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  • Royally Yours

  • By: Emma Chase
  • Narrated by: Shane East, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A story of royal love!

  • By Sara on 10-27-18

The Story I Didn't Know I Needed!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-05-18

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.”

Likes:
•Historical that even non-historical readers will love.
•First person.
•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.

Dislikes:
•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.

The Narration:
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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Simmer

  • By: Stephanie Rose
  • Narrated by: Inés del Castillo, Joseph Discher
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 27

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Slow Burn Romance!

  • By bookbruin on 08-31-18

Really enjoyed this one!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-18

Standalone spin-off of Rewrite
4.25 Stars
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.”

Likes:
•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.

Dislikes:
•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.

The Narration:
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

  • Faking It

  • By: K. Bromberg
  • Narrated by: Rupert Channing, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,495
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,406

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....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • COMPELLING, COMPULSIVE & A COMPLETE BARGAIN

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 09-29-18

Australian Accent Makes it Even Better!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-29-18

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.”

Likes:
•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.

Dislikes:
•There was a little twist (that wasn’t a big deal) that I guessed at early on.

The Narration:
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

  • Good Girl

  • By: Jana Aston
  • Narrated by: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 540
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 539

I've always been a good girl. I work hard, I follow the rules, I always achieve my goals. But sometimes good girls want things that aren't good for them. Or someone who isn't good for them. Like their new boss. And sometimes they do very bad things to get his attention. Like sell their virginity in an auction. Who knew he'd be so very, very mad? Maybe this was not my best laid plan....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jana’s writing is PURE GOLD

  • By Anonymous User on 07-04-18

Refreshing, Fun and Ridiculous

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-21-18

4.5 Stars
Good Girl by Jana Aston was one of the most ridiculous books I ever read. And I LOVED it. It is seriously all of the things that would normally bother me in a book, including a bunch of common tropes but it was so silly it was adorable!

Lydia is a 22-year-old virgin who lives in Vegas with her best friend Payton. You know Payton, she is the worldly blond friend who is present in most virgin books. Payton is all about the partying and men while Lydia is kind of nerdy and likes to sew. She was a girl scout her whole life and still loves those badges! When they go out to a bar, Payton gives her a challenge—to kiss a stranger at the bar. When Rhys Dalton overhears the challenge, he volunteers.

"You've had your kiss. You can go home now, good girl."

Of course, guess who Rhys turns out to be? Yup, you guessed it. Her boss’s boss.

"Holy all of everything that is good, why is he so attractive? It almost hurts to look directly at him. I feel all warm and turned on and weird."

Lydia decides Rhys is the guy she wants to lose her virginity to despite his cold, standoffish attitude, so she comes up with an idea to auction off her virginity in the hope that he’d step up.

Usually, it’s bad enough when I read about a 22-year-old gorgeous virgin, but Lydia was that plus stupidly naive. I can tell you, some people would totally be annoyed by her, but she was so over-the-top naive that it just made me giggle the whole time.

“How come you get to do the oral and I have to wait until Wednesday to do the oral?”
“Because I’m in charge and I say so.”

There was some hot and dirty times, a big age difference, a sexy alpha and silliness galore. Straight-laced, uptight workaholic Rhys and ridiculously naive and over the top Lydia just totally worked for me.

"We’re godda*ned spooning. F**k. I roll onto my back, disgusted with myself. For so many reasons."

Likes:

•I literally laughed out loud many times.
•Took a bunch of tried-and-true tropes and made them ridiculously funny.
•Made me love a virgin story.
•Hot and sexy times.
•The side characters.
•The girl scout badges.
•I literally smiled the whole listen.

Dislikes:

•As long as I suspend reality there is nothing I didn’t like.

The Narration:
The narration just made it funnier. I think hearing some of this stuff would be even funnier than reading it. They did a great job with the narration and I think it enhanced the reading experience.

