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Mari Cardenas

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  • Champagne Spiced Omega

  • The Hollydale Omegas, Book 4
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

Ian’s entire adult life has been spent climbing the ladder to partnership at his law firm and squeezing in a little fun with omegas in his spare time. Settling down with one and starting a family is so far from his thoughts, it’s laughable. So why does he find himself sticking around to help an adorably awkward omega as he struggles to keep a tiny human alive? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • i love this series

  • By Keith b miller on 01-15-19

This series keeps getting better and better!

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

Champagne Spiced Omega is book 4 in the Hollydale Omegas series by Susi Hawke and while it could technically be read/listened to as standalone, all the books feature the previous couples, so I suggest reading them in order. Plus, really, you'll be missing out on great books otherwise.

We met Ian in the previous book as Tom's workaholic ex and while he definitely wasn't Tom's match, he was a fairly likable guy. It was nice to see that with the right man, he was willing to go above and beyond what was expected from a hook-up when Cecil needed his help. I just loved him and Cecil together. They made a great team and were really hot together.

This book was so much fun to listen to with all the guys had to endure to learn how to take care of baby Josh and kind of reminded me of being a new mom of twin girls. Oh, the memories! LOL

And of course, it's always great catching up with the rest of the gang, which has grown exponentially with all the babies. I don't know how Susi Hawke does it, but every new book in the series is better than the previous.

Drew Bacca keeps surprising me with the wide range of voices he can provide. His narration is just about perfect, giving the book the necessary emotion in all the scenes. You can't go wrong with either the book or the audiobook, but if possible, I suggest getting the audiobook, you won't regret it.

  • A Dance for Two

  • By: Colette Davison
  • Narrated by: Neil Macfarlane
  • Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Adam and Luc used to be close. At least they were before Luc distanced himself from Adam at 14, then eventually left home. Adam never got over the sting of betrayal, or the loss of his one-time best friend. When Luc is invited back home to help get his parents' failing dance school back on track, Adam isn't sure he can cope with having his stepbrother back in his life. Especially when he discovers Luc's decade-old secret. Luc left home because he was sure no one would understand that he had fallen in love with his stepbrother.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narration definitely made the story better

  • By R Keebler on 12-19-18

3.75 Stars Overall

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

Reviewed: 01-05-19

One of my not so guilty (or hidden) pleasures are taboo books. There's just something about the genre that appeals to me. So, of course, I jumped at the chance to review this audiobook.

I liked Adam. He was selfless and talented and I loved that he stayed helping his parents when they needed him, even if he was sacrificing his dream of dancing and not just teaching. I completely understood why he was so angry with Luc, after how he acted when they were younger. I'm not entirely sure how to feel about Luc. I kind of felt bad for the fact that he cut himself off from his family when he was unable to deal with his feelings for Adam, but at the same time, the way he bullied Adam with his other friends when they were teenagers rubbed me the wrong way. He could've found a healthier outlet for his feelings without punishing Adam for just being himself. Plus, Luc was more than a bit pushy at first when they met again and while I'd generally be all over this kind of relationship, stepbrothers falling in love, I mean, in this case, something was missing. A more natural progression, probably. It just felt too sudden on Adam's part. Anyway, eventually they got it right and their relationship felt less forced than at first.

Re: the Narration: While Neil McFarlane's tone and accent are pleasant to listen to, I felt like it was almost too monotonous at times. There wasn't much distinction between the different voices and that made it difficult to determine who was who. Still, it was a relatively nice audiobook to listen to.

While not my favorite, it was still an entertaining story and narration.

  • Vanilla Clouds

  • By: Roe Horvat
  • Narrated by: Vance Bastian
  • Length: 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

Sex and chocolate are the two pleasures Michał enjoys most in life. His sex life has been nonexistent for some time, though. After a particularly bad hookup, he keeps mostly to himself. That leaves chocolate. Luckily, he works surrounded by the most delicious, extravagant produce in Gothenburg. Beside his job at the chocolaterie, his main source of excitement is his online friend, Magnus, whom he stubbornly refuses to meet in person. A customer turns up at the chocolaterie one day - tall, shy, and charming. If Michał can step out of his overly safe shell, there might be not only chocolate, but sex, too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chocolate is the best side dish to making love

  • By Shin Mon Thway on 01-03-19

Highly recommendable!

