Publisher: Audible Studios

Summer Reading Challenge Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Posted August 7, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly HarperReviewer: Casee
How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #1
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1), Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues, How to Date Your Dragon
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 214
Length: 6 hours and 24 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Casee's 2019 New to Me Challenge, Casee's Summer Reading Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, New to Me Challenge, Summer Reading Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The first book in Molly Harper's uproariously funny, sinfully sexy new Mystic Bayou series!

Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be...

This book is based on the Audible Original audiobook.

This is my first book by Molly Harper as well as one of the books that Holly chose for me for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Jillian Ramsay works for the League of Interspecies Cooperation. Few humans know of its existence, nor do they know that shapeshifters exist. The League knows that the secret of shapeshifters will come to light soon enough and they want to be prepared. To help that preparation along, Jillian travels to Mystic Bayou. Mystic Bayou is a town that humans and shifters live together. Harmoniously. The town is thriving and Jillian is there to find out how.

Bael Boone is the local sheriff and he has no intention of letting Jillian learn the town secrets. He’s going to drive her away, no matter what it takes. Sending her away becomes harder when they realize they are attracted to each other. While Jillian is down for an affair with Bael, Bael wants more. That was actually refreshing because it’s usually the other way around.

This book was a light, quick read. It was funny and sweet. Don’t let the title deter you from reading it (as it did me). I loved Bael and how he expected Jillian to fall in line with his plans. I loved Jillian for being who she was and not taking his alpha crap. Well, most of the time. I am looking forward to reading Zed’s book.

I wasn’t crazy about the narrators, but they didn’t make the story any less sweet.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper

Posted August 5, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Summer Reading Challenge Review: How to Date Your Dragon by Molly HarperReviewer: Rowena
How to Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #1
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1), Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues, How to Date Your Dragon
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Length: 6 hours, 24 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Rowena's 2019 New to Me Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Anthropologist Jillian Ramsay's career has taken a turn south.

Concerned that technology is about to chase mythological creatures out into the open (how long can Sasquatch stay hidden from Google maps?), the League for Interspecies Cooperation is sending Jillian to Louisiana on a fact-finding mission. While the League hopes to hold on to secrecy for a little bit longer, they're preparing for the worst in terms of human reactions. They need a plan, so they look to Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where humans and supernatural residents have been living in harmony for generations. Mermaids and gator shifters swim in the bayou. Spirit bottles light the front porches after twilight. Dragons light the fires under crayfish pots.

Jillian's first assignment for the League could be her last. Mystic Bayou is wary of outsiders, and she has difficulty getting locals to talk to her. And she can't get the gruff town sheriff, Bael Boone, off of her back or out of her mind. Bael is the finest male specimen she's seen in a long time, even though he might not be human. Soon their flirtation is hotter than a dragon's breath, which Bael just might turn out to be....

How to Date Your Dragon is the first book in Molly Harper’s Mystic Bayou series and it’s the first book that I tackled on my Summer Reading Challenge for this year. It’s one of Holly’s picks for me and though I wasn’t all that interested in reading this book, I’m glad that Holly picked it because it was a fun paranormal romance that I enjoyed from beginning to end.

Jillian Ramsay works for the League for Interspecies Cooperation and her latest assignment takes her to Mystic Bayou in Louisiana. The League has growing concerns that the humans are going to learn all of their supernatural secrets and in an effort to kind of handle everything before it becomes a problem, Jillian is to learn all that she can from the folks of Mystic Bayou about how they live in peace with each other. Easy peasy, right? Well, it would have been easy if any one of the folks would have talked to her but she’s having trouble getting folks to open up to her and the only way that she can fix that is to stick around, get to know everyone and make them comfortable with her enough that they’ll start talking. She seems to get along with everyone except the town’s sheriff, who won’t get off her back. She butts heads with Bael Boone at every turn and while on one hand, she wants to punch him in the nuts, on the other, she wants to kiss his brains out.

What a fun treat this book turned out to be. Molly Harper did a great job of introducing a world that had me laughing one minute and happy sighing the next. While Jillian was in town, the people she was interviewing were showing up dead so there was a bit of a mystery going around with us trying to figure out who was killing all of our supernatural friends. I thought that was handled pretty well and I really enjoyed the lighter side of paranormal romance that this world seemed to be. I’m used to a more darker paranormal world and I really love the intensity of those darker paranormals but Molly Harper created an interesting world for the folks of Mystic Bayou and I liked it.

