Pre-Review: Tailspin, by Jaimie Roberts (Expected Release Date: 06/20/17)

TAILSPINTAILSPIN by Jaimie Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book has wrecked me! I can’t even begin to make sense of all my emotions right now. I’m angry, devastated, completely gutted and heartbroken. I’m so damn conflicted! This story…argh! It really hit me in the “feels”.

Full review to come once I’m able to get a grip. Seriously! I devoured this book and I’m a total mess right now.

**I received an ARC from the author.**

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Review: Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland, #1), by Kristen Ashley

Wildest Dreams (Fantasyland, #1)Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every once in awhile, I crave a story with an over-the-top Alpha and a sassy heroine. I know that I can always count on Kristen Ashley to deliver when I’m in a “caveman” sort of mood. Her heroes are always uber-masculine and about as far from metrosexual as you can get. Though what they lack in sensitivity, they make up for in pure, primal sex appeal.

True to form, ‘Wildest Dreams’ did not disappoint on any of those fronts. In fact, travelling to this alternate universe felt much like travelling back in time by a few hundred years and then throwing in a plethora of supernatural elements. This story takes us to a world where there are ancient royal families ruling over their lands; where travel is by horse and wagon; and where witches, elves and dragons exist. ‘Fantasyland’ is an apt name for this series and I am already hooked.

The first book in the series, ‘Wildest Dreams’ introduces us to this magical world. The descriptions were so vivid that I felt like I had been transported, right alongside Finnie. I listened to the Audible edition of this book and I thought that the narrator did a fabulous job. I am glad that I chose to listen vs. read this time around. If, like me, you enjoy a good audiobook from time to time, this is a great selection.

Kristen Ashley has built an alternate world, where everyone has a “twin”. Although they may have a physical twin in this alternate world, the personalities and other characteristics are certainly not identical. With the help of a witch and a large dose of magic, people in this world may communicate with people in this alternate world, or even travel between worlds. That is how this story begins.

Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde has plenty of money, but has lost the most meaningful people in her life – her parents. Ever since her parents died in a plane crash while on one of their adventures, Finnie has been heartbroken. She misses them more than anything and like them, Finnie is always up for an adventure.

When Finnie discovers the existence of an alternate world – a world where there are living versions of herself and her parents – she decides she is going to go there. Communicating with the “her” in this other world through a powerful witch, she comes to an agreement with her to trade places for one year. Despite the pleas of her best friend, Finnie pays a fortune to the witch and sets out on the biggest adventure of her life.

Only, when Finnie arrives in this new world she quickly discovers that the other “her” hasn’t been completely forthcoming about everything. Stepping into the shoes of Princess Sjofn, she is set to wed the fiercely intimidating and ultra- male, Frey Drakkar immediately upon her arrival in this new world. Finnie doesn’t even have time to read the note that Princess Sjofn left for her before she is marched down the aisle. She’s been duped.

To make matters more complicated, it is clear that Frey Drakkar does not care for Princess Sjofn. In fact, he seems to barely tolerate her presence. After whisking her away to a remote cabin far away from her parent’s castle, he promptly takes off, leaving her to fend for herself in this new land.

Determined to make the best of the situation, Finnie makes the most of her time while Frey is away. She befriends the inhabitants of the nearby small town and bides her time until his return. She cleans their cabin and makes it a cozy home.

When Frey returns, he is shocked to see that the pampered princess has morphed into a completely different person than the one he knew. She is kind and funny. She performs manual labor that the old Sjofn would have thought was beneath her. Perhaps most importantly, she denies that she prefers women lovers over men. He doesn’t know what game she’s playing at, but he intends to find out.

With the changes in their relationship, the two begin to grow closer. As you can imagine, Frey is initially interested only in bedding his beautiful bride. Finnie wants to take things a bit slower. Of course, there are plenty of misunderstandings and awkward moments along the way as the Finnie of this world tries to blend into the life of Princess Sjofn of that world.

