Audiobook Review from a wonderful mystery series: ONE TO WATCH, a Detective Kay Hunter Novel by Rachel Amphlett

Author: Rachel Amplett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: 7 hours 27 minutes

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 3

Publisher: Saxon Publishing

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.

Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.

A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.

Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.

One to Watch is a gripping murder mystery thriller, and the third in the Detective Kay Hunter series. A whodunit for fans of Jeffery Deaver, Peter James, David Baldacci, and James Patterson.

RachelAmphlett.com

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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Here’s a series that only gets better.  Detective Kay Hunter is warm, compassionate, intelligent and a great heroine to this series.

Each book deals with a police case, as well as tightening the coils on ongoing danger to Kay, while the main characters take our attention in a different direction, no less intriguing and suspenseful.

Kay is finding her boss Sharp is one to be trusted as well as a friend.  He watches her back when his superior lays in on Kay — her professionalism and anything he can do to break down her self-esteem. Sharp also believes in her.  He’s a boss we all wish we had!

In this story, leaks become known about things few know about Kay.  How are they getting out?  Can she trust her inner-team?

Adam, her husband, is ever-present as her support and love.  He plays a subordinate role in the story.

I truly enjoyed the many possibilities of who could have murdered a sixteen-year-old girl  at an interesting ceremony — a girl’s vow taken to remain pure and untouched until she marries her husband.  I also found the police’s efforts in unraveling the crime scene and finding the one who committed the murder, most interesting and well-written. I had my suspicion close to the end of the story about ‘who dun’ it’, so was delighted I was right.  Author Amphlett does a great job laying out the facts of the murder, encouraging the reader to ‘guess’ just what happened. The narrator is admirable in retelling the story, keeping me focused on the intrigue and facts.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rachel Amphlett. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Book 3

Apr. 12th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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2 Girls and A Book

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Bound 4 Escape

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Audiobook Review: SWORDS AND SHIELDS by Kathryn Le Veque ~ a rich, story much like a bold, red wine! Hold your hearts close — there are moments of heart-searing pain!

Swords and Shields audiobook cover artTitle: Swords and Shields Reign of the House of de Winter
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 359
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing
Published Date: November 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
ASIN: B015EWYS7O
Narrated by: Brad Wills
Length: 11 hours, 46 minutes
Release date: January 8, 2016
Publisher: Kathryn Le Veque Novels 

Publisher’s Summary:
AD 1301. Following the great quest north with Cortez de Bretagne (The Questing), de Bretagne’s knight, Sir Drake de Winter, returns home to the great de Winter empire in Norfolk, but it is not the safe and wonderful haven he remembers. Family unrest causes him to flee to London and into the service of the elderly King Edward I, a personal friend of Drake’s father. In Edward’s service, Drake finds himself in Scotland as a major player in the Siege of Caerlaverock Castle. In a moment of pure luck, he saves the king from great injury, and in thanks Edward gifts Drake with an heiress for a wife.

But it is not the happy circumstance most men would see it as. Drake, a confirmed bachelor, cannot refuse the gift of a wife and is therefore forced to wed Lady Elisaveta du Reims, daughter of the last earl of East Anglia.

Beautiful and intelligent, Elisaveta is English by birth yet of Scots and French blood, making her very much an enemy of England during these turbulent times. Although Drake is polite to her, he does not trust her. He does not want her. He cannot resist the feelings she stirs within him, but his instincts tell him to beware.

His instincts are correct; Elisaveta is not as she seems. Her heart belongs to France and to Scotland, but with the introduction of a new husband, her loyalties are torn. She, too, cannot resist the feelings the powerful young knight stirs within her.

Join Drake and Elisaveta on this unforgettable and passionate adventure.
©2015 Kathryn Le Veque (P)2016 Kathryn Le Veque

My Thoughts: House of Winter has 200 years of loyalty to England. The family is one of honor.  Le Veque’s world encompasses great knights of passion and honor fighting against great odds.  Experience the heartache of choices made full of betrayal and the damage which possibly can’t be repaired in Swords and Shields.

I’ve seen the sword, its name Laspada at work before, in a story titled the same. It was when Davis and Devereux met, Sir Drake’s parents. I listened to that book back in October, 2017. So it was with a thrill I saw the sword once again in action with Drake, Davis’ son.

Drake, first-born of a set of twins, provides some very comical moments as he struggles to avoid the noose of being betrothed.  But when the King gets involved in rewarding him with a feat of bravery saving his nephew, and sweetens the pot with a sizeable Earldom, he succumbs, but not willingly.

He, as his father before, sends his sword to marry Lady Elisaveta du Reims, but she will have nothing to do with it.  After the rocky marriage ceremony, which provided lots of laughter on my part, they rub along well together, and find they are well matched being quick of wit and humor.

Lady Elisaveta marries into a family founded on love. One she hasn’t experienced.  Her past is most austere, and is eventually used as a bride to help her grandmother, Ma Belle, revenge the death of her Scottish husband.

