Tag: Audiobooks

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
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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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Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Posted October 12, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Etched in Bone (The Others, #5) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #5
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Vision in Silver (The Others, #3), Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 496
Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shape-shifters and vampires far more powerful than they are. . . .

After the Elders cleansed and reclaimed many human towns, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf-shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery's shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end: with her standing beside a grave. . . .

Etched in Bone is the final installment of the Lakeside Courtyard Others series (though more novels set in the same world are in the works – begging with Lake Silence, March 2018). I do not believe it can be read as a standalone. The series really should be read in order.

Now that the human uprising against the Others has been put down – with entire civilizations wiped out – Meg and Simon Wolfgard need to keep the peace with the humans of Lakeside more than ever. The Elders, the oldest and most dangerous of The Others, are watching them to decide how much human should be kept in Thaisia. When Lt. Montgomery’s shady brother, Cyrus, arrives in Lakeside looking for a handout, the Elders decide this is an opportunity to learn the difference between Good humans and Bad humans.

In the beginning Simon may have wanted to study the humans, but now the Human Pack inside the Courtyard and Meg have changed things. He’s invested in their survival and understands he has to protect them the same as his Wolf Pack. His relationship with Meg is complicated by the fact that she’s human and he very much isn’t. Can they even become mates in truth? Does Meg want that? Between dealing with Cyrus Montgomery, settling the expanded human pack in the Courtyard and trying to help Meg figure out the best way to help the other liberated cassandra sangue live outside the Compounds, Simon has his hands full. With the Elders in Lakeside, Simon knows the smallest thing can upset the balance and damn them all.

Seeing the world break, then be rebuilt has been heart-breaking, horrifying and yet still there’s beauty in the horror. This is a world filled with multi-layered characters who constantly grow and expand. The most compelling thing about this series has been the depth of the character growth. As the world breaks we see what truly lies in the heart of humanity. Bishop has shown us the best and worst of us all.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-half-stars


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Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Posted October 10, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #4
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Vision in Silver (The Others, #3), Etched in Bone (The Others, #5)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 489
Length: 15 hours and 21 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

In the fourth novel in Anne Bishop's New York Times bestselling series, the Others will need to decide how much humanity they're willing to tolerate--both within themselves and their community...

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the dynamic between humans and Others has changed. Some, such as Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the closer companionship as beneficial.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don't realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land--and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to safeguard what is theirs...

This series is addicting. For centuries humans and The Others have lived together in an uneasy peace. Now the Humans First and Last movement has shattered that peace with acts of terrible violence against the Others. What they didn’t realize is the shapeshifters they see aren’t the scariest Others out there. Ancient, primordial beings know as The Elders have awoken and now have the scent of their prey…the human race. The only thing keeping the humans from total extinction is Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue (blood prophet) who has befriended and intrigued all the Others. The Elders have to decide how much human they’re willing to keep..and Meg and Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, have to figure out how to save the human race – or if they’re even worth saving.

Meg’s first few weeks outside the compound where she was kept and abused were so eventful she barely had time to think about her circumstances or settle in to some new kind of normal. Now, however, she’s overwhelmed by all the changes in her life. And the more overwhelmed she gets, the more she craves the euphoria she feels after she makes a cut. Trying to beat her addiction and help the other cassandra sangue is bad enough, but now she and Simon must figure out what her prophesies mean, and how to keep the Elders from killing them all.

Another excellent read, Marked in Flesh delves further into the issues of racism, bigotry and the consequences of those when faced with beings bigger and badder than ourselves. The intense character development and story arc make this series a must read.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-stars


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Review: Visions in Silver by Anne Bishop

Posted October 9, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Visions in Silver by Anne BishopReviewer: Holly
Vision in Silver (The Others, #3) by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #3
Also in this series: Written in Red (The Others, #1), Murder of Crows (The Others, #2), Marked in Flesh (The Others, #4), Etched in Bone (The Others, #5)
Publisher: Roc
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 493
Length: 16 hours and 4 minutes
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Goodreads
four-stars

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before; both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

The war between the humans and the Others is heating up. Simon and other terra indigene from the Lakeside Courtyard helped liberate the Blood Prophets like Meg Corbyn from the compounds they were held in where they faced terrible abuse. With the Humans First and Last movement trying to stir up trouble for The Others, Simon needs Meg’s help to figure out a way to keep all the Blood Prophets safe and out of the control of those who would hurt them.

Things are getting more intense in Lakeside and throughout the continent of Thaisia as the humans try to wrest land from the Others. Meg and Simon have their hands full dealing with outside conflicts, as well as learning how to understand each other. This series works extremely well in part because the stories are so well layered. I love Meg and her journey to fight the addiction to cut, to live a life in her control. Simon’s reactions to her are at times amusing, heartwarming and frustrating. Much like his feelings toward her. As she builds a family in Lakeside, the drama and violence outside the Courtyard adds an urgency that kept me glued to the pages.

