Category Archives: Audio Reviews

Audio Review: The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

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Title: The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden #1)
Author: @ReadAlessandra @TheNextStepPR
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Erotic, Thriller
Length: 8 hours and 6 mins, 352 pages
Rating: 5+++ stars

Synopsis
I haven’t touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it’s not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.
Continue reading Audio Review: The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre

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Audio Review: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

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Title: Lingus
Author: @marianazapata_
Reviewer: Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 10 hours and 49 mins, 341 pages
Rating: 4.25 stars

Synopsis

Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn’t know. “My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn.”
Continue reading Audio Review: Lingus by Mariana Zapata

Audio Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Title: The Nightingale
Author: Kristin Hannah
Narrator: Polly Stone
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 17 hours and 26 min, 440 pages

Synopsis
In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.
Continue reading Audio Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Audio Review: The Cityscape series by Jessica Hawkings

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Title: Come Undone (The Cityscape #1)
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 40 min, 366 pages

Synopsis
The Cityscape Series tells a compelling story of devotion, deception, and forbidden love. Come Undone is book one of three.

Olivia Germaine has already found love. Devoted wife, loyal friend, determined career woman–she’s created the life she always envisioned. But when Olivia locks eyes with a handsome stranger across a crowded room, he peers a little too closely and sees emotions she thought she’d buried long ago.
Continue reading Audio Review: The Cityscape series by Jessica Hawkings

Audio Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

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RESTLESS WATERS Audiobook
Author: Jessica Park @JessicaPark24 @wordsmithpublic
Narrated by Arielle DeLisle
Music by Troy
Release date: November 2015

Goodreads  |  Amazon

A storm is coming, and with storms come restless waters.

Pulled from the depths of catastrophe and depression, Blythe McGuire has learned to escape from her past while embracing the future. A future now entwined with the Shepherd siblings.

With Chris, she shares a staggering romance that kicks heartbreak’s ass.

With Sabin, she shares an intense friendship, one that’s becoming more complicated than either had expected. A friendship now being put to the test because Sabin’s brutal past still haunts him. Because trauma is the gift that keeps on giving without mercy.
Continue reading Audio Review: Restless Waters by Jessica Park

Audio Review: Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely

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Title: Sweet Sinful Nights (Sinful Nights #1)
Author: Lauren Blakely @LaurenBlakely3
Narrator: Josh Goodman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 45 mins, 350 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis
She was the one who got away…

Ten years ago, Brent Nichols let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret, especially since she’s all but disappeared. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice.

Easier said than done…

Shannon Paige has hardened her heart to the man she was once engaged to be married to. After the way he left, and after the hell she’s been through with her checkered family, there’s no way she’s letting him into her life again. The problem is, the second she sees him, he’s more handsome and charming than before. And she’s torn between wanting to fight with him and wanting to sleep with him — Maybe both. Soon they fall into each other’s arms, consumed with a desire that burns through the years.
Continue reading Audio Review: Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren Blakely

Audio Review: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

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Title: Kulti
Author: Mariana Zapata @marianazapata_
Narrator: Callie Dalton
Genre: Sports Romance
Length: 16 hours and 13 mins, 495 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.

“Sal, please don’t make me visit you in jail. Orange isn’t your color.”

This was going to be the longest season of her life.

Grace Review

Story – 4 stars
Patience.  That word perfectly sums up this book.

There’s the patience Sal ask of herself whenever she is stressed and trying to calm herself.

“Patience Sal.”

And there’s the patience the reader will need for this romance to develop.  As our fellow reviewer, Ivy, said to me, this book has a slow burn.  A very very slow burn.  I think at 50% I still was beyond frustrated by Kulti.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me set the story.

Sal is one of the star players of the Pipers women’s soccer team.  All she cares about is winning.  She doesn’t care for drama, both from fellow players and from the media.  I loved how she took everything in stride in this story, whether it be false rumors or personal attacks from a former teammate.  And then there is how she handles Kulti.

Sal first meets Kulti, the German world phenom of men’s soccer, when he joins her team as the new Assistant Coach.  As a die-hard soccer fan and player, she is very aware of who Kulti is, because she used to have a huge crush on him, with posters gracing her teenage walls.  AWKWARD.  So this is just like Scoring Wilder, right?  WRONG!   While Sal has the same likable qualities as that book heroine, the hero in this book?  Not so much.  I’m not going to sugar coat it, he is a HUGE ASS to everyone, and on many occasions, to Sal directly.

