- helpful votes
Christmas with the Marine & Her Naughty Holiday
- By: Candace Havens, Tiffany Reisz
- Narrated by: Alexander Cendese, Gabrielle Cendese
- Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
Christmas is almost here, and guys are the last thing on personal shopper Ainsley Garrett's list. But her icy resolution melts when she sees an incredibly hot marine shopping for toys. A man in uniform with a hot bod and a heart of gold? Maybe a gal can believe in Santa after all.
Funny and cute
- By jenny on 11-26-16
Gabrielle Cendese was AMAZING!
Narrated by Alexander Cendese and Gabrielle Cendese
Holiday Romance. Both complete standalones but part of series.
I’m a Christmas book whore, and I think this combo may be this year’s favorite, despite the fact that Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz is actually a Thanksgiving book. WHY would they combine these???? At least put the Thanksgiving story first!
Christmas With The Marine by Candace Havens, narrated by Alexander Cendese:
Major Ben Hawthorne lost a bet with friends and he was then in charge of buying all of the gifts on the Marine’s Toys for Tots gift list. As he was struggling in the Barbie section, another shopper came to his rescue. Ainsley was a professional shopper and she was excited to lend a hand on his quest.
They were both into their careers and had friends and family that forever try to set them up, so they decided to be each other’s plus-one for the holidays. With Ben growing up poor and Ainsley rich, some difficulties ensued, but I really enjoyed the way it was all handled.
Christmas with the Marine was a sweet, sexy, and fun read that totally got me in the Christmas spirit.
Narration: Alexander Cendese has a great guy voice, but I usually don’t like how he does females. This one was better than others I have heard him do.
Rating for Christmas With The Marine: 4 Stars, 3.5 Heat, 4.5 Narration
Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz narrated by Gabrielle Cendese
NEW FAVORITE ALERT!!!!!!
Unfortunately, Her Naughty Holiday was actually a Thanksgiving book, so it was a weird combination to put these together, especially with this one second, but it didn’t stop me from absolutely LOVING this one! Gabrielle Cendese became a new favorite narrator. So much so that I’m not even sure if it was the narrator or the story I loved so much. I’ll just go with saying it was both.
Clover comes from a family of academics. She has a very successful nursery with two locations, but her family still treats the thirty-year-old like it is her hobby and she plays with plants all day. All they care about is that she doesn’t have a man in her life. When they all inform her they are coming to her for Thanksgiving, her anxiety is at an all-time high. Ruthie, her 17-year-old feminist and activist assistant suggests she hire a male escort to pose as her boyfriend, or maybe her 38-year-old hot dad, Erick can do the job.
"Are you offering to pay me to sleep with you?" He asked. "I hope so. That's been a fantasy all my life. I can go to a bar and you can come in and pick me up. We don't have to use real money. I'll accept Monopoly-"
"That's not what I'm asking."
"Bummer," he said. It was. He'd been nursing a crush on his daughter's boss for a good year now, ever since he met Clover the day Ruthie started working at the nursery.
He agrees to the deal, but they need to spend time to get to know each other before the holiday so they could pull it off, and let me tell you, they got to know each other in every way.
OMG, the banter between this couple was honestly some of my most favorite of any book I have read. I LOVE banter, and this couple talked and laughed so much, even during sex.
“He was the most erotic, sexy, sensual, dirty-mouthed man she’d ever known.”
Ruthie, the daughter, was super smart and snarky, and I absolutely loved her typical smart, activist teenager attitude. She was 17 going on 40. She was so lucky to have an amazing dad in Erick, and I loved how he joked around about how he couldn’t wait for her to move out whilst simultaneously acting like an amazing, involved dad.
The only thing that brought Her Naughty Holiday from 5++++ stars to 5 stars was her lack of sexual history, even at 30. This didn’t add anything to the story, and in fact, took away from how refreshing an older couple was.
The Narration: The first thing I did was to search for more books by Gabrielle Cendese. She was so unbelievably perfect for this funny banter-filled book, but there is only one other book I could find unless she uses another name. I really hope to hear more from her, because she is a new favorite voice! I assume she is Alexander Cendese’s wife.
Her Naughty Holiday is actually second in the Men at Work Series by Tiffany Reisz. The first is Her Halloween Treat, then Her Naughty Holiday, then One Hot December. I will be grabbing them all.
I absolutely loved Her Naughty Holiday. If you love an older couple, a single dad, and TONS of conversation and banter, this is the book for you!
Rating for Her Naughty Holiday: 5 Stars, 4 Heat, 5+++ Narration
Snowed in with the Boss
- Master Me, Book 1
- By: Lili Valente
- Narrated by: C.J. Mission, Devra Woodward
- Length: 2 hrs and 21 mins
Let's get one thing straight - I'm not your usual bad boy billionaire. I'm actually a nice guy. A very nice guy who also enjoys turning a woman over my knee and spanking her ass until she begs for mercy - AKA a good, hard, hold-her-down-and-teach-her-who's-boss f--k. I'm a gentleman in the boardroom and a dominant in the bedroom. I've also been secretly in love with my sweet, sexy, too-innocent-for-her-own-good executive assistant, Jane, for the better part of two years.
