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  • Onyx

  • Lux, Book 2
  • By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 711
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 717

Daemon's determined to prove what he feels for Katy is more than a product of their bizarro connection. So she's sworn him off, even though he's running more hot than cold these days. But they've got bigger problems.The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that Katy and Daemon are linked, Katy's a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who's got a secret of his own. He knows what's happened to Katy and he can help, but to do so, Katy has to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 02-04-18

This is a perfect sequel!

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

Reviewed: 10-16-18

★¸¸.•*¨*•★Minor spoilers alert★•*¨*•.¸¸★

My tags for this novel are…
YA Paranormal (Aliens / Alien-Human Hybrids) / Entertaining / Action-packed / Wonderful characters / Witty / Original / Page-turner / Romantic / Cliffy ending

★•*¨*•.¸¸★
Cover design praise: It matches the original paperback edition’s cover which pleases me greatly. I ❤ their poses and how connected they look. The dark colors and woodsy background add a sense of mystery in my opinion.

★•*¨*•.¸¸★
Formats owned: Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle e-book & Audible audiobook

★•*¨*•.¸¸★
Review:
It was a perfect sequel. I get engrossed in the Lux universe so easily each time. I don’t get frustrated with Katy’s inability to accept the 180 turn in attitude that Daemon pulls on her. I totally understand her perspective, and I enjoy Daemon’s wooing attempts to the nth degree. And, I always love the many crazy names Daemon calls Blake the Snake. He never ran out of good ones, haha!

It’s so comforting to me that I pretty much have the same reaction to everything each time I read this series. Consequently, the Lux series continues to rank as one of my all-time favorite paranormal series.

★•*¨*•.¸¸★
Reading dates -
Originally read the paperback: September 2012
2nd read via Valerie’s Lux Readathon (paperback): August 2013
3rd read via Vi’s Read Along (audiobook*): finished June 26, 2014
4th read solo (audiobook*): finished: October 10, 2018

*My biggest disappointment is with Tantor Audio (audiobook publisher) not insisting that narrator Justine Eyre verify the correct pronunciation for Daemon’s name with the author Jennifer Armentrout. He is the hero, so the mistake is always so glaring and harsh to my ears. To this day, I can’t help mentally correcting Justine Eyre, the sole narrator, each and every time she mispronounces his name, other character names and the special terms unique to this alien series.

•*¨*•
Next in this series: Opal (Lux, #3) which I’ve already reread and re-reviewed, bam!

  • Opal

  • Lux, Book 3
  • By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 11 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 575
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587

No one is like Daemon Black. When he set out to prove his feelings for Katy, he wasn't fooling around. Doubting him isn't something she'll do again and now that they've made it through the rough patches, well, there's a lot of spontaneous combustion going on. But even he can't protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they loved. With help coming from the most unlikely source and Adam's death still lingering with those who loved him, friends will become the deadliest of enemies and the villains will no longer be clear.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 02-04-18

I love the story elements in this 3rd novel!

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

The Lux series is 100% a classic re-read series for me, and I loved that all my reactions were basically the same again.

My tags for this novel are…
Entertaining / Action-packed / Wonderful characters / Witty / Original / Page-turner / Romantic / Cliff-hanger ending

★¸¸.•*¨*•★Minor Spoilers Alert★•*¨*•.¸¸★

Cover gush: I adore this original audiobook cover since it has the same pose as the first paperback cover. I ❤ the pop of turquoise blue for the title as well.
Ratings
Overall ★★★★★
Performances ★★★☆☆
Story ★★★★★

I love the story elements in this 3rd installment in the Lux series. Katy & Daemon just have so many cool moments in this one. Blake the Snake grates, but that’s the role he has to play. Everything intensifies in this one. The romance between Katy & Daemon, the animosity Dee has for Blake, Dawson’s need to rescue Beth and the gang’s training to infiltrate the DOD compound. It ends on a cliffy so I’d recommend having the ORIGIN novel already purchased and downloaded to new readers.

My first re-read was last summer hosted by Valerie from Stuck In Books book blog. My 2nd re-read was via the Lux Read Along hosted by Vi Nguyen from Deity Island book blog. Sadly, neither blog owner wanted to host another re-read this time, so I dove in on my own. With my work schedule and A.D.D. keeping me from e-book or paperback reading, I had to go the audiobook route for OPAL as I did with all the preceding books up to this point.

