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I am excited to share my review today as part of the blog tour for The Haunting of Hillwood Farm by Kathryn Knight.  Be sure to check out the tour here!

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm by Kathryn Knight
Narrated by Kristin James
Publisher: Kathryn Knight
Publication Date: April 15, 2019
Date Read: May 17, 2019
Length: 5 hours 18 minutes
Source: Author/Publisher for Blog Tour
★★★★☆
After tragedy strikes, Callie Sinclair is left with a gift she never wanted - the ability to communicate with ghosts. But when a desperate widow begs for her help, she reluctantly agrees to investigate the strange occurrences at Hillwood Farm. She quickly realizes she’s dealing with a dangerous presence beyond anything she’s ever experienced, and something else becomes equally clear - the only other living person in the house, Mrs. Turner’s handsome grandson, thinks she’s a scam artist. While she’d prefer to just ignore him, her heart beats a little faster every time he’s nearby.

Luke Turner doesn’t believe in spirits. He’s moved back to restore the family farm, but living on the property serves a dual purpose - he can watch out for his grandmother. He’s not happy about the sudden appearance of a self-described psychic, or his inexplicable attraction to her. His initial suspicions crumble as evidence points to an actual haunting, but he’s still determined not to fall for Callie - the past has taught him it’s best to avoid relationships.

As Callie is drawn deeper into the mystery, she becomes the target of a vengeful spirit, and Luke can no longer fight his feelings for her. Unable to resist their desire, passion ignites…even as the paranormal activity escalates to a final deadly confrontation.
My Review

I enjoyed this audiobook!  I usually go into books as blindly as possible so I didn't know a whole lot about this one when I got started.  I actually had missed the faces at the top of the book's cover so I didn't even guess that there would be some romance.  It all worked out since I really enjoy romance and I loved the way that it was combined with the other elements in the books.  I am really glad that I decided to give this one a try!

So this book did have a romantic element but it really was so much more than that.  Mrs. Turner has been experiencing some strange things at her farm since her husband's sudden death a few months prior.  She calls Callie to help figure out what is going on.  Callie can talk to ghosts and really just wants to help if she can but she is not surprised when Luke, Mrs. Turner's grandson, doesn't trust her motives.

I really liked the characters in this story.  Callie had a really interesting past and I really enjoyed learning how she acquired her gift.  It was obvious right away that she really had good motives and just wanted to help.  Luke was pretty open-minded once the story really got going.  He cared about his family and their farm and wanted to make sure that everyone was safe.  I liked watching Luke and Callie come together and thought that they had great chemistry.

I believe that this was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to the narration work of Kristen James.  I thought that she did a great job with this story and really brought the story to life.  There were some pretty intense scenes and I think that her delivery added to the impact of the story.  I liked the voice that she used for the characters.  She had a very pleasant voice that was easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought that this was the perfect combination of romance and creepy ghost story.  I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more from this talented author!

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Kathryn Knight as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions.

The Haunting of Hillwood Farm Audio Sample - SoundCloud
(98 secs long, 3 plays)Play in SoundCloud

About the Author

Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and RomCon Reader-Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

About the Narrator

Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC. Her ultimate dream is to work in video games and animation, so hopefully in the not-too-distant future you'll hear her in an RPG or cartoon. When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dog, Phoenix.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline

Publication Date: April 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Dr. Eric Parrish is the Chief of the Psychiatric Unit at Havemeyer General Hospital outside of Philadelphia. Recently separated from his wife Alice, he is doing his best as a single Dad to his seven-year-old daughter Hannah. His work seems to be going better than his home life, however. His unit at the hospital has just been named number two in the country and Eric has a devoted staff of doctors and nurses who are as caring as Eric is. But when he takes on a new patient, Eric's entire world begins to crumble. Seventeen-year-old Max has a terminally ill grandmother and is having trouble handling it. That, plus his OCD and violent thoughts about a girl he likes makes Max a high risk patient. Max can't turn off the mental rituals he needs to perform every fifteen minutes that keep him calm. With the pressure mounting, Max just might reach the breaking point. When the girl is found murdered, Max is nowhere to be found. Worried about Max, Eric goes looking for him and puts himself in danger of being seen as a "person of interest" himself. Next, one of his own staff turns on him in a trumped up charge of sexual harassment. Is this chaos all random? Or is someone systematically trying to destroy Eric's life?

Why did I add Every Fifteen Minutes to my bookshelf?

I have a beautiful signed hardcover copy of this one sitting on my bookshelf.  I remember buying this book for a local author event.  I had a great time and enjoyed hearing Lisa Scottoline's talk.  I usually like her books so I really should have read this one by now.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


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Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
Narrated by Stephanie Racine
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books / Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Date Read: May 21, 2019
Length: 304 pages / 11 hours 51 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Purchased
★★★★☆
“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Grimms’ Fairy Tales, and Aimee Molloy's The Perfect Mother.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.
My Review

I really enjoyed this book!  I knew that I wanted to read this book after seeing a couple of really favorable early reviews.  Since I didn't get to it prior to the book's release, I decided to take a look at the audiobook and I was sold on it after listening to the sample.  I was somewhat mesmerized by this story and found myself frequently wanting to read just a little bit more.  I am really glad that I made the decision to read this book. 

I didn't really know what to expect from this book when I started reading it since I try to go into books as blindly as I can.  I was drawn into the story right away.  I think that one of the main strengths of this story is its descriptions.  I felt like I was right there with Lauren when she had the twins and felt her frustration and exhaustion as she worked to care for them largely on her own.  Her fear, her panic, and her desperation were all beautifully illustrated through the details of this tale.

This was really more of a mystery than anything but there is a bit of otherness to the story.  There is definitely a fairy tale aspect to the story with changlings at its core.  I really liked the fact that in addition to Lauren's point of view we also get to see things from Detective Harper's perspective.  I couldn't help but wonder what was really going on and I wanted both of these women to succeed in their quest to figure things out and protect the babies.

I thought that Stephanie Racine did an amazing job with this book.  This was an emotional story at times and I think that the narration was able to add a certain element to a number of passages.  She had a very pleasant voice with a nice accent that was easy to listen to for hours at a time.  There were quotes at the beginning of some chapters that were done by a different narrator, the author I believe.  I would have preferred to see a single narrator for this story.  I don't think that there was really a point to having someone else read the quotes at the beginning of the chapters and I wasn't a fan of the delivery.  Even the audio quality seemed off during those sections.  Thankfully, the quotes are very infrequent and had no real impact on the story or my enjoyment of it.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought this was a really well-done story with just enough of a creepy factor to keep me hooked from beginning to end.  I cannot wait to read more of Melanie Golding's work!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Crooked Lane Books via NetGalley and purchased a copy of the audiobook.
About the Author

Melanie Golding is a graduate of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University, with distinction. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. Little Darlings is her first novel, and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.

Author Links:  Goodreads | Twitter
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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Date Read: May 19, 2019
Length: 432 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.
My Review

I had fun with this romance!  I have seen so many glowing reviews for books written by the writing duo of Christina Lauren over the past couple of years.  I have really wanted to give their work a try but for one reason or another, this was actually the first time I actually fit one of their books into my reading schedule.  I will be honest in that this was not earth-shattering in any way but I thought it was a fun enjoyable read.

Romance with a bit of humor and great banter?  Sign me up!  This book did have a lot of great elements despite the fact that there really weren't any big surprises in the story.  This wasn't the kind of book that had me laughing out loud but I found several sections of the book rather amusing.

Olive and Ami are twins.  The book opens on Ami's wedding day.  Things go poorly at the wedding leaving everyone ill.  Since the bride and groom can't go on the honeymoon, the Olive and Ethan, the groom's brother, go in their place.  Oh yeah, Olive and Ethan don't exactly get along so it should prove to be an interesting trip.

I liked Olive and Ethan and thought that they worked well together.  I thought that they had some great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter.  It was very eye-opening to learn a bit about their history as they dealt with some of the situations they encountered on their trip.  I think that this story was really at its best when the focus was completely on Olive and Ethan without mixing in any of the complications they had to contend with.

I thought that there were times where the story got a little unnecessarily complicated.  I really would have loved to see these two at the resort without dealing with people from their lives popping up all of the time.  I am also not completely sure that I wanted Olive to forgive Ethan at the end of the book.  His mistake was a pretty big one and I am not sure that I would have been able to get over it if I were in her shoes.  These are really minor things that didn't have a big impact on my enjoyment of the book.

I would recommend this book to others.  I found myself wanting to take a trip to Hawaii because of some of the descriptions in this story.  I had a great time watching Olive and Ethan fall in love and can't wait to read more from this writing duo in the future!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books via NetGalley.
About the Author

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners/besties Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and the Wild Seasons series, The Unhoneymooners, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, Dating You / Hating You, Roomies, The House, and Autoboyography.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

My Life
I have been largely absent lately.  I do apologize.  This hasn't been a great week.  I am under a ridiculous amount of stress right now and there aren't going to be any quick fixes.   I have come to the realization that I need to try to control the things in my life that I can.  I considered taking a break for a while but getting behind with reviews causes me stress so I made the decision to keep posting.  I have not been able to keep up with commenting but I hope that I will do better soon.

