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Jessica Sotelo (Angie & Jessica's Dreamy Reads)

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  • Getting Schooled

  • By: Emma Chase
  • Narrated by: Zachary Webber, Andi Arndt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,173
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,060
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,061

Garrett Daniels has this whole life thing figured out. The cocky, charismatic former high school star quarterback is an idolized football coach and "cool" teacher in the hometown where he's not just a golden boy - he's platinum. He has good friends, a great house on the lake, and the best damn sidekick a man could ask for: Snoopy, the albino beagle. Then...Callie Carpenter comes home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite Emma Chase book to date!

  • By Nissa @ Of Pens and Pages on 02-28-18

a new favorite from Emma Chase!

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

Reviewed: 02-24-18

Oh my heart, I loved this book so freaking much. Every single thing about it gave me deliciously giddy feels. My heart smiled the entire time, except in those moments when it ached and when it cried. The romance in Getting Schooled is absolutely EVERYTHING. It's so heartwarming, so satisfying, so joyful. It made me want to pump my fist in the air as I read. But there's so much more to this story than just the central romance between a football coach and the newly hired drama teacher who also happens to be his high school sweetheart. It's a heartfelt story of what it means to coach and educate, to guide a future generation and instill confidence in them while they're struggling with teenage angst and social issues. It's about family and friendship and the humor and heartache that connects all of them. And, of course, it's an unforgettable love story between characters that I just adored. 


I loved every facet of this book, every layer, every side character. And I loved how much I was made to feel through the powerhouse narration of Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt. We've been saying it for years: Emma Chase writes the male POV like no one else around. The voice she gives all of her characters is utter perfection, but the voice she gives her heroes has placed her on a pedestal since the days of Drew Evans. But the added perk of this book being released first as an audiobook is that the already vivid voices she gives her characters through her lush writing style are ratcheted up exponentially by what these narrators bring to the table. It's just PHENOMENAL. A marriage made in ROMANCE NOVEL heaven, that's what this is.The stunningly superb writing of Emma Chase meeting the wholly intoxicating voices of Webber and Arndt? What's born from that union is an unforgettable, all consuming reading experience that I NEVER WANTED TO END. 


I loved the love story between Garrett and Callie. It's a second chance romance between two characters who are so obviously made for each other but whose lives took them in two different directions after high school. But years later, they find themselves brought back together again by a hilarious course of events, their reunion evolving against the backdrop of the very same high school in the same small town where they fell in love as teenagers. It's so smart and incredibly refreshing what Chase creates with this premise. What I loved most about it was how much I related to it. Not only can I easily relate to the joys and frustrations of working with students that are sometimes selfish, sometimes unkind, often insecure, sometimes troubled, but I laughed out loud throughout this story and furiously nodded with understanding as Garrett struggled to call his old teachers by their first names now that he worked alongside them. This book is a beautiful depiction of what it's like to work with students, how your heart both soars and breaks for them, how frustrating and rewarding it can all be, but it's also warm and funny. This is everything you want in a feel good romance. 


Getting Schooled is DELICIOUSLY sexy, full of heart and humor, and it's peppered perfectly with just the right amount of angst and uncertainty, breaking my heart and putting it all back together in the most unexpected ways. Callie and Garrett are so right together, so sweet, so good. I loved them and I felt every nuance of their love and their longing through the superb narration in this audiobook. Exquisite storytelling and wickedly smart writing is elevated by the PERFECT voice of these narrators and it all comes together in this magnificent package of romance and palpable emotion. Getting Schooled is a new favorite of the year for me. It's so well done, so unforgettable and I'll be listening again and again. I absolutely LOVED IT. 

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Complicated

  • By: Kristen Ashley
  • Narrated by: Lance Greenfield, Erin Mallon
  • Length: 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,652
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,649

When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn't be stronger, but the timing couldn't be worse. Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority. Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that's perfect for them - a sleepy little town in Nebraska.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complicated was a pleasure to my senses!

  • By Kara Hildebrand on 05-02-17

deliciously sexy, blissfully romantic

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

Reviewed: 05-02-17

Would you consider the audio edition of Complicated to be better than the print version?

"Babe, you agreed to complicate it. You might as well give it all it's worth."

