LISTENER

NDP Book Review

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 79
  • ratings
  • House of Belonging

  • Hesse Creek Series, Book 3
  • By: Andrea Thome
  • Narrated by: Marnye Young, Kale Williams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

Chef Laina Ming walked away from the culinary spotlight and an unhealthy relationship - one that still haunts her a year later. She's trying to start fresh in the Rocky Mountains, opening a concept restaurant, where she hopes she'll be able to express her passion for food and bury her heartache. Horse rancher Logan Matthews moved to Aspen to be near his sister and her husband, grateful for his newfound family. Since a chance meeting with Laina the previous summer, Logan's been enchanted. But she doesn't want anything to do with him, which makes her all the more appealing. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True test of what true love is!!!

  • By Anonymous User on 09-25-18

Marnye and Kale are ELECTRIC!

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

Reviewed: 10-21-18

◼ Narrator Review (Marnye) ◼

When I'm reincarnated, can I have Maryne's voice? Is there anyone out there who can make this happen? Please and thank you. Good God this woman is unbelievably talented. It's so easy to get sucked into the smooth roll of her tongue and melodic sway of her phrasing. I'm not one to dance in public, but I'll bust out a waltz in the middle of downtown Boise with Marnye purring in my ear. I know, you wish you were me.

Before this, I don't think I had ever listed to a duet narration featuring Marnye. I feel like I would have remembered because I'm a little obsessed with her (but not in a creepy way, of course). I really liked this. For those of you who don't know what duet narration is, there's dual narration where narrators read all parts within a POV, and then there's duet narration where the ladies narrate all the female parts in the book and the hunks narrate all the male roles. This was delightful in epic proportions. I didn't have to wait an entire chapter to listen to my favorite leading lady. With duet narration, I had the best of both worlds right at the tips of my fingers!

There's a reason Marnye Young is on my insta-buy list. She's flawless and I know when I listen to a book narrated by her, she will enhance the bejesus out of it. Because...that's just what Marnye does.

◼ Narrator Review (Kale) ◼

I was excited when I received this audiobook because I've been wanting to grow my Kale collection. Haha, that's actually really funny because I think I own all of his audiobooks...

Kale's voice is delicious. I want to eat it.

Honestly, I don't know how he can go all day without recording himself and playing it back. Maybe if I had the voice of a God, I wouldn't grunt and groan when people say "good morning" to me. I'd likely answer them, I dunno, and talk about my weekend prancing in the middle of town because I have the best voice ever.

I've been a fan of Kale Williams for a hot minute and my favorite part about his performance here is his versatility. He emits an array of emotions just by breathing. His timing is impeccable. I could jog to the cadence of his voice. Kale Williams could narrate any role. ANY. ROLE. He can be a debonaire pig, elegant, or ruthless.

Between Marnye and Kale, I'm done for. The tones of their voices mix so beautifully together.

◼ Book Review ◼

Laina Ming disappears from the spotlight of her high-end restaurant in a determined effort to outrun her heartbreak. Oh friends, how many times have you tried to run away from a broken heart?

Take my word for it: that juju will FOLLOW YOU.

Laina obviously decides to ignore my advice and tries to start fresh. She opens the House of Belonging in Aspen, her own little haven of heavenly flavors and connection with others. Along with her trusty friend and chef, Van Laird, she settles into her new life in this quiet town, trying desperately not to notice the gentle flirtations from rancher Logan Matthews.

Logan is a mighty fine ranching man. Oh me oh my. He notices Laina immediately. They had met the year before, and even then, he knew his heart was in trouble. Now, she pushes back against his interest even though he wants nothing more than to tenderly care for the wounds left on her heart.

Willing to wait as long as she needs, Logan signs on for the long haul.

"It was her. He’d be damned if he could figure out how she’d managed to infect his thoughts so completely."

Time passes, and Laina can’t help but notice that her battered heart has a mind of its own. Meaning, it's wandering straight to Logan. The two grow closer together and find, along with other members of the town, that she can choose who her family is.

Ooo but that bad juju is creeping around the bend! Laina’s past crashes through the front door, and her bond with Logan is put to the test. If they can face the demons of their past and find forgiveness, they just might have a chance at a future together. But I don't know...Laina seems like the kind of person to give second chances.

House of Belonging is sizzling hot. It's not my favorite book in the Hesse Creek series, but it's definitely my favorite audiobook by Andrea. Marnye and Kale really just took this manuscript to the next level. Holy hot YUSSSS.

Andrea Thome has chiseled off another piece of my heart for her collection. I've never held my breath so many times while reading. I swear I could be the next Houdini. Another fantastic romance. I can't wait until the next. <3

  • Jed Had to Die

  • By: Tara Sivec
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 572
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535

The happiest day of Payton Lambert's life was the day she graduated high school and watched Bald Knob, Kentucky, get smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror. She wanted more for her life than a tiny town where everyone knows your business and you can't find a decent cup of coffee for at least 40 miles. Twelve years later an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night has her packing up her life in Chicago and racing back home to the one person she ever regretted leaving behind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a happy surprise!

  • By green ice cream garden on 12-19-16

Mr. Sheriff hottie? He’s deliriously delicious.

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

Narrator Review:

I’m really loving Amy. REALLY really. This woman was born to read.

Amy sweeps around the humor of a text in such a way that reveals the underlying emotion. I love this about all of the books she works on. It’s hard to write a romantic comedy without overdoing it, and it’s even harder to narrate. GIRL. SLAYED. IT.

Every narrator inspires me to do different things when I listen to them. Sometimes, I’ll have a stair climbing session with my virtual bff (does that sound weird?), or I’ll have a romantic dinner with my virtual bae. Then there’s yoga, yard work, swinging on my stair banisters…the list goes on.