The Down & Dirty:
Good Girl by Jana Aston incorporates a bunch of tropes: Virgin, Auction, Workplace, and Age difference; it also uses things that are in so many other books like it, such as the wild blond BFF. But Ms. Aston took those tropes and made them unique, refreshing, fun and ridiculous. This book may not be for everyone, I can see her getting on some people’s nerves, but I totally loved the silliness. Good Girl is the perfect read to save for when you are having a bad day or to read after a sad or emotional book. It’s a quick, silly, funny, low-angst, giggly pick-me-up that I will absolutely listen to again when I need a giggle.

Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4 Heat, Narration 5

  • Rock Chick Reawakening

  • A Rock Chick Novella - 1001 Dark Nights
  • By: Kristen Ashley
  • Narrated by: Susannah Jones
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,009
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 942
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 938

Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloan - one of Denver's most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground's most feared crime bosses - into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Building Castles

  • By Erin on 03-23-17

Even better on Audible

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-30-18

I read this and absolutely loved it, but did a re-read via audible and I think I loved it more! Susannah Jones was amazing as Daisy! From the conclusion of the review for the book:
Kristen Ashley gives readers everything we didn’t know we wanted and more with Rock Chick Reawakening. With so many huge fans clamoring for this story Kristen Ashley rose to the challenge and made it even better than I could have dreamed, and did it all in a novella that felt full-length. Marcus has always been a background character. I wondered how sweet Daisy ended up with a criminal, but I never really knew him. Well to know him is to love him, because Marcus is the bomb! Both Daisy and Marcus’s background will tear you up and piece you right back together again, better than you were before, just like they did for each other. Rock Chick Reawakening brought the Rock Chick Series full circle, and I couldn’t have imagined a better end (or beginning) to a favorite series.

  • Shimmy Bang Sparkle

  • By: Nicola Rendell
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, CJ Bloom
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

All Nick Norton wants is to stay on the straight and narrow…and never get caught stealing again. Then he lays eyes on her: Stella Peretti—100 percent sexy and absolutely irresistible. Especially when he sees her smooth moves lifting a two-karat diamond. Nick realizes he’s found the sparkling woman of his dreams—one so perfect for him it’s almost criminal. The Shimmy Shimmy Bangs are master jewel thieves who are planning the heist of the century. And Shimmy leader, Stella, isn’t about to let anyone—even if he is a hunky, tatted-up studmuffin—get in her way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A REFRESHING, LIGHTHEARTED & FUN GEM

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 09-04-18

Totally in Love with This Book!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-30-18

*While my reviews are spoiler-free, if you don't want to know more about the book, after the first paragraph skip down to likes and dislikes and the Down & Dirty review*

Shimmy Bang Sparkle was my first Nicola Rendell book, and let me tell you, it won’t be my last! This ladies, THIS is why I read (or listen in this case). If you were to write the perfect book for my tastes, Shimmy Bang Sparkle would be it! It has an older couple (He’s 40, she’s 30s), humor, banter, some action and adventure with some suspense, likable characters with great friends, good sexy times, an adorable dog, and it made me feel good and happy reading it. What more could I ask for? NOTHING, because this may be my favorite audiobook this year.

First off, I have to mention the GORGEOUS cover and the title. I love them both so much! But honestly, I loved everything about this little gem of a book (see what I did there? GEM?) When Nick gets out of jail after being caught stealing jewels, he is ready to turn over a new leaf and go legit. But as he’s is riding his Ducati down the street, he notices the most beautiful woman in a jewelry store. She was like a beacon to him and he couldn’t stop himself from watching her through the window even though she was trying on engagement rings. Then she threw her head back and laughed and Nick was a goner.

"Every guy’s got his thing. Some go for red heels, some go blondes in fishnets, some have it bad for redheads in shorts that show off some as$. Not me. My thing, my type, was standing right in front of me. Long, thick dark hair. Jeans. T-shirt. Beat up Chuck Taylors. With a laugh like that. Nothing better on earth."

He went into the store to get near her and caught Stella executing one of the smoothest thefts ever. He was just out on parole. He knows he needs to stay away from her, but darn, she was even sexier now.

