Posted in audio books, Book Review, Uncategorized

Crazy Rich Asians

By Kevin Kwan, Narrated by Lynn Chen

I cannot believe this is Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, it’s fantastic. It is like Mean Girl meets Clueless with a little My Big Fat Greek Wedding but in Chinese. There were times when I wanted to take a few of the characters out for a long walk on a short pier but the main characters, Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young were awesome.

When Rachel’s boyfriend Nicholas asks her to go to Singapore for summer vacation and his best friend’s wedding, she is expecting a humble family, sight-seeing around the island and spending time with the man she believes she might one day marry. She has no clue that Nicholas Young is one of the most eligible bachelors in Asia or that his best friend’s wedding is the wedding of the century. She should have a target on her back, it would make things easier for the catty witches gunning for her position.

This hilarious insiders’ look at the Asian Jet Set shows the ridiculous clash of old money versus new, and overseas Chinese versus Mainland Chinese. Crazy Rich Asians is a fun, young romantic romp through one of the most exotic places on earth with its blend of future, history and what it means to be in love and deliriously rich.    

Posted in audio books, Book Review

The Awesome Penny Reid Rom-Coms

Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Marries Human is a great sequel to her Neanderthal Seeks Human and I suggest reading them back to back. Narrated by Sebastian York and Jennifer Grace.

Janie Morris and Quinn Sullivan are the Yin and Yang of romance. They compliment each other bringing out the best parts of the other. When Janie’s insecurities threaten their future happiness, Quinn gives her what she needs to prove his love is real and he won’t leave her. With a little help from their friends, an Elvis impersonator, a naked Vegas wedding and a lot of love and laughter, this couple just might make it to the church on time. This is a must read if you love romantic comedies with a lot of heart. Penny Reid tackles some real-life issues using humor and a bit of sexy romance to help it go down easier. Like a spoonful of sugar, Reid helps readers understand those difficult life lessons by making them more palatable.

After reading the two Neanderthal books by Penny Reid, I suggest going straight to Friends Without Benefits narrated by Devra Woodward, this book brings Dr. Elizabeth Finney face to face with the boy who’d tormented her throughout most of her life only to end up being her first sexual conquest. She and Nico’s backstories are interwoven but they both have a different interpretation of events. Can they come to see the truth before it’s too late or will they lose each other yet again because they can’t see eye to eye.

Penny Reid does it again, she uses humor, romance, supreme sexiness and our own foibles to create a story that is both relatable and fantastic. She is one of the leaders in the romantic comedy genre that proves this is not all fluff and stuff, this genre can check all the boxes from deep emotions, real-life issues and still entertain. If you haven’t guessed it, yes, I’m a huge fan.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

How-To Manuals for Romance?

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, Narrated by Andrew Eiden, Maxwell Caulfield

What do smart guys do when their love lives are on the rocks? They turn to romance novels for advice. When second baseman Gavin Scott of the Nashville Legends discovers his wife has been faking it in the bedroom, he is hurt and angry, his pride destroyed. He behaves badly. When his wife Thea asks for a divorce, he realizes he must do something, anything to get her back.

He is desperate and willing to listen to anyone who has a plan. When his friends show up and take him to a meeting of book club, he is skeptical but with nothing left to lose agrees to read the book to get ideas on how to reach his wife. At first Gavin’s goal is to just stop his wife from divorcing him but it soon becomes more. He realizes he needs to get to know his wife.

This was a fresh idea on relationships and romance. I love how the guys were all willing to help their friend get his wife back, but their plan is forever not just a temporary fix. The friendships of these Alpha males is a wonderful part of the story. They explain the use of the romance novels is to help them better understand their own failings and what their wives and girlfriends need from them. One of my favorite parts of the story is when Gavin starts thinking and arguing as a Regency Count.

Lyssa Kay Adams did an excellent job portraying these characters and using humor to deal with real issues. They were fun but deep. When Thea explains that faking it in the bedroom wasn’t the only place she was faking it, the couple begins to find their way back to each other. Like all happy endings, it didn’t come easy but when they finally reach that moment it’s so satisfying.  

Posted in audio books, Book Review, Uncategorized

You Had Me at Hola

by: Alexis Daria, Narrated by Seraphine Valentine

Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is an ambitious actress with a big heart and a huge family. After finding out her boyfriend broke up with her via tabloid, Jasmine, with the aid of her best cousins, came up with a Leading Lady Plan. Number one, a leading lady doesn’t end up on a tabloid cover. Two, she doesn’t fall for her costar. You know what they say about the best laid plans. When her new costar turns out to be none other that telenovela hunk, Ashton Suarez it makes it difficult for Jasmine to keep to her plan.