With Amy, she inspires me to cook. Not, like, girly cooking (if that’s a thing). I mean, passionate, raw, unfiltered BAKING. It’s like she’s instructing me in how to whip up a masterpiece perfect for revenge.

Good God. I have never baked so many cookies in my life. Luckily, I had some care packages I wanted to send to the navy, so I stuffed those puppies. If a cookie is brown—like, a dark brown—can you still eat it? Well, Jed had better watch out because things just got dangerous.

Amy is playful, fun, flirty, HILARIOUS and incredibly captivating. I couldn’t stop listening to her. She made me vulnerable, she made me feel like a Master Chef in Hell’s Kitchen, and I fell in love (yet again) with a man in a uniform.

_______________________

Book Review:

Leaving Kentucky was something Payton Lambert was proud of. (Leaving…or running away? 🤔 Hur hur…)

She didn’t like how everyone in the itty bitty titty town of Bald Knob knew everything about everyone. Payton also didn’t like the coffee there. Girl. RUN.

And she does run. She’s on a mission for a better life, so she opens a coffee shop in Chicago. Years pass, and she never looks back.

Liquid Crack is her coffee shop, BTW.

When life seems semi on course, Payton gets a phone call that her best friend, Emma Jo Jackson is in a Kentucky hospital after taking a beating from her husband Jed.

Payton, being the awesome person she is, races to Emma’s side. Pay-Pay hates Jed, and it takes all of her patience to listen to her best friend defend him. Just because Jed is the mayor of Bald Knob doesn’t give him the right to beat Emma to a pulp.

Payton really doesn’t have anything nice to say. But, does she ever?

“You can take those coffees back to the firm and shove them up Benjamin’s a**! Or better yet, bend over and shove them up your OWN a** for insinuating I need a man to pay for anything!”

In the meantime, she quickly discovers that after twelve years, a lot of things in her hometown have changed, including the goofy boy Leo Hudson, who just so happens to be the town sheriff.

(And he’s gorgeous, if you’re wondering.)

Well, Jed dies. That’s what happens when you’re a douche. And Payton discovers that everyone in Bald Knob is still very much interested in all her business, including an off-handed threat she made to Jed that she had no intention of following through with.

Payton’s past and her present land her right in the middle of a murder investigation and a new romance with an old friend, who just might arrest her if he discovers what she knows about the murder.

Jed Had to Die is part mystery, part comedy, part romance and a whole lot of fun. Trying to escape her past, all she does is end up right back in the pit of it! Second chances, new love, forgiveness, Tara Sivec is an expert at pairing comedy with romance.

Part of me wishes the text had more depth, but then it wouldn’t be as funny. LOL. Jed dies and everything (eventually) is right in the world.

Umm. And Mr. Sheriff hottie? Yeah, he’s deliriously delicious.

  • The Beau & the Belle

  • By: R.S. Grey
  • Narrated by: Joe Arden, Luci Christian
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99

A full-length standalone romantic comedy from USA TODAY best-selling author R.S. Grey. Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies. I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras. That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window. A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • squeeeee JOE ARDEN

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-26-18

Staaahp. Joe and Luci are AMAZING!

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

Reviewed: 05-15-18

Narrator Review (Luci):

Luci narrates like a boss.

Let's just say that now so there's no confusion later.

I adore this woman's voice. I will admit that I fall asleep when she reads to me...but what's better than listening to an audiobook twice?! Nothing. Don't tell me you wouldn't fall asleep with the voice of an angel in your ear.

Here's your math lesson for today: Luci = LIFE

Her ability to hone into emotions is just unreal. We follow her character, Lauren, through teenage years and then adulthood and MY GAAAWD I was the shadow to Luci's Peter Pan. I live vicariously through each of her narrations. She's in my hall of fame. She's on my auto-buy list.

My favorite part (yes, there is more) about The Beau and The Belle is when Luci—I mean, Lauren—tries to convince herself that she's "protecting her heart." Gah! Denial is my favorite delusional state in characters and Luci nailed it like a carpenter.

Narrator Review (Joe):

Joe Arden makes me numb. This man can do no wrong. He can read me a bedtime story any. freaking. time. I’m picking up what Joe’s putting down and I’m rowing down his stream of smooth words to audiobook heaven.

Once you have a listen to The Beau and The Belle, you won’t ever go back to—gasp!—actually reading. Pretty soon, I won’t have to SPEAK to anyone because Joe will do that for me, too.

Joe Arden is flawless. He’s immaculate. He’s adaptable (I almost wrote “edible” there LOL). His ability to add a current of passion to a text is why I keep coming back to him. I'm tethered to this man's voice. Listening to Joe is, without a doubt, my favorite hobby. My fitness tracker doesn’t seem to know what the heck “Listening to Joe” is, but someday technology will get on board.

Book Review:

Lauren LeBlanc was in love with Beau Fortier at first sight. Beau had all those classic, sexy features and broad shoulders—and was wa-a-ay too old for her.

Well, there goes our sweet Lauren's crushed teenage dreams.

What can you expect when you fall in love with a twenty-four-year-old law student who is renting an apartment from your parents?

Had Lauren even hit puberty yet? I mean, Lauren was classically cute but completely off limits. She learned the hard way that teenage love cannot conquer all.

But times have changed, my friends. Lace up your big girl panties, Lauren, because fate has a way of making dreams become a reality for those who wait!

Ten years later, Lauren and Beau are both in New Orleans. She is a young woman, and Beau sees her in an entirely new light. 😍 Lauren sees Beau in a whole new light as well, but this time without the tingles of love in her stomach...

Gag! Okay, this is not how we imagine rekindled love. We want sparks to fly. Instead, we get...nothing.

