This is a quick recap of all the books I reviewed in January. As always, the full reviews have my likes and dislikes, a discussion of the narration, quotes and graphics, series orders and bookstagrams for most of them. My reviews never go further into the story than the blurb, but if you like short reviews, they all have a “Down & Dirty” at the bottom which is what I use here for this recap.
Stumbling Into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds
Narrated by Alexander Cendese and Carly Robins
“I love you because you love me just the way I am. I love you because you make me feel special, because you make me laugh, you make my soul happy…and because you give me really great orgasms.”
Stumbling Into Love was a fun, light little read. The heroine was very likable, but her pushing him away got a bit tiresome. Wesley was the perfect dirty-talking alpha and his job added some much-needed excitement to the story. While Stumbling Into Love wasn’t overly memorable, it was a fun, sweet, enjoyable listen, and I can’t wait to listen to the third in the series.
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrated by Andi Arndt
“A part of me misses him. A big part of me. Or maybe it’s just the idea of him, since it’s hard to miss something you have no actual memories of.”
Repeat by Kylie Scott wasn’t really what I was expecting after reading many of her other books. It’s a bit of a darker theme with some suspense to keep you involved. I was hooked from beginning to end, but never found myself loving Clementine, perhaps because nobody else did at first. I warmed up to her as the story went on, but never loved her. There was great chemistry between the hero and heroine, and it was very interesting to see them forge a new love while they stepped over the landmines of the past. I wish there was a little more of Kylie’s banter and humor to lighten this up a bit, and I was left a bit confused about a pretty big plot point, but I still very much enjoyed the listen, and when the book releases in April, I will be grabbing it to figure out what I missed.
I Wanna Text You Up by Teagan Hunter
Narrated by Emma Wilder
“Because you’re my best friend’s ex-boyfriend, that’s why.”
And because I find you extremely attractive, idiot.
With how much I’ve been noticing him lately, there is no way in hell I can confine myself to an apartment with the guy. That’s a recipe for disaster and too many late-night me time sessions.
Teagan Hunter is a new favorite author for me after listening to 2 books in a row from her. I love her sense of humor, and it doesn’t even bother me at all that the characters are college-aged. The banter between the couple was amazing, and I listened to the whole thing with a goofy smile on my face. The only thing that held me back from a 5-star rating was how similar it was to I Wanna Text You Up. I wouldn’t have noticed if I listened to them a few weeks apart though, so though I whole-heartedly recommend this series, I don’t suggest bingeing on it. Listen to a few others in between, they stand alone easily. I can’t wait for the next two to come out!
Deal with the Devil (The Forge Trilogy Book 1) by Meghan March
Narrated by Joe Arden and Erin Mallon
“What do you want?”
One eyebrow rises. “From you? For $10 million? You should already know the answer to that.” The corners of his mouth lift until his expression is the picture of sheer triumph. “Every-fucking-thing.”
What a ride! I think this is my favorite Meghan March book that I have read. It was an exciting rollercoaster from start to finish, and I found myself just sitting and listening late into the night, something I never do; I always have to do something else while I listen. Not this time, the story had my full attention. For once, I am so happy it’s a trilogy, because that means I have two more books to look forward to. If you like an unapologetically pirate-like alpha male who is nowhere near politically correct, you will love Jericho Forge (Damn, even his name is so sexy, and he reminds me of a favorite Jericho from another series), and if you love a smart, loyal, independent heroine, you will love Indie. I can’t wait to listen to this again before Luck of the Devil comes out.
Birthday Suit by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by a cast of 12, starring Sebastian York and Andi Arndt
“Leo, I don’t think I realized how attractive you were before, and I’m glad I didn’t. But it’s all hitting me at once. And right now, I kind of want to jump you. I want to throw the plates to the ground, crawl across the table, and straddle you. I want to grind against you and kiss you all over and do all sorts of very bad things to you.”
I thought Lauren Blakely ruined me for all other audiobooks before I listened to Birthday Suit. But now, with 12 narrators, there is no way to beat Birthday Suit!! If you have never listened to an audiobook, part of me says you should listen to this, because WOW. But then I worry that you will never be able to listen to anything else because seriously, this sets the bar pretty damn high. Birthday Suit isn’t just an audiobook, it’s a chocolate-covered experience. Don’t miss it!
“Why are you impossible to resist?”
“Because we’re soul mates, and when you’re soul mates, your hearts connect on many levels, which makes it impossible to resist each other.”
“Or maybe it’s because I’m addicted to your tongue.”
While The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister was an enjoyable read, it didn’t wow me the way most of Meghan’s other books have. Honestly, I have higher expectations when I read a Meghan Quinn book so even a book of hers that isn’t a favorite is still better than most other books I read. There just wasn’t anything overly unique, and it seemed to be missing a little of Meghan’s spark. I still liked it a lot and would totally recommend it, but it just wasn’t a favorite of hers. Still, if you are looking for that Best Friend’s sister story, or you like when the quiet, nerdy girl gets the crazy outgoing guy, this book may be for you.
Through the thick stubble he was growing for his girl, Cole “Rush” Allen smiled at his dad. Through the ragged goatee he kept for his woman, Kane “Tack” Allen smiled back.
The last few Chaos stories have gotten a little bit overwhelming with all of the side characters, and FREE brought back characters from this and 4 other series. This is not a standalone book, and the more Kristen Ashley books you have read, the better. That being said, it was a perfect ending to the series, almost too perfect! I was hoping there would be a door left open for a future novella, but honestly, it was a pretty all-encompassing end that wrapped all loose ends, leaving Chaos FREE. I bawled my eyes out saying a bittersweet goodbye to my beloved bikers, and I must say, I couldn’t imagine a more satisfying end. Thank goodness for re-reads!
“The decisions in life and the people we meet, along with our experiences, are what makes us who we are.”
Rae Matthews has a talent for writing very realistic and relatable stories and characters with tons of self-growth and discovery, as well as great romance with some fun moments. It’s so rare to read about a woman in her forties starting over, but even more rare is one that never had kids. While this was definitely a romance novel, it was also a novel about a woman discovering who she is on her own, without a partner to define her, and I loved that. Rae had a great blend of that, romance, friendship, and even some suspense. Seize the Love was worth the wait! I hope she continues to write about older women. We need love too!
If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels
Narrated by Shane East and Sophie Eastlake
“Last chance. I’m going to ruin you for any other man.”
“Do your best.”
I absolutely loved If I Only Knew by Corinne Michaels. It had so many of my favorite things. An older heroine, a single mom, kids, hate-to-love, banter, great friendships, funny moments and emotional moments. I think if I had read the previous 3 related books this would have easily been a 5-star read for me, but it came pretty close anyway. Though it stands alone perfectly, I do wish I had read the other books first, but it was next to impossible to find out that they were even related. The audible and Shane East’s sexy British accent added the perfect wow factor to make If I Only Knew a phenomenal audiobook that I highly recommend.
When Ashes Fall by Marni Mann
Narrated by Ava Erickson, Aiden Snow, and Teddy Hamilton
“No, I don’t want to run. Unless it’s toward you, and then the answer is yes.”
When Ashes Fall was so intense and brought forth so much emotion for me that two weeks later I’m sobbing again as I write this review. Don’t let this scare you, you will get your HEA, and the journey will be SO worth it. Marni Mann has penned a unique, heartbreaking, page-turning, epic read in When Ashes Fall, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Anticipating Temptation by Randi Perrin
Narrated by Xe Sands
I loved the overall story arc of an already-lacking-in-confidence woman getting dumped and a charming wonderful guy helping her see her self-worth. But I found Char kind of sad and pathetic. Then she treated Darryl like shit when he was amazing, and she pissed me off! We never got Darryl’s POV, so I have no idea what he saw in her that made him fall so hard, but he was just perfect. Anticipating Temptation wasn’t a bad book, don’t get me wrong. I listened to it twice and never once thought of putting it down, but I did find it a little depressing at times. The heroine was relatable (maybe too much), but I never really liked her, and that is so important to me in a book I read. It’s a short listen and you may love it though. Let me know if you try it out!