Snowed In With The Boss
- By amoryamistad on 01-26-17
This was a HOT Quickie!
Snowed In With The Boss by Lili Valente
Narrated by CJ Mission and Devra Woodward
Erotic Holiday Romance Novella, Standalone
I started Snowed in With The Boss by Lili Valente a few weeks ago and put it aside because…wait for it…it was TOO HOT. Wait a sec, cool your jets. I just wanted to wait until I could take full advantage of the mood it created if you know what I mean.
"Bend over and lift your skirt. I'm going to show you what it's like to spend Christmas on the naughty list."
Holy cow. This was a sexy little holiday novella! Ten and Jane have both been attracted to each other for years. Tennison is the billionaire boss who always treated his employees with the utmost respect. But when he finds some emails on the company server that Jane was writing to a Dom who is bad news, Ten starts to realize that maybe she is more his type than he originally thought.
One night they get snowed in the office, and Ten gave her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Holy moly, it’s been a while since I read such a sexy story, and I really enjoyed it.
“Until right now, I had no idea how good it could feel to be bad. But if this is what it's like to spend Christmas on the naughty list, then Santa can write my name on that sucker in permanent ink.”
At only 2 hours and 21 minutes long, I really wished there was more to this holiday novella, but I must say, for as short as it was, it was a very well-paced novella with a surprising amount of development outside of the sex, and it felt complete.
"I want her pleasure and her pain and her submission and her orgasms. All of her orgasms. Every single one."
The narration was fantastic. Both narrators are absolute favorites and I think the narration added to the story.
If you are looking for a sweet and very sexy quick holiday novella, I totally recommend Snowed in with the Boss by Lili Valente. Bonus: It’s in the Audible Romance Package!
Rating: 4 Stars, 5 Heat, 5 Narration
Do You Feel It Too?
- By: Nicola Rendell
- Narrated by: CJ Bloom, Rock Engle
- Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
For urban-legend hunter and television host Gabe Powers, it’s business - investigate the most notorious haunted places in Savannah. Then he meets his new sound engineer, a dewy Georgia peach who may just turn this gig into (im)pure pleasure. All it takes is one night for them to conjure floor-rattling, wall-banging moans…but they’re not from the ghosts. Blame the rippling abs, the cocky swagger, the whole muscle-bulging package, but Gabe is bringing out good-girl Lily Jameson’s dirty side. Damn her code-of-conduct contract - this isn’t just a molten-hot fling.
I really did feel it
- By Karen Dee on 11-28-18
Unique, Fun, Sweet and Sexy!
Narrated by CJ Bloom and Rock Engle
Romantic Comedy Standalone
Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell was a top favorite for the year so I couldn’t wait to read Do You Feel It Too? and I wasn’t disappointed! Another unique and sexy premise, it was a refreshing change from all the same tropes I’ve been reading over and over. From the adorable meet-cute to the epilogue, I enjoyed this charming, sexy and quirky read.
“I believed, in my gut, that there was one woman out there for me. The one who would make me crazy with need. The one who made the world make sense. The one who would make me whole. Finding that woman, if she existed at all, was proving harder than tracking down all the urban legends put together.”
Gabe is a globe-trotting TV host of a ghost hunting/myth buster type show. He travels around the world investigating different legends and shoots his show himself. He is in Savannah ghost-hunting when he has an adorable meet-cute with Lily, a sound engineer working in the park that night.
“I’d spent my whole career avoiding dangerous situations. I get within ten feet of Lily and it’s one disaster after another. She was like the Bermuda Triangle.”
Lily’s Savannah sound company is struggling, so when she gets a call to be a sound tech for a popular TV show, she couldn’t believe her luck. When it turned out to be the hot guy she met in the park, her luck was even better, except for the pesky no-fraternization clause in her contract.
“I want to take you. Right here, right now.”
My breath came out as a shudder. If he came at me again, I was going to crack like an overstuffed taco shell. Just one more scoop of Gabe and I was a goner. “Noted,” I whispered.
He hooked my chin with his brawny finger and made me raise my eyes to his. “But instead I’ll get us out of here, take you to dinner, and pretend like [effing] you hasn’t been the only item on the agenda since you nearly knocked me out. We clear?”
This was absolutely a whirlwind of insta-love, but it WORKED. No doubt about it, you can feel this couple’s electric connection. It was romantic, it was funny, it was super sexy (with a little kink), and there was banter. It’s everything I love in a story.
"You deserve to be loved senseless, Lily. And I want to be the man to give you that. I never knew what I wanted. And then I met you."
•I loved how they met. (The “Meet Cute”)
•Hot dirty talker.
•I loved Lily so much! She was witty and awkward and fun.
•The parrot who almost stole the show.
•They are a bit older, mid and upper thirties.
•The fact that Lily was not a virgin and had been with other men.
•I laughed, I sighed, I swooned.
•Very sexy with some mild kink.
•There would have been great opportunity to add a little paranormal to the plot.
•The issues that they had were a bit too easily recovered from.
