1/31/2017

It Started With a Kiss by Marina Adair ~ Audiobook Review

It Started With a Kiss
by
Marina Adair

Series: Sequoia Lake #1
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Audiobook Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Renee Raudman
Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary Romance

With a kidney transplant behind her, Avery Adams is determined to channel her inner adventurer and explore everything life has to offer. Only problem is, the closest she’s ever come to a real-life adventure was sixth-grade science camp. So to seize the summer in her rustic Sierra Nevada town, she takes a job as a guide at the local adventure lodge. But Avery doesn’t realize her biggest challenge will register at six-plus feet of rugged good looks and alpha-male charm.

As a member of the Sequoia Elite Mountain Rescue team, Tyson Donovan has made a life out of cheating death and rescuing weekend warriors from the treacherous terrain. “The world is my home” is more than just a motto; it’s what scares off women who would otherwise try to tie him down. When his dad’s health lands the family’s adventure lodge in serious danger of going up in flames, he moves home—and quickly remembers why he left. Until he meets Avery, the irresistible new guide who makes him want to stay.

Tyson gives the inexperienced Avery a lesson in romance that her books could never teach her. And with her undeniable spirit for life, Avery shows Tyson the healing power of love. But with one misstep, everything comes crashing down, and they’ll both have to take the biggest leap of all—into the kind of adventure that lasts a lifetime.

Audiobook
Source: e-book provided by author for review, audiobook purchased by me
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

A splendid small town romance!


It Started With a Kiss is the first book in Marina Adair’s new Sequoia Lake series. Set in a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this book will splendidly satisfy romance readers everywhere who enjoy seeing love bloom surrounded by the great outdoors.

Having had a successful kidney transplant, Avery Adams is eager to climb a mountain. There’s a specific reason why she wants to hike up a particular mountain, and she’s not letting her inexperience get in the way. Avery is Sequoia Lake Lodge’s newest adventure coordinator and anxiously wants to be trained on the trails. Tyson Donovan has reluctantly returned to his hometown. He has painful reasons to stay away, but meeting Avery might make it difficult to leave after he helps out with the family business.

As an avid hiker, I connected quickly with both Avery and Tyson and their love for the outdoors. Avery has overcome some major obstacles in her life. Her zest-for-life attitude is adorably infectious. I think she enters Tyson’s life right at the perfect moment, as he’s in need to deal with some heavy things that have happened in his past. I was absolutely smitten with how their story played out. I also enjoyed getting to know all the secondary characters, and I’m very much looking forward to reading their stories in the next books in this series.

If it’s any indication how much I admired It Started With a Kiss, I listened to the audiobook immediately after reading the book. Renee Raudman narrates most of Marina Adair’s books, and I was delighted that she voices this particular one. I always find her narrations quite enjoyable, clear, and with just the right amount of emotion.

I’ve read all of Marina Adair’s romance books to date. I must say that It Started With a Kiss lands itself as one of my favorite books she’s ever written. Not only is the romance fun and engaging, but also the plot highlights relationships such as mother-daughter, father-son, and friendships that tug at your heart. You’ll be left feeling satisfied and hopeful!

Book Links:

Author Website:

12/21/2016

My Book Snack's 2016 Audiobook Challenge ~ Wrap Up


The 2016 Audiobook Challenge is hosted by
The Book Nympho and Hot Listens

More info on this challenge can be found HERE

Challenge dates: January 1, 2016-December 31, 2016
Progress: 30/30

Audiobooks listened to in 2016:

1. See Me by Nicholas Sparks
Narrator: Christopher Ryan Grant
Rating: 2 Stars

2. Burying Water by K.A. Tucker
Series: Burying Water #1
Narrators: Josh Goodman, Elizabeth Louise
Rating: 4 Stars

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Rating: 4.5 Stars

4. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Narrators: Sunil Malhotra, Cassandra Campbell
Rating: 5 Stars

5. Brighter than the Sun by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #8.5
Narrator: Lorelei King
Rating: 4 Stars

6. The Shadows by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Rating: 5 Stars

7. After You by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #2
Narrator: Anna Acton
Rating: 4 Stars

8. Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Rating: 4 Stars

9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Narrator: Anne Hathaway
Rating: 5 Stars

10. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Narrator: Polly Stone
Rating: 5 Stars

11. Consequences by Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #1
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Rating: 3 Stars