I never understood why Kulti would single Sal out in practices, but maybe he was like that school yard bully, picking on the girl he liked the most.  Because slowly, he begins to open up to Sal, off the field.  They build a friendship, sort of.  Kulti is very closed off with her, and it truly isn’t clear what he thinks of her until he declares publicly that she is his BFF.  I was totally scratching my head on this, but it wasn’t a false statement.  He cares for Sal in every way, but keeps most of those feelings to himself for many reasons, several of those being the Coach/player situation. Throughout the book, Sal’s commentary on the German was thoroughly entertaining, at one time calling him “German chocolate cake” . . . as an insult.

“I was in love with this pumpernickel.  God help me, I think I wanted to cry.”

It’s when Sal’s security on the team is questioned, that Kulti really steps up.  Kulti and his feelings for Sal were a total revelation.  His respect and attraction to her runs deep.  And he does everything right for the last 10% of this book.

“My schnecke.  My little snail, do you know that’s what it means?  It’s a term of affection in my country.  My love.”

Other than Sal, she had a great group of friends/family to help her during the tough times:
Jenny and Harlow – two of Sal’s teammates who always had her back.
Mark – Sal’s co-worker, who supported her on and off the field.
Sal’s Dad – this guy was a riot.  I loved how he would ask Kulti questions via Sal, too intimidated by the legend.  And he had great enthusiasm for the sport and his daughter’s role in it.

Performance – 5 stars
This is exactly the kind of audio book I look for.  Not only was the narrator entertaining, but actually made the story better, in my opinion.  I personally would have thrown my kindle if I had to read about Kulti’s obnoxious attitude for more than 50% of the story.

The narrator keeps her energy throughout the whole story.  I was never bored in the story, and with the slow burn, that is a major plus.

Overall – 4.5 stars
The slow pace of this story may not be for everyone, but this is a well written and unexpected sports romance.  The narrator adds energy to the story improving the overall experience for me. And the epilogue – AWESOME!

– Grace

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Audio Review: The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

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Title: The Hooker and the Hermit
Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Genre: Sport Romance, Humor
Narrator: Elle Newlands
Length: 10 hours 51 mins, 352 pages
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis

New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!

You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.

Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT

Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER

Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN

When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?

The Hooker and the Hermit is a collaboration between authors L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid, is a full length 100k word novel, and is a standalone.

Grace Review
Story: 5 stars
My TBR list, like most other bloggers, is a mile long.  Usually my reading time is taken up by ARCs, with the occasional dip into my TBR list.  And that’s where my audio books come in handy.  As most bloggers will say, there are too many great books and too little time.  So when my 2 new Audible credits came, I was scratching my head as to where to start.  If your an audio book listener, you’ll know that not every good book translates into good audio.

So I asked one of my book clubs for recommendations and someone mentioned Penny Reid. She’s one of those authors that I’ve heard so much about, but haven’t had time to read. Looking at her audio books, this book seemed right up my alley as I’m a big fan of sport romances.

Annie Catrel, the Hermit, as you’d expect, is terrified of social situations, preferring more of a low key introverted role at work.  But when her publicity company takes on a new client, discraced rugby Hooker, Ronan Fitzpatrick, she is forced to come out her shell. Despite Annie’s fears of abandonment, stemming from her childhood, she has an attraction to the Irish player, who makes her smile and seems to enjoy her quirks and snorting laugh.

While the two are put in the position to have a “fake” relationship to improve Ronan’s public image, the attraction the have makes the relationship much more real.

Dearest Annie,
Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
I’m using my hand
But I’m thinking of you.
– Ronan
P.S. Just to clarify, I’m using my hand to write this note…get your mind out of the gutter.

The interesting twist to the story, is Annie’s alter ego as the Socialmediate. Initially picking on Ronan and his lack of style on her blog, Ronan and her create an odd friendship via social media. Annie uses this other personality to express her true feelings towards Ronan, something she couldn’t do in person due to her insecurities.

Both characters have hot and cold moments, usually as an overreaction to something perceived or said out of context.  As they try to get closer, forces also pull them apart:

*Brona (sp?), Ronan’s bitch of an ex
*Ronan’s mom, who cuts Annie deep with her harsh speech
*Annie’s secret identity

I thought Ronan handled those forces better.  Often apologizing for something that wasn’t his fault.  But Annie goes so deep into her shell sometimes, it was the only way to get her out.  I understood the reasons for Annie’s fears and insecurities, going from a hermit to dating a celebrity.  However, she often seemed to put herself first, before Ronan.  Not trusting him to protect her.  Given that he also expresses his feelings and she doesn’t really reciprocate, I felt bad for him.

In the end, one of the things that Annie feared the most, actually made the difference in saving both of them.  I loved how Ronan gives her confidence and courage to do the right thing.

Performance: 4 stars
I have mixed feelings on the voices for this book.  On the plus side, I felt like they were the right picks to represent each character.  The voice of Annie had a polished/refined tone that worked for me.  The voice of Ronan was swoonworthly with the Irish accent.  On the negative side, some of their voices for others were not appealing, particulary when the male narrator spoke the female voice (this hardly ever sounds good in my opinion).

Even with the negative, this was a very enjoyable audio book.  Both characters had a great energy, which made listening to it, a lot of fun.  It was also the quickest I’ve ever listened to an audio book, so that says a lot.

Overall: 5 stars
Sexy, sweet and funny, this story was a nice break from my previously intense reads. The plot was fresh and kept me throughougly entertained.  I especially liked the added touch of Annie’s cursing word vomt.

“Damn, dammit, dickless Donald Duck.”

That one was my favorite. : D

This was a great collaboration and was a nice way to expose me to their work.  *adds all of their other books to my TBR*

Parting thought: Did I mention the Ronan is mistaken for Colin Farrell?!  Put a fork in me.  I.  AM.  DONE.

– Grace

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Audio Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

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Title: Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)
Author: Samantha Young
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Elle Newlands
Length: 10 hours 51 mins, 352 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build.

Grace Review
Story: 4.5 stars

This may have been one of my favorite books of the series.  It’s about acceptance and change, making someone else a priority, and building a better life.  Logan and Grace progress thru a series of stages – hated neighbor, friendly supporter, wall fucker – forming a bond so strong, not even bad family members can break them.

Raised by parents who seemed to think breaking down their only daughter, would make her stronger, Grace has escaped to a new life, a better life.  She’s a bit of a people pleaser, but finds herself constantly battling her neighbor, who seems to bed a lot of screamers.  I could totally relate to her anger.  Despite their constant bickering, it becomes clear that Grace’s feelings for Logan run deeper.  He may not be “her type” but that doesn’t stop her from fantasying about him, which humorously, pisses her off.

While the two neighbors initially start off with minor run-ins, they are drawn together when Logan gets a visit he never saw coming.  Grace’s people pleaser instincts take over and she offers more than any normal neighbor would, in order to help Logan.  I absolutely adored Mia and how she makes she an impact on both Logan and Grace’s lives.  Although Logan is resistant at first, Grace helps him to see how he can make a difference in another’s life and he doesn’t hold back to try and make her happy.

There were times I felt like Grace might have over-stepped her bounds as a neighbor, taking on a co-parenting role, but neither Logan nor Mia seemed to mind.  In fact they seemed to expect it of her, so I guess I can give it a pass.  And I adored how Mia would get upset when there was mention of Grace or Logan seeing someone romantically.  It was so obvious what she wanted – it just took time for Grace and Logan to get on that page.

The females in this series often have frustrated me, they make a lot of bad decisions based on insecurities.  Grace has insecurities in spade, and when you get a glimpse of how her home life was, I understood how she must have felt and what a struggle it was to have confidence in herself.  But her character shows a lot of growth in this book, particularly when confronting her father.  I wanted to give her a high five and a hug.

This story had a lot of emotional weight to it, not just with Grace’s family struggle.  Both Mia and Logan had a lot of adjustments to do, and each provide tear jerker moments with a view into their past.  It was heartbreaking to see where Mia grew up and how little care she was given by her drug addict Mother.  Seeing into that nasty world, only motivated Logan and Grace more to do better.  On top of his new responsibilities, Logan also still struggled from the time he spent in prison, causing him nightmares.  The scene where he opened up to his time there, was so sad.  And I wanted to doll out more virtual hugs.

Just like the previous books in this series, all of the prior characters play a role, and with some meddling, they help bring Grace and Logan closer together.  It seems they have all learned from their moments of stupidity and don’t want to see history repeating itself.  While Logan was a bit of a tool at times, both offer little resistance, bringing the sweet and sexy that I craved.

