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Audio Review: Rock Chick Revenge by Kristen Ashley

Rock Chick 5

Title: Rock Chick Revenge (Rock Chick #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Action & Adventure
Length: 17 hours and 54 mins

Synopsis
Ava hates men, she has reason and she’s vowed not only never to get involved with another one again but also to exact vengeance on her best friend’s, lying, cheating husband. Since Luke, Ava’s childhood crush, is now a private investigator, she thinks to enlist him but changes her mind at the last second.

Too late, Luke knows she’s up to something and he’s already seen many a Rock Chick try to fight her own battles without the Hot Bunch stepping in. He’s having none of it. She’s having none of him. The clash of the Rock Chick and Hot Guy begins but Luke’s got the advantage. He has handcuffs and he’s not afraid to use them.

Grace’s review
Story: 4 stars
LUKE STARK!!! FINALLY!
I have been eager for Luke’s book since I started this series, as my girl Milasy over at Rock Stars of Romance is always drooling about him. And starting around book 3, I fell under his spell, caught in the Luke Zen Zone.

I’m happy to say, he didn’t disappoint.
When I think of Luke now, one thing comes to mind.

handcuff

Oh yeah, he likes to use these a lot.  But it’s not exactly as kinky as it looks.  You see, he has to deal with Ava Barlow.  And she is a piece of work.  Honestly, of all the Rock Chicks, which we know are prone for irrational thoughts and behavior, Ava took the cake.  For some reason this chick felt the need to fight with Luke just about every step of the way.  Did I mention that she’s had a crush on him since she was 8?!?! Did I mention Luke wanted her in his bed from the minute she stepped in Nightingale Investigations?!?!  Is my yelling coming across here, MAYBE I SHOULD SWITCH TO ALL CAPS?!?!

*deep breaths*

The problem with Ava is that she has incredibly low self-esteem. Growing up with the nickname of “fatty fatty four eyes” and with the Barlow bitches, aka her unbelievably catty judgmental sisters, she never thought she would ever deserve a guy like Luke.  When she takes steps to improve her appearance, she is then exposed to a series of guys who clearly don’t appreciate a good thing when they’ve got it, and end up treating her like crap.  As a result, she makes a promise to herself, swearing off all men.  Good luck with that!

Combining her low self-esteem, with some male trust issues, Luke had an uphill battle.  But if there is one thing the Hot Brunch crew is known for, it is their “never give up even when dealing with an incredible stubborn Rock Chick.”

As with previously books, Ava’s safety is threatened in the form of drive-by shootings, kidnappings, assault, and car chases.  Luke does his best to keep her safe, but a Rock Chick is a Rock Chick, so she doesn’t always listen, thereby creating further problems.  Adding to the drama are some other men who are vying for Ava’s attention, including Ren Zano, who is downright dreamy.  I happened to peak ahead in this series, and am very happy to see that this isn’t the last we’ve heard from him. *sigh*

One of the things I loved about this book, was Ava’s inner monologue which came in the form of Good Ava and Bad Ava, who share their opinions throughout the story on her blossoming love life.  Good Ava loves Luke and wants to do anything to keep him happy.  Bad Ava, loves Luke, then Ren, then Luke.  Really, she’s not too picky, she just wants to get some.  She’s a bit of a slut.  It was hilarious as these two inner voices shared their opinions, and Ava fought to control them. While Ava was frustrating in this book, thru her inner monologue, she communicated that she realized she was being ridiculous, she just couldn’t help herself.  Despite her ridiculous thoughts, Luke is able to defuse the crazy in Ava just with his voice.  Add to that his “Luke lip fog” and Ava was puddy in his hands.

