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Malinda

I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)

Phoenix, AZ, United States | Member Since 2006

262
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 250 reviews
  • 266 ratings
  • 908 titles in library
  • 160 purchased in 2014
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54

  • Falke's Peak

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anna Leigh Keaton
    • Narrated By Gina Cedarwood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (309)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (200)

    Stressed out ad-exec Dakota wandered into Catamount Outfitters in search of a guide for a wilderness excursion. She didn't expect to be greeted by not one but five of the most ruggedly delicious-looking men she'd ever seen... not to mention a live cougar guarding the shop!

    Root Dorn says: "Erotica with Laryngitis"
    "Good Para Romance story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this story. It was pretty good although it didn't really draw me completely in the way I would wish. I liked the characters and liked the story enough to buy the second book to give it a chance. I wasn't too thrilled with the narrator though. The narration wasn't enough to ruin the story or anything but she wasn't what I'd prefer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kate's Crew

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 38 mins)
    • By Jayne Rylon
    • Narrated By Samantha Prescott
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    Kate is saved from falling by Mike, one of the five-man crew renovating the house next door. When Mike personally attends to her injuries, she realizes her white knight in a hard hat has a tender side. In the aftermath of the best sex of her life, she whispers her most secret desire: to be ravaged by his crew. She never expected Mike would dare her to take what she wants - or that the freedom to make her most decadent desires come true could be the foundation for something lasting...

    Malinda says: "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. Kate and Mike are perfect for each other and their story was sexy and sweet.

    Kate is a woman that's working to renovate the house her grandfather left her. Mike and his 4 friends all work together, buying homes and renovating them to sell and then they buy a new house and do it all over.

    The blurb pretty much says it all as far as the basics of the story. There's a lot of sex and some romantic drama as Kate tries to figure out if she can have Mike and indulge in more as well. The story ends with Kate and Mike coming together for a sweet start to their HEA.

    Overall, this was a good story although there's not much plot as it's high in sexual content and had with lots of dirty talk. Obviously, because of the length, there's not a lot of character background given but I liked the characters and the way things played out. It has a sweet ending to give you a smile to take away. I'd recommend this story. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yours to Keep

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Shannon Stacey
    • Narrated By Lauren Fortgang
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (361)

    Sean Kowalski no sooner leaves the army than he's recruited by Emma Shaw to be her fake fiance;. Emma needs to produce a husband-to-be for her grandmother's upcoming visit, and, though Sean doesn't like the deception, he could use the landscaping job Emma's offering while he decides what to do with his civilian life. And, despite his attraction to Emma, there's no chance he'll fall for a woman with deep roots in a town he's not planning to call home.

    SIMARA says: "Melt-the-heart kind of good!!"
    "Good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3-3.5 stars

    This was a good story. I liked Emma and Sean and their story was enjoyable.

    Emma is a nice lady with her own landscaping company. She was orphaned at the age of 4 and was raised by her grandparents. Her grandfather died and her grandmother has moved to Florida for her retirement but still worries about Emma. Unfortunately, Emma's Grandmother can't seem to relax and enjoy her retirement, worrying about Emma all alone without a man to look after her. Emma doesn't want her to worry so she made up a fake man, planning to replace him with a real man when she started dating a real guy. Unfortunately, Emma hasn't had time to find a man and now her Grandmother is coming for a visit.

    Sean is has just left the Army and is trying to figure out what to do with his life now. He and his siblings have a lodge in Maine but he decides to hang around his New Hampshire side of the Kowalski family for a bit and visit with his cousins, Aunt and Uncle. He's just settling in to his temporary apartment when he's surprised by a visit from a woman he's convinced must be crazy.

