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Next Song I Sing

Next Time Around, Book 1
Narrated by: Anne Johnstonbrown
Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (97 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Book One of the Next Time Around Series

Freshly divorced at 40 yrs old, Chloe Zanders has few illusions left about her ability to make her dreams come true. She is never going to be thin, never going to be a famous singer, and never going to be sexy enough to keep a man like her handsome ex-football player husband from cheating. While the first two dreams might continue to flicker hopefully inside her, Chloe now accepts the last one had been doomed from the start.

All her ex ever did in their marriage was find fault with her. After learning about the latest twenty-something in his life, divorcing Aaron is just a relief because it means Chloe can finally stop trying to save a relationship so obviously not worth saving. With her friends encouraging her to move on, Chloe secretly vows to herself that next time around, she is going to look for a man who will love her just as she is.

Hoping distance will help, Chloe gladly returns to Laguna Nigel in sunny California, happy to be living closer to her college roommates slash best-friends-in-the-world. Celebrating her return with a long weekend at the 5-star rated Blue Skies Hotel and Spa seems like just the thing Chloe needs to jump start her "do over" life. How much she ends up instantly liking the hotel's sexy, 45 yr owner/manager, Jasper Wade, is a surprise though.

So is the way Jasper's unrestrained kisses send lust and renewed hope singing through Chloe. What she feels for Jasper is disturbingly too much too soon, and God knows she can't compete with his super model ex-wife. But how can Chloe turn away from a man who keeps insisting she's his every fantasy come true?

©2012 Donna McDonald (P)2013 Donna McDonald
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    4 out of 5 stars
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stories with heroines that are living their 40’s


Starting off with a bang, the characters and conflicts are set in rapid fire dialogue and interactions, establishing Chloe and her concerns within a few short minutes. Chloe is newly divorced after a horrible marriage: her ex-husband played on all of her insecurities and nearly wrecked her self-esteem and dreams. But, with the help of a supportive group of friends, she is starting to take back her own life, and working on herself.

I liked Chloe: we’ve all been in situations where we don’t make the healthiest choices for ourselves or our self-image. And it isn’t helped by the never-ending fascination and obsession with youth: from media to celebrity to fashion magazines. She was trying to make a marriage work, and giving more to the relationship than her husband deserved. Her willingness and determination to move past the hurt feelings and find a new life for herself.

When she heads out to California to hang out with her college friends and spend time at an upscale spa for the pampering, the connection between Chloe, Emma and Taylor is palpable: these are women who know each other’s secrets and dreams, and are determined that time won’t change the hopes or desires they held from their first meeting. While Chloe is more filled out and less California slim and tanned than her friends, they are all invested in the rebirth of the ‘new’ Chloe and are encouraging her blossoming in every way.

Jasper is the spa owner, and is instantly captivated by Chloe: her spirit, her joy and her voice. It doesn’t hurt that she is his fantasy woman come to life, with a body made for sin and a heart that he wants to cherish. Chloe is flirting with him, encouraged by her friends: but his reactions, his words, his touch, all speak to something much deeper. Hot and sexy, these two show the potential and possibilities of a second chance, and is a fun listen for romance fans who want something with future hope.

Narration for this book is provided by Anne Johnstonbrown, and as with earlier works that I have reviewed with her as narrator, her performance starts out quite rough, with character voices varying from little definition to over the top differences that can be quite jarring. Once she starts to relax into the story, however, the character portrayals start to acquire a subtle distinction that is far less distracting. The reliance on a pronunciation style that is over-reaching at best and pretentiously adopted at worst does seem to diminish as the story progresses, most accurately described as what one would ‘think’ a British accented narrator would use for a more American delivery style is the closest I can come. While I wasn’t in love with the narration, the quirkiness of the pronunciation and delivery did become less distracting as the story progressed and the overall effect was a competently performed listening experience.

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

1 person found this helpful

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Great characters!!

I really liked this! I loved all of the characters and look forward to more in the series. I have to be honest, though -- the narrator's over-pronouncing every T was a little off-putting

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Narration

The narration was great except for the female characters. She used a fake, southern, squeaky sounding shrill. Really ruined the whole book for me. I’ll finish it but really can’t wait, unfortunately, because I like the story!!

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Friends, Love & Ex's!

