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.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Stacking the Shelves June 9, 2012


Hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

I also have another blog that I review on that also has a Stacking the Shelves post up.  I hope that you'll drop by and check out that post as well.  Have a great weekend everyone :)

Create your own Stacking The Shelves post. You can use my official graphic or your own, but please link back to Tynga’s Reviews so more people can join the fun!
You can set your post any way you want, simple book list, covers, pictures, vlog, sky is the limit!
I am posting Stacking The Shelves on Saturdays, but feel free to post yours any day that fits you.
Visit Tynga’s Reviews on Saturday and add your link so others can visit you!Visit other participants link to find out what they added to their shelves!

New This Week:

Jacked Up (Fast Track, #6)

Giving Chase (Chase Brothers, #1)

Taking Chase (Chase Brothers, #2)

Chased (Chase Brothers, #3)

Making Chase (Chase Brothers, #4)

Belong To Me (Wicked Lovers, #5)

Friday Follow #1

hop 257x300 Feature & Follow is 100! #FF100

This week's "assignment" is to feature one of our favorite bloggers here on our post.  Well one of my favorite bloggers is The Book Vixen.  The Book Vixen has been one of the blogs that I've followed since before I even started blogging.
The Book Vixen

The Book Vixen is actually the blogger that "made" me take the leap into book blogging.  I may not comment as much as I should (Dang you 3rd shift schedule!) but I check out the blog on a daily basis.   Here are a couple of my favorite posts from The Book Vixen....

I also wanted to take the time to thank The Book Vixen for turning me onto Shiloh Walker's books.  I hadn't heard of this author until I came across a review on The Book Vixen's blog that made me want to check out her books.  Thank BV!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Extreme Exposure (I-Team #1) by Pamela Clare

Extreme Exposure (I-Team, #1)

Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare
Book Stats:
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Format Reviewed: E-Book, 298 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: August 2, 2005

Series: I-Team #1
Source: Personal purchase

It’s been years since her child’s father dumped her, and since then investigative reporter Kara McMillan has kept men at bay—although every day she aches more for a lover’s touch. But to get that, the hard-boiled journalist must become vulnerable—a feeling she vowed never to have again.
With his dangerous good looks, charm, and power, Senator Reece Sheridan could have just about any woman he sets his piercing eyes on. But he’s intrigued by only one. This Kara, this gutsy investigative reporter, has a sensuality that arouses him to no end. If she’s a firebrand in print, he guesses, she must be just as fiery in bed…
But this is no fling. A sudden political scandal—and attempts on Kara’s life—could very well drive them apart. Or maybe, just maybe, adversity could draw them into a bond even more intense than their steamy sexual embraces…

Why I read this book?: I downloaded this book onto my Nook many moons ago and I’ve decided that I’m going to try  and read as many of my own books before I buy anymore. I had read it once when I first downloaded it but I re-read it just to see if my feelings changed or not.
What I liked?: I really liked that Kara McMillian is a strong independent woman who is raising her four year old son, Connor, by herself. She’s worked her but off to earn the position that she’s in on the I-Team at the Denver Independent. She also doesn’t take any crap off of anyone, especially her piggish boss Tom. Then she meets Senator Reece Sheridan at the Rio bar and what turns out to be a pretty intense relationship starts to blossom. Reece is the exact opposite of ALL politicians these days, he’s your PERFECT fictional politician. Then an employee at a local mining company blows the whistle on them to Kara and the story takes a dramatic turn. The deeper Kara digs the more trouble she seems to find herself in. Then she finds that the company that she is investigating has “bought” certain members of the state Senate. Is Reece included in those members? I don’t know, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
What I disliked?: At times I felt that Kara was her own worst nightmare, not only in her professional life but also in her personal life. Granted she’s been abandoned by most of the men that have been in her life but I felt at times she lumped all men into the same category.
Overall Impression: I thought that this was a really good start to this series and I can hardly wait to read the other books that I have in this series. It’s chock full of romance and suspense and the timing and writing style I was really happy with overall.
Rating: B

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Epic Fail
Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Book Stats:
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Format Reviewed: Paperback
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Series: N/A
Source: Personal purchase

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?
At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:
As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.
As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.
When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

Why I read this book?: I saw the cover for this book while cruising Goodreads and thought that the idea for the book was very interesting. I was out last week at our local re-sale bookstore and found a copy that I purchased.