My week did have a one really high point.  Every year, my daughter's high school honors their top ten seniors with the highest GPAs.  I took a couple of hours off of work and went to the assembly where they were named.  This year's top ten GPAs ranged from 4.65 to 4.8.  My daughter is graduating as #5 in her class with a GPA slightly above a 4.7.  I am so very proud of my daughter.  She worked so hard to get where she is and really deserved this moment in the spotlight.
The 2019 Top Ten Seniors
My #5

Books Added
Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (Purchased)

I actually have a copy of this book from NetGalley but I am doing such a poor job with reading lately that I thought that it might be better to listen to this one.  I am enjoying it so far.

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!
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The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Series: The Kiss Quotient #2
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group / Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Date Read: May 15, 2019
Length: 296 pages / 10 hours
Source: Edelweiss / Library
★★★★☆
From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.
My Review

I really liked this romance.  It is really hard to avoid comparing this book to the author's debut novel, The Kiss Quotient.  We do see some familiar characters in this book and I am actually glad that there is a connection.  Don't let that fool you though.  This is a very different story and I thought it was pretty original.  I have a great time with this one.

I liked the set up for this story.  I thought that it was fun that the whole story begins with Kai's matchmaking mother.  It wasn't quite an arranged marriage story since both characters were able to choose but I thought it was a fun premise for a contemporary story.  Both Kai and Esme had personalities that made the entire set up of the story believable and I have to say that I can understand why Kai's mom decided to take matters into her own hands.

I really liked both of the characters a lot but I would have to say that Kai was my favorite.  Kai is autistic and doesn't always see everything the same way that others do.  He knows this and has decided that he is broken and unable to feel.  He is very high functioning and is very successful in his career.  His personal life isn't doing as well before he meets Esme.  I think that Kai learned a lot about himself over the course of this story and it was great to see him learn how to be a part of a relationship.

Esme really wants to change her life for herself and her daughter.  She decides to take Kai's mother up on her offer to spend the summer with Kai in California in a quest to do just that.  She is not afraid of hard work and really does try to make Kai happy.  Unfortunately, she didn't always understand what Kai needed.  I actually liked Esme more as the story progressed and she started focusing more on herself.  It was at that point that I felt like I really got to know her and her passions. 

I think that the romance between these two worked well on a lot of different levels.  Neither one of them felt like they belonged so they had something in common.  Kai explained what he needed and Esme worked really hard to deliver.  They had a lot of chemistry and I really felt that they both seemed to be better when they were together. 

I thought that Emily Woo Zeller did an amazing job with this story.  I thought that she did a great job with both points of view in the story.  Character voices were also really well done and I thought that she brought a lot of emotion into the story.  I am really glad that I made the decision to listen to this book.

I would recommend this book to others.  This was a wonderful romance with incredibly strong and unique characters.  It really was a joy to watch this happily ever after come together.  I can't wait to read more from Helen Hoang!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via Edelweiss and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
About the Author

Helen Hoang is that shy person who never talks. Until she does. And the worst things fly out of her mouth. She read her first romance novel in eighth grade and has been addicted ever since. In 2016, she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in line with what was previously known as Asperger’s Syndrome. Her journey inspired The Kiss Quotient. She currently lives in San Diego, California, with her husband, two kids, and pet fish.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
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Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death #1
Publication Date: July 1995
Publisher: Berkley Books
THE FIRST NOVEL IN J. D. ROBB’S #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING IN DEATH SERIES

In the year 2058, technology completely rules the world. But for New York City Detective Eve Dallas, one irresistible impulse still rules the heart: passion…

Eve Dallas is a New York police lieutenant hunting for a ruthless killer. In over ten years on the force, she's seen it all—and knows her survival depends on her instincts. And she's going against every warning telling her not to get involved with Roarke, an Irish billionaire—and a suspect in Eve's murder investigation. But passion and seduction have rules of their own, and it's up to Eve to take a chance in the arms of a man she knows nothing about—except the addictive hunger of needing his touch.

Why did I add Naked in Death to my bookshelf?

I have had a couple of copies of this book but haven't picked it up yet.  I think that I have held off on this series because it is really intimidating due to the number of books in this series.  I just check Goodreads and it looks like book #49 is scheduled to be released in September of this year.  I have heard wonderful things about this series though so I do want to read it.  I actually picked up 20 of the first 25 audiobooks in a pretty awesome sale last year and hope to get started with this series sometime in the near future.  I think that this would be a great series to take one per month for 5 years or so :)

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


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The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
Narrated by Susie Berneis
Publisher: Atria Books / Dreamscape Media LLC
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Date Read: May 6, 2019
Length: 288 pages / 8 hours 44 minutes
Source: NetGalley / Library
★★★☆☆
From award-winning author Genevieve Valentine, a "gorgeous and bewitching" (Scott Westerfeld) reimagining of the fairytale of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as flappers during the Roaring Twenties in Manhattan.

Jo, the firstborn, "The General" to her eleven sisters, is the only thing the Hamilton girls have in place of a mother. She is the one who taught them how to dance, the one who gives the signal each night, as they slip out of the confines of their father’s townhouse to await the cabs that will take them to the speakeasy. Together they elude their distant and controlling father, until the day he decides to marry them all off.

The girls, meanwhile, continue to dance, from Salon Renaud to the Swan and, finally, the Kingfisher, the club they come to call home. They dance until one night when they are caught in a raid, separated, and Jo is thrust face-to-face with someone from her past: a bootlegger named Tom whom she hasn’t seen in almost ten years. Suddenly Jo must weigh in the balance not only the demands of her father and eleven sisters, but those she must make of herself.

With The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, award-winning writer Genevieve Valentine takes her superb storytelling gifts to new heights, joining the leagues of such Jazz Age depicters as Amor Towles and Paula McClain, and penning a dazzling tale about love, sisterhood, and freedom.
My Review

I did like this book.  I have had a review copy of this book for a very long time and I have to admit that I didn't remember a whole lot about what the book was about when I got started with it.  I now realize that this book is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.  I have a small confession to make...I don't know a lot of fairytales well.  I pretty much know what Disney has covered.  I was discussing this book with my teenage daughter after I finished it and was reminded that we once had the Barbie version of the story.  So I can't really make any comparisons to the original story but I thought it was enjoyable on its own.

Jo is the oldest of twelve girls.  She lives in the attic along with her sisters.  Her mother is gone but she rarely saw her anyway.  Jo is the one who really takes care of her sisters and also deals with their father's demands.  The girls have one bright spot in their lives and that is dancing.  Once the house goes quiet, they sneak out to dance at the local clubs.  They know all of the dances and are quite popular with the gentlemen looking for a partner.

I liked Jo and respected her dedication to her sisters.  Some of her sisters didn't even realize how much she gave up for them.  I also really liked the second oldest sister, Lou.  I loved the relationship between Lou and Jo and thought that they really worked well as a team.  I must say that I had a really difficult time keeping a lot of the sisters straight and felt that they just kind of blended together.  There were a couple of other characters that stood out in the story, like Tom, but I do wish that I would have had a better feel for all of the sister's personalities.

I chose to listen to this story and thought that Susie Berneis did a great job with the story.  I think that she handled the character voices very well and the dialogue in the story flowed well.  I think that she was able to add excitement to the story as well.  I found her voice to be very pleasant and easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I would recommend this book to others.  I think that readers who enjoy retellings or books set in the Jazz Age will enjoy this story.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Genevieve Valentine's work.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Atria Books via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
About the Author

Genevieve Valentine is the author of Persona and of the critically acclaimed novel Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti, which won the Crawford Award for Best novel, as well as a nomination for the Nebula Award and the Romantic Times Best Fantasy of the Year. Her short fiction has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award. She lives in New York City.

Author Links: Website | Twitter
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Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Narrated by Teddy Hamilton & Jacob Morgan
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Date Read: April 27, 2019
Length: 8 hours 4 minutes
Source: Purchased
★★★★☆
They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend...and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.
My Review

Yeah, this was good.  I am so glad that I finally got around to reading it.  I have seen so many glowing reviews for this series for the past couple of years but for one reason or another, I never made it a priority.  Once I got started with this one, I didn't want to stop listening and fell in love with both Jamie and Wes before I even knew what was happening.  I really enjoyed my time with this audiobook.

What is it that just seems to make romance and hockey go together?  Jamie and Wes are college level hockey players at the start of this story but they have known each other for a long time from their years at hockey camp.  I really liked the fact that they had a history together and it was fun to piece together what exactly happened during their teen years.  These two were best friends until they weren't but it was obvious how much they missed each other.