    Emma is best friends with Sara and has heard a lot about Sean from her. When she first told her grandmother about her fake boyfriend she had just heard talk about Sean so she used his name and a bit about him since it was easier than making someone up. She figured eventually she'd find a real boyfriend and then tell her grandmother that her and Sean broke up and she'd bring up the real boyfriend. Unfortunately, with an unexpected visit from her Grandmother, Emma is freaked and doesn't know what to do. Her grandmother seems convinced that Emma shouldn't be alone and keeps threatening to move back from Florida because she doesn't think Emma should be alone. Also, she keeps making comments that makes Emma think she might sell her home (which still belongs to her grandmother) out from under her because it's too much for her to handle as a "single woman" when all Emma wants is to buy the house for her own. Emma's convinced that if her Grandmother sees the truth she'll ruin her life to come back to live with Emma so Emma is determined to figure something out and ends up at Sean's door, introducing herself as his fake fiancee (which gets him thinking she's crazy). Sean is not interested at all at first but after stewing it over for a while he decides to go ahead and help Emma out.

    Sean and Emma don't have much time to get to know each other before her grandmother comes so they have quite a job to pull off. They have mixed results and this isn't helped by the fact that Sean's family do their best to make things tough on him and Emma while still playing along. Emma and Sean of course have an attraction between them but neither is ready to settle down and they both make it clear there's nothing between them, not even sex. As they proceed with the masquerade, Sean and Emma begin to get to know each other and although there's issue on both side that they could complain about, they also find a lot in each other that they like. Soon they're both having to fight the physical attraction between them as well as the deepening feelings between them. Eventually of course, they give in to the sexual attraction between them but they both still try to keep it temporary, thinking that once her grandmother is gone they will be done. There's the expected drama between Emma and Sean as they try to figure things out and don't do very good at it. Thankfully some good advice brings one of them to their senses and they come together in the end so they can start their HEA.

    This was an enjoyable story. I liked Emma and Sean as well as the secondary characters. I liked the story but it was pretty much what I expected with no unexpected twists so I guess I just had a little trouble getting completely into the story (the reason for 3 stars instead of 4). Overall it was a good story though and I'll probably try more of the series down the line. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seduced by the Vampire King

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Laura Kaye
    • Narrated By Raquel Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (135)
    Story
    (137)

    American exchange student Kate Bordessa has fled to Russia to escape her family's hopes that she'll become one of the Proffered, human women who feed and mate with elite vampire warriors. But when she stumbles upon a wounded vampire in the streets of Moscow, she's instinctively driven to protect him - and feels an undeniable spark of desire. Grieving over the deaths of his brothers, Vampire Warrior King Nikolai Vasilyev has thrown himself into battling his enemies, focused only on vengeance. Until now.

    CAROLYN says: "Short ..... but oh so sweet"
    "Good PNR short story :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3-3.5 stars

    This was a good short story. Kate seemed nice and Nikolai was a bit of a jerk at first but he came around.

    Kate is the daughter of 2 humans that work on a counsel with good vampires that fight against rogue vampires. Kate had been training to be part of that society and even possibly become a vampire's mate but disliked the idea of that kind of connection to a vampire she didn't know or like. She decided to go to Russia for her studies to avoid the vampire issue for now.

    Nikolai is the Vampire King in the Russian area. He recently lost his brothers to a battle against rogues and now doesn't feel fit to be King. He certainly doesn't believe he deserves anything good in life...

    Nikolai is out hunting rogue vampires one night and decides to do so without backup from his vampires. He gets in over his head and is injured, barely getting away in time. He collapses in an alleyway and is no where near help and has no way to call for help. Kate, being unable to sleep and feeling restless, happens to twist her ankle right outside the alley where Nikolai is and finds him there. When she realizes he's a vampire (and she confirms he's not a rogue) she knows she must hide him from other humans. While she's doing this she notices a connection between them and she feels fiercely protective over him. Things go a bit wonky but Nikolai is rescued and Kate gets taken along while things are sorted out. When Nikolai wakes from his injuries he finds he wants Kate but he wont allow himself to have her and hurts her in the progress. Things do get worked out between them when Nikolai stops fighting the mating urge and he and Kate end the story starting their HEA together.

    This was an enjoyable story. I didn't read book #1 in the series but there was nothing that indicated to me that I was missing part of the story because of that. Nikolai and Kate were both likable characters and I liked their story but I do wish there had been a little more of it to flesh out the ending a bit. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Executive's Decision: Keller Family, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Bernadette Marie
    • Narrated By Gale Cruz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Regan Keller fell in love with a wealthy and powerful man once. He was her boss. When that turbulent relationship ended, she swore she'd never again date someone she worked with. That was before she literally fell into her new boss's lap.

