Currently Browsing: New Adult

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Twinkle Little Star by Lee Strauss

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Twinkle Little Star by Lee Strauss Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Reviews: Nursery Rhyme Suspense series Twinkle Little Star Author:  Lee Strauss Narrators:  Reba Buhr & Roger Wayne Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Nursery Rhyme Suspense #4 Genre: Mystery/Suspense with sci-fi elements, New Adult Source: Tantor Audio Twinkle Little Star is another gripping thriller in the Nursery Rhyme Suspense series.  I continue to truly enjoy this sci-fi mystery series as I never know what to expect next. Just when you think everything has gone back to normal…well as normal as it can be for Sage realizing too late she is in love with Marlow, that school and life move on even when you are still mourning your best friend’s death, and your roommate isn’t the bestie she acts like.  Then Sage accidentally kills another student.  She was driving (while a bit emotional) and a woman just suddenly appears in front of her car.  As Marlow arrives on the scene shortly after with Sage’s brother, he discovers that this is not a straight forward case of vehicular manslaughter.  Picking up what he thought was Sage’s phone; he is transported to another location. After glimpsing someone in the shadows he is suddenly back at the scene of the accident.  Was this woman accidentally sent to the wrong location at the wrong time or is something more sinister going on? I am again surprised at how quickly I inhaled the latest Nursery Rhyme Suspense story.  Marlow and Sage’s geeky interests and intellectual endeavors are charmingly addictive.  The competition for the New Scientists Innovation Award was a fascinating element to the plot.  I enjoyed how it brought Marlow and Sage back together and highlighted the tension between Marlow and Dakota’s new relationship.  Marlow brining his father into the mystery revealed even more secrets and reasons behind the connection Sage and Marlow seem to have.  I really enjoyed how the plot flowed and twisted as the mystery was solved but more questions came to light. I continue to enjoy the dual narrators and can’t imagine listening to this story without them.  They are becoming the true voices of Marlow and Sage.  The personality of the characters as well as the inflections they provide in their performance assists in bringing Twinkle Little Star to life.  In many ways, I feel that this series should only be heard rather than read.  Both narrators continue to expand and bring this rich and intriguing world to life. I...
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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hickory Dickory Dock by Lee Strauss

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hickory Dickory Dock by Lee Strauss Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Reviews: Nursery Rhyme Suspense series Hickory Dickory Dock Author:  Lee Strauss Narrators:  Reba Buhr & Roger Wayne Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Nursery Rhyme Suspense #3 Genre: Mystery with sci-fi elements, New Adult Source: Tantor Audio Hickory Dickory Dock is another gripping thriller in the Nursery Rhyme Suspense series.  I continue to truly enjoy this sci-fi mystery series. After the events of the previous book, Life is But a Dream, I wasn’t sure what to expect next.  Following Sage and Marlow on their summer break wasn’t it.  However, geeks will be geeks and as Sage continued to work on her mathematical theory she finally breaks through.  In trying to consult Marlow about this latest amazing discovery, she inserts herself between Marlow and his burgeoning romance with Dakota.  Though Marlow tries to keep his distance from Sage out of respect for Dakota, all bets are off once he witnesses a murder through Sage’s “window”. I enjoyed that we learned more about Sage and her family as well as Marlow’s.  There were quite a few discoveries, and I liked how it’s obvious their families have had an effect on them (good and not-so-good).  Marlow’s relationship with his mom is bittersweet and the discoveries made in this novel help him to heal.  With Sage’s interference, I’m not sure how Dakota and Marlow will be able to move on, but there is hope.  However, it is sad to note that Sage is feeling a bit of regret in not pursuing something with Marlow, but I liked how she is willing to let it go and work at being friends with Dakota. The future murder mystery Marlow and Sage fall into is utterly gripping.  It was fascinating how far our world had fallen and how plausible the downfall of the United States was.  I was utterly gripped by the dystopian world that Marlow and Sage found themselves in – though how the mathematical equation could equate to a window into the future still baffles me.  However, I can easily ignore it as I was consumed by trying to figure out who the murder was as well as how they were going to get back to their own time.  It truly felt like a race against the clock. I continue to enjoy the dual narrators and can’t imagine listening to this story without them.  They are becoming the true voices of Marlow and Sage. ...