Years before, Beau told Lauren to guard her heart. She took Beau's advice...and then some. She not only guards her freaking heart, but she also wears a bullet-proof vest. Heck, girlfriend's got a chastity belt on for all we know!

Now that Lauren has this second chance to get Beau to notice her, she intends to take advantage of it. But this time, she resolves that she will not be the one with a broken heart. Can Beau get through her defenses? *eyebrow waggle*

Err merr gurrd this is my favorite R.S. Grey book to date and believe me when I say I'm binge reading them all. We are set in the Garden District of New Orleans (one of my favorite backdrops for romance) and R.S. Grey’s standalone novel explores the awkward teenage years and the difference a decade can make when it comes to affairs of the heart.

First of all, bring me this man because he needs a lesson in how to talk to young women. When I think of his character, I love him, then I hate him. He is missing an eau de R.S. Grey that's present in all her epically swoony gentlemen, but for this book it worked. He is a "meh" book boyfriend.

Lauren on the other hand is my absolute favorite heroine this year. She MADE this novel.

Perhaps Beau is still epically hot, but Lauren just out-hotted him. Either way, the combination of these two is liquid magic. I practically broke my wrist fanning my face. If I could summarize this book in three lines, I'd say:

The tension is off. the. charts.
Lauren is my favorite heroine of 2018
R.S. Grey is undeniably fantastic

*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of The Beau and The Belle from AudiOMG! in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author, narrators and/or publisher’s generosity.

  • Taulan

  • Dragons of Preor, Book 2
  • By: Celia Kyle
  • Narrated by: Todd Mrozek, Mandy Lane
  • Length: 4 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256

He wants to return to Preor and she wants a job, but you don't always get what you want. Lana Cooper is down to her last hundred dollars, has no job, and her clunker of a car has finally clunked out. How has her life become such a cluster of horribleness? Oh, right. A guy. Only she doesn't get a chance to beg for a job. Nope, one walk along the beach changes everything. Oh, she has a job now...as the mate to a hot, hunky Preor dragon male.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-29-17

My favorite from Celia Kyle thus far!

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

Where does Taulan rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 1/2, but Taulan as a character is DEF in the top 10.

What did you like best about this story?

How Taulan is stripped of his wings and has to rebuild himself. This transformation is so beautiful.

Any additional comments?

Overall Rating:★★★★ ½
Performance (Mandy): ★★★★★
Performance (Todd): ★★★★★
Storyline: ★★★★ ½

Narrator Review (Mandy):

Every time I listen to Mandy I swear I’m transported into whatever kinky world she’s created for me. In this case, she’s the victim of a dragon hottie. Yaaasss. Well, “victim.” Hur hur.

Mandy brings a contemporary vibe to sci-fi romance. Why can’t I stop listening to her?!! She’s this delicious poison I can’t get enough of. I’m not usually this engulfed in female narrations. Where did this woman come from?!

Let’s talk about the basics. Mandy has a killer voice. Period. I mean, she could speak Gibberish for all I care. I am obsessed with her tone. Not too deep, not too high. Mandy radiates balance between quality and performance.

Speaking of performance, Mandy is my go-to narrator this month. I am just blown away by her versatility. You’d think I’d eventually run out of things to say about her…yeah…no. She’s flawless, her timing is perfect, her children and male interpretations are unreal, I can’t help but visualize myself braiding her hair while she reads to me, and did I mention her ability to narrate children?

AND! On top of all that, let’s talk technique. Her flow in chapter 4 is the same as chapter 10. Gah I love this. She attacks her articulation, her cadence is parallel to none and I’m going to stop blabbering because I have another Mandy Lane audiobook to listen to. K bye.

Narrator Review (Todd):

This has to be my favorite performance by Todd. How on earth does he pronounce all of these words?! I’m pretty sure he’s smizing at me with his tunnel-boring gaze from inside my headphones. There is steam spouting from my ears. Todd is channeling his inner Christina Aguilera because he’s my genie who wakes up when I press ▶ and speaks swoony foreign words to me.

Todd really surprised me with his interpretation of Taulan’s character. I was expecting a hunk of epic proportions, but Todd took it to an entirely new level. He dragged his voice through the mud for this one, my friends. Hungry but not gravely, deep but not raspy. Totally…dragon-like. Is “dragon-like” a thing? Yes.

Taulan showcases Todd’s ability to embody a character. I became Taulan. I saw what he saw, my hands touched what he touched. People! Audiobooks aren’t supposed to be this real. Todd brings life to passages and texture to words.

Book Review:

Taulan is practically dead. I mean, he’s scorched to itty bitties and he’s lost all sense of self. He had traveled to earth to find a mate, but there’s nothing he wants more than to heal (or die) in privacy...mateless.

As the Primary Warrior of the third fleet (you’re swooning), it’s his duty to protect. While in battle, he is severely disfigured and now he’s lost all purpose in life.

"He’d made his choice. He would return home to lick his wounds and then finally throw himself off a high aerie like any other male in his situation would."

How does one start over?

Lana, our sweet heroine, is in desperate need of a “restart” button. After having been in an abusive relationship, she just wants to start fresh…meaning, get a job. She’s totally broke! When luck never finds her, she decides to take a stab at life in our hot alien-dragon world…and a life with Taulan.

Umm, does she even want to go? I’ll take her place.

LOL. Personally, I think she had a few other options, but if an irrecoverably wounded man presented himself to me from the depths of holy hotness, I may consider tending to his wounds. 😏

As their “arrangement” becomes more than survival, and love drives their actions, Taulan has to overcome his insecurities to protect Lana. And we’re talking about Celia Kyle here—NOTHING is bland with this woman! Expect a heart-stopping romance that will tie you up in knots.

