First Grave on the Right (Charley Davidson #1) by Darynda Jones

FGOTRBlurb: A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.
Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life… and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.

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3 stars

I listened to this audio book free through my Overdrive app.  This book was funny to me at first.  The MC was witty, sarcastic and clairvoyant.  I laughed quite a bit.  But, then her growth started to stagnate and her sarcasm started to get annoying.

The plot started out pretty easy to understand, which was good considering the story itself was meant to be a quick read.  About halfway through the book though, the author seemed to change her mind and added a bunch of stuff that I felt was unnecessary to the story.  I got a bit confused as to the whys of some of it, thereby losing interest even more.

I hated the ending because I didn’t get any kind of closure that I felt was needed.  The minor plot was tied up but the major one was left hanging.  When I went to see how long the series was, I realized I didn’t have the stamina or the patience to get any deeper into this series so I could find out what happens.  Which is a shame.

If you want a long series to savor, this is for you. If you are like me and crave near instant gratification, I’d pass.

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Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader by Brent Schlender

BEcoming Steve JObsBlurb: Brent Schlender is an enormously respected journalist, writing about technology and Silicon Valley over the past three decades, and in May 2012, his Fast Company cover story about Steve Jobs, entitled “The Lost Tapes of Steve Jobs,” broke, spawning hundreds of articles and a feeding frenzy for the book rights. Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography, Steve Jobs, was a landmark publication that sold millions of copies and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. But the most interesting years of Jobs’s life are shortchanged, as many people refused to talk, because Jobs was still alive and because of the extraordinary haste in finishing the book in order to get it out immediately after Jobs’s death.
Apple devotees and Silicon Valley tech readers will be dazzled by the array of stories from people who worked alongside him. Becoming Steve Jobs is a vividly dramatic and high-octane biography that reveals Jobs at his most colourful and volatile.

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This book satisfies a place on my 2016 Read Harder Challenge being hosted by Book Riot. I know its well into 2017, but I’m no quitter!

5 stars

I loved this book.  It’s not generally in my wheelhouse of genres that I read but it’s part of my read harder challenge from last year.  This book took me about 6 weeks to get through. Partly because its an audio book and I only listen to those on my commute to work and partly because I had to take A LOT of breaks.  It was very monotone and linear, not really what I’m used to.

However, the reporting on his life and all the interviews that were quoted were awesome. I felt like I got to know him on a more intimate level.  I had no idea how much of an asshole he was. LOL, and arrogant, my god he was very much about his ideas and had no qualms about telling anyone what his opinion of them was.  And he was so damn impulsive, he would judge a person on the first impression and wouldn’t let it go.  All faults IMO, but when you are on the outside looking in.  And only focusing on his career, it was quite fascinating. I mean, I could never have worked for him, but hey, nobody’s perfect.  I don’t mean to say that he was a devil or anything, but the biography didn’t hold anything back in regards to his professional life.

This book was very in depth about his career, and since I remember most of it growing up, I got a little nostalgic while listening.  Especially, when he purchased Pixar, and then eventually sold it. Or when he came back to Apple and slowly turned it into one the most profitable and recognized brands in the world.  But I think the thing that stands out most to me were his values.

They spoke a great deal about how Steve thought the past was the past and you couldn’t change it, so instead you needed to learn from it.  And how he looked in the mirror and asked himself if I died today, would he have accomplished everything he wanted?  Or how he was constantly asking himself, “What comes next?”  Constantly looking forward, I really liked that.  I do that to. Don’t dwell on the past, always move forward.  These are things I can relate to and I found that very interesting that we shared some of the same views on life.  When his sickness and eventual death was covered, I actually started crying.  He was a giant in the PC world and I wish I would have read this book sooner.

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Bossypants by Tina Fey (Author/Narrator)

bossypantsBlurb: Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update”, before “Sarah Palin”, Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both of those dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon – from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

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3 stars

It was funny. I never noticed the hands on the cover were not hers, LOL.  I think I might like her less after reading this though.  It wasn’t bad, but I wrinkled my nose at some of her beliefs.  She made her views very clear in this book.  I did kinda see what she meant about the sexism in the workplace and adapting to it.  Her way of handling it seems way more diplomatic and subtle than what I’d like to think I would have done.

And while I do enjoy hearing opposing views, I guess I just wasn’t feeling it as much as I wanted to. I learned a lot about her life growing up which was interesting. She seemed to have a similar childhood to mine, except of course, my parents weren’t republicans. 🙂 And she knows how to nail a punchline. This chic is hilarious!