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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Life is But a Dream by Lee Strauss

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Life is But a Dream by Lee Strauss Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Reviews: Nursery Rhyme Suspense series Life is But a Dream Author:  Lee Strauss Narrators:  Reba Buhr & Roger Wayne Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Nursery Rhyme Suspense #2 Genre: Mystery with sci-fi elements, New Adult Source: Tantor Audio I was eagerly waiting to see what happened next with Marlow and Sage.  Life is But a Dream was just as fascinating, gripping, and alluring as The Gingerbread Man.  This Nursery Rhyme Suspense series is one I’m glad to have picked up. The novel begins four months after the previous book.  Sage is still not coping well to the death of Tegan.  However, in an effort to assuage her brother’s concerns, she attends a support group for those suffering from depression.  But that is not the only thing she is struggling with: she has started having strange dreams that include Marlow – the geeky boy she barely met one night after Tegan died.  The worst though is when the drowning nightmares start and begin to come true in reality. I am enjoying these science fiction bending mysteries. After the alternate universes in the previous novel, I was interested in seeing what would happen in this novel.  Ms. Strauss does an excellent job of misdirection while leading us to who, the why, and the how.  Still it is a bit “out-there” but this X-Files-esque mystery is gripping and entertaining.  The dream connection between Marlow and Sage is fascinating.  Though we never truly understand why, it is interesting to wonder how it started and by whom.  I secretly suspect that more than just reality jumping occurred for Marlow, he had to be touched and altered in some way by his experiences in the previous novel.  Maybe this ability to connect in the dreamscape is one of them? Another aspect I enjoy is the romantic tension between Marlow and Sage.  There is no denying the attraction between them, though like many young adults/new adults, the timing isn’t right.  Not to mention that Marlow is the nice guy…and nice guys do not finish well when the lady in question is young and idealistic.  Over the course of the story, I enjoyed how close Marlow and Sage become and yet the distance that is created.  I’m curious as to see what happens next in their burgeoning relationship. The dual narrators continue to strengthen and enhance the novel.  Though we have more than just Marlow and...
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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Gingerbread Man by Lee Strauss

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Gingerbread Man by Lee Strauss Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Reviews: Nursery Rhyme Suspense series Gingerbread Man Author:  Lee Strauss Narrators:  Reba Buhr & Roger Wayne Audio Listening Speed: 1.5x Series: Nursery Rhyme Suspense #1 Genre: Mystery with sci-fi elements, New Adult Source: Tantor Audio On a whim, I picked up Gingerbread Man, the first book in the Nursery Rhyme Suspense series.  I was intrigued by the premise and was not disappointed! The story is a mix of a detective drama/mystery and a bit of science fiction to it.  It reminds me a bit of the movie Frequency or maybe The Lakehouse.  That being said, it was reminiscent but truly a unique tale.  Without giving anything away, Marlow is tested as he works to discover what is going on and who the killer is.  Teaming up with Sage, the roommate of his online crush, they race the clock as they try to stop a serial killer. It’s difficult to discuss the novel without giving anything away.  However, I really enjoyed the dual narrators.  With the way the plot twisted and turned, it really helped to have two narrators to convey which point of view is being expressed (as it switches), as well as helping to anchor the plot.  It was especially helpful as I got a little confused at first (along with Marlow) when his online date showed up after being murdered.  The dual narrators added a depth to the story and enhanced my enjoyment as the plot wove itself around. I was fascinated by this thrilling novel.  I enjoyed the mix of science fiction elements blended with this young adult suspense. Though, technically only one murder is solved, I wonder what happens next. It is also interesting to see what will happen, if anything between Marlow and Sage. I eagerly look forward to listening to the next novel in this series. My Ratings: Story: B+ Narration: A Overall: A- About the Book: When that cute chick you met online is murdered – but shows up for your next internet meeting anyway. Marlow’s just a regular geeky college freshman with little to no experience with girls, so when he has a semi-flirtatious chat with a cute girl online, it’s almost more than his nerves can handle. Then the girl is brutally murdered. Or is she? Marlow finds himself teamed up with intelligent and savvy Sage Farrell, a girl so far out of his league he feels blinded in her presence...
