Tuesday, December 10, 2019

L-L-L-Little Reviews: Six Favorite Adult Contemporary Romance Series Audiobook Reviews

So, while I'm pretty caught up on most things I've been reading, because most of them are for blog tours, I am behind on my audiobook reviews that are ones I'm just listening to for myself.  I've been going through the Knitting in the City series and the Winston Brothers series, the ones that were available on Audible Escape and I hadn't read yet, so those are what I mostly have to share with you today. 

Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City #4, Winston Brothers #0.5) by Penny Reid:
Release Date: August 21st, 2014
Source:  Borrowed from Audible.com as part of Audible Escapes program
My rating:  5 stars

Since I had already read some of the Winston brothers books before I got to this one, it was fun to read through their actual introduction.  Although it would have been hilarious to have my first introduction to Beau as how it happens in this book.  We got some awesome lines in this book, for instance:

"Bearded masturbating hillbillies!"

And since I hadn't at the time, or still haven't read all the brothers' books, I have one or two more still, I was wondering and guessing if any of the characters in the book were ones they'd end up with.  Now, there were a couple times with the whole Jackson James bit that I felt the story maybe contradicted something it had said earlier. But I need to grab a physical copy to go back and see if what I heard was right, or if I wasn't paying attention that well.  Like when Ashley says that Jackson James was her first and he used to be her best friend, but then she said she wasn't attracted to him either.  

There was a scene where Ashley overhears her mom and Drew discussing her, and I love those scenes if they're done right.  A great book, both for tying into to the KITC series and getting the Winston brothers going as well.  

Now the cover above is for the paperback version not the audiobook version, but I like this one better.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
There are three things you need to know about Ashley Winston:1) She has six brothers and they all have beards, 2) She is a reader, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Former beauty queen, Ashley Winston’s preferred coping strategy is escapism. She escaped her Tennessee small town, loathsome father, and six brothers eight years ago. Now she escapes life daily via her one-click addiction. However, when a family tragedy forces her to return home, Ashley can’t escape the notice of Drew Runous—local Game Warden, bear wrestler, philosopher, and everyone’s favorite guy. Drew’s irksome philosophizing in particular makes Ashley want to run for the skyscrapers, especially since he can’t seem to keep his exasperating opinions— or his soulful poetry, steadfast support, and delightful hands— to himself. 

Pretty soon the girl who wanted nothing more than the escape of the big city finds she’s lost her heart in small town Tennessee. 

Beauty and the Mustache is book #4 in the Knitting in the City series, and book #0.5 in the Winston Brothers series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the misadventures and exploits of seven friends in Chicago, all members of the same knitting group.

 Happily Ever Ninja (Knitting in the City #5) by Penny Reid:
Release Date: January 19th, 2016
Source:  Borrowed from Audible.com as part of Audible Escapes program
My rating:  4.5 stars

I wasn't sure if I'd read this one because I'm not really a fan of reading romances about married couples since I am single, never been married.  It's just hard for me to feel sorry for them when I want what they have.  However I feel like the author did a good job in grabbing my interest and making me feel for these characters anyway.  Now one reason I went ahead was also because Will Watt was one of the narrators and I love his voice. Although he really didn't have that many chapters.  I also feel like maybe I need to go ahead and listen or read the prequel to this one as well.  But once again there were some of the best lines in this book. For instance, Greg would always tell his kids to end arguments by saying:  "That sounds like something Hitler would say."  Another funny line was "Angry oral sex."  lol.  But Greg, who was away for his work all the time, also had this rule that they couldn't let their kids do things that were just for girls for the girl or just for boys for the boy.  So their son couldn't play soccer unless his sister wanted to, and she didn't get to take dance unless her brother did.  So he didn't want things to be sexist for the kids, but then he was totally sexist about not letting Fiona do things that she was much more qualified than he was to do!  So in the end, I liked this one enough to bump it up to a 4.5, but towards the end we did get a little of the stuff that is the reason I don't like to read about married couples.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you. 

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband, the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer, is desperately in love with his wife. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away. 

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true. 
Except… not.