    Richard says: "A great listening experience. Talented narrator"
    "Good but not great start to the series..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3-s.5 stars

    This was a good story. I liked Zach and I liked Regan most of the time but she had her moments. The story was enjoyable but pretty much what I expected. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I may consider trying more of her work in the future.

    Regan is a nice woman that ran into some trouble and is just recovering from it. She works as an administrative assistant but in her last job, she was sucked in by her boss, a handsome and powerful man who abused her, lied to her and then almost killed her. Regan recovered and is ready to move on with her life, including starting a new job.

    Zach is a good guy and runs his family's business as best as he can and since he's a smart guy he does pretty well at it. His mother has tried to set him up with women but they're never the right one so he puts them off and concentrates on his work.

    Regan is on her way to her first day of work and already things aren't going well. Her car broke down so she had to grab a bus and it rained and she didn't have an umbrella. She ends up on the bus, soaked and having to stand because it's so crowded. A bump ends her up in the lap of a very handsome man. Regan is rather freaked by this and tries to get up but without success. The man (Zach) tries to put her at ease and convinces her to finish the ride where she is. When he finds out where she's going to be working he invites her to lunch at a hot dog cart outside her building and she surprises herself by accepting. You have to understand that because of the trauma she went through with the last man she was involved with she has some rather irrational fears running through her head and is constantly having to tell herself she's being paranoid and can move on with her life. So when she accepts the lunch date she surprises herself and doesn't know if she'll actually go. Her new boss doesn't show up that morning and Regan gets trained by the lady she's replacing. She decides to go to lunch and they have a very nice lunch...the problem is that she still doesn't know his name. When she gets back from lunch and finds out her lunch date is her boss she freaks and almost quits right there. Zach convinces her to stay but Regan is very adamant that they can be nothing more than business associates.

    Zach isn't too thrilled to be relegated to just a boss and he has trouble pushing thoughts of Regan out of his mind. He wants to explore more with her and tries to figure out how to get her to accept something more. The problem is that since he doesn't know about her past he doesn't realized just what he's working with or how hard it'll be to get her to accept him. They work together well, even when they're keeping things strictly business but it's obvious that they both feel an attraction to each other. Zach is frustrated by the fact that Regan won't consider giving him a chance and Regan is letting her fear ride her and tries to keep Zach at arms length. Obviously, Zach breaks through to Regan eventually but it's a constant struggle for him to gain ground with Regan because of her past. Regan isn't very open about her past and gives Zach the bare essentials but holds back the rest thinking he won't accept her if her knew. Zach tries to be patient with her because he loves her and doesn't want to chase her off but it's hard for him. Things escalate between them and Regan starts to come around to seeing a future with Zach but there is some drama before the end as Regan's Ex comes back into her life (briefly) and Regan takes the coward's way out. Zach manages to pull things out in the end though and he and Regan end the story starting their HEA.

    Overall, this was a good story but it was rather predictable and there was a loose ends or 2 that didn't get tied up at the end that left me wondering. I liked Zach as the hero and had no complaints about him. Regan was a good heroine in some ways but overall her refusing to tell Zach the whole truth and then her actions at the end really disappointed me. Still, I was thankful that Zach pulled things out and gave us a happy ending.

    * note - The narrator did an alright job but there were a few times when I had trouble telling who said a line as the men's voices weren't always real distinctive from each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Love Under Siege: Brothers in Arms, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Samantha Kane
    • Narrated By Alex Moorcock
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    Phillip Neville and Jonathan Overton have been best friends since childhood. When they return to England as veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, they enter the marriage market. It doesn't take long for them both to fall deeply in love with shy, awkward, beautiful Maggie Trueheart. Phillip and Maggie marry, but Phillip and Jonathan do not tell her about the menage-a-trois marriage the two men hope to have. When Maggie finds out, it takes the persuasive power of both men to convince her that this threesome was meant to be.

    Lia says: "A Recurring Theme"
    "Pretty good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Maggie, Phillip and Jonathan and their story was enjoyable and engaging.

    Maggie is a properly raised daughter that never expected to gain the attention of a titled husband. Her family has money but don't come from titles and so her family was quite happy when Maggie started to be courted by Phillip.

    Phillip and Jonathan are best friends and went through a lot together during war. During war time they (and some of the other men in the fighting) took to sharing women as s way to connect with others and keep some vestige of their humanity during awful times. When Phillip and Jonathan got home, they decided to find a woman they both want, Phillip would marry her and then they'd work on getting her to accept Jonathan.

    They actually are both present during the courting (enough that at first Maggie wasn't sure which man was courting her) but once Maggie and Phillip get married, Jonathan goes away for their first 3 months of marriage. Phillip is supposed to be using this time to get Maggie prepared for Jonathan but when Jonathan comes back he finds that Phillip hasn't fared well with his new wife and they're having issues enough in the bedroom as it is. Philip hasn't been on his game (so to speak) without Jonathan being around but once Jonathan shows up, Phillip and he make plans on how to bring Maggie around. Maggie is happy to see Jonathan as she developed warm feelings for him during the courtship period. The men are able to get things working alright between Phillip and Maggie but she balks at the idea of Jonathan joining them. Maggie was raised to see this type of relationship as being a grave sin and something that would be frowned upon by all. Things are helped along when she meets Kate, Jason and Tony (the trio from book #1, The Courage to Love) as well as some of the other men Phillip and Jonathan served with. Kate is the most helpful and gets Maggie to consider the relationship but even then there are some tense times.

    Maggie eventually does accept both men but it takes multiple steps as Maggie goes through some intense struggles to get past how she was raised. To be honest, there was a time or 2 I wished she'd stop being such a twit but I have to admit her response would be expected and could have even been much worse. Still, there was a point where I thought she was just nitpicking in an effort to keep from taking the final (and in her mind damning) step. I was actually surprised at what caused her to make her final decision to accept things fully....I actually thought that would cause her to backslide. Thankfully, Maggie does accept things and after that she puts her whole self in to the relationship between her, Phillip and Jonathan. She shocks both men by not only seeing their longing for each other, but also encouraging them to act on their unrequited desire for each other. Yes, as the blurb says, Maggie gets attacked and it causes issues (although I rather felt the drama of waiting for it to happen was more than the attack actually warranted), making Jonathan blame himself for her being hurt. Jonathan goes through some angst and self-recriminations and wallows in his misery for a while. Thankfully, the trio comes back together and Phillip and Maggie convince Jonathan that he's not going anywhere without them. They all make up and the trio starts settling in to their HEA.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked the main trio overall...both Maggie and Jonathan got a little angsty at times but it wasn't too bad and I can't think of any complaints about Phillip. The story was pretty good but I really wish they would have caught the bad guy...he was also in book #1 so I get the feeling he's going to be an issue throughout the series. Overall, this was a good story and I'll probably read more of the series in the future. I'd recommend this story. :)

    * note - The narrator did a good job but the narration speed felt a little slow for my taste. I sped up the speed to 1.25% and it sounded more like regular speed, IMO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rock the Beat: Black Falcon Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michelle A. Valentine
    • Narrated By Nelson Hobbs, Aletha George
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (48)

    Twenty-year-old Holly Pearson never dreamed that while working at her father's motocross track she'd run into the walking, talking definition of trouble in a sexy, tattooed package - Trip Douglas, the man sent to evaluate the track for a possible investment opportunity. Holly makes no attempt to hide the fact she despises Trip, but she learns to be civil toward him when he offers to help her land the man of her dreams.

    Malinda says: "Really good addition to the series :)"
    "Really good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4-4.5 stars

    This was a really good story. I liked both Holly and Trip very much and their story was enjoyable and rather sweet.

    Holly was a college student but left school to help her father. Her father has a motocross track and it’s not doing great, soon to be foreclosed on by the bank. In an effort to stop this they're desperately looking for investors. Holly had been dating a motocross rider named Jackson (for 2 years) but he missed their 2 year anniversary and then broke up with her (very rudely). Then she found out he was cheating on her a lot while she was away at college which left Holly bewildered at what went wrong.

