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When It's Right by Victoria Denault

When It's Right (San Francisco Thunder #3) - Victoria Denault

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I loved this romance! This is the third book in the San Francisco Thunders series but it would work just fine as a stand-alone. There are some ongoing family issues that continue throughout the series but I think that everything is explained well enough for readers jumping in with this book. This was a pretty quick read that I found hard to put down. 

Sadie and Griffin were both fantastic characters. They had fantastic chemistry from the very start of the book and I couldn't wait to see how things would develop between them. They made such a good pair and just worked well together from the very start. I loved the way they seemed to see each other in a way that others didn't.

I really liked the fact that these characters were dealing with some pretty tough issues in this book. I found my heart breaking just a bit for Griffin, Sadie, and the Braddock family. Griffin had his priorities in the right place but it seemed like everyone was working against him at times. Sadie was trying so hard to be what everyone needed her to be and take care of her family. I found the parts of the book that dealt with her father's decline to be both touching and heartbreaking. 

The side characters were a lot of fun in this book. Sadie and her two sisters make a rather interesting team and I loved their interaction. Their older brother, Jude, was also very close to them. I loved how they all teased and joked with each other. Griffin's daughter, Charlie, was adorable and added to the story as did his brother, Hunter. Sadie's father played an important role and I thought the fact that he had some really powerful scenes. 

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I had a fantastic time with Sadie and Griffin as they fell in love. I am very glad that this book is told from alternate points of view because the reader really gets a chance to see what each character is feeling about everything going on in their lives. I can't wait to read more from this amazing series!

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
So it is really no surprise that I loved this one. I loved Griffin and Sadie together and thought that their chemistry was really well done. I liked that their hold-ups to a relationship were somewhat understandable. Sadie's family is fantastic and it was fun to see their interactions. Charlie was a great kid and only added to the story. I can't wait to read more of this series.

Up for Heir by Ruth Cardello

Up In The Heir - Ruth Cardello

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This really was a great romance! After finishing the previous book from this series, I couldn't wait to find out more of Spencer's story. This really is a series that needs to be read in order since the plot surrounding the family starts in the first book. I had a great time listening to this story.

Spencer was one of the focal points of the previous book which left him at a very low point in his life. I couldn't wait to find out how he was doing and hopefully watch him deal with some pretty big issues. Hailey has also been through a lot. She lost her father years ago and just recently lost her brother. She is now the guardian of her niece, Sky, and has to make that the priority in her life.

Hailey takes a job as Delinda Westerly's personal assistant and her and Sky move into the guest house at her home. She has no idea that her employer is in any way related to her old boyfriend, Spencer. Of course, their paths cross and they end up spending some time with each other and quickly find out that their attraction to each other is just as strong as it ever was. 

I had a great time watching Hailey and Spencer fall in love all over again. I also enjoyed getting to know Delinda Westerly a lot better and found that the relationships between Delinda, Sky, and Hailey were very well done. I thought that Spencer's relationship problems with his family were dealt with very well in this book. Spencer grew a lot as a character by the end of this story. 

Terri Clark Linden continued to do a great job with this series. Her voices for the various characters in this series are very well done. In this book, there was a lot of dialogue from Delinda, an elderly character, and Sky, a young child, and I thought she represented all of the characters very well. I can't wait to listen to more of this series.

I would recommend this series to fans of contemporary romance. There is a lot of depth to the relationships within this story and a romance that melted my heart. I can't wait to read more about the Westerly family.

Initial Thoughts
This was another great story in the series. Spencer and Hailey were both great but Sky and Delinda often stole the show. This was a nice second chance romance and I found that I really enjoyed the continuation of the drama around Spencer from the first book. 

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

In the Heir by Ruth Cardello

In the Heir (Westerly Billionaire Series Book 1) - Ruth Cardello

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this audiobook. This was my first experience with Ruth Cardello's writing and I am very happy that it turned out to be a positive one. I actually won a copy of the second book from the series but decided that I wanted to start at the beginning which turned out to be a very good choice. I ended up listening to the book in only a couple of days because I was having such a good time with it.

I went into this book expecting a romance and it did deliver on that expectation but I was surprised that the story surrounding the Westerly family would be such an important element in the story. When Delinda Westerly offers an early inheritance to the first grandchild who marries and invites the rest of the family, Spencer and his friend, Alisha, make plans to walk down the aisle. They are not in love but are great friends so they see no problem with the arrangement.

Brett meets Alisha through Spencer and can't get her out of his mind. Alisha isn't afraid to stand up to the anyone and does just that when it can protect those that she cares about. When everything falls apart, Brett is the one who is there for Alisha and I loved watching their connection to each other grow. I thought that these two characters worked really well together and I liked how they seemed to bring out the best of each other. 

Terri Clark Linden did a great job with this book. I thought that she handled a pretty diverse cast of characters very well and brought a lot of emotion to the story. I have listened to her work several times and have always found her narration to be very pleasant to listen to.

I would recommend this book to romance fans. I thought that this story was really compelling and filled with wonderful characters. I plan to read much more from Ruth Cardello in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I really liked this romance. Brett and Alisha were both fantastic characters that I wanted to see work things out. They were both so giving and really cared about the people they were close to. The family drama in this one was pretty complex with a lot of side characters experiencing a lot of pain along with Brett and Alisha. I thought that the narration was very well done and added to the enjoyment of the story.

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane Doe: A Novel - Victoria Helen Stone

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was great! I first heard about this book on Goodreads where some of my friends were discussing some of the books that have been recommended by Ilona Andrews. I immediately straightened up a bit and started taking note of the books being mentioned because I can't think of anyone I would rather take book recommendations from that Ilona Andrews. Once I realized that I could borrow this audiobook from Kindle Unlimited, I decided that it would be my next listen...and what a great listen it was!

Jane Doe has a plan and she knows how she needs to act in order to complete her mission. She is looking for revenge from a man that she has never met Steven Hepsworth. Jane becomes the perfect person to get close to Steven with her carefully planned and executed actions. Steven thinks he has met someone that he can have in his life for as long as he wants. Jane's hate for the man grows exponentially by the day.

It was wonderful having the chance to be in Jane's head as she went through her plan and worked to remain in character. I loved her inner dialogue and often found quite a bit of humor in it. It was kind of interesting to get to know the real Jane while she was playing the role of a very different individual to those around her most of the time. There were times where Jane was able to to show more of her true self and the contrast was very eye-opening.

I loved the fact that I wasn't always sure who the bad guy was in this story. I mean Jane is out for revenge and embraces the fact that she is a sociopath but I still liked her more than Steven. He was truly horrible but completely oblivious of that fact. The more that I read, the more that I wanted to see him suffer.

I thought that Nicol Zanzerella did an amazing job with the narration. This was the first time that I have had an opportunity to listen to this narrator's work and I was very impressed. This book is told entirely from Jane's point of view and I thought that she captured her personality very well. It was always very obvious when Jane was speaking as the character she was using for her revenge. I found her voice to be very pleasant and wanted to listen to the book for hours at a time. I do plan to look for more of her work in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time with this darker story that held more than a few surprises. I definitely plan to read more from this author in the future. 

Initial Thoughts
This was great! Jane was a great character and I loved seeing how her mind work. As Jane worked to get revenge, I was cheering her on because her target seemed to deserve whatever Jane would eventually throw his way. I loved that there was some humor worked into the story. The narrator did a fantastic job with this story and I highly recommend going that route if at all possible. 

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

Under Control by Shannon Stacey

Under Control - Shannon Stacey

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this romance. I have had this series on my radar since it got started and have even collected a couple of the installments but have never had the chance to pick one up. I am so glad that I finally jumped into the series. I am happy to report that this book works perfect fine as a stand alone despite being the fifth book in the Boston Fire series. I had a lot of fun with this really well done novel.

I found that this book felt really authentic. I can't think of single thing that happens in this story that didn't feel like it could happen in the real world. I loved the fact that Derek is divorced with kids that are the center of his universe. Since I was a divorced mother of a 4 year old child when I met my husband, I could completely relate to the way he was trying to find the right balance. I also loved the way that Derek and Olivia met. I was once stuck in an elevator and while I didn't have a firefighter there to rub my feet while we waited for rescue, I did have a whole crowd of firefighters gathered to rescue me so I could totally see their meeting happening.

