Narrator: Andi Arndt

Review: Royally Yours by Emma Chase

Posted September 11, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Royally Yours by Emma ChaseReviewer: Holly
Royally Yours by Emma Chase
Narrator: Shane East, Andi Arndt
Series: Royally #4
Also in this series: Royally Matched (Royally, #2), Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 28, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance
Pages: 215
Length: 7 hours and 33 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Historical Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 Historical Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

*New York Times bestselling author Emma Chase returns with a sweet and sexy romantic comedy.*

Princess Lenora Celeste Beatrice Arabella Pembrook had an unusual childhood. She was raised to be a Queen—the first Queen of Wessco.

It’s a big deal.

When she’s crowned at just nineteen, the beautiful young monarch is prepared to rule. She’s charming, clever, confident and cunning.

What she isn’t…is married.

It’s her advising council’s first priority. It’s what Parliament is demanding, and what her people want.

Lenora has no desire to tie herself to a man—particularly one who only wants her for her crown. But compromises must be made and royals must do their duty.

Even Queens. Especially them. ** Years ago, Edward Langdon Richard Dorian Rourke, walked away from his title and country. Now he’s an adventurer—climbing mountains, exploring jungles, going wherever he wants, when he wants—until family devotion brings him home.

And a sacred promise keeps him there.

To Edward, the haughty, guarded little Queen is intriguing, infuriating…and utterly captivating. Wanting her just might drive him mad—or become his greatest adventure. ** Within the cold, stone walls of the royal palace—mistrust threatens, wills clash, and an undeniable, passionate love will change the future of the monarchy forever.

Every dynasty has a beginning. Every legend starts with a story.

This is theirs.

I didn’t read the other books in this series, but I’m given to understand this is the story of the grandmother from the Royally series. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Set in the late 40s and into the 50s, this novel chronicles the life of Queen Lenora Pembrook, as she’s crowned at 19 and takes her place as ruler of Wessco.

Lenora was raised to be queen from birth. She didn’t have much of a childhood, outside of a few short incidences, because she was training for the moment she’d take over and rule the country as the first queen. She had a couple childhood friends who grew to adulthood with her, but there was a lot of loss in her life. The romance doesn’t really even begin until about the 50% mark (perhaps a bit more, I listened to the audio so I’m not sure when exactly Edward was introduced into the story), but I didn’t really miss it, I was so engaged in Lenora’s life. I enjoyed seeing her training, then eventual coronation. She had to deal with centuries of patriarchal bullshit, but I thought she handled it all rather well.

Loss, heartbreak and eventually a smoldering love affair with the husband she never thought she’d get, Royally Yours had me swept up in life at the palace. I don’t really have a desire to read the modern day stories, but this was just what I was in the mood for.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Royally

four-stars


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Review: Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 19, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Come As You Are by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: One Love #5
Also in this series: The Sexy One (One Love, #1), The Only One (One Love #2), The Hot One (One Love, #3), The Knocked Up Plan
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 16, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 334
Length: 7 hours and 29 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect night.

For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I’m not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine—multimillionaire. But who’s counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I've ever met, who happens to like dancing, witty banter, and hot, passionate up-against-the-wall sex as much as I do.

There's no need for names or business cards. And that’s why I’m eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge…bank account.

Everything’s coming up aces. Until the next day when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash — a lot complicated.)

***

He's charming, brilliant, an incredible lover, and right now I want to stab fate in the eyeballs.

I've had one goal I've been working toward, and lo and behold, my mystery man is the very person who stands between me and my dream job. A job I desperately need since my hard-knock life has nothing in common with his star-kissed one.

But it’s time to put that fairytale night behind me, and focus on learning what makes him tick. Too bad it turns out his quirks are my quirks, and his love affair with New York matches mine.

And as we spend our days together, I discover something else that feels like a cruel twist of fate — I’m falling for this naughty prince charming, and that’s not an ending I can write to our story.