Taulan is my favorite Dragon of Preor. He’s wounded (figuratively and literally) and, my God, Todd Mrozek couldn’t have done a better job narrating his character. Call me infected. The Knowing has struck and I’m a wee bit obsessed right now.

Taulan steals the show in terms of character development, but Lana acts as a catalyst for his transformation. Her character arc is beautiful as well, but the wounded dragon…le sigh.

Gag! And let’s not even mention all the things trying to tear these two apart! Will Taulan fly again? Will he send Lana back to earth?

What about those who seem to hate the idea of Taulan and Lana together?

Taulan embodies self-sacrifice. Our lovers succumb to each other and share their burdens in such a unique way. Lana and our dragon hottie are sent on a journey of self-discovery, only to find themselves in one another.

  • Kozav

  • Dragons of Preor, Book 3
  • By: Celia Kyle
  • Narrated by: Todd Mrozek, Mandy Lane
  • Length: 5 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 282
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 256

Grace Hall is a nurse, not a doctor. But when five Preor warriors are brought to the emergency room and the doctors won't touch the aliens, she steps forward. One warrior draws her more than the others. His teal wings, muscular body, and pain-glazed eyes have her torn between two desires - needing his touch and desperation to heal him. She's going to save the Preor males, even if it kills her.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light reading/listening

  • By IreneMBBT on 03-26-17

Kozav is an alpha DREAM

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

If you could sum up Kozav in three words, what would they be?

Alpha. Alpha. And Alpha.

Any additional comments?

Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Performance (Mandy): ★★★★★
Performance (Todd): ★★★★★
Storyline: ★★★★ ½

Narrator Review (Mandy):

The longer these books get, the better they are.

I’m just waiting for a 600 page masterpiece to fall into my lap. Umm. 23 hours of Mandy and Todd? Do you even have to ask?

This is my favorite narration by Mandy thus far, and her performances never disappoint. The urgency behind her voice compliments Grace’s character so wonderfully. I was there in the emergency room slicing and dicing this flock of dragons. Wake of dragons? Army? Gaggle?!
Listening to Mandy was like watching another woman molest my men—yes, men.

The longing, the desire. I swelled in the undercurrent of her rhythm. I’m instantly in love with every character she brings to life. So much, in fact, that every time I listen to her, I want to change my career. So, until I review the fourth book in the series, please call me “nurse NDP,” pull down your knickers and let me stab you with this needle of juju.

Narrator Review (Todd):

Todd’s voice is thick with emotion. Gah! So-o-o good! Ogle him while you can, ladies, because Todd. Is. Mine. Is that appropriate to say about someone you haven’t met? Here, in front of all my subjects, I stake claim on Todd’s voice. If I had complete control over this man, I would record him saying my most used phrases, and then when people called me I would have these preset soundtracks…

Ring. Ring.

1- You dunna kin what yer talkin’ aboot!
2- Did you get the email I sent five seconds ago?
3- Staaahp.

Now, that’s what I call the life of luxury.

Every time Todd narrates the beginning of a chapter, I squeal. I literally squeal. I can’t listen to this man at work. I am told I talk to myself, but I don’t know what would happen to my reputation if I squealed like an oinker throughout the day. 🐷

Todd is dimensional, his narrations are tasteful and his cadence is perfectly timed. He's honey lit on FIRE. I can’t image anyone better to narrate this series. He never ceases to amaze me.


Book Review:


Fate. Separation. Desire. This is Celia Kyle’s best!

Our dragon hotties have no females. We learn this in book one, Jarek. Although these are standalone novels, I highly recommend reading them in order.

Some background: the female population was killed off centuries ago (this is the Great Conflict which is the best name ever, BTW) and the few who did survive are infertile. Now, the Preor Third Fleet is in orbit around earth perusing the human race for suitable females.

Kozav is flying with his army of SEXY when their airspace is invaded. Him and his men/dragons/fiends get hurt and taken to East Fortuna Medical where our heroine, Grace, works her magic…even though she isn’t a doctor.

Our hunks are delirious. It’s not until Kozav is back on Preor that he realizes the Knowing has struck him. (The when you know, you know feeling). He’s pretty daft at first, because he doesn’t even recognize that he’s imprinted on a human.

But he doesn’t even know her name! Or what she looks like!

"Was she still alive? Yes. Yes, she was. The Knowing still flooded him, so she had to still be breathing, her heart beating. But how badly did she suffer? The Knowing answered the question for him—greatly."

Hey, but at least he knows she's alive! For now...

OMG, this book is so freaking good. Fate to the fifteenth degree.

Kozav is sent on this wild journey to find his soulmate. What’s even more frustrating is that he knows nothing about her. How are you supposed to reconnect with your perfect match when you don’t know them?

Speaking of soulmates…I saw a psychic once. I haven’t told any of you this. LOL. I guess the idea of fate and soulmates reminded me of it. She told me I would meet my dream man “soon.” I don’t know what your definition of “soon” is, but this was about a year ago. Anyway! She said he would love wine and traveling. She also said he’d be much older than me and place the world at my feet.

My feet are waiting.

If I twist the facts, she was totally referring to Kozav because he’s doing all of this for me.

Now let me introduce you to Grace, the woman who’s stealing my soulmate from me. She’s a human nurse, and in the heat of the craziness, she’s assessing injured Preor warriors. Suddenly, she’s gifted with all the skills and knowledge to treat them, so she performs surgery (I didn’t particularly enjoy this part, but Mandy’s performance completely changed my mind about the scene).

"Grace nearly rolled her eyes. 'They can mate with humans. I’m operating under the assumption that they’re not so different we can’t stick a needle in their skin or press a nanopad to a bleeding wound.' She snapped her fingers. 'Let’s do this, people.'"