Derek and Olivia were both great characters. Derek is a firefighter and divorced father of two. He has a great relationship with his ex-wife which did seem to make everything a bit simpler. Olivia is a highly organized and driven business owner. Her life is scheduled down to the last detail and she likes it that way. This pair had some great chemistry and there were plenty of steamy moments. There really wasn't any manufactured drama in this one which their biggest obstacle being trying to figure out how to blend their very different lives with each other.

I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time spending time with Derek and Olivia and my heart may have melted just a bit as they fell in love. I do want to read more from Shannon Stacey very soon and will probably start with the earlier books in the series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Carina Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. I think one of the things that I liked the best about the story is the fact that the characters felt very real and the issues that the had to work through were ones that I could easily relate to myself. Derek and Olivia were great together and I loved how his kids were a big part of the story.

Fatal Frost by Karen MacInerney

Fatal Frost - Karen MacInerney

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was a fun listen. I listened to the first book in this series a little over a year ago and I have been wanting to get back to it ever since. Since I am currently in the middle of a three month Kindle Unlimited membership, I grabbed this just as soon as I saw that it was available in the program. This is the second book in the Dewberry Farm Mysteries series but I think that it would work perfectly fine. It was really nice to spend a bit of time with Lucy and the other characters from Buttercup.

I didn't even realize that this was a Christmas story until I got started listening. My eyes are not great anymore so I did not notice the Christmas lights on the cover and I rarely read blurbs very closely so I was pretty clueless. If you are not a fan of Christmas stories, this really only had a touch of the holiday worked into the story. 

There were quite a few things going on in this book and it was great watching Lucy try to figure everything out. She happens to be around when a body is pulled from a fire and quickly notices that there might be something strange about the situation. Her best friend's teenage daughter has runaway to get married causing quite a bit of drama. Her best friend ends up in jail but Lucy knows she is innocent so she works to find the information that lead to the real criminal. To top everything off, someone is busy looking for treasure in town and is even digging around on Lucy's farm.

I liked the characters quite a bit. Lucy is great and has a lot of spunk. She really is happy in the little town of Buttercup and can handle difficult situations very well. Her boyfriend wasn't around a whole lot in this book and I did miss him a little but their relationship did have some progress which I was happy with. Lucy's friends played an important role and the goats she adopts at the beginning of the story added a few interesting moments.

I thought that the mystery was really well done. I liked how some things connected to other things going on in the book while others were really unrelated. I had a few suspicions but I couldn't get everything figured out until it was revealed in most cases which added to the fun. There were some pretty exciting moments where I wasn't really sure how things would work out. This was one of those books that I kept wanting to listen to just a bit more because I had to know what was going to happen next.

Teri Clark Linden does a great job with the narration. I really felt like I was right there with Lucy as she was making her way through the story. I think she handled all of the character voices very well and really brought the story to life. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to more of her work in the future.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this story had a great cast of characters and a compelling mystery. I really have enjoyed the audiobooks for the first two books and must admit that I was disappointed to find that no audiobook is currently available for the remainder of the series but I would still like to finish the series soon. 

Initial Thoughts
This was a fun listen. I couldn't quite figure out who was responsible for everything until the end of the story which made the mystery entertaining. There was a whole lot going on in the book and I liked how everything came together. I like the characters a lot and it was nice to get a chance to meet Lucy's parents. I thought that the occasional ghostly influence of her grandmother was nicely done as well. The narration worked well for the story.

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

The Highlander's Folly by Barbara Longley

The Highlander's Folly (The Novels of Loch Moigh) - Barbara Longley

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I hate to say that I had a few issues with this book. I grabbed this one from NetGalley a few years ago because the premise sounded like something I would enjoy since I usually love time travel stories. For some reason, I didn't get around to reading it right away but decided to pull it out of my virtual stack a few weeks ago. There were some things that I did like about the book but the things that I disliked did hamper my overall enjoyment of the story. 