I am still very much disappointed and annoyed with TANTOR MEDIA, the producers for the audiobooks, for not checking with the author regarding the correct pronunciations of Daemon’s name, Lesa’s name, Daedalus and other special terms. It just seems like a lazy oversight by such a well-known audiobook production company. So of course, I am still auto-correcting narrator Justine Eyre 3 books into my complete series re-read, grrr! Understandably, the audiobook is a separate production, and therefore doesn’t require the author’s explicit approval over such things; but, boy is it irritating! ☹

In my original review of this audiobook, I stated how much I was looking forward to doing a paperback re-read next time, but now I’m almost exclusively an audiobook reader and can no longer image picking up my paperback format for a 5th re-read. I’d probably go with the audiobook yet again because that format allows me to indulge my need for re-reading while being able to multitask.

Overall, I would still recommend this series on audiobook; but, I would caution new readers to consider reading it in either paperback or e-book first unless TANTOR MEDIA someday decides to re-record this series’ audiobooks with narrators who correctly pronounce all the names and special terms.

•*¨*•
Coming up next: ORIGIN, Lux series #4

  • Obsidian

  • Lux, Book 1
  • By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,005
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 928
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933

When 17-year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she'd pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy Internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up...until he opened his mouth. Daemon Black is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. It's hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot guy next door? Well, he's an alien.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story! Didn't like narrator.

  • By Book Lover D on 02-08-16

This story shines no matter the format!

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

Story review:
This was my 2nd read/listen in the audiobook format and my 4th overall time reading about feisty, book blogging human Katy and "I'm just that awesome" alien Daemon (pronounced "Day-mon" and not "Dee-mon"). I was sucked in all over again in spite of my frequent irritation with narrator Justine Eyre's narrating style and mispronunciations. Make sure you have Onyx, book 2 on hand so you can dive right into it.

My tags for this novel are…
YA Paranormal (Aliens) Trope / Unpredictable / Easy-to-read / Entertaining / Action-packed / Wonderful characters / Witty / Original / Page-turner / Romantic

My Top Favorite Moment is:
I have so many, but I'll pick their angry discourse turned passionate make out session at Katy's house.

Performance review - my rant:
All audiobook producers should make sure they have the narrator(s) reach out to an author to confirm how to pronounce names and terms, especially when the author has created a unique paranormal reality like Jennifer Armentrout did here. I've listened to quite a few books narrated by Justine Eyre, and most of the time I do enjoy her acting choices. This performance just happens to be one of her weaker ones for me.

My overall recommendation is to read the book yourself first in either e-book or physical book format, and then use the audiobooks as a way to reread the series easily. I dare you not to get hooked either way!

Up next: I'm already ears deep into my reread of the sequel Onyx (Lux series #2).

  • A Hundred Thousand Words

  • By: Nyrae Dawn
  • Narrated by: Sean Crisden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186

Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother, Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible. Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer. Apparently Toby isn't the only one who's changed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Liked the story very much and LOVED narrator

  • By K.S. on 04-08-16

Everything gelled so well in this novel!

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

Reviewed: 10-07-18

What I enjoyed most about this novel…
Steamy / Easy-to-read / Tragic / Entertaining / Complex characters / Page-turner / Romantic / Realistic / Funny / HEA / Fantastic audiobook narration



My Top Favorite Moment is from Audiobook chapter 39:
Tobias: “I was a dick.”
Xavier: “Dicks can be fun.” 😉



Cover design: there are multiple covers floating around for this novel. My favorite is the one with the up-close headshot of cover model (aka Tobias) with his arms behind his head.



Main characters:
Tobias and Levi

Supporting characters:
Chris – Levi’s younger brother and Tobias’s best friend
Tobias’s dad
Chris and Levi’s parents
Xavier – Tobias’s college roommate



Ratings:
Overall ★★★★★ Everything gelled so well in this novel unlike my reading experience for Charade, the only other novel of Nyrae Dawn’s that I’ve read so far.

Performances ★★★★★ Voice actor Sean Crisden knocked the ball out of the park with his narration. He did so well making all of the characters distinct vocally.

Story ★★★★★ I got a lot of uninterrupted listening time with Tobias Jackson while doing two loads of laundry at the laundry mat early last week. I felt fully invested intellectually and emotionally as Tobias had to figure out how to connect better to his seemingly depressed father in addition to his deepening attraction to his best friend’s jerky older brother Levi Baxter. Having a secret relationship proved to be difficult for them both as time went on, but initially their secrecy felt necessary. Although Tobias began to know Levi in a new light and consequently learned Levi’s perspective on past shared events with Chris, he knew his best friend wasn’t quite ready to do the same. Chris had always been jealous of his older brother Levi and still had such a contentious dynamic with him.

As Levi and Tobias grew closer, Tobias became a supportive rock regarding Levi’s medical school crisis while Levi helped Tobias to open up emotionally and stop guarding his heart, a protective habit he’d developed when his mom abandoned him and his father when he was a young child. A serious event forces Tobias and Levi to come clean to Chris. That didn’t go over well, of course, but the fallout had a positive impact. It forced Tobias to fight to keep and establish a new and healthier relationship dynamic with all 3 important men in his life.

  • Dominate

  • Harris Brothers, Book 5
  • By: Amy Daws
  • Narrated by: Will Watt, Piper Goodeve, Charlotte Cole
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 122
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 119

After the harrowing attack against Gareth and Sloan, there are more than just physical wounds that must be healed. Recovering and moving on from their dark pasts is the only way they can truly find their bright futures. Who will surrender? And who will dominate?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  • By Cyndi on 08-18-18

A wonderful conclusion to Gareth & Sloane's story!

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

The final book in the Harris Brothers picked up with the inner thoughts of the patriarch of the Harris family clan, and then it continued with the consequences of the surprising situation that greeted Gareth and Sloane as they walked into his home.

I really enjoyed the healing that happened between Gareth and his father. Sloane demonstrated remarkable, and somewhat unbelievable generosity in my opinion, with her ex-husband Callum. The relationship dynamic between Gareth and Sloane and Gareth and Sofia took a realistic and cute turn respectively.

Audiobook narrators Will Watt, Piper Goodeve and Charlotte Cole really nailed the pulse of this last Harris Brothers novel. It was a very satisfying HEA to this football obsessed family’s careers and romantic storylines.

  • Keeper

  • By: Amy Daws
  • Narrated by: Will M. Watt, Charlotte Cole
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 269
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270

They were best friends until they became roommates. Booker Harris has spent the last several years pushing himself to become the best goalkeeper in the Championship League. Tired of living in the shadows of his headline-splashing brothers, he has finally carved a path of his own. As a child, Poppy McAdams was content in her own little make-believe world, until the boy next door with dimples and pained eyes came barreling into her makeshift fort demanding all her attention. Best friends for most of their lives, everything changes when Poppy abruptly leaves London for University. Now she is back, and gone is the awkward girl from Booker's youth.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 08-17-18

Back on track!

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

Reviewed: 09-30-18

I am such a sucker for 2nd chance romances between childhood friends, and Poppy and Booker's love story worked on all levels for me. I also especially the flashbacks which were inter-cut very well with their current day-to-day.

Listening to audiobook narrators Will Watt and Charlotte Cole animate Poppy and Booker's love story renewed my investment in the Harris clan and their romantic adventures. I was all kinds of excited to dive into listening to Gareth's audiobook, Surrender(Harris Brothers #4).

  • Surrender

  • Harris Brothers, Book 4
  • By: Amy Daws
  • Narrated by: Will Watt, Piper Goodeve, Charlotte Cole
  • Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 162

Gareth Harris is Manchester United's reclusive star defender. He has control over all aspects of his life. But a lifetime of supporting his siblings and filling in for an emotionally absent father has taken its toll. Sloan Montgomery is a clothing stylist whose world was turned upside down when she found herself pregnant and moving to Manchester with a man who was never supposed to be her forever. Now recently divorced and struggling with shared custody of her daughter, control is a fleeting concept for this American living in England.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  • By Cyndi on 08-17-18

Best in the series so far 👌

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

Reviewed: 09-19-18

Their dynamic checked all the boxes for me. All 3 narrators were great, but I was especially pleased to hear Piper Goodeve lovely voice.

Warning: this one ends on a crazy surprise, so listeners will want to already have the next one downloaded and ready to go. 🎧

  • End Goal

  • By: Amy Daws
  • Narrated by: Will M Watt, Charlotte Cole
  • Length: 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84

Only professional footballer Camden Harris is cocky enough to elope to Scotland with his fiancee and leave the Harris family behind.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 08-17-18

A quick but enjoyable listen!

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

I often go in blind when reading, but that proved to be a bit of a problem for me on this one. I had forgotten the characters by name and struggled to remember which couple this was. And because I was in transit while listening, I remained confused until the end when the light bulb finally went off, lol!

Narration by Will M Watt, Charlotte Cole - very solid 3-star performances. These two have this down pat, and I'm a huge fan of duet narration over dual narration when they are 2 POVs.

  • 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

A refreshing falling in love after 40 romance!

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

★¸¸.•*¨*•★Minor Spoilers Alert★•*¨*•.¸¸★

Cover gush: I wish I met more men aged 40 and over in my daily Los Angeles life who looked like this Tommy cover model. He’s so fit and yummy looking! 😉
•*¨*•
These two weren’t looking for love while on their respective vacations but indulging in a bit of lusty companionship never hurt anyone. Edie certainly deserved a bit of fun after the medical battle she had to fight and luckily survived. I enjoyed how Edie and Tommy’s vacation fling turned into a much more meaningful relationship even if it was initially a long distance one.
•*¨*•
What did I love about this contemporary romance novel?
Easy-to-read / Entertaining / Vacation destination setting / Wonderfully complex characters / Original / Romantic / Steamy / Realistic / HEA / Excellent narration by Coleen Marlo!
•*¨*•
Would I recommend this book?
Yes, absolutely! This was my 2nd read but first time listening to it. In the Kindle format, I had 196 notes & 216 highlights. I have trouble bookmarking while listening to audiobooks, but I enjoyed this romance in this format just as much. It's a definite winner for those of us curious about romance for well-developed fictional characters aged 40 and older.
•*¨*•
What other book might you compare this novel to and why?
I love that this author has chosen to write another romance featuring characters who are over 40 years old. I automatically compared it to her novel The Sex Education of M.E. since it was the first novel of hers I read. It compared well although the former is still my favorite of her novels that I’ve read so far, and I'm still bummed it hasn't been released in audiobook format yet.
•*¨*•
Would I read more from this author? Yes!
The next in the Sexy Silver Foxes standalones is Mid-Life Crisis (released on May 20, 2018 in e-book format), another romance for the over 40 crowd like me. I’m also slowly working my way through this author’s previous book releases and really enjoying her story telling ability. I hope that Audible decides to produce Mid-Life Crisis and The Sex Education of M.E. for those of us who are primarily audiobook readers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dirty Sexy Games

  • By: Laurelin Paige
  • Narrated by: Elena Wolfe, Jacob Morgan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 544
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 541

Their union started with a simple plan: to fake a marriage that would allow Elizabeth to take over her father’s company and merge it with Weston’s holdings, creating a vast media empire. But what began as a pretend marriage has become all too real.... Now a bombshell about Weston’s past is keeping him rooted at home while Elizabeth must travel across the globe to take up the company reigns. But their intense connection could bring the entire game crashing down as they’re forced to choose power and family...or the love of a lifetime.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Weston and Elizabeth!!

  • By Thelma on 08-14-18

Excellent narration; decent conclusion!

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

★¸¸.•*¨*•★Spoiler Free Review•*¨*•.¸¸★

Overall: 3-stars in this category equates to 'It's great'
The story and narrating performances combined for a great reading experience overall.

•*¨*•

Story: Audible's 3-stars equates to 'Pretty Good'
Pretty good is a very apt description for my reading experience. I had to do a reread of book 1, Dirty Sexy Player before diving into this conclusion to Weston and Elizabeth's story. I especially appreciated the fact that the 'bombshell secret' Weston learns of the day of his wedding and the ripple waves it created were handled in a non-over-the-top manner. In general, I thought this sequel wrapped up well even though it wasn't quite as exciting to me as the first novel.

There was a downgrade in the intensity for me, but that could be because I inadvertently read another novel with a similar fake marriage for business trope while waiting for this sequel to be released. That other novel really blew me away and made anything following it challenging for any novel following to compare as favorably. If I had been able to read both Dirty Games novels back-to-back without another similar novel in between, I may have felt differently. This reading experience has convinced me that going forward I need to stick to collecting all books in a series first before diving in when the author is still new-to-me.

•*¨*•

Performance: 5-stars aka 'I love it'
The best element of this sequel for me was the narrating team. Special shoutout to male narrator Jacob Morgan. He is still one of my top favorite narrators of all-time. I am guilty of sometimes being overly critical of narrators I like who are in high demand, but he's one of the few that I never have any criticism of at all. I love how anything he narrates tends to enhance and elevate a story for me. His voice and acting are always top notch!