July 2017 Review Recap and Top Bestsellers
I was away for 10 days in July, but still reviewed a dozen books/audiobooks (my goal). I listened to so many more, and just haven’t caught up with reviews yet. My reviews break out the story from the narration, so unless I can’t separate the two (which happens occasionally), my audiobook reviews are basically a book review with an additional commentary on the narration. If you have never listened to an audiobook, be careful, you might get hooked.
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I reviewed 12 books/audiobooks in July. Here are my mini reviews below, click the graphics or titles for the full reviews, including favorite quotes, graphics and my list of Likes and Dislikes.
Bestsellers represent the top-selling books from Ana’s Attic affiliate links in the month of July. This post contains affiliate links, and Ana’s Attic can earn a few cents if you purchase via those links (or our links on Facebook). We appreciate the support, as that’s how we can do these giveaways.
Tyler wrapped his warm hand around my shaft for the first time. I thought my insides were going to burst into flames.
Words rushed from my mouth, “Oh, Fucking Jesus Christ on a Passover Seder Plate.”
The combination of great main characters and sweet romance made Sex Ed by ZB Heller a really fun and unique read. I absolutely fell in love with the nerdy, sweet, shy and virginal Jaxson, and his inner dirty thoughts were the funniest part of the story to me. His family, especially his sister, were funny at first, but were just too much, too over-the top, to the point that they took away from the sweet and funny romance that was developing between the nerdy comic book artist and the nurse. All-in-all I still really enjoyed the story, but I think I would have enjoyed it even more if the side characters didn’t play as large a role. ZB Heller doesn’t need to try to be funny, the natural humor comes out in her writing. Her trying too hard were the only things that took away from this sweet, funny, nerdy, gay romance.
“She’s attracted to me. She was speechless as she gazed at my body. She rambled about my fucking dick. I think she wanted me to kiss her. And fuck, did I want to kiss her. Hold her. Touch her. Lick her. Devour her. Fuck her. But what’s surprising and a huge mind fuck? It seems like my friend Emma wants to fuck me just as badly as I want to fuck her.”
I LOVE Meghan’s writing, and My Best Friend’s Ex was a great example of how she mixes silly humor, heat and emotion into an unputdownable read. I did feel that he pined away for someone else for a bit too long for my tastes, but I still loved the story and characters, and highly recommend My Best Friend’s Ex, especially after reading Co-Wrecker.
Audiobook Review – Three Wishes by Kristen Ashley
Narrated by Carly Robins
“One day, I wish to find a man like in my books. He has to be just like in one of my books. And he has to love me, love me more than anything in the world…”
Even if you think genies sounds like something you’d never be into, trust Kristen Ashley. The woman can craft a story like no other no matter what the genre or subject. Three Wishes had everything I love in a Kristen Ashley story, and even though there were a few things Nate did that I found tough to forgive, I still loved every word. I do think that having the genie aspect made this book a little more unforgettable than many other books, and I think it would be great if she writes another with a genie. Just like with her Fantasyland Series, Three Wishes is so worth leaving your comfort zone for, because it just may become a favorite for you too.
I’ve fallen in love with the one person I never should’ve even given the time of day.”
If you like taboo, this is certainly the book! Missy Johnson is a good storyteller that kept me involved the entire time, but sadly I never fell for the heroine and didn’t feel the connection build up so I never understood why she seemed to push him to be with her. It had the bones and storyline to be such a great novel, but it fell short somewhere, I just never felt like there was enough emotion for them both to go against everything they are for each other. Add another 50 pages of them connecting and falling for each other, and this could have been amazing.
Audiobook Review – Make Me Stay by Sidney Halston
Narrated by Joe Arden & Aletha George
“I know this doesn’t mean anything to you, Matt. But I wasn’t lying when I said I love you. I still do.”
“Yeah, well, I fucking hate you.”
Make Me Stay, the second in the Panic series, didn’t quite live up to the first for me, though that would be a really tough act to follow. Though I like Sidney’s writing style, there was a trope used in this story that I am just not really a fan of, and after so many realistically accurate details in the first book, I was surprised to find this type of thing in the next book. There were a few things that didn’t really add up to me, which made the trope work even less for me. But, the story kept me engaged and dying to know what would happen next. It was a very engaging read with excellent narration that I truly enjoyed, but never fell completely in love with.
Book Review – Raw Need by Cherrie Lynn
“She could no longer blame this attraction on his voice, or on being starstruck. It was him. It was the juxtaposition of security and danger. The way he looked at her, the way he knew her when he shouldn’t. He made her feel like everything was fine when nothing was fine. Calm in the middle of crazy. Right in the middle of so much wrong.”
Raw Need was an okay read for me. I read it on vacation and was never really motivated to pick it up that often. I had trouble understanding what Zane saw in Rowan, and felt like Tommy’s family walked all over her. Sadly, I now really dislike the couple from the first book as well. I like the premise of the storyline, but Raw Need never really went above an “okay” rating for me.
