My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)

As you may or may not know, I’m an obsessive reader of audiobooks. A decent percentage of the books I read are on audio, and a lot of times, even if I read a physical or eBook and enjoy it, I’ll likely purchase it on audio as well.

I’ve always loved having people read to me, but I totally get that it isn’t for everyone.

I’m a really good multitasker, so listening to audiobooks actually makes me more productive and as long as I’m not reading, writing, or talking while listening to an audiobook, I get sh*t done a lot faster when I’m listening to a book.

If it wasn’t for audiobooks, I wouldn’t have read as many books as I have (200 last year! 150 the year before!). I don’t have a lot of down time to sit and read a book without feeling guilty, but with audio, I can still get what I need to get done while also getting some reading done.

In my many years of listening to audiobooks, I’ve come to love certain narrators and even will purchase audiobooks based on the narrator first, then the author/synopsis second.

I’ve become a huge fangirl of these narrators.

Of course, all of these narrators are popular in the romance genre because, obviously, that’s my main love.

Continue reading “My Top 5 Favorite Male & Female Romance Audiobook Narrators (and My Favorite Books they Read)”

4 Authors I Fell in Love With in 2018

I’m trying really hard to pretend that my vacation is coming to an end by staying in bed all day and reading/updating the blog.

For some reason, my vacations seem so much shorter when I’m running around doing things the entire time. I feel like it’s much longer when I sit around and read all day.

Does anyone else feel like this?

Maybe it’s an introvert thing.

Anyway, I’ve been seeing similar posts like this all around the blogosphere and I thought I’d list the authors I’ve discovered and loved this year.

So, here’s to all the authors who made my 2018 reading experience exceptional.

 

Trisha Wolfe

I did my very first author spotlight on Trisha because she has pretty much taken over my blog this year ever since I read the Darkly, Madly Duet.

 

Lauren Layne

I feel like Lauren Layne came out of nowhere for me. I went into Blurred Lines with no real expectations and ended up re-reading it again within a few games because I loved it so much. I read three more of her books (I Knew You Were Trouble, Irresistibly Yours, and Good Girl) and really enjoyed all of them.

 

Helen Hoang

I loved everything about The Kiss Quotient and I’m so excited about the movie and her next book!

 

Lauren Blakely

I have no idea where I have been, but I’ve recently fallen absolutely in love with Lauren Blakely thanks to Wanderlust. The best part is that I found her after she’d already published a bunch of books I was able to binge on thanks to the Romance Package on Audible!

 

Authors I’m Looking Forward to Meeting at Shameless Book Con

Shameless Book Con is about a month away and I’m so ridiculously excited!

I was lucky enough to attend this convention last year with my sister and this year I’m attending with my mom and my sister. Even though we only live two hours away from where the event is being held, we’re still getting a hotel room so we can all hang out together in Orlando for a couple days.

Anyway, as I always do when I register for a book convention, I check out the list of authors attending the event and make a list of all the authors I want to meet. Usually, a few days before the event, the organizers release and map showing where all the authors will be sitting, so I go through that and map my course.

This time around, I figured I’d share the list of authors I’m super excited to meet at the convention … and one of their books that I’ve either read and loved or want to read.

New-to-Me Authors I’m Looking Forward to Meeting at Shameless Book Con

 

Alessandra Torre

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Autumn Jones Lake
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Kandi Steiner
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KK Allen
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Meredith Wild
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Olivia Cunning
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Skye Warren
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Authors I Love at Shameless Book Con

Emma Scott
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Jana Aston
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Laura Kaye
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Laurelin Paige
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Lara Adrian
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Lauren Rowe
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Mariana Zapata
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Marni Mann
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Sierra Simone
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Trisha Wolfe
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Are you going to Shameless Book Con?

 

 

 

 

Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances

Forbidden Romances are one of my all-time favorite tropes. I don’t know what the “official” definition of a Forbidden Romance is (or if there even is one – I’m too lazy to look it up), but I consider any book in which the main character’s love interest is someone that he or she should not be involved with for any given reason.

The books I’m listing below are a few of my favorites in this category. They’re filled with the longing, intensity, and excitement you’d expect from forbidden love stories.

The genres run the gamut: contemporary romance, fantasy, dark romance, paranormal romance… everything from age gaps to body guards to dueling mystical creatures to supernatural interspecies to teachers and students to religion … it’s quite the mix!

So, without further ado…

My All Time Favorite Forbidden Romance Stories

Continue reading “Reading Recs: Favorite Forbidden Romances”

Favorite Author Spotlight: Trisha Wolfe

Favorite Author Spotlight is a new series on my blog in which I highlight my current favorite authors and their books.

Today’s spotlight is focused on Trisha Wolfe.

Trisha Wolfe
“From an early age, Trisha Wolfe dreamed up imaginary worlds and characters and was accused of talking to herself. Today, she lives in South Carolina with her family and writes full time, using her imaginary worlds as an excuse to continue talking to herself.”

I may as well call this blog The Trisha Wolfe blog considering how many times I’ve mentioned her and her books, so I figured, who better to kick off this series with than Trisha?

I’ve mentioned the story of how I discovered Trisha in my review for Born, Darkly (which was, of course, the first book I’ve ever read by her.)

In short, I bought Born, Darkly on a whim after reading a 1-star review of the book. In that (really well written) 1-star review, the snippets of writing that was shared and the premise of the book (a serial killer and a criminal psychologist fall in ‘love’) reeled me in.

And I didn’t stop reeling as I read several more of her books.

I have a HUGE amount of respect for independent authors and I love supporting them. In fact, most of the authors I’m obsessed with are independent.

I also had the chance to chat with Trisha with my book club a few months ago, and she answered my silly questions (such as, “Are you a serial killer, because you’re REALLY good at writing serial killer POVs?”) and her thoughts on writing and her commitment to researching topics was so admirable.

I’m a member of Trisha’s Facebook group, Trisha Wolfe’s Lair, and she’s great about interacting with her fans. I loved fangirling over the audiobooks for With Visions of Red when they came out with her and her other fans.

Most of all? The books of hers that I’ve read are haunting and beautiful and despite being incredibly dark, they are absolute comfort reads that I find myself re-reading over and over again.

Favorite Books by Trisha Wolfe

I can’t just pick one book, I have to go with series. My favorite series by Trisha is a close call between the Darkly, Madly Duet and the With Visions of Red series.

My Previous Blog Posts About Trisha Wolfe

OMG, I’ve mentioned Trisha in so many posts!

Reviews
Born, Darkly
Born, Madly
With Visions of Red Series
With Ties That Bind Series
Coming Soon: Mini Reviews July 2018

Favorites Posts
Favorite Quotes from the Madly, Darkly series: in which I obsessively shared all of my favorite quotes from this epic duet.

Favorite Reads from March 2018: in which two of Trisha’s series made it to my Favorites of March.

3 Quotes, 3 Days: Day 1: in which I share one of my favorite Grayson quotes.

Current Auto-Buy Authors and My Favorite Books They Wrote: in which Trisha easily made this list.

Reading Lists

Reading List: March 2018: in which I was planning to read my very first Trisha Wolfe book! Eek!

April 2018: in which I’d just finished two series by Trisha and wanted to read With Ties that Bind.

Reading List Wrap Up: May 2018: in which I read and loved With Visions of Red.

Reading List Wrap-up July 2018: in which I reread Trisha’s books.

Discussion Posts
Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels and The Books That Proved Me Wrong: in which Trisha made me love suspense and mystery despite thinking I didn’t like those things.

Meet My Book Boyfriend: Colton Reed: in which I confess my obsession with Colton from With Visions of Red

Book Hauls

Book Haul: February 2018: in which I bought my first Trisha Wolfe Book!

Book Haul: April 2018: in which I preordered the With Visions of Red audiobook

Book Haul: March 2018: in which I’d immediately bought Born, Darkly after reading the first book

Tags
The Goodreads Tag: in which I list Trisha as a favorite author

I Dare You Book Tag: in which With Visions of Red was my current read.

TeaChats
TeaChat: Misogyny and Book Clubs (Unrelated): in which my “obsessing over” of the month is Trisha.

TeaChat: Playing Hooky: in which I had just started reading With Visions of Red and had no idea how it would rock my freaking world.


Connect with Trisha Wolfe

Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | Facebook Group | Website

With Ties that Bind Series by Trisha Wolfe

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: With Ties that Bind Series
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Format: eBook purchased from Amazon
Synopsis:
Detective Ethan Quinn has questions. The Arlington Slasher case is closed, the UNSUB no longer a threat—but Quinn can’t quiet the suspicion he harbors toward his partner and the young, attractive ME. Not only does he loathe his uncertainty, he’s torn between doing his job and protecting his team.

Burying himself in cases no longer works. He’s restless. On edge. And tired of fighting his compulsions. Quinn has always viewed the law in black and white. Only now his world is swirling with a murky gray that threatens to devour him.

When lead medical examiner Avery Johnson careens toward a dangerous path, she pulls the unwitting detective into a dark web of deception and lust, triggered by a spree of recent killings.

