His name is Nate and I should hate him, but I don't. I'm not supposed to know his real name, even worse, I'm not supposed to care....
My name is Melody Greene, and I have a confession to make. I slept with my student, a senior in high school. Multiple times....
Meet Blaire. An underachieving college student with zero prospects and a ton of issues. She doesn't do bad boys....
They call him a monster. Pale blue eyes as cold as ice that see right through you. He’s hard. He’s damaged. He’s dangerous. He lives in a castle fit for a fairy tale, but he’s no prince....
My name is Sebastian Lindstrom, and I'm the villain of this story. I've decided to lay myself bare. To tell the truth for once in my hollow life, no matter how dark it gets....
He taught me to kill. Murder is in my blood now. It runs through my veins and though I hide the monster I see in the mirror with ink, it doesn't keep him from coming out....
An Irish mobster. A missing friend. Two loyalties, ripping me apart. I had a plan. Get in, get my information, and get out. Easy, right? Turns out, infiltrating the Irish mafia....
This isn't another "I hate you because I secretly love you" story. Boy really does hate girl. And this isn't just a forbidden love story. This is obsession at its darkest....
New year. New place. New me. Right? Wrong. And all because of Shay Coleman....
Joseph Ingram made the mistake of stealing from me - four million dollars. Now I'll take something from him - something irreplaceable. His sister. Collateral....
He says he owns me. And it's true. I've signed over complete control of my body and life for six months to a man I don't know....
He found me, then fostered me, and, in the interim, turned me into a killing machine. Now, I only have one mission. To avenge the death of the man who saved me....
Once upon a time, I believed in fairytales. But then he took me....
When Rex meets his new neighbor, he knows he's in trouble. She's gorgeous and sweet and everything he can't trust. Until she becomes the one thing he can't resist....
Devlin and Reese have an unstoppable pull like centrifugal force, and both bad boy bikers are determined to take me on a high-powered ride I'll never forget....
Three dragons. One woman. A reverse harem fantasy that will leave you breathless and begging for more....
Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heartthrob with steel-blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city. Oh, and my new husband.
That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. But then he caged me. Kidnapped me. And killed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up. Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings. I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all.
Sparrow is a standalone, full-length novel. It contains graphic violence and adult situations some may find offensive.
This book surprised me. I wasn't sure about it after reading the intro, but it was such a beautifully twisted story that I listened to in one night. I thought it was fantastic. I am a huge reader and audible listener, so I am extremely picky on what books I like. This is one of my favorites by far. I recommend this book. I was sad when it was finished.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
Wow, wow, wow!! I just finished this audiobook and it was INCREDIBLE! It's been a while since I've listened to a book that made me happy SoCal has such craptastic traffic. I just wanted to keep driving because the story is phenomenal and the narration is spellbinding.
L.J. Shen knocked this out of the park IMHO. If you like gritty romance novels, you need this book. This is no flowers and hearts story. Troy Brennan is an a-hole, but good luck holding on to your heart with him. Sparrow is an amazingly tough warrior of a heroine while still being fragile and broken. She may be one of my favorite book heroines ever.
The narration is done in a perfect Southie Boston accent and it took me a couple chapters to buy in and adjust. After that, I couldn't stop listening! Michael Pauley did an INCREDIBLE job. 😍😍😍😍😍
P.S. Not a cliffy, thank goodness!
19 of 20 people found this review helpful
This was an Amazing Story and Awesome Narration!
I love coming across an author who can take a plot, reinvent it, twist it, and make it feel fresh and original and L.J. Shen did just that! Sparrow was dark, raw, gritty, and intense! The spin she weaved from a mafia arranged marriage was outstanding. It's a well written story, that keeps the listener in suspense, with excellent dialogue between the characters. The characters were incredible, unique, flawed, and unapologetic. From the moment I started listening, I was a captive to the story, and hanging onto every word. I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK!
Michael Pauley did an outstanding job with the narration, especially all the dialogue between the characters.
I'll admit I committed the ultimate sin any listener or reader can make, I judged this book by it's cover, and skipped over it several times before deciding to give it a chance. This is a rememberable dark romance that rivals stories by A. Zavarelli, T.M. Frazier, Tillie Cole, M. Robinson, and is well worth a credit!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
This one is hard for me to review/rate because in the beginning I wasn't any more than interested in the story by the middle I was getting annoyed with the characters but by the end I truly liked the characters and how they had grown. So I'm giving 4 stars for the character growth and story line.
I enjoyed this book. The story line was pretty original which is a huge plus. It wasn't incredibly hot but it was angsty and suspenseful. The characters were a little rough, he is "mob" like and she is oh so sweet and innocent with a lot backbone. Once getting to see just how tough she really is, I still can't understand why she agreed to the arrangement so easily. He comes off as a complete jerk, but by the end of the book you can understand his reasoning for sure. I love that it is stand alone too!
I personally couldn't see the chemistry between these two until almost the end of the book. This is a hate-love romance which is usually one of my favorites but I needed a little more love or at least niceness between them to even begin to see where the love comes in. For example, the first time these two really even act like they like each other (besides their thoughts) was towards the very end when they are on the phone, they show a playful side towards each other that I needed to see before I decided that they even liked each other. I loved that scene because it was the first time in the book that either one of these characters really smiled and teased or even laughed.
The narration was 50/50 for me. I loved his voice for Troy with the great Boston accent. I didn't love his voice for Sparrow because it was almost exactly the same as Troy, there were a few parts that I was confused for a minute as to who was talking. I think Michael Pauley was great but I also think he needs to co-narrate with a female narrator.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
Funny, sexy, hot, unique, captivating and romantic in the best possible way!
The narration was great, although a dual narration would have been better.
• Contemporary • Standalone • Happily Ever After • First-Person Narrative • Her POV • His POV
The romantic theme:
• Mafia Romance • Outlaw Romance
• Page Turner • Made Me Laugh • Touching • Twists & Turns • Sexy • Provocative
• 3 / 5 (Includes hot and explicit sex scenes) • MF scenes • Dirty Talk • Vanilla Sex
• Cat And Mouse Games • Instant Clash • Witty Banter • Opposites Attract • Fake Marriage • Heroic Rescue • Big Secret • Billionaire Lifestyle • Mystery & Suspense • Violence • Brutality • Sexual Abuse
• Alpha Male • Bossy • Cocky • Possessive • Emotionally Unavailable • Hot • Fit • Billionaire • Manwhore • Bad Boy • Outlaw • Troubled Past
• Pretty • Sassy • Strong • Unconventional • Model Figure • Fit • Virgin • Troubled Past
24 of 27 people found this review helpful
Well, I may of been a year late to get to this awesome book.. but wow! I totally agree with the other reviewers.. this was a five star listen all the way. It was gritty, intense, and raw as alpha anti-hero Troy, the emotionally impotent Bostonian known as 'The Fixer', took the twenty-two yr old innocent daughter of one of his lower-level minions and made her his wife. There were reasons why this cold heartless ruthless villain did it and love definitely wasn't amongst them.. but few people knew his secrets and he wasn't about to spill everything to his virginal new bride.. Hell he didn't even like her. But the feisty strong-willed woman wouldn't show fear, wouldn't stop disrespecting him and wouldn't stop challenging him. So what's a bad-to-the-bone badass going to do.. he's patiently going to claim his wife, slowly succumb to her feisty ways, surprisingly look forward to their barb-filled push/pull relationship - and shockingly fall in love. But it won't be without drama, it won't be without tears and it won't be without bloodshed.