Come As You Are by Lauren Blakely is the 5th book in the One Love series. I really enjoyed the previous book and I couldn’t wait to see what happened with Flynn. I ended up loving this book. I think it might be my favorite of the series. Andi Arndt and Sebastian York narrated, which probably helped. They’re my favorite duo.

Flynn Parker and his twin brother Dylan sold their start-up for millions. Now they’re working on a fully automated home system. He’s a hot, young millionaire at the top of the tech industry. But he never knows if people want him for him, or for his money. A masquerade ball gives him the chance to reinvent himself for a night- to remain anonymous. He could never have guessed he’d meet the woman of his dreams there, but that’s exactly what happened.

Sabrina Granger has been unlucky in love and business lately. But all that turns around the night she meets a mystery man at a masquerade ball. After the hottest encounter of her life – with the possibility of more – she’s offered her dream assignment – the chance to interview Flynn Parker, with the potential to make this a full-time writing gig with a prestigious magazine. She’s flying high – until she and her masked mystery man from the night before meet up in the daylight and she realizes her hot library fling is none other than Flynn Parker, in the flesh.

She needs this job more than she needs orgasms, so she tells Flynn they have to keep things professional. But that’s easier said than done when New York’s hottest bachelor turns out to be the Prince Charming she’s always wanted.

Flynn was such a sweetheart in the previous books, I knew I was going to love him. He was everything I expected him to be. He was sweet, funny, generous and kind. But also dirty, sarcastic and not afraid to take chances. Sabrina was the perfect partner for him. She was adventurous, kind and quirky. I loved the way they explored the city and got to know one another.

This was a sweet romance filled with witty banter and a lot of chemistry. I absolutely loved it.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

One Love

four-half-stars


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Review: The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely

Posted July 18, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren BlakelyReviewer: Holly
The Knocked Up Plan by Lauren Blakely
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Sebastian York
Series: One Love #4
Also in this series: The Sexy One (One Love, #1), The Only One (One Love #2), The Hot One (One Love, #3), Come As You Are
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 23, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hours and 59 minutes
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: three-stars

There are three little words most guys don’t want to hear on the first date. Not those…I mean these… “knock me up.”

This single gal has had enough of the games, the BS and the endless chase. I know what I want most, and it’s not true love. It’s a bun in the oven, and I’m not afraid to hit up my s-e-x-on-a-stick co-worker to do the job. Ryder is gorgeous, witty and charming — and he’s also a notorious commitment-phobe. That makes him the perfect candidate to make a deposit in the bank of me. I won’t fall for him, he won’t fall for me, and there’s no way baby will make three. Right?

****

There are four words every guy wants to hear on the first date — “your place or mine?”

When my hot-as-sin co-worker makes me a no-strings-attached offer that involves her place, my place, any place — as well as any position — I can’t refuse. Besides, I've got my own reasons to take her up on her deal even with her one BIG condition.

There’s no way I’ll want more from one woman than any position, any where, any night? Except . . . what if I do?

Be prepared to swoon and fan yourself from the heat! This full-length standalone contains lots of hot baby-making s-e-x, happy tears, playful jokes and a hot, swoonworthy hero you will fall madly in love with. One-click now for pure reading enjoyment!

The Knocked Up Plan is the 4th book in the One Love series by Lauren Blakely. This series has been hit or miss for me, but Andi Ardnt and Sebastian York are two of my favorite narrators. When I saw they were doing the audiobook I knew I had to give it a go. I’m glad I did. This was a sweet story. I liked both Ryder and Nicole. They had great chemistry and I really felt their friendship, too.

Nicole is ready to be a mother. She’s never really had a long-term relationship (except once, and he was more committed that she was), but she doesn’t want to wait. Her father died when she was young and her mother raised her alone, so Nicole sees no reason why she can’t do the same. The problem is finding the right donor. She wants to know what kind of DNA a potential father is contributing to her child, and picking one out of a catalog is difficult. Until she decides to ask her co-worker, Ryder. Ryder has everything she could ever want in a father for her baby – he’s kind, smart, sweet and sexy-as-hell. Plus, after his marriage went sour, Ryder isn’t looking for any kind of commitment. Which makes him the perfect candidate.