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

5 Stars

I had heard great things about Roe Horvat, but hadn't had the chance to read one of his books until now and it was as amazing as I expected.

I found the story captivating and left me craving some chocolate, since Michal worked at a chocolaterie. I will admit there were moments in which I wanted to knock Michal out because damn if he wasn't difficult with the not wanting to meet Magnus after 2 years of texting and dating jerks in the meantime. I get that Michal was afraid, but he pushed Magnus into the charade he pulled. I guess I should be thankful the author didn't drag the angst for too long and it was lovely seeing Magnus and Michal as a couple for more than 5 minutes. They had fantastic chemistry and I just adored them together.

Vance Bastian did a fantastic job with the narration. Other than Michal and Magnus's voices being too similar in certain portions of the book—which really wasn't a problem, I'm pretty sure Mr. Bastian could read the phone book and I'd still find it enjoyable—I had the most wonderful time listening to this story. The narrator's tone is pleasant and he gave the story that certain quality that just made me fall for Magnus and Michal even more. I have to add that his pronunciation seemed spot on and effortless, which isn't easy to do considering the book is set in Sweden and there were so many foreign words. Highly recommendable!

  • Peppermint Spiced Omega

  • The Hollydale Omegas Series, Book 3
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 3 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 48

Tom Collins is a lonely omega. One by one, Tom's watched his friends pair up and find their forever mates while Tom goes out alone to flirt with randos at the Big O. Manager of Sweet Ballz, the popular candy shop in downtown Hollydale, Tom has his career on track. Now if he could just find an alpha to stick around for longer than a night. Dr. Colin Samuels is busy. As an alpha specializing in emergency medicine, he keeps a punishing schedule. He doesn't have time, patience, or even the energy to take up with an omega. Especially not the little brat like the one he keeps running into.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More than meets the eye

  • By ShaSha (Lover of Audiobooks!) on 12-21-18

My favorite in the series so far!

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

5 Stars!

I absolutely adored this audiobook, which was a bit of a surprise. I wasn't too fond of Tom in the previous book, but Susi Hawke more than redeemed him in my eyes and he ended up being my favorite of her characters so far.

Tom and Colin were a great match and complemented each other's personality. I loved them with little Miss Ally and with their friends, especially Tofer, who I hope we'll see in the next books of the series.

The narration was amazing. Drew Bacca did a fabulous job with Tom, Colin and the rest of the crew and injected his voice with humor, emotion and sexiness wherever the story required it.

Highly recommendable!

  • Contract Baby: An Mpreg Romance

  • Hellion Club Series, Book 2
  • By: Aiden Bates
  • Narrated by: Guy Veryzer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

Ty Cunningham comes from old money, but he's never been content to live on privilege. He's the youngest partner in his firm, and the only omega partner. He's worked hard to get where he is, and he's proud of what he's accomplished. One thing is missing - a child to share it with. Carter Bowman has it all. Drop-dead looks, a fantastic career, and the title of All-Star pro baseball player. The one thing he doesn't have is money sense. When he falls prey to a scam artist posing as a financial adviser, he's close to broke. A buddy suggests he marry for money...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The book is good, the narration not so much...

  • By Mari Cardenas on 12-06-18

The book is good, the narration not so much...

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

Carter and Ty had a bit of an unconventional start, but they managed to overcome all obstacles in their way and find their HEA. They had a lot of chemistry and the story was engaging and interesting.

Unfortunately, the narrator didn't work for me and I don't know how many times I stopped because I'd had enough of his voice. I actually had to increase the speed of the audio to make it bearable, which is something that I'd never done. So, I'm very sorry, but I just can't recommend the audio.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alpha Heat

  • Heat of Love, Book 2
  • By: Leta Blake
  • Narrated by: Michael Ferraiuolo
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked, and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart - and so does he. But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful omegaverse romance! Great narrator!!

  • By Karen on 10-31-18

My favorite in the series so far!