"Never in my whole life had I seen anything so godda*ned smooth. She seemed sweet, she looked so sexy, and to top it all off, she was utterly badas$. I needed to get my hands on her. Now."

Stella was one of a group of three gorgeous, badas$ female jewel thieves that are almost an urban legend. They are completely professional and never leave a clue. The three best friends are pet sitters by day and have been doing their Robin Hood style thefts together since they were kids. For months they have been planning one last heist that would set them up for life. It’s not easy to date normal guys when you’re a jewel thief, but when Nick tells her his background, she realizes that maybe she could finally be herself around this guy.

"He wasn’t just some hunky guy who got me all hot and bothered. He was a guy who, for better or worse, could relate to my crazy, unconventional, decidedly not-the-girl-next-door secret life. He was a guy who I could actually be myself around."

When her planned heist hits some snafus, Nick steps in to help. Together the two of them rent an RV nicknamed the Love Boat and pose as newlyweds with their adorable dog.

"This was real, even if it was for show. This meant something, even if it was pretend. Sometimes the real truth was right in the middle of the lie."

There was a little instalove in this story, but personally, I loved that aspect. They bonded about something so unique (being thieves) that it totally worked for me. I loved both of their inner voices, and the chemistry between them was amazing.
“With a single look, he could make the world fall away.”

I loved that he was a big protective alpha but he let her run the show since he was just helping her. I loved that he appreciated every single thing about her.
“She was everything I’d never known I needed, and everything I could never be without.”

Likes:
•Everything, seriously. (But I will list a few of my favorite things.)
•Super-likable characters, including secondary.
•A completely unique storyline.
•The dog.
•The Texan was a great villain (I picture the guy from Toy Story with the cheese curl fingers).
•The sex was just the perfect amount and dirtiness and never felt like it was too gratuitous.
•I had a smile on my face the entire time and almost didn’t want to listen because I didn’t want it to end.
•A little suspense.
•Very little angst.
•The friendship between the women.
•Fun and flirty.
•A complete standalone.

Dislikes:
•I could nitpick a few TINY issues if I HAD to, but all I can think of right now is how much I LOVED this book, not on things I didn’t like.

The Narration:
The narration was AWESOME. Starting out from Nicks POV, I love when Sebastian York does mature romantic comedy; he was absolutely PERFECT for the part. CJ Bloom could not have been a better choice for Stella. I was just saying the other day how great she is when you have 3 main female characters because she changes her voice entirely for each. I think the narrators made this amazing book even better!

The Down & Dirty:
Shimmy Bang Sparkle by Nicola Rendell is a new 2018 favorite! It is everything I love in a book and more. A completely unique story with great characters, some adventure, romance, hot sex, banter, great pacing and little angst. Shimmy Bang Sparkle is everything a summer beach read should be, and I read the whole thing with a big smile on my face. As soon as I finished I wanted to listen again!

Rating: 5++++++ Stars, 4.25 Heat

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Good Luck with That

  • By: Kristan Higgins
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands, Lori Gardner, Suzy Jackson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 390

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults. For Marley, it's coming to terms with the survivor's guilt she's carried around since her twin sister's death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it's learning to stop trying to live up to her mother's and brother's ridiculous standards and learning to accept love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A journey full of emotion

  • By Meg on 08-18-18

Most Relatable Characters Ever

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-27-18

This review has been edited for audible.
The Down & Dirty:
Good Luck With That was an emotional read that was also one of the most relatable books I have ever read. The women’s growth from self-hatred to self-acceptance wasn’t easy to read at times, but at times it was also funny, heartwarming and empowering. I think Kristan Higgins had a lot of guts to write this story. It felt so good to read a story about fat girls that wasn’t sugar-coated, and Kristan's sharp insight into each woman's psyche was what made it so fantastic. She pointed out how much the judgments from other people affect us, but more so how our own judgment of ourselves and others can cause so much pain. Good Luck With That changed my thinking in general and made me realize how horrible I am to myself, and hopefully helped me on my journey to self-acceptance. I hope it lasts!

The Narration:
I Loved that we had three narrators, one for each woman. The narration was fantastic. I loved Marley’s Italian family, but they always sounded a bit sad to me rather than the loud boisterous Italian family they're described as, though she did the accent well. I still think the narration enhanced the story and I loved every second of it.

Rating: 4.5 Stars, 5 for Narration

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 44 Chapters About 4 Men

  • By: BB Easton
  • Narrated by: Ramona Master
  • Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

School psychologists aren't supposed to write books about sex. Doing so would be considered "unethical" and "a fireable offense." Lucky for you, ethics was never my strong suit. After spending years trying to spice up my sex life, I gave up and took to my journal. Perhaps my gorgeous, cold, number-crunching husband simply wasn't capable of the kind of passion I'd come to expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a 5 star book sounds like

  • By Misty on 04-09-17

Why did I wait so long?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-21-18

4.5 Stars
I am now BB Easton’s best friend. She doesn’t know it yet, but it’s true. I can tell by reading this fictionally elaborated memoir that we would have been getting into trouble together if we were the same age and knew each other. I have had 44 Chapters about 4 Men on my kindle since it came out, and just never had a chance to read it. When I saw it was in the audible romance package I couldn’t click fast enough. I am so glad I did. This was a completely unique and refreshing read!

I was a pretty wild one as a teen and went through a punk-rock/bad boy phase. I also lacked self-esteem so kind of went with any boy that liked me. I met my husband at 19, and he is one of the most colorless, vanilla people you’ll ever meet (except in bed). Even his voice is monotone. But he is the love of my life. Luckily I have no issues in the bedroom, in fact, my guy is a “Husboner” -definition from the book’s glossary:
Husboner (noun)—a married man who should be sick and tired of his wife’s stretched out, floppy old vag*** but instead behaves like an insatiable sex machine who just snorted an eight ball of coke.

But in other ways, I can totally relate to BB and her marriage to her Husbot, Mr. Personality.

"It’s a beautiful life Ken has given me, one filled with security and laughter and intelligent conversation and honeymoons in Paris and well-behaved children with long attention spans and cute noses and his-and-hers sinks and 401(k)s and well-manicured lawns. I just wish the orgasms matched the drapes, if you know what I mean."

Ken is an amazing husband. I loved him, but he was the complete opposite of the guys BB was used to.When Ken suddenly spiced things up a little in the bedroom, BB realized that he must have read her journal, and had an idea.

"…I’m going to start planting a glossily exaggerated Lifetime movie version of you under the filename Super Private Journal That Ken Is Never, Never Allowed to Read Ever where I will plant completely fabricated stories about my ex-boyfriends designed to inspire Ken to up his [effing] game."

So like a book within a book, BB writes fake journal entries about her amazing teen sexcapades with a skinhead, a punk rocker on parole and a bass player. But we also get to read the real journal entries about the same elaborated events.

I had so much fun listening to this book! It was just such a unique concept, and I loved the way it was about young romance but it was clearly an adult viewpoint. After all the fun that this book was, BB wrote longer books about each of the four guys to follow. They have amazing ratings, but the first being about a 16-year-old, I’m a little nervous about them. Though after laughing my butt off listening to this book, I think I would love anything more BB Easton writes, so I am clicking Skin, Knight's book.

The one I am most excited for though is Ken's book! I want to see how this guy who is the opposite of everyone she has dated won her heart. Supposedly it's coming soon!

Likes:
•Completely new and different.
•Made me laugh out loud.
•I could totally relate!
•I want to be best friends with BB Easton.
•Silly and raunchy, but there was still a good story.
•I was dying to know what was actual truth or not!

Dislikes:
•I had a little trouble remembering if I was in the fake story or not. I think some of the difficulty following may not have happened in a print version, it just didn’t flow that well in audio.

The Narration:
The narrator was just perfect for the story, but I think listening made it a little harder to keep up without the visual clues that it’s a journal entry. Still, if you really focus on your audiobooks, I don’t think this would be an issue. If you aren’t sure whether to read or listen, I would suggest read it, even though I loved the narrator’s performance.

