Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Imperfection of Swans by @wittauthor @dreamspinners #REVIEW #AUDIBLE #ULTIMATEINDULGENCE

The Imperfection of Swans, Brandon Witt, Dreamspinner Press
Kevin Bivanti’s dream is to open a wedding dress shop, a place with the stunning gowns to make every bride-to-be feel adored. At thirty-eight, he quits a successful advertising career to buy an old brownstone in a trendy Boston neighborhood and to make his dream a reality. When one of his cosigners drops out, fate intervenes, ushering in Casper James, who hopes to open his own bakery. With Casper willing to take the risk, their ambitions meld into a wedding dress and wedding cake boutique.

Extensive renovations to the brownstone, an affair with his ex-husband, family drama with his mothers, and the anxiety of significant life changes push Kevin to the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, Casper becomes more than a business partner, a mutual attraction that adds another layer of intensity and risk.

With their dreams on the verge of reality, Kevin and Casper must find the courage to face the stress of managing their attraction, the gamble of a new business venture, and the resurgence of Kevin’s personal demons.

Audiobook Review:

This was an incredibly beautiful, real story. The narration from Kirt Graves brought the story to life and I was mesmerized. Mr Graves does a wonderful job with the pacing and really adds to the structure of the story.

Kevin has a secret that he has been dealing with his whole life. As far as he is concerned he has it under control. When opening a new business and the possibility of a new relationship brings everything to the surface he realizes just how not in control he is.

Casper is finally making his dreams come true, he is opening his own bakery and has fallen for his new business partner. The stress of the business brings to light that not all is right with his partner but Casper isn't going to stop fighting to make all his dreams come true.

The author does a wonderful job of layering in the realities and struggles with the love and family. And the narrator brings you into the story and makes blocking out the real world easy to do. The characters teach us the beauty in the imperfections.


RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by Dreamspinner Press.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Audiobook Tour: Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #Lucky Penny @EllieAshe

Lucky Penny

Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #3
By Ellie Ashe

A year after her acquittal on fraud charges, former financial analyst Miranda Vaughn is finally getting her life back. Not only does she have a chance for romance with her sexy neighbor, FBI Agent Jake Barnes, but she's also got a new job...one that's taking her to a vacation paradise!

Perched above the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe, the Whispering Pines Resort & Spa is a local landmark and a popular destination for the rich and famous who are stressed out from being rich and famous. And down on the water’s edge is the Lucky Penny Casino—an abandoned shell of a once-stylish casino. Max Emmerson, the owner of the Whispering Pines Resort, used to own the Lucky Penny, and he wants it back. Miranda’s job is to get Max’s finances in order so he can borrow the money to buy the casino, and make sure nothing jeopardizes his gaming license. Easy, right?

But the nice boring accounting job spirals out of control with the addition of a Hollywood film crew, an underground gambling ring, and Jake going undercover at the resort as a newlywed—with another woman. As Miranda and Jake each dive into their investigations, they can’t deny their growing feelings for each other. But it’s more important than ever that they keep their attraction hidden. Especially since someone at the resort is watching them very closely, and is willing to do just about anything to keep them from uncovering the truth.