    Trip is the drummer for a very popular band, Black Falcon. The band is currently on a break from touring as 2 of the members have gotten married and had kids recently. Trip’s at loose ends and looking for something to occupy his time when he hears about an investment opportunity and goes to check it out. He decides to not let the people know he’s the actual investor, acting like he works for the investor, hoping to get a clearer idea of the state of things that way (in addition to not wanting them to know about his celebrity status).

    Holly is out at a bar on her 20th birthday (thanks to a fake ID) with her best friend, Max (who’s gay). They're on the dance floor when she gets pulled into a dance with a very sexy man. A man she is seriously considering going home with as he’s turning her on big time. This is unusual for Holly as she’s only had one lover before, her ex Jackson, so her wanting to take a strange man home isn't normal at all for her. Max sees where things are heading and pulls her away. Trip (being the man dancing with her) doesn't want her to go but when another woman throws herself in his arms he deals with it, figuring Max was Holly’s boyfriend and it was best not to go looking for trouble. The next day, Holly is working in the office of the track when Trip comes in. He doesn’t recognize her right off but she recognizes him and isn't too happy with his moving on to a new chick immediately the night before and thus isn't thrilled to see him, thinking he’s nothing but a man-whore. Trip pisses her off even more by blatantly flirting with her even when she trying to show him her disdain for men like him. She’s just about to completely tell him off when her dad walks in and introduces Trip as the person evaluating the business for a rich investor. Holly has no choice but to act nice to Trip but doesn't like it. Trip knows he can't sleep with Holly because of her association with the business and figures it would be easier to get through this if they're friends. He’s trying to make friends with her when he sees the discomfort she has when confronted with her ex, Jackson. The story soon comes out and Trip offers to help Holly get Jackson back and make him pay for cheating on her.

    Trip and Holly start to become friends as they spend a couple weeks going over the business stuff and getting Trip the info he needs to learn about the business and decide on the investment. During this time, Trip and Holly make Jackson think they're together and Jackson shows that he’s not too happy about this, trying to stake his claim on Holly again. Holly thinks she wants Jackson back at first but after a while she finds that she prefers spending time with Trip and hasn’t been thinking about Jackson as much. She continues with things though because she thinks she should want to be with Jackson because of their past. Jackson soon begins to show his true colors to Holly when he doesn't get his way. In an effort to get in good with her, Jackson offers to take her to dinner to talk about possible ways to help the track. Holly doesn’t really want to because at this point things between her and Trip aren't feeling so fake any more but she feels like she should do what she can to help out the business. Jackson shows his full colors at dinner and Holly is done with him completely. Unfortunately, his mistreatment of Holly makes Max confront Jackson and Max comes to worse for the encounter which makes the situation worse. On the good side, this helps Holly realize that Jackson is a jerk and Trip is a good guy as he’s been there and helping them through the issues they're having. The problem becomes that Trip doesn't tell Holly who he is right away and he worries about how to tell her as she doesn't have the best opinions of musicians or famous people. More issues come up as Holly is confronted with her dad having health issues and a drug-addict mother who’s never been there for her. There are difficulties to deal with but once Trip falls for someone he’s all in so he’s there to help Holly as much as possible. They get through the drama and even the revelation of his true identity and then Trip and Holly end the story with a really good HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. I really liked Trip and Holly. Trip was kind of a jerk at first but as soon as he started being nice to Holly I liked him and once he gave himself over to being in love with Holy I REALLY liked him. Holly was a pretty good heroine outside of the fact that I don’t see why she’d want a lying, cheating jerk like Jackson back (I know they had history but still!!!). I was thankful when she saw the light and told Jackson where to get off. Overall, I really liked this story, it was a good addition to the series. I’d recommend this story. Thumbs up! :D

    * note - The book was from both Holly and Trip's PoVs and there were 2 narrators, a female for Holly's PoV and a male for Trip's PoV. Both narrators did a good job in the narration

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rock My World: Black Falcon, Book 2.5

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Michelle A. Valentine
    • Narrated By Nelson Hobbs, Aletha George
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    After Aubrey Jenson is wrongly dismissed from her job at Center Stage Marketing, she seeks legal advice from her father, The Judge, to see what grounds she has to get her position reinstated. Her surprise visit to her family doesn't go as smoothly as she hopes when she brings home her new boyfriend, Zach, Black Falcon's lead guitarist. She soon discovers that father doesn't always know best when it comes to matters of the heart.

