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kimbacaffeinate

Midwest
  • 116
  • reviews
  • 201
  • helpful votes
  • 121
  • ratings
  • Once upon a Sure Thing

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

It's so easy being best friends with a gorgeous, talented, charming guy. Said no woman ever. Except me. My friendship with Miller is a sure thing - he’s my plus one, my emergency contact, and my shoulder to lean on. He’s also been by my side helping me raise one helluva awesome kid who’s the center of my world. Nothing will change our easy breezy friendship. Until I have the bright idea to convince him to start a new band with me. Trouble is, our sizzling chemistry in the recording studio is getting harder to ignore, no matter how risky it might be.

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

  • By Cyndi on 09-27-18

Two best buds who awaken something when they sing

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

Reviewed: 11-26-18

When they begin working on their songs in the studio the chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS, but will they risk their friendship for a chance at more. I adored their back and forth banter. Blakely is the queen of feel good romances and lovable characters. Miller is super sexy, a dirty talker and their move towards a romantic relationship was both hot and slow-burning.

We see character growth and a finding of oneself as Ally decides to be herself and Miller begins to think he can be a long-term relationship kind of guy. There were even a couple of tear-jerker minute, but I trusted Blakely. The ending and epilogue(s) left me smiling and anxious to begin Miles’ story.

This story is narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt. The two work really well together and I loved the duel narrative. We also get a surprise cameo from Erin Mallon. It was clever and perfect.

  • Once upon a Wild Fling

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
  • Length: 5 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 225
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 225

There are a million reasons why Miles Hart isn't the man I should date but allow me to enumerate the top three: He's friends with my brother; he's a single dad; and he's a sexy, in-demand rock star. He might as well wear an off-limits, totally unavailable, and don't-even-attempt-to-ride-this-ride sign. And there's one more little itty-bitty thing - he's never asked me on a date. That is, until he asks me to be his plus-one when his band plays at his high school reunion. It shouldn't be a big deal. After all, we're just friends, and no one is giving us our own hashtag. Except me....

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

  • By Cyndi on 10-12-18

hot, sexy and romantic

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

Reviewed: 11-26-18

I loved their story, from Roxy and her personal decisions to Miles as he figures it all out. Blakely delivered all the feels and swoons as the two spent time together and shared some moments before my earbuds began to melt. I loved the twists and that the drama came in the form of character growth and some miscommunication. I confess, if not for their friends I would have locked these two in a closet.

Laughter, banter, delicious heat and adorkable epilogues made this short and sweet audio the perfect romance.  Sebastian York and Andi Arndt perfectly narrated from pacing to capturing the humor, emotions and heat.

Despite all the reasons these two shouldn't be together, I think like me you'll find one-hundred and one reasons why they are perfect for each other.

Bonus: The audiobook contains a bonus novella, Little Big Rock with a full cast of narrators including, Sebastian York, Andi Arndt, Joe Arden, and Erin Mallon. This is a duel narrative short you won't want to miss.

  • Changeling

  • A Novel of Sorcery and Society
  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,363
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,280

If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s. Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Molly Harper + Amanda Ronconi = perfection

  • By Aimee on 08-24-18

boarding schools, dark secrets and magic

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

Reviewed: 10-14-18

Imagine mixing a potion of all of your favorite stories. Let’s start with Charmed and the power of three, then add in Harry Potter with schools for the magically gifted, familiars and loads of secrets. Let us not forget the non-magical folks known as Snipes (Guttersnipes), and the Ministry of Magic known as the Guardian of Law. Add a pinch of the Moorchild with changelings and stir in a Victorian setting with a smidge of steampunk and vivid characters who breathe life into the tale. Stir counterclockwise and poof you have Changeling the first novel in the Sorcery and Society novels.

Amanda Ronconi was the perfect narrator for Changeling. I loved her voices for Cassandra, the school librarian and Mary. While I felt she sometimes broke accent, she gave each character a distinct voice and enhanced the climactic scenes along with the humorous ones.

  • Awakened Spells

  • Awakened Spells, Book 1
  • By: Logan Byrne
  • Narrated by: Nikiya Palombi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 6

Lexa Blackmoon, orphan and low-end magical thief, is just trying to get by the best way she can. But when a shadow mage tells her she's meant for something greater, she can't help feeling he's telling the truth. Taken to a secret resistance camp, Lexa learns that not only is she a mage, but she bears the Mark of Merlin, a magical power greater than she's ever dreamt of. She trains her powers to infiltrate the ranks of the magical police force tasked with keeping the arcane realm secret from normal humans. 
 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Magic, Cases and Cadets

  • By kimbacaffeinate on 10-12-18

Magic, Cases and Cadets

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

Fans of Harry Potter, schools of magic etc will enjoy this series. The story is a fast-paced and actioned-packed allowing you to become quickly immersed in the story.Supernatural creatures from unknowns to elves, gnomes, vampires, shifters and mages can be found in this world. The characters are adult, but young making this perfect for fans of NA or transition series..
M.A.G.I.C Force and their cases were well executed and offered cringe worthy villain, secret crime syndicates trying to take over the realm and climatic action scenes that pushed characters. It looks like each book will feature an action-packed case while it develops the characters. It has great potential. Lexa is already showing signs of being quite the kick-ass officer and I am looking forward to seeing her growth.

