Format: Audiobook

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan

Posted October 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny ColganReviewer: Rowena
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe (At the Cupcake Cafe #1) by Jenny Colgan
Narrator: Michelle Ford
Series: At the Cupcake Cafe #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: April 14, 2011
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 427
Length: 12 hours, 54 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

A sweet and satisfying novel of how delicious it is to discover your dreams

Issy Randall can bake. No, Issy can create stunning, mouthwateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe's bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. She's much better at baking than she is a filing so when she's laid off from her desk job, Issy decides to open her own little café. But she soon learns that her piece-of-cake plan will take all of her courage and confectionary talent to avert disaster.

Funny and sharp, Meet Me at the Cupcake Café is about how life might not always taste like you expect, but there's always room for dessert!

Thanks to Holly, I’m really getting into the swing of this audiobook business. I signed up for the Audible Romance Package and I have been going to town on listening to multiple books a week while I’m at work. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe is one of the books that I listened to and honestly, it was a bit of a snoozefest. I actually enjoyed the narrator’s accent but the story she was reading was super slow. It felt like nothing happens throughout most of the book. Izzy gets sacked, opens up a bakery and is trying to figure her way out with that whole thing at the same time that she’s starting to develop a crush on the guy from the bank but still hanging out with her ex boyfriend that did her dirty.

Now that I think about it though, there was a lot of stuff going on but none of it was all that interesting to me and because I wasn’t reading along in the book, I kept getting confused at the different POV’s thrown at me. It gave me a case of whiplash and still, I wasn’t fully invested in the characters, what was happening and the romance. I think because Izzy kept bouncing back to her ex-boyfriend who proved at the beginning to be a total asshat, it killed any excitement I had for her to move on to the bank dude. This had a bit of a chick lit feel to it because the actual romance took a back seat to everything and everyone else. At least that’s the way that it came off to me. I was much more invested in those recipes and am really curious about the Nutella cupcakes.

I also thought the ending left a lot to be desired as it felt rushed and was more a string that readers pulled to get more books. Though I didn’t hate this book, it was just okay to me and I doubt I’ll be finishing out the series.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Audiobook Review: Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 22, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Audiobook Review: Trophy Husband by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Trophy Husband (Caught Up in Love, #3) by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Samara Naeymi
Series: Caught Up in Love #3
Also in this series: Caught Up in Us
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 232
Length: 5 hours and 58 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Previous edition for this ASIN found here

Sometimes you can't help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite...Successful fashion blogger McKenna Bell has spent far too long protecting herself after the way her ex-fiancé left her at the altar for a college chick he met the night of his bachelor party. Loving again, trusting again, well, that's just not in the cards. Especially now that her ex is back in town with his new woman, demanding custody of McKenna's favorite creature in the whole world--her dog. No effing way. McKenna's had enough of him, and she decides to even the score by finding her own hot young thing -- a Trophy Husband. Sure, she's only twenty-seven, but doesn't that make it even more fun -- and infuriating to her ex -- to pursue a younger man? When she declares her intentions on her daily blog, her quest quickly skyrockets in popularity, and that's when Chris enters the picture, and he's got all the assets. He's handsome, successful, and turns her inside out with a kiss to end all kisses, the kind that makes you feel like a shooting star. But loving again could mean losing again, and it's so much easier to focus on getting even, isn't it? Unless, you just can't help falling in love. Which means McKenna will have to come face to face with what she really wants in life -- protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning. (love story, contemporary romance, alpha heroes, beach reads, sexy romance, falling in love)

**TROPHY HUSBAND is the third book in the New York Times & USA Today Bestselling CAUGHT UP IN LOVE series. Each book can be read as a standalone, though you will likely enjoy the other books in the series.**

THE CAUGHT UP IN LOVE SERIES:

BOOK 1: CAUGHT UP IN US (Bryan & Kat's story) BOOK 2: PRETENDING HE'S MINE (Reeve & Sutton's story) BOOK 3: TROPHY HUSBAND (Chris & McKenna's story) BOOK 4: STARS IN THEIR EYES (William & Jess' story)

When McKenna Bell’s fiance leaves her a voicemail the night before their wedding telling her he married someone he just met in Vegas during his bachelor party because he can’t imagine having kids with her, she’s devastated. She still hasn’t fully recovered a year later when she runs into him and his new wife. Now he’s claiming her favorite restaurant as his own, naming his brand-new kid the name she picked out and, even worse, demanding joint custody of her dog. Fed up with feeling like her life isn’t her own, McKenna decides to take back control by searching for her own Trophy Husband. Why can’t women act like men do, and choose a spouse just because he’s young, fit and looking for someone to support him? The answer is they can, and she’s going to.