I thought the romance between Bael and Jillian was fun and I loved how pissed Bael got when Jillian didn’t seem to catch on to how important it was that he showed her his hoard. And his dragon name? BWAHAHAHAHA, too freaking funny. I’m curious to see who else gets a romance because I would love to see Zed’s story. I really enjoyed getting to know him.

This was a fun introduction into Molly Harper’s work and I’m glad that I read it because I do plan on continuing this series and reading more books from Molly Harper. I like her style and am ready for more. I definitely recommend this one.

Final Grade

4 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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Featured Review: Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson

Posted July 31, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Featured Review: Like the Wind by J. BengtssonReviewer: Casee, Holly, and Rowena
Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Zachary Webber
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 335
Length: 9 hours, 23 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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two-half-stars

Prepare to laugh, cry, and fall in love with this enthralling new romance from J. Bengtsson - available in audio first!

When a letter from his supposedly deceased mother finds its way into his hands, life changes in an instant for international pop star Bodhi Beckett.

Reeling from the deception of those closest to him, Bodhi spirals out of control and is sent to a secluded mansion in the coastal mountains of Southern California for some rest and relaxation. But the retreat proves to be anything but relaxing when a raging wildfire sets the landscape around him ablaze.

While escaping the flames, Bodhi rescues Breeze, a quirky, pet-loving woman, and together the two fight their way to safety. In the aftermath of the fire, Bodhi and Breeze hit the road to uncover the truth about his family. What neither of them expected is to forge a powerful connection that will change their lives forever...but can it survive the real world, or will it disappear like the wind?

This month’s featured review is Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson, chosen by Casee. This is a rockstar romance that features a pop star hero who saves his heroine from a fire and then the heroine gives his rockstar ass a place to hide while he figures some stuff out and through it all, they fall in love. This was a really quick read and the perfect audiobook for a quick road trip.

Casee: What did you guys think? Good choice? Bad choice? Better than Hate Notes?

Holly: It was definitely better than Hate Notes for me. I really liked the beginning. I was super interested in the fire and how they were going to escape. After that things kind of went downhill.

Casee: I agree that it was super interesting in the beginning.

Rowena: Hmm, I enjoyed Hate Notes and I didn’t hate this one but I didn’t love this one either. I don’t know, the dialogue was super cheesy to me and I don’t know, I just never came to care for either Bodhi or Breeze. They were fine but meh, that’s about it for me.

Casee: I didn’t really connect with Breeze at all. Other than her wanting to save all the animals from the fire, I found her to be rather selfish. She acted like she was being selfless, but it didn’t come across that way to me. I did really enjoy Bodhi though.

Holly: I didn’t think Breeze was anymore selfish than Bodhi. That ridiculous temper tantrum he threw for 3 months, then disappearing without telling his father he wasn’t dead after the fire, then pulling Breeze into his drama and his life without preparing her for it? That screams “SELF CENTERED” to me.

Casee: The only thing I didn’t like about Bodhi was the 3-month temper tantrum. I could understand everything else. He seemed to me like someone that was scared. He found someone he potentially wanted to keep in his life and he was scared to lose her. Especially since the last person (nanny) that he got attached to disappeared.

Rowena: Yeah, Bodhi’s three-month tantrum was super annoying but I was more annoyed with him when he let his family and friends think he was dead so that he can meet his Mommy Dearest. That wasn’t cool. At all. I felt bad for RJ because thinking your best friend is dead and then finding out that your best friend couldn’t be bothered to call him to assure him that all was well because he was getting close to a girl? That’s fucked up.

Holly: I really struggled with Bodhi not telling the guys he was still alive. I guess I kind of? understood why he didn’t want to contact his father, but his bandmates who were his family? Especially RJ? That was just shitty all the way around.

Rowena: I also thought it was super strange that he “saves” Evan from their mother’s life, telling Evan that he was Evan’s Eddie, but immediately starts planning a trip with Breeze that does not include Evan, is going to take him away from Evan for a long ass time and basically drops Evan in Tucker’s lap and Evan, who suffered from abandonment issues wasn’t bothered about it.