I love CJ Bloom, she is one of my favorite narrators and she did a great job. Rock Engle is a wonderful narrator with good timing, but I just don’t find him to be sexy and I think perhaps another narrator would have brought the whole story up another half star for me.
The Down & Dirty:
I loved Do You Feel It Too by Nicole Rendell. Her audiobooks will now be an auto-purchase for me. This was the perfect mix of fun, sweet, sexy, romantic and unique. The male narrator wasn’t my favorite, and I think that may have taken away from the book a little bit for me. I loved the very unique storyline and absolutely loved Lily. If anything, it’s worth the read just for the parrot!
Rating: 4.25 - 4.5 Stars, 4.5 Heat, 4 Narration
How the Dukes Stole Christmas
- A Holiday Romance Anthology
- By: Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, and others
- Narrated by: Justine Eyre
- Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
Christmas magic is in the air.... From the ballrooms of London, to abandoned Scottish castles, to the snowy streets of Gilded Age New York, four best-selling authors whip up some unforgettable romance - with a little help from some enchanted shortbread. Included: "Meet Me in Mayfair" by Tessa Dare; "The Duke of Christmas Present" by Sarah MacLean; "Heiress Alone" by Sophie Jordan; and "Christmas in Central Park" by Joanna Shupe.
The Perfect Listen for Christmas Time!
- By H Price on 12-06-18
A Fun Anthology
How the Dukes Stole Christmas
I don’t read much historical, but I read Tessa Dare a few months ago and fell in love, so I thought this would be fun.
MEET ME IN MAYFAIR by Tessa Dare
Louisa’s family is being evicted. She is hoping to find a wealthy husband at her friend’s party, but her friend has her own plans, and convinces Louisa to fill all the dances on her dance card while she runs away and elopes. One of those dances turns out to be with the Duke of Thorndale, the very man who plans on evicting her family. James never wanted to be a Duke, and he is just in town to see to some financial matters on his properties. He hates the women who fall over themselves for a Duke, so when Louisa was just the opposite, he was intrigued.
The two of them spent an extremely unconventional (and very inappropriate for the times) night about town falling in love. It was a fun, christmassy historical novella, I enjoyed it a lot, but didn’t wow me as I hoped like her last book did.
THE DUKE OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT by Sarah MacLean
Even and Jacqueline “Jack” were childhood friends, then a couple who planned to marry. They were neighbors who had a secret passage between them and he was beautifully romantic. But when he became the Duke his work absolutely consumed him, so much that he barely realized that Jack left to travel the world with her aunt. 12 years later, on Christmas Eve, she is back, and still in love. And he is still working.
I felt like this one was a little hard to follow in audio format. Past and present were a little difficult for me to distinguish, and I think I would have loved it if I read it rather than listened because it was a beautiful and a bit emotional story.
HEIRESS ALONE by Sophie Jordan
Annis is on vacation with her large family in Scotland. Her sisters and mother are loud and obnoxious, and her mom is obsessed with one of her girls marrying a Duke. After a disastrous first meeting with the Duke, he came off rude (with good reason) and she was embarrassed by her family. When her family packed up and hurriedly left their vacation home due to impending snow, they forgot the quiet sister, and left her behind with the two servants. With the weather just beginning, it looks like Annis will be staying the entire winter. When danger lurks, the Duke steps in to save the day and passion follows.
I enjoyed this one a lot. Some of it was crazy inappropriate and maybe even a little weird for the time, but it made for some sexy reading. I loved the servants pushing them together. This was like Home Alone for an Heiress and Duke. Cute story that I enjoyed the whole way through.
CHRISTMAS IN CENTRAL PARK by Joanna Shupe
Rose Walker has always wanted to be a reporter, but in those days women just didn’t do that, so she was forced to take a job as an advice/Martha Stewart-type columnist. But a young, unmarried woman wouldn’t work, so they made up a fake persona of a very private older married woman who has traveled the world, and her column has become the paper’s crowning glory. The owner of the paper, Duke Havermeyer (he is the “Duke” in this story) worries because his newspaper has just suffered a scandal, and he needs to earn back his board members' trust. He decides his most famous columnist MUST host a Christmas dinner party at her home in a few days time and show off the amazing tips she gives in her column. Rose is just a maid’s daughter, and because Rose REALLY needs this job, they have to find a way to fake it.
Even though Rose is supposedly married, Duke first fell for her reading her column, but when he met her and she was so young and beautiful and charming, he was gone for her despite her “husband”.
This was a cute story I enjoyed even though there was some super inappropriate stuff happening for the times (that’s what made it good!). I liked that it was different and showed a career woman when women didn’t really have careers.
Justine Eyre was good for most of it, but I had a hard time understanding some of the Scottish accented parts.
The Down & Dirty:
If you like historical romance and can suspend belief for the holidays, you will enjoy this anthology. I loved how each worked in the Scottish Shortbread Cookie despite being unrelated stories. I feel like these four stories went well together, they were all very different, but the theme of Dukes, Christmas and Shortbread ran through all of them. In an anthology I usually complain about the stories being too short, but I felt like they were all just right here, at about 100 pages each, or just over 3 hours each. I wanted to totally fall in love with this anthology and I didn’t get quite that far, but I did enjoy it.
Rating: 4 Stars, 4 Heat, 4 Narration
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
- By: Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
- Narrated by: Sebastian York, Lynn Barrington
- Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress. Something blue. I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.” Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there.
THIS IS MY LOVE NOTE..
- By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 11-09-18
Deeper than Expected
I haven’t read a lot of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward but I know how beloved they are, and I have loved the few I read, so I went into Hate Notes (currently free in KU for both Kindle and audio or $1.99 Audible upgrade) with high expectations for a RomCom but got so much more. While there were absolutely some funny moments, this was a pretty emotional read as well.
Charlotte is having a really bad time of it. Catching her fiancé cheating at the office left her broken up and jobless. In need of money, she goes to sell her wedding dress, but can only get store credit. When she eyes a beautiful gown, she not only falls for the gown, but for the man who pinned the most romantic note ever inside of it. Curious to know more, Charlotte did some research and located the real estate executive responsible for the note, and arranged for a showing of a fancy apartment she could never afford.
"Such an a$$*ole. A gorgeous, arrogant a$$*ole who looked just as good going as he did coming."
Reed was a total jerk. So bad, he made the fun and vivacious Charlotte run crying to the bathroom where she met a lovely older woman who offered her a job. When she found out the job is at Reed’s company, the banter began.
“I wanted to taste her lips and suck away that sour look on her face, yet I knew that if there was one set of lips on this earth forbidden to me, it was Charlotte Darling’s. She wasn’t just a pretty face and a hot body. She was someone who wanted inside my soul, and that was never going to happen.”
Reed was so closed off. He fought his feelings for Charlotte every step of the way. She was the aggressor in the relationship, and we don’t learn why until towards the end of the book. Until then, I admit, I started to just not like Reed.
“You want to feel me for one night? I’ll make you feel me for days.”
Though there were a lot of familiar tropes, especially the enemies-to-lovers office trope, there was a very very unique twist that I related to on a very personal level, and I loved that the story dealt with that.
Once we got to know Reed’s motivations, I started to like him and Charlotte together. But he held back most of the book.
“I know with one hundred percent certainty that I am not the right man for you. You’re a dreamer, Charlotte. The biggest dreamer of them all. And you deserve to be with someone who won’t ever hold you back in life.”
Just when things got good, the book ended. Don’t get me wrong, it was good the whole time, but I felt like we waited the whole book for them to get their crap together, and once they did, it was over. I would have loved to see them enjoy each other for a bit!
“Love wasn’t about a beautiful dress, a note, or even poignant words. It was about being with someone through thick and thin, about seeing them through not only the best moments of life but also the worst.”
•I loved Charlotte.
•Air typing is my new favorite thing.
•Banter always wins me over.
•There was way more than a rom-com here, there was some serious emotions.
•Wonderful supporting characters.
•The Dual POV really added to this story and saved me from disliking Reed too much to come back from.
•It took a very long time to really like the hero.
•She chased him a little too much for my liking.
•A very slow burn then a too-quick end. I would have liked more happy together time.
Not Sure How I Felt:
•The epilogue kind of ruined the end for me a bit, yet at the same time, it worked for the story. I just didn’t like how it made me feel.
Sebastian York worked great for this, and Lynn Barrington was new to me I think, but I loved her performance.
The Down & Dirty:
Hate Notes went much deeper than the cover or blurb would lead you to believe. While this covered a lot of familiar tropes, there was a very unique thread that ran through the book, but you don't discover it until late in the story. I think if it happened sooner my enjoyment would have even increased more. As it was, it took a lot for me to love the hero. Once he redeemed himself, I would have liked a little more couple time before the epilogue. Still, I am very glad I grabbed this one, and I look forward to more from this duo.
Rating: 4.25 stars, 3.5 Heat, 5 Narration
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Richer Than Sin
- The Sin Trilogy, Book 1
- By: Meghan March
- Narrated by: Joe Arden, Erin Mallon
- Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
Ten years ago, Whitney Gable caught me off guard with her long legs and grab-you-by-the-balls blue eyes. I didn't know or care what her name was. Like any Riscoff worth the family name, I went after what I wanted. We burned like a flash fire until she married another man. She hates me, and she should. I objected on her wedding day. Now she's home, with those same long legs and man-eater stare, but there's no ring on her finger. They say a Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after, but I'm not done with Whitney Gable.
- By KRISTINA on 08-14-18
Such an Addicting Ride!
It’s been a while since I read a Meghan March book, but every time I do, I wonder why I don’t read more of her books. The Sin Trilogy was SO ADDICTING. I just HAD to know what would happen in this sizzling, angsty rollercoaster ride. Because telling you about the story can ruin it, I am giving a general review of the entire trilogy since they are all out now. Be advised, you will need to read all three because once you start, you won’t stop.
“A Riscoff and a Gable can never live happily ever after. Our family feud is the stuff of legends.”
The Sin Series is kind of a guilty pleasure type book. It’s like Dallas and Dynasty - angsty AF and filled with twists and turns and drama. This is a second chance romance meets Romeo and Juliet. Told in alternating points of view, both in present and past, I must admit, there is a lot of time jumping and it’s probably a little harder to follow in audio, but I still never felt lost for long.
The Riscoff and Gable families have been enemies for generations. The Riscoffs basically own the entire town of Gable, while the Gables are now broke. It seems that the way the Riscoffs went about that started the feud years and years before our hero and heroine were born, but the feud still rages on.
Lincoln Riscoff is back in town and is expected to produce an heir to the family fortune. It’s the last place he wants to be until he sets his eyes on a beautiful woman in a local bar. Whitney Gable has broken up with her cheating boyfriend and is drowning her sorrows. When she sees a gorgeous stranger, they hook up for one night of passion, not knowing that they are supposed to be sworn enemies.
“Kissing Lincoln Riscoff was like finding salvation when you’d thought all was lost. It didn’t feel like kissing the enemy.”
These two were perfect for each other, but family drama and secrets will keep them apart.
“I’m looking at the only thing I want, and you’re telling me it’s impossible because of our last names. I don’t buy that. I will never buy that. Just give me a godd**ned chance. That’s all you have to do.”
Ten years later, when Whitney comes back to town after the end of her marriage, Lincoln is determined to get her back and not lose her again, but there are so many twists to keep them apart, this couple goes against all odds.
“Listen up Blue. You’re back in my town. You can hear me. You can see me. You can pretend I’m not here all you want, but I am…. And there's one thing you should know. We aren’t (effing) done”.
While this type of action-packed book was just what I needed at the time, I do think that perhaps all the drama and twists may have overshadowed the relationship a bit, but it still kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
•I like a close-knit family.
•Lots of mystery and suspense.
•I liked that the second book was a little slower, giving us more background.
•Filled with tons of secrets, revelations and WTH moments.
•Strong, independent women.
•All of the side characters and stories.
•A few cameos from other Meghan March books.
•A complicated storyline with so many twists and turns, but I never felt lost or confused.
•The third book didn’t just wrap it up neatly, there was more angst and action in that one than the first two combined.
•I am very intrigued by Jericho and look forward to his series.
•The whole family feud thing bugged me from the beginning. It’s not the 1800s. If he really wanted her so much he would have said screw the family, screw the feud right from the start, and been much more forceful and alpha about it. But then again, you wouldn’t have a trilogy, would you?
•Not quite as hot and dirty as many of the Meghan March books I’ve read in the past.
•I just didn't fall head over heels for Lincoln.
Joe Arden embodied Lincoln perfectly, and Erin Mallon is always a favorite. They each had perfect voices for the characters they played and I think the audio made the story better for the most part except for the visual cues of moving from past to present.
The Down & Dirty:
Wow. The Sin Trilogy by Meghan March was a heck of a ride! It’s angsty, has over-the-top family drama, lies, secrets, scandals, drama, and so many twists and turns it was impossible to stop listening. It had a bit of a soap opera feel with an epic family feud, but it made for an intriguing and unique read. Expect to be glued to the pages (or headphones) for this trilogy, because you won’t want to miss a word.
Rating: 4 Stars, 4 heat, 5 Narration
- By: Lauren Blakely
- Narrated by: Joe Arden, Andi Arndt
- Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
Picture this - I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops. There’s only one little problem. My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore.
Appealing to my college self!
- By PATRICIA on 10-31-18
So Much Fun!
If I had to pick one author’s audiobooks to be stranded on a desert island with, it would be Lauren Blakey’s. I love her audiobooks so much and I’ve yet to be disappointed. Unzipped is the latest of Lauren’s romantic comedies and it was released on audio first The Kindle and paperback will be live December 11.
I listened to Unzipped on a road trip, and two weeks after reading it I still hadn’t caught up with reviews. So when I sat down to review it, I realized I had no memory of what it was about! Sometimes I am not all there when I listen and I thought maybe that was the case, so I listened again and it all came back to me within minutes, but I listened again anyway because it was just as good the second time around. (Note: if you want to go in blind, skip to the likes and dislikes)
Kyler (aka Tom) is a rollercoaster designer who, after 8 years decides it’s time to get his old college girlfriend back. He goes for the 80s inspired movie gesture and plays their song on a boom box on her lawn. But it’s not her who comes to the window, it’s Finley, a struggling comedy show writer who just met her muse.
“Look, even though I don’t think you should Lloyd Dobbler your way through life, I did like Say Anything. And I can’t help but root for you to win this woman back. I'll help you."
So Finley joins Kyler on a road trip to find his ex and get her back.
"I’ll help you on your quest. And you, in turn, can continue to be one of the most interesting curiosities I’ve stumbled across."
I loved the way Finley was writing about what was happening for the show as it happened in the book, it was a clever approach to telling this story. She was so much fun! She was a comedy writer and was anything but shy. Kyler was a nerd who grew up with only men and had absolutely no clue what to do with women, so he gets some lessons along the way. Everything Kyler knew about women, he learned from an 80s Romantic Comedy movie.