Sparrow didn't know why Troy Brennan, the feared son of a dead Irish Gangster, had chosen her.. she wasn't his type - he was gorgeous and she was plain - he was bad and she was good - he was sexually experienced and she wasn't - he never looked twice at her but she couldn't look away. Sparrow knew Troy had his reasons, his mistresses, his secrets, his dangerous business and his rules.. however what she naively didn't know was that she was going to change everything, she was going to make a cold-hearted villain thaw out.. and she was going to make him hers. But it won't be without drama, it won't be without tears and it won't be without bloodshed.
Over the year this fast-paced dual POV book has tempted me over and over again.. and now I'm kicking myself for waiting so long.. because now I know how good, how pulse-pounding, how exhilarating, how exciting, how addictive, how enjoyable and how beautiful an L.J. Shen book can be - and next time I definitely won't wait. There's character growth as they both learn how to trust, how to deal and how to love, there's sex but it isn't overused, there's a villain but they're in a sheep's disguise, there's suspense that'll leave you breathless.. and there's a love story that'll leave you wanting more. It doesn't take place over sweet diner dates, carefree movie nights or peaceful evenings in.. no, it's undiluted passion, it's seismic chemistry and it's raw desire that fuels the flames between these two opposing characters who only know war. It's a slow-build and no insta-anything.. but it was always their Fate to marry.. the question is - would it be their Destiny to stay together?
Worth a credit? Yes.. 100% YES. It's got a well written storyline that instantly grabbed me, held me in its tempting clutches and totally won me over as, chapter by chapter, it spoon-fed me its delicious delights. And Michael Pauley breathed life into its varied characters and made this listen memorable.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Where does Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It has a very special place in my heart *loved it*
Who was your favorite character and why?
Troy - because it was amazing to see how much he grew and changed for the one he learned to love<br/>Sparrow - A great and strong female heroine who didn't take s**t from anyone
Have you listened to any of Michael Pauley’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No I haven't, this is my first book narrated by Michael and he really did an amazing job with this book.<br/>The way he transformed his voice into different characters was on point and all the accents really melted into this type of story and did it true justice.
Any additional comments?
I have been longing to read this book from the very first promotional teaser I saw and now I know why.<br/>It is an amazing and different story in this jungle of romance books out there.<br/>Very satisfying and refreshing to read/listen to something unique like this was.<br/><br/>My first book from this author but will not be the last one.<br/>I am a devoted fan from now on.<br/>The way L.J Shen wrote this book was thrilling and motivating, it wasn't just typical boy mets girl they fall in love and live happily ever after.<br/>I loved the depth behind it and how it lured me into it and kept me wondering how will this resolve and who would get their HEA in the end.<br/><br/>There is so much more to this plot that keeps you craving for more and the closer to the end you get the more you don't want it to end.<br/><br/>This was a brilliantly written piece that will stick to me for a long long looooong time.<br/><br/>I enjoyed every second of it and listened to it every moment possible and will highly recommend it for everyone.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I am an avid audiobook listener. I find that it's sometimes hard to find a book I love paired with the perfect narrator to bring that book to life for the listener. L.J. Shen got it perfectly right! I not only enjoyed listening to this audio, I have listened to it a number of times! Bravo Ms. Shen for the perfect fit!<br/><br/>‘Troy Brennan was Boston’s master manipulator, pulling strings like we were all his puppets. He decided who lived and who died, who disappeared and who made a comeback.’<br/><br/>Troy Brennan is known as “The Fixer” in his father’s mob syndicate. Troy has known Sparrow Raynes since he was young, but never paid her much attention until now. When his father is murdered, the only thing on his mind is revenge, but he is informed in order to receive his inheritance he must marry Sparrow Raynes and decides this is just one more thing he needs to fix.<br/><br/>‘He has a troubled past. A disastrous future. And I’m about to become a part of his present, whether I like it or not.’<br/><br/>Sparrow Raynes is the daughter of a drunken father and an absent mother. She grew up hearing all the rumors that revolved around Troy Brennan and she wanted no part of him. So when she finds herself not only kidnapped but forced into a marriage neither one of them wants, it leaves her feeling caged.<br/><br/>‘I hated Troy Brennan for marrying me, caging me, owning me and chaining me to his grim life and destiny for no other reason other than he could.’<br/><br/>This book is full of lies, betrayal and revenge. Throughout this book, I wanted to throat punch Troy for how he treated his “wife” and wished she would somehow end up with someone else. I loved that Sparrow was a fiercely strong woman that fought for what she wanted. There are lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and an ending I did not see coming that absolutely crushed me then put me back together.<br/><br/>“At first, you were business... And then, at some point, you became my pleasure.”<br/>“And what am I now?”<br/>“Now, my lovebird, you’re my home.”<br/><br/>I highly recommend this audiobook! The book itself is fantastic and the narrator really brought it to life! Mark this as a MUST LISTEN!