Elisaveta understands the value of belonging to the de Winder family.  Her dirty, little secret of having to spy on her husband, tortures her conscious, but with her wicked grandmother in control, she feels powerless to do anything but spy.  So when she hears some information about the movements of King Edward, she shares it with her grandmother, hoping this will be the only time she has to do it.  This sharing has terrible consequences — the core of the story.

Narrator Brad Wills brings the scenes to vivid, brilliant color. His impersonation of the women have my mind’s eye see them as such.  His voice captures the exquisite mean-ness and wickedness of Ma Belle. With scenes of panic or deep emotional tears, he not only has me witness the words, but I see the panic, sniffles and tears running down cheeks.  Wills has a good eye to such detail, perfecting the telling as few narrators do for me.

The quote: “You will breed a rebellion” cuts to the quick with me.  Ma Belle sees her granddaughter as a pawn, one to birth an enemy within the de Winter’s.  Through an act of love, her role is to produce the enemy — only to breed more hate.

I adore the way Le Veque places me in Medieval times.  Her stories are richly varied, which are potent in the meaning of life.  This particular read will have a special place in my heart, for it touched my feelings to the core.

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Audiobook Review: WILL TO LIVE by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell — In this story, it isn’t about riding the rails, it’s about being under them. A thriller of gruesome circumstances where Detective Kay Hunter once again succeeds in catching the perpetrator

Author: Rachel Amplett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: 7 hours 15 minutes

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 2

Publisher: Saxon Publishing

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Reputation is everything.

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as “Suicide Mile”, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realizes the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him….

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future….

RachelAmphlett.com

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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This series has been very enjoyable to follow.  Book two deals with mental illness and suicide, along with people who hold grudges and act on them.

We become more acquainted with Detective Kay’s work environment, and the people who have it in for her and those, as well, who believe in her. We also learn more about the procedures within the police force in obtaining evidence for a crime committed. I’m impressed with the thoroughness of an investigation and not jumping to conclusions.

Kay Hunter doesn’t let her personal woes at work interfere with the caliber of her work in trying to break a case, even when it looks like she can’t unravel it. She is driven to solve a case, meticulously working through the evidence.

It’s enjoyable watching her interact with people who surround a crime scene, whether in the periphery or up close.  Kate is an admirable character with gut instincts she acts on, yet she’s very thorough with her investigations.

The author creates a believable story, with mystery and suspense, building a slow-coil of dread as Kate gets closer to solving the crime.  She doesn’t show her hand, in the slightest, as who is responsible for the crime/crimes.

I’ve enjoyed listening to the narrator, also either English or very familiar with the local dialog.  Between the author and the narrator, I feel like I’m watching a BBC film. They are very well in tune and create the perfect environment for me to envision the scenes.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rachel Amphlett. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Book 2

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Another winner — GODSPEED — in Earls of East Anglia, Book 2, penned by Kathryn Le Veque

37457001Title: Godspeed Earls of East Anglia, Book 2
Author: Kathryn Le Veque
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: 1215 A.D.
Pages: 374
Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 1 edition
Published Date: February 27, 2018
ISBN-10: 1986069931
ISBN-13: 978-1986069939

  

Publisher’s Summary:
1215 A.D. – Dashiell “Dash” du Reims is the eldest son of the Earl of East Anglia and a cousin to the great House of de Lohr. Much like his warring and politically-involved cousins, Dashiell is also waist-deep in the political turmoil that is sweeping England at this time. As the Captain of the Guard for the powerful – and senile – Duke of Savernake, his is in the middle of the baron’s rebellion against the king. Although his de Lohr cousins have been trying to lure him over into serving Christopher de Lohr, the greatest knight in the realm, Dashiell is reluctant for one very good reason. 

A woman. Specifically, the duke’s youngest daughter, the lovely and sweet Belladonna. With the duke’s senility, there is an undercurrent movement from within the family to usurp the duke by two of his ambitious sons-in-laws. As a man with only three daughters, the husbands of the older daughters are plotting to steal the duke’s power and his seat, and Dashiell is the only thing that stands between them and the mad duke. He is also the only thing that stands between their wicked intentions towards Belladonna.

Nothing will get past Dashiell when it comes to Belladonna, not even men who technically outrank him. He’ll fight to the death. Soon enough, the evil husbands are plotting to be rid of Dashiell as well, but not if the powerful de Lohr family has anything to say about it.

Enter a world of grand Medieval pagentry, passion, battles, and politics in Dashiell and Belladonna’s story, where love is the only thing that truly conquers all and family bonds are the strongest of all. It’s an all-out knightfest in this glorious Medieval epic.