I enjoyed the time travel aspect of the story. I thought that the way Meghan is pulled back in time by Hunter was rather unique and added a fun twist to the story. The influence of the fae on events was also a nice twist that easily made everything impossible quite possible after all. The time travel in the story was easily accepted by all of the characters since it has happened before to people that they know and I kind of liked that it was a big secret or something to be disbelieved.

My big problem comes in with the characters, namely Hunter. By the end of the book I kind of wanted him to be sent to a place and time where we wouldn't ever have to see or hear from him again. I haven't disliked a lead character quite so much in a very long time. He was attracted to Meghan but he still planned pursue another woman that clearly didn't want him. He also didn't want any of the other men to have Meghan and wasn't doing a good job of keeping things hands off. I guess he was thinking that she should be stuck in his time period without love while he was free to pursue others. His stupidity seems to almost increase as the book progresses and by the end of the book he has given her all kinds of mixed messages and doesn't seem to even know what he wants.

Meghan wasn't quite as bad but I didn't like how she seemed to fall deeper and deeper for Hunter despite how he treated her. There were a couple of other men that were interested in Meghan and treated her very well but she only had eyes for Hunter. I did like that Meghan was tough and able to hold her own in a fight but I wish we could have seen her demand that Hunter treat her a whole lot better or move on to one of the other more appalling men angling for her attention. I have to admit that I spent a lot of the book rooting for the other guy who never had a chance so you know there was just something off about their romance.

I thought that Phil Gigante did an acceptable job with the narration. I thought that he was easy to listen to but I was not a fan of some of the voices that he used. I thought that all of his female voices sounded really off and it tended to pull me out of the story just a bit. 

I think that other readers may enjoy this one more than I did. It is the third book in a series but I thought it read perfectly fine as a stand alone. I do still want to read other books from the series and think I may have more luck with those as long as the characters are somewhat likeable. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Montlake Romance via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from Kindle Unlimited.

Initial Thoughts
I wouldn't call myself a fan of this one but I was able to get through the whole book so there is that. I pretty much hated the Hero by the end of the book. I get that men in this time period did not look at women the same way as we do today but this guy got on my nerves. Hunter took Meghan from the present time back to 15th century Scotland. They were both attracted to each other and it seemed that some other key players were also hoping that Meghan would choose them. Most of the book was Hunter wanting Meghan while pursuing another woman and not wanting anyone else to come near Meghan. It was pretty predictable and rather irritating.

The History of Jane Doe by Michael Belanger

The History of Jane Doe - Michael Belanger

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

There was a whole lot to like about this book. I decided to read this book largely because I was intrigued by the cover. I mean why would a green cow be on the cover of this book? I had to know. Once I started reading the story hooked me right away and I didn't want to set the book aside. There is a so much more to this book than the green cow on the cover. This was an emotional story filled with wonderful characters I wanted to pull into a big hug before I turned the final page. I am so glad that I took a chance and decided to read this wonderful story.

This book is told in alternating chapters of before and after which I think worked really well. From the start, you know things around going to work out the way you would want. But you also get to see everything as it starts and the comparison was very powerful. The book does handle a lot of difficult topics and I think it does a really good job keeping everything realistic.

I liked Ray and his friend Simon from the first page. These characters were just fantastic and you couldn't help but cheer them on. Jane fit in with the pair almost perfectly. There was a bit of mystery around Jane and it was apparent early on that she was hiding a few things but her friendship with Ray and Simon felt very authentic. It was so easy to envision this group of teens trying to navigate life in Burgerville. I think that Simon and his love of milk caused more than a few laughing fits from this reader so expect a dose of humor in the story as well.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This book deals with so many difficult issues in a seemingly expert manner. I fell in love with the characters and wanted to see things work out in their life. I will definitely be reading more from Michael Belanger in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Dial Books via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
There was a whole lot that I liked about this book. The characters were great and I found myself liking them almost instantly. I thought that the way the story was told in alternating chapters of before and after worked really well and I just had to know what happened to Jane. I thought that the book dealt with some very difficult topics very well.

Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill

Wild Hunger - Chloe Neill

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was good. I decided to read this book largely because I have been enjoying Chloe Neill's Devil's Isle series and I noticed that this book was the start of a new series. I didn't initially realize that this series is a spin off of the Chicagoland Vampires series so I was a little nervous after I made that discovery since I have only read the first book from that series. I am happy to report that this book works perfectly fine as a starting point and there is no need to have read the Chicagoland Vampires series to enjoy this novel.

This book starts out very strong. Elisa is in Paris with a friend when the area is attacked and she springs into action. Tensions are high among the European vampires so representatives from the areas go to Chicago to discuss peace. Elisa hasn't been home to Chicago in years but she is determined to help make these peace talks successful.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Elisa was very smart and resourceful. She knew how to handle herself and was willing to take necessary risks. She did have fears and worked hard to hide certain things from others. Connor was absolutely wonderful. He is the son of the local werewolf pack and has known Elisa since they were kids. He was smart, tough, protective, and incredibly sexy. Lulu, Elisa's best friend, added some laughs to the story. She was very competent and seemed to be exactly what Elisa needed at times. Theo worked very well with Elisa and proved that even humans could hold their own with all of the supernaturals in the area.

There was a really well done mystery at the core of this story. There is a murder that needs to be solved but nobody in charge seems to want to look beyond the surface. Elisa knows that there is more to the story so she works to figure out what is really going on. There is plenty of excitement and a few twists and turns that kept me guessing. I thought that there was a really nice balance of creativity, action, character development, humor, and a touch of romance.

I would recommend this series to others. Elisa and her friends were all really strong characters trying to solve a rather complex mystery. I do look forward to future installments in this series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This is probably more like 3.5 stars but I am rounding up for now. This book was exciting and some of the dialogue made me laugh but I never found the book hard to set aside for some reason. I liked the characters well enough and thought that all of the key players were rather unique. There were a couple of mysteries going on and I liked how they were tied together in the end. There was even a bit of romance that kept things interesting.

Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I absolutely loved this book! There really is no word that describes how amazing this story is. I have been looking forward to this book since I finished reading the previous book in the series almost two years ago. I have also dreaded reading this book because I knew going in that this was going to be the final book in the Kate Daniels series which part of me never wants to see come to an end. I am so impressed by this story and the way that Kate's story was wrapped up. Reading this book was such a wonderful experience.

As I said, this book is the final book in the Kate Daniels series which really should be read in order. This story starts shortly after the events in the previous book with Kate and Curran becoming parents. I am not always a big fan of kids in books but this kid only added to the story. I loved seeing Kate and Curran with Conlan and had a great time seeing them fall into some of the same behaviors I have seen in other new parents. It was interesting to see how much changed in the way they faced parenthood by the end of the story.

When I pick up a Kate Daniels book, or any book written by Ilona Andrews for that matter, I expect an exciting story with a lot action and that is what I got in this book. All of the battles, fights, bad guys, and chaos that I have come to expect in this series made an appearance and if anything the action may have been turned up a notch. There were times that I found myself holding my breath and turning pages as fast as I could just to see how things would work out.

This book also had all of the humor that I had hoped to find. I was especially excited to find a few lines that mentioned other key moments in the series. I thought that was a wonderful way to remember how far these characters have come. The banter between Kate and Curran was awesome as always and I was happy to find more than a few swoony and touching moments between them. The chemistry between them is as strong as it ever was.

I highly recommend this series to others. I feel like I have been on an amazing adventure with this group of characters and I wouldn't change a single second of the adventure. This is a series that I will read again and again over the course of my lifetime without growing tired of it. I hope to catch a few glimpses of Kate and Curran in future books set in this world just to check in from time to time. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group - Ace via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was amazing. I went into this book with really high expectations and it was so much better than I could have even hoped it would be. 

Things I Loved:
1. Kate was kick ass as always
2. Curran was wonderful as always but he kept me guessing
3. Conlan <------ wait until you meet this kid!
4. So much action
5. Humor worked into the story flawlessly

I am kind of sad to see the series wrap up but this book really brought everything to a very satisfying ending.