What I liked?: I really liked Elise and her sister Juliana. They have a really close relationship and not even boys can come between them. I also really liked that Elise had a pretty great sense of humor. I’ve been reading a lot of YA books lately that seem to have a considerable amount of Insta-Love in them…That was not the case in this book between Elise and Derek. Elise actually thought that Derek was a jerk for awhile even. Juliana and Chase started out as friends and their relationship grew from there but I wouldn’t call that Insta-Love either. I think the best part of this book was that we all have “crazy” family members, you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean.

What I disliked?: Webster Grant! What a prick! I also thought that there was a fair amount of superficialness and stereotyping in the book as well.

Overall Impression: This was a quick fun read that I enjoyed a lot.
Rating: C

Virgin River (Virgin River #1) by Robyn Carr

Virgin River (Virgin River, #1)
Title: Virgin River
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Personal Purchase
Sexual Meter: sex scenes, acts of sensuality
“Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.”
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
I downloaded the first 4 books of the Virgin River series onto my Nook a long time ago. I just hadn’t gotten around to reading them until just recently. Then I’ve been in a reading/reviewing dry spell. So now here is my review, better late than never :)

Mel Monroe moves to Virgin River after the death of her husband to help out the aging town doctor. When she get’s there she finds that the Doc wants nothing to do with her and is trying to force her out. She also meets Jack Sheridan, bar owner, former Marine and overall good guy. Just watching Jack and Mel fall in love is so much fun. Add in all the secondary characters that make Virgin River what it is and you are in for an endearing and sometimes comical read.

The drama that is added to this story and the authenticity of the midwife scene’s really made me enjoy this book even more. I guess my only quirk with the book was that at some points I just felt that there was a little bit too much information being provided. I also thought that in some of the scenes with Jack and Mel there was a tich to much “cheese” added.

Overall, Virgin River is a great start to this series and I’ve already continued on. I’m on the 6th book in the series and I’ve only found 1 book in the 6 I’ve been through that I didn’t care for at all. Please check out this series. It’s way worth the investment :)
Rating: B

Skin Deep (I-Team 5.5) by Pamela Clare

Skin Deep (I-Team, #5.5)
Title: Skin Deep
Author: Pamela Clare
Series: I-Team 5.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Source: Personal E-book purchase
Sexual Meter: Sex scenes, acts of sensuality
Broken on the inside
Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man’s rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.
Broken on the outside
Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family’s ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal—and be alone. Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her—and to heal her wounded spirit.
But confronting the past is never easy—especially when it’s carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than … Skin Deep.
Includes a Bonus Story, Marc & Julian Make a Beer Run
Ride along with Marc, Julian, Zach, Gabe, Reece, Nate, and Joaquin as a beer run turns out to be more than they bargained for.
I saw this book as I checking out the lendable books that were available from my Nook Friends. The premise of the story sounded so good that I just had to have it. I’ve read one other book in the I-Team series and I really enjoyed it very much. If you haven’t checked out this series I highly recommend it. :)

We actually meet Megan in an earlier book in the series, one that I haven’t read yet and I actually didn’t know this until I was reading reviews for this book on Goodreads. Megan has her own set of demons that she’s dealing with most of them stem from events that happened to her when she was younger. Megan is also a single mother who is trying to do right by her little girl Emily. But Megan does have 1 big problem and his name is Donny.

Nate West is a former Marine who is dealing with the burns that came from an IED. He has always admired Megan from afar but when Megan is attacked in the parking lot on her way to pick up Emily from pre-school he steps in and rescues her. After reading a little bit about Nate you learn that he’s been “burned” by women before and he really wasn’t ready to through his hat in the ring yet when it came to dating but Megan saw past his burns and he eventually gets over himself.

The romance between Nate and Megan starts off pretty slowly and escalates pretty quickly once Megan takes Nate up on his open invitation. I really enjoyed all the secondary characters that are in the book very much. Every character adds a little something extra to the book to make it just that much more appealing. The drama and suspense kept building through out the story as well. The only issue that I had with the book was you know at the beginning of the book who the bad guy is. That slightly detracted from the story for me.
Rating: B