Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid



From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.



I’ve enjoyed the three books by this author that I’ve listened to but this one didn’t work for me.
From the beginning, the author introduced Hannah Martin as this flighty or a bit of a mess young woman trying to find herself. She lacks direction and at first glance, she seemed to lack self worth. She goes “home” to live with her best friend Gabby while she figures out life. Two monumental things change the course of her life…or so we wish to believe.
There is an accident and then there is an accidental occurrence. Hannah goes from being a bit of looser moral lady to turning her nose up.

I didn’t buy it and the author didn’t really develop her character enough to make it plausible. Instead, the author began presenting various endings/paths for the heroine and her predicament. Frankly, it was confusing in audiobook. I would have enjoyed it more if the author committed to one path and developed both the plot and the characters towards that resolution. I think i could have gotten invested in the story if it were more linear like that. It was like one of those chose our own ending boosnthar I despised as a kid, this various paths were giving me whiplash and I just didn’t know what was reality anymore

I also didn’t know how I felt about Ethan since it was Hannah’s POV and I didn’t trust her narrative.

I did believe in her relationship with Gabby was the best part of this story. It was solid, reliable and believable. I enjoyed their unwavering support and loyalty towards each other. There were really more like sisters. Regardless, this story fell short of my expectations.

Audiobook, Paranormal Romance, Review Books

Accidental Sire by Molly Harper (Half-Moon Hollow #6)


TITLE: Accidental Sire
AUTHOR: Molly Harper
SERIES: (Half-Moon Hollow #6)
TIME: 9hrs, 8 mins

BLURB: In Molly Harper’s newest paranormal romantic comedy, Ben, Gigi’s old boyfriend, must find a way to save his new love after a freak Ultimate Frisbee accident. But will she want to live after she finds out how Ben had to save her?

In this exciting addition to Molly Harper’s beloved Half-Moon Hollow series, the focus is on Gigi’s ex-boyfriend Ben. When his new girlfriend is killed in a freak Ultimate Frisbee accident, he’s determined to save her, no matter the cost, even if it means bringing her into the darkness of vampire life!


I was bored, okay? Just bored. This is supposed to be a series that I could chuckled though and lift my mood. I loved book 1 in this series and laughed my way through the first 3 books. But it has been a steady decline since then. I used to enjoy the humor and snark but it hasn’t been the same.

This book features Ben (Gigi’s ex whom she dumped when he proposed to her in book 3) and a fellow college student Meagan who seemed to have a secret crush on each other.
At a school mixer, Meagan was nearly killed in a terrible accident and had to be turned to save her life. When Ben went to visit her, she accidentally turned him since she was a thirsty newborn.
This book was their journey as they struggled to accept their new “undead” reality and process their relationship now.

I didn’t feel the chemistry between Meagan and Ben. I found Jane Jameson annoying as usual. The story was just slow. The narrator was still excellent but this story wasn’t engaging or interesting. This installment was a miss for me.

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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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, 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, Giveaway, Review Books, Romantic Suspense

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: COZEN by Bethany-Kris


COZEN

by Bethany-Kris
Narrator: Conner Goff
Audio Publication Date: October 2018
Genres: Adult, Audiobook, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance

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Amazon Audible: https://amzn.to/2Pyf8Hs

SYNOPSIS:

coz-en (kuz-uhn)
verb
1. trick or deceive.
• obtain by deception.

She was named most appropriately.

Cozen Taylor has more than earned her place as one of North America’s most successful thieves. Her name is whispered amongst criminal elite as the go-to thief when someone needs a heist.

She has never failed.

A call from the Miami-based Astor family could change all that with a job that seems almost impossible to complete. The mark should be simple—a stolen family heirloom, the man who has kept it hidden for over twenty years, and six months to return the piece to its rightful owners.

Nothing is ever that easy.

Three-hundred million for a successful heist. No smart thief would turn the offer down. Cozen didn’t expect a complication like him to put a kink in her plans, though. Sargon Makri—tall, dark, gorgeous, and entirely dangerous. For her life, her heart, and for the success of the heist.

