April Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

illustrated cover of a white couple on a bus, he's napping and manspreading and she's kind of embarrassed but smilingSeatmate by Cara Bastone, narrated by Amanda Ronconi, Zachary Webber, Josh Hurley, Carol Monda, Corey Allen, Allyson Johnson, Eric Yves Garcia, Dina Pearlman & Tanya Eby – C I enjoyed the first two audio novellas in the Love Lines series – Call Me Maybe  and Sweet Talk – so I was keen to listen to book 3, Seatmate. Unfortunately I didn’t find it as charming or engaging as the earlier two novellas which both were about the B+ range for me. Seatmate is a different story altogether. Rather than most of the relationship being on the phone as is the case with the earlier two books, this time, most of the plot takes place over about 5-ish hours during a journey between Boston and New York – first by bus and then by other means of transport. This time there is also a full cast rather than just the dual narration of the first two novellas. Seatmate was an almost real-time novella, whereas the other books take place over a greater period. For me, this meant that the boring bits were skipped in the first two books but not so much in the third one.

March Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Couple kissing behind the cover of a red umbrella, she's holding a red roseLucky Suit by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber & Andi Arndt – B Lucky Suit is a novella-length audiobook which was made available to Audible members for free. It features Cameron, the best friend/business partner of Lulu, the heroine of Birthday Suit, another recent release by Ms. Blakely. I listened to them back-to-back. The timelines in both books overlap but there’s a little fudging going on with that because they don’t quite match up perfectly. I probably only noticed because I listened to them so close together though.

Kristen is a scientist who lives next door to her beloved (and feisty) matchmaking grandmother, Jeannie. Jeannie has been setting up Kristen on dates but Kristen has called a halt. She believes in algorithms and science and is tired of the duds she’s been set up with. When Jeannie meets Cameron at a car auction again (they’d met a few times before) she realises that both Cameron and Kristen are single and she’s determined to bring the pair together – even though Cameron lives in New York and Kristen in Florida she just knows they’d be perfect together. Unfortunately, Cameron isn’t a fan of online dating and Kristen has sworn off blind dates. How then is she going to make this happen??

June Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Shirtless hot guy (lower face and torso only) shows off his abs and guns as he leans against a wall holding an NFL football at about waist level in both hands.Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber – B Lauren Blakely writes reliably good, fun and sexy contemporary romance and I usually enjoy them on audio. Zachary Webber has improved significantly since he first started narrating and he was pretty good to start with. Blakely gets some of the best narrators for her books. Perhaps it’s her superpower?

Most Valuable Playboy is one entirely from the hero’s POV and that is pretty much catnip to me anyway as a hero-centric reader/listener. And I do have a soft spot for fake relationship, best friend’s little sister and friends to lovers tropes, all of which are in play here.

Cooper is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Renegades, a fictional NFL team. He’s up for contract renewal and unfortunately the team owner’s sister is hitting on him without mercy. He is not interested but he doesn’t want to rock the boat by complaining about the sexual harassment he’s receiving for fear of ruining his chances to stay with his beloved team. So his good friend Violet steps up and helps him out. Only the pretense reveals real feelings to Cooper, who then has a whole nother set of problems. His best buddy is very frowny about the whole thing and what if Violet doesn’t feel the same way?

The Hot One by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Andi Arndt & Zachary Webber

lower face and torso of hot guy in business attire stripping off his gray shirtWhy I read it:  This is one from my own TBL.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Ever notice that sometimes a guy will do something really stupid, like let the love of his life slip through his fingers?

Yeah. I’m that guy. But the moment I run into the woman I once loved madly, I’ve got one goal and one goal only—a second chance. The plan? Go big or go home.

Fine, at first glance, stripping naked at my ex-girlfriend’s place of work might not seem like the brightest way to win her heart again. But trust me on this count—she always liked me best without any clothes on. And you’ve got to play to your strengths when you’re fighting an uphill battle. As a lawyer, I know how to fight, and I’m prepared to fight hard for her. Because sometimes you need a second chance at first love.

He’s the one who got away . . .

The nerve of Tyler Nichols to reappear like that at my job, showing off his rock-hard body that drove me wild far too many nights. That man with his knowing grin and mischievous eyes is nothing but a cocky jerk to saunter back into my life. Except, what if he’s not . . .? I’ve tried like hell to forget him, but maybe I’m cursed to remember the guy I fell madly in love with eight years ago. Lord knows I’m not over him, so what’s the harm in giving him a week to prove he’s changed in the ways that matter?

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  When The Hot One first began, I was a little dubious. Tyler is a very gung-ho kind of guy and some of his actions, interpreted through a different lens, could have landed him in asshole territory. Fortunately for him, much of the scene where Tyler turns up naked at Delaney’s workplace (and the context matters here – she is a massage therapist) is told from her POV and while she had some misgivings and thought he was being outrageous, she didn’t freak out. So I decided not to either.

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