Performance: 5 stars
How much more can I gush about this narrator, Susannah Jones?  If you read my 2 previous Rock Chick reviews, then you already know how much I love her as the narrator for this series.  Her enthusiasm throughout the story is hard to ignore – she isn’t just reading the words on a script.  She brings life to the words.  Her background in acting is apparent, not just in how she captures the emotions of the characters, but also in her range of voices.  My favorites in this series were the Bad Ava and Good Ava voices, the latter having a beautiful British accent.  She also nails the bitchy Barlow sisters in all their bitchy glory.

Overall: 4.5 stars
Even though this story was from Ava’s POV, Luke is the heart behind it.  He shows her that not all men are rat bastards.  He is truly a GOOD GUY.  Although there was a LOOOOOOONG struggle, he showed her that she was special, and deserved a guy like himself.  And she is finally able to confront the people that beat her down with their words and actions.  She solidifies her Rock Chick status and gets the man of her dreams.  Lucky girl!

Audible

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Audio Review: Rock Chick Redemption by Kristen Ashley

Rock Chick 3

Title: Rock Chick Redemption (Rock Chick #3)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Action & Adventure
Length: 14 hours and 41 mins

Synopsis
Roxie’s on the run from a bad boyfriend who will not catch the hint that it is o-v-e-r.  She’s in no mood for love at first sight, but when her eyes fall on Hank, it’s trouble from the get-go.  Roxie tries to hold Hank at arms length but Hank wants to be a closer (as in, a lot closer).  Roxie’s trouble catches up with her and Hank wants to help but Roxie knows in her heart that she’s no good for a white hat guy.  The problem is no one agrees with her, especially her crazy hippie best friend Annette or her parents; the even crazier small-Indiana-town Herb and Trish.  Toss into the mix the gang from Rock Chick and Rock Chick Rescue and Roxie finds herself totally outnumbered.

Climb in for another Rock Chick wild ride through Rock Chick Redemption. As the odds stack up against Roxie, she has no choice but to hold on and just ride it out through the kidnappings, car chases, society parties, a riot at the strip club, Hank getting “Mom Bombed” and one crazy night at the Haunted House.

During all this Hank works at convincing her she really wants to stay and he, along with the Hot Bunch, go all out to make her safe.  Hank also needs to work on showing Roxie that her past decisions don’t mean her future can’t include something as downright delicious as… normal.

My review
Story: 4 stars
Hank Nightingale is a good guy.  As a cop, he’s always on the right side of the law.  Until one day when Roxie Logan tears into Fortnum’s and his life is turned upside down.  As Tex, her Uncle puts it, “these Denver guys don’t fuck around” (not sure if this is a direct quote, the downside of audio is the inability to take notes, especially while driving).  But truly, Hank wastes no time in claiming Roxie.

Just like all of the previous Rock Chick books, the Hot Bunch, which includes Hank, are . . . well . . . hot!  These men fit the KA Alpha profile – bossy and controlling, but protective and swoon-worthy.  Roxie quickly nicknames Hank, Whiskey, for the color his eyes.  Saying it each time as though he takes her breath away. *sigh*

Roxie, like the previous Rock Chicks, Indy and Jet, is stubborn and a bit bitchy – she calls it uppity.  She puts up a fight against Hank and his controlling ways, but all it takes is a “conversation” and she gives in.

Holy cow, cow, cow.

Dealing with a Rock Chick never seems to be an easy feat.  Thankfully, Hank has the brains to match his brawn, and he deftly handles the never-ending shit storm Roxie seems to bring with her.

This is another fun adventure with the crazy Denver group.  There is drama galore.  I loved how Duke took one look at Roxie and knew trouble was brewing.  Based on the drama that seems to surround the Fortnum gang, I have mixed feelings – not wanting to get 2 feet from their drama, while also desperate to hang with the gang while enjoying a Tex latte special.

Once again, Kristen delivers a story that hits all of my emotions.  Most of the time, this story had me smiling like a goon, but it also had heartfelt moments, as Roxie struggles with the idea that she is just not good enough for all the good that is Hank.  He is sweet, sexy and knows how to tame the wild in Roxie.