Is this new player linked to the Bathory murders, or is it another copycat?

Time almost took Avery from him once before. As the clock ticks, Quinn will stop at nothing to protect her, refusing to let Avery become a victim again. Against his uncompromising logic, Quinn can’t deny his feelings. Avery forces him to acknowledge his darker desires, tempting his control—which weakens with every second he spends with the feisty ME as they hunt down the perpetrator threatening to tear them apart.

 

GOODREADS

Review

Quinn and Avery are no Colton and Sadie, but I enjoyed diving back into the world of Broken Bonds.

Read More

Favorite Quotes from the Darkly, Madly Duet by Trisha Wolfe

If you haven’t read this duet yet, maybe these amazing quotes will convince you.

Don’t worry, this post is spoiler-free!

Trisha Wolfe is an incredible writer (one of my all-time favorites)… and here is the proof.

Shame is the conception of most sins against ourselves.

“What do you want?” A simple question, but the answer will determine everything. His steely gaze latches on to me. “I want to live. And I want you.” Time suspends.

Change is the one constant you can depend on.

Which rules do we obey? Those of man, or those of the universe? On a long enough timeline, the rules of man change, and they change quite often. What was once considered a sin punishable by death is now a simple social media update, an expression of sexual preference, politics, religious belief. A hundred years from now, sin in its current state might be a laughable pastime, the way we look back on our ancestors who once believed the world was flat. Or the way we resent the ignorance of the Salem Witch Trials.

When gravity makes itself known, we’re powerless to stop the collision. Knowing you’re being drawn into a black hole does little to prevent the inevitable.

darklymadlyquote5.jpg

I feel the force of his words, the lure reeling me in—and I’m powerless against it. I want more. I want to shut the blinds and block out the judgmental world and only exist in this one hour where shame doesn’t live.

When I look into his eyes, I see myself. Not a reflection of the woman—but the hollow echo of my blood-stained soul.

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If he’s evil, then am I in danger of falling for the devil, or am I the devil herself?

My own design of love may be a twisted creature, but that creature is hungry and demands to be fed.

Stunned, I stare down at him. “You’re a monster.” “I’m your monster.

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I’ve paid my dues to this world, a world that robbed me early on, that fashioned me into a killer and now wants to punish me for it. I owe it nothing.

She is my salvation. And I am her long-awaited consequence.

“I hate you,” I whisper. “You hate everything but me.”

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From the very beginning, people have divided good and evil. Two beings fighting for dominance. I don’t believe in divine beings. Life is simpler than that. We’re our own gods and devils. Capable of the vilest evil and of the holiest righteousness. We make our own rules, and create our own heavens and hells. We choose them every day.

“We weren’t born the day we took our first breath. We were born the moment we stole it.”

When pain is the only emotion you’ve ever known, it’s all you crave. It lets you know you’re alive.

But the higher we climbed, drugged on each other, ruling over a damned world that bowed and trembled before the god-like monsters we’d become, the harder our fall.

We are perfection. And we are the fear that lurks beneath it.

darklymadlyquote1

She’s the artist and I’m her canvas, waiting for her to complete our story.

A pained expression creases his features. He doesn’t have to say a word, because I’m feeling the same constriction in my chest. The unbearable affliction of not enough.

The danger lies in whether or not we’ll survive each other.

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“I love the look on your face right now,” Grayson says as he feathers my hair over my shoulder delicately. “Like someone is about to suffer.”

“Epiphany,” he repeats, a calm expression softening the sharp lines of his features. That rare dimple carves his cheek. “You were my epiphany.”

Doubt is a festering sore. It starts out small, barely noticeable, but you know it’s there. The more you touch it, probe it, worry it, the bigger it gets, until it’s a black, gaping wound.

darklymadlyquote3

“What do you feel?” I ask. His glacier blue eyes flick over my face. “Fascinated.”

Love is pain. Real love—the one not spewed in poetry—is agony.

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I’ve heard scholars argue that these men were mad—but what is genius if not madness?

I’m a devil with a heart. Pure lunacy. But then, even the devil loves passionately, ardently, coveting this world…so much so that he rebuffed heaven.

Good things don’t emerge from basements and cellars… Dark things do. Demons burned by the light.

“I’m not the hero, London,” I say. “But I’m not the villain, either.”

I walk inside, and as soon as I see her, my heart lurches. It only ever beats for her.

Not all demons are born to the dark. And not all angels seek the light. Sometimes our circumstance demands a fusion of both. There is no good and evil. Only the time spent between both heaven and hell, where we find our peace. And love. Even the vilest of monsters deserve to be loved.