Bishop is setting a high bar with this series..and she keeps leaping over it.

4.25 out of 5

The Others

four-stars


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Blog Tour Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Posted October 1, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Blog Tour Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Monster in the Closet (Baltimore, #5) by Karen Rose
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: Baltimore #5
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 498
Length: 15 hours, 25 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Monster in the Closet reunites readers with characters from Karen Rose's bestselling Baltimore series.

A mother is dead, and now her killer hunts the child that witnessed the brutal crime...

Private Investigator Clay Maynard locates missing children for clients, but has nearly given up hope of finding his own daughter, cruelly stolen from him by his ex-wife twenty-three years ago.

Equine therapist Taylor Dawson has chosen to intern at Daphne Montgomery-Carter's stables so that she can observe the program's security director - her father, Clay Maynard. Trying to reconcile the wonderful man she's getting to know with the monster her mother always described, Taylor never expects to become the target of a real monster, the man who murdered the mother of the little girls she works with at the stable. Neither does she expect to fall for Ford Elkhart, Daphne's handsome son, who is dealing with his own demons. As family and friends gather for a wedding, Taylor starts to imagine a permanent life in Baltimore.

But not if the real monster gets to her first...

In anticipation of the release of her new book, Death is Not Enough, I am here to remind you why we love Karen Rose! She is my all-time favorite romantic suspense author. There is no one better than she. I loved her from the moment I read Don’t Tell and she has gotten even better since then. In Monster in the Closet, Karen Rose is at the top of her game.

I listened to this book on audio. The narrator was amazing. The inflection in her voice was simply incredible. If I didn’t know that it was only one narrator, I would have thought it was multiple narrators. This one made it so easy to just listen. I’ve listened to a few that have really made my eyes roll. I’m looking forward to listening to this narrator again.

Let me preface this review by saying that we know who the killer is from the beginning. I prefer mysteries where the mystery isn’t a mystery because I am so incredibly awful at guessing who the bad guy is. I literally have to be hit upside the head with it.

The book begins with Jasmine Jarvis finding her mother’s dead body in their apartment. She soon realize that she has walked in on the killer and immediately hides. It was heartbreaking. She is hiding mere feet from her mother’s unrecognizable, beaten dead body while her killer rummages around in the hall closet. Jazzy sees his face and isn’t surprised in the least. She knows that she can never tell who killer her mother or he will come back for her and her sister. So she doesn’t say a word. To anyone.

Taylor Dawson is an equine therapist at a local stable. She is instantly drawn to Jazzy, a girl she can see so much of herself in. It’s clear that she’s terrified and Taylor knows how fear like that feels. She’s determined to help Jazzy in any way she can. When Jazzy speaks to Taylor, everyone is hopeful as they are the first words she has spoken since she was found by her mother’s body. The police have kept quiet about the fact that Jazzy was found at the scene, knowing they have a leak somewhere in their department.

Taylor has her own reason for being in Baltimore. She is there to see if her biological father, Clay Maynard, is the evil man her mother made her believe he was for her entire life. For as long as she can remember, Taylor has lived in fear that someday Clay would come and take her away, even possibly kill her if he ever found her. She’s lived off the grid, changed her name, had bodyguards, and literally had no life to speak of based on what she now knows are lies. It wasn’t until she was on her deathbed that her mother told her the truth. Even then, Taylor wasn’t sure she believed her mother. It wasn’t until she discovered a box with cards and letters from Clay to Taylor going back years that she decided it was time to seek Clay out.

Ford Elkhart is the son of the owner of the stable. He has his own demons, just as Taylor does. Taylor thinks she’s all stealthy, but Ford sees who she truly is the day that he meets her. Her eyes are unique, exactly as Clay’s are. Although he feels drawn to Taylor, Clay has been his friend for years and he would never keep the daughter he has been searching for for twenty three years from him. When Clay sees Taylor for the first time? OMFG. Talk about feels. It was just devastating. They just lost so much time. Clay lost raising his daughter all because his ex-wife was trying to save face with her parents. Taylor lost her dad because her mom was a selfish bitch. It was just so sad.

In the meantime, the killer has learned that Jazzy is talking to Taylor and has decided it is time to eliminate her. What he doesn’t know is how astonishingly hard it will be to get to her. Taylor is now surrounded by people that will protect her. Taylor herself is no shrinking violet. She was raised by a man that taught her to protect herself if she ever found herself face-to-face with her father, whom she thought was a monster. Taylor is pretty amazing. There is one scene in the book where Ford is intimidated by her, which is actually pretty amusing.

I really enjoy the many POV’s in KR’s books. Because her books are so long, it doesn’t detract from the main characters. I felt that the story was told and it was a good one. I love the sense of community there is in Baltimore. I love all the characters and how characters from other cities pop in and out. I just straight love Karen Rose.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Baltimore

four-stars


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