759 Followers
26 Following
readingrina

Rina's Reads

I love books. What more can I say?

SIGN UP | 2014 Audio Book Challenge

Reblogged from TheBookNympho:
2014 Audio Challenge

 

You guys asked for it and the Audiobook Challenge back for 2014! Join The Book Nympho and Hot Listens for the 2nd year of great audio books.

Audiobooks are great for those times you want to read but can’t for some reason like driving, doing chores, working out, or if you’re one of the lucky ones like me, listen to them at work.

I know some of you are thinking, audio books? Pass. I thought that once too. But when you find a great narrator they can make the story even better. There are some series I will only listen even if I can get the Arc I’ll wait until the audio is available because the narrator does such a great job bring the book to life.

 

Reading Challenge Details:

  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014. You can join at anytime.
  • The goal is to find a new love for audios or to outdo yourself by listening to more audios in 2014 than you did in 2013.
  • Books must be in audio format (CD, MP3, etc.)
  • ANY genres count.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook, LibraryThing, etc.
  • If you’re a blogger grab the button and do a quick post about the challenge to help spread the word. If you’re not a blogger you can help by posting on Facebook or Tweeting about the challenge.

 

Levels:

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5 
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+

 

 

To sign up visit the original post at  http://thebooknympho.com/2013/11/sign-up-2014-audio-book-challenge/

 

read more »

Reading progress update: I've listend 82 out of 1988 minutes.

Outlander  - Diana Gabaldon

Lost but sticking with it.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrel: A J.J. Graves Mystery: 3 (J.J. Graves Mysteries) - Liliana Hart

Can't help but think of Hannibal Lecter and Silence of the Lambs at the mention of Chianti. So I'm pairing this yummy glass of Chianti with a romantic murder mystery.

Assassin's Code: A Joe Ledger Novel

Assassin's Code - Jonathan Maberry First, Jonathan Maberry makes zombies eerily believable in modern day society with Patient Zero and now, he successfully takes on vampires in Assassin's Code. Each book gets better and better, and for me, this nudged out Dragon Factory as my favorite of the series. The addition of Ghost brings a whole new vulnerability to Joe Ledger and in this installment, the four-legged sidekick shines! Need to linger in the after bliss of this one for a little longer before picking up Extinction Machine, the next book in the Joe Ledger series.

Red Dragon

Red Dragon - Thomas Harris I actually rounded up to 4 stars, but would really give it a 3 1/5. Certainly not enough Hannibal for me in this one, but I found the "Tooth Fairy" to be a formidable protagonist in his absence.

Snow White Must Die

Snow White Must Die - Nele Neuhaus Just wow! I absolutely loved this book. I actually would give it a 4 1/2, not just a 4. It had me scratching my head all the way up to the end. There is a bit of POV hopping that makes it hard to follow at times and why I didn't give it a 5. However this book is translated from German, so I can't really say if it is the fault of the author or the translator. If you love a good mystery, you will love this one!

Beyond the Highland Mist (The Highlander Series, Book 1)

Beyond the Highland Mist (The Highlander Series, Book 1) - Karen Marie Moning Interesting story but the constant POV switching left me dizzy and disoriented. I also felt as though her hero evoked more passion and feeling than her heroine, who to me fell flat and was underserving of said hero. I have heard the other books in the series are better, so I am considering giving them a try.

Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel

Bared to You  - Sylvia Day First off let me just say, if you haven’t read a novel penned by the talented Sylvia Day what on earth are you waiting for? Ms. Day has become one of my favorite authors and excels in grabbing her readers’ attention from jump while having them ultimately panting for more. With that said, let’s talk about Bared to You, the first installment in her new Crossfire series.

Eva Tramell has moved from quiet, laid back California to the fast paced hustle of Manhattan to pursue a career in advertising. While taking a practice run at her daily morning commute to her new job at Waters Field & Leamon, Eva literally finds herself face to face with the most handsome man she has ever seen.

~“Inky black hair framed a breathtaking face. His bone structure would make a sculptor weep with joy, while a firmly etched mouth, a blade of a nose, and intensely blue eyes made him savagely gorgeous.”~

Eva learns “Mr. Dark and Dangerous” is none other than Gideon Cross, owner of Cross Industries and Crossfire, the very building in which she works. Used to getting what he wants, Gideon pursues Eva unabashedly.