While this book focuses on Roxie and Hank, I need to take a moment to appreciate all that is Luke Stark.  As Roxie’s temporary bodyguard, he is H-A-W-T!!!  Every move he makes, every breath he takes, I’ll be watching him (yes, I just channeled my inner-stalker, care of The Police).  I want to lie in Luke’s Zen Zone.  I am DYING to read his book, which is book 5 in the series.  Up next, Vance’s story.  And he’s nothing to sneeze at.  Let the swooning continue.

Performance: 5 stars
If I could give more than 5 stars for the performance, I would. Susannah Jones was A-MAZ-ING for this series, Kristen did an excellent job of selecting her as the narrator.  If they gave out awards for audio books, Susannah would surely deserve one, she is that good.

She perfectly captures the crazy insanity that is a Rock Chick and her posse.  Nailing each character’s voice – she’s like the Rich Little of audio books.  From Roxie’s wavering swooning over Hank and the fellow Hot Bunch’ers, to her uppity tone when being bossed around. Although I wanted to strangle Roxie at times for her stupidity, Susannah delivered her character in such a way that I was often more amused than annoyed.  And I can’t forget Tex’s BOOMING voice, Trish (Roxie’s Mom) with her prayers to Jesus, or Annette with her sass – “Yo bitch!”  I’m sure the DC drivers thought I was loony with the stupid grin on my face as I was driving.  I enjoyed this book so much, I truly didn’t want it to end.  About a nanosecond passed before I was 1-clicking the next audio book, Rock Chick Renegade (despite already using up my 2 Audible credits for the month).

As Allie would say, this performance was RIGHTEOUS!

Overall: 5 stars
This story and performance were pure entertainment.  So much so that I enjoyed my quiet time, sitting in DC traffic (whenever do you hear someone enjoying DC traffic).  I loved all of the Denver insanity. Every KA fan, whether you have previously read the Rock Chick series or not, needs to get these books on audio. They are a MUST!

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Audio Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone girl

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense
Length: 19 hours and 11 min

Synopsis
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

My review
Story: 4.5 stars
This is one twisted and messed up story, I LOVED IT!  Nick and Amy are a disaster.  While I had moments of liking one of them or feeling sorry for them, they are both selfish, stuck in their own self-pity and high expectations for others.  When those high expectations fall between them, and Amy’s psychotic tendencies take over, the book and their lives are put in a tailspin that is impossible to stop.  I repeatedly shook my head and said to myself: “I can’t believe she (or he) did that.” The decisions they make are beyond reason.  And like a car wreck, you can’t but help and stare

Tanner sums it up well: “You two are the most fucked up people I’ve ever met, and I specialize in fucked up people.”

The tension of whether Amy will be found and what will happen to Nick, pull you through the story.  You can theorize how it will turn out, but I doubt anyone could predict that ending.  FYI, it’s not a HEA.

Brilliantly written, great character development, with a shocking plot line, I loved every minute of it!

Performance: 5 stars
The narrators for Amy and Nick were flawless.  They perfectly captured the emotions of the characters to where I felt like I was watching a movie (I’m beyond excited to see this on the big scene now).  Within their own narrative, they often had to include other characters.  I typically don’t like when the female narrator reads a male voice and vice versa, but these two did a great job with it.

My only complaint, and it’s not really a complaint, was the length of the audio (obviously there is nothing that can be done about this – the story is the story).  Ideally I like audio books to be under 14 hours, that way I can finish them in two weeks.  This audio was 19 hours. BUT, and it’s a big BUT, I was so engrossed in the story, I actually listened to the last 3 hours at home, walking about my house like a tool with my ear buds in.  I HAD to know what happened!

Overall: 5 stars
When you finish this book, you will want to:
A) Push Amy & Nick off a cliff
B) Crown Amy as one of the Best Villains ever
C) Applaud the author for this psychotic brilliance
D) All of the above
Answer: D

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