Everyone in the room turned to me, and I had the uncomfortable feeling of being caught in a floodlight.
"Uh, right. Well, first, I didn't realize it was illegal gambling."
Agent Bonner frowned. "Gaming is only legal when authorized and regulated by the state of Nevada."
"I'm not a lawyer or a federal law enforcement officer, Agent Bonner," I said, trying to keep my voice steady when inside I was trembling, remembering how it felt when I'd been interviewed by the FBI after my arrest. I hadn't done anything wrong but still ended up on trial for fraud. No matter how hard I focused on the fact that it had been more than a year since I'd been acquitted of those charges, having three FBI agents and a Nevada state agent staring at me still made my heart skip erratically.
Dottie and Max both shook their heads in Gail Bonner's direction, urging me to volunteer.
"I'll do it," I said.
Gail smiled. "Great."
I smiled back. "If Jake goes with me."
Bethany rolled her eyes. "How are you going to swing that?"
"She'll just say Jake's her boyfriend," Gail said. "No problem."
Slight problem, I thought.
"Uh, actually, Carly thinks I have a boyfriend. A different boyfriend," I said.
Jake glared at me across the table. "Why does she think that?"
"She saw me with Quinn and jumped to a conclusion, and I didn't correct her."
"No problem. We'll have Agent Boylan go in with you as a friend," Gail said.
"Ugh. No," Bethany and I said in unison. At least we could agree on something.
"Oh, get over yourselves, ladies," Gail snapped. "Fine. Mr. Emmerson, I need a room for Agents Barnes and Boylan. Make it a honeymoon suite."
I pushed the door open all the way, so we wouldn't be crowded around the doorway.
"Jake, I'd like you to meet my good friend, Quinn Bishop."
Jake stepped into the room and shook Quinn's hand, and the two men sized each other up. I'd seen something like it once in National Geographic. If my recollection was correct, any moment now, one would lower his head and charge the other.
Another flicker drew my eye up, but this time it was a flash of light, not the slow sweep of a flashlight. This was more like a camera flash. Or a lighter. Moments later, a warm breeze caressed my face and carried with it an all-too familiar scent, wafting from the direction of the Lucky Penny. I turned to Jake to see if he noticed it too.
"Do you smell smoke?"
Jake nodded, put a finger to his lips and kept my hand in his grip. And then he continued up the stairs.
Oh God, what are we doing here? My thoughts raced as we hit the second floor, a wide expanse of dusty carpet upon which footprints led to one side of the balcony and then back across to a hall. The sign over the entrance said that shops and restaurants could be found down the wide and darkened path.
And from the trail of footprints, so could our intruder.

"Stay behind me. Stay close," he whispered and started down the hall, hugging the wall.
He didn't have to tell me twice. I practically stepped on his feet as we crept slowly along the gentle curving wall. The dark tunnel we were in opened to a shadowy atrium, with a round bench surrounding an empty podium that had probably held a statute or piece of sculpture. The seating arrangement looked out at the tall windows of empty shops. A gray light from glass panels overhead cast deep shadows that looked even creepier with the silhouettes of mannequins looking on from behind the dusty panes

BUY LINKS: Amazon   Nook

Audio Clips


Oh Ellie Ashe - you saved the best for last!  The Miranda Vaughn Mysteries are on a roll - Lucky Penny had to be my favorite of all three stories.  Miranda and Jake are finally making headway.  The mystery storyline is excellent - clever and fast paced.  The love triangles, manipulations, misunderstandings and moments of pure hilarity are so very enjoyable. 

Terri Schnaubelt does a spectacular job once again, capturing the characters and relating with great pace and pitch the story as it unfolds! She will forever be the voice of Miranda in my head. While I wholly endorse this 3rd book, read them all in order for maximum enjoyment - they are well worth it.

I give Lucky Penny, (Miranda Vaughn Mysteries, Book 3), 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by The Audiobookworm for an honest review.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Audiobook Tour Miranda Vaughn Mysteries #Dropping the Dime @EllieAshe

Dropping the Dime

Miranda Vaughn Mysteries#2

By Ellie Ashe

Miranda Vaughn was once falsely accused of stealing millions, and now she’s helping others who are facing criminal charges. While being an assistant to her former defense attorney isn’t Miranda’s dream job, she’s eager to prove herself, and her first task is a simple one—protect Kathryn, a shy CFO turned informant, and help her prove that a popular real estate developer is embezzling millions from his company. But what should be a straightforward assignment is deliciously complicated when Miranda is thrown together with FBI Agent Jake Barnes, the man who saved her life, broke her heart, and then disappeared.