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Review: The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost

Review: The Sweetest Burn by Jeaniene Frost The Sweetest Burn Author: Jeaniene Frost Reviewer: Gikany and Una Rating: B What We’re Talking About: The Sweetest Burn is the long awaited second novel in the Broken Destiny series. Gikany and Una liked this second novel, as Adrian seemed to improve while the plot thickened.  Though Ivy tended to be hot and cold, she preservers through her waffling to the save the day. It could be that Gikany and Una are just older than the target audience or just more self-secure, but the foibles we perceive in Ivy and Adrian are definitely what we would consider immaturity.  Though Adrian is over a hundred years old, his over protectiveness leads him to make decisions for Ivy and himself without Ivy having a more equal say (or at times any say).  We felt that Adrian reminded us of Edward from the Twilight series, and not necessarily in the good way.  The old-fashioned high handedness is irritating for both Ivy and us.  But in Adrian’s defense, he does try… he truly does but sometimes love leads us down a well-intentioned but dangerously overprotective path. The quest for the staff was fraught with danger and overshadowed with betrayal.  We were intrigued by the journey that was required.  Through this second novel we learned more about the Archon, Zach.  He is becoming our more favorite secondary character next to Brutus, the gargoyle (whose secret identity is a seagull, trust us, it’s an awesome touch). The rules he follows and the seemingly irritating omissions are actually purposeful and necessary. We are enjoying this trilogy as it unfolds.  Though we do see some growth in our main characters, they do waffle a bit as it goes (the cha-cha of maturity).  With the foreshadowing of the epilogue, we are intrigued as to what will happen next. Thankfully, the last novel in this trilogy comes out in November. Please stay tuned for our review! Our Rating:  B Liked it About the Book: The breathtaking second novel in New York Times bestselling author Jeaniene Frost’s Broken Destiny series finds Ivy and Adrian rekindling their alliance – and passion – as the struggle for the fate of the world begins… Conquering a supernatural realm turned out to be easier than getting over a broken heart.  But her initial victory has made Ivy a target for revenge, forcing her to reunite with the dangerous – and dangerously sexy—Adrian.  Ivy isn’t sure which will be harder: finding the hallowed weapon that...
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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Goal Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: Susannah Jones & Andrew Eiden Audio Speed: 1.25x & 1.5x Series: Off-Campus #4 Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Source: purchased After the pregnancy bombshell delivered at the end of the previous book, The Goal actually goes back a bit in time and begins when Tucker and Sabrina first meet. Readers/listeners relive certain scenes and moments from the The Score, with a new perspective and focus, as well as several new scenes. Tucker is probably the most likable, easy-going guy we’ve met thus far in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series. He’s genuine, and while he’s easy on the eyes, he’s not all about scoring with the ladies. When he first lays eyes on Sabrina, he senses she is something special. I adore everything about this guy. He’s nearly perfect and has the patience of a saint. He never takes his eye off the end goal of making Sabrina his, but he allows the ebb and flow of life to take its course along the way. On the other hand, all we knew about Sabrina before this book is that she is Dean’s educational nemesis, and his perception is that she is a cold-hearted bitch. Ms. Kennedy removes that mantle from Sabrina immediately, by showing us Sabrina’s deplorable home life and the motivations behind her desire to achieve perfection at Briarwood. I fell for Sabrina’s flawed character hard. She’s driven and sometimes too focused, but she has a heart of gold underneath the layers of protection she’s built. Sabrina and Tucker make a great couple. There is insta-lust and sexual chemistry big time, creating an immediate interest in the pair. I like that they have time to fall a bit for one another before the baby news comes. I also appreciate that there are several ups and downs. It’s very realistic with a happy ending. While I enjoyed their story, and I’m thankful to finally have Tuck’s book, I was overwhelmed by the amount of focus on the pregnancy/baby storyline. Don’t misunderstand, Ms. Kennedy does an amazing job with the baby storyline; she didn’t sugar coat what it’s like to be pregnant and have a child. She also didn’t minimize the impacts on the parents’ lives and their relationship. However, it’s too much baby for me. I am just not a fan of baby-romances. Generally, the narration is good; better than book 3, but still not as great as the first...
