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Jen Valencia

  • 47
  • reviews
  • 75
  • helpful votes
  • 180
  • ratings
  • Hot Under the Collar

  • Love off the Leash
  • By: Summer Devon
  • Narrated by: Chris Meadows
  • Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Attorney Sam Trevisani never thought he’d play the bad guy, but now his job makes him the enemy of every dog owner in town - and whenever he meets his main opponent, Dan Bailey, the vet gives him the evil eye. Tired of playing for the wrong side, Sam has to find a solution. Maybe the tempting Dr. Bailey can help him find a solution for his restless need for change. Or maybe it’s his attraction to the vet that pushes him to pay a late-night visit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sweet story

  • By hussfan on 02-21-19

Enemies to lovers and dogs galore

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

Reviewed: 02-21-19

I've read Summer Devon's co-written work with Bonnie Dee before, but Hot Under the Collar is my first story from her as a solo author and it's my first audiobook with her name attached to it. This book is the second in the multi-authored Love Off the Leash and can be listened to or read independently of the other books. We're introduced to Sam Trevisani, a lawyer tasked to quash any plans for the land owned by his client to be used for a dog park, a project spearheaded by town veterinarian Dan Bailey. Sam is basically seen as the villain by the townsfolk, and it's a role he doesn't relish. He reaches out to Dan, but the vet is wary of the lawyer. It may take a bit of pushing and prodding and a whole lot of persistence, but Sam intends to prove to Dan that he isn't the bad guy that everyone thinks he is, and maybe, just maybe, they could be friends...and more.

For the most part, this was a pretty good story, with a whole lot of back and forth between the main characters. Sam did seem to be pushing his way into Dan's life, at times ignoring Dan's obvious lack of enthusiasm or outright rejection or maybe simply not getting that Dan didn't like him a whole lot. I wouldn't necessarily call this insta-love, especially since there was no love lost between the two, particularly on Dan's part. However, the investment that Sam put into whatever it was he had with Dan seemed to be really major for such a short amount of time together. I did like the chemistry they had when Dan took a break from distrusting Sam, and the dogs were a definite bonus.

This audiobook was a relatively quick listen. Chris Meadows is a new-to-me narrator and he did a good job bringing Sam and Dan's story to life. He made both characters sound distinct enough throughout the audiobook. Having only read historical fare from Summer Devon in the past, I was curious to see how a more contemporary story would turn out, and I liked the result of her efforts. I'm giving the story four stars and the narration four stars, for an average rating of four stars for Hot Under the Collar. ♥

  • How Not to Blend

  • Lovestrong Book, 1
  • By: Susan Hawke
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86

 

Dr. Corbin Davis is a busy guy just trying to do his best as a single parent. He may be oblivious to a lot of things, but surely he would’ve noticed something as important as his 15-year-old son Grayson being bullied, right? And what the heck is nonbinary, and why hasn’t Gray shared this all-important part of himself with his own dad? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Laugh out loud! Best book in a long time!

  • By ILoveBooksSue on 01-31-19

A beautiful story with the perfect narrator

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

Reviewed: 02-15-19

I'd originally read the ebook edition of How Not to Blend a couple or so weeks ago and it served as a great introduction to Susan Hawke's writing and to her Lovestrong series. I loved this story about a slightly clueless yet supportive and loving father to his non-binary teenage son and the awesome barista slash drag queen who made them see that blending into the background by trying to be like everyone else was them not being the most authentic versions of themselves. So yes, I fell in love with this story and these characters while reading the ebook, but listening to the audiobook was a wholly more satisfying experience, and a great deal of that has to do with the fact that Hawke's wonderful story was matched perfect with the narration of none other than Michael Pauley, who, like Hawke, I only discovered this year (sad, I know) but has quickly become a favorite.

Now, I know it may seem weird that I chose to listen to an audiobook that had a story that I was already familiar with. What would the point be? I love being able to experience a story through a different medium, and when it's done exceptionally well, it can prove to be amazing. Pauley has proven to be more than adept at shifting from one character to another, making each one sound distinct and giving them their own unique voice and personality. He's working with what I consider really fabulous material in Susan Hawke's writing, and these two combined have made How Not to Blend one of my favorite audiobook listens for this year. Okay, maybe-kinda-sorta-absolutely one of my favorites of all time, too. Would it be too much to hope that Pauley narrates the rest of the series as well? Fingers crossed! Five-plus stars! ♥

  • The Unseelie Prince

  • The Hawthorn Throne Series, Book 1
  • By: Kaitlyn Abdou
  • Narrated by: Liam Taylor
  • Length: 2 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

 