~“Are you sleeping with anyone.”
The question was asked so casually it took a second to process what he’d said.
I inhaled sharply. “Why is that any business of yours?”
He looked at me and I saw what I’d seen the first time we met–tremendous power and steely control. Both of which had me taking an involuntary step back.
“Because I want to fuck you, Eva. I need to know what’s standing in my way, if anything.”~

Eva and Gideon’s story continues and develops into an erotic game of cat and mouse. Eva just like any woman in her right mind and in possession of a pulse, eventually succumbs. But for how long? Threatened by the demons of her past and the insecurities that are par for the course when dealing with New York’s high profile playboy, Eva must decide if what Gideon has to offer is true love or just an obsession destined to wane and leave her broken.

Bared to you was a fantastic read and I pleasantly found myself not wanting to put it down. From chapter one I was ensnared in this tale of passion and intense vulnerability that Ms. Day so expertly weaved. Oh and did I mention the sex is hot? Page melting hot.

If you haven’t heard, Bared to You is often compared to another popular book that is currently taking the world by storm, but I honestly think it deserves praise all its own. However, if you have read said book with ‘fifty’ in its title, you definitely want to check this one out. If not? Even so, give this book a read, you won’t be disappointed.

Hot Head

Hot Head - Damon Suede I had remembered hearing all the buzz surrounding the male male romance Hot Head by Damon Suede and found myself curious. It had been up for best romance for the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards with the likes of J.R. Ward, Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione. It ended up finishing in third place behind Lover Unleashed and Fifty Shades of Grey. Upon learning that Damon Suede would be an attending author at the Authors After Dark conference in New Orleans this year, the decision had been made. I had to read this book even though it was not my usual “go to” genre of paranormal romance.

At the start of the story I will admit, I found myself uncomfortable but not for the reasons one would suspect. The two male leads are firemen from Brooklyn and had experienced the tragedy of 9/11 first hand. Having lived within an hour drive of New York City my whole life, I too had been affected by the nightmare of that day. The beginning of the story hit home and left me with an all too realistic somber feel, which is not something I usually like with my romance. However, I pressed on and I am so glad I did.

The heat between Griffin Muir, a pale skinned redhead with the athletic frame of a pro football player and Dante Anastagio, the Italian Casanova with a body made for sin, is electric! Griffin is enamored with Dante who has been his best friend since childhood. He never had feelings for a man before and found himself ultimately conflicted. Should he tell his best friend how he really feels about him or for the sake of their friendship suck it up and move on? Dante is charismatic and has a habit of sacrificing his safety on the job with Griffin being his guardian angel on more than one occasion. When Dante learns that he may lose his Brooklyn brownstone, the one place he held dear to his heart, unable to keep up with the payments on a fireman’s salary, he turns to Alek the owner of the gay-porn site Hothead.com. Dante’s wheels start to spin after one shooting, realizing he could make a hell of a lot more of the money he needs if his act was in fact a duo and not just a solo. Having no one else he trusted more than his best friend, Dante looks to Griffin once again to save him. At this point the book ignites from hot to scorching. I could not put it down and wondered if it came equipped with a fire hose to cool off. The characters Damon Suede brings to life are real, funny and absolutely lovable. It was a romance that ensnares the reader and has them biting their proverbial nails, speculating what will happen when Dante finally finds out the truth. If you are one of the many J.R. Ward fans waiting to read the highly anticipated love story between Qhuinn and Blay, then I suggest picking up this book to hold you over. You will not be disappointed. As I stated earlier, coincidentally Hot Head’s two leads are a redhead and dark brunette.

Excerpt:

Dante leaned over. “Hey, G. You gotta talk as much as possible. Okay? Dirty talk gives us a bump.”
“Uh, yeah. Sure. What do you want me to…?”
“Whatever feels good, tell me. Real nasty. Tell me how to suck it. Talk to me.”
Griff nodded. “I’ll try.”
“Dirty as you want, man. Don’t be gentle; don’t be nice. I can take it. It’s all good, yeah?”
Even in his helmet and worn bunker pants, Dante looked like a prince: the perfect profile, the soft waves of hair. Griff swallowed. “You got it.”
Dante stepped closer, so they were almost face to face in their pants and suspenders. “I don’t know how far I can go, but if you make me, I bet I can go further. And that’s more cash. I want to, okay? Far as you can push me.”