12. Behind His Eyes-Consequences by Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #1.5
Narrator: Sebastian York
Rating: 5 Stars

13. Truth by Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #2
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Rating: 4 Stars

14. Behind His Eyes-Truth by Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #2.5
Narrator: Sebastian York
Rating: 4 Stars

15. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
Rating: 4 Stars

16. The Dirt on Ninth Grave by Darynda Jones
Series: Charley Davidson #9
Narrator: Lorelei King
Rating: 4 Stars

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

17. Convicted by Aleatha Romig
Series: Consequences #3
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Rating: 5 Stars

18. Soul Deep by Pamela Clare
Series: I-Team #6.5
Narrator: Kaleo Griffith
Rating: 5 Stars

19. Seduction Game by Pamela Clare
Series: I-Team #7
Narrator: Kaleo Griffith
Rating: 4 Stars

20. Fatal Frenzy by Marie Force
Series: Fatal #9
Narrator: Eva Kaminsky
Rating: 5 Stars

21. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Narrators: Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers,
Mike Schur, Eileen Poehler, William Poehler,
Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner
Rating: 4 Stars

22. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Narrator: Dylan Baker
Rating: 5 Stars

23. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Narrator: Scott Brick
Rating: 5 Stars

24. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Narrator: George Newbern
Rating: 5 Stars

25. And I Darken by Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerer's Saga #1
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Rating: 4 Stars

26. My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
Narrator: Rita Moreno
Rating: 5 Stars

27. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
by Shonda Rhimes
Narrator: Shonda Rhimes
Rating: 5 Stars

28. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Narrator: Scott Brick
Rating: 5 Stars

29. Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter
Narrators: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy McCarter, Mariska Hargitay
Rating: 5 Stars

30. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between)
by Lauren Graham
Narrator: Lauren Graham
Rating: 5 Stars



WooHoo!
I made my goal of 30 audiobooks (Binge Listener).
This challenge is always fun.

Happy Reading
&
Happy Listening!

12/18/2016

For All the Evers by Debra Anastasia ~ Review




Title: For All the Evers
Author: Debra Anastasia
Genre: Romance
Release Date: December 18, 2016



Blurb


Fallen Billow should be in college like most of her friends, but instead she’s raising her brother and working as a housekeeper at a vintage local hotel. It’s back-breaking work, but not nearly as challenging as fending off unwanted advances from the hotel’s owner. 

Thomas McHugh is fighting for our country, across the globe and decades before Fallen Billow was even born. So there’s no way they’re soul mates. There’s no way he can be desperate to see her, hold her, kiss her. Except there is. 

Is it a dream when he inks his name on her skin? Is it a delusion when she puts her hands on his face and says she loves him? Nothing has ever felt more real. 

Fate has etched paths for Thomas and Fallen that even time cannot touch. A Purple Heart proclaims Thomas’ valor and bravery. And his death. But Fallen dares to dream of the impossible. She wants Thomas to stay. Just stay. 

A tribute to all who have served our country, this novel honors the impossible beauty of love and the endless power of hope. Come open your heart and celebrate the many facets of bravery with Fallen and Thomas.


Source: Author
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

Through heart-filled imagination, Debra Anastasia made the impossible happen in For All the Evers!

Everything seems to be stacked against Fallen Billow. She’s had to give up college and grow up quickly. It’s up to her to raise her younger brother to be a fine young man. Fallen accepts a job as a housekeeper in a hotel. Little does she know what’s ahead as one room in this hotel seems to have extraordinary powers. She holds a unique bond with the man of her dreams in this very room. Fallen has made it her mission to overcome all obstacles to be with him forever.

Oh my goodness, what a unique and special story Debra Anastasia has created! She takes you through a roller-coaster of emotions. Ultimately, For All the Evers is both heart-breaking and hopeful. There’s no doubt that the true background of this story was the inspiration for this book. The real Thomas McHugh died a brave war hero long ago, but Ms. Anastasia gave her great uncle a love story that’s both timeless and truly endearing. Thank you, Debra, for sharing your family’s story with the world! Have tissues ready!




Debra Anastasia has created a website for Thomas McHugh - the veteran the book is in honor of. (It is recommended readers look at this website after reading the book)

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Available in Kindle Unlimited


Trailer

Excerpt


“I bet you were adorable.” He put his knuckle under her chin and encouraged her to lift her head. She rolled back over and settled against his shoulder. 

“I don’t want to be adorable. I want to be impossible.” 