My Thoughts:
I always enjoy a piece of history when author Le Veque pens another tale.  John, King of England is a thorn in the rebel barons’ sides as well as the Lords of the Marshes. Dashiell, cousin to the de Lohrs, is a mighty, noble warrior, well within his prime, with a protective streak a mile long for the Duke of Snavernake and his three daughters, believes in himself on the battlefield, but when it comes to Bella, he doesn’t see himself measure up. He sees himself too old for her.  You’ll find yourself cheering Bella along as she tries to convince Dash he’s her prince charming.

Belladonna is the youngest daughter of the Duke of Savernake, yet her character is stronger than her sisters. She’s unhappy with her lot, because she’s always loved Dashiell, moving from adolescent adoration to much more.  Dash treats her even more remotely.  From 12 on, she was his shadow and had great camaraderie up until 17.  Then she became Lady Belladonna, Dashiell having a formal tone with her, not to her liking, and definitely Dash had trouble keeping his emotions in check.  He focused on being their protector – nothing more.

She is hurt, doesn’t understand the change and when she does, the story becomes delightfully complicated.  Dash must protect the Duke from greedy power mongers.  The three sisters love their father, but he is just a shell of the man he was. The duke had been a well-respected knight, his daughters loved him, but the duke believes himself to be Apostle Paul and extremely vulnerable.  His death would change much at the keep.  The political balance could very well be changed and to the worse for the knights of the Marshes.

The other two sisters, Lily and Arcade have troubles of their own.  Lily and Arcade, Bella’s older sisters, enrich the telling even further. As with most of Le Veque’s stories, there are subplots woven into the texture, producing a truly three-dimensional setting and fabulously entertaining one. 

The tension of the situation coils ever tighter as the duke accidentally chokes to death. How can Dashiell protect Belladonna and her sisters now, against their own brother?  He can’t very well go against the new duke.

The story has all the markings of a Le Veque tale – its timbre is definitely Le Veque. If you are a connoisseur of Medieval Historical tales with dash (no pun intended!), excitement and deep emotional pull, Le Veque is your author.

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Audiobook Review: A WITCH’S CONCERN by N.E. Conneely, narrated by Jeff Hayes and Laurie Catherine Winkel

Author: N.E. Conneely

Narratora: Jeff Hays, Laurie Catherine Winkel

Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 4

Length: 7 hours 25 minutes

Publisher: N.E. Conneely

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural

Michelle has been figuring out what her life is like now that the demon has been killed, and Sylvia and Varro are dead. Even the clans of witches trying to attract her to their way of life have backed off and given her a chance to grieve. Her relationship with Elron is stronger than ever, but there are things left unsaid.

On the way to her parents’ wedding, the delicate calm she’d been living in is broken. Witches are out for her blood, her family is caught in the crossfire, and friendships are threatened. Work doesn’t let up either, and she partners up with Elron to deal with magic gone wild. Michelle finds that her problems are larger than one clan of witches, and is forced to choose between the people she holds dear and the way of life she loves.

This is the fourth book in a series, following A Witch’s Trial. It is a standalone novel, however, your experience will be greatly enhanced if you’ve heard the previous books.

N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.

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Narrator Bio

Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.

And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.

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Narrator Bio

Laurie got into voiceover by studying with the legendary dialect expert Paul Meier and hosting the teen program for a nonprofit for the blind, Kansas Audio Reader. She speaks French fluently and, before diving into audiobooks, lived and performed for some time in France. She’s racking up some bizarre credits, playing a range of characters onscreen from Disney princesses to horror scream queens, and proving her audio versatility by narrating everything from cowboy romances to action-packed GameLit fantasy trolls. You can also catch her in a few VR video games. Her favorite is playing confident, power-hungry, whip-smart anti-heroines.

Like Jeff Hays, she hails from the Kansas City area but currently lives in Atlanta.

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Interview with Laurie Winkel

How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?

Well, I was encouraged to do so by my professor, Paul Meier, who I had no idea was a big name in the audiobook world for his dialect coaching and founding the IDEA archives. I kind of stumbled into it later when I was asked to audition for a program called Kansas Audio Reader in college, which was a specialized radio broadcast for the blind. For three years I ran a program reading YA books for blind teens. I had no idea it was going to be so relevant to my life.

Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?

Because I had unknowingly gained all that experience in nonprofit, and training in my acting work, I found the performance pretty accessible. What was throw-your-headphones-at-the-wall infuriating was all the tech! I am not a tech-savvy person, and learning even the basic specs of audio recording was a huge struggle. When troubleshooting one of my first home-recorded books, I spent so much time on internet forums that my eyes dried out and I got a twitch. But there’s a lot of help available on the internet if you ask the right questions.

A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I think a theatre background is an excellent addition to any performance-based career. You simply won’t get the same depth from acting into a vacuum all the time. Speaking into a microphone feels like that to me — we are our own directors, coaches, and engineers.

What type of training have you undergone?

I studied with Paul Meier, one of the top dialect coaches in the world. I have a BA in theatre from the University of Kansas. And I’m always taking acting classes. Any serious actor should never stop learning and coaching.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?

