Sunday, July 29, 2018

Five Adult Contemporary Romance Audiobook Reviews

While I might have thought I'd have some extra time while I was out of town, away from the dogs, in a hotel room by myself, at Book Bonanza, I was wrong. The first day I was there, I probably should have just stayed in my room and blogged or relaxed.  Instead, I did get to go meet some of the other people who were attending the convention on their own and had a nice dinner.  Then I guess I just didn't put together that the Friday night signing which started at 8 pm, was going to go clear until midnight!  Which it did, and I was there the whole time, waiting in lines, trying to meet authors.  I got back to my room that night shortly after midnight, but then I was up until after 1:00 am doing some blogging.  The next morning started at 8 am, but even though I knew people would be there really early lining up, I was only there about an hour or so early.  And that was a long, long, day.  I got back to my hotel around 5 pm, exhausted, and sore, and just unable to do much.  I did a tiny bit of blogging, got the wrap-up post started, even though I didn't finish it till I got home Sunday.  You can go check out that post if you want HERE.  Any way, let's just say I've got some catching up to do, so you're going to get five mini-reviews.  They all happen to be adult or possibly new adult contemporary romance reviews, no young adult this time around, although my current audiobook is a YA title.  Anyway, here are some 4 and 5 star audiobook reviews.

Switch Hitter (Jock Hard #0.5) by Sara Ney:
Narrators:  Jacob Morgan and Erin Mallon
Genre:  NA sports romance
Published:  March 14th, 2018
Source:  Purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

It was fun listening to this one right after I'd met the author at Book Bonanza.  It was a short story, a novella.  I guess actually it was in the short story anthology, Team Player, but I didn't get to it until now.   It takes place before the one I have read, Jock Row, and while it is in this series, it is totally a standalone.  Now I LOVED Jock Row, even though according to the author, some people said it had no plot or drama.  I don't know if that's true, but I loved it anyway.  This short story had some major drama though!  Obviously a twin switch as the blurb below says is the drama.  I kept wishing that Amelia would tell Dante who she really was, but of course she couldn't, that's not how the story goes.  In the end though, I loved the way he found out who she really was, and how he made her admit the truth.  And the fact that they didn't get busy till the very end, because of all the secrecy and lies, well, let's just say this is the first book I remember this hot of a sex scene as the final scene.  Love, love, loved it!  Now I need the next book in the series.  Hopefully the author is getting over her writer's block and being able to get it done.  Before the blurb though, let's recap my awesome experience meeting the author, Sara Ney (pronounced like Bill Nye) with this picture:

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
I knew something was wrong the second she walked in the door tonight; I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. 

Same hair color. 
Same legs. 
Same face. 

Except…I look harder. 
At the small dimple beneath her lip that wasn’t there the last time we went out. And her laugh—that laugh isn’t as loud. 

This isn’t the girl I’ve gone out with the past few weeks. 
It’s her twin sister, and they’ve switched places on me. 

Only I’m not quite ready to let them switch back.

Broken Juliet (Star-Crossed #2) by Leisa Rayven:
Narrator:  Andi Arndt
Genre:  NA/adult contemporary romance
Published:  April 28th, 2015
Source:  Purchased from
My rating:  4.5 stars  

I originally gave in and downloaded the first audiobook, Bad Romeo,  earlier this year because the author was on the original list for Book Bonanza. But she had to cancel. And even though I owned the paperback of this, I decided to just go ahead and listen to it, and I did on my drive from my town of Kansas City to Denver where I went to Book Bonanza.  Now there were times that if I'd been Cassie, I'd have been so done with Ethan.  I mean, forget it.  But yeah, I've never been in real love, so I guess I don't know.  I also felt that her feelings of it must be love because of how good the sex was, well that seemed pretty naive.  Another thing I really did like is that in this book the woman is the one who got to go out and be making up for being apart from the guy she loved.  Usually it seems it is the guy who does that.  To be fair, he probably did that before they ever got together, and all of his declarations of love when they were adult explains why he didn't from then on.  I did like how the ending gave us just about all you needed to know about how things went on from then.  But it seemed to drag on a few times when I thought it was over, so that was a bit much maybe.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
How do you fix a love that’s been broken beyond repair?

