November was a crazy month for me! I listened to WAY more audiobooks than I read, and I reviewed 17 audiobooks (I grouped series) and 4 Kindle books. I also never did an October recap, so I will add a quick overview at the end. Some of my real standouts for November were Possession by TM Frazier (Oh my God, that series!!!), Heartbreak Warfare by Kate Stewart and Heather Orgeron (ugly cry alert!), Royally Yours by Emma Chase (the book I never knew I needed), and The Ice Planet Barbarians Series (Biggest reading surprise of my life).
Here is a recap of my November reviews:
Royally Yours by Emma Chase – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Shane East and Andi Arndt
“No woman is born a Queen, no matter the title attached to her name at birth. Kings are crowned. But queens.. queens rise. … And then…they reign.”
I think Royally Yours by Emma Chase is my favorite of the Royally Series. It can easily stand alone since it takes place 40+ years before the other books. I loved how fierce and independent the Queen was, but we also got to see first hand why she is a bit cold in the future. She has lived a lonely, extremely sheltered existence, and meeting the dashing, adventurous Edward could not have been better for her. I loved how this was very much Queen Lenora’s story, but it was also a sexy, swoony and funny romance. Bravo Emma Chase, it’s another 5-star favorite!
Ice Planet Barbarians 1-8 by Ruby Dixon – Audiobooks Review
All Narrated by Mason Lloyd and Hollie Jackson
“I’ve found an alien that likes to eat pussy as a greeting.”
*Note: I listened to these so fast that I listened to 8 before I reviewed, so they are all in one review with a little bit about each book.
I feel a little silly for falling in love with these blue horned aliens with bumpy tongues and spurs (raaaawr). But all they want to do is make their mates happy, how can you not fall for them? I loved how naive they seemed, yet rough and primitive. Each book had a lot more story and depth than I expected, yet they were still swoony, fun and super sexy. I had never read sci-fi before, but I read paranormal, and this is really no different. The Ice Planet Barbarian Series was a total campy, fun and sexy surprise, and I plan on bingeing on all that is Ruby Dixon!
The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Sebastian York and Madeliene Maby
“You’re enough. Never doubt you’re more than enough for a man. Because if you belonged to me, I’d get on my knees in gratitude every damn night and make sure you never doubted it.”
If you like Hallmark movies, The Start of Something New by Jennifer Probst is perfect for you. There really isn’t anything overly unique about it, but it was a well-told, well-written and well-paced story of a city girl and a farm boy. It took a little while in the beginning to warm up to both the hero and heroine, but in the end I was totally rooting for them. I looked forward to the next in the series, and my review for that is coming tomorrow.
A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Erin Bennett and Brian Pallino
“Sometimes, it wasn’t about endings at all. Sometimes, it was all about new beginnings.”
I enjoyed A Brand New Ending. It was OK, but I wanted to LOVE it. Sadly I just felt like he never cared enough to come home and find out what really happened until he needed to know for professional reasons. I found myself a bit bored with the story, and by 78% almost considered taking a break and putting it down. But I’m glad I stuck with it because I loved the end.
“No killing kids. Or women, unless they shoot first. Understood?”
“Everyone else fucking dies.”
Once again, TM Frazier had me glued to my kindle breathlessly following every surprising, gritty, deadly, violent and sexy twist and turn. She had me gleefully wishing horrible violent deaths, swooning over the romance, crying over the family love, and freaking out over what comes next. I love how her world is fake enough for us to put aside reality and go with it, yet real enough to feel like you are right there with them. The bonus cameos brought some fun and lightness into the non-stop violent action. I am already counting the days (27) until Permission! I need it NOW! Honestly, I am really glad I didn’t wait to binge, because the anticipation is just making it even better. Thank goodness it’s a short wait!
“I am not that bitch Constance, or that guy from Marino’s who told you to eat a salad, or any of the other dumbasses who’ve been too stupid to see you as you are.”
She whirled around. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?”
“One of those women who men start wars over.”
I have such mixed feelings about Muffin Top by Avery Flynn. I loved that she was plus sized, and while confident at work, not in her personal life. I loved how Frankie never really focused on her weight at all. But the story just dragged for me. It took forever to read and I found her self-deprecation to be a little too overwhelming. It pushed people away, including this reader. The thing is, I usually LIKE that, so I’m not exactly sure what held me back so much from loving this. I liked both characters. I liked the storyline. There were some things I didn’t love (see above), but I can’t place exactly why it took me so long to read when I liked it while I read it. I just never felt the need to pick it up and read more. Lucy was super relatable. Frankie was adorable, but there was just something missing for me.
Unzipped by Lauren Blakely – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt
“Dear God, you might be perfect. You went from Moonstruck to Beverly Hills Cop on one date. Are you going to make me a mixtape next?”
I listened to Unzipped twice, and totally enjoyed it both times but it didn’t stick with me as a favorite of Lauren Blakely’s. It still had everything I love about a Lauren Blakely book, smart and sexy professional hero and heroine, a friendship that goes with the romance, laugh-out-loud moments, great dialogue, hot sex, and awesome side characters. I think because I am not a movie buff I missed some of the references and it may have held me back a bit. Still, I enjoyed it enough to listen twice, because honestly, you can never go wrong with a Lauren Blakely audiobook.
Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Jacob Morgan and Grace Grant
“I stole his wallet, he stole my heart”
Dirty Headlines was hyped so much that I’m honestly not sure any book could have lived up to that hype. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book from start to finish. A dirty-talking alphahole is my favorite kind, and a smart and sassy heroine that takes no shit was his perfect match. There was humor, lots of dirty heat, banter galore, and some highly emotional scenes. It was a fun and sexy read, but to me it didn’t stand out as unique. It already blends with several other alphahole boss books in my head and it’s only been a week since I finished. That being said, it’s still an absolute recommendation from me.
“Ian seemed as entertained by my threat to kill him as he’d been when he thought I was about to go down on him. He might be morally bankrupt, chronically dishonest, and inexplicably dangerous, but he was also . . . fun.”
I didn’t remember how much I loved reading Jeaniene Frost until I read Shades of Wicked. After a steady diet of contemporary romance and romantic comedy, jumping back into the Night Huntress world was a total rush. So much happens! It’s so exciting and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Ian’s roguish, shameless ways are always great entertainment, the sex was awesome, the opposites-attract theme made for some great banter, and it absolutely left me wanting for more. Even though we have to wait until summer, it’s totally worth the wait. Reading Shades of Wicked made me want to get back into a little more suspense and paranormal, because I forgot how much fun it is to read. Luckily I just realized I missed Into The Fire, the last Night Prince book, so I grabbed it in audio and can’t wait to listen.
The Sin Trilogy by Meghan March – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Erin Mallon and Joe Arden
“I’m looking at the only thing I want, and you’re telling me it’s impossible because of our last names. I don’t buy that. I will never buy that. Just give me a goddamned chance. That’s all you have to do.”
Wow. The Sin Trilogy by Meghan March was a hell of a ride! It’s angsty, has over-the-top family drama, lies, secrets, scandals, drama, and so many twists and turns it was impossible to stop listening. It had a bit of a soap opera feel with an epic family feud, but it made for an intriguing and unique read. Expect to be glued to the pages (or headphones) for this trilogy, because you won’t want to miss a word.
“Love is supposed to be enough. It’s not supposed to rip you to fucking shreds.”
Heartbreak Warfare is an epic story that will rip you to pieces and put you back together again. This is an INTENSE and EMOTIONAL read, and I ugly cried through the whole book (I admit, I am a bit of a crybaby, but if you didn’t tear up during this book, I worry for you). It was completely out of character for me to read a book like this, but I am SO GLAD I took the chance (and ran out to buy tissues before I started). This is a book about WAR. You can’t go to the Middle East and not come back scarred and changed in some way. It’s also a love triangle and kind of a love letter to the military. It’s everything I usually avoid in a book, yet it will absolutely be on my 2018 Best of the year list. I promise, Heartbreak Warfare is worth every tear.
Love Sincerely Yours by Meghan Quinn and Sara Ney – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Ava Erickson and Alexander Cendise
“Wait, was that a love letter? I want to bang you so hard. Most certainly not a love letter, unless that’s how millennials wax poetic now.”
I must say, that I think my ridiculously high expectations may have taken a little away from this story for me. I loved it the whole way through, but not in the way I have loved many of Meghan’s other books. It was fun. It was entertaining. It made me smile the whole time. I had a rough time with the male narrator vocalizing female characters, but I loved the way he did his own. Books with online flirting are my absolute favorite, and I totally loved that. All in all, it was an absolutely entertaining slow-burn romance. I can’t wait for this duo to team up again for Hunter’s book!
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Mary Jane Wells
Once Upon a Wild Fling by Lauren Blakely – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Andi Arndt and Sebastian York
The Clover Chapel by Devney Perry – Audiobook Review
Narrated by Ava Erickson and Joe Arden
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