Thursday, July 13, 2017

Eight Adult Romance Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Honestly, I feel like I'm starting to get caught up on my reviews.  Knock on wood.  But in order to keep up, I've gotten a little more behind on audiobook reviews, as you can tell by the fact that I'll be sharing EIGHT of them as mini-reviews in this post today.  These 8 books are made up of books by some favorite authors, as well as a new author that I'm really enjoying.  So read on if you'd like and see what I thought of these eight new adult and adult contemporary romances.

Hero by Samantha Young:
Published:  February 3rd, 2015
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

So let's just say that this book was one that my checkout from the library expired when I was at a VERY important point in the story, at 75%.  It was almost a whole month before I got it back to finish listening to.  It expired right before I went to Apollycon and got to see the author for the second time.  Once again you have the "secret" that one wants to keep and the other doesn't, which is something in a lot of stories for drama, but in real life I don't think would happen.  But I loved so much about the book. Once again Young writes wonderful characters, especially the side characters sometimes.  In this case it was Caine's neighbor Effie.  I loved her so much!  And then to have the characters that you felt you loved turn out to be the ones in the end that weren't the ones you should love, so much drama and emotion, and another wonderful book from Samantha Young.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that she and her mother weren't his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they're on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again…

Mai Tai'd Up (Cocktail #4) by Alice Clayton:
Published:  December 2nd, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

Alice Clayton is a genius.  I so love all of her books.  Soo, sooo much.  The things she has her characters say and do in the story either remind me so much of something I would actually say or do, or sometimes remind me exactly of a romantic comedy movie.  For example, in this book the main character says "we had the sex".  And instead of using actual curse words, she says "fudge".  That is something I always did for the longest time, and still do occasionally as I work in a high school and do need to say something when I accidentally stub a toe, or something.  :-)  I also love how she brings in the characters from other books in the series, or sometimes from other series, as you'll see in the next review after this one.  We get Vivian and Clark from Screwdrivered, the book right before this one.  Clayton knows how to take me from tears streaming down my face like I'm in a rain storm, to giggling like an idiot thanks to conversations with lines like the bigger than a breadbox one.  Not to mention the comment "with the strength of a thousand nuns."  A comment I want to use more.  And then there was the part about the dogs, I loved the dogs.  Such sweet dogs, and such a wonderful story.  I was going to share my picture with the author from Apollycon, but I can't find it!!!  And I know I had to have taken one with her.  I could swear it!  Oh well, she's supposed to be at the Apollycon in 2018, so I'll plan to see her there and for sure get the picture.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Looking for the perfect mix of smart, sexy, and sassy? Mai Tai’d Up continues USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, which began with Wallbanger and continued with Rusty Nailed and Screwdrivered.

Eligible bachelor Lucas Campbell is very available, but very picky. A veterinarian in Monterey, California, his life is perfect: he works, he sails, he loves the ocean and the mountains—so why rock the boat? Then Miss Chloe Patterson comes along.

Chloe has the body of a supermodel, the mouth of a sailor, and the fashion sense of teenage guy in 1990s Seattle. A former Miss California, she walked away from a cushy life, bought an old ranch outside Monterey, and turned it into Our Gang, a sanctuary for rescued and abandoned pit bulls. A woman who’s clearly not afraid of dog poop, she enjoys rehabilitating her “warrior angels.”

Local gossip reports that she ditched her fiancé the night before their wedding (true), and that she moved up north to start a new life (also true). She didn’t want to be tied down (true), but she wouldn’t mind being tied up—especially by that hot vet she’s seen around town a few times (true, true, and have-you-seen-his-butt?-true).

But is Chloe ready to date again? And is Lucas ready to take on not only Chloe, but forty pit bulls? One moonlit sail, two bottles of wine, and a few sailor knots might just do the trick.

Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton:
Published:  May 23rd, 2017
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

Again, Clayton totally blew me away.  First though, I had a bit of an issue with the audiobook because the narrator's voice was the same who does Tessa's voice in the audiobooks for the After series by Anna Todd, which I've listened to over and over.  But soon enough I was able to get past it and really get into the story.  While the main character, Clara, did one of those things that seems to be standard, but I never quite get, I dealt with it.  I personally have situations with friends or family that I didn't have when I was a kid or still haven't had with friends, and if they were to come about, I would be so  happy now!  So I don't understand people who don't want them when they do come around.  But I guess I understand the part about worrying about being disappointed in the end, the worry that usually drives these characters.  I loved having all of the characters from the first two books come back, especially Natalie and Oscar from Cream of the Crop.  And it was even great to have characters from both the Cocktail series, that I love, and the Redhead series that I own all of it, but haven't read yet, make cameos in this one.  My biggest sadness though with this story, is that I have no idea what is coming next for the author. This is the final novel in this series I think, since it was just the three friends.  So I'm very eager to see what she has up her sleeves next.  Although, as I mentioned, I still have one whole series to read and another to finish.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons #1) by Christina Lauren:
Published:  May 13th, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from the library
My rating:  5 stars

Okay, so this is my second series by Christina Lauren, and once again I'm hooked.  Honestly, I've never really been interested/attracted to French men, as far as I knew.  But Ansel, well, I want my own Ansel.  This narrator was good, although she was one of those that did read kind of slow at times.  This story had me at only Chapter 4 where I didn't want to get out of the car and stop listening because it was soooo good!  I had an idea what the issue was going to be for the two of them, beyond the whole part that he was going back to France.  I knew that the friend Perry would definitely be the issue.  Especially the way it was all really generic the way Ansel talked about Perry.  But now I want a foreign man who will give me a sweet nickname that is a word in their language.  As with the other books in the Beautiful Bastard series, the sex was totally hot!  I totally loved this book, and can't wait to read the rest.  I did get to meet one of the two authors that actually write the Christina Lauren books when I was at Apollycon back in March.  Here I am with Christina:

Maybe at Apollycon 2018 I'll get to meet Lauren.  :-)

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:
One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

Sweet Filthy Morning After (Wild Seasons #1.5) by Christina Lauren:
Published:  October 14th, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  4 stars

This was a really fun novella told from Ansel's point of view from the book above this.  Unfortunately, I had to give it only 4 stars because it was too short!  I loved hearing Ansel's side of the story, and would love to have heard more of the whole story from his point of view.  The narrator didn't work that well for me though, although he had the perfect accent, he sounded too much like the actor that played Laurent in the first two Twilight movies, and so I had trouble not picturing him as I listened.  Honestly there wasn't really much of a blurb on Goodreads to share.  So nothing more than my first sentence in my review is what I can give you!

#Nerd (Hashtag #1) by Cambria Hebert:
Published:  November 1st, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from the library
My rating:  4 stars

The main character in this book reminded me a lot of myself.  Of course with a title like #Nerd, me being a nerd, that was pretty obvious.  Honestly the way the story started out, I really didn't want to like Romeo, but he totally grew on me.  The thing that happened in Rimmel's past was definitely something that would make someone feel the way she does.  I loved that the roommate situation with Romeo was handled in the way it was.  You did have a really bad guy, and honestly, there was really no way to redeem him.  He really was just a bad guy.  I still don't know if by the end of the book I could understand just why the guy hated Romeo so much.  Romeo turned out to be a great guy, even if our first real introduction to him included a blowjob in the library with a random girl when he was supposed to be getting tutored by Rimmel.  :-)  And I love his best friend, who I'll talk about even more in my mini-review of book 2 coming up after this one.

Here's the blurb from Goodreads:
Two people from completely different worlds are about to be thrown together...

In more ways than one.

She wants to keep her scholarship. He wants to stay on the team. An awkward alliance doesn't even begin to cover Rimmel and Romeo's relationship.

But that's about to change.

It starts with a dare. An initiation. A challenge.

Quickly, it turns into more. But when you're a victim of your status, there is no room for anything real. The rules are clear and simple.

Stick to your circle.

And never fall in love with anyone on the outside.

#Hater (Hashtag #2) by Cambria Hebert:
Published:  July 7th, 2015
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

It turned out that I liked this sequel even better than the first one!  The first one ended on a pretty steady, could be over type of ending. This book however, wow, that cliffhanger!  I like that the characters are realistic/reasonable enough to realize that the other one would not cheat on them, so that even when the villain Zach is back,  and trying to start stuff, Romeo never once believes that Rimmel was trying to get with him.  And as I mentioned above, Romeo's best friend, Brayden, he is one of my favorite characters! The way that he's adopted Rimmel as a little sister is so sweet, and comical!  This story had some really intense moments though.  There was real life-threatening danger, and something happened to Rimmel that made her whole college career come into danger when she didn't have the money to make up for the scholarships that might be taken away.  We learn more about her past, and get glimpses into it with her fall into the pool, as well as when Romeo's mother looks into it.  Then there is definitely foreshadowing of the issue for Rimmel, but it didn't turn out to be what I'd expected exactly, or what I'd expected to happen.  I will have to get ahold of the third book on audio soon so that I can find out what will happen after this ending.  My question of just why Zach hates Romeo so much still wasn't answered, other than to maybe know that he is just psychotic!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

It started with unspoken animosity. The bitter bite of jealousy. And now its full blown hate.

It was during my first football game that I first felt the first chill of hate. I looked it right in the eyes and felt its sticky tentacles reach out for me. I’d never experienced something so cold and empty before.

The effect of that look lingered, like an unspoken promise, long after it was gone. 

Becoming a couple – becoming the other half of a campus celebrity wasn’t easy. I let down walls guarding my heart and he looked past my glasses and accident prone tendencies. Romeo and I are an unlikely match, a #nerd and a jock. But we made it. 

And we’re happy. 

Zach doesn’t want us to be happy. He wants Romeo to pay for getting him kicked out of Omega and for the night he spent in jail. He’s going to use anything and everything he can to get his revenge. Including me. 

As the weather on campus grows cold and the days become dark, revenge becomes the center of someone’s life and the happiness Romeo and I worked so hard for is threatened. 

I can’t help but worry that our love is going to be overshadowed by hate.

Challenge (Harris Brothers #1) by Amy Daws:
Published:  September 23rd, 2016
Source:  Won digital audiobook from contest provided by the author
My rating:  5 stars

I first found this author through a free e-book, her London Lovers series.   And now, well I'm sold.  This book had it all!  Hilarious and snarky dialogue, sexy British accents, a sexy soccer player, a nerdy girl, and sexy sex scenes.  The male narrator totally made me think of the actors who played Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter movies.  And since I do think they're cute, that totally worked.  I loved the main character Indie's "Penis list".  It was so hilarious!  And whenever she'd talk about "Penis number one" and so on, I couldn't help but giggle.  Now, Camden kept jumping to the wrong conclusions, which got a bit annoying. But I guess you have to give him a break since he was injured and unsure what his life would be without soccer, or football in every country other than the US.  I'm so excited to continue with the series and meet, or since I've already met, get to know better each of the Harris brothers, all football stars.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
He’s her patient. She’s his doctor. They shouldn’t. But God, do they want to. 

Camden Harris, the famously hot, hulk of a footballer is laid up in a London hospital. But his busted knee doesn’t stop him from running his well-practiced game on Indie Porter—his redheaded spitfire of a doctor. She’s not his type, not even close. But she could be the perfect distraction from the soul-crushing damage this injury could cost him. 

Indie’s tired of her naivety putting a target on her back. As a gifted child, she’s let her education take the front seat her whole life. But a fling with a footballer like Camden might be just what she needs to grab life by the balls. 

And he could be the perfect guy for the plan she’s been sitting on for over two years. 

But when feelings make a final play, there’s no amount of medicine that can heal the damage to their hearts.