Lord of the Vampires (Harlequin Nocturne)

Lord of the Vampires - Gena Showalter The Royal House of Shadows is the brainchild of four bestselling paranormal romance authors, coming together to create a fantasy world for Harlequin’s Nocturne series. Each subsequent book is written by a different author and Gena Showalter kicks it off with Lord of the Vampires, the story of Nicolai.

Nicolai is the eldest of five royal siblings who are separated after their parents, the king and queen of Elden, have been murdered by the Blood Sorcerer. Each sibling is faced with their own obstacles to overcome, including their loss of memory, in order to be reunited with one another before time runs out and the Blood Sorcerer can’t be stopped.

Nicolai, after being stripped of his memories, has been taken against his will as a sex slave by witch princesses. His only chance to gain his freedom is by the help of a human scientist, Jane, who he has magically transported into his mystical world for his own gain. What he didn’t count on was falling in love with her.

I enjoyed Lord of the Vampires very much. Before diving in, I had perused a few reviews on it, most criticizing the book for its brevity.

Yes, it was a fairly quick read but I in no way thought it took away from the great story.

Nicolai is strong and sensual. You bare witness to his intense internal conflict over his insatiable need for vengeance and his new found desire to make Jane his own.

Jane is smart, believably strong throughout and an overall well developed heroine, characteristics I crave in my female leads. I found myself pulling for this couple throughout their journey and hoping that the circumstances surrounding these two was not insurmountable in the long run.

The book is at times graphically gruesome, but I myself enjoy the dynamic of gritty action and hot sex. I also think it showcased the excellent range at which Gena can write.

The next book, Lord of Rage, penned by Jill Monroe, is the story of the lone female offspring, Breena.

Jessica Anderson and Nalini Singh are the authors of the following installments.

I would definitely recommend this series. I know I am looking forward to see how the story changes and progresses from author to author.

My Immortal Assassin

My Immortal Assassin - Carolyn Jewel There is definitely heat but a lot of teasing until you reach the second half of the book)

From page one you are plunged into a world of Kin and Mages. Kin are powerful demons who use their magic to transform themselves into beautiful beings that closely resemble humans, while Mages are powerful wizards whose secret long term goal is to rid the world of free Kin.

Grayson Spencer, a human, is forced to choose sides when a evil Mage turns her life upside down. In an attempt to kill him she comes face to face with Durian, an assassin, a Kin. Unable to let Gray complete her mission due to a treaty the warlord he is bound to made with the Mage she wants to kill, Durian works with Gray to find another means for her revenge while trying not to fall in love.

Immortal Assassin is a great start to a new series. It moves quickly and is a refreshing change from the usual paranormal subjects of vampires and shifters. The characters are interesting and easy to follow. I would definitely pick up the next book in the series.

A Touch of Crimson: A Renegade Angels Novel

A Touch of Crimson - Sylvia Day Touch of Crimson is the first book from the new series Renegade Angels by Sylvia Day. The book is centered around a group of Sentinels, Special Ops Seraphim, lead by Adrian Mitchell, whose main goal is to punish the Fallen, angels who have allowed themselves to succumb to mortal pleasures. One offense being pleasure of the flesh, who Adrian himself has fallen victim to. Inadvertently sentencing himself to an eternity of pain as the woman he loves dies again and again, Adrian comes face to face with her new reincarnation in the form of Lindsay Gibson while waiting for a plane in Phoenix. However, Lindsay is nothing like his former love in her past lives, a trait Adrian surprisingly finds himself even more drawn to.

I enjoyed Touch of Crimson very much. Sylvia Day creates an exciting and complex caste system of sorts. The Seraphim hunt the Fallen, angels stripped of their wings and souls, who are now vampires. The lycans are Fallen who have sworn themselves into servitude in order to escape eternity as soulless blood suckers. The balance between all is delicate but someone is hell bent on making it crumble.

This fast paced story keeps the reader interested and the romance between Adrian and Lindsay is hot…scorching hot! Adrian is masculine perfection. He exudes nothing but raw power and sex, making every reader pine for a chance to be the subject of his desire or in this case sin. Lindsay is a female I can confidently applaud. She is strong but not without fault. Her insecurities are real and justified, allowing the reader to feel a connection to her. Oh and let’s not forget about the lycans. Elijah, part of Adrian’s personal pack, is quiet and mysterious, coming in at a close second as most eligible male character in my book.

