the 51 that were taken that was deemed to dangerous to even try to touch. This book shows that there are a lot of advocates for those without voices.
What I Didn’t Like: There are some pretty graphic scene’s in this book to show the reader how big an asshat Michael Vick truly is. Anyone who can hurt another living breathing creature just needs to be taken out of the gene pool entirely, but that’s just my opinion.
Overall Impression: I LOVED this book. I downloaded on a whim and tore through it very quickly. But like I mentioned above there are some pretty graphic scene’s so just beware. There is a TON of heartbreak and triumph so I whole heartily recommend a box of kleenex when reading this book. I also recommend this book to any animal lover out there.
Rating: A

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan
Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary YA
Release Date: December 1, 2011
Source: Copy from personal library


What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starting position… suddenly she’s hoping he’ll see her as more than just a teammate.
Why I read this book: I had been seeing reviews for it all over the place and I’m a sucker for a heroine who breaks gender roles.

What I liked about this book: I liked Jordan a lot. She’s a strong confident football player when she’s on the field but once she’s off the field she’s just a girl who’s dealing with teenage girl stuff. I could easily connect with her. I’m one of those girls who’s more confident being “one of the guys” than I am being “one of the girls.” The host of secondary characters…I especially loved Sam Henry. I also really liked all the humor and trash talk that took place between Jordan and her teammates. The writing style I connected with too. It just sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. I also really liked the ending, good triumphs over “evil.”

What I didn’t like about this book: Ty. For me personally, he came off as a nice guy in the beginning but once got what he wanted he turned into UBER-prick. He drove a pretty serious wedge between Jordan and Henry too. Henry could see and Jordan just didn’t want to. I also didn’t care for the overall feel of Jordan and Ty’s relationship. Another detracting point was Jordan’s dad and NFL quarterback who just doesn’t understand his daughter. Everyone has dreams but I fel that Jordan’s dad spent a considerable amount of time trying to squelch Jordan’s.

Overall Impression: Overall, I’m pretty happy with this book. I will definately be checking out Stealing Parker when it comes out. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book with a strong heroine character who doesn’t take any crap from anyone.
Rating: C+

Friday, June 15, 2012

Please welcome my friend back to book blogging!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to stop in and let you all know that my close personal friend Jamie has returned back to the Book Blogging community.  Her new blog is called View from the Hill Book Reviews and her first post up is set up for discussion.  The subject, blogger burn out.  I hope that you'll drop by and welcome her back to the community!

Taking a Shot (Play by Play #3) by Jaci Burton

Taking a Shot (Play by Play, #3)
Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton
Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format Reviewed: E-Book (251 pages)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: March 6, 2012

Series: Play by Play #3
Source: Personal Purchase

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…
The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.
Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…
But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…
Why I read this book?: I read the two books prior in this series and enjoyed them immensely. This series has become an Automatic Purchase for me.

What I liked about this book?: I really liked Tyler Anderson. He’s a professional Hockey player but he’s so down to Earth it’s almost unreal. He’s been hanging around the Riley families bar for months and is VERY attracted to Jenna Riley. Mainly because Jenna is the type of woman that he is usually attracted to. Jenna is also attracted to Tyler but because she has spent her whole life around sports, she doesn’t want to be with someone who is into sports or plays sports. Good thing Tyler doesn’t take “No” for an answer! I really enjoyed the connection between Ty and Jenna. They each have there own demons to vanquish and it made this particular book that much better in my opinion. I also enjoyed that there was a fair amount of humor as well. I enjoy a good giggle every now and then when I’m reading. The characters from the 2 prior books all made appearances in this book as well as the introduction of Cole, the Riley’s cousin who is the main character of the next book in the series. The love scenes in this book were scorching hot (the sex on ice skates scene is a personal favorite) and plenty abundant as well.

What I didn’t like about this book?: There were times I had a hard time connecting with Jenna. She’d go into these “dark moments” and go from a like able character and transform into a character that I just couldn’t stand. Everyone has insecurities but I don’t know many people who turn into a mean person intentionally. Another thing that I didn’t really care for in this book was the over abundance (for me personally anyway) of sex in the book. It started to feel like that was all that Ty and Jenna’s relationship was based on for the most part.

Overall Impression?: While not my favorite book in the series, it’s still a really good book. This is definitely a series that I will continue on with.
Rating: B-
Recommendations: The Perfect Play (Play by Play #1)
Changing the Game (Play by Play #2)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday ~ Contemporary Edition

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Playing to Win (Play by Play, #4)
Cole Riley’s a hot headed football player who has put his career on the line with his off field behavior. Consultant Savannah Brooks comes on board to save his image—and to get his game on the right track. When two opposing forces collide, there’s bound to be sparks.
Why I'm Waiting?:  I've been hooked on this series from the very beginning.  I was a little bit lukewarm on book 3 but the first two books were WICKED hot!  I mean look at the man candy on the cover?!

 Something Like Normal

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

Why I'm Waiting?:  I was instantly attracted to the cover and then I read the blurb and I had to have it.  My "brother by another mother" is in the military and so for some reason I'm drawn to stories that have men in uniform.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Against the Wind (Raines of Wind Canyon #1) by Kat Martin

Against the Wind (The Raines of Wind Canyon, #1)
Against the Wind by Kat Martin
Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Format Reviewed: Mass Market Paperback
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: December 28, 2010

Series: Raines of Wind Canyon #1
Source: Swap

They were known as the “no-account Raines boys” but they’ve grown into successful, honorable men and everything they have, they’ve fought for tooth and nail. Now each of the three brothers has one last obstacle to overcome to claim what’s eluding them: love.

Secrets don’t stay buried long in cattle country. Sarah Allen, the beautiful girl who humiliated Jackson Raines in high school, is back in town. Not so long ago, she couldn’t wait to leave Wind Canyon, Wyoming, in her dust. But, recently widowed, she has nowhere else to go and finds herself on Jackson’s ranch. And despite everything, Jackson’s finding himself reluctant to get rid of her.
Why I read this book?: I got this book in a swap on the former bookswap on Goodreads. I wanted to read this series when it first came out and was able to get a copy of the first 3 books in the series.
What I liked?: I really liked all the suspense that was in this book. It starts right away, basically on the first page and continues on full speed ahead through the course of the book. I really liked Sarah and Jackson as a couple. They have history and it was nice to see them grow past their troubling pasts. I also really enjoyed Jackson’s little brothers, while they don’t play a huge part in the first book the little bit that they were in the book they made things interesting. Sarah’s little girl Holly was so cute too. What I really liked about this book was that the REAL bad guy wasn’t obvious. You think you know but then something happends that makes your assumption completely wrong. LOVED that part.
What I disliked?: At times I felt that some of the things that Jackson and Sarah took part in were borderline vigliante. I also disliked Detectiver Mercer AND Sarah’s deceased husband Andrew.
Overall Impression: I think that this book was really good beginning to this series. I wish Jackson’s brothers were in it a little more but they get their own stories, which I can hardly wait to read.
Rating: B

Recommendation: I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romantic suspense novel or anyone who enjoys a good Western romance.