Eventually, Frey discovers the truth. However, he and Finnie are already deeply in love by that point. In fact, he has realized that she is his prophesied soul mate and their union signifies the beginning of a new era where the dragons will awaken again. Did I mention that Frey commands dragons and talks to elves?

Overall, I thought that this was a fantastic story. I enjoyed every minute of this fantastical world that Kristen Ashley created. I fell in love with Frey and Finnie. I cannot wait to see where else this series will lead. I will be starting the second book immediately.

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Review: Kulti, by Mariana Zapata

KultiKulti by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve had this book sitting on my TBR for a long time. I had put off reading it for a few reasons, but the most notable reasons being that: 1) I am not a sports fan – at all- and I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy it since this story was centered on two athletes; and 2) I was worried that I’d be disappointed after reading so many fantastic reviews for this book. Now that I’ve read it, I can say that neither of those concerns ended up coming to fruition.

I listened to the Audible version of this book and I thought that it was fabulous. I loved the humor and the wittiness of the heroine, Sal Casillas. Kulti was a real piece of work at times and I loved that Sal wasn’t afraid to call him out on his assholery. (Yep! I’m making that a word.)

Sal and Kulti were a great pair. I spent a lot of time laughing my butt off at Sal’s inner monologue. She was just so “human” that it was hard not to love her.

On the other hand, Reiner Kulti was an acquired taste. He was the polar opposite of the easy-going Sal. He was wound tight, closed-off and outright rude for most of this book. However, little by little, a softer side of him was revealed.

To say that this book was a slow-burn is putting it mildly. This story seemed to go on forever. I enjoyed it immensely, but I did think that it could have been trimmed down a little.

The only other thing that I would’ve changed was the ending. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the way everything played out. I just wanted more. It took so long for Sal and Kulti to get their HEA and after all the time spent describing every detail of every game, I felt like more time should’ve been dedicated to them as a couple. After all, I waited long enough to get there.

Everything considered, I thought that this was a fantastic story. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that all of my worries had been completely misplaced. I enjoyed every minute of this book. If you’ve been putting it off like I did, don’t.

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Review: King of Wall Street, by Louise Bay

King of Wall StreetKing of Wall Street by Louise Bay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘King of Wall Street’ was just the type of sweet, straightforward love story that I was craving. I listened to the Audible version during my daily commute and it was a great way to pass the time. It had humor and plenty of heat. Even without big twists and surprises, this story held my attention.

Harper Jayne has idolized Max King for years. She’s landed an entry-level research position working under the Wall Street business mogul, right out of grad school. She is determined to prove herself and stand on her own two feet, refusing the assistance of her wealthy father.

However, Max King is determined to prove something himself. He’s dead set on proving to himself that he can avoid his attraction to the sexy new junior employee. He’s never mixed business and pleasure before. He plans to stay far away from the likes of Ms. Harvey Jayne, lest he lose all control. Max King is not a man that ever loses control.

As Max tries to push Harper away, she manages to creep into his life. For her part, Harper cannot understand why Max is so nasty to her. She figures it is just her luck to end up having him infiltrate her life outside of work as well.

After a few chance encounters outside of the office, these two are going at it like bunnies. They try to keep work and private activities separate, but that can only last for so long. Despite their attempts to keep their outside relationship strictly sexual, their feelings only grow stronger.

I’m sure you can imagine how things play out, there’s no big surprises here. However, I really enjoyed this predictable office romance. The characters were easy to relate to and I loved the fact that Max had a teenage daughter, Amanda. Her character gave a little different spin to the billionaire meets intern storyline.

Overall it was a highly enjoyable, straightforward and fun read. It was a nice way to pass the time. I listened to the Audible version and the narration was well done also.

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Who Doesn’t Love A Pilot?

