LISTENER

Ceej of Ceej's Life Reads

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • Happy Hour

  • Charity Case, Book 3
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Kylie Stewart
  • Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

Dating is hard. Dating in your 30s is even harder. Dating in Chicago is harder still. I haven't given up on finding my happily-ever-after, but in the age of swiping right and Netflix and chill, I'm wondering if everything is as temporary as my marriage turned out to be. Truth is, there is one guy I can't get my mind off of. Roarke Baldwin has salt and pepper hair I've dreamed of running my hands through, and I'm pretty sure that if I checked, he really does have a six-pack of abs underneath his suit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredibly moving story!

  • By Ceej of Ceej's Life Reads on 11-06-18

Incredibly moving story!

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

Reviewed: 11-06-18

Happy Hour is a tale of love and lust, honesty and lies, acceptance and forgiveness, trust and lies-by-omission, delicious hotness, utter hilarity, and heart-squeezing angst!

Hannah…made me love her then broke my heart then put it all back together again. How many of us are or were like her when it comes to love and marriage? How many of us are so incredibly stubborn that we blindly hold onto deep-seated distrust? And now how many of us have gotten smacked in the head with an epiphany that opens us, not only mentally but emotionally as well? Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m more stubborn than Hannah. However, she was the one that showed me that keeping an open mind after my trust was violated is key to my personal survival. I admit there were times that I wanted to shake her for her misplaced antagonism and rudeness. It made my heart so happy to see the change in her, and it gave me hope.

Roarke…I absolutely fell in love with him. His relentless pursuit of Hannah made me grin. His persistence opened my eyes to see what kind of man he is underneath the divorce attorney persona he wore like a well-loved shirt. He is far from perfect, and he made me fall more in love with him with each revelation. There are few things sexier than a man who pursues a woman with cunning, honesty, gentleness, and vulnerability. What he did towards the end for Hannah? S.W.O.O.N. Piper Rayne, I need a Roarke!

Piper Rayne, I do not know how you ladies do it. You make me break a rib (kidding) from laughing then turn around and bring that tickle to my nose that signals the forthcoming tears. I cannot wait to see what you ladies come up with next!

As for Kylie's performance, she did a great job with Happy Hour! An even more entertaining performance than the previous books she narrated. This time, she made me feel Hannah's pain, joy, and the depth of her love for Roarke as well as her two friends. This is definitely one audiobook I can and will listen to over and over again.

  • Afternoon Delight

  • Charity Case, Book 2
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Kylie Stewart
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

I'm on a mission to find myself a nice, solid, respectable man. The only problem is nice, solid, and respectable comes in a meh package and is B-O-R-I-N-G as hell. It's been established. I have one type. Bad Boy. I tried the other flavors, I really did. But there's nothing like the allure of a man who takes what he wants without apology. As if my love life isn't dramatic enough, Dean Bennett walks into my life again thinking he's going to win me back with his charm and charisma. He might come in a different package, but under that expensive suit he's still the same cocky, arrogant, pompous prick who only cares about numero uno. I'm not that naïve young girl anymore so I have to ignore the fact that the way he looks at me practically sets my panties on fire.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love Chelsea and Dean!

  • By Ceej of Ceej's Life Reads on 09-11-18

Love Chelsea and Dean!

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

Reviewed: 09-11-18

Afternoon Delight is 5 stars of heat, pain, forgiveness, redemption, joy, and a ton of laughter! Just when I think there won’t be a book that will rival my favorite book of theirs, though I thoroughly love and enjoy all their books, Piper Rayne proves me wrong.

Chelsea is a woman that I’d have a blast hanging out with, whether we are at a bar or watching movies, or just chilling out. I adore her sarcasm and honesty. I felt her pain when she thought or spoke about her marriage and divorce. Her struggle was hard and I don’t blame her one bit for how she felt for Dean…before they reconnected. I rejoiced when she broke and opened her heart again.