Holly: That whole thing with Evan was not well done. They had no on-page time to make me think they were going to forge a relationship, and why was Bodhi so effing irresponsible? I just couldn’t.

Rowena: It was a total dick move, a move that I didn’t think he was sorry enough for. Sure, his Dad was a controlling dick but I don’t think anyone deserved that kind of emotional bomb. Nobody in this book, for sure.

Holly: I really didn’t like the short timeline for their romance. They met, went through an intense few hours together and BAM, two days later they were in LURRVVE? Nope.

Casee: I agree that the timeline was much too short. I think being together in the fire and almost dying was supposed to show how magnified feelings are. Obviously, it didn’t work very well for us.

View Spoiler »

 

Rowena: I was also not moved all that much with the grand gesture in the end with Bodhi showing up at the family reunion. A whole lot of the book had me looking like this:

Holly: Also, the way Breeze was immediately into Bodhi and focused on how hot he was, and how to get him to kiss her, and all the fantasy why they were fleeing from a fire? That was annoying af.

And I know I’m probably just old af, but she lost her car in the fire. She didn’t think to, Oh, I don’t know, contact her insurance agent?

Rowena: Haha, I thought the same thing as Breeze and Bodhi are making their way to the Bay. I kept thinking, “When are you going to deal with your busted up car?”

I did really like Breeze’s Mom and Step-Dad. They were pretty great. I laughed out loud when they turned up the sex scenes of their show so that Bodhi and Breeze could hear through the walls.

Holly: I liked Breeze’s parents, too, but why were they described as these hippy people who lived in the neighborhood eyesore and refused to sell out, who were, in fact, selling out. I didn’t understand why that part was included in the book. It made no sense.

Casee: Alrighty then. I’m giving this one a 3. What about you guys?

Rowena: Overall, this book made me feel super old because I was grouchy throughout most of this book and I didn’t think the author did a good enough job of making me suspend belief over a lot of shit that happens in this book. The fire stuff, the Mommy issues, the Daddy issues, the super quick romance that blossomed overnight (literally), it was super easy for me to stop reading the book and roll my eyes over what was happening. So yeah, I had a lot of issues connecting with both Bodhi and Breeze. I had issues with the author’s writing style and though there were parts of the book that I enjoyed, this isn’t a book that I will reread. I give it 2.75 out of 5.

Holly: I’m giving it 2.5. I did like the romance itself if I didn’t think too hard about it, and I liked the beginning and Breeze’s parents. The rest was pretty blah.

Final Grades

Casee: 3 out of 5
Holly: 2.5 out of 5
Rowena: 2.75 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper

Posted June 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly HarperReviewer: Holly
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi, Jonathan Davis
Series: Mystic Bayou #2.5
Also in this series: How to Date Your Dragon (Mystic Bayou, #1), How to Date Your Dragon, How to Date Your Dragon
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: June 6, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Length: 3 hrs and 3 mins
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A hilarious new standalone novella brimming with otherworldly charm from the reigning queen of paranormal romantic comedy Molly Harper!

Ingrid Asher is the newest resident of Mystic Bayou, a tiny town hidden in the swamp where shapeshifters, vampires, witches and dragons live alongside humans.

Ingrid doesn’t ask for much. The solitary tree nymph just wants to live a quiet life running her ice-cream shop in peace. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to shake her new neighbor, Rob Aspern, head of the League’s data science department and so good looking it just isn’t fair.

If there’s one thing Ingrid doesn’t need, it’s someone poking around in her business. But the more she gets to know the hunky mathematician, the more she finds herself letting her guard down. Can she trust him with her secrets, or will her past destroy everything?

Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues by Molly Harper is was a cute, light story set in the town of Mystic Bayou, where mythical creatures have lived in peace for hundreds of years. Ingrid Asher is a tree nymph who recently decided to move to Mystic Bayou to open a creamery. She’s still recovering from a terrible betrayal by someone she trusted, so she doesn’t open up easily. The residents of Mystic Bayou are strange to her, for they’re all open and want to be her friend.

Rob Aspern is generally pretty slick with the ladies, but Ingrid has flustered and all kinds of tongue-tied. She seems wary around everyone else, but she’s downright icy to him. As he works on winning her trust, he finds himself falling for her.