“You don’t hate me because I’m an asshole – you hate me because you like the fact that I’m an asshole.”
The first half of Sin was a 5 star read for me. The chemistry and build-up between the couple was great, I love banter in an enemies to lovers story, and I love a cocky alphahole. But somewhere in the middle to end my excitement waned as not much really happened. I was waiting for some big secret and confrontation between the two families and that whole story never really panned out. It picked up again at the end, and I absolutely got sucked into the preview for the next standalone story in the series, Lust, coming in September. I must mention, that I was hacked on Facebook while reading this book, causing some stressful distraction, and that may have played a part in my feelings of ambivalence in the middle, but I still think I liked the build-up the best. One thing I absolutely loved was the book-themed bar, and the future thoughts of a book-themed restaurant that we will hopefully see in Lust. I loved how her love of books was a big part of the story.
Audiobook Review – Easy Nights by Kristen Proby
Narrated by Zachary Webber and Rachel Fulginiti
“I always thought that just having you in my life was enough. As long as you were happy and healthy, it was enough to be on the outside looking in, but it’s just not good enough anymore.”
Though Easy Magic stood really well alone, Easy Nights would have been a better read for me if I went back and listened to the rest of the series first. Apparently this romance has been building since the first book, and there was a lot of background that would have made this an amazing conclusion to the series. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but it didn’t stand out that much to me, because I just wasn’t as invested as I could have been had I read the whole series. I think if I listen to this again after listening to the whole series, I may do a re-review, but for now, as someone that didn’t read books 1-4, it’s a 4 star read that I still really enjoyed.
“Just a little company in the darkness.
No faking it.”
The Darkest Sunrise Duet will be at the top of my Best of 2017 list, without a doubt. It kept me up all night turning pages, crying, laughing, swooning, getting mad and second guessing all of my predictions. The only thing I stopped reading to do was post about how much I was loving this duet. These were completely out of my comfort zone —I don’t do ugly cries often (but when I do, I admit, they usually end up on my favorites list) but I am so glad I shook things up for The Darkest Sunrise Duet, because it will have a place on my all-time-favorite list.
“This is hardly love.”
“Then it’s hardly lust.”
“Then we’ll just call it us.”
Turbulence was a long book, especially when you add on the additional FREE epilogue on kindle. I prefer longer books usually, but I will say that the length of this story allowed a few different storylines to develop, and at one point it seemed a bit much. The couple didn’t really have much swoony romance, this was definitely more of a physical relationship, and the hero ran very hot and cold. It’s a sexy dysfunctional relationship at it’s best, but to be honest, they are both a little screwed up, so it worked for them. I thought the twist in the story was really unique and cool, and I really loved that. I was disappointed in the abrupt ending until I found the free epilogue. The funny, smart and oh-so-cocky alpha-hole Jake, completely made the story for me. He was such an ass, but you couldn’t help but love the nerve he has. All in all, I really like Whitney G’s writing, I really enjoyed this story, and I can’t wait to read more from her.
Audiobook Review – Where I Belong by J. Daniels
Narrated by Stella Bloom
“The boy I once wished never existed was now the man I wanted to spend every second with.”
Where I Belong checks all the spots on my checklist—sexy, swoony, and funny with banter, a man that has to work hard for it, and there is lots of sweet. I marked a ton of great quotes, and the story grabbed me from the first words. I absolutely love kids in books, and Nolan was a gem! While it was a little cheesy and not overly memorable, I will still be grabbing the rest of this sweet and sexy series by J. Daniels.
Let’s get real.
Being a mom is hard. And the women who make it look easy? They’re just better at lying. Trust us. We’re all bad at this.
Have you ever sent the wrong thumb drive to school with your daughter, only to have her stupid-hot teacher discover your erotica stories?
Tried to recapture the magic with your husband, only to be blocked by a child at every turn?
Remember blissfully turning on your breast pump only to howl in pain?
Or how about that doctor-ordered dry spell that just never ends after having a baby?
Oh yeah, we’ve been there. Pardon us while we dust off our collective Mother of the Year trophy and proudly present you with an epic anthology of #MOMFAILS.
Featuring this amazing lineup: Alissa York, A.M. Willard, BL Berry, Carina Adams, Claudia Burgoa, Crystal Burnette, Dylan Allen, Faith Andrews, Gia Riley, J.A. DeRouen, Kate Anslinger, Leddy Harper, LK Collins, LL Collins, Marie James, Piper Rayne, Riann C. Miller, Shari Ryan, Stephanie Rose, Stephie Walls, SM West, TL Swan, Teresa Michaels, and foreword written by: Nicole Kane Knepper
Seduction hotter than stolen jewels in this new series from the New York Times bestselling author of Big Rock.
Bounty hunter Jake Harlowe knows how to track a criminal. So when a group of swindled shareholders hire him to trail their former CEO, Jake expects a quick trip to the Cayman Islands to close another case. Until a devastatingly beautiful woman gets in the way.