"Dear God, you might be perfect. You went from Moonstruck to Beverly Hills Cop on one date. Are you going to make me a mixtape next?"
I admit, I had a bit of a hard time with the fact that he was going after a girl he hadn't even stalked at all in eight years, but he had tried to be a better man for her. Then suddenly after 8 years, he found another. I mean--he was in love with a memory, so it wasn't a stretch that he would fall for someone else, but the situation was pretty awkward. Finley, however, can't miss how hot Tom is, and the friendship morphing into more was a totally fun read.
"Those abs are traceable with my tongue. The grooves, dear God, the grooves."
I love how Lauren Blakely's heroines are all smart career women and the men truly respect them as equals. Her characters are smart, totally sexy, and always form a friendship, not just lust/instalove.
•Another smart and sexy romance from Lauren Blakely.
•A completely unique premise.
•Fun 80s references.
•A hot nerd? Yes, please.
•I love how they ticked off all the RomCom tropes.
•I absolutely giggled out loud, maybe even more than other LB books.
•This one didn't really stand out to me for some reason. I forgot about it so soon after reading.
•You really need to know your 80s movies to truly appreciate everything.
I say it every time, Lauren writes these books for audio. I love the duet parts when they text, and you can never go wrong with Joe Arden and Andi Arndt.
The Down & Dirty:
I listened to Unzipped twice, and totally enjoyed it both times but it didn't stick with me as a favorite of Lauren Blakely's. It still had everything I love about a Lauren Blakely book, smart and sexy professional hero and heroine, a friendship that goes with the romance, laugh-out-loud moments, great dialogue, hot sex, and awesome side characters. I think because I am not a movie buff I missed some of the references and it may have held me back a bit. Still, I enjoyed it enough to listen twice, because honestly, you can never go wrong with a Lauren Blakely audiobook.
Rating: 4.25 Stars, 4 Heat, 5 Narration
- By: Emma Chase
- Narrated by: Shane East, Andi Arndt
- Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a queen - the first queen of Wessco. It’s a big deal. When she’s crowned at just 19, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident, and cunning. What she isn’t...is married. It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want. Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man - particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.
A story of royal love!
- By Sara on 10-27-18
The Story I Didn't Know I Needed!
Royally Yours (Royally Series #4) by Emma Chase
Narrated by Shane East and Andi Arndt
Complete Standalone Prequel to the Royally Series. Royal Romance, Light Historical, Light RomCom
"Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story. This is ours."
Emma Chase has been a favorite author of mine for years, and she’s one of the rare ones whose books I will buy without reading the blurb. Since I loved the Royally series, of course I was so excited for Royally Yours, but I had no idea it was a series prequel about Queen Lenora! Royally Yours can absolutely be read on its own because it begins over 60 years before the other stories. If you have read the Royally Series you know all about the tough Queen Lenora, and getting to see how she became the ruler and grandmother she is now was more wonderful than I would have ever expected.
Being that the Wessco monarchy is very old fashioned even now, this story takes place in the 1950s and feels like a timeless historical. In other words, the story itself felt like it could take place any time, and since it was told in first person rather than third, it didn’t have the traditional historical feel.
"No woman is born a Queen, no matter the title attached to her name at birth. Kings are crowned. But queens.. queens rise. … And then…they reign."
Princess Lenora was born and bred to be Queen, and even as a little girl, she took the obligation to her people and her position very seriously. When she is thrust into the position as the first ruling Queen of Wessco at only 19, she was ready. Unfortunately, the Council was not ready for an unmarried queen. Responsible queen that she is, Lenora realizes that the only way she can accomplish anything with the council and her people is to reluctantly agree to marry. The prospects are grim though, until her best friend’s brother, Duke Edward, agrees to marry this beautiful woman who fascinates him.
"G-d dam*, how I want her. Not even in my wildest, most selfish adolescent days did I want to take and take a woman like I want to take her.
Wild and hard, lazy and long."
While this is an epic romance, it’s also the story of Lenora and her ascension to the throne. Her story is heartbreaking at times. She has lived a very lonely existence, and I shed more than a few tears while reading Royally Yours. It gives so much insight into the Queen Lenora of the future that we read about in the previous books. But when Edward enters her life, the adventurer she used to crush on from letters to his brother gave Lenora everything she needed.
I loved how Edward was all man, yet he had no problem being ruled by his wife. He was everything a partner should be and seeing Lenora as a happy, sexy, witty, fierce and independent woman was an absolute treasure. Though their romance didn’t commence until later in the book, that was OK with me, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the story about Lenora that came first.
"Won’t you miss it? Won’t you miss the freedom, the adventure?"
I chuckle and shake my head, because she still doesn’t understand. I put my hand over hers.
“Making a life with you will be my greatest adventure, Lenora.”
•Historical that even non-historical readers will love.
•We really got to understand Queen Lenora. Her heart is pure, and her desire to rule the people she loves fairly are everything to her.
•The slow burn.
•There was a lot more emotion than I expected.
•Edward could not have been more perfect for her. I loved how he had no issues with his masculinity given the fact that his wife is the supreme ruler.
•She was fierce and headstrong, yet dignified and smart. She knew she had to make concessions to rule how she wants.
•I love that this can be read before or after the series.
•The cover. The cover itself is nice, but this is so much Queen Lenora’s story! There should have been the queen, or an object on the cover. A shirtless man kind of cheapens the story in this case.
At first, I had a hard time with Andi Arndt (who is so familiar to me), doing a fake accent even though she did it well. Though I got used to it, I would have preferred someone with a real accent that I never even heard of. The male narration was excellent, and all- in-all, I think the narration added to my love for the book.
The Down & Dirty:
I think Royally Yours by Emma Chase is my favorite of the Royally Series. It can easily stand alone since it takes place 40+ years before the other books. I loved how fierce and independent the Queen was, but we also got to see first hand why she is a bit cold in the future. She has lived a lonely, extremely sheltered existence, and meeting the dashing, adventurous Edward could not have been better for her. I loved how this was very much Queen Lenora’s story, but it was also a sexy, swoony and funny romance. Bravo Emma Chase, it’s another 5-star favorite!
Rating: 5 Stars, 4 Heat, 4.5 Narration
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
- By: Stephanie Rose
- Narrated by: Inés del Castillo, Joseph Discher
- Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
My life was always at a simmer… only stewing, never going anywhere. I was left to fend for myself when it came to affection or love, so I learned to go without. I refused to let them see how broken and lonely I was; it was much easier to hide behind a false reality. I didn't want anyone's pity. I didn't need it. Pity wouldn't put food on the table or keep a roof over our heads. That was all me. Now, I have a second chance at a dream long forgotten. It demands hard work and sacrifice - with absolutely no distractions. A recipe I already know all too well, raising a daughter on my own.
Amazing Slow Burn Romance!
- By bookbruin on 08-31-18
Really enjoyed this one!
Standalone spin-off of Rewrite
Silly me! For some reason I I didn’t realize or remember that I had met some of the characters in Simmer by Stephanie Rose already in the previous book, Rewrite. Since they are not marked as connected anywhere it never occurred to me, even though I felt like there was something very familiar a few times. That being said, I never thought it, because it never seemed like I missed anything. Previous events were described well in Simmer.
Sara, the female protagonist, is a single mom who has worked her butt off all alone with no family to help her. She has scrimped and saved every penny to give her adorable daughter as good of a life as she could.
In Rewrite, Sara played the part of the nasty baby momma when her one-night-stand wanted to be part of her daughter’s life with his new wife. In Simmer, we get to see Sara’s point of view. Since I didn’t remember that it was a previous character, perhaps it made it easy for me to forgive her; because she knows exactly how horrible she was and is totally ashamed. But I get it. She was all alone working so hard for her daughter for 8 years, now new people want to just swoop in after all she has struggled.
In Simmer, Sara as on much better terms with Josh and Brianna. Her daughter, Victoria, has a beautiful room there, and Sara has an opportunity to finish her chef degree so she can finally get a good job. The only problem is the school is in Boston and kids aren’t allowed in the dorms. Sara decides to do what is best for her and her daughter, and leave Victoria with her dad in NY while she completes her last year of school hours away.
Sara was all about missing her daughter and getting her work done. She tried to avoid the social stuff, and at 32, she was one of the oldest students. But that didn’t stop Drew, who is 7 years younger, from being very interested.
"Whatever life did to her made that smile hard to come by. It was the second time I’d seen it, but I knew it was as rare as it was beautiful—like a shooting star."
Sara made it very clear that she was not there for romance and had no room in her life for it, so she and Drew became just friends.
You are the best friend I’ve had in, maybe ever. I still don’t know why you waste your time,” she choked out a laugh. “But I’m so thankful you do.”
“I’m not wasting my time. It’s not a waste if I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
Sara never grew up with love. Her parents disowned her when she was pregnant. She had a really low opinion of herself and didn’t understand why 25-year-old Drew was wasting his time with her and her baggage.
"You didn’t ruin my night. You were the highlight of my day.”
As the friendship morphed into more, I loved it more and more. The slow simmer of their relationship was great. I love how their love grew as her relationship with Brianna and Josh grew as well.
”You were never worthless. You’re worth everything to me.”
•It’s a story of redemption.
•I love a single mom story.
•Older woman, younger man.
•How nice Brianna and Josh were despite Sara’s bad behavior.
•Victoria was totally adorable.
•Josh was completely swoony.
•She fought him too hard. Let him make his own decisions!
•I never totally fell for Sara. She was still prickly and called women she didn’t know names out of jealousy. She mostly won me over, but there was a little that still held me back.
•Drew was a little bit too perfect.
•Needs a real audiobook cover.
I loved the narration. I’m not sure if these are pseudonyms because they both sounded familiar, but I have nothing I have read from either narrator. Inés del Castillo differentiated between voices beautifully and I loved the New York accent. Joseph Discher was a tiny bit mechanical sounding but I still liked him, he sounded great for the age he played.