For years, Cassie Taylor tried to forget about Ethan Holt. He was the one great love of her life, and when he failed to return her love, a part of her died forever. Or so she thought. Now she and Ethan are sharing a Broadway stage, and he’s determined to win her back. Claiming to be a changed man, he’s finally able to say all the things she needed to hear years ago, but can she believe him? What makes this time different from all his other broken promises?

Ethan knows he can’t change their tumultuous past, but if he’s going to have any chance of being with the woman he loves, he’ll need to convince Cassie that her future belongs with him. 

Don’t miss this stunning conclusion to the unforgettable love story that captivated over two million fans online.

Beneath These Shadows (Beneath #6) by Meghan March:
Narrators:  Andi Arndt and Sebastian York
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
Published:  October 25th, 2016
Source:  Purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

I listened to this on my way home from Book Bonanza, this was another author I got to meet, I'll be sure to share that picture below as well.  When I first started playing it, I was a bit confused, because the main character was in New York.  Since this series always takes place in New Orleans, it was a bit confusing. And I guess we did need some outside blood, there comes a point when you can't just keep hooking up all the characters you already know.  Bishop was someone that I remembered a bit from earlier stories, and I'm pretty sure that Jason Momoa is who he is supposed to be reminiscent of.  I hate man-buns, but on Jason Momoa?  I mean look at this:

No way I'd turn that down.  I mean, I did pay $100 to get my picture taken with him.

Back to the story, Eden was so sheltered from how she'd had to live as the daughter of a big Mafia boss to stay safe.  Now, when she got sent away for her own safety when things were going on with her dad, I did get a bit of an off sense in how it was all done.  But what turned out to be the traitor in the whole organization was definitely a twist I didn't see coming, at least not in the way that it did. I love how Eden jumped right in to what she assumed might be her only chance to live on her own and experience things that her father would never have let her if she'd been back home.  And I also am pleased with how the author had Eden technically figure out how to save herself.  A wonderful sweet story.  Lots of drama and edge of your seat excitement at times.  And while this is definitely a standalone, I loved getting all our other characters from the earlier books pulled into the story.  While I kinda want an alpha male for myself, I know that I'm not at all the type they look for.

Now Meghan March was the author I really wanted to meet, but since I didn't get a wristband the first night, I was so afraid I wouldn't get to meet her. But someone in another line gave me their wristband. That's how awesome the other people at Book Bonanza were.  And let's just say that Meghan March was such a sweetie!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:

Beneath These Shadows is a STANDALONE romance set in the world of the Beneath series. You DO NOT have to read any other books in the series to enjoy it. 

From USA Today bestselling author Meghan March comes a new dangerously sexy alpha hero... 

The only permanent thing in my life is the ink I put on my clients. 
I drift from city to city, in and out of beds, from one tattoo shop to the next. 
Every time I start to put down roots, I rip them up. 
Until New Orleans. 
Until her. 
She’s everything I’m not. 
Full of fire and life. An innocent where I’m a sinner. 
I want to consume her. Protect her. Keep her. 
But first, I have to escape from beneath these shadows.

Pucked Love (Pucked #7) by Helena Hunting:

Narrators:  Stella Bloom and Sebastian York
Genre:  Adult sports romance
Published: July 10th, 2018
Source:  Purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

If you know me, you know I rarely pre-order and pre-pay for books.  I just prefer to wait till they're out.  But this book was released as audio before physical book, and I decided I had to go ahead and pre-order it.  I thought about saving it for my drive to Book Bonanza, since Helena Hunting was one of my MUST meet authors, but I couldn't wait, and as soon as it was available, I had to start listening.  Charlene and Darren have always just kind of been in the background of the other books in a way.  In the way that Charlene was Violet's best friend and she was dating Darren.  Now, I love Violet, and her craziness. But let's just say that Charlene and Darren have their own brand of crazy, sexy, you name it.  As usual with one of Hunting's books, I had a ton of notes that I made on Goodreads as I listened to this.  At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like Darren. But after he had a talk with Alex, and I realized that he just wasn't really up on how to have a real relationship, I got to like him a lot more.  I loved the stats that Charlene said he kept about their relationship.  I loved hearing about where Charlene's box of "I thought it would be fun, but I changed my mind" came from.  