My adoration for Kristen Ashley's audiobooks truly knows no bounds. I own every single one and I listen to them repeatedly. There's nothing that brings more peace and contentment to this reader than revisiting my favorite KA stories as narrators bring them from page to life. With that said, I think an entirely different reading experience is granted through an audiobook, which is why I tend to read the book first and listen later. With Complicated releasing exclusively through Audible, it forced me to listen first, demanded I allow the narrators to draw me into the story and take me along for the ride. I was weary. I've always believed that the reader loses a bit of that connection when we listen versus when we read the story ourselves. But that wasn't the case with Complicated, to my surprise. I was lost. I was taken. I fell in love.

Complicated is classic Kristen Ashley, a story that feels familiar in the way her stories do, but with a refreshing storyline and characters I came to love. Hixon Drake is a recently divorced Nebraska sheriff and father of three whose one night stand with Greta Dare, a lounge singer and hairdresser, gets, well, complicated. With his ex-wife causing drama and a sudden spike in crime where it'd otherwise been virtually non-existent, Hix knows early on that no matter how amazing their night was together, they can't afford to complicate their lives by taking things any further. But true to form, Kristen Ashley has other plans for these characters, forcing them together under messy, dangerous circumstances, and I could do nothing but sit back, relax and listen to it all unfold.

Like many of Ashley's storylines, Complicated follows a blooming romance amidst a criminal investigation. It's no secret I'm a romance reader and as such, in any book, I tend to prefer the romantic element of a book over a suspenseful one. But I have to say, I was just as intrigued by Sheriff Drake's search for a killer as I was with his attraction to Greta. I was just as absorbed in the manhunt, in the evidence, in the operation of the investigation, in the heartbreak of such a horrifying small town crime, as I was in the slow, sensual romance between these characters. And I think that had everything to do with the narration of the story, the state of everyone involved truly highlighted by the emotional tone granted by the audio. The voices Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon gave to each character in this story was spot on, often causing an intense visceral reaction to every facet of this plot.

Reminiscent of many of my favorite books from this author, Hix and Greta's story took me back to the Colorado Mountain series and The Burg series, but with a smaller town feel. The more I read, the more I fell in love. I can't say the chemistry between Greta and Hix was quite as explosive or quite as memorable as, say, Ty and Lexi or Tack and Red or Joe and Violet (I mean, is that even possible?) But Hix and Greta share a beautiful romance all their own that is sweet and sexy and truly embodies why I read this author. There's certain elements a Rock Chick hopes to find in a KA novel and Complicated has EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Characters who, after having believed their lives would play out a certain way, find themselves starting over again. An alpha law enforcement officer with an ex whose drama won't quit, leaving their kids caught in the middle. A woman with a past of her own who finds herself in bed with a hot uniformed officer of the law, and the messy, addictive romance that ensues when obstacles threaten their happiness at every turn. A small town of mostly small minded people who like to gossip and meddle but who come together and remind each other how important having a sense of community truly is, especially in times of heartache and danger.  Complicated is a comfort read. It's exactly the kind of book we all think of when we need Kristen Ashley to recharge our reading batteries. This story is quintessential KA, a story that feels good just to get lost in the pages, in her words, in the kind of characters only she knows how to deliver. 

While I initially thought I'd struggle to connect with this story as a reader who prefers to rely on audiobooks strictly for rereads, Complicated proved to be an exception to the rule, holding me captive with a riveting murder mystery, a sensual romance, and relentless familial drama. Complicated perfectly exemplifies exactly why I return to Kristen Ashley over and over. It feels comforting and familiar, this story, but refreshing and new all at once. The narration in this storyline was perfect, superbly capturing the voice of these characters and their array of emotions amidst the most intense circumstances, gripping me in a storyline I couldn't get enough of. I needed a KA fix and Complicated satisfied every craving. I thoroughly enjoyed this storyline and I'm thrilled to add it to my collection of Kristen Ashley audiobooks. Hix and Greta's story is deliciously sexy, blissfully romantic, and undeniably complicated. The narrators brought this story to life beautifully. I was hooked! Greta and Hix's romance is one I'll want to revisit again and again.

What other book might you compare Complicated to and why?

Colorado mountain series with a small town feel

What about Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon ’s performance did you like?

Everything. They nailed these characters perfectly!

12 of 16 people found this review helpful