Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: All Inn Thyme by Erin Branscom

Posted June 15, 2023 by Jen in Contemporary Romance, Listen Up!, Rating B Tags: , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: All Inn Thyme by Erin Branscom

Audiobook cover of All Inn Thyme by Erin Branscom

Mellie has made a new life for herself and her four-year old son Kase in Freedom Valley, NH, working for the Golden Gable Inn. Just over a year ago, she escaped an abusive husband with the help of inn owner, Evan. Only a select few know Mellie’s secrets, but the longer she stays in Freedom Valley, the more people she trusts, and now it feels like home.

Ty is the local mechanic who is also new to town. He’s staying on the inn property and helps when able. But no one knows the real reason Ty is in town, and as soon as his assignment is over, he plans to move back home to Alabama. That is until he meets Mellie and knows he’s got the chance for the life he’s always wanted.

Mellie and Ty share a speedy yet sweet romance. Both are tentative, yet they sense a kinship and a once-in-a-lifetime attraction. I enjoyed seeing their will they/won’t they courtship, but it was also tough since, as the listener, we understand Ty is keeping secrets from Mellie, which could break her fragile trust. The pair says “I love you,” to one another after only a couple weeks and it felt very rushed to me. They barely know each other and have shared little alone time. The author attempts to build a larger-than-life romance while keeping the couple down to Earth, and while I liked the pair and felt they had good chemistry, it still felt rushed. Additionally, in the beginning to mid-story, Ty is overly excited to have a wife and family, and it is almost like he’s obsessed with the concept of a family more than he likes Mellie. 

All Inn Thyme is a sweet, small town romance. There is set up for and potential of nasty drama, and like Mellie, I continually waited for the shoe to drop. However, events and their relationship progress quickly and smoothly for the most part, which I enjoyed. The one big bump-in-the-road conflict is predictable, and I like that the author didn’t allow for an immediate resolution, giving a little bit of time to consider all sides. 

Narration: The story is shared via the alternating first person POVs of Mellie (performed by Sophie Daniels) and Ty (performed by Chris Brinkley). Brinkley has a pleasant, deep voice he uses for Ty, adjusting dialogue slightly based on gender and age, and he does sexy mechanic well. Daniels nails Mellie’s make-the-best-of-it attitude with a friendly, feminine performance that can be feisty at times. She also adjusts her dialogue, making each character fairly unique. Daniels has a bit more success with the male voices than Brinkley does with female voices. Both do well in their portrayal of four-year old Kase, making him sound young without being cartoonish or too adult. Both Mellie and Ty are originally from the south but hiding their southern accent. I would say that neither narrator does a great job with a semi- or full southern accent, but an attempt is made and it works for the story.

In the end, I enjoyed my return to Freedom Valley. The series has a great set of characters and I love their group dynamics and friendships. My biggest complaint: I wanted to see Kase reunited with a special “someone” from his former life, and the story never gives us that scene.

My Ratings
Story: B-
Narration: B

About the Book:

He’s Freedom Valley’s blue-collar hottie. I’m the housekeeper at the Golden Gable Inn, obsessed with gardening and creating a simple life for my son and me. He’s a mechanic by trade, so he fixes things. He tried to fix me, but it turns out we needed to fix each other. . . 

When I said “I do” five years ago, I was young and had no idea the nightmare I was walking into. 

When I finally escaped my husband with my young son, we ended up at an idyllic family-owned New England inn, living under new names and building a life that was safe and happy with new friends that became like family to us. I thought had figured out a way to make our lives beautiful and happy again. 

Then I met Ty, the sexy and charming yet protective mechanic who didn’t seem to mind my complicated past. But then we unexpectedly ended up housemates, and he became everything I never knew I wanted or needed. 

Like any good mechanic, he’s good at fixing broken things, and he’s been hard at work fixing my heart. 

He showed us what a real family could be like and fixed the family he didn’t break. 

And now, I can’t imagine our lives without him. 

Only it turns out we both may have something to hide. 

When secrets surface and truths are revealed, can our hearts be rebuilt?

Author: Erin Branscom
 Chris Brinkley, Sophie Daniels
 Freedom Valley #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Audiobook Release Date: June 19, 2023
Publisher: My Level 10 Life LLC
Length: 7 hours and 13 minutes
Source: Book Tour
Audio Speed: 1.5x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)