Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Series Audiobook Mini-Reviews: Driven Series Books #1-3.5 by K. Bromberg

I started listening to these books when I found out that I would get a chance to meet the author at ApollyCon back in March.  And boy was I glad!  I ended up totally loving them.  However, Bromberg knows how to make crazy cliffhangers.  Not only that, I kept having issues with the audiobooks I'd checked out from the library expiring, or else the next one already having been checked out by someone else and I had to wait till they returned it!  First, though, let me share my picture with the author from ApollyCon.

Now, on to my mini-reviews of each of these books in the series, along with the synopsis for each from Goodreads.

Book info:
TitlesDriven, Fueled, Crashed, and Raced  
Author:  K. Bromberg  
Series:  Driven #1, 2, 3, and 3.5  
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
Published:  2013 and 2014  
Source:  Free digital audiobook downloaded from library

Driven (Driven #1):

My rating:  4 stars

I loved the story, although there are so many times if I had been Rylee that I would have told Colton NO!  And Colton really irritated me in this one, even though  I know there were reasons behind why he behaved the way he did.  I totally quoted Bella Swan about Colton's mood swings giving me whiplash!  And the end, wow, the cliffhanger!  I was ready to strangle the author because I couldn't get the next book right away since someone else had it checked out. But let me tell you, the way it ended, yeah, I had to read on.  My only issues with the audiobook was that I didn't really like the way the narrator, only one for this book, a female, did the male voice.  Also, the main character's name is Rylee, and the author used the word "wryly" a lot.  It got a little confusing when listening.  It would be fine when reading the words, but hearing it out loud was a little weird.  

Blurb from Goodreads:
Rylee Thomas is used to being in control. But she’s about to meet the one man 
that just might make her enjoy losing it…

I am the exception to the rule. 

In a world full of willing women, I’m a challenge to the roguish and achingly handsome Colton Donavan. A man used to getting exactly what he wants in all aspects of life. He’s the reckless bad boy constantly skating that razor thin edge toward out of control, on and off of the track. 

Colton crashes into my life like a tornado: sapping my control, testing my vulnerabilities beyond their limits, and unintentionally penetrating the protective wall around my healing heart. Tearing apart the world I rebuilt so carefully with structure, predictability, and discipline.

I can’t give him what he wants and he can’t give me what I need. But after a glimpse beneath his refined exterior into the dark secrets of his damaged soul, can I bring myself to walk away?

Our sexual chemistry is undeniable. Our individual need for complete control is irrefutable. But when our worlds collide, is the chemistry enough to bring us together or will our untold secrets and battle of wills force us apart? 

Fueled (Driven #2):

My rating:  5 stars

I ended up not being able to wait and I bought the ebook, fortunately it was only one more day after that when the audiobook became available.  Oh well.  I ended up buying the physical copies to get them signed at Apollycon.  This book, I totally loved it.  I'm not sure if that was just the wait to get to it after that cliffhanger, but Colton really did better in this book.  The relationship went pretty well, just like other romance books do.  There were some hilarious lines.  A new phrase I'd never heard before, an Aussie Kiss.  I'll now use that.  I also like the talk of framing his face.  I love Rylee's best friend, and I'm going to be excited to read her book in the series.  I loved how Colton was with Xander.  So sweet.  And just like Hardin had Fucking Trevor in the After series,  in this series, I was saying "Fucking Tawny" constantly.  Once again, a ridiculous cliffhanger that made me crazy!  But again, I had to read on as soon as I could get ahold of the third audiobook.  My only issues with this book, one, I didn't like the male narrator's voice, it totally didn't fit Colton for me.  Also, Colton starts a LOT of sentences by saying "Do you have any idea how...".  Oh yeah, this is the book that made me love the little saying in the coloring book "I race you".  I'll show you a picture of my finished coloring book page under the blurb below.

Blurb from Goodreads:
What happens when the one person you never expected suddenly happens to be the one you’ll fight the hardest to keep?

Colton stole my heart. He wasn't supposed to, and I sure as hell didn't want him to, but he crashed into my life, ignited feelings within me that I thought had died forever, and fueled a passion that I never knew could exist.

Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet and into my life. Now I don't think I'll ever be the same. She's seen glimpses of the darkness within me, and yet she's still here. Still fighting for me. She is without a doubt the saint, and I am most definitely the sinner.

How is it the one thing neither of us wanted—neither of us anticipated that fateful night—has us fighting so hard to keep?

He steals my breath, stops my heart, and brings me back to life again all in a split second of time. But how can I love a man who won't let me in? Who continually pushes me away to prevent me from seeing the damaged secrets in his past? My heart has fallen, but patience and forgiveness can only go so far.

How can I desire a woman who unnerves me, defies me, and forces me to see that in the deep, black abyss of my soul there's someone worthy of her love? A place and person I swore I'd never be again. Her selfless heart and sexy body deserve so much more than I'll ever be capable of giving her. I know I can't be what she needs, so why can't I just let her go?

We are driven by need and fueled with desire, but is that enough for us to crash into love? 

Crashed (Driven #3):

My rating:  5 stars

This was one that I had to wait to get from the library as well because someone else had it checked out. What is really funny is that I got this one when another audiobook I was in the middle of expired on me and I had to wait for it to be available again.  I totally loved this book. I was listening to it before and then on the way to Apollycon.  I got a bit of a spoiler for a future book when I picked up that book at the bookstore at the convention, but that's okay.  Now I'm looking forward to getting to that book.  We had more wonderful "Hattie-isms" from Rylee's best friend.  And after the crash in the last book, things started to get a little better, but then, man!  The author really slammed major events into this story.  It was like one thing after another.  Just when one thing started to seem to be ready to go right, there was another thing that kept it from going the way it should.  And wow, the part at the end, wow again.  I love these characters, this story, this world.  Can't wait to read on!  

Blurb from Goodreads:  
When life crashes down around us, how hard are we willing to fight for the one thing we can’t live without, each other?

Life is full of moments. 
Big moments. 
Little moments. 
And none of them are inconsequential. 
Every single moment prepares you for that one instance that defines your life. You must overcome all your fears, confront the demons that chase you, and cleanse the poison that clings to your soul or you risk the chance of losing everything.

Mine started the minute Rylee fell out of that damn storage closet. She made me feel. Made me whole when all I thought I could ever be was incomplete. Became the lifeline I never knew I needed. Hell yes, she’s worth the fight…but how do you fight for someone you know you don’t deserve?

Love is full of ups and downs. 
Heart stopping highs.
Soul shattering lows.
And none of them are insignificant. 
Love is a racecourse of unexpected twists and turns that must be negotiated. You have to break down walls, learn to trust, and heal from your past in order to win. But sometimes it’s the expected that’s the hardest to hold on to.

Colton has healed and completed me, stolen my heart, and made me realize our love’s not predictable nor perfect—it’s bent. And bent’s okay. But when outside factors put our relationship to the test, what lengths will I have to go to prove to him that he’s worth the fight?

Whoever said love is patient and love is kind, never met the two of us. We know our love is worth it—have acknowledged that we were meant to be—but when our pasts crash into our future, will the repercussions make us stronger or break us apart? 

Raced (Driven #3.5):

My rating:  4 stars

I love that the author got the idea to do the story from Colton's side from a blogger's review.  Yay for us bloggers!  I really loved getting his side of the story, it definitely made up for some of the ways that I didn't like him from the first book.  Listening to Colton's side though, we got instead of Hardin's F-ing Trevor, we got Colton's "F-ing Voodoo P-ssy".  So many scenes that were just so much better getting Colton's point of view.  My only complaints about this one, again, the narrator's voice, and then the reason it got a 4 star instead of 5 star rating is because Colton tended to ramble a lot and so I got bored at times.  Other than that, I loved it.  And while this basically just retold the first three books, it still had extras at the end that moved the story along, and definitely made me want to keep reading the series. 

Blurb from Goodreads:
The Colton Points of View Collection 

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author K. Bromberg comes a companion novella to the Driven Trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed). This novella is a compilation of reader requested scenes from the series retold through the eyes of Colton Donavan. 

Colton Donavan lived life in the fast lane, but it took Rylee Thomas to teach him what racing was all about. 


You think you know me? 

Think again.

*Raced is not a complete re-write of the Driven Trilogy. This companion explores pivotal scenes as well as some new ones written in Colton Donavan’s point of view that were not previously published in Driven, Fueled, and Crashed. Hear his thoughts, experience his inner-turmoil, and laugh with him on his journey as he overcomes his demons and accepts what it means to love. 

This novella is for the devoted readers of the Driven series. It is recommended that this companion be read after Driven, Fueled, and Crashed. 

You definitely need to pick up this series and read or listen to it!  It will always be a favorite of mine now.