    Malinda says: "Pretty good addition to the series :)"
    "Pretty good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good addition to the series. I actually liked Aubrey and Zack (Riff) more in this story that their main story and we get to see them have some good times together now that they've decided to be together. I will say that Aubrey's brother is cool but her parents are horrible and I hated what her father tried doing. There were some issues they still need to deal with in this story but it's sweet and very touching and I enjoyed it a lot...especially the ending. :D

    * note - The book was from both Aubrey and Riff's PoVs and there were 2 narrators, a female for Aubrey's PoV and a male for Riff's PoV. Both narrators did a good job in the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rock My Bed: Black Falcon, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Michelle A. Valentine
    • Narrated By Aletha George, Allen Steele
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    Everything always seems to fall into place for 24-year-old Aubrey Jenson, except for when it comes to her luck with men. Bad boys always draw her in and crush her heart, and Black Falcon's lead guitarist, Riff, is no exception. After sharing a few wild nights together, she leaves him behind, knowing a guy like Riff isn't the relationship type. When she returns to New York, she tries to get the passion she felt in Riff's arms out of her head by dating Isaac, a successful representative at Center Stage Marketing. Just when she thinks she's forgotten Riff, she's forced to see him again.

    Debra says: "She was great He was the wrong choice for narrator"
    "Pretty good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Riff and Aubrey and liked their story. The description is a little mis-leading as the story actually takes place during most of books # 1 & 1.5 and everything culminates at the wedding.

    Aubrey has a degree in marketing and landed a job in a big marketing firm in New York. She loves her job although things aren't perfect, especially concerning the business deal between her BFF, Lane (heroine from book #1) and the company they both work for. Aubrey has a tendency to fall for bad boys and her mother (who is very straight-laced and proper) keeps getting on her case about finding a good, steady man to marry and have kids with. Aubrey’s not too happy with this future but has decided she needs one last fling with Riff before she “settles down”.

    Riff is a good guy with a very troubled past. He made a bad choice when he was 16 years old and it caused an accident which made his family implode. Riff just made a mistake but he was made to feel it was entirely his fault and has lived with horrible guilt for years. Because of this, Riff doesn't feel like he deserves anything good in his life and certainly doesn't deserve to have someone special. Riff was lost but found solace in music and eventually found a new family in his band. Unfortunately, an incident where Noel slept with a woman Riff was hanging with (according to her, Noel was drunk and doesn't remember it) has caused Riff much angst. He’s having trouble letting go of the anger and now it’s starting to tear the band apart.

    Riff and Aubrey get started during the timeframe of book #1, Rock the Heart but we don't see their initial interaction in that book. They first meet during the concert that brought the first meeting in 4 years of Noel and Lane (the couple from book #1). Aubrey is waiting for Lane to talk to Noel and Riff comes across her in the hall. There’s a very strong mutual attraction and they flirt a bit. Riff is all for trying to get Aubrey in his bed but when the meeting between Noel and Lane ends explosively, their flirting is ended abruptly. Aubrey can't forget about Riff and decides to reach out to him through a fan connection and gets an IM friendship going with him. Riff is very happy to get a message from Aubrey and they flirt online for a bit, Riff trying to get Aubrey to come visit so they can hook up. In the meantime, Aubrey is confronted with her boss at work asking her to keep secrets from Lane about some things going on behind the scenes and Aubrey feels she has no choice or risk Lane quitting her job in anger without thinking things through. Aubrey also has some confusion in relation to her boring and slightly OCD boss when he starts acting like he’s trying to get too close considering their boss/employee relationship. Lane gets sent on the tour for their job and Aubrey makes arrangements to meet her on one of their stops. She also decides that she'll have a fling with Riff…one last hurrah before she finds a “nice guy” to settle down with.

    Aubrey doesn't tell Riff when she’s showing up and so he’s happily surprised when she appears at the bus. They've been messaging each other for a bit and things were hot over the messages. As soon as they see each other, their mutual attraction explodes and they have trouble keeping their hands off each other. Aubrey hasn't told Lane about her being in contact with Riff (and he hasn't mentioned it either) so everyone just thinks they have an instant connection. Aubrey feels a bit bad to be ignoring Lane but can’t resist Riff’s pull. Riff and Aubrey spend some time together and Riff is surprised by how much he wants Aubrey to be his but he knows that can't be so he decides he needs to indulge in hot sex with her to in order to get her out of his system. After the first night neither of them have the other out of their system so they decide to spend the rest of the weekend together. Riff gets some encouragement from Trip (who sees that Riff has deeper feelings for Aubrey) to try to take things deeper but Riff is convinced he’s poison and can only hurt Aubrey if he spends too much time with her and a woman as fine as her would never want him for more than a fling. Aubrey on the other hand, is finding that she’s jealous when groupies hang on Riff when she’s around and she starts to fear her feelings are getting too deep and she'll get hurt. After their weekend they both try to move on but that’s difficult. Their relationship becomes rather up and down…sometimes together (when Riff is unable to resist Aubrey and gets her to give him a chance) and then apart (when Riff gets to feeling he’s bad for Aubrey and removes himself in order to protect her). Riff seems intent on protecting Aubrey from him hurting her but in his actions to protect her he actually hurts her and he can't seem to keep himself from wanting to be with her. Aubrey actually does pretty well at dealing with Riff running hot and cold but when he has a huge bout of relationship dumbassedness, I really wish she wouldn't have jumped in to dating Isaac so soon afterwards (but then Isaac did kind of push the matter). There is drama and angst and things don't look good for a while but Riff realizes he’s being an idiot and makes things right with Aubrey. This causes a bit of drama in itself (Isaac) but it does leave Aubrey and Riff free to start their HEA together.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked Aubrey and Riff together and was rooting for them to realize they're perfect for each other. Unfortunately, because this is a NA book there was plenty of angst to deal with before it happened but it wasn't over the top so I could deal with it alright. Overall, it was a pretty good story with a feel good ending. I'd recommend it (but you'll probably want to read book #1 first). :D

    * note - The book was from both Aubrey and Riff's PoVs and there were 2 narrators, a female for Aubrey's PoV and a male for Riff's PoV. Both narrators did a good job in the narration but I didn't really feel like the male narrator's voice is what I'd expect Riff to sound like. It didn't ruin the book though and I liked the narration overall.

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  • Rock the Band: Black Falcon, Book 1.5

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Michelle A. Valentine
    • Narrated By Allen Steele
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (102)

    After Noel Falcon professed his love to the one girl who truly holds his heart in the palm of her hand, he decides to try his damnedest to keep Lane Vance in his life forever this time. There's no way he'll let her slip through his fingers again without a fight. The instant they are together Noel begins to plot a way to ask his headstrong ladylove to be his wife, but every attempt to pop the question is foiled by a string of mishaps that prevents him from getting the job done before he goes back on tour with Black Falcon.

    Karen says: "Love the story. Hate the narrator!"
    "Pretty good addition to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good little addition to Lane and Noel's story (from Noel's PoV). It starts right after book #1 ends and deals with them defining their relationship and dealing with the jealousy and other issues facing them with their new relationship. I liked it overall. The beginning seemed a little slow for me but it picked up and I loved the ending. Well worth the read if you've read book #1, Rock the Heart. :)

    * note - Since it was from Noel's PoV they used a male narrator. He did a good job but I didn't think his voice suited what I'd picture Noel sounding like. The narrator had a kind of growly voice with a slight accent that made me think the narrator would do better narrating a western/cowboy novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rock the Heart: Black Falcon Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michelle A. Valentine
    • Narrated By Aletha George
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (193)

    For the last four years, good girl Lane has regretted breaking up with Noel Falcon. She thought she was sensible when she told him his dreams of being a rock star would get him nowhere, but now that he's a rock god and her career is stagnant, she realizes just how wrong she was. When Noel hires the marketing company where Lane is an intern, she's forced to see him again. If she wants to land her dream job as executive within the company, she has to win him over and secure his account. Too bad Noel is still pissed at her for breaking his heart.