Ashton Suarez’s telenovela character was killed off. He fears his career as a leading man may be over. “Carmen in Charge” is his last chance to get a Hollywood career.  In New York he is a fish out of water and floundering. He was known and respected in Florida’s telenovela world but here no one realizes that his aloofness merely hides insecurities.

Jasmine’s beautiful spirit and open personality brings Ashton out of his shell. Practicing their lines in private leads to a behind-the-scenes romance. But everything is threatened when they end up on the cover of another tabloid.

This was a fresh, fun story filled with a variety of ethnicities, mostly Latino. I enjoyed this story so much. It was one of the best romance stories I’ve read in a long time. Strong female characters, sexy men and an abundance of supporting characters that brought the world to life. This book needs to be a movie. I’d pay to see it.  

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Have You Read…The Boyfriend Project? What are you waiting for?

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon Narrated by Je Nie Fleming (audiobook)

When her breakup with her boyfriend goes viral, Samiah Brooks decides to give up on men and focus on her own project. Along with her new gal pals London and Taylor, Samiah is ready to face her new-found freedom as a modern woman who doesn’t need a man to define her. That is until she arrives at work Monday morning and meets the new guy, Daniel Collins. If hot computer guy needed a definition, Daniel Collins would be it. Can Samiah possibly abstain when she has to share space with this guy who is not only delicious to look at but kind and considerate too!

But everything isn’t as it seems. Daniel is at the company undercover to do a job for the U. S. Treasury Department and once the job is done, he’ll be gone. He doesn’t plan to fall for Samiah, but she is not only beautiful but talented and caring. Every time he is near her, he wants her more. He might be lying about somethings but his feelings for her are real, too real. The choice he has to make may cost him either the career he loves or the woman he’s coming to love. Doing the right thing has never been this hard.

I loved this book. The characters were dynamic and powerful. Samiah, a black woman in the tech field feels the pressure to not only be the best for herself but for all the black girls that might come after her. It’s a big burden to carry but one many women of color feel, or so I have been told. They know others will be judged by their actions. Right or wrong, it is the way of the world and for a caring person it can be overwhelming. I thought Rochon handled this with finesse, teaching without preaching.

I also loved that Daniel wasn’t an alpha-asshole, he was strong and caring, in charge but still vulnerable. I fell in love right alongside Samiah, that is the power of a good romance.    

Farrah Rochon took me into the skin of her characters and allowed me to live there of a little while, feeling all the wonderful and powerful emotions until the very end. I loved the ending. I felt Samiah was true to her character and so was Daniel. They showed honest emotions and reactions and made the reader believe that this could happen just the way it did. I also liked the fact that it wasn’t a perfectly happy ending, it had depth. Samiah didn’t let Daniel completely off the hook and still felt the need to take things slow.

Read this book, it was awesome! I can’t wait until the next installment. I have to know what happens with London and Taylor. I believe Farrah Rochon has found a permanent spot on my bookshelf! I will be searching her backlist for more goodies.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Neanderthal Seeks Human, Audiobook Review

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid, Narrated by Jennifer Grace

This delightful romantic comedy is just what the doctor ordered for a dreary winter day. An audible delight that is worth a second or even a third or fourth listen.

The worst day ever for Janie Morris might be the catalyst for a new beginning. After losing her boyfriend, her apartment and her job all in the same day…not to mention the bathroom is out of toilet paper. Oh, and it gets worse.

Janie, who has a bad habit of spouting inconsequential trivia whenever nervous has just found herself being escorted from the building by her lust-filled fantasy security guard and she cannot shut up. But Quinn Sullivan is more than the Sir McHotpants of her dreams. He seems destined to be rescuer.

When he arranges for her to get an interview for an amazing job, she is ill-prepared for the chain of events that will follow. The work she can handle it is all the social things she messes up.

I love the awkward and uncomfortable moments that seem to be perfectly romantic for this crazy pair.

Janie’s family takes all the fun out of dysfunctional but they add a little twist to this sweet romantic comedy.

This was great insight into the earlier works of Penny Reid, you will remember, her Winston Brother series. She is truly awesome!

Posted in audio books, Book Review

Beard Science

by Penny Reid, narrated by Joy Nash and Chris Brinkley

#3 Winston Brothers Series

I am addicted to the BEARDS. I don’t know what I’m going to do when Penny Reid runs out of his brothers. Cletus Winston may be my favorite brother. He is mysterious, unique bordering on strange, extremely intelligent to the point of nerdy but with a beard and a sexy bod so it’s okay. He likes to fix things and people. He meddles. So it was not a big surprise to his family when he started helping the Banana Queen.