Honestly, I get burned out vocally before mentally. I have to take breaks and rotate with other projects.

Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

Absolutely. I have to drive a lot, so I cycle between about a dozen audiobooks and podcasts at any given time.

 

After listening to the first three books of the series, I was revved up to listen to this one.

I enjoy the multiple narrators and the ways they use their voices, even in so far as to create the feel of distance if dialog stretches from another room or longer distance.

Lots of talent went into telling Michelle’s story about an unclaimed witch, her special skill with ruins and spelling, her recent relationship with a elf who she jokes with as geriatric, being over 1500 years old.  Michelle’s lifespan will be close to 300 years if she doesn’t die first by her amazing capability of being in the wrong place at the right time. Thank God, she is really lucky, has nature at her back and lots of supportive friends.  She does live in a scary world where demons still roam, hidden so well, they aren’t apparent, and often wonders if her choices in how she deals with evil forces are the best.  Will that get her killed?

Conneely’s world building is quite believable and very entertaining.  Her talent to propel a story forward with plenty of suspense with twists of surprising character keeps me reading with eagerness.

Michelle and her relationship with her elf is a slow-burn, deep feeling relationship rather than a hot spicy chemistry-filled emotion. I enjoy Michelle’s desire to work alone, protect what is hers and do the right thing.

I look forward to continue both the book and listen.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jeff Hays. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Audiobook Review & Book Giveaway: SCARED TO DEATH by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell ~ a story where bullying strikes back. Don’t do it! Your life may just go down the drain!

Author: Rachel Amplett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: 8 hours 27 minutes

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 1

Publisher: Saxon Publishing

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

“If you want to see your daughter alive again, listen carefully.”

When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realized.

With her career in jeopardy – desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun….

Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future….

If you like the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons, Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks series and the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza, discover Rachel Amphlett’s new detective novels today.

RachelAmphlett.com

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

Enjoyed this suspenseful thriller about the repercussions of bullying, with an excellent explanation what goes on with the police behind the scene in a crime.  This topic is very much in the news when kids who are bullied strike back, killing many as they do.  So it is appropriate to read/listen and a wonderful beginning to a series about Detective Kate Hunter, a skillful detective with boss issues and personal life complications.

The plot is well thought out, keeping me guessing with all its twists, but, at the same time, making sense as it unfolds.  I like Kate, with her great rapport with her colleagues, and her astute thoughts on where the investigation might lead. She’s a great role model.

I am also struck on how Kate Hunter’s boss doesn’t cut her any slack and even though she has been found to not be at fault in a particular previous debacle, her boss rides her. How many of us have had such bosses? Another subplot runs its course, giving us some insight to Kate’s personal life, as well as her relationship with her working colleagues.

I very much relate to this story, knowing how people with troubles in their own lives, may have jobs which also take chunks out of who they are.  They pull through by being strong, doing what is right.

The narrator told the tale and sparked fear in the listener through the killer’s dialog.  She did a great job! Her voice pacing was a bit slow for me so I found the story more engaging by listening at 1.25X instead of 1.00X.  On the whole, she adds timbre to the character personalities and the telling, making it quite the thriller.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rachel Amphlett. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

Giveaway

The Detective Kay Hunter Series Giveaway: Signed Paperback & Bookmark Set

Book 1

Mar. 29th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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What Is That Book About

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Next Book Review

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AudioSpy

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Audiobook Review & Author Interview: LOVE’S COURAGE from The Brentwood Saga

When does a nation’s survival become more important than your own? Author Meyette sets a stirring love story against the backdrop of utter danger as people take sides — to stay loyal to mother England or endeavor to live life in freedom.

Author: Elizabeth Meyette

Narrator: Amy McFadden

Length: 7 hours 36 minutes

Publisher: Boris Publishing

Released: Jan. 23, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

She had to leave him to save her father. He had to follow her to save his heart.

In August 1777, Jenny Sutton leaves Williamsburg, Virginia and the man she loves and sets sail for British occupied Manhattan to tend to her dying father. Aboard the Destiny, Jonathon Brentwood makes a request of Jenny that will entangle her in the network of spies serving the Patriot cause. With her father already under suspicion, Jenny’s activities must be hidden from the watchful eyes of British troops. But she has caught the eye of British officer Lieutenant Nigel Ashby, who is aware of her sympathies, yet offers her protection through marriage. Only by accepting his proposal will Jenny avoid the hangman’s noose…and lose Andrew forever.

Desperate to join—and protect—Jenny, Andrew Wentworth agrees to deliver messages to Patriot troops on his way to New York. His route brings him face to face with those suffering under British rule. The fight for independence and his desire to reach Jenny become intertwined. Arriving in Manhattan, Andrew is arrested as a spy by the British officer coercing Jenny into marriage. She may be saved from the gallows but will Andrew?