This book was released in 2011 and while its not that far in the past I could still see how my views have changed and grown in that time. At any rate I’d read another books by her, if only to laugh at her jokes.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

fahrenhight 451Blurb: The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning, along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires. And he enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs or the joy of watching pages consumed by flames, never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then Guy met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think. And Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do.

 

 

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This book satisfies the Back to the Classics Challenge #8: A classic with a number in the title.

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4 stars

I listened to this audio book and it was fantastic. The words and phrases that were used in this book, well, people don’t use them anymore. Which made them all the more cool when I heard them. Now I listened to two different narrators. Tim Robbins, he was okay. But the other guy, Stephen Hoye, he rocked it so hard. His voice was deep but was able to hit the high female pitches as well. Really wished I listened to the whole book in his voice.

When I read certain books, sometimes I like to go in blind. Especially with classics because I don’t want to be influenced by anything if can help it. That means I didn’t read the blurb so I honestly had no idea what this book was about. I like being surprised with classics because well everyone already knows about them so its my small way of being different.

Anyway, firemen who intentionally burn instead of putting out fires. Books are illegal! Why, this world is topsy-turvy already! It’s a simple yet powerful concept that shows you how important literature really is. His world building was so effortless. The hound was a personal favorite, how fast the cars were, the ‘TV’ on the walls. It was all explained both easily and in depth. I know I’m not making sense but it’s true! It really felt like it could have been written now even with the older phasing. It’s still relevant.

I remember being so moved by some of the monologues and wondering what on earth RB was thinking as he wrote it. It felt very personal, almost.. vulnerable even. The ending kinda drifts away with no real close. But if you’ve read classics before you know that is how some of them end.

I have not read other books by RB but I’m sure I’ll check some more out in the future. Should be mandatory reading IMO.

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Silver Bastard (Silver Valley #1) by Joanna Wylde

silver bastardsBlurb:  Fourteen months. For fourteen months, Puck Redhouse sat in a cell and kept his mouth shut, protecting the Silver Bastards MC from their enemies. Then he was free and it was time for his reward—full membership in the club, along with a party to celebrate. That’s when he saw Becca Jones for the first time and set everything in motion. Before the night ended he’d violated his parole and stolen her away from everything she knew.

Five years. It was five years ago that Puck destroyed Becca and saved her all in one night. She’s been terrified of him ever since, but she’s even more terrified of the monsters he still protects her from… But Becca refuses to let fear control her. She’s living her life and moving forward, until she gets a phone call from the past she can’t ignore. She has to go back, and there’s only one man she can trust to go with her—the ex-con biker who rescued her once before.

Puck will help her again, but this time it’ll be on his terms. No more lies, no more tears, and no more holding back what he really wants…

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4 stars

This is another audio book that I chose from my Overdrive account. (An amazing app that allows you to listen to books for free through your library card) And I  know I’m not supposed to start new series but I needed another book to listen to.  And I liked the cover. I have a kinda sketchy past with MC books.  There was only one MC book that I recall liking.  So I figured I’d try a different format.  This was my last ditch effort before I threw in the towel on this genre.  I can gladly say that it worked.

This book was f-ing amazing! The voices are what really pushed it over the edge.  This book was a dual POV and it was read by a male and female.  These fucking readers you guys…  IDK who read them but I’m gonna look them up.  They read it so well.  I felt the characters, I felt the anger and the betrayal. I felt the chemistry and sexual tension between the characters.

The woman especially did a really good job I think.  Each voice was distinct and had a unique pitch and accent.  Even the male voices sounded real and it was astonishing how many inflections she could do. I’ve never heard so many different voices come out of one person in my life.

The guy was great to. I’m not trying to knock him but there’s only so high a males voice can go.  So when he did the females voices it wasn’t as seamless a transition.

The story itself was a predictable read…except the ending.  I totally bought into the story, but there was one point at the end that really shocked me.  Kudos to that author for that. The cool thing about it is it tied up all the loose ends so I don’t have to read anymore in the series.  And I’m not going to because I’d had my fill of this story line and world and have no interest in returning.  The beginning was very graphic and intense so people who are not into that kind of stuff I would not recommend this for you.

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Witchcraft by Jayne Ann Krentz

WitchcraftBlurb: Mystery writer Kimberly Sawyer lives alone and likes it that way. But when she is threatened by a hooded figure, and a blood-red rose with a needle thrust into its heart is left on her doorstep, she knows she needs protection. So it seems like perfect timing when Napa Valley vineyard owner Darius Cavenaugh returns to Kimberly’s life, offering help and a place to stay. But how did he know she needed him? Was it the deep, intuitive intimacy of a soulmate…or was it witchcraft?

