Friday, August 21, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Bella Andre's Love Me


I'm happy to be doing another audiobook review this week and a contest! Keep reading for details.

Last week's winner is Pompie1999. Please email me at to collect you prize of an audiobook from me.

Now last week I had fun talking about Laura Kaye's book Hearts in Darkness.

Today I'm talking about Bella Andre's Love Me.

 Narrated by Eva Kaminsky.

What's it about?

In the long awaited sequel to Take Me by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Bella Andre, if there's one thing that Janica Ellis is absolutely certain of, it's that she and Luke Carson are totally wrong for each other. She's a wild, artistic, and outspoken fashion designer. He's a type-A, workaholic trauma surgeon. But Janica is about to be proven wrong when opposites the sexiest possible way.
After a life-changing night in the ER, Luke is desperate for escape and relief from his personal demons. For five years he has fought his attraction to Janica, but when he's pushed too far, he can't fight it another second. He needs her. Desperately. He's spent his whole life doing the right thing. For one night, he's going to follow desire instead, straight into Janica's arms.
Janica can't believe Luke is finally at her front door...and that he's kissing her as though he's been waiting his whole life to touch her. But even as their sensual connection deepens with every touch of skin on skin and the man she always thought was such a good boy turns out to be sinfully, toe-curlingly bad between the sheets Janica soon realizes she wants more than Luke's body. She wants his heart too. But what will Luke do when one night of extreme passion turns into an all-or-nothing proposition?

My ThoughtsLove Me is a sequel to Bella Andre's fantastic book Take Me.  Take Me and Love Me involve a set of two sisters an a set of twin brothers.  The first book Take Me is about the eldest sister, the plump and heartwarming Lily who falls for the  "bad boy" of the twin brothers named Travis.

Love Me takes place five years after the happily ever after takes place in Take Me. Now Lily and Travis are married with two darling children. And Travis's straight-laced brother named Luke is falling for the tiny, fiery little sister of Lily named Danica.

What did I love about this book? Well for starters we get two great contrasted couples. Danica and Lily are nothing alike, just as Luke and Travis are nothing alike. Danica is a force of nature (as a fashion designer) and she sweeps Luke away from the start. All four characters have a strong backstory where they knew each other as young children and grew up together. All of them suffered a great tragedy of losing parents and it all affected them differently. I love how Bella Andre evokes such wonderful, deep emotions regarding these losses and how each of the heroes and heroines in both books move forward.

So, back to the story and what I loved. Luke is suffering in his job as an ER doctor and the stress gets too much for him. When he has to go on leave from the hospital, he goes straight to Janica and they end up sleeping together that night. One of the things that shocked me (but not in a bad way), was that Janica flat out tells Luke she loves him that night. Normally in a romance, the love declarations come towards the end. I actually liked this twist, the upfront declaration and Luke struggling to accept that he has loved her back for years. The emotional battle between Luke and Janica is heartfelt, realistic and sexy. BOY HOWDY is it sexy!!!! Sometimes books feel too forced, but not this one. Andre hits another home run for me!

The book isn't that long, only a little under five hours, but the narrator Eva does a lovely job of bringing the love story together.

Want to get a copy?  Check out Love Me right here:

This week I'm offering one lucky random commenter on this post their choice of one of my books autographed. All you have to do is answer this question:

What's your favorite recent audiobook listen or if you aren't an audio listener, what is your favorite recent book you've read that you would like try out as an audiobook and why?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lauren Listens - Contest and Audiobook Review of Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Hey Guys!!

I'm starting a new trend this week. It's called Lauren Listens. Here I'm going to be talking about my thoughts on a current audiobook I've been listening to this week. I'll be hosting little contests hopefully on each post so check the bottom to find out how to enter this week's CONTEST!

A lot of you guys are curious as to what I read and what I recommend, and since I send most of my days during the week driving, audiobooks are the way I'm getting my reading done.

Now the good news is that say you're not an audiophile like me, these books will all be available either in print or ebook so if something sounds good, don't let the audio aspect scare you off from trying a new author.

Let me preface this new series with my thoughts on audiobooks in general. I am not an auditory learner. I'm straight up visual. So how did I get into listening rather than reading when it comes to books? It was really by necessity more than anything. I travel upwards of 35 hours in the car every week and at night when I get home from lawyer, I'm looking for those few precious hours before bed to work on my novels. So I thought I'd give audiobooks a try.

I went in expecting to fall asleep, or get distracted by them, and not remember anything that happens. But it was just opposite!! Color me surprised when I realized that by learning to listen to audiobooks, I actually got much better at listening in general. This was great because as an attorney during the day, I have to argue in court and hearing and remembering what the judge and opposing counsel says is REALLY important. So diving in to the world of audiobooks was actually fantastic for both my jobs!

Another cool thing about audiobooks? In some ways you don't have to work as hard at reading. You know those nights when you're exhausted and you can't stare at a page? Well I figured out I could just put my cell phone with the Audible app playing by my pillow and just listen. Also, if you have chores or cleaning around the house like I do, it seems to make them go so much faster when you've got a good book on tap!

Now, on to my review of my first book in the Lauren Listens series.

Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella

First off, I love this cover!!! How stunning is that? Sexy, edgy, gritty. YUM! If you've never read a Laura Kaye book I REALLY recommend her stuff. What I like is that her books are off the charts sexy, but still feel really realistic and emotional too. That's the way I like romance. A book has to answer two questions: 1) Does it get me hot under the collar and 2) Do I feel like it seems like this could happen somewhere in the world? Now let me clarify, I don't mean when I'm reading a book that it has to be 100% possible. That's not what I mean. I'm not a reader who will criticize a writer and say "a nerd girl and a hot billionaire stranded on an island? Not possible- therefore bad book." That's not at all what I mean. What I'm saying is, if I read the book and the author does such a good job of developing the characters and the situation and the emotions and conflicts that it feels truly real to me? Then we have a jackpot.

So on to Hearts in Darkness...

Two strangers...
Makenna James thinks her day can't get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.
Four hours...
Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he's terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he's trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator...
To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

My thoughts:
I really liked the narrator. Erin Jones did a fantastic job bringing both sides of the story, Caden and Makenna to life. :)
As for the story it self. It was superb! I loved the concept of the story, two strangers stuck on an elevator in the darkness? All the girl gets is a glimpse of a tattoo before the doors shut? Sexy, exciting, and a little scary! But the best part was when you start to listen, you don't get scared. The hero Caden is so likeable, yet he has that brooding, tragic back story without being cliché, that just melts your heart. I wanted to hug him and sleep with him. He was that good. And Makenna provides a great foil of a female character against Caden. She's just as strong but brings different emotional issues to the table. As they bonded in the elevator I found myself hoping they wouldn't have to get least for a bit longer.

My conclusion: It was in turns sweet, sexy, seductive, exciting, and just a perfect way to get introduced into Laura Kaye's writing world. I'll be listening to more of hers for sure!

Want a copy of Laura Kaye's Hearts in Darkness audio? Here's the link to where you can get your own!

**Contest** 1 Randomly selected commenter will win their choice of an audiobook from my current selection of available audiobooks. To enter, please answer below and be sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win!! Winner will be announced next Friday publically on the next Lauren Listens post but will be contacted privately as well!

What do you think about Audiobooks? If you've never tried one, would you give it a shot? For those of you who are avid listeners what's your most recent book you've enjoyed listening to?