As war rages around them, Jenny and Andrew must find the courage to fight for their new country’s freedom and their own eternal love.

Believer in dreams-come-true and self-confessed chocoholic, Elizabeth Meyette is the author of a little history … a little mystery … a little romance. The Cavanaugh House and its sequel, Buried Secrets, are mysteries set in 1968 in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Love’s Destiny, Love’s Spirit, and Love’s Courage are historical romances set during the American Revolution.
Elizabeth is an Amazon Best-selling author, a PAN (Published Authors Network) member of Romance Writers of America, a member of Sisters in Crime and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Before pursuing her writing career full time, Elizabeth taught English, Journalism, and Library Science/Technology. After retiring from teaching, Elizabeth embarked on her writing career full-time and, in addition to her four novels, has published poetry, magazine articles and her blog site, Meyette’s Musings. A friend said of her, “You haven’t retired, you’ve refired!”
Elizabeth and her husband Richard live in west Michigan where they enjoy the beauty of the Great Lakes. They have an agreement that she cannot cook on writing days after he endured burnt broccoli and overcooked chicken. Fortunately, Richard is an excellent cook.

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Narrator Bio

Amy McFadden has narrated over 300 titles in Humor, Romance, Not-Super- Violent Thrillers– -and various (often delightfully ridiculous) combinations thereof.

She’s an Audie Award Winner for The Brink (Short Stories); 4-time Audie Award Finalist in Humor, Lit Fic, Mystery/Thriller and Short Story; Earphones Award Winner in Romance, Mystery/Thriller; AudioFile’s Top 10 Romances of 2016 and Top 100 books of 2017.

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I could not help my admiration of the courageousness of Jenny Sutton and Andrew Wentworth.  They are caught up in the turmoil of the fight against the English.  Where the colonists were taking sides, where one is unsure of who is friend or foe, where it could be death choosing to trust the wrong person–a wrong step and it would be the hangman’s noose.

Jenny knew that her father had been injured and her love for him had her lying to her uncle to get to Manhattan by ship.  Her courage and strength gave her the fortitude to arrive.  She sees her father before he passes, but is further caught up in his fight for his country’s freedom.

Andrew Wentworth, her love, catches her sneaking away to New York, and only sees the horrors she must experience.  He begins his own journey, his goal is to get to Jenny, no matter how.

They are both snagged in a treacherous and nasty time, both become committed to something more than their love, but neither choose to let it go.

This is the first book I’ve read of this series and the first from this author. It’s also the first time I’ve listened to a narration from Amy McFadden. Both were an enriching experience.  Meyette captures the angst and the evil which permeates times like these.  McFadden takes the story to a whole different level with her emotional portrayal of the characters.  When Andrew says Jenny’s name, with such love and reverence, it carves into my heart just a little more.