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City #6) by Penny Reid:
Release Date: May 16th, 2017
Source:  Borrowed from Audible.com as part of Audible Escapes program
My rating:  5 stars

This book started out hilarious and didn't stop.  It is the perfect book to read for any single woman.  I mean I have a new line when I want to date someone, but they can't seem to get it, "Step back from the stupid dehydrated horse."  You need to read the book, but it makes sense when you do.  This book also made me want to look into a professional cuddler as well as the other professionals she was looking into.  This is the book that I just totally wondered how the author can always seem to write characters that have so much "me" in them!  It's like she knows exactly how my mind works!  Some fun things at the beginning of each chapter was some kind of AI or other technology that seems way out there, but from asking the author on Facebook, all of it is true, which in some of the chapters is kind of scary to think of.  Another thing I love about Reid's stories is that there always seems to be someone talking about books to someone, or giving them a book, etc.  I just love it!  They're so my people!  One moment that is totally relatable is when Marie thinks about how she's so happy for her friends, but it's also hard to not be jealous or sad for yourself.  Like in the movie Bridesmaids, how she felt when her best friend tells her she's engaged.  She's happy, but it still hits her.  And then there is the line about how when you tell a single person there is someone out there for them, it's like telling an X-Files fan that you have proof of aliens, but no way to show them the evidence.  The last term I have to say that I'm stealing for my own use is "whore-mones".  Yep, it's a perfect way to phrase it.  Marie and her horrible blind date are one of my favorites in this world and I loved this book to death!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
There are three things you need to know about Marie Harris: 1) She’s fed up with online dating, 2) She’s so fed up, she’s willing to forego the annoyance and consider more creative alternatives, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

After the most bizarre first date in the history of dating, Marie is looking for an alternative to men. With the help of her friends, she quickly identifies a few possibilities: Need a cuddle? Use a professional cuddler. Need affirmation? Get yourself a life coach. Need an orgasm? Try orgasm meditation! Why does she need the hassle of a romantic partner when she can meet all her needs with paid services? 

But then her irritating date resurfaces. And he’s not at all the person she thought he was. And he suggests a different—and crazier—solution to her dilemma . . .

Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2) by Penny Reid:
Release Date: March 21st, 2016
Source:  Purchased from Audible.com
My rating:  5 stars

I've been jumping around it seems with this series, and this was me now just reading #2.  Everyone seemed really protective of Jethro, his family, his friends, etc., well except his brother Billy of course.  So much that they were warning Sienna off from him.  I really liked Sienna.  I did not like her sister though.  So much to love about Jethro and his family from this book.  I love that he wanted to watch Marx Brothers movies with her, especially since I love those movies!  This was such a sweet book, and Jethro is just perfect in how he dealt with all of the issues that Sienna's famous life caused.  The sexy scenes were steamy, and yeah, just a really great book. I did like the little glimpses into Claire/Scarlet in this book, especially as I was in between the two last books in the series at the time and waiting to see how it would all end for her and Billy.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna. 

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston. 

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often. 

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

#Heart (Hashtag #6) by Cambria Hebert:
Release Date: November 4th, 2015
Source:  Borrowed from Audible.com as part of Audible Escapes program
My rating:  4 stars

I do love Romeo and it was nice to be back in his world.  This was a continuation of Romeo and Rimmel, as well as Braeden and Ivy's stories.  I loved being back in the world, and it definitely kept me going, but it was a lot of the same kind of things happening again, and definitely some unrealistic happenings in the world of NFL I'm sure.  But it's fiction and fun, and so it's all okay.  Definitely a good read after the rest of the series to know how things are going with the crew!  I do know that now I need to read Trent and Drew's books.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Family isn't always defined by blood. Sometimes family is born of love, loyalty, and choice. Sometimes the bond that comes from someone having your back through the shittiest of times is stronger than anything you get from genetics, and sometimes you find that piece of your soul you didn't even know was missing. I'm a lucky guy like that. I found a love that will never fade. I found a group of people who aren't just my friends; they've become my family. There's only one place to go from here. I'm gonna bind myself to Rimmel in every possible way. I'm gonna bring our family even closer together. The past has taught me it won't be easy, but that's okay. Family doesn't quit each other. Love like ours never dies. Happily ever after isn't just for storybooks.

Back in the Game:  A Dating by Numbers Novella by Meghan Quinn:
Release Date: April 30th, 2018
Source:  Borrowed from Audible.com as part of Audible Escapes program
My rating:  5 stars

This was short, hence the novella right in the title.  And I didn't like the male narrator's voice.  And for a while I was worried we wouldn't get one of the author's signature steamy scenes, but we did in the end.  A cute and fun addition to this series.

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Single dad and hockey star, Calder Weiss has put his love life on the back burner for the past five years, raising his daughter and keeping up with the demands of his profession. But all that changes the minute Rachel Perry runs into him in the most unlikely of places, right outside the men's bathroom. 

Vibrant and enchanting, she captures his attention, making it impossible for him to walk away without scoring her number. Their connection is immediate, their attraction palpable, and their relationship undeniable. 

But Rachel isn't the only girl in Calder's life, which scares him, because Calder's daughter already lost her mother. He doesn't want Shea to lose someone close to her again, making Rachel's task of breaking through Calder's wall that much more difficult.