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

The Girls in the Garden: A Novel - Lisa Jewell

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I thought that this was a good book overall. I have heard great things about Lisa Jewell's writing and decided to give her work a try with this book. For some reason I never seemed to be able to fit this book into my reading schedule so I decided to listen to the audiobook. While I didn't love the book, I did enjoy the hours that I spent listening to it.

This book takes place with a community garden at its center. Families have grown up around this garden where children have been free to play and watch out for each other. This book does have a rather large cast of characters and we hear from several main points of view. Pip is a new resident and doesn't seem to fit in quite like her older sister, Grace. Adele has lived in the community for a long time and is the mother of some of the girls that Grace has become friends with. Clare is Pip and Grace's mother and has recently had some major life changes and is trying to find her way.

The book opens with Grace being found after an attack then goes back to the events that lead up to that moment. Despite the fact that I knew there would be some excitement, I found that the book seemed to move pretty slowly. There were a lot of characters and I never really connected with any of them very well. There were a lot of side stories that were interesting but never seemed to take the book to the next level for me.

I believe that this was the first time that I have listened to Colleen Prendergast's narration. I thought that she did a good job with the story overall. There were a few times that it took me a moment to determine which character's point of view the book had moved to. I did think that she had a nice quality to her reading voice and it was easy to listen to this book for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others. This wasn't a favorite for me but it was a quality story that did keep me guessing. I definitely plan to read more of Lisa Jewell's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from the library via Hoopla.

Initial Thoughts
This was okay for me. I liked parts of the book more than others. There is a pretty large cast of characters that play a role in the book and I honestly never connected with any of them. I thought that the book was rather slow at times and somewhat easy to set aside. The mystery did keep me guessing until the end. I thought that the narrator did a great job with the story.

Unbreak My Heart by Lauren Blakely

Unbreak My Heart - Lauren Blakely

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was really good! I usually try to go into books as blindly as possible and I don't think that I beyond Lauren Blakely's name and the shirtless guy on the cover when I made the decision to read this book. I thought that I had a pretty good idea of what kind of book this would be and expected a fun little romance. I did get a romance but to me this book was really all about Andrew. I am so glad that I had the chance to listen to this audiobook.

When we meet Andrew at the start of this book, he is at a very low point. He is deep in grief after losing his brother who was the person he was closest to. He is not handling things well at all. I felt so bad for Andrew but I completely understood some of the things he was feeling. I thought that his thoughts during this time were very well done and felt very authentic.

Holland and Andrew have known each other for a very long time. Their parents were friends and they dated for a while. Their relationship ended largely because Holland was living in Tokyo while Andrew needed to be in the United States. I love a good second chance romance and these two were really great together. They never stopping caring about each other and the chemistry between them was great. Holland seemed to understand exactly what Andrew needed and was very clear with her expectations.

Both of the narrators really nailed this performance. I had never listened to any of Joe Arden's work before a few months ago but I think that this is the third time that I have listened to him in just a few weeks. I am really impressed by his work and I thought that this was an exceptional performance. He does such a good job with the wide range of emotions that Andrew goes through in this story. Since this was Andrew's story more than anything, I think that Joe Arden read a bit more of the book than the female narrator, Erin Mallon. This was my first time listening to Erin Mallon and I really liked her narration. I thought she did a great job with Holland and really helped to bring the story to life. These two worked really well together and I wouldn't hesitate to listen to either narrator again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I love second chance romances and books that deal with grief are also a favorite so this was a great pick for me. This audiobook does include a short story, The Story of Us, that takes up the last hour or so of the total running time. I cannot wait to read more of Lauren Blakely's work.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Lauren Blakely Books via Inkslinger PR.

Initial Thoughts
This was good! I will be honest that I picked this up because when I saw the shirtless guy on the cover and Lauren Blakely's name I had a pretty good idea what would be waiting for me. But this book was different. This is really a story about grief and moving on. Yes, Andrew and Holland do find love in this story but it was really more about getting over loss. Both of the narrators completely nailed their delivery of this story. This audiobook also contains the short story, The Start of Us, which accounts for around the last hour of the audiobook.

