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bookbruin

  • 90
  • reviews
  • 291
  • helpful votes
  • 90
  • ratings
  • Let Me Love You

  • By: Jessica Jayne
  • Narrated by: Samantha Cook, Joe Arden
  • Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Twenty-three-year-old Ren Haynes returns home after graduating college with two goals - start his engineering career and claim the heart of his parents' 31-year-old divorced neighbor, Stacey Williams. Stacey is nursing her broken heart and shattered ego. Not only did her ex-husband have an affair, he got the woman pregnant. Picking up the pieces of her life isn't easy, so when Ren taps into her need to feel desired again, she finds herself in a position she never imagined. 

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Light and Sexy Listen

  • By bookbruin on 07-16-18

A Light and Sexy Listen

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

Overall 3.5 stars
Performance 4 stars
Story 3 stars

This was a sweet and sexy younger man/older woman romance. This is my first book by the author and though I did enjoy it, I do wish there would have been more back story and build up for Ren and Stacey. Even just a few glimpses into their earlier friendship/relationship within the last year or two would have been helpful to set the stage for what was to come. Instead, the story starts off with a bang (pun intended), and I felt like I was playing catch up with the emotions for the majority of the story.

I did appreciate that the author was realistic with her portrayal of this trope (the fears, concerns, challenges, and stigma) and found the chapter where Ren's mother confronted Ren and Stacey extremely moving and powerful. I also loved Ren's father and how supportive he was of his son. There wasn't too much external drama and though I liked that the story stayed focused on Ren and Stacey, it also meant that there wasn't much movement to the story/plot. I enjoyed both narrators, but Joe Arden really stole the show. He captured Ren's youthful vulnerability and sexy swagger so perfectly that I really looked forward to his chapters the most. Overall, this was a light and sexy listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Tough Love Groom

  • Texas Titan Romances
  • By: Taylor Hart
  • Narrated by: Aaron Shedlock
  • Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Felicity Song has plans for her PR career, and babysitting a spoiled billionaire quarterback wasn’t one of them. When Kade "Zeus" Kindkaid demands she "fake" buy him at a bachelor auction or risk losing her job, she takes the assignment with one demand: She will not go on a date with him. Too bad Zeus is as cocky as his namesake and won’t let her off the hook. When she plans a perfectly horrible date full of activities Kade hates, she’s blindsided when he agrees to actually jump out of a plane with her and even more surprised when he kisses her. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun and Sweet Love Story

  • By bookbruin on 07-11-18

Fun and Sweet Love Story

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Overall 4 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3.5 stars

This was a fun and sweet love story. There isn't a lot of steam, but there are plenty of tender moments and lots of emotion. Aaron Shedlock narrated the story perfectly and I enjoyed both his male and female voices. He was vulnerable, but fiery as Felicity, but also arrogant and charming as Kade. I liked that there wasn't too much drama between our hero and heroine, but rather it focused more on external drama that they had to face (both individually and together). There is instalove between our characters and the story was predictable, but it was still an enjoyable listen. There are several tropes used in the story - fake relationship, employer/employee taboo, sports, quiet heroine/reformed player, etc. They all worked well together though and the story left me with a smile on my face.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Real Deal

  • A Novel
  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Erin Mallon, Zachary Webber
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker, or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A FANTASTIC FICTIONAL FAIRYTALE FLAWLESSLY TOLD

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 07-13-18

Perfect Narrators for this Romcom!

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

I completely loved this sweet and hilarious romantic comedy! Erin Mallon and Zachary Webber were absolutely PERFECT as April and Theo! I don't think any other duo could have pulled off this story as well as these two. Both narrators perform male and female voices so well and they brought just the right amount of sweet and sexy to this story. I just love their voices together!

The Real Deal was exactly what I was looking for and I couldn't get enough of April and Theo! The fake boyfriend/boyfriend for hire trope is always fun and Lauren Blakely executed it perfectly! The backdrop of the Hamilton family reunion and games kept the story light and fun and really gave April and Theo time to connect and shine without the drama of their every day lives. They had incredible chemistry (Gah! The build up was delicious!) and I couldn't help but have a huge grin on my face while reading this book. Their banter and witty comebacks were fantastic and I loved each and every one of their "Do you remember..." stories.