Dean is a man that I admire. It takes serious strength and courage to do what he did in the interim between their divorce and their reconnection. It also takes serious gumption to admit fault and take responsibility. I absolutely adored his persistence with Chelsea. And everything he did? Swoon!!

Afternoon Delight is a book that reminded me that love can survive. There were moments where it brought those dreaded tears to my eyes, not just in commiseration, but in laughter. Piper Rayne never fail to make me snort and belly laugh, tear up, try to rub the ache out of my chest, and fan my face as I swoon. I cannot wait to see what else they come up with!

As for the performance, I'm feeling generous with the three-star rating as the last third of the performance was better than the first two. For most of the book, I felt that the narrator was making the book sound boring when it was anything but. This is my favorite Charity Case book and I'm a bit disappointed. However, the emotion coming through towards the end is what saved it. It was the punch of feeling that I was waiting for and that had been lacking since the beginning. I hope that if I were to listen to the narrator perform any more of Piper Rayne's books, she'd give what they deserve.

  • International Guy: Milan

  • By: Audrey Carlan
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Ava Erickson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

With intimate pictures of me and starlet Skyler Paige igniting a tabloid sexstorm, the gig in Milan is perfectly timed. I need a distraction. And what a distraction: a dozen gorgeous Italian lingerie models - every one of them a mouthwatering temptation. The problem? These aren’t professionals. They’re real women - soft, lush, and inexperienced. They need International Guy to show them how to embrace their sexy on the runway. With my personal life challenges and just a week to empower each one, I’m not on my game. All I can think about is Skyler.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yummy!

  • By Rhonda on 08-09-18

Absolutely loved Milan and Sebastian and Ava!

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

Milan is my favorite International Guy installment so far! Not only does Parker and Sky make a big decision, but the message the guys teach their client is important to all women. It’s not only wicked hot, but it’s very moving and encouraging.

Park and Sky made me so happy! They make such a sizzlingly hot couple and the beauty of it is that it’s not just about sex. There is so much more than that. It’s so much fun witnessing their chemistry and the depth of their affection for each other. And when their relationship is tested, my heart started pounding harder! Gah I love them both so much!

The Dream Maker and Lovemaker tag-teaming the process of coaching normal women to embrace their sexy? Utter perfection. And Park’s first idea? It was inspired. And hilarious as it pertains to Bo’s reaction. I loved that part! Then Park’s idea for the catwalk/stage? Maybe I’m a softie, but that really touched my heart and soul as a woman, especially a woman who has the same or similar esteem issue as some of the models.

I don’t believe I could love Milan any more than I already do! It was wicked HOT as can always be expected from Audrey Carlan, moving, inspiring, touching, and completely epic! I cannot wait to see what else we get to enjoy! Audrey Carlan rocks serials like no one else!

Sebastian York and Ava Erickson are such talented narrators! As always, I can picture the scenes, but these two brought Parker and Skyler to life! I felt like I was with them as they lived their lives and that I was a confidant! The only thing that would make this better, in my opinion, is if they performed the International Guy as a pro duo. Still, I loved every minute of their performances!

  • Dirty Talker

  • A Single Dads Club Romance
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Kai Kennicott, Wen Ross
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Turn-ons: party girls. Platinum blondes. Zero expectations. I used to think if you could combine all three into one female, you'd have the perfect woman. Then why the hell does Ava Pearson - an outdoorsy girl, a brunette, and a woman who screams stability and responsibility - seem to be the only woman on my mind lately? It's the cupcakes. It's gotta be the cupcakes she bakes that keep me coming back for more. After all, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? Did I forget to mention she's my buddy's daughter?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet Treats and Dirty Talk

  • By bookbruin on 09-28-18

Made me love Dirty Talker even more!

