• Side Squeeze

  • Jasper Falls, Book 6
  • By: Lydia Michaels
  • Narrated by: Amber Battaglia
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Award-winning and best-selling author, Lydia Michaels, brings all the drama of rural, small-town romance to life in a second chance story of redemption that will pull at listeners’ heartstrings.

Harrison Montgomery left Jasper Falls to escape his abusive father when he was only 17. Saving himself meant leaving those he loved behind. Harrison was Mariella Mosconi’s first love, and when he ran away without even a goodbye, he stole her heart.

Ten years later, when his father’s funeral brings him home, many unresolved emotions return. Rekindled chemistry ignites into a passionate fling when two reunited lovers collide. Despite the entwined past these childhood sweethearts share, their present lives are worlds apart. Mariella’s just a small-town girl, and Harrison has become a big-time, New York tycoon.

Could they have a future when he is still so haunted by a tragic past, or will he run again?

©2022 Lydia Michaels (P)2022 Lydia Michaels

What listeners say about Side Squeeze

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amber Battaglia nails it! Great book!

Mariella Mosconi was rechecking herself in the visor mirror giving herself a pep talk about her upcoming interview for The Brick Hotel's manager job. The Brick Hotel owned by Gage King...Perrin's husband.

This job would either be a new start or a massive humiliation. Gossip traveled fast in the small town of Jasper Falls and she was trying to outrun her bad reputation. A reputation she didn't deserve. She had been labeled as the 'other woman' and villain when Bran had lied to her along with the rest of the town.

His fiance Perrin was actually the other woman since Mariella had been dating Bran first, but regardless she hadn't known about his cheating. But, now it was time to face her past and move on. But that didn't mean she couldn't work there....but Gage King would be her boss....she just hoped he would see her for what she was worth and not her undeserved reputation.

Her goal to make a good impression came to a halt as soon as she stepped in the door when the heel of her leather boot slipped and shot out from under her making her grasp for balance. Unable to catch herself, her knees hit the hard ceramic floor and she watched as the contents of her purse and her resume spilled out onto the floor.

As she was trying to get back her composure and gather her belongings, two expensive male shoes appeared in front of her and asked if she needed help. Not the first impression she wanted to make to her new boss except when she finally looked up it wasn't Gage King in front of her. No, it was much worse...Harrison Montgomery. The man who had left town with no explanation to her, the school, his team...just disappeared and breaking her heart.

I loved this book! It is very well written and the characters are fully developed and relatable. Although this is a standalone novel the stories are interconnected with recurring characters. I would suggest starting with book one to get the full background of everyone in Jasper Falls.

We first meet Harrison in his sister Erin's story My Funny Valentine and to say he wasn't a nice guy is putting it mildly. Mariella wasn't the only person he deserted. He left home without a note or a backward glance. Harrison's backstory can be better understood if you have read My Funny Valentine and it is no wonder that he is closed off and distrustful. His character really grew in this story when he realized he was punishing the wrong people.

Mariella had been ostracized for something she hadn't done. She found out Bran's deceit at the same time as the rest of the town, but no one gave her the chance to explain. I love how even though she loved Harrison she stood her ground and wouldn't let herself be taken advantage of again.

This book is narrated by Amber Battaglia and I fell in love with her when I first heard her in Almost Priest. She is a one-woman show and although these stories are told in multiple POVs she does an excellent job of not only representing both Mariella and Harrison, but I love her accents for the elder women of this huge family.

I absolutely loved the Jasper Falls Series and highly recommend it and Lydia Michaels. The book is action packed from page one, full of angst and smoking hot chemistry!

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Great second chance romance

I really enjoyed this second chance romance. Mariella and Harrison’s story had so much emotion and I loved getting to their HEA. Harrison broke my heart at times but I loved his character arc. I also loved seeing more of his sister, Erin. The narration was also wonderful!

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A Decent Entry

Side Squeeze is a well-crafted small-town romance that is good in its own right, but pales in comparison to book 1.

