Audiobook, Contemporary Romance

Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin by Mariana Zapata


TITLE: Rhythm, Chord & Malykhin
AUTHOR: Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Carly Robins
TIME: (9hrs, 8 mins)
Blurb: Listening time 9 hours 8 minutes
Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

Gaby Barreto just got dumped by her boyfriend of two years and kicked out of their apartment, all while not having secured employment after graduating with a degree in History.

So when her twin brother invited her to tour with his band as the head of Merchandising, she couldn’t refuse. There she met Sacha Malykhin, lead singer of the other band on the tour, and they became instant friends.

Anyone who has read a Mariana Zapata book knows that she builds friendships, simmering attraction and angst before she introduces the actual romance. So her books aren’t about hot sex and stolen moments but they feature lasting bonds of romance.
That’s why when I wasn’t connecting with the audiobook initially, I put it down. I knew it was probably a mood thing and I was right. When I came back to it, I listened to the book in two days.

Gabby (“Flabby”) and Sacha (“Sassy”) were really cute. Their relationship was sweet and playful. Both characters felt authentic and relatable. I also enjoyed the camaraderie, even though at times it was over the top. Some of the playful instances, like taking a poop in a plastic bag and the name calling felt like High School than a college graduate age adults. That’s why I docked the story half of a star. It was a bit juvenile and got old quickly. I did love the personal growth in how they dealt with the growing feelings between them. They always seemed to be aware of the other and in their own way, take care of the other. I like friends to lover tropes more than my friend’s sibling trope and this book had both. Gabby and Sacha finally got on the same page that was soothing like beautiful music to my sould. (HEHEHEHE!)

On a side note: I am trying to remember how Gabby was portrayed in Kulti because that book was mentioned and Gabby was big into soccer. I may have to re-read Kulti sometime next year.

This book won’t be in my Top 5 Mariana Zapata novels, but it is still an enjoyable read for those who prefer romance over steamy and smutty love stories.

Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, New Adult, Review Books

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren


TITLE: Autoboyography
AUTHOR: Christina Lauren
PAGES: 416 (9hrs, 19mins)
NARRATORS: Deacon Lee and Kyle Mason
PUBLISHED: September 12th, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

BLURB: Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I was disappointed. There is so many 5-stars for this book, but it was barely a 3-star for me.

I found Tanner to be a bit self-centered and immature. But he was 18 years old, so that should be par for the course, right? Fine. I will cut him slack. But what I had the biggest gripe about was his lack of empathy for others. His parents went out of their way to make sure he was protected or at least his secret. He knew his best friend had feelings for him but he sort of used her as a cover. Was he really afraid she wouldn’t be his friend if she knew he was bisexual or gay? I don’t believe that at all. She kept his lazy butt on course and also kept people from asking him about his dating life. Even his parent mentioned that Autumn had romantic feelings for him. It’s a good thing his bestie didn’t get pregnant. I don’t think he really gave a really deep consideration to what he put her through.

On the other hand, I thought Sebastian’s indecision felt real and was similar to what my Uncle had to consider coming from a deeply religious family. For him, the label of bisexual or gay meant a loss of identity, loss of his parents love, loss of the church community which held him in esteemed and possible loss of his salvation. That’s a lot and Tanner never seemed to get that pain and respect the process of coming to terms of what loving another man cost Sebastian (at least in Sebastian’s thoughts).

I admit it irked me that others were putting creative works of writing and Tanner basically wrote about kissing, hiking etc. He had a diary while others were creating a world of fiction. That was only added to my side eye of Tanner.
I do give him super props for continuing with his plan to college and not letting heartache deter him from trying to live his best life. That showed inner resolve and also respect for the man he loved, that he let him go to figure himself out.

This book would have been much better if the author did a dual PV throughout the whole book. I wouldn’t have minded being in Autumn’s head as well. Those two characters were compelling to me because they are they ones who were struggling with what was versus what they wanted to be. I liked their journey and it felt more authentic than Tanner who seemed to just enough to skate by.

Audiobook, Paranormal Romance, Review Books, Urban Fantasy

Review: Sin & Chocolate (Demigods of San Francisco #1


www.goodreads.com/book/show/43530043-sin-chocolate

<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43530043-sin-chocolate&#8221; style=”float: left; padding-right: 20px”><img border=”0″ alt=”Sin & Chocolate (Demigods of San Francisco #1)” src=”https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1547136734m/43530043.jpg&#8221; /></a><a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43530043-sin-chocolate”>Sin & Chocolate</a> by <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7010202.K_F_Breene”>K.F. Breene</a><br/>

My rating: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2686529961″>4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />

This book was a welcomed surprise because its is t feel like the same old same old. Sure it had shifters, but the characters felt new, the plot was different and that was enough to keep me engaged.<br /><br />Alexis was a young woman caring for two foster kids, Daisy and Mordecai, when she almost got run over by Kieran, a demigod. Lexie was busy trying to find a blanket as well as earn a living to take care of her wards. Mordecai was sick and Daisy was just a smart mouth teenager. <br />In this book, there was tiers of power depending upon your magical gift. Alexis was thought to be the lowest level of magic and Kieran was the highest. But Kieran senses that Alexis was hissing something and thus he felt compelled to find out what.<br /><br />I enjoyed the interactions between Lexie and Daisy and Mordecai. They were more siblings than parent/kid. There was love and fierce loyalty. Kieran wasn’t a bad guy but his goals to help hi mom and himself were his main objective, so protecting Lexie and the kids wasn’t his first priority. For that, I couldn’t trust him completely. I hope in book 2 we see him in a better light.

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<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4386752-ezinwanyi”>View all my reviews</a>

Audiobook, Fiction, Review Books, Suspense & Thriller

My Sister, the Serial Killer by by Oyinkan Braithwaite


My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaithe
Pages: 240
Blurb: Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.

“Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer.”

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they’re perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.
Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that’s as fun as it is frightening. 


I went into this book expecting to laugh or at least get some chuckles. I mean, look at the title! But from the very first page, any notions of a humorous/satirical novel was quickly dispelled.

The book starts off with sister Korede cleaning up a room after her sister Ayoola stabbed the boyfriend for yelling at her. One stab to the heart, two more to ensure he didn’t get. While Korede, the nurse, was cleaning and talking to Ayoola, it was clear that this has happened before.

What resonated with me (as a Nigerian) was the expectation that you protect family above all. So Korede is protecting her sister even though she’s simultaneously aiding and abetting a murderer and disposing a body and tampering with a crime season.
I also smiled at the descriptions of the Lagos, from hailing a taxi, to the calling of the trunk of the car “boot”.

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s debut novel captures the way sisters are treated and pitted against each other unknowingly in the descriptions of their beauty and value.
Korede KNOWS her sister Ayoola is more beautiful and valued. Korede resents that her needs and desires take a back seat but she’s come to accept the role until it’s tested when Ayoola sets her sight on the doctor that Korede has been in love with. Korede struggles with protecting the doctor by letting him know to avoid her sister or loyalty to blood.

Honestly, this audiobook wasn’t the smoothest I’ve heard. The story should have had an epilogue or a better explanation at the ending. I struggled to understand Ayoola who never seemed to feel bad for killing her beaus. No remorse other than the feigned emotions when the family of her victims asked if she knew anything about their whereabouts.
What I liked was the way the author captured the culture and her descriptions gave me visual memories of Nigeria. That connection is what I related to and what I loved. Overall, the story was entertaining. But just be aware, it’s not funny. It’s a straight up suspenseful crime story.

Audiobook, Romantic Suspense, Suspense & Thriller

Deadly Intent (I-Team, #8) by Pamela Clare


Blurb: Secrets buried in the sand…

Former US Army Captain Mia Starr has built a new life for herself in Denver, far away from camel spiders and sand—and the terrible secrets of her first deployment to Iraq. She isn’t looking for a relationship, especially not with an intrusive photojournalist. Joaquin Ramirez might be sexy, but in her experience, photojournalists only want to make a buck off other people’s suffering. Still, the universe must have a sick sense of humor because it keeps throwing her together with Joaquin, making the desire she feels for him harder and harder to resist.

An undeniable attraction…

As a Pulitzer Prize-winning news photographer, Joaquin has everything a single straight guy could want—except the right woman. When he meets Mia while shooting a crime scene, he immediately sees beyond her cold exterior to the vulnerable woman beneath. Though the police consider her a suspect, he’s sure she’s innocent. Someone is killing soldiers—and trying to pin the blame on her. Unable to resist the pull between them, Joaquin stands by her only to find himself snared in the killer’s net as well.

A twisted soul hungry for revenge…

Mia can’t help it when the heat between her and Joaquin melts away her preconceptions. As their passion explodes, danger draws ever closer. When it becomes clear that Mia is the killer’s true target, she must trust Joaquin with a secret that could ruin her … or risk losing the love of a lifetime.