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4 stars

This is a stand alone audio book. It was really good. I liked the cover, the title was intriguing and the blurb was well written. Those are the things that pulled me in. But I gotta say the content of the book had almost nothing to do with the title. And it was kinda irritating to me because I was looking for something more paranormal than what was represented. So for me to spend all that time listening…(You know how long it takes to listen to a audiobook, like 14 fucking hours.) Time that I don’t get back. Then to get to the climax and be soooo disappointed that it wasn’t more paranormal.  Yeah, I was a bit mad and it really sticks out in my mind.

The build-up was really good though and the audio was excellent. I’ve never really listened to romance audiobooks before. Generally I lean more toward the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre. It was one reader and she did all the voices with accents. I felt it gave the book more depth of feeling than if I was to read it myself. This was a romance novel that had just a smidgen of mystery.  I felt it was a bit misleading as far as marketing the book went.

It was also predictable as far as the big bad is concerned. As soon as the character was introduced I knew they were it. I think the author may have intended it to be that way though since it was a love story.

I’d read more from this author if I knew what I was getting into.

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Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

FSOGBlurb: When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

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DNF

Okay, truth time. I had NO interest in ever reading this book.  It was so spoiled for me that there was no surprise anymore.  But I wanted to be a part of the convo.  You can’t really have an opinion without reading right? So I thought I might be able to get into the audio.  I tried it out, and I made it to the 5th chapter before tapping out.

I didn’t even make it to a sex scene.  The female MC (I can’t remember her name) was just too whiny and just so oblivious.  And the same phrases kept being repeated over and over.  The authors I read for KNOW that’s one of my pet peeves.

oh well. At least I can say I gave it the ol’ college try.

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Imperfect Chemistry (Imperfect #1) by Mary Frame

imperfect-chemistryBlurb: Lucy London puts the word genius to shame. Having obtained her PhD in microbiology by the age of twenty, she’s amassed a wealth of knowledge, but one subject still eludes her—people. The pendulum of passions experienced by those around her both confuses and intrigues her, so when she’s offered a grant to study emotion as a pathogen, she jumps on the opportunity.

When her attempts to come up with an actual experiment quickly drop from lackluster to nonexistent, she’s given a choice: figure out how to conduct a groundbreaking study on passion, or lose both the grant and her position at the university. Put on leave until she can crack the perfect proposal, she finds there’s only one way she can study emotions—by experiencing them herself.

Enter Jensen Walker, Lucy’s neighbor and the one person on the planet she finds strangely and maddeningly appealing. Jensen’s life is the stuff of campus legend, messy, emotional, complicated—in short, the perfect starting point for Lucy’s study. When her tenaciousness wears him down and he consents to help her, sparks fly. To her surprise, Lucy finds herself battling with her own emotions, as foreign as they are intense. With the clock ticking on her deadline, Lucy must decide what’s more important: analyzing her passions…or giving in to them?

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Favorite Quotes:  

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.

“You’re totally grabbing her ass,” Freya whispers loudly. “Is that weird? Groping your ex’s ex?”

“I dropped out of school,” he says. “I’m going to go back, when I can afford it or when I can figure out how the whole student loan thing works. Until then, I’m going to live off of my art, and if that doesn’t work, I’m going to get a job. But I’m never going to give up doing what I love.” “That’s good. I’m glad.” I really am. He deserves every bit of happiness, whether I’m part of that happiness or not. He looks down at the couch, and his fingers fiddle with a bit of fabric that’s come loose on the old piece of furniture. “The thing is,” he says quietly and then clears his throat. “The thing is,” he repeats it louder. “I don’t want to do any of that.” His eyes meet mine again. “Without you.”

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5 stars

This ebook is free on Amazon!

I really liked this story.  Lucy was so fricking funny.  It almost seemed like she was deliberate in her responses but she just had no idea how to deal with people.  Her demeanor was crisp yet edgy.  She was completely obtuse when it came to her emotions, which made this book that much more awesome.  To see her thrive in academia but struggle with social settings.

I mean, emotions as a pathogen?  Think about it. A Pathogen.  Come on!  That’s funny, I don’t care who you are.