The Down & Dirty:
44 Chapters About 4 Men by BB Easton completely lived up to the hype for me. It was refreshingly unique, funny as hell, sexy, relatable, full of pop-culture references and raunchy fun. I think the audio is a little harder to follow than the actual book would be because of the book-within-a-book format, but the narrator really nailed the BB part. I totally have a girl-crush on BB Easton after reading this, and look forward to more from her.

Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4.25 Heat, 4 narration

  • Come as You Are

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
  • Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 996
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 921
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 915

I couldn't have scripted a more perfect night. For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I'm not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine - multimillionaire. But who's counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I've ever met. And that's why I'm eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge...bank account. Everything's coming up aces. Until the next day, when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash - a lot complicated.)

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, Irresistible, Sexy Romance!

  • By kgagnon on 04-18-18

Nerdy, Sexy, Light Fun!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-18

Lauren Blakely never lets me down with her audiobooks and Come As You Are is no exception. I don’t know how she churns out one amazing book after another, but I hope she never stops. But please, Lauren, slow down a little. I can’t keep up!

I listened to Come As You Are a while back and I am just catching up on reviews, so I will make this brief (for me). I loved Sabrina! A journalist looking for work, she supported her brother and made her own clothes from finds at Goodwill.

Flynn is a rich tech genius. People approach him to pitch app ideas or offer marriage all the time, and he doesn’t know who really wants him for what. Until he met Sabrina, the masked girl at a costume party.

“I think you like not knowing who I am.”
I shake my head, as the confident, masked me answers, “You’re wrong.”
He wrenches back. “Why am I wrong?”
I loop my hands around his neck, jerking him closer. “I love not knowing.”

Their connection was instant, but neither knew who the other was. When she turned out to be the reporter assigned to do a feature on Flynn, they decide to keep it professional. Yeah, right.

"This is what it’s like to want someone with every fiber of your being. This desire for her, I feel it everywhere—inside me, along my skin, in my heart, in every godd**n cell in my body. It’s like a force of its own, obliterating everything else."

Low angst, witty banter, intelligent dialogue make this another Lauren Blakely winner. It didn’t stand out to me as anything really unique or different, but it fit the bill for a nice, light, fun, sweet and sexy vacation read.

"It's better because we're Angel and Duke, city explorers, wordsmith and mathematician, poetry reciter and poetry receiver, and most of all, we are us."

Likes:
•The New York setting
•The non-dates all around the city.
•The smart, techy dialogue.
•Literary jokes!
•He is such a dirty talker.
•Yum, this nerd has studied up on what to do in bed!

Dislikes:
•Nothing stood out as different or memorable.
•It was kind of like we just scratched the surface of the characters. Because it’s dual POV, you get to know each character a little less than in the male POV books.

The Narration:
The power team of Andi Arndt and Sebastian York can do no wrong. There was a little duet in appropriate moments and I liked the way it was used. However, I do think that Andi and Sebyo are one of the reasons that it felt like it wasn’t different, they do most of her books, and they can run together a bit.

The Down & Dirty:
Lauren Blakely gets it right every single time. Her audiobooks make the story even better because in her head, she writes for audio. I haven’t found another author whose books translate to audio so well. But no matter how you read it, Come As You Are is another winner for Lauren Blakely. While it may not be overly unique or memorable it has everything you love about Lauren’s writing: A smart, dirty-talking alpha hero who respects women, a heroine you love, fun banter, hot sexy times, great dialogue, and a feel-good vibe. Come As You Are is another reason Lauren Blakely is one of my favorites!

Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4.5 Heat, 5 Narration

  • After Care

  • A Romance for the Over 40
  • By: L.B. Dunbar
  • Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Breast cancer survivor Edie Williams is ready to live. Divorced. Mother of two. She's planned the vacation of a lifetime for a reboot, only to encounter an awakening adventure - Tommy Carrigan. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A refreshing falling in love after 40 romance!

  • By Liv on 09-14-18

I love a romance with an older couple!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-02-18

I absolutely LOVE a book where the couple is over 40! Being a mom of a 20-year-old touring musician, many of the stories I have thought about have to do with an older rock star. So imagine my surprise when I read After Care by LB Dunbar! She wrote the book I’d been thinking about! Now I get to enjoy the fruits of her labor without the work of writing it. LOL!

Edie Williams is a 43-year-old breast cancer survivor. After 20 years of marriage, hers ended while she was going through cancer. Now in remission, with her hair starting to grow back, she takes a vacation to Hawaii with her two grown kids. She is befriended by a young woman traveling with her kids, who turns out to be the wife of a rock star. The whole band is there on vacation, including her Uncle Tommy, the band’s manager.

Edie has some self-esteem issues, and I could so relate to her! Not only has she not been naked in front of a new man in 20+ years, she just has a mastectomy and implants. Her hair is just starting to grow back. She is a survivor, but those kinds of things are hard to overcome when faced with getting naked in front of a gorgeous charming playboy, even if he is in his 40s. (WHY do men get better as they age? I mean LOOK at the cover! Can you say HOT?)

"I knew Tommy Carrigan was going to break not just my heart, but all of me"

Since the story was only from her POV, there was only one narrator. She was great at doing Edie’s parts, but Tommy’s parts came out sounding totally cheesy and most of the time, not at all sexy. Now here is where I had trouble. I am not sure if it really was cheesy or not because I can’t separate the narration and the story in this case. The references to age seemed deliberately added, and it made it feel even a little cheesier.

“Actually, you look like a fine wine, aged to perfection, sweet on the palate and lingering on the tongue long after you’ve been swallowed.”

Tommy was quite the dirty-talker. I usually love that, but it just didn’t work that well in her voice and his lines just seemed so much like lines rather than feelings. I did enjoy the story so much though. I love the way they tried to keep it a vacation tryst and it became more. I love the side characters and family dynamics. I love how Tommy brought out the inner spirit of Edie. She so needed and deserved that.

“You’re igniting dreams I didn’t know could exist for me, Edie Williams.”

Likes:
•I love a story with the MCs over 40!
•She is a cancer survivor.
•She had insecurities from her hair and breast surgery.
•Such a relatable story for me.
•How wonderful he was with her insecurities, especially about her breasts.
•He is an alpha and a dirty talker!
•Love the secondary characters.

Dislikes:
•Tommy came off as kind of cheesy, but that may be partly because of the narration.
•Single POV (female).
•They both seemed immature for the ages (but so am I!)
•Sometimes there were weird age references (like describing her skin as wrinkled. She is only 43!)
•Tommy’s love of making her jealous: “...jealousy is an ugly shade of green, but on you, the color is beautiful.”

The Narration:
It was single POV. The narrator was great with the female parts, but I was not thrilled with the execution of the male parts at all.

The Down & Dirty:
I love love love that L.B. Dunbar wrote another book about a 40+ couple. Making it about a cancer survivor with some totally legit insecurities made her even more relatable. I totally loved Edie. Tommy was a dirty-talker with some secrets, and I found him to be a little cheesy, but I am not sure if that is from the narration or his dialogue or both. Even so, I still totally enjoyed the story, and look forward to reading Midlife Crisis, about another 40 something former rocker.

One other thing. Maybe because I’m 51 and not grey with very few wrinkles, I feel like calling someone in their early 40s a “silver fox” was a little misleading (I guess I assume that means an older man 50-60). My husband didn’t have grey till his mid-50s either. I also went with my son when he toured with the Allman Brother’s drummer at 69, and a rocker in their 40s is usually in the height of their career. I feel like these characters might be aging a bit before their time. The next is about a character named Midge. My grandma had a friend named Midge. She would be about 100 now. Over 40 does not mean OLD! I do understand that there has to be references to their ages, but 40s, to me, is still in the prime!

Rating: 4 Stars, 4 Heat, 3.5 Narration