Brené Brown – Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

REVIEW

I listened to this audiobook after listening to the author’s very popular TED Talks. As for the audiobook, the long title is reflective of a long winded book. The content of the book is truly interesting and most definitely worth reading. However, SKIP the audiobook! The most disappointing aspect was that the author does not actually narrate her own book. The reason why I chose to read the book was because her Ted Talks were amazing. She is extraordinarily  charismatic. It was a huge loss in her audiobook.

It is very difficult to rate this book. The audiobook I would only give a 2.5 (round to a 3). I kept increasing the speed to try and get through the book more quickly. The standard book I would give a 4. The content is great, but I still felt it was a little long and repetitive. But listening to her Ted Talks, I would give her a 5.

Check out her TED Talks

BLURB

From thought leader Dr. Brené Brown, a transformative new vision for the way we lead, love, work, parent, and educate that teaches us the power of vulnerability.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”—Theodore Roosevelt

Every day we experience the uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure that define what it means to be vulnerable or to dare greatly. Based on twelve years of pioneering research, Dr. Brené Brown dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and argues that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

Brown explains how vulnerability is both the core of difficult emotions like fear, grief, and disappointment, and the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, empathy, innovation, and creativity. She writes: “When we shut ourselves off from vulnerability, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives.”

Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. In a world where “never enough” dominates and feeling afraid has become second nature, vulnerability is subversive. Uncomfortable. It’s even a little dangerous at times. And, without question, putting ourselves out there means there’s a far greater risk of getting criticized or feeling hurt. But when we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena—whether it’s a new relationship, an important meeting, the creative process, or a difficult family conversation. Daring Greatlyis a practice and a powerful new vision for letting ourselves be seen.

BUY LINK

 to Brené Brown!

AUTHOR BIO

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her latest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone, will be released Fall 2017.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

In addition to her research and writing, Brené is the Founder and CEO of BRAVE LEADERS INC – an organization that brings evidence-based courage building programs to teams, leaders, entrepreneurs, change makers, and culture shifters.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.

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Kelly Jamieson – Top Shelf (Aces Hockey, #3)

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REVIEW

This is a sincerely thoughtful hockey romance story. It has all the critical elements of a hot hockey romance: sinfully sculpted male, spicy sex scenes, endearing love interest, and a fanatical drive to win games. In addition to all this, this book sets forth a theme about the importance of mental health.

I think this book sets a great message about the need for people to seek help for depression when they need it.  Life can send people some incredible difficult challenges that can put them in a temporary state of depression.  With a little help from professionals, depression can be addresses and conquered. I appreciated the fact that the book stresses that even if a person needs a little help at some point that it doesn’t undo their ability to become strong and independent.

I loved this book, in lieu of the fact that the author downplays the skills of my favorite NHL hockey team.  The heartfelt tension overpowered any irritation I had about choice of hockey teams.

Most of all, I LOVE the TITLE of this book!

This was the first book that I’ve read in Kelly Jamieson’s  Aces Hockey Series. I just added the rest of the books to my TBR.

BLURB

Whether it’s a clutch goal or a cocktail, nothing beats “top shelf.” In this novel from the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series, a fun-loving jock and an ambitious career woman mix business with pleasure.
 
Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart.

BUY AT AMAZON

https://www.amazon.com/Top-Shelf-Aces-Hockey-Novel-ebook/dp/B015BCX0OO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1475757870&sr=8-2&keywords=top+shelf

OTHER GREAT BOOKS THAT I’VE READ BY KELLY JAMIESON:

Kelly Jamieson – How to Love

Kelly Jamieson – Jilted

Kelly Jamieson – Reward of Three

Kelly Jamieson – Rhythm of Three

Kelly Jamieson – Slammed

Kelly Jamieson – Wicked One Night

Kelly Jamieson – With Strings Attached

Thank You Arc to Kelly Jamieson!

RELEASE DAY: Tara Sue Me – The Claiming

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REVIEW

Tara Sue Me continues to break the stereotypes of BDSM relationships without losing the kinky-thrill of the sexual connections.  The Claiming is a short novella and a fantastic treat for fans of The Submissive Series.  The book includes a bit of playful role play in an exotic castle.  But the best part, is the smart, quick-witted responses of three very strong and articulate submissives.  The author shatters the concept that submissives are weak.  As the play continues, the Dominants’ need for privacy is HOT. What happens under the table, stays under the table.  I figure it is the corollary to the Las Vegas principle.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series … 1. READ THE SERIES!!! 2.then read this book (you might not appreciate the characters as much without having read the rest of the series).

BLURB

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive series returns to the story started in The Master with a tantalizing new novella about passion, play, and possession…
 
Submitting is just the beginning…
 
Sasha Blake never thought her emotional wounds would heal—that they were a part of her just like her physical scars. But that was before Cole Johnson’s boundless love and overwhelmingly sexy control set her free, unleashing a confident side that she never knew she had. He’s more than just her Master; he’s her world. And she’ll do anything he asks…

Cole’s days of restless wandering are done—he’s found everything he needs in Sasha. Now, it’s time to make it official. When his childhood home in England goes up for sale, he realizes the old estate is the perfect place to claim Sasha as his own, and the ideal opportunity to show her just how much she means to him.

As Sasha, Cole, and their closest friends from their Partners in Play community descend on the British countryside for a titillating adult vacation, the submissives and Dominants alike will test their boundaries—and have an adventure none of them will ever forget…

the-claiming

Available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Claiming-Submissive-Tara-Sue-Me-ebook/dp/B01DJZWA64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473765362&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Claiming+Tara+Sue+Me#nav-subnav

SEE RELATED POSTS

Tara Sue Me – Submissive Series

Tara Sue Me – The Chalet

Tara Sue Me – The Collar

Tara Sue Me – Enticement

Tara Sue Me – The Exhibitionist

Tara Sue Me – The Master

Thank You Arc to Tara Sue Me!

Tara Sue Me – The Claiming

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REVIEW

Tara Sue Me continues to break the stereotypes of BDSM relationships without losing the kinky-thrill of the sexual connections.  The Claiming is a short novella and a fantastic treat for fans of The Submissive Series.  The book includes a bit of playful role play in an exotic castle.  But the best part, is the smart, quick-witted responses of three very strong and articulate submissives.  The author shatters the concept that submissives are weak.  As the play continues, the Dominants’ need for privacy is HOT. What happens under the table, stays under the table.  I figure it is the corollary to the Las Vegas principle.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series … 1. READ THE SERIES!!! 2.then read this book (you might not appreciate the characters as much without having read the rest of the series).

BLURB

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive series returns to the story started in The Master with a tantalizing new novella about passion, play, and possession…
 
Submitting is just the beginning…
 
Sasha Blake never thought her emotional wounds would heal—that they were a part of her just like her physical scars. But that was before Cole Johnson’s boundless love and overwhelmingly sexy control set her free, unleashing a confident side that she never knew she had. He’s more than just her Master; he’s her world. And she’ll do anything he asks…

Cole’s days of restless wandering are done—he’s found everything he needs in Sasha. Now, it’s time to make it official. When his childhood home in England goes up for sale, he realizes the old estate is the perfect place to claim Sasha as his own, and the ideal opportunity to show her just how much she means to him.

As Sasha, Cole, and their closest friends from their Partners in Play community descend on the British countryside for a titillating adult vacation, the submissives and Dominants alike will test their boundaries—and have an adventure none of them will ever forget…

the-claiming

RELEASE DATE – SEPTEMBER 20

Pre-Order Available on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Claiming-Submissive-Tara-Sue-Me-ebook/dp/B01DJZWA64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473765362&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Claiming+Tara+Sue+Me#nav-subnav

SEE RELATED POSTS

Tara Sue Me – Submissive Series

Tara Sue Me – The Chalet

Tara Sue Me – The Collar

Tara Sue Me – Enticement

Tara Sue Me – The Exhibitionist

Tara Sue Me – The Master

Thank You Arc to Tara Sue Me!

Celebrating Authors/Books that I didn’t blog about but haven’t forgotten (Week 2 – Rich, Racy, and Romantic Romeos)

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Week 2 – Rich, Racy, and Romantic Romeos

Maya Banks 

Anetakis Tycoons: The men have the money, but I like that the female goes after what she wants.

Breathless Series: The straightforwardness of each of these dominant males’ wants and demands is refreshingly honest in a very provocative kind of way.  Another hit by Maya Banks.

Kings of the Boardroom: Simple story, that has been told before, but the way Maya Banks writes makes it sing.  A quick enjoyable read (only 192 pages)

Pregnancy & Passion: These are surprisingly good books.  I have to admit that the meshing of pregnancy and erotic romance had me flummoxed.  The books stirred a love/hate relationship with the male characters.  It is always amusing finding out how the male pulls his head out of his ass.  Enjoyed their individual style of Go Big or Go Home. I was hooked after the first book and couldn’t wait to finish the series.

Emma Chase – Tangled Series

Fresh, Blunt, and Funny.  Give it to me straight – what a guy really thinks.  I love a book that makes me feel so strongly about a character that I would like to smack him upside his head.  Awesome series – can’t wait to read the next.

Sylvia DayCrossfire Series

Sex, Steam, and Angst Oh my!  More than filled the gap after reading FSOG a few times.  In this series, the characters both had a background in rubbing elbows with the upper crust, which I prefer over the whole Pretty Woman fantasy.  Eva finds Gideon’s most fabulous attributes to include his beauty, stamina, size, and prowess, which can make for an entertaining relationship.  More importantly, those traits make for a captivating book!  After recently gifting Bared to You to a relative, I couldn’t help myself and go back and read it again.  Well, once I finished it, I continued with the next, Reflected in You.  I was enjoying myself too much and I finished the rest of the series.  It fits the criteria: (1) page-turner/can’t put down (2) want to re-read (3) would gift to a friend.  This series is listed on many sites as something to read after Fifty Shades of Grey.  I prefer not to compare books for a number of different reasons.  I know a lot of people disliked Fifty and I wouldn’t want people to be hesitant to read this series because they disliked FSOG.  I’ll refrain from comparing these two series even though there are a number of similarities.  But simply, if you like a book with a lot of seriously steamy scenes – read this series.  Gideon and Eva can’t get enough of each other.  If they’re happy, they shag.  If they’re angry, they shag.  STAMINA – that’s the first word I think of when I think about this book.  They go at each other at least 3-4 times per day.  Their couples therapist isn’t certain that their indulgence in sex is actually healthy.  They both refuse to try abstinence to address their issues.  Gideon and Eva share a similar troubled past and a relatively similar taste for the rich and fancy.  They face constant problems as a result of their pasts and can’t seem to catch a break.  In addition, the side characters are fantastic.  Cary, Eva’s best and purely platonic friend is great.  He’s flawed but lovable none-the-less.  Hopefully he’ll get his happily-ever-after in the final installment.  Gideon is generally very supportive of Eva’s relationship with Cary.  But at one time he suggests that Eva might be better off without Cary in her life.

Abbi Glines – Rosemary Beach

Even though I accidentally read this series out of order, I had no problem keeping up.  The intermingling of this group of friends and their relationships had me craving for more.  I will be very sad when the series ends.

E.L. James – Fifty Shades of Grey

This is the book that all books involving filthy rich males seducing a woman are compared against.  My favorite part of the novels were the emails that went back and forth between Christian and Anastasia.  The cheekiness was delightful.

Lisa Rene JonesInside Out Triology

Nice combination of mystery, sex, and affluence centered around the world of art.  I have yet to read the rest of the books in this extended series, but would like to.

J. Kenner

Stark Trilogy: Yes, he’s unimaginably wealthy, but the connection between Damien and Nikki is the essence of what makes this series great.  The balance of their need for one another speaks to the heart.

Stark International: This is a spin off of the Stark Trilogy and is written in the same vein.  The connection between the two series is fantastic but I refuse to spoil it.  Similar to Damien, Jackson Steele is a wealthy and powerful architect that gets what he wants.  He is controlling and manipulative, but for a submissive those are all good attributes.  Sometimes the line between good control and bad control aren’t clear, which makes relationships complicated.*  He has a history of pushing Sylvia Brooks too far.  Is he out to win her heart or just out to win control over her?  Sylvia Brooks left Jackson once before, but will returning to his bed be too much for her.  Beware, this book ends such that you’ll feel compelled to read the next.   * This complication only relates to the adult relationship between Sylvia and Jackson.  Sylvia’s childhood past includes being assaulted by an adult.  Under no circumstances should an adult take such action on a minor child.  This distinction is clear in the story as well.

Most Wanted Series: Holy GQ, bad boy, hotness! The males are corrupt but totally sexy.  The titillating game of cat and mouse as the characters unite is brilliant.  It would be great if other books followed in this series.

Beth KeryBecause You Are Mine Series

This is a series that starts out hot, but then explodes with fierceness in the final book.  Must read the entire series!  It is totally worth it.

R.K. Lilley – Up in the Air Series

What makes this series exceptional is that not only are the two main characters, Bianca and James, interesting, but the gay best friend of the female character, Stephen.  Through the use of this character, many more facets about the main characters are revealed.  Looking forward to reading Mr. Beautiful soon.

Jennifer Probst – Marriage to a Billionaire Series

My favorite of the series was the 1st, The Marriage Bargain, where the marriage didn’t actually involve a billionaire.  If power and tomfoolery that comes with big bucks appeals to you, read this series.

Tina Reber – Love Series

Big A list actor falls for bar owner.  The stories excel in weaving realism and hollywood fantasy.  The bets between the characters left me rolling on the floor laughing.  Totally entertaining.

J.C. Reed – Surrender Your Love Series

Signing a consensual sex act and confidentiality agreement with your new boss at a real estate firm might not be the best idea.  However, with a hot mega-wealthy boss, named Jett, where do I sign?  Steamy scenes and crazy twists, make the book great.

Tara Sue Me – Submissive Series

Ready to step into the world of BDSM?  Finding a balance in life is often a challenge and it was gripping to behold how the characters balanced their sex life.  When Abby says “Turpentine” I wanted to cry for her.  I look forward to every additional book in this series.

See All Suggested Rich, Racy, and Romantic Romeos

Abbi Glines – Up in Flames

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Good book, but deviates greatly from the standard tone of the series.

I could have enjoyed the book more if this book was part of a spin-off series and not included in the original Rosemary Beach series.  Let me explain.  As stated in other posts, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Rosemary Beach series.  It’s fun and romantic.  But this book takes on a completely different feel.  There’s more suspense.  It’s equally as enjoyable, but in an intriguing way more than a carefree fun way.  Some of the other “mini-series” within the Rosemary Beach Series were given a distinguishing name.  That was fine and great because each mini-series concentrated on a couple of characters.  But in Up in Flames, while the book centers around the character Nan, who showed up in the entire series, the tone of the book was considerably different.

In general, I love to read series.  I get emotionally attached to the characters and feel of the author’s words.  When I open to page one of each individual book, I go in with a particular mindset and expectations.  When the book deviates or fails to meet those expectations, I’m left with a taste of dissatisfaction.  Unfortunately, that’s where I was left after reading Up in Flames.  However, if I had known prior to starting the book that it was going to go in a much darker direction, I would have felt differently.  In fact, I would most definitely have rated the book higher.

See Related

Misleading Book Blurbs Lead to Bad  Reviews

Aubrey Bondurant – Bet Me Something

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REVIEW

Authors like Aubrey Bondurant are the reason I love reading books by indie authors.  This is the third book I’ve read by her and love her writing.  While I gave her first book 4 stars, she’s definitely improved upon her craft and this book is absolutely worthy of 5 STARS!

Bet Me Something was incredibly enjoyable and I breezed through it remarkably quickly.  I was a bit concerned that it was a bit longer than the typical romance book.  However, the story didn’t seem long winded or stretched unnecessarily.  I was entertained the entire time while reading it.

Kenzie is a bit different from the previous female leads in the series.  She’s young, only 22, and she acts her age.  She’s not sure what she wants to pursue in life, which isn’t uncommon for someone her age.  I liked how she grew as a character in the book.

Colby is the tamed bad boy.  He might not have tattoos, but has the sex filled background to earn him the title.  Despite his history, he is a great boyfriend.  Colby oozed sex appeal.

I loved how the characters in the previous books were incorporated into this one.

If you like a little dirty talk in your sex scenes, I highly recommend this book.

BLURB

Being able to stand on your own two feet, sometimes requires getting knocked off them completely… 

McKenzie “Kenzie” Lane is newly graduated from college and looking forward to a dream internship she has lined up for the summer in LA. Unfortunately, her controlling mother has other plans.

Colby Singer, with his hot-as-sin looks and wicked charm, is never without attention from the ladies. Despite suspecting how Kenzie feels about him, he’s always kept her comfortably off-limits since she’s the baby sister of one of his best friends. But when he’s determined to distract her temporarily from the stress of her mother’s ultimatum, deciding to show her some fun, he quickly finds that keeping her in the friend zone is not as easy as he’d hoped.

Once Kenzie realizes this may be her last opportunity to gauge her long-time crush’s true feelings, she puts it all out there in the form of a bet. It’s the perfect idea for her perfect man.

Until he isn’t.

Will a dose of reality lead to true love? Or will it crash and burn before it can even get started?

Full Length Standalone book with no cliffhanger. Third book of the “Something Series”
Recommended for mature readers due to situations of language, and sexual content.

See Related 

Aubry Bondurant – Ask Me Something (The Something Series #2)

Aubrey Bondurant – Tell Me Something

Thank You Arc to Aubry Bondurant!