When she makes an announcement on her daily blog, the search for a Trophy Husband turns into a full-on sweepstakes. That should be great, since that’s what she said she wanted. The problem? She’s met someone…. Someone who completely lights her up in all the right ways, and who seems to want her just as much. Unfortunately, that someone doesn’t qualify as a Trophy Husband. What’s a girl to do when she’s made a promise to herself and her friends that she’ll see this thing through, but her heart is no longer in it?

This was a fun read. Nothing super heavy or dark, just a light contemporary romance. I really like the underlying theme of women empowerment and how well women were portrayed overall. Even the dreaded ex’s new wife was unexpectedly lovely. I laughed out loud several times while reading. I also really liked the way the romance developed. McKenna and Chris had great chemistry. I loved watching them get to know one another, and skirt around her search for a trophy husband.

Another solid story from Blakely.

4 out of 5

Caught Up in Love

three-half-stars


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Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely

Posted October 19, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Audiobook Review: Part-Time Lover by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Part-Time Lover by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Shane East, Grace Grant
Series: Part Time Lover #2
Also in this series: Wanderlust
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 4, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 314
Length: 7 hours and 21 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy new standalone romance from #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely!I’ll say this about Christian — he made one hell of a first impression.When I first saw the strapping man, he was doing handstands naked on a dock along the canal. His crown jewels were far more entertaining than anything else I’d seen on the boat tour, so I did what any curious woman would do — I took his photo. I might have looked at the shot a few dozen times. Little did I know I’d meet him again, a year later, at a secret garden bar in the heart of the city, where I’d learn that his mind and his mouth were even more captivating. But given the way my heart had been trampled, I wanted only a simple deal — No strings. No expectations. Our arrangement worked well enough until the day I needed a lot more from him…

***Let me just say, this whole part-time lover thing was her idea. I’d have gone all-in from the start, but hey, when a gorgeous, brilliant woman invites you into her bed, and only her bed…well, I said yes.But then, one hysterical phone call from my brother later, begging me to find myself a wife so grandfather’s business stays in the family, and I need a promotion with Elise. Turns out a full-time husband suits her needs too, and a temporary marriage of convenience ought to do the trick, until we can simply untie the knot…

As long as no one finds out…As long as no one gets hurt…As long as no one falls in love…


But our ending was one I never saw coming.

We first met Elise and Christian in Wanderlust. There were hints of a history/relationship with them and I was anxious for more. I’m so glad I discovered this book. Though they’re mentioned in Wanderlust, the book stands alone well.

Elise and Christian had a chance meeting in Denmark. They had an obvious connection, but it didn’t work out. A year later another chance meeting brings them together in Paris. This time, they both want to explore their chemistry, but neither is looking for something long-term. They settle on a casual fling, until Christian needs to produce a wife in order to help his brother save their family company. Elise sees this as an opportunity to offer help to a friend and suggests they get married. They know the score – this is a marriage of convenience only. Though convincing their hearts may prove difficult..

This was a sweet story. I enjoyed the slow-burn romance and the way Elise and Christian’s relationship developed. The witty banter had me laughing and I thought their friendship was believable. The narrators both did an excellent job. I was pulled into the story right away and couldn’t stop listening. I loved both Elise and Christian. They were well settled into their lives and careers and knew what they wanted from both. They were both a bit gun-shy about falling in love, but based on their pasts I felt it was believable. I loved how they worked together and were so open and honest with each other right from the start.

Another stellar novel from Blakely. I just can’t get enough.

4.25 out of 5

Part Time Lover

four-stars


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Audiobook Review: Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens

Posted October 17, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Feral Magic by Robin D. OwensReviewer: Holly
Feral Magic by Robin D. Owens
Narrator: Natasha Soudek
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Publication Date: December 18, 2012
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 96
Length: 3 hours and 47 minutes
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Goodreads
three-stars

A blue moon rises, bringing with it magic and danger to a sleeping Denver.