You can read my review for these books here: Book 1, Book 2


This duet is now available on audio! Find it here.

 

 

 

Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {July 2018}

It’s Sunday and I’m currently listening to late 90’s/Early 2000’s music and avoiding chores, how about you?

As you may or may not know, I pretty much write and post reviews for every book I read. This means that, unless it is a new release, the full reviews I post are of books that I read several weeks prior.

I try to write full reviews right after I read a book, but they won’t get posted for several weeks.

After seeing a few other blogs post spoiler-free mini-reviews (which I love), I decided to give it a try once a month as a little preview for what is to come.

 

Here are the reviews that are coming up over the next few weeks + their mini-reviews!

 

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {July 2018}”

Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)

I’ve seen these questions asked many times in the book blogging community:

What do you hate in romance novels?
What tropes can’t you stand?
What are your romance novel pet peeves?

I used to have several definitive answers to this question, but slowly, as I’ve read more and more romance novels, I’ve come across so many books that have proven me so very, very wrong.

Now, whenever this question comes up, I struggle.

I struggle because even though there are many books that get these things wrong, there are still those few who get them right and part of me feels like I’d be betraying those great books if I listed those pet peeves. I know, it’s silly, but for those of you who view reading books as time spent with close friends will understand where I’m coming from.

And even if I haven’t come across a book that defies me yet, I know that one may exist – I just haven’t read it yet.

Honestly, I think this mindset could go for any genre of books. I mean, if the story is good enough? The things you think you hate can easily turn into the things you love … if done right.

 

Here is a list of my romance novel pet peeves… and the books that proved me wrong:

Continue reading “Things I Thought I Hated in Romance Novels (And the Books That Proved Me Wrong)”

Meet My Book Boyfriend: Colton Reed

Welcome to a new series where I’ll be introducing you to one of my (many) book boyfriends.

 

Introducing… Colton Reed from With Visions of Red by Trisha Wolfe

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Colton Reed is the intense, blue-eyed Shibari expert who works at The Lair, a high-class lifestyle club owned by his brother, Julian.

The most intriguing thing about Colton is his talent with rope known as Shibari.

Shibari is a unique bondage art form that I learned about from his book, With Visions of Red.

Shibari style rigging creates geometric patterns and shapes with rope that contrast beautifully with the human body’s natural curves. The ropes and their texture provide contrast to smooth skin and curves. In Shibari, the model is the canvas, the rope is the paint and brush, and the rigger is the rope artist.

Art of Contemporary Shibari

shibari
Photo Credit: Jose Pablo Porras Monge

 

Why I Love Colton

Colton had me from Chapter Two of the first book in the With Visions of Red series, when he is introduced.

His obsession with Sadie, aside from being much deserved because Sadie is such an awesome character herself, is swoon-worthy.

In real life, of course, if a man actually spoke to me the way that Colton speaks to Sadie, I’d probably be super creeped out no matter how gorgeous he is, however, in a well-written novel? I’m all for it.

Colton’s singular focus on Sadie is that much more appealing because of the level of constraint he imparts on himself when it comes to her. Sadie has a lot of inner turmoil, and because he has observed her from afar for so long (and because he can read her so well), he has an acute understanding of her need to be in control.

He fully understands what she needs.

Colton is big on consent. He doesn’t even touch Sadie until she specifically asks when they first meet.

This could easily make him seem like a puppy dog, particularly since he refers to Sadie as his “goddess,” however, Colton is very much a dominant. He is the one with the rope, after all. But, like he says, it’s a power exchange.

Colton worships Sadie with a whip in his hand.

He is the perfect amount of darkness, lust, obsession, talent, and masculenity.

It also helps that, in the audiobook, his voice is narrated by Christian Fox.

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My favorite Colton Quotes

I’m so tempted to give chase and beg her to welcome me into her darkness.

I’ve marveled at her, studied her, imagining how I would bind and shape her. What patterns I’d create, how I could fashion this lovely, wounded creature into a masterpiece.

There’s nothing wrong with you, goddess. Just the absolute tragedy that I didn’t make you mine first.

I help free you, and you allow me to worship you.

I want to touch you…everywhere. Taste you all over. Devour you and consume you. And trust that this is merely a weak form of expression compared to what I’m feeling.

When you finally understand everything, you’ll know just how much power you truly have over me.

That’s all I wanted, goddess. Just to show you how beautiful you are; how I see you. If I’ve done that much, then whatever penance I have to suffer is worth it.

Here, with her, I’m the man who loves her. Who worships her. Who will save her right back.

I’ll storm heaven and hell if you don’t come back to me.