This was a very short listen. I really enjoyed both narrators and easily fell into the story. I love Mystic Bayou and I was ridiculously excited to return to the world. I’m sad it was so short, but that’s about me wanting more from the world than a reflection of the story itself. I thought things wrapped up nicely and the story ended on a sweet note (more “let’s see where this goes” than “Let’s live happily ever after”).

I can’t wait for the next installment.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Mystic Bayou

four-stars


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Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted February 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
five-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again. Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

I was browsing the Audible Romance Package for something new to listen to on my morning commute and came across Repeat by Kylie Scott, an Audible original (meaning it’s available in Audio first). I’ve read and enjoyed other novels by Scott, and I really like Andi Arndt as a narrator, so I figured I’d give it a try. I listened to a sample, then ended up finding things to do on a Sunday so I could keep listening. I even hid in the bathroom for 45 minutes to finish it when my family started bugging me for dinner.

Clementine Johns was robbed in the street and woke up with no memory. Skills she used with muscle memory – like making coffee or getting dressed – are fine, but she remembers nothing of her personality or relationships. Nor does she recognize anyone she used to know – including her own sister. As she tries to piece together her past and figure out who she is post memory, she ends up in the tattoo shop owned by her very recent ex. For reasons unknown, Clem broke up with Ed Larson a month before her attack. He’s less than happy to see her, but he’s willing to answer her questions and to help see to her safety. As long as she understands they’re over, and there are no repeats after the way she broke his heart…

Repeat is such a wonderfully drawn novel, I was pulled in from the start as Clem tries to figure out who she is. Her struggle to find her new personality, and to figure out if she likes the same things she did before really got me. She seems to be the same, yet totally different. She doesn’t think of herself when discussing the Clem from before, because she has none of the memories or emotions of that other Clem. She feels nothing when she looks at her sister, or her ex-boyfriend. Only mild curiosity about what happened. Until she starts spending time with Ed. Are the feelings she’s feeling for him now remnants of what she felt before, or new feelings developing? And what of his feelings? Are they all tied to the Before Clem?

Clem could have come off as whiny, or too naive, or a victim. Instead, she was forthright and unassuming. She had an innocent quality about her, but she was determined to find a way to live her life in this new reality. She didn’t sit around and whine about her circumstances, she just dealt with them. She was easy to connect with. I really admired her strength, and how determined she was to live her life.

“Who are you when all of your formative moments are gone?”

Though this is written in first-person from Clem’s point-of-view, I felt like we got a really good feel for Ed. His pain at their breakup and his struggle to trust this new Clem came through well. My heart hurt for him. I really wanted to see them work things out, but I understood why he held back. Clem had no memory of their relationship or their breakup, but for Ed it was very fresh.

I think I loved this so much because there wasn’t a lot of focus on Clem’s injury itself, or her having a big pity party over it. She accepted this was her new reality and determined to make the best of it. Ed often accused her of not having a filter, and that worked so well. She and Ed had great communication because of it. She just put what she was thinking out there, damn the consequences.

This isn’t a perfect story. Everyone wanted to shield Clem, and they often made decisions for her. I thought she was too passive about that at times. She did stand up for herself, but I think I’d have liked to see her out on her own a bit more. Having said that, she was still dealing with medical repercussions from her attack and learning how to live again, so I got over it. I had a harder time getting over how quick she was to let Ed, her sister and even her old friends keep things from her. No one wanted to talk about their breakup, why they thought she did the things she did, or share their perspective on her old self. I understood why, but it was just as frustrating for me as the reader as it was for Clem. Why she didn’t push harder confused me. Still, that was a minor annoyance and was easily washed away with everything else.

There was a mystery thread running throughout that was easily solved. It didn’t bother me, however, because I was focused on Clem and Ed.

I was totally wrapped up in Clem’s journey to figure out who she is now, her jealously over her old self, her determination to live and her developing feelings for her ex. This engrossing novel was well done and the narrator really brought all the characters to life. I highly recommend Repeat. I went back and forth about my grade of this book, but the truth is I finished it and immediately wanted to start it again. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to it, even those who are hesitant about audiobooks. So I’m giving it a 5. This is my first 5 star grade in…years, I think.

If audiobooks aren’t your thing, the ebook will be available April 7, 2019. Go forth and preorder. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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