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Side Squeeze Audiobook Review

Side Squeeze by Lydia Michaels
4 Star Audiobook Review
Side squeeze by Lydia Michaels is a small town, second chance at love, contemporary romance. It is the sixth novel of the Jasper Falls series. Narrated by Amber Battaglia.
Mariella is looking for a new job. Interviewing for the manager position at a hotel that is owned by the husband of a girl Mariella butts heads with from a past time proves challenging as she enters the hotel for her interview and trips on her way in, falling to the feet of an old “fling”. Harrison, only in town for a short period of time due to the passing of his father, is staying in said hotel and provides Mariella with a key to his room, requesting she stop by for old times sake once her interview is over.
This was my second read by Lydia Michaels. Beautiful distractions, novel two of the McCullough Mountain series, was my first. I thoroughly enjoyed how characters from one series were brought back and referred to in the other series. In Beautiful Distractions I absolutely despised Erin, in Side Squeeze I learned more about her and absolutely loved her. Lydia Michaels is awesome at introducing a character, teaching you about all their flaws, and then turning them into someone amazing. Her characters are always likeable, full of love and are always relatable.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mariella’s drive to fight for what is right in her life. Harrison absolutely drove me insane. The way he spoke to Mariella, only showing his desire to be intimate with her, keeping her as his “side squeeze” and nothing else. Mariella deserved so much better when it came to a relationship. With Erin’s help, Harrison learns a thing or two about relationships and comes to his senses. It was magical seeing both Mariella and Harrison learn to trust again. I thoroughly enjoyed the way the epilogue wrapped up Mariella and Harrison’s story leaving no detail unnoticed.
Thank you, Valentine PR, for providing me with a complimentary review copy. In no way has that influenced my voluntary review. In my opinion, this is another must read by Lydia Michaels.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Addition to the Series

I love this series. Lydia's stories have a way of drawing me in and pulling on my heartstrings.

Harrison and Mariella have a shot at a second chance, but Harrison is battling some sad demons from his childhood. However, Mariella has a heart big enough for both of them. I felt their highs and their lows and was happy for them to reach their HEA.

Amber Battaglia is excellent and did a great job portraying all the characters in the story. Each character had a distinct voice, and her male voice has improved.

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Loved it!

MC: Mariella and Harrison

4/5⭐️
3/5🌶

Third-person POV, high school love, reconnection, parental abuse (historical), HEA


Harrison and Mariella were high school sweethearts until one day he leaves town without telling her why and breaks her heart. Years later, she literally crashes back into his life when he’s in town for his dad’s funeral. Physically, they’re perfect together but emotionally, Mariella isn’t ready to let Harrison back in if he’s only going to leave again.
Anytime I want a small town, feel good romance, I know a Lydia Michael book is going to be the perfect choice. There’s plenty of back and forth between the main characters but the whole time, you can feel how they genuinely care for each other. I throughly enjoyed this audiobook.

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Emotional

Lydia Michaels has a gift for creating characters who drive me crazy, make me want to strangle them, then win me over completely. Sometimes it will be one or the other in the couple, and sometimes it will be both - either way, Michaels always makes the journey worthwhile. Then, along comes Harrison, and I was getting a little worried for a bit there. I mean, Harrison has the same reasons for being closed off as his sister, Erin, does, but he nearly gave me whiplash with his back and forth. And let's face it; Mariella really needed some stability after the things she'd been through. Speaking of, that all happened in a previous book, but like the rest of the series, we're given what we need as far as information goes. That's not to say you shouldn't read the whole series because you definitely should. Jasper Falls and its inhabitants get under your skin, and it doesn't take long before you're completely invested. But I digress, so back to Harrison. Just as he waffled about commitment, I waffled about him. He'd do something that would make me want to wrap him in a big hug or ooh and aah about something sweet, then he'd make me want to kick him in the shin and point out the obvious of what's right in front of him. I suppose that's all a part of it and the sign of a good book. It may have taken me a while to decide which way I for sure wanted this one to go, but I was invested in the characters and figuring it out. I realize that I haven't really said much about Mariella, and as glad as I was to see her get her own love story, this one was all about Harrison and his emotional journey, at least for me. As mad as he made me at times, I was right there with him for the whole trip.
Amber Battaglia gives voice to the characters, and true to form, she does an excellent job with each and every one. She captures all the emotion - whether it's making me chuckle or tugging at my heartstrings, Battaglia gives a terrific performance.