Then Grace is hit with the Knowing.

This is how they all start, my friends. They form an unbreakable—and unwilling—bond, and each character must overcome their own demons and obstacles before they find love. This series is passion in its rawest form. Kozav is an alpha DREAM. This book could have been about him prancing around and I would have adored it just the same.

Long story short: Celia Kyle is brilliant.

  • Rendan

  • Dragons of Preor, Book 4
  • By: Celia Kyle
  • Narrated by: Todd Mrozek, Mandy Lane
  • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 226

Rendan sen Tarkan, Offense Master to the Preor Third Fleet, has found his human mate. She is small compared to him, but her curves, delicious scent, and sky blue eyes call out to his soul. He has waited for a female for over two centuries and he will fight - kill - any who dare attempt to take her. Even one of his own males. One moment Carla was unemployed and the next she was on the Preor battleship, working as a nurse for human-Preor mates. Oh, and the next moment? That was when she found her sexy, alien pink-scaled mate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This series was wonderful!!!

  • By Bonnita on 03-31-17

These just keep getting better!

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

Reviewed: 04-16-18

What did you love best about Rendan?

His inability to have a normal relationship. He's just perfectly flawed!

What about Todd Mrozek and Mandy Lane ’s performance did you like?

Wow that's a loaded question. See below ;)

Any additional comments?

Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Performance (Mandy): ★★★★★
Performance (Todd): ★★★★★
Storyline: ★★★★ ½

Narrator Review (Mandy):

What am I going to do now that the fifth audiobook hasn’t released yet? I’m pretty much panicking right now. I need Mandy Lane and NOW. She has been my favorite narrator these past few weeks. It’s no surprise why…

Her voice is angelic. Her tempo is hypnotizing I can listen to her all day. I can’t WAIT for her next narration. The words practically fall out of her mouth and I’m there with my funnel collecting it all. I ADORE the speed at which she reads. It’s perfect for driving. I literally time my chapters out so when I do get in the car, her luxuriously sweet voice guides me home.

I’ve learned not to listen to Todd while doing anything. That’s just dangerous. But with Mandy, I’m taking her to the gym. I’m eating dinner with her. She’s with me when I’m driving, of course. And my new favorite is watching the television on mute while I listen to her narrate. I’d much rather listen to her anyways and, believe me, it’s epic.

Narrator Review (Todd):

I succumbed to the weakness. I listened to Todd during work hours. I squealed halfway through the day. LOUDLY. *Shaking head*

The senior engineer of my firm came over and said, “▇▇▇▇▇, I know you love farm animals [I have a calendar of cows doing yoga and I flove faxing random months to people…] but I didn’t know you could do such a fantastic interpretation of a pig.”

What can I say. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’m a girl of many talents.

Do not listen to this audiobook in public. I know it’ll be hard, but trust me. I got away. Barely.

Todd has this way of making it seem like talking is the easiest thing on earth. Even his sharp breaths hold passion. It’s time to put this man on my list of favorite male narrators. Each performance is lathered in longing. I just want to reach into my head where he’s painted each character and sque-e-eze them.

When it comes to Todd, he absolutely knows how to enhance any text. Any genre.

Book Review:

Rendan is my favorite Preor dragon. Did I say that about Taulan, too? Aye. There are just too many to choose from. Perfectly sculpted, wounded, loyal…devious. 😏 You’d think Celia Kyle would eventually run out of alpha ideas, but that’s obviously not happening in this lifetime. This woman is unreal. I’m going one by one through her list of novels and I’m just blown away.

What’s better than a pink-scaled, muscly hunk-o-man? Nothing, if I’m going to be honest with you. This book completely changed the way I view shifter romances. Before, shifters were fun, but this book, this leading man…he’s to die for. Well, unless he decides to sacrifice himself to save you first.

Carla Butler is a human nurse. We were first introduced to her in Kozav Book 3 (where Kozav’s human is also a nurse). I am so, so happy that Carla gets her own story. I loved her to itty bitties in Kozav .

Our heroine, shy and polite, works in the Preor Clinic. She’s a baller and saving people’s lives until a dragon, Rendan, comes in and he's badly injured.

Ooo, you know what’s coming. The Knowing is among us, my friends! Carla and our pink hottie bond at the molecular level. It’s a covalent bond unlike any other—equal forces from each of our protagonists pulling them toward one another. I don’t blame Carla, I can feel Rendan’s electromagnetic field from here in my hermit house in the mountains. Hot. Dayum.

"That single word pounded through Carla’s mind. Thump, thump, thumping in her head until it felt like it was the only thing in her world.

Mine."

When the Knowing strikes, Carla doesn’t know what to do and Rendan tries to comfort her. Except he’s kind of bad at this “relationship” thing. Correction, really bad. His growing affection for Carla is apparent, but he’s just so…grr…infuriating. While he’s trying to help Carla adjust to their new connection, he’s struggling with balancing his time as a warrior and a lover.

Hur hur. Don’t worry, you smutty smuts will enjoy the ride. There’s lots of lovin’ to be shared.

But there’s one thing that soldiers of power try to avoid: their enemy knowing who their loved ones are.

These Preor dragons have some serious rivals and now Rendan’s enemy has his sight set on Carla.

🐷 Squeee! 🐷 I shouldn’t be this excited for Carla’s imminent doom, but knowing Rendan is going to go HAM to protect her makes me giddy.

Rendan has that eau de dangerous. He needs to write a recipe book on how to craft a delicious hero.