9 of 11 people found this review helpful
This is a love-hate story that I love to love! Sparrow and Troy are such an unlikely couple yet LJ Shen found a way to weave them with dark threads that makes an unbreakable bond. Family loyalty is what brought them together and is what they have to overcome to find the HEA. What makes this story so amazing is how this same old tired plot is given a breath of originality, creativity and twists that keep you wanting more. These characters are unapologetically flawed in a real life way and an uncompromising world. Shen is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.
Michael Pauley does a great job with the Boston accent especially with the male characters. My only complaint is that sometimes it was difficult to distinguish Sparrow's voice because it sounded masculine like the other male characters.
Absolutely worth the credit.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sparrow Raynes has known of Troy Brennan practically her whole life, yet their worlds have never, ever intersected, until, out of the blue, Troy kidnaps Sparrow and forces her to marry him.
The pair forge an uneasy alliance of sorts, with Troy continuing to live his life as he did before they married and while his character is completely amoral and brutally violent, he never forces himself upon Sparrow, and that’s just about his only redeeming quality.
Slowly and unwittingly, even to Sparrow, she starts to worm her way into his heart, by just being herself and having her own internal sense of morality, like not touching any of his ill-gotten money, a stance that she never waivers from, but she’s not preachy about it, she lets her actions speak for her proving the old adage true, that actions speak louder than words.
LJ Shen’s Sparrow is one of the best dark romances I’ve listened to this year, if you’re sensitive to, graphic violence and explicit sexual content, you might want to skip this book, hell you’ll probably want to stay away from LJ Shen period because she doesn’t sugar coat anything.
Can we talk about the enigma that is Michael Pauley? I have been critical of his narrating in the past, so imagine my pleasant surprise when he delivered a five-star performance and that’s saying something, because he had to do it all with a Southie dialect, and I think he did an amazing job! He was engaging and conveyed emotion and energy in this fully voiced performance. Kudos to both LJ Shen and Michael Pauley!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a great story.
My only problem is I wish there was a female narrator as well as I think that would've of added to this audiobook.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A well narrated tale of betrayal and intrigue. The narrator captured the 2 POV's really well, switching between Troy and Sparrow voices in such a way that I was completely drawn into the story. I believed the progress from fearvand indifference, to live.
Brilliant I loved the narration,the plot,the suspense and the character
Even villains get a happy ending.
So I have abandoned this at 13 minutes in. The book I have already read was brilliant but this audio version is awful. The narrator is trying to do the broncs/southie whatever accent and it is gawd awful, to the point that I completely missed the words just stuck on the horrible voice.
Thank god I paid 2.99 and kept my audio credits for something worthwhile
My first book by L.J. Shen and loved it! The characters and story were gritty, raw and oh so hot. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough to find out how these two characters were going to end up! And the narration by Michael Pauley was amazing, my first of his but definitely not my last!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sparrow is breathtaking, compelling, heart wrenching, beautiful, glorious and spectacular. Michael Pauley why are you talking like Shirley and Laverne? Is that a Boston accent? It feels weird but you are amazing in your narrative accents and all