No one would have expected Jennifer Sylvester aka the Banana Queen to have been the one to blackmail Cletus into doing anything. Sweet, simple, little Jennifer who always does what her parents tell her, who has never even attended public school, wouldn’t be bold enough to try to manipulate the Puppet Master.

Jennifer is tired of being the town joke. She wants to find a husband. She doesn’t expect to find love, she’s just hoping to find someone who’ll be kind and give her lots of babies.

Cletus isn’t interested in sweet, virginal Jennifer. He wants a woman who knows what’s what and won’t be too much trouble. Jennifer is already proving to be a lot of trouble. He can’t seem to stop thinking about her and it’s interfering with his work.

Love and fate often have plans of their own that don’t coincide with the ones you have made for yourself. Cletus and Jennifer soon find out that all their best laid plans are about to be baked into a delicious pie.

Penny Reid has made me laugh out loud, nearly pee my pants, weep uncontrollably and fall head over keester in love with this family and their stories. I want to live in Green Valley with the Winston family.

Joy Nash and Chris Brinkley add their personalities and talents to this fabulous story by giving voice to these characters and making them walk off the page and into my life. I cannot say enough good things about this series. I even spent Christmas money on the next book in the series because I didn’t want to wait a full month for my book allowance. Y’all, I am hooked.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

I’m In LOVE with The Beards!

Grin and Beard It  by Penny Reid, Narrated by Chris Brinkley, Cielo Camargo

When Jethro Winston stumbles upon a beautiful woman lost and stranded in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, he has no clue that she is the award-winning actress, comedian and writer, Sienna Diaz.

The curvy, vivacious woman makes him smile and he falls a bit in love with her that very first day, even though he mistakenly thinks her name is Sarah.

Sienna is used to handsome men, heck she works in Hollywood, but Jethro Winston is a real man. He is strong, confident, capable and oh so sexy. She never expects to see him again but then she never expects to get lost, again, on the same mountain road.

When his brother Cletus orders her to tell him the truth about who she is, Jethro still doesn’t understand what it means to be with a woman who is an A-list celebrity until they are up to their eyeballs in fans. With is colorful past, Jethro knows he should bow out and not taint Sienna with is mistakes, instead they keep finding themselves pulled and pushed together by those that love them and want them happy as well as their own desires for each other.

Can two people from two very different worlds find their happily ever after? It is a laugh-out-loud ride as they try to find out. Penny Reid gives you all the feels, I laughed until I almost peed my pants and I sniffled and cried along with the characters, I even got mad and wanted to tell a few of them off. When you get that invested into a story, you know it’s good. I’m onto the next in the series.

The narrators, Chris Brinkley and Cielo Camargo do an excellent job of filling the room with the story. As I listened in the car, folding clothes or at work, I felt as if I were right there on the mountain right in the middle of all the adventure. They truly brought the characters to life and made the novel an excellent experience.

If you haven’t read or listened to The Winston Brother series, why not? It’s so much fun! Y’all come on and join me…or not, you’ll just be the ones missing out.

Gotta go, I’ve got a hot date with a good book.

Posted in audio books, Book Review

An Audible Original

How To Date Your Dragon by Molly Harper, narrated by Amanda Ronconi & Jonathan Davis  (An Audible Original)

This is the first of the Mystic Bayou Series. I am so thrilled to find this series on Audible. While I’m not a big paranormal romance reader, I fell in love with the charm and quirky characters in this book and can’t wait to listen to the next one.

Molly Harper has written a delightful community in the best place in the world for strange and supernatural characters, the Louisiana bayous. I didn’t just fall in love with Sheriff Bael Boone and Dr. Jillian Ramsay, but with the whole town of Mystic Bayou and all the strange and wonderful characters that give it charm.

Ms. Harper is quirky, funny and down right evil in a good way when it comes to the love/hate relationship between Sheriff Bael and his boss, the mayor, Zed Berend, but she does a wonderfully believable job of switching gears when the two men have to deal with murder. As Dr. Jillian observes, Zed’s actions during the investigation and his ability to work cohesively with the sheriff explains why he is mayor. The two men make a great team.

Jillian and Bael struggle to find the right path between human and Majick. While Bael wants to make her part of his treasure, Jillian has worked too hard to give up her dreams of being an anthropologist. Can they have it all? Well this is romance and Mystic Bayou, hold onto your hat and get ready for a bumpy ride.

Narrators Amanda Ronconi and Jonathan Davis breathe life into these wonderful characters, making their words and actions dance and sway to the rhythm of a Zydeco band.

If you like sassy and sweet with a lot of heat, you need to read this series. I know I am.