Audiobook Review: Did Not Finish

I have been listening to audiobooks on my commute to and from work, because I cannot handle anymore of the election coverage on NPR (my usual radio station) or political commercials (on my alternative music channel).

Did Not Finish was cute, but definitely had a predictable plot and ending. Which is okay with me – sometimes I want and enjoy the predictability of the romcom storyline.

While there was some steam, the smuttiest scenes were “fade to black.”

I loved the descriptions of Axel’s home are so cozy – I would love to find an actual resort or Airbnb like this to stay in, curl up by the fireplace.

As for the audio, the narrators weren’t my favorite. The book was narrated by Kendra Murray and Connor Brown. I found Murray to be slightly robotic in the beginning, but smoothed out (or maybe I got used to her voice?) by the middle of the book. Brown, on the other hand, was very difficult for me to understand, and sometimes I would miss entire words or phrases because I couldn’t make out what he said.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the advanced audio copy of Did Not Finish.

Review: Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man

LaQuette is officially becoming one of my favorite go-to romance writers. Because, damn does she know how to write one smokin’ hot smut scene – and her male main characters are the real deal (I mean, where can I find my own Sheriff Michael!?)

I absolutely enjoyed Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man as an audiobook, which was narrated by Denise Wallace. Wallace did a fabulous job with the  different voices, pacing, and putting some extra sizzle into her voice during the hotter scenes in the book.

I truly loved that this was not just a romance, but a woman who was emerging from the cocoon she had built for herself after her divorce and extorting her power – her independence – in a new relationship. While Vanessa could easily have come off as a wealthy, stuck up, snob – she didn’t.

It was also refreshing to read a romance novel where the main characters aren’t fresh-faced (Vanessa is in her 40s) and with lots of diversity! Michael and his sister are Korean and that is a big part of their background and who they are.

LaQuette’s Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man publishes September 20, 2022.

Thank you to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for the advanced listening copy!

Review: I Hate You More

A romcom with all the doggies – you know I was all over this one! I listened to I Hate You More as an audiobook, and it was such a fun listen!

Ruby is a former pageant queen, but is now a nurse’s aide at a retirement home. But when one of those residents asks Ruby to show dog at the local dog show, Ruby breaks out her former beauty queen tricks.

The only problem standing in Ruby’s way is Spencer – who runs the dog show and is set on keeping her dog, Wheezy out of the show.

I couldn’t help but love the dynamic between Caleb and Spencer, and Spencer and Ruby. Oh, and Mrs. Orson stole every scene she was in.

This was perfect light, summer reading – not too heavy, not too steamy (a little steam), and not too serious.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the audio review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review: When Sparks Fly

Whoo! When Sparks Fly was quite a ride! I’m glad I listened to this one as an audiobook – I was sucked in immediately.

When roomies Avery and Declan are forced to spend more time together after Avery is severely injured, feelings for each other begin to bubble to the surface.

I did find it odd how quickly Declan offered to assist (*eye waggle*) Avery with her predicament. I mean, seriously.

At the beginning it did feel a little like Stockholm Syndrome leading to the romance. I mean, Avery and Declan are stuck together all day and Avery is reliant on Declan for everything.

But, I did wind up liking the chemistry between Avery and Declan, though. The author really laid the groundwork of them as friends. And I really like Avery’s sisters and Spark House. I hope to see more of them in future books!

Review: A Spindle Splintered

A Spindle Splintered was a fun and unique retelling of the Sleeping Beauty tale. After an industrial accident when she was young, Zinnia was left with a rare condition. The one thing that is known about her disease is no one has lived past the age of 21.

Growing up, she has had an almost obsession with the Sleeping Beauty tale. For her 21st birthday, her best friend surprises her with a birthday bash and tops it off with a spinning wheel. When Zinnia pricks her finger, though, rather than falling asleep, she is transported to another dimension and meets another cursed girl.

I really liked how the author didn’t just use the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty – there are so many more interpretations of this story.

This was a short read and I am definitely looking forward to more if Alix E. Harrow writes more fractured fairytales.

I listened to this as an audiobook thanks to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley.

Review: Queen of the Owls

I’m going to start off by saying, I might not have been the right reader for Queen of the Owls.

Elizabeth is a PhD candidate in art history whose dissertation is on Georgia O’Keefe.

Elizabeth has issues in her relationship with her husband. Honestly, this could have been set in the 50s, when when women were expected to be caretakers of the house and children and not work outside of the home. While Elizabeth in a PhD student and teaches classes, she also takes care of the children and the house. When her husband has to take care of the kids one night, he is cranky when she gets home.

I will say, I did learn a lot about O’Keefe while listening to this book and I did enjoy the narrator. But I had a difficult time connecting with Elizabeth and this story.

Thank you to BookSparks for the ALC of Queen of the Owls.

Review: You May Kiss the Groomsman

I’m not sure what it was, but something about You May Kiss the Groomsman just wasn’t for me.

To begin with, I didn’t really care for the main female character – Josie. Josie and her girlfriends own Meet me at the Alter – a wedding planning company. And while Josie wants the fall in love, settle down, have babies, etc. She has watched her friends get engaged, married, have babies, but she doesn’t see that happening for herself anytime soon, so she agrees to fake marry her friend Tyler so he can get a promotion at work.

Okay – let’s stop here. I have SO many issues with this. Number one – you can’t plan YOUR life around the milestones your friends are hitting. It’s great your BFF got married. It’s wonderful your sister had a baby! It doesn’t mean you time is ticking to do the same thing.

And number two! (Imagine me wagging my finger at this book!) If your boss requires you to be MARRIED for a PROMOTION maybe you need to revaluate where you’re working. That’s ridiculous for 2021.

Oh, and third – Josie falls for her friend’s brother (love triangle anyone?). However, the only time we see them spending together is with the parents or in bed. I’m not sure you can fall in love with a person if you don’t spend actual, quality time together (outside of the bedroom).

The narrator for the audiobook was good though – loved her!

Thanks to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the ALC in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone

How can you make a cute romcom even cuter? Add a dog shelter full of adorable pups and a hot veterinarian. Since You’ve Been Gone is a fun second chance romance read, the perfect summer read!

When Garrett comes home to Magnolia Sound, he encounters Emma, the girl he was friends with throughout their schools years, and who he had a crush on the whole time.

I truly loved the romantic tension and the build up between Garrett and Emma. And once the two are together its even cuter and more swoon worthy.

What I really liked – versus the last couple romances I’ve listened to, Emma didn’t feel the need to drop the “L” word immediately.

There was some light steam, but overall this was a fun, light read. Since You’ve Been Gone is the 8th book in the Magnolia Sound series, but it worked as a standalone for me.

I listened to Since You’ve Been Gone as an audiobook, and Carly Robins was such a great narrator.

Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the audio review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: Once Upon a Royal Summer

For a girl who loves Disney and has always dreamt of being a princess, Once Upon a Royal Summer was such a fun read.

Lacey plays Princess Sweet Pea at a popular fairytale theme park in southern Florida. When she meets a real Prince Henry of Bella-Mortiz pretending to be average American tourist with his daughter at the park.

I can’t decide which was sweeter, Lacey spending time with Henry and Rose at the theme park as their VIP guide, or Lacey in Bella-Mortiz for the Flower Festival.

Lacey is freaking adorable. I listened to Once Upon a Royal Summer on audiobook and listened to the whole thing in one sitting. It was such a great summer feel good read.

Book Review: Shoulder Season

Shoulder Season was an enjoyable story to listen to however I didn’t really feel like Sherri grew as a person throughout the book. At 19, Sherri interviews at the Playboy Resort in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

I honestly didn’t love Sherri throughout the entirety of the book. She grated on my nerves, she has a blasé attitude about everything and is incredibly naive. She also doesn’t think about anyone else around her.

That said, I really did enjoy the lush descriptions of Wisconsin, the resort, the cabin.

The narrator Karissa Vacker was truly enjoyable and brought the story to life. 

Overall, I didn’t love this book, but it was a fun and fluffy summer read.