Noah Reid has spent his life seeking normalcy after a turbulent childhood with a superstitious mother who refused to answer questions about the father he never knew and instead attempted to impress upon him a real fear of faeries. Despite his mother’s best efforts, Noah finds himself ripped from the life he knows and thrust into a palace of nightmares. Here, he must face the persistent attention of the regent and discover the shocking truth his mother took to her grave.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Original and enthralling

  • By Jen Valencia on 02-08-19

Original and enthralling

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

Reviewed: 02-08-19

In a matter of a little over two hours, Kaitlyn Abdou's fantastical story and Liam Taylor's narration was able to do what quite a few other audiobooks haven't been able to: give me an original and enthralling tale and leave me wanting much more in the best way possible. The Unseelie Prince is the first in Abdou's Hawthorn Prince series, and it's the ideal sort of series starter, enticing the listener with a mesmerizing and intriguing story, ensuring that they'd be invested in the characters, needing to find out what happens next. This is Abdou's debut release and it's the first time I've listened to Taylor's narrating, both leaving me wholly impressed with their respective contributions to this wonderfully fascinating story of a man named Noah Reid who is taken by mystical creatures and finds out that the life he once led wasn't as mundane or normal as he was made to believe. I don't want to give too much away, but this does end on a cliffhanger, and I was a wee bit frustrated because I desperately wanted to know what awaited certain characters in the story. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for book two! The Unseelie Prince gets five stars! ♥

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • All the Right Places

  • Riley O'Brien & Co., Book 1
  • By: Jenna Sutton
  • Narrated by: Ava Lucas
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Amelia Winger is a small-town girl with big dreams of becoming a successful designer. So when she gets a gig designing accessories for denim empire Riley O’Brien & Co., it’s a dream come true. Amelia can handle the demanding job, but she isn’t quite prepared for sexy CEO Quinn O’Brien. She’s doing her best to keep things professional, but the attraction sparking between them makes it personal. So does the secret project she's working on behind his back.... 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4.5 Wonderful 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Now I want me some Rileys’!

  • By Bette H on 10-06-18

A good story with great narration! 4.5 stars!

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

Reviewed: 01-26-19

Jenna Sutton is a new-to-me author, although I have heard good things about her work in the past, All the Right Places was originally released back in 2015 but only published as an audiobook in 2018. This is the first in the author's Riley O'Brien & Co. series which centers around the family and people that make up a company known for its denims. It's the story of an aspiring designer from a small town who hopes to impress the CEO of Riley O'Brien & Co. where she'll be designing accessories. Amelia Winger and Quinn O'Brien were a fine pair, one that had a fair amount of chemistry and good interactions between each other. It was interesting how Quinn wasn't really all that interested in Amelia's accessory designs but was certainly taken by the woman she was. Crossing the line between personal and professional adds a hint of the forbidden, especially since there's a whole lot more at stake than either of their hearts getting broken should everything go south. Sutton has written the kind of romance that you can curl up with and enjoy for a couple or so hours, but it's Ava Lucas's narration that had me sitting up and paying attention. Prior to this audiobook, I'd have been hard-pressed to name a female narrator whose voicing of male characters I was a fan of. However, after having heard Lucas's exceptional work here, her name would be first on my list. I'm giving four stars for the story and five stars for the performance, giving All the Right Places an average rating of 4.5 stars. ♥

  • Ugly

  • By: Margaret McHeyzer
  • Narrated by: Becca Ballenger
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to see. If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to feel. If I were dead, he'd never raise his hand to me again. If I were dead, his words wouldn't cut as deep as they do. If I were dead, I'd be beautiful and I wouldn't be so...ugly. I'm not dead...but I wish I was.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great, and real tear jerker.

  • By weekly reader on 08-16-18

One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to

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

Reviewed: 01-26-19

I wish I could come up with words sufficient enough to express how amazing of a listen this audiobook was. Both Margaret McHeyzer and Becca Ballenger were new to me as an author and narrator, respectively, but after listening to Ugly, their work has left a mark on me. If you're looking for something lighthearted or whimsical to listen to, I'm going to highly suggest that you move along. Lily's story is neither easy nor simple, and my heart ached and broke for everything that she had to endure in order to make it to the other side. But you see, it's that latter part--the making it to the other side part--that resonates so greatly with me. Lily is not a victim--she's a survivor, and while her tale is heartrending, it is ultimately hopeful. My nerves were frayed and my emotions put through the proverbial wringer. I shed tears, but I also smiled as Lily went on her journey. This story does carry with it certain triggers, so consider yourself warned, but it is a story so worth the time you put into it. McHeyzer is an absolutely gifted author and Ballenger is one hell of a talented storyteller. Five-plus stars for the beautiful story that is Ugly. ♥

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Finding Alexei

  • By: Kendall Ryan
  • Narrated by: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 207
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 199
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198

He’s bossy, moody, and overprotective. He’s also a pro athlete who needs to focus on winning games and staying out of the headlines. I’m fiercely independent and need a man like I need a second period each month. So when our worlds collide, I never expected him to be the one to jump in and save me. Especially not when my roommate disappears, leaving me with her baby. I’m clueless about babies - and it shows. Good thing Alexei isn’t.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good listen but waaaay shorter than listed time

  • By Jill D on 12-30-18

Two for the price of one! 4.5 stars!

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

Reviewed: 01-25-19

Finding Alexei was a good read, but it made for an even better audiobook, thanks to the combined efforts of author Kendall Ryan and narrators Jason Clarke and Erin Mallon. This was a sweet story about pro football player Alex Ivan--who introduces himself as Alexei to the female main character--and Ryleigh (no last name mentioned), a woman who finds herself suddenly caring for her roommate's baby girl, Ella. After rescuing Ryleigh from an overly persistent customer, Alexei learns about Ryleigh's circumstances and decides to step in and help out. Like Ryleigh took it upon herself to take on the responsibility of caring for Ella while her roommate was MIA, Alexei went above and beyond in providing them with whatever they may need. They became an insta-family of sorts, or at the very least, a unit that was close to what a family looked like. The dynamic between Ryleigh and Alexei was great and the story very entertaining, and Jason Clarke and Erin Mallon definitely brought them to life exceptionally well. I would give four stars for the story and five stars for the performance, with an overall rating of 4.5 stars for Finding Alexei.

This audiobook contains a surprise bonus novella--Bossy Brit. This was originally released by the author in December as a freebie. This bonus audio is narrated by Shane East and Erin Mallon and it's an office romance between Liam Bennett and Noelle St. James. Noelle has been working as Liam's new assistant for a few months and she's been crushing on the hot Brit the whole time. What she doesn't know is that Liam does notice her. When the two cross the line though, is it nothing more than an office fling or could Liam bring Noelle into his life--one that he shares with his children, and unfortunately, an ex-wife who's on him about working too much and waiting for him to make a mistake with the kids. This was a quickie read, and the same could be said for the audiobook. There's a lot of heat, and I did like the story, but it did feel rushed, glossing over and skipping parts that I wish the author had delved into more so that readers and listeners could experience the development of the characters and their relationship. I did like Shane East and Erin Mallon's narration, though the former more than the latter since I wasn't a fan of Mallon voicing Liam and his British accent. I'd give this one a four for the story and 4.5 for the narration. ♥

  • Join the Club

  • Four Kings Security, Book Three
  • By: Charlie Cochet
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 7 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 155

Eduardo “Lucky” Morales is a fighter, from his childhood days in Cuba to his time as a Special Forces Green Beret. Scarred by the wars of his past, Lucky has learned nothing lasts forever. Guarding his heart is second nature, and getting emotionally involved is not an option.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite of the series

  • By Amy Begnene on 01-16-19

This series has become a favorite!

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

Reviewed: 01-24-19

I adored these two! Gah! They were fun and flirty but they could also be sweet and serious, and the more time they spent with each other, the more it become obvious to the two of them--because, hello, everyone else seemed to get that they belonged together!--that they were worth the risk of possible heartache should things go south. I like the bits and pieces readers get of the six guys who make up the very core of Four Kings Security in each book, so that when their story is ready to be told, the anticipation is at its precipice. I appreciated that when it came to Lucky and Mason's story, there wasn't just one particular case that they were handling but a couple that highlighted that these two shared a connection that couldn't be denied and the sort of chemistry that had me wanting to smack their heads together so that they would see sense and get on with giving in to their feelings. From the direction of the story to the participation of the rest of the characters, Join the Club turned out to be one of my favorites, not just in the Four Kings Security series, but from Charlie Cochet's current books. And what can I say about Greg Boudreaux that I haven't said in my past reviews that had him as the narrator? Le sigh. He's got a gift, and I'm just glad I get to listen to him by way of some of my favorite authors and favorite audiobooks out there. Five-plus stars! ♥

  • Thrust Under

  • By: Michelle A. Valentine, Emily Snow
  • Narrated by: Meghan Kelly
  • Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64

Gabriel Carter is the biggest, cockiest asshole I've ever met. He's a six-foot-three ex-baseball player with sexy muscles and smoldering looks that turn my body into a traitorous mess. Did I mention he's also the reason business at my family's hotel is quickly going down the drain? I shouldn't want him, but try explaining that to my body. Especially after he proposes a business deal to me that will be mutually rewarding - both financially and sexually. Sleep with the enemy? Nah, I'll just marry the bastard instead. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lighthearted pleasure!

  • By Darcy on 06-20-18

Fun enemies-to-lovers audiobook...

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

Reviewed: 01-24-19

Thrust Under was my first listen for both Michelle A. Valentine and Emily Snow and was my introduction to Meghan Kelly's narration. This was a fun audiobook to listen to, with an enemies-to-lovers feel to it. Gabriel Carter may be loved by many, thanks to the reputation he created for himself as a former baseball player, but he isn't feeling the love from Maggie Kinsella, daughter of the owners of the ramshackle hotel right next to the five-star one Gabe just bought. With all the issues their family-owned hotel has to deal with, the last thing Maggie needs is to compete with Gabe's hotel. There's a whole lot of tension that goes on between them, but Gabe is really drawn to the fiery woman and he's prepared to do whatever may be necessary in order to get Maggie's attention.

I enjoyed the story, with the whole back and forth between Gabe and Maggie. This was a lighthearted romance with a fair amount of humor and very minimal angst. I've read books penned by Michelle A. Valentine and by Emily Snow before, and I was curious to see how well they'd work together, and after having listened to this audiobook, you won't hear any complaints from me! Meghan Kelly's narration was definitely worth noting, making this a really easy audiobook to listen to. I certainly wouldn't say "no" to listening to more from here and reading more from this writing duo. Thrust Under gets four stars! ♥

  • Be Still My Heart

  • Four Kings Security, Book Two
  • By: Charlie Cochet
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 7 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210

When an attempt is made on Laz’s life, Red is determined to keep him safe. Laz may not be a client, and Red is still off duty, but Laz is one of their own, and nothing means more to the Kings than family. While an investigation is underway, Red and Laz are growing closer, but can they find a way to help each other heal and take a chance on love, or will their fears and insecurities cost them more than their future together?  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Next card up - Red of Hearts!

  • By Dee Slate on 11-29-18

Boudreaux is perfect for Cochet's Four Kings books

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

Reviewed: 01-24-19

Oh, Red... I swear, the man had such a good head on his shoulders but an even far better heart beating within him. He cared a great deal about Laz and his love and loyalty towards his fallen brothers and those who continue to be by his side made him such a wonderful guy to get to know. My heart broke for him during those moments where he was still in the grips of a PTSD episode. We get glimpses of each of the Kings plus Joker and Jack in every single book in the series, but those are just inklings of how amazing they are once they get their stories told. Now, in terms of Laz, well, let's just say that I may have liked him a tad more in book one than here. Maybe it was because he seemed to be such a pillar of support and understanding for Red for so much of this book and then he reacts a certain way here and goes on to do something petty and I so wanted to smack him upside the head. Aside from that, Be Still My Heart had every bit of MM romantic suspense goodness that I was hoping for. This is the second book in the series and Charlie Cochet's characters have found their voice(s) in Greg Boudreaux. I swear, the man switches from one character to another with such ease that all I had to do was lean back and enjoy my audiobook. I gave the ebook version five stars, but the narration alone brings this audiobook up a level, so now it receives five-plus stars. ♥

  • Birthday Suit

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York, January Lavoy, and others
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 633
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 605

An all-star production of a brand new stand-alone romance from number one New York Times best-selling author Lauren Blakely, performed by a full cast of 12 narrators.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best audiobook. EVER!

  • By Kara Hildebrand on 01-14-19

This audiobook was sheer genius! 5+ stars!

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

Did I forget to mention that I did a read AND listen combo for this? Yep. I had the audiobook preordered and decided to wait until release day to do this, and gah! Talk about being worth the wait. Based on the Lauren Blakely-penned stories that I’ve read, they’ve always translated well as audiobooks, thanks in large part to the narrators that have graced them. With Birthday Suit, however, we don’t get just one or two narrators—nope, we’ve got a slew of them! Yep, while Sebastian York and Andi Arndt headline the audio as Leo and Lulu, respectively, listeners also get—in alphabetical order—Joe Arden, RC Bray, Jason Clarke, Shane East, Dion Graham, January LaVoy, Erin Mallon, Robin Miles, Savannah Peachwood, and Julia Whelan. Whew! As many as the narrators are for this book, they all actually make it work quite fabulously! This was a first for me, and I was smitten by the whole experience.

This was an absolute gem of a love story, a friends-to-lovers tale that has enough of Blakely’s creativity and originality to make it her own and stand apart from the countless others that use the romantic trope. There’s humor, heart, and heat, which is basically what I call Blakely’s TFW—trifecta for the win—and she employs the three effortlessly to give fans and readers a contemporary romance that makes you smile and laugh while also giving your heart a workout from the feels, and when I say “feels”, I’m not necessarily talking about angsty ones, although yes, there’s a hint of angst here. With a kickass cast of characters led by a couple of main characters who truly had a bond based on friendship but were always meant for me. And that audiobook? Sheer genius! Lauren Blakely has outdone herself with Birthday Suit. Five-plus stars. PS: Make sure to have a chocolate or ten on-hand! ♥

12 of 12 people found this review helpful