Charlene's mom killed me. But then most of the parents in these stories are so funny.  And then when the girls all went to the sex convention, OMG!  I totally knew that Violet was going to have a "sword-fight" with the strap-on.  I just knew it.  Then Charlene's background at The Harvest Co-op was one that I wasn't sure just how bad it got.  That was something that kept going throughout the story, and kept me on the edge waiting to hear just what had happened there.  Darren's family issues fit perfectly with Charlene's, well, especially with her mother.  I loved the bit about Charlene's candy as well.  

One funny thing about the story tied in perfectly to something the author said at a panel at Book Bonanza. She said that she has to actually sometimes get into the positions for the sex scenes to figure out how to write them.  I was having trouble picturing the final scene in this book, so I told her that and we laughed and figured it out.  It was also cool that her husband was there and he was chatting with everyone while we waited in line to see her.  And Helena Hunting was so nice as well, spent a lot of time with each person in line, which was great, even though I felt bad for people behind us in line!  :-)  But it wasn't just me, it was everyone.  

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date. 

Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty. 

I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I've let her set the rules in our relationship.

But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.

We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.

Taking Turns (Turning #1) by J.A. Huss:

Narrators:  Ava Erickson, Sebastian York, Tad Branson, and Joe Arden
Genre:  Erotic romance, menage, bdsm
Published: January 18th, 2017
Source:  Purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

This was a very dark and twisted book.  Along with that a very sexy and steamy book!  So sexy it will have you squirming in your seat as you listen.  When I got the little hint that one of the guys was pretty into the whole BDSM thing, I mean - a ball gag, I wasn't sure how much I'd like the book.  That's not really my thing.  Especially to that extent.  But the book grabbed me right away, and I was extremely intrigued and couldn't stop listening.  There were the three guys, and right away I just liked Smith the best.  And I wanted her to pick him.  You could kind of see that they had a little different connection, even through all of their bickering and confrontations.  Learning all the rules along with Marcela was something that kept me on the edge of my seat as well.  There was so much more to her and we didn't get to know quite what she was up to until almost the very end.  I liked in a way that we were kept guessing and wondering, but I was as frustrated as well.  In the end it was still an HEA.  I didn't realize it was going to be a series, I assumed she'd  maybe end up with all three of them.  But she didn't. She ends up with one.  But now I do want the other two men to get their HEA, so I'll be listening on.  I think that I chose this book to listen to because the author was going to be at Book Bonanza, and so I was very glad that I got the chance to get in and meet her and her new writing partner.  I also got a free copy of their new book, Sexpert, which I can't wait to read.  But here I am with her at BB:

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
I’ve never been afraid of the dark...but that doesn’t mean I wanted to live in it. And maybe everyone wants what they can’t have, but I should’ve thought it over before I accepted the key and unlocked the door to their forbidden world.

Number One is mostly silent. He watches me with them very carefully. His gaze never wanders. His interest never wanes.

Number Two is mostly gentle. But it’s the other side of him I like best. The wild side.

Number Three is mostly reserved. He refuses to cross the line. Even when I beg.

It was carnal, it was sensual, and it was erotic. That’s it. That’s all it was supposed to be. A trip into the dark. A peek into the forbidden.

I just didn’t expect to like them.

I heard the door open and close and said nothing. And the footsteps coming down the hallway towards the bedroom. I even heard him say, “Hey.” So softly. “You awake?” Like he didn’t want to wake me.

I listened as he stepped into the closet. There was that slick sound a man makes when he pulls his tie through his shirt collar. I heard the unclasping of his watch. The jingle of his belt buckle and the shuffle of his pants as they dropped to the floor.

I even heard his moan as he stood over me. I could feel his shadow from the streetlamp outside like it was heat.

Then the bed creaked, the mattress sank. And his warm, hard body straddled me.
Still, I said nothing.

I just buried my face in the sweet scent of the pillow and closed my eyes, feigning sleep.

“Rochelle,” he whispered, leaning over me. His fingertips gently brushed the hair away from my shoulder. His mouth pressed against my skin. “Did you miss me? God, I’ve missed you. Two weeks is too long. We need to renegotiate.”

He nipped my neck. Kissed it. Licked my ear as he positioned himself to begin.

And I said… nothing.

Even though my name is not Rochelle. 
That’s why I’m here. Tied up and gagged inside the closet. Sitting in the dark as three men on the other side of the door argue about where Rochelle went, why I was in her bed, and what they should do next.

I should be scared but I’m not.

I should be screaming, but I won’t.

Because this just feels very, very right.

And the only thing on my mind is… what will happen next?