Recommendations

book-signingLately, I’ve realized how much I miss holding and reading a paperback book. Plus I hate how all of my e-books are all jumbled together. No matter how I set up categories in iBooks or Kindle, I still find myself thumbing through several unfinished books to find a new one. Then I’m not sure if they are unread or an unfinished one. While with a paperback, you can place the new book on a certain shelf or leave it in a shopping bag. Simple.  Anyway, I’ve plan to read more paperback books.

Here are some recommendations. You’ll note that I do not recap story lines. So if you want to know more about the book, look it up on Amazon. Easy enough.

Funny how authors will give a title to a book that really does not do justice to the story. One such book is Dirty Daddies by Jade West. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Carla has a kinky side. Well, of course. Have you read what I write? Geez! In this case, the book isn’t like some I’ve read. Behave. Let me look at your e-reader and I’ll see what your kink is. As you can imagine, Dirty Daddies is a hot book, but so much more. It really surprised me by the layers of character development revealed in the story. Yes, it involves two older men (not too old, gross) and a younger woman (offhand, I can’t remember, but I do believe she’s 18. In the US, that’s considered an adult). But the heroes struggle with their desire for someone younger, they recognize the problem she has with low self-esteem, and they don’t want to take advantage, but as the book goes along, the men actually help her. Like I said, it’s hot, but the story is not all sex. There’s character growth for all of them. The book turned out to be a perfect love story. Besides, the romance having two heroes for one heroine (love that), it is an unique story. Just really needs a better title.

I love hockey books. Since I love hockey, that makes sense, right? As I’m all caught up on Sawyer Bennett’s Carolina’s Cold Fury series, I’m always searching for more. Well, I had almost given up as the others out there were not meeting my standards. Then I came across, Alicia Pace Hunter’s Nickolai’s Noel, and they (the author is a writing team) met my need for more. It’s a short story, but packed with romance and hockey. (Presently, you can find it in Fire On Ice: 4 Hockey Romances.) Their latest hockey romance is Face Off: Emile. They write romantic comedy and not the silly kind. More of the sweet and fun kind. Love their sense of humor. In Face Off, it does have a little bit of sex in it, but not hot like Sawyer’s. I love the time the heroine grabbed the hero’s butt. Sexy and funny at the same time. HA! But I like mixing up my reading of romance, from hot to sweet. And I love reading hockey books where the author really knows what they’re talking about. Yes. I’ve tried reading a couple you could tell the author was writing to the market and nothing else.

Now for audio, I have fallen in love with Louise Bay’s three books set mostly in New York. They don’t have a series name. They’re stand-alones, but one character in each book is connected in some way (sister, brother, friend) to another. So same world. The narrators do a wonderful job. The books are hot, but definitely have a romance storyline. They are King of Wall Street, Park Avenue Prince, and Duke of Manhattan. Talk about some sexy, well-rounded men (and women). You really need to listen or read these books. I plan to check out her other books next.

Presently, I’m listening to Radiance: Wraith Kings, Volume 1 by Grace Draven. It’s different enough to keep me interested ,and the writing is good overall. Though I have to mention, I get aggravated with the author writing a scene where the hero or heroine thinks about something that happened earlier in the day and then being jerked back to that scene. Why not write the scenes in order without the yanking around? It wasn’t like the event happened years and years ago. In that case, you would write the event in a scene mostly as backstory. In small doses, backstory is good if it is helping the reader understand why the hero or heroine is the way he or she is. But a current event of only hours earlier being out of sequence is jarring.

Though I’ve listened to and read or tried to read many more, those are the ones worth mentioning here.

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My Latest Recommendations

Woman Reading a DiaryAs I mentioned before, I listen to audio books on my drive to the day job and back. Well, actually anywhere that takes tens minutes or more, such as trips to Nashville (Go Preds!), luncheons, conferences, and writers’ meetings.

This week, I enjoyed Shadow Music: A Novel by Julie Garwood. A story set in the Middle Ages (King John). In the range of my favorite time period. Plus, it reminds me  of why I love Ms. Garwood’s books. The story is captivating, lightly sexy, charming, and well-written. A note about the story: some people may think the heroine is too accommodating to the hero’s dictatorial attitude. But I think it’s perfect for the time period. Besides, the heroine knows when to pick her battles. She’s a sweetheart. The hero gives in when she explains her reasoning. A great balance. Makes you fall in love with both of them.