The Down & Dirty:
Even though Simmer has characters from a previous book, it can very easily stand alone. I read Rewrite and it didn’t hit me that they were related until the very end. I enjoyed the fact that this was a character that acted badly, really badly, but is working hard to make up for it. I liked that a big barrier wasn’t so much age as it was their lives and careers. 7 years is a big age gap, especially when the woman is older, but it was never shoved in your face. They made a great couple, and I love that the title Simmer is a great name both for the chef and the slow-burn romance.
Rating: 4.25 Stars, 4 Heat, 4.5 Narration
- By: K. Bromberg
- Narrated by: Rupert Channing, Erin Mallon
- Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
Zane Phillips mistook me for his dog walker. It shouldn’t surprise me that the man with a suit more expensive than my rent would assume that I was there to serve him. The positive? I put him in his place. The negative? I missed my job interview because of it. Now I find out he’s a rich Australian entrepreneur, and he wants to make up for tanking my interview. Yes, he’s impossibly hot - but he’s also an arrogant jackass - so...no thanks. But after a little white lie I tell spirals out of control, I’m somehow offered the chance to play Zane’s girlfriend to help promote his new dating website....
COMPELLING, COMPULSIVE & A COMPLETE BARGAIN
- By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 09-29-18
Australian Accent Makes it Even Better!
Oooh, Faking It by K. Bromberg was SO up my alley! I absolutely love a hate-to-love romance but I was a little worried because the whole fake relationship trope can tend to get a little old. But silly me. there was absolutely NOTHING to worry about. Combine K. Bromberg’s writing and a narrator with a super sexy Australian accent? OMG, this was a recipe for success!
Harlow is a struggling model going for an interview for a day job when she gets waylaid by a cocky Australian who thinks she’s the dog walker. After overhearing his conversation on the phone, she realizes he’s even more of an a$$ than she originally thought.
“Love’s a stupid emotion fabricated to define relationships”
When we meet Zane, his Australian accent and cocky personality drops the third wall and talks to the reader briefly, and as soon as that happened, the book clicked for me and I fell in love.
“(Men have) a serious case of needing to one-up each other just to prove who has the biggest d**k. And in case you wondered, I win. Always. But then again, does size really matter? Spoiler Alert: Yes it does.”
Harlow doesn’t fall for Zane, even when he tries to make up for her blowing her interview with an extravagant gift. Because honestly, he was still a total arrogant a$$hole.
“And you like me too.”…
“No, I don’t. I don’t even think Smudge does. He’s cute and has manners, while you’re just…the real dog of the house.”
Turns out the rich businessman, Zane, has a matchmaking app and he is courting an elderly investor/marketing guru who wants the face of the app to be someone who found love on it. A few little white lies later and Harlow and Zane are touring the country in a one bedroom tour bus playing a couple who is in love, while they really hate each other.
Sure they do....
As they are forced to be in love for the public, lines tend to get blurry, and the beautiful model and the sexy Australian find themselves fighting their attraction.
Grrr….I totally wanted to punch Zane in the face every once in a while, but damn, that accent. And when they gave into the physical attraction, it was H-O-T!
"The man has skills, I’ll give him that. Fingers and Tongue and D**k. F.T.D… From here on out every time I hear that acronym, I’ll be thinking of Zane and just how adept he is at using them."
But when the tour is over and the app has launched, the little bubble they are living in will break, and her fairytale coach may turn into a pumpkin.
“Because being with you changed me.”
•Holy moly, the Australian accent! Even when Erin Mallon did his voice, it was sexy!
•It was a slow burn, there was no instalove.
•The banter of people who can’t stand each other but want to eff each other’s brains out.
•At over 8.5 hours there was plenty of time for character development. It never felt rushed.
•I loved how he dropped the 3rd wall at the beginning and talked directly to the reader.
•Robert was like cupid! Loved him!
•I really enjoyed Harlow’s relationship with her mom.
•His nickname for her.
•It was totally sexy without there being too much.
•There was a little twist (that wasn’t a big deal) that I guessed at early on.
WOW. Rupert Channing did a great Australian accent, but he did many other male characters as well and it was amazingly seamless hearing him switch the accent on and off. (I have no idea if his accent was real or not). His Robert was so different than his Zane. Erin Mallon is amazing at men’s voices. and when she did Zane’s voice, I literally forgot it was her until I heard Rupert do it again. Even her Zane was sexy AF.
The Down & Dirty:
I absolutely LOVED Faking It by K. Bromberg. I think the audiobook made it stand out even more because Zane’s Australian accent was sexy as hell. While it seems like K. Bromberg is using a number of tried and true tropes including hate-to-love, fake relationship, workplace, friends-with-benefits, forced roommates and maybe more, she combined them all together in a fresh, fun and sexy way. Faking It by K. Bromberg is one of my favorite audios this year, and it was a perfect one to go into audio first because you don't want to miss this sexy accent!
Rating: 4.75 Stars, 4.25 Heat, 5 Narration (I try not to use quarters often, but it was ALMOST a perfect 5 star read).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful