Narrator: Joe Arden

Review: Say It’s Forever by A.L. Jackson

Posted May 16, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Say It’s Forever by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Say It's Forever by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Redemption Hills #2
Also in this series: Give Me a Reason
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 28, 2022
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 414
Length: 11 hours and 33 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Jud Lawson found me stranded in the rain.
Broken down on the side of the road in a deserted neighborhood with my piece of crap car.
I wasn't looking for a hero, and definitely not one who looks like him.
An obscenely hot, mountain-of-a-man who screams danger.
But I have little choice other than climbing onto the back of his bike.

One look at Salem Aguilar, and I'm hooked.
The girl is devastation wrapped in a black, seductive bow.
A knockout.
A dream.
Turns out, she needs a job, and I need the help.
Now I have a vixen strutting around my shop, and I'm the fool who's itching to reach out and take what he can't have.

But neither of us can ignore the burning attraction.
The fire that leads to a kiss.
A kiss that has us falling into my bed.
The connection that has me wanting the one thing I'd never thought I could have again.
Because monsters like me don't deserve love.

Only Salem has a secret, too.
She's been running for years, and her past just caught up to us...

Salem Aguilar is on the run from a husband that wants her dead. After four years of running, her brother talked her into coming to Redemption Hills & starting over. To say that Salem is nervous about staying in one place is an understatement. She has been on the run for so long, it’s hard for her to stay in one place for very long. It was a rainy night when her car broke down and her knight came to the rescue. Initially she’s very wary of Jud, which isn’t surprising. She learns that not only is a he a good person, but he is a genuinely good human. That doesn’t mean she’ll take a handout, so she talks Jud into letting her work for him in his office.

Jud is tortured af. He lost the thing that meant the most to him in this world. For years he’s been waiting, hoping that his ex-wife will bring his daughter back to him. Letting Salem and her little girl into his life is something that he is very leery of, but he can’t stay away from Salem anymore than he can stop himself from loving her little girl.

I read this book when it first came out, then I listened to it on audio. Andi Arndt & Joe Arden are two of my favorite narrators, so I was really excited to listen to it. It didn’t disappoint, in fact the audio was better. I really feel that I’m not doing this book justice in this review. It’s been a minute since I read it, but I still remember that it stayed with me for days after. Salem is such a strong female character. She’s been keeping herself & her daughter safe for the last four years. Jud wants to take some of the burden off her, but she doesn’t know how to let him.

I loved Jud & Salem together. I loved being able to see Trent, Eden, Gage, & Logan. I am so excited for Logan’s book!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Redemption Hills

four-half-stars


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Review: Broken Miles by Claire Kingsley

Posted April 4, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Broken Miles by Claire KingsleyReviewer: Casee
Broken Miles by Claire Kingsley
Narrator: Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell
Series: Miles Family #1
Also in this series: Forbidden Miles, Reckless Miles
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 18, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 298
Length: 7 hours and 16 minutes
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

“She was unraveling me, slowly but surely. I could feel it happening. Like she was gently unbuttoning the collar of a shirt that fit too tight.”
Single-minded drive earned Roland Miles success—and cost him his first love. When his marriage to Zoe ended, he did the only thing he knew. He dove into work to put his heartbreak behind him.
Zoe Sutton’s life hasn’t exactly gone to plan. She certainly didn’t plan on losing Roland or moving home to work for his family’s winery. Four years after their divorce, she wonders if her chance at happily ever after is behind her.
After discovering his family might lose their land, Roland comes home to help sort out the mess. But between his brothers’ antics, a baby sister who’s all grown up, and a father keeping secrets, complicated isn’t even the half of it.
And then there’s Zoe.
He didn’t come home looking for a second chance with her. But the more time they spend together, the more he realizes what they lost. What they could have again.
Because the truth is, they broke each other’s hearts. And maybe they’re the only ones who can put them back together.
Author’s note: A stoic hero who’s soft on the inside. A sassy heroine who doesn’t take any sh*t. Messy family. Lots of shenanigans. Mattress burning bonfires. And a second chance at love with a big HEA.
The Miles Family series are best enjoyed in order.

Roland feels like he needs to prove himself to his father. To prove that he doesn’t need to go into the family winery business to be successful. The only thing Roland hasn’t been successful in is his marriage. Being a workaholic didn’t work for Zoe so she left San Francisco and went back home. She was lucky enough to be taken in my Roland’s family and given a job. As an event planner for the Miles’ winery, Zoe is constantly in motion. When the family finds out that the winery is in trouble, they call Roland home to fix it. As a businessman, Roland has insight that the rest of his family doesn’t have. The last thing he wants to do is return home, but he can’t leave his family hanging.

Zoe isn’t thrilled that Roland is coming home, but she’s not freaked out either. She’s moved on from Roland and their marriage. Zoe doesn’t even consider reconciliation as a possibility. She just hopes that Roland will be on his way back to San Francisco soon. Unfortunately for Zoe, Roland finds out that his dad has been running the winery into the ground. If he doesn’t do something, they will go out of business. Now the entire family has to band together to get them through the crisis that their father has put them in.

This is the second series that I have read by Claire Kingsley. She has such a gift. The characters she writes are more than loveable, they will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book(s). This was such a great start to this series. Roland and Zoe were made for each other, but sometimes that’s not enough. They had to work at it. I love the second chance trope. Another thing I love about Claire Kinglsey is that there is very little miscommunication with her characters. That is such a refreshing change for me. Miscommunication is one of my pet peeves.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Miles Family

four-half-stars


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Review: Perfect Wreckage by Catherine Cowles

Posted February 24, 2022 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Perfect Wreckage by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Perfect Wreckage by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell
Series: Wrecked #2
Also in this series: Reckless Memories
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 328
Length: 9 hours and 12 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

My past taught me to play it safe.To stay far away from handsome men who promised it all.My life was good without them. Stable, secure, predictable.
But one kiss showed me that I’d been playing it safe for far too long.One night, and all I wanted was more of his wildfire.One challenge and my carefully constructed walls tumbled down.
Amidst the rubble, I realized there was more to this man than I ever dreamed.When everything fell apart, he showed me what it meant to stay.How to truly live.
But when my demons return, that life might end up shorter than either of us expected…

Kenna leads a very predictable life. She’s an accountant (us accountants like predicability). Numbers are predictable. There is no gray areas here. Kenna enjoys her job immensely. She’s content, if not happy, with her life. She has a good job, good friends, and Harriett, the woman that has raised her since she was 11.

When Harriett dies, Kenna is devastated. Crosby was Harriett’s lawyer. He knows exactly what is going to happen when Harriett’s family finds out that she left Kenna The Gables. The home that is a haven for Kenna. Something that Harriett’s family is trying to take away from her. While she’s usually happy to stay out of the spotlight, she’s not going to let Harriet’s family take her home.

I adored Kenna. She grew so much in this book. Crosby helped her realize that life isn’t about working. It’s okay to have a little unpredictably in life. He taught her how to live. It’s like she was in a bubble of her own making, and Crosby just popped that sucker.

I didn’t think I’d like Crosby as much as I did. Sure, he was okay. But really not my kind of hero. I enjoy alpha heroes. Very alpha. Crosby is not that. He certainly has a quiet strength, which is what made him so likable. Crosby doesn’t want to settle down. He likes his life and can’t imagine being with one woman the rest of his life.

I’ve read a few reviews that states this book is romantic suspense. I highly disagree. It might have had romantic suspense undertones, but it was a straight rs.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles

Posted November 17, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Reckless Memories by Catherine CowlesReviewer: Casee
Reckless Memories by Catherine Cowles
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Wrecked #1
Also in this series: Perfect Wreckage
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 330
Length: 8 hours and 38 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

I loved him before I knew what the word meant. From skinned knees to first dates and everything in between. But he was never mine to love. I settled for friendship, even though I always wanted more.
That was before. Before he ripped my world apart and didn’t bother sticking around to help me pick up the pieces. I knit every last shred back together all on my own. And I’ve all but forgotten his name.
Now, he’s back, and everything is torn apart once more. But he’s not the only one doing the tearing this time. And there might be no stopping the person who has it out for us both.