A real Soap opera in Audio books.🤣👏
I really enjoyed it. if someone is always telling you that you are Fat and maybe Ugly... you may start believing what your mate, spouse and others saying negatively of you. but it feels So very good when some excepts you and loves you ... for you. 🌹💗💋🔥

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A Must Read for the forty-plus crowd

If you’re tired of young and dumb heroines definitely get this book. Although the MC is working through some insecurities after a difficult divorce her friends help her recognize the behavior and after that she consciously tries to correct it herself which is refreshing. The romance genre is full of heroines that could play the lead in a horror film where they do such silly things you want to yell at the screen. Luckily this book is not like that at all. It’s a well written book for grown women. Get it and enjoy!

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The narrator over enunciates

I enjoyed the story, but the narrator over enunciating was distracting from the story. I like good enunciation, but when it's over done, it breaks the flow of the sentence.

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over 40, attractive, and can sing like no body

Chloe knew a few things: 1 never going to be thin, 2 never going to be a famous singer, and 3 never going to be sexy enough to keep a man, a hot man. Chloe gets her life back. The first step was to file for divorce, next quit her job, then move across country, and finally spend quality time with her friends. Chloe never expects to sing in public for the first time in a very long time. She and her girlfriends have the time of their lives. So much fun in fact, Chloe meets Jasper Wade. He takes her on a whirlwind ride of unrestrained kisses, renewed hope, and a chance to discover who she is and what she could do now. This was a fun read that gave power back to the woman over 40 and looking to make that right move for her life and her circumstances.

Anne Johnstonbrown lends her voice to an over 40 romance that makes you believe there is love after 40. There was wit, fun, friendship, accomplishment.

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Sweet

Sweet romance book about second chances for love for d women and for men. No violence.

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Awesome book

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

OMG I have a new favorite series of Donna's. I adored this book and really hope she continues this series cause I am love with the characters I met in this book. I love reading about couples my age group finding love. These women are awesome and I can't wait to read more about them. Thank you for such an awesome book Donna

What did you like best about this story?

The woman I met in this one

Which scene was your favorite?

When Chloe told off her ex-husband in the lobby

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

yes it was

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  • JG
  • 07-24-13

3 Friends Reunite with unexpected fun on theagenda

What did you love best about Next Song I Sing?

NEXT SONG I SING is a romance at it’s finest; sexy, funny and addictive. I love the fact that the main character is a normal curvy person, with the usual insecurities we all suffer from now and again. The characters are all very different – they’re humorous but sensitive one minute and supportive and sociable the next.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Next Song I Sing?

The imperfect timing when the door was being knocked on by Rayonna’s friend Lea with her perfect body and dress which interrupted Jasper and Chloe at the most inconvenient moment

Aaron and His expectant Girlfriend turning up at the hotel and waiting in the bedroom….. OMG the poor receptionist was put in a very awkward position but she was fun

Chloe accepting that her curves were very admirable to Jasper, who was gob smacked that she didn’t realise how amazing she looked to a guy.

What about Anne Johnstonbrown’s performance did you like?

I found that the narrators voice at first was hard to differentiate between the characters due to the same tone being used, but the more I listened the more that I got used to the voice and started to really get into it and enjoy it – I ended up thoroughly enjoying listening and can’t wait to hear the next book.

Who was the most memorable character of Next Song I Sing and why?

The two main characters Chloe and Jasper - they have both been hurt and used in the past
Sam, Jaspers best friend – he is very open, honest and sounds like a lot of fun!
Max, Jaspers brother and Taylor, Cloe’s friends were great the way they bantered with each other…. I can’t wait to hear what develops between them… Taylor is going to give in!

Any additional comments?

Donna McDonald genuinely cares about and respects ALL her characters—which makes it easy to continually read to get to know, enjoy and hope that they get together – Chloe is just divorced after she finds out her drop dead gorgeous footballer husband has being having an affair, not just one. She used to be a singer in her college days and when she meets up with her old pals, they persuade her to sing at the hotel they’re staying in. Chloe has been continually put down for years by her ex husband and those insecurities are intertwined into her. Her pals encourage her to move on. Chloe unexpectedly gets a kiss from Jasper and sends lust and hope running through her… but she feels things are going way to quick for her.

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  • georgina
  • 11-08-16

You're never to old

I love this book it proves there's life after 30 who would have thought it. Its a book for the more mature generation but also sends the message that life ain't all roses in your 20s either. The thing I love most is the real woman gets her man life is too short for silly diets happiness rules out. So if your having a bad day at work put this on in the journey home by the time you get home you will feel a dam site lot better that's for sure.