Beneath the neatly plotted rows of new homes lurk dark secrets, bitter feuds and a whole lot of greed. Nothing is what it appears, even Miranda’s timid client, who is hiding secrets of her own. Despite her growing distrust of her client, Miranda must protect Kathryn from becoming the target of the FBI’s investigation and protect herself from the real thief—all while protecting her heart from the sexy FBI agent she can’t seem to resist.

Audio Clip:      Audio Clips

BUY LINKS: Kindle Nook


I am still loving these Miranda Vaughn Mysteries! Book 2, Dropping the Dime, picks up a couple months after the last installment. Miranda still works for her attorney Rob who is very happily wooing her Aunt Marie....much to her eyes dismay. Jake is forever busy with his FBI cases and has a new partner who thinks Miranda's a fraudster. And hunky rancher bad boy Quinn sets his cap for our heroine but can she see the forest for the trees? Oh, and new client that may bring big prestige or big disaster. Sounds like the makings of a first rate road trip listen!

Less action packed than the first, but by no means less madcap, Dropping the Dime shows Ms. Ashe can craft a well done story with characters you love (or love to hate) and a story that is at once highly complex and simply hilarious at points. Unable to shirk the mantle of former defendant, she happily takes up for her new charge Kathryn who seems to want to bring down a local real estate magnate. When the FBI gets called in, Jake comes to the rescue. Except Miranda wants to rescue herself, mostly.

It's fun, entertaining and highly enjoyable. There are the requisite plot twists and some very nicely paced sexual tension that fuels the storyline. Terri Schnaubelt does a spectacular job once again, capturing the characters and relating with great pace and pitch the story as it unfolds! Read the first book and then relish the second.

I give Dropping The Dime, (Miranda Vaughn Mysteries, Book 2), 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by The Audiobookworm for an honest review.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Olive Juice by @tjklune @dreamspinners #REVIEW #ULTIMATEINDULGENCE

Olive Juice, TJ Klue, Dreamspinner Press
It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

Gutted! This book grabbed me by the heart and squeezed.

Klune gives us a unique writing style, the story is told through bits and pieces of flashbacks, but you don't really get the whole story until late into the pages. It's beautifully tragic and hopeful at the same time. I will be honest, I cried through a large portion of the book and it deals with some very difficult subject matter but you will not be able to put it down.

Creative, gut-wrenching, powerful, emotional!


Rating: 5 Chocolate Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by Dreamspinner Press.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Darkest Hour Before Dawn by @CharlieCochet @dreamspinners #REVIEW #ULTIMATEINDULGENCE

Darkest Hour Before Dawn, Charlie Cochet, Dreamspinner Press
THIRDS Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs and Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn are as much in love now as they were nearly seven years ago when a tragic event on the job destroyed their relationship. The two drift together only to be pulled apart time and time again. When Hudson draws the interest of dangerous enemies, both within and outside the organization, Seb wants nothing more than to protect the man who still means everything to him.

As life and death events, an uncertain future, and startling truths draw Hudson and Seb to each other yet again, they must make a choice: trust their love and take strength from what they share, or lose what matters most for good this time.

YAY.....I was so happy to see that this was going to be Seb and Hudson's book. I have been fascinated with them and their relationship from the beginning.

This book really has several story arcs going on at once and I so could not stop reading. The author dose such great job at character development that they seem real and I always want to know more about them and their everyday lives.

There is laughter and action and awwww moments and one great big "OH NO SHE DIDN'T" moment that I kind of thought, ohhh I wonder if she would go there, surely not, oh Hell yeah she did! This book gives us more insight to what being a marked mate means, and both the advantages and disadvantages that can come about.

I love the family time that Ms. Cochet weaves into her stories and the glimpses we get of the guys and gals when they aren't in kick ass THIRDS agents mode. These are some of my favorite moments in every book.

Nine books in and they just keep getting better. This is a series that I recommend again and again!


RATING: 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by Dreamspinner.
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