I adored Carla, but again, the dragon hotties keep stealing the show. I’m just mesmerized by this world and their way of life that Celia Kyle has created. The majority of this book is on earth, so we get a different taste of what it's like to be an injured Preor warrior. Rendan is a little bit of a jerk, and Carla responds to him in cringe-worthy ways, but I thought this was hilarious. I knew what was coming—unlike the other books—but Gaawd I needed a read like this. I was so satisfied.

"Shaa kouva, he whispered the endearment in his wind. His beloved. His mate."

The good guys win, the bad guys suffer, and our Rendan experiences a transformation totally worth all the swoons in the world.

  • Jarek

  • Dragons of Preor, Book 1
  • By: Celia Kyle
  • Narrated by: Todd Mrozek, Mandy Lane
  • Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 403

At 457 Preor years old, Jarek sen Claron is a dragon ready for his final flight into the skies. This voyage to Earth as the War Master of the third fleet will be his final assignment. Once he has helped his fellow Preors secure human mates, he will return to Preor before the madness of loneliness overtakes his mind. That all changes when he meets Melissa. Human Melissa with her sparkling eyes, bright smile, and body that would make any hot-blooded male drool. Unfortunately, she never registered as a Preor mate hopeful.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3.5 Stars

  • By Kristi on 04-21-17

Hello Jarek the sexy dragon. I'm drooling.

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

Reviewed: 03-26-18

Where does Jarek rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In 2018? Top 5 definitely. Of all time? I'd say Top 15.

What did you like best about this story?

There is never a dull moment. Ever.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Jarek claims Melissa. LOL. Like, how awkwardly adorable is this?!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When reality struck and Jarek realized he could lose Melissa. Gah. My heart.

Any additional comments?

Overall Rating: ★★★★ ½
Performance (Mandy): ★★★★★
Performance (Todd): ★★★★ ½
Storyline: ★★★★★

*FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of Jarek (Dragons of Preor Book 1) from AudiOMG! in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author, narrators and/or publisher’s generosity.

Narrator Review (Mandy):

My jaw dropped when I first heard Mandy's interpretation of a child. Like, are you serious right now? I can't even talk like a normal person, let alone a baby.

Mandy Lane. I wish this audiobook was nine hours so I could have listened to her sweet voice for a while longer. She's this squall line of unbelievable talent heading straight for my heart. I have never heard a narrator do third person past tense with this kind of finesse. Ever. It's such a hard tense to write in and perform without muddling the content and sounding...well, like a text to speech software.

A narrator doesn't just read a book, they instill life in a text and give us an opportunity to shut off one of our senses. It's like that explainable fact that blind men seem to see more, know more. Audiobooks completely redefine literature and this is a perfect example. I just can't believe how amazing Mandy is. She transported me and I was just a visitor on her totally epic world.

Narrator Review (Todd):

Umm who is this man and why have I just met him?

Todd's voice. Holy sardine on a cracker. This man is FLAVORFUL. I howled like a coyote when his voice infiltrated my ears. Literally. 🐺 Oh, what a lovely, pleasant surprise.

His tone, parfait.

His pace, magnifique.

The swirl of emotions he projects on a text? Bisou bisou bisou! 👄👄👄

The only thing that I can critique about his narration is when there are three or more males in a conversation. I had no idea who was talking. This is partially due to the fact that there are no said tags during these convos (i.e. he said, she said, etc). And I'm a huge fan of said tags in an audiobook otherwise these three-male conversations get lost in translation.

But gaawd, this man is definitely on my dream team of narrators. Someday I am going to be presented with an opportunity to meet the men I've placed on a pedestal, then (and only then) will I be able to die in audiobook heaven.

Book Review:

This book starts out with the typical “we must mate with humans or our race will be obliterated forever-r-r” theme. I was a little disappointed here. I mean, every dragon shifter novel I’ve read this year (and last year come to think of it) has this driving the protagonists into action.

You know how dragon shifter novels all seem to blend together? They’re exaggerated, the books’ females are bleh, the dragons’ mating rituals are totally bizarre and the settings don’t make any sense? Yes, we’ve even been left wondering what the heck…and just move on to bear, wolf and panther shifter novels. Gag, I just didn't want to read another "saving our race" book.

ERR. MER. GUURD. I stuck this audiobook in my ears and somewhere in the time between me leaving my house for work and actually arriving at work, I couldn’t wait for the dragons to come to earth and mate with all the humans. I'm living in a parallel universe or something because this is real freaking life, people. The dragons are coming and I volunteer as tribute.

Vivid descriptions, a breathtaking undercurrent of fate, Jarek is undoubtedly my favorite dragon shifter novel ever. When you know, you know , and let me tell you now that I’m in love with this book.

There have only been four books I've ever immediately re-read, and this is one of them. BAM! BAM! Twice in one day. This is the life.

Now to the plot.

We are first introduced to Jarek. Umm. Hello this man is the perfect level of alpha! My eyeballs have transformed into goo-goo-hearts. I have this unquenchable thirst in my throat. I drink, like, two gallons of water a day, so something’s wrong with me. It’s Jarek.

I’m even Googling “water doesn’t help my thirst” right now, no joke.

Dehydration…snort. WebMD knows nothing. 🙄

Jarek is a dragon shifter from Preor. We would refer to their kind as “aliens,” similar to how his race would refer to us as “humans.” There’s something about an alien dragon that is just so…raw. I’m addicted. AND when they shift into their human form, they keep their wings. Yes. Please. I can just envision Jarek feeding me grapes and fanning me with those bad boys.

Our leading man is also known as the War Master. I love me a man in uniform. He’s 457 years old and doesn’t have a mate, so it's clear that he's never been through a “Knowing,” i.e. when you know, you know. This sweet dragon man of hotness has never imprinted on someone! He’s a lost penguin looking for the last stunning pebble to give to a female that doesn’t exist. My heart is crying.