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Harrison and Mariella are NOT over by a long-shot! Elizabeth @ Carolina Chic’s Read

Harrison has never planned to return to his hometown. He has one regret and her name is Mariella. Can Mariella and Harrison face each other and not revisit what they once had? That answer is no! They both enter this journey of finding each other again and rehashing all that they were and are to each other.

I found this story deeply emotional and engaging!

5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A Second Chance at High School Love

Another great entry to the series. I'm always about to throw up my hands with these stubborn people and then they just break my heart. It really is a beautiful balance.

Harrison and Mariella are truly meant to be and I loved watching their journey.

The performance by Amber Battaglia was excellent as always. She pulls the perfect amount of emotion and humor into every story.

This book just flew by and I enjoyed it a lot. I highly recommend this series. It has been so great falling in love with this town.

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Second chance trope.

I listened to the audio version of this book narrated by Amber Battaglia. The narration was awesome.

I had a harder time with this story than with the others in the series at first. The story just didn't seem as engaging at the beginning. The storyline did pick up as it went along.

This is a second chance at love trope. The first time around, Harrison left town and Mariella. Once they run into each other again, physically they pick up right where they left off and that may be what bothered me so much. There really wasn't any emotional reconnect before they went at it. It made Mariella seem cheap and not thinking much of herself. Harrison definitely had some stuff to work through. He could have used a good counselor.

There was also quite a bit of family dynamics in this story which helped it along. Not bad, but not my favorite of the series.

Thanks for Valentine PR for the gifted copy. All thoughts are my own.

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  • Wanderer Dreamer Romance Reader
  • 07-10-22

A charming small town, second chance romance

Side Squeeze is book six in the Jasper Falls series and is the second chance romance of Harrison Montgomery and Mariella Mosconi.
Harrison left Jasper Falls when he was only seventeen to escape his abusive father. However, leaving may have saved him from his father but he had to leave everyone he loved most behind without so much as a goodbye. Now, ten years later, and a successful big time, New York tycoon Harrison heads back to small-town Jasper Falls to help his sister with their father’s funeral arrangements and he comes face to face with the girl who stole his heart all those years ago. Mariella is all grown up and has womanly curves in all the right places and the chemistry is still there between them, will Harrison be able to break down her walls and claim her again or will he mess things up and bolt back to the big city again?
Mariella has never had any luck in the romance department. Her first love skipped town without so much as a goodbye and the last guy she was with, well, he started dating someone else unbeknown to her and got engaged to the other woman leaving the town to accuse her of being ‘the other woman’ and a ‘homewrecker.’ So, imagine her horror when she’s sworn off men and none other than her first love rocks back up into town throwing her plans in the air. Despite the fact they are hot for each other, Mariella has walls up as she feels she must protect her heart for fear he’ll leave again. Will Mariella throw caution to the wind and live in the moment or will she punish Harrison for the past that she doesn’t fully understand?
The fabulous Amber Battaglia narrates this audiobook solo and as always does an incredible job. Amber perfectly showcased Mariella’s strong, sassy, resilient sides and also her sweet, vulnerable, closed off, guarded sides. Amber’s performance of big city tycoon Harrison was fantastic, she captured his passionate, bossy, alpha sides as well as his vulnerabilities superbly. Plus, Amber has to tackle the gaggle of side characters that always comes with a trip to Jasper Falls. Amber, take a bow, you are one talented lady.
I loved this visit to Jasper Falls. I went through every emotion with this couple and wanted to bang their heads together at one stage, however, Harrison and Mariella had smoking chemistry, super-hot steamy times, and the perfect HEA that I’ve come to expect from Lydia Michaels, the queen of small-town romances.

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  • PATRICIA
  • 07-09-22

Mariella & Harrison!