One of the best parts of the book though was the Hamilton clan! I especially loved all of April's female relatives! They had me laughing out loud with their good intentioned meddling and it brought some great comic relief when things got a little heavier. I really appreciated that though there is some drama and angst, it didn't overrun the story and created just the right amount of push and pull. The epilogue was wonderfully sweet and I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ending! Even if you've read the book, I definitely recommend listening to the audio as well!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Goal

  • By: Elle Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Susannah Jones, Andrew Eiden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 329
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn't include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she's willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'm Still Swooning for Tucker

  • By bookbruin on 07-10-18

I'm Still Swooning for Tucker

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Of the 4 Off Campus books, this one seems to be the most polarizing. I almost never see anyone giving The Goal or Tucker any love, so I honestly didn't go into this one with very high hopes. Plus, I wasn't sure how to feel after learning the major plot point of Tucker's story at the end of The Score. Well folks, I completely loved Tucker's story! I've always been firmly #TeamGarrett, but Tucker REALLY gave Garrett a run for his money! Though the book can be read/listened to as a stand alone, it's best enjoyed in order since previous characters do appear.

Tucker was pretty much the perfect book boyfriend. Sweet, loyal, smart, honest, considerate, loving, and an all around good guy. Throw in handsome, sexy, and an alpha personality in the bedroom and holy smokes! There really was so much to love about him and though some will no doubt knock him for being whipped or head over heels for Sabrina, I found all the things he did and said really endearing. I both listened to and read this one and can I just say that Andrew Eiden was absolutely PERFECT as Tucker!? He had just the right amount of sweetness and sexy and don't even get me started on the southern drawl. *swoon*

I really felt like Sabrina got a raw deal in how people perceived her. Just because someone is driven, keeps to themselves, and is not overly affectionate/expressive, doesn't mean they're aloof or a cold hearted b*tch. Her whole life she had to fight and claw her way out on her own, doing whatever she needed to so that she could achieve her goals. I respected the heck out of her. Did she make some mistakes along the way? Yes, but who doesn't? I thought Elle Kennedy did a great job too, with her honest and real portrayal of the major decision Sabrina and Tucker faced. I personally liked Sabrina a lot and though her and Tucker seemed so different in the beginning, by the end, I could see how they actually were really wonderful together.

The epilogue was the perfect way to bring this series to a close and I loved how it brought the books full circle. It was so clever of Elle Kennedy to write the books so that they would overlap at certain times in the timeline. It was awesome to see some scenes from an alternate POV and see how that character experienced and perceived those same events. I always love all the cameos from our previous characters as well. Off Campus is truly a wonderful NA series, and I'm so glad that a spin off series is already in the works and coming soon!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Score

  • By: Elle Kennedy
  • Narrated by: Savannah Peachwood, Andrew Eiden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 459
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 460

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn't have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she's nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won't include the king of one-night stands.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What a Difference a Narrator Makes (or Narrators)!

  • By ADV on 09-27-16

Not My Favorite Off Campus Hero

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Overall 4 stars
Performance 4 stars
Story 3.5 stars

I'm so glad that I finally took the time to officially meet Dean. After being introduced to him in The Deal, I was hoping there was more to him than just a manwhore hockey player. Well, he was those things (insert eye roll), but I'm happy to say that he was also more than that too. He's definitely not my favorite Off Campus hero, but I did enjoy his story and his banter with Allie.

I both loved and hated Dean. He was crass and boorish at times, but he also knew what he wanted and was unapologetic about it. He did have his sweet moments, but most of the time, he was either having sex, trying to have sex, thinking about sex, playing hockey, or partying. Honestly, it got a little old after a while. He did have fantastic chemistry with Allie though and I enjoyed their playful back and forth. Speaking of Allie, I wasn't sure how to feel about her in the beginning, but I was happy with her progression through the book. Both her and Dean matured through the story, but I admired Allie for stepping back and really finding herself and standing on her own. One of my favorite things about this series is that the characters from the previous books appear since the timeline of the books are all within the same time frame/overlap. I will never tire of more swoony Garrett or hilarious Logan. That scene when Logan "meets" Winston and the ensuing teasing had me laughing out loud!

This friends with benefits/secret relationship romance was an entertaining read/listen, but the overall pacing felt a bit slow and I didn't devour it the same way I did The Deal. I was glad though that the push and pull at the end wasn't drawn out, but was surprised and heartbroken at the cause of this downward spiral. The book ends a little abruptly with a bombshell from Tucker and I'm excited to see how that plays out in The Goal.

I both read and listened to this one and though both narrators did a great job, I can't say that I loved them. I enjoyed Andrew Eiden's performance more than Savannah Peachwood's, but as wonderful as it was, I almost felt like he was too sweet for cocky and arrogant Dean. Overall, still a great listen and I can't wait to meet Tucker!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Hunter: A Snow White Romance

  • Stud Ranch Standalone, Volume 1
  • By: Stasia Black
  • Narrated by: Melissa Stiletto
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Snow White’s on the run and sexier than ever… A broken man. A woman on the run from her evil stepmother. And one indecent proposal that will change both of their lives forever. Isobel: The last thing I need right now is to fall for a man. I’m on the run. My stepmother tried to poison me and I snapped. I almost killed her. So I ran. Running is what I’m good at. But Hunter Dawkins isn’t just any man.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Steamy Spin on the Snow White Fairy Tale

  • By bookbruin on 07-07-18

A Steamy Spin on the Snow White Fairy Tale

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

Reviewed: 07-07-18

Overall 3.5 stars
Narration 4 stars
Story 3 stars

This was a steamy spin on the Snow White fairy tale. Since it's loosely based on that story, we do see references to mirrors, animals, a group of (sexy) men, our huntsman (the town veterinarian named Hunter), and even apples (in the form of pie). The book also deals with issues of mental health, suicide, body image, and self-esteem. It took me a bit to warm up to the story and Isobel and honestly, I didn't feel invested until I was more than half way through. As things started to pick up though, and our characters were finally honest with each other, I found myself enjoying the book a lot more. There are some seriously hot scenes between Hunter and Isobel and I really enjoyed the enemies to lovers vibe. The twist in Hunter's past wasn't one I saw coming and though it resolved quickly, the revelations about Isobel's past also surprised me in a good way.

There are a lot of secondary characters to keep track of, but I liked that everyone had their own mysterious back story and it opened up the possibility for future books. This is my first book narrated by Melissa Stiletto and I thought that she did a great job with all the different characters and accents. I enjoyed the epilogue from one of the secondary character's POV and it revealed a few surprises about his past while also setting up the next book in the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Start of Us

  • No Regrets Series, Book 0.5
  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Erin Mallon, Joe Arden
  • Length: 1 hr and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60

I only wanted a tattoo. A mark on my body to remind me of who I used to be. Something to hold onto when I started my penance for all the things I'd done wrong, the bad choices I'd made by the time I turned 19. Instead, I found a night of possibility, of truth, of hope for the future. And the most intense physical connection I've ever had. The only one I've ever had, and one I will never forget. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just the right amount of intrigue....

  • By DW on 07-03-18

Prequel Novella to Trey and Harley's Story

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

Overall 4 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3.5 stars

The Start of Us is a short prequel novella to the No Regrets series. It introduces us to Trey and Harley and gives us the details of their first chance meeting. Erin Mallon and Joe Arden were amazing and added the perfect amount of sexy and vulnerability to these two characters. It's clear that both have secrets and demons in their pasts, but for one night, they allow themselves to simply enjoy the moment. Told in dual POV, both Trey and Harley leave the reader/listener with an intriguing little bombshell at the end of this novella. Find out how their story continues in The Thrill of It. Also included with this audiobook is an excerpt from Lauren Blakely's upcoming book, Unbreak My Heart.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Beautifully Decadent

  • Beautifully Damaged, Book 3
  • By: L.A. Fiore
  • Narrated by: Aaron Shedlock, Tracy Marks
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Avery Collins has just landed her dream job, pastry chef for the posh-Manhattan restaurant Clover. Her new boss, Trace Montgomery, even helped with securing her an affordable place to live: a beautifully restored carriage house owned by his friend Rafe McKenzie - a man who makes her catch her breath and stirs her imagination. Trouble is, he's involved with someone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Slow Burn Romance with Elements of Suspense

  • By bookbruin on 06-25-18

A Slow Burn Romance with Elements of Suspense

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

Reviewed: 06-25-18

This was an entertaining slow burn romance with elements of suspense. It's the third in the series (I have not read/listened to the previous 2 books), but it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Characters from the previous books do appear though.

Aaron Shedlock and Tracy Marks were wonderful as Rafe and Avery. I enjoyed both their female and male voices and they were perfect for their characters. Tracy Marks pulled off quirky and goofy Avery so wonderfully, while Aaron Shedlock was just the right amount of sexy and rugged in his performance as Rafe. The pacing of the story was a bit slow in the beginning and it took a bit before I felt really invested in the characters. I loved the running theme of family (by blood or by choice) and the strong connection between Rafe, Trace, and Lucien. I did question Avery's intelligence a few times (clumsy and careless are two different things!), but overall, this was an entertaining book. The story definitely had my mouth watering a few times with all the dessert talk too!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Buried Alive

  • By: Stacey Marie Brown
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Aaron Shedlock
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 55
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 55

Nine years after a tragic accident, Hannah “Brennley” Evans has returned home to the snowy mountains of Whistler, Canada. After failing school and the death of her grandmother, the woman who raised her, Hannah is drawn back home. This is the very place that destroyed her, the reason she now goes by Hannah Jennings. Struggling with his own tragic past, Rhys Axton, an infamous sexy snowboarding champion, wants nothing more than to be the next Olympic hopeful. Sex, snowboarding, and working out are all he cares about, which helps shut off the demons that haunt him and the family who rejected him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Secrets Never Stay Buried

  • By bookbruin on 06-22-18

Secrets Never Stay Buried

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

Overall 4 stars
Narration 5 stars
Story 3.5 stars

This story was much more mysterious and emotionally complex than I thought it would be. It's part sports romance, part slow burn, and part mystery. Hannah/Brennley and Rhys are so broken when we first meet them. They share an instant connection, but as the story progresses, we find out just how deep it runs. There was a lot of frustrating back and forth drama with these two that left me with a bit of whiplash. Rhys is the typical manwhore athlete and the whole Riding Rhys hashtag along with the persistent ex-girlfriend added to the angst. Slowly the pieces of the past are revealed in flashbacks and though I had a strong suspicion about what the big reveal would be, I was still moved and heartbroken thanks to the amazing performances by Aaron Shedlock and Andi Arndt. The narration was fantastic and both narrators did a wonderful job creating distinct voices for the different characters. This is my first Stacey Marie Brown book, but I look forward to reading/listening to more.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • His Whiskey Sour

  • The Cocktail Girls, Book 4
  • By: Kim Loraine
  • Narrated by: Zachary Webber, Kylie C. Stewart
  • Length: 1 hr and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Easton Harrison always gets what he wants. All this rock star has to do is crook his finger and women come running. Unfortunately, hookups don’t inspire the songs for which he’s known, and Easton hasn't been able to write a word since his last hit. After he lands an exclusive gig in Vegas at the Millennium Hotel, the pressure’s on to write a new album. But Ireland, the challenging and sexy-as-hell cocktail waitress who works downstairs at the hotel’s swanky bar, is exactly what he needs. She's his muse whether she likes it or not. Too bad she doesn't date musicians.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sexy Instalove Rockstar Novella

  • By bookbruin on 06-14-18

Sexy Instalove Rockstar Novella

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

Reviewed: 06-14-18

Overall 3.5 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3 stars

This was a sexy instalove rockstar novella. It's a short and fun listen/read featuring Easton, a charming musician with a heart of gold, and Ireland, a sassy and guarded Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Sparks fly immediately after a chance meeting in the hotel bar where Ireland works. These two had sizzling chemistry that was off the charts hot thanks to the amazing duet narration by Zachary Webber and Kylie C. Stewart. Zachary Webber is always amazing, but hearing him narrate in the duet style was freaking delicious! I really wished this was longer since I would have loved to know more about Ireland and Easton's pasts as well as see their relationship develop more. Overall, this was a fun and sexy listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful