L-L-L-Little Reviews #29: 6 Overdue Audiobook Reviews

Posted June 5, 2021 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 6 Comments

So, I am way behind again. Basically since probably the last time I did one of these types of posts back in February. And actually, the first book I’m going to talk about is the most recent one I’ve listened to, but I actually read it as a book for the first time back in 2017. And I kind of want to change the rating I gave it. But I’ll explain it below!

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsBeard in Mind by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #4
Narrator: Chris Brinkley, Angela Dawe
Published by Cipher-Naught on November 8, 2017
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 13:32
Source: Pitchlit PR, Publisher, Purchased
Format: ARC, Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Goodreads
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NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, & USA TODAY bestselling seriesSemi Finalist: Goodreads Choice Awards, Best Romance 2017
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever. She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

My Review:

So, technically I read this one back in 2017 for a blog tour. And you can read my original review HERE. At the time, this was only the 2nd book I’d read by Penny Reid, and you can tell that a lot from my review I think. Now, about 4 years later, and having read pretty much the whole Winston Brothers universe and beyond, I got so much more out of this story. So much that I’m marking my rating up from the original 4 stars, to a full 5 stars of SmartyPants Romance love!

Love, Lacey Donovan (Blue Ridge Book Club #1) by Jill Brashear:

I received this book for free from Audible Escape, Audiobookworm Productions in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsLove, Lacey Donovan by Jill Brashear
Series: Blue Ridge Book Club #1
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Adult Contemporary Romance
Length: 08:38
Source: Audible Escape, Audiobookworm Productions
Format: ARC, Audiobook
My Rating: three-stars
Goodreads
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My book boyfriends go with me everywhere. I prefer them tall, dark, and handsome, but I don’t discriminate. They sweep me off my feet, are always just my type, and are there for me whenever I need them—in my purse, in my car, and even in my bathtub. Book boyfriends may not be real, but at least they won’t break my heart… or get another girl pregnant. I don’t do messy and complicated. That’s why I can’t fall for Beckett. With his Clark Kent glasses, he’s a superhero in disguise. And his superpower? Melting panties with a single glance.It took me seven years to mend my broken heart, and I’m not about to hand it over to any man without a fight. Especially a man like Beckett’s, a buttoned-up businessman with horrible taste in music. Even though his wicked charm, broody stares, and washboard abs are a tempting combination, I’ll never fall in love again.The problem is, I don’t want Beckett between the pages—I want him between the sheets.

My Review:

So I technically read this for a blog tour, which you can check out HERE. However, since I only rated it 3 stars, this tour group doesn’t want you to post the review until after the tour if it is under 3.5 stars. And that is fine with me. The book started out really pretty good for me. I liked the story a lot, but had some issues with some of the writing or way things were written. Like during the steamy moments, there was a lot of non-sex words, I don’t even know how to explain it. Just things that didn’t seem to fit in and keep me in the moment. Like thinking about stuff that had nothing to do with what was actually going on. I actually fast forwarded through a couple of those scenes because of that. And if you know me, I don’t fast forward through those parts. Then, her thoughts and problems with pen names was rude and wrong for any good romance reader to have. There are reasons why people use pen names, and it has nothing to do with the complaints she had. I liked her reviews a lot for awhile, but then towards the end, she reviewed what sounded very similar to some of my favorite authors – Christina Lauren and/or Jana Aston, and gave very bad reviews to them. So that made me dislike that character even more. And I think her issue was ridiculous in the end. So I was loving the book till the end really. I gave it 3 stars, but that was kind of nice really for how many problems I had with it in the end.

Random Acts of Crazy (Random #1)by Julia Kent:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsRandom Acts of Crazy by Julia Kent
Series: Random #1
on December 25, 2013
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Rock Star Romance
Length: 08:18
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Goodreads

I never intended to pick up a naked hitchhiker wearing nothing but a guitar. A guitar. Really. I don't collect guys like that (don't ask what kind of guys I do collect), but when you spot a blonde, tanned, sculpted man with a gorgeous smile and his thumb poking up and practically begging you to stop – you stop.
And I definitely never thought I'd be staring into the bright blue eyes of Trevor Connor, the lead singer for Random Acts of Crazy, an indie rock star I followed like the slobbering fileshare fangirl I am. How he came to be nude and lost six hundred miles from home is quite the tale, but how we fell in love is even more unreal.
Because someone like Trevor Connor, headed to Harvard Law next year, isn't supposed to want someone like me, a rural Ohio chick majoring in Boredom at Convenience Store University who is all curves and frizzy blonde hair and manners so unpolished they have sharp edges that make you bleed.
But he did.
When his best friend, Joe Ross, the bass player for Random Acts of Crazy and a man who makes Calvin Klein models look like Shrek, drove eleven hours through the night to rescue him, though, it got real complicated. It's one thing to like two different guys and be torn.
What do you do, though, when maybe – just maybe – you don't have to choose?
As my Aunt Josie says sometimes, "It's always complicated."
* * * * * *Random Acts of Crazy is a standalone, full-length novel (300+ pages, 85,000 words) featuring Darla Jo(sephine) Jennings, the 22-year-old niece of Josie Mendham from the Her Two Billionaires series. It has, like many New Adult novels, an exploration of sexuality for the three main characters, doesn't shy away from mature content, and Darla has a sailor's mouth.

My Review:

So, I don’t know how, but somehow I got all the books in this series for free. I think the author had some special in her newsletter or something. But I started the series and I loved this one! It was so wacky and funny and steamy. At times there were things about Darla that I totally connected with. And honestly, the story was a little bit risque in the way it went. But I was totally okay with that and really kind of loved it a bit. Now I have started the second book, but so far I’m not loving those characters as much as I did these. Especially the girl in that one, she’s irritating me a little. But I’ll get back to finish it or try at some point.

Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsClanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish, Diana Gabaldon
Narrator: Sam Heughan, Graham McTavish
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on November 3, 2020
Genres: Nonfiction
Length: 10:22
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Goodreads
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A ROAD TRIP BOOK WITH A DIFFERENCE. STARS OF 'OUTLANDER' - SAM HEUGHAN AND GRAHAM McTAVISH - EXPLORE SCOTLAND, A LAND OF RAW BEAUTY, POETRY, FEUDING, MUSIC, HISTORY AND WARFARE.
Narrated by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, with a foreword written and read by Diana Gabaldon.
From their faithful camper van to boats, kayaks, bicycles, and motorbikes, join stars of Outlander Sam and Graham on a road trip with a difference, as two Scotsmen explore a land of raw beauty, poetry, feuding, music, history, and warfare.
Unlikely friends Sam and Graham begin their journey in the heart of Scotland at Glencoe and travel from there all the way to Inverness and Culloden battlefield, where along the way they experience adventure and a cast of highland characters. In this story of friendship, finding themselves, and whisky, they discover the complexity, rich history and culture of their native country.
RUNNING TIME => 10hrs.
©2020 Diana Gabaldon, Graham McTavish, Sam Heughan (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

My review:

So I’ve probably mentioned a time or two about how big a fan of the Outlander tv series I am. You might also have seen a mention here or there about my sister who moved to Scotland in the fall of 2019, which was right before the lovely pandemic hit. My family had planned to go stay with her for a week at Thanksgiving in 2020, but of course that didn’t happen. We may or may not do it this year. But getting to listen to this audiobook was so much fun! Actually, almost more fun than the tv series ended up being. After listening to the book, when the tv series came on, I expected so much more than we actually got on the show. So I’m glad there was this book to fill in the extras. The chemistry between Sam and Graham was so hilarious, a perfect bromance all the way! I laughed so much while listening to the two of them bickering and being sarcastic with each other. But I also learned a lot about Scotland, and of course have an even longer list of places I want to visit when/if I do ever get to visit my sister there. Now I had to buy the physical copy of the book as well. Even though I haven’t had a chance yet to actually look through the pictures in it, I knew that I would want to. In fact here is my Instagram photo from when I bought the book, it includes little Outlander goodies, as well as something my sister got me from Scotland.

Ready Player Two (Ready Player One #2) by Ernest Cline:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsReady Player Two by Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One #2
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Random House Audio on November 24, 2020
Genres: Adult Royal Romance, Adult Science Fiction
Length: 13:46
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Format: ARC, Audiobook
My Rating: five-stars
Goodreads
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An unexpected quest. Two worlds at stake. Are you ready?
Days after Oasis founder James Halliday's contest, Wade Watts makes a discovery that changes everything. Hidden within Halliday's vault, waiting for his heir to find, lies a technological advancement that will once again change the world and make the Oasis thousand times more wondrous, and addictive, than even Wade dreamed possible. With it comes a new riddle and a new quest. The last Easter egg from Halliday, hinting at a mysterious prize. And an unexpected, impossibly powerful, and dangerous new rival awaits, one who will kill millions to get what he wants. Wade's life and the future of the Oasis are again at stake, but this time the fate of humanity also hangs in the balance.
Kindle Audiobook duration - 13 Hrs. 47 Minutes

My Review:

So I loved the first book, Ready Player One, which I also listened to the audiobook. Both were narrated by Wil Wheaton, which is perfect for this story. And this one did not disappoint with all of the 80s nostalgia and pop culture stuff that I loved with the first one as well. There were even little details that totally related to the world we lived in during 2020 and the pandemic. There were so many new planets in the Oasis that we learned about in this book. There is a Prince planet, and a John Hughes planet! I even learned about a John Hughes movie I’d never heard of before. This one made me wish even more than the first one that there was a real Oasis world I could go visit all the different planets of my favorite pop culture icons and movies and books, etc. The movie for the first book was as to be expected, not anywhere near as good as the book, and a lot of things changed that made it not so great. This book was a great sequel. I don’t know that I want to see it as a movie after how the first movie went. But maybe they could take both books and turn them into the short series type of movies you see on streaming services these days. I highly recommend this one, although as with the first one, I think you really need to listen to the audiobook to get the full enjoyment of it.

Call Me Maybe (Love Lines #1) by Cara Bastone:

L-L-L-Little Reviews #29:  6 Overdue Audiobook ReviewsCall Me Maybe by Cara Bastone
Series: Love Lines #1
Narrator: Luci Christian, Neil Hellegers
Published by Audible Originals on October 20, 2020
Genres: Adult Romantic Comedy
Length: 05:55
Source: Audible Plus
Format: Audiobook
My Rating: four-half-stars
Goodreads
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Listening Length: 5 hours and 55 minutes
True love is on the line in this charming, laugh-out-loud rom-com—created specifically for the audio format!
Paint your toes. Pick up the wrong coffee and bagel order. Drive from Brooklyn to Jersey in traffic so slow you want to tear your hair out. It’s amazing all the useless things I can accomplish while on hold for three hours with customer service. Three hours when I should be getting the Date-in-a-Box website ready to launch at the big business expo in a few days. Except my shiny new website is glitching, and my inner rage-monster is ready to scorch some earth… when he finally picks up. Not the robot voice I expected but a real live human named Cal. He’s surprisingly helpful and really knows his stuff, even if he’s a little awkward…. in an adorable way.
And suddenly I’m flirting with him? And I think he’s flirting back.And suddenly it’s been hours, and we’re still on the phone talking and ordering each other takeout while he trouble shoots my website. And suddenly we’re exchanging numbers and sending texts and DMs every day, leaving voice mails (who even does that anymore?!).And suddenly I’m wondering if it’s possible for two people fall in love at first talk.
Because I’m falling… hard.
***
Vera Hoffman has just days to make sure her website for her new Date-in-a-Box business launches. When the darn thing glitches, she calls her IT company and connects with Cal Kantola. An intense week of phone calls, DMs, voice messages, and texts ensue, and in between troubleshooting, these two start to develop feelings. But will their systems be compatible when they actually meet face-to-face?

My Review:

Okay, I saw this book pop up over on That Artsy Reader Girl’s blog and it sounded so good, I went and downloaded it as part of the Audible Plus membership for free. And while it took me a tiny bit to get into it, that’s why I dropped it to a 4.5 star rating on my blog, I now wonder how much of that had to do with the mood I was in at the time and how all my audiobooks at the time didn’t seem to catch me right away. Because once I got into it, I loved it! There were a few little “surprise twists” towards the end that I kind of saw coming. But I liked the way the author did them. I definitely recommend this and when I went to post this review, I saw that there is a sequel, I’m guessing maybe it is Vera’s brother, so I’m totally in! Hoping it will also be available on the Audible Plus.

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6 responses to “L-L-L-Little Reviews #29: 6 Overdue Audiobook Reviews

    • Lisa Mandina

      I definitely suggest listening to it. But I liked it as much as the first one. Obviously in a different way though. Nothing is ever as good as the first one, but I still enjoyed it.

  1. I’m working my way through Penny Reid’s books, and find them to be so much fun! I’ve been intrigued by her titles on audio, but am kind of picky with narrators. I’ll have to listen to the sample of the next one and see what I think!

    So glad you enjoyed Call Me Maybe! Yes, there is a sequel and it’s part of Audible Plus. I’ve already listened to it, and thought it was really fun! And you’re right, it is about Vera’s brother! It’s a sweet, sweet book and I hope you get a chance to listen to it soon! My review for it is going up at the beginning of July. 🙂

    • Lisa Mandina

      I’ve pretty much liked all of her Winston brothers series on audiobook because she tends to have the same narrators. But I’m like you, a narrator can totally ruin it for me and I have to read instead of listen. I need to get the next one in the series as soon as I’m done with the book I’m listening to for a blog tour. I’ll be sure to check out your review as well!

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