The last thing Cozen needs to be thinking about is Sargon, and how she can get him into her bed … especially when he just happens to be her mark’s bodyguard. The thrill of the job has never been more addicting to Cozen, and she will risk everything to make the heist a success.

But at what cost?

***

From author Bethany-Kris comes a whole new world. A North American network full of criminals battling to stay on top, and painting the streets red in war as they dabble in the game of betrayal. Malicious, cunning, forbidden, and violent—welcome to The Empires and Badlands.

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AUDIO EXCERPT – NARRATOR CONNOR GOFF

This is my first time listening to the narrator Connor Goff and he did a great job on this story. The plot was set up in a very intriguing manner. It had hints of a romance but it was a mystery and suspense first story.

Cozen Taylor was a renowned thief because she was basically invisible. She delivers what she promised and no one she interacted with on the heist remembered anything about her afterwards. As Cozen was considering retiring, the Astor family came with an offer that was so golden that Cozen couldn’t refuse. The job was to recover a family heirloom currently in the hands of Jett Griffin, but the Astor family wanted it back. Unfortunately for Cozen, Sargon Makri, the bodyguard to her new mark was excellent at his job as well. While getting close to Jett, Cozen was also getting close to his bodyguard Sargon and the latter one was the real deal.

Each chapter revealed a layer of the story and I found it to be a suspenseful romance. The author spent time setting up the mystery and the plot twist, but unfortunately it made the pacing slow. Cozen and Sargo’s interactions were this big game of cat and mouse and the sex scenes were quite spicy.  I would have liked more romance (not necessarily sex) in this story as well. In addition, I wish more time was spent developing the back story of the main character because it didn’t feel connect to the characters. This is a book that I would have benefitted more from listening to the last hour FIRST because my understanding and engagement would have been better.

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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Autobiography/Memoirs, Nonfiction, Review Books

The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jennifer Lewis


Title: The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jennifer Lewis
Narrated by: Jenifer Lewis
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Format: Audiobook (10 hours and 47 mins)
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir
The “Mega Diva” and legendary star of Black-ish looks back on her memorable journey to fame and the unforgettable life lessons she learned along the way.

Jenifer Lewis keeps it real in this provocative and touching memoir by a mid-western girl with a dream whose journey from poverty to Hollywood will move, shock, and inspire readers.

Told in the audacious voice her fans adore, Jenifer describes a road to fame made treacherous by dysfunction and undiagnosed mental illness, including a sex addiction. Yet, supported by loving friends and strengthened by “inner soldiers,” Jenifer never stopped entertaining and creating.

We watch as Jenifer develops icon status stemming from a series of legendary screen roles as the sassy, yet loveable, mama or auntie. And we watch as her emotional disturbances, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations movie, launch her on a continuing search for answers, love, and healing.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with sixteen-pages of color photos, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

From her first taste of applause at five years old to landing on Broadway within eleven days of graduation and ultimately achieving success in movies, television and global concert halls, Jenifer reveals her outrageous life story with lots of humor, a few regrets and most importantly, unbridled joy. Candid, warm and wonderfully inspiring, The Mother of Black Hollywood intimately reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest.

Enjoyment: ♥♥♥♥½
Narration by Jenifer Lewis: ♥♥♥♥½
Plot: ♥♥♥♥
Writing: ♥♥♥♥
I listened to this story and was fascinated. It was dramatic, over the top and loud just like the actress. Jenifer Lewis has lived an eventful life thus far. I found this audiobook more succinct, more dramatic and more in depth than many of the memoirs I’ve read of late.
I loved that she told her own story and controlled the narrative in a way that introduced her to the audience so we get a rounded picture of her life in front of and behind the Hollywood persona.

She is so bold and blunt, saying it like she feels and making no apologies. The Hollywood Diva takes the reader through her childhood, relationships, her abuse and her struggle with mental illness. I only knew what I’ve read on blogs and in magazines so it’s always interesting to hear the private musings of a celebrity. I love her brutal honesty, I love that she is able to reflect and admit mistakes she made in relationships and understand how her attitude affected others around her. After listening to her book, I think there is a little bit of her actual personality in EVERY character I’ve seen her play. She clearly loves what she does because it comes across loud and clear. The world of entertainment is her first love. I hope she continues to do what she loves.