Nikiya Palombi did a wonderful job of narrating and I appreciated not only the voices she created but her ability to capture their emotions from annoyance to fear. My only issue with the narration stems from the writing itself. Conversations were heavy with "He said, She said" identifiers and it made me a tad crazy. Thankfully action scenes were easier.

  • Summer Knight

  • The Dresden Files, Book 4
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: James Marsters
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,803
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,419
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,362

The Winter Queen of Faerie has manipulated Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden into accepting a case to solve a murder and stop a war between the courts of Summer and Winter that could have literally earth shattering consequences. His own soul is up for grabs. Dresden must dig deep to discover that at time a willingness to accept a little help from your friends, be they a cub pack of werewolves, old loves in sheep's clothing, or a battalion of pizza loving dewdrop fairies, is a very good thing.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Harry & James are one.

  • By Michael on 10-28-10

Fairies, pizza and the courts of Summer and Winter

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

Marsters narration was stellar in Summer Knight. I found myself laughing aloud and the voices he gave to some pizza loving dewdrop fairies. Once again the council is questioning whether Harry should be a Wizard and the Queen of Winter once to hire him to solve a murder. What trickery is this? It might be just want Harry needs to rid himself of the funk he has been under since his girlfriend was turned.

Harry rather depressed when our story begins. His home is a mess, and there’s an eviction notice for his office. His friend schedules an appointment for him and it turns out to be with Mab the Winter Queen. Someone has killed the Summer Knight and Mab has been blamed. If Harry aids her it may just prove his loyalty to the White Council. Who once again are seeking to have him hog-tied and sent to the vampires. Poor Harry!

I absolutely loved the faerie storyline from travels there to happens at their court. Dresden’s humor and one-liners had me roaring. Can I just say the fairies scare the shite out of me? Trickery at every turn, riddles and more kept me on edge. It was an intense storyline with a tight window to solve the case. If Harry fails the ramifications could affect everyone.

Harry enlists the help of dewdrop fairies and the werewolves. He even consults with his Godmother. He gets some unexpected help and I enjoyed the thread. Battles, discovery, hardship and loss made for a thrilling listen.

  • Love and Other Wild Things

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 6 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,288
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,277

Welcome to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shape-shifters, vampires, witches, and dragons live alongside humans. The town formed around the mysterious energy rift in the bayou, which helps keep the town’s magic in balance. But lately the rift has been widening and destabilizing - threatening to send the town’s magical population into chaos. Energy witch Danica Teel has been sent by the League to figure out what’s going on, with the help of bear-shifter Mayor Zed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Too damn short

  • By ESP on 09-06-18

Sexy, funny and suspenseful

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

Reviewed: 09-26-18

I love the premise for this series involving the small town of Mystic Bayou, Louisiana where shifters and paranormal creatures live side-by-side with humans and others.  The bayou is interesting as there is a mysterious energy rift in the bayou, which helps keep the town’s magic in balance. However the rift has been widening and destabilizing - threatening to send the town. The League, a secret organization within the supernatural world sends Danica Teel to research and investigate the rift. 

Danica's gift is unusual, and I will leave you to discover that for yourself. She is a bit of a loner aside from the few people she has in her small circle, but her presence feels right in Mystic Falls. She is sleeping better than she ever has, and the pie is outstanding. She is staying in the old cabin, Jillian Ramsey stayed in. We met her in the first audiobook, How to Date Your Dragon. I do recommend you listen to these in order of release as the stories and characters share history and build off the overall ARC. 

Bear-shifter Mayor Zed is Danica's guide and oh lord the made me laugh. We are privy to some of his inner dialogue and more than once I laughed aloud getting odd stares as I walked with my headphones on. Yep, ignore the crazy lady with headphones please. 

We are treated to an intense mystery, pie and a lovely, quirky, sweet but sizzling romance. Before it's all done we face down danger, swoon and eat. If you are a foodie lover, you will be making a run to the store after listening to this and not just for pie. 

The story is told in a dual narrative between Danica and Zed. Narrated by Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis. I love these two together, from the pacing to the capturing the character's personalities they really enhance an already brilliant tale making me crave a trip to the bayou all the more. 