Coming back to Jasper Falls and we are getting Harrison's story. We had briefly met him previously, knowing he had left after he could no longer take the abuse of his father. Now with his father's passing, he is back and not staying. Selling the hardware store and setting him free from his past is the goal. Mariella falls right back into step when Harrison arrives home. Her high school crush, these two have unresolved feelings they have to work through. And our story begins. I am in love with Lydia Michaels's small town romance series. This one in particular is like a companion to My Funny Valentine as we had some background of Harrison's family when we met Erin. Leaving Jasper Falls broke Mariella's heart, and she just isn't sure she can go through that again. And Harrison is finding out he cannot continue to live with the anger he carries anymore. It's a great story of second chances, and family. Visiting this town is like coming home, and I enjoy the relevant issues that Michaels compassionately writes with her romances. It's a wonderful story and series.

Amber Battaglia continues entertaining me with her amazing narrations. This one is not different. She is able to do both men and women and include all the feels. This book has a lot of emotion, and she had my heart completely invested with his performance.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Molly J(Page Turners And Sweet Tea)
  • 06-27-22

I’ll Be Back For More LM Reads!

𝑆𝑖𝑑𝑒 𝑆𝑞𝑢𝑒𝑒𝑧𝑒 is my first Lydia Michaels book and I will tell you right now, it will not be my last! It is a masterfully chiseled second chance romance filled with beautiful characters that steal your heart and a rollercoaster ride of a plot line. I fell hard for the characters from the beginning, quickly feeling at home in Jasper Falls.

The narration by Amber Battaglia was beautiful. She mastered both Mariella & Harrison’s characters, bringing them to life for me. I felt a connection to these wonderful characters from the first chapter, thanks to the narration.

This story is one filled with heartache and love, passion and friendships. It’s one that will most definitely tug your heart until the last chapter is reached. From start to finish, this is an unforgettable romance and I can’t wait to go back and read/listen to the others in this series!

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  • Bette
  • 06-15-22

A Heartfelt Journey! Great Story & Narration🎧

This beautifully written and beautifully told story did not just captivate my attention, but it tugged on my heartstrings for the entire book. Lydia Michaels is a gifted author with a wonderful writing style and way with words. The characters and storylines she creates are realistic, easy to relate to and connect with, they are also complex and multi-layered. This is my first “Jasper Falls” book, I enjoyed without having read or listened to the earlier books of the series, though I put those books in my wishlist because I loved his one so much. I have listened to several of her McCullough Mountain books and some of those characters have cameos in this book and it was great to see them, like seeing an old friend and I am sure would be the same with the characters from the other books in this series too. This book is Mariella Mosconi and Harrison Montgomery’s story, the two have history, unresolved history, they were each other’s first love until Harrison up and left without saying a word. Ten years have passed and Harrison returns to Jasper Falls after his father dies, more to take care of business than to go to his funeral. Harrison did not have the best home life, and it has made him a damaged man. Harrison broke Mariella’s heart when he left her without an explanation all those years ago and seeing him again stirred up those old feelings, both good and bad. And after all those years, the chemistry between them still sizzles. But Mariella is smarter, and she knows he will leave her behind again. A tormented Harrison wants Mariella but knows he is not good for her and he does what he does best he runs. His sister, Erin, tries to convince him to stay, open his eyes to a future where they could be a family again, but he still struggles with his inner demons from his past. This is a wonderfully plotted second chance romance, the author put these characters thru the wringer and made them work for their happily ever after, but in the end it was so worth it. Lydia Michaels, thank you for another wonderful story and emotional rollercoaster ride.

🎧📚🎧 And for the amazing narration, Lydia Micheals cast the perfect narrator to bring her character and story to life. Amber Battaglia is a wonderfully talented narrator and a versatile voice artist. She had a complete understanding of the characters she was portraying, gave each a voice that fit that character to a tee and sounded believable in every role she played. I loved how she took each role, ran with and made it her own. She was fabulous covering the roles of both the male and female characters, handled the back-and-forth dialogue with ease and switched roles effortlessly. She set the perfect tone for the story captured all the characters emotions and projected them into her performance and had you feeling every single one. Amber Battaglia is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to, her narration enhances an already wonderful story to another level. Thank you for another fabulous listen.

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