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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Bliss, the bridal capital of the Midwest!

Natalie Castellano practically has it all - beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family's failing bridal boutique is smart...right? Plus, who doesn't want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?

With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.

CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he's in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. a.k.a. the depths of hell.

His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a 20-something widower. But he doesn't want to talk, he doesn't want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn't want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.

But when a dark-haired, wounded-eyed beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?

©2014 Jamie Farrell (P)2016 Jamie Farrell

Critic Reviews

"Farrell marries warmth with tongue-in-cheek wit in this marvelous romantic comedy." ( Publishers Weekly starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    77
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    64
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    21
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    10

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    82
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    48
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    19
  • 2 Stars
    3
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    14

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    67
  • 4 Stars
    53
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    25
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    11
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Blissful!

What made the experience of listening to Blissed the most enjoyable?

The narrator's voice was very pleasing and Jamie Farrell's style of writing with comedy is the perfect blend of romance and the experience of the absurdity of life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I really liked the character of Natalie and how devoted she was to her mother's dream and all of her family members including her son. I also enjoyed her interactions with the Queen General who is a force to be reckoned with.

What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

Everything! Her voice is pleasing and easy to listen to. I especially enjoyed the way she interprets the story with the inflection of her voice. She made me giggle and kept my attention throughout the book. I would definitely buy another book that she narrates.

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

The Husband Games was hilarious and kept me glued to the pages as CJ battles to be the winner in the annual event so that he can win Natalie's heart, especially in front of the entire town and the Queen General.

Any additional comments?

I love Jamie Farrell's writing and she and Karen White are the perfect combination to make this a really enjoyable story and listening experience. I highly recommend this fabulous duo!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Wonderful story!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've had the pleasure of both reading my kindle copy of the book and listening to the audiobook of Blissed. I really enjoyed Blissed when I first read it. I had a few issues with Natalie not standing up or herself in the beginning of the book and her blaming CJ for something that was truly a mistake from 5 years ago, but that as early in the book and once I got past about 5% of the book, I totally fell in love with the story. I loved watching CJ come back to life again after living with guilt over the death of his military wife. I adored the entire Blue clan and loved they always had CJ's back, even when he didn't want them around I also love how CJ interacted with Natalie's son Noah. Seriously heart-melting watching the two of them together. The build up of the romance between Natalie and CJ ended up being perfect for me. I loved they had instant attraction, yet both were cautious because of their pasts.

Karen White is the narrator for the audiobook and she absolutely brings the characters to life. She was spot-on with each of the character's voices and I fell in love all over again with the story as I listened to Karen White.

What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

She did a spot-on job with each of the characters voices that brought the story to life.

If you could take any character from Blissed out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Kimmie because I want to listen to her tell me about all her strange dreams.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Come visit Blizz you will leave with a smile

Any additional comments?

I totally loved this story and all the characters that keep you smiling and laughing the whole way through this outstanding listen. I have read this book and totally loved it. After listening to the audio I am even more in love these characters and this town. I love Ms. Farrell’s writing style I know if I am every down or having a bad day I only have to pick up one of her books to put my smile back on my face. Once you pick up one of her book you will have no doubts to why she is one of my go to authors. I love her sense of humor how she always wears a smile that you can read in her writing.

Ms. White as narrator blew me away with how she got the voice to match each character. When you read a book in your mind you picture what they look like and what they sound like. Ms. White hit it right on the money for me. She really brought this story to life making it very easy to picture the scenes in your mind which gave it even more humor. There are no background noises or any breaks take that I can tell. The volume is nice and easy never higher or lower giving you a very smooth listen. Her male voices are outstanding CJ’s is very sexy smooth that you get lost in. Her female voices are wonderful fitting each character as if they were made for them. Ms. White has a very pleasant voice that is smooth, sexy and exciting when it needs to be. I found myself doing things I have been putting off doing so I could listen longer. You have no trouble know each emotion and what each character is feeling at any given time. You can hear the pain, sorrow, hope, happiness and love each character in the tones as Ms. White brings the story to life. I am looking forward to listening to more from this narrator.

The book takes place in the town of Bliss where the whole town is about happy ever after. Bliss is the merriest town on earth they take this title very seriously live for weddings and the games. Knot Fest and The Husband Games is an annual event where men play against each other in a series of challenges in order to be declared Husband of the Year.

Natalie is a divorce single mother who is on The Aisle (which would be main street to us) and is running her mother’s bridal shop. Her mother was the head of and ran The Husband Games until she died. She is doing everything she can to make this the best games ever in her loving memory. The Queen General is doing her best to make Natalie’s life a living hell as she tries to make her leave the Aisle and hopefully the town. The Aisles is no place for a divorce women they have high standard and Natalie must go. Natalie is taking all the QG is dishing out just hanging on long enough to do the games one last time for her mother. Both women get their digs and do not mind fighting dirty keep you laughing. If that isn’t hard enough to deal with CJ is back in town he is the one man she can’t forget and would rather not see. Natalie said he destroyed her marriage in just a few minutes when they played the husband games leaving her embarrassed walking the road of shame. When they finally come face to face after they have nice chat (you are going to love this chat and die laughing through it) he doesn’t remember anything about her and is surprised she said he destroyed her marriage. She is just like this town crazy, he does his best to stay out of her way until he can leave. It does seem their paths keep crossing which has the GQ up in arms spiting flames (well maybe not that bad but it isn’t pretty). One does not mess with the GQ she has been known to raise the tides, move mountain well you get the idea.

CJ is back for a wedding but he would rather be anywhere else. He is from a big family that has a way of driving a man crazy. He wants to make this a fast quick stop and move on. His parents have named their entire family for spices. It is going to drive you nuts trying to work out CJ’s name. Once you find out what it is you will die laughing. If my name was this I wouldn’t be giving it out either. CJ is a sweet man who is haunted by his past and the death of his wife knowing he could have done better by her. Now he has the guilt of wanting Natalie and the trouble he has caused her. She might be crazy but it seems he is into crazy. The GQ wants him to play in the Husband Game to honor his dead wife. Natalie wants him to leave town. Hum I wonder who will win this battle.

One things leads to another and sparks fly why tempter rise as passion takes control. Have they found their match or will the QG win this war of the Husband Games. One thing is for sure she has a few tricks up her sleeves she has plans for CJ which sure do not include Natalie. Can Natalie stay one step ahead of the QG or will the QG run Natalie out of town. Can CJ get over his past making Bliss his home or will he run for the hill at the first chance. What about their feelings for each other will they keep fighting their attraction or give in and let the cards fall where they may.

Jamie is a very talented author who knows how to pull her readers in giving them a highly entertaining read. She keeps her readers invested in her characters cheering them on as we laugh ourselves silly. She gives you down to earth characters who are a little on the crazy side which fits in just perfect with my sense of humor. She is one of the few authors I can read her books over and over again never getting tired. I know what is coming but it still keeps me laughing time and time again. There is no doubt after reading one of her books you will be smiling and laughing the whole way through as it reaches deep in you with a meaning you can relate to. I cannot wait to listen to the rest of this series on audio. If you haven’t read any of her work this would be a great one to start with I promise you will be smiling from the beginning to the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

This book proves why Jamie Farrell is one of my favorite authors.

I laughed. I chewed my nails. I cried. I love this book! I can't wait till the next one comes out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great audiobook!

I've read this book before, so I knew what to expect from the story. That being said I'm new to audiobooks and a little hesitant, however this reader did a great job. I found myself sucked in the story and wanted to continue hearing her read. Every once in a while it felt like she read a little too slow so I just sped up the story, but overall it was a great read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

I love Bliss

What made the experience of listening to Blissed the most enjoyable?

The narrator was very good!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Blissed?

The itch weed scene with Natalie and CJ.

Which scene was your favorite?

All of them! The husband games scenes.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh!

Any additional comments?

I love the town of Bliss!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • T
  • 10-31-16

I tried to like it.

Totally unbelievable.
Why would anyone subject themselves to such bullying?
Why would any mother subject their child to a town that is controlled by a bully? In her mothers memory. No, no way would her mother want that for her child. All because she was divorced. Totally unbelievable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Gaele
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 08-26-16

Sure to please fans of light and funny stories

AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 3

Bliss is a small Illinois town, dubbing itself the “Bridal Capital” of the Midwest. So much so that Main Street is The Aisle, and a huge annual celebration, the Husband Games, is the highlight of the social year, set to promote all things married and wedding.

Natalie is back in Bliss, after a horrendous marriage, and is now running her late mother’s bridal shop (one of six in town). Because the Husband Games were important to her mother, she is willing to go to great lengths to make this, the 50th anniversary of the games the best ever in her memory. If only.

CJ is a native boy, but has traded in the small town in favor of adrenaline after the death of his wife during her deployment. He’s not at all interested in anything to do with the ‘games’ or any person trying to push him that way.

The characters: complete with a totally distasteful “Queen General” who spends her life upbraiding, downgrading and bullying everyone into towing her line. Noah, an adorable and scene stealing four year old, son of Natalie. Kimmie, known for her strange dreams and proclamations of the future and you can’t forget CJ’s family – all of them named for herbs.....

The plot – a bit of traditional romance, perhaps a few too many smart-funny moments that distracted from Natalie and CJ and their steps toward a relationship. They both have plenty to overcome after their marriages ended, and with Natalie’s struggles to stand up for herself and speak her own mind, it was frustrating at times. All of the good and bad in a small town was highlighted here, particularly with the long-held reputations from childhood combined with the “you are from here so this must be important to you” attitudes. A few moments of unrealistic situations were balanced by the actual laugh out loud moments, if perhaps overshadowing the lack of solid ‘grab onto this’ moments of development and discovery.

Narration from Karen White was a highlight, she manages to not go headlong into the slapstick moments that appeared without losing the humor and often wry self-depreciating tone from Natalie. Clear and present, she gives the humor a moment to shine, while trying to bring the best from the characters at all moments.

An interesting start to a series, sure to please those who want a lighter and often sillier listen.

I received an audiobook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Fun!

Such an enjoyable book. Great characters, entertaining story, humor and depth paired beautifully. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Washington, DC USA
  • 07-21-16

Fun and heartwarming

I'd already read Blissed (and a few more of the Misfit Brides series), but it had been awhile. I love listening to audiobooks while cooking and driving, so I jumped at the chance to listen to this. I'm so glad I did!
The pacing was perfect and the story was as much fun as ever. I noticed new details with the narration that perhaps I skimmed through when I read the book. CJ is a wonderful hero and I love Natalie (maybe because I'm a bit tough to crack too). Their story made me laugh out loud a few times and had my eyes welling up with tears more than once. I really enjoyed going back to the first of the books set in Bliss! The characters and the town have really won me over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful