Six Contemporary Romance Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Posted October 24, 2017 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

Ah!  I meant to post these last Tuesday but got behind.  And just to make it a little easier as I post about each one below, all of them were borrowed digitally from my local library.  So here you go!

Last Call (Cocktail Series #4.5) by Alice Clayton:

Published:  January 6th, 2015
My rating:  5 stars

As always, I loved this book and these characters.  I loved having all the cameos of couples from past books, as well as the characters we know and love from Simon and Caroline’s stories.  Especially Viv and Clarke, who are my favorites.  Now even though you get a good idea about what is going to happen from the synopsis, below my review, it still had tears in my eyes when it happened.  I know this is the end of the series, but our good friend Clive the cat does the epilogue again, and it makes me want so bad a short story where we get to see how the Wallbanger does as a daddy.  I guess this will kind of fit in with my Series Ender Challenge goal.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
From USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton, known for her “deliciously addictive” (The Book Vixen) novels, this Cocktail series novella reunites readers with Caroline and Simon from the wildly successful Wallbanger.

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.

Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.

The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.

It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

Salvaged (Saints of Denver #4) by Jay Crownover:

Published:  June 20th, 2017
My rating:  5 stars

I got all the way to the epilogue and then my checkout of this audiobook expired and I had to wait about two weeks before I could recheck it out!  But this was definitely a great ending to a beloved series.  And while I’m pretty new to the Crownover books, only about two years ago did I start reading them, I am such a huge fan now.  Poppy’s story was one that kept me in tears a lot.  And then there was Wheeler.  I really adored him.  The dog’s name was perfect, Happy.  Just loved it!  While there were some things I kind of think were pretty easy to figure out, the guy with the Hudson for one, I was definitely sad by other things that happened that I just hoped for better.  However Crownover’s books are pretty real, not all fluffy happy endings, the happy endings are earned for sure.  But I do have to say that Crownover knows how to do an epilogue to end a series.  You get pretty much everything you want to know answered, and while you might still wish to follow the characters on down the road later, you’re not left feeling as if things aren’t finished.  I loved all the glimpses we got of Rule and Rome and all the other Marked Men.  I know I need to go back and read Nash’s book again, and probably Rowdy as well.  I will miss these characters even with their stories all done.  And I really do wish that we could have seen the front of Wheeler in the picture on the cover of the book like we did with all the others.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men books continues her delightfully sexy Saints of Denver series.

Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancée who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes. 

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him. 

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it. 

Beneath These Chains (Beneath Series #3) by Meghan March:

Published:  June 10th, 2015
My rating:  5 stars

I really ended up enjoying this one a lot!  I was still on the fence about Sebastian York as a narrator when I started this, but by the end I came to really like his voice.  This book definitely made me want another tattoo, not that it is that hard to make me want that these days.  Just the money and the for sure design for the next one are missing still.  There definitely was a twist at the end of this, but I liked how we did get a little bit of a peek into some of the other characters from past books.  Towards the end I got a little worried that there were too many things left, but it was so close to the end that I was unsure how it could all get wrapped up. But the author did a great job with it.  Now I’m looking forward to hopefully listening to the next book, and I’m kind of hoping it will be about Lucas Titan!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
I was raised on the streets, so I know things are rarely as simple as they appear—especially this rich girl showing up at my pawnshop demanding a job.

She’s the most tempting thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ll be damned if I can make her leave.

Shit just got complicated … but when it comes to her—I want complicated.

We’re both fighting our own demons, and our only chance at a future is to let go of the past.

But will we be strong enough to break free from beneath these chains?

Dirty Rowdy Thing (Wild Seasons #2) by Christina Lauren:

Published:  November 4th, 2014
My rating:  5 stars

Seeing a trend with my ratings on all of these?  I have been listening to some AWESOME audiobooks lately!  And once again I got to listen to Sebastian York as the narrator, and I was unsure how I would like it. But you know what?  He worked out fine.  While he has a very distinctive voice, he is definitely able to vary it enough that you do get to fall into the current character based on the author’s writing, as opposed to being stuck in just the character you may have just listened to him voicing.  There were sweet parts, and pretty sexy parts.   Honestly?  I don’t normally enjoy any kind of bondage in stories, but something about Finn, and the way he was about it, well, I might change my mind a bit.  I never understand again why Harlow couldn’t just talk to him.  Of anyone that would have understood, it was Finn.  I did love the times we got to see Ansel, I think Ansel will always be my favorite, it is just his goofy sense of humor.  But Finn, a manly man, you have to have the hots for him.  And I like how Harlow went about it at the end to try to get him back.  Definitely can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
From the New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player, Book Two of the brand-new Wild Seasons series that started with Sweet Filthy Boy – a story of friends, love, and lust.