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Review: Lessons in Losing It by Jessica Peterson

Review: Lessons in Losing It by Jessica Peterson Lessons in Losing It Author: Jessica Peterson Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A What I’m Talking About: I’m not even going to pretend I’m confused by how awesome Jessica Peterson’s Lessons in Losing It was. It was fabulous. The fourth title in the Study Abroad series is—like the other books—able to be read as a standalone (although I suggest reading them in order because there are characters mentioned from previous titles and they make a bigger impact if you’ve read them). There’s a special place for authors who write books about hot soccer players. Choirs of angels sing there and inspire them to write more books. I’m super sad this is the last Study Abroad title, but the back matter said there MIGHT be a spin-off series. **crosses all the things** I really like Ms. Peterson’s voice and the way she tells a story. The first person, present tense, POV is well-done and doesn’t irritate my soul. She remains solidly in one POV—even though they alternate—in each section. And, it’s truly great to get perspective from both main characters. Rachel is an ambitious woman who knows what she wants from life—professionally. It’s easy to choose what we want to do in life, but who we want to be is a little more difficult. The biggest question is who we want to spend our lives with, sometimes. When the brain overrides the heart? Well, that gets messy. My takeaway from Rachel’s character: don’t let anyone tell you who—or what—to be. It sucks way less that way. Fred? OMG. Be.Still.My.Heart. He’s such a sweetheart! I fell for him almost immediately. The way he was so honest with himself—and Rachel—instantly endeared him to me. Mostly because I want to believe I can be as authentic as he is. Fred is a great character because of his brutal honesty. Sometimes, it really sucks—if one reads to see truth—but it’s all good. He’s a true introvert and it isn’t often we see them accurately portrayed. I loved Fred and Rachel. There was something comfortable and unpretentious about them. Natural. Neither felt the need to be someone they weren’t when they were together. THEY were refreshing. And get a fire extinguisher, because they.are.hot! I look forward to reading more by Ms. Peterson in the future, and have thoroughly enjoyed her Study Abroad series. While all four titles can stand alone, I think they’re best read in order. The first title of the series, Spanish Lessons, is available...
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Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook review: The Score Author: Elle Kennedy Narrator: Savannah Peachwood & Andrew Eiden Audio Speed: 1.25x Series: Off-Campus #3 Genre: NA Contemporary Romance Source: purchased Allie Hayes has had it with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Sean, and finally breaks it off for good. With her past behavior of giving into Sean’s apologies, she turns to best friend Hannah for help staying away from Sean that first weekend. Unfortunately, Hannah is out of town with her boyfriend, but they insist she hideout at Garrett’s house with his roommates. Hockey stud and all-around player Dean Di-Laurentis knows his best friend’s girlfriend’s best friend Allie is off limits when she shows up looking for a place to hide from the temptation of getting back together with her ex. But isn’t rebound sex the best thing for getting over an ex? However, now that he’s been with Allie, he can’t shake her out of his system. Having absolutely loved the first two books in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series, I was chomping at the bit waiting for The Score to finally make it to Audible. Although she changed her narrator for this one, overall, the wait was worth it. Ms. Kennedy has a knack for telling humorous, heartfelt stories that make me both laugh and cry. Allie and Dean are well matched. They are both so passionate, and with the freedom of labeling their relationship a fling, they explore each other in open and honest ways. However, they keep the fling a secret, which leads to some hilarious moments, and it places pressure on the pair which I feel helps the relationship in the long run. And while there is a lot of exploration, the pair grows close because of a developing friendship which bolsters each other in surprising ways. While there were times that the overall story was a little predictable, I didn’t care. I was so wrapped up in Dean and Allie’s story that I just listened and enjoyed. I laughed out loud and I got teary eyed. It’s just fun, high-quality storytelling. And I appreciate that the book is really about two young people trying to figure out who they want to be, and be okay with the fact it may not be what they were planning all along. I was disappointed that Lorelei Avalon was replaced as the sole narrator for the series. Savannah Peachwood & Andrew Eiden hold their own and do a respectable...