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

4.5 Stars!

Alpha Heat is book 2 in the Slow Heat universe, it could be read/listened to as standalone, but I think you'll enjoy it even more if you read them in order.

We met Xan and Urho in Slow Heat and I loved Xan so much there that I was one of the countless readers begging Leta for a sequel with these two and she didn't disappoint with his story.

Xan is an unmanned alpha and Jason's best friend, who wants a romantic relationship with another alpha, which is forbidden in this 'verse. My heart broke at the lengths he'd gone to punish himself for his 'unnatural desires' and I was glad when Urho found out so he could actually do something about it. Xan was caring, reliable and sweet, and I hated that his own father treated him so poorly.

Urho is Vale's best friend and past lover, who'd lost his omega and child during childbirth. He was controlled and steadfast, willing to do anything to help Xan out, instead of Xan risking his own death at the hands of another alpha.

I really liked the progression of their relationship, while Urho had already experienced the love of his erosgapé (pretty much the equivalent of his soulmate), he fell for Xan and discovered a new kind of love that was perhaps not as all-encompassing, but still passionate and intense with Xan. They had amazing chemistry and were well-suited in pretty much every aspect of their lives and of course, it didn't hurt that every sex scene they had together (and even the one with Caleb) were hot, hot, HOT!

I really liked the relationship Xan had with Caleb, his Omega, even if there was nothing romantic about it. If you're wondering, this is not truly a MMM, since Caleb is asexual and aromantic, but there's a scene near the end in which the three of them are together and only Xan is with Caleb sexually, at the same time that Urho is with Xan. So, if that is what's stopping you, I promise you, it wasn't all that bad, actually, as I stated before, it was quite hot. However, if the idea of poor Caleb being subjected to a heat when it's the last thing he wants to experience puts you off, well, you could always skip that part. The book is well-worth a read even without that part.

I loved catching up with Jason and Vale and that they were such an integral part of this story. I nearly had a heart attack with all that was happening at the same time around the 80% mark, but it was all good.

I hated Monhundy and Xan's father with the fire of a thousand suns. And was quite happy with how they were dealt with. It was brilliant, actually!

I'm a bit torn with the secondary storyline with Janus, Xan's cousin, and Caleb, and while I understood that Caleb wasn't really in love with him, the way he acted made me wonder sometimes.

Michael Ferraiuolo did a fantastic job with the characters, but pretty much like in the book, Xan was definitely my favorite. There were a few parts in which his tone felt a bit monotonous, but overall, it was enjoyable listening to his voice while getting lost in this amazing story.

I can't recommend this story enough in any form. It was fantastically written and Leta did justice to Xan and Urho, Jason and Vale, and even Caleb. While long, it's engaging and intriguing. I really wouldn't mind reading more in this universe in the future, maybe something with Ray, Xan's beta brother? Anyway, just pick it up, you won't regret it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Cinnamon Spiced Omega

  • The Hollydale Omegas Series, Book 2
  • By: Susi Hawke
  • Narrated by: Drew Bacca
  • Length: 3 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Christian Hawkins, owner and operator of Greasy Fingers Garage in Hollydale, is in a rut. His life is spent taking care of his business and looking after his younger brother Kent. The scent of cinnamon is everywhere as the alpha finds himself haunted by the memory of the omega that he ran into...literally...on his way home from work one night. On the run from the abusive ex who had no desire to be a father to the child he carries, omega Liam Leigh finds himself homeless, hungry, alone, and pregnant in the sweet little town of Hollydale just a couple weeks before Thanksgiving.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By A.C. on 01-02-19

Short and sweet!

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

Reviewed: 11-21-18

4 Stars

This was a short and sweet audiobook, Liam and Christian were perfect for each other and I loved listening to them falling in love. I loved the secondary cast, Otis, Kent and Tom were amazing and I adored how much they enriched the story with their presence.

Drew Bacca did a great job with the narration. He gave each character a distinctive voice and his tone is very pleasant to listen to.

If you're in the mood for something fluffier to get in the Christmas spirit, this is just perfect for that.