Despite their rowdy hookups, Harlow and Finn don’t even like each other… which would explain why their marriage lasted only 12 hours. He needs to be in charge and takes whatever he wants. She lives by the Want-something-done? Do-it-yourself mantra. Maybe she’s too similar to the rugged fisherman – or just what he needs.

Until Friday Night (The Field Party #1) by Abbi Glines:

Published:  August 25th, 2015
My rating:  4 stars

So, I’d tried to read/listen to another series by Abbi Glines, but couldn’t get into it.  This year I decided I’d give her another try since she’s going to be at Apollycon in March, which I am planning to attend, well as a volunteer again.  Well, this was the one to go with.  The weird thing is that I ended up, for the third book in a row, listening to Sebastian York as a narrator.  But just like with the last book, he was able to take his very distinctive voice and fit it to the character he was voicing.  This was an audiobook that was so hard to stop listening to, and as I was listening in my car, that made getting out and going into work in the morning really hard.  For the most part it was really good, if not kind of sad.  A few things irritated me, like the fact that Maggie waited forever to talk to her family. And then the whole sex thing seemed kind of fast to me, but what do I know.  I also got irritated with what Maggie did towards the end, one of the big final issues.  But I liked the way the author resolved that conflict.  I will definitely be listening to more books in the series.  And I feel this is one that I can actually purchase for my students, as it is definitely a high school aged book.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go… 

Slow Burn (Driven Series #5) by K. Bromberg:

Published:  February 24th, 2015
My rating:  5 stars

This was a very sad book in a lot of parts, and actually ended up being a somewhat timely read, in that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and the main character is dealing with the fear of getting it herself after her sister died from it, and her mother had it as well.  It was another story that was so hard to stop listening to when I had to go to work.  But it also had some very sexy scenes.  I got mad at Haddie for not telling Becks, or Riley.  Her reasoning was so selfish it just made me so mad.  I get it, I understood what she was thinking, but it still made me mad that she kept doing what she did to Becks.  In the end I liked how everything went.  I was unsure whether the author would make it a completely HEA, and it did go that way, but the breast cancer did really become a real issue, and I loved the bon voyage party they gave Haddie.  I do love these characters, it was especially so much fun to get the banter between Colton and Becks.  Those two crack me up.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
One Night. That’s all it was supposed to be.

Reeling from the sudden loss of her sister, Haddie Montgomery has sworn off relationships. All she wanted from Beckett Daniels was a sexy distraction to help her escape her pain for just a little while….There weren’t supposed to be any strings attached—so why can’t she shake the memory of that unforgettable night from her thoughts? Or the taste of his kiss from her lips?

No matter how hard Haddie tries to forget about him, Becks relentlessly tries to prove that she should start living for today. But she is determined to avoid romantic commitment, and she can always use her ex-boyfriend’s reappearance to help snuff out the slow burn within her that Becks has sparked….

Or will fate force her to realize that this kind of connection doesn’t come along very often and a chance at love is worth the risk? 

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6 responses to “Six Contemporary Romance Audiobook Mini-Reviews

  1. I've read one Alice Clayton and enjoyed it and can imagine that it would be fantastic on audio! Jay Crownover and Abbi Glines are two authors on my TBR. Great reviews!

  2. I love Clayton. She knows how to rom-com for sure. Salvaged was so bitter sweet for me, because I am such a huge Marked fan, and now we leave the world forever. *a moment of silence* Glines is one of my guilty pleasure authors. I always get what I expect from her. She never blows me away, but her books satisfy the soap opera lover in me (though I never watched soaps – go figure). I thought this series got better with each book. I liked the last book the most, and if it is the end, it was good ender.

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