Saturday, September 2, 2017

Seven Adult Contemporary Romance Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Every time I think I'm catching up.  SMH.  Well, I'm trying really hard to not schedule more than one post a day for tours and such.  I've also quit my part time job at the bookstore as of two weeks from now, so that will be more blogging time as well.  But anyway, here are some quick reviews of the last seven audiobooks I listened to.

Beneath This Mask (Beneath #1) by Meghan March:
Published:  September 4th, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  4 stars

I liked Charlie and Simon's story.  I liked how drastically Charlie had changed to escape her past with what her father had done.  However I think she was a little crazy not wanting to just tell what she knew about the book she found, not to mention how she thought she could solve the mystery.  Again, I know that is how you create drama in stories, though!  One thing I really enjoyed, or thought I would enjoy, was that it took place in New Orleans, so it was fun to wonder if I could figure out where any of the places they talked about in the book or where scenes took place were ones that I'd visited when I was there last year or the year before.  Now, I did also decide maybe I shouldn't have walked around by myself quite as much as I did last year when the main character got mugged in the story.  Despite that, it definitely made me want to visit again, kind of sad that I don't have any plans to go back, until possibly next summer for the American Library Association Annual Conference.  One thing that I've decided I need "trigger warnings" for is when something happens to animals in the books.  I always cry.  So there's your trigger warning for this one.  :-)  I have to say that I felt Simon totally overreacted to the news at the end.  I think it was kind of too much for how it would really affect him.  And then I like that even when he was upset about something he saw Charlie doing, he was not sure it was what it looked like.  In the end it was a good story, and I was definitely interested in reading/listening on in the series.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads
He loves me, and he doesn’t even know my real name. 

The limelight that follows him could expose everything I’m hiding. But even knowing the risks, I can’t force myself to stay away. 

I’m going to break his heart, but mine will shatter right along with it. 

Will we lose it all when I reveal what’s beneath this mask?

Beneath This Ink (Beneath #2) by Meghan March:
Published:  February 9th, 2015
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

As you can see, I liked this one even better than the first one!  We got to know Con a little bit in the first book, and he was definitely a character you probably liked for how he really stood behind Charlie, even if Charlie was meant to be with Simon.  Con's romantic interest was also introduced in book one, Vanessa, but she was just someone that Simon dated to help her out with her dad and so he didn't have to deal with the women trying to land him.  Con and Vanessa and Simon all went to school together of course, so Vanessa and Con had history.  However while Con's parents were rich, they were his adoptive parents, so Vanessa's very well to do father always looked down on Con, as did the other people in Vanessa's circle.  One time on the anniversary of her mother's death, Vanessa had gotten drunk and had a one night stand with Con. Since that time she's tried to avoid him.  He was so drunk he can't remember anything about the night, and he's always wanted to know more, especially since something about her has always attracted him, even if she never seemed to think he was good enough for her.

When Vanessa needs something from Con, they get wrapped up in each other's life, Vanessa trying to keep it quiet so her father won't be upset, and so that she can finally prove she should be in charge of her family's charitable foundation.  Finding out the bad guy wasn't who she thought it was turned into a big twist.  And the author had set up a LOT of obstacles in this. But in the end they all filled in the story perfectly.  One thing that was a little irritating though, was Vanessa's refusal to eat in front of people.  I understood, but didn't.  There were still tears in this one, and I loved Con!  Hoping one of the characters in this book turns out to be in a future book.  

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her. 

And then I finally had her for one night. 

A night I don’t remember. 

I figured I’d blown my shot. 

But now she’s walked back into my life, and this time, I have the upper hand. I want my second chance. 

Will she be able to see the man beneath this ink?

Aced (Driven #4) by K. Bromberg:
Published:  January 11th, 2016
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  3.5 stars

I really did enjoy the earlier books in the series, you can read my reviews of them HERE.  This book was so hard to listen to because honestly it was just so depressing almost the whole way through.  Seriously, I'd say almost 90% of the book was depressing.  I definitely will continue with the series though, as I want to now what else will happen not only with these main characters, but also with some of the supporting characters that we know and love.  

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Rylee and Colton's ride continues...

One moment. Six years ago.

The night she made the world around me so much more than just a blur. Now it's the catalyst that threatens to tear us apart.

Our happily was supposed to be ever after. So why do I feel like it's slipping through my fingers?

How can one moment, when our world seemed so right, resurface and cause our perfect life to spiral out of control?

I can't lose her.

She's my checkered flag.

Dating You/Hating You by Christine Lauren:  
Published:  June 6th, 2017
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

I loved this story.  Pretty sure that I am in love with this author.  I got to meet her, or one half of the writing duo at Apollycon back in March.  The characters were so good, and totally kept me laughing the whole time.  Carter is totally a new book boyfriend for me, probably partly because he watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Then, there is rule they come up with at the beginning when they first meet about  how singletons should be allowed to leave parties early, when they're not with dates, and I say YES!  Okay, the characters in the book explain it much better than I just did.  But it was good!  Great story.  I know it is a standalone, but there were a few characters I would totally love a spinoff about!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

Into the Deep (Into the Deep #1) by Samantha Young:
Published:  August 8th, 2013
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

I was sitting and waiting for the whole first 50% of the book to find out what had actually happened between Jake and Charley that broke them up.  I was listening to it on the plane on the way home from Orlando and tried not to cry at that point!  And then the ending!  Normally I wait a little between books, but the way this ended I had to get the next book right away and find out how it would go.  I mean, they were perfect together in the flashbacks, and when they start to be friends again they are even more perfect together.  I loved the friends in this series as well, Samantha Young does such a great job with all of her characters in her stories.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

Out of the Shallows (Into the Deep #2) by Samantha Young:
Published:  April 2nd, 2014
Source:  Free digital download from library
My rating:  5 stars

Young totally frustrated me by not starting this book right where the other had left off.  You don't find out what happened until after 50% of the way through the book!  And even then you don't get the whole story.  As I got into it, needing to know what had happened this time to ruin the perfect relationship that Charley and Jake were finally getting back, well it made me change plans to go write at a library farther across town just so I could listen longer.  And then, well let's just say it ended perfectly  While I was so irritated with Charley for how she handled a lot of it, you could totally understand her feelings.  God, is there anything that Samantha Young can't write?  I haven't found anything yet!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Charley and Jake’s story concludes in Out of the Shallows…

Somehow, after everything they’ve been through, Jake Caplin and Charley Redford made their way back to one another. But finding each other and staying together are two completely different things. 

When Charley’s world is flipped upside down, she begins to question the choices and decisions she’s made since her arrival in Edinburgh, and in an effort to grip onto what she holds most dear she believes she must sacrifice her love for Jake. 

Returning to the States for her senior year, Charley struggles to find peace and happiness. While everyone else seems to be finding themselves in college, Charley is terrified that, along with almost everything else that’s important to her, she’s lost herself. 

While friends and family deal with their own tumultuous lives, there is one person resolved to uncover the reason behind Charley’s sudden defection and unhappiness. Refusing to give up without a fight, Jake believes he is the only one who can truly understand what Charley is going through, and this time he’s determined to prove he’s there for her no matter what obstacles are thrown in their way.

However, as Charley strives to make it through the biggest personal journey of her life thus far, there is no guarantee that the woman she is becoming will still need Jake as much as the girl she once was did...

Endurance (Harris Brothers #2) by Amy Daws:
Published:  March 16th, 2017
Source:  Purchased from Audible
My rating:  5 stars

I first found Amy Daws' books through free ebook on Amazon.  Becoming Us was so good I ended up buying the sequel, and I rarely spend money on ebooks.  Shh.  Don't tell.  I just have trouble spending money on ebooks.  I want to own a physical copy if I spend money.  Anyway.  I was given a copy of the first Harris Brothers book, Challenge, when I won a giveaway on the author's Facebook page, and I fell in love with this family.  Now, I haven't actually finished the London Lover's series that would have led up to this point, but that's okay. Most of these can be read as standalones.  I will be going back to read up though.  I have to say that even though I'd love to win an ARC of the next book in the series, Keeper, I'm pretty sure that if the same narrator does the third book as the one who did the first two, I kind of want to listen again. 

I loved Tanner.  He was so funny.  And sexy. There was one speech that he gave Belle in the story that I listened to right before I went into work one morning, and I'm pretty sure his speech made me feel the exact same way Belle felt afterwards, physically, all because of that wonderful British accent.  I'm glad that the problem at the very end wasn't another one between the two of them like is so often at the end of the story.  Again Belle did the thing that always irritates me a little. When people come from not so great families but they push away good stuff.   However, it ended just perfectly.  Now I'm on the edge of my seat for the next book in the series which comes out this next week!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Tanner Harris has been busy shagging his way through the ladies of east London, but getting caught by the paparazzi buck-naked with his trouser snake in his hands means he’s sowed his last wild oat. 

Dr. Belle Ryan once thought Tanner Harris was the perfect kind of bearded bad boy she needed to relieve a bit of stress after her intense job as a surgical fellow, but an icy cold rejection from London’s sluttiest footballer puts the two at each other’s throats. 

Fate and a favour conspire to put Tanner and Belle back in each other’s paths and they’re forced to do a lot more than get along to save face and their careers. 

Rage turns to passion and tempers run sizzling hot when they realise they aren’t just falling for each other—they’re jumping head first. And neither have the endurance to keep their hands to themselves.