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Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy The Goal Author: Elle Kennedy Reviewer: Nima Rating: A What I’m Talking About: Everyone who has followed the Off-Campus series knows about the huge bomb dropped at the end of book three, The Score. With the biggest of all spoilers already out there, where did Kennedy have to go?  Everyone already hated Sabrina James; how do you make her sympathetic?  Everyone already loved gentle, pink-aproned John Tucker; how do you hoist someone like Sabrina on him and justify it? Leave it to the skill of Elle Kennedy to make it work.  I think she knew right where this story was going way back in book one, The Deal. The timeline in The Goal overlaps The Score, Dean and Allie’s story, running nearly parallel and up to the point of the epilogue in book two, The Mistake.  Significant details in that installment are significant in this one as well, we just get to see them from other perspectives. The expansion gives more depth to both books. In The Goal, we learn about Sabrina’s motives and how her life has shaped the person who has had venomous interactions with Dean.  She becomes sympathetic as soon as we see her in her home environment. The reader is rooting for her before she knows it.  Like Tucker who sees through her hard shell of independence, we know she’s hiding a soft, vulnerable interior.  In fact, I wanted to tell Dean, who is my least favorite of the four roommates, to pull his head out.  Given his stellar fall into stupidity in The Score, he’s the last person who should be passing judgement on others. Thankfully, she has Tucker. John Tucker.  Sigh.  Up until this book, Tucker has mostly been a peripheral character.  Gingers have not typically been written as the erotic hottie so if your imagination needs a little help, just Google images of Seth Fornea or Matthias Panitz. Better yet, check out Thomas Knights Red Hot Exhibition.  Then add the patience of Job and southern accent. How did this Texas born southern gentleman, who loves his mother and respects women, end up with an ice hockey scholarship in Massachusetts? What on Earth does he see in Sabrina James?  We get answers to these questions and more. If there’s anything that Kennedy does well, it’s to write authentic emotions.  She always gets that spot on. Of course she does it with her trademark humor.  Kennedy seems to have a hilarious understanding that penises...
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Review: Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren

Review: Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren Dark Wild Night Author: Christina Lauren Reviewer: Jen Twimom My Rating: A- What I’m Talking About: Oliver and Lola have been best of friends for eight months, ever since they were briefly married in a wild night in Vegas. However, unlike their friends, Oliver and Lola never consummated their relationship, and have remained strictly in the friend zone. Lola is consumed by her work: becoming a NYT best seller / graphic novelist sensation overnight, her book is now in the process of being made into a movie. Oliver’s newly opened comic book shop is wildly popular, and he works every day. Their friends all see how perfect they are for each other, but Lola and Oliver are both scared of messing up the friendship to push for more. Dark Wild Night is the third book in the Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren. Although the book is a standalone romance, we meet Oliver and Lola in the first book, and I think seeing them in the previous books helps define their backgrounds and makes for a stronger history. As the book opens, we witness how much their mutual bond means to both, and how much each loves the other. The unrequited love is so overwhelming, that I am swept up in their secret desires as much as the characters are. The authors are masters at building up the emotional and sexual tension, and I literally felt like I was going to explode before these two finally fell into that first kiss. Oliver is an amazing man: he’s patient and gentle. He wants what is best for Lola, even if it means sacrificing his own feelings. So that moment, when he first senses the change in Lola, is so exciting, I imagine him like a dog with its tail wagging, watching his owner come home. The love inside of him wants to burst out, and he can barely contain it. And it is so overwhelming that Lola nearly drowns in her feelings. She’s terrified of being like her mom, who abandoned her and her dad, and she’s scared of losing Oliver forever. Her fear is tangible, but it is equal to the power of her love. In the end, I loved Lola and Oliver’s story, but I wanted more. There was so much overwhelming emotion at the beginning of the book, but then it got lost in Lola’s desperate crazed life. And I get where Oliver was coming from, but...
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