Eight Audiobook Mini-Reviews

Posted January 6, 2018 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 4 Comments

Okay, with this post I’m going to wrap up my last reviews for books I read/listened to in 2017. Every review after today will be for a book I read in 2018.  Man does it feel good to be caught up!

The first three audiobooks are all from the same series, the Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren.  Love this series, love this author!  And these books and novellas only cemented my love.

Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard #3):

Published:  October 29th, 2013
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from library
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  5 stars

Normally I’m not much of a fan of the older man trope, but I was okay with this one.  Because first of all, I love Hanna!  So much about her, except for probably the super-smart bit, was a lot like me.  The being too honest, blurting things out, and other stuff.  Once again Sebastian York was the male narrator, and I wasn’t sure about when he would do the British friend’s accent. But since that wasn’t the main character, it was okay. 

This had the usual steamy sex scenes that I love by this author.  And the humor, and the drama, and I loved getting to see Max and Chloe and all the other past characters. 

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

A bombshell bookworm. A chronic Casanova. And a lesson in chemistry too scandalous for school.

When Hanna Bergstrom receives a lecture from her overprotective brother about neglecting her social life and burying herself in grad school, she’s determined to tackle his implied assignment: get out, make friends, start dating. And who better to turn her into the sultry siren every man wants than her brother’s gorgeous best friend, Will Sumner, venture capitalist and unapologetic playboy?

Will takes risks for a living, but he’s skeptical about this challenge of Hanna’s…until the wild night his innocently seductive pupil tempts him into bed- and teaches him a thing or two about being with a woman he can’t forget. Now that Hanna’s discovered the power of her own sex appeal, it’s up to Will to prove he’s the only man she’ll ever need. 

Beautiful Beloved (Beautiful Bastard #3.6):

Published:  February 2nd, 2015
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from library
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  5 stars 

This was a short novella, that went back to Sara and Max from Beautiful Stranger.  That was a 5 star read for me as well. This book revisits the after Sara’s first pregnancy and takes place after Beautiful Player.  We also meet Max’s brother in this one, Niall, who is in book 4.  Now I’ve read book 4, but I kind of want to go back and listen to it like I’ve done with all the rest in this series.  I don’t remember it quite as well as I do the others. I think I need another shot at it.  

This has a lot of really realistic parts about being a first time parent, and things about being a first time mom that I assume are very realistic, not that I’d know. But I loved this all the same!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

The seventh work in the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling series that started with the Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player novels. Featuring all the Beautifulcharacters…plus one tiny new addition to the group.

In Beautiful Stranger , finance whiz Sara Dillon met the irresistibly sexy Brit, Max Stella, at a New York City club. Through the series we’ve watched them learn to balance commitment with their less than private brand of playfulness. In Beautiful Beloved, Max and Sara take it to the next step. But the question is: Will they be able to find a balance between the wild sexcapades they aren’t ready to retire, and the demands of parenthood that come along with their new Beautiful bundle of joy? Parenthood: it’s not for the weak of heart.  

Beautiful Boss (Beautiful Bastard #4.5):

Published:  February 29th, 2016
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from library
Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  4 stars 

I loved that we got to go back to Hanna and Will.  But Hanna made me very angry in this one.  Why didn’t she just talk to him?  The lack of communication between her and Will is what kept me from loving this one as much as the others, especially since so much about Hanna reminds me of myself.  I did love all the fun packing scenes.  The comic that was Will’s first, ahem, self-love inspiration.  I did laugh a lot, even cried a bit too.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

One Player tamed. One nerd girl satisfied. And one more major life decision to make. When Will fell for Hanna, her quirky sense of humor and fierce dedication to her career were part of the attraction. (Not to mention her coy newbie attitude toward sex and her willingness to let him teach her everything.) But when the job offers start rolling in for her—and oh, they do—Hanna has trouble deciding what she wants, where they should live, and how much she should burden Will with the decision. Magic between the sheets is only one part of a relationship…getting on the same page is quite another altogether. 

The next three books are all from the Pucked series by Helena Hunting.  Another new author I’m totally in love with.  And I might have to start looking into hockey players, real live ones.

Pucked Up (Pucked #2):

Published:  October 19th, 2015
Source:  Digital audiobook purchased from Audible

Genre:  New adult sports romance
My rating:  5 stars

I loved Violet in the first book, Pucked.  This second book is told from her step-brother’s point of view. We don’t get Sunny’s point of view, which works best for this story.   The sad thing is that I started reading these stories because of my coloring book as well as the fact that the author is going to be at Apollycon this year.  I was going to be a volunteer again, but I just can’t afford to do it this year.  So now I don’t get to meet the author, who I’m again, totally blown away by.  I loved Miller’s story.  Although I’ll always think of him as a Yeti, thanks to Violet.  I really found Miller to be a sweetie.  Even the way he took care of his sister was sweet.  There were parts that made me laugh, and parts that made me cry.  And then, the spider bite, I mean that was hilarious!  And even though I’m not a guy, the part describing the needle draining the spider bite made me cringe and even get a bit queasy myself.  Love, love, love this series.  

Here is the synopsis on Goodreads:

Miller “Buck” Butterson has been banging his way through life ever since a puck to the face fixed his messed up front teeth, and he was drafted into the NHL during his first year of college. After five years of deflecting goals on the ice and scoring them with puck bunnies across the Continental US and parts of Canada, Miller is ready for a girlfriend. A real girlfriend of the non-bunny variety. One he takes on dates and doesn’t jump into bed with after five seconds of conversation.

Miller thinks he’s found that woman in his teammate’s sister. Except, unlike Alex Waters, center, team captain and all round nice guy—who happens to be dating his step-sister—Miller’s manwhore reputation is well earned, and not blown out of proportion by the media. Beyond that minor detail, Miller doesn’t know the first thing about having a girlfriend. But he’s determined to make it happen. 

What he doesn’t take into account is the amount of time and effort relationships require, or that constantly letting bunnies take selfies with him to post all over social media isn’t going to win him any points in the boyfriend department. Miller learns—not so quickly—that if he wants to make Sunshine “Sunny” Waters fall for him, he going to have to do a whole lot more than show her his stick skills in the bedroom. 

A Pucked Holiday Outtake (Pucked #1.1):

Published:  December 9th, 2015
Source:  Free chapter online:  http://helenahunting.com/books/outtakes/pucked-outtake/

Genre:  New adult sports romance
My rating:  5 stars

This was really just one chapter, and it was perfect to read right at Christmas as it was about a fun gift that Violet gave Alex.  If you’ve read the first book, you’ll remember when she dressed up the MC as a superhero.  Well, she comes up with a fun Christmas type of dress up/activity for the MC.  It’s hilarious. That’s all I’m going to say. There is no synopsis for this one, so I can’t really share that.  You can go read it yourself for free at the link above. 

Pucked Over (Pucked #3):

Published:  January 22nd, 2016
Source:  Digital audiobook purchased from Audible

Genre:  New adult sports romance
My rating:  5 stars

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this, since I really was not a fan of Lily in Miller’s book.  But there was a short sample of this book at the end of book 2, and I thought I might be able to get over it.  And I did.  In the end I really, really liked the book.  Lily wasn’t as bad as I thought. And then there is Randy, Randy Ballistic.  Who every time Violet is around him, she gets all awkward and laughs, and just dies at his nickname of “Randy Balls”.  I mean, who can blame her?  Now, the whole man-bun thing that he had going, well, yuck.  Glad the guy on the cover didn’t sport one.  I don’t like those.  But let me tell you what, there were things about Randy that I didn’t see coming, and I liked the way they were very different from things you find in other books.  And the fact that Randy was the king of getting dirty down under?  Well, that puts him top in my book.  He did make me mad when Lily told him she couldn’t do the casual anymore since it was getting intense.  And then he got mad at her for doing what he’d told her to do!  Anyway, I loved it, and I can’t wait for the next book!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all. 

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene. 

Casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to gets pucked over. 

Beneath These Scars (Beneath #4) by Meghan March:

Published:  January 22nd, 2016
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from library

Genre:  Adult contemporary romance
My rating:  5 stars

Now from the first books, you’ll hate Lucas Titan, but in this book we get to know him a little better.  Once again we get the wonderful Sebastian York narrating and that alone is enough to make it very sexy.  Yve was also an interesting girl, although sometimes she irritated me a bit with her running.  Now I was definitely left wondering exactly who was after her. But she had a past that was dark, and one that took an interesting turn at the end.  Made for some very dramatic moments, and something you’d expect for sure from the author.  I’m loving this series more and more as I read on.  I’ll be sad when I finish reading it.  But at least there are three more to go.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

I’m the guy you love to hate. 

In every story in my life, I seem to end up playing the villain—and I’ve got the scars to prove it.

That role works fine for me, because I’m sure as hell not anyone’s hero. 

I run my life and my empire with an iron fist—until she knocks my tightly controlled world off its axis.

She’s nobody’s damsel in distress, but I can’t help but want to save her anyway.

I guess we’re about to find out if there’s a hero buried … beneath these scars. 

Dark Wild Night (Wild Seasons #3) by Christina Lauren:

Published:  September 15th, 2015
Source:  Digital audiobook downloaded from the library/finished reading physical copy of book I purchased

Genre:  New adult contemporary romance
My rating:  4 stars

So, I couldn’t listen to the whole audiobook, I ended up having to pick up a physical book and read it.  The male narrator was the same guy who does Hardin on the After series audiobooks, which I’ve listened to many times, so I just couldn’t see him as Oliver.  Plus, Oliver is Australian, and the accent was too British.  I did pick up the book to finish it though, and while it was good, I’m not the hugest fan of Lola.  I loved their couple name, Loliver!  And towards the end I was too much left hanging where I could barely put it down.  So I loved Oliver, but Lola irritated me, but I did want them together.  I would say I missed having Ansel, but otherwise loved the story.  I hate that there’s really only one more book, although I will love Not-Joe’s story too.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
But what didn’t happen in Vegas seems to follow them everywhere.

Lola and Oliver like to congratulate themselves on having the good sense to not consummate their drunken Las Vegas wedding. If they’d doubled-down on that mistake, their Just Friends situation might not be half as great as it is now.

… Or so goes the official line.

In reality, Lola’s wanted Oliver since day one—and over time has only fallen harder for his sexy Aussie accent and easygoing ability to take her as she comes. More at home in her studio than in baring herself to people, Lola’s instinctive comfort around Oliver nearly seems too good to be true. So why ruin a good thing?

Even as geek girls fawn over him, Oliver can’t get his mind off what he didn’t do with Lola when he had the chance. He knows what he wants with her now … and it’s far outside the friend zone. When Lola’s graphic novel starts getting national acclaim—and is then fast-tracked for a major motion picture—Oliver steps up to be there for her whenever she needs him. After all, she’s not the kind of girl who likes all that attention, but maybe she’s the kind who’ll eventually like him.

Sometimes seeing what’s right in front of us takes a great leap of faith. And sometimes a dark wild night in Vegas isn’t just the end of a day, but the beginning of a bright new life… 

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