Lieutenant Nigel Ashby is a person of remarkable need for revenge, even when it hurts his own cause.  Meyette and McFadden have me hating him! He has his eye on Jenny, attracted to her, but knows not all is what it seems with her household.  He is also slightly imbalanced. He is very unpredictable in his actions, which spirals the arc of the story to its perfect, scary moment!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Elizabeth Meyette. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author Elizabeth Meyette
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • Love’s Courage is my first romance audiobook. Both of my mysteries are available in audiobook format, but since my other romances are traditionally published, I have no control over that. If I did, they, too, would be available for listening pleasure.
      I have had such good response with my mysteries, that I knew I wanted to create this format for Love’s Courage. I actually waited to finalize formatting for my ebook and print editions until I’d listened to the audiobook format because I catch revisions while I’m listening.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Amy McFadden is wonderful to work with. When I send her my manuscript, I include a character sheet listing brief character sketches. I’m a singer, so I like to include what voice range for each character (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, bass). But Amy is so thorough and professional, that I don’t want to dictate too much. When I heard her audition tape for The Cavanaugh House, my first audiobook, I almost cried I was so happy. She totally got my characters.
      When I have revisions, sometimes I call rather than email her because we need to talk it through. Sometimes she reads my mind and will answer her phone and say, “You want me to do this …” and she is spot on. Her turn-around time on re-recording is excellent. I LOVE working with Amy.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I had visited the Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown area many years ago and fell in love with the history, imagining what life was like back then and the courage of people fighting for liberty. I wrote my first romance, Love’s Destiny, soon after, though it wasn’t published until 2012. Rich and I returned to Colonial Williamsburg in 2016 and spent a week there and in Yorktown so I could research my book.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • This is a timely question since I just finished Love’s Courage. When I’m working on a book, I drill down pretty hard, focusing on little else. My goal for 2017 is balance, so I am trying to be more human LOL. When I finish a book and publishing and marketing settles down, I often find myself at loose ends—what do I do next? Heck, what do I do when I wake up today? Without the intense focus of writing a specific book, I feel scattered. Maybe that’s burn-out, maybe it’s ADD. Membership in writers’ groups helps me tremendously. When I meet with other writers, their enthusiasm buoys me up. It’s like a vaccination or something. As they talk about their projects and plans, ideas start to bubble up in my brain. It doesn’t take long before I’m drilling down again.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I think as the conflict builds and life becomes more dangerous for Jenny and Andrew, Amy’s narration adds intensity to the story and their world. Of course, dialogue is always enhanced as the characters become alive to the listener.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Yes, as long as I can return to this time. Obviously, I love the American Revolution era, so I would travel to Colonial Williamsburg to experience that time. And I would definitely visit the apothecary shop because I am fascinated by how our ancestors used natural herbs and plants for healing. The apothecary shop is a vital site in Love’s Couragebecause, in my story, that’s where spies exchanged secret messages.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I say “humbug.” I loved college lectures because I’m an auditory learner. I think listening to an audiobook is as much reading as sitting with the print or ebook version in your hands. Plus, I think listening to the story adds a depth and dimension readers don’t get if they lack a vivid imagination. When I listen to different voices, increased tempo as tension rises, tenderness coming through in a lover’s voice, that makes the story more three dimensional to me.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Not so much in my dreams, but they turn up in unexpected places. We were waiting at the gate to board our plane once, when I grabbed my husband’s arm and whispered, “Rich, look! There’s Marty!” He knew I had spotted a man who looked like he could play my Italian cop, Marty D’Amato in the movie version of The Cavanaugh House. The other day, I waited in the car while Rich went into a convenience store. A man walked by the doors who looked like Randy from Love’s Courage. A few minutes later, a young guy came out who looked just like Andrew. That is always fun. Rich is never surprised, either.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • Well, the pros of a series are you have a captive audience for every book after the first, and you’ve already created your world. Readers love revisiting favorite characters, so if they liked the first in the series, they’ll return for more. As long as the author doesn’t slough off on quality. The hard part for an author is the delicate balance of enough, but not too much, backstory. Ideally, a reader can pick up book three first and still understand the book.
      On the other hand, a stand-alone may be all there is to a story. The richness of the story unfolds and comes to a satisfying conclusion. When the tale is told, don’t cheapen it by trying to extend what isn’t there.
  • What’s next for you?
    • When a book is finished and published, I sometimes find myself feeling a bit scattered. I’ve started the third book in The Cavanaugh House series. My readers have been asking for it for a while. I’m excited about writing it, too, because I miss those characters and want to hang out with them again. Stay tuned…there will be another audiobook coming.

Mar. 18th:

The Maiden’s Court

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Audiobook Review: YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME penned by Bella Andre, narrated by Eva Kaminsky

Author: Bella Andre

Narrator: Eva Kaminsky

Series: The New York Sullivans, Book 3

Publisher: Oak Press, LLC

Released: Jan. 9, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Alec Sullivan has always believed he has it all. A billion-dollar private aviation business. A penthouse apartment in New York City. Beautiful women who know better than to expect him ever to fall in love. And great siblings for whom he’d do anything. But when Alec’s business partner passes away and leaves everything to a daughter Alec never knew about, in an instant everything in his life turns upside down – all because of Cordelia.

Cordelia always thought she was perfectly happy with her life. She owns a garden store she loves, lives in a pretty little cottage in the same town as her adoptive parents, and figures there’s plenty of time to meet Mr. Right. But she never counted on becoming the surprise heir to a fortune – or on meeting a man like Alec Sullivan. A shockingly sexy billionaire who makes her heart race and melt all at the same time.

Neither Alec nor Cordelia plans on getting any closer than they have to. Only, how can either of them fight this kind of heat, this depth of desire? And when Cordelia needs Alec’s support, it’s pure instinct for him to be there for her. But when it’s her turn to help him confront his deepest pain, will Alec let her in? Or will he push her away, just as he’s pushed away everyone who’s loved him for the past 30 years….

Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Sullivans”, “The Morrisons” and “The Maverick Billionaires” series.

Having sold more than 7 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 64 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Stephen King). Apple iBooks named her one of their “Bestselling Authors of All Time” (alongside Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts and EL James). And Publishers Weekly named Oak Press, the publishing company she created to publish her own books, the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America”; and she has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.

Bella also writes the New York Times bestselling Four Weddings and a Fiasco series as Lucy Kevin. Her “sweet” contemporary romances also include the new USA Today bestselling Walker Island series written as Lucy Kevin.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100-year-old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

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Narrator Bio

Eva Kaminsky is a New York born and NYC based actor and narrator. A 2014 Audie nominee, she has recorded over 150 audiobooks in many different genres ranging from Romance to Young Adult. Eva can often be heard on TV and radio commercials for such products as Intel, Publix, Neulasta and Tide, and spent her earlier years in the world of animation voicing characters for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, among many others. Recent recurring and guest appearances on television include Chicago Med, Billions, Madam Secretary, Madoff, Blindspot, and The Blacklist, and on the larger screen she can be seen in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Three Generations, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. She has spent over 20 years working in the theatre, both on and Off Broadway, and extensively in regional theatres all over the country.

Website

The Sullivan world is new to me.  This is the third book in this series I’ve listened to.  As I understand it, the author has written several series all focusing on the Sullivan’s living in various parts of the world.

The stories are sensual, deeply emotional and thoroughly consuming as the reader gets further and further entrenched in the upheavals of life where money takes back seat, and happiness takes the fore.

The Sullivans are not one of those families next door.  They are special with so many relatives who are high profile.  They meet ordinary people with their own package of problems, something clicks and a relationship begins.  Those who join the Sullivan family are strong on their own with a talent no less important than their chosen.

Alec really is a special character.  At five, he basically raised with siblings, after his mother walked out committing suicide.  Alec’s dad stopped parenting, broken-hearted and full of guilt. Alec could hardly look his dad in the eyes, now over 30 years later.

This story revolves around Alec’s life, seeking love, when he thought none existed for him.  His relationship with his dad comes full circle and he come to terms with his mother’s death.  I like how the subplot of Alec’s dad takes more prominence in book three.

Cordelia and who she is, sneaks up on Alec.  All is right in his business world, until his business partner suddenly dies, leaving him with a vacuum in his life and a huge surprise with a daughter Alec knew nothing about.

I loved the story, its emotional tangles and an ending which keeps me looking forward to reading/listening to another of Andre’s stories.

The narration enhances the tale, providing the reader with the force of the personalities at work.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Bella Andre. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

Schedule

Book 3

Mar. 18th:

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Mar. 19th:

What Is That Book About

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Mar. 20th:

Audiobook Romance

Mar. 21st:

Jazzy Book Reviews

In Patti’s Imagination

Mar. 22nd:

Lilly’s Book World

Booktalk with Eileen

Mar. 23rd:

Haddie’s Haven

Red Hatter Book Blog

Book Lover in Florida

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Mar. 24th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

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Review: DUKE DU JOUR by Petie McCarty ~ lovely, entertaining tale

36972656Title: Duke du Jour Lord in Time Series
Author: Petie McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 337
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Published Date: January 15, 2018
ASIN: B077X87J65

Publisher’s Summary:
..a reverse Kate and Leopold…a light-hearted time travel romance where a bewildered modern-day duke ends up in Regency England and meets the girl of his dreams…     

Jared Langley, present-day Duke of Reston, tumbles into an abandoned fountain on his ducal estate and travels back in time to the year 1816. There, Reston servants and local villagers think him a dead ringer for his namesake and rakehell ancestor–the seventh Duke of Reston, gone missing at the Battle of Waterloo. Unfortunately, Seven got mixed up with French spies out to assassinate the Duke of Wellington, and an unwary Jared ends up in their crosshairs.

Lady Ariana Hart has loved Jared Langley, the seventh Duke of Reston, since she was twelve years old, until the night the rogue broke her heart. Given up for dead, her rakish neighbor makes a miraculous return from Waterloo–only Jared shows up a changed man and reignites all the feelings Ariana had long ago buried.

Jared is in a race against time. He must waylay the suspicions of his quirky servants and neighbors, get to Wellington before the French spies do, fix his fountain–before Seven shows up–so Jared has a way home, and definitely not fall in love with the irresistible Lady Ariana.

My Thoughts:  I was charmed out of my boots!  It’s nice to begin a book ready to snuggle into the couch and simply enjoy.

The title is a little unusual, but I saw how it neatly fit into a story of time travel. McCarty captures the absolute ennui of present-day Duke of Reston, the thirteenth duke, Jared Langley.  He is disgusted with how he’s pawned over by women, just to have the opportunity to get something from him.  He’s beyond bored with making money.  He has piles of it and does it buy him happiness?  The only thing which has captured his interest lately is his fascination with all the other Duke’s of Reston who came before leaving their stamp of existence through their journals—all except the seventh.

It all changes the day he finally tells his fiancée it is time to shove off.  He isn’t interested in being pimped, or in the words of days-of-old cuckold by his fiancée.  Walking into part of his garden he rarely uses to just get away and breathe, angered with life in general, he slips and falls…into a new life, back to the days of Duke of Reston, the seventh.

The twist which makes this story so fun is he is a dead-ringer for Duke of Reston, the seventh.  Easily recognized, however, the duke was thought dead from battle wounds from the Battle of Waterloo.  But what if he isn’t?  Then there would be two of ‘him’, and Jared was anxious on that point.  He rather liked his new life, rather liked a lovely woman, Lady Ariana Hart, who didn’t think too nicely of him, from a previous association with number seven. Even though the seventh and thirteen look alike, Jared is more kind-hearted and generally looks out for the underdog, making those who know him question what has changed?  (They do like the change!)