    Alana Lee Rock says: "Diary of a Doormat KILLED this Book"
    "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Lane and Noel and their story was engaging and had me on the edge of my seat wondering how things would work out. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I'm planning to read more of her work.

    Lane is a 22 year old college graduate with a degree in Marketing. She got a job as an intern at a prestigious firm in New York and is desperate to prove that she can do a good job since (if she can get hired in) this is her dream job. Lane and Noel were high school sweethearts but due to some pressure from others and her own fears about instability, Lane asked Noel to give up the music and go to college with her. When he wouldn't she broke up with him but has regretted it missed him ever since.

    Noel is the lead singer in a popular band known as Black Falcon. He loved music from a young age and knew he wanted to make a go of a music career. Noel was very unhappy that Lane broke up with him and things got worse for him when his father threw him out of the house rather than support his music career. Things were really tough for Noel but he made it through and now the band is doing great. Noel has never been able to find anyone to replace Lane though and went through a lot of groupies trying to.

    Lane is at a meeting for her company when the subject of a literacy campaign comes up that's being run by Black Falcon. The boss lady is looking for someone to go work with Noel on what he wants out of the campaign but none of the reps want to deal with a rocker. Lane gets singled out just because she happens to be making eye contact with the boss. Lane doesn't want to have to go talk to Noel but her fledgling career needs her to take this step and she can't exactly back out by telling her boss that Noel is her Ex. Thankfully, Lane's BFF Aubrey works at the same firm and goes with her (for moral support) to the concert they intend to speak with Noel after. The initial meeting between Noel and Lane doesn't go well and Lane can't handle seeing the man the love of her life has become (she walked in on him with 2 groupies and being a major ass...although considering their past he does have a right to some anger). Although Lane ties to get past her feelings, this ends up being harder than she expected. She leaves without accomplishing what was needed and thinks her job is sunk. Fortunately, Noel calls Lane's boss and demands that Lane be put on his account and in charge of their campaign. Lane has mixed feelings about Noel's actions but is thankful for his help and tells him as much. She tries to start work on the project but Noel decides that he needs her on the road with him, telling her boss that it's so he can work closely with her on the project and make sure everything is set up and handled as he wants.

    After all Noel's machination, Lane has the job she wants but it all centers on her keeping Noel happy. It doesn't help that her boss is aware of Noel's interest and makes it clear that Lane's only focus is to keep Noel "happy". Lane isn't too thrilled about the situation but tries to make the best of it. She doesn't get too far though because Noel avoids talking to her about the campaign and instead tries to get on her good side to get in her pants. Lane tries to hold him off for the sake of professionalism even though she does still have lingering feelings for him she's never gotten over. At first, Lane thinks that Noel has her there for revenge but it soon become clear that Noel wants to win her back. The problem becomes Noel's extreme lack of patience. It doesn't take Noel long to get Lane to admit she still has feelings for him but she wants to be cautious and take things slowly. Noel on the other hand agrees with her need to wait but then is pouting a few hours later when he tries pushing things too far between them again and Lane has to ask him to slow down again, which makes her feel bad because it upsets Noel (but he's just setting himself up for it). Lane and Noel make strides towards working things out but there is some added drama to deal with that almost splits them up completely. Thankfully, things get cleared up and worked out and Lane makes the effort in the end that brings her and Noel back together and starting their well deserved HEA.

    This was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked Lane and Noel. I thought Lane's actions were understandable and believable considering all that happened and between her and Noel in the past. Noel I liked but he was so impatient at times that it became a bit annoying. Also I didn't like how he was trying to make Lane feel guilty for not moving faster with him when he was holding back a big, bad secret from her. Still, I'm glad things worked out for them and I liked the story very much. I'm planning to start the next book in the series ASAP. I'd recommend this book. :)

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