“How do you mean?” He kissed her forehead. 

“I want to be impossible for you to forget, impossible for you to keep your hands off of.” She leaned up for a kiss. 

“You’re my impossible then. Have no fear.” He tenderly reminded her he was her impossible, too, with his lips. 

She put her hand against his stomach and snuggled in. “This is my spot. Right here. With you—it’s home.” 

He swallowed before talking to the ceiling. “My heart was like a fist. Where I am? It’s not a place you plan to survive. I’ve been there for years, and it’s not about skill; it’s not even about luck. You get strapped into a machine, and fate’s driving. You can’t get out even if you want to. So you submit to it. You harden your soul. You get ready to die.” 

He shifted, rolling on top of her. She sighed in contentment. Being beneath him made her feel safe and secure. 

He kissed her lips, then the tip of her nose, before continuing. “But with you, it’s like my heart’s opening up, and I’m terrified to feel, after all this time. Yet I don’t have a choice. No matter where I am, I draw your face whenever I get a scrap of paper.” 

He laughed a little. “We found a puppy, and I named it Fallen, just so I could say your name over and over. The guys think I’m crazy—such a strange name for a dog. But I don’t care. I’m gasping for you every moment I’m awake. And I’m making choices to keep me alive through the week.” 

His eyes searched hers. “What if I’m not as tough as I was in the beginning? God, I hope no one is affected by my distraction with this. But in the end there’s you. Only you. Do what you have to to get back to me when you’re awake. You have to. I need you more than air, more than life right now. The softness of you, the tenderness in your eyes when you see me. I’m trying to force fate to throw me in your direction. To hurl me at you somehow. I don’t know if it will work. But I’m praying for it.”

Fallen touched his face, then his neck. “I will do everything I can to find you.”



Author Bio
Debra creates pretend people in her head and paints them on the giant, beautiful canvas of your imagination. What an amazing job that is. The stories hit her hard while driving the minivan or shaving her legs, especially when there's no paper and pen around. In all of the lies she writes she hides her heart, so thank you for letting it play in your mind.

Debra has now published the Seraphim Series, the Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series, the Gynazule Series, The Revenger and Booty Camp Dating Service. Her novella, Late Night with Andres is special because 100% of the proceeds go to breast cancer research. (So go get it right now, please!) For All The Evers is her latest romantic suspense.

You can find her at DebraAnastasia.com and on Twitter @Debra_Anastasia. But be prepared...

Author Links


There is a giveaway for signed paperback of For All the Evers and Saving Poughkeepsie, signed hand crafter holiday ornaments, Booty Camp Dating Service ring, Poughkeepsie lip balm and cardboard keychain, and XL One More Chapter t-shirt




11/28/2016

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes ~ Audiobook Review

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person
by
Shonda Rhimes
Audiobook release date: November 10, 2015
Narrator: Shonda Rhimes
Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
Audiobook Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.


AUDIOBOOK
Source: Purchased
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

Engaging and Inspiring!

I have to admit that as a huge fan of Shonda Rhimes’ shows, I really didn’t know that much about her at all. I liked the concept of this book with Ms. Rhimes telling her story through her year of saying yes to opportunities that she would normally decline. Shonda Rhimes is incredibly talented and successful. She seems honest talking about her life and what makes her uncomfortable. I found her journey in this book especially fascinating.

I enjoyed several things about this book, and I’ll highlight a few. I absolutely loved that the audiobook is narrated by Shonda Rhimes herself! It felt more personal and engaging that way. I loved that her actual speeches from the events that she spoke at were included in the audiobook. Not only were these speeches entertaining, but absolutely inspiring as well. I liked that she was real in her feelings about being a working single mother of three children, about her weight loss, and even how her family interact with each other. I found her sarcasm quite humorous! Finally, I’m so glad to see that she gave much love to one of my favorite fictional characters that she’s created to date in this book. I was so captivated with Ms. Rhimes telling the story of how the character of Cristina Yang was created, what she symbolized to many fans, and the moments leading to filming this character’s final scene on the show. It reminded me of how much I miss seeing Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy.

Year of Yes is about the positive things that can happen when making the choice to step out of your comfort zone. This is a motivational read that also made me laugh and smile along the way. I now have a better perspective about the woman behind ShondaLand! The audiobook was a thoroughly enjoyable listen the second time as well.


Book Links:

Questions:
Do you watch any shows created by Shonda Rhimes?
Which ones?