Steph Anderson is visiting the Caymans for a rock climbing and dive trip-or so she tells Jake. She’s really trying to find out whether or not her stepfather embezzled money from his company. The last thing Steph needs is the distraction of a sexy, charming man whose kisses drive her wild.
Soon, the pair discover they’re after the same target-and millions in jewels. While Jake can’t be certain Steph isn’t working for her stepfather, and Steph can’t be certain Jake isn’t after the diamonds for himself, they can agree the heat between them is intense, and neither can deny the passion for long.
But the morning after, Steph discovers that she just might have slept with the enemy, and now she’ll have to outwit him to get everything she needs…
Purchase on Amazon (together for Discount) ($1.99 Audible upgrades)
Sex. Lust. Lies.
New York Times bestselling author, Emma Hart, brings the heat and heart in a brand-new series of sexy standalone novels, starting with SIN…
Damien Fox lived up to his name.
Cunning, sly, and dangerous, fifty percent of Vegas’ strip clubs were his.
Whatever he wanted, money, attention, women, he got.
And now he wanted to buy my bar, no matter the cost.
I wanted him to go to hell on a first-class ticket.
He played a dirty game, and I followed his rules. I let him think he would win.
Despite our differences, it was clear to see that we were no more than two broken hearts colliding in the darkness.
Closed off, sexy, and holding a pain that would crush a lesser man, he was the ultimate sin.
One I couldn’t deny myself, even though I knew better than to trust a fox…
(SIN is book one of the Vegas Nights series. Each book in this series is a standalone novel.)
Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.
She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.
Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.
Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.
Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?
Here I am. One of only two residents left in an entire building block in Lower Manhattan. A developer has managed to buy out everyone else except me and the manwhore in the apartment next door.
I say manwhore because:
1. He’s the hottest thing I’ve seen on two legs. (it shouldn’t be a reason but it kinda explains reason number two)
2. The screams of ecstasy coming from his apartment on a regular basis.
On the day I find out my boyfriend is a worthless, low-life cheating jerk, I get too drunk too care with my bestie and manage to lock myself out of my apartment. Then…I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I accidentally/purposely kissed the manwhore.
Turns out, sex on legs, six-foot and four inches of hard muscle is a hot-shot businessman who’s used to getting what he wants, but I’m not going there. No way.
He’s not going to make me scream.
He’s not getting into my bed, or my heart.
Even if he is so outrageously irresistible…and he’s somehow become my fake boyfriend!
Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, right? That’s what they say, at least. I went into that day hoping I’d get the happiest day of my life. What I got? The worst. I mean, you really can’t get any worse of a day without someone actually dying.
So…I may have gotten just a little drunk, and maybe just a tad impetuous…
And landed myself in a dive bar somewhere in Alaska, alone, still in my wedding dress, half-wasted and heart-broken.
Eight brothers, one bar.
Sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, yeah?
I kinda think so.
Wanna hear another joke? A girl walks into a bar, soaking wet and wearing a wedding dress.
I knew I shouldn’t have touched her. She was hammered, for one thing, and heartbroken for another. I’ve chased enough tail to know better. That kinda thing only leads to clinginess, and a clingy female is the last thing on this earth I need.
I got a bar needs running, and only me to run it—at least until my seven wayward brothers decide to show their asses up…
Then this chick walks in, fine as hell, wearing a soaked wedding dress that leaves little enough to the imagination—and I’ve got a hell of an imagination.
I knew I shouldn’t have touched her. Not so much as a finger, not even innocently.
But I did.
***THE BADD BROTHERS is 8 connected but standalone books in a sexy, funny, alpha male family series. Warning: this book contains mature content, and may also make you laugh out loud!***
Strap yourself into the cockpit for the ‘flight of your life’ via the newest erotic romance from New York Times bestselling author Whitney G….
Jake Weston and I met under a cloud of cliches: Boy meets girl. Boy charms girl. Boy screws girl.
He was the sexiest, cockiest man I’d ever encountered, but I had no idea he was a senior pilot when we met. No idea we worked for the same airline and had secrets just like me.
After a passionate night of unforgettable sex, I thought I’d never see him again, but when I did, neither of us could walk away…
We weren’t supposed to be together, we definitely weren’t supposed to fall in love, and yet our turbulent and forbidden love affair took on a life of its own.
We knew we could potentially crash and burn, but what we had was so intoxicating and inescapable that we were both willing to risk it all…
This is us.
This is our messed up love.
This is Turbulence.
From Book 1: Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”
NOTE: Please be aware that this book deals with sensitive topics like cheating. 18+ Only.
Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling.
What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great one–only he is the new poetry professor–the married poetry professor.
Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist–rude, arrogant, and broody–but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.
Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.
I’ve sworn off men.
Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.
I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.
The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.
The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.
Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.
So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.
I want the opposite.