Ford, Bell, and Violet were like the Three Musketeers. They did everything together. Bell tagged along with them most of the time. When Violet died in a horrible accident, Ford fled Anchor Island. All he could think about what that it was his fault. His fault that he killed his girlfriend. His fault that his best friend is in the hospital. Never mind that a deer ran into the road. He’s at fault.

When Ford left after Violet died, Bell was destroyed. Devastation doesn’t even begin to cover what she felt when she found out that her sister died and she lost Ford. It’s taken her a long time to find peace with the situation, but she does find it. When Hunter calls Ford to tell him he needs to return to Anchor to help the family business, Bell is once again torn apart. It’s taken her a long time and much soul searching to find her happiness.

I don’t generally care for the dead girlfriend’s little sister trope. I think it’s pretty cliché. Catherine Cowles definitely made it work in this case. Ford and Bell weren’t just best friends; they shared the same soul. It’s all very Megan Fox/MGK minus the blood. Their relationship began when Bell was so young. To Ford, she was a part of him.

These characters were just so well-rounded. When Ford arrives back on Anchor, he is forced to confront how his decisions back then how it wrecked Bell. He’s determined to win her back (friendship at this point) which means he needs to look inward to finally figure out why he left everyone he loved.

This was my first book by this author and I’m really looking forward to reading the series. Yay for new-to-me authors!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Wrecked

four-half-stars


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Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. Jackson

Posted November 27, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lead Me Home by A.L. JacksonReviewer: Casee
Lead Me Home by A. L. Jackson
Narrator: Andi Arndt, Joe Arden
Series: Fight for Me #3
Also in this series: Hold on to Hope, Show Me the Way, Follow Me Back
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 20, 2018
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 396
Length: 10 hours and 36 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Fourteen years ago, my life changed forever.

My sister disappeared. That day I was selfish. That day I chose myself over her. And that day, I lost everything.

Including Nikki Walters.

She's the girl I’ve loved my whole life. She’s gorgeous. Caring. Every single thing I’ve ever wanted but denied myself. She was my sister’s best friend, and I destroyed any chance of keeping her.

When her safety is threatened, I have a second chance to do the right thing. But as soon as she moves in, I want her in all the wrong ways.

All it takes is a brush of her hand, and I’m losing all control.

The fire between us is only burning hotter.

But neither of us saw what was coming.

And it just might be Nikki Walters who destroys me in the end.

Ollie and Nikki have skated around each other since they were kids. The age difference was too vast when they were younger. Now tragedy lays between them and it’s something that neither of them can get past. Nikki has mostly healed after her best friend disappeared without a trace. In her heart, she knows that Sydney is dead. While she mourns for what was lost, she doesn’t let herself exist in the past. Except with it comes to Ollie, Sydney’s brother.

Ollie has not, nor will he ever forgive himself for what happened to Sydney. Although the logical part of himself knows that she dead, he can’t stop searching for her. His entire life revolves around the sister that he was always supposed to protect. Not only did he not protect her, he was the one that sent her away to her unknown fate.

Ollie can’t stay away from Nikki even though he can’t have her. His demons are too great, his soul in shreds. When someone starts harassing Nikki, Ollie steps in to protect her. It doesn’t matter that he can’t give her what she wants…Ollie will never let anything happen to the girl who should have been his. When the situation escalates, their relationship escalates as well. Nikki can’t take the pushing and pulling any longer and tells him that he needs to let her go. And leave her alone. That’s not something that Ollie can promise.

I really liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite in the series. The way the killer (yes, killer) is found at the end and how it all ties into the story was pretty campy. That didn’t take away from the story as a whole. I really loved seeing Ollie heal with Nikki’s help.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5.

Fight For Me

three-half-stars


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