I think what really helped me to love this book was the fact that the side characters were just as deep and rich in their attitudes as the MC was.  Freya especially, was a favorite of mine.  She seemed the typical college student but she didn’t show disdain to Lucy (at least, not for long) for her lack of warmth and affection but instead realized that what she really needed was a friend.  And she was there for Lucy in a way that most people couldn’t or refused to be.  That says a lot about a persons character to commit to friendship when you really have no idea what they are saying half the time.  Haha.

Jensen was a very unexpected male lead for me. He’s creative and shy, attempting to squirm out from under his father’s thumb and expectations.  But my first impression of him came off as sexy and alpha, which he wasn’t at all!  I mean, he WAS sexy but not in that arrogant way.  It was more understated.  I loved that about him.  He had drive but lacked support and a bit of courage.  And I think that’s where Lucy helped him. They really helped each other. It was a true give and take relationship.

And the narration!  Rhiannon Engell nailed it.  Each character was easily discernible and had their own ‘voice’.  I found myself laughing at least once a chapter, her timing with the punchlines was perfect.  With the ebook being free and the audio only 1.99 to add, this book is a steal!  You should really go read it.  You’re welcome in advance!

I received a free audible code from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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Not the One (Lost in London book 1) by Amy Daws

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00008]Blurb: My name is Reyna Miracle. Even though a part of my name is Miracle, there’s nothing miraculous about me. My body portrays the tales of my life. Every feeling, every heartbreak, every emotion. Marked. Inked. Stained. A walking canvas of my messed up truth. But there’s one confession I can’t put in a tattoo. A confession that will kill me to tell, but my best friend died before I had the chance. Now I’m left with him. The only one who can hold me in the night and squeeze that spot on my neck that feels like my lifeline between sanity and chaos. But we don’t work together. We’re absolute poison for each other. We’re a stifling, suffocating, sickness of darkness. But I feel safe…because I’ve made an art of pushing people away. Now he’s pushing back… And making me believe… Making me wonder… Maybe, just maybe… I could be the one.

 

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5 Stars

This book was awesome!  This is the first time I have ever listened to a book that I have never read.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

I love this narrator. She breathed life into these characters with her accents, her tone and the inflection.  I believed her when she did the male voices. It was like there were several different narrators, thats how good she was!  I still hear them in my head. I am new to audio books (this is my 4th) but if this is the talent I have been missing I am definitely gonna start buying more.

This book hurt my heart. It was such a sad, tragic story that I thought for sure was not going to end the way I expected it too. I have never been so happy to be wrong!

I get her guilt, It was a real weight dragging her down.  But the real stand out for me was Liam. His vulernability still gives me the shivers. And Hayden’s downward spiral was painful to listen to as well.

The ending kinda blew me away, it wasn’t rushed, like, she wasn’t better overnight. She had a constant struggle to come to terms with her skewed verson of herself she saw in the mirror every morning. It was very internal.  The pacing was perfect for me. I am for sure going to read the next one.

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Bound Together: A Holiday Novella (Bound Series) by Stormy Smith

Bound Together.jpgSynopsis: After weeks spent on the road tracking down Immortals still in hiding, Amelia and Aidan are finally ready for some down time. Holed up in a cabin at the base of Mt. Shasta, they prepare to celebrate their first Christmas together.

While Aidan makes secret plans for the celebration, he and Amelia create their own holiday traditions, finding surprises around every corner as they embrace each other and their future together.

Enjoy this short novella (40 pages) and celebrate the holidays with your favorite characters from the Bound series.

**Make sure to read this AFTER reading Bound by Prophecy. It is book 3.5 in the series.**

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5 Stars for the narration

4 Stars for the novella

I received this audio book in exchange for an honest review.

I am shocked, shocked I say!  This narrator has some serious skills.  She did accents perfectly.  Her voice was so emotive, it was like I was there. I could hear the sarcasm, the playfulness and the serious tones.  It was very expressive.  Her book was full of so many different accents and it made the characters in my head come to life in a way that was impossible while reading to myself.

Its no secret I loves me some Stormy Smith.  Her writing is professional, detailed and well rounded.  And I wish this novella was longer just so I could hear the narrators voice nail all the different characters.  I will say I found Aidan’s voice a bit hard to listen too at first, like she was trying to hit a lower register than was possible for her.  It made me cringe a bit in the beginning. But once I got used to it, the whole cast really came together nicely.

I like this audio so much, I’m looking for other books she has narrated just so I can hear her voice again.  Well done Kristin James!  And of course, kudos to Stormy for writing such a wonderful book to be narrated.

This book also satisfies my Read Harder challenge of reading a book under one hundred pages. Boom.

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