Playboy PilotPlayboy Pilot by Penelope Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just love these two authors! I have yet to be disappointed in a book that they’ve co-authored. While this wasn’t my favorite of the books they’ve written together, I thought it was great nonetheless.

Kendall is taking a break from her life when she meets Carter. She needs a little space to clear her head. A wealthy trust fund baby, she is forced to choose between her lavish lifestyle and her principles. Her grandfather has placed some extreme conditions on her trust fund, which must be met by her twenty-fifth birthday or she forfeits the wealth.

Carter is an airline pilot that has spent years hiding from his heartache in the vaginas of flight attendants across the globe. He’s a legend of sorts in the airline community. He’s a manwhore.

When the two meet, sparks fly. They’re drawn to each other and quickly strike up a friendship. For the first time in a long time, Carter actually has to put some effort into a relationship with a female.

Kendall doesn’t cave in to her physical attraction to Carter easily. So, there was plenty of build-up and anticipation. I really enjoyed the tension and the slow-burn as these two got to know each other.

There was plenty of twists and turns along the way also. I can’t say that there was anything shocking or unexpected, but just enough action to keep things interesting. Characters from past books also make a cameo appearance, which was terrific. I, for one, will never get enough of my favorite fictional goat!

Overall, I thought this was a great story. It was sweet and relatively quick at around seven hours for the audiobook. It was a good way to pass a little time.

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A Serial Killer You Can Relate To

YouYou by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brilliant! This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I enjoyed every minute of this deranged story.

Welcome to the mind of Joe, a seemingly normal guy that works in a bookshop. However, there is nothing normal about Joe. His mind is a fascinating place to be, turning brief encounters into meaningful events and even, obsessions. He’s a stalker, a murderer and the most candidly honest character that I’ve ever crossed.

The thing about Joe is that his craziness sucks you in. I loved Joe and all of his totally inappropriate behaviors. I found myself laughing my ass off at his brutally honest inner monologues on people and society in general. I kept thinking, “Am I supposed to be laughing so much?”

As Joe fixates on Beck, he finds ways to infiltrate her life. He stalks her, invades her most private moments and thoughts. He even eliminates those that would bring her down.

There’s no denying that he’s bat-shit crazy. However, I still loved him. I never thought I’d be able to connect with a character like Joe, but I couldn’t get enough of him.

I listened to the Audible version and it was phenomenal! The narrator did a superb job. I’m not sure I would’ve loved it as much if I had read the kindle version. He really brought a lot to the story.

It did take me a little time to get into this book. Joe was unlike any character I’d ever encountered and his inner rants took some getting used to. He grew on me quickly though, becoming a favorite character of mine in no time.

If you’re looking for something suspenseful, creepy, mysterious and a little quirky, look no further! This is a great read!

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Fickle, But Endearing

A Man Called OveA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This definitely isn’t my usual type of book, but I’m glad I read it. Every once in a while, you have to change things up a little. ‘A Man Called Ove’ was a great choice for me.

Ove is a wonderful character. He is opinionated, cantankerous and utterly set in his ways. He is a man that has been left behind in many ways, unwilling to adapt and unable to understand the thought process that drives “modern man” in this technological era.

When his new neighbor’s failed attempts to back a trailer up draws his attention, it is only the first of many humorous interactions to come. Despite his unpleasant disposition and perpetual crankiness, Ove seems to constantly be coming to the rescue of his newest neighbors. He comes off as “hard” at first, but it quickly becomes clear that he is a softie.

A series of comical and heart-warming events play out, which kept me laughing and smiling. Little by little, we are provided glimpses of Ove’s past, experiencing the love he has for his deceased wife and the events that shaped him into the man he became. Slowly but surely, I fell in love with this gruff old man.

Determined to end his life and join his wife, fate combined with his his infallible values and sense of civic duty to repeatedly postpone his suicide. There’s always something that he has to take care of before he can draw his last breath. Time after time, his plans are thwarted.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic story. Everybody needs an Ove in their life!

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