Brandy Svensson mourns her lost soldier fiancee and struggles to move on. Her own near-death experience has brought her an odd "gift" – she has a telepathic connection with cats. She's coping with life’s changes until the night she finds a lost jaguar cub, just the start of the greatest changes of all...

Dak, a warrior Pantherman, is alarmed when his baby nephew, the Chief of the klatch, vanishes. Dak must find the infant before his enemies do...or be branded a murderer and risk igniting warfare among the clans.

When the cub turns into a human baby, shock and confusion flood Brandy. And when a full-grown jaguar arrives to claim him, then transforms into a man, fascination sweeps through her. Dak's protective instincts are triggered by this lovely woman, and the certainty that he's followed by a killer.

Drawn together in their fight to protect the baby, Brandy and Dak confront the enemy and the final choice threatens. Will the feral magic they've discovered together save or doom them?

I was looking for a short listen for my morning commute when I came across this one. I love Owens’ HeartMates series and figured I’d give this one a listen.

Brandi wakes up one morning after a near death experience and can telepathically speak to cats. Some months later when one of her ferals tells her another cat needs her help, she isn’t as shocked as she should be to find a panther shifter cub. When his uncle shows up to get him, Brandi learns they’re from an alternate universe and enemies are after them. Together she and Dak must work together to get his nephew home in one piece.

The narrator was so.freaking.slow. I ended up listening to it at 3x speed and even then I felt like it drug on a bit. That aside, the story itself was good. It was just a short story that ended too soon, but I liked the world and the way the story developed. It ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. I’d continue reading if this turns into a series.

3.0 out of 5

three-stars


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Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove

Posted October 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: For the Love of English by A.M. HargroveReviewer: Holly
For the Love of English by A.M. Hargrove
Narrator: Jason Clarke, Erin Mallon
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 15, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 377
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

From
USA Today
Bestselling Author, A.M. Hargrove, comes a New Adult, Single Dad, Sexy, Stand Alone Romance.

Single dad, Beckley Bridges, is sexy as hell. No, really, he’s the hottest thing since the sun was created. Honest to God, crack an egg on him and the thing will sizzle.So what’s the problem? He’s also a gigantic jerk. I hate the bastard. I try to avoid him at all costs. But for some reason, everywhere I go he seems to show up.

Only the real issue is his daughter, English.She’s an adorable quirky first-grader who’s the sweetest thing since iced tea.And she’s one of my students but also the love of his life.So I have to deal with him on a professional level. It’s not easy. On a scale of easy to hard, dealing with Beckley Bridges is like nails screeching across a blackboard.

But when English’s mother tries to gain custody after abandoning her on Beckley’s doorstep as an infant, he’ll do anything possible to keep English under his roof.

That’s how he ends up propositioning me.

And crazy as it sounds?


I find myself considering it.

This is a full-length novel that includes mature content not suitable younger readers.

I’m a total sucker for hot single dads. We could get into all the reasons why, but let’s just say these are my crack and leave it at that. Beck was a super hot single dad. He was intense and focused when it came to his daughter, English, and I loved how great he was when it came to being her parent. The chemistry between Beck and Sheridan was pretty thick. I liked that aspect of their relationship. I also liked how the relationship between Sheridan and English developed. I also really liked the narrators. Both did great voices and didn’t annoy me at all.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

1) The stupid contrived drama toward the middle of the book that separated the couple. It was just that, stupid and contrived. Both their reactions were over the top and the resolution was flat.
2) The even more stupid and contrived reason for them to get married in the first place. In the realm of reality, this charted somewhere around the Earth really just being a small glass ball some purple and orange alien is spinning on its finger.
3) The entire plot based around English’s bio mom. The.Entire.Plot.

Had this been a straight up contemporary romance about a grumpy hot single dad who accidentally falls in love with his daughter’s first grade teacher, I’d have been all over it. The writing was smooth and I liked the romance itself. As it is, the rest really marred my enjoyment. I’m surprised my eyes didn’t roll out of my head.

2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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