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

Dirty Talker (Single Dads Club #2) by Piper Rayne is an amazing feather in this talented author duo’s cap! Dirty Talker is sizzling HOT, brings the grins, chuckles, snorts, full-on belly laughs, sighs, gasps, and sappy tears of joy! Dane is my new favorite dirty talker! This one brings a twist that had me thumping the ache out of my chest and had me loving him even more!
In Dirty Talker, we get to know Dane Murray beyond the arrogant player that we glimpsed in the previous book. I enjoyed Dane then because I knew there was more to him than we saw. He was the fun guy, the center of attention. In this book, that hasn’t changed. However, we get to see how deep he is…and that’s not a pun or euphemism (this time lol). Dane made me fall in love with him. His devotion to his son and his town is admirable when he turns that to…something else…you have to read it to find out what happens! I swear, if I didn’t already enjoy him in the previous book, Dane would have won me over in this one. There is so much more to him than his sexy #groincleavage and dirty mouth.

Ava Pearson is one of those women who has her priorities straight, but when she gets sidetracked by Dane, it is so much fun to watch! She creates magic in her bakery, The Mad Batter. Her cupcakes are like crack, according to Dane. She makes me want to visit and load up on her sugary goods (that wasn’t a euphemism, either lol). Her initial disdain for Dane just made me grin and I knew it was going to be good! And I love her relationship with her roommates! They’re not just women sharing space. They’re friends who know and love each other and it’s beautiful.

The passion between Ava and Dane is wicked HOT! Their craving for each other is addicting! What also hooked me was the range of feels! I never expected to feel tears, other than tears from laughing my head off, but I loved Ava and Dane so much!

Kai Kennicott and Wen Ross brought such life to Dirty Talker with the way they narrate! They are my favorite narrators and I wish they performed every single audiobook for Piper Rayne and all my other faves! I swear, listening to it made me think I had a movie playing in the background. Kai made me believe I was in Ava's head. Wen made me believe I was in Dane's. Yes, I know that's their goal/purpose, but not all narrators are as successful in doing so, in my opinion. I could listen to Kai and Wen all day.

I loved everything about this audiobook, from the rockin duo of Piper Rayne to the talented pro couple of Kai Kennicott and Wen Ross! I need more from all four of them!

  • International Guy: Paris, New York, Copenhagen

  • International Guy Series, Volume 1
  • By: Audrey Carlan
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Ava Erickson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57

International Guy Inc. is owned and operated by Parker Ellis, a ladies’ man with a high IQ and a big libido. He’s the most successful life and love coach in the world, and he’s smart enough to know he can’t run a multimillion-dollar company alone. He hires two friends whose areas of expertise complement his own. They comprise The Dream Maker, The Love Maker, and The Money Maker. Together, they advise the wealthiest people in the world. And sometimes they can’t help it when things heat up and they end up in bed with their clients. Quite literally.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great read, love these men

  • By Colett Dominowski on 11-18-18

An epic start!

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

International Guy Volume 1: Paris, New York, Copenhagen is an EPIC start to a serial that combines realistic emotions and needs with extraordinary situations, and naturally, it comes from the wicked talented Audrey Carlan.

Parker Ellis…fits his title of Dream Maker, and it’s not just because of his prowess in the bedroom. He truly sees what a woman needs, and in these cases, his female clients. It’s as if he knows the women better than they do. They all come out of the experience with enlightened knowledge of themselves, even Parker, himself. He doesn’t go into each case with set plans. His mind is open to possibilities and this virtue benefits all his clients and the people around them. I’d love to have someone like Parker, even as a friend, although during football season, we won’t be able to be friends. LOL. In Paris, he helped a perfume heiress bloom. He did not give her anything she didn’t already have, but the way he did it, it shows just why his title fits. In New York, his dreams come true while he works to save the heart and sanity of Hollywood’s hottest starlet. In Copenhagen, he works with European royalty to open eyes and hearts.

Bogart Montgomery…one of his chosen brothers, is quite the character. He’s wicked smart and intuitive, and he’s the joker of the trio. What else will make you laugh about him? You have to read it to find out. I will say though, he made me grin, chuckle, and roll my eyes as he assisted in Paris, New York, and Copenhagen.

Royce Sterling…Parker’s other chosen brother, is MINE. LOL. Everything about this man, from his panty-melting physical characteristics to his protectiveness makes me want to grab him and hold on for dear life. Amongst the three of them, he’s the serious suit-clad brother who works the financial side of the Paris client’s needs while Parker and Bogart finish their jobs there and move on to New York and Copenhagen.

I cannot wait to see what else is in store for the International Guy team, especially with their genius addition! I loved every single moment in all three books!

Sebastian York never fails. However, his French interpretation made me wince and laugh. Highly entertaining, though. I think he is the perfect narrator for Parker. He made everything come alive for me. I felt as though I was in Parker's head. And as for Ava Erickson, she is the perfect narrator for Skyler. I just wish there was more of her. I cannot wait for Volume 2 so I can listen to new adventures with both of them!

  • Manic Monday

  • Charity Case, Book 1
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Kylie Stewart
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

I swore off anyone remotely like my ex. On the top of that list? Attorneys. Everyone knows they can't be trusted. Now that I've moved back into my childhood home in Chicago, my focus is my daughter, my mom, and me. Then I see Reed Warner again. I push him away, but somehow he weasels his way into every part of my life, not willing to take "No" for an answer. In spite of my better judgment, I can't stop thinking about the way his designer suits fit his muscular frame. The problem? Not only is he a lawyer...he was the best man at my wedding.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic story!

  • By Ceej of Ceej's Life Reads on 07-17-18

Fantastic story!

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

Reviewed: 07-17-18

Manic Monday is amazingly wonderful. Who knew I could fall for such a good guy? I absolutely loved Reed! And Victoria? I already liked her from previous books. I think one of the reasons I liked her so much is because she just may be as stubborn as I am. LOL! Nothing she did surprised me and for once, I loved that about her.

One thing I love about Piper Rayne novels is the fact that they’re not just about a man and woman finding each other. Victoria has Hannah and Chelsea, who are such amazing characters on their own and help round Victoria out. Both had me rolling in laughter! But when they’re all together? I wish I were right there with them!

Reed…(sigh) I need a Reed. He’s such a good man. When Victoria discovered what he did outside of work? Cue the swoon. I love a man who does that and enjoys it. Want to know what that is? Gotta read it for yourself! I adore his persistence and his smirks! One thing I didn’t expect from him made my heart drop (thanks a lot, Piper Rayne)!

I read the ebooks first then listen to the audio versions. And as for this performance, I felt that the narrator put a little more effort into the dialogue for all the other characters than Victoria. The hot, sexy scenes were made to sound kind of boring when I know for a fact they're not. I was disappointed because this story and the authors deserved a 5 star performance. The narrator, unfortunately, sounded like she was simply reading to herself and not putting much of an effort.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Banker

  • Modern Love, Volume 3
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Molly Mermelstein
  • Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 9

Who knew my brother's friend could be Mr. Right, and not just Mr. Right Now? My brother refused to introduce me, so I blame him. If he'd just caved, and introduced me to Jasper, I wouldn't be in this mess. I mean, really, what's the big deal? I'm not interested in the guy's looks. Oh no, I want his cold hard cash. (Be honest, you were expecting that other four letter ‘c' word weren't you?) Now, before you go getting all judgy, I'm not a gold digger. I have a legitimate business opportunity for Jasper to invest in. The problem is that my stick-up-his-ass brother is embarrassed that his twin sister invents kick ass sex toys. His problem, not mine. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The audio version made me love it mor!

  • By Ceej of Ceej's Life Reads on 06-10-18

The audio version made me love it mor!

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

Reviewed: 06-10-18

Mad About the Banker (Modern Love Book 3) by Piper Rayne is the book I’ve been waiting for! I am hooked on the Modern Love series and needed to know Lennon’s story. Piper and Rayne did not disappoint!

Lennon Hart is the tattooed, quirky third in the Modern Love trio. Though I loved Whit and Tahl, Lennon is my favorite! She’s unique, blunt, creative, damn near fearless, but she also has her vulnerable side. She’s now used to being the fifth wheel when her friends get together. She’s not looking for Mr. Right. She’s happy with Mr. Right Now. She had goals and ambitions and has no qualms about doing what she has to do in order to reach them.

Jasper Banks. Sounds pretentious, right? He’s not. He’s a gorgeous man with a sense of humor that matches Lennon perfectly. He isn’t all about himself and his accomplishments. He’s genuine and caring. He’s exactly the kind of man that Lennon needs. But he has a secret. It may be one secret that will tear them apart.

I have read Mad About the Banker countless times. Yes, I reread a lot, but I’m particular about what I reread. Lennon just keeps me laughing. A lot of her thoughts are like my own. I swear she and I would have a blast. We could even spend hours talking about our tattoos (I have several myself, almost two full sleeves in addition to the ones on my calves and my sternum)! I will say that I would love to punch Lennon’s twin brother in the head. He needs some sense knocked into him. The rest of her family…I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that it’s miraculous that Lennon isn’t a brittle or weak person. They actually made me love her even more. This also made me look at her best friends a little differently. You have to read this to know why. As for Jasper, I need one like him! His need for Lennon was thoroughly enjoyed! He definitely has a dominating side, but it’s not one that’s bad. It’s all good, I promise! Sooooo good! There’s so much more I want to say, but I don’t want to spoil it. It’ll be worth the wait.

The Banker gave me what I needed. There’s a bit of angst. Not totally rip-your-heart-out angst, but enough to where you feel it. This one had me trying to rub the ache out of my chest. I needed Lennon and Jasper happy!

This book! Oh this book! It had me laughing, chuckling, grinning maniacally, ready to hit someone, needing a cold shower (or my Eli), in tears of sorrow, and finally, tears of joy! I know that I will be rereading this in the future, that’s how much I loved it! I can't wait for more from Piper Rayne!

Molly Mermelstein is such a fantastic narrator! She brought Lennon's sarcastic humor to life and I loved it, even though she made me look like an idiot because I kept busting up in laughter when I listened during my commute. And the parts that always hit me with this book? Molly intensified it. She is amazing, I hope to hear more from her!

  • Hooked on the Boxer

  • Modern Love, Book 2
  • By: Piper Rayne
  • Narrated by: Molly Mermelstein
  • Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 15

What does a girl do after she discovers her fiancé is a cheating bastard? Adventure Dating, my friends dared. I thought they were crazy, but I'm not one to back down from a challenge, so I signed up for the entire four-week deal. That's where I saw him. Lucas Cummings. He isn't the classic rich boy I usually end up with. He's a rough and tough bad boy that all fathers warn their daughters about. Sold, I said to myself, until I discovered he was so much more than just a boxer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even Better in Audio

  • By Brittany Strickland Dunn on 04-03-18

Such a fun one!

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

Absolutely love this story. I already have it on my Kindle and needed the audiobook for my long commute. Piper Rayne never fails.

One of my favorite things about the story is that the humor is equal to the passion. Admittedly, when I first read about Tahlia, I thought she was a little too prissy. As a rough and tumble chick myself, prissy is not something I like. However, this book proved to me that while Tahl grew up with and amongst silver spoon types, she wasn't a diva. She cracked me up and made me love her. I liked Lucas from the start. I don't always like the male leads, but his sense of humor and the way he treated Tahl made me love him.

As for the performance, for the most part, the narrator did well in expressing the emotions, the passion, and the humor. There were parts though, that I winced. At times, she made Tahl sound ditzy and kind of off-putting, while Tahl is an intelligent and well-bred woman. I will say though the inflections for Tahl's best friend Lennon were awesome.