  • Once upon a Real Good Time

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Sebastian York, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 413
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 414

That smoking hot one-night stand with a former rock star? Turns out, he's my son's new teacher. Oops. But I didn't know that the night I met Campbell. All I knew was he played my body the same way he played a guitar - like he owned it. My libido is still high-fiving me after being self-served for too many years, and we're both ready for another night or two of fun, especially since we don't just have chemistry in bed - we connect over everything. That is, until I learn he's the man who'll be coming to my house twice a week to teach my son the best music lessons money can buy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GENUINE & DELICIOUS SLOW-SIMMER TO PERFECTION

  • By 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹 on 09-14-18

The perfect listen to Fall in love with

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

Reviewed: 09-22-18

Narrated by the Sebastian York and Andi Arndt delivered a feel good romance about two people who deserved a happily ever after. Campbell and Mackenzie meet and have this instant connection and off the chart chemistry until he turns out to be her son’s music instructor. Swoons, long sexy conversations and matchmaking had me grinning like a sappy fool.

First, I love when York and Arndt narrated together. Listening is an absolute pleasure from the pacing to chemistry they create allowing the characters to come to life. Blakely introduces Campbell and Mackenzie and I am all in. He is a former teen idol. Both a single parents living in the Big Apple. Both are standup people you’d be happy to call friend.... So of course, I need them to have a happily ever after, but it's complicated by their kids and boundaries.

Second, the tale that unfolded delivered the sweetest romance with off the chart chemistry. I loved the late-night conversations and attempts at friendship, that involved the kids from cooking to geometry. The kids were awesome, and I loved some meddling that occurred. If you’re looking for a romance to swoon over this fall, Once Upon a Real Good Time is the perfect place to start. Around five hours in listening length, it’s perfect for your commute. Just don’t crash the car. Ok?

  • Modern Love

  • By: Beau North
  • Narrated by: Becci Martin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 10

“Love at first sight wasn’t meant for millennials.” So thinks Alice Aberdeen - art student, recovering addict, David Bowie enthusiast. Alice is among the recently dumped and just wants to keep her nose down until she finishes her degree. Her sister, Emma, has other ideas and sets her up with new-in-town Warinder “Will” Murphy - tall, dark, and aloof. To say it isn’t love at first sight is an overstatement. He finds her too abrasive, with her sharp tongue and a don’t-screw-with-me attitude. She thinks he’s too reserved, too damn serious.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A realistic romance that left me smiling

  • By kimbacaffeinate on 09-18-18

A realistic romance that left me smiling

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

Reviewed: 09-18-18

North created a complete story with complex characters that I emotionally connected with them despite our age gap.

Alice Aberdeen works as a bartender while attending art school. She has been down in the dumps after a breakup. Her roomie, determined to cheer her up, takes her out to a club. Her roommate’s boyfriend arranges for Will Murphy to meet them. Yep, they are matchmaking..only no one told Alice. The two have a rather awkward, snarky encounter before discovering the setup.

Thus begins a series of encounters filled with banter that leads to more.  There was great chemistry mixed with bouts of miscommunications which made me a little grumpy. Other characters added further complications, but despite it all, I enjoyed the ride.

I enjoyed the growth we see in both characters. Each has hang-ups, fears and struggles to overcome. I felt North researched or had personal experience with some issues that were present. They felt genuine allowing the reader some insight.

I prefer dual narrators for this type of romance, but Becci Martin grew on me. I thought she had a firm grasp of Alice and her voice for Will eventually became comfortable. Her pacing and tone worked well, and the soundtrack was well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unbreak My Heart

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Joe Arden, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 224
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212

Experience all the feels in this unforgettable second-chance standalone romance from number-one New York Times best-seller Lauren Blakely! I didn't break her heart, and she didn't break mine - we broke each other's. I never stopped loving her, but time and distance played its cruel role in ripping us apart three years ago when she moved halfway around the world. Now after all those endless miles away, she's returned...but I'm not the guy I was before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth all the feels, the tears and the ride!! Wow!

  • By Patricia Villali Koett on 08-15-18

Grab your wine and truffles

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I can always count on Blakely to me me laugh and swoon, but this time she made me cry. Narrated by Joe Arden and Erin Molton I fell hard, cried often and devoured this audio in just two sittings. This is a second chance romance an I loved both Holland and Andrew.

  • 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 629
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 583

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
  • Good story, however...

  • By Wendy on 07-22-18

will leave you grinning like a fool

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

Reviewed: 08-09-18

Told in dual POVs and narrated by the sexy and talented Zachary Webber and equally talented Erin Mallon. Blakley's witty humor and charm popped as we got to know April and Theos. 
The banter..oh how I loved the back and forth exchanges between April and Theo. The two have this genuine rightness about them when they are together and I liked watching the buzzing chemistry between them sizzle. 
The family reunion was a hoot, and made me want to plan one, from the games, to April's old prom date. 
While the romance developed quickly, it never felt like insta-love and I easily rooted for them. Drama was kept low, but gave enough of an edge to keep me listening.