• Sparrow

  • By: L.J. Shen
  • Narrated by: Michael Pauley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (2,743 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Troy Brennan:

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.

Sparrow Raynes:

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.

©2016 L.J. Shen (P)2016 L.J. Shen

What listeners say about Sparrow

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,853
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Story
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Don't let the innocent cover mislead you...

Perfection.
Funny, sexy, hot, unique, captivating and romantic in the best possible way!
The narration was great, although a dual narration would have been better.

The book:
• Contemporary • Standalone • Happily Ever After • First-Person Narrative • Her POV • His POV

The romantic theme:
• Mafia Romance • Outlaw Romance

The read:
• Page Turner • Made Me Laugh • Touching • Twists & Turns • Sexy • Provocative

Heat level:
• 3 / 5 (Includes hot and explicit sex scenes) • MF scenes • Dirty Talk • Vanilla Sex

Story ingredients:
• Cat And Mouse Games • Instant Clash • Witty Banter • Opposites Attract • Fake Marriage • Heroic Rescue • Big Secret • Billionaire Lifestyle • Mystery & Suspense • Violence • Brutality • Sexual Abuse

He is...
• Alpha Male • Bossy • Cocky • Possessive • Emotionally Unavailable • Hot • Fit • Billionaire • Manwhore • Bad Boy • Outlaw • Troubled Past

She is...
• Pretty • Sassy • Strong • Unconventional • Model Figure • Fit • Virgin • Troubled Past

69 people found this helpful

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

Surprisingly fantastic

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.

63 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic gritty romance with amazing narration!

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!

62 people found this helpful

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

I SHOULD'VE KNOWN IT'D BE EPIC

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.

21 people found this helpful

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

Enjoyable!

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.

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Hero is a Mean Selfish CHEATER

I have no problem with antiheros - they can be bada$$ and sexy and I can get past jerkiness. But Troy took it too far. Unbeknownst to Sparrow the word was put out that she was spoken for by Troy and any prospective boyfriends stayed away leading her to think there was something wrong with her. He wanted to marry a virgin made it clear he would be her only lover yet he kept a mistress. No he didn't rape her but considering the previously mentioned behavior I am not giving him any prize. In fact his behavior was so cruel that I found nothing attractive about him. I understand that some readers who finished the story think Troy redeemed himself but I could not stomach it and quit before completing the 5th chapter. This was a disappointing as I loved the other book by this author Midnight Blue.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS!


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!

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Worst book ever!

I have read almost 1300 audible books so have pretty good experience with this format.
I cant say anything except everything about this book was pathetic. The story, the terrible narration, the language, and the characters. Don't waste any money on this,.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely a MUST LISTEN!

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!

‘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.’

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.

‘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.’

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.

‘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.’

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.

“At first, you were business... And then, at some point, you became my pleasure.”
“And what am I now?”
“Now, my lovebird, you’re my home.”

I highly recommend this audiobook! The book itself is fantastic and the narrator really brought it to life! Mark this as a MUST LISTEN!

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible choice of narration

The story is average, but the performance ruined it.

The story is from alternating POV between the two main characters, so the publishers should’ve had two actors alternating the reading. Instead, they have a male who can’t make a female voice. It was confusing at times which character was speaking/thinking. If it wasn’t for the male character’s Boston accent, it would’ve been impossible to distinguish the characters’ voices. Further, his Boston accent was awful (and I live in Boston!) and inconsistent.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sawyer
  • 01-22-18

LOVED IT!! soo gripping!

another fantastic read by L.J. Shen!

loved this book, loved Sparrow & Troy, both are so funny and loveable. i would like a second book

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • 10-10-16

Brilliant story but that voice is awful

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

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lo
  • 10-05-16

A Great Listen

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.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tired NHS and social care nurse
  • 03-17-19

Why only the male voice

While I do enjoy the books by this author, I truly don’t understand why only a male was used for both Troy and sparrow, for me it reduced the ability to get lost in the story and distinguish between dialogue

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jules
  • 03-13-19

AMAZING!!!

The intensity it brings when you listen is ten fold compared to the ebook and thats all down to Michael pauley, he was amazing, he brought the characters to life.

I loved it!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ses6
  • 03-13-19

sparrow

Enjoyable story. Exciting in places. Really did't like the narration. I don't know many Bostonians but the accent was horrible.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alex
  • 03-04-22

Loved it!

I love this author's books and this was amazing. I wasn't sure whether I would like Troy as he really isn't a likeable sort of guy but by the end I was rooting for him.

Sparrow is a great character and I loved her sass, giving Troy what he needed and by the end, they deserved each other; two peas in a pod!

Their story kept me gripped from the beginning to the end, so much so that I literally couldn't put it down.

I found the narration difficult to begin with but managed to get used to it.

So now onto the Boston Belles!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Charlotte Witney
  • 12-11-21

Bet expectations

Initially I didn't click with the start of Sparrow because it reminded me very much of another one of Shen's books but as the story went on, I really started to enjoy it.

Sparrow and Troy have an amazing enemies to lovers trope with the added mix of forced proximity, age gap and arranged marriage with a whole lot of mafia. The back and forth between these two is hilarious and I wasn't a huge fan of Sparrow's until her personality started coming out and then I fell in love with her. She doesn't let Troy get away with anything and really makes him work for it. Troy has no idea what's hit him with Sparrow and as much as he thinks he can handle her, he's so wrong that it's laughable.

I really didn't see the twist that happened and I definitely had my eyes on the wrong characters in the book when it came to the "bad guys". I enjoyed the world that LJ Shen created and I need to get myself a Troy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine
  • 09-04-21

great story

I loved the story and the male voice, but it need a woman to narrate the female, I couldn't tell if it was male or female they were literally the same.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vanessa
  • 08-15-20

Great Story, Less Great Vocal performance

The narrator didn't have clear male/female voices and at times, it was hard to tell who was who, but overall still worth the listen if you don't hate the Boston accent ;)

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rowena
  • 01-05-21

Good listen. Listen to sample before purchasing.

Good listen, would prefer dual narrator's. Boston accent was a let down. I generally enjoy LJ Shen books, this book wasn't on par for me with her other work.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Imee-B
  • 01-10-17

Another mind blowing story

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna Vardaro
  • 08-29-16

Gritty and raw!

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 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cas
  • 12-09-18

Wow

Wow. This book grabbed you from the beginning and kept you wanting to read till the end. So many secrets going on. Didn’t see the who done it till the end. This was a brilliant read. Narration was awesome too.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • barbora
  • 09-03-18

Meh, give or take

It was ok book, I wasn't bored, but nothing special or exciting. If I really like a book I can listen to it on repeat, not this one.