Embraced at Seaside by Addison Cole

Embraced at Seaside  - Joe Arden, Addison Cole, Maxine Mitchell

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I had a good time with this audiobook. This was a nice quick romance that really grabbed me from the very start. I really didn't want to stop listening and couldn't wait to see Jana and Hunter figure things out. This is the eighth book in the Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers series but it read absolutely fine as a stand alone. Addison Cole's books are the sweet with heat versions of some of Melissa Foster's books. This book is the sweeter version of Seaside Embrace and I found that there were still quite a few steamy scenes to keep things interesting. I am glad that I decided to give this book a try.

This book starts with a bang! At the start of this book we find Jana and Hunter in a morning after situation. They have hooked up a few times but Jana is in a hurry to get out the door. Jana is a very busy woman. She works as a dance instructor, waitress, and trains as a boxer. Hunter is an artist and makes metal sculptures. Neither Hunter or Jana do relationships.

Hunter decides that he wants something more from Jana and makes an effort to be romantic. It was fun watching Jana try to figure out what was going on while Hunter was trying to determine his next move. These two really had a lot of chemistry and seemed perfect for each other. Their personalities meshed almost perfectly. Hunter was so patient with Jana as she worked through some of her issues.

Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell did a great job with the audio. I really liked the fact that this book used dual narrators to tell the story since I think that works best with dual point of view stories. I think that both of the narrators did a great job with the voices of a somewhat large cast of characters and brought a lot of emotion to the story. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to either of these narrators again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This was a great romance between two characters that I couldn't wait to watch find their happily ever after with each other. I found this book to have plenty of heat along with some scenes that melted my heart. I cannot wait to read more of Addison Cole's work in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author / publicist.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this audiobook. Hunter and Jana were great together and I loved watching them try to figure things out. There were a few times that Jana seemed to be almost trying to mess things up but Hunter was patient with her. I think that both of the narrators did a great job with this story and were able to handle a variety of emotions and characters. The only thing that I found a bit confusing on audio was the fact that Jana has a friend named Jenna which was really easy for my old ears to get confused.

Bishop by Sawyer Bennett

Bishop - Sawyer Bennett

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This one was a winner! It didn't take much to get me excited about this book. Once I saw Sawyer Bennett's name on the cover and saw that it was about a hockey player, I knew that I had to read it. The fact that it is the first book in a new series is even better. I have really enjoyed the Cold Fury Hockey series but I was looking forward to meeting a new group of characters. I ended up having such a good time with Bishop!

Bishop has been added to the new expansion team, the Arizona Vengeance, and is new in town. The whole team has just been put together and he is excited to see how things will work out. He goes out to a local bar the night before his first team meeting and meets Brooke. The two end up spending one very steamy night together. Turns out Brooke is the coach's daughter and an employee of the team and things are not as simple as they thought it was going to be. When Brooke tells her father they are engaged, Bishop doesn't know what to think.

I don't always spend a lot of time reading book descriptions so I had no idea that this book was going to have a fake relationship. I love the fake relationship trope lately so I was really excited to see it play out in this book. These two had such great chemistry with each other so it was really no hardship for them to have to spend a little bit of extra time with each other. This fake relationship started looking pretty real to me rather quickly.

I really liked the characters. Bishop and Brooke were both new in town, having moved to Arizona to be a part of the new team. Brooke is dealing with a few more changes in her life since her new job isn't really what she wants to do long term but she feels like she needs to be there for her dad. Bishop wasn't really all that thrilled to have to move to the expansion team but he wants to make the most of it. There were a few of Bishop's teammates that played a pretty big role in the story and I really liked what they added as well. There was one character that was really hard to like in this book but it was kind of fun to see all the crazy things she was doing.

I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time with this romance and found it to be the perfect blend of great characters, steamy scenes, and heartfelt moments. I cannot wait to read more of this series by Sawyer Bennett!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley. 

Initial Thoughts
This was a winner! I really didn't read the blurb for this one since I knew that I wouldn't want to pass up a Sawyer Bennett book about a hockey player. I love the fake relationship trope so this book worked really well for me. Bishop and Brooke were both great characters and I had a blast watching them fall for each other. The character causing all of the trouble in this book was so over the top that it was kind of fun to see what she would do next.

Currency of Souls by Kealan Patrick Burke

Currency Of Souls - Kealan Patrick Burke

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was okay for me. I liked some parts more than others and thought it was a decent story overall. I was really excited going into this book because I was in the mood for a little horror and I have heard great things about Kealan Patrick Burke's work. I am glad that I decided to give this book a listen.

The beginning of the story actually ended up being my favorite part of the book. The book opens with Tom going to Eddie's Tavern for his normal Saturday night. Everyone at the bar spends their Saturday nights together waiting to see if they will be picked for an unpleasant task. Nobody wants to be there but they know there is really no choice in the matter. The group of characters at the bar were great. All of them were incredibly unique and added something to the story. I couldn't wait to see what they were waiting for.

Of course, things do not go as planned on the night in question. Honestly, things go about as bad as they possibly could. There are new characters introduced and a few unexpected situations but the magic of those opening scenes in the bar just never seemed to return to the story. The story had a lot of different threads and kind of seemed to be all over the place at times. Things did come back together by the end of the story some things didn't make a whole lot of sense.

I thought that Rich Miller did a good job with the narration. I thought he had a very pleasant voice that was really easy to listen to hours at a time. My only complaint would be that it was hard to tell when there was a change in point of view of the story which was confusing at times. Overall, I think that he did a great job keeping the story moving forward. I wouldn't hesitate to listen to his work again in the future.

I do think that some readers will like this one more than I did. I did have good time with this one even though I had to go back and listen to certain parts more than once when I found myself feeling a bit confused. I do hope to read more of Kealan Patrick Burke's work in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author / narrator via Audiobook Boom.

Initial Thoughts
I am somewhere between 3 and 4 stars right now. I am going to take a little bit of time to think about this book. I liked the story but some of the twists were way out there. The narrator was very good but it was sometimes hard to tell when there was a change in POV. The characters in this one were definitely unique.

True-Blue Cowboy by Sara Richardson

True-Blue Cowboy  - Sara Richardson

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this story quite a bit. I was really excited to give this book a try after reading a novella written by Sara Richardson recently and enjoying it. I was not disappointed. This book is listed as the fourth book in the Rocky Mountain Riders series but works perfectly fine as a stand alone novel. Once I started reading this story I didn't want to stop and ended up finishing it in a single day. I am so glad that I decided to pick up this book.

Everly lives on a farm and runs a farm to table restaurant. She is finally living the life that she wants and is very happy even when her livestock gives her a rough time. Mateo is a bronc rider who decides to buy some land as an investment. He feels a lot of responsibility for his family and worries about what will happen when he can no longer compete. The land that Mateo buys is the same land that Everly rents and had hoped to buy herself someday. An entertaining series of events leaves them sharing a home on the land and getting to know each other a lot better.

I loved Everly from the start. She isn't afraid of hard work and is a very patient person. She had been living a completely different life but realized that it wasn't really what she wanted so she made some changes and really is doing what makes her happy. Even when things don't go the way she hoped they would, she is able to stay positive and try to look for new solutions. Mateo really was a good guy as well. He bought the land in order to provide security for himself and his family. He really found himself in a difficult situation and didn't want to cause any trouble for Everly.

I loved these two together. They had a whole lot of chemistry from the very beginning and I think that it grew as they got to know each other better. Even when they seemed to be the opposite side of things the pull between them never stopped. I liked that they were honest with each other and seemed to want to open up to each other. It was just a whole lot of fun watching these two come together.

I would recommend this book to others. I had a great time with this pair and couldn't help but want to seem them make it work. I think that this book was a really nice blend of great characters, a believable romance, some humor, and a few intense moments. I would not hesitate to read more from Sara Richardson in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing).

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one. Everly and Mateo had quite a bit of chemistry with each other and their characters were very likeable. They did have some pretty big obstacles to overcome which was interesting to watch. There were a lot of interesting secondary characters that added to the book.