  • Leaning into a Wish

  • Leaning Into Series, Book 5
  • By: Lane Hayes
  • Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
  • Length: 3 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Ryan Haskell loves everything about the wine business. He's fortunate to work at one of the most prestigious wineries in Napa Valley doing something he enjoys with the people who are like family to him. But he could do without the good-natured intern slash former jock with the wicked grin who always seems to be in the way. Ryan isn’t sure why the new guy is under his skin when everyone else loves him. Thankfully he'll be gone after the holidays. Danny Meyers can’t believe his luck when he lands an internship at Conrad Winery.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific narration!

  • By Belen on 12-01-18

Perfect for every season!

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

5 Stars!!!

Ryan is determined to survive the next few months working with Danny Meyers, who is a flirt and gets under Ryan's skin like no one else. Yes, the man is gorgeous, but he's not even gay or Ryan's type, is he?

I adored Ryan! He was so prickly and determined not to give in to his attraction to Danny, even if Geordie kept pushing him in that direction. I wasn't sure what to feel about Danny at first, he was a bit of a mystery, even if he kept flirting with Ryan, but once I learned more about him, I fell head over heels for him. He was so sweet and I loved how he pursued Ryan. They were just perfect together, complementing each other in the best of ways. Their chemistry was off the charts and they were sizzling hot, but my favorite part was their banter and how much fun they had with each other.

The narration was superb. Nick J. Russo captured Danny and Ryan perfectly and turned what already was a fabulous holiday novella into something even better. It was just perfect to put me in the right mood for this holiday season and I can't recommend it and this series enough!

  • Alpha Victorious

  • Waking the Dragons, Book 4
  • By: Susi Hawke, Piper Scott
  • Narrated by: Colin Darcy
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

When Nathan wakes up in the home of a strange group of dragons after having been held hostage for months by a group of dragon hunters, he’s overwhelmed by anxiety...until he hears it. Heartsong. Blinking his eyes, he looks over to see a sexy older alpha dragon kneeling at his bedside. His kind, crinkled green eyes and gray streaked hair set Nathan’s heart on fire. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Surprises

  • By Violet Marshall on 11-13-18

Amazing conclusion to the series!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

4.5 Stars

Susi Hawke and Piper Scott did it again and gave us a thrilling ending to the Waking the Dragons series with Alpha Victorious. In case you were wondering, yes, you need to read/listen to the first three books in the series first, otherwise you'll be thoroughly lost.

This time we got Brick and Nathan's story and it was sweet and very hot. Those two had an explosive chemistry and it was lovely seeing them interact outside of the bedroom as well.

The bit with Nathan's family was a hilarious addition to the story, especially Nathan's mamma, she was a force to be reckoned. LOL And the ongoing plotline with the evil advisor had an action-packed, fast-paced and satisfying ending.

Colin Darcy's narration was top-notch, especially since there were a lot more voices and accents added to the mix this time around. My only complaint was maybe that the 'Daddy' bits were a bit grating sometimes, but other than that, I think Mr. Darcy did an amazing job not only with this book but with the series.

  • In the Ruins

  • Metahuman Files, Book 2
  • By: Hailey Turner
  • Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 62

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator is the icing on an already great cake

  • By jaimilyn on 10-25-18

You don't want to miss this one!

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

Overall 5 Stars!

In the Ruins is book 2 in The Metahuman Files series and it needs to be read/listened to in order.

First of all, I'm absolutely in love with Hailey Turner's writing and her world-building. It's detailed, but not overwhelmingly so, action-packed and fast-paced and very, very sexy. There are some elements of D/s and damn if Jamie and Kyle aren't hot, hot, HOT together! *fans self* The chemistry between them and their team carried off well from the first book and I'm really enjoying the dynamics and seeing them in action. I'm not particularly fond of multiple POVs in book, but it worked well here and I'm intrigued about Sean and Alexei and hope to see more of them in the future.

The narration was amazing! Greg Boudreaux's talent is undeniable and I just adored all the different voices and accents he managed for the great array of characters, both masculine and feminine. He provided the necessary inflections and emotions to his voice to elevate the book from something that was already really good into fantastic.

Really, you can't go wrong with this one, just don't forget to pick book 1 up first. ;)