Ryder is pretty shocked – and, if he’s being honest, flattered – when Nicole asks him to donate to her cause. He’s been off romance since his marriage went down in flames, but Nicole doesn’t want romance. She just wants his sperm. He also needs help with a problem. He used to be the ultimate wing-man, the city’s dating Guru (think Hitch), but lately his ratings are down. When his producer tells him he needs to do a “10 Dates to Romance Her” feature, he figures he and Nicole can help each other out.

As these two embark on Ten dates designed to make couples fall in love, and fall into bed every night, things soon turn from light and flirty to serious. But are either ready, or willing, to take the next step? Because there aren’t just the two of them to consider..there’s the potential future child, too.

I thought this was such a fun, cute listen. Ryder was really wonderful. Down-to-Earth, happy, sweet, chivalrous. He had a it all. He and Nicole had chemistry in spades, so their jump from co-workers (and ping-pong partners) to lovers wasn’t a stretch. But more than anything, it was their friendship I adored. They both went out of their way for one another. There isn’t a lot of conflict or angst here. They both acted like adults about the situation with the baby-making, and watching them realize their feelings beyond that was great. Plus, Ryder’s on-air confession was super adorable.

Rating: 4 out of 5

One Love

four-stars


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Joint Review: Getting Played by Emma Chase

Posted July 16, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Getting Played by Emma ChaseReviewer: Casee and Holly
Getting Played by Emma Chase
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Zachary Webber
Series: Getting Some #2
Also in this series: Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1), Getting Schooled (Getting Some, #1)
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Escape
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 241
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A magnificent new romance by New York Times best-selling author Emma Chase - available in audio first!

Dean Walker is all about keeping life simple. He's effortlessly talented and intelligent - spending his summers playing drums in the local band and the rest of the year teaching high school in the same Jersey town where he grew up. He likes his love life simple too, enjoying the commitment-free hook-ups his good looks and sexy charm have always made oh so easy.

Then he meets Lainey Burrows. And his simple, easy life gets turned upside down.

One wild one-night stand was all it was ever supposed to be, so Lainey is shocked when she discovers that her sizzling summer fling is also her son's new math teacher. But that's nothing compared to the most unexpected twist of all - their hot hook-up left Lainey knocked up, and now they're about to become parents. Together.

What ensues is an addictive, insatiable, sweet and tender romance that won't be simple, but it will be more than worth the fight.

Getting Played is the second book in Emma Chase’s Getting Some series. Dean Walker is a small-town math teacher that hits the road with his band during the summer. Lanie Burrorws is a successful DIY blogger who is out celebrating a new career opportunity. Their attraction is instantaneous, their one night together is unforgettable. They thought they would never see each other again, until Lanie shows up for parent-teacher conferences at her son’s new school.

Casee: I loved Dean in Getting Schooled and I loved him in this book. He was just so brutally honest with himself about himself, you know? I adored that about him. I also loved how open and honest Dean and Lanie were. No games.

Holly: I loved Dean in Getting Schooled, too, and I was so happy to see his book.

Dean was an all around great guy. He didn’t lie to himself or anyone else about who and what he was. He admitted to being a major player, but it was obvious he was ready for more by the time Lainey came back to town.

Casee: One of the things I liked most about this book was the Burrows’ family. When Lanie talked about how her parents went on their cruise and slept the whole time? Isn’t that every parent after all their kids are out of the house? I loved all her sisters and how they were there for each other. They were all so unique.

Holly: I thought Lainey’s family was so great. Her parents, her sisters, even her son. All of them were so well done. I loved getting to know them. It was great to reunite with Garrett and Callie, too. I like that they didn’t steal the show, either.

Casee: I think that Emma Chase is just such a stellar writer. Like you said, she brought back Garrett and Callie, but not too much. It was still all about Dean and Lainey.