This story was a really good example of a well written romantic suspense. It has romance, adventure, mystery/suspense and an HEA. This is a really entertaining series and this book was no exception.

Joaquin Ramirez really impressed me in the last book with his thoughtfulness and bravery. So I was really excited that this hard working and considerate photographer/member of the I-Team would get his chance at love.

Mia Starr seemed to be quite prickly in the beginning but I warmed up to her. She had to wear her armor all the time after what’s she had been through as a member of the US armed forces.
The now retired officer was a target of an old vendetta and Joaquin decided that he would help protect his sister’s former CO.
I like how the author paced this story. Joaquin was clearly attracted to Mia from the beginning but he never pushed and was always considerate of her needs first. He let her dictate how they proceeded. He helped her feel comfortable and confident. I loved it.
I enjoyed the narration of Kaleo Griffth except his sexy woman voice, which makes me laugh because it sounds like a man trying to sound like a woman.

I love that the author has kept the same energy, storytelling and emotional appeal throughout this series. Each couple has their own thing, their own journey but lots of support and encouragement from the fellow ITeam members. I can’t say the villain wasn’t predictable but the story was still enjoyable. I am curious to see who will be featured in the next book.

Audiobook, Historical Romance, Review Books

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgerton #8) by Julia Quinn


On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8)On the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
A funny thing happened… 

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except… 

She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except… 

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar...

Gregory Bridgerton was such a romantic but his vision of how he would fall in love was nothing like what actually occurred. I love that he thought he would just know and it would be smooth sailing but as as all realists now, you gotta work for love.
Like many men, Gregory worked hard only to find out that what he thought he wanted wasn’t at all what he needed.

Lucinda Abernathy was a means to an end for Gregory. After all, her best friend Hermione Watson was the one that Gregory had fallen for. Gregory enlisted Lucinda’s help to land Hermione until he loses Hermione. Gregory learned that he had fallen for the friend instead. Now he just has to convince her that she isn’t a consolation prize.

This one was didn’t feel like a series ending story even though it was entertaining. I loved Hyacinth standing up for her brother. I loved Gregory fighting for love. It was good but not as angst filled as the prior stories.

View all my reviews

Audiobook, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Captivated by Bethany-Kris


CAPTIVATED

by Bethany-Kris
Narrator: Daniel James Lewis
Audio Publication Date: October 2018
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

BUY NOW!

Amazon Audible: https://amzn.to/2DOc1F6

SYNOPSIS:

A shadow meets the light …

When someone needs to disappear, the Chicago mob calls on Joe Rossi. A man who can move without a sound, and kill without a word, they don’t call him the Shadow for nothing.

This time, it’s a New York crime family in need of his skills, but it takes one glimpse of her to make him agree to the job.

Liliana Marcello is every inch a principessa della mafia. Her life has taught her to be wary of strangers, yet her ballet career contradicts everything by putting her on display.

It’s a man with a dark smile and a constantly changing demeanor that makes her feel safe again, but it’s the unknown that holds her back.

It takes one look …
One dance …
One word …
One smile to captivate a man.

And one second to kill a woman because of it, too.

Not all monsters hide in the shadows.
How are you supposed to see them coming?

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AUDIO EXCERPT – NARRATOR DANIEL JAMES LEWIS

Bethany-Kris came through on this one. It was fully of passion, mystery, suspense and lots of cameos of characters from her prior novels.

The narrator Daniel James Lewis was a really good choice for Joe Rossi because there wasn’t excessive emotion in his voice, he was rather chill/calm just like Joe was described.

Joe Rossi is the “shadow” enforcer for the Chicago Outfit (mafia) and he avoids being seen and heard. When he is called to New York to handle a problem and Joe didn’t expect to find the eldest daughter of the Boss so captivating. Liliana Marcello, a ballet dancer, wasn’t really wanting a relationship but she couldn’t help her intense attraction to the man who was working with her father. Both of them were similar in that they are private people who were clear in what they wanted. They didn’t make unnecessary demands and they just enjoyed themselves together. Joe and Liliana had that palpable chemistry that made me giddy.

They were well developed as characters and the plot was well laid. I liked the story because it was barely angst but full of feels. Definitely top notch story telling. It was a romance with suspense, family and a bit of that organized crime life. This story was truly captivating.

ABOUT BETHANY-KRIS

Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.

To keep up-to-date with new releases from Bethany-Kris, sign up to her New Release Newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bf9lzD

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