Jared is busy juggling how to get back to the future after the fountain he’d hit in the present (falling through a portal) had been damaged and no material is available to repair it, his heart finding a woman he admires and respects, his run-ins with ‘accidents’ of sorts, where it was very unlikely.  Jared, the thirteenth is no longer annoyed with life.

The story with all its quirks of charm, danger and levity is so fast-paced, I wished it were longer, which brings me to waiting eagerly for the second in the series.  If you love time travel, characters with noble hearts and a happy ever after, pick up this read and drop back into time where life is dangerous, but somehow more genuine.

Posted in Action/Adventure, Historical Romance, Suspense, Time Travel | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

In for a treat with the Sullivan family! Audiobook Review: NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU

Author: Bella Andre

Narrator: Eva Kaminsky

Series: The New York Sullivans, Book 2

Publisher: Oak Press, LLC

Released: Jan. 10, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Suzanne Sullivan doesn’t need a bodyguard. After all, she’s one of the most successful digital security specialists in the world―so she can most certainly take care of herself despite the problems she’s been running into lately. Unfortunately, her three brothers don’t agree. So when Mr. Way-Too-Handsome shows up bound and determined to protect her, whether she wants him there or not, sparks definitely start to fly. Because she has absolutely no intention of falling for the bodyguard she never wanted in the first place…

Roman Huson has vowed to do whatever it takes to protect Suzanne Sullivan from harm. And her brothers would kill him for so much as looking at her the wrong way. The only problem is that he’s never been hired to work for anyone so beautiful, or brilliant, before. Between trying to keep up with her―and working like hell to keep from kissing her breathless―he’s up against the most difficult challenge of his life. Especially when it turns out that the passion, and connection, between them is hotter than anything he’s ever known…

Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of “The Sullivans”, “The Morrisons” and “The Maverick Billionaires” series.

Having sold more than 7 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 64 times. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Stephen King). Apple iBooks named her one of their “Bestselling Authors of All Time” (alongside Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts and EL James). And Publishers Weekly named Oak Press, the publishing company she created to publish her own books, the Fastest-Growing Independent Publisher in the US. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top writers in America”; and she has been featured in Entertainment Weekly, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City.

Bella also writes the New York Times bestselling Four Weddings and a Fiasco series as Lucy Kevin. Her “sweet” contemporary romances also include the new USA Today bestselling Walker Island series written as Lucy Kevin.

If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100-year-old log cabin in the Adirondacks.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsAmazon

Narrator Bio

Eva Kaminsky is a New York born and NYC based actor and narrator. A 2014 Audie nominee, she has recorded over 150 audiobooks in many different genres ranging from Romance to Young Adult. Eva can often be heard on TV and radio commercials for such products as Intel, Publix, Neulasta and Tide, and spent her earlier years in the world of animation voicing characters for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, among many others. Recent recurring and guest appearances on television include Chicago Med, Billions, Madam Secretary, Madoff, Blindspot, and The Blacklist, and on the larger screen she can be seen in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Three Generations, and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. She has spent over 20 years working in the theatre, both on and Off Broadway, and extensively in regional theatres all over the country.

Website

I can see why this series is so popular.  Book 2 pulls you further into the New York Sullivan family with Suzanne Sullivan as the smart one, the indestructible one, the one who always keeps everything together for the family. She is well-admired by the employees in her company as they are loyal to her.

Just because she’s having issues with a few bad phone calls, and someone wrecking havoc with her security systems, she doesn’t need help.  She works herself ragged and burns the candle on both ends.  She’s a powerhouse and an extremely lovable character.

Her brothers love her, always watching out for her, all three of them.  Alec is the worst.  He’s an interesting character and totally over the top in his protection of Suzanne — even hiring a bodyguard for her without her approval.  But Suzanne at 31, doesn’t let her brothers control her life.  She rejects him, this handsome man she’s terribly attracted to, but… Roman Huson gets under her skin.  She has been under his from the moment he meets her.

Expect fireworks, hot bed scenes and a love which can’t be denied.  You, yourself, will find yourself emotionally involved as Suzanne’s well thought out life starts to unravel.  The author keeps the story moving at a fast clip with plenty of surprises along the way.  But ultimately?  It is family and friends which rule the day!

Once again, the narrator, Eva Kaminsky, does a superb  job with showing by her voice the emotions and personalities of the characters.  Her high energy level suits the series and the emotions, even those below the skin.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Bella Andre. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.Play Button

 

Giveaway

The New York Sullivans Giveaway: 3-Month Audible Membership

 

 

 

Mar. 11th:

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Mar. 12th:

In Patti’s Imagination

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Red Hatter Book Blog

Audiobook Romance

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Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Booktalk with Eileen

Mar. 15th:

Lilly’s Book World

Jazzy Book Reviews

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Haddie’s Haven

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The Book Addict’s Reviews

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