Holly: I really liked Lainey’s lifestyle blog, too. I thought the added snippets of her Facebook Live posts were really great. I also loved that she was just real and out there. At one point she mentions something about lifestyle bloggers generally being totally put together, but that’s not her. She lets her viewers see it all. I thought that was great.

Casee: That’s another thing I loved about Lainey. She put herself out there. She let her viewers see the real her. She didn’t sugarcoat anything that was happening in her life, she just laid it all out for all to see. I also loved her relationship with Jason.

I also love Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt on audio. They are like the power couple of audiobooks. I heart them.

Holly: I really like Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber, but I like Sebastian York and Andi Arndt a little more. They’re my power couple of audiobooks. Still, this one was wonderful to listen to.

Casee: I have nothing bad to say about this book really. I loved just about everything. I loved the kids in Dean’s class. When they found out that Jason and Lainey lived in the haunted house on Miller St? Hilarious.

Holly: I have nothing bad to say about this book, either. I loved how open and honest Dean and Lainey were with each other. I loved Lainey’s relationship with her son, and how well Dean got along with him. Even when they were having drama, they didn’t let that affect their plans to parent their child.

Casee: I give this one a 4.25 out of 5. What about you?

Holly: I’m giving it 4.25 as well. It was such a sweet, well done story. I can’t wait for the next one.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Getting Some

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted April 28, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 8 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Repeat by Kylie Scott is the first 5 star read I’ve had of 2019 – and possibly of 2017 and 2018 as well. It follows the journey of Clementine Johns as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together after a viscous attack leaves her with amnesia. I first listened to the audiobook and the narrator, Andi Ardnt, is amazing. I was drawn in from the first. When the ebook dropped, I immediately read the story and it was just as good as the audio. She reconnects with her ex, Ed Larson, though of course he’s shocked to see her – and not very happy about it. She broke his heart, though she has no idea why.

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

The romance is stellar and I loved the secondary characters, but it was Clem’s personal journey that really got me.

Sunday Spotlight: Repeat by Kylie ScottRepeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 7, 2019
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

"A page-turning romantic feast that will have you desperate for more. I was immediately hooked." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken

From New York Times bestselling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance.

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?

Clem wasn’t focused on her past so much as learning how to live in the present. “Previous Me” was a stranger, and her choices made little sense to “Current Me”, who was dropped into this life without explanation or context. Her strength and resilience really spoke to me. I’ve read the book several times since that first listen, and I know I’ll read it many more times in the future.

Favorite Lines

“Also, apparently the part of my brain in charge of inhibitions and social restrictors, et cetera, is a bit messed up, so I don’t always react right, or at least not necessarily how you’d expect me to behave based on previous me.”

“Previous you?”

I shrug. “It’s as good a label for her as any.”

“She’s you. You’re her.”

“Maybe. But she’s still a complete stranger to me.”

“You know, you didn’t used to swear so much.”

I snort. “No? I wore pastels and spoke nicely, huh?”

Being someone’s ex is strange, all of the history such a title involves. It’s hard to be the villain of the story when I don’t even remember why I left him and apparently broke both our hearts.

“When we’re together like this, sometimes I forget.”

I snort. “You forget? Try being me.”

At this, he laughs, shaking his head. “How can you make jokes about it?”

“Dark humor has its place. God knows, being depressed all the damn time would just be boring.”

Frances laughs so hard when I tell her about the showdown with Ed that she nearly falls off the kitchen chair. “It’s like you’re an evil twin of your former self or something.”

“Now tell me something good about when we were together.”

“Hmm.” He tosses the teaspoon into the sink. “I got to wake up to your face every morning. I used to like that.”

Although the book isn’t perfect – the mystery plot is pretty weak – I really loved Clem and her journey to discover who she was and who she wanted to be.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: April 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Kylie Scott

Author Kylie Scott headshot

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013, 2014 & 2018, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.


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