Performance: 5+++ stars
Whenever someone asks me for an audio recommendation, this is one of the first series’ I mention.  It is far and away one of the best audio performances I’ve heard.

First, you have a narrator that can nail multiple accents – Scottish, English, American.  Switching fluidly from accent to accent.  And the male Scottish accents!  Is it wrong to swoon over a female speaking a male accent?  *shrugs*

Second, this narrator is the queen bee of the audio orgasm.  Holy hell Batman, I was blushing like a teenager!  She seriously gives it her all with this performance – I had to wonder what inspired her . . . *smirks*

There really no other worlds than to simply say this narrator is A-MAZ-ING!!!

Overall: 4.5 stars
GAH!!!  The end of a series is so hard, you don’t want to say goodbye to the characters you have come to know.  But the author gives the reader a proper send off, with an epilogue told by the heroine of each book in the series, 6 epilogues really.  It’s beyond sweet and left me grinning from ear to ear.

– Grace

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"Complete"

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Audio Review: The Promise by Kristen Ashley

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Title: The Promise (The ‘Burg #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Narrator: Amanda Bruton
Length: 18 hours 3 mins, 518 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis

Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.

The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.

Benny has decided differently.

But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.

Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.

Grace Review
Story: 4.5 stars
“You’re the shit, Benny Bianchi.”

Fact: I love Italian men.  They truly are world class flirts.  Sometimes that could be a bad thing, but not in this story.

Fact: I love a man who can cook.  What woman wouldn’t?  And to make a successful business of it, even better!

Fact: I love a man who will drop everything for a woman.

Fact: I love a strong Alpha outhinking a stubborn woman.

Benny Bianchi fits all of the above, so it should be no surprise that he has cracked my KA Alpha top 5 list (truth be told, I think I change the #5 spot with each book, but Benny now holds that spot).

Ever since I read At Peace, I wanted to read Benny and Frankie’s story.  Hell, I almost skipped books 3 and 4 in the series, just to read their book, but I’m a loyal KA reader, so I’d never skip a book.  Anywho, chronologically, this book takes place after At Peace and before Golden Trail.

The story picks up right where At Peace left off, with Frankie recovering from a gunshot wound after trying to help Violet.  Not knowing how Benny has come around for her, she does everything to steer clear of him and his family.  Thankfully, Benny is one step ahead.   Out of the fiction world, his actions are basically kidnapping.  But in the book world, I found his actions to be hilarious because they were ultimately for Frankie’s own good, taken to the Alpha extreme.

The title of the book held two meanings.  First, their was “the promise” of Benny Bianchi.  Frankie has finally found someone who supported her, protected her, and had her back.  Benny offered her the comfort and commitment she craved for so long and never received from his brother.  Benny offered her the promise of a better life.

Second, as KA women are known to do, Frankie often had a wild hair to get involved in dangerous activities, trying to do the right thing.  One time it got her shot.  I loved how they men in her life joked about her bad luck, stating that she could be standing in a field and a dead body would fall out of the sky.

However, with the promise of Benny, guiding her, she shows her commitment and belief in him.  Showing she has come full circle and will do anything to keep the happiness and life she has built with Benny.  I wanted to give her a virtual high five, so proud of her.

With Frankie’s friendship to a mob boss, the suspense in this story was a bit of a surprise.  As mentioned previously, trouble is always finding Frankie.  But I loved how she and her co-workers were determined to do the right thing.  As a major bonus, Nightingale Investigations (Rock Chick series) gets involved.   AND, Luke Stark makes a personal appearance.  *squeeeeee*

In the end, while Frankie may have suffered years of solitude, Benny makes up for lost time and delivers on his promise, in spades!

Performance: 4.5 stars

I have yet to hear one KA narrator I didn’t like.  Their task isn’t easy.  KA’s books are filled with vastly different personalities, and in this story, a number of different accents.  And this narrator delivers on all fronts.  I particularly loved the voices of Sal, and Benny’s parents, Theresa and Vinny senior.

Told in dual POVs, she also captures the various emotions from Frankie and Benny as they take their journey together.

Overall: 4.5 stars
Take one big haired Italian woman, one hot blooded protective Italian Alpha, throw in a mob boss, one Luke Stark, and you have a book that will keep you thoroughly entertained.

– Grace

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