He’s pretty much hopeless (and mateless). It’s the reason he’s leading his undeniably hot dragon clan to Earth in hopes of finding mates to keep their race alive—he’s not going to screw around.

But then, it happens. Yup—you guessed it—Knowing. He sees her and he unconditionally devotes himself to this woman.

We’ve only covered chapter one, friends. Like, this is unreal.

Let me introduce you to Melissa.

Melissa Walker is a “human” and she takes care of the Royal Family’s youngling. Before she knows it, Jarek storms in and claims her.

If only men in real life could commit like this. #RelationshipGoals

Gaawd this man is so rugged and decisive. His approach is also a little...weird. This girl needs to run, but unfortunately, love gets the best of her.

"Air refused to fill her lungs, her chest compressed by… something. Some weird, unidentifiable sensation."

Yup, she's thirsty. Google it.

But, of course, Melissa had never registered as one of these volunteer dragon/alien mates. Ooo boy. Trouble’s coming. Between protecting Melissa, defending their love, and having his own kind believe he doesn’t deserve a mate…aye…Jarek’s final flight in the skies of Preor is one for the books.

  • The Foxe & the Hound

  • By: R. S. Grey
  • Narrated by: Luci Christian, Joe Arden
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 372
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 371

When your life is a hot mess at 20, it's cute. At 27...well, not so much. It's just that my lofty dreams - making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily - have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I've decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I've settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry. That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town's new vet.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Funny but with creepy moments

  • By Gabriela on 12-14-17

Joe and Luci DOMINATED this audiobook

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

Reviewed: 03-21-18

What made the experience of listening to The Foxe & the Hound the most enjoyable?

Luci and Joe. Absolutely. I mean, the plot was exactly what I needed at the time, but the narrators are the ones who tell the story.

Luci dominated Madeleine's personality. Why haven't I ever listened to her before? Because I live under a rock, that's why. This book is light, humorous and kind of goofy, and Luci's tone encapsulates this so well.

The quality of her voice is excellent. Although bright, it isn't annoyingly so. AND! Her mannerisms are consistent throughout the entire performance which is rare in female narrations these days.

My favorite part of The Foxe & the Hound is when Luci—I mean, Madeleine—is in an awkward situation. Err murr gurrd. Luci, I want you with me in every awkward situation I have. This is executed so perfectly. I also really like Luci's male interpretations, particularly because her portrayal matches that of Joe's. Luci's a chameleon.

What did you like best about this story?

Joe...*blushing*

Joe is one of my favorite narrators of all time. This isn't a secret. Yoga with Joe is perfection (if you haven't stretched with this man crooning in your ear, then you haven't lived.) Unfortunately, I couldn't listen to this audiobook during my hot yoga class last week because my instructor caught me with my bluetooth earplugs in...talk about awkward. I mean, I was in freaking rabbit pose and the room was terribly hot and sweaty—although, I'm never sure if that's because of the yoga poses or because of you know who. So, I got busted. I also got lectured at for disrupting my second chakra.

🙄

Joe is my chakra. So I say hot yoga is a crock. I won't be going to Thursday 5am practice for a little while.

The Foxe & the Hound showcases Joe's versatility. I mean, we've all heard him be the sweet guy, or the lovable, wounded man. Here, Joe is a vile pig. He's king of the farm animals as far as I'm concerned, and I'm just fine with that. Joe takes characterization to a new level. He can narrate practically any role, which is why he's my default voice boyfriend. Feeling like a biker? Joe Arden. Ooo, maybe a sweet vineyard owner? Joe. Arden.

This man can do it all. He also has the perfect timbre for listening at max volume. You know when you have a narrator that you have to listen on low because their voice is so pointed? It's never like that with Joe. He filters his voice through a field of wildflowers. Wildflowers I want to prance around in.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Adam calls Luci and she has no clue who he is. LOL.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I even tried until I got booted out of hot yoga for listening to "music" during class. Snort.

Any additional comments?

I hate Adam Foxe. I loathe him. I want an obnoxious dog to eat all of his nice clothes. He. Is. An. ***! Ooo, but it's so provocative. He's playing this game, and I'm all in.

A character doesn't have to be likable in order to be relatable. Honestly, I can relate to Adam's negative juju transmitting into the Universe. I had a crappy weekend, and Adam has a crappy life. We're a match made in heaven. Want to talk about chakras? Adam has none.

Madeleine, our sweet heroine, on the other hand is the complete opposite of Adam. She is not the luckiest person ever. R.S. Grey did a really nice job not overdoing it here. It's easy to make bad luck look like idiocy, but this is rendered so perfectly. Madeleine has a heart of gold. It's no wonder she forgives Adam for all his rudeness...SEXY, HOT RUDENESS!

We are set in a small town in Texas where everyone knows everyone's business. Madeleine falls in love with a cute little puppy and names him Mouse. Except Mouse grows into a Galamoth puppy.

Madeleine hasn't had the best string of luck, she's kind of a space cadet and a hot mess. This puppy is just hilarious and brings lightness to Madeleine's immediate reality...she is trying to build her way up in the real estate world, except if she doesn't make a sale quickly, she's going to be cut loose.

“You’ve worked here for a year this month, Madeleine, and you’ve only closed on one listing.”

She’s merciful in leaving out the fact that the one listing I managed to close on was for my brother and Daisy’s house. That was six months ago…

It only gets worse when she stumbles upon Dr. Adam Foxe, an arrogant pig (as we've discussed earlier), and her massive puppy molests him.

Then, she meets Mr. Foxe again as Mouse's vet.

This doesn't seem like the worst thing to happen, oh, but it is. Adam and Madeleine don't necessarily get along the first half of the book. Gaawd, this is so good. Madeleine and her crazy dog pop up and catch Adam off-guard at the most random times. Fate? Perhaps. I think the pup is her fairy godmother guiding her to her prince. Snort. Prince Revolting.

"I resist the urge to sear him with my gaze and I think he can tell, because he defuses the situation with a small smile."

Their relationship starts out rocky, this blooms into a friendship and inevitably love. Le sigh. But, of course, R.S. Grey doesn't keep the love blooming for long! Gah, and yes, these two find a way to screw things up. But we knew this was coming, right? Adam the playa play and Madeleine his sweet muse.

That's just begging for disaster. Does Madeleine make a sale and keep her job? Why-y-y is Adam in Texas when he's originally from Chicago?

The Foxe & the Hound is light-hearted, swoony and a perfect summer read. Or, in this case, listen. It's alluring, captivating and will make you smile. The content surprised me in a sense that Madeleine's story is equally as enthralling alone as it is with Adam and vice versa. I really loved this book. I needed a read like this.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Moonlight Sins

  • A de Vincent Novel
  • By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Narrated by: CJ Bloom, Blake Richard
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82

Julia Hughes has always played it safe until she learned a very painful lesson. Now Julia's starting over with a job in the Louisiana bayou, working for the infamous de Vincent family, the massively wealthy brothers who are haunted by a dark reputation and whispers of misdeeds. Hired to care for their troubled sister, Julia can't afford any distractions, but the menacing presence in the mansion and the ever-present temptation of the handsome Lucian de Vincent isn't something anyone can ignore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this book !!

  • By jojodeen on 03-18-18

Umm. Hello CJ and Blake. Holy COW.

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

Would you listen to Moonlight Sins again? Why?

Yes. Because I'm obsessed with the narrators. They really made this a stellar listen.

This was my first time listening to CJ. I kind of feel like an idiot right now because she's amazing and I've missed out on all of her totally epic narrations. I'm making up for it, I promise. I've got a CJ binge coming up.

Moonlight Sins is dark and eerie, and my GAAWD her voice contrasts this so well. She adds this unique humor to the text. A little bit quirky, a lot a bit relatable. She embodied Julia's character so well. I don't know who cast CJ for this part, but they're my new favorite person. Genius. My ears are happy. I cried. Listening to this audiobook was like walking into a dark torture chamber but in the middle of the space is my favorite cupcake—CJ is the cupcake.

I want to talk about the inflections in CJ's voice because CJ slayed. You never know what you're going to get when you try a new narrator, and I got exactly what I wanted. A narrator must, must, must be able to have a legit conversation with themselves, meaning: control over octaves. CJ is a master of this trade. She needs to teach a college course called "How to Talk to Yourself for a Living." On top of that, her flow is parallel to none and she makes this good book into a great book. A++ across the board.

This was actually my first listen to Blake, too. Yeehaw! I entered all sorts of new territory here. You know...I hesitated with his performance at first. He reads slowly, which I love, but there is this airiness that pushes him forward and I wasn't sure if I liked or not.

Three hours later, I was sweating.  No amount of fanning my face could have cooled me off. This man. THIS. MAN. Midnight Sins is da-a-ark. Blake! Augh! My heart.

Call me obsessed. Blake's dialogue is out of this world. I mean, the man can TALK to himself. He's very different from other male narrators in the sense that he separates a character's dialogue from the narration even when he's in the same POV. Am I making sense right now? I'm sure I sound like a crazy person. After you listen to so many audiobooks, tone muddles together, personalities dilute. No no no, not here. He narrates with that feathery, debonair tone, and then when he enters dialogue it's like he's legitimately talking to me.

Friends, this is so amazing, especially since the book is in third person past tense (also my favorite) and he was able to narrate it as such. This was just...addicting? Dare I say, perfect? If you're an audiobook addict, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about when you listen to the audio sample. At first, this caught me off guard because I wasn't used to it. Now, I F-L-O-V-E it. In a sea of narrators, I could pick Blake out immediately. And then I'd ask him kindly (but still sort of threateningly) to read every third person past tense book in existence.

  • Road to Nowhere

  • By: M. Robinson
  • Narrated by: Marnye Young, Conner Goff
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 65

I once read that every warrior hoped an honorable death would find him. I always went looking for mine, but not even the Reaper wanted me. I was trained to kill. I was trained to not ask why. To take orders and just march in line. Hoo-ah motherf--ker. Life or death. Ride or die. And I'm not only talking about the military. I'm talking about the life that led me on the road to nowhere. My life. I fought for my brothers. I fought for my family. I fought for my country. And I fought for her...Never realizing I might die for them too.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing... Cliffhanger Next Book is on the Kindle

  • By Parrish Elizabeth Eidell on 04-17-17

Marnye Young is TO DIE FOR IN THIS!!

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

Any additional comments?

God this woman makes me sick with how amazing she is. When I first started listening to this audiobook I couldn’t believe it was Marnye Young. Marnye is one of my favorite narrators and I couldn’t even recognize her voice! Her inflections were different, her tone was deeper. I was convinced I was being trolled because I know this woman's voice!... Well, I thought I knew her voice. There are apparently 100 different facets to Marnye that I have yet to discover…

Let’s begin with the accent. Ummm HELLO! It’s perfect. The drawl, the timing. I eventually convinced myself the siren narrating was, indeed, Marnye because no one can unleash my tears just by changing the tempo of the phrasing like Marnye Freaking Young.

When I started bawling like a baby, yup, I knew it was her.

Marnye compliments Conner so perfectly in this narration. Pure and refined versus damaged and raw. I don’t know who decided to pair these two together, but it was genius.