Jamie and Wes were such great characters.  I really liked both of them immensely from the start of the story and my love with them grew as the story progressed.  They were both really good people and I loved watching them deal with everyone in their lives.  They were very careful with each other especially at the start because neither one wanted to mess up their relationship again.  These two were just so much better together and watching them figure things out was a joy.

Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan did a fabulous job with this story.  The story is told from alternating points of view and each of the narrators read their character's chapters.  I just thought that they were able to bring these two to life.  I felt so many emotions in their reading and wanted to listen for hours at a time.  I think that these narrators were able to take a great story to the next level and I think my decision to listen to this story was the right one.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I don't read a lot of MM romance but I found a lot of magic in Jamie and Wes's love story.  It was just wonderful to watch this pair fall for each other and I cannot wait to listen to the rest of their story!

The Series
Book #1 - Him
Book #2 - Us
About the Authors

Sarina Bowen is the RITA® Award winning author of over two dozen contemporary and LGTB romance novels. She most recently hit the USA Today bestseller's list in February, with Brooklynaire. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina Bowen is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina's books are published in a dozen languages on four continents. In 2016, The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with a RITA award for Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Sarina Bowen's Links:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Elle Kennedy's Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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This review originally appeared on Books of My Heart.  Be sure to check out the read-along for this series as well as some pretty awesome giveaways.

Chosen by Benedict Jacka
Narrated by Gildart Jackson
Series: Alex Verus #4
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Publication Date: February 17, 2014
Date Read: April 24, 2019
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes
Source: Purchased
★★★★☆
I don’t publicly advertise that I’m a mage, but I don’t exactly hide it either, and one of the odd things I’ve learnt over the years is just how much you can get away with if you’re blatant enough. Hide something behind smoke and mirrors and make people work to find it, and they’ll tear the place down looking for what’s there.

Alex Verus is a diviner who can see probable futures—a talent that’s gotten him out of many a tough scrape. But this time, he may be in over his head. Alex was once apprenticed to a Dark mage, and in his service he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of.

As rumors swirl that his old master is coming back, Alex comes face to face with his misdeeds in the form of a young adept whose only goal is to get revenge. Alex has changed his life for the better, but he’s afraid of what his friends—including his apprentice, Luna—will think of his past. But if they’re going to put themselves at risk, they need to know exactly what kind of man they’re fighting for…
My Review

This was another great installment in the Alex Verus Series.  This is a series that really does need to be read in order since each book builds on the previous installments.  I think that I am liking each book in the series a little more as I work my way through the series and I get to know Alex and the gang better.  I worked my way through this book rather quickly because I was eager to see how everything would work out.  It really was a very enjoyable listen.

At the start of this story, Alex is learning to adjust to life with his two new roommates.  He is spending a lot of time with the apprentices and running his shop.  Alex's past comes into play and has a big impact on his present in this installment.  Alex was an apprentice under a dark mage when he was younger.  This is a group of adepts that wish to get revenge for Alex's actions while working with the dark mage.

I really liked getting the chance to learn some of Alex's history.  I had an idea that life with Richard was less than pleasant but it was very eye-opening to learn how things really were.  We actually learn some rather interesting things about several characters that currently play a role in Alex's life.  I thought that seeing Alex's past and how he dealt with those seeking revenge really showed what kind of man he has become.  Alex wants to do what is right and does not seek to harm anyone but he will do what needs to be done when pushed into it.  I really like that Alex is flawed and will cross lines when necessary but tries to be a good guy as much as he can.

Gildart Jackson does a fabulous job with this book.  He has become the voice of Alex for me and I am so glad that I decided to work my way through this series in audio.  This narrator does a great job with all of the character voices and brings a lot of emotion into the story.  He has a very pleasant voice that is easy to listen to for hours at a time.

I would recommend this series to others.  This book tells a very exciting story and is filled with an entire cast of fantastic characters.  I can't wait to start working on the next book in this wonderful series!


The Alex Verus Series

Book #1 - Fated - My Review
Book #2 - Cursed - My Review
Book #3 - Taken - My Review
Book #4 - Chosen
Book #5 - Hidden
Book #6 - Veiled
Book #7 - Burned
Book #8 - Bound
Book #9 - Marked
About the Author

Benedict Jacka is half-Australian, half-Armenian, and grew up in London. He’s worked as a teacher, bouncer, and civil servant, and spends his spare time skating and playing tabletop games. He’s the author of the Alex Verus series, including Burned, Veiled, Hidden, and Chosen.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter
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