The icing on the cake is the narrator. Davina Porter is massively talented. I love her Scottish accents. If her name sounds familiar, she was/is the narrator for the Outlander series. Her narration got me through the first three books of that series and thoroughly made me a happy girl with this book.

In April, I listened to Maya Banks’ The Enforcers series: Mastered, Dominated, and Kept. I will say I would have enjoyed this series better if I had read them. The narrator had an awesome voice, but the female voices and nuances were off.

When it comes to reading, I’ve gone through about six books since my last recommendation with a few DNFs. Only one is worth mentioning, and I’m not finished with it yet. Not that it’s great, it’s kept me reading. The writing is rich with wonderful detail. That can be a catch-22. It can drag down the story. The title is The Warrior’s Game by Denise Doming. Another one set during the King John’s reign. I guess I’m stuck in that era.

Happy reading!

 

Audio Book Favorites

Iphone-headphone-jackOn and off for many years I’ve listened to audio books from cassettes to iTunes to Amazon’s Audible. Overall, the narrators have gotten better. At one time, authors wanted well-known actors narrating their books. You can even see a few still do. But I have to say they are not always the best choice.

The ones I enjoy the best is 1) a female or male who can change their voice enough to sound like or make you think of the character they are speaking for.

My favorite audio books

I’ve actually listened to these more than once (partly because I enjoyed the story so much and partly for the savings. HA!)  You may notice some of the audio books below are repeats of my favorite books to reread. Goes without saying, I loved these stories.

Alex by Sawyer Bennett
Cris Dukehart did a great job on the female narration. The male narrator, Graham Halstead, has the kind of voice I love. Since the character is in his twenties, he has a young, but still mature, sexy voice.  He’s the narrator in all of Sawyer’s Carolina Cold Fury books. Smart move on Random House’s part. Hockey!!  Love hockey, but not all hockey books are equal. Just as the teams. Go, PREDATORS!

Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath
The narrator, Faye Adele, did a fascinating job. I completely forgot it was a woman talking during the male parts.

The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
Ditto above, but the narrator is Angela Dawe. I don’t know how the women narrators do it.

Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
I love it when they have female and male narrators. It appears they only do when it is first person. Grace Grant did a wonderful job narrating for the female voice. Jonathan R. Cole is the male narrator, and his British accent is perfect to me. Very sexy, and I quickly learned not to listen to the male narration in the dark, before going to sleep. It felt like I was cheating on my hubby.  LOL!

Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Kristen Potter did a great job of giving us a little of the Scottish accent but not overwhelming.

What am I listening to now

Easy Love by Kristen Proby; narrated by Sebastian York and Rachel Fulginiti.

I enjoyed the female narration most the time, except when she spoke with a “New Orlean’s accent” for the hero and his family. Horrible. She really shouldn’t try. The male narrator did not, thank goodness. As always for Sebastian, he has a sexy voice, but I cannot tell when it’s the hero’s thoughts or if the hero is speaking it. His voice doesn’t distinguish between the two.

The story was cute, hot, and laugh out-loud funny at times. Loved the Taylor Swift drinking game. The only problem I had with the story was the heroine was late often to work and never called in when she wasn’t going to show up at all (I don’t care if she was sleeping with the boss. Her co-workers were not to know.) Working in an office for most of my life, the girl would be fired before the month was out and her co-workers would resent her. They would have to do her “pretend” job. Someone had to. Plus I kept wondering how the heroine was going to find out who was stealing money from the company if she never worked? And how did she expect to keep her affair with the boss a secret if they were running around town?

I kept telling my inner, anal reader to shut up and enjoy the story. I did and I did. Besides, it is fiction and for pure entertainment. Certainly worth listening to one time. I bet if you’ve never worked in an office, you’ll enjoy it a hundred times more.

Side note about listening to Outlander.

Davina Porter is the narrator. I have to say, if not for her, I would’ve never gotten through the whole book. Well, her and Jamie. The author did great on him. But so many stretches were so boring with unnecessary details and don’t get me started on Claire. That review/comment post will be for a later time. It’s written, but I prefer letting it sit for a while. So far it’s been over a year. Anyway, Davina is a wonderful narrator and deserves every dime she receives.