Sylvia Day’s writing is spot on and I will definitely be on the lookout for book two. Oh and did I mention that the sex was hot?

Taken by Midnight (The Midnight Breed, Book 8)

Taken by midnight - Lara Adrian I’ll admit, I was somewhat reluctant to read Lara Adrian’s Taken by Midnight when it first released. It was nothing against Lara really; it had more to do with the outbreak of disappointing releases by some of my most loved authors. I didn’t want to add another to that unfortunately swollen list.

However, after attending a recent author’s conference where Lara was present, and getting a chance to meet her up close and personal, I felt compelled to give the book a chance.

Much to my delight, Taken by Midnight was excellent! In fact, I don’t think I have enjoyed a book as much as I enjoyed this one in a surprisingly long time.

From the first page you immediately feel the connection between the two main characters, Brock and Jenna. Jenna finally wakes up from a deep sleep after her savage capture in Alaska, that took place in Shades of Midnight, the book preceding this one. Brock remains protectively by her side for reasons far deeper than just the responsibility entrusted to him by Lucan, leader of the Order. Both are inwardly tormented by demons from their pasts. Throughout the book, the romance between these two well developed characters moves at a satisfying pace and sizzles off the pages when it finally comes to a head.

Brock is honorable and sexy. Jenna is strong and determined. Together they are scorching and unstoppable.

The book has it all…romance, suspense, passion and pain.

Much kudos to Lara for writing a brilliant story when other heavy hitters in the genre seem to have gone complacent!

In closing, one of my favorite exchanges in the book…

“Are you asking me to move in with you, Jenna?”

She shivered under the moist warmth of his lips and the erotic abrasion of his fangs against her tender skin. “Yeah, I guess I am. I mean this is your bed, after all. Everything in here is yours.”

“What about you?” He gathered her hair and swept it aside, pressing his mouth to her bare nape. “Are you mine, too?”

*Swoon*

My Dangerous Pleasure

My Dangerous Pleasure - Carolyn Jewel Paisly Nichols is thrust into a world of mages and demon assassins when a particularly insane mage finds favor in her. Little does she know, the only person that can help is her landlord, Iskander, who happens to be a demon himself.

I found My Dangerous Pleasure by Carolyn Jewel, the fourth book in her My Immortal Series, to be a real page turner. The world she has created is both intriguing and fresh. An escape of the overwhelming supply of vampires and shifters that flood the paranormal romance genre.

Paisly is a strong female lead you find yourself rooting for, who only gains in momentum and doesn't falter...which in my opinion is not so easy to come by. Iskander is sexy and mysterious, a real knight in shining armor who sweeps you off your feet and keeps running. The two come together at a good pace, adding to the nice flow of the book. One scene in particular will definitely leave you breathless. All in all a great read and worth picking up if you are looking for something new and different.

I will certainly be keeping an eye out for the next installment in this great series.

Primal Law: An Alpha Pack Novel

Primal Law (Alpha Pack Series #1) - J. D. Tyler Jaxon Law had no idea that when he lead his team on a mission in Afghanistan, that he and his men would be changed forever. Kira Locke was not prepared for her attempt to uncover the top secret business of her employer, NewLife, to go south as bad as it did and in turn be rescued by a team of military wolf shifters who would make any woman's heart stop. One silver wolf in particular.
Primal Law is the first book in the new series, Alpha Pack by JD Tyler. The world she builds around her lead characters is a bit chaotic and is almost too much to be believable at times, with all the paranormal beings running amuck.
However, her lead male, Jaxon Law, a silver wolf shifter with a huge load of guilt weighing heavy on his heart from a previously botched mission, along with his team of hot male shifters, will leave you panting for more. Jax is sex on a stick and he doesn't disappoint. The sex is good and there is plenty of it.
Kira on the other hand leaves a lot to be desired, which is no surprise for me, being that I tend to find female leads always a bit lackluster. There were times in Primal Law where I wanted to give Kira a high five and other times when I wanted to slap her on the back of her head. The latter unfortunately being more prevalent.
Chaos and female leads that fall short do not at all hinder JD Tyler's ability to tell a good story. It was definitely a page turner, right up to the very last page where the author delivers a ballsy ending in my opinion. The romance definitely could have used a little more umph, but all in all it was a good first book and I find myself inclined to make an effort to pick up the second book in the series, which is scheduled to come out in April, to see what JD has in store for her hot Alpha Pack.